Bipolar Parent

Standard

Greetings friends, how are you doing in these wee hours of Friday morning?

Me? I’ve been both better and worse. Thursday had hours I enjoyed… then it crashed and burned as only the day of a parent can do.

When my three kids were young I had impressed even my ex-mother-in-law (let’s call her Kathy) with how well behaved and just good all around people my children were. Now, we are being stalked by rough and naked emotions that have always existed (that would be me, Bipolar parent) but are now beyond my own mind and have grabbed hold of my youngest.

I thought I was a good person growing up. I felt as though I were a likable person, yet I didn’t have many friends. I was lonely much of the time and kept my own company out on our small ranch with my horse, dogs, cats, chickens, pigs, cows and the occasional ducks.

I was a shit.

Seriously. I was a short, freckled shit. Today my mother and I can look years back and point to much of my careening and completely out of control behavior and emotions and say, “That, that right there!” And recognize it as full on Bipolar Disorder presenting before I even had my drivers license.

In short – I was angry all the time and blamed everyone one else for everything. My depression and anger were crushing me and the only name I could give it was – sin. I was a practicing Christian and all those “evil” emotions were clearly not of God… but that’s a topic for another time.

My youngest and his regular doctor decided that he does not have the highly genetic Bipolar brain that I’m still learning to embrace. Anxiety. Depression. Mania. Mood swings. Irrational behavior. That’s Scott, my “I’m a psych major. I already know how to deal with anger and anxiety.”

Scott is transitioning from my second daughter, Sydney, to my second son, Scott. (Incidentally my father’s name was Scott.) Scott is undergoing hormone treatment. He wasn’t always easy to talk to about things that he felt “attacked” him. Now he’s so much more difficult.

I despair.

He turns 21 this Saturday. He’s angry and bitter and is working so hard to make people not like him that I just want to sit down and breathe like I’m having a baby all the time. He and his wife are both psychology majors who it seems aren’t studying behavior.

Odd.

Scott sounds just like I did. If transitioning changes him into the sex his mind believes him to be, then I will continue to try to learn and gain deeper understanding. However, he’s a grown man (he says) and I expect him to at least respect me.

§ On Father’s Day Scott thanked me for being both his mom and his dad growing up. §

What I will not do is accept from him the same behavior at 21 that I had at 14. He has tools around him to teach him about what’s running loose in his little grey cells. Me – religion, animals, and hypnosis.

The weight of his relentless ill-will and violent anger crushed me at dinner. It was like fighting with my dad, but I was the reasoning one (yeah, no. My dad wasn’t good at being rational when angry either.)

Top the whole bloody mess off with a leaking red cherry on it and you have a self-entitled disrespecting second son.

I’m not having it anymore.

Being a parent with Bipolar is terrifying literally every second of that child’s life for me. With Scott acting like the individual (did I mention pressured speech?) that he clearly isn’t I have no clue how to even begin to help him to stop yelling into my face that I should shut up because I’m not listening.

Huh?

Parenting the twenty-something kid today is a massive challenge for this Bipolar mom. I have been charged with the crime of trying to build good family memories. I have felt despair and anger towards Scott. These are not the memories I want to build. We’re going to work this out, but I realize that I will very possibly react like I have Bipolar Disorder while we do it.

I can do this. I can figure out my part in healing our relationship. Be loving and kind… and forgiving.

However, Scott is a grown man and if he does not have Bipolar Disorder or some other explanation for his behavior, then he’d better watch out. I corralled the three of them through their teens by myself and while not properly medicated for my illness.

Respect me as your mom.

Respect my illness.

Respect yourself and get help if we just can’t talk it out.

I really wanted to go old school, like back to when I was a kid, and wash his mouth out with some nasty bar of soap like Dial or Lava and spank him with a wooden spoon. Two if the first one breaks.

Sigh….. parenting never ends, not really. My mom is still my mom. Who else would she be?

Scott, baby? YOU! It’s time for YOU to shut up and listen.

Bipolar – Success

Standard

I’ve had a vision stuck in the farthest recesses of my mind that I wanted to graduate from UWT since I was in high school over 35 years ago. I’ve been going to University of Washington Tacoma for the last three years. Each year my troubled mind kicked and screamed in what seemed like unending sparks burning deeper and more cruelly each quarter. The extremes that my moods spanned mania, anxiety and depression still terrify me like tangable echoes that have not yet faded. But then I’ve not even been graduated for a week yet. I’ve been told I should, that I must, stop being so hard on myself. I’ve made the Dean’s List nearly every quarter.

What does all this mean to me? It means that I’m still the same person. I have the same kinds of difficulties. And I can achieve more than I can achieve far more than I imagined possible only 5 years ago.

I ended my journey rough and in a sort of shock. I backed out to handle the stress that passed beyond my endurance.

But… I’d like to share some images of my fanciful trip through my personal looking glass with you. Let’s begin with the end, and then I’ll show you where it all happened (accept for panicking at home every day). Please watch my slideshow with me.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bipolar- Families

Standard

When you, especially the parent, have debilitating Bipolar I think that we must understand that the whole family has it. It impacts all of us.

When one of my kids is having a rough time, we are all part of ignoring it, or we are part of the solution.

I’ve seen my doctor about my blackout, my lost time, my mental breakdown and we agree it is past time to fire my med provider.

I’ve finally graduated. I’m able to play attention to my own health beyond giving every ounce of my being to school so I wouldn’t implode.

But now, my family needs me. It’s time to be fierce.

I’m not taking any crap anymore.

Sometimes I have to hit beyond the rocks at the bottom to get my attention.

I’m not full of the life destroying anxiety that my med provider refused to treat me for. What I am, is incredibly 😡.

Enough.

Bipolar – I Think You Should Take Fewer Pills

Standard

I’m going to notify my counselor that I must be rid of my med provider as soon as it can be arranged. I’ve told Arthur, my counselor, that I don’t feel that Jamie (med provider) is working in my best interest. My next appointment with her she started right off by confronting me about what I’d told Arthur. I confessed thit it was true.

It got me no where.

She says that I’m on too many pills and she doesn’t want to add anymore. Apparently, this is her rational for not giving me medication that might actually have helped me.

I’ve been practically begging for something for my anxiety that only get’ s increasingly more consuming with each passing day

This whole school year has been like a nightmare.

She doesn’t want to give me more pills? Bull!! It is not her choice to decide whether what other doctors prescribe me for illnesses she knows even less about than I do.

She has repeatedly used this as an excuse not to give me something that could prevented me from my brake down. I have high cholesterol, my thyroid is out of whack, I have chronic horrible lower back pain, I have FM, RA, OA, a facial tick (probably stress related), PTSD, and have recently been diagnosed with IBS-d. It’s a crap load of stuff, but they have all been dealt with by someone more intelligent than she is.

I’ve asked each and every visit for something to help with the burning anxiety. She refuses. She gives me fewer chill pills.

Does she think I like taking a handful of pills twice a day? Moron.

I’ve finally had a breakdown. I blame her. In December I confessed I’d been having thoughts of harming myself. I’d hidden that for years, but at that point it was too much, and I confessed it.

She did nothing.

If I can’t trust my med provider to guard my mental wellbeing, than who will? There aren’t many options here.

I’ve started to shake, Twitter, and twitch again. I’m graduating today. My anxiety that mixes like a charm with my mania and depression making my constant mixed state even more confusing and painful. It’s too much to handle anymore.

I’m firing her. She truly doesn’t have my best interests in mind. I don’t need one of my medical professionals contributing to my madness. That’s just sick.

Bipolar – I Lost Time

Standard

https://etiquetteofmadness.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/bipolar-i-lost-time/

Bipolar – I Lost Time

Standard

https://etiquetteofmadness.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/bipolar-i-lost-time/

Bipolar Disorder-Announcing a New, Really Helpful Book on Living Successfully With Our Super Powers

Standard

Success_Key_400x400

I’m graduating from the University of Washington at Tacoma on the 11th. I can’t wait. This entire year the pressure has been building within me. It feels tangible, like a physical thing pulling at me, never letting me alone.

I broke. I threw the mouse for my laptop. I threw it really hard right in front of my daughter who has just moved in with me. I scared her. It’s been years since I’ve acted like that, so violent and scary. She didn’t know what to do. My dog, who is supposed to be my emotional support dog, ran for Jessica’s room and hid there until it was safe to come back out. I had to get her to forgive me and we calmed each other down. She doesn’t like me yelling, raiding my voice or swearing.

The pressure to get a job frightens me and cracks begin to tear in the fragile being that is me.

My grandfather had a window washing company and a carpet cleaning company. When he retired my father and mother took it over. Now, my brother and his partner run the company, I have had two publishing companies that I started myself. Then my brain went kaboom! And it all went away.

I’ve gone back to college hoping to gain the skills necessary to better start and run another new business. I’m planning on having another publishing company that focuses on non-fiction, especially regarding mental health. Here, in this blog, I share with you my honest experiences and troubles. What I don’t do, is preach to you about what I think are answers to my problems. If you scan my posts, you may see different ways I deal with my illnesses.

Announcing a New, Really Helpful Book on
Living Successfully With Our Super Powers

I believe that the dozens and dozens of books on mental illness and especially on Bipolar Disorder miss the mark in dealing with the real issues I face every day. Let me give you an example. I don’t know about you, but I have a ton of trouble focusing on one thing long enough finish it. Also, anxiety has been beating me over the head and for the first time, I felt it was necessary to tell my family and my counselor that I’d been having brief moments of wanting to hurt myself. I’ve felt it so strongly that I was frightened that I might actually do something.

Am I qualified to give advice regarding Bipolar Disorder? I don’t have a degree in psychology, but I have raised three kids on my own. I’ve been dealing with my illness for as long as I can recall. My mother always thought it was her fault that I behaved the way I did. I finally learned that I had been presenting symptoms since I was very young. She thought I was possessed I think. My parents sent me to stay for the summer with her very religious sister and her family. I think she was hoping it might change me. It never did. Oh, I want to mention that I have a degree in Religious Education (or something like that). I no longer actively practice my faith.

Why am I qualified to undertake this project? I care about each of you. I want to present different ideas on how to survive and even thrive despite having a life long illness. I’ll be getting my degree in Writing Studies in a few days. Hopefully that has taught me how to communicate my thoughts better. I don’t aim for perfection in my blogs. I just want to express my real life situations and feelings to you.

Most of the books that I have are primarily loaded with worksheets. Worksheets! I can barely sit still long enough to focus and understand a short chapter there’s no way I’m doing worksheets. How do you feel about them?

Well, that’s enough of that. Maybe you’ll be interested in it, maybe you won’t. To each is his own.

I am a survivor. I might fall and be all scuffed up, but I’ll heal and I’ll get back to work. I believe that I know what my passion is and I’ve committed myself to give myself over to it.

Have you ever considered doing that?

I hope that you’ll stick around and maybe recommend my blog to others who might resonate with it.

We are a group of people who are not understood by the general public. We’ve gone from being stuck in special hospitals for the instant and given inhumane treatments to today when we are blamed for mass shootings. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time that we rally around ourselves and learn about ourselves first. Then, I would like to see us enter into our communities and make a difference. We are real people who want to live real lives.

I’m not going to try to get you to come to seminars where I will convince you to purchase expensive kits that include DVDs, workbooks, cards to memorize and other “useful” things.

No, that’s not how it should be done.

There are more of us who suffer from illnesses like Bipolar Disorder than “normal” people could possibly imagine. We are everywhere. I think it’s time to take our special superpowers and use them to change our lives, and maybe our world.

Do we have superpowers? Of course, we do. Can you recall the last time someone you know was suffering and you understood how they felt and knew just what to do for them? No? Well, don’t be discouraged. Our superpowers are often there and doing their things. We just don’t recognize them for what they are.

So school’s almost over and I’ll have time to work exclusively on my new business. There is so much for me to learn. And I have so much to share with you.

If you’re curious or have a suggestion for me to consider please email me right away. I’ll take every message seriously. After all, who knows better what will help us other than ourselves.

I think it’s time to rock! How about you? Are you ready to get the messy monster off your back even a little bit? I can’t cure you. No one can. If they tell you they can they are liars. What I can do is walk alongside you, understand your pain, and search for ways to live fulfilling lives.

Please tell me what you think about this project. I honestly want to hear your thoughts on it.

Oh one more thing, I find a lot of things funny. I had one of my class in stitches Thursday. I was supposed to be giving a presentation and I turned it into a standup routine. I can’t help myself. I love to make people laugh. I didn’t talk about my illness, but I have many times before. There is so much that I have to take with a dose of laughter.

Well, be well my friends

Robin

Bipolar – Please Believe in Me

Standard

I’m at the end of one phase of my life and am about to begin another.

I must seem as worried about a job and such as anyone else…

…but I’m not.

I have a mood disorder. If you understand the implications of that then when I tell you I’m not worried like others and that it’s worse, so crippling it destroys me from the inside out.

I cannot tell you about all the emotions that wait to catch me around the neck when I wake in the morning because then they might seize me because running away is not easily done with hysterical tears choking my vision.

I’m going to graduate. I’m 55 and I’m terrified.

My brain, in the past, has not been kind to me.

I wish I could tell you that all will be well, that the friends who snubbed me won’t matter because I will make many more who are mature, understand that life is most often not what it seems and that I will be financially successful and secure and able to help my kids.

I wish I could tell you those things will happen – and so I shall.

I’ve spontaneously been saying to this people when they ask how I am —

At this moment, at this precise second, at this exact instant in time I’m doing very well. In fact, I’m doing awesome!

Can you imagine it? A lone middle-aged woman with no job and not much chance of one, A graduate. A degree. Bonkers. Can you see me?

I’ve never had a job that lasted more than a year except for when I worked for myself. Imagine with me, that I have amassed all that is my life, both past and what is still to come…and now feel the certainty of the word “failure” burning across my forehead.

It isn’t the truth. It’s a screwed up bipolar lie. The intensity that is me is huge and is ready – no matter what may come, to really see who I am.

I have a really crappy mega mood disorder, but, but…

— at this exact moment in time I’m good, I’m really good.

How are you? Right now? Precisely at this instance?

Be well my friends,

Robin

— at this exact moment in time I’m good, I’m really good

.

Grass – A Very Short Story

Standard

Smoking CannibisThis is an assignment we had in class Tuesday.

WRITING PROMPT: Some people might think it strange that I like…..

Some people might think it strange that I like grass. Yep. That’s what I said.

Maya, a fellow student, said that this isn’t such surprising. After all, I was raised on a ranch. You know, we had horses. Horses love grass. So no. Not surprising that I like grass.

It was May 18, 1980, and I was a year away from graduating, from high school. Today it’s May 22, 2018, and I’m about to graduate again. This time it will be from the university.

You know what binds these two important events together? Grass. Green, green grass. I love grass… for the horses that is.

Grass was so illegal back then. Eighteen years ago the only news events that I recall were the local Carbone Family weed bust and mountain St. Helens here in Washington State blowing up.

Today I find I’m still involved with grass, again. Green, green grass. All grass starts out green, but eventually its able to be used.

Best conversation I ever had was with my son… and grass. Yep grass, green, green grass. He was so mellow. So honest and likable. I love grass.

Horses… kids… grass, green, green grass. Yes, starts out green, but when its ready it changes and it’s ready to give my son and I more chances to have honest, loving chats.

Some might think it strange, that I love grass, yep, I love me some green, green grass.

[This is from a prompt in my Advanced Fiction Writing class at UWT in the spring of 2018, my last quarter before graduating. Not a great bit of writing, but it was done in less than ten minutes and it got a lot of laughter and clapping.]

Bipolar – Letting Go. The Great Pause of a Moment in My Mind – Peace

Standard

www.youtube.com/watch {Please watch this short music video so you can get the gist of what I’m relating to you.}

Sometimes, I remember that moments of peace I experience are often when I’m outside of my head.

Perhaps you’ve never seen a video like this before. The first time through for me I just watched. Then I played it again and again. I closed my eyes and let go of all the thoughts that had been overwhelming me. I let the sounds that I heard, unfamiliar as they were, snuff out the ever present junk… that Bipolar junk.

Whether it is this video or some other, find one that you can abandon yourself in. Try something without lyrics. The words will only guide you and keep the constant brain usage, the chatter, at maximum, just like I always do.

I went outside without my phone, tablet, book, or laptop today. There was no human to talk to. It was just Bailey and I and a few flies. No one mowed, destroyed weeds with a buzz saw or played their bloody music at all.

It was amazing. Stunning. I stopped. Peace. This must be real peace.

Twice today I experienced genuine peace in my Bipolar, ADHD, PTSD, anxiety riddled mind and I fell in love with it.

No drugs or talk therapy. Simply stopping. Simply unplugging. Simply letting go.

Give it a try and see if you can touch your bit of peace. Try for it. As full of bananas as my brain is, I found it. I bet you can too. Now, stop everything from bugging you for five tiny minutes, and let the peace break in on the reliable back, of music.