Tag Archives: insecurities

The Price Tag of Freedom

It was something we never talked about growing up. It was hush hush in our house except for the prayerful cry that came from my mother’s bedside in the middle of the night. She was grieving and begging God for a miracle. Even at five years old I could recognize it. My dad had been away serving in the military but he was home now. He was not dead but to my mother he had died. He was now a man we no longer recognized.

My dad told me what happened a few years ago…

“It was a normal day. We would get up and run drills and go through training. We would prepare in case there was a war. This particular day I was having a hard time. I had gotten a letter from my mother a few days prior with news from home that was hard for me to know about. All I could think was that I wanted to be home. Everyone was homesick. I was stationed in Germany at the time and we were preparing for a drill.  We were suited up with equipment and given directions. This drill used toxic gas. We went into a building and we were supposed to put our gas masks on. I fumbled with my mask and I was slow at getting it on. By the time I had gotten my mask on my eyes were burning and I could not stop crying.  We were directed out of the building and my sergeant was yelling at me to get myself together but I couldn’t control it. I was sent to the medical building where they rinsed my eyes out.

Then two days later I had a massive stroke. I was paralyzed on one side of my body and I could not walk. I had to go in a wheelchair. I was in Germany and there was no one there. No family just me. Then the military decided to send me home. I was lucky because the feeling came back into my body and I was normal again but something happened to my brain. They said I had a chemical reaction.”

My dad is a paranoid schizophrenic. After discussion with some family members the accounts above are true. There are some facts that are left out but this is his recollection of the events.  I share this with you because we do not know if the toxic gas or the stroke could have caused the schizophrenia or if the overall event was the trigger. I believe that this tragic event triggered schizophrenia in my father but because of our family history he was already vulnerable to the disease. It could have been triggered at a different point in his life if this had not occurred.

People who have been through a stressful or traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one have a higher risk of developing schizophrenia. However, a positive major life event such as winning the lottery can also trigger schizophrenia in some vulnerable people. There are also some environmental factors that can contribute to schizophrenia but there is a higher probability that a person already has a predisposition to the disease. Yet with study, scientist are discovering that genetics does not necessarily mean destiny. These means that there is hope for my children and yours.


(Image Source: Debby Tsuang, M.D., M.Sc., University of Washington/VAPSHCS, Special thanks to Dr. Kristin Cadenhead, UCSD)

(Image Source: Debby Tsuang, M.D., M.Sc., University of Washington/VAPSHCS, Special thanks to Dr. Kristin Cadenhead, UCSD)


If you are concerned that you, or someone you know, may be developing schizophrenia please contact a health professional. You are not alone.

Do you have a story about a loved one or yourself that was hurt in the military? I want to share your story. Contact me by completing the form below. 

I feel helpless

Sometimes the anger fills me up. Sometimes I get frustrated at my dad and then I am angry at myself for feeling angry. It can be a never ending cycle.  

My father has a mental illness. At this point my dad who is 59 years old seems to have the understanding of a teenager. It is such a hard thing to explain. I don’t know if this is caused from him taking so much medication over the years for his schizophrenic episodes or if it is part of the progression of his mental illness.

He seems to keep getting himself into trouble. He calls me and he is upset over the next thing he has gotten caught up in and I feel helpless.

I feel helpless that he won’t listen to me and nothing I say changes his actions.

I feel helpless that I reach out to those I think are there to help him and there isn’t much that can be done.

I feel helpless that I am always concerned for my dad’s safety and wellbeing but there is nothing I can do about it.

I feel helpless and how I feel really doesn’t matter.

My father has lived with my family in the past but moves around a lot because of his paranoia. Right now he is back living with my grandmother – his mother. She is elderly and she gets extremely upset at him. They constantly argue because she wants to help him make good decisions and he seems to defy everything she says.

There are a lot of people over the years that have taken advantage of my father. One female had him returning stolen items to Wal-Mart and getting the cash in return. He also purchased her a car and took out several payday loans for her. He was sending her money while she was in jail and supported her and her family when she got out. She continued to tell my dad she would marry him while she was seen with other men.

Another woman mistreated my dad so badly that she would pull his hair and force him to do drugs (my father had never done drugs or alcohol). She did horrible things to him as he gave her money every week and drove her anywhere she wanted to go. She ALSO made promises of marriage to my father.

This last female also has a mental disability and is younger than I am.  I am talking over 20 years younger than my father. My dad was married to her at one point but he feared for his life so they divorced after a little boy was conceived. This boy is now 10 years old and is also mentally disabled. This female blames my father saying his genes were bad. There have been constant fights as my dad has gone back and forth. She dangles the carrot (so to speak) in a constant effort to get money from him. The sad part is I have a brother I barely know and more children are involved.

I have come to the conclusion that my dad is lonely and I cannot control what my dad does. I talk to him and try and reason with him but that doesn’t seem to work. So, right now I just love him and I pray. I pray that he will make smarter decisions and that he will just be happy. I just want him to be happy because I know, really, that is what he is truly searching for.

And I pray that I can let go and stop being angry at my dad, at these women, and at myself and just be the supportive daughter that my dad needs me to be.

Me and my dad

Me and my dad


I have been hiding

Today was a hectic morning getting the family ready for church.  It usually is. And like every Sunday nothing goes as I expect it. First I am pressing my dress and the iron has some black stuff that transfers to my dress. (I am certain the iron wasn’t dirty the last time I used it which mean my teenage son likely burned an article of his clothing in an attempt to iron). I get a wet cloth and I am able to scrub the black spot with success while mumbling under my breath.
I get dressed, throw some makeup on and fix my hair. It seems I am always running behind so I grab the baby and start gathering my things just in time to head out the door when I see another spot of makeup or something (who knows) right in the middle of the front of my dress. Grrr…. I am complaining out loud now, “how does this always happen” as I grab a cloth to scrub the spot. It won’t budge. I am beyond frustrated and if I don’t hurry we will be late for church. I decide forget it and I leave the spot as my husband assures me that I am the only one who sees it.  I proceed to tell him that other women will notice. That where men don’t care women do.

We get to church and I do what I always do. I try to look put together and proper as I carefully glance around at how others look. Then suddenly it occurred to me that I had been hiding.

Let me explain.  You see for years I have prayed and asked God to call me, to use me. To let my testimony reach others but everytime I seem to gain ground I find myself going backward again. Why? Because I have been so caught up in the perfection of things. Hiding behind the perfectly put together outfit, hiding behind the just right makeup and hair, and hiding behind my cute shoes.
At my last job they called me a fashionista and I had pride in looking my best but was so insecure I would dismiss any compliment I might receive.  It was so much work and pressure as I daily gave into my desire to impress. Continually seeking approval.

God showed me something today and He was completely clear….

How can He use me when I am so obsessed and occupied with my appearance?

I obsess over my hair, my clothes, whether I have gained a few pounds or I think I look like I have. You see I have been hiding myself. I have been hiding my insecurities behind the presentation of myself. Hoping to portray this really put together person when in reality I am obsessing to the point of distress.  You see God sees our hearts and who we really are on the inside. We can look perfect on the outside and be ugly on the inside. I rather get ugly for Jesus by crying and preaching and sharing how he changed my life then stand looking perfect and being completely dead inside and so caught up on how I look, say, or present myself.  I am tired of satan and the attack of insecurity I have battled my entire life!!  I am tired of the constant fight. God says I am His and it doesn’t matter if my outfits are perfect. I am no longer hiding!!  I have hid for long enough!!

I choose to no longer be bound and caught up in perfectionism!!  I will no longer believe that in order to be accepted I have to meet a certain criteria or standard. God loves me regardless! He loves you regardless!  In Luke 10:40-42 Martha was stressed over making everything perfect while Mary sat peacefully at Jesus feet.


I don’t want to miss out on what God has for me because I am so worried about what people will think or say. Insecurity is an attack of the enemy. He wants us to be insecure and question how we measure up compared to others and uncertain on where we stand.
We must look to God to complete us and not for man’s approval. You do not have to earn God’s love. God already loves us fully and completely and there is no need to prove ourselves to Him.