My Blog

Sean Joseph Stephan

In the summer of 1992 I went to stay with my uncle. I can’t remember the exact circumstances but I am sure it had to do with one of the routine “nervous breakdowns” my mom would have. They started when I was about 9 years old (or maybe that is when I was old enough to understand what was happening) and they continued in various forms until I was 24. I don’t think I blame my mom but I always like to understand the cause of things and I believe having a parent with a mental illness certainly causes problems for the children they raise.


Statistically, children of the mentally ill have a higher chance of becoming mentally ill themselves. This is due to combination of both nature and nurture; severe mental illness has a strong genetic factor. Add to that the stress and chaos of being raised by a severely mentally ill parent, or the child being passed around to foster parents or group homes, and it creates the perfect storm for developing any number of mood disorders, behavioral problems, and juvenile delinquency, let alone the increased possibility of the onset of a neurological disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. These conditions can lead the child to a life of illness, poverty, crime, and self-destruction.

Marc E. Fitch is the author of “Shmexperts: How Power Politics and Ideology are Disguised as Science,” and several novels. He works as a journalist at The Yankee Institute for Public Policy and lives in Connecticut with his wife, four children and three goats.


At any rate, my uncle lived in a small town and during their homecoming weekend I got pregnant. I specifically recall knowing that I wanted to grow up and go to college because that would be my only way out of a life of perpetual poverty. Point being, my need for love, attention and acceptance outweighed any common sense I had by 15 years of age. I moved back in with my mom and attended pregnant teenager school and worked at “Mr. Donut”. Having my own paycheck was like freedom!! I loved the idea of getting up everyday, going to work and earning my own income.

I’ve told the kids and maybe everyone that when i was 15 weeks along with my first son (and every kid) I heard his heartbeat for the first time and I fell in love right away. i feel like this euphoria we feel is a trick to suck us in to loving the little weasels no matter what!! So of course this worked right away for Sean, big blue eyes and great big dimples!! All the nurses just loved him!! Little did I know that was a sign of what was to come!!

There could be an entire novel just about Sean. It started around 4 weeks old. He would scream non stop and the only thing to quiet him would be putting him in the swing and turn on Care Bears really loud. We tease him about that until this day!!

At 2 years old he started banging his head on the floor when he was mad, I took him to the pediatrician who proceeded to tell me “I’m glad you brought him in so we can get this documented before someone calls DCFS. I was thinking “where have I gone wrong as a parent? Until this day I genuinely ask myself that question. I started getting calls from schools about behaviors in Kindergarten. At this time he was barely sleeping 5 hours a night! He was also displaying violent behaviors toward his brother. The first pediatrician tried him on medication that made his behaviors worse. From that point until Kindergarten we were barely making it!! So at 5 years old he had to be hospitalized because this pediatrician said: if you don’t put him in the hospital to be evaluated then I can’t be held accountable for what he may do next. So we put him in the hospital, put him on a regimen of medicine that seemed to really help him. As he got older though he would lose his temper at school quickly.  It never stopped, clear up to his freshman year in high school when he dropped out.

As they mature, children of teen mothers must still overcome many obstacles. For example, boys born to mothers under the age of 19 are 13 percent more likely to be incarcerated at some point in their lives. Daughters of teen moms are over 20 percent more likely to have their own children at a young age. Children of both sexes have lower standardized test scores and are less likely to earn their high school diplomas.

Statistics on Teen Pregnancy

Vilma Ruddock

Not only did I genuinely feel that I was failing him but as a mother you do have a certain standard you believe, hope, pray and at some point beg that your children will live up to. I knew that I wasn’t going to let one of my kids go down the drain!! By the time Sean made it to high school, in spite of my desperate attempts, he seemed to have lost his way.

Don’t get me wrong, until this day I still desperately try to get and keep him on track. After leaving the traditional high school setting Sean attended a school for kids like him……which just means he attended classes with other boys with the same behavioral issues. This quickly ended in him being suspended for 10 days meaning he couldn’t take driver’s education.

At this point he already was “in love with girls” and girls were “in love with him”.  I specifically remember coming home from work one day and there was a group of 6+ girls walking up the road toward the house and there was Sean smack dab in the middle.

One girl apparently stood out more than the rest: Caitlyn. I immediately talked to the both of them about the importance of protected sex and birth control. I told Caitlyn she had a week to get on birth control or I was taking her. So about 10 days later I took her to planned parenthood and apparently at that time she was already pregnant but we didn’t know. A month later I was on the 2nd half of a double shift (I was only 32) and I received a call from Sean with Caitlyn on the phone as well. I’ll never forget, I’m on the hall, passing meds, standing at my cart, phone up to my ear: “Mom we took 3 different pregnancy tests and they are all positive”. Since I’ve had tons of calls from Sean over the years that seem like emergencies and weren’t I managed to remain calm and tell them “Ok, we will worry about it when I get home”.

After 3 days of being in complete shock to the point that I couldn’t talk to anyone, we embraced the truth and 9 months later came: Skylar Henry Lee Boliard!! AKA: My Little Lover Man!!

Sean is now 25 years old with 2 daughters in addition!

I’d love to tell everyone after years of trouble with the law that Sean has it all together but I can say that for the first time I can remember he has put himself in a healthier situation and so that gives me much encouragement!!

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Check out @anjelleah’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/anjelleah/status/1009423543841492992?s=09

Daydreaming

In comparison to me my husband is very outgoing!! In his career (10+ years in sales 10 years owning his own business) he has to put himself “out there” daily. He is constantly having to”sell himself” and he genuinely does a good job of it! I feel that these same personality traits are the ones that allow him to vividly tell me stories that involve our lives taking a turn for the better whether it’s small and temporary or on a large long term scale. I honestly wish I could be in his world. It appears to be so wonderful and magical to someone like me: Quiet, (unless you mess with my loved ones, I had several disputes with teachers and MDs when my kids were young) shy, paralyzed with fear of rejection……

However, if I were to allow myself to daydream I think it would look like this:

That looks like a great life to me! Old house out in the country with Edgar the Super Bestest Pig Ever, his sidekick Cat Buddy Jerry, a few rescue pigs, lots of Sunflowers and then inspirational/serene walks! The reason why I bring all this up is: I feel that many people (like my husband) are genuinely able to see themselves doing whatever it is that they want to do and some how that enables them to move/propel themselves in that direction.

Nearly everyday I go over the same things in my head: What can I do today to make my life better? After coming up with most of the same answers as the day before, I start reading up on whatever will motivate me, work on my blog, or marketing our family business or developing an online store and then as the day goes on I talk myself out of any move that would actually bring some results! I have this ever present fear of failure, brought on by an ever present fear of people judging me negatively, brought on by an ever present fear of feeling shame/embarrassment which after years of therapy, reading and recently blogging I know stems from childhood……

I am the blond, naturally, being silly every chance I got! Looking at these pictures I realize a few things: 1. When I think back my memories always have a dark cloud hovering, by this time I had already had many days of witnessing abuse which at one point resulted in my jaw being broke when I fell off the side of a bed as well as many days of going without many of the things we all take for granted on a daily basis: attention from our parents, food, a safe home etc 2. I was 6 in the pic with the dress. In a year’s time my mom had left the man I thought was my Dad, moved into a women’s shelter, met a man, moved in with him and this is their wedding day. The picture with me sticking my tongue out, I am 9. By this time my mom left the last husband, I’ve experienced abuse more than once, my mom has met a new man that she has married and he has lost his job within a year so we are living in poverty and I am no longer oblivious to how bad life is. 3. Discussing the above memories is something I rarely if ever do!

Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect – Child Welfare Information Gateway

The impact of child abuse and neglect
is often discussed in terms of physical,
psychological, behavioral, and societal
consequences. In reality, however, it
is impossible to separate the types of
impacts. Physical consequences, such as
damage to a child’s growing brain, can
have psychological implications, such as
cognitive delays or emotional difficulties.
Psychological problems often manifest as
high-risk behaviors. Depression and anxiety,
for example, may make a person more likely
to smoke, abuse alcohol or drugs, or overeat.
High-risk behaviors, in turn, can lead to
long-term physical health problems, such
as sexually transmitted diseases, cancer, and
obesity.

Suggested Citation: Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2013). Long-term consequences of child abuse and neglect. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau.

Father’s Day

as-a-father-this-was-the-best-mothers-day-gift-ever-109493.png

It was only recently that I realized how little regard I had for the “father role”. I had no idea who my biological father was until I was 15 and when I met him he said “I couldn’t be sure at the time because of your mom”. So in once fail swoop he let me know that 1: it didn’t matter enough to him to figure it out and 2: because of your mom…….implying what? That my mom was sleeping around? Wow what a good start. At any rate, no real love lost there. During my childhood my mom did marry several times and all though they all had some endearing qualities (I use this term in the loosest possible way) they all were actually the last person you would want your mom to marry.  OK, after saying that I feel kind of bad, 1 1/2 of them were OK. Point being still no one showing me that fathers actually matter. I remember thinking to myself at one point that if/when I had children I would be better off just raising them on my own.

After doing everything ass backwards, getting pregnant very young, married very young, divorced young and then having my girls, and then leaving their dad. I actually found myself in a position in 2013 that would lead me to realize how important and wonderful fathers can be! My girls father and I got back together as our youngest daughter was starting her freshman year of high school. I thought I had made an awful mistake because our daughter aka our Princess aka Alexa and her Dad could not see eye to eye. Alexa gave her Dad a run for his money every time he tried to enforce the rules. She would even tell me I was letting him be mean to her by taking her phone away.

In 2015 my husband had a diving accident (this was kind of self induced but changed our lives forever due to the traumatic brain injury TBI) Austin and Alexa could not see their dad in such a condition but Alexa clearly has come to love her father more than ever!alexaanddad.jpg

So, here we are: 2018. Our 3 children we raised together have all gone off to college, are working while going to school, have their own places etc. I genuinely believe now that God intended on their being 2 parents (or more) involved in a child’s life. Regardless of the family dynamics it is virtually impossible for 1 parent to give a child everything they need. There is no balance.

I just want to say: Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers. If you aren’t in your kids lives please make an effort to do so!

This is my husband and I the day before the accident, We’re pretty sure he got a face lift in surgery! =+)meandrogdaybeforeaccident

Laziness

life won't catch up

 

I’ve never had trouble getting up and going to work (when I’m employed). I’ve never had trouble working 10 hour shifts, 12 hour shifts, doubles or my days off. In the 5 years at my last job I literally NEVER called in. In the summer of 2015 my husband had an accident which kept him in the hospital (45 min from home & work) for 3 weeks and when he came home he had 2+ months of healing. During the 1st week in the hospital my boss told me not to come in the first 3 days, then I worked 2 days, driving back to the hospital each night and on the Monday of the 2nd week, the day of his surgery I thought working would keep my mind occupied but my boss told me there was no way she wanted me coming in. Each scheduled day after that I went to work!tired nurse

So, the point to the above rambling is that I can’t say I am lazy when it comes to work but other than that it feels as though I am. Is it that I am lazy or that depression keeps me from wanting to do much? Is it just negative self talk that tells me that I am lazy? Is that the same voice that tells me that I can’t do this or I can’t do that!? It is as though the fatigue is unbeatable no matter how much sleep I get or how much caffeine I consume. I’ve had labs drawn several times and typically my vitamin D is low but vitamin D never fixes the fatigue. Vitamin-D-Deficiency

Everyday I have all these things that I want to do. Things that are just routine and things that I have to leave the house for and things that would greatly benefit me. None of these are important enough (typically) to light a fire under my ass. The years that I raised my children by myself I could do anything under the sun as though there was a constant fire under me. So now that I don’t have to do everything I just don’t have the energy to do anything? superhero mom running

Well I will attempt to wrangle all this in! I realize my lack of energy is probably a combination of depression, lack of vitamin D and what I perceive as laziness may just be how life is when your not doing everything on your own. Everyday it is a battle not to have negative self talk: you can’t do it, you don’t deserve it, you will never follow through, blah blah blah. No matter how many self help articles I read I can’t convince myself that I can do what I put my mind to and I do deserve to try out my ideas and if they prove to be profitable I do deserve that as well.

Eminem & Bonnaroo 2018

So I have had a longing (we will call it) to see Eminem for nearly 20 years! My older daughter: Soleil who is 20 became a big Eminem fan in 2011 after meeting her best friend Breigh. As much as I would like to deny it I think Breigh qualifies as the biggest fan out of 3 of us and then Soleil and myself. (I’m basing this off the fact that she knows every word to every song…and not like when people say: I know everyone of his songs…..she genuinely knows every word!

At any rate, fast forward to January of this year. Soleil and I were at work together and she was looking up dates to see Eminem. Well our little world was changed forever!! She found it! Bonnaroo 2018 featured artist: Eminem!!!! For those who don’t know about Bonnaroo it is a huge camping/music festival on a farm held every June in Manchester TN 

 

Of course I don’t agree with everything ever said in every Eminem song but I am not one of those people that base my entertainment choices on how the person is otherwise! Having said that I did stop watching Grey’s Anatomy because Shonda Rhimes killed off Dr. McDreamy and I tweeted her to let her know!!

At any rate, the experience was amazing all around. It was primitive camping and our campsite had to be a mile away from “Centaroo” the weather was as hot as possible all day long, so happy the rain stayed away though.

No matter the heat, cost, waiting in lines I would absolutely do it again in a minute. There is certainly something to be said for getting to see your favorite musician/artist! I’ve always loved Eminem’s music, I loved that he was bold enough to say whatever and it meant a lot to me because I could relate to his point of coming from nothing and fighting so hard to get to a better place!

5/31/18: UNEMPLOYED 3+ WEEKS

Okay I was super torn between two posts or two things to blog about and then I realized I don’t have to choose I can write about, both how about that LOL a week ago Friday I went and filled out paperwork for a job that I interviewed for Last Friday. I don’t know that I’m thrilled to death about the job not because of the job but just because still depressed enough not to be participating in life daily. I’m not super excited about working for a company doing home health when I should be working on opening my own. Actually I should be doing both. Now that it is occurring to me how perfect this job is. It is super flexible and I can work as many or as few days/hours that I need to. That seems like a great fit for someone working on starting their own business. Boy I tell you, I just can’t come up with any excuses not to want the job nor can I keep putting off working on my own business!!

So for the fun part!! I have had every intention on posting about the latest love of my life: my potbelly pig Edgar!! He is so freaking cute and if pigs weren’t such high maintenance pets I would recommend them to everyone. No matter what he cheers me up! He puts a smile on my face and makes it impossible to just lay around and feel sorry for myself. I’m like an obsessed new parent. So many pictures and videos and special toys and special treats!! Not to mention belonging to the North American Pet Pig Association! ( NAPPA )

This is Edgar’s “Piggy City”along with a picture and video of Edgar and his best cat buddy Jerry

Pulling The Trigger

I have no idea what I’m afraid of….. Wait that’s a lie after years of counseling I do know what I’m afraid of…. Failure!! I spend an unbelievable amount of time online everyday researching various things I want to do or need to do and yet I still don’t do the final step to get whatever “it” is going. Among a few issues that I have that my husband does not , difficulty pulling the trigger is high on the list. He is so sweet and loving and tries to get me over the hump but he has no fear of failure or rejection. He does not realize that it is actually paralyzing. I like to announce that I’m going to do things that I don’t want to do in hopes that someone will help me enforce it LOL. Yesterday I said I’m going to do two things that I don’t want to do & I am going to get them done by the end of the day. So, at the top of my “pulling the trigger list”

1: link my blog to FB

This may seem very obvious to some but I’m so scared of being judged that I just won’t do it.

2: publish the new FB page I made for at home care for seniors

I am more than qualified for this and I clearly have to pay my bills so I’m not sure the exact Fear Factor here.

3: create a website for the above-mentioned business and or add a page to this website. 3 1/2: Nor have I putting to place any of the other 25 things that I’ve researched over the last three years for making money at home and or online.

Whatever my reasoning is for not getting it done is surely directly related to the reason for number 2.

In true Sunshine fashion I have done several hours of research on pulling the trigger or lack thereof. I am a very good procrastinator so I’m sure that has something to do with it. I do lack self-discipline although I do not like determination. I am terrible at forming new habits, again this is not something my husband can relate to. I drive him crazy because I don’t shut the door, I don’t shut off the light, I don’t shut cabinet doors and I don’t put my stuff in the same place every time. I’ve put a lot of thought into this one and I’m pretty sure that it’s directly related to the hierarchy of needs. Growing up the daily worries were will I have a light to shut off or a door to shut. I certainly never worried about putting things in the same place every time!

I do try to get to a resolution by the end of my post but I just don’t have one for this.

5/11/18-5/16/18 The rollercoaster

So the interview was crazy on Friday. I thought I was the problem with the weird interview but then I found out later the lady interviewing me got fired. Saturday was okay. Sunday, Mother’s Day, my girls took me out to get lunch and a pedicure so that was nice. We had a late Mother’s Day supper and then on Monday I got to call to come back in for a second interview! Then on Tuesday I got a call saying I’m sorry we have to cancel your interview, due to previous job. All the while I’m trying to keep my footing and not fall into an abyss of self defeat I started a new medication to boot so I’m hardly able to keep my eyes open. If I continue to take it I’m exhausted and if I don’t then I’m doing nothing to treat the depression.

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