Sunday, June 21, 2015

Letter to my earthly father

Hi “earthly father,”

I will never lose the images and videos of things you’ve done to me and other family members that I am inundated with each and every day.

I remember watching you punching, kicking and throwing my mother to the ground as you nearly murdered her in front of me as a 6 year old. And then you have the audacity to tell me years later that you were “hugging” her. What you don’t remember is that I watched all of it and I will never forget the incessant screams of my mother trying to get you to stop. “STOP!” Her screams sometimes overwhelm me in the flashbacks I have every day of this incident.

Then comes what you did to me. You abused me in every form for years, even during supervised visits. All I can say is that I wish you were in jail for the rest of your life. It’s not fair that I have to deal with flashbacks and nightmares  every day of my life and you only got “a slap on the wrist.,” It’s not fair. It is NOT FAIR.

Due to my daily flashbacks, I have thousands of memories of you.  99.9% of them are negative and terrifying, I do not think I will ever forget them. I’ve come to the realization that I will always deal with them.

You cannot take my strong spirit from me, the same warrior within me that has gotten me this far in 26 years. No  matter the amount of flashbacks come, I will always fight through the rest of my life. and there is nothing you can do to stop me from fighting.


-CK

Friday, June 19, 2015

God Day

The past few days have been rough for me because of Father's Day coming up. To me, I believe that I never had a father. What you call my "earthly father" did nothing for me and only did evil things to me. He severely abusee me in every form as a child and throughout my life. He has also harassed as a young adult.

I was told by someone that I should journal this weekend. Part of my plan is to not go online to social media in the next two days to try to alleviate my symptoms (namely flashbacks, nightmares and paranoia).

Growing up, as I realized what was done to me and what was happening to me was not correct, I started missing church services due to the fact that on Father's Day, I had to listen to the pastors talk about all the positive things that fathers are and do. I celebrate what I like to call "God Day" in honor of my true Father. You see, this was very difficult since my "earthly father" used to call himself God. He used to send me cards with his business card along with handwritten messages which ended with "Your One and Only Father" or "Your True Father." It took years of therapy and going to church for me to realize that God is a good God, nothing like my "earthly father."

When I was a teenager dealing with early symptoms of PTSD due to my "earthly father's" abuse, I went through a phase where I got rid of all the photos of me and my "earthly father." I tried to erase those photos but I could not and still cannot escape the painful memories and flashbacks.

The reason I am sharing this is not for pity; it is to be a voice to the many children and adults around the world without a father, who never had a good father or who has lost a good father. This so-called celebration of good fathers can be very difficult for us. I ask that you say a prayer on Sunday for us.

God is our refuge and true Father. He is a gracious and good Father, even when the going gets rough. He is our True Rock and Fortress, Comforter and Healer.

Happy early God Day!

If you are one of "us" (the people who find this holiday difficult), please take care of yourself.

I want to leave with one of my favorite songs of all-time. I used to listen to this song on my way to therapy when I was a young teenager. Believe it or not, I used to listen to it on a portable CD player. It reminded me every single time I listened to it that there are a lot of people in my position who lack a father figure in their lives and that God truly is "Father to the Fatherless." Pardon that this is a Christmas song. I listened to it all year round. The fact is, the message from this song can be found throughout the year.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Stuck in another world

Lately, life has been difficult on many levels. But today was one of the worst days I have had in awhile. I want people to understand how arduous living with mental illnesses can be. On any given day, I deal with flashbacks, nightmares, paranoia, psychosis, mania and depression. As you may expect, I need to take each day on its own and make the most of my life here on earth meaningful, even on the rough days.

I'm not saying all of the stuff that I deal with to gain pity. I hate pity and it has not helped me get this far. Rather I want to focus on my strengths as a person. I was absolutely bombarded today with flashbacks of abuse I have endured my entire life by several family members.

Sometimes even I do not know how I got from there to here, but this ride has been a unique one, one riddled with obstacles.. I mean, not only have I been through rough circumstances, but I also have to deal with daily going back there. "There" is another world full of darkness and event in my life that I would rather forget. That is another world I hate to visit, but some days there is no way around the symptoms, so I need to go "there".

I find that strength comes out of the deepest darkness we experience in life. Today, I cried and for me, that's a huge step because most times I cry in my mind and only in my mind. I don't like to visit the darkness, if only to mourn the loss of everything I've lost. I don't like others to see me cry. I'm one that cries alone and sobs quietly. I try to focus on the positive.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Paranoise

To be honest, I have not been to a church service in over a year. It's not that I am not a Christian. But for me, I had some major paranoid episodes the few weeks before I chose not to go back for awhile.

Paranoia can be terrifying. I could not even sit still in the service. I constantly had to get up and go to the entrance doors to see if the FBI was outside. I hallucinated sirens almost the whole service. I cut my last service short because I could not stand my paranoia

May I repeat,,, Paranoia can be terrifying. I also thought the pastors wanted me out of the church. I felt like I could not put a voice to what I was dealing with.

I still am fearful to go back to a church because sometimes I feel like people are gong to judge me without me explaining what I am going through. Or maybe they they will think I don't have the Holy Spirit in me, which I do. I'm just having a hard time like everyone has. Nobody is immune to the mountains that need to be climbed in life.

What I can say is that God loves me unconditionally.

This morning I went for a run as I listened to Hillsong worship songs I felt God's presence in me. After a rough week of fighting paranoia. psychosis and flashbacks, I needed it.

Nobody is immune   to God's work in our lives..

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Naysayers

I just FB'd a post that I will share here on my blog. To me, it is a reminder of how resilient human beings can be. I was on the computer for most of the day looking up jobs in cancer research. A part of me is doubting whether I can handle a job or not at this point. I'm still not sure of that answer but I want to be ready at some point in the near future.

Here is my FB post:

In my first year in high school, I was in remedial biology and language arts. I now have an MS in Biomedical Engineering and have had some of my writing published,
In college, I told a professor that my goal was to get straight A's during a semester despite taking an overload of courses. He said there was no way I could do that. I got an A in his course and every other course that semester. That same professor said I should have gone to an Ivy League university.
After a serious back injury in 2009, the doctors were not sure if I'd ever be able to walk again. Well, I am currently running 3-6 miles a day during training for my first half marathon.
In my second semester of graduate school, I had 3 hospitalizations and missed nearly half the semester. My doctors told me not to go back to school because I would certainly fail the semester. Well, I went back to school and got A's and B's. I went on to graduate.
I currently am struggling with schizoaffective disorder (schizophrenia and bipolar) and PTSD and when the days get rough, I remind myself of all my naysayers in my life and defeat the challenges. I think I oughta thank them since they have pushed me to disprove them.

Never let others determine your future. I sincerely believe that one can do anything in life if they put their mind to it.

Monday, May 25, 2015

6 Month Anniversary

Today is my 6-month anniversary of being released  from my last hospitalization after being hospitalized 12 times in the last 10 years.Today is a momentous occasion for me because I am finally learning to deal with my mental health.

I was able to visit with a friend that I have not seen in months and it was a huge blessing to meet up and visit, It made my year.

I have a lot going for me. I am seriously working on my running so that I can do my first Half Marathon in a few months. I have had something that I shared with a few people published. I am working on my second song I've ever written.

I enjoy every day, no matter what happens.

And most important, I have not had suicidal thoughts in over 6 months (my last time was when I was in the hospital). I can deeply and honestly say that I am just so happy to be alive, and I know this is not the mania. This is for real. I still have difficult days but I see that my life has a lot of meaning and purpose.,

Thanks for all the help from those who have supported me this past 6 months.

My next goal is 5 years. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Feeling Content from There to Here


Today is Mental Health Blog Day and here is my post for today's event...
 
 
Where do I begin? Well, let me start at the beginning of my long and in-depth journey through living with multiple mental illnesses...

No, maybe I should start from my experiences dealing with them right now...

I have had 12 hospitalizations from the age of 15, over 30 medications tried, and many diagnoses thrown at me. I suffer, no I struggle, daily with hallucinations, paranoia, psychosis, flashbacks, nightmares, mania and depression. I said that I prefer to use the terminology of struggle over suffer because I don't really believe I suffer from these symptoms. In many ways, I am content no matter if I have the symptoms or not. They are just an extra pat of life that God has placed in my life.

To me, there is always hope. Even on the most challenging days. Even on those rare, bleak days when I feel like I should just call it a day. And despite my mental illnesses, those days are few and far-between.

I choose to remain positive, no matter what that entails.

That's not always easy, but I choose to not give up. I want to fulfill my dreams. I have dreams that I am currently working on, one of them being running in the NYC Marathon. You see, I am a dream-oriented person, even more so than a goal-oriented person. I find that there is a lot of joy in achieving my outlandish dreams. Outlandish to others, but not to me. I truly believe that I can achieve anything I dream of.

I come from a family full of alcoholism, drug abuse, abuse (all types), neglect, homelessness and loss (including my oldest brother to suicide in 2007). Some people wonder how I got from there to here. Although I have attempted suicide on multiple occasions, most of them have been an impulse response to outlandish states of paranoia and psychosis. I do not easily give up. But when my mind goes there, it almost cannot stop.

Currently I am not focusing on getting rid of the symptoms but rather focusing on how to get through life with them. That is the only true way of getting through the hardest days.

Some of my first initial struggles with mental illness was through a long period of neglect by my mother. She was rarely at home during the nights and early mornings. I used to be terrified about being alone on dark nights. This was my first experience with being paranoid. I used to wake up in the middle of the night, imagining that my mother was gone due to a car accident. I used to be frightened almost every night for 3 or so years. I had to get myself up every morning and go to school. For most of my life, I have had to care for myself more than normal since I did not have responsible parents. I believe all of this has made me a strong person.

I think the most meaningful reason for my still living in this world is knowing that I have made a difference in the lives of many around me.

Ultimately, I am a fighter and I will continue to make my life meaningful.