This is a long read and it's just the very short version - enjoy!
I was born in Leicester, England, to an English father and American mother. We moved back to the states when I was little, where my parents had their 4th child, my little brother. I learned hard (manual) work from a young age, my father allowed for nothing less. I had loving parents, my mother was an RN, my father was in real estate, however, he also had an abusive side and my mother had an auto-immune disease that landed her in the hospital frequently. When I was 12 years old my eldest sister was found to have a rare, benign, brain tumor; after several surgeries she ended up with massive brain trauma, 21 years later she doesn't know who I am (she is 36) and lives in a nursing home.
When I was 14 my father was found to have a brain aneurysm, he went into surgery 2 months later, but did not come out. After his passing my mother wasn't the same person. She left us. At 15, myself and my 13 year old brother lived alone, my middle sister moved out and my eldest sister was in a home. At 16 I decided to drop out of high school, I was previously "social chairperson" in my high school, but after my father died I had lost all of my friends. No one knew how to speak to me. I was an outcast. I knew what I had to do to survive and this was simply the path I was going to take. During this time I got my first job and met my first "real" boyfriend. At almost 17 our family home, where my brother and I still lived, burnt middle of the night. It took my mother over an hour to get home. I was awake and heard the fire so I was able to get my brother out and call 911. My car had an oil leak and somehow started the fire in the garage.
Shortly after this I received my G.E.D., graduating a year before my class. When I was 20 years old, I married the love of my life, the boy I had been with for the past 4 years, I was thrilled; 4 months later, I get a phone call at 9 p.m. that there was an accident- and my mother had died. I was 20 years old, with no parents, 3 siblings, and NOW I have to tell my mentally disabled sister that her mother has died too, amidst planning a funeral. My parents were 41 and 42 when they died.
At 21 we hit the recession and my husband joined the army, I was disqualified from joining because at 15 I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and herniated discs. We moved to Texas and he was deployed immediately. I realized how bad my depression was and got on anti-depressants - which I was no stranger to. I have been on and off anti-depressants since I was 15. I am a manic depressive. He came home safe. In time, after years of trying, and fertility treatments, I finally gave birth to our first son! Shortly after this we moved to Washington state where I eventually had our second son, also planned. I stayed on medication this whole time, I was aware my mental health is very fragile and the army life is not for the faint of heart. However, I found a love for the outdoors, adventure, and eating fresh while living in the pacific northwest. Ten days after I gave birth to our second son we were set to move to our third duty station in Georgia. Shortly after we arrived I was in horrible pain, doctors wouldn't listen, I seemed too young, they brushed me off. Quickly, I became paralyzed. I couldn't walk. I could not feel my legs, I had no reflexes, I was crying, in worse pain than giving birth. This continued for weeks until I was able to get an MRI showing the disc's in the lower portion of my spine had all ruptured and at this point surgery would be required to walk again. My son was 4 months old and exclusively breastfed, I wasn't able to take pain medication because he was snobby and refused bottles - and he had his own set of issues so we couldn't let him go more than two hours without eating or things such as "sudden death" were brought up by his geneticist. Six months after arriving to Georgia we were set to move to Connecticut. This is where our second born would be diagnosed with a metabolic gene mutation which explained his previous seizures and developmental delays. In time, magically, this gene mutation ceased to exist. Both his geneticist and neurologist at Yale don't know how, or why, but it did; he is how a perfectly happy and healthy 6 year old boy.
At this time my husband was sent to Korea for a year. While he was over there he had changed, we grew apart, he refused to grow with me, things got ugly, he came home, he hit me, and that was it. That was the end of our 11 year, really good, relationship. He had orders for Alaska and he would be moving alone. From there I was a single mom, with two small boys, minimal work history, no job, no schooling, and no family. But I was going to do it. And I did. I found work while the kids were at school, thankfully full day, FREE, pre-k was offered in my town. My ex-husband gave money here and there but never anything sufficient until I eventually took him to court which wasn't until a year later. That summer, 4 months after he hit me and after he moved to Alaska, the boys went up to visit for the summer, this worked for me because I couldn't afford daycare. Unfortunately, I also caught pneumonia and had NO idea. I have a high pain tolerance, as someone that deals with chronic pain typically does. Unfortunately, that led to septic shock. I was able to call a friend to bring me to the hospital, they had said if I waited until morning I wouldn't have been in at all. I recall waking up at some point not having any idea where I even was. Knowing it was a hospital but not knowing where in the country. A week later I was released from the hospital but told to remain on bed rest for a couple weeks. I was in touch with me soon-to-be-ex-husband, asking if he could help with rent and speak to me landlords because the situation, which he agreed to. Two months later I found out he never called them nor did he pay them. My depression fell deeper. He kept the children because now I had no where to live, though my landlords were amazing, I did not want to take advantage of them, I moved in with a friend.
Several months later, I was cleared to work again, getting back on my feet I had met my (now) husband - utterly amazing. What was less amazing was my complete mental breakdown shortly after we met. My depression had caught up with me. Everything. My ex had turned everyone against me. I wasn't talking about what had happened so he told anyone and everyone that I was this terrible person. I was abandoned, with literally no one to talk to. My kids were gone, I still had residual effects from the sepsis, I wasn't in control of my own body. The only thing that stopped me was knowing my children would never understand. The only that that physically stopped me was my boyfriend running after me while I was searching for blades. I checked myself into an outpatient mental health facility. It was an all-day program. I had to take leave from my job. What an awful cycle I was in.
My kids came home shortly after that! I left the program shortly after that as well, after 2.5 weeks I learned that program was absolutely not for me. It exacerbated my issues. A couple months later I got a new job, at a psych clinic, ironically, working as a TMS Tech, which was also a treatment I was receiving. Life was slowly getting better. But very touch and go. Two years later I have come a LONG way. My current husband is an absolutely God-send. My kids drive me insane but they don't even remember not being with me for those few months, my mental state is much much better but is something I will always deal with and am a huge advocate for, I am studying my way through my bachelors in nursing with a 4.0.
Life is a wild ride, and I am glad I chose to stick around for it.