Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve

Depression came. 

[sigh]  I'll do a year in review blog tomorrow. 

I feel cheated.  My mania was stolen.  I was morphed into an evil, evil, person.  No one seems to have noticed but I'm good at fronting. 

I am a little worried about getting sick.  Everyone, from deliverymen, repairman, and the other vendor's "main guy" have ALL been sick.  They've all been around me. 

Interestingly enough, the drivers have been healthy.  I have various non-drowsy remedies for them, should they ever need them. 

I've also put it out on the grapevine at work - I have headache tablets (generic excedrin).  People are happy to hear it but I haven't had any takers.  I'm not permitted (literally) to sell remedies but I can certainly give them away. 

I get a lot of headaches and I know how they suck.  I wouldn't want to know I could have helped someone, but didn't.  

I also have some hard ginger candy drops for upset stomach - a lot of that, at work.  Twice this year, someone came up to me and said "I just vomited, I need a really cold drink".  This happened once during the Ebola outbreak. 

I was pretty seriously freaked, but I made sure I got him what he needed. 

So, not only was my mania stolen, the depression's back.  I can tell it was a bad mania by my lips. 


When I am manic I bite, chew, and lick my lips.  They are now horribly chapped.  That only happens during a pretty serious mania.  If you know me, look at my mouth.  If my lips are badly chapped I'm either manic, or coming off. 

My neighbors are doing the usual fireworks mayhem, so I locked the cats inside.  They seem pretty content.  Torbie is curled up next to me, all plump and cute. 

She sleeps with me most nights, in no small part to the new positioning of the bed.  She is now firmly planted under the heater vent.  She loves it.  I love her sleeping with me, although I wish she'd sleep near my shoulder, like the boys did.  I wouldn't have to worry about squashing her. 

She's a good girl.  I'm glad she picked me.  

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I see God working in him

Ron shouted at me yesterday because he felt I made a "stupid" mistake.  It wasn't that simple, he failed to communicate what he wanted and I didn't remember our inventory. 

Anyway, today at work, while stocking a machine, he suddenly stopped dead and turned to me.  "I'm sorry I yelled at you yesterday" he said, his face full of regret.  "Stupid brain injury, but that's no excuse.  I shouldn't have yelled at you.  Will you forgive me?" 

Of course I did. 

I've said this before: I see God working in him. 

Who's to say

Today was a little rough. 

I got to sleep until 6, took my shower, (God Time later), and went to the warehouse.  We got a few things, went to work, and stocked.  Sales are, as expected, dead. 

Happily Ron and I can live cheap, and we can use a little time off. 

I was NOT happy when I left our area and was confronted with a huge photo of the EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH: the man who ran over my husband.  I had to look at him smirking at the camera.  It is a large photo. 

It is, unfortunately, right next to the doors to the lunchroom, so I'm stuck looking at him for the duration. 

Like I said, Not Happy.  Am I pissed?  No.  More hurt at constant reminders of the worst pain in my life (Ron isn't the only one who suffered), reminders that the guy "got away with it" - walking around with everything working, never charged (because the officer stole money from Ron as he lay in the road), driving an even bigger truck now, still just as bad a driver (he almost took out the other blind vendor not long ago, as he recklessly drove a forklift around a corner at a high rate of speed), seemingly having learned NOTHING from all that pain we endured. 

I am also sick of reminders popping up in my face like some kind of demented jack-in-the-box.  I just want to forget it.  However, I'm not allowed to forget.  I either fall over him in the hallway, he nearly runs over us with the damned forklift, I see him driving his truck, he comes over to us and makes jokes as he looks at Ron in the wheelchair, always with that damned smirk.  That's all just this year. 

Ugh.  I ranted for a bit, at Ron (poor man, bad enough he's run over, now I'm going to bitch about the driver).  I finally decided I would put a VENDOR OF THE MONTH photo next to the "employee" one, with a photo of Ron in his wheelchair.  If we have to look at you, you have to look at us.  

It's a nice thought.  Will I do anything?  No, of course not.  I just avoid him if at all possible because it's entirely possible I'd shout at him.  I wouldn't get physical, worst case just yell at him.  God has gotten me from wanting to kill him, to wanting to beat him with a pipe, to wanting to shout at him (not usually these days), to just wanting to avoid him.  I hope to pass that one day and view the man with complete indifference.

I don't like that seeing one person can mess up my whole day like that. 

Will I put up Ron's photo?  Will I deface the driver's?  No. 

At the core of it, he has to live with knowing he put a man in a wheelchair.  I did see him flinch when looking at Ron, recently, so I think he feels a lot more than he lets on. 

He doesn't realize, it would be a lot easier for me if he did let on that he felt bad about it. 

But then, [shrug] who's to say he even wants me to feel better? 

Monday, December 29, 2014


Ron's been terrorizing the thermostat for a while, hitting it.  It is now currently pulled out and taped back on the wall, sideways. 

Ron has been drinking since we got home from work, and decided to call Rick the Electrician.  Rick has helped us with some small jobs around the house, over the years.  Kitchen light fixture.  Ceiling fan.  Bad outlet.  That kind of thing. 

The [shrug] usual small household electrical jobs. 

Ron finally called Rick to work on the thermostat.  It shouldn't take much.  I think it just needs to be taken off and remounted.  It does work, it just has an intermittent connection. 

I just wish Ron had waited on the drinking.  He's a little ornery. 

I have to remind myself I don't need to be embarrassed.  Am *I* acting appropriately?  If I am, then I should have no shame.  If Ron is acting badly, I remind myself, it only makes him look bad.  I don't have to receive the embarrassment, etc. 

A good example.  We went to the warehouse after work.  Ron kept saying he needed "Can Cokes".  What he meant was "Can Diet Cokes".  I bought what he asked for, verifying it a couple of times, and he was livid when he found out he got the regular Cokes.  He was yelling at me, in the vehicle, in front of the driver. 

I told Ron to cut it out, the driver didn't deserve it.  She said it was OK, but at the same time she was rubbing the back of her neck and flicking her hair nervously. 

"No, it's not alright" I said.  Ron finally did cork it, but it was very awkward in the vehicle.  I am certain the driver hopes she never sees us again. 

 Later, we were discussing our guy with a truck.  I said I don't like funding his "generous boyfriend" arrangements.  He pays most, if not all living expenses, etc... in exchange for...

I said I didn't feel I could support that lifestyle, as a Christian, and one reason I did not want to just give him money (other than hiring him to drive us or taking him to lunch).  I told Ron (because the truck is broken, again) if he wanted to pay for the repair, pay the shop, I wouldn't have a problem with that as long as we had an "in exchange for X trips to work". 

When we have loaned him money (which I hated due to the above), he never paid us back on time.  Ron had to scream at him, several times, months after the agreed upon repayment date, in order to get repaid. 

Ron and I agreed if we ever give him cash (not paying for rides), we will just make it a gift.  

Ron called him and told him I didn't want to "support his girlfriends".  I was horrified.  I assumed it would have been confidential. 

While I feel it's a moral thing, I don't believe in moralizing people who are, essentially, unreached.  Calling someone a sinner just pisses them off.  Ron says the guy found it "funny".  I hope so. 

I would have just said, "I'll pay the mechanic if you give us ___ rides" and left it at that.  I wouldn't have said, ever "I will only pay the mechanic because we don't want you to spend it on your [woman]" (so to speak, which I believe is pretty much how Ron conveyed it). 

Now, I could be really embarrassed.  Or I could just say, Ron's the one who did that, not me.  And Ron drinks enough that it might not be my viewpoint after all.  [shrug] 

If it comes up, I'll just say "What you do with your life is your business".  I don't need to moralize him.  It would just piss him off. 

So, back to the electrician. 

Ron was pretty obviously drunk during the visit.  I found that awkward and, yes, embarrassing.  They (2 of them) kept looking from him back to me like "Do you know he's sloshed?"

Yeah, I do.

At least he was a good tipper.  

Video blog

I worked an 11 hour day, this was part of it: 

Part 2:

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Fish you

Ugh, it's nice to feel a little better. 

[shaking my fist] Curse you fish oil!  Fish you! 

Ron has been pretty awesome.  We went to lunch with my aunt and uncle and he swore he really didn't notice any changes in my mood. 

"Maybe" I shared "I'm better at masking my symptoms than I thought."  

I slept in and woke up around 8 with a mild headache.  Half asleep, I took some Excedrin.  Not a bright idea when I'm manic. 

However, I was winding down so I was OK.  I couldn't sleep anymore.  I finished "A Street Cat Named Bob".  It's a very sweet book.  James, Bob's human, certainly went through the wringer.  So did Bob! 

I took my shower and did part of my God Time.  My thoughts weren't in a place where I felt my prayers would be worthwhile. 

I downloaded a couple of books (one free, one $3) to my Kindle.  I'll have some good reading for a while now.  I could tell I wasn't really manic when "just" two books sounded fine. 

My paternal grandmother was a librarian.  I think she would have loved a Kindle (she died a month after Ron's accident). 

Speaking of, my aunt and uncle came and got us.  It was very cold (for Houston, in the low 40's), overcast, and drizzly.  It wasn't very windy but otherwise pretty miserable. 

Ron took the walker and did well.  We had a good lunch and conversation. 

My aunt told me we have yet another "crazy" relative.  One of my second cousins was psychotic bipolar.  She was always "off" but got worse as she grew older.  She died a few years back. 

Now another relative, on the other side of the family, has become paranoid and delusional.  This person sent my aunt a very bizarre Christmas card. 

My aunt is one of those "made of sugar" people.  I have never seen her ugly to anyone, ever.  Never gossips.  Before my wedding, she opened her home to so many people they were sleeping on the floor.  Not everyone took her up on the offer but she was more than willing. 

A few nights after Ron's accident, she dragged me home from the hospital, gave me a nightgown, washed my clothes, returned them, and tucked me into her pull-out under a quilt my grandmother made.  Then she arranged for a friend to give me a ride to the hospital the next morning. 

Safe to say, she is one of my favorite people.  She was also my escape hatch the few times Ron has been threatening during a blackout.  They came and got me, 3 times, and put me up for a few days until Ron came back to himself. 

If anything, I worry they do too much.  I really worry about me, or someone else, taking advantage, but she also has really good boundaries. 

At any rate, I found it very funny when I mentioned crazy running in the family.  She grinned at me, patted my shoulder, and said "Both sides of your Dad's family and God knows what on your mother's.  You never had a chance, Heather!" 

True!  [laughing]  Happily, I seem to be the only "mental" in my generation.  All of her boys are very stable and nearly all are happily married with children.  My uncle adopted special needs and traumatized children, so it's hard to say there, but his biological daughter is pretty normal.  I'm my Dad's only biological child. 

I'm glad no one else deals with this.  I wouldn't wish it on an enemy and my Dad's family are pretty awesome. 

We had an excellent lunch.  We came home and did a little gift exchange, and I showed off my "new" bed.  They were happy for me.  The cats were friendly, but not overly so. 

Overall, a good time. 

That's two "date nights" in a row with Ron.  It's really important to get quality time with him when I can, because so much of our time revolves around daily living, work, etc.  We don't often have the time to focus on just each other. 

I know some of you think 1.  I have my head up my ass  or 2.  I am a hopeless romantic, regarding Ron.  I think I'm pretty realistic. 

In the time I did spend at Al-anon, and the books I was able to read (most of them just talked about the excellence of the program, which didn't impress me at my local location), I did learn it's important to enjoy the good times, to value the highlights in a personality. 

It's important not to take the drinking personally.  For whatever reason, it's how they cope. 

I had enough of an experience with pain pills, before an operation, to scare the crap out of myself.  In my case God gave me the good common sense to flush them when I realized I had a problem.  After 2 weeks I was liking them a little too much.  I was also still taking them as directed but probably not for long, had I continued. 

I can see why someone would want to ingest a substance so they don't feel anymore, and I think that's a lot of what drives Ron.  He is in physical pain.  He has issues. 

I'm not stupid. I know what he can do.  I know he is going to drink every day, for now.  I know, on occasion, he will be completely obnoxious and repellent.   I know he often resorts to verbal abuse. 

I know, most of the time, he is not like that. 

I did get him to agree to see a dentist.  "It's going to be a crown" he told me.  "Half the back molar is gone".  That must have been one horrendous blackout. 

"A crown is $300" (with our discount plan) I told him.  "A root canal is over a thousand!"  He gulped.  "I'll make the appointment." 

That's on my list of things I wish Ron would do; take better care of his teeth.  I really don't want to "fool" with his dentures.  I've heard that's pretty awful. 

I have hereditary gum disease and ferocious dry mouth, but I brush regularly and take mineral supplements.  For now, I'm fine. 

[sigh]  And that was my day. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Brains in the blender

A week of having snarling pitbulls in my head, frayed to the last nerve, extremely irritable, helpless, accellerated, volatile, and just plain evil.... I finally figured it out. 

Curse you fish oil!  This all started when you did!  Oh!  I could have saved myself all of that, and looking like an ass in front of the neighbors, online, etc. 

Ron, however, says, complete sincerity in his voice "You weren't that bad.  You had all that going on?  I had no idea."  I feel he was just being too generous but he doesn't lie about my moods. 

Oh, I am exhausted.  Absolutely exhausted.  Not more than a little embarrassed as well, and terrified.  It is so easy to mess me up. 

A simple over the counter remedy, heartburn pills, second generation antihistamines, anti-nausea drugs, all of it can put my brains in the blender.  People wonder why I "don't take anything" for the migraines - the most common drug makes me freak out, too. 

I can't even take Excedrin because the caffeine makes me manic!  When depressed, I might take a dose or two over the course of the day, but manic it's horrendous. 

When I started the fish oil, it took a day to become manic.  I am hoping, once I stop the fish oil, it will only take a day to switch out into something resembling a baseline mood. 

Depression even, would be better than this. 

Oh, I have been through hell. 

Some of you may wonder why I "put up with" Ron.  He's very disabled.  Has a head injury.  Enjoys making horrifying and inappropriate comments.  Eats like a barbarian and has to be dragged into the bath.  He drinks, every night.  Has the occasional blackout.  "Works you like a dog" - Ron's words, not mine. 

But he wasn't fazed, in the least bit, by all this crap. 

That scores big points. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Make it stop!

Today was just awful. 

I'll start with the icepick at my brainstem, waking me up around midnight.  Oh, it was hellish.  I was already manic and not sleeping well after telling the neighbors to stay out of my yard (again!). 

Unlike my typical migraine, this one started right under my occipital bone, right above my spinal cord.  For a minute I wondered if I had another health problem. 

When I had good health insurance, and a lot of migraines, they used to to the "headache neuro check" to make sure I wasn't having an infectious process, or a stroke.  I ran through that really quick and realized I had nothing to worry about. 

I laid in bed for a while, battling, my thoughts roaring like a waterfall.  The mania was as bad as the headache, which rated as a good 8 on a 1-10. 

Why didn't I go to the hospital?  Obscene copays.  And this ain't my first rodeo.  I have had hundreds of migraines in my life, especially lately, thank you menopause. 

I can't imagine anything worse than sitting in a waiting room with a horrific migraine, for hours.  I'd rather die at home! 

I took some excedrin.  Generic.  It took some of the edge off but I didn't sleep much for the rest of the night.  4 hours to the minute found me taking another dose. 

As I told the other vendor, later in the day "I've had 8 Excedrin just since midnight".  I need to find a new analgesic. 

Caffeine is explosive as regards a mania.  I mean, apocalyptic.  I was freaking out, it felt like 5 savage pit bulls fighting it out in my head, all day long.  Add to that the feeling of extreme anxiety, fatigue, physical pain, and profound desperation to make it stop!  

Horrific.   I wouldn't wish it on an enemy.

Did I get some bad lithium?  I have to wonder.  I feel like it's a sugarpill.  If this continues I will get my level tested (In Texas, I can just walk into certain labs, wave some money, and say "Gimmie a lithium level, please")  It does involve a blood draw but in my experience the lab "girls" are excellent. 

When I donated blood, they would tie my arm tightly, slap it abusively, and get in there with a wide bore needle.  The lab girls are very polite.  I always tell them "You have to tie it up and slap it, no, tighter, be mean to it!" as we laugh.  Once I've lost the feeling in my fingers she can get a good stick.  "Oh, there it is!" 

I have an elusive vein. 

Anyway, I'll figure out the lithium thing.  If it's not the lithium level maybe we can add some more Depakote.  We have a lot of mood stabilizers in the woodshed, to give this mood a good beating! 

Ugh.  Horrific. 

I am so glad I never had children.  I would hate to watch them suffer with this. 

That's one good thing I remember about my birth mother.  When she was diagnosed bipolar (at 48!) she begged my Dad and adoptive Mom to get me checked out.  She didn't want me to suffer, unmedicated, the way she had.  I think she'd be pretty proud of my commitment to medication and a boring lifestyle. 

Good news, today was supposed to be truck day, but the truck was acting up.  Thank you Jesus I didn't have to load 40 some cases in and out of the truck, onto the carts, up the ramp, etc, with the migraine.  I would have done it, but oh, it would have sucked. 

I also had a nice sleep with Torbie last night.  She laid down with me during my nap today, and I had a pretty good one considering I'm manic. 

I was able to to my God Time when I got up, so I did.  The girls (cats) hung out with me and got treats. 

Ron was very supportive and kept the negativity to a minimum, drank a little, and is sleeping. 

I'm listening to music with the headphones on so I don't disturb him. 

Some clarification on my sister

Sorry.  I'm not always coherent when manic.  Too many thoughts flying around. 

She was 16 when I was born.  Because our mother was completely unfit, at some point she left school for a while to care of us both. 

She got involved in a cult about that time.  I have witnessed classic cult behavior and recruiting techniques when around her "church".  They even got to decide if she "could" divorce her husband, the word "shunned" was used, etc. 

You should have seen her elder freak when I mentioned free Bible handouts and ghetto evangelism.  He began babbling some "holy mumble" and ran off. 

So, she left school briefly (she did not drop out FOREVER to care for me and even if she had, that's on our mother, not me), the truant officer caught on to the home situation quickly, and basically as a result of that, and some other things, my parents marriage broke up. 

Everyone agrees my mother left my Dad, who kept me and my sister, even though she is not "his" biologically.  She married a man very like my Dad, later.  I found that interesting.  My Dad raised her from about age 12, but Mom sucked her into all kinds of sick codependent enabling. 

So, she lived with us, but decided she wanted to go live with the cult.  My Dad objected.  She did the whole "You're not my real dad" thing and literally left through the bedroom window, running into the arms of the cult (where she remains some 40 years later). 

She got very into the cult, graduated high school (see I didn't "ruin her life" as you might have believed), and even got some college under her belt.  She has a lot of chronic health problems but did work for the federal government for some time.  She seemed to like that pretty well. 

Still in the cult, recruiting other young and vulnerable girls for the cult (she was quite proud of that), met her husband in the cult.  Married him.  Had 3 kids.  Had some financial struggles until he got into programming.

She visited me some, but I remember her as a vaguely disapproving woman who kept trying to shove me into her cult, which I found downright WEIRD.  Even has a kid I just wanted to run like hell.  I remember one time she screamed at me to eat some green beans vinagrette even though I hated them.  She yelled at me as I gagged them down because her friend had made them and she didn't want the lady to "feel bad if I threw them out". 

She did apologetics for our mother, oh, Mom is sick, you have to understand her.  I just wanted someone to hug me when I came home from school.  I was getting that, but not from my "real" mom.  I remember my sister would get very upset when I called my adoptive mom, Mom.

She came to visit when I became suicidally depressed at age 13, glaring at Dad and my adoptive Mom as if my brain chemistry were somehow their fault.  Blame?   It was the workplace shooter who shot up Dad's office (a few months prior to my crash), and the godawful Prozac.  That stuff is a suicide monster in teens.  I'm one of the reasons they know that. 

She would send gifts now and then, but no real contact. 

When I moved out of my Dad's house, I decided to cut off ALL contact with everyone (even my beloved Daddy) for a while.  I made up pretty quick with Dad, although he continued to chide me about education, my weight, and living in sin.  I was OK with that because I understand it comes from a place of love.  He had the balls to say "You're living in sin". 

He admitted a while back he would have liked to "Have an engineer, but an evangelist is a much higher calling."  It also took him a very long time to accept my disabilities, I think, in part because he feels he "should" have stopped the drinking. 

Dad did what he could.  At one point he poured out all the alcohol and she drank the vanilla. 

So, I forged on, not speaking to my adoptive mother (for many reasons), my half sister, or my mother.  Someone who had experience with my birth mother told me I might not want to "find" her, ever, because she came with a heavy load of drama.

I didn't "find" her before her death, and I don't regret that.  Everyone who had any contact said she was highly unstable, prone to hysterical dramas, the typical bipolar alcoholic.

I have two good memories of my mother: one time she had a root canal, she came for visitation (I only saw her about a dozen times after she left my Dad, and Dad left the door open as long as she was sober).  Her friend asked about the pain pills.  Mom looked at me and said "I can't see Heather if I take them".  So, I had that.  At least she did want to see me in her own misfit way.

Another time, during another visit, she saw me watching her smoke.  She made me swear I would never smoke, ever, said she was enslaved, hated it, and didn't want me to bind myself to that (I am a little more poetic than she was).  I thought that was cool she wanted to protect me from tobacco addiction.  When I told Dad, he was pretty happy to hear that.

Back to my sister, raising her kids, homeschooling the older two.  The youngest had a learning disability and went mainstream in junior high, doing very well.  All of the kids are unreal. 

I found her online (she has a very odd last name), after Ron's accident and got back in touch. 

Not only do the kids look like supermodels, they are fit and active.  They are compassionate, sweet, amazing, people.  They are also incredibly intelligent.  One is in Law School.  Oh, and artistic.  They all play instruments, well, draw, sing, etc.

They are all, also, out of the cult.  They ran pretty quick.

My sister, however, dug in like a tick.  The hoarding escalated to massive levels.  An example, when moving from a 3 bedroom to a two bedroom, across town (maybe 10-15 miles), it cost her over a thousand dollars.

When Ron and I moved into the house from a two bedroom duplex, it cost us $175.  That includes a cardio machine and my weight set.

The house got worse every time I visited.  Last time, she said "I think you can get to the bathroom".  I could, barely, but I had to go sideways.  I have to pee a LOT, taking lithium.  It was hell.  She had stuff everywhere, with little "pig trails" running through.  If the house caught on fire we all would have died.  The firemen would have died.  There was no access or escape.  I would lie in bed at night, wondering about bugs, and fire.

Her cat got sick and she couldn't find the animal for a week (in the hoard), then, finding out it was terminal, took it home and refused to put it down for over a week, even though the animal was clearly in pain.  Just because the vet says it's not hurting, doesn't make it true.  That poor animal (I liked her) suffered terribly because she couldn't "bear to let her go".

She found out her husband was high-functioning autistic.  She read up on it.  "I thought he could be fixed with counseling" she basically told me "But he can't, so I'm divorcing him."

Gee.  Good thing Ron didn't pull that when I came up crazy!

In 2009 I was assaulted at the bus stop and covered in bruises.  It was pretty traumatic, but I prayed for the guy every time I had a flashback.  I turned it over to God and He helped me through it.   A few months later she was also assaulted by a black man. 

It turned her into a complete bigot.  She had an absolute s**t fit when I rolled her window down and offered two black men, at the bus stop, Bibles.  She then put the window locks on so I could only give them to "the right sort". 

She knew I did this.  I was very clear.  Why is it suddenly a problem? 

So, after the assault she started getting workers comp counseling, which was supposed to evolve into marriage counseling (her husband didn't like the therapist, neither did I, but that's later), so it became personal counseling, 3x a week, on the worker's comp dime. 

I have major issues with that.  As Christians, we are not supposed to engage in fraud.  She was very clear she was getting personal counseling on the worker's comp ticket, and both her and the therapist were pretty smug about it.  I thought it was awful. 

The therapist was also an atheist.  The Bible is really clear on that: NO. 

Psalm 1:1-2: Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
    Nor stands in the path of sinners,
    Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.

If we get counseling, it needs to be from a Christian.  Someone with a well-worn Bible on their desk, who does God Time before coffee, etc.  A spiritual leader, basically, which is why many Christians go to the pastor (I never have).  

The atheist basically talked her into defrauding workers comp and divorcing her husband.  That totally backfired on her.  

I believe my sister thought she could divorce him and keep the family.  It doesn't work that way.  His family were furious at her.  

In fact, when hubby's grandmother died they didn't tell her.  When my sister found out she had hysterics because "I loved her so much and it reminds me of when Mom died.  My daughter thought she'd have to put me in the hospital, I [carried on so]."  

Uh, you divorced all of them when you signed the papers.  You didn't see this coming?  More important, the therapist didn't walk you through expectations as you went through the divorce process?  "You know they will hate you for this..."  

This is what precipitated me asking for a break, I got some counsel on this because I want to walk in righteousness.  

So, not a lot of blood relatives. My sister is the problem. Actually she is my half sister, 16 years older than me.

1. She is in a cult, "The Local Church". I won't get into a lot of detail, but a good example, they have to do everything the lay "elders" tell them to do, or be shunned. I don't like the way they get kids to join - love-bombing vulnerable kids away from home at college. They have to have church meetings in their homes. They scream O Lord Jesus in a sexual way during services, which I find very disturbing. They also believe Jesus became the Holy Spirit after His ascendancy. Their "Bible" has more commentary than it does scripture. She has told me she really wants me to get into that church, dragged me to her church against my will repeatedly, and told me "My biggest dream is for you to join MY church". The home church is important for reasons you will later see.

My Dad told me, years ago, his biggest dream for me was for me to find "A good Bible believing church". Big difference. I did, thank You very much (salute to God).

2. She is a very negative, toxic, person. She used to be much brighter years ago, but has gotten into negativity loops. She has problems with depression, I get that, boy do I get that - but you have to fight. I have tried to tell her that. Take your medication, surrender your problems to Jesus and try to be happy where you're planted (my solution). Her solution was "therapy".

3. Her therapist is an atheist Jew. When I went out for a family wedding years ago, my sister screamed at me "DON'T give her a Bible" which I found rather rude. I was dragged to "counseling" against my will and told I married my husband because I "needed someone dependent who would never leave me". I don't agree! Now, this is my opinion but when a Christian seeks counseling I think the counselor should be a believer.

4. She and her therapist are defrauding worker's comp for the sessions, about a thousand dollars a week for going on 3 and a half years. I have major objections to this. We are supposed to be lights in the world. We are not supposed to damage our witness through fraud and theft. God will not bless that kind of "therapy".

5. She has shared with me on several occasions how "I really told my boss - whatever, I didn't have any sick time but my daughter's grandfather in law died (true story) so I took a week off work to 'help' her." On another occasion, she told her boss "Fire me! I'm taking the day off." These were not for her many health issues. Another time she took days off work and almost had to be hospitalized in the special place because her ex-grandmother-in-law died and the ex family didn't tell her for a couple days.

6. She hates my husband and is always bringing up his past mistakes.

7. She is a hoarder. If she has a fire, she and firemen are going to die. It was so bad I could barely get in the bathroom. She has an abundance of excuses, but at the end of the day the hoarding is worse since she started counseling.

8. She wants me to be her caregiver, dropping heavy hints about how she "needs someone to be my medical advocate at the hospital - I got sick in the middle of the night and they were talking about surgery. What if I were unconcious?"

9. Following that, she mentioned moving to Houston.

So, here's the question.

Do you think it is Biblical to write her a letter, listing some of the issues (like the fraud issue, which I will send to home email and not work), objections to church, etc.?

I will also let her know under no circumstances can I help her in Houston. She is an extremely unsafe driver even in a small town. IMO she should lose her license.

I believe she wants me to be her caregiver, with and end goal of moving in with me. I cannot do that. I can take care of me, and Ron. I am already disabled and only God gives me the juice to do what I can.

I would also never let her live with me due to the cult and apostate wierdos running around in my home.

My two choices, as I see it, are continue to duck her calls, or write her the letter, lay it out, deal with the guilt trip sobbing "How can you do this to me!" and get it over with. I am leaning towards the latter. I shouldn't be afraid to answer my cell phone - it only has one ringtone.

Thank you for reading my book

Everyone agreed it wouldn't hurt to take a break.  I respect these guys tremendously.

I wrote an email:
I hate confrontation, so I have been avoiding you. However, that isn't fair, or Biblical. The Bible says I need to confront you on those issues.

First, I love you. I know you were pretty much my primary caregiver when I was little. I remember waiting in my crib, listening for the door to close, indicating you were home. Your cat was a huge comfort to me, too. I have a lot of memories, crying neglected in my crib until the cat showed up to comfort me. She endured a fair amount of grabbiness, but would always move out of the crib, just out of reach, if I got too rambunctious.

Dad isn't easy, I understand why you left. You felt you had discovered a wonderful new thing and had to explore it. I can't say how you were feeling but I do know your church is very good at paying a lot of attention to lost and hurting people. They gave you the love and attention you probably never had at home, and you didn't want to give that up.

Dad saw it differently - you getting sucked into a cult, and did what he could to "protect" you.

Let me be clear here. I do not like your church. I do not like their methods. I do not like their theology. I will never join your church. I have one. It took me forever to find but I am glad I did.

Frankly, I am very angry at your church. I feel they have hurt you tremendously. I get angry when I hear you talking about your church, but I learned to be very good at hiding my feelings.

I often wonder how you would have turned out without them.

I don't see any joy in Jesus in your life, just a tremendous weight on your back. Jesus loves us! He died for us! That is a source of ongoing amazement for me.

I wish you would get a regular Bible, not a recovery one, and spend 20 minutes reading it day and night. Pray for your enemies, all of them (You won't receive this when I tell you on the phone), pray for people who hurt you (as I'm sure you feel I have).

God helped me "recover" from my mugging very quickly, because I did it God's way (by the way, I was black and blue up and down both arms for weeks - it was not some guy trying to grab my bag and run away like you think). I did it God's way: pray for those who tried to hurt me (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:28). When I had a flashback, I prayed for him. When I did my God Time (for me, morning and evening) I prayed for him. Now I'm praying good things for him every day and I truly want him saved.

You took "man's" way after your assault, therapy and medication. You are still hurting.

Which brings me to another issue. I have ALWAYS respected you as a moral person. I was horrified and very disappointed to hear that your therapist is billing all your sessions to "Workers Comp". That's fraud and theft. You are not talking about the assault in every session, or even most of them. That is, by my calculation (you said $300 a session, 3 a week), over 45 thousand dollars. You are depriving a truly injured worker - hurt on the job and not just wanting "whole life counsel" - of the care they need. Money is not endless. Someone is being denied because you are doing this.

Are you better? I see you more depressed, I see you baiting your boss to fire you (go ahead and fire me, taking time off when Daniel's grandfather died - and no boss will understand that). I see myself, as an employer, working sick, and think I would have fired you years ago.

I see a completely hoarded apartment that will get you evicted one day. Stuff is not worth it. Memories are in your head, not in a storage unit. Most of our family was not much of a treat to be remembered, anyway. Just be glad they're at peace now.

I will never visit you again - there are huge health risks in hoarding. I had to fight my way to the bathroom, every time. One day something will fall on you or one of the cats, or you'll slip. Firemen will die if you have a fire because they won't have access. I keep thinking of poor Cappy, hidden for days in "the pile", slowly dying of cancer, the house so hoarded you didn't even know it.

Yes, I am blunt. I am sure you are pissed at me. But I want you to think about this: years of "therapy" and YOU ARE NOT BETTER. You are WORSE. I believe she is out to "milk" you and the system.

My greatest dream for you would be for you to fire the "therapist", read a standard Bible daily (I like NKJV), and and find a Calvary Chapel in your area. They are a wonderful bunch. All the best of your "church" without all the domination. [ link] You can watch a sermon online from home. See what you think. They are a wonderfully accepting group. One day Ron forgot to change his shirt and went there "dirty" and wrinkled. They could not have been nicer to us. They welcome anyone as they are.

I was reading one of my online message boards and someone was talking about a very negative, toxic, family member. You have become that person.

No, I'm not.

Remember the night before Sarah's wedding? How you screamed at her, cried, laid guilt trips on her? Then called Aaron and screamed and cried how everything was ruined?

  [My adoptive Mom] did not do that the night before my wedding. She did everything to support me.

I had to play peacemaker, which I did by making "crazy jokes" until you settled down.

I can't recall you talking about anything happy for more than a few minutes before you go back to the negativity.

I have enough in my life already. I cannot take your negativity, your bad decisions, etc, any more. I need a break. Please do not call me for 6 months. You have become the most negative person I know.

Sometimes, after you call, it takes me days to get over it, because I'm already battling a horrible depression. I need good energy in my life, especially from my family.

I love you. I hope you will reread this letter, and ask God to show you His will. I will send you a NKJV Bible. I hope you read it. The stuff your church hands out should be burned.

Thank you for reading this. I pray you take at least some of my advice. 

 She did not respect my decision.  She stalked me for months and even called my stepmother, pretending to be "worried about Heather because she's acting crazy".  Mom went Mama Bear on her.  [short]  She is pretty good at defending her young   I'm sure my sister thinks my evil husband has forced me into this. 

No, Ron kept saying I shouldn't, but once he saw the stalking he agreed.  We had to get caller blocking.  She started using other phones to text me and call.  I didn't take them, and deleted the texts.  She still tries to text me on occasion but I just delete them. 

She proved to me she does not respect me or value me.  If she had, she would have left me alone.  She, instead, said "F*** what you want, I need you to validate me!" 

I do not have time for that. 

She'd also made it more and more apparent she wanted me to leave Ron - whenever Ron made even a minor mistake, she'd talk about how I could move in with her.  How she would get me in a special jobs program.  No, I'd say, I've made a commitment and he's not evil.

She wanted, at the bottom of it, for me to be her mother.  I was to move in with her and take care of her, the way our mother never did.


Every other person in my family radius understands: I have my hands full.  I battle severe mental illness.  I have brain damage.  I can't even take care of myself half the time (I forgot to mail the water bill again, today).

Every other person in my family understands I have a responsibility and commitment to Ron; one I will not shirk.

I have enough on my plate.  They get it.

She does not.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Gifts I've gotten

I saw some presents online, things bought for children. 

It reminded me of presents I was given as a child.  When my Dad met my adoptive Mom, I was a short haired little girl in overalls.  While she had a civilizing influence, I still remained a "tomboy" by most standards, short hair, active play, and while I enjoyed a doll now and then I didn't dream of them. 

Fitting for a woman who'd never have children.  For future reference Mom refers to my adoptive mother.  I don't have a single Christmas memory of my birth mother.  I guess she was *busy*, God knows Dad allowed generous visitation. 

One relative, Mom's former mother in law, was pretty wealthy.  Of course her son was the black sheep, but by God she would gift his children.  She always bought me something as well.  I was a girl.  So, I got a (I was told very expensive regular play) doll every year.  I would write her a lovely thank you letter, thank you so much for the doll, I love it...and Mom would quietly donate the doll, still in box, to charity.  I'm sure several other little girls adored those dolls. 

All the while getting out the tinkertoys (one of my top 5) or playing with my brother's legos.  I was an engineer's daughter. 

I remember when my oldest (step) brother turned 13, my Dad gave him a nice toolbox filled with tools.  I wanted that box so bad.  I wanted to use the tools (I was 10), but alas, Dad was traditional. 

On more than one occasion, a relative presented me with something "from your mother".  I always saw that as sort of a Santa thing.  Yeah, right. 

One year she gave me several, very expensive, stuffed animals.  I had them for years but I already had my favorite stuffed toy.  I believe she did buy them for me, while manic. 

Right before I moved out, she did begin sending me gifts for my birthday and Christmas.  I have her photo, and a painting she made.  That's enough. 

Grandma used to give me crafting toys, which I loved.  One year she sent me a sewing box full of fabric scraps.  I loved sewing little sachets and consulting the little sewing book she'd included. 

My favorite toy of all, though, would have been the loom.  It was a plastic loom.  Not the kind you use with the loops, the weft had to be strung before usage.  It had a heddle lever that went up and down as I ran the shuttle back and forth. 

Another top gift, one of those knitting mushrooms.  I couldn't figure the thing out to save my life.  I was 8.  I brought it to Mom, in tears.  She tried to figure it out. 

She taught me to crochet instead.  I liked that a lot better and have used that to make dozens of afghans. 

It's not always what you spend, but time invested and knowledge of your recipient.  Ron is agog at his wool socks. 

This one took forever to type.

Christmas eve.

I went to Walmart (just for fun), looked around for a little bit.  Ron did need Tylenol and I wanted some Cal-mag-zinc.  I got some other things and we headed off to work.

Why working on Christmas eve, evening?  The party.   

#6 has had some very loud Christmas eve parties.  It is apparently a tradition for the ignorant, in Mexico, to have a loud, drunken, all-night party.  Let the kids run wild, scream, and cry... yell, wake up the neighbors, keep up the neighbors, play very loud polka music, even though everyone around you is completely silent every day of the year, so YOU can sleep.

If he was gearing up for one, I really didn't want to sit around for it.  I'd rather work.

I couldn't work all night, and there was a pretty good chance he wouldn't have a wild party with a newborn in the house, but I braced myself.

When we got home, their car was gone and they didn't come home until very late.  They must have attended a party at another family member's house.  I think they alternate, which means I should expect a loud party next year.  

That's next year.  At least I know to expect it.  We might just work an all-nighter.

Ron is pretty drunk and wants to talk about my childhood.

Anyway, we got to work, unloaded, and got in the building.  The machines were mostly fine.  One bottle of water had gotten hung up in the bottle vendor, and Ron had confused 2 soda flavors.  I had to undo that.  Ron gets very upset if he is presented with evidence he made a "sub-level, stupid" mistake.  In fact, recently he screamed "I'm not that stupid" at me.

I just said the sodas "got mixed up" and I had "already fixed them".  [shrug]  He "went off" for a minute and corked it when one of the customers came over.

We have one lady who will absolutely scream at me, red-faced, over minor issues.  I haven't seen her in a while, thank God.

We have another customer, a big jovial guy, who likes to come over, invade our personal space, and mumble irrationally at us.  I can't follow his train of thought, or even hear what he's saying half the time.  Lately he is rambling about Santa, how he needs a Rudolph, the things he will do with Rudolph, etc.  Yelling ho-ho-ho a lot at inappropriate times and making everyone jump (a lot of PTSD veterans at work). 

I can't decide if he's schizophrenic, bipolar, or both.  He has the high-energy levels consistent with mania, but the schizophrenic "affect" - not in reality, rambling thought processes, etc. 

I know this, he needs medication.

I have had to be very rude to him, just to get him to "let" me work and leave me personal space.  One time he crowded right up behind me as I stocked a food machine.  I had to ask him to move so I could step back and close it.  He pretended not to understand.  I had to yell at him to go over by the table please so I could work.  He got that, but now he thinks I'm a bitch.

I'm OK with that. 

That may be some kind of pervert thing in there too, I don't know.  Thankfully there's only one of him.

Now, we have plenty of people at work in Santa hats.  Elf hats.  They have written Christmas greetings on the complaint board and are clearly in the spirit.  They act "normally" though.

We have some people at work I'd say are depressives, PTSD, bipolar, and schizophrenic, but they are all functional.  

But threatening to file a grievance with the union because you want us to provide pecan pie?  Shaking my head.

I told him what we'd have to charge and he shut up on that, right quick. 

I was actually happy to see him.  He distracted Ron.  Ron had forgotten the entire issue by the time he left.

We got everything done, loaded up, and came home to find no party.  Yay.

I went to bed about 8.  I was pretty excited about getting some sleep.

Until I heard the fireworks.  Ugh.

I have mentioned I have PTSD.  Years of abuse, plus the trauma of Ron's accident, really flipped my lid.  I'm sure the violent mugging in 2009 didn't help either. 

I don't do well with sudden loud noises, ever.  Loud booms from artillery shells continued to deafen, dazzle, and set off car alarms well into the night.  I lay in bed thinking.  Even without a party, I still wasn't sleeping.

Eventually the neighbors ran out of money, and supplies, and the noise ceased.  I slept very late for me, past 9:30.  For once, I wasn't awoken by bad dreams although I was very dehydrated.

I got up and drank a diet Mountain Dew.  Ron was still asleep.  I took my shower and did my God Time, discovering a sweet spotted Baby Girl in my computer room.  What a nice girl.

Torbie came running when I sat down, her fluffy orange belly flapping as she ran.  She knows I always distribute a few treats during God Time.

I finished up, treated the girls, and relaxed for a while.  Ron was pretty slow waking up, but he did after 1.  We opened presents.

Everyone always wants to know what you get.

I got a toy stuffed cat (requested), a book about a rescue cat, a gift card, some accessories.  The latter from my very stylish older sister.

She has never been cited by the fashion police, and I am in need of some dress-up items.  I have a very basic wardrobe of jeans and t-shirts.

Oh, speaking of clothes, what did Ron get?

I bought him a pair of jeans (black, and a basic brand), and some wool socks.  He was very excited about the socks.  I gave him some of my wool socks (I wear the men's kind when it's really cold) a few years back and he has worn holes in them.

Torbie immediately took over the jeans, until Ron lured her off with treats.  I don't see the appeal for an animal with a sensitive nose, they had a strong "new dye" smell.

When I got them away, I washed them.  I don't want those chemicals all over Ron, even though he was happy to wear them.

I'm hearing polkas. Apparently someone's having a party.

I suppose, if we had enough money, I could find the subdivision where they fine people $1000 for having loud music, etc... but we'll find heaven in heaven.  Not here.

Mom also sent him a flash drive, and a big jar of cashews (the whole kind!).  I just buy the kind in pieces.  My adoptive older sister sent a restaurant gift card.

Ron says he'll buy me what I want (within reason I hope), but I can't think of anything offhand.

Speaking of family, my stalker half sister has been sending some messages of late.

After months of blessed silence, she sent one on our mother's birthday.  I deleted it.

She sent a group message yesterday to everyone in the phone book (including Ron and me).  I deleted them.  I deleted all the people who "replied to all".

I didn't read them because that's what stalkers do, they try to engage, and if I'm reading it I'm engaged.  My phone, and Ron's, have the ability to delete a message without reading. 

Just now she sent us messages, which I also deleted.

I wanted a break, last year.  I wanted her to respect my wish for silence, on that break.  She did not.  That ensured the break would remain permanent.

If she had truly loved and respected me, she would have given me 6 months of "radio silence".  Stalking me, for months, said just the opposite.

She does have a therapist and psychologist.  I shudder to think....

The guy who helps us with our truck runs thinks I'm a total bitch for "rejecting" her.

God has convicted me on many things in my life.  Very uncomfortable.  Either I had to walk away from God or I had to change my ways.  As far as I know, in every (recent, as in last 12 years) case, I have changed.  Some people think I am close to God.  I'm not, but if you see God in me it is because I allow God to change me.

God worked on me with forgiving my Dad.  Forgiving my Birth Mother.  Forgiving my Adoptive mother and her family.  Forgiving the policeman who robbed us and said the accident was my fault.  He is working on me, forgiving the man who ran over Ron.

He's even worked on me with forgiving Ron, not holding grudges, while holding onto appropriate boundaries.  God is ALWAYS working on me!

You know what?  I haven't had a speck of conviction to go "reconcile".  I sure did regarding all the others.  I got hammered with it.  Not even a whisper.

I think God agrees; this is one person I need to leave to Him.   I hope she gets sorted out.  I hope she finds love, and realizes you don't have to operate your life from a position of drama, victimhood, and manipulation.

Screaming at her daughter, the night before her wedding, because she overheard a bit of gossip that (my sister) was "stressed out" (she was)... for minutes on end, playing manipulative, hysterical, guilt trips, sobbing and screaming... ugh.  No bride needs that, ever.

On my wedding eve, my adoptive Mom and my aunt were incredibly kind and supportive. 

If that's what she learned from our mother I'm glad I barely met the woman (maybe a dozen lunch meetings). 

Regarding my birth mother:  my aunt is surprisingly supportive of her.  "You can't imagine the guilt" she tells me "When she realized you were disabled, it was her fault."

This after my mother was awful to her.  I am really blessed with some wonderful Christian role models.

At the end of the day, though, my birthmother disabled me, massively neglected me, and ran out on me when she found out I was disabled.  I'm glad she did - reference nasty game playing.

I don't think either woman knew a clean and appropriate way to interact with loved ones.

Ugh.  A little more drama than I wanted.

So, it appears #6 is having his party today, instead of last night.  God only knows why.  Two parties for the price of one.

I do see a lot of strange vehicles out front.  Strange people and kids running around.  Fine.

Music.  I can't do much about that right now.

Some kid coming in my yard without permission, or even knocking on my door, because "I lost my ball"?  That's a problem.

I went over there right quick and made if very clear No one has permission to enter my yard.  Ever.  If it happens again I will call the police and have you charged with trespassing.  Your father was told  years ago.  If you lose a ball I will throw it over the fence tomorrow.

Boy, you might be thinking, that's a little strong.

Not really.
 During one of their parties, just like this one, they did this I especially liked the part where their 8 year old was saying we set out to "trick" children (who had absolutely no right to be on the property). 

I also had a major problem during their parties, where they left my gate wide open, huge packs of kids "coming to get the ball" (they would intentionally "lose" it by throwing it on the roof of my house so it would roll into the yard.  I saw them do it several times.).  You can imagine my horror when I found a 3 year old running wild in my yard, unattended.  I tried to grab him and take him back home and he ran away giggling.  Thank God he didn't get hit by a car. 

The kids would come in packs and talk very loudly, scream and yell (at night when we were trying to sleep).  I even went out and told one older boy, about 14 "We have to go to work in 4 hours".  "I'm sorry" he replied.  He looked truly remorseful.  I wish he lived there. 

Constantly banging the gate, keeping us awake, screaming, running around in our much bigger yard.  They weren't coming for a ball, they were coming over to play.  I don't feel bad about terminating access.  We wanted a house with a big yard, for privacy. We don't want kids and we don't want kids in the yard. 

They had no sense of boundaries, or manners.   That's a problem, and not to mention a huge liability "But the children had permission, and got hurt!" 

So I did this
The father seemed to understand.  The kids would come bang on the door now and then for the ball, but I told them this year that was a problem waking Ron up.

Their father rearranged the play area so they would no longer kick the ball onto my property.

Until the party.  Apparently a guest threw a ball over the fence (they were up on the trampoline so they had a very good view of the entire yard anyway), and came after it himself.   I didn't catch him in the yard but I went by their back gate (not opening it, but I could have, and would have let the yappy guest dog out).

Doesn't #6 set any ground rules?  Like "Don't go in that yard, she's a real bitch"?

Manic, I had plenty. 

Interestingly enough, since I went over and yelled at them, they have turned the music down.  I think they're eating. They also do have the baby. 

Sigh.  My other neighbors are great. But it's like marriage.  You go into it expecting one thing and you end up with something else.

[edit to remove ugly]

I don't think any of the edited would make Jesus smile.  I hate feeling powerless; at someone's whim. 

I had my privacy violated on a regular basis, growing up.  I understand people had various reasons.

However, I tend to be pretty fanatical about my "personal space" as a result.

Enough on that!  It's Christmas!

I just realized, my mood is crap.

I got a thing yesterday to help organize the kitchen.  I'll go use it and see how that works.  

Using a shoe organizer as a over door organizer.  You also get to see part of our collection of paper coin rolls. 

It made room for Ron's new dish drainer.  He's been quite eager to get it set up, and I'm manic enough to oblige. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The best tools

Manic yesterday, depressed today. 

I attribute a lot of that to something that happened yesterday.  I caught the remodel manager, and a construction worker, measuring outside our stockroom.  The manager made a big point of ensuring the worker measured the outside of our stockroom.  Why would you do that?  We need access! 

I worry it goes to the whole deli issue.  No postal facility in America has hot food, save Maryland, which has a donut shop contract. They only got that because of the anthrax. 

However, people always want what they don't have.  They want wi-fi.  They wanted flatscreen TVs.  When they got them, they wanted "better" cable packages and more televisions.  Now they want them in every breakroom.  The manager bought a couple of Keurig coffee makers.  Now they want them in other breakrooms.  They have a huge locker room with thousands of nice lockers.  But people want the upper locker. 

Even though they have a dozen hot food locations within a mile of the plant, they want a snackbar.  A hot chicken place opened about 5 years ago.  Even with the building population and thousands more in nearby apartments, they couldn't make a go of it and went out of business.  Postal Snack Bars are unprofitable.  When we had the snack bar, we lost, on average $1000 a month keeping the place open.  That was during an excellent economy.  That's $17K I would have put towards our mortgage. 

I hope we were good to our employees.  They seemed happy.  They also had stable hours and weekends off.  It was good for them, but awful for us. 

I mean, I have to give the devil credit.  If you want to injure me, bring this up.  The anxiety will eat me alive. 

It's one of the best tools he's got. 

I told this to the construction foreman (not the spiritual stuff), and the remodel manager said "You just didn't know how to manage it!" 

He had been pining for his little breakfast ritual, he said, a breakfast special he got at the other place, decades ago, every morning. 

Make a new ritual at the McDonald's a mile down the road! 

Instead, I replied, "If we (3 managers total at this location) were 'bad managers', how come they don't have a single snack bar at any location in the US?"  Implied, I'm sure they could find one good manager in the whole country.

He scoffed at me and stomped off. 

It gets better.  A few months later they had a meeting with our supervisor, requesting a few items.  One, full sized candy bars were "too expensive" at 90 cents.  Have you bought a candy bar lately?  I did, at Kroger.  It was a dollar, plus tax, so $1.08.  They cost nearly $2 at a gas station.  They wanted us to sell candy bars at the "old" prices of 60 to 65 cents.  That's our WHOLESALE cost. 

As I remind people on occasion "I'm here to make money".  Our boss was totally disgusted. 

Our response: we raised prices to a dollar. 

Then they mentioned wanting a deli.  I hope the big boss takes that all in context. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I want

I worry. 

I worry it looks like I want Ron out of my life - that's actually the last thing I want.  I worry about his health.  I worry about his safety.  I want to have him in my life. 

I want other things; I want the husband I saw today, every day.  Every minute.  The warm, loving, generous man.  The man who can make me laugh like a hyena, even after 22 years. 

I want the man who values my contributions.  He doesn't have to worship me, but a sincere word of appreciation, now and then - without an abusive counterpoint - really makes my day. 

I know that man exists.  I see him. I love him.  That's the man who keeps me married. 

Ron has issues, and drinking, and a head injury on top like some kind of godforsaken cherry.  He can be very difficult to love at times. 

But I see the man I love, the kindly boss, the loving companion, the interesting man who took me to lunch at the restaurant chain where we met. 

And I miss him when he's gone. 

"Don't ever let him cry"

I have a little story to tell you. 

First, I am getting manic so I can handle just about anything.  Thank God - although I had a good day. 

Anyway, Ron's mother, a Catholic, was pregnant.  She had 3 living children and several miscarriages.  The doctors (in the 50's!) offered to perform an abortion, as they were deeply worried about her health.  She said no. 

Ron was both with congenital glaucoma.  He looked so awful they have no baby photos.  When they were presented with him, they were told "Don't ever let him cry.  Crying raises eye pressure.  If he cries, he'll go blind." 

I can hear collective groans around the world.  Ron could do anything.  Boundaries?  None.  Absolutely none.  His brother could earn money doing chores for a neighbor, buy a treat, and would be forced to share it if Ron whined. 

After hearing all that, I wasn't really shocked they dumped us so quick after the accident.  Had I not been 17, "crazy", with brain damage (in a report they wrote me up as "extremely naive"), I would have run screaming, I'm sure, when I heard that story. 

Ron, in the meantime, had 9 eye operations.  At that time, they didn't believe in painkillers for children.  He doesn't talk about it.  It was pretty horrific. 

At one point, a team of doctors stood around his bedside, doing rounds, discussing just how they would operate on his "good eye" - discussing the incisions, angle of approach, scalpels, etc.  Ron became hysterical.  The head doctor decided it was time to stop the operations. 

At this point, Ron had very little vision.  He was enrolled in a blind pre-k program and was encouraged to use his intellect.  He was born and raised in one of the worst ghettos in Houston. 

Ron's mother caught him one day, telling his brother he had "Mama wrapped around my finger".  The beatings began.  Ron went blind pretty quickly after that. 

Ron wouldn't want me to share what happened the day he went blind, but everyone in his life failed him that day.  "They turned off the sun" Ron says, in a small voice.  "I cried and cried". 

From my observation, people who go blind as adults do not adapt as well as those who went blind as children.  Kids are fearless. 

Ron was always pretty fearless.  Still is.  He wants to take out the garbage, but it's "too cold".  He puts the cans in his wheelchair and rolls them out to the street. 

So, when I look at all that, it's not surprising Ron has issues.  Who wouldn't? 

Monday, December 22, 2014

By reason of...

When I ran off with Ron, I was escaping an abusive household.  I had limited opportunities, I loved Ron, and I saw him as a knight come to save me. 

Let's just say I had an attitude adjustment.  He used to threaten to "send me back to my family" when he felt I had "misbehaved".  I am not proud of some of the things I did to prevent that. 

Back then, he was "only" blind.  However, we supported each other financially. 

One time, he lost his ham radio, blamed me, and said I had to move out because I was "careless with his things".  We went back to the same spot a week later and found a man who handed over the radio, telling Ron "I saw you leave it on the bench, and I didn't want someone to steal it." 

Ron, not in the least abashed, recanted his move-out request.  Time passed.   Ron had 3 affairs, during this time frame.  That I know of. 

We moved to Texas.  I had a good paying job and could support myself.  Ron only had a disability check.  Suddenly, he was very appreciative and understanding.  I had an emotional affair. 

Not surprising, huh?  Amazing only one. 

Ron got involved in the vendor program, which meant he had to move 200 miles away.  I was still working full time in an office and making more than enough to pay the rent.  I even got a pizza now and then, and bought a few things off the internet. 

I was pretty happy.  Ron wanted me to come visit every weekend to help him, so I did. 

I took him grocery shopping, etc.  I also helped him with projects for class. 

He graduated and was awarded a location.  I quit my job to help him. 

The next 2 years were horrific. 

Ron had an affair.  A physical one.  Years later I was told all the sordid details.  He did this while continuing to work me for 16 hour days, worse than you'd treat an animal.   He was verbally abusive, drinking, etc. 

People kept telling him "You need to treat Heather better".  Mainly, they were worried about my hours worked. 

My illness got worse (extreme stress will do that).  And then of course Ron got run over. 

I was there as soon as I heard (his family "forgot" to tell me or come get me - knowing I couldn't drive).  I fought for him, stayed with him, and did everything I could to help him get better. 

When he was released, I got to be his hands on boy do you need a lot of caregiving caregiver 24/7.  My big highlight of the week - one hour, one day a week, someone would sit with Ron while another person took me to Walmart. 

I did that for months of head injury dementia.  During this time, I even started a weight loss plan. 

Ron's friends all told him they'd disown him if he didn't marry me.  He realized his family had bailed on him months ago but good old Heather had stuck.  He married me. 

Now.  At the time I knew he was an emotional abuser, a cheat, a liar.  I had felt physically threatened on more than one occasion.  I knew he had a temper. 

We all know why Ron married me. 

But why did I marry him? 

Well, you know in trials, someone will present a mental illness defense.  "Not guilty by reason of instanity"  In my case my reasoning was shot due to a couple of things - 1.  My head was so far up my ass I could see my teeth.  2.  I was crazy.  Remember I have severe mental illness.  I was not medicated either. 

Between the two, I just thought marriage would be the best thing ever.  Ron would value all I had done.  He would appreciate me.  He would respect me.  He would never, ever, cheat again.  He would never call me names. 

Boy, was I wrong. 

Instead of derision

Today I lost it. 

"I am sick of your tirades.  I am sick of your lectures.  I am sick of your name calling!"
I don't do that. 
"You called me a stupid bitch on Saturday". 
You're not supposed to keep track of that stuff.  I don't believe you anyway. 
"Do you want me to keep a journal?  Because I will!"

1 Corinthians 13 says "love keeps no record of wrongs" so probably not Biblical.  However, it was supremely frustrating. 

Just stop messing up.  Ron told me.  "And I won't have to yell at you." 

That doesn't come from a place, or even a universe, of logic.  Which is why I have the blog.  I need a place of reason, logic, understanding, and empathy.  I need a place where my responders aren't trying to gaslight me and engage in other warfare tactics. 


Sometimes I do wonder, if Ron got a full mental workup, what they'd find.  As one poster agreed - clearly a personality disorder.  Does it matter which? 

At the end of the day, no.  I just have to be strong, assert my rights, and choose my battles. 

After all that Ron rolled off and worked on something else.  3 minutes later he's bellowing for "help". 

He made his own trips without consulting me.  We were picked up late and driven literally 50 miles out of the way so the manic, delusional (my 14 year old son performs operations at the trauma center, then onto his bowel habits UGH), passenger could go to the identical grocery store found 2 miles from her home.  We were all happy to see the end of her. 

I explained manias and delusions to the driver, who knew "She ain't right".  We got to work an hour late.  Ron had apparently only planned 3 hours for us.  During the high season.

[head in my palms]  As I said, he DID NOT consult me.  I would have said at least 4 hours minimum. 

The day was a frantic scramble to accomplish what we could.   I did snacks, made sure the validators were working, and helped Ron with nearly everything.

"You know" the other vendor told me "You do all the work."

"Yup" I agreed.

Ron was very brusque and impatient, snapping at me.  I was very tempted to go whine to the other vendor but that's how trouble starts (my husband is a jerk but you appreciate me).  I just corked it until now.

But I get pissed.  I do EVERYTHING for the man.  He does manage all bathroom activities, praise God.  He can barely heat up a TV dinner, and that's after I go to the store, buy it for him. read him the box, and organize it in the freezer.

We go to Walmart, he sits off to the side.  I get everything.  He gives me some cash.

About the only thing he does 100% for himself - alcohol.  He buys it, brings it home, and drinks it.  The drivers aren't stupid - they know why I won't help.

Housekeeping.  Laundry.  Everything relating to the business.  Like I told the other vendor "He stocks the sodas after I stack them up in order, or bring them to him."  I do the snack machines, all 3.  I do both food machines and the coffee machine.  I take care of his home.  I buy his clothes, wash them, and even fix his hair everyday because he wants a ponytail.  I clean the litterboxes, buy cat food and treats.  I medicate the cats when needed.

I JUST DON'T GET IT.   I do everything.  I can't understand it - why he can't appreciate and value what I do.  No.  It's a constant river of tirades, depressing philosophical talk, whining about "God's slow plan", verbal abuse, name calling, drunks, and temper tantrums.  

I know he can show a little appreciation now and then, because I see it, but it's swallowed up by the previous paragraph. 

How's this: no tirades, no verbal abuse, no weird philosophical "everything is made of atoms so noting really exists" (isn't that existentialism?  I looked it up - yes), no name calling.  I'll even take a tantrum now and then without name calling 'cause you do have a head injury.  Don't say anything nice to me if you don't "feel" it.  OK? 

I am tempted to say it will never happen - BUT God can work amazing things.  If Ron allows it. 

This, ALL of this, on top of having horrible mental illness.  He won't even acknowledge it.  If I confide something painful, or a problem I'm having, he either mocks me or minimalizes it "Is that all?" 

I know he is scared I will "fail" him somehow and he'll end up in some hellhole assisted living apartment - but if that's the case why not cherish me instead of derision?    Why does he constantly tear me down?  If he tears me down - I could collapse, and his worst fears come to life. 

He keeps talking "Oh, things are going well.  I wonder how that will end."  Maybe he wants to (on some level) run me off so he can "Go ahead [and fail], so I can go live in my assisted living apartment." 

It's like a script he has - he has to become a drunk, fail at life, and end up in assisted living.  I have done everything in my power to fight that - because it's my life too! 

Now that things are going better he's turned on me - the person many would say is responsible for his cushy life and business success - he even admits it.  "They love what you're doing.  Your snacks were first in sales, etc."   5 minutes later I'm a stupid bitch. 

I just don't get that! 

What I think of the police

There's been a lot of talk about police shootings, things are polarized.  I wrote this on Facebook: 

Of all the people I know, I probably have the most "right" to hate the police.

A police officer robbed my husband as he lay dead in the road, after the accident, the paramedic working away. He also falsified the accident report, let the guy who ran over my husband "get away with it", and verbally attacked me when I questioned his version of events. He was vicious and stole everything we had to live on.

God will avenge us. I don't know what happened to the guy but God got me to forgiveness. I pity him now. 

You know what I think of when I hear "police"?

I think of the awesome policeman who drove me to the mall after I got mugged, because I missed my bus.

I think of Officer B (one of our local guys) who came out on a night I don't talk about, years ago, totally professional in a very ugly situation, and the nice lady from the Mental Health whatever team who was so, so, sweet to me.  (This was a night Ron had a vicious blackout, threatening abuse, and I actually had to leave for days)

I think of how nice Officer B came back AFTER we got robbed in 2012. I think of the nice robbery unit officers who came out to get my information. I think of ALL the very nice officers who come out when we call in noise complaints and get them to turn it down.

I think of the officer who drove by when I was doing a Bible handout and laughed joyfully as he saw my sign. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Out through the bars

I didn't sleep well last night.  When I woke up, Ron was asleep. 

I did my shower and God Time.  Ron woke up; same old negativity. 

I found it interesting, on a Christian message board someone had posted this: 
For me the best advice to give to a professing Christian going through it is to tell them to work as hard as they can NOT to sin.... mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and monetary abuse. Same thing for yelling, screaming, fighting, lying, and any other plans for attack.

Sin.  Hm.  I need to hear that Ron is sinning (I am dead serious).  I mean, they could have been writing Ron out to the letter.

Anyway, I fought a rising tide of frantic desperation.  I felt trapped.  I had to get out!  I also recalled the recurring advice I'm given - go out and do something fun by myself. 

I felt like a prisoner, looking out through the bars.  

I was also pretty depressed.  I figured, where would I like to go?  What's the busiest place I can go?  That was easy.  Walmart. 

I am near three Walmarts.  I prefer the older one. 

I decided to do some cleaning, first, while I had the energy.  I filled a whole trash bag.  At some point I need a large box so I can start work on a donate box.  Some things, I clearly don't want, like two blankets that belonged to my evil grandmother, and some other unwanted items.

I also have a lot of Medium clothes.  I am not getting anywhere near a medium soon - I am currently a 2X.  I think I can let them go, and replace them in the happy event I got to Mediumworld.

Hell, if I got down to a medium, Ron would hand over his credit card.   He would buy me whatever I wanted. 

I told Ron I was going out.  He kept telling me he could take me tomorrow but I told him I wanted to go today.  Yes, I was fine paying for a cab.  No, I wouldn't take the bus (that would have taken hours each way).  He fought me like I was meeting another man. 

I told him I WAS going, and he could either call me a cab, or I could call one for myself.  He called. 

About that time the yard guys showed up.  We paid him extra last time, for this visit.  I would rather pay him for the next visit, every time he comes, than ever be accused of this: 
Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.

A lot of itinerant workers, and those of dubious immigration status, end up getting screwed over by their employers.  I won't be one.

Ron was convinced the guy was going to say the payment was for this visit, even though we paid for that last time.  I told him, worst case, he did a yard cleanup that would have cost hundreds, for free.  If we have a $30 misunderstanding I'm OK with that.

Of course the guy remembered, and I told him this money is for next time.  He's fine with that.  I think he finds me a little odd.

Hey, he can buy his family something.

About that time the cab showed up.  The driver was muslim, with the book "quaranic advice" sitting proudly in the console.  He asked about my husband, which led to the old "Amazing things God has done with my husband, whom He literally brought back from the dead" testimony.  He was pretty agog.  I also gave him a generous tip.

It costs $14 to go to Walmart.  Each way.  You can see why I never took a cab before when money was tight.

But, if I have the disposable cash, and spending it will ease my life, I don't mind spending it - even though I am amazingly cheap in many ways.  I see it as supporting the cab driving service provider. 

The store wasn't too busy. 

I had to laugh at myself as I found myself on the soup aisle, buying cup-a-noodles for the customers.  I spend 30 cents each, they pay $1.  I also got some shelf stable meals. 

The meal is good for over a year, which works great in my "other" food machine.  I have thrown away a lot of sandwiches because people don't see it as a "real" food machine.  It's off in a corner next to coffee and mainly sells a lot of my K-cups. 

I need to carry food, and I want to carry food in case they buy out the sandwiches.  So, I carry vienna sausage in a can ($1), cup-a-noodles ($1), "lunch buckets" of ravioli, spaghetti, etc. ($1.75), applesauce (75 cents), and my luxury item - the shelf stable meal for $4.  They have their choice of pot roast and mashed potatoes, turkey and dressing, etc.  Really nice meals.  Since I have seen them bringing in $20 a plate takeout meals, I figure some of them have the cash, and I'm right. 

In addition to the sandwiches, I also carry chicken corn dogs (very popular with the no-beef-or-pork crowd), for $1, steak burritos for $1.75 (popular with middle aged contractors), and a limited selection of frozen sandwiches for $2.25.  I'm pretty proud of my food selection, and I love how most of it is non-perishable.  If they want to buy it in a day, or two months from now, it's ready.  If the machine goes out of order, they're still good. 

I do have to throw out the burritos, hot dogs, and sandwiches. 

I had to laugh at myself, looking at the noodles occupying over half the cart space.  I am so dedicated it borders on foolish!   Ron waffles between admiration and outright mocking.  I don't care, I answer to God. 

I needed to get some pintos.  I decided the one pound bags, in addition to being a better value, offered more versatility in storage.  I selected some flax oil, because it had lots of Omega 3's.  Supposed to be good for depression. 

No, EPA and DHA are good for depression.  Flax has ALA Omega 3's.  Good for the heart, not for depression.  I put that back. 

Suffice to say, when I'm depressed I don't worry about my heart.  

After some internal debate, I decided I would like to start taking the fish oil (good omega 3's) today.  Yes, I have some coming sometime, hopefully this week - but do I want to be depressed for a week if I can get ahead of it?  Especially as the fish oil cost about the same as the flax stuff I was so eager to buy earlier? 

I put it in the cart. 

Ron (and I) wanted snack foods.  I got him enough to hold him for a while (he had given me some cash).  He wanted 18 oz, total, cat treats.

He was worried about flavors.  I reminded him they like anything by Temptations.  I have never seen them reject a Temptations treat.

Torbie, however, totally detests any sort of healthy, meat-based treat.  

Ron got beef jerky (because he needs more protein).  I remembered I had my jerky, just now (I had opened it to give Ron a taste).  I am munching as I type, because God knows I can use more protein. 

I looked around for some more chocolate candy, but it's all Valentine's now.  I got some Safeguard soap because my current bar of antibacterial is almost gone. 

I have forgotten, a few times, I need to use the antibacterial stuff, with my skin problems.  For this .  If you scroll down to "triggering factors" lithium is specifically mentioned, however I still had a few problems, now and then, even before lithium.  It's one reason I use a "lets me sweat non stinky stuff" deodorant stone as opposed to an antiperspirant - I had terrible problems until I figured it out and switched this year. 

Like I don't have enough problems, huh?  [grin]  Anyway, mine is pretty well managed.  I take generous amounts of vitamin E and A.  I use the deodorant stone.  I only shave when I have to.  And outbreaks are greatly reduced when I use antibacterial soap.  All easy enough. 

I got some more vacuum seal freezer bags - I got one with a pump recently, and I've been really impressed.  I want them to keep making these. 

Ron and I couldn't find the canning jar lids - the plastic ones you use after you have opened the jar, while you keep it in the fridge.  I couldn't find them but I did get a couple cheap units of stainless silverware.  They even match. 

That cost about $5 for 4 sets each of fork, knife, spoon.  I also got a package of standard canning jar lids. 

I like to eat a protein bar at work, on Truck Day.  I remember it's important to get protein after "lifting weights".  Unloading a truck load of heavy bottled drinks certainly qualifies!  They even had my favorite flavor, French Vanilla.  They aren't cheap but I like them and they don't cause any problems.

I bought a package of plain butter cookies, and some plain shortbreads.  I should be OK eating one or two of those now and then.  I also got some decaf french vanilla for dunking.

I looked around the store, the ruckus of screaming children and blaring speakers still better than what I'd left, looked around a little more, and decided I was done.

I did/do worry about shopping as a "fix" for emotional stresses.  I don't want to go that route, but, at the end of it, I did need those things for work.

Before I checked out, I did select a "Limited Edition!  Spiced Eggnog" airfreshener.

I checked out and called Ron to see if he wanted something from McDonald's.  He did.  I got some chicken nuggets (I don't care, I like them!), and his items.

Then he called a cab for me, but he was so drunk he didn't realize it.  He told me to call.  I did.  "Oh!" the dispatcher said, true empathy in his voice.  "I, ah, spoke to your husband and put in the request already."  His voice carried a lot of understanding.

I'd like to get to the place where I'm not embarrassed by my "alcoholic family member".  But I am.  I don't want to be married to the town drunk.  I am fine with being married to the town cripple, but the drunk, too?

It makes me want to hide under my desk.

Lately, since he got some margarita mix, he has been absolutely obsessed with buying "Margaritaville".  Do you know what that means for me?   Endless repetitions of a song I HATE, played at high volume, again and again as Ron drinks his margarita mix.

Many "drinking songs" are really "ode to the alcoholic blackout".
The Everclear Song - which I have heard far more than I ever wanted. 
Margaritaville - another blackout song. 

These are just the two that come to mind off the top of my head. 

I was starting to wish I'd gone somewhere, like the mall, where I could stay all day. 

When I got home I was treated to the sight of a drunk, filthy, Ron, sitting in his walker, waving money (and a tract) in the air as he sat in the open doorway.  Frankly, I don't see how he made it to the door. 

He was slurring his words and the driver began backing up.  I sighed and gave him an apologetic look, but he wouldn't meet my eyes.  I don't blame him.  He escaped quickly. 

Ron sat in his wheelchair, mumbling drunkenly, attempting, I think, in his own way, to welcome me home.  He did get out of the doorway. 

However, the yard looked FANTASTIC. 

I put my stuff away and gave him his food, hoping it would soak up some liquor.  He chided me about "wasting money on a cab when I would have taken you for free" and I bit back my retort.

Something like, I would have bashed my own brains out, or done myself other harm, if I had to sit in the house with you drinking yourself stupid one more day....


He ate his food and fell asleep, and I took a nap (the neighbors were gone, so it was a safe bet).  I had a pretty good one, with some very weird dreams, but when I'm stressed I try to hide in sleep. 

I got up, did this... now I will try to stay busy until about 7:30? 

Why then?  My neighbor has sprinklers that hit the side of my house.  They cycle for about 10 minutes, and end at 7:25.  I find that upsetting. 

Hey, that, and the rare loud party are my only problems, and his wife said my cat "is cute". 

I can work with that. 


A trip to the hematologist

I slept OK but woke up really tired.  I hit the snooze alarm a few times, much to Biscuit's disgust.  But I'm getting ahead of mys...