Welcome to My Bumpy Ride.......

Before you all read on, I guess it is best to introduce myself to you and let you know a bit about myself. I am Susan, and first and foremost, I am a mother to a wonderful young man. Though he is grown, he will always be that three year old little boy, that asked all those questions and expected answers to them all. Though I will tell you much about myself in this blog there is no one or nothing that is as important to me as him, even if I don't discuss him much, because he kina likes to remain private.

For years I was actively trying to find myself, but that was a big waste of time, since by doing so I was not living. All my life I have always known that I was "different", but was unable to know why that was. I first thought that perhaps it was because I was adopted, but that was not the case. Turns out, I am bipolar and pretty much have been all my life. This was explained to me about nine years ago when I had a major melt down. I tend to be more on the depressive side, but have on occasion been quite manic. My last episode was early thru mid 2008, with full blown depression. For five months, I bearly left my house, let alone my bed. Why am I telling you this? I just want it out in the open and let you understand that I discuss my illness from time to time.

Present day, I am currently a full time student, studying social work. At the end of 2011 I was approached by a mentor of mine, who mentioned a new program that was going to launch here in Rhode Island. This new program called the Peer Wellness Coaching, was something that I had always wished would become a reality and to add even more excitement was the fact that this mentor was inviting me to train for a position as one of the Peer Wellness Coaches.

So currently (spring 2012) I am part of the three phases of training and should be employed by the fall of 2012. What is even more excellent about this program is that they are aware of my education goals and are willing to work with me on maintaining those goals.

Also you might hear me mention NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), because I am actively involved with them. I am a facilitator and state trainer for the NAMI Connection groups (peer run support group) here in Rhode Island, and I also help teach high school and college students about mental illness through NAMI RI's Inside Mental Illness program.

So with all that being said...I hope you read on to my daily activities and thoughts and such.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Entry for January 31, 2011 My Brother’s Birthday

Today is my brother’s birthday and I figured that today I would try and write the issues that have been festering about my feelings about my brother.  Now don’t get me wrong here, I don’t hate him or even dislike him, but there are issues revolving around my family pertaining to him.

I guess I will start with the present situations with my brother and my father.  Dad has been sick now for quite a while, and at the present time dad is having memory problems, incontinence issues and he is having difficulties walking.  I will start with the incontinence issues.  I was just at my dad/brother’s house and realized that dad is not cleaning himself properly, and issues like this could bring on a world of other issues.  His not being able to walk around easily enough is also a reason why he is not cleaning himself properly since he has to climb stairs to do so. Six months ago I told my brother that he really needs to get going on building up the bathroom downstairs for my father and here now six months later nothing is done about this issue.

I have also brought to my brother’s attention that dad has great long term health insurance and that I have contacted a wonderful home health care center that will visit dad three days a week for three hours each time and my brother shot it down.  Now at this point you all must be thinking why not just go through my father about getting a home health care person in.  I have.  Now is the time to bring up a bit of the past.

My brother is the golden child.  He has been since the day my parents had brought him home.  I can’t understand why this is.  Maybe it is one of two reasons or both.  You see my brother was the only boy and he was also the only one of us that was adopted as an infant.  I am guessing those could be the reasons but I am not sure.  What I don’t get is that my brother was also the major problem child growing up.  Our lives revolved around how he would react to issues and my sister and I were left to our own devices.  Even when my parent split and it was me and my brother living with my mom she still took the time to check in with us at times, but as soon as my brother left to live with dad as a teen my mom seemed to pretty much check out as a parent and it felt as though I was on my own at 14 yrs old.

I think what pisses me off the most about my dad issues is the fact that my father has given the house to my brother and actually my brother has never in his life paid rent, because he has lived in my dad’s house since he was fifteen years old and dad never asked him for rent.  Actually my brother basically pays no major bills.  Yes I am jealous,  I have had to struggle all my life and each time I visit dad/brother’s house there is a sting I feel when I see all the things my brother gets to buy for himself.  Even food shopping with him is crazy.  I always buy sales and look for them.  An example is boneless chicken breast, I refuse to pay more than $2.50 a pound and there was my brother just picking up one and it was over four dollars.  I know I am being small and petty about all this but I wonder, is this shit ever going to end.  Will I be recognized for all the struggles I have gone through? I am not saying that my parents don’t say things about the things I have done, but it would be nice to not have my father say something about my strengths and then in the same breath mention how great my brother is.

Even yesterday because of my father’s memory problems, I called him up to remind him that today was my brother’s birthday.  And like I said, I don’t dislike my brother and honestly I am not sure he even knows that he is the golden child.  My brother is basically disconnected with people and don’t really pick up on those things.  And I am not saying he doesn’t care about my father or anything like that.  He just doesn’t know that he is doing anything wrong as far as my father’s care goes.  There are so many things that scare me about my father being in his care, but there is nothing I can do about it.  With my sister having passed away my father has chosen my brother to be the one in charge of his care and since that is what dad has chosen I have decided that I will step back and let my father have his way and I will help when asked.  After all it was his decision and there is nothing I can do about it.

I know this was a major rant blog and honestly I didn’t even touch into the issues pertaining to my brother and mother but this has been long enough and honestly if anyone has even gotten this far in the blog I would be majorly surprised.  No picture today since I am not in the mood and I will write soon and let you all know about the classes I am taking and things related to school, but I think I needed to get this out.  TTFN

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Entry for January 2, 2011 Loneliness Falls Upon Me

For some reason today I feel all alone.  I have been living alone now for over four months, and I guess it is pretty good that I have made it as far as I did without feeling this way.  Being in school, I think, has helped me to have other things to think about other than being alone most of the time. 

I have some really good friends, but they live so far away from me and all I can do is talk to them over the phone.  I have lived in this area for some time now and yet I have not been able to meet any close friends.  I do have a few people whom I would call friends but not close friends. 

I guess it also does not help that I have been shut up in the house as much as I have either.  Funny thing is though; I don’t seem to want to go anywhere.  I am going to force myself to go out tomorrow though.  I have to go and pick up some late Christmas gifts, so maybe I will head out to a mall that I have never been to yet.  Honestly though, I will probably go the safe route and go to a store that I know already.

I do have Dennis and lately that has not been a good thing.  I love him and care about him, but that has only hurt me in the last couple of years.  It is so hard to see someone destroying themselves and watch them not care.  I know at this point he is sabotaging our relationship and I know why he is doing it.  Better to hurt others then to have others hurt you.  I know this all too well.  I have done it myself countless times.  What I find the hardest to deal with is the fact that he is not willing to help himself.  I have been there as well, but I recognized it and corrected my thinking.  He was there with me through the whole process and I am trying to be there for him but I don’t thinking he sees it just yet.  I am wondering how long it is going to take him.  Then I wonder: am I going to hang on and wait for that to happen? 

Moving out was something I had to do.  Something that I thought would help the both of us.  It seems that it is helping me, but it is making him worse.  Then I wonder if I was or am being selfish.  We have talked about my moving from the very beginning and I thought he understood that it was going to be a growing experience, but since I have moved he has taken the opposite turn. 

I am supposed to go with him to his family for a get together next weekend, but I don’t think I will.  I have asked him to talk with his family about some of the issues he is dealing with and if he tells me that is what he is going to do next weekend then I will go with him, but if not I am heading to Albany to visit with my friend earlier then I was going to go in the first place.  I think if I go and make sure I don’t talk to him while I am away it will strengthen me more as a person.  I know that I have been in the past mega co-dependent on him and even today there is some of that going on, but what I wonder is: Was he co-dependent on me as well, and if so have I ripped that away from him.  For me I have slowly broken away from it and I am wondering if my moving out and not spending so much time with him caused him not to be able to move slowly into an independent person like I have. 

The good news about all this is that during this time I have a new excellent therapist to which I can discuss all these thoughts and feeling with.  For the past three years I have had a stagnation in my therapy because of a therapist that I feel was not qualified to handle the case load they were given.  His main goal was to keep me out of the hospital and he did manage to do that for almost two years but I was stuck in this never ending circle of not getting anywhere in my therapy.  I am however grateful in his support as I went from not being able to move out of my bed to being able to attend school and maintain decent grades.  Now, however,  I feel as though I am ready to move on so I can grow further on and he was not going to be that kind of person to help me do that.

I was lucky enough to get a new therapist because of a career move on my old therapist’s part.  I am so pleased with my new therapist for many reasons but the one that is major is that she is a woman and is around my age.  It is so much easier to talk with a female and it makes a huge difference that she is around my age.  That means that she has lived some and knows some.  That does make a huge difference.

I know this was a long blog and I am sorry, but like I said before, once I get to typing I have no idea where this blog is going to go.  I just know the first sentence and then it just goes from there.  It is almost like I have no control over it, and honestly that is the way I like it.

Today’s picture is from way back in the day.  The reason I picked it is because yesterday I was out with a friend and her two sons ages 3 and 7, and the 7 year old asked me if I know about video games and I was like sure I do.  He proceeded to tell me all about the Wi that he got for his birthday and all the games he got for Christmas and well I just got to thinking about the early games and happened to find a picture of Pong and decided to share it with you all.  So with that I am signing off.  TTFN