Growing into Me with Bipolar

Posts tagged ‘hope’

Don’t You Forget About Me

Don’t You Forget About Me

Writing Prompt:  Imagine yourself at the end of your life. What sort of legacy will you leave? Describe the lasting effect you want to have on the world, after you’re gone.


What do I want to be remembered for?  Who do I want to remember me?

Well, I really don’t care if anyone remembers me, but if I had to choose someone, I would want my children to remember me.  I only had one goal when my first, my son, was born.  As soon as I saw him, the only thing that was important in my life, was caring for him, doing the best I could by him.  Teaching him everything there is to teach.  Acceptable behavior, to truly be kind and compassionate, all the things growing up, all the school topics.  I wanted only to give him the best that I could so that he could be a strong person on his own, so he could succeed.  Nothing else mattered in my life, not my job, my own needs, etc.  Taking care of all that was to allow me to teach him more and better.

Then my daughter came along, my sunshine. There was definitely nothing that I wouldn’t do for her.  I would make her strong, confident, teach her to spread her wings and soar even when others wouldn’t.  I wanted her to have all things I didn’t, and to be the person I should have been.  If love alone could instill confidence in my children, then they would be soaring so high in the sky today, they might not ever come down.

And I have been the best mother I could be, given the person I am. But I wasn’t good enough (in my eyes), and I am afraid in theirs as well.  But, if I could be remembered for anything, it would be that my children believed and knew that I loved them more than anything else in the world, and that I always had their back, and I always gave my all for them.  (she is a little older now-2 yrs, and he is about 1 yr older now–I don’t take enough photos).

090 Haley 2012-3

Just Sitting Here, Staring at the Christmas box, Waiting for…What?

xmas box


So, I keep watching that box full of my sparse Christmas decorations, waiting for it to spring out and find its way to my walls, curtain rods, door jambs and yes, finally to a fully decorated tree in front of the window (but only a 4′ one).  But nothing is happening.  The box just keeps sitting there, although I think I am seeing out of the corners of my eyes, when not looking at it directly, small movements, shadows flitting, and other sounds artificial trees make when moving about.

small xmas tree


I know eventually, I am going to have to actually go to the box, and start to put things together and nail them up.  But I am in this nice little cloud, where I feel like I am floating, but if I try to get up and do things in the real world, I am heavy and slow and plodding and it feels like I expend all my energy on each movement I undertake, even just to fill up my water bottle.  I prefer to stay on my little cloud, feeling light and free, without worry, without hurry.  xmas wreath

The boxes will still be there when I am ready.

AN UPDATE:  My ex has never contacted me since the nite we discussed, with my daughter, my daughter’s moving to her father’s. He said he would contact me the following day, but…..well, there ya go.  But he HAS been talking to her.  She still wants to move in with him and they are still talking about it.  But he has not contacted me in any way at all, and I have decided that since I have custody, I will be keeping my daughter here, with me, the parent she has spent all but 18 months with, because she IS my daughter.  Because this is a time I need to PUT MY FOOT DOWN.  Because she and I both need to WORK on our relationship–not RUN from it.  Because this is one of the last times I can show her how much I LOVE her, how to grow a relationship and persevere and NOT run.  Because I am her MOTHER, and I won’t just let her run away.  I WILL show her that I WILL NOT give up on her, no matter what.

And, I have really made a major jump in therapy, and I have been able to not have any arguments with her (she says we might have still had 3 small ones), to not yell at her, etc.  We have been able to be calm with each other since the night we and her father discussed her moving to his home.  And, I think I am only getting better at staying calm and not reacting and that it will just keep improving.  So, the very thing she didn’t like, that she said scared her, that made her want to live with her dad, I am finally gaining control of….So, our relationship can only improve, right?  Right! So, no giving up.

Of course, if he REALLY wants to have her move in with him, he can always go to the courthouse and get the forms needed to ask for change of custody, visitation, and parenting time  and child support/back child support of our daughter.  And then he’d have to hire an attorney to represent him here in AZ, since he is now in OR.  And that would cost money.  And we all know how much he enjoys spending money on anything but himself….so, um, ya.  Not thinking that that is very likely to happen.  I may be wrong, but I don’t think so.modificationofcustparentingnplan


Better, I Guess…

Ok, so I had my Emergency Clinic Appointment, the one to try to help me get more stable after the first 2 weeks of being on Depakote from Lithium.  As you probably noticed in my recent posts, my mind has been all over the place, like it was full of live wires not attached just sending shocks and sparks everywhere.  I couldn’t even see through all the brain activity or hear through it to barely perceive the ‘real’ world that everyone all agrees is there, that everyone sees, the table, the tv, the computer, the room.  It was as if I was about to pass out, when all the colors invade your ability to sense, until the feeling either passes or they give you the smelling salts…and the smelling salts actually make all that distortion fade away and your brain goes back to seeing the world around you properly again, and you ‘wake’ up.  Except, of course, nothing works on a bipolar brain that is like that when it is like that, so you just keep going without actually seeing or perceiving, on the verge of passing out.  Emergency-Appointment

So they gave me an increase in the amount and frequency of trazodone, which i usually was taking only as a prn when and if i noticed i was getting nervous, jittery or anxious during the day. now i take it at a higher dose, and i do it 3x/day.  They also added ambien for sleep, cause with my brain malfunctioning, I haven’t been made tired by my normal seroquel at night.  not only did they add the ambien, they doubled the dose of the seroquel on the idea that more of it would also help with my sleep and it would also add to the anti-psychotic support of the depakote.  But they want to still keep going with the depakote and not go back to the lithium.  And they wanted me to stop the cymbalta, the only antidepressant that has ever worked.  I was afraid to lower or stop it since it has really kept the depression from being strong while I was on the lithium.  But they thought it was feeding the mixed state I’m in.  I think getting off it or lowering it might make me go from a mixed state to a constant depressive state right now.  And if I was unable to get out of a bipolar depression, I might actually be a danger to myself in the very near future.  At least in the mixed state, I am going from one extreme to the other, and I know the depression won’t last, and neither will the mania.  Even though still being in the mixed state is horrible, is almost impossible to function in at all.  Stringing words together to make sentences is such a challenge, so difficult to concentrate, to think.  So hopeless feeling, can’t stay like this either.happy pills

So, now that I’m taking the new mix, I am still not being made tired at night, not with the extra seroquel, or the extra trazodone, or the ambien.  It is taking 1-2 hours for me to fall asleep after taking them.  But during the day I am much more somnolent, much more removed from the world. I am kind of like a zombie, but I can still get up and do things, just a lot slower and harder to think through what I am doing.  And it feels like most of my emotions, my feelings in relation to any situation I’m in, are extremely blunted.  I smile when something is really funny, but no more.  I make no movement or change when something is very sad.  I can think clearer, but it takes so long to put together the thoughts.  My brain is so wrapped in cotton or saran wrapped it seems to be protected from any emotions at all, but the smallest, in response to the world around me.??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

So, I guess I’m feeling better.  No big ups or downs.  No running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  No crying endlessly for no reason, wishing with all my might I could go to the hospital or find a place alone to end my sadness.  But knowing I can’t because what would happen to my kids?  But now although I am ‘stable’, I am also removed, slowed, and dulled and blunted.  I lack almost all emotional response.  And I am still not sleeping well. This is not how I want to live either.  So, is it really better?

I wonder if I will ever be able to get back on lithium?  Or if they will just keep adjusting my peripheral meds until it is more tolerable?  How long until I feel like myself again? (if ever).  Was it all my mistake when I gave in to the pressure from my psych doc to try other mood stabilizers? Maybe I should have stood my ground, even though it seemed to be childish?

So, my next appointment is in 8 days.  Guess we’ll see then.

bipolar image chart

I Think I’m a Bad Bad Girl

So, y’all probably know I’m moving on Monday, so we are packing starting today.  And y’all probably know I’m all wonky from switching meds and its not working right now.uhaul

So, I found out I could take a Title Loan that I already had and have it refinanced at a different Title Loan company for less interest and shorter terms.  Plus, a little bit more cash too, for the deposit on the new apartment.  So, I really wanted to get this done today, so all my ducks would be in a row on Monday.  But they needed 3 personal references.  Well, as it turns out, I don’t actually know 3 people on a ‘personal’ level.  I mean, I know doctors, and nurses, and clinicians, and other caregivers.  But I only know 2 people who are actually willing to say they know me, they are not caregivers, and they think I’m reliable enough to give a Title Loan to.  So, that about shot my whole day, and burst every bubble I had left, and I about lost it right that moment.50percent-less  So, eventually, after 3 hours, and after running through my cell phone contact list for the nth time, I finally thought, “Why don’t I call my Case Manager at my Mental Health Clinic, and maybe she will do it,” following the logic that my Case Manager is someone who can help me access resources in the community, and stand up to say I’m a real person, and do it professionally, because it is a way of advocating for me, a way of getting me resources, etc.  So, I took a big breath and a big chance, and I called her up at the clinic, and she was actually in (!!) and so I asked, and she was very nice and said, “Sure”, right away.  I was so thrilled.  But then, after I hung up, I told the agent she could call my CM at the clinic to verify me,  and the agent says, “No, it has to be a call the agent makes to the other person’s reference’s cell phone or home phone.”  So, I call back to the clinic, get my CM, and tell  her that, and she is suddenly very displeased, maybe distant sounding.  Not exactly angry, or mad, but not happy.  She tells me she never gives her numbers out to clients, so I say, that’s ok, I don’t mind that, I get that.  And I do.  But how was I going to get this to work now?  So, the agent person finally agrees to talk to my CM on my cell at the clinic just to get my CM’s cell number and then call her back to prove it was her.  So, that was it, I got the money then.

But right away, I felt so so bad.  I knew right away I had crossed the line, expecting others to do things for me that I don’t have a right to expect.  Pushing whatever relationship I have with someone to the edge, just milking it to get absolutely everything I can from it.  Sucking them dry.  Abusing them and taking advantage wherever I see I can.  I know she must be mad at me now, I know she must think badly of me.  She is probably really thinking how she went so out of her way to help me on Thursday, by getting me in to an ER appointment at the clinic for my meds being wrong on Monday that I just took that from her, and now I’m just take take taking by getting her to be a reference to my Title Loan. sad pony How can I be a grown up woman and only know 2 people (personally) who will admit to knowing me and thinking that I am not a serial killer?  My ex wouldn’t even answer his phone, my only living family (the elderly sisters who are my  cousins, whom I recently saw, and whom have now been bullied, threatened and intimidated to not talk to me by my step mom) refused to answer the phone as well…because they knew it was me by the caller ID.  So, those 3 people, step mom, cousins, and ex…not one would be a reference for me to get a Title Loan.  So, I have only 2 people who even admit to knowing me, and to thinking I’m an ok human being.

And now, I know, I’m not a good person.  I’m nothing but a bother, a burden.  And I just can’t stop taking, pushing people further and further away because I just don’t know when it’s too much.  I should have known not to call my CM.  I should have known before I tried that it was inappropriate, that it was a violation of the client relationship thingy, that I was crossing too many boundaries.  And now, I’ve been bad.  Very bad.  I know I’m very naughty.  I feel so guilty about this.

Maybe I can quit thinking of this while I make myself pack for our move on Monday.  Think I’m gonna go to bed soon–not feeling very manic tonight (finally, ffs!) since I have been up for the last several days but not able to be organized or productive.

Eeny meeny miny mo....

Eeny meeny miny mo….

well time to head off to bed 🙂

Bad Time of Year?

Just seem to be noticing that lots of us in blog land are feeling more scrambled and out of control than normal.  maybe its the coming of the fall, maybe the days starting to get shorter.  i don’t really know.  but i hope all of us start to get back to our normal level of discomfort really soon.  this is tiring and wearing and i am about done.

all because i felt some real or imagined pressure from some rather real doc to change my mood stabilizer.  anyway altho i resisted i gave in eventually feeling that i was acting like a child with a tantrum by not even considering other options that who knows might work just as well.  well, i was wrong.  i should have stuck to my guns.  i feel like crap, im not thinking worth a shit and im swinging on that old pendulum rapid, slow, erattically and not even in a straight line back and forth!  i’m swing forward and backward and sideways too.  and i just don’t know what to do until they get my power in my brain turned back on so its functioning right and those damn zig zag lightning bolts and yells and screams and tears and pictures of everything flashing in my eyes goes away and ‘normal’ returns once again.

normal, which isn’t even normal.  which is still somehow outside the pale of where most people live, normal for me for bipolar everywhere, where normal is no more electric bolts in your brain, no more images flashes thoughts screaming and racing around.  but no more feeling either, every inside passion, every fire, tamped down.  don’t want this, this crazy in my head, but don’t feel alive when i’m well.

they talk, they all talk about recovery but there is really no such thing.  for normal is never normal,  it’s just less insane.  its never ok, it’s never gone.  it’s just not as bad as what might be.  it’s flat, it’s plain, it’s black and white, maybe a few shades of gray.  but it is not normal.  it just looks like normal and it’s the best we got, so we better take it, baby, while it’s hot.


“Mercedes Benz” by janis joplin

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV ?
Dialing For Dollars is trying to find me.
I wait for delivery each day until three,
So oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV ?

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town ?
I’m counting on you, Lord, please don’t let me down.
Prove that you love me and buy the next round,
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town ?
images (1)
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends,
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?

That’s it!

“Me & Bobby McGee” by janis joplin

Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waiting for a train
And I’s feeling nearly as faded as my jeans.
Bobby thumbed a diesel down just before it rained,
It rode us all the way to New Orleans.I pulled my harp from and my dirty red bandanna,
I was playing soft while Bobby sang the blues.
Windshield wipers slapping time, I was holding Bobby’s hand in mine,
We sang every song that driver knew.

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothing don’t mean nothing honey if it ain’t free, now now.
And feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues,
You know feeling good was good enough for me,
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.
From the Kentucky coal mines to the California sun,
Hey, Bobby shared the secrets of my soul.
Through all kinds of weather, through everything that we done,
Hey Bobby baby kept me from the cold.

One day up near Salinas, Lord, I let him slip away,
He’s looking for that home and I hope he finds it,
But I’d trade all of my tomorrows for one single yesterday
To be holding Bobby’s body next to mine.

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothing, that’s all that Bobby left me, yeah,
But feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues,
Hey, feeling good was good enough for me, hmm hmm,
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

La la la, la la la la, la la la, la la la la
La la la la la Bobby McGee.
La la la la la, la la la la la
La la la la la, Bobby McGee, la.

La La la, la la la la la la,
La La la la la la la la la, hey now Bobby now Bobby McGee yeah.
Na na na na na na na na, na na na na na na na na na na na
Hey now Bobby now, Bobby McGee, yeah.

Lord, I’m calling my lover, calling my man,
I said I’m calling my lover just the best I can,
C’mon, where is Bobby now, where is Bobby McGee, yeah,
Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lord
Hey, hey, hey, Bobby McGee, Lord!

Yeah! Whew!

Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lord
Hey, hey, hey, Bobby McGee.

“What Good Can Drinkin’ Do”by janis joplin

What good can drinkin’ do, what good can drinkin’ do?
Lord, I drink all night but the next day I still feel blue

There’s a glass on the table, they say it’s gonna ease all my pain,
And there’s a glass on the table, they say it’s gonna ease all my pain
But I drink it down, an’ the next day I feel the same

Gimme whiskey, gimme bourbon, give me gin
Oh, gimme whiskey, give me bourbon, gimme gin
‘Cause it don’t matter what I’m drinkin’, Lord, as long as it drown this sorrow I’m in
images (2)
I start drinking Friday, I start drinking Friday night
Lord, I start drinking Friday, start drinking Friday night
But then I wake up on Sunday, child, there ain’t nothin’ that’s right

My man he left me, child, he left me here
Yeah, my good man left me, went away and left me here
Lord, I’m feelin’ lowdown, just give me another glass of beer

What good can drinkin’ do, what good can drinkin’ do?
Well, I drink all night but the next day I still feel blue!

you can substitute any other part of your life, other than a man, and her songs still ring just as true, still hit those same notes of struggle and pain and the desperate hope for something better, for some bit of happiness.



Maybe I’m not really sick anymore.  Maybe I just learned it’s easier to say I am.

Maybe if I just tried again, got up on that horse again, I could be someone.

Maybe I was never sick to begin with, just sick of life.

Maybe I’m really better now, Maybe things are better now,

But I won’t give them or me a chance to grow, a chance to bloom, to afraid to fail



What will happen if I open the door, Open the door to life again?

What will happen if I step outside, step outside of my safe place again?

Step outside into the real world again, with expectations, obligations, and responsibilities?

Where I have to perform like the elephants at the zoo and the monkeys at the circus?


What if I make mistakes, What if I can’t perform anymore?

What if I can’t make the grade, fail to beat the score, can’t move fast enough anymore

Can’t keep up with the pace, find myself again failing the race.

Lose my place, keep trying anew, finding I can’t make a fit anywhere.


Things going wrong, haywire again, find myself stuck back inside

Unable to venture out, unable to win, the bar too high that was once so near.

Finding I’m back at the bottom, but this time there is no net

No one believes I can’t make it yet.  They say I’ve had time enough

To get back into that groove, can’t keep quitting when it gets too tough.


No more support, no more kindness, no more safety net to catch me now.

End up back in my head, can’t get out ever again

Can’t leave my shelter, my safe space, I know now

No one will believe me if I try again and fail.


They will say she is just not ill, She is just too lazy

To do her share.  She is selfish, expects the world to

Work for her and us to tell her so.  She wants to wallow

In her despair, Brought on by her own failures.


The system will say she had her chance, that if she had been telling the truth

She never would have tried again.  She just could have stayed inside, no one

Ever questioning the tide.


But maybe I was wrong, all those years ago…

Maybe I wasn’t really sick, just swallowed up in my own sadness,

In my inability to change my life.  Maybe I just gave up, gave in,

To my inner world that said I’d never win.


Maybe I should have kept trying, and I would not be so stuck today

On whether I deserve a second chance at life, or whether I should stay.

Inside.  Safe.


So I’ll never know if I could have won, Never know if I could do it again.

The risk is just too high, can’t be a failure all over again.

Once is enough, and done is done.


jumble in head phrenology
So, in my last post, “They Keep Pulling Me Back In”, I laid out all the issues I am dealing with currently.  So, I decided the best thing is to keep each thread sorted from the others.  Then they seem less threatening and dangerous.  So, I actually made a list of the items I listed in last night’s post.  So, now I have decided they will be less overwhelming if I make an ‘Action Plan’ of steps to follow to reach the set goal.  That way, I will kind of have a flow chart for each issue, and each day I will know what the next actionable step is for each item.  For instance, if I am waiting for follow up from another party, then I can leave another message or just leave it for a day or so to see if I get the return call.  Since my notes always get all mixed up with things from several issues all noted on the same notebook page, I will make a full size flow chart for each item, with each blank piece of paper being one actionable step for that item.  That way, I will have all my notes for each topic sorted by time as they occurred and I can see what has been done and is left to be done and I won’t have to read through each notebook page for the notes on a single topic that are spread throughout the entire notebook.  Usually, I don’t need to be this drastic or visual…but there are so many threads I am following at the moment, and each of them has so many steps yet to follow and so many notes that need to be included on what has already been done, who has been talked to, what information has been gathered, etc.  So, since these are just all jumbled in my head, I think this time I will try this oversize and drastic measure of making really large postits out of regular paper for each step for each thread will help reduce stress cause I will know what to do each day and it won’t be all mixed up together.

jumble in my head

jumble in head 2

I think I might have rambled a bit here, and repeated myself (which is also another reason to do these action steps in big clear sections).  So, I’m sorry if I’ve gone on and on about the same thing and going in circles.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll get myself going in a straight line and making some headway.  Fingers crossed.

Metabolic Weight Loss and Nutrition

Ok, so the deal is I am supposed to eat 5-6 medium sized meals a day.  I can pretty much eat what I want, but they prefer if you indulge more in proteins than in carbs (duh), but for the most part it doesn’t really matter.  Also, I am not supposed to follow any other diets, like for cholesterol, salt, calories, whatever.

So there are 2 appointments each week. The first day of the first week was an intake–they have to do a complete pain assessment, as far back as you can remember–and then (supposedly) they tailor your exercises to your weight and eating habits (5-6 meals) and to your pain.  So, by eating 5-6 meals a day, you are increasing your metabolism, so you will actually lose weight when eating 5 meals compared to gaining weight when eating only 1 meal.  So, the 2nd day of the 1st week was some light (to some) exercises.  That day, my neck happened to be bothering me quite a bit, but I had held off on the pain pills until after PT just to see if it really helped.  So, I did mostly stretching kinds of things, raising hips while laying on hard surface, stretching neck, doing rows, riding the bike (but not at a particular speed, just whatever you can manage).  The one that really surprised me on how noticeable it was was leg lifts out to the right and left sides but making sure my toes were pointed forward.  It seemed easy, but I was actually exhausted and all rubbery and jelly-like afterward!  Anyway, my neck pain was relieved quite a bit, and I didn’t need pain pills or muscle relaxers either!  Oh and for weigh in, I had stayed the same for both appointments that week.

So, this was the first day of the 2nd week, and they added a few more exercises and skipped some of the others and increased some longer.  Again, I was especially surprised to see that the way I walk was causing me problems too.  Way back when I hurt my back over 10 years ago, I had one leg go completely ice cold numb for about 3 years, and apparently even after feeling came back to it, I had adopted a new way of walking with my toes turned out (duck-like).  So, we did some walking exercises and balance exercises ( I was never blessed with particularly good balance, and I have noticed it has been much worse the last 5 years or so).  The balancing exercises really showed me how much difficulty I have in just walking and standing.  No wonder I get so tired shopping or showering!!  I could couldn’t even stand on one foot with the other bent up at the knee for 5 seconds without having to restart.  Well, I have one more day for the 2nd week, and then there are 2 more weeks before I’m considered ‘done’ and I’ll have to fly on my own with what they have taught me.  This week on weigh in, I actually lost 1 whole pound (so, since I’m eating 4x more, that’s not actually as bad as it sounds!).

They said the next 2 weeks, (sadly, the last 2 as well), they are really gonna push me farther with the stretching and exercising so I can continue it at home and lose more of a real weight faster, plus be stronger and better, like the 6 Million Dollar Man (but not quite, lol!)

Don’t Know What to Do, Pt. 1

Ok, so I went to see my only family (other than my kids) for the month of June.  They are truly my second cousins, but they raised my dad from a young child, so they are really more like parents or grandparents.  They are pretty elderly now, and  I was worried that my kids and I might not get another chance for all of us to see them again.  I was also hoping we could help them out with things that might need done around the house and such.

Well, when we got there, we discovered that in the last 3 years, they have become full-fledged hoarders.  The front rooms, (dinette, kitchen, defunct dining room and living room) were stacked waist high along all the edges, leaving open spots for the stove and sink, and a path to each of the 2 bathrooms.  The hall, which runs the full length of the house, was filled with stuff and was impassable.  The back rooms (the 4 bedrooms) were so filled with stuff that all but one was impossible to even open the door more than a few inches.  That one, the one that opened enough to enter it, was filled all along the edges but did have a path carved out to the bed, but the bed itself was covered in bags and bags and bags of stuff as well.  And it wasn’t just the piles of bags and loose items and junk and trash all mixed in everywhere, it was the filth.  The dirt, the nastiness, the dust that was so deep you could use it as quilt batting.

We were told we would have to either sleep in the recliner chairs or use the mobile home (trailer) in the back yard, which used to be one of the sisters’ homes when her husband was still alive.  We opted to use the trailer, as it had a proper bed and 2 full recliners.  Unfortunately, it didn’t have heat, gas (no stove), or water.  Of course, we kept being told we would get water the next day, and the next, and the next….so, that led to us using the toilet more than we would have, and let’s just say, it was not pleasant.  It did give us a brief respite from the sisters, tho, which was needed by the end of each day.  Even had we stayed in the house, we would not have been allowed to use the shower (it too was full of boxes and bags and dust more than half an inch thick).  So, we ended up using the spigot outside the back of the house and a bucket to have our showers.  This meant soaking whatever we were wearing, and soaping up and rinsing and same with hair and shaving…then, to bring everything back to the trailer and change into dry things again.  Let’s just say, it was quite a production.

About a week after we arrived, one of the sisters was told she needed to be admitted to the hospital for urgent diuresing;  that is, her legs were so swollen they were raw and dripping fluid, and fluid was backing up into her abdomen causing her blood pressure to be quite high (especially considering she has had a pacemaker put in a few years ago) and leading to concerns that she may develop fluid in her lungs.  These are all potentially deadly or at least serious conditions.  She finally agreed to go, and was getting better (since she was actually taking her meds and spending time with her legs up and sleeping in a bed at night, which she refuses to do when at home).

Her sister, staying home alone, was very upset.  We decided to sleep on the floor and recliner in the house after all to keep her company and visit with her.  Plus take her to visit at the hospital, and do errands.  As the days went on to about a week, sister B started becoming more and more confused, but I was unable to reorient her.  By the end of the month, we had to leave as I had bills to pay, my son had work scheduled, etc.  But we knew sister A would be getting out of the hospital in 2-3 days, so we thought with their 2 main helper/friends, that sister B would be ok til then.

So, we went on home.  Once home, I couldn’t stand the thought of them living like that, in those conditions.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to force them to move, I just want their home clean and sanitary and safe, in short, habitable.  And that’s when it really hit the fan.

No More Mothering

Y’know, I was prepared to mother my kids right up til the end of their senior year, and to help them get started on their own life adventure.  But I guess that is not how it was meant to be.  My kids have already made it clear they don’t want mothering, or at least they don’t want me for their mother, anymore.

My daughter has depression, mood disorder NOS, anxiety, and ADD.  It was only at the beginning of this year that I realized she actually had ADD, and I got her on meds.  Then, it became clear she is depressed and I have always known she has anxiety.  So, I, being the dutiful and caring mom I like to think I am, took her to a psychiatrist and now she is on meds.  So, you would think she would maybe appreciate all that I do for her, all that I help her with and all of the things I allow her to do to give her as much freedom as possible.

But if you thought that, then you would be wrong.  Because apparently, she IS thankful for the meds, but she is NOT  thankful for me reminding her to take them 3x/day.  I tried to see if she could remember to take them on her own, but she can’t.  So, I started getting up in the morning when she is getting ready for school, so that I can remind her to take her AM meds before she leaves.  Well, on the 3rd day of that, when I came out to the living room, she was eating cereal and told me she was not going to take her meds for a while yet.  And I said nothing, but did go get her pill and a cup of water and sat it next to her so she wouldn’t forget.  As soon as I put it down, she slammed down her cereal, picked up her pill and took some water.  But she did it so abruptly, so violently, that she made herself gag before she swallowed the pill.  She managed to keep in, and finally got it down.  Then she says, “There!  Are you happy now?!” and instead of eating, getting ready, etc, she immediately throws herself out of the house to go to her SO a block over.  They go to school together.

If you think that is all she does, then you’d be wrong there too.  She came home from school, and I said, “Hi! How are you?  How was your day today?”  Now, if you’re like me, that is often how you greet someone when you haven’t seen them for most of the day.  And generally, you expect a response indicating how things went for them and how they are feeling now.  Silly me, who has only been asking that question to her for 13+ years, I asked her that and she glared at me, and absolutely refused to respond.  I said, “Hey, now!  This is not a highly personal, challenging or difficult question, and I deserve to be treated with respect when I speak to you, and I deserve it because I’m your mom and I love you, and you should know enough to treat me with respect.  And hey, what is the big deal anyway–I just want to know how you are today.  Why is this a problem?”  Well first she stalked into our shared room, and laid on her bed in the dark.  Then after a bit, I went in and asked her why it was such a big thing to answer me about how she is today.  I just wanted to know what the big deal was about telling me if it was a bad day, or a good day, cause I sure can’t see any reason that answering that is gonna hurt her, so why not just say something instead of making it such a big deal?”  She spat her words out at me when she replied, “Because you never understand, you never get it, you just get angry so I might as well not talk to you.”  translation3

Ok, so, let me get this straight.  I am the parent she has had her whole life that saw problems and fixed them.  I knew as a child she had issues with sitting still, staying focused, reading and comprehension, handwriting.  I am the parent who sat with her for hours and worked on all these issues day in and day out.  I’m the one who saw she might have ADD and who got her tested, and got her meds.  I’m the parent who saw she had depression and anxiety, and took her to the psychiatrist (keep in mind that she WANTED me to do these things.  When I realized she might need this kind of help, I spoke with her about it, and she was so thankful and so desperate to get these helps).  So, she has been so happy that I have been able to see her needs and get her the help for them that she needs, and she has been improving overall.  So, ok, I’m the parent who has always worked with her and fixed her problems.  But now, I’M the person who ‘ doesn’t understand, doesn’t get it, and only gets angry at her for sharing?’  What?!  Where does this come from–it’s not even based in anything remotely resembling reality.  For fuck’s sake, why can’t I get my kid to tell me how her day was?  Am I really that out of line to ask that?

And that’s not even the end of it.  I am very lenient about letting her go places as long as I know where, and that she has her bus pass and her keys, just in case.  So, if she comes to me at 5pm and says she wants to go sleep over at so and so’s, I’m pretty cool with it.  Usually I even drive her there.  If she says she just wants so and so to come over and spend the night, I usually just say sure.  So, yesterday, her friend called and asked if my daughter could spend the nite there.  I said sure, even tho it was a 30min drive to her friend’s.  So, that was Saturday afternoon.  I expected to hear from her, whether she was staying an extra nite or not, one way or the other.  But Sunday passed until it was 9pm, and I finally called over there.  Her friend said, oh, ya, she and my daughter had just decided to make it one more night and her parents would bring my daughter home tomorrow.  Well, although I didn’t say it, or show it, I sure felt how my daughter just doesn’t care about me at all.  She didn’t even think she needed to call and ask if it was ok if she stayed there one more night.  She didn’t even effing bother to ASK ME!

I don’t know why she hates me so much when I’ve always been the one on her side, who has her back, who gets her whatever she needs.  I don’t know why she thinks I deserve this.  I don’t know what I could have done to deserve this.  But this makes me FURIOUS, to be treated this way by her.  I have tried to talk to her, but she just pretends I’m not there, that she can’t hear me.  I only see two choices.  Force my mothering on her, no matter how much she hates it and me.  Or, give her what she says she wants–me to go away.  Where I don’t care about her meds, I don’t care about her psychiatrist appointments, where I don’t fill her prescriptions, where I don’t care about anything about her anymore, and she can just do it all on her own.  And I’ll just treat her like some random person living in my house, like a border, that I don’t care what happens to them or what they do, because they mean nothing to me.  She can have it how she wants it, all on her own.

I keep alternating between forcing mothering and abdicating the role entirely.  And it’s not just my daughter, its my 17 y/o son too.  He has chosen a radically different, radically cult-like religion.  I don’t care if he chooses to be religious (I’m not) but the one he has chosen is so cultish, he is like an entirely different person than he was a year ago.  Now, he has given up belief in science for belief in this church’s dogma.  Now he eschews evolution, big bang, and the age of the earth and of humans.  There is no debating with him, no discussion of perspectives.  Now, with him, anything his church has taught on is the one and only truth.  He will not debate or argue positions with you.  Oh no, instead he beats at you and clubs you over and over with his perspective, never giving a basis or evidence.  He ignores your own evidence from having lived for 40+ years, or from science (because we all know that science is all made up anyway, and only the bible is true, word for word!)  Eventually you tell him you agree, because it is the only way to finally end the discussion, even if you don’t mean it, you say it, just to make him stop.  He refused to buy me some ice cream today (he’s using my car cause his is in the shop), because 1) its Sunday (and we all know you can’t do work on Sunday, and buying ice cream is just too effing much work).  So, he uses my car and lives in my house and eats my food and gets his room and laundry cleaned by me.  He even gets to use my car (when the one I bought him is broke down) but yet he can’t buy me some ice cream (I was paying even!)

So, between the two of them I just don’t know what to do.  Do I keep on mothering as though they are not hurtful, shameful, snotty jerks who don’t want me in their lives anymore, or, do I throw up my hands and just say, ‘fine, you win.  you don’t want to be mothered?  No, problem.  I’m done mothering the both of you. Start doing it all on your own if that’s what you want.

All of this is very hurtful to me.  I know teens are difficult.  But I’m not talking about the regular issues, like, arguing about curfew, or arguing about where they can go, or  when they get to use the car, or arguing about doing homework, or grades.  No, we are not arguing about the typical teenage angst and teenage stuff.  We are arguing about basic respect for another human (much less mother!), we are arguing that my son’s belief is the only valid one, that I am nothing.  We are arguing about basic decency to others, especially those who  have helped you.  My son has only 1.5 yrs left under my roof.  My daughter has 2.5.  I can’t keep going like this.  Something needs to change.

i give you my heart imagesacrifice for something better

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