What’s marriage supposed to look like? We all go in to it (if you’ve been married) with high expectations. Did you imagine the white picket fence life? Maybe, you envisioned conquering the world as a team? Did you expect to be happy? I mean, your hopes and dreams, the perfect guy, the family, the whole shebang! What was it?
Looking back, was it realistic? Where did we come up with these sitcom marriages with trivial issues and blissful unions?
I know at 23, I was looking at parents married for 30 years. Though not picture perfect, the naive girl in me thought I could somehow do it better. I saw grandparents married for over 50 years and thought THAT is what true love looks like. However, I only saw the surface of a marriage I hoped to emulate.
My first marriage was far from my fairytale bliss. Hell, my second marriage isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Looking back, I can remember the first time around and what I remember is having hope for a happily ever after. By the second, I was far too grown up for fairytales and fantasies.
I’m still considered a “newlywed” as my husband and I have only been married for a year, together for three. However, with 15 years under my belt in a extremely toxic and abusive marriage I consider myself much more aware of what marriage entails. The good. The bad. The ugly.
In spite of everything I had (and he) suffered in previous relationship(s), I wasn’t jaded. I was determined to show my threefold what marriage SHOULD look like. I am convinced I have found my person, my soulmate, my twin flame, and my best friend. I truly believe we were always meant to do life together. Nonetheless, we had to wait until we could love each other the right way.
Now, I can finally be the example my children need to see. As a mother and as a wife. I can show my children how a woman should be loved. God knows, they’ve been party to the wrong way for long enough.
Furthermore, I have learned how a person can flourish, grow and be healed by the right person loving them. You become your most authentic self, a better person, and you feel safe.
I don’t know that my expectations were lower the second time around, but definitely more realistic . Nonetheless, this love has thus far exceeded my hopes of what marriage ‘should’ be like.
Now, I look at my husband and I am immediately grateful. I am appreciative of the man who has loved me through some of the hardest moments I’ve experienced with my children. Who has fought for me instead of with me when I’ve lost my fight. The man my girls consider their “dad” even if he isn’t their father. I have a million reasons to be thankful, but today and everyday I am thankful for this man that has shown me exactly the love I’ve always needed, but never knew existed. and that ass though! 😉 This is my forever. I truly pray you each find that in your lives. ☮️❤️😊~M
It’s happening! We are down to the final days. It’s so bittersweet, but it’s a completely welcomed change. We are so ready to move forward. I am hoping that this move will be exactly what we all need as we continue moving forward into the future that we deserve. I’ll admit it’s been an emotional roller coaster. Honestly, at times I still think I’m jumping head first into the future and forcing that forward motion before being truly ready to embrace it.
Ready or Not
It’s not easy deciding to move forward. I don’t want a new chapter in this dramatic comedy I have been living these past umpteen years. I want a new book. I want the great start, the clean slate and ready or not I’m going to get it. It’s about damn time!
I’m hesitant about this new start for all of us. Not only are we leaving my home town, we are moving out of state to a new town we have never lived in before. It means new schools, new neighborhoods, and new jobs. However, it also means new opportunities to build the future. It’s a chance and a challenge.
I’m embracing this challenge as one that is going to guide our family forward. We have had so much of our past hold us back for so long. This move is the first step into a future that frees us from that past prison.
This challenge allows us to start fresh. Our girls can begin writing their own narrative. They won’t be bound by hospitalizations that made them targets of their peers. They won’t be weighted with the daily reminders of abuse they suffered in their lives. In addition, they can be whichever version of themselves they choose to be. This challenge is one we all embrace.
I hope this move can help others to see that it’s possible. You can take the chances and accept the risk. You can make mommy moves and be the boss of your future! It’s not about running from the past. It’s about chasing our future. We know that mental illnesses will not be left in this home, but we do know that we can move forward with the right tools to manage our mental illnesses.
Never Give Up; Never Surrender
My dad was known to repeat the quote “never give up; never surrender” anytime the going got tough. Well, it’s still just as true now as it was when I was younger. We aren’t giving up and we aren’t surrendering. Our time is now. Ready or not. We are moving forward.
Real talk. On. Period. I’m broaching a taboo subject. It’s something we don’t seem to ever talk about. The dreaded “time of the month.” Even if I talk about the period, PMS or PMDD, most will still get theirs. If not, congratulations, you’ve graduated from this part of life, gave those reproductive organs their final farewell, or you might be expecting!
One way or another if you were born with a vaheen and the complete baby making factory, you have most likely been impacted by a visit from “Aunt Flo”. Let’s talk about PMS & PMDD. Real talk style. Thats on period.
PMDD & Me
30 years of experience qualifies me to speak on this subject we keep to the privacy of our porcelain thrones. It’s life. It’s just the more messy part. Add in 6 girls living in my house, <including me> and you’ve got a period every week of the month and then some. That’s a lot of emotional outbursts, PMS, and cramps to battle. Reminder: Buy stock in Tampax, Playtex, Divacup, Midol, and all the Always products available!
For some it’s easier to manage, but for others, it’s a bloody hell <pun intended> That’s just the truth. Personally, I fall on the latter side of that equation. I’m a raging, hormone fueled, emotional, overly sensitive, b!tch. In addition, it’s a 7-10 day event that rivals a crime scene. It’s overnight, heavy flow feminine products that make me feel anything but feminine. It’s cramps that feel like the worst case of food poisoning and back pain that silences me into submission.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder <PMDD> affects up to 9% of women today according to the American Psychological Association. PMDD is a more severe form of PMS. PMDD has increases symptoms with an increased impact on the daily life of the person that suffers from this disorder.
Symptoms of PMDD
Sleeping more often than usual
Lack of interest in normal activities
PMDD Or Something Else?
The difference between PMS, which is the normal affects of hormonal changes on the body, and PMDD are the severity of the symptoms displayed. PMDD symptoms will be much more pronounced and adversely affect the person’s ability to perform their normal daily activities.
The symptoms can also mimic those experience with Major Depressive Disorder <MDD> The main differentiation between PMDD and MDD is the cyclic occurence of the symptoms, when they present, and the duration of their presence. MDD is more unpredictable and is the symptoms do not resolve on their own.
PMDD is diagnosed <by a medical doctor> using cyclic tracking of symptoms, general exam, blood work to rule out deficiencies or thyroid issues, and by pelvic exam. However, it is mostly relied upon by the tracking of symptoms over a period of time.
I have found this app I downloaded on my phone is the best way to easily track my symptoms and keep record of my cycles. It even generates reports, allows you to add symptoms not listed, track ovulation as well as sexual activity. However, there are average other out there. <Unpaid promotion>
First off, I must state that I am not giving medical advice and if you believe you are experiencing the extreme of the symptoms listed above, I strongly encourage you to reach out to your doctor, OBGYN, or treating physcian for guidance on how to best manage your symptoms.
Ovaries? Over IT!
There are many options available to help. The obvious is the support of your family, friends, and spouse. In addition, there are medical procedures, medication therapy, and hormone therapy that could be beneficial.
In more severe cases, surgery to remove reproductive organs, known as a hysterectomy, has become more accessible to most women via vaginally or laparoscopic with minimal impact compared to the one your grandmother told you horror stories about.
More Options for Treatment of PMDD
PMDD is not treated with a pamprin or midol. It is typically treated with medication therapy such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety medication, and analgesic medications for pain relief. However, there are options in addition to medication therapy.
Vitamin supplements such as B6, calcium, or magnesium
Is it REALLY THAT BAD?
As someone who has suffered from PMDD, I know it’s not just my “crazy” showing again that I need to cover up. I am thankful, however, that I have been able to find a non-surgical and non-narcotic approach to treat my symptoms. Though surgery will one day be required, but it is a bit more complicated <per usual> than I can handle at the moment.
First and foremost, it is my opinion that regardless of the root cause, diagnosis, or label, it is important to validate the personal experience of the individual. After all, perception is reality. <Different tangent!> Treat the human, not the illness specifically.
If you have a partner, friend, spouse, or colleague that speaks about their lady business and it’s adverse effects on their well-being, take them at their word. I promise “it’s that time of the month” is an acceptable explanation of increased anxiety, emotional instability, fatigue, and pain.
However, it’s easy to minimize the issues that affect our lives if we don’t speak about them. If you can’t talk about it and no one can see it, in turn, it doesn’t exist! Momma, it does! It’s hard, it sucks, and it’s OK to say that sometimes. We aren’t all blessed with 2-3 day light flow cycles and reproductive organs matched only by the goddesses of fertility!
Real Talk. On Period.
As a firm advocate for those who live life with mental illness and care for those living with mental illnesses, I stand behind the PMDD diagnosis as a legitimate and proven medical condition. However, as with all medical diagnoses, especially psychological, there is controversy. In addition, where mental health is a factor, stigma is attached.
All of this to say, I know that these issues affect many women. I’m not the only person that is finished with their life giving stage of life and feeling like they could rips their own reproductive organs out a large portion of the month. I also know how little that these topic are publicly broadcasted. It’s not cute, or on trend to talk about our bathroom business in such public ways, and for goodness sake we are ladies!
If you need support or help, reach out to your doctor. There are options for most women. Being a woman is hard, but it shouldn’t be miserable.
You ane me, we’ve got this! That’s on period. 🔴 ☮️❤️😊~M
At my darkest and loneliest times, she is there. In the silence of the night, she is there. When I’m at my weakest, she is there. She is with me when I walk into an uncomfortable situation. After a heartbreak and in my grief, she never leaves me. When I’m on cloud nine, and hopeful she shows up. When I’m anxious and unsure, she is talking to me. When I’m hurt and angry, she supports my feelings. She validates my actions. She gives me the option to run away. She remembers everything I’ve ever said. She knows my past. She knows my weaknesses. She takes pictures, so I remember what we’ve done together and all of our experiences. She is the one who hasn’t ever abandoned me, and the one never stops showing up.
I’m sure you’re wondering who this is. Maybe a mother, a daughter, a sister, a lover, or a friend. She is none of these and all of these. She isn’t anything and she is everything. She is the voice inside my head that I fight to silence every day.
You may think that you know her, but let me explain. She isn’t there supporting me or empowering me to keep going. She wants me to stay this way so she can thrive while I struggle to merely survive.
Who Are You?
You won’t meet her, but im sure you know someone just like her. You can’t see her, but her voice is always there. You probably aren’t a fan if by chance you know her as intimately as I do. Consider this your proper introduction. However, I don’t know if you will understand.
She steals the spotlight, demands to be heard, and aims to hurt anyone who dares to silence her. She is the one who tells me that I’m never going to be enough. She shows me the worst parts of the people around me. She drives them away, then tells me “see they don’t love you. Otherwise, they would stay.” She manipulates my feelings and twists my words. She tells me the worst-case scenarios and keeps me fearful of my every move.
Where Did She Come From?
Sometimes, she sounds like my mother, telling me I will never be pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough, good enough, or just enough. Other times, she sounds like my abusers who made me believe I was always to blame. In my head, she can make anyone sound like a hurt from my past. She has pictures and videos she can play to remind me of every hurt I’ve ever endured. She holds the buttons to my triggers. She is persistent and doesn’t care about the consequences.
I know she is made up of the broken pieces of my past. She is the child who felt unwanted. She is the teenager dying to fit in. She is the young mother looking for a way out. She is the abuse survivor. She is a traumatized woman. She is bleeding in the shower. High in the bathroom. A thief. A covert narcissist. An abandoned young adult. A lonely wife. The mother who was too scared to fight back and save her children. She is the addict. She is the worst part of me. That’s who she is. She is the version of myself I’m scared to become and equally terrified she is the real version I keep hiding from the world.
Change Her, Break Her, Abolish Her
I have tried to allow her visitation and then quickly see her out. However, she is relentless. At times, she is the only one who validates the unfairness of this life. She allows me to be not okay. It’s oddly comforting to be able to wallow and grieve a life I didn’t live. However, she aggravates those wounds I am trying so hard to heal. She breaks them back open and makes them bleed.
The past suddenly becomes present, and she revels in the power to overtake me. She feeds on my pain. It is as if my own mind is going to destroy me slowly. She holds me hostage. I struggle to break free. No matter how hard I try, I haven’t found a way to rid myself of her.
Fighting to be Free
You may think I’m just negative or that I’m weak. I’m the exact opposite. I am strong because I fight this voice that prays on my downfall each day. I’m successful in defeating her, but she knows when to strike. She pulls me to the darkness and holds me captive to her cruel onslaught of verbal blows.
I’m unsure if others fight off this toxic voice made up of their past. However, I know it’s lonely when it’s her and I. Maybe another person wont feel alone with no one who understands that the voice inside your head is sometimes hardest to silence. Even now, years into healing I still struggle to find my healthy escape from her torture.
Now you’ve had an introduction. If sometimes you see me cloaked in fear, paranoia, resentment, anger, or anxiety, please know I did not choose this for myself. I don’t need your attention, but meet me with compassion instead of judgment. I’m broken, and this is what repeated trauma has left behind for me.
It’s not easy. Sometimes, it’s the hardest battle I fight in a day. It is a battle of dismissing my past negative and limiting beliefs. I try now to remind myself of the 3 years of work I’ve put into my healing. However, I fight every day for the future I want, not to stay prisoner to the past, I escaped. I hope you, too, can find healing, and one day, I hope there is comfort in silence instead of her voice telling me how I will never fully overcome the trauma of my past. You and me, we’ve got this! ☮️ ❤️😊~M
What I wish my kids knew? Phew. A LOADED question for most moms, I think. Mommin’ ain’t easy and my crazy train is on the bipolar express, which makes our lives extra complicated. I’ve got a list, so I figured I share it with my tribe. Ready or not. Here are all the things I wish my kids knew about me, their momma.
I’m only human. I make mistakes. I mess up. I forget important stuff. I lose track of time. I am just a regular person who is imperfect like they are.
I am inspired, motivated, and intrigued by them. I am in awe of the masterpieces of these little creations.
They hurt my feelings. The mean words, the hurtful actions, or disrespectful behavior genuinely hurts me. They cut me the deepest.
I want to protect them. Sometimes from others, but sometimes from themselves. I hurt when they hurt.
I cry for them, I worry for them, and I obsess over every single decision that will affect them.
All of them are my favorite. Some days it’s my oldest, other days my middle or my youngest. Some days it’s all three. They all hung the moon in my eyes, so there are no trophies for “favorite”.
They make me better. I wouldn’t be who I am without them, individually or collectively. They have changed me in ways they will never recognize.
They’ve saved my life more times than I can count. I struggle with mental illness and I admit I have had many times where I wanted to give up. I’ve always fought through because of them.
I have trauma, too. I have a messy and complicated history. I’m damaged, broken, and haunted by my past. My struggle is just as difficult for me, however, I’m healing.
My life doesn’t revolve around being a mom. I am more than just that title. It’s not always about them. It can’t be.
My frustration is not their burden to carry.
Being the primary parent who is responsible for every aspect of three human lives is extremely difficult. I may not be “single”, but I am the main source of support emotionally, financially and physically.
I pray everyday for them.
I believe in them more than they will ever know. I don’t want to see them struggle. I try to ease that struggle each day.
I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be right there for every moment until the day I die. Beyond that…it will be in the music.
I always love them, but sometimes I really don’t like them.
I’m sorry for every minute of pain, hurt, trauma, and horror they ever lived. My mom guilt is heavy, and I swear to never allow them to experience any more of that pain.
In My Feelings
I’m not crying! You’re crying! Shut up. <sniffle> Don’t look at me! My experience, their lives, and our family gets me in my feelings sometimes. Not to mention, this momma is exhausted in every way imaginable. Between hospital admissions for 2 and now 3. To the new baby on the way. My vehicle deciding that she has had enough of us, and working all the damn time, it gets very hard.
One day, when these babies have babies they’ll get that we weren’t joking when we said mommin’ ain’t easy! I’m sure you have a few to add to the list! Feel free to share your thoughts on what I missed or missed the mark on! In the meantime, we’ve got this, all of us! Because, that’s what we do! ☮️❤️😊~M