Monthly Archives: September 2016

WHERE DO I PUT THE RAGE?

There are feelings that no matter how hard I try I have trouble controlling. Grief and anger. I don’t do well with either. I will internalize both until I reach a point of no return. In the past I would just drink it away. Of course I knew the feelings were still there but I would vent at the bar or who knows what.

I am beyond pissed that my sister shows little to no emotion about our brother being in the Hospital. When I talked to her this morning supposedly there had been some drama with my youngest niece. She told her mother that when she went to visit her dad in the Hospital he told her it was his liver and pancreas and he was dying. My sister immediately called “bullshit” on that story and said he probably wasn’t even that sick.

He may not be dying but he’s seriously ill. To lose over 50 pounds in a few weeks is not good. His skin is the color of wet cement and I know he isn’t telling me everything. I also know my youngest niece has emotional and addiction problems. She doesn’t always tell the truth.

My brother’s ex wife told my sister she was going to the Hospital to see what was going on. I told my sister that it wasn’t a good idea at all. My sister asked if it was me making that decision. I wanted to scream at her. She hasn’t talked to our brother in over 8 years and she’s questioning me? My brother CAN’T BE AROUND HIS EX. His ex knows this but insists on going to all of our family functions and showing up where he might be anyway. My brother hasn’t gone to any family functions in years. All of the blame of their divorce and the issues with the kids was put on my brother. I knew better. His ex always smiled and laughed no matter what. She faked her way through everything only showing her true feelings when no one else was around to see.

So after arguing with my sister this morning, my brother deciding to leave the Hospital against the Doctor’s advice, I was a little stressed. I called my best friend. She listened for a few minutes and then said angrily “You’re so negative! Every time I talk to you it’s negative!”. Ok. I accept that. But if I call just to talk she doesn’t have time because she’s cleaning, working in the yard, cleaning, grocery shopping, cleaning, working, cleaning, or oh yeah, cleaning. So I only call her when it’s important so I don’t bother her. This is what it’s come to with everyone. No one wants to just talk about the tv shows they’re watching or where they went for dinner anymore. Everyone is too busy except me. I’m angry, I want to put my fist through something like the old days. I know I can’t but I don’t know what to do with it. I feel consumed. My head hurts and my teeth ache. I’m tired of being nice because if I say the wrong thing I get threatened with being committed. I’m sick of people giving me ultimatums that are so not right. No one should be told they can’t see members of their family unless they put themselves in the Hospital or show proof that they are going to therapy. Even my father is angry at that.

I changed a Generic Medication to the Name Brand even though it would be $50 instead of $14. Within 4 days my Dad asked what I did the difference was so noticeable. You know how horrible I have been the last few months? I should’ve known. When I looked it up I could read all the complaints about how it isn’t released the same as the Name Brand and it contains Gluten. This is why you have to be your own advocate.

Ok, I’m done for now.

Advertisements

WHAT MY BROTHER TAUGHT ME

My brother is 7 years older than my sister and I. Yes, he caused a lot of trouble when we were younger. He caused trouble within the entire family. In my opinion he had some pretty good reasons to be angry and act out. As I look back on it there were just too many things that were kept from him for too long. He found out too much from other people when he should of heard it from my mom. He also never talked about how he felt about what he knew.

I would listen to the music my brother played at full volume and learned to love it. It was a constant battle in our house. I would hear his name being screamed by my mom or dad at least 15 times a day. PHIIIILLLIIIPPP!!! TURN THAT GODDAMN MUSIC DOWN NOW!!!! Then after an hour of my mom yelling my dad would come in. My dad only had to use his voice with us. He has a deep menacing voice. You just know he means it. Just his voice would make you want to throw up. To tell you the truth I would rather be hit with my mom’s slipper than be yelled at by my dad.

I love the bands and singers I do mostly because of my brother. The Babys, Alice Cooper, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, Meatloaf, Boston, Aerosmith, Rod Stewart, the list goes on and on. My brother made sure he took me to my first real concert which was of course Bon Jovi. My brother taught me how to smoke pot. He didn’t suggest I do it he just didn’t want me to look like an idiot because I didn’t know how. I was 14. That was the first time and I may have smoked it again once or twice. I never liked it. Like I’ve said before, gateway drug? Not for me it wasn’t and I believe if there were anything that acted as a gateway it would be alcohol.

My brother didn’t introduce me to alcohol but told me when at a bar make sure you always tip the bartender or waitress well. When the place gets busy later in the night they remember the big tippers and make sure they get served first. I always found this useful. He also told me to make friends with security, doormen, and bouncers. He said it never hurts. He looked at it that way because he was always in fights. I used it to meet people. It served me well and worked many times. And I don’t mean “friendly”. In L.A. the door guys were from Boston, I’m from Rhode Island. When they saw my license they were so excited to see someone close to their home who knew about “Chowda” and “Clamcakes” or the Red Sox that they introduced me to everyone because they were homesick. It was one of my favorite vacations. 

My brother also taught me not to trust people and the people you love the most are most likely the ones who will hurt you. He took me to Boston in a Limo to see The Blue Man Group where I laughed so much my face hurt. I loved watching him laugh. Then he ruined it by smoking and drinking in the Limo when the driver repeatedly told him not to. We then went to a Dueling Piano Bar. It would have been fun if he hadn’t been drinking or maybe if I had. I neglected to mention he was still married at the time so his wife was with us and so was my twin sister. I was forbidden to drink around my twin but that didn’t mean she wasn’t going to drink. So I had to watch the entire sad, embarrassing thing unfold. At the end of the evening my brother gave the driver an extra $300 for being an asshole. In my brother’s mind he thought this made it ok.

My brother taught me the figure four leg lock, the Indian Sunburn, The Flying Elbow, and something called The Chinese Chicken Wing. Yes, some of these do not sound politically correct blame wrestling in the 80’s.

My father taught us some softball and my brother did the rest. He was surprisingly great at baseball. He could pitch better than most in our State and went to the State Championships many times. He did well in football too but they wanted him to cut his hair so some words were exchanged with the coach as was his helmet. So no more football. The same went for basketball and wrestling.

He also passed on another trait to me. I loved to read. The kids in my class didn’t or if they did went at a much slower pace. If there was one thing I hated it was when a teacher would make us take turns reading passages out loud then discussing them. By that time I had already read the book and knew what it was about and was ready to move on. I would bring a book from home and read it while everyone else was reading out loud and trying to figure out the plot. ( I wasn’t in a slow class. It was a normal Junior Year High School English class) One teacher noticed. Just one. She watched me for a bit. After a while she came over to my desk one day and asked what I was doing. I told her I had already read the book, was tired of hearing everyone else, and was reading a new book. She didn’t look mad she looked like she had seen a ghost. I was never disrespectful to09171612062.jpg.jpg teachers so I don’t know why I was a little mouthy with her.

She asked if I had any older brothers. I said yes but he has a different last name. That’s when she laughed out loud. She asked me his name and I told him. She said “You’re like him. Too smart, you get bored easily. The difference is he caused trouble, a lot of trouble. It saddened me to see him waste that brain of his because no one knew what to do with him. So, what I’m going to let you do is read the books and I’ll give you the tests to take when it’s time. As long as you are learning something and quiet that’s good for me.” She was the best teacher I ever had. My brother remembered her fondly. The only one that ever tried with him.

I love him and I’m scared. He was so devastated when my mom passed away. People forget that it was just the 2 of them for years until she was with my dad. They had a special bond. He was chastised for his behavior at her funeral when I don’t think he should’ve been. My mom’s brothers thought he wasn’t showing respect to my dad. He just wanted a couple of minutes with her alone. My brother has suffered as much as everyone else. He just hides it better. Except yesterday when I saw his eyes water and his shoulders trying not to shake.

 

(THE PIC: MY BROTHER, HIS SON, MY COUSINS’S SON, MY BROTHER’S DAUGHTER, AND MY AUNTIE LEE)


HE AIN’T HEAVY HE’S MY BROTHER

I saw my brother right before I left for Florida. He stopped by with my oldest nephew his son. His son is great. He’s getting ready to start college and it’s one of the best schools. My nephew is just like my brother. He’s 6’3″ and heavyset. He still has a baby face though. My brother was in an ok mood and looked good.

Fast forward to today. When I heard my dad talking to someone I came down the stairs to see who it was. When I saw my brother my heart went into my throat. He looked like he had lost at least 50 pounds. It had only been 4 weeks since I had seen him last. His skin was gray, his face drawn, and he had dark circles under his eyes. H was telling my dad that he was going for a CAT Scan tomorrow because he’s been sick. He’s been throwing up, nauseous, having headaches and diarrhea. He’s also having pain in his back and one side of his stomach protrudes out. I can tell he’s scared but he’s also stubborn and won’t let anyone see him vulnerable. He wouldn’t let me go with him to his appointment.

I’m scared. The change in him is so dramatic. He drinks a lot and has for as long as I can remember. He started smoking pot at the age of 11. Alcohol came later but not much later. He’s never stopped doing either for any length of time. Except now. That’s what really scares me. He’s too sick to drink. That’s how I know it’s bad.

My brother still has not seen my sister’s youngest son. She hasn’t talked to him or seen him in years. She refuses to. When she holds a grudge and is done with you she’s serious.

My sister, my twin, told me 2 days ago that if I didn’t put myself in the Hospital that she couldn’t have me in her life. That would mean I couldn’t see my nephews either. I refuse to admit myself to any Hospital for any reason other than a Medical Emergency. My sister has never had to stay in a Mental Health Facility. I have. I was forced to by a Judge on 2 occasions and went willingly on 2 occasions. Each time it was the same. I never saw a Doctor, I watched TV, I slept, I received Benadryl, a few had arts and crafts, and then I went home. Tell me how any of that helped? These were 4 different facilities. There was a fifth where I received ECT and the Hospital was a nightmare.

I don’t respond well to threats and ultimatums. I did call my sister to tell her about our brother. She just said “Oh ok”. That was it. I’ve decided that I’m done. I’ve talked everything out with my father, we are in a good place now. That’s all that counts right now. After that I’ll try to be there for my brother. fb_img_14740552026192.jpg.jpg


BULLYING AND SUICIDE PREVENTION

On the homepage of my computer was a story today about a 9 year old boy. He was from West Virginia. Normally my eyes would’ve passed right by if it wasn’t for the fact that he resembled my nephew. Because of this I went on to read the story. Part of me wishes I hadn’t.

On September 10, 2016 it was National Suicide Prevention Day. It was also the day this adorable 9 year old boy was found hanging in his room. He was dead when his sister found him.

The boy’s biological grandmother had guardianship of him. She says that he was often bullied at school but handled it with humor or if he really had to he would fight. Recently though he had become more withdrawn than usual. His grandmother tried to get him to open up to her but he wouldn’t.

The school says the family never reported the bullying. They’re still “looking into it”.

His hair is dark blond, he has a too large forced grin on his face and there is something in his eyes that I recognize. There is a look of suppressed anger, despair and resignation.

Society sees bullying with boys in a different way. When my brother was younger and bullied by older kids in the neighborhood he was expected to fight back. If he didn’t he was told that it would just get worse. One day 5 of them came to our house. I remember it was snowing. My brother was about 13 at the time but was already taller and bigger than the children around him. The problem was my mother had taught him to be polite and respectful. Unfortunately other parents had not done the same. It had gotten so bad that to this day I can’t watch Full Metal Jacket without thinking of my brother and what he went through. I feel sick. But on this one day everything changed. Those 5 boys left on their hands and knees wondering what the hell had just happened. They had unleashed a monster that could never be put back. I hate to say it but my father helped. These “boys” were older and bigger and brought sticks, belts, and socks filled with rocks. 5 against 1 mind you. It was because he was so much bigger and older looking but never used his size that they singled him out. It sounds absurd but it was true. It was all downhill for him from there.

Once he realized his new found power he used it constantly to intimidate everyone around him. His teachers were frightened of him and my father felt defensive. My mother always had the attitude ” I brought you into this world I can take you out”. Not helpful. He was difficult to live with. He’s still a bully. 

I was also bullied. In a small way after taking it for so many years I became like my brother. This was only when I drank. I never could’ve done it sober. That’s the sad part. Even now I can’t stand up for myself and I’ve been sober for years. I’ve joked to my bestfriend after someone has hurt me that I was going to the bar to do a couple of shots, then going back to tell them off. She knows I won’t and understands how difficult it is for me. But we can at least laugh about it.

My nephew was bullied last year. He’s the smallest in his class. Another child hit him as hard as he could between his shoulder blades. My nephew threw up and had a bruise in the shape of a hand. He started having stomach problems, nightmares, and didn’t want to go to school at all. The child that hit him has behavioral problems and has an adult that supposedly supervises him in the classroom at all times. This is in addition to the teacher. I would like to know where both of them were. His problems are due to the fact that his parents are in the middle of a divorce, his mother is an alcoholic with mental health issues, and neither spends any actual time with him.

I can’t blame the children. These behaviors are learned. To drive another child into feeling so hopeless that their only choice is to remove themselves from this world is deplorable.

I know there has to be a solution. I just don’t see a solution to a problem that has been happening since the dawn of the time, happening soon. That doesn’t mean we do nothing in the mean time.10153640_10151988208565685_8901309243108819210_n


BANG, BANG, BANG

I’ve always been afraid of bullies. I’ve always hated bullies. When I drank I sometimes became violent if I felt I was the object of bullying or ridicule. I shouldn’t say sometimes because it was often. When you surround yourself with people who have their own issues and the only way they can make themselves feel better is to make others feel bad, that’s what happens. I fought a lot when drinking in my younger years. As I became older and learned that there are people bigger and badder than me I became afraid.

As a child I was always afraid of my father. I loved him very much but I saw the violence in him. I knew his strength. I had reason to be afraid. I didn’t think he would ever hurt me.

As he grows older he is becoming more violent towards me. I can take a lot of things from him but not this. For some reason he thinks it is acceptable to pound on any door I am behind. Whether it is my bedroom or the bathroom. I startle easily, I know this. When he sees my reaction it angers him. It’s something I can’t control, like the tremor in my hands now or the stuttering while trying to explain what just happened on the phone with my sister. She was too busy with friends over and then a Cub Scout Meeting. I’ve lived in this house for most of my life and now I think I have to leave it. I am afraid.

He’s never actually hit me. He’s just raised his arm. For me that’s enough. This isn’t the dad I know and love. But I’m no longer the daughter he loved. I can’t stop crying.

13567511_10210404311010967_6135275548524952346_n


FINE LINE BETWEEN GREED AND PAIN

mg_nikki-sixx_ovation-heroin-diaries_02-500x500I’m trying so hard not to call out certain people here. But my anger is getting the best of me. When I watch an interview with a musician that I once admired and I’m personally disgusted by him, it saddens me. His new band’s songs are of salvation, isolation, desperation, sorrow, outcasts, misery, panic, consequences, stigma, remorse, understanding, insight, and yes hope.

During the entire interview he yawned. Yup. He literally yawned. While discussing what they wanted to do with their new music, how they each had causes, one discussed bullying, the other Human Trafficking, and our friend here the Heroin epidemic (yawn). Very professional.

I realized a few years ago that he was taking the pain and anguish from the life stories of his fans, internalizing it and using it to write. Yes, he had addiction problems, major ones. He also I believe had depression. But some people are just not able to feel or access their own pain. They do not want to examine too closely what the root problem may have been. They can skim over it in writing a book but they don’t say “It ripped my f*cking heart out. I fell to the floor, unable to breath and howled until I had no voice.”. “It destroyed me to the point where I wanted to die, I didn’t care.”. It’s where a dry drunk or dry addict is born. They are more dangerous to be around than anyone else. They’re still the same asshole they always were, they’re just sober.

Fans have a habit of telling their life stories. I’ve been guilty of it. I mistakenly thought a person understood exactly what I was saying and where I was coming from. I admit to being manic and in the middle of a med change. I also caution anyone with celebrity status to probably NOT communicate with someone who is openly admitting to a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and other mental health issues. You might think that you are doing something nice, and if you leave it at one exchange than you probably are. If you continue the conversations but really have no plans of adding them to your Christmas card list, I suggest you don’t engage to begin with. Don’t get me wrong. Some are very understanding and some have been there themselves. But some still have delusions of grandeur, just like me.

There are so many artists that write from a place that they know. Blue October and Justin Furstenfeld is a superior example of writing from a place he knows and then we get the joy of hearing his music change and grow as he does. I don’t know how he has been able to do it. I admire him greatly. He could’ve written from his dark place continuously and made money off of the millions of people that identify with Depression, Addiction, or Suicidal Thoughts. He didn’t. He makes me have hope. I know everyone’s illness is different but when I watch him sing Fear and I watch the video I feel some peace. It’s only for a short time but I’ll take it.

I’m sure there are many artist’s that find inspiration from someone’s life story, current events, the media, their own life, but sometimes I think it’s different. When you go out of your way to cultivate these stories you cross a line. I doubt Stephen King is going to his local Mental Hospitals and asking patients to tell him their most horrific dreams and hallucinations. Is it apples and oranges?

When you go to another Country and photograph it’s beauty and reality I get it. But how far is too far? When you photograph the same underage, underweight girl being forced into prostitution that you photographed 6 months ago, at what point do you intervene? At what point does it stop being a “Statement photograph” or a “Statement Song” and just becomes you doing nothing.


The Nice Guys

 

mv5bnjm0ody5njyxnl5bml5banbnxkftztgwmtixodm5ode__v1_sx1500_cr001500999_al_ Movies, like music, have to move me in some way. I have watched hundreds and hundreds of movies. Remember at one time I received them for free managing a major video rental chain for 14 years. Movies were also an escape for me. When I was hungover and flooded with anxiety and guilt I would watch up to 6 movies in a day. It was the only way I could cope. I’m grateful to the writers, directors, actors, etc, that literally kept me alive at times by placing me in another world.

The Nice Guys starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling is an Action/Comedy done by the same writer of the first Lethal Weapon and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. I’ve seen all of the Lethal Weapon movies and enjoyed the first one the most. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was intelligent, and just the right showcase for Robert Downey Jr. to show audiences that he is a multifaceted actor.

The Nice Guys takes place in L.A. during the 70’s where everything and anything can happen. Holland March (Ryan Gosling) is a licensed Private Investigator and single father. He doesn’t get the big money making cases and spends most of his time drinking and smoking. His young daughter is the adult in the relationship here. Jaded beyond her years she makes sure her father makes it to his appointments and stays out of trouble as best she can. When March is hired by an elderly woman to find her “missing” niece he runs into trouble in the form of Jackson Healey (Russell Crowe).

Healey isn’t really a P.I. he’s more of a fixer. He is caught up in the same case as March. Right from their first meeting the rapport between the two is so impressive you find yourself immediately hooked. This is what makes this movie so outstanding.

Russell Crowe’s range in this movie believe it or not surprised me. In Gladiator he was a grieving father and husband seeking revenge. Believe me he deserved every bit of praise for that role. But in this movie you see a comedic side, a warm crinkle with his eyes while he talks to the daughter, regret, comradery, indifference, and wit. I know it sounds impossible but he’s all of these at some point in the film. He is a true joy to watch.

Now a few words about Ryan Gosling. It’s been a long time since I have liked a Ryan Gosling film. I’m not sure who has been picking the scripts or if he thought an “experimental artistic” film was the way to go but none of it has worked for me. That being said, he is the best bumbling, down on his luck, incompetent, entertaining, sympathetic, sidekick I’ve seen in a long time. There are times where you actually feel his hopelessness and my eyes filled up. I’m not ashamed to say it. This is the best I’ve seen him in years. His character’s relationship with his daughter is one filled with love. There are flaws but love stands out more.

Angourie Rice plays Ryan Gosling’s daughter Holly in the film. Cynical, streetwise, and too mature, she captures your heart and everyone who stars in the film too. Her relationship with Crowe’s character is one of affection from the time she meets him and offers him a Yoohoo. I know I read too much in people’s eyes and in storylines. I like to think that he became a better person because of her. Where he was once indifferent after being around Holly he felt needed. His concern for her and eventually her father was written in a way where it wasn’t corny, it just was. I have to say I kind of didn’t want it to end.


Trouble With “Far Behind”

When I was angry and upset I sent the link for my “Far Behind” post to my sister. I honestly didn’t remember doing it until she brought it up this morning. Now we are no longer speaking.

She disputes most of what I remembered and wants her picture taken off anything of mine. She also wants me to “get help” and “put my big girl pants on”. I have only been back from Florida 2 days and have already had arguments with my sister and father. Both of them telling me I need to change and one telling me I’m lucky he put’s up with me.

Here is one of my favorite movie quotes that sums up how I feel most of the time about the people I love. It’s from the movie Gladiator. It’s Commodus talking to his father, Caesar.

One kind word, one full hug while you pressed me to your chest and held me tight, would have been like the sun on my heart for a thousand years. What is it in me you hate so much? All I ever wanted was to live up to you, Caesar, Father. Father, I would butcher the whole world if you would only love me….

I have thought of this scene often since seeing the movie 3 times when it was first released in the theater. I often felt like there was something about me my sister hated and no matter what I did nothing was going to change that. I also felt like I embarrassed her. This was before I was diagnosed as Bipolar and before I started drinking heavily. I’ve said it before, I have always had an idea about how sisters should be. They should spend time together laughing, sharing memories, making new ones, and cherishing the time they have left. It’s what I want, it’s what my mother would’ve wanted.

But I can’t continue to let this rip me to shreds. I hang up the phone with her with a buzzing in my head, a static that I want to make disappear. I want the pain in my chest to go away, I want the hollow feeling in my stomach to stop. I find myself looking around for a way to do this. I have hit my head against the wall several times, I have thrown things, I have picked up knives. I’m lucky I could see through the red in my tears to put the knives down and not hurt myself. I still hurt.

I wish I could say it was just my sister I felt this way about but it isn’t. There are other people I allow to make me feel this way. If I could snap out of it I would. If I could put my big girl pants on I would. If I could be happy I would.mv5bmta0mdewndm0mtveqtjeqwpwz15bbwu3mdq0ndy3mtq__v1_sy1000_cr0015041000_al_


Vacation

I’ll be returning home from Florida on Sunday. That’s if I don’t get bumped because of the weather. I do want to go home, but know that nothing has changed. When I arrived here from Rhode Island, it didn’t take long to figure out I had brought my loneliness with me.

I had also brought my fears and anxiety. It doesn’t matter where you go your head goes with you. I have cried here, laughed here, and gained 10 pounds here. The best part was being able to spend some time with my Auntie Lee. My mom’s sister. She reminds me of my mom so much it hurts. We haven’t been able to see each other as much as I wanted. She is in the middle of leaving one job for another.

The house I rented is beautiful. I was going to stay another week but Capital One froze my credit card for suspected fraud. There was no fraud. The Real Estate company was going to give me a deal if I went directly through them and not a third party. I called Capital One to ask about a cash advance because I had never done one. That’s when they froze my account. This left me in a very bad place. I don’t like feeling like I have no back up plan or funds. I needed a place to stay in case the expected Hurricane became worse. I needed to fill my medications.

Capital One insisted on having copies of my driver’s license, Social Security card, and bank statement to take the hold off. I’m on vacation. I don’t travel with my social security card. I have them my driver’s license, Medicare card and bank statement. It wasn’t good enough. I fought, cried, and begged for 4 days.

At one point a woman asked “Don’t you have any friends that can take a picture of your social security card?” and she laughed. I didn’t. Because I don’t.

On the fourth day a nice older man who looked at everything with fresh eyes and was disgusted, took over the case. 45 minutes later the hold was taken off and I thanked him while stuttering and crying.

Humans are the same no matter where you go.

My kidney and stents are giving me major problems. The Psychiatrist still insists my medications are not affected by my CKD or stents. He also insists my having Celiac Disease doesn’t matter with my meds. If this is all true than everything my family says is true. I am not trying hard enough or at all.


%d bloggers like this: