Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The beginnings

So.... after my big blog a while back about Silent mental illness, I am sure to some, it rang in as a "poor me", "I am pathetic", I just want that junior high answer of "oh no you're not crazy or fat or ugly" you know the comments, that type of blog post.  Actually, I apologize if it came across that way.  Rick and I go in rounds about my Blog.  Ever since I have been writing it, he hasn't read it, but he does have strong opinions on it. He edits for me sometimes so I guess in some capacity he has read it in a choppy sort of way.   He actually hates my blog.  Those words came right from his mouth.  Not to say he's wrong.  I just sometimes like an editor and he's it.  I guess I just need to edit it myself and put it out there to be scrutinized by the masses of 2 or 3 :)

There were 3 reasons for my blog posts. The first is to let everyone know that we are a 100% silent mental illness family. The second is to let anyone reading this to know I have some "street cred" when it comes to the Mind and how it works in the world around us. And thirdly, I like to post about my day to day life in my chaotic home of many many animals, plants and minerals, with 5 people that have "special needs".  It is usually never boring around here.   

Before our first born, I was working with about 18 people for 6 hours a day in an assisted living home.  These 18 people had dementia to some degree or another.  I was the "teacher", and this was "school".  I hope that helps paint a picture of how far along in their dementia they were. It was improv every day! I loved it, and I loved them.  I loved to help them, entertain them, learn something new from them, and share in their journey.  I felt privileged to be a part of their lives, every day. 

So that is what began my journey of looking more closely into Silent mental illness. If you were to walk in the room at almost any given time, our group would look like several people just sitting around a table listening to what was going on in the world that day while I read the paper.  

My advocacy had begun there in that assisted living facility.  I needed to often advocate for my residents to the non afflicted residents, shall we say.  Some of the non afflicted residents would not share an elevator with those who had dementia, because they were too afraid that dementia was contagious. Many times we would patiently explain that that was not the case, but they would leave the elevator anyway.  It made for very hard feelings. I had no idea how much a part of my life advocacy would become.

'I have learned so much these 17 years, well, kind of 19 years, about explaining what is happening, what someone may need, what goes on at home.  I have learned to be relentless. That is hard to do.  It is annoying and I can see it in peoples eyes.  They want you to go away or they completely disagree with you about your suggestions, or what you are suggesting seems like too much work.  I know, that's what I think when the therapist's or Dr.'s tell me "This is what we are going to try....." but how else are you going to know?

Everyone is so different.  Everyone's mind is so complex.  We have to give people young, middle and old an opportunity to live rich and full lives the best we know how.  That is my goal. It has always been my goal I guess, ever since I started to volunteer in the nursing home my mother worked at, I was 5.  k~

Sunday, March 15, 2015


I would love to start talking about silent mental illness.  Last year I was gearing up to start talking about this very topic on my blog, ironically I came down with severe depression at that time.  

Since this blog is coming from my own personal experience as a mother, a wife and a sufferer, I don't want anyone to get the impression that this is how it is for everyone, this has been my journey.  I can only imagine that some of you out there will read it and it might look familiar.  I suppose as I talk about silent mental illness I should describe what I personally am talking about.  I am talking about the illnesses that can be very easily either overlooked or labeled as something else. An illness that is so serious that it can encompass the entire family.  Ones that have touched my life are anxiety, depression, ADD, ADHD, severe separation anxiety, severe sleeping disorder, and now boarder personality disorder.

The reason I call these conditions silent, is because most of the time the person is either not presenting behaviors because their medication is working or, they may look as if all they are demonstrating other types of behaviors, "bad behaviors", "inattentive", "rudeness" and/or "unfriendly" but certainly not a medical condition.  A condition or combination of conditions can seriously affect the person who is suffering and it can affect their caregivers, family and friends around them.

My experience started around 11 years of age, but that is probably just when I can remember more clearly circumstances, words spoken to me, and consequences. I am sure I had it most of my life.  I say this now, because of my youngest child who has sounded like me from an extremely young age.  So I have felt it for about I'd say about 36 years. When I was young, I was not offered help.  No meds or counseling.  I just had to cope and the way to do that was stuffing the pain, tears, fears, and worries and moving on.  Laughing a lot instead of crying.

I met Rick and he and I married.  He knew I was a mess (I tease him, that in the natural world he would have eaten me if he were a lion and I were an injured or ill gazelle, so well kind of his fault for taking me on :). Together we had 3 beautiful and extremely smart children. I mean really smart.  As it turns out, all 3 have a somewhat  serious  case of a silent mental disorder. Of course that is what they got from me! and all the mental illness from Rick. No no no......I kid....

Our girl is the oldest.  She has ADD.  For most of her very young life she spent aloof.  I thought she had hearing problems.  She would trip over bikes in the yard. Or get sucked into anything that was on TV.  She would work for hours and hours on a paper.  One time she wrote a 10 page introduction to a paper she needed to write, and that was in 4th grade. She would always get "lost" in what ever she got involved in.  She, however, has always been a very verbal about her ADD. She is a very strong advocate for her own self.  This helps me and her dad.  

Our second child is a boy.  He came out needing his mommy.  We family bed him in the hospital.  I was under a lot of stress during his pregnancy, and that is what they say adds to all the chaos to the precious baby en uterus, nice mom. He really experienced a lot.  When he was just a newborn he did not like being held by anyone other than mom or dad.  He was very heavy (10lb 15oz) but looked really skinny.  He slept through the night so infrequently that if he ever did, I woke up ans was sure the entire family had died.  He was finally tested and shown he had Sever separation anxiety from me and from Rick. He had a sleeping disorder. He slept 3-4 hours a night.  He walked at 10 months., He was a tight snuggler and had no boundaries. He was diagnosed with depression in 1st grade along with his sleep disorder and his sever separation anxiety.  Along with that, he had sensory integration issues. This Through all this I was with him and supporting him.  Cora was a frequent visitor to his appointments. It was there we discovered she needed Physical therapy for her poor trunk control. So this begins too. 

Then comes Sam.  FUNNY! He was always funny and still is.  He's charming and very smart. But he was born without self esteem.  So even when he was getting us to laugh, he hated when we laughed. And if we didn't laugh he got so upset that we didn't find him funny.  It was and still is a balancing act of which way should we take this, he's funny, do we react or should we pretend not to notice. 

13 years ago Rick had acute depression.  It came on very very quickly.  It was job related. I worried about him constantly.  At the time I had a very thriving Pampered Chef business and making pretty good money and earning free trips and product.  It was then that I had to slow my business down.  December 2014 I became completely inactive and no longer sell Pampered chef.  It came from Love for my husband and for my family.  I could no longer have as many shows at night after that fateful depression and slowly veeerrrryyy slowly my business went down down down.  Then I got sick and I let it go a drift.  I just could't manage it anymore.  

Me and my anxiety is all I knew. One fateful appointment to a marriage counselor, telling the same stories I have before, but this time for some reason, BOOM! depression hit and it dropped on me and it stayed. The professionals called it that for about 10 months until I entered the program I am in now. They call it Borderline Personality Disorder.  Yes, I am embarrassed to tell everybody.  Yes, I was surprised I had something like this. No, I don't have every symptom, but, I have enough. 

I have lost friends, made enemies, I have lost my short term memory, I have lost my ability to organize, I am sad most of the time, I feel inadequate, frustrated, and sorry. But I try, too.  I try every day to work towards health. I have made different friends and have kept a safe distance from what makes me nervous or more anxious.  I have taken my crafts and art and writing more seriously.  I don't sell anything.  I don't think I am up to that caliber yet, but it bring me some joy in my life.  Sharing it on Facebook and with people who happen to come over or go to coffee with me is enough. That has to count for something. 

Listed below are several links to the disorders that I have touched on.  By all means there is way more information and experience out there, but it gives you a good idea if you are just interested. Autism or mild dementia can appear to be a silent illness too.  This is a topic that I will be bringing up often in my blog. I also will be bring in my art and my animals as well as other random things that happen. Thanks for the time you took to get through this lengthy post, I had to do this post sometime.  Trust me it took WAY longer for me to write it than for you to read it. k~







Thursday, March 05, 2015

Wednesday, March 04, 2015


recovery from anything is a personal journey.  most often not to be shared with the public.  as of late, i have not shared much.  mostly because my better half has told me that people just don't want to see that.  he says it looks like complaining.  actually i have to agree with him.  depression is not an uplifting topic anyway you look at it.

i have not posted much on my depression here or on facebook, or at least I don't think so, for some time.

recently i got in an argument with a friend that I would call extremely dear and close.  she called me a stalker.  ironically, in college, i was stalked.  the police did nothing about it.  he would come to my work.  i worked alone in a huge building cleaning it at night.  he would show up at 1 am and scare me out of my mind.  he would show up where i was with my friends. one time he came to my house in cambridge. i know how being stalked feels and it is terrifying.

one other time i was referred to as a stalker by a beautiful man who has since lost his life to a heart condition.  i used to go to him for math help in college.  he was so nice to me. he always seems so open and willing to help. several years later i found out that my nickname was "the stalker".  to say i was crushed is a huge understatement.  i thought we were actually friends.  i thought i was welcome.  instead, i was a joke. i was laughed at behind my back.  i was disliked.  i was name called.  i was not a person that was looked forward to be seen.  i was ha ha ha "here comes the stalker".

2 days ago i found out that is what 2 people thought of me.  one person rightly so.  i only did what i did because he said we were friends and then he made it impossible for me to reach him.  i became irrational.  but i didn't go to his work? no, didn't go to his home? no.  i chatted to an empty never read chat wall. that's it. i tried to call that blue phone thingy, until he hung up on me mid ring, and blocked me. for that i am a stalker. i take full responsibility.  but it was she who called be a stalker. and for that my heart broke. she was my dear friend. she could only see me as bad.

i have vowed to myself that i will never attempt another new friendship again. i will never subject myself on others.  if i am so upsetting to people, then to myself i will remain. facebook had been an on and off again decision for me.  there are 3 reasons i stay. i monitor what my kids do on FB, i like this one farm, and i do an art class through FB.  so if anyone wonders why i don't just get my annoying ass off of it, that is why.

sorry isn't a strong enough word for all the annoying bothersome things i do and am to people.  but now that i know if i get upset with someone the chances that they are 10 times more upset with me and celebrate when i go away are pretty good.

nope, depression doesn't really spell happy, laughing, fun.  especially when people don't like you to start with.

i remember an episode of sponge bob when he was traded by mr.crab's to go to davy jone's locker but was so annoying , davy jone's sent him back.  that is what is going to happen to me. when i die i will go straight to hell like i was told by my dad. but with in moments just like people on earth i will annoy the devil so much that he will kick me all the way to heaven. with a big "nope" sign on me. and i will forever in eternity clean men's bathrooms.  k~