Tag Archives: Society

WAIT WHILE MY LAZY ASS TRIES NOT TO GET THROUGH THIS MANIC DEPRESSION

Manic Depression isn’t as fun as it sounds. I’m more irritable, short tempered, thoughts spin at a rapid pace and none of them are good. I also talk more and cry more, and I’m impulsive. My stutter will come and go as it pleases set off by the tiniest thing. I’m more aware of what’s going on and feel guilty about it. I also feel I’ve let everyone down once again because I can’t/won’t control myself/behavior.

When my family reads or watches something about mental illness that discusses how we benefit from exercise, breathing techniques, and CBT tools they then look at me and wonder why I’m still the same.

No one takes into account that I have more than one mental illness and autoimmune problems. I also have Chronic Kidney Disease and only 1 remaining kidney. I went into menopause way too early at 36/37 and this messes with so much of your bodies hormones and chemicals in your brain. By the way NONE of my doctors have ever questioned it which I find odd. They haven’t questioned the fact that I’ve gone from 5′ 7″ to 5′ 5″ in less than 2 years either. Or that my new body temperature is between 93-94 degrees. I find all of this odd but none of them do. Before anyone tells me to try new doctors I’ve been to so many including the best in Boston only to here “You’re definitely sick we just don’t know the exact cause”. Thanks for nothing.

I can’t exercise when every single joint hurts, I have arthritis throughout my entire body but it’s worse in my hips and spine. My neck constantly feels like it’s broken and my head feels swollen all the time. That could be the 2 cysts that way up inside my sinus cavity close to my brain that no one has bothered to check since 2008. Or the swelling in my brain that no one has bothered to check since 2008. One Doctor said I was looking at hip replacement soon and that was 8 years ago. But let me jog this depression off so you can feel better around me.

I had 2 good days that I knew wouldn’t last when I woke up this morning crying. I had dream that was really a memory. The same one I always have. The chair hits me over the head, I’m pinned to the floor, punched in the face over and over, I feel like I’m drowning in my own blood, I fly down a flight of stairs, and then I’m standing there soaked in blood and no one helps me. My blond hair is stained red and I will have a scar under my chin from a skull ring.

What made me cry this morning was thinking about how my best friend allowed this person into her home recently for a cook out. I’m not invited to cook outs. To be fair he wasn’t invited either but he wasn’t asked to leave. How could she sit there looking at him knowing how much he had hurt me? Seeing the clothes I had to throw away? Her boyfriend loves me like a sister and I can’t believe if he knew who the guy was he would’ve let him stay. I’m hurt and angry. I’m really angry. If I had known he was there I probably would’ve showed up and tried to grille his face. Sorry I shouldn’t say that. I wouldn’t have the strength anyway. I’m just hurt.

Letting go is hard and forgiving is sometimes not possible.

I’ll try to think of my two good days and hope for more.

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A DIFFERENT TAKE ON BEAUTY (From Ugly Duckling To Confused Swan)

I was born in 1973, born five minutes after me was my fraternal twin sister. There is a picture of us only a few weeks old where it appears she is trying to punch me in the face. That should’ve been a good indicator of things to come.

Although we were not identical, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins still were confused about who was who. When we were born we weighed a little under 5 pounds each and stayed in the hospital until we gained enough weight to leave. Except one of us never stopped gaining. Starting at an early age that’s how relatives would tell us apart. They didn’t care if I heard them or not. “D is the fat one and Deb is the skinny one” is what I constantly had to listen to. As I became older I would scream in my head “Are you f*cking stupid? One of us is blond and the other is a red head! If you don’t know the difference after 15 years than don’t bother!”. There were honestly times I wanted to physically hurt one of them. I would be playing with cousins and one would get hurt. I would automatically get blamed because I was “big” and must have “squished” one of them.

I tried to be invisible. It was easier that way. If I drew attention to myself that would be asking for punishment, humiliation, or ridicule. I wore baggy clothes and hid my face behind my hair for many years.

I always had a love for make up, hair products, perfume, clothes, but I was limited in what I could do. There was little clothing available at that time for 16 year old girls who were a size 18. Most clothing was marketed for much older women or what little I thought was nice was extremely expensive.

By the time I was a Senior in High School my Bipolar Episodes (Not Diagnosed Yet) were in full swing. I would have feelings of wanting to belong so badly I thought the world would end. I wanted a guy to actually see me for once. I wanted to be wanted. Smoke and Mirrors became my best friends.

Not many are born knowing how to apply make up correctly or blow dry hair just right. I had to learn in order to wear my “mask” of confidence that was boosted with alcohol. When I was all made up and had a new outfit on I actually felt a little good about myself. Add the alcohol in and I was hot. That can only last so long. 20 years to be exact.

When I was diagnosed as Bipolar and stopped drinking I also stopped socializing. I did start to lose some weight. The Doctor told me I would at first because of the medication and because I have Celiac Disease. A year went by and I was down almost 130 pounds. My family was worried. Well most of them. I now weighed less than my twin sister and she wasn’t taking it well.

I wasn’t doing well either. I had this new body in the mirror, a completely different face, I had changed my hair color as well. I wasn’t sure how to dress for this body. My sister refused to go clothes shopping with me. I would sit in a dressing room quietly crying because I was confused about whether I was wearing a shirt or a dress. Did I have a camel toe or was it suppose to fit that way? Some of the clothing should’ve come with directions. I finally had to ask women in the dressing rooms to help me. I was embarrassed. I was angry that after all the years of bullying and pain my sister would hold this against me.

When I received a compliment I didn’t know what to do with it. When someone found out I had lost a lot of weight I felt like I had to tell them it wasn’t through diet and exercise because it would be wrong to let them think that.

When I started to notice dents in my temples and indentations in my cheeks I became concerned. My Hematologist told me I had “Muscle Wasting Disease” which happens with Autoimmune Disorders. What we didn’t know was that my Kidneys had been Failing. I wouldn’t find out until it was almost too late.

Bipolar Disorder, Alcoholism, Obesity, and even being too thin all carry Stigma. The things I’ve hadthonf73axv said and done to me because of one or the other I still can’t forget. I used “Beauty Tools” to try to hide the real me even when I lost weight. I never leave the house without a mask. But sometimes they serve a purpose.

While in Cosmetology School and working in Salons I would do hair for women who couldn’t afford it. Women who hadn’t had their hair done in years or ever. I can’t tell you how many had tears rolling down their faces when I was finished. As they stood up their posture would be different than when they first came in. Their eyes brighter and their smiles confident. I know it’s only hair but sometimes it’s the human interaction and having a chance to relax and feel good about yourself that can make a difference. It’s those times I enjoyed the most.

 


THERE IS NO BEAUTY IN PAIN AND TRAUMA (Not For Me)

I’ve talked about this more than I probably should have. I obviously have unresolved feelings I have to work out. I understand that. I’ve been watching Dave Navarro on Ink Master and I know his music from earlier years.

Dave Navarro and his friend put together a documentary style film “Mourning Son”. Dave’s mother was murdered by her ex-boyfriend when he was 15. In the film you see how this changes Dave. He also visits the man that was convicted for the crime in prison.

I also watched a lengthy interview with Dave Navarro and Todd Newman (Director). Mr. Navarro said he probably would’ve been a drug abuser regardless of his mother’s murder. He goes on to say that when you come through the pain and trauma there’s a beauty in it.

It’s how he sees it, it is his life and they are his feelings. When I watched the film footage there was a scene where he was tied to a chair by a woman wearing spiked heels. She appeared to be enjoying herself as she dug her spiked heel into his chest and inflicted various amounts of pain. He was dressed as half schoolgirl, half prostitute. Yes, he was. There was also footage of him shooting up and footage of his behavior as it became more erratic.

During the sex/fetish/masochism scene what I saw was a man with the emptiest eyes I’ve ever seen. Someone who wasn’t in the room, who was going through the movements so he didn’t have to think about anything else. I know he does enjoy doing suspension and I can understand that. It’s a traditional ceremony when done right releases endorphins. Having someone hurt, punish, or degrade you is a little different.

As his drug abuse progressed he would put needles in the same site over and over causing abscesses to form and get infected. His friends would tell him to be careful and he became more reckless as time went on.

This looked and sounded like a man who either wanted to die or was screaming for help and no one was hearing him. If they were hearing him they weren’t trying hard enough to get him help for one reason or another.

He talked about visiting his mother’s murderer in prison. It sounded like the experience was cathartic for him. He went in with a calm demeanor and left the same way. He’s a better person than I in many, many, ways.

FORGIVENES AND WHAT YOU TAKE AWAY

It’s obvious Dave Navarro could take a lot of positive stuff away from his experiences. I am not able to do that. I’m not sure I will ever be able to do that. I’m not left seeing the beauty in my trauma and pain. Unless you count the prettno-violence-against-womeny pink in my hair because I couldn’t get the blood out of it. I had such light blond hair that it stained. I would become dizzy and sick to my stomach every time I washed it. I still did it no matter how much it hurt. I am left with a small scar on my nose resembling a crescent moon. It’s from a skull ring. I like crescent moons.

What I am left with are nightmares like the one from last night. I’m pinned down by knees. I’m being punched in the face. I can’t breathe through my nose or mouth because of the blood. I feel paralyzed. It goes on forever. I hate this drowning feeling. Why doesn’t anyone hear me? A girl watches from another room. She does nothing. I’m choking. I’m thinking it will never end and also thinking this is what I asked for. I wake up crying with a sick feeling I can’t shake.

I didn’t drink because of this. My alcoholism started at 16/17 and brought me to some places that a young girl shouldn’t be spending time at. An undiagnosed Mental Illness also helped keep me there. I thought it was where I belonged. I didn’t deserve a better life, I didn’t deserve a life at all.

It’s hard to forgive someone who has bragged about beating you. It’s hard to let go when the person lives near you. It’s harder when you know the person suffered no consequences for his actions and is living his life just fine. As a matter of fact his life is better than yours. It’s a bitter pill to swallow.

I can’t forgive and I can’t forget. What’s worse than that is I’m pretty sure that whatever is hidden in the deepest part of my brain has to do with him. If it does it’s better I never know. I’m not sure how I’ll react.

There is a regret I have. I wish he could see me now. After losing 135 pounds, having a flattering hair color, and some self respect it would at least make me feel better. This “man” who once told me I better not get pregnant because no one would ever notice. This “man” that encouraged other men to make elephant noises at me in front of over 50 people. The same “man” who would tell me he could possibly love me if I lost weight then beat me.

I’m lying. I would feel much better with a baseball bat or an extremely attractive, intimidating man with me when I saw him. Sorry, it’s how my brain works. At least I stopped daydreaming revenge fantasies. Progress.

There are so many people that can forgive another person for some of the most painful acts. Parents who forgive the men that murder their daughters. Any family that forgives someone who has murdered or harmed a loved one. I don’t understand. I don’t think I ever will. Is it part of my illness? Is it genetics? Is it because I’m Irish? Why do I have such a hard time with the concept of forgiveness?

When it comes to smaller incidents I can forgive. I forgive my brother for everything he’s done except for hitting on W at my mother’s funeral. I have issues with my sister but they usually go away. Wait. I have a problem with forgiving my niece for what she wrote to me. Telling me that I should’ve killed myself because everyone would be better off and that my mom would be rolling over in her grave if she could see what a loser I am is kind of bordering unforgiveable. Other than a few small things I mostly let stuff go. Ok, maybe not.

 

 


FROM THE BEGINNING (Alcohol to Mental Illness. From The Cradle to Junior High)

I have decided to start my story from when it all began. I need everything to make sense to me. None of it is lately. I’ve had a lot of confusion and memory gaps. I have to keep a dictionary and thesaurus next to me at all times. I have trouble remembering peoples names that at one time I had no problem spitting out. I don’t like it.

THE CRADLE

My parents had known each other in grade school. My mother had a crush on my dad. Sadly they both had to quit school and wouldn’t see each other until years later in a bar. Both of my parents are alcoholics. My father has been sober 35 years. My mom passed away several years ago but had been sober 28 years at the time of her death.

Mental Illness and Alcoholism is prominent on my mom’s side of the family. 2 Alcoholic Uncles, 1 Schizophrenic, IV Drug addicted Uncle. 1 Alcoholic Aunt, My mom and 1 other sister suffered from Depression, my mom an Alcoholic, 1 more Aunt an Alcoholic and the last Aunt Schizophrenic. My Grandmother was something but the words I would use wouldn’t be polite. She did drink and personally I thought she was more than Mentally Ill. How my mom survived that woman I’ll never know. Almost all of her siblings fled at an early age. My mom was the oldest and stayed in the State. As years went by she felt responsible for her mother. If I could go back in time, grow a spine and speak up for my mom maybe things would’ve been different. But I know my dad didn’t sit back and watch so it must have fell on deaf ears. My mom could be stubborn when it came to family. I was lucky she was.

So my parents met again in a bar. It wasn’t love at first sight it more like Fatal Attraction. My mom chased my dad until he gave up. He says it was the best decision of his life. He was petrified when he learned she was pregnant and went away for awhile. He came back just in time for our delivery. My mother didn’t know she was having twins. It was January 1973. We were one right behind the other so the Doctor was only hearing one heartbeat. It was actually 2 that were in sync with one another. I wish my sister thought about that now.

When I was a baby/toddler I moved around a lot in my crib. I also had bloody noses frequently. My crib was one of those extra safe ones with wheels that didn’t quite lock in place. At some point I had begun to bang my head on the mattress of the crib as a soothing mechanism. When my parents would wake up in the morning they would come in to find my crib across the room.

They went out on a much needed date one night leaving me, my twin sister, and my seven year old brother with a babysitter. They forgot to tell the babysitter about my bloody noses or head banging crib moving. The babysitter walked into what looked like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. My crib across the room, blood all over the walls, and blood all over me. She did the logical thing and called the police. My poor parents came home to a swarm of police cars thinking the worse had happened. Nope. Just me and my “quirky” behavior.

I continued to bang or bounce my head for years. I also continued to get nose bleeds. I had my nose cauterized 3 or 4 times. If you don’t know what that is it’s like in movies when they would amputate then use fire to stop the bleeding. In my circumstance it was a chemical equivalent that burned the vessels in my sinus cavity to stop the bleeding. I would say it was uncomfortable. They took out my Adenoids and Tonsils thinking it would help. I was the oldest one having their tonsils out and of course something went wrong. I spiked a fever and started vomiting. This caused my stitches to tear so I had to stay longer.

My twin always looked at me with contempt or disgust when I had a nosebleed. I had no control over them. Sometimes all it took was the hot water hitting my head in the shower. I never knew when it was going to happen. The bouncing I could understand. I also would rock side to side while standing. I never felt comfortable no matter where I was. I had many soothing mechanisms. While sitting one leg was going up and down like a jackhammer. Hardly anyone noticed through the years what a big bundle of crazy nerves and self hate I was.

I really don’t know how so many people could’ve missed it. Teachers, Guidance Counselors, Parents, Relatives and even my own twin never could see me slowly dying day by day. A six hour school day was like thirteen hours to me. There was no place where I found joy or relief. I couldn’t even look to my sister for help. She had made it clear by the time we were in Junior High that I was on my own.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, and my own Birthday I would sneak away to my room to read. If I was reading I was in another world and not in mine. If anyone asked why I wasn’t joining in I said I “didn’t feel well”. I was the sickest kid in family history. As I became a little older things started to change. Around 12/13 I became irritable, spiteful, I would talk too much and read all night not sleeping. My parents always let us drink soda. But they started to ask me how much of it I had been drinking and if I was drinking coffee too. Someone suggested to my mom that it was “hormones”. Nope. I was an early bloomer making things more difficult. I had my period by age 10. I was a size 36 C by age 11. ( I apologize to the men reading. ) So in my expert opinion hormones were not it.

Someone recently asked if I felt resentful because I hadn’t been diagnosed earlier. What’s the point? It doesn’t change anything. Would I like to speak to some of the so called experts and tell them what it’s cost me? Sometimes. There isn’t a Psychiatrist, Doctor, Nurse, Therapist, who knows what I’ve been through unless they have been through the exact same thing. It’s impossible. I don’t understand what War is like and would never presume to. I don’t understand Religious Belief and wouldn’t pretend to because I’ve studied Religion. It doesn’t work that way.

Regrettably even other people with Bipolar Disorder and Addiction think they have or know the answers. They don’t. We can only take educated guesses at the similarities in certain groups. Human brains are like snow flakes. There are no two alike.tumblr_mmzqwg1lc71s7j5pho1_500

 


THIS IS US AND FAT MEMORIES

I just finished watching the first two episodes of This is Us. There is a story line about two obese people that meet at an Over Eaters Meeting. The focus is mostly on the woman and her family. There was a scene that hit me hard. She was telling her date that her life will always be about being “fat”. She will always be thinking if a chair can hold her or if she will be able to find an outfit for a special event.

At my largest, 270 pounds, I often wouldn’t sit on certain types of furniture. Any type of outdoor seating made me nervous. If wicker was involved I wasn’t going near it. I was skeptical about wood too. Sometimes I would wait until a guy I thought was around my size had sat in a chair first before I would sit in it. My best friend thought I was being silly. I knew I wasn’t because I had in fact broken a chair before at a family reunion. Memories stay with you.

I constantly thought about my weight. I would write “Please let me be thin” in the mist on the shower door every time I took a shower. I don’t know why I thought this would help. I would sign up for gym memberships and once I got there I would be so intimidated by the other members I would stop going. I tried every diet created.

Most of the women in my family are big. There are only a few who are not. You would think that would’ve stopped them from saying things to me. It didn’t. The only one who never said anything about my weight was my dad.

As you can imagine school was more than difficult. My sister never got involved. She stood with her own group and watched. It didn’t stop until my Senior year in High School. Even then it didn’t really stop I just started going to parties and drinking. When drinking I could handle the jokes better and wasn’t afraid to come back with my own. Unfortunately there were times I let myself get out of control. All the years had built up inside me and no matter how hard I tried people still saw me as “the fat girl”.

When I was ditched by my friend and the guy she was with because his sister only wanted a certain “type” at her party I kind of lost it the next time I saw them. No one should be treated like they are nothing or not good enough. My friend didn’t even know I was ditched until I told her. The guy said I didn’t show up. Stuff like this would continue through the years. If someone wants to hurt you they pick the most obvious flaw.

Now that I am 135 pounds there’s no one to show. I don’t really go anywhere. I still have a fantasy of running into all those people who hurt me. They wouldn’t care or remember. Only I still remember crying myself to sleep. Only I remember never having a date or going to Prom. I thought losing weight would make everything change. It hasn’t. My weight wasn’t my only problem. I’m my own problem and I always will be.fb_img_1471867255604.jpg


GIMME A DRINK

I have always had anxiety for as long as I can remember. There isn’t a time I can remember where I didn’t have that butterflies in my stomach feeling. A lump in my throat or the feeling you get before taking an important test or getting on a giant roller coaster. It’s no way for anyone to live let alone an adolescent. I remember dry heaving before school everyday. When this started I don’t remember. I know I was doing it by the 6th grade.

Elementary school wasn’t too bad. I was still thin and cute. I could do gymnastics and my hair was straight and light blond. Then it all changed. My hair became curly and frizzy. I grew large breasts overnight and gained weight. I was also taller than the other girls going into Junior High. I wore thick glasses by this time and the beginnings of puberty wreaked havoc on my skin. I’m not painting a pretty picture am I ? That’s because it wasn’t. I know this because I was always the last one picked in gym class, I was called names, I had stuff thrown at me, animal noises made at me, and even other student’s parents thought it was appropriate to discuss me while I was standing right there.

What did I do? I took it. My twin sister wasn’t having the same experience as I was. When we were in school they1wendy-2 separated twins. Twins were not allowed to have any classes together. Did she know what was going on? To some extent. She didn’t completely escape it. She was also taller with bigger breasts but she was pretty and much thinner than I was. She also had the capability to make friends. I know she defended me on occasion. It wasn’t often. Mostly it was in High School and only if the person really crossed a line. Even though I was bigger our classmates were more frightened of her. I don’t know what she did for that to happen.

There’s a picture my sister likes to pull out for a good laugh. It’s a school picture of me in the 9th grade. I have curly blond hair, very thick glasses, a hot pink and white striped shirt on, hot pink beads around my neck, and a lovely fever blister on my lip. She thinks it’s hysterical. My twin is like my dad, photogenic. Neither one of them can take a bad picture.

I thought I had won the friend lottery when I met W. We found the same things funny, we hated the same things and the same people. I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t popular. She was tall, thin with strawberry blond hair and green eyes. She was one of the prettiest girls in the school. I never could understand it. I could never understand why she chose to be friends with me. Sometimes I still wonder. We’ve had a few bumps in the road, mostly because of me but she’s still here.

W and I also loved the same music and guys with long hair. It was the late 80’s early 90’s. We were both also terrified to talk to boys/men. I remember one time W left me sitting at a bowling alley alone while she ran home to swig the pink stuff for your stomach. She was so nervous because a guy she had a crush on walked in she thought she would be sick. lol It was weird, for her I could muster up some courage. My brother had played baseball with the guy and told me how much he loved the band Boston. When W came back I went to the Jukebox and played every Boston song in there. Now this wasn’t the smartest man on the planet but he was attractive. He just kept saying “Holy shit! Why are all the Boston songs playing?”. I was laughing. He recognized me from going in there with my brother and came over. I admitted to playing the Boston songs. For some reason I could talk to him because it wasn’t for me. And I was sober at this time. Weird.

Sobriety didn’t last long after that. When you always feel no one wants you where they are, a birthday party, wedding, your own shared birthday party, it’s difficult. I was always looking for the escape hatch. Then one day W called to tell me she was picking me up with 2 of the most popular guys in not only our town but the surrounding 3 towns. I vomited and jumped in the shower. I sat in the backseat with my favorite one. He was a legend to me. He looked almost exactly like Slash from Guns n Roses but sexier. His name was even great. I won’t put it here because he has since passed away and he was well known. I’ll just say his name was the same as a fat happy religious statue.

He offered me a swig from a bottle that smelled like mint and looked like water. My only experience so far with alcohol was sips of my dad’s beer. I figured it smelled minty and looked like water how bad could it be? Mind you I was 16 at the time. I took a healthy drink from the bottle and by the look on my face he knew I hadn’t had it before. He said “You puke that up I’ll make you eat it”. I forced myself to swallow it down and keep it down. Rumplemintz I’ll never touch it again. That I can definitely say never to.

I proceeded to get drunk and bought the guy $50 in CDs, then we went to a party somewhere in a bad neighborhood I think in Providence or Pawtucket I don’t remember. I know I fooled around with the guy and somehow he got another $20, things took a turn for the worse at the end of the night when he put my earrings in a cup of beer. Yup I knew how to pick them right from the beginning.

That was the beginning. Even though the guy was an ass I found that I could stand up for myself, I felt confident, I didn’t care if people wanted me around or not. Liquid courage.

Someone once said “You know you’re an alcoholic when you stop getting hangovers”. Not true. I always had horrendous hangovers. I had a reason. I had Celiac Disease and didn’t know it. I was poisoning myself every time I drank and on some occasions I was also suffering from alcohol poisoning. You can’t have a breathalyzer result of .30 three hours after being taken in and not have done some damage. I shocked quite a few people with that one and they wanted to throw the book at me. I’m lucky someone thought I was worth saving.

Picture is W and her boyfriend. She exists.


WARNING: Do Not Leave Alone Or Feed After Midnight

13626476_10210547133301435_6524932080955258860_nHello! For those of you that have not read my blog before I am a 43 year old woman, diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at 36/37, diagnosed with Conversion Disorder, and an alcoholic in remission for over 7 years. I also have Chronic Kidney Disease which has left me with one functioning kidney and Celiac Disease. I have always lived at home with my parents and my mom passed away 8 and 1/2 years ago. I took care of her while she was ill. My father is on dialysis and I now take care of him.

When I stopped drinking for the first year I didn’t go many places. I was trying to deal with why I felt the way I did and going to various Doctors. Years later when I found myself in a stable place I realized how many people no longer wanted to BE in my life. They didn’t want to put in the effort they thought it would take to deal with a “crazy” person. Some of them still drank and didn’t want to put me in an awkward situation. Maybe my erratic behavior was just too much. It wasn’t just friends but family too. It didn’t bother me so much when it was cousins or relatives I hadn’t talked to in long time. What did hurt was when it was a relative I was very close to and loved like my mom. In fact, my mother’s sister. My own twin sister slowly started backing away from me. I have not seen my nephews in a long time when I used to see them at least twice a week.

The isolation can get to me. When you combine that with my medication it can be embarrassing. When I do leave the house I find myself talking too much and too fast to strangers in stores or employees. When I leave the store I sit in my car and cry. I feel humiliated because I was so excited to be talking to another human that I babbled their ear off.

I did this two times already today. A woman called to ask about my dad’s pigeons. I talked to her for 45 minutes. A politician came to the door and I talked to her about everything that’s wrong with our state for a half hour.

I remember when I worked in retail and we had customers that we knew were “talkers”. We all tried to avoid them even me. We would roll our eyes when we would see them coming because we knew it would be a big chunk out of our day. I didn’t mind some of them and actually looked forward to a few of them. Then there were a few with problems that no matter what you said or did wouldn’t understand that they were crossing a boundary. They would stand too close, follow you around the store, try to come behind the counter, or expect special favors. These were the only people that bothered me.

I’ll never forget the day I went to my local drug store. As I approached the counter I saw all three pharmacists roll their eyes. There was no one else around. I left immediately to cry in my car. I know I talk too much sometimes. It’s ironic really.

For most of my life I didn’t talk at all. I looked at the ground while walking, never made eye contact, and tried to hide behind my hair. I only talked when I drank. That was it. Sober I never really did. In school I always tried to sit in the back of the class and go unnoticed. I wore clothes that were too big for me and dark colors. I didn’t even use the bathrooms. Maybe that contributed to my kidney problems. The girl’s bathroom is the last place an awkward obese girl wants to be caught alone. So I never went.

Now I can’t shut up and there isn’t anyone to talk to. I can’t win. I thought I was making progress with my sister. I’ve been trying to be cheery on the phone with her. The second day of this she sounded weird. I found out it was because we were not discussing her. As long as we talk about her problems she’s happy. She also took off on another vacation and said she told me about it but she didn’t. She won’t have phone service so if anything happens to my dad I can’t reach her. This from someone who just gave me shit about taking some time for myself at the end of August. My Doctors suggested it. My kidney function has gotten worse and the stress I’m under is taking a huge toll on my health.

I’m going to book my vacation and let the cards fall where they may. You never know what’s around the corner so I’ve learned not to put things off.

If you feed me after midnight I’ll have a gallbladder attack and I wanted it to sound like Gremlins. lol


THE WANDERER

She carried a heavy backpack everywhere she went. She could be seen walking one hour in one city and the next hour in another. It seemed she never stopped. It’s a small state so most people had seen her at one time or another.

The salon I worked in years ago faced a busy street. My workstation faced the big glass windows overlooking the street. This wasn’t so great for me because I get distracted easily. I like to say I’m just very observant. I won’t tell you what my boss said about it. I always noticed the walking woman, with what seemed to be the weight of the world on her shoulders. She walked repeatedly by the salon on certain days.  I knew somehow that she was mentally ill by her mannerisms and the repetition of her actions. I had seen this behavior before. I knew she wasn’t walking for her health because of the clothes she wore and the fact that she was smoking while walking. She also walked with a purpose. For years I watched her, she refused handouts or charity and always looked clean.

At the end of June “The Wanderer” passed away. Her family wanted everyone to know her story, so they gave interviews to the local paper. When I read it I cried for hours. I saw my mom, my Aunt, myself, my Uncle, pieces of every mentally ill person I’ve ever known.

She was 69 when she passed away. She came from a family of six children. My mom came from a family of seven. She had a mother who was unable to stand up for herself and a father who was physically and verbally abusive. My mother had the opposite situation. She was known as “The Protector” in her family and so was my mom.

“The Wanderer” dropped out of school and worked at assisted living facilities, helping mentally challenged adults. My mom dropped out of school in the 7th grade to work with my Grandmother in our only State Run “Mental Institution” called the IMH.

She married young and had four daughters. They are not sure exactly what happened except at some point their mother suffered a breakdown and left the family. They were then raised by their father. There was at one point a divorce.

Their mother remarried several years later and she tried to see her daughters more. She had three children with her new husband. One girl and two boys.

Her older daughter knew not to count on her to show up for family functions. Sometimes she would and sometimes she wouldn’t. Her older children could see that there was more going on with their mother than anyone was saying.

Unfortunately she never got diagnosed. Their mom was smart, but socially awkward, she wasn’t good with money, spent exorbitant amounts on clothes then couldn’t pay her bills, and she had issues with her body image.

She did manage to hold down dome jobs through the years. She refused state assistance. As time went by she became worse. She began to think mind controlling chemicals were being sprayed at her through her workstation. She became increasingly paranoid, thinking the company was out to get her. She quit.

She would admit to her family that she heard voices but not to anyone else. This made the family’s attempts at getting her the help she needed useless. She wasn’t a threat to herself or others so the family’s hands were tied. She began bouncing from one family member to another, all the while still walking as much as she could. If anyone asked too many questions or was too intrusive, she moved on fast.

Eventually she ran out of family members willing to take her in anymore. She stayed in homeless shelters and would disappear for months. At one point her family found her and tried to bring her to a hospital. When she realized where they were taking her she jumped out of the car while it was moving on the highway. Having been in this state’s hospitals I really can’t say I blame her.

She disappeared again and relied on the community who were friendly to her. She would stay at a 24 hour Laundromat at night. The state still couldn’t help even though she did put herself in danger by jumping out of a moving car. Elderly Affairs couldn’t help, no one could.

The family received a phone call that their mother had fallen in front of a 7-Eleven and had a severe laceration on her head. The staff knew who she was and made sure she stayed put until an ambulance arrived.

The Hospital (I won’t name it but I’ve been there and my mother died there) was going to just release her after they stitched her up until ONE DOCTOR  decided that something else was going on and ran more tests.

“The Wanderer” was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer in her Liver and Lungs. She had weeks to live. She went home with one of her daughters. The family had to jump through hoops trying to get Medicare and Hospice for their mom. She repeatedly kept saying she just had to “walk it off”.

Her last days were filled with grandchildren, children, and rest of her family and friends. She sat outside with her oldest daughter laughing and sneaking an occasional cigarette. Her daughters were with her when she passed and wanted people to know that she WAS LOVED.

Sometimes people who are mentally ill make the choice to live outside the system. My Uncle Jimmy did and was happy most of the time. It breaks my heart to think of him buried in Potter’s Field, no wake or funeral. It was his choice for the most part. I am scared it will happen to me and not by choice. That I’ll be alone, my family will be done with me. It’s getting close to that now. It’s the tears. No one knows how to react so they get defensive and angry.

 


BE WHO U ARE. SAY WHAT U FEEL.

In the area where I live we have had another tragedy involving someone who was mentally ill committing violence on others. There were many comments made against the mentally ill man, and some for him.

He had just been released from a Psychiatric Hospital. For what reason I do not know. His family had begged the hospital not to release him.

I am not an uneducated person. I realize that funding is low for mental health. There have been large cuts in 3 of our biggest hospitals lately. My own father receives less than stellar care for his dialysis and Vasculitis. The VA is no better. That is in no way any excuse for a family’s pleas to go ignored when it involves the danger their loved one might cause others. Are there families that lie about such things? Of course there are. But they are few and far between.

On to another matter. If there is one thing I hate in this world it is someone who will not commit to what they say or mean. Say what you mean, mean what you say. It isn’t that hard of a concept.

So many people are hurt everyday when they do not need to be if they were just told the truth. Don’t spare my feelings. Just tell me the truth.


HUMANS SUCK, A TRIP, AGITATION

First, the good news. I booked the trip to Orlando, Florida 5 days 4 nights with a Meet and Greet for Sebastian Bach. Between Airfare, Hotel, Ticket and VIP package I spent a total of $588. I thought it was a pretty good deal and will admit to being somewhat manic when making my decision.

My father is less than thrilled. He’s actually kind of pissed. I think he’s more afraid than anything. This will be my first concert sober. I have not really been out at night for the last 7 years. My dad has this weird notion that you only drink alcohol at night. Probably because of all the late night phone calls he received to come get me at the hospital, jail, or some weird place. I can’t blame him for feeling the way he does. After coming so close to death in the last 10 months and knowing what my future probably holds, I decided to start living. I can’t be afraid of letting my dad down or making him angry over the smallest things. Because I am Bipolar with Conversion Disorder and an extreme Anxiety Disorder, my life is automatically shortened by 12 years. The numbers for people with Celiac Disease is a 10 year loss of life expectancy. If you add in my Stage Three Chronic Kidney Disease I’m toast in a few years! I really do take these numbers with a grain of salt but it’s still doesn’t change the facts. Life is short.

I have been asked why I want to do this trip. My dad will never understand and most people won’t. I FEEL EVERYTHING TEN TIMES MORE THAN EVERYONE ELSE. I am sensitive, dramatic, I read into everything someone says or does, I’m hurt too easily, I live in the past where there are good memories and monsters. This is me. My one outlet has always been music.

When I listen to a song or watch a performance and I feel moved or understood that is the greatest feeling in the world. I envy those that can get up on a stage and belt out a song with all of their feelings and pain or joy spilling out of them. If I could sing out my pain I would be happy. Don’t get me wrong, I still try to sing in my car, I’m just not very good. It’s still a release. A song can bring me up or bring me down. When I hear lyrics that resonate with events in my life it’s even more invigorating.

Now I’ll move on to Humans. For some reason I don’t consider myself to be in this category. lol I don’t know why. The loss of humanity I see on a daily basis just enforces my need not to be associated with other people. There was a post on Facebook about how Doctors freely give out too much pain medication, knowing the person is an addict. That they are doing this for the money. This person had lost her best friend to a drug overdose. They both had worked for me for a few years. I was a little disgruntled with her placing all of the blame at the feet of the Doctors. I knew back then that her friend had Mental Health issues. I was just too caught up in my own crap to want to help.

I believe that blaming the Doctors is pointless. Most addicts are drinking or using drugs to escape something. It might be trauma or Mental Illness the point is they don’t or I didn’t drink a case of beer and a pint of anything a day because I liked the taste of alcohol and making an ass out of myself. I did it because the pain, anxiety, worthlessness, fear, all of it became too much. I did do some drugs but alcohol was my choice. Notice I use the word choice. Alcohol isn’t a thing that holds you down and makes you drink it. You make a choice and keep making that choice to feel normal.  It bothers me that more people do not see this as a Mental Health Issue. If you go to a “specialist”, whether it’s for your back or your brain, a lot of them will not be as knowledgeable about other health matters as they should be. A back doctor might suspect drug abuse but doesn’t really know the ins and outs of addiction.

I myself had gone to a Neurologist who suggested I have a drink or two a day for my tremors. He is a well respected doctor. I asked him if he had read my file. He said he had. I said “You know I’m an alcoholic right?” he says “Oh but you can still have one or two drinks can’t you?”. He hasn’t been the only one. I can’t count how many health professionals do not understand  what Gluten is. This is where there needs to be a change.


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