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Breaking Free

My Poem

"She was bound by fear, by the internal and external voices repeating all the reasons she should stop swimming.

Her feet had become anchors that kept pulling her down deep to the bottom of life.

A rare species she found herself entangled by fishermen nets. Crying out underwater but who was to save her? She saw a ray of light beam down through the ocean blue. As it made it’s way through the ripples she understood that to break free she had to swim like never before.

So many elements impacted her position in life. She found herself drowning deep in depression. She had no desire to keep holding on. For her own sake her hands chose to let go of guilt and shame and other things like regret and anger. Those were the heaviest cargo. Bad choices landed her in a net, but better choices soon had her breaking free.

As she swam toward the ray of light, she felt a mighty force pulling her into freedom. Her desire now was to break free and her passion was to prove it possible. That event could only be done by the hands of God. She was born to be an overcomer. Swim even if that sometimes means swimming alone. "

My Insight

Someone asked me the other day how it I can raise my children and have schizophrenia as if I had a choice. I assume I really did have a choice when it came down to it, but my mind does not work that way neither does my heart. I am grateful for that, for them. I am grateful for a lot. I suppose being grateful has a great deal to do with how I have managed to make it this far.

I used to feel filthy. I felt disgust when I looked into the mirror, so I made a decision to not look. If I had I would have been reminded of all the times I was violated as a child, groomed into a victim as an adult.

I carried so much baggage with me and how did I survive and raise my children? I survived because of my children. By all reasoning I should have been able to work on me and raise them. For me that was not possible. I had to raise them and raise me.

I could grow with them, but not grow apart from them which is what would have happened. So, I focused on taking care of us all. What I learned I taught them and what they learned, they taught me. It is so amazing all the little big things kids can teach you. I had rules and boundaries that sometimes seemed to be almost created at an impulse level because things would catch me off guard.

Having a daughter who looked up to me for answers even when I had to make them up, kept me watching my own step. I tripped a lot during her first 16 years. She is so loving and loves to help others. She likes to draw and play music. Those years seemed like my first 16 years too for I had her when I was 16. She has truly taught me how to be a better mom.

Having a child with Downs Syndrome didn’t allow for me to have pity about my own struggles without me taking action to get over it. That child needed me and in turn I learned how to be grateful. He can’t verbalize much at all but by his sassy grin and a flip of his thumb I know when it’s time for bathroom cleanup or if it is time for toys.

Having a son who is so loving and protective over his big brother who has Downs Syndrome, teaches me compassion. Every single day I gain more understanding of the male species. I learn about patience. My middle son he is like a small, male version of myself. We sometimes challenge each other.

Finally, it comes to my youngest son who loves to read and learn. We sometimes play memory games. It helps us both. He is very funny and always asks questions. He usually likes to hear my perspectives and I his.

So for me, giving up on life meant giving up on them.

Having a mental illness can be challenging but focusing on the good things can make things a whole lot easier.

“Laugh until it hurts because that hurt will help you heal.”

- Daphne D. Wallis

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