Thursday, September 30, 2010

p39. Life lessons for grown parents.

God teaches us a simple lesson; a parent can learn the value of life by how much they are needed by their children.

This thought occurred to me while I sat for hours, watching my baby restrained to a hospital bed after an accidental overdose of sleeping pills, alcohol and psych medication.

Oddly enough; a parent can also learn the value of life by how much they think about their children.

This thought occurred to me when realizing adults and parents have heartbreaking battles to fight of their own; they can feel bruised by hospital restraints, they are just not bound by them.

Friday, April 10, 2009

p38.And so it goes...

This year has turned out to be one of unforeseen challenges. Sometimes you wonder if the last 24 years might not have been a practical training course for now – now when you seem to feel a bit of what it must be like to be ostracized by many for an aspect of your life that is different or not in their realm of understanding.

I’ve watched many years go by, especially during the birthday party years–were Da was home because there wasn’t an invitation hanging on the refrigerator, but a frown on her face, with a stare to nowhere. It was a such a hard thing to deal with–these lack of invitations, it would tear your heart out to watch your daughter totally confused about why she was always excluded. But then you would understand because of the behavior she might act out or even yet, she may be the one who takes control and takes the other kids with her–you knew/prayed it was never a case of “tic tock the games locked”. Actually you would find yourself feeling sorry for the parents of the birthday child, just hoping it was truly a difficult decision for them to make, and one they did not make lightly.

Do you wonder where you fall – which parent would you have been for your child’s birthday parties?


• The parent that crosses that name off the invitation list – mindlessly, just thinking of the 
“things you have heard”?

• Perhaps the parent that talks with their child about the situation and better yet, all of their own family before making a decision?

• Maybe the parent that actually has the respect to call and talk to the special needs child’s parents about how to handle the party quandary?


Would you stop during your child’s party and think about the one that wasn’t there for even a brief second? I’ve learned it is certainly not hard to be invisible, especially when you’ve had 24 years of practice.

I can/could only imagine how incredibly hard it was for a young girl to deal with such rejection, I’m sure Da questioned her self worth often. Those of us who know her best and love her forever, they know, they know she is okay and they know she may need her space sometime to just leave it all behind, examine what’s next or just understand how to deal with the challenges on her plate, and importantly stay well doing so. We keep a watch from a far.

All of the ups and downs her father and I have been experiencing getting the "shorter", "friendlier", "less expensive" divorce, for over a year now (yes that was sarcasm), has been dealt with very differently between us. Maybe it’s just a guy/girl thing.

The worse has been the party invitations on the refrigerator – one gets them, one does not, I guess this is how it goes. I guess the devastation that really hits home to anyone with an issue that people may not fully understand or recognize, is how hard it is to understand why they are now treated differently by a person, or why they even feel as they do?

Everyone has people in their life they know are supporting, and I’m sure those people get very frustrated when calls and emails aren’t returned, to the point of giving up. Don’t give up, sometimes when people just see a name on the ID or mail software, they at least know there is a sincere thought behind the line of type that says they care, and hopefully they know the space needed maybe way to long, but it will come to a stop at some point.

If the invitation isn’t on the refrigerator, why not ask the child to come play another day for lunch and let them put that on their calendar, or “let them get back to you”!

So many things just run parallel, one lesson will always teach you another, especially if you take a moment to consider your actions or those of others.

One song might be “Happy Birthday to you”, the other “Jesus take the Wheel”.

Blessed Easter!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

p37. Deleted Comment

In a comment left on p32., a person named Dr. Michael, said…

“Bipolar disorder is not a single disorder, but a category of mood disorders characterized by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated mood, clinically referred to as mania. Individuals who experience manic episodes also commonly experience depressive episodes or symptoms, or mixed episodes in which features of both mania and depression are present.”

Dr. Michael went on to put a link to an unrelated drug site, which is not appropriate nor acceptable on this blog. Because of this I have deleted his comment.

I thought his clinical assessment warranted a bit more human speak, so I visited NAMI because some of what he mentions are episodes used for identifying the course of bipolar, not the types/classifications.

The 4 types of Bipolar disorder are classified from the DSM-IV—Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition published by the American Psychiatric Association, research by the National Institute of Mental Health, these articles also use interviews with leading bipolar experts.

I will put the excerpts of these articles in italics. My added comments will just be in plain type.


The following are 2 of the 10 Myths (you can find the full articles on NAMI's website):

“Top 10 Myths about Bipolar Disorder”: by John McManamy

2. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder.

Half true. Bipolar disorder certainly affects mood, but it also affects cognition and the ability to perform mental tasks. Some days we can out-think Stephen Hawking. Other days we make Forrest Gump look like an intellectual.

3. Yes, but bipolar disorder is still a mood disorder.

Granted, but for most of us it is also part of a package deal that may include anxiety, substance and alcohol abuse and sleep disorders. Also, researchers are finding smoking guns linking the illness to heart disease, migraines and other physical ailments.

Bipolar disorder certainly affects mood, but it also affects cognition and the ability to perform mental tasks. Some days we can out-think Stephen Hawking. Other days we make Forrest Gump look like an intellectual.
The above information was mainly accredited to:

HealthCentral's Bipolar Connection at www.bipolar-connection.com



I thought one of the articles at NAMI, covered the classifications of Bipolar, in an understandable fashion. If you have been following this blog about raising Da, you know, she without question–has Bipolar 1.

I have edited some text that refers to another section of the article not mentioned here and have added to some paragraphs to keep the content from two articles flowing.


"The many faces & facets of BP"

By Michelle Roberts
From "bp Magazine", Summer 200

Bipolar I

This is the most severe type of bipolar disorder and the classic type. A diagnosis of Bipolar I requires at least one full-blown manic episode some time during a person's life that doctors cannot attribute to another cause, such as a medication or substance abuse. The manic episode must last at least one week, or be serious enough to require hospitalization or cause functional impairment in some aspect of a person's life (marriage, career, finances, etc.). Interestingly, a major depressive episode is not required to be diagnosed with this form of bipolar disorder, but it is almost always present and usually even much more common than the manic episodes.



Note: most of us, (well I did), think of depression as a form of sadness and suicide – I always thought people who were depressed were experiencing the end of the world–without hope. It was certainly understandable when I first learned, that it also includes:

• restlessness and irritability

• inability to concentrate or make decisions

• either an elated, happy mood or an irritable, angry, unpleasant mood

are all considered depressive episodes.

Excuse my language, but when thinking of a woman - how many of us thought, this was just a blond bitch?


Bipolar II

Most experts agree that there are versions of bipolar disorder that don't produce full mania, yet respond very well to mood-stabilizing medications. People whose symptoms fit this category are often diagnosed with Bipolar II, sometimes called "soft" bipolar. According to Dr. Ghaemi, the primary difference between Bipolar I and Bipolar II is that the manic symptoms of the latter are not severe enough to cause functional impairment.


Cyclothymic Disorder

Sometimes called "bipolar lite," this diagnosis requires multiple depressive and hypomanic episodes not extreme enough to warrant a diagnosis of Bipolar I or II. In some cases, depression and mania occur simultaneously, resulting in a state of chronic irritability. A person's symptoms must last for at least two years with no more than two months of stable mood during that time.


Bipolar NOS (Not Otherwise Specified)

This form of bipolar requires manic or depressive episodes that doctors can't categorize as unipolar depression. The episodes also can't fit into any of the other bipolar categories. The Bipolar NOS label often applies in the following circumstances:

• Rapid mood fluctuations intense enough to qualify as manic, hypomanic, or depressive, but that don't meet the duration requirements for a Bipolar I, Bipolar II, or Cyclothymic disorder diagnosis
• Hypomania without depression
• Mania or Cyclothymic disorder that occurs simultaneously with schizophrenia, psychotic disorder NOS, or delusional disorder (a disorder characterized by psychoses, hallucinations, and delusional thinking)
• Chronic depression or dysthymia (long-term, low-level depression) accompanied by hypomanic episodes.

Dr. Ghaemi suggests that this category also be used for persons with recurrent severe depression (but no clear hypomania) who also experience manic or hypomanic periods only with antidepressant use, or who have family members diagnosed with bipolar disorder.



Dr. Michael (who left the comment on this Blog), seems to refer to a "mixed" MANIC episodes, here is the definition from the article…

A mixed state is when symptoms of mania and depression occur at the same time. During a mixed state depressed mood accompanies manic activation.

Diagnosis of mixed states is most likely to be made after a patient fails to respond to outpatient treatment, or becomes worse on antidepressant medications and is subsequently admitted to the hospital for closer observation. This state is found in BP I, II, and is not considered a classification of BP.


There are also episodes known as rapid cycling... that are also, not considered a separate type of BP; it is a descriptor of the course of bp.

Sometimes individuals may experience an increased frequency of episodes. When four or more episodes of illness occur within a 12-month period, the individual is said to have bipolar disorder with rapid cycling. Rapid cycling is more common in women.


I hope some of you found this technical information to help you understand this complex illness.

Some people, in all families, tend to stick their heads in the sand and not learn about what it means to be Bipolar. They rather look for snake oils or herbs from far away places to fix it. As I have always heard "you have to know how to drive a car, before you can park it!", maybe they didn't receive this wisdom in their past.



I think after living with Da for 23 years, and watching her grow into young adulthood, the quote from John McManamy has become a good summation of–well at least a part of her illness:

“…it also affects cognition and the ability to perform mental tasks. Some days we can out-think Stephen Hawking. Other days we make Forrest Gump look like an intellectual.”

Admittedly, I am not an Einstein either.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

so like me...

Lilly, Phyllis, Judy, Jan, Jennifer, Sharon and Ted - these are folks I know well and treasure their support and thoughts. I'm afraid life gets a bit overwhelming and I don't tell them this near enough.

You know, those kind of friends you don't have to talk to everyday - but when you do, you feel like you have.

Bless You!

p36. a loss for words.

It's hard, the older my daughter gets, the more complex the situations, thus the harder it has become for me to write her journey.

Granted, many situations I have referenced previously have been complex - yet in their own unique way, they have had a nucleus of characters that are more intimate in their own experiences with Da.

As she physically moves (not impulsively), the nucleus grows and the geography changes, ultimately the mother is not there to check out the cast of characters. In my case and opinion, Sherlock Holmes is still a very necessary skill for mothers to keep in their back pockets no matter the age of the investigated.

I’m sure you have heard the old adage "you need to let them go", which is mainly used for raising kids, and, again, mainly given to the mother for valued advise, but it never gives them the logic nor logistics to deal with the issues that will undoubtedly present themselves, especially to mothers/parents/caretakers of special needs kids.

Basically, this long windbag post is trying to say, the last few months have been very odd and I’m not sure yet how to translate the events into human speak.

Know that all are well and breathing, in fact they are on their way back to our geographical area to slip into their familiar cell (I should say nucleus instead of being broad, since I my have implied the Justice Center – which is not the case).

Prayers are always welcome and pretty much needed!

Oh, and “you need to let them go”… where does it say who’s supposed to respond to the 22 text messages everyday?

Monday, June 30, 2008

p35. Let's Change the tune.

When I was reading through some of the more current post, I was so surprised how focused I was on Da's music... snooze for many people! But one more song and this one is not by her, but just think of the "Blues".


I asked Da’s therapist a question one day, and she didn’t know how to answer it – and I am not sure if she could find someone who could.


You often hear about the divorce rate among parents when they lose a child, but what about parents who have raised a severely mentally ill child? Do the everyday stresses and the really big ones wear out the “for better and worse, for sicker and poorer” statements in your vows?

Da’s dad and I are in the process of getting a Collaborative divorce, she knows she is not the reason, but she also knows what a stress on our marriage she has been.

In googling this subject, it seemed all that came up was the effects of children being raised by a mentally ill parent, or once again it was all about the mother and her illness.

Let’s face it mothers do take things differently verses fathers, it’s just a historical fact, but who’s right and whose wrong – I think this is where the trouble begins and the marriage can die.

Raising a bipolar kid has been an experience to say the least. One thing in their corner is that you understand they have an illness and their behavior is going to be different and so are the heart aches and heart throbs they will give you through out the years they are with you.

But because of legal reasons and out of respect for the victim, I cannot openly discuss another issue we have experienced. I think this is the one that did us in – not a sick child but the actions of another that were just so senseless it is hard to come to grips with.

I know this has changed me drastically; women do tend to think with their hearts and are a bit more protective. But when someone does something to a family member that is just awful and you can’t deal with what has happened, let’s face it – you can’t help but change.

I think as much as a victim can sufferer from PTSD, the circle around them can do so too. Now my husband believed when I would get in my depressed moods, in fact he just came out and said it one day… “It didn’t happen to you”, I thought that spoke volumes. For me anyway when someone I care and love so much that I would die for them suffers something, I suffer with them.

This creates stress beyond tension and you can end up just not liking each other very much.

I guess it's when you come to the decision that nothing is going to change how you feel about each other, so why bother living a lie, especially at our ages.

It’s a sad thing, it tears your heart out because of your children and it’s amazing how your pets affect you too – but I must say that Da in her infinite wisdom said it best…

“Mom, we are all grown and have our personalities, I really don’t think this will change them”.

I pray it doesn’t!

As for my husband and me, I pray it does.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

One cannot imagine!

It is with the greatest apologies... but at least I now have the opportunity to tell you I have been in a cave somewhere and without access to the Internet for eons!

Actually I'm opening an art center and have been busy redoing every room of a home (became a bait shop) from 1870.

www.esartcenter.net

I promise I'll be giving the Da updates soon... especially for a dear buddy in St. Louis!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

p34. Beth – it’s not always about you!

Please remember you are reading the most current post, the first in the random succession of this blog is listed on the right, Sept. 13th.

Often, well more than often I hear this statement – “Beth, geeze (better yet, insert expletive here) - it’s not always about you”, and honestly I am perplexed – perhaps it is because others see something in me that I don’t, something bad and irritating. Maybe it’s because of all the things I have been through as a mother of a special needs child, I tend to relate my experiences more, especially with more forceful authority, I also feel responsible – which my doctor describes as not having boundaries. No boundaries translates into one simple concept, everything becomes your fault.

Boundaries for moms of these special kids are not the idyllic picket fences that contain fluffy little dogs and happy little children – this is your neighbor’s house (possibly). Boundaries for moms like myself, is when the dog is sick – it’s because of something you’ve done – if the paint chips on the fence it because of the way you treated the yard, etc. Unfortunately it is not this simple.

I am not sure if all mothers of bipolar kids might experience this, but with a lack of boundaries mixed with guilt and a huge dash of over sensitivity you can have a very good recipe for someone that comes across as sounding like it’s always about them. But is it?

Have you ever checked out at the food market and found the cashier to be a bit snippy or sad? Have you ever felt it is your fault? Have you ever looked at someone who is a complete stranger and just knew they need your empathy and hugs because something just didn’t seem right? This all happens to me often.

Unfortunately it feels even worse when people judge this as a fault when they have no idea what’s behind the emotion. Sometimes mask are developed and when you are in a room of people that are either uncomfortable or overall not your cup of tea, you change colors as the chameleon I discussed earlier.

I had a mother come to my window at work and she was on her way to pick up her daughter from physical therapy. When she told me how far she had to drive, I asked if it would be intrusive for me to inquire why she goes so far away when we had a number of good facilities locally. She then proceeded to have tears rolling down her face as she described the tragic accident of her daughter becoming a quadriplegic through a diving accident.

After handholding and both of us crying, I asked how she was and what she was doing to help herself? When I came home and told my husband about it and how I also felt bad for this mother having to drive so far twice a day, daily - his response was just like the one above, “it’s not about the mother, it’s about the daughter”. I listened to what he said carefully. But I guess I am guilty as charged.

The daughter is utmost number one, but the mother – she has to been taken care of too, we have to think of her sacrifices too. I think she needs some “it’s about me, and be able to feel that’s OK without the judgment of others. She has a hard job now and ahead, and she loves the reason why more than anyone.

Her boundaries are now going to be miles and miles, I hope she doesn’t get so far away, but I do hope she stays close to herself, even though she will not be as close as the holding, rocking and hugging of her daughter. I think moms of special kids could use some “moming” themselves.

Sorry to be selfish, but hell yeah – it is about me sometimes, forgive me for being concerned and wanting to relate. Maybe this just isn’t the right way as I have said repeatedly…

But you know what, it’s all I have to give right now.

Oh to let you know I am thinking about Da, she was asked to get her ASCAP number for radio, but she is falling into a sever depression. Pray for her, I don’t need them right now... I’m just scared.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

p33. Hard working girl - lets move on! (Sounds like a Country song!)

Please remember you are reading the most current post, the first in the random succession of this blog is listed on the right, Sept. 13th.

Wow it has been a long time! Well it might just be simply that my mind has been running in circles about what to write.

Da finally found a job she loved, she was the day bartender for a local sport type bar – making good tips and developing a good customer base. Well it turns out she had splashed her black pants with a spot of bleach and after being told to get new pants, she did not, this led the one manager to release her of her employment. I think she is still crying about the whole thing. I was told she ripped the guy a new one and I can just imagine how nasty that must have been. This is the kind of information you wonder about... spot on the pants... hum?

Now here's a random thought brought to mind by lack of employment - did I tell you that she went without electricity for 6 months last year? I didn’t even know this. This day and age where the poor in the US have televisions, cell phones, DVD players etc., it really is surprising to see this kid who is actually financially strapped. Her benefits from the mental health court program, with the exception of her medication have pretty much run out, I really am amazed at all she deals with. Sadly after everything, I know she will not be invited to live with us.

Well back to the job situation… Like most suburban towns, ours has a main street that is a four-lane highway with every type off business you can imagine. You know the kind with 2 Starbucks with in 7 miles and repeated McDonald’s much closer. We have decided that it is Da’s goal along with her music to work her way up and down this whole street, you see with the exception of three jobs she has been employed by 12 businesses on this one thoroughfare. Unfortunately since she lost the one she truly loved she has (with in 3.5 weeks) been hired and quit 2 because she didn’t like it or as she said they didn’t give her enough hours. She still hasn't found anything, as you can guess this happened recently.

I am not really sure what the average number of jobs a person holds in the lifetime, but she certainly will be well rounded when she actually starts a chosen "career".

Ah career, the singing career – it is actually still moving along. This week Da will do one more recording, still in rough cuts, and we will go meet the next day with her mentor from Def Jam. I will finally get to ask a number of questions on how to proceed should she not fit there label, or one of the huge amounts of others that includes Def Jam. I am still amazed with her music, especially since they are still rough cuts. We are thinking that she might be asked this week to go ahead a “master” two of the tracs for submittal.

I did see a program with an eclectic group of guys from various boy bands, and they were talking about the perception that one hit song makes you rich, they said this is certainly not true – so I guess our cars might be a long time coming. Actually I am just hoping for a demo contract right now, where a label would cover the development, legalities and production of said demo.


Of course the fellow whom “My Dad’s so hot your Mom’s gonna want to meet him” is about, had a great idea, (now this is based on the fact that we have our fingers crossed that she doesn’t follow the path of a few other young ladies).

The idea…

He said “Da, why don’t you have a T-Shirt printed up that says… “I lasted longer in the big house than Paris!” and we are not talking about one of her mansions or parents hotels!

Rock on, well hip-pop on!

You can here some of the new added songs here:

Demo

Please refresh the page if you have visited before.

Oh... and she has changed the name to "The Sound of Sex", I am watching her finger nails!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

p32. Are you in line for your sports car yet?

These are the kind of pop-up thoughts the mother’s of bipolar children have when they are just driving around not really think about anything, these are the sad exhausting ones that are usually accompanied with a bit of normalcy.


Well I have firmly decided that nothing exists (exception - professional sport stars), with the incredible levels of people involved in one career (even just the hopeful) than those in vocal pop arts.

Between Managers, Labels, Publishers, ASCAP, Promoters, Internet, iTunes, Merchandising, Copyright, Engineers, “Beat” writers etc. and not to mention three very expensive attorneys – Contractual, Trademark/copyright and Intellectual property - that must review all above (which I hope and think the Label will consume once that happens if it does) how blessed most of us are just to have our two interviews the jobs we look into.

Let’s face it, Da has tunnel vision and the details above are overwhelming and mean nothing to her, so guess who is stuck with this! Yep, “Director Mom”, and the “My father is so hot your mother’s gonna want to meet him” guy. It’s been a real study with the help of a very dear friend who is leading us through the legal directions.

With her tunnel vision, comes this very fact, SHE IS ALREADY BRITINAY MINUS THE BALD LOOK! Fortunately, or unfortunately thinks Director Mom, she isn’t concerned with her virtue as Brittany was when first starting out – Da is just upset it wasn’t Justin Timberlake. A lot of this will take you back to her major first year in adulthood when Manic was just a 5-letter word.

She had her first club date, and she was really good. I was so proud of her I was the obnoxious mother cruising through the large club shouting, “hey that’s my daughter, isn’t she great! What do you think?” I think once they saw my earplugs and glass of wine, the “OK lady get away” look came to their faces. A few things Da failed to tell me (she did tell me it was college night) is she was opening for a popular Rap group that was pointed in a drive by shooting last year. Her manager in transition, meaning who wants to be, but we haven’t worked out the contract yet, swore to me that evening she would not be appearing with those type of groups again. He and Da coined the phrase Hip Pop© and his first direction is a few more clubs here then get her the heck out of town.

I am attaching a photo, mainly because I thought it was kind of funny that her rough “demo” is called “Broken” and check out her arm.



Anyway, her Def Jam records connection is taking the finally finished new song to the label with others to see if they can do a labeled demo, which is a step before signing, I think. Keep your fingers crossed again.

People in the public entertainment industry must be full of bipolar people; just the tenacity it would take to make it would require the extra bit of mania. You hear about some that supposedly have but it’s never confirmed, such as Robin Williams, then you really wonder about people who might have it with a sideline of a Board-Line personality disorder like Tom Cruise.

I remember the year I mentioned above when Da lost so much weight, down to a size 3, she had been working out, her hair looked great and she is already beautiful. This was the year she borrowed some guy’s car to run up the street for cigarettes and came back three days later after visiting NYC.

Then there was the time she borrowed the car to bring over her little sisters birthday gift. At this point she was driving without a license since it had been confiscated after a stolen credit card didn’t work for gas. When she pulled up, I have to tell you she looked gorgeous in this convertible with her shades on, but I also must tell you it was likely the most heartbreaking experience I have had in 21 years.

My youngest and I were standing in the yard and then zoom – three police cars with flashing lights come barreling down the street and actually do a Hollywood type of blocking her in, then handcuffing her before taking her to jail, I was crying loudly my daughter was crying silently, you know when you choke it back but the tears still roll down your face – much like I am doing now – not really sure if it’s all for Da or a lot for her sister - where is Moe?

This time the poor guy’s car was impounded, he must have been a very good friend, and I don’t know how long it took to get it back.

I do hope she is in a limousine having a driver and a manager that will really care should she make it - steering her in the right direction. If anyone becomes a star, there is still a mother crying out of joy or crying out of pain for the child.

I bet Brittany’s mom is desperately looking for a new driver.




Speaking of promotion, I do get a lot of notes about this site and just wanted to tell you it’s very easy to subscribe, just use the box on the right side, there are no lists or spam involved. If you were contacted, you will need to click on the orange icon and activate your subscription.

Monday, January 29, 2007

p31. Once a Mother always a Director!

Well regarding the music career and life in general, Da’s certainly had a bit of everything this month.

I was thinking in the short span of 22 years, (for those of us raising a special needs kid) I have been a mother, a track star, a smooth it over politically correct neighbor. I have been a school advisor, a parental advisor, a TV advisor, a stage mother, a peace pleader, and an IEP, SBH, 504-plan specialist.

Since Da has entered young adulthood my specialties have also grown in importance. It has taken many years of experience and study with plenty of observation to carry these important titles in these later years. I have been an advocate, a person to relate with for other parents, I have become an unlicensed psychiatrist and pharmacist, not to mention social worker – over the past two years my focus went to my practice (un licensed) of mental health law, social services and state welfare which leads me too… the music business.

Hey, I sing with a church group – doesn’t that count? Granted we don’t drop the “f” bomb with the casualness of yawning amongst good friends, but we know a few things.

Da is supposed to do her first club experience in two weeks, but I must tell you what has transpired before we knew this; first she had her first upset, a development group decided not to work with her yet. They felt she needed a bit more time on developing in writing and singing… NOW, Ms. Director here would tell you it’s because she felt she had to rush and put some “hip-hop” tunes on her demo before they heard it - remember she wants to be the first white girl signed by Def Jam Records. (I’m sure I told you about when she wanted to be a little black girl and tore the carpet up to have dread locks for her hair).

She recorded these songs not only quickly, but also, not near the quality of the rough cuts on the demo link, and I’m afraid this made a big part of their discussion – hey but what do I know, I’m just a mom DIRECTOR. So we have been heated in our discussions about what songs to do in her first appearance. Granted I have not been to a club like one of these and really am blown away that there are often not even musicians, nor the fact that no one slow dances anymore, so I guess I do need to stop my arguing until I go check out the “scene”. I know nothing will bring down the house like when she sings her yet to be written “My Dad’s so Hot, you’re Mom’s gonna want to Meet Him!”

Our little hip-hop star will be hopping carefully on one hip though, not only has she had a spill that put her in a cast over her elbow, but last night she sent a door flying over her foot that sent her back to the hospital with another “stay off of it for…” She ripped off one of her nails. Ouch – I got a taste of the hip-hop today when I got a few “f” bombs and she got a few … “talk to me like that again…”

Let’s face it, I have been there for her first performances for years, the car pool for preschool were she dazzled everyone with “Oklahoma”, there was the Church festival karaoke when she was 5 and sang to the crowd “Like a Virgin”. There were the talent shows and family gatherings. There was a train ride in Toronto where she sang the score of "Phantom" for the rail car when she was 8. There was the group she sang with before the same show the following year with the New York cast. The one with just the local kids was right when she started Zyprexa, which causes huge weight gains, God love her – she came out for the final bow eating a Snickers bar. Ah, I could keep going but I am sure I have mentioned if not these, a number of others previously.

I would be lying to not say - if I haven’t already - how proud I am of her just keeping on with her music, it brings her comfort and me personally such joy.

I’ll have to admit, watching my beautiful baby up there on that stage one arm/legged with her microphone and her rap partner dropping is his “f” bombs will just make me as proud as punch. Now the old guy dancing in the middle of the room with the beer bottle on his head, you know – the one all the mom’s are gonna want to meet – we’ll just disown him that night.

Soprano’s your flat… be more mature! Sorry - old joke.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

p30. Short but sweet, we hope…

Let’s face it; it isn’t very often that opportunities of this magnitude present themselves.

Da’s demo cd is now complete and is being hand carried by a VP of an unnamed company today for review. Can we all say a prayer? I am not just being a mother here, but it really is good.

The scary thing for me is how thin she is now – I guess its part of the total package, but if you have read this blog for a period of time, you would understand my concern about weight.

I think my favorite statement regarding Da getting a recording contract is what her middle sister proclaimed – one evening I said, “Wouldn’t it be wild if she really gets a contract?” the middle sister’s reply, “Oh that would be great, our family business would be spread all over the front page of those trashy magazines every day”.

Sisters love… it’s so special.

Keep your fingers crossed, well while you’re at it… cross your eyes, your legs, your arms… ah what the heck – gather up all your friends and create a new form of Twister where everyone just lays on top of each other with their bodies crossing!

Remember my husbands Maserati depends on this, well after she writes the song, “My Dad’s so Hot, you’re Mom’s gonna want to Meet Him!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

p29. If you had to give, just one, up…

I had to repair some of the links, so please refresh your browser when you open the Demo. I am not sure if the picture will show up, she must be hiding down a tunnel or something!


For some reason, as they say in “The Sound of Music”, when God closes a door, he opens a window somewhere. This is so true of those with bipolar disorder.

Through all the pain, trials and tribulations of raising a kid like this, you seem to always look towards the end of the tunnel, or you can also look only at today. I must admit, I have always been one of the latter; it was her father that always could see through the tunnel.

I remember things like Da being such a cute kid that she modeled for a large retail store that was shot by one of the largest commercial photographers. I also remember the first job she was to do, she decided, instead of fashion she would go the “art” way. As I yelled up the stairs for her to get ready to leave, she seemed to be taking a bit of time; well actually it was way too much time. I am not talking about a teenager or even preteen, I think she was three.

So I went up to find her, and sure enough her artist abilities had the best of her and she had covered herself with a Bic pen, it was a summer shoot, we scrubbed like crazy. They called her back three or four times, her younger sisters modeled too, but I remember the youngest just pee’d in her sleeper and that was the end of their career. We still have the savings bonds, and lets face it, I was a lousy stage mom, remember, I only lived for the day – thus they never had clean shoes when the time arose.

Da was very much blessed with her aunt’s singing voice, really it is awesome – when she was younger we enrolled her in the summer accelerated class at our local university who has one of the best schools for theater. Her teacher after all had a song by Steven Sondheim that he wrote just for her. I think this was the first time I heard her formally sing. She did amuse the car pool with her rendition of “Oklahoma” on the way to preschool; amazingly she knew all the words. When she was in first grade we took her to see the “Phantom of the Opera” (which I strongly suggest you do NOT do, she was way to young), but we made a trip of it and traveled to Windsor and took a train to Toronto, it was a lovely trip, we were served an excellent meal and Da traveled up and down the aisle singing the songs she just fidgeted through.

If you close your eyes and listen to anything by Disney, you will here her, I thought she should do voice-overs for musical long animated film. While in grade school she would sing “Castle on a Cloud”, her sophomore year she sang “On my Own” and for her senior song it was “I dreamed a dream”. For some reason, I always felt what almost seemed to be a larger love for her when she was singing, I wish she would have used her tool more when she was younger, she had so many opportunities, but just didn’t take them and run. I pretty much gave up.

At the “what you would refer too as the Christmas program” that too place at the little “axe murder school”, I remember sitting in the audience listening to the students just being a bit wild since security was more lax and the teaches spread out a bit (they had two teachers for 5 kids per class, thank goodness this was covered by our local school system).

All of the sudden Da started to sing, and the place just got silent, I heard one “wow, she can sing”, I just set there crying like I always do.

After all the talk of her voice, her therapist finally took some time and went to see her when she preformed at our largest center for the arts. The therapist told me she couldn’t believe what she heard, she always heard us talk about how well she sang, but not this good. She also sat there crying, and then we both had a laugh thinking of if Da really made it, we would see her daily on the “National Enquire” as we checked out with our groceries.

Sometimes you really think the bipolar aspect of her life can take her further than most of us will try to go - she gets her mind set on something and doesn’t stop. Her “Thelma and Louise” year, she actually asked a friend if she could borrow their car – you know like she was running up to get some milk – well she came back a few days later ‘cause she needed to run up to NYC and visit some producer.

I think Brittany Spears kind of influenced her reality. She thought she became this huge star overnight. I keep trying to tell her how hard these kids had worked to get to these places, but no, she was just going to do it. Well I would like you all to say your prayers, because, well she just might have.

She met again with producers and they are taking her to the “label” in NYC after she completes 5 more songs on her demo, she not only has performed on these but also wrote them. I am so proud of her, but her father will have to go with her – the diva, pre performing/meeting nerves drive me crazy, and I want to get out the Bic pen and just color!

My therapist (all mom’s of special needs kids could benefit with someone to talk to, too) in all his wisdom looked at me one day and said…”if you had to choose, what would it be, no singing or bipolar disorder?” To this day, I still can’t answer.

Please have a listen, and remember these are the rough cuts.

Demo

Sunday, August 20, 2006

p.28 “I dreamed a dream in times gone by*…”

Life is certainly a surprise, a never-ending circus with a bipolar kid!

Here’s a step back in time…

Da used to hang out with this guy while she was in middle school, especially the 6th grade once she was settled in the same school for the year.

This guy, Charles, had the kind of mom that was very involved in everything. She felt that a kid shouldn't have down time, but be busy like her self. Now I am not talking about the kool-aid, cookie kind of mom, she was the Suzuki violin lessons, karate, and she swimming in master meets, (she actually talked me into it one time). She also keep a detailed job scheduled posted on the door to her basement, the kind where you would put stars, but instead of star there was monetary rewards, I bet these kids were pretty rich by the time they were 18 – I think this worked best for her younger daughter. In addition to Charles she only had this other kid, a sweet, little girl.

Up until today, we have always had a saying in our house – you know when things go wrong and no one wants to fess up – the saying was/is “It must have been Charles!” Even though in the 7th grade he and his family had moved to Missouri.

Da and Charles were very much a like - they were always in trouble. I would call his mom sometimes, but she would take the extra step to make sure they were brought together and would make Da say what happened if Charles blamed her as the perpetrator, which is how it usually went.

Charles would do things like, break a window, tear off the Barbie doll heads, mess up the room, be mean to my younger girls and take off with Da on a bus for adventures etc. I don’t want to know what else it was that happened. The one thing I will always remember is Charles was the first house she “toilet papered” – you know that right of passage, kids do. Sometimes this is referred to as “rolling a house”.

Da, being she, would always get caught at everything she did –sometimes I really think this saved her life. Well when she decided to sneak out and “paper” Charles’ house – first, she was caught single-handed, secondly it was the way she did the deed.

Some of you might remember smoking cigarettes in high school bathroom - back in the old days, like the early 70’s. We would also make wads of wet paper and throw them up at the ceiling. Have you ever tried this? It was almost like paper mache, once it dried, it was like a rock. Well when Da decided to “roll” she proceeded to fill up a bucket and took her trusted Charmin to Charles’ house, which was one street over, and instead of throwing the rolls over the trees… she soaked it in the bucket and threw it at the house. We did not get over to clean it up until it had dried enough to be an awful pain!

This led Charles mom to once again think he was an innocent young man with just bad influences surrounding him. I must say in her defense, she was always good to Da and never treated me like “one of those moms”.

Since they moved and we lost touch, I am not sure when she and her husband came to the realization that Charles might have a more serious problem than “just kids at that age” or “boys, will be boys”. As I have stated before, people really need to wake up and smell the roses. If something does not smell like a rose, or doesn’t look like a rose – it is not a rose and they better bring in a professional to figure it out.

I watched a “48 hours” mystery one night. It was about a kid named Chuck. “Chuck” had a dream; it was a really scary one… you see he remembered he and his buddy killing a well-loved sportscaster for no reason. “Chuck” turned states evidence to receive a lesser sentence, and of course his parents, I am sure his parents, pray he was dreaming, and it didn’t really happen. I can’t imagine the nightmare it turned out to be for them.

“Blame it on Charles”, can never be said here again, Charles dreams, Charles is called “Chuck” now. “Chuck is doing 25 years and his buddy that he told on is doing 45. I am sure the job chart is off the basement wall, and his active mother is now either an advocate for prisoner rights or she is sadly hiding in her house.

A lot of mother’s hide in their houses for periods of time, ones like me that do it not out of embarrassment, but of that crippling depression we can experience for the cards we’ve been dealt.

Do they get to play cards in prison? Are mothers allowed to bring them when they visit? It was heavy glass with a hole, and telephones when we would visit Da, for those weeks she chilled out in the Justice center.

Lord help these families, and especially the family of the man so brutally killed. The one Chuck dreamed about.

  • Dream Killer


  • The young man that got caught up with Charles and is now serving time is Ryan Ferguson. His family is really pulling for him - I thought it only fair I post this link to Ryan's famlies site:

  • Free Ryan Ferguson



  • * © 1985, the words of Les Misérables are the registered trademarks of Cameron Mackintosh Overseas Limited.

    Thursday, July 27, 2006

    p.27 Silent, but the greatest of friend.

    It is my hope for everyone that they experience this kind of special friend. Those who love you with one purpose to ultimately show you the greatest unconditional love on earth. These friends listen and hug when they know you need too, they also play and bring joy to your home.

    Families of special needs kids really benefit, if they can afford to have a special friend – usually a bit on the furry side, it is the greatest thing! Ours was a sweet Boston terrier named Moe.

    Being a terrier he was pretty yappy, well barked a hell of a lot is a much better explanation. He kept me on schedule with his feedings, etc. and he knew the minute his dad came home since he was by the couch in a flash with his favorite tug-of-war toy. My favorite time of the day was watching when he just sat at the end of the drive watching for the girls to come down the long neighborhood street from the bus… he just knew.

    It wasn’t a goal of mine to use Moe to teach the girls the responsibilities of owning a pet, I think kids just naturally see these things and they are taken care of (except the poop of course). My husband rarely gets dinner, but I have the dogs food ready by 5:30 sharp – HA – he should be more like a dog… remember the great lines about not judging and they think you are great no matter…hum, husbands might get a few more meals on time if they think a bit more like a dog! Sorry off topic.

    Moe basically had issues with Da. I don’t know if he had an intuition of the problems her behavior could cause, and the things that went with them, he just wasn’t as kind with her as the other girls. But once she gave his ears a good rub, he seemed happy enough with her. But by being so basic in their nature a dog can help a family like ours with stability, this might sound odd at first, but when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.

    There are some illnesses diagnosed that the patient has issues with small animals, so you would need to check with your doctor if you are considering a pet. I think they are great for bipolar kids, the ones with the non-violent issues especially. When patients are in a low, or depression a dog can be there to share with and make them get up just to open the door. When they are manic, a dog can need some special petting attention requiring them to sit and just be quiet for a few moments. It’s just a few moments, but it’s something.

    For mom, having Moe was always special for me in the most profound way! Let’s face it all of us baby boomers wanted our dogs to be just like Lassie or Rin-Tin-Tin, even Mighty Dog (or was that just a food?), but what Moe gave me just made all those famous canines just dogs. Moe was a very well behaved dog, we had three living levels in our home and he knew, by powers of father, that he was not to go up the stairs to the second floor - nor was he ever to go to the lower level where my office just happened to be. You know what? Moe never broke these rules, amazing, now if we could only teach our kids little things like this!

    I am sure you do not see where I am going with how any of this would be special to me… well it's easy. I was home by myself working most days why the kids were at school and dad at work, and without fail it seemed I would always get one of THOSE phone calls - you know the ones from the neighbor, teacher, principal, supervisor, police station, judge office, justice center intake, social services, parole board… just one of those nice little rings that make the mother of a bipolar child – stomach turn in knots before they are even answered. After I would hang up - I always did two things, the first was I would sob, cry as hard as I could with my head on my desk, then I would make arrangements for me to leave, someone else to go somewhere or for Da to go to the hospital. These arrangements were often the most difficult things I ever had to do.

    NOW here is the amazing part.

    When I would be bent over my desk crying my eyes out, I would grab a tissue, and there out of the corner of my eye – looking guilty as can be was always Moe. He would always come down (scared he would get in trouble) just to see if I was OK and if there was anything he could do. Now isn’t that a special friend? He didn’t have to say a word; just being there was all I needed. God love him!

    Today I had to make another one of those “most difficult” arrangements, you see Moe has been suffering for months now and I knew it was myself that I kept him alive for, he certainly has been miserable. So I had to make the call about euthanasia, I don’t know how they receive these calls because the person on the other end is always a mess, (today Moe as weak as he was, still looked to me when I was crying, it made me feel very quilty). We will go as a family and be with him.

    My singing group had the biggest honor to sing for a few people in hospice, what a wonderful thing, just the joy of music and the meaning of the words bring such peace to the patient and the visitors.

    We will sing to Moe tomorrow, I would love to do “Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled” by David Hass, but the only song Moe could sing, was Happy Birthday.

    This will be a happy day - this is a good decision...

    Who will check on me now?






    Moe Schott

    July 1993 - July 2006


    I’m not sure who gets the credit for this; the byline is Paul Harral is managing editor/special projects for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

    “Doggone good lessons we can learn from canines”

    Things we cam learn from a dog

    1. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
    2. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
    3. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
    4. When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.
    5. Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.
    6. Take naps and stretch before rising
    7. Run, romp and play daily.
    8. Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
    9. Be loyal
    10. Never pretend to be something you’re not.
    11. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
    12. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle him or her gently.
    13. Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
    14. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
    15. On hot days drink lost of water and lie under a shady tree.
    16. When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
    17. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
    18. No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout Run right back and make friends.

    Thursday, June 22, 2006

    p.26 Not time, just yet.

    It would be so wrong for me to not say how I am feeling now. I have a kid who I worry about even more than I even did before - because now it’s the medically balanced person making the decisions- will they be healthy for her and put her to test in the right way?

    The little lies have started; you know the ones they do to make you feel better about them. The job wasn’t great, she walked out, so now she doesn’t have work, even though she told us she had two lined up for sure. She doesn’t have money, she doesn’t have food and she doesn’t have medicine. She did say she was walking to the drug store to buy “a pill” when she could. She gave up her free meds for life, so someone else could use the program because she was doing so great! It was the first time I wanted to smack her - I couldn't believe she gave this up. This medication is very expensive and I was afraid she would end up like this because of her past job security and insurance. She is trying to get it back, but the social services she receives now that she's out of the mental health court are not as individually focused.

    It’s at that point where it’s getting hard again to trust here, I hate that. I want everything to be smooth and right for Da. She has worked so hard and come so far, it’s just amazing the challenges this child faces, most of us would have our own little decorated shopping carts parked under an overpass somewhere with all our worldly possessions.



    Little tiny lies to make her look good so we’ll be proud of her at work… hummmm, we are already proud of her so those aren’t necessary – or do you start to wonder if it’s something much more, could she be starting to feel a bit grandiose?

    We have no problems telling Da what a really rotten decision it was to just up and quite her job with out another one lined up… in her normal reply… “She just doesn’t want to talk about it”. It makes you wonder if her bad decision making will be like "the job" more immature type ones - or could we be starting to see that "other manic" decision making process which becomes the kind that hurt people/self?

    I am sure I have mentioned Da’s kindergarten teacher mentioning to us at our first conference about the fact that Da was a space cadet – well honestly we were a bit taken a back by this until she explained... she said “Space cadets are up there piloting their ship through some universe that most of us will never visit, but an Air Head… well, they can only be a passenger.”

    This time around when the ship takes off can she now navigate as an adult, through what lays before her? Or should she just switch to autopilot and strap herself in?

    Is it going to be our history now that manic years repeat themselves and the circles become vicious? I don’t think I am ever going to know how to react, nor know what to expect.

    I did take my “Sherlock Holmes” box off the top shelf in my closet, dusted it off and am getting it ready for whatever it is that I am watching right now.

    Saturday, April 15, 2006

    p.25 A time to end?

    Since Da is now an adult, I wonder if these post should cease - or is it important enough to draw on information about Bipolar Disorder and memories?

    Those who visit here often, I would love your thoughts, and oh most importantly... thanks!

    Friday, April 14, 2006

    p.24 A time for new beginnings!

    I know, I know… such a long length of time to hold my breath and not write here - it was certainly worrying about the “jinx” thing, I had to sit back and watch Da ride out the storm, or sail the calm – not a mothers favorite way of boating.

    It was important to me that she, one - stay free of drugs, two - not get arrested and three, the biggest thing of all – actually make it through her 21st birthday. There was a time in her life I didn’t think she would make it this far. Did I say how proud I am of her?

    Just reading over the post for the year here, I really can’t believe that anyone would have the gumption and tenacity to accomplish what she has in such a short time, I think many would give up, it’s been hard as a parent to not at times… whew, talk about guilt.

    As a parent I would face moments of giving up often, you know, at the time when the phone rings everyday and your stomach goes into knots just knowing it’s the school principal. Especially the times when it is, and you have to leave and pick her up so she can get to the emergency room and be admitted immediately. These are the “why me” times, the times when you sob so bad your dog comes to check on you. These are the times when you forget that others have it harder than you and you should feel blessed, these are the times when you think it’s all about you and forget it’s about her. These times make you really feel like a rotten parent, because I guess as a mother, you shouldn’t ever feel that sometimes kids can be pretty rotten, no matter if it’s out of their control or not.

    Watching the sparkle in Da’s eyes now is certainly reassuring; watching her lose weight is scary. Seeing that she is in line for her third promotion since Christmas is reassuring also, but it does not make me stop praying for the best each day. She is doing so well that I have to tell my self “baby steps”.

    She brought the movie “In Her Shoes” over for us to watch one evening. It pretty much implies a relationship between sisters when one of them might have a mood disorder. The biggest thing I remember about this movie was a poem one of the characters recited by ee cummings:

    i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
    my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
    i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
    by only me is your doing,my darling)
    i fear
    no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
    no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
    and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
    and whatever a sun will always sing is you

    here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
    and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
    higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
    and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

    i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)



    As her mother, I must be honest – I do wonder when the sparkle will return to my eyes too.

    Thursday, December 29, 2005

    p.23 Please don’t jinx me…

    Wow, Christmas time last year Da was in her jumpsuit, fighting her urge for cigarettes while visiting the municipal North Pole downtown. Her courage continues to amaze me.

    This December, she had to appear in court again – BUT IT WAS FOR THE LAST TIME! Hooray, she has completed her sentences and as soon as she “graduates” from the mental health court (this should be in January) her record is expunged. I am so proud of her.

    I guess her angel this year was a young fella that she has fallen madly in love with. He seems to be simple but has a good head on his shoulders. He also seems to worship the ground she walks on. She wants to get married right away and start a family (Lord help us), he wants to wait a year and see if she can get her one manic tattoo removed –wow I like this guy and so does the rest of our family.

    We did have a joyous Christmas all together and things went smoothly.

    Da does have a hidden fear of what would happen should this guy leave her life – it sounds like she thinks her only way would be too return to her old friends and we know what that would mean.

    Her work is going well enough that she hopes to get off state assistance and leave her “happy crack addicts” apartment complex - Funny but people just think I make these things up in our lives; but sure enough when a local network did one of the “undercover investigations” of a company with at least 24 local shops they chose Da’s to be the one they went into. Her probation officer was the first to call her when she heard her voice. Da was so upset; she couldn’t believe that someone would do this. I hope she understood some of the sneaky things she had done in the past and how it affected others then. Well fortunately things worked out ok, and it was much ado about nothing. I actually had a chuckle about it; they never showed her on camera, just recorded her voice.

    I also learned, and I am not sure of the program, that her medicine for her Bipolar will now be free to her for the rest of her life. I am not sure if this is part of the mental health court program, but wow! She is currently taking Trileptal.

    So as the New Year comes around, once again I will ask for collective prayers, thoughts to a higher being, ode to a tree – anything on behalf of Da and those around her. For all I know you guys might have saved her life this year.

    Friday, November 25, 2005

    p.22 "Love the Skin You're in!"

    Recently my husband’s mother passed away and this was a lady that Da held dear in her heart; grandmother or not, I believe she would have found her to be an important person for her growth and connection to God.

    As we organized the funeral mass, Da asked us if she could have the honor of delivering the eulogy - she did it with pure class and professionalism. Since I sing with a church group I am pretty in tune with the fact that some Priest go nuts with the family “eulogy” since it really doesn’t fit in with the funeral “liturgy”, thus I kept a sharp eye on his reactions; I think he had as many tears as the rest of us. Here is this young twenty year old relating the abstract concepts of personal faith into a t-shirt worn by an elderly women with sever dementia. The t-shirt simply said, “Love the Skin You’re in”.

    How does a person with Bipolar Disorder learn to “love the skin they’re in”? Call me crazy, but I think Da has the best self-esteem of all our kids.

    She has always been that free loving spirit that really doesn’t care about things others might be saying of her. Well at least this is the image she projects and I do believe 80% of this too be true.

    We all go through those stages of “I wish I was (insert dream thought here)”. If your short you want to be tall, if your hair is curly you want it straight – give me blue eyes instead of brown - the list goes on. Does it mean we don’t love our skin too much?

    Well Da in the 7th grade took this to the actual “skin” concept… she wanted desperately to be, as she would say, “a little black girl”. Our middle daughter always picked out the black baby dolls because they were more colorful, but Da decided this was what she wanted for herself. She was attending the inner city performing arts school at the time, so we did invest a bit in the proper wardrobe, but the kicker is the night we went to our country club for dinner and she decided to add dreadlocks to her hair. We kept our mouths shut as they seated us with our three beautiful daughters; one who had, in an ingenious manner, unraveled the barber carpet from our lower level and attached cut up pieces to her actual locks… Dude! It didn’t quite work, but she felt phat.

    Then there are the piercing that all teenagers want, but when Da was manic she could do these too herself since pain wasn’t really a factor. I usually took the jewelry away and made her grow back the holes. Especially, the piercing in her stomach made a bit too long with a large safety pen. Yep then there was the dreaded tattoo…

    Through all of these normal and taking it to the extreme times, she has liked herself and tends to find the things in people that are good.

    Sometimes I wonder if she taught these lessons to grandma or vice a versa. She talked about grandma doing everything with love in her heart and the grace of God by her side. It was Da that taught me the existence of guardian angels; I know she has a team on her side. Her life has always been purposeful and every time she was hospitalized, I knew her life was one worth saving.

    It is so sad when people with mood disorders do not have hope and make the pain go away. It is heart breaking that they haven’t learned to love their skin; it is incredibly heart wrenching to see families go through the pain of loss because of their love for them. And it rips me apart to see them reject the skin their kids are in if there are challenges that they don’t want the neighbors to know.
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