The Bad Days

Lately I feel empty and heavy all at once.

I had to pry myself out of bed this morning, forcing the day to start.

I’m on autopilot, trying to take care of all of my responsibilities for the day, but my body is aching. I’m not sick, I’m not sore, there’s no reason basic tasks should be this excruciating.

Dishes in the sink. Laundry sitting in the dryer.

Soon it’ll be homework, dinner, bath time, bed time. Then rinse and repeat.

I work again and again and again but the work is never done. The list is infinate, and it’s starting to seem like I will never feel accomplished.

The stress is balling itself up into knots in my back and shoulders. How do I relax with so much to be done still? So much left on the plate. Most of the time I swallow it all down and try to keep going, but I’m starting to feel sick. The vomit is coming on, I can’t hold it all in anymore.

I’m breaking down. My bones are even too much to carry at this point. My eyes grow heavier and it’s so hard to keep them open.

I’m working hard yet disappointing everyone all at once. This pain is solid, I’m falling.

So many people depend on me. I hate myself for causing distress, how do I say it’s not you, it’s me?

How do I even begin to explain how tired I am of being in this skin? How I’m tired of thinking in this mind, I’m tired of the hurt in this heart. I don’t want to bother anyone with my pain, because I know they have their own.

Lately. I’m craving what it’s like to feel weightless. Stress free and content. All I wanna do is sleep, because it’s the only time I don’t feel all of this.

I don’t wanna die. I’m trying to hang on to a point where it feels easier, I’m trying to keep hope, but I’m dozing off.

Learning how to let a toxic relative go

Throughout your life you are going to have toxic interactions with many different kinds of people. You hopefully see or learn that they are toxic, and you move on. Sometimes it’s as easy as blocking their number, blocking them on social media, and then pretending like they don’t exist anymore. But what about when they are related to you?

It’s hard to see when someone is toxic, related to you or not. Honestly we don’t want to believe that someone is bad for us. We often excuse their behavior over and over again. We make up different reasons in our head, we feel bad for them, and we end up hurting ourselves because we are in denial.

It gets even more complicated with family members, because we love our family, right? Family is supposed to be there for each other through thick and thin, love unconditionally. We end up letting a lot of stuff go because we feel like loving them is our duty. But does loving them mean looking past their manipulating behavior? Their ill will to you, or other loved ones? Are you supposed to look past them gaslighting you, using you, threatening you?

Many of us have been in these situations with our own family, and it sucks. You have people in your ear saying, “that’s your family, respect them”. They make you feel like maybe you’re just not doing enough, like the problem is you. So you start trying to be there more, busting your back trying to be the best relative you can. Reality is, you will never be enough to a toxic person.

You have to start to think, what about their respect to you or anyone else? Does being blood related to someone mean they are allowed to treat you however they want and you just have to deal with it because you can’t choose family?

The answer is no. You should not keep anyone in your life if they are damaging to your mental state, related or not. Do not put up with someone treating you badly or constantly belittling you. The simple fact is, you can’t choose who you are related to, but you can choose who your family is. Being related to someone does not make you family.

Family is there for each other, they do love each other through thick and thin, but it goes both ways. If they are constantly suffocating you with their toxic behavior, it’s time to let them go.

Letting them go is hard, because you love them. You want the best for them still, you want to be there for them and support them. But if you are drowning yourself emotionally trying to deal with them, you have to learn how to love them at a distance.

You can cut someone out and still want the best for them. You still hope they have good days. You want them to eat well, sleep comfortably, and you don’t wish anything bad on them. You want them to have a happy life, yours just isn’t happy with them around.

There will be times through your life where yes, sometimes you have to put someone before yourself. Your feelings aren’t always gonna be the most important, but it’s up to you when to decide that. At the end of the day, you can’t help anyone or take care of anyone if you aren’t taking care of yourself first. And the ugly truth is, you aren’t taking care of yourself by letting someone dictate your mental state just because they are related to you.

It’ll be hard because other people you love will still have them in their lives. They’ll talk about them, they’ll remind you of them. They may even contribute to the drama without knowing they are hurting you. It won’t be as easy as just forgetting they exist, but you gotta try.

If other people try to pressure you into dealing with the negativity, block them too. They aren’t helping your happiness, they are a part of the problem. There’s no point in trying to convince them your side, because they’re not ready to believe what you know is true. So tell everyone you’re done, you don’t want to hear it. Take away other toxic traits that add to the problem. You can’t save everyone, but you can save yourself. You deserve it.

Block them, let them go, and most importantly, stick with it. Learn that your own happiness is important too, and hope that someday they will understand why you had to move on.

a story about the product of addiction and suicide

Addiction and suicide can share a lot of emotional consequences, and sometimes go hand in hand. Having one parent who is an addict or one parent that commits suicide can be hard on its own, but what happens when you are unlucky enough to have both?

The first thing I became familiar with was addiction. When you’re a kid, you don’t really understand what addiction is, what it does to peoples brains or how it affects their life choices. You only know what those choices feel like. Everyone’s story is different, but the trauma is all too similar.

You start to feel what it’s like to be rejected. A second choice. Like your parent is always too busy and occupied by something more important. I always wondered, what could be more important than your children? Your brain tries to distract itself because it may not be old enough to really comprehend.

So you play outside, you have friends, ride your bike, try to be a normal kid. At the end of the day something just doesn’t feel right. It leaves something about you empty, and you may not know what for a long time.

Loving an addict is hard, whether they are your parent or not. It’s unrewarding, it’s painful, and it’s so hard to understand. Addiction is complicated enough for adults to figure out, but for a child? It’s absolutely damaging.

Some people live with their addict parents their entire childhood. Facing one kind of abuse after another. Either they hide it well enough, or maybe it’s not SO bad, that the outside would dismisses it. Sometimes people know, but they aren’t sure what the right thing to do is. In my case, someone thought we needed to be away from it.

So they reported my mom, we went to foster care. Little kid, strange place, separated from my siblings, it was a whole new kind of scary. After that you never really feel safe anywhere for a while. If these strangers can just take me away from my home like that, what else can they do?

Being a foster kid is weird. You live in this house with a family who was kind enough to take you in, but it’s not home. You’re not their children, you’re temporary. It’s exhausting for someone in the 2nd grade.

Now we’re moving again, but it’s not back in with my mom. It’s… my dad? Who even is this guy? I didn’t really remember much about him before. Who knows who’s fault that was, my mom blamed my dad, my dad blamed my mom. That’s all irrelevant, because we’re here now.

I got to know him, I got to know my other siblings. I’m so thankful for the time I spent there. It opened me up to family I wouldn’t have know otherwise, and that was all because my mom did drugs. How was I supposed to feel?

Eventually my mom gets clean for the time being, me and my brothers move back in with her. I’m still pretty young at the time. I’ve gone through so many feelings and emotions that I’m not going to understand for a few more years, but everything is feeling like it might be…. normal?

All of a sudden I have a mom who is sober and now my dad in my life. Things start to feel like the storm has passed and the sunshine is out, but it was far from over.

Next came suicide. My mom and step dad are sitting us down, delivering unimaginable news. “Your dad killed himself this morning.”

What the hell? Why would he do that? We JUST got to know him, our life was just getting put back to together! I was heartbroken, angry, scared. I hardly knew what mental illness was formally. I knew the feeling, but I didn’t understand the pain.

Trying to wrap your head around someone killing themselves is complicated. You want to have empathy for the pain they must have been feeling. Their mind was sick, tainted with negativity. They had to have felt like it was better that way. You start to hurt because you think about them having to carry that everyday, but the anger lingers. They left you. Knowing all of the damage you went through, they were supposed to be here for you. You battle between who’s selfish, you or them?

I went on to spend so much of my life angry from the pain. Acting out, cutting myself, rejecting everyone before they could reject me. I felt abandoned on both ends, like I wasn’t good enough to receive the right kind of love from either parent. I wasted so much of my life broken. Damaged. Feeling bad for myself, thinking I must only be here to feel pain. So why am I even here?

It lead to me being pregnant as a teenager, and desperately wanting a different story for my own daughter. I begin to recognize my own mental illnesses. Seeing the same traits in myself, and honestly so terrified. I don’t want to end up like them, an addict or shooting myself in the head. I don’t want to damage my children, my loved ones. I don’t want to transfer my pain on to everyone around me.

After spending so much time hurt and pissed, I wake up one day, and suddenly I’m looking at the world different. Why am I feeling appreciative of the pain…? Something clicks or maybe I’m tired of being broken. So I embrace it all. The pain, the heartbreak, the struggles. I embrace it because without it, would I try to be the best mom I can be? Wife? Would I take advantage of my blessings? Would I make sure to love the right way? Would I care about others or be considerate of their pain if I didn’t carry my own? Would I have even begun to understand the important things in life yet? I have to believe it has made me into a better person.

Now I try to carry my pain like a badge. I will never be fixed because I am not broken. I went through all of those horrible things so I could appreciate the amazing things. Many people don’t want to accept it, but the things we go through are a part of who we are. If I didn’t have so much hurt, I wouldn’t have so much love. I am the product of addiction and suicide.

You may not be my child biologically, but my heart will always have enough love for you

The love you feel for your child(ren) is almost indescribable. It’s the most fulfilling, heartbreaking, joyful, painful, amazingly aching feeling I’ve ever experienced. You really love them so much with every fiber of your being, that it hurts so bad.

Continue reading You may not be my child biologically, but my heart will always have enough love for you

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