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Mending a Broken Heart

Another emotional week is coming to a close for my threefold. ALL three are home. Hopefully for a long time! It’s been up and down around here. I’m just trying to ride the waves of emotion and be the support my threefold needs me to be. It is a hard job, this mom thing. I will be tending to broken hearts and broken promises for the foreseeable future. Being a teenage girl is hard too.

#1 experienced her first big love over the past year. Her boyfriend {we’ll call him ‘J’} and #1 have been together for about 16 months or so. This is her first long relationship. Many of her firsts happened with ‘J’. She has been in love and it’s been beautiful to watch that young love. I actually really like ‘J’ and know he has been a good support for #1 through a very tumultuous year.

Tonight though, ‘J’ called it quits with #1. Her devastation and complete breakdown was heartbreaking for me to witness. I watched and tried to calm my sweet little girl as she hyperventilated and cried uncontrollably. I wanted to hold her, but during panic attacks she has increased sensitivity to touch. instead I sat on the cold floor with her hushing calmly and telling her that she would be ok, even if she wasn’t ok in that moment, she would be. I felt helpless I wanted to fix it, but there are no magic words to mend a broken heart. Instead, I did the only thing I knew how to do. I tried to calm her insecurities and her feelings of worthlessness.

Instead of sitting on the floor we drove to the gas station down the road. We have chocolate. We have funny tv shows and movies and we have a little heartbreak hotel set up. My newly appointed adult daughter will be sleeping in her mom’s room tonight. She will be comforted with chocolate and inappropriate humor. We will ride the wave.

As I sit writing this little dramatic comedy in the making, I am stealing away my moment to cry knowing this pain will linger with her for a while. I know that the first love and the first heartbreak that usually comes with it will be forever etched in her memory. She is tough. My stick of dynamite in a tiny 4’10” body. She has grown so much and has a bright future ahead that is bound to include more love and more heartbreak. This love will be the beautiful high school story she tells one day to her own child when they experience that first love…and the heartbreak that will break hers to watch. I’m loving her through this one knowing that life goes on and that she won’t allow the heartbreak to break her completely. I’m staying positive because I know she’s got this. I’ve got her…and I’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Silver Linings

I’ve been pretty negative the past few weeks, just sitting in my puddle of pity and splashing people in the face if they came near or tried to pull me from wallowing in my many woes. Even those that you would think are the strongest still fall. I had to climb out of the hell I was allowing to take over my life {or drug out kicking and screaming} I had to get out of there before I let it consume me and cover me in the dark bitterness of depression. It took some come ups and some push {ok a lot of push} but I’m starting to see some of that silver lining.

I never rolled over and quit {I wanted to.} I knew that my only choice was to keep moving forward and as hard as it has been this past month it’s time to shake off the sadness and the hardships. Now I am going to get to the good {ish} part again. And yes I say ish because it’s never going to be perfect but goodish is MUCH better than hellish. Real talk.

Both of my girls aren’t discharged from the hospital yet, but # 2 came home today. She’ll do a partial hospitalization program starting Monday. That means I can have her home at night, but she’ll still have daily therapy and see her psychiatrist daily. So hospital diring the day, work, and then home. Much better than inpatient with five minute phone calls and no face to face visitation.

#3 will hopefully get out next week. They did a full medication change on her so she has to be monitored while she adjusts to the new regimen. Hopefully, this change is one that helps her to regulate her emotions better. She is ready to be back home. Home for a week then back inpatient isn’t the goal at all. Hopefully her step down care will be partial or intensive outpatient care.

On a brighter note, tomorrow #1 has her 18th birthday party! I went all out. She didn’t get a sweet sixteen due to Covid popping up this time two years ago. She chose an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme. I love it. We bought cute spring dresses, too many decorations, and I have three cakes. Yes, I know it’s excessive. Who needs 3 cakes, cupcakes, chocolate covered strawberries and ooey gooey bars? Well, apparently we do. It should be fun and give us all the ability to relax and have some fun. I hate #3 won’t be here with us to celebrate. I miss that kid with all of me right now.

To top off the celebration of the 18th birthday and the official adulthood commencing for one of my threefold we also are celebrating that full scholarship she was awarded for her amazing ACT and academic achievements amongst an essay she wrote. So proud of her! She is rocking this year and has grown so much as a person this year. {still 4’10” but she is dynamite in a tiny package!}

In case I need more to celebrate other than I am one down two to go to successful child rearing, then I can add to the celebratory mood. I achieved a goal that I’ve been working on professionally. I got a promotion at work and a nice little pay increase to go with it. I’m pretty proud to be able to say that in just shy of two years with my current company I’ve had 2 promotions and 4 raises. Not too damn shabby. I do love what I do and the people I get to work with.

Despite all the headaches and the hardships there is still a lot of good happening for us. I know eventually the good will outweigh the bad. I’m ready to keep moving forward and keep overcoming the obstacles. It’s a crazy life Mommin ’ mental illness, but who better to have to do it for my threefold than I? In the mean time I’ll keep trying to see all the good. Stay positive! We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Domino Effect

I never liked dominoes. I never was interested in playing the game. I would just line them up, stand them up on their ends and push the first one causing the rest to fall over as I watched with amusement. I would create twists and turns with the rows of upended dominoes to see how far it would continue on after the first push. It was entertaining for me. Much more so than the game itself was. This is what it feels like is happening in my life, but I’m not amused with watching as everything falls apart around me.

It’s March 1st. I should be writing a February Goal Getter recap and a March Goal Getter Guide. I should be spouting off about everything we have accomplished and how we do it. I should be writing a congratulatory letter to myself as I get to say this week I will have successfully raised one of my threefold to adulthood. #1 of my threefold turns 18 in only a few days. I should be planning a 18th birthday party and car shopping. I should have a promotion and a raise in my sights. What I shouldn’t have is two daughters in crisis mode leaving mom to manage the onslaughts of stress, financial worries, emotional turmoil, and trying to figure out where I went wrong. Yet here I am mommin’ mental illness and trying to manage my own. It’s been the domino effect of triggered responses.

It was a week to the day I discharged #3 from her psychiatric facility for acute care. It was that same day that we discharged #3 that #2 was admitted to the psychiatric hospital for her crisis management. Today, I was back with #3 for another admission for acute crisis management. Yes. That’s right. I have two of my threefold admitted for psychiatric care simultaneously now. As much as I don’t want to be the mom who says that, I am. I’m completely lost in my own emotional overwhelm and exhaustion from the past several weeks that I can’t worry about what that sounds like or how that makes me look. All I care about is that they get the help they need. Everything else is inconsequential at this point. My dominoes are lined up and life has begun to watch in amusement as each of us falls into the darkness of depression.

These admissions weren’t by my choice or even my recommendation. With # 2 hers was initiated by her outpatient therapist. With #2’s history I was pretty much guaranteed admission as soon as I said she had been inpatient for 17 weeks during 2021. With #3 the school has requested evaluation and assessment for mental illness and trauma treatment since her first out burst three weeks ago. #3 returned to school and now here we are with another outburst, more trauma disclosures and another referral from the school for assessment. I’m back to inpatient and trauma momma in the position of chaos coordinator and crisis management. Not the promotion I had hoped for this year. I didn’t ask for the domino free fall, however the pieces are left for me to put back in place. I’m trying to stop the falls, but they are being knocked down before I can even pick up the previous fallen pieces. I’m not sure how to stop the continued cause and effect from the initial piece falling into the one after.

I’m trying to figure it out. I’m trying to muddle through the whole situation. I’m flailing, but I can’t fail. This domino effect will hit a spot where the fall can’t continue and the progression will end. I’m not going to let my threefold down. They won’t be left to fight this alone. They need to stand up and I’m going to make sure they stay balanced whatever it takes. I need a break, but mommin’ mental illness is a full time job with no pay and no benefits. I’m broken and they are too. All I can do is work towards finding them the right care and keeping my sanity so I can manage this crisis as it comes. I’m scared. I’m sad. They’re scared and sad. I’m not sure how the next part of this story of ours will go, but I know that it’s going to be a hard one to write until they are home with me where they belong. In the meantime, all I can say is I’m trying to be positive. I might need some help along the way, but I’ve got this. ☮️❤️😊~M

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Destination Unknown

I’m unsure where I’m headed. I’m on the path I’ve been going down for a while, but suddenly there is this huge fork is in the road. A decision is there waiting for me to make up my mind. Which way? Both paths have darkness, obstacles, warnings and mysterious circumstances that look daunting. Both look scary as hell from here, but whether or not one will lead me to where I want to end up, I’m unsure. I can’t see what is beyond where I am in this moment. I just know my decision is one I not only have to make for myself, but for my threefold too. I’m the only person that can make this choice.

I am tired of asking for directions from people who have never been where I am now or don’t understand the struggles we face trying to find a better way. Everyone seems to think they know best, but no one has walked in these shoes or been inside my mind. It’s not as easy as ‘choosing to be happy’ mental illness isn’t a choice and it’s not an excuse. I apologize when I do wrong, I don’t blame my illness for my every move.

If I get angry I apologize and I recognize that I’m at fault. If I’m stressed I may be irritated but I can reset and refocus. I don’t let every single life stress melt me down into a puddle of pity. I do buck up and get back on the horse and jump the damn hurdle. I give myself pep talks and positive affirmations. I meditate, I journal, and I work in my therapy. I do try. It’s not always the quick or easy response people expect, but I get back on track. It’s not without effort.

Right now, I’m not in a good place. I know that is a fact. My thoughts betray me faster than I can counteract them. I can be laughing and ignoring all of my problems one minute and the next be in emotional distress holding back the tears. I’m trying. I fall apart more often. I’ve isolated myself a lot more than I know is healthy, but it’s not because I want to be alone. It’s because I don’t want to be told I’m moping or sulking or enjoying a pity party. I’m m not trying to be negative. I just am not seeing the silver linings of my current situation. I don’t need toxic positivity. I need the validation that this is a shitty time and that I am allowed to not be ok. I need that support. Not some grass is greener and rainbows come after bad storms bullshit. I know it gets better. But damn it, right now it’s not even close to that better.

I know I’m a badass and I’m tough. I know I’ll get through this and get to my desired destination eventually. I know my threefold is going to be ok. I know that I’ll ride the struggle bus until I can make my way back to the fuck yea freight train. I know.

Right now, I also know this is not fair. I know that this is not what I wanted, needed or even expected to be happening in our lives. I need a little less heartache, hard time, and headache. I need more help to understand why this is happening and how I can avoid it again. Who can honestly say they have admitted and discharged a child from a hospital, admitted another child back into the hospital all while dealing with a narcissistic, drug addicted ex, still worked 70 hours, signed settlement papers and managed to keep a fairly level head all in the same week? If I can’t have some rough days and a hard time smiling after that week, then damn, I’m sorry. Im exhausted. I am completely drained emotionally, physically and mentally. If I knew I would not lose everything I’d worked for I’d probably say I’m entitled to have my breakdown now. I won’t let myself have that breakdown. However, my depressed and anxious mood shouldn’t be just understandable but acceptable after all of that.

I’m not going to curl up in a ball and rock back and forth. I am going to have my feelings. I can’t always mask them and I won’t shove them inside so I change into someone else’s version of me. I’m aware I am a fighter, but I won’t pretend everything is ok and that I am just up against an obstacle. I may not be entitled to a breakdown, but damn it, I AM entitled to be upset, stressed out, and straight up mad that this all is occurring. I’m not going to let it be all consuming, but I will let the emotions out in the safety of my home or my car or in a public bathroom if necessary. I won’t apologize for that.

The depression will lift and I will figure out which road to take. Whether I take the right or the left, face more challenges or find myself lost in the big unknowns I ALWAYS find a way to head back in the right direction. I’m not walking on crutches, I’m not making excuses for my darkness. Not today. I have a reason to have my feelings right now and if anyone wants to tell me to suck it up and keep going because it’s bothering them to see me ‘give up’. Then my response will now be that my life is not a spectator sport. I’m not currently accepting any applications for life coaches. Opinions aren’t needed and the facts are I’m allowed to feel like this or to have any other feelings. You have no clue the amount of strength it takes to deal with what I do inside my head let alone my threefold and all of the trauma, lack of sleep, anxiety, work and constant pressure. When you get your hell week participation award I will then be more open to listen to how you would feel, do, behave and react to my current situation. If you can’t support that then I suggest you shut up with your buck it up bullshit. Today is not the day, and my dear, I am definitely not the one you need to preach the ‘live, laugh, love’ or ‘fake it til you make it’ bullshit to. You can peddle that toxic positivity to people crying over their kid not making honor roll and getting caught smoking pot. Those are high class problems. Mine are life altering issues that have longer lasting effects than those things. I’m trying to stay positive. I’ve still got this. ☮️❤️😊~M

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Movement

It’s been a hell of a week. I don’t want to say ‘Hell Week 2022’ because that’s like a challenge to the universe and it’s only February! I’ve been through the ringer this week, between hiding the hospitalization of #3, fighting through those feelings and dealing with the domino effect this trauma talk triggers in all of my threefold and I, my vehicle breaking down, working to distract myself, and my court chaos with the ex, I felt like I wasn’t going to make it through this week.

I felt on the verge of a mental breakdown last week when I admitted my daughter, #3, the youngest of my threefold. I am hiding that from my workplace not because I don’t feel like they would be supportive or understanding, but because I am up for this promotion and I don’t want to get the label of ‘single mom who has too much on her plate to be as committed as this position requires.’ I know I would get that label for sure. I’m more qualified and capable than even the last manager was, I know that I can excel and don’t need more stigma standing in my way. I am ready to move up, and I know my worth. Time to add the tax to that and take my place. I earned it.

I love my day job. Don’t confuse that with the fact that I would not leave in a heartbeat if I could support my family on writing and content creation, but right now that’s not feasible. The starving artist isn’t a good path when the ones starving would be my threefold. They’re growing girls and they have a grocery bill that’s higher than a car payment each week! I’ve used work as a distraction. I’m good at my job and it’s busy so I can easily get lost in it. I love that I leave it all at the door at work and escape to a place where I shine just being me. That’s true for writing and for my day job.

I got my truck out of the shop {1k later and a new fuel pump later} I realized a few years ago not having my own ride would have not bothered me at all. Now I’m so much more independent and I love it. I drive everywhere. Ruby and I are going to stick it out longer. She is bipolar too so it’s important she take her meds and I need to be more mindful of her needs so she doesn’t have a breakdown again soon.

I’ve been really hard on myself this past week in more ways than one. My self talk has been negative. I haven’t been meditating or manifesting much. My goal getter book has been empty when usually I would’ve had my goals laid out for the week. My sleep has been sporadic. My mood has shifted more often. My self care went to nonexistent. I’ve been isolating and not really in the mood to do much of anything. I tried to keep it together. It’s been really freaking rough though. This depressive episode is not near as intense as the last one but when you’ve been in a good place for a while the down feels deeper. You just want to snap out of it. Unfortunately bipolar doesn’t work like that. Instead it means med adjustments and pushing yourself to keep going. I can’t give up or give into the darkness of it. My threefold needs me to be their strength and their rock. Not a mom in bed or hiding away so they don’t see it. They know what’s going on, because unfortunately it’s like a domino effect. They can mirror my mood as I mirror theirs and those of others. I need to move myself out of this darkness.

This domino effect as I call it has resulted in depression symptoms and anxiety for everyone else. It’s also not good because no one wants to be the cause of any additional chaos. Especially when it’s obvious I’m in stressed out anxiety mode right now. This makes my threefold feel like they can’t ask for support or talk about their own feelings because they don’t want to worry or upset me more. One thing I had hoped we learned was that shoving it down and hoping the feelings subside on their own rarely works. Especially when the feelings and thoughts are intense. This led to issues across the board this week. we’ve got to move away from triggering these episodes in one another. It’s gonna start with my personal movement.

#1 of my threefold {the oldest} expressed she felt like I was too busy with everything going on with #2 and #3 that I wasn’t giving her the proper attention or focus that I should. She expressed her feelings and I was grateful she did. It is difficult to split focus when you have three and give them each what they need. Especially when they each have varying needs and those needs can change in a matter of minutes it seems like. I want to give her that security, but I also know that she will be making her own big moves soon. With her 18th birthday fast approaching I know that her independence is also going to be tested and she needs to show she can make some moves solo.

#2 of my threefold relapsed. I cried until I could no longer feel it. I’ve been so watchful and mindful ever since the beginning of her journey. She had eight months free of self harm. She was in an amazing place in her recovery for so long. She worked so hard for those eight months. Then within moments it was gone and that made both her and I feel like we were f’ing it all up. She was triggered by the increased trauma talk, the self harm discussions, mentions of suicide, and being on this side of the hospitalization equation. The guilt she felt for being hospitalized for 17 weeks last year was overwhelming. She saw me at my low, and when you’re inpatient you don’t see what is happening to your family. You don’t see the stress, the tears, the anxiety and the hurt. She saw me and realized how awful it must’ve been for me. Instead of that fueling her motivation, she allowed that guilt and remorse to eat away at her. That same guilt that my behaviors and my inability to keep it all together for my threefold is heavy on me right now. I’m trying. Everyday. This trauma drama bipolar momma bear life is hard on me too! I’m not cured of mental illness, therefore I can’t expect them to be either. we will move past this hiccup. It doesn’t negate her work over the past eight months. Im still proud of her and this time I was able to better handle my reaction and response.

I’m crossing my fingers and my toes, {and my legs because I’m a damn lady,} that Tuesday #3 of my three will be discharged. I miss her with everything in me. It’s too quiet. I’m used to her loud ass tv, the TikTok dances, jump roping, karate practice and the echoes of her laughter {or arguing} from the kitchen. I miss her fighting me to go to bed and to wake up. I miss her silly stories about school and seeing her light up as she tells me about her positives for the day. I am ready to see her face and hug her. 10 days inpatient for a 10 year old. She has never been away from me this long. Having five minutes each night to recap the day is not near enough for a mother with her child. I want her home so I can have every minute I want. Im ready for her and I to move into a direction where she knows that she is loved, supported and that she is an important part of the lives around her.

Court is finally over. I hope. A settlement is on the horizon. I refused to backdown and allow him to make decisions for my threefold. That’s a decision I will stand behind. Supposedly he has accepted that and I have agreed that settlement is going to be a much better route if possible. Now I wait for the final signatures and the freedom that those papers will give me. A chapter my threefold and I have been unable to move on from for two years. It’s well overdue. This is our chance to move on from the past and move into the future…stronger…together…in hope.

Thank you for reading my current state of the union address for my threefold and I. I’ve received many messages requesting an update with shows of support and love. Thank you so much! You will never know how much those little messages make my day.

I’m glad to be starting off a new week. I’m hoping this one has more ups than downs and more happy than sad. I’m hoping we have less trauma drama and more trauma talk. I’m hopeful, which is something I couldn’t say this time last week. I’m hoping that some relief from the stress and the strain will mean that I am able to lift some of this heaviness off me and focus on the future for my threefold and I. Move on, move up, and move into the next chapter of our lives. Stay positive! We’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M