NETHERLANDS: Sleepless Nights

NETHERLANDS: Sleepless Nights

19181068968_9af26a35e8_zI felt it rushing over me like waves of ice cold water.
Overwhelming me.
Heldback tears stung in my eyes.
With my knees pressed tight against my abdomen, I gripped my head with my hands.
Silent sobs began to surface from deep within.
Trying to swallow them down made the lump in my throat grow thicker.

3 am.

The silent room was in great contrast with the loud screaming of thoughts in my head.
Distant sounds of a lonesome car on the road from the open window; the silent murmur and sighs of sleeping children; the breathing of my husband sleeping next to me, blissfully unaware of my distress.
Inside my head rapid thoughts were tripping over one another, hastily pushing each other aside.

“Starting this new job was a bad idea.”

“I can’t do this.”

“This is too much.”

“I am going to fail.”


I could almost feel it like a tangible presence in the room.

It was in the clenching of my jaw, the tightening of my muscles and in the trembling of my body.

The powerful sense of emotions that I felt was almost frightening.
I felt anger, sadness and an urge to run away from it all.

And then it dawned on me.

This is what fear of failure feels like.
Now I know what that kid in my class feels.
This is the reason he fights me, why he gets so angry, what makes him respond in such a primal way.
I understand how he feels now, and I can use this to help him.

As that realisation began to sink in, I forgot about my own distress and fear and started working out a plan.

4 am.

Peaceful thoughts started flooding my mind, causing the other thoughts to quiet down and stand in line.

“I can do this.”

“I just have to hang in there.”

“It will get easier.”

I placed my head on the pillow facing my sleeping husband.
A careful smile formed round the corners of my mouth.
And in the minutes that followed, the sounds of my calm breathing joined the sounds of my sleeping family.

Have you ever felt like giving up on something? How do you motivate yourself when you feel like quitting?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Mirjam from Apples And Roses, of The Netherlands. Photo credit: Camila Manriquez. This picture has a creative commons attribution license.


Mirjam was born in warm, sunny Surinam, but raised in the cold, rainy Netherlands. She´s the mom of three rambunctious beauties and has been married for over two decades to the love of her life. Every day she´s challenged by combining the best and worst of two cultures at home. She used to be an elementary school teacher but is now a stay at home Mom. In her free time she loves to pick up her photo camera. Mirjam has had a life long battle with depression and is not afraid to talk about it. She enjoys being a blogger, an amateur photographer, and loves being creative in many ways. But most of all she loves live and laughter, even though sometimes she is the joke herself. You can find Mirjam (sporadically) at her blog Apples and Roses where she blogs about her battle with depression and finding beauty in the simplest of things. You can also find Mirjam on Twitter and Instagram.

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SPECIAL REPORT: A Modern-Day Story of Hospital Abuse

6a00d8357f3f2969e2017d419af365970c-250wiI’d like to introduce you to Alex Spourdalakis, a 14-year-old boy who lives with his mother, Dorothy. Alex is not like most 14-year-old boys. He has severe autism with cognitive impairment, and he is non-verbal. Like many kids with autism, he experiences periodic disruptions to his sleep.

A few months ago, Alex’s sleep disturbances got serious enough for him to be become agitated and aggressive. This coincided with the onset of severe gastrointestinal symptoms, like constipation alternating with diarrhea. In the middle of February, his mother took him to Gottlieb hospital in Illinois, USA. He was in excruciating pain, which manifested as aggression.

For 13 days, Alex was kept in locked restraints, only being released to use the bathroom. Bear in mind that this kid was suffering from constipation, diarrhea and vomiting. He tried to communicate when he was getting sick by screaming, but staff frequently didn’t release him in time and he would have to lie in his own vomit for several minutes at a time. He would be allowed to use the bathroom, and then he would be wiped down and returned to the restraints.

During this time, Alex was given a cocktail of drugs that were not helping, and repeated pleas by his mother for his allergies to be considered fell on deaf ears, even as his skin became raw from allergy-induced dermatitis. He was not formally admitted to the hospital, nor was a proper treatment plan devised for him.

Are you horrified yet? Brace yourself, because the story continues. (more…)

Kirsten Doyle (Canada)

Kirsten Doyle was born in South Africa. After completing university, she drifted for a while and finally washed up in Canada in 2000. She is Mom to two boys who have reached the stage of eating everything in sight (but still remaining skinny). Kirsten was a computer programmer for a while before migrating into I.T. project management. Eventually she tossed in the corporate life entirely in order to be a self-employed writer and editor. She is now living her best life writing about mental health and addictions, and posting videos to two YouTube channels. When Kirsten is not wrestling with her kids or writing up a storm, she can be seen on Toronto's streets putting many miles onto her running shoes. Every year, she runs a half-marathon to benefit children with autism, inspired by her older son who lives life on the autism spectrum. Final piece of information: Kirsten is lucky enough to be married to the funniest guy in the world. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Be sure to check out her YouTube channels at My Gen X Life and Word Salad With Coffee!

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