The above picture is of my daughter Alexia and I…
The Struggle is part of the Story…
- I was born in St. Paul, MN and moved to Lakeville, MN when I was ten years old. Lakeville is a suburb about thirty minutes south of Minneapolis. I will always love the Minneapolis area, I miss it and hope to be able to move back there some day, somehow. Plus, I love football and I am a forever true die hard Minnesota Vikings fan and always will be. Go Vikings! Skol!!
- I am a very creative person and have been blessed with the gift and abilty to draw and paint. My specialty is mostly realism as that works well with my perfectionism. If you give me a picture of any kind, I can draw and/or paint it to look identical to that picture or scene. I have tried to branch off and create abstract work as well. However, my perfectionism makes abstract work a bit difficult for me, but I continue to try do and have sold some of my abstract work. I have sold some artwork, so I guess that makes me a professional artist…. hahaha….I love to draw, paint, do crafts of all kinds, sew, crochet, cook, write and create anything I can as often as I have time for and the money for. The media and techniques I mostly use for my drawings and paintings are graphite pencils, color pencils, water color paints, water color with ink using pointallism etc. to add details to the water color painting, pastels and acrylic paint.
If you would like to see more of my artwork, crafts and sewing and would be interested in buying any of my work and/or have a picture or idea you would like me to draw and/or paint for you, please contact me in the contact area of my blog. Thank you.
- I attended college at what was then called Mankato State University way back when I went to College. Now Mankato State University is called Minnesota State University and is in Mankato, MN. Woo Hoo! It sounds like my Alma Mater has moved up to the big leagues in the world of colleges and Universities.
- In 1987 I graduated with Honors from Mankato State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Special Education. I also received the honor of receiving and being listed in 1987 edition of “The Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.” My Special Education professors only select one Special Education student every year and they selected me. That was quite an honor for me and I, of course, couldn’t believe they selected me and always wondered why they did select me as I had and have no self esteem, whatsoever. They must have seen something very special and promising in my future as a Special Education Teacher.
- I went into the field of Special Education because I have always wanted to help people my entire life. In the past I have also worked with physically and cognitively disabled individuals of all ages in many other ways besides teaching. I still continue to work in this field in a different way by working very part-time in the home health care field. God blessed me with a great big caring compassionate heart. It is and has always been my passion to help people. That is who I am.
Additionally, I have always wanted to have children. I am so blessed to have three of the most amazing, fabulous and beautiful children in the world. They are and will always be my greatest blessings and treasures in my life. They have saved my life many times. I wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for my children. I strived my entire life to always be the best mom I could be, raising my children with love radiating and pouring out from soul at all times. I am so proud of all three of my children for everything they have done, continue to do and who they are. My oldest daughter is 24 and is married (so actually I have another son I love as my own as well), my son is 22 and my youngest daughter is 16 and still lives at home with me. I am a single mom, but I have enjoyed that most of the time because I get to raise and love my children just the way I want to.
- My first teaching position was in La Crescent, MN (which is next to La Crosse, WI) teaching severely to profoundly cognitively and physically disabled students. I told myself I would only stay in this area for three years, gaining my experience and I would then move back to the Minneapolis area and get a teaching job there. However a few years later, I started having children and have been stuck in this small town ever since, for over 27 years.
- I taught over ten years teaching mostly in La Crescent and La Crosse. I loved teaching and used to say I got paid to give love because essentially that was what I did. I loved teaching and my students.
- I loved being a teacher and everything about teaching, being able to help others and being able to use my creativity in many ways. It was who I was. I was and am a mother first and foremost and I was also a Special Education Teacher, as well. I was proud of being a good mom and a good teacher. Everyone in my family also loved the fact that I was a teacher. They could tell everyone that I was a teacher and my mom, especially, was always very concerned of outward appearances and what others thought of her.
- Then the inevitable came. The symptoms of My Bipolar Disorder became too severe and I could no longer teach anymore. It was over. The Tsunami ripped my identity and everyone else’s identity of me away. I lost my career, my identity, my money, my friends, my family, my husband, my home, parts of my memory and my life. My memoir will explain in more details how that happened.
- I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 1 with mixed episodes, rapid cycling, and some psychotic features, PTSD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Personality Disorder. Yes, that is a lot of labels. Whew! This made it very difficult to treat me. Plus, I have always been very sensitive to the medications. Unfortunately, it took me many years before I would accept my diagnosis, so of course that hindered my ability to get well sooner.
- I have attempted suicide numerous times, engaged in self injurious behaviors by using scissors to cut on myself and burnt myself with cigarettes, been hospitalized too many times to count, have had ECTs (Electro-convulsive Therapy treatments) too many times to count, been placed in half way houses a couple of times when I was first diagnosed, I have been homeless for about three months, and then I chose to live.
- I became a Bipolar Disorder Survivor and I have thrived at times even though I still live with and have to fight my daily symptoms of my Bipolar Disorder. Also, the nature of the beast of this illness still comes back to haunt me until I hit rock bottom again and I truly have to fight to live. My depression can become so dark that I have to fight my suicidal ideations and constant suicidal thoughts and thoughts of death. Somehow I make it out of the darkness until a spark of light ignites and the sun starts shining again and I feel alive again.
- God has saved my life too many times to count. He has always been with me, by my side whether I knew it or felt his presence or not. I know now that he has been with me through my entire journey and all of my struggles. This has all been a part of His plan for my life. I accept it now. So many times I felt like my brain was trying to kill me….. but God said NO!!! I continue to fight to live and survive and thrive. God has saved my life and I have become born again. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I praise God! He is so good! Thank you God for my life.
Romans 5:3-5 “…..we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, character and hope….God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Romans 8:18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
- I have given many presentations to share my story, inspire others, increase awareness, educate and reduce the stigma of mental illness and help end suicide. I have given presentations at a local University, spoken as a certified NAMI presenter and spoke to Police Officers and Social Workers for their Crisis Intervention Training. I have also been interviewed by our local newspaper and news station to share my story of recovery, going back to work,even if it is part-time and to help reduce the stigma of Mental Illness. I want to be a voice for the many that cannot speak for themselves. Lastly, I am in the process of writing my memoir. My story will have many journal entries I have saved for over 23 years. It is impossible to write exactly the way you are feeling during your darkest hours after your light is shining brightly again. I will let you know when my book (memoir) is finished, what the title is and how you can order it and/or buy it as soon as it is finished.
I want to and will give presentations at your requests. Please let me know if you are interested in having me give a presentation for you. Please just complete my contact page. Thank you very much.
Please enjoy my blog and make comments and ask questions as often as you would like. I look forward to hearing from all of you.
May your blessings overflow today and everyday always and forever.