What I Did For The Past Two Days Instead of Writing

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Avatar for JonicaBradley
2 years ago

Have you ever been in a stressful situation and held it together until the stressful pay was over?

Like, coming across someone who wasn't breathing but still had a pulse and doing CPR until they started breathing again or the ambulance showed up (whichever came first).

And when the emergency is over or being taken care of by others, when you ought to be able to breathe a sigh of relief, you can't because then you fall apart?

So that's exactly what's happened to me over the past few days.

You may know I've had an already stressed psyche from my suppressed past rearing it's ugly head, along with some physical health issues before then.

And you also may know already about the being torn from sleep in the middle of the night by the cops (again) to be told my son, who lives 1790 something miles away, had attempted suicide (again) and is in the hospital.

So... yeah... stressed!

I was able to speak very briefly with the ICU nurse who asked my kid if he wanted to talk to me, but he was too out of it. I later learned he was given a lot of Ativan. On top of whatever meds he ingested to overdose.

I was able to briefly text with him while he was on a gurney waiting for a room in the mental ward. He wasn't making a lot of sense, but at least I heard from him.

He doesn't remember either situation. He remembers getting dragged out of his house and getting his wrists stitched and that's about it.

He'd been out of the hospital for a few days before I texted his bio-mom to find out where he was. She told me he was out. Nice of her to text me.

So, I was finally able to talk to my son. I found out a bit more about his situation. He was getting kicked out of his bio-mom's house. Which is fine. I'm sure he doesn't feel fine about it. I'm sure he feels abandoned and unwanted. Still it's for the best. He doesn't need to be in that situation. At. All!

He'll be moving in with my eldest daughter. There he will feel welcome, wanted, and loved.

He doesn't want to move back to teeny tiny town where the average age of it's citizens in 70 something. And the population is only 2000. The entire county is only population 3000.

And we're an hour away from everything.

So.

I felt an immediate sense of relief. But then I fell apart.

Are you familiar with the 4Fs trauma responses?

  1. Fight

  2. Flight

  3. Freeze

  4. Fawn

I have experienced all 4 at one time or another. But the last few days have been a solid 3.

I was frozen.

I started an article but couldn't bring myself to finish it.

In the midst of my freeze response, I also did my typical number 2. No. I didn't go poop. I fled. I escaped into reading.

I'm on my 10th book in less than a week. I've been frozen in my chair, reading. Occasionally getting up to clean. To do dishes or sweep or do laundry.

But then it's right back to reading.

My trauma response has as much to do with me and my past as it does with my son and his present.

I've done my time on gurneys. in 4 point restraints, having my stomach pumped, getting my arm stitched up. I've done my time in hospitals and on mental wards.

The worst thing about mental hospitals in my country are that instead of giving you care, you get treated as if you've committed a crime. You get punished. You get spoken to exactly the same way you get spoken to in jail. Only, if you're in jail, the expectation is you did something wrong. If you're in hospital, the expectation is you are there for care.

And in the U.S. the stigma of mental illness is SO strong. So, not only are you feeling punished, are you treated like a failure, there is also a great deal of shame attached.

You aren't treated like someone who is sick, who had an illness. You are treated like someone who chose a chemical imbalance or chose to be traumatised.

Nobody teaches mental health hygiene. We barely get physical hygiene lessons in school. "Health" classes pretty much show pictures of smoker's lungs, and very briefly, go over reproduction, pregnancy, and STDs.

Those of us born with chemical imbalances or have early childhood trauma, including long lasting trauma, are thrown into a pool full of sharks and piranhas and told we have to sink or swim.

And if we can't do either, we get punished.

My son's depression and early childhood trauma left him with chemical imbalances (on top of the raging teenage hormones) that make his feelings, his emotions, so big he had nowhere to put them. But society has left him without the skills or wherewithal to figure it all out on his own. And society shames him for his inability.

I don't mean to take away his pain or diminish his situation at all. Unfortunately, his depression triggers my PTSD.

What have I done for the past two days instead of writing?

I've done fuck all. I've frozen and I've fled.

I hope to get back to it sooner than later. The "it" being productive. Earning a few dollars. Helping people to learn about blogging. Figuring out some prompts. Editing The Bad Influence.

Meanwhile, bare with me a bit longer. And thank you for all of your kind words and support.

We're all in this together and I appreciate you more than words can describe.

Image license free from Unsplash

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Avatar for JonicaBradley
2 years ago

Comments

Mental illness is always a tough thing for me to grasp and fully comprehend. But that is of course because I don't suffer it, and therefore have a hard time understanding it.

My life has given me perspective which I have always found useful and enlightening. I never see the worst moment as THE worst moment, and the older I get I also fully understand that things generally work themselves out—even when horrible things happen.

I live by a simple principle. "Even the WORST day is a GOOD day if I spend it above ground."

Life is short. It's tough. People in it can make OUR lives miserable. God knows some people made your own life miserable. But being alive is the greatest gift we can ever have, and of course, we only get one shot at it. There is NO second chance. NO second round. NO do overs.

So even as difficult as it can be sometimes you make the most of it. You accept the challenges and you move on. You find ways to build strength out of disaster. You tend to accept that some things in life, no matter how damned hard you try will NEVER be in your control. You just determine yourself to be MORE than what others and what life dishes out. You command to be in control of any happiness you can find, and solace you can muster, and you look for things that you CAN control and let those things consume you.

The past is the past. You can do nothing to change it. The future is yours and you CAN make each minute better than the last.

You can either choose to consume yourself with sorrow or you can say FUCK YOU and not let ANYONE or ANYTHING stand in the way of YOUR life. A life that is worthy. A life that is precious. A life that DESERVES to be lived and enjoyed. Every second, every minute, every day.

I realize, again, that might be easier said than done if the mind's wires are all screwed up.

In the case of your step-son, which is a very tragic and horrifying situation, I sure in the hell hope someone is looking beyond what he DID, and looking into what he is SEEKING. Because the only thing in someone's mind when they decide to end their life is an emptiness. A void. A cry to FILL it.

If no one looks to fill in what is missing, then the only conclusion is that ultimately he will succeed in ending trying to find it.

$ 0.02
2 years ago

All of this is true. And, yes, in my son's case (it wasn't the first or the fifth attempt) he is seeking relief from too big feelings and also be just wants to be loved and accepted and not abandoned or pushed away. He wasn't to be told he is wanted. He's never gotten that from bio mom. And though I tried to fill in those gaps, I'm far from perfect. I'm not even sure I am aware of all of his early childhood trauma. My daughter's told me his mom smoked and drank and possibly did other things as well when she was pregnant with him. She only every does what benefits her, regardless of who else is in the room.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Again, easier said than done. But at some point your step son has to accept his present and start leaving it behind and start forging his own better world. Sometimes the best thing to do in life is to let go of things that bring us nothing but pain.

I use my own life's experiences to build my own personal strength and character. I do not allow anyone or anything to spoil my future, mess with my personal happiness, or define who I am or what I become.

Sitting around waiting for someone to offer you something they never will and do not have the capacity to offer, to me, is pointless and a waste of time. If our current circle of people in our lives do not bring us what we seek, then we must seek out a new circle of people that will.

$ 0.03
2 years ago

I believe he was attempting this by moving to a larger city. I also believe he really truly wanted to have a good and loving relationship with his bio-mom, and learned she is incapable of putting anyone, even her children, before her own superficial needs. Though he hasn't said so, I imagine he feels abandoned all over again.

I have had a rocky relationship with my mother. I promise you, in the words she can put me right back in the emotional place I was when I was 6 years old.

Spoiler alert: it was NOT a good place.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Pls is there a way you write to the state concerning the unprofessionalism of those mental health workers? As a mental health practitioner, you are supposed to be a healer and not a killer, little intense words can lead to their death. I wish your son a quick recovery, I know how it feels pls do take care of yourself too.

$ 0.03
2 years ago

In my case, these things happened too many years ago. It would have been nice to have someone who would advocate for me, but my mother really wasn't that kind of mother. My father suffered his own mind of depression and would just fold up in the face of any kind of seriousness of life. My mother's second husband, my Papa, though a good man, pretty much left the raising of me up to my mom. When my son was living with us, I did indeed advocate for him. Unfortunately, the healthcare system in the United States is well and good screwed up. So there's only so much we can do.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

You just need to be strong and courageous, just know that anything that happened to a man has purpose. Just believe things will be fine

$ 0.03
2 years ago

I'm hanging in there.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

I appreciate everyone too. I believe everything will be back to the way it should be. Be courageous for I know you are. 💪

$ 0.03
2 years ago

Thanks.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

No words can express how sorry I feel after reading this. But everything will be alright. You just have to believe. Remain strong❤️

$ 0.03
2 years ago

I actually do believe.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

You are passing throught a lot, But we all know you can overcome this just don't give up on yourself and your son❤❤❤much love from the community

$ 0.03
2 years ago

I appreciate it.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Sending hugs :) The only thing I can do form here :(

$ 0.03
2 years ago

I'll take 'em.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Sending hugs :) the only thing I can do from here :(

$ 0.00
2 years ago

No words could adequately do justice to explain what you must have gone through in these past few days. You are brave and strong and I must commend you. Despite all the things you had to deal with, mama... Here you are, staying strong and hopeful. My prayers are still with you, mama.

$ 0.03
2 years ago

Thank you.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

🤗🤗🤗

$ 0.00
2 years ago

I have no more words. I've read through the comment section and I think some of them have said what I was about to say .

Let me just thank you again for being brave sharing this to us. I always get new insights and perspective whenever I read from you. Let me thank you for that as well. Stay strong, ma'am. FIGHT. and WIN.

$ 0.03
2 years ago

I really have no choice but to fight.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

When I come to think of it, you're right. It's better though, than to freeze or other options.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

I don't know what exact words to say to brighten up your even just for a sec. But I wanted you to know that God is beside you all the time. He is there, listening to you and can see your struggles. Give all your burdens to Him. I Pray for you and for your Son. Hope you both will soon find your peace of mind.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Thanks.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Big Hug!!!

$ 0.00
2 years ago

You're stronger more than you think and it is okay to be not okay, really. I hope your son's gonna get better in the next few days. And I'm sorry to hear about that mental health stigma in the US. I think it's not only in the US but everywhere. Sending love and light!

$ 0.03
2 years ago

Thanks! Yes. The stigma is many places.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Take care of yourself :)

$ 0.00
2 years ago

I don't know what to say to be honest because I am living my life with that kind of episodes too. Sometimes I am productive then I fall, demotivated feel bad and worst an sthe I will be okay. I am not sure if praying works either, but I know God is working on me whenever I give all my worries to him

$ 0.03
2 years ago

It's human nature.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

It's such an experience for a lifetime. Parenting comes with such kind of heavy task. I feel so sorry for you to be going through such a horrible yet tasking moment. I pray all these experiences fades away soon.

$ 0.03
2 years ago

Me too

$ 0.00
2 years ago

So sorry about the news. Have a good time for urself

$ 0.03
2 years ago

Thanks. It is what it is.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

I think it's a good escape, reading books... and I hope you will feel a lot better soon...

$ 0.03
2 years ago

It's a much better escape than wine or food.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

I'm sorry about the news about your Son, and thank God he is doing well now.. bless you all

$ 0.03
2 years ago

He says he is better but still not that great.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Oh so sad. Yeah i was thinking where she gone ! Depression is bad situation. No one can understand until he faced it. When i have depression that time my hand and feet started freezing and i always have low blood pressure. Falling pessimistic .. Please take care of yourself and i suggest you to make a adventure visit beautiful places soon you would have tension free life.

$ 0.03
2 years ago

We're saving money to go to Romania.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Oh great yeah one day you would visit it just keep it up

$ 0.00
2 years ago

We've already been to S.E. Asia and Europe, but I want to go back to S.E. Asia at some point.

$ 0.00
2 years ago

I invite you to visit pakistan sure you would become fan of Pakistan beauty

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Oh, I'm sure we would!

$ 0.00
2 years ago

Thank you for being with us... Thank you for giving us topics to write. God bless you and your son 💖

$ 0.03
2 years ago

Thanks!

$ 0.00
2 years ago