Saturday, November 28, 2009

Last night I went to bed early, I was so exhausted from the day before. I cooked for about seven hours non stop. It was fun and it was hard but it was well worth the work. Having all my kids here, their spouses and my grand-babies was a wonderful blessing and a treat! That's why I love Thanksgiving. To me there is nothing greater than fellowshipping with my family!

My nine year old son came into my room and woke me up, I jumped up out of my sleep and sat on the edge of the bed, I was dazed and asked "what?" in a state of alarm. He asked if he could sleep in my bed. I said yes, then I got up to use the rest room. When I came back to bed he asked me why I always get scared when someone wakes me up. I know that all my children when they were younger knew to wake me gently or I would wake in a frightened state also. My second ex-husband knew this too. I've done this since I was a child. And I know why. And I hate it. I can control my fears while awake but I'm not sure just how to do that in my sleep or when aroused from my sleep.

I told him he can wake me any time he needs to or wants to. That it's OK if I seem scared, it's just something I do and have done ever since I was a child because something bad happened to me when I was a child, and I don't know right now how to wake up unafraid. He was satisfied with that and kissed my cheek, and said good night mommy, I love you, then rolled over to sleep. AH...What a sweet heart, that touched my heart. I thank God I had another child when all my other children were pretty much grown. What a blessing he is to me.

Even though this is my blog, my life, my thoughts I feel a little apprehensive to write too in-depth about certain aspects of my life, I don't want to embarrass anyone or piss anyone off. My daughter told me that it's my story, my life, my voice and I should not be afraid to be heard. That I should be able to write what I want and not be afraid of what anyone else thinks about it. And she's right, it is my life and my story and if they have a problem with what I say on "my" blog, well I guess they should have thought about that before they did what they did.

An abused child and an abused woman usually keeps the abuse to herself. It's embarrassing and humiliating. And frightening if the abuser finds out she told. Well I'm not afraid any more and I am not embarrassed any more, I didn't do anything to be embarrassed about. And shame on them! How dare a man abuse a child! How dare a man abuse a woman! He is a wimp and a coward! If you have such a bad temper then go hit something like a punching bag not a person! And not an animal! Hitting someone who is not able to defend themselves is sick, you the abuser should be humiliated and embarrassed and seek help for yourself! And stop playing the victim you who victimize!

I know I may be a victim of abuse, it seems like there are more abused women and children than ever, maybe because many are not taking it anymore and talking about it more. But although a victim, I never again want to be a victim thinker. I don't have to live like I'm owed anything by the world since my life was bad. Or that the world should feel sorry for me because I was abused. No, life is hard it's hard for everyone. Feeling angry or sorry for myself only leads to depression and or anxiety. And being able to forgive those who have done me wrong allows healing in my life instead of bitterness.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wow it's this wonderful time of year again. The Holiday Season is here, Thanksgiving in two days then Christmas! I love this time of year, I love the cold weather outside. But even more, I love the warmth of my house when I come in from being outside.

Last winter it was cold, it was as cold inside as it was outside. Because of my very nasty divorce I lost my house to foreclosure and my now ex quit paying me alimony and child support even though he was ordered to do so through the court. He decided to become a coke head he told my daughter and wasn't working. So since I was forced out of my home and I had no where to go, I had to go to my ex's disgusting place til I could figure out what the heck I was going to do. I wasn't worried about me, I've been through a lot, and through some very tough times, I could handle just about anything. I was worried sick about my son though. This place was not fit for humans.

It was a small trailer in the desert, we had no heater and the place smelled awful, it was filthy! There were gigantic cockroaches and other bugs and one thing I hate is bugs, especially roaches! Makes my skin crawls to even think about them! There were mice too, but I wasn't afraid of them, I just hoped they'd stay away from us while we were sleeping.

I bundled my son up with several layers of clothing and when we went to bed I put several blankets on top of us, but we were still cold. We barely had enough food to eat and we didn't have enough electricity to use the oven. There was no hot water so when the stove would work I would boil water to make a warm bath for my son. My daughter moved in with us and she was so brave, she would take a shower in the freezing cold water instead of boiling water for herself. I tried that once, from then on if the stove worked I boiled water for myself for a bath. If the stove didn't work, then there was no way I'd shower in that freezing water, it was too painful!

One night I got up to use the bathroom and It was even colder than normal. I went into the kitchen to look at the thermometer, it was forty nine degrees in the trailer! I went outside and looked at that thermometer and it was forty nine degrees outside too! I was scared, I felt sick that this was happening to us, and I wondered what I would do if it got colder, I didn't want my little boy to suffer. I cried, then I went back to bed and I prayed for a miracle.

I was panicked and full of anxiety and even depressed. But I knew I had to function, I had to go on and not give up hope, I had to be strong for my child.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Guilt and Anger

It's no wonder I became an angry person. Not that anyone that knew me knew how angry I had become, I hid it well. I was angry on the inside. I held so much guilt inside and I really didn't know how to forgive my own self for all the mistakes I made as a mom. I felt bad for my children, all five are from divorced and broken homes, it's just not what I wanted for them, for me! I knew God said that if we confess our sins He's faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But I don't think I really ever felt forgiven. Guilt ate at me every day of my life, which I know caused me so much depression and anxiety.

Now I have decided to take God at His word though and I choose to believe Him and I know from the peace I feel inside of me that He does love me, He does forgive me of all my sins. And He does hate divorce, yes, but He hates the situations, the abuse, the cheating, which leads to divorce. He doesn't hate the one who gets a divorce, He knows that I had to get out of both of my marriages. How I could ever let anyone convince me otherwise I have no idea, but I am so confident now in my life, in my belief in Christ, that there is no way I will be fooled again! My divorces were not sin, I didn't sin. The sin would be me staying in those relationships and allowing my life to be taken and possibly my children's lives as well.

I'm not guilt ridden any more and I'm not an angry person any more. I love life, and I feel good about ME! I love me! I don't allow anyone to make me feel guilty any more and I don't allow anyone to push my buttons any more. Anger is our right but it's how we use it that gets us into trouble. Being angry is not healthy if we stay in anger and let it eat at us. It could even be dangerous, to the death of us if used wrongly!

While I was living in anger, I was also living in my past, which caused severe anxiety. I live in the present now, I don't stay in the past, I let it go. I can't change my past but I can change my now and look forward to a good future. Life is good.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Could Anxiety And Depression Be Caused By......

I wonder sometimes if the things in my life, as an abused child and being abused as a wife, may have caused me to have anxiety and stress and if physically and mentally I just couldn't take any more and it caused me to start having panic attacks to the point of agoraphobia. And after thinking long and hard, I must say, yes, I do believe that that has played a huge roll in my stress and anxiety and even depression. Most people who have anxiety usually have depression too I read, which makes sense, it's very depressing to be crippled by panic.

But I know now, there really is a way out, thank God! I know I don't have to let it ruin the rest of my life, I don't have to dwell on my past or even wonder what my future holds or to think "what if" anymore. And I've chosen to forgive all those that have hurt me so that I am not bitter and angry and so that I can get on with my life, and not live in the past any more.

It's funny how life turns out. For as long as I can remember all I ever wanted was to be married and to have babies. I wanted to be a house wife who kept a clean loving home for her husband and children. I wanted to have that perfect fairy tale life, kinda like a Cinderella story. My prince would rescue me from my life at home as a child.

And I sorta got it, I got the husband and four wonderful children and a nice home. But the abuse wasn't a part of my dream so after taking it for many years and almost being killed, losing my eye sight and my speech, after my head was kicked into the sharp corner of my dresser by my husband, I knew I had to get out, and to get my kids out of this situation. I didn't want my children to grow up without their mother, accidentally murdered by their father, and I didn't want my daughter to marry a man that was abusive like I've done. I also didn't want my sons to grow up and abuse their wives or children. I knew although I've tried before, I had to get out this time, the abuse was getting worse and more often. So eventually I did get us all out, after years of being hit and choked almost to death. And thank God I got my sight and speech back, after a few minutes of blind terror.

I remember one time I went to my parents home and told them about some of the abuse and showed them the very large bruises on my back, my right arm and my bottom, so that they could understand why I wanted, no, why I needed to divorce my husband. After seeing my bruises my dad said, and I quote, "those are just love hits". My mom got angry at him and I told him how sick he was to say something like that. Then I got in my car and drove back home. On the way home I knew (again) I was not going to be supported in my decision to leave my husband. I was taught that as a child, abuse was acceptable, not spoken out loud but seeing it and living it daily. A woman and children are ruled by the man of the house and if he felt like hitting he had every right to do so. I was also taught that you are not allowed to divorce that it is a sin and that if you remarry then you will live in adultery and God will look down on you.

I feared God so much and I didn't want to disappoint Him or make Him mad enough to send me to hell so I stayed too long in a very abusive marriage.
But I did get out eventually, before it was too late. I had to just trust that God would forgive me if it was a sin to get a divorce.

After a couple of years of being a single mom of four children I was wanting my dream to become a reality again. I missed the good times in my marriage, I missed having a husband and a man around the house. Dating different men just wasn't the same, and I was getting sick of the singles life style of partying. I felt guilty too, I made many mistakes and bad decisions that I'm ashamed of to this day. I have had to learn to forgive myself, which was not easy, and although my four children are now grown and have children of their own, I've had to ask them to forgive me for all the mistakes I've made when they were younger. I hated myself for some of the things I've done. Mainly because I had four little children that needed a mom that was not out partying, because their lives were as upset as hers, if not worse. They were no longer going to live with both parents, they were going to now come from a broken home.

So I married a man that I believed at the time was a Christian, in fact our first date was him taking me to his church. We were married for 9 years and by now my daughter had a baby girl and was married but to a very controlling man and abusive also. She left him and she and her baby came back home to live with us. I fell in love with that little baby, my first grandchild, a precious little girl.

I wanted a baby so bad I couldn't stand it. I finally got a reversal on my tubal ligation and three months later I was pregnant! I don't think I've ever been more thrilled in my life. It was a long nine months, it had been sixteen years since I had had a baby and at thirty nine I sure felt the difference from having babies in my late teens and early twenties, but finally I had my baby, a beautiful, tiny baby boy.

Then the abuse started getting worse in my second marriage. It seemed like my husband was jealous of the attention this new baby got from me. He loved our baby but I could tell it bothered him to have to share me and for me to give myself to someone else. It was weird and scary, actually it made me sick. His abuse towards me was verbal, mental and spiritual more than physical, mainly threats of his fist hitting my face, but just to scare me since he never did actually make contact with my face, he did push or shove me a few times but no choking or kicking me or punching me like my first husband. And he was explosive, especially if I "talked back" to him or disagreed with him. He had me so severely mentally confused, brainwashed. He played with my mind and my heart. Looking back the mind games were cruel, how someone could do that to another human, and especially to the one they love. It was like living with Satan himself now that I look back. It totally blows my mind that I allowed this man to rule me, and to rule over me and my children. It took me several years to get his brain washing crap out of my head and out of my heart. Sometimes I still struggle over certain things I've been led to believe by him. But I remind myself to listen to me, not him.
He knew what he was doing and how to get his way, he would use scriptures out of the bible to prove his way and some how convince me he was right and I need to submit, period. And I did.

When our son got to be around two years old my husband began getting worse. He didn't like anyone to tell him "no" or to disagree with him or his opinion. If you did, well you were just a stupid bitch, but if I did, he would scream at me not to argue with him. If I explained I'm not arguing I just disagree with him, that I have my own opinion, that would make him crazy mad. Then his screaming fits of name calling would start. Some Christian, I'd think, how could he call himself a Christian but call his wife such ungodly and degrading names. If he happen to be holding a glass of milk when we were arguing that would get thrown at me, milk, glass and all. When I saw glass particles sticking out of the wall next to my head I knew this is bad, it's getting too dangerous.

So when our two year old was being a typical toddler and would have a crying fit if he didn't get his way, was tired or hungry, my husband would become angry. When our son became three and could say "no" because he understood the meaning and didn't want something or to do something, that would set my husband off. That's when the abuse started getting physical with my child. That's when I knew I had to get out and get my baby out of this situation. I thought, oh my gosh, here I go again.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Steps For Dealing With Panic

I've learned that we who have panic attacks are creative people, we are intelligent, sensitive, perfectionist, and we are analytical. These personality traits are a gift, but one that needs to be managed. When we turn these traits inward by over-thinking and over reacting, we are setting ourselves up for trouble.
As you begin to challenge yourself as I am doing and stop fearing these symptoms, they will lose their power over you.

Nothing on the outside causes our panic. It's an inside job that we cause ourselves.

It all starts in your mind, even on a subconscious level, with negative internal dialogue. You begin by obsessively anticipating about something in the past or future. For example, "What if I get into the car tomorrow and I get dizzy or pass out while driving, what if I need to get out and I'm in the middle of traffic? What if I can't catch my breath? What if I do or say something stupid? What if I embarrass myself? What's wrong with me? Am I going crazy?"

Frightening messages like these send signals to your brain, "It's time to respond, we're in danger here!" The adrenaline response is triggered, releasing a flood of cortisol, sodium lactate, and adrenaline into your system. And now you begin to experience physical symptoms. Your heart pounds. Your chest gets tight. You begin to breathe out of rhythm. You begin shaking. A spacey feeling of confusion clouds your head.

Now your mind turns inward out of control. Your thoughts are spinning in a cyclone of fear. "This is it. I'm in deep trouble now. What if I have a heart attack? What if I die?"

The road to a panic attack always begins with negative internal dialogue. The way out is the path of acceptance, trust, and change in perception. There are six-steps to putting an end to panic attacks I've learned and they work. You will learn to face this head on, let yourself float through it, using these steps. You will discover that when you no longer allow it to frighten you, you’ll see it can’t hurt you. There is no need to run. You are your safe place and you are your own safe person.

The Six steps for Dealing with Panicky Feelings:

1. ACCEPT IT - float or "go" with it, don't run
2. PERMISSION - "I know what this is, it's just anxiety, it will go away,
it always does, there is no danger"
3. BREATHE - inhale 4 counts through your nose, exhale 8 counts out your mouth
4. INNER DIALOGUE - positive, comforting, kind words to yourself
5. DISTRACT - action, mental and physical for at least 15-minutes
6. LET TIME PASS - this discomfort always passes

Practice Makes Progress!

Practice..Practice..Practice! When you practice something you get very good at it. The more you practice the better you get. Practice talking positive to your self all day long, every single day. Your brain starts to believe what you're saying and you really start feeling better about YOU!

If a negative thought pops in I immediately change that thought to a positive thought. For example: "I look awful today and I don't feel like going to work."
I change my thoughts to: "I'm going to wear something I feel good in, something comfortable and I'll freshen my face up a little so I feel better about myself". "I don't look awful, I may not feel the greatest at this very moment but I'm going to go to work and I will feel better". "Just because I feel a little "off" right now doesn't mean I will feel this way all day".

Below is what I've learned from an excellent self help program that I paid considerable for, and although it was expensive and I couldn't really afford it, it has helped me so much. I wish someone could have given me this information without charging for it, since I suffered severely and had no way of affording an expensive program. So that is one reason I've decided to blog, hopefully someone that suffers like me can understand and recover from this disorder without being charged for help.

Anything worth having in life takes a considerable amount of effort. And we are worth the time and effort!

Just as it took time for you to develop your fear and anxiety, it will also take time and patience to overcome them.

Be compassionate, patient, and gentle with yourself. Stop thinking, saying, and doing things that make you feel bad, anxious, or upset with yourself.

Give yourself credit for ANY success! Praise yourself for even the smallest accomplishments.

Keep an open mind. No matter who you are or what you've been through, you CAN be helped. But you must want help. You must want to get better. You must want to take responsibility for yourself and the way you feel.

Don't overreact to your anxious feelings. Instead of fighting them, listen to them. Are you tired? Are you scaring yourself with your thoughts? Relax and let them pass... and they will.

Keep a journal. Note when you feel anxious, note when you feel good. Write down what you were doing, who you were with, what you ate, and what time of day it was. This will help you see if there is a pattern to your anxious episodes. Plus there's magic in writing, it will help you feel much better!

Until next time....Give yourself a hug!

What Causes It?


I cause my own anxiety, that can lead to a panic attack! Not on purpose I might add, I didn't know I was doing this to myself and I'm glad I know the reason why I have anxiety but I really wish I wouldn't have done this to myself in the first place. It almost sounds absurd, but it's true, we cause our own anxiety.

The "what if" thinking can cause major anxiety. Like, what if someone breaks into the house while we're all in bed, what if they steal my child or kill us... that kind of thinking scares yourself and doing this many times a day and night can really stress you out and cause anxiety to the point of panic. These thoughts just pop into my head and instead of calming myself, or my mind down, I start getting obsessed with these thoughts and before I know it I'm having anxiety and can't sleep, then panic starts. It's a vicious cycle!

But now I know what to do, I start telling myself that I know what this is, it's just anxiety and that it's ok to have it, it will go away, it always does. I acknowledge the anxiety, I allow myself to have it, this way I don't have the feeling that I need to run for my life. Besides, running isn't the answer because there is no real danger. Then I tell myself that I'm safe, I'm calm, I'm peaceful, I'm relaxed. It's amazing, my brain truly believes it, and it's true too, I am safe. As soon as I reassure myself I start losing the anxious feelings and panic stops in its tracks!!
If there is something I can't control or fix, like a hurricane or micro burst, or any tragedy, I've decided to reassure myself that I live by faith in Jesus Christ, I do not live by fear.
Positive mind change is soothing and it really works, it's so awesome!!

So What is it?

It's adrenaline coursing through your body, but since there is no real danger, (like a shark chasing you while swimming in the ocean) it feels terrifying.
It's the exact reaction you'd have if someone broke into your home and put a knife to your throat. Adrenaline would cause you to either run for your life or to stay there and fight.
Also adrenaline is what goes through you when you're excited about something, like getting on a roller coaster, you'd be excited and maybe a little scared. But you don't have a panic attack because you know why you're feeling the adrenaline at that moment.

Sometimes I can hardly believe that this has happened to me. I went from a person that could drive across the United States to not being able to walk out my front door!
Agoraphobia is the fear of having a panic attack so you don't leave your home. It's that simple.

When I first started getting these anxiety and panic attacks I wondered why sometimes I have these attacks and why not at other times. I noticed that when I got on my bike and rode through my neighborhood I felt better. I also noticed when I drank a couple of glasses of wine I felt better. Now years later I know why riding my bike or drinking a little wine helped me. I didn't think about it, the fears the what if thinking, because I was either busy doing something or chilling (relaxing).

A Way Out !

The pain and mental anguish is unbearable when you have anxiety to the point of panic. Panic that you can't even explain, it feels like you're going to die, or that you're losing your mind. It's terrifying and it's painful!

Just imagine that you're swimming in the warm Florida ocean and you see a shark. Fear and panic would grip you. You'd swim as fast as you can to the beach to get away from that shark, knowing it will probably bite your leg off if it gets close enough to you.

That is the same feeling and reaction that my body would go through, almost every day, except there is no shark, I'm not even in the ocean, I'm just at home doing normal daily life tasks when it comes on!

It can just come on day or night, while you're awake or asleep, and if you're asleep it causes you to fly out of bed. I've lived with panic for almost 10 years and it feels like no one understands or knows what I've gone through and go through.

But to my surprise there are millions of us going through this awful disorder. I've been researching and gobbling up every thing I can find that has to do with anxiety, and I'm not alone!! Thank God! It makes me feel so much better to know I'm not the only one suffering with this awful thing called anxiety. I was afraid that my family and family doctor were just going to give up on me, lock me up and throw away the key because they thought I was going crazy. I knew I wasn't crazy but I didn't know if I'd ever be normal again. I just wanted this fear, panic and anxiety to stop. I wanted to be independent again, to be happy, not to be afraid. Not only did I suffer but my young child suffered because of me and missed out on life because of me! My heart broke for him every day.

For the first time in 10 years I am learning why I have anxiety and what it is, what triggers it and why. And what to do or what NOT to do. I've tried several anti depressants and anti anxiety medications but they are not the cure for me, or the panic would stop for good. So I decided to wean off of the medications and find the root cause of this awful thing called panic attacks. I've seen counselors, and doctors and psychiatrist's but they didn't fix me or this disorder. (I say disorder for lack of a better word or term)

What triggers it? ME! Why? And what is it? And what do I do about it??