A Parent That has a Disease

My Mom Suffers From An Auto-Immune Disease And She Is A Warrior

That is the one word that no one ever wants to hear... disease.


That is the one word that no one ever wants to hear... disease. When we first hear that awful and unpredictable word, we immediately freak out over what is happening and what is going to happen. We all just want everything with not only our parents but our family to be okay. Even though everything happens for a reason, there is always that burning question. "Why"? There really is no factual answer to why these things happen in life. It truly is part of human nature and how our bodies naturally may respond to the environment we live in.

Having a parent that has an auto-immune disease is one of the most emotional, draining, and anxiety-ridden things a child would ever have to through. It is not an easy process going through it and dealing with it. Not only for the parent but also everyone involved in their life. If your parent has a disease, they truly are a special type of parent. Of course, all parents are special, but it really does take a strong, faithful parent to be able to push and provide for their children and take care of themselves at the same time. Story time now!

Growing up, I lived with my mom. We lived in a two-bedroom condo and I basically spent a lot of time alone and would be at my grandparent's house a lot. I would feel alone a lot from my mom because she was always working. From the time I was at school until dinner time. I had to be strong because I knew she was doing everything for good reasons to provide. Every time I look back on it, I still can't believe how she worked so hard since she was 11 years old she will always tell me. I see where independence comes from.

My mom wasn't the type to really rest. She really lived off of adrenaline even when she was exhausted. All of it finally caught up to her. In 2016, my mom started having unusual symptoms. It just started happening out of nowhere. It started getting worse when she was putting in heavier hours at work. I noticed she was experiencing extreme fatigue but out of the ordinary. It would be so bad that she would skip eating and just get in bed. Then she started experiencing this strange cough. She would cough so hard she would throw up. It was occurring very often. Then her breathing starting to act up and she could not breathe well.

Through all of this, she was still going to work like any other day. Finally, one night, my family said enough was enough. I had just gotten home from somewhere and I went upstairs and my mom was in her bed in the dark. I knew something was wrong because my grandma was in there. My mom was at her lowest at this point. The next day while I was at school, I find out my mom went into the doctor but they sent her straight to the ER because they thought she had tuberculosis. They ran more tests in the ER and thank you, Jesus, she didn't and we knew it wasn't that because we would of all been sick.

They found out that she has an auto-immune disease called Sarcoidosis. It is similar to Lupus and cause a lot of inflammation everywhere in the body and really affects the lungs. My mom had blood clots in her legs and in her lungs as further testing continued. It blows my mind how it didn't travel to her heart or brain. My mom stayed in the hospital for a while and it was not fun to see and I know it was bad to be in that situation. When I tell you guys my mom looked sick... she looked SICK. It looked like there was no more life left in her.

She would even tell me how she was ready to go and would just have the lord take her. My mom truly is a warrior because she worked the whole time while being sick and 2 years later she is still working but of course more modified but she still has the mentality of working for what she wants... and she's still the best mother on top of it all... this disease has taught her a lot to take better care of herself and to cherish life more. She wasn't doing that before and it also made our relationship closer because it wasn't as close on certain levels before. The whole process is scary and emotional and I know a lot of people can relate to this internally and on a personal level. I don't wish any of this on my worst enemy... never...

To everyone, take care of yourself, and take care of each other. This is real life and it is precious.

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.

Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Blocking Toxic Family Members Can Be Just What You Needed

It isn't an easy choice but it can be the most rewarding.


I haven't written for the Odyssey in quite some time due to this large issue in my life that I feel some people may also need to hear. Watching your parents go through a divorce can be difficult in itself, but what about having to remove one of your parents from your life at the same time? It's something I don't think many people could imagine doing. However, sometimes you are forced into the position between choosing what is best for your mental health or what is expected of you. For me, I realized that I needed to put myself first.

I realized that I am my own person. How I present myself and how I act and what I choose to believe in is how the world perceives me. I was faced with a parent who did not let me be who I am. The way I thought had to be in line with theirs. What I openly spoke about had to be in line with that parent's thoughts. This also, in turn, meant I had to revolve how I was perceived to the world around that parent's family. I had to abide by these societal norms and do what someone else expected of me. I realized that was ludicrous.

This parent was also abusive. They were toxic and manipulative and I could not stand idly by and just take that from them while also trying to become an independent young adult. I was forced to sit and watch one of my parents transform into someone I didn't recognize anymore. I had to watch them ignore any kind of reality checks and continue to feign innocence. I watched one of my parents mentally manipulate people I once called family into believing lies. I kept my head down and shut my mouth and kept taking the abuse. Now I'm at a point where I can confidently say that I am no longer afraid.

I was forced to cut ties with a parent that raised me, cared for me, attended school functions, fixed toys, bought me my first phone. I was forced to chuck out priceless memories for my own sanity. I could not sit idly by and allow myself to endure one more second of lies or abuse. I had to stand up for myself for once in my life and I blocked most of my family. I blocked cousins, aunts, uncles, and godparents. I changed my phone number that I had since 6th grade. I gave no warning and disappeared from my family's lives. Do I have regrets? No. I would do it again if I had to because I am so much stronger than sitting there and taking it.

I will have one less parent at my college graduation, which I am fighting so hard to achieve. I will have one less parent at my wedding. My future children will have one less grandparent. I mope in these thoughts but then I have to remember the other side of things. I will not have an unsupportive parent at my graduation and instead will have those that were there every step of the way. I will lack someone who was toxic at my wedding. My future children will never have to face the same abusive, toxic situations that my parent put me through. It was a difficult decision to make but one that I know in my heart is worthwhile.

Cutting a family member out of your life is difficult enough but cutting a parent is unimaginable. However, no one deserves to go through abusive situations. It shouldn't matter who the person is; if someone is treating you less than you deserve to be treated, they have no use being in your life. You should always be your first priority. You should never have to endure something for the sake of others. I am here to tell you that you are more than that and that cutting out a family member could actually be the best thing for you, even if it's incredibly difficult. I did it and I'm still here. It made me realize who my real family was, and there will never be enough thank you's in the world to show my mother just how much I appreciate her.

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