Daily Archives: April 28, 2015

a-z challenge: y

Y-4Yevgeny Yevtushenko (the name) is transliterated a few ways, notably with both starting with E, which doesn’t suit my purpose in the slightest, so we’re sticking to the triple Y one here.

“A poet’s autobiography is his poetry. Anything else is just a footnote.” Yevgeny Yevtushenko


I was looking for info and quotes about the astonishing significance of poets and poetry in Russia, and then I found this, on Wikipedia of all places.

Late in the 1960’s Yevtushenko read his poetry before a large audience in Washington, DC. His readings were translated to English and he received much applause. Following his delivery, the audience was invited to ask questions. One person asked him, “If Russia is so wonderful, as you say, why is it they must import wheat to feed their people?” His thoughtful response, delivered with more than a little twinkle in his eye, was, “Ah yes. But we do not have to import poets.” ¦source¦

abe5eb04054aa7f53a18c2452098d153484b6d29-800x430The wiki (linked above) is worth reading for the biography and politics of Yevtushenko; another thing about Russia, at least up until its balkanisation, is that poetry and politics were inextricably linked. And in fact, his best known poem is still Babi Yar, about Nazi genocide against Kiev’s Jewish population (which is contested by some), anti semitism in Russia and the government’s distortion of facts about it. You can hear the poet recite Babi Yar here, don’t be put off by the Russian (I’m not talking to you, Synapse, it obviously won’t put you off at all), it segues into English pretty quickly. The poem inspired Shostakovich’s Symphony #13, you can hear it here and if you don’t like Gergiev, it’s available in numerous other flavours. Even without knowing Russian, a fast tour of YouTube videos showing Yevtushenko reciting poetry in Russian is a delight. He’s a sprightly and smiling old man and he is welcomed like a rock star.

The other poem he’s well known for is Zima Junction, which I think were probably the first two words I ever heard in relation to its author. The title refers to his birthplace in Siberia, the fact that I heard the title so soon refers to the usual cultural culprit, my mother. I was a precocious pain in the arse about Russian literature in general at a young age. Personally I don’t think it’s much different to being a pokemon protégé. Zima Junction will make sense to anyone who ever left their home town and later went back.


If you’re interested and have two hours to spare, you might enjoy this.

Now you know a little about professor Yevtushenko, a little about why I’m a fan and I think the only possible and logical thing to do now, is show you some poems. I included Psychotherapist because we are all familiar with them and Wounds because we’re well acquainted with those too. The last is Disbelief In Yourself Is Indispensable, which I think questions the pursuit of success and individualism as defined by some societies. If you’d like to read more of his poems, there are another 75 right here.

I almost forgot, he’s done films and novels too.



Pain gnaws into man,
lacerating with its claws.
It’s deposited like salt
somewhere between the vertebrae.

Shout something to the crowd?
That’s a lot of respect for cattle.
Confess to a priest?
Man doesn’t believe in God.

Confess to the wife?
A pain inscrutable for her.
Confess to the country?
That’s so immense it terrifies.

And the psychiatrist arrives
with a musketeer beard,
warmly phlegmatic,
faintly smelling of vodka.

And though you tear your hair-
he will listen for two hours
to your woes and vexations,
and all for two bills.

Afterward he goes on foot
through grimy lanes,
and under his tongue lays
a tranquilizer.

There’s a trick to attentiveness:
not the least merit in it,
and he himself longs for a fellow
psychiatrist-a friend for hire.

Translated by Albert C. Todd



I have been wounded so often and so painfully,
dragging my way home at the merest crawl,
impaled not only by malicious tongues-
one can be wounded even by a petal.

And I myself have wounded-quite unwittingly-
with casual tenderness while passing by,
and later someone felt the pain,
it was like walking barefoot over the ice.

So why do I step upon the ruins
of those most near and dear to me,
I, who can be so simply and so sharply wounded
and can wound others with such deadly ease?

Translated by Arthur Boyars and Simon Franklin


Disbelief In Yourself Is Indispensable

While you’re alive it’s shameful to worm your way into
the Calendar of Saints.
Disbelief in yourself is more saintly.
It takes real talent not to dread being terrified
by your own agonizing lack of talent.

Disbelief in yourself is indispensable.
Indispensable to us is the loneliness
of being gripped in the vise,
so that in the darkest night the sky will enter you
and skin your temples with the stars,
so that streetcars will crash into the room,
wheels cutting across your face,
so the dangling rope, terrible and alive,
will float into the room and dance invitingly in the air.

Indispensable is any mangy ghost
in tattered, overplayed stage rags,
and if even the ghosts are capricious,
I swear, they are no more capricious than those who are alive.

Indispensable amidst babbling boredom
are the deadly fear of uttering the right words
and the fear of shaving, because across your cheekbone
graveyard grass already grows.

It is indispensable to be sleeplessly delirious,
to fail, to leap into emptiness.
Probably, only in despair is it possible
to speak all the truth to this age.

It is indispensable, after throwing out dirty drafts,
to explode yourself and crawl before ridicule,
to reassemble your shattered hands
from fingers that rolled under the dresser.

Indispensable is the cowardice to be cruel
and the observation of the small mercies,
when a step toward falsely high goals
makes the trampled stars squeal out.

It’s indispensable, with a misfit’s hunger,
to gnaw a verb right down to the bone.
Only one who is by nature from the naked poor
is neither naked nor poor before fastidious eternity.

And if from out of the dirt,
you have become a prince,
but without principles,
unprince yourself and consider
how much less dirt there was before,
when you were in the real, pure dirt.
Our self-esteem is such baseness….
The Creator raises to the heights
only those who, even with tiny movements,
tremble with the fear of uncertainty.

Better to cut open your veins with a can opener,
to lie like a wino on a spit-spattered bench in the park,
than to come to that very comfortable belief
in your own special significance.

Blessed is the madcap artist,
who smashes his sculpture with relish-
hungry and cold-but free
from degrading belief in himself.

Translated by Antonina W. Bouis, Albert C. Todd, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko



The Roots of the Insanity Defense

Originally posted on Longreads Blog:

For centuries, courts have struggled to protect the mentally ill while also trying to distinguish between sanity and insanity. In the 1700s, the British courts relied on the “wild beast” test as their barometer for the latter: if the defendant’s understanding of his crime was no better than that of a infant or beast, he couldn’t be found guilty. From there, the insanity defense began its tortuous evolution.

In 1843, a Scottish woodcutter named Daniel M’Naghten attempted to assassinate British Prime Minister Robert Peel, shooting and killing his secretary instead. M’Naghten believed that Peel and the British government had singled him out for persecution and were responsible for all his personal and financial woes. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and acquitted, leading to public outrage over the verdict.

In response, the House of Lords and a panel of the Queen’s judges put together the M’Naghten…

View original 54 more words

Mental Health Parity

Download the What is Mental Health Parity? infographic pdf. Download NAMI’s report A Long Road Ahead: Achieving True Parity in Mental Health and Substance Use Care See more at: http://www.nami.org/parityreport.aspx#sthash.HFj93AOu.dpuf Filed under: About Mental Health, NAMI Tagged: mental health parity

Award Thingie Nomination



Thank you, Tessa.

I’m never quite sure how to handle these blog awards other than to say thank you. So I shall just copy and paste the rules set forth in Tessa’s blog. (And for some reason when I try to link shit I mess it up and sorry, but I am TRYING.)

What you can do with Encouraging Thunder award?

  • Post it on your blog
  • Grant other bloggers with the award

What you can’t do with Encouraging Thunder award?

  • Abuse or misuse the logo
  • Claim that it’s your own handmade logo

What you should do after receiving Encouraging Thunder award:

  • Enjoy the award
  • At least gives thanks via comments and likes and or mentioning the blog who give the award.
  • Mention your purpose in blogging

Give them all love by visiting their blogs and show some appreciation :-)


P.S. You do not have to accept the award. It is entirely up to you. At least this one doesn’t have a ton of questions to answer and none to make up.

My purpose in blogging…To let others going through similar things know they are NOT alone and are NOT insane. Also, I can’t afford to pay a counselor to listen to me rant so this is my therapy.

Now…Do I even know five bloggers to pass the award on to…Who won’t flip if suddenly they get more views. (Don’t want to impede on privacy, some people have changed blogs and deleted due to this issue.)
Um…How about the ones I swap comments with most and a new blast from the past.

“>”>1.) Specter

2.) Blah


4.) Diane

“>5.) Imptiness

Party on and be sporksome to each other, dudes.

The Unit

psych hospital

This is the last of a three part “series” of my trip to the psych hospital.

As you can imagine, I was pretty thrilled when they told me I had a bed and I could get out of the recliner. So they drug me off to the unit where I would be staying. I still only had the scrubs I was wearing….we couldn’t have any real clothes till they were inspected by one of the techs on the unit. Fortunately, my husband was quick on the draw and had clothes and all ready for me. He brought them down and it wasn’t too long till they called me up to the desk.

You can’t have anything with strings on the unit. So drawstring waists or hoodies with drawstrings are out. We passed this test pretty quickly…I had yoga pants. Make up was another story. I brought a powder brush which had metal around the part where it held the brush hairs. That was OUT. By the time they checked my make up, I decided it wasn’t worth it. I sent it all home and decided to go commando on my face. After all, who was I trying to impress in a psych unit? It wasn’t as though I was going to meet men. All of the men were about 25 and suicidal. Probably not a good choice for me.

Another thing you can’t have is anything alcohol based like shampoo or moisturizer, etc. Alcohol cannot be one of the first four ingredients in your item. Now this seems like no big deal until you start reading labels. It’s harder than you think.

We each had what they called a “hygiene box”. This is where they let you keep your toothbrush and paste, shampoo, deodorant, hairbrush, etc. You can check this out as needed.

Let’s talk about shaving. They had to WATCH you with a razor. So in order to get your legs, etc. shaved, you had a buddy in the bathroom. This flipped me out so I decided to let my underarms and legs just grow a little. (I hope this isn’t too much information!) To combat this grossness, I was showering and using lots of deodorant and I did have long yoga pants. And once again, who was there to impress?

The image above looks a lot like my room. A few hours after I got there, I got a roommate. She slept constantly and only hopped up when they said it was time to eat. I have never seen anyone sleep so much! She didn’t go to any activities. Just slept. But, hey, she was young.

I thought I’d run you through the daily schedule.

6 am- coffee was available. This was easily the worst coffee I have ever had. It was unbelievable. But I was sort of desperate so I drank it. It came in a large plastic container with a spout. We couldn’t have glass pots in case we smashed them over someone’s head and then cut everyone up.

7 am- time to shower, get dressed, and make bed. (My roommate skipped this part.)

8am- breakfast. Now here’s the deal on the food. I thought it was pretty decent. I didn’t have to shop, cook, or clean up. I will say they put gravy over everything that was supposed to be meat. I recognized all of the meat except the pot roast. They stumped me on that one. They didn’t let you have even a plastic knife so it was a challenge to use a fork on the meat. I did my best and tried not to use my hands.

When you first come on the unit, you have to eat there. You can’t go to the cafeteria in case you decide to run for it or do something nefarious with the cafeteria items. After a day, they let me head to the cafeteria. But it was a zoo. We ate with the adolescent unit and they were yelling and throwing food. It seriously got on my mentally ill nerves. So I asked to just eat on the unit. It was really a lot better.

9 am- vitals and meds. You got your blood pressure, temp, and pulse measured. And the the nurse started giving out meds. There was about one nurse for every ten people. I thought the nurses did a great job of getting the meds out on time.

10 am- unit meeting. We would gather in the dayroom (those of us not sleeping) and discuss any problems on the unit. No one ever had any. The tech who led this group tried such conversation starters as “If you had a magic wand, what would you do with it?” Ugh.

11 am- group therapy. This was an interesting waste of time. Basically, we had to go around the room and introduce ourselves and tell what brought us to the hospital. Then we had to answer another dumb question like “Give us your favorite slogan.” The only slogan I really liked was “Smooth sailing does not a skilled sailor make.” My slogan was “Never give up hope.” I copied that from a NAMI meeting but no one really knew.

noon- lunch

1 pm- recreation! We either got to go outside and watch the younger people in our group play basketball or on some days go in a room and make bead bracelets. The bracelets were quite the fashion statement and everyone wore them, even the guys. I politely declined. One nice thing about recreation was the leader’s radio. We got to hear real music. That was nice.

To wrap this up quickly as this post got too long…..

2 pm- more group therapy

3 pm- jpurnal writing

4 pm- more therapy

5 pm- dinner

6-8 pm- visiting hours

8 pm- AA meeting for those in need (I thought about going to this to have something to do. But I couldn’t figure out what to say when they came around and you had to say “Hi my name is Lily and I am an alcoholic!” so I skipped this one. Drinking or drugs have never been a problem for me. I am naturally crazy and don’t need additional chemicals.

I went to bed about 8. I was woken at nine to get my night meds. I have no idea what went on after that on the unit, except I knew they all had to be in bed by ten. And that they watched really loud movies.

I had very good nurses, a bizarre doctor who barely spoke English but overhauled my meds nonetheless, and a really chatty social worker. He bordered on weird.

So there it is. A visit to a psych hospital as seen by a hard working blogger.

“Things Fall Apart”

Arthurius Rat, 2013 - 2015

Arthur C Rat, ? Feb 2013 – 26 April 2015

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold …
– “The Second Coming“, WB Yeats

We’ve been sold a bill ‘o goods, a right bag o’ mashings:

  • “Everyone else is coping!”
  • “Real men don’t cry!”
  • “Keep calm and carry on.”
  • “Man up!” (1)
  • “Women are good at multi-tasking.” (2)

Don’t be taken in. It’s all a load of cobblers. As is:

It’s not fair!

Well, of course it isn’t. Our mums and dads teach us to be fair. Quite right, too. Imagine a world in which your average parent said: “Just go out there, darling, and be the biggest little shit you can.”

So, most if not all parents have it right: for children between around 2 to 15. Then – speaking as someone who isn’t a parent, but is an experienced child (3) – folks should sit their kids down, and say:

Remember when we told you that you should always be fair? That’s true. But please, love, don’t stress if other people aren’t.”

Life, the universe, and everything isn’t fair, either.

Take death …  please. What a piece of work.

It isn’t pretty, and it’s even bigger than God. For whilst some question His/Her/Their existence, no one who’s ever lost anyone is in any doubt about the bloke with the scythe. (4)

If I Look Sufficiently Appealing Youll Give Me Something

“Stuff philosophy, just give me toast!”

(1) See Time to Change Leeds‘ excellent campaign of the same name
(2) I’m not. I doubt you are, either.
(3) Too experienced, some would say.
(4) Not Poldark, the chap with the horse named Binky.


Cognitive Bullshit Therapy

**** This is not meant to offend anyone CBT has worked for****

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of treatment that focuses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors

I did CBT once for a couple of months. But it failed miserably, and actually caused me to backslide.
I think when it comes to personality disorders, dysfunctional thought patterns, low self esteem…CBT is probably fairly useful for gaining coping skills and being objective.

However when CBT is forced on someone with a legitimate mental illness and all the positive logical thought fails to regulate mood or calm anxiety…It is basically causing their self esteem to crumble. If simple positive thought and logic cured mental illness, none of us would bother with pills and therapy. No one would ever need a shrink or meds or hospitalization.
Making someone with a mental illness believe that they can “think” themselves out of a depression or manic episode or panic attacks is borderline negligent as well as defeating the purpose and cruel.

It is not that I don’t grasp the concept of CBT. I do. I have made great strides in the last few years recognizing my own moods and thought distortions. I know the depression lies, the manic episodes lie, and often how I think and feel is irrational.
I identify that.
I, however, cannot stick a spork into my brain and poke around and reroute the wiring so it gets on board with society’s plan of logic. If I could have, I’d foregone meds. One simple incident with a psych med gave me brain damage. I didn’t want that.
The ONLY reason I ever even went on psych meds was because I spent a year in therapy, a year in denial, doing what I was supposed to do, what was supposed to fix me, and even the therapists were saying, “You’ve done all you can do with regards to your behavior and thought, you need a medication to correct the imbalanced chemicals.”
I fought it that entire year. I was strong. I was determined. Nothing wrong with me but a dysfunctional upbringing and some self esteem issues (and PTSD) from being bullied at school for six years.
I could do it, no meds needed.

The lies we tell ourselves. And things like CBT encourages it.

Thought: “I have nothing to live for.”
Feeling: “I should just kill myself.”
Behavior: “I’m going to count all the pills in the place and take them all.”
Is this personality? Because on Monday you didn’t feel that way. Now you do and you believe it with every fiber of your being. And no matter how hard you focus on logic and tell yourself it’s distortion…
Mental illness doesn’t care.
It is what it is, much like you can’t wish a headache away. You have to ride it out. Today you want to die, tomorrow you may feel like Icarus flying to close to the sun.
It’s an illness for a reason.

An example where cognitive might be useful:
Thought: “Everyone is laughing at me because I am so stupid.”
Feeling: “I’m such a loser.”
Behavior: “I’m going to go home and cry.”

Now using CBT on such an incident:
Thought: “Everyone is laughing at me because I am so stupid.”
Feeling: “I am such a loser”
Behavior: “I am making myself way too important assuming people can be bothered to laugh at me, they’re probably sharing a joke or youtube clip.”

There IS a difference between negative thought and the cycle of mental illness that causes not just negative thought, but a profound belief, to your bone marrow, that it is the real deal.
Telling a suicidal person to use CBT is akin to helping them kill themselves.
If someone is depressed and CBT is forced on them…They come out worse because they fail at talking themselves out of how they feel.
If someone has anxiety attacks and are invalidated because CBT does nothing to quell the physical aspects…Again, defeats the purpose.
And thus as far as legit mental illness caused by out of whack wiring or chemicals, I call cognitive bullshit therapy.

See, I came to this conclusion all on my own. I didn’t need a therapist to guide me here. I can be my own therapist for the most part. I learned basic skills through 20 years of counseling. Now I do research. I chart my moods and anxieties with a blog. I am self aware to the nth degree.
And I know when I am being flawed and allowing my neurotic personality to steer my thoughts or when the illnesses actually have me hobbled.
The only answer to the latter is medication and allowing yourself to ride it out. Sometimes, you just have to accept you feel the way you do. No one expects you to question yourself when you feel happy.
So why must we feel so bad about ourselves and come up with explanations for feeling sad?
Sadness without any true cause is the very definition of depression.
Talking yourself out of it is asinine.
Not to say you can’t fight it.
But for every time we win the fight, there are ten times we lose the battle and I think in some ways, it’s self defeating.

So screw CBT.
I am going to stick to the best advice a therapist ever gave me, the one thing that I held onto for all these years.
“It’s okay to feel the way you do. It’s okay to let yourself feel depressed. You set one minor goal on those days, whether it’s a shower or cooking a meal. You do that much then you’ve made an effort and have earned the right to own your feelings no matter what they may be at that time.”

It takes a lot of pressure off.
Being expected to perform like a trained seal is counterproductive.
Being allow to feel your feelings…that’s therapeutic.

More Fiction Up!

I put up another couple of chapters of A Calling of Light. Hope you enjoy. I know I need to get another page up for this and split them as it is getting long. But I forgot how to make an additional page. I’ll figure it out! 🙂

My next post will be on my actual few days on the hospital unit. Stay tuned.

The Dark Side Of The Brain

Well, I had my meatloaf and went back to bed around 3:30 a.m. And tossed and turned until almost five. My brain was in full torture mode. Having read an article about Cobie Smulders (Robin, How I Met Your Mother) still working on season through after having been diagnosed with cancer on both ovaries…
I suddenly realize what a loser I am.
Yeah, I know, the depression lies. It lies a lot and it deserves an Oscar.
But after an hour of it pounding at my brain, keeping me awake, leading me down a very dark path of “why am I bothering, I am never going to get well and contribute to society” thoughts. You know where that takes you.
Knives. Pill Bottles. Staircases. Anything that might just make sure you NEVER have to be lied to again by the dark side of your own brain.

I eventually slept but as predicted, not long before the alarm went off. I woke to shark week cramps and a pounding headache. Take away two sporks off the bat.
My kid proved to be obstinate again, one more down.
Nine sporks and not even 8 a.m.

I could deduct sporks for the two hours of “kill yourself” thinking but I am cutting myself some slack. No one else will, ffs.

Already R is texting. “Come by if you get a chance.” “I’ve got something you gotta see.” “You won’t believe your eyes.” (How much you wanna bet his super daughter the psychologist went in and cleaned and arranged the shop thus showing what an incompetent twonk I am?)
Grrr. I have cramps and I am pissy and feeling a little stabby, truth be told. Back off.
What I responded with was, “I will bring you meatloaf sandwiches later.”
And he keeps texting, as if that is going to make me move faster.
If men had periods and cramps, I’m betting the attitude would be much more empathetic.
Or I’m just a fucking wuss, I don’t know. My self esteem is in the gutter. And I don’t know if it’s the dark side of the brain, hormones, depression, or simple disgust with myself because I know IF I could ever get stabilized I actually could make a contribution.

I have watched the Def Leppard movie “Hysteria” repeatedly and again…One armed drummer. I mean, one arm, plays drums, and I am bitching and moaning?
But he did get a special drum set up to accommodate him so he could keep doing what he’s good at and loves.
If I could find a job to be done from home with minimal petri dish contact and a loose schedule that doesn’t require constant stability…I might excel, as well.
No one will accommodate mental illness. You’re either functional or you’re a drain on society.
Yet if concessions were made and assistance given to help us find work that our illnesses do not hinder, we wouldn’t be, would we?
We’re told our brains don’t work like others. We need meds, therapy, coping skills.
Yet we are expected to perform as if nothing is wrong with us.
I don’t even know what the fuck that is.
I just know the shelf life on my desire to keep fighting is nearing. I’ve been doing all the *right* things for 20 years now and nothing ever changes as far as the bipolar and anxiety go. I kept waiting to have a kid “until I get better.”
Age 36 came and after being told, you can’t have kids, I got one.
And things got worse mentally.
I can’t seem to win no matter how hard I fight. And it’s not even about winning, it’d just be nice to stabilize enough so that I can support my child and never ever again have to convince anyone how disabling mental illness really is. Because unless you live it,you don’t fucking know.
And it does not help, at all, to have all these sunshine spewing “I beat mental illness with positive thought” types thinking their six months of depression and prozac give them the right to compare with those of us who have struggled for years and taken all the side effect ridden meds.

Hmmm…I guess I am in pissy little bitch mode today.

The barking neighbor dogs aren’t helping. I love animals, but when a dog barks constantly for 15 solid minutes and it’s ten feet from the window I’m next to…Muzzle. Please. Or buy me noise canceling headphones.
And one more reason for the dark side of the brain to take me down that black path. I am too weak to even handle the noise of daily life.
I hate when hormones make the mental stuff worse. It’s like being in a prison. Parole is four days away but until then…You have nothing to do but beat your head against the cell wall and try not to listen to the distortions amped up in your head.

I do not like being horrormonal.
I do not like the lies depression tells.
But then I wonder, are they rally lies or just cold hard facts? Maybe if can’t work, I should just do the world a favor and die.
I’m not quite ready to give up on myself yet.
I hope the world, and powers that be, won’t give up on me, either.
I am determined.

And I have a kitten climbing my leg trying to get onto the laptop. I feel like a cat wrestler.
Least I could make money if I wrestled gators.

9 a.m. and I’ve used four of 12.
Winner winner, salmonella infested chicken dinner.


I realized recently that the only things I have written about my parents here have been astonishingly negative.  So I thought I would set the record straight a little bit

My mom wanted more for me than what she had growing up.  She grew up in a house with three brothers and was the only girl.  Her parents farmed for a living–livestock, row crops, and timber.  She was part of the baby boom generation, born in 1948.  I don’t know a lot about her growing up years because she very rarely talks about it.  I do know her parents tried to give her opportunities–she played saxophone in high school band for a year, and they were determined that she go to college.  She went for about a year and then married my daddy, who was about to be shipped off to Vietnam.  They eloped to Alabama because she was old enough to be married without parental consent there.  They took my dad’s mom along because he needed a parent to sign permission.  The story goes that they walked into my grandparents’ house after their weekend together and my dad announced that they had gotten married.  My grandmother reportedly said, “I ain’t got nothing to say,” and walked out and went fishing.  She came back in three hours and never said another word against it.

When my uncle died when I was seven she saw how her sister-in-law struggled to raise four kids without working.  She decided to go back to school and finish her teaching degree. I used to tease her whenever she made a B in school, saying that I made better grades than she did. She graduated shortly after my younger sister was born and went to work as a teacher in elementary school.

She knew when I was very young that I was advancing academically–she taught me to read by age three and continued to push me throughout my school years to excel.  At times I thought she would only love me when I made good grades.  As a mom now, I know better.  But she went about it all wrong, threatening me with loss of privileges if I made less than all A’s. if I had a school project to do, she often took over doing it because she wanted me to make the best grade possible.  I never got to enjoy the compliments on such projects because I knew I hadn’t been the one doing the work. So that made it hard growing up.

My mom and I have a good relationship now that I am too far away from her to be involved in my everyday life.  We talk on the phone a lot and see each other about once a month.  She blames herself for my mental problems, thinking it’s how she raised me that I have problems now.  I know that’s not the case and have tried to explain that to her, but she has her own opinions about things.  But I can finally say I really do love my mom and appreciate the efforts she made on my behalf.