Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Feel Like Screaming But I Can't Breath!

I'm Numb.

Jeff, my hubby and Kenny's dad, was diagnosed with prostrate cancer yesterday. I keep getting told that if you get cancer, prostrate cancer is the one to get. Whoop de damn do! And of course Jeff's cancer is more advanced, because we don't do things halfassed around here.
So not only do I get to worry about my hubby and getting him through this; I get to worry about Kenny and how he is going to react. Last night after hearing the news he just left. I get to worry about my other children as well because they are all reacting differently.
We don't know the treatment yet. They will be taking the prostrate out. He gets a scan on Monday to see if it has traveled anywhere else (the biopsies indicate that it is outside his prostrate.)
Let me give you a run down of my life in tragedies.
2004 - I was in a car accident
Feb 2005 - my brother in law Dale (my sister Julie's hubby) died of Hodgkin's cancer
Nov 2005 - my sister Angie passed away after years of battling malignant melanoma
Oct 2008 - Kenny attempted suicide
Jan 2009 - youngest son broke his back
Mar 2009 - oldest son was crushed by a basketball standard that came out of a wall sheetrock and 2x4's included
May 2009 - Lily and I were in a car accident
Oct 2009 - Kenny was in a car accident
Nov 2010 - my sister Julie (Dale's wife) was diagnosed with the same cancer he died from.
Is this not enough? I know I am strong I have proved it to myself time and time again.
People marvel that we can still smile and laugh. What else should I do? Wallowing in misery isn't going to change things. But darn I would like a break.

That's today.

Tomorrow I will understand that I can handle this when others couldn't so why not us. Other's have suffered just as much if not more so why not us. Tomorrow I will remember that I am never given more than I can handle and that this too will make my family closer and stronger so why not us.

Today I still want to scream but I can't breath.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Well I'll Be

Never thought of this blog as award worthy but I guess someone else does. Thanks Skepticat.

I started this blog wanting to reach out to other parents who have children with mental illness. I need support, wisdom, and comfort. I have not found too many parents yet. I am hoping they just haven't found me yet and not that they are embarrassed or in denial (or just to busy with their loved to blog). What I have found is a group of individuals that are going through the same type of things that my son is going through and it is hopeful and comforting for me to read their journeys and know that they are out there and living life. Logically I know that Kenny is not the only one dealing with mental illness, but there are times when I feel like it, so it's good to read about others.

Today I got this award...



The rules to having this award are simple. I have to tell you 5 fascinating things about me and then nominate 3 other blogs that I find worthy of this award. I should tell you I don't feel very fascinating but boringly normal.

1. I love genealogy and finding the grave sites of family members. I volunteer at Find A Grave taking pictures of local grave sites for people around the world. Walking through cemeteries is peaceful to me.

2. I had dreams about my daughter Lily before she was born and I knew we would be adopting her.

3. For a long time I wanted to be a police officer but after seeing how they treated Kenny I am glad I didn't pursue that career.

4. I was accepted to flight attendant training in 1984, but met Jeff and those plans "flew" out the window.

5. My grandfather committed suicide at the age of 91, in 2001, and I am still angry at his selfish actions.

Now to choose 3 blogs -

First would be my son Kenny's blog Poetry of a Head Case. I'm very proud of my boy.

Second is Jaron's blog All The World's A Stage. This young man is around Kenny's age so I gravitate toward him. He is an amazing writer going through a journey that I understand.

Third is My Black Fog. Like me she has Fibromyalgia (there is reason enough for an award!).

She along with Jaron, Kenny, Skepticat, and all the other blogs that I have come across continue to push forward. We have our days, our moments, but we continue on. We are learning one day at a time that our lives are worth living.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Who Are You Cutting?

First of all Kenny did not have to have surgery on Wednesday! An amazing doctor walked into the room and said that after looking at the xrays the only thing surgery would do right now is pad his wallet and make the xray look perfect. He wants to wait a week and see if it will heal on it's own. The risks of surgery are greater than just having it heal on it's own. It might not be perfectly straight but that is okay with us. Now the kicker, he has to leave the splint on until next Friday! Then he will be put in a cast; which I requested over another splint because I know my son ;-)

Kenny spoke at his old high school again yesterday. He speaks in two different classes. He shares his experience with mental illness and drug use. The high schools in Utah don't do much about mental illness. They do have the Hope for Tomorrow program, but if you don't have an advocate for mental illness in the school there is not much done with this program. They show the same video that they have shown for the past umpteen years.

The students are always encouraged to ask questions when Kenny is done sharing. The questions they ask blow me away! Not things I would have ever dreamed about when I was going to school; too embarrassing and heaven forbid everyone would know your secret!

So here are two of the questions that were asked:
What do you think set off your mental illness? We think drugs might have jump started what was starting to happen with Kenny.
DO YOU THINK CUTTING IS ADDICTIVE? Could you imagine asking that question in high school!

After class a girl came up to Kenny with another girl in tow and began - I love this girl, but she cuts herself and I'm afraid.
Kenny looked at the cutter girl and said, do you hear her? yes Do you believe that she loves you? yes Do you love her? yes...

The next time you go to cut yourself know that you are harming her, you are hurting her.

The students wrote Kenny a letter/comment. He said is responding to each one.

I asked Kenny about his cutting which is scary for me to do because I don't want to set him off. He told me he quit. I'll take that and be happy for now.

To think that Kenny is helping teenagers cope with mental illness and drug use is so encouraging to me. He does have a gift and I hope he realizes it and shares it often.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

StrEsS!

Kenny broke his thumb today. Snapped it right in half. He has surgery tomorrow to put a screw in it. At least he did it at work so we won't have to pay.

He has shaved the hair off on one side of his head!?! Doesn't want to look like anyone else, have the same clothes, shoes, etc.

He is spending too much money on fancy cigarettes.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Those That Prey On The Vulnerable

In the past few days I have read blog posts and facebook posts concerning people that prey on the vulnerable.

I have two children that I think could easily be swayed and it scares me and worries me to the point of being sick at times.

There are terrible trolls and people that get their jollies making fun of individuals with disabilities, especially Down syndrome. They steal pictures off of blogs and other sites of our children and then photo shop these children into terrible situations. There is now a site called Rate A Downs where you rate the picture of the person with Ds. The person who created the website said he would take it down for a ransom. The authorities have been contacted.

In the mental illness world I was surprised by the "Good Christian People" trying to help heal my son. There was one woman who promised my son that if he came to JUST ONE MEETING he would never cut or think of suicide again. I was livid! Here's the kicker - that first meeting only cost $500.00 to attend! If you didn't have $500.00 you could stand outside the meeting before it began and beg for it from members of the group.

He has had at least one that has posted on Kenny's blog that Kenny could follow his blog. When you go to his blog it's all about repentance and forgiveness. MY SON HAS NOTHING TO REPENT OF WHEN IT COMES TO HIS ILLNESS!

After the past few days I have started looking at the people who follow me. I have a person following me on this blog and another on Lily's blog and I now question why they would want to follow the blog. I am not a fabulous writer. I don't have amazing giveaways. Why are they following me?

Let me put it out there to those with alternative motives.
  1. Don't steal my pictures; I will contact the authorities and get you in as much trouble as I possibly can.
  2. Don't try to sway me to your religion. I am very happy and content in my beliefs and religion.
  3. If you try to lead either of my children into a situation that would be harmful to them I will hurt you. It most likely will not be physically, but I will do everything I possibly can to make your life miserable.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Your Higher Power

After reading Tweak and Beautiful Boy I started thinking about who they were praying to? They both state that they are Atheist but when times got completely and totally out of control they prayed to God. What God? Or was it a God? Was it a thought or image instead?

As an infant I was baptised Catholic, but we never went to church that I remember. After my parents divorced I went to the Unitarian Church a few times with my mom, but I was basically tagging along. In high school my boyfriend and family were practicing Catholics so I started going to church with them and received 1st Communion during that time. During this time I was going through the motions but there was no spiritual, uplifting feelings or connection. Those came when I joined the LDS (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) Church. I feel whole in this church. I know this is the true church for me.

All my children were raised and baptised in the LDS Church, but by 18 all my boys were given the freedom to worship or not worship as they wished. I was no longer willing to let their sleeping in Sacrament distract me from having my cup refilled. Selfish I know.

So back to my thoughts and questions. In AA's 12-step program you are suppose to hand yourself over to a "God, as we understood him". What if you don't have a knowledge or understanding of a higher power such as; God, Allah, Jehovah, all the Hindu Gods, and so many other Gods, then who are you praying to? And when you get the help you are asking for after you pray, then go back to not believing, then pray again when you are back down are you just pawning your problems off so you don't have to be accountable?

I don't know who Kenny prays to. I am wondering if he has a clear picture or understanding of who his God or Higher Power is. If he doesn't have that knowledge will that jeopardize his progress?

I mean think about it; I don't know if any of Kenny's AA buddies have a clear understanding of who their God is. I wonder if they are making up an image in their mind. Is it someone/something who will always bend to the addicts way of thinking? When things don't go the way of the addict will they then blame their God that they only talk to when they want something?

I think maybe I will talk to Kenny about his God or Higher Power. I think having a God or Higher Power means putting some work into it so you have a knowledge of what it really means to you.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Book Review: TWEAK

This weekend hubby and I went out of town for our 26th wedding anniversary. I am always happy to get away for a few days. I relax, laugh, sleep, eat, play word search, Sudoku and read. I love to read. We got a spa package getaway. I highly recommend a massage and bodywrap for everyone.

The book I took with me was Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff. I should start by saying that I read his dad's book Beautiful Boy. Kenny and I heard David Sheff speak at a NAMI conference. I was excited to read Beautiful Boy but was let down; not by the writing or the story. I was hoping it would go more into the mental illness part of the story and it didn't.

Kenny is not and has not been a hard core drug user, no meth, no heroine, no crack, no shooting up anything. At least that is what he has told me, and he is mostly honest with us. Both Kenny and I wonder though if his using pot and mushrooms might have awakened his mental illness.

Anyway, back to Tweak. It was very well written. Nic and his father are gifted writers. But again I was hoping that the book would speak about the mental illness side of things and it did more than Beautiful Boy. I could understand when he was talking about his mind racing and not turning off. When he was finally diagnosed I was happy for him. I thought now he will get the help he needs. Well that is kind of where it ended for me. I was so hoping to find out that he went on and succeeded. Which he does to a point, he wrote a book!

At the back of the book there is an "Afterword" he wrote that he had relapsed. He then started a blog and wrote this: The problem is, I'm f---ing crazy. I'm not saying that lightly, either. I mean, I really am f---ing crazy as hell. In the time since my book ended...I've continued to make a total catastrophic disaster of my life. I've continued to hurt everyone who cares about me. That was back in 2008. I don't know what his status is today. I was wanting answers. I was wanting hope. Nic is just another kid with bi-polar who has up and downs and relapses.

I guess I am still searching for a cure. I know there is not one out there. I still desperately look. I know people with bi-polar go on to live great lives. We, however, are still in the newborn stages, learning to walk with it. I picked up the book loving someone with bipolar disorder by Julie A. Fast & John D.Preston, PSY.D. It was recommended by Megan, one of my blog readers. She also recommended two others that I looked for but couldn't find at Barnes and Noble and now can't find the names of the books (So Megan if you are reading...).

I did get inspiration while I was getting my body wrap. Kenny could be a masseur. Lily and I could open a bed and breakfast or just a little cafe/store/spa where Kenny would give massages and Lily would have a place to work.

There it's settled. Everything is fixed and we'll now live relaxingly massaged and happily fed ever after.