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.

In Memory of a Man…

March 23, 2013

… A mental Monkey Man.

********

Chances are that what I don’t get blogged today, I won’t blog tomorrow, so here I go before another day passes.

Yesterday was the “anniversary” of the day I got the call that Monkey Man was found dead. I don’t even know if I should call it “anniversary”. Something about the connotation of that is upsetting me. So anyway, I’ll just say, a year ago yesterday, I got the news that Monkey Man was no longer with us.

Those of you that followed me back then know the story.  I will not repeat it, nor do I want to. Yesterday, I spent most of the therapy session talking about it. And slowly but surely I realize that I am moving past this. The pain will never be completely gone, but I am ok with that now. I am working at managing my life and actually FEEL ALIVE today.

Brunet Young and I discussed so much and I felt relieved. I told her how sometimes I feel “happy” that he’s gone and feel like a “bad” person for that. We later found that maybe “happy” wasn’t the right word. No, not at all.

I cried in front of her for the first time. There are just too many emotions to describe or begin to recognize when someone you love dies this way–by their own hands. And there is A LOT OF ANGER! I for one have dealt with anger management problems all of my life (common in peopole with BPD). She suggested maybe, in a way, I’m relieved, definitely not “happy” about it. And that’s ok. It doesn’t mean I’m, a “bad” person.

Why else would so many of the depressing blog posts on here be about him?

****

One thing I did this week was draw this portrait in memory him. A.F., his stepsister gave me this picture she took of us sometime in 2006-2007. It was what she calls the “happy summer”. Strangely enough, I was very depressed then, but Monkey Man was glowing and everyone said it was on account of me being there.

The relationship I had with him was so intense, so wonderful, so terrifying, so loving yet so abusive at times. I learned a lot from that relationship.

But I did love him and I know he loved me.

Correction, I do love him. I know he’d be proud of how well things are going for me these days. I found a text he had sent me on my phone about two months ago, it reads:

“It’s ok my love. U r one of the most powerful people i know. I wish i had the strength u have”

R.I.P T.H.L

Art brings me comfort.

portrait of me and Monkey Man

Pen and Ink © paz
When we were younger, fatter, in a sense healthier (at least he was) and stoned. circa 2006.

It’s almost the end of the third month into 2013. I blogged for mental health all of last year. No, no. I BEGGED for mental health all of last year. And I never pledged the pledge but I walked the walk or whatever.

My fellow Canvas bloggies have established a pledging that connects people with the mental-health blogging community. This blog has been a reflection of my personal journey in the last year and a half. My mental health has improved drastically since then. No drastically sounds too negative. It has improved INCREDIBLY.

****

I am at a point now where I’m not having to fight off suicidal ideations, thoughts and urges damn near every hour of everyday. I am not constantly cryin’ or having panic attacks all the time. Since the start of this blog I lost someone dear, had a ton of medical issues, and made a suicide attempt. Then I found out that my Ex-Young therapist had diagnosed me with Borderline Personality Disorder, my therapist left (that was just before the suicide attempt) and in June of 2012, I finally got back in therapy and tried different medications.

I’m still going to therapy once a week, mostly. It’s on Fridays these days. No more Thursday therapy ’cause I’m working and Brunet Young changed her schedule. Therapy has been a major lifeline, so has this blog (as I’ve mentioned dozens of times before) and my swimming. I’m still swimming despite all the shit thrown at me. I’m fortunate that my mom is still working at the gym and I’m able to go and release my demons for free, for a bit at least.

Of course I still struggle. Life is a struggle and for those with mental health issues, that struggle becomes unbearable, so painful that it kills. It is another kind of struggle in itself. But I have accomplished many of my “goals for therapy” and am still working on others.

My “stability” has settle some.

****

I have a bit more clarity in my life now and feeling a sense of direction, despite my many changes in course. There are so many challenges, so much more to endure and enjoy. I don’t know where I’m at with this blog. I’ve considered retiring it many times (as a “borderline” I’ll drastically change my mind from one minute to the next ha). But I think I’m giving it a go for a bit longer.

I’m continuing my pledge to write for mental health, to shout out, to show that we are not alone in this.

Please visit my Canvas family at A Canvas of the Minds. It’s a great little blog of mental health bloggers and shenanigans!

Oh oh. And I ALMOST forgot. Thank you Laura/Soul Survivor for pledging me this year. You can find her blog, Bipolar for Life by clicking the link.

Blog for Mental Health 2013

Blog for Mental Health 2013

Biometrics Are IN!

November 27, 2012

BOOYAH!

They are in!

My fuckin’ FABULOUS finger prints are in! My hand prints, finger prints and a picture of my geeky face in a blue long-sleeve, corduroy, polo-style shirt have been submitted into the gubernatorial vortex.

WHEW! It. Is. Done.

********

I haven’t been updating much on the immigration situation because my focus was on getting stable enough to function and get all the paperwork in. In case you’re new and are just now reading, I am an immigrant, an undocumented immigrant to say the very least. I’ve lived in Texas since I was five years old, roughly twenty-two years, but who’s counting right? *cough*

Back in June, President Obama made a sly move to get a head start in the 2012 elections–he signed an executive order for DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals) meaning that, a) undocumented aka “illegal” immigrants who came to the U.S. prior to the age of sixteen would be deferred/protected by law from deportation proceedings and, b) they would, by discretionary case, receive a work permit so they (I) can work legally in the United States.

I currently cannot work “legally”. It is a difficult situation to be in as I mentioned in my posts “P Is in SHOCK! UTTER FUCKIN’ SHOCK!” and “P Is in SHOCK! UTTER FUCKIN’ SHOCK! …. But then remembers…”

Most of my friends and acquaintances who are in the same boat either work as waiters, house keepers (like my mother did), janitors (like my father did), construction or farm worker etc.–all jobs I cannot do in a wheelchair. My only options, out of desperation, were to try and freelance. But being mental and having severe anxiety on top of transportation issues makes freelancing extremely difficult. Besides, I needed more discipline.

Since I graduated college in May of 2011, my freelance jobs have added to nearly nothing. I tried websites like e-lance and all this other shit I can’t remember. I spend hours on those sites, touching up my resumé, putting up samples of my work, only to find that at the end of the process, I was always asked for a Social Security number which I obviously do not have.

It became another brick added to the weight of the depression that eventually knocked me down in May. But then, alas, June came with the news of Obama’s signature. I’m not an Obamacrat, I’ll tell you straight up. I’m with the rebel alliance and Jedi nights, not the empire. Besides, Obama had promised several activist groups (some of which I was part of) that he would sign this YEARS ago, but as a true politician, he did not until this election year.

Anywho, I’m not goin’ into my political or social ideals in detail since that is not the focus of my blog. I established at least that from the beginningWhat I do want to share is MY STORY.

********

In mid-October I received such wonderful birthday presents!

I got some stretchy pants from my mama, a poem from Angel; I got to see Fiona Apple LIVE with my bro who bought the tickets last-minute; I got a beautiful painting of Mermaid P mailed to moi from Le Sailor–LOOK HERE and I got the DACA application completed and mailed out. That to me was a wonderful gift. They all were.

In April, just before my suck-ass and shameful death attempt, when I thought I couldn’t fall further into depression, I got hooked up with a “job” and felt excitement followed by failure crushing me with the culmination of the second day of work, the day I got fired. I was only an intern, hence the legalities not being clear up and therefore they were not strict in mu application. That’s why I wasn’t asked for my SSI number. Plus, Mansie practically got me that job, a job that only lasted two days.

****

Sixty days after Obama’s June executive order, the DACA law went into effect. To cut my rambling a little short, I have had a long process applying for DACA since September, but I finally had my biometrics appointment today!

The biometrics proceeding is basically when USCIS, the Immigration and Citizenship Services department calls you in to take a photo of you, mark your fingerprints and so on, you know, Big Brother type shit . The dude who fingerprinted me was wearing blue latex gloves like he was about to give me an enema. I ranted on my MsMouse Facebook as follows (note the terrible grammar ’cause I was on a not-so-smartphone that kept auto-correcting me in my agitated state):

My rant for today: It’s so hard having to depend on my dad for SO much! I’m grateful that he’s here, but he’s extremely overbearing and has become more stubborn with age (he’s nearly 70). The biometrics appointment went well even though my dad and I got into an arguedment on the way to the US immigration dept office. It went super fast. Yaaaay!

But fuck anyone who thinks I, or anyone like me should be deported. Twenty two ducking years for this and I’ll still as a non-legal resident, only in immigrant with DACA and work permit. At least ill have that thought. And I can’t wait to finally have a job and a little more freedom! Wooohoo.Fuck you govt for playing with our lives! For controlling my live like a piece in a board game!End rant.

********
And that is that! I’m on my way to being more of an adult. I feel as though my entire life I haven’t been given room to grow, to spread out and show my inner beauty. This is why I feel so child-like. It’s not a “bad” thing to be child-like, but what I mean is, I’ve always felt restricted like a child. I’ve felt things that should be entitled to me weren’t. I’m an angry little mouse on a tiny, albeit heavy, leash and the cheese is only a foot away. (Godamn I love cheese!)
****
Hopefully in a month’s time, I’ll be receiving a social security number along with my work permit! Nope guys, no green card or “legal status” yet. I’ll still technically be an “illegal,” only an “illegal” who can work “legally” (I prefer undocumented).
And ain’t that an oxymoron? That’s politics for ya…
Here’s a little sketch I did on my not-so-smart-smartphone that my bro’s sweet girlfriend gave me before my surgery!
Anyone know of any good and cheap/free sketching apps for Andriod? This one isn’t too great. But I like that you can’t be precise; it makes me less perfectionistic  less critical and quicker. heheh. The scribble at the right surrounding the MsMouse is supposed to say “ILLEGAL”. Try and figure out which part of the tail is the letter G and/or A.
Mouse love

ILLEGAL MsMouse
2012 (c) paz
I am still undocumented aka “illegal”

I’ve been feeling rather dizzy lately, albeit “stable”. When I say life’s been better these days, I’m talking about stability–emotional and mental stability. I’ve cried a few times in the last three/four weeks, but it hasn’t been a gut wrenching, shake inducing phenomenon followed by an all-encompassing emptiness and urge to die. In other words, I’m not laughing and jumping ups and down and then wanting to jab a knife into my neck. I want to live! I want life!

A few good things are happening too. Good is such a relative word. But anyway, other than having blogger’s block, I’m keeping busy. Therapy, swimmin’, washing dishes, cleaning up, reading, immigration paperwork, rolling around with Luna, trying to keep her from rolling around on her own poo and then licking me. Shit like that.

This past week was really nice. I mean nice. Just “happy days” where I don’t give a damn about the bullshit in my life, in life. I wasn’t particularly happy about one thing, except for maybe the fact that the immigration situation, the work permit, is becoming a reality despite the hold-ups. (Yeah, I’ll mention those later as I always say I’ll do).

All I have to say is this and you can stop reading the rest of my nonsense:

Fool, I’m feelin’ fresh like fuckin’ Fonzie here! On the plus size, I also feel aaaaaliiiiiive. I’m mostly high on life; not just merely existing.

********

I’ve had one of those weeks where I can laugh at humanity and not be too cynical about it. “Child,” I tell myself, “these are happy days aren’t they?” Yes, yes yes. the Mouse nods in agreement. I have to. This year has been hell–like much of my other twenty-six years– and I’ve finally driven out of hell, or so it seems. I’m always a bit suspicious though. I suppose what matters is that I am presently feeling pleasant, feeling calm. I’m ok.

My mood has just been too good to be true. And I’m not even on drugs… wait, I kinda am. But anyway.

And we all have our quirks, our little weird secrets (though some more than others). Don’t we?

What the hell do I mean? People are strange. That’s what I’m sayin’.

A strange week with (MOSTLY) good feeling. Let me start with Monday–this is last Monday, October first.

*******

The Monday Mentals

Monday began, and as usual, I went to the gym where my mom works to do my daily swim. I’ve been keeping track of how many laps I do. I told the therapist this and she said it’s a great idea to look back on my progress. Chronic pain gets in the way of this sometimes, but anyway. I’d planned on doing some blogging after my swim only I had the bloggin’ block going on in my head. And like Sara Draws says, I think I’m getting the “brain rot”. (Back on Lamotrigine after a week off of it).

I just can’t seem to sketch or play the ukulele or write, except for now. I’m writing now, ain’t I? I don’t know.

My brother and I are building our relationship again, after a major fight involving him saying he wanted me out of his life because of something impulsive I did. I’m glad we’re talking again. And we’re not just talking; we’re “friends” again. He’s been calling me up every couple of days or so and asking if I want him to pick me up to go over his apartment.

Ever since Monkey Man’s death, he’s been there for me, more or less. That’s what I love about my family. Things get crazy between us sometime, like when mama busted my brother’s nose throwing a phone at him (not a cellphone) and then he…or when I… ugh.. I’ll leave the rest for a private post. But what I’m saying is my family is here for me. And I realize that now. I always have, it’s just the depression gets in the way of these things–of FEELING the good things around you. Of feeling the love of those in your life. Of truly absorbing life, takin’ each breath and feeling the oxygen fill your lungs, pumping through your cells, in your blood, in your veins and fueling the engine that is your heart.

****

My brother called me Monday and asked if I’d come over. I said sure, since I’m working on being a little more open. Once we settled in his apartment, we started watching Alien, the original 1979 version. All was good until he asked me to try some wine he’d bought. Well, I said to myself “P, you don’t get a chance to drink fine wine often. You’re doing well. Just half a glass.”

“Only half a glass,” the Mouse whispered. But…Half a glass turned into nearly three-fourths of the bottle and I got drunk. Really drunk. I was still fine though, just enjoying myself. It was a surprise, actually, to feel “happy drunk” because usually I become a somewhat psychotic and “angry drunk” or a very depressed drunk.

My bro went off to bed because he had to work early in the morning and I sat there on the floor with my wine, clicking around Netflix until I saw MAD MAX 2: THE ROAD WARRIOR!  Mel Gibson was still a young, sexy actor who wasn’t as misogynistic as he is now. But then again, I don’t know for sure. Shit, I digress.

****

So I was watching Mad Max: Road Warrior with Mel Gibson, getting drunker, lickin’ every last drop. Then I got heavy-eyed and figured I’d go to bed. By then it was probably midnight and my brother was asleep. I went over to my brother’s spare room and then to the restroom to brush my teeth, and that’s when I decide to start reading some blogs instead of curling up on the futon. Around this time is when the mentals hit me like a spear to the spine.

I was reading one of my favorite poet-bloggies and she had a link to this music duo. I dug it, so I looked ’em up on YouTube. I found THISIt’s the duo singing a cover of Elliott Smith’s “Between the Bars”. This here–this song, Between the Bars— is a song that has an intense affect on me. I was learning how to play it on the uke back in December before I headed to Florida; before I got facial paralysis; before I became increasingly depressed; before I broke my arm; but most importantly, before Monkey Man died. And if you guys have read about what happened to Monkey Man, all those depressing posts I wrote about him… yeah. It’s been six months already!

A song that was once dedicated to Monkey Man–that now rings truer than it did in December–turned on the PLDs and maybe some of the borderline in me came out. I immediately snapped and picked a paperclip from  my brother’s desk. You can imagine what happened next. But the paperclip wasn’t good enough, so I ended up in the kitchen with a bloody knife and a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey. I don’t remember much after cleaning up the sink except I wrapped my arm in toilet paper and went to bed (the futon) crying.

Here’s the strange part. The next day, I was fine again. I had to keep my arm from sight when my dad picked me up, but otherwise, I was back to my cheery self.

I found a sketch of a monkey with a guitar that I drewcbefore running into the song and it’s terribly cute. Just above the crooked ears I must’ve drunkenly scribbled. It reads: T.H.L 1984-2012

****

Wonderful Wednesday

Tuesday. I’m not gonna bother recapping Tuesday since it was just a chill day, apart from swimming fourteen laps and hiding a still-bleeding gash on my T-Rex-Duck arm.

Wednesday… Wednesday was wonderful. There’s a happy day.

My friend Sandy came over with her little three-year old boy. I hadn’t seen them in months. I had finished ten laps earlier that day and was feeling like things really are turning up. So Sandy came by with sushi which we ate. We then watched a kiddie movie and talked. I think we were more into the movie than her boy. She’s very different from me, Sandy, but despite that, we get along pretty well.

Sometimes I can only get so much of her though, but I’ve been pretty social lately, so my anxiety about people is subdued a bit and my patience has grown a bit. I’m still a very anxious person; I’m still having lots of anxiety, but as long as I’m not having panic attacks, as long as it’s not crippling I think it’s manageable. I’m good to go.

After she left, B came by and we talked. Here’s where Sandy and B differ. B and I can have very deep conversations: we’re like-minded. He’s a very intelligent fella and he gets my sick sense of humor which is always a plus in a friendship (for me at least).

That was Wednesday. Nice, peaceful and full of camaraderie.

Confrontation

September 15, 2012

Brunet Young went out of town this week, so I didn’t get a chance to have my weekly therapy session. She said she’d call to “check” on me or something along those lines, only she put it more gently. Overall, I’m feeling great though! I think the Lamictal has toned me down a bit. I don’t know.

Last Thursday (I’m seeing her Thursdays now), I confronted Brunet Young about the BPD diagnosis my Ex-Young Therapist had given me. I’d been meaning to ask her why Ex-Young Therapist was so hesitant about giving me the Termination Reports and why she said I couldn’t have the Evaluation Summary. It took a lot of courage to ask this.

****

“She wasn’t supposed to give you that,” Brunet Young replied.

What the fuck? I really like Brunet Young but I don’t get why she said Ex-Young Therapist wasn’t supposed to give me that form. I inquired about it, and she basically explained that: telling the patient he/she has BPD is detrimental to the therapeutic process. For me, the fact I now know this bit of information has given me a sense of validation. Isn’t an invalidating environment one of the contributing factors of borderline personality (BPD) development?

****

“I feel like all these years… all I’ve gone through has at least been validated.” My voice began to shake, “A name has been put to it. Now I feel like, like I’m not JUST an asshole.” I started chuckling.

“That makes sense, I can see why you’d feel that way. The thing is, we are required to give a diagnosis even when we think there is no reason or need to place one on the client. In some cases, we go with what only fits closest.”

Ok. Then what’s the point of categorizing certain behavioral attributes?

My hands trembled and I kept rubbing my aluminum water bottle. “I think I’m a pretty intelligent person… I mean, it’s not like I’m going to just throw my hands up in the air and say ‘Well, I have this and such and I’m doomed’. I’m no different than… than I was before I knew. I’m not going to put myself in a box! I’m not going to quit trying to improve myself and look for ways of recovering.” I went on telling her that what upset me was that I often talked about BPD in regards to online forums I visited and my friend Ryden who has BPD. I would mention how much I could related to people with that and yet, she didn’t say a word about it.

Brunet Young was silent for a moment. Then she looked up with gentle eyes and said, “I know YOU wouldn’t put yourself in a box or quit trying P, but many others with this would. That’s the thing.

She said she’d be sure to talk about why I “fit” the BPD criteria next time we meet, this coming Thursday.

“It doesn’t matter,” I replied nearly in tears. I don’t cry in front of people, so for me to nearly burst into tears was astonishing, to me especially.

“No, it does. It does matter. We’ll discuss it.”

****

I’m glad I finally asked. I can see why a BPD diagnosis can be withheld from a patient/client, particularly those who have more “anti-social” tendencies. For one, the patient might use it to justify for acting out of line, or they might feel discriminated against. I can see how it might conflict with therapy for SOME people to have that information disclosed. I figured perhaps my Ex-Young Therapist was afraid I’d base my entire identity around the diagnostic criteria for BPD, but I HAVEN’T. Have I?

I don’t think I have. I think too much outside of the box for that nonsense.

Yeah, I’ve researched and read a lot about it since finding out, maybe a little too much. And sure, I understand the implications behind such discretion. But as I told Brunet Young, I’m intelligent, and therefore, I sure as hell know that we are not the same (those with BPD) just because of a diagnosis. I told her I realize how arbitrary diagnosis for mental illnesses/disorders are in the first place.

Even among fellow BPDers (or whatever you want to call it), there is an infinite array of expressions of “symptoms”. I know the difference between a set of “criteria/symptoms” that BPDers share and the indefinite, individual minds–the being, the self, the person, and the personalities we hold.

We are not our labels.

In fact, I mentioned this when I found out. People are people regardless of their mental problems, illnesses, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, culture–I can go on and on. But it’s because this information was released to me that I feel more confident to talk about the darker sides of my experience; I’ve already told Brunet Young things I wouldn’t dare tell Ex-Young therapist like the overdoses; the day I threw a whole load of books at Monkey Man, rolled out crying and banged my head repeatedly at the side of his godfathers house; all those drugs we did together; and my mother’s suicide attempts. It’s because of knowing about BPD that I learned a lot from books/articles/blogs–like “The Buddha and the Borderline” by Kiera Van Gelder–that I no longer feel so alone.

****

I’m nervous about seeing her this Thursday. She said we’d discuss why Ex-Young Therapist wrote that on my Termination Report. The thing is, there’s so much I want to say and don’t know how. I feel mute when I roll into that room (though lately I’ve been talking fifteen miles a minute and typing three-hundred words per second). I don’t want to cry. I only cried when I told Ex-Young Therapist Monkey Man died.

I don’t know. I just feel awkward now.

But, I’m glad.

********

addendum: Today I swam like a champ! Would’a been cool if I swam like a chimp too. Can chimps swim alright?

********

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….

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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.

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August 29, 2012

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