Freaking Obnoxious and Scared Shitless

I’ve been on a new depression & anxiety med for a little over a month, now.

The effects were great, at the beginning. I could almost -feel- the depression peeling away like dead skin. I felt happy again, instead of numb or so extremely sad that it felt as though there was no way out.

But, then, side effects started popping up. Small, at first, they grew & multiplied over this last couple of weeks. They began to interfere with everyday normal stuff, so I started feeling that I probably needed to talk to my doc about switching.

Even happiness isn’t worth some of the shit I’ve been trying to work around, lately.

Tremors that started in my hands, are now full-body. I feel as though I have mid-level Parkinson’s, & can barely sign my name. (Kind of a problem, as my signature has to be on certain stuff at work, & I don’t want it to look like it’s a forgery!)

Constant headaches – every – damn – day. I ingest so much Advil migraine in a 24-hr. period, it’s kinda sad.

There’s other crap too, but the capper started on last Thursday. I started having some really uncomfortable chest tightness and pains, which did eventually subside, but came back today.

Yeah, I called my doc this morning.

And she freaking sent me to the ER when I told them I was having chest pains.

Shit.

So, here I sit, now.

They ran an EKG right away, but obvi I’m not in failure, because they booted me back to the lobby a little over 2 hours ago to wait for a curtain corner.

Shawn Coss artwork -freaking genius
Shawn Coss artwork -freaking genius.

I just want out of here. I ain’t got time for this, I’ve got shit to do.

And yes, I’m fucking scared.

That’s obnoxious.

Struggling and a push

I’ve been absent from the blog for a while. I haven’t even been keeping up with reading the other blogs I follow.

I want to write, but my depression has been so bad for so long, that I haven’t had the emotional strength or motivation to even attempt it. And my fiction ideas have dried up.

So, I want to try something.

For those of you that read my blog, is there something that you’d like to see more of?

If there’s one of my fictions you’d like to see continued, let me know which one.

If you’d like poetry, tell me that, & I’ll work on it.

If you’d like more of my personal history stories, shout out, & I’ll see about continuing that thread.

Or if you’d like me to write more about my struggles with anxiety & depression, ask, and ye shall receive.

I just feel like I need a push in some direction.

It’s not coming from my internal furnace, so maybe I need to seek it outside myself.

So…I’m asking for help, which for me, is a big thing.

Any and all ideas & requests are welcome, but may not all be followed, depending on my comfort level.

Thank you.

Stop Dis-counting Me

I’ve been depressed for a long time.

I HAVE depression. It doesn’t just go away magickally, by itself.

Add my Generalized Anxiety Disorder into the mix, and it’s really a hot mess on the bad days.

And, I get it, it’s uncomfortable.

It’s difficult to talk about, especially when you don’t understand it, when you’ve never been through it yourself.

It’s not just being sad.

It’s not just being down today, because you have [insert legitimate reason here – breakup, funeral, bad grade, bad hair, flat tire] going on.

It’s not just a random feeling, one day, of anxiousness, or panic, because you have something big coming up.

This is ALL DAY. EVERY DAY. For weeks, months…..years…

I get it.

It’s hard to be around someone who has trouble enjoying life.

It’s hard being around someone who doesn’t socialize much, or at all, really.

It’s hard to be around someone who is always down on herself, uses self-deprecating jokes as a shield, and who is usually too tired to do all the really fun stuff.

It’s hard to be around someone who is quiet, most of the time, because she’s living so much in her own head. Mainly because that’s where she socializes. Because everyone else has already left to find the “interesting” people.

It’s hard to be around someone who wants to go home early, because she’s been watching everyone else enjoying themselves, out with their dates/spouses/S.O.’s, and is now on the verge of an internal meltdown, but doesn’t want anyone else to know – so she smiles tightly, says “Nope! Just tired/ gotta go home & feed the cats / do the laundry /” whatever reason gets her out quickest.

So you just stop asking her to go places.

You stop inviting her anywhere.

Because it’s uncomfortable.

I get it.

Even though, when you’re the one that’s having problems, I’m always there. Willing to lend a confidential ear, a shoulder, a tissue.

But that’s ok. I don’t keep score.

Because I know what pain feels like, I don’t want anyone else to have to experience it.

Because I know the crush of depression, I don’t want anyone else to have to live under it.

Because I know the constant dread of anxiety, I don’t want anyone else to have to fear it.

Just – stop dis-counting me.

I matter.

I’m not invisible.

And my feelings get hurt too. No matter what I might say in the moment.

Last weekend, OnlySon & I were arguing about addictions & video games, but something I said to him has stuck.

“Gaming addictions, drug addiction, alcoholism, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, you name it, they’re ALL chemical imbalances that cause physical and mental problems.

JUST LIKE DIABETES.

No one blames a diabetic for BEING diabetic.

Why do people blame someone with Depression for being Depressed??

I take my medications, but they don’t work perfectly. They don’t magically stop me from being depressed, or anxious.

They do stop me from being tense all the time, grinding my teeth in my sleep, oh – and they’ve stopped me from killing myself.

It’s the little things.

We, as a society, need to STOP dis-counting mental illnesses, and the people who have them.

They need to be seen as just as valid as diabetes, hypertension, etc. They are all medical conditions. They should all be treated as such.

Stop treating me as less than.

And maybe, just maybe, I’d stop seeing myself that way.

Nopevember 2018

I was quiet all month about my Nopevember curse, hoping it would pass me by this year.

Annnnd… No such luck.

This month has ended in its typical crash, the way it has for the last 10 years.

Every. Damn. Year.

Something happens.

A deer smashes into our vehicle, or there’s an unholy, knock-down, drag-out fight with my brother, or my daughter crashes her car (black ice, NOT her fault), or, well, a mixture of awful things that culminate in totally fucking up the month.

This year?

I spent Thanksgiving week trying to help my son deal with severe anxiety and panic attacks. And spent an afternoon in the ER with him the day before the holiday, making sure he was safe, and not spiraling out of control, due to a bad reaction to his meds.

When he called me that morning, I was at work, & luckily had my cell phone ON me, instead of charging, so I was able to take the call right away.

This kid doesn’t call me for shit.

He hates talking on the phone. Period. But, he called & begged me to take him to the ER, because he couldn’t take it anymore.

Now, I have this weird thing that happens in my brain when there’s an emergency.

I call it my “ER Nurse Gene”.

See, my grandmother was an RN for many years, and my Mom was an EMT, and an LPN, at different times, and for many years, as well.

I’ve had a lot of exposure to the medical field in my life, both growing up, and as an adult.

Mom brushes this aside & says it’s not a “real thing”, but even she’s seen it in action with me, & can’t truly explain what happens.

You see, when there’s an emergency…

Something clicks inside my brain, and suddenly… Everything gets very, very clear.

Like, my vision is suddenly crystal clear, & I can see everything going on. I am hyper focused and can triage with the best of them. My senses are all heightened, my mind has a clarity to it that – even I don’t truly understand, once the whole ordeal is over.

Whatever it is, I knew exactly what I needed to do, where I needed to go, just what to say.

My son wasn’t able to focus well enough to answer many questions for the nurses and doctors, due to the medications side effects he was experiencing, so I asked him if it was ok for me to answer for him. He nodded, so I did.

We were lucky, we got right into a room in the ER, & were seen in a relatively short period. All in all, we were only there for about 3.5 hours, which is fairly quick for our ER.

OnlySon got some help, even if it wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for, more of a stop-gap measure until he can get into his regular doc. But it was at least better than what he was going through before.

And, I talked to my ex, his father, & tried to explain that, yes, OnlySon’s anxiety & depression are mental illnesses, but, they are also –

Physical, chemical imbalances.

They are physical disorders as well as mental, and need to be thought of in that way.

It is a chemical imbalance, that can cause, will cause, mental instability, if it is not properly balanced.

That just like Diabetes, this is something lifelong, to be treated and lived with, not something to be hidden or ashamed of.

He grumbled at me a bit, told me, jealously, how “He talks to you about this, he doesn’t want to talk to me”.

And I told him, that, OnlySon knows that I live with anxiety and depression too. That I understand so much of what he’s going through, and that, unless you live it, unless you’ve been through it, it’s really difficult to explain to someone looking in from the outside.

And, when the day was over, after I’d take OnlySon home & finished my workday, I drove home…

And shook.

Every ounce of adrenaline that I’d been running on all day, rushed out of my body at once.

Thanksgiving with my parents was – an exercise in acting normal.

I wore the mask for their sake, and for Youngerdaughter, who came down to stay.

But, the rest of the weekend was a total bust.

I basically collapsed inward.

I didn’t want to see anyone, didn’t want to talk to anyone, didn’t want to interact with the outside world at all.

That’s the price.

I could never have been a nurse, emergency room or otherwise.

I couldn’t afford the cost of what happens afterwards.

Days in a black hole…

Nopevember.

I’m so done with this month.

Hindsight is 20/20 – squinting – pt. 3

~Don’t seek healing at the feet of those who broke you.

I can’t remember who wrote this, but it really resonated with me this week.

I even wrote it on my desk calendar, so I could look at it every day, and remind myself of those words, practice the mantra, so to speak.

I need to stop kneeling at the feet of those who have hurt me in the past, seeking resolution, consolation, closure, or healing.

I do it way too often.

You see, I used to be the one doing the breaking, so when I crashed at the end, and had to change the way I did things, I really did change.

Except, sometimes, I go too far the other direction.

I’ve had many people tell me I’m too nice, too forgiving.

But – I’m getting ahead of my own story, here.

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that the summer of 1990 was just a slow roll towards suicide on my part.

It wasn’t.

I had a blast getting into as much trouble as humanly possible, in the short amount of time I had, and in the limited ways I could. (as in, no drugs, no extreme sports – cause HELLO, I SUCK AT SPORTS)

But – it WAS a spiral headed south, and straight into a wall. Somewhere in the back of my primitive id brain I knew this. I wasn’t stupid. I couldn’t see a future for myself, and I was, oddly… wanting to tromp down harder on the gas pedal, for some reason. Get there faster, & you waste less gas?

Well, my parents weren’t having it.

They clamped down on me, & told me to either “find a job, or you’re headed for the military”.

Yep. No shit.

So – I hit the papers, and found want ads – for nannies. People in other states wanted nannies from North Dakota to fly to their homes to take care of their kids, because they thought ND kids made better nannies, for some reasons. And I – wanted the fuck out. Out of North Dakota. Out of my current life, out from under my parents’ rules, you know… Typical young self-destructive type behavior.

Fast forward a few phone calls, and I’d found a family in New Jersey, who had 2 kids, both adopted, and they wanted me right away.

Off I went.

Everyone has baggage.

But Delta had no idea I had TWO carry-ons with me instead of just the one they saw.

You see, I’d been a horrible girlfriend to the boyfriend I fell for…

And I’d run around and used sex to feel good about myself.

I’d thought I was just malnourished, from not eating well, smoking & drinking a lot over the summer, subsisting on sunflower seeds & beef jerky most of the time.

I didn’t realize I had a growing reason for missing my period.

Until the morning I puked for no reason.

Well, there was a reason, I just didn’t want to know it, or admit it, really.

Shit.

*sigh*

On my day off, I ran an errand to the drug store & bought myself a stick test to pee on.

Damn thing practically turned blue in my hand before I got it open.

Hell.

So, on my next day off… I went down to the local women’s free clinic & got tested there. Positive again.

And a courtesy “talk” with a counselor, who gently went through all my options with me, asking me delicately if I was… Possibly…maybe…could I be…considering…abor.. ??

“NO.” I was most emphatic, and a huge, truck-load sized weight seemed to lift from the counselor’s shoulders.

“Oh, thank goodness!”, she was so relieved, I thought she was going to hug me, which would have been awkward, and extremely uncomfortable for us both, I think.

Then, she wanted to discuss adoption, & I shut her down on that, too.

Nope.

I thanked her politely, and told her that, in no uncertain terms, I was going home, I was going to have my baby, and I was going to raise it myself.

This was mine, and no one was taking it from me.

It was time to fucking grow up.

My baby needed me. And needed me to be an ADULT. I was going to be a mommy, and I’d be damned if anyone was taking that from me.

Now, I needed to figure out how to do that.

I wasn’t even old enough to drink legally, yet.

But I was damned well going to figure this out.

For once, it wasn’t about what I needed.

It was about what someone else needed from me. Someone who didn’t have anyone else, and needed me first, most, and who I could love without reservations or limits or embarrassment. I could give this baby everything I was, and it wouldn’t betray me, because I would be its mommy.

This baby was going to love me, because I was going to love him or her so hard, there’d be no reason not to.

Shockwave

* Possible Trigger Warning ⚠

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My mother was at my desk today, when I got back to work after my lunch break.

I wasn’t expecting her, she hadn’t called me to say she was coming into town, which would’ve been fine…

Except she had someone with her.

Her best friend.

A woman I used to consider my second mom.

Who is also the mother of the boy, now man, who molested me when I was 16.

You – have no idea – what happens inside, when you’re confronted unexpectedly by one of the people who traumatized you so badly as a teenager.

Yes, she traumatized me.

How?

By forcing me to confront her son immediately, as in within minutes of the attack, by not listening to me, by not believing me, by forcing me to listen to her speak about her son time after time over the years, trying to show me PHOTOS of him! Fuck!

And yet, I’m not allowed to say anything about it. I’m not allowed to bring it up, to say NO, when my mother does these things.

I loved this woman as another mother, & still care about her, because she’s my mom’s best friend.

But – they both hurt me, so much, 32 years ago, and they have continued to scrape open the wounds over the years, callously, because they refuse to acknowledge the damage that was originally done, and the damage they’re doing now.

I’ve got PTSD from the original experience, not just the molestation, but the way it was mishandled by his parents, and by my own.

No one wanted to believe me.

Everyone wanted to think I was either simply “having a nightmare” and being overly teen dramatic, or just flat-out lying.

There were times I wanted to fucking kill myself, because everyone called me a liar, and the inside of my head was so dark and hopeless.

There was a whole summer where I basically was driving myself off a metaphorical cliff, because I didn’t think my life was worth anything.

My parents thought I was on drugs.

Ha. I’ve never taken anything that wasn’t prescribed to me or over-the-counter, and I’ve never taken more than the prescribed dosages.

But what was the use of telling them the real problem, when they wouldn’t hear me? When – if I tried to talk to them, they shut me down, refused to hear it, and walked away?

There’s been so much in the news and on social media lately about why victims of abuse don’t report.

This is mine.

Because – when I told the truth at 16, I was called a liar by the people I trusted to keep me safe, so why would I trust anyone else to help me?

Maybe, just maybe, this is why I have so many issues with asking for help in any way, shape of form, from anyone, about anything?

Because when it really, really mattered…

I was left out in the cold – alone and hurting and vulnerable.

I made it through the rest of the afternoon at work.

Goddess only knows how.

I’m good at stuffing my feelings down.

But I cried all the way home.

Spiraling and in need of a Net

Possible trigger warning. ⚠

I can’t believe what I heard in my office this morning, and it’s got me so upset that I’m spiraling into my PTSD.

I’m going to have nightmares tonight, that’s a given.

I was minding my own business this morning, when I heard two coworkers talking about the Kavanaugh hearings, and about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford coming forward about her past experience. They were asking opinions on what people believe.

To be completely honest, I haven’t been able to read a lot in depth about this, because of my own past, so I don’t have all the facts about this case right at my fingertips.

But, what I do have, from what I have gleaned in my perusals of the news, is that I believe the women who’ve come forward.

But that’s neither here nor there, because that’s not really what this post is about.

What I heard my coworkers saying was, basically, that they couldn’t believe that anyone credible would wait 30 years to come forward with an allegation of sexual abuse.

It stopped me in my tracks.

And I had to speak.

I told them both that, I could certainly believe someone could wait 30 years to come forward. And that, maybe, she did come forward back then, but whomever she told, didn’t believe her, or blamed her, so she didn’t tell anyone else. I told them that I knew exactly how it felt to not be believed as a 48-year old woman, speaking about a 30-year old occurrence, and how it felt as a 16-year old to not be believed when it happened.

I could certainly believe a teenager NOT coming forward out of fear back then, because of the much more sinister rape culture I grew up in that blamed everything on the female; from what she wore, to how she walked, to whether she smiled at the perpetrator.

Then, one of my coworkers went on to say – that she couldn’t believe that Bill Cosby was going to prison for as long as he is. And that she didn’t think he deserved to go to jail. “He’s 80 years old, for cripes sake, he doesn’t deserve to go to jail for the rest of his life.”

WHAT.

Stop.

My head almost spun around on my shoulders, & I wanted to scream. I’ve been wanting to tear into her ever since, but have kept my mouth shut in order to keep my sanity as well as my job.

But, I CAN’T BELIEVE she basically stated that it’s acceptable for someone to get away with being a MASS RAPIST, which Bill Cosby IS, it has been PROVEN IN A COURT OF LAW, simply because of his fucking AGE.

The women who had to go through the tragedy of abuse at his hands have had to live with this, and will have to live with this FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.

But – by her way of thinking? Because he’s geriatric? Eh…he gets a pass.

FUCK THAT.

RAPE CULTURE LIVES AND THRIVES BECAUSE OF THINKING LIKE THIS.

What Bill Cosby did is not only unacceptable, it is horrific and disgusting. It deserves far more than the 3-10 years the judge has sentenced him to.

DOZENS of women came forward to accuse him, but only 3 counts were able to stick. Because rape culture still blames women, and women are still afraid to come forward, and the statue of limitations has run out in many cases.

What Brett Kavanaugh stands accused of is also disgusting, unacceptable, and horrific. As such, there is no way he should sit on the Supreme Court of this country.

Tell me… If someone stood by and watched your child get raped, or helped someone else rape your child, would you want them sitting as a judge… Anywhere??

I don’t care when it happened in that person’s life, it speaks to their moral character, which is not likely to change that drastically. If he was that apathetic at 17, He’s worse now.

We only become more fully ourselves as we age.

My head is still spinning, I can’t get a grasp on everything I’m thinking, and I just want to sit & scream. My chest hurts, which I know is extreme anxiety, & my heart is pounding.

My anxiety meds are SO not doing their job today.

My PTSD is flaring so badly right now, I wish I could just stay home & hide with the cats, but I have to go back to work to finish the day. My lunch break is almost over, being not nearly long enough.

But, thank Goddess it’s the weekend, because if I had to go into the office tomorrow? I don’t think it would go well.

I need time to decompress, & to stop rehearsing arguments in my head.

Granted, one of my coworkers did stop me later to ask me more about my own experience, and to express sympathy, which helps. Of course it does.

I just wish more people would get educated on rape culture, on what it means for the survivors of abuse of all kinds, & on what should happen in the justice system, instead of what actually does.

Dammit. I still can’t believe they said that.

And around we go.