Daily Archives: July 18, 2015

You Never Forget Your First Bully

Happy, early days: Christmas, 1960s

Happy days: Me at Christmas, 1960s

Her name was Suzie Q*, and she was button cute: big dark eyes, the kind of hair which would be called “glossy” if she were a Labrador. Dimples.

Life can be good when you’re button cute. By the time you get to junior high, it can help you get a cheerleader’s jacket, pleated skirt, and friends. Plus, the kind of middle school kudos that goes with all that.

I don’t really remember. By the time Suzie was in 7th grade, I was in 8th. In children’s terms, we’d long since parted ways.

Looking back after nearly fifty years, I can make a few educated guesses about Suzie. She was the middle child, with years between her, and the eldest. Given that gap, and Suzie’s looks, I imagine she was as spoiled as I: possibly, even more.

A few years later, Anna* was born. Putting, perhaps, Suzie’s little nose well out of joint.

Anna was under Suzie’s control before we moved in, and I became Suzie’s next victim. She already had another: Patsy*, a friend who was older than Suzie, but under her thumb, nonetheless.

With my lovely Grandfather: 1960s

With my lovely Grandfather: 1960s

Patsy was a bully whilst in Suzie’s company, but could be quite pleasant when Suzie wasn’t around. As for Anna, I remember Suzie sharpening her claws on her, whenever Suzie wasn’t busy manipulating me.

There were no punches, no hair pulling, no pinching. Suzie’s weapons were verbal, not physical. She enjoyed playing with Kiddles when she wasn’t bullying Anna, Patsy, or me.

She kept me under her little thumb for more than a year: a lifetime, when you’re a child. Then suddenly, one day when we were walking home from school, she told me it was over.

Perhaps she got bored.

I spent the next summer vacation from school alone, in my basement, drawing every illustration from the Marguerite O’Henry “Album of Horses”, then painting them all with watercolours.

These days, I photograph birds, instead: blackbird, July 2015.

Nowadays, I photograph birds: blackbird, July 2015.

I never told an adult, least of all Mum and Dad. Not until I’d married, and moved countries, when our contact consisted of weekly phone calls, in which my folks talked at me about what was going on in the old neighbourhood.

Suzie and her sisters had long since moved, but their parents were still around. Every so often, my mother would tell me that Suzie had been visiting, and about Suzie’s children, and her dog.

One day, I snapped. I don’t want to hear about Suzie, I said. Or her bloody dog, or her kids.

The kids are all right: starling family, May 2015

The kids are all right: starling family, May 2015

The inspiration for this blog came from an old public advertising campaign: “You Never Forget a Good Teacher”. In the adverts, various British celebs said the names of their favourite teachers.

I still remember you, Mrs Shearer, Mr McSween, Mr Kopnick, Mrs Kelso, Ms McGlade, Mr DeShantz, Mrs Ferency, Mr Z.

You comforted us; taught us important lessons in life, as well as literature, music, and the like. And yet, who truly lingers in our memory: a good teacher, or an efficient bully?

Whilst I feel no malice toward Suzie, as I write this, I realise how very glad I am not to have to hear all about her wonderful dog, or her lovely children.

And that there’s a huge ocean, and several thousand land miles, between us.




*Note: The kids’ names have been changed. The teachers are real, though I’m unsure about the spellings.

Bad Art, Bad Humor, Too Wiped out To care

My kid can use MS Paint better than me, but I don’t care. I suck at art. But I’m too drained from the petri dish to put it all into long sentences with words and coherent thought. Need a brain reboot then I will use my words.

For now…Behold the horrific sight that is my interpretation of “art”.

depression leash

A Love Letter to Anyone and Everyone with a Mental Illness

Kitt O'Malley:

Sam Dylan Finch’s love letter is beautiful, powerful, honest, and full of love, understanding and wisdom.

Originally posted on Let's Queer Things Up!:

loveletterConfession: Sometimes I feel unlovable. Sometimes I feel unworthy.

Sometimes I look at the scattered marbles strewn across my mind and think to myself, “Who could love something so disassembled, something so broken?”

In this society, we are taught that the worst thing for a lover to be is “crazy,” and that being “crazy” makes us deserving of our loneliness and our longing.

To be “crazy” is to be unworthy, to be unwanted.

Confession: Sometimes I want to run away. Sometimes, even after getting married and even after a thousand “I love you, I need you, I want you’s” – written, spoken, texted, felt – I fantasize about taking the train as far away as I can go, up the coast where no one can find me.

Sometimes in our desperation, we isolate ourselves, fearful of what it means to be seen, to be visible, to be known.

Confession: I…

View original 736 more words

Filed under: About Mental Health, Acceptance, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Disability, Mental Illness Tagged: anxiety, anxiety disorder, Bipolar, love, self-love

Stumbling Around

I find myself wandering around my house every day trying to find something to do that will make me happy. I didn’t realize it right away but I am depressed. I mean considering what has happened I am not surprised. I’ve also been messing my meds up. Missing days here and there.

Day 3 without smoking. I’m not quitting I’m just trying to take the time to heal I need without feeling altered.

I am feeling slightly better today and I hope that means that things are on the upswing. I can’t do much about the depression or the illness but I can try and ride them out gracefully.

Anyone else gotten this crappy stomach bug?

Minority Mental Health Matters!

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month July 2015

“Once my loved ones accepted the diagnosis, healing began for the entire family, but it took too long. It took years. Can’t we, as a nation, begin to speed up that process? We need a national campaign to destigmatize mental illness, especially one targeted toward African Americans…It’s not shameful to have a mental illness. Get treatment. Recovery is possible.”

–Bebe Moore Campbell, 2005.

Filed under: About Mental Health, Discrimination, Human Rights, Mental Health Advocacy, Mental Illness, NAMI, Stigma Tagged: Bebe Moore Campbell, Minority Mental Health, National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Top Of The Mournin’ To Ya! (Inane Rant)

Why am I mourning in the morning? Because I miss solid sleep. My night sans kid? Still woke up multiple times during the night. Damned humidity, cats stealing my pillow, cats stomping on my head. I forgot to eat supper so I was starvin’ Marvin yet it was so thick with humidity, I filled the cat dishes and went back to bed. Meh. When I woke up again…I couldn’t tell what time it is because one of my furballs did the chacha on the desktop’s keyboard and locked all my shit up, had to do a hard restart to unlock it all. Then wander into the living room to see the time, but it seemed too bright out for the wall clock to be right, so I checked my phone. Yep. Wall clock losing time again, by forty minutes, in spite of new battery.

It was 6:57 a.m.

How cruel is that to wake up before 7 a.m. on one of my rare kid free mornings where I could sleep in and loll about? My own body hates me. This forced daywalker thing is most non triumphant. (R and I were quoting lines from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure yesterday, guess the airhead-ism is lingering.)

I was gonna go back to bed but once awake…I’m up, to my own chagrin. It’s already humid as hell and I don’t have a bunch of time to do the errands I should have done yesterday since I didn’t have Spook with me because mom’s had her for 24 hours.

So…In the next three hours, I need to get dressed, get out the door, hit about four different stores for groceries, bring stuff back to put away, then go get my kid. I thought maybe along the way I might treat myself to a yard sale or two since I did fulfill my dish duties for the week. I dunno. Grocery stores are icky. Such mundane things others do so easily and yet my stomach is already churning with anxiety. Not because anything bad will necessarily happen. It’s just like eating spicy food. I know the outcome is going to result in me being in major discomfort. I can avoid the food, all is well. I avoid my anxiety triggers, I’m just not trying hard enough.

Thank god stupid isn’t contagious or I’d done be infected by the idgets of the world. (Ya know, psychiatrists, therapists, Scientologists.)

When I got home yesterday, the place was sweltering because I don’t trust the wiring well enough to leave the air on while gone. So I kicked that one, got the fans situated, and threw myself into an ice cold shower. Climbed out into a skimpy tank top and undies, figuring I was in the for the day, no need to worry about being presentable, just cool. Then my dad calls to say he’s bringing something by for Spook…And what is my first thought? DAMN IT, NOW I HAVE TO PUT ON PANTS. How I, the former goth/metal fashionista, have fallen. When putting on pants becomes a concession to beauty…Depression and anxiety just eat away at you until little of who you truly are is left.

And what message does society send me about this epic suckage?

life changes

Omg, silly me, it never occurred to me to do that! Oh, wait. It occurs to me to do something about the suckage every minute of every day and yet..I am trapped in sludge and as lost as if in the Sahara without a map and nothing but sand for a thousand miles. In my head, I can see myself doing this, that, the other, saving pegacorn kind from dragons who want to slather them in ranch dressing and flamebroil them before dining. (Don’t ask.)  Until the depression breaks…This is just where I am and I will spew about the suckage as much as I want to.

One more off topic rant of inanity for my vault.

On a more positive note…Thanks to a Mangorita last night, I had a good time revisiting days of old with hair metal. MMMM, men with long hair wearing leather. Yum yum yum. The music was just fun. Inane perhaps, but FUN. Today’s music makes me want to vomit. No substance and it’s not even fun, it’s like eating a cake made only with sugar. Indigestible for my ears. Yes,I am judgey that way. But I don’t tell anyone what to like, I just have my own opinion and I’m not all that shy about it. (Probably why I’m not Miss Popularity. I forgot to care.)


Ugh, I need a shower already. Humidity sucks. And my motivation has gone ala Where’s Waldo…Quick, put out an APB.

Swear to the sacred pegacorn, I am staying home tomorrow, and not leaving the house. I need a good vegetative day without the intrusion of the dish of petri.

but morgue

To which I reply:

stabby chick






LINK: Lawyer: Vallejo kidnapping suspect Matthew Muller suffers from bipolar disorder

So if you have a mental illness, go out and kill someone, your lawyer will use that in your defense!

Come on!!

This is why mental illness is such a horrible thing in the eyes of the world. People shouldn’t use that as a defense and if it true and that’s why you killed people…then you don’t need a lawyer, you need help.

Good old fashion H E L P

Good luck, solider l!

Bloody hell, EFF it

I did a post with hair metal videos, but my copy and paste just kept repeating the same thing and I frigging gave up so forgive me. It’s still 90 degrees at 11 p.m. and my spleen is sweating and speaking the truth has sent followers scattering like roaches in the light…Ya know what?

ONE comment thanking me for having the guts to be honest, even if it offends, is worth all this crap. I never mean to offend or hurt anyone but sometimes, it’s a side effect of the truth. On the bright side, be grateful I just wrote things you disagreed with and didn’t kick you in the head.

My own work:



Agree to disagree, don’t troll me. This is my truth, as much as optimism is yours. Throw the first stone, I will throw boulders back.
Life isn’t fair and neither is Morgueticia.

Pictures from “BUSTER! A Gospel Musical In Concert”

DSCN6448 DSCN6453 DSCN6454 DSCN6455  RSCN6461 B1 B2 DSCN6460

Even More Things I Wish People Knew About Bipolar Disorder

1. The vast majority of us are non-violent. The media seem to love targeting the mentally ill by insinuating that almost everyone who commits a heinous crime has some sort of psychiatric problem. I’ve ranted on this topic elsewhere in this blog (check out “Bipolar and Off His Meds” if you want to read my thoughts on the subject) and it just galls me that sensationalism continues to trump common sense. After all, there are well-known studies that show we are far more likely to be the VICTIMS of violent crime than the perpetrators. And besides that…we’re just like everybody else in that all we want is to live our lives in as normal and happy a fashion as possible. We’re not out to steal your stuff and murder you in your sleep.

2.  Many of us hold down jobs and function as well as the next person. At least as long as we’re being treated and following our prescribed routines. Some people do fine even without medications, and you’d never know they had a problem if they choose to keep their condition private. I have learned to my sorrow that disclosure in the workplace is usually a bad idea, even though it was the only thing I could do at the time because I could no longer hide my illness. Employers tend not to be very understanding of mental health problems. I have also learned that the Americans with Disabilities Act is largely a feel-good piece of legislation that has little clout in the real world. The ADA did not save me from being fired—twice—nor did it force my employers to make reasonable accommodations for me due to my disability. Businesses have offices full of lawyers who know a thousand ways around the ADA, and you can bet those lawyers aren’t shopping at Walmart.

That being said, there are many, many people out there who are working steadily and succeeding in life despite having a mental illness. I wish I were one of them. I have to remind myself that I was reasonably high-functioning for many years before I was diagnosed, kept at it after I was diagnosed, and continued to work even after it became obvious that I was getting worse, not better.

3. We can’t just “snap out of it”. Don’t people know that if we COULD just put our depression on a shelf and move on, we would? Nobody enjoys drowning in a sea of despair, let alone feeling as though the world would be a better place without us in it. Please, if you love a person who struggles with a mental illness, never say that to them. It only adds guilt, and we already carry around enough of that as it is.

4. We put up with a lot of indignities in order to try to fit in. As I type this, I can’t help noticing (for the thousandth time) the tremors in my hands. It’s a side effect of taking two anti-psychotic medications as mood stabilizers. I hate it that I have trouble eating vegetables with a fork—I shake so much that most of them fall off before I can get them to my mouth—so I don’t eat a lot of things in public that require fine motor skills.

I also hate it when I have to go to a new medical provider who can see my record, which has Bipolar 1 disorder splashed all over it in bold print, before I ever take a seat in the waiting room. I’ve been a provider myself, and I know what I thought whenever I was about to receive a new patient with a psychiatric diagnosis. Overcoming whatever pre-conceived notions they may have about me is Job One; fortunately, I have become very good at it and when they find out I’m really not crazy, we get along great. It’s just the necessity of doing it in the first place that grates on me.  (For the record, the same can be said for obese people, who are the next-to-last population that can be judged, made fun of, and generally discriminated against. Lucky me, I get to fight that battle too.)

So there you have it. I’m sure I’ve got a few more of these things up my sleeve, but I think you all get the point. Being bipolar—being mentally ill, period—is a clusterf##k and I think the people who handle it well are amazing. It’s like being in a race where we have to start a lap behind everyone else, and nobody notices what a miracle it is when we manage to keep up…it’s only when we stumble and fall that we draw attention to ourselves.

Thanks for reading. :-)