Broken Ties

Best Friends, The Toxic Twins, Inseparable, No Secrets Kept

Thirty Years of Laughter and Tears That Turned Into Nothing

The Role of Overseer Got Too Much

I Didn’t Know Your Level Of Disgust

I Didn’t Know Mine For You For Everyone

For Keeping Silent, Eyes Turned

Now Shunned, Exiled I’m Broken

You Could Have Told Me How You Felt

But That Isn’t You Keeping Everything Bottled Up

Are You Happy Now?

Without This Albatross Across Your neck?

I Protected You Or Don’t You Remember?

Isolation, Regret, Shame, Guilt

Did You Ever Really Care Or Was I Just The Jester

To Be Let Go When I Didn’t Want To Play30138000-1243997657

Ignorance Is Bliss Until It Isn’t

You Aim To Be The Ostrich Burying Her Head

I Long To Be The Phoenix Rising From Ashes

To Begin Again

The Time I Thought I Loved

There came a time when I slowed down my partying ways and applied for a full time job at a Video Rental Store. It was one of the big chains. The stores I worked at were owned by a husband and wife. The wife and the “District Manager” handled the day to day problems of all 10 stores. He golfed.

I loved my job because I loved movies. I would work whenever they would let me. I moved pretty fast up the ladder. I was there a month when I met the Manager of one of their other stores. He was handsome, witty, and had greenish blue eyes. When he talked to you he made you feel like you were the only one in the room. I was sort of sober at the time, always sober at work, and not used to men being nice to me.

At first I stayed away from him. “Nice” was outside my comfort zone. But the next thing I know the bosses had made me Asst. Manager and him Manager of our own store. This meant I couldn’t avoid him. I would get butterflies in my stomach on the way to work. It was horrible. At first I  tried to be a bitch but I just got in trouble for it. So after that I was just my self.

I hadn’t been myself with anyone in so long it felt great. We laughed constantly. He would come to see me when it wasn’t his shift. Customers thought we were married and owned the store. The flirting was out of control. I kept thinking “why doesn’t he ask me out?” or “why isn’t he taking anything further?”. A few years went by where we went on like this. I would hear a rumor of him dating some girl. I would ask him about it and he would say “don’t believe everything you hear”. He would get upset when I was upset about gossip I had heard. He came to my friend’s apartment one night at midnight because I told him I would be there. It was an hour away for him. I kissed him and don’t remember what I said exactly. He left around 3 in the morning and had to open the store for me because I was hung over. Why would you drive all that way to see me at midnight if you didn’t want to be with me? I couldn’t figure him out and it was slowly driving me insane.

He would say and do little things that led me to believe he felt more than he did. Don’t call someone beautiful, don’t touch their breast, don’t pull them on your lap, don’t spend extra time with them, IF YOU ARE NO INTERESTED! If you want to just be friends SAY IT! Don’t pussy foot around it for 10 years! My father even loaned him a large sum of money in an emergency. This was huge for my dad because he is very protective of his money. My dad was paid back. My mom loved the guy. When he would call the house he would spend extra time on the phone talking to her. He didn’t come to her wake or funeral even though most of the other company employees did. When I returned to work after my mom died the owner had put him in my store to cover for me. She wanted him there for a few more days while I adjusted to being back. For some reason he was rude and itching to pick a fight with me. I lost it.

I called the owner to tell her to get him the hell out of my store while at the same time he was outside on his cell calling her too. I think we reached our breaking point at a manager’s meeting 2 years before when I was asked to contribute money for his wedding gift. I had no idea he was seeing anyone, engaged, let alone getting married. You can imagine how I felt. The day before he was at my store flirting in my office, and said he had to show me something on his laptop. It was a girl from our State in a porn movie. I laughed it off because that’s how he was. When I thought about it later I wondered how his fiance would’ve felt about him watching porn with a woman that he was close to alone in an empty store at night.

It was around this time that I ruptured a disc in my back. I also had 2 bulging discs above it and 2 bulging discs below it. They also found 2 pages of other problems. No one would operate because it would set off a domino effect. I had 4 epidurals with no relief. Finally the company couldn’t hold my job any longer. Video stores were closing everywhere so it was only a matter of time before they started closing ours. I got out at the right time.

I didn’t talk to the guy from the video store for a few years. It wasn’t until I joined Facebook and he friend requested me that I thought about him. By this time he had children. I was hesitant but accepted anyway. In a way I’m glad I did. I got the closure I needed. He had matured quite a bit and had heard about what I was going through. He apologized for hurting me and not being honest with me.

That being said he was messaging me too much and I was responding. I thought again if I was this guys wife how would I feel? So I told him the truth. I told him he probably meant well but I didn’t think it was a good idea for us to talk. He understood. I was sad. He knew me so well that just by reading a simple post he could tell something was off. He would immediately message me to ask what was going on. No one else did. No one else does.

I’ve closed my Facebook account because it’s too much for me. I know half of what people put on there is a fantasy. They aren’t going to talk about their shitty days all the time. It’s only happy, happy, joy, joy, all the time. I can’t take it. It makes me feel more alone.

I haven’t met anyone like him since. Someone I feel comfortable around sober and I’m attracted to. I don’t exactly put myself out there either. I’m too tired and worn out. It’s easier to be alone.

 

BANG, BANG, BANG

I’ve always been afraid of bullies. I’ve always hated bullies. When I drank I sometimes became violent if I felt I was the object of bullying or ridicule. I shouldn’t say sometimes because it was often. When you surround yourself with people who have their own issues and the only way they can make themselves feel better is to make others feel bad, that’s what happens. I fought a lot when drinking in my younger years. As I became older and learned that there are people bigger and badder than me I became afraid.

As a child I was always afraid of my father. I loved him very much but I saw the violence in him. I knew his strength. I had reason to be afraid. I didn’t think he would ever hurt me.

As he grows older he is becoming more violent towards me. I can take a lot of things from him but not this. For some reason he thinks it is acceptable to pound on any door I am behind. Whether it is my bedroom or the bathroom. I startle easily, I know this. When he sees my reaction it angers him. It’s something I can’t control, like the tremor in my hands now or the stuttering while trying to explain what just happened on the phone with my sister. She was too busy with friends over and then a Cub Scout Meeting. I’ve lived in this house for most of my life and now I think I have to leave it. I am afraid.

He’s never actually hit me. He’s just raised his arm. For me that’s enough. This isn’t the dad I know and love. But I’m no longer the daughter he loved. I can’t stop crying.

13567511_10210404311010967_6135275548524952346_n

FINE LINE BETWEEN GREED AND PAIN

mg_nikki-sixx_ovation-heroin-diaries_02-500x500I’m trying so hard not to call out certain people here. But my anger is getting the best of me. When I watch an interview with a musician that I once admired and I’m personally disgusted by him, it saddens me. His new band’s songs are of salvation, isolation, desperation, sorrow, outcasts, misery, panic, consequences, stigma, remorse, understanding, insight, and yes hope.

During the entire interview he yawned. Yup. He literally yawned. While discussing what they wanted to do with their new music, how they each had causes, one discussed bullying, the other Human Trafficking, and our friend here the Heroin epidemic (yawn). Very professional.

I realized a few years ago that he was taking the pain and anguish from the life stories of his fans, internalizing it and using it to write. Yes, he had addiction problems, major ones. He also I believe had depression. But some people are just not able to feel or access their own pain. They do not want to examine too closely what the root problem may have been. They can skim over it in writing a book but they don’t say “It ripped my f*cking heart out. I fell to the floor, unable to breath and howled until I had no voice.”. “It destroyed me to the point where I wanted to die, I didn’t care.”. It’s where a dry drunk or dry addict is born. They are more dangerous to be around than anyone else. They’re still the same asshole they always were, they’re just sober.

Fans have a habit of telling their life stories. I’ve been guilty of it. I mistakenly thought a person understood exactly what I was saying and where I was coming from. I admit to being manic and in the middle of a med change. I also caution anyone with celebrity status to probably NOT communicate with someone who is openly admitting to a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and other mental health issues. You might think that you are doing something nice, and if you leave it at one exchange than you probably are. If you continue the conversations but really have no plans of adding them to your Christmas card list, I suggest you don’t engage to begin with. Don’t get me wrong. Some are very understanding and some have been there themselves. But some still have delusions of grandeur, just like me.

There are so many artists that write from a place that they know. Blue October and Justin Furstenfeld is a superior example of writing from a place he knows and then we get the joy of hearing his music change and grow as he does. I don’t know how he has been able to do it. I admire him greatly. He could’ve written from his dark place continuously and made money off of the millions of people that identify with Depression, Addiction, or Suicidal Thoughts. He didn’t. He makes me have hope. I know everyone’s illness is different but when I watch him sing Fear and I watch the video I feel some peace. It’s only for a short time but I’ll take it.

I’m sure there are many artist’s that find inspiration from someone’s life story, current events, the media, their own life, but sometimes I think it’s different. When you go out of your way to cultivate these stories you cross a line. I doubt Stephen King is going to his local Mental Hospitals and asking patients to tell him their most horrific dreams and hallucinations. Is it apples and oranges?

When you go to another Country and photograph it’s beauty and reality I get it. But how far is too far? When you photograph the same underage, underweight girl being forced into prostitution that you photographed 6 months ago, at what point do you intervene? At what point does it stop being a “Statement photograph” or a “Statement Song” and just becomes you doing nothing.

Vacation

I’ll be returning home from Florida on Sunday. That’s if I don’t get bumped because of the weather. I do want to go home, but know that nothing has changed. When I arrived here from Rhode Island, it didn’t take long to figure out I had brought my loneliness with me.

I had also brought my fears and anxiety. It doesn’t matter where you go your head goes with you. I have cried here, laughed here, and gained 10 pounds here. The best part was being able to spend some time with my Auntie Lee. My mom’s sister. She reminds me of my mom so much it hurts. We haven’t been able to see each other as much as I wanted. She is in the middle of leaving one job for another.

The house I rented is beautiful. I was going to stay another week but Capital One froze my credit card for suspected fraud. There was no fraud. The Real Estate company was going to give me a deal if I went directly through them and not a third party. I called Capital One to ask about a cash advance because I had never done one. That’s when they froze my account. This left me in a very bad place. I don’t like feeling like I have no back up plan or funds. I needed a place to stay in case the expected Hurricane became worse. I needed to fill my medications.

Capital One insisted on having copies of my driver’s license, Social Security card, and bank statement to take the hold off. I’m on vacation. I don’t travel with my social security card. I have them my driver’s license, Medicare card and bank statement. It wasn’t good enough. I fought, cried, and begged for 4 days.

At one point a woman asked “Don’t you have any friends that can take a picture of your social security card?” and she laughed. I didn’t. Because I don’t.

On the fourth day a nice older man who looked at everything with fresh eyes and was disgusted, took over the case. 45 minutes later the hold was taken off and I thanked him while stuttering and crying.

Humans are the same no matter where you go.

My kidney and stents are giving me major problems. The Psychiatrist still insists my medications are not affected by my CKD or stents. He also insists my having Celiac Disease doesn’t matter with my meds. If this is all true than everything my family says is true. I am not trying hard enough or at all.

Far Behind

I have days that seem to happen more often lately. From the time I wake up until around 1:00 p.m. I am extremely irritable . It’s to the point where I make an effort not to talk to people. Then there are days where I want to talk and almost want to argue with those around me. I never feel like I’m being heard. I feel invisible so often. I have felt invisible for so long. I say hurtful things to provoke a response. I do this with my twin sister the most. I think because I feel abandoned by her the most. I feel left behind.

It isn’t her fault that she could handle High School and College. She was able to go on dates with men and have actual relationships. She had boyfriends. My twin graduated from College and had a good job before moving to California to be with her boyfriend, who is now her husband. She took a huge leap but knew she loved him and went. It wasn’t all fun for her, she felt a little out of place there and it was hard to find work. What was I doing? Self destructing in the best way I knew how. Slowly but surely killing myself either with large quantities of Joaquin’s Ginger Flavored Brandy and Black Label or abusive men. There were too many times to count where I woke up with no memory of how I had gotten where I did or exactly where I was. A lot of times I had bruises, red marks, or cuts that I couldn’t remember either. Other people would have to tell me and that only happened if it was something they thought was funny.

I can’t remember a time where I didn’t seek my sister’s approval. She would say small things that cut me to the bone. I wasn’t allowed to drink or be drunk in her presence. I couldn’t use alcohol as a layer of protection. I remember in High School everyone was wearing leather Motorcycle jackets. I went with my sister to buy one. We each had saved money for one. She was always slimmer than me. I would guess a size 10 to my size 18. We started to try on jackets at a leather store in our local mall. She turned and looked at me in one. She started laughing loudly. I felt my face burn. I felt other people looking. She said “Never, ever, buy one of those jackets! You look so mean! You look like a big, bad, Motorcycle Mama!”. I put the jacket back and just watched her try them on, giving out compliments. She looks beautiful in all the pics she’s in with it on.

One afternoon we were out with my friend W. I don’t remember anyone else. They were trying on hats. I think Cowboy hats had made a comeback in High School. Again I was trying one on. I couldn’t get any of them to fit!! My head was too large for an XL hat! My sister made fun of this also and I laughed along. I probably teased her but I just don’t remember. She told me I wasn’t allowed to hang out with the same people she did. On our 21st? Birthday her roommates were having a surprise party for her. They felt bad that they were having a party for just her when it was my birthday too. She knew about the party and had told them that I was under no circumstances allowed to be there. She didn’t want to deal with me. Knowing these things hurt. They hurt more than I ever admitted.

I know and accept that I have hurt people with my Alcoholism and erratic behavior. I own any of the cruel things I’ve done and said. I wake up every morning with my brain screaming at me not to be here on this earth. I don’t think I was meant to be. My mom didn’t know she was having twins, I came out first. We were extremely underweight and had to stay in the hospital until we were over 5 pounds. I’ve never had a feeling of belonging.

FAR BEHIND~ CANDLEBOX             (A FEW LYRICS)

Now maybe    I didn’t mean to treat you bad    But I did it anyway

And now maybe    Some would say your life was sad    But you lived it anyway    And so maybe   

Your friends they stand around    They watch you crumble    As you fall to the ground

And someday    Your friends they stand beside as you were flyin’    Oh you were flyin’ oh so high

But then someday people look at you for what they call their own

They watch you suffer    Yeah they hear you calling home    But then someday we could take out time to brush the leaves aside so you can reach us

But you left me far behind

Now maybe I didn’t mean to treat you oh so bad but I did it anyway

Now maybe some would say your left with what you had    But you couldn’t share the pain

Now maybe I could have made my own mistakes  But I live with what I’ve known

And then maybe we might share in something great  But won’t you look at where we’ve gone

But then someday comes, tomorrow holds a sense of what I fear for you in my mind as you trip the final line

And that cold day when you lost control    Shame you left my life so soon You should’ve told me

But you left me far behind     You left me far behind

 

Chicken Or The Egg?

 

I just finished reading a post on a Recovery Blog. It was about the dispute over Addiction being a disease. Addiction was classified as a disease by the AMA in 1987. What wasn’t really discussed was the role that Mental Illness plays in Addiction. I know first hand that it’s a huge one. Scientists still have not been able to agree which comes first. Is it the Mental Illness that leads to self-medication and addiction? Or is it the theory that Chronic drug/alcohol abuse increases your chances of becoming a victim of assault or trauma. This can cause PTSD, Depression, Eating Disorders, etc. I’m afraid there will be no clear answer in my lifetime. I can only go by personal experience. I can’t deny the statistics though.

61.5 Million Adult Americans experience some form of Mental Illness in a given year.

13.6 Million Adults are considered to have “serious” Mental Illnesses.

  • Serious illnesses are Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and Major Depression.
  • 9.2 Million have co-occurring Addiction Disorders
  • 46% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with severe Mental Illness and/or Substance Use Disorders.

The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that 69% of people diagnosed with a Mental Health Disorder at some point in their lives will abuse Alcohol. A staggering 84% will abuse Cocaine.

A Dual Diagnosis is difficult to treat and too many Psychiatrists and Doctors are not trained to do so. People with an Addiction Disorder are twice as likely to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders. The reverse is also true.

There are also other factors to consider. A Genetic Predisposition is one. If Mental Illness and Addiction is prevalent in your family there is a good chance it could affect you. Then you have Triggers. Certain stressors or trauma can lead to addiction and other Mental Illness. Last but not least is your Brain. Early symptoms of Mental Illness may indicate an increased risk for later drug/alcohol abuse. There are brain scans that can be done that show a specific pattern in Bipolar patients and Mentally Ill patients with Addiction problems.

Suicides are the 2nd leading cause of death for those between the ages of 24-34 and the 4th leading cause for those 35-54.

ME

Here’s what I know. I had symptoms of a Mental Illness from the age of 10/12. I hid in my room and tried to hide it from everyone. My family went through a rough time when I was younger. I don’t think they noticed as long as I was quiet. My brother was fighting everyday, getting suspended from school, eventually expelled, selling drugs from our house, physically starting fights with my father and causing chaos. My mom had a breakdown and was hospitalized. My brother was kicked out of the house at 17. He started smoking pot at the age of 13 and continued until now at age 50. I don’t know when he started drinking he looked 21 at a very early age. I would guess 14/15 and continues to drink now. I don’t know when the gambling started.

My mother has a Schizophrenic sister and a Schizophrenic brother. Her sister does not use drugs or alcohol but is heavily into Religion now. Her brother was addicted to IV drugs mostly and was homeless. He passed this year from AIDS related complications. No one claimed him. He was buried with the rest of society’s unwanted. This angered me. My mom never would’ve allowed it. My mom suffered from Depression but was never really diagnosed. She was also an Alcoholic but hadn’t had alcohol in over 27 years at the time of her death. She has 3 more siblings that are Alcoholics. What is their mental status? Who knows? There’s so many secrets and dysfunction it would take an entire team to figure it out.

My father has severe Anxiety and Social Phobia. He’s never been diagnosed. I’m diagnosing him because he has all the symptoms I have. He self-medicated with Alcohol but has been sober for about 35 years. He still hasn’t fixed his problems he just suffers.

I had several brain scans that showed all the markers of someone with Bipolar Disorder. Supposedly. If you go by the new research. I even had some rare questionable findings that put me on a “lab experiment” list. I refused everything after looking into it further. Maybe some things I don’t want to know.

STIGMA STATISTICS

These statistics are from a “Public Attitudes Survey” on Mental Illness taken in Texas. It’s from 2004 but I compared them to the most recent statistics and there was minimal change. I couldn’t get the PDF for the most recent so I averaged them out. These are surveys done by the CDC and NAMH.

  • 40% surveyed agreed that anyone with a history of mental problems should be excluded from public office.
  • 1 in 3 believe a child should immediately be placed in an alternative setting as soon as they exhibit a Mental Illness in school.
  • More than 50% believe Major Depression is caused by the way you are raised.
  • 1 in 5 believe it’s “God’s Will”.
  • More than 50% believe Major Depression is from people expecting too much from life.
  • 40% believe it’s the lack of will power.

It’s difficult knowing this is how people think. I’m not surprised based on the responses I’ve received from my own community. Will it change? I can only hope so. I do what I can. Some days are difficult for me. When I have trouble finding my words or I’m stuttering, I get tuned out. I can’t make my point if no one will listen. The hardest part is when someone walks away from you while you are talking. It feels like you are invisible or you don’t matter. I then wonder if I ever did. I kept silent for so long maybe I should’ve stayed that way.20160602_173411