Wake up in this world with no pain

Ever feel like a failure?

That’s how I feel when I get things wrong and people can see.

That’s how I feel when I send a company wide email without an attachment.

Then send it again with the wrong information. Some my fault, some others.

Big company.

Judgy.

Stupid.

Careless.

Unfit for duty, soldier.

So I woke up with a good ol’ auto-immune disorder flare-up. Definitely triggered by stress as I’d worked on the same 2 issues with my boss ALL day and still had no resolution. I left an hour late and actually told him, “I’ve corrected and reviewed the documents a FIFTH time. I’m seriously done.” He fell out laughing. He didn’t think it was as big of a deal that I’d clouded people’s boxes as much as I had. He told me I did a good job.

I didn’t believe a word of it.

And now my entire body is aching in pain.

I want to call in so bad, but a soldier doesn’t stop marching just because of a little rain.

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Use your fist and not your mouth

Holy fuck my skin is crawling and I just feel like breaking shit.

Goddess make it stop. I just want it to stop. I want to stop feeling out of control. I can always tell when I’m about to have an episode – I don’t feel like myself; I don’t feel real. My body actually starts to tingle. That was a few days ago on the drive home from work. This is the longest I’ve had an episode. Please Goddess make it fucking stop.

I’m exhausted from trying to keep it all together.

don’t touch the sleeping pills/they mess with my head

I’m trying really hard not to have a moment here.

I’m at my second job, in my office, trying not to cry. I’m trying to keep myself from isolating, trying to stay active.

Everyone goddamn sucks.

I feel it all coming to a screeching halt.

The anger, the irritability. The mania is ending. I was horny all fucking week but the husband was so tired from work all he could do was come home, eat and sleep. He’d be snoring before he hit the pillow. Now I’m aggravated because I can hear the leaves blowing outside.

Here. We. Go.

So, do I get points for fucking trying here?! I’m trying to not kick people in the throat. My big sister/best friend cancelled her trip to come and visit me from California – didn’t bother to tell me, just mentioned it in passing on Facebook to a mutual friend. Did I overreact and kick her in the throat? No. But I wanted to.

When the nurse at work insinuated that was lying yesterday and my boss wanted to have a meeting confronting her lying ass (because there was proof she was a lying little turd), did I kick the nurse’s teeth in? No. I had other shit to do. I’m not saying I should be rewarded for behavior that’s expected but it’s especially difficult to not fly off the handle when I’m hypomanic. When I’m at the tail end of it, I’m worse. This is when I typically want any and everything that breathes to… not.

…You know what? I want to go am going out tonight. I wanted to go out because TV does nothing for this anger. It does nothing to work out this mania. I wanted to do something constructive or at least entertaining.

But everyone goddamn sucks.

So I’m going alone.

You won’t try for me – not now

Saw my dad this weekend.

He was on his way to work and was entertaining guests at this party I was voluntold to attend, so I spend all of 20 minutes with him.

So I literally saw him. And that was the end of it.

My husband gets chorded next month – some graduation ceremony as a part of this thing he’s doing. My dad is a part of this frat, so my dad wants to chord him. He made a huge deal about it on the phone.

To me.

I don’t know. Since my dad has deemed my brother the forever fuck-up, I guess this is his chance to have a son.

Let’s not talk about the two daughters he’s forgotten about. Ah – incorrect: just me because I’m childfree. The other brought him a grandchild and now serves a purpose.

The therapist says it’s easier for my father to have a relationship with my husband than it is to have one with me. I’m a reminder of his failures. I come with strings.

No. Not an excuse. I’m aggravated that I’m still a porcelain doll. A toy. I sit on the shelf, collecting dust until he’s ready to play dad. When he’s done, back to the shelf I go until next time. It’s been like that since I was a kid.

I’ve quickly gone from hopeful Raggedy Ann, waiting and waiting, to a haunted and angry Annabelle. Mellowing in my old age I think I’ve settled on a pissed off Tiffany.

But this doll is aging.

This doll is old.

This doll is tired.

…This doll isn’t a fucking doll at all.

Perfect by nature

I’m unsure how to keep functioning in a 9-5 setting with the overwhelming emotions I have. I’m working in the setting I’ve always imagined myself, but even after several months, the pressure is becoming too intense. I don’t know if it’s my perfectionism or that the expectations are truly insurmountable. When I try my best, I still forgot to dot an “I” or cross a “T.” I’m not used to being micromanaged – I’m used to being either my own boss or being left to my own devices, figuring it out on my own and having it all come together in the 11th hour. Having extreme anxiety like I do makes it very difficult for me to be micromanaged. With someone looking over my shoulder, I make more mistakes.

I’ve never been reprimanded at work before. Ever. By anyone. Before today.

I was reprimanded twice.

This doesn’t happen to me.

I was following a directive and was later reprimanded for not following another directive because I was following the first one given to me. My boss gave less than 2 shits about my apology, no matter how honest and sincere it truly was.

I was reprimanded in a group email by a higher ranking team member. Instead of talking to me privately because of a very simple computer error, they felt it necessary to correct and reprimand me via email and send it out to our entire team.

It’s only Monday. A shitty, shitty Monday and it’s not a dream. I had to take 1.25mg of Xanax to get through the whole day – just to keep me from crying and walking out the door with my middle finger in the air. So my pdoc is going to have to up this prescription; back in 2012-2018 I used to take 0.5mg – not this 0.25mg baby shit.

Because I cannot. I kept trying to think of water rolling off a duck’s back, but it wasn’t working. I just felt dejected, pathetic, stupid and livid. I took a nap when I got home but forced myself to go to dinner with Mom and the husband.

Still feel like shit. Still want to call off tomorrow but it won’t help anything, plus I can’t afford to lose the hours.

So I ate some chocolate. I’ll take more Xanax because my nerves are shot and nothing is working to calm me down. I feel like fucking crying.

…Ok, now I am crying. What the friggety fuck.

I’m done with today.

Oh, to feel nothing again. What a blessing that was. If I can’t be manic, Goddess please, let me feel nothing. Everything in between is either annoying or torture and I’m not in the fucking mood anymore.

It never was and never will be

A “doorknob confession” is an industry term used when a client drops a bomb on you right before the end of a session – often as a means of avoidance. Usually I hear things like, “I’m divorcing my wife,” or “I relapsed and did 3 lines of coke over the weekend” 43 minutes into a 45 minute session. It gives us zero time to address the issue until next time and they know it. They’d been sitting on it for the whole session and didn’t want to address the elephant only they could see. My attitude is typically, fine – you’re the one that has to live with that elephant sitting on your chest all week. See you next time.

I detest doorknob confessions. They deter progress. I especially hate what I now call doorknob confrontations.

Doorknob confrontations are something my husband uses. I’m getting ready for work, getting ready to leave for something and as I’m making my lunch or putting on my shoes to walk out the door I’m confronted with an issue that’s been plaguing him – usually some unsavory behavior of mine that’s being called on the carpet.

The emotional dumping continues as I’m trying to mentally prepare for the hell that is my job, the anxiety-inducing traffic or sifting through the fridge to locate something suitable to eat. I end up providing half-thought out answers or disregarding the conversation altogether out of frustration and anger. He likely ends up feeling neglected, brushed aside and defeated because his feelings, in that moment, appear not to matter and his requests and concerns fall on deaf ears. I leave and carry his emotional baggage with me to work (or wherever), making me effectively useless at my job (or whatever) because the situation is unresolved – leaving me seething because this could have been remedied by discussing it the night before or when I came home. He gets to air his grievances and go off to work (or wherever), having emptied his bag of shitastic emotions all over me. I’m glad he feels better but now I get to wear his shit like a cloak plus my depression, anxiety and what my therapist has deemed “imposter syndrome” to work and try not to collapse under all that pressure. To add to this, I’m expected to greet him with smile like Mary goddamn Sunshine when he comes home from work.

…Covered in emotional baggage and excrement.

Uh-huh.

So… I’m supposed to look like this?

When I feel like this:

Oh, OK. I’ll be sure to self-edit for everyone’s comfort. Fabulous.

I know I’m not supposed to mind read, but if I were to air my grievances – these particular ones, the response would likely be: “Nevermind, forget I said anything. Let’s just forget about it. Nothing’s wrong. I’m fine.” This completely shoves the problem under the rug, further stuffing his feelings inside until he brings it up again in a few weeks/months and I’m wearing the cloak again. It’s cyclical.

Slowly learning that life is okay

I’m back in therapy and it’s rough af. We’re talking about shit I don’t want to deal with. We’ve been talking about my grandfather and the damage he did.

He was my rock, he was my cheerleader. He supported me when I had no one. He died and left me with no one. He left me with the task of taking care of my mother when I was 16, so I did. She says she didn’t need my help and that I never helped her but I didn’t see it that way. I remember planning his funeral because the only parent in her life that meant anything to her was gone; she broke.

Vulnerability is weakness.

He was an Army man, a Captain. He survived WWII, a Black man in power. He treated me like his little baby, his little girl. But he trained me to be a soldier.

Emotions are for the weak. Humanity is weakness. Show none to survive. The only useful emotion is anger: instilling fear into others will motivate them to do what you want.

He told me so many reasons to be angry. My mother couldn’t afford to care for me despite working 12 hours a day and was effectively useless, having let her love for my father cause her depression since their divorce. He said she was weak. He said my father was a deadbeat: he didn’t want to be a father but had no problem fathering other children during the tenure of his marriage to my mother. Grandpa said Dad didn’t know how to be a good father to me, didn’t want to and couldn’t be a good man for my mother.

I. Was. Six. Years. Old.

He fed me this shit for years, spoon-feeding me until I was full of anger.

Y’know. When I really think about it, the most human I ever saw him was a few years before he died. He was in kidney failure and on dialysis; he had dementia. A man who lived through the war, segregation, Civil Rights Movement, earned a Master’s Degree in Mathematics became so frail. I watched his mind turn against him as the amyloid plaques grew in size inside his brain. I was terrified. I saw my savior dying while he was still alive. He remembered me – sometimes. And sometimes he told me he hated me; he could be so cruel and mean. Mom came to see him everyday to change his clothes, diapers and visit. I stopped visiting regularly after 6 months. I would go after he’d apologized for cussing at me; I was 13 or 14 years old without a stable parent. I was lost in the shuffle.

I remember the day he died. I was 15 by then; he’d been sick for 4 years. I’d seen him the night before and he was hollering in pain. He was a shell of his former self. My mom and i just held a hand of his and cried. We already knew it was coming. Our family is big into omens, psychics, folk medicine and the like. I just had a sticky feeling all that night. I cried and cried. I woke up and went to our family albums and started pulling his picture out of all of them after my Mom went to work. I stored all of his pictures in my room. I didn’t know why I did it – I figured she just wouldn’t be able to look at them for a long time. I got a call from my aunt later in the day telling me she was coming to pick me up; Grandpa was rushed to the hospital and Mom was already there and they needed me there.

To say goodbye, I thought. This is it. Get your shit together, Alice. You’ve gotta be strong. This is what he wanted – for you to be strong.

My aunt picked me up with my cousins in tow. We arrived at the hospital and my Mom and Grandpa were in the trauma bay. He was stable, but with tubes every which way I knew it wasn’t a good scene. My Mother was sobbing, leaking from every hole in her face – the ugliest cry I’d seen in a while, understandable since the only true parent she’d ever known was actively dying. I leaned over to Grandpa and said into his ear, fighting back every tear in my body:

Hey. It’s Alice. Don’t worry about Mom, I’ll take care of her like you taught me to, remember? I love you so much. It’s OK for you to go now. You don’t have to hold on because of me. I’ll be OK. I’ll see you later, alligator.”

He flatlined.

My world was crushed.

My life was over.

Because I lied. I didn’t know what to do without him. I shut Mom out, I continued to shut my Dad out. I’ve shut everyone out. Because what soldier do you know that lets others in? A soldier protects others and self, right?