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.

GOTTA GO AND A MILLION THINGS TO DO

My dad is constantly saying ” I gotta go or I have a million things to do”. He’s short tempered and nothing I do seems to be right. When I hear him say he’s “gotta go” I feel it’s because of me. He leaves if he notices I’m talking too much or I’m too quiet. When he says he has a “million things to do” it’s either an excuse to get away from me or to make me feel guilty about my limitations to help around the house. His constant negativity isn’t helping at all.

I still have not heard from my sister after telling her about the bone marrow biopsy by text because she doesn’t answer her phone.

I am honestly lost. The roller coaster ride is never ending and excruciating. I remember going to Hershey Park for a Hair Show and we all decided to go on the wooden roller coaster. Normally roller coasters don’t bother me but this one felt and sounded like the bolts and wood were going to come undone at any minute. I had chest pains and a gallbladder attack by the time I got off the ride. This is how I feel all the time now.

I keep thinking of all the time I wasted but it doesn’t matter I was still ill. Now I think of what time I have left. I want one more good concert, one more night with my best friend laughing until we cry, I want to hear my sister say she loves me no matter what I’ve done or said, I want to see my Auntie Lee one more time, I want one more vacation near the ocean in a house with a pool. None of these sound like much but to me they’re everything.

CUTS LIKE A KNIFE

My Dad can be cruel without realizing it. He makes comments thinking I can’t hear him except he can’t hear and is speaking louder than he knows. I can ignore it for a decent amount of time until he does or says something that’s a trigger for me.

Any time I have lost control sober it’s been triggered by words, body language, or feeling threatened. It’s part of having Conversion Disorder it doesn’t excuse my behavior only explains it. I don’t think I’m always 100% to blame. My dad and sister think they are the only ones on the Planet to suffer. This makes me want to slap both of them. They have both had the loves of their lives, children, their own homes, and experienced so much in life they just refuse to be grateful for it.

When I woke up this morning I had a bad headache and felt hot. I know it’s hot outside but my temperature was 99 degrees and I usually run between 93.5 and 94 because of my Kidneys and medications. My feet are also kind of swollen.

I tried to talk to my dad but he was busy reading his email so he ignored me. I started to do something else when he asked me a question. I startle easily. I jumped and yelled “WHAT?”. He said “Well I guess I know how you’re going to be today. Jesus Christ. It’s like this all the time with you now!”. I lost it.

I reminded him that I startle easily and he brushed it off. I felt myself growing angrier. I said “You never really asked about my scars or why I startle easily. One reason is because P and J locked me in a bathroom with a knife told me I was a fat f*cking waste of space and they weren’t going to let me out until I cut my wrists.” He started saying “Shut up, shut up, shut up, halfway through but I wouldn’t stop. I told him I did it and how they laughed when they opened the door and called me a “stupid bitch” because I didn’t get it right. By this time I’m stuttering and rocking and didn’t notice he had left the house.

It’s ok that I take the blame for everything, I’m difficult to be around, I talk too much, I’m too sensitive, I’m used to it. I can’t see my nephews because my brother in law is around during the day now probably because he isn’t working or it’s too hot for him. My sister is afraid I’ll start something with him. It happened one time and only because he was aggressive and looking for a fight. The things he said to me were so offensive that I can’t believe my sister would take his side.

Yes I lash out when I feel trapped which is most days lately. It’s harder and harder to stay here. When I go to the new Doctor Tuesday they’re going to ask me for a contact person. I don’t really have one I can depend on. I want to go off all my meds. I want to leave where I am. I want to be someone else. I’m tired of feeling like a joke or an embarrassment to everyone. I’m not exaggerating I was kicked out of my Uncle’s funeral by my sister because I was looking around too much. She thought I was acting “manic” and should leave so she made her husband drive me home. How would you feel?

Childhood Reminiscing

My early years were spent in a duplex behind 7-Eleven on Wasp Road or Hornet Road, I don’t remember which they were next to each other. It was also a cul de sac. You don’t know how long it took me to remember the words “duplex” and “cul de sac”.

We lived there until I think I was 5. It’s odd because I have so many memories from that time period. I first thought they weren’t memories, then my sister said some of them were her memories, eventually when I was alone with my mom I asked her some things and my dad other things. My mom could make some events sound more interesting than they were or so I always thought.

I didn’t find out until after she passed away the stories she told me were true and some had actually been toned down. If there’s one thing my Dad does not do is lie. Don’t ask me about my Grandmother because I’ve shocked people with some of my responses. I think one was “You mean the Psychotic whore who abandoned her children and left them living in a chicken coop?”. That didn’t go over well but I refuse to sugar coat a thing for that woman.

My Grandfather (Papa) and his girlfriend lived in the duplex with us. Seven people in that duplex was kind of a lot but I don’t believe Papa Doyle was there the entire time. It wasn’t the best neighborhood even then. There were drugs, drinking and fights. It was low income and some unstable people lived there also.

It was cold outside when I saw the man on his bike, I didn’t know what he was dragging next to him as he rode until he got closer. It was a dog hanging on a stick attached to one of his handlebars. When he went by he told me we better keep our dog from barking or the same would happen.

I remember standing there, unable to move for a long time. My mom finally came to get me. She kept asking what was wrong. When I told her she went into Mama Bear mode. She did this well. No one messed with her babies no matter how old they got. She knew her limits though. She waited for my Dad to get home from work and told him. He left the house with a slam of the door. I didn’t see the man on the bike again.

My Grandfather had a habit of not locking doors and falling asleep with lit cigarettes or cigars. A large drunk man was coming home late one night but came into our duplex instead of his. He made it all the way to the room I shared with my twin sister when I screamed. My Dad came running, picked the man up by his shirt collar and it was like they both floated down the stairs and out the door.  On another day outside a man put his hand through his bedroom window, I just remember all the blood.

My brother was 12 and already smoking pot with the kids in the neighborhood. He didn’t realize the glass door was down and my mom had cleaned it. He smashed through it. My sister doesn’t remember these things only being stung by a bee on the bottom of her foot which isn’t correct. I stepped on a piece of glass it was in the arch of my foot but I ignored it until I got home. When my mom first looked at my foot she thought I stepped in something. When she realized there was glass embedded in it things changed.

We also had an odd shaped glass ashtray. It was kind of a triangle. Somehow I fell into the point of the ashtray and it went to the back of my throat cutting it. The problem was it cut close to an artery. My mom was in panic mode because blood kept gushing from my mouth. To the hospital we went. They stitched it but I had to be still for days so it wouldn’t rip and open the artery. This I don’t remember but I have a small scar under my chin from hitting the table with the ashtray.

The best thing my Dad did was work hard and sell everything he had to put a down payment on a house to get us out of that neighborhood. A man with an 8th grade education, an outcast, forced into the Navy, an alcoholic, never shown love, gave everything to protect his family.

The love he had for my mom was special. It wasn’t easy but they never gave up on each other.

My Dad set a high bar. For me a man should protect the people he loves, he can be strong but sensitive when needed, my Dad has never disrespected a woman sober that I know of, if he makes a comment it’s positive, he’s honorable, that’s the word that fits him most.

I AM THE PRODUCT OF DECEPTION

My mother was never given a diagnosis for a specific Mental Illness. Judging from her past and behavior, I would guess she was Bipolar. I could be wrong, she could’ve had Borderline Personality Disorder. It’s hard to tell because although I’ve researched many topics I do not have a degree and we are blind when it comes to our loved ones.

WHAT I KNOW

My mother was the oldest of seven children. She was often left to care for them on her own. Her mother liked to go out and have fun (play poker, drink, be around men that were not her husband). Her father was an Army man and a Plumber who worked hard but never stood up to his wife. (For the record not many stood up to my Grandmother. She was tall, big boned, and strong as an ox. She was also from the south and used to hard liquor, dealing with men, and getting her way). She was in and out of their lives from months to years at a time leaving my mother to quit school and take care of her siblings. A thankless job.

My mother started to become like her mother. She drank and was often at local bars with various men. This became worse after the suicide of her first husband. I don’t know who she left my brother with. It was at a bar that she first saw my father. She had known about him from Middle School and as the “Navy Guy who beat up the Marine (her brother) at the Bowling Alley. It was love at first sight for her anyway.

Whenever I went anywhere with my Mom she would put the Oldies on the radio and sing along. She had a beautiful voice that fit those songs. The songs would always bring up a memory. Sometimes I think she forgot the person she was talking to was her daughter and probably not old enough to know the information that was given out.

She mentioned having to leave the State we lived in with my brother and going to live in California for a few years. I asked her why. She said because she knew “something” she shouldn’t and a “group” of bad men were mad at her. (Translated this meant she pissed off the Mafia somehow but when a member of the family married someone with ties to the “bad men” she was able to come home). I always knew too much.

She also told me on one ride that she trapped my dad by getting pregnant on purpose. (Unfortunately she even told me where and what song was playing at the time) She my dad panicked halfway through her pregnancy and took off. No one could find him. He came back when we were a few weeks old and never left. He grew to love my mother more than anything in this world. My mother also mentioned that they didn’t get married until we were 5 years old. When she told me this I was around 14. The first thing I thought was “I’m a bastard. My father never wanted me. He only stuck around because he had to.” I pushed all of those thoughts and feelings down for a rainy day. I never told my sister until years later.

It’s strange how things that hurt us come to the surface at strange times. I was drinking one night and came home late. My dad heard me and turned on the lights. He started yelling at me about drinking. I’m not sure what pushed me. Was it him or my mom standing there in her shortie nightgown? I started yelling back at him “Shut up! You never wanted me! Mom trapped you and you took off! I was born a Bastard how fitting! F*ck You!”. I don’t think I have ever personally hurt my father so badly with words before. I vomited for 5 days. The anxiety over what I said to him was tearing me apart.

The only thing he said to me is “You are my world and so is your mother. That’s all that counts. Your mom saved my life, I would be dead without her and you kids. I love you”. I heard him but continued on a path of self destruction anyway. Nothing anyone said was going to stop me.

There was one thing that contributes to my not drinking. It was right before my mother died. She asked me over to her side of the hospital bed. I bent my head down and she said “I’m sorry I f*cked up your life so much” and she cried as she fell asleep. That was the last thing she ever said to me.

Mommy, you never f*cked up my life. I did that by myself. All you did was love me.

THOUGHTS ON AN ALCOHOL (Take it with a grain of barley)

Settle in because this might be a long one. I have an extremely messed up family with too many secrets that has contributed to most of our problems. Most of my family also thinks they can do everything on their own without taking help from anyone. Pride always comes before the fall. I admit at times I’m like this. I get more upset when I talk and no one hears me. It’s as if my voice is carried away. They know how much effort it takes for me to have a conversation but it doesn’t matter.

My brother came over last night. When he hugged me I cried. He looked done, sad, older. He didn’t call me back when I tried to reach him before Thanksgiving or after. When I see him and hug him all I feel is enormous pain coming from him. Not one other person in my family does. My twin hasn’t spoken to him since her wedding I don’t think she spoke to him at our mother’s funeral. I do know her husband and my Uncle Billy threatened him at my mom’s funeral when no one was looking.

My mother’s first husband was an alcoholic with severe depression. He also didn’t treat her kindly and cheated on her. The other woman was pregnant around the same time as my mom was with my brother. My mom’s first husband drank until he could barely see one night and drove his car at high rate of speed into a cement barrier on purpose. Not long after my mom gave birth to my brother and named him after his father. A few weeks after that, the other gave birth and named her son the exact same name. My brother was not told any of these details until certain “people” thought he should know.

My mother’s side of the family could be extremely cruel. One of her brother’s was drunk when he said how useless my brother’s father had been and that he had killed himself. Shock #1 for my brother. When he was around 16 and saw his own name in the Newspaper for armed robbery and the guy was the same age as him he asked questions. Shock #2 for my brother. Add in the fact that you had your mom to yourself for 7 years with her crazy ass family and it adds up to whole lot of messed up.

My brother started drinking at 14 and hasn’t stopped. He’s 50 and still doesn’t see it as being a problem. A doctor has already told him about his liver and pancreas but still he doesn’t see a problem. He says alcohol isn’t the problem, his ex wife is. He loved our mother more than anything. If she said his name a certain way and told him to “Knock it the f*ck off” he would. My mom could be a little scary. You should’ve seen her when she didn’t put her dentures in, her hair was all over the place, and she would be wearing a “shortie” nightgown. This is how she looked when she yelled at kids trying to use our yard as a shortcut. That stopped right quick. I didn’t mention she was shaking a broom at them. lol

My brother doesn’t get any understanding or sympathy from my father, sister, or anyone else. Just me. I told my dad last night for the first time that I was ashamed of him.

I said to my dad “Not everyone can quit booze and cigarettes in one day and pretend to be happy for the rest of their lives when they’re not”. He wanted to know what I meant. I said “You might have quit drinking Dad but do you even know why you started? I’ll tell you why. You are socially awkward, you have trouble making friends, you go through depression and panic attacks so bad you swallow your own vomit so no one knows. But I do, I know. You didn’t fix anything. YOU JUST STOPPED DRINKING”.

I also told him I didn’t think it was fair to treat my brother any different because his kind of pain you can’t fix anymore it’s all he knows, it’s all he has to hold on to. He’s lost everything else.

My mom’s love was too big, too great, there’s nothing that equals it. But I did watch my brother’s face light up for a few minutes while he played fetch with Dutch and Dutch, knowing my brother’s pain, hugged and kissed him while my brother laughed like I hadn’t heard in years.

I love you so much Phil. You’ve never been my half brother you’ve been 100%. Some of your children I haven’t decided on yet. lol11059761_10207494279902008_1407885758767048615_n

HOW MUCH DOES THE “REAL WORLD” MATTER?

I love my family. Okay, I love some of them. The problem is my family is a pretty big contribution/trigger for some of the emotions and problems I go through.

I’m not completely blaming them. My dad and sister have done the best they are capable of doing. You can’t ask something of someone who isn’t capable of giving you what you need. That is the hardest to come to terms with.

I have used up all of the trust they ever had in me, they have had to deal with me for so long that their sympathy level is now either nonexistent or low. They have heard it all a thousand times and have stopped listening all together.

I didn’t tell my dad or sister about the Psychosis or Catatonia. There’s no point.

The “Real World” or so called “Normal People” (who decides who’s normal?) will never understand my day to day life. They will never understand what it’s like to have a group of people suggest you kill yourself so you won’t waste taxpayers money. They will never know how it feels to have strangers tell you that you should be sterilized so you don’t pass on your illness. They will never know what it’s like to want to drink yourself to death rather than feel the pain you feel. They won’t know what it’s like to almost succeed and lose everything in the process. What we do to one another I find appalling. It’s only here that I find peace.

And I know how it feels to cry myself to sleep    I’m that kid on every playground    who’s always chosen last    I’m the beggar on the corner    You’ve passed me on the street    And I wouldn’t be out here beggin’    If I had enough to eat    And don’t think I don’t notice     That our eyes never meet    I’m fat, I’m thin, I’m short, I’m tall, I’m deaf, I’m blind, hey aren’t we all    Don’t laugh at me    Don’t call me names    Don’t get your pleasure from my pain    Trying to overcome my past    You don’t have to be my friend    But is too much to ask    Don’t laugh at me

Lyrics by Steve Seskin, Allen Shamblin  (This isn’t the song in it’s entirety, just the main subject of the song)8fdf37fdb507c214d2454e0088e5e716