Daily Archives: January 8, 2015

The Ambidextrous Friendship Expert

In reply to the WordPress Daily Prompt Jan.8, 2015

I Got Skills

If you could choose to be a master (or mistress) of any skill in the world, which skill would you pick?

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ambidextrous

(ˌæmbɪˈdɛkstrəs)

adj

1. equally expert with each hand
2. highly skilled or adept
3. underhanded; deceitful

If I could become the master of anything, I would be thrilled to become the Master of Friendships. Heck, I would be thrilled to even have the desire for a friend, let alone the emotional energy it requires to maintain one with any kind of meaning. You know how some people are so desperate to make you their friend that they greet you with the obnoxious energy of an overgrown puppy ?  So eager to get your attention that they almost knock you over? Yeah, that’s not me.

In trying to decide on a title for this post, I landed on the word “ambidextrous” – not for its common first meaning of being equally expert with each hand, but for the 2nd and 3rd meanings of being highly skilled or adept…underhanded; deceitful. I decided this word has the perfect combined description of the skills I both lack and have no desire to hone, in order to attain the status of Friendship Expert.

People exhaust me.  In particular, people who happen to be catty, jealous, competitive, back-biting, pretentious females. Given my disdain for these characteristics, there are slim pickings for friendships in this bottom-of-the-barrel small town I live in. Being that I’m not really interested in friendships-for-numbers, just so I can have a tally of essential strangers on my FaceBook wall, I remain basically friendless.

To be clear, I have had the pleasure of being friends with a number of precious people who became closer than family to me. Friends with the security needed to not be clingy, exclusive, or competitive. Friends who looked for the best in me, and allowed me to blossom to my fullest potential. Friends who shared in the birth of my babies. And one friend in particular who I helped to support through many devastating events beyond her control – the worst being the death of her 29-year-old husband, whose eyes I once looked at in our mutual astonishment of witnessing the birth of his very first child. I know how to be a friend – a very good friend – one who is forever loyal through thick-and-thin.

Being that I know how to be a friend, I also know the amount of work that goes into it.  And being that I know what it’s like to have a group of people accept me with open arms and open hearts, I find it excruciatingly painful when I look around and don’t see any of them anymore. Since moving 14 hours away from my clan of kindred spirits, I haven’t found a single person worthy of the higher standard that they have now set. I also find it painful to admit that I no longer have what it takes to be the friend I once was, nor do I have the desire to allow somebody else to be there for me, when I don’t have the energy to reciprocate.

I have put up a protective hedge about myself, and shut off all expectations of finding even one replacement for the numerous friends I left behind. The stubborn and somewhat snobbish side of me will convince you that I’m perfectly fine with my self-sabotaging predicament. But the truth is, I do miss the girltalk and laid-back good times of feeling comfortable in my own skin, around people who were equally comfortable in theirs. I miss sitting back with my girls as we laughed at perverted jokes with our husbands. I miss the feeling of oneness I felt, as no one was excluded from the open-invitation friendship-party that I was once welcomed into. Because of their acceptance, I accepted myself, and I realized that the world was a much bigger place than I once saw it being.

Now I am left to pick through the cold leftovers. Allow me to describe them for you – some of them in generalizations , some of them specific to one person. (To those of you coming from my former blog, you may recognize some of the following from a previous post that I have now edited and renamed):

1. The “I’ll fix you” friend. This is the girl who decides to make you her latest project, in her failed attempts to better those she deems in need of her services. She’s the full-grown woman, with the little-girl voice, so confident that she will be your bestest-friend-ever that she practically forces herself on you. With her, there is no option to say “No thank you, please move along”, as this would hurt her little-girl feelings. To say no to her offer of friendship that she is so graciously extending would be considered a cardinal sin in the law of girl-rules that she follows to the letter. With her perfect sense of bad-timing, she traps you right when your social anxiety is obviously forcing you to flee from the bustling crowd, and she keeps you there in suspended misery – with the protection of her onlooking witnesses. As she tries to engage you in the conversation you’re forced to be interested in, she predictably enunciates her dull and boring drivel tailor-made just for you – the troubled one. Since her innocent little eyes are too pure to behold such ugly things as the reality you suffer through, she simply pretends it’s not there. And then, sure enough, comes the invitation you’ve been dreading – the invitation you already know you’ll be forced to say yes to (remember the girl-rules), but an invitation that you’ll unfortunately be too sick to attend. This is the girl who believes that her mere presence is enough to magically cure your afflictions that she never openly acknowledges. This is the girl who the quiet onlookers are cheering for – the onlookers who will heap their applause and adulation upon her when you are gone, as they so admire her bravery for approaching the leper of society.

2. The clingy,needy,desperate friend. This is the girl who doesn’t seem to have any friends at all, with the exception of the unfortunate recent move-in, whom she immediately pounces on, calls shotgun, and claims ownership of. Her possession of you begins with her constant, daily phone calls – instantly revealing her deepest, darkest secrets (which are pathetically not all that deep or dark). Then comes the daily invitations to her home, with the expectations of the hours you are to sit there and listen to her endless list of personal problems, and the problems of others (as she secretly hopes you will add your own juicy tidbits to her vast collection of gossipy “facts”). In your attempts to remove the claws she has deeply imbedded into you, you eventually stop answering her daily phone calls and texts, but she overcomes this threat by feigning ignorance at the common knowledge of subtle hints. Not going down without a fight, she manipulatively uses your children against you, as she asks them (right in front of you) if they want to come over – looking right into your eyes with the sure look of desperate victory. And after the clean break that she forces you to administer, you will be added to her plethora of pain and problems, which she will eagerly share with her next unsuspecting victim.

3. The Jesus friend. Being friends with this girl feels like being friends with Jesus Christ himself. The girl so puritanically good and righteous, so saintlike in her kindness, yet so unbearably dull and boring in her lack of realness. This is the girl who would be irreparably crushed if you didn’t at least keep up the appearance of being her friend (which is easy, since it contains no depth). She believes that common euphemisms are as sinful as swearing, and she would never dare use undignified words (such as “fart”), since she has never actually experienced such a human indiscretion. This is the girl who would be gravely disappointed in you if you voiced your hatred of an inanimate object – most likely coming to tears over the fact that you could have hurt its feelings. Because of her sensitivity to all things real, you must exhaustively monitor your every word and emotion, so as not to offend her perfect sense of the world. Although you find her lovely world in no way relatable to your own, she desperately tries to search for remote commonalities. And in her mind – which is only filled with goodness – you reside with her happy thoughts, in her happy world, where all is rosy.

4. The backstabbing,creepy,childhood “best” friend. This friend is the worst-of-the-worst, due to her mind-game-playing abilities. This is the girl who, to your face (and especially in front of an audience), will go out-of-her-way to shower you with her insincere compliments, and wishes for your once-upon-a-time camaraderie. This girl loves to hear herself speak with her infinite wisdom, encouraged by a family who worships her as their big-fish-in-small-waters almost-success (a family who at one time convinced you that you were the cause of all of her issues). This is the girl who turns her FaceBook wall into her very own unprofessional modeling portfolio – displaying a new demonstration of her narcissism every 15 minutes (along with her Oprah-esque quotes of girl-power and self-love). This is the beautiful girl who “humbly” married an ugly man, just to squeeze out every last drop of attention in their unfair comparison. Although she desperately tries to give the appearance of having a perfect marriage, she has no problem dropping her ugly-yet-doting husband if it means she can flirt with your younger brother, or any other horny hillbilly who gives her their attention. This is the girl so intent on spreading her popularity, she has no problem selling it to the highest bidder – paid only with the compliments and praise of her perfectness. In her attempt to monopolize her fragile world of beauty and undivided attention, she discredits any talent  you may own that would threaten her self-made limelight. She is so jealous of the life that you live, she secretly sleeps with your whore-of-a-brother-in-law, in her spiteful and desperate desire to be you for a day. She’s the deceitful, manipulative, enemy-in-friend’s-clothing. She is the girl more preoccupied with reclaiming the attention she feels you have stolen, than to ever acknowledge that it was never hers to begin with. And when you look back at the dysfunctional relationship your childhood-self assumed was so real, you finally see that you had been duped into believing that you were the crazy one, in a friendship that never existed.

5. The hidden-in-the-background friend. This is the girl whose shyness may initially hide her from your view. The girl who, unlike all of the others listed, knows what true friendship means, and doesn’t waste her energy on anything less. She is the girl who, at a different time and place in your life, would be one of the few people to live up to your high expectations – and you to hers. This is the girl who now looks at you and can see you as the hypocritical, needy, disturbed person that you are. The girl who knows her limits and knows you would be too much for her to handle – as she sees a little piece of you in each one of the above descriptions. You are those girls to her, and she is smart enough to keep her distance. She is wise in her decision, since you know that being your friend would entail her being there for your never-ending series of personal crises, while not bothering your fragile equilibrium with her lone set of troubles.

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Although I recently discovered that this last person was only a friendship-mirage (a story which I will be relating in a separate post), this is my list of ambidextrous friends, whose talents I no longer admire. Although I would love to get out of my head and be content with a simple friendship of ease and convenience, I seem to have lost the skills required to attain a fake-it-till-I-make-it relationship. 

Shrink and House

Well I have some great news! We got the closing date on the house. So Feb 26th I probably won’t be posting that day or the next, but moving into a house and not having internet is a really good reason to not post. :D I’m absolutely thrilled that there is an end date finally.

I went to my shrink and we talked about trying topomax but because I am sensitive to medications she checked out interactions and apparently it interacts  with two of the medications I am taking. So we talked about depakote, lamictal and lithium. I decided to try the lithium again. Depakote causes weight gain and I had a horrible time withdrawing from lamictal so this is where it stands.

Lithium worries me, but honestly I’m at a point where if I can stop the mood swings I am going to give it  a try again. I was so depressed on it before I wouldn’t have been able to tell if it was working or not.

I’ll do the research I need to so I don’t mess it up and try not to stress about it.

Does anyone remember what some of the lithium interactions with regular meds are? thanks!


Dear Younger Me

You fuel your rage by seeing a psychoanalysist one to three times a week, exploring over and over how you had been abused as a child. You deepen your depression by studying psychodynamic theory in graduate school. Doing so defeats you and undermines your mental health. Yes, therapy will enable you to work through issues you have with your parents, but what is left unsaid is the fact that your parents love you.

Of course they are not perfect. Nobody is perfect. We are all “dysfunctional” to some extent or another. Yes, it is difficult to grow up in an alcoholic household, but your family loves YOU. Believe me, loving you is quite difficult.

Do not defensively rage against your father when he suggests that “wouldn’t it be great if you could just take a pill and feel better.” He was right. He merely suggested a medical solution to your long-standing struggle with depression, and you jumped all over him.

Your bipolar disorder, what was then diagnosed as depression and interpreted as aggression turned inward against yourself, is not caused by abusive parenting. You have a biological disorder of the brain. You did yourself no favors by smoking pot from seventeen years-old to the time you completely came undone at thirty. You did yourself no favors by taking shrooms, dropping acid, or on one particularly stupid occasion snorting cocaine. You did yourself no favors by drinking alcohol. You damaged your fragile brain. You may very well have tipped the balance.

Your childhood was not perfect. No one’s is. Your parents have had their own struggles. Now you know, mood disorders are genetic and often self-medicated with alcohol. Working with families as a therapist, you learned compassion for your parents. You saw the love these parents had for their children as they struggled to parent them. You shook your head when staff vilified adoptive parents of children with severe mental health and behavioral issues. You knew it was not the adoptive parents’ fault that their children had brain disorders, in utero exposure to alcohol and drugs, or extreme child abuse and neglect by others. Still, clinical staff judged the desperate adoptive parents rather than show compassion and offer support.

Kitt, if only you had used your Kaiser insurance for mental health treatment, rather than pay out of pocket to see an analyst. If only you had seen a psychiatrist at a younger age, your life would have been different. You would have properly cared for your fragile brain earlier in your life. Your loved ones would have been spared your rages and mood swings. Perhaps. Perhaps, to some extent. Then again, perhaps not.

I cannot change the past. I can only move forward from here. I must forgive the Kitt who blamed her parents rather than see a medical doctor. To all the many therapists who saw me and never recommended that I see a psychiatrist, what were you thinking? They, too, I must forgive, for I did not “look bipolar” as I’ve been told on more than one occasion. My worst behavior is reserved for those I love the most.

Kitt, forgive me for not being proactive, for not taking care of your brain, for blaming others for something over which they had little to no control.


Filed under: Acceptance, Atonement, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Family, Hypomania, Medication, Mental Health, Writing Tagged: Blogging 101, spoken word

To all the journalist, bloggers, France, and everyone around the world.

How important is freedom of speech? I wouldn’t be able to type to you now….THAT IMPORTANT! Let’s stand behind France and the world to tell people you can’t stop speech, you can’t kill speech…don’t be mad.

Annoyance Agitation Anger Anxiety

The four A club.
Annoyance. Agitation. Anger. Anxiety.
Emotions tend to run in a chain reaction for me. It always ends with anxiety.

No school again today. Fine.
Cold as fuck. Nothing I can do about it.
R texts at 11 p.m. wanting my presence at the shop today. Yeah, cos I can get a sitter on a second’s notice since the world revolves around him and his shop of broken stuff.
Not even 8 a.m., after being up with my kid bouncing off the walls,it’s 1 degree out and windy as hell…and he’s texting again demanding my presence.
I swear the man is so self absorbed he’s not even aware anything exists outside of busted stuff and his needs. I am here only to serve them at his leisure, of course.
By the third text asking WTF…I have decided I am NOT going in at all today. I don’t have a sitter. I don’t owe him shit. I EARNED the money for the car insurance with all the work I did breaking that laptop password.
So I started out annoyed.
He kept poking me with a stick.
I became agitated.
Another poke with a stick.
ANGRY.

And of course, because I am a decent human being and I do need good karma points…I’m anxious because while I believe I am 110% in the right here…Trying to talk to him about it will do no good at all and when I least expect it he is going to use this day as a reason to throw out terms like “parasitic”.
He’s such a fucking albatross.
And it’s all his own making.
He talks about how selfish, self absorbed, and non listening his wife is…(and he isn’t wrong)…
but he’s her male counterpart, only I’m the one he’s oppressing the way she oppresses him.
How can I not be irked as fuck?
This is just a merry go round, same outcome every single time, and no amount of reasoning reaches him. Yet he spouts all this logic shit when he has no ability to grasp any logic that isn’t self serving.

It’s so simple from an outside point of view. He makes unreasonable demands of me, affects my mental health negatively, so I should cut away the driftwood.
Yet from my side of the fence, what with being wonky in the brain and unhireable, this is the one way to make sure I can provide for my child. It’s a barter system rather than a paycheck but it’s necessity. Necessity with so much grief it should include a valium as a work tool.

I rant, I vent, I…feel trapped. If ANYONE else in this fucking armpit town would throw me a bone, even if cleaning toilets or scooping cat boxes out, I wouldn’t be in this no win situation. Unfortunately, bipolar, especially undiagnosed and mis medicated for 12 years, lead to me burning most of the employment bridges in this town. Not many options left and my name on a resume or application is instantly synonymous with “unreliable.”
And I take responsibility, I own it. Though I think it’s a little like blaming someone with a broken leg for not winning a marathon. If you start out at a disadvantage and no accommodations are made…The end result is pretty much a given.
I digress. I fucked up. A lot.

And I suppose dealing with a self absorbed narcissist like R is my penance for my sins.
It wouldn’t be so damned bad if talking to him solve a damned thing. It never does. He just doesn’t get it and he’s not even vaguely aware of his unreasonable demands.
It’s cold enough they cancel school, yet he’s got no qualms expecting me to procure a sitter, drag my kid out in the cold, to serve his needs.
I remember when it was his kids and they were small, well, the world revolved around them and if you weren’t on board with that, you were persona non grata.
Now my child is my priority and he acts like I am a lazy flake.
I used to be an assistant manager with a store and they never once called me at nearly 11 pm demanding my presence then and there. And even if they did call at the last minute because someone called off, I had the right to decline because even they understood people gets days off for a reason, so they can plan a life.
R is just so off the reservation with his self absorption. Example: When mom was babysitting once, she called to tell me Spook had hurt her eye, I needed to come get her. He had the nerve to say, “Go get my beer before you pick her up.”
That’s pretty shitty.
But he’s the fine upstanding citizen and I am the lowly trailer trash who should totally be castigated and taken advantage of because I dared make bad choices in my past. Most of which I don’t think would have been made had my brain been chemically regulated properly.

You never live down your past. There are people determined to make sure you don’t. It’s their leverage. They can make you doubt yourself by using that past against you. Which is a little evil when you’ve done everything in your power to make amends. Maybe when he goes to church, he’s busy on his iphone and misses the part about forgiveness.

I babble when the Four A cycle has run. Once the anxiety takes hold…I cycle back to the annoyance,agitation, and anger. More anxiety follows. I can’t seem to kick its ass and god knows I have tried everything short of shock therapy.
In many ways, I have a sort of obsessive compulsive brain. It’s akin to someone who has to wash their hands exactly five times, check the doorknob five times to make sure it’s locked. My brain insists on riding this cycle of emotions, seething, stewing…Eventually it will quiet down.
Only to start back up again.

This is honestly a bit of an anomaly for me. Usually my anxiety dies down to a quiet hiss during winter.
Maybe it really is outside stressors this time as opposed to generalized anxiety.
I just have this quid pro quo mind. You give, I give.
I like a fair playing field.
And I am not getting it in this situation with R.
In all fairness, my anxiety issues aren’t his fault.
But the way he continually sets off the triggers in spite of 15 years of being told about this perpetuating our issues…
The playing field is most certainly not level.
That will forever be a thorn in my paw.

And yes, I know, I whine and bitch too much.
But this is my therapy and I won’t apologize.
Better venting it here than exploding on others. This way, I can mull it over, gauge my moods, anxieties, feelings, and reactions.
But for three years I have felt this unlevel playing field thing so I don’t think it’s some passing mood fancy.

So what am I gonna do about it?

I am gonna suck it up. I will bitch and vent to keep myself semi sane, but this isn’t about me as much as it is about doing what must be done to ensure my child has what she needs. If I am earning a car insurance payment at the shop, that’s fifty bucks for food, clothes, shelter, heat, for my daughter.
And for her well being, I’d suffer a dozen R’s.

Still wouldn’t turn down that valium,though.


Here I am.

I’m still alive. I’m sorry for such a long hiatus, but the holiday is always a bad time for me. I hate/love the holidays because my family is around, but the holidays have a way of making you feel less than great when you can’t give anyone anything and you feel shitty inside. I don’t …

rhymes-with-bipolar memes part 2

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C.S. Lewis’ Words

Psychoanalysis was not always seen as incompatible with Christianity.  No less a thinker than C. S. Lewis, the great writer on Christianity, said that Christianity takes up where psychotherapy leaves off.  In his book, Mere Christianity, Lewis makes a distinction between Freud’s treatment methods and his theories, saying that the theories were in direct opposition to Christianity but the practice was not.  The job of psychotherapy was seen as identifying what was in a person’s way of becoming the person they wanted to be: irrational thoughts, fears, complexes, etc.  Lewis writes, “The bad psychological material is not a sin, but a disease.  It does not need to be repented of, but to be cured.”  And many churches do offer counseling services now with licensed social workers or therapists in recognition that Christians can benefit from psychotherapy from an explicitly Christian standpoint.

I’m not saying that my church was unsupportive.  My Sunday School class has been nothing but supportive and understanding of my condition, checking on me when I was in the hospital and praying for me whenever I requested it. My pastors have been faithful to pray with me whenever I’ve requested it during an altar call and individual consultations. Those who did not understand I have forgiven and feel no malice towards. I just pray that the church can continue to make progress in learning about mental illness and how to minister to those who have it.


linkdumpius maximus

I know I’m depressed when I wear the same clothes so long, they dissolve.” Tc Castelli

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Lord Stephen of Fry, the patron saint of bipolar affective disorder (pause for applause) is getting married. Awwwwwww yay.

Linkthings:
Successful and Schizophrenic – Elyn R. Saks
Deconstructing schizophrenia among Australia’s First People – Paul Brown
Panic, bipolar and the blind professionals – Paul Brown.
Dyane’s feature @ DBSA – fellow blogger
Childhood Guilt, Adult Depression? – Jenny Chen

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Youtubery:
Bipolar Disorder in Popular Media (09:07)
Baring it all: how I lost my “self” dating someone with bipolar disorder. (34:10) – girl-on-girl misery … start at around the 12 min mark if you get bored with her explaining why she made the video. Actually don’t watch it lol. It’s not actually overly negative in ways you’d expect, it’s just so up its own ass. Briefly amusing, but I only made it to 21 mins before dying of boredom.
Up/Down (1:23:23) – documentary (2011) Early on they hit the streets to get people’s perceptions of bipolar (lol) “they get angry, then they get happy, then they get medication.” “They’re a pain in the ass to live with.” “It’s a split personality kinda thing guess.” Of course there are sensible ones too, but they’re no fun to share with you. Tis a decent documentary (bipolar primer), mostly conversations with bipolar people; watch/share with confidence. Did you know that native Americans used lithium springs for treatment?
Maria Bamford – Crazy Meds (12:10) I wasn’t blown away – comedian chats and jokes about her bipolar, and pimps crazymeds.us

Different bodies respond differently to different medication; finding the magic potion is pretty much hit-and-miss. This seems obvious, even simplistic, but it’s the only consistently true fact in treating mental illness.
Elyn R. Saks – The Center Cannot Hold

Go On. Judge Me.

Sometimes I see people at the shops, and I’m like “whoooaaa man. Nice parenting skills. Nice screaming at each other and making a scene skills. Nice that your kids don’t have shoes on their feet. Nice 80’s hair do.”

Then I’m like “Nice judgemental skills Rachael. Sheesh. Like you are so perfect.” And then I’m like “Yeah ok. I’m judging. I shouldn’t….but seriously…NO SHOES. WHAT. IS. THAT?!”

I need to stop, stop, stop it.

The thing is, what we see of other people is a tiny glimpse into their lives. Those mothers screaming at their kids…maybe they have had a really bad day? And by the same token; the perfectly well groomed mothers with their perfectly well behaved seven children…maybe pandemonium breaks out as soon as they get home. Maybe one of them will grow up to be a serial killer. Who is to know?

Regardless, if I had seen myself at the shops this morning I would have judged. Go on. Judge me.

I was wild haired with an expression of steel. Dragging a kid with his pants on backwards through the shops, the kid crying “Mummy! You’re going too fast!” I groaned when he said he needed to go to the toilet. I lost my rag with the young girl in the post office and went on a tirade that involved the phrases “This is ridiculous”, and “You’ve got to be kidding me”. I rolled my eyes at the older couple as they parked next to me. I swore in the car, and when Master D asked what was wrong I shouted at him to be quiet. I then got home, sat my kid in front of the TV, tossed him a bag of Tiny Teddies and popped a Lorazapam.

But ya see, that’s only half the story.

Master D’s pants were on backwards because he has just made the transition to independent toilet go-er, and sometimes, when he is so proud of himself for completing the task, I don’t have the heart to tell him his pants are on the wrong way.

I was dragging him because we were late for my passport appointment at the post office. We were late because my little angel decided to throw a fifteen minute tantrum that can only be described as demonic, five minutes before we were supposed to leave. Like he has been doing every single day since January the 1st, when he decided day naps were for sissies, sleeping in past five am is for the weak, and his new years resolution was to throw a tantrum each time one of his parents ask him to put his shoes on.

I groaned when he told me he needed the toilet because, when we are out, this is almost always a ruse. Whereas for me (and I imagine most people), using public restroom facilities is only something done under necessity and extreme duress, Master D enjoys the thrill and novelty of using a public dunny. When we are out he will always ask to go, sometimes in the most awkward of circumstances. I take him, he sits there pleased as punch, talking about the toilet paper and what the poor sod in the next stall is doing, then informs me that “the wee’s aren’t coming out.” But you just can’t take the chance that he actually DOES need to go, and risk an awkward puddle (or worse) on the floor. So, I took him to the Public Restroom of Wonder. For the record he didn’t go.

I lost my rag with the young girl at the post office, because for reasons quite baffling to me, it has taken over three months for me to update my Australian passport.  I have been turned away five times for reasons including that I I haven’t got a “proper” marriage certificate (although it has served me just fine for every other purpose for my entire married life). Now I am annoyingly organised. I quadruple check things. I colour code my diary by event type and task urgency. My household chores are completed on certain days of the week. My spice rack is frigging alphabetised. HOW IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO COMPLETE A SIMPLE FORM?  Needless to say I was fairly unimpressed after waiting in line with a whingy toddler, for my fifth interview, proudly brandishing my new marriage certificate purchased at great expense from a courthouse on the other side of the city, only to be turned away because I didn’t have my BRITISH passport with me. Say what?

I rolled my eyes at the older couple because despite the fact that there were at least 100 bays available in the carpark, they chose to park right next to me, extremely close, and on the same side that I was trying to strap Master D in and handle the bags of groceries. I had to practically trap my arse in the car door so they could fit in their spot. Why? Why, I ask you?!

I swore word in the car because some jerk pulled out in front of me, and when I get a fright sometimes I involuntarily say “fuck”. I yelled at Master D to be quiet because I was in the process of slamming my breaks on and having a heart attack. Afterwards, I explained to Master D that I had seen “a duck!”. He didn’t care. He was too busy playing with Thomas the Tank Engine.

I don’t like putting my kid in front of the TV during the day. And I don’t like giving him sugary snacks. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to keep your sanity. Yesterday he helped me make rice and almond milk, tzatziki, broccoli salad, and dairy free/wheat free brioche. Today he gets Tiny Teddies and TV. Knowing him, he probably preferred that latter.

I popped a Lorazapam because I’m in the process of withdrawal which is *awesome*. I’m trying to get off these meds, but thanks to the doctor who put me on a high dose, at a high frequency, for an extended period of time, when I didn’t have the mental capability to refuse, I’m kind of biologically addicted. I’m working on it. I’ll get there. One day I’ll figure out how to cut these tiny pills into tiny tiny pieces. But for now it’s kind erratic. I’ll take one, then three days later, burned from lack of sleep and panic attacks, I’ll cave and take another. Today was one of those days.

The one thing I cannot excuse was my hair. Unacceptable, obviously.

I’ll always remember a story I was told. A father was on the train with his three kids who were extremely hyperactive and badly behaved. The father sat there. He didn’t try and stop the kids from disturbing other passengers. A woman sitting in the booth near them was getting more and more irritated by the kids. She was just about to say something when, as if he had read her mind, the father leaned over to her and said “I’m sorry about the kids. They are upset. We have just come from the hospital. Their mother died today.”

There is always another side to the story.