Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Nine Months

Something happened today that, last year, I never thought would happen. Today, I celebrated my 9 month anniversary of leaving my last hospital visit. Sounds like a small feat to many, but living with severe mental illnesses is no small feat. I was hospitalized 12 times between 2005 and fall 2014. Hopefully, I stopped the cycle.

Currently, I feel healthy and happy. I am content with life, even when I have symptoms. I have learned how to deal with the difficult symptoms.

I continue to participate in treatment, through which I have learned many new skills and have been reminded of old skills that have worked.

The day I left the hospital, I moved many miles away from anybody I knew. It was one of the most challenging days of my life. When I look at it now, I have grown tremendously through the new beginning of my life. I have made many friends. I have gained a ton of nice and beautiful moments in my life, including dating.

I am finally leading a "normal 26-year-old life with busy weekends hanging out with friends and dating a wonderful man.

Truly nothing is impossible.

Each day, I do activities that I enjoy doing, including crocheting scarves and running for charities. I also play piano and sing.

I am blessed...


My life changed for the better 9 months ago. It is amazing how much good can come in 9 months...

Friday, July 31, 2015

Running Towards, Not Away

Where do I begin talking about this week?! This week was awesome, fantastic, supercalifragilistically amazing, terrific and beautiful..

Why?

Well, I challenged myself bigtime in terms of dealing with my symptoms. Usually I try to steer away from difficult conversations and situations. In fact, I usually run away. Literally.

But after last weekend when I hung out with friends and saw a movie even though I was scared of being paranoid, I realized that I needed to push myself more.

I did not run from the difficulties this week. I decided to take my life back and fight the good fight even more than usual.

That is huge progress for me, as I have PTSD and most times I run away, as I mentioned. This avoidance is classic for PTSD. But I put myself in situations that challenged me. And if I thought I would leave the situation or conversation, I purposely put myself in a spot where it would purposely be difficult to leave.

It is not that I do not have symptoms, Trust me, I had them every day this week. Multiple times a day. That was what made it even more meaningful when I did not run away.

The most poignant part of my beautiful week was that I went to ShopRite a few hours ago. Not just a ShopRite, but one of the most busy and hectic ShopRites in my area. In fact, I am known to have paranoid breakdowns in that store.

However, I went in by myself and breezed through the store, something I never thought I would ever say.

What a wonderful end to this week.

Better yet, I have been prescribed a PRN, which is an as-needed medication, for my anxiety. I was due for getting a refill a few days ago. But I did not get it refilled because I still have 38 pills, enough for 19 more days. I just find that I do not need it anymore.

Progress, not perfection, y'all.

This life is a journey.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Letter to my inner child

As a young child through to my adulthood, I have been abused by multiple family members. I am working on healing and being there for my inner child as I cope with the endless memories and  flashbacks of traumatic experiences. I wrote this letter to my inner child.

Dear my inner child,

I think about you a lot, especially because of the flashbacks and nightmares of child abuse.

I want to hug you and tell you that everything will be better. I want to hold you in my arms and help you cry, since you were never allowed to cry in front of one of your abusers.

I want you to heal. I want us to heal,

You deserve to heal.

I am so sorry you were not protected when you should have been. But you are safe in my arms. Together, we will run into a better life, where we know that God loves us, no matter how much we've been unloved.

I will tell you that you did not deserve what happened or what is happening to you.

Together we can heal.

You deserve to be loved. We deserve to be loved.

Hang in there, inner child,, We will heal, day by day. Just imagine us walking together by the ocean, the seashells sending messages of love and healing over time. Over time shells can go from sharp to smooth, just like our journey together.

Every flashback I have is a chance for us to be whole and together.

I am so sorry for everything you've been through but things can and will get better.

I love you, my inner child. I want to remember that childhood is a chance to find joy. Let us both feel joy in our own way, each and every day.

We willl get through this. Trust me.

Love,
your adult self

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Letter to 13 year old me

Dear 13 year old me,

I am sorry that the flashbacks are starting, and as I speak, I am 26 and I still have to deal with them daily as well as nightmares. I'm sorry you have to go thorugh this because this is the first time you fully realized what was done to you by members of your own famiy.It is the first time you are opening up. You will learn quickly that most people do not believe you. But I encourage you to find your voice, as you will do when you are olde.r. 13 years old is the first age you were when someone finally put a name to what you are experiencing: PTSD.

I am sorry that you are experiencing the first symptoms of the schizophrenia which you will not  be diagnosed  with until age 24. I remember the nights you lived alone at 13 because your mother was always with her boyfriend. I understand your feelings of not being cared for or betrayed or abandoned. You will find that those feelimgs are normal and that there really are people who care about you and love you.

I know you will get through this because you've had the strength all along. It is not easy. Nobody told you that you also have bipolar nor that you attempted suicide plenty of times to excape the psychological pain.

Fortunately,you were unsuccesful. I am so thankful you and I are still here now.

You have a lot of strength inside of you, more than you could ever imagine.

Take care of yourself. I wish someone cared more about you. Most of the other people in your life do not believe you when you share the child abuse that you went through. But I believe you.

I say I also believe in you,

Because you've made it to age 26. You will continue to grow and find your way.

If I told you how much you've gone through your entire life up til 26 years old,, you pobably would not believe it. But with hope, you can do anything.

I want to tell you that you are not an accident, no matter who tells you that you are. You're here for a reason.

Find that reason.

Love,
your 26 year old self

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Stormy Day

I started this blog to  chronicle my life living with severe mental illnesses. And I am going to be very honest and tell it like it is.

My paranoia and flashbacks have been acting up a lot in the past 2 weeks. I have no idea why. I have not missed a dose of medication. No life-alteirng events. Nothing. And add to that a mixture of depression and life is just great.

Not really. When things get rough, I usually tend to put on a face like everything is okay.

Today I nearly lost it when I yelled "F*** this S***." My sentiments exactly. How long do I have to endure this crap? If only I could curse out the demons living in my mind. If only I had a magic wand.

Here is what I wrote iny journal.

"I cannot help it when I get triggered. The flashbacks just come and go. I feel like I don't have any control over them. They feel like they are never going to stop.

There were a lot of flashbacks and paranoia today. I've been paranoid a lot lately this week. Paranoia is tremendously frustrating and frightening. It feels like it will never end, just like the flashbaqcks. I wish I had a magic wand that would take them away. I really wish I had one. It would be a dream come true. I just want to get through this.

Is this the real world? Or is the world full of people laughing at me, fooling around with me or talking badly about me? They all think I am a fool, or better yet, a burden, I feel like such a bother. Why do thhey even bother trying to help me? I feel like a lost cause. I hate feeling this, but that's the truth. Nobody can help me.

I feel so alone. Noone understands how difficult each day is sometimes. Why would they even try?

I will get through this."

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.