My head is a car wreck.

car_wreck_head

My head is a car wreck

all sharp edges painful brightness

razor blades screeching wheels

rusted edges steel on steel

chaos blood pain terror

thought-snippets nattering and chattering

scraping and scratching

trying to get out

tight jaw gray pallor heart in throat

out of body floating am I dead will I die?

was I ever alive?

brain flashing danger signs

knotted intestines

startle tremble shake and quake

suspicious paranoid hypervigilant

Take me to the junkyard I can’t be fixed

Go away go away go away go away no wait don’t go hold my hand

help me help me

help me God help me someone anyone

Save me wake me up get me outta here

wrap me up in peaceful dreams

when I finish out this nightmare

 

Advertisements

Mental Illness, Depression, Hating Waking Up in the Morning

I can relate to this so much. I wake up feeling this way at least once or twice a week, if not more. Life seems so much more overwhelming and undo-able upon waking up. I really have no idea why. Sometimes the anxiety can get so intense my heart starts to race and my brain feels like it’s screaming.

This sort of free-floating morning anxiety is common in depression and might be the reason why depressed people often wake early and can’t get back to sleep.   But having these attacks isn’t just limited to depressed people.  It could also happen to people who suffer from anxiety disorders or are just under a lot of stress.

I’ve found the best thing to do when this happens is to get up. Trying to fall back to sleep when you’re feeling this sort of mental anguish will NOT work. You will lay there in your bed feeling panicky and wide awake. Once you get up and start going about your daily activities, no matter how daunting they seem, your anxiety level will decrease significantly.

GentleKindness

If you wake up every morning feeling anxiety, depression and completely overwhelmed at the thought of scraping through another day, you are not alone.

Once the day gets going after a few hours, you can get into autopilot mode, or somehow tolerate the things you have to do in order to survive. But upon waking up, you feel like one more day of painful suffering existance might be too much.

You feel alone and like there is something horribly wrong with your life. It is so severe upon opening your eyes in the morning that you cannot imagine anyone else would understand.

You are not alone. This is an important situation that gets worse being left in the darkness. Feel free to express your feelings in the comments here….if you are experiencing…or have ever experienced this.

View original post

I’m scared.

I might be about to commit blog suicide but I have to do what’s right regardless of the fallout. Yikes. Not quite ready but almost. Deep breaths.

The honeymoon is over.

lost

I’ve been feeling quite strange the past week. It’s the worst I’ve felt in about a year. It started with feelings of anxiety and panic, racing and morbid thoughts and a feeling of unnamed dread. I’d try to nap and my heart would start racing so I’d give up. DBT skills didn’t work and some of my BPD (or PTSD) behaviors returned–negativistic behavior, feeling offended easily, sulking, fits of anger (not directed at anyone but expressed in imaginary conversations with myself in the car or at home), low frustration tolerance, paranoia. I’ve been less motivated to write. I’ve been neglecting housekeeping and eating right. Getting up in the morning is excruciating.

It was all I could do to make it through work. I was feeling sorry for myself all day and at the same time felt guilty for feeling that way. The anxiety has lessened but it’s been replaced by despair and some kind of deep sadness.

I don’t cry easily, but I started crying a few hours ago and couldn’t stop. It feels good to cry, but the feelings are so painful. I feel unworthy. I feel impotent. I feel angry at my parents for training me to be such a good little victim. I hate my ex. I hate myself. I suck at everything. I can’t relate to people. I hate people. I want to connect but I just can’t. I think people will hate me if I let them get too close. My world is so small and constrained and unsatisfying because of my fear of relating to others and reaching out, and because I never have enough money to do anything or go anywhere anyway. The summer’s slipping away and it reminds me of all the lost opportunities and all the doors that have slammed shut, never to reopen. That’s where my head is at. It’s a bad place to be. I feel like I’m losing control. It’s like a war inside my head. I hate all this wallowing in self pity but maybe it’s an opportunity to nurture myself.

I need to find a therapist. This blog is a wonderful tool for healing and it’s something I won’t let go of. It’s brought me a lot of joy. A lot of frustration too, but mostly joy. So I’ll keep blogging. I’d still rather do this than anything else.

But something, I don’t know what, has been triggered–by what I don’t know–and I’ve reached a point where just writing isn’t enough. I need someone to talk to who can help me sort out whatever’s going on in my head right now. I think journaling every day may have brought me to this point.

I’m not giving up. The good thing is that my emotions, while not really under my control at the moment, are there for me to feel. I’m not depressed in the apathetic, almost zombie-like way I used to get depressed when I was living with my narcissist ex. This is an active depression where my emotions are accessible to me and I can sort of name them and I just have to let myself feel them. I’m grateful for that at least. This is what I wanted. But what do I do with them? Can they make me a better, kinder, happier, more empathetic person? That’s what I really want. I need to find someone who can show me what to do with all these emotions.

I guess this means the honeymoon is over, and now the real work begins.

Raw nerve.

everything_is_fine

Over the past few days I have been extremely anxious, even panicky. I can’t focus enough to write anything or do much of anything else either. I really have no idea why or what might have triggered it.

Last night instead of writing anything, I poked around on nostalgia sites, reminiscing about the things of my childhood, particularly the snack food. My childhood was terrible, but I have fond memories of the various sugary and salty foods I ate (why in %$#& did Buitoni ever stop making those awful but delicious toaster pizzas? Where’s a chalky, non-chewy Giant Sweet-Tart when you need one?) and the toys I played with (those over 45 or 50 or so will remember that Fuzzy Wuzzy soap that grew “hair” just like a Chia pet and had a small but high quality prize inside). These memories bring me a measure of comfort. Things seemed so much simpler before everything started going to hell about 30 years ago and hearts began to harden and greed became good because a movie character named Gordon Gecko said so. Life has just become way too complicated and stressful for someone like me (although I couldn’t live without the Internet, which for someone like me is the best thing that could ever have happened).

Sometimes I feel like I just can’t cope anymore. I’m so tired. I’m getting old. I have too many unresolved psychological issues. I worry about the future constantly. I have a pervasive feeling of nameless dread, as if something terrible is about to happen.

I don’t know where these feelings come from or what might have triggered them, but I feel like a raw nerve and even at work have been jumpy, quick to take offense to everything, and paranoid. I have too many disorders to function well at a job for any length of time, especially when it comes to dealing with others. Sometimes I just wish I could go off by myself and live as a hermit, never having to deal with anyone, but for that you need money and I have no money. I’m caught in a no-win situation.

The job might be part of the problem. I’m burned out; I hate my job. There. I said it. I hate the politics at work, and the favoritism. I’m not a favorite. I have never been a favorite at any job. I can’t play the game; I have never been able to play the game. I wish I didn’t have to work, or could just write and make a living that way. But I can’t, not yet anyway. I don’t want to look for a new job because I know it will be as crappy as the one I have, that I’ll still be forced to deal with people I dislike and who dislike me just as much. I’ll still feel like the odd one out, the employee who is most expendable and always overlooked. I’m so ill suited for the service industry but I can’t get my foot in the door for anything else. I burned all my bridges a long time ago, and now I’m well past 50 and it’s too late to start over in an employment situation or going back to school. My only hope left is to become a professional writer.

The DBT and self-soothing tools I normally use to focus and center are not working. My thoughts are racing and my hands are shaking. My sleep has been fitful. Maybe it’s the heat but I think it’s more than that. I feel like my head will explode. I don’t know what’s really going on with me right now. I need to find a good therapist. I need to be in a relationship but am too scared. I need to write more.

One thing that might be contributing to my high anxiety is caffeine. I’m addicted to coffee. I’m craving some right now, but I don’t think I should make any. I might have to cut down on my favorite beverage–a prospect which itself causes me anxiety.

I spend most of my free time holed up inside the house on this laptop, which is fine when I’m actually being productive, but last night all I did was poke around on random nostalgia sites and Facebook and wrote absolutely nothing. And then felt guilty about it.

I know what I need to do is go out, do something outside the house, get off the computer, but I don’t have the motivation.

Finally I got the idea to just write about my panic-stricken state. After all, this blog was intended to be my therapy, so what have I got to lose?

Viral video of man having panic attack.

Casey Throwaway (yes, that is his real name) decided to make a video of himself undergoing a panic attack to educate people that anxiety is real. I think it took a lot of courage for Casey to make this video and he is to be commended for his willingness to “run naked in public.”

Here is the article from The Huffington Post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/16/panic-attack-video-casey-throwaway_n_7600032.html

Adventures of S.K. “The Loser”: cartoon diary of myself at age 22 (two of two)

the_loser2
My expression here definitely reflected my attitude at the time about dating.

This second cartoon story (also drawn in 1981) describes the way I longed for a fulfilling romantic relationship, but at the same time was quite ambivalent about the prospect, not having had good role models with my own parents’ marriage, and living in a time where marriage and family were still looked upon as a second-rate occupation for women who were “losers”, i.e. couldn’t do anything else. And yet I still longed for that dream husband and family…

As it turned out, I didn’t marry until I was 27–5 years after I drew this cartoon. Of course, THAT relationship was far from ideal. In the mental state I was in (and already attracted to narcissistic men), I was right to be wary!

The first cartoon story can be seen here.

cartoon2_panel1

cartoon2_panel2

cartoon2_panel3

cartoon2_panel4

cartoon2_panel5

cartoon2_panel6

cartoon2_panel7

cartoon2_panel8

cartoon2_panel9

cartoon2_panel10

cartoon2_panel11

I really wish I would have continued this hobby…

Adventures of S.K. the “Loser”: cartoon diary of myself at age 22 (one of two)

the_loser
Generally, what my state of mind was like back in the day.

I found two cartoon stories I drew in 1981 that describe exactly where my head was at when I was 22–the same age my daughter is now.

At the time, I was juggling a full time job as a billing clerk (which I hated) with being a full-time college student. Believe me, even for a 22 year old, this wasn’t easy. I was a psychology major with a strong interest (minor) in art. I also liked to write, as I do now. At the time, I thought I might become an art therapist (which would have required people-skills and patience with others I simply did not possess).

But my real interests lay in romance–like most borderlines, I drifted from one intense romantic relationship to the next–and THAT will be described in the next set of cartoons, which I’ll post after these.

While a sense of humor about myself is evident in both these cartoons, my insecurity and unhappiness with myself and my overwhelming anxiety about my future (which didn’t turn out to be that great) could not have been more apparent. Of course, insecurity and identity issues are normal for anyone at age 22, but I think I was more consumed by my feelings of insecurity and lack of belonging than most. At the time, I had no idea about Aspergers or that I might be Borderline. I just thought of myself as a neurotic basketcase tormented by inner demons. I must have had some optimism however, as the outcome (at least in the first story) is generally hopeful.

It’s interesting that I referred to myself as “The Loser” but not too surprising given my background and low self esteem. “S.K.” were my actual initials. I wish I had drawn more of these. I only made two sets.

I hope these are readable; they are very old and the papers they were drawn on very large, so the print may be hard to read in some places. They are posted in order; PLEASE CLICK ON THE PANELS TO ENLARGE.

cartoon_panel1

cartoon_panel2

cartoon_panel3

cartoon_panel4

cartoon_panel5

cartoon_panel6

cartoon_panel7

cartoon_panel8

cartoon_panel9

ETA: I accidentally posted this publicly with only the first six panels; I’ve added the final three so the story should make more sense now.

Read the second cartoon story here.

The House: a nightmare

shadowpeople

It’s 4:42 AM. I just woke up from a David Lynch-like nightmare and am writing it out here before it dissolves the way dreams always do. At the moment I’m still in the surreal mindspace that sometimes lingers after a vivid dream so it’s a good time to write about it. I haven’t thought out what it means, because it’s so involved and convoluted but I definitely think it has something to do with my recovery from the effects of my psychopaths.

I haven’t had a dream like this in a very long time. I know I won’t be able to get back to sleep, and have decided to call in sick today. I don’t feel very well anyway.

It started at work. My partner and I were sent to clean a house late in the afternoon, at about 2 PM. We had trouble finding it because it was in a very remote area with no street signs. We finally found the house at the top of a mountain, at the end of a long circuitous highway with many hairpin turns that went through mainly forest.

We were an hour or more late. The house turned out to be a much bigger job than we had been led to believe–involving things like cleaning an oven with 3-inch crusted on grease and cleaning the entire garage. Usually our work doesn’t involve such things and it’s possible to clean a good sized house in about 2 hours (with a partner). Alone, obviously it takes longer.

But I wasn’t alone. At least the lady I was with is someone I get along with.

The house was very large, really a mansion. It contained at least 8-10 people, possibly more. It turned out (at first) they were the present day version of a family I knew well back during childhood. In fact I had been good friends with their son, a boy about my age, who was bullied like I was and I am sure also suffered from Aspergers. I haven’t seen him in 40 years.

Things kept happening that kept us from being able to leave. The owners kept finding something else for us to clean. It was getting dark out and we weren’t even halfway done. Every time we’d clean something–stove, toilet, microwave, whatever–one of the family members or friends (they seemed to have a lot of visitors coming in and out too) would come and use it, so it would have to be cleaned again. It became apparent we would probably have to spend the night there and finish the job in the morning.

Somehow (I don’t understand how) I had packed two clear plastic zippered bags–one with clothing (all my favorite outfits–enough clothing for a week instead of a day), the other with a bunch of randomly thrown together boxes of unopened cosmetics and perfumes. That made no sense at all–were they supposed to be gifts?

We went to “bed” late. The cleaning wasn’t finished. There was no bed to sleep in so I was forced to try to sleep in a metal folding chair. I tried to get as comfortable as possible. This is where the dream starts to get fuzzy, really confusing, and weird.

metalfoldingchair

There were people walking around everywhere. It seemed like some kind of party. Lights were turned up high and music was blasting. There was a girl I didn’t know but who was supposedly my childhood friend’s sister (he never had a sister) who kept coming over and screaming nonsense syllables into my ears whenever I’d start drifting off. There was also a very large cat, about 3 times the size of a normal cat. He looked like a wildcat of some type. I tried to stroke him and he hissed at me in a way I never saw a cat hiss. I backed away. Someone told me if I fed him he’d be friendly. I went and found my plastic zipper case and got out a candy bar because that’s the only food I had (no one there offered us dinner). I fed the cat the candy bar. He ate it, stretched himself out, scratched a couch, and walked away.

I kept trying to sleep in that damned black folding chair. I couldn’t get comfortable no matter how much I shifted around. I was cold. The basement I was in was lit yellowish fluorescent, nasty and unrestful. Nothing cast a shadow it was so bright. There were a seemingly endless number of small, warren-like rooms and many narrow hallways. The girl and now a young guy with greasy hair and pimples who had the face of a meth-head kept giggling together and waking me up on purpose. Obviously psychopaths. I didn’t know where my partner was, and I didn’t even remember to look for her. I didn’t even remember why I was there.

I don’t think I slept at all. There was another man in the house who was an old co-worker of mine, who kept demanding I give him back his stereo. I didn’t know what he was talking about. Finally the sky outside began to get light and it was time to leave. I still didn’t know where my partner was, but I started off to gather my things to leave.

I couldn’t find either of my bags. I went from one warren-like room to another, not knowing how many there were or knowing how to get back to where I had been. Some of the rooms had strangers in them. I looked in every room, on every shelf, but they were nowhere to be found and none of the shady people I ran into had seen them. I felt I was being lied to. I felt strongly that someone (probably the evil girl and her meth-head boyfriend) had hidden them somewhere.

nightmarehouse

Frustrated and nearly crying, I found the two psychopaths in another room, one I hadn’t seen yet. There were so many! I asked them about my bags. The one contained all my favorite clothing. They acted all innocent and surprised and said they would help me look. I went outside and looked on the wraparound porch. The car taking my partner and I back to the office was ready to leave, and so was my partner, who was waiting outside. She had all her bags.

I told her I couldn’t find my bags so my partner came back in to help me look. The man who had accused me of stealing his stereo told me I’d better return it. I remembered something: the stereo (a small plastic one) was in the bag that didn’t have the clothing. (I know that doesn’t make any sense because originally it contained boxes of cosmetics, but this is a dream after all) I looked around frantically for both that and my clothing bag.

I went back outside. I went over to the car (now a sort of mini-bus or van) and saw its hatch was up. I looked inside the van which was lined with shelves that went about eight feet high (how to explain that, I have no idea). The shelves were full, but there, on the very top shelf, I found the blue plastic stereo, which had been haphazardly placed there, so that any motion of the vehicle would probably cause it to fall and break (and by the way, this was the same stereo I actually owned back in the 1980s). I told the man in the van to get me the stereo because I had to return it to someone and he did. I asked him about the bag of clothing. I scanned all the shelves. It wasn’t there either.

I went back into the house carrying the entire stereo. I found the man who I had “stolen” it from and returned it. He took it and walked away, saying nothing. I took another hike through the warren of rooms, scanning every possible nook and cranny for my clothing bag. It wasn’t there and still no one knew what I was talking about.

I went upstairs and looked in those rooms too. They were filthy again, the floors caked with mud and garbage strewn everywhere. All the rooms smelled like shit. There was no way they were getting cleaned, especially since the car outside was still waiting to take us back. There was no clothing bag there either. Everyone was very rude and acted like I was crazy. As I walked around looking, I could see them giving each other knowing glances out of the corners of my eyes. I wanted out of there so bad but I couldn’t leave until I found my clothes. Someone told me I was obsessing about the bag and someone else told me I had never had a bag of clothing with me. I was told I was imagining that I ever brought one (and actually, I don’t remember ever packing one because I didn’t realize I had a bag until I was already in that house). I felt the hostility of their glares. They didn’t want me there and I didn’t want to be there. These people and this house were evil. .
shadowpeople2

I had looked in every room of that house and asked every person and never found the bag. Perhaps there had never been one? I decided to give up and call it a loss. I had to leave. My partner was still waiting. It was growing late; I looked at my watch and saw it was 2 PM I had now been at that house almost 24 hours.

But I had one more thing to do. In the foyer by the front door there was a metal man, a sort of robot-like thing that wore a dinner jacket and tie but had a speaker you could talk into. He was the “host” of the house I was told. His eyes were blank because he was a robot but filled me with ice cold terror. They were black and opaque, the dead eyes of a psychopath. Behind them, they glowed dull red. I hated him more than I have ever hated anything, and I decided to tell him so. Somehow I just knew this inanimate piece of evil machinery was behind it all and responsible for everything that had gone wrong.

I screamed into the squawk box on his forehead: “I hate this place and I hate this house. You were the worst host I have ever met. You never offered me dinner, you kept giving us more work when we thought we were done, you kept messing up everything we cleaned, you didn’t offer me a bed or even a couch to sleep in but just a fucking metal folding chair, and then you had your minions downstairs keep waking me up when I started to fall asleep. I know they stole my bag and did something with it. I know I had it, and I know this house is full of liars. So I only have one more thing to add: Go fuck yourselves.”

I turned around and headed toward the door and the car was gone. I had no way to get out of there because it was way out in the country on top of a mountain. I could hear laughter behind me. Terrified, I woke up and decided to write this down. I wanted to write it before I completely shook off the surreal feeling it left me with.

trapped2

I haven’t analyzed what this dream means yet but obviously it’s about my life. It was interesting. I know this dream was significant and a part of my recovery. This whole journey is definitely taking me to some very dark places, but it’s okay because I know God is with me. I couldn’t done this when I didn’t believe.

Losing Ethan

gate

Someone once said to me it’s stupid to worry about something bad happening, because if it does happen, you’ve lived through it twice, and if it doesn’t happen, you wasted your time and caused yourself needless suffering. On a cognitive level, this makes perfect sense, but when it comes to mothers and their children, rationality flies out the window. At least it does for me.

Some people think I’m an overprotective mother, even though my children are both grown. And it’s true: I worry excessively about something horrible happening to one of them. I still hate the fact my 23 year old son lives more than 600 miles away in another state, and drives every day. If I don’t see he’s been on Twitter in more than a certain number of hours (he practically lives on Twitter), I start to panic. Sometimes these feelings of dread get so bad I almost wish I never had kids so I didn’t have to experience that kind of intense anxiety. I know it’s neurotic as hell to fret so much about my kids’ safety and there comes a certain point when a parent has to let their children go off and be adults, but still I can’t help worrying.

They say losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to a person. I don’t doubt this. I love both my children with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns and if something happened to one of them…well, I think I would probably lose my mind and most likely kill myself. How could I go on living? I just can’t see how someone could carry on after losing their child. Obviously they do though, and I marvel whenever I see a bereaved parent somehow accepting their tragedy and moving on with their lives. I’m amazed when they can talk about it without dissolving into sobs. But I don’t think I would be able to ever accept it and move on. If I didn’t kill myself I think I would cry for the rest of my life, become catatonic with unbearable grief, and the dudes in white coats would have to carry me off in a straitjacket.

Sometimes I have these dreams of something happening to one of my children. They are awful. I just woke up from one, and after breathing a sigh of relief it was just a dream after all, I decided to blog about it, before it faded away into unconsciousness the way dreams tend to do.

I had to pick up a few groceries from the store. My son Ethan, about eight in the dream, came along with me. Sitting in the front seat next to me, he chattered in his little high pitched voice about school and other things 8 year olds like to chatter about. Strangely, it was also the present time, and I was the same age I am now, with the same vantagepoint on my life I actually have now, but that sort of thing happens in dreams.

We were driving down a country road, and must have taken a wrong turn, because soon I realized the road was a dead end. At the end of the road we saw a high wooden fence, and it was closed. Past the fence was a single police car, with its blue lights flashing. But I saw no police officer or anyone else. It was parked in the middle of a thicket of weeds and wildflowers, and when I looked closer I saw that no one was in the car.

police

Ethan, being a curious 8 year old boy, wanted to see what was going on. Before I could stop him, he had taken off his seatbelt and was out of the car, running like lightning toward the gate. I called to him but he didn’t hear me. I got out of the car and began to chase him, but he had already worked the latch and was running into the dark woods beyond the meadow. The police car was no longer there. It hadn’t driven off, it simply had disappeared!

I called and called Ethan but he didn’t return. I ran through the open gate and almost tripped on rocks and a few times before I reached the woods. Running into the darkness of the forest, I kept calling him, but all I could hear was my own voice echoing back to me, as if the forest was taunting me. I waited. And waited. It seemed like an eternity but was probably just a few hours. Ethan never returned.

Weeping from panic, I walked back to my car and drove home. It was getting dark out. I’d completely forgotten the groceries, but I didn’t care. Who needed groceries when Ethan was gone?

There were people I didn’t know living in my house, but in the dream I knew them. The man who was my dream-husband listened to my story. Although I had no “proof” Ethan was dead, somehow I just knew. Still, I needed someone else to reassure me he was okay (or confirm my fears). Not knowing is worse than knowing. So hesitantly, I asked my dream-husband, “Do you think he is dead?”
He nodded.
“What do you think happened to him?”
“I think the cop did something with him,” was the reply.
I felt like I had died inside. It was horrible and so surreal I wondered if I was dreaming, and that was when I woke up.

I’m wondering if other parents have these kind of dreams or if they worry as much about their adult children as I do. I’ve Googled this problem and haven’t found much about it, so sometimes I think it’s just my PTSD and tendency to be overly anxious and fretful. I walk through life expecting disaster every moment. I probably need therapy.