Yup; I am up again and all of my lights are on in the house. The kitchen lights, hall lights and my bedroom lights are all on. The lights are illuminating my house like an angels halo around her beautiful head. They have been on since two am. There is Pop music playing, clothes washing, cats roaming around and as for myself I am sitting at the computer writing again. I wonder what the neighbors must think when they look at my house? I wonder if I am a topic of discussion when they are out there exchanging pleasantries with each other. They must wonder what is going on in there or if I sleep at all. It might pass their minds that I must be scared of the dark or some other logical reason; why my lights are on all night long and off all day long. If they only knew that what they were looking at was actually a real representation of my Bipolar mind at work. I am not scare of the dark just very weary of it. ( I have a love hate relationship with the dark too so don’t get it wrong) but at the same time I tend to come alive in the wee hours of the morning. That’s when my soul seems to catch on fire🔥 and my creative juices start to flow at this hour of the night too. This is the time I love to cook, clean and write too. I wish they knew that the lights they are looking at with curious wonder is how my mind feels and looks like to me on the inside. Monday was a dark day for me. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. It was the day that they buried my cousin. The day the landlord gave me grief about a mistake they made with my money. The day that my favorite cat in the world got hit by a car and got seriously wounded. It was a tough day for my beast boy (my son) who came home from work after a sixteen hour shift feeling down trotted and low. The look on his face when he said “There is always something going on or going wrong.” as he turned around seeing doubles. Which in turns worried me of course. He is right as a single parent there is something always going on or wrong in this house or with us. We just want to have a sense of normality and peace for a while . We would love to have just one problem free week; sprinkled with”a little happiness and some peace on top. Do you know how grateful we would be? You have no idea at all!
My son’s girlfriend text me last night with a snap shot of a conversation that she just had with my son.. My son told her that it wasn’t a good time to talk to him. (He is Bipolar too; mind you and he is an a rapid cycling mode right now.) So he is flowing between being happy, depressed and angry all at once and all his triggers are being hit at the same time too. He goes on to tell her ” I hates that everyone else has an easier life than me” and how others would not understand how hard his life really is. He just wanted to be ” left the fuck alone” he said. Now I know that was not a great way to express himself but my kid is brutally honest and he has always been that way since he was a toddler. I was never the type of parent to force feed him niceties and lies like ” Santa, Tooth fairies or anything else that was a false tale that we parents like to systematically stuff down our kids throats. As a single parent he needed to understand it was my hard work that kept the lights on, food in the refrigerator, clothes on his back and toys under the Christmas tree. So when she showed me the exchange that they had; I told her not to take it personal. She replied ” Yes I will take it personally” She has every right to feel that way. After all she felt disrespected and I get it. However, she is able to say all that while she is away enjoying her spring break and having fun while my son is here at home working his spring break away. She is New Orleans on vacation having a blast with her mothers while my son is here on his spring break working two job every day. I don’t see my son most days. I see him before he leave and again at one in the morning when he get’s off of work. Spring break is just that . A Break for the kids to relax and unwind from school. This is not a choice for my son. He is usually up by three am to eat breakfast, shower and to prepare for the gym. ( he does this on school days as well) My car is still down so he starts walking at five in the morning to get there by six thirty. As a black male in this violate climate it makes me scared for him to walk that early in the morning alone because it is so dark outside at this time of the morning This is the cool part of. Having Bipolar. I am already up so I talk to him on the phone until he gets there safe. After working out he continues his journey and starts the trek to work. He walk another hour and a half or better to get to work and then my baby is lost in work until almost twelve am . Not to mention on the day’s that he gets of at seven he walks back to the gym, works out and walks back home in the dark arriving at home after eleven pm.
She has no clue how my child feels because her life is fluffy , cushy and supplied with two parent to help her with anything she needs times two. He has so much on his mind besides work. He worries about himself growing into a man. He worries about myself and my daughter. He worries about finishing high school and all that in tales. She was gifted a car at sixteen but he will never experience that kind of kindness from me because I can’t even afford to pay for the repairs on my car let alone buy a new one. How can people begin to understand how he feels if they are not walking his shoes. If you couple that in with my Bipolar daughter going through her depression, her worrying about finishing up eighth grade strong, her failing math and her inability to sleep it feels like a house flashing it’s lights on and off with raw emotions. My son and I have Bipolar one and my daughter has Bipolar two disorder. This house is either alive like a live wire with laughter, loud music and fun when we all are experiencing mania or it’s all doom and gloom and full of tears when we all are down or one of us are down. We all feed off of each others energy. If either one of us is sad we all feel it and process it in different ways. However as a parent I don’t feel like I can place my mental health in the forefront when both of my kids are raging with emotions. I place my emotions to the side and only pick them back up when I have a chance to be alone or when they are off to school or work. It makes it easier for me when one kid is home at a time to be honest. I can breathe easier help one child at a time.
On any given day I am running in between two room consoling, talking, motivating holding , listen and give my advice to each child. I want you to imagine going into the room of one child who is experiencing mania. The music is playing loudly, he is playing his game and all the lights are on in his room. He is dancing, talking rapidly and without pause. He is excited, loud and full of zest at 3 am. If I am on the same wave length it is so fun to me but if I am depressed it to much for me and I am in sensory overload. After talking to him I go into her dark room with the melancholy music softly floating out of her head phones. You can hear faint sounds of crying in the air. As I go to turn on the light she squeaks “leave it off” My son is an Extrovert and he is one to talk to me freely about his problems unless he feels like I am dealing with to much at the time; he will then keep it to himself. My daughter is an introvert and keeps all her problems hidden from me like a pirate who hides his booty or treasure chest from others. She is difficult when she is like this. She’s doesn’t respond well to touch, sound or advice. Yet; she is also the child I have to lay in the bed with and hold until she goes to sleep ( if she lets me or ask me to) or I stay in the her room and read or write until she falls asleep. Just having me next to her works wonders for her too. When she get’s that depressed I seek out her therapist and she comes and does house calls for her. I have resigned the feeling of feeling bad that she can’t be open with me and I honor the fact that she can at least be honest with her feeling with her at this point. As long as she is getting it out. She is the child I worry differently about because her depression has made her attempt to commit suicide at the age of twelve. Between you and me this reaks havoc on my mental state of mind; always having to go in between two extremes so often. Not to mention that I have my own set of mental issues going on with myself as well.
No one knows what it takes to be a single parent unless they are one themselves. You can know someone who is one too but that doesn’t mean shit to me because knowing and doing are two different entities in themselves . If you ask me that is. There is always something going on, going wrong or something to do. There is never a dull moment. So; for his girlfriend who has a cushy life to try to understand what he is going through is futile to me. Let me try to give you a little visual if you would. Last week while I was cooking I smelled the weirdest smell coming from my stove. I thought it was something burning like my food. I checked inside the stove to see if it was my food or if something fell to the bottom of the stove. When I checked nothing was there. So I turned it down and walked away. Within an hour my whole house was covered in thick black smoke and smoke was bellowing from the stove like smoke rising up and out of my chimney. I opened all of the windows and aired out the house. The next day the stove stopped working all together. When I called my landlord on that Friday she told me she couldn’t send anyone out to fix it until Monday. ” Just use your microwave to feed your kids” she said in a sarcastic tone. Now; everything in my house needed to be cooked. We had no choice but to spent the whole weekend eating cold canned beans and corn. She didn’t fix it until that following Tuesday evening. When they fixed it they noticed the cord to the stove completely melted into a ball of plastic. It shorted the stove and broke the element inside the stove too. Thank heavens it didn’t start a wall fire ( I heard the maintenance man say) . See; we had food to cook but nothing to cook the food on. Consequently are car has been down for four months now because I am unable to pay for the repairs. There is no extra money for that at the moment. So either we walk every where or we have to ask for a ride. My daughter has an acute eye condition which involves her using Steroids for her eyes. Her eyes where swollen shut because she didn’t have her medication. I could not get to the pharmacy in the pass two weeks because I did not have away and no one would take us. When I finally secured a ride; I had to give the person my last ten dollars to take me there to go get her much needed medication.
On Monday, My landlord calls me and she has a list of issues with me. One of the issues was that my rent was behind. I could not understand why. She then precedes to tell me that she sent my last months check back to me in mail because I was one dollar short and she she wasn’t going to apply that to my rent. ( What the hell)? I was confused better yet I never received my check in the mail either. So where is it and why don’t I have it and why was it not applied to my rent? How come you are threatening to evicted me over not paying my rent? Yet; I did it; but it was not applied to my rent balance because it was a dollar short. Where does that happen at? Next my son does his taxes and claims my daughter for earned child income credit. They are withholding $5000 dollars of his money because he has to prove to the state that his sister truly is his sister. Now we have to send in mega paper work to authenticate that she really is his sister. Next , I get a call from The Child support office inquiring the where about of the kids father. I have already told them he moved out of the state of Florida. I don’t know where he works and I have no information regarding him. This man owe me $35, 456.00 in back child support and we have not received any money since last year. Why are you asking me anything about him in the first place and why am I doing your job to locate him when that is your job. I open the mail to see that my car insurance is going to be cut off on a car that is not running. Why do I have to pay insurance on a car that is not operable is besides me but if I do not they can suspend my licence. Just like they did five months ago and I had to pay $200.00 dollars to get it back. Now if it gets suspended this time around it will suspended for five years. Last but not least I am all out of my Asthma medication and my blood clot medications too. I am have the hardest time breathing as I write this and my blood clot medication is essential to my well being.I have a factor five condition which means that blood clots form on their own without prompting and without warning. So I have to take this medication for the rest of my life in order to stop that from happening. At this point;I am not able to afford any of my medication for the last three month now.
I am in the middle of my own battle field of sorts. This is my own personal hell for me. No one will understand how it is for myself and my kids daily. I know that other people may have it worst than us but this is in my backyard and this is all that I can see for miles around. If we are not trying to make sure that we have food to eat, we are trying make sure the lights are on. It we are not worried about the light we are worried about transportation issues. If not that; then we are challenged with this landlord and their nasty treatment. Not to mention how I am treated, looked down upon, treated unfairly and disrespectfully too because of my race, educational level and my economic status as well. Omg, I hate how people talk down to me with no respect because they think I am a crazy, financially challenged women with no college level education. If I was in a higher tax bracket, secured a couple of degrees under my belt and was married I am sure they would talk to me differently . I absolutely hate being financially challenged. I hate feeling misunderstood, mistreated and looked down upon by people who are more affluent than me or people that have my well being or stability in the palm of their hands. There is so much going on inside my home that other people are unaware of. As a family we do not complain if the food is low, If the light are off or if we all have to walk three hours to and from Walmart to go grocery shopping. ( we have made this trip in 90 degree weather, pouring rain and cold weather on many occasions) As a family we deal with are problems together and not outside in front of others. There is no one to call on either side of the family so we manage the best way we can. We are grateful when we can eat, sleep in cool air,have a roof over are heads, have heat when needed and to be able to drive our car when it’s working. We have learned to love the little things in life and respect every penny that we earn in this house. We do not complain about what we don’t have and we cherish and respect the things that we do have. We are grateful for every single thing we have as a whole.
So when the neighbors see the lights on it doesn’t matter to me what they think. They are free to think anything they wish. Only if they knew that I wish that I could turn of the light in my head at night. I wish that I could easily and effortlessly go to sleep like them. I wish that my mind at times was like theirs and I was able to wind down by ten pm and shut off all the light in the house like them. If they only knew; half the time I am up worrying about bills, food, money, my kids mental health issue and more. I wish I could be like normal people in normal households doing normal things but that’s not what life had in store for myself or my kids. Only if his girlfriend knew how hard it really was for my son she would let up on him . She couldn’t understand how we manage on the days we have no toilet paper, I have no tampons or we have no food for days on end because I had to pay the bills first. I wish that I had it easier but I don’t so I make the best out of what I have while I have it. My life has toughen me up and made me a very humble and grateful person. It has made me fight for everything I have even if it’s not much to others. It has made me stronger, resilient and wise. It has made me have to stand up to bullies that are stronger than me. For every ” No” that life or people have said me I’ve had to find a “Yes’. So the next time you see a neighbors light on don’t assume the worst. Actually don’t assume anything at all. You never know what is going on behind closed doors of anyone house. So to my dear neighbors; now you know the reason why my lights are always on. So when you see them on this morning again at the same time; don’t ask why just turn off your lights and try to get some shut eye for me and you both. I probably will need your energy tomorrow to get me through my day.