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I'm ready.

30 October 2013

Some of you know this already. I have anxiety disorder. Only a few people know why. To be honest, it wasn't something I ever wanted to really discuss. I never wanted to relive those memories. Whether I talk about it or not, I will still relive those moment. Nothing will ever change that. Nothing will take away the nightmares. Nightmares that are so detail, and something from the most gory horror movie.

My anxiety started at a very young age. I didn't have my first panic attack until I was 8, when things just became entirely, too much. I had very detailed nightmares at a very young age. I was about 4. Sadly, I still remember most of those dreams I had, then, today. It felt so real. I had dreams of being surrounded by dead folks, or being in the same room as a corpse. Those were the worst. Even when I went to funerals later down the road, I couldn't be in the same room as the person in the casket.

I was raised in a pretty dysfunctional home. My parents loved us, kids, but it was hard to tell if our parents loved each other. There was alcohol, cheating, and violence. The violence was hard to go through. It was so hard to hear them fighting, throwing things, screaming, and hitting. It was hard to see my mother with bruises. It was hard for me to see a fake smile on her face. It was hard when my mom took us to shelters, to group therapies, seeing all the other women who were hurting. It hurt me so much. I was always so scared to go to bed.

It seemed like a cycle. They would drink, get mad, and fighting ensued. I would put my head under a pillow and hum or cry to myself just to drown out the noise. I remember my mom coming into our room crying, giving us a kiss, and then my dad dragging her out of our room. I was afraid of my dad. Their arguments seemed to always get out of hand. All of us, kids, suffered greatly.

It wasn't always dark. I remember seeing my parents having fun together, holding each other's hand, kissing, hugging, playing outside with us. Those are the memories that I hold on to. We had a lot of fun as kids. My mom and dad made it a point to keep us all busy. They knew we were miserable with all the fighting. They had me in piano lessons, karate, and basketball. It was always fun seeing my parents in the stands, cheering us on!

We still had that dark cloud that loomed over us. My parents separated, and went to marriage counseling. We also went to counseling. My dad turned into a completely different person. He channeled his anger at the gym, got buff, changed his appearance. My mom, didn't seem to change. I think she may have been skeptical or in denial.  She was always loving and a great mother to us, but she never placed any blame on herself for a long time. Never admitted her mistakes until later. My parents got back together for a few years, but they continued to fight. Not physically anymore, but verbally. Finally they divorced. I knew my mom had cheated, and I met some of her boyfriends, she never told me they were boyfriends, But I knew they were. Just through her body language towards them. I was always told not to tell. Things led to that decision. . .

The scariest moment of my life was when my parents got into a fight when we were on a family outing. We were brought home, and my mom went to a bar. She came home, packed our bags, loaded us into a car, and attempted to take us to Louisiana, screaming at my brother to navigate. She was driving us around, drunk. I had never been more afraid in my life. She finally turned around and went home. She brought us  home and my parents argued in the garage for what seems like eternity. My brother stayed in his room.  This was the last straw for the both of them.

After my parents divorced, I moved to Louisiana with my mom. She was in such a depressed state. I did my own laundry at a young age. The down side to that, was ruining my school uniforms. Bad words were always spoken against my dad, so much to the point where I quit talking to him for a while. When we did go to visit him, it was like constantly being interrogated of what was going on at home.I was constantly in a tug-o-war battle. If I loved my dad, I would betray my mom, and vice versa. Maybe this wasn't the way they were trying to make me feel, but they didn't do a good job convincing me otherwise.  My dad decided to fight for custody, and I wanted to go. Well, that was, until my mom's lawyer got a hold of me. Telling me that my mom can't live without us, and we will break her heart and hurt her. The day of court, was the guiltiest I have ever felt. I told the lawyer I didn't want that to happen, that I will stay with my mom. I still remember the look on my dad's face. He was completely devastated, and so was I.

Later on, I started acting out. I started smoking, and cutting. I had anger problems, I screamed and yelled, I slammed doors, I lied, even worse, I lied to get attention. I was an extremely angry person. I was going down hill, very fast. I even dated a guy that was 18 ( I was 13 at the time. Thankfully nothing sexually happened.) I CRAVED attention.

One summer, after my freshman year, I went to visit my dad. I got a random phone call from my mom asking if we wanted to live with our dad. I said no. Of course I said no, my mom needed me! She then said she felt like it would be better if we did. After I got off the phone with her, my aunt called cussing me out, asking how I could do this to my mom. How could I stab her in the back. I had never cussed at my aunt like that until that day. I was screaming and so pissed. How could my mom do this? I never said once that I wanted to stay with my dad! I called my grandma, asking her what the hell was going on, and I was called a two-faced bitch. That stung the worst. I spent years being so angry at my mom. I didn't blame my aunt or grandma, because I know what it looked like.  My dad was awarded custody after, with no fight from my mom. I felt abandoned. I loved my dad. I'm a daddies girl! But thanks to this, no one on my mom's side wanted anything to do with me. I was evil in their eyes. At least that's what it felt like.

 I did better. A little. The depression and anxiety was still there.

 My dad was pretty strict on me but also allowed me to keep busy. Basketball, softball, a metal band. . .lol. One thing I was missing was my mom. I was always told that she never called. I was given phone records to prove it. I've called, no answer. I gave up.To this day, I don't know for sure, and frankly, I don't care about it anymore. Then I did, but now it seems petty. I saw her for graduation. That was the first and last time I spoke to her for a while

Now that I'm an adult, I have a different perspective on the things that happened with my parents. I truly believe my mom needed to have a break, to work on herself and to heal. She is such a big part of my life now. And so is my dad. Things are so different now. I'm no longer in this tug-o-war battle. I am closer to them than I have ever been, and can count on them and my family for anything. I love them all with all my heart.

The effects of my childhood, still linger. Every time my husband and I argue, I get into fight or flight mode.  I know my husband will never hurt me. But knowing that sometimes isn't enough to ease my anxiety. Certain situations where I'm forced to pick sides, I cannot handle. At all. I'm afraid of death. I'm afraid of my own anger. I'm afraid of other's anger. I'm afraid of going through life alone.

This past deployment was my lowest I had ever felt. I was constantly angry and yelling at my kids. I DO NOT want to be that kind of parent. I don't want my kids to be afraid of me. I don't want to verbally abuse my kids! They are mine, I gave birth to them, and i have a love for them that only a mother understands. I was ashamed to ask for medication. I did everything in my power to try to cope with my anxiety in different ways ( diet, exercise, meditation, counseling) I wasn't ashamed of the medication, I was ashamed that I wasn't strong enough to handle it myself. I felt so week. After reading blogs from It's Not My Workout, I finally came to my senses. What's more important, your ego, or your children? Making sure I'm mentally healthy for my children and my husband is what is the most important to me.  I am now medicated, and doing very well. It is helping me cope for now. It is helping me handle things in my life without freaking out, until I feel ready to cope without the meds. If you need help, get it. Don't let the word MEDICATION, scare you. If you have to, you have to. There is no problem with it. The important thing is, that you are taking those steps to get better.

I refuse to say that this ruined me. If anything, these things have taught me a lot about being a parent, and being a wife. How people should and shouldn't love each other. Seeing my parents overcome their problems, have given me much inspiration. They both are better people, and they both always strive to be better people, and even better parents, to this day. I'm proud of both of them and happy that I have all 3 of my parents (dad, mom and step-mom) In my life.

*This was not proofread. Please don't kill me, grammar Nazis! ;)*