Daily Archives: November 2, 2015

Divorce: Happy Dis-Anniversary




The other day, I was driving back from Erie with my daughter, Sophia, a forty-five minute ride of monotony; she was lost in the world of Instagram and YouTube, and I wanted to draw her out because she’s thirteen, because she started using mascara and eyeliner over the weekend, because every day I am afraid that I am losing her to her future, separate life, one that is only spuriously connected to me via text or vague, sideways responses when I ask her how she is: fine, okay, good.  So I try to model honest, respectful communication, to avoid bombastic melancholy, but to be truthful about how I feel.  While I used to keep a photo of Wonder Woman over my childhood bed, I am not a Super Mom--no lasso, no gold bracelets, no comic book immortality thanks to Bipolar Disorder, Anorexia, and Alcoholism, and being a member of the species Homo Sapiens.  Lately, though, I’m just sad.

So I turned down the radio (Taylor Swift) and said, “This is a hard weekend for me.”

 She looked up.  “Why?”

“A year ago, this weekend, is when I moved out of your dad’s house.”  (Yourdad.  Not dad.  A way to create distance.  Yours.  Not mine, not any longer, anyway.)  “The year has gone by really fast; it still seems surreal.”  The pain of divvying up all of our shared “goods,” down to the photos in the albums, is still on the surface.  The strange, immediate distant hostility—Christopher didn’t want any pictures of my larger family and vice versa.  And he didn’t want the wedding album, didn’t even fight for it, as if eager to erase evidence of any intimate connection.  Granted, if I tried to flip through it now, looking at those younger, buoyant, gussied-up selves, believing in forever, in shared dreams, in innocent domesticity, I would dissolve in hopeless nostalgia.  Like Dr. Who (the kids’ latest obsession), I would long for time travel, to undo all that had gone wrong to ensure aliens didn’t kill us off: anger, betrayal, emotional dissociation. 

Dissociation.  Dis: a Latin prefix meaning “apart,” “away,” “utterly,” or having a privative, negative, or reversing force.  So not restorative time travel, but a force that reverses love and affection, severs the ties that bind two people together and the marriage vows that enact that promise.  Utterly without association.  Except for our children, who still, of course, long for the circle.  My son, turning ten in a few weeks, said what he wanted most for his birthday was for his family to have dinner together.  And by “family,” he meant Mom + Dad + Sophia + Alexander; and by “family,” he meant the four of us laughing over Five Guys burgers, and leaving in one car; and by “family,” he meant for the four of us to re-associate and repair what has been lost in our year apart.      

Sophia looked back at me in the rearview mirror, her eyes steady (and smudged with brown pencil).  “Are you okay?”

“No,” I said.  “It’s been really hard, especially not being with you all the time.”

“Even though you’re sad, you seem happier,” she said.

“What about you?” I said.  “What has been hard about this year?  What have you learned about yourself?”

She put her hand on the back of my shoulder, in consolation and connection.  “The separation is hard.  Not living together.”

“What have you learned about yourself, though, even in the hardness?”

She was silent, struggling, likely, to name the source of strength that has helped see her through all this.

“You know what I see?” I said.  “I see how resilient you are.  How much compassion you’ve shown to your Dad and me.  A lot of kids would have been thrown by this, would be full of anger.  Which is okay if you are, but I see how steady you’ve been.  Not that you have to be, because wobbling is okay, but you’ve haven’t let our difficulties shake up who you are and know yourself to be.  You’re pretty amazing.”

She smiled, but that was all a sometimes-self-conscious teen could take.  “Can we turn the music back up?” she said.

Equanimity.  That’s what my daughter has shown me this past year.  How to roll with the punches, instead of being flattened by them.  It’s hard to be alone, without an adult who loves me best of all.  Financial insecurity that comes with divorce is terrifying, and keeps me up most nights.  Dating is uncomfortable and still feels like cheating (not to mention the fact that I can’t exactly tell dates that I’m on disability or am Bipolar—definite romantic buzzkill).  On the other hand, my family and friends have astonished me in their generosity and love.  And I haven’t wanted to drink or starve myself over this.  Being numb is no longer an option for me.  While the full weight of grief and anger and happiness and hope can be overwhelming (thank god for the healthy displacement of CrossFit, running, yoga, and Netflix), the ravaging is worth it because I am here to tell my daughter and son that they are holy and astonishing and loved, and born, yes, from love.    

 

 

Divorce: Happy Dis-Anniversary




The other day, I was driving back from Erie with my daughter, Sophia, a forty-five minute ride of monotony; she was lost in the world of Instagram and YouTube, and I wanted to draw her out because she’s thirteen, because she started using mascara and eyeliner over the weekend, because every day I am afraid that I am losing her to her future, separate life, one that is only spuriously connected to me via text or vague, sideways responses when I ask her how she is: fine, okay, good.  So I try to model honest, respectful communication, to avoid bombastic melancholy, but to be truthful about how I feel.  While I used to keep a photo of Wonder Woman over my childhood bed, I am not a Super Mom--no lasso, no gold bracelets, no comic book immortality thanks to Bipolar Disorder, Anorexia, and Alcoholism, and being a member of the species Homo Sapiens.  Lately, though, I’m just sad.

So I turned down the radio (Taylor Swift) and said, “This is a hard weekend for me.”

 She looked up.  “Why?”

“A year ago, this weekend, is when I moved out of your dad’s house.”  (Yourdad.  Not dad.  A way to create distance.  Yours.  Not mine, not any longer, anyway.)  “The year has gone by really fast; it still seems surreal.”  The pain of divvying up all of our shared “goods,” down to the photos in the albums, is still on the surface.  The strange, immediate distant hostility—Christopher didn’t want any pictures of my larger family and vice versa.  And he didn’t want the wedding album, didn’t even fight for it, as if eager to erase evidence of any intimate connection.  Granted, if I tried to flip through it now, looking at those younger, buoyant, gussied-up selves, believing in forever, in shared dreams, in innocent domesticity, I would dissolve in hopeless nostalgia.  Like Dr. Who (the kids’ latest obsession), I would long for time travel, to undo all that had gone wrong to ensure aliens didn’t kill us off: anger, betrayal, emotional dissociation. 

Dissociation.  Dis: a Latin prefix meaning “apart,” “away,” “utterly,” or having a privative, negative, or reversing force.  So not restorative time travel, but a force that reverses love and affection, severs the ties that bind two people together and the marriage vows that enact that promise.  Utterly without association.  Except for our children, who still, of course, long for the circle.  My son, turning ten in a few weeks, said what he wanted most for his birthday was for his family to have dinner together.  And by “family,” he meant Mom + Dad + Sophia + Alexander; and by “family,” he meant the four of us laughing over Five Guys burgers, and leaving in one car; and by “family,” he meant for the four of us to re-associate and repair what has been lost in our year apart.      

Sophia looked back at me in the rearview mirror, her eyes steady (and smudged with brown pencil).  “Are you okay?”

“No,” I said.  “It’s been really hard, especially not being with you all the time.”

“Even though you’re sad, you seem happier,” she said.

“What about you?” I said.  “What has been hard about this year?  What have you learned about yourself?”

She put her hand on the back of my shoulder, in consolation and connection.  “The separation is hard.  Not living together.”

“What have you learned about yourself, though, even in the hardness?”

She was silent, struggling, likely, to name the source of strength that has helped see her through all this.

“You know what I see?” I said.  “I see how resilient you are.  How much compassion you’ve shown to your Dad and me.  A lot of kids would have been thrown by this, would be full of anger.  Which is okay if you are, but I see how steady you’ve been.  Not that you have to be, because wobbling is okay, but you’ve haven’t let our difficulties shake up who you are and know yourself to be.  You’re pretty amazing.”

She smiled, but that was all a sometimes-self-conscious teen could take.  “Can we turn the music back up?” she said.

Equanimity.  That’s what my daughter has shown me this past year.  How to roll with the punches, instead of being flattened by them.  It’s hard to be alone, without an adult who loves me best of all.  Financial insecurity that comes with divorce is terrifying, and keeps me up most nights.  Dating is uncomfortable and still feels like cheating (not to mention the fact that I can’t exactly tell dates that I’m on disability or am Bipolar—definite romantic buzzkill).  On the other hand, my family and friends have astonished me in their generosity and love.  And I haven’t wanted to drink or starve myself over this.  Being numb is no longer an option for me.  While the full weight of grief and anger and happiness and hope can be overwhelming (thank god for the healthy displacement of CrossFit, running, yoga, and Netflix), the ravaging is worth it because I am here to tell my daughter and son that they are holy and astonishing and loved, and born, yes, from love.    

 

 

Wayfayers Chapel – Emanuel Swedenborg

i_John-Bordon_4-025
Wayfarers Chapel by John Bordon

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772):

  • viewed God as infinitely loving and at the very center of our being,
  • viewed human life as a continuous re-birthing as we participate in our own creation,
  • viewed the Bible as a story of inner-life stages as we learn and grow,
  • and had conviction that life continues following the transition we call death to eternity of growing fulfillment.

He said; “All religion relates to life, and the life of religion is to do good”

via Emanuel Swedenborg | Wayfarers Chapel.


Filed under: Mindfulness, Mysticism, Theology, What About God?

Going Through the Motions

I’m very sleepy today.  The small one has a sinus infection and is home for the day.  We’ve been to the doctor and the grocery story and the drug store.  Have more errands to run this afternoon.  I finally got a 20 -Oz. Coke and maybe will wake up eventually.

Have a paper due this Sunday and am due to be peer reviewed this week for a project. So it will be interesting. I have a lot of the paper formed in my head, I just need to write it down.  So that is my job this week.  Then give all my residency books to the library.  I wish there were some I wanted to keep, but there just aren’t.  ANyway.

Bob is going out of town not this weekend but next.  He’s going to the Grand Ole Opry and staying at the Grand Ole Opry Hotel. He says he wants to sleep late and read. I think we are going to go see my parents while he is gone. I’ll talk to Mom and se if she is amenable to that.  add

I need to get some more projects going for my New Media class, We’re soon going to be at the deadline to turn it all in.  I have to finish my hypertext project, put music to my electronic poem, put text to my trailer, finish my geopoems, and an extended work up of an image and text project   So  I have a lot of partial things done but nothing quite finished.

Hope everyone has a good week!


Self esteem is shrinking….

I find it baffling that I go in to have my head shrunk but all I walk out with is shriveled self esteem. I am sure it’s not his intention, but DAMN. Apparently I have some sort of tic with my mouth I’ve never noticed nor has anyone around me but the man who hasn’t seen me in two months immediately launches into…There’s a new drug coming to market in a couple of years that can undo tardive dyskenisia. Yay. One more thing I didn’t know I had but after four years on Seroquel, can’t say it’s a shocker. One would have thought it’d have been noticed ya know, ten years ago when I was actually on that toxin.

I was not in good shape this morning. My nose is beat red from spending all night tied to a tissue box cos the allergies are rioting and making me cough, sneeze, choke, and drain. I did the sane thing when the store opened today- I got some medication. As it happens, that causes my blood pressure to rise the nurse and doctor were a little freaked out. I can’t even get relief from this shit without it being an issue.

I told him all about the last two months. Dead cats, burned houses, daily triggers picking up my kid amongst lollapetridishapazlooza.

His ideas? Can you move to another home where she’d be eligible for the bus? Can you have someone else pick her up? Hey, they’re about to close down the charter school but in the event they don’t you can stick her in there and she can ride the bus. Except the charter school is even closer to us and only accepts 4th grade and above HELLLOOOOOO? Not that I can counter his suggestions with facts because that would be non compliance.

I asked him about Lamicatal causing memory problems. He said absolutely not. I asked if maybe after four years I need to reboot with a different mood stabilizer cos the anti depressants are mixing well anymore… He vetoed that, said as long as I am not manic, the Lamictal is fine.

I asked about valium, just to lull me into relaxation at night. He nixed that and increased the Restoril which does fuck all.

His brilliant insight was to increase the prozac from 10mg to 20mg, advise me to get my kid into counseling, and oh, move or whatever cos this daily pick up stress for the next few years is not going to enable me to get well.

Brilliant fucking sage. Yes, Let me pull the money out of my cleavage to move houses so my kid can take the fucking bus. OR what if my doctor would just write up a note asking the school to let me fetch her in a less crowded spot? Oh, that would be logical. Forget that.

I was also treated to the ever popular (gee being reminded never gets old) “You’ve improved only once in the entire time I’ve seen you, there must be something with your metabolism that keeps the medications from working properly.)

And there it is. MY fault. It was quantified with him stating he can’t recall having a patient who was this med resistant and this anxiety riddled. Enter the deflation of what little self esteem I have and those shreds of hope that were buried in there somewhere? Nope. All gone now.

Instead of feeling a bit better I just feel more defeated and like a loser.

Which technically, I guess I felt before I went in cos it was a hellish choking on drainage night, but the doctor…did not help, at all. He tried to be empathetic, I can feel that. The words were right. I’m just not convinced his sincerity behind them was real. Once again, I am reduced to feeling like a petulant child who “doesn’t want to get better”.

Maybe the increase in Prozac and Restoril helps. I don’t see it helping a whole lot. Now if life would just slow to a halt for awhile and let my get my feet under me, I might stand a chance. Unfortunately, tis not the way it works. I have to remain standing and walk a perfectly straight line amidst a 10.0 earthquake every single day. I don’t think anyone around me knows how exhausting it is. No, because whatever I have going on, they have it worse. My father is the kind who’d claim his backache trumps you having a knife embedded in your skull. So no support there…Doc suggest I ask my family to take Spook for a couple of days so I could get some me time. AFTER I explained how nasty my dad is “we have a life of our own, we can’t drop everything to take care of your kid” and how I have to spend a whole day getting my kid out of my mother’s “there are no rules, I am a queen and can treat you like shit” mind frame.

For me it’s the equivalent of being handed a Xanax coated in barb wire. “Once you get it down, you’ll be all calm.”

Except I’ll be bleeding internally and have to go get help so HOW THE FUCK DOES IT HELP ME IN THE END????

Meh. I need fiction soup for the soul for an hour or so. Then I’ll work on turning biohazard four maybe down to a two.

Or I may say fuck it because apparently, even my own doctor thinks I am fairly doomed.

 

 


MENTAL FLOSS MONDAYS – Let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind

Bipolar can often be a bittersweet symphony. The exquisite passion of mania made foul by the desperate grief of depression and anxiety. “I need to hear some sounds that recognise […]

A Change in My Change in Perspective

In my last post, A Change in Perspective, I commented that a small part of me wanted to go hide in inpatient.  That has become a very large part of me.  The hypomania from Monday-Wednesday started to fade on Thursday.  I still had energy, but wasn’t bouncing off the walls, and I would almost say […]