Rainey Daze and Crazy Nights

Poetry, Paintings, and Ponderings: Through My Eyes

A Reason to Put on a Bra February 24, 2013

Damn. I have to go out today, so I must put on real pants. And a bra. AND SHOES! Oh, well. It’s for a great reason. My youngest daughter, S (not the one with bipolar) and her life partner, E, are buying a house.

S is only 24 years old and she is buying a house! That is pretty incredible to me. She has always been one to go after what she wants. In school, she was driven to get terrific grades and take all the hardest classes. She graduated in the top 10% of her class, but still managed to play sports and maintain a good relationship with her group of friends. The one thing she did not do is have a boyfriend or girlfriend. She always said she was too busy to date, and that the boys were too immature. After high school, she went away to college for a year and hated it. S never got into partying and chasing boys, so she didn’t fit in. She toughed it out for a year then came home to attend community college. She graduated with a degree in the health field and makes more money than I do!

During this time, S worked a part-time job and lived with a roommate in a small house nearby. She came to me one day and, with tears in her eyes, told me she was bisexual. My sweet girl was worried about telling us, but I think I knew before she did! It wasn’t long after that when she met E.

Our state does not recognize same-sex marriages, but they have exchanged rings and consider themselves married. Now, here we are, about to see the house they want to buy.

Life is funny, you know? You can dream and imagine what you think you want in life, or how you think your life might be, but seldom will you be right. I never thought I would be the mother to two incredible girls who grew to be such wonderful, yet diverse, women. One battles daily hardships that would make most people crumble, and yet she forges on. The other sees what she wants in life and goes for it, against all odds.

It’s a great feeling to know that I, with all the baggage and problems I have, still managed to raise and mold such terrific humans. There might be hope, after all. And I guess that is a good reason to put on a bra and even shoes.

 

 

An Interesting Day February 4, 2013

Today was…interesting. I watched a child, age 7, place a rather large hair barrette in her mouth. As I was saying, “Don’t put that in your mouth! You might swal….” she did. She swallowed it.

Now, this was no little bitty barrette. It was two inches long when closed and puffed out to look like a bow. It had a clip in the back, but I’m not sure if the clip was open or closed when it took the trip down her throat. Either way, it was scary and dangerous. The child looked at me in shock and said, “It’s gone! I swallowed it! That kinda hurt!”

I did the logical thing. As soon as I saw that it went down WITHOUT CHOKING HER TO DEATH, I went to the office to have them call her mother. The office called, and, after several attempts, finally got up with her. This was at 9:30 this morning. Mom arrived….at 2:05. After speaking with her child (quietly, off in the corner) she came back and told the office staff, “That lady was mistaken. I counted her barrettes this morning. She’s not missing any. That lady was mistaken.” She then took the child and went home.

THE LADY WAS MISTAKEN? THE LADY WAS MISTAKEN???? What the hell? That barrette was large enough to do possible damage on the way through her little digestive system. I was shaking, I was so mad. SHE COUNTED THE BARRETTES THIS MORNING? Really? Because I know that is what I did when I put barrettes in my child’s hair. I counted. Yep. Every time.

I know that kids will be kids. Children do not have the ability to think through their actions (neither do we as adults sometimes!) at this age. Children always have, and always will, do stupid things. That’s why they are supposed to have parents with some sense.

When I was four years old, there was a large bush that grew in my yard. The bush was covered with beautiful, bright red berries. My mom cautioned me to never, ever put the berries in my mouth because they could make me very sick. As I was an obedient child, I listened to my mother. Not once did I eat the berries. But she never said I shouldn’t shove them up my nose.

After shoving three or four of those big-ass berries up my tiny nostril, I couldn’t breath very well. My nose started snotting up and I cried. When mom came running, I told her what I did with the berries. After several torturous minutes of her rooting around in my nose without success, she called a friend to take us to the doctor. Just as we pulled into the parking lot of the doctor’s office, nature took over and I let out a nose-clearing sneeze that solved the problem without any further assistance.

Child nose

Child nose (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The point is, I did something stupid, like kids do. And my mom did what good parents do: she handled it. This little girl who is currently digesting a huge chunk of plastic, deserves to have a parent who will handle it. Not pretend it didn’t happen.

 

 

I Knew, the Way a Mother Knows January 30, 2013

It’s back. Out of the blue, for no reason, it’s back. What is “it”?, you ask? The bipolar demon my daughter fights every day.

We had a good run. It has been a nice couple of weeks. J attempted suicide right before Christmas and struggled her way through the holidays. She began intensive therapy in January, and that seemed to help some. From the second week of January until about a week ago, things were as even and normal as we have around here. I began to notice some mania last week…nothing over the top, but clear indicators.  We talked about it, she agreed and saw the signs. She even began making really good choice to counteract the mania, such as going to bed on time, eating better, exercising, and of course, taking her meds. None of it was enough.

When I found out J got her nose pierced after telling me she was going out for coffee, I knew. Deep in my heart, the way a mother knows, I knew.

She refilled the Xanax prescription, but gave it to me.  I keep the bottle hidden but give them to her when she needs help with her high levels of anxiety. She started having panic attacks yesterday. No reason, you know, that’s how those sneaky little devils are…they come out of nowhere and bite you in the ass. Today was even worse; she was at work and had multiple panic attacks,  a severe migraine, a crying jag that she couldn’t shake, and an inability to maintain. I called hubs and had him bring her some Xanax to get her through the day. Coming home was not an option for her today, so she stuck it out.

She is now asleep. I’m pretty sure that bitch Depression has her in its nasty grip. We are back on the roller coaster ride again.

 

The Alien Thought of Taking Care of Me January 13, 2013

Taking care of myself…putting my needs before the needs of others…thinking of what I need to be happy…these thoughts are so alien, so foreign to me. I have put myself last for my entire life. Even as a child, I tiptoed around, trying to be “good”, so mommy and daddy wouldn’t fight and have angry voices. As a teenager, having sex with guys I didn’t really care about, because it was what they wanted. It made me feel needed and loved…for a little while. Then, I became a wife and mother. Putting myself last seemed natural; a good mother and wife took care of her family, right? Even in my job, I take care of others. It is what I do best.

I guess I have made some tiny steps in doing a few things just for me. For example, my “photo shoots” (Wow. That sounds like I’m some kind of professional or something!). I try to find some time at least once a week to take photos. Admittedly these last two trips were really to please the hubs; I just went with him where he needed to go and brought along my camera. He “humors” me, I know. To him, taking pictures of trees and old buildings is silly, but he loves me so he stops and lets me shoot away.

After all of this time, how do I change? Where do I start? What is the first step to taking care of me? I don’t even know how to begin.

 

 

 

 

 

Hope On a New Day December 29, 2012

Today is a beautiful day. Nothing has changed except perhaps my attitude. Getting away with my camera just brings me such peace. It helps my mind focus on the little details in the world that I forget about when I am embracing the constant crisis in my life. It reminds me of the small things that make life wonderful. Breathing in the crisp winter air as I notice how the sunlight filters through the bare branches of the trees. Noticing the shadows cast across the worn wood of an old abandoned house. Gazing at the rusting train tracks as they converge on the far horizon.

My mind is so often trapped in survival mode that the stress I feel can be overwhelming. I have no respite from the constant worry. I have no one who truly understands the unique position I am in; but I guess we could all say that. My hope lies in writing, taking photos,listening to music, and my art (when I can focus on it…it’s been a year now since I walked in my studio.) So here I am, dear reader….even if no one reads, it feels great to write.

Blue Tangled Night

 

Mostly Sunny, With a Chance of Tears December 28, 2012

Do you ever wake up knowing that if you don’t get out and do something, anything, for yourself that you will simply go mad? Yeah; that was me today. I never heard my daughter, J, come home last night. I went to bed around midnight. I did finally hear from her around 10:00 pm when she sent a text saying she was fine, and hanging out with friends. I asked her about therapy and she said it was “okay”. I didn’t push; whatever happens in therapy stays in therapy, right?

So I woke up feeling antsy and hyped. I told hubs I needed to get out and wanted to go somewhere to snap some pictures with my lost-and-now-found camera. We jumped in the car and cruised to a small town about an hour away. We walked the streets and enjoyed the crisp air as I snapped to my heart’s content. I love seeing the world through the lens of my camera. I see and notice things that are easily overlooked with the naked eye.

exploring on a cold december day

I also love old abandoned houses. I was able to get some great shots of a few we passed along the way. (If interested, you can check out some on my photo blog, Rainey’s View. A good abandoned house shot is this one.) I always wonder about the lives that were lived in these houses; who lived and loved there? Why did they leave it behind? My imagination sometimes gets carried away…

Afterward, we stopped in a revitalized downtown area for a late lunch. I sat in the booth by the window and watched couples stroll by. Again, my imagination runs wild as I invent stories of love and hate around the unsuspecting people within my view. I’m sure most would be amused by the fantastic sagas I create for them.

Now, 151 camera shots later, my adventure is over and I am back home. J has not left her bed except to eat. She appears down again, but not wanting to talk. All I can do is offer to listen when she needs it and I am able to handle it. (When I am in a dark mood, sometimes I cannot be there for her and it gives me deep pain in my heart.) I had a lovely sunny day, but now I fear there is a great chance of tears in the forecast.

 

Found & First December 27, 2012

I FOUND MY CAMERA!!!! Oh, happy day! It was hiding in my garage, just waiting for me to remember that day I laid it on the shelf. I was going shopping, and didn’t want to leave it in the car where someone might steal it. I usually keep it in my trunk, (I don’t like to leave home without it) but for some reason left it on the shelf.

J had her appointment for her first therapy session with her Psychiatrist. It was two hours ago, and I haven’t heard from her yet. I called and sent her a text, but no reply. I’m beginning to get worried about her. I don’t know how long it was to last, or how intense it would be. I offered to go with her, but she said no. I understand; some things you must do for yourself.

Moonlit Night

 

It is Tomorrow December 26, 2012

It is tomorrow. We made it through the night and into a new day. J called her Doctor and made an appointment for her first intensive therapy session. I am proud of her for being so brave, because this has to be so scary for her.

I am just glad the holidays are over. Putting on a brave face and faking any degree of normalcy is so incredibly hard! I did (based on some advice from friend here on WP) keep everything very low-key; few decorations, few presents (gift bags only; no wrapping), little cooking, and little interaction with extended family. I still feel as though I am in a dense fog and I still feel dead inside. I did cry  yesterday, so I guess that is something.

It is hard to live with someone who has no understanding or tolerance for my moods or what J deals with daily. I’ve given up explaining my dark moods to him; as far as he is concerned, I am feeling “sick”. I don’t have the strength to explain or defend how I feel emotionally. All I want to do right now is sleep, write, or zone out. So that is what I will do.

At least the dogs understand; they sense my moods and have curled up here beside me.

Fog

 

Christmas Breakdown December 25, 2012

She had another breakdown today. The first half of the day went fine, but dinner with the family turned out to be too much. We never know when the voices will be heard. She is sleeping peacefully now, but I am left awake and wondering….what will tomorrow bring?

 

Steps Into the New Unknown Day December 21, 2012

tw-sign6

 

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