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Why I hate the internet

13 May

People like Cindy. (Link broken so we give the troll no fodder. I believe the title of her site is Needle Girl or something if you’re that curious)

And I quote:

The poor woman either blames herself or someone else for every sad and horrible thing that’s ever happened to her. (Tip from the blog: make things easy for you– blame something or someone that happened decades ago for your current actions. Works like a charm.) She admits she has some chemical issues, and she sees a therapist. But somehow I don’t think either of these are doing that much good, in spite of a very strange (and lyric) rhapsody on the thrilling relationship she has with her “pink buddy,” lithium.

Ahem. Even scarier, she’s listed herself as a teacher on her profile.

This is what I hate about the internet-5 second driveby judgements on others. Because really, if we were going there, I’d think Cindy was a bit of a passive aggressive, ignorant trolling bitch.

But maybe that’s just me, blaming the past for ALL of my actions, and using my illness as a crutch.

Thank you for the judgement Cindy. Please continue life in your bubble trolling for traffic.

Bipolar and PMS-My personal Axis of Evil

11 May

The last few months have been unpleasant. 26 days of the month are normal, copacetic, happy, sometimes sorta down, tired days.

3-5 days of the month are not.

My natural state is one of fairly rapid cycling. I can, literally, go from giggling uncontrollably to crying in a minute. I’ve done this. I hate it. Mixed states are my favorite either-being agitated and manic, really not a great combination.

So lately, with my menstrual cycle being it’s usual insane clusterfuck, I haven’t been enjoying the accompanying swings. Vast swings. Yesterday I was peaceful getting a manicure, then panicked getting a pedicure, then wistful, the manic and happy dancing with the girls then sad and weepy, turning into full blown suicidal urges by 10pm. I kept hearing things and seeing things, flashes out the side of my eyes. I spent the day repeating “This isn’t real.”

My doctor claims it’s normal, and I believe she’s right. For years I’d have what we called “freakouts’, and they always coincided with that time of the month. I, in my paranoid state, always assumed it was Mogo’s way to not taking any blame. Now I know that isn’t the case.

It’s disorienting, because you think you’re ok. You feel ok, until you don’t, and suddenly the persecuted thoughts start, you start staring at yourself thinking you’re too fucking fat to live, you’re useless and it hurts to much and then suddenly you’re ok, like a tornado came and went and you’re laughing and you can’t believe you felt that way! except for the lingers delusion that something is going to go terribly terribly wrong.

The delusions I can handle. I have a grip on them, even though my doctor didn’t seem to care much when I mentioned them-maybe I didn’t make them clear to her. But these intermittent spurts of DIE DIE DIE I want to DIE! are a but much to handle, and they worry me. What if they linger long enough? What if the lithium stops working? What if the illness overcomes me and wins?

I shouldn’t fear as I do, but I can’t help it. Once you’re out of the storm, you cannot imagine going back in and surviving. Maybe if my manic periods were more satisfying, or longer, maybe then I’d not mind the thought. But they aren’t long enough to make anything feel good. They are short, and angry and brutal, and the depression always feels like it lasts for months anyway.

I want this to be easy. I want it to stay shut behind the lithium door and leave me be. But it won’t.

The ongoing why the hell can’t I breathe right saga….

29 Apr

I’m getting tired of hearing my doctor try and pin everything on anxiety.

I’ve been having trouble breathing, on and off, since mid February. It came on without any cause so far as I can tell, and lasted well over 3 weeks. It went away. It came back. It went away and is now coming back again.

We did chest X-Rays, I’ve tried inhalers and acid reflux medication and ulcer medication. Nothing. We did blood work an EKG and Ativan, nothing.

Nothing helps. This irritating issue goes away on it’s own, comes back when it pleases. It seems to be vaguely connected to what I eat-I eat too much or too crappy, I bloat and the sick cycle starts again.

Now he’s talking about anxiety again, and how he thought trying an antidepressant might help.


I would feel anxious, wouldn’t I? I would feel like I used to, terrified and secretly worked up about everything? I would know, right?

He also mentioned possible IBS, maybe Celiac disease, and his own bafflement. Hence his falling back on anxiety, the good ole catch all. Can’t find something actually wrong with you? Must be teh crazy.

I am usually more than willing to accept that, but not this time. I feel no anxiety over anything in my life, aside from occasional work stress, I’m not stressed out.

He wants me to do a stress test anyway.

I didn’t even get around to mentioning the fact that my periods have gone insane. So I’m hoping my PAP comes back clear.

I’m just tired of not knowing, of worrying when this will come back and stay for however long it stays. Feeling like you’re suffocating for weeks on end just ain’t cool.


25 Apr

2 days.

I can place myself in my mother’s shoes. Watching the grass spring into place from the picture window in the front of the house from her vantage point on the borrowed hospital bed. The legs of which dig divots into the plush carpet that will take 2 weeks to fully disappear. Her breath won’t remain in the house that long.

I can hardly remember the last two days, merged as they were into the days that came before. The emergency ambulance rides, the hasty packing, me slipped to the side, quiet so no one would notice. I hardly remember our family as a foursome, as a team, together, as we were meant to be. There was a crack in that picture already, a crack dug deep with cancer and hopelessness and dreams.

My memories, like Mad’s, are sparse, but thankfully, I have a few that are golden. The crackling late afternoon light pouring in the side windows as I tried on new clothes at 6 or 7. Chocolate covered fingers in the kitchen, licking the bowl, watching my mother bake and cook and feed the people who would come to feed up, the stereotypical casseroles splayed across our doorstep, cards attached, pieces of tape on the bottom of the cheap ceramics with names, “Brenda”, “Mrs Bishop”. Driving to Kingston in her blue car, holding in the nausea, not wanting the Pepto Bismo that would make it all the more worse.

I remember her hand, and mine it it. A downtown street, a sunny warm summer morning, her soft sandals slapping her feet, her dress swinging. Stopping to talk. Stopping to talk. A warm muffin and ginger ale at the cafeteria in the store my father ran, the laughter of a group of women as they talk above my head.

The warmth of her hand, the strength of it. The softness, the yielding, the smell of her hand creme, the Charlie on her neck.

I don’t remember hugging my mother, or kissing my mother. She wasn’t affectionate that way, not that I can remember. But lord, she was lovely. She was womanly and graceful and strong and sweet, in her way. She was kind.

In the summer, we’d sit on the front step, await the squirrels who would inevitably come to her, who would climb on her shoulders, snatching peanuts from her breast pocket, the breast that would eventually come off and be replaced with a facsimile I would play with. She never worried that they would bite her.

“Sit still and they’ll be gentle” she’d remind me.

And it was true.

She loved to laugh. She loved to prank. From kinking the hose until I’d stand over it so she could let loose the water then, to sitting in the front row at mass, marking the sermon with friends to rapping on the wall, making me believe in witches, she had a devilish sense of humor.

I think of these things instead of the 2 days before. Instead of the cold dampness of the stairs I sat on. Instead of the panic and fear and terror that ran through our house, circled the voices telling me the just go to school, rang through my head when I was pulled out during spelling by one of her Priests, taken to a car to silently watch the highway with my brother as we drove to what we knew was inevitable.

I shall think of none of these things. I shall think of my mother as the woman who loved me, who craved me, who wanted me. The woman who loved her little girl, who taught her that glasses can sing, who taught her that strength isn’t only measured in muscles. I will think of my mother who my first born is named after, in part. I will think of my mother as the vibrant woman introduced me to Hitchcock as a child, yet refused to let me read Frankenstein.

My mother, Dianne Joanne Marie, has been dead 19 years 2 days from now. And I miss her still, as I always will.

4 Pink Pills

24 Apr


Pretend for a minute that I’m holding 4 pills in my palm, 4 pale pink capsules containing the salt Li, 4 pale pink solutions to a problem that has plagued me for a long time.

I was scared to death of this drug, this innocuous looking pill, this wonder of our world, it’s inexplicable reason for ending the terror of bipolar in some people, in many people. I ran from it faster than I run from most.

It’s hard to look back at the me before this pretty pink friend. As Mogo and I talked, and he spoke of the relief of not worrying, day after day about me, and the freedom of not trying to hold down a swinging pendulum, I started thinking about my brain without this drug, this salty dog. The difference, I remarked, is like one day sitting in a screaming concert full of a million fans, all yelling at once while you try and do needlework, and the next day, being in a quiet, white room with only the sound of your breathing for company.

It’s that different. It’s that much Calgon take me away relief.


When I was 17 or so, I returned to my original high school, a small catholic school in eastern Ontario. I had moved back in with my father as I understood something in a rare moment of clarity during a year of what I can only describe as highly manic behaviour. I knew that I had a choice-I could go down the road to nowhere, or I could try and claw back into a normal life. I chose my father, and normal.

I made friends with a boy, we’ll call him Marc. At first, everything was fine. We had fun, we joked around, he was fun and interesting to be around. He read a lot, and much of it was similar stuff. We had the same friends. We drove around, hung out, did drugs, had your normal teenage experience.

Marc and I developed a weird relationship-as far as I knew, and he told me, he was bisexual, but leaning at the time more towards guys. Typical teenage stuff right? Trying to place you identity. To an outsider, we seemed to have a “couple” vibe-people remarked that to me at the time, and each time I denied it. I had no real desire for the guy. Just a strong, almost loving friendship. We were close.

Marc was also bipolar.

I remember going with him to appointments at the mental hospital (and there was one where I went to school-I remember some guy escaping with an axe once-that wasn’t cool. I think it’s closed now) and him telling me about how useless his doctor was, and how he could get any drug he wanted but none of them helped. He even showed me the lithium, the lithium he hated from that first day he put it into his mouth.

Not understanding the disorder at the time, and likely wanting to distance myself from it since I had a vague understanding of what was and was not happening in my brain, I didn’t understand what was happening with Marc. He went one day from being happy and fun to the next day being sadistic and mean. He’d delight in saying horrible mean things to everyone around him, just to watch what happened. He’d shut you out, then let you back in again if you showed your devotion.

And we just lapped it up. It seems strange now, in hindsight, the pull this guy had. He was nothing to look at, but there was something about him I can’t even explain. Something compelling.

I found it strange, but was so locked in that what was happening didn’t even seem like a form of emotional abuse. It just seemed…normal. Not strange.

He’d rail at me about his pills, how they were making him crazy, how they weren’t happy and how he stopped taking them a few weeks after he started. He was enraged, and I tried to comfort him, tried to hold him, make him feel better.

That’s when he slapped me clear across the face.

I had never been hit like that in my life. I’ve been punched, but within context, or hit accidentally, but never, in a moment when I wasn’t defending myself, have I been hit like that.

I can still remember it. I can still remember just staring at him from the floor, and bracing myself for me. I can still feel the hated passivity that rose in my, the inability to fight against him. I felt helpless before him, and I couldn’t even figure out why.

If I didn’t move for a moment, if I didn’t speak, I figured it would blow over. I couldn’t stop the tears though.

He snapped out of it, and I watched the hate pour off his face as he bent to help me up, apologizing and apologizing. Never again he repeated Never again.

I told him to take his pills. He said it was the pills that made him like that.

What did I know?

Of course, things weren’t the same after that. I was scared of him, plain and simple. There was a glint in his eye I couldn’t place or understand. I was bigger than him, likely stronger than him, but I feared him. I feared him because I couldn’t anticipate him. I watched his rage burn through him for no reason at all, and lash out at me. I could never let my guard down.

Our phone calls went from being fun gentle calls to ones berating me. If I was having a bad day, zero support. I’d feel worse after speaking with him, yet compelled to call him. I felt suffocated, my chest constricted. I felt trapped, and scared and I couldn’t talk about it to anyone. No one would get it.

Yet finally, someone did. A new friend came into my life, observed what was happening, and told me flat out it was basically abuse, and it didn’t matter what was wrong with him, what pills he was taking for what or how they were affecting him. He was toxic.

With her behind me, I screwed up the courage to rid my life of him. I can still feel the anxiety in my gut when I called him from her house at the expected time and purged him from my life. The circles my stomach was making. The fear and the near relief, all at once.

And with that, he was gone.


I feared Lithium since then. I feared that I would become the monster he was becoming, the terror. I couldn’t separate the bipolar from the drug, I didn’t understand that his imbalance had nothing to do with Lithium itself. It was him, the manic swings, the rage he couldn’t control. I know that rage now, I’ve felt it’s embrace, and it’s coldly attractive. But ultimately destructive. If not for the Lithium, I would be him, the him that was, the creatures we call evil.

I live the aftermath that is unchecked bipolar. I never got to the point where I was a true threat to anyone other than myself. But I felt that capacity in myself, the roaring, empty void, the spastic need to lash. I began to understand Marc. Not forgive-I will never forgive him for the lesson in trust he gave me. But I understand now why I take my little pink pills every day without fail.

I see those reasons in the faces of the people I love, everyday. I struggle for those faces some days, knowing I swallow those drugs as much for them as for me. Maybe Marc never saw those reasons, maybe he didn’t truly have them. Maybe his parents left him alone in the basement far too often.

I’ll never know. My fear and anger still lives for him-I couldn’t bear to accept him on Facebook, and even the friend request sent pangs of pain through my chest. He likely doesn’t even know what he did, or remember.

If only I hadn’t feared so badly.

This dream of blood

17 Apr

I dream of blood.

I walk into your house, and the blood covers everything. I slip on it. On the walls, the armchair, the staircase.

I don’t dare go upstairs. I know your bodies will be there-how I know, don’t ask me. I know the body of your child, your lovely daughter is laid out, bloodless and sacrificed up there. The house echoes, is white and clean despite the redness that threatens to consume.

It’s quiet, and the floorboards creak underfoot. A terrible feeling wells up in my belly, I choke in fear, panic.

I start to leave when suddenly this woman, your mother yet not your mother, holds my sleeve, the white kimono sleeve and grins a horrible grin, bearing sharpened teeth and clean skin, stay awhile she grimaces, her grip holding tight, her other hand grasping a fillet knife, stay with me.

I stretch away from her hands, pulling myself out the door, stumbling, leaving her trapped in the doorway grinning, holding her knife aloft like a prize, her thin body framed by the sparse opening.

She is cold, evil and bloodless. And waiting for me.

I manage to find a police station, yet no one feels my panic, sit down and relax they tell me, it’s not that bad, we get there, don’t worry.

The hold me in place in the chair, a group of women intent on keeping me there, but doing nothing to stop that woman or ease the pain in my heart, the images flashing in my brain, the blood the cold cold blood on that white white house. I’m alternately scared and brave, wanting to go back on the off chance someone is alive…

I can’t erase the glare of that woman’s face from my memory, the pure malevolence…I’m seen her in other dreams I’m sure, but these dreams, these murderous death dreams, bathed in blood, they’ve been so rare, so far and away from me….


“She’s too young to see that as we gather losses, we may also grow in love;as in passion, the body shudders and clutches what it must release.”

15 Apr

Mother I wish…..

I wish many things. I wish you had explained things to me better. I wish I would have known more than that nebulous “I’m sick”, wish I would have truly known what Cancer meant-not in terms of rogue cells and less than functional cures, but in the human cost, in terms of what I was to lose.

Or perhaps it’s better that I didn’t.

Mother, I wish you had told me you loved me. My ears don’t remember hearing those words. I know you did-my core knows that you loved me and wished for me and asked for me and one day I was there for you to love me. But I can’t recall hearing the words pass your lips. I have no notes in your handwriting, no secret messages left encoded in the wallpaper. I have one thing in my possession that crossed your fingers, and I treasure it, even if I can rarely bring myself to touch it.

Mother, I wish you had told me about love, about how it cuts both ways, how it endangers me. I wish you had told me it was worth it, so I wouldn’t have wasted years convincing myself it wasn’t, and that I was unworthy and unready.

Mother, I wish you would have told me how wonderful finding your one true love was.

I wish you would have had “the talk”. You know the one. Instead, I learned from cold books, hidden in a corner of a library where no one would find me. I wish you would have left some warning about cramps and blood and sex so I wouldn’t have felt so bloody alone curled up on a damp bathroom floor crying.

Mother, I wish you would have told me about you, your past, who you were before your family became the second part of your life. I saw drawings, art-were you an artist? What dreams did you have? You had dreams, a farm girl from southern Ontario, I’m sure you wanted to escape. Was my father your escape on Saturday in a Drugstore?

I do so wish you would have told me how much I would come to love my children, how much you loved yours. I wish I had a piece of your love to carry on with me, to share with my children, something more real than my stories. If only you had written something down for me to carry forth.

I wish you had admitted you were dying before it was too late. You had such hateful hope, and this hope prevented you from truly preparing us, for saying those things we needed to say. This hope kept you from preparing for a future you were not in. That hollow fucking place I’m finally out of. I’m so very angry with you for this. You didn’t want to face what was happening. I admire your bravery, but I’m angry at how you left us.

Mother, I wish you would have seen a second doctor when Dad told you to, when you first found that lump. I wish you would have taken it seriously, even if the doctor didn’t. You had such faith in these people! They fucked up your leg as a teenager, and they fucked up your life as an adult. Why did you believe in them so?

Mother, I wish I would have just appreciated you while you were there, instead of being the shitty little kid I was somedays. Dad would tell me to knock it off, and I just didn’t get it. Not really. It hurt, not understanding why we couldn’t go places, why you couldn’t get out of bed. Why you took so many pills and spent your days getting sick.

Mother, I wish I could have shown more compassion, more love. I wish I would have been more loving, but I just didn’t understand. Even I couldn’t yell those words, those “I love you’s!” until the machines were winding down. I was scared that if I said it, you’d die.

I guess I was right.

Mom, more than anything, I wish I had known you. I have fleeting memories of a talented, strong woman, but I never knew you. I’m told that I was always by your side, your constant companion. I’m told that you loved me more than anything, loved your family to distraction.

Mom, I wish I knew these things for sure, and not just in my mind, and sometimes even my heart.

I wish I didn’t miss you.

I wish we had beaten that cancer.

I wish things had been different, and you were still here, making your legendary poppy seed cake instead of me cursing the world that made you never write the bloody recipe down. Cursing a world in which the taste of that cake is as mythical as your voice.

I wish your knew your grand-daughters, their songs, their games, their idiocies.

Mom, sometimes, I just wish…..


(Title is a fragment from a fantastic poem by Julia Spicher Kasdorf)

“cherries abuse site:”

15 Apr

Seeing people searching “abuse site” with my url makes me feel ill.

Sometimes I’m not brave. Sometimes I want to crawl into a closet, cover my head with someone’s dresses and pretend I’m not there. Sometimes I’m afraid, worried that the words and memories I’ve sprawled across this site, into the internet either are becoming something else, someone’s pleasure instead of my pain.

Like eyes on pictures. I hear women worrying so about their children’s pictures on the internet, and how “some perv” might be looking at them thinking those horrible pervy thoughts. It’s never bothered me, not really, aside from limiting access to certain pictures on flickr. But my stories, my words, my very life-the idea of that being exploited for someone else’s amusement or gain makes me feel very uneasy.

Someone could be searching for the story to help themselves, and I very much hope that this is the case. I hope they’re searching to not feel so alone. I hope they’re searching to find a voice.

I hope. But it’s not quelling the horrible sick feeling in my tummy right now.

 ETA: checked my email-a current reader was looking for certain details about my history, and was searching since my categories are so vague. (For reference, searching through “Things People Did” will bring up most of the badness)

So whew. Not creepy. But my thoughts on privacy and the eyes that read still exist in full…


” A reform is a correction of abuses; a revolution is a transfer of power.”

12 Apr

When I was 7 or 8, I was molested by my neighbour, a near quadriplegic, and his helper. This went on, as I remember it, for the duration of a summer, maybe longer, until I finally refused to go over there ever again.

The details of the abuse are unimportant-they are listed in various other places on this site, and are not much different from the stories many women carry.

What’s important to me today is explaining what the life left looked like. It’s National Sexual Abuse Awareness Month, and I want to tell this part of my story. It always feels like a dream, like a story I made up. But the consequences of that summer have lingered.

For a very long time, I wouldn’t admit to myself what had happened. I knew what did. The images would replay in my head at night, or at other times when I should have been innocently discovering my body on my own. I’d have dreams about being abused by factory lines of robots, my body privy to anything, tied down and unable to move. Dreams that my body did not belong to me.

My body became a foreign organism, something I didn’t understand, something that didn’t work.

I told no one. He never told me not to, or rather, I don’t remember hearing those very words, but the implication was there. I had done something bad. No one would believe me. My parents had enough going on.

He lived right next door, his helped across the street. In truth, I think I was frightened of what could happen if I did tell.

So I told no one, and grew into a woman’s body too fast, and was lost within it.

In a way, I’m happy that I was unattractive, strange looking and just fucked up at 13 or 14. I didn’t have a chance to make those mistakes that girls usually make. The opportunity just wasn’t there. Unless you count the 19 year old I dated at 14, who was (obviously) after only one thing.

I finally admitted, out loud to someone that I had been abused when I was 16. A relative stranger. We were walking to the liquor store or some one’s house from a party, and she started talking about her own abuse. At first I whispered. She stopped and waited for me to finish speaking, asked me to speak louder.

I said I had never told a soul, except her now. She told me it would get better.

In a way, she was right. Once I was able to get the words out, the admit to someone my harsh dirty secret, it didn’t feel so bad. It didn’t feel like a rotten dream I was trying to put to bed. It felt real. It still felt fucking horrible, but it existed in someone else’s life now. My hatred for cherries, my discomfort around the disabled, it was real, and not just something frivolous on my part. She made it real. Breaking my silence made it real.

It didn’t make being touched any easier. I still dislike having anyone touch me, some days even my own husband. The right sequence of events can trigger a massive panic attack, except I can’t run away because my body never learned how, instead willing to lie there and accept what’s coming. When threatened, my body lays down to die instead of fighting. I wonder how much of my proclivities in terms of submission are truly mine, and how much is a product of being abused by two much older men.

This isn’t an easy post to write. I’m sitting here, my chest tightening, wanting to stop. But I won’t. I have never truly dealt with being abused. I have tried to, and have had nearly ever therapist or shrink blow me off since “it doesn’t seem that bad”. Becoming nauseous sometimes when touched-isn’t that “that bad”? Being unable many days to even kiss my husband, isn’t that “that bad”? Feeling like I should just suck it up, it wasn’t that bad, is that “that bad?”

It was a long time ago. The one bastard who did this to me, the cripple, he is long dead, and I sang a fervent joyous song in my heart when my father invited me to the funeral. The other still lives across from my father, helps him occasionally. The thought of that man seeing my small naked body as he talks to my father sickens me, and I hope that he sees those images as regret. I rather doubt it.

It’s one of the reasons I’ve been “home” once in 7 years. I can’t bear it. I can’t bear to see that man, I can’t bear to see that house, that yard, that place. That place where a chunk of my innocence was lost, was buried. The place that stole my love for cockleshells and cherries and birds.

I am still mad as hell, and would love to burn that place to the ground. I’m madder now knowing, looking at my daughters and understanding exactly what I lost. But I am freed somewhat from the shackles of that sick old man by using my voice, and refusing the silence he smothered me with.

“Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.”

4 Apr

We forget sometimes, that I am teh crazy.

One of the less than charming things about my brain is the delusional, paranoid thinking I’m privy to. The full list of bipolar symptoms consists of the following:

-MANIA-which involves feeling very happy or very irritable, inflated self-esteem, reduced need for sleep, yappy as all get out, racing thoughts (these are a FUCKING BALL when trying to get to sleep), crow shiny object syndrome (highly distractable), impulsive and/or reckless behaviour (sleeping around, smoking meth, drive like someone from the armpit, spend oodles of money (my personal impulsive behaviour, along with eating)

-DEPRESSION-involves feeling anxious or “sad” for a period of time (holy fucking reductive phrase batman), hopeless, pessimistic, slowed thoughts and actions, low energy, difficulty concentrating, remembering, hard to make decisions (shit, that’s me on a good day), decreased interest in usual activities, low sex drive, WANT TO DIE, generally hates life.

To add to this joy, I seem to have a side order of psychosis which flickers into my life from time to time. Which includes delusions, hallucinations and personality changes & thought disorder. I tend to keep most of this out of the ears of my doctor. It never gets beyond what I can control, and anti-psychotics make me stupid.

This is the brain that we’re dealing with.

If you think I act the martyr, that I believe myself to suffer more than Joe Public, or I believe that my pain is better/bigger/different/more fruity, you might be right. There are some days when grandiose thinking puffs up my life experience and causes me to pull out the “I’m so much more important and special than you card. I feel things more acutely. I suffer more.

But you know what? Unmedicated I have a hyperempathy so strong that I’m incapacitated by what I feel for everything around me. If you’ve been pregnant, you know what I mean. Now magnify that feeling my 100%, and have it all day every day. Deal with that constantly, and you WILL think your life is much worse sometimes.

What you don’t hear about are my calm and normal days, when I’m safely tucked between depression and mania, and I’m proud of myself for recovering from many things in my life, when I’m surprised and quietly smiling about the fact that I made it past 30, that I made it through some relatively awful things. Those days I don’t talk about much since I was not raised to toot my own horn.

I’m secretly proud of myself for not killing myself or my daughter. I’m secretly proud of myself for listening to many of you, and my husband, and admitting myself last summer, despite my cold, stark fucking terror at the concept. I’m secretly proud of myself for becoming a gentler, kinder person. I’m secretly proud of myself for accepting my very flawed body for what it is. I’m secretly proud of myself for accepting my flawed brain for what it is.

But there’s no glamour in admitting we like ourselves for who we are now is there? There’s no story there-just plain old ego.

I hate ego.

What needs to be retained is that I very rarely hold back here. There is certainly a segment of my life and mind I don’t leave proof of-and really, do you need to hear about my delusions that the world is ending, that fundamentalist boogey-men are going to enslave us all? Do you need to hear about the people who very occasionally flicker on the outside of my vision, or the sounds I’ll occasionally hear when no sounds are there?

You don’t. So we don’t talk about that.

I have this site for a reason, or at least, I have reasons now that I didn’t have before.

1. Because I needed a safe place to deal with my past, and relate to others with it.

2. Because I searched for a lot of common things about bipolar before, and I couldn’t find it. I like to think that I’m helping that a bit.

3. I wanted a place to write, and admittedly, get feedback.

I have this site for me, but not just for me. I have it to help give perspective to others, and so I can meet others and have them provide perspective. People like Kate and Bon and Kimberly, Jason, Venessa, and even Carin. Because I don’t know know what it’s like to lose a baby, to be visually impaired, to raise your children alone, or to wonder how to stretch a budget further than maybe it can go and stuff a freezer while going to school and raising 4 kids.

I yearn for perspective, even when I don’t agree with it, even when it bugs me, or I think it’s whiny or frivolous. Do I sometimes think evil thoughts about the lives of others? Hells yes. Do you? Hells yes. Everyone does it, even if it’s just for a fleeting moment.

I do not like to be judged. I do what I can to not judge others. Somedays, the creature in my brain talks shit for me. Sometimes I let it, because I’m feeling that way, or I’m conveying something from the past.

Somedays I’m just pissed off and angry and feeling entitled because I want to see the goddamned sailboat too. Because I’m tired of feeling broken and worn out. Because I’m tired of negotiating with my brain, tired of negotiating with a world that I have increasing trouble navigating. Because I’m absolutely terrified that this will get worse. I lash when I’m scared, and alone.

I’m always told to not judge, to think of others, to have caution for their feelings. Which is fine and noble and the right thing to do. But what caution for the crazy? What space, what room for them?

(And yes, I’m more than well aware that somewhere, right this very second, someone is even crazier than I am.)

Why it still matters.

31 Mar

I’m not pregnant right now-I never will be again.

But nothing still raises my ire like the breastfeeding arguments, and the attendant guilt’s and horrors, as detailed by Mad and ready to pop Hannah.

My own breastfeeding troubles were pedestrian. With Vivian, no one helped me, unless you count pushing the kid to the boob as help. With no mother (and hell, I’m adopted anyway) and a MIL who never breastfeed, you do what you know.

With Rosalyn, I was able to do it, physically. However, waking up every 2 hours to feed for days, weeks on end is very dangerous for someone with bipolar, especially someone that unstable after giving birth. I was unstable during the pregnancy as it was.

I had to not breastfeed to preserve my sanity.

There are times when I still feel guilt for this. When the weight of thousands of strangers and their judgement sits heavily on me.

Anymore, I become angry for this, irritated, hateful. Why should their opinions, their possibility misguided and ignorant opinions matter? How dare they judge what they don’t know? How dare they.

I harbour a kernel of hatred for crunchy people because of this. You know the ones I mean-the ones blind to anything but their agenda, the black/white people. The people who obviously cannot see beyond their own noses. If they could, they could see that their rose garden doesn’t always extend to other people. I harbour that black hate because they had a hand in making me hate myself.

And I shouldn’t. And I don’t. I couldn’t breastfeed. I chose the bottle and my sanity over the breast and suicide.

It’s a simple equation.

Except it wasn’t a choice. Not in the sense of “I choose to wear pants today.” It was life against crazy. For some women, it can be life against death. For some, they don’t have the milk, or the will, or the time.

And regardless of their reasoning, it is NONE of my business, or yours. No one will die if they are not breastfeed. Children will be loved by the bottle or by the breast.

But that doesn’t always matter in the face of someone’s agenda. I see it all the time-I see it in the mindless arguing over the Mother’s Act-instead of HELPING each other, we yet again polarize each other into groups, into meaning, into causes.

I’m tired of it girls. I’m tired of backsliding because we can’t get a long and decide that as WOMEN we are stronger together. That as WOMEN we can support each other, guide each other, and help each other find choices that make sense for us, that might make our lives better.

I am 3 years removed from the trenches of the breastfeeding battle, and yet it still hurts to see that women are considered lesser if they don’t, that women aren’t always given the best help from their medical establishment. It still hurts to see that I am so very much not alone in my guilt.

Yet I look at my kids, my nearly perfect, smarter or as smart as their age group daughters who are rarely sick, who love life, who love their parents and their books and their toys. I look at my girls and wonder what’s all the fuss about anyway. Hell, I was taken from my mother, and given to another. And I turned out fine, aside from that pesky bit of genetic crazy that all the breastmilk in the world couldn’t have fixed.

Can’t we just stop, and be there for each other instead?

Maritime What’er?

17 Mar

So, sometime in May (as yet to be determined since a certain Canadian singer/poet guy has thrown gunk in the mix) a group of us local writers (I am NOT saying blog…I refuse) are going to meet in a little Nova Scotia town, eat cupcakes, drink beer and talk about you. Yes, you.

Just kidding. I’m sure our in person conversations will be a little less intellectual than our online ones, especially once I get drunk. (I curse like a lonely sailor girls-fair warning)

I’ve been thinking about this trip a lot the last few days, and I’ve been getting a little anxious over the silliest things.

What if I’m the fattest, least educated, least successful person there?

Judging from everyone I see who has committed to attending, I will be. Everyone looks so lovely and content and successful. And I’m not, not really. I work a job I like, but it’s very much not what I wanted in a career (I don’t know what is) I have kids, I love my kids, but I don’t really know what it is to WANT kids. I know I’m not a moron, but there are no degrees plastered on my walls.

The indicators for success in our culture-I have none. Or at least I feel like I have none. I feel like a gaping failure compared to most of the women I interact with. So I’m skeevy.

I’m scared of meeting people who feel out of my league socially.

There. I said it.

I’ve already started composing reasons in my head why I can’t go, why I shouldn’t go, just so I can avoid the awkwardness of knowing I’m the least in the room, the weirdness of feeling shut out of conversations about things I know nothing about, and never will.

I don’t have res stories-I dropped out of university my first year, partly boredom, partly other shit. Almost as soon as I was notified that I was accepted into the Honours program, I dropped it. I didn’t hack it. I don’t have stories of parties and late night studying (at least not from university).

I have stories of going to work because I couldn’t get my shit together enough to just do it already.

And so the people I knew, I know, the people I held a bond with at some time, many are moving on in the world, making real money, securing their futures, building houses. I sit in some piece of shit house I don’t have the will to fix alone.

I see you other, successful women and I wonder how I got it all so wrong-how I managed to fuck up a life so completely.

Maybe it’s just the bipolar talking, through the jetlagged tired, but I always end up feeling like a dirty snot nosed little kid around a group of women, and I hate it. I hate feeling like a kid, looking up but never keeping up.

Stop Toying with Mothers-SUPPORT the Mother’s Act

29 Feb

Now, I’m not even American, and this is making me hot. As in PISSED OFF.

Some of you might remember the Mother’s Act-back in October there was a blog about day for support. Many of us who have suffered under PPD or PPP supported it.

One day I visit a favorite site of mine. (Well it WAS a favorite. This got it removed from my feeds I was so bloody pissed off) There’s a rambling article about how the Mother’s Act is nothing more than a way to push drugs.

I blinked. I went back to read the bill again. The only reference I could find was under “Findings:

Postpartum depression is a treatable disorder if promptly diagnosed by a trained provider and attended to with a personalized regimen of care including social support, therapy, medication, and when necessary hospitalization.

That’s it. That’s the terrifying “big brother”-oh noes! Someone wants to help women!

Seeing someone equate talking to women about PPD before hand to convincing her she had it really REALLY pissed me off. Reading these stories of women on these crazy mixes of drugs for what seem to be other psychiatric conditions that were incorrectly treated-that’s the fucking POINT of this bill. To HELP.

What in the FUCK is wrong with mothers (and fathers) today. EVERYTHING has some sort of agenda-things aren’t “natural” enough for them. You know what’s natural? Mother’s killing their children because they can’t parent them effectively. Natural is leaving a baby out to die of exposure. Natural is mother’s beating their children from frustration, or working them all hours of the day.

NATURAL IS NOT BETTER. Belladonna is natural. Want some?

I am irate with these people. Talk to me about militant stances on breastfeeding, baby wearing, co sleeping-I will absolutely support you. Start screwing with the first REAL movement towards doing something about postpartum depression, and my claws come out. The absolute IGNORANCE of these people astounds me. The selective tunnel vision amuses me. The odds that any of them have ACTUALLY read the bill…well, that just makes me giggle.

But it makes me want to cry as well.

Even the fucking Wikipedia page has been contaminated by this stupidity.

The most important thing I can remind you of are the women who killed their children because of PPD/PPP. The women who didn’t make it. The lives destroyed, lost forever, the women abandoned. The women we currently can’t help, regardless of what’s wrong. The children who were innocent in all of this.

Andrea Yates

Mine Ener

Dr. Debora Green

Dena Schlosser

Dr. Suzanne Killinger Johnson (This was at my usual subway stop. My mind went wild wondering “Was it here? Here?”)

Leatrice Brewer

Gilberta Estrada

and many more. There are so many of us. So many chances to get it right, to help, to prevent such horror that we close our eyes and refuse to read. To hear people, to see people trying to fight against something meant to do good sickens me. Is only they’d spend the same energy fighting the men and women who torture their children, fighting the system that leaves the poor hungry and without mental or physical health care.

If only they cared enough to truly make a difference, instead of making sound bites.

If only.

“Citius, Altius, Fortius”

27 Feb

Michelle Senayah was riding her scooter with her husband in West Africa when there was an accident. Her husband has minor injuries. Michelle has massive head trauma, and needed to be airlifted.

It’s things like this that solidify my atheism, make me question why anyone does believe.

Michelle is talented, intelligent, brave, strong willed. A quick run through of her site shows me all this and more. This is a woman who contributes, contributes more than 2.00 in the grocery line or 5.00 at work. This is a woman who has helped build schools. A woman of substance who travelled and learned and shared. This is someone you want to know.

This is someone who is now on life support, her parents and husband beside her, hoping.

How can anyone believe in any sort of god when people like Michelle work their entire lives to make a difference, and their lives are cut short, or irrevocably changed? How is that right, or good? And if it’s just “fate”-why would you want to believe in this? She has something to offer this world-her talents tell me that she is a hopeful woman. Why take that away? Why believe in something that would take it away?

Or was it evil that did this? Well, couldn’t an all knowing god defeat Mr. Evil Pants before it became an issue? Or is god strong, yet not strong enough to actually interfere? Was someone not praying hard enough? I forgot, gods don’t actually listen to prayers since prayer doesn’t work.

I can’t grasp how in a world where bright and talented people have accidents, do the wrong things, that people can believe a higher power guides them. Life is just horribly unfair sometimes-people who don’t deserve it get sick, get hurt, die. Trying to attach a value or a reason to this sickens me, and ultimately saddens me.

ETA: I’ve also figured out what else irritates the fuck out of me-people who assume that my lack of faith or belief is because I’ve had an uncomplicated life.

I fucking wish.

Any ideas how many times it would have been easier, and yes preferable to believe in a god? MANY MANY times.

I watched cancer eat my mother alive. I watched her die in front of my eyes at 11 years old as I pretended not to breathe. I watched them turn the machines off. I held on, waiting for her spirit, for something to fill that room and tell me there was a reason.

There was no reason. There was, as there is now, nothing when her body was finally allowed to stop, to complete the process at 1pm it had begin at 8am.

Don’t try to believe my life is simple, free of pain, heartache or loss. It’s not.

It’s a life, full of bliss and horror, as many many lives are.

“do people that are bipolar hang out together?”

26 Feb

Is this a trick question, along the lines of “do black people only hang out with black people”?

I don’t have a manic depressive quota to meet. In fact, in real life, I know one bipolar person. We hung out in high school, and I never knew that she was a nutter. She was fucked up, but I figured being a very out lesbian in a small town living with your ex-stepfather who snorts coke was enough to fuck anyone up. I miss her like a sister, but we never hung out because we recognized something in each other. We hung out because she had great taste in music and she loved my derby blue docs.

Finding out, all these years later, that we’re both manic depressive was kinda cool actually.

In my everyday life, I don’t know anyone. I know people online, but if the people I ran into in the psych ward are any indication, I don’t know if I want to hang out with anyone else that’s nutty for very long. I can’t imagine it’s a healthy way to live. My own bad ideas are toxic enough-having someone else along for the ride-that would end badly.

I like talking to others online who have this disease. It makes me feel less alone, allows me to find the answers I need sometimes. But on those days when we all need to pull away, I’d hate to imagine being stuck together as friends-over sensitive, possibly vengeful friends.

And really. It’s not a club. We don’t hang out together and trade tips on what to do when the lithium shits hit or what could possibly help bring you down from a nice session of hypo-mania. At least for me, this shit doesn’t happen.

And you know how groups of women tend to synchronize their periods? Imagine if that happened with a bunch of depressed bipolars. Man, we’d drop off like flies.

The entire idea just bothers me for some reason. And don’t bring up the goth thing-most goths I’ve known were disgustingly well adjusted, wallowing in “sorrow” like I’d go slumming in Regent Park. Listening to bad music doesn’t make you crazy. Just stupid. We aren’t squirrels or lemmings. We’re people. Just because I have bipolar doesn’t mean I want to hang out with other crazies. Just because I have a vagina doesn’t mean I like women.

We’re just people, just like you.

“Regrets are idle; yet history is one long regret. Everything might have turned out so differently.”

18 Feb
Sorry it took so long to respond but as for the unsigned card, if anything, she was only trying to protect me…she has always been cautious of that since you went away and I think its always going to be in her mind, regardless of what changes. Maybe you werent ready, but neither was I, it happened, and maybe we could have all handled it differently but what happened happened, and we cant change that.Over the years, I have learned that people have to earn my trust, I dont give it easily anymore. I gave you my trust back then and you left…unforunately, trust has to be earned again.Hope the girls are doing well

I found this in my facebook inbox from my half sister last night, in reference to a conversation we had a few months back.

Part of me is really fucking angry. The other half just doesn’t care. Maybe it’s something about being lectured on trust by a 20 year old that’s pissing me off. Maybe it’s the knowledge that she’s had a relatively easy life that’s eating at me.

Maybe it’s recognizing myself in that 11 year old, knowing that feeling of being abandoned and left behind.

I don’t feel like I can explain to her that none of this was done to hurt anyone-that that situation was one that I was in no way really prepared to deal with, especially not in the all or nothing manner my birth mother decided things needed to be. I can’t explain to her-I just can’t explain to her the hurt and the pain I went through with this-the absolute obviousness of standing outside of a family that would never be mine, but was by blood. I can’t explain to her the loss of one mother, and the seeming rejection of another.

I can’t possibly explain the pain of watching her mother hold her, while I stood holding up a wall, staring out a window pretending I didn’t care.

There is a gulf, and I’m not sure I even want to bother crossing it.


Sure, she was 10 or 11. But I was 19, and eager to be done with things, eager to move on, away, into my life. She was a kid. She had her mother, and her father, a large extended family who loved and coddled her as the baby she was. I cast a thought behind me, regret perhaps, sadness at a life I wouldn’t have, a sister I truly would never had, and moved on. I never let myself love her. I liked her. But I never opened my heart fully.

I couldn’t. The tenuous heartbreak of watching my mother love her was bad enough. I had my heart, and life broken once before. There was no way-absolutely no way I was opening myself up to that again.

The one Christmas I spent with them, my mother became ill. I stood beside her bed, unsure-hold her hand? Walk away, leave them to be by themselves? As I was thinking, she screamed “Stop staring at me! Get out!”

I fled.

They pulled her out of the house by ambulance as I stood watching, unsure of my place, unsure of what anger or sadness I might be entitled to. My heart pulled the shutters it allowed to open back in, and steeled itself for the worst.

My sister was comforted by her family, and I felt envy for the arms that wrapped around her. I had my future husband, and myself.


I’m angry with her because in my eyes, she has everything-everyone. Love,  security. She’s never wanted for a thing. She’s never suffered, not from anything I can grasp as suffering. She’s been the darling baby of her family, a pet almost. I can’t shake the feeling that I’m talking to a petulant little child who has never grasped that the world doesn’t revolve around her.

I thought of her constantly. I wanted to reach out to her, but worried her mother, our mother, would prevent it. I wanted a sister, I wanted someone else in my life.

I didn’t want this. I didn’t want someone implying that I’m selfish and that I’ve hurt them on purpose. And it’s this that breaks my heart and is leading me to decide to finally cut contact for once and for all. I’m tired of this half assed “Family” sending me checks based in guilt and the odd Christmas card. What’s there to be guilty of? They owe me nothing.

I owe her nothing. Her heartbreak is as much her mother’s fault as her own, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to be pointed to as her little destroyer of worlds.

But why does this still hurt me so much?

“can pregnant woman eat pizza hut wings”

17 Feb

HELLS yes. I lived on Pizza Hut my second pregnancy (as my ass and 50 lb weight gain can attest)

You can eat what you want, with the exception of the usual suspects-beer a 40 of vodka, crack cocaine, sushi  fish from Lake Erie, six pack of Jolt.

More than likely, everyone and their Mother has been telling you “You can’t eat that!!!” in the same tones that one would warn small children from open flame. Ignore them. Frankly, anyone who dares tell a pregnant woman what they can or cannot eat deserves to be kicked, repeatedly in the vicinity of where a baby might come out. Welcome to motherhood-a land where everyone else knows better than you.

Don’t overdo the eating of crap (trust me-50lbs….but I quit smoking, so I figure it works out) but don’t listen to people with their stupid unfounded prejudices about food either. OR, levy some advice of your own-something like “Hey, that purse makes your ass look big” or “that chest hair makes you look like a wookie.”

And then, go have a big honkin’ pile of wings. And hot sauce.


15 Feb

You searched for this and it makes me want to cry in that little girl, please move the mountain it’s just too big kind of way.

I have been there. I have stared into the mouth of that dragon, pills on the left of me, knives on my right. I have faced that beast and stared him down, but became weaker each and every time. I have felt the utter emptiness of life, the echoing horrifying void of a world you don’t fit into, and don’t particularly like. The sweet whispers of that little voice that say “go ahead. No one will miss you.”

Life is hard. Life is full of pain. Heartache. Terror. Off the top of my head I can think of 5 things that terrify me in life that have nearly caused me to off myself in the past. My self loathing would be the biggest. I hated myself for a very long time. I can’t forgive myself for the events in my past, even those I had no control over. I couldn’t handle what I had become. Only a tenuous loyalty to those who loved me kept me here. I couldn’t bear the thought of hurting them. My only true suicide attempt was a failure-the old joke right? I suck even at killing myself?

The truth is, I always wanted a reason to live-but I also wanted the pain to stop. The pain of living overrode every other sensation in my life. I could stare at the most fantastic images the world could throw at me and still be apathetic and uncaring. The efforts of others to cheer me were futile.

Life is something you need to handle-in all seriousness, would you want a life with no barriers, no pain, nothing to offset the normal? The sweetness of my daughters is all the more apparent on the days when they are not so sweet, and I want to coat them in butter and leave them in the backyard for the raccoons. Life is not fair-because there is no one around stacking the deck-it’s just you bub, and it’s what you make of it.

I don’t believe in gods, so I won’t be telling you that a higher power wants you here, is testing you, is punishing you, etc, etc. What I do believe in is YOU. And me. Think of all the books, all the words and thoughts you haven’t read. The songs you haven’t sung. The paintings your eyes haven’t bathed in. Think of the people who might change your life you haven’t met. The places you haven’t seen. The food you haven’t tasted.

You create the world around you-you create the life you live. If you’re sick-get help. I did. The world is a vastly different place today than it was Feb 15 2007. I have hope-hope! for the first time in my life. I am happy, and at peace with my life. I’m going to start painting again-I’m reading, I’m writing and having wonderful conversations with people I love my family and I wake up most mornings excited to see what will happen.

I feel excited for the first time in years.

I want this for you-all of you who feel that the pain is too much and that the front of that bus that just went by looks awfully attractive. I want you to stop at the end of your driveway and marvel at the sunsets, every night. I want you to run your fingers through the hair of your children, your nieces, your pets. I want you to find your path through this world minus the hurt and the tears and the helplessness. I want you to find the beauty you hold inside of you.

I want you to be free of that dragon on your back.

There is no secret code aside from your will and your patience. And time. I’m still not perfect. I still have the odd grey day, the skittish thought that slams through my head yelling “justkillyourselfalready!!!!” and disappears. Life without these thoughts is odd-they’ve been my companion for so long…it’s like living in a house that’s full of smoke, and one day that smoke is gone and you realize the walls were cream, not white.

You can do it. You will see the walls too.

It’s V-A-G-I-N-A.

14 Feb

I’m standing in line at the grocery store, as I’m known to do on a Thursday evening, sweet talking my stomach which picks the very WORST times lately to remind me I have the flu. I’m scanning the racks for Cooking Light and Bon Appetit, averting my gaze from the “Britney’s Mental Hell!” and “She’s PREGNANT!” covers while secretly looking at the “Who Got FAT!” cover to see if they really ARE fat.

Don’t worry, they aren’t.

Rhianna is on the cover of Cosmo, a magazine I LOATHE. I like Rhianna though-good voice, solid talent, seems to have her head on her shoulders. So I’m pretty pleased with the world, aside from my snickering bowels.

My gaze falls to Rhianna’s left.

“Your Va-Jay-Jay!”

Sigh. LE Sigh.

Being the oddly old fashioned person that I am, there are a few things that, well, plain old fucking irritate the SHIT out of me. Abbreviating someones given name is one-I know, I do it all the time, but I fight with myself not to. Rudeness is another one. The inability to speak proper english another.

And secret little code words for your genitalia is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves ever. It’s not a cooch, or a honey pot (ok, I kinda like that one) a beaver or a whoo-haa. It’s a vagina. Say it with me. VAGINA.

To see it on the cover of a mass marketed magazine irritated me to no end. I can’t imagine Men’s Health having an article titled “Your Wee Wee!”, let alone advertising it’s existence on the front cover.

It’s just like it’s another way to minimize and distract from woman’s sexuality. We can’t handle it obviously-we must giggle behind our hands, use the “code” that’s so bloody popular now. I can’t possibly have a conversation about my vagina. But va-jay-jay? That’s easy.

I can’t help but connect it to our fight to own our own bodies. If we continually trivialize ourselves, why in hell would anyone want to treat us in any other way? If we cannot be women about it, and own our bodies, own our vagina’s and breasts, how can we be women in other ways?

Not to mention is just irritates me to no end. I spend a LOT of time making sure that the girls know the proper terms for things-having my sister in law here for a week who used “va-jay-jay” in Vivian’s presence enough times for it to be cool reminded me how hard it is to get a girl to use the proper terms as it is. It took me a month to get her back to saying vagina and vulva.

And don’t even get me started on the vulva/vagina thing…..

Sweet crap….all this sickness is making my brain melt isn’t it.

“is my wife bipolar or a bitch”

14 Feb


I can’t only imagine how many times Mogo asked this to anyone who was listening. 🙂