As mentioned before, these little installments I came up with is a series of songs I randomly choose. They are songs that colored my youth in some way or another.

This week I took a trip down to my early teens. They were not happy years from what I remember. Sure, there were high times, but most of it involved bullying at school, violent fights with my mother, isolation, depression, discrimination, surgeries, insomnia, chronic pain, anxiety, self-loathing, rage, self-harm, etc. Though I’ve always been more of an introvert, I was a loud child. I was aggressive; I didn’t seem timid. I became increasingly timid when I hit middle school (isn’t that a rough one for everyone?). Anyway, since I felt so out-of-place, I rejected the boy band thing. I loathed Nsync, Backstreet Boys (for the most part), and especially the Spice Girls. Sure I loved the “girl power” thing, and the little feminist in me didn’t mature until I was in my twenties, but I always had a bit of anger towards girls. Guys, I could hang out with. Girls, not so much.

I generally haven’t been into much pop music since my early teens–even in my younger days I was more into gangster rap like Biggie, Tupak, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, ha–however, Savage Garden is a pop duo I will forever love. I think this song came out when I was twelve or thirteen. That was when I started thinking about drinking a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide and sniffing glue–not, not that white Elmers’ glue, the heavy duty construction worker glue in paste and jars– to see if it would kill me.

This song represents that little lost “borderline” girl in me. That girl that was never given room to grow, the girl that would become a little metal-head, a little punk and do anything to stop the pain.

I think as a result, I’ve had a taste for more contemplative music, if you know what I mean. Oh, and I love the shots of New York (near Brooklyn bridge) in this video.

She’s taking her time making up the reasons
To justify all the hurt inside
Guess she knows from the smiles and the look in their eyes
Everyone’s got a theory about the bitter one
They’re saying, “Mama never loved her much.”
And, “Daddy never keeps in touch.
That’s why she shies away from human affection.”
But somewhere in a private place
She packs her bag for outer space
And now she’s waiting for the right kind of pilot to come
And she’ll say to him,
She’s sayin,

“I would fly to the moon and back if you’ll be, if you’ll be my
Baby.
I’ve got a ticket for a world where we belong
So would you be my baby?”

She can’t remember a time when she felt needed.
If love was red then she was color blind.
All her friends, they’ve been tried for treason
And crimes that were never defined.
She’s saying “Love is like a barren place
And reaching out for human faith is like a journey
I just don’t have a map for.”
So baby’s gonna take a dive and
Push the shift to overdrive
Send a signal that she’s hanging
All her hopes on the stars
What a pleasant dream
She’s sayin,

“I would fly to the moon and back if you’ll be, if you’ll be my
Baby.
I’ve got a ticket for a world where we belong
So would you be my baby?”

(Hold on, Hold on)
“Mama never loved her much.”
And, “Daddy never keeps in touch.
That’s why she shies away from human affection.”
But somewhere in a private place
She packs her bag for outer space
And now she’s waiting for the right kind of pilot to come
And she’ll say to him,
She’s sayin,

“I would fly to the moon and back if you’ll be, if you’ll be my
Baby.
I’ve got a ticket for a world where we belong
So would you be my baby?”
~JONES, DANIEL / HAYES, DARREN

****

I dedicate this particular post to my brother’s ex-ex-girlfriend who made his life “miserable”. But really, now that I know, I suspect she has BPD. They were together for five years and lived with us for about three. She’s my age and also loved/loves this song. Hell, she probably loves it more than I do. Sadly, she was in denial about her problematic behavior and didn’t get help when we asked her to. The entire world was against her. When I repeatedly asked her to get help, I was “antagonizing” her and siding with my brother. Mind you, this was shortly before I was asked to get help too. haha! She had it rough though. I thought my family was crazy, until I met her.

At least my family was there for me in some way or another. At least they showered me with lots of love. At least my mother never made me sell drugs at sixteen, despite her violent ways with me. At least my mother never kicked me out of the house (although she did tell me to get the hell out plenty of times). At least my father never walked out on me. I never had a sister in prison and with seven kids by the age of twenty-one. I don’t have another sister who survived a suicide attempt and then went on to have terminal cancer. It was sad seeing her go… and god, the kid.

I didn’t grow up in Fifth Ward, one of the roughest neighborhoods/parts of Houston. I only grew up in the “semi-ghetto,” not the full blown ghetto, and the principal transferred me to a “rich kids” school in sixth grade because of my good grades. My brother wasn’t in prison, hell, he’s never been in trouble with the law, except for one public intoxication misdemeanor (the story was funny as hell too). We were the only family she thought she had. I’m not even going to begin or try to explain how alone she’d been in this world. I’m surprised she was alive that long and I hope she’s alright these days and that life is treating her well.

I miss you Dee. I hope you finished your mechanical engineering degree! I’m sorry things didn’t work out with my brother, though they may have with me. heheh. I joke that I fell in love with her more than my bro did.

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OI Chicks Are HOT

September 8, 2012

I’ve been on Facebook a lot lately. heh. Very unlike me, then again I’m hyped so this is how I am when I’m hyped. I message everyone. One good thing happened while I was on Facebook, the other not so good.

I’ll talk about the latter first. So a friend of mine from high school is about to get married. We haven’t talked in nearly two years, beside occasional Facebook hellos. I’m really happy for him and his fiance. The girl is so cute! And they look soooo happy together. He’s also a musician and we both went to the same college for sound engineering/music production, only he started two years after I did. In fact, he started the program because of me (mainly because I told him he’d like it).

Anyway, this guy and I started flirting for a while back in ’06-’08 and even ’09. I didn’t even realize I’d been flirting until MUCH later. One time, when I was hanging out in his apartment playing his synths, he wanted to have sex with me but I rejected him, not because I didn’t want to. God, I really wanted to. He has the prettiest big blue eyes, curled eyelashes, curly hair, glasses and thick lips. He sometimes wore a goatee. I just felt it was IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to be attracted to me. I somehow thought it was a sick joke of his. I don’t feel as shy now as I was then, but I still am very insecure.

For me, it’s as if it’s impossible for anyone to find me attractive–so tiny, so angry and in a wheelchair, nah. Maybe that’s why I reach out so much for approval of men? Yet, no matter how much approval I get, I seem to want more. And when I get more, I still feel the void.

I really liked M. back then. We went to local shows together (most of which he performed in), he bought me drinks and dinner, he’d visit me at my parents house, bringing his entire synthesizer collection with him etc.. I realize now, he must’ve been really into me. At his shows, I used to get so jealous when he made out with this one bass player–a really short, cute gothic chick (she was drunk as hell though though, an even bigger drunk than me).

I kicked myself in the ass for sabotaging any kind of “romantic” relationship I could have had with him. I began to idolize him. He is quite possibly the most gorgeous guy I’ve been “involved with” more or less, but it wasn’t that. And oh god his heavenly hands! Long fingers, long strong hands–long pianist hands.

We clicked. He’s intelligent and funny, a bit geeky and really sweet. We are musicians, so we had that in common too. And though he’s a little on the “crazy” side, he wasn’t “mental” (as in he didn’t seem to have a severe mental disorder like most other guys I’d be involved with) and the best part, he wasn’t addicted to anything hardcore. Funy enough, he now works as an instructor in the same performing arts center we did the audio engineering program in.

Why did I reject him then? Why did I find it impossible to believe that he “liked” me? Why did I not care enough about myself to believe anyone could like me? I did the same damn thing with Jaque Cousteau, only Jaque was an insecure, immature punk (literraly, he had a mohawk when I met him). Ughhh. He was also a musician, the Cousteau guy. It’s just.. It’s just that seeing M’s pictures with his fiance on FB yesterday brought back some of those feelings. I guess I’m jealous. I don’t know. I know comparing myself to peers from the past (and present) isn’t good for my mental health.

It will pass.

Oh right, what’s the good news? The good news is I’m in this Facebook group for women with OI–“OI Chicks Are Hot”. OI is Osteogenesis Imperfecta aka Brittle Bone disease.

The group consists of all these “hot” OI chicks talking about… anything. It’s a private group, so I don’t care if you try to find it. Anyway, I think I still have that deep seeded insecurity about myself, BUT I’m more aware of how to control it now–or how to restructure my cognition–and hopefully I’ll learn to stop sabotaging myself so much. I still don’t trust any man, anyone for that matter (including myself) but I’m slowly learning to be more open. I hope. And groups like these are definitely a good thing for building up that self love.

In the group, I found some pretty amazing women. Here’s one of them (and yes, I think she’s hella hot):

Nadia Roberts interview in a contest to win a wheelchair <—- Click it, damn you!

She’s also been through a lot, much like I have.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

I began life in St. Petersburg, Russia and was born with Osteogenisis Imperfecta, (OI). I was bounced around hospitals and orphanages for the first 9 years of my life, and eventually given up for adoption was a challenging way to start life, including several surgeries under severe conditions such as no anesthesia…

mouse Love

********

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.

An Old Sketch

August 23, 2012

I’ve been filling out the applications for immigration (USCIS)– well, as much as I can get done on my own–before I see the lawyer at the university next week.

Last night, my dad gave me a folder of some of my old elementary and high school grades/teacher reports since I’ll need proof of records that I studied in the U.S. for many years. It’s required for the DACA (Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals) application which would give me a work permit. No legal residence, just a work permit (aka SSI#) valid for only two years. So much for citizenship. Twenty-two years in this country and I’ll only have a work permit to show for. Ain’t that a motha–?

Well, somethin’s better than nothin’.

****

There were some funny comments from old teachers. How I had potential and needed to apply myself more.

“P has potential. She does good work when she applies herself!” and “P is receiving an hour tutoring from —-” and “P, remember to finish your homework!” and “P has improved this quarter. She is in ESL Level II [that’s English as a second language]” and “P does really well when she’s able to concentrate” and “P, keep reading every night! Good job [smiley sticker]” are just a few of teacher’s notes from third grade.

What’s funny is my dad kept them but he never really read them due to his limited understanding of English at the time. I’m guessing he saw the smiley stickers and thought, “Ok, she’s good”. I could’ve easily sneaked by with failing grades in high school because my parents never knew when progress reports came out. Good thing I was a damn good student, despite the depression. I could see when I was depressed because my straight As would fall to all As, two or three Bs and an F. Id go from being on the honor roll to being in academic probation. Every time.

****

This got me to snooping around some of my old notebooks I have hidden in my room. ha. And I found this from when I was 16 years old.

God, that was a depressing year.

Jan 2003 (c) paz

********

On the page next to it, I have a sort of poem. It says:

written when high…

These are my snow-covered dreams.
I’d take back all that shit I said to make you feel like that.
I’d give it all to have the thought of me in you again.
These are my snow covered tears.
I try… but I fall apart…
Thwarted tattered imbecile.

I don’t think I was in a very coherent state of mind then, obviously.

********

Note: I think, if I remember correctly, this was written the first time I tried weed. (It would be a while until I’d try it again.) I was out in the backyard all by my lonesome self, freezing my little ass off. I lit a match and accidentally burned a few eyelashes since the wind was howling. When I drove the wheelchair back inside, I ate a whole bag of pretzels and wrote that “poem” and then crashed. I also used to have an eyebrow piercing at the time. I guess that’s what that is on the sketch’s eyebrow.

August 21, 2012

It’s finally here! My first Canvas post. Please forgive any messy mistakes. I’ve been somewhat absent from the bloggie world this last week and a half. My laptop is still broken and a lot has been going on (when doesn’t a lot go on?)

Anyway, the immigration papers/forms came out for deferred action, so I’ve been looking through those. Let me tell you, it’s a pain in the ass and I can’t see the lawyers until the week after next. But at least my frantic, maddening anxiety has gone down a notch. I’ve been swimming every day now instead of every other day. And between that, playing my ukulele, cuddling with little Luna and taking the bus to therapy, I’ve had little time to catch up on reading. 😦

Also, I went out Saturday despite my bro flaking out on me two nights in a row. And for someone with BPD (read: someone with intense fear of abandonment), I think I managed well by writing this post and accepting a ride from Mansie. He did call to apologize yesterday. 🙂

Anyway, without further adieu, here it is!

Toxicology

August 3, 2012

I messaged A.F., Monkey Man’s step-sister, on Facebook yesterday. We’d been having a nice little chat back and forth. And I thought of what my new therapist Brunet Young said–about preparing to call Monkey Man’s step-mom who hadn’t called me back like she’d promised.

Well, I went ahead and asked A.F. on the last email if she’d heard anything about the toxicology reports. This was her reply:

Evidently cocaine and codeine don’t mix. Drugs are bad mmmkay? I guess he woulda stuck around longer if he wouldn’t of been so hard on his beautiful little body. Damnit.

I need a hug and kiss, thank you!

*******

Well, I got the answer I wanted. Damn it Monkey Man, I thought you’d quit that shit! Liar!

Ooooh, ok. ok. ok. Today is one of my swim days.

Breaaaaathe.

Ooooh there goes the trembling and the tears.

I need a nap.

The Abused Becomes the Abuser

********

I’ll never forget the time he pushed me so hard I fell out of my chair. His palms hit my chest like a grenade going off.

SMAAAAACK.

then

BOOOOM.

I fell straight back.

It’s a good thing I was near the ground already. That’s the thing about having OI, you can break a rib by simply sneezing, but sometimes you fall out of your wheelchair and you’re perfectly fine like a non-disabled kid might be. Though most times it’s the former and not the later that happens.

I lied there in confusion. He actually hit back this time? He actually hit me?!

After the shock wore off, I sat up from the carpet, trembling. He knew never to lay a hand on me–or rather to be exceptionally careful– because if our parents got home and found out he’d hurt me, he’d be in trouble. He broke my arms and legs on several occasions but always on accident. This was the first time he’d put physical force to my provocation. It must have been difficult to play and deal with your little Tasmanian-devil sister who has a brittle bones condition and a serious anger management problem.

****

“Aaaaaah! Motherfucker! You could have broken my bones! And my back! You could’ve snapped my back!” I yelled. I was still trembling.

“Well, how do you expect me to act when you’re so fuckin’ mean all the time?! HUH?! Always hitting and scratching me, yelling and cursing at me and throwing shit at me! HOW SHOULD I FEEL!? How do you think I feel?! You need to calm down! You treat me… I’m just… sick of it. You treat me like shit, so how do you expect ME to feel and react?”

I listened to his lecture with burrowed brows, pursed lips, flaring nostrils and a lowered head. My heart beat faster and faster with every word and I just wanted to attack. But I listened to him go on about how I’d end up an old, lonely, bitter woman if I went on like that (yes, he was saying this to a thirteen-year-old Negative P). I listened to him go on about how he was sick of my abuse and how I needed to change. On and on he went. As his voice droned over me, I began to stare down with a passive, stark look as if it didn’t faze me. As if I didn’t care.

“Are you done?” I looked up.

“No I’m not done!”

“Well, why don’t you just hit me then you fucker, push me again and you’ll see! You’re not my dad! And you’re not my mom! You’re shit!”

“See what? What the fuck P? What’s your problem? Man, I ain’t doing shit to you! I’m only trying to make you see clearly! And you’re not even listening! I’m trying to teach you something so you can learn not to act like this.”

There was a painful silence as we both stared at each other in the hallway.

“You don’t care do you?!”

I didn’t answer.

He sighed and squinted his eyes as if to search for what I held so tightly in my chest. I would not let my pain show, not even in my eyes. The tears would come later when no one could see. He stared at me with indignation until the spell in him passed. Then he stormed off to his room and I was left sitting there alone with my thoughts and overwhelming feelings.

****

I went to my room. I cried and cried and hurt myself all evening–scratching, biting and banging my head against the dresser. I had to make up an excuse for the bruises when my parents got home. They actually bought it, or so I thought. I don’t recall much of that part.

And I didn’t apologized to him until many years later, but then again, neither did he. He was only trying to do his best as an older brother, despite the futile and misguided attempt.

I was in middle school then. And with middle school came rejection and isolation. I was a tiny bottle of nitric acid, fuming at the edges, bubbling at the brim ready to spill and corrode anything I touched. It was a matter of time before I’d self destruct–explode or implode and consume anything around me like a black hole.

****

Shortly after, sometime that same year, I discovered the band Orgy. They had just made a remake of New Order’s “Blue Monday” and I would get all giddy when the music video came on MTV. This week I chose that song because it reflects the transition I made from being the “abused child” to becoming “the abuser”. I’m sure my mother had the same transformation after years of being devalued, beaten and watching her parents nearly kill each other with kitchen knives, furniture and broom sticks. I don’t blame her for the violent ways she dealt with me; I know she had been traumatized, was a child herself. It still doesn’t make it right though.

****

We all have a punching bag. Some of us only need a small punching bag. I needed one much, much larger than myself, especially those years–my angriest, raging years–so I chose my brother and myself. Even that wasn’t enough for the beast that lay within me. Then Eloise came to live with us and, to an extent, I made her my psychological punching bag too. I’m thankful the two of them are still my friends.

And that’s how the abused becomes the abuser I suppose. How does it feel? Like fuckin’ shit.

********

Oh, I included both versions of “Blue Monday”. The first version represents that little abused and angry, explosive and bloodied thirteen-year old mouse bordering on psychopath-to-be mouse. It will forever remind me of that time he pushed me and the many times we fought and how he would often lecture me to no avail (it was the first time he pushed me but definitely not the last). I even made my poor brother cry on numerous occasions. If only he knew how much I was hurting though… If only someone had known, had told me I wasn’t a bad kid for feeling so angry, self-loathing, sad, suicidal, empty and alone.

I sat there with my bruised head thinking, How should I feel? No one asks me that. How the fuck should I feel? Everyone tells me how I should feel but no one really asks.

********

Orgy’s remake, 1998

New Order’s original version, 1983

Those of you that have been with me here on WordPress since the birth of this blog are already familiar with the rare connective tissue disorder I was born with: Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) aka Brittle Bone Disease.

As I started writing this blog, I realized I wanted to explore the relationship between chronic illness and mental health. I wanted to share how the two have blended in my own experience. To an extent, I’ve done that, though not as much as I’d like. And when I found out about the BPD diagnosis, I began to look deeper at how my medical condition has been a factor in my development of “BPD symptomatology”.

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The first therapist I went to see in 2008 was more of a general counselor at the university. Her specialties were not relevant to my mental problems. But it was because of her that I was able to accept the fact that I’ve dealt with a lot of traumatic experiences.

“Your mother has been abusive to you P,” she said quietly, “and on top of that, you’ve had to deal with a lot of medical trauma. Give yourself some credit! You deserve it. Don’t you think?”

I’ve always refused the thought of being a “trauma survivor”. In The Buddha and the Borderline, Kiera Van Gelder says something I completely connect to: “And while I still resist seeing myself as a victim of trauma, it’s becoming clear that I have some lingering unresolved issues…”

Lingering and unresolved. Don’t we all have some of the lingering and unresolved?

I think about what I deal with on a day-to-day basis–the triggers, the anxiety, the high-voltage electric current of emotions and suicidal ideations. I start to connect things. For example, I’m easily triggered and flinch with certain things that remind me of past fractures. If my brother does a sharp turn while pushing me in my wheelchair, my heart leaps, then stops. And I instantly get a chill up my spine. When I protest, he reassures me by saying, “Don’t worry. I got this shit Shorty. How many years have I pushed you?” I know he won’t drop me or let me fall, but my reactions are like clock-work despite my best efforts. I’m beginning to think I may have a form of complex post traumatic stress (C-PTSD), something very common with those who also have BPD (borderline personality disorder).

I think of these last seven months.

When February hit, I was already suicidal again. But then I came down with Bell’s Palsy. And then I broke my T-Rex arm less than a week after playing a prank over at Monkey Man’s apartment. All hell went loose in my head after that. I mean, the Pretty Little Demons had their way with me, leaving a wreckage in my head. I’m glad and lucky to have survived this last “episode” thus far. And though it feels like it’s lessening, it’s far from over. I’m not out of hell yet; I’m just in the suburbs now. Hopefully, I’ll be able to drive farther out of it when I start therapy Thursday (yeah, we rescheduled yet again).

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It hit me hard, the fracture. Those first two months after the fracture coupled with Monkey Man L’s death were too much. And it hit me not so much because of the physical pain. I deal with chronic pain; it fucks with your life, but it is what it is. And what’s funny is I can talk about that pain with people but I can’t talk about the mental/emotional pain even with those closest to me like my brother.

So what hit me most about the recent fracture was the inability to do certain things on my own, things I’ve grown accustomed to doing. I’m pretty independent and mobile despite the physical limitations, so not being able to do things as simple as getting into the shower on my own ( it was hell waiting on my mom to help me wrap my cast in a bag and carry me in everyday), plunged me to the bottom quicker. I hadn’t broken a limb since I was sixteen, so even though I’ve fractured dozens upon dozens of bones, it all seemed new.

It’s amazing how quickly we forget the intensity of the pain once it’s gone just as we forget we ever experienced joy when in the midst of deep depression. I also find it amazing how a new life seems to emerge out of these deep dark cracks in our lives. Mine has many, like the Grand Canyon. I don’t know what life I’m in at the moment. Life number ten or eleven?

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Anyway, as I mentioned in Whiskers and Lashes, I’ve had a ton of cartooning ideas milling around my head but the Mouse hasn’t been able to catch one, even with my rebirth and the PLDs quieting down some.

One of the ideas I have is a little comic strip explaining OI, like “OI 101: Adventures of Mr. Healthy Bone and Mr. Brittle OI Bone” or something silly like that. Then I started thinking about the mad anxiety I’ve been having lately–the damned morning panic attacks that have been waking me.

Little P and Little T circa 1993-4. my dad left this on my desk last week. He must’ve found it while working in the garage. The furry guy riding behind me is Tito, the one I found huddled with pigs in a pen at the Mexican flee market.

I’ve struggled with loads of anxiety since I was a child; it’s only now I’m beginning to realize it. Chronic indecision is often reflective of high anxiety levels. When I was fitted to get my first electric wheelchair (see picture), I remember sitting in a physical therapy room with a giant binder full of samples and a tall man (all men are tall to a tiny girl) flipping through sheet after sheet of fabric colors. I got dizzy looking at what was to me a monolithic block of color. I got physically ill from looking through. I wanted to cry because the choices overwhelmed me as they do now. Would I make the right choice? Who was I do decide? Pink is always for girls, why? No, I like the blues! Why do they keep asking about the pink?

“Can’t I just have all of the colors!?” I finally yelled. They had a rainbow-colored option for the belt which the man kindly suggested!

But I digress.

For the last few weeks, maybe a month or so, the deep depression–the core of it–seems to have lifted, mostly. It has lifted to the extent that I feel as though I’m emerging from that hell, shedding a layer of skin and climbing back up from the grave of that ninth life. But with this emergence something else has come up–increased awareness of the jaw pain.

Funny enough now that the emotional pain isn’t at a constant crisis level, I feel the physical pain coming back. It could also be the anxiety that’s tightening the muscles on my face and causing the pain to return. (My arm still hurts but that’s not as disturbing as the jaw pain.)

Ugh, the fractured jaw and nerve damage incident! Talk about fuckin’ trauma. They jacked up my jaw! I’ll have to write out that story some other time.

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Several days ago, I ran into a comment on one of the Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) Facebook groups.

“Any of you have horror stories from the past, from the hospital, from doctors and nurses and such?” the group’s creator asked.

Replies came in almost immediately. I replied that I’d waken up during the end of a surgery in my femur, among other things. It’s a surreal experience being a twelve-year-old, waking up naked (with the exception of a tiny towel over the crotch), surrounded by half a dozen doctors and nurses covered in blood and tubes and beeping machines closing in above your head.

I sat there thinking, Horror stories? Hell’s yeah I got them. I got Post Traumatic Stress up my ass! (Literally, my bum’s been messed with.)

A mom in that Facebook group has a little eight year-old girl with type II OI (I have type III). This lady is on there chatting away as much as I’m here in WordPress. She’s constantly talking about her little one. The girl has broken over 500 bones! Jeezus! I think I just barely passed the 100 mark. But 500? I can’t imagine, or rather, I don’t want to. I wonder how many of us have PTSD from just the fractures alone! Monkey Man L was having his leg turned for an X-Ray when, BAM, they SNAPPED it in two. It was already broken and they just added another break! All more reasons for me to think of this PTSD and BPD correlation.

So, on Sunday, I started researching: “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Osteogenesis Imperfecta” and “Trauma and Borderline Personality Disorder”. I found some interesting things, but more on that later. 🙂

Yep, that’s me. I think I was three years old in this one.

I have a bisphosphonate infusion to look forward to tomorrow. It’ll be the second time I get one. Wish me luck!

Much Love from the Mouse

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Oh and here’s some info on bisphosphonate therapy for osteogenesis imperfecta.