27 Years Old: Some Questions to Ask Myself

Today is my birthday and I am 27 years old! This is a pretty big year for me and my life will never be the same after I have my son. I found these questions on a Pinterest post and thought they would be appropriate to answer given that I am a few years away from 30 and becoming a mom. The “adulting” is about to get serious!

Questions from: 60 Deep Questions To Ask Yourself To Create “Aha” Moment

What legacy am I leaving the world after I’m gone?

I hope I will leave a legacy of strength. I want my friends and family to look back on my life and see how I came out of every struggle having learned something new to improve my life. I want people to feel hopeful about their own lives and see that overcoming difficulties is possible.

How could I be more engaged in life?

Over the past 2 years, I have really struggled with getting out there. I frequently found myself feeling lonely and forgotten. Fear has kept me from adventuring out into the world like I used to. My goal to become more engaged in life is to not only go out with my friends but try new things with them. B and I also need to keep things fresh in our relationship, especially with a baby on the way. The more we experience new things as a couple we will learn more about each other, see our relationship strengthen and add something exciting to our lives as individuals.

How much time do I spend dwelling on the past or worrying about the future?

Much of my time is spent dwelling on the past and noticing how past traumas continue to show up in my life. It has affected my ability to function as an individual and within my relationship with B. Going forward, I want to “forget” the past in the sense that I accept it has happened and that it is over. I am having a child and looking towards the future is unbelievably exciting! I do not want anything shadowing that!

What is my vision for the next five years?

Over the next 5 years, I hope that my son is an amazing 5 year old who is happy, learning and having a good time. Maybe there is a second child? I hope that B and I have a house to raise our family in instead of an apartment. I hope to be working at a job doing some form of social work combined with education. B will have a job where he finally feels content and well compensated.

 

The Cat that changed my life

RIP Omen

I got Omen in November 2010. She was my graduation present to myself. I grew up with 2 cats and Omen was the first cat that was solely mine. I adopted Omen from the Toronto Humane Society. She looked very silly when I adopted her and I never would have guessed she would grow into a 14lbs shedding machine!

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Omen was a very special cat. I know we all think our animals are special and amazing but out of all the cats I have (4 in total spread out between my parent’s house and my own) Omen was very different. Omen loved people. She thrived on social situations. You could always count on Omen to join a party and try and sit on every lap. She was a chatty kitty who more so chirped than meowed.

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Omen was always there for me when I had to cope with that crap that was happening in my relationship. She quickly became the love of my life and my best friend. When I left that relationship Omen came with me to my parent’s place and then to the condo B and lived in briefly. She went back to live with my parent’s and has been with them for two years, always surrounded by people and 2 other cats.

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About a month ago my Mom noticed that Omen had lost a lot of weight and wasn’t eating or drinking. She eventually became very lethargic and her skin started turning yellow. After force feeding, IV fluids and a bunch of tests we tried that last thing the vet could offer and that was giving Omen a steroid. For 3 weeks, Omen did really well but in the end, she stopped eating and drinking and was turning yellow again.

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My mom called me yesterday and said that it was time to put Omen down. There was nothing else to that would improve her quality of life or cure her. Unfortunately, for pregnancy reasons, I was unable to be with Omen when she was put to sleep but my mom held her the entire time.

I have lost a very precious part of my life. Omen was only 7 years old. That’s very young for a cat to die. We don’t understand why or how she became so sick. We do know that she added so much to our lives and we will never be the same without her. Goodbye Omen! xoxo❤

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Article: Having Kids with a BPD Diagnosis

Check out the post, “Having Kids with a BPD Diagnosis” on the Roanne Program website!

This article is extra fun because I am quoted in it as Pride in Madness!

“Pride in Madness states “I will have children. I will love my children. My children will be alright. ”

What has it been like for you to be a parent with a mental health diagnosis and/or with emotional differences?

Mad Pride Toronto 2016: “A Mad Mother is not a Bad Mother”

Please check out my latest post for Mad Pride Toronto 2016 about becoming a Mad Mom!

http://www.torontomadpride.com/2016/05/a-mad-mother-is-not-a-bad-mother/

Many of us are familiar with the judgement people pass on us as parents in general and when we have emotional differences the judgment becomes even stronger.

Probably one thing I am really excited to teach my son is that everyone has a different mind and that we are all supposed to. I want my son to always challenge normality and find peace with who he is.

Happy Mother’s Day 2016

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Image reads:

Happy Mother’s Day To: Every mother, every grandmother, every caretaker, chosen families, queer mamas, genderqueer and trans parents, incarcerated moms, those who wanted to but here unable to be mothers, moms who have lost their children and children who have lost their mothers.

I am celebrating my first Mother’s Day, I just don’t have my baby just yet! By the way, I had my gender reveal yesterday and B and I are having a boy!

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Image: A balloon that says “Baby Boy” and two star shaped ballons.

When I see your scars.

This is yesterday’s Daily Post.

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt: Scars.

The scars from self-injury tend to cause feelings within the people who wear them on their body. Some people feel empowered by their scars or simply do not care that they are there. Others go to great lengths to hide their scars because they feel great shame over them. Personally, I hide mine.

“A scar simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you…”

I hide my cutting scars, mostly on my legs, out of fear. I personally do not care anymore that the scars are on my body. I do care A LOT about what other people will think when they see them. I do not want to answer questions. I do not even want to hear the questions. I don’t want to explain myself. I don’t want to deal with the looks when people notice my scars. I am afraid that if my family sees my scars then it will make them sad. The worst, for me, is the people who may see my scars and think that they don’t look “bad”. This has been said to me before and it completely invalidates my experience and struggle with cutting. So, I hide.

The odd time I come across someone else with self-harm scars and they are wearing short sleeves, shorts, a short dress or a bathing suit I am always in awe. The majority of these occasions I do not know these people and do not feel comfortable saying that but I always want to thank them. I want to thank them for not caring and showing me that I also do not have to care. When I see your scars I feel less afraid of my own and the impact they will have on others. I am less afraid that people will comment. Seeing your scars tells me that I can put my past behind me and be who I want to be in the present and the future. My life does not need to be dictated by my scars. Seeing your scars makes me happy that I am not the only person who has them as I felt isolated for a very long time.

As I go forward with my life, and over 1 year cutting free, it is my hope that when I show my scars I can have the same effect on others as they have had on me.

 

Mad Pride Toronto 2016: “What Madness has taught me”

I am very pleased to have connected with Mad Pride Toronto and for the first time, I am contributing to Mad Pride Toronto in the way that I know best, through blogging.

Please check out my first post on Mad Pride Toronto where I share what Madness has taught me and how it has changed my life!

http://www.torontomadpride.com/2016/04/what-madness-has-taught-me-kristen-bellows/

The day I learned about Madness was the day I stopped being sick. It was the day I began to heal from my past wounds caused by psychiatry, society and myself. It was the day I found myself. It was the day I found my value and strength. – Kristen, What Madness has taught me, written for Mad Pride Toronto