Posted in grief, Life, Mental Health

My Mental Health Journey 19: Suicide

Hello Followers, it’s been several months since I’ve written about my own personal MH journey. Like the each one of you, life is happening for me.

Mostly, I’m that strong woman… The one all the songs inspire others to become. I do what and in ways that I can. I try my best to be an active listener and supportive friend. I “sleep it off”, ” let it go”, and “leave it in yesterday.” I’m not bragging on myself; but, I am. It’s taken me 31 years of the most intense and confusing points in my life to get here. I have to acknowledge the victory.

It wasn’t easy!! I said years ago, ” If I can survive my childhood, I can handle anything.”

So, God forged forward… His plan for my life was packed with hills and valleys, storms and the most beautiful rainbows.

I remember being my daughter’s age and “knowing”, my siblings and I will drastically leave our childhood home in great distress. I was right. I remember being younger than 8, maybe 6-7, and my sister would talk with me. We’d be in such frustration because nothing made sense. These people who just adopted us were now having babies. Our lives of consistent inconsistency became answering every beacon call of a woman who treated us differently than “her own” kids…day in and day out!

Sure, we had what we needed in life: safety, clothes, food, baths, ex. It was the bare minimum… that’s what we 4 oldest learned to accept and expect. As we grew older, we made some real stupid choices. Did we know better? Did we do it anyway? I’d say all the above… because again, we’re kids with little to NO consistent guidance. Nothing of this world made sense. I know teens don’t really understand the world as we adults do; but, they should understand an age appropriate measure.

On a few occasions, my siblings and I would talk about our biological parents… with our adoptive mom. It felt as if someone took their favorite book… cut out two or three sentences of every couple chapters, and stuck them together on some dull coffee stained paper.

When we were old enough to comprehend it, we grieved the loss of our biological mother. How did it happen? When did it happen? Did she not want us? How did she just leave us at a neighbors? The questions were endless… for years… decades… And no matter how many times we revisited the subject, the details never make sense (go figure, right?). The storyline was choppy, and didn’t seem to fall in chronological order. None of it felt like MY story.. where I came from..

Until two nights ago….

And here we’ve arrived at Brandy’s most current mental stated… deeper in the difficult cycle of grief.. AGAIN!!!

Is this due to the pandemic? Nope! With absolute certainty and strong conviction, I can say that. Is this due to financial difficulties, nope. Not having those either (Praise Jesus🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼). Health problems going on? Nada, well, not really.

No, my worst than sucky attitude is the result of a change in “my reality”… learning one single detail within a time period that’s already so difficult. One that really has fucked up my mental health and overall wellness.

My mother chose to give up her parental rights, for a man who had no intention on staying. When he left, she hurt so much. She missed us kids so badly…

She couldn’t take it anymore…

She didn’t know how to stop the pain.

…………………………

She intentionally stepped in front of the bus.

………………………….

Maybe this isn’t my story… it’s hers… ;but, you’ll never understand how much I see the similarities among all our lives and moms.

The struggle with depression has been too real for me.. and for my brothers.

It’s a generation curse, an inheritance that hasn’t made us so lucky.

I’m grieving again. I’m angry again. I question so much again! My ache for my mom.. is stronger than ever. There’s not much I can do about it.

What makes this pill particularly hard to swallow, is my daughter’s dad committed suicide around 07-22- 2015. Another person, who held a huge role in our lives, is gone because they wanted the pain to stop…

Years ago, I was that blond hair little doll, in a simple sundress. I don’t remember her. I don’t remember any of it. I know I want to remember. I know I would soak up every last detail about who I am and that about my roots.

So, right now, I’m working through the stages of grief. I’m in one hella sucky mood; and, I don’t really miss my mom any less.

It’s where I am right now.

Sincerely:

Brandy

Posted in Writing

Pumzi Yangu Ya Maisha

Umenifundisha kupenda tena, Na roho yako mpole na asili ya kujitolea! Umenifanya nipende tena, Kwa mtazamo wako wa kihemko na hisia za ucheshi.

Umenifundisha kupenda tena, Na busu zako zenye matunda na kukumbatiana sana. Umenifanya nipende tena, Wakati ulinitazama machoni mwangu lakini uliuliza ulivuta moyo wangu.

Wewe ni moyo wangu, maisha yangu ya baadaye na nyumba yangu. Nitakupenda kila wakati.

💕02.06.2020.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Posted in healing, men, Mental Health, peace, positivity, self care, Writing

Working On Us – Week 6

This is my interpretation of Beckie’s Mental Mess, weekly “Working on Us” prompt. You can read more about it here🙂

She posted a few questions, as well as a picture (or two). Same as she does every week.

This week I was struggling to choose between the two photos, so I’m going to do the first.

IMAGE #1:

I immediately thought, on that’s simple… Depression is dark and the tree is signifying the way out. The more I stared at it, something deeper happened.

The blackened area is nearly impossible to navigate. That’s what depression feels like. There’s no light, no sense of direction. The darkened area is also enclosed. There’s endless darkness; and it feels like it’s going to swallow us up. There’s no hope, no way out, no running from it, no avoiding it…

It’s then, that depression leads to in bed all day. It leads to no showers for days, little appetite, all that is colorless, dingy, gloomy, and powerless. Our depression doesn’t remove what we have. It merely dims the light around it, with grief, lies, and black.

It takes deliberate persistence to refind that mustard seed of hope. It’s always been there; it’ll always be there. The tree is our roots, the center that keeps us grounded. It’s the truths that shine, despite circumstances.

This was a refreshing reminder that our circumstances don’t remove roots of our true selves.   

Posted in healing, Life, Mental Health, Writing

My Mental Health Journey 1

When I was a little girl, I thought like a little girl. I acted like a little girl. I was treated as A. Little. Girl…. I was being raised by a single mom, who had 4 other children and no help. She did what she could, but understandably, it was too much. She moved to Virginia. We kids were placed in the system.

My siblings and I were taken in by this couple, who couldn’t have children. At that time, I didn’t know the underlying secrets of that fact. Soon after we were rerooted to this new life, still unsettled mind you, they got pregnant. Not once but twice. In two years, this couple went from no children to eight.

None of us felt our lives made sense. I did what was expected of me, and yet us “older kids” were raised differently than the younger ones. I noticed it, early on..I was in elementary school when I “knew” the insanity of our departure from that house was going to be dramatic and ugly. The saddest part was my inability to do anything to prevent it.

As we grew, I was reprimanded and disciplined. Much like a dictatorship, there was no other way. I had no voice. I had no options, opinions, or alternatives. That’s exactly how things were operated. I had zero opportunity to express what I felt. There wasn’t even a system to teach me what any of it was or how to regulate it. They didn’t allow such individuality.

As I got older, my numerical number increased, but my maturity didn’t. I didn’t experience that part of life which establishes and nourishes maturity! Why wasn’t I close to my parents? Why weren’t they introducing me to new concepts? Why weren’t they encouraging me to try?? Why didn’t they understand that criticism wasn’t a successful way to develop confidence while learning a skill. I was condemned for not cooking, as if I had no initiative.

I didn’t feel comfortable with trying to learn to cook. I didn’t feel comfortable being around my mother. I had absolutely no self confidence or desire to be alone with her, in the kitchen. The essential skills that we learn in the preteen years, I didn’t know. The life skills I needed by 21, I didn’t have until 5 years ago.

During my young adolescent years, I was emotionally abused because she resented me. I was abused because of the issues she carried. I was abused by a woman who didn’t love me… nor did she want me. She didn’t even like me. She didn’t like any of us 4 older kids… because we weren’t her own. She never said as much… but, actions speak so loud… and hers were a hell of a ton louder than the bullshit that escaped her mouth.

I saw this resentment so clearly, when everyone in the family worked so hard to keep hidden. It angered me. It hurt me. Year after year, the same lie continued. It just took on more of a recognizable shape. When I was in middle school, eighth grade, this darkness became verbal/emotional abuse. I suffered because two adults made a choice to adopt. I suffered because a grown woman chose not to face her own demons. She spent years lying to me about who she was. She spent years lying to herself.

Posted in Mental Health

Transparency

She sat and looked at her. There was such a sad aura about her, pale color, disinterested gaze. Her hair went black, her clothes now heavy with chains and buckles, weighing her to the ground. She chose dark nail color, thick eye liner, a blank “Fuck Off” stare. She has stuffed away her pink and bows, and she’s replaced it with an exterior to match her pain. 

It was four years ago, her brother had enlisted into the Air Force. She wasn’t as close to him as she would’ve liked, but this was still her older brother. Did he really want to join   the military? She was doubtful; he hasn’t mentioned nor displayed such a passion before his enlisting. There he was, September 11, 2001, he was to aboard a plane and leave Ohio in the dust. 

Al Quida had different plans for him that day; shit, they had such for everyone breathing, that day . They were aware of the comfortable complacency and weakened division among the US citizens and their government. Neither here nor there, her brother didn’t arrive at boot camp for another two weeks. 

Little did she realize, eight weeks into her brother’s basic training, her life was changed forever. He wasn’t ready to obey his commanding officer. He wasn’t ready to obey rules of the US Government. He wasn’t mature enough to handle the responsibilities in the shoes of the military. She realize that ; she didn’t fault him entirely. 

The ball started downhill, rolling faster and faster, until it suffocated her. The thoughts that kept her up stole every desire within her. The night hours laughed at her fear, flamed her anger, and destroyed her restful sleep. As the dawns rose, a swelling grew in her throat. She had to face the public, particularly her peers, as if everything was absolutely fine. 

Walking down the hallways, the colors blurred together. The sounds muffled, and it was as if  she had tunnel vision. Her palms were always sweaty, her focus was on fighting back tears, and against anger outbursts.

She began to journal on a more regular basis. She felt to much, to deeply to carry all within her mind. How was she, at just 14, expected to carry such an adult burden? How was she expected to “fake” herself as a “fine” individual when she wasn’t fine to begin with. She had no idea who she was to try and pretend she wasn’t. 

This pretty decent and well behaved girl grew into a mass ball of confusion, guilt, shame, bitterness, depression, anxiety, jealousy, envy, spite, and anger….. Before she was given the opportunities to decide for herself, who she was. 

She sat staring at her, as the transparency of her truth appeared on her tear stained cheeks. She’s been so strong…. For so long… Trying with everything within her mortal abilities to gain the acceptance of these horrendous people who begrudgingly adopted her and her syblings. She tried to obey every rule, learn from syblings mistakes, and be someone of which they were proud…

Tear after tear, unconscionable, salty, anguished and fresh. She couldn’t stop them. She didn’t want to any more. This precious young woman turned from the mirror, placed her face in her hands, and wept for herself. 

This life… Is all she knew and understood about being, and it had been hell for as long as she could remember. ” There has to be more than this!” She broke through her weakened lungs.