My Story

I am Lisa Marie, I am me. I am a Daughter, a Granddaughter, a Sister, a Mom, a Wife, and a Fibro[myalgia] Warrior. I reside in the Niagara Region in Southern Ontario (area that includes Niagara Falls. Toronto is an hour or so away). I am never going to change.

I’m loud, I can be obnoxious; silly or angry. I can snap if you give me a good enough reason to. I can also be a lot of fun and your best friend. I am loving, caring, compassionate and empathetic beyond belief. Which is why I was so good at my job when I was working; I had to leave my job as a Behavioural Developmental Support Worker in a lock down group home, supporting high behavioural individuals with Mental Illness as well.

Due to the Fibromyalgia. I’m also an extremely emotional person and that can come out with tears of hurt, or words with rage. Most of which I don’t really mean, but I will say things in the heat of a moment that I probably shouldn’t. All of these personality traits and parts of me are ALL due to what is in the story below.

So in order to understand me and truly understand me, this is a good start. I have always been a very open and honest person, since all the hurdles I have overcome, and the ones I hurdle every day, I let it all out. Honesty is the best way. And this way, you will know who I am as a person, and why I am the way I am. Here ya go ……

I was born with severe ADHD. When I was in Kindergarten it was already very evident. That’s when the school 1st called my parents, to tell them that there was a concern. That day there had been 5 activity stations. We were to go to each one at a time, and complete the activity. I started all of them and didn’t complete one. I was constantly moving, literally bouncing off walls. Or doing handstands and cartwheels all over, when I got older, outside and inside the house. I was put on Ritalin at age 6, and from the start I hated the way it made me feel. I have a very strong personality and I would get a hold of the bottle and flush them down the toilet. My Mom would crush the pill up and put it in my sandwich, so I just didn’t eat it. By age 9 they gave up because they couldn’t win against me.

Our home growing up was very loud, my parents are not quiet people, especially when they were mad at me for something. I was always getting yelled at. My Mother is still like that, she has her “moments”. It doesn’t happen often in front of people she doesn’t know really, really well. And as the years went on, if I did something, or reacted to a situation that she felt was “wrong,” she always had something to say. But never nice. Example:  I worked steady nights at our local newspaper for 6 years, the did 2.5 years in a high behaviour group home. I, like many people who work steady nights, ended up with severe insomnia. So my sleep ended up majorly messed up. And instead of helping me, she made remarks, in front of my kids, such as “All your Mother does is sleep all day!” When my ex and I split up after our son was born, and I’ve only recently realized this, because of the emotional pain he had put me and our daughter through, I just wanted to get away from it. I didn’t realize at the time that is what I was doing. And one night, I was out with this guy I had been dating for a few months, we had bee drinking, so I was going to stay over. That night, my ex was a “No-Call, No-Show” and my daughter was heart broken. It destroyed me. But instead of doing what I should have and got someone to come and get me, I stayed and went home in the morning. And my Mother knew I had recently battled severe depression before my pregnancy, then severe post-partum after my son, Owen, was born. It was to the point that I couldn’t even get out of bed. She even recognized this, and voluntarily helped take care of Owen. I was like that for about 2 months, before my doctor finally found that right anti-depressant. Going through therapy now, I’ve realized I was sub-consciously terrified that I would regress back to that.

My Mother continued that behaviour through the years. But in January 2014, my youngest daughter Hailey, had a hockey tournament this one weekend. Her Friday game was at 11am. I had confirmed everything with my Mother the night before, as she was going to be taking Hailey for me. My then 2.5 year old son Liam (now 4.5) was EXTREMELY difficult to take anywhere!! He still is due to a severe expressive speech delay, which has in turn caused a social delay. He tries to play with kids, but he quickly realizes they don’t understand him, and goes off and plays by himself. It’s heartbreaking. But back to hockey, so Hailey was staying over at my parents’, only a few streets over, and I was going to meet them for game time. Well, my alarm went off, but the station wasn’t getting picked up for some reason, it always had before, so it was this real quiet hum. I woke up at 11:45am!!!!! I was shaking, and in tears!! I tried to call my Mother, multi times. Hailey FINALLY called me at 12:15pm, MAD!! Saying, all I do is “Sleep all the time!” I lost it! My heart shattered to hear my little girl say those words. Then my Mother started giving me shit! So I interrupted her and explained what happened and how upset I already was. She didn’t care. She then [tried to] hang up on me, and didn’t realize I was still there. The phone hadn’t disconnected. I then heard her say, the MOST HURTFUL WORDS she could have possibly said, “Your Mother’s a piece of shit!” I loved my Mom SO much. To hear those words, is making me cry right now to just type them.

I immediately called my Father, whom, like my Mother, had said some very hurtful things to me. But not since I was a teenager and he realized what he was doing to me. I told him what she had said and told him I was “DONE!” I was no longer going to take the emotional abuse from her. I was crying so hard and shaking, I could barely speak. So he apparently got MAAAD at her, since this, like I said, had been happening on and off for years. My girls were both in her car that day, and were both hurt by what she said, which hurt me even more. I didn’t speak to her for about 4.5 months. She has never vocally apologized, but my Mother loves the saying “Actions Speak Louder than Words.” Since then, she has not spoken even one negative word. And helps me out all the time with Liam. Her actions have spoken wonderful volumes. But unfortunately, there’s damage that has already been done. I don’t “blame” my Mom, but rather, pity her. I will explain why.

My Mother endured the same verbal abuse from my father herself in the early years of their marriage. My Father is the type of person, if you don’t do what he wants he to do, or when I was failing in high school (on purpose, explanation later in story), he would insult you, thinking if he did so, it would make you want to: do better, or do what he wanted. An example. In grades 9 and 10, the high school I attended was not semestered. So that meant 8 classes a day the whole year. It was our 3rd term report card. I had a 23% in math. This was from skipping class and not doing homework etc. I hated the school and the teacher really was an idiot. Instead of talking to me and asking me why this happened, he started yelling at me that I was “lazy,” “going to amount to nothing with grades like that,” I would end up “living in a ditch.” Ya. Because saying that really makes a person want to do better. It was when I began to run away, and my friends parents found out, and they spoke to him, that he realized what he was doing to me, and stopped. So then, one would ask, why would a Mother then put her daughter back through it? Especially after also being severely abused her ENTIRE LIFE!!

She had been raised by a severely abusive, alcoholic step-father, a mother who vocally despised her [out of visible jealousy]. Her mother was dropped off at an orphanage as a infant, and never adopted. At 18, early 1950’s, women got married. But that was ALL she knew. She had NO CLUE what it actually MEANT to be married. She was never once around a married couple. Where most children were raised by parents. She also had no concept of LOVE. In an orphanage in the  ’30’s and ’40’s, they never realized the repercussions/outcome, of a person who was never shown any type of affection; ie. hugging, saying “I care about you.” “I want to help you.” Interacting 1:1. She left the orphanage at 18, I believe she was married to my Mother’s Father by 19-20. My Aunt Maureen was born in February 1954. My Mom close by in April 1955. All I had been told until recently, was that her Father left when she was a baby. Last year she told me that he committed a crime (sounded petty), but he was sent to jail for like 2-5 years. His family were Bulgarian immigrants. And apparently he “shamed” the family and was told to never return. Her Mother, now a single mother, found herself, lost. So she replied to an ad in the newspaper from a single father of 2 girls, looking for a live-in nanny/maid. Well, they got together. He was an alcoholic, so her mother began drinking. Together, they had my Uncle Glen, who unfortunately was born with the cord tightly around his neck. He was what they refer to as a “Blue Baby.” He currently lives in a group home. Their father beat all 5 kids equally. Black and blue. Called them names. The last time my mother saw her mother alive, it was at her parents [camping] trailer. My Aunt was screwing around and pushed my Mom into the pool. So my Mom did it back. My Aunt, for some idiotic reason, cried like a baby, and the @$$hole tried, and came at my Mother to hit her!! My Father was there thank God, got in front of her and said “NOT THIS TIME @$$HOLE!! She’s NOT a kid anymore, and you can NOT go around beating her like you’ve done! I WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO!! I WILL CALL THE COPS!!” And this is why I say her Mother was vocally jealous, her response to that was “Get the f*** out of here! You’re NOTHING BUT A LOSER GOING NOWHERE IN LIFE!! And if you think he’s gonna stick around, think again! He doesn’t wanna be with a LOSER!” My father shouted something back, they left. And a few weeks later I think it was, she got the call she died from heart failure. I would tell more about my Mother’s life, but I’m sure you can figure most of it out. There’s just way too much to tell.

Because of all of those factors coming together, creating my parents into the people they are, it’s made me the person I am. And I am a loud person. I have a strong personality, and always yelled back. Growing up, all my friends were loud. Sometimes, I was the quiet one. I also get loud when I get [hyper] excited or passionate about something I’m talking about. I don’t even realize I’m doing it. Even the people I worked with would say, “It’s ok, calm down”, or “Take it down a few, we’re right here”. I’m not doing it on purpose, it’s just a natural part of my personality. So, as for elementary school went, I struggled the whole way through.

When I got to high school, I was forced to go to the public high school, Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, a school I hated. In brief, it was a high academic school catering to Advanced and Enriched level only. Grades 9 and 10 were both non-semestered, so we had 8 classes a day. Well, I should have been in General level in the 1st place, then I’m at a high academic school with 8 classes a day, instead of semestered, having 4. The workload was NOT any less. I had 2 best friends just like me, so we “did our own thing”, and got in a lot of trouble. The Principal and Vice Principal knew us by first and last name. I went to Summer School after grade 9 for Science and Math. And went again after grade 10 for Science and English. Well at the end of grade 10 I was pulled into the guidance office, like I had many, many times, over the course of the 2 years, and told that I should drop to General and since they don’t offer that at Sir Winston, it was highly recommended I transfer to another school. WOO HOO!!! That’s when I transferred to DM – Denis Morris Catholic High School. My father hadn’t let me go previously because we weren’t Catholic. But I personally believe that kids that grow up with strong religion/faith in their lives, are better people. I found that my theory was right once I got there. The teachers didn’t look down at us like minions. They treated us as human beings. I was brought up Anglican by my Nana. My kids are all baptized Catholic. My ex is Catholic & my hubby is baptized Catholic, but that’s it. I’m in the process of converting. So warning now, there may be Catholic religious posts. I made good friends, it was semestered, I was in General level, and I LOVED it!! My grades went from as low as 23-50’s, to 60-80’s.

In grade 10, I met Caitlin and Owen’s (my oldest 2) Father, Tyler, through a friend. We dated like a month or so and split. I was at Sir Winston at the time, and he was at DM in grade 11. The schools are a 5 minute walk down the street from each other. But when I got to DM, he wasn’t there. In 2nd semester grade 12 he showed up. He had returned from being kicked out and sent to Alternative Education and was graduating a year late. We talked and he wanted to “date” me, but I had a boyfriend. Oh, I also had to go to night school both semesters in grade 12 in order to have enough credits to graduate. And I DID!!

The following year, September 1997 I started at Niagara College for Art and Design Fundamentals–Graphic Design Production. At my sister’s birthday that year, Tyler randomly called and then came over. I was dating a guy from College. So we just talked until he and I broke up. So in November that year, Tyler and I started seeing each other. It ended around New Years. Well, in March, I discovered I was pregnant. I got a hold of him and we went to the sexual health center and had a test done there and found out I was already like 10-12 wks (can’t remember). I gave him an “out” right then, but he said “no”, he wanted to give this baby the same family life he had. So we got back together to make it work. During my pregnancy (now keep in mind I didn’t find this stuff out until WAY after it happened), he tried to get with this girl who was still in high school at DM, and knew my sister (4 years younger). Also, the girl’s brother Marty (can’t remember her name) was good close friends with my best friend Lindsay, (up until I found out she had been screwing me over for months by telling my Mom & sister nasty lies about me, in May 2010). He also tried to sleep with Lindsay’s roommate Pam, who obviously turned him down, for obvious reasons to a normal person, and then she told Lindsay. Lindsay confronted Tyler, he admitted to it, but said he wanted to wait til after the baby was born to “come clean” with me. Caitlin was born in September, on my sister’s 15th birthday.

Things went along on a bumpy road. He had anger issues, didn’t get along with my parents, said he was going to bed so he didn’t have to help with Caitlin, meanwhile I was in the basement taking care of a newborn, while doing my homework, with her sitting in her seat beside me. I’d be up until 3am and then go to school the next morning. Turns out he was calling other girls when he was “going to bed” at 8pm. In March ’99 there was a huge fight/fallout and I kicked him out and he went back to his parents, that’s when Lindsay told me about Pam when I was pregnant. But I’m a loving, caring and easily forgiving person (this is where those traits start to be my biggest flaw), and I took him back.

So life went on. In April 2000 I got hired on in the Composing Department at The St. Catharines Standard (newspaper). I was a “temp”, along with 4 others, but worked full-time. I was Nights. We started at 10pm, and left when the paper was done being electronically sent page by page (.pdf form), to the Welland Tribune for printing. We had a union and we made good money. In November 2001, I got pregnant with Owen. We were surprised, but happy. That was until March ’02 when I went over to his parents’ house (where he was living and Caitlin and I were always welcome) because Caitlin had bumped her head hard while we were out shopping, and wanted to see Daddy. I took her to his bedroom to watch a movie. When I went into the closet to get the movie, there was a jewelry (store) box sitting there with some woman’s keys sitting on top. I opened the box and it was a diamond heart pendant on a necklace. And I knew damn well it wasn’t for me. He was out at the time, when he came back, I was beyond pissed. I confronted him on the keys 1st in which [I thought] he tried to lie and say that his “friend” Rachael was away for March break, and she wanted him to hold the keys to her car so her sister wouldn’t drive it while she was gone. That part actually was true, what he left out was that he was in a “serious” relationship with her. I was absolutely pissed, so I ran outside, and that night there were high winds and rain on and off, and threw her keys into a neighbour’s garden. I didn’t know where they went. Then later I found out he had told her that the reason I always called was because I was psycho and wouldn’t let him go. Valentine’s Day that year, he said he was taking Caitlin out for dinner. She was 3. When she came home that night, I asked her how dinner was. She proceeded to tell me that there was a lady with a diamond in her nose with them. So I confronted Tyler about this (obviously before I found out in March) and he said Caitlin was confused, she was just talking about the waitress. Caitlin always stuck to her story that the lady ate dinner with them. Yep, that was Rachael, and the asshole was making his 3 year old daughter lie for him. That’s only one of a million reasons why my wonderful Princess, Caitlin, has so many issues.

At the time I had very good credit and high paying job. I had a $10,000 line of credit that the bank offered me. I was only 22 at the time. I made a huge mistake and put Tyler’s name on it. At the time he worked out of town, so he was commuting and paying a lot for gas. Well, he kept asking me if he could use the line of credit to make payments on his credit card. And of course, I agreed. I was too young, and very naïve, and never checked on it. I was making huge payments of $3-500/month and then realized one day when I actually looked at a statement, that he was paying off his credit card with the line of credit, so all my payments went to that, and the balance never went down. I found out that he had previously cheated with a married woman he worked with when he worked at Gennum. He had already quit and was working at Stryker when I found out. And he cheated with another woman too. Well, he was wining and dining all these woman at high end, expensive, like $100 a meal, places (back in 2000-01). And technically I was paying for it. Tyler had this way of getting back in with me. Our children and the need to give them a Family. But this time was a bit different. I gave him until Owen was born to prove to me that our family is what he really wanted. But every night after work I would drive past Rachael’s house and his truck would be there. His excuses: He was hanging a set of lights and fell asleep. He was helping her paint and fell asleep. Etc etc etc. The day Owen was born in August 2002, Tyler had come from work and he had to wear scrubs as a Bio-Medical Technician. He’d have to go into operating rooms sometimes to fix equipment. The hospital room I was in for labour, was freezing (even for me) so he said he was calling his parents, to bring him warmer clothes. Well, it came time for the actual birth, the doctor had just walked in when I heard a nurse say “Umm, you can’t go in there. It’s not a good time. Baby’s coming.” Ya, Rachael showed up at my hospital room door right as Owen was about to be born. Then, the next day, that evening, Tyler came to my room and said that Rachael was in the visitors room and she would like to see Owen. Ah ya. The girl he’d been cheating on me with was waiting to see OUR SON?! Well, he took Owen to see her real quick. That was the very end of Tyler and I. So my entire life went to shambles. I fell into a deep depression (that I have battled ever since, with good reason why). There were days I couldn’t get out of bed. The good thing was my doc found an anti-depressant that worked. When I found out about the line of credit, I told him it was all his debt after I configured what I had used and what I had paid on it. I had actually paid more than I used. He agreed to make the payments. Well after a few months, the bank started calling me, because of non-pay on the LOC (Line Of Credit). So I went into the bank with him and talked to a woman. We told her the story and asked if there was a way this debt could be put in his name. She said the only way, was for him to get a loan, to pay off the LOC. But because he had such bad credit; he had defaulted on his truck payments, and credit cards, that I would have to co-sign because I had immaculate credit. So I did. Well, in the summer of ’03, I began receiving harassing phone calls because he had only made 3 payments, on the loan I co-signed. Because he wouldn’t respond to them, they were coming after me. I even gave them his direct line at work. Well, the asshole decided to declare bankruptcy, which then left me stuck owing a $14,000 loan (interest, late fees). So, he forced me into bankruptcy. That was September 11, 2003.

In October 2002, going back a bit here, I met a guy named Donni, online, from Huntsville (300km or roughly 3 hours, away from here). He was a great person. He moved down here for me and stayed with a friend of mine. We broke up in November 2003, but remained feat, close, friends. He just passed away on May 17 2013 due to an accidental overdose. He had something like 3 surgeries in 15 months. Two were for his ACL. So he got hooked on the Fentonyl patches. May God rest his soul. In January 2004, until February, I dated a man named Wayne. We just weren’t the same type of people.

Then, in early March 2004, I met my daughter Hailey’s (#3), father Kevin. We met online and he was from St. Mary’s (2 – 2.5 hours from here). He had full custody of his daughter named Ashley who was the same age as Caitlin. He worked for his Father, in Stratford, at the family owned truck dealership, Festival City Motors. And in his spare time he worked on his old cars and trucks (rebuilding from ground up). He had a ’66 Fairlane hard top, a ’67 Fairlane convertible, a ’66 F100 and he got another one right before he left me. So here’s that story. I was up front and honest from the beginning, I told him I didn’t want head games, don’t tell me things just because you think that’s what I want to hear. Also to NEVER, EVER say “I Iove you”, unless you truly mean it. He totally agreed. Told me his whole sob story about Ashley’s mother and how she played games. Well, he came down here a total of 3x. He said he was too busy, so I would go up there. And I will agree, he was busy with the dealership on weekends, because his Father said he had to deal with customers on weekends. And because we met just entering Spring, it was also entering truck and car show season. Well, here’s how I did things. Not that they were right, but it’s what I did at the time and Hailey wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t. So, I definitely don’t regret it. I would work Friday night for Saturday’s paper. We’d be done by 2-3am (we also started at 9 on Fridays), and I’d leave right after work, drive up to Kevin’s in St. Mary’s, stay until 7pm Sunday night, drive home for work at 10pm, work til we were done around 3-4am, then drive all the way back to St. Mary’s, I had Mon’s off, stay until 7pm Tues night, then drive home for work. And repeat that every week. Everything between us was great. That was, until I found out I was pregnant in July/Aug. I was due January 30 2005. I had been on the pill, so it was a shock. But I didn’t expect what happened next. Our relationship began going downhill fast. He became very distant. Wouldn’t take my calls, ignore my texts. Refusing some times to see me. And I didn’t know why. I kept telling him we had to tell our families, and he just kept saying to wait. I ended up telling his mother one time when he had her answer his line at work because he didn’t want to talk to me. So I told her what was going on. Well that really pissed him off. At the end of August ’04 I came home one night from work, to, get this, an EMAIL!!! The man was 29 years old and was leaving me high and dry, and pregnant! He didn’t even have the balls to do it AT LEAST, over the phone. And in the email, he stated that he would no longer take calls from me or respond to any emails or text messages and he was blocking me on msn (that’s how we chatted). I was beyond blindsided and I didn’t know how to handle it. I had totally fallen for this man. He reciprocated the same, and then I get pregnant, and WHAMMO!!! He also stated that he didn’t believe the baby was his. That it was the guy (Wayne) that I dated before him. Well, Kevin is a very intelligent person, especially at math, so I knew damn well, he could understand simple math. Your pregnant for 40 wks. My due date was January 30, ’05. That means I got preg sometime real early May. Which was also when I moved out of my parent’s and into an apartment. Wayne and I broke up about a week after Valentine’s Day. I knew Kevin wasn’t a dumb ass, he was just acting like one to get out of paying child support. I would have had to have been pregnant for pretty much an entire year for it to have been Wayne’s. And Kevin damn well knew that. Oh I forgot to mention, Kevin was the only real sales guy at the dealership, he made extremely good money. He showed me his T3 from 2003, he had made $84,000. Kevin liked to spend a lot of money on himself (cars and trucks). He has never seen Hailey and even though Hailey was born with blonde curly hair identical to Ashley, and himself (it went dark when he was a teen, but it was still curly), when my sister confronted him on Facebook in October 2006 (back then, if you were in the same area as someone else, you could contact them. My sister lives in Kitchener). She saw a photo album titled “My Girls”, with pictures of Ashley, his girlfriend and her daughter. She told him that he had another daughter as well, really cute, blonde curly hair and blue eyes just like Ashley. And he still said she was Wayne’s. Wayne and his daughter, Kelsey, have an olive complexion with extremely dark brown straight as a board hair. His background was European of some sort. Kevin’s Mother was Scottish with red curly hair, and his Father was Irish with dark brown curly hair. I have straight as a board brown hair. He just continued to demonstrate what an asshole he was. In August 2005 I moved back in with my parents. I could no longer afford my apartment. I also made a promise to my entire family, especially my kids, that I was not going to date again for a very long time. I HATED men to say the least. I was going to focus solely on my kids and finding “me”. But my efforts to avoid men due to mental and emotional abuse, were about to be thwarted.

But 1st let me go back a bit to January 2006. That was the end of my 1 year maternity leave with Hailey and time to return to work. I was actually 9-5, Mon-Fri. You don’t get better than that. But I was in for another, beyond my control, horrible, devastating, life altering event. At the end of my 4th week back to work, the Friday, the Publisher came down and announced they were shutting down the Composing Room at the Standard, (which was unionized) and moving it to the Welland Tribune (non-union) and we were all PERMANENTLY LAID OFF!!! I, along with many others, broke into tears, grabbed our belongings, and left. On my way out for the very last time, I called my parents in tears, visibly shaking. WTF was I going to do! Here I was, 25 years old, and a single mom of 3 and no job?! Well, the good thing about the union, we got severance. I got a lot for my 6 years (1.5 of them on maternity leave, I went back after 6 months with Owen). So I started putting my resume out and lived off my severance until it was running out. Because I had worked for a newspaper for 6 years, I had no portfolio other than what I had from school. Nothing from working in the industry. So after a few failed interviews and many non-responses, I caved and went in and got a job at Sitel, which is an inbound customer service call center. It paid $10/hr, which was less than ½ of what I was making at the Standard. After only 1 week, I thought to myself, “This isn’t for me. I’m better than this and my children deserve better. I can’t pride myself in a job that requires no education and only pays $10/hr.” So I came home and told my parents that. And they asked, “So what are you going to do about it?” and I stated that I would like, only with their support, because I couldn’t do it otherwise, to go back to college and take PSW (Personal Support Worker), which is only 1 year, and get a job when I was done that paid me at least something decent and I would love my job again. They agreed, and so I applied for September ’06 start, and got in. I graduated with my PSW certificate, on the Dean’s Honour Roll! I was a single mom of 3, went to college fulltime, and still worked 30 hrs a week. I am still very proud of myself for accomplishing that. Most women in my position, would have just stayed at Sitel. Trust me, there were a lot of them there. The “Lifers”. I was hired at Bethesda in July 2007. They knew from my interview that I liked nights, so they placed me at this one house, because the fulltime night woman was only working 1-2 days/week, and they had a hard time filling the shifts. I had originally told them I couldn’t do Sunday nights, because I worked til 11pm at Sitel, and I had told my manager that I couldn’t quit Sitel until I had fulltime there. But they started getting desperate and I liked the income, so I would leave Sitel at 11pm after a 10.5 hr shift, and drive up to Bethesda to do another 8 hrs. I had permission to sleep, since I was doing them a favour, I definitely didn’t have to do it. But you don’t really sleep. There were 3 clients, and I always had I eye and ear open. I did that until I got a full-time nights contract for the full-time lady who was going off on STD (short term disability). Then LTD. I quit Sitel. So life was now pretty good. I was full-time, and totally focused on my kids, and career. But this night shift was a full 11-7, not like the 10pm until 3-4am, like at the Standard. And I developed sleep problems because of it. They were already slowly starting when I worked at the Standard, but after a year or so of these nights, I would suffer insomnia and then hypersomnia. Apparently, I have found out, a lot of other people at Bethesda that do or have worked nights have developed the same sleep problems. But I was always at the kids hockey. And in February 2010, Caitlin was in a Valentine’s Day “Sweetheart” Tournament in Hamilton, at the Mohawk 4 Ice Centre. Owen was in a tournament here. Because of my sleep issues, I couldn’t sleep at night on nights I was off. It’s hard to explain. So I had like 3 hours sleep on the Saturday. Tyler and I took Caitlin to her 1st game in Hamilton, in the morning. My parents took Owen to his. Then we switched for the afternoon/evening games. Tyler and I took Owen to his here, and my parents took Caitlin to Hamilton. Due to lack of sleep, the entire day my head felt “detached” from my body. But I had done it many times before. Well, my Dad called right at the end of Owen’s game to ask if it was over, because Caitlin’s game was delayed due to previous games going OT. So Tyler left, and I went with Owen and Hailey off to Hamilton. As I was driving, already half way there on the QEW, I began to feel tired. Again, been through it before. I opened the windows for freezing cold air, but the kids complained. I had the music louder than normal. I made it all the way to Mountain Brow Blvd, which is the road the arena is on, I was 30 seconds from the arena, when I fell asleep at the wheel, and somehow by the grace of God and some Angels, there were no other vehicles around, I went off to the right, the Angels carried us over this big huge ditch (my Dad couldn’t figure out how we didn’t go nose first), over a mound of snow covered dirt, before hitting a sapling and knocking it over, and finally coming to a stop. Well, I had developed Sciatica when I was pregnant with Hailey. And it could get quite bothersome, well this accident, which I didn’t realize until all the adrenaline was gone once I was home, had pissed it off!!! I was off work, unpaid, for an entire week, that I spent in bed. I could barely walk. I returned to work on “Modified”. Well Bethesda doesn’t really like that, I have since found out. Especially because it wasn’t work related. Oh and prior to this in October ’09, we had got a new manager, Brad. Well it just so happened that my contract position came up for fulltime permanent in March 2010. I was still on Modified due to my old, idiot doctor who I couldn’t get in to in order to get the paper signed to return to full duty. Well, I got screwed out of the position. They gave it to this asshole, who I had reported for harassment in the past, when he had a contract at our house, MY position!!! He had never done a night shift at my house EVER!!! And this house (still is) known for being filthy dirty due to lazy management and lazy staff. When I was on nights, that house was immaculate! And people used to thank me for my hard work. But then they thought they could take advantage of me and leave messes for me. I finally lodged a complaint because it got ridiculous; they’d leave their dirty dishes, that they used, in the office for me to clean up, and they got pissed and started shit for me. Hard to explain, but best analogy is TEENAGERS!!! I felt like I was back in High School for crying out loud. So, I went back to. Based on my seniority, which was based on hours worked, I was getting the maximum of 3 shifts a week scheduled, and then picked up whatever I could.

It was just before the accident that I decided I wanted to start dating again. So I signed up on EHarmony. Joel and I met in April 2010 and been together since. Back at work, as time went on, I hated it more and more. I’d go to work feeling “sick”. So I started taking shifts in other houses, and in October 2010, I was able to transfer, as a “Relief”, over to where I was, up until my resignment. We were in one house, then they moved us to the house next door, in March 2011.

As I stated at the end of the paragraph prior to the last one, my avoidance of men and abuse was thwarted. I myself had no boyfriend or husband, no, it was my sister’s husband. Brent. Well my 1st encounter with drunken abusive Brent was on Mother’s Day, I think it was ’07 because I remember we were all drinking, and their 1st child wasn’t born yet. Well, we were all drinking at the house and Brent decided since the Sabres had just lost a game in the Stanley Cup playoffs, which pissed him off, and it was Mother’s Day, that we should all go to the casino. So my Mother drove us all in my van. Once there, I realized I forgot my wallet at home. So I had to drive all the way home and then back. By the time I got back, I had enough time for 2 drinks. So I had found Kristy and my Mother and my Mom tells me that Brent ran off after elbowing Kristy in the ribs, so hard, it knocked the wind out of her. So we go looking for him. What none of us had realized, was how much he actually had to drink, before we even left the house. He had a flask of Vodka hidden in the couch. So we find the idiot staggering down an aisle. A security woman says something to him because he’s acting like an idiot and he tells her off. So she starts to call for back up, we grab him and tell her not to worry, we’re taking him home. I can’t remember now, but I think he ran off on us, but we lost the idiot. We searched everywhere, and Kristy was trying to call him and she finally got him to answer and he tells her he’s in a cab going back to my parent’s house, to get his car, so he can go to his parent’s house, because we “ditched” him at the casino. So we race home, and catch him. He can barely stand, but he gets in his car. We followed him, as he swerved all over the place, into a parking lot. There we all got into a verbal argument, he has his stupid mother on the phone, who agrees with him that he’s not drunk, and she thought we should let him be. Long story short, Kristy had to call the cops. Then came Christmas time ’08, Layla was a newborn. I went along with Kristy and Brent to Brittany (Brent’s sister) and Adam’s (Brittany’s boyfriend) apartment for some drinks. We had specifically told Brittany and Adam to only allow Brent to have beer, NO HARD LIQUOR!!! Well Adam didn’t listen and started doing shots of vodka with Brent in the kitchen. Next thing we know, him and Adam are play fighting, which Brent turned into real fighting, real quick. It ended up outside. The apartment manager guy came because of complaints, and again, Kristy had to call the cops. Adam had a bad deep cut on the palm of his one hand from a metal thing outside. We explained how Brent is Type 1 diabetic, and his pump thing to the cops. And of course Brent thought he could be tough guy and mouthy with the cops. If it hadn’t been for me intervening and restraining him like we did at work, and talking him down, the cops were gonna throw him on the ground and into hand cuffs. Poor Kristy was a mess, so I felt I needed to step in and help. They took the idiot to the Welland hospital, and had to mechanically restrain him to the bed. Adam had to have his hand stitched up and I ended up getting (my ex back stabbing best friend) Lindsay (I was still friends with her at the time) to come pick me up in the morning so I could go home. Then there was Christmas ‘09 when Kristy was pregnant with her second daughter, Marissa. Brent became pissed drunk even though we all tried to not let him. He then became belligerent and rude. He called Kristy nasty names I won’t repeat, in front of Caitlin!! Fought verbally with Kristy in front of the entire family. Kristy finally gets him into the car so they can leave and he tries to rip Layla out of her car seat and he’s fighting. He got Layla and we got him to give her back (I think, it’s a bit fuzzy) and then he went off calling Kristy names and when my Dad confronted him on calling his daughter a “slut”, he pushed my Father to the ground, breaking his arm. AGAIN, we have to call the cops. Brent had taken off running saying he was going to kill himself. I don’t remember much else of that horrid night. At some point in time, Brent began abusing his Ritalin, but no one knew at 1st. He was snorting them. Well, I was on Rx Ritalin for my severe ADHD, and I began noticing I was short. The 1st couple times I thought the pharmacy had screwed up. So I began counting my Rx’s the day I got them. They were all right on. I can’t remember now how, but I figured out that Brent was stealing them. So I started hiding them in my purse. Well he found them. I can’t remember the amount of times he stole from me. And he took large amounts. And because they are a controlled narcotic, I couldn’t have them replaced. When Kristy and Brent were temporarily living at my parents when the kids were in care (Marissa had some major health issues and at 4 months old, had a broken leg after getting it stuck between the crib rails. It’s another novel in itself), he was breaking into my bedroom, which was in the basement, to steal my pills. The one day I caught him. Kristy didn’t believe me at 1st, but he finally admitted it to her. He was never allowed to stay there again after that. So here I am trying to avoid abuse from men, and I have to endure it from my brother-in-law the entire time. Even back before that Mother’s day, I was w/ him many, many times when he tried to pick fights w/ bouncers at bars and clubs. The one time at Rumours in Niagara Falls, if it hadn’t been for Donni (my boyfriend at that time, 2003) befriending the one bouncer while we were there, Brent would have had his @$$ kicked by a 6ft4, like 300lb of muscle, bouncer. We saved his stupid @$$, OMG, WAY too many times.

Now up until Liam was born, there wasn’t a lot. I got pregnant w/ Liam in February 2011, Joel and I got our 1st house (renting) in July 2011. Liam was born November 2011. Which was a very traumatic birth. He was born extremely fast, I had no epidural and I had back labour, which flared my Sciatica through the atmosphere and it felt like my spine was breaking. I went into shock from the pain right after he was born.

He also wasn’t breathing right away. I had been diagnosed w/ Strep B. So I had been hooked up to antibiotics right away, but you’re supposed to have them for 4 hrs before birth. He came after 1.5hrs. So he had to be hooked up to IV antibiotics.



It was the most stressful situation I’ve personally experienced. After he was born, my sleep got all screwed up again, I’d have the insomnia then hypersomnia. I also noticed 2 “tender” spots on my back that felt like bruises. I didn’t know that was leading to something much worse. In September 2012, I experienced all over body pain for the first time. I remember the night it started. I was up doing some cleaning and all of a sudden my arms felt like I had been lifting weights for hours. They hurt to touch. When touched, they felt like a deep tissue bruise. The next day, it was like a virus, and spread down my legs. Joel, being the loving, caring husband he is, ran me off to the hospital. The doc there ran every test under the sun. I had many vials of blood taken and everything came bk normal. He said he suspected Fibromyalgia, gave me an IM of Toradol (very strong NSAID) and a Rx for Lyrica and Toradol pills, and told me to follow up w/ my (idiot, @$$#0LE) family doctor. So I called and argued my way in. See, my old doc, has WAY too many patients. When 2 of the doctors in the clinic retired (back in the late ‘90’s early ‘00’s) he took on whatever patients wanted to see him. At one point he was a 4 month wait. I even tried reporting him to the College of Doctors, but apparently a doctor can run his practice how he pleases. Now since so many people have left him because he’s an idiot, or they died, he has A LOT of senile patients. He gives them appointment’s to get their BP checked. Most doctors, like mine now, send those people to the local drug store to get it checkd, unless they have a serious BP problem. So I finally get in to the idiot. He increased my Lyrica dose, and sent me for repeat blood work and additional blood work he felt necessary. They took a crap load of blood, that’s all I know. And he sent me for an ultrasound of my entire abdomen. I mentioned what the doc in the ER said about it might being Fibromyalgia, so he poked a few of what was supposed to be the “tender spots” (he didn’t have a clue what he was doing I have found out), and said “No, you don’t have Fibromyalgia”. Well, everything came back normal. And he had told me that if all those tests were normal that he would send me to a Rheumatologist. I had also done many, many, hours of research of all my symptoms because by this point, I have a million more; numbness and tingling in hands and feet, delayed reactions to physical exertion and stressful situations (I can clean the house when I’m having a good day, and it won’t be til the next day I feel the pain and can barely move), sweats (I wake up sweating like I’ve just run a marathon), headaches and my migraines came back, morning stiffness (takes me at least 5-10 mins minimum to get out of bed, sometimes longer depending on how bad it is), allergies (sneezing a lot especially outside, itchy watery eyes etc), constant runny nose, mold and yeast sensitivity (the mold in that old house was paralyzing me, no exaggeration, ask Joel, I’m not bed ridden w/ major depression anymore, that was triggered by the black mold), light and broken sleep that is unrefreshing (I’d give anything to wake up feeling like I’ve actually slept), extreme Chronic Fatigue. When I experience that, my entire body literally feels like someone has filled it w/ cement, every movement is like running a marathon. It’s like when you have the flu, and you couldn’t move unless your house was on fire. I have RLS as well as restless body (it feels like there are little teeny tiny bugs under my skin. I get it mostly when I’m really tired, and it affects my neck, shoulders, entire upper bk, and my upper arms. I have to move or “shake the bugs out”), personal problems, irritable bladder syndrome (it’s like being pregnant), abdominal pain, a lot of nausea every day, dysphasia; difficulty speaking known words. I stumble over my words or stutter. It was really embarrassing when I was trying to have a conversation at work, especially w/ my manager. Disorientation and confusion; I’ll be driving, and briefly forget where I’m going, sometimes I actually drive in the wrong direction for a bit before I realize it. My balance and coordination is horrible, I’m constantly stubbing my toes, tripping over things, losing my balance and almost falling over. I drop stuff a lot as well. Tingling and burning sensations, especially in my shoulders, upper back and upper arms. Short term memory impairment or “Fibro fog”; it doesn’t help that I have severe adult ADHD, it just amplifies it majorly. Trouble concentrating, which makes my ADHD like ADHD on speed. Staring into space before my brain “kicks in”, or “registers” what is being said to me. I was at work (when I still worked), at one end of the kitchen, and my co-worker Sarah was at the other end. She apparently asked me if I had toileted one of the guys, she asked me 3x before I heard her and it registered. I apologized profusely because I felt so bad. I’m sensitive to certain odors, some make me very nauseous, very sensitive to barometric pressure changes, temperature changes and humidity levels. Changes in these, and moderate to high humidity levels exacerbate my pain. Sensitivity to light;I’ve always been sensitive to bright lights that hit my eyes, eg; I’m coming out of my bedroom which is dark, where I’ve been sleeping, and come out to the hall to extremely bright sunlight glaring me in the eyes, that triggers migraines. I also don’t like a lot of light, I prefer it darker. Bright lights seem to “burn” my eyes. I’m sensitive to certain noise. A lot of screaming kids becomes too much after a couple hours. I used to be able to tune it out. Or when the clients at work were being extremely vocal. As well as extremely loud, sudden noise like fireworks, or a gun being shot (Joel hunts and has some hand guns and belongs to a gun club, so I’ve gone w/ him). It’s sensory overload. I now have problems driving at night because of other vehicles. The headlights literally blind me. It’s getting to the point I’m going to need to wear a lighter shade of sunglasses to drive. I have also developed panic attacks. I had to be put on a strong medication to get control of it. I’ve always been an emotional person, and if I’m watching a sad show or movie where someone special in the movie or show dies, I would cry. Now I cry at the drop of a hat. I’m now extremely emotional! I get massive anxiety for no reason. I can watching tv and all of a sudden start to feel anxious. I now suffer major mood swings, Joel calls me bipolar, but our doc has explained that it’s all part of fibro (only to find out later I am BPII). I also suffer from uncontrollable irritability. I can wake up irritable, for no reason. For me, it feels as if my body and mind are possessed by something bad. So at my last appointment w/ my old doctor (this is the reason he’s no longer my doctor). Joel was w/ me as he had started to come to all my appointments as a back up/advocator for me. So that was the appt after we found all the tests to be fine and he still wasn’t sending me to a Rheumatologist like he promised. Well I brought up Fibromyalgia to him again, and showed him all my research along w/ all my symptoms, and w/ his hands on his hips and this cocky attitude, he looks at me and says,

“You don’t have Fibromyalgia, so get it out of your head. You know Lisa, there are some doctors that don’t even believe Fibromyalgia exists?”

Yep, Joel got me in to his doctor in Hamilton, who is really good. Joel makes all of my appointments and comes w/ me. My 1st appointment w/ my new doctor was an intro, get to meet each other appointment. And he had to go through my file from my old doctor. At my 2nd appointment he diagnosed me w/ Fibromyalgia. He said based on the multitude of tests that had been done, that all had come back normal, and my multitude of symptoms, it could only be Fibromyalgia. I had to go see a Rheumatologist in Burlington, because Health Canada requires a diagnosis from a Rheumatologist. Every single day I battle almost all of these issues at once or scattered throughout the day. A couple other specific things I suffer is one, mainly my left shoulder, but sometimes the right, from the back of my shoulder, up over my shoulder and down my upper arm to my elbow, it feels like tiny electric shocks. I also get extreme muscle pain all the time in that shoulder. Second, I have extreme hip pain and times when my hips will give out (1 or both, and I stumble or sometimes fall). I sometimes have to use a cane. Most recently, a couple weeks ago Friday, my hips gave out and I fell down our stairs and was hurt pretty bad. Joel left work early and came home to take care of me. I did some research on what to do when hips are bad, and one thing said to use a cane or (forearm) crutches for stability during those times. I already had a cane, but it wasn’t stable enough, too wobbly. So Joel ran out and tried to buy me a pair, but the place didn’t currently have any in, so he rented me a pair for a month. I still have them. Because of that bad fall, I had to go off work, and onto EI – Sickness Benefits. That was August 2013. In July 2014, I had to make one of the most difficult decisions, but there really was no choice for me, I had to resign from the job that I loved dearly. There are a lot times now where I am literally disabled and can only walk with the cane or crutches. And the pain in my hips is excruciating.

Joel is absolutely amazing. He is there for me when I’m breaking down and crying, sometimes for no reason, or he waits on me when the pain is so bad I can barely get out of bed or only able to walk with crutches. He makes all my doctor appointments because my memory is so bad I forget. He is the one, after the fall down the stairs, that told me he didn’t care what it took, he wanted me off work to get better. Because during times where I would have 7, sometimes 9 days off in between shifts, I would feel better and be able to function much better at home. But when I was working, I couldn’t function at home. Work took everything I had, and then some. It still bothers me that I’m not able to work and having a very difficult time coming to terms with that new reality. But Joel re-assures me every day that this is the new reality, there’s nothing we can do about it, and that we’re going to be ok. He is my rock. Without him, I would fall apart.

So now you have a small glimpse into my life. You now know the main basics of what I’ve lived through in the past and how difficult my life is since Fibro took over. How much I battle every day. And when someone asks how I’m doing, I just smile and say “fine”. I can hide it very well. Other times, not so much. It’s pretty hard to hide crutches. My job, I was a Developmental, Behavioural Support Worker. I dealt with high behaviour individuals. So we worked alongside BT’s (behavioural therapist), PT’s (physio), OT’s (occupational). And Bethesda also provides additional training, one is “Safety Care”. It’s a behavior intervention program that involves physical restraints. The one main thing that gets drilled into our heads during everything is that a behaviour never happens for no reason. There is ALWAYS a reason for a behaviour. Whether it’s evident at 1st or not. Our job as Behavioural Support Workers, was when a behaviour was happening, figure out why it was happening or sometimes it was a repetitive behaviour they had occasionally, or frequently, due to something in their past. A big one is people who have sexually abused, beaten, neglected etc. They tend to have a lot of sexual or violent behaviours. So like I said in the beginning, I am Lisa, I am who I am. I am who I am for a reason.I’m loud, I can be obnoxious (silly or angry), I can snap if you give me a good enough reason to. I can also be a lot of fun and your best friend. I am loving, caring, compassionate & empathetic beyond belief. I’m also an extremely emotional person, and that can come out with tears of hurt, or words with rage (most of which I don’t really mean, but I will say things in the heat of a moment that I prob shouldn’t). All of these personality traits and parts of me are ALL due to what was in the story you just read.

Thank-you for taking the time to read my story and I hope you have a good understanding of me and why I decided to let other people in my situation or past situations, know they’re not alone.

******UPDATE: Friday November 9, 2015******

I had a psych appt last Friday. So I finally decided to tell him about my ‘over sensitivity’. I had been chatting on FB with my closest cousin. We’re 13 months apart, to the day. I’m older. I knew she had mental health issues from abuse she endured growing up. Our Mothers were biological sisters (they ended up with 2 step sisters & a half brother. He was born with the cord around his neck & lost a lot of oxygen. He was a ‘Blue Baby’). Their bio Father was kicked out of the family. My Mother has said all she knows is that he went to jail for something, no one ever told them. His parents were Bulgarian immigrants. They said he Shamed the family. Thier mother was dropped at an orphanage as a newborn & was never adopted. So she really didn’t know HOW to LOVE. A man. Or children. I don’t want to make this long. Their mother ended up answering an ad in the paper for a live-in Nanny, Maid. Single father, 2 girls. He became their worst nightmare. A severely abusive alcoholic. Their mother became one as well. She also abused ex-lax to stay thin. She was dead from heart failure in her early 40’s. My mother was the youngest of the 2 & got picked on. Maureen got favoured. My bio grandmother’s last words to my mother b4 she died was that she was a loser, my dad was never going to marry her & she was going nowhere in life. Imagine those being the last words your mother ever spoke to you. Their paternal grandfather stayed in their life, & fav Maureen the worst. He owned a store. He’d take her behind the counter & give her more money (he would have already given them say $5 each, he’d give Maureen $5 more) & tell her not to tell my Mom. My parents are still married after 41 yrs.

Now, I was the 1st born of 2 girls. My sister is 4 yrs younger. I was a VERY difficult child bc I have severe ADHD. I don’t blame my parents, I just wish there was more info back in the ’80’s. I got the leather belt on the bare @$$ from my father more times than I can count. On 1 hand it kept me in line. I will admit, I was EXTREMELY difficult to deal with. VERY stubborn & everything MY WAY. My Mom liked the wooden spoon. But I’m a better person for it in the sense that it taught me a healthy fear, but that was the hand spanking. The leather belt created just fear. My dad worked and traveled with work a lot. So my mother was stuck with me by herself. Good thing my sister is the polar opposite.

When I went to high school, I wanted to go to the Catholic one. My dad refused to let me go to go there saying we weren’t Catholic (Anglican). So I was forced to go to this high academic school, full of spoiled rich kids. So I started drinking & smoking weed. I hated it!!! AND, it was EIGHT classes a day instead of semestered (4). My one report card in grade 9 was the worst of ANY I ever got. My father sat there & told me I was going to be a loser with those marks. I’d go nowhere in life. Live in a ditch. Etc etc etc. He did that my whole life. He thought by insulting someone he could get them to do what he wanted them to do. Well I finally got to go to the Catholic school in grade 11 & LOVED IT!!! My oldest daughter goes there now & is graduating this yr (I had her young). My oldest son is entering high school next year. I got sick with the Fibro in Sept 2012. My parents have no understanding of the illness. My mom reads $#!t on the internet (magic cures) & believes it. Last winter, my youngest daughter was in a hockey tournament here at home. I don’t do well in the winter. No one said a word to me about driving her. My parents just do it. I figured it was bc they were finally understanding my illness. NOPE. I missed her 1st game cuz I slept thru the alarm (the kids stayed at my parents), & so I called my mom’s cell all flustered, crying, upset. She bitched me out, & as she was hanging up called me a lazy pc of $#!t to BOTH my girls. They were both hurt by it. I didn’t speak to her for 4 mths after that. She hasn’t done it since. Going bk to my Mother’s childhood. She was the youngest & got picked on. So she took that out on me being the oldest (my theory).

Looking back, the BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) was always there. It was just mild & I had no idea I was more than just sensitive. I have only told like 5 ppl the truth of my childhood. Then about a month ago, I went thru a terrible time. I couldn’t stop crying over every little thing. Most was other ppl’s issues, or a character in a tv show or movie. I told my husband I felt as though someone had cured me feeling everyone else’s pain. Cursed with fear of losing everyone I love. I had more than a few boyfriends in high school. And I always fell hard & fast. I never knew why. Even when I was dating in my 20’s after my ex. Same thing. It wasn’t until my cousin told me she has this BPD & I looked it up for a mental health (info) blog I have, I’m going to be adding it, that I had that I realized I was reading about MYSELF. So when I went to my psych Friday & told him I was reading about BPD & I think I have it, he said that it’s usually triggered by childhood abuse or trauma. So I had to tell him & then asked if that qualifies as abuse (I didn’t know how severe it had to be). He diagnosed me instantly!!

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