Growing into Me with Bipolar

Posts tagged ‘ptsd’


What is it to be ‘safe’?  For me, it is complex, that’s what it is.  It means knowing I have a roof over my head from month to month.  It means knowing I have (any) transportation to get where I need to go.  It means knowing I have enough food for the month.  And just maybe, if I’m lucky, it means having TV and internet, and maybe phone.  It means not being hurt by someone, by anyone, by any situation or encounter or environment.  basic be safe

Jeez, I guess I ask for a lot.  I don’t think I have ever felt ‘safe’ in all those areas, ever, once in my life.  I have always been on the run, fleeing from one ‘unsafe’ to the next, promised ‘safe’, only to find that it was also ‘unsafe’ in some way.  What I really want is just once, once, to be ‘safe’ about everything.  I feel like I have put in twice my number of years trying to find ‘safe’ while everyone else seems to put in half the amount of time and effort and they actually manage to achieve it.  I am still looking for it.  I am still running scared.  And I’m getting older.  And tireder.  And slower.  And don’t feel like playing this game anymore.  I don’t feel like searching and running anymore.  I want to rest.  I want to sleep.  I want to have something worth having.  A reason to stay.  To wake up every day.  Let-me-take-you-someplace-Kate-Someplace-you-ll-be-Safe-caskett-32437245-500-700

I actually had a therapist to whom I confided that I felt I ran twice as far, twice as fast with twice the effort and ended up treading water, compared to other people.  He agreed.  He said it was true.  He said those of us with PTSD, with BiPolar, with Trauma and Depression, have that as a common experience.  That it takes a lot to make it all pay off.  He wasn’t even able to assure me that all that work would ever pay off.  That I would ever find that elusive ‘safe’.

Does it even exist for us?  for me?  blue confused emoticonbe-safe rain clouds

Im So Stupid

ok, thanks to everyone who commented and gave support about the whole insurance fiasco post.

but now i am really feeling stupid, as i found out, after long time on hold, that they didnt actually mean ‘physical’ health when they said ‘physical health’.  no, really.  it was my bad.  i shoulda been able to tell the difference between those two.  ‘physical’, not ‘physical’.  right.  so what ‘physical’ really means is any physical issue that is caused by a mental health issue.  thus, those specific physical issues will be treated as mental health issues, and therefore covered by the behavioral health agency for medicaid beneficiaries.  all other ‘normal physical health issues’ will be covered by the regular medicaid plan you already have, and that plan is not being affected or changed.   since that plan is not being changed, then my medicare plan does not need to change either. so, all you really had to know was what ‘physical’ really meant (ala shades of clinton–re: what does ‘is’ mean?)  so, if you know they are only referring to physical issues caused by mental health issues, then you would not have freaked your shit out and plummeted to the bottom of a canyon without your chute.  cuz you would have known your other physical health plans for medicaid and medicare were being untouched.

so, like i said, feeling pretty stupid and sheepish now.  all that hulabaloo, and fuss i made, and it wasnt even anything. you would think id feel relieved and happy and normal now, but im not.  im still really fragile, really labile, just feels like im holding onto the top of a skyscraper with my big toes, and any slight breeze, involuntary muscle movement, and i will be pitched forward into the yawning chasm.  i cant get down to safety, lest i fall.  so i cling tighter with my toes, hoping i wont move, hoping i wont let go.  for today, i have been pulled off the safely of the ledge i thought id found just the other day.  i thought i had reached a small but stable place to start to feel better, but it was not meant to last, so here i am clinging desperately again.  i think i am just too broken to be fixed.  and i hate the world i am in.

I knew I Shoulda Kept My Mouth Shut

sad ponyi should never have said i was feeling the teensiest tinsiest bit better, a tad bit happy even.  because after i spent a great session i went home and found out that the agency that will be providing behavioural health services to the state Medicaid beneficiaries has been changed effective April 1.  OK, no so bad by itself.  but the then the letter says since MI is going to now be providing all Medicaid people with mental healthcare, they decided it would also be more efficient (and allow them to more closely monitor their conditions) that they will force any people who are ‘SMI”, or Seriously Mentally Ill (basically if you are unable to really work a real job full time due to mental illness—and that is me—)  all Medicaid mental health beneficiaries who are SMI will be forced to change their Medicaid insurance plan to the MI plan as well (the one that will be providing general mental health and SMI—if you are SMI, you will also be forced to use MI plan for all you PHYSICAL healthcare as well.  If i am forced to change to their Medicaid physical health plan, then i will automatically be dumped from my Medicare plan since, it is a dual plan, meaning my current plan gives me all my Medicare and Mediciad physical health coverage.  If i am forced to drop my physical Medicaid plan because I am SMI, then I will also be forced to drop my Medicare plan, and the only plan I will be able to get for my Medicare services would just happen to be, yes, you guessed it, the new MI plan.  So, because my mental health care is categorized as SMI, and MI is now going to provide all SMI and regular mental health Medicaid services, I will be forced to change my Medicaid physical health plan as well.  And, if I am forced to do that, then I will also be forced to drop my Medicare plan and again go to the MI plan.

I have seldom felt more raped, abused, beaten and whipped than I do right now.  I no longer have choice of Medicaid physical health plans, I no longer have choice of Medicare physical plans, and it is all because I am listed as SMI instead of ‘regular mental health’.  So, this insurance plan gets to force anyone listed as SMI to take all of their insurances, but those listed as general mental health get to choose their Medicaid plans and if they are on Medicare, they also get to choose that plan.  But not us SMI–apparently since we are such a ‘sick’ population, we dont’ get the right of choice in healthcare, on insurance, rx, or on doctors.  I will have to stop seeing all my doctors.  All.  And get all new ones covered by MI instead.  Why should I be persecuted just because I have a more Serious Mental Illness than some?  Why should my choice of insurance and doctors be taken from me?  What will I do without my therapist?  I have been working with her almost 3 yrs and I am just going to be forced to change within the next 6 mo.  And i will lose my psychiatrist, my case manager, my nurse, not too mention all of my non mental health related providers.

Well, I shouldnt have talked about starting to feel better.  I should have known something like this would come along.  It always does.  And now it has.  And now i wish i never started to heal, to feel better, i wont win anyway.  i wont accept what they say. and since i cant keep seeing my therapist, or any other providers, there is nothing for me to gain–only lose, i wont let them win by forcing me to take something i dont want instead, i wont roll over and play dead, i wont let them control me.  so maybe i die,but they lose to. anger_plus_sadness_flower_by_hikari_dragonslayer-d38bu5jthey wont make me say ‘thank you may i have some more’ either.  they’ll see what happens when they try to take away control from the people they are supposedly trying to help.  even one person refusing to be abused by them and dying will be enough to make the state take a look at what they are allowing MI to do underneath their very noses to the ‘vulnerable’ population they claim to be serving.

Of Course I’m Fat! And of Course It’s Because I’m Crazy!

stapuff marshmallow manSo, long story short.  Because I take lithium, my body holds it and stupidly gets rid of the real salt.  That makes my potassium go super high.  So to keep the potassium down, i have to eat a low potassium diet and keep my lithium stable and see nephrologist to make sure it all stays in balance.

So, two weeks ago, my feet swelled up quite a lot, at least 3+ non pitting.  Even going up above my ankles.  So I finally got to see the nephro today and show him my ankles.  I asked what it could be from, if I needed tests to find out.  He said to me well, according to your chart, a year ago you were 22lbs lighter.  So, the reason you’re ankles and feet are swollen so much is because you are overweight and your body can’t keep up with it.  What you really need to do is go home, cut down on the carbs, the salt, the calories and the potassium–then start exercising.

I got a little tetchy at this point and queitly said through clenched teeth, are you telling me you are not going to run any tests or try any drugs to attempt to treat my huge feet?  Because I am fat, and so, that means there’s nothing wrong with me having hugely swollen feet?  to which he very nicely and roundaboutly basically said, yes.

At which point my amount of tetchyness dissolved immediately into a full waterworks with tears dripping down my face, and me trying to hold in my sobs and not make any (unseemly) noise.  To which he responded by saying, well, you are certainly labile today.  I can’t understand why that would be.  I don’t see why you are so upset, you gained the weight.  I think this appointment will be the last we’ll have.

To which I said, I’m upset because my feet are grossly swollen and have been for over 2 weeks, and regardless of how much I weigh, they still need to treated because this is not normal.  And I am scared, and frustrated, and don’t want to get sicker or have more problems, and I want you to help figure out what’s wrong and fix it, and I’m not getting that are going to do that.  Granted, it didn’t really come out like that though.  I was still trying to hold in my bawling, sniffling and leaking eyes.

He left the room and then came back and said you can go now, we’re done.  So I went to my car and cried for 10 minutes before I could see to drive. I tried holding back the rest of the tears until I got home, when I realized I wasn’t 100% sure he was going to still follow me after what he said in the exam room.  I finally got connected to the office, and I asked if he was still intending to follow me.  She asked why would I think that he wouldn’t–so I said because he said so.  She left and returned, telling me I must be mistaken, because she just asked him and he said Oh, she must have misunderstood me!  Of course I am following her, AND, I am sending her to have her legs examined for valve prolapse/vericose veins AND I am cautiously starting her on diuretics AND I want to see her in 6 weeks.

So, my 41 y/o feet are a large amount swollen, and the reason is “I’m fat”..and there is nothing else to be done about it.  And when I cry because all my fears, frustrations and have just been summarily dismissed as ‘nothing/nothing important’ and then my emotions are dismissed as occurring only due to my being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  If any other person without a known mental illness had been there, he would never have assumed their raw emotions were just a symptom of their mental illness.  He would assume they were valid emotions.  He would assume they were worried, scared, afraid of having a serious problem.  He would have offered them the available possible causes and treatments.  He would not threaten them with not seeing them again.  He would definitely not have discounted their experience of the situation or their fears and concerns.

So my advice to you is DONT GET FAT.  DONT GET SWOLLEN FEET.  DONT SHOW/HAVE EMOTIONS or the doctor won’t take you seriously. They will dismiss your complaints, your symptoms, and any information or emotion you share, as being only due to your mental illness.  They do not think you are credible and will discount everything.

I am going to find a way to have someone accompany me to all my appointments from now on, to act on my behalf as both a witness, someone who can keep track of what has been said and done by me and by the doctor.  Someone who won’t let me be discounted  and unvalidated but will call the doctor on it.  Someone that if I start to cry or get tetchy will smooth things over so things don’t get carried away.  I’ve thought about doing this for a long time, but I was managing to get through each appointment as it came, so I never went any further than thinking.  Now I’m really gonna do it.

I have to go now.  my leg is numb up to my hip, and foot is tingling so strong I can’t stand it.  But it’s ok, I’m just fat.  I’ll just go lose some weight right now.sad pony

I Am Still Nothing But a Child

I have this thirst to see myself make  more progress in therapy, to not be haunted by my memories, memories of the past that shouldn’t continue to hurt.  I want to see myself not reacting to my accustomed triggers, not suddenly screaming or crying at some random employee who doesn’t give me the right answers.  I want to see myself not freaking out, not having a heart attack everytime someone speaks out of a bit of a silence, or when they enter a room I’m already in.  I want to make progress, I want to be healed (well, at least functional, well, better, any improvement to where I am now!)

But I have this deep-seated fear, a fear that began while waiting for my SSDI award.  I have this fear that absolutely terrifies me of what happens once I’m ‘healed’ or ‘all better’?  Will I really be able to just start work again where I left off?  Will I have enough to live on when my kids leave?  If not, will I end up in a group home, or nursing home, or will I just become homeless?  So, I have this intense desire to survive and be ‘better’, and yet I have this absolute terror of failing if I do become ‘better’.

But let’s look at this ‘failure’ and see what I am really afraid of by that.  I am actually afraid that once you take away all my reasons, eg illnesses, excuses, etc., I am empty.  There  is nothing left.  But wait, that’s not quite right, actually all the things that a pinned on my outside for the world to see, all those things that people call K, will be gone.  What will really be left is nothing but a small, quiet, terrified, child.  A child who has watched her whole life pass her by.  A child who although its body aged, and although it watched it become a teen, then an adult, and watched it make and lose friends and boyfriends, be in a marriage, be ravaged by bipolar and ptsd,  (and unknown to this child then, DID also), never actually did these things, never actually grew, just pretended really well.

So, who I am at the end of the day, is a small child who knows all about growing and living and pretending, but never has.  I am terrified of being found out that I am not grown up, and that I can not take the reins and function as an adult to handle my life in the real world.

What I Never Thought

I never thought I would have my entire life leveled by a mental illness.  I never thought I would lose the ability to hold a job, especially a job caring for the elderly.  I never thought I would become disabled.  Or be told I’m no longer a candidate to care for foster kids.  Or be labeled a ‘child abuser’ of my own kids.  I never thought that when contemplating my life at 40, that I would be thinking about part time jobs in food service or retail.  Wondering whether or not I can afford a 1bdrm or only an efficiency.  Wondering where my friends have gone, family too.  I never thought I’d be alone, without a career, in the cheapest place I can find, when my kids are getting ready to go to college, disabled and chronically broke.

When I left home, or rather, was booted out the nest, I saw only blue skies and the ways to make my goals happen.  Sure I knew sometimes things would be hard, sometimes things would take work and time.  But I knew there was a way to have the things I wanted, to have the life I wanted.  I knew I could make it happen if I just tried hard enough.  But I have tried so hard, for so long.  And nothing has gone right.  And now here I am, my kids soon leaving home, and I have nothing.  Not even what I started out with at 17.  Now, my hope is gone, now I no longer see a path to the life I want.  I barely see a path to just keep hanging on to what I have now.

When I was 17, I saw the whole world in front of me.  A world where I would no longer be abused every day at the whim of my borderline mother.  A world where I would do a job that mattered, that made me feel useful, that helped people.  I saw a modest home, not even a house.  Just a comfortable apartment.  I saw a husband who loved me, and didn’t abuse me.  I saw children, filling my house with joy.  I saw stability and security in my life.  No worries if I spent an extra $5.  I saw happiness, fullness with love, pride in helping others and giving back.  I saw myself grow old with my spouse, still in love.  Working until it was time to retire.  A comfortable life, before and after retirement, with no worries about the rent getting paid.

But that is not what I got.  The life I have is one I never envisioned.  I lost my dream job, I lost my marriage, I lost my security, and I almost lost my kids.  I am disabled, I can’t work, not even at Target.  I lost my friends, I lost my family.  And I am just barely hanging on.  I’m not allowed to work with helping people now.  I’m tired out by going to 1 place in a day, whether it is grocery shopping, a doctor appointment or what else.  I sleep most of the day away, and am still tired when I finally make myself rise.  My meds have made me fat (I only eat once a day, and still I gain).  My hair has gone gray.  And I have I lost who I am.  Clearly, I am not who I was before mental illness claimed my life.  Clearly, I am not productive, useful, helpful in my life.  I don’t even recognize the physical part of who I am anymore, and I don’t know what might happen in my life from here on out.  I don’t have any goals, I don’t see any paths to the life I used to want, used to have.

That is the effect that mental illness has on the patient’s life.  That is the effect it has on the patient’s friends and family, and is why they have to get away, why they leave.  This is why not only do those of us debilitated by mental illness lose our lives, we lose everyone else in our life as well.  We lose our hope, our dreams, and can’t find our path.  We fall down, down, down, and don’t know if we can ever get back up.


I just realized that I don’t ‘trust’ very well.  Well, not the meaningful kind, anyway.  There are two basic kinds of trust in our society.  The generic kind that we basically trust in our fellow man, our shared routines, etc.  These are manifested by our laws, morals, and values.  So, we all trust that others will follow traffic rules.  We all trust that when we call a business, we will reach someone who (most of the time) will try to answer our questions.  We trust that basically, all others have the same trusts and wants and needs.  For the most part, this is true.  Most of the time, things move mostly smoothly because of this basic social contract.

But I am talking about the much more deep, more scary and anxiety provoking kind of trust.  The personal trust that we give to others, in varying degrees.  Others such as co-workers, acquaintances, friends, and family.  I have fooled myself into believing I am an average ‘truster’, but the truth is, I trust no one with my personal trust.  I only trust in the social sense.   The only people whom I trust enough to give my personal trust to is my kids.  I don’t trust my R, my ex.  I really want to trust him, but everytime I begin to open up, he abuses it and reminds me why we are exes.  I don’t even have my mother in my life.  I have 2 elderly cousins as my only other family, but I can only trust them so much because they often misunderstand, which upsets us all.  I used to trust my Dad implicitly about everything, and I know he always had my back.  But he was the only one I ever truly trusted with all of myself, and he’s not here anymore.   So, basically, I trust no one with my personal trust completely.  And I trust only 3 family members to a limited degree.  I trust you all in the blogosphere more completely than those in my real life that I trust at all.

I spent a long time in my early life telling myself that it didn’t matter that I had no one to trust, no one that would have my back.  I told myself it just meant I had to be stronger, more self reliant, more of a fighter for what I needed and wanted.  That I couldn’t let ‘them’ hold me back, keep me down.   And so, by being angrily determined, I succeeded in getting a BA on my own, with no help.  I got every job I tried for.  I took care of  myself.  Then, for many years, I trusted R, the ex.  But all of that trust was found to be misplaced many years later, as it was used to manipulate me.  And still, R is the only one in the whole world who truly knows the real me, and it is so so hard not to trust him with that information.  Sometimes I forget, I feel nostalgic, I don’t know…and I share something with him, hoping because he truly knows the real me and because we are mostly friendly with each other now, that he won’t use it to hurt me.  But he does, and it reminds me how I can’t trust anyone other than my kids and my 2 cousins.  And I can’t even trust them 100%.

As a matter of fact, the thing that opened my eyes to the fact that I don’t allow myself to trust anybody is because I did just that–I almost trusted him with my inner self, perceptions and thoughts.  But this time, before I did trust, I stopped myself.  It is so lonely to have no one to trust with your inner self, your inner secrets.  To have no one with whom you can share your thoughts, dreams, anxieties, fears and occasional irrationalities.  It is somewhat sad as well to realize you really are truly all on your own, with no one at all to rely on,  in this long, strange, and sometimes miserable journey through life.

What this realization has meant for me is 1) finding out that I trust no one completely, and then only a few, 2) that even when we don’t know how to trust or who or when, even if we have never learned or just learned to be too wary of giving trust, we still want to, desperately, 3) and finally even though we continue through life mostly alone, we can be fine, good, happy, okay.  But it is a loss that most of us who have lived through trauma will still occasionally feel sad and a bit lonely about, even if we do make it just on our own most of the time.   So, I see now how because I can’t trust, how lonely the road is that I am travelling is and has been most of the time.  I see now it is not my fault that I don’t know how to trust well, or that I don’t feel safe in trusting.  It is something that my mom took away from me a long time ago, and made me afraid to get back.  This is just one more thing she did to hurt me, that has hounded me my whole life, that is not my fault and never was.  Maybe I can learn to trust again one day?

Feeling Overwhelmed

Ok, crunch time is approaching.  I sign the lease on my new, smaller, less expensive apartment on the 26.  That means moving will commence the next day, the 27.  I am going to rent a small U-Haul truck for 1 day.  I have to make as few trips as possible with it, but also get as much as possible moved with it, in the one day, because I am also being charged by the mile.  My son’s car (a 78 T-Bird) plus my ‘new’ car (03 taurus) can carry lots of the small boxes and plastic sacks and other oddly contained items.  My son’s car will hold more of this than mine, tho!  I feel I really need to get the furniture, food and utensils, and TV and computers moved that first day.

Even though I am making this move to save myself money, because of having partial rent on the new place this month in addition to partial rent on the old place next month, I am actually spending more on rent.  I won’t start to see the benefits of the new, lower rent until September.  So, since I am usually strapped as it is, I am going to be super strapped until September.  I can’t even buy my .86 soda each day.

In an effort to save as much as possible, I am going back to the old fashioned way of getting boxes—heading to the grocery stores in the middle of the night to collect their emptied stock.  I am dragging my kids too, and making my son bring his car, so we can maximize our trips and get as many boxes as possible each time.  It’s not a hard job, its just it is in the middle of the night, its tiring getting them into and out of the cars and in the house.  Because its so late, it throws off our sleep pattern, and I end up taking my night pills way too late.

So here I am today, after our first grocery store box run last night, and I am surrounded by what at first look appears to be a plethora of boxes in my living room.  But, most of them are actually fairly small, so we will still need to make several more box runs this week.  But just sitting here, surrounded by flattened boxes, I am almost completely paralyzed.  I think to myself, ” Self, you could start packing some things in one of these boxes.”  but then, I just get frozen and can’t move at all.  Can’t even take care of other business, like setting up the new electric account or anything.

And I am terrified, because I forgot to ask my therapist, A, for a letter for my landlord stating that I have a qualifying disability and require an Emotional Support Animal at my dwelling.  If I don’ t have this letter, then the landlord will charge me for pet deposit and pet rent, and may even disallow my dog from being on the premises since they have some breed and weight restrictions.  I absolutely must have my Sunshine with me, and I can’t pay all those fees.  So, I must have this letter from A.  I am moving on the 26, so I need the letter by then, but unfortunately, A has already left on a vacation and won’t be back until the 14 of August, which is much too late.  I can also try to get my med provider or nurse at my psych clinic to write one, but they are very difficult to actually get ahold of without an appointment, and it’s really hard to get an appointment in between appointments.  Like, I go to med check appointment, then they schedule me for 10 weeks out for next appointment.  So, trying to get in for any reason in between is practically impossible, so I’m not sure they can get me a letter soon enough either.  I’m trying not to think about it too much, but on the other hand, it has still to be dealt with.  Arggh!

Ok, so see?  there is really nothing that is sooo bad, or so stressful, going on.  And it’s not like I’ve never moved before (Ha!  far from it-I have moved so much its ridiculous!)  So, I shouldn’t be so daunted by this move, by getting the ESA letter for my dog.  But I am.  I am just paralyzed, completely overwhelmed, staring at all these flattened boxes, wishing they would miraculously pack themselves when I am not looking.  I’m really worried I might not be able to pull this move off this time, that I won’t be fully present–that I’ll be so dissociated I won’t be effective at all, and I’ll end up pushing it onto my kids’ and they won’t have a lead to follow.  I’m afraid this move will be a disaster.

I just thought maybe getting this down on paper, as it were, and out of my head, maybe I will feel more connected and less overwhelmed.  We will see.

Some Things Done, Some Left to Do; About the Same as Usual

So, I finally have got a replacement car.  Spent several days going to dealerships for cars I saw the night before, but when I got there, they were already sold.  So I didn’t end up with a Toyota or a Honda, but I did manage to get a silver Ford Taurus (2003) that is almost immaculate inside and out.  Seems to run well-no weird sounds, or feels, or sights.  Hopefully its in as good shape under the hood as it seems.

And I have also finally squared away where we will be moving to later this month.  The lease hasn’t been signed yet, have to wait til the unit becomes actually available.  But I have put down the deposit and hold money, and my application was accepted.  The next big task will be carrying off the move and cleaning out the old apartment.  Right after that school will start again.  Whew!  Then, back to the strict routines, getting up early, going to bed early (for me)

But as good as it feels to have these two big jobs completed, there are already more on the horizon, starting with school resuming.  In therapy, every time I think I have finished something, and let it go, it seems it comes up in the context of something I am just starting on again.  So, I kinda thought I had moved past my friend, B, and past lots of things with my ‘mom’.  But in one way or another, they both keep popping up again when I start on something new.  And others do too.

My daughter, who sees the same therapist that I see, has been working on focus.  I’ve always known she is always flighty, always distracted, forever leaving bits of herself all around everywhere she goes.  And I’ve known she’s got a big, wonderful heart, infectious joie d’vivre, more compassion, more loyalty, more feelings in her little toe than anyone else has in their entire being.  And I’ve known she’s smart, and clever and funny and kind and loving.  But always slipping up and down in her grades, and struggling to get things done.  Well, it turns out that our therapist wanted to try EMDR with her, but her lack of focus and concentration has made it impossible to do any EMDR at all.  The therapist, A, has tried all the various methods of EMDR, and my daughter can’t focus on it long enough to make it work.  So, A has talked with both of us that my daughter should probably be tested for ADHD/ADD.  Which I am totally fine with.  I just can’t afford all the co-pays (R, her dad, is supposed to pay 85% of them, but I have to pay for it up front and he reimburses me sometime later).  I am going to see about having her school request the testing, which they will then pay for.  But the process takes longer and involves more paperwork.  Part of feels like I must be the one responsible for my daughter having problems, having PTSD, having ADHD, having depression.  I know I know it is not  my fault, and yet I can’t get past the fact that if she needs all this help, then I must have done something really wrong somewhere along the way.

Meanwhile, my Emotional Service Animal, aka my dog, Sunshine, is losing a little more ground every few weeks.  It started with her left front leg becoming weak and unable to support her fully when walking.  She subsequently adapted by developing a pronounced limp to accommodate that leg.  I took her to the vet, we tried several different meds, all of which worked somewhat, but whose side effects were simply intolerable.  So, I decided as long as she was still happy and healthy and excited to walk, that a limp was ok.  However recently, she has also become weak in her hind legs, moreso in the right.  This changes her gait to a kind of stagger+limp, and when something as simple as her back toenails hitting the ground a bit unevenly, she just kind of slowly crumples to the ground in a laying position, and then can’t quite figure what happened or how to get up.  Sometimes, all she needs is verbal prodding to get ‘up’, but others, I have to actually lift her hind end up and place it in a standing position and then she can start again.  Sometimes, she seems to be in another world and no matter what I do, I can’t make her move again.  Then, I have to carry her like a barrel.

And, just to top things off, apparently the ’78 T-Bird I bought my son for his first car, is about to bite the dust as well.  I knew it wasn’t any peach when I got it, but I did expect it to last at least year or so.  After dumping money into it repeatedly to fix this and then that, it turns out that now there is something wrong in the actual heart of the engine.  Diagnosing this would mean they would have to tear down and then rebuild the engine, or, pull the engine and drop in another.  Either way, the job is way too big for the car.  We’ll be better off buying a different junker than putting anymore into this one.  I really got screwed on this car.  And because of that, I’m gonna be letting my son down just as soon as the car stops running.

All in all, despite the tasks, the difficulties, some end up completed, some never are or will be, and I guess this is just life.  Right now, at this moment, with these challenges, things aren’t too bad.  I’m feeling ok, I’m managing to do what I need to and still be ok at the end of the day.  Despite my kids’ issues and problems, desires and needs, I think they are mostly ok.  And late at night, when the day is done, I think things are ok right now for all of us.


Some days, it just doesn’t pay to gnaw through the leather straps.

I really felt that I have been doing really well lately.  And that I have gotten a lot of positive steps taken on different goals.  For instance, I finally got (after a year of begging) my mental health clinic to send the documents needed by Voc Rehab so that they could help me get the education I need to get the job I want.  So, first, I’m actually thinking of going to school all day, every day, in the near future, and am not running and hiding under my bed when contemplating it.  And second, I finally got my case manager at my clinic to speak to the local Housing Authority, who after a 5 year wait, told me I was over the income limit by $400 annually–when over $2k of that was a one time payment my ex had to make toward child support just so he could be allowed to get his passport, which he wanted to use to visit his fiancee in China.  That payment will not be repeated, so why was Housing Authority including it?  They refused to tell me how to appeal their decision, buy my case manager finally got ahold of them, and now they say they will reconsider if I make my case in a letter.  So, I really feel that I have been able to be ‘healthy’ and ‘normal’ in dealing with this stuff, in getting the wheels rolling on these different tasks.

And then a month ago, my car was hit on the driver rear fender.  Ironically, at a church parking lot where my daughter was attending a birthday, by the pastor!!  Who didn’t even want me to report the accident.  Said he had a friend….um, yah.  So, his insurance determined he was 100% at fault.  But now they are saying my car is totaled, because the repair is more than the value of the car.  Well, for some stupid reason, Arizona (where I now find myself) forces all cars that have been totaled out by insurance companies to be given a ‘salvage’ title.  This means, they can not for any reason, be driven on any public streets or parking lots, etc. The only way to get the car on the roads again is to ‘do repairs’ and then provide receipts of such repairs to testing facilities who inspect the car to see if  1) it is safe and roadworthy, and 2) if repairs done as per receipts provided were done properly. Then you can get a ‘restored/salvage’ title, and drive it again.

My problem now is, the other insurance company won’t tell me how much my check is going to be, or how much my car is valued at, so I can determine what funds I will have if I keep it and try to go thru the ‘restore/salvage’ process, and, since the damage is only bodily, and I cant repair it because it is the whole reason the car has been totaled….will the testing facility even DO the tests if I don’t have receipts?  And if I DONT keep it, I need to have an idea of how much I’ll be given so I know what kind of replacement cars to look at.  So, here, I thought I have been doing so well, acting so normally and healthily.  I thought I was handling and controlling myself and my emotions.  Until I got so worried about this car situation, and decided to call my own insurance, thinking they would be more free with information than the other party’s insurance has been so far.  But I was wrong.  I called, I waited on hold 20 minutes, I got transferred to customer service/sales…where they perky young lady refused to tell me absolutely anything, not even in general terms, not even the basics, and transferred me back to claims…..where I waited 20 more minutes on hold before finally being (ironically, magcially) transferred to the actual same person who had initially handled my claim….except he was out of the office for the day.  So, as I found myself leaving a message for him, I suddenly teared up and could barely leave my name and number.

So, so much for thinking I might actually be ‘healthy’ and ‘normal’.  I guess, I just get to have those almost healthy and normal days to make me feel good for a minute, before I fall back into those much more common and depressing days that I have all the time…y’know, where I cry at the least frustration or explode into anger instead.  Where I can barely get myself to leave my house, to do the basics.  Well, I guess I shouldn’t have expected those ‘healthy’ and ‘normal’ days to last.  After all, I have got my own cushy spot all worn in in more typical and symptomatic days.

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