Trying to Take Off My Mask With New Inspiration

I have been reading a blog recently that has really helped me. My family doesn’t agree. I knew they wouldn’t. I have to try to be strong and not beg, bribe, pretend, and do things I don’t want to just so they will accept and love me. I know they love me. But I also know that I am a burden, annoying, hurtful, and clingy. My father thinks that the Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Social Phobia, and Conversion Disorder is all his fault. He thinks if he had gotten help for me sooner I would be ok. I tried to explain to him that it doesn’t really work that way. The other thing is, my mother’s side of the family is the one that is saturated in mental illness. It’s no coincidence that her sister and brother are both diagnosed Paranoid Schizophrenic and my mother was never diagnosed with anything but was hospitalized twice for “breakdowns”. She would spend weeks in her bedroom, only coming out to get food. She also had a lot of episodes where she was loud, talked non-stop, danced, cleaned and laughed at everything. I would say my grandmother had some issues also. The only thing on my father’s side is some anxiety. To see him cry, a man who rarely shows emotion, kills me.

My twin sister as some of you may know is my biggest critic. She’s the one that tells me I have to change. Quite often this is said to me. I have tried to buy, bribe, and beg for her love and acceptance. I did it again yesterday. I bought her a couple of art sets and some stuff to make her some jewelry. She hasn’t returned my texts or calls in a couple of days. I shouldn’t have to do this. It’s demeaning. Why do I have to change? I haven’t hurt anyone. I haven’t gotten drunk. I haven’t hurt myself. So I cry a lot lately, there’s something going on. I have Celiac that stays active and may be going through early menopause which does effect your body and brain chemistry. Or maybe it’s something else. I don’t know.

I was seriously considering just having more ECT because I can’t take it anymore. No one wants to be around me. I told my father to “let them shock me until I remember nothing and feel nothing”. This is pretty sad on my part. I’m letting other people who want me to “change” consider doing something I swore I wouldn’t do again. But I really don’t know how much more I can take from a world that sees me as “too emotional”, “crazy”, “Unbalanced”, “violent”, “too loud”, “too quiet”, “lazy”, “annoying”, and that I’m just not trying hard enough.

When I read Taking Off The Mask’s blog about stigma I cried through the entire thing. If I only had someone to say to me “Dana there is nothing wrong with you” or to say they know how I feel. This blog made me feel so much better about everything. Until I tried to explain it to my dad. Then it went to hell. He didn’t understand what I was trying to explain. I’m pretty sure my sister wouldn’t either. So I’ll keep it to myself and remember there are good, kind, understanding people out there. You just have to find them.

I will think long and hard about the ECT. I really do not want to do it. I’d rather try the Ketamine based nasal spray but there is only 1 Dr. in R.I. that does it and it’s for pain management. I can’t have another year long Depressive episode it’s already been almost 4 months, I think that’s long enough.

Confusion or Delusion?

I wake up crying, irritable and in pain. I don’t feel better until about 2 p.m. or so. During this time I will also stutter, the severity depends on what is going on around me. I also think everyone hates me, I am a burden, useless and want to disappear. This gets better as the day goes on. I have tried every medication and combo of meds. I have had a round of ECT. I really don’t even want to tell my doctor I’m in the hole again because he will want to try a new drug. I think there is 1 (Latuda) that I haven’t tried. It has the same side effects of another I was on that was horrendous. Raising my glucose levels and cholesterol levels also doing something to my gallbladder. I have Celiac Disease so a lot of meds work differently on me. My Celiac stays active even when I am Gluten Free.

I can’t handle the arguments this is causing between my sister and I. She thinks I am not doing something right. That I should have more self control and take responsibility for my actions. The world doesn’t revolve around me. I should stop blaming other people when I should know better. To hear all this is so frustrating and kills me inside. Just once I would like to hear “it wasn’t your fault I’m behind you 100%”  is it too much to ask? To want someone in my corner to speak for me when I can’t?

One time in 42 years isn’t enough. When I upset myself by going over all the times I have given her money, watched her children, given rides, and been there for her. She doesn’t see it. She never has. My father agrees but won’t talk about it because it’s wrong to talk badly about one child to another. I don’t blame him. And he has enough stress. I can’t keep going on like this. Crying, stuttering, and panic attacks are ruining me. I have no life. I don’t know what’s left to try. I’m out of options and scared.

Conversion Disorder, PTSD, And Me

Conversion Disorder is like a mythical creature, it really hasn’t been 100% proven. You will see the world’s leading scientists disagree on the subject. But it is listed in the big book of psychiatric disorders. It was listed under neurological disorders. No one really knows where it belongs. I have been diagnosed with it by one doctor and a second agrees. I refused the diagnosis. Can you do that? I don’t know but I did.

I was first told by a Neurologist that I had Essential Tremors. A hereditary condition where your hands will tremor when you go to do something specific. Like button your shirt or use a fork. He told me eventually it could go to my tongue and vocal chords. I found it odd because no one else in my family had it.

When I woke up one morning unable to speak normally I was scared. To my own ears I sounded like a deaf person when they talked but worse because it was a stutter. I couldn’t write down what I wanted because my hands tremored. All I could do was cry. My father helped me make an appointment to see my psychiatrist. He didn’t think I had Essential Tremors and sent me to a specialist.

The specialist had a medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. His residency was in Neurology at The Neurological Institute of New York. He’s a Professor and Chief of the Division of Movement Disorders in the Department of Neurology at The Warren Alpert Medical Division of Brown University. He’s connected to the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the American Academy of Neurology. He’s written 2 books and co-authored over 400 papers on various disorders. To say he’s qualified is an understatement. His bedside manner is atrocious.

My sister was with me for the appointment. When telling someone that they actually have a disorder similar to PTSD but worse, that their mind is hiding a trauma from them and manifesting itself in physical ways and it’s such a rare condition you really would like to videotape them, you probably shouldn’t be grinning from ear to ear and rubbing your hands together like a mad scientist. Treating me like a specimen from Frankenstein’s lab. As hard as I tried to tell him no the words would not come out right. I looked at my sister, pleading for her to understand me. We’re twins she should know! And in that moment, she did. She saved me. She told him off. She grabbed him by his white coat and told him I was a human being with feelings and how dare he treat me otherwise. Then she grabbed my hand, called him an asshole over her shoulder and got me out of there. No matter what happens in our lives I will always love her for that. We argue as sisters do but she is a part of me. I know she doesn’t feel the same and that’s ok.

I don’t know what my trauma is. What I remember is bad enough. Anything else might kill me. I startle easily, loud noises scare me, men’s booming voices will start my tremors. Even if I am at the market something can set me off and I’m stuttering and shaking. Sometimes I have to leave my stuff and go. It isn’t easy living like this but knowing the truth could do further damage. Would you want to know? Maybe I will change my mind someday, but not today.

Don’t Call Me Paranoid or Delusional

I’m tired of being called paranoid when I am actually right about something. Same thing with delusional. What many people fail to understand is most Bipolar Disorder people are extremely observant, intelligent, and creative. I just have zero self-esteem unless pushed to the limit of my patience. Then a different person shows up. Mostly inside, but sometimes she speaks. This is where the trouble starts. I have never not even in my drinking days, intentionally set out to hurt another person. Retribution is another matter and happened once while drinking. It isn’t an excuse.

It isn’t my fault that I hear and see things others don’t. They don’t want to know subconsciously what is really going on. If I think it’s important enough I’ll drop a hint or two. If they come out and ask me and don’t like my answer then I’m paranoid or delusional. Time will go by and eventually they will find out for themselves. Do I get an apology? Nope. So now I say nothing even when asked.

Recently I did disclose some info confidentially to reassure someone without realizing who they were friendly with. Now this person no longer has any kind of contact with me. The person is extremely busy and has many others to correspond with. So now of course I’m thinking I did something bad. I feel guilty. Not unusual for me.

A point I am trying to make is just because you decide to get sober doesn’t make you a good person. If you were always a jerk you’re still going to be a jerk. If you always cheated, chances are until you figure out why you’re still going to cheat. That’s where the saying a “dry drunk” comes from. I know quite a few. They have never changed. They are still mean and nasty bullies. There are other issues going on but the mindset of just getting sober will fix everything is too strong. And always they are believed and I look like an ass until someday they slip up bad enough. I’m tired of it. It’s just too toxic. If you want to believe I’m just another crazy person who doesn’t know anything than that’s your right. I can change how I react to it. Or try to. It hurts more than anyone will ever know. Everyday it hurts like you’ve been shot in the chest. There’s this gaping hole that nothing can fill. No one talks to you, you spend holidays alone wondering what everyone else is doing. The saddest part is if you were invited you wouldn’t go out of fear. The monster in your head and the hole in your heart would keep you home where it’s safe. And then at these times you think of when you felt safe. So you think of your mom and the huge meals she would make and cry yourself to sleep.

Differences Between Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder

For someone who has multiple diagnoses it can be frustrating, exhausting and leave you feeling powerless when it comes to information or lack of information. Then you have misinformation which is just as harmful. I can’t tell you how many times a Dr. has diagnosed me with something and a year later after doing research on my own and getting 2nd and 3rd opinions find out I never had what I was diagnosed with. Case in point, Essential Tremors. I never had Essential Tremors. Two other doctors confirmed it after I researched everything and made sure I understood what it was, what caused it and if there were genetic factors. Again, most doctors do not like you to do this. Too bad. Find another doctor if they discourage you from being informed. Try not to sound like a know it all. Usually I’m pretty good at this. I nod my head or just say yes or no. It is only when I have said the same thing 10 times and I’m still ignored that I sound like a know it all. I hate repeating myself or raising my voice. My vocal cords tremor and I have trouble raising my voice. I shouldn’t have to.

Back to the topic at hand. I’ll try not to stray. For my hands sake I’m shortening Borderline Personality Disorder to BPD and Bipolar Disorder to BD. Got it? Thanks. Both disorders share some traits like impulsivity, unstable mood, and possible drug/alcohol abuse.

BPD is known mostly as a personality disorder where BD is a mood disorder. In BPD a person’s personality or moods change often and are more dependent on outside factors. In Bipolar Disorder mood episodes last longer sometimes days or weeks. There are some people that have been “stuck” in a depressive episode for up to a year. Episodes are more out of the blue and doesn’t NEED a trigger but will react to one. In BPD mood swings are more distinct, more specific than in Bipolar. In Bipolar they are unstable and go from periods of all encompassing mania or depression.

As you can see it’s difficult to differentiate between the two. It’s important to find the right doctor AND tell them the truth. If you hold back they can’t help you. Believe me they have heard it all. Good Luck.