Survivor & So Much More *First Posted 4/21/2014*

I am alive, happy, productive and helping other Survivors. I’m very blessed. My childhood and teenage years were so difficult I truly believed suicide was the only answer. My first attempt was at 9 years old, I took all the pills in my dad’s medicine cabinet. I got a buzz then my stomach pumped. Suicide was always on my mind since the abuse was every day. If it wasn’t physical abuse, it was constant mental abuse by my mother. At the same time, I saw my mother physically and emotionally abused by my alcoholic stepfather. At 13 years old I left my abusive life behind. It sounds great but you are so wounded you don’t want to look anyone in the eye, they may hit you or call you names. My mind stripped down and filled with trash, my mother took every drop of confidence I had. Over time my confidence grew and I started building who I am today. I did get called names and had a couple good fights. Sounds like any teenager trying to spread their wings. I have many unresolved emotions, responses, and fears. Who doesn’t? What I can say for sure, I’m a survivor and so much more. Survivors have to dig really deep after being kicked down. It took years for me to discover what I liked and longer to get over my fear of failure. My mother told me I was stupid all the time. I know better […]

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I keep Moving Forward: *Not allowing My past to Chart the Future*

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”    Maya Angelo I am a Survivor My grandparents unconditional love pulled me from the abyss. After years of Therapy, I have a clear heart, no anger or self loathing. Not forgiving….forgetting, to allow myself to move forward. Over the years, people brought sunshine into my life. You were like Angels dropping in when I needed a push or pat on back. My mother and stepfather physically and emotionally abused me until 12 years old. My stepfather beat my mother almost daily starting with hitting her head side to side down the hallway, the hallway ended at my room. Everyone in the house lived in hell, I got an extra dose. As a small girl, I dreamed my father would save me from the traumatic abuse. The dream was over, he started sexually abusing me as a child. It was innocent at first or so it seemed. At 12 years old I moved to my father’s. It’s impossible to wrap your head around sexual abuse at any age. In 1992 my father committed suicide. Estranged since my teens, we talked several times before his death. He called delusional and paranoid. Saying someone was tapping his phone. He told me about committing suicide, I told no one. The news devastated Granny her only child was dead. With a closed casket service it’s hard to reconcile death when you can’t […]

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Report: Majority of military misconduct dismissals linked to brain injury, mental health

Mem and Women have given their lives since we landed in the country, we called America. Enlisting to fight for freedom, they knew the cost and it’s not free. With technology, our government is paying for state of the art equipment to protect and defend.  The highest ranks of Military Officials lied to every Soldier enlisted the Military will take care of your health whatever it takes. No war is pretty, nor free, every war comes advances in technology. International Relations is not looking good for America. The numbers of enemies are growing. The past several weeks North Korea is testing bombs and making threats against American. We can’t fight every country who hates America. Who is standing by our side and ready to fight if needed. If we are to remain a free country, the Military needs to quit playing games and using dishonorable discharge for PTSD, Brain Injuries, Mental Illness, the list goes on as you will see in the video. From the President, Chief of Staff and Military decision makers to take away the right to health is the least our government owes them. If you are dishonorably discharged  you loose your benefits. The White House and Military are responsible for this horrific treatment of PTSD, Brain Injury and Mental Illness if they don’t fit another category. Our government has to live with every suicide. Suicide which leaves widows, children left without a mom or dad. Mothers, Fathers, […]

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Texas Senate passes anti-cyberbullying bill David’s Law 31-0

SB 179 is, also known as David’s Law named for David Molak, a local student who took his own life at just 16 years old. His family says he was tortured by cyber bullies from Alamo Heights High School. AUSTIN – It was unanimous. The Texas Senate voted 31-0 to approve SB 179, legislation that will crack down on online bullying in state schools.   http://news4sanantonio.com/news/local/texas-senate-passes-davids-law-anti-cyberbullying-bill-31-0 Xx M

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How to participate once diagnosed with a Mental Illness

Years after my diagnoses with Bipolar Disease. I thought it was time to participate in my medical care. To understand layman’s terms, what to expect and when to call doctor. Getting on the same page as you learn doctor speak and how they hear. A proficient Psychiatrist with a background helping Mentally Ill patients. Please save your time and money going to General Doctor. Most are not versed in how drugs work together or not. Psychiatrist understand drugs, spend more time to make diagnoses and discuss the drugs to help. A Therapist, my foundation in healing. The key to healing is understanding yourself. They can help take the weight you’re carrying around. Don’t stop taking your medication. Medications cause side effects, the drugs you buy at CVS have side effects. Every drug has side effects. It may take 6-8 weeks for the medicine to level off. If you want to change a drug in a week, please understand, there are no short cuts. Short cuts not only prolong the treatment and can be dangerous. If you’re determined to stop medicine, Call your doctor first! If you become delusional, psychotic or determined to hurt yourself go to local hospital. Keep a journal to document the changes in mood. Keeping a log helped my doctor see my mood was cycling. A medication change was needed. There are many ideas on how people were helped or not by medicine. I will admit a couple […]

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What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Original post 5/2014 We do things for people we love not for those who do not deserve love. I woke today with a tug, my introspective mood. I save difficult post for days like this. It’s not depression or sadness more logical than emotional. Dissociation is a conversation my therapist and I have talked about for 15 years. When I talk about child abuse at the hands of my mother and stepfather my mood is flat. One of the ways I survived was putting each memory in a box to deal with later. After awhile some memories fade. Other’s are  yearly reminders. My mother still sends Birthday and Christmas cards. About 15 years ago she sent a Birthday card triggering the last blow. She basically said “I’m not the only person with problems get over it.” Nothing ever changes, everything is about her. I had not thought about my mother yet would send thank you notes for Christmas gifts. I didn’t think about it, just on auto pilot. This Birthday card was different, it pissed me off almost to almost losing it which I rarely do. I took the card to my next therapy appointment. I sit down and Diane knew something was very wrong. I handed her the card and the inscription written in the book. Diane was a cool therapist, she knew me well. She could tell the anger was building and ask what was my next step. I […]

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Good Times Gone Bad

I started Looking for the Light on 2-22-2014, exactly 22 years after my father’s suicide. Every year on the date, my emotions/logic are so conflicted. I stopped drinking years ago but every year I get drunk, my coping mechanism. I thought my dad was cool as a child and we had lots of fun. My father had no clue how to parent, it was scream or give in. My brother and I where seeing my father every two weeks. My father (married) had a girlfriend and liked to party, 8:00 p.m. on Saturday nights he would head out. We were left with our step mother and step brother. It was boring for me. I remember the weekend well. I got dressed, put on my stepmother’s make up and said I’m going with you. He said no at first but it was the well ask me again type of no. I said I had to get out of the house. I’m 9 years old but I looked older, not that much older. I received a lot of attention from the guys and it made me feel good. It made me feel pretty, when I got older the memories screwed up my view of relationships. Being the life of the party was great. I know there were several men who would have slept with me if I’d let them. My dad had one club he liked, I became a regular. He would find a couple of […]

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D I V O R C E

Original post 5/2014 It was a normal Sunday like any other. I’m 6 and my brother was 3 1/2 years old, my mother was taking us to the lake. We never went to the lake, I began to get excited about playing in the water. I also grew concerned, what did she have on her mind. Even at 6 years old I knew she always had an agenda.We pulled up to the picnic tables on the far side of lake, nowhere near the water. She tells my brother and me that our parents are getting a divorce. Not understanding what it meant I ask her to spell it for me. I kept repeating the spelling in my head so I could ask my friend. I would find out sooner than later. Gramps truck was overflowing my father’s belongings. They were driving off as we rounded the corner. Their relationship went from bad to hell on earth. My mother took every chance to tell us how much she hated him. She married within six months his name was R known as (Nazi & Lucifer). He was her supervisor at work and could get her the white picket fence. We moved into a new house with a big back yard, things looked so normal on the outside. If people only knew the carnage on the inside. Custody was a nightmare, daddy would bring us home and she would throw things at him. One time […]

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Do you know me at all?

Original post 3/2014 It’s been an emotional month with thoughts of my father’s suicide and writing about him for the first time. I never grieved my father, the emotions caught me by surprise. It’s been very confusing because my father was one of my abusers. I am having health issues which is stressful. The Black Dog has come to see […]

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Brother witnessed Child Abuse of only sister * Everybody Hurts*

Original post 3/2014 Everyone suffers in an abusive environment. Our house was always in chaos. An alcoholic stepfather who abused my mother and a mother who abused her daughter. There were three other children in the house who saw the abuse, heard the screams and threats. I used to think the victim was the only person with scars. At 9 years old I survived almost daily beatings by taking drugs, plenty of alcohol and trying to kill myself. It never occurred to me my brother suffered from witnessing the abuse. My brother’s scars are from seeing our stepfather beat our mother. Dragging her down the hall beating her head from side to side. Putting a knife to her throat saying he would kill her. Most of their fights ending in front of our bedrooms. We had front row seats to hell. My mother abused me, the methods escalated as I aged. I heard stories of abuse as early as six months old. I don’t think my mother was trying to kill me. She’s like the women on the news who allow their kids to die. She didn’t push my head under the water but would have crocodile tears if I drowned accidentally. One weekend driving back from Houston we passed the exit to my mother’s house. I had strong emotions about my brother not me. I didn’t understand the emotions. It hit me like a train, my brother was not physically […]

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Nine years old living in Hell

Original post 4/2014 My brother and I called our stepfather a Nazi because he was mostly German and he would beat our mother unmercifully. Her crimes as we knew were not having dinner ready or not warm enough. The kids were to loud, noise was not allowed in the house, he was an alcoholic with major control issues. I was 9 years old, my brother six & half years old and our two-step brothers where much younger. They came to live with us after Houston Social Services found my stepfather the better parent. Of the choices, he was. Their mother was a drug addict. He never saw the boys after the divorce. By the time they were in the court system, they had been left at home for up to two weeks with no food, nothing. The youngest in the same diaper. The youngest experienced trauma so severely he regressed to a baby. Her addiction took over her life for that matter she may have forgotten she had kids until she came down enough. I hated my stepfather from the beginning, he didn’t wait to start controlling everything. He rarely talked to my mother it was always yelling. It was very complicated for me. I hated my mother for abusing me but it still hurt when he beat her. We had a long hallway that passed our bedrooms. When he was out of control he would walk my mother down […]

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I almost Killed my Father

Original post 4/2014 I’m writing the post with the outcome first. It made sense to me when reliving it. The tides turn It’s beyond comprehension why my probation officer saw hope in me. I gave her no reason, I had lost hope in myself, in life for that matter. I didn’t speak one word to her for seven months. I attended weekly meetings for possession of a handgun. I was a bad ass in my mind. I had to see a psychiatrist several times. I was smarter than my age at 12 years old. The psychiatrist asked me how many children I wanted. Without blinking I said none. “I wouldn’t take a chance on beating my children”. She said statics show abused people are less likely to abuse their children. I’d been sexually abused and beaten all my life. Stats meant nothing to me. The State wanted me in a boot camp type facility. My probation officer fought hard to find a less destructive facility. She felt a boot camp style would make me worse. She was right, I was wound very tight. If I can plan my father’s death what stops you from hurting a stranger. My grandmother knew about a convent that was for bad girls when she was younger. My probation officer Ruth Barrier agreed it was a better environment. I might reform in this setting. The down side, it cost $2,000 a month back in 1975 and my grandparents […]

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Could you hit your child?

Original post 3/2014 Both of my parents and stepfather abused me. We’re not talking spanking, we’re talking banging your head into the wall. I am 100% for discipline, accountability and house rules. You see children who have involved parents and the childs demeanor. I see parents yelling at the child while grocery shopping, belittling them in front of strangers. What we can’t see is child abuse. Child abuse is a taboo topic for most. My mother physically and emotionally abused me. I never told anyone, not even close family. I walked on eggshells at home. My first attempt at suicide was at 9 years old.  One morning I went to make breakfast and my mother told me I could not wear those jeans to school. This was the early 1970’s I was in 7th grade and probably argued with her. All the years my mother abused me, I never hit back. This morning was different. She started calling me a slut. She came to grab me and I hit her in the face. We were fighting and my stepfather walks in. Picture a 100 lbs. 12-year-old with braces getting hit in the mouth with a fist by of grown man. The inside of my mouth was bleeding from the braces breaking the skin. I had a bruise from nose to chin and some blackness around the eyes. I was not allowed to go to school for several days. When I returned most of the bruising […]

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Running to Stand Still

Original post from 3/2014 The song “Running to Stand Still” by U2 pierced my soul. I can’t explain the feeling. It describes my life in four simple words. I have fought most of my life to stay alive, many from my own bad choices. In the early sixties my parents met at a party. I don’t know if they dated […]

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Throw Back Thursday *Wild Child Days*

Reading a post earlier brought back memories of my drug addicted wild child days. My boyfriend was a dealer so I did everything but a needle. Many scary times living with my father. I ran away, he pointing a 357 magnum at the friends he could find. Threatening to kill them if lying. Good thing he didn’t know I was crouched in the front passenger floorboard. I never forgot the music we were getting stoned to. LET’S ROCK AND ROLL   Xx  M

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Kevin Breel: Confessions of a Depressed Comic

I was Kevin’s age when diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. A lack of understanding and feelings of shame, I kept a lid on my problems, until boiling over. I did not accept my mental illness until my father committed suicide in 1992. His death sent me down a path of research and learning how to take charge of my medical care. I accept Bipolar Disorder is not curable at this time yet confident in the future. TED Talk Playlist Presents Presentation #3 ted.com/playlists/296/let_s_end_the_silence_around_s

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Suicide is SECOND leading cause of Death in college-age students *Los estudiantes universitarios de suicidio

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in college-age students. In a recent study, one in ten students admitted to having considered suicide. My name is Conner Mertens. I am a sophomore at Willamette University and a placekicker for the Willamette Bearcats. Last year, I became the first active college football player, at any level, to publicly come out about my sexuality. Before doing this, I felt isolated by my secret. I had to constantly watch what I said and how I behaved, and endure the normal locker room culture that often included homophobic language and behavior. In those moments of profound loneliness, I wanted help, but felt I needed to steer clear of anything that, at the time, I thought made me seem weak (therapists, school counselors, etc.) Had I known then about an anonymous, judgment-free hotline I could call to get the help I so desperately needed, I might not have felt that same self-loathing, isolation. Still, I was lucky. When I finally decided to be true to myself and come out publicly, my coach, team and entire school rallied behind me. I finally had my depression under control. Unfortunately, many college students don’t get this relief, and too many of them choose a permanent solution to this temporary problem by taking their life. That’s why I am asking two of America’s largest university systems, the University of California and California State University, to include suicide hotline […]

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TLC to air new documentary "Breaking the silence" about child sexual abuse

(August 13, 2015) – TLC has announced plans to air “Breaking the Silence,” a new documentary about child sexual abuse. The documentary will include interviews with members of RAINN’s Speakers Bureau and offer a look inside a Darkness to Light prevention training workshop. The program will air on Sunday, August 30, at 10/9c. RAINN and Darkness to Light are partnering with TLC on a multi-platform campaign to combat child sexual abuse in the U.S. Later this month, TLC will begin airing public service ads featuring the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Breaking the Silence will feature interviews with people impacted by sexual abuse, including Traci Lee and her daughter, Ter-rae Lee, who received help from RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline. “I was sexually abused by my father from the age of 11 until 13,” said Ter-rae Lee. “With the support of RAINN, I gained the courage to extract a telephone confession from my father as the district attorney’s office silently listened in. This call led to my father’s conviction, allowing me to feel safe for the first time in years.” The program will also include the story of survivor Erin Merryn, who has led the campaign to pass Erin’s Law, which requires schools to educate students about sexual abuse. To date, 26 states have passed Erin’s Laws, and the U.S. Senate last month passed a bill to encourage the remaining states to implement such programs. “We are grateful to the survivors of […]

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Dementia Induced Thoughts of Suicide

Reblogged from 2005 Being a caregiver to a dying loved one can leave you drained of emotion, exhausted and frustrated. All normal feelings. I felt quilt mixed in my bowl of emotions. I grew up knowing my grandparents wanted to die at home. I would grant the wish if possible. They inspired me, saved me from parental abuse and blessed me with unconditional love. I felt terrible helping my Gramps make difficult life decisions. I worked hard to remember she is my grandmother. There were uncomfortable conversations, articulate to doctors how she is progressing and butt heads with family members. I ran a tight ship, no problems telling people it’s time to leave, not allowing people over everyday. God blessed me with the ability to turn my depression away and step up to next level. Love for my Granny drove my decisions down to the last morphine stick. It can get overwhelming at times. If you don’t have a an outlet, please take 10-15 minutes for yourself everyday. I started my blog to document what I was going thru, hoping someone could use the information. Blogging gave me an outlet. Caregivers choose to open their heart to the emotional and physical challenges. Granny died 10 years ago yet I’m crying like it was yesterday. I loved her so much, it hurts so deeply. ************************ Today I used one of four “in case of emergency” pills to keep my Grandmother from hurting herself […]

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Throw Back Thursday *Memories…Good Times…Regrets*

When introspective, I fall in to music. Music defines a time and space. The memories are not all good, many are from rough times in life. No one knows what each song means to me or why, the answers locked away. A  favorite U2 song is ” Running to Stand Still”. Etched in my soul, reflecting on my life.  Pull up a chair or lounge with a lover, Enjoy the beverage. I would pick a Merlot to relax and take in the moment.    XO  Warrior 

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Senate Committee Approves Historic Measure to Increase Veterans' Access to Medical Marijuana

FREEDOM FOR VETERANS’ ACCESS TO MEDICAL MARIJUANA Why are Veterans’ not allowed to discuss Medical Marijuana with VA doctor? How the next round of votes go, I can’t predict. If validation proves to help,Veterans/Supporters speak louder while momentum is growing. Freedom of Speech is the right to speak my mind.     XO Warrior  HUFFINGTONPOST.COM Matt Ferner Become a fan Matt.Ferner@huffingtonpost.com Email Senate Committee Approves Historic Measure To Increase Veterans’ Access To Medical Marijuana Posted: 05/21/2015 3:48 pm EDT Updated: 05/21/2015 3:59 pm EDT The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a historic bipartisan amendment Thursday that aims to increase veterans’ access to medical marijuana. The Veterans Equal Access Amendment, added to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, passed the committee 18-12. The measure allows Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their veteran patients. Currently, the VA bans medical providers working with the agency from completing any forms brought by patients that seek marijuana recommendations or opinions in states where the drug’s medical use is legal. The amendment, sponsored by Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) blocks the VA from using funds to enforce the ban on doctors. “Veterans in medical marijuana states should be treated the same as any other resident, and should be able to discuss marijuana with their doctor and use it if it’s medically necessary,” said Michael Collins, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement. “They have served this country valiantly, […]

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Bring Change 2 Mind *End the stigma of Mental Illness*

BRING CHANGE 2 MIND-END THE STIGMA Dear Friend, Every story shared brings change and helps to end stigma. Here’s mine: I never aspired to be a mental health advocate. I’m an entrepreneur, a business guy, a creative type with an appreciation for the bottom line. If things don’t work, you fix them. When one of my three beautiful children became sick with a mental illness, our family faced tremendous pain and confusion. Stigma kept our struggle private, fear kept us on heightened alert, and treatment options were hard to navigate. We were now on the front lines of mental illness, and experiencing stigma first hand. My daughter, Emily, lost her courageous battle with a borderline personality disorder and depression on March 17, 2013. She is forever in our hearts. In her honor, our family has vowed to end the terrible stigma that surrounds mental health challenges and to promote wellness. Our hope is that other families never confront such pain and loss. As the Chairman of the Board of BC2M, I am humbled to see the number of people that we have touched through our website, PSAs, social media sites, and programs. We are creating change, and starting conversations where there once was silence. To keep the conversation going, I am compelled to help raise funds to support BC2M. This month, my company, mybody Advanced Probiotic Skincare, will partner to support Bring Change 2 Mind by donating 20% of the […]

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I talk about Mental Health because my family deserves a voice…Glenn Close

BRING CHANGE 2 MIND Dear Friend, I talk about mental health because stigma prevents too many people from seeking the help or support that they may need. At BC2M, we talk about this 365 days a year. And, each May, we talk about it with a wider audience reached through the increased media attention generated by Mental Health Awareness Month. Are you talking about mental health? What are you saying? We want to know! On May 1st, we are launching a new campaign, #ITalk, as a way to start and continue these conversations around the world. Throughout the month, we will be sharing stories, images, and reasons why members of the BC2M community are talking about mental health, and we hope that you will choose to join us. To share your #ITalk motivation, please send or post your photo with 5 to 7 words on why you talk about mental health. Additionally, please continue to send us photos and messages when you see our latest PSA, #StrongerThanStigma. We love hearing from you about where this powerful piece is raising awareness around the unique challenges that men face when discussing mental health. During May, it will be in heavy rotation on television, in theaters, print, and outdoor placements, including on the big digital screens in New York City’s Times Square. This month, and every month, we thank you for your incredible support, and for your continued efforts to help BC2M start […]

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Dr. Christoph Correll on Antipsychotics and How to Keep Kids Healthy

I was excited to find a doctor talk about the treatment medications for mental illness and side effects including weight gain. His approach is working with the lowest amount medication and stay very aware of the metabolic issues. I’m a firm believer mental illness effects everyone in family and their peers. He shares ideas on how to work with/off set the weight gain. After thirty plus years with Bipolar Disorder, taking over 40 medications, weight gain is a given with certain types of drugs. If you have a child,spouse or family member with mental illness please watch the video together to open dialog. Young girls have many pressures with weight already. Open dialogue may help down the road. He provides a short overview of types of drugs with high risk of weight gain or metabolic problem.

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Guilt is the Shadow in the Mirror

All he said is your daddy has done away with himself. I screamed then said on the way. Calling right back to ask were they sure he’s dead? Yes. I think years of abuse left a permanent hole in my heart. I go there to do actions requiring no emotions. It’s like auto pilot, it has served me well. I started to think about work, who I needed to call. I’m driving with emergency lights on going 100 mph calling my work team. I stayed in auto pilot until I pulled up to my grandparents. Estranged since a teen, I thought it odd when he started calling. He sounded delusional and extremely paranoid. Nothing made sense, he was not talking in sentences. I pieced together he didn’t have any money and couldn’t work. Why he could not work must have come from the madness. I would do anything to avoid my granny being hurt. I paid his bills. Over the next several months the phone calls were my hell on earth. He would threaten to kill himself then go off on what didn’t sound like words. I couldn’t make out anything he was saying as he yelled in the phone. I would keep trying to redirect him back to our conversation. I did not tell anyone what daddy said. He was mentally ill. It had been years since we talked, maybe this was his norm. I didn’t know. Everyone sitting in […]

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One huge step for mental health care and suicide prevention programs *WP WE DID IT*

CRITICAL UPDATE FROM NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS (NAMI) The Clay Hunt SAV Act Passed! Thank Your Members of Congress! Thank you for your mental health advocacy! Thank you for contacting your Senators and Congressmen to make your voice heard. Thank you for your support of suicide prevention for our military and veterans community. Your phone calls, emails and tweets helped to pass the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act unanimously through both the Senate and the House. The bill is now on its way to be signed by President Obama. Among other things the Clay Hunt SAV Act requires an annual assessment of mental health care and suicide prevention programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and implements a pilot loan forgiveness program for psychiatrists that agree to serve in the VA. Please pass the thanks along to your Senators and Congressmen.

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Senate Approves VA Committee Clay Hunt Act *WP helped make this happen*

Senate VA Committee Approves Clay Hunt Act! Share Our Petition! Anthony Pike with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Jan 27, 2015 — Last week the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee unanimously approved the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act as its first legislative action of the 114th Congress. Now we’re headed to the full Senate and need your help. Can you share the petition to your networks on Facebook and Twitter? We’ve made it easy — all you have to do is click the links below: Share on Twitter: http://bit.ly/1JBA2sy Share on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1CGlbZw Over 30 Senators are now sponsoring the Clay Hunt SAV Act! So please continue sharing our petition so that more sign on and the Senate brings this important bill to a vote as soon as possible. Thank you for your support!

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New PSA #StrongerThanStigma in partnership with Brandon Marshall's Foundation

http://bringchange2mind.org Start the conversation. Change the stigma. We are incredibly excited to share our new PSA, #StrongerThanStigma, with you! Produced in partnership with Brandon Marshall’s foundation, Project 375, this campaign features four men who have each made mental health advocacy a part of his platform. These headliners are Brandon Marshall, NFL All-Pro wide receiver for the Chicago Bears; Michael Angelakos, lead singer of indietronica band Passion Pit; Wayne Brady, comedian and actor; and Ben Scrivens, NHL goalie for the Edmonton Oilers. Each shares his story, and encourages men to start the conversation and end the stigma. For the past thirty years, the rate of suicide among men has been three to four times that of women. Traditionally, however, men have shied away from talking about their feelings because it is viewed as weak. In addition to a reluctance to seek help, men have higher levels of isolation, higher rates of drug and alcohol misuse, are at a greater risk for homelessness, display more externalized and destructive behaviors, and are more involved with the criminal justice system. Underlying many of these experiences are complex psychological problems, but we rarely empathize with their causes. We want to erase stereotypes, create a new narrative by raising awareness of the mental health problems that men face, encourage dialogue, and promote help seeking behavior. We hope that you will be a part of this significant opportunity to talk about the harmful and pervasive discrimination that […]

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SPEAK UP FOR EQUALITY IN MENTAL ILLNESS HEALTHCARE

CHANGE.ORG PETITION UPDATE Fix Mental Healthcare Theresa Kinley Norcross, GA Jan 6, 2015 — I would like to thank everyone who signed or commented on my petition to Cigna. Unfortunately, Cigna is quite accustomed to people complaining about the level of care they provide–or don’t provide–to their premium paying customers; they simply blocked the petition and signatures. The insurance companies’ behavior has finally received some attention from the media, specifically a 60 Minutes piece about Anthem denying care to the seriously mentally ill. I would like to build on that momentum by launching a website dedicated to the stories of those who, in addition to battling serious mental illness, must also battle their insurance companies to get treatment. To the insurers trying to cut costs these people don’t matter; we know they do matter. I would like to encourage anyone with a story to tell about the their experience in dealing with an insurance company while seeking treatment for a mental illness to visit http://fixmentalhealthcare.wordpress.com  to submit your story. Thank you again and God bless you all. Fix Mental Health Care Fix Mental Health Care Mission Statement: With this website we are seeking to raise awareness of the harm the health insurers do to those… HTTPS://FIXMENTALHEALTHCARE.WORDPRESS.COM

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Tell Your Senators To Support Suicide Prevention For Our Military And Veterans

NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness Needs your help. Call your Senator and tell them to support the Clay Hunt SAV Act. Tell Your Senators To Support Suicide Prevention For Our Nation’s Military and Veterans In one of the first actions in the new Congress, the House passed HR 203, The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act. This legislation requires annual assessment of mental health care and suicide prevention programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and implements a pilot loan forgiveness program for psychiatrists that agree to serve in the VA. The bill passed unanimously – demonstrating the strong bipartisan support for addressing gaps in mental health and suicide prevention programs at the VA. NAMI strongly supports the Clay Hunt SAV Act. We are asking you to keep this momentum going by calling your Senators today. Tell them how important this bill is to the mental health care system for our country’s military and veterans. Our nation’s military and veterans have protected us for decades; it’s time we help protect them. Contact your Senator today, Take Action

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**URGENT** 10,000 Signatures Needed By Oct. 18th To Improve Veterans Employability and Reduce Suicide Risk

CHANGE.ORG https://www.change.org/p/robert-a-mcdonald-us-dept-of-veterans-affairs-improve-veterans-employability-to-reduce-suicide Improve veterans employability to reduce suicide. Petition by BATTLE-BRO **URGENT. PLEASE SHARE – WE NEED 10,000 SIGNATURES BY OCT 18TH** Every signature sends an email directly to the personal inbox of the Secretary of the VA, Robert A McDonald. There are an average of 22 veteran suicides each day in this country: it’s staggering and a shameful indictment of us as a society. These men and women have risked and lost their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. One of the principal factors in bringing a veteran to this tragic decision is unemployment and the inability to support their family. Though veterans re-enter civilian life amply qualified for a host of jobs, there has been no bridging mechanism that translates their military skills to employer-friendly vernacular. This from the Washington Post is a perfect explanation of the problem: “Today, unemployment for veterans who’ve served since September of 2001 hovers just over 8 percent. For the economy at large: 6.1 percent. The gap between those two numbers speaks to several challenges: The military trains service members in many jobs with close but imperfect civilian corollaries, leaving veterans with the right job skills but the wrong certifications. Military service demands other skills that civilian jobs don’t (managing violence, repairing weapons, defending convoys). But where that unfamiliar experience entails universal qualifications (leadership, judgment, communication), employers don’t always know how to recognize them.” BATTLE-BRO – the Veteran call-a-day network combatting suicide – […]

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Where Do You Turn When Teacher is Bullying

Monday, May 26, 2014 Mom Upset That 9-Year-Old Girl Brought “Overweight” Notice Home From School Great video, please see the kids reaction to letter. The mother of a third-grade girl says she’s upset that the city Department of Education sent home a health assessment in her daughter’s book bag that categorizes the 9-year-old as “overweight.” Roseanne Colletti reports. Each year, 870,000 New York City public school students in kindergarten through grade 12 are handed their Fitnessgram assessments and told to bring them home without peeking inside. Laura Bruij Williams says her daughter, Gwendolyn Williams, looked at hers, and asked her about it one night while getting ready for bed at their Staten Island home. Gwendolyn is 4 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 66 pounds. The analysis said her Body Mass Index is “overweight.” “She said ‘Mom, school told me that I’m overweight,'” Williams told NBC 4 New York. “I was very angry and upset because I don’t want this to be the kind of thing that sticks with her.” The Department of Education says the assessments are “based on whether an individual student is in the Healthy Fitness Zone for their age and sex.” They are supposed to be sealed and given to parents only, so that the adults can start conversations with their kids about good eating habits and exercise. Williams, who says her daughter is active and healthy, said she would have preferred the assessment be given directly to parents so […]

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Take Action for Children's Mental Health

National Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Update on National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2014 TAKE ACTION for Children’s Mental Health National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, May 4-10, helps raise awareness around children’s mental health. This week NAMI joins communities around the country in raising awareness about the mental health needs of America’s youngest citizens. It is a week to focus on children and youth living with mental illness and to come together to advocate for a full array of effective services and supports for children affected by mental illness. View activities you can do to support Children’s Mental Health Awareness. TAKE ACTION for Children’s Mental Health Below are bills that you can take action on to tell your members of congress to prioritize children’s mental health. The Mental Health In Schools Act (S. 195 and H.R. 628) The Mental Health in Schools Act is critically important legislation that provides federal funding to increase the availability of comprehensive school-based mental health services and supports and builds effective links between schools and the community mental health system. This legislation will improve the early identification of mental illness by funding school and community-based mental health services and linking students with effective services and supports so they have the chance to thrive and reach their full potential. TAKE ACTION The Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2036 and H.R. 1893) This bill greatly restricts the use of restraint and seclusion in our nation’s […]

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Nigerian Militants Kidnap 250+ Schoolgirls for Slaves or Marriage

Under the cover of darkness Nigerian Militants raid girls school kidnaping close to 300 girls. Some were able to escape yet stranded far from school. Their future is grime, girls as young as 9 years old are sold as slaves or prostitutes. For older girls the future is just as bleak. Girls as young as 12 years old will endure the horrific pain of Female Mutilation before being sold into marriage or prostitutes. International Trafficking is growing and the atrocities against young girls continue. Now is a good time to educate yourself on the complex issues. President Obama spoke out against the crime and Militants responded by kidnapping more girls. As mentioned earlier the issue is complex. This post is a high level overview of the issue. I want to do research, including responses from other countries and more specifically what President Obama has committed to. I received an e-mail yesterday from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on International Trafficking that I have yet to dig into. This situation has reached a tipping point for me. I will post a follow up very soon. I’m going to leave you with a quote from Amnesty International. “MY BODY MY RIGHTS” In many parts of the world, poverty and discrimination affect women’s ability to access education and exercise control over their own bodies. As a result, women and girls all over the world are at risk of violence, forced marriage, genital mutilation, […]

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Mariel Hemingway presents "Running From Crazy"

Mariel Hemingway is the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway. Mariel’s documentary explores her famous family’s history with Mental Illness and heartbreaking suicides. Premiering on the OWN network this Sunday at 9:00pm EST. I would double-check the start time. Information about the documentary including start times is probably on OWN’s website. Their family has faced generations of Mental Illness. Mariel is straight […]

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NO MORE George R.R. Martin

NO MORE EXCUSES MEANS NO MORE EXCUSES.  It doesn’t mean Television & Cable Networks get a pass. George R.R. Martin of Game of Thorns doesn’t agree. The cliffhanger last week named Breaker of Chains was an INCESTUOUS RAPE SCENE. One viewer said “it was the most disturbing scene ever”. At first George gave lip service saying it wasn’t RAPE which quickly turned to an apology when the Network was inundated with negative feedback. Every news/magazine outlet hit the story hard. One viewer did a rewrite of how the sence should have played out and printed by a major media outlet. This is an opportunity to educate the media on what we do and don’t want to see. If we believe RAPE and other VIOLENCE is wrong, we have to stand up. Until we make our voices heard the cycle continues. Warrior

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NO MORE EXCUSES

No More Silence. No More Violence. Tune in for the NO MORE Excuses SVU Marathon This Sunday on USA  The link will take you to information about event and how you can help. There’s an extensive list of resources. Mariska Hargitay who plays a cop on SVU, gives a special address. Mariska started the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004 with the mission to help heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. NO MORE and End the Backlog are featured programs of the Joyful Heart Foundation. KNOW THE FACTS The next time you’re in a room with 6 people, think about this: 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience violence from their partners in their lifetimes. 1 in 3 teens experience sexual or physical abuse or threats from a boyfriend or girlfriend in one year. 1 in 5 women are survivors of rape. 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lives. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men were sexually abused before the age of 18. Warrior

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Stations of the Cross

This post does not preach or try to convert anyone of any religion. It’s the story of my intersection with the Catholic Church at 13 years old. In my recent post “I Almost Killed My Father” I told of spending a year at a Convent for bad girls. It is here I became familiar to the Catholic Religion. Growing up we did […]

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About Looking For The Light Blog

My mother, stepfather and father abused me until I was a teenager. All the scars hurt particularly of my father who sexually abused me. It’s hard to wrap your head around sexual abuse. My father committed suicide in 1992. It was an extremely difficult time, my grandmother never recovered he was her only child. In my father’s suicide note he wanted me to take care of all the details. Estranged for years but the heart still breaks. Because of the manner in which he killed himself we had to have a closed casket funeral. It’s very hard to reconcile death when you can’t see them. I gave the eulogy however I don’t remember. I struggle with Treatment Resistant Bipolar Disorder and the anxiety it brings. I was diagnosed  at 19 years old struggling for years without medication or over medicated. In 2005 I had the Vagus Nerve Stimulator implanted. The device sends electrical signals to the brain to increase Serotonin. I have taken over 40 prescriptions or cocktails. Some worked for a while then you have to try another mix. I thought the VNS device would keep me on the rails. Naïve thinking on my part. I was not as lucky as many in the FDA clinical trial. I realized the device was like any other prescription and it was another that didn’t work. I’m 50 years old now and the Black Dog drags me down deeper as I age. I’m alive with […]

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Free to Fly

My emotions are raw today. It’s 4:45 pm and still in my pajamas. I’m sad and confused. When buried memories bubble up I work hard to lock them back up. I saw the ladybug on the roses, it brought the biggest smile. The excitement was enough to grab the camera. A smile is a great distraction, half a smile is better than none. All I can give is a half-smile today. Guilt took over, guilt tells me I’m lazy and my husband is going to leave me. I know it’s the illness talking but it hit me hard today because I was weak. Melinda

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Daddy was 52 on 2/22/1992

My father suffered from Mental Illness his entire life. When he was a teen, Doctor’s told my grandmother he was hyperactive and gave her tranquilizers. I doubt he took one pill. Estranged since I was thirteen years old, I could not look my abuser in the eye. Daddy started calling when I was 28 years old. He was delusional, talking in sentences that made no sense. I picked up he needed money, I started paying his bills. He said he was going to kill himself and kept rambling. I could not get through to him. I did not tell anyone in my family either.  He was so far gone, he could not process what I was saying. February 22, 1992 my father took his life. I felt overwhelming guilt. Unsure how my grandmother would react for me not telling her. It’s a guilt I’ll carry to my grave. At 28 years old it was hard to feel pain and remember the past. In the note he asked me to handle arrangements. I did what I’d done for years, stuff my emotions down, act strong and get it done. There are many who inherit Mental Illness, have a relative who suffers or experienced suicide in the family who suffer in silence. Healing from child abuse is difficult, it can feel impossible when the abuser is a parent. I never told my grandparents about my father sexually abusing me. Everyday is one step […]

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