This has been a hard couple of months for me personally. I have gone through experiences I NEVER thought I would have to go through. I have had my life under a microscope, my world torn apart and put back together. I walked away from people I considered to be close family friends as a result of events that transpired. I have been battling both my PTSD and a decent bout of depression (caused by the seasonal weather change and my PTSD).
I went on vacation with 2 of my kids and my Mother In Law. To say the vacation was less than stellar is an understatement. We tried to take each thing in stride via a mixture of laughter and tears.
We started with a different umbrella homeschool. This one gives me the ability to teach my children in a way that works for them. It is a big change and took them and myself quite a while to adjust to it all. We were used to doing what is called a boxed curriculum. Meaning the company sent us a box with everything we were supposed to do and all the contents for entire school year.
Someone had the brilliant idea to take on moving several rooms around in home the same day we came home from the beach. It was not my idea, but, I got out voted. Hubby moved into our storage unit (AKA basement). Our “classroom” moved into his office area. All the things in the “storage unit” that needed to find a new home and quickly took up residence in my library. Needless to say, this threw my entire family into chaos for a couple of weeks while we finished it all. While I am glad we did this, it was just a lot of work that I was not exactly prepared to tackle at that moment.
Some other things happened in September to my myself and my family that I am choosing not to share with you all for many reasons. I will tell you that it tested me in more ways than I would have EVER thought possible. I learned many life lessons from it all and grew in ways that I did not know I needed too.
October / November
We were still going through some things and spent most of the month of October trying to get our lives back in order and our routines back to some version of normalcy.
My youngest daughter was also diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder. Although I knew she was on the spectrum since she was about 6 months old, my family had to digest the news. They spent years telling me it was all in my head etc. They had to come to terms with what the diagnosis meant for Reine and the realizations for what her future might hold. Especially my husband. He lived in the land of denial for awhile. It also meant a lot of apologies were given to me. I had to make attempts to restructure most of our daily lives, research and discover new ways to parent Reine. AKA dive head first into research. This began the long waiting list game for appointments with more specialists for yet more diagnosing and treatment recommendations. Not to mention going head to head with insurance companies for what was covered and what was not. We have been putting any extra money we have into her therapy, needs, and medical bills.
November / December
I became more of an intrical part of a PTSD organization that I LOVED and had been apart of for the past year +. I was told many things and new visions for the future were being laid out before me. I was supposed to be a very important part of everything. An equal to the founder of the organization. I was SO excited at the prospects of it all. I was embracing my role and feeling like I had found my calling. However, after several weeks, it became abundantly clear that I was no longer a good fit for the “new direction” the organization was going in. My role was not what I was told it would be. I was definitely not an equal with the founder. If anything, I was the opposite of that. I decided it was in my best interest to walk away from the organization, cutting all ties with not only it, but anyone associated with it. It was a VERY difficult decision for me to make and not one I did lightly. To cut ties and to walk away from something I was so passionate about and had begun to pour my heart and soul into was not easy.
My son’s anniversary this year hit me harder than it has in the past couple of years. I am not exactly sure why. Maybe it was everything we had going on at the time. I felt myself begin to slide into a depression that was cozy, warm, and has been very hard to come out of. With money beyond tight, my last therapy appointment was in August and everything myself and family had been through, it was not a big surprise to me that the depression settled and wrapped me in it’s embrace. Just not exactly what I needed, but then again, when is it?
January / February
Depression, snow, no counseling….Left me with my PTSD flaring and me wanting to hide from the germs of the outside world. This year there has been a LOT of germs! As many of you know, germs and I are NOT besties. It has been especially hard on me in stores, at events, Reine’s diagnosing appointments, etc to hear others around me passing their love to those around them, etc. Lots of coughing, sneezing, and posts on Facebook about so and so being sick. Articles on newsgroups, in magazines, and on the radio made me step away from it all. Family texting me or telling me in phone conversations about how sick they presently were. It was all too much on the PTSD. It began to manifest itself into new shapes and forms. It has made me second guess myself and my actions many, many times.
Simply Reine was born in January. It has given me a way to become a voice for my daughter. I am able to blog about what we have tried that has worked for us and backfired on us. We were gifted with 4 amazing tickets to take Reine to Disney On Ice. This was HUGE for me as well as Reine. I usually do not venture out any more than is absolutely necessary from fall to spring. We did it though.
March / Present
I am working my way through spring. I am trying to begin to emerge from the depression that has attempted to take over my life while dealing with my PTSD. Without counseling, this is one of the hardest things I have had to do in a very long time. Missing my therapist would be an understatement. At times, it has been almost crippling.
I have chosen to NOT go on any form of meds. I know that some think this is a stupid idea, although they do not exactly put it in those words, but they have told me their feelings on it more than once. I know that they mean well, but the decision is not one that I have taken lightly. I will defend my reasons not to use meds over and over again. I know my body and what it does with meds and how it works, better than anyone else ever could. For me, meds would be a bandaid for the depression and PTSD. The reasons for it all would still be there. Nothing would be resolved. I would be left with the side effects and in a drug haze. That to me is no better than what I am going through right now.
I also made the VERY hard choice to take some time away from blogging and almost all forms of social media. This has included texting, emails, my pages, groups, and even my friends and family. I attempted to cocoon myself because it was too much for me to deal with everything all at once. On FB all I saw was how sick everyone was. I got tired of hitting ” I do not want to see this post” over and over again. It is EVERYWHERE. Even Instagram was not safe for me.
I also experienced writers block. Man does that suck when writing is normally so therapeutic for you. I could not express all the emotions I had stored away in my soul. They were and still are trapped.
I just did ROAR FOR AUTISM at the end of April. Reine and Cy played with other kids, touched things other kids touched, and had an amazing time. We went to the Gold Cup Horse Races in Virginia and this week I took them to the movies and to the park. Reine had a playdate with a neighbor’s grandson. He was just getting over a cold and has some serious allergies like 1/2 the population does. Myself included right now.
Although my family has enjoyed every single event we have done recently, it has taken it’s toll on me. I have been left in a not so great place. I have done my best to hide it from those around me. I have fought to keep myself together and to feel as whole as possible.
The glue that has held me together all this time unraveled not long ago. I had been able to envision my counselor since August, sitting beside me on her couch guiding me through my EMDR sessions. I have been able to hear her voice, see her movements, doing a visualization and feeling the relief of the “sessions”. Even if they were only in my mind. This is how I have made it through the winter. Then it all stopped. I can no longer see her, hear her, do the visualization, any of it. There is no longer relief from my PTSD. That has been the hardest part of it all. I can not feel that relief. That pause of my heightened senses. My fight, flight, freeze responses are now on 24/7. I am left to feel helpless more than I want to admit. I am not sleeping well, I am triggered constantly by my PTSD. It is like it is alive and it knows that I am at it’s mercy. I am trying as hard as I can to get to where I need to be to see my therapist again. I have never taken her for granted. Just life has created obstacles that have stopped me from seeing her.