How my husband and I have survived our interfaith marriage.

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Source: Eileen Finau

Religion can play a major part in people’s lives. A person’s religious views and beliefs can affect daily activities, choice of attire, hobbies and interest, and may even be a factor in who one decides to marry. However, for me, it means nothing. This isn’t to say that I’m not religious or I don’t have a belief, but I don’t let the bible or a biblical scripture guide my life choices as much as I let my mind and heart be the leading influences.

Religion was all around me growing up. I was raised by a village of family members, most with different religious beliefs. I was able to experience life through the lenses of others by attending various churches and listening to the preachings of many. What I learned from my upbringing has become invaluable in my life. I’ve seen first-hand that regardless of a person’s religion, a good person is a good person. As I’ve grown and continued to meet people in the world, I’ve continued to see people as people regardless of their religion, or lack thereof. Some of my greatest mentors in life have been Buddhist, Catholic, Christian, Mormon, Methodist, Muslim, agnostic, and even atheist. I find all their different views on life fascinating and truly believe no one is better or less than the other due to their religious choice. For me, it’s about how a person lives their life more than the religious label attached to them. …


How my child with anxiety taught me how to listen.

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Photo by June Liu on Unsplash

We say, “Kids say the darndest things,” but often we neglect the things they say when they really need us SHUT UP AND LISTEN.

As adults, we have a tendency to view ourselves superior to children. As parents, we think we know better than our children. In both cases, we are wrong.

Yes, it’s true that we may have more education and be more knowledgeable in certain aspects of life, but to disregard children and ignore the many lessons they have to offer us is ignorant. Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way.

When my child was diagnosed with severe anxiety disorders, I piled up on the research and tried to learn everything I could about her disorders. I wanted to be able to help her in every way and to provide her a life just like any other child. I didn’t want her disorders to hold her back from prospering in this world. However, what I didn’t know was that my child was my biggest, untapped resource. …


3 ways these words can negatively affect a child with mental illness.

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Photo by Kat J on Unsplash

One of the most common responses I receive when people learn my child suffers from anxiety disorders is, “Really? She looks so normal.” I usually want to reply with the sarcastic, “No duh,” but I realize that it is not the person’s fault. It is how we as a society have identified what mental illness looks like or acts like.

Generally speaking, many do not realize that any of the Anxiety Disorders are considered mental illnesses. Others do not even recognize Anxiety Disorders as being different from the common anxiety attack or panic attack. …


How I ended the cycle and left my abusive relationship.

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Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

“You’re a whore. I know you are cheating with him.” The accusation was absurd. Not only was the guy his close friend, but his girlfriend was my friend. He was drunk, so I laughed off his ridiculous statement. That is when I felt it. He backhanded me in the face. To this day, I remember the feeling. I was in pain. I was in shock. I was confused. My face started throbbing, but before I could process what happened, he hit me again. This time harder. This time with better contact. Tears instantly ran down my face.

I parked the car and started to yell at him. We yelled at each other. I got out of the car and so did he. We started a scene. There was yelling. Items were being flung at one another. It was the middle of the night. The street was quiet, except for our voices. I realized this was not the place for us to be arguing, so I got in the car and convinced him to come in. As we drove home, we fought the entire time. He grabbed me as I drove. We swerved. I shook him off. We finally arrived home and I jumped out of the car. He was quick and by the time I closed my car door, I found him standing in front of me. He grabbed me by the shoulders and banged me against the car. Not once, not twice, but three times. With pain in my head and my back on fire, I began to yell. I tried to fight back, but he was stronger. Someone heard and came out throwing things at him, yelling for him to let me go. He finally let me go and I went into survival mode. I ran. I had no money. No car. No phone. I only had the desire to be free, so I ran. …


The perspective of a mother of a child with Anxiety Disorders

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Source: Eileen Finau

Most of us have suffered the wrath of an anxiety attack at one point in our lives. I definitely had my share of unwanted attacks throughout my lifetime. I am the typical Type A personality, so most things in life give me anxiety as I am programmed to aim at perfection. If you would have asked me eight years ago if I am familiar with anxiety, I would have responded with the obnoxious, “Duh! Of course.” However, my perspective and everything I thought I knew about anxiety was thrown out the window around the time my oldest child turned four.

From the moment she was born she was special. To me, she was thriving in life. That is, until one day when something happened that opened my eyes to the scary life my daughter was truly living. I found my four-year-old crying hysterically. When I looked at her, she looked as if she had just been met by Death. I asked her what was wrong and her response killed me inside, “Mommy, my heart feels like it is being squeezed so hard it hurts. I can’t breathe. My insides hurt and I feel like my head is going to explode.” A million thoughts ran through my mind. I was confused because she just described a panic attack, but how could that be possible? …

About

Eileen Finau

A Communications Professor and Paralegal who enjoys spending her free time writing about this, that, and the other.

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