Because sometimes moms matter…

Stones,

For anyone that is a mother, have you ever been told it’s not about you anymore? Have you been told that it’s all about the baby or the children come first? That your time is over?

Well, let me be the first (or second) to tell you that that is a big steaming pile of crap.

Hear me out!

If you think about it, a child’s first connection is with her mother. They help form their view of the world. So how can you expect them to take care of a child when they aren’t taking care of themselves. You can’t pour from an empty cup. I know I use that saying a lot because it’s true. I have a lot of experience draining myself for the sake of other people.

I remember when I had my son. I was already diagnosed with mental health issues and couldn’t take my medication for 9 months. I was depressed I was suicidal and for most of my pregnancy, I was alone. I was barely coping or keeping it together. I got into a situation with CPS and I couldn’t be with my baby for 11 days. Everyone expected me to be a robot until this situation was over. I wasn’t allowed to go through postpartum or go see a doctor’s determination on what meds I could safely breastfeed on. No one cared. My son became more important.

That’s not to say that he wasn’t important. Of course, he was important. He was and still is the most important person in my life. But how could I be trusted to take care of my son when I didn’t have the time or resources to take care of myself. People are so quick to pick the flower and forget about the roots. Here are some quick statistics for you:

Did you know…

Approximately 70% to 80% will experience, at a minimum, the ‘baby blues’. Many of these women will experience the more severe condition of postpartum depression or a related condition.

The reported rate of clinical postpartum depression among new mothers is between 10% to 20%.

One recent study found that 1 in 7 women may experience PPD in the year after giving birth. With approximately 4 million live births occurring each year in the United States, this equates to almost 600,000 postpartum depression diagnoses.

https://www.postpartumdepression.org/resources/statistics/

I do encourage you to finish the article in its entirety because it does include a lot of helpful information. I also want to inform you that this article was written early in 2019 so can you imagine how those numbers have grown? I can say from personal experience that the mental health field isn’t competent or compassionate towards women. Not all of them mind you, but I’ve encountered enough of them. One time I had a doctor suggest taking Lithium because there was a 1 in 5 chance my firstborn child would be stillborn or serious birth defects. A 20 percent chance was okay with him.

I say all of that to say this. Of course children matter but mama’s matter too. There is no more or less here because I feel as though they are equal. We worry so much about our children, but we need to make sure their moms are okay too.

Until Next we meet,

S.Hollisway

Scarred and Faceless

Because sometimes all lives don’t matter…

I feel like I will get so much backlash for this and quite frankly I don’t care.

The latest world events have weighed so heavily on me. I feel like I’ve built up so much outrage that I haven’t been able to articulate and if I don’t now then it’ll spill out of the seams.

Black lives matter. All lives won’t matter until Black lives matter because black lives ARE apart of all lives. Anyone who ignores this fact is racist and fall victim to their implicit biases. It’s not a matter of opinion anymore. It was never a matter of opinion. It was a truth distorted by the loud, strategic oppressor. 

Some people, however, specifically non-people of color, specifically white people, try to discredit this fact because the narrative that is unfolding doesn’t suit their liking. Even while writing this I know that people will claim that I am being racist or biased or that I have my agenda because that narrative suits them best. I am not racist by any stretch of the imagination. I would almost consider myself “racially biased”.

Let’s think about it, shall we?

The definition of the word biased would be, “a particular tendency, trend, inclination, feeling, or opinion, especially one that is preconceived or unreasoned” or “unreasonably hostile feelings or opinions about a social group; prejudice” (dictionary.com).

The operative word in the definition being any derivates of the word “unreasonable”. History and a distinct and predictable pattern of perfidy would make being biased an impossibility. People of color are painstakingly aware of the influence that people in power have. Even more so, they are aware of the power that they wield and we all know that with great power comes great responsibility.

Read the next part carefully.

I am not condemning all white people.

Let me say that again for the people in the back.

I am not condemning all white people.

I am condemning the WHITE PRIVILEGE.

What I am saying is that white people aren’t doing enough to dismantle the systemic oppression that is racism. For all those ignoramuses, yes IGNORAMUSES, that suggests that racism ceased with President Obama or popular black athletes and performers, you are welcome to leave now!

I will not waste valuable brain cells explaining to you the reality of living in white America as a black person when you are clearly the #KarenofEverything.

For those who act as if racism and implicit and external don’t biases exist, I am thoroughly confused. You under that plot of X-men and Zootopia perfectly, but are too dense to see the parallel to life? I find this very highly unlikely.

I have to wonder where the disconnect is. Is it because pro-white means anti-black and people of color so vice versa is the assumption? Is it because the media has helped color your perception of black and other people of color? Is it that you do not experience the very oppression that you are so dismissive of?

Is it the way we protest?

Well, we tried peaceful sit-ins and that didn’t work. We tried Nat Turner’s was and that wasn’t to your liking. Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Colin Kaepernick, nothing seems to suit you. Maybe it’s the protesting that the real issue.

Whatever the reason, it’s not enough. We are no longer accepting your excuses. We drew the lines firmly in the sand with our bloodshed in the name of being an “American”. Before the oh so familiar idiotic phrase “If you don’t like it, go back where you from” leave your diluted racist little fingertips let me offer a history lesson. The Oppressor captured and brought our ancestors here, emphasis on the word “brought”. No one kept a receipt. We aren’t going anywhere. Your homework is to look up Black Wall Street because our utopia burned down too.

We are now united. Do you want to find out what we can do standing together as one?

Until next we meet,

S.Hollisway

Pick up Scarred and Faceless

Because sometimes flaws should be celebrated…

Stones,

I am proud to announce that as of January 17th, 2020, I have been clean from narcotics for 4 years. I got my 4-year chip. It’s a grudge match every day to make the decision to stay clean. That’s why addicts are always addicts. Some are active and others are in recovery.

I began abusing narcotics when I was 12 years old. I have a lot of chronic pain conditions and in the early 2000s, doctors weren’t as diligent about giving Oxycodone and Percocets to a minor as they are now.

Anyone who says that addiction is a “choice” has no understanding of human nature.

I do not say this as an insult. I do not say this to attack anyone. I say this as pure fact. No one wakes up thinking, “You know what, life is going way too easy. Let me try [insert drug of choice here].” That’s not how it works. People use drugs to numb pain, plain and simple. There was a lot going on in my life at that time. A lot of abuse, sexual assault, bullying, and then, of course, the normal troubles that come with being a preteen. I could not cope. I began self-harming and knew how to hide it. Before the obvious is suggested, therapy wasn’t an option at the time.

When going through all that physical and emotional and mental pain, it became impossible to differentiate between was physical and what wasn’t. Eventually, it all just melted together and the emotional pain became physical. Simply put, I was always in a lot of pain. Eventually, after seeing so many doctors and being a bit on the advanced side, I learned how to finesse doctors out of the good stuff. Dilaudid was absolutely amazing and made everything go away and being numb was the ultimate goal. Luckily, I’m allergic to Morphine or I’d probably be addicted to Heroine.

Things got a bit trickier when the side effects of the pain medications led to the prescription of Benzodiazepines. So now I’m cross buzzed reaching dangerous levels of numbness and an ever-building tolerance is developing faster than I can manipulate a doctor out of my favorite candy. The pressure began to build when I began my mental health journey and got more prescriptions for more complex benzos, the dosage changing every two weeks. Who was I to refuse?

In 2014, I admitted to myself that I had a problem and tried to get help. As a struggling addict, I knew to ask for help. However, as a struggling addict, I was not prepared to turn down 120, 1-milligram tablets of Ativan prescribed to me by a negligent, arrogant new psychiatrist. Then I overdosed on Ativan and tried to stay away. August 24, 2014, I tried to kill myself and I thought things would get better because I thought that was my rock bottom. And then life got harder.

So I’d continue this pattern of starting and stopping until 2016. I was with this man that I loved, and I thought loved me. But he was abusive, mentally ill, and an addict. He didn’t want to get better. I wanted to get better I also wanted to be with him and unfortunately, those two things could never be mutually exclusive. Because I was born with crippling soul-crushing anxiety, I always did what would be considered “downers”. I, to this day, can’t comprehend people who do amphetamines. Who wants to be that high?

My husband at the time loved what would be considered “uppers”. Crack, coke, bath salts, things of that nature. He and another friend of mine would get together and toss back ten Ritalin pills each and then snort five more. (Snorting: another thing I don’t comprehend). As the peer pressure mounted, I gave and tried. They did ten so I figure I could do it too. Why not, right? This was the absolute best and worse decision I’ve ever made in my life.

I could not sleep for three full days. My heart was humming like a motor, on steroids. I was sweating profusely, rocking back in forth praying for sleep, wondering why the carpet was moving like an ocean. I ended up being hospitalized for amphetamine-induced psychosis. It was bad, but I’ve been clean ever since. Not saying I haven’t been tempted, but I never want to feel like that ever again. Being numb works for a while, but no one can thrive numbly. They can’t even really survive. They just exist in a familiar nothingness.

My call to action

Celebrate the small wins. The small feats that occur every day. We are not perfect. Perfection does not exist. Let us strive for progress, the more attainable and rewarding. Every day won’t be perfect, but the possibility of progress should make it worth it. That’s all for now.

Exist and Bleed,

S. Hollisway

Because sometimes purging is necessary…..

Stones,

I do apologize for the hiatus. The surgery took more of a toll on me then I had hoped.  It makes it very difficult to post once a week. Hopefully, I am back now for good with the regularly scheduled post on Wednesday. I also unintentionally blocked most of my post which I was not aware of. Thankfully, I fixed that.   I wish I had known that earlier, it’s been like that for weeks now. It’s so frustrating.

Okay, so you know the phrase, “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”? Well, after a recent experience I highly doubt that.  I went out of my way to help someone and got nothing but turmoil and heartache in return. Worst of all, I have to shell out money to fix a door I didn’t break.  But let me start from the beginning.

My “Good Deed”

So, I reached out to an old friend who was having a rough time. Let’s call her…Bella. Bella expressed that she was in a dark place and was suicidal and couldn’t find her will to live.  Of course, because Bella and I were close once, I was very concerned. She expressed that she had no one to help and that she alone and had devised a plan to end her life.

For those that have been with me for some time, you know my history with mental illness so (before all my post got blocked) and the last thing I wanted was to lose another friend to mental illness.  I suggested that since her living situation was so subpar and she was so alone that I had an extra bedroom and perhaps she’d like to stay with me on a temporary basis (HUGE MISTAKE NUMBER 1).  She didn’t know what to say and doubted the genuineness of my offer. Looking back, I shouldn’t have pressed the issue. A couple of days later she agreed. After talking over the next few days, I found out that she was having serious money troubles (Red Flag Number 1). I told her not to worry and that we would help her get on her feet. (HUGE MISTAKE NUMBER 2).

So, we are talking over the next few days and steadily making plans she tells me that she has absolutely no one in her corner ( Red Flag Number 2).  A therapist once told me that when people are in exile there is typically a reason. I should have asked more questions.

So we reach the day she is scheduled to come and she does.  Things are great…the first night. I make chili, everyone eats themselves silly. We talk and laugh and Bella and my fiance get to know each other. Everything is great, we talk about each other’s triggers. She said that she was still nervous and then I told her I wanted her to be comfortable. I told her to make herself comfortable (GIANORMOUS AND FATAL MISTAKE NUMBER 3).  So we had rearranged the house for her. We gave her my sons’ room because he’s only 1 and he sleeps with us most nights anyway. We brought her a blow-up mattress and new sheets and blankets, the whole nine yards. She had her own space that she quickly made her own and she had that space to be comfortable as she wanted. What could possibly wrong?

The Demise

The next morning, I woke up to my entire kitchen rearranged. Cabinets were reorganized, food was moved around and thrown away, tables were reorganized and all without permission. It was chaos. My fiancee has OCD and likes things a certain way and Bella also had OCD and wanted things her way.  There is nothing wrong with compromise but as a guest, you would think it needed to be discussed first with the owners!  Things went downhill from there. She made unsolicited “suggestions” about our parenting style, was wasteful with food and toiletries, and interjected herself into our private disagreements.

You have three adults with mental illness living in one house, there are bound to be disagreements but this was unbearable.  They argued over everything; tobacco, coffee, my son, our relationship, her being the oldest,  everything! They got into an argument so bad, it resulted in the door being broken! It was just terrible. Then, the pettiness started. Things were hidden, things were stolen, and kept in rooms. Things got pretty bad and I didn’t know what to do.

Then one day, like magic she found another place to live. She said she couldn’t do it anymore and someone had offered her a house to live in. I was relieved and asked when she was leaving. She said she would let me know. She promised she wouldn’t leave without saying something. That same day, I had a health scare and had to go to the hospital. I got back and she was gone. She took all her belongings, plus the bed we bought, and for some reason, I’m sure just to be petty she took all the sugar and all the creamer.

The lesson learned

I’m not playing the victim. This was my fault. I made a snap decision and made a rash judgment.  The good is, we don’t speak anymore. I purged her from my life and my world and she doesn’t exist to me anymore. She was toxic, always played the victim. It got old really quickly. But again my fault. Sometimes purging people is necessary. Purging all the toxicity out of your life should be a daily practice. It could save you a lot of drama and theft.

I hope you enjoyed story time. Until next we meet.

Bleed and Exist,

S. Hollisway

Pick up Scarred and Faceless Here