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You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure , the process is its own reward.”

16 Oct

Never watch Law and Order SVU if there’s no plot synopsis.

Last night, that plot was bipolar, and I really wasn’t prepared.

I saw myself, fully, for the first time ever. Or as full as a healthy person can portray. I wish I could hate it, but I can only regret it while I use it, while I gladden myself with movement and change.

Stabler confronts his mother, speaking hard about his childhood, her threats to leave, to die, as she makes a sand castle, two planes, two people, one never listening, incapable of feeling for the people near to her.

Later, she says she’s lived the life she wanted, and paid a terrible price for it.

It’s cheesy to see one’s self on a TV, to face your demons on network television, but suddenly, vividly, I saw what I’ve been doing to my family, to the people in my life, for years. Sure, the TV version is always the most extreme, but what’s better? A slow death, or a fast one?

The voids I’ve left in lives, the utter wrung outness I give to people, squeezing them dry of everything inch of life, of passion, all the while demanding more, telling them they’ve stolen mine. I’ve made people raw, I’ve started down a path that would have destroyed everything in my life, made ruin of my children.  All because I circled on myself, my own orbit, my planet around I the sun.

Oh how I saw that last night. How my heart cracked and shuddered, with that awful realization of who I have been, what this disease makes me into. What it could become, who I could be. Who I do not ever want to be.

I could be worse. I’ve never spent thousands of dollars on a spending binge-I’ve been too poor for that. But I’ve ran multiple credit cards up to the edge, destroyed my credit. I never ran around sleeping with everyone, but hey, I was never that attractive. Likely, without marriage to tether me, I could have at times. I’ve always felt one step away from catastrophe.

Then I fell into it, and came out of it and now I’m sitting here wondering how anyone could last though all of that, how I could possibly be in anyway redeeming, worthy of lasting through the hell that I’ve been lo these many years.

How crushing to discover you’ve been not only bad, but horrid. Like a haze clearing from an early morning highway, I can see the road ahead, and the carnage I’ve left in my wake, and no amount of apologizing, no amount of trying could ever make it right.

And that scares me, as does the image of my future, bereft of those I love.

I’ve made changes. I know that if I stick to this path, my future is open and wide and full of love. But it’s hard, and I’m frightened of my very easy weakness. I’m frightened of myself.

Down with my fat self, BUT…

15 Oct

I’m so fucking done with being big.

Wait. That sounds like I hate my body doesn’t it. I don’t. I’m down with my bad self. I’ve hugged my flub and made peace with it-while I may not be all puppies and rainbows about it, I’m done with worrying about my size. I know that I’ll never stick to a diet, and that I’d be in the LARGE % that gains it all back in 5 years anyway.

I like my body. I really do.

What I am done with is a body that’s bigger than what manufacturers deem suitable for dressing, or at least suitable without scouring the internet, paying 60+ dollars for a shirt or both. I’m done with having giant platypus size feet in a town that barely carries anything over a 10M. I’m done with having a head that’s too big for hats.

Seriously. I get heat exhaustion really easily in the sun, but I can’t find a hat big enough for my head. So I just try not to go out.

As per the law of the universe, pretty much all of my pants and shoes have died the death of use. At the same time. I am not a rich person. Shit, half the time, I think we’re scrapping the poverty line. I have nothing left for shoes, aside from my army boots. Even my fucking chucks have a hole in the bottom (thanks Nike for buying them out and making them shitty for the same price. THANKS.) I’m wearing a pair of pants with only a little hole in them since I’m sick of wearing skirts.

For anyone not the size of the 50ft Woman, this wouldn’t pose a problem. Down they’d trot to Target or Bluenotes or where ever, buy some pants, trot off to Feet First, buy pretty shoes, and be done with it for a relatively low price.

Not I Mr. Wolf. I haunt Payless in the hopes that something non-hideous and wide comes available. Fat chance of that lately, but I’ve been told that a transvestite with the same 11W/12 feet ALSO haunts the place, and obviously has more time on her hands. Sigh. I can’t afford the store with pretty pretty shoes that start at 120.00. Just can’t. The ladies need snowpants.

I walk past Additionelle, and stifle laughter at their “sales”-it’s the same shoddy made crap from China you’d find in Wal-Mart, but for 4X the price. 89.99 for jeans-nothing fancy, just jeans. 49.99 for a rayon blouse, similar to something you’d see at Zellers in “regular” sizes for maybe 19.99,

The fat markup, I love it. I always say the tiny people should bitch for their discount since we’re pricing on extra weight on my end.

I can’t be out buying clothes every 2 weeks. I don’t have the time, nor am I set up for that sort of depression. I end up buying stuff that doesn’t look “as bad.” Desperation shopping isn’t pretty. Even my old standby, the thrift store, hasn’t been kind to me.

I’m just tired of dealing with this-of getting ripped off for being big. And it has nothing to do with weight-even at my smallest I was a 14, which means I’d STILL be shopping in teh fat stores, and I’d STILL be getting ripped off for what I get. I’m tired of feeling that I should be thankful for what I have, because frankly, what I have is crap. Not a single piece of me is easy to dress, and even my hair is chaotic. I want to give my money to someone who understands it.

And without a credit card? Can’t shop online.

I figure I should just become a nudist. I’m fine with my body until I put clothes on it that someone else decided I should wear.

Maybe there’s something to that.

Sigh

15 Oct

Canada?

YOU SUCK!

59% voter turnout? Seriously? Lowest turnout EVER? FFS….. (My province at the moment only come in with 63%. Go us)

Voting in another minority government? Really?

Giving the bloody Tories MORE seats after they call an unnecessary election and cost us 300 million? For Real?

I’m looking forward to a day when the ENTIRE population takes voting seriously, and looks at it as a chance for change, instead of shrugging and not even paying attention to what they’re voting for, IF they vote at all. I’m looking forward to the day that the people impacted by MANY government decisions, woman and young people ACTUALLY vote-I’m hoping their numbers won’t be low when the stats come out, but I’m not hopeful.

What will it take? Why can’t people be bothered to do even a little research, and get up and spend 5 minutes participating in the future of their country.

I was one of those “who cares” people once, before I could vote, until a friend of mine tore a strip into me for being to lazy and ignorant to care about what happened to my country. If only we could do that to everyone.

I think I’ll move to Sweden.

Flashing Vision

13 Sep
  • Diaphragmatic Breathing or Abdominal Breathing — Breathing slowly through the nose using the diaphragm and abdomen. Do not breathe through the mouth. Focus on exhaling very slowly. This will correct or prevent an imbalance of oxygen to carbon dioxide in the blood stream.
  • Taking anti-anxiety medication — to be used under the guidance and direction of a physician.
  • Staying in the Present — rather than having “what if” thoughts that are future oriented asking yourself, “what is happening now” and “how do I wish to respond to it”. (Carbonell 2004)
  • Acceptance and Acknowledgement– accepting and acknowledging the panic attack. (Carbonell 2004)
  • Floating with the symptoms — allowing time to pass and floating with the symptoms rather than trying to make them better or fighting them. (Carbonell 2004)
  • Coping Statements — repeated as part of an internal monologue
    • “No one has ever died from an anxiety attack.”
    • “I will let my body do its thing. This will pass.”
    • “I can be anxious and still deal with this situation.”
    • “This does not feel great, but I can deal with it”.
    • “I am frightened of being frightened, therefore if I stop worrying about being frightened, then I have nothing to be scared of.”
  • Talking with a supportive person — someone who has experienced true panic attacks personally; someone who is highly trained in treating panic attacks; loved ones who can offer support and comfort.
  • One particularly helpful and effective form of therapy is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This is the most generally accepted method of treatment.

I’ve been having panic attacks up the ass lately, and you know what? I don’t like it. I morph from rationality to batshit crazy bitch, and feel like I’m standing on the sidelines, hyperventilating. I had one so bad at work yesterday I almost packed my shit up and left despite deadlines.

They scare me. The absolute overriding panic scares the shit out of me, and I don’t know if these are starting in earnest because I’m letting some things out in my head I never really have before or what. But the fear-the need to escape, the feeling cornered, the tightness in my chest and the fire that crawls up from my belly into my face…I’ve had anxiety before, but it’s been more social and situational-don’t go out in crowds-I’ll be fine. Now, it rears it’s head the minute I do anything, especially if thinking is involved. And out comes the Ativan.

I can feel one building as I sit here typing this, full of it’s wrong thoughts and fears, instead of the strength I know I have to weather anything life can throw at me. I know I’m strong as shit-why doesn’t my brain? The panic sits lightly on my diaphragm, waiting. Frankly it can wait all it wants since I’ll take a pill to head it off anyway…

Maybe this really has been my issue for a very long time, despite the lithium. Underlying anxiety and panic, all the things I just don’t talk about since I’ll look crazy or paranoid and mean. The little worries that pile up and pile up, the fears I shouldn’t worry about, since rationally, will the world end? Will I need to save someone trapped under a bus? Doubtful.

So I’ll take more pills, weather this storm till I see my pdoc again, and hope that maybe this time I’m on the right train.

In the meantime, if you hear of any brain transplants, do let me know. Mine seems to serve no one properly.

I was trying to write but your hair distracted me.

26 Aug

 

So tonight, having no children, they being away in another city, spending quality quality time with the inlaws, I went and bought the kitty litter and treats for a launch at work and sat down and had my usual Venti Soy Latte and brought it to my lips and sighed and smiled and picked up a pen and…

pfffft.

Not much I tell you. 2 poems, one terrible. 3 pages of something far too close to home to consider going forth with. The ringing feeling that I should write through my judgement-that I should write and write until my fingers are bleeding and torn and the words are massed into an omelete of sorts, all runny with things and items left behind in the crisper for weeks. I should disregard the belief that the spirit must move me-why should it? The muse has never been my friend before.

My fingers twitched for a cigarette. 4 years after quitting, years after being able to sit anywhere indoors and write, my fingers twitched and my mouth pursed and I remembered the smoke coiling up my face, around my head like armour and I would pause to remember where I was and what my end goal was and what I wanted and I twitched and squirrly like I mourned the loss of something disgusting yet oh so very helpful.

Writing, the writing I want to do-it’s hard. I can’t make my thoughts ferment. They stay barley and hops instead of becoming tasty nectar. They swirl and stir and whisper naughties into my ears, giggling. But they are very not helpful.

It’s not helpful either that I want to write about so much-I want to write about myself as a child, coming through losing a parent-but as a book for adults, or for young adults? Does that matter? I want to say something that means something to others, that rings true. But I cannot narrow my focus, not as I should.

Argh.

I finally have some time, and I’m just…lost. Arms up in the air shrugging wondering how to gather all the words that hover around me, mocking me. Fuckers.

Letting go on the bus and other irritants.

19 Aug

The bus ride to work, my sorta favoured, sorta hated morning ritual. I would have walked, but the clouds moved in and I knew, like clockwork, the rain would start if I walked. Not that I mind rain. But I mind rain when not going home. I mind feeling slightly damp, like a wet sheepdog all day.

I don’t really mind the bus. It’s time to read or listen to music. Walking is better for music since there’s no engines or voices to compete, but just having 30 minutes where I’m immobile and unable to do more than read, talk or the phone or text is rather decadent these days. And I do love reading certain novels over and over again, with this weeks love being the Taltos series by Steven Brust. (Which is completely fantastic-the man has a gift he really does. And note to anyone who cares-his new book, Jhegaala is out and I have a birthday coming up. No pressure though.)

I digress.

Lately I have been trying to be better, to sweeten my disposition if you will. I’ve been nasty, and well, I don’t want to be that way anymore. This has been going fairly well. But this morning, despite the sunshine making it’s lazy way through the windows and the cool air on my skin, I found myself kinda foul, and fighting it. It’s hard people! When everything in your says “BAH!”, it’s difficult.

I took to looking at the window and ordering myself to find something I liked about everything I saw. Which honestly, is fairly easy to do. Lovely houses, vintage cars, beautiful gardens. Perked me up a bit.

But truly, TRULY, I couldn’t get past the two giggling, 20 odd year old girls who spent the entire bus ride whining about various body pains and taking up multiple seats with a variety of stuff. They were on last night, doing much the same. Architects blocked them out nicely. Some mornings, like this morning, I didn’t want headphones in.

So listen I did.

I fought with myself, reminding myself they’re really just kids. But my head kept screaming a frantic, freaking out scream “They’re training to be NURSES!”

oh.my.dear.fsm.

The entire bus ride was this internal fight with myself, half of me reminding myself not to judge, judging is bad, and the other half had her hair standing on end like a harpy, bouncing upside and around screaming ARGH! People shouldn’t talk this much at SEVEN AM!

Sigh.

I am not worthy. I need to continually remind myself that I am not inherently better than anyone else, that I have no corner pocket on being a good person. Through gritted teeth if need be. I need to focus on good things, breaking the habit of years like stealing carrots from gerbils. I have no real right to focus only on the bad things, to focus solely on how grating their voices were, how repetitive the conversation, how irritating it was for the louder and whinier of the two to sit at the back of the bus like a queen, taking up 6, count them SIX seats with her size 4 butt. I have no real right to be annoyed by people who are really doing nothing to me, aside from keeping me from sitting something with leg room unless I want a fight.

Not that I was keeping track of my annoyances or anything.

Obviously, I need to learn how to deal with and how to integrate the things that annoy me into my daily life, to breathe them in and let them go. It’s foolish to assume nothing will bother me. Of COURSE something will bother me. I’m human (I think). But I need to better learn to let things flow past me-through me and around me. I will be better served by focusing on the good (they’re young! Lucky creatures, and full of life) rather than the bad things (they annoyed the SHIT out of me)

Learning to let go is a lot harder than I ever thought it would be.

I owe it all to something beige.

15 Aug
The machine that saved my liver, and likely my life.
The machine that saved my liver, and likely my life.

 On a Monday  I attempted to take my own life, for reasons that had very little to do with living. Reason thankfully prevailed, and I found myself in the ER.

The great thing about suicide attempts, likely the only thing is that you do not wait. AT ALL. Those are magic words my friends, and you can feel everyone growling at you in the waiting room. You are whisked away into the back, never to be seen again. Quickly surrounded by very concerned and hurried nurses and doctors, all of whom had that look on their face I’ve seen a few times before.

I don’t much care for that serious look from medical staff. While it means I won’t be waiting, it also means I might be dying.

I’d seen it before-bleeding out after birth, the nurses would get that pinched look, the worried, no small talk or friendly sarcastic banter look. The stern questions and answers. Red cheeks.

They scurried around me questioning questioning when did you take them? How many? How many? When? What do you weight? How many?

Your liver. The stern lecture about my poor, unfortunate liver. (Apparently, Tylenol and your liver are not BFF’s. Apparently they are more like, say, Yoko vs the Beatles.) I heard this lecture a few times. I appreciate it. But at the time, I didn’t much care.

It was easy to be flippant at first, as they missed the vein, somehow on my arms that cause most nurses to drool. As they reassured me that this kind of thing happens, that no, I wasn’t a fucking idiot, and yes, I’d be fine. They heard me when I said I didn’t want to die.

They handed me that first cursed cup of charcoal, that horrid, disgusting singular reason to never EVER do that again. As I was drinking it I could feel my neck getting rubbery, my body detached and light. They started the IV up, gravol and whatever they were giving to neutralize the tylenol’s affect on my liver. Dizzy, swimming in dizzy.

I was awake, yet felt asleep. I managed to finish the charcoal, only to be given another cup with the admonishment to not let it settle. It took much longer to finish that one, as I’d find myself almost paralyzed, lying against the flat pillow, staring without seeing the nurses in front of me, as the odd smell of cupcakes wafted past me continually.

A man came in, followed by corrections officers. They moved me out of the ER and into Acute care, telling me I’d be just fine. I remember, vaguely, passing out.

And waking with a start an hour or so later with the most intense urge to completely rid myself of my stomach.

If you ever plan to try and kill yourself, and you use pills, don’t. If I thought the charcoal was bad going down, I was very misinformed as to how it would feel coming up. I felt like some kind of demon wrestling with her conscience as it spewed across the floor, tearing my throat apart. It was, simply awful.

I made it over to the bathroom after that, managing to flush in time to get the rest of it out. Decorating the walls, floor, myself even the seat with black specs. Which were there for hours after I noticed.

Back to bed. Collapse. Sporadic checks by changing nurses.

Wake up 6 hours later faced with the sweetest LOOKING mental health nurse who turned out to BE Satan. I’m glad I wasn’t actually suicidal, because she was hateful and passive aggressive. How does the bipolar woman who just ate a fistful of drugs tell the nurse that it had nothing to do with bipolar, not really?

She doesn’t. She plays the part, and waits for the awful woman to go away.

No one talks to me for hours after this, except the sainted soul who brings trays of food full of, well, stuff I can’t eat. I’m not suffering through the agony of eating eggs in public no matter how hungry I am.

I beg two on-call docs to go home. They point to the IV and remind me what it’s doing, and that it takes about 20 hours. AND I need to see my pdoc.

My shrink shows up, finally. Ironically enough, I had an appointment with her that day anyway. She gives me the look I’m very much used to now, the “no matter how old you are, you’re still a foolish child” look. I shrug. I explain things as much as I can. I repeatedly tell her I’m not actually depressed, just a moron, and it won’t happen again. I refuse to spend another night-on night and day in Acute Care was really bad enough, and by this point, I felt bad that I was taking up the bed. She glared. I glared. I won.

I watched that fucking IV like a hawk. The two books I brought with me weren’t exactly suitable subject matter and I had finished them, and was left listening to the teenage boys next to me talk about anal sex, pro (“I just popped it in there and surprised her! snurt!”) and con (“dude, that’s TOTALLY an exit man“) before their mother came back from some heart test to demand someone do something for something they hadn’t figured out. Very meta.

Once that IV ended, I bored a hole in the head of any nurse until mine finally came and released me. One more blood draw and I was free.

And then I was.

**************************************

This is flippant, sarcastic and likely sounding a little bitchy. I know it shouldn’t. I know I should have something deeper to say about nearly dying, about dancing that tedious line for the second time in my life, for willingly trying to end my own life, destroy myself.

That’s the problem. I don’t have anything deep. I didn’t emerge into the cloudy day thinking I’d start over, I’d be a better person. Frankly, the only thing on my mind was how fucking stupid I was, and how close I had been to seriously harming myself. I could have died. An hour later, two hours, maybe if I had fallen asleep instead of stared at a picture of my daughters, I would be dead, my ashes perhaps now floating into your eyes. All I could do was curse at myself and remind myself that I was a fool, and nearly a dead one.

I know that isn’t very melodramatic or interesting. But it’s the truth. It was a turning point for me, a bitchslap in the head, a hand around my throat, a reminder.

I want to live. I want to LIVE!

I want to raise my daughters into women. I want to love my family. I want to produce magical art. I want to be someone worth knowing. I want to be alive.

I’ve never known that feeling clearly before. So used to the feeling that I was just there, a thing, with no purpose and charge. Not that I feel possessed by purpose or anything, but I have a clearer understanding of how fragile the line between here and not here is.

It’s not very wide. If it was a fence, it would be chain link, porous and easily circumnavigated. Think of string, floss even. It’s that brittle. I felt my fingers pushing that boundary, for the second time in my life, probing it, thinking about it.

I’m curious you know, but not THAT curious.

Facing it wasn’t scary. It wasn’t weird. It just was. I’ve come out of it curiously unaffected because it only reinforced what I believe-that dying is merely part of living, and nothing more.

But I’m not ready, not just yet. It can wait awhile still.

Paranoid Bipolar

1 Aug

They hate me.

They snicker and sneer behind my back. They can’t stand me. I’m too loud. Too fat. Too lazy. They think I’m wasteful, slothful, devious and mean. They wonder what I do all day. I will be fired, any moment. They tolerate me.

I stumble away from work, walk to the bus. Those people driving by are disgusted, staring at my fat, my face. I wait for the honk, the yell, the throw. The bus driver snickers when I get on the bus, as it moves with me. No one sits with me because I revolt them.

I come home, fight with all this to trust and love my husband, my kids. I fight these voices in my home, repeating silently that I am worthy of love, that he won’t destroy me, that I’m not wrong to love, that nothing will go wrong.

In my head I list them. He could die. He could fall for someone else. One of the kids could get sick. They could get lost. Snatched. Raped. Murdered. The house could burn down, the roof collapse, one of us could get TB, the bloating and the breathing could be ovarian cancer and I don’t have a will. The water-too much fluoride, too much chlorine. The things that could happen-Russia could use it’s nuclear weapons, Iran could attack, we’re much too close to the US for me to not worry-how would I survive with two kids through a nuclear winter with roving gangs-let these things not happen til they are very very older and able to understand why we scavenge for roots and things.

whew.

**********************************

When I was first diagnosed Bipolar, there were a few things I didn’t really “get”:

  • That I was anxious. I never connected the inability to go out in public, meet people inside clubs or meet new people period as a bad thing. This anxiety grew slowly through a few years, and really didn’t bother me much until the last few years before diagnosis. Then came the clarity of Lithium, and my horror at being so accustomed to being trapped within myself. Going out, even if just to a movie, without the resulting panic, is a sweet thing.
  • That I DID experience mania: I, like many other people, had this vision of mania/hypo-mania to be a crazy fun time-that if I was manic to any degree I would be happy. Since that never happened, I never truly considered bipolar. Until I read about Dysphoric Mania (or mixed states). Shortly before being hospitalized, I was blowing up into these terrific rages involving broken dishes and walls, where I’d hardly remember what had happened. I remember distinctly having to walk slowly away from my husband, my urge to HURTPAINBADNOW was so strong. That scared the hell out of me. But I didn’t believe any of this was mania. Mania was fun! Giggles and poops! I know better now, and realize that my brand of bipolar rarely errs on the side of fun. I might have 2-4 weeks of productive happy horny hypo-mania in a year.
  • That I’m paranoid. That I can be paranoid. I always assumed my paranoia was a natural outgrowth of events in my childhood. But as it gets worse for me, I realize it’s instead part of this disease. Doesn’t give me permission to let it win. But it lets me realize that I am indeed paranoid because of the kink in my brain.

Here’s the rub. When you’re paranoid, you don’t know what is legitimate, and what’s delusional. You actually feel NUTS instead of just ill. You don’t know if someone IS out to get you, or if you just think they are. It’s fucking annoying actually, and it’s messing with my bullshit meter.

I think. Or maybe the BS meter is right on target.

But I can’t tell.

Paranoia is like trying to walk on Jello. You know there’s a floor there somewhere, but everything under your feet has decided to be difficult, toddler like. You can’t truly explain any of it to someone because they’ll just give you “that” look, like the one I get about hating olives or wet wool. I can’t truly to talk to anyone about the delusions in my head. The constant weight of thought.

When I was pregnant with Vivian, I was completely convinced that someone was going to break into the house while I was home alone, so I refused to turn a fan on, and often stayed awake until Mogo got home. In hindsight, I should have thought a little harder about that. I have those thoughts a lot again now, with the saving grace that I’m never home alone. But I worry.

And I’m quiet.

Likely I should be louder about it. I tell my doctor, but she’s usually of a mind to leave things be until they are really intrusive. (and besides, after getting a long lecture about narrowly avoiding kidney failure when I put my lithium dose up by myself, I’m trying to be good) She doesn’t seem concerned about all this, and frankly, I’d like to avoid the anti-psychotics again, especially since I’m extremely sensitive to them. But this feels like it’s becoming a problem. I’m even turning away from the internet because I start thinking those same stupid bad thoughts that I do of people in real life. I thought you were all immune.

So yeah-Bipolar and Paranoia go hand in hand like me and slushies. Who knew.

More than the sum of her womb.

28 Jul

You know what I’m sick of.

I’m sick of this shit.

Bitch, where’s your kids? Here’s Britney Spears hard at work on a plan to get custody of her kids back

. Her plan so far involves some pool lounging and flirting with anonymous dudes.

But we know Britney. We can see the gears sparking and grinding in her head. It smells like beef jerky. That’s how you know Britney’s plotting something.

 

Yes, Britney surrendered custody of her children to their father. Yes, she’s had various problems in the last little while. We know.

What drives me nuts each time I open my feed reader are posts that basically stand back and point a “HOLY SHIT DUDES! HORRIBLE MOTHER AHEAD!!!!!” finger at her, which numerous male stars walk out on their children, likely every day. And it’s everywhere-how dare someone with a working womb and vagina give up her kids, maybe to get better, or maybe because, like men all over the world, she can’t handle having them all the time.

This constant assumption of the sainted perfect mother who can’t be separated from her kids-this drives post partum depression, this drives women who work 60 hour work weeks and yet still make the cookies for playschool. It drives women not being able to make the reasonable decisions regarding their children because only bad monster mommies leave their kids. Only evil mommies dare act like men. How on earth could the womb that bore them walk away so easily?

To which I ask, how on each can the ejaculator who created them walk away so easily?

It’s so pervasive, so easy to think “Geez, what a cooze, leaving her kids and going sunbathing.” It’s so easy to judge, so easy to believe she’s a bad mother for leaving instead of a good mother for removing herself in order to get better for them. I could be wrong. She could be a brainless idiot who created a mental illness to rid herself of two children she didn’t want.

Somehow I doubt it.

It’s easy though isn’t it, to point at a woman in a way that we wouldn’t dream of pointing at a man-how many have children in or out of relationships, and all they’ve done is throw money at them? I’m sure you’re all counting right now.

What I expel from my uterus does not make me sacred, or special, or holier. It makes me a mother, as it makes the father a father. He is not blessed with special properties-hell, if he takes custody, he’s some sort of sacrificial cow, gazed at adoringly as a perfect piece of man. The woman-not so lucky, as she is selfish enough to not want her pwecious bebes. 

I don’t want my daughters to grow up in this world-in a world where every tabloid sings the lusty sins, perceived or real, of 15 year old girls, where your gender casts you out in specific ways, where the “good kid” doesn’t always win. I want a world with real freedom for women, not viral campaigns against something written on shitty underwear at K-Mart or pissing matches on the internet.

I want us ALL to have the freedom to walk away if need be. Just like our men do.

Breathe

25 Jul

It seems that each breath I pull in lately is halting, reminding me of the harshness of my mother’s machine driven pulse. It scares me. My chest locks up, pulls down, and I shudder to breathe, worrying each time that this time will be the one that keeps me from breathing forever, this is the one that doesn’t just end in stars behind my eyes, but with a cosmos, a big bang, one that casts me out and aside.

The thought of living with this for the rest of my life is, frankly, enough to make me not live the rest of my life.

Every moment lately has been spent worrying about my breathing. Or knowing that I should go to the ER, but that they’ll dismiss me as having something I’ve already been tested for (asthma-nope, heart problems-all good, blood pressure-perfection,chest issues-all clear, anxiety-I’ve taken enough Ativan to know it’s NOT anxiety. Plus, panic attacks don’t last for weeks)

Even worse is having to go as an overweight person, since most doctors seem to get giddy when faced with a fatty-AWESOME! There’s the reason! Why do further testing? It MUST be that weight! That weight which has never bothered me in the past 5 years. The weight that doesn’t keep me from doing anything. It’s a convenient excuse, a box to check off on a form.

It terrifies me, keeps me up at night, thinking that they don’t look close enough because I’m fat. And now, without a family doctor again, I have to rely on the ER, rely on over worked EMERGENCY doctors for a chronic condition. Sit in a waiting room for hours listening to an old lady with gas pain complaining about the wait. Feel the judgement. Hell is the full hospital waiting room in a town with no doctors.

There’s the what if’s as well. What if it’s something bad? Something the missed? What if they never figure it out, and I have to live the rest of my live struggling to breathe? Since my oxygen levels are ok, the figure it’s nothing harmful.

Feel like you are being suffocated. Now imagine that all day long-when you finally get a breath, it starts all over again. Is that something to dismiss as “I’m sure it’s just anxiety” or “I think I saw a spot on the X-Ray, must be bronchitis!”

Tell you the truth, it scares me, and it saddens me. Because I have no advocate in my health care system, and I pay for it. Because this could be anything.

A Burning Science Question

14 Jul

Since many of you have more edumacation than me….

Vivian LOVES science. LOVES IT. As in sits enthralled as I read to her about subatomic particles loves it. (and you have NO idea how freaking AWESOME I think this is…)

I was out today buying some much needed over the shoulder boulder holders (and hey, Sears! The woman ACTUALLY made eye contact and waited on me, despite measuring me wrong. Apparently we don’t ask the fatties to take their shirts off so we can get an accurate measurement) when I walked past the bin of useless and/or creepy books. There sat “The Book of Science”.

6.98 is a price I will pay, especially for a book that speaks at a level they can understand, covers most basic scientific principals and has simple experiments at the back.

I’m flipping through it while waiting for the bus and notice something. All the little boxes talking about important scientists and their discoveries-ALL OF THEM ARE MEN.

Nothing against you boys, but I’m raising girls.

So while I can spend time on Wikipedia tomorrow looking for the few that will spring to mind, I’d love to hear suggestions for other female scientists, chemists, physicists, etc. I already warned Vivian that there are no women in that book, and we’ll have to learn about them elsewhere-I just need a little help with the elsewhere.

ETA: I’ve been asked if I truly think that gender matters. Yes, and no. I believe many women, and girls can go farther with female rolemodels presented. I think many of us grew up knowing little about women in science and math, correcting this deficit as we aged. I want my girls to be able to name more women than men. I think it’s also important so we can point out the effect marriage and motherhood once had, and still can have on WOMEN, and not men. I want them prepared to be adaptable creatures. I want them to be prepared for the fact that it might be harder. And that it might also be cooler.

I didn’t grow up with the knowledge that women could do all those things. It would have been nice to have seen a female face staring back from any numbers of the books I read. Imagine starting out knowing that women and men ARE equals, that both have accomplished so much and that gender doesn’t matter.

Imagine…

Our kids are normal. Really.

13 Jul

So this weekend we descended on Hannah’s household.

I’m fairly sure of two things. 1, if they were unsure about stopping at 2 kids, they’re REAL sure now and 2, they have Nova Scotia on high alert for when we enter the province.

My children don’t socialize much. Like, at all. And they certainly don’t get to play with cute little boys who like Cars and trains. And they NEVER get to have sleepovers.

In a nutshell, my children were on their Rambo setting-loud, overpowering and smelly. And I could see the look in the eyes of two parents who already don’t sleep much.

“Dear lord, what have we let into our house.”

I know that my kids are fairly intense little creatures. They play hard, and push push push. As someone trying to raise women who won’t take any shit, I likely encourage that a fair bit. And they aren’t usually around other children or parents. I don’t usually have to worry about moderating things. Nor do I realize what little shits they can be until I step back and look through the eyes of other parents.

But after the 3rd time of someone having to yell after my monkey child to stop her from leaping 8 feet, you realize that your desire to raise a free spirited willful woman may be working a little better than planned. When the little boy comes out crying because Vivian has ordered him out of his own room and into the kitchen, you realize that you don’t really have much to worry about, aside from a vague worry about something like the Jonestown Massacre occurring under the hands of one of my children.

New situations tend to bring out the most frenetic and crazed behaviour in my children. Some kids get shy. Mine ask “Are we going to meet Hannah Montana?” They are genuinely loving, caring, curious little girls.

They are also, many times, irritating, yappy, ulcer inducing little monsters.

I love them either way, it’s just a lot to take suddenly, especially if the cute ball of a baby is coughing and unhappy and wanting take out constantly.

Hannah? Next time, you guys come here so Issac can seek and destroy in their room. 🙂

Photo taken by H.R.H of the Camera, SweetSalty Kate who dropped by in the morning…anyone who doesn’t think I’m in for it in about 10 years is blind or crazy.

Fix me.

4 Jul

 

Warning-this is very much a steam of consciousness, whining because I have no where to vent this kind of thing. Any desire to call me a whiny baby will be met with a STRONG desire to beat the fuck out of someone. This is the ONLY place I can deal with any of this-if you can’t either be supportive or silent, you aren’t welcome. I’m in absolutely NO mood for trolling.

 

 

It’s the emptiness inside that scares me.

Partially from events, partially from a likely imbalance with my meds and PMS, I have spent the majority of this week visualizing my death at my own hands. And I mean really-I’ve been having to catch myself from walking towards the cabinet where my medication menagerie lives. We’ve been here before. Really. About this time last year in fact.

I don’t think I’m in any real danger-I’m still rational enough, and I have an appointment soon, and besides, after you live for years playing out how exactly you’re going to die-what you’re going to do, where you’ll lie to sleep forever, what the note will say, you become rather callous towards the entire thing. Blase even. It’s just death after all.

My fierce curiosity to see what exactly does happen when I die helps me not worry much. At least dead I won’t have to deal with faulty brain chemistry. I hope. (man that would fucking SUCK if I die and wake up alive somewhere else with this POS brain of mine, wired crosseyed and burnt at the edges…)

But the emptiness, the soul sucking, blinding emptiness where I stare at those around me and believe, truly and utterly believe that they will leave me, that the intentionally hurt me by refusing to listen when I say things bother me, the void filled with an utter hatred for my body and a repulsion when I look myself in the face in the mirror-these are the things that scare me and leave me blasting out at anyone near me.

I feel undervalued, I feel jealous, I feel scared, I feel achingly lonely. I feel angry that I don’t know which feelings are real, which ones I’m allowed to have and which ones I’m not.

I have gone from having a relatively ok grip on my self image to have one that could be represented in negative values in about 2 weeks. It feels overwhelming-it clings to me, whispering that it will never go away, and that every step it will tell me how disgusting and horrid I am, how I’m silly to expect anyone to love me or want me, and that I should count myself lucky that anyone does, if they truly do. I have gone from trusting the things around me to waiting for them to collapse in on me, and I have begun that most awful of bipolar traits-pushing away the one person who loves me.

Even as I write that, the voice whispers “If it’s true that he does.” The paranoia won’t leave me, and it drives me to want to just break away from everyone around me and disappear. Disappear where no one can disappoint me or hurt me, snap my trust in half. The paranoia tells me that all things end as they have before-be it in 6 months or 15 years. Those voices tell me it’s just a matter of time before my heart is rent in two yet again.

Knowing as I do that I would never survive it, my brain leaps to suicide as a viable option for protection. What scary is the emptiness doesn’t even acknowledge my daughters. It only sees me, and the spiralling nothing I’m becoming, prone to hysterics lately, and not even knowing what to believe, what’s real, crying and crying and feeling a burning pain in my gut that’s likely an ulcer.

I don’t know what’s real.

I don’t know if I would know betrayal if it happened since I obviously can never tell happiness when it happens. I know I feel hollow and cold inside, and I’m playing a dangerous game with myself, keeping the exterior mundane and normal while the echoes repeat that they don’t care, and none of it matters.

I focus on telling myself, when I can, that it isn’t real, that I am worthy of at least some passing affection and respect. But I can’t doggie paddle for very long without wanting to just let go.

A lifetime of fighting myself, of telling myself I’m worthy, all coming back to one fucking bastard asshole who stole all of me, who stole my life and my innocence and my trust and happiness. It all centers on that theft, that betrayal, and I wait for people to take advantage and run from me. People have done it all my life-assumed I would be strong enough, assumed I didn’t care, assumed I was ok with it, assumed I was a fucking fool. I having trouble fighting this, my head taken over it seems by it, this ticking time bomb in my head reminding me of a 20-30% mortality rate, reminding me that I’ve limited my contacts to so little that literally no one would miss me if I were gone, my children given the chance to grow without their terror of a mother screaming at their heads, my husband free to do what he will without my shrewish needs and wants hollering in the back.

It was better for so long. I felt alive, and human and that terrifying question, that fucking horrifying thought of “what if the drugs have stopped working?” keeps rolling through my head now and I remember how I said I’d die if these ever stopped working I can’t go back I can’t go back and now…I’m back. I’m right there.

I want so badly to be like everyone else. Steal whatever middling ability I have with words-just erase this fuck up in my brain. Fix me. FIX ME. I don’t want this. It doesn’t make me interesting or strong. It makes a a royal fuck up who can’t get her life straight, who doesn’t know what she wants and who can’t even find the will to write half the time anymore.

I want to cry, and I just can’t. It’s stuck. I want to cry like a baby and wail and gnash my teeth and I can’t. It’s disappeared, into an ether with my joy.

I can’t go back. I just can’t.

1984, the years you stole.

26 Jun

stopped in the store, glaring white light

she cries “Mommy! Cherries!” and a moment a skip

I find myself swallowing bile and vomit and 20 plus years of

squeamish denial.

 

One hand in, one round fruit out. A perfect stem

stretches towards me. “This one is perfect!” she blurts.

I turn my head so the clenching will go unnoticed.

 

Inside, in the distance, an unfurling, unravelling.

 

I place the fruit singly in the bag, each contact

weighted down, a jolt, a bridge.

That day, any of those days that summer, somewhere

around 1984 and I had that red bathing suit with the

racer back and yellow straps, and sun shone a

chemical burn between those rotten apple trees.

 

Those days, pocketed in my hand the smell of him, the

taste of him his wetness and his burden on my face his fruit

passed between us.

 

Unravel.

 

They ask for them, the one fruit denied the thing

I couldn’t bear to look at, to listen about “Wow-look at these cherries” the

hurried wives and businesswomen would say “so lovely” under the 2.99/lb signs

while I

did my level best not to collapse and teeter around them,

my mouth turned to stem.

 

Thumbs bore inside as the kitchen light

shines off their edges, as the light of my daughters lies stark 

across them and I’m covered in it, the stain of them

bloody across my hands and fingertips those same

fingertips which opened that door and opened that drawer

filled to flowing with those bloody lush fruits.

Filled to flowing with that one particular torment. Filled to flowing with

his tongue down my mouth and cherries floating past, excuses.

 

Unraveled…

my door holds the remnants

holds the last story, moldering inside clear.

 

They will not be eaten.

I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well.

26 Jun

Someone I know is very close to losing her new baby.

We went to high school together. We never have had much in common-our only bond is a bunch of notes left in a desk anonymously through Grade 9 french-progressing from single words to phrases to full blown letters. We waited almost all semester before figuring out who we were.

There’s no magic beyond that. She a simple nice girl with a lovely name, and I, a big bumbling grieving fool at the time. We went our ways, and occasionally, the thought of those letters gives me pause, makes me smile like they were found in the Dead Sea.

Facebook brought her back again, and we caught up and I’ll admit I envy her simple put together life. I do-it’s all the things I’ll never have-things like persistence and will. I’ve always admired her for simplicity and peace. Never flustered that girl, not that I’ve seen.

Her first son was born early, very early. I didn’t understand why all the messages from her friends were “congrats” until someone pointed out that since she is a nurse who works primarily with pregnant women, she knew the risks oh so very much. And today, I am told simply to pray. He is no doing well.

I know many women who have suffered loss, but to imagine this woman, hell, this girl she remains in my head, getting pregnant so excited, growing and then suddenly he’s out and she’s staring at his little hands and wondering if…when….how….and crying and trying to pray..I can’t bear to imagine her like this.

In my mind, for the world to make sense, some people have to make it through unscathed. Some people have to know only joy, and happiness, and only the sorrow of parting. She is one of those people who deserves only good things and despite barely knowing her anymore, despite never speaking in 15 years, I ache with the want to remove this pain, to erase that small coffin from the picture, a picture that hopefully, hope against hope, will never be drawn.

I know loss. We’ve talked. But I don’t know this loss, this most primal and terrifying. I wonder what I would do if I lost a child now. And I know. I would become death.

How do I be there, while so removed? I want so badly to reach out but I’m afraid. Afraid to hurt, to rock, to open.

Just can’t anymore….

21 Jun

 

It is always there, like a song he can’t stop humming. It plays in the background when he graduates from law school. When he hears “not guilty” in court. When he cheers his son William to victory in the big hockey game or hugs his daughter Sarah for winning the Grade 3 spelling bee. He left Toronto because standing on the subway platform cranked the volume. He tried to shock it out of his brain. For a time, Star Trek episodes muffled it. Drugs, at best, only dull it.

In nearly every moment of his life, Peter O’Neill thinks about killing himself. Sometimes, he makes plans. He buys rope. He sets a date. Mostly though, he is trapped between wanting to die and trying to live, while the same scenes run on a loop in his mind: a noose dangling in shadow, or his body hanging from a rope.

Have a glimpse into our heads. I haven’t lived with this for awhile-thankfully, my drugs are helping. But I remember the rending void of that constant whisper “just do it. Die you piece of shit” and the ache rips through me all over again.

I would die before going back to that.

Kudos to the Globe and Mail for doing this series. A good read for those of you dealing with us crazies, and a good kick in the ass for me to really look into doing some advocacy work.

“But then peace, peace! I am so mistrustful of it: so much afraid that it means a sort of weakness and giving in.”

17 Jun

I’m going to write an intentionally vague post here, something I’m not usually apt to do. But right now, it’s how I feel safe without passwording the post, which I really don’t want to do.

I’ve been dealing with some things in my head lately, and you know, it’s REALLY hard to NOT write it here when I’ve become used to this outlet over the last 3 years or so. But I’m still rather private in many ways, so there we are.

Nothing is wrong-there’s just stuff I don’t feel like getting into. So no freaking out.

++++++++++++++++++++++

I trusted my neighbour, he of the apple trees and ferns, he of the clenched fist and cherry. My wide eyes opened to his, and I found a hand removing my shirt and a flash in my face.

I trusted my mother to be there, and she’s not. Rotted away long ago, her voice a memory on a cold wind.

I trusted my father to protect me, and instead was greeted with sarcasm, drunken 2am sob sessions and a warm stream of urine down my bedroom door the night before an exam. My grief was lost to his.

I trusted my brother, and in return was given nothing, the past hidden under his downcast eyes and ruined life.

I trusted many other people, all of whom broke my trust, all of whom took that opportunity to stomp on me, to ridicule, to be amused at the idea that I could possibly feel deserving.

After awhile, I said no more, sealed up the walls and crossed my arms. Ain’t nuthin gettin in here.

I’m not alone in my distrust for everyone. Most people have a healthy caution around other people. But mine is different. I live with the expectation that everyone, given enough time, with screw me over in the worst possible way. I live wary, waiting for that pounce so I can move out of the way. I have no friends. It is safer that way. No one can hurt me.

I’ve spent a life running from harm, and when there’s no harm left, when all there might be is potential and newness, I become scared and witless, confused, my jester hat broken and lost. I don’t know how to trust.

How do you trust someone? How do you tell yourself that it’s safe to trust the people who say they love you? How do you let go enough to be free within that? I’m finding it very difficult to let go-it’s making me insecure and scared, and just plain old dizzy. The little part of me that’s been laughed at an abandoned time and time again, she can’t move past this.

It’s ridiculous, because I’m old enough to know that circumstances in the past do not dictate my future. But it’s a gutteral reaction, one borne of spending my life waiting for approval. My father used to joke when I was younger that it would be so much cheaper if I wasn’t around, and I’m pretty sure he meant it.

How are you sure? How are you confident that the person you trust won’t lash out at you, try and break you? How do you not end up feeling stuck like that little girl inside you?

 

Three Things for Tuesday

10 Jun

The day has come.

Rosalyn must be potty trained.

She’s 3.5. At this age, Vivian was well on her way, eager to “earn” her prize and be “a big girl”.

Rosalyn on the other hand, shrugs and pisses herself. She literally doesn’t care. This is the same kid that when told “I’ll throw it out if you don’t pick it up!” says “ok mummy” and walks away.

Sigh.

So out comes the call-has anyone dealt with this? Everything I read talks about either eager to please kids or resistant stubborn kids. She is neither. She’s apathy defined. She will NOT sit on the toilet. She will however, piss at will on the deck.

I just want to stop buying diapers. She is MORE than ready and able to do it, but somehow she senses that I WANT her to, and therefore won’t.

So help please my peeps. I’m lost. Vivian was deceivingly easy.

______________________________________________________

Sex ed however, is going ok. It’s not really Sex Ed before anyone panics. It’s more like preventative maintenance. I picked up A Child is Born at the local Frenchy’s (thankfully-1.00 is better than 30) and started to use it as a jumping off point. We had started having more detailed discussions about her “womanly bits” viw wikipedia, but I thought that tying it all together might be interesting. And with all the cool pictures-I always loved the shots of the sperm wiggling into the egg, and she was fairly entranced as well.

Once we got to the Daddy parts however, Mogo left the table.

It’s surprisingly easy, talking about this stuff. Maybe because no one ever talked to me about it, maybe because I am a firm believer that what we do today has an impact 10 years from now when they’re with a boy or a girl and wondering what they should do. Maybe it’s because I feel that our bodies are miracles, as is what we women can do with them.

It feels good to be able to talk to them about these things. It feels good to know I’m opening a dialogue that will last forever, all things willing. It feels good to watch Vivian get excited about her own body, instead of fearing it, or despising it.

_______________________________________________________________

On something to amuse you: Apparently this happened last night as I drove by on the bus, nose in a Carl Sagan book.

“Let us stifle under mud at the pond’s edge and affirm that it is fitting and delicious to lose everything. “

29 May

I’m sitting in the waiting room to do my stress test, staring at an older woman, and a younger man. He’s going on and on to her about his stroke-how it felt, what happened, matter of fact like, as if telling a fable he’s told a hundred times before.

She’s desperate for it, for his pain and suffering. She’s desperate for an opening, a chance to say “Me too, but”. You can smell it. I smelled it when I walked into the unit, all full up of the infirm, and sometimes the not so infirm, people waiting to be told if they’re dying, if their breaths are all used up, if they are not so solid, not so balanced on terra firma.

They watch the young people when we enter. I feel eyes on me, misty eyes with more memories than time I’ve used up. I don’t belong. I’ve entered their space, their world. Weekly check up’s maybe, casual familiarity with nurses.

The youngish man leaves to do his testing, handsome in a mature way, but scared, settled by scared. The woman sets her sights more firmly on me, and I make the mistake of mentioning a sudden wave of nausea a few days past, similar to what he described. The clammy skin-she reminds me-you have clammy skin when this happens.

I smile and nod, absently, but she launches into what sounds like a practiced speech about losing her sister last year. Funny thing was, as she spoke, I realized she was speaking of someone I worked with, sorta, someone who worked for our company, who had a sudden heart attack while working from home. I casually said I’d love to go like that, quick, simply, no mess.

Oh how old ladies can glare.

I mentioned that I new here sister’s daughter in law, and her babies, and how lucky she was to be there when they were born.

“But she doesn’t get to see them grow up. She doesn’t get any of it.”

For one hot blinding second, I wanted to stand up and scream at this woman, wrapped up in bitterness and all the wrong kinds of anger and screech that my mother never got to even meet mine, that she wasn’t lucky enough to be given that time. My mother didn’t know it might happen, didn’t have something wrong with her heart from day one. She was snatched. She didn’t have a chance to be an old bitter lady in a hospital.

That of course passed, and I moved on to reminding myself that relativity is looking into what you despise and forgiving yourself for hating it. Something in this woman ached endlessly, rattled her bones and held her trapped in her little world. She was waiting for death it seemed, eyes at once shrewish and hopeless. She was transparent, in my memory she’s like the skin of a snake, discarded and hanging from a tree.

Finishing my test, with the usual “nothing wrong here-you’re fat, that’s why you can’t breathe” lecture to bid me farewell, I walked again through the lobby, through the 70 and 80 and 90 year olds who followed me out with their eyes. I had an urge to run back and ask them to tell me one magical thing about their lives, one thing I should do, one thing they could have never lived without, one regret. I wanted to ask them to bless me with the knowledge of their years, so they could remember they’re adults and not the children the medical staff treat them like. I wanted them to remember when their hearts beat strong and they were more than cast offs in the wind. I wanted the color to flow back into their eyes and their skin.

But I was late for work, and besides, the TV was on.

 

(Title taken from Affirmation by Donald Hall)

Need a reason to stick a cloth bag in your purse?

25 May

This shit makes me want to cry…and reminds me why we continue to change our habits.