GRIEF ISN’T SOMETHING I’M ABLE DO

I went to the grocery store yesterday because I was forced to. I went to one I don’t usually go to but my Dad likes. I walked in and saw a very thin, frail looking man, hunched over his carriage. I knew he looked familiar but he looked so old and sick I thought it couldn’t be him, it couldn’t be my Dad.

It was. I couldn’t move, I felt the numbing heat that starts in my legs and travels to my head. I knew the shaking/tremors were going to start, I didn’t know I already had tears on my face. I was stuck where I was standing and staring at him. I felt such fear and anger. Anger because he doesn’t listen to his Doctors or anyone else, anger because my twin sister has once again left me to watch our remaining parent die or kill themselves slowly because they’ve given up.

I’ve left her so many texts it’s like I’m a stalker. She hasn’t responded. I left a voicemail and she hasn’t responded. She thinks I’m too dramatic. I’m getting upset over nothing. My Dad’s Nephrologist told him he has less than 4 years and he’s being very optimistic with that estimate.

I told my Dad last night that I don’t want my name on the house or anything. I refuse to be here when my sister and her husband show up and start criticizing the house and yard. I know exactly how it will go. “How could you let it get this bad? How could you let him keep all these birds? How could you let him keep all the clocks? Why wasn’t the floor redone? How could you let him plant more flowers? Why didn’t you have those trees removed?”. I’m not going to listen to it when they weren’t here for any of it.

The didn’t offer to help with anything or come to visit. If my Dad wants to see his grandchildren he has to try to contact my sister and arrange a meeting. Meanwhile I’m a prisoner in this house of antiques and dirt. A prisoner of my own guilt and shame for the things I’ve done in the past that hurt my parents. There’s no way I can ever make up for the things that I’ve done or said.

Is there a time where I say enough is enough? Where I do something I want to do like an adult? Make a decision like an adult? If I turn out to be wrong I take responsibility and try to correct the wrong. Simple things like driving a long distance should not make my Dad angry or worry so much that he’s dry heaving. I might only have a few more years left than he does I think it’s okay to take a road trip or stay out past dark.

I know most of this is my fault because I never really moved out on my own. I knew in the back of my mind that I wouldn’t make it living on my own years ago. I’m a different person now. I still need to do a lot of work and I’m not 100% sure about being on my own but I would like to have the choice. I won’t abandon my Dad. This isn’t in my nature to do.

When I think of the man who taught me to swim, who could swim like a fish himself, who loved the water and looked like he was born from the sea, I smile.

When I think of the man who taught me drive with patience and enough trust to let me drive him over a large bridge in the pouring rain, I smile.

When I think of the man who saved every little animal I brought to him without hesitation, I smile.

When I think of the man who sat by my side night after night watching movies and TV he wasn’t interested in just to keep me company so I wouldn’t feel alone, I smile.

When I think of the man who saved me dying, I shut down and cry.

My mom passed away nine years ago and I still have not come to terms with it. Her death haunts me almost daily. Maybe it was because I watched her die I don’t know.

There are still some of my pets that have died that I have a hard time with when I think about them or something triggers a memory. I know people who are diagnosed Bipolar have a harder time with grief but I also know this is something more.

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Why I Connected With “Manchester By The Sea”

Manchester By The Sea was a movie that stayed with me for days. We all have our own ways of coping or not coping with grief and trauma.

I’ve come to realize that I deal with both differently than the majority of most people. Whether it’s because I’m Bipolar or because I have Conversion Disorder, I’m not sure.

I’m tired of apologizing for my emotions. That I do know.

I’m also tired of apologizing for saying “I’m Bipolar” instead of saying “I have Bipolar Disorder”. Bipolar Disorder is about your moods and emotions, to me those are things that kind of influence who you are. It doesn’t necessarily define all of who you are but it does impact some of who you are.  If you disagree that’s okay but you don’t have to keep bashing me over the head with your arguments about why I’m wrong. Got it?

I’ve had to deal with a lot of pain, grief, trauma, guilt, and isolation in 44 years. Some of it I don’t remember and some of it is as vivid as a movie playing in my head. Those are the days that hurt the most. Those are the days I wish I felt nothing and I scream into a towel for as long as I can.

I know all about punishing yourself for something you believe you are responsible for. I do it daily. I’ve hurt my family and some other people so much over the years when I was drinking and even when I stopped. I think I could’ve done more for my mom before she died. When I play back that night I think of all the things I should’ve done. Some of them would’ve landed me in jail but it would have been worth it to wipe the smiles off their faces.

I constantly think I annoy everyone around me and walk on eggshells with every interaction. I say “I’m sorry” about 20 times in one phone conversation with my sister because I’m afraid she will stop talking to me.

I’ve started isolating myself more and more each year so I’ll be use to it when the time comes. I rarely leave the house now. It’s better this way. It won’t hurt as much when I’m completely alone. Someone asked if I was being dramatic. I said “You don’t know my family”.

Grieving (The Loss Of Lemmy)

When I found out this morning that Lemmy Kilmister had passed away I cried. My father was in the room with me. He was aggravated that I was emotional about a man I didn’t know who was 70 years old and dead from cancer.

What my father couldn’t and wouldn’t understand was that Lemmy’s music and voice represented a time in my youth where things were good. I laughed, I left the house, I went to concerts, I had friends, and I did a good impression of The Ace of Spades that would make my best friend laugh until she almost wet her pants. It was that time I was grieving and the man.

I was also remembering my vacation to L.A. where we went to The Rainbow. A favorite spot of Lemmy’s. He wasn’t there but his motorcycle helmet was. My friend borrowed it for our ride back to our Hotel. It was the best vacation I’ve ever had. I will probably never have another one.

To be reprimanded for how you feel on a daily basis is tiring. I am constantly told I am too emotional. You try walking around like you don’t have a layer of skin protecting all of your nerve endings. Everything I see and everything I hear effects me. I can’t shut it off.

I know my medications are not working. I know I am not acting rationally. How many times do I have to explain I’m in kidney failure and not absorbing my medications? I’ve been manic for a week now. I want to hit myself in the head with hammer just to sleep. The pain on my right side where my kidney is only working at 20% is immense. I can’t take any pain killers. You try living like this. Sometimes I don’t know what’s real and what isn’t.

I still have not talked to my sister. Actually not many people talk to me at all. I’ve been forgotten. Everyone is making plans for New Year’s Eve. They do not include me. I’m used to this but it still hurts. I’m not allowed to show it.

When will I be allowed to be me?