Sometimes It Is Me

I admit that my feelings spin out of control. I snowball down a great big hill collecting sticks and stones that hurt me along the way. I know I do this. Stopping this behavior is something different. I can tell you how many Doctors and Therapists I’ve had if you want a number. I can tell you how many I went to that never picked up on the fact I am Bipolar even when the symptoms, as I look back, were like neon signs. I know hindsight is 20/20. But come on. None of them asked about my spending habits, sex, how I saw myself in social situations, if I was ever impulsive, if people sometimes questioned my energy or talking too fast or too much. Nope. They all continued to ask about sexual abuse and that was it. Through the years as things continued to get worse I would look from time to time for a group or therapist. I never found one. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, but I knew something was.

It hurt me immensely to know that my sister has been going to a support group for people with family members who are mentally ill. I still can’t find anyone. In Rhode Island they lump All Mentally Ill people together. So there are high functioning and low functioning. And some even have no function. They also consider people in detox to be part of the equation. Even when you are hospitalized they mix the mentally ill with the patients who are detoxing. When I was forced to stay at one Hospital for 4 days after ECT I was also forced to go to AA meetings. I had been sober 4 years at that point and for reasons of my own do not agree with AA. You had to go twice a day. I was told if I didn’t go I would have to stay in the hospital longer. I finally gave in when I found out the people who came volunteered to come when they could be home or with their families. They were mostly older men and Veterans. I’m glad I went because it was it was the only kindness I received.

I’m saying the same the same thing over and over and no one is listening. I don’t want to be like this. I don’t wake up and think “I would like to cry all day or feel like I want bash my head into a wall”. I would like to be some kind of happy but there is always this weight on my chest, this pain, a knot in my stomach, a feeling of being lost in a crowd. It never ends until I sleep. At the end of July I have to go under anesthesia and sometimes I wish I could stay there for a little while. It’s quiet, a bright light, sometimes I see my mom, sometimes I’m at the beach. I have to be careful because the last two times they had trouble bringing me out of the anesthesia. They called my Psychiatrist and he told him it was Catatonia due to the Conversion Disorder. I told them I have Conversion Disorder a million times but no one listens or they think it isn’t real.

I have hurt people recently. I’ve had a short temper and said things in fear and anger. I usually don’t say anything. I just swallow whatever I want to say down. I think I’ve been doing this for too long and now I’m lashing out. You get tired of being dumped on and never saying anything. But when I do finally say something I get in trouble and it’s because I’m Bipolar and need help. I’m really confused what it really is. Is it Mental Illness or I am realizing I’m a 43 year old woman who has been stepped on enough and doesn’t have to be anymore? I know some things were above and beyond but most were not. I’ll continue to search for help and a healthy outlet for anger.

When Loved Ones Seek Therapy Because Of You

My sister told me recently that she has been going to group therapy for people who have mentally ill members of the family. She has been going because I am and have been toxic in her life. I have been disrespectful to her husband and mean to her. This broke my heart more. I have been selfish in my disease and need to take responsibility for my actions.

If I have to hear that crap from her or her husband one more time my head will explode. I was disrespectful to her husband ONE time in over 20 years. He has done and said plenty of things that I have had to bite my tongue about. When he decided to discipline my dog by shoving her with his foot in her chest across the floor, I said nothing. She limped for several days after. It was my fault, not the dog’s fault. He had no right. He was a guest in our home and she only weighed 9 pounds. My beautiful Pap. He has also called me without my sister knowing to chastise me because I upset her in some way. This is not his business either. He will sit in front of other family members and call my brother a “drunken loser”, “a degenerate gambler”, “a deadbeat dad”, etc. My brother has always supported his kids and my brother in law has no idea what my brother has been through in his life. It wasn’t easy for him. It doesn’t excuse his behavior but it at least you can understand why he does some of things he does. My brother in law just started his sobriety and thinks that  gives him the right to judge everyone else. Why isn’t my sister in a support group for that?

She doesn’t want to have contact with me. I upset her too much. I ask too much of her. I have only asked her to love me. She said she never said I could stay with them if something happened with our dad and I needed a place to stay for a short time. I lost it on the phone. I cried so hard and stuttered so much she hung up on me. So now I have just my dad who is keeping me prisoner here. I was told that if I even take a few days at the beach not to come back. I have a Kidney Infection in the one I have left, side effects from a medication I’m back on, no support, my back is out, I have not had a simple hug or show of support in a long time. I feel like I am done. I feel tired.

Have You Ever?

Have you ever felt so alone you sometimes wondered if you were invisible? Have you ever had such and ache in your chest but didn’t know why? An ache like you lost someone, or you are lost and you just WANT TO GO HOME! The problem is you are home. Have you ever wanted to get on the next plane to anywhere? Get in your car and just leave? But you’re afraid no one would even notice. Have you ever begged someone to just hug you?? I begged my sister to tell me everything would be ok and to hug me. She wouldn’t. She said she wouldn’t “Enable my behavior”. I would’ve called it a human kindness. She has been to my house twice in the last 2 months. No help like she had promised she would do. Everything is on me again. Right now my father has rented a machine to turn up the soil in the front yard. He’s been working outside in the heat since he got back from dialysis at 10:30 a.m. it’s now 1:10 p.m. he has a fracture in his back, low platelets, a UTI, edema, a few heart problems including a quadruple bypass and his aortic aneurism is leaking. I’m done being yelled at and treated like crap by a 73 year old who obviously wants to die. He has said he wants to be with my mom. I am stressed to the limit. Medications are not working, I have no support, no one to talk to. I’m becoming meaner and meaner. It’s time for a break. I can’t startle every time I hear my dad yell at me. Now this has carried over to every time I hear a loud male voice near me. This is no way to live. He’s having another surgery soon which I’ll have to take care of him after. Too much.

Bipolar Medications & Being A Lab Rat

How many people have had bad experiences with their medications only to be told by their Doctor that it COULDN’T POSSIBLY be their meds?

It happens to me often. Around the third time of me saying it, a light bulb goes on in the same Doctor’s eyes and he agrees with me. Why do I have to suffer for almost a year before they believe me?

I think that Topamax isn’t doing me any favors. It’s making me cry and making me cranky. Even with Adderall  I just want to sleep. I think everything I do is wrong. My sister and ex sister in law keep saying I need to “be somewhere”. Where the hell do they think that “somewhere” is exactly? They don’t want to say it but they mean a hospital. Neither one of them have ever been so it’s easy for them to say. It isn’t like going to Club Med for a few relaxing weeks of fun in the sun where we make S’mores and baskets. Idiots. I’m extremely touchy about the situation because I’ve been more than once. None of my experiences were pleasant and I also didn’t receive any kind of help. So now I hide in my room and cry.

Medications For Mental Health

For a period of time I was on a combo of Topamax, Viibryd, and Adderall. Please excuse any spelling mistakes, my computer and brain are a little funky. I began having a problem where in the morning I was either crying nonstop or being an extreme bitch to everyone. Usually it would get a little better by 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon. When I had been in the hospital for 5 days for my kidneys they didn’t give me the Topamax. I noticed a change in my mood. When I got out of the hospital I tapered myself off of it. I did well for a few a few months but actually had put myself into a manic state. I went back on it but at half the dose. The same problem started again. I stopped again. I went to my Psychiatrist who said I needed to go back on it at the prescribed dose and give it 4 to 6 weeks to really get into my system.

It’s been a few weeks and I am having trouble handling anything without being mean or crying. Last week I found my dad unconscious on the front lawn with his pants and underwear halfway down. He was late coming home from dialysis. I had been calling his cell and looking for him. He didn’t know what year it was. He was exposing himself to the neighborhood because he kept insisting he had to urinate. He had somehow lost a shoe while driving home. How he drove I have no idea. How the dialysis place could have let him go like that I have no idea. They swear he wasn’t like that when he left.

Having Bipolar and Conversion Disorder while dealing with each new shock is wearing on me. My siblings are of no help. Did either one think of how hard it was for me to clean what was the equivalent of 4 blood transfusions off of our bathroom floor and walls? No. I did it though. Or to wake up and come down the stairs only to see him sleeping on the couch in his underwear covered in diarrhea? No. But like with my mother, I cleaned him and the rest of it. I can’t keep doing this. Yesterday he called me a bitch and told me if I left not to come back. I wanted to take a few days to myself and let them deal with things.

My Doctor is now afraid to do ECT on me. The Conversion Disorder has gotten worse. The last two times I had to go under anesthesia they had trouble bringing me out because my brain didn’t want to come out. I have to go under again the end of July and he’s worried. I have no choice. If I don’t change my kidney stents I die. My family doesn’t understand how broken my brain is and they let me continue to endure the stress with no help. My father refuses help from outside sources. If I let the state place me somewhere it would be in an emergency situation. This would put me with the most severe cases of mentally ill. All of my doctors agree that this would be a bad thing. I would decompensate and only get worse. I don’t know what to do anymore.

Feeling Alone and Knowing It

I understand that unless you are Bipolar or have a Mental Illness you will never be able to truly comprehend what some of us go through. Something that others would “get over” in time, takes me years or sometimes never to “get over”. I am told almost daily to “stop living in the past”.

Let me ask this. Would you want someone to whip you everyday then pour salt in your wounds? Would you want your head to feel like it’s going to explode with the pressure? Your heart with the pain? I don’t think so. Neither do I. But it’s what it feels like. Often. I can’t pray it away, wish it away, chant it away, think of a stop sign, snap a rubber band, or use any behavioral management. If it’s going to come I can’t stop it. I can only wait it out and hope it leaves me whole and not in pieces.

There was an incident recently where someone said something to me about how I need to get used to being alone. They said my father’s health is failing and once he passes I’ll be alone. It isn’t like I have children like my sister does. Well, thanks for that pep talk! Assholes, everybody has one. I would’ve loved to have children if I hadn’t spent most of my child baring years drunk. I refused to bring a child into this world that I couldn’t afford, to be raised in dysfunction. When I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I made the decision not to have children because of my family history. I was kind of on the fence. If I had met a man who was kind and stable who knows? Then due to kidney disease and other health issues the choice was taken from me. I went into Menopause at 39/40 years of age. So that was that.

I always thought my twin sister would be there for me. I should have known better. Even when we were younger she didn’t want us to have the same friends. I was not allowed to be at the same parties she was in high school. It got a little better when we got older but we never were as close as I wanted us to be. She thinks we are too close if we talk more than 3 times a week. My mother and her sister talked sometimes 3 times a day! And would see each other almost every other day! They talked and laughed. How I miss hearing them laugh. I miss a lot of things.

Good news is my dad is feeling a little better. He sold all of his chickens and a few pigeons. That’s progress. His mood has improved a little bit but it comes and goes. I still get the brunt of it as usual.