The Never-ending Amusement Park Ride: How it Feels to Have Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder

Thursday, May 21, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Mom Stories/Opinion

In previous posts, I have talked at length about the genetic triggers to Bipolar Disorder, the evolutionary advantage of Bipolar and the link between Bipolar Disorder and creativity. But rapid cycling Bipolar Disorder feels a little different, so I have invited a dear friend of mine to tell you about her experiences with this condition. 

By: Misty Browne

The rapid mood changes associated with Bipolar Disorder are like my favorite carnival ride: the big swinging pirate ship suspended in mid-air. As a young girl I loved the way it felt to be lifted to one side so quickly you hardly had time to catch your breath before you were suddenly swinging back the other way. 

But if I relate this carnival monstrosity to the rapid shifts in mood I experience these days, I imagine myself backing away from the ride. Stumbling over other children and adults, looking for an exit. Fighting the urge to run as fast as I can away from the looming evil in front of me....  continue reading

Why I Hate Mother's Day

Saturday, May 09, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Mom Stories/Opinion

As Mother's Day approaches, many are gearing up for celebration. Today I have a guest post from someone on the flip side of that coin. This post is for anyone out there struggling today. 

By: Scarlet Hayes

The day of the year that I dread most is upon us: Mother's Day. 

Don't get me wrong. There is nothing that I love more than being a mother. Having my children is the best thing I have ever done. I look at them and my heart skips a beat, much like it does with new love, except that feeling never goes away. The love of one’s children is love in its truest form. 

But on Mother’s Day, I also feel a pang of emptiness, because I know that the woman who gave birth to me does not, actually cannot, harbor the same love and feelings towards me. 

Sometimes, mothers suck. I know because mine did. She tried to destroy my career, my family, and my life. My womb donor was, and is, a piece of shit....  continue reading

Military Men, Sexual Harassment, and the Incident That Changed Me

Thursday, March 12, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Mom Stories/Opinion

Previous posts have discussed the unique struggles that women in the military face (see more here in Fuck This Shit: Female Veterans, Trauma, Informed Consent and Working Towards Something Better). But when it comes to sexual assault, there is some gray area that we need to address, particularly in cases where women consent under duress. Just because we don’t — or can’t— fight doesn’t mean we are consenting. It doesn't mean you wanted it. And today I have one brave military woman here to share her story with you. 

By: Annonymous

I was 18 years old, fresh out of Basic Training for the United States Air Force.  I was assigned to the 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron and was a Vehicle Operator. The dorms were co-ed and 95% male. I was treated as “one of the guys” by most. 

But not by all....  continue reading

Living With Dying

Thursday, February 19, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Mom Stories/Opinion

A cancer diagnosis changes everything. 

"Emotional roller coaster" is a phrase that does little justice to the upheaval one feels after diagnosis with a major illness, terminal or not. And the fear. So much fear. While many have thoughts about whether there will be pain or how long they have, worry about the loved ones left behind is a huge source of worry, particularly for parents. So I have invited a friend to share her experience with metastatic breast cancer. Cancer is messy, but there are ways to cope. For more insight on dealing with a cancer diagnosis, check out Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person, A Breast Cancer Alphabet and My Cancer Mommy....  continue reading

Loony Bins And Fear: One Woman's Struggle With Postpartum Psychosis

Friday, November 14, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Mom Stories/Opinion

Postpartum depression is a common occurrence, estimated to occur in around 15% of women. Many of them have symptoms including anxiety, hopelessness and trouble sleeping. But it is the thoughts of infant harm that scare these women most, often because they are led to believe that those with PPD harm their children due to a very biased—and very misinformed—media. 

But most mothers who engage in infant harm are not suffering from PPD at all. Most of these mothers are suffering from another disorder entirely, known as postpartum psychosis (Read more here in PPD is NOT Postpartum Psychosis: What Women Need to Understand About Infant Harm). However, even mothers with postpartum psychosis are not usually dangerous. Less than 1% of women ever develop postpartum psychosis, and of that 1%, less than 4% harm their children.

Postpartum psychosis is not an all-or-nothing thing (explained further in Understanding Postpartum Psychosis: A Temporary Madness.) Women may have symptoms and be able to get help even when in the throes of hallucinations or delusions. Most women are able to see past the thoughts and get assistance before they do something they will regret. Most can be pulled back from the brink. 

But it is usually the getting help that makes a difference for these women. Today, I invited a dear friend to discuss her experience with postpartum psychosis. And while she wishes to remain anonymous, it is her sincere hope that her story might help someone else out there to identify what is happening to them and get the assistance they need.  ...  continue reading

Why She Stayed: Abuse, Loss, and Surviving Domestic Violence

Thursday, October 30, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Mom Stories/Opinion

Domestic violence has been a hot-button topic in recent months. On television we watched Ray Rice beat his girlfriend unconscious, and listened to uninformed  mouthpieces attack her and other victims of similar crimes (read more here in Ray Rice, Victim Blaming and Why Women Stay). Some commentators went so far as to suggest that we should avoid elevators. (Instead of watching Fox and Friends commentators, do me a favor and check out the books listed at the bottom of this post instead. Your brain will thank you later.)

This is not a new issue, nor does it only affect women who choose to use elevators for their floor-changing needs. Domestic violence is something we must talk about so that those in these relationships know they are not alone, which is one reason I included this issue in my first novel, Famished (get it here). Nothing illuminates the struggle better than a story--and even better than fiction are real stories from real women. Because while it feels like a personal problem, domestic violence is an issue that affects us all, and will continue to affect future generations if we cannot address it openly. No one should suffer in silence....  continue reading