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Our Mental Illness Saga

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I remember this saying and it is oh so true. Counseling Today states that a child is twice as likely to develop a severe mental illness if their parent has a severe mental illness. My threefold and I did not win the genetic lottery by any means. We have all the illnesses and sometimes the list gets excessive and explaining them to others is exhausting!

Personally I struggle with major depressive disorder, general anxiety disorder, attention deficit disorder, and complex post traumatic stress disorder. If that isn’t enough for one person, then imagine a 17 year old (1) with the same disorders. Better yet imagine a 13 year old (2) that has all of these plus disruptive mood disregulation disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, social anxiety, and manic episodes. Although we are pretty sure the mania, major depression and ADHD will eventually morph into one diagnosis of bipolar II sooner or later. At least that’s what the doctors tell me. We have a combined total of 5 psychiatric hospitalizations to date. 4 of which were for my middle daughter (2) and 1 for myself. I am by no means a qualified mental health professional, but from personal experience and experience with my threefold I have highly educated myself on mental illness and all of our very complex diagnoses.

With me personally I know I have to be careful with my stress level, my medication, communication, conflict, sleep and a billion other things. As an adult I am very aware of my triggers. Though my C-PTSD can be uncovered as I am working through my trauma. Sometimes though I’m just in the wrong state of mind that I will intentionally put myself into a triggering situation. I guess my thought is to face the fear or I am looking for a reason to fight. I need it. That’s such a crappy thing to admit, but it’s true. Sometimes I need to scream at someone so I will do whatever it takes to make it happen. I get all “bish, I wish you would, I’ll burn your mother loving clothes!” Real talk. Maybe I’m alone in that sometimes I just need to let it all out, no filter, but with all the apologies afterwards. I need to have someone reel me back in and make me see that my disorders are on the fritz. Other times I’m honestly triggered and it comes at the worst times. I get highly emotional when I’m frustrated and can’t see my way to a solution. I close off. I shut down and sometimes it takes a shit ton of love to knock these walls down that I build. I shake and want to run in confrontation and my voice cracks. My easy confidence I am usually carrying bolts and sometimes I bolt with it. That’s all the C-PTSD and anxiety. I ignore problems and hope for the best. That works, at times, other times it’s stored in my bomb kit waiting for me to push the “blow up shit” button.

My depression is managed with medication mostly. I am thankful for that. It’s been a while since I’ve had a major depressive episode and wow those are not pretty. They look like calling in days upon days or finding an “excuse” to go home. They consist of days without showering and numbing out the pain with sleep; an excessive amount more than what is required. Closed doors, dark rooms, what I eat is in bed and there isn’t much that will move me out of it. Those episodes make me look like a bad parent, because in those moments I don’t care. God, I hate to admit that, but the only thing I want is peace and I can’t find it. I can be totally honest that I have been known to try to find it in the bottom of a bottle. That’s not recommended because it will give you an escape but it leads right back to where you started. It’s not there, I’ve looked in several at different times in my life. I’ve questioned my purpose, my place and tested my will to live on more than one occasion. That’s not normal. If you know how you would…if you did…and seriously contemplate doing it. GET. HELP. Suicide is no joke and it is not a temporary fix for your current pain. No matter how bad it gets! I mean that with all of my soul. The only thing that has kept me alive in those darkest of times was the thought of my children wondering what they did wrong or my family questioning how they could’ve prevented it. Nothing is permanent. Not your feelings. Not your situation. Not your circumstances. I say that from a place of love, because I know all too well the depths depression drags you to when you’re in the dark place. Its hard. I promise it will get better. You hold the cards, play the hand you’ve got and then get a new deal, that’s all we can do. It’s a carousel and it never stops spinning. We can’t be ashamed to speak up and tell the people around us what it looks like when we are in the dark place. That’s how we get help. That’s when we need help.

Having mental illness is one thing parenting mental illness while coping with your own mental illness is another. I can’t say what it is like for those that don’t have mental illness, I’m not sure, but I imagine it is still difficult to parent. My threefold has their own unique triggers and mental illness presents differently in everyone. Just because my kid that has 8 diagnoses, or the one who has 4 diagnoses acts a certain way does not mean their symptoms, triggers, or treatments will be similar to mine or anyone else’s. Sure, we’ll have some similarities, but there is no cookie cutter medicine or therapy that works for everyone. It’s honestly all trial and error. I never thought that any of us had mood disorders. Turns out we all do! What I believed to be “mild” depression was actually major depressive disorder or MDD. MDD is in fact a mood disorder. I never knew that until I researched it and began digging into the disease after I was told that by my psychiatrist, then 1 and 2’s psychiatrist also said it. I thought depression was depression and I had that “run of the mill” typical blah, yuck depression and have had it since I was 14. Who thinks that’s normal? Me. I thought it was a phase or situational for 1, and she “managed” on her own fairly well. I thought 2 would grow out of it, or that she just had severe ADHD and depression- not “mood swings” or hypomanic and depressive episodes. What’s that? I thought 2 was the only person suffering with attention issues, nope turns out that MANY people get attention issues accompanied by major anxiety as added perks of C-PTSD. We are ALL very different but we ended up very much the same.

Mental health has so much to do with how much you truly want to get better. It has more to do with perspective and willingness to commit to your betterment. Medication IS a commitment. Therapy IS a commitment. Working on yourself IS a commitment. It’s costly of time, sweat, money, tears, and sometimes you take two steps forward to go ten steps back. It’s perseverance as much as anything else. My therapist poses a pertinent question. “How is _______ serving me?” How does my anxiety serve me? How does depression serve me? What benefits do I get? It’s really a deep question. How does it serve me? I benefit by feeling I can use it as a reason to not want to do something or to get out of commitments occasionally. An excuse for bad behavior or acting irrationally. To guilt someone to do something I don’t want to do or feel I can’t do. To receive sympathy or attention when I don’t feel like I’m getting what I need. It can become very toxic and definitely come off as disregarding of others and that it’s always about me. However, I am aware that other people have feelings and cannot constantly allow myself to be controlled by my mental disorders. It’s a different power to take ownership of your own behaviors and not constantly say “I’m sorry I flipped out on you I have _______ and it triggered a bad reaction.” No. This is more accurate: “I said it, I didn’t mean it, I’m aware that I probably hurt your feelings please forgive me. I will work on it.” I have to take ownership for what I am doing and quit allowing myself to give the power over to mental illness.

I think I am able to better parent and be more understanding about mental illness because at 14/15/16 I was a “cutter”. I have MDD so I know what to look for and although I blinded myself for years to the reality of it I now can see clearly. I can pinpoint the onset of a depressive episode for any of us now. My threefold talks to me and is open with me about their struggles, their triggers and their warning signs which is helpful. I still get irritated when we can’t participate in certain things, but I know and have an understanding that C-PTSD and their own severe anxiety are better left at bay when they’re not pushed too far past their comfort zone. I know now that mania is not a “good” day. It’s being egotistical, self centered, hyper focused for small bits of time, starting but never finishing, having grandiose sense of self and abilities, and acting incredibly impulsively. There are so many more signs of these disorders, but the list would just go on and on. You’re strong. Remember tomorrow is fresh with no mistakes in it yet! ☮️❤️🙂

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Missing Pieces: Update

**Possible Trigger Warning**

***if you haven’t read this post on what has been happening this next one will likely make little sense! Start HERE***graphic content please proceed with caution.

I would be lying if I didn’t say the past few weeks have been extremely difficult. I’m not going to sugarcoat how excruciatingly painful having one of my threefold away from me has been. Having such limited contact, and very little information on how they are doing is by far one of the most difficult challenges I have faced as a mom to my threefold. Even though I know 2 is safe and being cared for, it’s hard to not worry and feel like I should somehow be able to do more. I want to hug her and comfort her. I want to see her smile and I want to hear her laugh. Hell, I want to hear the whining and be pestered about going and doing. I want all the things I took for granted while she was here with me. I miss the late night talks and the good night hugs. I miss the drowsy I love you’s and the death glares. I didn’t think it was possible to miss anyone this much. It’s an ache that is only stifled by the less than 75 minutes per week I get to speak to her. The rest of the week I am focusing on trying to busy my thoughts and my mind as not to dwell on everything. I’m seeking out the good in hopes it will outweigh the bad, some days I win that game others I struggle to find the positive. I’m sure of one thing that in this moment she is safe. They all are. That is the only thing that keeps my eyes from drowning in the tears and allows me to surrender to the exhaustion and submit to a few hours of sleep.

I’m not sure if this will get easier as the length of time just means it has been even longer since I hugged her. I can only equate this feeling to a sense of grief or loss. I’m not sure I can imagine the loss of a child completely and I truly hope that particular nightmare is never a reality I have to endure in this lifetime. I am fearful of it though. I am fearful of mental illness weighing too heavy and trauma crawling out from the depths of my threefold and stealing one of them from me. That’s after all, how we got to where we are now. Thankfully this time we sought help before it was too late but not before it ravaged 2’s mind, body and spirit.

Right now I am living for Tuesday’s five minute phone call, Wednesday’s hour long family therapy session, and Thursday’s twenty minute visitation with 2. It’s been hell on earth. Sometimes when I call to check on her as I do daily I want to scream at the nurse because I don’t want to hear “no changes from a nursing standpoint” one more time! I know they are just doing their job, but that’s my kid! I need to know if she is sleeping ok. I want to know if she ate that day. I want to know what chapter she is on in her Twilight book so I know when to ship the new one to her. I need her to know that I called. I need her to know I love her. I need to hear it too. I want to tuck her in and kiss her forehead while she sleeps when I check on her. I need to know if she is making friends and make sure she is being my sweet girl. I need her to tell me about her day and laugh as she does impressions of her group therapy counselor or cry as she tells me that one girl is so mean to her. I need more information about my kid than the clinical check mark of “no change.” I get one update weekly from the therapist on how she is doing mentally, on Tuesdays before family therapy. I have no timeline for length of stay. I have very little information other than a day to day schedule of activities and therapies. I feel completely in the dark and it is frustrating. There isn’t anything I can do. I can only hope that this care will bring her home to me and that when she returns she is better able to live life with a new appreciation of her many blessings. I pray that she finds a semblance of peace with her mental illness and is able to live life with mental illness instead of mental illness living her life for her.

I need 2 here with us. Life isn’t the same without her here. 2 is the missing piece to my puzzle, she is meant to be with me. She makes everything right. They all do, I need all of them for the balance to be right. I’m not sure how to make this work without her. She is just as important as 1 and 3, PPP and BK. The world is off kilter when any piece is not around. I honestly wonder how parents don’t see their kids. Maybe it takes being told you can’t and losing access before you can appreciate it although I’m not sure who would choose this. Then again, I guess in a way I did choose this. I allowed it. We’ve been through hospitalizations but for some reason this hurts more. Maybe it’s the not knowing. Maybe it’s the realization that there is no time frame for this type of care. Maybe it’s the reality that people with mood disorders make up nearly half the patients needing inpatient psychiatric care. It could be the knowledge that more than half the patients admitted to inpatient care are readmitted within 3-12 months of discharge. Mental illness is the leading cause of hospitalization in adolescents. I’m afraid to my core when I am told that 2 is more than 50% more likely with a mood disorder to make a plan and complete suicide. Then with her LGBTQ factor of identifying in that community increases those odds to a shocking 70%. She is also more likely to suffer from a substance abuse problem trying to escape her own feelings and self medicate or during an extreme manic episode when risky behavior is more likely. Her team feeds me these bits of information in doses so I can swallow them down easier and reflect on them. You research a little too much when you are trying to understand a new diagnosis as well. It’s all so heavy. It’s all so scary. It’s all too real.

I have to learn to rely on doctors and therapists to help me identify behavior patterns that are subject to re-admission. I have to learn mood charting and how to watch for certain signs of mania and depressive episodes. My daughter, my 2, has to be medicated and this changes her presentation it softens some of the hard edges and dims some of the fire. Learning that your kid isn’t just “spunky” or “opinionated” or that the good moods you enjoyed so much were actually symptoms of manic episodes is so hard. I don’t know who 2 is without a mood disorder. The days she thought she was on top of the world, invincible, active, talking 90mph, impulsive, expressing massive self confidence and argumentative were not good days. The days where she was numb, barely able to express the emotions, cutting at her legs to take back a grasp on her reality, crying for what seemed like the smallest things, and shutting herself away those were depressive episodes. I knew that much. I just didn’t know where the medium was. I didn’t know which kid I was getting from one day to the next and I didn’t understand the fluctuations. I’m guilty for not seeing this sooner. I’m her mother. How did I not know that 2 was presenting with clinical symptoms of a mood disorder like DMDD, bipolar, and MDD? How did I miss this?

Mood disorders aren’t like mood swings, well they are but much more intense shifts and longer periods of depression can mask the manic episodes. Knowing they have been struggling with a deep dark depression makes you thankful for those seemingly good days. Even if it means they do 100 things they never finish at least they are doing something. Even if they talk 90mph about 90 different things in 5 minutes flat, you are thankful that they are talking. Even if the extreme self confidence and the invincible outlook is outlandish and exaggerated at least they are being and speaking positivity into themselves. It’s different in kids than adults. It’s not all delusions or total psychosis like we sometimes see in adults with mood disorders. 2 is not going to present like another person even of the same age. Mood disorders have varying degrees of severity and affect their victims differently. It’s a struggle to understand it. 2 doesn’t decide when to cycle in and out of depressive and manic episodes. She isn’t in control of it, she is experiencing an onslaught of emotions and feelings that for a 13 year old are not only difficult to understand but also she is unable to regulate them appropriately, express them in ways that are healthy, or communicate them to the people around her. This is why she is in residential care. To help her recognize her cycles of mood, recognize triggers, recognize the signs that she is about to cycle, and come up with strategies to help her cope when she is cycling. I am also needing to learn. I am researching relentlessly what signs could be that she is about to enter a depressive or manic episode. I am researching what tools we can use at home to help her. I am looking into the best treatments and ways to give her all the support and love I can as she faces an uphill battle that is likely to be life-long.

I am trying to allow the reality and gravity of the situation to sink in. Explaining it to others is difficult especially when you can barely grasp all of the information yourself. It’s imperative that others can notice the signs and symptoms of episodic cycling so that the people around her can help her to work through it. It’s going to be difficult for two to explain to peers, teachers, family and friends but it will have to be done in order to keep her as safe as possible. Unfortunately not everyone will be compassionate or sympathetic. Some won’t think it’s worth the effort and some might decide to make their exit. Hopefully 2 will understand that this is when we find out who truly wants what is best for her and who her true “ride or die” people are. I pray daily that she gets all the support and love of the people who say they care, but I know in reality there will be people who thinks she is “drama” or that this is done intentionally for attention or is a phase. There will be those that want to tell us what we should and shouldn’t do, how O should parent it, what treatments we need, and that judge us both for her symptoms. There is always someone. We, 2 and I both, have to learn that not every person will understand or educate themselves. Some will leave. And that’s ok. We don’t need the fair weathered support of those who only stand by us in the good. Some people are brought into our lives so we can learn to accept what we need and decide what we deserve. Some people are lessons. What matters is that we recognize the ones who are blessings.

Today is Thursday. I will be anticipating anxiously my twenty minute visitation where I can see her face via video chat and talk to her about “normal” things instead digging deep into diagnosis, trauma, and coping like in therapy or the rushed “I love you’s, I miss you’s” of our five minute phone call once per week. I’m anxious to make sure she is ok, especially this week as she learned Tuesday that her grandmother passed away, the last bit of family she was close to on her dad’s side. She was devastated and I had to tell her over a video chat four days after it had happened because we needed to make sure she had the support team accessible and they weren’t her team over the weekend shift. I had to make arrangements for her to attend the service virtually in hopes that would offer some closure while not being able to physically attend. I can’t describe the intense emotions and desire to hold her, hug her, comfort her in any way and not being able to. To see the amount of grief and pain she was in and not be able to put my arms around her was by far the hardest part of this so far. Then to worry incessantly about how she is doing and not being able to check in and get anything but the clinical updates is near torture. I don’t know how to parent like this, but I am doing my best. She is safe. Right now that thought is the only one that gives me comfort. We will make it through this and maybe 2 will be the exception to the mood disorder, but I have to prepare to fight the battle with her. Mental illness sucks! It’s a beast. It’s unrelenting. We are strong and we will keep fighting because what other option is there? We don’t quit. It’s not in our DNA, we keep going in faith. We choose faith. It’s bigger than any struggle we will ever face. We know what we are capable of and we know that we are going through this particular journey because it is meant to serve a higher purpose. Even if we don’t know what that higher purpose is and even on the days we can’t quite find the good, we know that this is all happening for a reason. One day that purpose and reason will become visible. For now we keep the faith.

Sources of statistics and information regarding mood disorder can be found at the following:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2636594/

https://nyulangone.org/conditions/mood-disorders-in-children/types

https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/external/2020/11/10-surprising-mental-health-statistics-from-2020/

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The Writing on the Walls and the Truth Bombs that make them Fall

Photo Credit from #2 words-M

There is this fine line I have found between feeling like someone isn’t understanding or validating your feelings and having a difference of opinion or sharing their perspective of the situation with you. I can only assume that C-PTSD and anxiety are my reasons that I tend to lean towards the side of feeling invalidated and misunderstood. I’m not really sure. It will most likely be a question I will have to ask myself after my reactions to certain situations. Unfortunately, there are times that I react first and continue reacting, and ask the question well after I’ve given an awful triggered reaction Regardless of when I ask, it’s still good to know so I can try to reevaluate my outlook on whatever the situation was.

I have been pretty bad about asking for or even accepting help from others. I don’t like asking because I feel like I’m bothering someone and if they say no…it irritates me even though it shouldn’t. My “live, laugh, love” leader (aka my therapist) tells me that I don’t accept help because when I do I feel out of control. I like to have control of the situation. If I do it I know it’s getting done and getting done the way I would do it. My rules, my playbook. They also said I don’t like accepting help because it allows me to play the victim and use my “busy and stretched too thin” persona as an advantage in other areas. I can use it as a reason I’m in a bad mood, as a way to get out of something else or avoid dealing with something else, or I can simply just feel the need to have attention that comes with being the mom who does everything all by herself and doesn’t need anyone’s help. Then after I’ve decided I’m going to do it myself, I decide to b!tch about how the other person should have forced me to accept the help. Phew! That was a truth bomb I didn’t know was coming. That bomb exploded my way of life. When the next day came around, I immediately reached out to the PPP (aka my partner in crime & life) and asked for help. I also took it. I was proud of my little step towards becoming more comfortable asking for help from those around me.

Last week happened and I fell into this funk. I was understandably (or I thought) upset and working through the separation anxiety from 2 and the complete loss of control. When I was forced to seek help and admit her to a long term facility to help deal with her mental illness. That happened Thursday by Sunday I was not peddled the perky positivity from my PPP as I have grown accustomed to. He was throwing another truth bomb in my lap and forcing me to deal with the explosive aftermath. I was doing exactly the opposite of what 2 asked of me before she left for her long hospital admission -“momma, no crying, stay positive, you can’t let me being gone be your negative everyday. 1 and 3 need you to stay strong. I need you to stay strong.” He quite bluntly told me “Like my mom always said: Sitting on that pity potty isn’t getting you nothing besides a ring around your a$$!” I was livid! How dare him! You are going to look at me and all I have been through these last few weeks and tell me basically to “suck it up buttercup” and move on and be happy? That got a big f-you salute and a lot of name calling about him being an extremely insensitive a$$hole and being a d!ck who couldn’t possibly understand what I was going through. I felt he was completely invalidating my pain and not allowing me to work through my feelings. I was RIGHT! HE was WRONG. I believed it to be true and I was ready to fall on that sword and die because I knew I was that right. I fought him for hours and it didn’t get better. The name calling ceased and my anger simmered down, but I was so hurt. This man who has always been right there picking me up if I fell and had stood by me through all the other extreme ups and downs over the past year was all of a sudden saying these mean and cruel things about pity parties, losing my fight, and making it about me. Me! Me? I don’t throw pity parties, I don’t sulk, I don’t give up, and these past six weeks haven’t been close to being all about me!

From my PPP yes we write notes on our bathroom mirror at least weekly.

The more I thought about it the more upset I became. I was shocked. How did the man I love and who had loved me so well without ever giving up on me all of sudden be this hurtful. We’ve fought and I’ve gotten my feelings hurt before, but this fight shook me. It reminded me of my past. It hurt in that deep, raw, cutting way and it made me doubt everything he had ever said to me that was positive. How could he say he loved me one minute and make me feel awful for feeling awful the next? How could one day I be the best person and most amazing woman he had ever known and the next I was a selfish, sulking, pity party throwing woman who he didn’t recognize as the woman he loved. I couldn’t make both things exist so I chose to see and even began to agree with the latter. I began to question if I even should continue our relationship. Should I let my C-PTSD win and the anxiety ravage my mind as I had let it done thousands of times before. Was I even healthy enough to have a relationship? Am I toxic? Could it be possible that I was the narcissist in my past relationships? I didn’t have the answers, and now I didn’t know if I even wanted them. I was scared that I had always been the bad guy, but always just blamed the other party because that’s what toxic and narcissistic people would do. Maybe I would never be capable of being truly happy. I was destined to be a negative, cynical and insecure person. I wasn’t sure how to proceed.I just didn’t think I was going to ever see his side of this argument. I wanted to, but by the time I had reached the point of genuinely seeking to understand the why behind the motive he had shut down and it was only intensifying my feelings of failure and of not meeting the expectations of my family. I slept and prayed to find a way to resolve it.

Then the bomb exploded and it blew up how I had been interpreting that writing on the wall.”

“The Writing on the Walls and the Truth Bombs That Make Them Fall” My Threefold- M

I woke the next day and was still completely unsettled. I felt insecure in every possible way. I was anxious about needing to return to work because even though I knew my boss was understanding and compassionate the PPP had made it seem like I had missed so much that I was in jeopardy of losing the only place I felt completely confident in every aspect. I was anxious about our relationship and still pretty hurt. I found myself still so incredibly upset. Didn’t he see the tired? Didn’t he realize how much pain I was in. He apologized multiple times for how he approached the situation and I apologized for name-calling, pushing away, and being completely unwilling to try and see things from his side of the situation. However, even with my apologies I was unable to reach a solution to solve any of it and desperately felt I needed to prove I was right that I wasn’t a selfish, sulking, pity party throwing baby that had given up all hope. I got stuck in the bad and stuck in my intense need to be right and truly have him validate that feeling without sarcasm or passive aggressive dismissive repetition of the same false narrative and apology. I wanted a genuine apology with remorse and love. I spent that day wondering if I had ignored the writing on the wall that we moved too fast, that he was going to be dismissive of my feelings and my bad days, that maybe we weren’t meant to be together like I had originally thought. I felt like the apology he gave was simply because he didn’t want to talk about it and didn’t want to deal with it. That he wasn’t actually sorry and didn’t see any of the things he did that hurt me. As I sat, I was so negative, I was oozing it. I was so exhausted in every single way exhausted. I was so upset. I was so hurt. I was so missing my 2. I just felt like I didn’t have anything good going on at the moment to be positive about. I just wanted to cry and sleep and shut away the world. Then the bomb exploded and it blew up how I had been interpreting that writing on the wall.

As I was wallowing and sinking further into my negative, irrational and catastrophic thoughts, it hit me like the wall that all the writing was on had just fallen on top of me. He was right. I was wrong. Did I just want to type those words? No! This is a real talk moment so I got to speak the truth. Some of you may be calling home the exact same things I did that night, but hear me out, please. Yes, I absolutely had a reason to be upset and was obviously going to have up’s and down’s during the adjustment and the chaos and the exhaustion. I was definitely deserving of allowances and time to come to terms that 2 was going to be away for a long while. I probably will be on an emotional rollercoaster for the duration. The difference in opinion and perspective came in where he saw me living in the bad. If you have read my previous blog posts you would know that the PPP (Perky Positivity Peddler) was known for moving past the negativity and looking for the “silver linings” as he so often refers to them. It’s one of the many reasons I love him so much. He can always flip the situation. Even our fights always end with a reminder that “this situation is only teaching us how we can be better for one another, we are meant to be this is just a speed bump.” I may have been hurt and angry, but one bad night against a forever of happiness was worth it. I decided I had to choose to be happy as he had told me and quit looking for the bad. I needed to be grateful for the good. I needed to put in the effort to be more positive and go back towards my positivity journey even if it got off course. He was right. I was stuck in the bad. I was focused on how I felt not on how anyone else felt, not 1, not 3, not him, not BK, not my family, friends or coworkers. It had started from a general place of worry, pain and sadness for 2’s extended time away, but had evolved into a self centered expression of my own feelings and how this was affecting me, and only me. I was in fact having a selfish sulking pity party. This realization changed my trajectory the remainder of the week.

I know myself enough to know that I can easily kill all of my positivity with my anxiety. I know that my overthinking will allow me to quit and that I’m not getting what I want out a working on a certain thing any longer, especially if it gets difficult or feels like I may fail. I’m quick to start and quickly quit doing anything that inconveniences me, makes me uncomfortable or doesn’t have the desired effect. I know I’m capable, but I can also admit I get lazy, bored, and unmotivated if I feel it’s not working out or producing any results. I fight as long as I can see what I will gain from my efforts. If I can’t envision it or lose focus I will sabotage myself so that I have a reason to quit. Yet another truth bomb. I’m very aware that I’m impatient and that I want what I want when I want it.

There is honestly nothing I love more than a challenge and someone thinking or telling me that I can’t do something, because then I have an intense motivation to prevail. I’m just competitive even if ultimately my competition is myself. I’m just built with a hardcore desire to show my capabilities and can honestly admit I love pushing myself to be better than others at whatever I’m going. Not because I’m stuck up or snobby or holier than thou. It’s because I want to succeed. I like the feeling of being good at things. The PPP knows these things so I’m sure a large part of his “you’re not fighting” approach was to spark that fire in me, not to intentionally or maliciously hurt me. In that moment, I realized he knew me, he knew that I hadn’t been buying any of that positivity peddling, so instead he hit me with truth bombs that forced me to re-evaluate my perspective. He knew all along that sometimes the truth hurts, but he also knew if he could just get me to look at what my threefold was seeing, and face myself in the mirror of truth that would change my direction and reignite the fire I had to be the best version of myself. And yet again he was right.

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100% That Mom

100% that mom of course came from Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts”. It is just has my mom spin on it, because that’s what I do. I’m corny and cheesy. I’m 100% that mom. It has a million other hidden meanings and stories behind the phrase also. The main one being I want be 100% that mom by giving my threefold 100% of myself. It’s more like a goal than actually anything attainable. I think I am far too critical of myself to ever actually give myself 100% on anything I do in my life. Unless sarcastic snarky comments, collecting stars for rewards at Starbucks, or how to master the art of overthinking everything are graded assignments in our lives. I’m afraid that I wouldn’t give myself a very high grade in parenting, but I think I would get more than just the participation award!

100% That Mom started off as a joke. My threefold and I were singing loudly, off key, and out of rhythm to “Truth Hurts” and it kind of just came to me. I’m pretty fantastic at coming up with mom-related content, I think it’s just because I’m 100% that mom who isn’t scared to be silly or say something off the wall to see where it goes. Improv is a hidden talent of mine. I can play along with just about any scenario you dream of. It’s actually a coping mechanism and it gets me out of my head by making me become whatever my character would be. It’s typically very cliche stereotypes and generalizations of my perspective of how that character would act. One day I may get brave enough to post a video of DEFCON 4, the PPP and I in that element. It’s quite hilarious, if you don’t mind a little inappropriate (ok a lot) humor and aren’t easily offended. DEFCON 4 is really quite into our “southern family” persona. We are all good at doing that one, probably because we live in the south and have been around our fair share of southerners that we can speak the “native” language pretty well now. The PPP (aka my co-house manager, the man that I love) cracks me up when we get going. It’s silly and stupid, definitely immature, but we will laugh for days after about our make believe scenarios. It’s even better when we do them in public and people think we are actually serious. I love the shock and awe factor. I’m all about the looks we get, the whispers and snickers. Whatever makes you happy and appeases the mental health gods.

Background art by #3

I am 100% that mom who will turn the radio full blast when “Roses” by OutKast in the car line while dropping off my threefold at school and watch them walk away mortified. I am also 100% that mom who sees my child having an attitude towards me when they are with friends or their significant other and will loudly yell their name with a very serious “Don’t be mad! I promise I won’t forget to go to the pharmacy to get your prescription for your butt cream. I know you are acting like this because you ran out and it’s bothering you. Don’t worry momma will take care of you! Promise!” If you want to fix an attitude this method probably won’t work, but it sure does make me feel better to know they got the message!

“Not All Heroes Wear Capes” An assignment of their personal hero in English. My sweet 1 wrote about me.

I’m 100% that mom that cusses and talks about all the inappropriate things with my threefold. I refuse to apologize or be ashamed about that. I don’t shy away from the controversial and taboo topics they bring up. If we need to discuss them, it’s fine, and by God I want them to have the truth. It’s better coming from me than that person down the block who thinks that all gay people are going to hell and that they are predators trying to persuade today’s youth to become like them so they can enslave the straight people to accomplish world domination. If they don’t get it from the wackos, it’s the kids who know nothing or the internet and I honestly would rather have informed kids than try to fix all the misinformation coming at them around the world.

Im 100% that mom who skips through the parking lot holding hands with any of the DEFCON 4 crew regardless if they are 9 or 13 or 15 or 17. I am 100% that mom who will lay on the bed in the store knowing full well I am not buying it. I am 100% that mom who will spray the all of the perfume samples and turn on the noise making toys, set the alarms in electronics, and dance to the music overhead. Im 100% that mom who plays music roulette for the song of the day. The mom who sings to the strangers in the next car over. The mom who wants to be not so serious and stuffy and in my head all the time. I’m not doing it for everyone else I honestly don’t care if you like it or not. I only do it to see them smile, to hear their laugh, because I’ve spent way too much time and way too long caring about the opinions of people who don’t make bit of difference in my life. I do it because it’s fun to have fun!

A note from my sweet 1 this always reminds me I must be doing something right.

I’m also 100% that mom who will tell my threefold I love them and be affectionate no matter where we are or who we are around. I’m 100% that mom who will fight you when you talk bad about or try to come at my threefold. Sometimes it bothers me more than them, but believe me I will say something. It’s one of the few times I can be confident in confrontation now. It’s probably because I let them endure so much and didn’t stand up for them when I should’ve in the past. I’m 100% that mom who says I love you every time we hang up the phone and before bed each night. I’m 100% that mom who is too laidback sometimes and doesn’t like punishment, instead I am the mom who prefers positive reinforcement. I am 100% the mom who overthinks everything I need to do better or should’ve done. I’m the mom who works hard but wants to play harder. I’m 100% that mom who needs to decompress after a long day to mentally prepare and change my focus. I’m 100% the mom who struggles in the morning and is almost never on time. I’m 100% that mom who has awful days where nothing is going according to plan so I completely freak out over everything. I’m 100% that mom who my threefold feel safe to talk to and enjoy being around. I’m 100% that mom who is trying to give everything in me that is good to my threefold. I’m 100% that mom in all these things an a million more probably. It’s not all sunshine, rainbows, smiles and laughter. It’s all about them, and it’s all about what they need from me. I am 100% that mom who is trying to give my threefold the mom I needed when I was growing up.