Mental Health

Hello and Welcome

I’m so glad you decided to visit!

I started this blog because there are so many things in my life which our society says is “wrong.” In other words, a majority of my current and past life has been filled with circumstances and events which have an aura of stigma around them.

I am the child of a teen mother who was frequently a single mother. We never stayed in the same place for two years or more. She was married three times by the time I was six years old.

Her first husband, my father is a Mexican immigrant. I didn’t meet or get to know him until 2010.

Her third husband, my second step-father, sexually molested me for two years. Within two years of finding out what he’d done, she committed suicide after signing guardianship of me over to her younger brother.

I was, essentially, an orphan. Then I experienced another broken home due to my uncle’s sexually alternative lifestyle and drug use.

At 16, I ran away with a man 14 years my senior. We hitchhiked across the country and lived out of cars for the next three years. He was a professional, low-level con man. Consequently, I learned to lie to and manipulate strangers for my survival.

I had my first child during this period when I was 17. By the time I was 19, I was a single mom and survivor of domestic violence.

In the 28 years since then, I’ve struggled with binge eating, obesity, and broken relationships with friends and family.

I’ve gone through periods of extreme hope, happiness, productivity, self-confidence, and a sense of invincibilty – a knowledge that there was nothing I couldn’t accomplish. These times were also marked by sexual promiscuity and self-delusion. They always ended with me crashing and burning, then ending in deep and lasting depression.

One such cycle resulted in me becoming a single mother a second time. So, I had two children by two different men and needed “welfare.”

Within two years, I began a relationship, which lasted for nearly 20 years and was characterized by symptoms of domestic violence.

A third child was born of this relationship and I became a “late in life” mother at 39.

I kept trying and failing to get a college education. I have huge amounts of student debt and not even an Associates Degree to show for it.

Between unpaid student loans and medical debt, I remain in poverty and don’t really see a way out.

All three of my children have grown up with an emotionally unstable mother. I’ve been incapable of managing my life in healthy and constructive ways. I’ve failed to follow through on my dreams and plans for my future, and theirs. Time after time, I chose men who are incapable of healthy, functional relationships. The list of my maternal failures is long and painful.

While I have worked through some of the “mommy guilt,” there’s a lot that still remains because of the things they’ve experienced, not only during their time in my home(s), but also when they weren’t living with me.

Many of these things carry much of their own stigma: military service, incomplete high school education, abortion, substance use and abuse, broken relationships of their own, and the fact that they more than likely entered adulthood with cPTSD the way I did.

Despite all my efforts of therapy, self-help, and research, I mothered them the way I was mothered . . . and it breaks my heart.

However, there’s hope through the pain.

Despite my deep depressions and nervous breakdowns, I chose life over suicide. My mother died shortly before her 28th birthday. I’ll be 48 in June. So, I’ve been blessed to have 20 years more than she did.

After three years of intensive therapy, medication adjustments, and pushing into the pain, my relationship with my son has been made new. This redemption is a gift I never thought possible.

I’ve worked through enough of my “stuff,” that I now have a good relationship with my oldest daughter, allowing me to actually be G’ma to her children. Another gift I feared I would never receive.

I’m strong enough to cope with the challenges presented by my youngest daughter being on the Autism Spectrum.

I also continue working to facilitate a relationship between her and her father, even as I continue the process of overcoming the co-dependency which has existed between us for 20 years and work through the cPTSD and Bipolar II issues.

I can’t, and wouldn’t, change my story. The choices and experiences of my past are the things that made me, me.

It is my desire that sharing my story, will help others. May my story help in your journey.

26 thoughts on “Hello and Welcome”

    1. Thank you. 😊 I was a bit concerned that it fell under the category of TMI. I just hope that it helps at least one person to know that, no matter what life throws at you, hope remains.

      Like

  1. Lillian – I am so proud of you. No, you can’t change your past story, but it seems that you are doing your best to change your present and future story. It couldn’t have been easy for you to share your story — but you did. You are a brave woman with so much to share with others. Your story will help others. Please keep writing – and please know that others are here for you to lean on.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are most definitely a survivor! You are so much stronger than your own mother. While you may have mothered the only way you were taught, you have acknowledged that and are repairing any damages that resulted from it. I’m very sure own on children appreciate that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I appreciate your kind words. A note about my mother. She was born in the 50’s and likely experienced undiagnosed bipolar 1 with psychosis, starting in early adolescence. I’ve had the benefit of mental health services which were inaccessible to her. I think she was probably as strong as she could possibly be, although it’s taken a lifetime to be able to understand that.

      I am profoundly grateful for the opportunities I’ve had and been given…like being able to write on this blog.

      Like

  3. My sister struggles with depression and I want to thank you for sharing your story. I came here looking for understanding on how I can support her. Just this week she told me she fears there is no hope for change but you offer the perspective that these experiences make you who you are. I see a strong woman and that’s also who I see in my sister. It’s time I told her that.
    Again, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I admire you for telling us your story and for pushing through. I was so happy when I read that you are part of your grandchildren’s lives. What happen in the past can be very painful, but we cannot change it. The only thing we can do is keep moving forward and consider the past a learning experience. Nice to meet you through the UBC!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lillian
    Keep pushing through the issues. You are strong !!! There is ALWAYS hope. This story made me sad. All you have gone through and yet you are here telling us your story. My oldest son has mental health issues. He is on a monthly injection which has helped immensely but I went through hell to get to this point. He’s 40 yrs old now. Lives with us. Drugs, alcohol, lots of jail time. Nobody’s life is perfect. We make the best of it. Everyday is a new day! Be blessed! Vickie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Vicki. There are many sad things in this story of mine. They may have been my beginning and have shaped who I am today. However, there are good things coming out of it and it doesn’t define my future, which is one of hope.

      Mental health illnesses and disorders are very difficult and challenging, even without the stigmas our society and world places on it. Your son’s story is all too common, especially among men.

      We are so conditioned, in our society, to be critical and judgmental of behavior without ever trying to understand or recognize that all behavior comes from what is happening in the brain and psyche.

      We buy into the myth of “mind over matter” when it comes to mental and emotional health. However, no one, at least no one who is rational and minimally educated & aware, would tell a cancer patient or a diabetic that they can choose to think themselves better and just stop being sick.

      I am truly sorry for the pain and sorrow your family has experienced. It is my prayer and hope that all of you can find healing of both the emotions and the mind. May you and your son be blessed with hope.

      Lillian

      Like

  6. Your story so far sounds painful and hard. It shows much strength for you to still be here and doing what you can to have heathier relationships with your children.
    Sometimes the hardest and strongest thing you can do is just keep moving forward.

    Like

  7. Hi Lillian,
    I am visiting you from Ra’s Cheer Peppers group.

    First off, I want to applaud you for being so brave to share your story. I am so glad you have risen above the tide to not only survive but to share your story in order to help others. And on top of that, have found new hope and positivity to move forward.

    I agree that there is no reason to regret the life lived so far. It makes you, you, and our experiences only make us wiser.

    I look forward to following along with you on your journey. ❤

    Like

  8. Wow that was more intense than I was expecting. In a raw sense. That’s not a bad thing, I’ve always preferred when people can be more open and honest with not only their audience, but themselves. It’s not easy talking about the subject matter you dive into, and I’m a little jealous perhaps at your ability to do so.

    I was unfamiliar with your song, but it was a good choice, I liked it!

    Also, even though I knew coming in (reminding myself again) that you weren’t doing the A to Z Challenge, after finishing the post I kept trying to find the “A” in the title, because, I dunno… I’m weird 🙂

    Thanks for sharing part of you and good luck with the rest of the ultimate challenge!

    Like

  9. You don’t know how much I appreciate you writing this blog. I am awed, impressed, and healed by your courage and willingness to share the full truth of your life. Most people don’t have half this bravery and it takes this kind of brave candor to really reach and help heal other people – which is exactly what you are doing with this blog. Thank you in so many ways that you can’t even fathom.

    Like

  10. Thank you for sharing your story. It is a message of hope to all of us who struggle through life. I’m so happy for you that you are now close to your children. How fantastic!

    Like

  11. oh Lillian! Thank you for opening up and sharing! You will help so many people realise that they are not alone! and there is hope! Proud of your courage & may you go from strength to strength, and happiness to happines. God Bless.

    Like

Talk to me . . .

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s