LASHING OUT AT YOU

As much as I love my father I can recognize his faults. He is one the most stubborn people I’ve ever me. He pushes himself beyond any human limits leaving his family to deal with the consequences. This mostly means me. Yes, I’m close to my Dad, that doesn’t mean I should have to be the only one worrying about him and witnessing him at his worst.

Finding him unconscious on the front lawn with his car parked in the middle of the street scared me. What scared me the most was that his pants and underwear were down. My father never even walked around the house without a shirt on, he was hallucinating because his fever was so high. Dialysis knew he had a high fever and a Urinary Tract Infection. They also knew he wasn’t steady on his feet. Yet they allowed him to drive home anyway. I admit I may have called them and said some things that were not nice I really don’t remember some of that day but I take responsibility if I did.

I had to call 911 because he wouldn’t wake up. The second time I had to call 911 was because he left the Hospital against the Doctor’s advice. He was bleeding internally but they didn’t where. He was home 24 hours when I heard a boom come from the bathroom. I had to break the bathroom door but still couldn’t open it all the way because my Dad was blocking it. When I saw the amount of blood on the floor, walls, shower and even the window I found the strength to push him to the side. I got him up and he told me to get him to the toilet. He didn’t make it. He collapsed on to the toilet. It looked look his liver had exploded out of him along with some other organs. I was terrified.

I was screaming and calling 911 at the same time. The neighbor heard me and ran over. When she took a look in the bathroom she had to run outside. It was nothing but blood and tissue. When the medics arrived they said “I’m surprised he’s still alive. Jesus, what a mess.” Then my favorite neighborhood Police Officer decided to see what was going on. He asked the EMTs and they said I was upset and my Dad was hemorrhaging internally. His response? A laugh and “The daughter’s always upset she’s crazy don’t give her attention it only makes it worse”. I actually went to High School with one of the EMTs and he knew I was diagnosed as Bipolar. He didn’t like the comments and tried to tell the Officer that it isn’t a joke. I stopped him because it wasn’t worth it the man wasn’t going to change his opinion of me.

My sister shows up after the mess is cleaned and stress is over.

I need a new car, the alternator is shot in mine, it needs a windshield, brakes, and probably tires. It’s a 1999 RAV 4 with 84,000 miles but I should do it now while I can because I don’t know what will happen in the future. Of course my Dad insists on putting the alternator in himself and trying to do other work on it. He comes in every 15 minutes looking like he’s going to die. I kept telling him not to do it but he refused to listen.

Finally I had enough. When this happens it’s never good. I told him if I have to find him one more time I’ll make Leaving Las Vegas look like a Disney film. He wasn’t happy with that and said “Don’t you ever threaten me Goddamnit!”. That’s when I started to tremor, cry and stutter.

He can do what he wants. When I get a new car I just have to make sure it’s big enough to sleep in. I did spend some time with my nephews and sister. The older one spotted me first. Oh how his face lit up! He was so excited he yelled “MOM! MOM! Auntie Day is here! She is! She is!” and he threw himself at me so hard he almost broke his gift. I bought the boys a beautiful handmade and hand painted rain stick. They love stuff like that and it can be a decoration too so my sister would like it. She received Egyptian Goddess incense cones and make up samples. Her husband’s gift was that I showed up while he wasn’t there. lol

The boys looked so grown up I had to keep pinching the skin under my arm so I wouldn’t cry. I’d be banned again if I cried. I love them for their innocence and because they don’t know yet how the rest of the world looks at me. All they see is Auntie Day, the one who loves them and brings them cool gifts, who plays with them, laughs with them, and would do anything to protect them. I mentioned how my Dad is acting and how I’m worried about having a place to live if anything happens to him suddenly. She still made no offer. It’s a three bedroom house with a furnished basement that’s used as a man cave with a bed. I guess there wouldn’t be enough room for a 5’5″ 138 pound woman for a week.

Which makes me think I have gotten that bad.

 

MY UNCLE’S CHOICE OF TREATMENT

My Uncle Jimmy was diagnosed as Paranoid Schizophrenic at an early age. He heard voices and had hallucinations. He was sent to the State Mental Hospital that we had at the time. My Grandmother worked there and the place was eventually shut down for their abuse of patients. There is a Cemetery on the grounds with hundreds of unmarked graves of the bodies they found while doing construction years later.

I believe my Uncle Jimmy was probably treated in a horrific way while he was there. Of course no one wanted to talk about it. The high dosages of medications they had him on left him with a constant tremor in his hands and he had problems with his grinding his teeth. He always had white spit in the corners of his mouth.

My Grandmother gave him over to the State when he was young. She did this with a few of her children. My Uncle Jimmy wasn’t violent he just didn’t have a filter that society expects a person to have. He loved to smoke and drink coffee. He hated the medications that made him like a zombie. He could either stay at a State run facility where they had control over him 24 hours a day or he could be homeless and deal with his illness in the way he preferred. Heroin. He chose to be homeless and to use Heroin.

I don’t condone his decision but I understand it. I had seen him at the State run facilities and it wasn’t a way anyone should have to live. He was in all honesty happier while on the streets. He did share needles with other addicts, a majority of them also mentally ill. He contracted HIV and lived with the virus for many years. At some point he stopped his drug use. I’m not sure if it had to do with his age or his health. He did advance to AIDS about 2 years ago and passed away from pneumonia.

I never saw my Uncle Jimmy not smiling. My mom loved him and tried to take care of him as best she could right up until she herself passed away. She always knew the gas station to find him at and would bring him hot wieners. He was her baby brother and mourned her death pretty hard. I miss his corny jokes and hearing him call my mom “Anna Banana”.

Like I’ve said before no mental illness or addiction is the same for everyone. At least not in my family. We laugh the loudest and cry the hardest. We always have.

A REALLY BAD DAY

Last night I sent a text to my twin sister saying I wasn’t leaving my room for awhile. I wasn’t going to talk to anyone, eat, or do anything. I don’t talk to anyone anyway and when I said I wasn’t going to eat it was because when I do it doesn’t stay with me for long. I am also extremely tired all the time. But the text didn’t explain all that and sounded like an emotional threat to her.

She responded this morning with excuses why she hasn’t contacted me or my Dad and how she has been really busy and in pain all the time. She also mentioned that she hasn’t had to answer several other texts, she’s been too busy going to the kid’s baseball games, a parade and running the concession stand.

All of this pissed me off for some reason. She couldn’t find one minute to call our Dad on our Mom’s birthday knowing he would be down? To that she replied “F*ck You”. It only got worse from there.

It ended with me being in the same boat as my brother. Banished.

For as long as I can remember she never wanted people to know we were sisters let alone twins. I felt like she was ashamed of me but couldn’t understand why. She made the rule that we couldn’t have the same friends starting in Junior High. This is still the case even now as adults. It hurts. She can’t or won’t explain why.

I do resent her and feel bitter towards her because she has been able to have a “normal” life. Also because she never involved herself in the messiness of death or anything else I’ve had to deal with on my own.

I know that it’s my choice to stay here with my Dad. If I did leave I know he wouldn’t last long and my sister would do nothing about it.

I feel anxious, alone, and scared. Most of all I feel a tremendous sadness. I don’t want to be like this anymore. It’s never going to end. I’ve been told it isn’t. I’m tired of being dismissed. When I do talk no one listens. I talk to my dog because at least he looks like he’s listening.

MY FATHER’S SHOES

Today my Dad said “Think about what it would be like if you were in my shoes”. This angered me. I’m finding myself angry too much lately because I’m not absorbing my medications.

I bit my tongue for as long as I could then said “I would’ve loved to be in your shoes. You had a woman who love and adored you for years. You got to make the choice to have a family, own your own home, travel, laugh with your wife. Yes, there were bad times but the good times I watched from a distance were real and beautiful. She worshipped you and talked about you all the time. Why? Because you were the only man in her entire life that was good to her. You think I never wanted any of that for myself?”.

I think I shocked my Dad for the first time in a long time. For once he heard me. He feels better about his life and I feel worse about mine than I already did. 13901354_10210665207453215_2448191949000437152_n

Living With And Taking Care Of A Parent

It isn’t easy to live with a parent when you are an adult. When you add illness into the equation it’s almost impossible.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just one of us that is ill. We make quite a dysfunctional pair. We probably even enable each other. That’s hard to admit.

My dad is 73 and on dialysis 3 times a week. He has never listened to Doctors or anyone else except for my mom. He used to call her “Serge” short for “Sergeant” because she gave the orders. He hardly ever listens to me. I’m just his daughter who is “mentally ill”, never went to college, drank most of her life, and lives with him. Somehow, I’m his favorite.

Watching the man who raised you go from Superman to a skinny, pale, cranky (crankier), old man is painful. He had beautiful hobbies at one time that have now become hoarding and dangerous to himself and what he hoards. He has loved birds from an early age and has always had them. I loved it when he had exotic birds that he was trying to increase the numbers for because they were threatened. He had a permit from the Government to do this. He would then donate a successful pair to a Zoo or Research facility that was trying to do the same. It’s the pigeons that have taken over. He hasn’t had exotics in many years. Having over 200 pigeons to feed and water up to 3 times a day is too much for him.

If he’s too sick then I have to do it. I have little to no immune system. I shouldn’t be out there with that many birds and their feces either. He isn’t able to maintain their environment. He refuses to admit.

Inside the house we have a Moluccan Cockatoo and an African Grey Parrot. We’ve had both for at least 15 years or more. The Cockatoo started to pluck out her chest feathers a few years ago and they never grew back. She was okay though. Until the other day when I went to say Good Morning to her. I noticed a big hole in her chest. It looked like a bullet hole. I started to cry. There was no blood which I found odd. I told my dad who sitting in his chair in the living room. He never got up to look. This killed me. I wanted to slap him. How could he just sit there when one of HIS ANIMALS was hurt?

He finally looked and said it would be fine. It’s been almost a week. It isn’t fine. She’s been digging in the hole with her beak like she’s trying to find something. It’s 3 times the size it was. It can’t even be sutured. Their is necrotic flesh which will have to be cut away, the wound flushed out and packed. I KNOW ALL THIS! My father continues to do nothing.

I told him this morning that if he didn’t take care of Rosie that I would. I told him she should probably be euthanized. (Most birds do not recover well from this type of self mutilation) I told him I would put her down myself if I had to or I would call a Vet I know that specializes in Exotics.

He screamed that he would “put me down” if I didn’t shut up. He told me to pack “my shit” and get the hell out of his house. He also had his fist pulled back ready to hit something. It sure as hell wasn’t going to be me. I’ve been there, done that, never again.

As usual there was no answer at my twin sister’s house. How am I suppose to feel? What do I do with all of the feelings I keep stuffing down inside. At some point I will crack and everything will come out like an exploding volcano. His dialysis doctor put him on an antidepressant that has made him worse. I know it well and knew it would make him worse. No one listened. img_20170104_104124_302.jpg

Bipolar Memories

I recently read Polishing Dookie’s post “The Piano Man” on her blog and found so many similarities that it had me thinking. I thought of my own Grandparents and immediate family. I then went through some pictures. I’m not sure if this was a good idea or not.

I never knew my father’s father. He passed away at a young age from bleeding ulcers. I know he was stern, hardworking, and did not show affection. I’ve only seen one photo of him and it was blurry. I know my dad was born and raised mostly on a farm. He’s the oldest of 9.  My father’s siblings do not talk to each other at all. They do not show emotion. All the men on my dad’s side of the family have these famous Popeye forearms. I’m not kidding. My dad, not realizing what his looked like, had an anchor tattoo on one and a skull on the other. The tattoos were so horrible no one was surprised when the tattoo artist was shot to death a few years later.

My father’s mother was 4′ 9″ and also stern. She didn’t do hugs until she was in her 70’s. She didn’t tell her children she loved them until she was in her 70’s. She had been adopted and the circumstances of her childhood were less than ideal from what I can piece together. My sister and I would be left with her on occasion when my parents needed a weekend alone or there was an emergency. It wasn’t our favorite place to be.

For some reason we spent most of our time with my mother’s side of the family. My mother’s mother was loud and overbearing. She wasn’t the best wife or mother. Of course my mom always longed for her approval. She never got it. Even though she raised her brothers and sisters and was the one who sacrificed the most. My mother’s father was a plumber and served in the Army. He let my Grandmother do as she pleased without question or responsibility. Eventually she left him with 7 children, there was 8 but she had given one up for adoption when they were first married. It wasn’t my Grandfather’s.

My mother was close to her father. When he was diagnosed with Colon Cancer and Bone Cancer she was devastated. He insisted on being treated at the VA Hospital. He was diagnosed too late but as a last ditch effort they had taken bone from his neck to fuse something. He had a halo screwed into his head. When my mom would take us daily to see him she would have to clean him, change his diaper, there would be vomit running down the front of the halo and his top. She would clean this too. Her siblings couldn’t see him like that. When we received the phone call that he had passed away I could hear my mom screaming at someone on the phone. The Hospital was refusing to remove the halo saying it would break his neck. She thought this was insane since he was already dead. He had suffered with that thing on him and she wanted it off. She told them she was coming there with a screw driver and if it wasn’t off by the time she got there she was doing it herself.

My mom was one of the toughest most loving people I will ever know. Her experience with Lung Cancer changed her personality and changed the rest of us forever. I’ll never fully recover from those years.

I’m at the point in my life where my father is thinking of what he needs to do with the house and anything else he has. He’s been trying to figure this out for months. My mother wanted the house split 3 ways. My dad isn’t so sure it should be like that. He knows everything that I’ve done for him and my mom. I’ve also paid for a lot of things and pay monthly bills. I’m on Disability. My sister is married with a house, my half brother makes a lot of money that he usually gambles or drinks away.

It’s already started. My mom had a ring made for me from an extremely gaudy ring my Grandmother had. When she showed it to me she said “This is for you after I’m gone. I know you’ll probably never get married like your sister so I wanted you to have something for yourself”. Now my sister debates this and my father doesn’t know what the truth is. I doubt the ring is even worth much. It’s just the point of it. I can only imagine what they’ll do when it comes to my dad’s antique clocks or if he doesn’t make a will or a decision about the house. I’m not looking forward to it. Neither one of my siblings would have a problem with me living in a shelter or my car. At one time my sister had said something about me living with her. They have a good sized house and a spare room. I wouldn’t because of her husband. I mentioned it in passing recently and she denied ever saying it.

Family. Do we have to like them? No. Do we have to love them? It depends on who you ask.

Love Resembles Rage

When I was younger I witnessed the life of two people that loved each other as much as two people could. They had their ups and downs but at the end of the day they always had each other.

I watched as he completely changed his life for her so he could stay and be a good husband and father. I never questioned if he resented it.

You might ask why I never questioned it. It’s because I saw that same man drop to his knees and howl with rage and agony when seeing her lifeless body.

After that he changed. He slowly became a dry drunk and I never realized it until now. I never realized how much he’s like my sister. Neither of them knowing what they are so lucky to have or what they were lucky to have experienced.

I have no delusions about my mom. I know she wasn’t perfect. But she was a mom’s mom. Being a mom came naturally to her. The only downside to this was her being a mom to everyone who needed one. This sometimes left her real children with little of her time. I understand and loved her more for it.

When my dad and sister complain about their lives now I can’t help but feel this simmer start in my stomach. Resentment bubbles up and flows like lava. I want to scream ” You got to love and be loved! You got to have children that love you! You have friends and family that want to be around you!”

The problem is I will not have that. I will continue to get worse. They will continue to not hear me. I can’t have children anymore. I’m 43 and have not really spoken to a man I find attractive while sober in well over 7 or 10 years and my Psychiatrist and Other Doctors have now gotten together and decided that there really isn’t much they can do for me on the Bipolar, Conversion Disorder, side of things. Either it will affect the one kidney or the Celiac or something else. Therapy has even been deemed useless. My cognitive skills or memory has gone downhill.

I know I’m filled with positivity.