Welcome to Billi the Brain blog.
I'd like to start by introducing myself, Lorena V Billone, to you. I am originally from Mexico, born and raised. After graduating from high school, I came to the United States in 1986 as an exchange student to continue to learn and perfect my English. I met my future husband and the rest is history.We have been married for 30 years and have two extraordinary children. They are also my inspiration to want to pursue a career in Psychology, as I was blessed with two very busy (energetic), intense (spirited) persistent (driven) and smart children.
My husband worked very long hours, which made me the primary care taker for most of the time in their upbringing. After my daughter was born, I began to experience panic attacks and agoraphobia. At the time, I didn't know what that was, never heard of it - didn't even know such a thing existed. I just thought I might die from it at some point. After many doctor visits and specialists, one doctor finally told me, "you are having panic attacks" and everything started to make more sense. I began my self help journey by stacking up on books and meditating every time before I had to leave the house with my baby girl, as I was so frightened something would happen to her. I also found a therapist that was a good match for me.
My own history of an excruciating mental disability for so long and with two young children that depended on me for everything, pushed me to go back to school once my son started full day school. I got a Psychology degree and a master's degree on marriage and family therapy. I worked in a hospital setting in the Psychiatric department, where ironically I would get the most difficult cases with PTSD and anxiety. "Did they really think I was the expert?" I would wonder. I would be sitting in my chair listening to them and thinking "If they only knew it was difficult for me to get to work that morning."
As the years went by and I began to gain more experience, I became fascinated by the brain and its evolution. I started doing research in a way that would be beneficial not only for myself, but for my patients and children as well. I wanted them to be more aware of how their brains worked and gain a clearer understanding as to why they react the way they do in certain situations, and most importantly, how to deal with it. That's when Billi the Brain was born.
In my family dynamic, I have always liked to use the analogy of a tree when describing the upbringing of a child. First, the seed is planted and it's our job as parents to care of it so its roots are always strong and nurtured. The roots represent the unconditional love, the morals, safety and trust, from us the parents. The trunk represents the behaviors and the child in the physical form. We want our children to grow up straight to be able to hold their own branches throughout their life. Every time there's disobedience on their part, the tree trunk starts to bend and if not corrected the tree will start to grow crooked. The branches will represent the child's choices throughout life.
I'll leave you with this. As I am a mature tree now with many branches on my beautiful tree, some are straight and some are crooked and split into two, but they all have a story, which I am willing to share with you and I hope you can learn from it.