Rainey Daze and Crazy Nights

Poetry, Paintings, and Ponderings: Through My Eyes

Sunday Morning Update on the Family May 26, 2013

Happy Sunday morning! It is early morning here as I sit on the porch and drink my second cup of coffee. It’s a “linger and take small sips” kinda morning. The sun is shining but there is a cool crispness in the air. I hear the crow of the neighborhood rooster in the distance. He seems to insist for you to get up and start the day. A morning dove calls her lonely song out and other birds chirp “good mornings”.

I love that it is never quiet in the early morning hours. The sounds of nature put me at ease.

I haven’t done an update on my life in a while, so….

I’ve dealt with much anxiety in the past month, mostly over things of my own doing. <Heavy sigh.> Will I ever be able to stop making my own life hard? On a better note, school is out in 2 weeks and I will be home for a little while. I’m excited to have time to get a few things done for me. I’m no longer waiting for Hubs to do things, because it never happens. So, I will do it myself.

I’m not a church goer, so I will spend my day doing all those things that don’t get done during the workweek. Also, I don’t think I shared some wonderful news: my daughter S and her partner E just bought a house! It’s a cute old  house in the historic section of town. We are busy helping them move this weekend. It fills my heart with joy to see her so happy taking this step. To think she is only 24! She is so traditional in everything she does (except of course she happens to be gay.) I hope the wanderlust that plagues me never gets into her heart.

I also have exciting news about J (my daughter who has an eating disorder, bipolar, and anxiety issues). SHE STARTED BACK TO COLLAGE! She took the steps she needed to do to get financial aid and sign up for the courses she needs. The classes are online and she started this week. She has made an “A” on every assignment so far! I am so proud of her for doing this. She’s dealt with some strong anxiety in the process, but she did it.

My heart is full of pride and happiness for both of my girls.

 

 

Truth is, I Resent Being the Impulse Police January 27, 2013

Nose piercing

Nose piercing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, time for a little soul-searching. My daughter, J, told me she was going for coffee, then went out and got her nose pierced. What was my reaction? I was pissed. Let me explain.

J, age 25, lives with me because she cannot live on her own. She cannot handle her money, her actions, etc. due to her bipolar, eating disorder, and other assorted problems. She’s tried, many times, but she just is not ready. Money is still an issue even though she lives with me. We’ve tried all different ways, from me holding her money to her getting an allowance, but money is an issue for both of us and it causes great conflict between us. So when she runs off and spends money she doesn’t really have, it pisses me off.

It’s not the piercing. And before that, it wasn’t the tattoo(s). I have nothing against either one. I just get so damn angry when she does impulsive things, especially if it costs much money. She doesn’t think things through, she just does it.

Why am I so mad? I’m trying to be totally honest here. I think I am mad because….I see me. I see me doing impulsive things that I regret. I want more than that for her. I know that other people in my life have prevented me from doing some things I impulsively wanted to do; I try so hard to be that buffer for her. Someone has to be the voice of reason, the sanity that keeps her from doing some things. ( I once gave away most of my belongings because I wanted to hitchhike across the country. I even bought a sleeping bag. I still dream of that trip…)

I am also tired of being that voice of reason for her. I can barely be the voice of reason in my own head, and it is draining to constantly do it for her. I resent it. I resent being the “Impulse Police”. I can normally let the little things, like piercings, roll off of me. After all, what’s a little hole in her nose compared to, say, taking 1/2 bottle of pills? But sometimes, I find it hard to turn off the “Impulse Police”. And when I do, sometimes the results can be devastating.

Also, I think I am a little jealous. She is at an age where she can get away with doing a few impulsive, sometimes even reckless things. Me? I’m supposed to know better, so when I behave recklessly I just feel…stupid.

I actually like tats and piercings. So why do I react like some 90 year-old stuck-in-the-past grandmother when she gets them done? I don’t like that side of me because it is not reflective of how I really feel about it. That is something I need to work on.

 

I am a Lying, Sarcastic, Bitch…Want to be My Friend? August 4, 2012

Who Is Wonder Woman?

Who Is Wonder Woman? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, so here is my vent for the day…

I am a bitch today. At least I am a quiet bitch. Maybe a depressed bitch.

I have been very withdrawn for the past couple of days. Since returning from the beach, I haven’t gone anywhere (other than to the store to buy needed items). I also haven’t been on Facebook…mainly because I am so sick of reading about stupid American politics, Chick-fil-a christians (homophobic bastards in my opinion), and game requests for games I’ve never heard of and will never play! I have, however, continued to try to post…something…daily on my two blogs on WordPress. For some reason, that remains an important connection for me.

I think I have withdrawn because I feel depressed and angry. I am still seething over J, my daughter. (J, age 25,  has bipolar, an eating disorder, OCD, anxiety, and ADD. She is currently unable to live on her own and so lives with me and hubs). She has a STD (for the second time, mind you) and seems like it’s no big deal. She is so broke, she couldn’t even afford the doctor or the antibiotic so she borrowed the money from me. Again. I get quiet when I feel that kind of anger because I know if I let it out it only makes things worse. Being angry with someone with bipolar AND an eating disorder is tricky; you set them off and the reaction can be deadly.

I also get angry with hubs. I don’t often talk about him on here; I have very mixed feelings about him. All of the hardships I have gone through with J, I have weathered alone, I have made all the decisions, I have cried all the tears. He works. And fishes. And hides out in his garage when things get bad. After almost 30 years of marriage it seems harder now than before. I continue to hide my own mental health problems from him. Why? Because despite everything, he is my husband.  We have a long history, and he accepted me at a time when I was in a bad place. Do I see us staying together? No. He is totally unable to understand even a small part of what J goes through.  When he finds out I have the same issues and I have hidden them from him, it will be over. I am preparing myself for that. I know I will be okay alone. Being alone does not bother me. I have been dishonest with him about so many things, I know there is no going back. I am now at the point of No Return.

So how is hubs with J? He thinks she should be able to “control” her depression that puts her in bed for weeks at a time. She should “just get up and DO something”. When she is manic she spends her money frivolously, getting tattoos, taking every friend out to eat, and buying impractical gifts…BEFORE paying bills that are due. Hubs again thinks this is a character flaw that she should be able to control with will power. He met with the doctors. He has been in therapy sessions. He has heard it explained over and over again. He is one of those people who will never get it. I am a buffer between the two of them and it is HARD.

Would it be better if I just left him? I don’t have the energy. And the thought of dealing with J, who will fall apart, is draining. I also have no money whatsoever, and it takes money and a plan to leave. And I know J will go with me. I would not leave her here with him. So I will stay, at least for now, because it is all I can do.

I am also lonely. I have realized lately that I no longer have any many friends. I am very social and well-liked in my community, but I have made such a habit of protecting my heart that I don’t let myself get too close to anyone. If I feel someone getting close, I back off. I shut down. They are left wondering what they did wrong, but it’s really just me. Many years of protecting my heart  has left me protected, but lonely. I have protected myself so well, no one even knows me. So if you don’t know me, you cannot love me. Or hurt me.

Yeah, so here I am; a lonely, depressed bitch. Want to be my friend? Hahahaha  Sounds like the plot for a lame movie. Really, if you met me, I would seem upbeat and outgoing. I have a sarcastic and sharp sense of humor. I am great with animals and kids. Younger people gravitate toward me. I’m not sure why, really, but I think because I take them seriously and I listen. I’m a great listener. You would never, not in a million years, think that I had mental issues that I struggle with on a daily basis. I am very, very good at wearing a mask.

So, I am a coward. I live like I do because I don’t have the courage to let the world see ME. The REAL ME. I didn’t do it on purpose. I just kind of evolved this way by living up to expectations of others. By trying to be Wonder Woman, and Super Mom, and Super Wife, and Super Daughter, and Super Employee. It is what I thought I HAD to do, you see. So I did…for many years. I hid my mania….I was just in a ‘great mood’ or feeling ‘silly’. I also explained it away because of the drugs and alcohol, back in the day…I hid the spending…no one ever knew….When the depression hit, I was ‘sick’…had a lot of work to do (I work a lot on the computer, so I could explain sitting around as long as I had my computer)…then when J started having problems, any of my problems could be easily explained…of course I was a wreck; look what I was dealing with!!

Life sure is funny. I dislike deception, and I am the most dishonest person I know.

Oh what a tangled web we weave

 

Back From the Beach and My Head Didn’t Explode August 2, 2012

I took a quick trip to the beach (just for one night) because I thought my head might explode if I didn’t get out of here for a while. It worked; I am back home, head still in one piece (well, that’s not really true, but it didn’t explode) and slightly refreshed. I really wanted to go somewhere (anywhere) so I could take pictures for my new photo blog I started …click here to see it….I just wanted a place to put pictures only, without any words other than titles.

The beach is my least favorite water to go to this time of year. I really like it in the off-season when it is cool and mostly deserted. But I am glad I went because I got some great pictures I will be sharing in the upcoming weeks.

Another reason I went was to get a break from J. (For new readers, she is my daughter who has an eating disorder, anxiety, bipolar, and OCD. She is 25 and unable to live alone.) She’s had some “female” issues lately. I went with her to the doctor because they found some abnormal cell growth. We went on Tuesday, and they said it was just all the new meds that she was taking. She continued to complain about how she felt and said the doctor was wrong, something else was wrong. J complains so much about health problems (and every other small thing in life) that I sometimes reach a point of needing to scream, hit her, or run away. I ran away (for a day) so I wouldn’t scream or hit her.

As I was driving to the beach, she called and dropped a bombshell. “I think I am pregnant.”

I went temporarily blind and deaf.  All I could see were colors and lights with some darkness around the edges. I could hear my blood pounding in my head. Oh, and I think I threw up just a little.

You cannot begin to imagine what her being pregnant would mean for me. For her. For any of us in this family. But mostly, for me. Damn.

She went back to the doctor and had some more tests done. Results came in today. Do you want the good news or the bad news first? I will start with the good news: SHE IS NOT PREGNANT!!!!!! I am so thankful I could cry. But….the bad news….she has a type of STD. FOR THE SECOND TIME. And, get this, it is NOT from the boyfriend she just had the big breakup with! I am so very angry with her right now. She is sleeping around, again, taking these huge risks with her life (and my life, really) and acts so damn casual about it. I  know, I know….Bipolar  manic stages can make you more promiscuous; she is a 25 year-old with a mind of her own. I know all of this, and yet I am so angry at her. She lives with me (and will forever unless she meets someone who will love her and take care of her) because she cannot live alone. Her anxiety level is too high, she has HUGE money issues, and she just cannot do it. Everything she does, or doesn’t do, affects me as well. She is extremely self-centered and loves to keep drama going on. Right now I just want to kick her in the ass for being so stupid!

Please know, I am just venting. I do not, and will not, get physical with J. I truly love my daughter more than life itself. She can be a kind, caring person. I actually enjoy spending time with her….when we are not in crisis.

I’m glad I went to the beach. It probably saved my head from exploding. I may need to go to the mountains soon…

 

Good Intentions July 24, 2012

Today started with good intentions, but…

It is disgustingly hot here today. I planned to clean house, work outside on my plants, then go to the back porch (my oasis) to complete some artwork I started earlier this week. I don’t mind the heat so much if I can dress for it (tank top, sports bra, shorts) and have access to water (in this case the sprinkler is the best I can do).

J got up in a pretty good mood with intentions of going grocery shopping, going to the gym, and later hanging out with friends. Within ten minutes her mood plunged and the negative talk started. (Weighing herself was the trigger). I tried reasoning, which I know from experience never works when her moods are like this (but I also feel the need to try for some reason). She them became combative (irritable) which brought out my combative side. I knew it would spiral into a huge argument, so I just told her she needed to call her doctor and work things out with him. She tried pushing my buttons…”I’m thinking of going off all my medicine”…”You don’t love me. I’m just in the way here.”…but I didn’t react. Inside, I was screaming, but I held it in.

I went to Wal-Mart for groceries since I knew she would not make it today. Twenty minutes later, I received a text: “I called the Dr. He can’t see me until tomorrow. I’m afraid to be alone because of what I might do.” A minute passed and I received this text: “I’m sorry I texted you. I know you are tired of me. ”  Thirty seconds later: “Please help me.” I left the ice cream melting in the cart.

I’m now home. J had nothing to say. She is  asleep on the couch and here I sit. I know sleeping is her escape, but at least she is not self-harming. And I will admit that I am glad she is asleep because it eases my burden. I feel like a horrible human and mother, but I cannot help her and I’m glad she is asleep. I’m thankful that I have peace, at least at this moment. When she awakens, I don’t know what to do or say. The well of wisdom is dry and I’m trying to hold my own head above water. How am I supposed to help her?

The horrible thing is she is not even in full-blown crisis. This is just how it is, day in and day out. They have adjusted her meds repeatedly. She and I are both in financial ruin due to the cost of the various medicines, psychiatrist, therapist, and other assorted doctors. If this continues, I will need to place her back in the hospital, and we still own them for the last time she was committed.

So much for good intentions.

 

 

What Blogging Means to Me July 13, 2012

I began my blog, Rainey Daze and Crazy Nights, in July of 2010. It started as a way for me to let off steam while dealing with my oldest daughter’s multiple diagnoses of bipolar, eating disorder, anxiety, OCD, and ADD. I wrote a whopping thirteen times that year, then only two times in 2011. At that time, I didn’t write enough to find my voice or my fellow bloggers. Then in January of this year, I began to write again. I felt like I needed to say so many things, and not just about my daughter. This time, writing meant much more and seemed so personal; I honestly don’t know how to explain it,  but words began to pour from me in poems, stories, and ramblings.  I had so much I needed to write….and it felt GREAT!

Blogging made me see that I, too am suffering with mental issues; I’ve always been so busy taking care of everyone else in my life I didn’t allow myself to see my own afflictions. After blogging, I could read back over what I had written. It made me take more notice of my ups and downs and realized I might need professional help. I saw my doctor and will soon see a specialist due to the encouragement of the blogging community.

Next came something so amazing, so astonishing, I still can’t believe it: other bloggers began to like my words and started following my blog! That is such an incredible gift. When I have a bad day and one of my blogging buddies responds with words of wisdom BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN THERE, it means the world to me. It also feels great when I have a good day and I can cheer up a blogging friend!

I am no one special. I’ve not done anything extraordinary in my life. I am just an America gal leading an American life. Yet I now have friends all over the globe, thanks to blogging. We are all just brothers and sisters living and growing in our little corners of the world. We all struggle, we all have victories, and we all need other humans with which to interact. Blogging strips away the outer shells we normally show the world and allows us to expose our inner selves. And  you know what? It feels good to share secrets from the depths of our hearts and to have it accepted by others. It feels damn good.

So this post is for you, my fellow bloggers. I hold a glass of wine (really, it is Pepsi, but we can pretend) up to you and say, “Cheers! Here’s to friendship and understanding!” Because it doesn’t really matter that we have never met, and probably never will. True friends are there when you need them. Thanks for being there for me.

Hugs,

~Rainey

 

 

 

Lakeside Therapy July 1, 2012

J and her boyfriend broke up and got right back together two weeks ago. (For those who don’t know, J is my oldest daughter who suffers from an eating disorder, Bipolar, anxiety, and OCD). They semi-worked it out, but I could tell it wasn’t the same. J and I talked last night and she admitted that she was unhappy. This time, she broke up with him and she was very firm about it. She expected him to be angry but he cried instead, which really hurt her. She seems to be doing okay, but it is hard to gauge sometimes just how deep the depression is. She has been depressed for about three weeks now, so I am watching her closely.

I cared about her boyfriend, but I love my daughter. I wish him well and hope he does okay. He has issues of his own and I will worry about him, but keeping my daughter safe and alive will always come before anything and anyone. All I want is for her to be happy and healthy. She is terrified that no one will love her and she will be alone the rest of her life. She is emotionally needy and can be draining at times, but J is such a great person. I can see her with an older guy who will nurture her and give her emotional support like she needs.

I fear this summer will be an emotional roller coaster for my daughter and I. It is so hard when two people live together and have mental and emotional ‘issues’ (for lack of a better term). Sometimes it helps to get away and shake up the routine, so we are going for a drive this afternoon. We are going to see if any campsites are available on a nearby lake. If we can find a good spot we will stay for the next ten days or so. It is a BIG holiday in the states this week (4th of July), so I’m not sure we will find a site, but I pray we will. These two ladies need some lakeside therapy time.

 

The Interview March 29, 2012

I know I shouldn’t let it bother me, but it does. Maybe because it really means something to me, I want it to mean something to him. We are partners, right? Through thick and thin, life and death, and all that jazz? Then why  is it that I always feel like I give more in this relationship than he does?

Here’s the thing: I have a job interview today. In fact, in a few short hours. I have done the same job for 14 years, and I am ready for a change. It is in the same field, with no increase or decrease in pay, but it is more prestigious. Just to be considered for this position is exciting. When we talked it over, at first he just said no; I will have to drive a little farther and he said gas costs too much. After a discussion he told me to “do whatever I wanted.” He wasn’t angry, he just didn’t care. That was two days ago, and we haven’t talked about it since then.

I am hurt more than angry. I have been there many times for him: through the death of his mother and father, through his cancer, and through his stroke. I have held this family together when it became clear that my oldest daughter suffered from Bipolar Disorder and an eating disorder and my youngest announced she was gay. Every single event, big and small, I have been there. I have helped him deal with whatever life has thrown our way. We have had struggles, no doubt. But I have always felt like he was my best friend, the one who would always be there for me. Has that been a lie, all these years? He has trouble with emotions, like many men. He seldom says he loves me. He never compliments me. My life revolves around his schedule most of the time. Am I just waking up? Am I expecting too much? I don’t know anymore. All I know is that each one of my friends is pulling for me, wishing me luck, and seem really excited for me. Everyone except him.

The interview is at 3:15. I have my clothes picked out, my resume in order, and references in hand. I intend to get this job, or at least give my best effort. I will let you know how it goes. As for him, I will tell him about it…if he bothers to ask. After that, who knows? Maybe it is time I make other changes in my life.

 

Painting My Emotions July 25, 2010

Filed under: bipolar,daughters,eating disorder,life,painting,Sorrow — rainey46 @ 3:28 pm

When I took my daughter to the hospital in California  for an eating disorder and treatment for bipolar, I spent long hours with nothing to do.  I had very little money and I could only visit my daughter in the evenings. I was alone in a way I had never been before; the aloneness seeped into my bones and left me feeling brittle inside. I felt fragile.  Entire days were lost as I drove for hours along the coast in a desperate haze of listening to Death Cab for Cutie in the CD player.  After getting lost in the mountains and almost running out of gas, I knew I had to find something to do with my time.  I needed something that could be a release, an outlet, for the feelings I had inside.  That’s when I began drawing again.

I used to draw back in middle school, when I would spend hours sketching and daydreaming.  Somewhere along the way, as I grew and my responsibilities grew, I put my drawing pad aside.  Life got in the way, as it often does.

So I picked up a pencil.  I drew on the motel notepad until I filled every blank page with my doodles and sketches.  When I ran out of paper, I splurged and bought myself a set of watercolor pencils and a watercolor notepad.  Everyday, I drew and I colored and I sketched.  It didn’t matter what I drew, and to tell you the truth, I don’t even remember.  I just know that drawing saved my sanity that December.  It gave me a way to focus the rage, guilt, and sadness that tumbled inside of me.

Here I am, three years later.  Life is semi-normal again.  That December, and the turbulent years that followed, changed me in profound ways.   I am not the same person I was before.  I am still in mourning for the family I lost, and I still cannot look at pictures of my girls when they were young.  I don’t know how to explain it to anyone, but I  feel overwhelmed with sadness when I think of their younger years.  Maybe I’m still dealing with the guilt of having a daughter with so many mental issues (how could a good mother NOT KNOW?).  So, while my family is alive and (mostly) well, I mourn the loss of the family we were before , the family we could have become.

I also take time for me.  That has just been a recent occurence, but I am learning to think about myself now.  Drawing is still an outlet, and it still helps me to cope with the day-to-day struggles.  I paint with acrylics, and have improved from my earlier attempts.  I also design and create jewelry.  Being creative seems to soothe me and give me purpose.  If I can paint my emotions, I am more in control of my life.

 

The Tree and Me July 19, 2010

When my daughter needed help for her eating disorder and bipolar, I flew with her to California to receive treatment.  Strangely, insurance would pay for it in California, but would not pay for the programs close to home.  My husband had trouble understanding any of her problems so I took a leave of absence and went, alone.  I stayed to attend family sessions held in the evenings, but I was not allowed to come during the day.

I rented a car, found a motel, and moved in.  This began one of the strangest times of my life.  I was so alone, and so overwhelmed by the events which led up to this trip, that I felt lost.  Somehow, I developed a certain pattern to my days.  The human brain is amazing in its’ ability to find rhythms even in times of stress.  Each morning, I drove to the corner coffee shop, ordered a steaming black coffee to go, and drove my rental Rav4 to the local beach.  Here I would drink coffee and watch the sun rise over the water.

There was a lone tree on the beach.  I don’t know what type of tree it was, but it had thick bark and gnarled branches that reached out toward the thundering surf.  You couldn’t say it was a pretty tree; there was nothing remarkable about it, but  I found myself drawn to the tree.  I began gazing at the tree more than I did the ocean.  After several days, I brought my camera and took several photos of the tree.  When I printed the pictures, the tree looked, well, like…a tree.  I wondered why I felt attracted to the tree, but soon forgot about it.  After all, I had so many more important things to figure out.

Three years have passed since my month in California.  I came across one of the tree pictures the other day.  That was when I realized why I was drawn to the tree: it reminded me of ME.  The tree was all alone, fighting to survive in a sometime hostile environment.  It was hanging on, not only surviving but LIVING.

I didn’t know it then, but I am a survivor.  My life spiraled out of control three years ago, and yet I am still here.  I, like the tree, will survive.  As I look at the picture of the tree, it doesn’t look as unremarkable as I thought…