Friday, April 30, 2010

I'm getting sneaky. Ron was sitting on the couch while I was on the computer, and I read him various news articles off the Chronicle website. I've always done that if I had a paper, read him various items. I always do the advice column, for instance.

One of the articles I saw had a rather vague title, something about 9 items you need to notice. The article was a rather stiff version of "Signs of an Emotional Abuser". I decided to put it as "Here are the signs I may be abusing you, honey. #1 Isolating me from friends and family. 2. Refusal to take NO for an answer." I did it very much in the context of "You'd better watch ME!" Not, look at what you try to do to me, you monster. He listened to all 9 and left. He said it reminded him of how God tortures him. Oh-kay.

Last night I did something unspeakable - I ate a couple of large spoonfuls of peanut butter! Formerly a horrible migraine trigger, I seem to be fine now. Good. I would like to get some peanut butter back into my life. Even just a bag of peanuts. I get really, really sick of meat sticks.

So, this morning we went to Starbucks. It is nice for me to think, that when I'm gone, more than one driver will miss me. :) I enjoy virtually everyone I meet.

I am really having to work on some of my grammar skills - I almost ended a sentence with a preposition. Eeek!

We went to Starbucks. I was NOT QUEASY! The peanut butter? Hm! I had my thing and got Ron something to eat. He ate it. Then, off to the blood bank. I went off to shop a little and he was done in an hour. Then we came home. I was pretty tired, so I took a nap.

I'm working on reading an inspirational romance novel, then I need to read Ron's digital recorder manual onto tape, then fix the fast speed playback he accidentally triggered. I didn't have time to make my deposit today, so I need to do that too, and I am considering buying a slipcover for my pull-out sofa. I can't have a warm blanket on it in the summer, my ideal thermostat is set around 80 degrees.

Not a bad day off. Tomorrow, we go to work and buy some supplies, go to work and stock them, and make sure those naughty food machines are behaving!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pill Time

"Heather, I don't care how you take them. Take them all at once, twice a day. It doesn't matter HOW you take them, as long as you take them daily." - Doc, regarding my lithium.

As you know, I have battled some horrible nausea recently. Even worse, I have been battling carbohydrate cravings and indulgences (curse the potato!) to "help the queasy". AGGGH.

So, as of yesterday, I got up, had a very small snack for breakfast, a large lunch, took all my lithium and my wellbutrin at lunch, had a small snack for "dinner" and took my Risperdal before bedtime. I did the same thing today.

I felt unusually CLEAR around 11 AM. But [shrug] I only spent $20 at the mall after work. And I had just been paid. Pretty cool. I sure NEEDED my nap, yesterday and today.

The nausea was considerably better today. I did "warn" Ron - I told him if I seemed to be turning into "Heather the Hatchet" to please let me know and I would eat and take my lithium. "I was scared, but you were great today!"

I'm a little queasy now, but I last ate several hours ago. I'll go eat a cheese stick.

Tomorrow Ron goes to donate platelets. They are always happy to see him. I can shop a little, or bring one of my inspirational romance novels and read that. I haven't decided.

Saturday, we get some supplies and go to work. I am always happy to buy supplies - someone is buying! That's a good thing!

Hopefully, I can slay my carbohydrate demon and get the nausea to a managable level. :)

I got inspected

Our vending program requires regular inspections. Our guy came out today.

As he walked in, Ron and I were chatting with some Postal Workers as they prepared their lunches. He looked around and we talked.

Fortunately, he was not present when one food machine went down, and then the other. A lot of controlled tension, outright Ron profanity, and a moderate amount of beating on a machine. Happily, they are stocked and running now. They're old - they have hiccups. When I consider how many parts are in a cold food vending machine, I'm somewhat awed they work as well as they do.

We had the review "The repairman put new brains in this one, this one's good, this one's good. Coffee's fine. Hey, check out the meter reading on my really old snack machine!"

He wants to get me a new snack machine. Excellent. I love snack vending machines. They all have their quirks. He didn't say anything about taking #1, 2, or 3. Good. I'm fond of them. It will be a smaller machine. I can stuff it in next to the coffee machine.

According to him, we have the oldest canned soda vendor in the program. Awesome. Ron credits me with taking good care of the machines. I really love them.

It was a good visit. No one knows if we will get a bunch of new customers in the building; but it would be great.

A burden shared

It's safe to say that my social networks are rife with gossip. I don't mind, I find it oddly comforting to know that everyone knows my business.

Recently, someone I respect referred to Ron as an "Alcoholic" - twice, to his face. I don't believe Ron "heard" the guy. He would have gotten very defensive if he had. I stood there, looking at the guy, and thinking "Thank You!".

I am truly grateful. The worst of my problems have always come from the feeling of solitude, as if my problems had me locked away in some dark prison. "A burden shared is a burden halved", and while no one other than Jesus can really carry my burden, or say much to help, it is so nice to know that they KNOW.

My first-line network is pretty rife with denial regarding all things alcohol. I know they have heard him, drunk, in the background during phone calls. Oh, so very careful not to mention anything about it! Any of us! "Don't talk about it". I told them about the horrible incident in December, where the mixture of pills and alcohol led to a spectacular blackout; and me taking a cab to work at 3 in the morning. He didn't surface for almost a whole day, and I really wondered if he was lying at home, in an alcoholic coma.

I have prayed about it, and God has let me know it's HIS problem - God's. God will deal with Ron. One day Ron will have a problem that will bring his drinking to light. Maybe he'll fall and break something - although he seems to be pretty rubbery when he does fall, drunk. I have told him, if that happens, I will call 911 and send him off to the hospital with a note pinned to his chest. He knows I will be there for him, but if he injures himself due to his own stupidity then he's going to be alone.

I imagine, on some level, I "ought" to be outraged that someone talked to this guy. I didn't say "It's OK to tell Larry", but thank God he did.

I don't realize how isolated I feel, until someone acknowledges "it" and brings up that word: Alcoholic. I have had 3 close associates confirm it now.

He's on the phone right now, slurring his words. He wonders why someone isn't calling him back.

Thank you for calling my husband an alcoholic. I needed the support. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses

Ron remarked, several times today, that he's very proud of me for staying on plan with the medication. He loved my statement: I can either have side effects, or symptoms. That was very nice.

We went to Walmart.

Ron wanted something from the Walmart deli, and the fried food smell made me really queasy. I didn't tell him, but I did nibble on some of the candied ginger root I bought last weekend. It helped.

I got some soda. It is cheaper to just buy a 6 pack of bottles, than to buy two "singles" at a gas station! Ron's ride home? An hour late. He sat in the kiddie cart, outside, listening to his book. I applied my new sunscreen and waited.

Eventually, his ride showed up. The Bible + bottle of water + bag of peanuts in a gallon ziplock was well received. Ron said "We talked about God all the way home".

I went to the bathroom, and then headed off to a thrift store. I had a cell phone in one hand, and a soda in the other. A nice young man, who happened to be a Mormon, opened the door for me. I smiled and thanked him.

I found it very sad, the two thrift stores I visited had very strong "NO bags" policies. I don't have a problem with that. 95% of what I've got in my bags is Jesus stuff. He will take care of His stuff. And who really wants a warm Diet Dr Pepper? Just me. [laugh] So, I left my stuff.

But what kind of slime mold is going to ROB a charity? These are charities that feed the hungry, and keep you from getting thrown out of your home. They keep the lights on... and save the "dregs" of society.

One store, the one with the better book prices, had over a dozen inspirational romance novels. I snatched them all up. I managed to stuff them in my Hobby Lobby denim tote bag. I love that thing. It only cost me a few dollars, but today I lugged around a six pack of bottled sodas, a dozen romance novels, probably 8-9 New Testaments, and about a pound of Driver Candy (total). It sat comfortably on my shoulder without slipping. Love that bag. I carry it every day.

I need to get myself a backup or two, when I get paid. I would be so upset if they stopped carrying them!

I told Ron it would be amusing if someone did snatch that bag (assuming I had drunk all my Diet Dr's) because all I have in there are the Bibles and Driver Candy I hand out. Most of the drivers got the candy... but a few rides I had a strong "No", so I didn't. One guy, I had already given a Bible.

One thrift store had an assortment of paperback Bibles, priced at $4 each. I laughed to myself, because I recognize them from the Dollar stores, and they are $1.

I actually got a hunger pang, so I quickly went to a Taco Bell and got a couple of chicken soft tacos. I ate the insides only. Horribly queasy afterwards. I had a ride, and then went to a Starbucks. I got my heavy whipping cream steamer. It was good and settled nicely.

I don't know why, but having some heavy whipping cream, in some form, when I am horribly queasy really seems to help. I had a miniscule breakfast, a small dinner, and a very modest snack today. I think I am OK calorie-wise. I have experimented with adding more carbs, and they don't seem to help.

I sat and read one of my inspirational romance novels (guaranteed: happily ever after) for a while, then I left. I had a very odd experience at the bus stop. A fairly well-dressed young lady approached me after I sat down. She had been talking on a cell phone.

I was, literally, sitting right under a map of the entire route, complete with time points. Metro bus makes it pretty easy. She wanted to know the route - she wanted me to tell her the whole route. I said, I don't know the whole route, but there's the map.

"OH, I don't want a map" she says. Huh? She wanted to know how far I was going. I said, not very far, and she was very insistent, trying to find out my stop - the exact name and all.

She had said she was trying to get to a donut shop. I said "Well, I don't know where that is." I suggested, if she had a cross street, calling the customer service line. Some other people walked up, and I said "Maybe they know what you're talking about".

I found the whole thing very odd. I put on my earbuds and was booting my player. She called her friend and said "She didn't tell me where she's getting off." I found that VERY fishy. Why would you care where I'm getting off?

Then she spent a lot of time applying makeup. The bus came. She got on and I sat down. I read my book. Another gal got on, wearing a flashy outfit with some gold chains.

I heard one of the other passengers telling the nosy gal to get off at my stop, and I'm thinking "No donut shop there, what is going on?" The driver directs Gold Chains to my stop, too.

I wait to get off, Gold Chains gets off first, then Nosy. Then I got off. Nosy was following Gold Chains.

Again, no donut shop. I called Ron and asked him. I felt it was very strange, odd behavior. He confirmed that yes, the whole incident stunk like a dead fish. If you claim you are going to a donut shop, why get off somewhere else? Why the interest in MY stop? Why follow Gold Chains?

This might be a good place to mention, I wear $12 sneakers, $12 bermudas, and a lovely $10 running t-shirt. I also had a jean jacket. I was wearing a cheap backpack and carrying my $5 tote bag.

I chatted with Ron for a few minutes as someone approached the bus stop. I put my hand on my pepper spray. Oh, it's a Jehovah's Witness. I found it funny that someone wanted to give me religious literature. I gave her a warm smile and just said, politely "No thanks. I am a born again Christian, you don't have to worry about me." She kept insisting -[note to self - don't insist when handing stuff out] - and got kind of huffy when I continued to say no. Note to self, don't get huffy - but I don't. I just say OK and put my item back in my bag. Then I pray for them without saying so. :)

Then the bus came, another strong "NO" on a handout. A thuggish looking guy got off at my stop, and I "let" him go ahead of me. He was wearing almost the same outfit Thug Boy wore when he mugged me, and he has a scowly face. I have encountered him before. How pathetic and aggravating that I couldn't just walk along at my normal speed. What a damning indictment that I couldn't just walk up to my house in front of him, not caring if he knew where I lived? No, gotta be CAREFUL these days. UGGGH.

I got home and thanked Ron for the ride. Thanks to him, I got a nap this afternoon. I've been kind of groggy lately.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Crazy people shouldn't have kids

I've spent days ranting on a news website. I keep saying the same thing: "I'm crazy, and crazy people shouldn't have kids!" I am sure people think I am horrible, mean, and "UnAmerican".

A little background: I just ate, and took my pills, These acts will ensure a few hours of horrible nausea. I will endure it. I will endure it with good cheer because I'm not sick. Oh, goody. Here comes Mr Headache.

I have signed up to manage this illness, and I'm going to make it look easy if it kills me. I'm going to remind people that we're wonderful people if we take our pills and don't drink. I will talk about hallucinations, delusions, and all the rest. One thing I don't discuss is how much pain this illness causes.

I hear how well I'm doing, and point a finger at the "No Alcohol" rule. I also talk about taking my medication regularly and sucking up all the miserable side effects with good cheer. Why drag everyone down?

As a toddler, I watched my mother battle the demons in her head. It was an ongoing, bloody battle for her. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after 45 years of pain, and decades of alcohol. Her illness was not well managed, I believe, due to the alcohol. When she was found dead on the floor, everyone was shocked she died of a heart attack. They all thought it was suicide.

Let me tell you, it was horrible for me, crying endlessly in my crib, pleading with my mother to come and care for me. I remember dreading her appearance sometimes, unusually giddy and reeking of alcohol. I remember following her like a small, sad, shadow, as she drowned in depression, begging for scraps of attention.

Living life as a child of bipolar disorder taught me something - it is extremely painful for the child. I will never subject a child to the torment I endured. Also, in my family, there's a very strong genetic component. I would never want to pass on my illness to a helpless child. I began hallucinating at age 3. I began having delusions at age 5. When I try to talk about this with family, they get very stiff and defensive. They want it to be anything but what it is - the truth.

So, I'd never have a child because it's cruel to subject a child to a mentally ill parent. I've been there!

I'd never have a child because I wouldn't want to pass on this illness. If I could hunt it down and exterminate it, I would. I can only say I won't be passing it on.

I will never have a child because I would be a terrible mother. When I'm depressed, things are as hard for me as they were for my mother. What a horrible thing to put on a child, "Mommy's sick".

Add to that, the fact that many bipolar women end up with postpartum psychosis - that's a clincher for me. I would love to think I could never harm a child, but I know the truth. When I'm ill, it's entirely possible.

A woman in the Houston area, recently murdered her child. It was a horrible murder. She then lied and concocted a story about a kidnapper. Truth is, she did it, then lied about it and attempted to conceal the crime. Was she truly psychotic? Is the bipolar disorder a mitigating factor? Should we give her "The Needle", or a pat on the head? We've had a lot of debate, locally, on the subject, and I've been in the thick of it.

The truth is, we shouldn't have kids. If we have a severe mental illness, the stress of childbirth and childcare is only going to aggravate it. We won't even be able to breastfeed, if we're taking our pills. Odds are, the medications may cause severe birth defects, and we shouldn't get pregnant in the first place.

The fact that our local killer spent several weeks in the COUNTY hospital, after the birth of her first child, should have been a red flag to the husband and family. I don't understand how the husbands of mentally ill women can delude themselves into thinking things will be fine if she had another one.

We shouldn't have kids. It's simply not fair to the children. When someone with bipolar disorder snaps and commits a horrible atrocity, it makes the rest of us, the responsible ones, look bad. Thanks a lot.

Personally, I hope she never walks in the sunlight again. I hope she spends the rest of a long, long, life in prison, in isolation, because we know what they do to baby killers, in prison.

I have two, bipolar family members, with children. One is having a crisis; I'm sure the child is suffering. In the other, the child has had to assist/counsel the parent during the bad times. That's not fair for either of those children.

We shouldn't have kids!

Manic Monday

Well, it hasn't been very manic, but it was Monday. I had to get up at 2 AM today. I left Bubba-cat asleep in my bed. It was actually nice walking into work, the honeysuckle was blooming. Lovely.

That's been the nice thing about the l0w-grade mania, instead of depression, I can actually appreciate things like wildflowers and honeysuckle. I can literally smell the flowers, instead of slogging through a horrible dark swamp, surrounded by doom, gloom, and negativity.

After getting our pallet of soda, rotating the stock, and unloading the pallet (whew!), it was time to get the donuts. I went out and got the donuts - the weather was warming and I could smell the honeysuckle and a plant Ron calls "Bee Food". I had a nice wait. I got the donuts, stocked them, and helped Ron.

Yesterday, by the way, I woke up with a horrible headache and nausea. Sad but true, it is still SO much better than my illness. I will take it! Thank God for the side effects, they mean I am taking medication that works!

I decided to "Fake it 'till I make it" and act AS IF I felt fine. What would I do? Go to Starbucks on the bus. So, that's what I did. I even checked out a new-to-me store and found some interesting merchandise. Somewhere in there, I had a pretty good time, in spite of the headache and nausea. I came home, watched part of a movie, and went to bed.

Back to today: I stocked it all. We heard some good news, we may be getting a LOT more Postal Workers! That would be wonderful. I will leave all that in God's hands.

I had a good time talking to the other vendor (aka "Hot Legs") and crew. As I left, he begged me not to "leave" him. I told him I could handle the fact he had "another woman" (his wife), but the fact that he kept FLAUNTING her at me every week was breaking my heart. We all had a good laugh - most times when I have attempted humor like that it crashed and burned, horribly. I really enjoy them.

Now I'm just waiting on a ride to Burger King. We have a hot date planned. Bubba has now moved to his midday sleep spot of next to my computer, maybe we can grab a nap together when I get home. I was happy to "let" him sleep when I left this morning. :)

HORRIBLE side effects today, too. Very foggy thinking and hard to walk. WORTH IT. So, so, worth it. People are happy to see me now.

You can't imagine what a big deal that is to me.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I have a lot of questions

I have a lot of questions about my life, and the way I live it. Some things, no question: my faith in God, my committment to my husband/marriage, my work ethic.

Other times, I have questions:
Why do I act like it's so hard to do something nice for myself, like play my favorite music playlist while I'm online?
Do I really think I don't deserve happiness? Why? Why am I hard on myself, trying to carry all these burdens?

Things like this: Would I have fewer Dr Peppers, if I cut back on my headaches? I decided to leave that as typed. [giggle] I drink a LOT of diet soda. Could I reduce the frequency and severity of my headaches by cutting back on the diet pop? If I could, would I want to? Can I do anything about the headaches? Are they really just side effects of 2/3 of my medication, or an indication of something worse?

Am I at "optimal" management of my illness? Is there something I can do to make it better? A lot of anxiety issues - how much of that is related to caffeine intake and diet sodas? If it's not related to the soda, is it an outgrowth of my illness, or my situation? Would I be helped by an anti-anxiety drug? Would I get hooked? How much would it cost? Would it give me MORE headaches? Would it be worth it? I don't want to be the person who says "Oh, I need a pill to deal with that".

My husband. Am I doing my best? Am I honestly giving him 100%? To my mind, what he's giving is between him and God, so I won't ask if he's giving his all. If he is remiss, God will deal with him. Could I be more encouraging, or does he find it annoying? Should I invite him to participate in my devotional and prayer time? Should I invite him into my faith, or would it just piss him off?

I take these questions to God, in prayer, on a regular basis, and He is pretty good at giving me some kind of feedback. I ask him to "Put His thoughts in my head" and I feel He does a good job of that. I ask Him to put His love in my heart; and He does. I ask Him to put his words in my mouth and hands - I don't want to be a bitter, negative, hater. If I am it's certainly not His fault!

God's love IS enough to pull me through anything. I think I have a tremendous advantage; my early life was so dreadful that nothing can compete. I have been through some very harsh times; He carried me. I know He walks with me, holding me up when I'm weak. I've said this many times, without Him, I never would have made it to 15 years old. He's had my back for 35 years, and that's never changing.

That's a damned good base to build on; no matter how many questions I've got.

Severe Weather

Yesterday, Ron heard a forecast and decided he didn't want to go to Walmart early. "Severe Weather".

He made an early afternoon trip, and I agreed. We both needed a few things.

Our ride came during the middle of a cannibal mutant movie. I got out to the cab first; for a guy who's always complaining about being on time, he takes forever getting out to the vehicle.

By the time he came out, the cab driver and I were talking. Interrupting, he tried to get the driver's attention, but she was very interested in my description of bipolar disorder. By the time we got out of the cab, he was in full-on pout mode.

He put on his headphones, ignoring me. He said he didn't want to talk. Fine. Then he put on a very dramatic show of "I'm so tragic", drooping dramatically, heavy sighs, and putting his head down on the cart - which he knows freaks out the other shoppers. Sure enough, I had concerned people grabbing my arm and telling me I had to "Help" him. I also got a lot of "Is he OK?"'s [rolleyes] Nothing was wrong with him - except he hadn't been the focus of attention.

I know he can be narcissistic but this took the cake. I asked him about his requests and he kept snapping that he didn't want anything. Well, he had a whole list the last time I checked. I got the trash bags, cat food, etc. I got my soda and some breakfast sausage. He was busy being "pathetic" - one lady was yelling "Are you OK?" - he finally stopped after that. Personally, I find that a VERY cheap trick.

I don't mind the staring when I'm properly medicated, I expect it. I've got an adult in something most people view as a kiddie cart. I've got a blind adult. I've got a blind adult making a dramatic show of his unhappiness. I just wanted to do some eyerolling - I was embarrassed he was acting so childish.

I didn't do the expected fawning, apologizing, and butt-kissing - I get sick of childish head games. Because I didn't "play" he decided to "punish" me by calling an old girlfriend.

She is extremely emotionally needy - one of those emotional vampires you read about in Dear Abby. I used to get very upset when I first moved in with Ron, because she would call him and talk to him for 2 hours at a time, and then when he hung up he'd go to bed. He would literally come home, eat, call her or she'd call him, talk talk talk, and then go to bed. What about focusing me? I'm right here. No, he has done that quite a bit over the years - invest all his energy and attention into phone calls while I begged for a scrap of attention. And I LET him!

I knew he wanted me to do that again, so I ignored him. Also, I should add, he was "involved" with her when he met me. As far as I knew, he was single, but when he realized we might have potential - according to him - he broke it off. However you cut it, he LIED to me about his involvement with her. I would not have dated a guy who dumped someone else for me. That's just trashy, cheap, and nasty.

She was rightly outraged and really gave me the cold shoulder at first - which I completely understand. Once she adjusted (and really, losing a cheater is not much of a loss) she was very kind to me. She still had these long, drawn out, intense phone calls with him. It used to bother me lot; very much "shoemakers' children" - Ron was the best listener and the most attentive guy ever, except with me. It must be MY fault... if I were "better". [shrug] You get the idea.

So, when Ron called her, while we shopped, it was a deliberate act of emotional warfare. I understood that. I asked him if he wanted a fruit cup. He said YES. I guess he did want something after all. I went to the deli and got some dinner (sausage on a stick). He snapped at me and said I DON'T WANT ANYTHING.

Fine. I ignored him as I did all my shopping and parked him over by the checkout. I read a celebrity gossip magazine - instead of going "Ron, Ron, we need to check out!" "I SAID leave me alone!"' --- ooooh! Two women competing for his attention. I knew he wanted me to do that. I ignored him - making the best of a stupid situation.

Instead, I completely ignored him. I realized we had a time issue, and HAD to check out so I pulled the cart into the line and loaded up my stuff. I paid for it. Suddenly, Ron says "Oh, I need to hang up, Heather won't pay for my stuff". He must have been paying attention after all. I agreed. I paid with his debit card and then parked him and left him where he was while I went to McDonalds. I got myself a burger and a drink, and something for the driver.

I walk over to the cart and start rearranging things, putting them in my shopping tote. Ron says he wants a drink. I offer him the cold soda, and he says no. "You said you didn't want anything - I believed you." We both know there's not enough time to get BACK in line.

I was very matter of fact. I knew I was supposed to be angry. I accepted your statement, you can't have it both ways. Either you want something, or you don't. If you don't, then don't whine at me later because I didn't get you something. If you wanted something, you could have told me.

I am really, really, sick of childish head games. The next time we go shopping, I will tell him it's too much work to take him along, and leave him on the bench. He can fend off the overly chatty greeter and deal with all the "Are you alright" comments on his own, when he does his whole "tragic" routine.

We have WONDERFUL lives; it's a shame he can't "see" that.

Some people may wonder why I'm so "devout" - this is a good example. Humans let me down. Humans care more about themselves than they do about others. Humans have consistently FAILED me.

God? Never let me down. He tells me to love the other Humans so I do, to the best of my ability, but that doesn't mean I have to play their stupid litle games when they feel neglected and want to put on a show.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Nausea-Depression

UGH. I thought I was done with the nausea; I assumed my body had adjusted to the Wellbutrin. Well, you know what happens when you ass-u-me.

[groan] So, it looks like my Manic-Depression has now become Nausea-Depression. I don't get manic, I get nauseated. Last time was 2 months, but [shrug] I did lose 10 pounds.

I was going to look up a nausea rating scale, found a bunch of articles on chemotherapy. Thank you, God, for that, and the reminder that Bipolar type one has a 20% suicide rate - a lousy mortality rate compared to some cancers!

Anyway, I did find my Ginger Root - praise God. I took some, that usually helps. Looks like I'll be buying more, tomorrow. URG.

No matter how bad my medication nausea gets, I never vomit. I just stay miserably queasy. I gag down food, it stays down. I gag down pills. I drink lots of liquid. It seems to help.

And I remind myself that nausea is a lot better than a mania, or a depression. I'm the only one suffering. When I'm unmedicated, everyone suffers.

Boy, today was a real faith-building exercise

I got up early, got my shower and all. Ron was still a little foggy today - so interesting, the similaries between our medications! I hope and pray, literally, that I am as supportive as possible.

Oh, and Anonymous, you don't have to do 10 million different names. I don't ban comments based on the user name, I open it, read it, and reject or publish that way. Stay Anonymous. I still love you ((((hugs)))). I would really miss you if you didn't post.

We went to the warehouse and got some supplies. Ron wanted canned juice drinks (wince) and I needed more Sun Chips (wince). I did look at bagged peanuts for Driver Candy - but I am still debating if I should hand out something salty, like a peanut. I would like to distribute a "healthy" snack, something a diabetic can eat, and something a driver can eat while driving that won't make them too thirsty. I think crackers are out on the diabetic issue, and also the thirst one, as well. I like the concept of peanuts, but if you have an opinion I'd like to hear it. If you were in the mood for a healthy snack, with a Scripture booklet, tract, and/or Bible, would peanuts work? Granola bar? But then doesn't that double back to the diabetic thing? And the thirst? [shrug] That's where I stand. Opinions, please!

So, I got some candy [wince] in addition to the other stuff. I put it all in my tote bag. We got hot dogs, I got a bunless and Ron got his with the bun. I doctored it the way he likes and got him the "Orange Crap" soda (my name). I got myself a Diet Suicide (half Diet Dr, half Diet Coke). Tasty.

The ride was right on time, and from what I remember a nice straight trip. A lot of morning traffic - when I'm out around 7-9 AM I find it easy to believe Houston's home to 4 million people.

We got to work, I yelled Hi at the other vendor as he left. Then, stocking all the new stuff.

Ron got aggravated at a naughty coin mech and yelled at me. I got very offended and was nursing my oh-so-delicate ego [blowing raspberry]. Oh, woe is me! [snort] I can laugh now - I think it's very important to laugh at myself on a regular basis. Anyway, the short version is: 2 of the snack machines do not have an accurate computer vs. coin mech tally. They think they have more or less than they do. If the computer thinks the tubes are full, then it will reject the coins if you try to add them the proper way (Ron's source of annoyance). In that case, you have to use the backdoor method and just put them manually into the stacks until full.

Later on, I gave him my official diagnosis "Ron, Snack One doesn't like you." I have a very vague theory about the machines; they have some kind of sentience. They know if you like them or not, and behave accordingly. I often point to the oldest snack machine in the State of Texas - it's about my age (ancient!), and still working well. Why? I praise it regularly. I praise all the machines regularly, and believe on some level they "hear" me.

Is that in complete conflict with my Born-Again views? I don't think so. Jesus will tell me one day, but I'm not worshipping them - just thanking the machines for performing well.

Anyway, Ron semi-apologized later. I had to ask God to take the bitterness out of my heart, put forgiveness INTO my heart, and to put His thoughts in my head, words in my mouth, and love in my heart. I cannot be a "good person" on my own. I absolutely need Jesus, living in me, to be even halfway decent! It worked. I stopped feeling so resentful and haughty.

We got it all done. Our pickup was late but it worked out; and it was one of our favorite drivers. Ron and I really like her. A long ride, but we eventually got to our destination.

Lunch was good, the pickup was late, and the guy had a lot of issues. I really didn't appreciate the whole thing of "Boy, I'm going you SUCH A FAVOR. You were WAY OUT OF THE WAY." Newsflash - Metrolift drivers are paid by the HOUR, not the trip. Even though I was outside waving, obvious that he saw me, he made a big point of driving past until I had to chase him down.

Not professional! The whole cab REEKED of this horrible cologne. I was very queasy today; and I told the driver "I need the window down if I'm going to ride."

Oh, Anonymous, if you had been in this vehicle you would have agreed completely! It was GHASTLY. He said "Oh, that's my [name brand] cologne. It keeps things fresh."

[I'm laughing so hard I might need one of those wetsy pads I got for the cat] FRESH! Oh, it was TOXIC. It was FELONY bad.

The guy had gone to Starbucks. I don't care. I did care that, every time he reached for the drink, he veered out of the lane! I did some quick prayer! I was really worried for our safety.

Then [rolleyes] the guy wants to play "Therapist" with us, and unload all his problems on us. Neither Ron or I, both gagging, felt like "Playing". If someone we know has some problems, we are happy to listen. I know all about N's drug addict daughter, his other daughter lost her trailer, and S's son was killed by a drunk driver. But this guy was telling us "I used to embalm people" - knowing I am sick to my stomach already... UGH.

I had the thought in my head "Don't bother complaining, he won't be here long." He is not safe. I hope not. I don't mind if the cab reeks, or the seat is filthy with mystery stains (every cab - so I wear bermudas). I don't care if the client in the backseat, who is "limted" is pleasuring himself while patting my husband's leg. I don't care if the client has a strong odor. I don't care if the driver is on the phone (but Metrolift will instantly fire anyone who does so), or wants me to tell them how to get on at the Post Office. I don't mind if they're angry and ranting about a dispatcher. I don't care if they ask me if I have any candy, because they're getting some kind of Jesus with it. I don't mind paying to take the toll road. But I do mind if they are unsafe.

"Sorry" won't fill the vending machines if I'm out for the count.

Sub-level

"Love is patient, love is kind." If you're any kind of believer you have heard 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13 many many times. God, living in us, should make us more like him, and we "should" act like the chapter.

Wednesday, Ron was late taking his Neurontin. When he finally woke up he was in pretty extreme pain, and took an extra tablet. It's an anti-seizure medication but it works with the nerve pain.

Ron has had a very difficult time coming to terms with my brain damage. He would say things like "That's a SUB-LEVEL mistake! That's completely unaccceptable!" Perhaps I had forgotten my keys. Once I left my wallet at home and had to go back for it, leaving him at the restaurant. I was about 19 at the time.

Anyway, he always had the attitude that some mistakes were OK, but some were "Sub-level". He would reserve especially cruel comments and name-calling for the "Sub-level" mistakes.

So, he took an extra tablet on Wednesday. Thursday, he left his security badge in the taxi when he got out. Then a series of other mistakes he'd classify as sub-level. When Ron makes a mistake, it's tempting, very tempting to serve him the leftovers of what he's always served me. Especially, in the case of the badge, when he says my badge is "safer" left with him because "He doesn't lose things."

I just went outside, waited, got it, and gave it back to him. Other mistakes. I wondered what was going on - normally he's a little sharper than this. And isn't it painful when Ron says "Boy, you're so STUPID today? What is WRONG with you?" So, I didn't.

Hopefully, I can model the kind of behavior I'd like to see when I screw up. Besides, love is patient, love is kind, love doesn't keep a record of wrongs (working on that one), etc. Do it for Jesus, if not for Ron.

Anyway, we finally left. Ron commented again that he didn't know what had happened. "Did you take an extra Neurontin on Wednesday?" Oh, yeah, he did. You mean, THAT?

"It's sure true for me with my lithium. If I have to take an extra tablet I'm not as sharp the next day."

OOOOOH! Who knows, maybe it'll stick, and maybe next time I make a mistake he'll be a little kinder. I hope so.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Crosstown

I think it is safe to say that I do not live in Southwest Houston. It is a long ride to get there, for me.

Ron offered to make a trip for me, to go to Whole Foods. I suggested we could take the wheelchair and go to the House of Pies afterward. We had a very long ride to get there - over an hour.

We encountered that odd lady in our subdivision, who insists she CANNOT ride in the backseat. Either the front seat passenger HAS to move, or she won't ride. The driver said, I guess you're not riding, because we can't force people to move. I don't feed Drama Queens. Note: She can call Metrolift and tell them "I can only ride in the big van" and they will put a code in the computer. I find them offensive because the husband said "I won't ride next to HIM!" - referring to MY HUSBAND. He is not rabid. He is not an animal. He is a person with thoughts and feelings and I am VERY protective of him. I don't care what anyone calls me (hugs to anonymous hater), but I do object to people insulting my husband. Ron? He found it funny and made wild animal noises when they shut the door. [snort]

We moved on. We picked up two other nice ladies, and dropped one off. Then, Whole Foods. Ron's a good sport. I had my tote bag slung on the back of the wheelchair. Ron had his talking book machine in his lap, and held a basket. I pushed him around the store.

I got some unsweetened carob chips (and have eaten too many today), and we selected a good trail mix for Ron. He got a couple pounds of it. I got some more of the shower gels and shampoo. I love them both - the shower gel is lovely and fragrant, the shampoo is cleansing and non-drying. I'm at that weird stage where I can't have anything too drying, but my skin and hair are oily.

I had some tiny sample bottles of the citrus and the lavender - loved them. Now I have one quart each shower gel and shampoo, in both fragrances. Happily, I can refill my small bottles and put them in my hospital bag.

What a depressing thought - the hospital bag. Always ready to go to the hospital, with comfortable clothes and underwear for a stay at Ron's bedside. It also has books and tea.

So, I got them. That was my main objective. I also got a smaller bottle of lavender lotion. It was well within the budget and will last me forever!

I was happy. We checked out, after I threw a few cans of Stevia sweetened soda in the basket. Um. Not great, but drinkable.

Then I loaded up the stuff into my backpack (I didn't want fragrant items in with the Driver Candy), and pushed Ron over to the House of Pies. They have done a lot of work on the streets and it was very simple. We had the chopped steak breakfast. $7.50. It was very good, well seasoned and charbroiled. I gave all the starches to Ron, and had some sugarfree apple pie (no crust) for dessert. It was good.

We had plenty of time to eat and then I pushed him back to Whole Foods. We waited a few minutes and there's the ride.

Sometimes I feel like I'm in a spiritual battle. The fact that the driver had "Watchtower" magazines in the magazine holders in the backseat area, kind of enhanced that. Ron was witnessing - it was a bit STIFF. The guy was so obviously NOT HEARING what Ron had to say, but Ron was gonna say it!

I try to be sensitive to Holy Spirit leading, as I've said. I have encountered some people online who act like you have to stuff Jesus down everyone's throat or they are going to hell. I am more inclined to believe that God draws people to him; and my job is to, when led, hand out a Bible with some candy. That's my interpretation of my "spiritual mission" on Earth.

Anyway, MY leading said "Put the Driver Candy on his cooler, while he's loading the wheelchair." That's what I did. I know he saw it. It's up to him now, and Him.

Amazingly, we had a straight trip home. That was wonderful. I got home and took a nap, Ron ran an errand by himself. Tomorrow, a couple hours at work and then I go get my teeth cleaned.

*Yawn* Anonymous Hater again

Anonymous hater is back making derisive comments. I do have the ability to "reject" comments.

I really don't care what you think. Why should I? You're so cowardly you don't even use your real name. You claim I am boring, an asshole, etc, yet you keep coming back to read read read. Obviously you get something out of my posts. I think you enjoy reading what I have to say because I am honest and real. I say what I think, and say it pretty well.

If you have been reading for any length of time - by my lights over a year, you understand I have dealt with truly painful issues. So what is the intent with the anonymous hating? Do you think I'll run away crying when I read your comments?

Am I supposed to be hurt? Afraid? [snort] It takes a lot more than a random comment to insult or injure me. I have dealt with REAL abuse; I have physical scars to prove it. I just wonder why you even bother.

You poor thing, you don't even know I have a whole category on my prayer list "Thugs-Criminals-Prisoners-and Haters". So, twice a day, every day, I AM praying for you. I am asking God to put His love in your heart and lead you to His truth. Give you His concience, delivery from addictions, a hunger for His truth, for you to get a Bible and the hunger to check it out, for God to put his forgiveness into your heart (obviously this is needed), salvation for you, and for Him to put His love and mercy into your heart.

But, I guess if it makes you feel better, keep on hating in the comments section, and I'll keep deleting and praying for you. Did you really think I'd feel CUDDLY about Islam? Really? How could you think I wouldn't be outraged by the propoganda?

I love you, Anonymous Hater, and all my other readers. I hope you have a good day and get right with God sometime.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Anxiety is a part of my illness

Things have gotten pretty quiet with Ron; not great, not bad. He offered to take me crosstown tomorrow and I'll "let" him. We have several things going on, that are pressuring me.

First, our neighbor's new yard guy is tearing up our siding. Compounding the problem is the fact that the neighbor is one of those obsessive lawn-waterers - and their sprinklers strike the side of our house about 4 feet off the ground. Our siding is not in great shape, and the daily dousings and violent weed-whackings are not helping. Ron says he will deal with the problem. I tend to be a little confrontational. I worry about when we'll need to replace the siding, how much it will cost, and how long the new siding will last in the situation.

We have an elderly wood fence on the other side, and very energetic, destructive, children living next door. I don't know if I mentioned the time I actually found one of their little boys literally tearing boards off the fence. A new fence will cost about $800 or so.

Let's also look at the tile situation in the bathroom - they are starting to literally drop off the walls. At least one wall has the wrong kind of drywall, and it is not doing well. We will need to have all that replaced at some point - agh! How much will that cost?

Then I've got the letter we got in the mail. Someone wants more information about us. This could be nothing, or get ugly. Confusion on their part; when corrected will things be OK, or get ugly? Obviously worried about the getting ugly part.

I tell myself things will be OK. I trust God completely, but I'm having a hard time shaking these things loose! It's very frustrating for me. I feel like I turn them over to God constantly, and then they are popping up like mushrooms in my brain!

I'm also dealing with random work worries and such. I tell myself, God is in charge.

I tell myself, worst case scenario, we can get an all bills paid apartment for $600 0r so a month. It's just what it says, all bills paid. We would only need to worry about paying the one bill - no taxes, no utilities, and only renters insurance. Sometimes, that sounds really good. [shrug] At least the siding would be someone else's concern.

Then I tell myself, God has given us this house. We are supposed to live here, and rest in Him. He will take care of us.

I do understand anxiety is a part of my illness, and it runs with both the mania and the depression. I'm still running moderately depressed right now, and everything seems overwhelming when I'm depressed.

I am scared to death of dependence on anti-anxiety drugs. Is there an anti-anxiety thing that is cheap, not harmful, and not addictive? Maybe I'll ask Doc.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Jolly Muslim

Thank God for living in America, and the freedom to type this blog entry! I am a Born-Again Christian. I have done my research, and I have studied many of the "alternatives".

I tease my husband when he talks to the Jehovah's Witness at work - "You're not going to convert, are you?" We both grin. I came home one day and found my husband literally surrounded by Mormons - it's a funny story now. I even read a Book of Mormon, just to see what they were selling. Gack. I understand a little about the followers of Budda. I have studied the Hindus and the Muslims, as well.

Which brings me to the point. Remember the old Robin Hood movies? They used to show Friar Tuck as a big jolly fellow, a glutton, a lover of wine and good humor. He always reminded me a little of Santa, until, at the end of the Robin Hood movie, he married Robin and Marian. Other Sci-Fi movies had the "Priest" - wearing his dark robes. He could be either a good guy, bad guy, wimp, neutral, or monster food eaten in the first reel. Then, it was the theme of the atheist - the person or whole culture that vehemently denied the existence of God. They stated their hopeless philosophy again and again.

Now, it's the typecast character I'll call "The Jolly Muslim". What I find disturbing about this fellow isn't how he's typecast - it's the amount of indoctrination he's able to do in his role. For instance, in a movie I just watched not only did I hear the "If God wills it" philosophy, in addition to him stating the phrase again and again in Arabic, I got to hear the battle cry heard on 9-11. I learned how I should position my body as I pray, and how often I should do it. They showed the fellow at prayer at least 3 times that I recall, in the course of a 4 hour movie.

I find that deeply disturbing. I can't recall the last time I saw a mainstream, much less Sci-fi, movie that showed how a person could get Born-again (admit you are a sinner, ask Jesus to forgive your sins, and tell Him you want to make Him the Boss of your life). When was the last time you saw mainstream footage of a likeable person praying, and reading their Bible? More than once? Were they permitted to speak of their relationship with Jesus? Yet, I can learn the Muslim prayer rituals, philosophy, and battle cry.

I would hope that being born-again, I have the Holy Spirit, literally a part of God, living in my body. I like to think it makes me sensitive to important "religious" issues, and boy did I hear Him screaming the whole movie. Our media is turning the Muslim from the terror attack fellow, to the Jolly Muslim, laughing, eating, and indoctrinating his way through the entire movie. I notice he didn't get killed, either.

A Christian has a simple choice in many parts of the world. They grab you, and they give you a choice: convert (saying 2 sentences, in their book, will turn you into a Muslim); or die. The choice is simple. Many Christians convert, many Christians choose to say no, and die.

I am an evangelist, I am called by God to spread His word. I have never even ASKED someone to "convert". I hand them the Scripture and let God to the "converting". I'm just a tool to get information into the right hands, at the right time. I'm the soul that sends up prayers for everyone I meet, my blog readers, and everyone God's called me to reach.

I have never demanded someone convert. If they refused Jesus, I would cry for them; I wouldn't kill them. I would pray for them, because Jesus calls us to LOVE our enemies.

Allah? From what I've read, it's about hating and killing their enemies. I will not have that book in my home, but I have read, and have literature about Islam. I'm not speaking from ignorance.

The Jolly Muslim typecast scares the HELL out of me, and I think he should scare everyone. The frightening thing for me, is that I can, offhand, recall at least 4 Science Fiction movies I've seen recently with Jolly Muslims. I find that disturbing.

One last comment: how do they treat their women? Christian men are called to love and cherish their wives, as Christ loved the cherished the Church. He was willing to die for us; therefore Christian men should love their wives with a sacrificial love. We are loved, respected and valued.

That's not what happens with the other guys. I will point this out - the Jolly Muslim in the movie is always a man. The woman? They're wrapped up like a mummy, living in complete isolation and totally repressed. I've seen the women in the getup at the grocery store - they can't even SHOP alone.

Out of the darkness

I just had the thought - a lot of times, my illness is akin to life above the Arctic circle. I get 24 hours of darkness, followed by 24 hours of sunshine. Repeat.

I have hopes that I am slowly climbing out of the depression - I have a little more interest in my usual interests, I have a little more brightness in my day. I feel a lot more comfortable handling a mania than I do a depression - enough lithium will make any mania calm down!

So, you're bipolar

For years I searched for answers - tormented by the demons in my head. One day, I got an answer, "Bipolar".

I thanked God I had an answer, and hope for a future without the demons. I could treat this.

I did a lot of research, spent a lot of money, and finally dug up some answers. I'd like to share them with you, and won't it be nice to get some advice without me trying to sell you pills?

  1. Yes, it sucks. What sucks even more is that you'll have this illness for your whole life. It will get better and worse, but you'll always have it. You need to accept that, scream, curse, cry, scream some more, cry, and accept it.
  2. Because this is a lifelong illness, you will ALWAYS need medication. This isn't a migraine, where you take medication and stop when you feel better. You will only feel OK BECAUSE of the medication, and the second you stop it will come roaring back, demons and all.
  3. Where did I get it? In my case, it was genetic. Both sides of my family have severe mood disorders, looking at the statistics, I had a 3-to-1 chance of developing either bipolar disorder or depression. My maternal grandmother had some kind of reality disorder so I also have psychotic features. Some people can have a perfectly healthy family tree and just get it, and in the case of identical twins, only 80% of identical twins get it - and they share identical DNA. So, I'd say mostly genetic, with a big splash of "Who knows"?
  4. Does being bipolar mean I'll act "crazy" now? It depends. Some people have a very mild form, and only they can notice the mood shifts. Other people like me can act absolutely nuts. It depends on how quickly you are diagnosed and how responsible you are about taking your medication.
  5. Medication - you ABSOLUTELY need to take it every day. You need to treat it the way you would heart medication - if you miss a dose, you'll die. You cannot afford to be irresponsible now - trust me, this illness is major. It is the biggest, hardest battle you will ever fight, and it's lifelong. Do yourself and your loved ones the favor of making sure you take your medication in a timely manner so you'll be your best. What soldier would go off to war without any weapons? That's just STUPID.
  6. Yes, it is completely normal to go through a period of hating your medication, even though it does make you feel better. You'll have side effects (suck it up!). You'll have financial expenses. Your life may begin to feel like it revolves around "Pill time". Stick to your routine, and hang in there. For instance, when I started my Wellbutrin I went through 2 months of severe nausea, and a month of hot flashes. I stuck it out because nothing is worse than depression (the mean scary stuff where my own brain hates you and wants me dead).
  7. TALK ABOUT IT. I get angry when I think about this one; all the years of silent misery, being "shushed' every time I tried to talk about the hallucinations - pretty soon I just shut up. No one wanted to hear it. Now, your spouse may not be the best person, but you never know. Ron is surprisingly supportive when I tell him about the "crazy" things - the invisible bugs on my leg, hearing things, and smelling things. I was even able to tell him about the visual hallucinations and the time I saw, felt, and heard the flying sauceers in my bedroom. Are you hearing things? Tell your doctor. Are you thinking about suicide more? Tell your doctor. Are you spending all your spare cash, and some of the bill money, too quickly? Tell your doctor. They can do a medication tune up and they can only do that IF YOU TELL THEM.
  8. If you are having symptoms, and thinking "Maybe I should tell Doc" then odds are you should. I remember the first time I did that. I was getting more and more manic. I kept thinking maybe I should tell Doc. Maybe. I finally made the call and he wanted to see me THE NEXT DAY. It was a lot more serious than I had thought, and a simple medication tune up fixed it all.
  9. Don't get frustrated if it takes a while to get the right medications. It was a good 2 years before I got on a medication routine that worked for me - a year later, I developed a life-threatening allergy to the antidepressant! Talk about discouraging! Completely allergic to my antidepressant! Then I got mugged! Doc and I found a good new one that works great, but I expect in the future we may need to do more tune-ups.
  10. This is MY blog, and MY advice, so I will say this very loudly: FORGET ABOUT ALCOHOL. No more partying. If you want a loving family and healthy relationships, it's best to skip the alcohol completely. I have had experience with not one, but TWO different family members: both drank, and both had very poor experiences. ALCOHOL RUINS THE MEDICATION. For whatever reason, it seems to completely counteract all the medication - leaving you more of a mess than before. I don't know anyone who enjoys being sick, persecuted by demons living in their head. If you can't stop drinking, go on Antabuse. They created it for a reason. Alcohol will only make the bipolar symptoms worse, and does make it worse. I keep hearing from freinds, family, and my doctor that "I'm doing so well" - I mention I don't drink and my doctor nods wisely. LEARN. LEARN from this pain. Alcohol makes it WORSE.
  11. If you have a family member with bipolar disorder, and they are doing well ON MEDICATION, then TALK TO THEM. I learned, for instance, that my mother did well on lithium. I was able to go to my doctor and say "I'd like lithium". It's worked VERY well for me as a mood stabilizer; and it wouldn't have been doc's first choice. If I have any biological family members who develop the illness, I can tell them "Lithium-Wellbutrin" and it will probably work very well. Another good reason it's important to be open about your illness.
  12. Don't EVER let anyone talk you into going off your medication. It could kill you, or ruin your life. Say you get manic - whenever I was manic I wanted to speed. Once, when manic, I was driving a car. I was going about 80 and I was about to take a sharp turn. I wasn't medicated at the time. I could have killed 3 people or even more. I wasn't diagnosed yet, didn't HAVE medication - but that's not the point. Off the meds, I could be a killer. I don't want to be that person.
  13. It's not all bad. We have some amazing attributes. We're caring, creative, hearty souls who love adventure. I married a blind man in a wheelchair, and I'm glad I did. We're fiercely passionate. We care deeply and that's a very good thing. I channel my passions into educating people about this illness, de-stigmatizing mental illness, and sharing my faith. You can use this for good. Do it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I'm going to talk about it

Yesterday, I had a good Day Out. I ended up taking a total of 2 Wellbutrin, and my hand is still bothering me quite a bit, but I had a decent time. I've decided to adopt the attitude "Fake it 'till I make it". Act as though I'm not depressed, and maybe it will help. Other people certainly don't need to see me dragging around with a droopy face. Yes, I've had a nasty 7 week depression. Yes, I have a lot of anxieties I view as attacks from the devil. Yes, I have marriage problems, but God is good to me and none of this really matters in the long run.

Did I share God's love? Mercy? Compassion?

Having said all that, I have prayed seriously about this and have decided to share. My mother was so crippled by her illness, she couldn't take care of herself, much less me. Lots of neglect. I can recall lying in my crib crying and crying, watching the sun move across the wall. I used to LIVE for the sound of the door opening, because that meant someone was home to care for me.

My parents split up, and Dad got custody. Within a month or two I had lost my mother, my sister, and my cat (a great source of comfort for me - I can recall her jumping in my crib to comfort me, lying my little head down next to her purring, and falling asleep). A crushing blow.

My Dad was a single parent for about 2 years, with the help of daycare. It was about that time that I began halluicinating and developing delusions. I couldn't talk about them - if I tried everyone got hysterical and told me I was imagining things. So I learned to keep it quiet and fake like I was OK.

My Dad remarried. She had 3 kids; two older, one younger. We didn't mesh. A lot of conflict for years; anger and bitterness on both sides. I find it sad they have never called the man who raised them, Dad. Their own father never sent support, and they call the man who paid all the bills by his first name.

My illness progressed, I escaped into reading. At a young age, someone began stealing the schoolbooks from my room and hiding them. I'd get in trouble. Once "Mom" told the kids, "Whoever finds Heather's science book will have her do their chores for the next month." Within 3 minutes, an older child handed it to her. I was forced to do the chores. Only the person who stole it would have known where to find it that quickly.

I believe that by directing all the parental anger into "my" mistakes, they had hoped to avoid the consequences of their own petty misdeeds. If "Heather lost her science book again" then maybe they wouldn't get into trouble for making funny noises in class, or talking too much. I don't know. I can't pretend to understand.

At one point, I began searching THEIR rooms - and I got in trouble for it. They would always accuse me of "poaching" - as they continued to go into my room and steal my schoolbooks and homework. So, I guess you could say the offenses went both ways, when I was just searching for my books. Oh, and library books. I could not bring home a library book. It would "vanish". God only knows why. I was above average reading - maybe they resented the positive attention I got due to good reading skills?

I wasn't allowed to bring home library books of any kind. They would vanish. Sometimes the paperbacks would be literally torn to shreds and left on my bed. No one was going in my room, just ask them. No one.

Even the fact that an older sibling went into my room, stole my diary, read it, and bragged about it to me - threatening to use it as blackmail, was dismissed. I had provoked it, apparently.

In the meantime my schoolwork suffered because my books would always go missing. Once, I found a schoolbook in the parents' room! I was desperate for answers as to who was hurting me this way, so on occasion I would mount a search. I never got answers, as near as I can tell pretty much all of them were involved in this sick, whatever, game.

I have spoken to a professional about it; and I absolutely endured emotional abuse. Even spiritual abuse, as someone stole my Bible and began tearing it up. Apparently they were caught, and it was returned. I could post a photo of what they did to it right now, if I wanted.

I got depressed. It progressed to the point I was going to commit suicide. I sought help instead. When I got out of the hospital, I was accused of being a "faker" because I hadn't ATTEMPTED the act. I had only SAID I would.

Vengence is God's and He does repay. Now the person who made all those hating comments after I got out of the hospital, is battling my illness. Things aren't going well. The word "Meltdown" was used.

I can't help but think of that hateful comment "Faker". When I first heard of the problems, I offered help. I offered to mail a book that was helpful. NO. I was told, thirdhand, that this person found my experiences battling my illness "inspiring" - a comment that has been made by all three of the children. I want to tell them, after what I went through with you the rest of my life has been easy.

I offered help. It was declined. I offered advice, which was not taken. I feel bad for the child involved in this situation; but I have to look back and say "You reap what you sow." You sow hatred, suicide, and persecution to a young girl, and you end up reaping it all in your own life.

Like I said, I really prayed about this before posting it. Some people have mentioned they read the blog on occasion, but if I haven't heard anything lately it's safe to assume they can't be bothered anymore. Good. I think my regular readers will appreciate the insight into my life.

It was only with God's help that I was able to forgive them and move on. I went on a cruise with them. I played nice. They all liked Ron SOOOO much. I got comments about "doing well" etc.

No thanks to them.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Trying to figure out what to do.

I have an exciting errand planned for today. I think I might go to the home health store and get a washable pad for Bubba. It's a pad for leakers. Thank you, God, the humans don't have these issues. But Bubba can get pretty pukey.

Mainly, I see it as a stay-busy errand. It'll take me hours. Nothing good on Sci-fi, just stuff that will get in my head and worsen my mood. It's drizzling, 60's.

I read something in my devotional that discussed taking a walk with Jesus. I think a long bus ride counts. That's plan A for now.

I don't want to do anything, except crawl back into bed, and I know that's not God's will for me today.

I can just see me at the store today: "It's for my cat." "SURE it is, lady."

Friday, April 16, 2010

I had a good laugh over this link

100% More caffeine counts as a stimulant.
http://www.caregiver.com/articles/caregiver/caregiver_burnout.htm

Well, it looks like I am absolutely doing the right thing by venting in here... that's good.

http://helpguide.org/elder/caring_for_caregivers.htm

I like this one, too. http://www.agingcarefl.org/caregiver/fourStages/stageThree/section01

Not an *easy* day

It was not an easy day. You'll recall I got up at 2 AM. I was more than a little annoyed that my migraine kept me from falling asleep, and even MORE annoyed that the neighbor kids decided to scream loudly as they bounced on their trampoline, RIGHT outside my bedroom, between 8 and 8:20 PM.

Apparently, I am a heartless monster, because as I shared this today everyone went "Awwww, how cute." I just wanted to mute the little noisemakers. I have often thought, if we decide to move, I'd strongly encourage Ron to move into a senior complex.

I was annoyed. I mean, their parents know we get up very early some days. We are always careful to tell the driver "Don't honk and wake up the neighbors" when they pull up at 3:30 or whatever. [grumble] Maybe we should CHANGE the policy; if they realize how early we're getting up, they might actually let us sleep!

I started the day, completely sleep deprived. I had a nasty headache, too. I took my shower and started my Bible study and prayer time.

Ron came out of his room around 3:20, very upset that I "Hadn't woken him up". What? Oh, I PROMISED I would get him up if he couldn't get himself up. I told him, I'd have gotten you up when I finished, but you're interrupting me here. Just once, I would like to pray for half an hour without an interruption! Can I get one hour a day? Please? This is an ongoing problem; he consistently interrupts my prayer time. He knows what I'm doing, and he finds it offensive that I "Want to worship that SOB". He says this. I also reminded him he has AT LEAST 3-4 alarm clocks, and I only have one. I told him it would be a major inconvenience for me to drop everything just to get him up, because he didn't set his alarm.

I needed to apply deodorant while he was in the bathroom. I went in, and he asks me "So what's wrong with you today, huh? Headache or what? You're really sickly, I bet you slept lousy, too."

I said, "You don't want to hear how I am doing. So far this morning you have attacked me for not waking you up, and now you're name-calling under the pretext of asking about my welfare. Either way, I have to go to work, so why ask? You'll just use it as an excuse to blow up." I left.

He used that as an excuse to get angry and stomp around, slamming doors. I just didn't have the patience to lie to him or play his games.

I didn't even get a chance to finish my Bible study - I felt awful about that. The one being in the house that cares about me!

I don't really know how to respond when the driver goes "Oh, you hacked/chopped off all your hair." They always use a very brutal verb. I have had short hair now for 2 years. You think they would be used to it by now. She said she hadn't seen us in a while. I should just be grateful I didn't get the weight loss interrogation.

Anyway, I just said "Yes, I like it a lot better this way" when I got the hair statement. I don't think many women understand how much of a hassle it is to have the flowing long hair they all seem to desire (if the weave shops I pass on my Days Out are any indication). It's a big hassle for me, looks thin, and makes me look old. Ron doesn't care either way and caring for long hair when I'm depressed is a bitch! Personally, I think the cutest drivers are the ones with the braids. Very cute and easy-care.

They aren't the ones walking around with a heavy backpack in the sun, either! So, having read all that you will understand that I am embarking on a concerted effort to be POSITIVE at work. I have not been very positive. Frankly, it's hard to feel that way when Ron's barking at me to fetch every 3 minutes and cursing me out on a regular basis.

However, if they come into my area and I'm always angry, they won't come by! I wouldn't! I'd say forget that and go to the gas station on my way into work. I think I did a pretty good job.

In here, well, I gotta vent. It was a pretty challenging work day. First, absolutely nothing to do for 3 hours, waiting on the delivery. I ended up mopping the stockroom. Ron comes in and yells at me to stop "sitting around", and the other vendor says "She's mopping the floor, and it looks great". We got the delivery, everything I asked for, and I put it in the stockroom.

Ron uses 14 spaces in a food machine to sell canned juices. I had about 500 empty COILS that needed filling with the new snack merchandise. I loaded all the snack stuff on my wagon and got to it. I filled a couple hundred coils per machine - all the good snack items. It is awful when we are out of something like cheetos.

When we had a complaint, it was about the snack machine, so I work very hard to keep it stocked. Ron starts yelling that he needs juice - to put in the refrigerator, so he can stock it the next time we come in. I told him "We have 45 minutes until the pickup, and I need to fill several hundred coils. I don't want to stop that to unload the pallet and get your juice." He got really mad. Tried to do the martyr guilt trip "I'll have to unload it myself!" I said, OK, they're on the bottom. You know what the look like. I kept filling the machine.

I realized I needed Brownie Bites cookies, so I went in to get them. A lot of dramatic sighing and all. I got them and left.

Later on, some meddling temporary employee comes by and yells at me "He's BLIND YOU NEED TO HELP HIM!' I said "He's been working, like that, for years now." That shut her up. Thank you God for putting Your words in my mouth, because if I had felt the way I do now I would have completely gone off on her - all I do, 24/7 is "help" him. I never get a minute off. Our whole relationship revolves around making HIM happy, pleasing HIM, and satisfying HIS needs. Maybe you need to SHUT UP AND MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

UGH. I feel like the more I give, the more everyone takes. I feel very suffocated and unvalued.

I got the machines stocked. I had also stocked all the soda machines earlier and cleaned the stockroom. Ron managed to deal with his "emergency" on his own. I would absolutely do it again.

Finally, I left. I took out my notebook and finished up my morning prayers, I like to pray for different groups of people like missionaries, criminals, people on the internet, etc. As I finished, our driver came.

Ron came out complaining "I hope it's not a straight trip. I don't want to wait forever at Burger King". It wasn't, but we did. Wait forever at Burger King, that is. They were about an hour late picking us up. Ron didn't grumble too much - he was completely tuned out listening to his music.

No wonder I feel like I'm starving to death in my marriage. Where is the positive, affirming, attention? Where is the caring and affection? Oh, I get that from the cat.

Not surprising I said what I did, this morning. So, we finally got there. I thought it was funny, they thought I was going to donate. They don't get a poke at me until May 7. I signed the thing for Ron and then left. I went to a store and looked around.

Then I drank a soda and read celebrity magazines while he tuned out some more. Our ride came right on time and we left. We got a straight ride home, a nice treat.

Ron started drinking, while I checked the mail. I took a nap for about an hour and got up to blog.

A good verse for today "We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

If I didn't have Jesus you'd be reading about me in the paper.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Headache day

I've got a nasty headache today, and I have to go to bed soon. This won't be long.

In spite of the headache, I was very productive at work today. I really, really, need the junk food we're getting tomorrow so I can really stock the machines right.

God's put it in my head recently to hand out the Bibles to the other passengers on my Metrolift rides. I've been doing that, and everyone loves them. I'm glad He lets me do that.

If it were me, I would only give them to the people I deemed "right". But I'm not the one doing it, God is. I hand them out to everyone He leads me to (now, I was a bit stubborn). I think He's pretty pleased with me as a result.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I've been busy but it's not all bad

Monday I got stung by a wasp, and had major conflict with my husband. Tuesday, my lone day off. I had fun and handed out my Bibles. Today we had to work so I could get paid before everyone else did.

The bank was very quiet today, so was the Walmart. Worth working; even though it was up at 5 and on my feet until 2. We went to Sam's Club. I found a delightful "Cold bag" I bought with my own money. I got chips, candy bars, and granola bars for my guys. Due to an unfortunate Metrolift screwup, I had barely half an hour at work. The new stuff pretty much went unstocked. I was fortunate to be able to repair a theft issue - placing a coil protector on the offending coil so they can't steal anymore.

I get aggravated; they are able-bodied, and make on average about $30K a year. We are both disabled, and I make $7K a year. That's right - I make a quarter what they do. I have heard some bizarre statements about how we are rich, service every machine in the building (HA!), and get our merchandise for free! [snort] I don't get the whole hating loop stuck in my head, but I am annoyed. Then I shrug and say, plenty of times we had a coin jam and no one filed for a refund!

I did the pull and got my pay together. However, I am not going to walk around paying everyone with wads of $1 bills. It sounds like a great way to get mugged again! We had a good ride to the bank. I handed out Driver candy to the driver and a passenger. I handed out Driver Candy at Sam's Club, the bank, and Walmart.

Let me define Driver Candy here: ALWAYS at least a handful of candy, with some kind of Jesus stuff inside. It is usually a Scripture booklet with Bible verses on how to know God, and what He wants of your life. Often, I put a New Testament in the bag, too. I go through a lot of quart bags! I will be putting "Where to Look in the New Testament" in there too when I finish it and get them copied. I carry an extra tote bag just for this stuff; and I "aim" to go home with an empty bag every day. I also have Spanish Driver Candy - with the special candies they like and a Spanish booklet and/or New Testament. I also carry Chinese and Vietnamese booklets.

I handed out a LOT today. It makes me happy, and I know it pleases God. Next stop, Walmart.

I put Ron in the seat on the back of the cart, and went off to make my deposit. God forbid I lose any cash, I want the bill and God debits to clear! I did that, and as I was handing out Driver Candy to all the tellers I heard laughter. I turned around, and the bank manager is spinning Ron's cart around in circles. Ron is looking baffled. I start shrieking with laughter, and then begin laughing so hard I begin to bray like a donkey. EVERYONE is staring. The manager stops playing with Ron's cart as I'm doubled over, braying with laughter. Ron suddenly realizes "That wasn't Heather!" and looks around, like who did that? I manage to gasp out the details to him and he laughs. I finally calm down enough to push the cart away from the bank area, still laughing. Oh, I needed that. Everyone in the checkout area got a good laugh, too.

I get some amazing responses when I laugh. When they realize I am laughing, they just smile at me. It's cute. I will have to have someone do video of me laughing and put it up.

I wanted a hamburger and a big bucket of diet soda, so I went to the food place and got them. Ron wanted something from the deli, we did that. I had left my shopping list at work! I managed to guess most of what I needed.

One thing I got were the underbed pads. I told Ron last night: "I'm going to feel horrible buying these, because they will probably look at you and say 'Poor thing!' but I want these on my bed." I am tired of Bubba vomiting in my bed. He does so on a regular basis. If I place a towel on the bed, he moves to another area and vomits there instead. It's just an overeating issue. What's he doing now? Eating.

So, my thought is that I will have a pad on top of the bed. He can lie on it. The pad is designed to deal with a human amount of matter, so it can handle Bubba. He has proven reluctant today. Worst case, I can put it UNDER the sheet and only have to worry about washing a sheet. God forbid I get sick in bed, I won't have as much of a mess.

I got shop towels. The Name Brand! I want them for cleaning my skillet and some housework jobs. They were a good deal. I got a giant thing of laundry detergent - very excited about that. It was only about $7, had a really nice fragrance, and did a good job on the first load. I hate running low on detergent, and the nice thing about Metrolift - if I have a big heavy thing, it's really no harder to get home! I checked the fragrance with Ron. I liked the pink flower fragrance but figured it was too girly. He agreed.

I spoiled myself a little: I got my favorite powdered drink mix, the portable kind you put into a 20 ounce bottle of water. I am very sensitive to food dyes, so I can only drink Apple, Lemonade, and hopefully Diet Peach Decaf tea.

Speaking of headaches, I think my new herbal routine will fix that problem. I expect I may get more, but not as frequent. This week, I only needed to take a painkiller for my wasp sting, and I had been taking something daily.

I got bottled soda, and some Diet Mountain Dew. I have a very early wakeup on Friday - 2:30 AM. The Dew will be delicious. I LOOOOVE Diet Mountain Dew. Why do I never drink it?

Ew. I just remembered the leftover Sam's Club sausage - I put it in a baggie in my coat pocket. I need to get rid of that. Done. Someone had a tail-wagging good time.

While I was out in the yard, I checked on some of my plants and picked some sugar snap peas. They are doing well. I only got a 4 foot row, but I get at least a cup of peas a week. These are the fat edible pod ones. They run about $3 for a small bag at my Walmart, so they paid for themselves with my first harvest. They've been fun, they're good for the soil, and I'll do them again.

Obviously I'm not real eager to do more garden work right now. My hand still bothers me, and my shorts-clad legs were the target of some vicious mosquito phlebotomy! I do have a lovely playpen. I enjoyed picking the vegetables and smelling the lovely roses.

I am tired of the demonic attacks telling me I won't be able to keep the house, and I should just "give up". Yes, we have some issues, but I'm refusing to get upset about issues that may come up 1-20 years from now. But the Devil keeps throwing them at me, trying to drag me down.

I love to serve God, but it does come with a price.

I wish Ron came with an "Unsay" button

I'm glad I modified my Blogger name when the LCF thing went poof. I still don't get how they could keep slapping me, because I consoled the mother of a Bipolar child with my tale of "I was a basket case, and I'm fine now." How could it ever be inappropriate? Anyway, I'm glad I fixed it so people could find me. Here, I can blog about my life without worrying.

I had my Day Out, for a few hours at least. I broke my routine, though. I always do shower, prayer and Bible study time, eat, pills. Yesterday, Ron wanted to talk during my prayer time. I ended up doing my Bible Study and prayer time later than usual, and eating while I did it. Then I took my shower, and completely forgot my pills.

I once got a nasty and judgemental attitude over a friend. He had epilepsy. One day he had an argument with his girlfriend, and took his medication late. I said some very unkind things, to Ron, about irresponsibility. I was upset, I was depressed. I had a lot going on, so I'm not going to get out that stick and beat myself.

I got dressed, left the house, went to my favorite gas station. Oh, boy! A NEW GUY! I handed out plenty of Driver Candy and some Bibles, so I felt it was a "good" day for evangelism. I love how God can use me, even when my life is messy.

I went to an office supply store. I had planned to photocopy the "Where to look in the Bible" portion of my Gideon Bible, but realized it had PAGE NUMBERS. I briefly considered hand-copying the references but decided I would stick with "Where to Look in the New Testament" - it's coming along well. When I'm done, I'll post it. Feel free to use it and copy it. I plan to put this sheet into every Bible I hand out, I love the Invitation Bibles but they don't have a reference area.

This way they can look at the paper, "What does God say about Marriage?" and go read Ephesians 5, 1 Corinthians 13, etc. I just adjusted my keyboard, it was making very annoying sounds as I typed. So, I feel good about this.

I realized I was having a HORRIBLE mood; and it began to dawn on me that I didn't remember taking any pills yet. I was on the phone with Ron, and told him. "Do you have pills with you?" You betcha! I went to my Starbucks and got my drink. About 1/3 into the delicious steamed heavy whipping cream delight, I took my Lithium and Wellbutrin. I felt better.

I drank it and read an article in the paper, how psychiatrists are using "Magic Mushroom" extract (Psylocibin) to treat difficult depressions. Interesting. It talked about them having a profound spiritual experience. I really, really, wanted Ron to try it. I called him and told him; but he wasn't interested.

I think my biggest problem right now is that Ron does not have an "Unsay" button. If you are on Facebook (I am, under my real name, for family mainly), you know they have a "like" button. You can click "Like" on someone's statement. The Houston Chronicle (I am Heather B there) has a thumbs up button, or a thumbs down. Anyway, the point is there's a button for liking or not. On Facebook, if you accidentally click "Like" on your sister's post "My cat just got hit by a car" you can quickly UNLIKE it - taking away the response.

Ron seems to think that it is OK to say whatever he feels, in the most hurtful terms possible. He does not see or acknowledge it as emotional abuse. He seems to think that an apology "Unsays" everything. It doesn't. All that hate lingers and it takes a while to purge it out - even for a devout Bible-thumper like myself!

Oh, how I wish he had an "Unsay".

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Talking'

I slept great last night, it was awesome. I have asked God for a little more emotional support recently, and the cat's been unusually affectionate. I slept very well, the only dream I had was one about a pot roast. My hand didn't bother me at all, and I had it under my pillow, supporting my head. I started my cycle, without too much pain. Cool. I got some painkillers down first thing.

Then Ron realized I was awake. "We need to talk". Oh, no. Can I go play with a wasp nest instead? It was very, very long, mostly him complaining about how "unfairly" God has treated him and how he's so angry at Him as a result. Then, the little attacking comments like "I don't see how you can love Him."

My favorite was when he kept using the word "Stupid" to refer to me. "I get angry when you get stupid." Can we use another word? No, because that would be me controlling him, and he won't be controlled. I heard the word stupid again and again even though I kept telling him I found it hurtful.

I don't have much of a short term audio memory now, and sometimes my processing speed can slow down a little, but I find the tradeoff worthwhile. Ron just does the whole "I'm angry at God so I crap all over you" routine; again and again. "I get angry that you are so stupid" [loud groan] Then really loving comments like "I would have thought I'd have gotten more out of you, that your health wouldn't degenerate for a while yet. Even my father 'got' 30 years out of my mother. Why are you so sickly?" I take very good care of myself, thank you. His mother literally ate herself into a nursing home. Lots of "Why did God stick me with a defective like you" type comments. A little worshipping at the altar of "The Normal Woman" - "A Normal woman wouldn't have all these problems, and could do whatever I wanted." And where is she? Oh, that's right. She ran like hell when... [insert truly shameful experience for Ron] after your accident". I THOUGHT it, I didn't say it. I never will.

The only consoling thing was that he's decided he loves me again. He would never hurt me, just ask him. I told him, when you get angry, curse, scream at me, name call, etc., that is hurtful. You hurt me when you do that. If you don't want to hurt me, why are you doing this? You know it hurts me. Oh, he's not angry at me, he's angry at God. I have told him, if you're angry at God take it to Him, not to be only person who has stood by you, no matter what. He has as much as said that the dumps on me because I'm there and he thinks I will never leave.

He said "I didn't want to yell at God, because I thought He would get mad at me." I asked the question, if he is worried about God's anger then why is he treating me like this? No answer. Just "I am not mad at you, but him."

Then it was the whole "It's YOUR job to.... or else I will do it again." First it was MY JOB to remind him I'M STUPID. I was literally supposed to say that to him. "MY medication makes me stupid" when he gets angry about a side effect. Ah. No.

Then, later on, he decided to have me remind him that he is not angry at me, but God.

Thank God for my herbal stuff; today has been a migraine. I even told him, I would rather get stung by a whole HIVE of wasps than deal with more verbal abuse like I got yesterday. Or this morning.

He tried to hold my hand this morning, so I had to tell him about the wasp. That went EXACTLY as I expected. Lots of anger and yelling "At God". But he's always dumping it in MY direction.

I especially liked all the sharp comments when I told him I was doing my Bible study. I told him, if you keep sharing your thoughts, I will start sharing mine, by praying out loud. That ran him off RIGHT quick.

I am going to have a Day Out before I gnaw off one of my own limbs.

Monday, April 12, 2010

How do I do it?

By now you know, I have brain damage, I have bipolar disorder, I have a verbally and emotionally abusive husband. I'm a caregiver for said husband. We don't have much money. Now he says he wants me out of his life, even if it means going into a nursing home (it won't but if he continues to reject me I expect he may end up in a group home, or one of the hellhole "independent living" apartments).

I have a lot of stress in my life! How have I managed to keep from absolutely LOSING it? Trust me, it would be easy! If I allow myself, even when things are good in my marriage I can be CONSUMED by worry. I can have a hard time getting thoughts out of my head, it's like an annoying barnacle or leech.

How does a woman with a history of suicidal depressions keep from taking the final leap (pun intended)? Why am I beating the keys on my keyboard with a wasp-stung hand, desperate to tell you how?

Jesus. Let me tell you, I thought the depression was bad when I was 13, decades of ensuing, suicidal depressions bring the realization that as long as I'm alive, I'm never free of the pain. Never. It will ALWAYS come back, the worst horror imaginable. That's bad enough - I would have ended it right then and there, let me tell you - it would be a mercy (and why I will NEVER have children). I am NEVER free, I can only turn down the volume slightly.

That's not all kids. Let's talk about the Demons. Yeah, demons in my head. Especially bad at night. Telling me I'll die alone, and that when I do I'll do the world a favor. Telling me to hurt myself. Horrific impulse to do myself damage. Hearing things. Seeing things. Smelling things. The invisible bugs on my skin. Do you know how awful it felt when I accidentally stepped in a fire ant mound, felt them crawling on my skin, blew it off as hallucinating, again. Until the biting began; covered in huge welts from my ankle to my knee - because I'm so used to the invisible bugs. Horrible. Absolutely horrible! I can never trust my brain for a minute! I can never let my brain off the leash of medication, because it will go on a RAMPAGE. Thank God for the little red pills - one a night - no more demons, no more bugs. Thank you Jesus they went generic - they're affordable too.

If I stop my medication, the demons WILL be back. The medication could raise my risk of diabetes and certain cancers. I'll take that risk.

The manias. Oh, the manias. At first, fun, for a few years. Then, compulsions to shop, to do this, to do that. Obsessive interest in strange things. I literally could not get them out of my head. I had one heck of a libary, let me tell you! It's awful, like someone puts "uppers" in your food or something and you can't come down... I was begging to slow down, to stop, to sleep, begging for relief... none. My thoughts flying in a million different directions. It was like I was on some horrible roller coaster I couldn't stop. Screaming, begging to get off. And when it's over? The depression, demons, etc.

Let's stop there for a minute. What did I have to live for? I mean, really? I have brain damage - I can't even drive a car! I will be dependent on public transportation for my entire life. I don't have the option of that country place - it's not on the bus line. I have to watch TV with the captioning on or I don't comprehend the programming!

That's not all. So, I'm damaged, and mentally ill on top of that. I didn't come with a manual. My family did their best - but I didn't come with a manual. I didn't get the Fetal Alcohol diagnosis until I was 17 years, 9 months old! Safe to say a few mental scars. None of it intended.

I launch right out of that into a severly codependent relationship. Drinking, being cheated on, etc. Wouldn't marry me. Lots of work difficulties because of my illnesses (bosses, I am sorry, I know I wasn't easy). My only surprise, looking back, is that I was not fired MORE OFTEN. I got my GED. College is really, really, hard because of that damaged audio processing circuit in my head; and the professor doesn't come with closed-captioning subtitles! [off topic, now I know I would do well with online learning]

When I went to apply for Social Security, after Ron's accident, I was worried that my income would interfere with his check. The worker pulled up my work history and laughed. "Based on your work history, you will NEVER make enough to interfere with his check. Never!" Ouch. So, let's add a crappy earning potential to the equation.

Oh, remember the guy who wasn't treating me right? He opened his own business and had me working 16 hour days. Demanding is a good word to describe him. He acted as though his entire future rode on my back; I had to carry the load or we'd both go down in flames.

On me. Me. Maybe now would be a good time to scroll up and reread. How did I do that? I'll tell you, but not yet.

Now, let's add some drama! That guy, gets hit by a reckless drive on his way to work. I am fired from my job, the rent money was stolen, and he's on life support! And EVERYONE is blaming me for the accident because he was walking alone! He had me up until 11 the night before, working on an accounting report.

At that point, I have no real emotional or moral support. I am mentally ill, about to be evicted, I have brain damaged, people are trying to put a tremendous load of guilt onto me. I am jobless. I can't even get home to feed the cats, because the buses weren't running. Not one of his family members thought to give me a ride home.

Why am I still breathing? Why haven't I been crushed under these huge loads? Why did I listen to "Be Happy" as I typed this?

I'm with Jesus. I turned my life over to him at age 8, and then again after my first suicidal depression. I realized I would carry a very heavy load for my entire life, and if I had to, I wanted a Friend. I wanted someone to carry my burdens day by day, because He is the God who saves me. He has carried me! Just the burden of my depressions alone would have killed me, but whenever I need Him, He's there. He NEVER leaves me, ever. If He had, I wouldn't have made it. I can cry to Him, any time of the day or night, and He'll answer.

Often, I may not like the answer. He has told me again and again, to stick with Ron, when it would have been a lot "easier" to have left. After his accident, no one thought he'd recover. He'd live, but what would live and how much daily care would "it" need? No one had any answers. God told me, stick with him, and I'll give you what you need. He did. I couldn't have been a solo, 24/7 caregiver for someone in his condition, any other way.

Today has been difficult. Things will not get easy anytime soon. I will always have major external problems in my life, in addition to the burdens of two disabilities.

But I am NEVER, ever, alone. I will go where He sends me and ask him to give me the strength to carry whatever load He gives me. I will LEARN and grow from every trial, becoming a better and better servant of His. I have been in the Valley of the Shadow of Death; and I'll be back. He's always with me.

That's the only thing that matters. He IS with me.

Physical vs. Mental

It's interesting. I'm hurting emotionally; I'm hurting physically.

The physical pain was "my" fault. I reached into something in the backyard without looking, and got stung by that nasty-looking wasp (see photo below). Not that one, but a friend! It hurt a pretty good amount. I would describe it as stabbing and firey at first. As the hand began to swell, it morphed into crushing, grinding, and good old stabbing again. Right now, it hurts at about a 2-3 on a 1-10 scale, not bad enough, in my opinion, to warrant an over the counter pain medication. It's a stabbing, crushing kind of thing.

I would love to think that my hideous history of migraines has raised my pain tolerance. I would love to think all that pain wasn't "wasted". Maybe it's true. I did feel able to cook and do a whole sinkful of dishes. I use hot! water too. Not just hot; hot!

It's a sad realization that the physical pain is far "easier" than the emotional pain. I have really been leaning on God today; it reminds me of right after Ron's accident when things were rather similar. I had no idea what the future held. The same applies now. I don't know what tomorrow will hold for us; but I do know he has stated repeatedly that he feels "stuck", doesn't want to live with me, and has stated that if he met me as I am now, he would not have "chosen" me (because I am "too broken").

How does anyone handle that, after they have sacrified everything to love someone for 18 years? Suddenly I'm told I'm not enough, and he doesn't want me in his life. I even begged him, before the wedding, to "Make sure" he wanted the whole package; because it would have been easy to split at that point and time.

Instead, afraid of the future (he has told me this), he decided to stick with the sure bet. Again, after I was diagnosed with my illness, I asked him to really consider our relationship. He said my illness was "No Big Deal", and told me he was happy I had "Gotten an answer".

Now, my symptoms are well-managed, my medication is cheap, and he's decided it's "Too much trouble" to love me! I'd have rather been stung by a whole HIVE.

Consolation

Ron needs to realize, not everyone is consoled by his "Don't worry, the end of the world is coming soon" speech.  Agh.