Daily Archives: April 2, 2013

Crazies With Guns

“We have no national database of these lunatics… We have a completely cracked mentally ill system that has these monsters walking the streets.”
— Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President NRA


Don’t want what monsters, Mr LaPierre? What do you consider a lunatic? What mental illness would require an individual to be tracked to ensure we are not walking the streets with our guns armed and ready to do some serious damage?

Mass shooters in the U.S. have been linked with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, and even depression. That’s going to be a pretty long list and none have found to be a specific factor in the increase of mass shootings. There’s already stigma for those who have been diagnosed. I’ve spent the last five years on this blog to help people understand that there is no shame in being mentally ill. Sadly, statements like yours further polarizes us.

There are some restrictions already in place. Many years ago, when I willingly checked into a psychiatric ward, I was required to sign a form advising me that I was restricted from purchasing a firearm for the next five years. This form, however, was not created to prevent me from hurting other people, its primary purpose was to keep guns out of my hands so I would not hurt myself. Considering 1 out of five diagnosed with bipolar disorder commits suicide, it seems to me like a pretty good law to have.

What about depression? Well, that would certainly be a very long list. Polls show that between 17 million and 21 million American adults are diagnosed annually with depression. That’s a lot of people. Many of those diagnosis’ are situational, however, is a person who suffers from a short term diagnoses any less dangerous than someone who suffers from chronic depression? I doubt it. In fact, it is my uneducated guess that those who suffer from situational depression are probably more likely to harm themselves and others. Why? Because they have had less time to learn how to control it. There is little incentive to learn to adapt.

How dare you, LaPierre. You and the rest of the NRA have shown no shame. You’ve indicted virtually every institution to avoid looking toward yourselves. One of your most recent claims is the AR-15 shown above is the modern day version of a musket. You’ve shown a lack of compassion to the residents of Newtown by having robocalls dial throughout the area to garner support for gun owners rights less than three months after the Sandy Hook elementary shootings.

What about you, Mr. LaPierre? I am empathetic to the fact that you also suffer. After all, you did cite mental illness as a reason to receive a draft deferment during the Vietnam War. I know how difficult that must have been. Go ahead and further pursue a law requiring the mentally ill to have to register with a national database. Just make sure that you put yourself first in line.

Life as Clingfilm

Mister Sun lives in the corner to annoy the ghost of my eighth grade art teacher (may she rest in peace).

Mister Sun lives in the corner to annoy the ghost of my eighth grade art teacher (may she rest in peace).

If there is one thing I am absolutely horribly terrible at, it is letting go. I feel justified in having a problem with it, mind — besides the bipolar, my life has been anything but settled. For their own reasons, my parents moved us frequently; I attended nine different schools between the age of 5 and 18. While I did fairly well being the new girl to a point, one does reach an age where the kids in an elementary school are especially exclusive of anyone they didn’t know from Kindergarten onward!

To further aggravate this, my parents were not particularly helpful in my need to talk things out. They would either ignore me, or crack jokes to change the subject, and all in all leave me feeling like my feelings were unimportant, invalid (which made moving here and having a family that did care about my emotions rather awkward to get used to!). I hasten to add that I am not attempting to play blame games, but the fact of the matter is that even now, I get treated like I’m ‘being mean’ for having things I need, NEED to hash out. When nobody around me would let me talk about my feelings, they layered upon other hurts and sleights poisoning my soul. Which, to be fair… that is probably normal for nearly everyone.

Now, one thing I’ve come to understand since my bipolar diagnosis is that the brutality of emotions and feelings are very normal for those of us labouring under that mental ball and chain. To cope, I am nearly immune to processing catastrophic change. For instance, even after four years in the Air Force, I’d look down at my uniform, have a minor panic attack as I declared, ‘Holy £$%^, I’m in the Air Force!’ Having had to stuff the lesser things, what can you expect? It was a way to get by… not a good way, but undiagnosed and untreated, we do whatever we can to keep our bipolar brains from killing us.

But all in all, it is -not- good or healthy for letting go of things. There are any number of suggestions and guides available in a Google search, and I totally think it’s a good and healthy thing to do. So what’s the hang-up? Overthinking it, perfectionism, having to actually try to tackle emotions and wounds through the filter of time (which adds quite a negative pall), having to learn how to do it after years of not being permitted to… it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of hard work. I do think it worthwhile, but I know that it’s not going to happen overnight. And yeah, I’ve made small progress and tried hard to forgive myself, and will continue to do so… as long as I can remember that one cannot undo 30 years in only a year or two.


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Foot in mouth disease

I survived without blow ups.

But my blah mood resulted in  several instances of opening mouth and inserting foot. I was offered leftover chicken cordon bleu.

Five minutes later I made the comment, “I’m chickened out.”

Then I dared to voice my sentiments on religion to the church going R. Bad idea. He liked it to going to the doctor because you’re sick, pointing out, “Why do YOU see a psychiatrist?”

I pointed out if you are sick but never take steps to get better and improve what is wrong, then how useful is going to get help?

Never ever discuss religion. I should stick to that. I have no problem with people having faith. But if you break every commandant every day and still go to church every Sunday with no effort to change your “sinful” behavior, then that’s like going to a doctor and remaining sick because you refuse to take the pills he prescribed. It’s an excuse to do shitty things and feel less shitty about doing them repeatedly. I am not cool with that. This whole notion that as long as you confess your sins you are absolved pisses me off.

And there I go, spouting off, sticking both feet, socks and all, into my mouth.

Then when I went to pick up my kid, she was having  a tantrum and my mom snarked, “She doesn’t pull that shit with me but you let her get away with it, that’s YOUR fault.”

And I softly murmured, “Because I am afraid if I correct her in front of you, you will start yelling.”

Which she is patented for doing, does it with my sister’s kid every hour of every day.

So she went off on me and said, “Get out.”

I should know better than to open my mouth, even to defend or explain myself. You cannot say anything to that woman. And ten people have told her the same thing I have and we’re all wrong and she’s right.

It makes me wonder if I am bip0lar at all. Maybe I just learned the bad behavior from her and I really am that despicable for people to deal with.

Except meds make me better and I am aware of my failings and try to do better every single day so I truly don’t believe my issues are all personality and learned behavior.

I still can’t help but think, wow if that’s what being on the other side of me is like, no wonder men run screaming into the night. Unfortunately, I can’t because she is my mom. I don’t even know if she is going to babysit tomorrow she in such a pouting cursing tantrum mode.

Funny thing is, I got my kid to the car, scolded her, and we have had a decent evening. I think this is a small kid manipulating because she can and she knows it starts trouble. And since my mother will never change, I have to. I just don’t know how. And on this matter, my counselor is of no help beyond “consistency is the key.” Hard to have that when I am required to spend thirty plus hours a week away from her while she runs riot at mom’s house of fun and no rules. Hell, she gave my three year old a ten pound metal pair of binoculars to play with. If you dropped them on your toe, you toe would break. But she thinks it’s ok. How can I even begin to fight that losing battle?

Which leads to my what my sister asked me, “why do you go to the shop if you’re not getting paid?”

Because the man was there and spent over $400 on car parts and did the work himself when I needed help. I can’t afford to burn that bridge. I know as long as I help him out, he will help me out. And frankly, since no one will hire me to even cook french fries, it’s all I have right now. I would love to tell him no, at least four days a week, I hate being there when all I am there for is to answer phones, write up tickets, and order parts. Most of which amounts to about four hours of work out of forty. I don’t think I am fit to work though I am getting there but daily I keep hoping one place where I applied would call and get me out of freebie slavery.

I digress.

I have just sucked today. I knew there was a reason I felt like I should self isolate. I have days where my mouth just doesn’t connect to my brain and I say things that open cans of worms, which leads to self loathing which depresses me which makes me think of the aftermath and grudges being held or hurt feelings and I start to panic. All of this because of a mood. Which is kind of a misnomer because with bipolar it’s not simply a mood. It’s a mind frame. And mind frames are consuming.

He had me stay 20 minutes late tonight, which made me panic. Can’t be outside my safe zone too long. Does he get that? Nope. Doesn’t even try.

I have so much house work today and I just did it all Saturday. The rinse lather repeat of life drags me down. I know I need to put on the big panties and deal with it but some days, it’s just better to go to bed and reboot my brain like a computer. I can always hope for a better mind frame in the morning to enable my coping skills to improve. It sounds asinine, I know, but that’s what bipolar amounts to, especially my cyclothymic bipolar. The mood shifts are that rapid.

Now…I am gonna play with my kid before she goes to bed and then I will ponder the housework. Unless it’s something that might end the world, blow up the house, or get my kid taken away, I don’t think I am going to sweat it too much. I will never be accused of being a haus frau and I am okay with that.