Breaking guitars

Sigh. I’m very, very tired. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m irritated with disappointed in the hubs, I guess. And I can’t seem to shake it off like I normally would. For the first time in a long time, I don’t want to talk to him. I don’t really want to be around him. I can’t explain why. It doesn’t feel good; it doesn’t feel natural and I don’t like myself for it.

I don’t like that I’m held to a higher standard than his father. I don’t like that I get yelled at for being callous and cold and mean when his father has been this way for decades. A father isn’t supposed to treat their child this way. A wife isn’t supposed to treat their husband that way either – I’m aware – but what makes it so easy to jump down my throat and not his?

[Because he won’t change, Alice. Hubs has tried. The man has an untreated severe mental illness, more severe than you.]

I uninvited my own mother from our wedding for him. My mother – who’s been my rock and best friend all my life, not at the most important event in my life because she disapproved of my now-husband. His father disinherits him because he hates me, says we need to divorce because I’m mentally unstable (pot meet effing kettle), tried to fuck my mother and hubs meets with him for lunch every fucking week like nothing’s the matter. What. The. Fuck.

[Don’t do that. Don’t make him choose because you chose. He never asked you to choose between him and your mother; you just did it. His mother’s gone. He’s probably clinging to the hope that one day his father will come around. Plus, hubs said there was no indication the man wasn’t going to disinherit him for just existing. The man has always resented hubs for merely breathing. You’re more than likely the scapegoat – even your father, Alice, said as much. The man is trying his damnedest to split you apart. Don’t let him succeed.]

Sigh. Why can’t I accept that he’s not like me? We know what I would have done well before now in this situation.

[Not many people are like you, dear. And you’re not like him. It took decades for you to forgive your father, decades for you to see your grandmother as she really was and decades for you to accept and respect your mother. Don’t expect to forget the man and what he’s trying to do to your family in 48 hours. But remember hubs is doing what he can for you and your family today.]

…God. Damn. I’m right.

I’m right. He’s doing his best. It’s not my way, but that’s okay. It has to be. What else can I do? None of this is within my control. I think that’s why I’m so angry about it.

I was telling my new psychologist (yeah, I went back to therapy. Mistakes in the process of being made I’m sure) that that’s why I’m such a perfectionist. I need to have control over everything. I don’t have control – a lot of the time – over my mood swings, libido, etc. so I overcompensate by attempting to control the situations – and sometimes people – around me. A lot of the time it works. Some of the time it doesn’t but by trying to control my environment I can control the trajectory of my life (or so I think). When someone or something comes around and is resistant to my ideas or the environment doesn’t adapt to my comfort zone it throws me for a loop. I get anxious, depressed, despondent followed by irritable and indignant.

Selfish, right? Not when you consider my background. It comes from a lifetime of unreliable behavior demonstrated by my superiors. Now that I’m older, if I can exercise any amount of control it eliminates the need for others entirely, thus ensuring there is someone I can always depend on: me. Who else is there but me? I rarely let me down.

In this particular situation I felt let down by the hubs. I felt like he wasn’t defending me. Like the only way to defend/stick up for me was my way. He says he always stands up for me, tries to explain my situation to the man however the man doesn’t believe in mental illness. (Yeah, that explains a whole lot. Explains why someone with a clear alcohol problem and obvious sxs of schizophrenia isn’t seeking treatment but that’s not my fucking problem. Whatever. I digress.). I don’t care if the man believes in fairies, okay? I cared that hubs doesn’t care enough to say, “Hey, believe what you want. I know the truth. Stay ignorant. You don’t like her? Fine. She’s tried to make peace with you but you’re too stubborn to care. So we’re gonna drop it entirely. Leave her name out of your mouth because we’re all over this shit. We’re staying together and plan on having kids. You can be a part of that or not. Having nothing to do with her precludes you from having anything to do with our children however so think long and hard about how long you want to keep this up. It’s a shame that you can’t let go [of something that never actually happened] out of a sense of pride or principle. Grow up.”

Too much? He could word it much nicer than that! I would have been much meaner, actually. He said if he tried to be more direct with him, it would probably end with them severing their relationship. If being direct and upfront about your feelings with your parent causes them to cut you off, it’s their loss and not yours. Holding all of that inside out of fear of losing the [tenuous] connection with your parent is sad. Having to walk on eggshells just to maintain a relationship with an unstable parent because they’re your only surviving parent is tragic.

[The same could be said for having to walk on eggshells to maintain a relationship with an unstable wife.]

Ouch. Touché.

Yes, both of my parents are living.
No, I don’t understand what it’s like, clearly, to lose a parent.
No, if my mother leaves this Earth first I will not cling to my emotionally unavailable father for parent-ship. He’s not available at the moment. I’ll leave a message and he’ll get back to me like he always has. And that’s the truth of it. And that’s okay. I have other family to lean on – namely my hubs (if he hasn’t divorced me for his goddamned father by then), our possible kids and a plethora of friends I deem close enough to be considered my family.

…Once I leave inpatient psychiatric treatment because losing her will send me off the reservation.

Same if I lose him. #codependent

Sigh. In the words of my father – the wise man that he is: fuck it.

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Where the dogs of society howl

Lots going on.  Mainly feeling lost.  I’m still on FMLA per my psychiatrist.  I’ve been off all this month and won’t be going back until next month.  I’m having a hard time keeping my medications down and we’re not sure why.  My moods are cycling rapidly and I’m thinking it’s because they aren’t being absorbed properly since the surgery.  I’m worried about having all this time off, how it’s going to affect my job.  It gets more interesting: I have an interview for another job next week.

I reached out to a friend of mine regarding a possible job opportunity in a private practice setting.  I was doing some research and found that working midnights with bipolar disorder is a no-no.  Apparently most people working midnights – mainly those in the healthcare field like nurses – with bipolar disorder have circadian rhythm issues, leading to shift-work disorder (which I’ve been diagnosed with).  This triggers mania and many times, hospitalization.  Sound like anyone we know?!  

So I got freaked, reached out to a friend and asked if she knew of any job opportunities.  She reached out to her boss who reviewed my resume and offered me an interview.  I miss doing therapy.  I remember my old supervisor said to me ages ago while I was in training after graduate school and doing therapy in an underprivilaged area with substance abuse clients.  I was burning out hard, between the clients and the administration I couldn’t seem to meet anyone’s expectations of me and wanted to quit doing therapy altogether.  I told him that I wanted to work in a hospital doing intake assessments and case management to take a break.  I said that it would be “one and done” – I’d never see the people again after they left; no need to build rapport and no need to terminate; they couldn’t accuse me of abandoning them if I’ve known them for 20 minutes.  He told me that I was an excellent therapist and working in a hospital setting was “a waste of my talent.”

He burned out too and moved out of state.

I didn’t listen and got a job doing assessments.  The population I work with tend to abuse the system.  I often see the same faces – sometimes 3 times a week.  I’ve had some people discharge because they tell me they are not suicidal, turn around in the parking lot and walk directly back into the hospital stating they are suicidal and homicidal and want 3 sandwiches.  The record turnaround is 7 minutes – I actually counted.  It is rare that I assess someone that actually needs help.  I got into this profession to help people.  Will I have better luck doing so in private practice?  I think so.  I think I will because people are paying to be there.  Sounds messed up, but it’s true.  This is your “managed” care/health system at work, USA.  I have “managed” in quotes because there is nothing manageable about it and you, my dear reader, know it.  I’d be ignoring the system by leaving, but I’m not single-handedly going to overhaul the health care and mental health system – I know that.  Contrary to popular belief by many recent graduates in my field, you cannot change the world.  You can only make a dent.

Here’s where my trepidation lies.  I would have to file quarterly and withhold my own taxes.  What a pain in the ass.  I’d also have to go on the exchange for health insurance.  God please no.  Right now every doctor I work with is in network because they all work for my employer LOL.  If I go on the exchange, there’s no guarantee they take that insurance and I’d have to pay astronomical premiums.  It would take several weeks to build a caseload and get paneled with insurance companies, which means I would not be paid by the patients or insurances for those weeks.  Weeks.  Flipping WEEKS, man.  I’m torn.  Do I liquidate my house fund to pay my bills while I’m not paid for those few weeks – if I’m even offered the job?  Do I leave my awesome co-workers because I hate the population I work with?  The population, the crushing rules of administration and low wages are what keep me from wanting to stay are my job.  I know once I get a full caseload as a private practitioner I could rake in double what I’m making now, but I’m afraid.

I’m terrified.  What if I’m not good enough?  What if I fall on my face?  What if I messed up my taxes?  What if my clients don’t like me and I end up without anyone and I’m broke?  My psychiatrist told me it takes a while to build a caseload too.  How do I work both jobs to cover my butt?  Work midnights and days?  I freaking can’t.

And Mom’s going into surgery.  They said it’s going to last 8 hours and due to the definite blood loss, she had to sign a waiver permitting them to give her a blood transfusion.  So I’ve been scared about that.  Lately her voice has been irritating me for some reason and I’ve been blocking out most of what she says, but I think it’s me being irritable because of my mood cycling.  I apologized to her if I had been short or curt with her and explained I had been tuning her out.  I told her I’m scared shitless about her surgery next week.  I wish she didn’t need it.  She’s going to lose 20% functionality of her back in all directions.  She seems excited she’ll never have to load the dishwasher again.  Lucky.  Not the way I would want to avoid that chore, but still lucky.  I’m just scared – I keep telling myself not to tune her out.  Not to put this bed vibe out there in the Universe, but if her being annoying is the last thing you ever hear her say, hear it anyway.  I try to remember that and listen to her give me instructions about how to feed her fakakta fish.

message from a.c. lerock

They fucked up and let me see some of my  chart. Lordy lord… this is what I bug the husband with in the middle of the day. 

And he stays. 

And I misspoke. There’s a space under the diagnosis that allows for clarification, as being depressed all the time negates a bipolar diagnosis but what people fail to realize is depression is my baseline.  

Sorry. My lack of chemicals, since a very young age, is all I’ve come to know. I’ve started back in therapy and I went back to the source: my childhood therapist. I worked with her from age 5 until my sophomore year in college, when I was raped. She said that I disappeared too soon – I had only scratched the surface in dealing with the rape and given my presentation, it seems that my mind hasn’t recovered. 

My body is now paying the price. 

So I spent a week between that session and the next thinking about everything: the rape, the aftermath, my life since then – my progress, my failures, my detours – everything – and it all made sense. My therapist was right: I stopped taking care of myself long ago.  I can’t do that anymore. I have a family, I have a husband. I have a life. I have a life I don’t want to lose. 

I told her that I have frequent suicidal thoughts with plans and access and means. But I have a huge protective factor: my husband. I told her that my husband lost his mother when he was 22 and he crawled inside a bottle to numb the pain. A year later, we started dating – he had one foot out of said bottle. I told him he’d have to stop drinking for us to date (at the time, I was a tee-totaler) and he quit. I will never send him back to that life. I will never leave him destroyed like that. He told me once that the only reason he attempts to get better paying employment is because of me, otherwise he would just live at home working a dead end job with no purpose. That leaves me to believe that I give him purpose. He gives me purpose and hope. 

I was hospitalized so many times during the first 2 years of our relationship that my own family stopped visiting. My (now) husband visited everyday, without fail. He never missed a day. Even when I didn’t want him there, he came. He’d sit through my nasty attitude and come the next day.  I finally thought to myself: Stop. Just fucking stop. This guy sees something in you. Something that’s good; something worth saving. Isn’t it worth it, perhaps, to stick around and find out what it is?  Otherwise you may never know. 

I still want to know. But if I keep hiding behind this trauma, I’ll never know. So it’s time to process it and move from victim to survivor. 

The only way around in this life is through. 

From my head to my feet

So that’s it – it’s final. I’m killing myself. I’m done. I’ve used up all 9 of my lives and it’s over. I’ve cheated death so many times; I can’t escape it anymore. My Higher Power has told me my number is almost up. 

I just get to do it slowly. Others get to watch; I get to watch. I’ll be slowly devoured by a disease that claimed the life of my grandparents in the most horrifying of ways. I watched my grandmother lose all her kidney function until she was on dialysis 3 times a week for 4 years. Over that time she developed dementia and became extremely labile: violent and hateful then minutes later, childlike, happy followed by apologetic and tearful for her violent behavior until it began again. This continued until she could no longer speak and began retaining water, slipped into a coma and died. 

So that sounds like a great future. I’m excited about it – truly. Considering I’ve gotten the disease 30 years earlier than she did, I’m on the track to die sooner. Splendid!  Just when I found the will and desire to live. 

Life always throws you a curve ball. 

The only way to reverse this is gastric bypass. Guess I’ve made my decision. I have no other choice. I made poor decisions that led me to this point. As much as food is addictive, I was never force fed. I chose what food to put into my body and I’m now paying a heavy price; I can’t get my glucose below 100 anymore. The only way I’ve gotten it to maybe 95 is to not eat for 8 hours – this is getting perpetually worse. I’ve been walking around my house complaining that I have no choice when I’ve been making choices that force me into a corner. I’m stuck choosing between body parts: my stomach or my pancreas and liver?  Do I sacrifice one for the whole?  Do I try to keep doing this on my own when I clearly cannot do it?  

Sorry stomach. It’s been fun over these years, but you’ve become a liability and we need to go our own ways. We just don’t work well together – it’s not you, it’s me. 

“Well isn’t this nice.”

I am struggling with something that I shouldn’t be. This should be easy. This shouldn’t be my problem. 

I have (unconsciously) made it my problem. And my grandmother can take some of the blame for this too, but I’ll get there in a second.

My mom, like most parents, gets on my last nerve at times.  I have often whispered under my breath or said to myself “you need a man,” “go out and get a life,” or said to her face things like “your identity isn’t just ‘mom;’ there’s more to you than that – go find her again.”

How I want to eat my goddamn words.
How I want to shove my foot down my throat and swallow.
How I wish I could just shut the fuck up for once and mind my own goddamn business.
My advice is bullshit and I take it all back. 

She found a man.
She went out and got a life.
She’s found her identity outside of being my mother.

…And I don’t fucking like it at all.
She can stop at any time now.
You proved your point.
Now, come home and watch TV all day with your hair all jacked up with the dogs in your lap.
Come on, quit fucking around. 

She’s been dating a guy for the past few months and she seems to really like him a lot and the feeling appears to be mutual. They’ve been spending at least four out of seven days of the week together, going to dinner, movies, sidewalk fairs – stuff like that. Last week she asked me how I’d feel if she spent the night at his place.  

OK, maybe I should explain.  My parents divorced when I was 5 years old.  I never really saw them together. I never really remember them kissing or hugging, being lovey-dovey or any of that shit. My mom didn’t seriously date when I was a kid because she didn’t want me exposed to “uncle” this and “uncle” that – too unstable for a kid.  And she watched too much Law and Order: SVU.

So this is all new to me. My mom being touchy-feely with someone, or talking about being touchy-feely, kinda freaks me out. It’s not that I want her to be that way towards my dad (wow yeah no thanks gross), but in general I think I’ve blocked that version of my mom out. 

I always joke that my parents are built like Barbie and Ken – not anatomically correct, just smooth plastic where their parts were supposed to be. I think by erasing any part of their being, I’ve been able to turn a blind eye to their humanity – their fallibility and imperfections.  I complain that my mother has these ridiculous standards for people but I hold her to this ideal that she should only be my mother and not have her own life. I thought she was the only one attached to our relationship. 

I was raised by my grandmother to take care of her and I see her growing, learning to trust again. I’m proud of her and scared – for her and for me. 

Never pay the Reaper with love only

 

Two weeks ago, I was very depressed suicidal.  I had the means, plan, opportunity.  I told him and my mother.  Now, I’m fully aware that my mother has washed her hands of me; there is only one star to the show here and if it’s not her, it’s not a show she’s going to watch.  But I live in her house.  You’d think finding your daughter’s bloated and clammy body would inadvertently make you the star of the show…  Oh no, that role would be played by the grieving 35-year-old widower.  Damn, she misses out again.  Rats.

I don’t think my husband gets it yet.  By “it,” I’m referring to my illness.  We had a long conversation after I was coming out of my suicidal state and I was able to distance myself from the severe depression that was tying me to those thoughts.  He didn’t seem – and still doesn’t – to understand how the mind, how biology, can fight so hard to keep us alive as a species yet the mind can turn on itself.  One thought becomes a fixation that can lead to total destruction of oneself.  Here was this woman he’s known for 25 years – since childhood – and he never saw her pain then (I studied to be an actress – I was good at hiding most things), just a normal kid like him.  Fast forward two decades and all that’s written on my face when the curtains are closed and the doors are locked is pain and fear.

I told him I know where his guns are and despite being a pacifist, I know how to load and fire them.  I just didn’t want to leave a mess for him and my mother – it’s a new carpet.  I didn’t want to get found by the dog and have her eating me – she’d need to be put down.

I know the nearest access to the local river – our property is 1 mile away from a cliff that plunges straight down to it.  I was warned about it as a child and I found the passage there a month ago.

I have access to my roof.  I can tie a noose.  Cut “down the road, not across the street.”  These are the pathetic and desperate methods you teach yourself and you learn along the way when the pain seems too much to handle.  And some days it is; I’m not going to sit here and say “hold on, it’ll get better!” because some days are worse than others.  But guess what?

I’m still here.  Clearly.

Why?  I honestly don’t have a great answer.  I’d love to say it’s 100% because of my husband, but it’s not.  That’s a shitty way of staying motivated – to have my entire life swing in the balance of someone else’s.  How much pressure does that put on him, do you think?  Every drive to work would be a nightmare for him: “Stay away from me – if I get a scratch on me, my wife will kill herself!  She has nothing else to life for!

Fuck no.  I’d say 45% is him.  The rest has to be something else…

A-Ha!  I got it!  I’m a movie buff!  I love comedies, rom-coms, cartoons, psychological thrillers, docu-dramas… anyway – I love a good ending.  I usually Wikipedia that shit because I can’t wait 2 hours to find out what happens; I am not a patient person (I am diagnosed with ADHD as well).  If I die, that’s it.  No Wikipedia.  No Reader’s Digest.  No Cliff’s Notes.  No nothing.  I’ll never know if Mom gets remarried.  If my sister ever finds happiness.  If I ever have kids.  If Savage Garden will ever get back together.  How does this story end?