I don’t know if I can do this again… also PTSD triggers.

I will start with the triggers part of this post because it lends itself nicely to the first half of the title. A couple weeks back in DBT group we were asked to write down our triggers, I had a hard time because my triggers are usually internal- my perception that someone is mad at me, answering a question wrong etc.  I couldn’t think of a trigger that someone else could cause.  What I mean to say is I didn’t think there were any topics that were “sensitive”- until today.

I have been locking horns with the special education department in my son’s school over their non-compliance in regards to two specific areas of his IEP.  They are small “things” but they could mean the difference between success and failure for him.  I emailed the director and his case manager a couple weeks ago and voiced my concerns.  The director told the CM to set up an IEP meeting so that we can discuss this. I sorta avoided thinking about it until today.  The meeting date still hasn’t been set, and it was time I started “gathering my evidence”.  As I started this I could feel my chest tightening, my heart beating faster, my thoughts racing and my head aching.  All I could think was I can’t do this again.

When my son was in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade we lived a couple towns over, where he attended the local public school.  Now, I am not sure if I have mentioned his exact diagnoses – but at the time it was Asperger’s, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Sensory Processing Disorder.  He has since also added Bipolar II to that list. But we spent 3 years trying to get the school to comply with their own IEPs.  We built a large case against them and brought it to the department of education.  We started with mediation, which failed miserably.  The school couldn’t even live up to their concessions from that.  At that time we went forward with a formal complaint against the school.  We presented about 30 pages detailing 14 allegations against the school.  In the end because I was naive and didn’t eep impeccable records some of the allegations couldn’t be proven but they were found guilty on 7 counts, some of them system wide (meaning affecting all students with IEPs).  They were required to make changes and become compliant or face sanctions.  I don’t know what happened in that district with those specific allegations, because I pulled him out of school and homeschooled him for 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and the first month of 9th. I couldn’t deal with the constant fighting, the anxiety, and nightmares I was having.  I do have a couple acquaintances that have special needs kiddos in that district and it seems like things haven’t changed at all.  One day last fall at my son’s dojo a couple of the mom’s were talking about the director, the blatant violations and I found myself in the middle of a panic attack just listening to them talk about it.  I forgot about that conversation until today.  We moved during my son’s 7th grade year to a nearby district that had a much better reputation.

As I was writing out my complaints with the school, printing out the emails (I communicate only in written form with the school now – fool me once-). It all came back. And I realized I just don’t know if I can do it again.  I don’t know if I have enough fight left in me. I don’t have the same support person I had back then.  She was amazing, and was an amazing advocate for my son, as well as a support for me.  She was at every meeting, the 5 hour mediation, as well as some other dark times in the early years.

I knew putting the kids back in school I ran the risk of this happening again.  I knew that I may end up with a school who wasn’t complying, even with the simple stuff.  But I had heard good things about this district, the benefits to my own mental health outweighed the POSSIBLE run-ins with the school.  But now, I am left sitting here reduced to the same feelings I had all those years ago, but this time I am not as strong.  I am not as able to let things lie.

I am starting to feel like an animal trapped in a cage, pacing back and forth, eyes narrowed, growling, in that fight or flight mode, panicked and dangerous (though for me it’s emotional danger for myself not that I am going to go full lion on those around me 😉 )

Title…

I don’t know if I ever explained why I used the title I did for my blog.

I come from a community of people who are constantly telling me to smile. And well meaning people who tell me to “think positive”.

So, for the most part I hide my feelings inside.  I pretend everything is ok, even when my arms are cut up, or I have spent the morning crying.  It also refers to my signature move- stuff and avoid.

There is so much junk hiding in me, so many scars, and fresh wounds inside it would probably scare people away…. so those are “the things I hide inside”.

Even now, I have backslid in terms of depression, but I am keeping it hidden inside. No one knows I am constantly on the verge of tears, I am irritable and have a low tolerance for everything….

Homework

Princess Glitter Sparkle, much like PollyAnna assigns homework.  I told her this week that inside her isn’t blood it’s glitter. She’s just -glitter.  There’s no way else to describe it.  She’s glitter in people form.

So she asked me to draw what I want to look like inside- and this was the result..

fullsizeoutput_b55TR5a7nzGRgC3+k83qTlxxQqFOxd2xARPqE9uZp3D0DZwsFw76sneQBG2wfUnH7dqtw

“What is it you truly desire?”

The title is a line spoken in a prime-time FOX show called Lucifer.  Im not going to get into the details of the show, if you are interested, google it.  It really is a good show.  However, Lucifer- the devil, has this power where he can look someone in the eye ask them that question and he will find out the true desires of their heart.

I need a little of that. I was thinking while I was on a walk yesterday…. I’m unhappy.  I am not content.  I am sad/angry/anxious/depressed; BUT what would it take for me to change those feelings?  What is it that I want?  What will make me happy, or at the very least “content”?

I feel as though my some of my circumstances are out of my control- our precarious financial situation for one.  The daily stress of one kid on the autism spectrum (albeit high functioning) , ADHD, with bipolar, anxiety and sensory processing disorder, and the other ADHD, anxiety and quite possibly ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder).  I can’t change that.  I can’t change that my husband is sick and can’t work, which leads to the financial insecurity; a vicious circle.  There are so many other factors in my life that I feel like are obstacles to happiness/contentment.  But then- is there a way to be happy/content with the current situation? Im doubtful – how can you be content when you’re insecure about the future because of finances, because of your own mental illness, because of your husband’s illness?

So I ask again- what is it I truly desire?

Answer:  I have no earthly idea.

So Many Titles…

I had so many different ideas for what to title this blog. But none of them felt quite right.

First of all, I have been reluctant to post- (disclaimer: this part is about a comment on my blog- but has nothing to do with the poster of said comment, nor does it mean I am upset with the commenter)- because recently after a more positive post a comment was made that it was nice to see something positive posted. Immediately I clammed up.  I felt like “crap, people are sick of my problems”.  But In the end I decided to just take the comment as I know it was written- as a message showing happiness for my fleeting moment of positivity.

I struggle with constructive criticism, I over analyze what people say.  What everyone else thinks means more than what I think.

But I can’t hold this all in any more.  This has been a hard week.  I can’t give you a reason, because I don’t know. I have been sad and depressed all week.  Like major regression in my symptoms.  My OCD has been over the top- to the point that I offended a person in my DBT group because I moved my seat when I heard that she had been sick- and so I explained to the group if I do stuff like that, it’s me, not them.

And I’m just tired. So tired. Tired of this life.  It never gets better. It seems like I stand up and a big bully pushes me down, over and over.  And I am tired of getting up. I have tried so hard in the past month to try to do things to “make me feel better “.  But it doesn’t work.

And I have found that even dreaming about possibilities has it’s consequences.  I keep thinking about Marilla Cuthbert, and the things she used to say to Anne when Anne would let her imagination run wild, have romantic notions etc.  It’s not practical.  It’s not useful.  Never in my life has there been anyone who encourages me to dream.  They just point out the reality.  “I get it mom I will never be on star search” (6 or 7 year old me),  “I get it (insert name here) I am not as pretty as (insert name here)” (14-16 year old me).  “I know I will never amount to much dad”.  “I know I don’t shine mom”.  “I know I can’t manage money because I have a shopping compulsion- maybe it shouldn’t be my responsibility.”  “I know my bucket list will still be undone when I die”.

I get it.  This.  This is it. It’s never going to get better, and I will stop dreaming, hoping and wishing for it to get better. I see now that it does no good, because I will never change, I will always be a compulsive overeater, with a shopping problem, and a mental illness. I have always, and will always be weak.

When I was a kid my best friend and I came up with a phrase:

“Reality is too real for us, we live in the abstract”.

Looking at it with 30 or so years of knowledge I didn’t have then- it really was more like- our reality sucks, so we choose to wish/hope/dream of how it will be better “someday”.

But I think what I have learned over the past 2 years since my breakdown- for some people- someday never comes.  For some people, it’s scraping by, barely keeping your nose above the water line forever. For some people- they’ll always wonder “what’s the point?”

And if all that isn’t enough- the school isn’t following the IEP as written for my oldest.  Here we go.  It’s giving me PTSD flashbacks of our last fight when he was in 3rd grade, and I don’t know if I have it in me.  I don’t know if I can do it again…..

Saw Mary Poppins this week.  She added another med to my list. A mood stabilizer… probably a good idea.  Ive had 2 panic attacks in the past 2 days.  It’s been a couple months since I had a full on attack.  The craps hitting the fan again and I don’t know where to hide to dodge all the crap coming my way…..

Sorry for the downer post.  I just can’t keep it in anymore….

I joined the club…

Today I joined the elite club…. the forty club, the big 4-0 as in cresting the hill (but not quite over it).  In the past decade my body has been preparing for induction into the club with grey, white and silver hair, with wrinkles, and sagging, and most recently bifocals and cataracts.

For months I have been dreading forty; like it was the end of the world as I knew it.  And yeah, I’ll admit it kinda sucks to think that THIS is as far as I have gotten at forty, but at the same time I have accomplished some things worth recognition.  I have two beautiful children, who are smart, funny and amazing- each in their own way.  I have a marriage that after almost 18 years of marriage, and 23 years together is stronger every day.  I have a brother and a sister that I adore. I have a best friend that I admire, who makes me want to be a better version of me.  I have other friends too, friends who care about me, especially when I don’t care about myself.  I have a counselor who I love. And I have finally given her her name- Princess Glitter Sparkle.  (My husband coined it, and I told her about it.). We have sat with it for about a month or so now and she said there’s just no denying it- it suits her.  And in the past decade I also discovered my faith again.  I have a relationship with God.

So yes, while in the past couple of years it seems like the crap has hit the fan, and I have a hard time seeing the good past the crap, I do have some really good things in my life.  On the especially crappy days I need to come back and read this list.

Here’s to hoping 40’s beats the pants off 30’s.

 

Saw the Endocrinologist

So I saw my endocrinologist today. She was actually really nice. I was ready for her to read me the riot act. Instead she had some weight loss suggestions for me.

So I wrote out my entire story to try to figure out what’s best… so here it is- sharing it as a way to process it. Any suggestions please share them….

I’ve struggled with my weight all my life. I have had an eating disorder since I was in 4th grade. I compulsively overeat. I hide what I eat sometimes. I’m high school I became anorexic, I lost about 100lbs, and was down to 118lbs (and of course thought I was fat). After getting counseling, I maintained for about a year. I went to college in 1996 and gained a bunch of weight freshman year- like 45lbs. When I got married in 2000 I was 218 lbs. By the time I got pregnant in 2002 I was 225, I gained about 18 pounds with my pregnancy.

When my son was 2 years old I started eating better and working out so that we could do another IVF cycle with our frozen embryos. I got to 199, the cycle failed and a deep depression set in. I also had an IUD put in to stop continuous bleeding. I gained 35 pounds in 6 months, and turned to my “friend” food, as usual. In 2009 I was back up to 235. My sister was getting married so I did slim fast and got down just under 200 again. 2 months after the wedding I got a surprise – I was pregnant. I was around 235 when I delivered and stayed there from 2010 until Jan 2013. I was about to turn 35, my dad was 39 when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I felt like I needed to make a change. I knew I was facing an uphill battle, food was my comfort. I had a great deal of stress in my life including the fact that my son had been diagnosed with Aspergers, anxiety and bipolar.

I started counting calories, and started the couch to 5k. Added spin classes, and kickboxing. I went from 235 to 143 – 8 pounds from the goal I set for myself. As usual I felt fat. I ran my last 5k in November 2013. My best time just over 30 minutes. It was about this time that my husband became sick with some mystery illness. He slept all the time, he hurt all the time. And in came my best friend – carbs, sweets, food. I quickly gained weight again and was around 190something. Depressed and hating myself. In July 2015 I started beachbodys 21 day fix. I did 5 or 6 cycles and was down to the 150s. By this time, my husband had been sick for almost 2 years, he was trying to make a go of it with his own business, so that he could control his work hours etc. But we were in the process of losing our home and our car.

And so that’s where my weight loss stopped. I am currently sitting at 254/256 pounds depending on whose scale you look at. The biggest I’ve ever been. I have been diagnosed with GERD, Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction (long story on what that means but it was affecting my heart my resting pulse was ranging between 140 up to 160), major depressive disorder treatment resistant, recurrent, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and unspecified personality disorder. I have PCOS and am prediabetic. My fasting sugars are always over 100. In the past year my A1C has gone from 5.2, 5.4 to 5.6.

Today I met with my endocrinologist and she expressed concern about the fasting numbers, the fact that metformin made me violently sick, and that A1C numbers are creeping up. She suggested I either enter a medical weight loss program at the local hospital with diet, exercise and potentially appetite suppressants. Or to see a bariatric surgeon. She is going to refer me to both places and wants me to make a decision.

I’m torn. Do I try it on my own again? Do I do the medical program (my husband says his concern when I leave the program I will go back to old habits- and he’s not wrong), or do I go for the surgery?

I’m scared about all the options. I have failed every time I did it on my own. But the surgery is a huge deal. And is this really the time to do this- when I’m going through so much psychologically? Or is this the best time- will it aid in my recovery? I plan on talking to my counselor about it all, but of course I will overthink this to death until then.

What to do….