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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Because That Phrase Doesn’t Work

buck up

Although I have heard this one often, sometimes in jest, some other more PC versions include “Can’t You Just Get it Together?” OR “Just Pull Yourself Back into the Saddle” OR “Get Your Shit Straight!”

For everyone’s information, Rosa is working very hard at getting her shit straight, at “bucking up,” if you will.  The problem, when you are also dealing with a mental illness, in addition to serious life stress — it may just not be so simple.

When Rosa stays at home all day, relaxing, chatting with friends on the Internet, reading blogs, reading on the Kindle, playing with the Kizzer dog, this is how she recharges.  Because people.  Well, people.  What can I say, being around people, it just drains the life right out of me.

The most current issue of the “just buck up” phrase comes from the fact that Rosa and her bipolarity have driven away oh-so-many people, and she finds herself with only a very few close friends and family members that she can rely on.  This means that, out of four people, there might not be someone to call at midnight, or five in the morning, or what have you.  With more resources, it might be easier.  I’d like to think it would be.

I have a stepsister and a best friend from grade school.  Both live close, both have kids and husbands.  In the past, they would always make time for me, but I guess I have worn them out.  The ups and downs of bipolar disorder, the cancelling meetings, the crying on the phone, my insistent attempts to get them to talk to me, perhaps me just seeming too desperate.  It is clear they have given up on me.  No, it’s really not in my head.  Other people see it too.

And there’s the question of my stepmom, who should love and care for me, at least in some small way, for the simple fact that she loves my dad.  Well, this is not the case.  She let it slip a couple weeks ago that she is “completely  unsympathetic to the mentally ill.”  What the FUCK would give you an idea to say that to me of all people.  She complained about people getting hospitalized, of which I actually  have twice and have thought about even more.  She had nothing good to say about a person with a mental illness — not even me.

And it occured to me — this woman does not love me, she does not respect me, and in fact she sees me as a burden on my father’s time.  She has actually said those words — burden on my father’s time.  No doubt that she can go up once a week to see my sister and spend 12 hours up there, or spend money and time on her daughter.  I am that red-headed step-child that no one wants around.  Save for Dad.

So after much introspection, I am left mainly with anger.  Anger for these people abandoning me in my life, when I could have used them most.  My dad came by last night and I cursed and yelled and cried and, while I think it was overwhelming for him, I think he needed to hear it.

He cried, because, well, this shit is sad.  The people I thought I could depend on are not there, and the list of people that I CAN depend on shrinks by the moment.  On my part, there will be no more contacting these people.  They have my number, my email, my web address, my home address.  They can figure out how to find me.

So here I am, at the end of the day, and I am done.done.done. with a large group of people.  I am not going to subject myself to heartache anymore, just as I suppose they wouldn’t themselves.

Remember this?

 

Grieving, and the Quest for True Love

The rub within, is that if DSB had fought for me at the end, I would have let him stay.  It would have been foolish, but I would have had some sort of “proof” that there was love between us.  In the final six months of the DSB and Rosa saga, I became his caretaker, his amazingly unappreciated caretaker, and that drove a wedge between us.  Maybe if that hadn’t all happened, maybe he’d be sleeping in the back room right now and I would be snoozing away, because I wouldn’t have had so many terrible thoughts chasing each other in my mind.

While I am doing much better, I am deep down still grieving that loss.  Through all the comments and the well-wishes in the responses section, I can tell you that — I am grieving.  How long will I grieve, how long can I expect this to last?  That’s what I want to know, because it is affecting my day-to-day life.  I jumped headfirst into an online flirty-type friendship because then, someone was giving me the attention that I had so been dying for.  When it became clear that nothing would come of that flirty-type relationship, and we decided to just be friends, I was hurt and frustrated, but relieved, all at the same time.  I could stop trying so hard, stop making a fool of myself.

I don’t think I can have another relationship, of any kind, right now, or possibly in the next long while.  I just need someone to love me, to pay attention to me, and I am looking for it in the wrong places.  After my last two relationships, I can’t have another wherein I am not paid attention to, in which I am ignored or made to feel unloved.  I know this isn’t just in my head.  This is really happening, or not happening, as the case may be.  How hard is it to say, “I love you” once in awhile?  How hard is it to reach out and give your partner’s arm a squeeze or give a hug or touch them in any non-sexual way?  In both relationships, I nearly felt like a leper, there was so little human contact.

I may have my problems, but I know how to love someone, how to treat them well, and look after them.  I have many good qualities of which I am aware, and they outnumber any minuses on my side, such as having bipolar disorder or being overweight or not being ultra-feminine.  I know I am a catch, and I will wait around as long as it takes to find someone that truly appreciates this.  I can’t go through what I’ve gone through before, and I hope I never have to.  

I want that “happily-ever-after” love and I know it is out there.  I have seen it, witnessed it in both sets of parents and many other couples.  It takes hard work and there is going to be some disagreeing, and fighting, but, at end of day, if I could just find someone who loves me as much as my Dad loves his wife or as much as my mom loves the Big Dawg, then everything would be golden.  I do believe it can happen.

Even if I have to move to Russia and wear one of those hats.

Waiting on a Return Email

I have only one friend from college that I still occasionally email with, and let’s just say the emails are quite infrequent.  She sent me an email about a week ago, talking about getting a promotion at work and the new degree she is working on.  My friend is an over-achiever, if ever there was one, and has been known to throw herself onto many a project just because someone says it can’t be done.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really sure how to react to the news that she received a lateral promotion and is going to get another masters, to add to the two she already has, and, oh, her Ph.D.  We were on the same track in college.  If I weren’t bipolar, I’d probably be doing exactly what she’s doing, but that’s only happening in another time-space continuum.

At the end of what I think was a very long rant about statistics and computer programming and data analysis (I think), she asked me if I was still working at the prison.  And how she imagined that would be “the hardest job in the world.”  Wow.

I thought I already had my “coming out of the bipolar closet” party with Jen.  Apparently not, or she has forgotten, which is possible because she is a severe binge drinker and doesn’t have the best memory (although she was able to stuff several degrees under her belt, so she must have some memory).  The post I wrote yesterday and added as a page on my site, “The Story and the Stigma,” stemmed from me responding to my friend’s email yesterday.

I took Jen through every step of what I’d been up to in the past two years (since apparently she hadn’t been listening) and told her that this all (working part time, being on SSDI, etc) was a long time coming.  I haven’t heard back from her, and I’m leaning towards the “you never will” because she’s sent me several other articles since, so I know she’s checked her email.

Typing all this out makes me think — I knew exactly what Jen has been up to for the past two years; why doesn’t she know a thing about what I’ve gone through?  I can’t figure out if she doesn’t remember or doesn’t want to remember or just lost track.  I suppose it’s altogether possible I never told her, but not likely.  In fact, I distinctly recall an email I sent to her right after I left inpatient hospitalization for the first time.

At this point, I only care a little about what Jen will say.  I’ve had to go over and over with so many different people why I’m in the position I am in, and so I’m kind of through with the drama of it all.  Jen will either reply back to the email, or she’ll just keep mass-mailing me articles that she thinks are interesting.

And I’m just going to keep telling myself that I don’t care until I’m blue in the face.  I’m going to keep being nonchalant about this and not freak out, because that would really indicate some mental health issues.  Sensitive?  Gah, me?  No!  Much anxiety in your life?  Lay in bed at night awake, wondering what all those people out there are  thinking of you and how they are probably judging you?

I think I’m going to need some direct therapy on this issue.  For now, I’m putting the possibility of a return email from Jen low on my priority list, and I’ll just have to keep shoving it back down there until it stays.

The Counting Crows, Long December  (We would listen to Counting Crows nonstop, singing all the words, back in the day.  This video takes me right back and I am stuck.)

Ten Things Thankful

Considerings and a few other select bloggers have apparently been hosting, “Ten Things Thankful,” for quite some time, and I didn’t know about it.  Thanks to seeing Sheena’s post about it at NotAPunkRocker this morning, I am now well aware and plan to join in the happy, grateful madness, even if I have been a bit into doing list-y posts a lot lately.

Ten Things I Am Thankful for Today (as I sit here with a sniffling nose and a dog laying on my foot):

1) My Dad.  I started smoking again about a week ago, and I was terrified of his reaction.  He had been my biggest supporter and even went as far as to buy patches and lozenges for me.  I inadvertently told him over the phone last night and not much was said.

I called him today to possibly cancel our plans for tomorrow because I’m just feeling all stressed out and like I have no time at  home to get anything done.  He told me that he wanted me to know that he loves me just as much a smoker as a non-smoker.  He wanted me to know that he thought I had tried really, REALLY hard.  He also wanted me to know that, while he doesn’t like smoking, it’s just something I DO, not who I am.  I couldn’t have asked for more acceptance than that.

Thank you, Dad

Thank you, Dad

 

2) Minnow, my weekend bait-store buddy.  He is still in high school (senior year) and he came in the shop to help me on Friday because we were going to get slammed (good weather), and everyone else is frantically trying to get the garden store ready.  Minnow makes me smile, he is thoughtful and helpful and friendly.

He makes the time go by quicker and he is willing to do tasks that I do not like, such as bagging up crickets, and he knows everything there is to know about fishing…literally.  He and his girlfriend were in this morning and they were just too cute.  I wanted to tell her not to break his heart, or I would break her face, but I restrained myself.

These are golden shiners.  The rich man's minnow, what we sell in the store.  There are also fathead minnows, the poor man's minnow.  We sell those sometimes, too, but the golden shiners are preferred in this part of the state.  More than you ever wanted to know about minnows, I'm sure!

These are golden shiners, what we call minnows in the bait shop.  I think it’s a regional thing.  Best for catching crappie.

 

3) Figuring out (very slowly) how to post media into WP posts.  For the longest time, I just didn’t get it.  I was using the “old way” to insert files, and apparently all you  have to do is go to that add media wizard and take it from there.  Loving that.  Loving thinking about posting YouTube videos at the end of the post, that match the  post’s tone, like I used to.

4) Friends.  It has been forever and a day since I have had friends.  People in general scare me and I have such social anxiety that it makes face-to-face interaction terrifying.  I can chat all day long with the yahoo’s down at the bait shop, but get me into a situation with a person whose friendship I would like to have, and I go down in a ball of flames.  For some reason all of that goes away on the Internet and I have some amazing online friends.  I am thankful for the emails, the chats, the likes, the comments, the friendship.  I thank you, my friend.

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5) Hair ties.  I have always worn my hair short, but it is getting long, long, long.  Well past my shoulders, which is longer than it’s been since high school.  And usually it’s pin straight.  Well, now that it’s long, it’s also extremely curly.  It does look nice worn down, but I usually have it up because it drives me crazy.

6) Followers.  I don’t like to call people that; I prefer “readers,” at the very least.  I’d like to say to my readers, “Hi!” because there are several new, and in related news, I just passed 800.  I’m not saying that to brag, I’m saying that because I am shocked that 800 people would want to read what I’m writing.  That, and I’m not sure all 800 of those are real…maybe that’s just me being paranoid.

This is exactly how I gained followers...bird seed.  :D

This is exactly how I gained followers…bird seed. 😀

 

7) My nephew and my sister.  I am going to see them on Monday and, although this a post about gratefulness from this past week, I am overjoyed and perhaps overly grateful yesterday, today, and (likely) tomorrow that I am getting to visit.

8) Any meal made by DSB.  He has cooked three times this week and, while I would rather cook, I do so ever appreciate it.  He even made me my favorite, chicken and rice soup, yesterday and I had yummy leftovers for lunch.

This is pretty much what it looked like, minus the huge pieces of carrot.  Must start using a camera!

This is pretty much what it looked like, minus the huge pieces of carrot. Must start using a camera!

 

9) Blog awards.  I have mixed feelings about blog awards.  Part of me feels like it’s bragging, part of me doesn’t want to try and figure out a description of me listed A-Z, and part of me just doesn’t know who to pass the award onto because there are sooooo many talented bloggers out there and I don’t want anyone’s feelings to be hurt.  I did a lot of thinking on that last night and this morning, and I’ve decided I’m going to accept two I received recently and one I received way back when (but declined…I’m un-declining…that’s ok, right?).  It’s going to take a bit to get it all together, but stay tuned.  And I’d love to hear your opinion on awards in the comments section (or in my email for that matter).

award

 

10) And last but not least, I am thankful for the following video, which I turn to when I feel in the midst of deep change.  And don’t hate on my gangsta rap; this song has real meaning.

 

 

 

 

Socially Awkward

I don’t like to be around people I don’t know.  I have a hard time getting to know strangers and it takes a really long time before I trust a person to be genuine.  I see rejection at every unanswered call and feel like I walk on eggshells because I don’t want to upset someone that might call me their friend.

This has been going on for ages.  I remember in grade school, every single girl in my class standing at the top of a big jungle-gym structure, except for myself and one other little girl.  The “gang leader” wanted us to basically “perform” against each other, and the person that wins would get to climb up on the piece of equipment and be a part of the group.  I am embarrassed to say that I attempted to win.  And was downright ashamed when I didn’t sing the Sesame Street theme song better than that other girl.  I was an outcast that year.  Reinforce that you are a loser and will always be rejected, right HERE.

I remember wanting to have a “friend” over to hang out or do a sleepover, or whatever, and having to call down a long list in my elementary school directory before I found someone who would come play.  I remember my mom being exasperated that I actually WOULD call through the whole list.  I remember feeling alone and sad, and not knowing or understanding why no one wanted to hang out with me.  Rejection, again.

I did, over the years in grade school, develop exactly two friendships, but they both broke apart in dramatic fashion in junior high.  Ack, junior high was a mess.  The boys started to tease me mercilessly for being the tallest kid around, and I was slightly overweight, so thus started the fat jokes.  And the worst was that the girls joined in.  I had absolutely no friends in junior high.  I remember those as being turbulent times, being confused at the roles people played, and shocked at the sexual-goings-on of my classmates.

In high school, things got better because I played sports.  Being on an atheletic team almost invariably equals instant friends, just because you spend so much time together.  I was in sports when I was in middle school, but it was quite disorganized and, looking back, I had a couple of “sports friends” but they were from teams outside of my school.  In high school, I was “almost” popular.  I usually had a boyfriend, or was working on getting one.  I had something social to do most nights, and for the most part, the teasing stopped.

And then college and the real world came through, and there I was, without friends and people making fun of me again.  I had a few acquaintances in college, but no one I would call a true friend.  I’ve only stayed in touch with one person from that time in my life, and she mostly sends me email forwards, every once in awhile a card for my birthday.

I know I have social anxiety and I know it comes from those early days of rejection, people making fun of me, and generally feeling like I don’t belong.  I still feel that way now and, at 32, have no friends that exist outside the Internet, and, even then, only a couple of Internet friends.  I’m more okay with that now than I used to be.

I feel like I have a full life, even without having any “real life” friends.  To be honest, people scare me.  Even on the Internet, people scare me.  I have a lot of support from family and DSB, and, while I do try to chat someone up every now and again, it generally doesn’t go anywhere, mostly, I think, because I am just so awkward with it.

I don’t know if I should do something about this or just let it be, but I lean toward let it be.  My fear of rejection is huge, and I don’t care to feel like I’m back in grade school or middle school, being teased for being the fattest kid on the playground.