I got my miracle, husband is coming to therapy to try to understand my disorder, his idea!

Well it has been a hard year, month, and week!

My husband has decided to get more involved in my mental health and is coming to therapy Saturday to find out how he can support me better.

It has been ten years of me dealing with this on my own so it’s kind of weird to have him involved!

Actually told him about this blog I’ve maintained since 2013.

Now the hard part is my therapist wants me to come up with some expectations for therapy. I asked my daughter to help which I am sure she will, cuz I really don’t know what exactly I need from him.

But for starters he is taking over the finances! Wow! That’s awesome! Cuz I’ve really made a mess of things.

I haven’t been in a good place since quitting my job so we shall see.

He and my daughter are even going to go to a support group for loved ones with a mental disorder. Wow!

God does not disappoint!

I really thought my marriage was over but I learned being away from him go three days that I really need his support and that I don’t want to be on my own anymore dealing with things by myself all the time!

Thank you God for answering my prayers for my marriage to survive! Best to all of you!

Pax

Victoria

Can my marriage survive?

Dear readers

I have made the hefty decision to leave my husband-

Saw my psychiatrist yesterday and he agreed it might be a wise move since I am so terribly unhappy and my husband didn’t even ask how the appointment went…

Much to think about but started the separation of our money yesterday.

Praying to God of the universe and St Joseph for a miracle otherwise I am out of here after my college son has finals in two weeks.

I see my therapist today, much to process but this is what I need from him to stay in this marriage-

To see a doctor for his untreated sleep apnea as he is tired and irritable all the time due to interrupted sleep

To try to understand my disorder and why I can’t work

To take a look at our debt and help me out with it

To do things together besides sex and eating out

To stop drinking so much

To be less critical of me And try to understand that my disorder causes me to have lack of motivation much of the time

These are the basics but the nutshell of why I am so unhappy.

I have seen miracles before when I ask for the intercession of St Joseph in a novena so really hope he comes through otherwise it’s over after almost 27 years of marriage!!!

We shall see! Kids know nothing of my decision so please pray to God with me!!!

Bless you all!

Pax

Victoria

Marriage and Schizoaffective Disorder

Dear readers,

My husband knows very little about my disorder and that is an understatement.  He doesn’t even believe in mental illness which is a part of his culture and upbringing.  This is unfortunate at some levels because he doesn’t understand why I do some of the things that I do, from lack of interest in life to side effects of medications.

But he is committed to me, as am I to him, and some how we seem to have made it work for almost 27 years now, with the past ten being diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder.

The good news is that the positive symptoms (hearing voices and seeing things that aren’t there) are gone, but the negative symptoms are where we often don’t see eye to eye.

He is off work this week and next and yesterday we had an argument (we never argue anymore hardly) and in front of our adult children he criticized me for not doing much. I actually had, just not when he was around, and I fought back defending myself for once and my adult daughter interrupted us and made me go outside to the car (we were on our way out anyway) to take a break.

We went to dinner at my sister’s and I was so angry the whole time but I got to play with a grandnephew so that was cool and the food and people were family so it was a good time.  But it made me realize what an opinionated person he can be as he was describing a work situation (he and my sister are in the same business, flooring).  Maybe it was because I was angry with him but I just really didn’t care for his racial slurs and lack of sympathy for one culture in particular.

We left and didn’t speak and he went outside to his garage or estate as he calls it (it holds 8 cars, wait now ten as he raised the roof last week).  He was with a friend and drinking his beer and I was inside still steaming.  I sent him a text saying “things are not good with us, I am very angry with you”.  And then I turned off my phone and went and took a bath, praying to get over it but I was just so angry as I actually had a very productive day.  I have been making lists and crossing off all I accomplish and I had quite the list with things crossed off that I was proud of because since my relapse, which he knows little if anything about, I have not been as productive as I was as yesterday.

I took my bath and after he came in acting as if everything was ok.  Well to be honest I was looking up apartments to rent online.  I knew I  was overreacting, so I finally checked my phone and he responded that he was sorry which is huge for him.  Well I didn’t email any rentals and took some space sleeping in the guest room and when he woke up late (I woke up at 7), I brought him coffee and we talked a little and he actually said I was acting weird.  He didn’t elaborate but it hurt and then today he has been outside all day working in his estate with lots of beer and friends coming by.

I don’t know what the point of this blog is.  We have made it through so much but there is so much he doesn’t know about me and I really wish I could talk to him as I share on here my ups and downs, but I know for a fact that he just wouldn’t get it, just be more confused.

He has pushed me to work our whole married life together but now that I am finally on permanent disability he seems to be content with me just receiving my monthly check and helping with some of his work and car paperwork, keep up the house and maybe one day soon I will get back to gardening.

The truth is I am not sure I want to stay married to him like this.  He admitted to me that he is an auto-alcoholic and we don’t have much in common really, except sex when it happens and eating which I need to stop indulging. Might suggest therapy to him but we did that once and although it helped us stay together, I didn’t enjoy it because the therapist took his side for the most part but helped us to get along better so that was a good thing.  We don’t fight because I just go along with him and try to please him, but I do hide things from him.  It is my survival mode but what kind of marriage is that?

We’ll see what this week brings with him being off.

Today was an ok day, resting and relaxing because it’s Sunday but didn’t go anywhere even to see my dad, because lately that just makes me sad.

I see my pdoc tomorrow and then my therapist on Tuesday so looking forward to processing some of this stuff with them as that really does help!

Have a great week!

Pax

Victoria

Some days are just going to be hard, others easy…

Dear readers,

To me it isn’t about mindset, it’s mental state and there is a subtle difference.

Yesterday was hard and I have an idea why, but I got through it and at the end of the day it was a good day.  Skipped dessert at Thanksgiving and glad for that because sugar does not help me when I am struggling.

Today has been a more productive day because I was forced to get up and get going and I have accomplished much but why is it I only feel good about myself when I get things done? Probably because the days I don’t get much done are days when my mental state is not good and when I am forced by situations things seem to go much better.

I can have the mindset that I’m going to be productive that day but lay around in my jammies and sit at the computer and just veg.  That is not healthy and does not do good for my overall mental health.

Yesterday, I took a nap at 11, probably because I ate like crap the night before and also in the am.  When I eat like crap, I feel like crap and I gain more weight.  I am the heaviest right now than I have ever been except when I was pregnant but have no motivation to do anything about it.  So I should learn from this but my medicine, as it has been explained to me, causes me to crave unhealthy food, but when I get in the right pattern of eating more fruits and veggies, protein, less sugar and fiber I feel great.  It’s the getting there that is hard, to care…

What we feed our bodies and souls has a great effect on our mental state.  I am on the way to the store right now and plan to load up with healthy food I can cook at home and oh yeah for some brownie mix my son requested.  I know I’ll eat some but if I eat the healthy stuff first, I won’t feel terrible.

The same is true for what I feed my brain in the way of reading uplifting books, blogs and articles.  It is one of the reasons why I stay off Facebook because there isn’t much mental stimulation on there although I have found one group on psychology, sociology, philosophy and religion that sometimes has stimulating conversation.

The main thing about having this disorder is that I keep myself engaged with what I love, to learn, read and write.  Today I wrote my first of three articles on sociology of the family that my daughter is going to edit.  It was the first time I have been able to write since my relapse of schizophrenia.  I think it is pretty good but my daughter I know will be honest with me without hurting my feelings.  I just want to share everything I have learned about raising children pre-diagnosis and post.  I have made many mistakes and in hindsight it is all clear but I’m human and nobody said it would be easy or this hard…

Pax

Victoria

The other side…

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers!

Great news!  After much prayer and seeing my therapist yesterday which was amazing, my mom and I made up.  I called her to ask her if we could just not talk about my schizophrenia and she agreed and said she was going to call me.

She invited me to go visit my dad at his care facility today to celebrate thanksgiving.  I am so happy I still have her in my life.

So often we don’t know what will happen.  People are taken and I sometimes let go of people in my life but it seems to be God’s good will that we are to still be together and for that I am so grateful.

I did let her know that I am fine, doing much better now, have my doctor and therapist so I don’t need her help in regards to my schizophrenia.  She accepted this and now that I am not going to work other than research and writing I don’t have to worry about having another relapse.

I am on the other side now of this relapse and feeling stronger and happier again!

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Pax

Victoria

Love can be hard sometimes…

Dear readers,

After my last blog over my victory for speaking up for myself to my mother who stigmatizes me, I began to feel real sympathy for my mom who is such a sad and depressed woman.

I used to bring her food and go on walks and different places with her until I couldn’t.

She adopted me with my dad and for that I will ever be grateful for the life that she gave me.  She did the best she could with what she was given and she tries to be there for me in her own critical way.

This blog is a prayer for my mom to really look up stigmatization and try to understand this disorder better.  It must be really hard for her as I am the person she is closest to, but I haven’t been able to be there for her for a while and when I was she heavily criticized me so much I had to stop.

My therapist asked me today what would happen if I didn’t call her, if I just let go of her even if that meant she cut me off from my inheritance.  Well, I don’t care about my inheritance.  I just want my mom.  My answer was that I don’t know.

Isn’t that what we all want?  To have our parents at their best when they made us feel good and proud of our accomplishments and to be loved in return or rather for us to love them in return?  She just hurts me so badly sometimes that I just don’t know how to be a part of her life without me getting hurt.

She has alienated everyone else from her life and although my sister has stepped in to help her since I have been working and now my relapse, my mom can’t share with her the way she shares with me and will never forgive my sister for invading her private financial documents when she and my dad were on vacation over ten years ago.

My mom can’t let things go, speaks her mind without a filter and seems only to be happy when she is making everyone around her as miserable as she is.  But she has feelings I know because she has shared many great moments with me when she was happy once and I always listen to her stories even though I have heard them a thousand times but I enjoy when she is telling me her stories.  Probably because when she is telling stories she isn’t criticizing all that is wrong in her life or mine for that matter.  She is a great story teller and I love it when she even gets more in depth and tells me new details as she is really great at capturing the nuances of the stories she is telling me.

My favorite one is about our German Shepherd dog we had growing up named Brutus and how a little boy once hugged him  to his mother’s dismay and fear, but Brutus let him…He was a great and gentle dog…

Oh, God, my heart breaks for my mom, whose husband of 55 years (my dad), is living in a care facility paralyzed from two strokes two years ago and how hard it is on her to be alone now and no longer have my dad to rely on even though they fought all the time, but thankfully she doesn’t remember all the fighting, no she remembers the good times and it is such a great loss to her.  I can only try to imagine how she must feel.  And now she is losing me.  But God is a healer and I pray he will heal our relationship because I really want to be there for her again, maybe not in the same way where I am care giving but to just be her daughter again.

I send this prayer up to heaven…

Pax,

Victoria

Stigmatization to its fullest… and victory speaking up for myself at last!

Dear readers,

So I did it!  I confronted my mom on stigmatizing me. and I am finally clear and am immediately blogging about it.

Just to give a little background in case this is the first time visiting my blog, and if you are new feel free to skip this part…

I began a new job this year teaching sociology 101 after being off work for over a year.  I earned my bachelor’s in sociology and master’s in psychology (2012) post diagnosis from schizoaffective disorder (diagnosed in 2008). I tried working in the mental health field and lasted at two jobs for five years successfully until stress from each job led me to quitting the mental health field forever.  I am receiving permanent disability and teaching was such low pay it did not affect my benefits.

So when I decided to try to teach I decided I wanted to teach sociology rather than psychology and a job came available and was wonderful until once again stress to a great degree (two students verbally assaulting each other while I stepped out with no precursor for this altercation).  The school dealt with it poorly so I resigned, another failure, but in a way a great success because teaching sociology reignited my passion for this subject and I know now I am going to do research and write about it as there is so much that interests me!  Maybe even one day when I can actually pay for it I can become a sociologist!

Well, I was fine up until this altercation but after about two weeks during which I didn’t speak much to my mom, as she stresses me out too, I had a relapse of the schizophrenia.  During the last two months I did a few things she did not agree with but she is the only one who disagreed with these decisions.  The rest of my family understood and didn’t blame it on my schizophrenia.

Well, the other day, after not talking to her for over a week I let her know that I had had a relapse of my schizophrenia and finally told her I resigned my job and she immediately says oh my I knew it, there were so many red flags.  I shut her down and didn’t listen to her because I hadn’t even been talking to her so I knew she was off and just going to stigmatize me.

Today I had a great session with my new therapist which I will blog about later but basically she is connecting my past with my present and doing a fine job asking me relevant questions and even normalizing some of my delusions.  So I was supposed to meet my mom for church on Sunday but I was involved with family and not feeling up to it but I didn’t even call her which was wrong of me but after this session today I felt up to talking to her so I called her about 15 minutes ago to apologize and let her know that I am just not up to church and although I would never tell her I don’t want to  even spend time with her right now.

So I called her and apologized and immediately she starts telling me that she has been researching schizophrenia and that some of the symptoms are poor judgement and once again she says there were red flags.  So I had decided I would let her tell me what red flags she was talking about and of course it was those two decisions that she disagreed with which were prior to the altercation, way before my relapse back into a somewhat psychotic state.

I interrupted her kindly but somewhat forcefully and told her what I just wrote and told her to look up stigmatization because she stigmatizes me when she doesn’t agree with my decisions, where other people agree with them, even my husband.  I told her that my daughter, husband and my close friends don’t stigmatize me but that she does.  Then I told her I loved her and that I was going to hang up.  She said she loved me too and that she would look it up.

It was stressful but I feel empowered.  She may still stigmatize me but it hurts and so I am going to take a hot bath and relax and try to think about something else.  Kind of sorry I had a late cup of java ha ha.  as I just want to go to bed but it is what it is.

So to all you loved ones you may not be like my mom and stigmatize the way she does but please remember we are people first and foremost and sometimes we are going to make decisions that you don’t agree with.  This does not mean it is our schizophrenia returning!!!!!  Love, them, know you may never understand them fully and let them make mistakes but don’t blame everything that goes wrong on the schizophrenia please.

There I am done.  Long day for sure.  Things are not always easy having this disorder but I feel like I am coming out of the fog and returning to myself which feels great.  Not ready to do heavy research or writing yet but who knows what tomorrow will bring with a new day and a good night’s sleep!

God bless you all!

Pax

Victoria

Stuck!

Dear readers,

My thoughts are all over the board today but I want to talk about something that is very hard to talk about, what stigmatization means to me.

One recent reader commented that it is a fine balancing act and that is definitely the case.  In many instances it is true and I don’t ever think it will be an easy thing for sure.

I went to see an intense movie by myself yesterday which brought up some familiar feelings for me after the movie.  I wanted to run away…

To go where no one else knows me and start over.  I had these same feelings when I was a teenager and acted upon them, going to New York to live on the streets and hang out with other punk rockers in a squat until a friend of mine, Carrie a 14 year old runaway from New Jersey, died in a fire in the squat which was arson from a rival gang.  I was supposed to meet her to do our hair the day before the fire and flaked, and I blame myself for her death, that if we would have met that day we had plans she might not have been getting high and been able to escape her death.  I dedicate this blog to her today.  May she rest in peace.  She was just so young and lost.  It caused such distress that I decided to go home and my parents bought me a plane ticket and I went back home with my tail tucked between my legs and went into rehab where I got clean and found my higher power.

Yesterday was scary to me as I have never felt that way before about my current life and my mother has always said since my diagnosis that it was a red flag for the beginnings of schizophrenia.

Fast forward till I was 36 and I received schizophrenia to a much fuller degree and wow how my life did change before I was diagnosed.  Now my mother blames every decision I make that she doesn’t agree with on the schizophrenia and I just can’t hear it from her or anyone really.

This is the part where i am very confused.  I am starting with a new therapist and will definitely be discussing that feeling I had yesterday which I just wanted to run away.  My life right now with my daughter who has been my main emotional support is very precarious and difficult.  She never stigmatizes me but just can’t be my emotional caregiver anymore which makes it hard to live with her because here I sit with all these feelings of confusion and she has no idea how her moodiness affects me.  I keep having the thought that she should live somewhere else but I could never do that to her, at least I think.  We are supposed to go to lunch today and hang out but I don’t know if she is going because she doesn’t want to tell me no or if she sees no problem with our relationship.

Now my mom on the other hand is more defined.  I know she can’t help me with my disorder where my daughter can but I’m not letting her in right now and she seems to be fine with that.  But my mom just always says things in a way that make me feel like I am very ill.  She is being very nice to me right now but that is because i am in the middle of a psychotic break but can’t see my pdoc until the 26th of November.

Ah, the suffering I feel right now is immense.  Don’t have my daughter, don’t have my mom and tomorrow seems like so far away which is my next appointment with my new therapist and then forever until I see my pdoc.

I tried reading last night, my sociology book, which took my mind off of things like the movie did.  But I just feel like I am barely hanging on and have actually had some thoughts again of passive suicide, but I know I could never do that to my kids or husband and family.

I am not giving up but these things take time and I feel like I have no one to talk to except my dear friend Julia who is a constant support and friend.  But I feel so bad that I need so much help right now.

In the past my daughter has always said she wants to know how I am doing but it feels like right now I need to just let her be.  I secretly hope we won’t go to lunch as I don’t want to let her know how I am doing as she is so fragile right now herself.

Oh, God, who made heaven and earth.  please help me to know what to do right now as I am so lost and confused and stuck.

Here’s to better days ahead.  I wait upon God to fix things.

Pax

Victoria

My current ramblings and note to caregivers…

Dear readers,

I pray for all of you! and me too…

Well, God has not seemed to have answered my prayers to be relieved of this dastard disorder, but my child came to me a few days ago and expressed his desire to return to our psychiatrist which is amazing news.  He did it under the pretense ( I think ) that he wants to get back on his ADD medicine but I am going to let our psychiatrist know that he has been seeing things and having paranoia because I don’t think my child has the insight into his disorder as I have and hopefully our psychiatrist will be able to do some screening and get him the help that he needs.

I am med compliant, faithfully taking my meds every day no matter how I feel and while right now I know I am not at my best I know the med increase is working because I am able to get things done to a light degree where last week I was unable to do anything except sit at my computer, which I still do  but now I am able to do more.

Saw my new therapist on Friday and have hopes she will walk with me through my childhood issues and help me to be less sensitive to everything.  It’s funny but not only am I sensitive to emotional happenings but I am also sensitive to pain and physical sensations.  Funny how God made me!  One therapist saw my sensitivity as a strength which held my family together but to the great degree that I allow people and situations get to me I see it more as a handicap rather than a strength.

I am afraid to say things to my daughter as our roles are reversed and i become more of her mother than her being my emotional caregiver.  I don’t start out going to her anymore when I am hurting but rather she is the last person I rely on which she appears to be ok with.

It is just so hard right now with her living at home again and we are really struggling with our relationship, at least I am.  I have hopes that therapy will help us both in the long run but she is such a giver and when she isn’t giving I just don’t have that same appreciation for her like I used to.  I guess one could say she has fallen off the pedestal I put her on and now it is just mother daughter stuff which she isn’t accepting.

Feeling uninspired these days, unmotivated to lose weight or exercise much although I do go for walks on good days.

I feel like this blog is just a bunch of rambling but these are my thoughts for the moment and it is what it is.  But I recognize that articulating my thoughts right now is difficult but trying my best.

Lastly, to those of you who are caregivers be careful in how you approach your loved one  to never stigmatize them.  My mother does this to me and really doesn’t understand mental disorders at all.  No matter what she says it hurts and I really have limited my time with her because of it.  She brought up the other day that she had seen red flags for this last relapse but I haven’t even been talking to her so I can’t imagine what red flags she is talking about.  I stopped her in her tracks and didn’t allow her to say what they were because I know I will just become paranoid and get mad at her for stigmatizing me.  Questioning my decisions is one thing she does that drives me crazy!  So if you are a caregiver, take the time to learn about how stigmatization occurs and don’t do it because trust me it really hurts.

Here is to hopefully a good day!

Pax

Victoria

 

Thank you!

A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul.”
— St. Therese of Lisieux
Dear readers,
You did not disappoint!  I was hurting tremendously and asked for some interaction and received not only one but two comments which greatly put fresh life in my despondent soul.
So often I see that you readers are viewing my blogs but when it is quiet I have no idea the impact my blogs have and I am human and suppose I need to know that I am not writing for just me if that makes sense.
I have gone through so much lately as have many of you I know but I feel I am getting stronger every day although my mind is still confused from the stress of trying to work again.  I have decided that I am not going down that road again because relapsing and letting down others when I quit the most amazing jobs is too much to bear.
But I have some good news!
My husband is being supportive in his way although he has nary a clue as to how much I suffer because of my disorder~
Reality is subjective for me at times but I look at signs in my life that I am recovering once again.
Here are some of the signs:
I was sleeping in the guest room for about a month but now am back to sleeping with my husband again which makes me feel great about my marriage and I like being with him at night.  Even though he doesn’t understand it all he gives me comfort by his presence especially when he is not being critical.  He never said a word about my leaving this past job but the past two nights I have helped him with his paperwork and for that he is greatly relieved.  It is tedious work but at least I feel productive in helping him.  I just turn on my tunes and work away, interacting with him along the way which is an hour or two.  We don’t have much in common so I am always looking for new ways we can spend time together even if it is work which profits the budget too.
I’ve developed a much better sleeping schedule, going to bed with my husband and waking up when he wakes up which is what he has been asking for in not so demanding terms.
Every day usually at night, I take a hot bath and relax after for about an hour.  This recharges me and brings me much peace.
I am cooking healthy most days but still do eat out which has added some pounds but working on this one.  At least I am not indulging in sugar all the time like last week.
I made it to the gym yesterday, first time in a while.
I spend a lot of time with my pups (ok they’re actually 6 but will always be pups to me).  I love them especially Butter and she returns the love as animals often do!
I use my essential oils to help me relieve my anxiety, mainly Lavender but Bergamot too.  Bought a diffuser and it helps relieve stress.
I spend time with a dear friend frequently so my social life although limited is at least somewhat there.  We walk, talk and drink coffee and often her dog is with us who is awesome!  Toby loves me too and brings me much joy.
Areas I would like to see improvement are:
I would like to be motivated again to work in the gardens.  All my flowers died recently and I have seeds and plans to get some flowers going and keep it up.
I would like to get back to my AA meetings but right now I am sober for 8 months now and have no desire to drink or smoke pot but the meetings right now are just a bit much…
I would like to clean my own house, right now my daughter does it which is fine because she doesn’t pay rent but I have really neglected simple chores like emptying my trash can in my room.  It is such a simple thing but I just can’t get  to doing it right now.
Also would like to return to confession and church but baby steps.
It is good to make lists to see how far I have come, now going to try to work on them one at a time.  Of course would like to do my sociological research papers but right now my brain can’t even wrap around them.
I know i must be gentle with myself especially right now but God has given me so much desire to do more than I am doing right now…
I see my new therapist this evening and have hopes to form a lasting therapist relationship.  Good news is that it is in my town so won’t have to travel far and cost is modest.
Well that’s enough for one post don’t you think?
As usual,
Pax
Victoria