Intruders and Injustice

I have been marvelously intrigued, and perhaps a bit preoccupied, with life’s small forms and their humbling moments of death.

My body seems to stumble upon carcasses on the road, limp corpses of moths and other worthy insects caught in the vents of my vehicle. Each and every time, I linger- almost as if I had just received news of a loved one passing on. I pause here in honor of their simple quiddities, laconicly spilling out a prayer so that they may reach their bug heaven, wherever that may be found.

It sounds rather trivial and puerile. Call it a fascination.

I talked to my grandmother this past Friday about my cousin and the incest. The conversation itself was a success. She shared with me that she had encountered a very similar circumstance with a much older male family member. Although justice was nowhere to be found, I did feel validated as her daughter and granddaughter.

The weekend came and went. Friday was difficult for many reasons. I mostly was triggered to relapse on a needle; I had to have my blood drawn for a lithium level check and the needle and rubber ties were too much for me to handle. I went spinning into a panic attack while in group. I could hear Senka crying over the bruised vein (he had to stick me twice). Overall, it was a traumatizing experience.

My appetite is still trying to get back to where it was. Last night I ate more, which is good.

Everything is okay right now.

Well, actually, I sitting here at my desk with a knife at arm’s reach. I came home about 40 minutes ago. I had turned the corner and saw that the backdoor was wide open. So, butcher knife in hand, I quietly swept all the rooms, closets, under-the-beds, and crevices. No one. I could smell my perpetrator’s cologne, but I think that’s just my go-to sensation when I’m scared. Nothing seemed to be missing or out of place. Still, I feel just slightly uneasy.

My debit card for disability finally came in the mail, so I feel very relieved about that.

No more to report for now. One more day of PHP.

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Tegretol and Ideation

Back to PHP I went.

I don’t even know where to begin with an update. It went well. I don’t remember driving to group. I signed in, had a little assessment, went to 3 groups. It was nice to be back. The therapist and social worker remembered me and welcomed me back. Everyone was just as sweet as they were when I left. New patients walk around freely, as I feel like a senior in high school; I know how everything works, which vending machine to avoid for the exploding sodas, so on and so forth.

I saw my therapist yesterday as well before she took off for a couple of weeks. I’ve gotta to say, she is the BEST therapist I’ve ever worked with. I’m so very fortunate to have her in my life. Completely. I don’t know how I would have come to the realizations that I have without her.

So, that was yesterday.

Today was a brand new day. I went to group, felt fuzzy like I had the day before. I met with my doctor. She asked me the usual questions, then mentioned something very serious: She said with the work that I’m doing now with my therapist, it may be an option for me in the near future to check in as inpatient, or even a resident. I think she is taking my opiate addiction and running with it a little… and my alcohol use. I don’t necessarily believe that I need inpatient treatment. I think I’m functioning, but I do need a little care I suppose.

She told me she is concerned about my eating habits. I guess I used to be concerned as well?

She also wants me to think about Tegretol. Has anyone used Tegretol? Did it help? It would be used (for me) to treat not only my bipolar disorder, but curb alcohol cravings. She also mentioned Vistaril, which I am interested in taking. I read up a little on Tegretol and it makes me a little nervous. I would rather take Lithium because I know for a fact it helps my swings and mood. However, she’s worried about my alcohol binging. I think I can control my binges with groups, etc.

Am I doing okay? I don’t know. I feel that I’m slipping. I feel apathetic. I feel… kind of lost, fuzzy, split, compartmentalized at times. I don’t feel all “myself” a lot. I’m scared of being alone because honestly, I’m very triggered to self harm. At least I’m being truthful with myself. I really, really, really want to harm myself and cut.

I feel very disconnected from my system.. very much like Rogue; she is isolated. Actually, I feel very much like Rogue.

I’ve met some really awesome people already. I’m glad to be getting help again. I hope that I can accept it. I feel very, undeserving and very sad right now. I feel a little bit like I’m wasting space.

It’ll be okay though.

Thank you for listening. You all have been such a great support system. I know we limited to letters on a screen, but honestly, I feel very loved here on WordPress.

Checking In, Checking Out- Back to PHP I Go

From the lobby into the evaluation room. Picking at my sweater… takes my blood pressure. I check out.

I’m sitting on the chair. She pushes her bracelets further up her arm. “Victoria? I asked you if you are suicidal currently?” I nod yes, but say no. She scribbles something down.

I’ve answered these questions hundreds of times before. Yes, I was traumatized. I was raped, beaten, father killed himself… well, no, see my mom abandoned me and I just met her 3 years ago- well, I didn’t really meet her.. Yes, I’ve attempted suicide. I suddenly feel that I’m on top of building.

“And how did your family members commit suicide?”

I check out again. I start feeling panicky. I smile, slightly shake my head and say, “I like your necklace.”

She responds, “Thank you. How long were you abused in the Church?” My lips go numb. I wasn’t talking about a church. I ask her, “Which church?”

She looks confused. “You had just told me that you had been physically abused in the Church of Scientology. How long did that last would you say?”

I check out again.

“Do you dissociate often?”

My heart is racing and my eyes are burning with tears that have refused to unfasten themselves. We talk more about medication compliance, self-harm. She asks me if I have an appetite. I stare down at my wrists…

“Last time you used heroin?”

Before I knew it, I was out in a flash. I just now heard from the hospital and my insurance has granted me 4 days of partial hospitalization for now. Hopefully, they will give me more once they witness my basketcasery.

I’m on the verge of a panic attack as it seems right now.

On White Lines and Morning Prayers

I meant to write this past weekend but found little time to sit and type!

The therapy session went well. My girlfriend came along and was able to give my therapist a lot of insight as to the others- a lot more insight than I expected her to give. I found myself becoming very uncomfortable at the descriptions she gave of Rogue, recanting violent acts, punches and harsh words. Some mental fog consumed me and I was enveloped in thick, muddy time, listening to my girlfriend converse back and forth about my dissociation. Allie sat to my left, patting my knee, telling me to relax. All the while, Rogue stirred beneath my ribs. I could feel my eyes almost dilate.

My therapist recommended that I communicate with Rogue, perhaps through writing. I don’t even know where to begin.

After the session, I felt very detached from reality. I could hear R in the background, “Now you really did it. You fucked up.”

I went home, paced nervously around the house, walking over the carpet spaces in which I was taken advantage of. I downed a beer, two, three. My cousin came home with his friends. I retreated into my bedroom with Allie and I cried into my pillow. The walls were closing in on me. Dee said I should get out of the house. Somewhere in between my melt down and sticking my keys in the ignition of my car, I had gotten ready and left my house. I met up with a good friend of mine/coworker for a drink. The space made me relax more. I was able to forget about R.

Good conversation, good drinks, good music. My girlfriend met us later at the bar, looking absolutely stunning as she had just come from a family quinceañera.
More conversation, more drinks, more music.

At the end of the night, my girlfriend and I had gotten into a small argument, which I can’t blame her for. We had been at the bar with another friend, who so happens to have a coke habit. We had gone into the stall together. She asked me if I wanted a bump. I said no. I held my hand out as a table as she did took a line. Another line. I wanted it, it was so close to me. But I thought to myself, “I’m not going to waste my sobriety and I’m not going to hurt my girlfriend.” She put the coke away.

Moments later, my girlfriend walked into the restroom with us. I guess I looked suspicious, or so she said. When we got in the car to drive home, she spun around and said, “Really? One night and you’re already snorting coke?”

Like I said, I can’t blame her. I was a desperate junkie not too long ago. I think I was just upset because A) I had been proud of myself and I was excited to tell her, “Babe! Guess what!! I was strong and I didn’t do it!”
B) I hadn’t taken my meds that night and I was feeling it.

The next morning everything was fine. She asked me again to reassure her. I did. We made up and went to the dog beach with my little ones. I think we both needed the sun and sand. The weekend ended off with homemade tie-dye shirts.

On a completely separate note, Ramadan begins next Thursday. I wanted to begin a week early. Unfortunately, I did not set an alarm for Morning Prayer- Fajr- today, but I did make up the prayer when I woke up. I will be fasting this week. God willing he will rope me closer to him, to myself, to love and to general patience this month. I need faith again.

Hell is a Place Full of Uneducated Psychiatrists

Oh, have I got a story to tell you.

Firstly, my anxiety and symptoms came to climax yesterday. I have been feeling chest pains- more specifically, it feels like sharp pains centered around my heart- for the past 2-3 weeks or so. Yesterday, the pain became consistent and was accompanied with numbs fingertips, tingly lips, and dizziness. I was alarmed, but even more so alarmed because I was withdrawing off of the lithium.

So, we journeyed to the Urgent Care by work. They couldn’t really do anything, so they sent me to the Emergency Room. I checked in there and long story short, they told me my symptoms were just a manifestation of bad anxiety. I was relieved, yet my inner hypochondriac wanted to scream, “But! It’s my heart! I think! Am I really okay?!?! Are you sure?!?!?”

They gave me a dosage of lithium and sent me on my way. I began to feel better an hour and half later.

Now, I had my first psychiatrist appointment yesterday evening. I left work, arrived at my destination early, filled out all of my paperwork, and waited. I waited for 45 minutes. Alright. I’m just going to bullet point all the STUPID AS FUCK things my psychiatrist said. I was livid.

This is during the initial interview. I filled out all the relevant information (suicide attempts, family history, abuse, trauma, drug use, diagnoses, etc..)

• She asked me, “Tell me about your suicide attempts, how did you do them?” I told about the first time and when I came around to the second attempt, I said, “Well, I tried to jump off of a building…” She promptly dropped her pen and asked dumbfoundedly, “Why would you do that?” (Insert uncomfortable blinking here) “Why would you try to jump off a building?”
• She noticed my scribbled in heroin history in my drug use summary. She said, “So you grew up with mom and dad and saw them doing it so you just thought it was okay?” No, bitch, my dad COMMITTED SUICIDE and my mom ABANDONED ME so I didn’t get the basic privilege of watching them shoot up while I was enjoying an edge-of-your-seat episode of Blue’s Clues.
• She asked me what my official diagnoses was at the hospital. I told her it was Schizoaffective. BRACE YOURSELES. She said, “That can’t be right. You don’t look to me like someone who is schizoaffective.

You must have PTSD.” Are you kidding me? I don’t look like someone who has Schizoaffective…I’ve never in my life….well, actually no that’s not true. Kayden, where are you? You mentioned this happening to you, too. But oh my dear Christ on a sunflower, I’ve never heard anything more unprofessional.
• She was reluctant to write me a prescription because she didn’t feel she should be giving me medication for PTSD, but because I was in the damn emergency room yesterday, she wrote me a script.
• She asked me if I was sexually active and use protection. I said yes I am but I’ve been with a girl, so I’m not getting pregnant anytime soon. She got quiet and said half under her breath, “Oh…so homosexual…”
• THEN, at the end of awful experience, she was mid-sentence talking to me as her eyes widened and she exclaimed, “OH! I have another appointment. Oh no! Is she here?” She whips around in her chair, glances at her calendar and she said, “Oh! She’s here already! Here, sign these…” She rushed me through some paperwork and my script. I waited for 45 minutes AND my appointment was cut short.

At least I got what I needed. I have my prescriptions and that’s what matters. But oh my god…

Psychiatrist from hell.

Cheap Cabernet and a Covetous Colossus

I had a minor setback last night. Relapse, thy name is cheap cabernet. What’s even cheaper is I disgraced my loyal apertific gods and drank the great plum juice from a square glass. Heathen.

The wine, of course, was just a distraction from the inevitable phantasmagoria that would soon set in. Which it did. I was decently plagued with my mind’s purgation of forgotten voices or forlorn clicks and clacks. Schizoaffective Disorder is a godamned bitch named Betty (no offense to any Betty’s out there in the blogging world. I’m sure you’re peachy)

It’s not even the hallucinations that get to me the most- at least not this time. That house. All I see is trauma. I try my hardest to truncate my memories and salvage the good parts; cooking with my grandmother, dancing in the living room, painting, journaling in my bedroom. Yet, still, just like everything else, the golden light is gobbled by some monstrous colossus.

Growing pains, I suppose. It wasn’t all bad, though. I lowered my dosage a bit on both meds so that they can hopefully last me longer.

This morning I awoke to Allie sitting on my bed, gently pawing at my legs. My head was a bit spinny and I felt groggy. I made coffee, read my book for a little while in the sun, and got ready for work. I drive 40 minutes now to get to work.

Other than my small step backwards, I have nothing else to report. My body is subtly telling me that I need my medication. For now, I’m distracting myself with long phone conversations, my coloring book, and my dogs.

Rapid Cycling, a Guest Writer, and PNES

 

I am cycling faster than an Olympic Triathlete. And I’m tired of it.

I am depleted, depressed, deranged, and desperate. I want to say the hallucinations are better, but with the influx of anxiety at work, I am still swimming through teeming auditory hallucinations. I’m frustrated. I am not a fun person to be around right now. Every little thing sets me off either into a fuming rage, or into a morose melancholy in which I sit in to ponder my existential purpose.

On top of this, I want a drink. OH I want a tequila shot. Or a glass of wine. I’m itching and I cannot remedy the cravings with grape juice anymore.

On another note, I’d like to introduce a guest writer- my girlfriend. I wanted her to recall what happened on Thursday night, since I feel it’s important.

Without much further ado, COME ON DOWWWWWNNNNNNNN

 In regards to what happened last night, there was a certain familiarity to the situation. There was a loss of touch with reality, a sense of fear (mostly emanating from me), and what I would describe as a kind of takeover.

Simply enough, she and I were laying in bed. She sat up and blankly stared ahead. I asked what was wrong, and she told me she didn’t feel too well – that she felt a bit hypoglycemic. So off I went into the kitchen to get a glass of whatever I could find which ended up being some flat soda. After drinking it, her hands stopped shaking and she just laid back down. No more than 10 minutes had passed after this incident when I got up to get dressed. I stood at the edge of the bed while she began to sit up and addressed me. She looked at me mischievously, and in the most tauntingly devious, callous tone of voice she began to talk. This was the dialogue:

“Oh, you don’t want to fuck me first?”

“What?”

“I fucked you, why wouldn’t you fuck me?”

“Why are you saying that?”

“Come here baby, *makes kissy noises* OH, I loooove you.”

At this, she began to slyly grin. Her hand was reaching out for me – she wanted me to come sit down next to her. She dropped her gaze, bowed her head, with her hand still in the air, she got really quiet and began to cry. I sat down and looked at her and asked her to come back to me, since she was far gone at this point. When she stopped crying, she looked up with a manic grin behind her eyes, and I realized she was dripping blood from her mouth. She looked at me in the same way she had just moments before, and said “You’re sure you don’t want to fuck me now? Come on babe, I’m right here.” This is when she began to have what appeared to be a seizure. It was a slow onset; she began shaking lightly, then more and more violently. This lasted for about a minute and half. As she shook, blood dripped from her mouth, down her chin, and onto her thigh. I wiped it up with my hands and went to go get a towel or something in the bathroom. I was gone less than ten seconds, and when I came back her head was back down and she was no longer ‘seizing’. Her voice changed to the voice I’m most familiar with, and a meek “I don’t feel well, babe” escaped her lips.

I pulled her towards me, and she was confused. I asked her to get dressed, to put her pants on. She kept coming back to me. Her eyes slowly unglazed and she came back to reality. I guided her to the bathroom and when she saw herself in the mirror she asked why she was bleeding. We then realized that she had bitten and chewed the inside of her lip and that’s where the blood was coming from (this to much a relief for me, since my first thought was that she had been back to using drugs without my knowledge; this wouldn’t be the first time she bled from her mouth in that manner).

She, for a couple of minutes, had completely dissociated and removed herself from present time. She had no recollection of what had happened. She remembered laying down after drinking the flat cola, then coming to, when I was asking her to put her pants on.

All I could do was lay back down with her, assuring her everything was okay, that I loved her and that I was here for her.

Also, because she cares so much for me, or maybe she was just scared out of her mind (because who wouldn’t be), she did a little research and learned about Psychogenic NonEpileptic Seizures (PNES). According this website:

“PNES are attacks that may look like epileptic seizures, but are not caused by abnormal brain electrical discharges. They are a manifestation of psychological distress. Frequently, patients with PNES may look like they are experiencing generalized convulsions similar to tonic clonic seizures with falling and shaking. Less frequently, PNES may mimic absence seizures or complex partial seizures with temporary loss of attention or staring.

A specific traumatic event, such as physical or sexual abuse, incest, divorce, death of a loved one, or other great loss or sudden change, can be identified in many patients with PNES.”

I’m not self diagnosing. I will bring this up to my doctor, however, does anyone out there have feedback, and/or experience with PNES, or dissociation? I want to know I’m not alone here.

I wrote this to my girlfriend yesterday and it describes how I feel:

I feel as if the dust of my childhood had settled for years and years on the attic floor, untouched and unbothered by light or a footstep. Now, I’ve let people into the attic- doors and windows splayed open. The wind is tossing all of the dust into a flurry, illuminated by bright sunlight. And I’m in the middle of it all, gazing at the floor, remembering that the wood panels below had etchings and designs. My lungs are contracting, wheezing, and coughing from all of the dust. All the while, everyone else around me is well equipped with masks.

I think that through group, I have been rustling up my past memories. Yesterday I actually had a flashback to my molestation. As I ran to the restroom at work, I kept thinking over and over, there’s nowhere for me to hide. Not a crease, nor crack. There is no place where the pain won’t reach me. So, I cried in the stall and cut my wrist to quiet it down.

My girlfriend made a great point (again. She’s great). In regards to me telling her that I don’t think I’m getting better- I mean I WAS feeling better, but I crashed again. She said that when I was first admitted, I handled the immediate situation. I got meds, I was in therapy, I talked out my immediate issues and felt better. However, we all now that mental illness isn’t cured by wiping the superficial grime off of ourselves; I began digging deeper and finally hit the center of my earth. My childhood and past. It’s hitting me like a truck now.

I know I’ll be alright, though. I need to keep thanking those around me for simply being there for me. I’m a wreck right now.

When Lazarus Was Homeless

This evening’s topic: When Lazarus Was Homeless.

Albeit, not for long- but homeless, nevertheless.

Jotting back a few years ago…I was doing well (alright….poorly) in my 17 year old existence. My home life was in shambles due to my alcoholic brother, and my ever growing drug addiction in general. I had been pissing my entire family off because of my failing grades, my complete and utter discord for school.

Then, the night happened where my brother became so inebriated with tequila, he pushed me up against our second story bay window, choked me and with a great red, angry face, sputtered the words, “Do you want me to fucking kill you?”

This anger, of course, was brought upon by his default slurred statement, “You’re just like Dad.” I’d seen it before, and unfortunately, I would see it again.

So, I packed up some clothes, my ID, and left.

I meant to only be gone for a night, two at most. He wouldn’t let me back in the house because I had called the cops on him. I didn’t really have anywhere to go. So, I slept behind a church. I slept behind a church for 16 nights. This was the beginning of my heroin relationship. I had met my dealer/ex-boyfriend here in the soggy gutters- who, coincidentally became a gang member soon after we broke up.

I ambled around aimlessly during the days, strung out and euphoric. I met up with a few people from middle school as I dealt coke and pot as a means to get by. It was a time of a rather grandiose “fuck you” to the world, looking out from my illogical teen eyes.

Thankfully, one of my best friends at the time had found me and allowed me to stay with her for two nights to wash my clothes, to get myself together. I returned to my home, no questions asked to my astonishment. All of my belongings were gone from my bedroom. My brother had poured water on my mattress- why? I have no idea why he did anything.

I made it out alive, obviously. Relatively untouched, unscathed- sans the drug dependency I created for myself. Moral of the story? Don’t stick in a needle in your arm if you ever find yourself homeless. And don’t get stranded in a crime-ridden part of town.

I’m a badass motherfucker now. Nice to meet you.

PS- Look what my girlfriend made me for my birthday. BEST girlfriend, EVER.

1385728_10206525493202571_8857666476753992123_nContents include: My Little Pony Rainbow Tutu, Adventure Time undies, Pocky sticks, 3 books including my Hyperbole and a Half book!!! a worry doll, and a sunflower to grow!

Marla Knows Me Best

 Young lady, 5’2, brunette, 104 pounds, goes by the name of Lazarus.
Last seen blogging and happily snacking.
No reward if found.

Mother, what’s wrong with me?

I feel so detached from everything and everyone. I’ve been isolating.

Mood swings? Forget about it. I’m snapping at everyone, left and right. My anger and irritability is through the roof. Perhaps the irritability is just another symptom of the depression?

I’ve been crying on and off throughout this weekend. No word from my mom. However, I got a missed call on Friday afternoon. I googled the number and it belongs to a psychiatric hospital. So, I’m holding on to the idea that she was admitted and I will hopefully hear from her soon.

My appetite has left, along with my grasp on the world. I’m not even thirsty. If it were up to me, I’d pump myself with a euphoric drug- with a needle. A really sharp, silver, cold needle.

This week. I have to hold out to bump my meds up. I’m tired of feeling like I’m on everyone’s nerves. I’m tired of constantly being a problem for her. I’m whiny, I’m not positive. I keep lusting after passive suicidal fantasies. She doesn’t deserve that. She has her own shit going on. But here I am! Unable to come out of this depression-coma.

Day 6 of Partial Hospitalization- Relapses and Minor Profanities

One week of sobriety…down the drain.

Today was difficult for me. It started with me waking up, feeling detached from the world, buzzing beneath the flesh.

Group was alright. I felt paranoid a lot. Micah began circling around my chair, as a wolf. A deep growl resonated from him as he traipsed around me…almost as if he was protecting me from something- which turned into a relentless paranoia. I was afraid someone was going to shoot me through the window and that everyone was talking about me.

We had creative writing during 4th group, in which I wrote the following poem:

The dead bell hangs quietly,
unrung, unexpressed,
and rather lonely.
Still, the jealousy I’ve
encapsulated for this
weathered tool retired within
its old, iron tower,
springs a new from the depths.
How great the dead bell sits,
suspended eternally above the
pedestrians, families, unsuspecting lovers.
My thoughts alone chase after me.
Snarl-grinned, jagged-toothed and clawed,
with low growls the black wolf cunningly
seeks a meal from the stark fear
painted on my face,
Completely rooted up, he goes flying.
And what of the other ones?
The dismal groans,
the 3 AM ribbon-like
life nightmares, protruding from the eyelids.
How envious I am of that old, dead bell.
No need to sing, or feel. Its life purpose
done and checked off the gargantuan God list.
Needing not to think, to dream, or even choose.

So, later on, I was talking to my boyfriend’s mother (because we have a great relationship still….for the most part), and I was telling her how I’m going to find an NA group near me. She said, “You don’t need that. You don’t have a problem…you could’t even get your hands on enough narcotics to become addicted.” (never mind that SHE is my supplier) Too much to go into. When we got off the phone, I told him that it really upset me. I felt invalidated. He said, “Well, you don’t have a problem. You’re just being impulsive and you’re creating a problem.You’re involving yourself in too many groups.” -In so many words.

I felt that I have been working hard, I have finally identified the fact that I have a problem, AND I’m seeking help…yet, I’m getting attacked for all of the above.

That being said, I said fuck all of you and drank. I’m trying very, very, very fucking hard not to snort a line of hydrocodone. I want to fold myself into a pocket of destruction and get it over with it.

I’m going to get it all out tomorrow on therapy but fuck. Right now, right this second, I feel hopeless. I feel so fucking alone. My boyfriend….he’s allowing me 2 glasses of wine….because he says I shouldn’t be stopping cold turkey. I should allow myself a drink or two at night.

10 minutes to med time. It will take strength not to take more than my seroquel prescription.

I just want this fucked up disease to get better. How the FUCK am I going to get better living here?