WAS I EVER NORMAL?

You get used to pretending or adapting your personality so no one notices just how different you are. I don’t think I was a genius at it unless I was drinking. Even when I was drinking I had a habit of spewing out everything I had let fester over time. I didn’t start doing this until later in my drinking.

I doubt myself every single day. Conversations I’ve had with my twin sister in the last two days have not helped. You would think I would know better by now. In my brain she’s the normal one and must know what she’s talking about. Which means I’m someone who has scarred her emotionally through out our life with my selfish actions.

This is what she said to me yesterday. Then it all clicked. We’ve never talked about my suicide attempts at all. I tried but she never wanted to. She never came to see me in the Hospital the times I had to be admitted.

I remember the day her husband started an argument with me. When he asked if I have ever taken responsibility for the things I’ve done. I think he meant how my actions effected my sister but wouldn’t come out and say it.

Of course my sister shot her bullet and ran. She never gives me a chance to respond.

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HALLOWEEN AND RECENT EVENTS BRING BACK UNWANTED MEMORIES

Halloween is hard for me because I love it so much. I love the smell in the air, the leaves on the ground, and Horror movies. I do have a difficult time with Haunted Attractions and I always have. I can watch Faces of Death with no problem but get me within 50 feet of a Haunted Hayride and I will start to sweat and feel sick.

Halloween also reminds me of drinking. It reminds me of when I would try to put a costume together but because I was 270 pounds everything they sold made me look bigger. I couldn’t be a “Sexy Cop”, “Sexy Devil” or “Sexy” anything. I would just end up wearing extra make-up, some hair extensions, and maybe my top would be a little more revealing. Even though I was 270 pounds I had a waist, good legs, and large breasts. I was 5′ 7 1/2″ at the time also so people told me I “carried it well” whatever that’s supposed to mean. It never stopped anyone from being cruel but as I grew into my early twenties I learned how to carry myself a little better.

This is leading to what’s been in the news lately.

For the majority of my life when I walked anywhere I looked at the ground. I tried to never make eye contact and hid my face with my hair. If I was public by myself I shuffled along hoping I was invisible. I wore oversized shirts that usually went to my mid thigh or knees. This only made me look bigger and sad. I never said boo to anyone. I never argued with anyone even if I knew I was right. I never defended myself to anyone not even my family.

Does anyone know what this made me? Care to guess? The answer is a perfect victim.

Even in the animal world when a predator looks for prey it doesn’t go after the one that will give it the most fight, it goes for the weakest in the group or the one that has fallen behind, alone.

Predators instinctively sense a lack of self confidence just by the way a person walks. If a person lacks a flowing motion or organized movement while walking they’re viewed as being less self confident. They also assess posture and how aware the person is of their environment. This was proven by researchers Grayson and Stein when they asked convicted criminals to view a video of pedestrians walking down a busy New York City street, unaware they were being taped. The convicts crimes ranged from armed robbery, rape, and murder. They were asked separately to identify who they would’ve chosen as targets.

They all chose the same people. What was surprising was that they didn’t choose people who appeared physically weaker. The researchers wanted to know why. They studied the tapes and the people chosen. All of them had similar body language but were of different race, gender and age. There was no mistake that all of them watched the ground as they walked, seemed unsure of themselves, and were distracted.

Another problem the researchers found is that most people have trouble interpreting nonverbal facial cues. If you can’t tell what a person is thinking by their facial expression you are more likely to enter or stay in a situation that could be dangerous.

We all know that predators are good at hiding their true nature and making a person feel “special” at first. It isn’t easy to identify what they’re thinking when they’re wearing a mask and not showing their true selves. They are also excellent liars and can easily talk their way out of most situations.

They pick people they know will have a hard time saying anything against them. A girl with a history of alcoholism, someone who is already perceived as “unstable” by others, a shy young woman with a “pure” reputation who has parents in the same business. I think you can see where this going. The first one is me.

Unfortunately when my situation came to it’s final bloody conclusion he was right. No one really believed me. My own parent’s doubted me. In that one instant all I wanted was for 1 person to show anger or indignation on my behalf. My father at first told him to “Get the Hell out of his house” then after J “explained” everything my Dad said “Thanks” and closed the door. The entire time I was on the floor, covered in blood, trying to say that J was lying, but my face was too swollen and I was having trouble breathing. I finally passed out. They didn’t take me to a Hospital. Even though I had a heavy oak chair broken over my head and had lost consciousness more than once. They didn’t want the police involved.

It took a month for everything to heal physically and mentally I don’t think I’ll ever heal. It wasn’t just what he did it was what my family did also. They blamed me for being there, for drinking, for putting myself in that position. It was years later that they found out I was telling the truth. Still no one wanted to talk about it. No one wanted to think about how it must have felt for me to be pinned on that dirty floor, unable to move, drowning in my own blood. All I could think of in that moment was “I’m sorry I did this to them”. Even I blamed myself. I don’t anymore.

Now for happier things. Because I am a Horror Movie fan I’m going to be making a list of my favorites. Some you may have heard of and some are not as well known. At one time I had a collection that would’ve rivaled the best but had to sell it when I could no longer work. So I’m working on it now but as some may know I’m not good at making decisions. lol

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THE TRUTH ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS: THERE ISN’T ONE

I left for Salem early Tuesday morning. I didn’t tell my Dad where I was going but I did leave him a note. When I finally found a half way decent Hotel it was late afternoon before I could call him. He wasn’t happy and I had to hear about his stomach being in knots and how he won’t be able to sleep. I immediately felt guilty and sad. I thought about leaving.

My sister called and told me not to leave. She thought it was a good thing that I did this on my own and to ignore our Dad. She told me not to talk to him except to say I was safe because he’s projecting his anxiety on to me.

The Hotel was horrendous and that’s being kind. Salem is getting worse every time I visit it. So the next day I decided to go to a place I knew I could relax and enjoy The Stonehedge Inn & Spa in Tyngsboro. As soon as I opened the door to my room I felt happy. When I saw the bathroom I wanted to cry tears of joys. I stayed there for 3 days 2 nights.

In this time I didn’t jump or become startled, I didn’t cry, I didn’t stutter, I only felt relaxed.

I even ate alone at the fancy restaurant they have. I will say that I have no concept of how other people perceive me as a woman. This can make situations uncomfortable for me at times. I’m used to a tall 270 pound body with bleach blond curly hair, a round face and squinty eyes when I look in the mirror.

What’s actually in the mirror now is a petite 133 pound body with straight shiny burgundy hair half way down her back, cheek bones and blue eyes you can see.

I’ve always worn make up and tried to dress well, I still do. I just forget that people will actually see me now and I’m not invisible. So a man sent a drink over to me. Even when I drank I hated when anyone did this. This time I’m sober, in a Hotel restaurant and alone. I was a little afraid. Not to mention he sent over a $20 drink with Absinthe in it where they only allow you to have 1 because of the ingredients. Part of me wanted to tell him off. I wanted to ask him what he saw when he looked at me. Did he see an easy mark? Because I used to drink a bottle of Firewater a day when it was 90 proof but then I realized I’m not that person anymore. I have nothing to prove.

The server I had was a young guy who was extremely nice to me. I told him I didn’t drink but I didn’t want to offend the person who sent the drink. He just slid the drink behind a large glass bottled water they leave at the table and told me the guy wouldn’t even notice and in a few minutes he would take it away.

The problem was I got two more drinks from two more men. I was starting to feel panic set in. I’ve never been in a situation like this or if I have I don’t remember. I have no sense of self. They all sat there untouched, they were pretty to look at but I was more interested in the gourmet Gluten Free menu selection.

I came home Friday afternoon. I was happy to see my dogs and my Dad. It didn’t last long. Saturday the anxiety was horrible, I jumped twice when my Dad came in the room, and the feeling of being hopeless and worthless started to creep back in.

I’m back to where I was. I can research all I want about Mental Health and Illness, I can go to every Doctor and Therapist in the U.S. and none of them will agree 100% on my diagnosis or course of treatment. Several will even say I can’t be treated.

That’s the truth of Mental Health. The story I just told you isn’t one of a lunatic or a monster although I have the diagnoses of people who have been called those same names.

The story is of a woman who doesn’t know where she belongs and never has, a woman who has had more violence done to her than any one person should ever have to go through. It’s also a woman who is in great pain and only wants what most people want, to be loved and accepted for who they are.

MISINTERPRETATIONS, DISTORTION, DEPENDENT PERSONALITY AND EXPRESSED EMOTION

I do have a habit of overthinking many comments and conversations. This always leads to trouble. I also will ask a question I already know the answer to just to try to fit in and engage in conversation. Recently this backfired on me and I lost my temper.

I should’ve known I would get negative responses I was on Twitter. They were having a hashtag ask a question day and I asked about cutting my dog’s nails because he panics so much I was afraid he would hurt himself.

This set off a firestorm of people telling me that I was “torturing my poor animal” and other similar not as nice things. At first I was going to let it go but then on organization kept sending me Tweets saying “STOP HURTING YOUR ANIMALS!” and I lost it.

I know how to cut his nails and that he has to be sedated. I also know the correct medications and dosages for every size dog. I know how to do CPR on animals and have done so on several dogs. I have used a tiny hypodermic needle to inoculate up to 200 birds from disease. The injection has to go into a specific area or they bleed too much and won’t be inoculated. I helped hand raise Endangered Bird Species feeding them with an eye dropper every half hour so they could later go to a special program at the Bronx Zoo. But I played dumb because I have no one to talk to, it was a bad day and I wasn’t thinking clearly.

On Instagram I commented on something where I thought the person was making fun of someone for stuttering. They were not and I completely misread the entire situation and became defensive. Now I feel embarrassment and shame. Two feelings I hate to feel the most.

I need more help than the Professionals in R.I., MA, and CT have been able to give me. When they have all decided there is nothing left to be done I’m not sure how long I can live with that. How long could you live with knowing the people you love can’t be around you? How long could you go on with nothing but your own voice to listen to, no human contact for many years, nothing to look forward to, no purpose?

I had to leave the house the other day for food. Unfortunately someone from High School recognized me. First Question: “How are you, are you married?” Second Question: “Do you have any kids?” Third Question: “What are you doing for work, where do you live?” yes they were jumbled in like that. How can you tell someone that you’ve never even been on an actual date or been alone with a man in 9 years? How do you tell them that for some unknown reason you stopped getting your period at 36 and will never have children? How do you tell them that you don’t work because you have several mental illnesses but please don’t be afraid? And the last on, I never left home and I still live with my Dad.

I went home and went to bed. Sometimes it’s too much.

DISTORTION: Altering perception of upsetting reality to be more acceptable.

DEPENDENT PERSONALITY DISORDER: Helplessness, excessive need to be taken care of, submissive and clingy behavior, difficulty in making decisions.

EXPRESSED EMOTION: Hostility, criticism demonstrated by some families toward a family member with a Psychological Disorder.30194987565ee667cf813de17cc6c667      Most of the time I find things like this that explain what I feel or want to say better than I can.

RECENT EPIPHANIES

Epiphany~ sudden intuitive perception or insight.

Positivity~ optimistic in attitude. (a definition I can live with)

Over the last few months I’ve been having tougher time than usual. I’ve actually regressed to a place I never though I would be again. I never thought I would seriously consider hurting myself again, actually visualize the entire thing in my mind. When I heard whispering I knew I was in trouble.

I waited to tell anyone because I didn’t want to be put in the Hospital where I wouldn’t have any control over what was done or how long I stayed. I know what the “law” is but that doesn’t mean everyone follows it. I’ve been in that situation before and if I hadn’t received ECT it would’ve broken me. My Dad isn’t a stupid man so I couldn’t keep much from him for long. My sister and I usually only text. It’s easier for her to ignore or to be able to gauge what my mood is. If she actually hears my voice, hears the pain and tears, it’s harder for her to hang up or disengage. Eventually they both noticed I changed and it wasn’t for the better.

I went to my Psychiatrist and we discussed several reasons why I was having suicidal thoughts, hearing voices, and on two occasions hallucinations. I was also irritable, angry, crying, and going through all of these emotions frequently throughout the day. I wasn’t sleeping like I used to and was exhausted.

The bottom line is there isn’t too much more for me to try on the medication or therapy side of things. I’ve tried it all. I could try ECT again but the Doctors are concerned because of my chronic low blood pressure and slow heart rate. My physical health is worse now than when I first had ECT.

POSSIBLE SOLUTION IS ME

I’ve decided to be open minded and try something new. I’ve decided to try to let go.

For once a famous person with a mental illness has said something that I found to be helpful and has changed my perspective. He’s been through some heartbreaking experiences and he isn’t saying “take medication, don’t take medication, believe in God, don’t believe in God, exercise don’t exercise, eat the right foods or don’t” his belief is this

“You choose the part you want to play in this life. I want to be a good guy. I want to do good things. I want to make people happy and I want to help out when I can. So you do what you need to do”

He also believes in surrendering to the hopelessness we feel and to stop being afraid of the sorrow and suffering.

“It’s going to happen, you’re going to have times of extreme depression you don’t come out of on the other side, but you can choose who you want to be when it’s over.”

And he’s right because the depressive episodes do end at some point or at least lift to a tolerable level where you have clarity. I have let the fear of my symptoms hold me in place and I’ve become a person I never wanted to be.

I never wanted to be okay with sitting on my couch for years at a time with no social interaction, no friends, and what family I have left sick of dealing with me.

There was a time where I wanted to speak at High Schools about Mental Health/Bullying/Peer Pressure/Alcohol because school was a pivotal point for me. Mental Health problems and symptoms begin early and maybe by talking about my own experiences I could prevent someone from having to go through what I did. Early detection is the key.

I also wanted work/volunteer at a wildlife rehabilitation center. Animals have always been my passion since I was little. My Grandmother on Dad’s side always asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I always said the same thing “A veterinarian”.

Boy, did I take some wrong turns. Jewelry maker, Store Manager of 3 major stores, Cosmetologist, Rock Groupie (not really groupies are usually fans who want to have sex with the musicians they idolize I just liked talking to them and most appreciated the change and the chance to have a normal conversation), Alcoholic, Bouncer (I looked tougher than I was specifically when drinking), I’m forgetting some things and getting off track but you get the point.

I’m now training myself that the “Positivity” isn’t always bad and to remain open minded. I also can’t control what my Dad does or says so I have to try to stop getting upset every time he does or says something upsetting which is often. If he wants to push himself to the point of dropping outside and refuses to listen to the his Doctors or me there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve been trying for 2 years now and I’m the one who is on the floor in the fetal position crying and muttering words that don’t make sense because I just had to clean a pint of his blood off of the floor. No one else is losing it, just me. He continues to do the same things he isn’t supposed to so I can’t fall apart anymore.

My sister I’m going to have to deal with also. I have to accept that I can’t expect her to give what she isn’t capable of giving. Just because my feelings and emotions are to the extreme I can’t expect everyone else to be the same it isn’t fair. She should put her own family first. I’m a grown woman. The problem is I’ve never lived like one.

It’s time to do some serious work, letting go and healing. I’ve also been off of Twitter which I’ll explain that in a future post.

Thank you to everyone who reads my long rambling posts it’s appreciated more than any of you will ever know.

HARD TRUTHS~ SUICIDE

I have not thought seriously about harming myself in years. Until a few weeks ago when I refilled my prescription for Generic Topamax. It was a completely different shape and size but the name of the company was the same. The pill went from a small round salmon colored one to a large oblong light pink horse pill. I didn’t have much of a choice because you can’t stop it cold turkey. I use it as a mood stabilizer and it helps with my stuttering and other neurological issues.

It’s obviously not the same as the one I was taking. I started to feel irritated, extremely depressed, and slowly a feeling of such grief and pain in my chest I couldn’t take it. A constant voice telling me I wasn’t good enough, I was a mistake and never should’ve been born, people were right to think I’m a loser and I serve no purpose on this Planet. My own twin isn’t capable of loving me so why am I here? I wanted to drink the pain away, hop a plane to a place with the most dive bars and drink until I died. I heard whispers from the past telling me words I never wanted to hear again. I curled up in a corner and cried until I blacked out 3 times.

All of this mostly due to a pharmaceutical company cutting corners or my one kidney has gotten a lot worse and isn’t processing the medication properly. It might be both.

Last night I only took half of one so 100mg instead of 200mg and today is a little better. I’m not hearing whispering or crying as much. The biggest problem is I can’t speak. I can’t form a sentence. My balance is off so I am falling into things which is bad when you live in a house filled with antiques and 2 small dogs. If I close my eyes while I’m standing I’ll hit the floor. I have to be careful how I move my neck and head, any sudden change in pressure and I either get a sharp pain like an axe in my head or I fall down. Some of this I don’t think is medication related which kind of scares me more.

Part of me doesn’t want to know. I was supposed to be having regular brain scans since 2008 but none of my Doctors followed up. It’s because there was swelling in one area and hyperintensity in another. The overall loss of gray and white matter was so unusual that it was suggested I be monitored due to that also. Then you have the lovely cysts in my sinus cavity that are actually on the border of where the sinus cavity meets the brain. And all of my excellent Doctors never bothered to follow up.

One more problem is my neck. When I wake up it feels like it’s broken. I have a high tolerance for alcohol and pain so when I say it’s that bad it’s bad. When I told my best friend she yelled at me and started crying. I forgot her mom has Degenerative Disc Disease like I do but hers was mostly in her neck. She had to wear a brace and was unable to move her neck for a year or she would be paralyzed. They had to replace bones with cadaver bone it was hard to watch. So W is afraid this is going to happen to me and was mad that I was brushing it off. I’m just so tired of Doctors I don’t want to go to anymore, I don’t want to find out anything new.

At least now, unlike years ago, I know I have an illness. There are slivers of sanity that break through and let me know that this isn’t me. I’m thankful for that. Ten or fifteen years ago I would’ve drank and I would’ve tried to hurt myself which is why no one should have to go 20 years before getting a correct diagnosis or a diagnosis at all.when-the-brain-dies-first-16-728

WHO ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO BE?

People say I’m the life of the party

Cause I tell a joke or two

Although I might be laughing loud and hearty

Deep inside I’m blue

So take a good look at my face

You’ll see my smile looks out of place

If you look closer it’s easy to trace

The tracks of my tears

Outside, I’m masquerading

Inside, my hope is fading

If you look closer it’s easy to trace

The tracks of my tears

Smokey Robinson

When you have a twin who does not have a mental illness you get to watch that person have a “normal” life. When your twin was also thin and popular it makes it worse. From the beginning I just wanted her to love me more than anyone else. I thought we were special because we were twins. I thought we were supposed to have a strong bond that would last forever. It turns out I was the only one who felt this way.

W became my sister and was there for me when no one else was. The times I had no choice and had to call my sister I was met with disgust and judgement. I hadn’t been diagnosed yet but I don’t think it was a secret to anyone that something was wrong. It wasn’t a secret to me, I just didn’t want to admit I was like some of my family members. I didn’t want to live in an assisted living community with other mentally ill people and a case manager who could come over any time they wanted to. I didn’t want someone else deciding what I did with my money, where I went, what I put in my body or didn’t put in my body. I had seen it all when I was younger and it was horrendous. My Aunt and Uncle had miserable lives when the State was in control. My Uncle chose to be homeless instead of dealing with them. I don’t blame him.

My twin sister refuses to understand how sick I am. She refuses to see how sick our Dad is. She refuses to see that I’m at a breaking point watching him waste away, being the one he takes his anger out on, and being alone. Yesterday he fell and hit his head. When he came inside it was bleeding a little but he was unsteady on his feet. I made him sit down. He then called the dog by the bird’s name four times even though I told him it was the dog not the bird. He looked at me like I wasn’t there.

I think he’s taking too much Klonopin because he doesn’t know he’s already taken it. I see him popping them like they’re Tic Tacs and it scares me. He’s on a low dose .50 mg but still he doesn’t have functioning kidneys. I tell my sister and she says “Hmm”. Pretty much her response to everything I say.

She only called today to tell me about her 6th vacation. They rented a house in Vermont and they took the kids to see Green Day so the oldest could see his Godfather and the youngest could meet the rest of the band.tear How fun for you and your family. Personally I don’t think it’s a great idea to bring the kids backstage but hey what do I know?

I look and I see a beautiful 44 year old woman with 2 of the most beautiful well behaved loving children I’ve ever been around. A woman with a nice house and a fenced in backyard. A woman with a plethora of friends to talk to or get coffee with. Who between her and her husband have so many contacts they can take 6 vacations in 3 months and not worry about anything else. A woman who graduated college but told me I got all the attention because I f*cked up all the time so no one noticed her achievements.

I remember my mother introducing us at a large family function. She said “This is my daughter D she’s in college and this is my other daughter.” No name and no description. At least she didn’t do what the rest of family the did D is the skinny one and Da is the fat one that’s how you tell them apart.” YOU F*CKING IDIOTS WE ARE FRATERNAL TWINS I HAD BLOND HAIR SHE HAD AUBURN HAIR WE LOOKED NOTHING ALIKE IN THE FACE MAYBE IF YOU WEREN’T SO INBRED YOU’D HAVE HALF A BRAIN TO TELL US APART.

My apologies again there was only that one incidence of inbreeding that I know of and she turned out to be a beautiful and smart woman. Again, that I know of because my Grandmother’s side of the family is difficult to trace and the woman herself was sketchy as hell.

I have so much baggage and family secrets/history it’s like Peaky Blinders/Justified/The Decline of Western Civilization all rolled into one.

I’m trying to say it’s heartbreaking and lonely to know the person who is supposed to be there for you and love you isn’t there. It hurts all the time to be so aware of how my twin feels about me. I miss the one person I could count on and talk to, I could cry for hours and she would just hold me and tell me it would be ok. No one does that anymore. I’m not allowed to cry or I get yelled at. No one just hugs me and says everything will be ok or says they love me no matter what I do or say. I need that now because I’m like Jekyll & Hyde lately and there is no warning. I don’t always remember what I’ve said or done or why you’re mad at me.

P.S.~CVS Changed the Generic Brand of Topamax I take and it’s been like starting over as far as side effects go. I feel pretty horrible.