Miscellaneous Mental Archive

Downward Spiral

Posted March 10, 2017 By kmarrs

I seem to be on a 4 year cycle.  At the cusp of the 4 years I spiral downhill fast into a really bad year.  Then I claw my way back out of it and have a couple of years of really good mental health and then a fourth year of decent enough but edging towards the cusp mental health.  Then rinse repeat.

I hate predicting it, because it’s like I’m making it true, but the pattern holds.  Every 4 years I enter a romantic entanglement as a means of escaping and trying to feel better, and in the process sabotage my relationship with my husband.  We separate.  Near divorce.  And I spiral further down.  The romantic entanglement blows up in my face, because it’s not a health relationship to start out with, and I fly back to a confused and hurting Patrick who eases my pain.

This time will be different.  First, I know my pattern and there will be no romance.  Even if there is, as Pat and I are now in an open relationship, I don’t have to sacrifice anything.  I can be open and honest with him, and trust him to guide me through treacherous waters.  I know this sounds unfair to him.  But it’s something we’ve come to together.  It’s far healthier than the alternative, and he’s wanted an open relationship for years.  So this isn’t just me.

As far as my spiral goes, I’m trying to head it off.  I’m in a healthy, low pressure job.  I’m kind of stuck in school, can’t take a term off, but the routine might be beneficial.  Also the shrimp project and the fish keep me mellow.  And the learning to crochet gives me distraction.  So I’m using my DBT skills.  So I think I’ll be ok.  It would be nice to make it through the next year without landing in the hospital.

Because I’m drawing ever nearer to the cusp.

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Five Days, Four Nights

Posted August 19, 2015 By kmarrs

This is going to come out very disjoined and just won’t flow.  I’m sorry, but that’s just how I am at this time with this topic.

I spent most of the last couple of weeks in July fantasizing about taking a few bottles worth of pills.  It wasn’t just a, “I wish I was dead,” but a full on plan.

When I tried to hospitalize myself in March, the hospital I went to was so sure it was just the stress of my sister’s illness.  They refused to take my own illness seriously.  When she got her transplant, and that stress was over, but I didn’t magically get better, I in fact got worse.  For awhile I thought it was just me needing more friendship in my life.  I made a new friend.  I chatted with the new friend.  I was ecstatic for like two days, and then the new friend excitement wore off and I still felt like I wanted to die.  Turns out I didn’t just need friends.

But being turned away last March left me with zero faith in the system.  I was “too smart to need hospitalization”.  Yeah, yeah.  I’m also smart enough to know exactly how to successfully kill myself.

So I called my meds doctor and I filled her in on how I was feeling, the extent to which I was suicidal, and why it was I was hesitant to go to the hospital.  I knew I needed help, but I also knew if I got turned away again I would go through with an attempt.  At that point all hope I had would be gone.

She of course pointed out the differences between the present and March.  For starters, in March as horrible as I felt, I was wishing I was dead, not planning it.  I also decided it would be wise to pick another hospital.  This time I went to OSU instead of Mount Carmel East.  Why yes, I am breaking my policy and I’m naming names.

OSU actually apologized for MC’s mistake even though they had nothing to do with it.  They full on told me that MC made a bad decision.  In doing so they didn’t just validate me being there in the present, but they validated my needs back in March.

I spent about 8 hours in the ER before they made the final decision and got my room ready.  There was never really much doubt in them keeping me, outside of my paranoia at the system.

While still in the ER, the consulting Psychiatrist and I discussed what exactly the stay could do for me, besides keeping me safe.  I finally admitted to myself and the world that the Cymbalta, my miracle drug, just wasn’t working any more.  We discussed alternative meds and I picked Zoloft because it would help with depression and my anxiety.  The very next morning I start Zoloft and they started weaning me off Cymbalta.  To say I was fast tracked is an understatement.  In 4 days I was taken off 120MG of Cymbalta and put on 150MG of Zoloft.  My body handled it well.

It was Friday July 31, 2015 that I was admitted, and I was released the following Tuesday.

And here is where I end this tale for now.  I of course did some writing while I was in there, and I’ll share that with you in bits and pieces over the next week or so.

Stay safe.

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pills medication BPD Borderline Personality Disorder Depression  Anxiety BipolarAs I type this I’m currently withdrawing from Ativan because I ran out.  I ran out because a minor paperwork fuck up with welfare caused us to lose our insurance for a month.  It’ll be back on May 1, they assure us, and in the meantime if we pay out-of-pocket for the medication Lucas and I need, they will reimburse us.

Because yes, I have a couple grand just laying about.  Luke’s meds alone cost $500.  My Ativan wouldn’t be too bad, but my Geodon dose that I’m running out of next weekend is over a grand by itself and that withdraw is brutal.  Not to mention it’s one of the top medications I take.

So some guy sitting in an office made a mistake, and now we either come up with a couple thousand dollars, that they’ll pay back, or Luke and I proceed to run out of medication one at a time.  Thank God his Vyvanse that he ran out of 2 weeks ago doesn’t cause withdraw.  It just leaves him suffering serious and sometimes dangerous ADHD symptoms.  This is the kids that tried to fly a few years back when he was unmedicated.  That physics experiment left him with a broken wrist.  Luckily age has brought him some wisdom.

Then there is me.  A month ago I was attempting to get myself admitted because I was in rough shape, and now I can’t even take my meds properly.  How is this ok in someone’s eyes.

Anyway, we’re not taking this sitting down.  Pat is writing angry emails to supervisors and spelling out the facts.  We can’t afford to pay out-of-pocket and we can’t afford for me to run out of Geodon.  I can go without my Ativan and I’ll survive the withdraw.  I can even go without my anti-depressant, I might just need to hide for a few days.  But man-o-man is that Geodon withdraw nasty.  I’ll be going from 80 MG to nothing cold turkey, I have no means of tapering down, and unless they find a solution, I have no power to prevent it.

You can’t just cold turkey meds.  Medical rule #1.  You can’t cold turkey psyche meds.  It’s dangerous.  It causes bigger problems.  The list of side effects of a cold turkey is worse than the symptoms themselves.  For reference, if I was on a larger dose of Ativan, I could be suffering seizures right now.  Instead, and thankfully, I’m only light-headed, nauseous, agitated, and suffering worse anxiety than usual.

But man the Geodon.

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A Loving Mother

Posted March 20, 2015 By kmarrs

Narcissistic Mother and Borderline Personality DisorderI thought I should balance out the negative of the, what I assume to be hurtful to my mother, news of her having narcissistic traits, and being invalidating in many ways, I would list as many of her good mothering qualities as I could.  These are in no order, just as they come to me.

  • I have never doubted her love for me.  She has never given me reason to.  Even when she’s being hurtful she’s loving enough that I know it’s there and real.
  • She is one of the strongest women I know.  In the past year and a half she has lost her sister and a brother, and now she faces losing a daughter.  I don’t know how she keeps going, but she does.
  • Anytime I leave her house after dark, she makes sure to tell me to text her once I’m home safely.  That’s the love of a mother.
  • Chicken crescent squares.  My favorite meal that she makes when I need it the most, on special occasions, and sometimes just because.
  • She is a very loving grandmother.  She is very involved in their lives and openly adores my kids.
  • She has always complimented my veins.  This one came up in the hospital while visiting my sister, as my sister is severely anemic and having trouble offering up good veins to the nurses for them to poke.  Anyway, my mom has been a med tech for decades now and has always complimented my veins.  As weird as that sounds, from my mom that is a high compliment.
  • She always compliments my math skills.
  • I have mad budgeting skills that my mom gives props to.  I can go into a store with a list and a fifty dollar budget and spent 49.99.  It’s a gift.
  • With all that is going on with my sister, my mom has kept up-to-date with all appointments and every single individual detail of everything in my sister’s medical life.  She’s also very proactive in getting my sister healthy and is organizing the search for a donor list that will take her.
  • Mom has never been one to say no to books.  Parents can’t say yes to everything their kids ask for.  Even if they can afford to, that’s how you raise spoiled brats.  My mom, like all moms, said no her fair share of the time.  However, when it came to books, I heard yes a lot more often than I heard no.  It was my mom’s way of validating what really mattered to me.

That list could and should go on but I got distracted by a dying sister and watching my mom’s shining strength in a horrid situation.  I am confident that if I were the sick one, and my sister healthy, my mom would be doing the very same for me.

I can’t say my mom is emotionally neglectful.  Not fully.  You hear all these stories, including from my readers, and that just isn’t and wasn’t my mom.  She says hurtful things and she struggles to validate.  However, it’s worth pointing out I can be very closed off, so it is possible the problem isn’t all her.

When I had that conversation with my mom, it wasn’t in therapy like planned.  It was sitting in a hospital cafeteria the day before that post went live, because it was the best we could do in the chaos around us.  It was looking like mom wasn’t going to be able to make it to the therapy appointment, for valid reasons, and so I just got it out-of-the-way.

I had already typed up what I wanted to say.  My words offered validation to my mom while still sharing the observation I had made.  I made it quite clear I’m not accusing her of anything, because I’m really not.  I didn’t offer up more than one example as to how she is hurtful or invalidating, because I didn’t want this to be about all the things she did wrong, and a huge mudslinging debate.

I instead asked her to consider my words.  I asked that I be allowed to write about it.  I asked that she be willing to consider a filter between brain and mouth, with assurances it isn’t all her, and I’m working on mine.

I listed and validated that I am a very closed off person in many ways and I see I may not have been easy to validate or that mom may not have known how to, but I still put forth that isn’t the full of it, and she accepts that.

She isn’t emotionally neglectful, she is lacking in skills on how best to approach.  There is a huge difference there.  At least to me.  The difference being that she wants to learn how better to validate.  She wants to learn when she’s being hurtful so she can not do it again.  We’ve even agreed on a “safe word” of sorts where I say “relationship”, when she’s said something that could hurt our relationship, and she will reflect on what she just said and try to learn from it.  She can’t get mad at me for using the word, and I will try to be patient with the learning curve.  Because she wants to learn, and I want to teach.

As I lose my sister to a horrible disease, a disease where her days are literally numbered, it has made us all the more aware how precious relationships really are.  My mom is not this big horrible figure of pain and agony from my childhood or even now.  No, she isn’t perfect but she’s willing to learn.  And even when she is being hurtful, she still in her ways is able to show her love.

Yes, her narcissistic traits have helped shape my BPD, but I am able to say without a doubt that she didn’t create that.

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An Invalidating Childhood

Posted March 18, 2015 By kmarrs

Narcissistic Mother and Borderline Personality Disorder This is hard for me to write.  Mostly because I fear how my mother will respond.  So it’s worth saying I’m not accusing, but instead suggesting a possibility, and it’s effect on my life and mental health.  If all has gone as planned, I have already had this conversation with my mother semi-privately, in a joint therapy session where she got all the validation she could be offered as to how she is a good mother, and the many things she has done right.  She has done many things right, and nothing is specifically or generally her fault.

But the fact remains, my mother is not the most validating of people.  She in fact has a wide spread history of saying things that aren’t just hurtful, but are also downright cruel.  There is every indication, though no confirmed diagnosis, that my mother is in fact a narcissist.  This is by no means her fault, or her choice, just as Borderline Personality is neither my fault nor my choice.

The reason I bring this up?

It took me a long time to realize this about my mother.  For years I thought I was a rare case of Borderline Personality Disorder with a great upbringing.  And you know?  It was a great upbringing.  I wasn’t abused.  I wasn’t neglected.  There was no lack of love.

I just wasn’t validated.  Even as an adult, I hear a lot more about what I do wrong as a daughter, mother, person, that what I do right.

As it turns out, a lack of validation goes a long way towards encouraging someone towards BPD.  I will always argue that because of my DNA, I would have been mentally ill either way, but I’m finally willing to face the fact that my mother’s inability (as I don’t think it’s a choice, but a skill she can’t help but to lack) doesn’t help.

And who knows.  Maybe finally sitting down and talking this through with her will have gone a long way towards helping to make her aware of the problem.  Knowing there is a problem, and admitting it to yourself, is half the battle of fixing it.

What do I want from all this?  That’s exactly when my therapist asked when I asked her for the joint session with my mother.

Well, I want to be able to write about it.  Writing about my experience with BPD and not writing about my mother to some degree, would be like writing about lung cancer and not owning up to 30 years of smoking.

I also have hope that my mom cares enough, as I know she does, to take this knowledge and use it to help her think before she speaks.  A skillset we all need.  But now she’ll know why.

I love my mom.  I don’t doubt she loves me.  I have hope this can better our relationship and not bring it harm.

A side note:

For the rest of you with mothers like mine to any degree, I highly recommend reading Will I Ever Be Good Enough by Dr. Karyl McBride Ph.D. as it is far more than helpful. It’s 9 dollars that helped my open my eyes, gain insight, gain courage, and start to heal.  And no, I was not paid to tell you that.  That comes from my heart.

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How My BPD Effects My Asexuality

Posted March 12, 2015 By kmarrs

asexual and BPD Borderline Personality DisorderI will never, ever say my mental health has any factor in me being asexual, panromantic, or a demi-girl. Just as my sexuality (and crew) doesn’t make me BPD, bipolar, anxious, or any of it. There is no correlation between the two, but one will sometimes affect the other. So let’s be clear: it’s not a cause and effect, but there is a deviance exception.

See, people who have BPD are known for being impulsive, including in bed. In addition, people who are in a manic, can be a bit hyperactive with sex. So while 90+% of my life I’m asexual to the point it’s kind of really gross, I make an exception for Pat because he wants it and there is a heightened emotional connection and blah blah blah.  It’s still really ew, though, in general. I mean, you are putting one nasty dirty part inside another nasty dirty part and then swapping fluids filled with bacteria. And then some people? Put mouths down there? Makes me kind of want to vomit. And by kind of I mean OMG you people are freakin’ unsanitary! Dear lord do your mothers know! No, that’s NOT how they became mothers. There use to be storks. Ew.

So yeah, I’m asexual. Because sex is gross. Even kissing is gross. That’s how you catch the plague.

(No, I never have known how Pat puts up with me. This is only one or two items on a super long list.)

So uh. Then this thing happens where I become super unstable. I don’t just mean a little unstable. I mean throw my marriage to the curb so I can maybe fuck other man and/or women, unstable, and I all but become a whore. Now. In reality I can count on 1 hand the number of people I’ve slept with and I’m officially up to two hands for the number of people I’ve kiss. But for me? That’s sleeping around. I mean serious. It never really is about numbers. There are people with 10 times as many ex-partners and I wouldn’t call them whores. Not even behind their backs. But me adding a notch to my bedpost when I’m single? That is me going out of character. The fact this last time I kissed 4 different men which is doubling my earlier count… I actually dislike kissing more than sex. That’s your germs in my mouth. Black Plague.

Ok.  So failed attempts to be humorous aside, while my sexuality doesn’t cause my mental health and my mental health doesn’t cause my sexuality, it’s still relevant because one has, and probably will again, affected the other. Only this time my marriage will be open so I don’t have to sacrifice the man I actually love to kiss another dude. Or dudette.

Also, as I grow more comfortable with the labels it took me 30 years to find, I want to write them out as it makes them whole. And if any of you can relate with any of it… well there are a lot of people out there far less complicated than me, so anyone I can relate to when it comes to gender and asexuality especially, I could use the company in my lonely corner.

We can discuss the black plague.

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