Bipolar Parent

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

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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 – The Truth About Emotions

I have Mixed-State Bipolar Type 1. Last December I finally admitted I was having random urges to seriously hurt myself. Over the years I’ve felt that way a lot. I did finally tell my counselor about it. Now, of course, it is in my records. But I was that scared.

My stress and anxieties have been getting hotter and higher over the last few days. Yesterday my son Kyle had his roommate help him move the rest of his sister (my daughter Jessica) move the rest of her things into my tiny house. I think we’ll be fine together.

The truth about Bipolar Type 1 emotions is their severity and extreme mania. I’m not going to list the details for you right now. I’m just so MAD that a second kid, 22 years, has told me he’s got Bipolar 2 and he has to take drugs for it every day or it would be bad for him and that (and I’m not lying about this part) he was incredibly brilliant and could think of things that no one else could. His Bipolar was a gift and he was embracing it because it does so much for making him creative. He would die if he didn’t take his pills. I swear the boy was telling me he has bipolar and he might have been high.

I, being offended as I was, asked him some more about it. He said that if he didn’t take his two pills a day something bad would happen because you know he gets manic, really revved up, and psychotic too.

With my teeth clenched I instructed him that that didn’t sound like Bipolar Type 1. Oh, did I mention he changed to that after I challenged him on some of his symptoms? Yeah, apparently you can change what type you have depending on who you’re trying to impress.

I’m not having it anymore.

The day before that another 22 something told me she wouldn’t have kids because she wouldn’t want anyone else to come into this world because of her and “have this shit.”  – She knows I have three kids.

Then yesterday those damn little micro “I wanna hurt myself” crappy thoughts started up. I was angry.

Tonight I’m angry again. I’ve been angry all week it seems. I’m angry because of a seemingly small thing. That’s the way it is with Bipolar people… we experience overly intense emotions. Have you ever noticed that?

Well, when the boys moved Jessica’s stuff in someone moved the giant flashlight I take the dog out to do her business at night with. I couldn’t find it. I was immediate, pardon me, pissed. My dog thinks small flashlights are lasers and need to be chased. So, I had to do a small one. Then I found a poo from earlier. Jess marks them for me in various interesting ways. I was picking that up with my whimmpey flashlight, hiding it from Bailey. And then….. I missed where she just went.

I am always the one who steps in it. I have no idea where it is.

Silly reason to be angry? Normally. When I’m acting and feeling what I consider is normal for myself. Tonight. I’m just angry. I did think of hurting myself. Then it was gone, suddenly hiding back into the neurons of my mind.

Exhausting. Extreme emotions are so exhausting.

So that’s the truth, according to Robin, about Bipolar Emotions. They exist. They are mysterious. They don’t always act in ways one would want them to.

Yeah. That’s the troublesome side of the coin. But you know what? There is another side. Maybe another time.

Relaxing Music

I just found this. I’ve not listened to the whole thing, but so far I really like it. Tell me what you think.

I’ve been so very stressed and angry lately. I have got to calm down. I’m suffering in my classes and in my mind.

This is my last quarter before I graduate. I’m going to try to make it my best one. First, get my emotions under control.

I have to keep reminding myself…

I’m UNSTOPPABLE!

Watch “Relaxing Piano Music: Beautiful Music, Romantic Music, Relaxing Music, Sleep Music ★136” on YouTube

Bipolar – Med Provider Day

I’m unstoppable.

I’ve been trying to sleep, but it eludes me like a chicken running for its life.

I’m going to see my med provider at 10 in the morning today. I hope she listens this time. If she doesn’t I’ll be requesting someone else and informing them of why I’m choosing to under go all the stress that comes with a decision like that. I’ve had enough.

I’m going to confront her with the facts. I’ve been keeping a list of my symptoms since I saw her 30 days ago. It has grown quite long. It looks even worse than before I was being medicated.

I’m unstoppable.

My pain management guy and I had to ween me off one of the long acting pain killers I’ve been taking for a couple of years because of supply issues. I went from 100 mg twice a day to 50 mg over night because there wasn’t anymore to be found anywhere. No one knew it was going to happen so there was no helping it. It didn’t feel so great. Then we kind of gradually weened me off the rest. Now my pain level is constantly higher. Also, the torn fascia in my foot still isn’t healed. It’s painful. I got special shoes for it today. But as the compassionate woman said while I walked around and around testing shoes, my foot was going to feel soar and tired. It still is. It wasn’t fun.

All this has added to my overall stress level, as you can imagine. Withdrawal is never a good time, nor is added pain.

I’m unstoppable.

I will be thankful if my counselor, Arthur, can make it to my appointment. He said he’d try. He feels it is important for her to understand my mental state from his side of the equation. He’s been with me two previous visits.

It hasn’t helped.

I’m still choosing to be unstoppable.

I may stumble, and I may fall over and over, but this damn illness is not going to continue to run my life. I’m very ill. I’m too exhausted not to fight anymore. I feel like my life has been a waste.

I’ve had enough.

I’m unstoppable.

Help me. Or, stay out of my way.

I refuse to stop!

I’m Bipolar 1-How Much Further Must I Go?

I’m dang angry. I’ve worked my agitated ass off for three years, stumbling under the nightmares of depression and raging as anxiety unleashed tries to undo all that I’ve endured. So close. One more quarter and I’ll graduate from UWT. One more quarter and I’ll have to get a job and support myself.

Listen to me dear Reader, if you have a medical professional who won’t listen to you or thinks your complaint is in your head (duh) or is in some way not treating you with the dignity and respect that your insurance dollars demand of them… stand up and say something! You do not always need to be nice. Trust me on this one.

I learned long ago to hide much of my mental crappiness that was going on in my skull. I was super high functioning. I had kids to raise. I can play the “I’m fine, I’m a great” parent game.

But you know what? Turns out that didn’t help the “me” of today. The “me” of today STILL needs something for anxiety. Go ahead moron. Yes, you Jamie, you have ignored my pleas for something to do for me what all the hundreds of hours of counseling have been unable to do… relieve my over the top anxiety.

I’ve asked this woman for something for anxiety since the first time I saw her. You know what she did? She started lowering my Clonazapam (spelling). Every time I’ve seen her, she reduces it. “It is just one less pill. You’ll be okay.” [bitch]

I went home with 10 pills for 30 days.

She increased my Ritalin dosage and made it extended length. I didn’t ask for that. What? You want me to calm down so we can finish our 20 minutes on time? Have you dosed me so that I’ll be a good woman and let you get done with me?

Well guess what? The shits hitting this fan.

Can any of you relate? Have you felt unheard and improperly treated? Guess what? You are NOT ALONE. Not by a screaming momma long shot.

I have IBSd. I had to talk to my counselor from home. Since I was in my own I felt FREE to explain again about my anxiety and graduation and jobs and money and acting out in class because I simply cannot contain the mountain of anxiety spilling … over into my phone call.

For an hour I yelled about Jamie to my poor counselor. I accused her of having her own agenda and it didn’t include my mental health. I’m done. She either treats my anxiety when I see her next week or –

Or I will hand deliver a letter I’ve been writing about our times together to the facility director. I’m done.

I’ve worked my hardest, trying to keep hold of myself while my wild mood swings tried to prevent me from my goal – getting a college degree at 55.

This, this Jamie, she can’t seem to hear, see, understand, empathize or give a rats ass whether I self-destruct because my anxiety has paralyzed me again. I sit on the sofa and I cry because I’m terrified I’ll fail. So I don’t start. Then the panick sets in as I realize I can’t write the paper.

In the name of the oath that we have been lead to believe that those in the medical profession must swear to, treat me for my illness.

I cannot imagine going through the graduation ceremony in the Tacoma Dome with my freaking anxiety not treated.

I cannot imagine the day after graduation when I need to be looking for a job, but because Jamie didn’t treat my well documented illness I am instead sitting in the back yard vegetable garden pretending to being weeding. The problem with this scenario is that I have arthritis, and if I have sat in the garden without anyone home to help me up… I’m not going to getup. It would mean that I’d given up. It would mean that I’d be punishing myself for continuing to be the Bipolar failure that I’ve always been. (How I feel.)

And Jamie? Still with me? You could have prevented me from losing all the ground I’d worked so damn hard all these years to reach. And why? For what? From here it just seems you’re stupid. Some medical “professionals” are stupid you know. I’ve even taken my counselor with me on two occasions to verify what I tell her.

I’m done.

I’m saying Hell No! That’s enough of this irresponsible crap. You expect those of us with mental health issues to behave? Then treat us right. Hear us when we call for help. If we bring backup pay special attention. I’m trying to get my son to go with me. He’s a psychology major.

To all of you struggling to work with your own Jamie’s, you stand fast. Do not let them push you around. They’re there to serve your medical needs. Document what you talk about and when. Keep a clear record so if you need a new med provider you can state your case and prove that they aren’t listening.

One reminder though. If you’re really messed up you may not be thinking straight. No worries. You just take a family member or someone who you can trust with you.

You’re not alone.

Oh, and if you happen to be a Jamie, what’s your damn excuse?

Angry, Raging, Bipolar

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I scared the ever living poo out of my fancy beta fish a minute ago. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Victor move so fast! He hid on the bottom and refused to take his dinner from me. All I did was walk up to his tank when he didn’t see me coming.

Fish. I feel rather like a fish.

You’d think we’re fish as much as we’re listened to when time after time we beg for different medication. Something has been going on with me mentally for around 3 or 4 months. I just thought it was growing anxiety because I have one more quarter to go and then I’m finished with school. I’ll need a job. I’ve never been able to hold a job for over a year. Even my own brother had to fire me because of my behavior, and my anger.

I take that back, I have worked for longer. When I worked for myself, I was able to manage to work with the management.

This feeling that’s been growing… I told my family in December that I’d had thoughts of hurting myself, and I honestly was. I’d had those feelings on and off for most of my life. Telling them seemed to help. Maybe it did. I felt that way tonight for about 10 minutes.

Then despair, anxiety, rage. Do these feelings take your face and squeeze it till it aches with the pressure?

Anxiety. It has been growing in my mind like a pustule about to burst black tar all over my mind.

I came to understand yesterday, through thinking over the end of the quarter problems and verbally fighting very loudly with another student – repeatedly, a colonoscopy I had to have two days in a row, a painfully torn fascia in my driving foot in December that is still painful (I’m so sick of this boot thing. It causes a painful lump on my shin bone.), intestinal troubles since Christmas, and runaway away anxiety I continuously tell my med provider about (I even take my counselor with me to make sure she’s listening. Oh yeah, that’s working great.)… I get it. I’m in a rage.

I used to live every day, every moment consumed with rage. I wasn’t a good kid. I wasn’t fun for my family to be around. My mother has finally agreed with me that I was, a terrible child. I was full of hateful and blinding – rage.

I have those feelings again. The ones I fought so ineffectively to be rid of. That consuming anger. I feel like I’m about to blow up on someone who probably did nothing to me. It’s just this thing my brain does sometimes day after day, month after month til years are wasted in fury and hate or like now when I’ve been crying out in fear and pain only to be ignored by those I dutifully trust my life to.

I’m so angry. My mind burns and I want to break things and hit stupid people. But I don’t.

I am often moments from saying things that could get me kicked out of school or arrested. But I don’t.

I’m so tired of fighting all the time. I just want to have a life free of pain. No more arthritis or Fibromyalgia. No more being too big to be healthy. No more chronic back pain. This is no life for me. This isn’t what I signed up for. I’m SO ANGRY! It’s like emotional cancer that manifests in feelings that most people can say they understand, but they don’t. Not really. If you have Bipolar Disorder Type 1 and you have had violent, angry, manic episodes you probably understand.  If not, please don’t give up on me.

Question is: what’s gonna give?

Addendum: Read on, please. This changed everything.

This morning I was listening to a TED Talk called, “the role of human emotions in science and research. Great title, right? Sounds like just what I need. At the end of her story, Ilona Stengel said this: I do not suggest that we should use feelings instead of facts. But I say we should not be afraid of using our feelings to implement and catalyze fact-based science and innovation. Emotions and logic do not oppose each other. They compliment each other. And they reinforce each other. The feeling of being dedicated to something meaningful, of belonging to something bigger, and of being empowered is crucial for creativity and innovation. Whatever you’re working on, make sure that it matters, and take it to your heart as much as you like.” [I’m pretty sure this isn’t a word for exact word match.]

Suddenly I understood. All my life I’ve believed I’ve had a purpose. I thought it was within the church, but I was always told, “No, it’s not time now Robin.” And my heart would be broken and my life stripped of meaning.

I believe without meaning, we relinquish our lives to the feelings I have been feeling. For this moment, I remember the meaning of my life. It will not be easy to follow. It incurs great emotional risk (something people with Bipolar Disorder should try to avoid). But if I can remember it. If I can remember it every moment of every day, I won’t have to rely as much upon others for the stability of my mind. My mind will be fighting my emotions with logic. I’ve done it before and I’ve succeeded. I must try again. My children have left my home. They’re all grown up. That role of the parent is gone. I feel like I have no purpose.

But I do. I do. I’d just been swallowed alive by the vomit of extreme emotions that allowed rage to consume me. For this moment. For this morning. I say no.

She said: “Whatever you’re working on, make sure that it matters, and take it to your heart as much as you like.” I am taking up my mission again. I must. If I don’t, then what’s the point? 

Do you understand?

What’s your mission? Tell me.

Robin

 

 

 

Bipolar – What Gives Me the Right?

I’m not a bad person. I do get pissed off. I don’t swear often. But sometimes I do. My closest friends laugh hysterically when I do because, as they say, it just doesn’t look like it should come out of my mouth. Gosh, thanks. I think. – Caution, there’s a little bit of swearing ahead. Just a bit.  ;0)  Honestly, I felt it was caused for.

This young guy, maybe 22 years old, was arguing me about something this week in one of my classes. Our job was to create a realistic pitch to present to the rest of the class. We were to try to convince them that had they been real potential backers, our imaginary presentation should be good enough to get them to want to be involved. and give us financial backing and so on. Easy. All we had to do at this point in our imaginary plan was (this was me) “to hand out our marketing postcards to students and that we hoped were experiencing stress.”

Doubts-question marks

The boy informed me that I couldn’t say that. Can’t say what? Can’t say they have stress. I didn’t say I’d say they’d have stress. I said I was hoping to give it to someone who had stress. You can’t say that.

Around and around we went. The other members of our group moved away from us. We got louder and louder. The professor, bless her long-suffering heart, had to come and in 4 times and intervein just during that one class period.

I’d decided I wasn’t going to be run over like I had been in my group last quarter. I was going to take a stand. I was going to stand up for myself. The boy with lint in his brain was wrong. You know why? I have two basic reasons. Well, three. One. he’s a stupid, arrogant youth who takes charge because his ego as a male gives him the automatic right to lead every group he’s in. (I know other people who observed our “discussions” who agree with me.) Two, we were using marketing to get people to come to our event. Um, you have to get people who experience stress interested in reducing their STRESS to come to our damn event! But he didn’t want me to even say the word to just our business audience. He didn’t want me to tell them that we hoped these students were stressed. What? Is he a moron? Third, if I want you to back my event financially, I need to tell you what specific audience I’m aiming to draw to my event. What student am I aiming to expose my marketing products too so that they will come to our event and reduce their stress?

A fucking STRESSED OUT STUDENT, THAT’S WHO GOD DAMN IT! You can’t say that.

Michael, why not? Because you’re implying they have stress. OMG Of course I am. That’s who my target market is. That’s what businesses do. They have target audiences and they try like hell to reach them so they can sell their products (or whatever) to them. Target audience. Do you know about them?

As it turns out, after having a discussion regarding the whole sordid thing, some college students today believe that we have no right to assume anything about anything. At all.

OMG

I wanted to speak first. I’m VERY well versed in ANXIETY and STRESS. Nope, Michael spoke first/instantly. He missed school for three weeks because he was stressed out. That story really ought to start things out well.

Michael, are you going to try to hook the audience by sharing your experience with them? Well, yeah. And you’re going to express some emotion so that they empathize with you, right. Well no. (His face went pale.) I’m not going to share anything persona. But I do know a lot about stress. Yes, I see that you do.

In the few seconds, before I was overtaken by lint boy, I had visualized myself getting up there in front of the other students, and then dramatically breaking a few pencils in half and tossing them in the air. Then I would explain how many college students feel stress and what kinds of things they feel it makes them do – like commit suicide. I’ve been there. I know. I understand. Have you ever felt that way too?

The audience would now be listening to the group. We could continue our pitch. We would tell them about our research and the target audience we found through our research that we would like to come to our event. Marketing. Audience.

I could go on. Lint man still makes me mad. He persists in expressing his superiority by taking over every meeting and every discussion.

We had a meeting today. I had a plan. I’d been listening to a couple of TED Talks in my car during my break. They were under stress. They were informational, insightful and funny. One woman talked about the “F-word.” It turned out her F-word turned out to be “fine.” The next woman talked about the “F-word too.” This one actually did mean fuck. I related the stories to the team, Michael was present. I had long advocated we should have a speaker, but when Michael asked the school counselor if he would do it and was met with an emphatic “NO” he jumped to the conclusion that putting on ANY sort of talk was stupid because he’d talked to this one guy who “knows” and that was that. I disagreed. The girls agreed with him because that’s what they did.

Back to Fuck. The more I used the word, the more they laughed. Apparently, a 55-year-old woman wasn’t supposed to say, “Fuck.” Go figure. I took advantage of their being off kilter a little bit. I suggested why we needed to give our materials out to students who we KNEW probably had a huge chance that they were stressed out, to reach our target audience.

Oh, hey, I get it. That’s a good idea. But you can’t read your slide to them that has the marketing mock-up on it. Let them read it. Sooooo you want me to stand there while they read. Basically, yes. No. I’m going to point out the highlights of my very brief POSTCARD and if that means I’m reading the whole thing, then so be it.

The professor comes to us before class ended. She calmed us down again. Then she said that I could do my own thing and that would be that and the rest of the group could do their thing and all would be good. It defused the matter. For a little bit. Then I realized she was isolating me from the others so I would rock the boat. Who does that? Also, who lies to the professor what he JUST said, what he just said to me about what I couldn’t say, right to the professor’s face.

Little lint monkey brain. Shit…. again.

There has to be a better way to communicate with kids who are being told they can’t be labeled by anyone at anytime. it is their right to be different. They are allowed to say stupid ass things and claim you can’t correct them because you can’t put your beliefs on them. They are who they are, even if they don’t know who that is.

“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll stand for anything.”

I stand for myself and all others who suffer from Bipolar Disorder and other mental illnesses. I stand for their family members and friends. I stand for myself. I stand.

Don’t you dare tell me that you know more about stress than I do. You don’t know me… little boy. Why don’t you ask what I know of stress? I promise you that you will be horrified. You will leave being unable to comprehend or willing to sit and listen to terror that he does not understand.

Whose been stressed? I have. I am. I really am. And, there’s a good chance you are too.

In this case, I found that raising my voice at the boy helped some. It also helped to teach them something purposefully using the word Fuck. Boy, that felt good. Fuck.

Find ways to stand up for yourself. I stood up for myself with a whole chill pill in my system. I wanted to beat him. After talking to them about how I felt the group was functioning and using the word FUCK they seemed to respect me more. That seems like a weird thing to do to defuse a stressful situation but hell, I’ll take anything that will lower my stress.

I still want to beat the little lint monster brain over the head with the postcards to our stress lowering event that I’m not supposed to explain we hope will be given to those who are stressed out. Remember, he’s an expert.

Who gets the right to decide? Whose the expert on stress?

Let me just toot my own horn and say loudly and for the last time (at least to lint brain boy) that I’m the expert on stress. Not you.

Wait till you have children.

Fuck you lint boy.

Surprised by My Swearing – Bipolar Anger

Maya, a friend at university whuwto has been with me since I started at this school, has been shocked by the change in my… language. She’s never heard me swear. She thinks its funny. I suppose it is. I guess I don’t look like a swearer.

I was talking to her on the phone, and we decided I should call my professor and explain to him what is going on with my group in one of my classes. Things are not going well. I don’t play well in groups. I’m really trying. I am, but they’re children and act like they know everything. I’m disrespected. I’m reacting badly to that. Things have gone really wrong. I needed to do something to get things on track. I got excited that I was taking action and said, “I’ll go put my teeth in and call him right now.” She cracked up. She’d forgotten I wear dentures. Ha ha!

I guess I’m something of a surprise.

When I saw her at school the next day, she recounted our conversation. She laughed and laughed.

I’m glad.

Today I’m going to get my new dentures. My old ones have been falling out of my mouth while I’m talking. Seriously. They do. I don’t wear them often. I save wearing them for school. Still, they’ve come out. I’ve been holding my uppers up with my tongue. Maya thinks that’s hysterical too. It kind of is. It has to be funny. It would be too tragic if it weren’t.

God, I hope they fit. I don’t need more stress. It might not be so funny this time. No, it definitely wouldn’t be funny this time.

Bipolar – Urges – So Hard to Repress

I first recall having these urges when I was a teenager and I was babysitting some kids in my neighborhood. The house was beautiful. One whole wall was glass and was above an embankment leading down to the woods far below. I was sitting in a chair facing the glass. Suddenly, I had an overwhelming urge to throw myself through the windows and down the embankment. Confusion and fear overwhelmed me. To resist, I held onto the arms of the chair I was sitting in. The urge was terrifying. I continued to have similar urges through the years.

Later, when I was in Bible college, I remember clearly standing in line for lunch and having the same terrifying urge. I tried not to whimper as I struggled not to act on my urges. I felt like I had to scream and run around knocking people over and throwing their food trays. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me. It was so frightening.

What made it so much more difficult to understand was that two professors at the school had been trying to cast demons out of me. I didn’t think of the urges as having anything to do with spiritual things (more about this another day) and I still don’t.

Through the years the violent urges continued to occur to me with frightening fury. They didn’t stop after college. Sometimes I gave into the dark urges. I would throw things and break them to pieces. I screamed and yelled and threw more things.

Eventually I had three children. I was divorced and raising my kids on my own. The kids were often terrified. Sometimes I did snap and the urges would overwhelm me in public. I frightened some people and made others angry. My brother’s partner wouldn’t talk to me for years because once at their business (they own the family business) I lost my temper and the urge to strike out won. I picked up the lunch room table and threw it across the room while screaming and raging.

The violent urges are still with me. Lately they’ve been growing in intensity again. Just yesterday at school I had to restrain myself from screaming at people and shoving them violently.

I was petrified. What if I couldn’t control myself again?

Last night I was thinking about what I was feeling and I realized that I’ve never told any of my counselors or psychologists about it. I’ve decided to keep track of these disturbing impulses and explain what happens to my counselor. I hope I can get across just how disturbing and powerful these urges are.

Does anyone else experience these kinds of urges? How do you deal with them?