family · mental health · wellness · writing

My life, my kids! Get with the program or get out!

Ok so I feel a long blog post coming on about a subject that many will not agree with or like but I feel it needs to be said, first and foremost it is MY OPINION, you do not have to agree but I would suggest if it offends you, a look in the mirror might be a good place to start.
I will preface it to say that my kids… are just that….MINE! Unless I leave them in your care, you have zero ownership of them. Just because you are “family” does not give you rights to them or that it bestows you access to them. Want to see them, you know my number and where we live. They are underage, you want them to visit you, ask my husband and I first. Period!
Also we know your kids are important to you and the world revolves around them in your eyes. But please, stop expecting everyone to feel the same way. We have our own families, our own lives, and struggles. If someone is absent, consider why and do not bad mouth them to your kids. You are doing more damage than you can possibly imagine. I was told a few months ago that if I did not get my shit together and start making an effort that was acceptable in their eyes, that they would raise their kids to not even know who I am. Go right ahead then, knock yourself out! I bow down to no one who sees fit to threaten me in such a manner. Up until our world feel apart and I got sick a few years ago, I did everything I was socially expected to do and what I wanted to do as often as I could. Then all of a sudden, I am not good enough because I stepped away to protect my kids and myself and to try and fix the brokenness that was left behind. We are still healing and I am still in the fight of my life.
If you want something from me, ASK! If I can not give it to you, ACCEPT IT! Guilting me will only drive me further away.

I have a huge capacity to love and I care for my family deeply but I am under no obligation to constantly be in their lives. If we talk, we talk. If we don’t, we don’t. Start thinking of other people for once and stop making it all about you and yours. See, I am the type of mom who does not give a fuck if you keep up with my kids. I have raised them to appreciate the ones who do make the effort and to be gracious to the ones who don’t. It’s not personal, their self worth will not be based on who makes them feel special. They need to learn that they can stand on their own two feet and that while they are important, it should never be based on someone else. We, the parents, are the ones that are there for the special moments and if others want to be involved that is fantastic. Yet for the ones that can’t or don’t for whatever reason is not a baseline for how they feel about your children. Out of everything that has ever been said to me, the one that hurt the most, was what a horrible aunt I was because I do not remember birthdays or have not shown up to get togethers in the recent past. That I was unavailable for emotional support and I left them out in the cold. I am at a loss really, I do not remember much of the last year as I struggled with mental health issues and debilitating illnesses all while trying to help my kids deal with trauma and grief. That is where I was needed and where my obligations resided. Period! You don’t respect that, you know where the door is.

What about the birthdays and events they have been left out of. Or the grandpa who spends all his time with the other grandkids and hardly anytime with mine? Yep don’t give a shit! Large families are complicated to navigate and there is no room for this type of nonsense, you are hurting your kids far more than the ones who you claim don’t show up. The big problem also resides in the adults and their egos, strained relationships, and hurtful words. Learn to respect boundaries and move on with your own life. Take care of you and yours and everyone else be damned. You can not control other people’s action and their feelings.

My intentions where never to hurt anyone but alas, I did and I am sorry for that. Yet, I will not take ownership of the fact that others have deemed me unworthy. Continue to place expectations on people and you will find that they will fall away more quickly as your demands grow. Keep throwing fits and making people feel bad because you are not the center of their world, and you will find yourself alone. This is why we have large numbers of children with severe emotional issues because we do not teach them to rely on themselves. Continue to teach them that are entitled and uber special and they will become non functioning emotional wrecks as adults as soon as someone does not include them or make them feel special.

I have zero expectation of my family where my kids are involved and it will stay that way. Expectations lead to disappointment and what you should really be asking yourself, is if the problem resides in you and your emotional issues.

Maybe it was how I was raised that led me to this belief or the fact that I know my own worth and my heart. I can barely keep track of my meds much less what is going on in everyone else’s lives and who’s birthday is when. I am not up for pretenses of faking it until I make it, not my style. If you want me in your life, learn respect and boundaries and I will be more receptive. I do not live my life for anyone but me, my husband, and my kids.

And that is my rant, my opinion, and how I raise my kids. They know who loves them and if you are not a constant in their lives, they love you anyways. Your welcome!

Jennifer Steen

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

Uncategorized

The ties that bind yet are now broken

So here we go, this has been on my mind for some years now and has bothered me immensely. It is MY view and in no way meant to try and change anyone persons mind, k? Cool so lets continue, I want to start with one of my least liked quotes of all time…..”blood is thicker than water” *insert heavy sigh and a slight eye roll* this term has been used to justify so much crap and get people to continue in toxic family relationships at the detriment of their own well being and health. Furthermore the way it is being interpreted is actually not what the verse was intended for. Do your research people before you use this term on someone, because funny thing is, you are actually telling them that family is NOT more important than both the blood shed between comrades and friends and the blood of the covenant. While I am not here to save people from toxic family issues, I am here to make a statement of my own in regards to what I will NO longer put up with.
I do not care if we share DNA or a last name, continue to disrespect me and show your “love” with aggression, hate, and jealousy….you will never see me again except maybe in passing. I have put up with that shit for so long and made excuses that it broke my spirit. Tough love is about being firm not hateful! For many sensitive people and others I presume, this is NOT the way to handle issues or bend people to your will or way of thinking. Throwing your good deeds in my face will also get you a one way ticket out of my life. Seriously does anyone these days stop for one minute and look at all the possible sides of the story? Nah to busy causing chaos and making sure they are always right, that their feelings are validated, and never taking responsibility for their actions.
Listen, all families are dysfunctional in some way. There is an obvious difference between loving dysfunction and toxic dysfunction. Save yourself and your children as little heartache as possible and surround yourself with the loving kind people who do NOT see you as an obligation. I will never be anyones obligation!
Of course we love our family, most we grew up with and some we met later in life. Family means the world to me and that family consists of blood relatives, in law family, friends that are family, and my soul family. They come from all different backgrounds, religious preferences, shapes, sizes, and etc. Do you want to know why they are in my circle I consider my true family? Because each and everyone of them shows genuine affection, real love, and respect! They are fun and comfortable to be around, they make me laugh and have helped me through some of the toughest times in my life. I do not question their sincerity when they say they love me, I can feel it! They have never asked or expected anything in return, sometimes a simple thank you is all there is to give, and that is perfectly ok!
Am I innocent of acting out of turn and saying stuff better left unsaid? Nope. Do I mind my own business and let others live their lives? Yep. Do I respect others decisions and space even if I disagree? Yes because I want the same from others.
So now I am going to give you a short list of things that are not ok to do to people and then expect them to continue to be in your life.
1. When you see an emergency situation at their house and you keep going and then call someone else to find out if everyone is ok. Nope this is unacceptable! Even if we were on bad terms. I will always lend a hand if not for you, then for your kids. Compassion should have no boundaries!
2. Confront people while they are sick and just released from the hospital. Your shit can wait until they are better!.
3. Continue to text a person about a situation that you have been asked not to do, when you are referred to another family member to handle that matter and you do not respect their request. For real, respect goes along way. If for some reason you do not to respect this person, I have to wonder why you even bother? Oh that’s right….obligation, not with this chick!
4. Stop guilting the kids into feeling bad that you do not ever see them. Instead invite them over or better yet come see them if you miss them so bad. Seriously that is just plain common sense.
5. Stop feeling like everyone owes you, it will get you nowhere
6. If you do “good deeds” expecting things in return, then throwing a fit when they do not return your “good deed” in an manner you see fit. I would say its time to stop doing it.
7. Stop using your children as shields and excuses.
8. Absolutely no fighting and bickering at funerals over money, cars, and who sat next to who. Come on man!
9. Do not tell someone’s grandchild that their presence isn’t neccessary when a major surgery is being undertaken. I will do as I please and I do not need permission. I am a grown woman!
10. Do not under any circumstances talk bad about my parents in front of me EVER! Especially when it’s all bullshit!
11. Do not stop my other family members in the grocery store and talk bad about me as a mom. Have some class!
12. Ignore me numerous times and then out of the blue request my presence to make you feel special. Nope ain’t gonna happen!

13. Do not ever tell someone you hate them because they are skinny. Green is not your color. I actually wrote about this incident

Hours of conversation
Trying to see eye to eye
You unloaded your burden
And I stayed by your side
I put my values and morals
To the wayside
Bound in ties that were never mine
I tried and tried
Only after the final words
You left me empty inside
And you said to me in those final goodbyes
“While we are being honest, I hate you because of your size”.
“Anywho I love you, bye”.
I was left stunned and speechless
But I did not cry
For as I stayed in the circle
But near the outside
A resolution was coming
I could feel it inside
You tried yet again
To break me inside
With your ignorance and expectations
Judgements and lies
And now with consequences be damned
I will never again stand next to you side by side
You are now but a memory
A lesson learned in time

Jennifer Steen

Ok I am sure there is more but I am done with this situation forever. This was about me releasing what I know would do me no good to say in person, been there done that, so this was a good therapy session for myself and I’m out! ✌🏼❤🕉