Cruel Summer. But I’m a Survivor.

It’s been a quiet summer in this household. Not much we can do when most of our income is either going to outrageous bills or being saved for a vehicle or, and in complete honesty, cases of beer, just to mentally withstand all that’s happened this summer so far.

We’re struggling to stay on our feet, but we can’t help feeling unstable when the rug is constantly being tugged from underneath us. But I’m keeping my brains about me. Which is hard. But I haven’t had to deal with my depression in the last few weeks and that’s helped.

One trouble with being in Southern California during the heat without a vehicle to accommodate our large family and an air conditioner that only brings the inside temp to around 87 degrees, is that we’re all cranky and trapped together inside. Our yard has gone to hell because my husband cannot physically fix it the way it needs work, and we can’t afford a gardener right now. I won’t do it because I have an enormous fear of spiders and guess what our house has? A HUGE infestation of spiders, especially Black Widows–really, they’re everywhere. I really wanna hire someone to use a pressure washer and clean the under-awning of the lip of the house, all the way around and then have them spray for spiders and Widows. I’ll tell ya, we’d spend a helluva lot more time outside if I didn’t have to worry about them.

Sunday, the whole day, I tackled cleaning the house by myself, while Evelyn watched the baby and only got me when she needed to nurse. I spent 6 hours cleaning the garage…then 3 more hours in it with my mother and brother, sipping beers and wine, hittin’ cigarettes and talking about life. Sure I was only mere steps away from the kids, but the break was much needed. I seriously cannot wait for cooler weather–back to playing outside; riding bikes, skating, using scooters, chalk, whatever. We’re just so tired of being trapped indoors.

I did finally get around to making a schedule. I even printed out multiple copies and stored them around the house…but with a 4 month old baby, I don’t even know why I attempted to schedule a life when she dictates the schedule. She refuses to sleep lately, unless I lay next to her and make sure she’s completely out before I do some ninja-like squirms and slips to sneak out of the room and by that time, I’m so far behind on chores and a writing schedule, I’m not even done with chores before I glance at the clock and see that shit, it’s almost dinner time, I gotta get to cooking before Derrick gets home and I never get the chance to write. I’m not complaining, I choose to breastfeed and so I gotta be at her beck and call and when she becks and calls, I run, otherwise the becking and calling turns into blood-curdling screams.

I just don’t know how J.K. Rowling did it? How in the hell did she find time to write as a single mother of four kids? I have 5 and a husband and all I wanna be able to squeeze into a day for myself is exercise and writing. I have to exercise early in the morning, otherwise it’s too hot later in the day and all the kids are bugging for snacks. I have to write early too, otherwise I can’t concentrate because kids are screaming and fighting all day long. Things will (hopefully) be easier when they go back to school next month. I’ll be here with just the baby and if I can get her to sleep, I’ll have more time to write.

One thing I am proud of: I’ve read and finished like 7 books so far this summer! That’s HUGE for a mom. Now, ask me to write a book report on the books I’ve read and I’d instantly draw a blank–damn mommy brain.

I’ve been raising kids for nearly 14 years and for some reason, I cannot remember how to sleep train a baby…anyone have any ideas? I need this 4 month old to give me some scheduled breaks to get shit done. I don’t mind clustering my chores and running around like a madwoman just to get them done; but I gotta fit some writing and exercise time in there too.

Derrick and I have been experiencing better intimacy too. Nothing sexual, though, sex has happened, finally. But I’ve been able to discuss things better with him and having more intimate conversations with him in regards to anything about the house, my emotions, my requests and other things and I don’t feel like he’s belittling me and hopefully he’s noticed a decrease in my nagging or complaining. I’m trying my hardest to work on my anxieties. And as much as I love my husband, I don’t need him to rescue me, or even attempt to help me or remedy the situation, sometimes I need to just vent to someone who “gets it” without judgment. Thanks to a couple of the books I’ve read this summer I’ve been learning to converse better. I really need to finish Passionate Marriage…I started it. I’m 4 chapters in, but I took a break and read three other books and finished them…but I’ll pick it back up soon. I like what it was teaching me.

Side note: 5 Love Languages is an amazing book and well worth the read. Even Derrick is reading the men’s version and I haven’t had any protest from him, he’s literally genuinely interested in learning my love language–which I think is “Quality Time” and I personally think he’s equally spread between “Words of Affirmation” and “Physical Touch” because as much as I hate (hate) being touched (yuck!) he appreciates a lingering hug, a deeper than a peck kiss and me running my nails through his hair. But I also noticed he appreciated a card I sneaked into his office a week ago that just let him know how proud I am of him and how much I appreciate him and how I am working on me for the benefit of both of us and for our family.

Whatever happens, I’ll figure it out. It’ll be okay, I’m a survivor. I’ve literally survived 100% of my worst days. We’ll get stable. We’ll be on our feet soon. It’ll be okay.

Breaking the Vicious Circle of Guilt

It’s been a few weeks and the atmosphere has drastically changed at home again.

Derrick and I have our fights. And sometimes they can get bad, real bad, especially when one of us has mental illness and the other tries to understand it, but sometimes fails to grasp OUR reality and it just becomes a huge frustrating mess of shit.

But we worked through it.

We talked and we apologized to each other and without invoking too much emotion, we explained where each other was coming from and it’s so useful to be able to reconnect like that, with a sense of calm maturity, especially after having such a strung-out immature fight that ended up with me sleeping on the couch, ignoring him for days and just being irritable AF. It’s hard living with Borderline Personality Disorder, but I have to imagine it’s even harder for Derrick. He doesn’t live with it, he doesn’t understand that we live with our emotions and anxieties always within the extremes. He may be upset, but I’ll be devastated. He may feel hurt, I may think the world is ending. He may be happy, I get elated. He may be frustrated and impatient, I become enraged.

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Fuck the Facade

Postpartum depression.

I hate those words. I hate them because as a mother, I am bombarded with awareness for PPD and blogs and articles written about how to survive it, where to reach out for help, how you should have a support network and all the signs you shouldn’t ignore. But how does one differentiate “motherhood” and the crap that comes with it, and actual postpartum depression? Kids can be a lot of work, whether you’re a SAHM or a working mom, or whatever. And we lose our minds, we lose our shit and we become short and irritable and frustrated, but where’s the line of when too much is too much?

Over the past 5 years, I have worked my ass off trying to learn my triggers and emotions and signs to know when I’m depressed or entering a manic phase. I saw no signs of Postpartum Psychosis when I experienced it in 2012, it just happened. And though my stability has been rocky since 2012, I’ve managed to be somewhat aware of myself, though I’ve had setbacks.

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Alcohol Was Invented by the Gods…for Parents

Today it’s finally clicked for me, why there’s so many memes and posts dedicated to Moms and their love of wine, or alcohol in general.

I am tired. I am chronically bitchy and irritable and stuck within 4 walls with 5 kids. Their personalities are as wildly varied as their ages; from newborn to teenager and I don’t know how to parent each of them individually. You’d think, after being a mother for nearly 14 years, I’d be a veteran, I’d have this shit pat down.

Sure, being a SAHM is one of the toughest jobs a parent can have, and true, it can be rewarding, but at the same time it can be psychologically damaging. The constant arguing, bribing, negotiating, demanding…and that’s all AFTER the civil conversations. My issues vary amongst the kiddos too; one refuses to do her chores correctly or just doesn’t do them, another half-asses them and I have to go ’round and clean up what they supposedly cleaned and the other 2 just refuse to do their ACTUAL chores in favor of doing the easy things that’ll earn them points on their chore chart. My oldest is lazy, which, I wish if I were as lazy as her, I wish I could be as thin as her. My son, though he is INCREDIBLY helpful and always asking me if I need anything; has a habit of forgetting to do things, things that are specifically spelled out in his chore folder. Then the little girls; they throw each other under the bus for playing rather than cleaning and they get distracted by EVERYTHING.

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Is Love a Priority?

Priorities.

How do we get these right? Do we ever get them correct? And how do we prioritize; as a woman? As a wife? As a mom? A human being? Which is the correct one and if we must do them all, which of the priorities is the priority?

I’d like to say I wake up every morning, grab my coffee and prioritize the day in my head or on paper. But I don’t I usually have a laundry list, a to do list, an events calendar and a running calendar, as well as an agenda constantly looping through my mind.

Before I met Derrick; I was always a Type A personality. I believed in order, organization and had a plan, well, many plans.

I wanted to finish school, graduate, join the Air Force and go to college and somewhere after that I prioritized marriage and kids mixed in with a fantastic career that utilized both my smarts and my Type A personality.

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My Dad Walked Away, Why Can’t I?

I’ve been surviving on fumes the last few days and it’s getting frustrating and I’m building a resentment. I’m worried about my mental health and it seems like no one cares, so I’m wondering why I should. I haven’t taken any of my medications for the last week and if anyone’s noticed, no one is saying anything. And this is where the resentment is building. My husband just worked the last 16 out of 24 hours and he is now in bed, sleeping, at 1pm, after arriving home at around 10am.

And lucky me, I just got a 90 minute break while writing because Ivy decided to scream from her MamaRoo and I had to stop and feed her again, even though she just nursed 45 minutes before. And of course Derrick gets up and I’m torn between guilt because I want him to sleep and resentment because of course he wants to sweep in and be the hero, suddenly, when I’ve been tired for days–but Ivy wants me, or she wanted my breasts at least.

But at least when I was done nursing her I could put her down and go eat. But even eating is pissing me off lately. I’ve gained 12 pounds in the last month and I don’t know what to do about it. I work the hardest in this house to have the best and healthiest diet; vegetables, fruit, lean meats, nuts, seeds, non-dairy products, whatever I can eat to help with my supply AND be healthy for not just Ivy, but me too. And yet, I’m gaining weight. And fucking Derrick doesn’t even have to try and he still looks like he’s barely 20 and never had a kid. I look like I’m a tired obese, 45 year old woman, who’s definitely birthed a half dozen or more kids. And I’m fucking tired, but it doesn’t matter.

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Momming; it’s not for the faint of heart

 

Parenting while living with Borderline Personality Disorder is probably the hardest thing I’ve done in my life; more so than labour & delivery, seriously. No one warns you and tells you just how heartbreaking and paranoia-inducing BPD is while you’re a parent. Most people think of bratty teenagers who scream threats of suicide and self harm are the faces of BPD. They are, but they’re one of MANY faces of it. My face is another; a lonely, desperate-for-attention, desperate-for-a-friend, mother of 5, who’s been married to her best friend for 14 years.

And it’s so much more than the anxieties of being judged by other parents, because that’s the normal anxiety a first-time and maybe even a second-time mother experiences at the park or even the preschool, where the better-than-you0in-every-possible-way mommies, stand there are judge you and don’t offer an opening to the conversation for your opinion. What I’m talking about is being a 5th time mom; who had only 5 immediate family members and no friends show up to her baby shower, so the paranoia kicks in. I’m talking about being the mom who has more than 3 kids in the same school and not one person knows who you are, despite having paid for PTA fees, volunteering and bringing in the goods (cupcakes) for the kids to share since it’s your little one’s birthday. I’m talking about scrolling through social media; being jealous of these amazing (on screen) mothers, who seem to have it all together and #humblebrag about their awesome #momtribe and we’re sitting over here like; “I’ll take ONE friend who gets me–I don’t NEED a tribe.” It’s the moms like me with such a loving openness of acceptance because we’ve been so lonely for the longest time, that we “stand up for the little guys” in hopes that someone will witness our advocacy and WANT to befriend us. But that hope fizzles out way too quick.

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