Archive for ‘Single Mom’

May 30, 2016

My Daughter’s Diagnosis Evolves

by healthybydesignblog

PCOS and Borderline Personality Disorder

My daughter is now 14 years old, and I’m still figuring things out at every level. Back when she was 5, I noticed some unusual things going on with her, that should not be manifesting until she was more like 12 and going through puberty. She had pretty bad under arm odor for one, and really stinky feet. She was starting to get black heads on her nose. She had pubic hair. OMG. She had also gained a lot of weight.

My daughter was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Women are usually diagnosed with this condition in their 20’s, when they’re having trouble getting pregnant. It was highly unusual to be diagnosed so early. Later came more intense acne, extra hair growth, dark pigments in the folds of her skin. One of the main things we had to address quickly was her weight. She was considered pre-diabetic and I was told that her weight and the possible diabetes would only aggravate her other symptoms, and could possibly shorten her life.

At that time, I was overweight myself. Two years prior, my family had lost our home to a house fire. I had remodeled that home with my grandfather, who had died recently. It was the family “home place”. A little more than a year after that, I divorced my husband who was emotionally abusive and emotionally absent. The marriage had really taken it’s toll on me, and although I had already overcome some health issues through a merciful miraculous healing of fibromyalgia, I had turned to food as a comfort and probably weighed around 250 lbs. I cannot be sure because the scale had been destroyed in the house fire and I never wanted to own another one.

I have said millions of times, had the diagnosis been my own, I would not have had the strength to battle it. Because the diagnosis was my daughter’s, I rose up with every ounce of strength I could muster to try to change her future. I read everything I could to learn more about the condition, how to eat healthier, etc. Of course, at that time, that meant using artificial sweeteners instead of sugar! I didn’t now any better, and there is SO MUCH misinformation out there!

There were other family diagnoses as well. My father was diagnosed with Parkinsons and my sister with breast cancer. I began reading about these conditions as well. I had lost my grandfather to lung cancer and the treatment of it, back in 1996. I was not a fan of traditional treatment, as the medical profession royally screwed up in my grandfather’s case, but that’s a subject for another post. So I was reading about holistic and nutritional approaches to these conditions. I kept coming across nutrition as the key for not only preventing so much of the sickness and disease we see today, but also in the reversal of much of it as well.

In 2011, I found the Shaklee nutrition company and made HUGE improvements in my own health with their supplements, and hopefully helped manage my daughter’s condition, and kept it from progressing as quickly. But as she entered 7th grade, I saw an escalation in her emotional outbursts, and eventually learned that she was experimenting with cutting and self-harm. I was absolutely devastated. During that year, she seemed to absolutely despise me. I could not do anything right, and she challenged me at every turn. She was suicidal. A lot was going on at school, too. I had homeschooled her until 5th grade, but as a single mom, I could no longer keep up the pace, as I was also self-employed and worked long hours. So in 6th grade, she was abruptly introduced to the “real world” of public school and it was not pretty. She was teased, mocked, scorned, and re-educated about how things really were, according to her peers. Sigh….

You know how you hear about the “terrible two’s”? Well, around the age of two, Rachel’s personality went from happy to horrid. It was such a drastic change, but I kept hearing about the terrible two’s and hoped I’d get my kid back. I’d see glimpses of her from time to time, but there was much about her behavior that I was pretty sure wasn’t normal. I blamed myself. Maybe it was the divorce, maybe it was because I was a single mom, maybe it was because I worked too many hours – on and on. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point, Jesus gave me peace about whatever my mistakes may have been. He would see her through it. If I was so busy being discouraged by the enemy pointing at my downfalls, my focus would not be on how to help her, and I desperately want to help her.

I could never quite follow my daughter’s reasoning about things. I was often surprised by her reactions and her perceptions of events. She did not make friends easily, and did not keep friends for very long. She always felt like an outsider, but she was constantly insulting and “putting people off”. She was hard to take, especially for kids her own age. She was, in some ways, more mature than the kids her age, and often got along better with older kids and usually got along very well with her teachers, etc.

One of the things I noticed was especially as her weight got more out of control, and the acne made her skin look so bad, that her perception of herself was SO NEGATIVE. One of the boys in school said she was “fugly” or something like that. The teasing from kids at school certainly didn’t help, but she brought so much on herself, to be truthful. It was and is heart-breaking to watch. Kids at church try to reach out to her but she loathes them in secret. Their happiness or their cuteness is a threat to her somehow. She calls them sluts and she means it.

So the last couple of years have been tough. Recently, the emotional drama in my home escalated yet again, as I re-married. I had separated from my first husband when Rachel was about 3. She doesn’t even remember us living in the same house with him. She never really saw us “together”. She saw the two of us together, period. My new husband is WONDERFUL and has been great to her, but she despises him. She acts as if they are in competition for my attention and affection. She constantly tries to sabotage the relationship. I know some of this is normal, but because she may ever stumble across this post, or family members might read it while we’re still figuring all this out, I won’t go into just how far out some of this drama escalated to. But it got crazy. I sought help from my pastors AGAIN, as they are trained psychologists also.

I have been saying for years that there was more going on here than meets the eye. A friend told me that some of the things I was going through with my daughter sounded very familiar to the struggle she had with her own daughter. She told me to google Borderline Personality Disorder. That was several years ago, and although I thought there was some merit into looking at it further, my pastors discouraged me from labeling my daughter with any form of mental illness, and for a time I followed their advice. Here lately however, the behavior has gotten worse, her self-perception has plummeted further, the emotional outbursts and down right meanness has gotten incredibly difficult to deal with. I know this sounds like typical teenage behavior on some level, but please, take my word for it and multiply it by 50 or something, and that’s what we have here.

So, I called that friend of mine again a week or so ago, and began asking questions about the personality disorder thing. I became more and more convinced that we were either dealing with this very issue, or something very similar. I began researching online, and just this morning I googled “correlation between PCOS and Borderline Personality Disorder” and OMG! About 30% of the people with the personality disorder also have PCOS. That’s a huge number! So, I am getting in touch with my daughter’s endocrinologist about what I have found, her holistic neurologist who’s been helping us detox her system, our pastors, people I know in the field of nutrition who may be able to advise us, etc and etc.

I finally feel like we’re getting somewhere. There were helpful suggestions about how there were some things that not only helped her PCOS but the BPD as well. It makes sense that if you can help the hormonal imbalance of the PCOS, it will alleviate some of the most problematic issues of the BPD. But it has to be managed, and at some point, my daughter has to do more to manage it herself. Herein lies the problem. Stress causes relapses. Relapses into the worst of this disorder can be as simple as ridiculous shopping sprees, or it can be cutting and suicide attempts. In fact, about 8-10% of people with this disorder DIE from suicide!!!! They have trouble sustaining meaningful relationships, trouble keeping jobs, trouble staying in school, trouble with the ins and outs of LIFE.

I am going to have my daughter evaluated asap. As I said, I am still figuring this out. I would love to be proved wrong. I would be so grateful for a mental health professional to tell me it was just a severe case of puberty and she would grow out of it, just hang on a few more years. And I know that EVERY condition and EVERY disease was carried to the cross by Jesus. So until my girl can battle this herself in the Spirit, I am going to try to help her battle this in the flesh while I continue to speak and pray healing and wholeness for her.

I believe I have a better grasp of what we’re truly dealing with now, and have a few ideas on how to help her. I sincerely hope this post doesn’t make things worse, but I just had to get these thoughts down. I felt led to put this out there.  There is SO MUCH MORE I could say, but again, now is not the appropriate time. If you’re struggling with either of these conditions, I’d love to hear from you. If you have any insight on any of this, I’d love to hear from you as well.

To be continued…


May 28, 2016

My God Is Jealous For Me

by healthybydesignblog

… I have heard somewhere that it was this concept – the concept of God being jealous – that caused Oprah Winfrey to turn away from Christianity, but I don’t know this for certain.

… Have you ever held your new born baby and hoped that the child would prefer you to everyone else, even the child’s father? Does this seem odd to you? Is it just me?

I had experienced infertility for a number of years. I was 34, almost 35,  when I had my first and only child, a daughter. I named her Rachel. When I would rock her to sleep and look down into her sweet little face, I knew that no one else in the universe was loved as much as this child was loved by me. I wanted her to love her father, her grandparents, her step-brother and sister, but most of all I wanted her to love me as much as I loved her, and I love her immensely. I wanted her to prefer my company as I preferred hers, above anyone else in the world.

That’s when God spoke to me and reminded me that He was jealous. Not as an insecure and selfish lover is jealous. He was jealous FOR me. He loved me so very much, that it would break His heart for me to prefer another’s company to His. He wanted me to prefer to spend my time with Him. To tell my secrets to Him first. Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t that lovely? I began to better understand Him as a Good Father, and what a Father’s heart was all about.

Recently, I was married for the second time. I had been a single mom for over nine years after my divorce. My first marriage pales in comparison to this one. My first husband was emotionally absent, and I am convinced that he never loved me. I have NO IDEA why someone would get married if they were not in love, but I believe that’s what happened. My second husband literally ADORES me. In fact it blows my mind how much this man loves me. And once again, I am reminded about a jealous God. God could not use my previous husband as a way to parallel His love for me, because all that man did was hurt me. But my current husband shows me in a million different small thoughtful ways how much he loves me – in the way he looks at me, the way he speaks to me, the way he can’t sleep unless his arms are around me, etc. It’s easy to see that his thoughts are always about me. I am continuously thrilled that His love is just as intensely felt now as when he first declared it to me. It has not waned.

Don’t ask me! I have NO IDEA why He loves me so much. But I KNOW he does. It’s very obvious and it’s absolutely wonderful. And again, God says to me that my husband’s love for me is a small fraction of His own love for me. This level of intimacy, and I’m talking about KNOWING someone, is what our God desires with us. Over and over the Bible speaks of a Groom and His bride. Over and over the wedding and consummation of a great love story is used to help illustrate who Jesus wants to be to us. He delights in us. His thoughts are always about us. He is jealous for us!

But what about the parts of the Bible that don’t seem so romantic? Beloved, realize that we are in the time of the NEW Covenant. Our Groom has paid our bride’s price. There is no more debt to be paid, if you have accepted His proposal. He has taken your debt on as His own. He has promised to take care of you for ever and ever, and to never leave your side. He has even promised to love you when your youth fades and your strength is gone. He is Faithful and True.

Our culture has few examples of anything so pure and lovely these days. I have to search back in my mind to childhood thoughts of a handsome prince, or a shining knight on a white horse. Images that seem kinda corny nowadays to us skeptical, hard-hearted, broken and battered folks. But in our heart of hearts, back before the world – or rather, before our enemy shattered our hopes and dreams, the hope of that sort of unselfish, courageous love lives on. We may have forgotten, but it’s still there, buried under lies and hurts.

Have you noticed that I have only bragged on my husband’s love for me? Not my love for him? Does it seem unfair? Is our love one sided? Not at all. Too often as Christians, we brag on our love for Jesus, all the time having other lovers that we prefer, at least for a time, if we’re honest. We brag on how much we do to prove our love to Him, but even our Groom has said our righteousness is as filthy rags. This is nothing more than a religion of works people. It is much more appropriate to brag on His love for us, and all that HE has done to prove His love for us. If we are going to boast, we simply boast about Him.

Grace is an amazing thing. It is the word used for the greatest love there ever was. The greatest love story ever told. He ADORES us, and has done everything necessary to provide for you, to have you and to hold you. He will not remind you of your former lovers, of your past mistakes. He will simply love you and that love makes you as pure as if you had never messed up at all. All your weaknesses, all your mistakes, all your faults, all your less-than-perfectness is forgotten after His proposal is accepted. Your are forever His, and He is yours. And He will always be just as jealous for you as He was in the beginning of time. He is for you friend, and not against you. He is not like your ex-husband.  🙂

Exodus 34:14
–for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God–
2 Corinthians 11:2
For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.
May 8, 2015

Wanna Be Home With Your Kids AND Save The World?

by healthybydesignblog

I’m a single mom. I certainly didn’t expect to be. It’s hard sometimes, a lot of the time really. I’m still figuring things out, but about two years ago I made a huge leap of faith in regards to my career. I shut down my small home-based advertising agency and web-design company to literally save the world, or as many people as I could anyway. As many as who would listen.

I need to provide a little background. My daughter is now 13, but at age 5 she was diagnosed with a hormonal disorder called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). The most urgent aspect of this was her blood sugar, she was pre-diabetic. Picture this, at that time I was about 250 lbs, addicted to Mt. Dew, stubborn as heck, and my body was racked with both Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I had just gone through a house fire and a traumatic marriage which ended in divorce. I had little hope, few resources, and was just surviving emotionally from one day to the next. I hope you have never been there, or somewhere similar, but perhaps you have.

Shortly thereafter, more bad news. My father was diagnosed with Parkinsons, my mother with a blood disorder, and my younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 41. I’m not one to always follow the rules in the first place, and after seeing my grandfather suffer through traditional cancer treatment, I was actively reading, researching and asking questions about NATURAL ways to help the people I loved. I learned that NUTRITION could not only PREVENT much of what my family was going through, but could possibly stop the progression of some of their symptoms, and even possibly REVERSE some of it. I was so excited!!!!

This is really where the Lord stepped in. As a single mom, I was working terribly long hours with my advertising biz, and was always feeling guilty for not having more time to spend with my daughter, even though we were homeshooling. It was fun when I started, but then the housing market crashed, it really impacted my business, and mommy wasn’t so much fun anymore. She was wiggin’ out! SO, I was considering a part-time job or in-home biz to add to my already crazy schedule. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see myself as a salesperson. I hated even selling Girl Scout cookies as a kid. The idea of running up and down the road begging friends to buy stuff they may not even need in the first place just didn’t appeal to me. However, my cousin Teresa had told me about Shaklee vitamins when I was in my 20’s, and I never paid her any mind. After all, I wasn’t gonna ever get old or sick, right? Fast forward into my 40’s, I’m getting old and I’m definitely sick, and so is everyone I care about. For the first time, I was ready to listen about nutrition and this Shaklee company she told me about.

Turns out, the founder, Dr. Forrest Shaklee, invented the very first multi-vitamin and he was a pretty incredible guy. Turns out, they have a zero tolerance for contamination in their products with higher standards than the FDA, AND they were environmentally proactive before being “green” was cool. I have heard all kinds of testimonies from regular folks just like you and me. One day everything in life was okay, the next day, either they – or someone they loved – got a scary diagnosis and their universe was rocked. Their lives or the lives of someone they loved was spared or improved by this company and their science. This is something I am excited about and can’t help but share with friends and neighbors, and you. This company loves fostering healthy happy homes, where moms can raise their own kids and make a salary replacement income while working part-time from home.

SO, if you are one of those, who like me, want to save the world, even if sometimes it doesn’t want to be saved, AND you’d really like to be home more with your kids, I suggest you consider Shaklee. I am more in love with the MISSION of this company than when I started four years ago. AND, I have lost 60 lbs, no longer need ANY pain meds for my arthritis – in fact, I don’t even consider myself to have it any longer! I am still trying to help my family, and my neighbors, and my friends, and again, anyone who will listen. I have awesome stories to share that are forthcoming. I hope you will be as inspired as I have been!