Daily Archives: April 21, 2013

A Quiet Calm (An Ode to My Kid)

03_04_13 _3_

I’m not really sure what style she’s going for here, but it’s cute nonetheless.

I’m still clinging on to sort of okay by the skin of my teeth. I’ve also been fortunate that, for once, the kiddo has been helping a lot.

You see, my daughter is three. She’s a great kid in the scheme of things — silly, fiercely independent, appreciative of high culture (better known as ‘Things me and the husband like’). All in all, we like her quite a bit, and feel fortunate in that. Oh, it also comes with a heavy dose of screaming and flailing and frustration that comes with not having a full grasp on the English language, but the good tends to outweigh the bad.

Now, I’m the first to admit that of myself and my husband, my husband is totally the mom. He changes diapers (I can’t get near poop without having a near panic attack. Yeah, didn’t think this through very well), tends to meals, and just all in all is a well of patience. I tend to do the flinging around and heavy tickling sort of things between trying to keep my headspace sane enough to not be horrible to live with. I feel no guilt or failures — our kiddo is getting lots of love and affection and her needs tended to.

But this also means that I tend to isolate a lot and leave them to it, even though I don’t necessarily mean to. My mother, bless her, is very much a person who is in her own bubble, and I don’t want to end up that bad. But self-preservation kicks in, and well. My ears hear the loud noises my kiddo makes and my heart starts racing and I dive into the bubble so I don’t have a breakdown. It’s a really hard balancing act — I want to pay attention to my child and give her lots of love, but I’ve got to take care of myself so I can pay attention to my child and all the nerve edges are so raw that all the spoons fly away and retreat, retreat, retreat.

But yesterday, she was in top form. She was very silly, she was picking fantastic movies, she was cheering people up left and right. Credit where credit is due — she was being one tiny badass. To her further credit, she’s got a pretty good grasp on empathy for her age; perhaps she picked up on how poorly the husband and I were doing and adjusted her behavior accordingly. She’s being pretty awesome today too, if only for declaring it a Star Wars day. We’ll never argue with having a Star Wars day. *grins*

And of course, I have to give her the biggest credit of all — if she hadn’t been born, I’m not sure I would have ever found the strength to try to get diagnosed and treated. It’s often said that our children make better people of us, but that… that one takes the cake. I certainly hope that the bipolar spares her, though I do have to admit that it’s a non-consideration to me as to whether or not I had children, or have any more (though the thought of having another doesn’t particularly appeal — odds are the next one would be a total shit *grins*). At least with me knowing and accepting my mental health state, I’m doing us all a favor — if she is so afflicted, at least she won’t make it to her 30s with no idea of it.

Anyways, I guess that’s about it for now. Hopefully I can keep holding up and not slip into depression. But for now, I’m going to go give my little one a big hug and a kiss, just ’cause.


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Sometimes A Scream

Photo on 2013-04-20 at 21.37


Sometimes a scream

Gets stuck behind

My breastbone

It’s the one for when

I gave my dog away

130 pounds of

Black Alsatian sweetness

He didn’t like my boyfriend

I should have kept the dog

That dog knew my heart

And now my heart is hurt

And that scream, stuck behind

My breastbone

Has no way to get out

Sometimes a scream

Gets jammed in my windpipe

In my voicebox, really.

It’s the one for when

I closed the office door

For the last time:

Children’s Health Care

Office Closed.

I locked that door myself

But I left something inside

A chunk of bleeding flesh

It looks like a piece of my liver,

The one that is stuck in my windpipe

Trying to scream.

Sometimes a scream

Struggles with my lips,

As I fill the compartments

Of my medication boxes

One, two, three, seven

Pills for tonight

More for the morning

All to keep me from

Screaming and screaming and screaming.

Taking one for the team

My kid has had company for two and a half hours now. I have fed all three kids. The little girl has brushed and pigtailed my daughter. I am in a state of calm numbness so it’s not too horrid. After four cold days of rain, I feel like I owe Spook and in spite of my nerves or plans, I should “take one for the team”. Because when it all boils down, Spook and I ARE a team. I am her mother but she is the center of my universe and while I have to make myself at ease, I also owe it to her to let her have a life in spite of my issues.

I keep telling myself that. I know it’s right and truthful. But my dark side tells me “this sucks.” I am ignoring it.

Some people who know me have made comments about how much more stable I am these days as opposed to ten years ago. Um, well yeah, mood stabilizers, duh. But it’s not smooth sailing, at all.

This morning, I did NOT feel stable. We were in the petri dish, running errands, and went thru the McDonald’s drive thru for some hash browns…And all at once, the lid on my soda popped off splashing everywhere, my kid was screeching for my attention, and there was a line of 5 cars ahead of me…And my foot slid off the brake and my head started spinning and I just…totally started to feel like it was all slipping away, like all control was gone…I got a grip but for a few seconds, I was just… FUBAR. Yes, I do manage. MOST of the time. I am not perfect, nor have I perfected this mom gig. There was this split second where everything was spinning so fast, my primary thought was ohmigod, let them take her away, I am not equipped to deal with this!!!! It was, at that moment, how I truly felt. It may have passed, but I live in fear of the day when it DOESN’T pass. People far stronger than me without mental issues have abandoned their kids or had them taken away. It may be melodramatic but it does happen, even when parents mean well. I FEAR that with every fiber of my being. What if I overestimated myself? What if I am just not strong enough? It haunts me. Maybe not every single day, but often enough it is disturbing.

We went to another store and I forgot my money in the car so we had to go back out..And I told Spook firmly and clearly “Stand here, do not move.” And in the split second my back was turned, she started to walk into the street in spite of our many lessons of late about “look both ways”. I freaked the fuck out. Everything in me wanted to swat her on the butt. My parents would have. But it’s a different time now and instead, I just knelt down, told her to look me in the eye, and calmly explained my concern and fear. She’s three, so I don’t think she really got it…But I TRIED the reasonable calm approach. It didn’t alleviate my panic, but it did make me feel way more competent than just popping off and yelling and acting out….

8:19 pm

I sent the kids home around 5:45 pm. Nearly six hours they were here, again. Bathed my kid, fed her, tucked her into bed.

Now I am unwinding, with a throbbing headache, cats not allowing me elbow room, and while I have so much I need to do around the house…I honestly feel like I’ve gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson, at least mentally. The responsibility of looking after two extra kids, especially ones who keep running in and out of the house and demanding food and drinks and inviting themselves to stay the night even after I plainly said NO…It’s very taxing. I seek the safety and comfort of my bedroom and my bed and my blankets.

It sucks, though, because by the time I recharge…Spook will be up and it will be time to do it all over again.

I am trying so hard here…But I am tripping numerous times a day. I mean, ffs, my kid has to remind me at times that I forgot to fasten her seatbelt. I just get so many things going on in my head, and trying to keep an eye on her and the road and keep my anxiety of being out in public in check…I get overwhelmed and I don’t always think straight.

I have 7 baskets of laundry to fold. I don’t want to. Not today, anyway.

I need to clean the floors. Vacuum again. Oh and more dishes even though I did them already today, thanks to extra mouths drinking and eating. It never fracking ends.

But ya know…There were some points in the day when the kids were just having fun and being kids and making me laugh…It was almost like getting a glimpse at my former self, back when I was more carefree and fun instead of a bundle of nerves and paranoia. I still am not wild about kids who come for six hours and demand to be fed, but it’s not entirely horrible. Spook played hard and had fun. She was difficult at times, especially when the kids wanted to come inside out of the sun or had to go…But I guess that’s a normal kid thing. I just have a kid who has uber spirit and is going to be more challenging.

How I hope I am up to the challenge.

Because while I did pretty well for the first three or four months after finding myself a single mom…It has been a rocky road since then. Maybe without the mental stuff it wouldn’t be so hard. That shit thrown into the mix just seems to make the simplest things like scaling a mountain. And some days, I excel. Other days, I flounder.

I am contemplating a “no company” day for tomorrow so I can actually get done what I need to do before another week starts. I did give up most of my day today so my kid could play. I am entitled to some time to do my stuff, too, right? I mean, it’s not like helper elves are gonna come in and magically do the housework for me. I’d much rather do anything besides housework. Just a necessary evil. Kinda like taking all the pills ever day to “manage” my illness. Not fun, just necessary.

I wish life could be fun again. Not constantly, just a little more often. I am trying. That shrink says it’s all inside my head and meds won’t help but I just don’t think she grasps how my illness mutated after the whole pregnancy thing. Things changed, not for the better, it amplified everything about my disorders. Getting knocked down now….Well, I haven’t really gotten back up and stayed up since my kid was 3 months old. It’s been a neverending roller coaster ride from hell.

But even in that hell there have been some cool moments, I won’t deny that.

Now…it is time to slither off to my bed and lay in the dark to see if I can rid myself of this headache. I hope so because the next step is decapitation and that seems a rather drastic treatment for a headache. ;)

Coming Soon…

Boy mom. Twin mom. Houstonian. Mental Health Advocate. Fantastic wife.  Passionate over-thinker, writer and talker. Lover of cupcakes, my husband, and Jesus, who came to heal the broken. Christ forgot to tell us He was a psychiatrist.