Long and Winding Road

I feel emotionally exhausted, but I did have a huge moment when I realized why I have suddenly been saying things to people that there is no way I would have previously said.  They are always very honest statements, and right now, I am being nothing but totally honest.  I see no reason not to be, I care less than I did about sparing someone's feelings.  I feel like people DESERVE to know the truth, and that I must be the truth teller.

I am not sure how this occurred to me yesterday, perhaps I was reflecting, but I felt good, really good.  Actually, I felt great, so free.  It was strange since I just lost my mother although we had been estranged for years.

The entire time I was growing up, was constantly besieged with constant warnings, threats, reminders - so, so often "DO NOT TELL!".  Meaning, do not tell anyone what was going on in our house.  The drugs, the physical abuse, anything they did, nothing.  It got to the point where I shut down and many times could not even talk to adults.  Whenever I would go somewhere without them, to a friend's house, to babysit, with my grandparents, anywhere, most times I got the warning before I left.

Once, I was watching television by myself at my grandparent's house.  I do not remember what show it was, but it had a marijuana theme.  Everyone was watching the same program in another room.  My mother rushed to where I was with urgency to tell me not to tell anyone!  At that time, I was hurt.  I was hurt because she thought I WOULD tell.  I knew to keep the "family secrets" secret.

I was in my mid 20's the first time I finally divulged anything about my childhood to a therapist.  It was not on the first session, it was awhile in of her pressing me.  When I finally did, I really had no idea that anything that had happened was that bad.  How could I?  I had never told anyone before.  When she a horrified look on her face, I dismissed it.  It was her way of showing sympathy to something I clearly had trouble talking about.

That night, for some reason, and I do not remember having any sort of dream, I remember suddenly sitting up in bed in a panic.  My then husband asked what was wrong.  All I could say was "I shouldn't have told" over and over again.  I was so scared.  While I knew I was safe, I guess I was conditioned that there was going to be dire consequences for what I had done.  Some how, some way, she had managed to absolutely terrify me about it.

But now - that is all gone.  I realize that for some reason, even though I have not seen her since I was 18, here mere existence was enough to intimidate me and leave me with guilt.  Now that she is gone, there is a very noticeable change that I can feel - a positive one.

I do believe this is life changing.  I thought this was some temporary grief process I was going through, but now I think it is a permanent change in my personality.

This is one that I do not want to go away.  I do not want the guilt or fear - that I did not even realize I still had until recently back.  Yesterday, I felt so liberated, it was the craziest feeling.

But later in the day, I slipped back to my old habit.  I started regretting something I had said, and right away my mind started thinking..."so THAT is why she told me that so often.  She was right about me all along."  I got really depressed and still feel a bit of a sting, even when the person let me know they appreciated what I said.

It is a journey I am sure, but a really tough one.  I do not know where this process is headed.  It has barely been two weeks.  I am such a mess!  I must be so transparent - surely everyone can see I am on a major emotional roller.

Yet everyone - even those that do not know my mother has passed away has been so very kind to me.  The people that do know, I mean, I could not ask for better friends or family members.  I had no idea people cared so much.  Sure, people can say the right things when they need to, when they find out bad news about someone, but nothing requires them to continue to check on me, to see how I am doing and if I am ok.  Nothing requires them to be understanding when I am erratic, to even come back for more.  I apologize PROFUSELY, I have no IDEA why I say what I do, and when I apologize, I can't say that I am sorry for WHAT I said, because I am honest to a fault, only that I am sorry if I hurt them.  No one has yet to say I have, but do they say that out of pity?

I am so freaking confused.  Truthfully, I am probably overreacting to the things I say.  I was most likely way too guarded before now.  The way I currently am, I do not know if it is normal, but it is different.  Anything out of my comfort zone feels uncomfortable of course, so I very well may have, and of course how could it be completely gone, remnants of the past ghost of "DO NOT TELL, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING".  That is enough to freak anyone the elf out.  : )

Posting Quickly

I am still just so...different.  Erratic?  I do not feel sad anymore, but when I say "anymore", I mean yesterday, just one day.

The things I have been saying, that I have thought at the time have been okay to say, my lord.  Now it is to Mark's family members, and I have never ever meddled in their affairs.  I even said something to their mother, but we were sharing, a really good, deep conversation on text and I felt comfortable with her.  I did make a comment about a topic that is extremely sensitive to her.

I think I can make it brief.  Their brother is somewhat estranged, but he does see his parents a few times a year.  That may not fit the description of estranged.  I use that word though because I know from his wife that he is very angry with his parents, and she is furious with them and they say they have absolutely no idea why his wife will not speak to them, even to say hello to them when she comes over.  She has told me that she is protective of him because of what he has told her of things that happened to him by them when he was younger.  Mark is quite a bit older than Mark and his sister so they do not know what it could be.

It makes her cry when they come over and his wife completely ignores her and everyone else (except Mark and I - she and I have gotten along extremely well, at least until my email yesterday).  BUT, I have been thinking about family relationships in general, we were TALKING about family relationships, and I brought it up.  They do not know it was not out of the blue, or that it was a question, like do you know if...not what did you do?  I do not feel bad about that conversation at all, yet they seem absolutely horrified I said anything.  OMG, people!  This is an OBVIOUS situation in the family!  You know, people cry, *I* cry, but does Mark freak out about it and never talk about something that I have cried about again?  NO!  Sure, he is more sensitive about it, but oh!!!

I get it now.  Another thing I am just saying what *I* think needs to be said, and damn anyone or anything who thinks otherwise.  Yes, before I would have been stopped by my empathy, but is it lacking?  I do not know.  It needs to be talked about, it just does.  NOTHING will happen if no one talks about it!  I do not want to get involved, which I know is not obvious, but being a tiny spark to something would be nice.

Outside of his family, I can think of one more just unbelievable conversation that I wish I could take back, but what's done is done.  I told Mark, after his initial shock at my telling him about his mother (what in the WORLD is their deal with her?  They need to stop treating her like a wilting flower!), I told him that perhaps I should minimize my social interactions until I am more back to myself.

I sent a text to my psychiatrist/therapist about my personality change, it does concern me.  I did find something interesting on the internet about it though.  It really is possible that someone's personality can change after the loss of a parent.  An example I read in a study was the loss of a parent who was highly critical of their child.  When the parent is gone, (I do not remember the exact wording), the person feels a type of liberation.  I thought about that...yes.  I do - I feel free now.  Free from SO many thing.

It is really, really hard to explain and even saying something like that makes me feel like I am a bad person.  But...yes, there were quite a few negative...beliefs?  feelings? I had about myself that are suddenly just gone.  I am not saying that my mind has CHANGED about anything about myself, but suddenly...whatever they were doesn't matter at all to me.  If I sit here and think about what they were, I will remember and I do not want to right now.

Just thinking about it, I feel so calm and relaxed.  Like...there is no one I have to please but myself, no one who will tell me I am not good enough when I try my very best and work my hardest.

Okay - ugh.  Too deep, alarm - alarm - I should not have gone there.  Maybe that is NOT TRUE - abort.  I do not know about that, but I do not want to think about it again, read it again to even delete it.  Just posting and forgetting.

Maybe I am not okay at all.

Glass Full

I feel so different right now, and it takes energy to try to explain to my husband when I act differently, when he acts strangely because of how I act.  The thing is, I really don't care what he thinks.  More later if I remember.

I feel...like my glass is full, but not like in the half full/half empty way.  Like I cannot take on any more, not even empathy for another person.  Actually, my life would be less painful in general if I could give up a just a bit of empathy.  I would gladly bestow it upon my husband.

I have no tolerance for unnecessary negativity.  I read the news daily, at a time of my choosing.  Yet when I turn on the television, at a non-news time of the day on a non-news network, they are talking about Trump.  Love/hate, it does not matter and I do not care.  Who wants all of this negativity ALL OF THE TIME?  Here is the thing - go ahead and be upset if someone wants to I guess, because love him or hate him, the things that are being said are going to make both groups angry for one reason or another.

But what is the PURPOSE?  Since this is not only news for the masses but broadcast television during any kind of program at all hours (I am talking about non-news networks) , are people preparing to protest?  Or simply watch and get angry?  And if it is the latter, why put yourself through it?  There is absolutely nothing that can be done.  Buy a membership to a cause you care about and move on.  Is it directly affecting your life RIGHT THIS MOMENT?  Or is the media feeding unnecessary fear and anxiety to all of us?

I just can't deal with it.  I do not need more.  Get it the FUCK out of my life.  If there is nothing that I can do, shut the hell up and do the entertaining you are paid to do.  As I have always done, I will CHOOSE when I would like to catch up on current events, and it will not be from entertainment sources.

I get that people have a lot of hatred that they want to stew about, be gleeful about when they hear hatred, but some of us just want to get through the day and end on a positive note.

WHY live life with hatred?  Why?  I would never accept something I did not believe in, but stewing in it and letting it make me mad and more angry day after day - that is simply not healthy at all.

And *I* have to put up with this bullshit because other people won't shut the fuck up.

I promise that was not being political about Donald Trump - I am 100% indifferent about him because right now it is not in me to care until I need to.

It is about getting out of my personal space and spewing hatred that I understand but I have NO CHOICE if I want to hear it or not.



I have VERY LITTLE EMPATHY - if any?  I have never experienced this before.

I am at the knot at the end of the rope and hanging on for dear life.

Such a totally mundane occurrence that rocked my world today...

It started boringly enough.  Mark was in a looooooong traffic jam - he waited for hours.  He called after about an hour or so in traffic.  I happened to see on television what it was, called him and told him, then hours later he called me back.

But it was what he said that bothered me.  He said that at the point they forced him to take another exit, he looked and saw at the same time they cleared the road.  He then announced in a dramatic and pained (and 100% serious and annoyed) way that "He had the WORST luck in the world".

He called JUST to tell me that....he had the WORST luck in the world.  Because of that.

Well obviously he must call me when these things happen normally, I have no idea, and I must have some sort of reaction that is appropriate.  At that moment, I was dumbfounded.  I did not know what reaction he expected from me.  So I said, "I guess it was meant to be that you cleared the traffic right now."

Wow, that was definitely the wrong answer, and I found out right away!  He said he should have known not to call me and quickly got off the phone.

I thought about the exchange for awhile.  How petty, I was thinking, and yet, I know being petty is not unlike him at all.  Of course, I assumed he was exaggerating,  but seriously, this was yet another sign that the universe was against him? (I do not say this in jest).

Is it becoming clear yet that I have no empathy yet?

For some kind of explanation, it was very similar to when I was so, so depressed for months - I mean severely depressed.  At first, I tried my best to act like nothing was wrong until I forgot how I used to act when I was "normal".  That is exactly what this is like, yet different.

I do not want to end my life, I am not in the throes of despair, I do not think the world is a horrible place to live in, there is no pain that is never ending.  Yes, there is a lot of pain, but it is so, so complicated.  If could put it in words I would, but right now I do not understand what I am going through at all.

So a little later, I called him back.  I told him it was not in me right now, whatever he was looking for.  To be upset over something like that.  And I told him I had just realized something.  I was doing my best in trying to find positives - or just ANY positive in DEATH!

I said his reaction was normal and mine probably was not.  Was I being honest in that his reaction was normal?  And mine wasn't?  Who knows.  I do know that his world is not ending over TRAFFIC.  Wow.  If only.  If only that was the worst thing that could happen to someone.

I know he is trying, he really is.  Sometimes I think he just does not understand - he has never lost a single person close to him.  But he seems like....a crying baby but he does not see it.  He thinks he is this soldier, that he keeps everything in, he has no needs and honestly thinks he asks for absolutely nothing from me.  Yet even just that simple telephone conversation - he expected something from me.  It is so weird that I do not even know what it is I normally do, but I give him something during times like that.  I guess some confirmation of how hard his life is, how bad his life sucks.

Yet, it did not occur to me to give that to him today, nor does it even seem appropriate right now.  And what is it that I normally do say anyway?  Obviously it is not a "Pollyanna" response, which I would have known - that is my normal self, and he hates when I act like "Pollyanna" in response to things he says.

He does not realize how often he complains and requires a response.  But not *any* response, the "correct" one.  The one I have been trained over the years to give.

But it is so not in my right now.  To even care.  About that.  About so many trivial things.  I have nothing to give.  I cannot remember ever feeling this way in my entire life.

I feel like....he is being kind by "tolerating me", although that is my perception and probably just how he comes off, he is in no way a people person.  He gets an F on interpersonal skills, on knowing on to sooth and comfort - not just me, anyone.

He complained Sunday night about HIS needs, because I said I did not want to be alone Sunday night.  We were both at home, but he is an introvert - a borderline Asperger's Syndrome....individual?  He said HE needed his introvert time.  I never ever say this, because he needs so much damned alone time.  I said what about MY needs (because I am an extrovert.)  I told him MARK - it has been a WEEK since my mother died and you are complaining to me because I simply do not want to be alone?  All that I wanted was not to sit in a room - the living room - by myself.  He wanted to be in his office doing what he likes to do best, play video games.

So sure, he came into the living room where I was, sat on the couch, but crossed his arms and stared straight ahead in a huff and puff.  That made me SO mad.  I told him if it was someone he was close to, MY need would be to fill HIS hurt, HIS needs.

I was crying, yelling, ordered him out of the living room, that he was making it worse, I could not stand to be in the same room with him and would much rather be alone.  It was completely true, I did not want to be with him then.  Why do I have to feel like he is always "doing me a favor" just to be in the same room with me?!?

I am really reevaluating my relationships right now and they have become so much more precious than they ever have before.  Yes, I am complaining about Mark, but still, I do not know what I would do without him.  And one day, he will lose someone he loves, and I will be there for him.

There is a great part of a monologue at the beginning of American Psycho that reminds me of him right now. For as long as I live, I will never forget these haunting words.

Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), at the end of a long monologue, states, "...there is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there.” 

Mailbox Talk - Deflection

I had a bad day yesterday.  I did a several things that I am technically not "supposed to do".  They are simple enough things, but things that either I know or have been told throw me off.

I have thrown myself into Christmas decorating this year.  I made a list of about 20 things I wanted to get done in my planner.  I have been told not to do that with my business - it adds overwhelming stress that I can not deal with.  Why in the world I thought it would be okay for my personal life I had no idea.

I did get my listings back on the online ecommerce site where I have my shop and sold a wreath, but this is now the slow season.  That is a good thing for me actually.  It feels good to have a "job" again.

So...I have time to decorate this year, even though it is late in the year.  I cannot remember the last time I have decorated like I am now.  I made this extravagant mail swag, which I was then going to make a huge bow to place on top of the swag, on top of the mailbox.

It was SO SO bitterly cold yesterday.  Let me start by saying - as crazy as this sounds, I am allergic to very cold weather.  It triggers my asthma.  My asthma wasn't triggered, but later I could not figure out what was wrong with me.

Anyway, it was perhaps 2:00am and I was outdoors taking measurements of everything about the mailbox and the post.  The temperature was in the negative with the windchill even colder.  Sure, I felt it, but I was quick.

I then had SO much fun!  I came inside and grabbed my sketchbook and colored pencils and made several sketches with measurements with what I wanted, browsing pinterest and all things internet for inspiration.  I have tons of materials so it really came down to what I had on hand and not so much what I saw besides general design.

I loved sketching, using my colored pencils (but even though I have 128 colored pencils, I STILL do not have the exact shades I need?  What the freaking HELL?  That was really frustrating.)  I need to do more sketching before making new wreaths, if for no other reason, I love it and it saves a ton of time when I start cold turkey with a new project.

But I was in super perfectionist mode - the all encompassing "I can do this as good if not better than a professional designer".  Who the hell do I think I am?  So of COURSE it took me tons of time.

I *finally* got the swag done, went BACK out into the arctic air and was then out for quite a long time.  Had my tools - wire, wire cutters, tape measure - professional everything.  I was thinking..."I definitely do not look like the once-a-year decorate my house kind of person".

You know, what if I did?  What if I was, am?  I actually kind of am.  So what?  What is wrong with that?

So...that added to my problems, stress, sickness.

Went back inside, took an Imitrex for now what was becoming a migraine.

Started what I thought was going to be this beautiful, perfect, huge designer bow to place atop my Christmas mailbox swag.  Note:  I have NEVER made a bow this large.  As a matter of fact, after years of trying and trying to make multiple loop bows, I finally figured it out this fall and have only made a few much smaller ones.

I have also only made one or two with double ribbon - two different colors of ribbon at the same time.  This had two ribbons and  I had planned it to be about 16 inches across.

It was a disaster.  I tore it apart, tried 10 inches.  Better, but not perfect, not even close.  I was SO frustrated, disgusted with myself.  I had to walk away.  It was nowhere what I envisioned.  I was NOT *perfect*.

What a disaster.  I was such a failure.

I got up this morning, looked at it, and you know what?  For my first bow that large and the very first one I have EVER done like that, it is actually REALLY good.  No, not perfect, but GOOD ENOUGH.  I have always, ALWAYS tried to work on that with my wreaths.  But see, this was not a wreath, this was decor for my home, my craftsmanship on display for the neighborhood.

Still...good enough.  I am going to happily put it on the mailbox today - when it warms up. : )

All of this about a stupid mailbox.  I also sat with my head in my hands and cried, really cried about my mother passing away.  No particular memory was really on my mind, and I cannot say what triggered it.  It just happened.  Maybe I was tired, frustrated, maybe there was no reason at all for it to happen.

I am trying to just go with it.  Feel what I feel when I feel it.  SO foreign to me, I am used to pushing things down and getting mad at myself for feeling anything unpleasant.  Not this time.

No one is able to tell me what my grieving process will be, only that it may be complicated.  It is very sporadic.

However, the anger has for the most part has subsided and that feels good.  But there is absolutely nothing else good about it at all.

One Week

I have good moments, and then suddenly out of nowhere, a not so good moment.  It isn't really "out of nowhere", there is always a trigger of some sort, but the trigger effects me out of nowhere.

Like right now.  I got up this morning, ready to get to work on anything, everything, feeling good.  I picked a random Christmas station to listen to and a song I have listened to a thousand times - Hallelujah - just brought tears to my eyes.  I am sad now.  Why?

I normally do not, actually ever really, reach out to my relatives.  But I am now.  Maybe I appreciate them now.  Or more.  I want to be close to them now.  More.

Wow.  I turned Christmas radio stations and guess what is starting from the beginning?  Hallelujah.  The thing is - I LOVE THE HECK out of that song.  Why does it make me want to cry NOW?

A few days after my mother passed away, I felt her presence.  At the time, I do not remember thinking about it in particular, but it was so strong it was suffocating.  I did not WANT to feel her presence at that moment, but it was so very strong.  Suddenly it felt SO CLOSE, I want to say maybe two feet above me, it was unreal - so surreal.

I know people feel this and it brings them great calm, they love feeling that they are in the presence of their loved one.  For me?  I didn't understand it.  I looked around through her eyes, but she was seeing.

Wow, this is hard.  My cousin who is a few years younger than me is wise beyond her years is so right in what she told me.  More wise than what my two therapists told me.  I will expand on that later, but it is nothing earth shattering.  She lost both of her parents, both tragically - and one in the most tragic way I can ever imagine (my aunt).

Kind of changing the subject, I spoke to my mother's husband again.  I call him because....I guess it is because of course I want to find out the cause of her passing and also to check on him.  He is so, so sad and in every word a grieving spouse.

He said he had been back to the cemetery and left a few more roses for my mother (it was only 6 degrees in Kansas yesterday).  He said something that I can relate to - he bought both himself and his dog new throws to keep warm.  I LOVE buying new throws for Bailey and I to snuggle in on the couch.  I buy too many, but there is nothing like having new things to cuddle with in Chicago (suburbs) when it gets so cold!

I apologized for not being at the funeral and decided to be totally honest.  I told him I knew that there were people who most likely did not not want to see me.  He completely and absolutely shocked me with what he said.  Very forcefully he said No, STOP!  Do not say that again!  There were so many people who asked about you and would have loved to see you.  You are part of MY family now.  He said more but I do not remember what that might have been.  I do remember how it made me feel - good.  But sad.  I do not want HIM to be sad, but I know only time can help.

We had a Christmas party that I had been looking forward to for a really long time, but since I was feeling so good, I had thought I should call him.  After the call, I thought...what am I doing?  My mother passed away only a week ago and I am going to celebrate at a Christmas party?  It didn't seem right and suddenly I did not want to nor feel like getting ready and going to have a "good time".

I am surprised at the amount of people who have been checking on me when really, I am okay.  Most of the time.  I am never in the throes of depression, I just get sad.

You know what a really weird trigger for me is?  The grocery store.  I think it has a lot to do with it being Christmas time, but I do not know.  Just everyone having somewhere to go, somewhere to be, people they are shopping for to get home to, they have not just lost someone important in their lives.

Of course, NONE of that may be true for all of them, any of them, but everyone seems like they have such a purpose, and when I am by myself, suddenly...I feel I have no purpose for being there.

This will be a good Christmas.  I will have moments maybe, but I have people in my life who care and that is something to celebrate.

And, OF COURSE, Jesus' birthday.

OMG - what is up with sad Christmas music on my normally happy music stations?  Time to switch to my own playlists - wow!

Better - This Morning.

I am actually surprised how many people I have that truly do care about me when something bad does happen.  I did not tell many people about my mother, really just the people I felt was necessary, but the kind words and concern was and is so nice and kind, and absolutely was not necessary for anyone to do.  No one was required to tell others or contact me directly to say they were sorry, that they cared, make sure I was okay, asked if there was anything they could do.

It makes reasons I've had issues with anyone seem so petty.  Sure, some issues are bigger than others, and there are still things that are not in my control to mend.

I wonder how often my own emotions are driven by my own insecurities.

Such a kind outpouring by relatives, and I have not spoken to those I would have expected not to have spoken to, and that is okay.  I actually have no idea how to even contact them, like my brother, although I am sure I could figure it out.  However, I am not looking for drama right now.  

I think my aunt, on my dad's side, was the only one who seemed to not really question that I was going to be at my mother's funeral.  She had left a message saying we could stay with her and a number of other very generous things.  I could not talk to her, they are hard to talk to on the phone, so I sent a text last night that I did not believe I would be going.  ,

I told her there would be people there that would rather not see me, I had not seen my mother since I was 18, per her choice, and it would be too traumatic.  I do not know if she understands but does she need to?  It does not change our relationship at all as far as I know.

I do feel a lot better, so far, today.  I have done normal things since I have gotten up (it is almost 10 am), I am not weepy, and I feel good.

Will I stay this way?  I imagine not, I am sure it will be an up and down process and the worst may be ahead.  I am unsure if anyone can tell me what to expect, if I will fall apart in the future - tomorrow, in a year, ever.  I hope I do not.  I remember with my Dad, I do not remember this, but my husband said I did not take it well.  Really?  I do not remember that, but I do remember about a year later it hit me kind of hard.

I do know this.  It is easier for me than others who are close to a loved one.  My life isn't changing really besides mentally.  I pray for those who do have hardships during the holidays, because while yes, this is a hard holiday this year, it is by no means any comparison to what others are going through, I know that.  My thoughts, prayers and heart go out to those that are hurting this year.

Let It Be

I don't, but it feels like I have the flu or some sort of physical ailment.  I have spent the weekend in my warm two piece pajamas while snow has been falling outside.  Smally, cuddly Bailey has been following me around everywhere I go, I am not sure if he always does this.  I do not think the the degree he is now, and I certainly do not WANT him to at the degree he is now.  I want him by me all of the time, and he is obliging without my saying a word.

Mark is being such a sweetheart.  Really, I could not ask for more supportive people in my life right now.  His family, my family that I am connected with - everyone is very supportive and understanding of how I might be feeling about the passing of my mother's passing.

Yet...no one can go through it but me, and there is no one to go through it with me.  I can't explain how it feels or expect anyone to understand because it was such a complicated relationship, so my
feelings are complicated and I am unsure what exactly I am supposed to be feel.

Maybe there is no right or wrong.

Right now, I feel both sad and weepy and nauseated at the same time, as if I threw up I might feel better.  That is what I mean, like I have the flu, but I do not think I do.  Going the other way is way worse, but again, I do not think I am sick.  Perhaps it is my nerves/emotions internally making me sick physically.

I have no plans to attend my mother's funeral - I do not have some big need to say goodbye.  I think it would be a lot more traumatic both right now and in my memory to go to her funeral.  I certainly do not think she would expect or even want me to be there.

Music has always been such a huge part of my life.  It seems like it has always been playing in the background my entire life.  One of the first songs I can remember playing was in the car with her.  It seemed like it was ALWAYS playing on the radio in the car.  Perhaps because it was a Beatles song, and no doubt it WAS playing all of the time on radio stations at that time.  I looked it up on the internet to see what year that would have been - wow, 1970?  So basically my entire life I remember music playing.

This is a fitting song, actually.  Paul McCartney wrote it about his own mother.  This is what she used to tell him when he was worried.

Mom - December 9, 2016

I have not quite processed this yet, not really sure how to.  There have been tears, confusion, a lot of moments I have caught myself staring into the distance.

Mark and I were on the way to counseling and I checked Facebook, just out of habit when I am bored.  I had a message from my mother's husband.  I read it, and reread it.  I said "Oh. My. God." out loud, which Mark wanted to know right away what was wrong, but I was unable to say the words right away.

Finally I told him what the message said.  My mother passed away unexpectedly in her sleep.  He left his number, and I do understand why he sent it in a Facebook message - it is the only way he knows how to contact me.

I am glad we were on the way to counseling.  I was able to talk about it with her and she was so helpful.  Of course it is hard, it is very hard.  But also, it is strange that in the last couple of days, my mind has been thinking of her passing away for absolutely no reason, or so I thought.

Our marriage counselor, who used to be my individual therapist, told me if I felt any sort of relief from her passing, it was okay, not to feel bad about that.  Of course I am sad, but there is a part of me that does feel a bit lighter.  There is no longer this person in the world that hates me and that says bad things about me and manipulates people against me.  If she ever did, I guess she did, I don't know, I am confused now.

She said it is natural to forget the bad times and suddenly only remember good times when someone passes, but to not forget - there were very bad times.  Maybe this all sounds so terrible of her to say, is it?  She was only 66.  But she said the strangest things to me, like a long time ago she vowed I would never again see her alive, so I would always remember her as beautiful.  My therapist asked me didn't I think that was a strange thing to say?  I don't know, but she kept her promise.

I did something I would have never thought I would be able to do, and that was to call her husband.  He had left his number with the message.  I was taken aback when I spoke to him.  He was so upset he could hardly talk, it was a mixture of choking back his crying while talking.  In a way, it makes me feel better that she was so loved, but on the other hand it makes me so sad that he is in such unbearable pain.

I asked if he knew, because she had passed away unexpectedly in her sleep, how/why she had died.  He said they had performed the autopsy and had the results but had not given them to him yet.  He rambled about some sort of excuses they gave him (small town Kansas - reasons that wouldn't fly here make sense there I guess) and said they were supposed to tell him tomorrow.  Mark suggested drugs, but I told him I believe that toxicology reports take six weeks.

That's it.  I have nothing more to write about at this time.

Yucky Post - Yuck

Thinking about all of this old family stuff before Christmas is too much - bad timing when it is alongside old Christmas memories already, you know?

I always wonder - who is the problem, my mother must be the problem, and yes, she does have issues.  But can't I be the problem too?  Yet...there are people who do not have all the information, all they know is what she has told them, and I am learning to just go with that, I cannot change that.  I am not always in the right either.  No one can be perfect - she or I.  But it does not even matter that I am the freaking child in this relationship.  And everything happened when I was 16.

I chose not to be a doormat any longer, to stand up for myself.  And obviously, to get away from the crazy, out of control, drug abusing, violent, neglectful lifestyle.  Also, I cannot exactly help that she threw all of my belongings out of the house, then cried for years asking why didn't I come back.  Um.  I was always speechless, I truly had no answer.

I already cringe and cower if someone we both know asks me something that would require me to say something not so pleasant about my mother.  For some reason, I think there will be retribution, I just do not know how and I may never know what it could be.

I am not the only one she has banished from her life, although I am not exactly begging her to love me.  Her entire family except her brother (Uncle Charlie that she said such horrible things about and told me she was going to hire a lawyer and sue him when we had our trust), my brother, and....that's it.  All of her/our cousins - her entire family, I guess they do not exist to her.  One of my cousins told me that she has not kept in touch with the family at all, even when our elderly aunts moved into her small rural Kansas city.  I am sure they would have appreciated if she could have looked in on them, seeing it could not have been more than a mile in any direction to their where they were residing. And...seeing that she worked as a nurse in a freaking nursing home?!?  There has been a funeral or two since then, and it seemed like they felt a lack of respect because she did not bother to show up.  They did not expect me to attend - I was only a child when I knew them, they did not even give me the information.  I would have gone, I think I did want to go, but it was like I was a child - no, no, it is okay - that kind of thing, you know?

So what did I do?  No idea why I did this.  One of my cousins passed away from cancer, one that I knew she liked a lot when I was younger.  So I sent her icky yucky gross husband (they all have been very disgusting men) a Facebook message letting him know he had passed if she wanted to go to the funeral.  I am guessing she did not, someone would have mentioned it to me if she had.

Honestly, I could care less what she does, what people think of her (really, I have no other choice, that is a HUGE hangup I had since before I started kindergarten, and for my own sanity, I had to let it go), so why did I bother to mention it to her husband?  Maybe I think it reflects poorly on myself.  But if that were the case, if what my mother still still does reflected on me as a person, I am not sure I could live with that. I do not agree with her lifestyle - definitely what it was, nor what I think it to be now.

I have been thinking - she has a lot of resentment, hatred, anger, whatever the awful feelings that she has, for a lot of people.  I can think of so many people and that is just the ones I know.  Who else is there?  What must that be like to live with these feelings towards so many people every day?

I bear this burden of what I feel for her - this one person.  I have pretty much worked out my feelings for everyone else.  I feel a sense of anger, regret for the past but also...no hope for the future, there is nothing that I have not done if something were to happen that should make me feel like I did not truly try.

So in that sense, I have peace.  It is not my decision, and that is a good feeling.  I can forgive, and move on.

But I do wonder...what are her feelings that she feels towards so many exactly?  I see them as a color - pure, dark tar black.  I want to describe the feelings, but you know, I honestly cannot.  I really do not know.  Usually I have some idea, a place to start, but I am absolutely clueless.

If I were to start somewhere, at least to make a start that could be wrong, I would choose that she suffers from low self esteem.  I seemed to recall that she NEVER wanted anyone to do better or have better than she did.  It was always some strange competition, the urgency in her voice to find out details, the putting down of someone.  And it was ALWAYS materialistic.

Yuck yuck yuck.  I cannot think or write about this much longer because it makes me feel very disgusted on the inside.  What a horrible and miserable way it would be for ME to live my life.  I do not know what I thought of it - if anything - when I was younger.

Perhaps they way she lives and how she protects herself from people and the world - that is contentment to her.  It makes her feel good.  I do not understand nor can explain, but I do not have to.

I am going with that, for the first time going to believe she is content and happy with our relationship the way it is, and you know....just let it go.  I need to LET THIS GO.  Give it to God, if there is anything to give.  There may be nothing but my own unresolved feelings....and longing.

But a person as toxic as she once was and as she continues to act towards me, that is the last thing I need in my life, nor would I be able to handle anything like that and stay mentally stable.

Perhaps I should trust God to know what he is doing.  It seems like I have done a lot, probably too much already.

Uncle Charlie

I still cannot believe it.  I lost contact to my Uncle Charlie, my mother's brother, decades ago.  The last time I saw and spoke to him was probably when I was 16.  Was it at my grandmother's funeral?  I adored him so much and missed him dearly.  I tried my best to search for him, which I consider myself to be quite good at, but to no avail.

My mother has a facebook account and yesterday I just happened to look at it, and I could not believe what I saw - his name in her friends list!

My heart dropped a little though.  Who knows what she has told him about me?  If anything, it couldn't be good.

I sent a friend request to him and was hugely surprised when he accepted right away.

So I have it for the future, here is what he said (I know, it is not much, but even the smallest thing from my beloved Uncle Charlie after decades means so, so much to me):

"KansasSunflower" I can not believe this is you. It is so good to hear form you. Your all grown up. and married? Working? How are you.I can never get any info from "your mother". I really hope life is good for you. Love to hear more from you.Love you.

I sent a message to a cousin who had been searching for him for years and years as well, and now several cousins are reconnected with him now.  I wonder if they have been exchanging messages with him?  I know they are SO happy to have "found" him again - I just hope he is happy as well.  What if he did not want to be found?

I miss him and wish I could see him.  I cannot imagine there being anything he could tell me about his life that would make me love him any less.  He is my Uncle Charlie, and Uncle Charlie's only come around once in a lifetime.

It has been a few days since I messaged him back and I have not heard from him, but Mark said to be patient and wait.  When I think about it, what is the other choice?  I think Mark meant before coming to the worst conclusions that I often do.  So, okay.  With family though, my family, on that side, I guess I expect the worst.  I wake up thinking of Uncle Charlie now.

Yes, he really did mean that much to me as a child, he really did.  He still does and always will.

Runaway Train

I wish I knew how the on/off trigger worked in my mind, where I can be completely fine one moment, and suddenly a feeling of...despair? washes over me in less than a minute and completely and absolutely changes my outlook.  Why?  How?  It can't be normal, right?  If it were, people would talk about it, there would be a name for it.  People would be on the phone and say - oh, "nameofphenomenon" just hit me, feeling really bad, talk to you later." RIGHT?  There would be a slang term for it in urbandictionary.

I have been working so, so, so hard this week, trying to finish the last of my wreath orders that are late.  I have mostly been working on the 13 large boxwood wreaths and am mostly done.  I have worked all day, stayed up all night then worked the entire next day when I returned home from Thanksgiving.  Since then, I have been working hard, nonstop, every day.

My fingers!  They have the top layer of skin peeled from my each of my fingertips, bloody hangnails, small blisters where parts of my fingers have continually rubbed some part of a tool over and over.  The worst is what I assume is a small but deep cut on the end of my left index fingertip.  I have bandaids on the ends of every finger that keep fraying as I continue to work with them.  Even typing now is not easy but at least not painful with the bandaids.

I was so excited to start decorating for Christmas.  My creativity had really kicked in and I had all sorts of ideas - inside and out.  I even watched Elf this morning, but I just could not make a smaller boxwood wreath.  I was making the most idiotic of mistakes and finally realized I had to walk away, but not before that awful feeling washed over me.

I do not feel like writing about how I feel, but no need to.  I actually thought, as the realization of the despair sunk in, I was feeling *exactly* like "Runaway Train".


I was wrong.  I do still think in music.

Kanye and Mentally Ill Creative Artists

Looking back, I always knew there was something about Kanye that...made him very impulsive with his emotions and at times using poor judgment because of it.  I never thought much about it, about his being mentally ill, although now I see the signs were there.

Who analyzes people for mental illness for absolutely no good reason in their daily lives?  That sounds depressing and way too much focus on other's behavior.  I would rather shrug it off as "well, that was certainly weird".  I can't save the world or judge others, let alone be some weirdo trying to warn Kanye he is mentally ill.

Yet, again, looking back from years ago, the impulsive things he said and did, I can't think of any that weren't really incorrect in what he said, it was more very shocking in the way he did it.  The message he was conveying was met with horror because of the method of his delivery.

Yet - I do not know how long it has been going on, but he has been IMMENSELY creative in so many areas!  Before he was admitted to the hospital, I wondered how he was doing it.  So many ideas on such a grand scale, things no one had done before nor thought of previously.

One thing always bothered me about him though and I did not understand why no one said much about it.  Everything else I shrugged off as personality and talent, but this one thing, just this one thing I could not understand.

He talked about himself like...he was some sort of God.  He was THE best, THE original, THE all knowing, all everything....I mean really - Yeezus?  Who else does that without people around them saying hey - you have to know (not saying because of "Yeezus") that you are not a God, right?

I do not know enough about personality disorders, but I just assumed that is what it was.  He must be a narcissist or another personality disorder that fits how he thinks of himself.

That could still be true, right?  Or could he have had grandiosity from mental illness ALL OF THIS TIME?

How would I even know - I have no clue what "normal" is and if it even exists or is something elusive that no one ever achieves.

That part did not seem like an act, he always seemed sincere to me, so passionate about many, many things.

I really, really worry about him.  While yes, I am sure he has plenty of people who are concerned about him, I also see that there are a LOT of haters and poisonous people out there towards him.

One of my biggest concerns for Kanye, because I do think he is absolutely a creative genius, is that like all of us with mental illness who are creative he will be put on medication that may stifle it.  Sure, doctors will say "oh no, your creativity shouldn't change".  Bullshit.

Does that person feel more stable?  Better?  Less extreme highs and lows?  There goes a chunk of creative inspiration.  For me, my best and most original creativity comes from intense, overwhelming pain, giddiness, that annoying agitation/irritation, or whatever extreme feeling I have at that moment.  Take those away, give me blah which psychiatrists INSIST I do not have the "blahs", and sure, I am so much less inspired.

However, different feelings, for me, lend itself to different forms of creativity.  Depression forces me inward, and I find myself reflecting and writing.  I express happiness outwardly with making anything and everything beautiful around me, I love making things like extravagant home decor projects and of course my wreaths.  Agitation?  Ha, definitely creative, probably the most original ideas I ever have, and also the most impulsive I get until I recognize it as hypomania.  I very rarely get this way, but it is so intense, it would be fascinating to somehow harness that creative energy during this time as it is so strong.  Not sure how to focus my mind though, it rarely happens and does not last long.

I watched a video of an extremely, extremely talented painter who was agitated yet so very passionate.  FYI:  No idea if he is mentally ill - I assume he is not, but whatever it is he has, I crave it, yet I have a feeling it comes with something not so comfortable.  Anyway, I loved every second of the short clip he talked about his work, his life, and I wanted the painting he was working on so badly.  Agitated and passionate - this is what one person does in that mental state.  His political views do not represent my own and is not why I am posting the link (for myself so I can find it later!), but because his creative energy that drives him is very inspirational to me.

This guys paints American flags and doesn't give a FUCK.

In NO way am I comparing myself to someone like Kanye, only that I think it is such a lie that medication does not take away someones creativity when a big part of being inspired comes from intense emotion.

People simply still do not understand mental illness.  When I thought back and started putting all of the puzzle pieces together, I was astounded that I had not seen what was so obvious, but like I said, I do not make a point of doing that.  Sure, sometimes someone does something that smacks you in the face.

I remember years ago watching Robin Williams on a talk show being the comedic genius that he was.  He could go from one topic to another so quickly and talking so rapidly that I had to really pay attention.  That's when it hit me - oh my gosh, he may actually have to be in some sort of hypomania to do this.  The pressured speech, the pacing, it was all there.  Yes, he was hysterical and I was laughing so hard, but at the same time...people love being around me when I am hypomanic - the life of the party.  Fun, talkative, doing unexpected and outlandish things - very similar.

I do sometimes find the words in songs to describe exactly how I feel, the out of control feeling, wondering why I am the way I am.  Billy Joel has a song called "I Don't Know Why I Go To Extremes" that is PERFECT for how I feel with my moods being, and oh my gosh I hate this, but "unacceptable to society" too high and too low.

I was watching a concert of his yesterday, and he played a song that he said was from an old album.  He said the song he had written had been in no way a hit, but he wanted to "play it for all of the manic depressives out there".

I KNEW it!  I am not glad for him that he/if he has bipolar disorder, but it explains everything.

Billy Joel - I Go To Extremes

Pleasant Thanksgiving in Dallas

"Hello" she said, to no one there.  That is how I feel when starting a blog entry!  I could not be more okay with that - I have to write for myself and not worry about others judging me, as I know those that may read this will do.  Again - that is okay. : )

Got back from Dallas last night - had a good (dare I say great?) trip!  Only big mishap was a stupid medication interaction I had.  Imitrex (only 1/8th of a pill!) with Dramamine, the original formula, not the less drowsy kind.  I was at Mark's parents house in the spare bedroom asleep during Thanksgiving dinner.  No complaints really, I do not miss what I have no idea may or may not have happened.  My brother in law's girlfriend made a nice little plate for me (I guess no one else thought to do that??), and everyone understood about my sleeping.

I told Mark's mother, a retired nurse, what I had done with the medication that I was so surprised had made me so sleepy.  When I woke up, she had looked in some of kind of drug book she had and told me why it had made me so sleepy, but that my reaction was not normal and I should not take dramamine again.  Mark had filled her in that I always needed at least the rest of the day if not longer to recover after taking it.

No big deal - I should have remember the ear patches for motion sickness,

It was good to see Mark's family.  I really like all of them now, when I used to be so uncomfortable and absolutely hate his family gatherings.  I even skipped some, staying home even though we lived in DFW along with them.

His sister and I had a "spa day" the day after Thanksgiving, and it was SO relaxing.  I suggested we make it a tradition from now on.

I have decided she is very like Mark.  She has this personality I love through text - it seems so outgoing with exclamation points and lots of emojis.  But when I am with both in person, that is not them at all.  They are not outgoing like their texts, they are introverted although his sister less so, yet it seems more so since I know her less.  It is so hard to describe.

His sister in law (married to his brother) came over, everyone assumes it was just to see Mark and I, not them, and I think by Mark and I, they really mean so his sister in law could see me because we absolutely adore each other.  I could talk and talk to her - she is SO warm and friendly and loving, and I sat between her and my teenage niece and we chatted up a storm.  I felt so loved nestled between them - it was very genuine and my adoration is real love for them and feels so warm and good.  I do not let people in like that nor do people make me feel they way they do hardly ever.  It was SO SO nice to feel that way.  I will cherish the time I spent with them this Thanksgiving for a long time, although it was short.

Yes, I do know that his sister in law does not like anyone else in Mark's family besides us.  She especially, especially despises their mother who tries so hard to get along, but my sister in law will not really even acknowledge her presence, even though she is in her house.  There is a history, and she and I have bonded over certain things because we are the only sisters in law.  Neither of us like that our husbands went through certain things and do not understand it, the continued pain they go through - not easy to watch.  There is no one else for us to talk to about many things concerning the family - mainly the parents.

For me, it is WAY more than that though.  She is my only ally when it comes to certain things.  I can say - what the F is the deal with the parents?!?  Why do they DO that and does it drive you NUTS too?  And she is the ONLY one in the entire world who GETS IT!  haha! : )

But about the sister in law and his family, sure, the other family members (even Mark!) can tell me about how much she (because her husband, their brother is, in my opinion, a better actor around them in pretending everything is okay when it comes to them) hurts them when she treats their mother a certain way.  OMG their mother is not a piece of china and the victim all of the time.  Hello?  Remember childhood Mark, where YOU are the victim of your parents?

So his mother cries, while all can see but his sister in law because I was with her and I did not see it.  Not because of anything she did but because of what she does NOT do.  Yet I totally get it and really do not care if they do or do not and do not judge her.  Of course I wish we all got along and she could just act like everyone else, but I also admire like HELL that she is not that kind of person.

There is nothing more refreshing to me than genuine people.  I simply could never have enough people around me that I do not have to wonder or worry what they think of me because they are not faking their feelings - about me or about themselves.  The more fake I perceive someone to be, the more I dislike them.  I generally like everyone, but THOSE people - and surely everyone knows who I mean - who you can tell right away are fake, usually because they want something from someone or have ulterior motives - I cannot stand and avoid being around.  Eventually I find myself in a worthless fake conversation with them that I can hardly fake my own smile and I am sure look of distaste on my face.  And that is SOOOOO not like me at ALL.

I am a such a people pleaser - but not to a fake people pleaser.  My God, be genuine in wanting to make people happy.  Like, who doesn't feel good when you make someone else feel better than they did when you first started talking to them?  So many genuine, real things to talk about.  I hate fake people.  Have I said how much I loathe fake people?


Because I get along so well with Mark's sister and she did say something like "I don't know what I ever did to HER" to me, I did speak up a bit for her.  However, I did not want to share anything she told me in confidence.  I never talk about either of them to the other, and I can tell they make a point not to talk about the other to me as well.  Now I am unsure I did, but I do not think it was anything critical.

I simply said - your sister-in-law is not totally to blame in this.  She is very protective of her husband (which is her brother).  I told his sister that I have no idea what happened or what her brother told his wife, but I know she is not happy about it, she is not being mean for no reason or something petty.  But again, I do not know 100% of everything, so it came across as perhaps...  I did ask - do you have any idea what your brother could be so hurt about that he would have told her her that it seems like she finds it hard to forgive?  (Knowing full well his sister will never say this to his mother - cry = fragile china = victim = family rallies behind her)

So although Mark and his sister were pissed that their sister in law "made their mother cry" by snubbing her, when I later asked them this (separately), they did admit, quite dumbfounded - that during the tumultuous time when they admitted Paul was having problems, neither have any idea what their parents could have done.  They have no memory of it, just that it was a hard time between their parents and brother.  I truly wanted to know - what in the world did their parents do to their brother that would have made my sister in law so angry and unforgiving?

They are both quite a bit younger than their brother - 6 or more years? so I had a good idea they would have no idea.

I am not saying my sister in law is right, but I do not know what happened, I do not like quite a few things that happened to my own husband though I do realize no parent is perfect and almost all parents fuck up their children in some way.  While I do not know what happened to their brother, and I do realize that no matter what has happened to someone, their pain is real, just as real as mine is about my own childhood.  That has taken awhile to sink in - that I need to allow my husband to have his pain about his childhood.  For the longest time, I thought he was a big crybaby to complain, spoiled even.  He sure did live a cozy childhood when I compare it to my own hellish nightmare of an existence.  I wanted to "throw him to the wolves" of my childhood for awhile to see what a painful childhood and painful childhood memories was all about.

But...now I realize...he does not have that reference in his mind, does not have that experience.  His pain and what was hell to him is real.  Does not mean it does make him seem like a pussy to me.

Yes, I know, empathy is "supposed" to be one of my biggest strengths".  But come on, seriously people?  However..they are still together, meeting for the holidays.

Wish I could stay the same, that I was meeting with my family, ick - would have to cross a few names off though.  In blood.  Their blood.  That I have cut from their finger with a sharp razor blade in a single, painful slice.

They could then be provided with a small band-aid to stop the bleeding of the finger cut, but not by me.  I would designate someone in another room where I would not see comfort for them of any kind.

LOLOL.  So evil yet fun to write.  HAHA.

Yes, pleasant Thanksgiving.  Hope everyone did as well! : )

Too Much Latuda = Weird Suicidal Thoughts

When I went to my psychiatrist last week, I told her about my strange thoughts.  I was thinking a lot about suicide, but the thoughts seemed to have started not in my mind, but somehow outside of my mind, as a color.  I found it hard to describe and probably went on a bit too much trying to describe it as best I could but it really was strange.

I used to think in music, for a very long time.  For someone who thinks in numbers or has never thought about how they think besides an internal conversation - if there is one or they are aware of one, I often wonder what goes through their mind - how do they think?  Like I said, for me, for years and years, it was always music.  That was so tiringly overly emotional.  I would wake up with a song in my head for no apparent reason and it would last for days on end.  I have blogged way too much about it.  But now I think in colors.  It is too hard to explain, or maybe I do not have the energy right now to explain.

Anyway!  Two weeks before that appointment, she had increased my Latuda from 40 (mg?) to 60.  I would have to get up and see if the measurement is in mg but surely it is. After describing the beginning of the thoughts, she said what I described, the thoughts coming from outside of myself, as being the warning signs of what is described when anti-depressants are labelled "may cause suicidal thoughts", or whatever that warning is.  Yes, of course I have heard about teenagers having that problem, but me?

She said to go back to my previous dosage of Latuda as it was too high and then added the new medication.  She also did not seem to like that I had mentioned I "thought it colors", or maybe that was my perception, but she did say something about it.  I could be incorrect what she was referencing.  But doesn't everybody think in some terms of something?  Sure - thinking in music or colors must be weird to many, but thinking in numbers for instance, as many people have told me when I have asked "how they think" (which I realize is a strange thing to ask and people and confused by the question in general), they say counting things as they do them, that is really weird to ME.  My husband takes "thinking in numbers" WAAAAY beyond that, to a place I cannot possibly understand - equations I will never be able to do, let alone think in my own mind creatively.  He believes EVERYTHING is a number, but just because I do not understand it does not mean it is not okay he thinks in that way.  It is just that my brain is simply not tapped in that way, ever, really unless there is a need.

I must tire people out asking them the weird questions that I do, but to me, they are important in learning about myself and them.  I have only been asked by one person, ever, "how do you think?".  I can imagine a majority of people have never been asked that, and perhaps have never considered it?

When my psychiatrist said the thoughts I had were most likely coming from too much Latuda, I completely skipped taking it that night, hoping to get the levels down in my blood.  I only skipped one night though, so doubtful it did much besides easing my mind - not literally, but the bit of panic I had when hearing that.

However, the thoughts are gone, strangely enough.  Could they really go away that quickly?  I find that hard to believe.  The "thoughts outside of myself" had already subsided once I recognized them and thought about how strange it came to me as a color and had just become wishful thinking and wanting.  But now...nothing.  Those awful thoughts are gone.

When we went to marriage counseling, my old therapist that I used to see in individual counseling did help quite a bit with my stress and anxiety about the orders I have that are so late and am unsure that I can have done in time.  I was convinced that could not get them done in time but now....I see I need to make them and simply get done what I can.

She helped me realize my problem, by simply asking me.  I never really thought about it.  When I start making a wreath, I start getting crazy anxiety thinking about all of the OTHERS I need to make, so much that I need to take anxiety medication, but the anxiety keeps getting worse.  I work until the anxiety is absolutely unbearable which isn't long.

Wow, just thinking about it and I feel anxious and not sure if I even want to write more about it.  She suggested I make myself comfortable, find a show/movie, anything that I enjoy watching, and concentrate on that one wreath.  Ha, sounds too easy, right?  But she said really concentrate on that one wreath, watching what I enjoy, and block out the "noise", not to think about the others I need to do.

On one hand, sounds simple enough.  But on the other, I have not allowed myself to do that.  There were a few more suggestions, but that was the biggest and I will at least try.

Maybe I said I do not "think" in music any longer - not sure, what is not thinking in music really mean?  I had thought that way for so long, perhaps it is just muted quite a bit now.

I heard this song today that I have not heard in so long.  It is a song that used to make me happy.  It was before satellite radio (I think), so I had no idea who sang it, the name of it, anything.  It was on the radio quite a bit, but if they said the band name or title, I kept missing it - for weeks!  The few lyrics I knew I would use the internet to search, and find nothing.  Not sure how I finally figured it out, but obviously I did.

OH!  Hands Down by Dashboard Confessionals

The best part?  The words blissfully mean nothing to me except they make me happy. : )  So rare in a song I like.

Okay so...when looking for the song to post, I could not post the video they made from youtube, so the next best choice was the song with the lyrics.  I watched it, and DAMN if I do now remember what drew me in to this song.  I'm actually a bit crushed.

I remember thinking about a certain part of the song towards the beginning that he says and thinking...he's right, wouldn't that be perfect?  This was way before I went to the psych ward even.

That is not the only reason I like this song - I had totally forgotten about it.  It DOES make me happy, and it is a happy song, period.

I realize no one listens to my songs, but I do on the rare occasions I go back and read through my blog. : )  Songs help me with what I was thinking at a particular time - so it needs to be a part of my blog.

Wow, a bombshell for me right now.  LOVE this song.  I hope I forget that part again.

Trying My Best

In thinking back to that first Vraylar dosage, I do not think I considered everything that happened after I took it.

I remember *perhaps* feeling quite relaxed after I took it, but I had a nagging headache, a different kind of headache than one of my thousand types of "regular" headaches I get daily it seems.  I was actually so relaxed and a bit sleepy that I had laid in bed.

I am not exactly sure how long that lasted, but I do remember thinking I would feel better if that headache went away.  I had tried everything, as I usually do.  The regulars - Advil, Naproxen and Excedrin Migraine and had waited.  Nothing.

So this is what I think was a horrible mistake.  And I mean it could have been really, really horrible.  I took perhaps 1/4 - 1/3 of an Imitrex, which normally does not have a good reaction anyway.  It seems like shortly after that is when I had all of those crazy thoughts, nausea - all of that which I wrote in my last post.

I took my first dose of Vraylar on Thursday on the dumbest time possible - the middle of the afternoon and had terrible insomnia.

I am so worried that I am making a mistake and will go through the same horrendous side effects, but I plan to give Vraylar another chance tomorrow.

However, I am so scared of the side effects, and they were truly horrendous yet I am pretty convinced the Imitrex was a big part of those, that I am going to open the capsule of the 1.5 mg starter dose and half the dosage.

I doubt that will make it a therapeutic dose, but that is completely beside the point.  If this medication in fact has these horrible side effects, there is no way I can take it.  I am going to try it again, and one half of the tablet should be enough to trigger the side effects but not in full force - I HOPE.

If no side effects are triggered (although I will not be surprised if I get an f-ing headache - sorry about the language but I cannot stress enough how much I hate having one pretty much every day of my life - then I will know it was the Imitrex.  I will not be surprised if indeed the Imitrex caused horrible problems because it just does without an unknown medication.

I have to give it a fair shot before telling my psychiatrist no.  There was a time when I would tell my psychiatrist in Dallas - not only no but HELL no already.  But right now, I do not feel that I have given it a fair shake.

So what is going right at this moment?  I am keeping it together.  AT THIS MOMENT.

I got a letter in the mail today - from an attorney that has been assigned to me from my auto insurance I had when I had the bad wreck in case we go to trial.  That is such a HUGE trigger for me.  I did not even read the entire thing before I fell apart.  BUT.  It did not last long - maybe 5 minutes?  I then went back and got the letter, looked up the attorney and found that there was no way I could have found someone as qualified on my own, nor probably afforded them as well.  That helped.  I cannot control this, I never could have.  But it does say there may be questions that need answered, depositions I will have to do, and of course, maybe a trial.  Okay, when I wrote a trial, my stomach jumped into my throat and I questioned if I was going to vomit.

But.  I got through it.  I am not still freaking out.  I am not a basket case.  I am dealing.  Maybe I just want it over with now.

My wreaths.  WAY behind.  Lots of anxiety.  Someone opened another case, and I refunded their money and responded.  All I can do is my best.  I am where I am.  There is nothing more I can do at this point.

I responded to customers inquiring about their orders.  I gave them the info they requested, and if appropriate, I also offered a refund.  I have no money in my work account, I am having to transfer from our joint account.  I think this is making Mark pretty unhappy but he has not commented about it yet.

Today is today, and this is how I feel.  Tomorrow is tomorrow and I have no clue how I will feel then.  NO CLUE.

Is this part of being bipolar?  Not trusting how you will feel from day to day?  Not knowing how you will feel, who you will be tomorrow?  Will I be strong?  Will I be crying all day?  Will I be focused and working hard?  Will I be angry?  Will I be laying in bed and not able to get up all day?

This is where I am right now.  I want to be dependable, if to no one else, to myself.  I want to know that I will be okay emotionally.

Right now, I do not know that.  I do not trust myself.

I feel one way, then not too much later, I feel another.  So I will text my psychiatrist one thing, see her the next day, and I might feel another, and it is so confusing to me.

From the description of Vraylar, I think she thinks I am in a "mixed state".

Is THIS what being in a mixed state is like?  If so, it SUCKS!

New Medication - Vraylar

I saw my psychiatrist today and started a new medication - Vraylar.  From how she described it and what I read from patient reviews, I decided to go ahead and take it today around 2:00.  I guess that was a mistake?

Horrible insomnia, so nauseous, seems like I am being a bit paranoid in my thoughts, and perhaps having kind of creepy thoughts that are unpleasant.  I am also noticed I feel really hot since taking it.

I did read, and do not know why I dismissed it, on one of the sites that the top two side effects were insomnia and nausea.  Oops!  I think they may go away eventually  I will research it more tomorrow.  Right now, nauseous enough that I do not want to sit up for a long period of time and risk running to the bathroom, as it is better when I am laying down.  But then my mind is just thinking, thinking, thinking...oh!  Maybe racing thoughts?  I never really know what that is for sure.

I am not going to take it tomorrow but may try again the next day, in the morning, if my research finds that both side effects go away in a short amount of time.  The patient reviews that were positive were SO SO positive that I do want to give it a try.  On the other hand, it seemed like people thought it was a miracle drug or the devil.  I have no proof that the "miracle drug" reviews weren't written by pharma people.  Yet I cannot imagine my psychiatrist would not tell me the truth?  How she described it though was pretty much the opposite of how I feel right now.

Tired of the Suffering

I guess the realization or the hard core depression set in yesterday.  I haven't wanted to finish my orders and got an unhappy review from a customer.  I deserved it.  I am not sure why I do not deserve more bad reviews, bad everything.

For several days, I have noticed the voice, or maybe it is not really a voice but a sudden knowing but it does not seem like it comes from myself, but something other than myself.  I am aware it is in my head, my mind, and I do not mean that to be as if I am making it up, but rather that I am not making it up.  That is where the awareness of the intrusion, yet it does not seem like an intrusion, is.

It is a foreign, although comforting and not unwanted knowing that I can end it whenever I want.  It calms me and makes me feel better at that moment.  Usually it is just to get through that day until the next.

Yesterday it was more vivid, it was a color, a very calming, soothing color.  It was not a "vision", that is just how it showed up in my mind.  I am not sure if "it" had a voice or if it was a "knowing".  My life is all about colors, constantly, it is what I notice and how I think.  My moods are colors, I describe things in colors.

How to describe the color?  It was not pure white.  It would be close to the color if someone had repurposed a small piece of furniture - say an end table, with a rustic white color, to make the piece look homey I guess - comforting.  But that rustic white didn't stop.  Beyond that was clear blue, blue sky - I would imagine maybe what the heaven skies would be like, I guess?  For some reason I am thinking of white wings but I do not know if I am adding to what I saw.

And it was just a very calming I can end this.  Anytime.  I can take my life.  Was it actually saying I can kill myself?  Maybe.

I cannot point to one thing, just a big grab bag of everything.  The fight in the counselor's office with Mark.  I am so tired and fed up with the whole thing.

He WINS! I want to scream at him.  I want to put a pretend crown on his head and tell him YOU are the biggest victim, you have the most pain, you have had the worst life of anyone ever.  You win, you lose, whatever the challenge, here is your crown.

I can't take it and it will never change.  Apparently talking to him ever is wrong.  Good, bad, about MY day, HIS day, anything.  Uttering a word - bad.  This week, I am not to talk to him when he comes home - I guess aside from hello, no clue.  The therapist wanted to call me each night and talk to her about whatever I needed to talk about.  What the fuck?  Let him spend time alone.  He does not want to be touched nor does he ever just hold my hand or touch me unless he wants sex.  On the rare occasion he has touched me and I said I do not want sex when sitting on the couch he has gotten hurt, but then yeah, he had wanted sex.  But still...oh my God, how dare I say that.

He sits in his office and plays video games.  All days.  But that is supposed to be a good thing.  Because he is an introvert.  Because that is how he recharges.  And me?  Well it is my "job" in the relationship to the the social director.  What the fuck ever.  I will stay in this house and rot.  Good luck to anyone who feels the way I do making plans to do something when I do not even want to, getting his half hearted ass to come with me when I know he does not want to, then trying to drive a happy conversation during the outing.  FUCK THAT.  I am so over that.  And I am so over him faking it.  He is what he is and I am what I am.

He claims he has border line high functioning Asperger's Syndrome and damn if he does not have just about every single symptom.  Wouldn't it be nice to go to a support group?  But oh my God no he says, and oh my God no says the therapist.  FUCK THEM BOTH.  I am trash - litter in the gutter.  The byproduct of something that has been chewed up and spit out.  That is how I feel, and that is what I feel my worth is.

He does not want to change and neither do I.  Actually, right now, I am just not capable.

So many emotions and it feels I cannot let them out.  I am not allowed to have them, and how dare I have them.

If I lived alone, at least I would have a reason for feeling lonely.  At least I would have a reason for having no one who understood or at least attempt to talk to.  It seems worse when there is someone here and I feel all of those things but yet I can not say anything.

Like I have to push it all down, like it is wrong for feeling anything.

I do not think I can deal with it.  I do not think I want to.  I do not care that can not deal with or nor do not want to.

I want the color to come back.  Right now, I long for it.  Yes, I can sit here and think the same thought that comes with it, but somehow it isn't quite the same.  Not exactly, not as calming.  That is really crazy, right?

I Am Processing It...

I feel much better today, but I did take two Adderall, and for some reason that really affects my mood.  I still have 14 overdue wreaths, but I started with 28 when my ecommerce site delisted my items.  It was a totally positive thing, even though I had already closed my shop.

My therapist/psychiatrist fit me in for a therapy appointment last week, I think Friday?  It was a much tougher appointment than I have had in a very long time - many years at least.  I wish I understood myself better, why some things are harder to talk about or even think about.  Why?

I was basically freaking out over my anxiety, it feels so physically painful, it seemed like it had graduated from anxiety to one big, long anxiety attack (is there a difference?  I have no clue).  Let's just say much worse.  When I went in to talk to her, I was unsure what to say, what was causing it.

Yes, the election is causing everyone in the country anxiety, and I would imagine many have anxiety a million times worse than I do over it.  When I was in her office, I had already resigned myself to not caring.  What was the point?  Apparently we are to believe the world is going to end somehow no matter who is elected.

As my college government teacher once answered a "what if" question of mine once, "It is moot".  I had to look that up!  He did not answer my question because....whatever I had asked himhad never happened before so there was no reason to speculate.

I still use the word "moot" to this day - just to my husband in jest, but it does seem like an incredibly rude answer to someone's question.

She asked me to list some things on my mind, so I did, since I was unsure what was causing my anxiety.  Then she asked me to pick one of them to talk about.

So I picked the suicide.  That was the one I KNEW I NEEDED to talk about and figure out.

I won't go into every detail as I am so horrible about doing.  I said, she said, then..  But I could not get started talking about it.  She found a way for me to feel less vulnerable and I took a deep breath and just started.

She said during the time I was talking, she could not keep count of how many times I said things like "I shouldn't feel this way", "I can't feel this way", "it is wrong to feel this way", etc., etc.

So...right now, my "homework" is to allow myself to feel, but that is quite overwhelming, she never said it wouldn't be.  What I am to say to myself (she told me to choose something to say to myself), when I find myself thinking or saying I can't/shouldn't, etc., to tell myself it is okay how I feel, and that I am processing it.  (I chose processing it - I had been researching the different ways people process grief, so it was fresh on my mind).  Also, it did not seem as scary.

I think the whole idea is simply not to get upset or feel guilty when I feel something, and whatever it is and for whatever reason, it makes me upset at myself.  She said  somehow I learned - maybe someone had told me I could not or should not feel or feel a certain way.  I guess, I do not know.

I do know that yes, I constantly do that.  Just ALLOWING myself to feel and not berate myself and feel guilty, it is a relief, yet it is not always possible and not always comfortable.

This is new to me, so it is hard to explain.

One other thing - she pointed out, and I can see now that a big part of my anxiety is also that, since I found out my friend had the exact same disorders that I do, that I will end up just like him.

Okay, I will end there.  Don't really have any details to into about that.  I mean, I could, right?  I am not perfect on my medications.  Just NOW I realized, duh, I took two Adderall today, I wrote that at the top of my blog.  He was weaning himself off of his medications, or so his mother said, I don't know, her last email made me a bit mad regarding her views of mental illness and medication.

I am just now sitting here thinking about all of the ragging I get about my medication.  I take too much of this and run out too early, or I decide I do not like this, but I ALWAYS tell my doctor and I do not just stop taking something.  I have never just stopped going to the doctor.  I take their damned advice.

Just once, just for one GD time, can someone say....good job for trying?  You know, it is a difficult disease, you deserve a pat on the back for not giving up and really....never going a single day without any medication.

Is it SO hard to give me a compliment than bitch at me always?  I am really really sick of that.

Grief = Anxiety?

After writing my post yesterday, even though I did not want to feel any grief or really anything, it did get me to thinking about the grieving process of losing someone to suicide.

I started wondering if my anxiety went from bad to unbearable about the same time I found out about his death, or even if it had gotten worse at all.  I asked my husband about it.  He did say definitely it had gotten a lot worse, and the timeline sounded right - it was about the same time my anxiety increased.  He said he thought that I had been upset that because I had told him I found out that my friend and I had exactly the same mental disorders, that I would end up the same as him.  I will say that sure, it has put a new awareness on it.

I have done a bit of research, and of course I have always heard everyone grieves differently, but I did find anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD, among other things as symptoms of grieving - I would assume for all types of grieving but I looked specifically for those grieving over losing someone to suicide.

And it did talk about how much more difficult it is to grieve and get over losing someone that way and talked about all of the confusing emotions.  I am not trying to say that losing someone is not hard, or I am going through a worse time, hardly!  This was a friend - one I had known for a long time, but not a parent or a child, or even my dog.  My dog absolutely has to live forever because I will not be able to deal with him leaving me.

I must have sent my therapist/psychiatrist a trillion texts yesterday, and then again today.  I have an appointment this afternoon to see her.

I DO feel like I am in an emotional crisis.  A big one.  Does that sound dramatic?  I would bet it sounds like I am in every single one of my posts, but I am probably simply venting or documenting something, not to say I do not have strong emotions at the time.

This is different.  I have hit a brick wall and do not know where to turn, do not even know where to get the directions to get out of it.  I do not even know for sure what the trigger was that got me here.

I keep guessing, but how do I know for sure?  And if I do now know, my therapist can't tell me, right?


Just...I Don't Know. Interpret As You Will

Right now, it just seems like no one understands me, no one else is going through what I am.  I guess I am just really weird, and all alone in how I feel and what I think.

Seriously?  No one else gets anxious from these horrible political accusations, commercials, doom and gloom messages? The media is the absolute WORST!  They make it sound even worse than the candidates, but at least it is missing the sinister tones that flip my stomach over and over.

I guess people are for one candidate or the other, and they are only anxious about their candidate not winning or what is being said about them.  Yes, I was that way for awhile until I realized it just did not matter.  Not that my vote doesn't count, but accusations and investigations and insults - we may never know the truth and I get so wrapped up in that.  Maybe that is part of the anxiety.  What if that is true?  What if that is NOT true?  What if, what if, what if.

Maybe no one understands that anxiety can be debilitating.  Sure, the election, but that is not all.  I also have overdue wreaths,, and while just yesterday the ecommerce site where my shop is promoted said I was doing a great job getting out my overdue wreaths and hoped my listings could be reinstated so my beautiful Christmas wreaths would be available (not my words), it seemed to add more pressure, more stress, more anxiety.  Maybe I do not want to hear I have done a good job.

My psychiatrist wants to work with me on that.  She says I am too hard on myself, I do not praise myself when I have done something right or good, I constantly say horrible things to myself about myself.  I argued with her about it, until she started pointing out when I was doing it.  I do not like being complimented, there is nothing to compliment.  I cannot feel good about x number of wreaths created in a day, because I still have x number of wreaths that are overdue.  No matter how many I create, I am still a failure.  Over and over, day after day.

So sure, maybe I have or will be at the point of "this isn't worth it!" if I tell myself I am always a failure.  Yet at the same time, knowing that, I *am* always a failure.

But who else feels that way?  Is it a female thing?  Is it a "someone who is fucked up in the head" thing?

Another thing that is on my mind.  I thought I had written a more revealing post about my friend who committed suicide, but realized I had not finished it and it still in draft mode.   But that is not what I was going to say.

He had my exact disorders (I found out after his passing) - bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder.  And...he committed suicide.  Reminds me that those of us with this disease are "high risk" for suicide.  I still find it hard to believe - 20% of those who have bipolar disorder, or one in five, commit suicide, I mean really?

I do not mean to take the focus off of my friend, and trust me, he has way too much of my focus than I would like, but what would make me special to not be in the 1 in 5?

It also makes me wonder...what does my psychiatrist think my chances are down the road?  Does she already think I am a lost case?

I do believe in God.  My friend did not.  I do not know how much or if that even has any effect when you are in THAT much pain, that much mental torture, your brain lying to you to such a huge extent.

I did learn something from this.  The whole grieving process is so much harder when someone takes their life.  I am so confused, so much guilt, seems like I have a lot I should have said, but is it because he took his life?  In that case, I do not think it would have mattered.

I cannot grieve, not yet.  Memories come out of nowhere.  Dreams more nights than not.  And I realize...he was the only one who shared these very special memories with me, but now he is gone, and I am left with those memories alone, and they are lonely.

Yet I cannot grieve, I do not allow myself, and I do not cry about it.  But why is that a NECESSITY?  Who says?

This is a song, however bizarre it may have seemed at the time, that we both liked and played often.  Sure, NOW it makes sense why we both liked it, but back then I thought it was a strange song that for some reason we connected to it - I assumed it was the tune, but not sure I even like the tune.

Later, when he was alive and before I knew he had bipolar disorder, I realized it described to me a lot about how the disease worked - the depression side.  It never occurred to me that he already knew it.

I am sure not everyone has a taste for Nine Inch Nails, but in case anyone is curious about the lyrics and why I think it describes how bipolar disorder is or feels, I have pasted them below.

I could write a whole post about NIN, their songs, and how we listened to them over and over.  I have purposely not listened to them in years because it was never my thing alone.

To me though, the song does not make much sense reading the lyrics without also listening to the song, however much someone might despise NIN.  It is not necessarily the tune but the way the lyrics are said.  The pauses, etc.  It is more than just reading words, does that make sense?  Wow, I think it has made a bigger impact on me than I want to believe it has at this moment.

It is weird to think this was "our song"?  Not really, yet there were not many conversations we had where he did not bring up one of the lyrics to this song.  I can't recall ever doing it as well though.  It would have been weird to me if I had.

I do not like writing about this - talking about it is a million times worse.  This whole thing thing needs to go away and disappear from my mind FOREVER.  Him, time, my emotions, the world, life, you know what?  I am not dealing well right now.

MAKE IT ALL GO AWAY!  I want everything in my head, every thought, every memory, every want, every pleasure, every pain, anything, I want it all gone.  I want an empty head and fresh start.

Anyways, here is the song as promised, lyrics below the video, and by promising I made the promise to myself as well, I do not KNOW WHY!  Why am I mad?  I hate myself for feeling ANYTHING!!!   But that is the thing - when I do feel, and I am not allowing myself to at this moment, I feel TOO MUCH, and that is simply not an option I will allow right now.

It cannot and I will not let it happen.  I will not grieve, I will not be sad, there is no reason to be.  The past is in the past and so it shall stay.

I am going to reread this eventually, probably easily analyze it and think I am such an idiot, why didn't I just do this and that, etc.  Fine, whatever.  At least it will not be today.  F*ck today.

Anger is a better emotion right now than any other I can think of.  Right now, the only emotion that seems acceptable, yet unreasonable, is anger.  I will gladly take it for now, but not towards anyone but myself.  I am the only one who deserves my anger.  And I do, I really, really do.

You know what?  I think I really, really hate myself.  And it it so well deserved.  I am not a bad person, just a failure at life with no purpose or reason for being.

Down in It
Kinda like a cloud I was up way up in the sky
And I was feeling some feelings you wouldn't believe
Sometimes I don't believe them myself
And I decided I was never coming down
Just then a tiny little dot caught my eye
It was just about too small to see
But I watched it way too long
That dot was pulling me down
I was up above it
I was up above it
I was up above it
I was up above it
Now I'm down in it
Shut up
So what what does it matter now
I was swimming in the hate now I crawl on the ground
And everything I never liked about you
Is kind of seeping into me
I try to laugh about it now but isn't it funny how everything works out
I guess the jokes on me, she said
I was up above it
I was up above it
I was up above it
I was up above it
I used to be so big and strong
I used to know my right from wrong
I used to never be afraid
I used to be somebody
I used to have something inside
Now just this hole it's open wide
Used to want it all
I used to be somebody
I'll cross my heart and hope to die
But the needle's already in my eye
And all the world's weight is on my back and I don't even know why.
And what I used to think was me is just a fading memory
I looked him right in the eye and said goodbye
I was up above it
I was up above it
I was up above it
I was up above it
Now I'm down in it
I was up above it
I was up above it
Now I'm down in it
Rain rain go away
Come again some other day
Rain rain go away
Come again some other day
Rain rain go away
Come again some other day
Rain rain go away
Come again some other day
I was up above it
I was up above it
I was up above it
I was up above it
Now I'm down in it

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