Bipolar Disorder Disabled Mother Of Four Seeks Government Disability Grants
by Brandy Monfette
(San Antonio, TX, USA)
Managing A Smile In The Face Of Problems
My name is Brandy and I'm looking for government grants to help ease the burden caused by my multiple disabilities.
I have four beautiful children. Austyn will be 14 in December, and Ronney 13 this summer. My daughters, Christian and Dakota, are 11 and 10.
I'm married to a wonderful person. I have only been married for a year, but he is the best thing that has ever happened to me. He is good to the kids and good to me.
It's been a tough road for my kids and me. I've always made sure that the bills were paid, and that they had food and shelter and clothes on their back. My sons have only been back in my custody full time because I was involved in a dirty custody battle.
Their father was sexually abusing them and this went on for YEARS, so they have been through hell. But on a positive note he's locked up and can't hurt them anymore. I have to have them in therapy.
My Son Austyn
Let me tell you some about my kids. Austyn was born with a heart condition that required surgery at six months old. He has a blood disorder, asthma, a bicuspid aortic valve, and now his cardiologist says one of his arteries is narrowing some so it's something we have to watch.
He is behind other kids his age. He is in special Ed 50 percent of the time in school. But he is a great kid and tries hard at everything despite of everything he goes through. He loves to skateboard. Tony Hawk is his idol!
My Son Ronney
Ronney is smart and I see a bright future for him. In 7th grade, he makes all As. He likes the typical boy things, video games, and sports. He says he wants to go to college in Hawaii.
My Daughter Christian
Christian is sassy and smart. She loves the Jonas Brothers a lot. I look at her every day and I can't believe she is already wearing bras. She likes computers, and loves to annoy me with her music lol.
She is loving and she knows if I am down she always has a huge hug for me. I was recently hospitalized, which I will get into later, and she always made me drawings and such.
My Daughter Dakota
Dakota is my youngest. Her biggest love is Miley Cyrus lol. She loves to sing and dance everywhere! She also loves to read. Over the summer she read the first four Harry Potter books and is currently working on book 5!
We used to live in a bad neighborhood and the school she went to last year rewarded kids with new bikes who had read the most. And she got the bike. Sadly enough it got stolen a few weeks later.
We used to live in a really bad neighborhood. The ice cream truck was known as the drug truck, and drug dealers, and gang violence everywhere around us. But rent was cheap and it was what we could afford.
At the time I was not able to work, but was receiving child support. My husband is disabled so he draws in SSI and SSDI. We were doing okay I guess.
Things really started going down hill this summer. I stopped getting child support and don't know when I will get that again. So the only income we have is my husband's. We recently moved to a good side of town, thanks to my mother in law!
She was so nice and paid for our entire move and bought us new furniture. I am not used to living in such a nice house. My kids can go outside and play and I do not have to worry about them. My dogs have a huge yard to play in.
Now here is where I decide to get personal. I don't delve too much in my personal life, but in order to get help I know I need to. For years I suffered with depression. But it was more than that.
Some days I would not sleep and I would just be really reckless. I was on an emotional rollercoaster. I was in abusive relationships. My stepfather molested me for years until I left home at 17. My life has not been good.
Over the summer I found a sliding scale psychiatrist and went in. He only saw for me for five minutes and diagnosed me as having Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety. He gave me Celexa and Xanax and sent me on way.
Well I can say it didn't help me at all. I think maybe it got worse. I have always had suicidal ideations and they get worse when certain things trigger it.
I stopped receiving child support and we were so broke. We applied for food stamps because we could not feed the kids. They have Medicaid and I was only getting worse.
We give $550 of my husband's check to his mom and she helps us with the rest of the rent. She is a lifesaver in that department.
We got so behind with our electric bill, but we found help with that and caught up with that. We sold the kids' video game set and all their games to pay the bills. We still are not caught up.
We decided to cut back on our expenses. And we have been donating plasma to keep our bills paid. I however cannot donate because my pulse is too high.
Three weeks ago I had a meltdown. I was ready to go to the bathroom and take whatever I could get my hands on. I felt useless to my kids, and to my husband.
I was angry at the world. It was so bad that I ended up in the hospital for five days. I now know what's wrong with me at least.
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 1, panic disorder, and agoraphobia. I had someone from the hospital come in and tell me I need to apply for disability for myself and I was so doped up and I agreed to it.
I even have a lawyer to defend it. It makes sense to me, the diagnosis. I have major panic attacks on a daily basis and of course my moods are up and down. They prescribed me a mood stabilizer and another antidepressant. I found a place that helped me with my first month of meds for free.
The meds they have me on make me feel like I am living in a fog. I hate them so I need to change them, but because I have no insurance and no money I can't afford them. They make me hallucinate badly too.
I don't like to leave the house a lot. I can't hold down a job because my panic attacks and mood swings are so bad that I can't be around a bunch of people. I applied for SSI and was approved for Medicaid.
Last year was good. We bought a new car, and the kids had a great Christmas, thankfully to the back pay my husband got.
Now this year we can't afford anything. I tried to get a job but I ended up quitting because I had too many panic attacks and my moods weren't stable. They still aren't stable due to wrong medicines I think.
I think I also have DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) as well as the other conditions listed above. These conditions are mental disabilities that do affect my daily life.
I just want to be able to provide better for my kids and living on one income of $700 is not enough. Government disability grants or any other form of assistance would be so appreciated.