My Estranged Family

I’m glad I started this blog even though I am learning as I go. I’ve been able to have realizations that I don’t think I would have come to if I just sat in my room diamond painting, reading, or watching tv or movies… I’ve also been spending time at my desk instead of spending the day in bed, and honestly, with all I’m going through is what I want to do all day every day. Just hide under the covers and never come out.

I am just so scared and anxious. I’m having anxiety symptoms like crazy. I got out of the bathtub yesterday and my legs just started shaking uncontrollably. I got a dizzy spell which isn’t supposed to happen since I went back on the beta blocker and the fludrocortisone acetate. (I just love spelling and saying that: fludrocortisone acetate) .

I started this blog because I want to let people struggling with Traumatic Brain Injuries, Post Concussion Syndrome, Conversion Disorder, Bipolar type II disorder, borderline personality disorder, inappropriate sinus tachycardia, et al. That they are not alone. But today I want to talk about the estranged side of my family. In 2014 I actually went to court to have my last name legally changed. My dad’s side never seemed to care about me I didn’t want to be associated with them. They always loved my brother and helped him and for that I am forever grateful and wish them nothing but happiness. It’s just who they are, I was never good enough for them for some reason and then after my car accident they really didn’t want anything to do with me. But the insult was one of my uncles sends my Grandfather a Christmas card every single year addressed to (my grandpa and family) I was never even included in their Christmas card, I was relegated to “and family” Does anyone else realize how hurtful that feels? I’ve been here since 2003, not a single birthday card from any one of them. Then, at my brother’s wedding they try and come up and hug me like it’s an ok thing to do. They violated my personal space and I let them get away with it because I wasn’t going to make a scene at my brother’s wedding. I don’t think about them a lot, but man, when I do, an avalanche of emotions comes down and overwhelms me.

I remember when Facebook first became a thing, I requested all my cousins, I wanted a relationship with them. They all ignored me so I think I blocked them for a while. I can be very sensitive, I own that. But they also know nothing about me. No one on that side really does. They don’t care enough to ever send me an email like hey how’s it going? They know nothing about me, know nothing about the way I feel about anything, I doubt they’d know or even cared what I majored in in college. But then they have the nerve to send my grandpa Christmas cards, which my grandpa then insists on showing me even after I remind him what I trigger for me it is. I guess sometimes they call him and I wish they would more (I don’t answer the house phone) but it makes him so happy. And at 92 there are times he doesn’t remember saying he would pay for Dunkin half an hour prior how can I expect him to remember that my dad’s side of the family are a major trigger for me?

When Barbara (my dad’s mom and the picture for this post) passed away, it hit me a lot harder than I thought it would. I guess I always thought there would come a time when we could try having a relationship again. A healthy relationship, which would probably never happen, but I held out hope.

As far as my uncles and aunts and cousins and stuff, they’ve made no effort to be part of my life or even pretend they care about me. Again the way they have been towards me is a LOT different then they’ve been towards my brother. They have done a LOT for him and I am extremely grateful. I don’t wish to send anything but positive vibes their way. And I accept that I will probably never have a relationship with my uncles/aunts, cousins…. and that’s ok. I keep my circle small, very small. Otherwise people end up disappointing you.

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Valentine’s Day

I’m a day late with this post but whatever. As I said yesterday, “it’s my blog and I’ll write what I want to”. I’ve been putting a lot of thought into relationships and marriage and everything, and I realized. “I don’t want any of that”. From like a young age we’re taught or at least given the impression that we should find a partner to marry and grow old with blah blah blah.

Growing up I always thought I wanted that, and then one day I realized I was only chasing guys that treated me horribly and realized it was because of the self-hatred I was feeling. And honestly, since I stopped dating, I’ve been a lot happier. I have an adjustable bed (because seriously, who wouldn’t want a bed with a remote AND a massage feature?) I also bout a huge 40 lb king size weighted blanket because they are supposed to help with anxiety. It really does, I can’t move around too much and it feels like I’m being hugged. So relaxing. I also have 4 full grown cats that cuddle up on my bed each night. And I don’t have to worry about anyone else. Well, except my grandpa but he doesn’t cause me any stress. I cause him and my uncle plenty though.

I have so much self-loathing that even though I stopped dating and everything I still keep doing the most self destructive things possible. It’s like I mess up just to mess up. Or, I’ll do good for a few months then get reminded of my screwup and regress to a way earlier point. It’s kind of like a 5 steps forward then 3 sometimes 4 back. If people could see the thoughts in my brain, or see me the way I see me in the mirror. It’s impossible to put into words. I jokingly (well 1/2) tell my grandpa he can’t leave yet because I haven’t found my place in the world and if he goes I’m going too. Seriously my world revolves around him and my cats, and that’s not a bad thing. But I need to find something else, my place in the world. I want to be a writer but who knows if I’ll ever get my autobiography that I’m still working on published. It’s an odd space to be in where you hate yourself, but you still have a goal.

Although my four boys (cats) I love with all my heart, just as much as my grandpa, my uncle, my mom, my brother, and my sister-in-law, and my little baby nephew that has yet to meet the world. (I never thought I would be so excited to be an aunt, but wow it’s hitting me hard and I already love my little nephew to death and would do anything for him).

Back to the topic at hand, I know I have serious issues I need to work on, but I am actually a little happier without having to worry about a partner. I’ve been having some health issues since Saturday when I got the summons, probably stress-related or something. And I’m glad no one is in my life romantically because I love with all my heart and put everything I have into any relationship I enter. I need to focus on myself and get my shit straight, get my mental health in check, and most importantly, I need to stop going on these crazy buy ten of everything just because I know someone will bail me out. I have so many more important things to worry about than a romantic partner. I feel like I sound kind of bitter, and maybe I am. But for the couples I know that are together I am extremely happy for them, I love my sister-in-law; she was basically everything that my brother needed and more. She is a great, understanding, beautiful woman, and I am so glad she came into my brother’s life. They deserve all the happiness in the world.

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It’s My Blog and I’ll Write What I Want To

The purpose of this blog is so I can write my feelings out. I’m not always good at articulating what I want to say. Sometimes the words just won’t come, and sometimes it feels like my head is an internet browser with 18 tabs open at once. This blog is to help with that. Yes, I want to be a professional writer/author. But my whole thing/brand is honesty and being open and truthful about what’s going on in my life.

My grandpa doesn’t want to press charges, Chase Mastercard isn’t going after me, Amazon just wants to be paid. But back in November I had realized what I had done (not the full extent but that I messed up), and told my uncle. And when he checked it and found out the amount, I took the box I store all my pills in downstairs to my room. My uncle came down and asked if I was thinking about taking them. I said “I’m thinking about a lot of things” then he asked if I was suicidal or thinking about it. I hesitated, so he called the cops, who then took printouts of all the charges. I was fine, I went to the hospital, spoke with crisis and they had me sign a paper stating I would not hurt myself. And I didn’t. And I won’t. SUICIDE IS NOT THE ANSWER!!

So as far as we can figure MA must have a law similar to a domestic violence law where they don’t need grandpa to cooperate to press charges. I’m not saying it’s wrong that I’ve been charged, I mean we knew it was a possibility back when I spoke to crisis. But it had been so long and after chase sent us the paperwork that they would not be going after me, we all thought it was over. Until yesterday.

I don’t think the state of MA is doing my grandfather any good though honestly. He worries constantly about everything, and even though logically I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t throw my disabled behind in jail, it is a slight possibility.

Honestly I don’t know where to go from here. I feel like I’m in a fog and just self- destructing. I haven’t eaten anything since I had a bite of baklava yesterday. I’ve been putting way too many miles on a car that needs to be serviced miles ago.

I am just in full self-sabotage mode. I feel like the only people on my side are my grandfather and my uncle. I feel horrible about what I did. If it wasn’t for my grandfather…. he’s my world!! Well him and my four cats.

My four babies: Mr. Cat,Butter, Peter Parker, and Tony Stark

That’s all for now. And I promise that I will get around to telling my story about my head injury, my fall down the stairs where I landed on my head, the multiple concussions, the bipolar disorder, the inappropriate sinus tachycardia, the borderline personality disorder, all the abuse I’ve endured, etc. I will get there. It’s just write now I’m so preoccupied with this.

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My Quarantine Life

Honestly, my life in quarantine, in some ways, hasn’t been a whole lot different than my everyday life. In other ways, it’s been horrible. As I mentioned in my previous post I am a traumatic brain injury survivor, and struggle with mental illness. Those aren’t my only diagnoses, but instead of just writing everything at once, I would like to go into detail about how I deal with each one. The TBI is a lot to write about, my recovery, all the obstacles I’ve had to overcome, etc. So I’ll leave my diagnoses for other posts. Today I want to focus on how the last year in quarantine has been for me and what is different now then before the pandemic hit.

I have been staying home to help take care of my grandpa whom tore his rotator cuff and then a few months later, developed a blood clot that could have killed him. And I am grateful for every day I get to spend with him. But due to that, I was already at home all the time, so I didn’t think quarantine would effect me like it has.

But I found out quickly that choosing to stay home and read, write, watch tv, is quite different than being forced to. Before the pandemic hit I would go to the movies all the time, drive to Vermont (I live in MA), to get my nails done, leave my house to go to therapy and any doctors appointments, and the list goes on. If I was bored I could drive to Barnes and Noble and window shop (even though I usually, well always spent money there.) But my compulsive spending issues I will talk about another day.

All of a sudden Governor Baker shut everything down except “essential businesses”. And I want to point out that one of the “essential businesses” was Dunkin Donuts. Take that Starbucks! America Runs on Dunkin. LOL no hate towards Starbucks, I’m just not a coffee drinker and Dunks has a way better selection of stuff. Whenever I can I go and get my grandpa a “cocoa mocha” latte and a vanilla spice or hot chocolate for me. And in the summertime I am addicted to their coolattas. Although, I wish they would bring back the OREO coolattas.

Sorry I went off on a tangent, (side effect from head injury). I constantly have way too many thoughts running through my head.

Back to the shutdown, we couldn’t leave the state, actually I think we’re back to that. I don’t know if the stay at home at night is still in effect, but that really sucks because driving is a great coping skill for me. It helps me relax and think about things and come up with ideas for stories and more. And sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and that to me is the best time to go driving. My mom is in CT I can’t go see her, all my therapy sessions are done virtually along with doctor appointments, except in certain situations.

Eventually, things started to open up again, I found a better nail salon, and businesses started having curbside pickup. Restaurants do too, which is good because whenever my uncle is off, we order from a restaurant and eat it at home. The three of us used to go out to dinner when my uncle was off, and that was great because it got my grandfather out of the house, and we all used to have a real good time.

After a month or two, I found myself getting up in the morning spending some time with my grandpa, then going back to bed. Waking up and putting on a new set of pajamas instead of clothes. My uncle had bought me a years subscription to “Dance Fitness with Jessica” yet I let my room become such a disaster area that I have no room to work out nor do I even have the energy.

Now I find myself wondering if we’ll ever be back to normal. There is a vaccine available now but there are so many anti-vaxers and now there are more contagious variants. I read an article this morning that said covid-19 will be around forever probably. And people might need boosters each year, but how long until it mutates to the point where the vaccine won’t help? Will we be wearing masks forever? (Honestly I need like at least 30 grand in dental work, so wearing a mask doesn’t bother me). It’s been a little more than a year, but there are still so many unknowns that it scares me.

So that ends this post. Like, follow, subscribe, and share if you care!


My name is Shannon Marie (yes that really is my last name). In the year 2000, I was in a car accident that left me in a coma for three weeks, and a permanent head injury. I’ve often thought it would have better had I not survived because my recovery was hell, I was called slow, the “R” word, treated horribly by people I thought were my friends, and no one in my family really wanted me to live with them.

My mom is an exception as far as that goes. I won’t go into too much detail, or maybe I will later, who knows. I tried living on my own (which was a disaster), I lived with my toxic drug addicted father, who decided to kick me out because I became too much of a burden to him… and nobody else on his side of the family even wanted to deal with me.

My grandpa on my mom’s side eventually took me in. And I’ve been with him since 2003, and he has never once asked me to leave. I now live with my grandfather, uncle, and four cats (Mr. Cat, Butter, Peter Parker, and Tony Stark).

I decided to start a blog, because although I want to be a writer, I’m kind of shy about showing other people my writing. Well, people I don’t know. And I can never seem to keep up with my diary, even though getting my thoughts out really helps me. My car accident exacerbated my mental illnesses which I already struggled with since the age of 7.

Well, that’s all for now. Please excuse my site being a mess, I still haven’t been able to set up the page with a theme. Also, feel free to “Ask Me Anything”. And for those that have never seen that movie written and directed by Allison Burnett, I highly recommend it. It is based on the book “Undiscovered Gyrl” by Allison Burnett. One of my favorite authors and someone whom I consider a mentor.