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Making Magic Out of Misery:

My least favorite line that people tend to say about divorce is that it’s the ‘easy’ way out. If you think it’s easy, then please go ahead and get one so you can tell me that again in eighteen months when it’s still being held up in court! I don’t think anyone goes into a marriage planning for divorce. It’s also not an easy decision. You don’t have one fight or one bad day and just up and leave. There are a million fights and a ton of bad days. There is trial and error and failure. It’s not a clear cut decision. Deciding to divorce is agonized about and completely anxiety inducing.

I waited far too long to get divorced. I stayed much longer than I should have. I heard the ‘do it for the kids’ and the ‘you made a vow’. Those words were the ones that kept me in an emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially abusive relationship for too long. I was more worried about disappointing my family. I didn’t want to hurt my kids. I didn’t want to just give up because things got hard. Somewhere in all of the years and through the all the worst times I lost not only my self worth, my self respect, and my whole identity. I couldn’t even see the abuse that was not only being inflicted on me, but that I was complicit in with my threefold.

Looking back now, I don’t even recognize that person. I was just a shell of a person and I had no hope for anything better or different for my threefold and I. It still amazes me that I found the strength within to get out and stay out. I left with nothing other than a small hope that there was something more to life than what I had with him. I had to believe that I could be happy again eventually and that we deserved a chance to find it. I realized that the only way to get there was to leave.

A New Year’s resolution nearly two years ago was my first step towards finding a path forward. My decision was made by a random song on the radio playing ‘radio roulette’ with my threefold. Radio roulette is a game we play where the next song that plays on the radio is ‘your song’ and that’s your theme for the day, night, month, or year. When ‘Lose You to Love Me’ came on I knew exactly in that moment that regardless how silly and laughable our little game was, it was a sign telling me to walk away. I decided that if within six months there wasn’t a massive change, I would leave. Things only deteriorated more rapidly and I walked away after thirteen years, with three boxes, and my threefold. It was the hardest and best decision I’ve had to make, but it was the only choice if my threefold and I ever wanted more than a hand to mouth life filled with candy coated cruelty.

I didn’t hit the door and have some major change instantly happen in my life. Happiness wasn’t waiting for me just outside the door. I didn’t walk into a happily ever after life when I left that day. In fact, I walked into the most challenging year of my life. I walked into a battle for my threefold, for their lives, literally, for my rights, for our freedom. I walked into insecurities in every aspect of life. I was broke and broken. I was starting over and all I wanted was a do over, a chance to do it better.

This past year and a half I discovered one big key element to finding happiness-contentment. Do not confuse contentment with settling, it’s not settling. Contentment is finding satisfaction and the happiness will follow. I’ll always want more for myself and for my family. That determination to always find the happiness in my life won’t stop until I do. However, I am content with knowing that it’s mine to create. The happiness is all around me and it always was inside of me. I’m satisfied knowing there is so much more out there waiting for me to discover. There always was, I just couldn’t see it because I believed the lies that said I wouldn’t have anything, do anything, and I wasn’t worth more than what I had.

After reflecting back nearly two years after making that new year’s resolution to discover myself and find my happiness. I see my growth. Here I am. Happy. I can say that with confidence. I’m happy. It’s not always easy, but it was a choice. I’m now content with my life, but still I am striving for better. I have my threefold, our new blended family, the person I always dreamed of having by my side, but never knew existed and an endless amount of possibilities ahead for all of us.

As I sit preparing my New Year’s resolutions for the coming year, I know that I am capable of amazing feats even amongst the challenges that will be faced in the coming year. I’ve managed to make magic happen out of the misery we once settled with. If I was capable of that throughout this year, next year will be a piece of pie! Those capabilities and that determination didn’t come the decision to leave, it came from the battles I fought along the way in search of my happiness and a better life. I didn’t come this far to back down and I won’t give up on my goals. I’m a bad ass goal getter! You should be one too! Start preparing for your big New Year’s resolutions NOW! I don’t think anyone else is less capable than I am of achieving their goals. You deserve to find your happiness. Look for the good! Stay positive ! You’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Truth Be Told…

⚠️⚠️⚠️Trigger Warning!!!⚠️⚠️⚠️

I’m going to tell you a true story that I have not told many people. It’s the truth that I’ve hidden from everyone, even those closest to me for as long as I can remember. I’m telling this story because my threefold is celebrating huge milestones in their recovery and people don’t seem to understand why I celebrate these milestones instead of just saying ‘I’m proud of you.’

Celebrating the milestone of three, six, and twelve months being free of self harm behaviors is a BIG freaking deal for my threefold. It’s a big deal because we’ve been through hell trying to reach these milestones and we have taken the path to healing. After numerous hospitalizations, thousands of hours of therapy, a lot of self reflection, and deciding to fight for the future we have reached these milestones. It’s been a hard and scary journey, but the end result is so worth the celebration.

So that big truth and that scary secret I’ve hidden from even those closest to me is that I was the 14 year old girl that took a blade to her body trying to escape the pain. I was the 16 year old girl who starved herself for days at a time and purged everything she did eat to fit the stereotype that the world told me I needed to be in order to be beautiful. I’ve been the 25 year old who held a gun to her own temple and fought back pulling the trigger to escape the pain. I’ve also been the 35 year old who sat on a bathroom floor with a bottle of pills that could only find three reasons to hold me back from swallowing the whole bottle and chasing it down with the alcohol in my other hand. That’s the ugly journey of self harm, suicidal ideation, undiagnosed, and unmedicated mental illness.

I’ve also been the person who thought so little of herself that she allowed others to inflict that same pain onto me. I’ve worn the bruises and still bare the scars of the many times I’ve allowed people to use me as their own way to feel better. I’ve allowed my body to be torn apart by the men I chose over my own self respect. From cigarette burns, to being pushed down steps, to being clocked and choked. It’s a reality I’ve lived in for far too long. It’s a part of me now that I can’t erase. The hate filled words and the demeaning labels I’ve been told are burned into my brain. The many times I was told what I was and wasn’t became the only words I could hear. Those negative identifiers became the voices in my own head long after the people were gone.

I’ve been accused of attention seeking, it being a phase, and that I was just being too much. I didn’t get the help I needed at 14, 16, 17, 25, or 35 because I was told it was a me problem not an illness in need of treatment. My mother didn’t acknowledge it. My father didn’t see it. My ex-husband told me the medications made me worse and the ‘head doctors didn’t know me well enough to know what they were talking about. I’ve allowed everyone in my life around me convince me I wasn’t bipolar, even when the symptoms were obvious. Even after being hospitalized for 6 weeks to treat the symptoms I allowed someone to tell me the medication made me worse and it belonged in the garbage. So that’s where that medication went. I waited over 20 years to seek help for my mental illness. It’s not a life I can stand by and watch my threefold suffer through for themselves.

I refuse to allow me to be the barrier that stops my threefold from getting help when I know the dire consequences of that choice. I won’t be the voice in their head that tells them that they are the problem. I refuse to stand by and watch my threefold struggle like I did and live a life they don’t have to before they find a better way. Not when I have the power to help them find that life now. Not when the help is available and they show me they need it. I can see it, because I too have been that young girl struggling to find a person who would help me. I didn’t get that, but I will make damn sure they do.

I’m not glorifying this behavior by celebrating my children fighting for their future. I’m celebrating because there is cause for celebration when you overcome the bad and the ugly of mental illness. It took me too long to share my journey. I don’t want them to feel like they should hide theirs. It took me far too long to find the help I needed and if I can prevent them from taking the path I did, I will.

I celebrate the milestones because I know the struggle to reach the milestones too. I don’t talk about my struggle through self harm because it’s ugly and it’s the hard part that most don’t relate to. I haven’t shared it because everyone has told me that I’m the reason my threefold struggles. My threefold doesn’t even know most of my struggles and how bad it was. I never wanted them to see me as that person. It’s not a side I wanted to share and I don’t want them to believe self harm or suicidal ideation is normal. It’s not normal! It’s a sign of mental illness and the statistics that come with it are scary as hell.

You can judge me, but I am my own worst critic in the parenting department. I question if I am doing it right all the time. However, because I see their growth, their progress and their fight I know that I am doing exactly what I should to see them to a better life than what I had. I’m making that life for myself and for my threefold. We create our own path forward and the future is too bright to live in the darkness of the past. Don’t live your life waiting for the good, find the good in life. That’s the only way! Stay positive! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Surviving to Thriving.

Discharge Day was this week and I’ve never been happier to close a chapter of life than I am this one. We have a long road ahead, but this week we celebrate a big milestone. 2 {the middle child, 13} is ready to transition back to traditional school and into full outpatient aftercare. It’s an amazing accomplishment. D-day marked the 134th day of no self harm behavior. Yes, I will celebrate that day and everything this day means for our family, my threefold, defcon four, the sensational six and for our path forward.

It’s been a hard year. It’s been full of change, stress, hard times, hopelessness & mixed emotions. This year has also shown us that we can conquer all things together. We have amazing people on our side & I am so grateful for each person whether you offered a listening ear, a helping hand, a dollar, a prayer, good vibes, checked in or reached out. It’s been a uniquely challenging year. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster. However, we have gotten an education on mental health. We were given a choice to keep hiding in the darkness of shame and fear, hiding the truth of our challenges OR we could step out of that darkness and speak about what has been happening in our lives. I’m glad we chose the latter. That choice has allowed a little light and a lot of humanity to be placed on the struggles some face with mental illnesses and gave a voice to my threefold who have had a difficult time speaking on their feelings.

I was stunned to see how many people on my personal page had a child or grandchild who had a similar struggle they faced behind the closed doors of their homes. Then on my Facebook page for my threefold the messages, comments, and likes came pouring in after I wrote the raw piece about 2’s hospitalization . It’s lonely, hard, helpless and stressful to be the parent of a child with mental health issues and trauma when they go into crisis, then you add in more kids with mental illness, your own, and divorce. I’ve been living in between the rock and the hard place for some time now. I’ve tried to maintain a positive outlook, good attitude and not sink into the depths of depression and anxiety. I will be honest I’m human and I promise I have experienced every human emotion over these past few months.

I realized the why behind the stigma throughout this year as well. It’s not understood and it is often judged harshly. If you say it out loud it must be more for “attention” than reaching out for help. I ask you to educate yourself {and your children} if you have those negative thoughts about those of us who seek help not only professionally but also within the circle of friends. My threefold are only a few in millions of kids that suffer, they aren’t special in their diagnoses. They are unique because our family decided we needed more than just professional support. We needed personal support also. We received that support in many people near and far. We also got the criticism and judgements of other people, strangers, family, and friends. I am grateful for both. I now value my time and role more. I advocate better for my threefold now and I found that I’m not the only mom {chaos coordinator) that is going through a similar situation. I found people I never would have and learned things some may have not felt comfortable sharing. I’ve received a lot of support emotionally, financially, and physically this year. I’ve also changed my own outlook on mental health, mental illness, and began helping others who have reached out to me. I’ve been able to help people with navigating a divorce. I’ve helped people formulate a plan on leaving an abusive relationship. I’ve helped people with mental health struggles. I’ve been an ear for several people that are going through similar struggles. I haven’t been afforded the opportunity to touch people’s lives financially, but I definitely want to create that platform and make a difference in people’s lives. I personally know how financially draining the process is. Without the continued support of family and friends through our fundraising efforts we wouldn’t be where we are today, we wouldn’t be at discharge week.

I won’t let the critics take up space in my life or my energy. I choose today to celebrate 2’s discharge from her hospitalization. I will celebrate the 136 days we have like I did numbers 7, 14, 30, 45, 60 – and so on. Today I will celebrate her decision to fight for herself {to fight with me}. I celebrate the strength, courage, vulnerability, honesty, and faith it took her to commit to a better future. I celebrate going back to school. I celebrate the successful end of treatment that has been continuous since June 6th. I celebrate the hope we have for normalcy. I celebrate this day like it’s another birthday, because in some ways it is exactly that. My child in early June that I checked into an inpatient facility for suicidal thoughts, ideation and attempts is not the same child that I discharged from intensive crisis management. My child is much more than a list of complicated diagnoses and no longer broken down to the point of not seeing a future for herself. She was angry, she was impulsive, she was depressed, she was in a constant state of fear, and she was in pain. Today I picked up my little girl and she cried as we drove away from the facility, more than she did when she was admitted. She was happy to be headed back to a semblance of routine and typical teenage life. She is proud of herself. She finally sees a future. She sees the worth of her own life. She sees the payoff of 4 1/2 grueling months of hospitalization. She sees the path forward. That vision brought me to tears. The relief I felt in actually taking a breath and finally truly believing it’s going to be ok was magical.

Lastly, they may or may not read this but I’m going to do some shout outs…I know, cringeworthy. I don’t do short and sweet, but I’m going to try. {ha} E~my ppp {perky positivity peddler} my rock. You have kept me from losing all the sanity I have left this year. You’ve been the our biggest source of support and encouragement. You’ve picked me up off the floor and have drug me out of the dark place {kicking & screaming} more times than I can count. I know this hasn’t been easy, but I will never be able to express my appreciation, gratitude or my love for you. You were meant to be with me during this, I know it. I love you.

DEFCON Four- 1-you make me smile and are the most caring person I’ve ever known. You made me remember that there is still good. You’re a ray of sunshine that lights up the other people around you. I love you & I am proud of your growth & accomplishments this year. You are becoming a person who has the capability to do anything~better yet YOU finally are seeing that too. 3- my baby, you have made me learn patience. You have made me see things differently. You have challenged me. You’ve also made me realize that even though it’s tough we have to have fun. You make me remember what kind of mom I want to be. I see you my bug, and I see that you want to be the best you. You give it some time, and you’ll grown into it. Keep trying, everything will get better. I love you bug and I hope you always know that. BK {bonus kid} You crack me up! You kept me smiling and checked on me. You helped all the girls. You’re an amazing person. I’m honored to get to be a part of your life. I appreciate you making my threefold your family too. Youre an awesome and beautiful person. I love you. Last but not least 2. Oh my little love, you rocked my world this year and turned it upside down and inside out. You also made me find a strength I didn’t know was in me. I found my grind and my hustle. I found the true meaning of a mother’s love. You made me realize how much I need all of you. I realized that it was time for big changes. They came, ready or not. Your progress and fight has inspired me on many levels. You’re a bad ass. To see your transformation and your dedication to recovery will be a inspiration to all those around you. Thank you for taking the help you received. I am so proud of you. We aren’t threefold, defcon 4, the sensational six when there is a missing piece. This is a marathon not a sprint, but I know together all of us will continue to move forward and find healing.

To everyone who has helped, shared, prayed, commented message or reached out ~ THANK YOU! My girls and their strength is what has gotten me through my own hard times this year. We have all grown exponentially and we are all committed to working to be better each day. I am so proud of my girls and our family. The journey is far from over but we are happy to begin writing the next chapter and with that we hope we don’t only survive it, but we begin to thrive. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything you have done this year and your support moving forward to the future that these girls deserve. ☮️❤️😊~M

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Protected: Divorcing a Narcissist: Pt. II

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Protected: Candy Coated Cruelty

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