All my own work.
All my own work.
It’s hard when you have a diagnosed mental illness. Even if it is a neurological chemical issue. Some people may be more understanding than others. I’ve learned over the years it is nearly impossible to fully comprehend the depths of a mental illness for some even if they themselves suffer from one or another and I too am guilty of this. Though I struggle with bipolar disorder, anxiety and I struggle with admitting to myself, PTSD, I find it especially challenging to deal with the continuum of others mental illness’s. Something I never have wanted to admit. Even with the frustrations I have watching those I care for struggle to deal with my own, I never wanted to react in the same matter but I know sometimes that’s exactly what I do. It hurts when someone you care for can not understand your illness or struggles and becomes frustrated with you but I do understand why it happens, if only simply it being human nature and self preservation. Some times you just cannot see past your own trauma and turmoil to another’s. Sometimes it’s about the way they cope or don’t while you fight to battle your own conditions. It’s not fair. To any party involved. No matter the depths of my despair and suffering I always think of these people I care for regardless if I cannot help.
I cannot be what they need and that hurts. It hurts me deeply and it hurts them. In the end I try to remember most that we all fight our own battles and we do so in our own ways. Some want you to need them while you may need them to want you and not need you, and this can be volatile. I do not wish to hurt anyone and if I have, I am truly sorry. I always will admit or at least try to, my part in how things transpired to where we stand, even if they cannot.
Sometimes people are in your life for the duration and some for only a short time. Neither is wrong, as life continues and remains fluid carrying on with or without us. I feel no ill will to those who are gone, those who needed space, who have walked away or I have walked away from. I hope the same things for them as I do for myself, for happiness, health and some peace.
Remember, be kind.
It has been quite a while since I have allowed or even tempted to have my fingers dance upon the keys of my trusty laptop. I am continuing to fight through life in a way that brings purpose to it and with many goals that show light at the end of the tunnel. After busting my ass I passed my last semester of community college, finished my first draft of my current book and after a terrifying long two weeks a medical test result came back normal. You would think I would be more at ease but the emotional rollercoaster of the last few weeks, hell the last few months has been taking its toll. I look strong and I am but I struggle or I shut it all down and away into the darkness unable to live through it otherwise. I take the blame, the guilt, the hurt and swallow it. I lost. I can admit that but I could not survive going through the motions any longer, repeating the same miserable day. I have had diagnosis after diagnosis and I offer them as an explanation and not an excuse because depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety and PTSD; they are all real. I’m not sure why people think they are exception to the rules of my life. The disappointment dripping from their everything kills a piece of me each time.
So I will continue to do all I can to provide the life my son deserves, the life I deserve. I will take the blame for the sake of those I love but I will no longer stay complacent in this horrid fantasy they have for me. Alone is just fine. After all, it was the one thing I asked for that no one has ever been willing to give me.
Life has been a whirlwind roller coaster of chaos lately. I’m not sure if I haven’t written because I had nothing to say or too much. My life shifted in some extremely uncomfortable ways and as I purge through the trauma of my past blindfolded, the emotions and feelings tied to them erupt seemingly from nothing. I have been attempting to make choices in my life that effect my life in a manner towards what I want or need for myself and as always when it effects others in a way not pleasant or simply not what they want or need, let’s just say it hasn’t been going well. I am so exhausted of putting others ahead of myself and simply surviving. Though at the moment all of the consequences of my choices have not been evoking warm and fuzzy feelings either.
My morning dove, Precious, past away last night. I had decided I would not share publicly as I did not want pity, sympathy or attention but I changed my mind if only because I wanted people to know that he was an amazing member of our family for twenty years, he was loved and he matters.
When I would sing (karaoke) in the back room (aka his bedroom), he would get excited for the company and he was a critic! He would coo and bow when he enjoyed the music and the vocals whether it be myself or a karaoke girls night. Times when my voice would strain or crack or in other way not do a song justice, he would laugh and laugh.
Years ago when we still had my brother’s bloodhound husky mix, Blue, and Precious was in his prime he would chase her around the house. Attempting to land on her back and hop up to her with his best mating call and sing his love of her. She was not interested but it was always adorable to watch.
Life is always happening and as much as we all wish it wasn’t, so is death as it is the balance of life. Precious’s death, knowing it was near still hit me with shock and unreadiness. I don’t know if there is a way to be at peace with it. As I continue to raise my autistic son, write my books, work my job, work on my studies now that I am back in school and all the other million things I attempt to get done on any given day, I must remember that pain, grief, and all things that leave our mark on our lives and soul do so, so that we may recognize the wonder and magic in the world. Honestly, I could use a little magic right now and I think we all could. This world we live in, seems so cold and cruel so much of the time.
I will not quit even if I falter. I will not hide away inside of myself for longer than I need to because it feels easier at the time. I will not put myself last. I will not let my diagnosis’s define who I am. I will grieve and search for peace. I will love without conditions. I will try to forgive, those who have hurt me and myself for all the things I have refused to because of feelings I am not worthy of forgiveness.
Precious, I buried your body with care and marked your grave so I may sing out to you as I once did. I hope your wings have spread wide and you are soaring above all things with peace, and joy in your heart knowing you were loved and we will all be okay.
My nightmares usually consist of post apocalyptic times always with a lot of running and fighting. Sometimes hostage situations of just myself, sometimes loved ones or a combination. Last night, I was surrounded by people who care about me. No matter what I said or did no one could hear me and though it felt all too normal yet, it was different and even more infuriating. All around me people I knew and some I didn’t dressed in dark clothes with red skin around their tired eyes and that was when I saw myself laying in an ugly wooden box. At least I saw my shell or vessel anyway. Dressed in something I would not want to wear for eternity if there was a here after. My best friend and sole god parent to my child walked in with my son in her arms, anger and sadness swarmed her face while he looked confused and seemed to be searching for me.
I listened to people say things such as, ” I didn’t know it was that bad.” “Why didn’t she ask for help?” “How could she do this to me?” With each sentence I grew more angry with their consistent oblivious selfishness until the last question where I only cried. “How could she leave her son?” Once again being overwhelmed by feelings I never could or did good enough for him.
I walked around attempting to poke people or trip them, annoyed I had to attend my own funeral and hear the same stories over and over again. Listening to how great I was or how selfish depending on the private conversation I was listening in on. I sat on my casket looking at my shell thinking, I hope I’m better at this than whoever this mortician was. Picking flower petals and throwing them in the box hoping to freak someone out, mostly out of boredom and on the ground where my son picked them up smiling and naturally chewed on them.
I woke up at the same time as I do every night no matter the context of the nightmares. The first feeling I had was disappointment. I was madly disappointed I had to not only be present in such a nightmare but recall it completely as anything would have been better. Fighting battles, chasing monsters, running from evil entity’s, surviving apocalyptic time and post. The second was a feeling of being filled with an ocean of sadness for my son in. Last, I was angry my brain would have me experience such a thing.
I went back to sleep quickly, no dreaming or nightmares. Shortly after awaking for the next days list of “to do’s” I needed to complete. Still unsure which was worse.
Have you ever heard a song and felt it in your bones? How could this complete stranger understand exactly what I am feeling? Yet, those closest to me can not.
One of the problems of being someone trapped in survival mode for nearly two decades, is time and time again people remind you the only one you can truly count on is yourself. No matter their intentions. Some people I don’t have to speak, they just know what I am trying to say, when I truly need a hand to reach out. While others, don’t.
I have been enduring one of the hardest years of my life and this week has nearly broke me. If I didn’t have my best friends I honestly don’t know if I would have survived this long, or if I would even be alive today. One, offering to take care of my child for a couple of days so I can get a much needed mini vacay up north to see another of my besties. One showed up on my doorstep with a bottle of bourbon and a few hours later another showed up with a jar of her apple pie moonshine. I am so insanely lucky to have these people in my life.
I don’t know how to find the words to make it clear what I want or need for those who just can’t understand, to not only understand but put action to it. Sometimes a girl just needs to be heard and sometimes a girl just needs to be rescued. When you’re not actually Wonder Woman, there is only so long you can rise to those sort of standards.
It had been a long time since I have felt so hollow. When life and people again proved my cynical jaded pessimistic viewpoint as what is and always has been true, how the hell am I ever going to change it? I am not enough. Not enough to change it, not enough to deserve what I need or want. Not enough to be the parent I want to be, friend, spouse, daughter, sister. I fear I am not stronger than my depression, my anxiety, my nightmares. At least not to be a whole person, if that was ever something I even was as I may be that good of an actress. Fooling all of you and even myself.
Don’t hug me and say you’re sorry, I love you too and I already know. Words are not enough, if that wasn’t clear.
When I say step up or step back, it is because I am breaking and trying to breathe under water. Water no one else can see and perhaps doesn’t actually exist. What I want, is for you to step up in all the ways I did say but you couldn’t hear me and if you truly cannot do that than what I need is you to step back so I can get one last breath to fight, to live, to survive.
This is the song in my bones.
Maybe I don’t know who I am or what I’m doing but I am trying to figure it all out. I lost a part of myself I was told I wasn’t allowed to be, leaving me hollow chasing a feeling I couldn’t imagine to be real. A life I never felt I deserved. I fantasized of a life more than this and far worse too. It wasn’t about an unwillingness to risk, more so it has always been the willingness to sacrifice my wants and needs for others to only find it was never enough. It always takes pieces of me and I’m not sure who it is that is left.
On no more than two to three hours of sleep a night for weeks now (or longer honestly) I find it difficult to raise to the standards some are used to. It’s much harder to pretend I am alright with little sleep, being awoken by horrific nightmares that continue to haunt me for days. My gypsy soul wants to wander, explore and feel alive but these things are selfish so I push them far from me. So I work toward a better life for the one who needs me most regardless if that is the life that would make me happy. I’m not sure if my happiness has ever been a primary focus in my life though sometimes I’m sure it seems this way to others. I have been trapped in survival mode, enduring so much for such a very long time now. I’ve fooled so many into this strong version of myself unable to rely on anyone the way I truly need I’m not sure who I am anymore or if this is me. If a version of myself free exists some where or if that version is lost forever.
All I can think now at 1 am is, have I stayed up late enough to avoid these traumatizing nightmares? Will there every be a reprieve for me?
I soar out of bed grasping onto hope that what I endured was not real. It wasn’t but it feels so real my body and mind in fact believe it was and so I carry it with me always. The nightly nightmares I bare increasingly more traumatizing and horrific the worse my waking state seems to be. The more fighting or arguing, the more lack of support and help, my dreams feed on it and love to rub my nose in it. It’s strange to me how some people think because the words of support pour out of them without action that is sufficient. Claiming interest in the things you care most deeply about with little to no investment if it is not a shared interest with the expectation of a return on their own passions. Putting in ten percent while lying to themselves they are one hundred percent invested and expecting undivided attention and when its not given turning harsh and cruel. For someone with PTSD (and those without), it adds to the stress and when that person has spent more than half of their life enduring this suffocating existence trapped in survival mode continuously made promises however true at the time that cannot be and never are fulfilled it makes the enduring of this existence much more difficult to bare. This isn’t a blame game, regardless if my bipolar diagnosis is warping the chemicals in my brain to make me two different people shoved in this one broken shell, this shell everyone speaks so kindly about, that isn’t really me is it? With a constant fluctuation of moods and personality traits how am I to know who I am anyway? I was told the darkness within me was evil but it’s the only constant and safe part of my life. It takes a hold and comforts me when I need it most when I am at the point of quitting it all, washing away my tears and sometimes my pain if only for a short while. It never judges me and I wonder if denying it’s existence is the part of me missing that makes me feel whole. I am beyond damaged and more alone than I ever could have imagined trying to pretend I’m something I’m not for the sake to not cause discomfort to those I care most about. At some point they all claim I do not have to do that with them but if time proves anything at all, it proves the fallacy of what they can endure and the fact I can endure almost anything, but with great cost.
How could I possibly trust or rely on another being when time and time again it is proven I must be the strong one? I am so very tired of asking for what I need only to be let down and challenged with the notion I should be grateful for what I have. Unwanted assistance in nearly an opposite fashion to what my mind is screaming for. I so wish that I was loved because those want to love me and not because they need to love me or need my love. I’m tired of being needed. In the beginning of all things I am wanted, chased and at some point I become some burden who is no longer giving them all the things they want. Eventually never enough all while draining the life within me while striving to be what they want me to be with no return.
Here’s the hardest part of all of this, I need help. So do many of you. I have a psychiatrist, therapist, trauma therapist, neurologist etc. Helping me fight for my right to not only endure or survive this life but perhaps live it. This isn’t the help I mean but clearly the help I do need will never come. I wish others would do the same, fight for themselves rather than live in a different sort of darkness they refuse to climb out of, playing the blame game attached to an idea that life or people owe them something when they don’t. If only they took care of themselves rather than adding their baggage onto my back and wonder why I’m breaking and unable to help them, they may heal and maybe I could too. We are here to love, to live. “…All I’ve ever learned from love was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you…” To live… what a beautiful fantasy like three moons shinning over a clear blue sea, and sand between my toes. I am suffocating and trapped and every step forward I fight through the chains and weight of a thousand worlds attached at my ankles and yanked yards backward. I need my own space, I need more time than most to myself by myself, uninterrupted and not to be treated that what I need and want is not valid because it hurts someones feelings or offends them because fuck that bullshit. Learn to love yourself, be alone with yourself, survive on your own as I have done. To many being alone is a curse or the worst punishment of all but to me as a survivor I can always rely on my self to endure, to survive to fight through every god damn thing thrown at me. It’s people who break me. With intention to do so, without intention to do so. Does that part even matter? Being alone is where I can find peace in a world so horrible and filled with chaos and selfishness. I haven’t been alone with myself in so many years, taken from me just as the control over the chemicals in my brain has taken my control over my emotional and mental state. Taught wanting such a thing is wrong and cruel to those who surround me, smothering the light inside of me wondering why I feel so vacant. I have a gypsy soul and that was snuffed out too. So we are left with this shell, the shell everyone seems to love and I despise. Somewhere in the darkness I am screaming and clawing my way out, if only I had help. If only it mattered more than…
I don’t remember the last time when I spoke the words “I’m tired,” and that was all I meant. Whether it was to someone or to myself. I’m tired has replaced I’m okay, I’m all right, I’m fine which often was retorted with, “Are you sure?” Sometimes followed with unsolicited advice which honestly was never much help in climbing out of that headspace. I’m just tired has replaced I’m exhausted. It’s replaced I’m sad, I’m depressed, I feel broken. It’s replaced I feel hopeless. I’m not sure at what point I am tired became so much more in those two words. It creeps in the darkness of the night stealing sleep or causing nothing but sleep. It has no shame on a warm sunny day and still keeps coming at you with clenched fists. Frankly, most times talking about how I feel traps me there and I want to escape it and I have therapists for that sort of thing anyway.
I suppose I may not just be tired and after so many years like this it feels as if this is who I am now. It’s not all days but it’s closer to that being true than not. Sometimes saying I’m tired, is to not burden those you care about with something you can’t help feeling. And after so much time has passed and those feelings are still there the compassion dissipates from the ones you need it from the most. It is not intentional to hurt but the truth is, sometimes it does.
Maybe I don’t have anything positive to say and I am a jaded, cynical pessimist. And life experiences and jacked chemicals in my brain created the monster I feel I am now. So no, I won’t complain about my day, the physical pain I’m in I try to ignore and fight through or for the mental warfare inside of my head just to be told to chin up or buck up or to play the one up game with people I’m not trying to compete with, especially a game where every one is the loser. To be asked how I am and for the response to my reply to feel like nothing more than a brush off, an obligation to ask but no substance behind it. And yes, I already know that someone else has it worse than me but I still have to live this life in this body, in this mind.
I miss truly enjoying things, things I used to or even new experiences or even something so simple as chasing after dreams. To be trapped in survival mode only because the chemistry in my brain is faulty. Some days, not all days, I go through the motions only to get to the next day and only to do it all over again like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day or Sammy in the “Mystery Spot” episode of Supernatural. But I haven’t given up yet and that should count for something shouldn’t it?
So yes, I’m tired.
The short answer? Hell yes.
There is a difference between being supportive and understanding. Someone can tell you they support you and even mean what they say without putting forth much effort into understanding where you are coming from. The problem which lies in this is without the understanding of your dreams, goals, trauma, illness (etc.); is their support will never be fully committed if those things inconvenience them. For example, if your time for this supportive person becomes less so you may focus more on any of the list above or others. The inconvenience to them may make them act less than supportive and although they want to support you they do not want to sacrifice or have anything taken away from them. When someone does not understand your illness or even your dreams you might assume they would look further into it. Order a book on kindle explaining it in more details so they can actually have an understanding on a level closer to your own and help ease their own feelings about the situation or future situations that may arise. It amazes me how a little empathy can go a long way and how many people do not know the true definition of the word. I find people who suffer from empathy (as that is how it feels for me) often have a clearer understanding of what someone else is enduring or even enjoying. True empathy is a gift and a curse.
We all have to live our own lives, needing to take care of ourselves and sometimes others too. We all have dreams, goals and aspirations and some may never come to be. Many of us struggle; it’s hard to endure and it’s often hard for others to watch. Sadly, we live in a world where “I” and “me” trumps all things. A world where people care more about power, greed and social media like’s. A world where other people’s problems and struggles are an inconvenience to our own lives. A world where it sometimes seems is filled with the Violet’s and the Veruca’s of Willy Wonka’s, who think “I want” is the same thing as “I need” and won’t compromise such things for what someone else may need. We live in a time where people want things easy and do not want to work for anything, even if it would be worth it in the long run.
Which brings me to another heartbreaking point, when no one notices you fading away or your love for things dissipating. When you are too exhausted to sleep and respond with doing the bare minimum and it still seems to never be enough. When someone makes you feel worse because, “they are not enough to make you feel happy or better.” When you are told someone supports you or wants to help you but their actions do not correspond.
Just know, you can survive anything and you are enough. Though people may not like it, you have the power to change your circumstances. I won’t say it’s easy as it rarely is but it is within your power to change yourself and your circumstances. Waiting for help, relying on other people is a fairy tale or a day dream. People can change of course but if you wait for them to change for you, you will be waiting a very long time. People change for themselves.