Tag Archives: health

Our Family’s Trans-formation

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“We are writing you all because there has been a bit of change going on in our family’s lives this past six months. It is easiest to write this down and have you all hear it directly and in the same manner, then to relay it individually. This is a difficult topic and will be hard for some of you to understand. It is okay, you do not have to understand or agree with it to give unconditional love and support. And you will likely have questions, but we appreciate your not bombarding us, as we too continue to process things. So now on to what has taken place…”

These are the beginning words to a letter that we just sent to our family this past week. I am sure that many of my readers have felt my struggles through this year in my writings. SO many changes have occurred in the last six months. But, as I share with you this biggest of all, I ask for you to follow these words I’ve written my family as well!

“At the end of last year, just after Christmas our youngest came to me. She had been greatly struggling, which was quite evident. After a good deal of prodding, she finally confided in me a great turmoil what could be called an identity crisis. She felt that she was supposed to be a boy. This was all in her words, nothing put in her mouth. Of course, this was a big shock, but not a surprise in some ways. Of course we give her our full support and reassurance at this time. While shedding our own tears and praying in private, we try to reconcile between us what has happened…”

Yes, my youngest (age 14) has come out as a transgender boy to us. And for a conservative, Christian family, this was certainly a blow. Now, before you begin to think the worst of us, I want you to know, we are accepting in every way. But, it has taken time to understand what support looks like. And overcoming a feeling of “loss” for my daughter, the one I had longed for, planned for and held future dreams for. Needing to accept that this life is not mine to fulfill, but must be his to find for himself.

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“In the weeks to follow he requests some major changes. Asking that we change all nouns in regards of her to “he” and her name to a male one he’d chosen. Also a boy’s haircut is done and a breast binder is asked for (he had already been wearing a majority of boy’s clothing, always the “Tom boy”)… As the months have passed we have been faced with some heart breaking moments as parents. Our son has seen some very dark moments, as have we. He finally confided that he has been struggling, alone, with these feelings since he was EIGHT! How our pain grew!…”

It has taken some time for the name change and “he” to be consistent, but he’s been patient with us. Also, I have always referred to only having one son, now that is not the case. But, if these were the worst things to overcome, it would be a piece of cake. Unfortunately it has been so much more than that. For him, having a body that he does not feel he should be in is heartbreaking to see. What should be a simple shower now has become a struggle with self acceptance! My hope is, as a family we learn how to come together to be what my son needs. Helping him through this difficult journey that his future holds.

“We have told him that we don’t feel that God makes mistakes, and he has never suggested otherwise. But, if God doesn’t make mistakes, we can only feel that there is a reason for this journey too…”

I will continue in the future with more about our story as a family and the life of transformation. But, for now, I leave you with this. I hope that this touches someone who is going through the same struggle and gives you a ray of hope that you are not alone. Support is so important for all involved. I hope you will reach out or pass this along to anyone you know or you personally, that are going through this life transformation.© by Mac

“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
― Jalaluddin Rumi

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Filed under Beauty and Health, Depression, Family, inspiration

Enemy At The Gate

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An enemy lurks and waits, pacing outside my gates
His battle plan is to destroy, but he offers up a ploy
Let’s sign a treaty, a pact, his objective is to distract
Call to battle, sound thee alarm, can’t allow to harm

To conquer this and succeed, strength’s what I need
Hold my ground, my sword, weakness I can’t afford
Who knows how long he’ll tarry, my great adversary
Blackness in his big hand, attempts to take my land

I must not give in but push back, courage can’t lack
If he was allowed to succeed, plundering with greed
Mind and body would be a loss, destined to be chaos
Depression is my opponent, must overcome, own it©

by Mac

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Filed under Depression, inspiration, poetry

Imagine This

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When life gets too hard I go to my special place
I look deep within this imaginary space

Time has no meaning and we walk up-side-down
There are no mirrors and no one can frown

Tears come only from laughing and giggling too
And most of the time that is all that we do

Who are the “We” I refer to, you want to know? 
Well, this is only where the most special go

Often they’re found in the darkest, ugliest parts
But they have the most beautiful hearts

Using their minds they create amazing dreams
There is nothing more lovely, or so it seems

Once in a while this monster will try to get in
But we put up a fight, won’t let him win

He knocks on the doors and tears at our walls
Says unkind things, to the weakest he calls

He has lots of  names, his heart black with deceit
But the one I fear most, the one I can’t beat

This voice calls to me often, attempting to lure me
Depressions its name, not sure I’ll ever be free©

by Mac

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Depression, inspiration, poetry

Don’t Want To Play

 

These are lyrics to a song that I wrote a while back during a very dark time in my life. I was in a very self destructive place, stemming from a depression that was consuming me. Writing has been a very theraputic outlet for me and plays a major roll in aiding me when I feel myself falling. It is so important to find things that keep you grounded or bring you joy, even if they are momentary, during these times. May is Mental Illness Month. If you or someone you know battles mental illness, there are many great resources here.  

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Don’t Want To Play

by Mac

You tied my hands and you broke my will
Roughed me up, bleeding, you took your fill
Stole all my dignity, now I’ve none to spare
Then told me lies, said they wouldn’t care

Darkness please find another play ground
No more do I desire to be sought and found
Darkness please find another play ground
Last time we played I almost drowned

Next time you want to play your game
I hope I’m strong enough to say the same
But I get weak and tired from the run
Each time I’m fooled, think I already won

Darkness please find another play ground
No more do I desire to be sought and found
Darkness please find another play ground
Last time we played I almost drowned

I am the puppet and you hold the strings
Took my voice, which no good thing brings
Used my words towards others, now disdain
And to my heart, brought me much pain

Darkness please find another play ground
No more do I desire to be sought and found
Darkness please find another play ground
Last time we played I almost drowned©

 

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Filed under Depression, inspiration, poetry

Where The Light Is

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As deep within water washes away my sins
Infusing of today with yesterday’s sorrows
Feel pain but there is so much nothingness
Why can’t I retreat into the darkness now?
Never looking back, just going into shadows
So many questions and so very few answers
As I inhale the fragrance of salty air and sun
I know it will be okay, at least in this moment
For where the light is, no darkness prevails©

by Mac

May is Mental Illness Month.
If you or someone you know battles mental illness,
there are many great resources here.  

Other articles:
Mental Illness May#1
Speaking The Language
Helping My Children
Life With Anxiety

Dear Agony
Breaking Free
After The Storm

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Filed under Depression, inspiration, poetry

Helping My Children

Helping our children through the struggles of depression has been the hardest task that we as parents have ever encountered. Not only have we broached the most difficult of times, we have faced thee unthinkable. I never knew the true meaning of the word “helpless” until this journey began.

Some things that we have been using to help counteract this illness have been counseling, with cognitive therapy, and yes, even medicine. (Medicine was not our first choice, but was necessary in the end, to battle the chemical imbalances.) We have also been using exercise, healthy eating, vitamins, probiotics and even yoga. Studies prove the body and digestive system are closely tied to the brain and chemicals there.

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It is also very important to have a “game plan” when the down times occur. Even I have talked about what I do here. It is really no different for my kids. We must have things in place that they can do to bring enjoyment into their days, if only for a moment. My oldest likes building electromagnets, weight lifting, crocheting and video games. My youngest prefers crafting, art and drawing, along with the outdoors and biking. This does not mean the struggles don’t still reek havoc, but these counter measures can and do help. Teaching coping skills is vital to surviving this disease!

The biggest commodity to me in this illness, however, has been my own personal experiences. I have said before, empathy is so much different from sympathy. Being able to connect with my two teens by understanding and relating, is priceless. We communicate frequently and they are usually quite open with me. Does it make things easier? Not always! But, it does help them to know they are not alone is this battle. And being able to knowledgeably advocate for them is a blessing.

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May is Mental Illness Month. If you or someone you know battles mental illness, there are many great resources here.  Also read my piece Speaking The Language which talks more about this journey with my family. 

Other articles:
Mental Illness May #1
Life With Anxiety
Dear Agony~depression
Breaking Free
After The Storm

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Filed under Depression, Family

Speaking The Language

Sometimes I don’t feel like I’m even speaking the same language as the rest of the world. Have you ever felt this? When you are saying something and people look at you with blank eyes, like you are speaking your own made up words. I feel like I am often in this fog that is pulling me deeper into its clutches. At times amazes me that anything I do or say forms any sort of cohesion, let alone that I accomplish daily tasks.

Mental illness has wreaked havoc on our family this year. Although I am unable to share details at this time, I can tell you that it has been a very hard five months! With myself, as well as two teenagers (add puberty and hormones) whom all have one form or another of mental illness, and voila you have mayhem. And hubby, well, he is just trying to stear this crazy train!

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So, what do we do to get through this time in our lives? The best we can, I suppose. There is counseling and medicine, but also lots of listening and supporting. Learning coping skills and how to take care of mind, but also body. (Keep an eye out for a piece in the future on how we take care of our mind and body.) Some days we just chill (thank God for homeschool and flexibility) and other days we can only do our best to push through. Sometimes the sounding board for the kids and other times the warm embrace. There are nights when the four of us all sit on our queen size bed and just talk about how tough things are right now, other times no talking occurs and perhaps a tear or two is shed.

I never had to cope with my depression as a teenager. I didn’t begin my struggle until I was twenty. I cannot even imagine the difficulty of navigating an already stressful and confusing time of life, then adding depression and anxiety into the mix! But, I see the strength and determination that has taken root in my children’s lives. I believe in them and their abilities. And, at times I find myself thanking God for giving me depression, just so that I can be empathetic and understanding of my kids and the struggles they face. Ultimately, I know that we have got this!

May is Mental Illnes Month. If you or someone you know battles mental illness, there are many great resources here

My articles:
Life With Anxiety
Dear Agony-depression
Breaking Free
After The Storm

Your prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “language.”  #SoCS

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Filed under Depression, Family, Life Lessons