Thursday, September 27, 2018

Being a parent with mental illness *Trigger Warning*

I have been diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), Depression and Generalized Anxiety. Now my CPTSD started when I was about 6 years old and I was molested for the first time. It lasted about 5 years (well I only remember 5 years but my brain has shut a lot of my childhood so it could have been longer) then I had been physically and emotionally abused, sexually assaulted and put in a very dangerous situation where I was pretty confident someone was going to end up murdered.  Now I'm not putting this out there to be like 'pity me for all I have been through give me all the attention'.  As a matter of fact, I absolutely HATE attention and I'm one of the last people who would think that I have done anything special surviving everything I'm the exact opposite really, I was raised to never feel bad about anything I went through or proud of things I have done.  There will always be someone worse of and someone better than me. 

I'm writing this because as I often do I was feeling like an absolute shitty mom this morning. I was fighting with my 2 boys to get them out the door to school and I got angry with my littlest because he decided he needed to lick salt off the counter so he poured it all out of the shakers.  After listening to my oldest call me the worst mom in the world (if only he knew lol) I started looking up stats about how mental illness affects children.  How does a parents mental health affect a child?  I fell down this rabbit hole very fast and I learned A LOT about other peoples opinions such as due to the abuse I suffered I will/should become an abuser as well,  my boys will have severe PTSD themselves because my trauma somehow transferred to them or some crap like that.  Those are just 2 of the ones that made me the angriest.

Now after sitting with the information I read feeling horrible, guilty and like I've ruined my boys for just being here I started looking at the way our family is.  Yes, my boys know that moms brain is broken but I take my pills every night which helps my brain work but my boys also know that they can tell me anything good, bad, ugly, silly, and boring and I will listen to them because they are the most important people in my life.  They know that no matter what they do or say to me I love them from the top of my head to the tips of my toes because my love for them is unconditional.  They also know that I will do what I can and then some to make sure they get any and all help they need.

Being a person with mental health issues is hard enough its an invisible illness that comes with A LOT of stigma. Being a parent with mental illness is tough and complicated because it not only impacts you but also your little people so I say, make sure you are taking care of you, they are taken care of, loved, and be open so if they need to come to you about their mental health they can and will because even with a mental health issue you can still be a bitching parent.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Screw pumpkin spice, hockey season is here

September is slowly coming to an end which means HOCKEY SEASON is about to start. YAY
We love hockey in our family and we get so excited for the start of a new season.  My oldest son B, is a huge hockey fan and he's about to start his 6th year in hockey.  I love watching B play.  I grew up living, breathing and playing hockey and its so awesome to be able to watch him enjoy something that was a huge part of my childhood. This season Bergen is trying out for the B team which is making him a little nervous but excited at the same time.  He did great last season and has come really far as a player and a teammate which makes me so proud and excited to see how he does this season.
Rhys, my 3-year-old, is dying to play too but he has to spend this season sitting out watching his big brother play but to prepare him for next season we are getting him into skating lessons which I'm hoping will keep him happy until next fall when he can finally strap his gear on and join the other kids.
Oliver, my middle boy, 'hates' hockey. He only goes to the arena if he has to and then he will only run around the arena playing tag with his friends and refuses to actually watch his brother play.  However, he will watch a game on tv if it means he gets to have snacks and time with his family.
Now that hockey season is starting I'm going to be even busier on the weekends but its all part of being a hockey mom, which is a title I love.
Is there an activity or sport that you look forward to? Does it take up a lot of your time?  If so tell me about it and how you manage your time to make it possible.

<3 Christal

Friday, September 21, 2018

No School Today

7am and the fighting has started already.   The boys have the day off school today and as much as I love having my boys around I hate the fighting and complaining and tattling. For some reason, they can't exist in one place for more than 10 minutes without fighting each other or finding something that they need to tattle on the other about.

This morning, so far, I have broken up 4 fights over who gets to sit next to Rhys while he watches cartoons, who gets to pick up the cardboard, who gets to play the PS4 and what time I need to take Oliver to the dentist.  I really wish I knew what the hell was going through their heads this morning so I could figure out what they need to stop all this crap but sadly I can't and the only response I get is 'its all (insert brother's name here) fault'. I cant even send them outside because its raining, ugh.

It is going to be a long day!
<3 Christal























Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Whats wrong with leggings and yoga pants anyway?

Over the weekend I somehow came up with the insane idea that I need proper jeans to look more like a 'real mom' or a 'serious adult' so I set a budget for myself of $40 which tells you how delusional I was when this idea popped into my head.

Off I drove to Old Navy and after talking myself out of all the yoga pants and workout capris with the soft fabric and stretchy waistband I sauntered over to the wall of jeans.  Now I'm a size 18 tall which is almost impossible to find online let alone in-store AND trying to stay in my ridiculously low budget so I'm down on my knees rifling through the mountains of size 6, 10, 14.  Only a few sightings of size 18 short or 18 regular but not a single 18 tall until I reach the bitter end I find one lone pair of size 18 tall jeans so I go ahead and look at the price tag to find that it takes about 85% of my budget :(.  After a little pep talk and recalculating (maybe we don't need groceries this week, kids can survive on water, bologna, and crackers right?) I'm back in the game.
I stand up to take a real good look at my new found 'these-have-to-be-good-because-I-don't-fit-in-any other-ones' jeans to find that there are rips and holes in them to make them more 'trendy' UGH. I live in Alberta and the weather is turning cold and I'm about to spend all my free time in an arena, I DO NOT want my clothing to have holes in it.  I will end up freezing my ass off, and my ass finally has the right amount of fat to keep me comfortable in the stands at the arena I'm not ready to lose that, so back in the pile they go.  It's at this moment that I decide that jeans are the devil and leggings and yoga pants are my BFF. 

Besides if yoga pants, messy hair, and a stained shirt don't scream mom, what does?        

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

sometimes my brain breaks

I'm standing in a long hallway, the only source of light is a window covering one wall.  It looks like a beautiful sunny day out but there must be a layer of filth covering the glass because the only light is filtering in gray and dingy.  I feel the motions of moving through the world. I see the things my body passes; a tree, a friend, a flower but their beauty escapes me because I only see shades of dull gray.
As I look out the window I notice my son running to me and giving me a hug that I cannot feel, I am numb. He starts talking to me and somehow I respond even though I don't register a single word he says.
No matter what I try I cannot take control; I remain numb, I cannot speak I cannot get the filth off the window nothing.  The sky remains dull and I cannot feel the warmth of my son's tight hug
I have no idea what triggered it this time but I know it will pass so I keep reminding myself that I am safe and this will end.
I always dread these moments and they are always so hard to recover from but I make it through every time. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

Figuring things out.

Over the weekend I decided to take the time off and not post.  I've been trying to figure out how often I want to post and exactly what I want to post about and just get some sort of predictable order figured out for this blog as I have goals and hopes to make it grow but I also need to make sure that I take proper care of myself and my family so, for now, weekends will be no post days.  I'll be posting again tomorrow :)


<3 Christal

Thursday, September 6, 2018

fighting my depression

Today started out a bit rough.  My depression reared its ugly head and made its presence known this morning as I woke the boys up for school. As usual, O was struggling to get out of bed and that raspy voice in the back of my head decided to take it an tried to convince me that it's my fault he's not waking up.  That was my anxiety, anxiety is a complete and utter bi*ch.  My anxiety takes ANYTHING and makes it something that's my fault; boys not waking up obviously it's my fault because I don't have them on a strict schedule,  the boys don't like supper because I allow them to be picky, the van is running low on gas because I take too many unnecessary drives to the grocery store.  It really doesn't make any sense but that's how my brain works.

Once my anxiety is starts making everything my fault depression gets its cold bony arms around me and holds me tight and I have a hard time getting off my butt.  I did manage to get my boys out the door and off to school but then I plonked myself down in my bed, put a cartoon on for R and fell asleep.  We had a play date this morning so naturally, I wanted to cancel it and wrap myself in a blanket and sleep until I had to get up but I turned up my ringer and had a 20-minute nap.  As soon as my eyes opened I fought the need to just roll over and go back to sleep and went to the washroom.  I made my bed and put on pants.  Putting on pants, to me is like making a commitment to actually finish getting dressed and doing something.  Once I was dressed I made my bed and got ready to go out and meet our friends for a playdate.
Once we go to the park I could tell I won and beat my depression.  Its still there and doesn't go away for long but today I won.  I freed myself from its cold grip and I was able to have a good morning with friends and my baby boy and we even managed to go buy cupcakes at the farmers market for dessert tonight.

<3 Christal

My baby at the park having a blast. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

My TOP 5 ways to avoid losing my sh*t

Its supper time, my boys are fighting and screaming at each other, the smallest one is running around the kitchen yelling 'I POOPED ON THE TOILET' with his bare ass hanging out, a pot is boiling over and I still have 2 more things throw in the oven but I am STRESSED THE HELL OUT.
I've read a lot of blogs that give tips on how to destress and as much as I appreciate them sharing what works for them I don't find them as helpful as I would like so I'm going to share what I do these days.

1.) YELL:  When my littlest gets mad at me he just yells and after a while, I'm ready to go crazy so I've taken to just mimicking him.  I let him go crazy first then I'll just copy him which end with us having a yelling contest and then fits of giggles. WARNING If your child is sensitive to being teased DONT do this, my oldest son never found it funny so we never did it with him.

2.) Scribble: This is a good one.  When I'm angry I need to get the anger out, as a child I took to hitting things however as an adult with children watching I feel like punching things sets a bad example so instead I grab a pen or marker and scribble the hell out of a piece of paper.  Its not easy on them so I only use whatever is cheapest but MY GOD it feels so good plus its an activity I can do with my kids.

3.) Rage Clean: Don't all moms do this? Usually, I get angry and then when I go in our kitchen or my bedroom (the 2 messiest rooms in the house) I just lose it and the family avoids me so I just curse to my self and get the cleaning done which makes me feel much better.

4.)Rip paper: There is something satisfying about just ripping up a piece of paper, the sound relaxes me and it feels great when I write something on it that is making me angry.

5.) Working out: I'm not going to talk about the benefits of exercise, we all know its good for you most of us just don't want to do it.  When I'm about to lose my mind I like to go do a workout or something that works my muscles and makes them sore.  Sore muscles make me feel like I've fought whatever is driving me nuts.  My boyfriend bought me a little punching bag thing that I love beating the hell out of, it gets my anger out and my muscles are sore as hell.

Now I don't know if these would be helpful to anyone else but if they are let me know.  Sometimes the best thing we can do is step outside of the box and try something new.  I know that when it comes to stress, anger, frustration my aggression is what I need to address so I found things that I can funnel my aggression into and this is what has worked for me. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

First day of school

Boys got up and ready for school without killing each other YAY. Now all I have to do is figure out where the hell the time went and how I became old enough to have a middle schooler.
Now for some obligatory proud mommy pics of my middle schooler, my grade 2 boy and my 3-year old that doesn't want to be left out lol.



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Monday, September 3, 2018

My last mental health crisis

~~**~~TRIGGER WARNING~~**~~

I struggle with CPTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), Depression, Anxiety and I am a mom.  These things are difficult enough on their own and when you put them together and you have a heavy situation.

When I gave birth to my smallest boy, R, it was through an emergency c-section and he had a really rough start that involved medical intervention and a NICU stay.  My CPTSD was triggered and caused me to have major struggles for about 2 years.  For the first 2 years of my baby's life, I struggled hard to let him out of my arms or trust anyone else with him.  When he was born I was convinced that I lost my baby so I was terrified to let him go anywhere without me because I was convinced I would lose him.

                                                   Apr. 2015 the first time I held my baby

My fear and depression got so bad that I spent my days sleeping only waking up to stare at my baby boy or make an appearance somewhere for my bigger boys with my mommy mask on pretending that I was totally normal smiling and nodding at all the typical questions a new mom would be asked. There were days where I would barely eat because I was feeling too much and then there were the days I would stuff myself until I wanted to make myself throw up just so I could feel something, These days I still occasionally struggle with these feelings but I have better ways to cope now thank goodness.  I found the journeys out of my bed to be very difficult and stressful. I would usually sleep the rest of the day away after we would get home.  Those days are still foggy as I was either sleeping or acting like nothing was wrong.

My oldest boys didn't seem troubled by the change in my behavior, I still showed up to hockey games and school events, I was still at home for snuggles and chats, I was still present for them I just slept a lot more and I was seeing a therapist and my doctor more as I tried to get a grip on my new reality and trying to find medication that helped me become my true self again. 

                                                                     My baby Jun. 2015

My baby is now 3 and a bit and I'm in a better place so things are still a little fresh and my medication, although well established, is still being tweaked a little.  I am doing much better and I am able to realize the signs when my mental illnesses start to make noises again; when I start to question myself, get frustrated or angry about everything I am able to stop realize what's happening and go use my coping techniques to get a grip of my self, do what I have to do so I have control again and I am able to be the best mom I can be.

                                                      My baby and I today

My mental illness will be a part of my life and there will probably be more dark times but I have to do my best to get a hold of myself and do what I have to do to make it through the darkness and into the sunlight because I have 3 people that need me to be the best person I can be.

<3 Christal

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Pizza and ice cream

Today when I woke up I immediately felt the itch that I had to do something, anything, today so I went to the gym.  I'm not sure whats been going on with my head lately but just the idea of sitting still makes my anxiety start to build. On my way to the gym I started having a mini panic attack, I was able to quickly get control again but it just makes me realize that even though I've come quite far from where I started on this journey and I may start to think that I am standing on top my brain smacks my ass back down a peg and puts me back where it wants me. 

One of the hardest things I've had to learn to accept is that antidepressants, anti-anxieties, and mental illness will be my lifelong companion.  I still try to hold out a little hope that at some point I won't have to take pills before I go to bed just so I can wake up and function as a mom and person. 

When I got to the gym I went right to the weights. I needed to feel my muscles work hard and the sweat drip down my face.  The gym is where I go to feel like me.  I don't have panic attacks or disassociate at the gym I just work hard and hope for sore muscles.  Going to the gym is one of my grounding techniques and on the days where I feel the urge to work out, like this morning I know I need to listen so that's what I did this morning. 
I worked out for about an hour on my arms, which are one of the parts I'm the most unhappy with.  While working my muscles I listened to Eminem, Jay Z, and Drake which are my top 3 artists to listen to while working out. 

I decided that for supper I would try to have one last night of fun with the boys before school and work start back up so I bought the stuff needed to make pizzas and sundaes, it was a huge hit with my boys and Even my baby ate half a small pizza by himself which never happens.  The sprinkles I got for our sundaes were pumpkins and ghosts which were a huge hit.  It was my light of the day and made me feel like maybe I have finally figured out some part of being a mom, which will last until bedtime.

That all leads to now.  I feel satisfied with my day, it been a day with ups and downs but I was able to handle the downs better then I have in the past.  Everyone feels full and loved and now the major fight is known as bedtime is up next but I will enjoy the calmness that is right now.
<3 Christal
 PIZZA
 Happy Hungry Baby
Exhausted At The Gym

 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

2 MORE DAYS!!!!

Only 2 days left then my 2 oldest boys are back in school. The entire summer has been a full ride if fighting, complaining they are bored, don't want to do or go anywhere, more fighting, eating EVERYTHING in the house, complaining that I'm not letting them do what they want and calling everyone names.
I'm excited to have them back out there to their own little social circles where they can enjoy being around other kids that they enjoy being around and only yelling at me between 3:30 and 9:00pm.
IM just so excited I had to share :D

<3Christal