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Category Archives: Photography in general

Foot Book

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They are the tools used to keep us standing,

Transportation from point A to point B

To me, however, much more than this,

Ugly as I think they be:

My child of ten, in younger years,

Was a fan of Seuss (as was her mother),

To her I’d read for hours on end,

Lots of books but among all the others,

“The Foot Book” brought my child delight –

How many, many feet,

On my lap, she would repeat the words and laugh,

Those moments were a treat!

Now she is nearly as tall as I,

Boy-band posters on her bedroom walls,

But my baby she’ll always be,

And I’ll treasure these memories of when she was small.

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Poverty & Mental Illness

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I can speak only to what I know of the subjects of poverty and mental illness. I’m sure studies have been done regarding the link between the two, but this isn’t about those studies. Nor do I mean to imply that people who are middle class or wealthy cannot have mental illnesses. It happens, I know, across all demographics. However, I do question the link between chronic, persistent mental illness and not having enough money to meet basic human needs. I, at least, have a job and insurance so that I can see a doctor and afford my medications, and somehow, with the help of food pantries, help from family and payday loans (a very poor solution, that one, but sometimes necessary when you run out of gas money or toilet paper before payday). My anxiety level has been so high almost constantly for the past few years. If you’ve never struggled to provide for your family, you may not understand. If you’ve never had a panic attack, you may not understand. Right now, even with the medication for anxiety and for depression (because, though I have bipolar disorder, I’m depressed much more often than I am manic), I’m not myself and not really sure who that self is anymore. I wanted better for my children than this. I grew up poor. You’d think I’d be used to it, right? Even as a child, I worried about money, rarely asked for anything because I didn’t want my parents to feel bad that they couldn’t afford something that wasn’t a necessity. I cry myself to sleep. I am trying so hard to be a good person, a good wife and mother and a good provider. I am trying so hard to trust that God’s providence covers us too, but at this moment, having to choose gas for the car so I can go to and from work over buying groceries, I feel like a failure. On top of the anxiety and depression, there is the poverty. Poverty is full of fear for me. It is also full of shame because as much stigma surrounds it as surrounds mental illnesses. I am just a person. I like to laugh, I love my family and if I could just be happy, I would. I often wonder, if I wasn’t always feeling like I’m walking on a thin, almost invisible line between having enough and not having enough, would I still have panic attacks? Would I still cry myself to sleep and be so easily irritated that I feel as though I’d be better off alone? I can’t answer those questions. I can only repeat that I am just a person, like anyone else.

Just some awful thoughts I can’t keep in

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Some people seem to want me to be ashamed of myself for having bipolar disorder, thinking I should hide it from the world. Some think if I have a problem I should always keep it to myself. Some think they are better than I am because I don’t have money. Some think because I’m not perfect, I’m not a Christian. Some think, well whatever they think, and I’m trying not to care but I feel like there is no one on this earth who understands. I feel so alone. I feel betrayed. I feel hurt… oh but shhhh, there I go again, being open. Why do I bother? Maybe all of those someones are right and I’m worthless because I’m poor and mentally ill and not perfect. I’m just too exhausted to care anymore! I don’t want all this hurt, all this worry. I need a break.

Life of a Mom: installment fourteen, sh… Poo happens

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It’s probably happened to most of us who have children, at one time or another. Or so I tell myself. One of my children had a tonsillectomy three days ago and hasn’t been able to eat. So she wanted me to make some instant potatoes, much smoother than my mashed potatoes. No problem! I didn’t have much interest in peeling potatoes today, anyway. My dear husband asked me to make a salad and he headed out to the grill to cook the meat. He was even sweet enough to change the two-year-old’s poopy diaper before going out. Awesome! As I sliced a cucumber into the salad, the milk and water heating on the stove, the two-year-old came into the kitchen, held up her right foot and said, “Poopy, Mommy.” Oh no! That poopy diaper Daddy changed must have been a doozy. One look at the floor where little Miss stood with her poopy foot revealed several splats of icky stinky brown. Kitchen and dining room floors, both peppered with splats. It looked like a war zone, if poo was a weapon. I think it could be an effective one. Anyway, I cleaned the poo off the two-year-old and the floors and returned to the kitchen, where the milk and water for the potatoes had, of course, boiled over. What a mess! The family seems to be enjoying the meal and no one is covered or walking in poo at present, so I guess all’s well that ends well.

Life of a mom: installment thirteen, WAITING

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We await their birth eagerly, counting every day, every kick. We wait for them to say “Mama” and melt our hearts. We wait for them to walk, to be out of diapers, to start school. I’m in the waiting stages on potty training and school starting with one of my children. With the other, I’m waiting with dread boy-craziness, first dance, first date, drivers training… I’m so thankful for every stage and wait more patiently than when I was a young mother, when my firstborn was little, but today I’m not feeling so patient. Today, I’m waiting for my ten-year-old as she has a tonsillectomy. I know she’ll be fine. That doesn’t make waiting any easier. This waiting does make me grateful for my children’s overall health, when I know their are mommas out there whose babies are in hospital with less routine problems. My heart goes out to those mothers.

Life of a Mom: installment twelve, summer fun

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I vaguely remember what I loved about summertime before I was a mom.  As a child, playing in the sprinkler or the hose or even the kiddie pool, and on very lucky, happy occasions, at the lake, were all happy summertime activities.  As a young, childless adult, the lake was one of my favorite places to be.  I’ve never been a super beauty, so it wasn’t me to lie on the sand catching some rays, no way!  If I wanted to lie in the sun, I’d do it in the privacy of my own backyard.  At the lake, I swam.  I love water.  I love the way it feels around my body, the way it moves when I move and the surface ripples, its coolness on a hot day; somehow, in water, I feel more myself.  I feel more like the me I want to be, carefree, happy, content, peaceful, without anxiety.

Of course, that was before kids.  Now the lake is a danger.  My ten-year-old swims well so I don’t worry so much about her, but my two-year-old, yesterday evening at the lake, kept up a steady speech:  “Me do it.  Me fim too,” and tried repeatedly to walk herself out into the water above her head or escape from my arms in the deep part of the lake.  Oh my!  I didn’t get to swim, needless to say.  Thank God for the distraction of a playground near the beach, at least we managed to leave without any meltdowns!

Day 167/365 photos second place

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My other daughter smeared her chocolate milkshake all over her face and promptly fell asleep!