anxiety, bipolar, chronic illness, depression, fibromyalgia, health, illness, mental illness, Movies, tv

TV?

When I was a kid my parents had me write in a journal what I watched on TV and how long I spent watching. I was only allowed 8 hours per week, including Saturday morning cartoons!

I didn’t know what my classmates were talking about when they got excited about shows they watched every night. I was amazed when they talked about watching TV all day on Saturdays.

My parents were both teachers and were left wing idealists. So I was raised differently from my friends. We never had any junk food around, I wasn’t allowed to eat sugar cereal and I had to drink diet soda. All these things don’t seem like that much, but together, especially the way kids latch onto anything they see as different, like me. Not only was I weird because I had very little experience with pop culture, but I really liked the learning part of school too! god forbid a kid cares about what is being taught​!

My whole life, as an adult, and even when I was in university, I didn’t watch much TV and rarely went to the movies. If someone turned on a TV I’d leave the room (I did watch Twin Peaks and Ren and Stimpy and a bit of MTV. That was when they showed music videos and bizarre, wonderful things like Liquid TV)

Even my favorite shows weren’t imporant to me. I could pass a few weeks and not watch anything.

For many years I didn’t even own a tv. When my husband insisted on buying a big tv I had a fit! I made him put it in the computer room. He liked to play console games on it, too. That seemed like a reasonable use of a tv.

My huz and I had many little conflicts about him wanting us to watch things together and I didn’t. I didn’t want him to watch anything at, but I was very insecure and had to be in the same room as my husband. Poor guy! I followed him around crying.

Having a tablet and Netflix made it all change. I could watch things alone, and I didn’t have to compromise on what to watch. Netflix original shows provided excellent content that actually kept my interest.

now I watch a couple of hours a day and I go to the movies at least once a week. Considering how bored I get, being stuck at home with my illnesses keeping me from doing things most people do, watching stuff is a bit of a life saver. It makes time pass more quickly.

I ‘ve had to tell myself that watching TV isn’t morally wrong!

child abuse, dad, family, mental illness, writing

No More Wire Hangers 2

i have cut myself off from my maternal extended family entirely. i stopped talking to them before i stopped having a relationship with my mother. all my blood relatives there are as crazy or crazier than me. we’ve all been in mental hospitals, we’re all on long lists of meds. we all get really psychotic from time to time and we’re all full of rage because each one of us, including the adults, are victims of child abuse and are mentally ill. they are toxic and every word they say is a trigger.

i decided early on that i was not going to have children because   i want to break the evil chain that has been passed down for generations. my great grandmother came here from ireland. her last name is my middle name. she and my great grand father abused my grandfather who abused my mother and her three sisters. all four are very mentally ill and the three that have children abused their kids.

i knew from childhood that i didn’t want to have children. in the end it’s kind of ironic because i was always so super careful about not getting pregnant because i didn’t want to carry on the tradition. the ironic thing is that i had endometriosis (i had a hysterectomy and it’s gone now) so i probably couldn’t have gotten pregnant regardless. it was an epic case of better safe than sorry! i was very safe! but i couldn’t have been sorry!

thus  far it’s gone down through my cousins, the mental illness, but i don’t think any of them abuse their children, but who knows.

i had a psychiatrist to said my mother was “crazy making.” i knew he’d really hit the spot. in the previous post about child abuse, i talked about how my mother lied to me all my life, about huge important things and that she told me things that were the opposite of what they were.  she told me my father still loved her, she told me what a great relationship she and i had. i didn’t know what to think. i knew, or thought i knew, or suspected that it was a lie or a delusion on her part. i was a confused kid, bipolar coming on and even though she was mean and manipulative, she was my mom, so i believed her.

along the same lines, she preceded every criticism or rant she made about my father by saying, your father is a wonderful man and he loves you so much. i would never say anything to make you feel bad about him. then she would launch into a speech about something he had done or said wrong. she did that about a lot of people, people i loved or liked–sneakily try to turn me against whoever had made her angry.

later, as i figured out more about her  through therapy and learned more about her life from my father i began to realize that some of the people i thought i “should” hate were really nice people with nothing wrong with them. she was twisted and the way she twisted me up made me  scared about everything.

nothing i knew was solid. there was no one i could trust.  sometimes even now i stop myself from thinking about something because i can’t forget that she told me she could read my mind.

and now because of that birthday card she sent me, i am thinking about it a lot lately.

no fun.

bipolar, child abuse, depression, mental illness, writing

no more wire hangers!

day before yesterday, i got a card in the mail from my mother. it shook me to the bone. i haven’t had any communication in with her in 10 years, my choice. she was abusive, cruel,  a chronic liar, bipolar (not something to judge about, it’s just that i am too, and a combo of a bipolar parent raising a bipolar child is a disaster), OCD (same as bipolar no judgement on OCD, i have it too), a child of an abuser, alcoholic (me too), full of rage that came out all the time, and just plain mean.

as an adult i realized a lot of what i believed my whole life were lies. my mother told me that my dad still loved her (they divorced when i was 15) and that he told her he wanted he told me he hated her and felt like an abused spouse, and said they could have worked it out. what was i supposed to think of that??

then my father told me that my mother cheated consistently throughout their marriage and threw it in his face. i have always loved my father and wanted to be just like him when i grew up. when i found about that, i grieved for my father’s suffering. he’s a quiet, gentle man (he swears a lot though.  lol) how could i have not known? i lived with them both in a pretty suburban neighborhood. you could see the playground at my grade school from our house.  i thought we were the perfect family, honestly! i disassociated virtually everything about my mother, my father was great when he was around. our house was nice, my father was a university history professor and my mother taught at a high school.

i was confused my whole childhood and early adult years because neither my father nor i came clean about our life with her. she treated me nicely in front of him and they had raging fights that they hid from me.  she often said to me, we have such a great relationship, don’t we?! by the time of the divorce i knew things were seriously fucked up, i just didn’t know any of the specifics. when she said our relation ship was awesome i had to answer yes with glee or she would grab me by the shirt front, hold me up to her face and say, i know what you’re thinking, you think i’m a bitch, don’t you, don’t you? i had to agree with everything she said or boom, rage, screaming in my face. i still have have the feeling she can read my mind, even though i knew it’s not true.

i’m going to stop for now, i’m not staying on topic or putting things and order or whatever i should have done.

back to the card for a moment. her hand writing is beautiful, unmistakable.  i hadn’t looked at the return address and when i opened the card i saw the writing and the words, repair our relationship and threw it away immediately. i thought i was going to be sick. 10 years i’ve been trying to pretend she wasn’t alive and then i get this bullshit. i see my psychiatrist on Tuesday, so we can work through it.

this has been hard to write and i have so much more to say, but i’ll put it in chunks so i can handle it and so you don’t have to read a huge block of text!

i don’t think many people blog openly about child abuse, and i’ve never talked much about it to anyone  but my husband, my shrink, and my dad. i’ve told a few people that i hate her and didn’t explain. so here it is, at least some of it.

child abuse is something you never get over and for me,  it ruined a lot of my life.

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good times

today I was going through a big pile of stuff that i found in a box in a mess, lol, and I saw a little thank you note from my gramma for a gift I gave her. there was a letter inside the card but I couldn’t handle reading it.

the main point of this is the card itself. it’s just a piece of folded watercolor paper. but my gramma was a professional painter, so I knew it was an exciting find. she had written,on the back, in perfect printing, “original watercolor by Ruth Mabie” the title is, “spotted adder’s tongue.”

the painting is a delicate yellow flower with beautifully shaded leaves and stem. it was cool to find the painting, but to see it again now that I can paint, is pretty amazing.

I can understand how she made this part or that. I can understand why the composition is the way it is, and I can identify the colors…

I can remember eating my gramma’s berry pie (omg) and watching her paint.

good times.

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unhappy anniversary, mom and dad

divorce. it’s something that never goes smoothly, that affects children and adults, that  leaves mental scars and that ruins people’s lives for at least a short period of time, or much longer for others.

my parents divorced when i was 15. they were married 20+ years, most of which was filled with anger, tears, and resentment. my mother was abusive to me, and you don’t hear about this much, but she was an abusive spouse as well. i couldn’t have been happier that they were splitting, hoping i’d be able to escape from my mother. no such luck. my father was in my life even less than when he was married to my mother. she was so angry and devastated by the divorce that she had to take it out on someone, or at least that was what was in her nature. she took out everything she would have liked to have done to my father, to me. she lied about every bit of their marriage and her life before and after the divorce.

we all suffered and everybody pretty  much ended up hating the other parties in the disaster. it was a messy ugly divorce, not that there could be an easy divorce ever, but this was epic.  i could go on and on but the fact of the matter is that they needed to be divorced, despite the pain we all felt.

i didn’t escape though. my father sunk himself into his relationship with my stepmother (their affair was what sparked things until the divorce was inevitable.) both parents were so involved with their nervous breakdowns to notice me or try to help me get through the nightmare. .

today, march 26, is their wedding anniversary, or what would have been if they’d lasted this long. *shiver of horror*

i talked to my father about it last week and he’d forgotten all about what day the anniversary was. i told him how upset i was and he seemed really surprised. am i the only one who got divorced? people tell me i’m too old to feel this way about it. it’s lodged in my mind forever. i haven’t had contact with my mother since i realized how the way she acted and the way she treated me was unacceptable. that was about 10 years ago.

today is a painful day for me. my dad and stepmother are leaving for their trip back to their house in england, brighton to be exact, today. it cuts me to the bone. i feel like mourning, there is so much wrapped up in this date. i hate it.

unhappy anniversary, mom and dad. :/

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hiding

when i’m scared, or nervous, feeling guilty, feeling like a weirdo, feeling depressed (or manic), feeling ugly, feeling social anxiety, having a panic attack, blah blah blah, i hide. there are lots of different ways to hide. it’s good for a short term escape, but really shitty for dealing with problems and trying to be a part of society.

when i was in high school it was all about new wave and punk. a favorite hair style was having it shaved on the sides and strip of long hair down the middle, sort of like a flat mohawk, or shaved all around except the long bit on top. i, like many of my friends had hair like that. i had  it, and i expect they did, too, to cover my face. i had long fringe/bangs that hung down over my face. if i didn’t put it up in a ponytail, i could barely see. i remember sitting in a history class and getting yelled at for having my face covered like that, because the teacher thought i was asleep!

high school was a tough time for me, my family life was a disaster, i was an alcoholic and undiagnosed bipolar 1. i had a lot to hide from.

when i was a child i built “pillow forts” to hide in, mostly from my angry mother or simply because i needed a safe place.

my anxiety and paranoia are so bad that i often have to hide like that, too. i’ve been known to hide in the closet, or under my desk. i hide the fact that i’m crying sometimes, or that i’m feeling really crazy and don’t want anyone to know. i tend to blurt out how i feel, so it’s important to hide all that. i can hide so well that i can answer the phone in the middle of a sobbing panic attack, as though there was nothing wrong.

sometimes i hate hiding. i’d like the world to know how hard life is for me. it’s a coping mechanism, of course, and i suppose it’s better than having no way to keep yourself safe.