Bad Bad Ju-Ju Go Away…

Come again some other day. (Perhaps I should preface that with NEVER)

It was a long weekend, and far too short at the same time. I eested mostly on Sunday because of what happened on Saturday. What happened on Saturday you ask….

  • Got up and walked to the bank to get cash in case what I had in my checking wouldn’t be enough.
  • Arranged for the tow on the Geico app and waited inside for about 1.5 hours and then went out to stand by my car….in the driveway.
  • Had a nice chat with the neighbor for about 30 minutes until the tow truck driver showed up (Finally!!!)
  • J. hooked my baby up to his truck. He tried to turn it over, you know, just in case. We chatted about birds and UFOs.
  • Got to Priemier Nissan in San Jose.

So far so good, right…..

  • Started to climb down from the cab of the truck, it the first step, I was out too far for the second step and missed the step. Luckily, the Lord was with me and kept me safe, though my arms got one heck of a stretch and my back slammed against the inner door frame. Ouchie!
  • Talked to Doc at Nissan and he was honest with me and said his team probably wouldn’t even get to plug it into the computer so no use waiting in the lounge, so I decided to go home by their shuttle.
  • The shuttle driver wasn’t coming back. I growled to myself. I still have a problem asking people for help….in this case pride literally went before the fall.
  • As I was gathering my stuff to go to the lounge to call around up DRIVES Doc with my car.

Sunday I got a call from him that said on a cursory look at the diagnostics there doesn’t appear to be any problems with her. He wanted to keep her until today so he could make sure.

Now I know I have a part in all this bad ju-ju. I consciencly decided I didn’t want to take ANY of my meds. There wasn’t a coherent reason other than I didn’t think I needed it. And I skipped again on Sunday. I couldn’ sleep last night, almost called in sick to school (in a two week course is untenable) so I got up, med-upped, donned my scrubs and went to school. I’m out now and waiting for the shuttle. I did okay sticking people and I was a good sport and let people stick me. However none of this explains why I’m tearing up. Stress is really kicking my a** right now.

Facing Frailty with Faith

The post I created on November 17, 2015 was about how I finally crossed the line between void and light….though the dimness was about the same but my psyche started leaning more towards the light instead of the dark (and bed).  I started reducing my meds, and then I started putting requirement on me like getting my CNA and HHA so I could get a job with hospice.  The only thing I learned from that course is that being a CNA is not what I want to be.  The information and skill set I learned helped me with Mom, but again, I don’t want to do that again.  Maybe if I were a mother myself the wiping my mom’s nether region wouldn’t have been as traumatizing……I dunno.

I mentioned that I came down on my anti anxiety pills, which is good, and I haven’t gone back up other than as needed for extreme stress/anxiety inducing situations….like the day Mom died.  I think I took 2 Xanax throughout the day instead of just one.  However, I’ve held steady with my other meds for the last 2 years since I wrote that post.  Now I’m unemployed, I have until February 10 before insurance goes poof so I need to get back into the field of being an in home support person.  I just signed up for school, so that’s going to put a strain on me, and I can’t exactly go down on my meds at this point…..

I’m scared.

What if I can’t afford COBRA, or Covered California?

What if no one wants to hire me because of my age/weight/toothlessness? (Mom liked to hammer on that nail all the time and I can still hear her “You’d be so pretty if you just got your tooth fixed” in my head).  We’ll get to this kind of stuff some other time.

I am teaching myself to self-soothe that doesn’t include cookies or candy or shopping.  I remind myself constantly that Heavenly Father didn’t create me to fail.  If I fail it’s because I fail to try.  I have to put my foot out to step and trust the ground will be there.  And though all these sentiments are rather trite they are no less true.  I just don’t know how to quell the fear that I a going to overload my brain and then rush back to the safety of my bed.  Staying in bed is so safe, so peaceful and so not the way to get anything done, but the warmth convinces me not to care……

I guess I sort of went off point, or maybe not.  I’m not, for the lack of a better word, better.  I’m also not back in the void.  I can feel the attraction still, the safety of the known.  I am looking forward to taking the Light-Rail to school, studying in the coffee shop just down the street from the school and how I’m going to study.  (key words, looking forward to)  I have the mobility to go back to the void and look in and choose not to be subsumed, and it can be a big pull some days/hours, or I can walk back out to the shaded sun I’m in now.   Maybe it will break me, maybe I’m not ready but it’s not going to stop me from trying.  Papa always paraphrased Matthew 17:20 to me:

If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed

nothing shall be impossible unto you.

I should be able to muster up the faith of a tiny mustard seed.

Slip Sliding Away

In a lot of ways I’m still trying to stop the slip so please bear with me, I’ve tried to write this a few times and it just comes out in disjointed gibberish.  I will try to keep everything as simple as I can without too much fluff, which is when I get generally get lost.

I don’t remember what day last week I slept through my early AM pills.  Because it was late I didn’t take them but I did take the one I should have taken after breakfast.  It had been close to a full week since I was taking all my meds early, morning and evening pills.  I was barely holding on.

Tuesday I finished my CNA course and we had a certification program where we were all presented our papers which is my ticket to take the state test to start a new path.  It wasn’t that big of a deal to me until it was.  I made a point of getting a picture so I could put it in my journal.  I looked horrible.  The crush of the room was bothering me and ramping up my already jarred psyche so when it was over and the eating began I left.  I knew if I started to eat I wouldn’t stop and no one and nothing would be spared.  And there was food waiting for me at home and I could binge to my hearts contempt.  What I forgot to mention is that though I laid out my meds the night before, I didn’t take them…..and you can repeat that all the way to Saturday morning but by then it was too late.

Thanksgiving for my family was on Friday.  I was in a full blown anger hurricane and no one was safe.  I stayed in the corner and pretended I was ‘tired’….well, tired of all of them.  I ate only what I wanted; turkey, potatoes and dressing.  I was kind to the kids, although the youngest was put on my lap and when he felt the disruption in my aura he began to cry and try to get away from me….I really couldn’t blame him.

Saturday I took my pills again but my heart was racing, my breath was shallow, my blood pressure was all over the place and I just wanted to scream – I took a tranquilizer….and tranquil I did become.   My emotions flattened out and I slept for three hours, but my mind still hasn’t returned, it still can’t grasp anything and hold onto it for a long time.  Words slip off the tip of my tongue, ideas float just out of reach and my memory pulls up the wrong information and my mouth can’t stop it from tumbling out.

I’m back on my three doses a day.  I don’t know if I need to continue to slip to get back down to stable ground or if I need to start the climb again to where I was.  I just hope which ever it is it doesn’t take me back to a place I don’t want and can’t be again.   If there is any take away from this whole hellish experience is: DON’T GO OFF YOUR MEDS.  I’m not well, I’m not better, I’m not quitting.

Crossing the Line

Sorry, I’ve been distant, silent even.  Mostly because I did something wonderful and it confused me.  Let me explain…..

I went on vacation with my family, it was a wedding onboard a cruise ship and we were invited to join the happy couple for the honeymoon.  We all had our own rooms of course.  I brought a long two books; one pleasure and one enlightening.  I chose the Enlightening book first.  Before the end of the first day at sea I grabbed my book and went up to the top deck, sunglass/reading glasses in hand and a hat and read.   Within the first ten pages I came across a statement (that I can’t quote because it’s not exactly what I read but what I needed to hear) to the effect of:

There comes a time when introspection becomes indulgent.

It struck me so perfectly at that moment and I realized, every aspect of me said it was time to move on and move forward.  There was nothing more I could do with the deep dives into who, what, and why that makes me who, what, and why I’ve become.  I needed to put myself out there and try to put into place what I have learned, to build on the foundation that I have laid and hopefully not have any dead bodies hidden in the cement.  At many points in life we need to stop and do the self evaluation/inventory/mind-tripping that helps us move to the next level, but I feel like I’m all caught up now….

Crossing that line, the invisible line between the two worlds instigated a miraculous change in my psyche: I’m happy, I’m hope-filled, I have more energy, I am making plans for my future and are anxiously waiting to put that plan into motion.  (Mom is still doing well, so things are still as they were).  Crossing that line also gave me the push I needed to start  whittling down my meds.  I’m off one of my anxiety pills completely, I’ve cut my Lexapro in half, I’m still taking all my puppy uppers (Welbutrin).

I don’t know if I’m ready to go down another 10mg on my Lexapro.  This last jump down brought up the realization that I don’t really have the skills that I thought I had when  I was fully medicated, and emotions are starting to break through the chemical barricades.  I’m getting caught in the angry loops, but I have more success of talking myself out of them before I spin out of control.  I get overwhelmed and stymied easily , but if I just plug away at it, it gets done.  I’ve had to put some exercises into place so I could deal with the mental stuff, one of those is writing every day.  Which brings me back to the confusion….

For the longest time I used this blog as an integral part of my self exploration.  Anything too private was taken care of in my journal, and I’m back to journaling now too, but if continual introspection is self indulgent, it’s not something I should be engaging in if I want to move forward in my life.  And I’ve made some major strides in my life from March to now, but I didn’t know if I should start a new blog post-depression to write all the plans and the executions with both successes and failures or if I should just continue here; or should I do it at all?  I miss it, so I need to keep doing it .  I found that blogging my personal truths out into the world is an act of courage and bravery that makes me feel more courageous and brave in the real world. I think it’s not self indulgent if it isn’t wallowing in the dark but instead sharing the joy and excitement of rediscovering my life now that I’m outside the void.

Any input from my readers would be helpful.  Please,

The Bluffers Rebuff

I miss Sammy.  I miss the way she says ‘Hello’ in the morning, or says “By by” when I leave but mostly I miss knowing there is one living, breathing person* in the house that loves me unconditionally even when she bites me.

Mom and I have plastered over the dings in each others walls, though I didn’t hurl anything heavy, she took asserting my boundaries as a direct hit and then taking Sammy away so she wouldn’t breathe in her feathers as a killing blow.  Covering the wounds works like turning off the lights instead of doing the dishes….if you can’t see it, it never happened.  I was told that I was breaking a dying woman’s heart by taking Sammy to my sisters, but if Mom truly is allergic to her feathers then taking Sammy out of the house was the only recourse.  It’s not like I would allow her to live outside even if she could.  It is still seen as an intentional, malicious action against my mother, which was not my intent, and I tell her I don’t intend on having Sammy stay away forever.  I’ve ordered air filters/purifiers/cleaners for her room and the family room and once she can breathe okay I will bring Sammy home as a test.  Mom on the other hand feels she will never be able to be in the same room with her again.  It is her way of bluffing my bluff, to see who could last the longest without her.  Well, not to be too macabre or put too fine a point on it, I’m the one that can live longer without her.  That’s not why I’m not going to buckle to her will, or maybe it is, I dunno sometimes what is going on in my head.  In a lot of ways I’m still very angry at my mom for the way she treated me, talked to me, acted towards me, and yet knowing that it’s coming from a place of fear and her interpretation of everything as pain she doesn’t know (or want to know) any better.  I can’t change her, I can only change myself so she can no longer hurt me.  But she made me cry this weekend, and honestly that seems to be the worst thing that she could have done.  That was the start of her treating me better, she thinks she broke me.  What happened was I didn’t have all of my social meds for the day and I crumbled a little but she’s taking it as a victory.

To help me overcome my loneliness and the fun in watching her, I bought a wifi camera that will allow me to log into it and I can watch her all day if I wanted to.  I won’t, hopefully.  But when I’m at home and in my room I can put it on my 24″ monitor and it would be like she was in my room with me.  It just can’t get here fast enough!

*Sammy is a feathered person….and yes, I’m one of ‘those’ pet owners.

Once Bitten…..

There is a scripture that talks about a child being able to put his hand in the den of asps and not be harmed.  This of course is Isaiah divining the peaceable kingdom to come.  I know we aren’t living in the time of peace and harmony so why do I still stick my hand out to be bit every time I talk to Mom?  She is convinced that I truly do not earn my keep, at least not the $12.33 an hour I’m supposed to work for her.  I’m working from home today and she’s already planned blood draw and then her social worker is coming over which will more than use up the allotted time I’m supposed to work per day to “earn my money”  but it’s not cleaning house, it’s not doing her laundry, it’s not feeding her birds, it’s not slaving for her.  She wants unconditional love, unconditional devotion, and unconditional willingness to be kicked in the gut when she needs someone to hurt as much as she does so she has the illusion of control and doesn’t feel alone.  Where I want to hurt myself in those situations she wants to hurt other people.

I know that, I’ve know that she’s angry and scared and is having problems adjusting to the inevitable.  I know this then why is it it hurts and tears at me when she says things like “Well, it’s not like you’re earning your money.  I could probably cut your hours back so K can work full time”.  I know she needs and wants to keep me on “the payroll” because she’s afraid that if I didn’t need my medical so desperately, I would quit her and leave her alone to die.  I think that’s what she has always expected her whole life, that she would die alone because her family doesn’t love her, that she is unlovable.  She’s convinced herself her parents and siblings hated her, and if even half of what she has told me is true, it is probably the root cause of all this, her husbands have abused her, cheated on her (or so her expanding memory keeps telling her), her grandkids (except for one) hate her and she doesn’t know why, I’m only here for the money and benefits.  I can’t seem to change her mind on that.

The bright side to all of this is the medications are working.  I know they are because I’m not ranting about her, knowing that if I keep going on and on about how I do my job would send me into an emotional maelstrom and I would dwell on it for hours if not days.  I might still pick it up from time to try to figure out what do but I’m able to divert my thoughts when I realize I’m starting to spin before I’m out of control.  Amazing what happens when you take your pills every day.

The angry person that I am wants to tell her what she can do with her $12.33 and comprehensive benefits and put them somewhere the sun doesn’t shine.  But honestly I couldn’t afford to pay for COBRA and also lose the pittance of a paycheck that I get from my second job.  Heaven knows I’m not able to afford everything else with my first job.  Pushing the anger aside I’ve been able to think clearly enough and realize that going without medical is no longer an option in the US, and ways have been provided to help those of us who can’t make their ends meet.  So, what this means to me is that I don’t have to work for her any more, I can be her daughter, do what I am emotionally and physically able to do for her and take back the control I need for my own sanity.  I know, I know, control is an illusion, no one has control.  Despite that, I need to protect myself as much as possible as she starts to deal with her own end-of-life issues I want to be there with her and I want to help her and prepare her but not at the expense of my own sanity.  If anyone is going to drive me over the crazy cliff it will be me.  I am the mistress of my own fate.

So this gives me a whole new list of things to do:

  1. Contact Covered California for help in figuring out the system (done)
  2. Get the cost of COBRA
  3. Sign up for VHP but not on Medi-Cal.
    • Medi-Cal patients are treated differently than VHP participants.
  4. Assign my hours over to K and then quit my job as Mom’s “caregiver” and then start taking care of her as her daughter.

I doubt she’ll stop trying to hurt me, but at least she might have to think twice because I’m not getting paid to be her personal walking and talking Damnit Doll.

The Best Laid Plans…….

Okay, here’s the sitch with not going to school this semester.

After Mom’s little tirades and big tirades about how I wasn’t earning my keep, how everyone keeps a 40 hour a week job and comes home and cooks dinner, does a load of laundry or two and then cleans and picks up after themselves……then swinging over to I’ll be too scared with you sleeping in a camp site with a knife for protection, they’ll just take it away from you and slice you open.  They enjoy stuff like that…..You don’t care about me.  I’m afraid I’m going to die alone and even with you here, you can’t even be helpful to me for that…..  I’m going to stop now, my head is starting to hurt.  Even with all her blustering I was set on going to school.  I figured if I could work from home on Thursday, my sister coming in the evening to take care of her I could skip the traffic and nap before class and then with chemical aids like 5 hr. energy and soda I should be able to stay awake on the way home and not have to stay at the state park.  Easy peasy.  She wasn’t going to talk me out of going to school because she was scared.  I was kind of looking forward to being that close to the beach to hear it in the morning when I got up.

I talked to my bestest friend in the world and she just simply said “There are too many moving parts to that plan to work well,” and I realized she was right.  I think if she said the exact same thing as what my Mom said I probably would have listened to her.  Yes, that sounds like an immature reaction on my end, but I know my BFF wants what’s best for me whereas my Mom just wants whats best for her, so I don’t trust any of her advise.  I realize that is part of her narcissism, and I know in some ways she can’t control it.  She has to realize something is wrong with herself before she can start changing, and she will never see the error of her ways.  So after more thought and prayer and thinking as to what I could do to move my plans forward if I didn’t attend school.

So here’s the plan:

  1. I pay for my Continuing Education Credits
  2. I study and pass the test
  3. I pay the money and fill out the form
  4. I get my certificate back

With my certificate in hand by January, I will be able to look for a blood letting job and sign up for the online course for medical terminology and put on my resume that I know my education wasn’t very accredited but I am going to an accredited college that will teach me the right stuff, and by being so proactive in my education it will make me look like a good egg.  Everyone wants good eggs, bad eggs smell to high heaven, and even if you get rid of them their odor lingers for days/weeks/months to come.

One thing I found out while researching state parks for California.  They have a special pass for the disabled.  You pay $2.50 for the form processing and then you get 1/2 off your cost for camping and day use of the park.  I looked at there definition of “disability” and depression is one of them.  I realize that as things are getting better for me in that arena I will need to apply for it soon while I’m still in this maelstrom of emotions.  I want to start camping.  Glamping for longer times in the wilderness, but camping for weekends anyway.  I can afford that, it might be all that I will be able to afford for vacations in my life so I might as well embrace it now and get the stuff that I want and need for the wilderness experience.

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