The Chauffeur And A Change In Routine

My father is having surgery on his remaining Cataract tomorrow morning. Tomorrow is also a dialysis day for him and he usually does the early morning one.

The Eye Clinic called about his appointment and he told him to make it for 6:00 a.m. and he would do dialysis at 2:00 p.m. and they agreed.

The problem is he obviously can’t drive himself. My sister drove him last time because I just had surgery and couldn’t. There’s no way she’s waking up 5:00 a.m. to take him this time so I have to.

The problem with this is when I’m thrown off schedule with my sleep and the medications that actually do work (Adderall and Klonopin) it changes my behavior or mood. I am always worse in the morning and I’ve been like that for years. I do get better as the day progresses but start to go down again by 3:00 p.m. it’s a short window where I feel kind of okay. I’ve had trouble leaving the house for the past 6 to 8 months. My dad and sister believe if I’m forced to leave the house it will help me. They don’t realize how many times I sit in parking lots and cry.

It’s more about what I see and feel when I leave the house. I see new moms laughing with their babies, I see happy couples shopping together, or sometimes I talk to someone and feel like I’ve talked too much and embarrassed myself. I think people can tell I’m alone and starving for conversation, that I’m desperate. All of this hits me when I get back to my car and sit there crying. Sometimes it’s a smell that brings back a memory or on occasion I think I see my mom. The World starts to crumble and I can hear the blood rushing to my ears while my face becomes hot.

So I have to be the Chauffeur tomorrow all while trying not to cry or say the wrong thing because I’ll get yelled at.

My sister sent me a text today wanting to know which was better Amazon Prime, HULU, or Netflix. So I gave her the information on all three and broke it down for her. I don’t know why I did it took me almost an hour to put everything together and she never responded or thanked me. I should be used to it by now but it takes many, many, bricks to hit this head before I realize what’s good for me and what isn’t or do something about it.

For 2 people so concerned about my mental health they do a good job at trying to destroy it.

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YOU TOLD ME ALREADY!

I forget what I’ve already said to people. I shouldn’t considering I only talk to my twin sister and my Dad. The problem is the conversations with my sister are usually texts and when I actually get her on the phone it’s been awhile. I become over excited and rush to say everything I can before she tells me she has to go. She then gets angry and says that I only talk about myself and never listen to her problems. I’ve told her a million times that she has to stop me and just politely say “Can I tell you what happened to me?”. I’ll understand. But she would rather yell at me.

This happened this morning. I knew I called her too early. I can’t really talk to anyone until after 9:30 for some reason. Maybe it’s my medication but I’m pretty bad when I first wake up and I don’t improve until after 9:30. Of course the subject of Doctors came up and she asked if I found a new Psychiatrist or considered Therapy again so I can gain better “coping” skills. The conversation went downhill from there. She said that she doesn’t believe I have no control over what I say and think. She believes that I can control the loop of thoughts and memories in my head if I really wanted to. She doesn’t believe that I am “medication resistant” or that my Bipolar is harder to treat than anyone else’s.

I was crying and stuttering. The more I tried not to the worse it became. I was angry and sad. I told her I didn’t want to lose her. She told me I was stupid but if I continued the way I was she didn’t know what would happen. Supposedly I “upset” her every time we talk and our conversations leave her nauseous.

I can’t say that I felt too great after speaking with her either. As a matter of fact I was looking for the closest sharp object. Then I was filled with anger.

She has never really listened to what I’ve been through. She doesn’t want to know. Maybe I keep repeating past events hoping one day she’ll hear what I’ve been through. But she won’t. I have to accept that. She’s been the same person for 44 years she isn’t going to change. When my dad found out he was in Kidney Failure and headed towards dialysis I immediately offered one of my kidneys. My Dad has too much pride and refused at first but said he would think about it. My sister never offered. He deteriorated too fast and had to go on Dialysis, then in a weird twist of fate I went into Kidney Failure and lost my right kidney. (My sister never offered me a kidney either. I didn’t need one but she didn’t know that. My best friend offered though.) My dad has brought up the idea of a kidney transplant recently but he’s 73 so I’m not sure how that works. There isn’t anyone else in the family able to do it except for my sister who doesn’t work and is healthy enough to do it but won’t. Sorry, but this pisses me off. It also reminds me that she’s selfish and doesn’t appreciate anything.

My Dad gets upset when I try to talk to him about my sister. I’m not sure too many people know what it feels like to have your twin sister act embarrassed by you. This started at an early age. I know she said that she wanted us to have separate friends and be are own “person”. She went out of her way with this idea. Banning me from parties and going to the same places that she went with her friends is a little much. She also was ashamed of our parents and our house. My parents didn’t know this but she was very vocal about it when they were not around.

We weren’t exactly poor but my parents worked hard to own their house and were not able to really save much money. I would say we were lower middle class. I had money for things I wanted because I started working at 14.

When it came time for my sister’s wedding she was pissed that they could only afford to give her $10,000 and pay for her dress which was $1,500. I wanted to slap her. They wanted my parents to pay for an open bar and for private security for a few of the guests that needed it. WTF??!! Both of my parents were alcoholics who had been sober for 30 years, there was no way they were paying for an open bar. Private security for people who have more money than my entire family combined? Don’t think so. Then my sister told my mom she didn’t want any of my mom’s side of the family invited to the wedding. My mom loves to show off her kids and she loves her brothers and sisters. It hurt her immensely to hear this. I think my Dad actually talked to my sister because she changed her mind fast.

Then the last insult. My dad spent months building a Treasure Chest made of Oak and was Gold Plated. He did all of the carving by hand, there were sail boats and the ocean, he did the welding and the gold plating. The chest was where the guests would put their envelopes and then was meant to be kept as memento. It was beautiful. Until they ran through their Honeymoon money too fast, couldn’t find the key to the Chest and decided to smash it to pieces.

When said to her “I don’t want to lose you” and her reply was “I don’t know, it’s too much talking to you, I’m anxious and sick to my stomach for the rest of the day after. You have to get more help and Therapy or this isn’t going to work.”.

I don’t respond well to ultimatums. Do I think my Doctors are doing their best? No, I don’t. But it would be nice to have support for a change.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Yesterday and the day before I had actually started to feel a little better. I changed my meds on my own. (I am not endorsing this for anyone else to do) My Doctor is unfortunately an idiot who only recites what the Pharmaceutical Representative tells him or he reads from the box. He doesn’t even know his own Hospital’s Research Studies or New Programs.

I’m almost through the Anniversary of my mom’s death except for the fact that I now can’t remember the exact date or time it happened. I’ve been trying for 2 days. I think it was at 9:12 p.m. or 10:12 p.m. but I can’t ask anyone what the exact date was because they’ll get mad at me. I’ve already had that happen today.

I was in a good mood this morning (a rare event) so I called my sister. I guess I was rambling on about myself and possibly Mel Gibson when I noticed I was getting mostly silence on the other end. I knew this meant she was done with me. I made the Holy Grail of mistakes.

I didn’t ask my sister how she was doing first and listen to her problems first. A big no no.

When I had been on the phone with her for a few minutes she interrupted me so she take a call from her neighbor. Her neighbor is the same age as her and has kids also. It’s a snow day so the kids are home. My sister came back on the phone and said “I feel so bad for her right now, her husband’s been out of town for the last 2 weeks and she’s been stuck with the kids by herself. Plus 2 snow days she’s going crazy over there! The poor thing. I told her I would watch the kids so she could relax so we’re getting together later”.

This she feels for??!!  Her sister could be dangling off a bridge (I wouldn’t it’s too cold) and she wouldn’t even take the f*cking call but a stressed out stay at home mom with money she feels bad for. (No offense to stay at moms with money)

So when I abruptly stopped talking and told her I was going to let her go because I knew she was busy she got mad at me! Her words were “Why do you always do this?” I told her that I know her tone of voice. She said it was because I was doing all the talking.

BRAIN OVERLOAD

It’s extremely baffling to me how most of my life everyone around me (including strangers) commented on how I didn’t talk. I would be forced to go to a Wedding in the family where I didn’t know more than half the people and they would comment on how quiet I was. Compared to my mom I suppose a foghorn would seem quiet. (Sorry mom but you know you were loud and loved to talk)

One of the reasons I think I was so quiet is because of my environment growing up. It was always loud. I understand why my Dad spent a large amount of time outside and never went to family events. I was too young to have a choice. lol

When I did choose to speak it actually shocked people to the point they couldn’t pay attention to what I actually said. They could only focus on the fact that I was actually speaking.

Sometimes I feel like I can’t win. I talk too much or I talk too little. Story of my life. I’m like my dad. When I say something I usually like to think about it first. The only time I don’t do this is when I’m with people that are close to me that I love. I become excited because they’re spending time with me and I feel pressure to get everything out at once. I feel like I won’t see them again or talk to them again so I better make use of my time.

This is something I’m trying to deal with. I have told my best friend to let me know when I’m rambling too much and to dial it back, I’ve told my dad and sister too. The only one who has listened is my best friend. My dad just ignores me and my sister becomes irritated.

Isn’t this fun? But the good news is I HAVE NOT CRIED TODAY!

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Sometimes It Is Me

I admit that my feelings spin out of control. I snowball down a great big hill collecting sticks and stones that hurt me along the way. I know I do this. Stopping this behavior is something different. I can tell you how many Doctors and Therapists I’ve had if you want a number. I can tell you how many I went to that never picked up on the fact I am Bipolar even when the symptoms, as I look back, were like neon signs. I know hindsight is 20/20. But come on. None of them asked about my spending habits, sex, how I saw myself in social situations, if I was ever impulsive, if people sometimes questioned my energy or talking too fast or too much. Nope. They all continued to ask about sexual abuse and that was it. Through the years as things continued to get worse I would look from time to time for a group or therapist. I never found one. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, but I knew something was.

It hurt me immensely to know that my sister has been going to a support group for people with family members who are mentally ill. I still can’t find anyone. In Rhode Island they lump All Mentally Ill people together. So there are high functioning and low functioning. And some even have no function. They also consider people in detox to be part of the equation. Even when you are hospitalized they mix the mentally ill with the patients who are detoxing. When I was forced to stay at one Hospital for 4 days after ECT I was also forced to go to AA meetings. I had been sober 4 years at that point and for reasons of my own do not agree with AA. You had to go twice a day. I was told if I didn’t go I would have to stay in the hospital longer. I finally gave in when I found out the people who came volunteered to come when they could be home or with their families. They were mostly older men and Veterans. I’m glad I went because it was it was the only kindness I received.

I’m saying the same the same thing over and over and no one is listening. I don’t want to be like this. I don’t wake up and think “I would like to cry all day or feel like I want bash my head into a wall”. I would like to be some kind of happy but there is always this weight on my chest, this pain, a knot in my stomach, a feeling of being lost in a crowd. It never ends until I sleep. At the end of July I have to go under anesthesia and sometimes I wish I could stay there for a little while. It’s quiet, a bright light, sometimes I see my mom, sometimes I’m at the beach. I have to be careful because the last two times they had trouble bringing me out of the anesthesia. They called my Psychiatrist and he told him it was Catatonia due to the Conversion Disorder. I told them I have Conversion Disorder a million times but no one listens or they think it isn’t real.

I have hurt people recently. I’ve had a short temper and said things in fear and anger. I usually don’t say anything. I just swallow whatever I want to say down. I think I’ve been doing this for too long and now I’m lashing out. You get tired of being dumped on and never saying anything. But when I do finally say something I get in trouble and it’s because I’m Bipolar and need help. I’m really confused what it really is. Is it Mental Illness or I am realizing I’m a 43 year old woman who has been stepped on enough and doesn’t have to be anymore? I know some things were above and beyond but most were not. I’ll continue to search for help and a healthy outlet for anger.

IS SOMEONE HURT?

This is how my twin sister now answers her phone when she sees it’s me calling her. The first time I thought she was joking. She wasn’t.

When I tell her that everyone is fine she responds with “Ok, well I’m taking a nap so bye.” and hangs up. If I need to tell her something about our father or my health she will listen briefly.

It’s school vacation for my nephews. The last time I was in the Hospital and when we drove to Mass General she mentioned the two of us doing something with the kids. She said maybe a Hotel and the Aquarium. I was excited and happy. I should’ve known better.

My ex-sister in law called my father to ask if he wanted to meet her and MY SISTER’S KIDS at Chuckie Cheese. She said she knows he doesn’t see them often because my  sister doesn’t like coming to our house and by the way neither does she.

I then found out my sister was taking the kids to Maine with her mother in law and sister in law for 4 days of their vacation week. My sister in law was taking the kids Thursday morning and bringing them back Friday afternoon. As you can imagine that didn’t leave time for me to take them somewhere as promised.

When I asked my sister about this she said she didn’t remember any of that conversation with me. I also was a little pissed that my ex-sister in law took it upon herself to invite OUR FATHER to visit with my SISTER’S KIDS and her telling him his own daughter doesn’t like to come to our house. I could care less if my ex-sister in law ever came to our house, but you don’t say that to a 73 year old man on Dialysis who just had another health scare last week when he was hours from having a stroke.

The biggest reason the two of them do not like coming to our house is because of the 3 dogs and 2 birds in the house. In the last 6 months we have lost 2 of our beloved dogs. My father was devastated at both deaths. Yes they were of a senior age but we thought they were still healthy because of their actions. They were both still running around, playing, eating, drinking and showed no signs of illness. The one who passed recently had a heart murmur so we knew in the back of our minds that our time with him was coming to an end. The way he was found by me was traumatic. I didn’t take it well. Neither my twin sister or ex-sister in law said a thing about their deaths. Neither of them are animal lovers. The dogs would bark too much when people visited and that would set off the birds squawking. It was too much chaos for them. I repeatedly told them that if they just came in and went right to the couch and relaxed it would stop. The dogs were not used to having people in the house. My father and I do not get many visitors. Ok, I lied. We only get the mail person everyday. So how did they expect the dogs to act? They didn’t bite or anything they just barked at first. They were 3 lapdogs. One a 5 pound medium haired Chihuahua and the other a 10 pound Papillion. Both beautiful.

I think it was up to my sister to invite my father to spend time with her kids and not someone else. Plus her blowing me off with the kids hurt. They had an amazing time by the way. A sleigh ride and a Hotel with an indoor pool that had a tunnel going to a heated outside pool. They were in it for hours while the snow fell. How nice. Sorry I don’t have the money that her mother in law has but I was still going to pay for a nice Hotel for all of us to do something together.

Over the years I’ve paid many times for my sister and I to go away places. I did it with both pregnancies because she was feeling down. Even after both kids were born I took her on an expensive Spa Vacation. She said she would pay for some of it. When I went to pick her up her husband said “By the way we’re broke so she can’t really spend any money”. This did not stop her from booking the most expensive facial and the most expensive massage. She also ordered the most expensive items on the Menu at the restaurant attached. The final straw for me was her ordering 3 glasses of expensive wine each night knowing I was sober for about 2 years and making me pay for it. I could’ve said no to everything she did. I didn’t because I love her and thought she needed a break. When she received a chunk of money I was never paid back for anything. I still didn’t say anything.

After recent events I decided no more. If I want to go somewhere from now on it’s alone. I’m not going to pay family to spend time with me and take advantage of me. If I wanted that I never would have quit drinking and stayed in the gutter with the rest of the leeches. I know it sounds harsh but I am beyond showing that it bothers me.

So once the weather is warmer and my health is better I am going to try to make some friends and do more activities alone but where I can meet people with similar interests.

On a different note. I stopped taking my Topamax (mood stabilizer). The first reason is it causes kidney stones. The second reason is I noticed that I felt better without it when I ran out due to insurance issues. When I went back on it I was crying first thing in the morning again and very irritable until about 2:00 p.m. so I tried stopping it again. The crying and irritability stopped. The only problem is at night I feel like my arms and legs are being pulled from their sockets. I have arthritis and osteoporosis in my hips and pelvis but I don’t remember anything being wrong with my shoulders. I don’t know if this is a withdrawal symptom or not. If anyone has had a similar experience let me know.

I might be a little manic at the moment so excuse the rambling, but you knew what you were getting into when you picked to read me by my site’s title. lol

You Got To Change Your Crazy Ways

They want you to stop talking about your “illnesses”.

They want you to take responsibility for your actions.

They dismiss your feelings and ignore you.

They disbelieve the facts of your illness or conveniently forget them.

They think you just don’t take your meds. Forgetting your kidneys are failing.

They threaten to have you hospitalized when you cry too much over your dog dying.

They don’t answer your phone calls.

They make no effort to understand what you go through.

They sometimes hate you.

They are your family.

My Consequences of Today

 

 

I am afraid that I have permanently damaged my relationship with my twin sister today. I feel crushed, humiliated, miserable and such pain in my heart.

I’ve been ill with kidney problems and on top of that I got a head cold turning itself into Bronchitis. I’m miserable to say the least. No medications are working. There isn’t much I can take for cold medications. My ears hurt, my face hurts because my sinuses are so swollen and I have a cyst on each side. When the tissue swells it puts pressure on the cysts causing the mother of all sinus headaches. The puppy is keeping me awake all night and the Pomeranian started having seizures last night. If it was up to me I would find another home for the puppy and the Pomeranian would be put to sleep peacefully. She is an older dog and has had these seizures for years. Every time she has one it effects her brain. It’s getting harder to watch. Because of my illnesses the puppy isn’t getting the attention and training he needs. I’m usually with him but too sick to do much.

I was so overwhelmed this morning with the puppy, being sick, the state of the house, my dad, that I called my sister crying. She offered to pick me up and bring me to her house where I could get some rest.

I got to sleep peacefully for a while. When I woke up it was because I had a bad dream. I went downstairs and her husband was on the couch. My sister and I started talking.

She said she was ready to call Social Services on my Dad and I because the house is a health hazard. My brother in law said it needed to be bulldozed. My sister said it was ruined by the dogs and birds and not worth anything anymore. She said it was probably the reason I was so sick.

My brother in law said that I needed to “hear some truths and own up to my part in things”. I needed to “take responsibility for what I failed to do”. He quoted some more stuff I’m pretty sure he learned in AA. When he kept saying I needed to “own it” something snapped. I saw red. I finally said “Just like you’ve owned up to everything in your ONE YEAR of sobriety! I’ve had 7, who the hell are you to tell me to own up to anything?” Then he told me to “Get the FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE NOW! I MEAN IT! I DON’T CARE HOW SICK YOU ARE GET THE FUCK OUT!” So I said ” You’re nothing but a dry drunk. Don’t threaten me EVER! YOU THINK YOU’RE A BIG MAN? YOU’RE NOTHING!” At this point my sister is between us holding him back. I went and got my stuff from upstairs. When I came downstairs he kind of apologized by saying “I’m sorry I should know better and try to have more sympathy for people LIKE YOU” I said “Thanks. Don’t do me any favors.” I left and started walking home in the rain.

In the last few days I’ve lost 10 pounds. I am now 5’6″ and 120 pounds. Not good. My sister lives 25 minutes away by car. I’m not sure how I thought I was walking home. So I had to call my dad. I told my sister I’m too toxic for her and her family. I don’t want to come between her and her husband. I feel so alone. They will never understand battling Bipolar. How much harder it is when your medications are not working the way they should. When a man comes at you and sets off flashbacks and the panic attack is so bad you think you’re having a heart attack. How Bipolar is worse when you do not get enough sleep. No one wants to hear any of it. They want to talk about cleaning house when I can barely stand up, my hair is falling out at a rapid pace, my arms are skeletal, I can’t open a bottle of pills. But sure let me scrub the entire house, set mouse traps, line the cupboards, disinfect everything, find a place for the puppy that my dad won’t give up, try to get him to get rid of his birds and take care of myself. Easy. No  problem.

I’ll miss my nephews the most. I don’t want to hurt anyone else. Until I get better everyone is better off without me for now.