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.

i should have known

tired. somewhat depressed. never been a people person. got a call into my therapist & waiting for the callback. didnt say i “needed” to talk. so i keep everything in my head. paranoia. nobody to talk to. nobody. only safe one would be my snoring pig. literally. tears fall and i dont know why. i shouldnt be sad. dont trust people. i know better. “friends” are fake. passive aggressive friends are the fakest. some love knowing anothers weakness. thats sick. sicker than me. sickness of the ego. mine is a sickness of the heart.

trying. always trying. to fit in. but i never have. i never will. 99% of the time i dont care if i do or not. not “one of the crowd” just not. i should have known to keep things to myself. trust nobody but myself – my mantra. how it is. always been. safest way.

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.

Starting to take off the mask

It’s kind of hard to know exactly how to start writing about having a mental illness. As I said in my previous post, I’m diagnosed with 2 disorders, but in 1998 I was initially diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (at that time it wasn’t type I or II-just bipolar). That diagnosis was only because when I was put on anti-depressants (prozac) I became manic (more on that hell another day) which at the time, supposedly meant you were bipolar. Back then, it seemed bipolar was the new & upcoming mental diagnosis – I wonder how many people are still misdiagnosed & being treated for something they don’t have.

Fast fwd to now and I’ve been seeing the same therapist since ’06 or so. I’m no longer on anti-depressants (weaned myself off of them); the only psych. med I’m on is neurontin. When I asked my therapist recently if my diagnosis is still bipolar he said no, it’s Major Depression & Mood Disorders, specifically Borderline Personality Disorder. (If your jaw dropped, pick it up…according to NAMI it’s estimated 4-5% of the population live with it)

I can honestly say I recall living with depression as far back as my memory goes, and the same goes for BPD. I’ve always known I was “different” & never quite fit in with others, I did on a superficial way, but (I’m having a difficult time trying to explain myself here-so I’m gonna quit trying for now)

I’m writing about my mental illness/mood disorder because while I do feel ashamed of it, I shouldn’t. Nobody should. The other day I linked to a blog of a mother who wrote about her son who has a mental illness; I figure if she can write about it, so can I. I know people may look at me differently (and something inside me is screaming “Tell them when you’re depressed you internalize, you don’t hurt other people!” And now that I’ve said that? I’m ashamed, but not so ashamed that I’m deleting it.

I don’t think people with mental illness should be any more embarrassed than someone with diabetes or dyslexia. The problem is, there’s a stigma attached to mental illness, especially with the horrific recent shootings, it seems fingers automatically point at the mentally ill. Perhaps it’s justified but I feel it’s more that people are trying to figure out what kind of person would kill others, especially children.

There are endless possibilities, but so far here are 3 of the “most likely” scenarios I can think of: 1) The person could have a mental illness. 2) It could be a “normal” person that’s had a psychotic break or some sort of mental breakdown. 3) It could be a “normal” person that’s completely evil and hateful.

I think it’s important to try & understand things we don’t, especially if they scare us. Here’s an important article I read & would like to share: Dispelling the Myth of Violence and Mental Illness. My BIGGEST fear is that I’ve overlooked something so obvious to others & I’m coming across as insensitive or a know-it-all; I’ll be the 1st to say: I’m not very educated when it comes to mental illness, however, I’m always trying to learn more.

I can only write about my own experience and hopefully, the person you’ve known me to be is the same person you’ll see me as after I share more about my life; if not, I think I can live with that. I don’t want anybody’s pity, sympathy or anything like that. It may be pretentious of me to assume others would even give a damn about my opinion or life experiences. Regardless, here it is, on the internet, therefore forever “out there.”

Real quick

I just read a blog about a little boy that has a mental illness and I suggest you read it too. The blog is: The Anarchist Soccer Mom

Her 2nd sentence hit me like a lightening bolt: “But it’s time to talk about mental illness.” Bless her heart. The courage, and excuse my french, but the fucking balls it takes to be as raw & honest as she’s being to bring attention to the state of our mental health system, or lack thereof, as it affects her beautiful (I’m referring to his “being” even though he is beautiful) son.

I think most of you know I have a mental illness, 2 actually, but tonight (this morning…it’s 2:52am) I’m just writing to say (and to kick myself in the ass so I’ll do it) that I’m going to start writing about living with mental illness. I’m pretty sure I usually seem “normal” but if I do it’s because I get offline before I start tweeting what’s going on in my head. (I internalize my problems, so it’s sort of an inner-hell)

I started blogging in 2005 to dump all the stuff in my head & I was so shocked & pleased with how many others were in similar situations; there was also a sense of community support. Anyways, that’s kinda neither here nor there right now. If anybody reading this wants to write an anonymous post I’ll be more than happy to consider putting it on here – given that I know you, I think that’s only wise.

Okay, I’m going to bed now. good night

A deep dark hole

I’ve got to preface this by telling anyone that reads it: I’m writing this to try & help myself, to release any toxins I may be holding in, or whatever…just to get that shit “out there.” That said, I really don’t want advise; I know people mean well when they give it, but that’s the 1 thing (aside from embarrassment) that stops me from writing blogs of this nature – advice.

I’m very depressed; not suicidal, just depressed. No, I don’t like being on this planet at the moment, but I wouldn’t hurt my kids or mom in that sense, now or ever. I have no energy to do anything, dread getting out of bed ~ especially on weekends. (Even Twitter isn’t keeping my interests…now you know that’s bad!) It’s not that Dick says or does anything wrong to me, its what isn’t there. Affection. I’m talking about a mere hug or cuddling; nothing replaces human touch. Nothing. The loneliness is so painful it’s with me every breathing second of every single day. And this isn’t anything new, I’ve lived with it for at least 7 years, probably closer to 9, maybe 10. I know I should be used to it, numb to the pain.

Maybe it’s more painful now because I’m experiencing it “clean.” Or maybe it’s the time of year. I’ve long referred to Nov/Dec as “the dying season” cuz that’s when family seems to die. Last year at this time both of his parents & my mom were in the hospital. It’s like I start holding my breath when Nov. gets here until Dec. ends. I don’t look forward to the holidays, especially when you see couples holding hands, or hugging – it’s like a knife is piercing my heart. I cry. I cry a lot, every single day. In my room, outside when I’m smoking, in the living room (sometimes when he’s next to me playing his video game with his headphones on). It’s not like I’m holding in the tears, but they just keep coming, more & more of them.

I brought it up to him yesterday & his reply was, “It’s not my fault.” End of discussion. So he goes back to his every morning kiss on the check as I sleep, yet says nothing about it all day, and he won’t. I realize at this point it’s my choice ~ whether or not to keep living like this. And for now, I’ll keep living here. I still love him and I know, in a way, he loves me, I’m just afraid it’s more like a sister than a girlfriend or a lover.

I’ve probably brought this up at least 20 times to him & I’ve been very specific-nothing changes. I’ve even suggested just being roommates (we have our own room due to his snoring…at least thats what it started as…but the problem preceded that) & live single lives, he laughed his nervous laugh and said “That’s not how it works.” I don’t see what’s wrong with that, he could meet someone, maybe I could, or maybe we’d both see the wrong in our ways. Who knows? I just know this isn’t how I want to spend the rest of my life.

To know you aren’t wanted is an awful feeling. When I was a single mom, I never thought married people, or people that lived together, could possibly feel lonely. Yet, I find myself feeling like the loneliest person on the planet. We’ve touched a bit on this in therapy, but not much. It seems something bigger is always at hand: my kids, our parents, my health, etc.

I’m not on anti-depressants and won’t be (I am taking vitamin D) and I refuse to go into another hospital for this type of thing. The level of care in them has declined so much it’s awful, the last one I was in felt more like a prison than a place where you’re supposed to receive help. Plus, those places are loaded with psychiatrists whose only goal is to give you medications, preferably the ones they’ll win a cruise for doling out a certain amount.

Do I feel hopeless? Yes. Do I see the answer yet? No. Fortunately, my son is living with us temporarily & it’s just he & I in the daytime which is usually nice. Of course, Trixi, my pig, is still alive (thankfully) so I have to get up for her. I dread days when I have to take my mom somewhere & at the same time, I feel guilty for not spending more time with her. I’m just a mess. I talk with my N.A. sponsor almost daily, but nothing is helping.

I was hoping I’d feel better after writing this, but I don’t. I’m going to read til I fall asleep. Nite.

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.