{Confessions Of An Exhausted Mother}

I’m burnt out. Matthew and I both are.


Most days I roll by without people knowing what goes on behind closed doors in our little world.

Keira has been on emergency suspension for 6 days now from school.

Her mood and aggression has been an extremely difficult task for Matthew and I to tame.

He’s been to work 2 days in the last two weeks.

A couple of his fellow employees contributed shared leave hours to help keep a portion of his salary intact.

Even though we refinanced the house and have less bills, the half salary is going to make things rough. 

Intermittent FMLA means exactly what it states. 

He stays home intermittently throughout the following year so as to help with emotional instabilities with Keira, or if one of us needs to remove Guy Danger from the home like I had yesterday to protect him from seeing/hearing the anger his sister has.

Suicide awareness is very apparent now at the tender age of barely 9.

I can no longer allow Keira to be in the back yard alone without supervision when she is in a negative state of mind.

Two days ago, she attempted to climb our white tree in the back yard from a chair.

When prompted with my question as to why she was climbing; her response,

“I want to climb high and jump off so I can snap my neck and be dead!”

We have always had a problem with Keira’s obsession with television/electronics.

Even she acknowledges it is a massive trigger for her, but like any heroine addict, once they get a small taste of it or even hear the word,
The obsession to have it begins.
I spent the better part of 5.5 hours with Matt yesterday; hearing Keira scream non stop threatening suicide, threatening to kill me, desperately attempting to say anything to get either of us to cave and allow her to have whatever she needs.

Now here’s the twist..

When Keira goes from manipulative tv Keira- to just plain irrational GONE Keira, there is zero reasoning, attempts to comfort her,
Physical relaxation or empathy that will let this child be at ease.

She will shriek for hours on ends, wallowing in self hate. 

If you try to walk near her she screams in severe terror; eyes scrunched shut wailing out we are going to kill her repetitively.

She also has a gift of making personal attacks against my physical features to break me down.

While I do not need to divulge the details of those, I will say, it is the equivalent of the worse bully bitch you had to fight in high school ( if you had experienced that at all)

She has an uncanny way to ooze under my skin and break me down. 
We both have taken a ‘no talk’ approach to her picking fights.

For some reason, the positive attention is not enough for Keira anymore and she has switched to deliberately attempting to make us frustrated or to pick fights by bringing up irrelevant subjects.

When Matthew is home with me, I have the chance to keep my armor intact by walking away for a moment and cleansing my mind with some calm soothing breaths.
That is just one thing that has been bothering Keira lately.

Electronics have always been something like a friend to her.

She prefers to live in the stories created through any shows than to live in her own realities.

As I watch Keira grow and see her mental state evolve, I experience flash backs of my childhood which help me empathize with her.

As traumatizing as they may be at times, I can attempt to at least tell her, ‘you’re not alone Keira.’

When I asked her why she was so angry all the time, my worst fear came alive in four small words,
“Because I hate myself.”

That right there, is how I started to feel about me at the age of 9.

Keira may be a Borderline along with massive sensory integration issues and perhaps some other symptoms.

Dr. Ford has hinted in the past that she may have symptoms of BPD. 

She also firmly believes most mental illnesses reside in genetics.

Needless to say, if she is a Borderline, it will not be an easy task. 

*Chuckles*
it hasn’t been the last 5 years. 
But we stand strong together, Matt and I, ready to keep fighting and persevering through the darkness of it all.

Word vomit was strong today but I’m hoping that after writing this, it may help keep my mental clarity strong and resilient for today’s battles.

She goes back to school tomorrow.
We’ve never cared the label of Keira’s illness, but we DO care about finding the right path to leading her down to success.
As always, take care.

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(HIS SIDE) I’m still here

      For anybody that is wondering I am indeed still here. 

  
 When I last wrote to you i was having a hard time finding a way to remain emotional but still handle Ashleys emotional swings. For those of you wondering what i have been talking about and I don’t know how I do this, but I can take all emotion out of things and replace it with logic and reason. The result of this is a cold but steady person and for many years this was beneficial to Ashley, but it is no way to live

     It has been a couple months now and i feel that with a little practice, patience and good communication i have found a happy medium. It is still overwhelming at times especially with our daughter’s condition getting worse, but I feel that I am becoming a better husband and father. Till next time when ever that is remember you are not alone.

Scarlet My Dear Old Friend… We Meet Again.

Disconcerting. 

  
This image may appear that way to those who do not yet fully understand me.

I gave in. 
I had to see the trails of red pour against my decrepit face.

It’s truly magnificent. 
I see my inner beauty through my eyes when I look at my reflection after mutilating.

I can assure you, I speak in the most sound mind right now.

Why am I choosing to expose this to you all?

I need to. 

I need to show the world for those who cannot yet do so.

For those who fear judgement from their family, and those who care about them most.
When all they’ve ever wanted is to be accepted, loved, and nurtured for who they really are.

I have no shame anymore.

Take it or leave it, this is me.

It does not contradict how I take care of others.

I punish myself and myself alone.

I can now go about my day functioning with a semi wise mind.

But what hurts me the most, is this..

How much longer do I hide the truth (of how I got hurt) to my sweet little girl?

The time is coming near for that conversation, but I have a strong feeling that she already knows the answer.

Stay Strong.

{ HIS SIDE } My Wife The Borderline

  Before I go any further I would like to let you know that I am dyslexic and apologize for the bad punctuation and run on sentences just bear with me.

Now that I have told you a little bit about how we met I will talk about everyday life.
We thought for the longest time that Ashley was Bipolar.
We went to doctors, therapist and psychologist never seaming to really make any progress.
We tried lots of different medications but none of them could stop the self destructive behavior

The thing I loved most about Ashley was also the hardest thing to live with.
That fiery free spirit took us on some great adventures and down some dark paths. It did not take long for me to figure out that I would always be in a shit storm of emotions, but it did not matter to me.
Through all the drinking, spending sprees, promiscuity and rebellion of any kind, all though I couldn’t understand it.

I could see when this was happening it wasn’t her.

I discovered many years ago that my emotions fueled her mood swings so I began to regulate around her and it helped. The real problems started a couple of years ago because I had turned my feelings off so much that they stayed off.
I became a miserable person to be around , I still loved Ashley very much but had basically forgot how to show it.
I was starting to lose friends. I didn’t know how to have fun anymore my primary focus was on finances.

With this lackluster approach to life the only use I was to Ashley was to be her therapists, she would unload all her problems on me and then go have fun with someone else.

Looking back on this now I completely understand her actions but then it just made me even more bitter.

Now im sure you can figure out this is a condensed version of the story that took place over several years.

During all this time many great things have happened our daughter Keira Noel and son Guy Danger were born.

After 9 years Ashley finally agreed to marry me, so on May 4th of 2015 it finally happend on Star Wars day for all the nerds out there.
I would like to tell you that its all going to be great from now on but because of Ashleys BPD even though we are married she will always think that she is to much emotional stress and that I want to leave her. I am going to assume that if you are reading this you have read Ashleys blog and are possibly wondering what kind of person would voluntarily go through this?
Well let me tell you most of it is love and devotion the other part is my personality fits her very well.

For example we have a open relationship or polyamorous what ever you want to call it this is one of those things that the outside world views as dysfunctional but I can promise you it is quite the opposite.
With a monogamous relationship there is one rule I think most of you know what that is, with us there is way more trust and rules that have to be applied and everybody in this type of relationship has different rules that work for them.

I’m not going to get into that because I dont want to write that much. As I said earlier Im assuming you read Ashleys blog posts and it says she had a affair and Im sure you are wondering how a couple that has a open marriage can have a affair…
well its our main rule we do not see the same person repeatedly because of emotional attachment and rule 2 it does not happen in our home.
Ashley broke these rules thus created an affair.
This lifestyle requires a lot of work and is not for everyone like I said its my personality.
One of my traits is I dont feel jealousy. Never have.
And second we both believe sexual health is the heart of a good relationship.
Now personally I believe that one person can not fulfill all sexual desires of another.
I think most people settle and thats fine for them not for us.
I thank you for reading this far as I said before I am dyslexic and it is difficult for me to put this out in word form but I will continue to write, maybe my story can help someone who’s loved one suffers from BPD your not alone.
If you are going through a similar situation, comment and if I have gone through something similar i will share that part of my story. I want to make it clear i will not offer advice i can only share my story till next time stay strong.

17 Years A Fighter

Ive kept this letter for the last 17 years.
For years I’ve questioned myself as to WHY I had.
Recent events with my daughter have proved that I’ve kept this treasured relic as proof.
Physical evidence that no matter how horrific life has been at times through the distorted lens which my eyes posess, I’ve come to accept these few things-
The world may try to push me down.
I have (and always will) allowed it to.

 

But in then end I know this letter proves to me that I have fought to be true to myself my entire life.
Courage has been the weakest trait of mine.
Out of general respect and societies expectations of someone like me, I’ve come to the conclusion that it was never comfortable for me to speak up against others for myself.
My husband has shown me courage under Fire through his life and with me the last 9 years battling my mental illness.
You can watch me,
You can fight to take away the things that I love most,
But I am realizing that I am beautiful and pure.
Qualities most people desperately wish to possess.
And I know in my heart, I am the best mother my children could ask for.
I will never lie about who I am. 
If I had at any point, what sort of example would I be setting for my daughter and the people who have watched me for the last 5 months exposing every intimate aspect of my life on the Internet (the good, the bad, and the downright disturbingly ugly?)
People choose to see what they only want to see.     
I am NOT my illness.

#perspective #erasethestigma 

 

A Letter To My Gym

 
 Hello,
You may not know me but my name is Ashley Johnson.
I’ve been attending your facilities since March of this year.
My husband and I thoroughly enjoy going on a daily basis.
The staff is very friendly and the gym patrons are nothing but polite and courteous.
I had two free 30 min sessions with G**** originally.
My goals were to administer pinch testing, monitor % body fat, and measurements.
I never set a goal for weight loss. 
See, most people go to the gym to lose weight and be fit.
I used your facilities every day to escape from the world.
I suffer from Borderline Personality.
I have social anxiety.
For the first nearly two months I walked in for cardio on an elliptical, no eye contact with anyone- hair down with a cap pulled low and ear buds blasting rock music.
To those who have seen me there the last 6 weeks…
I find more often than not that I walk in with no cap.
I don’t put my earbuds in until I start to lift.
People are starting to smile at me, and I’m smiling back.
My original intentions to everyone was to compete in a naturals competition.
That has since changed.
My safety and escape was compromised last night when I attended a training session with J***.
J*** is a very proud man. I can see that.
When he spoke to my husband and I about why we were there for him I stated G***** was administering pinch tests for me.
It was a number I just went off of to see progress for myself.
I allowed this man to distort my views on how I had been exercising and living my life in general to appease his ego.
Let me get this straight, I am a very passive person. People such as J*** who have only seen success in his life prey (unintentionally) on those who are less than adequate at being a human being.
As our session progressed far past the 30 minute mark and my husband already at the childcare tending to my fussy child, he proceeded to oil his well groomed ego by showing me workouts and explaining that if I TRIED like most people do not here, then I would see success.
Open mindedness is a key to life in my opinion.
I would have loved to have listened to him.
But instead of absorbing what he so tenaciously offered during a 1.5 hour (free 30 min mind you) session- he would not let me leave.
After many attempts at explaining that my child has a hard time in the daycare and Matthew (my husband) is exhausted from working a 15 hour day- I finally broke away once he felt on his mind perhaps, that he had hooked me into altering my entire workouts to his perception.
By the time I said please may we walk to the front while you finish your writing, he said to me
You realize I spent more time with you than your 30 minutes? I did this as a favor. If you block your husbands 30 minutes along with yours I’ll be able to train you right.
Eagerness to succeed is a great quality to have.
But it is overshadowed by people like J*** who prey on the weak. 
I won’t lie when I say that I was mortified I wasted 2 hours of my evening and created a cesspool of anger between my husband and I. 
I felt worthless and cried hard for hours. 
But I allowed him to do that.
In the end (my husband) was angry that a man decided what we had been doing the last 3 months of our lives wasn’t good enough.
Matthews after photo I showed him perplexed Jeff. When he asked who it was I stated Matthew. He then looked appalled as though I were lying and threw a rebuttal statement to ratify his confusion
“When was it taken?”
4 days ago.
It shouldn’t have mattered.
I am not asking that you pursue disciplinary action. It is not my right to tell you how to staff your facilities.
But I allowed this man to break me. 
Last night I said I never wanted to step foot inside there again because I couldn’t go there to be free.
I was now expected to think and to perfect instead of expressing the negativity.
There are many days I cry through workouts.
I realize I look crazy to people but in the end you’re all just strangers to me just as I am to you. (A point of view I’m still attempting to master)
I worry about those other gym patrons who are sucked into his narrow minded point of views. 
Bragging about being 6.5% body fat in your prime and arguing with other professionals who tell you otherwise is unappealing to me by all standards.
I do not care about a naturals competition. 
Quite honestly it is a great eye opener to that world (of fitness gurus) who care only about themselves and enjoy smashing others to the ground as sport.) However, there are also MANY builders who are compassionate and kind to others. I’ve seen them. They follow me, encourage me. See me for who I am. 
Sure he has done great things in his life with his body. I do not doubt that. 
But ask yourself this…
Would he have been as cocky and condescending had he started out obese like ourselves?
Food for thought.
Take care.

I See You

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be in this situation again.
For the second time in my life, Child Protective Services has an active investigation open against me.
I’m sure most of you outsiders are shaking your head in confusion and shock at the same time.
I will tell you now what I have been telling medical professionals and the world for the last 5 years.
I have never lied about who I am.

Even when my demons were consuming the better parts of me.
As decrepit as my stability was for years, I never once faltered to say I was a pathetic human being.
Because that is exactly what I was.
Notice the past tense?
Please read forward and allow me to elaborate on some key things which have affected my views on my mental stability, my self worth, and my negativities and animosity towards the world.

I’ve been having an intense war within my mind.
The mood swings aggressively change by the hour now.

Matthew and I have decided we cannot anticipate which persona I will embody.

By removing the metaphorical ‘mask’ off my face that I have been wearing my entire life, (even in my childhood) it has literally opened Pandora’s Box.
I have had zero control over this unstoppable force. It has become an intense purging of repressed conscious/subconscious emotions.
I’d like to think that it will mellow out after a few weeks. But I refuse to set expectations of myself or others any more.
Expectations are simple. But when not met, they can crumble a person’s strengths and any will to keep moving forward.
Take this for example.
I love Finding Nemo. It is a classic animated movie loved by multiple generations.
I relate to Dori.

Her simple three word sentence she chants to Marlin as he is literally having a mental breakdown in the carcass of the ocean has had an impact on us worldwide.
”Just Keep Swimming.”
Do not read into it. Do not try to find a deeper meaning to the small yet significant sentence.
She popped into my head this morning after I had a life altering epiphone.
Call it petty and narcissistic, but I am fucking amazing.
I literally have SEEN the life I’ve lived so far and I am only 28 years old.
I have waged through more emotional combat than the average person most likely has within the first 30 years of their life. (Again, narcissism runs deep within a Borderline.)
I have hurt others.

I assaulted my marriage with emotional adultery.
I have battled self medicating.
I am an alcoholic.
I am an addict by all means to temptive impulsivities.

I’ve destroyed finances.
Crumbled family ties.

And was not there for my daughter the first few years of her life.
But before I counteract this lengthy list of proven negative qualities about myself, I will state that without these; I wouldn’t have been able to transform into who I am at this very moment.
Brick needs mortar. A mighty and intimidating fortress can be built to shield against the enemy. The walls could tower 20 feet high and appear impenetrable. Yet all it takes is a small hit in the wall to destroy the fortress.

“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”{Newtons Third Law}

This means that for every force, there is a reaction force that is equal in size but opposite in direction.
Let me ask you this. If I was an unstoppable force plowing over anything and everything to satisfy my selfish indulgences, why the hell wouldn’t there be a force equal to that strength waiting for me at some point?
The equivalent and opposing reaction(s) have impaled me in the gut multiple times throughout the years.
I have broken myself.
I have made attempts to rebuild.
But never once in the past did I actually affirm in my mind and soul that I BELIEVED I could do so.
Not until now.

Let me tell you what I saw this morning when I woke up.
I saw the same woman I’ve stared at in the mirror my entire life.
But I finally can SEE who I really am.
Yes I have fucked up royally beyond forgiveness too many times in life. I hold myself accountable for each action.
But because of that ownership, I’ve allowed myself to release that vendetta against the good person within. It was so far overshadowed by the darkness that I refused to open my eyes to see the true beauty and talents which I possess.
I have a gift with words. I know I have a way of writing which forces people to feel. Even if it is uncomfortable. It is nevertheless, a feeling.

I can paint.
I’ve written music.
Taught myself to play the guitar at the age of 13.
I have an impeccable way of photographing humans in their rawest forms. This had become one of my more favored art forms which took longer to convince myself to sabotage simply because it involved giving back to to others.
I have a stunning singing voice.
I have the ability to read people’s emotions even when they think they’ve had the world fooled.
I am an incredible mother.
I cannot make up for the years I neglected Keira emotionally. It just isn’t possible.
I used to view that as a severe regret which fueled a self pity so wretched, it was halting me from moving forward with myself.
With Self Love.
With Self Nurturing.
Keira and Guy are my sole purpose to prove to myself that I am better than my weaknesses.
I am stronger than who I used to be.
And I choose to change now.
But you see, I’ve realized I made that decision over two years ago.

Just like my fitness transformation within the last 3 months of our lives with my husband, you see results and it drives you to want more.
It becomes an obsession.
A lifestyle.
Success and self pride are two things I believe every person desires.
And I can fucking guarantee you that once you free yourself of all the bull shit excuses you’ve used against yourself throughout the years, there is literally nothing that can stop you.

This doesn’t just go for physical health and fitness.

I already know you understand that I speak on a holistic level.
Mind, Body, and Soul.
It is the dawn of a new era. I am not afraid. For I have nothing to hide.
I will be calling CPS this morning to follow up from their voicemail last night. I will most likely have an interview at the house like before.

I am confident that this will dissolve as quickly as it was procured.

May I ask you this last question?

How will you view your life, and the life of others after seeing through the eyes of another?

#perspective

Stay Classy.