health · Uncategorized

My Neuropsychological Evalution

So there has been a lot of talk about my mental state over the last few months, even years for that matter and I have been candid about them and what I have been dealing with. Apparantly I need to set the record straight and I have no hesitation in doing so. When I started this journey, I promised to be open and to share my story in the hopes that it helped others….not to play victim. So let’s get started.

I recently had a neuropsychological evaluation, I had three very intense sessions, and here are the results…..

Personality and Emotional Functions

“There were significant elevations on multiple scales, which suggest a person with significant anxiety, depression, and concerns about somatic functioning”.

She sees her life as being severely disrupted by a variety of physical problems and her poor health is a major component of her self image. Her somatic complaints are to the extent that they render her incapable of performing even minimal role expectations. She is impulsive and emotionally liable, and endorses a high degree of anxiety. Her anxiety is persistent and trait-like and reflects a dispositionally low threshold for the experience of events as dangerous or threatening. She endorses anxious reactions to a history of a traumatic stressors”.

She reports experiencing notable distress in her life at present. She reports being self-conscious in social interactions and is probably not skilled at asserting herself. She is probably uncomfortable being the focus of attention”.

Summary and Impressions

Jennifer’s personality testing indicates severe and debilitating levels of anxiety and distress as well as focus on her health problems. Given this anxiety, she is more prone to be internally focused, and not notice physical tension more readily than a person without anxiety. When she feels tension building, she pays more attention to the physical sensations of this stress. Not only does she report a large number of vague and complicated somatic complaints, but also a high degree of focus on her health. She sees her problems as complex and difficult to treat. Her personality is such that she is likely to be resistant to a psychological interpretation of her symptoms. However, characterologically, she deals with stress via repression. She may not psychological experience herself as anxious, but she has a very low threshold for tolerating events that are stressful.”

Jennifer likely had some risk factors for development of anxiety and depression, namely a strong family history and the precipitating factor appears to have been a history of past traumas as well as familial stressors.”

Investigation of the validity indices does not suggest any overt attempts on impression management, carelessness, or inattention to detail, or inconsistentency in responding. In fact, Jennifer’s low T-score on the Positive Impression Management scale suggests that she was candid in her responses. Her profile should be considered an accurate reflection of her current state.

I think some have been under the impression that I am too stupid to know my own self, therefore it is there job to tell me. News flash, I am very self aware, just because I know, does not mean I can fix things overnight. I have my recommendations and I will follow through with them so again, no need to throw it in my face while in an arguement, ok?! Might want to look in the mirror for some reflection.

I admit that I have shut myself away to protect myself and others, it’s been lonely and hard to handle. I pick and choose my battles carefully, and while I do not always execute them in the best way, it is always with the best of intentions. To those who have stuck by me, fought with me, and dealt with me….. I am humbled and grateful! For those that did not, I am thankful!

I have some medical updates that I will be sharing soon and will give some more insight into what has been going with my health….stay tuned and thank you for reading!

Jennifer Steen

poetry · Uncategorized

Holding on

I woke up really sad today

Holding onto things I can not change

Maybe I can but it would not be the same

All this time later

I finally process the pain

It aches so much

That it continues to this day

The hurt and the pain

The unspoken words

Like a slap to the face

I reacted in the moment

Now I must pay the price

It will be worth it in the end

We all must walk the road

Trying to not get lost along the way

However it is inevitable

For we all are not perfect

Or completely sane

~Jennifer Steen

poetry · Uncategorized

Poetry and Photography

Winds like a willow
For trees breathe
Like you and me
Soft as the grass
That surely grows
Like you and me
Soothing as a river
Flowing endlessly
Satin rocks
Laid about
For all to see
A bright colored sky
Looking out for you and me
The warm rays of sun
Brightening all the dark
Within you and me
I lay down on mother earth
And am thankful to just be here With you and me

~Jennifer Steen

poetry · Uncategorized

MIA as I find my way

There are so many reasons why I went away. I simply could not manage day to day. Locked away inside my tainted haven. Coping with what was beyond comprehension. I have to protect myself as I struggle to survive in this world. Energies hitting me from all sides. Draining my spirit while my soul swims in white light. My mind works overtime just like the machines of this time. Filtering all the vibes takes more time while my body declines.
It is all connected….the heart, body, soul, and mind. I go at my pace now after falling so far behind. Living in the moment as if it’s my last time. Loving has saved me and losing has taught me. I do not see what many others believe to be. I believe in what I feel, think, and see. The beauty all around me and the good in all you see.
That is the best life for me, full of music and the sea. Mountains and plains as far as the eye can see. I am finding my home and getting lost on the way. Endless journeys through space and time, leaving miracles in it’s wake.

~Jennifer Steen 10-24-2018

health · Lifestyle · poetry · Uncategorized

Medical update….October 29th 2018

What do I say about today…..words almost won’t display the feelings brewing inside my brain. When did we lose sight of what was in front of our face? How do we face what is hidden away? My feelings are written all over my face, not hidden away in shame. I speak in written word for my voice can not seem to be heard. My soul is in control for she seems to know the way, protecting my heart from what she can not comprehend. Self is who I am and all the beauty she beholds. Egos have no place within, they are hard enough to control. Does this look okay to you? Some just can not open their eyes, their hearts filled with toxins out of control. Amongst the chaos and denials, you find the angels sent to guide you as everything spins out of control. Words have saved me and will continue to do so, my hope is that we find each other and take back our control. ~Jennifer Steen

After getting repeatedly told to “just deal” and being blown off, I sought out a naturopathic doctor to help me find a better way to live and try to finally find out what the hell is wrong with me. After an eye opening and comfortable appointment, I felt optimistic that I could find a way to get answers and that one of my doctors here in Texas would help with labs.

I had that appointment today with my endocrinologist and it did not go well. He refused to order recommended tests (by amazing said doctor) and that he saw no evidence to warrant these tests….say that again? Oh and he did say it again along with verbally arguing with my husband about his credentials and the fact that he was the doctor. No shit sherlock, the plaques on your wall say so but your attitude and ego need a ton of work. I will absolutely not have someone like that in charge of my care, it has been made very clear to me the direction they are trying to go and that they are grasping at straws. I will save them the trouble, I have no problem admitting my mental health issues and am currently dealing with them appropriately. No one has yet to have the guts to say it to my face, because a serious medical issue is written all over my face. I get that answers have to be sought but as natural order goes, to find them you have to search EVERYTHING and EVERYWHERE! I believe that is common knowledge that makes common sense, right?! My case is complex and requires out of the box thinking, just like me. Thankfully I found an amazing angel doctor who was sent to help me and now I am going to follow that path after so many different trails. I have already began the process of diet changes and supplements and it has helped. We are going to figure this out and the war will have made perfect sense.

“I walk through the fire in silent screams until I wake, then swim in the healing waters for some rest”.

I know I have not given a medical update in awhile, it has been a bit hard to share that part. So much unknown and fear, while I am better in some ways than before. There is something really wrong, I can feel it, I can see it and I just want to know how to possibly fix it. I do not believe that is to much to ask for. As I typed this my young son just looked over at me and said “mommy I am so sorry you are sick”. Be still my heart and then it breaks a bit more, this is all he has ever known. I want more for the both of us, for my family and friends. Thank you all for taking this journey with me, for the love and support. For the prayers, good vibes, and kind words. I love you all โœŒ๐Ÿผโค๐Ÿ•‰

PS. I wrote this yesterday and felt like I needed to sleep on it and give my emotions a rest. No matter what happens I am blessed beyond measure! Thankful and appreciative! Loved and lost! I am a better for this journey, this struggle, and even on my knees I am grateful for the lessons it has taught me…..

music · Uncategorized

Music, new friends, and the power of words!

Ok so its high time for a feel good story and it is one that is very close to my heart! Anyone who know me well can tell you how much I love music and the stories they tell. There are a few bands who take the top spots in my book and I am going to share with you the amazing experience my family and I had with one of them, Breaking Benjamin!

In October 2015, my husband took me to my second Breaking Benjamin concert with VIP tickets. Our daughter at the time wanted to go so bad but was not able to do so. I promised her that one day I would take her to see them but until then she decided that she was going to record a message for Ben and begged me to show it to him. Alrighty then I said I would do my very best, if allowed. Lucky for me their band manager was kind enough to allow me to show it and Ben was great in answering her question. It was an amazing night and an emotional show. Ashes of Eden live for the first time, having not heard it before, was something I will never forget!

Five months later, I fulfilled my promise and took my daughter, Kaitlyn, to their show with VIP tickets. Wow what a night it turned out to be, one for the record books for sure. I finally learned the name of the man who allowed me to show her video all those months earlier, the bands tour manager, John Phillips. After our meet and greet with the band and a mini emotional meltdown, Kaitlyn was taken in by the crew and we were all treated to an experience of a lifetime!

Five months later, we got to go see them again in Houston, the day before our vacation began. Kaitlyn was so excited to see her bestie, John, and the band again!

John and Kaitlyn

Waiting for meet and greet

Then just a few short months later, we all meet up again in Tulsa for another amazing concert experience thanks to John! I was able to bring my nieces to their first ever rock concert and my mom came too! I would not have been able to give them that experience without his help and it is a memory I hold very dear to my heart!

So now in closing, I have two very important things to say…….

First to John, I can never thank you enough for what you have done for not only Kaitlyn, but for me!(I will explain that part shortly). For allowing us the opportunity to see these shows in a way not everyone gets to and for taking Kaitlyn under your wing and being her friend. She truly cares about you and the friendship you both have developed. It means a great deal to her and after the past year, she needs it more now than ever! You saw something that day in Amarillo, took action, and forever altered both our lives! We are both grateful for that!

And now I get to the hard part and share with you why it means so much to me. In 2009, two years after overcoming an addiction to meth, I began to experience chronic unexplained pain. Over the next seven years, I tried anything and everything to manage and I did well until August 2016. What was once just pain, turned into a health crisis I am still battling today. Here is a page from my journal……

I thought I knew what agony was, turns out I had only known pain. It was not until my pain became sickness that I truly got a taste of agony. Not until I read the burnt pages of my soul did I understand. The days I laid on the bathroom floor screaming into my hands and begging for relief. The nights I dreaded to sleep for fear I would not wake up. The people I lost because they could not handle my suffering for they did not understand. The hopelessness when you beg for help and no one listens or believes you. Living everyday as if it’s your last because you have been so close to death. Grateful for the people who decided you were worth sticking around for, and even more so for the stories that give hope.

I could go on for days explaining all the ways that Ben’s words and story helped me to keep going and still does to this day. How the songs gave me a voice when I was to tired to speak. I will admit, it is hard sometimes to listen too, the feelings are so raw and emotional. I ask myself often why I never said any of this face to face? Four chances and nothing. What do you say? How do you begin? I do not like to live with regret I can do something about but I have to believe that THIS is the way it was supposed to be. I was meant to write it down and share it in written words instead. My first poem was born from that inspiring night and my writings have grounded me as my life imploded around me. I am finally able to express my pain and thoughts and it was inspired by Ben, the band, a few other amazing people who encouraged me to break through fear and find the courage to share my story. So now I have no regrets when it comes to this amazing experience!

In closing I leave you with that poem and one last thank you before I sound like a broken record…..

Sorrow
Go away
Sorrow
Go ahead and stay
You won’t listen no matter what I say
Sorrow
Infects my soul
Sorrow
Drains my mind
Sorrow
Breaks my heart in all kinds of ways
Sorrow
Wash the day away
Tomorrow
I just hope for a better day ~ Jennifer Steen
โค๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿผ๐ŸŽถ

health · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Depression and the words better left unsaid…in my opinion.

Depression
You would think he comes like a thief in the night
But he creeps up on you in broad daylight

Hey everyone……so some of you know by reading my previous posts, that I have been sick for awhile now. This period of time in my life had been eye opening and haunting. On top of that, we had some really hard and painful things happen to the kids and everyone in our household at the time. These series of occurances left a silent mark on me, one I did not truly realize for some time. I admit, half of it is solely on my shoulders and am responsible for the mental state I find myself in. Trying to do to much, save people who do not want it, and deal with people who only want to see me fail and suffer. People pleasing and trying to be someone I am not. I also have been working on a series of writings that go back to the very beginning of my life in memories. It has brought up a ton of emotional baggage but also healed me in ways that have helped me move on, I will never be sorry for this! This story is meant to be told and it is the most important thing I have done and will NOT apologize for! Ok got it, I own it, and let’s move on.

The poem below was written when I decided to try medication to treat my depression……

The depression so deep
The chemicals will bring it to the surface
Where the spirit will contain it
And it will be washed away
Hopefully someday
The illness will remain however
Stuck in time
Ticking like a time bomb
Waiting for a sign from within
To destroy everything in its wake
I need more chemicals now
So I can survive the destruction
Shielding me from the jagged pieces of my broken body
My protective angel wraps his strong arms around me
Leading me out of the remains of my own tragedy~Jennifer Steen

I recognized my depression about six months ago, got medicine, and it sucked. I became an emotionless zombie and found that I preferred to cry instead of not. I wanted to feel, even if it brought me to my knees. Its closer to mother earth anyways, having my head in the clouds is not always the best place for me. I get lost and forget my place in this world, forget my purpose and responsibilities. I quickly weaned myself off these meds(my choice, you make your own based on needs amd beliefs) and knew if I took the proper approach and began to deal with what was going on, that I could find my way back to happiness. Well its not an overnight fix! It takes time, patience, and support…..did you get that last part? Support! From yourself and those who call you family and friends.

Now I am going to speak to potential family and friends of someone going through a mental issue such as depression and trauma. First, do not EVER tell them to “just get over it”. Please….for their sake and yours. I know you miss this person but you most likely brought upon yourself more time away from them. Second, you can not not just call or text once and then give up when things do not go your way. It is NOT ABOUT YOU, god forbid you find yourself in the same position someday and faced with self absorbed people who care not about your well being, only themselves. Third, you do not have to be ugly and say hateful things to get your point across. You just don’t, I promise! Not sure why “tough love” is the approach for somone who is actively seeking help. And last, if you find yourself unable to cope with said person and their “crap” do everyone a favor and WALK AWAY!

I have found myself in these situations with people over the last year and I will not lie, it hurts really bad. I am not mad, just sad. Feeling worthless and no good is not an easy feeling to cope with. I have not forgotten the precious ones who have held me up during this time and been my rock, you guys seriously saved my life! You all make the ugly side of this journey worth it! So thank you to those amazing people and a thank you to the ones who kicked me while I was down, you did not stay around to watch me get back up and I was able to leave you where you belong…..behind me!

Now, to all those dealing with depression and other mental illnesses….I love you guys! Even if I do not know you, I got love for you! Please seek help! It will not be easy, ok? Some of the best things in life never are, you have to fight for yourself and the life you want! You are amazing and you are important! Find what works for you, we all deal with things differently, and stay the course. Even if you get lost, its ok, you hold the map so use it!

For anyone that chooses to not to get help and be proactive, I can not say what will happen or who will stick around but I can say with certainty that things will not get better, simple as that. We are all here for a purpose and I hope you find yours, I hope for happiness and some sort of peace in your suffering. Because without suffering their would be no compassion!

Happy Saturday and happy vibes to all……

โœŒ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’™Jennifer Steen