Friday, December 11, 2009

Shite days

So, today has been a pretty shite day. Well, its been a pretty shite couple of days. Lil sis and her (ex)partner, (who I live with) had a horrible screaming match on Tuesday night, and I was of course dragged into it... he told her that she was making him crazy, and that it was no wonder her sister (me) walked around wanting to kill herself all the time. Which was a bit of a shock a) because it was a nasty thing to try and insinuate that she is responsible for my MH issues, and b) because I thought I was doing a damned good job keeping my suicidal ideations and other struggles from her, only to figure out, I've been expending all of that energy for nothing, because I've been fooling noone. But it did confirm that she doesn't want to hear about it or deal with it, or she doesn't know how to deal with it, because she has not once asked me about it, or even acknowledged in any manner that she knows I am struggling. Aside from all that, as mentioned in previous posts, the screaming just transported me right back to childhood, and I spent the night pretty upset and shaken up by the whole thing. And of course I didn't get any of my assignment done.

So, after next to no sleep.. (on top of everything when he left the house he let my cat out, so when I did finally fall sleep in the wee hours of the moment, I was woken up to the sound of her fighting outside, and she wouldn't come in, so I couldn't settle back down to sleep) I got up early wed morning to head off to the Ronald McDonald House where I volunteer. It was xmas party for the kiddies, so I passed the day doing crafts with the little munchkins (a good distraction), but by the time I got home at 2pm, I had to work flatout to get my assignment finished in time to hand in at 5pm. My brain was fried by the time I submitted it at 4.45pm.

So, after another night of fitful sleep (although better than the night before) I headed off to a specialist appointment this morning, where I was told surgery could be put off for at least another couple of years most likely (good news), but the whole appointment was just very horrible and triggering.

Off after that across town to see (D) therapist. This was a weird, and not incredibley pleasant subject. (D) was a lot more forceful, and almost...confrontational than I have ever experienced her in the past. I could understand (intellectually and logically) where she was coming from but.... The gist of the session was pretty much that by staying in the house, where I am obviously exacerbating my stress, depression, anxiety etc, I was not 'protecting myself'' but instead focussing on 'protecting my family' as I had already done. And that my inability to stand up and say 'hey guys, this is really affecting me badly, could you leave me out of your fights, and try and have them a little more privately' was once again, me sacrificing my needs to keep the peace and not rock the boat. Basically she said, that I am scared to let my needs be known, as to do so would make me visible, and I expend so much energy making myself invisible. I just am to braindead right now to go into the long history that makes me unable to even contemplate doing this. And whilst on one level I logically accept her points, and I DO recognise, that as an adult I am making a choice, by remaining in the situation, emotionally I am not willing to live with the consequences of moving out or trying to make lil sis understand what it is doing to me mentally. If I was to acknowledge what is obviously (I see now) the great purple elephant in the room, my mh issues, lil sis would be forced to acknowedge too, and she DOES not cope well with the idea of my mentalness. In fact the last time I had a major crisis period (in 06) she did not talk to me for 6 months, and it really took till 08 when she moved in with me to really begin to regain the relationship that was lost. It is the same to different degrees with all of my family. Whilst many of them (lil sis not included, she just blanked me from her life) expressed to me in 06 after the OD that they wanted me to 'be honest and tell them what was going on before it got out of hand', when it came to the pinch they just couldn't actually deal with the uncensored truth, and in fact, got very passively or aggressively angry with me. What they actually meant is, we want you tell us your OK, we want you to BE ok, because we don't know how to deal with the emotions that you 'not being ok' or not living up to the expectations of your role within the family is. And so after several months of attempts to follow their overt message, I finally got the message and listened to that implicit message instead. Because I would rather deal with my MH issues on my own (with the help of professionals) than lose the relationships I do have with my family. I can't change how they are, and I either have to give up and walk away (not an option in my book) or figure out a way to just deal with the inherent stress they all bring into my life. So, its not just a case of fear of confrontation or standing up for myself ( although they are intrinsic issues, it is a matter of having looked at the options available, and chosen the one that I am least unhappy with. Which was frustrating, apart from her unwillingness to let it go and move onto another subject, her confrontational attitude, which was a bit of a shock.... there was also the realisation that as unhappy and stressed as this situation is making me.... I did and continue to still, choose it.

Anyways, I only had about half an hour after that to pull myself out of the bleurgh that the day had plunged me into before I had to head off to my volunteer job. But I manage to muster up the required smile and calmness required and completed mmy first solo shift tonight... which was quite daunting, being in charge of the whole house. It was, once again a good distraction, a great deal of the shift was spent just listening to the parents, giving them a friendly ear and a shoulder to lean on. There was lots of good news... this baby putting on weight and off the CPAP, that child finally scheduled for a much needed op... and therefore a forseeable end date in sight. I did have my first really emotionally confronting conversation with a pair of very young parents who just lost one of their very premmie bubs. I wanted to cry, and had tears welling in my eyes for them, but the situation required someone calm, who would just listen as they talked through their experience, the funeral arrangements and their grief. And that is really the most important part of the job, and although sad, also fulfilling, because you know that just the little task of listening, helped them in some minute way, in this horrible experience. Luckily, there are also so many wonderful and miraculous stories, it balances out somewhat. I find it amazing, that babies born at 25, 26 weeks manage to fight their way through and survive.  And I find the parents resiliency and fierce love awe-inspiring. I met a little toddler yesterday who weighed less than a coke can when born, and now is this beautiful little girl, with next to no long term damage done.

So I finished there at about 11 and caught the bus home. I'll just make a note hear that after 6 months as a disabilty bludging student, I haven't had to wear closed in shoes since I quite my previous job in June. I am quite the minimalist when it comes to shoes, and much prefer a pear of thongs or sandels to closed in shoes. Thus the shoes I wore to work yesterday gave me the most remarkable blisters on my heels, and although I elastoplasted them up and wore a different pair of shoes today, the heat made the elastoplast slide off, and by the time I got off the buss to walk home, the back of my heels were covered in blood, and quite painful. So I took my shoes off and walked home barefoot, which resulted on me standing on a small piece of glass that I have now had to dig out of my foot. Minor injury, but a bad end to the day. So I am home... but it is hot, and the last few days have just left me feeling quited deflated. But I think the best plan is to just keep staying as busy as I can, pasting on a smile, and faking it till I make it.

NB: I got a letter in the mail from Public Mental Health, saying that I have an appointment with head honcho- consultant psychiatrist in January, so Case Manager (M) has come through with that. It still remains to be seen what he will personally make of my current state of being, or really to even know what state I might be in come January, but it is a hopeful sign, that maybe they will hold off on completely discharging me from the service, if it is indeed still needed in January... which therapist (D) feels it will, and on this point I tend to concede she is in all probability right.


  1. Wow, what a day, huh?

    You Sister sounds a great deal like my Brother Jake, he just cannot get his head around mental illness. I've never fathomed whether it's because he can't understand or refuses to. It's a nightmare situation, but it does sound like you are protecting everyone but yourself. That said, sometimes I feel that protecting others instead of myself, actually makes it easier on me. I don't have to deal with the guilt and upset that comes with feeling like I am upsetting everyone, and dumping my problems on them. I just feels safer. I guess it's a different sort of protection. But the frustration just simmers. Hope you are OK out there.

    Lola x

  2. Thats exactly what I mean though... protecting them is protecting me in a way, I just don't want to have to deal with the fallout of that on top of everything else. But you are right, obviously the stuff keeps simmering away underneath. I do think there is validity in just accepting your family for who they are. It would be nice if the sentiment was reversed, but the only person I can control is myself. Thx Lola