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.


Call me when you’re sober.

OK, I’ve been dodging questions for days now. I’ll try to make this short, but I’m not sure how.

This past Thanksgiving was a nightmare. My FIL, an alcoholic, was drunk upon arrival and proceeded to get more hammered. During dinner, my mother screams in pain due to her sciatica.  

(Now, she mentioned to me that he’d made a pass at her before – while inebriated. I told her to check him if she was uncomfortable. She told me she didn’t want to hurt his feelings as he is mentally unstable and extremely bad at handling rejection. I said to find a way to check it if she doesn’t want it to happen again.)

Back to Thanksgiving. My FIL hears her cries of pain, gets up from his seat, goes to her, and begins massaging her thigh under the table. All while my husband, brother-in-law, and I are watching.  He proceeds to look down her shirt and make a comment about her breasts. 

I am staring him down. …You ever watch one of those Nat Geo shows about the snakes? I’m terrified of the fuckers myself, but I imagine my look was one similar to that of a rattler in a coil; my eyes were following his every move, waiting for him to make one more step in the wrong direction before I bit his fat ass.  

I wanted nothing more than to lay his ass out onto the floor, but then I realized that is my husband’s father. As much as I cannot tolerate that man, I have to respect the relationship he and my husband share. So as I sat in my chair, wringing my hands together with my knuckles turning almost white, I just kept repeating ”I am married to your son,” which I’ve come to find out makes no fucking difference to him.  

Anyway, my BIL and husband attempt to get him to sit down, when he yells out, “I don’t give a fuck what Alice thinks!” That’s when I get up from the table, go to my bedroom, take a Seroquel and 2 Xanaxes, and try to go to sleep. Hubs attempted to calm me down but I screamed at the top of my lungs for at least an hour (so much for chemical intervention, eh?).  

Now the incident has taken on a life of its own since then. FIL has since banned me from his property, is refusing to participate in any family functions, will not apologize, and despite all of that still has designs on my mother.  

To be honest, I’m kinda delighted I won’t have to have anymore heated exchanges with him; his 50s morals and beliefs, inability to see past the end of his nose and refusal to accept reality is fucking draining. I deal with people who are medication non-compliant and self-medicate with booze for 12 hours a day; why the FUCK would I want to spend the holidays doing the same thing and NOT get paid double time? Are you shitting me? This is a man who stops his vehicle in traffic to look for dead bodies underneath, won’t “allow” his 25-year-old son to have a smartphone because he likes controlling him (his words, not mine), owns 9 guns and can’t shoot a one because he gets too nervous and loses his focus, has cirrhosis yet drinks 1/4 – 1/2 gallon of vodka a day, yet has no problem calling other people with mental illness “crazy, unpredictable, and dangerous…” Yeah. OK.  You first, pal.

I tried calling him to settle this bullshit; he basically told me there’s no problem and banning me from his life because my mother won’t fuck him is easiest for him (mind you, not easy for his son) so he’s gonna keep doing it.  

You know one of the biggest slaps in the face? It’s actually my friends. I’ve heard these lines from several different people and I’ve had enough:

“If being with him makes your mom happy, wouldn’t you want her to be happy?”

“How does this define your marriage? Why are you letting it? You’re not related by blood.”

“It’s none of your business.”

OK, let’s answer these, shall we?
1. First, I would find it completely ironic that out of the millions of people walking around on this twisted blue ball, she would find happiness with the one person I would consider off-limits. Why ironic? Because I’m finally happy. I’m overjoyed. My marriage, even the ups and downs like any marriage, is amazing and I couldn’t have found a more amazing man. Wouldn’t it be just swell that she would find “that special someone” in MY family tree?! I would love for my mother to find happiness, but why does her happiness have to ride sidecar to mine? Why can’t we be individually happy? If she were to pursue a relationship with him and it failed, family gatherings would be forever affected. At that point, her attempt at happiness directly affects not just my life, but my husband’s and my future children.  

2. It doesn’t define my marriage, but think long term. If they were to get married, I’d be married to my stepbrother, my children would be cousins. How fucked up is that?! It doesn’t define my marriage more than it identifies my FIL and mother’s lack of respect for my marriage. Relation by marriage, to me, is sacred just as relation to blood (sometimes even more so). I forget that I’m talking about 2 people that don’t respect me or my husband; I don’t know why I bother.

3. I never said it was my business. But to tell me it’s not my business than proceed to gossip about me, my husband, or anything pertaining to things unrelated to your functioning lets me know that this is a one-sided deal. Don’t you have other shit to do? Like darn socks or count carpet fibers or something?  

Dear Buddha, when I retire… Don’t let be become useless and an overall pain in the ass to my kids, flirting with the idea of getting involved with their lives instead of finding part time employment. Or just gluing my head to my kitchen floor. Amen.

“Moderation? Sipping, not gulping.”

That’s an actual quote I said to my mother this morning. She and I have been at each other’s throats for 2 days.

Couple that with the stress from work the past 2 weeks… It’s been a great November.

It’s not the patients or my co-workers that have been stressing me out – administration is full of shit and has many of us considering leaving the company. The only reason I stay now is for my patients. My supervisor, the most supportive and professional person I’ve ever met – quit with 2 weeks notice. One of the counselors I’d just started to work with also quit; they left the day after my supervisor.

I cried. I sat in my car and cried.

Administration said they will not be making any adjustments to the way they handle business (no pay bonus, no overtime, no extra staff members, no pay raises) – only raising their expectations of us (higher productivity ratios, higher caseloads, more paperwork) with punitive consequences if they are not followed.

I work from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 at night, several of those hours without compensation.

I made a reminder call to a patient for an appointment last week; THE PATIENT told me to go home – they don’t need a “crazier counselor than I am. Why are you still at the office?”

I agree, but if they want a counselor at all, I need to keep my ass planted in that seat until the job is done.

My cousin, an MBA, suggested I search for last year’s tax forms filed by my company, as they’re public record (non-profit). I was sickened to find that the head honchos, the ones that work us like dogs and pay us a pittance, make $110,000+ a year with 5-figure UNTAXED bonuses.

Every day now I find myself becoming more jaded and bitter about my company and it’s spilling into much of what I do. I fucking hate it.

Between that and the dynamics between me and my mother, I’ve hit the ceiling and formed a hole in it.

I come home each day While at work, I’m inundated with several texts and emails about various things – mostly relating to money and how much I owe (followed by another email asking if I’d like to attend a concert, shopping trip, etc. within the near future). Upon arriving home, I’m swarmed with a list of tasks that need completing within the next, well, now goddamnit – usually before I’ve been given a chance to decompress from the work day.

Dinner consists of storytime: where my mother regales me and my husband with tales of her numerous physical ailments and how each afflicted her throughout the day. Sometimes I find myself interjecting my tales of administration bullshit to break the sounds of the dragging cross against the tile floor.

She then takes to ringing her bell, pointing and asking for various objects to be moved left of center – no, left of center, oh let me show you – as she moves them to the right and rolling her eyes at our inability to perform the simplest of tasks.

Yesterday was no exception. I was critiqued yelled at for my inability to print out a set of coupons (later proven to be unnecessary, but that’s besides the point).

I just didn’t have it in me to put up with her shit. Due to an abundance of previously mentioned bullshit and my lack of printer toner, I went off.

“What else did you send me that was of such vital importance, hmm?”
“I can’t remember!” (She has “mild cognitive impairment.”)
“Then it wasn’t that important! No need to send me all those emails and texts!”
“Some days I can’t remember your name!”
“Good! Then you’ll stop asking me to do shit all the time!” (Yes. I separate work and home very well now. A little too well.)

The constant digs, comments and now demands – at home and work – are enough. I can’t won’t deal with this. It has gotten to the point where I’ve started having a glass of wine after work – something I’ve never done. This weekend, a bottle. Didn’t appreciate my mother’s commentary regarding my late aunt/namesake: “Don’t take after your namesake; that stuff was her demise.” My response? “Don’t make me want to.”

Dramatic? Sure. Truth? Not far off. …I’ve justified this by asking my husband, who’s had past issues with alcohol abuse (not dependence), if I’m pushing it. He says I’ll be ok because I’m already asking (I’m always hyperaware and hyperafraid).