Tag Archives: love

My Support System

I am one of those people with bipolar disorder who happens to have a very strong support system.  These people include my family and friends, doctor and therapist (well, I’m in a transition with that, but my previous one was Rockin’ Awesome Therapist Lady) and also, my cat.  I can call up any one of my sisters and they will lend a solid listening ear no matter what time of the day or night it is.

I also have a simple, low-stress job currently.  It doesn’t provide much pay and doesn’t provide benefits and barely supports my family, but I can surely say it’s the best job I’ve ever had.  I have no worries whatsoever, the owners adore me, and the customers are sweethearts.  (Did you hear that?  I just said the word “customers” and “sweethearts” in the same sentence.  And I totally mean it.  I know you don’t believe me.  You should.)

So in saying all that, I’m pretty lucky.  I once was a manic mess battling myself in a mental hospital.  It gave me a deep, sincere empathy for certain populations of the mentally ill in this country – those who you might see outside a department store, homeless, muttering to themselves.  I truly and honestly believe that that would be my life if it weren’t for all the blessings I have been given to maintain a certain level of sanity in the maintenance of my bipolar disorder.

I did lose my job at one point when I had a manic episode and had to be hospitalized.  I almost didn’t finish college when I had my first psychotic episode and took time to recover.  But I did it.  Thanks to the support.

So if you are someone who loves someone with a mental illness and is supportive, please give yourself a hug.  Because it is HARD WORK and for some of you, you may be the reason that the person you care about is still alive right now.  I know that is true for the ones who helped me when I so desperately needed them.

 

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Never good enough

Once you are wrong, you’ll always be wrong and can never do anything right.  And if you’re right in his eyes, you can never do anything wrong.

I’m in the first category.  Ever since I was little, everything I did was wrong.  There was exasperated sighs, hands thrown up in the air, yelling, shouting, pointing.  Always, whatever I did, whatever I tried, I was wrong.

I didn’t put my shoes where they were supposed to be.
I left smudges on the mirror.
I threw a wet sock down the clothes chute and it got all the other clothes wet and what was I thinking?  Do I even think?  Ever?

I left the light on.  I shut the door too hard.  I couldn’t remember the difference between a phillips head and a flat head.  I didn’t push in my chair.  I move too fast.

I took too long.  I put us behind.  I didn’t pay attention.  My head was filled with nonsense and always somewhere else instead of where it should be.

So now, here I am again, feeling totally inept in my adult life.  I just got a job, proud of myself, and immediately, it’s:  ‘well, that’s good, that will give you time to look for a real job.’  Lights out on any shred of self-esteem I might still have had.

And now the big stuff is coming out.  For a while, there was a lull.  But now the ish has really hit the fan, so to speak.  He broke.  He called us out on all of our flaws, all of our problems, hollered and shouted and pointed and said, ‘you, you, you.’  Should have.  Don’t you think?  I’m at the end of my rope.  Lost cause.  What do you expect?

Part of me feels ashamed.  All of me feels guilty.  And responsible.  I listen to every word as though it is absolute truth.  He is absolutely right and I am absolutely wrong.  About all of it.  I’m wrong.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  Wrong for not working harder.  Wrong for not listening.  Wrong for making bad decisions.  Wrong for not figuring it out.  Not working hard enough.  Not caring enough.  Not doing enough.  Not moving fast enough.  Wrong at every move.

I’ll never be right.  I’ll never, ever get it right.  No matter what I do or how hard I try, I will always, inevitably, be wrong.

 

You Know We’ll Have A Good Time Then

I can’t satiate your need for play.  I know there will be a day when you won’t want to play with me anymore, and there will be a sharp and sudden reversal of our roles – me begging for a minute of your time, just a second, puh-lease! but you won’t have one and all I will be left with is “Cat’s In the Cradle” lyrics rolling through my head.

I work hard, only for the purpose of keeping the house warm and having food for us all to eat.  I work hard, only to come home tired and worn, with sore feet and an ache in my back.  I work with you on your homework, you struggle, I struggle.  It’s bedtime now and you hate bedtime.

And then I’m in bed and I know I’ll do it all over again tomorrow and I have to remind myself I do it to keep the house warm and to have food for us all, but it never fails to hit me each morning that the only thing I want is to have time with you.

So I’ll make the most of today and I’ll try not to snap at you when you’re out of your bed at way-past-bedtime.  I’ll hug you just a little longer than I normally do, and I’ll take a second longer to look right into your eyes and tell you I love you.  And I’ll pray that those are the parts you’ll remember.

Big Yellow Taxi

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone
Repave paradise
Put up a parking lot

– Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi

Living in Detroit

I remember when we used to walk to the liquor store together
Buy pizza and candy
Walk back home eating pizza and smoking the cigarettes we just bought.

I remember when we used to stay up late
Just because we didn’t want to miss out on one second of each other.

I remember when we used to play music with your cousins
Play Need For Speed till 3 am
Smoke till the sun came up

I remember when we used to listen to the sounds of the city
Together in the back yard, facing the alley with its loving graffiti art
And overflowing garbage cans and stray cats.

I remember counting our change
to put gas in your car

I remember caring less about the world
and more about you.

I remember holding hands everywhere we went
Offering each other the best of what we had

and never leaving the other behind.

Inner Peace

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Soft guitar
The Temptations
Blue water crashing on the beach with rocks
Love, Peace, Pisces
Warmth.
Sharing with others.
Support groups.
Trees.  Quiet.  Peacefulness.
Friends.  House-warming party.  Talking.  Laughing.
Water.

My parent’s kitchen at night, with the light above the stove the only light in the room.  Remember when we used to feel?  Remember when I used to feel peace?  Happiness, calm.  Peace.

What is my life full of?  I yell.  I’m angry inside.  I twist and turn in my skin.  My old self looks at me and wants to take me in my arms and hug all of the snot and tears and grief inside of me and wipe it all away and set me back up on my feet again.

I want to take you away, let us go on an adventure together, let us travel together.  I never traveled.  I never got to get away.  I never had the chance.

You Are A Good Mother

As a mother, you do so much for your kids, but they won’t ever realize just how much.  Yes, I received some acknowledgement on Mother’s Day (my son presented me with a poster he made at school – the teacher had written:  “I love my mom because…” and he wrote: “she makes my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches”), and I am appreciative of all the hugs, kisses, and love I get from my boys, but at the same time, I just need a break.

I struggle daily with guilty thoughts – how I should be reading to them more, I should be taking them outside more, I should not yell so much, complain so much, argue.  Even if I were the so-called “Perfect Mother,” there would still be something I’d feel bad about.  I remember when my first son was born, I would visit my parents’ house and before I left after each trip there, my dad would follow me out to the care, hug me, and tell me that I’m doing a good job.  I thrived on those moments through those first few years; it was all I had.

So today, I am going to make myself a list of the reasons I am proud of myself, in an effort to stop this cycle of guilt I twirl myself into so often.

1.  If you fall asleep on the couch, I will carry you to bed so as not to wake you.
2.  I will kiss every boo-boo and make the hurt go away.
3.  I will stop doing dishes to get on my hands and knees and play monster with you.
4.  I will remember that you will only be small for a short while and it will go by too fast so I better enjoy every minute of it.
5.  I will make you brush your teeth every night.  I will make you wash your hands before you eat.  I will teach you how to pray before you put a bite of food into your mouth.  I will tuck you in each and every night and make sure you feel safe.
6.  I will take you to the store, to the park, to the gas station, to the library, to Grama’s house.
7.  I will search the entire house up and down to find Leopard Kitty before you get in bed.
8.  I will hug you tight no matter how old you are.  
9.  I will trust you.
10.  I will listen to you.
11.  I will thank God every day for bringing you to me.
12.  I will let you go when it’s time.

I am proud of myself for committing myself to my children.  It has not been easy, and I have struggled as every parent has.  But all I hope for is that my sons turn out to be caring, helpful, positive young men, with the strength to stand up for others and to have confidence in themselves.  That is what I pray for.

Don’t Go There

Maybe it’s just because it’s Monday.

I’m fuming.  I shouldn’t release all this on a WordPress blog.  This isn’t the place for it.  I should call my favorite girl and vent like there’s no tomorrow.  But instead, I’m going to write all of this:

Me:  Come downstairs, it’s time to eat.
Baby comes downstairs obediently.  Husband follows.Husband:  What?  You didn’t make me anything?!
Me (Incredulous):  I didn’t know you wanted anything!
Husband:  You never make me anything to –
Me:  Are you serious?!  I didn’t know you wanted anything!  Every time I do make something for you, you say you’re not hungry or you don’t feel like eating or you’ll eat later.  How am I supposed to know you are hungry?!  I thought you were sleeping!
Husband:  …
Me:  I swear, honey!  I don’t believe this.
Husband:  …
Me:  Are you serious right now?  Are you just messing with me?
Husband:  No, I’m not messing with you, I’m serious.  Every time – just forget it.
Me:  Oh my God.

Sit back down at table.  Stare at unappetizing food on plate.  Put fork back down and leave the table, leave the kitchen, leave the house.  Puff on cigarette in anger.

I don’t believe it.  That was ridiculous.  How many times have I made food just to have him say thanks, but no thanks to it?  How many times have I prepared him food when he came home from work after fighting the kids off all night?  I even asked him today to go get us meat so we could eat dinner together tonight, and he didn’t buy anything.

Besides, he was upstairs watching The Walking Dead with the door locked.  Then he comes down after an hour and a half and expects there to be food on the table for him, hot and ready?!  I don’t get this man.  I seriously don’t.

Okay, so that was a 2 cigarettes ago – now what?  What do I do now?  Go back in with my tail between my legs, suck it up because marriage is all about compromise and forgiveness?  Where do all these ridiculous expectations come from?  I can’t read your mind.  You never commit to meals with us, so how am I supposed to know you cared so much to join us?

I feel hurt, all over a stupid meal…and it’s only Monday.