Category Archives: family

Today is…

It’s World Mental Health Day. While I was on Twitter I saw this hashtag, clicked it & began reading the tweets. Some were inspiring, others were personal & touching. Many said familiar things like, “people just call me lazy” or, “people don’t take this seriously” (and they don’t), “maybe someday mental health will be treated as physical health is”.

I do have a mental illness, unfortunately, I have more than 1 diagnosis. It’s almost 4:30am & I’m sleepy but have something to say. Whether or not I share this publicly, I don’t know, that would take a lot of courage as people can be cruel. I don’t take sharing what I’m about to write lightly, I’ve considered it for over a year; today feels right. I realize opening my blog to “everyone” is risky, but if it helps one person, then it’s worth the risk.

On May 15, 2013, I tried to kill myself. I had tried a few times before but they were cries for help, not the BIG one. I researched how many pills it would take to kill myself, I had enough & even more, so I took them all. I also took other pills (a lot of them) to insure I’d die. (I’m not giving specifics cuz I don’t want to assist anyone else that may be suicidal). I should have been dead, very dead. Obviously, I didn’t die, I didn’t even pass out until many hours later. I wrote a letter to my kids & one to Jim, the one to Jim wasn’t nice. I got all my belongings & put them in my cars, at the time I had two. I told my kids certain things I wanted each to have in their letter.

My plan was foiled when I asked a neighbor if I could hide 1 of my cars at his house & said I wanted to put a tarp over it so Jim wouldn’t see it. This was bizarre & so not the norm for me, he called my son. One thing led to another & bottom line is after family got involved, I was taken to the ER & was hospitalized for over 2 weeks. The hospitalization was an absolute nightmare, the details of which I’ve only shared with my therapist & very few others; it’s not something I’ll ever share publicly. All I will say is, if someone tells you an unbelievable horrific story that happened while they were hospitalized, please believe them.

The day I did this I thought it was because I was mad at Jim, it wouldn’t be until a few weeks after I was home that I read my diary & somehow looked at the history on my computer, I saw I had been researching how to kill myself. When I read my diary it scared me so much I tore the pages out & cut them up. I cannot honestly say I was glad I survived because I wasn’t, however I went into an outpatient program for 10 weeks that I can say, without a doubt, has saved my life.

I had been to a few outpatient programs before, but this one was different. The program was the 1st time in my life I ever felt accepted for who I am, not who they want me to be, or think I can be, but who I am right now. I learned coping skills, how to recognize triggers & mindfulness. I learned it was safe to trust with the darkest secrets I had- I got things out I’d held in all my life. The program did not “cure” me, there is no cure, but it’s given me the opportunity to live.

Two months before my suicide attempt, my mom died. My mom was my life. We talked daily & my life revolved around her. She only lived about a mile away at a senior complex & I was the one that mainly helped her out. I took her to appointments, we went out to eat, shopping, or I’d just visit with her. Although she was 84, she was a very young 84. She always dressed up & had a smile on her face. When she got sick the decline was rapid & within 3 weeks, she passed away. My entire world crumbled. When my mom was alive I couldn’t imagine living, breathing in a world without her; sometimes I still wonder how I’m able to.

My life is not perfect, it’s not even what I want it to be. I don’t usually like very many people or this world, if I’m being completely honest and I am. I’m undoubtedly a pessimist and am okay with that. I’m an introvert who has always thought I was an extrovert. I march to the beat of a different drummer… a very different drummer. There are times I kind of like myself and while that may not seem like much, coming from a person who, as a teenager once looked herself in the mirror and said, “I’m going to kill you”, it’s a huge accomplishment.

I still have periods of days, weeks, months, where I am depressed, but suicide is no longer an option. After seeing the pain I caused those I love & working hard to mend those relationships, I don’t want to hurt them again. Someone that is suicidal is not a coward, it takes strength to fight every single day when your brain is telling you otherwise. The fight is exhausting & can seem senseless, at the time, the thought of “giving up” seems like a rational option; it never is.

I am not writing this for sympathy. If I do share this publicly, what I don’t want is for anyone to say, “I’m sorry.” Please, do not be sorry! I’m fortunate to have insurance & able to seek help, millions with mental illnesses are not so fortunate.

I’m writing this in case there is someone who is depressed, or suicidal and feels hopeless. If that’s the case and you’re reading this: You’re not alone. There are people that can and will help you. If I can survive, you can too, please trust me on this. You aren’t the worst and you aren’t so different than anyone else with mental illness; you’d be very surprised at how much we all usually have in common. You, just you alone, are worth living for.

National Suicide Prevention LifeLine for USA: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Welcome to my ramblings

It’s at time likes this when I can’t get my mom off my mind.  I was sitting outside & started worrying if she was okay in her apt., then it hit me that she died.  In an odd way, I felt relief for her and for me, I don’t have to picture her (in my mind) fallen on her bathroom floor…suffering, or worry about the most unrealistic things happening to her.  Even though she’s gone, I know she’s safe.  That seems like kind of a backwards way of thinking, doesn’t it?

In many ways I’m fortunate.  Although I am able to think of things I regret regarding my mom, they are very few, and quite honestly, I really have to think hard to come up with them. My mom lived 85 wonderful years, she died 6 days after her birthday. She’d told me a few days before that, that this would be her last birthday. I told her not to say that, even though I knew it was most likely true, Although the days before her death weren’t how I envisioned them, she was well cared for and surrounded by family that loved her.

My daughter’s co-worker lost her mom recently and said something to the affect that her mom’s death was nothing like she expected; it wasn’t what we see in the movies, or on t.v.   And to add to the issue is that in our society, death is rarely talked about… it’s a taboo subject. Every single death, or act of dying is different. I’ve learned that worrying about somebody dying, or trying to think how you’ll feel after their gone, is such a waste of time, and I think it’s more common than we like to admit.  We want to be in control, especially of our loved ones, but at that time, in that process, we’re not.  We can just love them and take care of their needs; Hospice is such a godsend

In other societies the passing onto the afterlife is considered sacred; I consider it sacred, but at the same time that has no effect on how painful the loss of my mother is. I’m pretty sure my beliefs about the afterlife are nontraditional and I struggled for years to find my “truth”.  It’s not the truth most have.  I believe my mom is in a beautiful place filled with light, love and all her loved ones.  I don’t believe in a mean, angry or vengeful “god”, I don’t even believe in 1 particular entity.  Quite honestly, I don’t find that part relevant. I simply believe that when we pass to the afterlife, we’re surrounded by love-no matter who we are, or were. That’s enough for me.

I have this peace of mind and yet I ache for her.  I can’t tell you how many mornings I’ve woken up and it’s like that movie, Groundhog Day, except it’s awful. In my sleep I forgot my mom died, so when I wake up, I think she’s alive, and then I remember and I just cry. One time last week it happened 3 times in one morning. It is happening less and I think I’m less shocked when I remember, perhaps I should be happy in that moment that I think she’s still alive.

I know I’m jumping all over the place, that’s what my mind does at night. This may not make sense to anyone but me, but I think this (me thinking of my mom so much) is in a way, hanging on to her. When this part passes or I move on from it, it will be 1 less part of my mom that I have here with me.

I’m an honest person, so when I say “I’m going to be perfectly honest…” don’t think it means I’m not at other times, k? That said, I’m going to be perfectly honest here: I will completely understand if anybody stops reading my blog. Right now I know I’m writing for me. I do have a journal that I write to my mom in, but this is part of my therapy. I’m sure some people must think I think of my mom too much, and maybe I do. What I’m trying to say is I realize this probably interests/benefits nobody but me.

Until she died I hadn’t realized how close we were, how much time we spent together. I was at her beckon call for the past 2 years and I didn’t dislike it.  Yes, at times I was lazy & didn’t want to go out, but she helped me in that way cuz I’d take her for her hair appt., mani/pedi, to the market, clothes shopping, visiting relatives. She gave me a purpose, she really did.

This Day Sucks

I have no idea whats going on, I feel like my life’s backwards. I need to laugh, like “laugh your ass off” kinda laugh (but no, I don’t drink alcohol)…so there’s that. Don’t think I’ve said more than 10 words on Twitter since my mom got sick. Right now, it’s really hard for me to refer to her – I keep expecting her to come back, but she’s gone. Forever.

There’s nothing like a mom, I can tell you that. I have nobody to call and talk to who would “get me“, my mom would at the very tone of my voice. This weekend I went to Encinitas, it’s a wonderful quaint little city in San Diego- kinda hippiesh- I love it. I went all by myself, I’ve never done that in all my 54 years. I usually don’t like leaving my house, but now I find myself wanting to take off & just go… where? I don’t know. I have a cousin at the beach in O.C. (but the people there are much different than S.D. people-not my cousin though)  Then I have my other cousin in Santa Barbara, I’d love to go there. I could just watch the waves all day long ~ they’re just so beautiful.

My kids have taken it upon themselves to parent me… I’m not liking it 1 bit. I know it’s out of love, but c’mon, telling me to get out of bed when I’m taking a nap, cuz I got 3-4 hours sleep?? But their advice! Oy Vey! Don’t get me wrong, it’s good advice, they’re well-grounded kids (adults), but both my parents are gone now – they’re dead. I need to process this as do my kids.

I know there are grieving support groups, but I don’t want to go to one.  I want only 1 thing and I know I can’t have that – so that leaves nothing. Yes, that’s childish, but it’s also the truth.

When Will I See You Again?

I can’t write a whole lot now, for 1 thing: I’m exhausted. Buy in case there is anybody that doesn’t know yet, my mom, my world…died on March 18, 2013. It was 6 days after her 85th birthday. Today wasn’t such an easy one, I spent much of it in tears. I miss her more than I ever thought it was possible to miss another human, not to mention my best friend and my mom.

I still remember 1 day when I drove us to Denny’s Restaurant and I was fixing her hair, or her blouse (I always did both), I think I kissed her & held her hand and she said, “Jane! People are going to think we’re lesbians!!” Being that my mom has a gay daughter & granddaughter she knew exactly what she was saying. I laughed so hard I almost peed, she couldn’t figure out what I found so funny, even when I said, “Well, hopefully they’ll notice there’s a few years difference between us.” (30 to be exact)

I love my mom. I miss her. The pain, when I feel it, is unbearable. I want to get in the car & just drive forever…with no destination- just to find my mom. I want to hold her hand again. I want to count the age spots on her hands. Admire how beautiful she was. How easily she laughed. How polite she was.

Funny, Spanish was her 1st language, assimilation was important to her & her family. Yet in her last hours it was all she could understand…which made it difficult for us children to speak to her as we spoke none. (It was the mystery language she kept from us, saved exclusively for her Spanish-speaking friends to gossip with.) She kept staring at me, as though she had cataracts, but she had them removed. I’d give anything to know what she wanted to say, but it was probably in Spanish & her communication skills were at their weakest…English or Spanish.

When she passed, I was happy for her, no suffering. I was sad for me, and yes, I know that is extremely selfish, but it’s true. Had anyone told me the immense pain I’d feel in my inner most being, I wouldn’t have believed them. Honestly, I don’t know how I’ve coped this long. My heart is broken.

As I said, I’m happy for her, shes with her mom, her husband, her siblings, her cousins, aunts, uncles, her niece-my cousin, Lola. And while I’m happy for her, my heart is still broken into two- one part is with her, and one part is here with me. I’ll be whole when we’re together again.

12/23/12

First of all, I want to thank all my friends that were supportive, whether in comments here or on Twitter, it’s amazing how many people are struggling thru the same feelings. Just knowing you aren’t alone, in itself, is a big relief.

My mom called last nite & mentioned 2 of my cousins called her cuz they left me messages, but haven’t heard back. They want to get together Dec. 26 & I wasn’t sure if I could handle it as the anxiety hits without warning. Then I started thinking about my cousins & my mom, and the tears started falling. I told her about my anxiety & how late at night I worry about losing her or other loved ones. My mom has lived thru what I’m afraid to, yet she’s not only survived, she’s grown stronger. And she told me I’m tough, she’s right, I am… I just don’t want to have to be tough.

As I’ve shared before. I consider Nov./Dec. to be “the dying season.” Most of our family that has died, has died in these 2 months. Between my mom, myself, my cousin Lucy & other cousin, Lisa, I’ve suffered the least. Lisa is the daughter of my cousin, Lola, who was Lucy’s sister-both my cousins, my mom’s sister’s daughters. I know I’ve written many times about Lola, although there were 15 years between us, she was my closest cousin-we were 2 peas in a pod in the way we thought. Our sisters, Lucy & my sis think alike, but much differently than Lola & I.

Lola died on Dec. 27, 2007. Her mom, my mom’s sister, died on Dec. 3, 2005. Both of my uncles- my mom’s brothers, also died in December- one on the 24th. My Grandma died on Jan. 1, 1954 (4 years before I was born) of brain cancer. How my mom manages during the holidays is baffling, she doesn’t bring up all the deaths, none of us really do…but she’s basically lost her mom & all siblings during the holidays. My dad died on Nov. 8, 1993, and Lucy’s husband died on Nov. 9, 2010. Recently, my sister-in-law’s sister died on Nov. 21 of leukemia, she was my age- 54.

Lucy only has 1 brother left (not counting her own children, etc.) and Lisa lost her mom & Grandma within a few years of each other. I helped take care of my Auntie when she was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas, until the day she passed away. With Lola, I didn’t, and that is something I will always regret. Granted, my mom had contracted MRSA & I was busy taking care of her, but not being there for Lola is something that weighs so heavy on my heart. Part of me thinks that’s how she wanted it~ she’d always watched out for me…we shared similar life experiences, being the youngest in our families, we even shared the same Godfather. What I think about how she felt is irrelevant; she was surrounded by loved ones & very well cared for until she passed.

I’m so hung up about her though. I never told her good-bye, even though I’ve talked to her a multitude of times, since her passing- there was no closure. I let her down, I let Lisa & Lucy down – I let myself down. So many times I could have sat by her side & just talked, listened, or said nothing at all…just held her hand, but I didn’t. And I miss her so dearly, so tremendously – she fought cancer with all her might, she didn’t want to go, and I didn’t want her to go. In hindsight, I’m pretty sure I was in denial of her dying, while the rest were dealing with her on a daily basis, I was busy in denial because she’d told me she would be fine & I hung on to those words.

We’re lucky to find friends that we feel we’ve known all our life. Lola? I actually knew her all of my life & we “got” each other. She was that 1 of a kind person except I was fortunate enough that she was also a relative & she knew absolutely everything about me, and still loved me. And it’s on that note, I’ve decided to call both of my cousins & let them know I’d love to get together with them on the 26th. Yes, it may be emotional for me, but if they can do it when they’ve lost SO many, I certainly can. This is a time of year when family, especially this part of my family, should be seeing each other & sharing our love for each other.

I may have anxiety; I may not. But one thing I know that I certainly don’t want to have is regrets like those regarding Lola. And the very least I can do is spend time with her sister & her daughter; I know she’d be smiling down on us.

12/22/12

I feel like I’m crawling out of my fucking skin!! I’ve been having anxiety every single day for probably a week now. I know a lot get stressed around the holidays; I don’t really have anything to be stressed about. I’ve cut back on gifts & am trying to get my family to just give funny cards ~ it’s lots of fun to sit around, open your funny card & share them; everyone is cracking up laughing & having a great time. It takes away all the pressure of buying gifts, alas, my kids are still getting gifts, I got my kids gifts…but still, that’s not adding any pressure.

Things at home are good, very good. I’ve taken an anxiety pill & am still chewing at the skin on my fingers, my ears are ringing, I can’t concentrate- if I were depressed I’d say it’s agitated depression, but I don’t think I’m depressed. Late at night I’m reading and then, out of nowhere I start worrying. Meditating is out of the question. (although the other night I did sing to Trixi when she was snoring really loud & it calmed her down)Knowing that “some” day someone close to me is going to die. And trust me, I get that it’s part of life & all that, I just can’t imagine anything happening to my mom, or Dick, or either of my kids…even Trixi. The feeling is so overwhelming  at night that I just lay there, crying. I want to go hide somewhere, some place where I don’t even have to consider the realities of life. It’s not something I knowingly I plan on thinking about – it just happens. It makes me want to crawl into a ball, sit in a secluded corner and stay there forever. As unrealistic as that sounds, it’s my wish, at least until this awful sense of dread leaves.

Where this dread came from & why it’s here, why the anxiety keeps returning ~ I don’t know. I take naps when I get too anxious, my only energy is nervous energy. While I try not to show my feelings, I know I’m someone I wouldn’t want to hang around-if I were reading this blog. Still, I’ve got to get this out to hopefully feel better. Change something. Figure something out. Accept the impermanence in life, that I know…I get, but why am I having such a problem with this? Even if I figure this out, I don’t know for sure it’s the root of my anxiety & these horrible feelings that seem to have control of my life.

I could say I’m looking at my glass as 1/2 empty, which would be true. I’m not accepting life on life’s terms- kind of true-I’m fighting it. Pray. Higher Power. Hot baths. Hot tea. I’m not counting my blessings-possibly-things could be much worse. However, ALL of that put on the table, it doesn’t “fix” my problem- this fucking anxiety & sense of dread. Went to bed crying, woke up in a panic. Why?

Learning from past mistakes

I’ve been known to fly off the handle when someone pisses me off. As a result, I’ve started removing myself from the situation, or in the case with my siblings-not putting myself there in the 1st place.

Nov/Dec are tough months for me – lots of family deaths…it’s kind of the “dying season” in my eyes. Add to that I haven’t been to my therapist in 2 mos. and I know I may take things too personally. So, when that happens, I’ve been taking my computer & kindle & going in my room.

Tonight my son & I had some words…not much really, but I felt he was disrespectful. So I was going in my room & he came & talked to me. He said it depresses him when I do that (I do it about 3 times a week), but I explained for right now, it’s my coping mechanism. Last week when I’d gotten angry he told me I say harmful things & am dangerous when I’m like that- it really hurt me. I’ve never considered myself “dangerous”, but in the context of “words” he was right. I’ve said horribly cruel things to the people I love the most and once they’re out, you can’t take them back. So, I’m learning & doing what I can to avoid future situations like that. I’m sure I’ll blow it a few times, but I have to realize my part in things & if I want loving relationships, I have to help build them.

I think it’s very difficult for someone to feel “safe” confiding or sharing their innermost issues if they think you may use them against them in a fit of rage. Now that, I must say, I haven’t done in years.

But my point is, if we know we have certain issues to find practical ways to diffuse them when you feel the anger, sadness, hurt, etc. building up. I write when I’m mad, so I do “deal” with it & get it out. Then I tear up the paper so nobody ever sees it. That’s a great tool my therapist taught me.

It was nice tonight though, cuz my son & I talked about what transpired & we both listened to each other.

back

Just a quick post to say I’m back & will be writing soon. About what? I dunno. Probably my life 🙂

Every night around this time I start thinking of things I’d like to blog about, but it’s been so long since I’ve blogged I’m nervous about it. I shouldn’t be as I’ve been doing this since ’05…wish I’d saved the stuff I’d written long ago, but I didn’t.

To catch you up: I’m doing very well! My family is doing well. My son has been living with us since August & it’s going great. We finally have the relationship I’ve always wanted us to. My therapist helped a LOT when he told me not to look at him as his “mom” but recognize him as a man. And I’ve been treating him that way, stepping back, sometimes biting my lip and yet there are times when I know he needs me~ his mom.

Anyways, I’ll keep this short & stop here for tonight. Just wanted to break the ice.

 

Shitfuck

Nice title, eh? Back in ’07 when I was on Topamax for depression (and it was supposed to help my migraines) I gradually started noticing my vocabulary was diminishing. It got to the point where I couldn’t even remember the names for basic things like appliances, names, and even cuss words – so my “go to” cuss word, the only one I could say, was Shitfuck. I started researching the side effects of all the new meds I was on & lo & behold the problem was Topamax aka “the california drug”, “the stupid drug” “the blonde drug”…all because it has the potential to make you stupid and it was. I’d been on it for 6 mos., even my fellow bloggers noticed the change it me, it was that obvious. I immediately got off of it & gradually got my memory & vocabulary back. Now, it’s kind of a joke between Dick & I when I say that, but back then, it was no joke.

Today, shitfuck is the word that best describes my life. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot to be grateful for: on July 5th, I got my 60 chip from N.A., my son has a new job, everyone in my family is in good health – my mom is even going for walks!

But me? Inside? It’s a shitfuck. I know depression when it starts rearing its head & thats a red-flag for me because what follows is detrimental to my life. Sometimes depression is situational- which is easier to deal with. Sometimes it’s generalized- which is what this is. I can’t talk to my family about it cuz they’d flood me with advice & suggestions. I haven’t seen my therapist in 4-5 weeks which is a long time, 1 appt. was cancelled by us, 1 by my therapist, fortunately, I see him tomorrow. For today, I wish I could just sleep & hopefully I will later.

It’s hard to put into words so that people that don’t understand it, or don’t have Borderline Personality Disorder, can relate. As with depression, I can recognize the signs of BPD rising up in my life-mostly in my emotions & brain…my thinking becomes skewed. I get paranoid and other weird shit that I’m not gonna go into.

The main things though are that I don’t feel “connected” with anyone…not 1 person. I don’t think I even feel grounded with myself & the best way to describe that is a balloon with a string attached flying away-it’s not grounded…but that’s me. I’m overwhelmed with worry about things that I have absolutely no control over. “God help me accept the things I cannot change.” That is…whoever/whatever/wherever you are, God.  I don’t feel hopeless, I just wish that for today, I didn’t feel. Period. And I selfishly say that knowing someone I care about is in her last days – but still, I’m being honest & that’s how I feel.

My daughter & I have always been close & while we talk, it’s not the same. She talks about superficial things & acts like everything is fine. She’s living with her boyfriend now & he’s a really good guy, but I want my relationship with her back. Our calls are short, her visits are short, my mom hasn’t talked to her in 2 weeks (Jill normally calls my mom at least once if not twice a week) I know it’s normal for us not to talk so often, but it’s the quality of our talks, not the quantity. Aaaand another family issue with my brother that I won’t go into- its just really fucked up.

And then there’s the shit going on with social media sites… it seems more often than not, when you think you know somebody & have made a friend (especially over months) & they turn out to be so opposite of the person you thought you knew- losing that friend hurts. It doesn’t matter “who” they really are, its like mourning the loss of someone & is still painful. In this case, there’s no going back, but there is a certain empty spot of fun & laughter I shared with that person. This isn’t the 1st time it’s happened & I’m sure it won’t be the last – que sera, sera! (I’m not mentioning this for this topic to be discussed in detail, so if anybody comments, please remember this is just me dumping this stuff to get it out of me)

I’ve been doing what I’m supposed to: helping others, reading N.A. material & keeping in touch with friends there, attending meetings, praying/meditating, staying CLEAN, even exercising (but havent this week). So, what gives? Life. I read somewhere this week that we shouldn’t see obstacles as negative, but those are actually our learning opportunities to grow. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Doesn’t feel so good…it feels like shitfuck.