Daily Archives: September 3, 2017

Barely Fiction: Kate.1

Her true and legal name is Kitt Kathleen O’Malley. She loves her name and is grateful her parents came up with it — a great stage name if there ever was one. Her first name is typically a nickname for…

I Find Myself At The Computer

I’m just sitting here listening to music, you know making myself feel good. Ya good. Isn’t that something? I even had a good dream last night and I never get those!

Maybe these meds are making more of a difference than I thought. Well it’s hard to tell from having one good day. I’m putting the eggs before the chicken but it will hopefully turn out to be a full day.

So I figured why not come on and post. I need to get my post count up it’s been appalling of late and hopefully it will make someone else feel good or hopeful. Who knows right? I don’t know what you who read my blog really get from it but I’m glad you read it.

For those curious about if I’ve given up the weed, I haven’t but it isn’t affecting anything that I see at present anyhow.

 


Endings

This has been a week of endings.  I finished being a maid for Mom and Dad.  It was sad, because I have enjoyed spending so much time with them.  But, it was also happy, because I hate damn housework and I’m a terrible maid!  I’m also ending my work for Dr. Flaky.  Yesterday, I assembled the handbook I had created for her new assistant.  Last night I did my last voicemail log for her.  I’ve been doing her voicemail log six days a week for over a year.  It’s gotten to be pretty tedious, but it’s also a routine.  It was bittersweet to delete the daily reminders from my calendar.  Finally, I unhooked my extra phone and voip box that I used for working for Dr. Flaky.  She is going to buy it and give it to her new assistant.  It all seems so…final!  I will deliver everything, including my final whopper of a bill, (YAY!) to Dr. Flaky tomorrow.

So now I have this great big giant opening in my life – no work – and no start date for the new job!  Yikes!  What if the new job somehow doesn’t happen?  I’ve created this space for the new job, but it hasn’t quite materialized.  That magic Start Date hasn’t been handed to me.  Again, I’m ambivalent – scared to start the new job, yet scared shitless of not having a job.  And what in the helly-hell-hell am I going to do with all this time on my hands???  I’m feeling kind of lost.

Last night I did something unwise . . . I got drunk.  REALLY drunk.  In my mind, I thought, I’m celebrating this change in life.  In reality, I think I was drinking away my stress and anxiety and fear.  At the end of the night, I had a blackout.  I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic, wondering how I got myself to bed, wondering if I texted or called anyone while drunk, scrambling to check my phone.  Thankfully, I didn’t.  Still, that’s WAY too out of control, having a blackout.  It’s got me thinking I need to pursue sobriety again.  Damn it.  Why do I have to do things so out of proportion???  I don’t even want to have just a “drink” – I like to get buzzed.  But, this was way beyond buzzed.  It really has me thinking, and questioning myself today.

Well I hope to work up the motivation to go do my laundry today.  I HATE going to the laundromat!!!  I haven’t even put away the clean clothes from the last time I did laundry, and I’ve just been throwing the dirty clothes on the floor where the laundry basket belongs.  Ohhhh I have my life so togetherrrrrrr!!!  Maybe I’ll just read a book and procrastinate.  It’s Sunday.

Hope you are all well, happy, ok, not drunk, not blacking out, and maybe procrastinating too.  Peach out!


Filed under: Bipolar, Bipolar and Work, Bipolar Disorder, Mental Illness, Psychology, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, Blogging, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader

Are Political Extremists Mentally Ill?

Yes.

Well, some of them are. Given that one in four of Americans experiences a mental or emotional disorder at some time during their lives, 25% of any given group either are, have been, or will be affected by mental problems. Politicians. Girl Scout leaders. Chefs. Whoever.

Of late, though, it seems that political extremists – and politicians, of course – are being singled out for accusations of mental illness. And as for terrorists, they are in common understanding all mentally ill, so anyone you label as a terrorist is automatically insane. But we’re far from agreeing who is and is not a terrorist. (Antifa? Greenpeace? The NRA? The DAR?)

Admittedly, some of the extremists’ actions and statements seem “crazy,” but let’s stick to the more technically correct “mentally ill.”

Except it isn’t technically correct in most cases.

A lot of people seem paranoid these days. Everyone on the “other” side is out to get them, destroy America, or at least scare the pants off us. Conspiracy theories abound. And nearly all of them are crazy. (I wrote about this a short while ago: http://wp.me/p4e9wS-AH).

But “paranoid” is a clinical term in psychology, and it has a specific meaning: Paranoid Personality Disorder is a psychiatric condition, manifested by, among other things, “generally unfounded beliefs, as well as … habits of blame and distrust, [which] might interfere with their ability to form close relationships,” as WebMD says.

Those traits your political or social opponents may have, but most of them don’t also:

  • Read hidden meanings in the innocent remarks or casual looks of others
  • Perceive attacks on their character that are not apparent to others; they generally react with anger and are quick to retaliate
  • Have recurrent suspicions, without reason, that their spouses or lovers are being unfaithful

Diagnosis at a distance is dangerous, as well as bogus. The fact is that none of us (except perhaps psychiatrists) can diagnose a person as paranoid or any other variety of mentally ill without having met the person and performing detailed interviews and tests (I’ve written about this too: http://wp.me/p4e9Hv-6F).

This is also true of public figures. We can say that Donald Trump, to choose an example not entirely at random, has narcissistic traits; or is a narcissist in the garden-variety, non-technical meaning of the word; but we cannot say that he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, an actual clinical diagnosis. We may think he’s crazy, but we can’t say whether he’s mentally ill.

Public readiness to label people, both acquaintances and public figures, with loose pseudo-psychiatric terms raises a number of problems, particularly stigma.

Labeling is a convenient way to dismiss a person who disagrees with you without listening to what he or she has to say, or considering the possible validity of an argument or even a statement of fact. If we apply a label, we make an assumption about a person that may or may not be true.

Stigma comes with the label mentally ill. People with diagnosed mental disorders are too often assumed to be violent, out-of-control, homicidal (or suicidal) maniacs – and therefore not worth listening to. In fact, many people with mental illnesses have no impairment in their cognitive function. It profoundly devalues them to dismiss them from political and social topics of conversation.

So, bottom line. “Those” people may be crazies, may act crazy, talk crazy, believe crazy things, but it is not accurate or helpful to call them crazies. Neither is it helpful to label someone who has never been diagnosed or has never been open about a diagnosis as mentally ill.

I just think that how we talk about people affects how we treat them. And that matters.


Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: media and mental illness, mental illness, mental illness in the news, news stories, paranoia, public perception, stigma

Paper Shredder

I kept trying to think of metaphors for life and what I came up with is…Life is a paper shredder. Profound? No. Accurate, though.

Now some shredders cut vertically and if you’ve ever watched a crime show, you know the wizards can piece it back together.

Other shredders are criss cross cut, which means confetti and pretty much impossible to reassemble.

My life is generally a vertical shredder. I can piece back the pieces over time, only to be shredded again. As of late…I am in a criss cross shredder and fear the pieces may never be reassembled into a semblance of who I am as a person.

Friday was stressful at the shop because R took on a job he didn’t tell me about and I was trying to figure it all out but couldn’t reach him at his other job and it just…Grr, I was frayed. But trying to push myself cos they say that’s what makes you ‘get over it’, I took my kid to Dollar Tree. They didn’t have what I wanted, so I just grabbed a couple of things. Then The Incident. Abruptly, I saw a line going halfway down an aisle, one cashier, and random dish dwellers all around me and…panic set in. I mean, not impatience or irritation. Sheer panic. I put my stuff on a shelf and fled the store with my child, feeling like my head might implode and the earth might drop out from under me. I could not have been overloaded with the fiight or flight and terror responses than had a rapist come at me.

It didn’t get better when I got home. I received paperwork informing me the donor no longer has *that* job (explains not getting my support check) and she is off his policy. Enter more panic, cos hey, I just paid all the bills and depend on that support check for food ffs. Now I have to go back to public aid with the paperwork and get that all going for her to go fully back on kidcare and they will increase our food benefits but…it could take up to 4 weeks. Her healthcare will be retroactive from date of his termination but the food angle…We’re a littlr screwed. We don’t get our next batch of food stamps til the 17th, now I don’t have cash to buy good, we already had our one trip per 4 month period to the food bank…

Suddenly all the bug problems seem pretty fucking secondary to figuring out how I am gonna feed my kid and keep gas in the car since her ass trash school won’t let her on the bus cos we don’t live far enough away for them to be reimbursed by the state.

It got worse. Cleo had three more preemies die.

I was so dejected and panicked…I let my kid have two friends sleepover cos I did promise it for her birthday but lice and my family’s mucking it up prevented it…There I am, about to break my lids, and my concern is not breaking a promise to my kid. The kids were good, though, we even hit a few yard sales yesterday morning with a handful of singles and change. The trauam didn’t come til after that. S’s mom texted me while we were out to inform me our cat, Lucien, had been hit by a car. ARE YOU KIDDING ME, HOW MANY CATS DO I HAVE TO BURY??? I was dejected and came home.

Which was when Spook started out act and mouthing off. Fixed that by sending her friend home and making her spend an hour inside bored out of her mind. Shoulda kept her inside cos from there on, it was 5 kids in my yard, bickering, and asking to use the bathroom, give us water, we’re hungry. GRRRR. And the problem with the bathroom has become, not me being mean, but I am missing several bottles of pricier perfumes (gifts, not like I could afford it) and some make up which then appears in the hands of the little brats but no, it’s their. Yep, that expired product with a specific dent in the handle is totally not mine, dopplegangers…GRRR. Just use the toilet and don’t touch my stuff, is that too much to ask? This morning Spook’s hairbrush came up missing and that’s SIX brushes that have gone missing since May. These kids are kleptos.

Top of it all, I’d only gotten like 3 hours of sleep during their sleepover and my nervous stomach, achey head, and utter sadness at losing yet more kitties…I just wanted to sleep. Shut it all out. But that didn’t happen for five more hours. I did manage to get her fed and bathed, and I showered for the first time since Wednesday. I was too tired to worry about supper for myself. We were both in bed by 9p.m. though I was so tired, I couldn’t get to sleep and it took forever for the melatonin to kick in.

My gift for sleep was nightmares in which I had a job as store management (what store, I don’t know) but returned to find it had been robbed and it was my fault for forgetting to lock the door the night before and they suspected I did it on purpose…I was so glad to wake up from that dream. Except it took ninety minutes and more melatonin and xanax to get back to sleep.

This morning she was up an hour earlier than need be for church and spent the entire time pummeling me with questions even when I answered them, she had more. My stomach went spaztic, I started breaking out in hives…Starting to settle since she has left but I am really fraying here. Not to mention R’s expectations and hey, thanks to the donor getting his ass (allegedly) fired, I gotta dance monkey dance so R will help me keep my kid fed and gas in the car.

Tonight I get a break. Spook (barely) met her behavior quote and she gets a sleepover with Grandma. Thank the sacred flying spaghetti pegacorn monster. Mom is burned to a crisp. But then again, Mom has to clean up after the slumber party massacred my house so I still won’t be getting a break.

Story on the donor, and while it comes from a trusted source, it was told to R and he told me and we all know how rumors are and how things change person to person in telling…But allegedly the donor did some ranty Facebook post and one of his coworkers (underlings) saw it and went to his bosses and said she no longer felt safe working with him. They fired him and walked him to the door (allegedly, I am sure even if that’s the videotaped documented truth he has a different spin).

I was so giddy. FINALLY others get to see the snotty elitist prejudiced self obsessed assclown I got to see under the phone surface. Finally, his arrogance and inability to shut up about whatever bit him on the ass and others see it. Though one must wonder what the hell was written that it made a subordinate feel unsafe and go to the higher ups.

So yeah, it’ll be weeks of trying to sort out the public aid thing, who knows if he gets a job here or decided to bail the state and I have to have support enforcement hunt him down like a dog. He hasn’t seen the last of me yet. I am fighting for what is owed his daughter and maybe the two other moms to his kids let him slide…

I have just the right amount of rancor, determination, and absolute devotion to make sure he held accountable to Spook. Our lives may be better off without him or his money, but the sheer joy of knowing his life will be much more sucky with me hounding him for the child support…gives me pleasure.

Yeah, yeah, going to Hell, bitch, no wonder he ditched me.

Zero fucks are give, she said with a demonic little laugh. Karma finally bit him on the ass and it is funny as hell.