Daily Archives: August 23, 2017

Living With Panic Disorder

***Disclaimer*** I am going to attempt to make this a less rant-esque post but will likely fail. Anyone who’d like to pay fo my Focalin since insurance won’t can step up and then I will stay on topic and less rant-y.***

Fairly uneventful day but not without challenges to my mental health issues.

Primarily, the generalized anxiety and panic disorders.

I recently watched a show where some ass clown character declared ‘generalized anxiety disorder is crap, grow up, it’s called LIFE.” “But, Morgue, it’s a tv show, FICTION, you do need to grow up!” Except while this particular portrayal was fictional, it is, unfortunately, the norm in widespread societal thinking. “We all have stress, we all have anxiety, hell, I fear public speaking/spiders/snakes, I suck it up.” Sad but true.

The reality is…It’s not a normal level of anxiety. It’s excessive and extreme and crippling 70% of the time, and worse when combined with multiple mental health diagnoses. It does not know reason, it does not respond to bullying by others or yourself. Not to belittle, but in some ways, anxiety/panic disorders are similar to PTSD. Not the same, but similar. It’s a condition that can turn otherwise strong, intelligent people to behave in a way contrary to logic or even their own identity. None of us choose it and the fact is, many of us don’t know why we have it, there is often no constant trigger. It’s random thus generalized.

Life with severe panic disorder is itself a hell no one should have to contend with. Many of us do have to deal with it.

This week alone, I have had several panic attacks. To my credit, I have learned to manage them, as there really is no controlling them most times…But they were episodes severe enough to stick in my brain instead of sliding off like teflon as many of my bipolar issues do.

I had a week of nightmares about losing my child to the system, reason unknown, and the other day…she was 5 minutes later than normal coming out. My brain instantly started thinking, OMFG, they took my kid, she’s not coming out, they think I am a monster, I can’t survive losing my kid to the system, I try so hard! Illogical? Perhaps. No less terrifying. And mind you, this has been a constant since she started school 4 years ago. Any time the routine deviates and she comes out late, my go to thought is, OMG THEY TOOK HER AWAY FROM ME. Honestly, it’s legit what with society’s view on mental disorders. It only takes one “well meaning” or “vengeful” person to start the ball rolling. Or a volatile fickle child who didn’t get to play until 10 p.m so she claims I am ‘mean’ to her. I stand there at the fence, waiting and watching for her to come out, year after year, and if she’s ten seconds later than the days before…Panic sets in. I become paralyzed and the terror couldn’t be more extreme or real than if being chased by a chainsaw wielding madman.

I have, over the years, learned to save any major “march to the principal and demand to know where my kid is” overeactions by reminding myself…”Susie Q is in Spook’s class, she hasn’t come out yet, so maybe the teacher kept that class late or they are just slow pokes.” It doesn’t quell the anxiery, nothing does until I see her and she is by my side, but it does give me enough perspective to NOT act like a complete ass clown. Living this way 5 days a week is miserable. Not to mentioned the crowds and the parking (lack of) and now they changed their policy and bus in the kindergartners (they used to be picked up at the office they attended) so the parking and crowds have gotten even worse…It’s a daily battle to not be an overreactive ass clown.

It doesn’t matter to the world that I have a LEGIT disorder, agreed on by no fewer than 10 doctors, since I was 20 years old. Nope, just mad as a hatter.

Another thing that set off the panic disorder/paranoia/panxiety (paranoia mixed with anxiety) is renewing paperwork for our food stamps. I finally cleared my head enough to fill it out and it said I have to interview with a caseworker. Last time I just took the papers in and they said, “Thanks, you showing up was your interview.” This time, some prickly dude at the desk decided on the spot, “Take a seat, you can talk to a caseworker” and I told him I needed to make an appt because I had ten minutes before getting my kid from school…He seemed pissy and claimed to have a caseworker call me. Whether after the deadline for losing benefits or not remains to be seen but now I feel glued to my phone.

And I am fairly certain why I suddenly need to do the in person interview. I’ve been receiving benefits ‘too long’ and they are going to demand to know why I haven’t managed to get a job and get off food stamps. The state has long been broke and my sister just had her medical and stuff cut off but hey, after 19 years with a physically and mentally able husband who won’t work but smokes his weight in pot and your kid now of legal age and not in school…Maybe in that case it’s legit.

In my case, my disability is legitimate. I WANT to work. Unfortunately, I can’t a single employer who finds a manic depressive anxiety ridden sporadically functional single mom a ‘good’ job candidate. I’ll write greeting cards, do balloon porn (oddly, yeah, it’s a thing, weird, but not as weird as foot porn), pretty much anything with a flexible schedule to work around my disabilities. In this area…Those jobs don’t exist, especially when you burned every bridge you’re qualified for years before getting a diagnosis that would explain your flaky behavior to potential employers. And considering my mental state is so precarious I can’t even bathe reguarly or wear undergarments or even take my kid to a bloody carnival cos the crowds make me spaz…I’m not touting myself as stable or desirable.

Again, the world does not care.

So here I sit waiting for public aid to call and set up an appt to lambaste and further shame me just so I can get benefits to half ass buy food for my kid. This isn’t swallowing your pride, this is cannibalizing your own soul. This was not supposed to be my life. But then, I was never supposed to be on a medication that caused brain damage, either. Which wouldn’t have happened had our local hospital been competent enough to contact my doctor (and they were presented with the bottles of my psych meds with the doctor’s name on them) so I could have been treated sooner before the mini stroke and brain damage.

Sometimes, it really IS a chain reaction of shitty events that lead you down the rabbit hole.

To anyone who says anxiety and panic disorders are ‘bullshit’…I wish it upon you not out of spite but out of a desire for empathy. You don’t know until you’ve been here and your judgement says more about you than me, or others with this malady. You wouldn’t presume to be so rude and dismissive of a cancer patient’s battle but mental health issues are fair game?

Makes me grateful that “rude and cruel” are not synonyms for “chemically imbalanced”.

Even imbalanced, I can muster up empathy.

Dark Hellhole

My father has forever griped about how every home I’ve had (since the brain baking Nardil incident of 2000) has been a dark crypt. Fair enough. When bright light gives you massive headaches and agitates your anxiety, you do what what have to in order to survive semi comfortably.

Yesterday, during a lash out tantrum, Spook screamed at me, “I want out of this dark hellhole!”

During a tantrum with her, there is no reasoning, the truth has no bearing. I have white and polka dot curtains in the living room, lace sheers in the hall, and gave her the choice to put whatever she likes in her room. A few weeks ago it was a light Shopkins curtain then the neighor’s forever on porch light in her window started to suddenly bother her so I gave her a darker curtain, told her it wouldabsorb light and she should pull it aside during the day. I do NOT force my need for dim light and ‘crypt calm’ anywhere but in my own bedroom, my safe space, my sanctuary.

As for hellhole…We can agree on that, albeit for different reasons. The place is falling apart, bugs, et al, fine, that sucks. But for the first time in 8 years I have finally reached the point of being ashamed to live in this trailer park and it’s because the landlord is just letting white trash and assorted others move in with their brat ass kids and there’s garbage everywhere, someone even stole my kid’s bike and one of our cats, one nice man put a nice swing set and a bunch of nice plastic houses and stuff down at ‘the little park’ for all the kids…and in under 2 months it’s all been destroyed. The park is basically a trash can and I told my kid to start cleaning it up and of course, she didn’t do any pof it, it’s unfair, blah blah blah. No, it’s not fair, but since she picks shitty friends who one minute hit her with a stick, the next minute she’s screaming that I won’t let her play with them because they are being bullied and she needs to protect them…

Meanwhile we have the white trash parents who won’t let their kids hang out with mine because oh, right, I told a 13 year ld to kiss my big fat butt after she threatened to kick it, and my kid was present when some boys started a fire so she’s the pyro (I can guarantee she lacks manual dexterity to have used the roller Bic lighter that started the fire)…I am so ashamed to live here, I told R if Kenny ever leaves the shop’s back room, put in a shower and I’ll pay him damn near twice what K pays. I’ll find my cats homes or foster homes. I am at wits’ end. And the bitch of it is, I’m blacklisted with section 8 (low cost) housing due to a bad landlord reference I got before my kid was ever born, so yeah, karma. (Fucking bipolar depression, actually, but the world doesn’t care.) I can honestly say this has been the worst summer I can remember because used to, she had maybe 3 kids to play with. Then comes the onslaught of shitty parents who let their 4 year old loose before 8 am and she’s still wandering at 9:30 p.m. so I walk her home and get a door slammed in my face for disturbing the parents.

WHITE TRASH. I may be trashy inasmuch as being a lousy housekeeper but I always know where my kid is, she is polite to everyone but me, I don’t have trash piled up inside or out, I am TRYING to treat the bugs, I am TRYING to keep food in the fridge so my kid doesn’t go begging others for food as I respect how difficult it is to afford to feed your own let alone 7 other kids. My reward?

The kids found three abandoned newborn kittens and brought them all to me, stampeding into my home, EIGHT of them, uninvited by anyone but my kid, then they start going through my fridge, whining because I have Dr. Pepper instead of Mt. Dew and I asked them nicely four times to go play outside and they just sat inside on my couch asking for food then wanting to manhandle dying kittens. And one did die and I have to bury another, and I have two that are holding on because I keep checking every hour, (even during the night) and feeding them vitagel and warm milk with a vet’s syringe, trying to keep them alive even though it is futile, they are too small to survive without a momma cat. And for all I know, the mama is looking for them because these trailer park kids are liars and just found the kittens alone and decided the say the mother was dead. And don’t think I am dumping on other people’s kids alone because mine is as much a culprit as them, just maybe to a lesser degree. Her extreme abuse is saved for me alone.

She had six tantrums yesterday and nothing I did worked to curtail them.Often it is that way. I record the exchange so the professionals can hear me trying to deal calmly and her just screaming and threatening to hurt herself or kill me or “tell grandma you won’t let me do X”. Since school started, there was only ONE tantrum free day. And it’s wearing me down. I am hanging by a thread. And to my shame, I have allowed her to get to me and started raising my voice but I refuse to spank her or even touch her on the arm to get her attention. Because this is a kid who gets scratched by your fingernail and tells people you cut her. Yes, I am afraid of my own child getting me arrested for assault because by the time the truth comes out (if it does, because he system often doesn’t accept that kids lie) it’s too late.

Yes, I know. I am weak. She’s a shark and my anxiety and fear are blood in the water and she moves in for the kill. I try so hard to keep a lid on it. And it makes her scream more when I am calm. Guess it’s less stressful to just scream back (yeah, immature and bad parenting, but I last a hell of a lot longer before I snap than even R without an anxiety disorder, this is TRYING child). Of course, I end up feeling shitty for raising my voice and not keeping my cool and the guilt is crushing. I apologize and tell her mommy earned ‘bad points’ for not following my own rule about not raising my voice as I tell her to not to do.

Last night I hit the wall. I cut off access to her friends after the third invasion of food demanding brats and her playing the “S won’t be my friend anymore if you don’t give her my shoes and this shirt!” R stopped by to give me a part number he needed ASAP and Spook decided that was a great time to demand a tea party and when I politely explained I needed to find this part as the customer is a cancer patient with months to live and she needs her TV fixed but if she’d give me a half hour of peace to look for the part, we would have our tea party.

She didn’t give me two minutes of peace. She got the newborn kittens meowing which is shrill noise that makes me anxious and unable to focus. We had to run out and I told her no to something four different times and she just ignored me and did it anyway and informed me for the thousandth time I am not the boss of her or her body and I just want her to be a robot. FFS. No means no. So her consequence was no tea party with me as it was nearly bedtime before she stopped with the tantrum and finally said “I’m sorry, I love you,Mommy.” And I asked her what she was sorry for and she said, being bad. I said, no, not being bad, what did you do to lose the tea party? And she had nothing. Just that I am the worst mother and don’t are about me kid because I am trying to instill consequences and conscience. Which she then used against me to say they are big words and she doesn’t understand so I broke it down to very small words even my idget family could understand as could a first grader and she still pretended not to get it yet she gets it fine at school.

Hellhole indeed. This is my life. Every damned day, this is my life. And all the experts say it’s my short comings and not my kid’s fault. It takes two to tango, sure, but this kids bare no responsibility is bullshit. Schools expect a certain level of good behavior and give consequences if the child can’t abide. But parents are supposed to take all responsibility, never lose their temper, never feel like running away from home or hiding in the closet to escape what is essentially a pint sized bully…

I love her so much. It cuts like a knife (Bryan Adams, anyone?) when she screams that I don’t care about her simply because I won’t let her do as she pleases. She has so many good qualities…

Much like her mother, though, the bad starts to outweigh the good and people have limits, they hit the ceiling and just caN’t do it anymore.All my relationships go like that no matter how much I change my thinking and behavior because, bipolar. Not all shitty behavior is that but consideirng who I used to be, outside of the bipolar, as a person…I have become a damned saint. None of it seems to matter.

I won’t give up on my daughter. Too many have given up on me because, yeah, the bad is awful and it is soul sucking and makes you want to run screaming into the night no matter how much love is involved. You just can’t let someone else drag you down. (Sorry, donor, was never my intention but then, you abandoned three children so fuck you.)

I’m not bitter, just filled with saccharine known to cause cancer in labratory rats. (How odd that is the one thing I remember from my childhood when I used to get a diet 7-up and saw that on the label.)

Okay. Rant over. But I think the gist was,I am trying to be a good mother in a very difficult situation with a very volatile child. Frustrating but I survivd 7 years of daily bullying and being spit on by the redneck elite…I won’t be taken down by a child. I will get to the end of my rope and then I will tie a knot in it, and then when that frays, I will tie another knot. And if I have to, I will tie knots in my nerve endings to keep holding on because she is worth it.Junk DNA, chemical imbalance, or just “I’m a shitty parent who fucked her up”…

I will be better than those who walked out on me.

Class One

SO I met my class this morning and arrived right on time, thank goodness.  Handed out the syllabus and went over it, then got everybody to introduce themselves.  Then discussed what I expected out of everybody and finally had them do a short writing bit about their experiences in Brit Lit.  So that went well.

I have some athletes, some nursing majors, one lit major, some business majors, etc.  I have a guy with a broken arm so he was interesting trying to write his paper.  But he said he should be out of it in two weeks so hopefully he can do the writing for the first test.

I really did well getting here so that was nice.  Hopefully it will continue,  I prayed so hard that the traffic would be good and it was.   I guess I need to pray that prayer every day so it will continue to go well.

Even though it went well, I’m still  having a crisis of confidence with everything.  I already think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.  No more procrastinating about anything.   I need to stay on top of everything so nothing will be behind.  But I will do my best and God be with me I will succeed in it all.