I’m still breathin

I was breathing again.

Apparently I got drunk on date night and said some things I shouldn’t have.

Apparently I got drunk on date night and did some things I should have.

I was touchy-feely playing miniature golf. That’s a plus for someone whose love language is physical touch. Mine is acts of service, however I abhor physical touch; wanna take a wild guess why that might be? Give you a hint: it starts with rape.

Anyway. We got home and I almost spilled the beans on some other psychological problems I’ve been having since early childhood that have been exacerbated since I started working in this field – more so over the past 3-4 years or so. I’ve never spoken of them to a soul and, honestly, they’ve become so ingrained in my everyday life that I don’t think about them much. If I were to summarize these issues/behaviors in a nutshell, they would fall, broad spectrum, in the category of Anxiety Disordered behaviors. I could do without yet another diagnosis – as the behaviors I’m exhibiting as I age would definitely fall under that umbrella.

I’m over it. My doctor has treated me for something similar to no avail. I’ve lost hope regarding this particular set of behaviors. I will not discuss them, they continue to serve a purpose, they are not harmful to me or anyone else – just mildly inconvenient to me. When it becomes overwhelming or I develop more behaviors, I’ll worry about it. I do realize the behaviors cause undue mental anguish and stress at times however it’s, again, something I’ve been dealing with several times A DAY since I was 7 years old. I will not address this issue any further and will not disclose any further information regarding my behaviors.

Last night and this morning were also a shitshow. Again, I seem to not display the appropriate emotions or use the appropriate language. I thought I was doing better with things but I guess I wasn’t. My husband said he almost prefers me in a manic state. I’d be more touchy-feely, more loving, more horny.

I don’t know how to respond to that. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do anymore. With the sweet comes the sour; with the mania eventually comes the depression. Don’t get me wrong – I love my mania. I absolutely love it… well, most of it. I’m productive (until I’m so frazzled that I’m not), I’m focused (until I’ve lost so much sleep that I’m physically unable to focus) – I’m on top of the world (shit, I think I AM the world). It’s an amazing feeling – to live on the top of a roller coaster, like you’ll never come down.

Until you come down. Straight down. All the way down. You wake up and the feeling’s gone. No warning, just pain. You think about taking a shower, but the idea of leaving the bed makes you wince in pain. It takes effort to change channels on the TV. All you can think of to do is cry until your eyes burn, and then until you’re out of tears. Then you try to cry but there’s nothing left.

That’s rock bottom. The emptiness. The thoughts come creeping in about your inadequacies, how you and your disease are nothing but a burden. Then more thoughts come until you complete the cycle in two ways: pull yourself through the pain (survival) or out of the pain (suicide).

Hopefully you, dear reader, find a way through every time.

In any case, I’ve found myself trapped mid- cycle. I’m at what is called “baseline.” The problem is I have a pretty flat affect*. Many psychiatrists would consider this “stable” considering my past, however my husband does not. He knows I’m capable of more vacillations in my mood (see: drunken golfing). I know that tweaking my meds could mean more than just a “vacillation” – it could mean mood lability.

Do I risk my certain stability and new job? Do I stay an automaton and risk my marriage? He shouldn’t have to live like this. And I don’t know how to fix it.

*until a situation arises and then I tend to respond appropriately.

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amnesia lane

Children should be seen and not heard, apparently.

When I was a child, I would frequent the principal’s office, complaining of stomachaches. I told him to call my mother or grandmother immediately, I needed to go home. I couldn’t take those damn math tests, I couldn’t go to recess – the pain was too intense. I needed to lay down. He said to get up and go back to class – I was fine.

My father was scary to me. He never came to pick me up and when he did, I didn’t want to go. We always did what he wanted to do and after all the horrible things told to me about him by my mother and grandmother – about what he did to our family – why should I give him a chance to be my dad? I was 8 years old and given the choices of an 18 year old and provided with information no child needed to know – ever.

My principal didn’t know what I battled at home. And he didn’t know I was bullied at school. When I tried to explain this, he laughed. I explained who was bullying me: the Spanish teacher’s daughter. The teacher, who’s husband had government plates on his car, had a daughter who was untouchable. The bullying continued and so did the stomachaches.

My grades dropped, but my grade in Math dropped the furthest and fastest. I remember my math teacher held a contest – the students who reached page 100 in our textbook by a certain date could have a pizza party. I didn’t learn as fast as they did, so I wasn’t invited – the whole 3rd grade class, I heard, had a lot of fun. I was forced to sit in the classroom next door with the French teacher watching me attempt to finish Math problems I didn’t understand. My Math teacher told me how stupid I was. I never told my parents; I thought she was right. I didn’t learn until after college I had a learning disability.

Fast forward: I was hospitalized in 2009 after a huge breakdown overseas on a vacation with my family. I came home and had some very bizarre thoughts (I’m not going to go into it. They were very, very bad.) I woke up after my first night in the ward and went to breakfast and sat across from this lady; she looked very familiar.

It was my Math teacher.

She didn’t remember me, of course. I asked her about her life, what she was doing in a psych ward, blah blah. Inside, however, I have to say a part of me was laughing. Pure schadenfreude. After everything she put me through as a child? My self esteem. My self image. My confidence. She was supposed to recognize there was something wrong with me – not berate me and call me names. What kind of teacher does that to a child?!

Another part of me felt pity. How fucking sad is it that after all she put me through, she ended up here, across from me, suffering from the same shit. You’re no better than the 7 year old child you used to torment; how utterly pathetic. I felt sorry for her.

The question is: did I let her have it? Did I let her know what she did and ream her out for those years of pain? The answer is no. She asked me what I’ve been doing all these years and how I’ve been. I told her I come to the hospital to have my meds re-adjusted occasionally and need to be monitored by my psychiatrist, otherwise I’m doing quite well. I told her I graduated from a Big 10 school and am pursuing my Master’s. She said how wonderful that was to hear, how great it was to see that I wasn’t letting my illness hold me back from pursuing my goals and she’s happy I was still doing well. She said she was sorry to have run into me under these circumstances but glad to have seen me again.

In the end, maybe my not cussing her out was something else. Maybe it was more than pity, more than schadenfreude. Maybe it was empathy. Call me a softy, but kicking another member of my club – club mental illness (contact me after the meeting, we give out membership cards and there are cookies in the back) – when they’re down seems like an awfully shitty thing to do. We’re all dealing with our own stuff; who needs drama from 25 years ago too? I realized that while she was a mealy cunt towards me when I was a child, I’m not a child anymore. I can advocate for myself and no one will ever speak to me that way again. Alison from back then, unfortunately, has a lot of healing left to do however it won’t be healed just by cussing people out otherwise I’d have no voice left for the rest of my life.

what about us

I don’t know why I still have this site. I fear it may have caused more harm than good. My husband reads it sometimes to try and gain some insight into my mental state and in so doing, has learned some of the things I think when I’m stark raving mad, seething with anger, or feeling emotionally drained and alone. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. Do I want him to see the real me or just the front I attempt to put up every day? I haven’t decided.

It’s easier to write here and let him stumble on it himself than tell him how I’m feeling – there’s safety in this. When I’m honest, I can see the pain all over his face. I don’t like hurting him but it seems inevitable. This disease seems to hurt everyone I meet in one way or another. I’m pretty sure I’ve irreparably damaged my relationship with several family members – my husband included. Are some of them still around? Sure. Would these relationships be different if my functioning was different? I’d bet my life on it.

I’ve started working full time again, a different place in an administrative role – barely any patient contact with much better pay and even better benefits. It’s tough being the new kid on the block, but I hope this will be the place from which I retire.

This disease doesn’t seem to leave any room for someone else’s needs. He’s sick? I feel sicker. He’s sad? I’m depressed or manic. He’s horny? I have no libido. He’s tired? I’m wide awake. He’s awake? My meds knocked me out 20 minutes ago. He needs to talk? I can’t focus.

Between my disease and my general dysfunction, I still don’t know why he stays. My self esteem doesn’t allow me to accept anything other than the idea that he settled, he’s foolish or has exquisitely horrible taste in women. I feel like I’ve manipulated him somehow into being with me – there’s no other way someone would want to; no one else has in the past.

It’s amazing how my brain “works.” My grandiosity will allow me to believe I’m more intelligent than most and I can do no wrong. I will admit when I’m wrong, but these incidents are a rarity. He is the most intelligent person I’ve ever met, but is a complete and utter fool for having married and stayed with me which makes me think he’s not as intelligent as he appears. He should have abandoned ship by now if he were smarter. Maybe that’s why I treat him the way I do sometimes. I don’t know. I say all of this knowing if he left, I’d be nothing – a complete shell of a human being. That’s not a reason for him to stay; I’m just stating facts.

When he breathes in, I exhale. If he were to stop, there’d really be no point would there? Who the fuck can exhale without breathing in first?

Reinforced buttons v2.0

I had my muscle relaxer, anti- anxiety and antipsychotics in my hand, ready to blast off to Sleepy Town and there’s an incessant banging at my door. I wondered who the fuck read this and called for a welfare check until I checked the peephole:

Mom.

She’s got ESP, all right. She knew I was upset, knew my coping mechanisms, knew the hubs was working and came over to watch me.

Slick-ass bitch.

G-ddess works in mysterious ways.

I mean, I took my meds anyway, but it was nice to have her here for a while to talk me out of taking extra of the Xanax to zone way the fuck out. I only took a little because I’ve had this migraine for 72 hours and I’m getting nauseous at the smell of everything and the sight of Earth’s yellow sun.

Life is blurry now. Goodnight moon.

Reinforced buttons and sweat proof waistbands

It’s a “turn your phone on airplane mode and take a bunch of fucking pills” kind of day.

Because I just don’t want to deal with this shit any fucking more.

No I’m not trying to die. I just want to sleep and wake up on the greener side of things.

Hahahahaha the grass is always greener until I step on the lawn. And subsequently kill it with my sunny, sunny attitude.

To think I was manic and happy 2 days ago. Fucking migraines. Goddamn money problems.

C’est la vie. I’m going to bed. Eff this noise.

Just a pig inside a human body

TW: RAPE, SEXUAL ASSAULT

[My State’s] Penal Code Section XXX.XXX et seq.

Sexual Assault (generally): Sexual assault is defined as any form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent and/or obtained through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation, or coercion.

I need this to be crystal.

ANY form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent and/or obtained through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation, or coercion.

Ok.  It’s about to get bumpy in here, folks so hang tight for just a while.  I promise to be more gentle with you than he was they were with me.  I’m going to start with the most painful first.  As the #metoo movement continues on, I find myself becoming more and more angry and it more and more difficult to stay quiet.  When I say “angry,” I’m not pissed about the movement – quite the opposite.  It’s time for us to stand up and speak out.  I’m all for that.  I’m angry at something completely different.  I’m angry that there needs to be a movement at all.  I’m angry that there are so many of us.  I’m angry that there are still so many women, even after Dr. Ford’s testimony, have the chutzpah to discredit what was so clearly a re-telling of a trauma.

Don’t.  Don’t make any of this about politics.  Don’t make any of this about religion.  This is about my body.  This about the right I have to walk down the street and not feel like someone else has the perceived right to assault me because they have a dick and it’s Tuesday, OK?  I am mad as hell.  I am mad because I, my mother, my sister, my sister-in-law, my best friend, my other best friend, and countless other women AND MEN on this blue ball have been FORCED, INTIMIDATED, or COERCED into unwanted sexual contact.

This week was hard for me.  I was trying to reconnect more with my Dad and there was this undercurrent of #metoo all over the news from the Kavanaugh Scandal.  I went out to eat with my stepmother (not my choice) and we got to talking about random stuff and the subject of college came up.  I told her that going to my particular alma mater wasn’t all that rosy (despite the brochures and reputation), as I was molested on my first night on campus and raped my sophomore year.  This was the response I received:

Why didn’t you call me?  Did you tell your father?  He would have done something.  I would have kicked him in the nuts.  He wouldn’t have been too powerful for me.

I want to know.  I really want to know how someone who’s never been in my particular position, in my skin can tell me exactly what they would have done?  That’s childish.  And thank you.  That’s how you respond to a survivor.  You respond by telling me exactly what you would have done, implying that what I did was wrong.  That’s victim-blaming and victim-shaming.  How goddamn dare you.  And let me know when you can take a 200-something-pound, all muscle, 6-foot-something guy down with your pants and underwear around your ankles.  Yeah, let’s see you high kick like that.  Did we forget he was fresh the eff out?  Parole?  Armed and effing dangerous?  OK?  People love to talk a big game like that doesn’t scare them until they are actually in that situation, then they turn into Bill Paxton in True Lies.  It’s bullshit.

And let’s be clear.  I did tell my father – a year after it happened.  You know what he did?  Nothing.  Not a motherfucking thing.  I expected what every girl expects her father to do in those situations – kill him or pay someone to do it for him.  My Dad didn’t do any of these things.  Instead, he played “inquisitioner” and asked me a bunch of questions – I can only guess to surmise whether or not I was full of beans.  We never talked about it again after the night I sat him down to talk about it.

Later on in the week my husband and I were out to dinner and my Dad called.  I answered the phone to make sure everything was OK.  He started talking to me about random stuff and then segued into talking about Bill Cosby.  Here we fucking go.

I don’t understand these women.  They took the money from him, that’s tantamount to getting paid for sex.  They got their money, why come back, 30 years later and ruin his career?  They already got the money – move on already!  You got what you wanted!  If a guy answers his door in his bathrobe and gives you a pill, you know what he’s after – don’t be naive.  If you didn’t want it, you should have just come back when he was fully dressed.  

Then he goes on about Stormy Daniels, but I’m just not in the fucking mood – OK?  The Bill Cosby stuff was so enough.  He said about 10 minutes more, but no.  I hung up the phone and my husband could just tell the conversation did not go well.

How the fuck do you have that kind of conversation with your child?  Your daughter?  Knowing she’s a survivor?  Knowing your other daughter was molested?  How the hell can you talk about taking too long to report sexual assault when your youngest NEVER reported?  She stopped speaking to me when I spilled the tea 20 years later.  I actually told campus police that John was stalking me and they said there was nothing they could do.  Why in the hell would I go to the REAL police once campus police basically told me “uhhh we’re going to let this guy come and stalk you after he raped you for months, isolated you from your friends and family and stealthed* you, giving you an STD.”

…But no.  You should always come forward, right?  You won’t be treated like the criminal.  Like when I was on the couch that night I told you I was raped and I got asked everything except HIS SSN?  Or when campus police told me that in a building that required key card access they couldn’t protect me, so I had to move off campus and further isolate myself from my friends?

I had to take my white board off my door that year.  He kept writing horrible things on it – calling me a “bitch,” “whore,” “slut,” “fuck you.”  I changed the name on my door so he thought I’d moved but it didn’t work.  None of my friends knew.  My mother didn’t even know and she was my best friend.  She knew something was wrong, but didn’t know what.  I flunked everything that semester and my clothes got way bigger – I was eating more, but mostly I just didn’t want anyone to see me.  I bought XL everything and would hide inside my hoodies.  I wanted to disappear.

After he’d leave, I’d run to the community bathroom with my tray of soaps and turn on the hot water.  No cold.  I would let the steaming, burning hot water scald me between my legs.  Burn away the shame.  Burn away the layer of skin he touched.  I’d stand there until I felt nothing but numbness between them and the tears ran down my face.  This would happen sometimes three times a week for the better part of 3 months.

He’d lean over my face after using my toothpaste and sing about his minty breath.  I can’t smell toothpaste mint without getting sick to my stomach.

But, I asked for this pain, right, Dad?

I cried to my Mom the other day about this.  The stories on the news, all of this is fucking triggering.  You know what she said to me?

I’m so sorry, honey.  I’m sorry.

Because there’s nothing else to say.  It’s already happened to me, to her, my sister, sister-in-law, best friend, other best friend and countless others.  That should say something – that I could throw a dart and hit someone who’s been assaulted.  It’s not about teaching our boys and girls to be safer.  It’s about teaching people not to fucking rape and assault others.  It’s about consent and respect.

 

*stealthing – non-consensual condom removal

Hush/just stop/there’s nothing you can do or say

How do you stop being angry? When the reminders of your anger are shoved in your face?

I shouldn’t be here.

I shouldn’t be dealing with this shit.

I’m stuck in this house and it makes me angry. I was able to pay my half of the rent; my husband couldn’t. We moved back in with my mother. I freaked out so bad I couldn’t move any of our stuff in. It was years ago that I had the opportunity to go to a local graduate school to get my Master’s and disenrolled. I enrolled to a much more expensive, Big 10 school 1.5 hours away to get away from my mother. Our relationship had become so toxic I felt I had no choice. Now I was being forced to move back in with her after the loss of my child. Fucking great. We’re still here 5 years later and the relationship between her and I continues to deteriorate.

Now that I’m unable to work because I’ve fallen off the tuna truck, I’ve left my finances in his hands. And I can barely look him in the face without becoming angry. A part of me is so fucking angry that he was so fucking selfish. If he’d committed to something, anything besides 18 things other than what he thought he wanted I wouldn’t feel obligated to go back to work before I’m ready. A degree. A trade. A job that led to a career. Fucking anything.

But alas here I go, back to work despite the fact that the meds have caused permanent damage to my kidneys and they will be taking me off them and starting me on something else. Probably sending me back before we know whether or not I’m stable at this point because we need the money. I don’t have a choice anymore. We need the money to move out of here for good.

Talking out of both sides of their mouths. My mother says not to go back to work until I’m well, but has her fucking hand out asking for money every 5 minutes. Husband says the same thing, tells me he’ll take care of and pay for everything. He says he’ll get a second job to help support us while I recoup yet he talks about falling asleep while driving home, can’t sleep because he works midnights and sleeps through date nights. Yeah, I see that second job going real well. I’d be collecting his social security after he dies if he gets a second job. I can’t have that.

The clownery is real. I know you can’t fix the past, but I don’t know how to move past this anger. It stares me in the face when I wake up and when I go to bed. I know he’s trying to fix it. He’s the absolute perfect man in every other aspect.

The only solution is to pick myself up by my proverbial bootstraps and go back to work even if it kills me (like it tried to before). I’ll fix this myself.

Like I always do.

Y’know, one day, one of these years I’d like for someone to say they’ll “handle it” and mean it. And by “mean it,” I mean have a plan and resources by which to handle it. Saying that you’ve “got this” isn’t actually having it. There’s no security there. I fear failure. My overarching need to control will kick in and I will fix it.

Like I always do.

The problem is that I’m getting tired of being the one to fix things. I feel like some days I’m hanging on by a thread and I’m yelling out for help but people just keep walking by. They stare me dead in the face while walking right by.