Restart

The thing I’ve been telling myself lately is just because you ended up here doesn’t mean you can’t start over. “Here” meaning in a rut. I have gained weight. I am not working. I used to write music and play it. I have not touched my guitar in God knows how long. I have not worked out in months. I used to be a gym rat. I went from “was” to a different “now.” I have always been the creative type. I paint. I write. I love photography. I make jewelry. I sing. I stopped doing it all. What with dealing with stress and frustration from my mother’s situation. But this even started before that. I think I have been depressed for awhile. I repressed my feelings or any feeling for that matter.

I look in the mirror and I only see a fraction of what I am. Or see the girl I used to be. She’s still there. But she’s been hiding in a shell for so long. The caged bird who put herself in that cage to begin with. I find that baring my soul here has been a solace. I don’t know if anyone reads it will understand. I understand it all though. It has taken a lack of sleep to feel fully awake right now. I am aware that I can start over. I am waking up. I feel the sunrise. I am a butterfly waiting to get out of it’s cocoon. I have wings that can still fly. I want to know what it likes to feel truly happy again. I will do whatever it takes and chase that feeling as long as I can. I am fully awake.

Taking a Pause

Helllo WordPress family,

Look..I’d love to say that things are going ok. But it has been a rollercoaster of a month. Last week, my mother had a mental episode/breakdown. She had one previously in a span of 3 days. Her symptoms were more extreme than last time. The paramedics/Fire Department had to forcefully take her to a hospital. They had to sedate her and also use restraints. I’ve never heard screaming like that before. It broke my heart. It started because my Dad went to get her prescription for her UTI and she had a panic attack. I thought she was having a heart attack. I called 911 and they came immediately. I, a blubbering mess, could barely contain my emotions. I was at a loss for words. I felt I had betrayed her by calling them. I had no idea what to do though. I sobbed the whole day worried to death about her. This was not my mother. My mother is the sweetest most compassionate woman. My mother is my best friend in the entire world. Something tainted her. Physically and then mentally.

Previously in the last month, my mother had symptoms. She showed symptoms of psychosis. Severe psychosis. I talked to my brother about it and he told me that the same thing happened to my grandmother one day. It was a UTI. This also happened to my aunt as well. We tried to take her to Urgent Care once we guessed it might be a UTI but she wouldn’t go. She tried to jump out of the car and get away. She wouldn’t go to the doctor so we called 911. They came, checked her vitals, asked her questions and left. 3 or 4 days later, I had to call them again. The time she refused them to take her vitals, would not take her meds and they took her by no choice to the hospital. She was there for 5 days. She’s back home. She’s doing better. Eating, sleeping and taking her meds. But she is not really the same. I’m still worried.

That being said…not only am I dealing with this. I am moving in a week with my family. I need some time and will pause blogging for awhile. I can’t post regularly like I used to.

Til then,

-M

She In A Funk

I hate coming up with blog post titles. This one is pretty self explanatory. Emotionally, physically and spiritually I am drained. My mother’s Mental condition seems to be getting worse. She’s not sleeping. She’s lost weight. She talks to herself. She hyperventilate when she stresses out. Me and My Dad finally told my brother what is going on. It doesn’t help to hide the situation.

As for me..I wish I had a run in me. I started running because it was good for my mental health. I gave my treadmill away to my neighbor. We are moving in 2 weeks. I should be excited. But my joy has been robbed from me. It’s also that time of the month or…fun week (never said by any woman). All I’ve been doing the past few weeks is watching movies. Violent movies. I get some sick gratification when someone gets revenge for their family. I’ve become desensitized at this point. Television can do that. It’s the only outlet I’ve used.

I never used to be like this. I was the happy baby. Full of laughter. Promise. Hope. Now I don’t feel as hopeful. The negative effect on the world is affecting me. I keep trying to shake this off. But I can’t. I need an overhaul for my life. I don’t want to fall into the pit of depression. Once you fall in the out it’s hard to get out.

Stay strong, friends

The “What Ifs”

A lot of self reflection this week. Watching alot of actors in their craft has me reminiscing about my old acting days. I was never a paid actress but I didn’t care. I loved the craft. I loved the play I was in. Growing up I admired so many actors and actresses. I devoured tons of movies. People called it an obsession. I called it research. 😉 At times when my parents friends would come over to our house I would reenact scenes from my favorite movies. (What About Bob? Nutty Professor (Eddie Murphy version) Tommy Boy, Audrey Hepburn movies, etc. I still do it to this day.

I would mimic the mimic-ers. Especially Meryl Streep. I would study accents. People that know me know I can go from one accent to another. I love English, Australian and Latin. When I first saw the movie Selena I would sing the songs. My Cuban and Hispanic friends thought it was entertaining. I’ve always been fascinated by the movie industry. I lived near L.A. and never went to one audition. By then the dream had died even though I still had intentions. I think I was so insecure I wouldnt have been able to handle the rejection. Actors develop a thick skin over time. But mine was so thin it would have shattered me to hear any criticism.

Now I just live through watching other actors. At one time I thought about being a television writer or author. I love painting. Any creative outlet. It’s sad because I’ll always have that “what if” hanging over my head. ….

“What if I went to auditions?”

“What if I got to experience the craft with other admired actors/actresses?”

I always wanted to be in a movie with Jack Lemmon or Paul Newman. Sadly they passed years ago. They were my favorites. Every time I watch an Al Pacino or Robert deNiro film I always picture if I were in the film I would have been a mob boss wife. (Haha)

I digress.

Just part of a self reflection as I get older. I tend to have more of them.

Now that I’ve shared my thoughts, what are some of your self reflections? Or..what are your favorite actors/actresses? Favorite movies or movie scenes?

Mental Health and Movies…

I didn’t know how to start this blog post. Do I start with mental health or movies? I guess I’ll start with mental health.

My mother’s mental health is deteriorating. I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster because of this. I mentioned in another post that my mother fell and hurt her hip. For the last 6 weeks my father and I have been taking care of her. Making meals, helping her walk, giving her showers, etc. Just seeing her like this tests my own mental health. I’ve had breakdowns more frequently. She doesnt want to socialize. Wants to stay in bed. Has a hard time communicating. Doesn’t want to eat much. Yesterday she told us she had a secret she was ashamed of. She said that she had lied to us and did not fall. My dad said “But when I found you in the kitchen you were on the floor.” She said she has been faking it. Since then her problem has progressed. I’m ready to call the doctor and have her evaluated. I don’t know what to think or believe. I think she’s convinced she lied. Her mother (my grandmother) had Alzheimer’s years before she passed. She did show some improvement somewhat before . But I am convinced that my mother is in the beginning stages of dementia. I’ve never seen her like this. It’s frustrating because this not the same woman who raised me. I signed and begged her not to leave us. I’m devastated. It’s been hard to cope with.

Now onto movies. This is my only escape at the moment besides my infrequent jogs on the treadmill. I’ve fully immersed myself in Benicio del Toro’s film career. I had never fully crushed on him until now. (The last movie I remembered watching him was Excess Baggage, 90’s rom com with Alicia Silverstone.) I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with him as of now. I call it a temporary escape from my gloomy dreary situation. He was brilliant in Sicario and also Sicario: Day of Soldado. His acting is beyond how own years. He reminds me of Al Pacino and James Dean rolled into one person. I love his personality. His Puerto Rican Heritage is 80% of his sex appeal. Those eyes. I can’t even. I’ve also been watching Charlie Chaplin movies. That man is also legendary. Both men (Benicio and Charlie) can communicate simply with a look of artistic expression. I’ve always wanted to be an actress. I admire the craft and wish I had pursued it. Movies have been my vice as of now. Even more so. And I’ve also embraced a comedy called Schitt’s Creek.

So that’s it. Mental Health and Movies. I know those topics do not go hand in hand all the time. But right now to me they do.

Stauy strong, friends

Hear Her/Him

I’ve been dealing with something I’ve tried to push down for a long time. You can never really send something to the abyss of your mind and never had it resurface. I had a vivid dream a few weeks ago. Just yesterday, I also just watched Farrow vs Allen, the 4 part documentary series about the accusations against Woody Allen for sexually abusing his 7 yr. old daughter. Btw, I believe Dylan. I was Dylan to an extent. However I did not suffer the abuse from my own father or flesh of blood. It was a stranger. A man who I believe was mentally ill which is perhaps why I’m leery about being near mentally ill people.

My experience that I had tried to push down for so long resurfaced in my recent dream. I was sexually assaulted in my dream. It felt so real it shook me to my very core. I was grabbed in a place only intended for my future husband. It didn’t feel like it was a dream because it felt that real. I could feel the pain all over again. It’s hard to even write this or convey my state of emotion right now.

It made me haunted by something Trump had said in the past in thinking he could just grab a woman by the…(you know what, I’m too much of a lady to say the word). That is the most violating thing to do. Especially by force. It’s a violation of not only my body but EVERY woman’s. It shows disregard and value of the female sex. I’m disgusted by the fact that our former President has said this. (Although he is not the first I’m sure and won’t be the last).

I was preyed upon by an older man. I was seen as just something to grab. I’ll never forget one night I wanted to go swimming. My parents wouldn’t take me. So they suggested Kenneth. He was very willing. I didn’t think anything of it. I had a one track mind. My priority was to go swimming. He had other plans. I’ll never forget the predatory look on his face as he was watching me swim. I could see him staring at me. We were the only ones who were there. I felt a weird feeling when I saw him. I wanted to stay in that water as long as I could because I felt more safe. He eventually said we had to leave. As we got into the car I couldn’t figure out my belt buckle. He leaned over to strap me in and I could feel my heart stop. I thought “This is it. He’s going to do something.” I never felt more powerless. He was strapping me in and just looked at me. I don’t know what happened but he took me home and nothing happened. I felt it was as if the hand of God literally restrained him. I am thankful it did not happen. But that was not my only encounter with him.

The next encounter had more people involved. I went to a friend’s house with my best friend, Jamie. We were in the room playing and he walked in. Everything was a blur before and after. He kissed me in front of everyone. All my friends. When you’ve been victimized you start thinking “Did that really happen?” to denial. “No that never happened.” There’s a part of you that wants to think you’ve made it up in your mind. But what 7 yr old makes up molestation in their mind? That moment defined me for the longest time. I felt ashamed. I felt I had done something wrong to grab his attention. My friend Jamie hated him. I think he sensed his intentions toward me. Since then, I’ve never been intimate with anyone. I’ve never held hands. One time I had a guy in my life, TJ, who came to see me. I was really interested in him. He was the bad boy type. But when he was there, we went out on the porch and laid down. I felt like he wanted to kiss me. I could see and feel my hand clench into a fist. My heart was palpitating. He didn’t kiss me. But if He did, I probably would have reacted the opposite of what any normal girl would. That’s not a normal reaction to punch a guy that may or may not kiss you. I told my Mom what happened. She said…”I think it’s because of what happened to you.” It pulled me back into that abyss.

I thought “No.” “That can’t be.” But it was. Flashing back to that moment with Kenneth, I could feel that little girl had still not been healed from that experience. I went to a church camp one time. They asked anyone who had been molested to come to the altar so they could pray for them. I thought “Do I go?” “Is what happened to me considered molestation?” I had never been raped or violated to the extent that others had been. I started thinking if that had applied to me. I went up front and there was a sweet girl who put her arm around me. I told her right away “I don’t know if this applies to me.” She said “Was something done to you against your will?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “Then that applies to you.” I never considered or labeled myself a victim but I felt victimized in that experience. And the experience before that. I’m thankful that youth leader told me. She made me realize that I was a victim and prayed for me. For years, I was angry at my parents. For not being there. For failing to protect me from a predator. I don’t remember whether it was before or after. But me and my mother went with his parents to go visit him at work. I told my mother “I don’t want to see Kenny.” She told his parents in front of me and they laughed. (His parents were the sellers of our mobile home and they lived close by our area. My mom and dad were friends with them.) I didn’t ever want to be in that situation again where I was powerless. So I slept with a plastic baseball bat in my bed the whole time I lived there. I thought “If no one will believe or protect me, I’ll do it myself.”

Flash forward to my semi-boyfriend at 16. A possible kiss. It never happened and since then I never allow myself to be close to men. Intimate. I’ve never even held hands with someone. It’s not always a conscious choice. But I guess it is. I’m afraid of being seen as vulnerable. When you’re in a relationship you let your guard down. I never allowed that chance. I’m 37 and I’ve still had no boyfriend. I’m slowly thinking of the idea of dating someone. But I get scared. Will that person allow me to heal and be patient with me in waiting until I’m married to have sex? That’s the only way I will trust someone. To make that kind of commitment to wait. That’s a rare thing. And I’m not quick to believe if he says he will. Saying one thing is different than actually owning what you say. My whole point in sharing my story is hear out people who say they are victims. Don’t assume they make it up. A lot of people assumed Dylan Farrow made up her abuse. There is nothing worse than someone unwilling to hear you or believe you. That’s more damaging in the long run because the sexual abuse can’t heal completely until you heal the emotions that come with it. Victims deal with guilt for years. They deal with denial, depression, anger,humiliation, substance abuse etc. I still deal with it to this day and I’m 37 years old. I don’t think about it day and night. But throughout the years, I have nightmares. I picture going to his dad’s place. I remember the fear I felt. The humiliation. Feeling powerless. God is healing my heart and mind. But it’s not a quick thing. Certain things make it surface. My responsibility is to deal with those emotions the moment I feel them instead of pushing them down because they eventually resurface.

In closing, I pray if you’ve experienced any pain or trauma from your experiences, that you one day find peace again. Find sleep again. Find joy again. Find comfort and strength. I pray you’re seen. Heard. Believed.

Believe her/him. Hear her/him. The worst thing to do is ignore her/him. Do everything you can to protect them.

(The same applies to boys/men who have also been abused. Those are things that aren’t reported on either but it does happen. We can’t ignore or turn our face from that.)

Stay strong, friends. And do not be afraid to reach out and talk to someone. There’s healing in confession.

Coming To Terms

Sorry that I don’t post as regularly as I should. A lot going on in my life. I’ll share the positives and then the negatives.

The first positive thing I can say is that I’ve been consistent in my walking/running habit. I’ll be working my way up to 3 miles slowly but surely. I’m halfway there. I push myself even when I don’t want to. Taking on this cardio is so great in strengthening and improving my mental health. I’ve also started strength training again.

Yesterday I put on the roller skates I bought myself on a whim. It should have been on film. It was so comedic for so many reasons. (See Lucille Ball on roller skates and you’ll know what I’m talking about LOL) Basically I’ll have to condition myself before I try on concrete.

Now to the negatives…My mental health has been struggling because I’m basically a shut in. I don’t have a job. I don’t have a car either because my lease expired. I help raise 7 dogs that me and my family have. That’s work in itself. We lose sleep sometimes. Also my mother fell and hurt her hip. She has a hard time moving. I’m kind of her nurse maid. I make her meals, take her to the bathroom and such. I even gave her a shower with the help of my dad. I’ve never done things like that before. It has been a stretch. I don’t have any hobbies besides watching every TV show which, let’s face is, gets old after awhile. I’ve started rewatching Dawson’s Creek and never want to watch it again. I’m almost done. And then I never want it in my life again. (I forgot how annoying Joey is)

I don’t know why I’m sharing all of these things. I’m coming to terms with a lot of things right now. I don’t just want to share my physical journey. But also my mental and emotional journey as well. It’s therapeutic for me even if no one else cares to read this.

The struggle is more real than ever in not giving up. Honestly, giving up would be easier. Too easy. But I have to believe things will improve. What little hope I have is still there.

I Ran..

For the last week or so I have connected with an old love of mine. Running. I love a good jog. It’s therapeutic. Not only am I finding mental health but also connecting that with the physical. While changing my eating habits (My new habit is choosing healthier chocolate: 80% cacao dark chocolate that I’m learning to love and making my own pizza) I’m finding these pearls of wisdom that I gather.

For example I’ve learned that I usually bottle my emotions and end up either binging or overeating. Exercise used to be my therapy. But since Covid, I had lost that fire and determination with it. I used to run all the time when I lived in KY. I loved my neighborhood. There was a sense of camraderie that I have yet to find here in the neighborhood I live in now.

Since I moved last year I felt lost. I would walk here and there. But no jogging in a long time. It helped me from being triggered with my emotional eating. It was an outlet. The point is I’ve gained a nugget of wisdom. Instead of burying my emotions I need to deal with them as I feel them. If I don’t they will come back to haunt me. So no matter how I feel about something I will allow myself to feel it and deal with it in that moment.

I’ll write it down. I’ll jog it away. I’ll lift weights. I’ll paint a picture. A healthier outlet than eating. I’ve been walking/running for the second week now. I’ve built up that fire and determination. This time I’m not letting go of it. I used to run with my dog and he loved it. I’ll work up to that. I also bought myself some roller skates as an incentive. (Silly I know) But everyone should have a goal. Find something you love to do.

Stay strong, friends.

In heart mind body and soul.

The Art Of An Emotional Eater

I’m sad. Eat. I’m angry. Eat. I’m lonely. Eat. I’m not fitting into my jeans. Eat.

Believe you me, I’ve perfected this to a science. It’s not something I embrace. It’s something I use as a coping mechanism. I wrote in a former blog post that I associate cheating in my eating as something I’ve used as a label for myself. (Cheater cheater pumpkin eater) Well..I’ve eaten too many pumpkins. I’ve struggled with this for a year now. Covid turned my world upside down. When I moved to a different state and ended up with no job or friends and covid came….this emotional rollercoaster has tornadoed the emotional eating into a frenzy. I have struggled on and off (especially during my PMS days) with this. Eating uncontrollably. Feeling guilty. Back on the healthy eating wagon. Feeling better and energized. Two weeks later, falling off the wagon. Feeling guilty about that again. Same cycle. Never ending. Always having to forgive myself.

I’ve psychoanalyzed this to death. I figured it out. I associate certain foods with certain emotions. I equate chocolate to happiness. I find soda fills me with energy. Coffee is for sanity (haha) Chips are for stuffing my face with all kinds of emotions. When I’m really upset or feeling trapped I eat. When I’m excited and want to “celebrate” I do it with food. That’s the problem. Associating food with happiness. No matter much you eat you find you are not empty or full. You’re just either bloated or feeling the aftermath or explosion from all of it. I have to change the rules of the game. Instead of eating I need to journal. Or write. Or paint. Or work out. I find feelings of accomplishment and emotional relief when I paint. It’s a purpose of freeing me and what I’m feeling. I find when I’m depressed and go on the treadmill (even though everything in my head tells me not today) it’s cathartic. I feel better. The endorphins heal me. I’m not punishing myself but helping myself instead.

I’m not saying I have figured out the solution but the beginning of it for myself. When I blog, I feel better. Being raw and open and honest, I thought I would share something I wrote in my journal: I used to be a full vessel. Full of food, dreams, ideals, and passion. But right now I just want to empty myself of food, dreams, ideals and passion. Holding onto these thoughts are dangerous. Could even cause me to fall ind into the deep trap of depression. After I wrote this I laid in my bed wallowing in self pity. An hour later, something arose in me. A new desire NOT to give up. That day, I found the strength I didn’t have before to get up from my pity party. I know it was strength from God because I had none that morning. Anyways, I digress. I got up, made myself something to eat and then exercised. I am tired of doing the same thing and expecting different results. Wake up the same way in the same house doing the same thing. The monotony of it all was becoming too uncomfortable. Eating what I was feeling was becoming too uncomfortable.

The point of this is I know what emotional eating is and how it affects me. Will I ever be completely cured? Maybe. Maybe not. But I know the root of the problem that causes me to sabotage what goals I’m working toward. Associating food with emotion is something that chemically messes with my brain. From now on, I will try not to associate happiness or sadness with food. I’ll find other outlets to express myself that won’t be so self harming.

I want to find love with someone someday and feel that happy. But in order to do I have to find my own happy first. Otherwise I’ll keep associating things with emotion and never heal. I want to deal with the emotion as I feel it. Because if I don’t do it then it will end up eating me up inside. Now that I’ve had this epiphany I can do my best to fix it instead of bury it in a bag of chips or cookies.

Stay strong friends!!!

Cheat Meals or Cheating Yourself?

I’m not a professional by any means. Just speaking from my own experience and how it affects me. I’ve learned that psychologically, labeling food is dangerous to my thoughts. When I start thinking certain foods are good or bad, it affects me emotionally. I already struggle with emotional eating. But slapping a label and identifying food as good or bad can be harmful. I used to label ice cream as a CHEAT MEAL. Well…that CHEAT MEAL turned into a CHEAT DAY(No that doesn’t mean I ate ice cream all day. But I would eat a lot of food). I already shared my journey about how I used to deprive myself of things, eat them and then feel so guilty about it. This is how a cheat meal would turn into a cheat day. Cheating is never a good thing in general. When people cheat in relationships or in their academics it doesn’t convey a great feeling. With it comes guilt and shame. I feel like I’m doing something wrong when I eat “cheat” foods. And I’m just eating food. It may not be the healthiest choice but it’s a choice. I would punish myself for eating ice cream and chips. Pizza. Soda. I’m not advocating that these are good things whatsoever. But just changing the term from cheat, good or bad gives me a healthy relationship with food. If I eat a cheat meal I’m labeled a cheater. It would haunt me for days and then I’d just throw in the towel. After all, you are what you eat, right? I eat a cheat meal, I’m a cheater. Who wants to be a cheater??

Now that I’m changing my mindset I don’t see food as good or bad. I see it as enjoyable fuel. I do enjoy ice cream in portions. I do enjoy the carbonated fizz of soda once in awhile. (i.e. I would drink Coke Zero religiously. But after eliminating it for almost a month, I don’t need it all the time. Now I only drink a few sips or half of the bottle once in awhile.) I do eat chips, the portions I’m working on. For my salty/sweet tooth, I eat a Nutbar from Kirkland’s a day. I don’t label any of it as bad. I also don’t go hog wild with it like I used to. The old me would have eaten “good” foods such as salad and lean meats and then overindulge on chips (I mean like almost a whole bag!!) My relationship with food is more balanced than it’s ever been because I don’t label my food in certain categories. I eat a lot of vegetables and lean meats. But I also eat steak and potatoes. I eat processed foods. I’m not on a diet. Diets do not work for me. Having a healthy relationship with food is. I’m listening to my body more. I can tell how my body feels when I feed it with something that’s going to help it or deplete it. I know that carbs can tire me because they release the serotonin. But I still need them to function. I need fat. I need sugar (in portions). I definitely need protein. I try new recipes, substituting for better options that are healthy. I try to be conscious about my eating but not obsessed.

As far as fitness goes, I’ve upped my game and started using 10 lb. dumbbells for my workouts. I do walk my dog for some light cardio. But cardio does not make me feel as strong on strength training does. I have a treadmill but I don’t enjoy it as much as I do from my Vitamin D outside. I have an exercise bike I use from time to time. I use my strength training machine (my ol’ trusty Total Bodyworks 5000) I don’t do workouts on demand or from Youtube (but I don’t knock people who do. DO YOU!) I don’t follow what the latest Youtube sensation is in their What I Eat In A Day videos (are they REALLY honest??) or fitness journey people and do what they do. I do what I find helps me. I’ve been my own personal trainer for sometime and I coach myself. I don’t do it for money or fame. I do it for me. Just doing something simple like changing terms or eliminating labels is what helps me.

Like I said, I’m not a professional as far as dietician or training. I just learn from my own experience.

Stay strong, friends