Growing into Me with Bipolar

Posts tagged ‘Social Security Disability’

Just a Question…

This is not really a ‘real’ post.  But my kids are soon going to be leaving home, 1 year for my son, and 2+ years for my daughter.  I am freaking out about what will happen then, what choices will I have.  I am scared to death that I will end up without enough funds to even keep a studio apartment (since I will be reduced from my kids social security and child support to only my own social security).

So, I have been pondering what I may be able to do, and one of my possibilities is moving to Costa Rica and living as an expat on a pensionado visa, based on my government guaranteed income (social security).  I was wondering if anyone has ever lived abroad, dealt with visas, embassies, etc. and might have any helpful suggestions on this path.  Any input would be welcome!


Crawling Back Up Again

Well, the free-fall spiraling down seems to have hit a plateau.  Now, to climb back out again and try to get back to where I was before this.  The immediate good news is my ex did end up giving us some cash to tide us over til the support check is finally released to me.  Of course, I had to sign a paper saying I would repay the cash amount when the support is finally disbursed.  But, whatever…So, I was able to pay the bills —of course,  I had to walk a 2 mile round trip to get to the gas station to buy the money orders (remember, I’m in the desert near Phoenix, so its already quite warm).  And I was able to buy food as soon as my car insurance was reinstated–which was yesterday evening.

I called DCSE (Child Support offices) but they wouldn’t tell my why they were not disbursing my payments.  They said the ex had to call, that it concerned him.  So, he did, just this past Monday.  Turns out, they only just got the memo that he was applying for a passport (he applied in January, met the requirements to obtain it, and has already been to China and back by March), and they hadn’t gotten the subsequent ones, so they thought he wasn’t allowed to go and so they for some reason decided it would be a good idea to make the children suffer for his wanting a passport by not paying it out to me.  So he explained he had already gotten his passport and done all the things he was required to do to get it, and had already been on his trip and returned, and that it made no sense to stop sending the money he is paying to his kids who are supposed to be getting it.  So they looked into it again, and VOILA!  Lo and Behold, there was absolutely NO REASON for them to be holding my disbursements of his payments for last 2 months and THEY DONT EVEN KNOW WHY THEY PUT A HOLD ON IT IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!

So, basically, DCSE randomly decided to hold my payments for 2 months, even tho the ex was making the payments.  So, FOR NO APPARENT REASON,  DCSE almost got me and the kids evicted, homeless, and without transportation or food.  Actually, I still haven’t received my first payment.  They said Monday that I should have it by 5 days.  But I didn’t get anything so far, and its Saturday—6 days.   So, the ex is gonna have to call them back and demand they make a payment to me AGAIN!

Even though I haven’t got a payment yet, things are at least not getting worse.  I can drive again, and we have food and power.  So, at least that’s something.  I have decided to move to a 2 bdrm (me and my daughter will have to share one) so that then I will not be spending all my Social Security payment on rent.  Instead, I’ll have some left after rent on a 2 bed (as opposed to now, where I have none left paying on a 3 bed).  So, what I have left will pay for the things I can’t be in fear of not having–like power, water, phone, car insurance.  That way, if anything like this ever happens again with the DCSE/child support not being paid to me, at least we won’t be in fear of losing everything.  The basics will be guaranteed.  So, this means a new project–apartment hunting (again!) and moving (ugh!  again!).  Our lease is up August 8, so I want to sign or put a deposit on something in early July.    I’m really, really hoping that spending less on rent will ensure that the basics will always be paid, no matter what happens with the support money.  I really hope this move will end up being worth it, and not just another huge waste of time, effort and money.  again.

Oh, and just in case you start to get any ideas that things are looking up and no problems are on the horizon, I remind you that I am THAT PERSON who ALWAYS  has bad luck.  Yep, today my son’s car started leaking some fluid.  We tentatively think it might be coming from the gas tank (which I just had the entire fuel system and carb replaced, so it BETTER NOT be from the gas tank!) But whatever is leaking, it can’t be good.  Can’t be cheap, altho even cheap at this stage is exorbitant to me.  We are still functioning on the bare minimum of everything.  So, of course, we escaped being evicted only to jump into a new fire of care repairs (also, AGAIN!).

Many of the days since my last post were very, very close to being the last.  And I just wanted to post this so everyone will know I’m still here (for today, anyway), even tho things haven’t exactly righted themselves, at least we have stopped sinking (for the moment).  And thanks to those who lent me their support and words.

Government F*%$k-ups

So I apologize ahead of time, but I just had to f-ing RANT!

So, I’ve been on the waiting list for housing assistance voucher program for like 5 years, and I make just under the limit.  So today I get a letter from them telling me I make 2.5x the limit!  HOW THE FUCK DO THEY GO FROM ‘X’ AMOUNT TO ‘2.5X’ AMOUNT????   I get Social Security Disability and child support only, and I am CLEARLY UNDER THEIR LIMIT, meaning I QUALIFY for a voucher!  But somehow they have decided that I must be getting more than double that and am no longer on the list!!!  How do they go from a number in the mid $20k to a number in the mid $40k?  I am SO ANGRY!!!   Mostly because I am scared, scared I can’t keep living where I am, because I thought it would be temporary and I would get a voucher.  What am I going to do now?  What about the kids?  I can’t take this.  This stresses me out too much, this makes me too scared, terrified.  Which makes me too ANGRY!  And all of this feelings make me feel powerless, out of control.  And that makes me feel like giving up, because fighting seems so pointless.  I will try to fight inside the means they allow.  But if I don’t prove that I don’t make all that tons of money, I will only have left the option of giving up, giving in, being left powerless to control my own life, my own fate, except of course for one option…which is not possible now, so, (unfortunately?) no worries on that.  WHY CAN’T PEOPLE JUST DO THEIR JOBS, AND DO THEM RIGHT?  WHY DO PEOPLE ALWAYS THINK ITS OK TO BE LAZY, TO SLACK OFF, TO NOT DOUBLE CHECK, BUT JUST SLAP THE PAPER RANDOMLY, WHEN THEIR FAILURE TO DO THEIR JOB RIGHT AFFECTS PEOPLE’S LIVES, AFFECTS IF PEOPLE ARE HOMELESS OR NOT?? WHY CANT PEOPLE JUST DO WHAT THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO, WHAT THEY GET PAID FOR IN THE FIRST PLACE???  THIS IS WHY I F*&^KING HATE PEOPLE!!! THIS IS WHY I F*&^KING HATE LIFE!!

And Some Are Monsters


I want to apologize right now for the length of this post.  Its more like an entire epic novel, I know.  This period in my life was probably the absolute worst.  My bipolar was out of control, my anxiety and ptsd were not even being addressed.  I had lost my job, my income and had been terribly ill.  Combined with other problems, it led to a divorce action, and, thank god, temporary loss of my children being with me.  I have never written or even talked with anyone about this period, at least not in its entirety.  Thanks for giving me a chance to talk about the whole thing, to be able to say my story finally.  And thank you for letting me name my ex for what he truly is.  I only wished I could have seen it sooner.

Over the last 4 years I have struggled (in chronological order) with having a year long psychotic manic episode, then into a  psychotic extremely depressed episode (also for about 6 months) and at the end of the depressive episode, I had done some things I couldn’t believe I would ever have done, and my husband, in return, slept with a friend of mine and walked out on me and our 2 kids.  He stopped paying rent, even tho the divorce judge said he had to (for the kids’ sake) since he was still well employed and I was waiting for my SSDI Disability decision and could not work at all.  So, my kids and I were evicted, and the only lifeline we had left was my very abusive mother, whom I had just helped leave a physically abusive husband and also helped her relocate near me.  Oh, and did I mention it was a mid-west winter at Christmas time when all this occurred?

So while living in the basement of a house my mother rented,  where she resumed her incredibly abusive behaviors, I and to a small extent (as I tried to protect them) the children, suffered at her hands.  She forbade us from turning the heat above 60 (Iowa winter here folks!) even though we were all living in the basement.  She made me purchase a whistle, so that she could whistle for me when she wanted me to do anything, something, or just see if I would jump and come.  She expected me to buy food for her, her mother (my granma) as well as for me and the 2 kids on my monthly food stamp allotment.  She also expected me to do all the cleaning, laundry, yard work, shopping, and cooking.  We were required to eat with her and my granma, even though we had a fridge, stove, microwave, sink and small table in the basement for ourselves.  There was a third bedroom for me downstairs, but I wasn’t allowed to use it, as it technically had no escape from the room itself if there was a fire.  So I slept on loveseat in the living area, while my kids shared a room.  And,oh, yes, my mother kept a tally of every single thing I needed or she bought for me.  Including the monthly bills and rent for my portion.  She expected me to repay all this to her when I ‘got over my laziness and got my ass back to work like I knew I should do’.

Meanwhile the divorce proceedings were not going well.  Prior to the separation with my husband, we had both been on meds and in treatment.  Him for depression and me for bipolar.  I had been followed by Child Protective Services after one hospitalization.  They said that I was abusing my kids because I expected them to get there own breakfast (toaster waffles and cereal) and pack their own school lunch (sandwiches and a piece of fruit and a pudding).  They were in 2nd and 1st grade at them time, and were perfectly happy to do things on their own. In any case, CPS started following me at that time, but by the time of the separation and beginning of the divorce, that was closed out.  Until the situation at mothers’ was becoming quite intolerable, combined with the lack of any income, as well as my worsening stability, anxiety and depression, plus the fact that my ‘husband’ was pushing for full custody with no visitation for me.  This stopped the divorce proceedings, until after a new evaluation was done of me regarding the kids by CPS a second time.  They decided that my increased anxiety, increased unstableness, and lack of income was a founded case of abuse.  They followed me for 1 year during which a family case court was opened to decide the custody–but first they wanted to determine if I was even capable of being given custody.  Hence the CPS following for the next year.  It didn’t help any that I was the only one unaware that the family court judge was a friend of my husbands’ family, and that my mother and granma were speaking with the judge ex parte.–and not in my favor either.

During this horrible year, I was able to finally get a low income apartment nearby.  Then, even though things were much better, CPS required that I take urine tests every day before noon, and pay $10 each time.  They wanted to make sure I was taking my meds, plus that I wasn’t doing drugs.  If you got there after noon, they called it a dirty test.  If you didn’t have the money to pay for the test, they called it a dirty test.  They required (and the judge ordered ) that I attend therapy (duh!) which I already was and would have done no matter what.  They also added in that if I felt mentally unwell, I should immediately go to the hospital.  What I found out after ward was that going to the hospital when I was feeling suicidal (like they ordered me to) only instead this gave them more ammo to use against me in court.  Because I had had to go to the hospital and my granma had to watch the kids.  Because if I was sick enough to need to go to the hospital, then I was too sick to have custody of my kids.   Basically, CPS and the family court judge and my mother and granma all had it in for me.  I was completely railroaded.  They said at the last hearing that they were going to strip me of my parental rights and put my kids in foster care, and I would never be allowed to be in their lives again.  I went home, called ‘husband’, who had by now grown tired of the midwest and settled in Arizona.  I begged him, I pleaded with him, to please, please, take the kids.  Please don’t let my mother get them.  Please don’t let go to foster care.  After a long call, he finally agreed to have the kids come to him.  The final family court date after that allowed me to be closed out with CPS and also to have all judgements from family court dropped, since the assumed I would never be able to get to Arizona.  So, they didn’t strip me of my rights to have custody.  And they didn’t send my kids to foster care.  And CPS finally let me go and closed the book on this case, because they too didn’t think I would ever be able to go to Arizona and see my kids again.

My kids moved out Christmas eve.  Their dad’s parents came and got them and kept them til the next day when they took them to the airport and sent them to my ‘husband’. I had already been suicidal during all this time, and a few attempts even, some quite close.  I was alone with our tree and the kids presents when my mother and granma showed up to gloat.  They spent an hour telling me how glad they were the kids were far from me.  How they hoped I was never allowed to see them again.  How I was worthless, lazy, nothing, a user.  And the coup de grace was my mother adding on that I had always been nothing but trash my whole life, and now I was gonna lose everything and have to live in the gutter like the trash I was and how she was glad of it, glad of having never to see me, help me, again.

That was when I lost it.  I told them to leave.  The kids were gone, so they had no legal right to be there anymore.  They refused, so I started throwing all my granma’s belongings and furniture outside into the icy snow.  They finally left, because they had to go get it all out of the snow before it got ruined.  I threw the rest of her stuff out when they left, so they wouldn’t have to knock on the door the next day so I wouldn’t have to see their faces.

I ended up with a roommate I had met in hospital.  We were both just that close to being in that gutter.  But together we had just enough to get by.  A few months later, I realized the only thing I had in this world worth living for was my children.  And if I wasn’t going to be near them, then I might as well die.  So I finally started to come out of my paralyzing depression enough to get a ticket to Arizona.  I left everything, all that I had in the world, with my roommate.  I came to Arizona only with a suitcase.  My gracious (irony) ‘husband’ allowed to me to stay on his sofa for 2 months, until I received my SSDI Disability award.  He just didn’t feel right about the kids’ mother staying in a shelter.  I was terrified that even if got my own place, he wouldn’t let me see them, or let them stay with me.  I was terrified he would initiate a new divorce (the first one had been dismissed because the family court had ruled that since the children had gone to Arizona, there was no longer any issue of my having custody.)  I was afraid if he started a new divorce, again, I would be railroaded and this time lose my kids for sure.

For the next 9 months the kids stayed with him, after I had gotten my own place.  I did see them on the weekends, for which I was so very grateful.  Then one day, he brought them over and never asked for them back, only stopping by periodically to take them to eat or get their hair cut or other errands.  I kept them for the next 2 yr, living in fear that he would take them back if I so much as asked for a ride (I was not only officially disabled now, but also without transportation) or asked for clothes for the kids, or even if I didn’t look ‘right’ when he might see me.  I was terrified of becoming paralyzingly depressed again, or suicidal–that if he even thought for a second I wasn’t ‘fit’ that he would claim them, take them away, divorce me and get custody.

So that was how the first two years of me in Arizona went on.  I had them, but I was so frightened of him.  Of losing them.  In the past 2 years, I decided I had enough strength to fight that fear, to fight him, the courts, the CPS again.  I had been on foodstamps and all of us on Medicaid, so there was a record of him being absent and of not paying.  So, I contacted the Dept of Child Support Enforcement, and they procured for me my first child support order, requiring him to start paying.  On the heels of that order, I filed for divorce, no contest, and showed him he would pay less if he just agreed with my terms than if he fought the divorce and the support was enforced by the state instead.

So, 4 years after we started a divorce, it was finally complete.  It has now been a year or so since the final divorce.  We have become quite friendly and sociable, almost as if all that was forgotten.  We were having a very intimate conversation (about memories, who we were, etc) and for a moment, I really thought he had changed from the man he was then, who was ready, like my mother, to callously throw me to the streets.  I confided for the first time how scared I had been of him the first 2 yrs I was in Arizona, thinking he would now say something like ‘oh, I’m sorry you thought that.  I would never have done that.  I know you’re a good, decent person.’  But he did not.  He said the thing I can’t quit thinking about.  He said,’ well, the only reason I left the kids with you was because I had a girlfriend with 2 kids, and I didn’t have room.  But I would have never left them with you if I hadn’t had that girlfriend.  I was never planning on giving them back to you.”

I know he’s my ex for a reason.  I know we split up for more than my mistakes during a psychotic manic episode.  But were were good together for 14 years.  We could read each other’s minds, finish each other sentences, and appreciated the same things, disliked the same things…Even though we didn’t last after 14 years, I would still have thought that we knew each other, knew what each other was capable of, who each other really were.  And I never once thought he was vile enough, low enough, to have purposely connived against me to keep me from ever seeing my children again, much less having them with me.  Not only did he connive against me in the beginning, he continued to do so, even after having to be convinced to take the children at all.  He would have rather let them go to foster care, and me to the gutter, than to let me see them, than to let me have them.  If only he hadn’t had that girlfriend, I may never have seen them again.  How can someone who knew your soul inside out, knew your dreams, fears, desires, for 14 years simply crush you under his heel with not so much thought even as of a cigarette, at the expense of your own children?  Had he kept them it would not have been because he wanted them, it would have been to devastate me, destroy me.  How is it that I spent 14 years with such a monster and never recognized his true form?  How is it even unto tonight, I still did not see his true nature?  And even now, there is no one who would believe me, no one I can tell.   I sit with this knowledge, with knowing what vile, devious, form he truly takes, and can do nothing to keep him from releasing his venom on anyone, not even my kids, should he choose to do so, if they trigger him.  I have the enormity of this monstrous truth and and still must continue to go on as before, when even during the divorce, I still believed he was intrinsically human, and knew that I had nothing but love for our kids.  And I believed the same of him.  Until now.

I and my children were not just betrayed by he and I falling out of love.  By his failing to support at least them.  We were betrayed by being convinced he was human, that he was capable of love.  But he is not.  He is despicable, he has no morals. He will do whatever he perceives necessary for what he wants.  And for those things that he no longer wants, he will utterly crush and destroy them as he discards them from his being.

New Horizons: Fears and Anxieties

First off, to those of you who follow me, I am so sorry I haven’t written recently.  But I have been reading and doing things in real life—this is a first in many years!   So, what have I been doing?  I have been getting up earlier (without an alarm!), I have been looking for a small part time job, and even applied at Target (it’s across the street, and I love shopping there!)  As long as I don’t work too much, I won’t lose any of my Disability benefits like Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid.  And that’s fine by me…I don’t want to work too much just yet!  What else?  Oh, yes, I changed ‘teams’ at my mental health clinic.  My med provider was always triggering me every time I went in for a med check.  Even when I would remind myself that he is just like that, he just seemed to always get me to react.  The most recent visit he asked if I was suicidal (standard protocol for mental health patients) and when I said sometimes he told me not to do it because my soul would get stuck inbetween planes and he knew this was true cause his grandfather told him so.  My team nurse can’t draw my blood, so I can’t use the lab at the clinic so I have to drive across town to a free-standing lab instead.  And my Rehab liasion insists to me that I cannot possibly have an open case and a case manager at Voc Rehab, because I didn’t meet with the VR counselor who visits the clinic once a month to do it.  She insists I could not have possibly have opened a case with VR myself (which I did 2 years ago) and that in order for me to get VR services I must close this supposed case and then open one with the VR counselor who visits the clinic instead.  Now, what I want to know is, why should I close a case just to open one?  Why go through all the work of that again, when all the information is already there?  Why can’t my VR counselor just transfer my case and files to the one who comes to the clinic? But my clinic Rehab liasion insists this is impossible.  She has no proof, no evidence, nothing to support her position.  She just keeps repeating that it is impossible, until I am ready to jump over the table and strangle her!!  So, since that is my current ‘team’, it finally occurred to me to switch teams.  It can’t possibly be worse.  Cause right now, all my ‘team’ members are horrible and triggering.  It can’t possibly be worse with another team, although I admit, it may possibly not be better… but we’ll take that chance.  We can always switch teams again!

So, what have I been up to?  I have been up to taking care of myself and feeling better!  I also am now volunteering at the animal shelter where I got my dog, looking for a job,  and switching teams at my clinic…and having a much, much easier time getting out and about, doing tasks more easily.  The only thing now is, how long will this last?  I know I shouldn’t be thinking about that.  But I haven’t felt this good in over 7 years.  For the last 7 years, I have been wearing a suit of armor and slogging through quicksand to do anything.  It has been so difficult that I have been able to do very, very little in all that time.  But the quicksand is gone now, and the suit of armor has been shed.  Movement feels easy again.  But how do I know this will last?  I mean, I have gone so long looking for it I’m not sure it’s real.  I want it so badly to be real, but at the same time I am afraid to believe it is real because it is probably only fleeting, and if I rely on it being real I will make commitments and plans and not be able to follow through on them as this feeling of well being slides away again, leaving me back in the quagmire, sinking all over again.  I am just as afraid as I am excited to get a job, to volunteer.  I am afraid that after 7 years of NOT doing anything useful, anything with a commitment, that I will fail.  And if I fail, that I will end up in the depths of despair yet again.  I am afraid of ruining this good feeling by failing at living and also afraid that even if I do well at these tasks that this good feeling will escape me also.  I’m so afraid of jinxing it, I’m not sure if I want to follow through on these ‘good’ commitments so I won’t be let down.  And yet, if I don’t try, I will never know if it might work out, if I might succeed, get well, become productive.  So I am trying to take it one day at a time trying to not think about anything more, success or failure, fleeting or staying well-being.

Just Shut UP and Agree!

I have drilled SO many things into my head over the years, by me (to remember what to do or not do) and by others (like, you’re worthless, stupid, crazy, etc.) and now these things are automatics, things I accept now.  So why can’t I drill something in now?  Especially since it’s something I’ve been trying to drill in to remember automatically for a really long time.  I keep trying to remember to just agree and keep my mouth shut!  but I can’t seem to get it in there for some reason.

In my state, there are 3 paths of mental health care: 1) Private Pay, 2) Medicare and/or Medicaid—a) SMI (seriously mentally ill) or General Mental Health (‘regularly’ ill, I guess).  S MI people are required to go to only specific clinics that see only SMI people.  You are supposed to get more care, more support services, etc. this way.  All GMH people can go to any clinic other than SMI clinics.  So, I am classed as SMI, and go the SMI clinic I was assigned to.  The problem is, not only do they not really provide extra services or supports, I get upset EVERYTIME  I go there!  I can’t understand why they always manage to trigger me and get me to blow up!  I really can’t understand tho, why I don’t just REMEMBER to JUST SMILE AND AGREE!!   

I mean, what does it matter that my shrink thinks I drink too much water?  Instead of arguing my position and explaining why I drink that much, and getting ticked off with him, why can’t I just remember to SMILE AND AGREE?? When he asks me about my suicidal thoughts, and I tell him, and then he says ‘you don’t want to do that, your spirit would be stuck between places’, why do I have to get into a philosophical and theological debate?  Why can’t I just let it go and JUST AGREE?! Why, when he tells me my therapist is wrong about diagnosing me with DID, do I even try to argue?  Why can’t I just let it go and AGREE?  Why, when he tells me to see the nurse to get my lab slip and I do and she prints out the wrong one (as always) and I point it out, do I have to join in the argument that she thinks she’s right when I know I’m right?  Why can’t I just AGREE?!   When after my appointment I meet with my Case Manager (and today also my Rehab counselor) and the Rehab gal says even tho I already have a case open with Voc Rehab and all they needed to get me services was a packet from my clinic, I am working with the wrong Voc Rehab counselor and I need to come to the clinic to meet the correct one.  And I need to close my already open case and start all over, because I’m not doing it right and Voc Rehab does NOT need my packet from the clinic—I just need to start all over with the RIGHT Voc Rehab counselor at the clinic instead.  WHY can’t I just SHUT UP and AGREE with her instead?

HATE going to my clinic!  I HATE that every time I go there, every person I talk with, everything I ask for or about, I am ALWAYS in the wrong.  I am ALWAYS getting triggered, and then Anti-Kitty jumps in.  Then We have to fight, as though it’s that important.  And We know none of this is THAT important.  Even if I AM usually right, is it really worth getting triggered and so upset that We switch and lose it with all the people we deal with in the clinic?  I don’t think it’s that important, even if I AM right.  I just want learn to remember to STOP ARGUING AND JUST AGREE!!! Why can”t I get this lesson into my head??  Why can’t I just agree instead of getting so upset and looking like the completely crazy psycho out of control patient they (get riled up in the first place) and expect to see?  Why can’t I just learn to AGREE? Why can’t we just quit letting them trigger us about everything by JUST AGREEING??  I just need to learn to remember to AGREE no matter what.

Worries Begone

Well the good news is I talked with my therapist about all the worrying I’ve been doing, things that are always in the back of my mind, and sometimes too much in the front of it.  And what is the good news?  I don’t have to worry about them!

My worries about not getting better and my opposite worries about actually getting better, DON’T have to be worries at all!  I was so relieved when she told me, even though I didn’t quite believe her at first.  But she explained that as long as I didn’t feel ready to go back to normal life, ready to work full time, then that meant I’m not ready yet.  And so, since I’ll be seeing her up to at least that point, that she will know I’m not ready (obviously!) and so I don’t need to worry about her saying to a Social Security review board that I am ready.  Ad she also said since I have been categorized by the state as ‘SMI’ (some states use this to group Seriously Mentally Ill persons into one system so they receive all or most of their services from a single location.) my case will remain open basically forever (even if I recover completely) as long as I need meds.    Sooo, the upshot is,  my therapist’s notes will show if I am ready to return to ‘normal life and work’ or if I’m not based on ME!  And my clinic will keep me active indefinitely.  So, I don’t need to worry about if I look too healthy for how I feel, or feel too depressed or fragile for how I look!  Which also means, I don’t need to worry about a Social Security review.    Long story short, nothing about my situation will change, until I’m ready for it to.

And she also said it is ok to feel both still not recovered AND better at the same time.  And that I will know it when I truly feel good again.

Anyway, I was just so thrilled with her explanation and reassurance that for the first time in 4 years I am not carrying those worrisome burdens around, wearing myself out being afraid of losing everything all over again.  Now, I can finally take that tumor out, worry less, feel more comfident, and free up space in my brain for other much more worthy worries.

Will I Ever Be Better

Am I healthy or am I sick? I am afraid of being thought to be healthy when I still don’t feel fully healthy.  I mean I do feel healthier than 4 years ago, but I still don’t feel completely healthy.  What if SSDI thinks I am healthy, completely healthy?  Or What if my psychiatrist or my therapist think so?  What if I’m let go of treatment (except just maintenance) and while I’m somewhat better, I’m not yet ready, not yet completely healthy?

What will I do if I lose my Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid?  If I’m forced to return to work, but can’t return to the level of work I worked before?  What if instead of working in healthcare as a unit supervisor instead I’m working at the local grocery store or WalMart?  How could I live on that income, and how could I afford insurance to stay on my meds and see my psychiatrist periodically for refills? What if I couldn’t even hack working full time at one of those places?  What if I have to go off my meds?  No matter how much better I am now than 4 years ago, I would still end up right back in that place I climbed out of then.  I would lose all the progress I made so far, and I would have no hope of getting out of that deep dark hole a second time.

I’m sure I don’t want to stay in the place I am now, or return to the place I climbed out of.  I don’t want to keep feeling hurt, anxious, scared, angry and confused.  I don’t want to keep being triggered and acting in ways I don’t really mean or intend or want to act.  I’m sure I do want to be better.  I do want to feel better.  I do want to live life and not just wait for life to and wish it would pass by faster.  I want to be in control of my actions, be able to choose what I say and do, even in triggering situations.  I don’t want to be sad, depressed and not find joy in life.  I don’t want to be overwhelmed and terrified when I go out into the world to live my life.

I know I want to be completely healthy.  I just don’t want anyone else to think I am before I do.  And I know people will say I am borrowing trouble by having these worries.  But I can’t help it.  I’m so afraid that because I am better than I was, that because I look like I’m functional, that people will think I really am well.  And if they do that, then I will lose everything I have gained this far, and maybe never get back to what I have now, much less ever become fully well.

All of these worries cause me to question how I feel.  Do I feel healthy?  Strong?  Confident?  Could I work at all?  Could I work full time?  How long could I keep that up til I broke and had to quit or get fired?  What would I do then?  Why do I still feel so weak?  So chronically exhausted all the time, and completely worn out if I do the slightest thing–like getting haircuts, or eating out.  Why do I still feel so fragile, like I could be broken in a strong wind, irreparably damaged?  And yet, at the same time, I see the evidence around me of how I am more able to do things, especially without losing control like I used to.  I am not as anxious when I am home like I used to be.  So I know I am improving but I am not yet fully healed.  And I am not sure how to feel about where I am right now.  Part of me says I am better while the other part says I am still sick.  The truth is somewhere inbetween, but how is that supposed to feel, or look?  I don’t know how I am now.  I only know how I am not.


This post may be *Triggering*

This post may be *Triggering*

I am so ugly, the ugliest most disgusting being ever.  I am vile, vomitous, loathsome.  I can barely tolerate being in my own skin.  Everything about me is ugly.  My outside, my inside.  Especially my inside–especially my thoughts, my feelings, my anger, hurt, pain and frustration.  But especially my fear.  I strive so hard to stop making the mistakes I have always made.  I strive so hard to do things right.  And yet, I always do the same things wrong again, over and over.  Like giving trust, and it always being misplaced.  So now instead of them being in the wrong, its me, for continuing to do it.  Now its my bad, all on me, because I should have known better.  What is wrong with me?  Why do I never learn from my mistakes?  Why do I keep failing?

I can’t even look at myself.  I am so loathsome.  I am a failure, worthless, who will never be like others.  I will always wear the stench of worthlessness, of filth and trash.  I am unable to have the things people have.  I cannot function like others.  I barely function at all.  I am the diseased leper, who should be left behind so as not to be a burden, not to bring vileness and ugliness upon them.

Everything I do is failure.  Everything I do pushes me down farther.  Everything I do is disaster.  I cannot trust anyone, no one at all.  I cannot even trust myself.  All I do ultimately betrays me, sends into the quicksand.  All my failures remind me of my worthlessless, my ugliness, how I am nothing and deserve the nothing that I have.  Sometimes I try to struggle, to push out of the quicksand.  But I am in too deep.  I keep being pulled further down with every effort I make to save myself.

I can’t try to save myself because it pushes me closer to the end.  Everything I have ever done and will do lead to my ultimate demise.  I despise myself as others always have.  I know I am incapable of success, of happiness, of closeness to another human being.  I know whatever I will do, will only remind me of how worthless I really am.  I am ready to accept there is nothing I can do stop my death.  Struggling brings it closer faster, but accepting and waiting will make it take longer.  But at least I won’t have to face my ugliness at every stroke, every action.  Maybe, I’ll even have some peace without the struggling, before I go.  I am afraid to live, because I always fail.  I am no longer afraid to go.  It is the only thing in this world I can count on.

Please Call!




For anyone who doesn’t already know, or in case I haven’t said it, I’m on Social Security Disability due to how my symptoms of my mental illnesses affect me, causing me to be unable to work, and well, basically, to do anything other than be a mom to my kids.  So, all the proposed changes and cuts to Medicare and Social Security benefits are really really important to me (and anyone over 65, or who is disabled and cannot work).  So, I am posting a plea from the AMA Action Network that I received today to not allow anymore cuts to Social Security, and another from The Progressive Change Committe, asking to vote against stopping any new COLAs.  All it asks is that you call your State Representatives and ask them not to vote for the proposed changes that would stop any new Cost of Living Adjustments to those on Social Security Retirement or Disability and also to stop any further cuts.  I think this is a really important issue, and not just cuz I am receiving that benefit, but because one day, all of us will be elderly and will be depending on the Social Security Retirement benefit that we have paid into our entire working lives.  This proposal, by Obama (!), must not become law!




Ok, so here it is….:

You are receiving this email because you subscribed to the Patients’ Action Network.
Not interested anymore? Unsubscribe.
AMA Patients' Action Network

Tell Congress: Failure in preventing Medicare cuts is not an option!

Dear K,

Inconceivably, patients are once again watching Congress come too close to the edge and risking irresponsible Medicare payment cuts.

An impossibly steep 26.5 percent Medicare cut for all physician services is scheduled for Jan. 1 and the threat is growing day by day that Congress will do nothing but defer action until next year — once cuts have already been enacted.

Inaction by Congress gambles with the access to care that Medicare patients rely on!

Demand that Congress act before Jan.1 by contacting your representative and senators — send them an urgent email by clicking here and call their offices through our grassroots hotline at1-888-434-6200.

Time and again lawmakers have agreed that the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and annual threat of cuts is flawed, only to respond with short-term solutions and partisan games instead of permanently resolving the problem.

Allowing cuts to occur on Jan. 1 and waiting until next year to act will interrupt access to care for Medicare beneficiaries. Failure and mismanagement by Congress in preventing cuts would seriously undermine Medicare’s ability to act as a reliable health insurance program.

This is unacceptable.

For the health and benefit of patients, Congress must act before Jan. 1!

Email and call today at 1-888-434-6200

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Enable images to see the Huffington Post's bold RAW DEAL headline

Call Rep. Flake today.


URGENT: The Washington Post reports that President Obama just offered Republicans an “across-the-board cut in Social Security benefits.”

Action is needed now. Can you call Representative Jeff Flake and ask him to publicly oppose the White House deal? Click here for the number and a script.

Ironically, Republican members of Congress may be key to defeating a bad deal, so your call today will make a big difference.

The president’s proposal would cut cost of living adjustments for seniors (and veterans and others). You may hear policy wonks refer to this as “chained CPI.”

The Washingon Post explains, “Adopting chained CPI would, in effect, cut Social Security benefits.” Nobel economist Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times that “there’s no good policy reason to be doing this” and calls it “cruel and stupid.”

Our polls show that by 5 to 1, voters in swing states and even the president’s home state of Illinois oppose these cuts! That means even Republican politicians should care.

Can you give Rep. Flake a call today and ask him to publicly oppose the White House’s proposed deal?

Thanks for being a bold progressive.

— Stephanie Taylor, Adam Green, Matt Wall, Karissa Gerhke, and the PCCC team

P.S. Here are more things you can do today.

1) We’re organizing a “waterfall” of public comments from congressional offices and progressive allies, opposing these cuts. You can follow us on Twitter or on Facebook to witness the growing chorus!

2) Thousands of Americans are promising to hold accountable Democratic politicians who support cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits. Click here to join the accountability pledge.

3) We set up an ActBlue page to highlight and reward bold progressive members of Congress who are speaking out publicly today. Check them out and donate $3 to them here.

Want to support our work? PCCC’s Draft Warren campaign was named The Nation’s “Most Valuable Campaign of 2011”! And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in $3 here.

Paid for by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee PAC ( and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Contributions to the PCCC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

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