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Archive for May, 2014

Insomnia

I’m not perfect, and I struggle. In my past, I made some truly horrible decisions, and sometimes today still deal with the consequences of them. I try not to judge, yet find myself doing so, especially when people make the same mistakes over and over, or the same decisions with the same consequences over and over…mainly because I try not to make the same mistakes more than once, and expect others to as well. I’ve grown more bitter in recent years, especially about things that seem so crystal clear to me but apparently are not to those around me. Even knowing in my mind that my perceptions are colored by my experiences, thus those around me are as well, I still am easily irritated. I seem to have conflicting values at times…I want equality for all, but I also want protections for those speaking their beliefs, because when we attempt to regulate individual thought, we walk a dangerous path. I find myself full of rage more than at any time I can remember in my life, and I’m not sure how to correct that. I do a lot of screaming into the wind on my bike to alleviate that rage and other emotions, but even that isn’t enough lately. I know I should probably be medicated (was taken off the meds in the hospital because I was vomiting so much, and when they forgot to start me back on them when I got better, I neglected to mention it because I was losing weight and was feeling better physically than I had in years), but I don’t want to gain those 60+ pounds back (yes, it really was all from the medication), and I don’t want the other side effects. I’m not a bad person, but I come across that way more and more often lately, especially in dealing with my parents, and my lack of patience with them. I have a lot of guilt because I can’t deal with their drama and “fix” them as they seem to want me to do, so I turn away and slam virtual doors in order to get them to leave me alone…not something the daughter of parents who are in their golden years with some fairly serious health problems should do. My brother is unable and unwilling to care for our parents, and it therefor falls to me…and more often lately, I shoot myself in the foot with my reactions to them. I know this is a big part of my frustration and resentment with them. I would kill for more than 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I would kill to be the happy person I can vaguely remember being, instead of just pretending or seeming happy during manic episodes (which are coming more frequently now). I would kill not to have the rapid mood swings. I would kill to feel like I actually still have a family, rather than these distant memories of years gone by. And I would kill to be able to enjoy my life without constant pain… and/or guilt trips from my…parent. I honestly don’t like this person I’ve become the past eight or so years, but I’m not sure how to change. Change takes desire and energy, and the reality is that I’m too exhausted most of the time to have desire for much of anything. I put on a good show, a good act, but those living in my house are seeing the real me more and more lately. One day I will wake up to realize I’ve reaped what I sowed, and that while I tend to shun my parents, my own little family will decide I too am not worth the frustration and shun me. Its a sobering thought. Its getting harder to deal with the real world and the very real people in it. There are many days I think of how I would end it all if I were only brave enough. And I think the reason I’m most frustrated with my parents is because I see myself turning into them a little more each day. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, after all. As my health has deteriorated over the past decade, so has my mental attitude. I hate most people, something that I wouldn’t have thought possible ten years ago. I went from a bubbly, outgoing person to one who struggles to get even minor tasks accomplished if it involves seeing actual people, or even talking to them on the phone. There are very few I truly open up to. If I’ve given you my personal number or chat with you a lot via email or private messages on facebook or AOL Instant Messenger, count yourself lucky. At some point you’ve made enough impact on me that I trust you enough to talk to you. Some of you I even confide in, as much as I’m able to. I keep my innermost thoughts to myself now, the darkest ones, the ones that would be really embarrassing and would horrify most who know me because there isn’t enough time in the universe for me to adequately explain the context or why I feel the way I do. Deep down, I feel like a horrible person, like a monster, and I don’t know how to fix that. I’ve always been a fixer…and lately I can’t fix anything. In order to make myself better, I need treatment. Counseling. Medication. Possibly hospitalization in a mental institution. But would I really be able to get help? Because I can’t confide in anyone anymore. When I went to a C&P hearing at the VA last week, I hurt myself. I knew I was doing it yet couldn’t shut up. All I could do was talk about my feelings of anger and betrayal over Dr. M (my VA shrink) and Dr. H back in 2011 or 2012. I haven’t seen either of them since I found out how Dr. M completely misinterpreted what my husband and I told him in a session, and then shared it with Dr. H, my primary care doctor, without my permission, but more importantly completely inaccurately, causing her to put “Munchausen’s” in her notes, despite my thousands of pages of medical records from other hospitals and doctors, my numerous post-operative reports and imaging reports, my actual, physical scars on my body. Both of them even questioned whether I’d ever even had cancer at all. So I came off to the C&P shrink last week as obsessed over Dr. M and something he wrote about me over two years ago. It *literally* was all I could talk about. Then I attempted to explain my paranoia and trepidation over opening up or even being there at all because I tended to think my words would be taken out of context, twisted, used against me. I was trying to explain, and only succeeded in making her defensive. Yeah, that was smart. I talk way too much. I can’t answer questions with a yes or no. I feel like I MUST explain myself all the time…that everything must be validated in some way. If I do manage to simply say yes or no, inside I’m raging because I’m convinced that my intent is being completely misinterpreted and my yes or no has in fact made my case worse. I know that I do this because of the accusations cast against me most of my life. Some have been earned, because I was just an idiot and said or did something that really made no sense at all. But most, most have come from my parents, more from one parent than the other, but people who should have been nurturing me, not hurting me. My childhood actually was a pretty happy time…then my brother was almost killed in a devastating car accident when he was 16, and my life as I knew it at 11 was forever changed. My older brother became my immature, younger brother in an instant. My parents were overwhelmed, and I was passed around to various family members for months because I was inconvenient, in the way. From that moment on, I think, I never felt good enough, never felt as if I mattered. I started acting out for the first time in my young life…doing things I KNEW better than to do, such as climbing up on the roof of our house via the patio trellises and jumping off because it was an adrenaline rush…sneaking liquor out of my daddy’s hiding spot that I wasn’t supposed to know about…and when I ran out of the fantastic ideas, I started embellishing my actions. By the time I graduated high school, I had two worlds…the one that I actually lived in, and the one I wished I lived in. A lot happened in between my brother’s accident and that time, a lot that I don’t have time or the energy to go into right now, but it all further reinforced my belief that my brother was the important child in the family, and that I was only there because it was too late to do away with me. If I made some accomplishment, my parents would briefly acknowledge me, so I began to embellish even boring, routine parts of my day..just stupid stuff. For a while, in the army, that stopped. Maybe because I was happy for the first time I could remember in a very long time. But even in the army, whenever one or both of my parents were around, the embellishments and outrageousness would resume. None were outright lies…there was always a kernel of truth at the center…but it always came out around them. Then in the past decade my life really did take on a surreal quality with all the things that just started happening to me…mostly the health issues. For the first time in years, I would tell the strict truth, and it seemed to backfire, make people think I was lying, or pathologically delusional. The irony was that I was relating things that were backed up with hard medical facts from my records or from witnesses to events…but most people didn’t have access to my medical records or doctors, so couldn’t believe all this shit happened to just one person. Looking at it from their perspective, I get it…but it really doesn’t make me feel better at all about it. So now…I sit in this cage of my own making. Regardless of why I felt I had to have attention from my parents in order to have any self-worth, regardless of why I felt unimportant and insignificant unless I was entertaining those around me or helping them in some way that really wasn’t my duty to do so, I’d become a person that I didn’t recognize…someone I wasn’t, but yet someone that was still better than the real me, the actual Kandy deep inside. Now that I’ve been struggling with health and not being able to work for the first time in my life, all I can really do on my physically bad days is think, and ponder on who I am. The problem is that I don’t know who I truly am. I spent the better part of thirty years pretending to be someone worthwhile, someone valuable in some way. In the process, I lost any sense of my own personality, my own reality. I make excuses. For everything. Even when I’m “owning up” I’m still, even if only inside, making excuses. Now, while I still don’t really know who I am, I really kinda hate the person I seem to be. I know there’s still hope for me, because I have helped some folks, my animals love me (and they’re pretty solid judges of human character), and I do really enjoy helping people. But my patience is gone. My empathy with those I’ve seen repeat negative actions and behavior time and time again, as well as for strangers, is gone. Rarely I can find some empathy, but its erratic at best. I have trouble letting go of the pasts and the hurts that have been done to me, and its not hurting those who hurt me so long ago, or even as recently as yesterday, its hurting ME. But, I don’t know how to fix it. I can’t say all these things and the thousands more that NEED to be said to a doctor or professional who might be able to help me, because the trust is quite simply just gone. No matter what I say, or how I try to say it, people misunderstand me. So the problem can’t be with all of them, it MUST be with me. Case in point. In 2011 I cut my arms up. It happens to be the last time I cut myself (the urge is there constantly though). While in the hospital, a doctor noticed my new scars (scabs were gone but the lines were still pink and obviously new), and after I told her that they were self-inflicted, she asked me if I’d ever thought of killing myself. At the time, I’d just learned my cancer was back for a third time, my parents were giving me literal FITS over various issues, money was really really tight, and I was in so much physical pain that I felt like I was going crazy. So I looked her directly in the eyes and said “Yes, of course I do, every day.” Did I mean I actually wanted to die? No. Did I mean I was suicidal? No. Next thing I know, I’m under suicide watch, not allowed to even go pee without a staffer going with me, and found myself moved to the psych ward. I probably could have benefitted from the experience, but instead the next day I went before their review panel and talked my way into getting to go home, less than 24 hours from the time I was admitted to the unit, which rarely happens. I laughed my way through the review, was funny and amusing, and lied my ass off about what I was really feeling because I felt betrayed about how I ended up there. I knew I could use some help, but I was pissed about being misunderstood and so was determined to say a big “Fuck you” and go home…and that’s what happened. In a way, that was the beginning of this long downward spiral that followed. Oh yes, I needed the help, and was in a position to get it…but too angry to take advantage of it, though I fully understood that regardless of HOW I got there, I was exactly where I needed to be. Yeah, I showed THEM alright. I guess I’m tired of pretending things are better than they are. I’m tired of pretending that *I* am better than I am. I’m tired of pretending, period. The problem is that I don’t know anymore how to just be me. When I was embellishing to make people like me, I was miserable. When I was brutally honest, I was misunderstood and was miserable. I really don’t know how to be anything more than miserable anymore. I wish I could still fix stuff. I wish I could stop myself from making mistakes, from saying truly horrible things that I know in my heart of hearts are outrageous (my attitude towards Muslims, for instance). I hate that there are days I can’t get out of bed, and I hate that more and more often my depression is so strong its almost like being physically debilitated. I wish that I could explain that to my husband in a way he can understand…that I am literally incapacitated by grief and depression. I wish I could be normal.

Yes, I know my punctuation and grammar sucks in this post. Yes, I know I should edit it into some paragraphs instead of one giant one. I’m leaving it as is because these were my pure thoughts coming out as I typed, not pre-thought or embellished, just my raw, hard thoughts. If I go editing it, I’ll start over-thinking things, changing stuff because it makes me seem horrible, adding justifications for my thoughts or actions that I don’t need, or deserve. I can’t edit it or even proof-read it because I’ll lose my nerve and not be able to publish how I really feel. Whether I’m right, wrong, justified doesn’t matter at all…only the truth does, and this is the truth the best I can tell it.

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