Author Archives: darie73

About darie73

I'm a daughter, a sister, and an Aunt. I've worked in the Hair Industry, Jewelry Manufacturing, and Retail Management. I'm also an Alcoholic, diagnosed Bipolar, Conversion Disorder, Anxiety, Celiac Disease, and other health issues. I talk about all of these things as honestly as I can. The stigma, medications, doctors, family problems, support or lack of support. I advocate for people like me, animals, and anyone else who feels like they don't have a voice. These are my opinions, I just ask that readers be respectful. Haven't we all been kicked enough when we are down? It's time to change that.

ELVIS AND ME

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Every Saturday morning as a child I watched Elvis movies. My Mom loved Elvis. She played his music often. My mom didn’t hold anything back from us. She told me that my sister and I were conceived to an Elvis song. I’ll spare you the rest of story like I wish she had spared me! That’s how she was. Honest about everything and usually laughing.

I know the words to almost all of Elvis’s songs but I have a hard time listening to them since my mom passed away. It will be 10 years in February. It’s the one date I don’t forget. I can’t remember my sober date or when I was diagnosed Bipolar and everything else but I remember the day she died.

I wish I could’ve told her about the time W and I met an Elvis impersonator at the Casino. He was so handsome, better looking than the original Elvis. We were there to see Motley Crue but somehow ended up at the Clamshack drinking beer, eating fries and clam chowder.

When I spotted him I thought he was Nikki Sixx for a second. He had jet black hair and the bluest eyes. His manager was with him. He sat down next to us and ordered chowder. We didn’t oyster crackers but he did and they were gigantic for some reason. Of course me being drunk I commented on his overly large crackers and he laughed. We spent the next 5 hours hanging out with Elvis.

Turns out he had just come from the dressing rooms and had met Nikki Sixx, he was also a fan. We had already seen them in concert several times so we didn’t mind missing out to hear Elvis’s stories.

My mom would’ve loved it. She would’ve hated that I was drunk but I would’ve left that part out. It was a rare night where W and I just laughed and had fun. No one got hurt, no one cried, no one was arrested. When I say “No one” I mean me.

I miss my mom and I miss the times with W that were fun. But I guess we were supposed to grow up. One of us did. The other never had the tools to do so. She still doesn’t.

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BRUTALLY HONEST (How I Feel Right Now)

When someone confirms what you’ve been thinking for years it isn’t a relief.

I’ve known for some time that certain people have been avoiding me over the last few years. My sister did me a favor by confirming this. She admitted that she herself avoids me. She said my behavior has gotten out of control. She doesn’t want to hear any “excuses”.

Everyone forgets I went into Kidney Failure two years ago, was resuscitated and spent a week in the hospital. I left there minus a kidney and having one kidney working at 70%. That number has gone down recently. No one wants to listen how this changes the way my medications work or how every chemical and hormone in my body has also changed. This is partly why I’ve been getting worse.

Over the last month I feel like I don’t want to be here. The aching hole in my chest is constant and all I want to do is sleep so I don’t feel it. The ache is a combo of sadness, grief, loneliness, feeling useless or like everything I do is wrong. I also feel like I have the plague. I know I can be annoying. I get excited around bright lights and shiny objects. I talk too much when I’m around people I like because I want them to like me. I beg my own family to talk to me. They don’t.

I don’t want to be here anymore. My nose is constantly swollen from crying so much I can’t breathe. I have headaches from crying. Part of me wants to stop my meds, take off to Vegas and drink until my kidney shuts down. I had to put my fist in my mouth while watching Leaving Las Vegas in the theater. When he couldn’t sign his name because he was shaking so bad reminded me of me.

The bartenders at a bar I went to after work knew not to give me a bottle of beer. They would have a mug waiting for me with a straw in it pushed forward so I could just bend my head down to drink. They knew my hands shook too much to hold anything until I got a few drinks in me. So much of that movie hit too close to home.

I’m lost. I’m told to leave the house and join a group. I wish it was that easy. The thought of leaving the house now cause a lump in my throat and a sick feeling in my stomach. So I talk myself out of it. Even my dog isn’t listening to me. In fairness I did cut his nails against his will. lol


IS ALL ADDICTION RELATED TO CHILDHOOD TRAUMA?

Dr. Gabor Mate believes all addiction is related to childhood trauma. I find this disturbing but not surprising.

During the 20 plus years I spent drinking I was court ordered to see a Psychiatrist or Therapist several times. Each one asked if there had been any abuse in my childhood. Even when I insisted there hadn’t been they still kept asking. None of them asked any other questions.

Some questions that would’ve been helpful for them would be “Does anyone in your family have a mental illness?”, “Does anyone in your family have a problem with alcohol?”, “Does anyone in your family have issues with anxiety?”. These would’ve been good questions to ask.

My Grandfather on my father’s side loved animals but had no friends. He had trouble talking to people. He also had ulcers that would eventually lead to his death at an early age when they began bleed. He was afraid to go to the Hospital so when he finally did it was too late.

My Father loves animals and has never had any friends. He also found it difficult to talk to people or be in social situations. When he was 17 he joined the Navy and found that alcohol helped him fit in. He continued to drink after leaving the Navy and didn’t stop until I was around 7 years old. My Mother ordered for him in restaurants, made doctor appointments for him, and handled anything that might cause anxiety for him. No one ever spoke about it. He also has ulcers. I’ve seen dry heave so many times I’ve lost count. It’s always when he’s anxious. I’ve seen him swallow his own vomit because he refuses to show weakness in front of anyone.

I love animals and have only ever had one friend. I would dry heave every single day before school. Going to the mall or a crowded place was torture for me. I tried to hide behind my hair and always looked at the ground as I walked. I thought I would be laughed at or ridiculed. I was anyway because of my weight. This didn’t help so I stayed in my room a lot. At 16/17 I found that alcohol helped took away the butterflies in my stomach and I could talk to people. I went to concerts, met bands, hung out with a large group of people, got into fights, got arrested, laughed, cried, tried to commit suicide several times, was promiscuous, and ruined relationships with my family.

Alcohol took me on some great adventures but it also came close to killing me. I didn’t know I was Bipolar or that I had Social Anxiety Disorder (Phobia) I knew something was wrong but no one ever diagnosed me so I kept drinking.

My family has many alcoholics in it including my Mom and Dad. It also has Mental Illness that you can’t discount. It isn’t coincidence that my Mom, her Mother and 3 of her siblings have/had severe mental illnesses.

My parents loved me and did everything they could to make sure I was happy. Yes they saw signs early on that something wasn’t right but they were scared I would be taken away. It was the late 70’s early 80’s and not enough was known then. I don’t blame either one of them. If anything I’m alive right now because of them.68832fe107dfe5b52a7fff8651d19655


CAUSE I’M A LIAR

The cable bill has been huge for the last several months. I’m the one who pays it. They want us to update our modem or router for our phone. This would mean someone coming into the house and that’s not possible. It’s too much chaos for my oldest dog and for my Dad. I’ve talked to the cable company 6 different times and received different answers from each person. At the end of each call they all told me to talk to someone in the Loyalty Department. We’ve been with the company for 27 years.

I called the Loyalty Department today after speaking to yet another unhelpful person. I was frustrated and feeling like I was in a panic. I dislike making phone calls to begin with. I tried to explain as best as I could what was going on to the man in the Loyalty Department. I guess I was talking to fast because he said “M’am CALM DOWN. I can’t help you if you keep TALKING.” So I felt worse and began to stutter. He made a noise and began to laugh at me. I told him to forget it, I didn’t need help, and hung up crying.

I told my sister this and her response was “I’m sure he didn’t laugh at you. You probably just thought he did because you got yourself all worked up.”

I told my Dad and he said “He did not laugh at you.” and walked out of the room.

They have both personally witnessed someone laugh at, mimic, or make fun of me when I stutter. My Dad was in the Court Room when a Disability Judge did it and I had to restrain him from physically assaulting the Judge. But he doubts me now? My sister was in the Doctor’s office with me when a nurse did it. But she doubts me now? If these people who definitely know better would do it, why wouldn’t a customer service agent from a cable company?

They’re immune to how I feel or what I experience. I don’t blame them. They’ve had to put up with me for years.

But you know who has put up with the most and never doubts me? My best friend. I don’t talk to her often because she works 6 days a week but when I do it’s like no time has gone by.

I talk less and less each day. I have a feeling that’s okay with my family.5013a77dda1042859353823edf870c8c

 

 

 


GRIEF FOR A PARENT: When There’s So Much Love And Pain

My Mom was the one who held everyone together. Not just my Dad, my brother, my twin sister, and me, but also all of her siblings, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. She made sure everyone kept in touch or visited one another.

When she died it collapsed like a house of cards. It was like my Dad and I didn’t exist anymore. The phone only rang with telemarketers and there were no visits.

My Mom was outgoing, talkative, loud, bossy, and you did what she told you to do. She also had periods where there was no laughing, no talking, and she stayed in bed for a week or so. She could be quick tempered also. Her capacity to love and forgive almost made up for those times. Almost.

It isn’t easy as a child to wake up and find your Mom gone. Your Dad doesn’t really know how to explain where she is except “She’s sick and she’ll be home soon.” The first two times I was scared and I wanted my Mom. When you’re that young and you know nothing about Mental Illness and no one else really does either it’s horrible.

My Dad had to work so my sister and I would have to stay at my Grandmother’s house. My Dad’s mother. She wasn’t a warm, affectionate woman which explains a lot about my Dad. I was at her house the first time I got my period. I had no idea what was going on. My Mom was in a Hospital, I was at a mean woman’s house, and I was bleeding to death. It kind of left some damage over the years. It’s a good thing my Dad is the man he is and I finally told him what was going on and he took care of me like a pro.

But in my head I thought my Mom should’ve been there. I loved her more than anything in this World. If I knew 100% what happens when we die, if we do go somewhere beautiful and see our loved ones again, I would go right now.

Her death was so bad I still have nightmares sometimes. The year before her death was tough on my Dad and me. There were times when I had to get up early for work but couldn’t sleep because I could hear her moaning. For a long time my Mom went to Doctors who never found anything wrong with her. It was like the boy who cried wolf. When years later the Doctors told her she had Lung Cancer I don’t think any of us reacted the way we were supposed to. Our sympathy had been used for years and years. It was hard living with someone who would scream your name from their bedroom like they were dying making you run upstairs to their room only to have them say “Can you change the channel on my TV?” There was something wrong with that.

In my head I would tell her to shut up. I have to live with that. What we didn’t know was that all the chemo and radiation had weakened her bones so much she had fractured 2 bones in her back. That’s why she was in so much pain.

The Doctors she had made everything worse for us. They had no clue what they were doing. We did get 7 more years with her but it came at a price.

My memory of her was changed forever.

I no longer see the smiling beautiful woman that was my Mom when I close my eyes.

I see the nightmare version I walked in to at the Hospital.

It kills me to remember her like that. I’ve only been to her grave once. I refuse to go. The rest of my family has made comments about this. I don’t care. I can’t do it. I won’t do it. No one is going to bully me anymore or make me feel guilty about things that were out of my control. I do that to myself enough.11059761_10207494279902008_1407885758767048615_n


LETTERS BETWEEN SISTERS (The Response)

This is the response my twin sister wrote me. 

Everyone goes through horrible things and your journey has definitely been particularly violent and ugly, and for that I am sorry.

But I can not keep feeling bad for being normal. If normal means going to therapy on and off for the last 25 years and having my own mental illness diagnosis of General Anxiety. I’ve also been the thin twin and now the fat twin (she was thin until she had her children she is in no way considered fat). Things have been easy for me?!?! (I don’t think I ever said this I said she made it look easy) Living on my own paying my own way, sometimes wondering where my next meal or paycheck was coming from. Working 80 hours a week to keep myself afloat. (I have given her thousands of dollars over the years for her rent and food even when she was living in California. My parents also gave her money. She could’ve live at home for college it was only 15 minutes but insisted on renting an expensive house with her friends that she couldn’t afford.)

Men have treated me badly- one boyfriend actually spit in my face! (She makes it sound like “How dare he?” no one should spit on anyone but comparing it to what I’ve gone through is frustrating) Or maybe dealing with my husband’s alcohol and drug addiction? (She knew about it from the beginning but ignored it for years. I spoke to her about it when I quit drinking and she made excuses for him.) 

Normal would not be walking my sister through her mental illness and electric shock treatment. (This one hurts she did not walk me through my illness she ignored it but she was there for the shock treatment because my Dad couldn’t be.) Or the fact that my mother died two weeks after I became a mother and needed her the most. Or maybe the fact I’ve lost a brother to alcohol and haven’t been able to speak to him for the past 9 years because I can’t support his lifestyle. (It isn’t a lifestyle it’s an illness he’s an alcoholic and I suspect he has other issues too. You don’t just cut someone out when they need you. She stood by her husband for years and he did the same.) 

In fact I feel as if I can’t really count on family at all anymore. (Unless she needs pain pills or a babysitter.) 

I can not apologize for the things I have now. I worked really hard and overcame much to get it. If I stopped being around you it was because I was trying to lead my own life. Also your behavior was so out of control I couldn’t witness it anymore. (I thought she walked me through my mental illness.) But I can not feel guilty or apologize for being who I am. I never feel like I can be enough, do enough, help enough, listen enough or say enough to be the sister or person you want or expect me to be.

 

Maybe I’ve been to harsh on her but she never wanted to listen or know what was going on. My best friend can tell you that. I can’t tell you how many times W. has said to me “You need to accept that she isn’t capable of being there for you and she doesn’t understand.” Maybe W. always understood because she has a degree in Psychology and witnessed everything I went through. W. listened without judgement, she tried to help I just wasn’t in a place where I could listen but at least she tried. W. walked me through my illness. When W. entered my Hospital room after my kidneys failed she was white as a ghost and crying. She hugged me so hard it hurt. My sister didn’t have that kind of reaction. Even W’s mom was upset she said “That’s not my D! What the hell has been going on?” she was crying as she said it. W. never cries unless it has to do with me. Maybe I don’t know what talking about.

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LETTERS BETWEEN SISTERS (1st Letter)

I love my twin sister more than she will ever know. We had a fight on the phone where she hung up on me. I decided to write an E-mail to her because I was stuttering and not making sense.

MY E-MAIL

D, I’m sorry for this morning. There’s a lot you don’t know. I decided not to tell you along with Mom and Dad. They knew from an early age that something was different about me. When I started to bang my head to soothe my anxiety they argued about taking me to a Doctor. I hadn’t even started school yet. Mom was afraid. She didn’t want to see me institutionalized like her brother and sister. They decided against it.

It was difficult growing up side by side and seeing the differences. I would watch you, standing from outside, at our Birthday parties. You could talk and laugh with everyone and I never knew how to do that so I hid. You made it look easy I kept wondering what was wrong with me.

As we got older our relationship became worse. I noticed you never introduced me as your “twin sister” and if I told people were twins you looked annoyed. I had one friend and you had many that you didn’t want me talking to. You banned me from our 21st Birthday Party (Sorry your 21st part). I wouldn’t have went but to call me and say “you’re not allowed at my party” was hurtful. I know I wasn’t easy to be around but it didn’t help when my family treated me like a monster.

I know you were living your own life. At the same time I was dying and everyone knew it. Mom and Dad saving money for my funeral, trying to kill myself 5 times, you were in California for a few of them. One that left me with permanent nerve damage in my left hand. No one wanted to ask about what happened that night I was dropped off unconscious covered in blood. No one believed me about it because I was told “You’re a drunk and liar. We can’t trust you anymore”. Our mother never looked so happy as the day she saw you in your wedding dress and the day you told her she would be a Grandmother.

To make me feel better she had a ring made for me. When she showed it to me she said ” I had this made for because I know you probably won’t marry.” She put it away for later, when she passed no one believed she had it made for me. Again I don’t blame anyone it’s my fault my actions are my own.

I always had an idea of how sisters are supposed to be. We are not it. Maybe I watched too many movies. I know I get frustrated and lash out, I’m working on it. The hardest thing for me is after 23 medications and 18 Psychiatrists and Therapists my family still thinks I’m not trying hard enough. I love you, I will always love you no matter what because that’s who I am.stigma-quote-hp-26-1


ANESTHESIA WE WILL PLEASE YA

I have anesthesia often, it isn’t good for my brain or my heart, but I enjoy it. If possible I would stay under forever. The Doctors worry that I eventually will. I have thought of making this happen on my own but I can’t leave my Dad.

When I’m under it’s the same each time.

The sun is shining. It’s warm and breezy. I see butterflies, ladybugs, and four leaf clovers.

I see my beautiful dogs I’ve lost over the years running and playing with each other.

I see her standing there with her arms held out waiting for me.

I go to her and she hugs me tight. She whispers in my ear “My beautiful baby girl, I love you so much!” and I smell her perfume. She’s laughing and happy and I’m happy because I get to be with my Mom. The person who always listened and gave hugs.

If I wake up it all goes away. I feel empty, like something has been ripped out of me.

The Hospital I have my surgeries at knows I will wake up crying, asking for my mom and confused. Some of the staff handle it well and others not so much. Some get frustrated with me and there is no compassion. On those occasions it makes it all much worse. I wish they knew that.

It’s hard enough knowing that you have to have surgery every 4 to 5 months because you have Chronic Kidney Disease and the one kidney you have left is getting worse. They don’t have to make it more difficult by treating me like I’m invisible or a basket case.

Anyway, I got a long text from my sister last night saying she missed me and how she wanted to talk to me. Then at the end she asked if I had any pain pills.

She called this morning to “chat” and I was waiting to see how long she would put up with me. She said “So did you find anything for me? Dad is coming over to see the boys. I thought you could give it to him to bring.” I was pissed. She hasn’t talked to our Dad in 5 months. All of sudden he’s invited over, she’s acting nice to me, because she thinks I have pain pills.

I let her think that. She got nothing. She never will from me again.


ROUND AND ROUND

My brain works as if it’s on Hamster Wheel and there is no stopping the thought pattern. It’s been like this for as long as I can remember. There are days when I can’t let go of something from the past.

It can be something that was said or something that happened. I will go over it a thousand times. Sometimes I think of things I could’ve said or done differently. There’s so much in the past that I can’t let go of. Some of the events are small and some would be enough to break any normal person. I sometimes wonder how I’m still here. I wonder why I’m still here.

I’m a big fan of the Marvel franchise. My favorite is The Punisher and I wonder what that says about me. I do carry a lot of anger inside that I’m only now realizing.

I’ll probably have people worried after they read what I just wrote. If it was 15 years ago I would say they should be worried. But right now going up my front steps (there are 4 of them) makes my legs shake and I get dizzy. I’ve lost all of my muscle mass and can’t even lift a gallon of milk. I’m literally half the person I used to be.

My Dad has the TV on the news stations all day long. It isn’t the best thing for me but I don’t say anything because it calms him down.

All of the sexual harassment stories bother me. I have to be careful what I read on Social Media.

There’s a misconception that only attractive women or young girls are sexually harassed/assaulted. If one comes forward that doesn’t fit this criteria she isn’t believed and is crucified on Social Media. It makes me sick.

Most of my life was spent at 200 pounds or more. People always told me I had a “pretty face”, “beautiful eyes”, “beautiful skin”, “good teeth”, “great legs”, of course all of this ended with “For a fat person” or “For someone your size.”

When I went out I obsessed over what I wore, my make up, and my hair, because if I couldn’t lose the weight then I focused the attention to the positive areas. I also was a 38DD but I had a waist and carried my weight in the front and back. So I was curvy but still considered morbidly obese by Doctors.

I tell you this so you understand that sexual harassment/assault doesn’t really have to do with how a person looks. I had no self esteem, I was insecure and shy, I wanted everyone to like me. I was a prime target. It didn’t help that I was drunk all the time.

There was an incident on a tour bus where I was talking to someone for about an hour. I got up to use the bathroom and when I was coming out someone was blocking my way. He only had his bikini underwear on. I smelled booze, body odor, and something I couldn’t name. I knew who he was, I just didn’t care. I was in a cocky mood. I asked him to move nicely the first time. He pushed his hips towards me and tried to kiss me. I was disgusted because I could see crusted blood where he had been shooting up on one arm.

I pushed him as hard as I could and said “What the F*CK?!.” One of the other guys came to see what was going on. He of course called me a “Fat c*nt” and told them to get me off the bus. I was already halfway gone.

I’ve never done anything with any of the musicians I’ve met. It’s a rule I always had. It ruins how you view their music and I wasn’t a groupie. I’ve had similar encounters with other band members and men I’ve worked with. Sometimes I think they think they’re doing the “poor fat girl a favor” or something. Needless to say I did fine on my own and that’s one of the reasons I’ve been celibate for 9 years. I did too fine on my own to make up for the emptiness I felt, or the sadness, or to prove my worth.

Now that I feel better about myself I don’t leave the house. lol

I have too much going round and round my head.

I also just told the story I said I wasn’t going to tell. Oh well. He’ll get over it.anxiety_symptoms_management-1296x728-header

 


You Stopped Trying Goes Both Ways

I am told often to “Stop living in the past”. Why people assume that I can click these emotions and memories on and off whenever I want I don’t know. The truth is I can’t.

I’m told by my Dad and my twin sister that I’m trying. There must be something more I can do. My one friend has said this also but she understands a lot more than my family. Maybe because she was there for most of it or because when I drank I didn’t hide anything.

I do feel an extreme amount of guilt and grief. The death of my Mom was harder on me than anyone knew. No one understands what I had to see and do when she died. They don’t understand what it was like in the years before her death. They don’t know what I was going through because I never said anything.

I always joked that my twin stole my backbone in the womb. She’s always had twice the backbone while I had none. I had liquid courage. That doesn’t really count.

My entire life I’ve felt invisible, mute, or ignored. I would try to say something and people would talk over me. I have a quiet voice almost like a child.

One employer told me that I should practice changing my voice if I wanted to be taken more seriously. It was a woman who said this. How do you change your voice at 30?

A few years into my alcoholism anyone around me when I was drinking knew when to take me seriously. I admit I liked it for a little while. In the end I didn’t want to be that person and it only caused me great pain.

In the present I have no joy, no pain, nothing. I don’t have friends to talk to or family to talk to. I probably live in the past because it’s when I had the most joy and pain.

It only takes a song, a scent, or a story on the news to trigger the past then I’m snowballing all the emotions at once. It isn’t exactly fun.

When I do go out in public I find myself talking too much and too loud to strangers. I’m over stimulated by the lights and sounds. I feel foolish after and stay home for longer periods of time.

No one takes me seriously either.

My dad had 20 of his birds killed by a weasel recently and was upset. I looked up everything I could about weasels and wrote down what was important. It took a few hours and 3 pages. I tried to show my Dad but he wouldn’t read it. I tried to tell him some of the important things like when he sets the trap he can’t handle it with his bare hands. He brushed me off.

This morning 5 more birds were killed and nothing was in the trap. I asked him if he wore gloves when he handled the trap. He said “No”. I told him he was supposed to and he then became angry at me.

My twin is upset because she has PED related to Chronic Fatigue so I researched all the new information on it, wrote it up and sent it to her in an e-mail. She never responded. I forgot to mention that she asked me to do this.

I don’t want to bother anymore. I want to disappear and see how long it takes for them to wonder where I am or care.

My sister also said she’s glad we were separated in kindergarten because she never wanted to be a twin. She said I have separation anxiety when it comes to her and she can’t handle it. I never asked her to. I only wanted her to be my sister and love me. She said I watch too many movies.

I wish it had been her at the Hospital that night watching our Mother die. Bubbles of blood coming out of her mouth as her empty beautiful blue eyes stared at the ceiling. The nurses laughing and drinking coffee, my father falling to the floor making a noise not quite human more of howl. I couldn’t move in that moment. I stood there recording the scene in my brain to be processed later. Only I’ve never really processed it.

Comments at the wake made to me were “You’re taking this well”. I was. Because to me it didn’t happen. I had to take care of my Dad, make sure my brother wasn’t too wasted, and my sister was over medicated with an infant. What was I supposed to do? The last funeral with my brother at it ended with the casket tipped over and him punching my Dad in the face. My Mom kept everything together.

Right now I can barely make myself a bowl of cereal.

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