Monthly Archives: January 2016

Episode 12916 – TRIGGER WARNING

…ugh… TRIGGER WARNING

Have I mentioned lately that I am currently out of my medications? Because I am. I haven’t had my mood stabilizers or my antidepressants since my birthday. That was about 2 weeks ago. I ran out of my seroquel 2 days ago.

I was OK. Stable enough to maneuver through mood swings and a couple of anxiety attacks. But the anger is becoming an issue. Walking away, that usually seems to help.

My husband and I have been in Austin for the past couple of weeks, so, really, there hasn’t been much of a problem. At least not until I ran out of my seroquel. It helps me sleep. It’s my anti-psychotic. I rely on that one most of all.

So… it’s been about 48 hours. I’ve had maybe 4 hours of interrupted sleep. Last night, I couldn’t sleep. Every time I would shut my eyes I would have a panic attack. So I stayed up…watched Netflix. The last time I looked at the time it said 5:41. I was up when hubby started getting ready for work. And passed back out shortly after that. Only to be woken up by a panic attack and a leg cramp. Joy. That turned into a mess of tears. Then, the vomiting started. (Just FYI: I hate throwing up. I would rather have diarrhea than have to throw up. I hate it. It scares me.)

Today we were supposed to check out. So between crouching over the toilet, I had to somehow get dressed, pack up our things, and stop crying. Not an easy task.

Finally I get packed. Hubby calls and says he on the way – it’s his lunch break. So we can go get lunch and put everything in the car. Well, he comes in and I start crying. I’m tired. I’m exhausted. And I’m sick as a dog. A friend of ours is going to let me stay in her room until it’s time to go home – hubby has to go back to training. But the card key doesn’t work. So we go get him lunch, I’m trying not to puke in the car. I can’t take the smell of food or the motion of the car. Finally, I tell him that I have to get something for my stomach. We pull in at 7-11 and I find pepto, but my stomach has other plans and, fortunately,  the ladies restroom is open. 10 minutes later, with a line waiting on me, I emerge from the restroom pale as a ghost and sweat dripping down my face. This is such a great look for the public.

Finally, we’re able to make it to the friends room where I’m told to lay down and relax and try to rest. More crying. Then drifting off to a restless sleep.

Everything else is fine. Until we get home. We have someone house sitting for us, so I can go be with hubby. Well person irritates me. Why? Because I’m not a people person, I don’t like having someone in my house, even if they are family.

I can’t say that I’m OCD, but I do have a way of doing things and how I like things to be. I like my dvd’s in a organized matter. Each series is in order from left to right. Duh. Well, that always gets messed up. Fine. Whatever. The litter box is overflowing. Literally. Gross. The fridge smells, because leftovers are thrown in bowls without lids and then thrown into the fridge. The trash is overflowing. There is puppy poop everywhere – because they bring their puppy. But the thing that takes the cake: they are sleeping in my bed. They have a room with a bed – albeit an air mattress, but a bed just the same.

Maybe it’s not a big deal, but it bothers me. I don’t like people in my bedroom, and I really don’t like them in my bed. It bothers me, a lot.

So, unmedicated me, jumps off the wagon into the deep darkness. I grab the first thing that I see – a box cutter. And I don’t know why it’s there, who it belongs to, but it’s there and now it’s in my hand. I’m just looking at it. The blade. Knowing all too well what I can do, what I want to do. And I just start shaking. Because part of me is screaming to put it down, the other is telling me to just do it because I’ll feel better. By this point, hubby is telling me to put it down. There’s a stand off, and I don’t know how long I stand there, looking at it, arguing with myself in my mind, hearing my hubby telling me to put it down.

And eventually, I put it down.

Then something snaps.

I don’t remember much. I don’t remember what was going on in my mind other than I was mad. I remember that I was embarrassed,  this is the first episode that I’ve had in front of hubby where I’ve actually tried to hurt myself.

Shaking. All over. Everything is shaking, even my insides are shaking.

Voices in my head screaming at me.

I don’t want to do this. I’m a failure. I mess everything up. I’m done.

I remember hitting my head. I want the voices to be silenced.

My scalp hurts – I pulled my hair.

I have claw marks on my arm – I guess I scratched myself.

I have pinch marks on my chest.

I see myself in the mirror and turn away, I can see the monster. I want to break the mirror.

And then there’s hubby. But I don’t want him. I’m going to hurt him. I don’t want him to touch me. I begin to back away and find myself on the floor crying.

He sits with me. Listens to me screaming. Holds my hands so I can’t hurt myself more. And he starts talking to me.

“Do you remember when we went to San Antonio and got lost? And we ended up driving around, and remember the train tracks? I just got my car, and we hit those tracks and we came off the ground, we both hit our heads. Remember when we got there and Good was there?”

“Remember our wedding day?”

“I love you.”

But that starts the onslaught of negative thoughts. And I get mad. I start screaming and I don’t know why. I don’t deserve love. Look at the monster!

There’s a sudden peace. Everything is fine. Because I know. I know I don’t belong here. No one needs me. And you, you’ll be fine. Because you are so special. And so wonderful. And you deserve so much better. Don’t you see? You’ll be fine.

“And what am I supposed to do? And my sister’s lose a sister,  my mom loses a daughter, my dad a daughter. And your mom? And nanny? You are so loved by so many people. You are needed here.”

“You’ve been out of your medicines for how long, two weeks. Don’t you think that’s affecting you?”

You have a chemical imbalance,  real or not real? Real…

It’s ok to not be 100% all the time, real or not real? Real…

We go on like this for a while. Until I finally realize I’m having an episode. Sitting on the floor, my hands in his, until I’m ready to get up. We walk to the bed and he just holds me.

Rockee has been upset. She’s jumped on me a couple of times and nudged me. And now that I’m in the bed she can be beside me. And she hasn’t left my side since.

I still can’t sleep. I’m tired. But making my brain shut down is almost impossible. So I’m up, watching the hobbit, and writing this post. Thinking how blessed I am to have someone like Marcus. He could have just left. He could have just let me do whatever I was going to do. But he stayed. And he talked to me. And he listened. And even now, he’s sleeping, but woke up to make sure I was OK. Told me to wake him up if I needed anything. He doesn’t want me to be alone.

There’s still the fear that he’s going to leave. But after this episode, he could have walked out. But he’s still here. And so am I. I might be a little bruised in the morning, but I’m alive. And we’re going to pick up my meds first thing in the morning – the pharmacy was closed by the time we got back into town.

I’ll be OK. And even when I’m not, I have support.

Find a support team. Make one. Take your meds! It could save your life.

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Deleted

I think that I’ve mentioned the Facebook situation before right? The one with the fake profile so that I could keep an eye on my legal mother?

So, if I haven’t talked about it, here it is:

Several years ago, I created a fake Facebook profile with the intent to see what Donna was posting about me and my mom. She accepted my request, of course, she doesn’t know stranger danger. So, she accepts my request and I can see every hateful thing she is saying. Eventually, I try to reach out to her, just to see, and going under the fake name gave me some security. She starts to figure out who I am, so I shut down the profile. But with Facebook, you really never deactivate your account. As long as you know the log in information, you can get into a deactivated account from years ago.

Under this fake profile, I can see that she’s posting lies about me and my mom. Saying how we ruined her life and left her with nothing. Saying that her sisters are the spawns of Satan and that she, being the devout Christian, is the one who is righteous. Saying how she loves the father that she claims beat her and abused her and whom she hated since I was a child. Lies. All of it.

Something got me to thinking…. Well, it was the passing of my grandfather, that made me reach out again. See, I had revealed my true identity several months ago, and deactivated the account. She either didn’t see it or didn’t care. Either way, when I reactivated the account, I messaged her. I told her who I was and it started a conversation.

As it could be expected, it didn’t go well. See, there comes a point that, when, all you do is lie, you begin to believe the lies. That, coupled with her hatred and her mental disorders that are not regulated by medications or therapies — well, you can imagine what it’s like to talk to a lunatic. I’m not trying to be mean. I just really want you to understand, I know how all of this ends. I know what she is capable of, not that I don’t still get shocked when she does something idiotic. But I know her. I lived with the chaos of a deranged mind for 19 years. I know.

She, of course, blamed everyone else. Saying that I’m falling for lies and believing nothing but the worst of her. And, I guess, if you’re reading this post without knowledge of who she really is, maybe you would believe that too. But, here’s the thing with me, you don’t have to lie to me. I may not say something immediately, but don’t take me as a fool. I observe far more that what you’re giving me credit for.

I know what happened in that house over the course of 19 years. I know how I was treated. Yes, there were times that were really good in my life. But there are far more bad things in my childhood that I remember. I remember the endless fights. I remember the rage. I remember everything. So, no, no one has to tell me anything about you to try and make me be on their side. I chose long ago to not fall for people. Especially her.

So anyhow, she starts blaming everyone except the person who deserves the blame. I’m not saying that she was evil, but sometimes, I wonder. She just needs to take SOME responsibility for something at least ONCE. But, no. No, it’s easier to blame everyone else. Everyone owes me something. The world is unkind to me. I’m the victim. Oh woes me. She’s always the victim. Always.

So eventually, this conversation starts to heat up. And all I really want out of all of this: my high school diploma. I EARNED that diploma in 2009 — I walked across that stage. I survived high school, it’s mine, with my damn name printed on it. And she took it! When everything fell apart, she took my diploma and refused to give it to me. Refused to acknowledge my existence — even told people I died. It’s mine, w I want it. She’s had it for FAR too long.

When I tell her that I want my diploma, I wait. I know this is going to be a battle, right? Because everything else with her is a battle. She said that she has it put up, and that she’ll give it to me. I can come get it. I don’t want to come and get it. I don’t want to see her. Because, if I see her, one of two things will happen. One, I’ll panic — panic attacks happen to me when I face someone that I don’t want to. Like that time I saw Tyler after I got out of the hospital, or that time I swear I saw Justin in Cisco. I panic and I run away. Or, two, I’m going to break down all the — not hate — but fury? Maybe that’s the word? I don’t hate her. As much as I wish I could. But I don’t like her either. I don’t want to have anything to do with her…. But that’s not 100% true either, otherwise, why would I be messaging her? No, I don’t want to come get it. You can give it to my aunt, who lives right behind you. If you ever loved me, ever, you will do as I ask. Just this one thing, for me. She doesn’t think she should have to put up with my aunt who “hates her” and blah blah blah. OK, well Scott and my uncle get along, have Scott take it for you and then you don’t have to see anyone. No. Fine…. I talk to my mom who says to give her Mom’s mailing address and tell her that she can send it there. So, I do. And she tells me “thanks for giving in” — that’s all I’ve done my whole life.

So, I give her the address and think, there’s no way that anything is going to come of this. She said she would mail it, but really, how many times has she said she would do something and not follow through? So, we wait. And we talk a little bit, because, deep down, in the recesses of my mind, I do miss her. I mean, she was my mom for 19 years right? So that’s a lot of history to let go of.

We talk, but it’s nothing of true importance. And she asks me if it’s hard for me to talk to her. Well, yea. You lied to me for 19 years, you lie to everyone about what is really going on, you said that you would rather die than live for your teenage daughter. Yes, it’s hard to talk to you.

We stop talking. Mostly because there’s nothing else to say. Nothing that I can do to change what happened, and she’s so confused and full of drama and more lies that nothing is ever going to be the same again. There’s no going back, and you made sure of that.

Then I talk to Mom, who is trying to be supportive, she thinks that maybe Donna and I could be at least friends. But do I want that? Yes…but no. Because I know how this ends. And I don’t want to put myself through that again. Well, Mom talked to Nanny and there’s a package for me at the house. It has my diploma, my graduation cap, the National Honor Society thing that I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to have. It has some of my graduation pictures. But it has my Diploma. After 5 years! FIVE! I have my diploma.

Donna messaged me on my birthday, but I’ve been avoiding that profile. She messaged me again, I just checked it. It says that she guesses I got what I wanted and now I’m done. She wishes me nothing but the best, but wishes that I wouldn’t listen to liars — like she has any room to talk. It was a long drawn out message that said the same thing over and over again. And she said she loved me. But she told me herself, she doesn’t know what love is.

And then, she deleted me. And I can’t see her stuff any more. It’s a blessing, maybe. Because the last thing I saw was that she was going to commit suicide again. According to police records, she does this almost every week. And she did it several times while I was growing up — that’s what ended our relationship in the first place. I’ve never known anyone who craves attention as much as she does. When she threatens to kill herself, she does it publicly on Facebook, so all of her “friends” will be concerned. This last “attempt” – posted two pictures of quotes and said that she was done. Had 29 comments on the post, and 30+ posts to her wall. When the police showed up this time, they said that she didn’t do anything, hadn’t even attempted and she went to stay with a cousin. Again, she’s a frequent flier with the sheriff’s dept out there. She won’t seek treatment. She won’t take the medications that could keep her stable. She would rather have the attention. And I know that sounds cruel, especially for someone who wants to advocate for people and make sure that suicides are prevented. But you have to realize how many times she’s done this, how many times it’s just a false alarm – a ploy for attention of any kind. And one day, if she really does it, who is going to know until it’s too late? I don’t think she grasps the seriousness of the situation. I don’t think she understands that suicide is nothing to laugh at, it’s not a card that you can pull when it’s convenient. Suicide is a serious thing, and yet she plays it like the little boy who cried wolf.

I miss her. But not enough to fall back into that mess. Maybe being deleted is for the best after all.

Suicide

Suicide.

We’ve talked about it before. It’s on the news, it’s on your Facebook. It’s out there now. In the open for people to see. And, yet, we still don’t talk about it. It’s best not to talk about it, it makes people uncomfortable.

But suicide is touching more and more families and they don’t understand what’s going on. They say that they didn’t know, there was no warnings, no signs.

“I don’t understand, she was so pretty, so loved. She had so many friends. Why would she do this?”
Or “He was a good student, always got good grades. I don’t know what happened!”

We have more access to each other with social media and chatting apps. People, like me, use it to keep up with family and friends who aren’t right around the corner. While, my intentions are simple, others use these methods to do far more than just stay in touch.

Have you heard of “cyber bullying”? It’s where people go online, hiding behind a screen, to bully others. They chastise others, commenting on their weight, height, look, hair cut, eye color, makeup or lack of, boobs, butt — you name it, they pick. Hiding behind the anonymity of a screen name, anyone could be anyone. And no one has to be held accountable. People are cruel – why? Because they can be, I suppose. It makes people feel better, breaking down other people.

Cyber bullying is a big deal. Used to, we just bullied each other in public — in the hallways of the school. Now, we all just hide behind screens. Mean things are said — Most prevalent, I think, “Just go kill yourself!”

No one should have to hear that.

I’m not writing this post just to talk about cyber bullying or bullying in general — that’s just one factor.

Kids, I think, are often misdiagnosed. No one wants to think that their kid is messed up in the head. No one wants to think that their child has depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or a personality disorder. No one wants to think about that. So, we say “It’s just a phase.” “It’s just your hormones.” “It’s just your period.” When are we going to start taking mental health seriously?

Misdiagnosis can be deadly. Why? Take a look at the symptoms of almost every mental disorder and you’ll see that “Suicidal thoughts or behaviors” are a symptom. This is important. This is very important.

As a teenager, I went through my own personal hell. I didn’t know what was wrong. I didn’t know enough about depression or any other mental disorder to know that I really needed help. I was 15ish. I started having trouble sleeping, I started hallucinating, mood swings — most importantly I had severe depression and was cutting.

Had I been more educated about mental health, maybe I would have reached out sooner. But I didn’t know, and I didn’t know that I needed help. So, I just kept going. I kept cutting, not sleeping, seeing death follow me down the halls. I never asked for help. Because I didn’t know. My family wasn’t that educated in mental health either, so they didn’t know what was going on either.

We need to listen. We need to pay attention. We need to be educated. And that’s something that should start early.

But how do you start a conversation that no one wants to have? How do you warn parents that they need to pay special attention to details that could scream that your child is in danger?

For those of us who live with it, we know the signs. We know. We know when the thoughts are overcoming rational thought. We know that the withdrawal from friends and family should send up flags. We know that when you’re giving away things that are most precious to you, we know what you’re thinking. We know, because we’ve been there too.

I’ve been there. I live there most days. I live on the edge of wanting to be happy and love life and the side of darkness, where one wrong step sends you cascading down the mountain. I live there. I think about killing myself all the time. I think about how I would do it, what would I say in the note. I think about who would find me, and what people would say. I think about it because my brain tells me that the people in my life would be better off without me. That, without me, these people that I love wouldn’t be in the pain of living with me. I’m hard to live with, hard to love, because my brain tells me that I’m fucked up. It tells me that everything in my life is a lie and that everyone is just waiting for the opportunity to leave me. It tells me that I’m replaceable, and that if I just die people can move on with their lives.

Fortunately, I know the difference between rational and irrational thoughts. These thoughts that tell me that people would be better off without me and that I should just die, are irrational. I know that, if my life were to be ended, there are some people in my life that would never recover. I know that without me, there would be a difference in their lives, a hole that wouldn’t be healed – ever. I know this. But sometimes, my brain tells me otherwise. I have lived with my diagnosis long enough, done research, and have looked for coping mechanisms enough to know the difference between these thoughts. And I know not to act on my impulses. It’s hard. Sometimes, it’s a lot harder than I would like to admit. But, that’s when I reach out. I talk to my support system, I call the lifeline. I don’t sit here and just let the thoughts consume me. Sometimes, they come close…But I get help.

So what’s the difference between what I deal with and what other people go through? Nothing really, except that I’ve educated myself and I know how to reach out. Others, especially teens, don’t know how to reach out — they are afraid, and I don’t blame them. I don’t blame them because I’ve been there. I know how scary those thoughts are, I know how scary it is to ask for help. Why? Why is it so hard to tell someone you need the help?

Why? Because of the stigma — stigma attached to anything that deals with mental health and suicide. The taboo subject has evaded conversations for generations, and we are just now starting the conversations. Conversations that could have saved countless lives years and decades ago. But we’re scared, because we are uneducated, and it makes us uncomfortable.

Suicide is scary. It’s scary to think that someone would consider killing themselves, it’s scary to think that it might be someone you know. It’s terrifying when that someone is your child, brother, sister, mother, father….best friend? It’s terrifying. And no one wants to talk about it.

But if we talk about it, then we bring this beast into the light and we can save each other.

Why would you not ask for help? I’m scared. I’m afraid to be judged. I don’t want people to think I’m crazy. I don’t want to be locked up in a padded cell in the loony bin. I’m scared. These are just a few of the reasons that will come up. And I have to say, I’ve said many of them myself.

Teens — kids are cruel. How many times do we hear that? Any time someone is getting picked on or bullied — Oh, well… Kids will be kids right? Boys pick on girls because they like them. So maybe, you shouldn’t be such a prude. He wouldn’t be mean to you if you would just quit being a cold bitch. Boys will be boys. —- just a few excuses we hear.

Teens are susceptible to these behaviors and thoughts because, instead of teaching them to be kind to one another, we make excuses for poor behavior, we protect the bullies and blame the victims. So, when a teen commits suicide, we just turn a blind eye and say – we didn’t know, there’s nothing that could have been done. The parents are left to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and all we can say is, we’re sorry.

A friend of mine, recently tried to kill herself… She’s 18. She couldn’t take the pressure anymore, and just decided that it was time. She didn’t reach out, she just told her best friend good bye. Fortunately, that best friend reached out. She came and told her parents what was going on. My friend was saved, rushed to the ER and then got placed on a 72 hour psych hold. Now, because of that experience, she is afraid to go to school. Why? She doesn’t want to be ridiculed. She doesn’t want people to know that she tried to kill herself — people will call her crazy, treat her differently, people will avoid her, or they will make fun of her. And that is not fair.

Instead of educating teens and children and their parents about mental health, mental illness, and the scary stuff like suicide, we hide it. And that’s where the stigma comes.

People make fun of suicide. People make fun of crazy, they don’t understand it. It’s OK to say things like “Ugh, the weather is so bipolar!” “She’s so schizo”. We make jokes.

Here’s what we can do: Sit down and have a serious conversation with people. If you’re feeling suicidal – talk to someone. People can’t help you unless you ask. If you’re not comfortable talking to your family, there are suicide lifelines out there that will help you — they’ve saved me a couple of times.

Educate yourself of mental illness, and if you feel like something isn’t right, have a conversation with your doctor. And know, that you are not alone in this fight.

Signs of suicidal behavior:
> Saying good bye to people like it’s the last time you’re going to see them
> Giving away possessions
> Focusing on death or dying
> Changes in sleep
> Withdrawal
> Hopelessness
> A sudden calm after a bout of depression
> Reckless behavior
> Increase alcohol or drug use
> Neglect of personal appearance
And there are more.

For more information on how to start the conversation and learn the signs: http://www.suicideispreventable.org or http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. If you’re feeling suicidal call: 1-800-273-8255 (suicide lifeline) You can text anonymously to: 741741 and will be connected with a crisis counselor.

Please know, that even if your brain is telling you that this is the only way and you’re alone, you’re not alone. And you don’t have to die. Please, reach out. Help is out there, I promise.

Broken Things

I’ve always been attracted to broken things. Broken people. Broken animals. I like broken things.

Broken things are attractive. They stand out among the crowd. They’re different, like me.

I notice the sadness – the smile that just doesn’t reach the eyes. I notice the scars. I notice them, because I wear them too.

I like the broken things. I like how they feel. When I hug them, I can feel the broken pieces.

There are broken pieces inside of us. The damage done by years of misuse. I see those in you too.

Here we are, the same place at the same time, looking at the image of each other. You can see the brokenness of me too.

I like the broken things. Not because I can fix them, because no one can do that. But because they like me too.