Autism Is Not A Punchline

I was cruising Facebook today and a strong important video from a concerned mother streamed on my screen. Her message broke my heart as I too shared similar feelings regarding the subject of concern. The concern was targeted at TikTok users acting out autism and other disabilities ignoring how disgusting and ignorant and distasteful these videos are. I, too, share her hurt and frustration with the lack of empathy people show towards disabilities. My son is special needs and his disability is not a punchline or humorous.

I can’t fathom why people think making fun of disabilities is entertaining. Possibly they think that they are being comedic but in truth…their actions are damaging to a community of warriors fighting battles unimaginable. Making fun of disabilities is a low act of ignorance and it in dignifies the human beings who struggle every day with bodies that fight themselves. The horror of watching someone fake a meltdown thinking its funny should place themselves in what a true meltdown is. To the ignorant girls and boys making fun of stimming or echolalia I implore them to sit in a classroom and be stared at as they are an alien. To the disheartening video creators who think this kind of bullying is appropriate, well, simply its part of the problem.

Disability is not a mockery it’s an everyday battle for the people facing them. It’s a battle for the advocates to get rights for the human being basic rights. Rights that should be given as equal chances of “normal people”. These videos take away the rights of disabled. Other people had to fight for my sons right to attend school and not be institutionalized. People, good people fought for his right to proper medical care and specialist to help him. One video or more demoralizes the battles fought by good people. No matter how far people get to have disabilities recognized others create a monster of destruction to tear down basic rights and understandings. These videos are a reminder of why our world is behind in human compassion and understanding.

I’m disgusted, angry, and at a loss that human beings would treat one another like this. I have a dark sense of humour but this is not funny. It’s not something to make light of and honestly I don’t understand why people would think to make something like this in the first place. I’ve held my son with pain in his heart because other children told him to kill himself because he was different. I’ve watched my son have meltdowns that are so scary for him. I’m not religious but I prayed for safety and love for him. Watching his body and mind battle the strong spirit within him is devastating. I’ve had to fight teachers for him to understand the brilliance in my sons mind instead of them only seeing a disability. I love my son more than anything in the world so to see people take away and destroy people like him without knowing the damage it causes is disgusting. Its enough when someone’s body hurts them it’s another when people ignorantly add to the trauma of hidden battles. My sons autism is not a punchline.

Written by Ali Johnson

Universal Time Out

I think Covid-19 was earths version of a mother putting her child in time out. In my life it has been a heavy time out to rethink my life plan and how I can live better. For others, I think it the Universes way of saying I’ve had enough crap now go to your room and stop being a dick.

Covid-19 in itself is terrible and scary to deal with. I realized people on the planet have not taken the earth or the economy series and that we are failing to act in an emergency. Seeing how others handled panic and how fast the economy came down reminds me how feeble people truly are. I also seen a side of people that I’m ashamed of. Selfishness of human nature is unacceptable. Facing disaster people should put aside differences and do the right thing. Care for one another, support one another, understand one another, if we cannot do this as a whole society then we are in for a nasty future. Something has to change, and it has to change fast.

Our mother earth needed to breathe and justly, so I think people need to stop being the rude aunt at holidays. Everything in the world has become disposable, fast paced, throw away with no consideration for anything else. We as a society have become disposable. Our Earth is surrounded in toxic thought and production. We have become quality not quality. Humans are the company who produces greed and bad coworkers. I honestly think the world needed space to heal the wounds that we have left. A lesson in reminding people that we are privileged to live on the fragile earth beneath our feet. We are gifted with intelligence to be better to create a better life. Instead, we used our intelligence to be destructive to the gracious host.

Wordly quarantines can give time for reflection on our actions towards others and slow down. I keep hearing when things go back to normal. Can we really just go back to normal and ignore the big message being displayed right before our eyes? There is a bigger picture being held up it is saying change the thought and frequency we are going at. The smallest lesson being whispered to us is stand united and change. We need to become a society that is better than the past. It’s almost as if we are headed to repeat the past but with stronger weapons of destruction. It’s not the atomic bomb it’s the destruction of society and the fragility of human ego. In the words of Dr Zuess, The Lorax, “Unless someone like you cares an awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not”. This too applies to everyone coming together and caring about the world we so happily destroy.

The biggest factors in our destruction right now is greed, power, and indifference. A calling for peace and unity could change the narrative of the world. Calling for a change of government, a change of life, and a change of treatment for a collective whole would allow the world to advance in a way of the future. Looking at the novel perspective we are headed to the future depicted in the story “Harrison Bergeron, by Kurt Vonnegut.” We will have no freedoms, no will, and no place to call our home because we have chosen to destroy it with petty human nature.

It’s time to listen and it’s time to change. Take time to breathe with universe and listen to the fine tune of what the future should be. Be one with our Mother Earth and wake up the unity we are capable of. Take the breath and take the trust fall that we need to grow and give Mother Earth her space.

Written by Ali Johnson

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing … | Flickr
Dr Zuess
The Lorax

Parenting a sick child (Parenting)

What is parenting a sick child? I can say for sure it’s not something I would wish on my worst enemy. My eldest child has two illnesses; one is autism, the other Juvenile Arthritis. I am a selfish parent because sometimes being the parent of a sick kid is exhausting. With each diagnosis and doctors appointments with never good news, sometimes I imagine running away and finally breaking down. People don’t talk about what it’s like to be a parent of a sick kid because the feeling attached to it is judged heavily.

I’m the mom who breaks down in my car before work after appointments. I head in with a smile and try to make others day manageable. Convincing me to get out of the car and put on the brave face is ridiculous. No one on the outside is allowed to see the drowning sorrows of motherhood. I don’t want anyone to know that I feel guilt because my child is sick. It was my genetics that gave him the issues that he has. I’m selfish because I want to hate every strand of my genetic code. Placing blame on something feels good to do. I hate that this happened to my child. It curls my stomach every time a new diagnosis or treatment needs to happen. I’m selfish because I just want him to live a normal life.

Recently strangers have judged me for my sons treatments. I have received stares from people unknown, parents like myself silently shaming what they do not understand. It’s sickening to have society post awareness yet remain ignorant as to why certain treatments are necessary for my child quality of life. I want to yell at the judgmental ass holes; I want them to feel the pain and hurt I feel, I want them to understand that I am a parent barely holding my head above water, and they are the people dunking it under. It’s not their fault this happened. A part of me wants to shake them, the other part of me just wants to them see my child and not his disabilities. In the grocery store as the person states my child is too old to sit in the cart, I imagine her legs being so sore she can’t walk. What would life be like for her then? I know it sounds sick to say out loud. The feelings are there and denying they exist causes feelings of rage and loneliness.

Loneliness, fear, and feeling of rage are taboo subjects among parents of sick kids. I hate being called brave because it’s my duty to make sure my child will live a good life. I signed up for it since the day he was born. Don’t place me on a pedestal because I don’t deserve it. I cringe hard when people say thoughts and prayers or I’m so sorry. Don’t be sorry for me, don’t be sorry for my child. I wish people would ask for more information and actually support research. Another thing stop giving information read off Google and think that it’s helping. Half the articles produced lack scientific research and data to make sense of the illness my child has. I loathe people who think that one persons illness is the same as Dick, Jane, and Sally. No illness can be the same its near impossible. I wish people would understand how frustrating the misinformation is. After being overloaded from appointments to have someone tell you that doctors knowledge is wrong is overwhelming. It adds to the guilt and shame parents of sick kids feel.

Despite crying in my car, laughing nervously in appointments, screaming at total strangers this is parenting with sick kids. When the parent states they need a break from this it means that they feel overwhelmed and scared. It doesn’t mean they want to up and abandon their sick child. The parent of a sick child would do anything to not have their child anymore. Expecting parents of sick children to not break down is unreasonable. On the outside everything seems fine because that’s the way we cope with the pain of our children. Having to hide these thoughts and feelings are detrimental to the mental health of the caregiver. Society holds high judgments as to what parents of sick children should be like. Walking in the shoes of the high and mighty is damn near impossible to not create the persona of someone falsely holding it together. Its being pushed off a cliff into oblivion, no life ring in sight. It’s not as simple as cry it out and get back on the horse so to speak.

Everything in that parents and children life changes from the first diagnosis. Home, work, school and mental self-worth all change. Sometimes the struggle of a parent is to manage the illness but manage normalcy without missing a heartbeat. The caregiver of a sick child often loses their identities as they try to navigate the waters of illness. Looking from the outside within my heart is with the other parents or caregivers who feel alone or at the moment sitting in a quiet place crying. It’s not your fault and your not alone in feeling grief and anger. The world just misunderstands selfish feelings but people trying to hold it together one diagnosis at a time they are not selfish just lost.

Written by Ali Johnson

Reflections (Inner Meditations- Self Reflection)

I am human: I will make mistakes in my life. I am a woman: I will be looked down on society because of the actions I do. Yet, I am different because I choose to break down my walls of what is expected of me and what people dictate as “normal behaviour”.

I could follow the rules and mould myself into someone I’m not. Dress this way, speak this way, be this pretty girl. Believe everything the media tells you. Follow the direction of elders unquestionably as they have done before them. Become the senseless robot with reckless abandon. Here is my question: why? Why must I be someone I’m not? In my heart I know who I want to be. The universe throws me mistakes, so I can learn to be the person I dream to be. It doesn’t matter to me to be the expectation thought out by others. My dreams tell me what my heart cannot. In my dream state they guide me in my journey of self discovery. Ignoring my dreams and telling my mind to be detrimental to self growth and self-love.

Am I happy? Happy in what sense should I be? Generalizing how others should be happy is opposite of universal law. Instead of asking for happiness I believe in inner peace. Can the world give me peace within and if not how to make the soul restful. If the soul is tired the mind will follow, and if the soul and mind are tired the body of oneself is sure to break down in survival mode. Forgive what was, and accept the peace that everyone tries to find. The universe wants senses to guide others into inner knowledge to fuel the bodily system.

Starvation of the soul is common in today’s nature. Easy as it is to disconnect with the Earths vibes and inner strength. Humans themselves easily disconnect by ignoring the senses inner divide. Connection allows the soul to recharge and allow space for more knowledge within it. Knowledge and inner peace is the battery charging the soul forward into future holds of personal growth. When the battery dies without vibrant energy so does the physical body as it starved its way from the universe without understanding of greater self.

Ask questions that are needed to grow the tree and build roots. Humans are like trees. We have layers for every year we grow. With nutrients of life we do not thrive well. Much like the earth the more invention of tools can block the natural way. Water, oh sweet water is the connecting life path for many. Water is life; some is still, some flows, some is turbulent, it can make life or it can take it. Knowledge and water flow into our lives and grow the path that we so elegantly ignore. The universe is a vast forest that needs connections and energy provided by lifes battery.

Using the senses and allowing peace to entire life allows a new vision to be seen. More people need to feeling the true energy of the Universe we would stop being self-destructing. This means seeing the true world not the world created by power hungry (soul hungry) people, we would be able to connect again and find inner peace within ourselves and start building a healthier forest to thrive inside. Lives and souls are bio domes of special characteristics beyond human understanding. Animals and nature are far more in tuned to the universes vibrations that we should stop and try to learn how to meet that standard. See, taste, smell, touch… these senses are small in the grand scale of connection. Feeding our souls with knowledge and peace will allow more senses to open.

Greed, power, hate, is the destruction of better universal vibrations. One must replace these soon, or we will no longer be able to grow for a better understanding of what could be. Connect, peace, and inner harmony will allow for these changes and better understanding of why life exists. Break the mould of today’s beliefs and open the mind for more knowelege.

Written by Ali Johnson

Addiction (Battles with Addiction)

My best friend connected from the soul called me yesterday. A call I expected because like her I was thinking of the same feelings. The universe always has a way of making us feel connected to one another and knows when we need someone. What I did not expect from the call was talking about our addictions and how easily we slipped last week. The universe knew that we needed someone to hear why and get us back to sobriety.

Yes I admit last weekend I threw away nine good years of sobriety. Why? I don’t have the answers right now. Addiction lacks a sense of humour, it prides itself on vulnerability. I cannot make excuses to my slide of temporary loss of control as much as I want to right now. I let myself lose control and allow the need for my addictions to fill my loss of feelings. It started with making the wrong connections. I sat on a friends floor after smoking a joint finally feeling quiet. I accepted flirting from another person. My phone call yesterday put to terms that I will always want drugs and inappropriate sexual relationships when I think i’m over my addiction.

Addiction doesn’t care if you are travelling to recovery. It waits for the right moment to hook its user back in. The addict could finally be correct in life and one false moment of hopelessness is all addiction needs. Addiction is not just drugs. Addiction is the need to fill the void in one’s life to feel something missing. Addictions are false hope in feeling good for a moment instead of facing the demon in front. It doesn’t care; its victims could be young, old, ugly, pretty, rich, poor, addiction wants everyone and everything in your life to be consumed. Its appetite for inner war is unsalable. It needs to feed on grief and desperation to stay alive. Addiction is the parasite of life.

Addiction was not my choice on how I want to grow in my life. I grew up with alcoholism and drugs. The addiction to sexual intimacy without love came later in my life to cope with lack of love. I used to use sex to feel something but nothing at all. With most addictions one does it for a small moment of feeling good, but addiction doesn’t feel good. The lengths I go when I let my addiction run rampant is horrifying. It doesn’t hurt me as much as it hurts others. (Addictions) loves to feed off the pain of others as collateral damage. It hurts families, it loves hurting the ones you love the most. Addiction is personal hell that will drag everyone you know and love with it. Being an addict makes room for lies and deceit. What addiction loves the most: having more addicts in the wake recruited by the newest addition of the hooked and able.

At least it’s not hard drugs I used to say. It makes no difference I, Ali Johnson, am an addict. I am one week sober.

Written by Ali Johnson

I Could Pick Myself Apart (Emotional Breakdowns)

In the last two weeks of starting work again after being a stay at home mom for two years I felt like I failed my children. On Thursday night I found myself crying fountains, screaming at my partner on the phone, kids in tow, after feeding them McDonalds. I sat in my red Buick Century clutching the steering wheel my kids watching their mother break down. I had gotten off night shift, my sons babysitter had to cancel, running on no sleep for twenty-four hours… complete dumpster fire of emotion. Officially last Thursday ranked ten out of ten emotional and physical exhaustion of motherhood and marriage.

If someone was on the outside watching me I’m sure they said I was crazy, check me into the mental institution and call it a day. I had no self-control left in the evening. I wanted to be a good mom and wife and do it all. My mother-in-law kept saying she could watch the kids while I slept. My husband and I have been on the outs since going back. I was loading my plate with all the duties mother and wife related without taking time to breathe. My entire situation was a boiling pot waiting to spill over as I kept adding more life ingredients. Is that not what is expected of women today; to balance everything and give it all, with little to no complaints attached?

I’m here to say that should not be the expectation for women today. That should not be the expectation for anyone. Despite that moment in life I feel like to many people try to do it all and then feel guilty when they hit the breaking point. I broke down, and at first I was so ashamed of the things I said and the actions I did. My emotions and exhaustion from trying to do everything without help got out of control. The best thing out of this situation is looking back at why it needed to happen. I’m not happy it took this point of breaking to be heard, but to know that I’m still human and I still have lots to learn about life.

Having time to look at the situation my children had food in their bellies that night. Did I spend the last twenty dollars in my bank, yes I did. They were fed and according to my eldest son he really wanted to go and have time with his mom. I have been working hard the last two weeks at my new job. My son just wanted some mom time because he missed the time we used to have. He didn’t care that it was fast food he was happy that I gave him my attention and time to listen to him. I got to hear all the wonderful things going on at school. Learning about his friends, and what he likes. He didn’t care his mom was in sweatpants or that I felt like he deserved a better mom. Both of my boys ate and had fun just having their mom love them.

In the car I had a massive fight on the phone with my husband. We don’t often fight, and we never fight in front of the kids. On Thursday I was to emotionally exhausted to follow those rules. My husband is a great guy and my best friend. For the last month he and I stopped working as a team that we are. He was tired from work, I was tired from work, we both had been co-parenting just not in sync with one another. That morning I had sent a mean text message belittling him as a parent and a partner. My irritations from work and my doubts as a wife and mother came out and I fully admit I used my husband as a verbal punching bag. Sending that text message was awful, I hurt him because I was hurting. Having that fight oddly brought us together. Even though our children saw it they also get to see their parents apologize to one another, and that shows them it’s ok to have an argument and how to work it out as a team. This argument allowed my husband and I to say what we thought and create a solution for a better future. We both had childhoods where adults fought but never found a way to move forward. Silver linings and all we just have to keep moving and understand we are still learning to love one another by forgiving and being compassionate when we are hurt.

My children saw me cry. I bawled my eyes out and had the best cry. Crying can be healthy. I am the person that hides in the bathroom so no one can see me cry. I have done this since childhood because I was never taught what emotions I could have. Only learning anger and silence and emotions like I had on Thursday were punishable. Growing up in emotionally abusive environments are hard to manage emotions that are out of control. I don’t handle emotional stress in healthy ways. I wait until my breaking point to deal with them. My children deserve different futures from me. Seeing their mom cry showed them it’s ok to feel emotions. It’s ok for them to be upset and express their frustrations. After calming down I explained to my children that mom was upset but it’s not their faults. I also apologized for their mom losing control and I loved them. Explaining to my children that sometimes mom feels upset and needs to find better ways of coping than to yell and scream. It is not their job to solve my problems. It is however my job to teach them it’s sometimes ok to not be ok. I explained to my children they didn’t do anything wrong and held them tightly. When we got home I took some time to listen even harder to their needs because tiny humans need love the most, and I need to break the cycle of the past.

With everything happening I’m here to say my emotional breakdown happened. It happens to so many people in today’s society. People are expected to pile a thousand of things on their plates without complaint. Despite that moment in life I feel like to many people try to do it all and then feel guilty when they hit the breaking point. I broke down, and at first I was so ashamed of the things I said and the actions I did. My emotions and exhaustion from trying to do everything without help got out of control. The best thing out of this situation is looking back at why it needed to happen. I’m not happy it took this point of breaking to be heard, but to know that I’m still human and I still have lots to learn about life.

Written by Ali Johnson

My Truth (Recovery From Emotional Abuse)

I once upon a time believed telling my truth would end up in more pain. For the last week I have tried to write my experiences living with my aunt. I have drafted and edited countless times. Every time I start to write my side of the story I get so angry my words come out as the old person I used to be. The angry person with little to no compassion because I felt lost. Reflecting on the past after living with an abuser is complicated. Excuses for an abusers actions are hard to counteract after doing it for so long. A part of me wanted to write everything that happened. Reading back my work I saw parts of the story that would hurt innocent people caught in the crossfire of my struggles. It’s not my place to write about them and hurt them back.

I started to forgive when I turned twenty-three. My forgiveness was not accepting what they did but to cut ties with my abusers. Inner knowledge states disengaging is the only way to fully heal and move forward with your life. Living in that home and going through emotional abuse has left permanent scars. The scarring is invisible on the outside, on the inside I live with the words and actions done by another person who I once looked up to. I chose to live with her because I thought she would different. Promises were made and I really thought my aunt would live up to them. I didn’t know in three short years our relationship would become a toxic lake of emotional turmoil. I lived with addiction my whole life I didn’t realize until years later addiction doesn’t care about anyone. It would do anything to destroy lives other than the addict itself. My aunt isn’t solely to blame for the relationship breakdown, I too played a part in pushing her mentally. I wanted her to get better three days before I left her home forever I wrote her note.

In that note I explained I wanted her to quit her company the Kali project. An escorting agency, it once held promise to do right and not allow drugs to the woman part of it. I think it was my second year living with my aunt drugs silently became part of our life. For someone who was once a successful paramedic and single mom doing her best addiction put her in sight and knew she would be an optimal candidate. Whatever pain my aunt had inside allowed addiction to turn her into the monster I know today. The second condition I wrote in the note was to start being a better parent to my cousin that I was raising for her.

I was fifteen and caring for a small child, I was neglecting myself. At fifteen, I started drinking to handle to screaming happening in my home. My aunt would leave me with her child and not return home despite my pleas of being emotionally unsuitable to provide care. At that time in my life my PTSD and depression went untreated. I was experiencing borderline psychosis from detoxing from the medication forced onto me from my first home. I loved my cousin with all my heart but to be her parent I could not. The reasons why; I was starving myself, I was drinking, I was mentally unstable, I was a cooking pot for disaster. My inner struggle was uncontrollable I went as far as using sex to be vulnerable. There was a night that pushed me closer to leaving the home and leaving my aunt. My cousin was screaming all night for her mom, I was going through a PTSD episode. I called my aunt to come home. She refused and said take care of it, I was so angry I threw the phone at my six year old cousins head. I regret this every day. If I could go back At that moment I would instead hold my cousin close and tell her everything will be alright. My aunt still insists that I beat my cousin, this part is untrue. I never beat or hit my cousin I did however come close during my episodes. After doing extensive therapy and treatment I see now that my aunt should have never put me in that position.

The third and final part of the note I wrote stated that I loved her, but I was going to kill myself or hurt others if I stayed. Three days before that note were written I was pushed to the end of a steep cliff. We had a large fight I still have trauma from. I asked her to get help before it was too late. She became angry with me and in front of my cousin and me she stated that she would drive off the bridge and drown us all. I hit my limit of patience and understanding. I told her to do it, words I wish I could take back. After that incident I came home I wrote the note. I wrote two notes that day one was a suicide note the other addressed to her. On the day I ran away I never said goodbye to my cousin. I wish I could explain to her one day that I had no choice. The drugs, the lies, the abuse made the choice for me. Three years later my cousin was removed from her home as my aunts life came crashing down. She lost everything that mattered to her.

I wish I could say a part of me is sorry she did lose everything. Forgiveness and empathy are hard to execute when your abuser will not change. Last year I received a message from my aunt stating she would have ” friends” who would do things if I talked to my cousin again. After that she emailed my grandmother stating I was a whore. Even in forgiveness her actions still tell the story abusers never change when they lose control. The best thing I ever did was walk away. Deep down I will always hold a place for her in my heart. I will hold the good memories close even though her voice and words cut like a knife from the later years. I hope one day she will own her truth instead of playing victim with her lies and false beliefs. Greatly hoping one day she will find peace inside her soul and make peace with the monster laying in her heart. I have done what I can to accept her, but acceptance can only go so far when she herself is loves the toxicity. I am sober and will not let her pain become mine ever again.

Written by Ali Johnson

Staying Alive For One More Day

Warning:

****Following content talks about depression and Suicide. If this is a trigger, please stop reading as I am not liable. If you or someone you know is showing signs or thinking of committing suicide, please contact the National Suicide hot line 1-800-273-8255 or go on https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ ***

Often we hear about what depression is like when it is bad. There is a small moment when things become good again. This moment is so small it’s hard to talk about it without missing it. The moment of feeling good can be so rare to some, when it happens its frightening. In the last two months I have been going through depression. This time around my depression led me to the darkest place possible. I had intrusive thoughts about no longer being here. The one day it got so bad I pushed my partner and children away just to breathe. Like the good moment this dark place of intrusive thoughts and feelings of lingering suicidal feelings; for me are rare, but when the occur I need to remind myself to work through it to have the good moment.

I’m going to be bluntly honest these last two months were hell. I refused to reply my text, my calls, and refused any kind of contact that required false happiness. Normally I would call my grandmother every Friday and my Dad every Saturday. I talked myself out of calling them in order for them not to hear my voice. They know during my phases how dark it can go, what they don’t know is when I have suicidal thoughts I don’t want them to know that I’m thinking of ending it. In my blog I can say reach out and get help early; that is my goal to get people better before they get like me, I struggle with taking my advice.

So much happened in the last two months it’s hard to accept I did not handle it well. It took so much out of me to not give up. I really thought about it and almost got to the point of coming up with a plan. Every one of my friends messaged me asking if I was ok, yet every time I would say I’m fine. I wish I could communicate to my friends and say I’m not ok. My depression and anxiety make it hard to reach out and tell them about the struggles. I convince myself that if I reach out I will burden the ones I love. Tag a longing with my depression came the thoughts that my friends don’t want me. I wish I could say I reached out to them but in reality I would hang up before anyone could pick up the call. At this point I should have reached out to my loved ones and said I’m not doing well: not even remotely.

I don’t know what changed yesterday but I woke up and felt good. I turned on my Spotify playlist and danced it out with my two children. Baking banana bread with cream cheese icing and enjoying taste again. Cleaning my house after months of doing basics because why bother. I felt alive for the first time in two months. I didn’t do anything different to feel good yesterday. The reality of mental illness is sometimes it disappears out of nowhere and you can feel human once again. I’ve posted before I don’t know how long this good spell will last. It could be one full day or month or five minutes. This feel alive moment is worth sticking around for. I’m glad I stuck around this time and waited it out. It was beyond painful and mistakes happened, but I’m still alive today. Suicide is not the cure nor the solution, and I have to remember good days will happen.

Written by Ali Johnson

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

The Woman of Today are Somebody

I am a woman who has a body that hurts. The spirit inside of it has been crushed time and time again. This body has seen horrors that no little girl should ever have to endure. There have been times in my life this body was robbed of its dignity. From the time I was four until I was seven years old. The next time I was sixteen years old and made a choice I regret. The next time I was twenty years old I just went on a date. Some of these people were family others were strangers. Like a teacup I glue myself back together each time someone strips me of my body, mind, and spirit. The cracks left with each chip leaves behind small flecks of what makes me human.

I am woman I have been broken by other woman. Drugged and told lies for over thirteen years. I was called a liar nothing more than a whore. I was invisible to outsiders as the evil kept me hidden. Words and actions done by other women have left an imprint calling for action. This body of mine has seen and endured hardships that no little girl should ever have to live through. Like the phoenix I rise each time from the ashes ready to fight again.

Paying more attention to the news of women rights, I see that we are headed in a dark direction. Our rights are at risk; if we do not see what our politicians, religions, outdated mindsets fuelled by fear will take us back to the stone ages of lost rights. We live in a scary time and without realizing how close to the edge we are of no longer having ownership of our bodies.

The woman of today are somebody. They are foundations of love and should be treated like a human being. Look around; each woman you see is a sister, mother, daughter, friend, they mean strength and willpower. If we forget to fight for their rights and refuse to acknowledge their place on earth then we are truly lost for a better future. Giving power to remove one’s ownership to their body is a catalyst of allowing others to take away personal rights. This will remove the right for a woman to choose if she wants children, stopping child marriages, and forced sexual slavery etc. We need to wake up because this happens it is not something we should ignore.

Power is a strong word but if given to the wrong people that power becomes poison. The disappearing woman, the murdered woman, the woman who took their lives, the abused girls, they are worth fighting for. If we do not fight for them we are making power poison. The pot has begun to brew and simmering slowly allowing for people too blindly believe that we as women are safe. Ignoring this reality comes with a deadly price. The war on woman has begun the time to unite and fight is now.

In loving memory of woman who are silenced. Lost but not forgotten.

Written by: Ali Johnson



Advice To Me

I recently bought a journal called 300 writing prompts. When I purchased it I thought it would be a good way to ask hard questions I’ve avoided, each question in this self writing journal brings me closer in my journey of self healing. I want to heal drug and alcohol free. One way to do this is by writing and telling my story for others to hear. I put this journal away for half a year when I started to feel emotional answering questions regarding advice to myself. A few days ago my partner found the journal in the deep depths of our disorganized garage. I pondered the idea if I should start writing in it again.

I opened this tiny blue journal I felt a wave of relief to see it blank in spots that asked hard hitting questions. I have decided to write here on the Garden of Love questions that are asked. The question I landed on today was ” If you go back in time exactly 10 years and give yourself some advice, what would you tell yourself?”

Ten years ago I was an emancipated minor dealing with my abusive mother trying to figure out my life. I was drinking to deal with my pain and forget that I existed. Without a care in the world I was on self-destruct mode. Ten years ago I was an awful human being who fell for victimization of myself. I was a user. Anger does wild things to a person, it makes them toxic and highly volatile.

The person I was ten years ago probably would have said I don’t need your advice. She was stubborn and felt that she could figure out the world on her own. Looking back at the person I was, I feel that the only advice she would receive is keep going. Everything she would do in the next three years of her life would give her a purpose. I know she will have to fight hard and feel like a failure but if she keeps going her life gets better.

Ten years ago I was at my all time low. Looking back at who I was and who I would become is endearing. I have come really far in life and just now hitting a point of knowing what my purpose is. I have three amazing boys and have moments of pure happiness. Ten years ago I thought this is the end of things. I truly believed that if I would not live for another ten years. My feelings and emotions got the best of me on all accounts. I’m glad ten years ago I made it through the darkest time period.

I hope through in the next ten years from now I can give this sound advice; keep living truthfully, live like tomorrow is your last day. I also hope to see future me love herself even when she cannot find the reason to. Lastly I hope ten years from now I can look back and see the good I have done and know that I lived with purpose and good intentions. I owe it to the ones I love and myself to grow up learning and becoming the person I set out to be.

Written by Ali Johnson

2009
2018

The Art Of Apologizing

In life, we have to offer apologizes to those that we hurt.

I dislike having to apologize for when I’m wrong. It takes swallowing my pride and seeing my flaws to even utter the smallest I’m sorry. I used to say it because it was ingrained into me as a way to not get beat down. So now when I say sorry It needs to hold true value. Recently I noticed there are tons of people I need to apologize to and make better relationships. When I said sorry the first time I wasn’t properly using the word, I only said it to get out of trouble much like children do.

Apologizing is tough because it can go two ways; it can get accepted and your life together moves on, or it gets rejected and everything crashes and burns. There is an art to saying I’m sorry to make it critical in acceptance. The art form has to come from the heart and mind working together. If either one of them doesn’t mean the apology the canvas of that apology is wiped clean, but there is a second part to the apology form. The second part is stand behind every single word of the apology given. You cannot back pedal once you stated why you are sorry.

The best way to apologize is have a reason to utter the words I’m sorry. The beginning of the statement follows “I’m sorry for” enter the reasons here. If you say I’m sorry ensure your body language follows up with your reasons and words. This leads back to merit of apology. If your body does not sync with the rest of the thought and emotion it will become lost. Full honesty must be given forward to the other person wronged. As humans, we deserve respect and honesty with great patience to see human error.

Given the apology is out in the open for interpretation following through is key. In the words of my eight year old no take backs (seat belt, buckle clause). Disadvantaging the person who received the apology creates a destructive pattern of false honesty. In other words mean it, seal it, move on with it. Be a better person and do better for the person that was hurt.

Given that as humans we are flawed in nature we have a chance to correct or mistakes. Some of those mistakes can be corrected by saying I’m sorry for my actions. Ownership of fragility is not showing weakness but the giving the ability to move forward for a better future. It is well-known that humans are prideful, but we can also put our personal issues aside and work together. To ensure this notion we as humans have to receive the ability to accept flaws of others and ourselves.

Written by Ali Johnson

The Start Of a Good Day

I cleaned up my house today and it was better than sex. That was a bold statement but I mean it. Cleaning up your home after weeks of letting depression and anxiety take over it feels good to start fresh. Letting go of all the tension that built up with every piece of avoidance is refreshing.

I hate cleaning during my bad days. My bad spells with my mental illness contain disorganization and discontent on what needs to be done. The laundry piles in the hamper I will keep washing the same clothes over and over again. I only rinse the dishes enough to appear clean but it’s still not my best effort. What other people call lazy to me it’s the thought process of feeling tired. I feel as if my brain is foggy and doing these chores are exhausting. I know when these spells hit my house is the image of what is going on inside my head.

My anxiety makes it hard to focus on my priorities. I often fight within my thoughts as to why the fracture of reality. To one who does not struggle with anxiety they would say just get it done you will feel better. The thing is even when I try to get motivated the brain fog clouts my enjoyment. The challenge of responsibility feels like somebody tied an anvil to my body and said jump. Part of self care and mental health treatment is to know your limits. The more I tried to just get things done, created tension and rising frustration. I kept hearing my aunts voice saying it’s not clean enough and do it over.

Once her voice takes over in the mental compartment I will clean but then obsession takes over. Nothing is ever clean enough no matter if I scrubbed it ten times over. I then start the process of self-destruction. I count my fingers, I need six things to tap, and I will not eat food. Once this process starts; I cannot take enough showers to get rid of my dirty body. I will pick at my skin in stress and find flaws everywhere, nothing is clean enough. These are the lowest of low points in dealing with my anxiety.

Today I felt motivated I cleaned up my home the way I wanted. I felt good enough to eat and control the urge to binge and starve. Tonight I will practice yoga and let it all go again. Cleaning up my home is a good start to bring peace and balance until next time. I have no idea when depression and anxiety will hit again. They stay hidden in the corners of my mind tugging at their release. As much as I know the sadness will take over again, today I will enjoy this small victory.

Written by Ali Johnson

Trying To Be Super Mom

I parented hard in the last two days, so much, that when my husband called me supermom tonight it felt good to hear. I just got my tiniest human down at ten twenty-seven pm. For the last day and a half we had to manage through RSV and bronchitis.

We were between hospital and home starting at night again in the morning to return due to my eighteen months old laboured breathing. His fever soared to high temps of 39.4 degrees Celsius with no sign of relief. We have been here once before when Max was six months of age. Last time we had this he stayed one week on the pediatrics ward of the Guelph Hospital. Recognizing the signs this time around I’m glad we took a pro active approach.

Going through this again was draining on my emotions and my ability to feel like I was doing my job as his mother. When we had to do his x-ray and nebulizer I felt like the worse mother who existed. The x-ray for infants and toddlers seems like torture devices. As I put on my lead vest, placing my baby into the tube holding his arms above his head, he screamed so loud. I felt so useless, the only words I could say to him was I’m sorry. Tears streamed down both our eyes. I would never cause my children pain and seeing him in distress tore my heart out. I know that these treatments are to help him but non the less I wish I could have stolen his pain away and made his world harm free.

Not my child but a picture to show the x-ray tube. Instead of a calm baby shown here Max was screaming. His looked terrified. I think this was the second moment in the hospital I felt like a failure.

The moment that hit me the hardest was trying to place a nebulizing mask on my sons face. As advised from the nurses I had to hold my son down and keep the mask on his face. The first nurse left Max and I to our own devices. Maximus with his strength of fifty babies on steroids; fought hard like Muhammad Ali in the ring, left me feeling defeated. I was thankful another nurse took sympathy and held the mask while I tried to wrangle Maximus to stay still. Essentially I channelled my inner Steve Irwin and crocodile wrested my stressed toddler. In these moments I felt so primal that afterwards I wanted to break.

This emotional ride of Maximus being sick has left me feeling defeated. I waited for the cab for thirty minutes with him sleeping in my arms. From the wheezy breath sounds and small whimpers escaping from his lips I had a moment of panic. How can I be a good mother when all I wanted to do was get home and cry. I felt utterly selfish at this moment, I wanted to be a good mother but instead I thought of myself.

Since we got home he was given a plethora of medication, adding to the layers of distress. After napping with Max to monitor his breathing I put on Thomas the Train and took a shower. I got my moment of clarity that even feeling defeated is part of the mother package. Being alone today and handling a sick child was my wake up call that even with life throwing some serious wrenches I can do this. When my husband called me supermom; I choked back my tears of self-doubt, and plan to hold on a little longer.

This is a stepping stone in learning motherhood. I can either sink or swim or roll with the punches. I sit here typing feeling relieved to know my baby will be OK, all of this will be OK. My muscles may be sore from rocking my child, my body tired from the last day and half, but I feel clear in how much I love my children and what it takes to make sure they have a mother that cares. I will give one supermom moment at a time until my last breath.

Written by: Ali Johnson

My husband The Caveman, Mr Max, and myself.

Dear Juvenile Arthritis… I Really Hate you.

My son enjoying jumping in puddles on a good day

Today was nerve-racking as we had to make a call to my sons rheumatologist. A few days ago my son was awoken at night because he was really sick. Juvenile arthritis reared its ugly head back into our lives, it never really leaves but it likes chaos at my sons expense. I hate arthritis because no child or person deserves such an ugly disease.

I have talked about arthritis in previous blog post but I can never truly get the words out on how much I hate watching this disease hurt my nine-year-old child in vicious ways. When I envision arthritis in my head it would only be described as a glob of goo with malicious smiles smearing across its face. Everything about this disease is horrifying because as a parent, the feeling of not being able to ease their pain is heartbreaking. Telling your child they cannot do certain things because this disease takes away from it is gut wrenching. Watching your child not being able to walk for more than ten minutes, or watching them be unable to do things regular children can do is indescribable.

With each appointment, each version of medication not working, each symptom that can change any day is unfair to the child that lives with it. I’m angry with this disease so angry that sometimes it breaks me as a parent to my brave warrior. The pain is one thing but holding your child because he is depressed because he feels his body failed him make you as a parent feel like your failing. I’m a mother who has an amazing son and I feel like I cannot protect him from the bad in the world because it is his body attacking him. The immune system which is normally marvellous in the jobs it performs failed at the task of being my sons defender. I’m angry; I created this failing body. I grew this body for nine months and the first day I held him I promised to keep him safe. Failing in that promise is beyond my control, but his body and immune system is failing non the less.

Being scared of what’s next is part of the deal when you have a sick kid. Before every appointment even though not religious: I pray for good news. Especially during this difficult time of being in a pandemic. I remember the first time we got our diagnosis I promised my son I would be there for every appointment, so he won’t be scared. Praying and setting mental pleas to the universe it went unheard. I cannot be there for my sons injections. His stepdad will have to take him and I will keep pleading with the universe for him to safe. This disease is scary for everyone, yet somehow my superhero of a son finds a way to stay beautiful.

Three nights ago I was holding him while he threw up and had a bad case of diarrhea. Last week he was in so much pain from walking half a block to the mail box. He said to me last night I hate my body mom it’s not nice to me. Followed with why does my body hate me because I want to love it but it’s hard. I wish there was a magic wand I could wave to take it all away from him. Instead, I will hold him longer and try to be there because he needs me to be strong for him.

2019 Halloween he struggled to walk more than a block. We had to pull him in a wagon because he was not going to miss trick or treating. Halloween is his favourite day.

I will say one thing that I admire out of this whole nasty disease is the children who live with it are so brave and fearless. They are true superheros in the face of adversity. My son and other children living with this disease are stronger than words can describe. I admire his courage and faith that he will kick this diseases butt one day at a time. Even though this disease is taking the piss out of our lives right now I know in my heart my son is the strongest little man and I can wish to be half as brave as he is.

One month after intramuscular injections. He walked Princess Macy to the vet.

Written by Ali Johnson

I asked permission before adding this photo. This was at sick kids before going in for his last procedure. He was telling jokes to the nurses because laughter is the best medicine.

Am I enough? Motherly thoughts.

Tonight I had enough with my children I just wanted them to go to bed. Our life has become somewhat abnormal due to home isolation. Time schedules are basic. In the past, everything was routine down to the minute. Unfortunately right now that has not been able to happen so my children and I are going off loose times. What that has done to my ADHD and my sons autism is allowing us to learn how to handle uncertainty. Especially when it comes to school work. My oldest and I are bulls in the China shop so to speak when it comes to sitting down and focusing on the tasks assigned.

It didn’t hit me until I got the email from my child’s school we are going to be home for a while. I have been alright mentally up to this point but upon reading the letter I had a slight panic attack. I’m not fully sure I’m cut out for this. My husband is working away for four days a week. It is my job to be the main parent, teacher, chef, referee, and many other tasks I had forgotten about because I went to work. Not to long ago I wanted to escape desperately from being a stay at home parent. The panic stems from asking myself constantly am I enough for my kids?

Today was bad the t.v. was on too much, my children had a minimal lunch, I was on my phone to mentally escape and I craved to be alone for just five minutes. At the end of the day we missed bath time and this is part of being a parent. Bathing your kids should be essential, and yet I was too exhausted to give bath tonight. I lacked the focus to play bubble beard, shoot the hose, race the cars and whatever nightly bath games ensue. Last night I forgot to brush their teeth. I am the mom who has caved to forgetting hygiene due to exhaustion.

Supper time has become our spectacle of amusement. Some moms post on social media they are taking this time for table etiquette. I sit at the table and hope my boys can be civil enough to not kill one another. Dinner time is either eww I don’t like inserted food here” or me trying to convince the toddler to sit down long enough to scarf some food without choking. My main goal is keep them alive. I feel guilty because other mothers are posting gourmet meals for their kids. Feeling like the poop smear who fed her kids Kraft Dinner and Salad is not what I wanted for my kids to eat. Last week I prayed I could find the food they would eat while the grocery store stood vacant. It’s a catch 22 feed your kids whole foods with non GMO vegan bullshit or make sure they are fed. Guess which option I’m choosing?

Arts and std called crafts. I have been trying to do crafts every single day with my kids. I plan them out carefully and prep the equipment. If all goes well we have a new project to work on for twenty minutes top. Once all the jazz of glittery gluey hell are over for my children I’m the one who cleans up. Stripping the toddler of his newly designed clothes: yelling please don’t touch that: having my oldest try his best wipe down: it’s ridiculous. The arts and crafts box has become a mess. I organized it last Tuesday only to have it look like a hoarders’ paradise just what I ordered. I purged my house before spring and somehow we have collected more junk being more inside than out. Marie Kondo would be ashamed!

All of that wrapped into a big ball I feel I am not enough for my children. If you asked them how was your day my oldest would tell you his mom started teaching him art. The two-year-old would proudly show the names of shapes he learned from watching Blippi. My oldest would say pizza and movie day are his jam. My two-year old would dance because his mom has taught him some groovy moves. I’m sure if the toddler could fully talk he would tell you all about the massive bubble beards we do make together and that mom made him a squirt gun to shoot the bath monsters. My nine-year old would say he has become the master prodigy player and has achieved new reading levels. Contrast to what I think I am as a mother, my children will tell you otherwise. Rewinding from my text above I am doing what I can do.

I am enough for them.

Written by Ali Johnson