My major achievement this week was to get out of the house TWICE for ME – not just driving my son to and from school or caring for my parents.

Monday: OC Writers Write-In

Monday I attended an OC Writers write-in where I wrote 3282 words freely. The words need editing. They need shape. They possibly need to be fictionalized. Not sure.

Wednesday: Brain Disease Advocacy

Yesterday I had a lovely lunch with Mary Palafox of FEDUP – Brain Disease Advocacy. FEDUP4Brain advocates uniting mental and physical health under ONE health care delivery system. Stop treating serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder differently than other brain disorders.

Folie à Deux

As for the writing I did Monday, my focus was a delusion shared (folie à deux) by my parents. The delusional thoughts originated from my mother, but my father backed her up, and in doing so failed to protect us from verbalized delusions better not shared with one’s children. The delusional thinking was and still is disturbing.
Understand that delusional thoughts are a SYMPTOM of mental illness, of a brain disorder. When a couple reinforces each other’s delusional thoughts, they get stuck in a reinforcing feedback loop. In isolating themselves from others, they fail to test their version of reality against outsiders’ views.
My mother lived with an unacknowledged, undiagnosed mental illness. As her daughter, I’m in no position to diagnose her. Loyal and devoted – adoring, in fact – my father always backed my mother up. He might agree (in secret) with us, but then he would make us apologize to our mother for something SHE said, explaining to us that our mother didn’t feel appreciated and it was up to us to give her the attention she needed.
Not a healthy dynamic, but by the time we were teenagers, we knew it was not healthy. Thank God, my sister and I had each other to tether ourselves to reality.
As an adult, as a mother, in many ways I identify with my mother. I can see myself in her. I can see my illness in her illness. So, I feel compassion for her. But we differ in how we have dealt with our disordered brains. I had insight and sought treatment early.
As it turns out, since my mother had her stroke, I learned that she was being treated for depression. She told me a few years ago that she took an SSRI for anxiety, for panic attacks, but she told me she stopped cold turkey (dangerous). I was unaware that she went back on them for depression.


31 responses to “I Got Out of the House This Week!”

  1. My thoughts – you are working hard and the rewards are coming you way!

  2. I send you my deepest felt condolences on the loss of your birth father. As you know it’s not easy to live with mental illness as either a diagnosed individual or as a family member or loved one. I pray, too, for your children, but remember that should they have mental illness, you would have compassion for them. You have knowledge and experience you can draw upon.

  3. My real father shot himself after dealing privately with depression, my mom, her sister, and her mom (my grandma) all suffer from mental illness. So I guess that makes me the third generation, I have 3 children, oldest is 11 and show no signs, so I pray every day that it ends with me.

  4. I am so happy for you. I too suffered that for a long time, it now doesn’t seem to be impossible leave anymore. It was a horrible feeling..thank you for not making me feel alone

  5. The third generation, my son, struggles with his brain, too. He’s a migraineur who has fought depression, social anxiety, and ADHD. Thank you.

  6. As a person who has had his own problems with a brain that always wanted a life of it’s own (if that even makes any sense), I can sympathize with both generations of your family, and wish only the best for both of you, and any third generation that may or may not be part of this picture. I just hope you all know that there really are people that care about each of you. Have a great summer.

  7. Thank you, Lydia!

  8. Kitt, you are so strong. I am glad you did some things for you. We need that and you definitely do with all on your plate right now. Hugs.

  9. Thank you, Robert.

  10. Congratulations on getting out of the house Kitt. I know how hard that can be.

  11. Thank you. Hope all is well with you, too. Have a lovely 4th!

  12. Paladin Avatar

    Need to criticize my own reply. Kitt. My intent was to help you feel better, but analyzing what I just wrote seems like it came from a psychic or a monthly horoscope. I am not really into that area, although I think it was not a bad creative word salad. Been under some self imposed stress myself lately. Do not know what a life coach would tell you for I am not qualified.
    Hope you will find a way through your current ordeal and have a great Fourth. Keep trucking.

  13. Paladin Avatar

    Noticed you have not posted anything recently. The current struggle with your parents situation will negate a positive neural response. You are still a very compassionate person with outstanding abilities and potential. Hope the tide will change for you and your family heading into Independence Day. Believe your August activiites will renew your spirits. Hope for the best and have a great Fourth. Namaste.

  14. You would think. I’ve done some writing, but my mother has experienced a manic episode, so this week has been hard.

  15. Paladin Avatar

    Just for the record, I would like to know if this achievement has helped a little with your writer’s cramp, lately. Think it would activiate more neurons.

  16. Yay for you getting out of the house, and TWICE at that! That’s so awesome! I don’t know your personal struggles but I do know how difficult that can be! Proud of you!!

  17. We all need some “me” time (yup…trying to take your advice you gave me) so I am glad you are giving yourself that same opportunity. Take care!

  18. Thank you, Marie! Hope all is well with you!

  19. A good week for Kitt. Do it more often. ☺

  20. Very proud of you for recognizing the importance of having your own life despite being the caretaker of your parents during this time! Interesting to learn about FEDUP4Brain as well.

  21. You did so well Kitt, I just had to let you know. You didn’t only get out twice, you did some real positive value adding work too 🙂

  22. Thank you, Bradley. Thanks to local Orange County photographer, Rebecca Thacher, and makeup artist, Michelle Fallman.

  23. I love your positivity Kitt, and your very healthy ‘tethering’ to reality with all the stuff you’ve been dealing with of late. Great to be outside in the world 🙂

  24. I’m so happy you forced some “me” time and got out of the house. I’m sure it must have been refreshing with so much going on in your life.
    BTW, did I mention how much I love your new pic above your bio?

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