The Sharp Pointy Things in Life

Whether you live with a mental illness or not, there are all sorts of events, large and small, that happen in life, that can sometimes come along and poke at the protective bubble you hold around your mind, your heart, your spirit…and sometimes, the bubble can burst.

I have been experiencing quite stable mental health for a briefly extended period, but the sharp pointy things in life today have me feeling quite down.  I have been furiously patching holes and strengthening weak spots and doing the time-honored “keep as busy as possible” routine.  Some days, that is just not enough.

I have been without one of my medications for two doses, without another for one dose.  This might not seem like a big deal, but, to me, it is HUGE.  A few missed doses can send me in a tailspin.  A few missed doses can mean the difference between a productive and upcoming Christmas-ing weekend, and a weekend spent hiding out in my couch bunker.

Still, I’m trying and pushing through.  I had the piss-poor idea to get on Facebook about an hour ago, wherein I learned of the sudden death of a former co-worker, made all the more sad because linked to that page, was the page of the obituary two years ago of her fiance, who I was also friends with at my last job.  He was killed in the line of duty on the police force.  I’m not sure what happened to her.  I know they both had very small children, and I know they both seemed like really nice and special people.

Of course, that also got me thinking about my former life working in the women’s prison, and working in mental health in general…and there was a pang in my chest and a tear in my eye and I clicked all of that mess shut and shoved it under the figurative bed.

Sadness, angst, horrific things on Facebook.  Sometimes I wonder why I belong.  Sometimes I wonder why every sad animal abuse story is on my feed, or why I pay any attention to the news.  It is distressing often, upsetting frequently.  And then there are the people, and the things they post, and the fact that I am often just shaking my head, thinking, “Hmmm, why do I even ASSOCIATE with these people?  People that could say these things, do these things, are interested in these things.”

I really think sometimes that Facebook brings out the worst in people.  I do find great inspirational sayings and funny things often, but the negative…wow, sometimes I think it really outweighs the good.

People often say, you must be careful what goes into your head.  This is why I don’t read certain books, don’t read certain magazines, listen to certain types of music, speak with certain people (at least very often).  I am, in general, very vigilant about what I feed my brain.

Except Facebook.  I let it in, every time, even when it punishes me for doing so.

Today has not been the best day.  I have fought all day to get a few prescriptions filled, and have had just ridiculous anxiety about the fact that I can’t seem to get them all taken care of.  The sharp pointy things of the day have deflated my balloon.

I’m not getting ready to go burrow my head in the covers and cry for my mama.  Instead, I’m sitting (as prescribed) in front of my sun lamp, and then I’m going to go to my aqua exercise class.  After that, who knows.  We baked a ham today, and the house smells good.  I am going to focus on that.

I am going to say:  Rosa, how can you possibly be in a bad mood when your house smells of finely roasted pig and you have family that loves you and a boyfriend that would do next to anything to make you feel better?

How, indeed?

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A State Called Home

Clouds and sunset near Hoyt, Kansas.  Photo credit goes to an old high school pal who just left the Navy and moved (with wife and several kids) from California back home to Kansas, to give his kids the childhood he had.  James has traveled all over the world, by himself and with his family, doing the Navy thing proud, making me proud to know him, to see through the computer and talks with his mom just how much he has improved his life.  All the places he has lived, seen, experienced — he told all of Facebook the other day, that there is no place better than Kansas to live.  This is home.  Probably a lot of us feel like there is one place on Earth that has the memories, the beauty, the magic and love to be considered home base.  I’m with James — born and raised, Kansas proud.

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The Blurry Selfie

Effects-Rose-2A

Yep, WordPress, there’s me.  All fuzzified, but, still me.  I wanted to take a new picture, because I hadn’t had one in three years and all of my FB pictures had me with super-short hair.  I wanted to show off my big long hair.  This fuzzified one doesn’t do it justice, but you start to get the point.

Imagine my surprise when I post this picture on FB and automatically get a harsh reply, “Errrrmmmm, where’s ur makeup?”  Okay, it wasn’t hard enough for me to put it up there, and now my best friend from high school (who is also an Avon rep) points out that, gee, you NEED makeup.  She made me feel so stupid.  And ugly.

And the thing is, I let her.  I let her make me feel stupid and ugly (and of course, fat, because ugly and fat go hand in hand) and undesirable.  I let her make me feel like I needed makeup to be pretty, when I know better.  I do like to wear makeup, yes, but I don’t wear it all the time.  I don’t have to wear it to feel pretty.  But I let her make me feel ashamed, for not being more of a woman, a girly girl.

I think what this photo really shows is a person, trying to put herself out there.  Trying really hard, because it doesn’t come easy.  Trying even harder to overcome the feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem and the feeling like she really isn’t pretty.  Not at 32 years old.

The truth of the matter, is this person doesn’t NEED makeup.  Maybe a little mascara for those blonde eyelashes, maybe a touch of eyeshadow, of blush.  But that would be about it.  This person isn’t in need of foundation and concealer and powder and all the face paint.  This person doesn’t think it looks good on ANYONE.

So there are a few blemishes here and there, and those eyes would really POP with a tiny bit of makeup, but there’s nothing wrong with the picture above.  That woman is lovely, inside and out, and it is a damn shame that she lets others make her feel differently.

Sometimes You Have to Burn Bridges

burning bridges

 

 

Younger, naive, much less in tune with the ways relationships work (and don’t work).  To put it simply, I was just young and dumb and hopelessly romantic.  I thought I was in love, maybe I was.  It sure seemed that way, when we weren’t fighting over something silly and he wasn’t ignoring me or giving me the silent treatment.

We were very different.  At that young of an age, I had a restlessness to do things.  Anything, really.  I wanted to have have dinner and an evening of conversation at my mom’s house, go catch a movie once in awhile.  I wanted to have my pregnant step-sister over and make her brownies and see how excited she got when the pan came out of the oven.  I wanted to go to ballgames with my dad and not see his disappointment everytime I left the house.

And he didn’t want to be around people.  Not anyone.  Not his family, not my family.  Sometimes, I think, not even me.  I did everything I could to catch his attention — cooked great meals, suggested movies to watch, brought home card games I thought he might like.  To no avail.  The harder I tried, the more he ignored me.

I see now that it was terribly painful for him to be around other people.  When he said, “Rose, I don’t know what to say!” — he really meant that he didn’t know what to say.  I thought he was just shy at first.  And that was okay because I’m a little on the shy side myself when I first get to meet someone.  But it was more than that.  There was a complete confusion, for him, about how people interacted, talked to each other, empathized and loved one another.  He didn’t understand it, and it couldn’t be taught.  I tried — he would say, “just leave me alone.”

I don’t know how I made it through three years like that.  My biggest problem with him was that he constantly ignored me.  I would get home from work and we would talk for a little bit and, even though he had been home all day by himself, he had to get away again.  He would go to the basement and play video games at full volume, for hours on end.  He would take his tablet or his iPod and go listen to five or six or seven podcasts.

I remember thinking, “I just want him to like me.  To love me, even!”  I remember wondering why he never wanted to be around anyone, no matter how loving and including they were.  It was all very confusing to me, because I felt like I was doing all the right things, like my family and his family were doing all the right things.

When things were close to the end, we were sitting around taking online questionnaires.  I sent him one for Asperger’s Syndrome.  He read off his answers to me, which were all lies.  The truths were all such CLEAR markings, and I can say that I do have some experience with this, having worked in the the mental health field for over ten years.  I began to think, not for the first time, that something clinical could have been playing a role in our dysfunctional (nonfunctional) relationship.  Not that it was or that it had, but that it COULD have.

Right after that, we got into a big fight about the same old things (ignoring me, never wanting anything to do with anyone, playing video games for 12 hours at a time overnight).  He said he was leaving.  I told him that I would hold him to that, and he left the next day.

It’s three years later and imagine my surprise when he friends me on Facebook.  Knowing I shouldn’t, but wanting to know how he is, I accept.  And he starts messaging me.  Over and over.  Won’t stop.  I finally figured out to unfriend him.  He kept messaging me and I didn’t understand how that was possible, so I blocked him.  My phone rang a few minutes later, and it was him, pretending to be a customer service rep.  I told him we were never getting back together, that it would never happen and that I had bad memories from that time.  He said he understood and would leave me alone.

I hope I don’t have to change my number.

Collection of Thoughts

For-the-moon-never

 

In the past, I struggled with nightmares.  Trauma-induced nightmares that would wake me up, breathless and sweating.  I’m pleased to say that with a good healthy kick of Prazosin, and years of therapy, I don’t have those dreams often anymore.  Now when I dream, it is usually right around the end of the world and I am fighting.  With guns.  And saving people.  And looking for my dogs.  And my sister.  These aren’t nightmares, per say, but they are unpleasant.  I also have a lot of dreams about showing up places inappropriately dressed.  I don’t believe in dream interpretation, but I can imagine what some people would say about that.  It is funny, though, to only  have two types of dreams:  end of the world dreams and inappropriately naked dreams.  I’d like a little more variety.

 

he who does not understand silence

 

I like this.  It spoke to me, but I didn’t hear it.  OK, kidding, obviously.  There is so much truth in this quote, though.

DSB:  What’s for dinner?

Me:  *silence*

DSB:  What’s wrong?  What happened?

Me:  *silence*

DSB:  Do you not want to talk about it right now?

Me:  *nodding head*

DSB:  Come see me when you’re fit to have this conversation, because we ARE having this conversation.

And what I was trying to do was keep from crying, but he thought I was mad about something.  Sometimes the tears come for no reason, and they will not go away.  And he doesn’t get that, even when I explain it.  Emotional times around my household lately.

 

She-lives-the-poetry

 

Word to you, Mr. Oscar Wilde.  When I was growing up, I wrote tons of poetry.  Now, I can’t even read it.  It’s to the point where, if a poem shows up in my reader, I just delete it.  I can’t go there.  All that time I spent gushing out my emotions on paper, in poetry form — that time is over and long gone and, while I wish I could still write like that, I appreciate the medicated and unable-to-write-or-read-poetry version of Rosa better.  But Mr. Wilde is right, I am living it.  You can’t read it or see it, but it lives on.

 

friends are like quarters

Amen to that.  I’ve been through times when I’ve had tons of “friends,” who really I could probably only call acquaintances, and some not even that.  Now I have a very very few friends, and they mean more to me, and are more to me, than any 790 Facebook friends I used to have.  It’s funny who we choose to share our life with, and I think the better quality comes from sharing it less, but sharing it with people who get it more.

 

 

 

 

Epiphanies, Realizations, and “Duh” Moments

I feel like my mind is a little less foggy than it has been over the past six weeks of being ill.  Today, crazy ideas and realizations just seemed to come to me, sweep over me.  I think this is why so many people say that the thirties are the best years of your life…when you really start to figure things out.  At least that is how my thirties have been so far…all three months of them.  Can’t hardly wait to be 37 now and know it ALL!  Hah!

Something I have actually found is, the older I get, the more I realize that I don’t know.  Things I thought I had figured out…nope, not even close.  Things I didn’t think I knew anything about, I find myself knowing a little more now.

It has seemed to me, as of late, that my co-workers are frazzled and burning out.  In particular, my supervisor has seemed especially annoyed and irritated with me.  I asked a co-worker about it today, just to check and see if he was sensing what I was.  He told me that she was annoyed and irritated with me.  That all of my checking in and letting her know about things happening on my caseload bothered her.  That I was needy and needed constant confirmation and reassurance.  Well, I can see how that might be.  I also tend to talk about things I have already emailed about.  That is also apparently annoying.

I have tried talking to my supervisor many times, and here within the past six months just get an “I’m busy” and an annoyed look.  If I don’t want to chat with her about the new car she wants to buy or the latest family drama she has going on, she doesn’t want to hear from me.  It’s really strange, because I am just realizing this almost as I type it.  Whooooo epiphany!

What is so strange about this is that, from the start, she has put herself right in the middle of my job.  She wanted to be kept in the loop, updated, etc.  Now she just doesn’t give an eff.  I am trying not to take that too personally.  As QoB reminded me, I am always talking about how burned out she is, and now I should realize that, by being burned out on her job, part of that being burned out has to do with my supervision.  Well ok.

I’m not too sure what to do about all of this.  I don’t want to try and talk to her, because she’ll just think I’m needy and am complaining (something she said today, “you never come in here except to complain.”)  I guess I thought that employees were supposed to come to their supervisors with their difficult cases and concerns.  Apparently I am doing too much of that.

So, because she has changed, I need to change how I operate when communicating with her.  I can do that.  I don’t like change, but I can do it.  It is difficult to take 30 years of neediness and put it aside, but I think I can do it slowly.  I think I have actually made some progress in that area in my personal life, over the past few years, and I know I can apply it to my work life.

Now that I know all of this, I have my “duh” moment.  Her constant crap mood is not about me.  It is directed at me sometimes, but I am not the root.  If I were to come into her office to talk trash about anything, she’d eat it up.  If I go to her office to talk business, she doesn’t want to hear it.  This is not about me.  I repeat (mostly to myself), this is not about me.

After some thought, and a suggestion, I unfriended anyone associated with work from my Facebook page today.  It was a good feeling.  I looked at the people left on my friends list and thought, “Wow, I really would like to know more about what those people are up to now!”  I also unfriended some people that I just find annoying.  What a relief.  Who knew that “unfriend” button could bring so much satisfaction?!?  QoB did, that’s who.

QoB also once sent me this YouTube, before I knew what it meant to actually work in a cubicle.  Things that make you go hmmmmm.

My Cubicle, A James Blunt parody