Domestic Violence

Something deep down in your soul shatters the first time your husband puts his hands on you. It’s more then the action of him hitting or choking you.
I’ve dealt with verbal and mental abuse for years now, but today it became physical. As I sit here replaying it over and over again in my head. His hands around my neck, he punching me in the side of the head and cheek; the sheriff coming and being to big of a coward to press changes; and I do what I’ve never understood… I stay.
Because I have nowhere else to go, no education outside of one year of college, no degree to lean on. No family to help me out, no job, no home, no car. It’s all his and I have nothing.
And I know it will happen again. This won’t be the last.

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Just One Day.

I wish everyone could spend a day in the mind of someone manic and cycling. My world and the world of so many others would be so different if they knew what a daily struggle I feel everyday. What a reward it is to lay your head down at night unharmed and think . . .
TODAY I WIN, TODAY I CHOSE LIFE, TODAY I CHOSE LOVE!

I’m a survivor, I’ve been surviving and kicking ass for a lot of years now. There have been times, many times between that I’ve slipped and my mental illness came out on top for a bit, but I get right back on and I kick ass a little more.

From the age of 4 to 8 I survived sexual molestation. My entire life I survived verbal and physical abuse one or the other sometimes both; from 10 on I’ve fought type 1 diabetes, and from 13 on I’ve fought and survived Bi-polar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and ODD. Excuse me while I pat myself on the back; I’m a survivor, I’m a fighter, and I’m pretty fucking FABULOUS and AWESOME!

I wake up most days without the manic thoughts. I’m pretty well under control with my illness these days with a wide combination of prescription drugs including the birth control shot to help control PMDD. Let me leap of the path here just a second and say PMDD is a whole other raging bitch in and of itself.

My triggers aren’t as frequent, but when I trigger damn do I do it well. 6,9, even 12 months of progress goes flooding down the drains. The thoughts start. The thoughts that are so hard for others to understand. A person without mental illness can’t seem to understand and grasp the fact that you’re fine one moment and then in the next you’re triggered and on a suicide mission, or at least thinking (none stop) about it. I’ve tried to explain it, I’ve broken my thoughts down for my sister, my father, my husband. They all seem to think it’s something I can turn on and just turn off.

I’ve explained how on a normal day I know they love me. I know it as much as I know I sit here typing this out. But on a manic day the entire world hates me, they hate me most because they deal with me, they would be better without me, I’m a burden, the world would be a better place without me, I’m broken and I cannot be fixed and even though my family might hurt a little while in the long run things would be better.

They can’t hear the battle, the war that rages on inside my head. The thoughts that are my own but aren’t of my own. Unless you have a mental illness you probably won’t understand the above statement.

I DO NOT HEAR VOICES. Not that there is shame in it if you do. Many people confuse the above statement as hearing voices though and I just want to say that isn’t so.

When you are in a bi-polar manic raging state your thoughts are so crazy and jumbled, and make so little sense, and thoughts that never cross your mind on a normal day are suddenly there and are SCREAMING as loud as possible inside your mind the aforementioned things from above. I’ve come to the point in my life, and my illness that I know they are within me, BUT they are NOT of me. These thoughts that come to me in this state are in no way mine; they are of my illness and I’m finally able to distinguish this.

My family, my friends don’t understand this illness; hell I don’t understand this illness most days, but sometimes I wish they could just spend one day in my mind cycling. Just one day feeling broken, just one day falling to pieces, just one day feeling completely and utterly worthless, just one day feeling hated, just one day feeling better off dead.

Just one day.

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The War Rages On. . .

From the outside I appear pretty normal, I live day to day as a mother and wife, loving my children like nothing else. I keep up a pretty good appearance to those who don’t know me.
Those who don’t REALLY know me would probably say I’m a pretty good girl, I’m pleasant, always smiling, I’m a good mother, I have a pretty good relationship with my husband. . .

For those who do know me, and know me well. . . Those who know me on a personal basis would say a lot different. . . I live with Bipolar Disorder. I can be having the time of my life one minute, and the next is like a ton of bricks something triggers me and it all comes tumbling in on me so hard it takes me breath away.

I had a good run this time, no episodes since October; well no REAL episodes, and by that I mean in comparison to the episode I had in October that bought me a night in jail that will forever be on my record and will haunt me for the rest of my life.

In January I started Lamictal, and even though my tubes are tied I started DEPO (medroxyprogestrone) to help sway my PMDD rage. All was well, no EXTREME LOWS, life was good. Yesterday out of no where it hit me. No warning, no idea why I triggered, but it hit me and it hit me hard. That crushing weight, that sadness that hits you so hard you can’t breath, you can barely move, but the worst is the anger for me. The anger for no reason, the anger feels me to the brim, the anger that flows over and through and feels like it’s going to rot me from the inside out.

And then there’s the thoughts. . . Oh the many thoughts. Thoughts that I wouldn’t dare share until today.
I think about killing myself of course. I think of how I am worthless. I think of how the world would be better without me. What a burden I am to “my loved ones” of course the voice in my head tells me they really hate me and if I would just end it they would be thankful to finally not deal with “the crazy daughter, the crazy sister, the crazy friend (for the one I do have), the crazy wife, and one day when my children start catching on the crazy mother”. I think about how broken I am and how no amount of medication and therapy will ever fix this kind of broken.

Why did God make me this way? Why did God let the world make me this way. I’m genetically predisposed to this illness but if I hadn’t been molested, if my childhood had been different, less chaotic would I have had a chance in hell of being some kind of normal?

The possibility of a life taken from me is what hurts so much. The person taken from me, the person I lost. Who would I have been?

Would I be questioning the one thing that I’ve always felt I was meant to be? A mother. . . When these episodes hit I question being the one thing I love the absolute most. Should I have had kids at all? I can try my best to protect them, I can do everything in my power to protect them from the things I went through but the one thing I can’t protect them from is myself.

I can’t protect them from my genetics. I do my best to protect them from my episodes, but they are smart, so so smart and they’re catching on. Eventually they’re going to know their mother is crazy like everyone else already knows; what a burden for them to carry.

I drove around for three hours yesterday. Three hours listening to “Nicklebacks Lullaby” on repeat. I drove around desperate to talk to anyone. . .
I found myself at the cemetery. Seems these days the only person worth talking to is the only one who can’t talk back; my papaw. My protector, my warrior the only man who ever tried to keep me safe in my life. I’m sure I looked like a mad woman laying down beside his grave curled up like an infant sobbing until I couldn’t catch my breath. I thought about staying the night. Just spending the night laying and sobbing and going even further into that dark place. They close at dusk though and honestly who really wants more people to know you’re crazy. . . I didn’t want someone to ask this crazy woman to leave so I left on my own so as not to be exposed more.

I came home, self medicated, took an Ambien and woke up this morning feeling frail, and dark. I spent most of the morning thinking about cutting; I quickly dismissed that as that is part of what lead to my night in jail last time.

By 10am it was time to take my sweet Caleb to see his tutor. I walked in and one of the most kind women I’ve ever met, but also one who I have always maintained a good face with recognized something in me. She asked me how I was, I smiled and told her I was fine like I always do when I’m forced to face the day even when I just want to crawl in a hole. That’s when she grabbed my hand; “Kimberly she said, you don’t know about my Bridget, sit down and let’s talk for a bit”.

She went on to tell me about her beautiful daughter, she had adopted her at the age of 2; Bridget went through unimaginable abuse and neglect in the short 2 years spent with her biological parents. Nightmarish horror stories, too much for this sweet lady to detail.
Bridgett was too young to remember most of this; but she went on to tell me how it haunted her. How it broke her, how it destroyed her inner self, how Bridget never could find who she was, or why she was the way she was. This sweet lady told me that after 24 years of Bridget’s war raging she ended her life. She cried for the child she couldn’t save, for not protecting her even though there was no way she could have, for not being able to get through, for not being able to make her see her own value, and how she was more then her disease, more then her illness.

More then anything this women gave me a wake up call. I’m not fooling everyone;
There’s a war that rages on in all of us, it’s a matter of what side you decide to take. . .
Who will you decide to be this episode??

Victim or Survivor? I choose SURVIVOR, and I choose not to let my yesterday’s define me.

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Wrap Me Up In Your Lyrics and Song

I find myself alone again, wondering aimlessly with no destination.
Songs from my playlist go on and on; a lullaby my momma never sung, the sweet sounds of how everything will be ok; Songs about changing, songs about being afraid to change, songs about something more, songs about desperation. They sing to me, they coax me along, bring me back to center and make me thank God for music and the impact it has in my life. Thank you God for the words of these songs wrapping me up tight when I have no others to do so.

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I Tell Her Stories But I Do Not Lead By Example

I can remember it plain as day, laying in my pretty white day bed, the one with rose globes, pink ruffled bed skirt hanging down. My daddy would come in and tuck me in careful to make it just right. “Snug as a bug in a rug” he would say; he’d kiss me goodnight but before he’d go he’d tell me a story. Stories of princes and princess’s, men riding in gallantly on white horses, women with mops and terrible chores, horrible step mothers, fairy God-mothers, but mostly Prince Charming on his big white horse. He was only just Prince Charming though, no characteristics given he was just always the saving grace for the maiden. He rescued her from whatever rotten circumstances she faced and brought her home to become his Queen, where she would bare children and most likely resume her role at mopping and scrubbing only now those chores included diaper duty as well. Daddy always left that part out.

I guess I’ve become very cynical over the years. You see I tell my daughter stories too, but I don’t tell her the magical fairy tales that consumed my childhood. I don’t want to lead her on. Life isn’t that fairy tale that I bought into so long ago.

I tell my daughter stories of suitcase toting power woman. Woman who can hold their own, woman who make their own choices, take their own path, woman who marry when they are truly ready. I tell her all the characteristics that I wish I had heard. Prince Charming is a fraud. Look not for the handsome man who can be “your savior?” Be your own. Look for a man who will not just call you his queen but treat you as one. Look for a man who will build you up rather then tear you down. The man who always uses kind words, and kind hands, he needs to be a Godly man, and will not be afraid to take the reigns lead his family in worship and prayer. A hard working man, but not so hard working that he can’t see past the over time, a man who puts GOD first, FAMILY second, and all else comes next.

But the most important thing I tell her is get an education. Don’t stop at high school and marry the first man you meet who treats you decent. That’s what I did. Good enough isn’t good enough. And most importantly you want and need to be INDEPENDENT. Don’t trap yourself in a situation you can’t escape from. A situation identical to my own, three children, a terrible marriage, no education beyond the 1 year of college I completed before becoming pregnant with my second child and deciding school with two children was near impossible; especially with a husband who wouldn’t help with the care of his own children, and a family who wasn’t much help either.
I don’t expect her to wait around until her ovaries have had their last hoorah, but I sure hope she gets her ducks in a row and never depends on a man.

You see I tell my daughter stories, but I do not lead by example, and for that I can’t forgive myself

I tell her she is valuable, her worth is like no other, and unless the man knows this he isn’t good enough for her. I tell her she must be respected, and loved in a way that our Father in heaven would see fit. I tell her she’s beautiful, all of her inside and out, but most importantly inside. I tell her she is smart, and that she can do anything. ANYTHING. I tell her I will always be there. ALWAYS. And I will do my best not to let her down..

I tell her all the things I wish someone had told me.. . ..

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Unhappily Ever After.

June 25, 2005. . . So young, so naive, so full of life, butterflies, wonder. I had so many things built up in my mind. We’d had a near perfect dating experience. For the last 3 years we’d rarely fought, and when we did it was a silly bicker-fest that we quickly put behind us.
Greg was perfect for me in all the imaginable ways… I’d thought this through over and over again. He was hard working, he didn’t talk to me like Princess but who didn’t call their wife or girlfriend a bitch every now and again? Greg was safe. . . I knew he loved me. He must; he treated me just as I had seen my mother treated all those years ago. Besides who else would want me?

I got ready that morning, butterflies full affect. Sick to my stomach with question and concern. At 1:30 I was walked up the stairs of the church where my daddy waited and grabbed my arm; I almost fell off my heels. “Last chance to run for the door my daddy said”. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a glimmer of thought run through my mind. How embarrassing that would have been. Everyone was gathered for this big day for me, everyone was waiting. All that money, all that hard work, and besides how far would I make it running in heels; and my car? Where was my car? I couldn’t even escape to it.
I grabbed my daddy’s arm and whispered please don’t let me fall. . .
I said I do…
Flash forward 9 years. I sit here on my Anniversary and wow… Things sure weren’t what I’d expected. No rainbows, no butterflies, no roses just to say I love you, no “hey I’ll get those dishes for you take a second for yourself”. 9 years later all I can think is YOU SHOULD HAVE RAN. Why didn’t I run? I could have. People would have understood. We were so young. I was just barely 20. I hadn’t had but a glimmer of a moment of life to live.
I wouldn’t have these 3 beautiful gorgeous children that keep me waking up in the morning, yet then again I wouldn’t have known better either.
I think about leaving but then again the same old thoughts come rushing back “who will have me? Where will I go? Do I even deserve better?”
And so I am pulled back to real life I have nothing, no one to turn to, so I’ll spend the rest of my life unhappily married.

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