mondo bizarro

Pig, East Asian Museum, Bath.
Pig, East Asian Museum, Bath, England, 2008.

Dear Internet,

Every week, like a dependable clock, I make it to Dr. P.’s office to talk about what is going on inside my head. Even if I do not feel like going, this is my weekly touchstone so I force myself to go because on occasion, a lot of occasions I should add, I am not a dependable narrator of my own life. I felt totally fine Thursday morning. A little manic in the brain, but nothing I felt like I could not handle. My plan was to wrestle over some ideas I had brought forth earlier, which we did, and then head on my merry little way to work for the day.

[It should be noted he tutted my fears of not having grown as a person. As he explained it, we will have similar feelings  at 15, 25, or 55. How we react with those feelings are the strength of what moves us forward as human beings.]

Instead  of taking the right fork off of Cascade Road to head to downtown, I took the fork to the left to head home. In the short drive from his office to that point, I had triggered myself into some kind of hyper mania mode in which I tried to drive 60 MPH on a residential street, Google a question on my phone, and make a phone call all at the same time. Coincidentally, none of the events are related to the other. Thankfully, I had caught myself right when this started, threw my phone down to the passenger foot well and put forth all of my effort into driving. My head had started pounding and I felt like I could not think behind the next breaths worth of words. I was snapping in and out of forgetfulness of what I needed to do (stop at the light, slow down, do not hit the car in front of you, put the phone down).

I needed to get home. Now.

Once I was safe, I called in sick to work with the complaint of a migraine which was not that far off from the truth. The spinning of thoughts and the need to do all the things at once can happen with the speed of a whirling dervish. At times, the  incredibly intense headaches start pulsating so hard, there have been occasions where I have felt faint or sick.

After coming home and unpacking my work stuff (God. What a waste of war paint.), I grabbed a big cup of tea, the heating blanket, took a Klonopin and read for most of the day in bed. I started and finished one book and put in another 100+ pages split between two others. I knew if I looked at any electronics, the mania would intensify. Case in point: I had nearly $500 in my cart with the intent of purchasing before realizing what I was doing  and putting away my iPad. Shopping, aimlessly shopping for no other reason then to get stuff and spending money, is another symptom of my mania.

As the afternoon ticked on and thanks to the Klonopin, my mania began to subside. I started feeling better, not immensely better, but better. The world started coming into focus a bit more, I did not feel like I could barely speak, and the steady stream of tea and print books filled in the missing bits of the puzzle.

The dog snoozed at my left hip, I dozed in and out of sleep myself and around 5PM, I was feeling strong enough to sort out some afternoon chores. If I could make it through those simple tasks (unload and load the dishwasher, wrap a few presents, get food stuffs ready for tomorrow), I could give myself permission to read, write, or do whatever for the rest of the evening.

Edited note: Morning interlude. Dinner last night was pizza, which I greedily consumed after eating Benadryl and Lactaid before the gooey cheese hit my mouth. An hour after dinner, while I was writing this, the Benadryl kicked in, coupled with the effects of the earlier taken Klonopin, I almost fell asleep with my hands still moving over the keyboard. I kissed TheHusband goodnight, who yelled as I left his office to not forget the bocce ball tournament in the morning with the ladies from the home (his joke on my age). I shuffled down to our bedroom, set the alarm for 6AM as I had to be at work at 7:30AM this morning, took my contacts out, set the heating blanket on 3, turned on Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, and was asleep before the blanket had warmed and the opening credits were done rolling.

I woke this morning on time and feeling fantastic. Not mania fantastic, just regular fantastic. But sleeping for nearly 10 hours, in a lovely drugged  effort that allows for no brain interruption can do that for you. I have been rebooted, for the moment.

I edited this piece before publishing to clean up the debris from the night before. Writing when I’m manic, even subdued, reads as if I am concocting my own language. Words are out of order, incorrectly used, or are missing altogether, punctuation has gone to the wayside, and my word retrieval is fucking awful.  When I am depressed, it is the complete opposite – suddenly I’m laying it thick like T.S. Eliot and Hemingway copulated and I am a product of that copulation.

Welcome to my inner world.


This day in Lisa-Universe:

in which: lisa gets confused

I’ve been sitting here moving like a sloth today. In fact, if i moved any slower, I’d probably be dead. I’m paying homage to the slugs i saw last night when I was outside at midnight varnishing a chest to hold my linens in. i got these flash brilliant points of light when i was varnishing that i could turn this hobby of one into a project in case i left my job. which is on my mind, a lot, losing my job. it ranks up there with leaving, moving, and being sexy. some would say my train
of thought seems to range down the pretty shallow range. I’d say it’s pretty human.

i just watch a pretty dreadful movie, Kate and Leopold. If you haven’t seen it, I don’t recommend it and the only cute thing was Natasha Lyonne playing Meg Ryan’s admin assist and she gushing over bodice rippers. I love Natasha in just about everything she’s done, except But I’m a Cheerleader!, because that was simply crap. Art house films for the most part seem to be filled with subversive need to push the boundaries because they can not because it actually means something. Modern art does not speak to me, however I like Kandinsky. Go figure that one out.

I have this thing about smells, always have. This weekend I went walking around the mall and was opening up bottles of cologne to sniff to see if i could find a new scene for myself. Foolish counter girls at the stores. Why is it that they assume that if you look like a bum you can’t buy anything? I could buy/sell their damn counter several times over. I did it a few weeks back before my birthday party when i bought out Clinique counter and the woman was amazed (and hooked me upon some free crap as well, which is a good thing considering how much i spent).

i wondered around and sniffed.

it was your smell

that’s all i could remember
down on the sofa, on the

closing my eyes and thinking

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.