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One of my earliest memories is a Birthday Party for my twin sister and I. At the time you could have your Birthday Party at McDonald’s. I believe were around 9/10 years old.
At one point in the party I was outside. I remember standing outside the glass doors watching everyone laugh and fun with such ease. My twin seemed to be able to do this with no effort. I stood there watching for a long time. I thought “why can’t I be like them?”, “I want to go home”, “I can’t do this it’s too hard”. Even at that age I felt uncomfortable around people. I always felt like I was on the other side of that glass door watching other people live normal lives.
This feeling has never gone away. Not in 44 years. I just deal with it better now by pretending or isolating myself.
My mom was extremely close to one of her sister’s my Auntie Lee. I love my Auntie Lee. She does remind me a lot of my mom. It’s selfish but it’s one of the reasons I love to spend time with her. She is also the one other person who has accepted completely for who I am. Although like my mother she has no mental/verbal filter. lol
I talked to her the other day and told her I’ve been having a hard time lately. I also mentioned that I’m having trouble making the smallest decisions like what underwear put on! She laughed at that one. (Her laugh makes me happy and breaks my heart at the same time. It’s exactly like my mom’s.) She did say to me “Honey, you’ve always been that way. I think you’re just now noticing it. You’ve always been different. You were always more sensitive then the other kids, you would rather be around the adults or by yourself, you didn’t talk much you just soaked up what everyone else said and did. You were always observant, way more than kids your age. But you were so quiet it was painful to watch”.
In a way I was relieved that someone had noticed something. I was also sad that some people could see those things in me and not do anything about it. It’s hard to explain to my Dad or my sister that I’ve had symptoms from an early age. It’s hard for them to understand how much I’ve been through. I don’t want pity, I just don’t want what I’ve been through to be dismissed. Years and years of suffering I can’t even describe. And now medications do not work.
When I was younger Manic Episodes were great. Tons of energy, babbling, spending sprees, getting dressed up and going out, taking off to wherever I wanted, my own version of a Rockstar life. As I got older my Manic Episodes started to change. Specifically when I started to go through Menopause early. Now Manic meant irritability, anger and resentment. A feeling of being trapped in a cage. My Depressive Episodes started to last longer.
Bipolar Depression I suppose is different for everyone. I know I wouldn’t wish mine on my worse enemy. (Okay maybe I would) It’s the giant aching hole in my chest that’s filled with loss, grief, worthlessness, self loathing, guilt, shame, and just overwhelming sadness. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel. My brain plays memories of events I would rather not go over again constantly. Thoughts race around in my head about things I had no control over but somehow blame myself for anyway. And I keep asking why my twin sister doesn’t love me as much as I love her.
That is a big issue with me. When she told me she hosting Pre Party for Women’s March then going with a group of women I was happy for her. But she never once asked if I wanted to go. The march was focused on the Affordable Care Act and defunding Planned Parenthood. My sister brought up her “harassment” when she used to get her birth control pills from Planned Parenthood. The more she talked and the more I realized I wasn’t going to be invited, the angrier I became.
I wanted to scream at her. I wanted to ask her if she’s ever been called a “baby killer” at a party for everyone to hear. If she ever walked into an apartment for a party and saw hundreds of photocopied pictures of dead fetuses taped to the walls. The apartment owner thought it would be punishment because he had just become a Born Again Christian. I will remind you that this is the same person who sold drugs, slept with underage girls, and beat me to the point of unconsciousness. There were about 30 people already there. Instead of leaving like a normal person would do I sat down without any expression on my face and drank a pint of Firewater and about 16 beers. I wanted to ask her if she’s ever been called a “baby killer” and spit on by her best friend’s boyfriend. I accidentally punched him in the face. But it was pointless. I keep expecting people to understand things they are not capable of.
I go to the Psychiatrist on February 7th and I’m scared. Nothing has been working for a long time now. Only the fast acting medications like Adderall and Klonopin work. Everything else doesn’t. I’m tired of being an experiment. There has to be a better way. I’m getting worse. I leave the house once a month. I don’t want to do anything or go anywhere. I have no interest in anything. Something has to give.
Because of the press conference recently given by Vice President Pence I have decided to discuss a private and deeply sensitive matter that I have gone through. I can no longer sit back and just say “I agree” with the side that represents my view. I feel a need to explain why I have the view I have. This will be difficult to write and probably difficult for some to read. I understand that but I feel it’s necessary.
As some people know I am diagnosed as Bipolar with Conversion Disorder, General Anxiety and Social Phobia. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was around 36/37 years old but had these problems from a very young age.
Many Doctors missed the correct diagnosis. I started drinking at 16/17 and was a daily drinker by 18/19. I would start to have the shakes by 5 p.m. and would go to a bar that knew me and served underage people. I couldn’t hold a glass, mug, bottle or can, so the bartender knew to put my beer in a mug with a straw and push it towards me so I could just bend my head down and sip until the shakes stopped.
When you are young with Bipolar Disorder and using alcohol to self-medicate the results can be life altering. The decisions you make while manic and drinking are decisions you would never ever normally do. The spending sprees, irrational decisions and promiscuity. The last one is complex. Part of it was alcohol, part of it was if I was manic, part of it was to prove my self worth, part of it I don’t remember if I had a choice because I blacked out.
When I was 20 and a full blown alcoholic I found out I was pregnant. I had thought of keeping it. My best friend sat down with me and talked to me honestly. I already knew on my own what she was saying. I drank daily and wasn’t sure if I could stop at that time, I wasn’t 100% sure who the father was (it was between 2 people) and neither one of them were fit to be around children, I didn’t want to be on Welfare living on my own with a baby. I had seen so many girls at that time who had children and partied every night. I didn’t want that. The thing was no one could tell how much my drinking and the father’s drinking would have an effect on the baby. My parents were against me keeping the baby right from the start.
The deck was stacked against me. In the back of my mind I always knew I was different. I just didn’t know how or why. I wanted children but only if I was in a stable relationship where a child would be loved by two parents and there would be financial stability. I couldn’t offer any of that. So I chose to terminate the pregnancy.
The experience was extremely difficult. The picketers yelling and throwing things at me were bad enough. They had also poured some type of glue in the locks of the building where Emergency Vehicles would come and go. So if something happened a woman would most likely die because they destroyed the locks. How Pro Life of you.
I won’t walk you through the procedure but it wasn’t pleasant. Leaving was worse when I still a little groggy and a man asked me if I was okay and I didn’t realize he was one of the protesters. I made the mistake of thinking he was a kind stranger. Instead he called me lovely names as I stood there and cried until my mom tore him a new asshole and we left.
Hindsight is 20/20. My life only went downhill from there. My Bipolar Disorder continued to get worse as time went on. My entire life did. Even after my diagnosis things have not gotten much better. There is no way I can think of that I could’ve made it work. My mom would’ve helped but not long after she was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. It doesn’t mean I don’t wonder about it or grieve. I went through early menopause at 39 and my chance of ever having children was taken away. Sometimes I wonder if it was a punishment. But I know, my family knows, my best friend knows, that there was no way I could’ve had a child at that time or if I would’ve stopped drinking.
There is a lot of trauma connected to the entire situation. The fact I’ll now never have children hurts. What other people don’t realize is that it’s deeper than that. At 44 I’ve never been in love, my dad has, my sister has. They don’t understand the ache and feeling of loss I have most of the time. They’ve both had families and I never will. It’s something they both take for granted and I sometimes can’t stop crying because I see the future and it’s a lonely one.
I don’t agree with using abortion as a form of birth control. I have unfortunately known people who have had several abortions. Once I can understand, more than that is a little iffy. I don’t feel that a group made up of mostly older men should have a say in anything I do with my body specifically when more than half the time the man who took part in the procreating wants nothing to do with the woman or the issue at hand when they find out.
There are many reasons women go to Planned Parenthood. The women who go there for the termination of a pregnancy do so for many reasons. Some have been abused, raped, or are too poor to have another child. Until you have been in someone else’s situation how can you judge them?
There’s a story in the local news right now that has been bothering me for a long time. It has to do with a young girl that had a mostly online/texting “romantic” relationship with a young boy. She knew he had tried to kill himself previously and that he was feeling suicidal again.
Instead of suggesting that he talk to his parents or a professional, she encouraged him to kill himself and even gave him suggestions. When he was in his truck inhaling carbon monoxide, she was on the phone with him. At one point he changed his mind and got out of the truck. She talked him into getting back in. They found his body the next morning.
Her defense attorney first tried say her texts were not admissible in court because they were protected by Freedom of Speech. I almost threw up when I heard that. When I read the transcripts of all of their interaction I was sickened at how manipulative she was. She reminded me of someone I knew.
I attended Middle School and High School with a girl who somehow was able to get people to do anything she wanted. She never got in trouble because her mother worked for the State as a Psychiatrist in the Juvenile Court System. Her mother knew many people. Her mother also turned a blind eye to what her daughter did.
The first time I had a problem with her was because of my sister. For some reason she saw my sister as a threat to her popularity. This was in Middle School. She told the biggest, baddest, scariest girl at the High School that my sister was talking about her. My sister didn’t even know who she was. I’ve said it before, talk all you want about me but don’t you dare do anything to hurt my family. So we were receiving phone calls from this older girl threatening to beat my sister up. I stepped in and told the girl to name the place and the time, but she wouldn’t be dealing with my sister she would be dealing with me.
I was known to be quiet but I was a lot bigger than the other girls and some people had seen me react to anyone who threatened my sister or best friend. The older girl asked around and the matter was dropped. It wasn’t for me because I knew who started it.
In High School my sister became friends with the trouble maker. She disguised herself well. Until she had falling out with a girl on the cheer leading team. After a party one night the cheerleader went back to her car to find a pig’s head left sitting on the roof. Another night my sister and some of her friends said something the little sociopath didn’t like so she took a rope, tampons, and maxi pads and connected all of the door handles together so they couldn’t get into the car. Then she hung tampons all over the car and stuck maxi pads everywhere.
She didn’t like her roommate in college so she dunked her toothbrush in urine, put urine in her mouth wash, shampoo, and put urine in a spray bottle and sprayed her sheets with it.
None of this compares to what she did to my ex sister in law’s brother. He dated her for a few years. I told him to get out of the relationship. She did things on purpose to make him jealous then tell him he wasn’t really a man. He had some depression problems and drank. Towards the end of their relationship he called her and said he was going to kill himself. Her response was “I don’t believe you. You’re a pussy. Why don’t you come down here and do it in front me? Or are you too chicken?”
He took a razor and a shotgun and went to her dorm room. She let him in. She said “I still don’t think you have the guts to do it.” He slit his wrists in front of her. During this time someone called campus security. She stood there laughing. When he heard that security was coming he took the shotgun and ran into the woods. They found him with the barrel in his mouth put he was almost passed out from blood loss.
Personally I wanted to beat the living crap out of her. But people like her don’t change. He stayed away from her but the damage was done. We’re in our forties and he has never had a successful relationship. I find that sad. He’s kind, extremely handsome, generous, loyal to his family, and loved my mom like his own.
Sometimes I think someone needs to be held accountable for their actions in situations like these. If you are aware that a person is unstable and encourage them to hurt themselves and they do some of that is on you. If you manipulate a person with your so called “love” then there should be consequences.
All of this really hits a sore spot with me. It angers me and makes me incredibly sad at the same time.
I was born in 1973, born five minutes after me was my fraternal twin sister. There is a picture of us only a few weeks old where it appears she is trying to punch me in the face. That should’ve been a good indicator of things to come.
Although we were not identical, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins still were confused about who was who. When we were born we weighed a little under 5 pounds each and stayed in the hospital until we gained enough weight to leave. Except one of us never stopped gaining. Starting at an early age that’s how relatives would tell us apart. They didn’t care if I heard them or not. “D is the fat one and Deb is the skinny one” is what I constantly had to listen to. As I became older I would scream in my head “Are you f*cking stupid? One of us is blond and the other is a red head! If you don’t know the difference after 15 years than don’t bother!”. There were honestly times I wanted to physically hurt one of them. I would be playing with cousins and one would get hurt. I would automatically get blamed because I was “big” and must have “squished” one of them.
I tried to be invisible. It was easier that way. If I drew attention to myself that would be asking for punishment, humiliation, or ridicule. I wore baggy clothes and hid my face behind my hair for many years.
I always had a love for make up, hair products, perfume, clothes, but I was limited in what I could do. There was little clothing available at that time for 16 year old girls who were a size 18. Most clothing was marketed for much older women or what little I thought was nice was extremely expensive.
By the time I was a Senior in High School my Bipolar Episodes (Not Diagnosed Yet) were in full swing. I would have feelings of wanting to belong so badly I thought the world would end. I wanted a guy to actually see me for once. I wanted to be wanted. Smoke and Mirrors became my best friends.
Not many are born knowing how to apply make up correctly or blow dry hair just right. I had to learn in order to wear my “mask” of confidence that was boosted with alcohol. When I was all made up and had a new outfit on I actually felt a little good about myself. Add the alcohol in and I was hot. That can only last so long. 20 years to be exact.
When I was diagnosed as Bipolar and stopped drinking I also stopped socializing. I did start to lose some weight. The Doctor told me I would at first because of the medication and because I have Celiac Disease. A year went by and I was down almost 130 pounds. My family was worried. Well most of them. I now weighed less than my twin sister and she wasn’t taking it well.
I wasn’t doing well either. I had this new body in the mirror, a completely different face, I had changed my hair color as well. I wasn’t sure how to dress for this body. My sister refused to go clothes shopping with me. I would sit in a dressing room quietly crying because I was confused about whether I was wearing a shirt or a dress. Did I have a camel toe or was it suppose to fit that way? Some of the clothing should’ve come with directions. I finally had to ask women in the dressing rooms to help me. I was embarrassed. I was angry that after all the years of bullying and pain my sister would hold this against me.
When I received a compliment I didn’t know what to do with it. When someone found out I had lost a lot of weight I felt like I had to tell them it wasn’t through diet and exercise because it would be wrong to let them think that.
When I started to notice dents in my temples and indentations in my cheeks I became concerned. My Hematologist told me I had “Muscle Wasting Disease” which happens with Autoimmune Disorders. What we didn’t know was that my Kidneys had been Failing. I wouldn’t find out until it was almost too late.
Bipolar Disorder, Alcoholism, Obesity, and even being too thin all carry Stigma. The things I’ve had said and done to me because of one or the other I still can’t forget. I used “Beauty Tools” to try to hide the real me even when I lost weight. I never leave the house without a mask. But sometimes they serve a purpose.
While in Cosmetology School and working in Salons I would do hair for women who couldn’t afford it. Women who hadn’t had their hair done in years or ever. I can’t tell you how many had tears rolling down their faces when I was finished. As they stood up their posture would be different than when they first came in. Their eyes brighter and their smiles confident. I know it’s only hair but sometimes it’s the human interaction and having a chance to relax and feel good about yourself that can make a difference. It’s those times I enjoyed the most.
I try not to talk about Politics too much. One reason is I don’t feel that I’m well versed in the subject. The other reason is it always causes problems. I found myself changing my mind recently after talking to my sister.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
Around 55 million women have access to crucial preventive care at no cost under the Affordable Care Act at this time.
If the new Congress (made up of congressional Republicans) repeal the Affordable Care Act and deny federal funding for Planned Parenthood it will cripple women’s access to affordable health care.
Right now it’s illegal for government agencies and federally funded health insurers and hospitals to discriminate based on sex, race, color, origin, disability or age. It’s the first time federal civil rights law has prohibited discrimination based on sex in federally funded health programs.
The Affordable Care Act has mandated services. One is the requirement that all contraceptive methods approved by the FDA must be covered by insurance without cost sharing. Another is that all small group and individual health plans provide coverage for maternity care.
Women would lose access to preventative services such as annual exams, supplies for new moms, counseling for domestic and intimate partner violence, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. All of these services are covered under the Affordable Care Act.
DEFUNDING PLANNED PARENTHOOD
What the majority of the public doesn’t know is that only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services account for abortion services. But that is what their name is constantly equated with.
Their clinics actually provide breast cancer screening, testing and treatment for STDs, annual pap tests, Cervical Cancer screening, birth control, and more. For more than a hundred years Planned Parenthood has provided health services to women who otherwise couldn’t afford them.
If the Affordable Care Act is repealed and Planned Parenthood is defunded, it not only puts the physical health of millions of women in jeopardy but also affects their economic security. When women have access to affordable healthcare they are able to financially support themselves and their families without the added stress or burden of how to obtain Health Insurance.
I never really thought about these issues that much. It’s been in the last few years that they’ve become important.
When I talked to my twin sister yesterday she told me about going to the local march in our city. I was worried after watching the news and when Planned Parenthood is possibly involved things can get a little intense. She knew this.
Years ago when my sister didn’t have Health Insurance and was dating her now husband she went to Planned Parenthood for her birth control. She had no choice. It was all she could afford. She made the mistake of asking me to go with her on one occasion.
At first I was oblivious. We got out of the car and a man approached me. He asked me how I was. I said “Fine, how are you?”. I wasn’t thinking this man was a threat. Then he started spewing vile things at my sister and I about being “baby killers” and he was close enough where he was touching my sister. Well, the red veil came down over my eyes. I’m not exactly sure what I said or did. I do know the man ran away and my sister banned me from ever going with her again. When it comes to my family something happens to me. When it comes to myself, not so much.
When my sister had her first child she had to return to work fairly soon. She was breast feeding. She would have to pump her breast milk at work and her husband would pick it up at her break time.
The part that disgusted her and me was where she was forced to pump her breast milk.
No woman should have to express their child’s nutrients while hiding in a supply closet that doesn’t lock or in a bathroom stall.
Many times my sister was “accidentally” walked in on while she was using the supply closet by male co-workers. She didn’t want to use a dirty bathroom but finally she didn’t have a choice. Now employers have to provide a separate place to pump breast milk.
My sister is part of the Affordable Care Act. She has two of the most beautiful children I’ve ever seen. (Really I’m not being biased) They are also well behaved, polite, kind, and generous. They are rare children. My sister has Celiac Disease that is always active, she has Fibromyalgia, she’s had Mono for months now, at one point she was having a type of seizure where you couldn’t really tell she was having one. She would stare off somewhere and the last two fingers on her left hand would do a tapping/tremor motion. She would have no memory when it was over.
She needs Insurance. Her husband owns a bar, does some construction, he’s in a band (not that much money), he does get royalties from a few albums he’s done with other people but it isn’t a lot, and has never actually worked a job that was technically on the books. So pretty much not helpful. He is one of the best fathers I’ve ever seen. He also tolerates my sister so he has to be good.
The point is no matter how you feel about Planned Parenthood the issues are much more than Pro Life and Pro Choice. It’s also bigger than Feminism. This shouldn’t be a Women versus Men issue which unfortunately it’s turning into judging by the signs in the crowds. This is about HEALTH CARE and the AFFORDABILITY of it. When you have to choose between Heat, Electricity, Food, or Health Insurance, something is very wrong.
It’s been a long time since I’ve made jewelry. Because my kidneys were failing and I didn’t know it, my eyesight was blurry. I had to stop making jewelry because I kept hurting myself. lol
Now it’s a different problem named Dutch. He loves to play fetch. He will play for hours. If I refuse to play he will get the rubber bone on the top of his snout and flip it at my face! He’s a smart dog. Too smart. But I’ve managed to work around him.
Here are just a few samples of jewelry I’ve done in the last three days. As I’ve said before I only use Swarovski Crystals. Other materials are Sea Glass, Czech Crystal, Swarovski Pearls, Abalone Shell (hand made and polished), and the bubble piece at the bottom of the necklace has a tiny shell, starfish and sea glass inside. (I didn’t make that) Everything else is designed by me and hand looped and linked. I enjoy doing this. It takes me to different place where I don’t have to think or worry, a place my mom taught me about.