When sickness hits home!

Being a single mom is so hard!! It’s not the physicality if it per se- because one way or the other- life, in general, is rough on the body. It’s the emotional bond and attachment I have built since I became a parent, that takes a toll on me. Forget about school or a job. Those things are always there. It’s when my child is staying with his other parent and my child is sick and I don’t have him home to hold him throughout the night- it is the most difficult thing I face every single night he is not with me. And it isn’t anyone’s fault. I made a decision to not call out a third day from a new job. And while a job is just a job- it is also my responsibility to provide financially for him and that puts me in a position where sometimes I have to hand over his care to his father. I just miss his tiny body already. Even if it’s just to reach out and caress his little hand while he sleeps. That comfort of knowing he’s near me is what gets me through the night.

Even in this… my I miss him terribly song… there are times when I plead for a break because I haven’t gotten enough sleep throughout weeks of sleep training or what have you. One would think I’d be glad to get uninterrupted sleep… Yet the second he’s away… I am wide awake… at 3 in the morning. Waiting until he is back in my arms! The “mom guilt” is real and alive. And there’s not much that can be done about it. Other than repeating to myself that there’s nothing wrong with asking for the help, especially from my son’s father. I’m blessed that his dad does help out with his care, or that calling out 3 days in a row could put me in jeopardy of losing a job I worked so hard to get, was a wise move, it doesn’t mean I’m not putting my son’s best interest first. All of my decisions and actions are exactly for our best interest. What serves me well will serve him even better. That’s the mentality I try to keep. I have to be great for him to reap the best. Though it’s not always easy to function like that. I try. I really do. But nothing elevates this pull at the strength of our bond when he’s sick. As a working parent, that is one of the struggles I think we as mothers and most of the time, the primary caregiver, go through. Yet somehow we get through it right? Our kids are not eternally traumatized by it, right? At least not in extreme cases. What works for me is praying and sometimes crying, and sometimes checking in more than once or twice a day. Thankfully with the understanding that I am just concerned and on a need-to-know-every-detail-about-my-child-while-he’s-away basis.

Having an ill child is the least fun thing about parenting, but I am grateful for the internal button that turns on and gives me the direction to know what to do and to take care of him to the best of my ability. The one advice I would give, for the student/working parent, is to keep open communication with bosses and professors, they appreciate knowing what’s going on with their students and employees. Doing so will also elevate your own stress about what’s going on in class and at work.   I leave you with this one last thought, when your child is ill, don’t be afraid to spoil him a little extra than you would normally. That extra loving care sometimes will be the only thing that brings a smile to their tiny faces. Hold them, hug them, and rock them while singing every lullaby you can think of. They don’t stay that size for long, or in that much need of your warmth. Least of all, don’t forget that the rhythm of your heart, is still soothing to them as it is for Mommy. 💜💙

❖  While I started this article on Tuesday night-very late night- my son has since been cared for and attended to by both his father and I and he is now back home with Momma, resting and recovering well.  ❖

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My Story, Continued:

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With the start of my third semester, I knew I needed to continue to make changes and adjustments to my routine. This time, my son was old enough and able to join the daycare on campus! Thank God. Less running around for Mama! I vowed that I was going to time manage better, and continue with my healing process. I was changing my mindset, my thought process, and eliminating that would cause unnecessary drama and stress. I was feeling really good from my experiences over the Summer and decided those good vibes didn’t have to end. Within weeks, classes were going great, work was chugging along, and my little guy seemed happy in his new environment. The possibility of dating popped up again, and I realized I really wanted to try. But up until then, there wasn’t much for me. I’ve realized throughout this whole year that dating wasn’t worth the trouble if it was going to be as more work than was necessary. I now needed to not only protect my heart better than I ever did before but as a single parent, I needed to be super protective of my son as well. No questions asked. I’ve just begun to balance all the components of my life, and my honest fear is to have someone come and disrupt all the work I’ve put in to obtain the peace it’s taken me so long to find. Do I wish I was with someone? Of course, I do. Relationships have always been a big part of who I am. Having connections with people is how I best communicate. To have someone experience life with me, not just within a partner, but that goes the same with family and friends, is something that is important to me. However, the important lessons I’ve learned with that- is not everybody deserves to be part of that special place in my life. I probably cared less when it was just me. But now that I have someone watching my every move, it is my priority to have to best people around us. So with all that said, I’m just patiently waiting for that someone only God could send my way. For now, I continue working on my studies, moving up through my leadership experiences, and making the best mommy and son memories.

Dream Highlights #6

Hello again,

I’ve had a lot of dreams lately that I’ve enjoyed. They’ve been particularly colorful lately. I find that even a color scheme can evoke feeling, even when the other details of a dream remain hazy. Here are snippets of some of my favorites lately:

“I was in a natural history museum, in the ocean hall. It was dark, the only light coming from lights set to illuminate displays, as well as the blue glow coming from fish tanks. There were a couple of wide, rectangular tanks, but there were more cylindrical tanks which stretched up to the ceiling far above like columns. These contained many tiny fishes. When in motion they were just darts of color. I could reach through the glass, gently grabbing handfuls of the tiny fish, and then releasing them into the room in sprays of silvery blue which glowed and hung in the air. Then slowly they would begin to swim, spreading out through the air and adding points of light to the darkness.” – night of 11/1/18

“It was the beginning of the school year and I was heading to an insect biology class. I had the feeling my friends would be there. I had to walk up a hill to get there. The grass was still green and there was a lot of it. None of it had been trampled away. There were a lot of big bushes growing all the way up the hill, which helped to define the path even if it was ever worn away completely. As it was, I could tell that not many people came up this way. I was all alone on my walk.” – night of 10/22/18

“What stayed with me the most was the sort of feeling I had the whole time. Everything was light, and almost entirely warm colors, but washed-out and made lighter. I think I was a different person. If I was myself, I felt very different. I was in the city in an unfamiliar neighborhood. It felt airy and open instead of closed-off and dark. I was moving into a new apartment where I would live completely alone. There was lots of open space and no clutter. When I was done unpacking, my brother came by to visit. We went somewhere in the neighborhood. I remember walking up a shallow stone staircase with metal handrails. The steps were side and slightly curved.” – night of 10/29/18

 

-Milena

My Story

Who knew that being a student in your mid-30’s could be so challenging with all the life experience I have under my belt? Alas, life continues to surprise me. I started out my academic and work careers a little bit backward. By the time I was nineteen years old, I was working full-time as a Spanish medical interpreter. Editing and translating medical forms from English to Spanish for an increasing Spanish population Upstate, NY. I did everything from a receptionist, to Medical Records clerk, to managerial assignments. After that, I worked at a major contracting/ real estate company, where I continued to perfect my editing skills, as well as picking up extensive organizational skills. So when I finally decided to go back to college, I knew exactly what I wanted to do as a career and where my strong suits were. I remember thinking this was going to be an easy trip for me. Ha!!! Ha!!! Ha!!! Let me laugh at my naivete a moment here.

Two years into my college career, I became pregnant and could not work or attend school during my high-risk pregnancy. Once my son was born and I felt I was ready to go back to school, I did just that. I prepared us to venture out into the world. At first, I found a wonderful Nanny that was nearby school. It made my fears of leaving my little guy with someone other than me because knowing that I was close enough comforted me. That first semester went pretty well considering all of the odds against me. I had so much to prove, not only was I going back to school, but I was a newly single mother. I was set on doing well in school, attending to my son, and working a part-time to make due. Traveling from one side of the Bronx to the other was my biggest challenge. It took me 2 hours and then some before I actually got to any of my classes or to work. I realized before the second semester started, I would have to make some major changes. Some that would take some difficult decisions to make in order to further my school career.

I switched jobs as just as my second semester was starting. So that shorten my trips all over the Bronx. I began working on campus, attending classes and then running over to pick up my son at his nanny’s. It was less stress, but still, I had to hustle. I realized that the balance of it all was still not easy. Doing this on my own was harder than I could have imagined. I was still healing from my break-up with my son’s father, and unfortunately, the winter brought along depression and illness. My son was sick often and I was also suffering from my own battle with an arthritic form of Lupus. Everything began to creep up on me. It was too late before I realized the pressures of my new normal had begun to take it’s toll. I had stopped going to counseling. I had lost all perception of time. I couldn’t keep up with school assignments, my doctor appointments became inconvenient as I was mainly focused on making sure my son was ok. Eating became a nuance. I stopped going out. It was the first time ever in my life that I chose to spend the holidays at home alone and was completely fine with it. My grades barely held up, I had failed one class and I was hard on myself for that. I continued to doubt myself, allowing stresses from family issues overwhelm me. My Lupus symptoms wouldn’t let up and only got worse.

Finally, with a Summer break, I took time off. I went into healing mode because if I was going to make it through the year, I had to do something drastic. I asked for help. Help from those I did not want to ask but had no other choice. The entire Summer I took care of myself in ways I hadn’t for years. I was able to be more functional with my work and even with my son. I started to feel like myself again and am grateful for those who helped me along the way. It’s been far from easy but I’ve made a lot of progress. I continue to aim for the best that I can provide for my son and me.

 

The Curtain Call with JRC 10_27_18

The Curtain Call with JRC

 

Hola a todos/Hello All/Hallo alle,

 

Welcome to another installation of the Curtain Call, today we will be reviewing the 11th installment of the Halloween movie franchise.  This marks the 8th sequel and 10th appearance of Michael Myers.

 

Halloween first debuted in 1978 and was released on October 27, 1978.  It marked the beginning of the Horror franchise era. Its contemporaries, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street would not come onto the scene for years to come.  Halloween was produced on a budget of $300,000 and grossed well over $7,000,000. This was a milestone for Horror films and would set the stage of Horror films that has been hard to match up to this day.

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This film begins with two journalists, Dana Haines (Rhian Rees) & Aaron Korey (Jefferson Hall) who are seeking to find what makes sociopathic murderer Michael Myers tick.  They visit the mental hospital where Myers is currently residing. Their visit comes days before he is scheduled to be transported to another facility. Korey attempts to rile Myers up by showing him the mask that he wore during the murders that he committed. He is disappointed when it seems to have no effect on Myers.

 

We are then introduced to Laurie Strode’s (Jamie Lee Curtis) daughter, Karen (Judy Greer)  and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak). Allyson and Karen are arguing about the awards ceremony that Allyson has invited her grandmother too.  It is clear to see the tension that is visible when they discuss Laurie.

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We are then shown Aaron and Dana attempting to interview Laurie Strode in hopes of convincing her to go with them to see Michael.  It takes a promise of $3000 to be allowed an interview. Aaron begins to question Laurie about “The boogeyman, he begins to plead that she visit Michael so that they will be able to understand the mind of this serial killer.  Laurie refuses an escorts them out of her house.

 

We are then later shown Michael being escorted on  bus to be transferred with other patients. Strode is waiting outside of the facility to ensure that the transport occurs successful.  Myers is loaded onto the bus and Strode watches as the bus rides away from the institution.

 

We are then shown the dinner to celebrate Allyson honors award.  Allyson asks her mother if she had spoken to her grandmother. Karen tells Allyson that she had spoken to her earlier and she would be at the dinner.  Laurie walks in at the moment and greets everyone then takes Karen’s glass and drinks most of her wine.

 

The civility is short lived and Laurie storms out of the restaurant after a disagreement with her daughter.  Allyson walks after Laurie to comfort her grandmother.

 

The following scene shows a father in son traveling down the arguing able going hunting when the son would rather be attending his dance classes.  They are suddenly forced to hit the brakes when they see strange men littering the road and bus crashed into a ditch. The father goes out to investigate and tells the son to stay inside the car.  It seems that the crashed bus was the one that was carrying Myers and the other patients. The father disappears and the son grabs a rifle and goes to investigate. He walks closer to the bus and goes to investigate.  At first the bus seems empty but Dr. Sartain jumps out and is accidentally shot by the son. The son attempts to get away by jumping into the car and drive away. He gets into the car and starts it but is quickly grabbed by Myers and senseless beaten against the dashboard….

 

This is where we will end this installment of the Curtain Call.  Tune in next time as we tell you the conclusion of the latest installment of the Halloween franchise.

 

Tell then, sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite.

 

Your humble servant,

JRC

A Pleasure to Meet You

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This image is one of my favorites! It’s taken by my sister’s professional camera, and the angle made me look so beautiful. When looking at this photo I imagined a scene where a person is wandering the woods to then find me coming out from behind a tree and introducing myself. I added the different colored eyes and arm effects because it makes me look more mythical and alluring (I already look alluring in the original photo). Also, I absolutely LOVE how well shaped my hair was in that shot. In my opinion, afro-hair should be styled like what it is, instead of being brushed with styling tools made for straight hair. It kind of annoys me to see someone with their hair parted smack dab in the middle of their scalp with the hairs moving to the sides. It looks like they’re trying to style their fro the way straight hair is styled. But I don’t tell them anything because I understand that their reasoning for doing so may not necessarily be because they wished their hair functioned like straight hair. Anyway, I also love the shirt I have on, because it has a pattern that most men’s shirts don’t have, and I appreciate that (You’ll see more of the shirt as i make more edits with the photos I have). Also, it has side zippers that can unzip to make it look like the shirt has side slits.

#4 Cleansing the Mind: Letting Go of Negativity

Often times we can hold onto things that can cause us emotional harm. We can hold onto them without knowing how badly we are being hurt by these things that have negative emotional weight. Whether it be the dying bouquet of flowers your ex gave you for your anniversary or something intangible like a friendship with someone who has become toxic, the art of letting go seems to be almost impossible to master sometimes. When we feel like we are going through a rut we want to go to the thing that comforts us yet that thing we go to may not be healthy or it may be an unreliable source because it is something that should be left in the past. It really is hard to move on from dark places and hard times, but somehow humans have found a way.

Being hospitalized has opened me up to the mental health community and those in it. Through this community, I have found kindred spirits who struggle with similar mental disabilities. Some of these people have told me that sometimes you just need to ride the wave and hope that you make it to the end of the calm and others say it’s a constant battle that never ends but gets easier at times. A common theme in these ways to get over deep and difficult emotions is not to overthink. A hard thing to do, but possible.

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Here’s a list of a few things you can do to clear out space in your mind and even in your home when trying to cleanse your mind.

  1. Write secrets on paper then rip or burn them. The combination of releasing the thoughts in your mind by writing them down and making them tangible is the first relaxing step to this practice. The next part you want to do in a place where there are no flammable items if you choose to use fire but the idea is to burn or tear apart those words that only you know. They belong to you and they are not strings for someone or something to hold you to.
  2. Clear out your desk or bed of knick knacks and stuff. Often times we hold onto a lot of small things that we don’t use and it can make us feel stuffy and even weighted. Letting go of trinkets that we don’t really hold dear or don’t have strong emotional ties to will make us feel lighter and cleaner in our minds because we won’t have to see things in a space which should be spacious and open for relaxing.
  3. Empty and clean out your closet. Those socks that you got last Christmas that make your feet sweaty and itchy. That dress that just didn’t fit your body right. Time to say goodbye to all these items that are like chains on your way to mental release.
  4. Donate and get rid of things that don’t make you happy. This is the overall goal whenever letting go of things. You’re not just taking out the trash. You are letting go of negativity.

In sessions with outpatient and inpatient therapists, I’ve found that art and writing, which I have mentioned in previous blogs, were great for letting out emotions but sometimes we need the extra step afterward. The step that allows us to be able to step forward and not back whenever there is something within the back of our minds that is like a roadblock. Holding onto to both tangible and intangible things can prevent us from growing as people. But if we practice and push ourselves out of comfort and toward the direction of hope then we can regain mental fortitude. This may be through the support of friends or health professionals or family. But you really want to try your best to find this within because you are your most present and reliable source for comfort and strength.

This is one of the most difficult things to process so please be Kind to your Mind readers when trying to achieve the art of letting go and maybe you can finally loosen your grip and begin your first steps toward inner change and reformation.

letting it go

– Kat