Tag Archives: Support

A REALLY BAD DAY

Last night I sent a text to my twin sister saying I wasn’t leaving my room for awhile. I wasn’t going to talk to anyone, eat, or do anything. I don’t talk to anyone anyway and when I said I wasn’t going to eat it was because when I do it doesn’t stay with me for long. I am also extremely tired all the time. But the text didn’t explain all that and sounded like an emotional threat to her.

She responded this morning with excuses why she hasn’t contacted me or my Dad and how she has been really busy and in pain all the time. She also mentioned that she hasn’t had to answer several other texts, she’s been too busy going to the kid’s baseball games, a parade and running the concession stand.

All of this pissed me off for some reason. She couldn’t find one minute to call our Dad on our Mom’s birthday knowing he would be down? To that she replied “F*ck You”. It only got worse from there.

It ended with me being in the same boat as my brother. Banished.

For as long as I can remember she never wanted people to know we were sisters let alone twins. I felt like she was ashamed of me but couldn’t understand why. She made the rule that we couldn’t have the same friends starting in Junior High. This is still the case even now as adults. It hurts. She can’t or won’t explain why.

I do resent her and feel bitter towards her because she has been able to have a “normal” life. Also because she never involved herself in the messiness of death or anything else I’ve had to deal with on my own.

I know that it’s my choice to stay here with my Dad. If I did leave I know he wouldn’t last long and my sister would do nothing about it.

I feel anxious, alone, and scared. Most of all I feel a tremendous sadness. I don’t want to be like this anymore. It’s never going to end. I’ve been told it isn’t. I’m tired of being dismissed. When I do talk no one listens. I talk to my dog because at least he looks like he’s listening.

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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.

 

 


MY FATHER’S SHOES

Today my Dad said “Think about what it would be like if you were in my shoes”. This angered me. I’m finding myself angry too much lately because I’m not absorbing my medications.

I bit my tongue for as long as I could then said “I would’ve loved to be in your shoes. You had a woman who love and adored you for years. You got to make the choice to have a family, own your own home, travel, laugh with your wife. Yes, there were bad times but the good times I watched from a distance were real and beautiful. She worshipped you and talked about you all the time. Why? Because you were the only man in her entire life that was good to her. You think I never wanted any of that for myself?”.

I think I shocked my Dad for the first time in a long time. For once he heard me. He feels better about his life and I feel worse about mine than I already did. 13901354_10210665207453215_2448191949000437152_n


WHAT RESEMBLES RAGE AGAIN

The last several days I have been locked in my room and on occasion locked in my bathroom. I figure at 73 my dad would have hard time getting through both doors.

My father, as good of a man as he is, has always had a short temper. He was the King of Road Rage and yelling at cashiers.

When he makes up his mind to dislike something or someone there is no changing it. When he quit drinking cold turkey he hated all alcohol and couldn’t be around anyone who had a drink.

He was the same when he quit smoking. Unfortunately for us he decided to do this at the same time he quit drinking. My mother joined him in sobriety but did not quit smoking. This caused some problems as you can imagine.

He is 73 years old, on Dialysis, has had a quadruple bypass, an aortic aneurysm, Internal Hemorrhaging from an unknown source, Temporal Arteritis, Peritonitis twice, and a various amount of other life threatening issues.

An ER doctor put him on Prednisone for his diagnosis of Temporal Arteritis without doing any of the diagnostic testing. The Prednisone made my father’s temper 10 times what it was. He had mellowed out in the last few years for my sake. The Prednisone brought it all back and then some.

The smallest thing will set him off. Today he couldn’t find the phone number for the Vet. The Pomeranian has Epilepsy and needed her medication refilled. I could see the storm brewing a mile away. I didn’t want to be caught in it. I didn’t move fast enough.

The throwing of notebooks and papers started. The “Goddamns” followed. I tried to give him the number and was yelled at. I grabbed some water and started to head upstairs. He asked “What do you think you’re doing?”. I told him I couldn’t be around him when he was acting the way he was. He responded “Maybe you should just leave then.”  I told him it was a bad time of year for me and I didn’t want to make matters worse for him so I was getting out of his way. He said not to bother he was leaving and didn’t I think this time of year was tough on him too? He said some other things that I either don’t want to remember or just don’t.

While I’m upstairs he slams the door so hard downstairs that the items on my bathroom sink fall over. I start to shake. I can’t type because my hands have a tremor when this happens. I try to call my sister but she doesn’t answer. She went hiking with a friend not far from our house. I did try to text but my tremor was too bad at the time. I would’ve used the Talk to Text but I found I was also stuttering. She would’ve received gibberish.

I took a klonopin to calm down and got in my bed for awhile. It’s the only thing that helps when I get really bad.

I shouldn’t have to live like this. I love my dad and I owe him so much. If I have to sacrifice myself I will. I don’t think he realizes that even though he’s been through so much he is actually the healthier one in the house.

There are a few things that make me extremely angry. He’s been getting off of the Dialysis machine early because he wants to go to a clock auction or a pigeon show. They have to change the schedule this week because of Thanksgiving and he would have to go on Saturday. There is a Pigeon Show on Saturday that he registered for to compete in. If they can’t fit him in somewhere else at dialysis then he will skip it.

The fact that he will risk his life to show pigeons pisses me off. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of being the only one of his children that even talks to him or cares.

What I don’t regret is all the good times I was able to have with both of my parents that my siblings missed out on. I wouldn’t trade that for anything061156c9d31ef8bdf0c874b8f57da5f9

My dad and I try our best. Some days are a lot harder than others.


GODDAMN IT AND FLIES

“Goddamn it! Goddamn! GODDAMN IT!”. He’s only been home twenty minutes. I immediately knew what he was mad about. I knew it was probably a bad idea when I did it. I just couldn’t TAKE IT ANYMORE!

We have 2 birds in our dining area. The dining area is connected to the kitchen. There is a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo in one cage and an African Grey Parrot in the other. They are both birds with long lifespans. They throw their food around and splash in their water. My father also has over 300 Fancy Pigeons (Russian Tumblers, Saxon Monks) outside to take care of. He refuses to admit that he can longer take care of all them. He has been trying to cut back on his Fancy Pigeons, he recently gave away 17! And in that time 5 more hatched. He won’t cull. If he sees the egg has been fertilized he won’t destroy it. I can’t fault him for that. I know some bird men that break the necks of the babies. My father would never hurt an animal.

The inside birds bring mice. The mice are attracted to the food they throw around. We have woods in our backyard that are filled with field mice. Every single time I go to get my oil and filter changed the guy will say “You know you had a mouse nest in your filter?”. The first few times I thought they just wanted more money because I wasn’t going to change my filter. I had my Dad look before I brought it one time. A mouse ran up his arm and on to his head. He fell backwards trying to get it off. Yup, there was a nest.

We can’t really poison them because of the dogs. Both dogs are not picky about what they eat. A dead mouse would be a treat for them. My dad was using traps. Then he found something that would be toxic to the mice but not dogs. I didn’t ask. The next thing I know it’s like Amityville Horror in here. The amount of flies was disturbing. I hate flies because I know their life cycle and it involves maggots. We thought we had solved our fly problem before I went to Florida.

Last week I see 2 flies. That’s how it starts. Today we are back up to a 100. I can’t take it. I hung a fly strip in the kitchen over the garbage. It wasn’t exactly visible. But it wasn’t in a place where we use things all the time. Of course my father chose today to grab a pan we never use where the fly paper was hanging. It stuck to his arm and had flies on it.

As soon as I heard him I knew. As soon as I heard the tone in his voice I felt flushed. I tried to explain. This is how I tried “Ssssooorrryy dddaaaddd Iiiii dddiiiiddnnn’tttt mmeeaann” he told me to stop because he couldn’t understand me anyway so what was the point? My head was shaking and I was still trying to explain but my throat was closing. Nothing was coming out.

How I hate this. Weakness. Vulnerability. Powerless. In my mind I can say everything clearly. In an actual situation I turn to mush. I am trapped in my own head. I’m screaming at myself “You idiot! What are you doing? Spit it out!”. This only makes things worse.

When someone walks away from me it hurts. It says to me that I’m not worth your time. Unfortunately my family does this the most.

I never know when it will hit me. I hate being startled. I always have. The look of hurt in my Dad’s eyes when he sees the fear in mine is enough to destroy me.

Rosie is the Cockatoo. When her mate passed she started pulling out her breast feathers. They have started to come back. The African Grey is Wiseguy. He talks and imitates noises. His best is the microwave and my dad answering the phone.


I WANNA NEW DRUG

This post won’t be popular. I would like to say that this bothers me but right now I’m too hurt about so many other things. First topic is easy ALCOHOLISM.

I hated AA. I tried it on many occasions either by choice or court ordered. So we are clear here there are female alcoholics that drink just as much as men. I’ve had people say to me “You’re not an alcoholic. What? Did you have a few too many glasses of wine?”. That is still the perception of a female alcoholic. Wine does count just as much it just wasn’t my choice. I even had the same mistaken thoughts about it.

I drank beer and hard liquor. When I recently visited relatives in Florida and mentioned to my Aunt what and how much I used to drink she was shocked. I thought she knew. They sell alcohol in almost every store in Florida. My Aunt had worked at a Market and knew the brands of liquor. When I told her I was up to about a case of beer and a pint of Ginger flavored brandy, Firewater, Jager, or many shots of Patron, it put it in perspective for her. She asked “Not wine then?”. No never wine. In my mind wine was for those people who were “weak”. I know I’m an idiot. Wine is still alcohol and can get you drunk just the same.

AA wasn’t for me because other people’s stories didn’t have an effect on me. The strong religious factor that they insisted wasn’t there but was, really bothered me. Sponsors telling me to get on my knees before bed and pray to God for my sobriety bothered me. When I left for the last time and my sponsor told me I would fail and have to beg God for forgiveness I had enough. It was a bad day at work, my mother was ill again and I was barely hanging on. I told her “It’s a good thing I’m an Atheist then huh?” and never looked back.

I was diagnosed as Bipolar and it shined a light on why I was drinking and doing the things I did. A lot of stuff made sense to me. So much so that the smell of alcohol turned my stomach. Will I never drink again? I’m not stupid enough to make that promise. I can say that right here, right now, today, I will not be drinking. That has worked for 8 years.

FAMILY AND MENTAL ILLNESS is an entire different story. Most of my family thinks I should be “better” or “cured” by now. It doesn’t work that way. There are a million and one factors that go into a diagnosis and most of them are wrong. There’s Genetics, your environmental surroundings when younger, trauma, when you first presented with symptoms, when you were diagnosed, what meds were you on before being correctly diagnosed, how long did it take for a correct diagnosis, did you have other disorders or illnesses coinciding with the mental illness like a drug or alcohol problem, or anxiety, or PTSD.

All of these things make a difference. A few years ago my twin sister was diagnosed with Conversion Disorder. She said she couldn’t remember little things. Two of her fingers would tremor, her eyelids would flutter or she would stare into space. She would come out of it and be tired not remembering it. She had a machine attached to her at home for 48 hours to detect any abnormal brain waves or seizure like activity. It came back negative. She had a sleep study done at the hospital hooked up to monitors that came back negative. Many tests were run until finally the Doctors told her she had Conversion Disorder due to stress which was causing these incidents that no one could find evidence of.

I was with her for 2 of them. She is my twin. I know her like the back of my hand. I know that when we were little and even as we grew older she was referred to as the “Drama Queen”. I watched the 2 fingers and her eyelids. I watched her breathing and how she acted when she came out of it. I admit that I tested her one time in the middle of an episode and she snapped right out of it because she thought her son was in trouble. There was no confusion, no “I have to take a nap, I feel so weak”, she was her usual self.

She received Disability faster than I did. She had no Hospitalizations, suicide attempts, lost jobs, etc. I had it all plus Shock Therapy. My judge made fun of me while she sailed right through. I bring it up because recently as she told me to “Put my big girl pants on and deal with things” she also said she had Conversion Disorder also but she was fine and was able to “overcome” her illness. Then why isn’t she working I wonder? I was given another ultimatum to either put myself in the Hospital or go to Therapy (I have to show proof) or she won’t be in my life. What gives her or anyone the right to threaten or give me ultimatums? The reason I cry so much is when I talk to her I can hear the disdain in her voice. I can hear how annoyed she is. There is no sympathy. There is no affection. There is no love. That is why I cry.

I have been to more Therapists that I can count. I have been to more Doctors than I can count. I have been told by at least 2 that some people are just resistant to Therapy and Medications depending on when they were diagnosed, how long they had symptoms of being Bipolar before getting a correct diagnosis, if they had other illnesses like Alcoholism or Conversion Disorder alongside the Bipolar Disorder, and there is also the fact that having Celiac Disease doesn’t help and neither does Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease.

So I want a new drug. One that won’t make me think. One that won’t me feel or remember. One that doesn’t cost too much. One that takes the pain away. And one that preferably won’t make me drool on myself. I’m tired of crying. I’m tired of apologizing for existing. I’m tire of seeing the look of pain and blame in my dad’s eyes. Most of all I’m just tired.


I Don’t Know Much But…

It’s been a little rough lately. I’m having trouble coping with everything going on physically and mentally. I have thought of going to a Hotel and drinking for a night. But with my kidneys failing it’s probably a bad idea. I’m afraid I still might. My impulse control is not so great right now. My memory is also going. I never paid the taxes on my car and now I can’t register it. Total cost for that is $126. Money is stressing me out. Leaving the house is stressing me out. My Health Insurance is stressing me out. My idiot Doctors are stressing me out. My family is stressing me out. I have no support. My moods are out of control.

A police woman came to the house yesterday. My dad hit a parked car at Wal-Mart and didn’t know it. There was very little damage. He has a big truck and had dialysis that day and the car that was next to him was big and beat up. He probably wasn’t paying attention and with the ringing in one ear he didn’t hear anything either. He isn’t the type of person to just leave. He would’ve waited for the person to come out or left a note. The female police officer I have come across before. She isn’t pleasant. As soon as I checked to see what was going on and saw her I knew I needed to intervene. My dad couldn’t find his current insurance cards and was frustrated. She was irritated also. I went outside in my pajamas looking extremely sick. She looked me up and down and asked who I was. I told her I was the daughter and explained that he’s on dialysis and he’s also worried about me because I’m in kidney failure. I told her he would never just leave that I was sure he didn’t know he did it. She said the damage to the other car was so minimal that I was probably right.

She was just coming around when my dad came back outside. She explained she wasn’t going to charge him with leaving the scene of an accident. That was as far as she got before he became belligerent saying “What accident?” I finally calmed him down and explained to him that she knew he wasn’t aware he did anything. I sent him back into the house and finished with the officer.

Guess what? I couldn’t get in contact with my sister. I was kind of worried about my dad’s behavior. I thought maybe he shouldn’t be driving. He plans on driving back and forth to Springfield, MA for 3 days next week. It’s a 3 hour drive each way from our house. But again I have to deal with it on my own. Like I always have. If one more person tells me I should just “move out” I swear I will drop kick them. Where do these people think I’m going to get the money? Who do these people think will look after my dad? What about my dog? It’s so easy for people to say. This man never abandoned me even when everyone said ” Tough Love is the best, you need to kick her out”. He refused. No matter what I did he said he loved me and wasn’t giving up. My mom was the same. So I’m supposed to abandon him? I didn’t abandon my mom when she was dying. I washed her, changed her soiled sheets, stayed up all night with her, and did my best. My siblings were nowhere to be found.

I just want my appointment at Mass General to get here. I’m hoping they keep me. It could be like a vacation. I hope the beds are comfortable. Migraines, nosebleeds, neck pain, low grade fever, nausea, extreme pain on the sides of my back radiating to the front and into my pelvis. I can’t take any painkillers. My jaw hurts from clenching it constantly, one minute I’m sweating the next I’m freezing, it’s like the flu times a thousand.

I don’t think there is supposed to be this much blood in my urine. But I’m told to wait until I go to Boston. I hope I make it. lol

What I know is I’ve through worse than this. I have to remember that. I have to remember I can’t change other people. I have to remember and accept the bills will be there and you can’t blood from a stone. I know I need someone to talk to and I need to look into it after the kidney thing is figured out. I also need to admit that my Psychiatrist might have been great at the beginning but is now making too many mistakes. It’s time for a change as much as I hate it. I have to let things go. That is the hardest part for me. The past isn’t the past for me. It’s always right there at the surface ready to take over with it’s pain, pettiness, despair, jealousy, grief, and regret. I have to learn to deal with that.


How Will I End?

I went to see my Psychiatrist today. I needed to tell him that my medications were no longer working due to the failure of my kidneys. When he greeted me he asked “So did your Primary Care doctor figure out your Celiac problem?”. I just stared at him. On my last visit I had told him that I had gone into kidney failure in June and almost died. Do these doctors not review their notes before each appointment? I felt so let down and like I didn’t matter enough for him to take the time to really look at me.

The other day I was so off and irritated I grabbed a kitchen knife in front of my father and cut into my wrist. It wasn’t deep I just didn’t had no other way to express my pain. I have not done anything like that in many years. I am picking fights with everyone around me. Sometimes the pain is so great I can’t even cry.

I am so scared I will become my Uncle Jimmy. I will die alone on the streets because my family will be sick of dealing with me. They will bury me where they bury the homeless. No one will be with me when I die. I can’t blame them right now.

My medical bills are mounting. I am told I get too much from Disability for any kind of help. I can’t see how this is true. I have a total of $1700 to my name. I’m trying to change my drug coverage because they changed their plan. They want $90 for 5 pills I take for Bipolar Disorder called Viibryd. 5 single pills. The mood stabilizer is a generic and costs $89. My inhaler is $98. Adderall is $199. I had to stop or cut back on my medications. Even though they are not working correctly some is getting into my system.

The Doctor asked if I needed to be hospitalized today. I told him I couldn’t. I go to Mass General on the 26th and Medicare is already going to be charging a huge amount for that. I can’t afford to be hospitalized. They really don’t do much for you at the Hospital we have here. They monitor you, give you Benedryl, and you do arts and crafts. Not much help for me.

I feel lost and alone. Physically I’m in pain and exhausted. Mentally I’m exhausted and feel hurt and angry all the time. I feel my family isn’t making much of an effort. It could just be me. I want my sister to hug me and say everything is going to be ok. She won’t. I want my mom. The anniversary of her death is coming up and I feel her loss more than ever. She always knew what to do. Now there is no one to comfort me. No one to reassure me that I won’t be alone. I’ve driven them all away.


Am I Toxic

Today was a more than usual bad day. I had an argument with my father which led to him raising his fist to me. I understand living with someone who has a Mental Illness or Psychological issues is difficult. I also understand living with End Stage Renal Disease and going to dialysis 3 times a week can change a person’s personality and lead to depression.

In my 20 years of drinking my father knows of one incident where I was assaulted by a man. There were other times by other men, I just didn’t talk about them. When I started to really take sobriety seriously I decided it would never happen again. Not verbally or physically. Yet I find myself in the same situation the only difference is neither one of us is drinking.

My father is depressed, he had just come back from visiting my mother’s grave. I know he has things on his mind like, paying for dialysis, how to fix up the house before he passes, how to cut back on the amount of birds he has, making a fair will, what will happen to me, this list is constantly going through his head. I’ve tried to help but he won’t listen to me.

I have plenty of my own issues. Paying for my hospital bills, handling my Psychiatric Disorders when they seem to be resistant to everything the doctors try. My own physical health. My family doesn’t want to acknowledge just how bad it is. All of it. They do not want to try to understand any of it. The lists of what not to say to a loved one with Bipolar Disorder is useless. They have said it all. This is the most frustrating thing of all. I feel that they think I’m making it up.

I tried to talk to my sister today and she said “You are very difficult to live with.” What do I do with that? I could apply for housing, but the wait list for the wait list is almost 5 years. I could try to do it on my own but when I look there isn’t much in my price range. I love my dad very much. If I were to move out his health and well being would decline rapidly. I know this. But am I making things worse by staying?

When I found him sobbing on the couch I sat next to him. He said he didn’t know why he behaved that way. He never has before. He was ashamed. I’m the only one he talks to, shares the same interests with. He loves me. But we can’t go on this way.

I think it’s time for me to do something that I have been putting off for too long. Trying therapy again. Therapy has changed since I was 17 or 20. It will take work to find the right one and one who takes my insurance. I detest therapy. I’m hoping for a better way this time. Not one who gives me homework about where I see myself in 5 years. Or tells me to picture a stop sign when a certain behavior happens. That isn’t going to work for me. But something has to. I don’t want the people around me to be hurt by my illnesses. Not physically but their quality of life. Maybe mine too.


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