Growing into Me with Bipolar

Posts tagged ‘Relationships’

I’m a monster…


…because i explained to my daughter that she is old enough to think about having her first pelvic and pap smear. i explained what they are for, how they do it, and that it doesn’t hurt.

she burst out in tears, saying, ‘i don’t want it! Ever! ‘ and then ran upstairs to her boyfriends place.

i really didn’t think i was going to cause her to dissolve like that. i am not quite sure what to do now…i don’t want to freak her out again, but i do want her to accept that this is part of being a woman, taking care of your female parts.

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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

 

I Am a Wild Animal


Emergency-AppointmentI am a wild animal, and I can’t keep it inside. All my life I have tried, so hard, to keep it in deep inside. But when I have fallen into my manic, mixed, depressive, sometimes psychotic episodes, I can’t keep it in. The wild, feral animal that I really am escapes and I can’t call it back in.

I have started over so many times. Every time the animal escapes, I have to pick up the pieces of my life, the parts I have destroyed, the people I have attacked for no purpose. I lose it all, and I start again. Now I am tired. I am losing control over the animal inside, it is growing stronger. I don’t care if I hide it. I don’t care if I take meds to help keep it sedated. I don’t care anymore. I want to quit fighting myself and let the animal take over.animal-attack

But that would be wrong. I would hurt people and that can’t be tolerated. So just let me end us both, the animal that is gaining the upper hand, and me, who is too weak to do anything. Let us just go forever. Finally. No more struggles.

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)
Everybody!
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.
images
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…


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

Again.

 

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.

Metabolic Weight Loss, Instability, Regrets and the General Pointlessness of Things


So, I am partway way through my 3rd week of 4 of Metabolic Weight Loss nutrition and exercise program.  Have I lost any weight?  No, I had lost 1 lb, but then I switched from Lithium to Depakote, whose side effect turns out to be salt and water retention!  No kidding!  I jumped out of the frying pan  (lithium) just so that I could jump into the fire ( depakote).  Stopping the lithium was supposed to stop the ‘voltage dependent drug-induced R(enal) T(ubular) A(cidosis)’ that was characterized by my body thinking lithium was Salt, and wasting the real Salt instead, leaving way too much Potassium in the body that can’t bind with lithium like it is supposed to do with real salt.  So, my nephrologist was in agreement with me that since the lithium was so effective in stabilizing me, then we should stay on it as long as possible.  However, my psychiatrist felt that it was imprudent to do that, and really pushed and pushed for me to change off the lithium to anything else.  So, after like 6 months, I finally gave in to her and agreed to switch to depokate.

Well, we expected the hyperkalemia (excess potassium) to resolve, since my body would not be wasting its own real salt anymore since there would be no lithium to trick it.  So, all my symptoms were supposed to recede and be ‘normal’ again.  But what ended up happening is that my feet just grow bigger and fatter and more and more painful all the way up to just under my knees.  I look like I’m walking on big giant stubs.    Sleeping or putting them up does little to nothing to help them go down.  I had to fight with my psychiatrist and my nephrologist just to get an earlier appointment to see my nephrologist sooner.  Then my Case Manager at my mental health clinic insisted I acknowledge how she had made it all come together so I could see my nephro sooner, because she talked my psychiatrist into talking to my nephro about the swelling issues.  Except, I saw my nephro yesterday, and he had never heard of either my case manager or my psychiatrist or my clinic and the only reason I got in to see him earlier was because he heard my messages and was concerned about what I described going on.  So, my new case manager is not just trying to grub for acknowledgement and validation from me, her client, but she also lies about what she does ( and probably about what she doesn’t do, too).  Neither she nor my psychiatrist had anything to do with me getting my nephro to see me sooner.  It was ALL me!  That means, I am really failing to be getting the help and support of my psych team and they are not doing any of the communication between providers that they are supposed to do and the follow up too.  That means I am doing all the coordination and pushing and organizing all on my own.  So what good is it to be determined as SMI (Seriously Mentally Ill) and then being told to go to ma particular clinic for all your cares so that everything will be coordinated and followed up on so you, as a SMI person, will not have to fight the system with each interaction or symptom or whatever.  So that you, the disabled person, will supposedly be getting help to do and stay on top of all these things and not have to get stressed out and can concentrate on getting better, more stable, more ready to return to work or volunteering, etc.  But they don’t.  They just keep pretending and taking all the credit and leave you to fight all the battles on your own just like as if you had no SMI designation or had no Disabled designation, or were a regular working person contributing to the community with little more than small issues to be dealt with, not the large ones of Bipolar, Schizophrenia, etc.  But now that I am recognized as disabled and SMI, I have no choice to what services I can receive.  I am forced to go to 1 out of 1 clinic, and I am forced to work with the ‘team’ I am assigned (Psychiatrist, Nurse, Case Manager, and, on some teams, you even have to accept the primary care doc that is on your team–you can’t even go out into the community to choose your regular doc!  Every doc you see must be in the clinic is where they are going with this.  They even have a pharmacy you must use in the clinic as well).  And now, I have no choice over any healthcare providers at all.  I am lucky they have not yet put me on a team with a primary care doc, or a nephro specialist.

So, anyway, back to the original point.  I finally got thru to my nephro that I needed him to see me, and he did.  He is such a great and awesome doc–my best doc by far.  Wish he could be my doc for everything!  So, he is concerned that my body is not recovering like it should be.  Now that the fake salt, lithium, is out of my system, I should hold a normal amount of salt in my system to bind with the potassium.  They should both be at about the same ratio.  I should not have to worry about the hyperkalemia anymore, nor should I have to worry about hypernatremia.  But, I am definitely having hypernatremia issues—that is, way way too much salt leading to this huge swelling.  This should not be happening, except there is a rare possibility that I am having a a rare side effect of the new med, the depakote. Once in a great while, some people get the side effect of intense swelling and salt retention.  Hah!  I let them talk me out of taking a med that we had gotten well controlled that worked wonders for my stability, just so I could avoid the future potential pitfalls of that med on my kidneys, and now I’m on a new med, which is not causing me heart and liver issues by retaining salt and water!   And now, this is not well controlled the way the lithium and its side effects were.  And the depakote is not stabilizing me as well as the lithium was either.

So, back to the original point.  How am I expected to stay and maintain a healthy weight, a healthy body, and a healthy attidude and move forward in my mental health recovery when this is what I’m dealing with?  I can’t lose weight cause all the mood stabilizers have that as an effect.  Most of them also have really bad effects on me like the lithium leading to the kidney problem and the depakote leading to the heart problem.  And if I’m forced to keep gaining weight, and I am having difficulties with all the related side effects, then how would I be able to lose weight, even with the metabolic stuff?  And if I can’t stay sane and lose weight and deal with the heart and or kidney or whatever other issues would happen….then how am I supposed to stay positive enough to move forward and become a productive citizen again?  Is it the illness, the side effects, the meds, or the complications…that keep me disabled?  That keep me from being a useful human being again?  And damn it, I am tired of suffering and tired of my life never being able to move ahead.  Tired of being unable to do things.  Tired, so tired.  Something has got to give.  No matter what I do to get better, something else is sacrificed to make it happen.  So there is always something never getting better.

And I am not the mother I thought I could be, and I am barely holding on to life for my kids.  No, really, I mean if my ex misses one support payment because he changes jobs, or something else, we could end up on the street.  And I am certainly not capable of raising a family like that for the next 2 years.  I couldn’t even take care of me in that state for a month.  I live in fear of this every month.  I just found out my ex is moving to California from Az, where we all currently have been.  But his agency can’t find him computer programming work in Az, so they found him a spot in a place in Cali.  But he’s not happy with it, it won’t meet the cost of living changes.  And he’ll be looking for a new job once he’s there.  When he switches jobs, a new court order must be petitioned by me, then the court takes several months from time of filing to rule on it, then the court orders the employer to hold the money and pay it to the state the custodial parent is in.  Then the state processes the funds and distributes them to me.  So, if he even misses one normal payment of the 2x/mo….we are evicted.  We lose our car insurance and can’t drive.  Our house of cards falls apart.

So, I think I have made mistake after mistake, leading to a tenuous existence from which my grip will surely slide sooner or later.  I should never have quit working.  I should never have stopped the lithium.  I should never have gone down this path.  Where to go now, to start over or push on, I don’t know.

Just When I Think I’m Out….They Pull Me Back In


they pull me back in imageThanks, Al Pacino, as the youngish Don in Godfather 2 for that quote and sentiment.

Tonight, just a list. A ‘food for thought’ kind of list.  A list that says, ‘how am I supposed to be getting well, when “it just keeps getting piled higher and deeper” ‘ kind of list.  Well, enough confabulating, the list:

Son’s car repairs, beyond what he can pay from his salary as part time at Taco Bell–$310.  Without this repair, the car will not pass emissions testing and will not get its tags and will be undriveable. The testing must be completed by the end of this month. emissions_test

My car repairs, which cannot be completed because I still owe the shop half the money from the last repairs.  And because my son’s car is already off the road.  $–unknown (due to accident, see later on list)

My son’s school fees-$200.  Daughter’s school fees-$200.  Son’s clothing needs-Some of everything.  Daughter’s clothing needs–all of everything.  Total-$400’ish.

Moving costs for August 3-rent on old place, rent on new place, +$300 deposit on new place, plus renting a moving van for 1 day-$50.uhaul

Copays ex just reimbursed me for that now have to go to other costs than to reimburse me.  Still need to pay provider the copays ex just gave me tho.  Hmm…$200’ish.

Insurance company for woman who rear-ended me on freeway in May.  On June 30, representative for insurance said they accepted 100% responsibility, but in mail 10 days later, written notice they were denying any responsibility.  They still had their adjustor come and do estimate (he said it was definitely the other car that caused all my damage, and he has completed and sent in his report–I talked to him to be sure).  They refuse to return my calls, even though their voicemail says will reply in 24 hours, I have left messages every day since June 5th.  Meanwhile, my car is driving very scary and am afraid to use it, or to have it seen at my shop, cause if I fix it, then the other insurance definitely won’t reimburse me.  Actually, this is the insurance that refuses to call me back:occidental

Got divorce finalized in December 2011, applied for deferment or waiver at time of filing, so I had to pay nothing at that time.  Have never received anything from court since, until, July 15 when they sent me a collection notice for 20% interest in 30 days time if not paid in full by end of July–$400.  Told them I could pay it in September, they said too bad, so sad.  Pay or go to collections. Or try to get new deferral, but it won’t be approved because is from so far back.  Apparently, that is not their responsibility that they did not bill me appropriately, I was supposed to know I had a bill for x amount and pay it without a statement or invoice, etc.  They said I did not update my address, I said I did, and I had the scanned documents to prove it that I mailed in, and the postmark would prove it.  They said it has to be in person update of address to their specific court billing department, and that the normal updating of address for court is not for them and means absolutely nothing, even though I could prove I had sent it in.

Oh, and additionally, I get to refile for modifications to my divorce child custody and support and insurance, since my ex just told me he’s moving out of state on Friday, so he won’t be seeing the kids on weekends anymore and so he will have to increase the amount he pays in support for each of them.  Wonder what the fees for filing that will be, on top of the above $400 from 2011 that I was magically supposed to know about.  Maybe they can roll it all together?  And hit me for it all at once?  so I’ll be even more broke–if I get any more broke, I’ll be homeless eating at soup kitchens.  And I’m not being mellow dramatic.  And this is the courthouse and court that is acting so ridiculous:  maricopa se superior court

And then there’s the things that don’t cost money, but are so much fun to deal with that I just couldn’t leave them out.

First one, a 1.5hr conversation with a supervisor in my ‘team’ at my mental health clinic where I was trying to request a perishable food box, not the dry goods one.  I knew they were separate and from separate places.  But I didn’t know the names/labels the staff and case managers used to refer to them.  So, it turns out Food Box A-Dry Goods, is from a church and requires one’s case manager to fill a form out with the client a week before it is delivered to the clinic for client pick up.  You can only make one request for Food Box A-Dry Goods in a 3 months period.  I have never filled out a form, and have often received food boxes more than once in 3 months.  Also, the food boxes I have received were perishable, and my case manager delivered them to me, or told me when she had them so I could pick them up.  So, after going round and round that I never signed or filled out a form in 5 years of going to this clinic, where I was afraid I was going to lose it and burst out in tears, or ‘get that tone in my voice’ that makes people just walk away from me and ignore me forever, he finally said ‘well, case managers have the ability to go to 22+ food pantries to get perishable food boxes and deliver them to their clients.  Maybe this is what you are talking about?  And I said, flooded with such relief that I was afraid I was going to bow down on my knees and pray to God right then and there thanks that I was finally being heard, understood, and listened to, YES, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I HAVE BEEN TELLING YOU FOR THE LAST 1.5HRS.  THAT MY LAST CASE MANAGER DID THAT.  THAT THAT IS WHAT I WANT FROM THE NEW CASE MANAGER.  THAT IF SHE DOES NOT CHOOSE TO DO THAT (as it is optional for them to do that) THAT THEN I WOULD GLADLY FILL OUT THE FORM FOR FOOD BOX A-DRY GOODS, BUT ONLY IF I COULD NOT GET FOOD BOX B-PERISHABLE GOODS (which are up to case manager to do or not to do).  Then, he finally agreed to have her contact me tomorrow to find out if she does do FOOD BOX B-PERISHABLE GOODS, or not.  And if not, then I will fill out the form for FOOD BOX A-DRY GOODS, tomorrow.  And it only took 1.5 hours.  But I was REALLY proud of myselves for not bursting out into tears (the guy would have walked away if I had) or for ‘sounding’ argumentative/belligerent from frustration.  He would’ve walked away then too, maybe set security on me even.

And the piece de resistance, the mignon final, my late father’s wife, who is listed as Co Power of Attorney, Durable, for Health Care for my only living family (2 cousins who are sisters, who raised my dad) has shunned me, blocked me out of the loop concerning my two cousins, and has made my cousins believe that I am trying to steal their money and place them in nursing homes, when in actuality, I am trying to convince them to accept some home health and cleaning services so they can stay in their own home, by contacting the Area Agency on Aging and having them do a service counselling appointment.  Well, my step mom, now that my dad’s dead, has been trying to get their money for the last 3 years.  But when I actually want to step in and help them by having her do that, she shuns me and intimidates my cousins from talking to me or allowing the staff at the nursing home from talking to me, or allowing the Area Agency on Aging from talking to me, or their doctor’s from talking to me.  So, I am now effectively out of the loop because my step mom is going against my dads’ last wishes that my family should be in their house as long as they can be safe and healthy and have their needs met.  Since he died, my step mom has been trying to get them out of their house and take their money.  Now that I saw how they are living as hoarders (y’know those real life TV hoarder shows, ya, my cousins could be on that show) plus the filth under the hoard.  Plus they don’t bathe or wash their hair.  And the need assistance to get in and out of the house and in and out of the car.  So they need help if they are to stay in their home. They think if they accept help, they would spend down their estate/savings (which is true, but then they would be eligible for medicaid and would have every service covered).  They also think if anyone sees how they live, they will be forced to leave their home, but that is only true if they are found by a doctor or judge to be incompetent.  They are certainly not that.  So, step mom has made me the scape goat and has convinced my cousins that if they speak with me, they will lose everything and that I hate them.  I still have power of attorney, durable, for healthcare, because the only way that can be revoked is if my cousins themselves tell a healthcare provider that provides any service for them that they do not want me as their poa any longer.  They can also put that in a short note in writing.  Or, they can have it witnessed by 2 competent people or by a notary.  But my co-POA, my step mom, cannot just go around saying I am no longer POA just on her sayso, without any statement from any healthcare provider of my cousins or a written notice of it properly recognized by the state.  But still, step mom is doing just that, and is just going around announcing that she has removed me as POA, or that the cousins have, but there is no proof that the cousins have done any such thing.  Therefore, until proper recognized written notice is provided or until one of their healthcare providers says the cousins told them these wishes, I am still POA, no matter what step mom says.  But the hard part is proving it, and in engaging in and staying through to the end and winning this battle.  Just the thought of having to engage in this battle is epically depleting.  I don’t know if I can even see it through if I engage fully in it.  Especially with all the above stuff already weighing on me and being immediately pressing.   This really is the actual place they are at right now:   vista woods

Sorry.  Didn’t mean to whine.   Others have it worse.  I should think of all those in Ethiopia or wherever.  I am completely overwhelmed just in contemplating the oncoming battle over the cousins…don’t think I have the stamina to see it through or win either one.  This was really just meant to be a list that I could refer to to see what all I am dealing with daily because it all gets jumbled up in my head and I get so stressed and anxious and short tempered when it all gets tangled up and I can’t find room to think or breathe and at least in this list it is all laid out so I can keep each thread separate and at the very least know what is on my plate, even if I don’t want any of it, or know where to start or what to do with any of itHell and Hi Water.

 

 

Don’t Know What to Do, Pt. 2


Ok, so where was I?  Oh, yes…so, after I returned home, across the country, I just couldn’t bear the thought of my family living in that environment.  I knew they needed help, to get rid of the hoard, to get and keep the house clean, to help them bathe and take them to appointments and errands.  And to make sure they put their feet up and actually go to bed and take their pills.

So, I searched out on the internet where to begin, and found the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and was directed to the local AAA for their region, aka ‘Milestones’.  So, I talked to them, and had a very interested and helpful counselor.  She told me they do what is called ‘Options Counseling’ for the elderly who are either at risk for or are self-neglecting.  That fits my family exactly.  They don’t have the authority to remove anyone unless a judge or doctor has ruled them incompetent.  So, my making this call had nothing to do with using POA, nor did it have anything to do with removal.  It simply was a way for my family to be told what would need to be done to make the house habitable so they could stay there after the leave the nursing home where they are for rehab.  I also found that while the Police will be more than happy to do a wellness check, if the home is habitable, and the family has not been found incompetent, then even the police can do nothing.  So all I have done is ask for an outside party to explain that they really need to make their house habitable so they can stay there, since they don’t want to listen to me.

Well, I tried to call them at the nursing home, but when they found out it was me calling, they told the nurses they didn’t want to talk to me.  So, I tried again last night, and just got told they were busy.  So I tried again today, and one was sleeping and the other being showered.  (If she really accepted a real shower, I am impressed by the staff there!!).  So, they are avoiding me, and are not being very subtle about it.  So, I guess I am persona non grata since I care about their well-being.  And it’s not only them, it’s my step-mother too.  She is my late father’s wife, who was like my family’s own son.  He would never have allowed them to live as they are now.  He would have cleaned the house out himself or moved them to a facility.  Not because he would be upset, because he would just never let them live in such an intolerable state.  His wife, R, has been pushing to get them out of their home for the last 3 years since my dad died, and now that I am in agreement with her, and am actively pushing AAA and Milestones and the doctor to help get them into a home or to fix up their own home, she is suddenly on their side, suddenly against them having a habitable home or moving to a nursing home.  She is suddenly not on my side of my family’s best interest.  She is not returning my phone calls, not replying to my emails, and told the lady at AAA that I was no longer POA (even tho talking to AAA/Milestones does not require POA, nor does asking them to provide Options Counseling)….but she and the sisters have failed to put in writing that I am not POA any longer and have failed to execute a new POA without my name, and have not told the healthcare providers that are caring for them that I am no longer their POA….so I question the validity of the statement by my step-mom to the AAA that I am no longer POA for the sisters.  But that aside, I have done nothing that requires the use of POA in the first place!!

So, I get why my cousins, the sisters, are upset with me, because they don’t want to have to change, don’t want to get rid of the hoard or have someone clean the house and them and take them places.  But they need it.  And if they don’t accept it, they are self-neglecting, and maybe I can get a doctor or judge to agree.  But what I don’t get is why my step-mom has made such an about face after being so gung-ho on getting them moved.  Why does she suddenly want them to stay in such an environment, without help, when she’s been pushing for just that for 3 years?  Why is she shunning me just as the cousins are?  These two sisters are my only family outside of my kids, and she is helping turn them away from me when all I am trying to do is make sure they take care of themselves and live in decent quarters and have the help they need.  I would do this for anyone I saw or knew who needed help.  This is just what people do.  Right?  blue confused emoticon

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