Thursday, 28 February 2013

What marriage means to me.

1 a partner for life
2 unconditionnal love
3 someone to help with chores 
4 someone to share my feelings with (good and bad)      
5 the creation of our children 
1 when your partner is home too much
2 having to love someone when I don't feel like it
3 having the worst chores
4 husband never shares his feelings
5 our children (sometimes)

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Enter my give-away contest to the right and then vote for Brynn's Bizarre Behavior when prompted with the link!!!

I am so pleased to announce that I am a finalist for "Best Special needs book 2013".

"Brynn's Bizarre Behavior" has been selected as a finalist for "Favorite New Special-Needs Children's Book" in the Readers' Choice Awards. The poll is up now on my site at

Please let your readers know about the poll, and that they can vote once a day, every day through March 19. Winners will be announced on March 27.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Enter my give-away contest to the right and then vote for Brynn's Bizarre Behavior when prompted with the link!!!

 I am so pleased to announce that I am a finalist for "Best Special needs book 2013".

"Brynn's Bizarre Behavior" has been selected as a finalist for "Favorite New Special-Needs Children's Book" in the Readers' Choice Awards. The poll is up now on my site at

 Please let your readers know about the poll, and that they can vote once a day, every day through March 19. Winners will be announced on March 27.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Abusive Ignorance!

My daughter has been a source of inspiration to both my husband and I, although I can't say the same for her 13 year old brother.

At the ripe old age of 5 years old we knew she was suffering from some type of emotional, mental and/or behavioural issues. We brought her to a child psychiatrist hoping that he could help us with some advice and/or a diagnosis. After answering the doctor's looong list of questions and his close observation of her, she was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome.(TS)

My first cousin and her daughter along with our cousin's son also have TS.(Not to mention the many other relatives we have who suffer from depression and debilitating anxiety). Needless to say, my daughter's diagnosis, although sad to hear, was no shock.

Through the years my daughter's TS symptoms have waxed and waned over and over again. At 8 years old her anxiety was so extreme, she didn't want to live anymore. My mother-in-law and I drove her to the IWK childrens' hospital (three hours away) in search of some reprieve.  We spent two days in the mental health ward before returning home, but this time we were armed with a few more coping skills and much more understanding of her situation. (We were asked to stay in our room in  the hospital as some patients were witnessed cutting themselves in public.)

My husband and I have had to change my daughter to a new school as the principal at her first accused her of lying about her anxiety and even refused to believe that she had anything wrong at all. (This was around the time she was admitted to the IWK!!!)

My daughter has had these homemade fidget toys made from paper that she has held in each hand since she was 2-3 years old. One "fishy", as she calls them, is rolled between the fingers of one hand, and flipped about in the other. We've encouraged her to put them down, but her anxiety sky rockets every time. These "fishies", I've  learned, are not only fidgets but forms of consolement. My hope is that she will adopt new forms of consoling herself in the future.

Through the years,  my daughter has also been diagnosed with ADD and OCD, which I learned, is very common among those with TS. In fact, the new term for this is called Tourette syndrome+.

Her new school has a ways to go yet, but there commitment to her right to education has been commendable. They have bent over backwards and used all available resources to keep my daughter engaged and better understood by the staff.

I live in rural Nova Scotia, in the middle of nowhere you could say, so mental illness is neither understood nor spoken about publicly.(This is probably the norm for most places.) For this reason many of our young people are being misunderstood by our educational systems, although not  purposely, still mistreated. I've seen, at my daughter's previous school,  one student locked outside of the school, causing him to bang endlessly on the front doors to be let in. Apparently they didn't know how to cope with him. Another student was locked in a closet time and time again.(I did not witness this but was told by fellow students from his class.) This same student was later diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome. Imagine the abuse these children endured, and the permanent damage it may have caused them.

My daughter has persevered through each storm, and will continue to do so, God willing. She is on two different meds which have helped her quality of life tremendously.

As my daughter's mom and advocate, I have written a book entitled "Brynn's Bizarre Behaviour" as an homage to her childhood and  all children suffering, not only with mental illness, but of the ignorance of the world around them.

Many people have advised me to contact TS foundations and such as a market to sell my book, which I've done, but I feel that selling solely to this market is the same as selling ice to an Eskimo. Most people with TS love the book but agree that it should be shared with the public as an educative resource.

Last night I received an email informing me that I am a finalist for "Favourite New Special-Needs Children's Book" in the Readers' Choice Awards. WOW!

My aim is to  write many more books informing the world of the plethora of mental illnesses plagued by our children. ( I have three more coming.)

For now I will begin with that of my courageous daughter.

Vote for "Brynn's Bizarre Behaviour" once a day until March 19th. Thank you.

Meet the Finalists: Brynn's Bizarre Behavior

Readers' Choice Awards Logo
Title: Brynn's Bizarre Behavior
Subtitle: A Look at 8 Year Old Brynn's Life with Tourette's Syndrome
Author: Danica L. Surette
Length: 46 pages
Find on: Facebook | Twitter | Google+

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

"National Breakup Day".

Those of you 30 something year olds, picture the year 1990 in your minds. OK now that you're visualising this era in time I will commence this "breakup story".

I had my first boyfriend at age 16, but only because he was the first person to notice me. Our time together lasted 7 months. Shortly afterwards, my childhood friend from a few doors down, called me and invited me to meet someone who was admiring my pic in our year book. How exciting!!!

I got all primped up and walked over to my friend's house. My friend and her boyfriend were expecting me, but his friend was excruciatingly embarrassed that they had called me over at all. WHOA!  He was sooo cute. (80's-90's cute)
He had a ball cap scrunched over his beautiful blond curly mullet and was decked out in the proper fads of the time, and high tops, of course.

We drove around that night in one of their matching white mustangs, (Yes best friends with identical cars!) with the windows rolled up and the 3 of them smoking! I should have jumped out then.

We stayed together, on and off,  for three years. I adored his family, but my adoration for him grew dimmer and dimmer. Towards the end of our relationship he was a jealous, untrustworthy, drinking mess.

I finally left him for good on October 31st, 1992. Halloween. This is the "breakup" clincher.
I received a phone call from my, now, ex-boyfriend's brother the following day informing me that my ex had been in an accident and had been sent to a hospital three hours away. I was horrified...and then entertained by the explanation he gave me. I refused to believe his brother as I thought it was just another of my ex's ruses to get me back, but then his grandmother phoned me with the same details.

Get this! My ex and a bunch of his friends decided to have some fun on Halloween by removing cement parking lot blocks from their local fire dept. and placing them in the road! ( I'm sure the fire dept was impressed as my ex had just joined the dept as a volunteer just  months previous to this episode.) As my ex and one of his buddy's were in the process of transporting a block from the lot to the road, one of them accidentally dropped his side. The block fell on my ex's foot, splitting the bottom and damaging his big toe. Within days of being in the hospital  his big toe was amputated!

I am not condoning laughter during someone else's struggles. There is nothing funny about amputation of any kind. My laughter came from the relief that he hadn't gotten hurt any worse than he did, and that nobody else was hurt because of those blocks in the road. I could only imagine some young family driving along, all dressed up, getting hurt because of my ex's and his friend's stupidity.

On "National get married day", I will write all about the love of my life, my husband.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Bell Let's Talk! (mental illness)

Some of us suffering from mental illnesses are too embarrassed or shy to share our stories. If you happen to be one of these people, you may still help the cause here:

On February 12,
let's talk.

On Bell Let's Talk Day, +Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives across Canada for every:
  • 1
    Text message sent*
  • 2
    Long distance call made*
  • 4
    Facebook share of our Bell Let's Talk image

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Dear Madonna , ...

Dear Madonna,

What a great example you were for young girls when you erupted from the shadows with "Star light" some 20+ years ago. (Or so I thought) You were original, appeared self- confident, and refused to compromise who and what you represented. You gave birth to a new generation of women.

How many little girls were seen doting a mess of black rubber bracelets on their wrists and large bright coloured scarves wrapped around their bed head dos? You created a true epidemic! At this young age I knew your style was "racy" as some adults around me were scandalised by the sight of you, but what did they know? I remember lugging a giant "ghetto blaster" up and down the street with the song "Material girl" blasting from the speakers, over and over again!

As time went on you continued to re-invent yourself, which must have been exhausting for you, but kept your fans entertained, not to mention your fan base growing.

As I matured your music became less and less attractive to me, yet grew in popularity by others throughout the world. I was indifferent to your career.

You took on a new form of reaching your audience by taping parts of you tours and making  available these non edited, scandalous clips to anyone interested in viewing your tantrums and lude conduct. You knew what you were doing.This was my deal breaker, but then again, I was free to like it or lump it.

I started a family and so was too busy most times to even care about what you were doing, let along  any other social media events. Then it happened! I sucked it up and actually watched an interview you did with Oprah. I was so disappointed in you when you admitted that you were against your children viewing TV, not because it was stupid of you, but for the opposite. You knew first hand what kind of trash they could be watching. This statement proved to me that your entire persona was rigged to take full advantage of youth by contaminating their minds(giving them what they wanted whether damaging or not) to profit monetarily.

You may never regret your means of attaining popularity, but I hope your children don't suffer the consequences of your actions. Which of your persona's will they believe more? Caring mother or sultry seductress? Who will protect them from you?

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

"Blossom wherever you're planted!" and the eruption it caused on facebook

Blossom wherever you're planted!
Sometimes that doesn't always work... right conditions aren't always there...sometimes you have to find new ground.
    Haven't been able to get to your book launches. I want one of your books.
     Good point Clayton.
    Sometime though I think if we can't chance our circumstance we have no choice but to change the only thing we can change, and that is how we react to them.
  • YES!!!!
  • Try to be happy to make someone else happy....that's no way to be
    It's being happy no matter your circumstances! It's about your happiness, nobody else's.
  • Being happy and pretending to be happy are 2 different things.
    contentment. look it up.
     According to what you call happy.
    Agree with you on that point too Clayton. ( Gee what is happening to me. Twice in one day I am agreeing with a man) lol. You have to find happiness within yourself first and realize that no one else can or should be responsible for someone else's happi...See More
    I'm not arguing with you guys... but everyone had their own version of happy...and content doesn't always mean you are happy.
    Clayton I know some ppl who are miserable and know even it. So if know one points out to them they are miserable then I guess they will be just fine, I have a friend who has been married for years and is dictated to and so on and so forth and my siste...See More
    True... life is what you make it.
     and of course you guys being Christians and me being...well look at things different than I do.
    Well I think of That book. .. The " good book" of couse, as being the instruction manual for life . If you (try) to live by the means in which it describes then it helps. And I say try because no one is perfect. Just forgiven, but I look at it this wa...See More
    Sorry I'm on another roll. Lol I'll stop preaching now l
    Well no offence to you or any other Christians ...I don't believe in having my life dictated to me from a book...just my opinion. sorry if it offends anyone.
    On another note Danica about your book ..... Do you go to the coop much. I could give the money to Christy if you wanted to drop one off there or do u still work at Vernon's restaurant. Maybe she could go there or something.
    Clayton not offended at all, you are not alone in your opinion. That's what's good about life is everyone has their own views on things. Would be boring otherwise. It was
    Nice of the man upstairs to give us a book with the option to read it though
    See More
    Common sense.... That's how i roll.... No need for a "manual" written by someone else.
  •  depends on how common your sense is I guess.
  • Tuesday, 5 February 2013

    Innocent and Trusting

    A few months ago I had the pleasure of launching my book "Brynn's  Bizarre Behaviour" at a wonderful place called "Mayflower Place" just a half hour from my home. It was a great turn out, and we were blessed by the clients we met at this workshop. (Created to employ physically and mentally challenged adults in the local areas.)

    It's funny how we compare ourselves as normal when making the distinction between them and us. Before we even entered their place of employment, we already had  preconceived ideas about them. On the other end, they appeared to have no pre-organized delusions of us as we entered their workshop. They welcomed everyone with the same smiles on their faces, and because of their consistency, I came to the conclusion that if anyone should be graced with the title Normal it should be them.

    My daughter made many lasting friendships that day, and some she follows up with on facebook. Last week a married couple (clients) from the  workshop invited my daughter to pay them a visit at their new apartment, located above the Mayflower Place.(Like children they did not see the situation as uncomfortable.) It was difficult to express to my 11 year old daughter how inappropriate it would be of me to just drop her off, and leave her there. (Although these people are 20 something, I was concerned that they were both immature people in adult bodies with all the hormones and emotions that follow.)

    Without divulging all these inappropriate concerns with my daughter, and prolonging the situation, I quickly decided to invite this couple to our home for supper. What a great save.

    Last night this little couple came to our house for pizza and garlic fingers. They stayed a few hours and kept our whole family entertained. I hope they enjoyed themselves as much as we did. I look forward to their next visit, and wish them well.

    Sunday, 3 February 2013

    Shower therapy at 2:30 am!!! (and conclusion)

    So my 11year old daughter began with panic attacks last night, and needless to say, she refused to sleep in her bed and made her and her stuffed animals comfortable in my bed. (Daddy slept on the couch.)

    By 2:00 am she woke up "worried." I wasn't at all sure what to do for her, let along awake enough to comprehend what she was telling me. She decided to go out and talk with her dad, so away she went. Within a few minutes I was wondering what she was doing and/or feeling, so I walked out to the living room to see her watching The Princess Bride all curled up in a chair while her dad slept on the couch.Feeling relieved, I went back to bed.

     When I awoke this morning her dad informed me that she took a shower last night at 2:00 am to help calm her nerves. Can you imagine being so anxious that you would shower at 2:00 am in hopes that it would calm your nerves? It made me sad.

    Today has been tumultuous to say the least, and hasn't even ended yet. The .5 mg chlonazepam prescription from her doctor does as much good as a glass of water. (My pharmacist told me that .5mg of chlonazepam would knock her out!) After hours and hours of begging us to help her, my husband finally drove her to outpatients to see what the doctor on call could possibly do to alleviate her suffering.

     I hope to see both her and her dad return home soon with smiles on their faces.

    Tune in tomorrow for the hopeful conclusion. (Say a prayer and keep your fingers crossed!)


    After waiting four hours to see the doctor, my daughter's nerves had calmed down significantly. I presume that my daughter's realisation that she was not a priority helped her to conclude that she must have been okay. My husband was given the name of another child psychiatrist in which we could call upon in case of emergency.

    Today she will have a consultation with the school board's psychologist. Once my daughter's psychiatrist returns from vacation, both doctors, including myself and the school's staff, will gather to decide what can and should be done to help my daughter succeed in school.

    I would truly enjoy hearing from any parents who are or may have experienced this situation with their child. Did you find any solutions, or tweak or customise things to create positive outcomes?

    Thank you for all your prayers!