Homeowner Grant To Help Bipolar Disorder Disabled Mom Restore Family
by Michelle Kearney
(Brighton, CO, USA)
I am a 40-year-old single mom of two boys. I was a single mother even before my 14-year-old son was born.
My kids are my world and my life. I have tried to make my kids' life better by moving, thinking that was the answer.
I kept moving back and forth between Colorado and Tennessee. I thought I was doing the right thing, but I found out I just made them more confused, unhappy, frustrated and angry.
The moves from one school to another were especially hard on my kids in their teenage years.
About seven months ago, out of obligation we felt we had to come back to Colorado and help take care of my mom, their grandmother.
That was a big mistake, since she doesn't appreciate us.
She's a very negative person. Nothing positive comes out her mouth.
We wonder why we uprooted our lives and left everyone and everything we loved.
I miss my fiancé more than I can put into words! He was my rock and someone that I could trust. He's the other half of me.
My kids loved their school and were getting very good grades. My oldest son was in football and he loved it.
He was a different person on the field, full of confidence and pride. Now he has no interest in anything, doesn't like school and his grades have dropped.
I cry a lot, thinking about how we tried to do the right thing and it turns into the worst thing.
I'm not sure how to describe my disability, especially since I have a hard time explaining and making sense anymore. It takes hours and hours now to get something to sound half way decent and for it to make sense.
I have to admit this is part of my disability now. My memory and how to explain things are not that good anymore.
Back in Junior High School, which is now Middle School, I told my parents that I thought there was something wrong with me.
I was taken to the doctor and he put me on anti-depressants. I remember them making me feel very light headed, to where things would get black and I would see stars.
I stopped taking them, and told my mom. I was never taken back to the doctor.
Growing up I was called, in nice words, "a mess-up and a loser." I could not do anything right.
I have a brother and sister, but they were not treated the same as me. I remember being lost and angry all the time.
Through high school and after I noticed I had a very bad temper that sometimes I could not control. I have to admit this scared me!
I met this guy fell in love, got married and had a son. I was even worse when I was pregnant. I acted like my mom, very negative and yelling and complaining all the time!
My husband went to basic training. I stayed with my parents and had our son while he was still in basic training.
I was very mean to my husband, yelling, belittling, and very discouraging. I thought this was normal because this was how I was treated.
I ended up going to the doctor one day. She asked how I was and I just started crying, saying that my husband and I were getting divorced. He was cheating on me.
She put me on Prozac. After a few days I was amazed how I felt. I asked everyone, "Is this what it feels like to be normal?" I was no longer angry.
I do not know if this is when I was officially diagnosed with depression. I ended up pregnant with our second son, yes while he had a girlfriend.
We were totally separated before he was born. Now I'm a single mom, struggling with my mom still calling me a screw-up and a loser.
I just could not do anything right. I ended up moving in and out of her place all my life. She was calling my kids stupid and screaming at them.
I tried to put them in daycare as much as I could. I could not handle that.
I had a job that I worked different hours every day and sometimes 16 hours a day. It was a great job, and good money, with excellent benefits.
I was not getting any child support so I had to stay there, plus I loved my job.
I met a guy online in Tennessee. We ended up falling in love and wanted to be with each other. I told him I would go there because the kids' dad was not in their life and I could just up and go.
The major reason was to get all of us away from my mom, with her yelling, screaming and putting us down. It was great to be away from her!
Still struggling with everything in my life. I had to move back to Colorado because of moving in a place that made meth. I lost everything and my parents came and got us. We stayed back in Colorado for 2 1/2 years.
We went back to Tennessee in August 2008 because I had a feeling something was going to happen. In the spring of 2009 I had a "nervous breakdown" and I was hospitalized.
I was told the verbal abuse I had received all my life had turned into emotional abuse.
When I got of hospital, my boyfriend only stayed with me two days. I felt like I needed him to stay longer, because I could tell I was different. I was not sure how, because everything was so different and new to me.
I could not go anywhere by myself or even talk right. I didn't make any sense and could not remember anything.
I tried going back to work, and that made things worse.
I'm not sure how long this went on, but I know it was getting worse and worse. All I know is my boyfriend came over and thought I overdosed because there were pills all over the floor. I now know I spilled Tylenol.
I was again in the ER and getting admitted to the hospital. I was in the ER for seven hours. I remember maybe three minutes of it. No one will tell me what really happened.
Neither my boyfriend nor any of his family will tell me why I was admitted. I still do not know my diagnosis of that visit. This happened in 2009, and I still don't know.
I did find some paperwork that I filled out for lawyer/Social Security for disability. It had depression, social anxiety, nervous breakdown, psychosis. I'm still trying to get my official documents from the hospital.
I went to therapy before Christmas and the diagnosis from where I was admitted was major depression disorder, anxiety disorder, bereavement adjustment disorder and personality disorder not otherwise specified (NOS).
I finally got diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which I thought I had for years. I just never had the manic high and lows because of my sleeping.
But with moving back to my mom and the major stress, I went into a very high manic stage.
I did not sleep for four days. I finally got an official diagnosis because of the sleeping. I finally got medicine to help, but I still have my ups and downs.
It's something very hard to live with, especially when you're trying to be the best you can for your kids. I noticed living here I am a lot worse with my downs. They last for days and days. I'm tense and can't relax.
My kids and I go to a friends a lot (can't say a lot now, I have no gas or money) and they love it because there is no yelling and when working on something there is no fighting and screaming.
I know this does not sound right and it jumps everywhere, and I have worked on this for hours. I sent it to my friend to see if she could guide me.
She told me to leave it alone, so you can see what I'm talking about, on how I struggle now, just to even write a paragraph. I do not know if I should fix it more, or leave so they can see how it affected me.
I have been struggling with money since I have been disabled. I get less than half on disability, than when I was working.
I haven't been able to go have fun with my kids, since we have no extra money to go do anything. I miss this very much.
I felt closer to my children, all of us together, out of where we live, having, fun, laughing and being relaxed.
We also have not been able to live in a regular house, with just my kids and me. This is really getting to us now. We want to be our own family.
My sons are teenagers, and they each want their own room. We have no privacy any more, having to sleep in living rooms. This has been hard on us and it seems to be getting worse day by day.
I have to drive them to school; a bus does not run where we live. My car is officially totaled, and getting worse.
I let someone borrow my car. They ended up in a ditch and somehow jumped a drive. When landing, it bent the frame.
There were other mechanical things wrong, but I was able to get them, I can't say fixed. It's more like improvising and hoping it last.
I was told if I do not use one of my doors, the car should be good for at least a couple of years. It's been over a couple of years, and the car has been slowly shifting.
Windows and doors are not lining up with the body. I have to put duct tape around doors because it started leaking pretty bad.
Since being disabled I'm not able to buy a new car, and I'm not sure how much longer mine will last.
We live in a city that does not have very good public transportation. My kids would not be able to get to school without someone driving them.
I worry, stress and feel so bad for my kids that that when they need even just underwear, it's difficult to get. It has been a huge struggle for us.
When I came back to Colorado, I was hoping to get my job back where I used to work. It was something I loved and was very good at.
I walked in there, and just with the noise I was struggling. I wasn't even working, which would include answering phones, doing computer work, solving problems and having to multitask.
I realized I was not even close to being able to do that again. I had to leave, since I was crying. I was hoping to have a job.
Yes, I do receive SSI, but you don't get enough. I keep looking for job where you can work at home. Everything I have found has not been what they say they are. I am now trying to get grants to help be a family.
I am seeking grants so my kids and I can get our own place. We want a home that can be ours alone.
Our need is to be a true family again, and our place that we can call ours, and a sense of happiness and pride!