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Getting to Know Myself as a Single Lady

By The Schizophrenic MomPublished 5 months ago 8 min read
Photo by Praveesh Palakeel on Unsplash

Here recently, I've been prompted to reflect on my expectations from relationships, stirring up a terrifying number of emotions and thoughts I am working through in therapy. Throughout my life, I've struggled particularly in my interactions with people, especially men, which has left me with PTSD, anxiety, and a tendency to overthink. Sometimes I question if my complexities and issues make me too much for anyone to handle. So I have decided to confess my good sides and bad sides for potential friends ... or those who may want to be more than friends.

To start off with, my kids are my life and they will come first no matter what. You will not meet them until I think you are safe - whether as a friend or more than a friend. I will protect them from their own flesh and blood if needed - and have done so before. My Mom used to be known as a "shebear" when it came to her kids... and I would argue that I am similar, but I think of myself as a "dragon" when it comes to my kids. I will burn every metaphorical bridge down in the blink of an eye if they are in danger and be completely unapologetic for it. I mean, I may ask my therapist and other professionals a gazillion times if I over-reacted, however, if you manage to make me feel like you are a threat to their stability, there is absolutely nothing or anyone who I've met that won't melt away from the fire in my eyes. Please do not wake the dragon... she is absolutely scary! ;-)

Part of my kids coming first is that their dad will be as much a part of their life as he can be depending on several factors: time, health, wishing to be, etc. This means that if the kids want to go see the new Paw Patrol movie with both Daddy and Mommy, that I will be doing my best to make that happen for them. And yes, I know... that is strange in today's world to do things as co-parents for the benefit of the kids, but it is something I believe in strongly.

Growing up, my Dad would pit us against Mom if they were fighting... and I do not want that for my children. I am honest to a fault and I have tried to make it work with my kid's father, but I am not the person he needs or wants - and that is okay. If you cannot handle me being around their Dad or are the jealous type or are worried about me cheating or getting back together with him or whatever else... then I am not the right person for you. I tried and tried for 2 years and it ended very badly for me... and for our kids. No matter what, that door to "us" is closed and will remain closed as I refuse to put my kids through any more instability (and it would be better for my mental health as well).

I expect honesty and open communication. If we are exclusive, I want to know. If we are not, then I want to know that too. By the way, meeting my kids is right around exclusive time table and anything rated R is sometime after that. I am slow, I am cautious, and I don't like being rushed or pressured. It takes me time to warm up and get to know people (my Mom said to just tell guys 5 years... and while I wanted to argue, I have to say... I didn't adopt my best friends into my inner circle for about 2 years). I think about what I want to say... and have been told that I shouldn't think /quite/ so much before speaking. That it is okay to mess up... and my friends have taught me that the right people make space for me to be imperfectly me.

I have been physically assaulted. I can have a hard time controlling my fight, flight, or freeze responses. Typically my go-to is flight, but occasionally I will freeze... and if I feel completely trapped, I will fight. I am small and may not look it, but I can pack quite the attack if fight comes into play... and no, I don't fight fair. I have been told to picture think rabid wild animal... and you'll get me in fight mode - complete with allegedly very realistic growls. But I also don't like fighting, so I much prefer to escape any situation that triggers me. I am /extremely/ good at my vanishing act, but don't worry... I eventually come out of hiding. :-)

My service animal should be counted among your favorite things about me. Aurora doesn't tolerate me hiding or running. She is of the notion that I need to deal with my feelings /before/ they get bad enough to run or need medication to deal with life. Treat her with respect and consideration as she helps me handle life as much as my glasses or inhaler does. Don't make me feel bad for needing her or for politely declining an invitation somewhere where she and I will not be welcomed. Also, know your etiquette around service animals before meeting her. Dealing with the generalized public is hard enough for me, but if I like you enough to meet up in person? Please don't make me educate you too as you reach over and distract her from doing her job because she is "too cute not to touch" while working... if you wouldn't grab at my glasses or my watch, keep your hands off of the cuteness too...

I write. I am a writer. I /need/ to write. I need the space to get my thoughts in order and out in a way that makes sense to me. Yes, that means that I will likely write about you too. If that makes you uncomfortable, I have 2 things to say. 1. Goodbye. and 2. What exactly are you going to do that you wouldn't like people knowing about? I do not write about some things as they are private, but I will also say the truth. I have one professional acquaintance that "doesn't care to speak with me" because I wrote one truthful sentence about how he wouldn't let me speak, ask questions, or know the proper steps to a problem. Truth be told, I don't really care to speak to him either, but I can't (and won't) apologize for simplifying our whole issue down to 1 very laid back sentence regarding his behavior towards me and my family because he can't handle being called out on his unprofessional behavior.

I have professional supports and a busy schedule. Sometimes people have a misconception that people with mental disabilities just sit around and have nothing to do. I look at my schedule as an introvert and do my best to limit 2-3 appointments with different people each day. I have 20 hours with support staff, I have about 3 hours a week of appointments for my son, I have 3-4 hours of appointments per week for myself, and that doesn't include homeschooling or daycare or friends or writing or walks or the daily therapies that I do with my son. My Mom once said (before I had kids) that my disability is a part-time job in and of itself to manage. It is also a balancing act because with too much external pressure, I have more symptoms which requires a vacation... at times even from my biggest supporters as I need the solitude to quiet all of the voices. The one exception to this are my kids. They seem to be the only people that I can push through for - no matter what. Oh, getting back to the professional supports, they are all mandated reporters, so don't be trying anything that you once again wouldn't want people to find out about...

I get it. I am a lot to handle. But, on the bright side, little things make me very happy. For example, holding the door open for me or cleaning up your language so that I am not thinking twice about introducing you to my kids, learning a few basic signs in ASL and not being upset that I occasionally lose my voice, or spending the time to know the things that are important to me and reaching out to share with me the things that made you happy (or sad) too. Be warned, I do like my fancy China on holidays or special occasions... and I love cowboy hats. I am not afraid of a bit of hard work - even if it is something I need help with... and I do not need a man (I've already proven that to myself), but I do /want/ companionship. I am a cowgirl at heart and probably one of the wildest spirits that you'll meet with a heart that is sometimes bigger than I want it to be.

My ex's have had plenty to say about my toxic traits... I like keeping things clean enough to not be completely ashamed if a surprise visitor walks through the door, I am very black and white and miss more social cues than I would like to admit, I don't like massive changes to my schedule, I don't like being (or others being) late, I do not like lies (white lies, half truths, or any other kind of sneaky behavior unless the only goal is to spare another's feelings), and I do not typically enjoy new places with lots of new people. I am quiet when under too much stress or around too many people, but I can also talk your ear off and be goofy. I am sometimes a walking contradiction. I am down right scared of outright asking for what I need or want because I don't want hurt by other's lack of self-control (or end up hurting you if you decide to put your hands on me), I don't want to be labeled needy or aloof or female doggish, and I don't want to be mocked for simply being human.

These are things that I am working on with my therapist as I seem to have lost life's instruction manual. lol I am the type of person that doesn't want to inconvenience others and I am trying to change that a little bit since my needs should not be an inconvenience to anyone who really likes me - let alone anyone who claims to love me.

The two songs that I think relate to me is the Little Bit of Devil in those Angel Eyes... mostly due to the fact that I have a lot of interests that don't necessarily fit in the box of "Christianity"... and yet, I have an amazing relationship with my Prince of Peace... I just am a uniquely precious child of God that has never fit into "boxes" that society builds... and I do have a rebel heart a country mile wide.

and... I can definitely Do Both... :-)

Bad habitsSecretsFriendshipFamilyDating

About the Creator

The Schizophrenic Mom

I am a mother of 2 precious angels who drive me slightly more crazy

than I already am with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

When asked "are you crazy?!" my favorite come back is:

"yes! And I have the papers to prove it! How about you?" LOL

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Comments (1)

  • Wendy M Fischer Faughn4 months ago

    This is an honest and true post. I am thankful that you put you kids first that is a rare gem in today's world.

The Schizophrenic MomWritten by The Schizophrenic Mom

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