Anxiety/Depression/Baggage (it’s all related)

anx·i·e·ty
aNGˈzīədē/wp-1539450923462..jpg
noun
a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
“he felt a surge of anxiety”
synonyms: worryconcernapprehension, apprehensiveness, uneasinessunease, fearfulness, feardisquietdisquietudeinquietudeperturbationagitationangstmisgivingnervousness, nerves, tension, tenseness; More

 Depression:
1: feelings of severe despondency and dejection.
“self-doubt creeps in and that swiftly turns to depression”
2: a long and severe recession in an economy or market.
“the depression in the housing market

Baggage:

past experiences or long-held ideas regarded as burdens and impediments.
“the emotional baggage I’m hauling around”
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It wasn’t until the last couple of weeks that I realized anxiety was the voice I kept hearing in my head telling me “you can’t do this” “you don’t have time for that” “remember, that is too hard to do” “you aren’t smart enough to accomplish________” I kept identifying the feelings as stress! This is a link I found for screening tools that can help you sort through various mental health issues:
Growing up I thought that people could just look at me and see right through me. I was sure that people could tell that I was growing up with a shit home life, poor, parenting myself, abuse etc. It took me years of adulting to know that wasn’t the case.

I’ve been going to counseling since I was 9 years old! Well off and on anyway. Any counseling before I was 20 was mainly court ordered due to being in foster care and/or related to resolving issues of abuse which looking back never was successful.

1_IN_10perpetratorsrisk_factors_3SIGNS

If you or someone you know has been abused:

GET HELP NOW

CALL 866.FOR.LIGHT OR TEXT LIGHT TO 741741

You are not alone – resources and support are available. Call to have questions answered or chat with a trained crisis counselor, 24/7 at no charge. All conversations are confidential.

 

Researchers estimate that 38% of child victims disclose the fact that they have been sexually
abused.5,6 Of these, 40% tell a close friend, rather than an adult or authority.7 These “friend-to-friend”
disclosures do not always result in reports. This means that the vast majority of child sexual abuse
incidents are never reported to authorities, though research suggests that disclosure rates to authorities
may be increasing.

Finkelhor, D., Ormrod, R., Turner, H. A., & Hamby, S. L. (2012). Child and youth victimization known to school, police,
and medical officials in a national sample of children and youth. Juvenile Justice Bulletin, (No. NCJ 235394). Washington,
DC: United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

I’ve always avoided discussing the abuse I endured growing up. I stuffed it down deep for years and spent my time perpetuating chaos subconsciously avoiding my childhood. I did have counselors that would elude to the fact that I wasn’t covering the root of all my problems but I was hell bent on putting out fires because that required less effort.

Finally I moved back to Decatur in 2013 and life started to be less chaotic and as a result I had more time for self reflection. wp-15322971963037355743889565155872.png

In 2015 I found an amazing counselor who let me avoid the topic of abuse for awhile but then started pressing me. That eventually led me to finding a counselor at Growing Strong Sexual Assault Center but not until 2017 and I only went a few times AND I verbalized what I had endured ONCE and thought I was cured and didn’t go back.

This situation is actually intertwined with another that I’ve been going through this year. I would not say at all that my childhood was actually the cause of my opiate addiction but after finally openly discussing some things with the counselor I am seeing now I can see a correlation.

People who misuse opioids often report extensive histories of childhood maltreatment, which include emotional and physical abuse, emotional and physical neglect, and sexual abuse……Authors:News Author: Batya Swift Yasgur, MA, LSW; CME Author: Laurie Barclay, MD

Of course it started with a prescription here and there over the years (2007-2015) and then it occurred to me that if I took pain medicine then I could work more. The pain in my feet, carpel tunnel and back would be relieved which curbed the fatigue and enabling me to work more hours. After the scripts ran out then I found opiates on my own and of course justified it all with the above reasoning.  This ties into the childhood issues because being sexually abused over many years by several men made me feel like damaged goods. If I could work more than I would be indispensable regardless of being damaged goods! If I could have identified these issues earlier in life it would have saved me a lot of heartache!

I started this blog for 2 reasons:

1: I was sure that writing this blog would be therapeutic

2: I wanted to help others

Point being, if there is anything that I would stress to anyone, DON”T WAIT! Don’t wait to take care of yourself!wp-15322981882021055409800515570857.png

I think it is safe to say that we all want some of the same things in life and just as I thought when looking it up the #1 thing was:

Happiness
Biggest Challenge:  “Not knowing what I want to do.”
Happiness is a choice folks.  It just is, plain and simple.  Every single day you get to decide if you are going to be happy or not.  I think the main reason most people are unhappy is because they are looking for something outside of themselves to “make them happy.”  Guess what, the new car, house, outfit, boyfriend, or girlfriend is not the answer.  The only person or thing that will bring you happiness is YOU…….Kathy Caprino  The Top 10 Things People Want In Life But Can’t Seem To Get.  

You can’t be happy if your anxious or depressed and the only way to beat anxiety and depression ongoing is to get rid of your baggage! The sooner you get rid of it the better! You can’t just ignore it, shove it down, alter your mind to avoid it….you have to take it step by step. You have to actually put in the sometimes long, tiring, frustrating, no immediate gratification work to boldly acknowledge your baggage (each piece individually) take it out, unfold it, see where it came from, why it is keeping you down and after you’ve gone through each one (like steps in the grieving process) you can then and only then fold it back up, put it in the bag and let it go!

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Zachuery aka Zachariah aka Pooky Wooky

October 19, 1994 (2 weeks after my due date, 1 day after a failed attempt at inducing labor and 4-6 hours after the Dr assisted my water breaking) came my 2nd bouncing baby boy!

The next day we took him home and unlike his older brother he started sleeping 4+ hours at night within the first couple of weeks. He was such a calm baby (especially in contrast to his brother) that I called the pediatrician concerned something was wrong! After a handful of questions the pediatrician assured me that Zach was just fine and just a good sleeping baby!

I’ve mentioned this in a past post but I like to remind my kids that they are so smart and healthy because I breast fed all of them and Zachuery for the longest. I’m sure there is a direct correlation to his good health and generally good decision making!

As the boys were growing up we always told them Zach would be president and his older brother Sean would be his bodyguard. That’s not quite how things have turned out but it gives you a feel for their personalities.

Zach did great in school and starting in 5th grade (due to his distain for daycare) he started watching his little sisters before and after school. He was always so responsible and fairly meticulous. We realized at one point that he had been folding his dirty clothes and when we would eat out everyone would be done eating but Zach would just be done cutting his food into perfectly even pieces!!

A review of over 200 birth order studies found that middles are characterized as sociable, more faithful in monogamous relationships, and have the fewest “acting out” problems…..

However, if events would have been different then I would not have spent this summer with the newest born love of my life…..Zachs’ daughter : Rima

Unfortunately in September Rimas’ mother came and took her to Texas and will not allow us to see her or talk to her. Zach and her mother were never married so at this point he has no legal rights. However, I have quickly become a legal self help guru as a result and I have begun filing the necessary paperwork to get into court and establish paternity and custody/visitation. We do not have lots of money for an attorney but we are going Monday for a free consultation! In the meanwhile we are keeping busy using our missing her as motivation to work hard on getting her back in our lives!!

To write or Not To write

I’ve read several posts about having posts in backup for when you can’t/ don’t write. The only issue I really have with that is that it doesn’t feel like I write as genuinely when it isn’t in the moment. I can’t remember the last time I felt like writing. I go to enough counseling sessions these days that I should have plenty to write about. I’ve learned so much about myself  recently but it all revolves around 2 things that I can’t discuss (an ongoing issue I’ve hit on and abuse I endured as a child)……..where do people get the strength to tell their stories? Like really,  I am so exhausted each and everyday I feel like doing NOTHING!! Certainly not discussing my shit childhood! wp-1534960308688239657689092335712.png

I have a long list of things I’d LOVE to write about:

  • Poverty
  • Prison Reform
  • Recent GOD encounters
  • My Potbelly Pig
  • My 1st middle son
  • More nursing home honesty
  • Childhood abuse

The Great Fight: 9/27/18 (Me vs. my most recent demons) All of these are actually related and it is strange to me that it took until I was 31+10 years old to figure it out.

I would also like to write about the following positive subjects:

Sports: Dallas Cowboys, Serena Williams, Tiger Woods

Movies

Books

Music

Those 4 items are the things I use to get my cheap thrills. I intentionally seek out anything and everything (#1 should be FOOD) that will fill up my love cup and take my mind off this awful and hideous fight that I can’t tell anyone about openly and honestly until after Thursday Morning!! wp-15353855252858176264681302685078.png

I did just remember however that I do have a few very delightful events I want to share!!!!

1: My daughter text me a week ago to tell me that she knew about inexpensive Taylor Swift tickets (typically I would say I am a part time/ closet fan) so some how we were able to put things together quick enough that we got to go! I have to admit I really enjoyed her music and the show she put on!

 

2: Thursday I visited a little town close to us: Arthur, Illinois. They have wonderful little Amish shops. Where I had a delightful time! Just leisurely walking around and enjoying the old shops. In particular I found a little store that had it’s own little library/books for sale area and fell in love!

The most important items I found and purchased are the entire reason I have loved pigs my whole life and have collected pig everything and led me to having Edgar, the Super Bestest Pig Ever! 20180920_151132

3: I have been a Football/ Dallas Cowboy fan since 1993. I have been to see them once a few years ago in St. Louis before the Rams abandoned the area and they won and it was the best thing since sliced cheese other than all the other things that I said were!! Anyway, during a series of very FORTUNATE events I was able to buy 2 tickets with the BEST view of any event, to see the Cowboys play against the colts on December, 16th of this year which so happens to be my birthday!!20180919_131631screenshot_20180919-153634_bixby-home-e1537751267249.jpg

Nursing in a nursing home 2

This first picture (I’ve used elsewhere on here) is me , my Mom and Melissa. This 2nd picture is since my mom had a stroke. In 2002 she had a stroke, spent 6 weeks in the hospital and then 6 weeks in a rehab to home program in a nursing home. I thank God that this was before I was a nurse! I genuinely think I was clueless about nursing homes at the time. In 2015 my husband had a diving accident and spent 3 weeks in Carle clinic a ‘trauma center/hospital”. I noticed E V E R Y T H I N G the staff did whether it was right or wrong and I acted a fool several times when they did something I didn’t like.

So imagine that feeling for your loved one!alexaanddad

Better yet imagine a nurse (and their are many) that take their job personally, to heart, wearing their heart on their sleeve! It is emotionally draining to be a nurse no matter what! Then to add 30+ human beings to it and 2 med passes in 8 hours and then threats if you work over, threats if you don’t, threats on your license you caused and didn’t.  30 human beings with a past, with a heart and a mind and a family that sees them how they were and wants you so badly to see that person the way they do so that you never forget that YOU are the person they are counting on to take care of their Mom who raised them fearlessly, or their Dad that never let them down and they don’t want to let him down.  Being a “nurse in a nursing home” whether you are a CNA, LPN, RN (Rob Good you are my super hero) is no easy task and it is so very hard to be present in their everyday life and then go home and pretend like nursing homes are equipped to take care of someone’s loved one in a way that will ease your mind enough that you can go to bed and sleep without a heavy heart!!!!

They say nursing is one of or the most trusted profession, well let me say a couple of things about that! 1: I know how to do nursing by the book and anyone that tells you that nursing home nursing can be done by the book is a big fat liar! You can’t take care of 30 resident’s in a way that follows what “the state” claims they expect and what the very same people know is the reality!! 2: The thing I heard most or the compliment I held nearest to my heart as a nurse is/was: “Sunshine it is obvious how much you genuinely care for your people” I  believe that more often than not nurses want to do a good job for their patients/residents and many nurses have varying ideas on what that is!

Every nurse has their thing they are good at, something they aren’t good at, something they stay away from at all cost (I am terrible with phlegm) and of course it can never be at all cost because nurses take care of business. That is our job under any and every circumstance!

What does it mean to be a “good nurse”?

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Kati Kleber, RN
Kati Kleber, RN

 

“There is something about a good nurse. Having a nursing license and job doesn’t make you a good nurse. Working for 30 years doesn’t make you a good nurse. It’s not about being a good IV starter or being best friends with all of the physicians.

It’s so much less defined and measurable than that. It isn’t measured in letters after your name, certifications, professional affiliations or by climbing the clinical ladder.

It’s something you feel when you see a good nurse care for their patients. It’s that security you see in their patient’s eyes when they come in to care for them. It’s that nurse whose patient’s family member will finally go home to sleep and shower because they know their loved one is cared for with that nurse.

The grocery store/Walmart

I have a love-hate relationship with going to get groceries or to Walmart. I certainly feel like I fall under the category of someone who doesn’t love to go places if I don’t have to. Other times I think social interaction makes you no keeps you kind of sane because you realize everybody has to go to the store okay well not Eminem but, like the rest of us.

So there’s like men shopping and they are get in and get out, typically speaking, accept for the middle son who takes an entire half hour at Denny’s to cut up his pancakes.

And there are the women who are either trying to hurry because they have Screaming Meanies with them or women just always in a rush. Then there is everyone else who stops like I do at every item to weigh its importance in my life

and it really brings a smile to my face when I see someone else shopping in that manner.

Of all nights tonight there is no self-checkout lanes open so yay me after not leaving the house in a week my first trip out and I have to interact with human beings lol I told the young lady at the register I had drove and did math correctly tonight so I was very proud of myself I’m sure she thought I was crazy but she did laugh. To add to the magic of my Excursion the local radio station is playing Sunday night Slow Jams. It should certainly be called Sunday night baby making music!

Days like this

 

wp-15353072867981784191584359699017.pngEvery once in awhile I actually slow down long enough to enjoy life. It feels so strange, like doing something your not suppose to be doing ie: sitting around all day watching football/ bachelor in paradise and your favorite music videos of all time. I feel like that last sentence just told my age…..I did own….well my mom owned an 8 track version of the pop song: Little Red Riding Hood by, OMG, I just looked up the artist: Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs. Like really…80s….you couldn’t come up with anything better….maybe shorter. Well anyway, moving on…….I feel as though maybe I shouldn’t write during these times because it will either ramble on, get off track several times……or worse yet, just make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Actually I like that idea! My goal will be for this post to make no sense whatsoever!

wp-15353072248564090604442485858113.pngSo, last night I was babysitting my beautiful Granddaughtermvimg_20180725_133016-animation

She just so happens to love music which works great for me! She really gets excited over every genre that I play from the 70s through today but she really seems to love the 70s & 80s! I think she appreciates (I’m having a very hard time articulating right now) the grandness? the bigness? the loudness? Hell, I don’t know, all I know is that she is clearly from my DNA!! She loves:Queen, Aerosmith, Pointer Sisters, Ciara, Nikki Minaj, EMINEM….that was the most important test! At any rate she took a late nap last night so she was raring to go, singing and dancing to music with me and then running off to wreak havoc on the house, the pig, the cat and my Mom! Nonetheless we had a great time!

So, if anyone is keeping up I’d like to give myself props: A week ago Wednesday I stopped taking some “unnecessary” medication. Luckily I was already sick as I could possibly be and for the 6 days following I was able to taper down another “unnecessary” medication. So today makes 5 days or 120 hours with nothing “unnecessary”.

I have to write lightly for another 30-60 days because what I write could effect much more than this blog. So in this post and “all in a week” I had to write in a manner that I will clarify later but I feel like if I don’t add some “fine print” that I am not being honest…if none of this makes sense than: 1: I’ve accomplished my earlier goal for this post and 2: I’ll clarify it all at a later date.

If I could see me now


I often look back at younger Sunshine with a great amount of thoughtfulness. Often wondering if I’m making her proud! I’ve always seen actual images in my mind of how I thought living normal would look:

Every morning this “normal” family consisting of a husband and wife , 2 kids and a cat and or dog all get up, have breakfast around the table then go off to work and school and then at the end of the work/school day the parents take the kids to after school activities, return home for dinner at the table, followed by family fun, bath and bed! For years that was the standard for myself. Needless to say starting out being a teen Mom didn’t do much to help me feel normal. However, I have come to a point in life that I think my 9 year old self would be pleasantly surprised by!

The fact that I can walk out in my backyard at midnight and not be worried just amazes me! It has nothing to do with the way things are in the world right now but because I grew up so poor we never lived in a neighborhood that would have been safe to be outside at night time.

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!!

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.

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