Rainey Daze and Crazy Nights

Poetry, Paintings, and Ponderings: Through My Eyes

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I have been very withdrawn for the past couple of days.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I think I have withdrawn because I feel depressed and angry.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

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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…

 

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.

 

My Daughter’s Happy and Gay Life June 30, 2012

English: Gender symbols, sexual orientation: h...

English: Gender symbols, sexual orientation: heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality. Česky: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My daughter, S, and her partner, E, are visiting today. I write mostly about my other daughter, J, who suffers from Bipolar, anxiety, OCD, and an eating disorder, but today I will explain more about my youngest child.

S is only 15 months younger than her sister and they were very close while growing up. J was the drama queen and S was the quiet, more serious one. S was as reliable as J was unreliable. She has the same dry wit that I have, and she can make me laugh like no other. I believe she struggled a lot because she saw the pain that her sister was in, and she sees my suffering, and she cannot fix it. S wants to think things out logically and then make it all better.

As a child, S was the rough and tough tomboy while J wore pretty dresses and played with Barbie. I remember some of the closed-minded people from the small town in which we live asked me what I would do if she “turned gay”. I simply told them the truth: I would love her. I didn’t even bother to discuss the “turned” gay comment because you cannot change small minds.

I never forced gender roles or racial stereotypes on my kids. I am sad to say my parents are racists and homophobes; in their defense, they grew up in a different world. Somehow, despite their attempts to mold me, I never developed a dislike for “those who are different from me”. In fact, I rarely notice a person’s race, and sexual orientation is a personal choice that does not concern me.

Two years ago S, on the verge of tears, said she had to talk to me privately. She was being very secretive, and I knew something big was going on. We got in my car (the only private place I have at my house) and went for a drive. She haltingly told me she was bisexual. S explained that she didn’t really see gender, she just saw characteristics that she liked in people. It didn’t matter to her if they were male or female. We both cried, but had a big laugh together when I told her I thought she was going to tell me she was pregnant!

Soon after our talk she met E, who is now like a daughter to me and I care for her deeply. She is as much a part of this family as anyone else. They have been together a year and a half now, and E even gave up her job and moved when S graduated and got a job in a city four hours away. It is obvious to anyone who sees them they are very much in love and have a great relationship. S and E have exchanged rings and are committed to one another.  My daughter is happy and enjoying life.

 

 

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.

 

Bipolar Betty July 14, 2010

Well, Bipolar Betty has reared her ugly head again this week.  Who is that, you may ask?  Bipolar Betty is the nickname we have given to the horrible cycles my daughter suffers as a result of being bipolar.  She is on medication ($325 a month), she sees a psychiatrist ($70 a pop), and she gets her sleep.  Still, the cycles happen, and the world turns upside down.

I feel so selfish to say this, but I wonder if my life will ever be “normal” again.  It once was,  you know.  My sweetheart and I married young (I was 21, he was 26) and had two kids, both girls.  I was a stay at home mom who baked cookies and made crafts.  J, my oldest, was a bright, bubbly child.  She was a fast learner, outgoing and sweet.  Fifteen months later, S joined the family.  She was as quiet as her sister was talkative.  They were a good pair, and our little family was complete.  When the girls started school, I went to college and obtained a degree, which led to the beginning of my career.  My girls were in 4th and 5th grade at that time.

As I said, life was normal.  Were there clues that a monster was beneath the surface?  When I look back, I see some signs.  J was always dramatic, given to ups and downs that I attributed to her personality.    She had lots of friends and a great personality, so I didn’t worry too much.  She began to put on weight at an early age, but again, I thought it was normal, just something she would outgrow.  As she got older and heavier, I tried to not make food an issue, but instead tried to focus her attention on softball, swimming, and other activities she enjoyed.  When she was in high school, things began to get worse.  Her weight ballooned, I saw that vast amounts of food was missing from the kitchen, and she suddenly lost all friends.  To this day, I don’t know what happened, but most of those friends she never talked to again.  One, however, called me and told me that J cut herself because she was upset.

I guess that was the point of no return.  That is when my life began to spin out of control, slowly at first.  I took her to a psychiatrist.  This was the first of many. J sat in that office with the beige colored walls and the plum-colored couch and talked.  About the latest book she was reading.  about her favorite movie.  She talked about everything, except what was wrong.

Fast forward:  J graduated from high school (a great feat we were not sure would happen) and applied for college.  When a college accepted her, we celebrated.  I thought this would be the answer to my prayers.  She would make new friends, join in school clubs, and have a great career.

This plan backfired.  The first inkling that she was out of control was when we got a phone call that she was in the hospital.  It was diabetes.  The next middle of the night call was when she tried to overdose on pills and alcohol.  This pattern continued.  Why didn’t we just bring her home?  There is no easy answer, other than we did what we thought was right.  She continued to see her psychiatrist, she took medication for her diabetes, and she would seem normal; for a while.

The next time she tried to overdose, she almost succeeded.  After having her stomach pumped, we decided to bring her home.  She ranted and raged, out of control.  In calmer moments, she would confide in me.  She was binge eating.  All of her college money that was to be used for books, supplies, and tuition was gone.  She used drugs and drank on a nightly basis.  She was cutting again.  She slept around, and caught an STD.

She was given meds and sent home.  What was I to do?  I called doctor after doctor, but no one had an answer.  Insurance was another problem.  I had great insurance, but mental illness seems to be a murky area.  None of the local places would help her.  In desperation, I took a leave of absence and took her to a treatment facility on the other side of the US.  This was when we finally heard the words “bipolar disorder”.  She stayed for 6 months, and had great success.

J came home, and life continued.  We tiptoe, because we don’t know what to say or do.  She switches from a manic, I-can-do-anything mood to a depressed, I-can’t-get-out-of-bed mood repeatedly, sometimes ten times in an hour.  My heart breaks for her, my family, and myself.

Here we are, five years later.  She is 23, and still lives at home with us.  Her younger sister moved out, partly due to the pressure of living with her unpredictable sister.  J is more stable than before, but the manic highs and scary lows still grip her on a regular basis.  I’ve gone through much depression in the last five years as well.  My husband tries to be supportive, but he has never been good at handling J or helping me with problems.  Every time there is a problem, whether small or large, I am the one who must deal with it.  On the good side, J kicked the drug habit, and only drinks occasionally.  She still binges and purges, but not as often as before.

I now feel as though I am in a cage.  When Bipolar Betty demands attention, I must drop everything and be supportive.  The doctors tell me I must be patient when she is like this, I need to listen and not get angry.  You know what?  That is damn hard to do.  I am angry, but not at my daughter.  I am angry at this monster that lives here and comes out and possesses my beautiful daughter’s spirit.  I am furious that none of us get to lead a normal life.  I am pissed that the doctors cannot or do not really help her.  I am sad that my once bubbly baby girl looks in the mirror and hates herself.