Category Archives: Addiction and Mental Health

IS IT A HALLUCINATION?

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I mistakenly thought my twin sister and I were on the same page. It turns out I was very wrong. This has caused a set back for me. I will no longer share anything with her. I don’t have many people in my life and find it extremely difficult to make friends. When you’ve had Social Phobia/Anxiety that went undiagnosed for as long as you can remember this usually happens.

My twin says she takes no responsibility for my recent hospitalization. I agreed to being hospitalized because she gave me the ultimatum of going or she would no longer be in my life in any way. She also said I had ruined her life and was ruining her marriage with “my illness”. I felt scared, guilty, and ashamed. It didn’t help that I could hear our older brother coming on to my Dad’s property at night and my Dad had just passed away. It was a lot to deal with.

The hospital stay was horrible, while I was there my one best friend and her boyfriend were driving by the house to see if anything was going on. She works for the post office and asked the people who deliver in my area to keep an eye out too. She also knows a family in my neighborhood. It’s sad that someone not in my family went to all this trouble to find out the truth instead of automatically thinking “D is Bipolar and under stress so she must be hallucinating”.

On 2 occasions my car and my Dad’s car were not in the driveway. I was in the hospital and my Dad was in the Cemetery, so who was driving the cars? There were trucks parked outside the house on several days and we were not having any work done, no one was home. I told my best friend what color they were and she confirmed it. These were all people my brother knew.

I was tired of lying to my twin sister after I was released from the hospital. My brother and his girlfriend were still coming here around the same time each night and leaving around the same time every morning. My brother would leave first because he had to be to work earlier and she would wait until a friend picked her up 45 minutes later.

I’m still adjusting to all the errors made with my medications and the problem that I was being glutened at every lunch and dinner by accident. So I haven’t been feeling well physically. My sister didn’t react well when I told her our brother was still coming on the property. She yelled at me “I thought you were doing so well! I thought you were getting better!”. Still not listening to me or the fact that other people have actually seen him.

When she came to see me in the Hospital she treated it like a day at the zoo. I was hurt and angry at her behavior. This is how she sees me, if says otherwise she is lying. I’m not a person to her. I’m a burden or a problem to fix.

My brother has done things so disgusting that his own children have said to his face they wish he was dead. Their mother is dying from Pancreatic Cancer and he took her GOFUNDME account leaving them with nothing. How can my sister doubt what I’m saying?

I’ve researched Auditory Hallucinations until I can’t see anymore and I don’t fit any of the criteria. My file now has that I am paranoid and should be kept away from guns and any other weapons! I find all of this offensive. And yes, I also feel a deep shame. I now carry an extra label on me that I don’t deserve.

Are there people with severe mental illness who can be violent? Yes there are and there is a specific protocol with testing and interviews in place to TRY to make sure they don’t hurt themselves or others. It often fails. People often wait until they are years into their disease to seek treatment if they do at all. Let me be VERY CLEAR the percentage of violent mentally ill people is much, much, lower than any other population. The mentally ill are more likely to have violence done against them.

Most of us are intelligent, sensitive, human beings who just feel everything a little too much, or have that hole inside that aches all the time but we can’t explain why, or have trouble speaking around groups of people so we withdraw or drink so we can speak. There are millions of variations of “illness” that change constantly. Unfortunately what doesn’t change is how society still sees us.

I’m still scared and angry but eventually I’ll get past it. What’s in my file stays there forever.

 

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THIS A TRUE STORY PART III~HOPEFULLY WITH A RESOLUTION

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My brother’s ex-wife was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in September of 2018. Their son took a sabbatical from college to come home and help care for her. My brother as usual showed no emotion, he got drunk and called family members late at night still complaining about a woman who was just told she had less than 6 months to live.

My brother managed to go to a Vocational School and learn computer programming which can pay well if you leave your political views, racial views, raunchy jokes and ego at the door. He never managed to do this for long. His jobs were always contracted for a specific amount of time, IF a company really liked him they could decide to hire him permanently. This happened maybe twice and eventually he would go out drinking with co-workers/bosses and say or do something inappropriate causing the company to let him go.

The Court forced him to pay child support for his 3 beautiful children that he hardly visited unless he needed something from the family. I understood his childhood and the pain he was constantly feeling but it didn’t give him the right to pass it down to his children. Me, being the coward I am, usually said nothing. I was dealing with my own issues at the time. I wish things had been different.

I honestly don’t know what kind of trouble my brother is in now. I can only guess that it must be bad. After what he put me and his family through I no longer care.

My best friend and her boyfriend started to drive by my Dad’s house (the one I’m living in until it’s sold and have lived in most of my life) they would see my Dad’s bedroom light on when I had closed off the upstairs. Late at night I would hear cars coming and going in front of the house and my brother’s voice. One night I heard him talking to his youngest daughter about an incident at a party I had no idea had happened. I was furious. She was facing felony charges. When I asked my twin sister about it she wanted to know how I found out about it. I told her once again that our half brother was coming and going on the property and into the basement. It’s an older house with baseboard heating all along the floor, you can hear everyone’s conversations, you always could. She still didn’t believe me and said I could’ve guessed. I became angry and said “Would I know that the drugs were fake and she was holding them for a guy she liked if I was just guessing?” She hung up on me.

By this time my brother knew she didn’t believe me so he didn’t bother whispering anymore and brought his new girlfriend with him. I was disgusted. They still hid, for what reason I have no idea. I know he was obsessed with the idea of how he thought he was treated by our Dad and the house being his “childhood home”. He was kicked out at 16/17 for drugs/alcohol/fighting/expulsion from school. He’s also obsessed with how other people see him. He will repeatedly brag about how much money he makes. He forgets to mention how much he loses.

I began to eat less, sleep less, and became afraid to use my own bathroom. The front door had always had problems but now it wasn’t locking at all. I’d had enough. My twin wondered why I wasn’t outside in the middle of the night chasing him and his friends to get evidence. Maybe because I’ve been beaten by drunk men on several occasions, maybe because I still hadn’t had time to grieve for the one person who understood me and loved me the way I am, or maybe she should’ve gotten off her ass and chased them into the dark woods with a camera herself. I called the police.

His size 13 footprints were all over the property along with empty little liquor bottles and cigarettes. The older officers knew exactly who he was and who he might be with but he wasn’t on the property then so they couldn’t do anything. They did barricade the basement door for me so he couldn’t get in that way anymore. I could hear him swearing later that night when he tried. I felt some of my old self start to come back.

Early the next morning I heard a female knocking on my neighbor’s door. Then my neighbor started swearing at her and asked her who she was and where she lived in the neighborhood. I had started sleeping downstairs when my Dad became sick so I could hear everything. I do not think I have Super Human Ears. I did have to hear for 2 people for over 10 years due to my Dad’s tinnitus. It made it difficult for him to be in public places and hear the TV so I was used to hearing for both of us.

My brother wanted to know what had happened the night before so I yelled (the loudest someone like me can yell) “I called the police moron! I’m sick of it! Get off my property now or a restraining order is next!”. Ten minutes later 3 trucks show up at the edge of the property to give the poor guy some moral support while I had to pack to go to an Extended Stay Hotel with a very frightened dog (my sister’s idea).

After 1 night at the Extended Stay my sister came and gave me an ultimatum.

Go to Butler Hospital for the “hallucinations” I was hearing or she would no longer have anything to do with me. She told me that I “ruined her entire life and was starting to ruin her marriage”, I wouldn’t be allowed to see my nephews either. She held all the cards and I was terrified. She dropped me off at the hospital entrance and drove away with my beautiful dog.

A lot of not great things happened in the hospital that I’m not ready to talk about yet. I did get proposed to 3 times and the patients kept thinking I was the staff.

The day after I was admitted onto the highest secured floor (automatic when someone calls ahead to tell them you’re hallucinating voices) my brother called my sister and asked if he could move into the house. He also asked where all the keys were.

I’m home now and don’t know where he is, I assume running after stealing his ex-wife’s Pancreatic Cancer Fund. She has less than 3 weeks left. He’s a great guy isn’t he?

Thank You Everyone


This Is A True Story- Part II

Where did I leave us? Oh, my brother.

My brother became a different person after that. He didn’t trust anyone, started smoking pot, drinking, and fighting. He also became a bully, fighting with everyone, especially our Dad. He was 13, 6 foot 3 and 200 pounds. My Mom was hospitalized twice during his teens due to all the verbal and physical fighting going on around us. The police knew exactly who my brother was and were called to the house often.

I never stood up to him, never told on him, I just tried to laugh and shrug it off. My twin had enough backbone for two people and did stand up to him, did fight back, and told our parents. This may be why he picked on her more.

He also insisted she was a lesbian, calling her horrendous names, after her marriage he switched to her husband. I’ve heard him be racist, sexist, homophobic, and an all around bastard. But I still remember the goodness that was once there.

I mentioned in a previous post that he had been giving me marijuana to help me sleep since my Dad passed away in January. What I didn’t know is that high levels of THC can and usually do cause psychosis in people diagnosed with Bipolar and Schizophrenia. I was a drinker and street smart but didn’t know too much about chronic marijuana use. I had only researched medical marijuana which is very different than what you would buy on the street or from “someone you know”.

I started hearing conversations that sounded like they were right outside my window or in the basement. They call these “Auditory Hallucinations”. I admit that I’ve had 1 visual hallucination due to a bad reaction to a new medication years ago but that’s it. These were voices I knew well and they were continuing like a soap opera or movie.

I talked to my twin sister about it, she believed it was the marijuana, grief, lack of sleep, and “my illness”. No one likes to say it out loud.

I was hearing my brother, his 2 daughters(mostly 1 of them), and a voice I didn’t recognize. The more I insisted he was coming and going and hiding it, the more my sister started to talk about hospitalization, something I fear more than anything.

She insisted on coming with me to my next appointment with my Psychiatrist. I didn’t argue with her. They decided I needed another medication added to what I was already taking, Risperdal.

MEDICATIONS: Viibryd, Adderall, Xanax, Risperdal, Topamax, Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride (Klonopin was switched out for the Xanax I don’t know why)

I had already stopped using marijuana after doing extensive research online and told my doctor this. I wasn’t happy about more meds but when they started discussing how involuntary commitment works I accepted it. Like I mentioned I’m not good at defending myself unless I’m continuously pushed into a corner. As someone who has experienced a considerable amount of physical abuse from various men, I’m frightened of all confrontation. It takes a lot to get me to defend myself. I gave the medication changes 1 month to see if anything changed. I didn’t know what outcome I was hoping for the most. My brain has hidden things from me before when I wasn’t able to deal with something, I also know my brother better than anyone else does.

I would be crushed and furious if I found out he had been squatting on the property or trying to find if my sister and I were planning to leave him out when our Dad’s house sells. If he had allowed and encouraged people to think I was hallucinating because of the grief, I’m not quite sure what I would do. His narcissism is endless. He never paid attention to what I did, never believed I’m an alcoholic (in remission), laughed at any mental health diagnosis, and always ran or ignored his own problems. I turned a blind eye when it came to a lot of the things he did.

Unfortunately things would get much, much, worse.

I know this is only my side of the story, being a bipolar sober alcoholic with other mental health and serious health issues makes my credibility a problem for some people. Mostly because they don’t really know me.

TO BE CONTINUED…………


NIGHT NOISES

My psychiatrist is a nice man and I’ve had 2nd and 3rd opinions on my diagnoses which he encouraged, but sometimes I wonder if he stays up to date.

He suggested trying medical marijuana to possibly wean me off the Klonopin and sleep aid I take every night. We’re trying to save as much of my kidney function as possible so I don’t have to go on dialysis like my Dad. I miss him.

The doctor said he doesn’t have a license to “prescribe” medical marijuana but he thinks it would help me immensely!

You don’t need a special license to prescribe it, the doctor just has to verify that you actually have one of the qualifying conditions that would benefit from it’s use. I only found this out recently.

In the meantime, my sister has a license for it and I tried what she gets for anxiety at night. I think it’s the first time I’ve slept that good in years.

Of course, all good things must come to an end. We had another argument where she tells me I never take responsibility for anything and I’m cut off. I was ok until my Dad died.

I did the worst thing and asked my brother. He was nice and just gave it to me lol nothing with him is free. I started hearing things. Now I don’t know if I’m hearing voices and noises because of my Dad dying, the pot, or who knows what?(THC can cause auditory hallucinations and I don’t think it’s in much of the medical marijuana)

I haven’t processed my Dad’s death at all. It’s in a little blue box shoved far, far, in the back of my mind.

I just keep hoping I get to live near my Aunt for a little while. I love the area where she lives, I get along with my cousins, I love the weather, my Aunt is like my Mom, filled with love and laughter. They were sisters and best friends, imagine that!

I’ve been wanting to write more I’ve just been too tired. I had to postpone my kidney surgery by 3 and a half months so I start to feel like a giant slug. I’m good with it, I got to have extra time with my Dad.

 


PTSD, Triggers, Keeping Silent And Remembering Trauma

The smallest things will trigger a response from me. A loud male voice behind me at the grocery store, the smell of beer and leather, bright lights and loud music, aggressive men in general, and even the way my Dad calls my name sometimes startles me.

Deep in the back of my mind I think I still resent my Dad for the way he handled everything. For the way he shook his hand and thanked him for bringing me home. For the way he called me a “drunk and a liar” as I was on the floor covered in blood in and out of consciousness.

I told myself I deserved it for many years. I allowed other men to treat me just as bad. Mostly because I was told by my own family that no one would believe me. I shouldn’t have been there. I shouldn’t have been drinking.

It wasn’t the first time it was just the worst time.

REMEMBERING THAT NIGHT

I don’t remember the day. I don’t remember the exact year. I remember the apartment because I was there everyday. I remember the person because we had been as close as two people can be for over 10 years. We were both alcoholics. The only difference was I did my drinking between 4pm and 3am. I never drank during the day and I never drank alone. He drank whenever, by himself or with other people.

Over the years I had seen him be cruel. He had been physical with me on a fee occasions but I wasn’t a small girl and always thought I could handle him. I admit to drinking to the point of blacking out and having no memory of the previous night. I know during these times some things happened without my permission. I only know this by how I looked when I woke up and where I woke up.

I was undiagnosed Bipolar and doing anything I could to not feel emotions. My alcoholism eventually made this a million times worse. I also admit I wasn’t always nice while drinking. I could be obnoxious, jealous, and petty.

I would try to stop or slow down my drinking many times.

One night I took my cousin to the apartment with me, I wasn’t drinking. Someone thought it would be funny to put Rum in my soda. I took a big gulp and that was it. He was pissed and said “You better not get drunk because you’re not staying here tonight”. Of course this pissed me off and I thought “Who the hell is he to tell me how much to drink? He wouldn’t even have groceries or clean laundry if it wasn’t for me.” So I drank and drank.

At some point we started to argue. I remember asking him what the big deal was. Over the years he always said to me “You always hurt the ones you love the most”. And he did.

I turned my back to walk away from him and he picked up one of the heavy oak chairs on wheels that came with a beautiful table that turned into poker table and hit me over the back of my head.

I think I fought back and angered him because he grabbed my hair and pulled me to the floor. He got on top of me with all his weight, pinning my arms down with his knees.

He started punching me in the face, he wore a skull ring. With each punch he said a word “YOU, STUPID, FUCKING, BITCH” I remember spit flying out of his mouth and my nose swelling shut.

The blood started to go down the back of my throat and I felt like I was drowning. I couldn’t get any air and I couldn’t move. For the first time ever I was terrified.

Eventually he pulled me up by my hair. I noticed one of the bedroom doors open and a girl I had known for years looked out at me and hurried up to shut the door. I know I said “Help” but maybe I wasn’t loud enough. I had bleach blond hair at the time and it was soaked with blood. My clothes were soaked with blood.

He dragged me to his apartment door which was always open and threw me down the stairs. I don’t know how long I stayed at the bottom of the stairs.

The next thing I remember he’s trying to get me to a car and I fall on my hands and knees in a puddle.

He had his friend drive me and my cousin to my parent’s home. He carried me to the door where he told them I fell. I kept trying to tell them it was him and I didn’t just fall.

It might have been the blow to the head because I wasn’t able to remain conscious. My Dad took this as a sign of being extremely drunk.

When I could speak and told my parents as much as I could my Dad said no one would believe me. I shouldn’t have been there and I was a drunk and a liar. They told me not to go to the Hospital and that I would be fine.

I wasn’t fine and wouldn’t be fine for the rest of my life.

The heavy chair hitting my head had actually caused permanent damage. I found this out 6 months ago.

PTSD is bad enough. When you have an underlying mental health issue like Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, and Substance Abuse Disorders, it can turn into something much more complicated.

Dealing with Conversion Disorder has been as bad as coping with Bipolar. I never really know what is going to set it off. It’s embarrassing to start stuttering and have people stare at you. To start shaking and have your hands tremor so bad you can’t count change. To have no control over your body.

My family doesn’t like to talk about any of it. He admitted to a bar full of people what he did. A friend of my brother’s was there. He also called my brother that night saying “I didn’t mean it, I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re gonna hear but it’s not true” None of this made sense and my brother called wanting to know what was going on. My parents said it was a misunderstanding.

Two years later he was arrested for Domestic Assault & Battery and was sent to counseling. He broke the woman’s jaw.

These are some of the reasons we stay silent. We’re talked out of it, told no one will believe us or we see that nothing is really done about it.ddc04855251fa6c0f0d2cc95d4f717f1


TAKING CARE OF DAD~ MORE ON THE ELDERLY AND ADDICTION

There are some people who abuse alcohol or drugs their entire lives and live to be 80 years old with no problem. On the flip side of this you have people who later in life, form addictions due to an “event” or “trigger”.

Retirement, death of a spouse or loved one, loss of income, or a decline in physical health can all be triggers for addiction in older people. Depression is one of the biggest problems.

You wake up one day unable to do the things you once loved, worried about finances, still grieving the loss of your wife/husband who was also your best friend, your children have their own lives now and you find you have fewer people to talk to. All of these things can lead to depression.

I’ll discuss more about depression at a later date.

A person’s age and gender contributes greatly to how open and honest they will be when answering a doctor’s questions but doctors play a role too. Too often an older adult’s concerns are dismissed as “old age” and prescription medications are used to solve the problem.

The #1 drug prescribed to people over the age of 65 and on Medicare are Benzodiazepines. They are used to treat anxiety, pain, and insomnia. They are also one of the most dangerous medications prescribed to seniors.

According to the American Geriatric Society benzodiazepines pose an increased risk for impaired alertness, respiratory depression and falls.

All benzodiazepines slow down the Central Nervous System. When used for insomnia it’s only effective for a few weeks. When combined with another benzodiazepine you can lose consciousness and stop breathing.

There are symptoms people experience when combining benzodiazepines that you need to contact your doctor if you exhibit:

  1. Continuing slurred speech or confusion.
  2. Severe drowsiness or weakness.
  3. Staggering.

There is a big issue with over-prescribing or “polypharmacy” which means having more prescribed medications on a daily or weekly basis than is healthy for one person to have. It becomes dangerous due to different drug interactions and side effects.

A person with a chronic or serious illness can find it challenging to keep up with a complicated medication schedule. Taking multiple meds at one time can cause some medications to neutralize each other so they end up taking more believing they either didn’t take it or it’s not working.

My Dad didn’t understand why he was still feeling so anxious specifically at the end of his dialysis treatments. He wouldn’t understand unless he had a degree in Pharmacodynamics or was a doctor (most doctors still don’t understand how to adjust medications for patients on dialysis). The pain medication he was on for his compressed nerve was making him anxious as it was being dialyzed. The anxiety medication he normally takes is at a very low dose. He didn’t think twice about doubling the anxiety medication. He would be unsteady on his feet when leaving the Dialysis Center and no one said a word.

Some people go to more than one doctor who may prescribe a medication without knowing what the patient is already taking. Patients don’t always remember all of their medications and don’t make a list like they are asked to.

I usually go with my Dad to any new appointments to fill out the paperwork and list all of his medications. His Nephrologist doesn’t see him in his office he visits him during his dialysis treatment. This means I can’t be there. I’m not there to fill out any new paperwork or to let them know about any new medications. My Dad isn’t going to tell them. My Dad will say everything is “Fine” when the doctor comes around.

Primary Care Physicians should be going over a patient’s list of medications on a regular basis and making adjustments. I know my Dad’s does not. If he did he wouldn’t have prescribed 2 benzodiazepines with an opioid. My Dad shouldn’t still be on Klonopin and they should be looking at Chronic Pain Management instead of him taking Hydrocodone that isn’t even working. I made him stop taking the Restoril. I personally wanted to go to his doctor’s office and tear him a new one for even prescribing it to a 75 year old man. It’s a dangerous medication for anyone to take long term but even more so for people over 65.

None of this matters when you are dealing with someone so full of pride and stubbornness that he won’t admit just how sick he is.


TAKING CARE OF DAD~A LOOK AT ADDICTION IN THE ELDERLY

Chronic pain conditions affect about 30% of elderly people. The first line of treatment they are given when they see their doctor is either an immediate or extended release opioid medication like hydrocodone with acetaminophen.

Elderly patients with chronic pain usually develop insomnia which in turn can make pain worse.

Benzodiazepines are often prescribed for insomnia and anxiety. These would be medications like Klonopin and Ativan. Insomnia and anxiety can both occur with chronic pain.

Older patients  have an increased sensitivity to Benzodiazepines. As we get older we don’t metabolize medications the same way we used to. This can cause an increase in sedation and memory loss. Unfortunately too many people are unaware of this.

With the opioid addiction crisis becoming more of a problem the CDC came up with a set of guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain.

The guidelines are intended to improve communication between providers and patients about the risks and benefits of opioid therapy and reduce the risks associated with long-term opioid therapy.

Nonpharmacologic therapy and nonopioid pharmacologic therapy are preferred for chronic pain. Clinicians should consider opioid therapy only if expected benefits for both pain and function are anticipated to outweigh risks to the patient. If opioids are used, the should be combined with nonpharmacologic therapy.

Clinicians should prescribe immediate release opioids at first and at the lowest dose. For acute pain 3 days or less is often sufficient, more than 7 days is rarely needed.

Clinicians should avoid prescribing opioid pain medications and benzodiazepines concurrently whenever possible.

My Dad has always had severe anxiety. He never told a doctor about it, I think he only discussed it with my Mom and me.

When he had to go on dialysis he found that towards the end of the three and half hours he felt the overwhelming urge to get up and leave. He couldn’t keep his legs still. He’s always had problems with his legs being restless. He’s always been a light sleeper and now the restless legs were causing him to get no sleep at all. He finally mentioned it to his Primary Care Doctor. His Doctor put him on Klonopin, 5mg three times a day or as needed. I know my Dad, he wasn’t going to take them three times a day and I felt comfortable with it being a low dose.

His health became worse and he was under more stress. He wasn’t sleeping at all and his legs were moving all the time. His Doctor prescribed Restoril 30mg. I wasn’t aware he was taking this medication until he was on it for a few months. I started to notice a change in his behavior.

Restoril is a benzodiazepine. Now he was taking 2 benzodiazepines but this one lasts longer in older adults. The other problem is how these medications work when you’re on dialysis. His Doctor has a habit of not taking this into consideration or looking it up. During the day he was off balance at times and sometimes sounded like he was slurring his words. I was pissed about it and told my Dad he shouldn’t be taking both medications that there were better alternatives, but he was so afraid of going back to not sleeping he wouldn’t listen.

My Dad hurt his back a few months ago. I repeatedly told him to go to the doctor but he refused. He finally went to his Primary Care Doctor who of course prescribed him Hydrocodone on top of everything else he was already taking. I didn’t know he was getting 90 at a time.

My Dad came home a few weeks ago extremely upset. He had crashed his truck into a guardrail and didn’t know how. The truck was brand new and completely totaled. He took out 200 feet of guardrail and both air bags deployed. He refused to go to the Hospital even though his ribs hurt. If they had tested his blood they would’ve found Klonopin, Restoril, and Hydrocodone in it and he would’ve been arrested. He had no idea the medications were still in his system and effecting him as much as they were.

You would think this would’ve scared him but it really hasn’t. He’s in so much pain from the compression in his back and the previous fractures that he can’t sleep. At 75 and being on dialysis he doesn’t want to have surgery and I don’t think anyone would do surgery. The doctors he’s seen have been useless.

I sit here and watch him fade away. He’s down to 149 pounds, he’s all bone with a sunk in face. He doesn’t look like my Dad. He’s getting up in the middle of the night and saying scary things like how he wants to die. He has no memory of what he says or does from the night before. I can’t remember the last time he said something positive.

I don’t know how much longer I can watch him pop pills slowly killing himself. I’ve done this already with my Mom.

I feel so guilty for wanting to have a life of my own. I’m also petrified because I’ve never been away from home.

I don’t want to be 75 and alone. My Dad has had a wife who adored him, children who love him, a job he loved, travel experiences, a lot of good memories. It’s sad that only 1 of his children worries about him but that’s most families. My siblings think I owe my parents because of what I put them through when I was younger. First, my brother was way worse than me. Second, I think I’ve more than made up for my mistakes in ways they will never know or understand. I did it with love, understanding, being there when needed, listening, and on occasion I made some of their dreams come true. I’m proud of that.

But it’s time for me to have a life. I won’t survive mentally watching my Dad die. He’s always been my hero I don’t want to think of him as anything else.


DECISIONS (I CAN’T MAKE THEM)

I have a million things I want to do. A million places I want to go. A million ideas to put into action.

The problem?

I can’t make decisions.

I have energy in my mind but not the rest of me. The thought of taking a shower, doing my hair, make up, getting dressed, is exhausting. So I don’t.

I’m tired all the time.

Then there is the anxiety. The feeling that something bad will happen if I leave the house. The extreme worry that my Dad will get sick or have an accident. It’s not far fetched.

On his way to the post office 2 weeks ago the package he was mailing started to slide off the seat. He took his eyes off the road for a second to catch it. When he did his truck hit the guardrail, his front tire got hooked on it and he took out 200 feet of guardrail. Both airbags deployed, the 2017 $25,000 truck was totaled, and he refused to go to the hospital.

I had to take care of everything for him. He isn’t a people person and he doesn’t hear very well. He thinks you get further dealing with people by using his deep angry voice when my mother always said “You get more with honey than you do with vinegar” a concept he never understood all the years they were married.

Where was my twin sister during this crisis? At the beach, sleeping, taking care of the kids, at the beach, and sleeping. To be fair she has ME/CFS? She had Mono for a long time that wouldn’t go away, she went to several doctors and no matter what they did she was still testing positive for Mono and could barely move. This went on for a few years when she started having a specific type of seizure where you might not notice right away. She would just stare off at nothing but I noticed 2 of her fingers would flutter when it happened. It was harder for me to have empathy because she never did with me.

Lately we were working on our relationship and had made a lot of progress. But I needed her these last 2 days and she couldn’t be there. I understand she’s tired and feels sick. I don’t feel well either. I’m having problems with my kidney stents which is beyond painful, a fever, and headache that makes you want to hit yourself in the head with a hammer.

There’s something really wrong with my Dad. I can’t handle it on my own. He’s lost so much weight. He has diarrhea all the time to the point he isn’t making it to the bathroom. I also noticed that it’s black which I know means blood. He’s cold all the time even when it’s 90 degrees outside. He isn’t sleeping, his legs move constantly. His Primary Care Doctor is giving him the wrong medications.

I don’t know what to do anymore. I didn’t have a summer. I wanted to go somewhere for a few weeks just to take a small break but I don’t think it’s possible. Who would check in on my Dad? I worry about everything all the time. Even about dying alone because I have no contact with the outside world. Plus I quit smoking and gained 30 pounds.


HOW MUCH LONGER?

I grow more tired every single day. My Dad grows more difficult to deal with each day. The pain medication mixed with anti-anxiety medication has changed his personality even more.

I find myself jumping at his voice and trying to make myself invisible when he’s around. I cringe when he slams doors and growls at the smallest things. I know he’s in pain but none of this is helping me.

Where are my siblings? My brother is somewhere in the state but I haven’t heard from him in at least 8 months. He never called to wish my Dad a Happy 75th Birthday in June and he hasn’t been by to get his mail.

My twin sister didn’t call my Dad on his birthday either. She called after his birthday or said she would. We are having a tough time. I need help with my Dad and she refuses. She lives 10 minutes away and doesn’t work. She did say that her “Mono” became active again and she had to rest. I then find out that she’s at her mother-in-law’s beach house with the kids going to all these events. Not resting.

My Dad fell out of his truck after dialysis the other day and couldn’t get himself up from the hot pavement in our driveway. I couldn’t hear him yelling my name. He eventually crawled to the door. One arm was covered in blood and missing the skin on his entire bicep. I couldn’t stop crying while I cleaned him up and bandaged everything. Of course he yelled at me to “Quit your crying!”. He’s my Dad, I couldn’t help it.

I can’t watch another parent die. I’m not healthy enough. My last stent exchange didn’t go well. It was done May 20th and I’m still urinating mostly blood (sorry for the over sharing). I also have a lot of pain in my back and pelvis. I know something is wrong but I can’t take care of it right now. My Dad is going for Injection Therapy on his back on the 31st. I have to take him. I hate the hospital he’s having it done at, it’s where my Mom passed away, it’s where I died for a short time when I went into Kidney Failure, and it’s where nurses commented on my mental health in front of me.

I’m tired, lonely, angry, disappointed, and keep wondering why I’m fighting so hard.

People go out of their way not to talk to me. It isn’t because of anything I’ve said or done. It’s because of what I might say or do. And that’s the worst part of all.6fdde65c60ad6b93a59fc21b54fa7621


WIDE AWAKE ROTTING

I don’t know why I blacked out. If it was the stress of dealing with my dad, the heat, me not feeling well, all I know is that I woke up on the floor.

When I woke up on the floor of my bedroom it was like I was somewhere else. I didn’t recognize this disgusting place filled with bags and bags of empty water bottles, paper towels, cigarette butts and ashes that had taken over the room. But it was my room. I had let it GET THAT BAD. I kept ignoring it or I didn’t want to see it. The shame of finally seeing what I let happen was too much. I had to leave it a little longer and remember what had triggered me in the first place.

I know I’ve been allowing people, places, and things said, get to me when I shouldn’t. I exist with every nerve ending exposed, my heart on my sleeve, and no protection. I always have, I also replay conversations and events in my mind that I feel were hurtful or that I deserved. (the key words are “I” and “I” am not a good judge because I am so sensitive) It’s probably one of the worst parts about it all, the constant film running in the background of my mind. It’s been the hardest thing for me to control or find coping skills that actually work.

Music, coloring, and research, work depending on the day. With an autoimmune disease, kidney disease, and medical disorders having to do with my blood that can’t be explained, my medications work at different levels in different ways.

One of my doctors believes part of my Conversion Disorder comes from watching my Mom die. Not just the horrible way she died in the hospital but the way she slowly killed herself at home.

She knew everything she had to avoid to stay alive, she knew everything she had to do to stay alive. I knew when she gave up. When she started staying in her room all the time, stockpiling food she wasn’t allowed to eat and not talking to anyone.

At the time I was working 60 hours a week and trying to maintain my alcoholism.

My mom was never thin but started to gain weight rapidly. This made it harder for her to breathe and put stress on her heart. Her bones were brittle and weak from chemo and radiation she had 7 years before. We were so lucky she even survived, most people don’t. I don’t know what it was that made her give up after fighting so hard previously.

When she fractured her back it was the beginning of the end. She would lose control of her bladder and bowels. She cried, moaned and screamed in pain all night long. Nothing we or the doctors did gave her any relief. They decided to do surgery even though she wasn’t healthy enough for it.

She made it through the surgery but the weight gain and immobility made it so hard for her to breathe she felt like she was suffocating. It was her biggest fear.

I now see some of the same behavior in my Dad and it scares me. It’s the opposite with him, he’s lost a lot of weight and does too much. He has old fractures in his back that he chose to ignore over the years. This time his sciatic nerve is being compressed so he can’t ignore it. He’s fallen down numerous times and doesn’t tell me unless I see blood and bruises. Yesterday he was stuck on the pavement of our driveway for over an hour bleeding from a large wound on his arm. He fell out of his truck coming back from dialysis.

He refuses to go to the hospital.

I called my twin sister to let her know what was going on and I might be taking him to the ER. She never called or texted back. Once again I’m left to deal with watching a parent die. Only this time I don’t think I’ll handle it at all.

My Dad and I are close. I told my Mom everything but my Dad and I have a lot in common. When I quit drinking for the last time he watched movies I know he had no interest in, same with TV shows, just to keep me company. He’s never given up on me. It’s only been these last 2 years that we’ve really argued and that’s due to both of our illnesses.

I want to live my own life.

I’m just not sure if I deserve to.

I destroy everything around me or they leave.


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