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Wizard

Wizard

Abused mustangs lash out. It’s not their fault. But if they hurt someone, that doesn’t matter. They must still be shot, punished, or sent away.

I am an abused mustang. Red-dun Utah mustang spirit. Too many have enticed me to trust them.

Too many have I chosen to trust. Too many have caged me, beaten me, and whipped my eyes.

It will take years for any human to gain my trust.

Fleeing Pig

I have wrestled and wrestled with this one. To write about it or not to write about it.

Why, during a crisis precipitated by a therapist at a mental-health institution this past August, with all the staff staring down at me as if I were a disgusting animal, did I become suddenly still–or, “less escalated”, as they call it there–at the sight of the police officers? (for backstory see Part 1 & 2)

It was not, as staff apparently believed, because I suddenly wanted to quit my tantrum and behave to avoid punishment. It was, as I previously said, an instinctive visceral reaction to past abuse by police officers in this town. I was no less “escalated” EXCEPT in my “behavior”–which was all they cared about.

OK, the “abuse” occurred over 10 years ago; it was not being overly tazered or beaten by night-sticks; so why should I be complaining about it? Because I still feel the trauma, that’s why. Thinking of it sends me into acute anxiety attacks. The mere sight of a police car, a cop reality show on TV, or driving past the jail all trigger these attacks. Trauma, pure and simple.

I have had very little experience with police. I’ve gotten speeding tickets, been pulled over because my purse was on the roof of my car, been led out of an Intensive Care Unit in handcuffs, and so forth. So when the police arrived, from the call made by my husband at the time, after I had shoved him away from me because he was frightening me by looming over me and screaming two inches from my face (we had some issues; I was sick; police were called because we needed help), I stupidly, naively, calmly, admitted to having shoved him. Both of us believed the police had come to help us.

I was semi-clothed, in years-old, rather un-modestly torn, men’s thermal underwear. They did not allow me to put clothes on. I don’t remember having my rights stated to me. They cuffed me, took me away, and locked me up in one of those cinder block holding cells, still clad only in this underwear. I wonder what they would have done if I was naked?

One of the officers found a black-and-white striped shirt which was too short and extremely baggy, but gave me no pants. I was not allowed to be warm (it was midwinter); they would give me nothing, because it was “not a hotel.” They joked and jeered at me and my behavior, I was crying and upset, and they no doubt get a lot of “crazy” people to torment in there on the graveyard shift.

All the while, I was given to understand later, my husband followed them and demanded they release me, that he was not lodging a complaint and they had no reason to take me in. I do not understand the system, but it appears they just wanted to take me in and would not be dissuaded by reason. I was a domestic violence criminal, guilty until proven innocent and treated as the foulest of scum.

They did give me my meds, and a pen and paper when I asked for one.

The next morning, they still gave me no pants, but locked me in a chain gang with a bunch of giant, overweight men (who all were wearing jail clothes and stinking of alcohol) and took me, still chained to them, into a courtroom that was open to the public–still in torn longjohns and no pants–and put me up in front of everybody, and said stuff. I don’t know what it was. Then they chainganged me away back to the jail. I was pretty mad and still in shock and told them I had used to have respect for the police.

I had nowhere to go and no one to call. I was not allowed to speak to my husband and he was forbidden from speaking to me. I had no vehicle or place to go and my husband was not permitted to supply me with either. I was advised by legal counsel to plead guilty (to what??) because I would have little to no chance in a jury trial.

The story goes on from here, but there it is. The Incident that stopped my “escalated behavior” at the mental-health institution this past August, the sight of the big fat uniformed men I would never before have referred to as “pigs.”

Thus was the conduct of this particular city’s finest 10 yrs ago, and if I had had the money, I would have sued the city.

Laugh if you will, that I call it “abuse,” say I deserved it, say I am overreacting more than a decade later…I’m sure that’s what the compassionate staff at the mental-health institution would do and say about my “behavior” this past August since they displayed no interest in my actual mental state or safety.

I later found out that the purpose of the police who had been called by the therapist in August to the mental-health facility was NOT to take me to a place of treatment. They would have taken me to the cinder-block holding cell at the jail, conveniently located across the street. Since I had been banging my head uncontrollably on the wall and the floor, and had reached a self-harm state of being with very little thought whatsoever (staff could have cared less … they were only concerned with my behavior), my being put back into that cinder-block cell with the specter of its remembered trauma would not have ended well…for anyone…

I have the right to remain silent. If I choose to waive this right, everything I say will be used against me in the Court of Life.

I don’t, really don’t, understand these things. AM I overreacting? Was this, or was this not, abuse?

Cow

I have been fighting depression and anxiety a great deal of late, and hard at that.  As the behavioral-ists say, as if I were a cow, “Have you been ruminating again?” Because, they say, “ruminating” upon feelings, occurrences, or memories that have me really pissed off, frightened, or saddened reduces my chances for victory. Well, yes, excessive obsessing can do that.

Yet I find that having these feelings, occurrences, memories, or whatever else cycloning around in my racing thoughts makes the sedentary, passive activity of “rumination” quite impossible.

Me no moo.

Rather, focusing those preoccupations through writing actually can help. Writing is not a form of “distraction” found in a Distress Tolerance list; neither is it a “pleasant activity.” Most especially, it is not rumination. Writing is looking hard for the splinter in your hand and stabbing it with a needle until the splinter comes out and you realize why you couldn’t see it without going through the pain: it was a tiny sliver of white wood, burrowed in there, invisible.

Sometimes you’ll do it through poetry (even if the esthetic results are dismal, the process is the point).

Sometimes through fiction.

I highly recommend writing in a journal (that’s what I do; I write in a journal). I don’t recommend “journaling”.  God, no! “Journal” must never, ever, become a legitimate verb! Please don’t help it to be so.

Or, and this is no new thought either, you could puke your guts out in a blog, which sometimes edifies, but usually just embarrasses. And yet we keep on doing it anyway! Go figure.

It may not solve your problem or cure your depression, but it’s bound to occupy your mind and could help you work through something, stall a suicidal impulse, become a prayer, slow the racing thoughts, ease the anxiety, be the only entity in the universe in whom you can confide the real you. . .whatever it does, it’s better than “ruminating.”

I may be obsessive, but I am NOT a cow.

I am one of those pathological, chronic self-examiners. A form of self-centeredness that concerns itself with worrying that things I said and did will affect others who have long forgotten about, or did not even notice, what I did, said, or thought; and also with analyzing every thought and feeling I have to examine and judge my motivations and their truth or falsehood. It may arise from all those inappropriate behaviors I “acted out” (God, do I hate that term) and said and thought in the past that were NOT forgotten, were held against me, swung around to bite me in the ass, and so forth.

In any case, were I to have been truly ashamed of what had occurred in the crisis assessment, that tendency toward self-examination would be the reason that after a week or so of self-flagellation, I would fall over myself apologizing to everyone concerned for the scene I caused. Which, of course, did not happen. To begin with, I did not cause the scene.

It was later denied by the therapist, and in a so-called investigation of the complaint I lodged, that she was yelling at me and my husband as we left the building. Well, yes, she was. A trained crisis counselor. Yelling out the glass doors into the cold, polished and windowed lobby in front of God, the receptionists, the pens with giant flowers on them, and everybody else: “You had better be back here on Monday morning!”

Very professional.

I arrived at that institution for responsible reasons; to seek treatment for my condition before a crisis occurred that would have a damaging impact on my family. Instead, the crisis was initiated there in the therapy session. It was by no means over when I was thrown out, or as they call it, “left voluntarily.” I was in far worse condition than when I arrived. Truth be told, I struggled into my old, deteriorating car, whose door is literally falling off, in a truly suicidal state of mind. I was ready to kill myself. There was no help, no hope.

There was the list of things, embedded in my mind, that I had planted there myself to automatically prevent suicide. They were MY safety, which I invented, with no help, suggestion or input from their behavioral therapy, whether dialectical or cognitive.

Why was she yelling? Maybe it was indirectly because I froze when I saw the police officers. That instinctive reaction to past trauma and abuse may have been interpreted as me subsiding from my “tantrum” at the prospect of “punishment” by the authorities, which of course would lead one to the conclusion that I had “worked myself up to it” as she put it, for the purpose of creating a scene, flouting every behavioral skill that I had ever been taught. This is only speculation on my part. A mere crazy person cannot fathom the sublime workings of the vast, disciplined minds of her betters, even if her betters are just kids.

When one breaks apart as I broke apart, the one thing they need is tolerance and competence from their therapist(s). If an institution’s “trained professionals” cannot discern the difference between a real breakdown and a tantrum thrown for the purpose of making a scene, but the institution stands with moral certainty behind their employee’s incompetence as professional, appropriate and effective handling of the situation, then that institution needs to be nuked.

I of course filed a grievance, instead of engaging in the more favored behavioral skill of “Opposite Action” by apologizing and sending them roses. They responded to the grievance with what they called an investigation, which, as described in the Resolution of Grievance they sent me afterward, consisted of interviewing the therapist about what happened. They did not interview my husband, who was there, the only witness throughout the farce.

Throughout the Resolution of Grievance, the language referred to everything the therapist said and/or chose to write down during the session as factual and honest. Throughout the same document, the language referred to everything I reported that I  experienced, observed, felt, and heard, as mere “belief.” As in: ‘[Therapist] did (or said, or said you did) blah blah blah. You believed that blah blah blah. So the therapist was correct, and you were incorrect, because you merely believed, while whatever the therapist said is what actually occurred.’

This language conveyed quite clearly that they held nothing I said as credible. It demonstrated total lack of respect for the patient as an intelligent human being. It revealed that the patient’s point of view is insignificant to them, because they view the patient as insignificant and, indeed, crazy.

Do I want this institution nuked? I don’t want this institution nuked because it is my only treatment alternative in this tiny, redneck town. So, what do I do? Protest their “Resolution” of my grievance? Their Grievance Resolution invites me to. Or should I bend over and take it up the ass because if I would only practice the skill called “Radical Acceptance” my ass would hurt less.

In the end, I wrote out my entire dispute to the “Grievance Resolution” and then employed the behavioral skill of  “Opposite Action” by not sending them the disputing response. Now I practice the behavioral skill of “Interpersonal Effectiveness” by being as sweet as sugar, or at least as sweet as I can be, whenever protocol and hoop-jumping require me to be in their office. So you see, the behavioral skills as practiced save me from alienating the guardians of my only avenue to my doctor who prescribes the live-saving medications. Isn’t behavioral therapy beautiful?

A couple of days after the incident, the medical assistant called and told me that my doctor had prescribed a change in my medication. I noticed INSTANT improvement (which is rare). I had gone in there seeking just this kind of treatment–medical–and had I received it when needed, none of the rest of this would have happened.

Within three days of the incident, people from Social Services invaded my kids’ school, ripped them from their classrooms, and threw them into closed, lonely rooms and interrogated them. Then they came to my house and tried to be disarming. They found no danger to the children, only love and an uncommon maturity and intense loyalty to their mother on the part of the children.

The one thing I have learned from all this is that the mental-health institution is NOT a safe place to go when I am in crisis or in imminent danger of crisis. All crises must be worked out on my own now, as there is no safety, respect, or confidentiality extant in the institution any longer, if ever indeed there was. I go to the treatment center only as needed in order to continue medical management by my very competent and respectfully-behaving psychiatrist.

o

Behave, or you’ll end up here.

I have reached a conclusion, and it is this:

Beware of all therapies with the word “behavioral” in them.

While in some certain aspect, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is useful (all people, mental-health patients or not, benefit from understanding the dialectic), behavioral therapy in general has its own hidden agenda.

To brainwash the patient in order for other people not to be inconvenienced by the patient’s illness.

Behavioral therapy teaches the patient how to exercise appropriate behavior in a variety of situations. This behavior suppresses the expression of the patient’s true feelings and the symptoms of their illness, not for the patient, but for the convenience and comfort of others. This is all good and fine up to a point. Most of us are not considered brilliant or indispensable enough to be tolerated for being unapologetically who we are.

But the other thing behavioral therapy does, the brainwashing and ultimate damage, is more insidious.

It puts back on the patient the responsibility for having any symptoms for their illness. That’s right. It’s our fault for having symptoms, if we don’t practice the skills, whether or not the skills work or help at all. That’s what I was taught four months ago at the institution where I receive treatment. The problem there, of course, is we’re right back where we started: being stigmatized. If we cannot exhibit the right behavior, it is our own fault. We are mental cases. We are nuts.

I have the institution where I receive treatment to thank for this revelation. I was nearing a crisis, and my husband rushed me to the treatment center for help. We knew it was a matter of medication adjustment, partly because I was on Seroquel, which was giving me terrifying cardiac symptoms; and partly because my new “behavioral” symptoms were frightening ones that I had never experienced before.

Instead being allowed to see my doctor, we were told I must see a crisis counselor. I explained to this person that my “skills” (DBT, mainly), were no longer working for this alarming condition I was in. In response, she mildly asked me what skills I could use to deal with this. I explained again that I had tried all my skills and none of them were working or else were inaccessible to me in my current state. Again, she responded by asking what skills I could use. This went on and on, trying my patience, and hers. I begged her for help. To no avail. At last the effect of her mounting contempt and annoyance at my mounting emotionalism reached a breaking point.

I began screaming and banging my head on the wall.

I am not proud of this. Nor did I choose it. It chose me, I suppose, my crisis, which I had arrived there in a responsible manner to avert, precipitated by the excellent and flawless job this therapist was doing. Who knows. In retrospect, I have to think, perhaps with tongue in cheek, that banging my head against a figurative wall was not effective, and so my disease directed me to bang my head against a literal wall.

This did not end well for me, as you can imagine.

The therapist had the police called.The staff’s single objective was to be rid of me, my symptoms, and my behavior. Mind you, the staff of a mental-health institution that is supposed to help people wanted to be rid of the crazy person. Call the police!

My poor husband tried to get ahold of me. No one stepped in to help. That in itself is understandable; physical involvement in situations like that are not allowed. However, a group of staff people simply stood around me, staring down with disgusted, fascinated, or shocked looks on their faces at my disgusting behavior. Not one person offered a comforting word to my husband throughout the whole incident.

Or to me, though it might have helped to resolve the inconvenient symptoms I was having, panic being among them.

Then I saw the police officers. I froze in instinctive terror. I had been severely abused by that city’s police officers, and still suffer flashbacks of the shameless humiliation they inflicted.

The staff took this instinctive freezing to be self-control, apparently, and seemed to have concluded that the crisis was resolved.

Far from it.

Pain is not the same thing as behavior. Pain is pain.

So why is all the “therapy” available around here “behavioral” therapy of some kind?

Does “behavior” manage pain? Really? Or does it just make  “behavior” safer and more appropriate in spite of pain, much like intolerance training of horses makes them run and perform while they are in silent agony?

Huh? Am I stupid?

Has pain made my cognitive function below acceptable standards?

I had another breakdown today.

I went postal.

I have just had it with the wrong mail landing in our mailbox. It’s been happening for awhile, and I’ve just been putting it back in our box with a sticky note that says “delivered to the wrong address.” However, because you can trust almost no one these days, I am wondering what all the neighbors around us, with their sharp, psychedelic claws and their possibly lie-spewing, terrible teeth, are doing with OUR mail in the meantime.

Today we got a FULL mailbox stuffed with ALL other people’s mail. I snapped. I’m sorry, it happens. I ran screaming to the phone and went postal on the poor post office lady, who of course was completely innocent and had nothing to do with the mail carrier’s mistakes. Fortunately, she gave me a tongue-lashing in return, and my emotions got reeled in for that moment, and I think we were OK by the end of the conversation.

But I am not okay now. I’ve been sobbing and yelling and being condemned for expressing my feelings.

Day to day, I’ve been depressed lately. But I’ve been doing my best. Trying really hard. I mean, really really hard, to behave in a manner that doesn’t inconvenience people or render their feelings uncomfortable. Even though, on an almost constant basis, others stream hurtful words and actions my way and I’m expected to bend over and take it with a smile. If I don’t, I’m blown off as just “being that way” or end up having puppy-dog idiots with low self-esteem (rather like myself) thinking that I hate them.

So…I just want to give up. But I know I can’t. I’m not special in my pain. It’s just the human condition. I am blessed that God the Father gave us lives as humans so that we can even experience and learn from a “condition” at all.

So I slathered myself in various essential oils for “Peace and Calming,” “Balance,” plain oils of lavender, peppermint, and wild orange, because those are the ones I have. I’ve taken homeopathic flower blends and aconite “for fear and fright.” These are all courtesy of the wonderful friends I’m reminded I do have.

I have taken an extra one of my meds, which I am permitted to do by my psychiatrist, who knows I have reached a reliable mindset on such things. I have stopped short, though, of indulging in such “medication” as is now legalized in the state in which I reside. Instead, I’ve put on my pink sweats and my pale blue sweatshirt with the pink unicorn on it…yes…I love unicorns. I’ve loved them for decades. I loved them before they became a fad for losers.  I see them as a symbol of both purity and rebirth.

So, hopfully, I’ll get over this and return to being a useful and present member of my family pretty soon. If I’m lucky, they’ll remember that I’m not having these breakdowns because I think they’re so fun and neat such a good idea.

In the meantime, don’t give up. God’s Word promises that God won’t give us more than we can handle and endure.

I’ve spent a great deal of my life wishing I had never been born.

Now I have two kids who are just like me. They wish they had never been born.

In the aftermath of a huge argument, precipitated by my reaction to my husband’s reaction to my son’s reaction to the news that his trip to see his cousin was going to be postponed yet again, my son, my daughter, and I were sitting outside on the ground.

The clouds overhead were dark and carrying rain, the light was in that stage of the gloaming where the clouds and the trees to the east are so fantastically colored that they look fake.

I groped and grappled in my mind for words to comfort my son, who has been diagnosed with ADHD. He insisted that my fight with my husband was his fault, that it was always his fault, that he wants to kill himself every time we start arguing because of him.

“What exactly do you think you will get out of killing yourself?” I asked him gently.

“The fighting will stop.”

“No,” I explained. “The fighting will get worse. Your dad and I will fight until we get divorced or I kill myself. Then your sister will have a dead mom and a dead brother.”

I was trying to talk him into thinking beyond the moment. Thoughts like that are what stop me from killing myself. But just as soon as I uttered those words, I realized that I may have just added fuel to his fire. Because he also carries a great rage inside. It is that rage that he turns in on himself. But I sense he can also turn that rage outward, and ideates this much more often than I realize.

Thoughts like the ones I just expressed might just push him into killing himself to get revenge.

Flash to a few moments before, before we all sat down. I was looking for him, and he came walking over from an unexpected direction, his pocketknife out and open.

He said something. I told him to give me that knife, that he was far too angry to be carrying it just now. He gave it up without hesitation.

Recalling that moment, I realized I could not take back the words I had spoken, and so I simply changed the subject. After a period of silence, I asked him what in this whole world would make him happy. He could not answer this.

“Anything,” I pressed. “If you had the power to make a whole new life, different parents even. What kind of life would make you happy?”

“A life that never was,” he said.

To my bewildered sorrow, he clarified:

“I could only be happy if I had never been born.”

My daughter, drawing in the dirt on the other side of the electric fence wire, nodded agreement. “Me, too,” she mumbled to the earth. She is on medication for depression.

I felt so heartbroken. My kids are just like me. I have passed on to them my hopelessness. They are only 11 and 14.

I determined to think before I spoke again, this time.

Finally, I said, “I’ve felt like that, too, before.”

“I feel that way all the time,” he said.

It seemed there was no winning this one.  I launched into how much his father and I love him, and how sorry I am that we fight, and that none of it is his fault, and that all of it is my fault, I start all the fights with his father, and how much his father cares and wants him to be happy. It was all so desperate and now, trying to remember, seems so empty. We all knew we were together, and separate from someone else.

Eventually the dogs came over. I started picking the loose fur out of one, and white dog hair flew everywhere. My son laid backwards to escape it. He seemed annoyed.

“It’s snowing!” I said. Then the other dog came up and pushed his little nose into my legs. “Oh, no.  I know what’ll happen if I try to pull loose hair off of you!”

My son was smiling.  I imitated the dog’s yelp, sure to occur if I plucked a loose tuft of fur. Soon we were all laughing. Then the cats came over, and my daughter had the tuxedo cat chasing a weed in circles while the calico kitten crouched intently at a distance, watching every move, and the lazy, long-hair orange cat just watched. We were all enjoying the pets together and I thought inanely of the healing power of animals. Everything was all right again. Or so I thought.

Out of nowhere, more dark words came out of the mouth of my son. More tears from me, wishing I could give him whatever that elusive thing he needs that love alone cannot provide. And as my attention remained focused on him, my daughter was silently suffering from a crushing series of blows that had occurred this week. I couldn’t be there for them both. I didn’t know what to do.

Later my son and I sat at our kitchen table, and he spoke on and on, lost in fond memories of past excursions during visits with his cousin. Because he needed it so desperately, even though it was late at night, I gave him my “full” attention…to the best of my ability between my racing thoughts, worry about my daughter, and my own exhaustion.

When I convinced him it was bedtime, he went out to the couch. On the other couch, my daughter was lying, her face streaked with tears each of which had been shed for a good reason. Neither went to bed. I feel terrible. I have failed completely to be effective. I have been trying so so hard to be a better parent, and all I achieve is more arguments with my husband, more pain for the kids.

My husband gets angry when we express our emotions by crying or being angry. It’s completely justified, every time HE is angry, but nothing in my children’s perceptions or my own are important enough for it to be okay in this household for us to express any emotion except agreement with him. It is so wrong for me to insist on my right to defend my children to him, because it causes him to escalate, and then our arguments get loud in front of the child being defended. But how can standing there watching my son crying while my husband, yelling, orders him to “settle down?” Could anyone sobbing miserably settle down just because someone orders them to? My son stops crying out of fear, but has not settled down.  I started the argument that led to the tableau of us sitting outside. I am wrong to blame my husband. This is all my fault because I am bipolar and I am a terrible mother. I am a failure.

Even admitting I am a failure is a sin because expressing feelings such as these is self-pity, and there is no place for self-pity on a beautiful piece of land like ours, lush and green, in Colorado, a state that is withering, drying out, and burning like hell itself all around us; and in a marriage that has survived incredible hardships. But feelings are their own beginning and end; and have nothing to do with circumstances unrelated to them.

Food on the table where others have none does not lessen the blow of the loss of a pet. Neither does living in America while people across the globe are suffering tsunamis and genocide ease the pain of deep depression or horrible family crises. Anyone who thinks they do are kidding themselves. I know that I’m a failure as a parent and as a wife and as a friend, I have little to no hope, but I don’t have the option of giving up. I have to try to learn how to strengthen my kids. They are already strong, but very troubled, just like me. Why? Because of me.

…just little ole me, Underdog.”

Well this is fascinating. Just fascinating, to me, at least. I was about to commit hari-kiri on Facebook but I stopped myself just in time.

I find myself in a desolate frame of mind, trapped in my head by the pain of a stubborn migraine and what I can only describe as the fruit of rampant rumination…PARANOIA!

All I can think about is what a failure I am. And yet I don’t feel that this failure is my fault. For the first time in my whole life, I am starting to direct the blame for my self-destructive feelings outward. For the first time I am engaged in ideation of self-harm…but not because I hate myself. No, it’s because of THEM.

Them, them, them.  The twofaced people, the enemies who are trying to take me down.  I’m tired of worrying about the purpose of my life.  They have sought to negate that purpose, to reduce everything I’ve accomplished in seven years of heartbreaking and crazy-making striving to meaninglessness.  The good I’ve done is totally outweighed by my perception of their perceptions of my failings, (and my own confirmation of same).  My mind tells me I’m being ridiculous. So does my husband, on a daily basis.  But that changes nothing.

That doesn’t change my desire to tell THEM ALL to go to hell, and that on the way there THEY can CONGRATULATE  THEMSELVES for destroying me and everything I’ve worked to do, all the little differences I’ve made in people’s lives reduced to nothing and invalidated thanks to the things that they’ve said.  This is the first time I’ve wanted to kill myself not only to escape myself, but to SHOW THEM what THEY have done to me. I don’t know why this is.  I wish I knew, precisely, who THEY are.

This is so weird. My anti-suicide checklist is in my brain too, and part of me wants it to shut up. A trusted family member says I should stop pursuing the cause and pay attention to my family. But what about me? I’ve already failed as a family member. And as far as my work goes, I haven’t succeeded in achieving anything significant to me since last April. So what use am I????? In comparison with the epic heroism of  others, my efforts are a fucking joke. Why? Because I just can’t handle it any more.  In practice, I gave up months ago.  The helplessness of trying to operate in an environment that is so hostile. Last year’s newcomers to the cause, whom I trusted, but who were really just around to judge and find fault. They who think my family and I aren’t good enough to succeed in our cause, when we were succeeding just fine for six years before THEY got involved, THEY are the ones who have steered me, and my family, into crash-and-burn trajectory.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. You know who you are. You have all very possibly succeeded in removing another small resource from a population that needs all the resources it can get. And you have destroyed my family by destroying my life. Congratulations, you should all feel very proud of yourselves!

See, those are the thoughts in my head! Yuck! They are there all the time, but they don’t always enrage me.  They simply make me vulnerable to frequent anxiety attacks, have headaches, and lose sleep. But everyone has people they don’t get along with, and all people who are trying to do something have challenges, people ARE assholes, and life ISN’T fair and never has been, to anyone, and there is no reason that all of a sudden I should be so filled with rage and hatred over it.

So I am trying to look at these weird, hostile feelings with interest, as a curiosity, because suicide and/or self-harm doesn’t hurt your enemies. It simply gives them more ammunition, and you are no longer around to prove them wrong. Meanwhile, it eviscerates your family and pisses off your friends. So it’s never a good idea.

And I can’t let go of the need to go on doing my small, miniscule, apparently meaningless good deeds, despite what my trusted advisor says. Letting go of the desire to help people and animals isn’t so easy as the people around me seem to think it should be.  The very Idea that I should tell the few people whom I–perhaps mistakenly–believe depend on me, to go away, is causing me even MORE anxiety and self-devaluation. Don’t the people pressuring me to do this realize that if clients & volunteers are pushed away now “for six months,” they are NOT going to be lined up at the end of that time waiting to return? Because they are NOT! They will have hurt feelings at first, and then they will go on with their lives and find a more worthy cause to support. A “six-month hiatus for re-evaluation” will simply end our organization. I can’t believe that isn’t obvious.

What can I learn? What can I take away from this that will be useful to me, what to help me be there for my family, who apparently are supposed to benefit from this mutilation?

There is a lesson in here somewhere, if I only had the wit to see it.

I started this blog a long time ago when I was very depressed and upset, with no clear idea what I wanted to do with it.  Just bitch to the world about how much it sucks to have bipolar disorder?  What good is that?  No good, no good at all.  I know there are resources out there.  I took Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and learned lots of great skills.  There’s a weekly post-DBT meeting I could be going to if I could stand to leave the house.

I read a friend’s blog recently, a new one she’d started that was intended to provide a service to its readers.  She admitted starting the blog was scary, was concerned about making mistakes, but was going to try it anyhow.  Part of me wanted this blog to do that, too, provide a service to readers.  My friend’s an artist, and her courage got me to thinking that I should go ahead and try this again.

But who the heck to reach out to?  Because of other social/work connections, I don’t want “just anyone” reading this blog, which raises the question why do it at all?  At this time, no one reads it, so it doesn’t matter.

I could start with what I’m taking: Nighttime meds (Seroquel 100 mg, Mirtazapine, Clonazepam), and Daytime meds (Lamotrigine 150 mg, Clonazepam), for bipolar disorder and anxiety.

Yesterday I added 10 mg amitriptyline at bedtime.  This was not for depression, although it’s an antidepressant.  It was prescribed to me for migraine prevention by a neurologist over a week ago, but I wouldn’t start it until getting the ok from my psych doctor. All I need is for a new antidepressant added to everything else to exacerbate my problems and the side effects of the medications through interaction. But the the psych doc finally gave the ok, because the dose is so low.

Today I woke up late, from unpleasant dreams I could not seem to get clear of, with a migraine starting. So I took Excedrin Migraine with my am meds.  Once up I had to hurry hurry hurry and was really cheerful, which is unusual for the early morning.  I thought perhaps the amitriptyline had a positive effect?  After I got back from dropping off the kids at the bus stop, the aura started up again, and I got really dizzy and felt like I was going to pass out.  The feeling lasted a long time and seemed to be getting worse.  I kept on with feeding the horses anyway, wondering if I would just drop dead.  I had to stay out there and keep an eye on the horses.  I was so worried about each and every one.  My solicitude is purely anxiety-driven.  I have no identifiable reason to think I need to worry about any of them.

Ever since R, my favorite rescue horse, died on Jan. 21, I’ve been unable see beauty when I look at the horses.  All I can see out there is a herd of potentially dead animals.  And every management decision, whether to turn this one out, bring that one in, feed grass hay or wheat hay, has become a huge, nail-biting dilemma.  It’s paralyzing.  This has happened to me on every occasion a horse in my life has passed away.  It was especially bad with T, last April.  I had planned to bring her in the previous night but didn’t.  Before morning, the freak accident had occurred with the fence wire, that ultimately cost her life, after weeks of round-the-clock care and involving four veterinarians with different ideas and approaches.  And that last morning, she made it perfectly clear that she did not WANT to be euthanized, even though she was suffering and crippled, which made the euthanasia even harder.

R went in his own time, comfortably, from old age and not from an accident.  For the first time, I haven’t second-guessed myself or found anything to blame myself for about a creature’s life or death.  Despite this, I don’t know if doing the horse rescue is worth it any more.  I can’t keep going through this.  I need someone to talk to about it.  But who?????  Who in rescue or the horse business can I discuss these feelings with without fear of being judged???  “Weighed, measured, and found wanting”?!

And am I just being paranoid?  How big a role is my bipolar disorder playing in my view of how others view me?  I have to assume it’s playing some role.  A significant other in my life always (yes, the correct word is, in fact, “always”) tells me my worries are “ridiculous”, “silly”, or “stupid”, and not to talk to anyone about them.  This is extremely unhelpful for me.

I am working on letting this person’s words roll off my back, and also trying not to voice my worries when this person is around.  After all, I know my worries aren’t stupid.  My inner compass is still true, even if my steering is imperfect!

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