Today has been one of those shit-filled days, those days when I don’t want to be here or anywhere. I say filled with shit because that’s how my head feels. Stuffed and ready to pop. I’ve got all sorts negativity churning inside of me and nothing is digesting well. I hope I can metaphorically vomit this shit out. In attempts to, here I am writing.

***

I was awaked by a call from my love earlier. I’ll call him, the loverface, V. Vet because I met him at a veterinary clinic where he works as a vet tech. So anyway, he calls me around noon and wakes me. I wake with a big smile because I love hearing from him. I get lost in his voice. There’s nothing more reassuring to me than to hear from the person I’m romantically involved with when I first wake. And not only am I romantically involved with this guy, I am madly in love. This is terrifying. I spent two years in my previous relationship (this was while I was in hiatus from blogging) and it didn’t work out in the end. The end, which happened in June of last year, was as painful as breakups can be. Considering that I have Borderline Personality Disorder however, I’m quite proud of myself for not falling into the deep end. Said previous relationship was the most stable one I’d had, but it ended just as quickly as it started. Maybe I didn’t really love him? I would ask myself

This guy though. Sigh. It is different with him. He reminds me too much of Monkey Man. We have a deep connection that I didn’t have with my ex. And I’ve never fallen in love so soon, even with Monkey Man I didn’t fall so soon. Love can be as scary as it is uplifting. I’m sure you know this from your own experience. When you’ve loved someone who died from addiction, it is even scarier–terrifying–to then fall in love with someone else who also struggles with addiction. Yup. This is the case with my current fella. V. Vet is an alcoholic. He’s tole me all about it. He’s mostly sober now, or “in recovery” as I like to tell myself or he likes to tell me. That’s always my reassurance when I get doubt. He’s in recovery P. He says he doesn’t want to be the way he used to be P.

“You inspire me to be a better person,” he says. He always says.

***

Well, that wake up call today was not only literal. I see it as a metaphor now. See, he sounded off from the start of our talk. The conversation he lead was annoying the shit out of me. We’re both very excitable people so we tend to interrupt each other a lot, but today I knew he was off, more so than usual. Not only did he interrupt me more, but he just sounded beside himself. One thing to keep in mind is that he also struggles with mental health problems–psychosis and such–so it could be that he was having some sort of episode.

But… My intuition tells me otherwise. Our intuitions are carriers of truth, so I know my intuition doesn’t lie.

After that irritating conversation which I ended up with me in tears, I just hung up. “I’ll just call you back later,” I whimpered, “I can’t talk right now.”

I shoved myself out of bed and started my day. The day dragged from bleh-heh to fuckin bleugh. Everything sucks bleugh. All feelings escalated; the feelings of irritation turned into rage and then melancholy turned into depression. I wanted to lie in bed and cry all day. Then, around 3:00, I called him back. No ring. It went straight to voicemail. I did this two more times in the following two hours and it went the same: “… Please leave your message after the tone.”

Now this isn’t the first time it happened. Here’s where I begin to worry. He already sounded loopy earlier, I haven’t heard from him the rest of the day, AND when I dial his number it goes straight to voicemail. WTF. I tried to control my catastrophic thinking and replace all of the extreme situations I envisioned with to more positive or rational possibilities.

****

I was lying in bed just wanting to disappear when my dad called me to eat dinner. I reluctantly rolled my ass over there. I was hungry and shaky so it was a relief to finally eat. Just as I was beginning to eat, I got a call from V Vet. Ugh. Bad timing. But… FINALLY! Wait, he sounds even more fucked up that he did earlier. What’s going on? Could it be that he’s drunk?

My heart sank in further. While he babbled I decided to confront him and just simply ask, “Are you drunk?”

“No.”

“Have you been drinking?”

“No I haven’t,” he replied again with a mumbling and almost slurring roll.

“I want to believe you but I don’t,” I said.

That’s when the conversation ended. Two conversations ended with me crying today. Sigh. By this point I had left the dinning room and was in the bathroom crying. I figured I’d just get in the tub and take a shower to calm myself down. I didn’t want anyone to notice how upset I’d gotten. I cried and washed my hair. Then cried some more and washed my face. I paused to lather my body with soap only to cry again as the water washed off the soap. Once I was dry and dressed, I reached out to a friend who I knew would understand. We texted back and forth for a while. Whew. I just may not explode. I even practiced diaphragmatic breathing. Now on to blogging P. That should help too. Keep it up! Use all of your arsenal woman! YES! I’m using my skills! 

And… just as was in the middle of writing this post, I got a third call from him. Let me just say it wasn’t very pretty and I’m still feeling shitty.

I’m left wondering, if he’s good for me the way I am for him? I know what’s good for me. I love him. I also know what I need to do right by me. I’ll have to figure this one out. Le sigh again. It’s not easy and it’s making the trigeminal neuralgia pain flare.

****

Here’s to a shitty day turned into a shitty night. I can hear the thunderstorm outside and all I want to do is run out in the rain. Maybe I’ll get lucky and be hit by lightning.

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********

Janis had a voice in tune with the angels and demons. Her Pretty Little Demons must have been beyond pretty, gorgeous even, much like mine. And I’m not saying I’m gorgeous here; it’s just my demons are.

So, today’s song is “Summertime”. The mood in this song is so melancholy and yet the lyrics have a mixed tinge of humor and sadness, of sarcasm and anger, of positive and negative thougths battling between this girl from a rich dad and gorgeous mom. A girl who will someday fly. I love that thought as trite as it may seem. Will she fly as an angel in death? Or will she do great things in her life? It’s up in the air.

It’s like the essence of the song describes my childhood, my youth.

I know all about having a gorgeous mom, about melancholy and being mixed up with ambivalence, confusion and ambiguity. But my dad on the other hand lost his business in Colombia when he decided to move to the States for me. He sacrificed everything he’d worked up for until that point. I always felt so guilty about it. Ironically though, the guy who took over his photography studio after we left was shot while some hoodlums broke in to steal anything they could. Colombia was in deep political unrest at the time.

********

Well, it’s summer and summertime living is easy for us southern girls. ha! Somer time is ‘a leavin’.

Summertime for me has often been a time of remission from the “mentals” (usually, not always); the only brief remissions I recall. And this summer seems to be no different, despite the burdensome circumstances. I have been getting relatively “better” since July.

****

I also recall many melancholy summers in my childhood. I was a melancholy child even before the suicidals hit. Oh I do.  Child melancholy. Adolescent melancholy. Adult melancholy. It just gets worse. It’s just another bucket filling in the well.

Oh summertime though. Weren’t childhood summers the best? If I recall clearly, even my childhood melancholy summers where better than my remission adolescent and adult summers.

Summertime is  ‘a here y’all. Don’t you cry girl. Don’t you cry. Remember you’re the “mean challenger,” the “brave girl” who never cries.

Yet I’m crying now.

Oh I have so many stories about what this song means to me. So here’s just one of the many….

********

Once Upon a Summertime

I became extremely close to a dirty-blond haired girl way back in 2003-2004. She had big eyes like mine, only hers were green–mine are brown. And she had gorgeous big, pursed lips. It got to a point where I had an intense crush on her. I’m still not sure why.

Back then, I was involved in this organization called the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls and used to joke that they were a cult of lesbians–I wish they were because at least then I wouldn’t have to wear white dresses and do stupid rituals for Jesus. No offense to Jesus. I’m sure he was a cool dude. I’d have kicked it with him, but I doubt he enjoys all that adoration.

This organization was VERY religious and very strict. I caught hell for wearing a brow and nose ring. Anyway, that’s were I met this wonderful girl. The day I met her, we laughed at the rituals and the white dresses.

Don’t get scared; they didn’t harm me. Well, they did once when we went to Corpus Cristi but that’s another post altogether. This Rainbow for Girls thing was more like a cult of Mason’s Christian daughters who claimed to do charity work (the reason I’d joined was because I wanted to do charity work), but instead of doing charity, they only bickered. Anyway, me and this girl (I’ll call her Emma) connected because we both felt out-of-place there. We were both outsiders.

Emma was a wild one, a  free-thinker like me. We had one of those intense connections that immediately sparked! And one summer, we had a road trip with the other Rainbow Girls, the not-so-free-thinker-ones. In the car, Emma and I jammed to Joplin. Me and her, her and me. We laughed a lot that girl Emma and I.

This girl, Emma, knew ALL ABOUT Janis Joplin. I mean, if you know anything about Janis Joplin, you know that she was from Texas. You’d know she was born in January 19, 1943 and began writing plays in the first grade (oh how I’ve always had a thing for most Aquarians I’ve met). You’d also know that she went to Lamar State College for a stretch between gigs before becoming famous. And since you’d know she grew up in Texas and that Lamar State College is where she went for a while; you’d know Lamar State College is also in Port Arthur, Texas, not too far from Houston where I grew up.

Yep, you’d know, you’d know how inadequate she must’a felt there. You’d know that in high school, she’d earned the name “pig” for being pudgy and “nigger lover” for her “tolerance” and love of blacks and her hate of racism–which she witnessed a lot of in Port Arthur and at Lamar, I’m sure. You’d know that that’s why she often left to live with her aunt in Venice Beach, California.

Surely, you’d know this, but even so, you wouldn’t know all the things this girl Emma knew. Emma and I felt her PAIN. This girl was a DEDICATED Joplin fan–must be still. I became a hardcore dedicated fan thanks to Emma.

A year after that summer, in the spring of 2004, I went on a road trip to the northwestern plains of Texas with Emma. Just us two. We went to visit her then-fiancé in prison. She and I had a thing for bad boys, only she’d slept with many and I hadn’t… yet. She was only a year older than me but had been engaged more than once. I hadn’t even had sex or a boyfriend.

I remember getting so upset when I was in that line of booths where you talk to the prisoners through a connected phone behind the windows. I got upset because the people next to us was a family of five–a mom and her three little kids. The dad was a prison inmate. The oldest child was about ten. They were all visiting their daddy, and to me it was so sad. I just sat and watched the man talk to his kids behind the glass while Emma talked to her fiance. And I wondered if it were better for those kids to visit that man, their father, or not. I was so depressed then. I remember wheeling myself to the restroom past these gates where men in solitary confinement stayed. And I just sat on the stall and cried and cried. When I got back, I sat there just looking at them but trying not to look too hard. I always felt things like that, intensely.

Springs have never been good to me, but sumertime is a little different.

****

On our way back from the prison–oh those lovely Texas prisons and there are loads of them– we stopped at this old ma-and-pa shop looking for a place to eat spaghetti. Emma got herself a Southern Comfort plaque, and we planned to see if we could sneak our way into buying some Southern Comfort whisky back in Houston.

Janis had been a “troubled girl” like Janis and I, so she drank a lot of that Southern Comfort whiskey (we ended up not getting the whisky after all).

She was my “date” at my senior prom. She wore a tucks with high heels and I wore a beautiful black and green dress. I didn’t enjoy myself. I only cried after it was over.Then Emma told me that she was planning on going to Lamar State College. She never did. She went somewhere else. She also told me she had BP (bipolar disorder), but back then I hadn’t had my monumental mental breakdown, so I hadn’t been diagnosed or sent to any psychiatric clinic. I was still struggling in silence. So I felt awkward telling her about how much I empathized. I did tell her I empathized but not REALLY EMPATHIZED like I did on the inside. I guess I paid no mind because I was trying to put “mind over matter” like a good Christian Scientist would. I still suspected BP or something similar in myself.

****

What do you think happened between me and dear Emma?

Yep.

Very borderline is what happened.

Our intense friendship broke–just as intense of a rupture as its union. We dissipated from each other as quickly as we had bonded. I see our little summer escapades as a chemical reaction between atoms, forming new molecules, new bonds–that became our friendship. Then, the borderline in me and the bipolar in her was the catalyst.

Then again, I could over analyze it like I tend to. Or oversimplify it.  Of course, life is just like that. Some people drift in and out of our lives. But for me, it’s everyone I’ve been close to. Maybe that’s just how life is for some of us.

In 2006, Emma and I rekindled our friendship online. And for a brief moment, all was well between us again. Then one day, she let me down. She asked me out to a Greek festival and the day of the festival she didn’t return my calls. I instantly went from loving her to hating her guts! I wanted to tear at my skin and pull all of my hair out.

“How could she do this to me?” I thought. “Why wouldn’t she at least call back and say she was sorry, that she wasn’t going, or that she couldn’t pick me up because something held her up?” When I emailed her about it, she didn’t reply. “What did I do? She obviously hates me. No one will ever like me.”

I insulted her in another email and cut her off completely though I missed her terribly. Now was that just life or some of the “borderline” in me?

Soon summertime will become “autumn time” in this part of the world. Molecules come together; molecules break apart. Warmth becomes cool.

****

Enjoy!

addendum: Monkey Man L. had a vinyl record of hers I really wanted. mmmhmmm. I would have wanted it as a memento. I think his sis too it. Well, she deserved it.

A flicker of hope burned within me last night. It swiftly swayed, but all too quick like the wings of a hummingbird. It was small as it fluttered in there, in that barrel chest of mine. It burned ultra-violeT. It was unseen by the naked eye. No difference could be seen in the color of my flesh, but I felt it there hot inside my breast, then cool around my cheeks.

What was this hope you may ask? Oh, it was a bursting urge! A bursting urge to live wholeheartedly.

********

Then today, I woke up crying. I hadn’t cried like this in a few days.

It was the complete opposite of how I woke up yesterday–with boundless energy and an urge to cry but something keeping me from doing so, almost like constipation but worse. Far, far worse.

The showers had subsided and I was relieved. But honestly, I don’t know what’s worse not being able to cry or not being able to stop crying. It’s all too tiring. Too, too tiring.

I keep telling myself, “Things are looking up kid! Just hold on. Look up.” I don’t believe myself when I say this but I know I will hang on.

I just don’t get it.

****

I went swimming yesterday, the first time I got to go since Thursday and I think that may have been what helped light the flickering hope. But that’s the thing with me these days–most days–most of my life I have to keep fueling that damn flicker. It’s like when you’re trying to light a cigarette on a windy day and you only have on small, very small hand to keep the wind from the flames.

I’m always fanning the flames.

****

I had another weekend breakdown. It seems my “rhythm” for the last two weeks has been one okay day followed by two awful days . The “okay” day just means I haven’t had extremely dramatic mood swings or panic inducing anxiety.

Saturday my dad decided to throw a party for my mom’s 50th birthday. Eloise’s sister Isabella, the beautiful ballet dancer, also arrived on Saturday. So it was a chaotic day and needless to say, I couldn’t go swimming.

Swimming has become my new addiction. I noticed myself getting withdrawals all weekend. I’m even having swimming dreams! I had a really bizarre underwater dream several nights ago, where I had to find my way out of  a sewer, only it was endless and I was in scuba diving gear. That faded into another one of my zombie apocalypse dreams. Only this one was very Tim Burtinesque. It was a musical zombie apocalypse with singing zombie-robots that shot human zombies! At that point, I knew I was in a dream so I stopped being scared of the zombies; I started killing those snail-paced fuckers whilst singing along with the robots! (I have a lot of lucid dreams. More on that later.)

****

Alright, I’m not to proud of my journaling style of blogging lately, but I can’t seem to let the blog go completely either. I have been more reserved in what I say as oppose to what I want to say. This blogging thing has become a push and pull with me. And I’ve come to the realization that maybe my funny juices have completely run out. I can’t do a humor blog. I have all of these ideas but my hand just won’t keep still to draw them out. I’ll give it some more time, but I’m just not feeling them squish inside, they vanish tooquickly-the funny juices that is, not the PLD’s–so I’m down to just doing the “dear diary” thing.

****

Oh yeah Saturday.

Saturday, all was flowing well. My brother dropped off Isabella at one of the local universities which will be housing her for her summer dance program. Yeah, I thought she was going to be staying with us, but that was just me jumping to conclusions. We still do plan to take her out and visit and whatnot. But I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to go to the airport since my mom and dad were running around with all of birthday preparations. And that’s what I really meant to write about.

As I’ve mentioned before, I “quit drinking,” relatively speaking. I say relatively because I have had a few drinks here and there on social occasions. The last time was on Mansie’s birthday. That night I ended up crying in B’s car.

After that I said, “No P, you shouldn’t drink, especially now that you’re mourning L’s loss”. But guess what I did Saturday? Yep. Yep. I drank. I got wasted.

Let me explain.

While everyone was eating the ribs my dad had made, I was munching away at my Spanish rice. And then ny brother shows up with his girlfriend with three  delicious glasses of expensive wine (my brother is the money-maker of my little family of four).

But… but… it’s expensive wine and he’s handing me a glass. One sip won’t hurt. Ooooh god, that’s delicious! I never get to have wine this good. Oh, yes, ok. I’ll have just ONE glass.

Well folks, one glass turned into three glasses and three glasses turned into an additional two bottles of Corona Light.

But hey, hey! Looky looky! I don’t feel teary-eyed and all depressed and shit like I normally do when I drink. No, this Corona Light has me feeling alright.

Then, I see my brother being all smochie noochies with his new girlfriend. And don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy for him. We all know this one is a much more positive influence than the last one. In fact, she’s growing on me. But that’s not the point! No! I started thinking about Monkey Man L dammit! I started thinking about how fucked-up our relationship was sometimes. I started thinking about how I’d never really had a formal “boyfriend” and don’t even care to know what that means. But do I? Am I just bitter? Am i just fooling myself?

I laughed. We took pictures. Just about everyone was tipsie and I thought, God I gotta get outta here!

I noticed I was drunker than I thought. I no longer have the tolerance I used to. I went into my dad’s office which used to be my room when my brother still lived with us last year. I’ve been using his computer in that office since my laptop’s been shutting off on me again. Here, there are various types of photographic and printing studio equipment–four printers (one large-scale printer), a scanner, some card-making paper, ink-needles, an easel, paintbrushes, oils and an exact-o knife.

Wait, where’d the exact-o knife go? It was here all week? It was here a minute ago. Oh no, well shit, I better wait for everyone to leave.

Now guys, here’s where I should stand up and do my AA introduction, I suppose:

“My name is P, this here is Mouse who lives inside me and we/I am an alcoholic.”

****

While the party dwindled down to just two guests (by then even my brother and his girlfriend had left), I started reading blogs. I’m sure I left some of you drunken messages and or comments with loads of absurdities. I apologize. I know I left THAM an annoying comment about Luna and I do not care to look at it. I also professed my love to Totsymae. Lady, I don’t regret professing my love to you though!

What I do regret is what follows. And I do say regret is a silly thing but let’s roll with it until I flush it out.

I searched for that exact-0-knife and I started listening to my dear Fiona which was probably a poor move because although I love her voice, I was not in a good mindset. It only amplified my woe. And, I just did the slicing with my nails. Not much, but I did. I tore at myself and nails are too blunt, not sharp and fine like exact-o knives. It was ridiculous.

Eventually, everyone was gone and I took a painkiller from the few I had left. Once again, I went on looking for that exact-o-knife. I really had an urge that wouldn’t quiet then. And that’s the thing about alcohol. It completely lowers my ability to resist this type of self-harm. With me, drinking and cutting have always come together. I can’t seem to separate the two. I hate to admit this. I need to get it through my thick skull if I’m going to tame this beast: You, P, cannot drink! Simple.

I eventually gave up on the exact-o-knife search. Maybe the heavens were looking out for me. Maybe Monkey Man L was looking out for me. I don’t know. All I know is it wasn’t here and it wasn’t in the other office. It had been here in this office all week and I’d been resisting it. Then comes Saturday and it’s missing. And since alcohol lowers inhibitions, all resisting from me was down to almost zero.  In spite of not finding the knife, I did some other kind of injury instead. I’m not proud of it.

I was crying in that office like a battered child–only I’d battered myself–calling out to L repeatedly. All I remember is mumbling some nonsense about how hard it’s been to live without him.

Not so simple is it?

****

I need to find a way to tell my family that I cannot be around alcohol as much as I’ve been. I mean, they’ve practically been waving it under my nose. But I want to be the one that says no. Kids, um just say no. I don’t want to tell them, “Hey, if you see me with a bottle in my hand, snatch it from me.”

I don’t.

Mr. Mackey says to P, “Uh, mmmkay, so alcohol is also bad P, ’cause you can’t seem to control yourself or your Melancholically Manic Mouse, mmmkay? Mmmkay P?”

Mmmkay Mr. Mackey. Mmmkay.

****

I did finally get a call back from the university where Ex-Young Therapist used to work. I’ll be seeing my new therapist Monday! I think that’s a good thing, no?!

I’m extremely nervous about meeting her on Monday, about so many things going all at once. I’ve been invited to a meeting, so I’m planning on being “involved” again. Can I do it? I hope so. I hope I don’t just drop everything half way. Hope is still flickering within, it’s just that I have to keep re-lighting it. That’s all.

I got a message from A.F. That was warming. Yes yes, things are looking up kid. Don’t mind the slip up. Oh yes, so much to do! Don’t panic. Shhhh. Calm. Calm. Quietly breath. They are lookin’ up kid. Just keep swimming when you can; just keep swimming when you can’t.

*trigger warning, though it does have a hopeful message akin to ‘art is my salvation’*

********

The Heiligenstadt Testament or What Mouse Likes to Call Beethoven’s Suicidal-ish Letter to His Brother(s)

(English translation)

For my brothers Carl and [Johann] Beethoven

Oh you men who think or say that I am malevolent, stubborn, or misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me. You do not know the secret cause which makes me seem that way to you. From childhood on, me heart and soul have been full of the tender feeling of goodwill, and I was ever inclined to accomplish great things. But, think that for six years now I have been hopelessly afflicted, made worse by senseless physicians, from year to year deceived with hopes of improvement, finally compelled to face the prospect of a lasting malady (whose cure will take years or, perhaps, be impossible). Though born with a fiery, active temperament, even susceptible to the diversions of society, I was soon compelled to withdraw myself, to live life alone. If at times I tried to forget all this, oh how harshly I was I flung back by the doubly sad experience of my bad hearing. Yet it was impossible for me to say to people, “Speak louder, shout, for I am deaf.” Ah, how could I possibly admit an infirmity in the one sense which ought to be more perfect in me than others, a sense which I once possessed in the highest perfection, a perfection such as few in my profession enjoy or ever have enjoyed.–Oh I cannot do it; therefore forgive me when you see me draw back when I would have gladly mingled with you.

My misfortune is doubly painful to me because I am bound to be misunderstood; for me there can be no relaxation with my fellow men, no refined conversations, no mutual exchange of ideas. I must live almost alone, like one who has been banished; I can mix with society only as much as true necessity demands. If I approach near to people a hot terror seizes upon me, and I fear being exposed to the danger that my condition might be noticed. Thus it has been during the last six months which I have spent in the country. By ordering me to spare my hearing as much as possible, my intelligent doctor almost fell in with my own present frame of mind, though sometimes I ran counter to it by yielding to my desire for companionship.

But what a humiliation for me when someone standing next to me heard a flute in the distance and I heard nothing, or someone heard a shepherd singing and again I heard nothing. Such incidents drove me almost to despair; a little more of that and I would have ended me life — it was only my art that held me back. Ah, it seemed to me impossible to leave the world until I had brought forth all that I felt was within me. So I endured this wretched existence — truly wretched for so susceptible a body, which can be thrown by a sudden change from the best condition to the very worst. — Patience, they say, is what I must now choose for my guide, and I have done so — I hope my determination will remain firm to endure until it pleases the inexorable Parcae to break the thread. Perhaps I shall get better, perhaps not; I am ready. — Forced to become a philosopher already in my twenty-eighth year, oh it is not easy, and for the artist much more difficult than for anyone else. ‘Divine one, thou seest me inmost soul thou knowest that therein dwells the love of mankind and the desire to do good’. Oh fellow men, when at some point you read this, consider then that you have done me an injustice; someone who has had misfortune may console himself to find a similar case to his, who despite all the limitations of Nature nevertheless did everything within his powers to become accepted among worthy artists and men.

You, my brothers Carl and [Johann], as soon as I am dead, if Dr. Schmidt is still alive, ask him in my name to describe my malady, and attach this written documentation to his account of my illness so that so far as it possible at least the world may become reconciled to me after my death”.

At the same time, I declare you two to be the heirs to my small fortune (if so it can be called); divide it fairly; bear with and help each other. What injury you have done me you know was long ago forgiven. To you, brother Carl, I give special thanks for the attachment you have shown me of late. It is my wish that you may have a better and freer life than I have had. Recommend virtue to your children; it alone, not money, can make them happy. I speak from experience; this was what upheld me in time of misery. Thanks to it and to my art, I did not end my life by suicide — Farewell and love each other —

I thank all my friends, particularly Prince Lichnowsky’s and Professor Schmidt — I would like the instruments from Prince L. to be preserved by one of you, but not to be the cause of strife between you, and as soon as they can serve you a better purpose, then sell them. How happy I shall be if can still be helpful to you in my grave — so be it. — With joy I hasten to meed death. — If it comes before I have had the chance to develop all my artistic capacities, it will still be coming too soon despite my harsh fate, and I should probably wish it later — yet even so I should be happy, for would it not free me from a state of endless suffering? — Come when thou wilt, I shall meet thee bravely. — Farewell and do not wholly forget me when I am dead; I deserve this from you, for during my lifetime I was thinking of you often and of ways to make you happy — please be so —

Ludwig van Beethoven

Heiligenstadt,

October 6th, 1802

********************************************************************************************************

Though he never completely was able to rid himself of his depression, Beethoven went on to write Symphony No. 9, his most famous work to date, after writing this letter/will, much after he was pretty much completely (no my favorite but a damn good one). Life has more irony than fiction.

Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) often causes hearing loss. Whenever people find out that I have pretty severe hearing loss (in my right ear mostly) and know that I’m also a musician, they almost always mention Beethoven.

“Oh, that must suck, but you know Beethoven…”

I often feel ambivalent towards their attempt to comfort me. I don’t like to mention my hearing loss because I don’t want people feeling sorry for me, but I often have to so people can know not to whisper around me. Imagine how difficult it is to have severe social anxiety with normal hearing, and then having a loss like that just multiplies the anxiety. If Beethoven lived in our modern day, he’d be labeled with “social anxiety disorder” and “major depressive disorder” for sure–among other things.

Whenever people start to give me their puckered face and their, “Beethoven did…” speech, I always want to show them this letter he wrote, as if to say, “SEE, it wasn’t easy! Beethoven wanted to kill himself for many years. So please, don’t give me that fuckin’ shit! In fact, some say he may have drank himself to death! But yes, you’re right, he did keep on writing his music. And thank you for your kind words, you make a good point about determination. Whew. Sorry, didn’t mean to go off on ya…”

The good thing is I’m learning to habituate. Again, art has been my salvation. And this letter has been a source of comfort.

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

Resource:
http://www.all-about-beethoven.com/heiligenstadt_test.html

As many of you may already know, I have brittle bones disease which is scientifically called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI). As a result, I’ve broken roughly 100 bones in my life, stopped counting after 70. I was born, or rather already had 17 fractures before leaving the womb.

Infants with type II OI, the most severe type, generally die from a collapsed lung, pneumonia or heart complications because the rib cage is so frail. Some die during birth or are stillborn with disconnected spinal and cranial bones.

I have type III, so I’m a little stronger than those with type II and fortunately, I can walk short distances while holding on to things. I mainly use a wheelchair, however, I do have a walker and would like to get crutches. Type I is the most common and also the least severe (I know, it’s funny how these are all out of order, you’d think type I would be the most severe).

Anyway, if you’ve been following my blog, you’ll remember that I wrote a post titled “Hooray, Phuckin A It’s Rare Disease Day!” and well, this is my promise of updating on the “awareness day” for OI. See, I do keep my promises! Some at least.

Now, I’m not going to place any links or any such things on here because chances are you won’t click (no offense) and I understand and don’t blame you because considering how many good blogs are out there, how crazy and fast paced life is, there’s just not enough time to read up on these things, especially some depressing disease. Who wants to know about diseases? They’re fuckin’ depressing man!

Really though, it’s not that bad. (HAAA, yeah, sure P). No, it’s not. I mean it’s not lethal like cancer or anything… wait… type II… nevermind. The case is, I’m going to keep my OI brothers and sisters in mind today.

As of today I’m also going to make a commitment to write more about chronic illness/disease and its relationship to mental illness (though I don’t like to use the term “mental illness” much). Anyway, there is a huge comorbidity there folks. For example, it’s no surprise major depressive disorders (MDD) are more common in a sample population of people with a chronic illness than in an otherwise “healthy” population. This to me, shows a high relationship with the psychosocial aspect of mental health.

****

So here’s to the little OI kids with little mangled bones all around the world! Keep on truckin’ little ones! Keep on! Keep on!

Wishbone Day is May 6th. It is held internationally in various cities to raise awareness and funds for Osteogenesis Imperfecta.
for more info visit http://www.wishboneday.com or
http://www.oif.org/site/PageServer

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addendum: Yous guys ever heard of the film Unbreakable directed by M. Night Shyamalan? Well, this Shyamalan guy is one I can’t seem to figure out. He’ll do one good film and then two terrible ones. I’m not going to say Unbreakable is TERRIBLE because I’ve never actually seen it and therefore, it would be very unfair of me to say anything. What I CAN say is that M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening was a fuckin’ complete waste, bloody rubbish (ya’ll Brits have been rubbing off on me, I swear).

So, back to Unbreakable. (I swear I’m going to make a really good point here if I don’t forget.)

In Unbreakable, the fabulous actor Samuel L. Jackson plays a character–or was it Bruce Willis’ character–whatever, one of the two played someone that had none other than OSTEOGENESIS IMPERFECTA (OI). And, though I’ve never seen the film, I know that at one point they mention he has THE WORST TYPE of OI! WORST TYPE? HAHA! OUTRAGEOUS! If you’ve read this far, you know what happens to most of those who have the “worst type”. I’m a “midget” people! How can one of these two, muscular to built and tall to average-height men have it worse than me? I don’t even have “the worst” type to begin with!

And how do I know this? Because my dear deceased L told me this, and I believed him because he was a movie addict; when he wasn’t poppin pain pill after pain pill, drinking like a sailor and flipping out, he was flippin HBO channels. Also, he had type III OI like I do.

This just goes to show you guys that “REALITY” (whatever that may be) and FILM/TV are FAR FAR APART. And this is coming from someone who ADORES FILM, who DREAMS of MAKING FILMS ONE DAY!

****

Speaking of Samuel L. Jackson… My next post will be “P’s First Film Review: THE AVENGERS, a Character Study On the Hulk’s Raging Borderline Personality Disorder” (yes, I am now CONVINCED Sir Bruce Banner aka Hulk is borderline and I can say this without offending because I’m officially certified borderline myself and yes, I’ll take the label and milk it for what it’s worth for now).

Yep, I just got back from seeing The Avengers and did not have a panic attack!

Thanks for reading!

*mouse nibbles*

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addendum 2: I just realized it’s MAY 5th today! Bahaha. NOT May 6th! Oh well, for you New Zealanders I’m not off at least, am I? It’s already May 6th there isn’t it?

I really do think I need to be hospitalized at this point.  NO NO NO P, you do NOT. You will NOT go to a county PSYCH WARD! Nevermind. Shhhht. You don’  heard nor read nothin’ alright. Alright? I’m out.

*le mouse sigh*

I’m on the border y’all.

Not only am literally on the border (Texas borderlands) but I’m also on the border mentally.

It’s “official”.

It’s set on paper with nice black ink–though not in stone or anything–but it was kept from me, KEPT FROM ME!

Kept from ME by my own therapist, my Young Therapist.

Guys I’m going to warn you. Before you go any further with this post, know this: I’m actually going to be serious for a moment and I’m going to be saying some things that are not easy for me to say. I’m going to say some things that may be triggering to some of you. AND, I’m going to be serious without cursing! (Yeah, I know!)

Here’s where I bore you to death or at least until you’re nearly as suicidal as me. *trigger warning*

********

Let me explain, I suspected it ever since Young Therapist let it slip that her dissertation/PhD concentration is on Borderline Personality Disorder. In fact, I suspected it long before then. I suspected it nearly two years ago when I started with her and she gave me these handouts on dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). When we began, I’d get packets–one after another. I’d get a new packet every week and now I have a damn book’s worth of packets in a folder. A chapter on mindfulness, a chapter on progressive muscle relaxation and diaphragmatic breathing, a chapter on DEAR MAN, another on Cognitive Restructuring of Mental Distortions and Distress Tolerance and the list goes on.

One day I asked Miss Young Therapist about this Dr. Marsha Linehan who was the author (you could read it on the fine print on the bottom of the handouts). Young therapist answered that Dr. Linehan was pretty much the mother of dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) which is primarly used on borderline patients.

“But just because I’m giving you these packets P., doesn’t mean I’m saying you’re a borderline patient.”

That was, until I had my last session with her on Wednesday this week. The first half hour or so we did the usual, “How are you doing this week? Wha’ts going on? And this and that.”

I’d brought my “release of information” form signed for her so she could send my files to the new therapist I’ll be seeing at the community clinic. I was waiting for her to bring up the termination thing and sure enough she did.

“So, this is our last session,” she sighed, “is there anything you want to say?”

“Yep, it is.” I looked intently, sighed, then looked away towards my wheelchair where I’d placed my folder. “Oh, I brought the release form signed. I went to the clinic and found out the name of my new therapist and got the fax number and everything here for you.”

I pulled it out of the folder and handed it to her.

I went on and told her that I’d like a copy of the two reports she’ll be faxing in to them–the “Termination Summary” and “Intake Evaluation Report”–because since it’s a community hospital she can’t just send it directly to the therapist. And I added that since it would have to go through the medical records office which can take over a month, she might as well give me a copy of each just in case.

“Yes, of course, I’ll give you a copy when we head out.”

I wasn’t lying about the medical records office. They’re terrible! But, I did do something with double intention there. I wanted to get a hold of my records without being too obvious about it. I know right? Why couldn’t I just upright and tell her I wanted a copy? Why was I so nervous about that? It’s the dynamics I tell you, and my own anxiety and hesitance.

We went on to discuss what I’d benefited most from and she asked what I thought I’d become better at handling. I mentioned some of the mindfulness stuff and managing my anger. She said that I was one of the most “committed clients” she’d worked with as well as one of the clients with the most extreme life stressors. “You’ve had to deal with more than most people. And you’ve done extremely well considering that, I think,” she said.  She went on with the whole patting me on the back, flattering, and good job thing. I don’t doubt she was being honest though. She genuinely seemed pleased with my overall progress.

When we went out to the front desk and I paid her my dues, she wished me luck with the new therapist again and said bye. I thanked her and then just stared at her for a minute.

“Yes?” she asked looking confused.

“Um, aren’t you going to print out the Termination Record so I can have a copy?”

“Oh, oh, right.”

I don’t know why, maybe I’m just overly critical, but I once again felt she was holding back on me. She could’ve honestly forgotten but I don’t know.

Anyway, she printed it out and handed it to me and said, “If there’s anything you have questions about, about what’s on here, feel free to call me.” She gave me this look I can’t describe. It’s was a sort of apologetic look.

“Ok.” I looked at the paper and said, “This is just the termination summary, can I get the intake evaluation report as well?”

“Uh, mmm, I don’t know, I’ll really have to ask my supervisor about this P. Sorry.”

Again, I felt a little put off. But oh well, I figure I’ll call in a week and ask for her supervisor and try to get it directly from him.

*******

When I was in the car I began reading the termination summary, and read something that shocked me a bit it. At the end of the report, it read:

Diagnosis:
Axis I
296.32 Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent, Moderate

Axis II
301.83 Borderline Personality Disorder

Axis III
Disease of the Musculoskeletal System and Connective Tissue: Osteogenesis [Imperfecta] <–She’d left out the imperfecta part.

Axis IV
Occupational problems
Economic problems
Problems with access to healthcare services

Axis V
GAF Current: 75
GAF Long Term: 55

What shocked me was the Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis. But why? I had suspected it even though she never told me, ever, and even though I’m not big on holding to a diagnosis. What I mean is, I take a diagnosis with a grain of salt, a BIG grain of salt. They are merely there to draw a delineation the person’s major mental problems and a course of action.

BUT, then again, I contradict myself, because a part of me was and has been desperate, yearning even for some sort of label. With that I would have proof! I know, me wanting a label sounds shocking in and of itself! See I’d gotten a bipolar label after my monumental mental meltdown in 2008. That was the first time I’d seen a mental health professional in my life. And I got diagnosed only after the second session.

I’ll tell you though, getting something on paper felt like a relief then. It was a validation. I could no longer tell myself (even though I still do): “See P, you’re just making all this up. There’s nothing wrong with you. All of humanity is insane anyway! And you, you’re just weak! You’re just crying over nothing. Go on, cry like a baby over nothing. Always have! The baby you’ve always been. You can stop all this, you know? You’re just making it up anyway. They were right about you, your family and everyone! You and your antics and your dramatics. That’s all it is! There’s no such thing as mental illness girl! Yeah little, stupid, little selfish girl. You don’t need their help. You don’t deserve it either. Just straighten up and quit the crying! Quit it! Quit hitting your head against the wall and get that damn razor out of your hand!”

So you see, getting it in paper meant that I wasn’t just being dramatic as I’ve always been called. I’ve held my little BP label as a trophy even, in a sort of twisted way but I don’t think people can truly understand what I mean until they’ve been there in front of that psychiatrist or therapist looking like hell (oops, just a little curse).

Then, I didn’t stick around with that first psychiatrist in the spring of 2008.

“I hate them all! Nothing but drug dealers for the Big Pharma Co.s, nothing but pill pushers. They don’t care about you.” And then I caved and went back to another and then another and another all in the span of a year.

I eventually landed myself in one of the university psychiatrist’s hands by pleas and begging of my first therapist.

“Please go. Just try it,” she’d say.

So I went.

****

You? bipolar? I’m not sure. No se. Vamos a ver. I doubt it. But I’ll have to see more of you to be sure. Nos daremos cuenta con el tiempo,” he said.

He was an old Cuban man and I hated him the instant I saw him (not because he’s Cuban yall; I’m Colombian remember, so there’s a lot not to like there 😉 I kid). I just got a terrible vibe from him. I didn’t trust any psychiatrist then (am still hesitant) and I sure as hell didn’t trust some old mangy one covered in liver spots.

“I don’t think I’m going back there,” I told my first counselor/therapist, the one I was seeing at the university’s psychological services center (this is not the same place where Young Therapist works. Young therapist works at the College of Social Sciences in the Psychology  department).

“P. you really should go see a psychiatrist to help you stabilize those mood swings,” the counselor said. “Look if you don’t want to see that man, there’s this really good psychiatrist, just came back. She was going to retire but decided not to just yet.”

Needless to say she finally convinced me to go and I returned.

An awkward moment occurred when I went to see this new “good psychiatrist” and Dr. Cuban Liverspots said hi to me when he was marching with his coffee cup on the way to his office, right next to new “good psychiatrist’s”! Well, turns out this was the third or fourth psychiatrist (I honestly don’t remember how many I’d seen by then) and she said that I did not have bipolar (BP). But she didn’t say what it was that I did have. If it wasn’t BP, then what I wondered. I never asked though. I guess I can be passive in that sense. The only thing I knew, is when I went to the cash register to pay, the bill read, “Major Depressive Disorder” (MDD) and “Generalized Anxiety Disorder” (GAD).

At least I got my answer, I thought. That’s when the alphabet soup of my psychological disorders got spicy. I now had a gumbo soup of disorders.

Then this! This Borderline Personality Disorder. It sounds so macabre! So fantastical. So unreal. So STIGMATIZING! I’m sorry to break it to you guys, my dear BP internet buddies but my belief is that as stigmatizing as BP is (and it really is), the BPD label is ten times more. Why? I’ll explain in part two.

****

“What?! You got that borderline personality disorder!? What is that? Is that like when you have multiple personalities? OH MY GOD, you got multiple personalities P? You gonna go Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde on me P?”

“No! Come on! I don’t have multiple personality disorder, that’s not even called that by the way; it’s been updated by the APA. It’s now called dissociative identity disorder, Dee-Eye-Dee (DID). I’m just me, the one and only PAZ. I’m still the melancholically manic mouse, only now I fit the ICD and DSM and [insert random acronyms for other diagnostic manuals] criteria of a borderline meloncholically manic mouse. I’m a borderline melancholically manic mouse  is all. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a very unstable environment though my family was always tightly knitted and mostly very loving. Maybe it’s because I’ve had to deal with a lot of traumatic events, especially in my childhood so I’m somehow ’emotionally scarred’. Maybe I regress to childhood if you were to ask Freud, though the behavioralists wouldn’t agree. Maybe my brain does fire off too quickly, and if that’s the case, the pharmas are more than happy to hear. Maybe my limbic system has a malfunction and thus, my amygdala is hyperactive or hypersensitive; maybe it’s a genetic mutation like my malformed bones and that’s why I’m so quick to rage. Or maybe I was conditioned to rage by my mother’s rage and abuse. The behavioralists would agree with that one. Maybe I do have a shortage of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin or GABA or some other neurotransmitter. Maybe I don’t, but maybe I do, and maybe I have all of the above or none of the above. All I know is I have the emotional stability of a five year-old. I guess it fits my toddler height.”

Really, how do you explain all that? It just makes my alphabet/acronym soup spicier and more foreign than a crunchy Samosa plate served with dhaal soup.

Mmmm. Samosa.

********

Alright, some of you may know what this is already, this BPD and BP and Axis I and Axis II nonsense, but to those of you who don’t and are interested, let me explain what some of this is  (it’s a good thing I’m a nerd that’s into psychology and I have several books on it).

When I got home, you best believe I dug out those books from my book shelf.

First, the various “Axis” levels go like this:

Axis degrees are used as intersections of a person’s main mental problems in order to diagnose a mental disorder. Each Axis affects the overall diagnosis as each affects/intersects and correlates with the other.

Axis I: clinical disorders.    
Symptoms that cause distress or significantly impair societal or occupational functioning such as anxiety disorders, major depression, bipolar disorders, etc.

Axis II: personality disorders and mental retardation disorders. (now why’d they have to dump me in with the mental retardation folks? It’s just like they did when I was in PE class in middle school! P in PE with the retarded kids.)
Chronic and enduring problems that generally persist throughout life and impair interpersonal or occupational functioning.

Axis III: general medical condition.    
Physical disorders that may be relevant to understanding or treating a psychological disorder.

Axis IV: current psychosocial and environmental problems.    
Problems (such as interpersonal stressors and negative life events) that may affect the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of psychological disorders.

Axis V: global assessment functioning (GAF).
The individual’s overall level of functioning in social, occupational, and leisure activities. (Now I’m not going to go into detail with this one but if you want more info go here. You probably won’t though since no one clicks my links. hehe

****

Then there’s the Borderline (BPD) diagnosis. I had already known about BPD but again, I thought if anything I fit more into the BP criteria (tell me if this is getting confusing). I could just relate to those who have BP, who I’ve  talked to either face-to face or in online forums. The BPD people folks though, I said to myself, are said to be manipulative and I’m not manipulative, no, no I’m not. Am I? No. I’m not.

I’m not going to talk about the major depressive (MDD) diagnosis because that was a given for me.

So a very, very short description of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is that it is essentially a disorder of extreme and pervasive emotional disregulation characterized by impulsivity and instability in moods, relationships and self-image. (Karen Huffman)

None of this is catch all, you see. We are still people with unique personalities and cultures, histories and separate though connecting lives. We’re individuals, even those like myself who now have had the personality disorder diagnosis slapped on.

****

I cried uncontrollably for about two hours Wednesday night. It could’ve been PMS and a thought about L. I don’t know why I didn’t get so worked up about the other diagnosis (Dx) in my past. Then it dawned on me the more I thought about it. Could it be that  it’s because I think it’s actually the most accurate Dx I’ve had to date? And then, could it be that this has made me subconsciously think about all of the things I’ve been through, all that I’ve done? All the extremes in my life? I mean, all the psychiatrists never saw me for who I was. They never saw me more than twenty minutes at most and once every month or two (again, at most).

Young Therapist did see me for who I was, at least partly. She saw me for an hour every week for almost a year, then every two weeks for another. And she had me do tests and talk about so many things which I never did with the others. Young Therapist actually saw me cry. I cry a river damn near ever day when I get depressed but I don’t cry in front of people! And Young Therapist saw me get shaky to the point of telling her I had to puke, to the point of having to put my arms down and sit on them. Young Therapist, if anyone, would know how to diagnose me. So maybe I cried because I got the sense that not only did I get diagnosed with a very severe, very misunderstood and stigmatized disorder (albeit relatively treatable), but I felt for the first time they got to the core of me. Maybe, I was also crying out of relief.

In order to qualify (ha,  “qualify” like a merit) as having BPD in America, you have to fit at least five of these within your problem scheme. Here are some of the criteria according to the damn (oops) DSM-IV:

  1. frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.

Ok this one got me. I don’t think I make frantic efforts to avoid any kind of abandonment. Do I? No, you don’t P. But maybe I fear it so much I’m in denial? Maybe P, maybe. Or maybe this one just doesn’t pertain to me. Remember, it’s not a catch all.

  2. a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.

Yes. Yes. Yes. That’s definitely me. Just this week I said, “Damn you WordPress. You suck! Why do I bother with you,” then, “Oh Dear WordPress. Don’t leave me. I love you. You’re the best. What would I do without you?”

  3. identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.

Yes. Maybe. Yes. No. Maybe. I’m the best! I’m the worst! I’ll talk about this later. What do you mean by this anyway? Of course I have an identity! It’s not disturbed. Ok. Hmmm. Maybe. I don’t know. I change my mind about what I think about myself, what I want to do with my life and many people do that right? Yes P, but not at such extremes. I doubt what my strengths are. Am I good at writing? No! But I love writing. I’m good at it. Yes? Should I stick with editing video then? But I want to write documentaries and dramatic films. I like to draw too. Could I write comics? Who am I kidding, I’m not an artist. Should I be a therapist? Yes. Yes! I’m so wise, so loving. I want to embrace everyone. No! You’re a misanthropic nihilist. Nothing fits. Am I splitting? What about the web design thing you were trying to do, and what about the multimedia journalism masters at UT? What about the Latin American Studies masters you’d thought about too P? What about your music P? What about your photography P? And what about your poems P?

Yeah, I’ll have to get back to this one later.

  4. impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.

Yes. I’m a highly reactive and highly impulsive person even though I tend to over-think things before I do them–so in that sense I’m not impulsive. I hesitate too much on doing them, say choosing a college degree or buying a flavor of yogurt or talking to someone I find attractive. My impulsivity in other aspects, however, has gotten me in trouble and put me in dangerous situations. I’ve done drugs. Many. I did cocaine with L. I was always a bummer, never a buyer. I bummed drugs off of people whenever they were offered, so I never considered myself a “real” user. I was a functioning alcoholic or as the AA people would say, I am an alcoholic in recovery.

I’ve also had phases in my life where I binge eat, particularly to deal with stress. People with BPD, especially young women tend also have a comorbid eating disorder, most notably bulimia nervosa. Though I’ve never been bulimic per se, I have always punished myself in some way or another after binging. My weight has also fluctuated drastically throughout my life. Right now I’m more on the healthy weight to slightly-underweight side.

Sex. That’s a difficult one. I was a shy, late bloomer, a wallflower. But I knew a lot about sex at a very young age. Growing up with an older brother and always hanging out with the guys, you find out about porn early on. Then I lost a close friend because of my impulsive sexual behavior. However, I’m still extremely shy, self-conscious and have issues about my body so I’ve turned down many sexual encounters due to the fact that I have terrible anxiety about it. I’m really short, have brittle bones (some of which are a bit disfigured), use a wheelchair and I always felt no one would find me attractive. I mean, really, who would find a girl in a wheelchair attractive, I’d tell myself. There are ignorant folks out there who still refuse to believe someone like me could have a thriving sexual life.

Who would find a midgety, malformed mouse attractive? So when I found out that I was found attractive indeed, when I was put on the spot, I often backed away. I’m very impulsive sexually though so there’s a tug of war going on in my head. “I can’t but I want to so bad”. Once I get comfortable enough, I’m very impulsive with sex so much so that L and two male “friends” of mine who used to called me a nymph. That’s when the alcohol and drugs come in to play as well.

Oh, and I’m also bisexual, though I mainly just identify as queer and don’t tell people I am. I guess I’m still in the closet about it.

  5. recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior

Triple yes. Though I’ve never really attempted and don’t think I make “gestures” of my suicidality to people. In fact, I try to hide it as much as possible. I don’t talk about my suicidal ideations or depression, the only exception being the therapist and even then I’m very vague about it.

As far as gestures… I don’t know. Maybe I make them and don’t realize it? There was, however, one time when I got in a huge fight with my brother not too long ago and I became a “maniac P., you’re acting like a manic! Chill! Chill! What are you…? Oh, f****, hi officer. No, no she’s alright. No, I don’t think I need to take her to the ER. She’s my sister. Yes. She just needs to sleep. I just need to get her to bed. No, I got it. Ok, yes, I’ll see if I take her to the nearest ER. I’m just getting to my apartment right around the corner. I will call them once I’m there, yes. Thank you.”

A cop had pulled us over because my brother wasn’t watching the road because he had to pull me back as I was trying to jump out of his car while screaming, “LET ME OUT”. Maybe that’s a suicidal gesture? I’m not sure. I don’t recall much of of it since I felt out of my body. I only remember sitting on the curb of some parking lot near his apartment complex that night crying and shaking uncontrollably and then, eventually, getting picked up by my dad who later said I couldn’t make a coherent sentence. Very impulsive indeed. Oh and that’s another thing with BPD. Borderlines supposedly have a tendency towards depersonalization  and derealization as well as transient psychotic or psychotic-like breaks under crisis situations, something I’m very familiar with.

Self-mutilation. Yes. I’ve never been much of a cutter, but when I have, it’s been extreme. I’m going to leave it at that. And I’d banged my head against walls ever since I was about ten or eleven or younger even. When I was in middle school, I got into the habit of scratching and slapping and punching myself and pulling bits of my hair. So triples yes on that one too. This is embarrassing guys.

  6. affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).

Yes, it’s one of the things that got me the initial Dx for bipolar. There’s something that should be said about this one though, because unlike the criteria, I usually don’t just have these episodes for only hours or days thought that is the case sometimes.

  7. chronic feelings of emptiness

Not as much as years back. It fluctuates for me. The way I see it: I fill up and then I drain, I fill up and then I drain.

  8. inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)

Yes to the power of ten. I’m a recovering rageaholic too. When I was a kid, I threw a butter knife at my brother over a simple remark he’d made and smashed all the plates. It hit him in the forehead. Fortunately, it was only a butter knife and my weak hands couldn’t throw hard enough for a blunt force to seriously hurt him. And these types of violent outbursts were not at all uncommon for me. I have dozens of similar stories ranging as early as when I was four.

  9. transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms

Yes. People are after me. I make terrible, mean comments on WordPress and that makes everyone get offended and so on and so forth. I have dissociation episodes galore. Where am I? Are those shadows moving? Are they people? Am I there and not here. I’m outside of myself!

********

Ok, I’m going to leave it here for now, but I plan to write more about BPD, what I think of all of this and all of the psychological research I’ve read about it as well as the co-morbidity of BP and BPD.

Hey? 🙂 You there?

See, I bored you to death. 😦

*Le mouse sigh*

***********************************************************************

Resources

Handbook of Personality, Third Edition: Theory and Research edited by Oliver P. John, Richard W. Robins, and Lawrence A Pervin

Psychology In Action, 6th Edition by Karen Huffman

PsychCenteral

Mayo Clinic

National Education Alliance Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA BPD)

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Institute of Mental Health

About.com, Borderline Personality Disorder Guide

Wikipedia, Borderline Personality Disorder

BPD Today – DSM-IV TR Diagnostic Criteria

Because

for T.H.L. because he knew me so well

Because the dead don’t
wake in a rage,
two silky bones,
chalky fingers
calmly linger
and ask for more.
“Two more please.”
As if Consuelo needs
another drink.

Because the dead
don’t wake with hunger,
two bandit mice
scurry down the table
filled with fruit and
the drops left of
Consuelo’s
Modelo.

Because he had wanted
to savor the dreams
of a well dressed man,
they migrated
from country to city
and adapted to
ambitious conditions
of this land.

Because the uncertainties
fogged them,
they built a meager home.
What once were two
heavy cheeks
are now
fleshless visages
that dart
melancholy.

Because they have drank
each other bloodless,
his spirit wafts now
beyond flasks and cantinas
still singing, echoing
“My love’s consumed
like a cigarette”.
So goes the cliché.

Because he is now
a nameless man,
a busker with
a guitar in hand,
he serenades her with his
drudging charade.

Because the dead don’t
have trouble sleeping,
and
“Because,” his stony jaw exudes
“women were the death of me,
there’s something
liberating
this death brings”.

© Paz

********************************************************************************************************

Today’s prompt: an ekphrastic/ekphrasis poem, which is a “dramatic description of a visual work of art.”

Today also marked a month and a day since I found out about L’s death. I’m sure he’d laugh/is laughing at the dark humor I tried to get in this one–after all, it’s for him. Oh, and the poem is based on a painting he owned (I have no idea who has it now) but I took a picture of it the day I hung out with him during the Superbowl, and though I hadn’t wanted to look at those pictures, I will upload the picture of the painting that goes with this poem tomorrow. It’ll make more sense when you see the painting. Maybe I’ll catch up on yesterday’s Earth Day poem too.

These last two were difficult to get through. Whew.

But the fact that you guys are actually reading them encourages me, really.

Xxx

A Good List, Round Two

April 9, 2012

Numero 15: It’s a good thing I like mariachi music because I still have those songs from the polished turd dancing all around my head, a swirly fanfare looping and looping with all the other Paz and not so Paz monologues.

“Que vivan los novios, que viva el amor”

UMPRAPAPAPA!

BOOM BOOM CHUCKCH CHUCKCH! BOOM BOOM CHUCKCH CHUCKCHPARRURRURRUR! UMPA-RAPAPAP! UMPAPAP! PAP! Enter voilin solo–DEED-A-REED-DEED–and another trumpet roll. PARURRURRUR! BRAPAPAP!

And…

PAP! PAP!

“But why’d you have to leave like this? Are you at peace now? Please tell me you are. Yeah, you’re at peace. You’ve gotta be…Yeah, you better be you little prick… god…I miss you so much…damn you… you know I love you right? I love you so much…”

“Will I be able to finish it? Oh I can’t now, it’s been so long. She’ll never refer me to her friend for work now. Gaaah, gotta find work. Fuckin’ papers. Wonder if I should call Mansie about this, she did text me last week…”

“I am. I am. I am. I am. I am. I am. I am. I am. I am…”

“Just ignore. Just ignore that she does that and you better go eat now.”

“Alright, just focus. Why isn’t this opening!? Stupid editing programs and their fuckin’ glitches! Reconnect media, reconnect media! No! I don’t want to send an error message to Adobe. Why won’t you–Bargarghargh!”

“Que vivan los novios, que viva el amor, que viva el amor–” 

UMPRAPAPAPA! BOOM BOOM CHUCKCH CHUCKCHBOOM BOOM CHUCKCH CHUCKCHPARRURRURRUR! UMPA-RAPAPAP! UMPAPAP! PAP!” BOOM CHUCKUCHUCK! PARURRURRUR! BRAPAPAP!

“Que vivan los novios, que viva el amor, que viva el amor–” 

Numero 16: I’m not even going to try and describe what the pretty little demon’s monologues are like or how they yell over that fanfare above. But I will say that they’re somewhat hushed these last few day. So that’s why they’re number sixteen.

Numero 17: My arm is still pretty frail, still in a thermoplast splint but I’m able to type with two hands again: Tap-tap-tap tapity-tap tap tap! “Que vivan los novios, que viv–” 

Once that twisty, mangled bone is completely healed, I’ll regain strength and be able to doodle and pick up the ukelele again, the one L gave me nearly three years ago. Maybe I’ll join a mariachi band, you know, convince the band that a uke honed by a chick in a wheelchair would be fitting.

Numero 18: Living in Houston is like living in a stinky armpit. Spring lasts three weeks max and it’s hell’s heat from then on out. The salty and tangy smell from the Gulf of Mexico washes in along with its oppressive humidity. The humidity hits you like a sweaty wrestler clothes-lining you. As you slam onto the floor, his moist, ruffled pit cups you breathless.

Houston is being promoted as a “cultural” city. Ha! We do have a great mixture of ethnicities and people and cultures–we’re a melting pot–much like NYC (not at all), but cultural city it is not. And it is far from being urban.

If I were in charge of the city’s public relations, I’d make an ad campaign that reads: “Houston! Come on over and feel the South Texas heat! It’s like having a sweaty wrestler’s armpit stuck on your face or a breathy old waitress with halitosis leaning over too close to your nose! You’re only an hour away from Galveston beaches, where much of the oil has yet to settle!”

But (read: BUT) these short lived glory days of southern spring have been so pretty that they’re helping me with my mindfulness. I’ve tried my best to focus on the warmth of the sun; the green of the grass; the cool evening air that seeps in after the sky’s showers fall; the smell of the dew; the odor of skin, that burning smell it gets when it’s seen the sun too long; the heat, the suffocating heat, the itchiness from the mosquito bites, and the soft fur of Little Luna, soft like a rabbit.

Numero 19: I’m drinking tea instead of coffee. In fact I didn’t have coffee at all yesterday.

Numero 20: I drank a bottle of Heineken yesterday. It was during a barb’q one of my dad’s photographer friends had for Easter–this one isn’t the same one that gave me the turd; this one’s wacky, a bit of a drinker, tweaked-out and has cool younger friends who look up to my dad and tell the dirtiest jokes without being too chauvinistic about it (and these are all Colombian men in their late thirties or older fellas, people, rare thing to see them not being complete chauvinists).

Anyway, this wacked-out photographer friend always seems to want to get me drunk.

“Come on! So you’re not drinking anymore? Ever?”

“No, but right now I’m not.” I know that drinking in the current state I’m in will only lead to disaster. I don’t want a relapse of any kind.

“Are you worried that you’ll have another accident? You’re not going to have another accident” His girlfriend gives him a firm look. “What? She told me about it herself.”

I’d had a near near-death experience due to my drinking a couple of years ago and I didn’t recall telling him about it. I made some excuse about alcohol and my bone density being low and how alcohol isn’t good when you’re trying to build up bone density, which is true.

About an hour later though, I gave in and asked for a beer. I ended up having half of my mom’s beer too.

So what’s the good in this? Well, when I was asked if I wanted another, I firmly replied,”No thank you.”

And that was that.

Numero 21: In the past month, my brother and I have hung out more than we have in years! This evening, I helped him out with another wedding video–nope not getting paid for this one–but, he gave me a copy of a good CD, Florence and the Machine.

Numero 22: I seem to have a fan! A fan from Australia. I’ve been getting lots (by my marks) of views from down under (heehee) and I’m pretty sure it’s just one person.

Show yourself and I’ll reward you times three!

Numero 23: I started writing this post yesterday but got back too down and tired to finish, so instead I put it off and finally added things to my Shenanigans.

Numero 24: Last night was terrible, but I don’t feel quite as hopeless tonight, a little more hopeful even.

G’night. I’m out.