Rainey Daze and Crazy Nights

Poetry, Paintings, and Ponderings: Through My Eyes

Life Update February 22, 2014

The good news: mentally, I’m feeling better. The dark cloud didn’t send me too far down the slippery slope, and I am feeling normal again. (What is normal, by the way? I’m not sure, but it is somewhere between “Oh my God, I can’t bear to get out of bed and face the world” and “WOW! THIS-IS-THE-GREATEST-DAY-EVER-I-CAN-DO-ANYTHING!”)

The bad news: many bad things happening around me to people I know and love. I will not dwell on it (as that causes the slippery slope to loom over me) but one family member died yesterday and another got a diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer (non-smoker). So much sadness around me that I actually feel physical pain.

Work right now is a bitch. No other way to say it. I still love my job, but I feel so stretched thin. I am needed by so many people to do so many things. Most schools have two people who do my job, but I am the only one at my school due to the budget. I usually don’t mind, but at times like this, when so much has to be completed in a short period, it is very hard on me. I will get through it, I just feel like I am not doing my best because I am doing too much.

It’s going to be a beautiful day here today, so I will sit outside in the sun and let it warm my soul. That makes everything more bearable.

 

Today June 23, 2013

Filed under: about me,all,death,depression,events,family,grief,journal — rainey46 @ 6:29 pm
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Today was the hardest day since the day Riley died. No particular reason; just a really, really hard day. I’ve cried so much I look like I was beaten in the face.

If you are not a dog person, you don’t get it. He was my little boy, my constant companion. If you averaged the time I spent with humans and the time I spent with my two dogs, I know for a fact I spent much more time with the dogs. He slept beside me at night, curled up under my left arm. If I rolled over, I felt his little fur weight pressed against my back. In the morning, he followed me to the bathroom, waiting patiently until I finished so he could be let out for his turn. If he got scared, he ran to my arms. He greeted me at the door every single day, joyful and happy that I came home again. If I went out-of-town, he moped and refused to eat until I returned. He loved to play ball, and would let me work on the computer for just so long before he insisted that I take a break and play with him.

Dogs have always had my heart. Riley came into my life when my girls went away to college and I felt so lonely. Hubs works 12 hour shifts so I am home alone a lot, especially in the summer. Not long after that was when J started the first downward slide of bipolar, addictions, and disorders. It was a hard time for hubs and I, and it drove us apart for a while. Mental illness is not understood by the general public, as you all know, so I had no one. Except Riley. He was not a trained therapy dog, but he might as well have been. When I cried, he stayed by me, licking my tears as they streamed down my face. When I calmed down, he would gently bring me his favorite ball and look at me with those huge, understanding eyes. God how I miss those eyes.

Hubs called to check on me today. I can hear in his voice how worried he is about me. He knows my tendency toward depression, and that in recent years it has gotten worse each time. He wants to go get a new puppy tomorrow. My first reaction was NO, but it’s not to replace Riley. That will never happen. But our little girl, Soph, is out of sorts and so lonely now. And if we get a puppy, it needs to be in the summer when I can train it. I’m just not sure I’m ready for that. Hubs is just trying to stop my downward slide, I realize that. It is so sweet. I’m just not sure.

 

Love For a Dog February 7, 2013

I am a pet lover. Specifically, I am a dog lover. I got my first dog when I was 3 1/2 years old, and I have never been without one since.

In my house, pets are part of the family. I currently have two dogs, a male and a female. They are both small inside dogs (which hubs said we would never have, but I won THAT round) and they rule. I cannot imagine life without either of them.

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The male dog, Riley, is especially precious to me. He came to me when both of my girls went away to college and I suffered the classic “Empty Nest Syndrome”. This was before J was diagnosed with any problems. I had work, hubs, and….nothing. I felt useless because my identity was so tied in with being a mom. When Riley came into the family, he burrowed that furry little head right into my heart. He was mine, and I was his, right from the start.

Not long after he joined the family was when J was diagnosed with Bipolar. I spent many hours privately crying with only Riley to hold me and comfort me. I have always put on the brave face in public, even with family, and hold my crying sessions all alone. In fact, my favorite place to cry is while in the shower. Riley started the habit of going in the bathroom with me and lying on the rug until I get out. He would watch me with his knowing eyes and wait for me to dress and sit on the rug to hold him. Riley would take all my tears and make me feel better, so that I could make it one more day. He is honestly the reason I don’t break down more often than I do.

Now, here we are, 7 years into Riley’s life. About 8 months ago he started having seizures. He takes an anti-convulsive medication, but it is not working properly. My poor Riley had 20 seizures in a 24-hour period. He is now at the emergency vet’s office at the state college. They are giving him a new drug through an I.V. to see if they can stop the seizures. If it doesn’t stop, they want to do a spinal tap and MRI to look for a cause.

I do not want him to suffer. Hearing him cry between seizures was one of the most difficult things in the world for me. I feel so helpless and broken right now. I know he is in good hands, and they are keeping him sedated. But if they cannot make his life comfortable and of a good quality, then I will have to make a decision I do not want to make.

 

Because I Cannot Cry in the Shower, I Wallow in Self-Pity December 22, 2012

I feel like I have a hangover, but I didn’t drink. Is it possible to have some sort of post traumatic response to difficult life events? I am having difficulty doing even the most simple tasks. I feel like I am in a fog of sorts. What is happening?

Every time J tries to kill herself, or does something equally harmful to herself or those who love her, I react during the event with nerves of steel. Nothing she says or does phases me. I am grace under fire. The first few events, I fell apart as soon as it was determined that she would be okay. I would take a shower and sob until my body ran out of tears and the shower ran out of hot water. Then, after many times of crisis, I stopped crying in the shower. I went into robot mode. I continued going through the motions of showering, working, and living. Inside I was numb and cold. I didn’t mean to stop feeling, it just happened. I still stood in the shower and waited for the tears, even tried to make them happen, but they didn’t. Meanwhile, J made it through the trauma and bounced back to normal life. Inside, I seethed with anger that she was back to normal and I would never know normal again.

Today I feel drugged. Last night, J’s friends came over and they hung out and shared some much needed laughter. They were silly and funny, and I enjoyed hearing them. But I am ice inside.

I have no gifts under the tree. I just don’t care. Everyone depends on me to set the tone, the mood for everything in our lives, but I want to curl up and sleep forever. This life is too hard for me right now.

English: Shower

English: Shower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Writing and my humor are the only things I have left. Bear with me when I wallow in self-pity, will you?

PS I still cannot find my beloved camera. I fear it is gone forever and I cannot afford another one.

 

Steps Into the New Unknown Day December 21, 2012

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The doctor in the ER told me just how close J came to really dying this time. She took 1/2 bottle of Xanax and washed it down with Tequila. If she hadn’t started vomiting like she did, she would have died.  If she hadn’t panicked and sent us all goodbye texts, she would have died. If she hadn’t been on her side, she would have drowned in her own vomit.

The night she almost died, I never cried. The next day in the ER, I still didn’t cry. I never even felt the urge. I thought it was because I have been through this so many times that I had no tears left. I thought it was because of the antidepressants that I take.

Today, two days after the fact, I had a break down. I began violently shaking and losing focus on the world around me. Breathing became difficult. Thinking rational thoughts was impossible. After ten minutes that felt like a century, it passed. My breathing became normal and my hands stopped trembling.

Every day I wake up and wonder if this will be the day. Is this the day she kills herself? Is this the day my mind finally snaps because it cannot take another moment living like this? Is this the day hubs walks out because he cannot handle life with a bipolar daughter and batshit-crazy wife?

But every morning, as these thoughts pass through my brain, I think about the other what-ifs: What if this is a day of laughter and joy? What if this day finds J happy, but not manic? What if this day is just an average,  normal day in the life of my not-so-normal family?

This thinking allows me to swing my legs over and step into the new, unknown day.
Steps to the Unknown

 

Unsuccessful Suicide December 19, 2012

Various pills

Various pills (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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My daughter tried to kill herself again today. I never thought I would write that statement, but here I am. She took a bottle of pills. Again. She waited until she was at home, alone. Hubs and I were about 20 minutes away having supper at a local Mexican Restaurant. After she took them she got scared, so she started texting “goodbye” messages to all of her best friends. She sent me one, too. “I really love you and dad” it said. My phone was in my car, so I didn’t see her message until I was driving home. Along with her message was about 5 from her friends trying to make sure she was okay and that I was with her. I called her, but she didn’t answer. Next I called the friend who lives closest, Angel. Angel was already on the way over to the house to check on her. I drove like a maniac, running 80-100 all the way home.

Angel and her boyfriend got there right before me. She told them she took some pills. I was about to call 911 when J started vomiting. She was very groggy and could barely lift her head. She vomited over and over, so I felt like enough came up that she was out of danger.

I didn’t cry. I didn’t get upset. But every time this happens, another part of my heart dies.

I am just tired. We have gone through this so many times now, that I hardly feel anything. It’s just another day in my life. My daughter tried to kill herself again. She didn’t succeed. Tomorrow I will go to work. Life goes on.

 

 

 

My Erotic Mistress December 11, 2012

tw-sign6TRIGGER WARNING:  SUICIDE

 

She is a beautiful, erotic mistress

who beckons me with slender fingers.

Her beauty radiates from her eyes

two deep, dark liquid pools

that threaten to swallow me

if I stare too closely, too deeply.

Her voice whispers seductively in my ear

filling my body with a red-hot desire.

“Just take the leap” she moans

“Close your eyes and give in to me.”

I lean over the edge of the cold railing

Gazing at the water that seems miles away.

“Come fly with me,” my mistress whispers

“Take my hand and you will be free

No more pain; no more heartache”.

I long to please her, so I step on the rail

Feeling her moist, warm breathe

on the bare skin of my neck

sending icy chills up and down my spine.

I shiver and almost lose my balance

In that moment, as I teeter on the edge between

life and death…

I choose life.

My mistress sighs, then leaves me

as I step away from the edge.

Life wins, once again,

but my heart knows that my mistress, Suicide,

will soon return for another try.

 

**NOTE: This is just a poem; I am not currently suicidal. When ideas for poems or fiction come to me, I have to get the thoughts out. I have felt this way, more times than I care to admit. But, just like in the poem, so far life wins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rainey: Unedited and On the Edge of Losing It July 19, 2012

Trigger Warning: I am struggling today, and this post is my brain rambling about many things…including suicide, sexual abuse, and other things. It is NOT a cry for suicide prevention help.

***I apologize in advance for this post…it is not my usual, and it is unedited and straight from the heart. I can’t hide anymore. Many of you may not want to read.

What if I just let go? What would happen? I have held myself in check for my entire life and it is becoming harder and harder and harder. I don’t want to be strong anymore. I don’t want to be the one who fixes everything, makes it all better, handles all the problems, listens and gives sage advice. I have never allowed myself to fall apart. I cry a little, let off some steam, but never, never, never do I let go completely. I am so afraid I will not be able to come back to “normal”. When I went to the west coast to place J in a treatment program I participated in counseling sessions with her and the counselor, Navid. Navid said he had never met anyone who kept such tight control of their emotions. He kept digging and trying to get me to let go, so I finally faked it and cried a little. I have major issues that I keep under wraps because everyone, I mean EVERYONE, in my family depends on me to hold it together. I’ve watched J try to kill herself numerous times….I held it together.  S moved away…I was a rock. My husband, P, had cancer. I held it all in. Then he had a stroke. I carried on. I’m so tired. I don’t even know who I am anymore because I am so caught up in being who everyone NEEDS me to be. I am one big stupid lie. If I let it all out the madness will overtake me and life as I know it will be over. I’m beginning to think that is not a bad thing. Can I walk away from all that I have? I’m not talking material things, that doesn’t mean shit to me. I’m talking family, friends, job, my LIFE. There is no one, not one single person in my entire existence, that understands. That, I know in the very center of my being. Do you know that when I started dating my husband, P, I told him about the sexual abuse I suffered as a child. He accepted me anyway, and that meant THE WORLD to me. Then, when J was in the hospital it came up in conversation and he said, “WHAT? I didn’t know that!”. All these years I felt so good knowing he accepted that part of me, and HE DIDN’T EVEN FUCKING REMEMBER OR CARE!!!! What does that say about me? I have surrounded myself with people who think they know me, who only allow themselves to see what they want to see, who think they might even love me, but they have no idea, really who or what I am because I LIE with my actions, with my words, with my smiles. There is a madness inside of me that I have hidden for so long, and it has been patient, but time is drawing near….it cannot be patient much longer. I know I have severe mental problems but I continue to function and no one even guesses anything is wrong with me. Am I that good or do people around me really not care? As long as I am there for them, right? I know you will say go to  a doctor. I have no desire to go through what J goes through, what so many of you go through,with doctors and medicines. I know I will have to before all is said and done, but procrastination is one of my biggest faults. I was supposed to go this summer, but cancelled the appointment. I know I will either kill myself or fall completely apart.  A part of me wants to just walk into the nearest mental hospital and commit myself and just let the pieces of my life fall apart. My husband will leave me, my parents and siblings will turn their backs, I will lose my job, my friends will be nonexistent…only my daughters and my dogs will stand by me. Really, that doesn’t even make me sad or upset. I just feel numb inside, and overwhelmed by what will happen. So instead of doing anything, I sit here because I feel overwhelmed at what I will do after that. What will a broken, mental, middle-aged woman with no job, no place to live, and no personal relationships do? Where will I go? How will I survive? These things keep me paralyzed. and so….I continue to live this lie. I don’t think I can hold on much longer.

 

A goodbye Sail July 18, 2012

Trigger warning: this poem deals with death and saying good-bye to someone  you love.

I awoke with a longing to sail the fair sea

The water sparkles as the sun rises before me

The day is so lovely, the skies so blue

All I really want is to spend it with you.

~

We pull up anchor and set sail together

I wish for this moment just to last forever

The sun rises higher, caresses my bare skin

I close my eyes as you kiss me there and then.

~

We feed one another and share the red wine

Your soft touch gives me chills down my spine

You look into my eyes and I feel it in my soul

I beg you to hold me and never let me go.

~

All too soon the glorious sun slowly begins to sink

the skies turn marvelous shades of purple and pink

We turn the bow back toward the far land

You smile, reach out, and clasp my hand.

~

“This moment”, you say, with your eyes on mine

“will forever be ours for all of time.”

We speak our good byes as we sail to the dock

both wish we could stop and turn back the clock.

~

We’ll meet again soon, your eyes say to mine

There’s lots of life left, we have plenty of time.

My eyes fill with tears because I know this is not true

but I smile and hide them so as not to upset you.

~

We soon part and go our own separate ways

vowing to do it again in the upcoming days

I let the tears fall when I am all alone

unknown to you I will soon be gone.

~

This was my gift, my one last goodbye

I have less than a month before I will die

As pain ravages my body and drugs help not at all

memories of you help me hold myself up tall.

~

Our memories flash before me as if on a movie screen

The time with you were the best moments I’ve ever seen

Death hovers now and soon my life will soon be over

But please know I will carry you in my heart into forever.

 

 

The Destruction of Flowering Bushes April 22, 2012

This fiction writing deals with death and suicide. If this upsets or offends you, please do not read. I do not want this to upset anyone, or trigger bad thoughts or memories.

Craig pushed his body down into the mattress trying to make his body as small as possible. He wanted to simply disappear. He pulled the plaid bedspread over his head while pressing his hands tightly against his ears but nothing could block out the image burned into his brain or the sound that he still heard ringing in his head. He finally leaned over, stretched his arm down and felt under his mattress. His fingers grasped the Ipod and headphones that had become his refuge as of late. He shoved the ear buds into each ear with one hand then turned on the music with practiced ease. The sound of Nirvana filled his head, replacing the screaming voices from before. He settled back on his bed and prayed for blissful sleep. Sleep would not cooperate, however. Not even Nirvana could keep his thoughts from traveling back to the horrible incidents of the day.

His day had started just fine. It was Saturday, so he slept in until 10:00, then got up and readied himself for the day. It was the beginning of spring, so Craig knew he had outside chores to do.  He went out without being told to pull weeds in all the flowerbeds in the front yard. He could hear his mom vacuuming the house, first downstairs in the living room and then upstairs in the bedrooms. His dad was at work, as usual. It seemed that his dad was either at work or off with his buddies more than he was at home these days. His sister, Leia, was still in bed. She had been in bed for the past three days, coming out only to go to the bathroom.

Craig surveyed the yard. The flowers were just beginning to bloom on the multitude of bushes in the flowerbeds. He could see little buds of pale pink, white, and deep purple erupting on spindly limbs. He and Leia helped plant most of the bushes just a few years ago when they first moved to this house on Maxwell Street. They were just little kids then. Leia was 7 and Craig was 6 when their parents bought the “fixer-upper” 3 bedroom house. To the two kids, the house seemed like a mansion because it had such tall windows and high, 12 foot ceilings. Over the years their parents had pounded and painted and decorated until the “fixer-upper” became a showcase. Craig and Leia had helped, as much as small children can help, and they were all proud of the house and yard.

Walking to the backyard, Craig noticed a lone flowering bush along the back edge of their property. As always, it brought a sad smile to his face. This bush marked the grave of a beloved family cat, Theo. Well, he was supposed to be a family pet, Craig thought to himself, but we all knew Theo belonged to Leia. As some animals do, Theo picked one family member to belong to, and it was Leia. Leia was the only one who could ever get Theo to come when called. They used to play a game called “Run, Theo, Run” where each member of the family would stand at the door at night and call for Theo to come. First his dad would try, then his mom. They would both call in sweet voices, but no Theo. Next, Craig would try. Nothing. Leia would stand back, giggling, knowing Theo would not respond to any of them. Dad would then give a fake exasperated sigh and say, “Oh, Leia, go ahead and try. But you know he will not come!” Smiling and giggling, Leia would step forward and yell, “Here, Theo!” Within a matter of seconds, Theo was a black streak running toward the door. We all hammed it up, exclaiming, “No way!” and “How do you do that?” while Leia scooped him up and grinned broadly. Then one day when Leia was 13, Theo did not come when she called. They later found him under the rosebush. He passed away peacefully; it seemed, of old age. Leia was inconsolable. She was always a little high-strung and dramatic, but this put Leia in a state of deep depression that took a visit to the doctor and a bottle of pills to overcome. That was the first of many bouts of depression that stole his sister.

That’s how it seemed to Craig. The depression slowly stole his sister’s very soul. Leia was happy, upbeat and fun; she was the life of any party and could always make him laugh. Then, without any warning, the dark blanket would descend and Leia was lost. A vacant-eyed shell of Leia replaced his fun-loving sister and nothing could bring her back. It would last for hours, days, or weeks, and then very slowly, Leia would come back to them. To Craig, however, she never appeared the same. Each time the depression took over and she finally emerged, she seemed a slightly paler version of herself. It was as if her once-vibrant colors became watered down, less intense, each time. Craig felt helpless as he watched his sister slowly fade.

Standing and looking at the budding bush, Craig had an idea. He ran to the garden shed and picked up the clippers and a basket. He roamed the yard, carefully selecting several stems of flowers and buds. He clipped them and placed each one in the basket. With the basket filled with the vibrate colors, he took it to the kitchen and rummaged under the sink for a large vase. Craig filled the vase with water then haphazardly stuck the blooms into the water. Arranging flowers was not really his thing, but he did the best he could. Maybe, he thought, allowing himself to feel some excitement, this will cheer her up. Maybe she will want to go with me to clean the flower beds in the backyard and we can throw acorns and wish on dandelions like we used to. Craig didn’t even clean up the mess in the kitchen; he grabbed the vase and held it out carefully as he ran up the stairs. At the top of the stairs he turned left to Leia’s door. He knocked quietly on her door because when depressed she didn’t like sudden, loud noises. Craig listened closely, but didn’t hear a sound. He knocked a little louder and softly called her name. Still he heard no response. This time, he spoke a bit louder. “Hey, sis, it’s me and I’m coming in!”  Craig placed his hand on the doorknob and turned, but the door was locked. That was not unusual. They had both locked their doors to keep each other out and gain some privacy for the past several years. Craig simply did what he always did when locked out; he stepped into his own room across the hall, grabbed his middle school I.D. card, and used it to pop the lock. When he heard the resounding click of the lock, he knocked one more time to give her time to get decent before he entered. This time he whispered, “I’ve got something for you, Leia. Wait until you see this!”

The door swung open to expose the dump his sister called her room. When she was younger, Leia kept her room spotless. As depression robbed more and more of her soul she cared less and less about her surroundings, and her room was evidence of this lack of caring. Piles of dirty clothes mingled with books and papers that covered the floor. Her bed was just a tangled lump of pillows, covers, and stuffed animals. The closed blinds and drapes kept out most of the morning sun, so it was hard to make out her shape in the bed. Craig stepped in the room, trying to avoid the towering mounds on the floor. He made his way to the bed, holding out his offering and calling her name. When he reached the bed, he saw it was empty. A sudden chill ran up his spine. Something told him things were not right. Something was wrong, really wrong. Craig turned slowly, glancing around the room. A noise, or maybe a movement, caught his eye and made him look toward Leia’s closet. The door was standing open. There, placed perfectly in the center of the closet rod, was Leia, hanging from a noose. Craig stood without moving, without breathing for what seemed a lifetime. His feet rooted to the floor, he still held his arm out stupidly holding the vase of flowers. Then he heard an inhuman sound somewhere nearby. He thought it might be his sister, struggling to breathe. Somehow he began moving, thinking he had to save her. It wasn’t too late. He could still hear the sound…it must be her, I can help her. Suddenly he stopped. He forced himself to look at her. Leia was swinging very slightly as if a breeze was blowing, but she was not moving. She was not struggling to breath. She was dead. He realized at that moment the sound he heard, that inhuman wail, was coming from his own lips. A few seconds later another sound joined his own. His mom entered the room with wild frantic eyes. She saw Leia and a high-pitched shriek emitted from her mouth. Still screaming and wailing they joined forces and managed to get Leia down from the closet and place her on her bed.

Everything else that happened that day became a blur that Craig could not remember. As he lay in bed all he could see was his sister’s body with her empty eyes. He heard the screams of his own voice and then his mom’s voice. He thought about how stupid he was, to think that some dumb flowers would be enough to make her feel better. Craig was suddenly filled with a burning, white-hot anger that propelled him from his bed. He ran, stumbling, down the stairs into the kitchen. The garden clippers were there, on the end of the bar, beside the stacks of dishes and food that well-meaning neighbors brought over when they heard the news. He grabbed the clippers without breaking stride and bolted out the back door. He didn’t even stop long enough to open the gate, but instead vaulted over it. When he saw the first bush, he stopped. A roar escaped his throat as he attacked the bush like a madman. Using the clippers and even his bare hands, Craig destroyed it. Anger still boiled in his blood, so he moved on to the next bush, and then the next and the next. He was roaring and screaming, ripping the once beautiful bushes into shreds. Suddenly knocked off his feet, he felt strong arms wrap around his body. He tried to fight but the anger that had quickly enveloped him left just as quickly. Craig realized it was his dad who held him as they both collapsed to the ground. They held each other, both crying helplessly, for several minutes. After a while the crying subsided, and they just sat there arms wrapped tightly around one another. Craig felt drained and leaned heavily on his dad as they struggled to their feet and into the house. His mom stood at the door with red-rimmed eyes. She stood on one side of him and his dad stood on the other as they made their way up the stairs. Without a word spoken, the three of them stepped into his parent’s bedroom. His parents placed Craig gently on their bed. His mom slipped in on one side while his dad walked around the other side and slipped into bed. Both his mom and dad wrapped themselves around him and held him tightly. Together, the three of them finally drifted off to sleep.