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Sunday, February 18, 2018

I Don't Know You

All In

I don’t understand. I have said your name over and over again. I can’t look at any of your photos. When I see you - them. It hurts me so much I feel like I can’t breathe. I feel horrified that you would do and say all those things about me that weren’t true. When I see a picture of just you, you look familiar, but I don’t have that surge of feelings I always had before. When I see a photo of us together, I don’t recognize you. I don’t know who you are. You are a complete stranger to me. I have no idea who that is in the photo with me.

Where there once was such a strong sense and feelings of love and longing, I have such incredible sadness and a hollow feeling in my chest and stomach. 
Now, I try to just avoid pictures. 
I feel such a mix of emotions; I feel things I can’t even describe, that you would try to use what happened with my son against me in any way. 

It takes my breath away. 
You tried to have me question my reality. You wanted people to think I was having a psychotic episode. 
Some of the absolute worst years of my life were spent coming back to reality and knowing that I was responsible for taking my son’s life. Most days I don’t feel like I can ever really be forgiven. Not deep down inside. I usually feel as though I am living in purgatory. 
I’ve dedicated so many years to educating myself and now helping others with Postpartum Psychosis and Maternal Mental Health. It’s how I honor my son. 
The times I think about my son are a precious gift to me that I rarely talk about with anyone. You encouraged
karl gaffney white and natachia white me to share thoughts and feelings with you. I did, little by little. You have used what I hold sacred to me, not only against me, but as a tool. You have diminished and made light of the most important thing I do with my life. You have jeopardized my entire wellbeing, for your own self-serving purposes. You are trying to tarnish and diminish how I honor Hunter. 
I have had many people not like me over the last 20 years. Some people have been wonderful and some hateful, most fall somewhere in the middle. Never in my life, have I ever had anyone do anything like what you have and are trying to do. That is a level of insidiousness and conniving I can’t even comprehend. 
Jane now believes you targeted me from the beginning. That when you found out about my past, you set your sights on me intentionally. I was an easy target. 

I feel like such a fool. I fell for it. I really thought I meant something to you. I can see from all your downloaded and saved interactions with other girls, that you were, at any given time, interacting with someone else. I can see your “To done” list and there I was, right there, like nothing. 

Anytime a red flag was raised for me in our interactions I would say to myself, oh it’s probably because he’s European. I just didn’t know any better. I thought it was because I hadn’t really been around a lot of people from other countries. 
My God, I loved you. As I reread old emails I sent you, I realize how much of my heart I poured into them and it was just a waste. I really believed it mattered, I really thought it would mean something. All that mattered to you was if I ever got upset, you might be able to use it against me later for your VAWA application.

You took advantage of how naïve I was. How much I didn’t understand, how ignorant I was about other cultures and immigration. I was trying my best. How many times did we talk about and did I struggle with racial stuff and not understanding what people were even talking about? How many times did I get approached in parking lots from people looking for money? How often did I give rides to people and give them gas money believing they were actually out of gas? I get it now.

I believed you. I believed we were going to have a real Christmas Tree. I don’t even remember how many years it’s been since I had a Christmas Tree. You said we could get a real tree so it would smell like Maine. I was looking forward to that. I was excited even though we didn't have any ornaments or decorations. 
karl gaffney white and. natachia white
But none of it was real. The entire time you were telling me these things, you were badmouthing me to everyone, telling them how abusive I was to you, systematically paving the way so they would write you an affidavit for your VAWA. 
I was just a token, something to be used and thrown away so you could get what you wanted. A means to an end. 
I didn’t matter. You wanted a Green Card so you could do exactly what you wanted to do. You finally found someone that was a perfect target. A past riddled with trauma and complications, it would be easy to convince people that I was the problem and that I must have gone crazy right? I mean I went “crazy” 20 years ago. I took the life of my son. All you must do to get most people on your side is tell them that and there’s a good chance they won’t like me much from the start. 
I used to look at you with such adoration and love. I had so much love in my heart for you. I thought you were so wonderful. Even up until recently, I still had my heart full of so much love for you. 

It wasn’t until I realized what you have been doing and for how long. After Indy when you spit on me, slapped at my face and swiped my sunglasses off my face twice. Called me more names than I can remember, tried to drop me off in downtown Indianapolis in my pajamas and YOU emailed the Whitlock Gray attorneys to say YOU were being abused. That was at the end of May. 
I am so… I am not sure I even have the words for what I am feeling. 
You were so completely awful to me that entire weekend. Made me beg to lie down in the back of the car so we could sleep.

The entire summer and everything that happened was a sham. So was our marriage. So was our friendship. I didn’t start falling in love with you when you took me to the hospital last year. I fell in love with whatever persona you were showing me at that time to trick me. 

I can’t breathe. You’ve crushed the light that finally started to brighten since I came to Myrtle Beach to live. I don’t know who you are. When Stephanie said to me she thought maybe you also lied about your name too, I can understand why. 
You have lied about so many things, not just to me but to everyone. You have taken things so far out of context and twisted them to only benefit you in whatever circumstance you are in. 
I have had several people ask me if Karl is even your real name. Can you comprehend that you have lied to so many people about so many things now that they question even what you tell them your name is? You can’t keep track of the lies you tell anymore.

Occasionally I have thoughts run through my head that if I can just look at you, look you in the eyes and talk to you, ask you to please just tell the truth. If I can tell you once again, that I have all this stuff I don’t want to hand over, but you are tying my hands, and I am going to have to in order to protect myself against the things you are accusing me of. Maybe you will listen this time. But, every time I have said it to you before, you tell me I am threatening you with going to Immigration. I feel like no matter what, it’s a losing battle.
Then I remind myself I have tried repeatedly to say this to you and all you do is twist my words and try to use them against me. That every time I extend a gesture in good faith, an offer made from love, hoping you’ll grab onto it; you turn it into something ugly. 

I’ve begged you to do things out of love and kindness for months and months. Instead, you have been doing things out of a place inside you that is self-serving and ugly.  

karl gaffney whiteI moved to Myrtle to be away from chaos. I loved living simply. The truth, no matter how ugly or terrifying is always better than a lie. I could never get that through to you. 
You seem to thrive on Chaos and dysfunction. You love being the center of attention. In any form.
It’s devastating when you realize that someone you love is not the person you thought they were. That not only were they lying, they were cheating, manipulating and aren’t who they claim to be at all.
They were fooling you and everyone else all along. For their own personal gain.

You had your hearing a couple days ago about voluntary departure or being deported. 
The prosecution was reading to me the letter Stephanie had written to get you kicked out of PTI on my way down to Georgia. I wondered if Mike had ever shown you the text I sent him with the screen capture. 
It was just a reminder of how many things you have blamed me for that I haven’t done and have had nothing to do with. 
I was so incredibly prepared to tell the Judge to please allow you to voluntarily depart. All I needed from you was to stop lying. Maybe I am just still being naïve. Maybe you really are a sociopath. Maybe I am just a complete fool for even hoping that you believe you’ve painted yourself into a corner. 
This is where I have used the expression “of two minds” before. The part of me that doesn’t want to believe you are just liar, holds out hope that you see no way out of this road you started down a long time ago now.
You started weaving this tale about abuse and attempting this VAWA, that you see no way to back out of now. You committed to it. That early on when there may have been opportunities for you to walk away from that choice, but, you dug your heels in. You decided to stay committed to the story you were telling and now, you think it’s just too late. 
It's never too late to tell the truth Karl. I know, I absolutely know you do not believe that. I have seen you lie about just about everything. When I have confronted you about this, you told me you needed a backup plan. 
I think you underestimate the power of not only forgiveness, but how much it could be of benefit to not just you mentally, to be remorseful, but to start being, remorseful. 
Part of our justice system is built on remorse. You show none, and as a matter of fact, take no responsibility and try to blame others for your own choices. 
I have wanted so much for you to just tell everyone that yes; you took this too far and you are sorry. Genuinely sorry. That you want to try and make up for the mistakes you’ve made and the people you’ve hurt. 
I was so ready to stand up in that courtroom if you had told the truth and ask them to let you voluntarily depart. But, if you’re not remorseful Karl, I believe you will just do it again. 
I wanted to defend you. To tell them I can clearly see now where you learned all of this from. I am sorry I never took your complaints about your mother as seriously as I should have. I can see now just how manipulative and controlling she really is. I am sure being your POA, while you are locked up while waiting to be returned to Ireland is just making her year. 
Kit is under investigation for ethics violations. I filed them on your behalf and mine. But, I was very clear that I did not believe you would have ended up in a deportation center had you had a therapist who hadn’t created so many boundary issues and ethical issues. A therapist who was qualified to treat you. 
You needed someone long before we were together to help guide you, give you feedback. Not take advantage of you because you were a substitute for his son.
You will not see it this way and I wouldn’t expect you to until you get to know and have a therapeutic relationship with a therapist with appropriate boundaries. 

Every time I suggested an evaluation to get you the help you needed, and the kind of therapy that would benefit you and Kit said you didn’t need that, he was jeopardizing your health. When you forwarded him my texts and emails suggesting a different therapist and he let that continue; when you tried to see a second therapist over the summer and he said he was going to close your sessions with him and “that would make Natachia happy” is such a manipulative move. 
You deserved to get the help you needed. That was his job.
These are not excuses for the things that you have chosen to do or have done. We are all responsible for our choices. They’re just part of the reason you got to where you are now. 
I can’t even remember how many times I begged and begged you to stop doing what you were doing.   

The longer your mother has been here in America and I have seen all the different tactics and been on the receiving end of her manipulation and just plain old, entitlement and do as I please attitude, I have more and more empathy for you. 

I feel like between what you learned growing up and how to deal with stressful situations maladaptively from your mother, and attempting to get therapy from Kit, who crossed so many ethical boundaries, you were bound to fail. 
I wish I had seen the email communication between you and Kit sooner. I would have realized just how serious it was and how much more you needed. I would have filed the complaint a long time ago to get him away from you so you wouldn’t have ended up where you are now. 



I feel bad because the same way that I was naïve about coming down here, to the Bible belt, and trying to understand racism (in the South) it feels comparative to you struggling with what the United States was about and the laws in the federal government.

I feel as though I’m stuck in an episode of Groundhogs Day. I get up every day and I have to work through my feelings of hurt and anger; resentment, being horrified and betrayed. All those things and more, at times, to try to get back to that place of forgiveness and finding love still for you. It’s something I do almost every day. I can't recall a day, I don’t go through this process. 

I think about what can I do to help you still without completely re-engaging because I can’t put myself in that position. I can’t open myself up to being vulnerable that way again. Knowing that you were betraying me on every single level possible, including trying to blame me for things that I didn’t even know about that involved your Ex. I mean, I'm still working on how to process that.
When I think about all of those things, it just tears me up inside and I start crying because I think, how could you do and say those things to hurt me when I gave you the opportunity to have everything that you wanted and you just turned on me?

I don’t feel guilty for the choices that you made, or the things that you’ve chosen to lie about and tell people. You created the circumstances that landed you where you are and constructed an atmosphere that made it all but impossible for people to step in and help you in any genuine way. 
I just feel guilty because I wanted to help you, and you wouldn’t let me because of the choices that you made. I feel awful because you were not able to see the road you were going down. I attempted to tell you what you weren't willing to hear. Or maybe you weren’t able. I feel horrible because I saw this months and months ago, and I kept telling you this was what was going to happen, and you wouldn’t believe me.

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Go Ask Alice

Didn't we meet in the night in my sleep somewhere? (Yes)

They say that you are the king
Of this whole damn thing
Now they got me believin'
Said I don't stand a ghost 
Of a chance with my host
God, I wish I'd believed them
So let's drink a few
Here's lookin' at you, I swear
Didn't we meet in the night in my sleep somewhere?
Didn't we meet 
In the night in my sleep?
Didn't we meet
In the night in my sleep

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Praying for Your Soul

Beautiful Song

I hope you're somewhere prayin', prayin'
I hope your soul is changin', changin'
I hope you find your peace
Falling on your knees, prayin'

You brought the flames and you put me through hell
I had to learn how to fight for myself
And we both know all the truth I could tell
I'll just say this is "I wish you farewell"

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Saturday, October 22, 2016

I'll Eat Your Sins

Sin Eater

natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum psychosis, maternal mental health, postpartum psychosis stories, depression, sins, suicide

Send me your broken, send me your dreams
Send me your heartache, Send me your screams
I'll take the hopeless, I'll take the lost
I'll take your helpless, I'll pay the cost
The taunted, the tortured the sad and the blue
The beggars, the paupers, they all can come too
We'll be an island, of dysfunctional shame
We'll huddle together, our souls set aflame
Unwanted, unfit and cast far aside
The hidden, the shamed, we all have to hide
I'm here to tell you, I'll eat your sins
I'm here to say, you can start fresh again
I'll be your voice, I'll scream out your thoughts
I'll share your madness, all tied up in knots
We'll be an island, of dysfunctional shame
We'll huddle together, we'll play their game
Send me your broken and send me your dreams
send me your heartache, send me your screams
I'll take the hopeless and I'll take the lost
I'll take your helpless and I'll pay the cost
I'm here to tell you, I'll eat your sins,
I'm here to say you can start fresh again
I'm here to tell you, I'll eat your sins

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Originally posted 12/10/2015

Friday, October 7, 2016

Upon My Death, Do Not Let Me Die

When I am gone

I don't want my story to stop being shared. When I am gone, be it by accident, disease, tragedy or triumph; I want it to be known. Say it out loud. I give my permission now to share my story. Share all my stories and if you have more stories of me, share them too. Upon my death, do not let me die.

*Originally shared October 10th, 2015. Right after the big flood last year. Now we are about to face Hurricane Matthew. So I share again*

I have lived an extraordinary life so far. I was reminded yet again very recently that we don't always know if we will wake up tomorrow. When we are young and/or naive, we seem to think we are invincible. That will not happen to us or those we love. We can walk away angry. With words left unsaid and that we will always have another day to say those
Myrtle Beach South Carolina, Postpartum Pychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, When I Die, Flood, Thousand Year Flood
things we wanted to say.

I am living and have been living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I have been here for almost six months and the last two weeks we have seen some amazing flooding take place. I have seen some things I hadn't seen before. Some, as simple as a cotton field.

Near the end of this summer we lost a woman who wanted to share her own experience of Postpartum Psychosis. Her name is Naomi Knoles; and she wrote We All Have A Story To Tell. Her husband is continuing that journey and wrote a short piece I will share here. I know personally how difficult that road is. I myself, along with many others within the Mental Health community took a hard hit when she died. I think it also provided a wake-up call.

Even one year; 3 years, 5, 10, 20 years after you have been in "recovery" and everyone thinks you have gotten past the worst of it; you can still have bad days and not make it out. The hole you have found yourself in, that dark, black hole that many of us have described. Well, that hole is deep, it's dark and even when you think you have walked out and beyond it's reach; it still has the ever so slightest grasp sitting lovingly upon your chest. It caresses your cheek and whispers in your ear. It says familiar things to lure you back and before you can blink away the tears, you are seeing black again.

Court for my grandchildren and things happening with my daughter take a lot out of me. Along with advocating.
Job discrimination is huge. I had a job, that I enjoyed very much and was doing well at. The minute, and I do mean the minute, they found out about my past; that was it. I had to leave. It did not matter that I had been doing this job for approximately a month already. I am not going to say where this was, just that I had taken a position where people that were educated (one was a doctor) were in the employment position and I was the employee.
When people ask me why I don't just go right out and find a job I just look at them. I have a resume. An excellent resume. I have skills, many skills. I am intelligent and sociable, I do an excellent job. I can even pass a standard background check and be bonded. (I used to sell insurance) But if one person googles my name, I am done for.

These are the kinds of things that 10, 15 and 20+ year out of recovery or at any time in a person's life can become too much.

Pink Moped, Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Maternal Mental Health, Myrtle Beach South Carolina, When I dieI was out driving around on my Pink Moped during this Thousand Year Storm in South Carolina. I was listening to my mp3 player and I wasn't trying to get hurt but it occurred to me I wasn't practicing being my safest.
I started thinking about how I made the decision to "Walk the Line" and "Life for Death Sentence". I started thinking that while I may not commit Suicide more purposefully the way Naomi did; maybe I am hoping fate will just take over.
It's not suicide if I am out riding my Pink Moped listening to tunes during the worst Flood the Carolinas have ever seen right?
What about if I walk alone at night on the beach? Driving without a Helmet on highways?
I won't list some things for the sake of the fet community of people I am involved with.

Then it occurred to me that perhaps I just wanted to be scared.
Another friend (Walker Karraa) who is taking an offline break was speaking of a conversation she'd had with Naomi who had said "Walker, I was in prison. Nothing scares me." I remember thinking when she shared that, that I too had those thoughts and feelings. I still get scared for others. Just not for myself.

I want to sit on the beach every day and smell the salt in the air. I want to forget all the sadness around me. I want to be able to take a ride on my moped to the store and back while listening to music and enjoy the warm breeze.

But, then I read another story about another mom and another family who says; "we didn't know, we had never heard of Postpartum Psychosis". All I can think is how can you have not in this day and age. But then I remember they are cutting funding in even some of the most forward thinking states as far as Mental Health Programs go. North Carolina just cut $110 million from it's regional mental health and another $152 million is set to be cut this Spring unless something is done.

University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill created the first Women's Mood Disorder Clinic. Now that same state that set a standard is about to cut close to $300 million in Mental Health from its budget in less than a year's total time.

And that, is why. That is exactly why women and their families are not hearing more about Maternal Mental Health. Because Mental Health is usually one of the first to be slated for cuts.

I also, get emails, or friend requests on any of my numerous social media platforms. Someone wants to strike up a conversation with me about their experience, their child, wife. Sometimes I can't get to them all right away. But I do the best I can. I realize that by sharing My Story; I have made a difference. That for every person that stumbles upon my blog and reads it. Every person that reads My Story and reaches out or passes it along, I am getting through to people in tenfold.

Why, why am I talking about this now. It actually started after our friend passed away and there was a big discussion about whether or not Naomi's Story should be shared. When and how it should be shared and by who. None of us within the community felt quite comfortable. It almost felt disrespectable. But, on the other hand I truly believe she would want for Her and her Anna's story to continue on. Her story hasn't died. It feels like an injustice to stop talking. Like the disease won.
Postpartum Psychosis can't win! If we stop talking about ALL the people involved and how it has affected each of them it wins.

So, I will say it again. Postpartum Psychosis cannot win. Keep talking. Keep telling stories. Keep sharing.

I don't want my story to stop being shared. When I am gone, be it by accident, disease, tragedy or triumph; I want it to be known. Say it out loud. I give my permission now to share my story. Share all my stories and if you have more stories of me, share them too. 

Upon my death, do not let me die.

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Originally Drafted 09-14-15

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

And So It Goes

Believing in People

I've brought all of you along with me, in part for my own sake and in part so I can help others benefit from my journey. Not everyone has to make the same mistakes or suffer the same consequences. People shouldn't all have to have heartache or heartbreak if it can be prevented.
Unfortunately, life just wants to kick your ass over and over again at times and while you're lying there in the dirt, you wonder if you will ever, ever learn certain lessons...

I like believing in people, or at least trying to. I don't have anyone in particular that I am especially close to. I have family and some friends and those have been the same people for a very long time that I hold dear. I have all of you, the people I keep apprised of this "process" and the
postpartum psychosis, natachia barlow ramsey, maternal mental health, depression, suicide, sunlight
A Date Worth Flossing For
struggles along with the victories.

I have another process for allowing people into my life at various levels. It's not set in stone exactly and it deviates depending on the person/situation. 
Dating has allowed me to get to know people at these various levels on everything from a meet and greet to allowing them to enter into my life in more intimate ways. The majority of these people do not make it past the very casual first stages of the first date or two and we never really text again, about 60% them. I assume it's like that for many people.
Another 25% we talk for a bit, and maybe even become friendly; that may just be where it ends up. I've made a few friends since being down here, some know about my history and some don't. I don't feel it's necessary to divulge my history to people at all times. Depending on the circumstances and what we're discussing, there may be times it just comes up. I direct them to this site.
It's frequently because they've lost a loved one to suicide. Besides writing about Postpartum Psychosis, I advocate and write a lot about suicide awareness and prevention. I strongly believe that had my mother not hung herself in our bathroom, perhaps gotten the help she needed when she was younger, the events that arose in my life wouldn't have taken place.
I digress...

So, there's that 15% left. Let's see; that's trickier to break down. Of those, there's probably another 10-12% that I start to inevitably phase out. Which is this: We hit it off and seem to have chemistry. There may be any number of those variables that we have in common. Depending on schedules and locations, we spend time together and are communicating frequently. Sometimes, I will start to throw out small pieces of information ahead of time to try and gauge their reaction. This will again vary depending on the information they are giving me. Obviously if they come from a family with a history of mental health issues and they mention it themselves, I'm not going to toss out the same kind of information as if they tell me no one in their family/friends have any kind of mental health issues that they are aware of. 

Technology has sped this process up sadly. It used to be I could take a few months while I got to know someone. Now, this system usually happens over the course of a few weeks. It sort of sucks. There's no courtship anymore. No summertime romance, where you just get to know someone and stay up late talking and hanging out. Making pancakes at midnight. Making love until dawn. Technology has robbed people of the mystery that comes along with the romance of discovering someone. Allowing them to know you in your time.

But, very fortunate for me, I have this public voice and I am able to keep the very best parts of myself to myself. Because even the parts of me I do share during these few weeks are not the whole me. They're a tiny snippet. Sure, I am sharing a few things that are not displayed on these pages and depending upon the person I am getting to know, it's likely we have some things in common that we are discovering together that are only privy to us.
I had someone ask me recently, or make a rather bold assumption that I told the world everything about myself. Or shared everything about myself. I didn't in that moment go into details because I knew they were referring specifically to this website. My response was to speak specifically to that.
But, and here's the but; I have many, many things in my life that only I know about. I have other websites. Other social media accounts. I do a lot of things that I currently am the only one who knows about. I'm an entire person of connect the dots and I am the only person who knows where all those dots go. I would love to be able to share with one other person where all those dots connect to. But for now, that's for me alone. Let's leave it at that. 

At some point in time I want to be able to share it all. But it hasn't happened and I'm not going to make it happened. It will happen when it's going to, when it supposed to, with a genuine person. Someone who speaks the truth and knows what really matters in life.

So, the last 3-5%, I usually tell them my story in some way.
We all know about when I drank a bottle of wine last fall (which I actually forgot about until I reread the other day) and woke up with lasagna in my bed (not cool). I never drink and I will never do that again. Or, most often, I direct them to this site. I've handed someone a newspaper article before. I've even had someone find it before I got it to them. That was almost a nice surprise.
Most people are okay after a while. It's the initial shock I think and a lot of questions. I completely understand that. I don't mind the questions, I prefer it. I'd rather someone take an interest, seeing it's such a huge part of my life. 
When I initially tell someone my emotions run really high for about two days. I know the pattern now. What I don't know is everyone else's pattern because else is an individual. A lot of times people try to play it cool, they go to the website and read a lot. Then they get standoffish. How much people want to talk after that depends. 

But, the last 3-5% of people are the ones who get to me. Those are the people I care about. I've learned about them, listened to them, heard them. Probably more than they realize. I've heard their voices, sensed their mood. I've gotten to know them and decided I liked them enough to take a chance. Those are the people that mean something to me. Honestly I don't like that many people, I'm guarded. I've built a fairly large wall. For me, it's also a one person at a time process. When I am "casually" dating off tinder or POF, I'll go out on three meet and greets a week. But once I hit it off with someone, I have to concentrate. I think that's just me. I'm made that way.

I'm not made casual. I care about people in my life, even those who enter it briefly by choice. Especially those I want to stick around. But you can't make people want to stay, you just hope they do.

And so it goes...
Believing in People

Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~