Tag Archives: nightmares

Nothing to see here

Ugh, hit a bit of a rough patch for a few weeks (good lord, has it been that long?) where work was long and draining, the weather was hot and humid, and I just had zero mental, emotional, and physical energy by the time I got home.  I was also not sleeping well, which did not help whatsoever.  Thankfully I did nothing but sleep this past weekend which was a godsend, and I feel human again.

I am sort of freaking out about bills.  It seems that whenever I pay them online via my bank the payments aren’t actually going through for one reason or another, and now I have late fees.  I need to call around tomorrow to all of them when I get home and see what I can work out, and set up bill payments via their websites, I guess.  (I prefer my own bank so I can track everything more easily, but if the money isn’t going to actually GET SENT, I should do it the other way.)  Not sure who I need to yell at about the bill payment system, though I did send a message about what was going on and hopefully I will get some sort of resolution.  Pretty pissed off and tempted to ask them to pay the fees since it is their fault for the payment not going through, but I’m sure somehow it’ll be chalked up to “user error” and they will just laugh at me.

Random anecdote: my first car insurance guy down in Cincinnati was so cool, when my account was double charged by mistake and I got an overdraft fee, he paid it for me out of his own pocket.  I stayed with him for YEARS for that simple act of awesome.  Nothing quite like knowing someone’s got your back.

Hopefully someone at my bank will have mine.

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The Ides of March is upon us

Saturday is the ninth anniversary of being hospitalized in college.

It’s a pretty big milestone, same as how the following Saturday marks my 30th birthday.

I feel trapped right now. I think my parents are wanting to kick me out, because I’m not getting any results in my job search and thus cannot contribute to the household finances. I clean and try to be useful, but I don’t think it’s enough. I try not to eat here so I don’t use up too much food. I try to just stay out of the way in my room so I don’t have to bother them with existing, but they still find things to complain about. They have this all or nothing view on my illness; either I’m completely disabled and need to go on disability, or I’m 100% ok and need to just suck it up and get a job. Not that I’m not trying as hard as I can. My stepdad’s mad that I don’t get job interviews. My parents want me to start my master’s so I have a chance at finding a job here, but it’s a 3-4 year road, and it starts with the GRE, which I am not sure I’ll be able to pass.

I’m going to restart my job search in the Cincinnati area. I have relatives and friends down there, maybe places I could crash for a month or two until I get my finances in order. I’m just not having any luck and it’s making things really, really tense around here.

I don’t think I got the job. I haven’t gotten a call, but I haven’t gotten a letter either. But the more time goes by, the more I just want to curl into a ball and cry.

Would it be awful to spend my ninth anniversary in the hospital? I’m starting to feel like I might, and I haven’t been that depressed lately. I just… want to escape. I’m trapped and I’m scared and I can’t win no matter what I do.


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I’m surrounded by armchair psychiatrists

So Monday morning/afternoonish, I was in a bit of a funk. I’ve been having trouble falling asleep when I want to and staying asleep (more the second bit,) and so I end up needing to sleep later but my nephew (who now lives here) is Very Two and Very Loud at obscene o’clock in the morning, so… yeah, not sure about the overall quality of my sleep in the last few months. I had been having weird dreams and woke up unsettled, and then watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and felt even MORE unsettled. I’m starting to think Harry Potter is a bit much for me, to be honest. My brother has all of the movies except for The Deathly Hallows 1 & 2, and my nephew loves Harry Potter, so he’s equally as likely to be watching that as he is to be working through the Pixar collection. I watched my nephew for an hour or so while my brother went and talked to a general manager somewhere, and finished out the movie once my brother and nephew left for a while, and just felt unsettled, and a bit angry.

Lately, it seems that everybody around me- my parents, my mom’s therapist, my boss- knows more about my mental illness and what I need, than I do. It feels an awful lot like what happens when other people who make my fat their business, and doubt my own experiences as a fat person, so I’m going to go with the idea that I’m being completely ignored because clearly I don’t actually know what’s best for me. It’s rude, it’s demeaning, and it makes me feel like I’m incompetent and need a guardian appointed by the court or something.

It just keeps coming up, different variations of the same theme; I’m not pushing myself enough, I’m not really that sick, I give up too easily, I could do more if I wanted to and I just don’t want to. I wish I could let some of these people spend a week in my head and see how well they manage. I’ve actually gone more than a month since missing any work, which is a goddamn miracle and hasn’t happened in YEARS, but I’m working around 28 hours a week because more than that and I had problems. I wonder how I’ll handle a 40 hour week, but as I doubt I’ll be doing quite the same amount of physical labor, and I’ll hopefully be making more than minimum wage, I think I’ll be able to handle it. I can handle mental exhaustion far, far better than physical exhaustion, for one, and for two, just about every other career field in the world is less in-your-face stressful than customer service.

Being physically busy does quiet my brain a bit, so that’s nice, but as soon as I slow down the noise is back, which is part of why I’m having trouble sleeping. I’m struggling to process through a lot and so much has changed. I’m not going to group anymore, as it was mostly a waste of my time. I’m halfheartedly looking for another support group but I don’t really get anything out of the format. I tried, and I’ve genuinely tried in the past, but it just doesn’t work for me. Of course, this is another thing that everybody else knows more than me about how I can handle it, and I just didn’t try hard enough, or participate enough.

It’s like religion all over again. I walked away after being told one too many times that if I just had more faith, God would heal me of my mental illness. My every failure was because I didn’t have enough faith, even though I was pretty damn sure I was as faithful as I could be. It wasn’t the lack of faith, it was how nothing on the other end was changing. I was being blamed for being sick and not fixing myself… and it’s happening again. It’s my fault that I’m still bipolar. If I’d just do what everyone else knows I should be doing, I’d be better. I’d be employed and get to live independently again, get my cat back, get my life back in order, but I’m not doing what everyone else wants, so I deserve to suffer.


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My mind is spun of sugar-glass

I just feel brittle. Things got a bit intense on Tuesday. My mom came home early from work and woke me up, and she was crying, and I guess my stepdad was deciding that mom isn’t “defending” them or something by enforcing whatever it was he feels she isn’t enforcing. With my stepdad, things are never good enough. It’s a moving target- you think you’re doing everything perfectly, but nope, the standard’s moved again and he’s pissed at you for not doing something else. Mom says she’s pretty sure it was how his mom treated him when he was growing up, and he’s angry and won’t address it, but then it becomes our problem when he starts threatening a divorce over it.

He’s evidently had a change of heart since then, but I spent Tuesday holding back tears at work, and I immediately started crying when I got home and saw mom there. I was so angry and frustrated. Mom had made some comment about “I know you know all of the tricks and tips for living with bipolar disorder, but I feel like you leave a lot of them on the table,” and I’d just been mulling over that, and being angry at my stepdad for not addressing the shit in his head and instead taking it out on my brother and I, who are both here because we have no place to go and we are most assuredly not just sticking around because we feel like it. I ranted a bit about how my stepdad has ALWAYS been like that and he’s never been happy with me, ever, and how he tends to treat people as investments, and how I was a bad investment because they paid towards my schooling and now I’m working at a Wendy’s and living at home.

I may have finally put the whole “you need to get exercise and sleep at a certain time” to bed for a while, though, as I pointed out that I’m getting lots of exercise now that I can’t use my car and am walking to work. I said that exercise has never helped my mood, I just feel tired and irritable afterwards. It might help me to sleep better, but my sleeping problems aren’t related to not being tired, it’s related to anxiety. And I also explained that it’s keeping a consistent sleep-wake cycle that’s important, and I have been. It isn’t when my parents feel I should be going to sleep and getting up, but I am consistently getting enough sleep. The tools I need right now are unavailable to me and I tried group, I really did, but it isn’t what I need. I need a therapist and to get back into regular therapy sessions, but until I trip over some insurance or the county miraculously decides to provide all of the basic mental health services that they should be, I’m stuck.

I have to admit, I stopped on my way home on Tuesday and stared at the river. The shortcut to Wendy’s is through the park and over the bridge. Our river is rather pathetic, though, and rarely more than two feet deep, so while I was contemplating it, all I would’ve done is gotten damp and probably sprained or broke something in the fall. Not to mention the river is disgustingly filthy. I think someone would have to pay me money before I jumped in.

I did slip and fall on the bridge on my way to work, though. It was snowing and icy, and up was one thing, but down was another. Hrmph.

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Well, that was unexpected.

So I didn’t sleep Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, until about 8 AM, and spent the day either asleep or in a bit of a depressed fugue. I was pretty miserable, and even when I was sleeping I was having nightmares. Mom got home late because she was over helping my grandparents with their budget. We were sitting on the couch, talking, when pretty much every emergency vehicle in town was suddenly on our street, parked a few houses down. We went outside to look, and it turns out the house four doors down from us was on fire. The woman who lives there has two little boys, one who has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair, and another son who is autistic. Thankfully the son with CP was at his grandparents’, so only the younger son was there. They were in the yard, the woman wearing only a bikini, holding a wailing little boy, and a chocolate lab. The lab got loose because it wasn’t wearing a collar and was sort of frantically running up and down the street. A girl who’d been going by on a bike helped me corral the lab, and my mom came and leashed her with one of Baxter’s leashes. We later tethered the dog, Addy, to the tree in our front yard, and brought her water, so she could calm down.

The little boy wanted to see Addy, so another neighbor brought him down to see her. The boy was about three, maybe four, and clearly overstimulated. I decided he really needed to go inside, as the smoke was getting really bad outside, and he was getting really worked up. My mom went and told the mother that the dog was in our yard and asked if we could take the little boy inside to let him watch a movie and get him some water, which the mother was fine with. The little boy and I played with Tinker Toys, watched Despicable Me, and he ate a hot dog and some apple juice, and overall was much calmer in the house, which is pretty quiet with the windows closed, despite the hullabaloo outside.

When the mother came to our house later, we found out that she’d just finished moving her massage practice into her basement and had her first clients last Friday. She’d been outside sunning herself, as the weather was fabulous, and she’d come inside to cook dinner. Her son had distracted her and the grease on the stove caught fire. She tried to put it out, but it caught the wall and she didn’t have a fire extinguisher, so she rushed her son and the dog outside and called 911. The fire station is only about six blocks away but it took 15-20 minutes for them to arrive, due to it being a mostly volunteer station, so the entire house was pretty much gutted by the time they got the fire out. Structurally it is ok, but the inside is a wash. Unfortunately, there were some puppies inside that she hadn’t grabbed as she thought the fire department would get there faster, and by the time it was clear that they weren’t coming right away and she called again, the smoke was too much for her to go in and try to rescue them, so all of the puppies died.

She had no clothes other than something a neighbor had brought her to put over her bikini. Her son was a 4T, and we had 4T clothes in the attic from my nephew, so mom gave her those, and another neighbor who had a son also gave her some clothes. We had diapers that were a little small but would do in a pinch, as the little boy isn’t potty-trained completely yet. The girl who helped me round up the dog came back with her mother, who fosters dogs, so they volunteered to take in Addy until things get settled. The mother was still trying to get a hold of her parents, and the police were going to drive her over to the local hotel and I think the Red Cross was going to pay for them to stay there at least for tonight. Mom made sure she knew that we were there and she could just let us know if she needed any help.

I’m still pretty depressed, but as much as I feel like I’ve lost everything, I haven’t. It put things a little more into perspective, at least.

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I feel broken.

So I’ve been a diligent little worker bee at Wendy’s, and have been able to pick things back up easily enough. The ordering system is a bit different and a ton of food has changed, but I’m getting faster at taking orders and fixing my inevitable mistakes with a minimum of trouble (though the one manager I don’t know has been really unhelpful when I mess up, yelling at me about it every time).

They moved my group to Tuesdays after I went to a lot of trouble making sure I had Wednesdays off, so I was able to talk someone into taking my afternoon so I could I finally make it to group after missing it for three weeks in a row. I wound up crying about my situation right now and just how depressed and hopeless I feel right now. I’m making less on minimum wage than I was on unemployment, so I just don’t know what’s going to have to give.

Chihiro needs MORE dental work, as the “iffy” tooth from before has started affecting the teeth near it, and two of the little ones have fallen out completely. I’m stressed and worried about her, and she’s so far away. I started a new fundraiser to hopefully help but right now, I’m so beaten down about it, I don’t even know what to do.

I keep getting denial letters from possible employers. Mom keeps telling me I need a “network” but I don’t know how I’m supposed to do that when even temp agencies won’t take me once I explain what happened at my old job.

I just want to give up. I’ve already been stripped of so much; my life, my apartment, my independence, my cat, a good chunk of my furniture, my bike, my sewing machine… All I have left is my car that I don’t know if I can afford, and jewelry that isn’t selling. I don’t have the energy for shows after putting in so much time at Wendy’s, as it’s physically exhausting labor. Even a short four or five hour shift leaves me completely exhausted and drained. I have Wednesday off, but I don’t know what I’ll accomplish other than sleeping and some chores. I have some new jewelry to photograph but I just don’t even care about that anymore.

I’m breaking apart again and I don’t know what to do other than just give in. My heart, pride, and spirit are broken; what else is left to break? If someone is trying to teach me some sort of lesson, I think I’ve learned it now and I’m ready to start over.

Oh, and my brother might be getting a job at the company my sister works at, and thus will move to Cincinnati, the one place I want to be more than anything else.


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Reinventing Nadja

Well, when this post goes up, I will have been back at the Wendy’s in my hometown, my first job, for 45 minutes.

I feel like a failure, and have been battling suicidal thoughts as the time has ticked by. I spent last Monday evening on the phone with 1-800-SUICIDE because I was worried I would act on the thoughts, and half of my coping strategies were out- I usually like to talk to friends, and usually roleplay the emotions out, but I had no cell signal, there’s no long distance on the cabin’s phone, and no internet. I opted not to visit Tahquamenon falls the next day due to them featuring so very prominently in my suicidal thoughts to the point of my starting to plan things out, which is when I made the call. I’d been having panic attacks all day Monday, and I overheard my stepdad complaining about how all I do is sleep when I was just in my room, resting, half incoherent from klonopin. My heart hurt but I’m getting used to that. On Tuesday, when everyone was at the falls, I slept, and by Wednesday I felt like myself again, because I’d been able to get a decent amount of sleep at that point. I asked to stay through Thursday, rather than leave Wednesday, but my parents wanted me to come home so the garbage could be put out for Thursday pickup, and I imagine they didn’t want to have to deal with me anymore. Their empathy for my illness only extends so far, and my needing rest to stay functional irritates them.

I was still dreading everything- going in to check my schedule and get a couple work shirts, buying work pants and shoes, all of it. A lot of that anxiety went away when I did check my schedule, and I’ll be working 11:15 to 8:30 on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Not a full week, but the weekend had already been sorted by the time I put in a note asking for hours. I need to be brought back up to speed, anyway, and at least I get a weekend out of it. So many of the faces are the same, though I’m terrible with names. I went to look at pants and shoes and discovered that I can’t afford them, and will need to ask my mom to buy them for me, which makes me feel awesome. I also need her to buy some medication for me (she’d previously offered to help with that but I’ve been embarrassed to ask, afraid that she’d forgotten about it and would change her mind) so we’ll see how things go.

I thought about my life, and feeling like a complete and total loser, a lot on Friday. I started to think about how my career hadn’t really worked out, and this is a period of reinventing myself. That I have to go all the way back to my personal square one to do so is irritating, but at the same time, at least I have a contingency plan. I’m not as awfully bad off as I could be right now- I could be homeless, as my stepdad originally wanted. I could also possibly be employed at something professional, as I’ve had many interview requests from around Ohio, and not a single one in Michigan.

I feel lost, and hopeless, and mostly tired. But maybe once I have a job again, and can have a current employer people can call, and a current employer that’s known me for thirteen years and can attest to how I am a hard worker who is excellent at customer service, maybe that’ll be the impetus I need to finally land something that will pay enough for me to get into my own apartment, get Chihiro back, and some measure of independence again. Of course, now I have to replace so much of my furniture, and my bike and sewing machine, and whatever else manages to wander off before I finally have a place to my own again.

Mom wants me to “network” more. I’d love to volunteer, or do temp work, but my anxiety levels spike at the thought, and the temp agency didn’t work out, as they never contacted me again after I completed all the assessments. Another temp agency sent me assessments to complete to get a call center job. I don’t know if that will pay better than minimum wage, but maybe.

I just… need to find my self-confidence again. Six months of nothing but being turned down, ignored, belittled, and parceled out has done nothing but destroy me inside. I have no confidence in my ability to maintain employment, and maintain stability whilst employed. I want to go back to school to learn to be an interpreter but I don’t know if I can manage that on top of working at a job like Wendy’s; I definitely can’t afford to pay for it, but if I took enough classes to get my loans deferred, that would be a little more money in my pocket to be used towards other bills.

There’s so much to do and I’m so afraid of all of it. I make lists and even the lists make me nervous. I covered one of them up with the scarf I just finished making, and I keep moving around my pile of mail as if it’ll sort itself out properly if I manage to put it in just the right place.

I’m trying to be confident, I really am. I’m trying to put forth the best I have. Maybe I need to go get my costume out of storage and wear it around for a while; actually *being* Nadja tends to help, though I have no faire to attend. I don’t want to go to the ones around here because they aren’t home. Willy Nilly on the Wash is home, and I hope I can get there soon.

I just want to go home.


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So I tried that “talk to my mom” thing…

I haven’t been sleeping well ever since I got my summer cold that wouldn’t end, and so I’ve been sleeping in bursts of a few hours with a few hours in the middle of anxiety and general wide-awake-ness. I had a bit of rapid cycling once I started getting better, so I bought some yarn and a hook (I have NO idea where my hooks are in my storage unit) and have been learning a new pattern to keep my hands busy, so I don’t end up too manic. I wound up down in the kitchen early Saturday morning after being wide awake since 1:30 AM. My mom usually gets up between 4 and 5, so I was hoping to get a chance to talk to her about my worries about what to do now that I have two weeks of unemployment left. She had asked previously about me filing the federal extension, so I was thinking she wanted me to do that so I’d be available to babysit for my brother. My original plan was to just go get on the schedule at Wendy’s, and try to put the bulk of my hours on the weekend so I’d have time during the week for job interviews, if I ever manage to get any in this goddamn state. I had wanted to start ASL classes in the fall but I don’t think I can take working at Wendy’s and going to school part-time. I was also worried that I would be expected to make one of my off days Wednesdays so I could watch my nephew, and that additional pressure would probably be too much, too.

Mom said that she doesn’t expect me to be available as a babysitter, it has just been convenient up until this point, but I definitely need to keep my cash flow as steady as possible so I don’t get behind on bills. I was also worried about the fact that I haven’t had any interviews and the periodic comments about how I “make my stepdad crazy” and how my parents want to sell the house and move so they’re closer to work, and they don’t want to get a big house. Mom said she needs me to “stay sane” because she can’t deal with one more thing going wrong, as my brother is trying to find a good job so we’re watching my two-year-old nephew a lot, and her aging parents are needing a lot of assistance these days and she’s been pouring a lot of time into them.

I seriously wonder if she understands just how much pressure “you need to stay sane” puts on me. I have a mental illness, my #1 goal is to remain sane and stable, reminding me of it when I come to you with problems is not helping. She said the reason she hasn’t been “warm and fuzzy” with me is because she’s basically too busy with other people to have time for my problems, and I’ve just been trying to stay out of the way and be helpful. Mom did thank me for keeping up with chores around the house because it does take some of the pressure off, and she didn’t want me to get stressed out about things because she doesn’t want me to get unstable.

I’m going to the cabin from Sunday to Wednesday, and mom told me that she needs me to not have my sleep schedule messed up while I’m up there. I’m not sure how my sleep schedule has anything to do with being on vacation, other than it irritates my parents when it’s off (and it’s always off to them, as I am a night owl and they are not, so sleeping until 8 or later makes my stepdad mad anyway.)

I didn’t get a chance to air all of my anxieties before mom had moved on to talking about how my grandparents are doing, and my brother’s current job prospect at IBM that he’s been trying to learn Java in two weeks for, and starting to pack things to go up to the cabin, as they went up on Saturday. They didn’t want me to come up until Sunday so they could hang out with one of my stepsisters and her husband while they were up, and I’m leaving Wednesday so my parents can have time with another stepsister and her boyfriend who will be coming up mid-week. I’ll also be bringing the dog back with me so my parents can then go wander the Upper Peninsula without having to worry about a dog. I did volunteer for that. And I know it’s their vacation too, but the way I sort of got slotted in bothers me. I’ll be bringing my ‘adopted’ sister up with me and we’ll hit some touristy stuff on the way, as she’s never been up to the cabin for a non-working weekend (either open or close weekend, when they work on big improvement projects and get the cabin ready for the summer or winter.)

I just… I don’t know. I feel like I can’t talk to mom without her sort of closing off and getting defensive on me, or me closing off on her. I’ll try to talk to her again while I’m at the cabin, as a lot of the other pressures are usually better when we’re there.

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Leaving town again

I’ll be at my family’s cabin for most of the week, so I probably won’t post this week. The nearest internet is the next town over at the library, so I’m not very connected when I’m there. It’ll be nice, though I’m still worried about what I’m going to do next, employment-wise. I still need to have that conversation with my mom.

Things are always so busy, I just try to stay out of the way and keep putting myself on the back burner.

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Bad blogger. No cookie.

Sorry I dropped the ball like, three times last week, guys. I was actually busy, though. I’ve been working hard on Transformers stuff for the upcoming convention and have been doing my best to keep busy.

I felt great at the end of the week but my mood’s slipped a little since then. I was anxious and sort of kid-ed out after one of my nieces stayed the night Friday night, in anticipation of my nephew’s birthday party the next day. I didn’t go, and instead stayed home to work on jewelry. I finished my inventory and started making new charms, as I have NONE on hand anymore and I’ve been cannibalizing pieces I shouldn’t be cannibalizing. I’m writing this Saturday night as I was convinced until a few minutes ago that it is Sunday night.

I’m still working on finding a job, but with every interested call from Cincinnati that I have to turn down- where would I stay if I started to work there again? How would I get re-established? And with me planning to start ASL classes at the community college, I’ve sort of stuck myself here, honestly.- and every no I get from here in Michigan, my hopes continue to fall. I’ve got a backup plan and more than a month left of unemployment, but damn, I’d really like to not have to go work at Wendy’s again. I guess if anything, it would be humbling, and at least I know the managers, and some of the day staff are the same. I feel like this whole experience has been humbling and frustrating and exhausting.

I had another night of bad sleep, which also led to the anxiety about being around people in general and kids in particular, so I think I’m going to turn in *gasp* on time tonight, so I can hopefully sleep well. I have many, many things to make out of plastic, and only so much time to make it all.

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