What to do After Trauma?

The recent hurricanes that took place reeking havoc on Texas and Florida had me a hormonal mess. I’m located in Texas and have family and friends located all across Houston. Some of my friends lost everything, some got away with minimal loss, and others are just fine. I so badly  wanted to run down there and help after it was all said and done, but being pregnant it was not and is not safe for me to do so. Ultimately however the entire event has got me thinking and meditating on how I can help to fix my self and my own personal problems. My family has been through a lot in just a few short years: we had a baby; my husband lost his mother; I suffered severe postpartum depression; we had a roommate issue (actually we had a few of these) that nearly broke us mentally and financially; honestly the list goes on and on. While I have done well in terms of fixing and managing my husband and I’s relationship there are still ongoing issues that I will never be able to fix if I do not first fix myself.

What is trauma?

Trauma comes in many forms a complicated birth, a natural disaster, emotional abuse, a terrible car accident, or the loss of a loved one. No matter what type of trauma experienced a road to recovery is needed. Trauma always constitutes a type of loss, whether its the loss of time, emotional security, physical capabilities, or a person, that loss hurts. When you have a family and you are experiencing this hurt whether its something directly effecting one person or every person its important to not only know how to properly care for yourself, but others as well.

For the person currently suffering because of trauma?blancoynegro-1217184_640

Maybe you are one of the many people who’s lives have been devastated by Harvey and Irma, or a mom suffering from postpartum depression and healing after a very traumatic birth experience. Perhaps your someone who just lost their best friend. Life does not always give us a silver spoon, a ray of sunshine, or a silver lining. However, that does not mean we give up. If you are currently suffering and have tried everything you can on your own to make yourself happy then perhaps it is time to seek out extra help.

Helplines:

Suicide Prevention Lifeline (United States)Copy of What to do after

1-800-273-8255

National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-7233

LGBTQ Crisis Hotline and Services

https://www.ostem.org/crisis-hotlines

Financial Assistance, Medical Affordability, Local Help Resources

Call 2-11 in the U.S if you have any questions for financial assistance regarding food, paying bills, childcare, social services, and/or medical expenses.

If you are not sure where to begin in terms of trying to make yourself better and are too scared to reach out for help try some of these tips below.

Step 1:

  • Make sure you are taking time for yourself.
  • If you need to cry, then cry.
  • If you need to sleep, sleep.
  • If you just need some time to be alone, do it.

Step 2:

  • Get outside, you need 20 minutes of sunshine minimum everyday.
  • If you can see a Doctor and discuss with them about having your vitamin levels checked.
  • Take a multi-vitamin, it will help if you are lacking anything in your diet. Discuss with your Doctor on what the best multi-vitamin might be for you.

Step 3:

  • Drink water
  • Do your best to maintain a well balanced diet.

Step 4:

  • Try to workout at least 3 times a week for 20 minutes, even if its just walking around your office building or apartment complex.

Step 5:

  • Set a goal or goals, write down all the steps need to achieve that goal.

Step 6:

  • Start working towards your goal.

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If you Know someone who has recently experienced trauma?:

Perhaps you are not currently suffering as a result of trauma, but know someone who is. Maybe your spouse lost a parent or your best friend is getting out of an abusive relationship. Whether they are blatantly asking for your help or you are simply reading their story via Facebook updates, there are ways you can help even if you are not there next to them or capable of visiting in person.

Step 1:

Listen to what they tell you. Ask questions if you don’t understand.

  • What do they need?
  • What hurts?
  • Why does it hurt?
  • How does it hurt?
  • Where does it hurt?
  • When did it start?
  • Who caused it?
  • How was it caused?
  • What was the cause?

Step 2:

Be a shining light or a positive place for them. Build them up.

Step 3:

Help them problem solve.

Step 4:

Ask them about their goals, keep them on track to reaching them.

When someone is healing as a result of trauma they may try and gloss over the problem by saying everything is okay. They may hide behind good things or excuses. Don’t be afraid to show your failing points or troubles and how you fixed them or are working to fix them. If you feel someone is hiding their true emotions ask them about their goals, share with them about yours. Check in with them often to see how they are doing with their goals and give them an update on your own.

You and someone close are dealing with trauma simultaneously?:sad-child-1759986_640

Whether your family lost everything to the hurricanes or just experienced a traumatic car accident there are times in all of our lives when we are forced to not only care for our own mental well being, but the well being of others as well. Some are good at this. Others just freeze. It is okay to show emotion. It is okay to cry, it is okay to be mad. However, its important to also know where the balance is.

Step 1:

Have open discussions about every ones feelings.

  • What is everyone feeling?
  • What does everyone fear?
  • How can those feelings be properly expressed?
  • What can we do to fix those fears or bad feelings?

Step 2:

Give everyone their individual time to heal and move forward.

  • Maybe counseling with a third party is needed.
  • Maybe mom needs 20 minutes everyday to  just take a breath and relax without anyone touching her or asking for something.
  • Maybe the children need time with their friends.
  • Perhaps dad needs mom to listen to and hold him for a little while while he cries a few times a week.

Step 3:

  • What are the goals for the family?
  • How can you prevent future trauma?
  • What is everyone’s individual plan/goal for the future?

When you work through trauma individually it can be overwhelming, however we all must do things to care for ourselves otherwise we will not be able to care for others. When we are caring for others we must first listen to them in order to provide them with what they really need. If our entire household is experiencing trauma we need to not only listen to ourselves and voice our needs, but also listen to the needs being voiced by our spouse and our children. If we are not capable of doing exactly what someone needs, we must then find a compromise or something that is mutually beneficial to both parties.

The beautiful thing about Houston and really most of South East Texas is that despite the political, religious, and racial differences expressed, debated, and argued they will always help their neighbor in need. The entire country watched as the people came together to rescue and evacuate thousands who were stuck. The part you won’t see is how they will also come together to clean it up and rebuild. Social class, religion, race, politics, and gender will have no place to stand as neighbors will come together to exchange labor, goods, shoulders, and ears to help one another move forward. The hurricane was a trauma shared, for some it was more devastating than others, but that doesn’t mean those who are doing better move forward unscathed, instead they take their time to heal and they heal themselves, by helping to heal each other.

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2 Year- Toddler Post

I started this blog when I was pregnant with my son, he inspired me to follow my dream of writing. I have had many ups and downs not only with my emotions, but also with my writing. The past few months I have been very distracted with a combination of family drama, financial crisis, and a roller coaster of depression. We have had a lot of changes take place over the course of a short period. Tomorrow I will be making a big announcement. It amazes me how quickly time has moved forward, my little boy is two today it feels just like yesterday I was holding him in the hospital.

 

masks-833421_1280My Mental Health:

The last few months have been difficult for many reasons. I’ve basically been on a roller coaster, but everything seems to have evened out in the past couple of weeks. My son is into everything. He climbs on things and no toy stays in the toy bin for long. The constant need for cleaning and housekeeping has definitely caused a good deal of stress. The messy house combined with the slight financial mess we found ourselves in has definitely not helped with my roller coaster of depression. Fortunately everything seems to be improving. I’m working on creating new schedules and plans via the bullet journal method. (More on bullet journaling next week.)

 

toy-box-1916163_640How Toddler is Doing?:

He has all of his teeth and is getting taller. His vocabulary is incredibly large with new words being added everyday. His 1 year old cousin came to stay for a couple of weeks and the two had a great time playing with one another. Wesley doesn’t quite understand sharing, but he definitely learned what “mine” means while his cousin was visiting. With summer here I have started taking him to the local kiddy pool. He is tall enough that he can walk across the whole thing. It goes from 9 inches to 2 feet. I sit/stand next to him the whole time while he walks around and plays with his and others water toys. He hates getting his face and hair wet, but since taking him to the pool regularly he enjoys baths much more.

20170409_165549Feeding Toddler?

So we stopped the food pouches, they were no longer filling him up and they were getting very expensive. He basically eats almost exclusively what we eat. I do buy him snacks that are more specifically for him including goldfish, animal crackers, peanut butter crackers, and fruit snacks. The kid also loves tomatoes, so even though I am not a fan I buy him tomatoes every now and again. Recently he has been over-indulging himself on fruit-snacks. I’m working on getting him to understand they are a sometimes treat. He knows how to get into the pantry and fridge by himself. We have successfully set it up so he can’t get into the kitchen, but keeping him out of the pantry has proven impossible.

circle-304524_1280Tips and Tricks:

Pool shoes are a must have for splash pads

Summer is host to a whole slew of free fun family activities don’t forget to check your local city center and library for free events. Tired of visiting the same park or pool over and over again, change it up by driving further away from home to visit a neighboring public pool or park, just make sure you check their open days and times, some pools are closed during certain week days for cleaning.

 

15 Month Baby Post

masks-833421_1280My Mental Health:

Wow, what a crazy first three months the start to year two has been. My husband received a promotion and I have returned home to continue my writing career. The baby is super active and getting into absolutely everything. I’m finally on the other side of postpartum and enjoying my life with baby. I started working part-time for instacart just to make sure I’m bringing in some consistent money. Instacart is a company/app that purchases and brings groceries straight to a persons front door. I work as a shopper at my local H.E.B. We also have a new family member, Lovebug, she is a beautiful pitbull-boxer mix. She is black with orange stripes and white paws. My husband has been wanting a dog for quite some time and when one of his co-workers mentioned her to him he immediately began begging me to bring her into our home. It took some convincing, but her and the baby are good friends now.

I have started working on two books one a non-fiction e-book to be published by early December on how to write a research paper like a graduate student. The other is a creative piece placed in the world of steampunk. I will eventually be moving forward to get my teachers certification. My husband and I are also considering having another baby. We have discussed it and agreed that we will revisit the discussion of trying after our tax returns come in, in the spring. We have started making progress on our debt and have cut it by $500, not a small feint considering our recent experiences.

baby-923963_1920How Baby is doing:

He is very verbal, he isn’t walking yet, but he is climbing. Climbing onto chairs and boxes, but not the couch. He is also getting into everything, he pulls things out of drawers, cupboards, boxes, and just about anything else he can get into. His verbal skills surpass what is typical for his age. So far he has the following in his verbal repertoire: Mama (was first), Dada (second), I wuv you, kitty, dog, I want pet dog, nose, this, thank you, and out. His favorite words lately are dog and out. He really seems to enjoying dancing and singing. He loves his fathers cooking more so than mine. We’ve been to daddies workplace a couple of times to eat and he will always attempt to steal my food if I don’t give him some. He loves daddies sushi.

baby-21167_1280Life as a Breastfeeding Mama:

So my breastfeeding days are over for now at least until little one number two decides to come along. Wesley and I made it 13 months with breastfeeding before he made the choice to stop. He just stopped asking for the boob naturally on his own. It didn’t take long after that for my milk to dry up.

circle-304524_1280Tips and Tricks:

If you are going to introduce a dog into a family with a baby make sure the dog is not a puppy. Also teach the baby to pet not grab or pull. Show the baby how to treat the dog. Then slowly allow the two to interact.

Once baby learns how to take the diaper off do not put baby to bed without clothes. Otherwise you might wake up to a poop disaster in the crib.

 

New Years Resolutions: Re-evaluation

So we are half way through the year, and so many things have changed. Things I never expected or prepared for. I feel it is good to reassess the goals you have set out for yourself, especially when so much change has already taken place. At the beginning of this year I had prepared myself to increase my writing business and to begin looking for a job after the baby was a year old. However, as you know I ended up going to work a lot sooner than that. I’m really enjoying my new job and even though it isn’t something I would have ever dreamed about doing. It is easy enough and pays well enough that I find myself happy with it. I did not get the promotion I applied for, however I did learn a lot of valuable information by simply having gone through the process and tried. There is lots of room for growth in my position. I’m hoping that by the end of year I will be able to see some sort of promotion taking place.

The most difficult thing about looking for a job when you have a degree is the requirement of at least 2 years of work experience that is needed in addition to the degree. I’m finally in a place where I can gain that experience and if I am able to get a promotion during the process that looks all the better on me. As it is I have chosen to re-evaluate  my new years resolutions and do them over. I think it is important for everyone to stop about mid year and think back on their resolutions have you done anything to get closer to them? Did you give up too early? Or did something take place, which may make those original goals a little unrealistic. I feel it is important to be honest with ourselves about what it is we can do. No one knows you the way you know you. As it is I’ve developed some new goals for the following 6 months.

July:

Begin saving up money for a daycare deposit. Daniel is planning to go back to work soon and as a result we might need to place the baby in daycare.

Start helping with the chores on a regular basis.

Create a writing schedule.

August:

Redo presentation so that I’m prepared if another trainer position comes available at work.

Get healthy, reevaluate the things I am doing with my health and how I could do better. Health insurance kicks in mid July.

September:

Daniel should be working at this point, lets make a get out of debt budget.

October:

Fall Cleaning, lets get this apartment organized with everything having its own place.

November:

Plan a vacation for the holidays, goodness knows we need it after the long year we have had.

December:

Begin thinking about the year ahead, Daniel starts school in the Spring. Are we prepared what more needs to be done to make this a reality.

Daniel and I know what we want out of life, and that is to enjoy it. Eat good food, have some fun experiences, and be happy and in love. We want to build a happy loving family together one that doesn’t judge and put down its children for being unique individuals. We want to raise a family that loves each other despite the faults we might all have. We want to build a family that supports one another and does not expect anything in return we do things because we love each other. We give it back without the other asking us to. That is what we want, that is our goal. We hope that we can be successful at it, but you never know what the future holds. Even if our children end up hating us, we want to at least feel good and know that we tried. We are setting down the foundation and the building blocks that will allow us to give our children the best future we know how to give. We were not prepared for Wesley, but now that he is in our lives we would not change it for the world. I love him so much.

 

In a couple of weeks I will be posting my 12 month baby post the end of the first year. After that I will post 3 month updates on how he is developing over the course of his second year. I’m hoping you’ve enjoyed following me on this journey and I look forward to continuing well into the future. Who knows maybe one day I will be a stay at home mom who gets to make her money writing from her computer. For now however, I don’t mind being the working mom.

 

 

 

New Year New Me

It was brought  to my attention around my birthday this past November that I have lost my way, and become a shell of the person that I once was. I made some goals for the upcoming year, and wrote a post regarding those goals. The first week or two following that post I did nothing to really jump start myself the way I should have. In the weeks leading up to this new year however, I have been working to improve myself, but it has been slow going. This New Year’s however, I am determined to re-inspire my passion for life. The last few years have been very hard, and last year I realized that all of the goals I had been aiming for since my junior year in High School were not really the goals that I wanted for myself, but rather band-aids to cover up my true dream.

I discovered last year that my dream of becoming a writer was in fact a real possibility. I have since gone on to make an average of $100-$300 a month just by writing. Unfortunately, despite discovering that I indeed could make money from writing the numbers were not quiet as promising as I had hoped, the steps were not written as nicely as the goals I had made prior to making the decision to follow my true dream. I felt as though I had lost part of who I was, because everything was upside down. I am now choosing to jump start myself and take a new outlook on life. This year I am going to make a goal for every month of the year. Goals which will ultimately build upon themselves to allow me to grow into the passionate life loving person I once was.

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January:

Health:

I am going to begin and maintain a work out routine. I will meal plan and start eating healthier and more often. Since giving birth to my son, I have lost a lot of muscle mass do to bad eating habits and low activity. I plan to put myself on a path towards good health beginning this month.

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February:

Health:

Maintain my work out plan yoga once a week, 2 days at the gym, 3 days walking with the baby in our new stroller. Keep planning meals.

Business:

Create a schedule for my blog I have been ignoring certain areas, such as the career and college sections. I plan to change that by creating a detailed schedule this month. In addition, to my blog  I will also work on gaining new writing clients. I have at least one potential massage therapy client that I have worked with in the past. I also have connections in the real estate business, who might be interested in a writer for their blog.

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March:

Health:

Start dancing again.

Business:

Write two short stories to send off to competitions.

Financial:

It’s time to budget, you may be wondering why this isn’t January’s main goal. We would like to take care of few debts before really getting into the nitty gritty of our financial problems, and our tax refund is really going to help cut down on a lot of those issues. So come March when we have managed to get a lot of the debt paid off we will sit down and create a true budget for ourselves to begin paying off the rest.

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April:

Health:

Buy a pair of running shoes and a new water bottle, as  a reward for my hard work.

Business:

Write up three articles to sell/utilize as means of selling my writing skills to potential clients.

Financial:

Begin couponing regularly to help keep us in budget.

Social:

I’m going to focus on building friendships this month both current friendships and new ones. It’s time I started attending some mom and baby events with my son Wesley.

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May:

Health:

Start including baby in meal planning.

Business:

Write my e-book.

Financial:

Have at least half of the credit card bill paid off. $1400 (hopefully if our tax return is as good as we think it will be this year we can pay off 2/3rds).

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Social:

Throw a Birthday party for my husband at Brew Day. His father has a brew day once a month and Daniel is determined after his mothers death to visit once a month for brew day. He has never had a surprise party before and I intend to throw him one.

June:

Health:

Go out dancing with my husband, and begin running as apart of my regular workout.

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Business:

Edit e-book.

Financial:

Begin looking for a new apartment or house to rent.

Social:

Visit sister and her new baby. That’s right my little sister is going to be a mom.

July:

Health:

Begin weaning the baby and pumping regularly so that he has breast milk in loo of regular milk for his cereal. My goal is to breastfeed for a year and pump for the second year, as the World Health Organization recommends 2 years for breastfeeding. The U.S pediatric society recommends one year.

Business:

Publish e-book.

Financial:

Pay off the last of the credit card bill.

Social:

Throw the baby his first birthday party.

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August:

Health:

Get a hair cut and update wardrobe.

Business:

Market e-book.

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Financial:

Begin looking for a new work from home job/ full time job.

Social:

Locate a babysitter for Wesley. It’s time Daniel and I start having a regular date night.

September:

Health:

Get a massage and adjustment from chiropractor.

Business:

Write 3 articles to utilize for gaining new clients.

Financial:

Begin preparing to move.

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Social:

Take the baby to familiar places so moving doesn’t upset him with all the big changes.

October:

Health:

Get a pedicure after that hard move. Scout out the new workout location and begin second week after move in.

Business:

My goal is to make at least $1,000 a month just with writing by this month. As this year comes to a close the math tells me I averaged $200 per month this year.

savings-box-161876_1280

Financial:

Re-examine the budget with the new bills at the new place.

Social:

Have a house warming party by inviting mommy friends over for a Halloween themed playdate.

November:

Health:

Re-examine work out goals. Am I aiming to build muscle, increase endurance, tone, or something else?

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Business:

Begin preparing for tax season, how much do I need to report, what should I expect to pay? Also renew health insurance for January.

Financial:

Create a Christmas budget, how much are we spending on our son, each other, and others.

Social:

Take Wesley to meet Santa, attend Christmas related activities with other children and moms.

December:

Health:

Continue workouts, but feel free to enjoy the yummy food of the season.

Business:

Begin creating a plan for 2017. It’s time to start bringing in the big bucks.

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Financial:

Create a budget for 2017, start planning for Daniel and I to have a real wedding ceremony with a white dress, roasted pig, and bomb fire. We are going to throw a renaissance theme wedding in order to celebrate our love with our closest friends there to witness. My husband and I are kind of dorky in that we love to get dressed up in costume, and party like it’s the 1500s.

Social:

Have a holiday pot luck with my mommy friends and do a white elephant gift exchange.