STUPID QUESTIONS EX: WHAT’S THE NUT HOUSE REALLY LIKE?

I don’t know why I’m still shocked by the things people say or the questions they ask when they find out something from my past. I try to keep a low profile in the town I live in but I’ve been arrested a few times and I did go out every night for many years.

I also live in the smallest state so it isn’t hard for gossip to spread to people you don’t even know.

What I have a problem with are the idiotic questions from people who should know better. These are not teenagers, these are adults.

Here are some questions I’ve been asked.

“Do you get really good drugs?”

“Can I buy some from you?”

“Is that like One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest?”

“You must have felt like Frankenstein, did you?” (ECT)

“Did you meet any real crazy people where you were?”

“You’re not that bad are you? Like dangerous?”

“Aren’t there bugs and people writing on the walls with their own feces? That must have been awful”

“You’re okay now though, right?”

“Are you cured?”

“Oh, so you’re like the guy in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest?” (If I hear it one more time I’ll scream)

“So what kind of drugs are you on? Anything good?” (this is asked often)

I’m not sure why people have this specific image of the mentally ill but they do. It hasn’t gotten better if anything it may have gotten a little worse with violent acts being blamed immediately on the mentally ill in the media. I notice that people are more weary around me at times. I don’t feel comfortable with this. I don’t to frighten people.

I admit that I also feel anger at the entire situation. The lack of empathy and basic humanity is appalling to me. MV5BMTc5ODUyMDI5Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzM5OTQyNw@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1480,1000_AL_MV5BNDc2NjMwNTUwOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTUzNTIwNA@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1499,1000_AL_MV5BMTA3MTE1ODE0NDReQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU3MDQ2OTQ5NzM@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1494,1000_AL_

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RANTS & RAGE AGAIN

When you’re a person that has always been afraid conflict you have a tendency to push down any anger of your own. You don’t defend yourself often and stay quiet. Eventually this catches up to you.

I used to have a problem once in awhile, usually while drinking, but it tapered off as I got older. Except I find in the last year I’m having more periods of rage. Times where I want to throw something, punch a wall, and scream until I lose my voice. I can’t always tell the difference between rage and pain.

My sister has refused to have contact with me since Saturday which is unusual for us. We usually don’t go more than 3 days without at least a text because I stalk her with texts. This time I’m not. I’m not begging for my twin sister to like me.

My Dad’s hearing has either gotten extremely worse or he’s pretending it is because when I talk to him he acts like he can’t hear me until I throw something at him.

I hate repeating myself because my voice isn’t strong it never has been. I’ve had a sore throat for months now and I have trouble remembering words most times. If I start to get stressed then I start to stutter which makes it all worse. So I don’t bother anymore. I sit by myself everyday, I only talk out loud to the dogs sometimes.

The bad thing about this is when I have to go out in public and talk to someone. I feel like I’ve lost the ability for conversation. My throat feels rusty. I worry I’m making a fool of myself. Then I stay home more and more.

I just tried talking to my Dad about something on the news. One minute in I notice he isn’t looking at me and his eyes are blank. It’s like I’m not there, I’m invisible, what I was told by other people in that one moment is all true. I don’t matter, no one will ever love me, I’m a waste of space, ugly, nothing, I don’t deserve to live. The hamster wheel starts with all of these thoughts and the voices that went with them.

You can heal physically, for the most part I did. Emotionally I have never healed from my past. When I think of when I was locked in a bathroom not allowed out until I cut my wrist while they stood on the other side of the door taunting me I want to vomit. I allowed that and maybe I deserved it. If my own family can’t be around me than maybe I am that bad.

I feel like I want my Mom and I want to go home but I’m already home. So I’ll wait it out because I know it’s temporary or at least I hope it is.Klimt-Crying-Woman

 

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 BULLIED BULLY THAT I KEPT A SECRET FROM MYSELF

Bullying started early for me. I went into puberty at a very early age, I had breasts before the rest of the girls which also came with hormones and everything else. Having adult breasts at the age of 10 isn’t as good as it might sound to some people. Boys at that age are not ready for breasts and are still at the “Girls are icky” stage.

It didn’t help that with puberty came acne, glasses, and weight gain. I was also the tallest and heaviest girl in my class. My twin sister wasn’t having the same problem.

A group of kids called me “Dino” after the dog on the Flintstones. My first name is close to Dino. Every piece of paperwork had your last name first. My last name has to do with food in a way. When it was called out first everyone laughed and said that must be why I’m so fat and ugly.

There were not many days where I wasn’t tripped, called names, had chairs pulled out from under me, spit on, or ignored.

I began drinking at 16 and went to parties with a group from another town. They were older. A few were from the town I lived in and went to school in. There were nights where I was bullied at parties and would lock myself in my car where I cried myself to sleep. These parties were up an old dirt road called “Purgatory” that the police never found out about. Purgatory was a good name for it.

It’s where I thought sexual acts equaled someone liking you or a way to get someone to like you. I would take many years for me to realize that sex and love are two different things.

It’s also where a darker side of myself started to emerge little by little.

If you are mistreated and told you are nothing for long enough you start to believe it. When you’re Bipolar and don’t know it and an alcoholic you can turn that hurt and pain into something else at times.

There were times when I was drinking where I felt cocky, almost better than everyone, like I could take on the world. Situations became really bad, really fast on these nights. I remember one night J’s grandfather had passed away and he was depressed. But as usual there was a group of loud idiots in the living room. I left him in his room and went to tell them to be quiet. A girl I didn’t know said “F*ck you! Who are you anyway, you fat c*nt.” That didn’t sit well with me. At the time I loved J and I knew what it felt like to lose someone close to you. He had no one to take with him to the wake so he asked me because he knew I had manners and could speak respectively to adults. So I to be fair I asked the girl to repeat herself in the hope that the people with her who knew me would tell her to shut up. Nope. So I punched her in the face. She was very quiet after.

I’m not proud of any of the things I’ve done but in a way I miss that person could stand up for themselves and say what they wanted. Instead of this person who starts to stutter and shake at loud noises, heavy footsteps, angry men’s voices, and cries at everything.

I usually didn’t get into physical fights with other females because I didn’t think it was fair in my mind. I thought because of my size it wasn’t fair. Not to mention it was mostly men who did the most damage. I did fight a lot of men for good reason but violence isn’t really the answer. One day you will meet someone bigger and badder than you are, and on that day no one will help you, some will think you deserve it, they won’t know what you’ve been through your entire life.

In the end you’ll go back to being the frightened child you used to be but this time it will be much worse. This time you will have memories of the things you did and the worst that was done to you.

If someone had intervened when it all started maybe things could’ve been different. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad now. I don’t know. I do know that when an adult notices something is a little off with a child they should go with their gut. You don’t have to call in Children’s Services but maybe observe their behavior or talk to their teacher.

If nothing is said than nothing can be done. And where does that leave them as an adult?

TALKING TO MYSELF

I hate repeating myself. I have a hard enough time getting a complete sentence out as it is. When I have to repeat myself three or four times it isn’t only difficult in a cognitive way but thoughts of unworthiness start creeping into my head. Of course this will snow ball to the point where I’m convinced the people left in my life are tired of dealing with me so they pretend I’m not here. I’m invisible so I talk to myself. Sometimes I forget I’m in public when I do it. It isn’t often I’m in public, only 2 to 3 times a month but it’s still embarrassing.

I felt okay yesterday and this morning but now I’m overwhelmed by sadness. I miss my Mom. I miss her hugs, I rarely get hugs since she passed away. I miss watching her graceful hands as she did jewelry, knit, cooked, or held my hand. I miss how she would tell my Dad off and he would listen. He’s angry all the time now so I walk on eggshells all the time. It’s more like landmines. He’s always been intimidating.

Knowing how people see and think of you is the hardest part. One of the biggest problems is the misconception that the labels that have been put on me equate me with a lower IQ. It’s the exact opposite. I’m too observant, intuitive, I love to research and learn about specific subjects, I pick up on social queues, I just keep it to myself.

I know my sister doesn’t want to be around me. My Dad feels guilty and like he’s stuck with me. I used to get 10-20 phone calls a day from different people to see what I was doing. In the last 9 years I’ve had about 10 total calls from my 1 best friend to check if I’m still alive.

I might be alive but this isn’t living.

I can’t motivate myself to get out the door. The last time I did it was because I was going to a concert out of state and had backstage passes. Stuff like that doesn’t happen anymore. I thought of going to Salem, MA because I used to love it there but I would rather go to New Orleans. I’m not sure how safe a trip there would be for me.

So today I’m kind of stuck in the middle of nowhere.

12 STEP PROGRAMS AND A LINK TO PTSD/TRAUMA

I recently read an article written by Dr. Marc Lewis. Don’t worry I did a thorough check on his credentials and if there were any complaints against him. Dr. Lewis is a Developmental Neuroscientist who did research at the University of Toronto from 1989 to 2010. He was also a Professor of Developmental Psychology there. He’s now at Radboud University in the Netherlands. He’s had 50 journal publications in Psychology and Neuroscience. His book Memoirs of an Addicted Brain garnered high praise from top experts in the Mental Health and Addiction community including Gabar Mate.

Dr. Lewis also knows firsthand what the struggle of addiction feels like. Addicted to opiates in his youth, it cost him his family, trouble with the police and almost his life. At 30 he was finally able to stay off drugs for good and reentered grad school where he received his Ph.D.

12 Step Programs appear to put a freeze on emotional development (active drinking/drug abuse does also). Groups are known for convincing members that even if they’ve been clean for awhile their addiction is like a bogeyman you thought was under your bed as a child. Keeping you in one place no matter how much you had to pee or how thirsty you were, you were frozen. This bogeyman is patient and will wait forever for that one slip up, 1 drink, 1 pill, that will lead to a full relapse. So to avoid this you need to “Keep coming back” and define yourself as an alcoholic/addict for life.

The way you live your life and your self image is frozen in place. If you change anything, don’t follow the steps, you’re warned that you’ll be back to where you started and out of control.

Many or most 12 step groups intentionally reinforce the terror of relapse. They keep the anxiety alive in order to embed traumatic memories of addiction by telling and retelling anecdotes about how bad it was when they were at their worst or the repercussions of their last relapse.

12 step practice is the opposite of trauma treatment. To plug yourself into a static state of PTSD where you’re with people who intentionally try to get you to relive emotions that have already done damage, it’s no surprise why so many leave the program or never enter one at all. The other issue is defining yourself as a lifetime addict/alcoholic because it sounds like a self fulfilling prophecy.

MY EXPERIENCE AND PERSONAL OPINION

I tortured myself recently by listening to a Dr. Drew podcast where he said there has never been an addict/alcoholic who has successfully maintained sobriety without a 12 step program. Of course this made me a little upset. This is a person who isn’t a licensed Psychiatrist/Psychologist or Neurologist, he’s a licensed Internist. Your everyday General Practitioner who thinks he knows about PTSD, Mental Illness and Addiction. He doesn’t. What he also doesn’t realize is the damage he’s doing by promoting these false beliefs.

I had been in AA for 2 years. They were the worst 2 years of my life. I had not been diagnosed yet but a Doctor had me on Prozac and Buspar (an anxiety medication that has to be in your system for 3-4 weeks before it starts to work, the level has to be maintained). The State I live in is an odd one. The group I went to had many old timers and a few younger people. They would go to different meetings around the state to speak to large groups. When they did this members were picked to tell their stories in front of up to 100 people. If you were picked you didn’t have a choice, you had to do it. When I was chosen it was a nightmare come true. All I remember is the sound of blood rushing in my ears. I have no idea what I said but I remember a guy my age taking my hand and helping me off the stage.

This didn’t go well with the group I was part of. I was told that I would never make it, I would be a drunk again if I didn’t get on my knees and ask God for guidance.

When people found out I was on medication it was suggested I go off it because it was a “crutch” and the same as alcohol.

I am not religious and didn’t appreciate being forced to say the Lord’s prayer after every meeting. If I refused comments were made and I was told that I would fail and be in the gutter drinking again. When I missed a meeting because I had Bronchitis someone told me I better “get on my knees and ask God to forgive me” or I would never make it. Me failing was a reoccurring theme. I went to meetings all around the state and they were all the same. I heard the same stories over and over. But if you tried to be too honest someone would stop you and say “Save that for your sponsor” because they thought it was too personal. I wanted to hear it! I wanted to hear that someone had done something as bad as I did but they stopped him.

There isn’t anyone in these programs equipped to deal with those of us who have a mental illness and began drinking to self medicate. The 12 steps are life saving for some people, a replacement for alcohol/drugs for a few and damaging for others.

My Dad has been sober over 36 years without a program. My mom was sober was 29 years at the time of her death without a program. I have been sober over 9 years without a program the longest I’ve ever been able to maintain sobriety.

12 step programs are not for everyone and they are not the only option. Depending on your location your experience can differ, some areas do rely on the older version which mentions God more often. There are some that don’t. Just remember it’s your choice and there are more options now than ever so do your research and choose wisely.

 

 

I TOLD THE TRUTH TODAY. I DIED. (World Suicide Prevention Day)

I have had symptoms of Bipolar Disorder since the age of 10 but wasn’t diagnosed until I was close to 35 years old. That is a lot of suffering. If you are Bipolar or have Major Depression you understand what I mean. The constant empty ache in your chest like something horrible has happened but you don’t know what. Feelings of being worthless, like you never should’ve been born or guilt. Being bullied throughout school did nothing to help. Alcohol did.

The first time I hurt myself I don’t remember much of it. I know it was my 17th Birthday and I was at my own party at J’s house. Someone must have said or done something because that’s usually how it happened then. My extreme low self-esteem got me every single time.

I do remember my best friend W. screaming at J. and people wrapping my wrists as we went to the Hospital and I got stitches.

Another time I cut so deep on the left side but refused to go to the Hospital that I caused nerve damage going to me left pinkie and ring finger. They both still go numb and the scar isn’t pretty because I never went for stitches. I have a total of 4 scars.

I have also had the pleasure of having my stomach pumped and having charcoal forced down my throat on several different occasions.

Because of all this I was constantly court ordered to see Psychiatrists and Therapists who didn’t help.

I also jumped off the roof of a building but luckily I was so drunk that I didn’t realize how close to the ground it actually was. I chipped a bone in my ankle and had some scrapes and bruises.

I stopped doing this in my thirties for some reason. The feeling was still there but I didn’t act on it.

When I went into Kidney Failure and didn’t realize what was going on or that it was as serious as it was the Doctor had asked if I wanted a DNR and he also said I needed to get my family there immediately. That’s when it hit me that things were bad. By this time I had been diagnosed Bipolar with Conversion Disorder. I couldn’t reach my Dad because he was at Dialysis! My sister wasn’t answering her phone as usual. I was angry so I signed the DNR. I thought that my family didn’t care about me so it didn’t matter anyway.

I found out recently that the Doctor knew I wasn’t stable enough to make that decision so when they lost all my vital signs he ignored the DNR, I flatlined. Lifesaving measures were taken. It wasn’t too bad they only lost me for less than a minute and I’m glad he ignored the DNR because I have something I didn’t have when I was younger.

I have a sliver of hope that I might be happy one day. I’m finally kind of okay with the outside of myself after 44 years now I have to try to forgive the inside. I have to stop punishing myself for everything I’ve said and done in my life that may or may not have caused people to not like me. If that means I’m alone than I have to learn to be comfortable with that. Alone isn’t that bad. I can go where I want and be with the animals I love so much. I could even live with a pack of wolves. (Okay that might be a bit much but I would if I could)

What I’m trying to say is that when it came down to it, when death was right there, I was scared as Hell and so happy to wake up and see my sister’s face.