Monthly Archives: October 2017

Put through The Ringer

Forgive any ‘more-than-usual-typos-, my keyboard is being a dick today.

So yeah, put thru the ringer…My kid came home from school after her tooth being pulled, fair enough. Next day she was horsing around in the grass by the bus stop and that is where people walk their dogs so I got a call to bring her new clothes as she has poop on hers. (Worse, she told them it came from inside our house, but I looked all over and there was nothing) then Friday I got a call to come get her cause horsing around at the bus stop resulted in some boy shoving her down and the nurse ‘feared’ her wrist might be broken. No, the school fears liability issues. So I listened to her bitch and moan about going to the doctor except promptcare won’t take her insurance and I spent a half hour on hold just TRYING to get a hold of the nurse practitioner…Finally said fuck it, she’ll live.

One wrist support and some McDonald’s later, she was pitching fries at the cats outside like a pro baseball player-with the injured wrist. I don’t doubt it was mildly sprained, but her level of drama was ridiculous. And I finally pried it out of her…she really wanted to see the doctor so they could give her a note out of gym class. (Oh, she is so my kid.) She says push ups are too hard and boring and her friend had a wrist sling and got to sit it out, so she thought she could, too. Hey, I get it, I broke three toes two seperatime times in junior high and it was blissful to be sent to the library for six weeks during gym class. I didn’t do it purposely and I didn’t milk it, either.

By Friday, after having her at the shop, at home, even now sleeping in my bed again due to nightmares…I dropped her off at my mom’s, went home, and was asleep by nine p.m. I was wiped the fuck out. I didn’t even entertain taking her to the school Halloween event. How can you call it family night when you separate the kids and parents so we can take classes in parenting (spend more time together as a family!!!!) while the kids get to see a magician??? I did it two other years, but after it all last week…my mental state just wasn’t amenable. And it doesn’t make me feel good, either. I also told her Saturday night we’d drive around to look at Halloween lights…IF she brought home her book log, which is worth ten points. She forgot it again so I showed her there was a consequence. Now she just sees me as a sickly promise breaker.

Three days straight she had tirades and yesterday was a full out tantrum because she forgot the book log again and I said, nope, no trick or treating two nights in a row, we had a deal. Wrong thing today. She became very violent, attacked me physically, started snarling, climbing furniture, touching my stuff, aiming a pen in a stabbing motion…She bawled, called me names, told me she hates me…It was worse than Saturday’s fit when she declared she wanted a tsunami to eat her up because she’s done such bad things like writing sex notes in church and lying and hitting people…Yeah, her guilt really ran deep, it lasted a day or so. I recorded the whole episode last night, though, she went insane. And started hurting herself and screaming that I was doing it. I was so terrified of that child, but I didn’t back down, didn’t give in. After she hit me the 7th time and kept coming, I grabbed the phone and told her I would call 911 if I had to. She tried to knock the phone out of my hand.

So I started ignoring her. And she stomped off to her room and ten minutes later was bringing me an apology note asking me to forgive her for hitting me. By which point, of course, I forgive, but I can’t forget, especially when these fits are becoming more frequent. And violent. She just drains me, I have nothing left to give. By 7 p.m. I am begging to just go to sleep…And now that she has stopped sleeping thru again due to return of the night terrors, even my bed and sleep are taken over by her. I don’t know how much more I am supposed to take. The teacher was supposed to hook her up with a social worker so she could work out with a professional whatever is going on here,but so far they’ve met one time in a group. Big help. Like church. My kid lies more than any kid I know. Blatant, guilt free lying, then she lies some more, then she will say, okay, here’s the truth…which later, isn’t the truth at all…

I am already going under from the seasonal shift. I thought my nurse doc might find it a red signal when I said, “I feel like the only way to escape the anxiety of my life is to be locked in a psych ward in a straight jacket and have these people around me who are making demands SEE I am broken down!”But, no, I’d answered no to the suicide or harming others question, I am apparently fine. And it sucks. And I still haven’t made the call to see about switching back to the Dr. B and I think more than fearing social etiquette and nurse doc reflecting it in my file for switching back like I did it because she didn’t give me the answers I wanted…I fear he is so booked I won’t be able to get in til next year. Oh, and I hate phones, making calls gives me anxiety.

My weekend was filled with other anxieties, too. The neighbor girl asked me to keep an eye on her trailer while she was out, so I did…and it turned into this big drama where some dude was pounding on the door for ten minutes right next to my kid’s bedroom so I went out and told him the neighbor’s not home…And get sucked into their drama of texting back and forth and then he texts someone who calls my phone and I have barely any talk time left…And then to say thank you, he told me he’d pop by someday and not forget me being kind. PLEASE DO FORGET. I don’t have anything left to give to anyone, let alone new people.

Sunday I was stalked by K, this trailer park lady who seems very nice, and hey, if she wants to bum a smoke, whatever. But my daughter essentially gave this woman my number to arrange ‘playdates’ because Spook thinks I need friends. Now the woman is becoming a pain I don’t need and of course, when I say I don’t feel like talking or visiting because I don’t feel well…I’m not lying. I’m hanging by a fucking thread here, I don’t have mental reserves for new friends. I don’t have reserves for existing family and friends unless they want to email or text me. I am having a total meltdown in social skills and I have zero desire to change it. It’s called depression and it’s like a flu of the mind that lasts six months. Not that anyone gets it and one more reason to just avoid people. Get sick of explaining it and them running off only to reappear when I am doing better. Fuck you, I’d rather have no friends than spineless people who can’t handle me at my worst.

Today I am at the shop and frankly…it’s mostly cos I needed to use the dryer. I am getting to the point of saying fuck it all. That is what happens when I am pushed so far over my limits. I meltdown, shut everyone out, and just try to survive til the cycle passes. Pushing myself isn’t making me a more successful person. It sure as hell ain’t making me calmer or happier. I need to stop the world for a bit.

One plus is I didn’t have to see or hear from R for 4 days…and in those four days, I didn’t read a single political email or article, I didn’t sign a politcal whatever they are called cos my brained blacked it out…I shut out Trump and republicans and dems and all that bullshit and frankly…even if it makes me a sheeple who deserves to be sent to a concentration camp for being poor and mentally deficient…it makes my life more valuable to me. So fuck political shit, not worth it.

I think I am done. For now.

Happy Halloween!

Got all ready for the trick or treaters tonight.  Got the bags of candy right next to the door and we will see how many people show up.  We have always had a lot of kids show up so we always have fun.

My youngest is dressing up as Heidi for her last year to trick or treat.  We’re going to braid her hair into two ponytails and just let her wander the neighborhood with Bob.  I’ll stay home and hand out candy.  I like seeing what everyone dresses up as so that’s why I stay home.

I’m sleepy today.  I want to go back to bed but I really have to do some things today like laundry and whatnot.  But I’m not quite as sleepy as I used to be around this time, so that is nice.

I’m not nearly as stressed out as I used to be this time of year.  I’m glad of it.  Hopefully the calm will last through Thanksgiving and Christmas.   We have a lot of Christmas shopping to do still; we’re behind what we normally have accomplished by now.  But the oldest  is going to be hard to buy for this year–we mostly want to get her stuff for her apartment life but there’s nowhere in the house to store it once she gets it.  So we will have to work something out.  My middle one is going to get apartment stuff too, but she has more room to store it in her room than her sister.

Hope everyone has a happy Halloween.

Penny Positive #11

From An Optimist’s Calendar


Slow Start

Having a slow start to the day. I read the wrong material again for the class I teach and did not realize it until just before I left home once I looked at the syllabus.  So class went fairly well considering.  I read most of it all while waiting on them to do a writing assignment and was able to hold up well doing the lecture.  They were engaged and paying attention so that always helps as well.  At least I will be prepared for the next class.

I sent my little final project to a MFA buddy to read and she liked it so I feel pretty good about it.  She said it had a “soft landing” and wondered if I could punch it up a bit.  So we will think on that and see what we can do.  I may wait until it’s been workshopped to see what all they say about it.

I continue to be amazed at how I am losing weight just by giving up cokes and sweet tea.  I am walking some going to and from my car to class, but I don’t think that can account for all 14 pounds I’ve lost.  I of course still have more to lose, but it’s a good start.  Hopefully I can keep the momentum going through the holidays.

Hope everyone has a good week this week.

Product Review – Invigorate Pain Relieving Lotion

I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. It has been awhile since my last review but I can’t wait to …

Penny Positive #10

From An Optimist’s Calendar


The Gray Dog and Me

Nothing is really wrong.

Feeling like I don’t belong.

– The Carpenters “Rainy Days and Mondays”

After quite a long spell of stable feelings (and maybe some productive hypomania –, I’ve hit the wall of depression again.

Not full-blown depression, like I’ve had so often in my life. This is technically dysthymia, which is psych-speak for a low-grade depression, sort of like a low-grade fever that makes you tired and headachey and not wanting to get out of bed. To curl up in a blanket and sleep. To take aspirin and forget about everything else.

That’s where I am. I’m not wrestling with the Black Dog ( Call it the Gray Dog.

I am finding it very hard to write this, but I am pushing to do it, because at the moment, that’s one of the few positive things that I can point to – that my husband can point to – and remind me that depression lies.

What depression is telling me now is that I haven’t accomplished anything in my life. That I skated through high school and missed wonderful opportunities in college. That my jobs have been a pointless series of minimal value to anyone. That my writing is self-indulgent crap, unoriginal and meaningless.

Depression is telling me that I don’t matter. That I am becoming invisible. And that it’s my own fault, for never going out, for not reaching out. It’s not quite the self-pitying whine of “If I died, no one would come to my funeral.” It’s more like turning into a particularly ineffectual ghost – frightening no one, bringing no message from beyond, just fading and losing substance.

Depression is telling me that the future is bleak. I have a writing assignment now, but in a month it will be over and I’ll be right back where I was – at the edge of panic or worse, despair, or worst, both.

Depression is telling me that I’m a terrible burden and I don’t deserve my husband, who takes care of me when I’m like this.

At the moment I don’t have the ability to believe that all these are lies.

I do know that this won’t last forever. I’ve come far enough in my healing to believe that. And comparatively, it’s not that bad. I am quietly leaking tears, not weeping copiously. My bad thoughts are not as ugly as they could be, have been.

I haven’t given up.

But I almost want to.

It’s the “almost” that makes this the Gray Dog and not the Black Dog. That keeps me taking my meds and waiting for the Gray Dog to depart. That tells me to write this, even though I doubt its usefulness.

Useless sums up how I feel. Old and tired. Detached from society.

As depression goes, I’m really in a not-terribly-bad place. Which doesn’t make it much easier to live through. A little, though. I still have my support system, and I did get out of bed today (after noon), and I’m writing, even as I doubt my ability. But if I’m quoting The Carpenters, I can’t help but feel just a wee bit pathetic.

The Gray Dog is with me. One day soon but not soon enough, it won’t be.


Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: bipolar disorder, depression, dysthymia, emotions, husband, mental health, mental illness, my experiences, psychological pain

Penny Positive #9

From An Optimist’s Calendar


Halloween, my favorite holiday! 👻🎃💀

Hugh and #MeToo

For me, innocence ended with my favorite uncle.

He was my favorite because he was funny. Always cracking jokes. And he had a big fancy car, and he owned a music store and a giant color TV with a wooden console, and he let me play pool on his pool table that cost a zillion dollars and even ride the Vespa scooter around the neighborhood.

One day the bubble burst. It was one of those Jewish holidays that lasts a week, and my parents had actually taken me out of school to join the extended family in the New York suburb where Uncle Funny lived. He was married to my mother’s sister. The family was very close-knit.

Suddenly on this particular holiday, Funny Unc just could not keep his hands off my growing butt. Every time I walked past him with the hors d’oeuvres tray, zap! He made it a point to show me I could not avoid his pinching fingers.

To not carry the trays, or serve drinks, was not an option. Never mind that my cousins were all outside playing. My mother made sure I played “little hostess” and made sure everyone got some. But until this one year, my buns had not been up for grabs.

Telling anyone was just not an option. There were jokes about this or that uncle, how you had to watch out for him. But it was considered a kind of cat-and-mouse situation: cat is a cat, and mouse is a mouse, and you play the game.

That night the adults went out for dinner and left us cousins with TV dinners and the TV itself, but we didn’t watch it. Instead we let ourselves into the aunt and uncle’s bedroom.

After a warm-up snoop around my aunt’s dressing table, where we marveled at her collection of false eyelashes and the accompanying paraphernalia, we got down to the real business.

Under the bed were a number of cardboard boxes. In the boxes were the Playboy magazines, also Hustler and Penthouse, which we considered to be way too dirty for even us to look at. I thought maybe my cousins looked at them when I wasn’t there, but when I picked up one with a real pussy shot on the cover, they made me put it away. I had never seen such a thing. They had.

We contented ourselves with flipping through the Playboy numbers, giggling at the ridiculous appearance of full-grown women sporting ears and tails, serving cocktails to cool-looking men in evening dress. I wondered whether the women in their leotards and fishnet stockings were cold, because they certainly would never let the men in suits be too warm. I wondered if they got headaches from the rabbit ears, like I did when my mother made me wear a headband to keep my hair out of my face.

We scurried to put all the magazines back properly before the Cadillac tires crunched in the driveway. When the adults got home, we were downstairs playing pool like usual. I did not know what to do with this new information, the fact that there existed such a thing as dirty magazines and that there were boxes of them under my uncle’s bed. The thought of broaching the subject with my parents took my breath away. So until this very moment, only the actors involved shared my secret.

That night, my uncle came into the room I shared with my girl cousin, to say goodnight.

“Let me give you an earlobe,” he said through breath smelling of Manhattans.

“A what?” I asked.

“An earlobe. Here, let me show you.” My cousin tittered from her twin bed. She most certainly knew what an “earlobe” was.

Well, I found out. Funny Unc took my ear in his mouth, breathed into it, and stuck his tongue in it…and that was enough! I pulled away, feeling mortified and not knowing why. I felt very confused. According to my cousin, this was something pleasurable. According to my feelings, it was invasive, inappropriate, and wrong.

After that I flatly refused to do anything that put me in range of pinching fingers and probing tongues. I never told a soul, but I much preferred my mother’s wrath for not “serving” to my uncle’s abuses.

Years later I learned, through judicious listening to aunts who didn’t know I was eavesdropping, that Uncle Funny had sexual problems. He couldn’t get an erection without his porn. Lights went on in my head, especially later on when I became an expert in child sexual abuse: there is a pattern there, a certain profile, where the male factor has difficulty achieving sexual satisfaction with real grown women, so he seeks out porn and children. My uncle was one of those.

So among the other infuriating distractions of the past month, I’ve had to somehow contain my rage at the fact that in the face of the wave of “casting couch” accusations, confessions, denials, “mee-too-isms,” and mea culpas, glossy tributes to Hugh Hefner, the Big Bunny Boffer, father of modern pornography, Objectifier In Chief, are all over the virtual newsstands I frequent. I have no fondness for the man who built an empire on the vulnerability of women, on the ritualistic subjugation of those with the “right” measurements and the implied or outright denigration of those who measured otherwise.

To Hugh Hefner I say: good riddance…I truly wish you had never existed.

To my Funny Uncle I say: you destroyed the lives of your children, but you couldn’t get me. Rot in hell.

And to the at least two generations of women who have obsessed about their measurements and shoe size, who thought that ass pinching was simply something you had to put up with, and probably meant you had found favor with your power brokers: no more! We don’t have to do this anymore.

In fact, we never did. We bought a lie, but it’s time to return it. It doesn’t fit.