The Move

handsacrossthesea

[originally posted on Medium]

It’s a sultry soup kind of Saturday and I’m in my apartment sorting and repacking boxes for a move. The central air clicks on and off as I work; my pug chewing on a toy pug in an act of pug cannibalism. I am not wearing a bra and I feel the dampness under my breasts grow as I work. My legs feel a bit grimy and my hair is pulled into a fizzed mess on top of my head. I catch a whiff of body order and ignore it. It’s mid-afternoon and I haven’t showered yet and I’m debating if I even will.

I am tired of the packing and unpacking, the culling of my things to the point I no longer know what I own anymore. The move before this one saw another culling of trash bags full of clothes and seven boxes of books and DVDs. I am desperate for a cigarette though I haven’t smoked in ages. I survey my box kingdom and note some of the boxes have been moved so many times, varying stickers from moving companies are stacked up like little hills. As I pack, I remove the hills in some sort of shameful ritual. Each box bears a broad category name like “dvds” which are Sharpied out and rewritten to “clothes.” I develop a system to mark what boxes will go into storage and what boxes will go to my partner’s condo and inventory the contents in a spreadsheet. I eye my bookcases wearily because I don’t want to storage my Austens, graphic novels, or my Pratchetts but as I don’t plan on re-reading any of them in the near future, they will be tucked into their cardboard beds.

This is my sixth move in two years.

In the early part of the ’90s I was diagnosed as being manic / depressive which is now commonly referred to as bipolar. I am bipolar 1, which tends to run mania rather than depressive. Since that diagnosis, I’ve swam in the land of drugs only to come out on the other side stable-ish, but often exhausted. My sensitivity to most meds comes at a high cost: I cannot tolerate most common drugs after a few weeks of relief and have spent my non-drug years fighting for a drug free stability.

All of my therapists have called me “lucky” since I am so high functioning. “Self-aware” is used so often I silently grate organ parts upon hearing it and I feel that I’m being treated like an AI robot and not a person. I am told, with the severity of my illness, they are fascinated with my ability to stay high functioning without the drugs. I am told I am atypical and there is great joy watching me under a hypothetical microscope.

A comment often shuttlecocked from my various psychiatric doctors is my extraordinary ability to cope and manage my illness. “You are strong” is the cousin to “self-aware.” It is repeated over and over again I’ve handled so much this far in life I can keep going and things will get better.

My mania started to cresendo in late summer of 2014. It was a terrible year: My beloved dog died, I left my toxic job to write a book, I was sued for libel in a $1.25M lawsuit which the case has now been dismissed. (But that’s a story for another time.) My husband and I’s relationship was fraught to the point, I thought, beyond repair. Around this time a love from a decade prior came back and wooed me with what I wasn’t getting at home. Infatuated with attention, and tired of my husband constantly and mentally checking out, I left him. Six weeks later, I watched a moving truck pack up my things to cart them a thousand miles to my new home with my lover. A man I’ve spent a total of two weeks with over the course of a decade.

And it wasn’t even October.

The mania began to build for about six months prior. My triggers: massive shopping sprees (who needs six of the same dress just in different colors?), sleepless nights, and constant agitation were all there but this time I choose to pin point them on other factors such as my dog dying, being sued, and leaving my job rather than on my illness. Who wouldn’t feel that kind of life strain?

Then the downward slide began.

Caught in this middle world with no ties to either side, it is here that I started to crash.

The plan was simple: Move my things into storage, live with my new lover, and take a mental break for a few months; it had been a hell of a year. In the new year I would start looking for work, move out on my own, and create a new life with my lover.

That was the plan.

Instead of relief, I spent, it seemed, every other night sobbing in my lover’s bedroom or in the shower or when I was driving. I could not be comforted or appeased. Everything around me, even the simplest thing felt huge.

That’s when the ping ponging started. I begged to come home to my ex-husband. I promised to be good and to get back into counseling. I promised to work on finding a good drug combination, I’d do anything, ANYTHING, to be with him again. My soon to be ex-husband made plans of his own: he would get into therapy or anti-depressants or both. He would work to help save our marriage.

A week later I broke my promise.

Several weeks later I was making promises again, sitting in a hotel room writing lengthy diatribes about my luck having two men love me for ever after. After the weekend hotel stay, I’m in such crisis I use ZocDoc to find a local therapist who could see me that day. I am prescribed drugs to help with the mania, a booster for the depression, and Klonopin to help with the anxiety. I am told it’s going to take a few weeks to stabilize.

And even after the promises from the good doctor, weeks after the drugs were started, I still continued to cycle almost violently.

I choose you! I’d say to each man, alternating like laundry on laundry day. I choose you to be with and you alone. My ex-husband writes me a letter where he tells me he will change, everything will get better, and I deserve everything he had withheld from me. My lover begs for me to stay.

This back and forth goes for weeks until I leave the lover and drive a thousand miles back to my ex-husband. He has left the door open, our song is playing on the stereo, and he’s left me love notes from the door to the dining room table with a key taped to one of the notes. I am not home for 15 minutes where I tell him I have chosen my lover over him but and that I was going to change and try to stand on my own two feet.

What I did not tell him was I made it 300 or so miles before I broke down sobbing in a McDonald’s parking lot, begging to be taken back. After I arrive in town and before I had to my ex-husband’s house, I am in a parking lot still begging. The lover takes me back.

I am to stay in town, get my own apartment, stay on the drugs given to me by the doctor I found on ZocDoc (which finally started to work), attempt to write my book again, and try to form a life. Despite the drugs giving some relief, my mood continue to sway like a pendulum. I spend days in utter misery, holed up in my tiny apartment curled on the couch, often sobbing hysterically, making promises still to both men. Despite the promises to stay married, I break those promises (again), and the divorce is finalized on April 1.

Most of the summer I am back and forth between the two men and I’m rarely in my own apartment. In one of the many moves, my things are sent to my ex-husband’s condo to be put in storage. I’ve racked up nearly 15,000 miles on my car over the course of the year and tens of thousands of credit card debt. I am running out of money and the crash that started in October 2014 starts to intensify.

One summery day I am with my ex-lover and the need to leave again is growing so strong, I can barely swallow. My ex-husband owns a cabin in northern Michigan and he wants me to come home. I tell my lover I need to leave, again, under the pretense I am going to go open the cabin and he tells me he is powerless to stop me. “It’s what you do,” he says. Resignation is visible on his face and I know he’s been pulling away for months. As one of the conditions of being back with my lover is therapy, I head to therapy later that day and almost gleefully mention I have broken up with him and I felt great. I do not tell the group I am never coming back again as I’m leaving the state in the next few days.

The month at the cabin is carefree. The ex-husband and I’s relationship has returned to what it was, sans sex, in the beginning of our marriage and with the exception of the daily texts from my lover asking me when I was coming back to him, life goes on as if nothing happened. I keep pushing out the date with legitimate excuses: My ex-husbands car has died and we’re miles from nowhere. I get a terrible summer cold and I am to rest.

Then one fateful day, my lover tells me over Facebook chat, that it is over. He needs to advocate for himself and since I was with my ex-husband, the man who knows me best of all and can take of me, I’m to stay with him until I finally get my life sorted out.

The crash that had started, trickle by trickle, is now full blown. I spends days in bed, unable to move and barely able to breathe. I blame it my ex-lover dumping me but in reality my reluctance to deal with day to day life, being diligent in my drugs and therapy coupled with the promises, the lies, the ping ponging, had taken its toll. I want to blame everyone for everything that has happened. “Bad luck,” I’d say. “Rotten timing.” But even though the now ex-lover is not perfect, I cannot really blame him for leaving. Being with someone who is bipolar is a job in and of itself.

I remain in bed for weeks, barely able to move or eat. I take my drugs diligently but the depression is so smothering I feel pinned down by its existence. I start seeing a new therapist, anti-depressants are added to my regime and slowly the cloud begins to lift.

I tell myself I’m lucky because my ex-husband, now my partner once again, is standing by my side as he’s always stood by my side. It took all of this, as painful it is to say it, to realise how much I really love him. I have a small, but steady, support network and I have not ended up homeless though at times it’s been very close.

My meds have been tweaked and I am feeling the most stable I have felt in years. I mediate and do yoga daily to help with the balance. I see a therapist. The lying and pogoing have slowed and I can feel myself beginning to breathe again. And yet while the crash in October 2015 brought on strength to keep on moving forward, for which I am grateful, but I am much more sensitive to the world around me. More vulnerable. More cautious. There is hope, even in small doses, as I slowly move forward.

This will be the last time I will move, hopefully, a very long time. What’s left of my things will be placed in storage once again and only the necessities will be kept out and used. I have learned over the last two years that my things while my things don’t define me, they are a part of me. Whereas before I would get anxious at not having my books and my memories, now I know they will be safe and waiting for me just as I was waiting for myself.

janus – faced: on being bipolar

Dear Internet,
As I started prepping today’s piece, it struck me as I am also a gemini and if you’re hip to astrology, geminis are dual natured. I don’t think you could make my life any more hamfisted or obvious.
So today is World Bipolar Day! Last year, I discovered the cause a day after it occurred — which is always my luck. Since I’m so prolific about writing about my mental state of being, I thought I would take today’s entry and point out some of the resources, blogs, and books that I use to keep my brain in check.
A few disclaimers.

  1. I am not a doctor or a therapist. I cannot treat or diagnose your brain. What I write on this site is what works for me (including drugs, more of which I’ll go into in a sec), so for the love of fuck do not take my experiences as the end all, be all of being bipolar.
  2. Bipolar is, in short, a chemical imbalance in the brain. Unlike things like anxiety or borderline personality disorder, which are managed by talk therapy, it is nearly impossible to function without some kind of drug therapy, in addition to talking therapy. Yes, yes, I know people have said they manage without drug therapy (or talking therapy) and those people who are successful at managing without any type of therapy, successfully, is tiny. Like really, really, tiny.
  3. I implore you not to self-medicate.
  4. There are several different types of bipolarism. I am bipolar 1.
  5. Bipolar is typically comorbid, which means you can be bipolar AND have anxiety AND so on. I am bipolar 1 with anxiety, adhd, and borderline personality disorder.
  6. FOR THE LOVE OF FUCK DO NOT DIAGNOSE YOURSELF ON THE INTERNET AND I DON’T CARE IF YOU USED THE MAYO CLINIC / WEBMD / OR SOME OTHER KIND OF REPUTABLE SITE. You can get recommendations from your general physician, your insurance company or in Google: psychiatrist “name of your city” to get a listing of shrinks in your area. You’re going to want a medicating shrink for your drugs and a talking shrink for your talk therapy. Some doctors can do both. They will diagnose you and work out a treatment plan for you.

The below are resources / books I use or have used and found success with in my management of my brain. I am listing mainly bipolar stuff and US based sites. I have found in my searches for “bipolar” or “bipolar blogs”, up comess lots and lots of academic-y pieces on the disorder or links to sites like WebMD with explanations of the disorder but not much after that. I have also found a few sites that were more about snake oil then providing resources or information.
Which brings me to: Be weary of sites that always want to sell you something like, “How I cured Bipolar in 10 Easy Steps” and that kind of crap. If someone wants to sell you their life story on them and bipolar, that’s one thing, but the rest is mostly snake-oil.
Now the recommendations. (Amazingly, to me, the Reddit subreddit for bipolar is pretty chill.)

Mine

  • Pinterest board where I’ve started curating mental health stuff website
  • Article at MindBodyGreen, “I’ve Had Bipolar Disorder For 20 Years. Here’s How I’ve Learned To Manage It” website
  • EpbaB tags bipolar | bipolar maniamentally healthy

Reources

Blogs

Books


I am a:  LibrarianWriter. Nerd. Geek. Sassy.  Pug owner. World traveler. Pierced. Tattooed. Tall.Music and book lover. Discriminating Guinness taster. Aging, alternative hipster. Eco-conscious. Equally in love with James Bond, Jane Austen, and Doctor Who.
I am not the sum of my diagnosis.
My brain is broken but I am not.

I am more the sum of my parts and so are you.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 1999

 

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time: 1:06

Pure Michigan

Dear Internet,
When you start wiping tears off of your phone, while playing solitaire, you know shit just got real.


I don’t feel good.
Well, what does that mean exactly?
It means the following conversation with TEH, TheBassist, and Kristin (roughly the same conversation, individual times.).
“Having a hard time getting out bed, sleeping 10-12 hours a night, and barely eating.
“(Anything else going on?)  The only things that have been going on is increased stress about being homeless, jobless, moneyless.
“I thought it was related to my period but it’s not – that tends to be mania and BPD. I am just incredibly paralyzed right now and often feel sick to my stomach.
“And this isn’t throwing up sick, it’s the pit of my stomach feeling.
“This feels differently.
“I told TEH I really dont have much left in the tank. He argued I must have something since I am hustling on the (writing) job front. So I conceded I have 1/8th if a tank left. I just don’t feel emotionally any more. I just dont. I cry all the time because I need to protect myself.
“(From what?) The world.
“I cry, it gets rid of whatever feeling I have left; then I can crawl back into myself.
“(Why?) Stay safe. I protect me and me alone.
“I don’t know. I am often too tired to check. I keep my bear close. I read. Sometimes i shower and get dressed.
“All I know is I am really scared. And tired and emotionally exhausted and drained. Something has to give and I think it’s me.”
(Meds changed? No. Dietary habits, etc changed? No. Are you smoking? No (mostly). Are you drinking? No. Are you doing drugs? No.)


This has been going on for months.


I am not suicidal.


I can trace back to January, of this year, when I was hysterical on the phone with TheBassist. He calmed me down, we made plans for me to come out to the East coast, things in my brain cooled to a smolder. In February, much was the same. March was the epic road trip of 2771.7 miles in less than two weeks. Same month the #teamharpy dismissal came. I survived that; it would reckon I could survive everything.
No.
April, May, June, July, August, and now I flipped between the East coast and the south. Four weeks here. Six weeks there. When I was in Michigan, I couldn’t bear to be in my apartment alone. I couldn’t bear being apart from anyone, seemingly specifically TheBassist. I was chainsmoking (when I could) and when I was home, it was jimjam and no shower time.
I put up a pretty good facade.


I have a friend or two who live near the cabin, whom I get in touch with immediately when I get into the area. The other day we went malling and lunch, which turned out not be that great of an idea — at least for me. As we walked around the mall being basic bitches, I watched my reflection in the mirrors as we passed. My friend looked great, hair perfect, make up on point, outfit cute. I on the other hand looked frumpy, my hair was out of control (It’s not been cut or colored for months). No makeup on, even mascara. I was slumped like a semi-colon.
I felt horrible and looked even worse.
I didn’t recognize the person in the mirror.


Earlier this week someone inferred I was a hack. Boy howdy, it didn’t take much. Tonight I rocked in my bed, in my head calling myself every terrible thing even remotely possible in the English language. “Hack.” “Untalented.” “Lazy.” “Worthless.” I could go on, but I think you see the point.
When will this ever end?


Malling friend said I put so much shit up on the Internet, I am asking for comment. I could see her point and I think I even agreed with her. But now? No. I create this space to navel gaze, operate, and exorcise my life. I make it public because I’m not ashamed of who I am and I’ve never been one for keeping things bottled up. So what if I keep regurgitating the same #content. When was the last time your life was picked neat and clean? Yeah, I thought so.


I climbed into bed about midnight and it’s going on six. I spent most of the night/morning playing solitaire with the requisite tears and staring at the slant of the A-frames ceiling. I cried some and sniffled, then cried some more.


These are not big fat ugly tears, this are small baby tears that just keep leaking from my eyes. Talking to TheExHusband was painful because my eyes immediately welled up as soon as I opened my mouth. He said it was good I was doing that, I was letting my emotions open up and be honest. I felt like a fraud standing there because nothing seems to be real anymore.
I felt the same talking to TheBassist. To Kristin. To anyone who asked.


I’ve meditate for 79 straight days. When I could be arsed to put clothes on and go outside, I walk. I am happy for a few months and it all comes crashing down. Again.


Will this ever end? I hope so. But honestly? I have no idea. All I do know is that I’m having an attack of The Sads.
And I want my teddy bear.
Lisa

Year of the Spinning Mouse (or Lisa’s Grand Scheme of a Plan for Fighting Dragons)

Dear Internet,
Sunday night I had a mini-meltdown of sorts, which lead to feelings of depression and lots of tears. I rebounded, mostly, within a few hours and more or less righted again. Taking into consideration that was the first meltdown of any kind in over a month  compared to the almost daily meltdowns I was having before I became medicated, I felt pretty good about the recovery time.
While it wasn’t a pleasant thing to have happened, it was a giant kick in the ass to get back on working on ThePlan. I talked about ThePlan abstractly in this entry, so here it is in its glory. Blue marks items completed or in progress:

  • Mental
    • Continue seeing talking therapist (Dr. Parker)
    • Stay on drug regime / tweak meds to find a series that works
    • Find medicating therapist for drugs
    • Apply for ObamaCare
    • Meditate daily using headspace.com – Back on track as of 12/29/14
  • Exercise/Health
    • Take yoga classes at local place (Bethums approved http://www.fromtheheartyoga.com/)
      • Start with 2x a week and build up
    • Do planks daily
    • Walk more to things
    • Stop eating dairy in all forms
    • Stop randomly smoking
    • Stop eating out, prepare foods at home more
    • Prep to start walking competitively (5k walks, etc)
    • Drop some weight, start slow
  • Living
    • Find apartment in Grand Rapids to live solo and work – Lease signed 12/9/14 for one year, starting January 2015
  • Money/Jobs
    • After the house sells, I will have enough money to live for a year-ish
      • Car will be paid off
      • Rent will be paid in advance for the first year-ish
      • Car /rental insurance insurance will be paid for the year
    • All credit cards will be paid off when the house sells.
    • Only monthly costs will be car gas, utilities, phone, internet, storage locker, plus small utilities such as Hulu+ and Netflix.
    • Writing
      • Look for a co-working space
      • Write daily mood occurrences and things that happened
      • During this time, I will be actively working on my book and also working on making passive income via selling short stories, ebooks, etc
      • If I am not generating enough income within the first six months, then will start actively looking for a job in my field

Because things are always fluid, this plan has changed slightly from the one that I wrote up earlier in the month; but the crux of it remains the same. I get there are some days I don’t want to get out of bed and other days I cannot get to sleep.
I need to remember that by having the plan in place, it will allow me to function while I continue to get my mental health sorted out. It won’t be easy. It won’t be smooth, but, it will be of my own making.
xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2012, 2003

tears

i do not write because i am depressed.
i am depressed because i do not write.
right now i’m on some hormonal in balance of some sort that i started silently crying in bed. but my crying started earlier today and there was a reason and i must share that story.
as it has become painfully aware, i have a quirky personality. not in a bad way, but as in irc, on-line and rl, i’m very sarcastic and have a dry sense of humour. this sense of humour does take some getting used to, but overall I’ve never had a problem with people being, well, upset by it. They may not get my sense of humour, which is fine, but, it generally does not offend.
as with many corps, we have many internal aliases that we use that splattercast various groups. i’m on quite a few myself, personally.email is an excellent technology tool — when it’s used. There are some discussion on the list sometimes but mostly it’s kept to work related items. which is fine.
we have been having some troubles with our internal software that we use on a daily basis. someone had emailed my local group and i had responded with comments of stale items not leaving after the items had been completed. i put this comment in a format of (complaint) (/complaint). It was meant in good faith. Now there is someone on my team whom has been working there exactly one week longer than myself. In recent events lately, this said person has taken it upon themselves to chastise me for saying, what they have felt was unnecessary things via email and it should never have been splattercasted. Now, if i was constantly emailing crap to the group that was totally non-work related, then yes i can agree. But this specific email was in response to something that was posted. His comments made no sense. But the kicker is, is that this person has been taken a special interest in me and emailing me anytime they feel my email is inappropriate. Keeping that in mind, i emailed this person back and gave the whole delete key speech and ended it if they felt they had a problem with me specifically they need to see our manager and/or they can set up a .procmail filter to send all my emails to dev/null seeing as, this is how they felt they were going.
They mail me back with a long speech about how i misconstrued them and how they were not going to set up filters for me etc etc and that they are not intentionally creating tensions with me because that was not their intent, etc et al. Well the thing is, they DID create tension because this brought up a whole can of worms. And I personally do not feel comfortable when people suddenly decide that i am a target. Am I over-reacting? No, i don’t think so. I pointed out the uselessness of several emails that have gone out lately and asked if this person was taken the time to write the senders of those emails the same kind of response. No, they said, they were not dealing with anyone else other than myself. So yes, i do feel singled out.
i started crying at my desk.
not blubbering tears but just silently going down my cheeks. i was working with a few telcos on several projects at the same time and was on the phone with them. I IM’d my boss (who is this persons boss as well) and she and i went to a conference room where i showed her the printed emails between me and said person and she agreed that the direction they took was unnecessary and the point they were driving across could have been worded better, which i agreed.
later on i found out that one of this person’s friends was killed earlier this week in a car crash.
while i could understand why this person could be edgy, this is not the first time this person has done this and certainly has been a multitude of times in recent memory.
I cried on my bosses shoulder.
I’ve been getting flack from some of my co-workers because I’ve been gone ‘so much’ lately. I don’t think many of them know just how late i stay on average as well as the after-hours work that i do. The problem that bothers me is that if there is an issue, my own manager would discuss this with me, certainly. I brought this up to my manager as well and she said she has not heard of any complaints from me at all — which is great. she also stated she knew how rough of situation that i had going on, mainly dealing with my mother and her problems. i had been sniffy eyed ever sense.
And of course i cannot let it go, because instead of a smart retort that i had written and postponed, i deleted it and moved on for the rest of the day. i’m nearly 30 years old and i still do not feel like i fit in. my work environment is much like that of high school, which in offices and buildings where the same people have worked together for an extraordinary amount of time, it’s bound to happen like that. but i always thought i was at least /liked/ by people. i never heard any relations that someone hated my guts or wanted to have me killed. but apparently, these people opinions matter far too much to me, enough so that i get this upset.
I just can’t win.
There is something about my personality that people other love or hate — which is fine. But those who love it don’t necessarily love it all that much. especially when times like this when i feel like no one likes me at all. that i’m unpopular and i’m unloved. I’ve always known that my personality was a bit more direct than most people like, which is fine but when it comes down to even those i know who like me but only in specific situations, that hurts.
one of the things, my therapist and i, have been going over is basically breaking down the layers and seeing what is underneath. you don’t feel like you’re depressed, but for some reason i feel like since October that my whole world has shattered and gone to shit. i have zero interest in anything and zero energy even more so. i’m being swapped around on anti-depressants so much that i’m moody and temperamental. my mother and i have been growing closer because we are in the same boat. i don’t want to kill myself but yet i can’t stop asking the question ‘what is this life worth living for?’

about a girl

i was crying this morning while i was making coffee.
Considering that i had scratched and punched Paul on Saturday, that is somewhat of an improvement.
let me backtrack:
For the last few weeks, mentally, something had not been going right inside my head. I started coming home from work, eating dinner and almost promptly going to bed. Stuff like school, writing, NaNoWriMo, my journal, etc all went out the window. I felt like I was being dragged down into this cesspit of despair but nothing externally had changed. Paul and i were still, well Paul and I, my mother still hadn’t gotten her SSI yet and I was still supporting her and everything else gosh darn remained the same.
But then stupid little incidents started setting me off. Customers who were dumber than a box of rocks (nothing new, however, I seemed to be taking a new path on how to deal with them which wasn’t good), people on mailing lists I would blow up on and use this foul language that bothered even me. The woman who ran me off the side of the road on Saturday, every little slight against me sent me into this fury that pissed me off so much I was shaking physically. I was/am spinning out of control and I do not know how to stop it.
On Saturday, I was sitting at my computer all nonchalant like when Paul asked me to fix the printer. He was prepping the list for us to go shopping for Thanksgiving dinner and I just blew up at him. My movement was so fluid, that I had no time to think or to react. I got up, and started punching and scratching Paul. I threatened to stab him with something. All the while he is looking at me like “What the fuck are you doing?” I started screaming at him about why couldn’t he fix the printer himself and i tried to force open said printer when he started yelling at me I was doing it all wrong. Once I got the printer opened, I took the color cartridge out of its place and shook it all over him, leaving drops of blue and red ink on his white T-shirt. I just did not give a flying fuck. At some point, I went and laid down, to help calm down, and that did not seem to help either. All I kept thinking about was sliding a knife down my arm vertically and just fucking ending it all. Fuck you, fuck the world, fuck my mother and my family, fuck work and most especially fuck Paul.
But I didn’t grab a knife, I just laid down and slept for a few hours hoping that the monsters would go away.
They of course, did not.
Sunday morning, I woke up after a few hours of sleep and went to the massage therapist. All the work my chiropractor had done on me for the last year had gone to hell in a handbasket as all the pain i started suffering came rushing back within the last month or so. I can’t sleep, I’m angsty and i feel like stabbing someone. really. Charisma (yes, really, that is her name) started working on me and i felt myself tense up and eventually relax. By the time I had left her an hour later, my body was like rubber. However, later on that day, I was back to being pent up, angsty, angry Lisa. Nothing was working. Not massage, not going to the chiropractor, not drugs, not relaxing, nothing. zip. nada.
I’ve never thought of myself as a cutter and have prided myself on being ‘too smart’ to follow through with cutting myself or attempting suicide, but, I’m telling you, the idea felt warm and safe in my head Saturday and this morning, the fact that all this frustration and anger came welling to the top, I’m this close to wanting to hurt myself. I’m literally hanging on by a thread.
in over a year of being with my therapist, not once can i honestly say that i wanted to hurt myself until recently. Oh, i had bouts when on new drugs that the idea seemed to be golden, but, i rationally knew it was the drugs not how i felt consciously. My family, genetically, seems to dispel drugs like there is no tomorrow. My mother had been on various anti-whatevers for the last year and she would get to the point where she would be okay, she would be almost maniac but not quiet and then BOOM, she would fall. With me, it is almost the same. Prozac, paxil, Effexor, zolotf, now Serzone all seem to have the same effects one me — fine for awhile, then the drug does not work anymore. I’m tired of feeling out of control and like my life is spinning 180 degrees. I fought so fucking hard to not be where I was five years ago only to find that it seems worthless. I feel worthless and I feel like my life is not worth it.
My eyes are welling up with tears again, like they have been for the last few weeks or so. Everything, everything is setting me off. I feel so fucking helpless, because i AM seeing a therapist, i AM taking anti-whatever drugs, i AM going to a chiropractor, i AM seeing a massage therapist. NOTHING IS WORKING. I’m so fucking pissed because I’m doing all the ‘right’ things, and yet i feel I’m back where i started over a year ago. That fuels my anger even more and i want to hurt myself or someone around me.
I just got done making breakfast as I decided it was in the best interest that I not go in today. I’m lucky, in that, half my department is fucking loony toons and that they know my history that I can call in ‘sick’ and tell them really why i was ‘sick’.
I sat there chopping up onions and green peppers thinking I can make this omelette (which, I of course burn) and the thought of slicing my skin is still there. I watch the omelette burn and I have this special omelette pan in which when I flipped it over, a plastic part of the pan starts burning stinking up my kitchen. I toss the whole mess into a regular frying pan and end up making scrambled eggs with potatoes, onions, and green peppers.
My life could be described just like that: it’s a mess so i transfer it over to something else. I’m tired, oh so tired of fighting to stay alive. I keep myself in check all these years, busting my ass to do the right things, and to make up for all the things i feel I’ve done to slight people and myself and I can not catch up. I just can’t do it anymore.
For a long time, I wanted to be crazy, like really crazy , mental hospital crazy, but my mom’s experience this summer showed that what i saw in movies and what was real were wildly different things. I still want to be crazy, I feel worthless enough because I cannot accomplish anything feasible. Everything feels like this huge burden that I cannot even begin to touch.
You’re a child, and you are told from day one that you are special and worthwhile and bright and gifted. You are told you can do anything you want, that the world is your oyster and you cannot fail at anything.
Then the chemistry changes and at the age of nine you are seeing a therapist because “you’ve been a bad girl,” and your mother keeps yelling at you how everything is your fault, and you are grounded not for days or weeks but for months and years. You run and escape into books and feel paranoid. You feel like everyone is out to get you and you can’t understand why at the age of 9,10,11 why you don’t have friends like other people have friends. You’ve spent so much of your young life being grounded that you miss out on birthday parties and events with other kids. You don’t have friends. The people who say there are your friends only use you because you are stupid enough or naive enough to think they like you. But they don’t, not really. Kids are cruel creatures.
So you grow up, your family moves, and you start a new school where no one knows you. You think that you can be anything you want to be, but your attempts at making friends is feeble and you spend most of your lunch periods reading or writing, always alone. Your 13. Your body changes and you suddenly develop breasts and lose some of the baby fat, and suddenly guys want to date you. You still feel like this insecure be-speckled person you were when you were nine and 10. Fat, worthless, pointless. You don’t know what changed but now people want to be your friend, but they are they wrong type of friends. They are the ‘bad kids’, but you don’t care because someone finally pays attention to you and you feel happy because now you have ‘friends’, and that’s all you wanted. Everything becomes this big blur as you enter high school and everyone leaves you alone because they either don’t know you or assume you are a transferring senior when really you’re just a 5’10 150lb freshman. You still think you were so fat. Then you go on the special school trip where your class of AP students travel to Kentucky. You get lured into and locked into a cabin with the swim team where they get this bright idea to gang rape you. You fight and claw and run screaming into the bathroom and a friend saves you. But no one is told. Not the parents, not the guardians, no one. You sit through the going away party glaring at the boys who had tried to harm you and they act nothing is going on. Back to school, everything changes and suddenly rumors are spreading and the same boys who grabbed you are leering at you and making comments. Kids are so cruel, they didn’t mean it.
You start getting older, 14, 15 and things remain the same. You now feel like two people instead of one. One who doesn’t give a fuck and the one who does. She (me/i/her) still hangs out with the ‘bad kids’ and the other half goes and starts studying for the LSAT. The two worlds cannot reconcile themselves and the fighting at home becomes worse and your mother keeps taking you to separate therapists where you confess just what an awful child you are. You start a new habit of breaking things. You get angry and start breaking anything made of china or glass. Your friends get used to it and you laugh it off and your mother gets angry for breaking all the dish ware in the house. You had as a child taken a point of where you used to sew your fingers together with needle and thread, through the upper layers of your skin. You would sew and sew and then rip it out gingerly and start over again. You used to pull huge clumps of hair out. At 16,17 and 18, nothing has changed. You lose your virginity to someone you don’t love only to have him dump you four days later for a whore. You sleep with whoever and you don’t care, thinking your this badass who can deal with it and you know they are jerks and won’t call you again. You spend a lot of time hiding under your desk when on the phone, as if the wrath of your family is just that bad, but your family consists of a younger brother and a mother and how can it be so bad?
Anyone who was seriously into you, and I mean seriously into you, leaves because they can’t deal with the mania and the depression that follows. Sometimes you forget to eat and when you do eat, you gain weight. Except now you are cycling, between the mania and the depression. You move again and again with your mother and move to Toronto when your 18, only to find that the lessons you had learned as a child are still with you. You come back having only made a few friends, didn’t leave the house and nothing changed for you. It was still the same.
Then it cycles faster.
And as you get older, you notice that the so-called ‘adults’ you are supposed to be, still have the same tenacity as the children you knew. No one is interested in being ‘real’ or friends with you, they would rather lie, cheat and steal. Instead of hair pulling or sewing, you cry and don’t leave your room for days. Friends call and want to go out, and you have panic attacks thinking about leaving the house. Then a few days later everything is ‘fine’ and you pretend nothing happens.
Your world has become disjointed and you tell yourself you’ll pull out of this bullshit and move on. But you can’t reconcile the differences between reality and fantasy. Reality is much too fucking painful to deal with. Either that or your sense of reality is too fucking painful. You don’t see happiness or warmth in anything, it’s all gray and dark and dismal.
Memories keep shooting up to the forefront and you still cry. You cry when your mother left you with cast up to your thigh on the Christmas you were 22 and your 16 year old brother was with you to help you use the port-a-potty because you could not walk the 50′ to the bathroom. Your brother helps you up the stairs and you really bathe for the first time in a week and your next door neighbors come over on Christmas day and help you hobble over to their house for dinner. THEN the police show up at your door because your father is worried you were being mistreated (22, no phone in the house, no food and your mother and her husband are gone for the holidays). The following Christmas your mother gives you a bottle of washer fluid for your car, and you sit there crying. Your brother and you start a tradition where you go to blockbuster and grab burger king for dinner. You hate Christmas and all the fake cheer that is associated with it.
Now you are 29. Next year you’ll be 30. All through the years you’ve kept a pretty good handle on the monsters. You’ve kept them at bay and worked to not let them interfere with your life on day to day basis, but you know that is a lie of sorts. If you really kept them at bay, you would not be suffering this pseudo-breakdown you are today. You feel embarrassed and guilty for bringing it up, and the non-stop headaches you have lately does not dissipate with bringing all this information forward.
Part of you, a good chunk of you, has given up. It’s easier to automate your life and work on that than to work on what’s really bothering you, but even you don’t know what’s bothering you anymore. Everything seems so trivial and of a lesser extent than when you make it real. But if there were true, there would be no fucking reason why you would be fucking crying at Harry Potter or any other movie that shows some sort of goodness to the heart.
The other part of you, albeit seemingly feeling small and unimportant is hanging on for dear life. Sheer will is keeping you together as your body is trained to handle certain things, but, sheer will is losing out fairly quickly. Rationally you know that you won’t necessarily do anything to harm yourself, but that is fast running low against the monster that wants to hurt you.
The irony of the saying “god only gives you what you can handle” which has been drilled in your head since your Catholic school days is fast losing its hilarity.
———–
I’ve got a 3:30pm appointment today with my shrink.
x0x0x
lisa

sadness you crave

before i start ranting and raving, you will notice (if you are paying attention) that i have now put the goddamn cam up again. i don’t know what possessed me to do it other than the usb can i had was pissing me off and i had to have a cam again so up went the old greyscale parallel port one. so you get noire lisa — and yes i really am that pale. you will also see the lisa-patented barrette in action. and yes, i do have a nose, but what do you expect from greyscale?
this will also be a very sad and depressing mea culpa type of piece. if you want to be depressed like me, go look at my list of mp3s that i have currently playing. You’ll be tragic in no time.
this entry will be loaded with irony up the ass. and i think if you only the reason why it’s ironic, you’ll get it. but if you don’t get it, then i can’t explain it to you.
hahaha. that’s just fucked up. but it’s true.
so i awoke this morning with a strange sense of depression. it was weird to me, at least, because when i awoke i was lying on my stomach and i could feel the depression embrace me like a bird flying overhead. in a sense it’s partly hard to describe, but i just felt it slowly come over me and i got up and called myself silly for being a dumbass. this wasn’t depression like “oh god i just want to go and die, my life is so tragic *backofhand to forehead*”, this was just like, i was sad. just very very sad.
so I’ll begin at the begin.
point a: I’m taken.
point b: I’m taken.
someone once said to me you “you are so very taken!”, and i guess being in serial monogamous relationships for the past 10 years can do that to a person. i used to bitch/moan that i never had a bf in my early 20s and now i can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a boyfriend within the last five years.
one of the aspects of having someone being your bitch is that, well, free sex. and the love and cuddling and all the other shit that comes with relationships, including the arguments and the make-up sex and shit.
so yah, then you can like be single and stuff. and being single can be cool cos you can date whom you want and do what you want and you do not have to answer to anyone but yourself and don’t have to worry about hurting someones feelings. but then there is that empty feeling of being alone and not having someone around when you need someone to talk to, and then you get older and suddenly your 30 and the only thing you’ve accomplished in your life is this black book and list of fuck buddies.
okay maybe that is a bit drastic, but you get my point.
[crank! my dream complete!]
i have musing lately how no one seems interested in me. i know i know, i have pauly and i shouldn’t worry about it, but the thing is, as a human, I WANT TO BE ADORED! i want to be worshipped from the ground level on up — but the thing is, I’m taken and i should be very happy that i have someone who adores me, but deep down i know it’s not enough.
i bitch to my friends that it’s always about how I’m treated as pauls other half and as one of the guys, I’m not treated like a person or even better yet, a female. to be honest, that hurts more than anything. i feel sometimes asexual and with no feelings because the only person who seems to appreciate me for being attractive to their eyes is my own bf.
Don’t start picking apart at my logic, cos it will gets you none :]
moving right along, i have guys i flirt with but there is always that very very safe assurance that nothing is every going to happen anywhere along the way. like my friends rob and moe. we flirt all the time and it basically means nothing because we’ve gone from that line of friends to brother and sister. sleeping with them would be like sleeping with your sibling, and i am not from Alabama, so lisa isn’t going there.
Saturday night Ivette and i got all dressed up to drive to Baltimore to see my friend mandyplay with his band at some rinky dinky bar in Fells Point (like 25 people would have been overcrowded for this joint — that’s how small it was). It was a hard won fight with paul to go out that night, mainly because of his age and his lack of driving skills, we haven’t done much of anything since we’ve been to VA — and I’m really hoping that will all change when he turns 21.
So Ivette and i dressed up in bar clothes, not knowing what kind of bar this was, and well, we were overdressed, however, since it was fun to dress up for something other than a special occasion, i didn’t care. Now, mandy pandy is a long standing friend of mine that i met via TLC (go figure — he’s a fan of my site and I’m a fan of his music — much ego stroking here) and we started talking on AOL IM back in the day and he was fun to flirt with, and we had swapped pictures of each other and spoke on the phone and the whole nine yards. I like Mandy because not only was he witty and got my bad jokes, he had the same music tastes as I do (everything Brit baby!). Since Mandy was also from Miami, I wanted him and Paul to meet because I wanted Mandy to fall into the Moe/Rob categories where I could flirt with them and have nothing be taken seriously. I wanted to do things with Mandy without Paul getting into that obessive/jealous category. I just wanted some freaking FRIENDS goddamnit, that were mine and not pauls and mine and not work related. And yah, it felt good to have someone think of me as being attractive.
Silly me to think that.
Being taken and all.
Ivette and I were hanging out at the bar, drinking and watching them warm up before playing and Mandy (as promised) played a few bars of “I wanna be adored” as promised, and I was happy sitting there drinking my sierra Nevada (i had four and was pretty tipsy). Mandy was busy with band stuff so Ivette and I talked about men and other shit, and then the Skydivers played.
Overall, for all the technical problems they had, the set wasn’t half bad — it was pretty good in fact. Mandy and co launched into a full rendition of “I want to be adored” by the stone roses (unrehearsed) and I was so happy I almost started crying (having missed the roses in concert and thusly anything live, even a cover, makes for one happy lisa). After playing the song, Mandy pointed to me and said something like “This one is for you baby!” Shortly after, they finished their hour plus long set, we all headed back into the, what would be called the “green room” and talked.
Something changed — whether it was me or the tension or atmosphere or the fact I kept drinking and chainsmoking, i don’t know what changed. My heart was aching because I had left my cellphone in my car and I knew paul was calling every 15 minutes but on the other hand i wanted to be adored and that is what I came to Baltimore to do.
I went from teasing Mandy to ignoring him and having more fun talking to his bandmates Rand and Mike. It was like I wanted to be adored by Mandy and on the other hand I had a boyfriend and I wasn’t willing to take things any farther than flirting because I valued my relationship too much. But Mandy was pretty much ignoring me and talking to Ivette and whether it was something i blew out of proportion or not, but on the way home I said to Ivette “he was hitting on you, wasn’t he?” and she said “Yes.” I slunked down in my seat and just stared out at the landscape of 95 on the way home to my fiance.
i started beating myself up inside for even thinking those thoughts. For the most part, Paul and I are really happy and I know Paul satiates everything I need, but my own thirst and trouble with being committal drives wedges in us which starts fights, which ends with me curled up in the bed just reading to make the thoughts go away. There are weeks/months that I want the whole happy nine yards with Paul and then i get in moods and I want to fuck shit up.
So i was in a mood to fuck shit up.
Ivette and I waited around like two groupies for them to finish loading mandy’s car. There were talks of grabbing food but by now it was going on 2am and home was over an hour away. If we left at that point, we would be home at 3:30am at the earliest and if we went for food, even later. Paul would be furious and I wasn’t sure how far I wanted to push the line at this point.
[hello frantic frauds of verse.]
Mike dropped us off at my car, in which it was required of Ivette to undo her boot to grab the car key. I jumped in the passenger side, since I had much to drink and drove to meet Mandy back in front of the bar.
When we pulled up in front of Mandy’s car, paul and i were arguing on the phone. He pissed me off so bad i started slamming my StarTec against the dashboard and Mandy just watched wide-eyed. He asked if we were going to go to breakfast with him, and I said no, his royal highness is demanding that I come home now. He said “fine. I’d like to take you two out to dinner some time. ” I said “Who, me and Ivette?” and he said “Yah.” I said “Um, why?” Mandy replied “for no reason, i just want to.” Mandy looked at me and said to call him anytime i needed him and told Ivette to call him too. With that, Ivette pulled a u-ie and we went home.
The car ride, which we were quiet and I was coming down from my drink induced buzz, was interesting. I felt stupid for thinking that getting adored was dumb by someone not your own boyfriend. I was no longer a high schooler looking for the man of her life, I was a 28 year old female preparing to get married to her fiance. I should be fucking happy and given any other person in this situation, they would be fucking happy too.
But I’m not and I don’t know why I suddenly felt sad today.
I of course, being me and all things that are me, woke up this morning with that sadness that just crawled over my skin. I got out of bed and fed Wednesday and thought about it some more. Ivette and I talked about it pretty intensely last night on the way home and she assured me I wasn’t being dumb for being angry and sad at the same time. It is a pretty human concept to want to be loved and adored by others around us. We all want to feel like we are the bomb shit yo.
Thoughts started drifting into my head about this pseudo rejection that had occurred (in my eyes). I hate being rejected by anything, especially men. It does not matter if I want them or not, if they reject me, it hurts my fragile psyche and then starts all the self-doubts that come sliding in (I’m too fat, I’m too aggressive, I’m too this I’m too that).
I hate this shit. It’s so 1986. GAH!
[which you feel is which you are, what you are is beautiful]
I won’t lie and say that a part of me hasn’t entertained the idea of starting something with Mandy if I were single. It has. That’s only human and for me it’s perfectly normal to do the whole “meetsomeoneandlivearelationshipwiththemin30seconds”. But, something always stopped me from even really going to that point. Maybe Paul’s threats of cutting my tits off has something to do with it. I’m not sure.
I know a lot of what I am/have been feeling goes back to that whole shit with Mike Norton back in 1999. When I *assumed* something and Mike rejected me on the play ground in Memphis. That time period takes us back to when Paul got his shit together and finally got the balls to admit he was in love with me, but that is neither here nor there.
I’ve attempted to bring this up with various therapists over the years and the words “responsibility”, “living in a dream world”, “act your age” seem to ring a few bells at this point and time. So they dope me up on 300mg of Effexor and tell me to live a happy and prosperous life.
I’m angry and I can’t explain why I’m angry. I’m sad and I’m pretty sure why I know I’m sad. I feel boxed in and can blame that on a 100 and one different things. Pauls bitching about freethinkers and I wish I had an answer because I know this is only going to keep going on and on.
Paul and I talked tonight and I postponed the wedding till 5/2002. He assured me that we can have the wedding whenever we want and he knows that he doesn’t want to mess with the little girl dreams. I wish I had answers, but only the thoughts of Danny telling me how non-committal I am and how I should just be happy. I’m being overrun by exboyfriends who keep seeing the same pattern and I of course, think I am fine.
not verbatim, but you’ll get the drift – “Why is it that every time something happens, you’ve got to throw up on your goddamn website?” – Jeff Z, another guy I had met via IRC and “assumed” that something was going to happen — got rejected when I was visiting him in Pennsylvania, Christmas 1997.
I’ve got a crack in my heart,
x0x0x0x
lisa