The college years… #4

I opted not to go to college immediately after high school because I didn’t know what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing.  Instead, I worked, and got much closer to by best friend.  He proposed to me on my birthday and 6 months later we were married.  We were kids, without a clue.  I felt sorry for him because he grew up in a home with name calling and constant yelling.  He used to come to my house just for the solitude.  I knew from day one he was a small boy trapped in a man’s body.  I did the best I could to encourage him, but the damage his parents had caused him was irreparable.  He was miserable and slowly taking me down with him.  We were married for just about 10 years when everything started falling apart.  I will take 50% of the blame, but if you ask him, it’s ALL my fault.  You see, we had a child shortly after we were married, and at no point in time did he express any interest in being a father.  Of course, when family would come over, he’d play the part, but as soon as they left, he was back to his normal self.  Sad, because at 11 years old, my son now has abandonment issues.  He’s so confused.  Why doesn’t my dad love me, but he loves all these other kids (1 step son and 2 more of his own that he plays a very active role in their lives).  His father recently said some pretty nasty things to him, and has yet to apologize, and although I tell my son it’s not good to hate anyone, he insists he hates his father.  I try to explain that we can hate words and actions, but not people.  As human beings we’re entitled to make mistakes.  My son says his father has made too many.  The most recent?  Getting married and not even calling to try to ask our son to attend the wedding.  I’m not a therapist, but my son has a good one.  I’m going to leave this in his hands.  My son has a deep-rooted dislike for his father and it’s not fair of me to say that’s not allowed.  Perhaps one day he’ll understand.  Fighting, yelling, screaming, name calling, physical abuse to toughen the boys up… that’s all his father knows.  How can we be mad at someone for not being educated?

So, the theme of this particular blog is going to be…  The universe gives us tests.  If we fail, those tests will keep reappearing unless or until you pass.  I think his father just failed another test.  However, I am guilty of the same.

As our marriage started to collapse, I met a man (once again, on-line) through a mutual friend.  When he found out my husband had 2 cell phones and I didn’t have one, and I walked the dogs alone at night, the first thing this man did was send me a cell phone.  I thought it was a kind gesture.  I now see it was a way to keep track of me.  He’d monitor my texts and outgoing calls, etc.  At the end of the month, he’d want to know who this number belonged to, etc.  I thought it was a bit strange, but he was doing me a huge favor, as I wasn’t comfortable being out in the dark, alone.

My husband knew of this man, and of the phone.  He just chalked it up to one less bill he’d have to pay.  What he didn’t know was this man was very slyly turning me against my husband, and I fell for it all.  He’d send gifts, and make promises that since our friendship was so tight, he’d never allow anything to happen to me or my son.  Apparently he was a very wealthy  man (lie), but his promises to me gave me the courage to finally say I’m done.  I want a divorce.

Now, I should point out that at no point in time did we ever have a strong marriage.  We started out declaring bankruptcy, because my husband had a $600 a week crack habit I was unaware of.  He relapsed shortly after my son was born.  My best girlfriend at the time was living on the first floor of the house we were living in and we were on the second floor.  My son’s first memorial day, the two snuck off into the bushes and had sex.  I got a double whammy!  My 2 best friends did the unthinkable and hurt me in a way no one ever has.  I’ve forgiven them both, as a means for me to move on, but it’s something I’ll never forget.  I decided to forgive my husband, for the mere fact that I could not raise this child on my own (or so I thought) and we moved an hour away.  Then things got even worse, because he was one of those “Keeping up with the Joneses” types.  Everything our neighbors did, he had to do, putting us into even more debt.  So, the only way I can describe our marriage is as a handful of tiny pebbles.  Instead of being the rock it was supposed to be, it was fragments of rocks, slowly trickling through my fingers, until I had nothing left to hold on to.

One night, as I was giving our son a bath, I had apparently angered him about something.  He stormed into the bathroom and began choking me, right in front of our son.  I’ve never heard my son talk about this, and I pray to God he was too little to remember, but him doing this sealed his fate.  I had told him my life story.  he knew I was a victim of abuse, and here he was, all 6’10”, 250lbs, choking me.  I was fat and lazy, and according to him stayed home eating Bon Bon’s all day while he went out to support us all.  Now, mind you, I was still suffering from all of these diagnoses, they just hadn’t been diagnosed yet.  I was in a constant state of fear, and that’s no way to live.  I wanted to die.

My husband left the night I told him I wanted a divorce, and went right to my sister’s house.  He returned to get more things later in the evening, and had a contract for me to sign.  It stated he was leaving because I was crazy and he couldn’t stand living under these conditions any more, and that it should in no way be seen as him abandoning his son.  The witness?  My lovely sister.  She walked into my house, and thank God I was on the phone with my father, because if I wasn’t, I think she’d still be trying to recover from her injuries.  I told her 3 times to get out of my house.  She refused unless or until I signed the contract.  I laughed at their little pact and their contract, and got them out.  I read the contract to my father and he was very specific in saying “Don’t you dare sign anything.”  Then he got me a really good lawyer.

My ex has 2 more years to go before he has to begin making maintenance payments.  At one point I promised him I wouldn’t go after him for that, but my lawyer wouldn’t let him off without some kind of payment.  I’d been a stay at home mom for most of our time together, and she was determined that I get something.  I told him to just sign the papers and we could be done.  So, after everything he’s failed to do for my son, my son is owed that money, and I will be going after it.  And what’s even better is that there is a specific time line he has to pay it by.  Poor guy .  He’s now married to my best friend and they have 2 small boys together.  He’s drinking like a fish and has a big beer belly.  My son says that on the days he has gone over to visit his father, both his father and his step mother have been violent to all the kids (baby’s mind you) to toughen them up.  This disgusts my son and me as well.  But it’s their life now.  It’s called Karma, but it’s pronounced HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.  I would have done anything for that man, and he knows it.  Now he’s stuck.  He has confessed on a couple of occasions how unhappy he is, but again…this is his test.  I can’t go giving him the answers; nor do I even have the desire.

Now, the on-line man?  Oh, the empty promises he made were priceless.  You see, he wasn’t wealthy at all.  It’s his parents (whom he’s still living with at 47 years of age) who are wealthy.  He moved here and lasted a week.  I discovered real quick that I made a huge mistake and went over to my mom’s to confide in her.  It happened to be my birthday weekend and he wanted to take us all out to dinner (his mother was sending him $2,000 a week to ensure his survival).  Knowing full well I have anxiety issues and don’t like to leave my house, I suck it up and just go out and do it.  Doesn’t this little freaking diva pitch a fit over pasta sauce?!  Making a scene in the whole restaurant.  I was mortified.  I was depressed.  I was stuck.  I made a huge mistake and I didn’t know how I was going to fix it.  My doctor prescribed a very low dose of Depakote which I had a severe allergic reaction to.  While I was out of it, he packed his things and moved back home with his parents.  Opposite coasts, but still not far enough away.  And this is where the stalking begins…  But, I’ve got to run, so I’ll write about him later.  Oh, he’s a peach!  Can’t wait <again, sarcasm>.

 

Until next time,

~Crazy No More smile

 

awareness

 

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The hell of Junior High #2

By the time most of us reach junior high, we know we belong to a certain clique.  We have established friendships, sports we’re interested in, our first crushes, etc.  Nope.  Not me.  I was lost.  Wandering around aimlessly with no idea of what was expected of me.  Why was I the only one having to leave class to “use the bathroom” but really to get through a panic attack?  My mom had told me everyone has anxiety, but it seemed that I was the only one suffering.  I was friends with everyone.  Or maybe friendly is a better way to describe it.  I don’t feel as though I had a real friend until my last year of high school, but we’ll get to that later.

So, basically junior high was a time for my anxiety to grow in monster proportions, latching onto my veins, running like fluid through my brain, all throughout my body. It is my belief that this is when the depression was born.  I knew I was different, but couldn’t explain why.  My sister and brother were in the senior high, and they were popular.  They were going out with their friends all the time, partying and having fun.  I was content to stay in my room alone, listening to the radio or reading a book, but again, wondering why I was so different.  The loneliness set in after awhile, and soon, I was crying for no apparent reason.  My parents can tell you… I nailed a sleeping bag over my window and sat in the dark.  I was very uncomfortable in my own skin and so badly wanted to be anyone but me.

In 8th grade, a senior expressed an interest in me.  I was 12 or 13 and he was 18.  I don’t know what he said to my parents, but whatever it was, my mom loved him and allowed him to bring me home from school in his truck so that I didn’t have to take the bus.  We’d never go directly home though.  He’d take a back road and park and do things to me that made me VERY uncomfortable.  According to him, this was all normal.  This is what people do.  He’d ask me and beg me for a hummer, and I  was  so confused.  A hummer to me was a truck.  Why would this guy be asking me for a  truck? I was in 8th grade.  I didn’t have ANY money.  All I knew is that what he did to me physically, hurt, and it didn’t make me feel good.  My instincts told me to end the relationship, but how?  I’d never broken up with someone before.  Well, he did it for me.  He gave me an ultimatum.  He said “Put out or get out.”  See ya!!  No way was I having sex at 12 years old!  I may not have been the brightest bulb in the shed but I knew that was wrong.

So, to sum it all up, Junior High for me was nothing more than a breeding ground for all of these disorders to gain possession of my mind and body; establish themselves and get nice and cozy.  I’m 36 and they’re very much still here.  In fact, over the past couple of weeks, the depression has gotten a good hold of me.  However, because I am a single mom, falling apart is not an option.  I’ve yet to find a psychiatrist that accepts my insurance, so I suffer in silence, as I don’t want my child to see this part.  It would kill him.  Junior High were just a few of the worst years of my life.  There is plenty more to come, so stay tuned.

Until next time,

~Crazy No More smile

awareness

When it all started… #1

I was 7 years old when I had my first panic attack.  My mom assumed it was me just having car sickness as we were driving at the time.  They have been with me on a daily basis ever since.  Seven is unusual for panic attacks to present themselves, as they usually show up in the late teen years.  However, I was also 7 years old when the boy down the street sexually abused me on a pretty regular basis as well.  So, I can see the correlation.

I had conversations with my mom about the way I felt (my anxiety) and she said everyone has anxiety.  So, in my 7 year old mind, everyone felt the way I did.  Add to that the thought that the sexual abuse was my fault too.  That’s a pretty big burden for a 7 year old to be carrying around.

No one ever mentioned anxiety, I wasn’t taken to a doctor.  I don’t even think there was such a diagnosis at the time.  So, I grew up alone inside and very afraid.  Not much has changed.  I could be in a room full of people, and because of all my diagnoses, still feel very much alone.  It’s only others who suffer from mental illness that I can really relate to.  And my boyfriend.  He’s the first person in my life (aside from my parents) to educate himself on all that’s wrong with me, and he accepts me for who I am.

Anger and hatred are learned behaviors.  I learned them early on when I got made fun of for being different.  When I hear of people snapping and going on a killing spree, I get it.  Others sit back and say “How could they?”  Are you really that blind?  Obviously the person doing the killing was in need of help.  Help he or she wasn’t being offered.  I snapped too…  I didn’t kill anyone, but we all react differently.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve contemplated taking my own life, because my ex’s had me convinced I was nothing but a burden to my family.

Then I changed my perception.  I started reading books on the power of positive thinking, being optimistic, etc. and I’m so grateful that I never followed through.  I have so much life inside of me!  There are places I want to go and things I want to do.  They kicked me while I was down, and I believed them.  Now?  Now I look at them and know they both need mental help.  But, since I’m not a doctor, there’s not much I can do.  I will not call them names.  I will not make fun of them or their mental illness.  I will however stand my ground and defend myself.  If you have to hide behind a fake email account and leave me anonymous hate mail, I have no use for you.  I ignore you. I don’t absorb your words or your negativity at all.  You see, it’s because of your taunting and name calling that I’m so much stronger, so I guess a thanks to you both are in order.  My determination is far stronger than your attempts to break me.  Yup.  I may be mentally ill, but I’m mentally stronger than the two of you combined.

I am exhausted.  I would love to write more, but this past week has been very trying.  I’m going to take a nap now, but possibly be back later.  I’ll pick up right where I left off.  I’d like you all to get a sense of what living inside of my mind on a daily basis is like.  I would like this to be a real experience for all of you, so that you are in fact educated.  Maybe you don’t realize how much damage YOU are doing by calling someone crazy, or making fun of someone who is severely depressed. If this blog helps ONE person, whether through education or because they can relate, my job here is done.

Until then, for those of you suffering, please know that daily positive affirmations do in fact work, and you should start practicing them RIGHT NOW.  A diagnosis does not define you unless you allow it to.  What is your passion in life?  Start focusing on THAT and remove any and all negativity from your life.  You are here for a  reason.  There’s a plan in place for you.  You just have to figure out what that is.

Love Always,

~Crazy No More  smile

awareness

 

Mental Illness? Oh, get over it already!

This line cracks me UP!  Do you, as someone without mental illness, have any freaking clue what it’s like just trying to get out of bed some days?  Do you have any idea how much pain we (those with mental illness) are in?  Don’t you think if we could “get over it already” we would jump on that?  Seriously?  This get over it already shit has got to stop.  If it were that simple, trust me, we would gladly do it.  But it just goes to show how much stronger we are than you.  Because we have to listen to this ignorance on a daily basis.  You can’t handle your car breaking down.  I dare you to live a day in my head.  You’d kill yourself; guaranteed.  And do you know how I know this?  Because you don’t have the strength or courage to educate yourself, yet we live with it and deal with your ignorance on top of it!

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Pill Popper!!! Takes the cake!

Of all the names I’ve been called, this one is by far the absolute best!  You see, I go to a therapist, and we discuss how I’m feeling.  Maybe my depression is kicking in hard core or my bipolar is acting up.  Whatever the reason, my therapist, my doctor prescribes me a new medicine to make the pain go away, along with regular therapy sessions.  Not knowing what the reactions might be to these newly prescribed meds, we sit back and wait.  Well, it has been discovered that my body doesn’t like medicine…at ALL.  I’m allergic to just about everything.

There was a moment in time when I was prescribed a very low dose of Depakote.  Within minutes of taking my first dose, the allergic reaction set in.  I lost 30 days of my life!  I don’t remember a single thing of the following 30 days, and that was ONE dose.  What if I had taken a second dose?  Or a third?  I’d be dead.  That’s would have happened.  Thank God I had someone with me who noticed the reaction and called my doctor right away.

Now, is it MY fault that the doctors want to fix me and use medicine to do so?  Is it MY fault my body can’t tolerate most meds?  Is it MY fault that I have been nothing but a lab rat to doctors and pharmaceutical companies for years?  No.  So instead of seeing the situation for what it truly is, the ignorant assholes of the world find it so much easier to call me a crazy pill popper.

Now, for the record, taking into consideration all that’s wrong with me, the ONLY medications I put in my body are Xanax at bedtime to shut off my brain, as it never goes to sleep voluntarily, and an occasional pain pill as I’ve got 2 blown shoulders which require replacement surgery but I’m too young for any doctor to approve the surgeries.  So, rest assured, I am NOT a pill popper.  I have voluntarily removed myself from the long list of prescription meds and am dealing with life one on one.  I’m facing my fears by MYSELF.  Exposure therapy.  It sucks.  It’s scary as hell sometimes, but I’m doing it.  I hate leaving the house, my comfort zone, but if I don’t, I don’t get a chance to experience life.  I’m not a doctor!!!  If you are on meds and they are working for you, stay on them.  I did what I did because it was what was right for ME.  Everyone is different.  I don’t want to have to rely on meds to get me through my days.  I spent years on Paxil.  The first week I took myself off, I felt like I had been a zombie the entire time I was on it.  I didn’t realize this while I was taking it though.  I discovered it after I stopped taking it.  I’m no longer signed up to be a lab rat.  I’ve accepted that I have issues and that life sucks most of the time, and I’m okay with that.  I’ve never had a stress free day as my anxiety is permanently set to the highest mode possible.  But… I’m doing it.  I’m living my life, I’m making mistakes, I’m learning and I’m not depending on drugs to get me through any of my days. 

So, to those of you who just LOVE to call me a crazy pill popper?  Suck it!  I’ll piss in a cup any day just to prove you all wrong.  But have you ever stopped to think  about what your comments might do to a person such as myself who is constantly struggling to stay afloat with all of the issues?  Does it make you feel good to belittle someone who is struggling so?  What DOES it do for you?  Because honestly?  What other people think of ME is none of my business.  I’ve learned how to ignore you ignorant idiots.  But perhaps other people with similar disorders haven’t learned this yet.  Are you at all aware that YOUR ignorance might be the cause of someone taking their own life?  Again…educate yourselves before you open your mouths.  You aren’t hurting MY feelings, but what are you doing to someone else? 

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Definitions: Let the education begin…

Bipolar Disorder

Did you know more than 2 million American adults have bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder causes dramatic mood swings—from feeling overly “high” and/or irritable to sad and hopeless, and then back again, often with periods of normal mood in between. Severe changes in energy and behavior go along with these episodes. The periods of highs and lows are called episodes of mania  and depression. It is often not recognized as an illness, and people may suffer for years before it is properly diagnosed and treated.

 

PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Many people who go through traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping for a while, but they don’t have PTSD — with time and good self-care, they usually get better. But if the symptoms get worse or last for months or even years and interfere with your functioning, you may have PTSD. Getting effective treatment after PTSD symptoms develop can be critical to reduce symptoms and improve function.

 

 

It’s the extreme fear of being scrutinized and judged by others in social or performance situations: Social anxiety disorder can wreak havoc on the lives of those who suffer from it. This disorder is not simply shyness that has been inappropriately medicalized: Read about the difference.

Symptoms may be so extreme that they disrupt daily life. People with this disorder, also called social phobia, may have few or no social or romantic relationships, making them feel powerless, alone, or even ashamed.

  • About 15 million American adults have social anxiety disorder
  • Typical age of onset: 13 years old
  • 36 percent of people with social anxiety disorder report symptoms for 10 or more years before seeking help

Although they recognize that the fear is excessive and unreasonable, people with social anxiety disorder feel powerless against their anxiety. They are terrified they will humiliate or embarrass themselves.

The anxiety can interfere significantly with daily routines, occupational performance, or social life, making it difficult to complete school, interview and get a job, and have friendships and romantic relationships.

Social anxiety disorder usually begins in childhood or adolescence, and children are prone to clinging behavior, tantrums, and even mutism.

 

Agoraphobia –

Agoraphobia (ag-uh-ruh-FOE-be-uh) is a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and often avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.

With agoraphobia, you fear an actual or anticipated situation, such as using public transportation, being in open or enclosed spaces, standing in line or being in a crowd. The anxiety is caused by fear that there’s no easy way to escape or seek help if intense anxiety develops. Most people who have agoraphobia develop it after having one or more panic attacks, causing them to fear another attack and avoid the place where it occurred.

People with agoraphobia often have a hard time feeling safe in any public place, especially where crowds gather. You may feel that you need a companion, such as a relative or friend, to go with you to public places. The fears can be so overwhelming that you may feel unable to leave your home.

Agoraphobia treatment can be challenging because it usually means confronting your fears. But with talk therapy (psychotherapy) and medications, you can escape the trap of agoraphobia and live a more enjoyable life.

 

Panic Attacks –

Definition

 A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks can be very frightening. When panic attacks occur, you might think you’re losing control, having a heart attack or even dying.

Many people have just one or two panic attacks in their lifetimes, and the problem goes away, perhaps when a stressful situation ends. But if you’ve had recurrent, unexpected panic attacks and spent long periods in constant fear of another attack, you may have a condition called panic disorder.

Panic attacks were once dismissed as nerves or stress, but they’re now recognized as a real medical condition. Although panic attacks can significantly affect your quality of life, treatment can be very effective.  If not treated in time, panic attacks turn to panic disorder.

 

Major depressive disorder (MDD) involves a constellation of symptoms

 Symptom of MDD
  1. Depressed mood
  2. Loss of interest or pleasure
  3. Significant weight loss or gain or change in appetite
  4. Insomnia or hypersomnia
  5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation
  6. Fatigue or loss of energy
  7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
  8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness
  9. Recurrent suicidal ideation

So, in other words, it’s NOT FUN.  It’s a roller coaster ride every day.

 

Introvert

Opposite of extrovert. A person who is energized by spending time alone. Often found in their homes, libraries, quiet parks that not many people know about, or other secluded places, introverts like to think and be alone.

Contrary to popular belief, not all introverts are shy. Some may have great social lives and love talking to their friends but just need some time to be alone to “recharge” afterwards. The word “Introvert” has negative connotations that need to be destroyed. Introverts are simply misunderstood because the majority of the population consists of extroverts.

 
So, the next time you feel the need to open your ignorant mouth and call someone a name because they suffer from a mental illness or all of the above, as I do.  THINK before you speak.  You have NO idea what some people are going through.  Educate yourselves!!!  I’m sure I forgot a few, but these are the ones that take over my day to day life.
 
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Now that the door is opened…

introvert1

This also happens to be another flaw of mine.  I enjoy my own company more than I do entertaining a bunch of fake people, pretending to care, or pretending to understand.  I began this bog with opening up my soul for all the world to see.  For “normal” people to get a glimpse inside the mind of utter craziness.  However, we have to go at MY pace.  Because that’s just how it is.  Welcome to being an introvert.  I don’t believe I was born an introvert.  I believe spending years as a lab rat for doctors and pharmaceutical companies made me this way.  I’m not necessarily paranoid, but you combine an introvert with social phobia and what do you get?  Um… me.  So, like me or hate me.  I’m so sick and tired of being called crazy because people are just dumb.  Educate yourselves.  Get a clue.  Maybe if kids weren’t so cruel when I was growing up, I’d have thicker skin and a stronger sense of who I actually am.  And just to clear up any confusion, not one of these diagnoses defines me.  I am, as I said in my first post, an individual.  A unique individual.  Society doesn’t like that.  Society can kiss my non-conforming ass. 

Okay… that’s all I got for now.