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.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Finally at Peace

Last Sunday, January 22, 2012, at around two thirty in the afternoon, mom passed away.  I was here in my house.  I am feeling pretty guilty for having coming home when I did.  It is not like she was alone; she had her friend and Hospice workers with her.  It is not like she knew that I was not there or anything, but still I can’t help but to think that if she had known she would have been disappointed that I had left knowing that she was close to dying.

After watching my sister taking her last breath, I don’t think I could ever witness anyone else’s last breath.  Because I had watched my sister, now every time that I think about my sister, I can’t help but to have a quick memory of that day she died.  With gram, I don’t have that at all, because I didn’t see her before she died.

The day that mom died my brother Tommy was on his way to his yearly vacation to Vermont.  I had to make an important decision as to whether or not I should call him and let him know.  I only had this option because my mom and Tommy were not close at all.  In fact they had not talked since my sister died, except for when I visited mom two weeks ago and I called my brother and handed the phone to my mom.  Their conversation lasted only thirty seconds but mom did tell him that she loved him and that is what I was hoping for.  So I decided that he didn’t have to know and ruin his whole vacation.  When I finally told him last night he was actually grateful that I made that decision.

Tommy kind of pissed me off though when I told him that he had to tell my dad and he asked me to do it.  I told him that it would be better to have him do it because he was there in person with my dad, but he refused and so I told him that he had to stay there with my dad after I told him.  Honestly I know that after I told dad and hung up, Tommy most likely left the room and left my dad to sit there in his own thoughts.  Sometimes it would be really nice if Tommy could deal with difficult issues, rather than just avoiding them.  Maybe I would like to be the one to avoid shit once in a while.  

Well before this gets too long with the same stuff, I am going to stop here.  The picture above is of me and mom back in the early to mid seventies in the backyard of our house.  We had just gotten the horse, Topper, and there were a few pictures taken of all of us around or on Topper.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Loss that Never Was

I have been back from my travels for almost a week now and well I was deciding what I should write about.  I will start off by saying that I really enjoyed my time in Vegas and could not help but to have my thoughts on the final part of my trip.  Since it still weighs heavy in my thoughts, even now that I have returned, I will write about some of those thoughts, so I can maybe organize them better in my mind.

When I first arrived in Florida I didn’t go straight to my mother, instead I spent the night with her close friend.  I guess I was just trying to prolong the impending visit.  While at my mom’s friends house I went through the items that were put aside for me.  There were some pictures as well as drawing that my mother had done that she had saved over the years.  I knew that my mother had journals and had asked about them and her friend said that she had read them and didn’t feel that anyone should read the words of a very depressed woman.  I was extremely angry that she had made that decision for me and honestly I was hoping that I could find maybe some answer there as to why mom treated me the way she had or at least some kind of indication of a reason at least.

The next morning I entered my mom’s room in the assisted living place and found that she was quite weak and part of me hoped that perhaps she would say something to me that was comforting or explaining why she treated me in the manner that she had.  What I found was that I felt as though I was annoying her, the same feeling I had felt all my life with her.  She was short with me and at times yelled at me.  I did however, do what it was that I knew I had to do and told her that I was thankful for her trying the best that she could at being a mother.  I lied and I know I did, but at least a part of my mind believes it to be true. 

I know that my mother could only be the kind of mother in which she was taught and from what I have heard; my grandmother was not as kind as she was to her own children as she was to her grandchildren.  Funny thing is my aunt disagrees with my mother on how it was to be raised by my grandmother.  The sad thing is, I tend to believe my aunt over my own mother. I have never been lied to by my aunt and have always been lied to by my mother.

Was it wrong to expect the impossible?  I think about it now and realize that I always knew in the back of my mind that I would never get any real apology for the way my mom treated me much less having her admit that she did wrong.  I guess I just wanted to be able to have one of those kinds of hallmark moments where I would feel compelled to get up from my chair and give her a big hug.  Or maybe I was looking for my mother to be healthy again and want to get up and come to me with a nice warm hug and hold me and let me know that everything was going to be alright.  Maybe I am still looking for the security that I had always needed as a kid.  Guess that is the impossible moment that I have always been looking for that I knew was never going to happen.

Since I left, Hospice has taken over.  I received a call today from a woman at Hospice and she asked if I was planning on going back down there.  I know the answer is no, but I told her I would see what I could do.  I honestly don’t want to give myself some sort of false hope of something that I know is not going to happen.  I don’t want to watch her all frail and weak and feel so mad at her.

She is going to die soon.  Actually it could even be tomorrow.  I feel a loss of something that I have never had with her.  I wonder why it is that I feel that way.  It is not like I ever thought I would have that wonderful mother daughter relationship or anything.  We are people who lived together and had distaste for each other, but tried to pretend we didn’t. Do I wish I knew what a true great mother daughter relationship was like?  Oh yeah I do.  Sometimes I watch mothers and daughter who are out in public and am jealous of them, even when they argue.  At least their arguments show how they care, rather than the put downs I received from my mother or the constant put downs that I experienced throughout my childhood.

Even now as an adult, I know that it was my mother who had a problem, but I can’t help but hear her voice tell me how stupid I am for doing the things I do.  Maybe if I had been more like my sister she might have liked me a little bit.  Or maybe if my parents’ relationship got better when I arrived she would have liked me more.  Maybe if I was better able to keep my brother from getting into trouble more or even took blame more for the things he did, she would have at least seen something good in me.  Maybe if I didn’t complain when my brother beat the crap out of me, she would not have considered me to be a huge burden like she did.  Maybe if I didn’t scream when I was taken by others who watched me when mom worked, she wouldn’t have considered me to be annoying.  I know these things are crazy to think about, but I think about them all the time.  I spent much of my childhood, trying to figure out how I could make her at least like me, and the best I had ever gotten was her trying to pretend to like me.

Well this is not helping me like I thought it would.  I know that I should just let this shit go, after all I am over forty years old.  I have been out of her house since I was nineteen years old.  I wish I knew why I can’t let this shit go.  What is really crazy is the fact that when I think I have let it all go, it comes back stronger and with mom dying, it is even stronger than it ever was and I don’t know how to shake it. I am sorry for making yet another blog of me bitching, but honestly I was writing this for me to try and understand where my head is at.  The picture above is of my mother as of last week.  I wonder how I can let such a weak and frail woman get inside my head.  When I look at the picture I feel sadness at the loss that I will soon face.  The loss of something that I never had but for years had hoped I would.  Now I know it will never be and I just wish that someone would wrap their arms around me and let me know I am ok and let me sit there until maybe my tears would flow.  That person would have to sit for a very long time, both waiting for the tears to start and then waiting for them to stop.  It has been years since I have cried and I know it would take a long time to get them to begin again.  With Denny going through the things he is right now, it is hard for me to ask him to be that person, and also, I would want the person to just know to do something like that for me, because they want to and understand and not because it is something that is asked of them. 

Well that is all I am going write right now.  I am giving myself a headache and I can feel myself shaking and need to be able to find a way to get some sleep tonight.  I think I am going to get some pharmaceutical help tonight.  That seems to be the course that has been working for a while now.  TTFN

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Heading to Vegas than to Florida

I will be on a plane this time tomorrow.  Dennis and I will be heading out to Vegas until Tuesday night.  We will be taking the red eye to Boston on Tuesday to Wednesday.  He will be heading back home and I will wait until the afternoon to head down to Florida to see Mom.  I have talked a lot about mom in the last blog and I will refrain from doing that again.  I am not overly excited to be on a plane, let alone the four that I will be taking over the next seven days.

I am looking forward to getting some photos while I am in Vegas.  I asked Denny if he would make sure that we get out of the strip to some desert area and even told him that I will not bother him about anything else while we are there.  What I didn’t think about at all was the fact of what lives in the desert, like snakes and spiders. Can we say EWWWW.  Thanks to Darrilyn, now I have that on my mind.  Hopefully I will forget about it for the most part by the time I go out to get some pictures.

Denny’s sister lives out there and we will be with them for a portion of our trip.  After all that is basically why we are heading out that way in the first place.  I know she mentioned something about a place to hike at.  Since his sister is also having one of Denny’s brothers and his two daughters over at the same time, she thought that would be a fun activity for everyone.  I am pretty sure I can get some nice photos there as well.

We will be staying at the Stratosphere where Denny was able to get some freebies like the hotel stay and from what Denny says we are getting a suite with a full living room, kitchen, bar and whirlpool bath. Funny how that place is going to be like two times the size of my own place.  Well at least it is free.  Also our meals will be paid for as well as some other various freebies. 

Well that is about it.  Let me see if I can find some kind of picture to go with this blog today.

Ok so here is one of the pictures I took from the window of the plane we took to New Orleans a while ago.  I hope we have these kinds of clear skies when we leave tomorrow.  Well that is it.  I will write when I get back from Florida. TTFN