I Pissed Myself Off Again!


My Mom and her dog.

I asked my mom to come over to my house with her dog so they could hang out with my dog and I and we could have some positive bonding time together. Things didn’t go so well. Let’s put it this way, when I’m upset Bailey, my dog, sits basically on my feet till I calm down. After I was done yelling at my mom for secretly triggering all my triggers, I realized Bailey was leaning against my leg.

I knew I should have taken a chill pill before she came over.

I shouldn’t have to take a chill pill before I see my mother.

It wasn’t her fault. She triggered all her triggers and I responded in the time honored tradition of a bitchy and disrespectful daughter. Maybe over all I was right and she had no business being a blockhead. Maybe she’s 73 and I should have kept my mouth shut when she first crossed the initial line and complained about my wanting to rent a movie on TV for $16. How can I spend so much money?!

I’m sad.

I made my mom cry. I asked her why she was crying and she said she just still does sometimes. My dad passed just over a year ago. She didn’t blame me or the old family photos I was sharing with her.

Personally, I think it was because her adult daughter is sick and will never be normal. I think she feels like she’s always going to have to take care of me. Maybe it breaks her heart. I know it would break mine.

So yeah, I pissed myself off again by missing every single point when I could have chosen to stop and back pedal. All that was left afterwards was to apologize and try to figure out how to not rise to the occasion next time because there will be a next time.

I’ll see her in the morning. I hope I can be respectful and keep my damn mouth shut.

I shall try.

Parenting As a Trigger

I’ve written about triggers and how important it is to find them and avoid them so we can avoid the next looming episode. I just had my daughter and her fiancée over for dinner and to give them a few directions on training their puppy. I thought they were open to listening to what I had to say, that maybe they respected the way I’d trained my dog (with a trainer for $!000, real training) and were ready to listen since their puppy is pretty out of control. I was excited all day that they were coming over and that they wanted to know what I could teach them.

I shouldn’t have made that assumption. It was trigger city.

The first thing that went wrong was that Sydney (daughter) didn’t tell Toni that her lipstick wasn’t surviving dinner well. Toni got mad and stalked off to the bathroom.

Then we talked about training their puppy that they have labeled as a “service animal” and that they’ll need a “choke” chain to train her. Toni got on her self-righteous soap box and informed me she wouldn’t ever choke her dog. Using their harness and flat collar was going to be fine. Maybe. But that’s not what the experts taught me. With puppies this age (4 months) treats are the preferred method, but she’s going to get bigger very fast.

Also I don’t appreciate her lack of thanks or respect. Sydney already disrespects me like while she came in the kitchen and busted open cheddar cheese crackers I bought for her brother and started eating them by the handful even though dinner was nearly done and I had told her they were for her brother. It amuses her to make her brother’s life more difficult. The problem is I paid for that food. Not her brother.

They’re gone now. The puppy pooped on my carpet. I’ve loaned them my training book and dvd. They didn’t say thanks for either one. I suggested they buy their own and they said they probably couldn’t afford it. I know they can. They just got their financial aid from school. I’m not going this quarter so I don’t have any new income.

Now I’m sad. I took a chill pill before they got here and I’m glad I did. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I hadn’t.

I was going to try to keep my post short tonight, but I’m not feeling super fabulous.

It makes me wonder what kind of mother I really was. I’m going to stop myself from ruminating over this tonight. That will just make things worse.

Maybe it was minor. Maybe I’m over reacting. It’s what I do. I’m sad and feel unloved.

I done been triggered.

Bipolar – Catastrophizing

Catastrophizing is something I’m very good at. It paralyzes me painfully and damages my daily life. I’m aware of the problem and some of how it affects me. I’m not yet good at reversing it or ignoring it or even of not doing it in the first place.

Catastrophizing is the habit of automatically assuming that everything is going to go to hell and acting accordingly. It is assuming that problems will always end badly. Assumptions and conclusions are magnified well beyond what is reasonable.

We catastrophize when we predict that everything will have a negative outcome; it is jumping to the conclusion where a negative outcome is always inevitable. When I catastrophize I lock myself into helplessness. I ruminate over my imagined trouble and I become hopeless. I catastrophize, and then immediately magnify everything.

Ruminate – Helpless – Magnify

My youngest daughter is going to be 18 June 23rd. She and her best friend have decided to move into a room in a duplex now instead of waiting until fall when school starts. I’ve been catastrophizing nearly nonstop. Over what? Mostly over their not being able to afford it. I can’t help them if they run out of money.

Ok, let’s say they can afford rent, what about food and other costs of living? Neither girl is working full-time. The friend is working part-time, but my daughter isn’t even working 15 hours a week. I’m in a panic over the whole thing. My daughter assures me that her average of 2 hours Tuesday thru Friday is going to increase. As a matter of fact, she says, she’s being trained every day to work in the lab. (She works in a dental office.) My opinion is that you should not count on money you don’t already have. I think they should wait until they know how much she will be making… for real.

I imagine that the girls believe they won’t run across a deal like this again, and maybe they wouldn’t. But that doesn’t mean they can afford it. I see a eating a lot of noodles in the future. (This also worries me because my daughter is skinny and can’t afford to lose any weight. This has been a problem for years.)

Money for school in the fall will be disbursed at the end of September for student housing. That’s a long time to wait to have more money for housing.

Am I catastrophizing  ? Or am I being cautious? And… how is my Bipolar affecting my thoughts and feelings?

Bipolar – Mom of Almost All Post-Teens

I’ve been, acted, had Bipolar Disorder as long as I can remember. I always knew something terrible was just… off with myself. You remember the classic symptoms everyone takes on the on-line tests to see if they’re bipolar? Let me share a few:


There are dozens and dozens more but I’d rather share this with you…(I’ll get back to the kids in a minute)

What does a doctor need to know to diagnose bipolar disorder?

A bipolar disorder diagnosis is made only by taking careful note of symptoms, including their severity, length, and frequency. “Mood swings” from day to day or moment to moment do not necessarily indicate a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.  Rather, the diagnosis hinges on having periods of unusual elevation or irritability in mood that are coupled with increases in energy, sleeplessness, and fast thinking or speech. The patient’s symptoms are fully assessed using specific criteria from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM-IV.

In making the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, the psychiatrist or other mental health expert will ask you questions about your personal and family history of mental illness and bipolar disorder. Because bipolar disorder sometimes has a genetic component, family history can be helpful in making a diagnosis. Most people with bipolar disorder, though, do not have a family history of bipolar disorder.

Also, the doctor will ask detailed questions about your bipolar symptoms. Other questions may focus on reasoning, memory, ability to express yourself, and ability to maintain relationships.
Jessica, who is 22 and is in the Air Force, Kyle who is 19 and attends UW at T (or UWT), and Sydney who is 17 and is a senior in an advanced high school, runs much of the internship program for the high schools in her district and works part-time all grew up with me. All of me.
All of me GREW to be very over weight for my height, very lonely and very much in the grip of my disorder. Even so I chose the email address “supermomforever….” That’s what I think, what I thought when they were young, about myself. I would protect and grow up my babies the best that I could and they would grow up to be amazing and individual people regardless of what happened to me. I knew If I was hospitalized once my chances for going back increased and it didn’t seem to me that people really got better after hospital stays, they stabilized. Our disorder is a disorder. It doesn’t ever “go away”. 
In my “semi-controlled full on manic” state that lasted for what seemed like years (I think it was) I founded a company, learned from the ground up how to run all the complicated software that was necessary, blah, blah…. I was an ultra over achiever. Let’s leave it at that okay? Then I blew the whole thing up and had my Explorer repossessed. Then we were evicted. (This is where I’m supposed to say “things couldn’t get worse” right? Forget about it.)
The last 7 years or so have been very depressing. I’ve had my right knee replaced twice… yes the same knee… because the first one didn’t work. Figure that out. Now that will help you lose weight. I have chronic pain to the extent that I now go to a pain management clinic. 
Yesterday I submitted an application to UWT. I’m very excited to go back to school. I hope I’m accepted. It will be good for my brain and get me out of this bloody house. I’ll meet real people! 
Today I took major steps to reinvent parts of my old company (the one I imploded) with the help of my son’s desk top computer (from a school grant), some art work I was missing (a lot) and tonight – the software I needed!!!! 
Not to put a damper on things, but I haven’t eaten all week accept for today. I’m depressed. My father is dying and that could happen soon. And yet…
…. I’m still being that supermomforever…. I’m making sure the kids spend time with him as we can and that Jessica stays in the loop so she can fly home when the time comes. We’re a pretty tight-nit family. We stay in contact throughout each of our own days and the hours we keep are definitely not the same. 
I talked about the bipolar tests. I just wanted to remind you of some of our symptoms and introduce you to WebMD. They’ve gotten it righter recently than wrong. 
Supermomforever…. my kids will always remember losing the truck and being evicted. It changed us all. They will always remember my physical difficulties and my disorders many that they may be. 
The one single thing I want them to remember is this: family will always be there for you. At the end of the day when the dust settles you call home and talk. When I have a bad few hours I call a kid or text one of them. We are family. 
My ex-mother-in-law always said I’m good at creating and making good memories. We couldn’t afford to go places or buy things so instead I got creative and made memories and I hope drew us together for all of our lives. 
This was way longer than I intended. “Shh…” I tell myself, “It’s ok”. 
My kids are all nearly post-teens. Somedays I worry I’ve wrecked them for life. Left marks on their souls that will never fade. But no, they have grown to be this age and do these things because I somehow did it right. Through all my pain and insanity I got enough of parenting right to have great adult children. 
Now, I’m afraid to be alone. But that’s for another day. 
Good night friends.

Bipolar – Parenting During Times of Loss

My father is still with us and for this I am thankful. I dread his passing for where it/he will leave the family… grieving.

Most of my life my father and I fought. Some people somehow missed all that, but it was real we fought all the time. Well, if you can call violence in the air (verbal abuse I guess) as fighting.

Since his diagnosis just a few months ago as having stage 4 cancer that had spread at an alarming rate we have been having weekly and sometimes twice weekly family meals. We meet to celebrate what we have and finally who we are to each other.

Who we are… My brother is seeing me more often now and is noticing I change from week to week. I almost feel like I understand my father’s dementia.

Three months we’ve been fighting insurance to get any of the ADHD medications approved. I’m foggy. I’m distracted. I’m not driving safely. I’m spacy. I need help.

My counselor is taking up the fight for me to find out what is going wrong and how to fix it. She said that I have enough to worry over with my dad being as he is without having something like this complicating and stressing things more. I hope she makes progress.

Bipolar parents during times of grief and loss…. I’m still waiting. It’s getting harder for all of us each day. My mother,  my brother and I and I my three kids. The pain of watching (dad) grandpa go further each week is so hard. But he fights to stay lucid and in good humor and I think he does it for us.

And so as a Bipolar parent beginning to deal with loss and grief all I can tell you is this: at the end of the day, all we have left is family. Make your peace while you can. You never know when that kid or parent or spouse you didn’t tell you love them before they went out to drive someplace never to return to you.

Everything, every trip, every word spoken in spite or anger, every moment of love and kindness, every second before the passing of a Bipolar mom’s father… is stressing me much more than normal. Much. It pierces my brain. How can I help my kids through this and my mother and brother if I cannot think because an insurance keeps denying my medication? It’s very very hard.

Being a mom during the wait for loss is hard. My mouth might say the wrong thing in front of the kids that they aren’t ready to hear. We’re very open about it. We talk about possible ways we think we might react. I think that’s a subconscious effort to prepare us for the future.

For now, we’re working with Hospice and waiting. He can’t be left alone. I think that is the hardest on my son. He doesn’t know what to talk about when he stays with him. I didn’t realize until it was too late how hard it was. He never complained. Unless its about a sister.

May the Schwartz be with you.

Your friend, Robin