After moving from Cali to Oregon in Sept of 2016, in January of 2017 I decided to high-tail it back to Cali. My then 13-year-old son and I were to live with a long-time friend. Although her life was quite strained with many children of her own she offered this as an opportunity to help, to allow me to heal, and to help me with my son who was on the fast track to becoming a teenager. I saw her offer as an answer to my desperate pleas to the Universe/God/Source for help.

While in Oregon I had started using bee venom therapy for Lyme disease. This involved being stung by live bees three times per week, starting with two per session and gradually ramping up to ten to thirteen per session. The stings themselves were painful, but the after effects were remarkable. An adrenaline rush lasting several hours were the reward. I began to think I had found my cure. I began to consider the possibility that I could return to a healthy state.Photo on 11-14-16 at 11.46 AM

With this surge of adrenaline and confidence, and after reading about others experiences with bee venom therapy on social media, I started to believe that bee venom could heal me from anything and that I no longer needed medication to address some of my other chronic illnesses, mainly, depression and hypothyroidism due to a total thyroidectomy four years prior. I hate to pathologize everything that is good, but I would say that the bee venom initiated a hypomanic state, which was both good because it was motivating, and problematic because I dramatically lowered the dosages of both my antidepressant medication and my thyroid medication.

After stinging for about two months the apitherapist who had been assisting me had some health problems of her own and I was forced to begin the process of keeping, handling, and stinging myself with the bees. I kept them in the top of a closet in my house where my cats couldn’t get to them. When I would walk by I could hear them buzzing, a sound that became foreboding. I had begun to remarkably feel worse, no doubt in part to the reduction of my medications. On Thanksgiving day 2016, I stung myself 13 times. I was so sick afterwards that I felt barely human.

Everything began to feel bizarre. I was stinging myself with bees. There were bees in my house, and I had a fear they would escape and swarm in the house while I was sleeping. It was an incredibly wet, cold and dark winter in Oregon, according to the locals one of the worst they had seen a long time. Due to my thyroid being out of balance the cold became intolerable. I simply could not stand to go outside. I didn’t have the proper clothes to keep me warm after living in Cali for almost a decade. And I was desperately broke. The monthly disability pay I was receiving just would not stretch far enough to make ends meet. I would get paid once per month and by the third week after getting paid I was digging around for coins just to buy food. It’s one thing to be desperately broke but to be so broke that you cannot feed your child is another things entirely.

I stopped stinging and finally went to see a doctor. My TSH, which should run between .5 – 3.00 was 68. My mood is dramatically affected by my thyroid levels. I was so depressed that I only wanted to sleep. There were other factors as well. The election of a white good ol’ rich pussy grabbing boy to office affected me deeply. For myself and for others who have victimized by sexual abuse, I felt violated. I felt violated by everyone. It affected me so deeply that I didn’t understand why the world was still turning, why people were still walking around acting as if everything was normal.

In part because of my failing health and in part because my son had virtually transformed into a zombie teenager overnight, he and I began to experience severe conflict. It was quite different from any conflict we had experienced before. He had grown taller than me. He was willful as hell. One day it came to a head when he put his foot in the door to try to provide me from leaving the house. I was raised in domestic violence and I had several relationships in my life that replicated that. I was not about to go through that with my son. He was getting in trouble at school. And then the worse thing happened. I found out he was smoking marijuana. And it wasn’t just any marijuana. It was MY marijuana, my medical cannabis that I have used for the last several years for pain control and depression.

At the time it felt cataclysmic. One of my main goals in becoming a parent was to not repeat the mistakes of my own childhood. I wanted my son’s life to be different from mine, and I didn’t want to raise my child in any way that resembled my own upbringing. I grieved for the sweet baby son I had once had. I grieved for the parts of his childhood I had missed due to overworking and illness. I grieved for the time when it had been so easy to make him smile, laugh, or giggle. I desperately missed my baby, who I knew would be no more.

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