How Trauma Shaped My Home-Making

I’m often asked how I am able to keep my house so neat and tidy with as many kids as I have. The truth is, it’s really more of an obsession than anything.

I grew up with a dad who was very particular as to how things are done. He would scold me for not throwing something away in the trash correctly. The dishwasher needed to be loaded a certain way. The laundry needed to be done a certain way. Everything needed to be done a certain way. I always just looked at it as one of his quirks. He does the same exact thing, every single day and when something interrupts his daily routine, he gets very anxious. Same restaurants, same stores, every single day. My mom on the other hand, is a bit messier.

We always had a cleaning lady growing up. My first one, Susan, was one of the nicest women I have ever met. She went above and beyond at what she did, rather than just rushing through it to get the bare minimum accomplished before moving onto her next client. I loved the way she would make my bed and line my stuffed animals up for me. When we re-modeled our home, a cleaning lady was unnecessary because our home was so out-of-whack. Once our house was finished, my mom hired a new cleaning lady, Connie, who has been with them ever since.

As a child, I remember being obsessed with going to Organized Living. I would dream of one day having a home that is perfectly organized. I would convince my mom to buy me organizational tools for my items: boxes, baskets, hanging storage, etc. I loved walking the aisles of the Pottery Barn Outlet, picking out all of the things that I wanted for my own home one day.

As a drug-addled teenager, I would stay up all night long doing drugs and organizing my things. I’d rearrange my furniture in the middle of the night, re-organize my closets and drawers, and make lists upon lists while color-testing all of my pens and markers.

As a young adult, I enrolled in The Art Institute of Cincinnati for Interior Design. I had big plans in mind to become a professional organizer. I ended up taking a break when I was about to have my son, and never returned due to my relapse. That relapse led to years of different rehab facilities, some of the nicest available.

But then I ended up in government-funded “rehab jail.” During all of my years of addiction, I had been in some sketchy places, including abandoned squatter houses and run-down motels that were known for housing crack heads and prostitutes that were in significantly better condition than this vile dump. I was ecstatic when I was “expelled” from this program and put back into The Hamilton County Justice Center. The jail was regularly sanitized and I felt much more at peace. In jail, we would get one roll of one-ply toilet paper in our cell that was to last us a week between two people. I was pregnant and we all know pregnant people pee pretty frequently.

When I was released from jail, at 6 months pregnant, my parents gifted me a home that I have been paying them back for since. I was a pregnant, five-time felon. It would have been extremely difficult to find someone who would have rented to me with check fraud charges and my parents didn’t want to see me out on the streets, but they already had my son and couldn’t go through it all over again.

A month after moving in, my ex went to prison. He committed a burglary, and brought the stolen items back to our home while I was with a friend. That friend called the police the next day to report what she had witnessed, including that I was with her. That didn’t matter though, because the items had entered our home. Our home was raided and the police destroyed my home; made the biggest mess that they possibly could in a desperate attempt to find anything they could to use against us. We were both known felons, and they acted as if this was going to be the biggest bust of their careers. There were 13 police cars up and down our street, police from many districts walking in and out of our home. I felt so violated. I was incredibly traumatized by this experience. I developed an intense paranoia that they would be back at anytime. I started watching out the windows, having a panic attack anytime I saw police near my home even though I was not doing anything wrong.

Being completely alone for the first time in my life, I had absolutely no idea what to do. So I just began cleaning and organizing everything. I would save up any money I could, even if it were only $1 a time and I would use it to buy only things for my home and my soon-to-be-born daughter at the thrift store. I would pick up furniture and decor on the side of the road to re-purpose. I was gifted some furniture from a friend’s family that were downsizing. I lived on next to nothing, and managed to furnish my entire home by myself. I got a job at Big Boy as a server and began learning responsibility. I began paying my parents back for the home. I began buying more and more stuff because growing up in Suburban American, I attributed success to material riches. I became somewhat of a hoarder, especially of children’s toys because I thought that being a good mother meant giving my child everything they could ever want. Boy was I wrong.

Around the time Ella was 2, my ex returned from prison. I am not going to go into much detail here, but out of spite, he called Child Protective Services on my now-husband with false accusations when I refused to give my child to him at midnight while he was high. It led to a fight in which the neighbors called the police. I asked the police for domestic help, but was met with a “we can’t do anything about it” and learned that if he were to get her, he could legally run away and I would never see my child again. I developed a way more intense paranoia. So when CPS showed up a few days later, I assumed it was over the fight. I had no idea that HE had called them, trying to get them to bring my daughter to his house for him which did not happen. That was hands-down the most traumatic event of my life. I tried to take him to court for a restraining order. I was granted a temporary one, and proceeded with filing for divorce and sole custody. Throughout that entire battle, I began living in absolute fear. I couldn’t have any windows open, I became suspicious of everyone who spoke to me, and I began experiencing life shattering panic attacks. To make matters worse, he and his mother live at the end of my street.

I became obsessed with having a spotless home in case any government members arrived at any point. I wouldn’t let anyone inside of my home out of fear of them making a mess. I couldn’t sit down at any point to relax, everything had to be absolutely perfect at all times. I was spiraling into insanity.

After a few years of living like this, my son’s father committed suicide and I absolutely broke. Any amount of sanity I was clinging onto, was gone. Once again, not knowing how to function, I began not just cleaning and organizing, but de-cluttering. I hated everything and I wanted it all out of my house. Everything had memories attached to it of people I wanted to erase, events I wanted to forget, places I would never return to. I emptied at least 75% of our home. If it didn’t have a purpose, it was out. Every day I would take multiple full boxes and bags to the donation center. The more I emptied my home, the less stuff I had, the more peaceful I felt.

I began a life of minimalism. I bought with intent. I no longer bought anything just because it was “cute.” I no longer bought anything “just in case.” I began purchasing only what I would use regularly. I thought ahead if I would have space for it, or if I really needed it. I use what I already have, and I buy second-hand if necessary. I stopped having anything on the counters. Everything has a place. It’s easy to keep everything neat and tidy when it belongs in a certain space. I was finally feeling free.

Then 2020 happened. Having my kids home all day was rough. Trying to keep my home perfect while trying to also home school and entertain toddlers was really hard. For most of the year, we stayed outside as much as possible trying to avoid messes as much as possible. Around May, the depression hit me hard. I got further and further behind on my house work, which led to me falling back into the insanity hole. I developed a rage, or as my husband calls it, a battle cry. I would see a mess and just absolutely lose my shit. Scream, cry, scream, cry… all day, every day. Everyone was walking on eggshells. I knew my family and I couldn’t live like this and I enrolled in therapy and Empowerment Parent Coaching. I learned that I was not alone having a difficult time coping in these trying times, but I should be very proud of myself for both admitting to and making the effort to change my unhealthy behavior.

As the years have gone on, I have developed daily and weekly cleaning routines. We have assigned chores to our girls to help do their part in keeping the home neat & tidy. We have regular “clean up” sessions throughout the day where I set a timer and we get everything cleaned up as quickly as we can before the timer goes off. My kids have learned that if they just do their part to keep the house clutter-free, we all have a great day and don’t have to spend a ton of time cleaning up. My husband has learned that if he does his part to clean up after himself, I am a better wife. We have all learned how to work together. I still can’t relax with messes, and my house must be clean and spotless every night or else I won’t be able to sleep. When I wake up to a spotless house, I wake up to a productive day. I wake up feeling relaxed, rather than overwhelmed from already being behind.

I am just a human doing the best that I can. I envy those that are able to live in a more relaxed, easy-going way. As much as I enjoy having a clutter-free environment, I often overwork my body and I am easily overwhelmed. I worry how my obsession with having a clean home will affect my children in the long-run. Balance is something that I was never skilled at, but after surviving 2020 I’m learning to accept that messes happen and they are able to be cleaned up. Messes aren’t forever, and they don’t mean that I am a total failure even though I am not sure I will ever be able to stop measuring my self-worth based on my productivity. I have learned that when things in my surroundings are happening beyond my control, I feel an intense need to control what I can of my environment, which happens to be my home. My home isn’t neat & tidy because it comes easily to me. My home is neat & tidy because my life experiences have led me to live in this obsession with control.

Don’t judge yourself based off of someone else’s curated photos that you see on social media. Please, please don’t compare or think you are less than because your home isn’t spotless. You are doing an amazing job, just the way you are.

Surviving A Pandemic With Mental Illnesses | A Life I Deserve

As humans, it seems that we are rarely willing to agree on anything. The one thing we CAN all agree on, is that 2020 has been a rough year, especially for those battling with mental illness.

I haven’t smoked cigarettes in almost 2.5 years, yet I spend 85% of my day convincing myself not to smoke them. Each day is getting increasingly more difficult to convince myself not to pick that habit back up.

I haven’t used heroin in over 7.5 years, yet this year I have found myself fantasizing over the idea of making all of my physical + mental pain go away. Logically, I know that won’t work for long & it will only be a matter of time before I have all my current problems, plus a whole new set of them, which is what holds me back. When you know better, you do better. Getting and staying off heroin was far easier than 2020 for me.

Then the suicidal thoughts. Its a strange place to find yourself when you don’t want to live, but not ready to die, yet. It’s a lonely place to be. I have so much to be thankful for, yet I want to throw it all away so someone much kinder, happier, and more deserving can take my place. Someone who is more patient, someone more still. Someone who doesn’t have the long list of mental illnesses that I live with. Someone who isn’t set off over the simplest of things. Someone who won’t show them what the dark side of mental illness looks like. Someone who is nothing like me.

But in the midst of my latest stress-induced meltdown, I realized something really big that stopped me in my tracks.

I have 4 girls nearly 24/7.

4 girls who I have been isolated with inside a tiny house for the better half of a year.

4 girls who fight. & scream. & cry. & shriek. & yell. Usually all at the same time.

A newborn, turned infant, who is now running. Who has been attached to my hip since birth with no breaks.

An extremely high-strung, dangerously-fearless, independent, messy, busy toddler.

A half-day preschooler who we have to pile in a car (if you’ve ever watched this ordeal, you understand) to drop off, only to pile in a car again to pick up almost two hours later.

A very hyper-active 1st grader who I am now homeschooling 3 days a week. Who I can rarely bring into public due to behavioral reasons, especially without another adult present.

3 days at home, means 2 days at school. 2 days that start 30 minutes of each other, who because of covid cannot be dropped off together. With a baby & toddler who cry every time they sit in a parked car for any length of time. 2 days in a classroom with 6 other children with a teacher who doesn’t believe me that she displays every symptom of ADHD, and an ADHD test which is based entirely on what unrelated adults around her believe to be true.

Speech therapy appointments for my toddler.

Behavioral therapy appointments for my 1st grader.

Parent coaching appointments for myself.

Doctor appointments for all. Trying to find a dentist in our network that specializes in Pediatrics.

With not one break.

Not one single one.

I’m stretched far, far beyond what I can mentally handle. Yes, having so many children WAS my decision; but neither I, nor anyone else, planned for a global pandemic when planning for a family.

Nobody planned for this.

I am not alone in my struggle, but that does not make it easier.

When you live in a constant state of manic-depression, it is very hard to remember to be kind to yourself. It is difficult to see your worth and hold on to your will to live, if you can even find it.

I wrote this list of things I deserve in life, even if I don’t believe it yet. Someday I might.

And who knows, it may be exactly what someone needs to hear today.

We are all in this together ❤

  • I deserve to be built up.
  • I deserve to share my feelings without feeling weak.
  • I deserve to be loved despite my imperfections.
  • I deserve respect.
  • I deserve to be happy.
  • I deserve adventure.
  • I deserve to plan for the best.
  • I deserve to feel beautiful.
  • I deserve help. I NEED help.
  • I deserve a break.
  • I deserve kindness, compassion, & grace.
  • I deserve mental health days.
  • I deserve to feel stressed.
  • I deserve to embrace progress over perfection.
  • I deserve to relax.
  • I deserve to stand up for myself.
  • I deserve to be heard.
  • I deserve to live.

And so do you. ❤

Remember Ebola?

The following cartoons are all 6 years old. Anything look familiar to 2020?

The signs are all around you. Watch for them.

The Priviledged vs. The “Drug Court”

I have 7 years opiate-free because of priviledge.

My priviledge was going to rehab 15 times, while most addicts can’t even make it to one.
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My priviledge was being able to go to the same rehab centers as celebrities, while most addicts receive the minimal amount of government funded resources for mental health and addiction.
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My privilege was being able to receive Vivitrol shots once a month for a year costing $1,700 a month, while clinics provide false hope with methadone to those who can’t afford what actually works to treat addiction or even the resources to find out about this miracle treatment.

My privilege was being gifted a home because my five felonies would have prevented me from being able to get any kind of housing, when most people being released from jail have to go back to their unstable environment.
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My privilege was walking away and blending into the “white society” to save my own ass, while NO black person is able to do that.

I spent the last 7 years growing, resting, refocusing, and educating myself because the way I was fighting before wasn’t working. I’m here to be a voice for the voiceless because 401 years of allowing this corruption to go on is inexcusable.

📷: Hamilton County Justice Center, circa 2013

I admit my privilege, but that wasn’t the whole story.
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Those expensive rehab centers didn’t get me sober. They were more like a vacation resort to find myself.

Government funded “rehab” is why I am sober.

I lived in trailor parks & crack houses with better living conditions than government-funded “rehab” centers and I made it VERY known while I was there. BECAUSE of my privilege I knew this place was deplorable.
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The judge looked me in the eyes and told me she wanted to ship me off to Marysville Prison for 5 years because I would never change. I looked her in the eyes and told her “You don’t know me. I am stronger than you and I will absolutely never return to one of those vile places as long as I live.” 7 years later and here I am. I vowed to never return, and now I will do everything in my power to try to make sure no one else has to either.

While in the government-funded “rehab” center, I said “I would rather be dead than be in these grotesque living conditions.” ⠀

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So they sent me to the psych ward for “threatening to kill myself.”
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Upon intake, they do their psychological evaluation and I corrected the report they had sent over and said “No. I didn’t say I was going to kill myself. I said I would rather be dead than live in those grotesque living conditions.”
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I begged them to keep me there, but I was sent back that day because clearly I wasn’t suicidal, I was angry for the situation in which I was living. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
JAIL was better than this place. I THANKED them for kicking me out and sending me to jail. I was having a difficult time not smiling for my mugshot.
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The government help is not helpful. It is a trap that you will never be able to escape unless you have the privilege to.

📷: Ella, circa 2013

I found out that I was pregnant while in this deplorable government-funded “rehab” center, so to make matters worse, my first trimester was spent here.

I was eventually kicked out & moved from this “rehab” center, to the Justice Center where I spent my second trimester.

Because I was pregnant, I was given a mat with a built in pillow lump that resembled a pool raft and a night-time snack 👍🏼. I couldn’t let myself get attached to my baby. I wasn’t sure what kind of sentencing I was going to get. I didn’t want to get attached only to go off to prison for 5 years or there be a major health complication due to lack of proper prenatal care.

Pregnancy is supposed to be celebrated, but I felt like I had nothing to celebrate.

📷: Ella, circa 2013

Finding out that I was pregnant was a complete shock to me.

Days before entering the government-funded “rehab” center, I was body slammed against the ground & more by the arresting male officer over a non-violent warrant I had. I had a welt slightly bigger than a tennis ball on the left side of my stomach.

A day after I arrived, I had began bleeding the heaviest I ever had in my life, which I had just assumed was my period so I said that there was no way that I was pregnant. When the test came back positive, I was flabbergasted.
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I began fighting to be sent to a halfway housing community for mothers where I could have my baby with me and work towards getting my son back at the same time. Providing absolutely no reason, they refused to let me go there.

So here I was, stuck in this hellish place, with a corrupt judge and probation officer putting up every obstacle to insure I failed, but hell has no fury like a Madison scorned.

📷: Ella, circa 2013

I was not supposed to go to this court room. There was a plan already set into motion, then at the last second my case was transferred due to the death of the prosecutor’s wife and being assigned a public defender.

A public defender is a “lawyer” of sorts for those who cannot afford representation for themselves. This public defender ignored the plan in place and transferred me without notifying the victim – my mom.

As soon as I was moved to this court room, my mom filed to have the charges dropped. They wouldn’t let her. She fired my public defender and hired a family friend who is a well known criminal defense lawyer, who has known me since I was very young and knew my heart.
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The judge was quoted saying, “how you treat people is as important as what you do to them.”

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I watched how she treated people. I watched what she did to them. And most of all, I have watched case after case of hers – my friends – die over the last 8 years. Because like I told her, her way doesn’t work.

7 Years Later

I have not used any opiates in over 7 years. I have not been arrested, or had so much as a speeding ticket, since 2013. I have paid off my restitution and court costs in full. I successfully completed probation in 2015. I put in my time and work.

I still cannot get a job near children, even though I have enough experience with children to run my own daycare. I still cannot get a job in any sort of medical field, even though I can draw blood better than any professional I’ve ever met. I cannot even get a job in retail, even at a grocery store. I cannot apply for life insurance. I cannot open a bank account. The list goes on and on.

If I did not have the PRIVILEGE of my parents and husband fully supporting me, I would still be out there committing crimes just to survive on a daily basis, because as much as Corporate America likes to *SAY* they don’t discriminate, that is all they do.

I didn’t make it out because I’m strong. I made it out because I had the privilege to. Privilege is the answer to the question: why “only a few make it out.”

STATISTICS

📷: Hamilton County Tax Levy Review
📷: Hamilton County Tax Levy Review
📷: Hamilton County Tax Levy Review
📷: Hamilton County Tax Levy Review

REVIEWS

📷: Rehab.com
📷: Rehab.com
📷: Google Reviews
📷: Google Reviews

I Wish I Waited to Have Sex

📷: Circa 2013

This is a photo of me a few weeks before I had sex for the first time 😳

I was still a child. I wasn’t ready. I was blamed. I was punished for it by my school, he was not. I was sent to confession by my school, he was not.

The Catholic religion believes that Eve (women) brought “sin” into this world, so ALL women are to blame for “lust” (this word makes me want to vomit 🤢), “deceit,” and “sin” in this world. So all of the blame fell on my shoulders.

I felt abandoned by every adult and person in my life. My parents, my teachers, my peers and every one of their parents, my babysitter who had her own struggles going on with the premature birth of her first-born who lost her fight, my friends, and him.

This one single event changed the entire trajectory of my life and I developed an “attachment deficit.”

There was no romance. No specialness. No beautiful story. He took me out into the woods like an animal. He broke up with me for another girl after. I learned that sex was nothing more than sex. I learned that I was not enough.

The children were no longer allowed to hang out with me, but the boys were quick to lie to their parents and meet up with me in “the field of happiness” to persuade me to show them my naked body. Some were pushy, some were not. They had no respect for me, and I had no respect for myself.

They asked me to be their “girlfriend” as a joke, then would call me on three/multiple-way calling later that evening with all friends listening to “break up with me.” I learned to build up a very tall wall that I have only let one person truly enter to the other side. Some of them have come back as married adults, asking me to send them “nudes” and make sure I won’t tell their wives they asked. 🙄

Once I got to high-school, I was taught by peers that the way to get over one boy, was to have sex with another one. So I tried it. And it worked. I learned and created an extremely unhealthy coping mechanism.

In high-school, I had one of the most traumatic sexual experiences I’ve ever encountered to date. I was drunk on Southern Comfort. It was rape. I did not know it at the time. Everyone was talking and joking about this event. They drew pictures of this event in art class. I was traumatized. I was ruined. I turned immediately to drugs and used humor to cope. It wasn’t until this year, 15 years later, than I realized that I never gave consent to this event. None of it. For 15 years I have told this story. I have mastered the art of telling this story with hilarity while hiding the immeasurable amount of pain inside. Not once in 15 years did anyone ever suggest I was raped.

When I began dating my son’s father, we created an agreement. Exploring under this agreement was acceptable, exploring outside of this agreement was cheating. I loved him so much that I desperately wanted him to be happy. I found heroin and I became addicted to the numbness it gave me. I became addicted to letting go of jealousy. I became addicted to letting go of pain. I became addicted to letting go of any feelings of hurt. He had his fun, I had heroin. It didn’t matter that I was not enough, because heroin was enough for me. I learned to put others happiness above my own. I learned that love meant silently suffering. I was reassured that I was not enough.

As an addict, I used sex as a way to support my addictions. I was raped on multiple occasions and I learned that “it comes with the territory” and that you just have to chalk it as a loss, like a robbery. I did not feel that I deserved to call it rape because of my past and profession.

When I announced my pregnancy with Sasha (my 4th earth-side baby), I received hate messages via Facebook Messengar by a newly created, photoless profile under the name “Grace,” letting me know how much of a dirty slut I am for having 4 (now 5) children before I hit 30 and that I strongly need sex therapy. I have no idea who “Grace” really was, but I have my theories. I learned that even as a married women to the father of 4/5 children, my past cannot escape me, I am whoever they say I am.

I learned that I wish I would have waited.

I wish I was old enough to be able to comprehend what sex truly meant. I wish I knew what clear consent truly meant.

I wish my mom talked to me about sex and respect and consent, instead of jumping directly to birth control.

I wish I knew I would lose my dad that day. Physically he’s here, but mentally, he checked out the day the school called him. I wish I knew I would lose my best friend. I wish I knew what “daddy issues” were before I had them.

I wish I knew that I would see my body as damaged. I wish I knew I would feel ashamed of my body. I wish I knew that for the rest of my life I would have flashbacks of sexual trauma. I wish that I knew I would be extremely uncomfortable and tense up any time I am touched for the rest of my life, even with my own husband.

I wish I knew that I would never be able to give myself to my husband because I have already given it all. I wish I knew how hard it would be having someone be my “last” instead of “my first.” I wish I knew how much it would hurt my husband to know that my first love and twin-flame was not him.

I wish I knew how hard parenting outside of marriage would be. I wish I knew that in marriage, a woman’s body and choices are no longer fully hers. I wish I knew how awful custody issues are. I wish someone taught me this instead of teaching me that I would go to “hell.” I wish I knew that babies don’t always change people or make relationships last. I wish I knew that for the rest of my life I would fell incomplete and always have a huge hole in my heart from my son being adopted by my parents. I wish I knew that I would never feel whole again after losing my son’s father. I wish I knew how difficult it would be to parent with someone who sees the world entirely different than you. I wish I knew how complicated having children made relationships. I wish I knew how difficult it would be to make decisions when children were involved. I love my children, and I do not regret them in any way.

I didn’t know then, but I know now for my own children. I can’t make the choice for them, but I can share my experiences and guide them to making better choices than I did. I will not teach them that “boys will be boys” because I don’t agree with excusing the behavior. I will not allow people to say disgusting, sexist comments like “with a boy you worry about one penis, with a girl you worry about all the penises,” when talking about my children. I will teach them to respect EVERY body, especially their own.

After opening up about my sexual trauma history, many women have opened up to my about theirs. The amount of women who have experienced sexual trauma and didn’t know, didn’t feel they could tell, pretend it didn’t happen, etc. is truly sickening. We live in a world filled with the promotion of rape culture and we feed into it every day in even the simplest ways.

For example, my in-laws have a rule regarding no two piece bathing suits because “it could cause the boys to wonder.” That is teaching my children that if my children are raped, it is THEIR fault because they wore clothing that was “too provocative” which is a VERY common excuse of rapists.

Our children deserve much better. Use your voice and be loud. Our children are the future. Our children can change the world. Teach them how to do.

Freedom of Speech

“Some people’s idea of free speech is that they are free to say anything they like, but if anyone says anything bad, that is an outrage” – Winston Churchill

My fight against the government began when I was 7 years old and I learned the term “parental advisory.”

The pure hypocrisy of teaching children about “freedom of speech” while turning around and telling those say children that they are “not allowed” to use “bad words” is something that I will never understand.

• What even is a “bad word?”
• Who gets to decide which words are “bad” words?
• Are YOU actually “offended” by a “bad” word, or have you been spewing nonsense about “bad words” because that was what you were conditioned to believe?
• Have you ever actually thought about whether you are even offended or not?
• Do you use any “bad words?”
• If you answered yes, were also conditioned to “do as I say, not as I do?”

You either HAVE freedom of speech, or you DON’T. There is no inbetween. Pick and stick, don’t be a hypocrite.

HAVING freedom of speech and CHOOSING to use “bad words” are two entirely different things.

Give your child the right to use their freedom of speech AND guide them to choose to use kind words because kindness matters.

Give your child freedom of speech AND explain that what they say cannot be forgotten, only forgiven, and to choose their words wisely.

Give your children freedom of speech AND explain why others could be offended by “bad words.”

Give your children freedom of speech AND explain that “bad” is not a fair characterist of words. Words can be hateful. Words can be hurtful. Words can be offensive. Words can be kind. Words can be healing. Words can be misunderstood. Words can be powerful. Words can be persuasive. Words can be uncomfortable. Words can be out of ignorance. Words can be many things, but “bad” is not one of them.

Freedom of speech is a basic human right that ALL deserve, adults & children alike. Showing them how they use their words kindly & wisely is your job as a parent. Just because they have the right to use “bad words,” doesn’t mean they will. But don’t teach them that they have freedom of speech if you aren’t willing to give them that.

Celebrating 7 Years

Me • February 2020

“Every cell in our entire body is destroyed and replaced every seven years. How comforting it is to know one day I will have a body you will have never touched.”

While the science behind it isn’t exactly accurate, it’s still a really cool idea, and I found it extremely fitting for today.

Today I have seven years opiate-free. Today is the day that I would have a new body that heroin has never touched.

Not only is it a new body, but a new decade for both the world and myself as I close the chapter on my 20s this year. How is that for awesome coincidental timing?

Even though it isn’t accurate, I’m going to look at it as if it were. So today I am beginning my new life, in my new body. I’m going to start looking towards the future and stop trying to hold onto the past.

I’m going to forgive myself, give myself grace, and move on. I’m going to stop thinking and speaking so negatively about myself. I’m going to let go of all of the self-hatred I have been carrying for so long. Those cells are gone, no need to hate them anymore.

Hi, I’m Madison. Nice to meet you.

Me • February 2013

Hello, I’m Madison

I am a fulltime breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering mama of FIVE- one boy & four girls! I’m a wife & home maker in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I have almost 7 years opiate-free – YAY! I have a very rough past and severe PTSD, so I very rarely leave my house. I use cleaning & organizing as a way to feel in control. I am what you can call an “anxious cleaner.” (Instead of eating my feelings, I obsessively clean and organize.) Messes and clutter make it extremely difficult for me to think clearly.

I came back to the social media world after taking a long mental health break. I’m ready to share my story with the world, and if I can help just one person who is still struggling, then I did what I came to do.


I’m done feeling like I am not enough or that I should be embarrassed or ashamed of my past or mental illnesses. I have a story worth sharing. My story can help play a part in ending the stigma.

If you want to stick around and hear my story, I’m so happy to have you around. If not, well it was nice having ya here!