Daily Archives: July 22, 2017

Ssssetting My Sssights Lower for Ssssanity’s Sssake

Originally posted on Birth of a New Brain:
? This post will sound like I’m getting worked up over something minor, but it’s not minor to me. While it’s another diatribe about an attitude I’ve been faced with by the bipolar & postpartum advocacy groups, there are a few new, juicy tidbits to explore. (I’ve written about…

Family Ties Don’t Bind, They Strangle

My morning started sucky and got suckier, so I was on edge and feeling pissy.

Then came dad and stepmonster, wanting to take Spook for a week to their house in the sticks for their church’s bible camp even though it’s not them who attend, it’s my 22 year old brother. Is it just me or is it creepy that a 22 year old wants to hang out with a 7 year old for a week?

What irked me so much was that I told stepmonster the other night Spook was not likely to attend camp because she’s been poorly behaved. Instead of talking to me one on one, they show up at the door like terrorists making a demand and feeling entitled, and they do it in front of my kid so by saying ‘you can have her a day or two but not the whole week’, I look like the monster. And in my agitation, perhaps my tone when asked for an explanation wasn’t proper, but I should not have to explain my reasons. My kid, my rules. NO MEANS NO.

Adding insult to injury, I told stepmonster that Spook is down to one pair of underwear so could she buy her a package. God knows six dollars won’t break their bank. But knowing the kid has one pair, the cow left the new underwear package at their house instead of bringing it here where it would be useful. Because either it’s punishment for me saying “this is when you can have her, no longer.” or they were keeping the underpants because they seriously thought I was going to let them keep her 8 days.

I mean, poor behavior on her part and fair warning, the birthday party debacle, and still they put me in that cornered position. I think lashing out by asserting my parental rights, minus nasty edge in my tone, was warranted.

Instead what will happen is they will go visit my mom and sis, and mom is still furious with me cos of my lice outburst during hormone week, and they will all tell their wrong side of the story and I will be the double headed serpent monster who is a danger to her child because I raise my voice to them and don’t kiss their ass. Remember, I’m 44, I know how these people operate because nothing ever changes.

Now I am even more stressed. I feel like a loser who can’t even spring 6 bucks for a pack of underpants for my kid, but then, I thought my stepmonster was doing something kind to help out. What a moron I am.

She even took it on herself to buy Spook’s school supplies THEN said I told her they had to because I couldn’t do it. What I ACTUALLY said to this crazy bitch was, “Yeah, with her birthday, school clothes, school supplies, I don’t know how I am going to afford it all.”

Is there a question anywhere in that statement? There wasn’t even a hinting tone of hopefulness that help would be offered. She just took it upon herself and now I’ve heard, in 4 days, that woman boasting that they bought her school supplies like they donated a kidney to her. Ridiculous.

Perhaps my reactions are not always in proportion but after the last time they took her for a day, then kept her for three, and she came back telling me everything stepmonster doesn’t like about me and the way I raise my kids…I am warranted in wanting to limit her contact with them.

Of course, I can never have legitimate emotions because I’m ‘mental’. They will always and forever use that card against me and foregiveness is not done in this family, just grudge holding. Is it so wrong I want my kid to respect me which isn’t going to happen when BOTH grandparents are constantly putting me down and usurping me?

I am so furious, and agitated, and sad. I just want to tell them to keep their school supplies, being in their debt is worse than oweing a fucking kneecap breaking loan shark. Kneecaps heal. The psychological shrapnel from every interaction with them simply makes my mental problems metastasize.

Funny in a pathetic way. 44 year old woman so tormented over family issues. I could cut them all off completely and lose nothing. My fear is my kid losing her grandparents and aunt and I don’t want to bear the blame of that when she gets older.

Perhaps the biggest difference between me and them is that crazy or not, I have the objectivity and good heart to want her to know her family, flaws and all. They just keep tearing me down over and over again and it’s heart breaking. Insulting. Hurtful. Disrespectful. Cruel.

So my weekend and week are pretty much shot, thanks to this recent family debacle.

Perhaps, stressed as I am, it would have been wiser and less drama to just give them their way and let them keep her all week.

I am so certain my reasons are legitimate, though, being tormented for a week or so and having them turn even my sister against me…Small price to pay for having the courage of your own convictions.

Meanwhile, thanks to their pettiness (they have tons of clothes for her at their house but won’t send any home even though they see her maybe six times a year) I look like a bad guy to my child, I went on the defensive in an effort to assert myself, and now I am scared the crazy lot will turn me in as being unfit. And if you think that’s the paranoia talking…

My parents were overheard by my sister having a conversation about me when I just got pregnant and neither of them felt I could handle the responsibility because I had failed at everything else. It’s true.

Famiy ties are strangling me.

Crazy Talk: Is Your Boredom Just Depression In Disguise?

Crazy Talk is an advice column powered by your donations on Patreon, written by Sam Dylan Finch (that’s me!), and hosted by your fave queer blog, Let’s Queer Things Up! While I’m not medical doctor, I am a card-carrying member of Club Crazy, living the good life with a mood disorder, anxiety, and complex PTSD (gotta catch ’em all!). Talking all things mental health — trauma, happy pills, mood episodes, and whatever else you tweet me about. I’m kicking the stigma where it hurts, one question at a time.

Hey Sam. I mentioned to my new therapist that I’ve been bored to the point of making myself miserable. I thought that maybe I just needed to get a hobby (I don’t do much these days besides watch TV, probably doesn’t help) but she thinks I might be clinically depressed. How do you know this difference between “normal” boredom and actual depression? -Bored & Blue

Hi there Bored & Blue,

To start off, can I say how happy I am that you’re seeing a therapist? That, in and of itself, is a big step and will go a long way towards getting to the root of your boredom.

This is a really important question, one that I wish I’d paid more attention to back in the day. I never realized that boredom could be a symptom of depression, which would’ve helped me recognize it sooner rather than later. But like you, I just figured my boredom was the result of my own inaction — not a symptom of a bigger issue.

But your therapist is right in that boredom can be a red flag for folks that deal with depression! I think one way to parse out the difference is figuring out whether or not your boredom is responsive. In other words: Are you able to participate in activities that help alleviate it? Or does it linger no matter what?

I remember boredom being a really big feature of my last major depressive episode. I desperately wanted to find something to do to make it better, but I lacked the energy to get out of bed, and didn’t seem to enjoy the things that used to make me happy. You can imagine, then, the predicament I was in: Even if I did get a hobby, I wouldn’t have had the ability to participate or enjoy it — thus the boredom and subsequent misery was almost constant.

Boredom can be one of those early warning signs that can tip you off to an incoming depressive spell. Not all boredom coincides with depression (sometimes you really do just need a change of pace!), but persistent boredom almost always co-occurs with some kind of mental health issue.

Depression can sap the life out of you. Depression can take the things you used to be interested in or passionate about and make them feel dull as dirt. Depression can make you forget what it ever felt like to be happy or excited, replacing it with self-loathing and emptiness. Sound boring? It definitely can be. So it doesn’t really surprise me that many depressed people complain about being bored in the midst of an episode.

You described this situation as making you miserable. Yikes. Anytime you are describing your mood as “miserable,” some alarm bells should be going off. If this has been going on for longer than two weeks, almost every single day, there’s a very good chance that you’re dealing with some form of depression, especially if it accompanies these other symptoms.

No matter where this boredom is coming from, boredom signals that we might need to consider some life changes. Every one of us deserves a sense of fulfillment and variety, and without it, our mood can really suffer. A therapist can help you navigate how you can make some positive changes in your lifestyle to address this.

You talked about finding a hobby, and there’s no harm in that! But remember that there are other options, too. For me, in addition to finding a therapist, one way I found relief from my persistent boredom and sadness was starting an antidepressant. It made a huge difference! Once I had my energy and interest back, I was then able to pursue new activities and get out more.

A little homework: There’s a great video here covering ten different symptoms of depression in greater detail; I’d also recommend watching this video by my fave YouTuber, Marina Watanabe of marinashutup, about the sneaky nature of depression.

Remember that this process can take some time, so be sure to be patient and compassionate with yourself. This is the kind of elephant you’ll have to eat one bite at a time, or so to speak. I hope that you’ll keep going to therapy, keep an open mind, and keep advocating for your health and happiness — these are all excellent choices that will be beneficial to you whether you are clinically depressed or not.

All the best,