Archive for January, 2012

Mental Health Update

Posted in mental illness, mood disorders, panic disorder with tags , , , on January 29, 2012 by morgueticiaatoms

Another week survived.
Relatively unscathed. I suppose.

I am still experiencing major anxiety over some of the same old things, in spite of the Xanax, such as facing the mail box every day. (I think at this point my biggest fears involve finding out the donor never actually legally divorced his exes and our child is illegitimate, or God knows what legality could have been lost in his self proclaimed laid back mannerisms.) I’m still not comfortable with large crowds or fast paced traffic. I am getting better about meeting new people, going into unfamiliar places, and facing my dread instead of caving into it.

At least three times this week I was faced with a task I found uber daunting and agonized over whether to just flake out and cancel because I was paralyzed with fear. I bullied myself and reminded myself that rarely does flaking out make me feel any better than the grueling agony of just facing the terror. Sometimes, that tactic works. It on occasion has the opposite effect so I try to use it sparingly. I went ahead and faced the things that had my central nervous system twisted like a pretzel. It went about fifty fifty, one thing wasn’t as bad as I predicted, another thing was worse than I had anticipated. BUT I DID IT.

And that would explain why I feel so emotionally drained. Facing paralyzing fear takes a toll on you.

The Lamictal is doing magical things as far as stabilizing my moods. I still have shifts, but now when my mood goes down, it’s like missing one or two steps in a descent, instead of falling head first down the entire flight. The down side to the less rapid cycling is that I don’t cycle upwards so fast. Which means I spend a bit more time in the mood gutter than I do when I am cycling. I guess it’s a lesser of two evils thing.

I am having some dark hours. Monday, from about 8 am til I went to bed, my mood was grim. I was just so saddened and down about the whole thing with hubby. I try and try to wrap my brain around it all, and I simply cannot. There is just no way that I can understand why he did things the way he did. Why he would shun his own flesh and blood this way. How he can repeatedly stop supporting his kids and still believe he is a good man. I am hurt by the way he treated me, sure. I am DEVASTATED by how shitty he has treated the child we created together. Maybe she was just a tax write off to him, but I wanted a child with him because I loved him and I love kids. It fucking kills me that we were so disposable to him.

And no, I am not naive or stupid. I know shit like this happens every single day to lots of women (and men) with children.

To understand my outrage and complete emotional evisceration, you would have to have been here the last three years, listening to The Donor carry on and criticize and put down people who shun their responsibilities and walk out on their kids and don’t support them. He spent so much time on his soapbox, he even had my uber cynical father fooled. I never stopped questioning his patterns of behavior, which is probably why he split the way he did. No fun playing someone who suspects the truth about you and tells you so.

I will own that I am a moody bitch. I can be blunt, brusque, and off my meds, quite the wacko hose beast. I get lost in my own depression and anxiety and it can seem like self absorption and neuroses. I am deeply flawed. I am also deeply devoted and determined. I would have gone to the wall to make the marriage work. To keep our daughter from being in the middle of a living hell of having two homes and two lives. The reality he created for her is even worse. How can I tell my child her own father rejected her by walking out and not even wanting to see her, let alone support her? I don’t mean to sound self righteous, at all, but I don’t know how he can live with himself, doing that to an innocent child. To more than one innocent kid. HIS kids.

Not after all his lecturing and speeches and painting himself as some sort of saint while the rest of us were window lickers.

I try to just move on and live my life and do right by Spooky…but it would be a fucking blatant lie to say this shit doesn’t eat at me on a daily basis. Some days, it’s like a dull ache I barely notice. Other days, it’s like this agonizing throbbing pain emanating from every pore of my skin, every organ within my body, every ounce of marrow in my bones. I suppose that has nothing to do with mental illness, it would probably depress 99% of people…But since it does impact my mental health, I feel it should be vented here in the mausoleum.

I did not think our marriage was that horrible. I had my own issues, I had my issues with him, but I did not think any of it was fatal. I was willing to go back on my meds, to undergo counseling for myself, as well as a couple. I was willing to do anything to try and make things work. I suppose all my venom and detachment make it seem like I didn’t have any emotion for the man. That’s not the truth at all. I loved him with everything I had. I say LOVED because after a betrayal like this, of his own daughter, he killed whatever warm fuzzy feelings I had for him. If he had just fucked me over but still supported and been involved with his kid, I’d probably have gotten over it. I can never ever in a gazillion years forgive someone who abandons his own flesh and blood so thoughtlessly. I think he stressed out more over an overdue library book than he did deserting his children.

On top of all that emotional baggage is, of course, the day to day struggle to stay afloat and care for my child while trying to better myself to get us out of dire straits.

The sunshine spewing counselor, as well as the job lady, tell me that I am not pacing myself properly, and it is taking a toll. I am trying to do too much,too fast, and thus I am having a harder time. I suppose they are right, but I get pressure from every direction every day to do more, do better, be more, be better…It’s neverending and after going on four months of looking for work and not getting even an interview…I am frustrated, and disappointed in myself. So I push myself even harder, to no avail.

All things considered, though…I am proud of myself. I survived another week, managed to keep gas in the car, a roof overhead, food in the fridge, and my kid is happy.

Never mind I now want to drop into bed for about sixteen hours and not think or stress out or panic or feel depressed.

I guess survival is the name of the game, and I won one more round.

As much as it might make me a horrible person, I wish every person on  Earth could experience, for one day, some sort of severe mental illness. Then tell me to shake it off, to snap out of it, to get over  it. This is a bumpy ride, especially when you’re being judged at every turn and no matter how well you do, you rarely get credit.

I am trying so hard.

I just want recognition for that.

Because the bottom line is, I have done more for my daughter’s well being, in four months, than her father did in three years. I am trying to better myself, for my sake, as well as hers. I am doing whatever I have to do to make sure she has the things she needs and my money goes on the bills. I am not bitching and moaning or feeling resentful toward life. Life is tough. If you can’t strap on a pair and deal, then you should just go crawl under a rock.

I haven’t ruled out that option yet, because I sometimes question my own strength.

But today,I am still in the ring, swinging, fighting, TRYING.

The bipolar and panic may get their shots in but I keep getting back on my feet.

The Tom Cruise Disease

Posted in mental illness with tags , on January 29, 2012 by morgueticiaatoms

I really hit a wall with humanity earlier, when I was at my mom’s using the wifi, and I read a rather nasty comment left on someone else’s mental health blog. Oh, I suppose it lacked the venom and swear words to really be found nasty by others but it sure upset me.  Now, sure, judging by the screen name used, this was likely an internet troll looking to stir up shit and being a dickhead. Still…it upset me. His entire comment was disagreeing with mental illness as a legitimate illness and telling the author of the post to basically give up his own self-enmeshed feelings in favor of listening to his non-understanding father’s thoughts on bipolar disorder.
I doubt it was a coincidence that the father’s sentiments mirrored exactly those of The Troll.
The Troll also said that he was NOT ignorant, he just doesn’t agree with the blogger or ANY of us who commented in support of that blogger on the topic of mental illness. Because mental illness does not exist.
Isn’t that the very definition of ignorance? To label that which you do not agree with personally a fallacy?

I’ve come to think of this school of thought as the Tom Cruise disease.

If mental illness is not real, medications do no good, then let’s put that to the test and have an unmedicated schizophrenic babysit their kids. Something tells me these doubting Thom-asses would suddenly have a change of heart, even if under the guise of attacking the person’s character. You can damn sure bet they would not leave their loved ones alone with someone who hears voices or acts out violently.
Unless the person was medicated properly and they had no clue they were ill. Medications don’t work because mental illness is not real? REALLY????

I am just sick to fucking death of having to debate this issue. I know that I have an imbalance. I also know some things are personality disorder, learned behaviors, personal beliefs…But no way in hell do I believe the different mood every six minutes thing is normal nor do I  buy that the panic attacks are behavioral.

I suppose even ignorant net trolls are entitled to their opinions but I am entitled to disagree with them vehemently. Walk a mile in the shoes of the person you’re judging before you take to your soapbox.

Bent but not broken (psychological meanderings post)

Posted in Uncategorized on January 22, 2012 by morgueticiaatoms

I’m sure that a lot of people think I am deluding myself when I keep reiterating that I knew all along something was off about The Donor, as if trying to save face or something. It’s not like that at all. I sensed it from about the third week he was here with me. He would say one thing, then do another. If a subject was unpleasant, he’d claim it was too painful to talk about and five minutes later…he’d be joking about something childish. I would be with him when certain things happened, and when he’d retell the story to others, somehow it was always distorted in a way that made him look victimized or like the hero. He would retell stories of his past and things would change, timelines and such…and it was always that I remembered wrong, he misspoke, I took it out of context, I was questioning his every word…Even when confronted with evidence that something he said or did was wrong (like when he left a cash deposit bag on the counter at his job and it was stolen in front of the security camera and it took him an hour to realize he wasn’t going to be able to blame that one on anyone but himself) he had an excuse or  a scapegoat.

SOMETHING WAS JUST OFF.

Like when I would give  him little gifts and he’d make the appropriate noises…but the gifts would be tossed aside like so much garbage. Nothing seemed to resonate deeply with him, he seemed incapable of making an emotional connection or attachment. I have little keepsakes even from people who hurt me or relationships that ended badly or gifts I wasn’t exactly fond of…because it’s of sentimental value. I sensed something was wrong with a person who could over and over and over just pick up and leave their stuff behind, having no attachment to even one single item. He made the right noises but his affect was never quite right. Not even when I gave him gifts from Spook did he do more than fake a warm smile and set it aside like some meaningless piece of trash. He left everything behind that might have reminded him of either of us. As is his pattern. Even the things he wanted to buy, HAD to have, claimed to love…he left it all behind like it was nothing. Time to reformat the hard drive and start fresh. People and emotions disposable.

And I wonder how I could have shared so many intimate moments and painful details of my life with someone who is essentially an empty husk of a human being. How I could have let him twist and contort my mind and fill me with so much self doubt and insecurity that I nearly went over the edge. I could never figure out why I would go so far out of my way to do thoughtful little things to make him smile and feel thought about and it would mean next to nothing to him. I started to think that I was just that meaningless and my perception and memory was distorted. He convinced me that I just placed too much meaning to things and it wasn’t normal.

Make no mistake, I NOW KNOW THAT I WAS 100% RIGHT ABOUT THE MAN.

I was at the shop yesterday and R told me look under the counter, there was a shop mascot he’d been keeping all this time…And it was the stuffed Wolverine doll I gave him like 11 years ago for his birthday because I knew he liked X-Men, and it even still had the little card from me attached to it. He broke up with me, he remarried, and still…that cheesy little yard sale find meant enough to him to keep and still keep nearby.

I still have pictures from 12 years ago that R’s girls drew for me when they were just little kids. They mean a lot to me. They are not just things. They are memories of good times in my life, reminders that those girls loved me so much. I don’t want to wipe the slate clean, I want to hold onto my memories and keepsakes. Because that’s what people do. Unless they are damaged beyond all repair.

Joe is just wired wrong. That’s all there is to it. Maybe it’s because his mother didn’t love him, and his father died when he was so young. Maybe it was the abuse. Maybe, maybe, maybe. We all are products of the things that happen to us. We all also have a choice whether we want to let those things damage us beyond repair or if we want to rise above it. He thinks because he’s not a drunk like everyone else in his family that he is such fine stellar human being.

Make no mistake, someone who repeatedly abandons and refuses to support his own flesh and blood is far worse than any drunk could be. Alcoholism is a disease. Being a lousy irresponsible asshole is not.

This is why I am fond of saying that I am bent, but I am not broken. I continue to grow as a person, face my past mistakes, and move forward in an effort to become an even better person. I have been hurt so many times…but I still take the chance of being hurt again. Even the things Joe left me, as much as I know it was all a lie for him now, I keep those things because it was real for me and he cannot rob me of that. I refuse to allow it. Maybe nothing means anything to him. Things mean something to me. And apparently, when someone really does or did care about you, things mean something to them, too. So I am not the overly sentimental freak The Donor made me out to be. This is something that is very wrong with him. He is broken.

And as he told me repeatedly, he’s happy being just the way he is.

Good for him.

I’m happy being just the way I am, with my sentimental attachment to things and people and memories. He can label me an angry bitch and a c*nt all he wants. I’m still nowhere near as fucked up in the head as he is. Even through my anger I am able to form bonds and attachments with others.

Whereas the only bond he has is to his own ego and everyone else is just disposable.

I’d rather be me, bent but not broken.

The Me Monster (psychological meanderings post)

Posted in Uncategorized on January 22, 2012 by morgueticiaatoms

Another post awhile back by Luna about egocentric blog posts set off a chain reaction in my brain about how The Donor liked to get on his high horse and preach about people who used the words “I” and “Me” too much. (He even named one lady “I-me.)

Okay, self absorption is bad.

But honestly, how do you convey your own thoughts, feelings, experiences, opinions, without using words like “I” and “Me” ?

If you speak for someone else, that is wrong.

If you speak in generic generalities, that is detached.

If you speak technically, that is cold.

How else do you say, “This is what I think…” without using the word “I” ?????

I am baffled.

One thing I am NOT baffled by is how hysterical (NOT) it is that for three years, Joe said “we” all the time unless his job was involved. Even when I was pregnant, he told me it was my pregnancy, but WE were having a baby. WE would work things out together. WE would do our best to raise our child properly. WE would find a way to make a better life together.
WE WE WE WE WE.

Yet, when the chips were down and he broke up with me by phone call, what did he say?

“I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE.’

Very telling, wouldn’t you say?

Maybe he’s the ME monster, buried under layers of false we statements.

Twisted (psychological meanderings post)

Posted in mental illness with tags , on January 22, 2012 by morgueticiaatoms

It never ceases to amaze me how one manipulative disturbed person can confuse and contort and twist the mind of another until they begin to question everything they have ever known about themselves, about others, about the world in general. Even now, with all the clarity I have found, with all the evidence thrown in my face…I still have doubts about myself, implanted in my mind by The Donor.

I must think about this thing with the donor at least ten times a day. Not in some obsessive whiny way, but I will come across some post it note he left swearing undying devotion and love and I feel this twinge in my heart. I know it was all a lie for him, part of his long standing pattern of behavior, but for me,it was real. No matter the issues I had with him, I vowed to love, honor, and cherish,til death do us part, and I was devoted to doing whatever it took to keep that vow. I was willing to completely lose my very identity because I was so sick of flaking out on everything in my life, I wanted to do something right just once. I loved him. Maybe I didn’t like his behavior at times, and perhaps I couldn’t be his twin jokester, but I TRIED with all my might to make it work. I’ve never been in a relationship where “agree to disagree” was such a foreign concept.

Even tonight as I came home and kicked back to relax and thoughts started swirling in my head about what an utterly horrid human being Joe is…there was this nagging self doubt beneath the surface, this little whisper skating on the icy pond of my mind…”Maybe he was a great guy but all your paranoia and suspicion drove him to become a bad guy…He told you that you were an angry bitch and couldn’t trust anyone or be happy with anything…”

He told.
He said.
He transferred.
Everything he was guilty of doing he put on me. All the while saying, “You’re a good person, Niki, I won’t destroy you.”
Yet by rejecting his own flesh and blood, the child we made together, by deserting her, he did destroy a part of me.
Pathological liar doesn’t begin to cover it.
And I know that now.
Still, I can’t shake all that doubt he put into my mind, the very doubt he claimed I was poisoning him with, and yet, no matter how many hoops I jumped through to please him, it was never enough. He said it was more than enough. All the while hooking up with his mousy coworker, proving it wasn’t enough at all. We didn’t even have enough of a friendship for him to respect me enough to face me and be honest.
He is a bottom feeder, and anyone who rejects and refuses to support three of their own children…has mental problems I can’t begin to understand.
Based on that, I have not pursued child support because as long as he doesn’t pay, he won’t ask to see her, I know him  well enough on that one. I’d rather live hand to mouth than allow him to be alone with Spooky. God knows how he would twist her mind. Or was that the problem? She was too much like her mother and wasn’t entirely buying into his saintly act?
Because as much doubt as he caused in me, I never stopped pointing out his hypocrisy and patterns of lousy behavior and irritating coping mechanisms. And if I could see that through my depressive paranoid panic haze, it’s no wonder he split right as I declared I was going back on my meds.
I guess I wouldn’t let him be himself because who he is a toxic wasteland of mental dysfunction and it was poisoning me and Spook both. There’s a reason she just didn’t bond with him much. Even she knew something was off.

Guess it just sounds like sour grapes.
It isn’t meant to.
I know now if I ran into him in public, I would say, “Congratulations. You’re nothing like your family. You’re worse. I hope whatever defect causes you to make children you won’t support and don’t care about eventually works itself out.”
He hates being pitied and treated like the disappointing son more than anything.
That’s exactly the manner I would use.
Because as much as I sensed something was off, him handling things the way he did disappointed me more than words can say.
Not one word he ever said was the truth.
Yet I let him pillage and plunder my mental health, and he continues to do so from afar with no communication.

I told my counselor last session how weak and pathetic this all makes me feel. How duped and sad I have come to view myself as being.
She told me it happens when one person is emotionally invested and the other one is incapable of forming an emotional investment. She tells me I can’t blame myself for wanting to see the best in others, for wanting to stand by my vows, for wanting to exhaust every last effort before throwing in the towel. I tell her I feel like the stupidest person on Earth for loving someone who had so little regard for his own child as well as me. She tells me I have to give myself a break, I was in love, and it’s not a bad thing to want to love someone and try your hardest.

Even now though…He has shown his true colours over and over…
and I still sit and question whether I drove him to it.
I am spending time around others who do not behave anything like him even though I interact with them the same way.
It reminds me that a lot of “our” issues were actually HIS issues, and his alone.
I feel bad that I couldn’t just bury my head in the sand and let him be who he is.
But I felt worse every time he did something that made me think him a hypocrite and I bit my tongue because I knew the fight it would cause.
I can abide by many flaws. Lying and hypocrisy are not two of them.
I feel sorry for him, actually. It’s not like he could tell me the truth when he’s not even strong enough to be honest with himself.
Whatever evil flaws he has assigned to me…
His sin is far worse than mine will ever be.
He rejects and abandons his own flesh and blood.
There is NOTHING I did to drive him to that pattern of behavior.
That started before he ever met me.

One day, I will heal and I will not be so twisted anymore.
But every time that doubt within stirs and I know it’s because he put it there…I feel my fury build inside me like a raging wildfire…
and then it is extinguished when I realize that at least I have enough of a conscience to entertain the notion that I might have (at least partially) been at fault.

Tapioca for brains

Posted in mental illness, mood disorders with tags , , on January 20, 2012 by morgueticiaatoms

Am definitely starting to notice a difference in my mood cycles stabilizing since we increased to 150mg Lamictal per day. That semi stability is also helping me trudge through the seasonal depression and whatever obstacles life keeps placing before me.
The down side to this is…the same old side effects that always troubled me with all psych meds is starting to disturb me again.
Maybe the lack of focus can be blamed on some ADD related thing.
The short term memory problems I am convinced come with the use of mood stabilizers and anti depressants. The teleshrink always asks about side effects and I told her I hadn’t noticed any really bad ones.
But this not being able to remember something ten seconds after being told…that is irritating as hell. I’m not talking about forgetting that I did something. I mean, when R tells me to look up a part number, I have forgotten it before I can even get to paper and pen or the computer to look it up. It just won’t stick,like my brain is made of Teflon. It frustrates me and I know he thinks I have Alzheimer’s or something. I’ve often wondered if I have some sort of inner dyslexia as far as numbers are concerned because the short term memories seem limited to anything numerical. Of course, none of that started til after I went on medication.
I am also suffering from scrambled egg brain, starting to forget appointments or getting dates and times screwed up. I am definitely on stress overload, but this happens every time I go on the meds. For a couple of months I do just fine, keep it all straight, am reliable…After awhile though it all starts to turn my brain into tapioca and I get confused and screw things up. It paints a portrait of me as this slacker-flake who just blows shit off for fun, and that’s not it at all. I have tried talking to shrinks about it but they are convinced it’s laziness or me making excuses for not pushing past my depression and keeping shit straight.
Bullshit.
I go on sensory overload, the meds scramble my brain, and everything becomes a clusterfuck juggling act. I can’t juggle. I suck at juggling.

One other negative I have noticed…Since she lowered the Xanax, I have been more anxious and am back to having daily panic attacks. I don’t dare mention this to her because she already made it clear she thinks I am at a high dose already…I don’t agree since the lower dose is making my symptoms worsen. Truth is, I am afraid if I complain, rather than increase the Xanax she will want to put me on something like Klonopin or Ativan. Neither of which do shit for the panic and just make me sedated. These doctors want you to be honest with them but considering they have all the control in the relationship, speaking up can often be worse than sucking it up and just dealing.

All in all…in some ways I am doing better. In some ways…I am starting to slip. It happens every time, though, and the doctors can’t agree on what is a side effect or what isn’t, and I’m somewhere in the middle, trying to keep my shit together and often failing.

The one thing I am NOT failing at is being a good mom to my kid. I suppose the fact that remains a constant medicated or not, basketcase or high functioning, speaks volumes about how I have my priorities straight.

Still…it is a daily struggle. I have dark moments and light moments and moments of utter confusion.

But I am still kicking.
Tapioca for brains isn’t terminal, right?

wandering wondering mind

Posted in mental illness with tags , , on January 20, 2012 by morgueticiaatoms

You know how some days, you’re not in a good mood or a bad mood, you’re just sort of…blah? That’s today in a nutshell for me. I decided to retreat within myself and the safe zone of my home with nothing but kid and cats for company. I wasn’t feeling hateful, just…not in the mood to be around people. Too much chaos, too much drama, too much emotion or lack of to be absorbed from others.

Count me out,today at least.

Of course, in my solitude I am being haunted by thoughts of The Donor, trying to wrap my brain around how anyone could be so damaged as to abandon and reject their own flesh and blood. Especially after riding around on a high horse putting everyone else down his whole life.
And I keep going back to one of his last laments to me: “You make me feel like shit about myself every single day!”
Um…He was a deadbeat dad before he left Spook. That was everyone’s fault but his own.
He’s a deadbeat unfeeling sperm donor now.
But I made him feel like shit and being an unfaithful cowardly immature irresponsible spoiled brat of a man child makes him feel good about himself?
How many times did he get dropped on his head as a baby? How much booze did his mother drink during pregnancy to fry his emotional circuits and grasp on reality so thoroughly?
I’m still torn. I don’t much miss him, except for the friendship aspect I THOUGHT we had. Spook’s barely noticed his absence. Most of me just wants him and the mouse gf to take the tax refund my kid is going to give them and leave town never to be heard from again. I don’t want anyone as messed up in the head as him near my kid. I don’t want his fucking money, I don’t want him in her life, I don’t want him in my life. He’s a horrible human being with more mental and emotional issues than I could ever have.
On the other hand, I am infuriated that he broke EVERY promise he ever made to me, especially as far as leaving me high and dry and abandoning Spook was concerned. LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE. I used to make the joke that you know a man is lying because his lips are moving. It turns out, as far as The Donor is concerned, it was 100% true. I mean, he can’t even face the truth about himself, so how the hell did I ever think he could be honest with me about anything? His entire identity is based on repression and denial and burying the ugliness of reality under immature humor.
Not judgment, just observations. Honestly, if you’re 49 years old and still held captive by your persecution complex to the point where EVERY single thing that went wrong in your life is the fault of everyone but you…Ten therapists and a hundred medications couldn’t begin to touch the issues going on there.
I am also sick of him escaping financial responsibility for his kids, time after time after time. But I also know his messed up mentality, as long as he isn’t paying support, he won’t feel right even calling to check on her, let alone have the audacity to ask and see her. It is his way, villifying the mothers and claiming poverty so he can’t support and won’t be allowed to see his kids. Meanwhile he spends money on cigarettes and cases of brand name pop and fucking $14 bottles of spices and herbs…I’ve watched him do it before when we weren’t together, and that too, was someone else’s fault.
It’s too bad you can’t have a sociopath committed based on the potential for emotional damage they can cause. That man is a menace to the sanity of women everywhere.

Maybe I should have gone out instead of torturing myself with these redundant thoughts. I know my marriage is over. I know my kid is mine free and clear as long as I don’t pursue support money. I’m sure he’ll use his tax money to divorce me so he can hurry along and marry his little mouse and live mousily ever after. Which is about three years for every relationship he’s had for the last 20 years. But maybe she’ll be different since she doesn’t have kids and he doesn’t want more. No competition, no spine, no piss and vinegar…maybe he’s found his perfect mate.

I’m  trying not to dwell on it but once or twice a week, when I’m not being tortured by mood swings and panic attacks, I allow my mind to wander and wonder.