Grief and Bipolar Disorder

Let me start this blog off by saying that I am not a health care professional, nor am I licensed in any form of mental health capacity. All I am is a person in pain, having lost a dear loved one, and who also happens to suffer from Bipolar Disorder.

So, in a sense, that makes me an expert of sorts. I say that in a lighthearted way, coming from a heart that is anything but light. Ever since Daddy died I have been running in circles, like a dog chasing it’s tail. Somehow, I am dealing with each necessary task: the funeral, the cremation, the memorial, filing for assistance for myself since Dad supported me in my disability, cleaning up all the evidence of his sickness and dying that were left here in the house. It feels like being in the center of a hurricane.

Knowing that I will soon be back in the raging storm, only this time I will be alone.

In my manic state right now, I cannot sleep, cannot rest. I either forget to eat, or I eat the wrong things in the wrong quantities. I baked a cake and cupcakes last night at 11:45, then ate 3 cupcakes before lying down. No wonder I did not sleep, right?

I keep getting up, in a half asleep stupor, thinking I have to check on him. Then I wake up sitting at my computer at 4 in the morning, all crooked and stuck like a pretzel. Once the other day I fell asleep on my face with my glasses on, and they had embedded themselves into my head. Not a nice way to awaken.

But the endless cleaning, and going from room to room carrying the strangest things, and the inability to breathe normally are also very disconcerting. I have the feeling of impending doom, the one I had for years in active addiction, the feeling that came back when Mom died in 2010, the feeling that follows me like a shadow. It keeps telling me that I am all alone now, that there is no one to love me, or hold me anymore.

It is a terrible, sad feeling, and my head knows it is not real. God loves me, and will NEVER forsake me. I am in a cloud of witnesses, all loving Jehovah, and He has tight hold of my hand. So-leave me alone, terrible darkness! Stay at bay, awful sadness!

Please God, help me have soundness of mind, help me to have a quiet heart, a hopeful spirit, and faith sure and strong!! I know that you hear me, in the name of Jesus.

I am loved, and I am safe. I will never walk alone!

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Profound Joy!

Profoundly Alive. Zestful. Happy.

Hopeful. Forward Looking. Lifted up. Elated.

Active. Alive. Aware. Absolutely Positive.

I am these things, I am all of them.

I must believe that I am.

Loveable. Loved. Free. Truthful. Beautiful.

My heart healed, my wings mended, my joy complete.

I am now the person I always wished I could be.

I am not responsible for anyone else’s decisions, for anyone else’s pain.

I have paid the price for my past mistakes by enduring the consequences for my actions. I am not required to flog myself  any longer. I do not have to grovel before an abuser ever again.

I am fine, protected by God’s Love, able to fight the fine fight with the tools He provides, and His Holy Spirit.

The Sword of the Spirit, God’s Word the Bible.

The Breastplate of righteousness.

The Large Shield of Faith.

The Helmet of Salvation.

Loins Girded about with The Truth.

Feet shod with the Good News of Peace.

” There are are more who are with us than there are who are with them…”

I am no longer a victim, alone in my suffering and fear.

There is a way out of an abusive relationship. It starts with telling yourself the truth. It is not going to get better, his gifts will not make it better, your family does not hate you like he says they do. You are not ugly. You are not stupid. You CAN survive without him. You have everything you need within yourself, it is just hidden under all the fear and lies. Listen really close, and find the voice of the person inside you who spoke before he hit you the first time. She is calling out to you now, she is ready to come home. Just reach out, turn that doorknob, and don’t look back!

promises fulfilled
promises fulfilled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Muncie Spumoni

We love our pets, don’t we? When you have no children, and you are trapped for 10 years in a house with elderly, sick and dying parents your pets come to have a whole new meaning to you. I always was loopy about them, and as time has gone on my family and I have raised passels of kitties, feral and tame, and a couple dozen dogs and pups have held my heart over the years.

Then there is Munson or Muncie Spumoni, also known as Little Big Ears as a kitten and then Spoops as he matured. He is a wonderment, and a more loving,intelligent kid there has never been.

Spoops in a drawer. 2008
Spoops in a drawer. 2008

Munson arrived here at the house as a teeny-weeny days-old kitten with his 2 sisters after being gently placed in our newspaper bin by his feral Mom cat, Teddy. Teddy was one of a large colony of feral cats who my Mom had been spaying, neutering and working on taming for the years after our moving to Florida in 1984. Back then there were no organizations taking an interest in wild cats, Mom did it out of love and a sense of duty to help these abandoned and discarded animals who were left here by snowbirds and vacationers when it was time to head back North. Our house backs up to a large 55 plus trailer park where most of the tenants only winter here. So the colony was about 20 cats in the early days.

Munson instantly has a special place in Mom’s life. With 2 huge ears the size of satellite dishes, he was a strikingly beautiful kitten with his brilliant white blaze, socks and belly on a black tabby background. He also bears a little “light” in the tip of his extraordinarily long tail, a white beacon that my brother Eric always called his “landing lights”. He was really stinkin’ cute! (and is.). His litter mates were little girls, Ebony: a psychotic coal-black cat with 1 white hair at her breast, and Tiggy: another hot mess of gleaming black with  a true psychotic streak. (Possible sign of inbreeding?) At any rate these two would like to bite you hard as let you pet them. (Ebony used to gag when Mum would run her fingernail along the edge of the flea comb- where was YouTube back then?) Then there was Gretchen, a dainty tiny cat like her mother who danced along like a ballerina, light as air on her tiptoes, with a tiny meow you could barely hear.

But Muncie and Mom were inseperable, and when Mom was fighting the cancer, he would lay right next to her thru $%#! and high water, letting her pour out her tears into his glowing fur. He would have the most loving look on his face, as if he were the size of an Siberian Tiger and could carry Mommy off into the forest, away from all the torment and pain. Munson. Dear Munson, and dear Mom. He spent those years as faithfully as any Lab you have ever heard about sleeping by their master’s bed. She would hold him in her arms and stare down into his face, saying,”muncie. Muncie.” and kissing him a thousand times on his white striped nose. One of the last things she asked me to do was to, “Take care of my Muncie for me…Please take care of Muncie for me.” Of course I promised. (Like she had to ask…Oh, Mom…)

Well, now Munson has come to the end of his life. His nutty sister Ebony died 2 weeks ago, and I’m sure it was typical kitty old age, where the kidneys just shut down and she stopped eating and drinking. She lingered about 5 days before sleeping herself away. All this was happening while Dad was in the Hospital, so I grieved for her,but not as much as I am for Muncie.

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Fast forward three days, I had to stop writing because I was crying too hard, and the grief exhausted me. Poor dear Muncie still lingers on the brink of the great beyond, and I have crumbled. I wanted to let him die here at home, i hate it when we put an pet down at the vets office-they are so frightened. But the stress of losing him by drips and drabs has cost me my sanity, having to hide his dying from Dad, who just goes to pieces over these events. So I have been disappearing every 5minutes to go hold Muncie, carrying him to all his favorite places in the yard and house. I can sound just like Mom when I try, and when I speak her love talk to him he looks up with his blinded eyes with such adoration.

I never fully appreciated how truly magical he is… until now. I knew he was special, and I loved him dearly; I stopped short of giving him my heart completely, out of fear of the pain that would surely come i  the future. Last night, however, I gave my heart to him completely, when at 3in the morning I awoke with him snugly settled in my arms, head resting on my chest. Somehow, as weak as he is, he climbed up the side of the bed, out of the basket of towels on the floor, into my warm embrace. I will never forget that act of devotion as long as I live. Oh my…

Today I just can not allow him to go on like he is, so frail he is barely breathing, dragging himself to the door so h can go lay on the cool cement where the garden hose drips, trying to quench the unquenchable thirst that death brings.  Somehow he had willed himself to Dad’s door, and in his dementia, Father let him outside a little while ago, and did not realize how sick the poor kid is. I just can’t let him die alone, although that is probably what his instincts tell him to do. No, the mother in me wants to hold him to the last.

Aren’t we humans a useless lot when it comes to the animals. Here I am, refusing to let him do what he wants to, even at the end of his faithful 18 years as our pet. And now trying to be humane after letting him linger for a week, for a reason I am not even sure he feels? Do I take him down there to the vets now, can I keep myself from collapsing if I let him die here?

Oh God, I wish I knew. The stress is crippling me, as is the grief.

I want to run so far away from all this pain, and leave Dad and all the animals here where they can’t hurt me anymore.

But that is not what Mommy’s do.

That is not who I am.

Jehovah made the animals instinctively wise, and He loves them even more than we do, because He created them. He gives them their gifts to be our companions, our comforters, our friends. It is my human failings that give me all this doubt, all this worry. Munson is not crying out in pain or sorrow. He showed me last night who the wiser one is. And he said goodbye already too. It is me who has to let him go…

I want to live again, with his memory to keep my heart warm.

Goodbye, Muncie Spumoni.

PS. I just cancelled the appointment to have him euthanized, I will let him pass here, with his sister and me and Dad, and the only home he has ever known. He is a great cat.

That Brave Girl

Artwork and Pictures 074
this is not the one i am entering. this is titled “Angry Daughter”.

The decision to enter my painting in an art show at a real art gallery was easy to make. I believe I am being motivated by fear, having learned while Pops was in hospital that I will basically be destitute after he dies or if he must be placed in a home. I had always hoped that I could make a living with my art, knew I could, really, but I never wanted to let anyone see it. It isn’t that I am ashamed, it is just so personal. That is my heart on the canvas, my veins torn open, my blood on the page.

I never wanted to sell out. to allow complete strangers to dissect my innermost thoughts, to critique my self expression. My life has been so full of can’ts:

You aren’t a boy, Susan. You can’t play ball like that.

You can’t just draw from your imagination- you must be trained properly.

You can’t go to art school, it is not realistic.

You are too sensitive, you can’t take everything to heart.

YES I CAN!!!!

The latest critic in my life is an elderly aunt, who believes she has my best interest at heart by terrifying me about my future. She wan’ts me to look into selling my antiques, selling my china, selling my whole sense of home and safety in preparation for the big nothingness that she keeps reminding me that looms ahead when Dad dies.

I try very hard to be smilingly pleasant on the phone with her, but it is the most negative words she can say. She totally does not understand my bipolar disorder or depression. I absolutely CAN NOT focus on what MIGHT happen. I will dwell on it, I will obsess about it, and if I am not careful, I will drink and drug over it. Her constant warnings of doom will be a self fulfilling prophecy for me.

Afterward
Afterward

I was on my own for many years without any material possessions, and those were some of the most meaningful years of my life. Meaningful in that I learned how to survive happily with nothing, that I appreciated every single meal, blanket, pot, pan, article of clothing, tree, water faucet, sunrise- and every single human being who crossed my path.

I was much younger, sure, but I learned how to SURVIVE. And I succeeded.

Jesus had no place to lay his head- he lived by faith. He lived free, and appreciated all His Father’s blessings. He did not fear not knowing where he would sleep, what he would eat, and the Bible counsels us to follow in his footsteps.Picture 012

I do not want to sell Mom’s china, and I won’t. If I have to eat dog food on it in the dark, then that is what I will do. I will use my considerable brain function to keep my head above the proverbial water, but not by selling the things I hold dear, or by giving into fear of what may or may not happen.blue luster ware, bavaria 257

virginia rose antique china
virginia rose antique china
Cleo 1-31-12 072
after I lost 70 pounds in 2010! (now I have to lose it again!!)

books 178 books 173

If something good can come out of my anger at her doubt in me, it is that I am taking a leap of faith and taking my painting to the Gallery.

And I might just take a binder on my writings to an editor while I am at it!

So thank you Auntie Doubtful for the motivation. I remember that I am still the brave girl who jumped on a freight train and rode across Arizona, hitchhiked through 6 states, dumpster dove for greasy Mcdonald’s burgers, and that they tasted like T-bones!

I am the brave girl who worked 27 jobs in 25 years, rigged for the crane building Missle Silos, worked with Belgians and Shires and Clydesdales and Andalusians, and groomed the Atlanta Police department’s horses, learned to decorate cakes and operate forklifts, did lawn maintenance and worked on the tip of an island in the Atlantic. I have befriended train tramps and illegal immigrants, and helped a 15 year old Mexican kid hide in a grain car to get to his uncle’s house, his only relative in this world! I have accepted gifts of food, and given some, accepted rides and given many, and I have loved and believed in the very best of my fellow man, and I also believe in myself.

I am the brave girl who survived rape ad beatings, being stabbed and shot at, falling in holes and having horses roll on me, having a riding lawnmower flip over on me, divorcing a dangerous man, jail, drug addiction, alcoholism, hepatitis C, and the death of my beloved Mom, and losing my sanity, and I am still standing, even if it is crooked.

I am that brave girl, and I am a survivor.100_1559100_1629

That Brave Girl!
That Brave Girl!

Changing Roles in a Changing Mind

Picture 448   We have come to a crossroads in our lives as father and daughter. I have spent a good part of my life being my parents’ caregiver, both my Mom(rectal cancer) and Dad’s ( Dementia/Alzheimer’s). While their suffering has been extensive I am going to focus a bit on the changes a Codependent-Bipolar-Recovering Addict/Alcoholic with Disabilities-Caregiver faces(which, by the way is me.).

When I moved back home in 1997 Mom and Dad were in good health.  Mom was 61 and recently diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes, but even being about 40 pounds overwieght she was working at Breakers (their Billiard Parlor) and enjoying her life. Aside from a jagged relationship with an unreasonable husband and cranky recovering daughter, Mom was upbeat and cheerful. We really rekindled our friendship and became inseperable.

At this point I was SO happy to be home with them both, back from such a tumultuous marriage. Mentally I was bouncing from elation to depression, and trying so hard to change the things around the house that did not suit my taste. I wanted to move furniture, paint rooms, throw junk away- basically disrupt their whole cozy world. I tried so hard to gain Dad’s approval, an impossibility though it proved to be. As a rebellious hellion I fought often with Dad, huge arguments and obscenities exchanged, which upset my Mom to no end.

As I spent time in 12 step life, I changed and after a year sober sought mental health counselling at a nearby state funded facility on an outpatient basis. With a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and proper medication my raging moods changed slowly. I learned to be tolerant, accepting of shortcomings in myself and others, making my ammends and dumping years of grudges and resentment into my mental trash dump. My Higher Power took the refuse and threw it away for me, and a huge burden was lifted and I eventually was relieved of the compulsion to get high/drunk.

It took years of work, and after working at Breaker’s for a few years it was time to spread my wings a little. I got a job at a counselling center as a driver, and was exposed to people in Recovery forty hours a week. I had free access to addiction counsellor advice, reading material, and began studying codependency among other issues. I took clients to 12 step meetings a couple nights a week, got a great sponsor and worked the steps like a lion. I saw first hand the ravages of addiction in the faces of new clients I picked up at the airport as they flew into our sunny skies to get clean and sober in the great state of Florida. They were so, so sick and broken, just as I had been such a short time before.

Sharing my “story” at AA meetings was cathartic, purging myself of excess baggage, but mostly focussing on upbeat positive changes in sobriety. I started a Gratitude journal, and kept my thoughts written down each day as I morphed into a citizen.  My relationships at home mellowed, and I was milder, kinder, and Mom and Dad responded. We had familial peace for the first time in the 25 years of my ative addiction. I felt so indebted to my parents, and felt I just had to show them how sorry I was , how changed I was. It became a driving force in my life, and my new obsession.

And the Codependent wheel kept right on spinning, gaining momentum with each passing year…(to be continued)Picture 054

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Izzy's Puppies and N.C. 028 Picture 448 Picture 054

Why Do I Hurt Myself?

smoke on the water
smoke on the water

I answered his call tonight. What a foolish foolish girl. I knew that it was wrong, to talk to the abuser, but I did it anyway. After years of being strong, of cutting out the gangrenous heart of me. How could I sell my broken soul out so cheaply? I knew he would say something that would bring it all back, and when I heard the liquor in his voice I remembered the loathing I felt for myself when I realized I had given away all that ever was good inside me, given it to a psychopath who only loved me for the pain I would suffer at his hands.

Now that I let that voice into my ears, that devil’s voice as sticky as Karo, how do I unhear it? When it professes “love” to me from a dead man’s mouth? How do I wash the blood off of my mind’s eye, when I dream of his devil fists, his green devil eyes, his devilish ways with his devilish hands on my broken and battered memory of myself?

Why did you do it?

Did you really need another reason to be afraid today?

Did you need another reason to doubt your own sanity?

Did you really need to add all those forgotten nightmares to the list of must-see flashbacks you have on file?

Now the phone won’t stop ringing, so I turned them all off. But can I turn of that record that has played in my mind ever since I broke free?

That record that keeps going round and round playing a tune called,

” If I can’t have you, then nobody will…”

How long until he’s at my door?

Did I just invite him when I answered that call tonight?

A Welcome Whack on the Back!

He has a look, lately. A hateful look, cold. No trace of love. No recognition.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. I used to yearn so much for his love that I would have thrown myself in front of a train, just for a pat on the back. That is all I would get from him, on a good day. A whack that made my cheerios fly off my spoon, as he breezed past in the morning for coffee. I was surprised, actually, when he would take the time to do this, acknowledging my existence. I hated when he whacked me on the back like this, in fact, I did not like him much at that time.

My father had been the light of my life as a child, perhaps the way he withheld his love made me love him more. But those memories I have, memories of laying my head on his chest to hear his heartbeat, and him flying me up in the air on his feet, they put him in such a glow of adoration in my eyes.

I remember Dad at my basketball games, and softball, and taking my brother and I sled riding. He took me with him to play tennis on weekends with his friends, and taught me to love the soil, gardening, birds and clouds. It was enough just to be near him, somehow I felt like I was in on the joke, part of the fun.

But that was the problem with the way he loved. You were either in, and all his attention was on you-or you were on the outside looking at what you were missing. If he was loving my Mom, the kids were ignored, if he was loving my brother, then Mom and I were left out. It was a wheel, a merry-go-round of nightmare-ish fun. It must have been the way he was raised, the poison of co-dependency snaked through a long line of ancestors.

Thinking back, when I moved here after my Ex went to prison, I was the odd man out. Dad was not happy about sharing the house with me, he and Mom had settled into a routine. I upset that routine. I felt very unloved (by Dad, not by Mom), unwelcome, and misunderstood. But finally, as time went on, things seemed to smooth out. Until Mom and I were  having fun- then he was angry. And round it went, the codependency wheel.

Then Mom died. And we died with her, for a long, long time. I knew Dad grieved, it was heartbreaking to see his pain. I think he suffered more in his denial, instead of recognizing their painful marriage- he remembered it as being perfect. They were dream lovers in some fairy-tale romance- not the rage-filled, cursing haters they had become.( The truth is they did find peace at the end of Mom’s life, she found it in her heart to forgive him, and herself with God’s help.) To Dad, Mom was an absolute angel. Then the Dementia/ Alzheimer’s kicked into high gear.

Mom became me, or I became Mom. These last years I have cared for my father as my child, as a doting, loving daughter. But the territory is not easy- the terrain is rough. I know he believes I am his wife now, and perhaps he is even forgetting that. He stays in bed all day now- getting more and more feeble. He has gotten so frail that a glass of coca-cola at a restaurant is too heavy to lift, he won’t exercise. I know he has been sick for a week, but he won’t tell me where he hurts. I try to care for him, but he hates me for it, and fights me at every turn. I know he is getting worse, much worse, and the day is fast approaching when I won’t be able to care for him here.

I am unwell myself, with Degenerative Joint disease, Fibromyalgia and a Pulmonary Embolism, and a hip that is scraping bone, so I can’t walk even to the corner without pain. Bless his heart, he tries to understand, but forgets before the words of explanation about my physical condition are even out of my mouth. And why tell him if he will just worry?And he won’t know what he is worrying about.

Today, when he looked at me with that blank-eyed hate, I knew we had turned over a new page in our journey, a page I have been hoping would never come. Today it came.

My father, Anthony, who I adore, does not know who I am anymore. Kiko has left the building, and has been replaced by someone my Daddy doesn’t know, doesn’t trust, and certainly doesn’t love. My Daddy is gone from me now. I am just some stranger in his house.

Bye Dad. You are magnificent, you big meanie. I wish you would whack me on the back.

Breathless

I do not like the feeling. Like I am drowning, but I am not in the ocean. It feels like someone is standing on my chest, as if I had pneumonia. I have had pneumonia twice before in my life, once when I had been drunk for about a month, living at bike rallies for nearly the whole time.

We had ridden to Daytona for Bike Week, and then to Key West, and from there to Myrtle Beach, finally stopping in Winston-Salem North Carolina where I wound up in an Emergency room. They put on the report that I presented as a “disheveled biker”, and boy, it was true. A friend let me stay at her house while I recovered, my ex-husband left me there alone while he kept on partying.

The next time I contracted pneumonia I was in the Bahamas’ for “The Great Bahama Shootout”, and I was so sick after I got off the plane that I nearly passed out. We had to start playing even before we checked into our hotel room, and the tourney lasted about four hours. By the time I got to my hotel room I was covered with sweat and freezing at the same time! I came in second after going “hill-hill” with the friend I flew in with, by my scratching on the eight ball (we were playing APA 8-ball), and I was so angry at myself that I cried, alone in the hotel room , for the entire night. The next day I went to the local casino, sick as a dog, and spent all my winnings playing blackjack. I played so badly that the guy next to me begged me to leave the table. By the time we flew back to Fort Lauderdale and drove up the coast to our town it was all I could do to make it to the hospital. I passed out on the stretcher in the ER, and woke up 2 days later in a hospital room. It turns out that the strains of bacterial pneumonia in the Islands are very bad, dangerous, in fact.

When they discharged me, I came home to an empty house, my parents had gone to Pittsburgh for a funeral. I was still hurting so bad in my chest area that I slathered myself with a substance made from hot peppers (Capazin or something) that was supposed to be “soothing”. I thought it was like the “Vicks Vapo-Rub” of my youth that Mother used to apply when I was sick. Let me tell you: it was NOTHING like Vicks. When the folks came in from the airport they found me crying and my chest nearly burnt from that salve. I avoid any topical concoction that has any remotely hot-pepper-like substance in it’s ingredients!

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So, here we are. Me with this breathing issue, and you? Well, you, hopefully without a breathing issue. I mean, I always wondered what smoking cocaine was doing to my lungs; at the time I started smoking rock it was a brand new phenomenon, and it hit south Florida and Chicago first, so I was on the “cutting edge” of the trend. (ooh, big shot me….) In fact, I was living in a county where the Sheriff had his own airstrip where the coke was being delivered from Columbia, and it was cheap, and it was plentiful, and it was good. Really good. Like 80% good. But the rock, well it was bad. Really bad, in that if you had a tendency to get addicted to snorty-coke, you would be out-of-your-bloomin’ mind jones-ing for more of this stuff.

The fella that introduced me to it, about a month after I had moved to the Treasure Coast, had no idea what havoc he hath wrought on the Family Tree of Kiko. Tens of thousands , if not hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of that amazing substance fed the habits of this girl’s friends, self and even total strangers. I wiped out retirement accounts, savings accounts, checking accounts, pawned televisions, stereos, jewelry, musical instruments, stocks, antiques, sold stolen goods, stole stolen goods, stole cash registers, robbed clothing stores, rode in stolen cars across state lines  on coke smoking sprees while my Fiancee robbed some armed drug dealers, spent time in detox, and two rehabs, wiping out entire inheritances in one fell swoop of a crack binge, and wound up in jail for “dealing in stolen property” for walking out of the Garden Shop of a K-Mart with  a $13.00 Stanley Tape Measure before putting it into a bag and driving to the front of the store and going back in to return it! (The store detective knew me from some prior exploits and decided I needed a lesson. I thanked her years later for saving my life that day.)

Wow, there I go again, off on a tangent! Sorry, a little mania kicking in!

I believe the cowboy that first introduced me to crack is dead, I know my fiance from that time in my life is dead. He died a wasted addict, shooting his father with a shotgun before blowing his own head off back in 1999. I still pray for him, and me, because we first smoked crack together, and I got clean but he never did. he never did. Poor Ricky.

Anyway, what I was trying to get at is that I do not know what the end result of all the drugs I smoked, snorted and shot up is going to be. I know, sitting here right now, that my physical body is tired of all the abuse. And this breathing thing, this blood clot, may be what finishes the game. We all have to face death one day, at least until God does away with it. Even though I believe in something better after death, I still will have to experience it. And it’s the not knowing that is the real kicker. I used to think that we would each die of what we feared the most, and I was afraid of dying in a car accident for a long, long time. I would joke and say that I was not afraid of dying, all the while believing it was true. Listen, when it comes right down to it, it is terrifying.

My Ex stabbed me in my right upper chest with a steak knife once. I had thrown a big can of Hawaiin Punch at him in a drunken brawl, and he turned and threw something at me. I felt it hit me in the shoulder, and I thought it was his butane lighter. I looked down, and there, nice as you please, was the wooden handle of a steak knife. I was curious, there was no blade. So I grabbed the handle and pulled, and all 7 shining inches came out of my chest, along with great gushing streams of blood that shot about a foot. I said, ” Son of a Female Dog, you stabbed me?” more like a question, and then I started to pass out. I had to promise that I would not turn him in for him to take me to the hospital, so I said that I had fallen on the knife while cutting onions. The Detective asked me about 6 more times if I was sure that was what happened?

They took x-rays, got the bleeding to stop, and sent me home, but I was in so much pain I could not sleep except in a fetal position with my head on the bed and my butt in the air, cause I could not breath. I went to work the next day, and the hospital called, asking me to come back. It turned out they had missed the fact that an air pocket was forming around my lung, causing it to partially collapse, so they were a little concerned. For a while after the incident, I kept having panic attacks, thinking I was dying. Especially when I smoked weed.

I smoked weed and cigarettes for 20 years, quitting in 1999. I had hoped it was early enough to keep from suffering any consequences, but maybe not. Who knows? None of us really knows what it will be that kills us, until the job is nearly done. I hope I live a long time, and that I don’t die a slow, agonizing, breathless death, strangling for air. I just hope whatever it is, that God helps me to endure it faithfully.

He helps with the hurty, scary things. I will ask Him for help now. All this effort to stay alive is making me tired…

I did not mean for this to be such a bleak post…just had to share it with someone. Goodnight.more self portraits 028

Give a Penny, Give a Pound

I used to know how to get by with little…very little. When I left my parent’s house, at first my mother gave me everything. Even though I lived with my boyfriend, we would go through our paychecks in one night, drinking and drugging, and there I would be at her door on Monday, palm out for cash. Addict that I was, when she refused, or said she didn’t have any, I would steal from her. Going into her wallet, using her bank card, forging her checks.

I used her so badly, but she loved me so much, and she was so codependent that she would give me more, more, more. I hate myself for all that hurt. I know, I was an addict, and I am not now. I was a thief, and I am not now. I had no morals, but I do now. All that seems lame. till I remember how she forgave me. And taught me how to love. She never gave up on me, even when everyone else did. She is the reason I sit here today, clean and sober, and very much alive.

And Jehovah has shown me how to love, I am so very grateful. When I was out there, sticking needles in my arms, he was waiting for me to hit bottom. He was never lost, I was. I used to say, ‘ I found God.’ That’s kind of silly, because he has been here all the time.

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Today I was able to get my father ready in time to go to our meeting for worship. We go to a place called a Kingdom Hall, and there we listen to Bible based public discourses where anyone and everyone is welcome. The talks last 45 minutes and their is a beginning prayer, and a spiritual song, praising Jehovah. Jehovah is God’s name and it means ” He Causes to Become”, which means He will be whatever He needs to be to fulfill His Grand Purpose. God’s Kingdom is a heavenly government , with Jesus ruling it as King and redeemer.

Anyway, after the Public Talk, we sing another song that praises God, and then we study a Bible based publication called, “The Watchtower”. It is a question and answer discussion, and it is all Bible based. Today we talked about being grateful for all the amazing blessings we have from Jehovah, It was very moving and beautiful.

I thought you might also like the fact that no collections are ever taken. Jehovah’s Organization is entirely funded by voluntary donations. I find that to be so amazing.

Well, I thought you might enjoy learning a bit about how we Witnesses worship, and if I had some pics I would share them. Have a great night, and I will get  a poem written here soon!!!

My Job is to be Me

A supreme effort was needed this morning to get out of bed, but I did it! I raced around, getting ready for my 9am appointment. Then caring for Dad and the animals started to eat up my time, and I tried desperately to stop all the activity, but it was no use. When I jumped in the car to race to the Mental Health facility, it was already too late for me to make it on time. But I raced away anyhow, trying to force the clock to go backwards-or just stop until I got there. I told myself the clock in the car was fast, and that the one on my phone wasn’t working right. I told myself not to look at the clock on the wall when I ran out of the door, so I had deniability.

As I got closer to the place, my mind raced with lies I could tell, about accidents tying up traffic, about a sudden illness ( I could throw my hand over my mouth and dash to the ladies in the middle of my tall tale), or about the sky falling. ANYTHING to take the sinking feeling of DISGUST towards myself for being late again.

You see, I can really talk up a good stink when I want to, say, like when a receptionist dares to scold me about missing appointments. I have been going to that “nuthouse” for about 8 years now, and the professionals there have helped me to change my life. I have been correctly diagnosed after 33 years of abject misery, and suicidal thoughts, and I feel that I am on the right meds, for the most part. But this place has a rule about missed appointments: you miss too many and the people won’t let you come there anymore.

Well, I have known that for years, and while I had missed an appointment here and there over the years, in the past 3 years since my accident I have missed many. It doesn’t seem to matter to them why I miss, because I have legitimate reasons. reasons like Chronic Vertigo, a Head Injury, Broken Ankles, Many days of pain, and a father I can’t leave alone, but who won’t get ready to go with me.

After I called in ill for many appointments, I finally made it in to see my psychiatrist. (This was the fourth one they had changed in the past year, because the place is state funded, I guess.) As I was leaving the office, I noticed that my therapist’s name was not on her door. I gasped out loud. She was the ONLY therapist I have been able to talk to in 35 years. She left me without saying goodbye, but see, I might have gotten to say goodbye if I HADN’T MISSED MY APPOINTMENTS WITH HER. So after this happened about 6 months ago, I have not been able to make or keep an appointment since.

Sure, I was upset when she left. I cried, and felt abandoned, like a little child. I was angry, because I couldn’t know where she went, I couldn’t write, I couldn’t say goodbye. Goodbye. 

Goodbye Maylene. There, I said it now.

So the point of all this is that I have not been dealing with things well here at home. I cry bitterly and often. I am incredibly lonely. I have no one to talk to but my poor sick Father who can’t stand to hear me talk. No, really. He complains when I am talkative. I am utterly alone in this funeral home of a house, with the blinds drawn and enforced quiet. I talk to my dogs, my cats, plants, clothes, strangers, dishes…and you, out there.

I just wanted to make an appointment when I called up there the other day. So when the snotty receptionist started quizzing me about all the missed appointments, and sounded like a nun at a catholic school, berating me for my tardiness…I snapped. Oh, I stayed relatively calm on the phone while I grovelled at her feet through the phone line. I kept my cool fairly well when I asked her could I PLEEZE see a doctor, and that I was SICK and that’s why I miss appointments. But I know how to do some things pretty well, and being my own advocate is one of the big ones. I am one of the little guys who has been called a loser, a doper, a burnout, a whacko, and a psycho, and I have taken about as much of that as I can ever stand. She was NOT a doctor, and she had NO IDEA what I have been through in my life. So I had given her a bad day at the office? Weel, I pulled myself up by the bootstraps and hung up the phone.

My next move was to call her superior.

So today when I crept in there all sheepish and late, and they told me I could not see the doctor, I could see her in her office chair, sneering at me and laughing at my sorry *&$%. The funny thing is, she wasn’t really there at all…

She was fired.

crazy,huh?

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