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I haven’t been able to write or update about my mom, but here are some photos from today…

It is heartbreaking. I have no words. My son and I visited this afternoon.

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A Funny and A Sad Blurb From My Mom…

Went to visit my mom today at the mental health facility.

Her dementia is far more evident now that her bipolar and aggression are under control, and it is sad to realize how much she’s losing. She clutches a piece of paper with my number and my dad’s in her hand all day long.

She was happy to see us- Maisie gave her hugs and kisses. Maisie was allowed in as long as a nurse was there to supervise.

My mom’s odd, frontal temporal lobe, filter lacking sense of humor shone through when I filled her in about the dodgy assisted living home owner guy. I mentioned to her that he’d been insistent that she needed to divorce my dad.

Mom: “What did he say?!”

Me: “He said you needed to divorce dad, he was insisting and asking when this would happen”

Mom: “I don’t remember spending time with him, did I give him a blowjob or something? Why is he asking this??! I don’t remember giving him a blowjob…”

She laughed and then said “Get me out of there, I don’t like that”

A few minutes later, with a straight face, she said:

“You need to tell your dad I want a divorce”… and she was back in her sad dementia loop again.

We could only visit for an hour, as visitation is 7:30-8:30 pm only.

When I got home, she called crying, saying we left too early. She read the sign, then saw the clock and realized we left at the right time.

She was both funny and heartbreaking tonight.

I have a sick pit in my stomach.

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Guilt and Waking Up at 3 am

Tonight I didn’t answer the phone when my mother called repeatedly from the psych ward at Lakeland.
 
I wanted to have one night this week where we could pretend life was ‘normal’ and not falling down around our heads- so that we could all enjoy Halloween and not spend it crying.
 
She left a ton of messages on my voicemail, each wondering if I knew she was in the hospital.
 
I woke up abruptly from sleep,with this huge sense of dread and guilt weighing heavily upon me. I wouldn’t even call it guilt- it was remorse. Stomach churning, benign neglect of another human being. I have been doing this a lot lately- just to try to save my own sanity- and it makes me ill inside.
 
I could tell that she didn’t remember her previous calls and it scared me. I could clearly hear the panic and confusion in her voice, the not remembering part… and it was heartbreaking.
 
What a difference it was from our visit with R’s 93 year old grandmother tonight! She lives alone and is only a bit forgetful, but otherwise sharp as a tack. It almost served as a painful foil, a bittersweet contrast.
 
My mother is 20 years younger than Nana. This monster that has consumed her entire life, seems to be now eating away at her brain, like pac man.
 
It is hard to distinguish the bipolar, the mental illness, from the dementia- she is so clever and sad and angry and anxious and lonely. She is still HER inside of her core and it is going away bit by bit.
 
Tomorrow, I finally head to the courthouse to apply for guardianship. We had been ill (and I’ve been depressed) since the previous week, so it hasn’t been done yet.
 
If you ask me how I feel, I’d say so sad. I feel as if this is my lot to bear, not because I truly love or respect or even feel like she was or is my parent- but because she is my parent, I have to do this. I don’t know if this makes any sense to anyone else.
 
I would never want my children to feel the same apathy that I do about my parents. All of this, including Maisie being born so recently, has given me a second chance to re-examine my relationships with my family, myself, and those around me.
 
Unfortunately, I come up lacking in so many regards, but I know I can fix ME. I can’t fix her or my dad or my siblings.
 
I wish I could make them love me or me them, really.
 
I wish I had a magic wand to fix this for everyone.
 
My only solace is giving my 2 youngest kids the magical childhood- as much as I can- and love that I wish I would have had myself.
 
I thought I felt better today… and I do… but I am kind of upset to have woken up crying at 3 am, sad all over again and typing.
 
The people who know me in real life know that I am not prone to being this weepy mess- so it is really bothering me to feel this raw and exposed.
 
So, like any brave Aquarian would- I’m going to go with it and try to learn to love me and be authentic.
 
If anyone else is going through similar, I want you to know you’re not alone.
 
xo
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I am have been gone for quite a while-

My sister still has cancer, my mom is in a facility getting her bipolar/dementia meds leveled out, I am going through serious family problems and experiencing long term ptsd as a result of past child abuse.

Maisie is doing wonderfully! She is in Montessori school and is three now. She also does ballet/tap and adores it.

I have been on a ketogenic diet this year since July 10, 2017 per my cardiologist’s suggestion. I have also been using/wearing a fitbit charge 2, which has absolutely changed me from sedentary to active and I love it!

I am starting a vlog to chronicle my keto journey and just to be able to vent… xo

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My First Vlog: HUGE THANK YOU to those who supported me these last few days…

I’ve never done this before, so… thank you all. Really.

I just figured out that I could record video on my new macbook pro.

Thank you for reading my blog and the problems with my family re depression, lupus, bipolar, and dementia

What happened: http://bit.ly/1IS8ZG7

About Lupus: http://bit.ly/1g41yVx

On Why I Overshare: http://bit.ly/1LdBgIW

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Something horrible happened to us yesterday- If you have a parent with bipolar and/or dementia, you’ll understand- maybe

the boys and maisie before the shit hit the fan yesterday

the boys and maisie before the shit hit the fan yesterday

I am super exhausted and depressed today. My lupus is flaring from the stress and I can’t get out of bed.

I will probably get a lot of flack from relatives for posting this, but I simply don’t give a SHIT. I cannot fathom bottling this up and hiding this like we have for so many years. It’s killing us all.

I am rarely ever depressed and spent most of yesterday crying- so did my oldest son, Sam.

My lack of depression is due to years and years of therapy, high doses of vitamin D3 (NOT antidepressants, they don’t work for me), and changing my mindset/lifestyle.

Yesterday was my youngest son, Connor’s, 17th birthday. For the first time in years, all three of my sons were home for this occasion.

Connor's birthday yesterday- he loves his Papa so much

Connor’s birthday yesterday- he loves his Papa so much

Sam, the oldest, recently moved home from Chicago, where he’d been at college and living for quite a few years. Jay, my middle, spent a year at college in Houston, TX with his father-before that, he’d been living on his own. Only Connor and Maisie are at home now.

My mother has battled her entire life with Bipolar NOS. When I say “battled”, I mean she mostly battered US when she lost her mind and had her cycles, because she surely didn’t get help for it. There was nothing to be done about it when I was growing up- psychiatric medications and treatments simply did not exist as they do today. To compound things, she now has early dementia at 71- which is likely due to small strokes from her Factor V Leiden genetic clotting disorder (which I also have and take heparin daily to prevent. I had 2 small TIAs- little strokes- before being diagnosed). Her memory isn’t the greatest, at least the short term. Her long term has always been selective at best as well.

Little things have ALWAYS ‘triggered’ her. To her credit, she’s been much less violent since getting older/dementia, but it’s still no cakewalk.

When she is “GOOD”,she is funny, charismatic, charming, engaging, loving. When she is “BAD”, someone may end up in the hospital, things destroyed, people may get hurt physically.

I feel so horrible for my poor father, who has always had to care for her and now is in bad health himself. She leaves on the 21st of September to go back to the Philippines and we’re all waiting with baited breath for this.

I have a unique form of PTSD, my therapist says, due to years of abuse from her. It is called “Complex PTSD“.

When she goes off, I FREEZE… and fall to pieces, as if I cannot defend myself at all. Oddly, if anyone ELSE tried the same shit she did to me, I would defend myself and others probably to the death. I am so not submissive- except with her, I turn into a scared, anxious, frightened child again. What I have is not uncommon in people who suffered long term physical and mental abuse as children- and luckily, I am not as bad off as my poor sisters.

As a result, I want better/calmer/more peaceful for my own kids. I cannot live like this anymore. I can’t. My older 2 were exposed to her/my mom helped raised them and the oldest is very like me in his responses- the middle is EXACTLY LIKE HER, down to the bipolar and rages. Connor was not around her much during her worst times/when he was small because I lived in Wisconsin. He’s probably my most well-adjusted kid. I am a much different type of parent with my younger children than with my older 2. I feel guilt and shame when I think back and realized that I ALLOWED my mother’s ‘wisdom’ and will to color my parenting style- and that I left them with her at all, truth be told.

Now she also has dementia on top of this and my dad and I are the only caregivers she has in this country. My siblings won’t help- they live too far away and she’s much more abusive to those girls than to me. My oldest sister can handle her to a certain extent, but the poor woman recently was diagnosed/is going through a horrible lupus flare and works 12 hours a day.

So, anyway, yesterday I tried to make EVERYTHING perfect: I baked Connor’s favorite- a New York Cheesecake with sour cream topping. R bought cookies and snacks for my mom. The boys tidied up the house, made coffee in preparation for their grandparent’s arrival. It was just the children, my ex, R, and my parents. We were so excited.

Poor R hadn’t showered that day and left his ball cap on because he felt grubby and had been running around town buying last minute gifts and food goodies. The boys rough housed in the dining room like old times. My oldest, Sam, got on the piano to play “Happy Birthday” so we could all sing while Conny blew out his candles.

My parents arrived and mom sat down. R came from my office with his hat on. She yelled at him that it was disrespectful to wear a hat indoors and he said “I haven’t showered”- AND SHE LOST HER FUCKING MIND ON HIM.

So, R STORMS out, the door slams- which isn’t like him at all, but she is always mean to him, calling him “That fucker”, etc. She starts screaming at ME, at Connor, at EVERYONE. She SCREAMS at Jeff about him ‘allowing’ R in our house and Jeff says quietly to her: “Mama, I have no idea what’s going on”- so she screams more and chucks her car keys at his face.

In the midst of this, I am behind Jeff and holding my baby in my arms. I see the knife near the cake and whisper to Connor- “grab the knife, please hide the knife”- because I HAVE SEEN HER TRY TO STAB PEOPLE IN THE PAST. I am getting yelled at and holding my baby and looking at my feet, scanning for escape routes just in case, just flight or fight mode x10000.

My older sons eventually somehow get her out to the porch and try to calm her down. Jeff says to me “I want her to leave”, but nobody makes that move. I can’t call the police, because she has DEMENTIA on top of this and my father can’t afford the damned bill of hospitalization again so close to her departure date for Manila. Dad ended up finally taking her home and I spent the rest of the night worrying how he was faring at home alone with her, but I did not dare call him lest it cause her to go insane again.

It went from joy to feeling like a fucking FUNERAL.

We eventually were able to blow out the candles and let Conny open presents, but his poor face was so sad. I won’t even post the videos. They make me cry every time I watch them. We took C out for a huge dinner at our favorite restaurant. He received a new Xbox One and tons of games for his birthday, which he did not expect at all.

I kept having flashbacks to an earlier birthday party at our old house, many years prior- I think it was Sam’s- when she threw hot coffee in my face and I had to lock myself in the bathroom and brace the door closed with my legs while calling 911 because I LIT THE BIRTHDAY CANDLES BEFORE SHE TOLD US TO. This was when she was still reasonably young and healthy…

…or the time when Sam was 4ish and Jay was a year old and I lived at their house. It was winter and I wanted to take them outside to play in the snow. Jay was bundled in his little snowsuit and Sam was almost ready, but she lost her mind because we COULDN’T FIND A GLOVE. I was not dressed, barefoot, in the snow holding my baby. My father was outside, too. I had a DREAM OF THIS EXACT SCENARIO A MONTH PRIOR BEFORE THE SNOWS CAME AND TOLD MY DAD ABOUT IT- in my dream, she shot us all and our blood was over the white snow. My dad called it bullshit when I told him about the premonition…

Dad and I were in front of the house and she came outside. Dad held baby Jay and she tried to beat my father with a snow shovel. She abruptly went back inside the house and I exclaimed “OMG DAD, THIS IS EXACTLY LIKE MY DREAM I TOLD YOU ABOUT!!”- so he tosses the baby to me and sprints to the barn.

I only got as far as to hide behind the tire of one of the cars with my hand over my year old baby’s mouth.

I hear the door open and I see her with the shotgun and she is SCOPING. Suddenly, I hear shots fired- I peep around the corner of the car where I am crouched and SHE IS SHOOTING INTO THE PUMPKIN PATCH.

She went back in and I ran to the barn where dad was and said “WE HAVE TO CALL THE POLICE- WE NEED TO GET HELP” or something similar.

He agrees and I walked BAREFOOT IN THE SNOW through the woods holding my baby- where she cannot see me (we lived on an isolated 20 acres, about 1/8th of a mile from the road) to the neighbors… and called the cops (this was before cell phones).

When the cops came, my dad told them I was lying.

Did I mention that my dad was ALSO a cop?

When I asked my dad later why he lied to them, his answer was:

“What good would it have done anyway? It’s embarrassing, yadda…”

So I took my children to my best friend’s and moved far away for many years.

Since my middle son started to go through similar as a teen, I have been a HUGE ADVOCATE for getting healthy mentally/mental health screening/therapy. My father never came around and didn’t support this at all until my middle boy moved in with him and he had to go through this himself.

Hiding and making excuses for mentally ill loved ones is DANGEROUS AND LONG LASTING IN IT’S DAMAGE.

I am still crying typing this. I can barely function today.

I hate untreated bipolar. I hate abuse. I hate dementia. I hate living in fear.

If you want to beat someone- become a dominatrix. If you want to be beaten, hire a domme.

DON’T FUCK INNOCENT PEOPLE’S LIVES AND YOUR OWN.

My 2 stories are mild ones in my family. I have more that are far worse.

If anything resonates with you, if you’ve been through the same, I send you hugs.

If you are like this- get FUCKING HELP NOW- YOU *CAN* DO IT. DON’T WAIT TIL IT’S TOO LATE AND YOU’RE 71 YRS OLD AND HALF YOUR FRONTAL LOBE IS GONE.

End of my rant.

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Throw Back Wednesday: Amsterdam Musings and Photos from almost 15 yrs ago1

I lived (off and on) in Amsterdam almost 12-15 years ago and just found these photos somewhere. I rarely discuss this part of my life, as it was kind of a darkly depressing and traumatic time for me… but it wasn’t always. There are always some lovely things that spring from even the darkest moments in life.

The above was my theme song for my time there. I’d sit in the office, work on the computer, and stare out the window at the gray, dreary skies while this played.

I missed my children so much.

The person I lived with was a hand full. Very kind and accommodating, yet neurotic and untrustworthy. I felt like I was simply a person to fill their self-imposed agenda- they had a time limit, a goal before they turned 40 and thought I was it.

I wasn’t.

They also had addiction problems, which I was not equipped to deal with at all. I stayed far longer than I should… but I was this person’s friend, above all, and felt like I needed to. My Aquarian bits cannot stand seeing folks in that sort of pain, even if it pains me. My mother LOVED this person SO much, sometimes I felt there was some kind of karmic debt I had to burn off (yes, I believe in this sort of thing).

I could not and would not be the person they desired. I knew this. I also knew it was reciprocal.

I also knew that it was a pain in the ass witnessing the philandering that went on behind my back at a steady rate. I am NOT a submissive woman and am not okay with that sort of thing.

For those who don’t know what I do for a living, amongst other things, I have been a professional psychic for over 25 years. I have always had a weird and unconventional lifestyle, which has always been a blessing.

I did massive amounts of readings for this person, whose natural outlook tended to be gloom and doom. I even predicted the names and genders of their future children- which delights me now, since they have been born in the interim and are lovely. I saw the person they would end up with- and it came to pass, again, to my absolute joy.

I introduced this person to the stuff I loved, like genealogy and antiques and my general hippie dippy weirdness… they intro’d me to finer living, good food, and the darker side of psychological pain and addiction. They made me feel safe in their chaos and opened my eyes to things I had no knowledge of prior.

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it actually started in London- outside of Hampton Court Castle- I met someone who had been annoying the shit outta me for years

In the end, I realized that I prefer a more sedate and quiet lifestyle. I had no desire, once I tasted it, for anything more than a piece of dirt, a garden, and a boring life.

Their desires were so much grander, which fit them.

I am so happy that this person fulfilled their soul path. I was always worried that they’d hurt themselves before they had the chance to. I honestly think that this person was my child/sibling/parent in past lives. That was the sort of relationship we had at a core level.

Above all, I am so RELIEVED that I did not stay and that they found their love, like I have with R and Maisie. She is glamorous and beautiful and smart. I enjoy her posts on Instagram. Their kids have the names that I SAW and told him about so many years ago and are absolutely gorgeous. It gives me great happiness and peace of mind to know that things worked out as it should have.

This person had such a HOLE in his soul where family should be, way back when. I come from a huge family, so it bothered me that he should feel such a loss and disconnection. I think I filled that place in this person’s being for the short time I was there. I truly believe that our friends ARE family, at least at one time or another, and we have an obligation to give of ourselves when folks need us.

I think this was where all the junkies used to pace

I think this was where all the junkies used to pace

(Which I guess is why I am still close friends with all my exes- you can’t UN-family someone. You can just recycle the relationship and be cool about it. Thank GOD I am triple Aquarius lol)

Life is such a mystery and a blessing. It can be fucking depressing, too, when you’re going through the thick of it.

I have never been able to actually articulate this until now- it’s taken over a dozen years. I am glad I was able to write about this now.

I have probably never been as depressed as I was back then- not before and not since.

I loved taking photos of doorways when I lived in Amsterdam- and architecture

I loved taking photos of doorways when I lived in Amsterdam- and architecture

gray is how I always remember this city, even when the flowers were in bloom

gray is how I always remember this city, even when the flowers were in bloom

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I loved the little streets

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can’t remember what this was

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typical scene

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around the corner from where my fave English breakfast place was

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old architecture and new

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shopping- so early 2000s!

One of my FAVORITE little sandwich/broodje shops in A’dam was Van Dobben:

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I don’t look very happy here

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I loved loved the filet americain

I thought this was hilarious

I thought this was hilarious

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Walking away photos

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yeah, I’m bowlegged