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Showing posts from February, 2018

How I left an Abusive Relationship (and you can too)

Leaving an abusive relationship is scary and confusing. Furthermore, it's hard to get advice on what to do. After all, no one understands your situation better than you. I was in an abusive relationship for 8 years. I had two children during the marriage. I decided to leave 5 years ago. My hope is that by sharing my experiences, it will help someone out there in need. Please know up front that I am not a counselor, lawyer, or doctor and my advice is not meant to replace theirs. I am simply one person with an experience reaching out to another.

The face of domestic violence is different in every case. The offender can be male or female. The extent and type of control varies based on socioeconomic status, religious background, cultural standards and other external factors. I want to warn you that there are a significant amount of old biases out there and if you're planning on leaving an abusive relationship, you're bound to encounter them. Never allow someone else's opini…

When Your Loved One Has Bipolar

Bipolar disorder is one of the most misunderstood diagnoses in the world of mental health. It is difficult for practitioners to diagnose and more difficult to treat. Bipolar disorder is a complicated mixture of genetics, environment and experiences. Basically, if a person is genetically predispositioned to become bipolar, there is a strong possibility they will develop it regardless of how nurturing or positive the environment and experiences. As a society we see it simply as a “mood disorder” characterized by someone who switches emotions easily. Then we laugh and make jokes, “Oh man I’m so bipolar today” and go on with life. In reality, everyone has “mood swings”. We can go from happy to sad in a short amount of time. Things happen. Hormones happen. It’s life. But life for someone who has bipolar disorder is so much darker.
Bipolar I disorder is the more well-known of the two states. It is characterized by periods of “mania”. Mania is a confusing state for those witnessing the behavi…

Raising Children Who Have Experienced Domestic Violence

Raising children is difficult, without a doubt. There is no manual, no ability to prepare what you’ll face, and worst of all no way to know if you’re doing a good job. Things get tremendously more complicated when you’re faced with raising children who have experienced domestic violence. It’s hard to know what to say. You live life in a state of constant analysis, wondering if you’re doing the right thing. You worry about the future and what life your children will live. Help is often hard to come by. There are many who support, but few who understand. It’s a lonely, sad, and sometimes angry world.
When a child has lived through domestic violence they are a ticking time bomb. You never know when they might explode and divulge things you never knew. My daughter once said, “Mom didn’t leave dad because the house was in his name and she couldn’t kick him out”. This sentence was a stab to the heart. In essence, my child was stating that I was powerless to help her because her father contro…

We Need To Talk About Death

American culture is a very curious thing. From a young age we are filled with ideas and knowledge that will prepare us to become super citizens. Young adulthood is about idealism, thinking that somehow we’re going to make it to the level of the elite where we make enough money to not have to worry about anything…ever. Then we get old. Then something happens and we lose our ability to care for ourselves. Then we fall off the face of the planet. Why? Because no one wants to talk about the last phase of life; death.
I can’t tell you how many deaths I have lived through in my lifetime. The odd thing is that none of them were my direct family members. No, I was a bystander, watching from the outside as families cried and crumbled to pieces over the death of a loved one. It never ceases to surprise me how unprepared we are for death. Even if the person who passed was well into their nineties, even if they have congestive heart failure, cancer or COPD…somehow people convince themselves that t…

I Have a Good Life...And I Still Have Depression

Oh, depression. You asshole. I have spent 70% of my life battling you and the other 30% trying to explain you to others. You make my life a living hell and yet many of my abilities are a direct result of dealing with you. I hate you. But I thank you. You are my pet monster, and as of now I don’t anticipate you will ever die.  
I have a good life. I have an amazing husband. No joke…he’s the Prince Charming who is handsome, romantic, affectionate and sensitive. He cooks, he cleans, and he’s a phenomenal dad. We have 3 children. Our girls are smart and funny and have friends. Our son is often mistaken for a cherub, even though he can act the opposite. He’s also funny, far too smart for his age, and very loving. We live in a big house in a nice little suburb in a quiet Midwest town. We are not rich by any means, but our income is about twice that of those around us and that makes us blessed. We have nice cars, food on the table, health insurance…everything we Americans dream of. With all o…