Phew. Where to begin…….
Been a crazy couple of months, to say the least. This could be another long one. Hang onto your hats. We have made some fantastic progress in getting our children the assistance they need, my mental health is getting tremendously better, I have a menial part time job to get me out of the house, I’m still working for myself as a means of income, GSN shut down our Altis Life server, and a new community picked it up, GSN also removed our TeamSpeak in favor of Discord which we are still vetting, ARMACon is going to start getting some development time to finally get that project usable for communities, and lastly, I’m going to go back to school to finally get my last couple of credits to get my bachelors. Are you ready for all of that. I’m not sure that I am…….
As many of you know, my children are a large (HUGE) part of my life and they are an adopted sibling group that we fostered for before we adopted them. They have been with us between 5-6 years now and they have a lot of behavior and developmental issues. We have been from therapist to therapist and none have been able to identify the root cause, or provide a plan that would help get their brains “straight”. Well, we have two HUGE steps of progress here. The first is the my oldest is seeing a new therapist. This new guy got more done in a single session, than his last therapist got done in 5 years. I’m not even exaggerating. My wife and I met him first without our son to see if we felt that he and my son would be a good fit, and if he could help my son. During our 45 minute screening, it was like a weight had been lifted from our shoulders. This therapist understood. Finally! Someone that sees what we see and knows what we are dealing with! My son, of course, hates the therapy because they talk about deep stuff and the trauma (keep that word in your mind, it will get used again later) that he endured before he came to our house, but he is a different child when he sees him consistently. Part two, is that over the last couple weeks, we have seen a major uphill climb in abusive behavior and utter rage out of the other 3 (youngest). My wife has been doing research for hours on end and we keep coming up with dead ends. We kept getting excited, then it would prove to not be the case for our children. We have been through them all: Anger Overload, Opposition Defiant Disorder, ADHD/ADD, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Bi-Polar, and one that told us that it was the way we we’re raising them (IE: Blamed Us <.<). Well, after seeing the children’s pediatrician (who is a brilliant doctor and really is digging deep to help with this case), she said the root cause is simple one word. (I hinted above, do you know what it is? :D) Trauma…… That’s it. The trigger to all their anger, all their rage, all their physical attacks on one another is because they suffered trauma when their brains were developing. This has made their Amygdala (the part of your brain responsible for emotion), 2,3 or even 4 times larger (or at least, more active) than it should be. This is why the littlest thing blows them into such rage. Their brains are producing more chemicals than they should be, and they literally have ZERO control over it.
Great, we know what the issue is, how do we fix it? That’s a tricky question and the answer (as you might have guessed) is a tricky, complicated, and long process, BUT THERE IS A PROCESS. We have been referred to a therapist that does family meetings so that the children are surrounded by their siblings and their family and are in a familiar environment. My wife has met with him and explained our children and their behaviors and he was intrigued by the case and thinks that he can help us get on a path to success. This therapist is one of the only ones in my area that can do this work, so if this doesn’t help us, we are going to have to travel quite some distance to get the help we need. We are in a holding pattern now to see when we will see him and get the process started, but we are highly optimistic. We have been given TONS of literature and books to read about this field and we are educating ourselves, so that we can too understand the process.
I have been seeing a new therapist and Psychiatrist for several months now, and I can honestly say this is the best I have (mentally) felt in months, if not years. I mean, I have finger nails. I have bitten and gnawed at my finger nails due to nervousness/anxiety for as long as I can remember. I think the last time I had finger nails was 15 years ago. They think my issues all stem from PTSD from a car accident I had several years ago (coupled with the fact that I’m naturally anxious). Things have been going awesome in the regard. I’m not lethargic all day long. I like spending time with my kids. I have a normal sleep pattern again, and most importantly, I can be there for my family when they need me. We aren’t out of the woods yet, but I can see the tree-line.
Part of the success from up above is due to my therapist recommending I get out of my house more. My office is in the basement of my house and has no natural sunlight coming in and they say that is very bad for you, emotionally/mentally. I figured the best way to ensure that I do it, was to get a part time job, so I applied at the local grocery store and was hired within a week or so. They have trained me in every part of the store (due to me understanding their software, scanners, and shipment processes due to past careers), and I am already making a name for myself there. They like me, they are nice people to work with, and it’s not a terribly difficult job to do. It’s mildly annoying because it’s boring, and my brain wants to think, but it’s helping my health, and that is more important, any day.
Moving onto GSN. We decided to drop our Altis Life server and our TeamSpeak server. The dropping of Altis was not something we took lightly, but was something that had to happen to keep the home feel that GSN has brought to its members, as well as the close knit community to go with it. Altis was the poison in the water supply for GSN and we had to cut it off. With it, went several admins, staff, and community members, but we are still kicking and now are back to about the size and staff we want to be at. You can read the long drawn out posts about “Shutting Down of Altis“, as well as “What we did with our Altis files” if you want the full details and reasoning behind everything we do. We try to be as transparent as possible. We chose to use Discord over TeamSpeak due to it having a plethora of features that TeamSpeak lacks, and lets face it, TeamSpeak hasn’t really changed in like 15 years. It’s about time we get a new solution that can come in and modernize this space. Discord has the ability to do that and I am excited to see where it goes from here. Their dev team is really responsive and they have been hard at work cranking out bug fixes and features fairly quickly.
Oh, ARMACon, how I have let thee get put on the back burner for so long (thanks Altis Life)….. No longer! ARMACon will become my new focus in my spare time now and will finally get that train rolling in the right direction. There is a TON of work that needs done to it before it’s ready for the public to use, but I hope to change that in the next couple of weeks, so be on the lookout for that. I will also be working on merging Esseker and A3Wasteland to make a custom map for GSN to host as well, but that shouldn’t take me too long, but I have sworn off ANY ARMA 3 coding for at least two weeks to give myself a break.
Last but not least, I am finally going to re-enroll in my online classes to get my bachelors degree again. I am only a few credits away from getting it, but life got in the way before and I had to put it on hold. Now that I am working for myself, I should be able to find time to get the classes completed and get my bachelors finally. I am excited for that to start so that I can get one more check-box off my list.
As I did last time, on minor victory as well, I officially own my Jeep. As of last month it is paid in full and I have the title. Woohoo!
I think that about does it for now. Thanks for reading.
If you are down, just think of your life and why you put one foot in front of the next. Do not let the actions of your past dictate the decisions of your future. Keep your head held high and keep on chugging on. There will be an end to that tunnel, and you will make it there. You just have to believe.