WHO ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO BE?

People say I’m the life of the party

Cause I tell a joke or two

Although I might be laughing loud and hearty

Deep inside I’m blue

So take a good look at my face

You’ll see my smile looks out of place

If you look closer it’s easy to trace

The tracks of my tears

Outside, I’m masquerading

Inside, my hope is fading

If you look closer it’s easy to trace

The tracks of my tears

Smokey Robinson

When you have a twin who does not have a mental illness you get to watch that person have a “normal” life. When your twin was also thin and popular it makes it worse. From the beginning I just wanted her to love me more than anyone else. I thought we were special because we were twins. I thought we were supposed to have a strong bond that would last forever. It turns out I was the only one who felt this way.

W became my sister and was there for me when no one else was. The times I had no choice and had to call my sister I was met with disgust and judgement. I hadn’t been diagnosed yet but I don’t think it was a secret to anyone that something was wrong. It wasn’t a secret to me, I just didn’t want to admit I was like some of my family members. I didn’t want to live in an assisted living community with other mentally ill people and a case manager who could come over any time they wanted to. I didn’t want someone else deciding what I did with my money, where I went, what I put in my body or didn’t put in my body. I had seen it all when I was younger and it was horrendous. My Aunt and Uncle had miserable lives when the State was in control. My Uncle chose to be homeless instead of dealing with them. I don’t blame him.

My twin sister refuses to understand how sick I am. She refuses to see how sick our Dad is. She refuses to see that I’m at a breaking point watching him waste away, being the one he takes his anger out on, and being alone. Yesterday he fell and hit his head. When he came inside it was bleeding a little but he was unsteady on his feet. I made him sit down. He then called the dog by the bird’s name four times even though I told him it was the dog not the bird. He looked at me like I wasn’t there.

I think he’s taking too much Klonopin because he doesn’t know he’s already taken it. I see him popping them like they’re Tic Tacs and it scares me. He’s on a low dose .50 mg but still he doesn’t have functioning kidneys. I tell my sister and she says “Hmm”. Pretty much her response to everything I say.

She only called today to tell me about her 6th vacation. They rented a house in Vermont and they took the kids to see Green Day so the oldest could see his Godfather and the youngest could meet the rest of the band.tear How fun for you and your family. Personally I don’t think it’s a great idea to bring the kids backstage but hey what do I know?

I look and I see a beautiful 44 year old woman with 2 of the most beautiful well behaved loving children I’ve ever been around. A woman with a nice house and a fenced in backyard. A woman with a plethora of friends to talk to or get coffee with. Who between her and her husband have so many contacts they can take 6 vacations in 3 months and not worry about anything else. A woman who graduated college but told me I got all the attention because I f*cked up all the time so no one noticed her achievements.

I remember my mother introducing us at a large family function. She said “This is my daughter D she’s in college and this is my other daughter.” No name and no description. At least she didn’t do what the rest of family the did D is the skinny one and Da is the fat one that’s how you tell them apart.” YOU F*CKING IDIOTS WE ARE FRATERNAL TWINS I HAD BLOND HAIR SHE HAD AUBURN HAIR WE LOOKED NOTHING ALIKE IN THE FACE MAYBE IF YOU WEREN’T SO INBRED YOU’D HAVE HALF A BRAIN TO TELL US APART.

My apologies again there was only that one incidence of inbreeding that I know of and she turned out to be a beautiful and smart woman. Again, that I know of because my Grandmother’s side of the family is difficult to trace and the woman herself was sketchy as hell.

I have so much baggage and family secrets/history it’s like Peaky Blinders/Justified/The Decline of Western Civilization all rolled into one.

I’m trying to say it’s heartbreaking and lonely to know the person who is supposed to be there for you and love you isn’t there. It hurts all the time to be so aware of how my twin feels about me. I miss the one person I could count on and talk to, I could cry for hours and she would just hold me and tell me it would be ok. No one does that anymore. I’m not allowed to cry or I get yelled at. No one just hugs me and says everything will be ok or says they love me no matter what I do or say. I need that now because I’m like Jekyll & Hyde lately and there is no warning. I don’t always remember what I’ve said or done or why you’re mad at me.

P.S.~CVS Changed the Generic Brand of Topamax I take and it’s been like starting over as far as side effects go. I feel pretty horrible.

 

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PSYCH 101~ PART II

I haven’t been feeling well lately so it’s taken longer for me to gather my thoughts and put things in a comprehensive way. I’m coming down from a manic episode and it isn’t exactly fun. I was ready to go on adventures and do new things, but now I feel fear, guilt, and hopelessness. Without having an actual human to talk to on a regular basis I’ve become worse. I was told this would happen and told myself I would be fine. I was wrong.

1 IN 25 ADULTS IN AMERICA LIVE WITH A SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS.

Anxiety Disorders: 21.3 %

Major Depression: 6.9 %

Bipolar Disorder: 2.6 %

Schizophrenia: 1.1 %

ANXIETY DISORDERS: Disorders that share features of excessive fear and anxiety.

  • Generalized Anxiety- Persistent, uncontrollable and ongoing apprehension about a wide range of life situations. The cause can’t be pinpointed.
  • Social Anxiety- Anxiety Disorder involving strong irrational fears relating to social situations. (I’ve been diagnosed with this by several Doctors when I was younger but not by my current Psychiatrist)
  • Panic Disorder- Sudden episodes of extreme anxiety and panic attacks.
  • Specific Phobias: A strong irrational fear of specific objects or situations that are normally considered harmless.

GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is when you have excessive unrealistic anxiety and worry about several events or issues.

Onset of GAD is usually before 20 years of age with a history of childhood fears and social inhibitions.

DSM V Criteria states at least 3 psychological or physiological symptoms lasting at least 6 months, interfering with a person’s ability to function is needed for a diagnosis.

Some of these symptoms are impaired concentration, restlessness and muscle tension. Coexisting disorders can be Major Depression, Social Anxiety Disorder and Substance Abuse.

SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER (SOCIAL PHOBIA)

Social Anxiety Disorder is a persistent fear of 1 or more social situations where the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or possible scrutiny/humiliation. Exposure to the feared situation leads to anxiety, avoidance, or enduring the situation with extreme distress. This interferes significantly with a person’s normal routine, social activities and work.

Social Anxiety usually has an early age of onset (13) and a high connection with other anxiety disorders and depression.

Risk Factors: Childhood bullying, childhood neglect/abuse or Maternal overprotection.

Affective Symptoms: Unreasonable levels of fear, automatic negative emotional cycles, sadness and insecurity.

Behavioral: Trembling, crying, physical withdrawal from social situations, over analyzing a social situation looking for flaws, staying quiet.

Cognitive: Negative self image, paranoia and low self esteem.

CRITERIONS FOR SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER

  • A marked fear or anxiety about 1 or more social situations in which the individual is exposed to possible scrutiny by others. Example: Being observed by others/Performing in front of others/Social interactions
  • Fear that he/she will act in a way or show anxiety symptoms that will be negatively evaluated (humiliated or rejected by others)
  • Social situations always provoke fear/anxiety.
  • Social situations are avoided or endured with intense fear/anxiety.
  • Fear/anxiety is out of proportion to the actual threat posed by the social situation.
  • Fear/anxiety/avoidance is persistent, lasting 6 months or more.
  • Fear/anxiety/avoidance causes clinically significant distress/impairment in social/occupational or other important areas of functioning.
  • Fear/anxiety/avoidance isn’t attributed to the Physiological effects of a substance or other medical condition.
  • Fear/anxiety/avoidance is not explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder such as Panic Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, or Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • If another medical condition is present the fear/anxiety/avoidance is clearly unrelated or is excessive.

PSYCH FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER

  1. Negative self-appraisals
  2. Post event rumination/scrutiny
  3. Elevated social cost estimate (If they act in an unacceptable way it will result in disastrous consequences like rejection or loss of social status.
  4. Fear of evaluation whether it’s positive or negative.

People with Social Anxiety Disorder also feel socially incompetent (boring or dumb) they also worry about physical appearance often feeling ugly or unfashionable or not as good as everyone else.

Social Anxiety Disorder has the lowest overall remission rate of all Anxiety Disorders.

MY EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER

Social Anxiety started very young with me and was severe. I had a difficult time with Birthday parties, cookouts, school, any large gathering. I did my best to hide or avoid them but I couldn’t avoid school. Throwing up/dry heaving daily before you are forced to go to school is not healthy. I sometimes wonder if they had allowed my twin and I to be in some of the same classes if things might have been different.

Where I live twins were not allowed to have any classes together beginning in Kindergarten and ending in the 12th grade. Being separated from a person you’re so close to at such an early age and thrown in with strangers without her support was terrifying. I believe it also played a part in our drifting apart to the point we no longer spoke and she no longer acknowledged me.

There were times I couldn’t go to a gas station alone, there would be months where I did everything I could not to leave the house. I was happy to watch movies in my room and read books. If it wasn’t for my best friend W I would’ve rotted away in my room. She forced me to do things. Unfortunately at this time alcohol came in to the picture. None of the Doctors I had seen ever gave me medication for anxiety. I had an ulcer at 16 that by 18 was pretty bad. They didn’t mind giving me a year’s worth of Paxil all at once but nothing fast acting for the extreme anxiety. Paxil was horrendous for me. The weight gain of 50 pounds alone was enough to make me feel worse.

I don’t understand how several Doctors could diagnose me with Social Anxiety Disorder (Phobia) but never prescribe me medication or specific therapy for it. It’s still a huge problem for me. The lump in my throat and the butterflies in my stomach I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It’s no way to live your life, constantly feeling a fear of living life that holds you back from doing the things you want to do before time runs out.

 

FLIGHTS OF FANCY

Being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder is difficult enough. When you have Mixed Episodes it’s what I imagine Hell would be like if I were religious.

Mixed Episodes are when a person with Bipolar Disorder has depressive and manic symptoms at the same time or close together. It’s usually called a Manic/Depressive episode with mixed features.

It’s more common in women and people who developed Bipolar at a young age. It can cause unpredictable behavior when feeling hopeless and suicidal but energized and agitated.

I love to do research but sometimes it might be better to not know some things about yourself.

The new college courses in Psychiatry give how many years are subtracted from a person’s lifespan with specific Psychiatric conditions. 25 years has been deducted from mine. This would mean I have less than 6 years left. I’m not really surprised at this. I should be but I’m not.

I try not to think about it because the brain and Psychiatric Disorders are never 100% accurate and everyone’s brain is so unique nothing is for sure.

I am restless and I feel I’ve wasted my life and now I don’t have enough time, money, energy to do anything I want to do.

It’s also hard being alone all the time. My Dad is either at dialysis or doing something outside. He used to like talking to me until I started to get worse day by day and he started dialysis. My twin sister never wanted to be close and still doesn’t. My one best friend works 60 hours a week and lives with her boyfriend so she doesn’t have a lot of time. I’ve tried to make new friends in the past but I would talk myself into thinking they didn’t really like me. I didn’t deserve to have friends and they just felt bad for me.

So many Doctors, Therapists, Neurologists who all didn’t have answers for me except that I’ll get worse. Thanks! Can I have a steady morphine drip please? Because everything hurts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on the outside and the inside. From my brain to my heart to my bones. I’m afraid I’ll never get to experience love or go on a date. I am my own problem. How can any of that happen if I only leave the house once every 3 weeks?

I still feel this need to try to drive cross country. The need is stronger at night but I don’t know why. I’m not an adult. I’m 44 and haven’t really had to do any of the things that adults do. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t tell anyone where or when I was buying my car. I wanted to do it myself and if I made mistakes at least they would be mine. My Dad acted like a 2 year old when I did it but has since admitted I made the right decision. He still has a problem if I am not home by the time it’s dark outside. By “problem” I mean dry heaving and chest pains. I can’t live with knowing I cause him to react like that so I stay home. Not much of a way to live.

I’m usually in my room by 3:30/4:00 p.m. because I’m bored and I can watch what I want in my room. I go to bed fairly early because there isn’t much else to do.

Do I want something to change? Sometimes. I really did want to try to drive from Rhode Island to California.

PSYCHIATRY 101 (Kind Of)

CLARIFICATION OF TERMS/VOCABULARY

I thought I knew what most of the language being used around me or in medical reports meant. Turns out I was wrong and so were a few of my Doctors. It’s obvious who keeps up with new research/education/diagnostic criteria and who doesn’t. All you have to do is look at some of the exams used in 2017 for Psychology/Sociology/Psychiatry/Neurology/Pharmacology to see there has been a change in thinking.

PSYCHOLOGY: The scientific study of behavior that is tested through scientific research.

SOCIOLOGY: The study of human social groups and society.

PSYCHIATRY: The study, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, of mental health disorders.

PSYCHOLOGIST VS PSYCHIATRIST: The each have different approaches and degrees/licensing. Psychologists are nonmedical professionals who train in methods of Psychological Testing, Psychotherapy, Analysis, and Research. The can not prescribe medications or ECT. Psychologists look at behavior and track sleep patterns, eating patterns, and negative thoughts. Psychiatrists do have medical degrees and graduate from medical school. Psychiatrists tend to look at biology and neurochemistry ruling out vitamin deficiencies, thyroid problems or other medical reasons for mental health issues before making a diagnosis.

I’m going to focus on Psychiatry/Psychiatrists for now. It can be overwhelming when you read all of it so I’ll stick to the basics. These are some things I didn’t know and was afraid to ask.

What is the DSM?

The DSM (volume 5 now) is the standard classification manual of mental disorders published by the AMA (American Medical Association). A Psychiatrist basically uses this more for billing than anything else. When it comes to Psychiatric Disorders there is no one size fits all so they come as close as they can.

NOS

NOS means Not otherwise specified, again more of a billing thing and because you might show most of the symptoms of a disorder but not all of them but the Doctor is certain that you probably will in the future.

INVOLUNTARY ADMISSION

If you are admitted to a Psychiatric facility involuntarily you must be released in 72 hours. A probate hearing needs to happen within the 72 hours if they want you to remain an impatient involuntarily.

YOUR RIGHTS

As a patient you have the right to refuse treatment (including medications), the right to privacy, to keep personal items (except in cases of self harm), enter into legal contracts, and informed consent. It’s important to know this. I always felt I didn’t have the right to ask questions because they were the Doctors and more educated than me. But there were many times I should’ve spoke up and didn’t. This only added to my problems.

When you feel you are being held against your will and someone threatens to keep you as long as they want if you’re not a “good girl” it’s demeaning and terrifying to say the least.

To find out what is going on a Mental Status Assessment is done which is a view of Psychological Function in time that changes interview to interview. Doctors also use the following:

GENERAL APPEARANCE: grooming, how a person is dressed, hygiene, eye contact, posture, appearance vs stated age. (If you show up in your pajamas and you haven’t showered in weeks and are shuffling into the office most likely it isn’t going to go well)

ATTITUDE: (toward examiner) cooperative, warm, friendly, suspicious, guarded, hostile, apathetic, distant, combative, aggressive, seductive. (Pretty sure if you act seductive you’re receiving that 72 hour hold. Same with combative. I’ve been distant, guarded, hostile and cooperative I think)

BEHAVIOR AND ACTIVITY: Psychomotor Retardation (medical term), restless, agitated, hyperactive, tremors, tics, unusual movements/gestures, catatonia, gait and coordination. (I’ve had all of these at one time or another. It took a long time to figure out it was mostly due to my brain and trauma)

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE: Clarity, Speed, Volume, Relevancy, Pressured, Hesitant, Coherence and Fluency (So I really don’t do well in this department. If I am manic I will talk fast and go from topic to topic, I will also repeat myself. If in a depressive episode my voice is quieter, I have trouble finding words and if it’s a really bad day I will stutter or hesitated before saying a word. Either way it’s embarrassing when I’m in public I usually have to sit in my car and cry for a little bit before I can drive.)

THIS IS IT FOR NOW BUT THERE WILL BE MORE. I HOPE PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED. I ENJOY LEARNING AND RESEARCHING I ALSO DON’T THINK I’LL BE TRAVELING ANYWHERE SO I NEED A PROJECT. BBA3eDB

 

GRIEF ISN’T SOMETHING I’M ABLE DO

I went to the grocery store yesterday because I was forced to. I went to one I don’t usually go to but my Dad likes. I walked in and saw a very thin, frail looking man, hunched over his carriage. I knew he looked familiar but he looked so old and sick I thought it couldn’t be him, it couldn’t be my Dad.

It was. I couldn’t move, I felt the numbing heat that starts in my legs and travels to my head. I knew the shaking/tremors were going to start, I didn’t know I already had tears on my face. I was stuck where I was standing and staring at him. I felt such fear and anger. Anger because he doesn’t listen to his Doctors or anyone else, anger because my twin sister has once again left me to watch our remaining parent die or kill themselves slowly because they’ve given up.

I’ve left her so many texts it’s like I’m a stalker. She hasn’t responded. I left a voicemail and she hasn’t responded. She thinks I’m too dramatic. I’m getting upset over nothing. My Dad’s Nephrologist told him he has less than 4 years and he’s being very optimistic with that estimate.

I told my Dad last night that I don’t want my name on the house or anything. I refuse to be here when my sister and her husband show up and start criticizing the house and yard. I know exactly how it will go. “How could you let it get this bad? How could you let him keep all these birds? How could you let him keep all the clocks? Why wasn’t the floor redone? How could you let him plant more flowers? Why didn’t you have those trees removed?”. I’m not going to listen to it when they weren’t here for any of it.

The didn’t offer to help with anything or come to visit. If my Dad wants to see his grandchildren he has to try to contact my sister and arrange a meeting. Meanwhile I’m a prisoner in this house of antiques and dirt. A prisoner of my own guilt and shame for the things I’ve done in the past that hurt my parents. There’s no way I can ever make up for the things that I’ve done or said.

Is there a time where I say enough is enough? Where I do something I want to do like an adult? Make a decision like an adult? If I turn out to be wrong I take responsibility and try to correct the wrong. Simple things like driving a long distance should not make my Dad angry or worry so much that he’s dry heaving. I might only have a few more years left than he does I think it’s okay to take a road trip or stay out past dark.

I know most of this is my fault because I never really moved out on my own. I knew in the back of my mind that I wouldn’t make it living on my own years ago. I’m a different person now. I still need to do a lot of work and I’m not 100% sure about being on my own but I would like to have the choice. I won’t abandon my Dad. This isn’t in my nature to do.

When I think of the man who taught me to swim, who could swim like a fish himself, who loved the water and looked like he was born from the sea, I smile.

When I think of the man who taught me drive with patience and enough trust to let me drive him over a large bridge in the pouring rain, I smile.

When I think of the man who saved every little animal I brought to him without hesitation, I smile.

When I think of the man who sat by my side night after night watching movies and TV he wasn’t interested in just to keep me company so I wouldn’t feel alone, I smile.

When I think of the man who saved me dying, I shut down and cry.

My mom passed away nine years ago and I still have not come to terms with it. Her death haunts me almost daily. Maybe it was because I watched her die I don’t know.

There are still some of my pets that have died that I have a hard time with when I think about them or something triggers a memory. I know people who are diagnosed Bipolar have a harder time with grief but I also know this is something more.

GONE, GONE, GONE

I feel it slowly creeping back in, the small tingle of fear and dread in the pit of my stomach. It won’t take long until I’m completely exhausted, unable to do even the smallest tasks. It’s 2:50 p.m. and I already feel my eyelids grow heavy, my sinuses swell, head pounding, thoughts scrambled.

No one really knows how much effort it takes for me to write or speak. I have to write what I want to say on paper first and repeat it over and over in my head and out loud. If it’s a certain time of day and I know I have to talk to someone I have to take extra medication and do all of the previous things. Why do you think calling into Dark Matter Radio to ask Dr. Drew a few questions was so important? Why I was so upset when I wasn’t allowed to speak. Because it took 2 days to prepare for the 1 phone call and extra medication to sound “normal” and not stutter. I also had to try to stay awake because the show is on the West Coast. So I was a little pissed off. But I blow things out of proportion or so I’m told.

The positivity I had yesterday and even this morning is almost gone. I want to put my headphones on and listen to songs I shouldn’t listen to because they bring me to a bad place. I want to turn the volume up and drown out the world, close my eyes and drown in all my tears, regret, anger, pain, hopelessness, rocking back and forth like the abandoned, frightened little girl I will always be.

My sister never knew our father took off when he found out our mom was pregnant. He didn’t come back until after we were born. She also didn’t know that they didn’t get married until we were 5, I knew all of this from a young age. My sister does know now I told her after our mom passed away. My sister has always thought it was funny that our grandfather left me at the car wash and no one realized it for hours. I stood there hugging the telephone pole and crying while the traffic flashed by. I was very little then with straight very blond long hair. I was actually pretty then, it wasn’t until puberty that it all went to shit. For me that was 10 years old. Anyway it wasn’t exactly a safe place to leave a little girl.

I never thought it was funny but the rest of the family did except my dad. My dad was furious and probably would’ve hit him if he thought he could get away with it. My dad had no use for my mom’s parents at all and I don’t blame him. My dad knows more than I do and I know a lot. From what I know it’s no surprise how my mom and her siblings turned out. My mom was the best but she was ill. I never realized it until it was too late and she was gone. I can’t imagine anyone growing up around those two people without being damaged.

(In two seconds I’m giving my dog to the first person who wants him the SOB!)

(Just kidding but he’s a pain in the ass)

Okay my head is pounding like crazy and I have to do more research.

I found this site Quizlet I think the name is, where you can learn about any subject for free at a college level but in an easy way. I love it. I’m doing Norse Myths and Legends and Psychology (Nature vs Nurture, Survival of the Fittest, Natural Selection, etc)

Thanks everyone.

HOW DO YOU TRUST YOUR OWN MIND?

I have many regrets and I have hurt many people over the years. I won’t use alcohol or not knowing I was dealing with a mental illness from an early age as excuses. These are only insights to my behavior. Bipolar started at an early age for me so I didn’t know life without it. People that hear or read this always have doubts. I had doubts because I am skeptical by nature and question everything. If you know me than you know I also research everything.

There was too much evidence proving that it started early, scientific, physical evidence that I couldn’t ignore. The research team at Harvard University couldn’t ignore it either nor could the team at Brown. At the time I was so overwhelmed with this new information I panicked and shut down. Someone else had to speak for me and tell them I couldn’t do what they were asking. I couldn’t be their freak in a lab, locked in a room with no access to my family. They should’ve known how damaging this would be. Even the suggestion of it was terrifying.

There’s a problem with letting your family see you at your weakest. They never forget it. They also never forget all the times you broke their trust while drinking. How could they? Letting my twin sister see me when I thought I was 5 years old and our Mom was coming to pick me up was a huge mistake. Allowing her husband to trigger a Conversion Disorder/PTSD episode like I’ve never had before was another mistake. Her seeing me so out of control and confused about where I was and blacking out gave her ammunition. More to put in her memory bank to bring up later.

She hasn’t been answering my texts about driving from New England to California but has answered other texts.

Today I finally talked to her, as in I actually spoke to her on the phone, it didn’t make me feel better.

She said she honestly didn’t think it was a good idea for me to try to make that kind of trip. She said she didn’t think I could handle it. It’s too far away if something happens and I panic or lose control.

I have been doing pretty well with control lately. I either write out my issues on paper or here. I also use other tools to calm myself down until I can think about a situation rationally.

I know I probably wouldn’t make it all the way but I wanted to try. Now I have butterflies in my stomach and I feel like I can’t swallow. I also feel trapped, like time is passing me by and it’s all too fast. I lost so much time already. I don’t have that much time left. This is something both my dad and sister refuse to listen to me about and they won’t listen to my Doctors. They won’t look at the statistics or my medical records. They refuse to talk about my alcoholism and the amount I drank. How much damage it did permanently both physically and mentally.

I’m not sure if I am thinking clearly or not because I’ve never thought like other people do. I’ve always loved the dark beautiful side of things, understanding human nature, nature vs nurture, survival of the fittest, basic instinct. I would read books and want to be a vampire queen, a Goddess of Rock, The Morrigan, a warrior in a magical land, anything but myself. But I woke up the same every morning. I lived in a fantasy world for a very long time. It was safe there in my books, in my bedroom, hiding from the outside.

My best friend W called yesterday to catch up on things. She asked a question. “Would you get better if the person who hurt you the most apologized? Or if you talked to him and got closure?” I knew where she was going with this. I knew that she had seen and been around him in the last year or so. I told her the truth.

It isn’t about him anymore, it’s about me. I’m not the same person who thought they deserved to be treated like garbage. I have self worth now. I actually pity him because he’s incapable of changing. I will be honest and say that if I saw him do that grin he does I can’t promise that I’ll remain calm. It’s hard to know so I think I’m better off leaving it alone. Do I want him to see me now? Yes, I do. I want to stand in front of him and rub it in his face that I am now a beautiful woman who has more than he ever will. But people like him will never get it. He’s manipulative to the point of being a sociopath.

Her response was “Jesus, you just said everything I was thinking about him and you’re right he hasn’t changed. I was around him 2 times for E’s sake and I couldn’t take it I had to leave early both times. I hate him, I hate his face. I’m kind of glad you said what you did. He had a rule where no one could say “Jesus Christ or for Christ’s sake” in front of him and when I heard that I wanted to puke. That was what did it for me, all I could think about was you and I left.” W understands me better than anyone.

W’s advice about the road trip? DO IT! If you get homesick turn around and head home. you know yourself and how you are going to feel, you’re pretty good at judging when your mood is changing or when you’re going into crisis mode I’ve seen it. Don’t listen to anyone but yourself, don’t tell anyone until your ready and in your car on the highway.

So I’m still confused because I listen to too many people and not to myself. I’ve learned not to trust myself because other people don’t trust my decisions.

Still confused.