Tag Archives: Friendship

OLD SONGS, NEW TRIGGERS

My best friend called me the other day. We talked for about an hour and a half. She had heard a song on the radio that I supposedly liked to sing while drinking. At the time of the conversation I couldn’t remember the song or singing it. This isn’t unusual for me because I have blocked out quite a few chunks of time. I know when a song I liked was played and I was drinking I thought I sounded like the singer and would sing very loud, at one time singing over a lead singer’s voice in a cover band. For the record the people in the bar thought my rendition of “Home Sweet Home” was better. This was probably not always the case.

I went on YouTube to look up the band and the song my friend mentioned. It was Steel Heart “I’ll Never Let You Go”. The guy had a set of pipes! I cringed and could only hope I hadn’t tried to hit those notes publicly. I know that I did. YouTube gives other suggestions when you look for a song. Down the rabbit hole I went.

I smelled beer and leather, I started to feel like I was going to throw up, my hands were shaking and I was in a cold sweat. I couldn’t stop it. That night there were dreams that were actually memories of times I didn’t want to remember. In the dream I felt drunk and I didn’t want to feel drunk, I wanted to go home but they wouldn’t let me. There was the usual blood, sweat, tears, and the uncertainty of sex. I’ve been in a deeper depression (if possible) and stuttering more since.

Some Doctors will say that Conversion Disorder patients will recover then have an episode now and then under stress. But for some of us there is no recovery, it’s always there waiting. There are other issues that factor in. If you have another mental illness (Bipolar Disorder) than it’s more difficult to treat. If you did not get help within a certain time frame it’s more difficult to treat and if it presents in a neurological way like tremors or stuttering it’s close to impossible to treat. That doesn’t mean you can’t try but don’t be too disappointed if Therapy and Medication do not work. I’m talking about myself but I am not the only one.

These same factors apply for Bipolar Disorder. There are so many variables that can determine your response or lack of response to treatment. Most people do not understand this and think that you don’t want to get better.

I didn’t wake up one morning and decide that I want to be a non-functioning burden who cries most days and will not have a “normal” life. When I was younger I imagined I would be married by now with my own home and children. Instead I live with my Dad, take 6 medications a day, try to deal with having these issues and a number of very serious health issues. I also take care of my Dad because he’s on dialysis three times a week and 73 years old. I do it because he never gave up on me, even if I’m ready to pass out myself, he comes first. My twin never comes to our house and my older brother drops in once in awhile. My Dad doesn’t visit his grandchildren because in his mind he feels that if my Mom can’t see them then he shouldn’t be able to either. Survivor’s guilt. It was 9 years in February and neither one of us is over it because we witnessed the entire ugly scene. My twin decided to stay home and my brother was in jail.

Today my twin told me that my Dad and I have no empathy for other people. She also said that friends come before family. I kept my mouth shut as usual because I’m tired of fighting with her. I’m pretty much done with the entire family. Even my Dad has been cruel lately. He thinks it’s a competition, who is sicker, I’m not playing the game anymore. He doesn’t realize that he’s 73 and this sick, I’m 44 and as sick as him. There’s a difference. I’m easily influenced by the moods around me. I need to be around positive happy people. Or at least in the sunshine in a warm climate with a pool and a float.

 

 

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How To Be Friends With Someone Who Is Bipolar. Or Not.

My best friend of over 30 years had her 43rd Birthday toward the end of September. I didn’t call her, send a gift or a card. This is the first year that I’ve done nothing for her Birthday.

Our last conversation ended with her yelling at me. She told me I was always negative when I called and had nothing good to say. She never did either. I always tried to bring up subjects that she might want to talk about but they were limited.

She works 12 hour days and spends most of that time walking. She cleans her house before leaving for work and cleans it again when she arrives home. She then feeds her animals, herself and boyfriend, takes a shower and goes to bed. On the days she doesn’t work she is doing a project in her yard or rearranging her shed for 500th time. She also likes to wash her car. Even in the winter in New England.

She doesn’t watch TV or movies. She doesn’t read. She doesn’t go anywhere. She isn’t knowledgeable about current events and could care less who is President. She believes none of this touches her life. Considering she works for the Government in a way you would think she pay a little bit of attention.

I can’t continuously go down memory lane. It’s fun for the first few minutes. She’s always annoyed at some point in the conversation. She was never like this before.

Like me, due to a health issue she can’t have children now. She’s ok with it because she never really wanted children. I kind of did but knew I wouldn’t. Somewhere inside of her I know she’s hurt. Like me the choice was taken away for her. The problem is she never shows emotion unless you count annoyed. I would describe her as annoyed most of the time.

Trying to find a common ground is hard. She’s lived through all my shit with me. She doesn’t want to hear about fights with my sister, my Kidney Failure, or my dad. I’m not sure what she does want to hear. I’ll ask about her boyfriend. She’ll say “He’s fine”. I’ll ask about the animals (6 cats and 2 rabbits) she’ll say “They are all fine”. I’ll ask about the yard. She’ll say “It’s fine”. What the f*ck isn’t fine then? Talk to me like normal friends do. We used to spend 3 hours on the phone laughing. Now it’s 5 minutes of “fines” and she has to go to the store. I know she loves me, I know she cares. If it’s too much to be friends with me just say it. It hurts more sitting here knowing that she’s at her house on a Saturday night, sitting outside around a fire with other people having a few beers.

Why am I not there you might ask? She thinks I will feel uncomfortable because it is mostly couples. One of the couples that might (slim chance) stop by happens to be the guy I drank with for years and it ended with me covered in my own blood. She doesn’t want to take that chance. She also doesn’t want to be responsible if I feel bad and start chugging booze after 8 years or hurt myself. I would rather hurt the other person. (Joking. Kind of.)

Instead of giving me a chance to interact with people she pretends that her and her boyfriend just sit there alone and do nothing every weekend. This might be true but I don’t think so. W has a habit of getting bored with men around year 5 or 6. This one is past his expiration date and her own mother admitted that one to me.

So I am without any humans except my dad and I threw a jar of peanut butter at him today. I woke up late, hurried to the market and in the mean time didn’t take my medications. I started stuttering while talking to him and he turned his back on me and walked away like I didn’t exist. Just because you have a hard time understanding me doesn’t mean I do not exist or I am invisible. It is the most insulting thing to have someone just walk away while you fight to get words out.

Was throwing the peanut butter one of my better ideas? No. I apologized and told him how frustrating it is when he walks away. Did he really understand what I said? Probably not.

I wish I was Tarzan living in a remote jungle. Animals are easier to understand even their pain and suffering is easier for me to relate to. What does that say about me?


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