Tag Archives: Family

Where is Spring? 2015


Taken by Teresa Dean Smeigh

There is spring on my page. Picture taken on one of my nature walks with a friend last spring/summer. My friend and I spent a lot of time in the different nature areas in the state parks near the Pine Barrens in the state of NJ. It is hard for me to walk, but my doctor wants me to walk everyday for at least 30 minutes, preferably 60 minutes. Right now that isn’t possible although last summer we had gotten closer to walking at least a half an hour before I needed a break. Walking in the nature areas is softer and easier on my feet. I can’t handle walking on harder surfaces for long at all. The only major problem is that we have to deal with ticks. They freak me out and after our walks have to look for the little buggers.

My son dug out a space on the road so I could park my car out there and get in and out easily enough. The snow plow only does one single land sweep down the street. There are 3 cars here and my dad is in the driveway and my son and I are on the street. Between the trees and the way the house is positioned we are usually the last ones with snow. It is quite deep and very icy so it will take a while to melt.

As the weather gets milder I should start walking again and take my camera. I have a lot of digital pictures, but not sure if there are some I can use to spice up my pages. I need the picture to go with the post. I am finding writing a post everyday harder than I thought.

Today is Saturday and every Saturday my friend and I meet for brunch and talk about everything, but part of the conversation is geared to decluttering. I personally am a hoarder (low level) and have a problem letting go. This blog will also contain my progress once I restart. I just went through a severe depression and that halted my progress. I was manic for about 4 weeks and got so much done and then bam I started sliding backwards again. Perfectly normal state of affairs for me. Like I said in an earlier post “I want my mania back!”


Self Esteem/Paranoia – written in 2015

Self Esteem and Paranoia

I have severe Paranoia and very low self-esteem. Now in ways I think a lot of the Paranoia is linked to the self-esteem. If I felt more comfortable with myself then I would not experience such severe Paranoia. I can’t walk among people who are talking among themselves and glancing at me and laughing without being sure they are talking about me. I am slightly agoraphobic as large crowds and new situations and being by myself (in a crowd and new situation) really freak me out. I miss out on so much because I am so afraid of people laughing or talking about me. And I can tell myself that they aren’t even looking at me, but it just doesn’t work. It is even worse if I walk by someone and then hear a laugh. It can be paralyzing. I don’t leave the house unless I have to. I do on occasion, but I am living like a hermit if at all possible.

Now my self-esteem is so low I trip over it. Funny? Not! I have been writing ever since I was a child, but I was sure I was terrible no matter how many people told me it was good. I wanted to submit my writing and when I did and got rejected (still in my teens) I said I would never write again. I did write I just would’t show anyone. Many years ago (I am 62 now) I started to write again and I got brave enough to start a blog and post my work. I was afraid to push the publish button. What if people laugh at me or write something terrible? Well I finally pushed the publish button on www.finallyawriter.com in 2012 and my writing blog was born and it is fairly successful. I am over the fear of showing people my work for the most part. This is blog number 2 and it is more of my personal life and that can be difficult to write about since I suffer so many mental illnesses along with the physical ones. My dr wants to know what went on in my childhood that made me what I am today. There are some things I can’t put on here since they deal with family and friends or things I don’t want people to know. I have to remember that I am sharing this with the world.

Now as for my self-esteem I don’t remember much about it before my elementary school years. The first thing I really remember was having the chance to play an instrument in the 4th grade. I chose the trumpet. At the time girls didn’t play trumpets or trombones. We were supposed to play flutes and clarinets. So I knew from the beginning that the teacher didn’t want me in the band, but I stuck with it.

Now at home, of course, I had to practice and I hated people hearing me for one thing. My parents thought it would be nice for me to play for their friends. How embarrassing that was! I dreaded when they had company and forced me to play. A couple of years later my brother decided to play the trumpet too. That is when they shot me right between the eyes. My parents told me that my brother was better. Now maybe he was, but why would you tell me that? My self-esteem went lower. That was almost as bad as being told they loved him better too.

I withdrew more and more into myself. I was nice to me in my world. I read tons of books to take me out of my reality and give me a breather. They didn’t know I had mental issues and thought nothing of it. Just yelled at me to go outside to play and go to sleep at night. They did take my book and force me out, but they couldn’t force me to sleep.

I was bullied at school. I was a nerd. I didn’t have nice pretty new clothes. We couldn’t afford them. I got laughed at for what I wore. Kids are cruel. I withdrew even more. I did have friends, but they certainly weren’t the cool kids. I always felt like everyone was talking about me even if they weren’t. I would not repeat school again for nothing.

I am still paranoid and have low to medium self esteem. I don’t think I will every be comfortable in my own skin.

Stop the Bullying please. It really hurts and somethings are hard to forget!!


The Family Tree – originally written in 2015

I was raised by the 2 people who conceived me. Unlike many of my friends and a large majority of today’s households. My parents stayed married for over 50 years until my mom passed away in late 2013.

I am the eldest of the 3 of their children. I was about 3 1/2 years old when the 2nd child, my brother, came along and 4 1/2 when the youngest my sister came along.

Now the 3 of us have children of our own and even grandchildren. Hard to believe that my oldest grandchild is 17. (The oldest grandchild is now 21 and a Marine himself. He was in boot camp almost 40 years to the date of his grandfather)

Our family also consists of 4-legged children. One dog and one black cat. Neither one of them gets along with the other and the cat doesn’t like anyone although now she has fallen in love with my son. I think she loves him more than me sometimes.

We all miss my mom. She had Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia, but my dad took sole care of her to the end. She never went to a nursing home. We kept her with us. She is missed by a lot of people. She would talk to anyone who needed to talk. She wasn’t a professional counselor, but people were drawn to her and her advice. She never turned anyone away.

I was born and raised in southern NJ with a 4-year period spent in North Carolina due to my now ex-husband being in the Marine Corps. This meant that our 2 oldest children, both girls, were born in NC on the MCAS Cherry Point base. Our son 8 years later was born in NJ.

Now I have been divorced for 15 (20) years. I can’t completely wish it never happened because then I wouldn’t have my 3 children and they are a blessing.


Why? For those that are new to this blog this is why I started this blog in 2015

I have asked myself this several times. Why am I writing this blog rather than working on my story/poem blog and the best I can answer is because writer’s must write something and I need to get a lot out of my system according to my psycho-therapist. I know he wants me to journal and to work on my childhood. Your childhood is what forms you and so it makes sense to try and work on that part of my life. I have resisted so far, but I find myself starting to get a little excited and if that means writing a journal style blog rather than my story/poem blog for now then so be it. Writing is writing.

If I am honest I am dwelling on things that happened in my past and they are overcoming my current existence. I will say I will be writing this in no particular order. I will write as the thoughts come so we can go from past to present and possibly even the future and back again. I find it difficult with my mental health to stay focused on the present. I am a worrier (someone has to do it) and so tend to constantly be thinking of multitudes of things at one time. My thoughts race due to the BiPolar Disorder and to add to that I have Borderline Personality Disorder which means my moods cycle more rapidly than someone with just Bipolar Disorder and I never know what mood I might be in. Go from mania to depression in 30 minutes or less and wonder how you would feel if you can. It is not fun. My family never knows what to expect from me.

I also have Anxiety and Panic Disorders, OCD (Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder), PTSD and possibly ADHD thrown in for good measure. The ADHD was never officially diagnosed, but I was on Ritalin for a while and it did help me focus better. Right now I can’t focus on anything much for very long. I start something and find my mind and body focusing on something else and before I know it I have 20 projects started and none completed and that adds to the hoarding problem I have. I am a low-level hoarder and you won’t find nasty food or animal feces all over. I have a cat and she has a cat box which thankfully she uses. I belong to several online groups for the clutter/hoarding and they are giving me positive support to help me through the experience of trying to  clean it all up. Will I ever get it all cleaned up. I would like to say yes, but it is doubtful as I work on it depending on my moods and with the mania I feel like doing it, but the depression I would rather stay in bed and that is usually what I do. I have made a difference in here during my last mania session, but now I am severely depressed and I really don’t care at this point. I am even starting to slide backwards. That is why I doubt it is possible to finally get it all cleaned up.

Speaking of support groups, I have gone to a local one in real life. Little bit harder to talk about these things face to face with a group. I do much better with online groups.

My head is full of things to write for this blog. Shame I can’t focus that on something more creative, but maybe a rest from that will be good for me.


Eyes Left – (Non-fiction)

I wrote this for a writing club I joined. I decided to redo an old flash fiction piece I wrote quite a while ago. I filled it out some since I was no longer on a word limit. This really happened. Those were the days (late 70’s).

Eyes Left

Non-fictional Piece Written by Teresa Smeigh 2019

After a very long drive we arrived late that night at the building in Cherry Point, North Carolina, where my husband, Andrew, a new Marine fresh out of boot camp, was supposed to report for training. He worked hard in boot camp and was promoted meritoriously to Private First Class and received the first choice of duty stations. Since we were already married when he joined it never crossed our mind that they would have a problem with him bringing me along after boot camp.

We chose Cherry Point, NC as it was the only duty station on the east coast. In fact, most of the new recruits were going over seas first thing.

We had driven from New Jersey with all our belongings. All the nice boxes I had packed did not fit in the car and finally in exasperation Andy ripped them open and just dumped all the contents into the trunk and back seat and we left what didn’t fit.

It was dark when we arrived and we were later than we should have been, but we had no idea where we were going. Exiting the car at the designated building, he went first and stood at attention. I slouched in behind him.

Looking at the faces of those Marines was not a pleasant experience. We were late and he arrived with someone they were not expecting.

“Who is that?” one of the Marines asked and it was obvious none of them were amused in the least.

“My wife sir!” I was wishing I could just disappear at this point.

“If the Marine Corps had wanted you to have a wife, we would have issued you one!” What?!? I don’t like new situations and confrontations, and this was both!

“What did you plan to do with her?”

“Sir, we have money saved since they never started the allotment to her during boot camp, so we were going to get a place to live in town.

Again, they talked among themselves. The recruiter knew we were married, and we had expected rejection since the Navy, his first choice, had already turned him down since we refused to stop the wedding and call back the invitations which had already all gone out. The recruiter said it was not a problem and Andy signed up and went to boot camp. These guys were uninformed of the fact that he was married and obviously had not been in this position before. They went back to the conversation about what to do.

I don’t know how Andy felt, but I wanted to cry. I was tired from the packing and repacking and the long trip and being in a place I didn’t know and the only person I knew was my husband. We waited with bated breath.

A verdict was finally settled on. There were specific rules since he wouldn’t be living in the barracks like the other recruits, but we could live with them. I had to drive him onto the base to the barracks very early every morning and then pick him up every night once they were done for the day.

We found a mobile home park just a short way off the base and every day I drove him to the barracks and back home.

Since he was available at lunch, every day I made a lunch and drove it to him on base. On the first day, I found the parking lot where he could find me and sat in my car with the door open and sat sideways in my seat with my legs out and on the ground. I was nervous. Then I could hear a group of Marines coming as they were marching to a Marine Corp Cadence. It was fascinating to watch them marching in unison and repeating the cadence their leader was shouting.

What I wasn’t ready for was as they came abreast of my car the leader shouted, “eyes left!”

Now I was 20 years old and weighed less than 100 pounds. I was a tiny little thing with a very big chest and all I was wearing was short shorts and a small halter top as it was quite warm. It was very disconcerting at first having all those eyes fastened on me.

I eventually got used to it happening and provided visual entertainment for the troops every day.



Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com



JusJoJan – Sunday – January 27th

JusJoJan January 27th

I haven’t been reading posts so January is almost gone. I won’t be going back and trying to catch up.

Life is difficult with dad’s stroke and dementia. I had no idea what a stroke does to you. He is DNR (do not resuscitate). I wasn’t happy years ago when my parents told me their desire for this, but they legally made up living wills. When my mom passed 5 years ago I began to understand the sense it made. My mom suddenly was not responding. Even with the DNR it took about 10 days for her to finally pass. No one wanted to see her like that for who knows how long not to mention the immense expense that could arise. I am fine with my dad’s DNR. He is suffering right now and he wants to go and if assisted suicide was legal he would be all for it. Although now he is not really of sound mine most of the time so it wouldn’t be allowed anyhow I am sure. He is living in a long term care center which is just a fancy name for nursing home. He is mad at us a lot of the time because we have to sell his assets to pay for his care. This isn’t easy anyhow as his house is old, outdated and simply needs to be completely re-made over and there is an expensive retaining wall in the back yard fally down which will run from $10,000 to $20,000 to fix. We are not fixing the house up because the government is going to get whatever money we make over the reverse mortgage lien. We are waiting for Medicaid to kick in as it costs us $10,000 a month to keep him there and we, well he, is paying for that.


Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

Strokes suck the life out of all concerned

My dad’s dementia is getting much worse. He isn’t lucid very often.

We just had to go to the hospital as he was not responding and waking up. He WAS awake, but pretending he was not conscious because he was sure the nurse’s and aides were alien monster doctors and they wanted to eat his brains. The last time he wasn’t responding there was something wrong but this time it was strictly fear. He thinks everyone in his facility is an alien and bad ones most of them. An expensive hospital visit because of his dementia. I only hope he doesn’t keep doing this one. An expense for nothing. I understand why they had to send him, but I hope he doesn’t keep doing this.


Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

Long Term Care (Nursing Home) Antics

My dad is in long term care now and is still patient pays while we sell his assets and get the government’s (Medicaid) help to pay for it. The house is a wreck and has a reverse mortgage on it which needs to be paid first so not sure what we might get toward his health care from that. He has an older car and some other assets.

Now we never know what kind of day he will be having when we visit. Sometimes he will refuse to talk to us, sometimes he takes a few minutes to figure out who we are, sometimes he tells us how proud he is that we are (my sister and I) are taking care of him and sometimes he tells us we are taking his belongings and making him stay in this place. Today was a good day. My sister, my aunt and cousin were there and all of a sudden my dad says “if anyone knows of a job let me know.” Dementia is kicking in. We are trying to explain to him why he doesn’t need a job and assure him he will be taken care of. Thankfully dinner came then and we could avoid continuing that conversation.


Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

He has been talking about Zee and Zeke the aliens that come to him. Finally found out today that they are real people, ones an aide and the other works there. They are aware that he thinks they are aliens. Sometimes you just got to laugh.

Now on the annoying side is all the women there have a crush on him and I can’t convince them I am not his wife so they spend the whole time pointing at me and talking about me. They were really making quite a scene of it today and it’s embarrassing.


Family Christmas Party Went Well

The party went pretty well. There were a few strange spots, but for the most part he was in pretty good shape. This will probably be the last one, but who knows. Next year is still a year away and too early to make plans.

My pain is just a little bit better, but improvement is appreciated. I have started reading again quite a bit. I am reading a book to see about joining a book club at the library and there is a writing class I am trying to pre-register for, but her phone number is not working. The meeting is still on the schedule they told me. I need some inspiration to write some more. Just haven’t felt like it.

I am suffering from an eating disorder so have to start working with my therapist about that. This is the first time I have admitted it so step one is completed.


Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

Dementia Is Horrible

Dementia increasing. Never know what he is going to say or do. We are having a family Christmas party tomorrow. Hope he is in a receptive mood.

I am finally getting some relief in my spinal area that has been so horribly painful. Finally having some times without pain, thank God!

Merry Christmas from my son and I!


Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com