Through The Eyes of a Caregiver~ Polishing The Muddy Lenses of the World

I think many people spend their lives thinking about conditions, objects, individuals, ideas, and beliefs in black and white.

storyI think many people spend their lives thinking about conditions, objects, individuals, ideas, and beliefs in black and white. Everything has a story behind it, just like every color can be seen as beautiful no matter how different it is.

My Life Before I Became a Direct Support Professional

chainedBefore I moved back to the area of Grand Junction, CO, I was very bitter and unhappy. As I have declared in many of my past documents, I am trying to manage and overcome PTSD and anxiety. I was diagnosed with this about 2 1/2 years ago by a behavioral specialist in Limon, CO. I actually had no idea what I was being diagnosed with because they asked me specific questions and I answered them honestly. I really didn’t know back then what PTSD was. Actually, I went to the specialist to get some counseling because I thought I had depression.

During that time, I struggled A LOT with family issues.

B707KM Woman lies drunk on floor

I was going through a separation with my husband (at the time live-in boyfriend of about 5 years). I was a heavy drunk/borderline alcoholic. My husband and I fought A LOT back then. It was so bad that one time I called my sperm donor (my new word for my biological father) drunk off my ass, slurring words, bawling my head off at 2 am asking him to talk to my husband because “he was being an asshole”.

To be honest, I’m a little embarrassed to admit some of these things…

pha106000047To be honest, I’m a little embarrassed to admit some of these things because my behavior back then was atrocious, but anyone who knows even a small tidbit about PTSD will know that people who suffer from it try to self-medicate with drugs and/or alcohol. This is why many of them are alcoholics…my personal opinion is because it’s cheap. Vodka is one of the cheapest and most potent hard liquors out there.

facepalmAlcoholism also runs in my family, so I guess I was just set up for failure from the start. LMAO!


Anyway, back to what I was saying…

heartwingsDuring that time my husband and I were no angels. Both of us had some skeletons that we had to fight off, and both of us had some demons hovering over our shoulder at all hours of the day taunting us to give up on ourselves and each other. There were so many things that were going wrong during that time, I am actually surprised we worked our issues out, to be honest with you.

So, we decided to split up and try to work on ourselves and see if our relationship could stand the test of being in separate areas…which obviously it did or I wouldn’t be calling him my husband.


While my husband and I were separated, I encountered an even bigger dilemma. My controlling sperm donor had me tricked into thinking that he actually finally gave a shit about me as an adult. Of course, I ate it all up out of the palm of his hand for about five months before I realized that he had been trying to dictate what he thought was right for me my entire life. One of these days I will write a memoir or autobiography about the trauma I encountered as a child into adulthood, but for now, here is the shortened version of it all.

My father was very abusive towards me


My father was very abusive towards me, and no one would believe me if I told them. He is a high authority figure in his church and his wife is a child welfare social worker. However, my father abused me in more ways than one growing up. My therapist (which I will mention again later) told me she couldn’t do anything about it because I am 35 years old (at the time I was about 33 or 34 years old) and I am finally having memory flashbacks because I started meditating to help with my anxiety. Before now, I couldn’t remember anything before the age of 9 years old.

Needless to say, after all the things my father did to me as a child and as an adult, I am no longer talking to him.

sadgirlIn fact, this is so difficult for me to write right now that I am shaking with anger, fear, and sadness just knowing that someone could even do that to their child. I love my children very much, and he had the audacity to try to mess with me, my family, and my children. I forgive him, but that doesn’t mean that I have to accept what he did is right. IT IS NOT RIGHT!

I know you’re probably thinking, “Wow, OK that is horrible and all but, what does this have to do with the title of this blog?” But I promise I’m getting to it.

When I moved to Del Norte, CO, I went through an emotional breakdown.


This was finally after all the abuse I could handle. I could tell you horror stories about how it was as a paraprofessional at the middle school I worked at before this, but I really need to do some research on all the legal rights I have to bring up certain names, schools, etc. in my writing.

After this occurred, I was really down and out.


I had actually considered taking my own life at this point. I had reached my breaking point of abuse. It was all I could handle, and I wondered why God was letting me live if I all I was going to do is go through pain, agony, sadness, and trauma so much in my life.

During this time, I drove by myself out to a field. In Del Norte, there are a lot of different areas you can drive to be alone. I parked the car, I sat there, and I just sobbed. I was furious with God for keeping me alive. I have beautiful boys, and I hate to admit this now, but I was really in a bad place at that time. It makes me teary-eyed just thinking about it.

The Good News is That I Made it Through it Somehow…

ThreeTraumaI obviously pulled and pushed my way through that hardship. That took a very long time. I met a cool social worker who referred me to mental health in Alamosa, CO. I was diagnosed again with anxiety, trauma, and depression. I moved to the facility in Monte Vista, CO to be closer to Del Norte, and they did another intake and finally diagnosed me with PTSD and severe anxiety.

EMDR-Healing-TraumaI saw a therapist for about three months, but since I like to research and learn new things, I did a ton of research on how to cope with trauma and anxiety. I felt as if I was better off without her, but I did learn a lot from her. I am thankful I met that old woman, even though she drove me crazy she did help me out a lot. I am actually still working on myself and trying to fix some kinks in my ways of thinking. This can be difficult at times. Sometimes I forget I am even thinking a certain way until it is pointed out to me by my husband or someone else I have talked to who knows about handling trauma and anxiety.

Back to my story…

colorsAs stated previously, I think many people spend their lives thinking about conditions, objects, individuals, ideas, and beliefs in black and white. Everything has a story behind it, just like every color can be seen as beautiful no matter how different it is. I wouldn’t have been able to help you understand that statement if I didn’t share with you at least a little story of how I got to that point.

I didn’t include everything because…


However, you get the basic idea.

positivt-tc3a4nkandeOddly enough, I think I am doing fantastic on my way of thinking, but sometimes I tend to slip back into the habit of my old ways of thinking. This usually occurs when I am around people for too long and I start picking up on their energy, I don’t meditate and use positive affirmations daily, I haven’t written in awhile or expressed myself creatively, or a combination of all of them. Everyone has to work on themselves, though, and that is what I am trying to do.

I feel as if I can honestly say I am more positive now that I have gone through hell and back.

When I had everything and thought I had the emotional and financial support I took everything for granted. I have received a lot of help to get to where I am now, but I literally lost everything before I realized that I was a miserable person to be around.

Before I started working as a Direct Support Professional, I was also very oblivious to how different everyone really is.

selfinvolvedI never saw past how a person looked or appeared to others. I was always very wrapped up in myself and my flaws and hardships that I didn’t realize what I DO have. I have A LOT to be thankful for, and I am living in a motel right now. I was at one point homeless and living in a car, but it took me going through ALL THAT SHIT to realize how much I really DO have to be thankful for.

handicapped-tour-1I have met people who can’t feed themselves. In fact, they have to have every meal pureed and put through a strainer. I have worked with and helped others who can’t go to the bathroom on their own. Some of the people I’ve met are blind, some are autistic, some are in wheelchairs, some have dementia, some are out of control and can’t live independently… However, these people are just that people. They live just like we do, they breathe the same air we breathe, they sleep, eat, and even laugh just like we do.

Being a Direct Support Professional has really helped changed my perspective on myself, others, and how I want to live my life.

holycrapEven though this isn’t my dream job and I definitely don’t want to clean up shit for the rest of my life, these people are just as important as we are. They have just as much to offer as we do, but they are limited by what they are able to do. The only difference is they do things with enthusiasm. How many of us think it’s hilarious to poop? How many of us get extremely excited when we are able to accomplish something as simple as standing up for a short period independently? Not many of us can honestly say that we do.

Hopefully, by sharing this extremely long story, the reader can understand how precious life really is.


At times, even I forget that we are not here to be problem free, but we were sent here to try to make the best of our lives with what we were already blessed with. Thank you for taking your time out of your busy life to share this emotional story with me. I hope that it will make an imprint in your heart and soul big enough to spread your love throughout the world and make the best of what you have with what you were given.

Copyright © 2017 [Carrie Pottberg]. All Rights Reserved.

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