Not Just Your Garden-Variety Neurotic Smartass.

Seizing It Up.

Sorry I haven’t written in a minute. Life has been nuts.

I have been having multiple seizures a day for a couple weeks culminating in me falling off a dining room chair and wrecking my lower back. This is as painful as it sounds, if not more so; and adding my torn rotator cuff on top of that is making life very difficult indeed.

I had an MRI of my shoulder to see whether I need a replacement and will get the results next week. I’m also starting physical therapy including dry needling next week, and I also have a neurologist appointment on Monday. I’m hoping with all my heart that these issues can be fixed.

I’m very tired and a physical mess, but I am doing everything I can do.

Be well.

The Tense House.

I came home from my dad’s on Monday and posted a laminated list of house rules. Nothing outrageous, just that my daughter get a job by the end of May, help out with the housework, and show me some respect. I specified that if these things did not happen, I would turn off the internet.

There have been arguments at least once a day, and it’s very draining. My father temporarily gave her a gaming laptop and a big monitor to use for live-streaming video games, because one can make money doing this, and she’s entertaining to watch.

He told her that he wanted to watch her livestream because, being a very smart and technically inclined guy, he might have some technical advice. She flatly refused. He got angry and told her that if she didn’t, he would take the computer back. It’s a system worth thousands of dollars, and he’d only planned to loan it to her and see if she got a sizable amount of subscribers.

They were yelling at each other outside in the rain, and she came in the house screaming, “Don’t threaten me!!”

She told me what happened, and I told her I didn’t see the problem with him watching her livestream. She told me it was “creepy” and that she didn’t want him to know her online handle.

She also insinuated that it was my fault he was taking the computer because I didn’t call my dad and yell at him about this. When my father is angry, there is no going back. I know this. He is furious with my daughter for blowing up on him, and he blew up on her as well.

So today the computer is going back, and last night she and her friend put it on the (locked) front porch.

I woke up at 4:30 this morning and as is my habit, I went out to the porch to have a cigarette. The computer wasn’t there. The front porch storm door was still bolted. The brand new webcam he bought for her was missing as well, and that was inside on the dining room table.

I’m reasonably certain that she took everything downstairs to her room, and this is only going to cause even more drama. At this point she says she hates him, and he wants nothing to do with her. If that computer is hooked up downstairs as she sleeps until noon, there will be another big fight.

I am so tired of all this fighting, of the general distaste and sometimes venom that is directed towards me, of her constant anger. It is exhausting.

Allegedly she wants to move to Indianapolis with a friend, and neither of them have jobs or money. She claims she just can’t live with me anymore (because I am so intolerable, paying all her bills and doing all the housework while she games away), and I’m inclined to agree. If she wants to move out, I’m all for it. It would be sad and I would miss her in some ways, but in many ways I would not – the volatile temper, the constant ingratitude for everything and everyone, the entitlement.

So, I don’t know what will happen today, but I am prepared for a battle. Wish me luck.

And Here I Sit, Broken-hearted.

On the day I got home from the hospital, my daughter began to scream at me and cry, because she didn’t think I was concerned about her feelings. That was and is of course not the case.

This was followed by a lot of frostiness on her part, and during the multiple times I asked her to sit down and talk to me, she snapped that she wasn’t ready. Finally, on Wednesday night, she let me have it.

Apparently I have been a horrifically shitty parent, and my mental illnesses have ruined her life. She screamed at me for what felt like hours, and I was just sobbing, feeling so much guilt and anger and shame; but I told her the truth – my mental illnesses are sometimes (often) completely beyond my control. I take several different medications and I take them religiously, every day, but sometimes they’re just not enough. I’m kind of a hard case.

I feel completely ineffective and heartbroken, and I feel (rightfully so) that she completely resents me and hates me, and that she has so much pent-up rage against me that I am frightened.

So, I left. I am staying with my dad for a few days to relax, decompress, and avoid her venom. In a way it was probably stupid to leave my own home, but I felt utterly defeated and just needed to get out of there. I’m sure she’s thrilled to have me gone again.

For many years I kept my mental illnesses to myself because when she was a child, I didn’t feel like she would understand, and as she got older, I didn’t want to burden her. Little did I know that I WAS burdening her, and that she would grow up resenting me. Hating me. Not wanting to be near me.

I can’t make the past right. All I can do is what I’m supposed to be doing and if she doesn’t feel that’s good enough, I don’t know what else to do.

I am going home Monday or Tuesday, and I’m sure the shit will hit the fan again, but I will be ready, and I’m not going to just sit there and listen while she verbally destroys me. I have illnesses that are medical. It’s as if she’s blaming me for having cancer. I can’t tolerate that.

I am notoriously bad at standing up for myself, but I have always done what I thought was best for her, even if I was mistaken. I have supported her the best way I know how; and even though we have had very limited resources, I always made sure she had everything she needed and most of what she wanted. She is almost 22 and has quit nearly every job she’s ever had, she’s been out of work for a year, and she spends all day playing video games. She has never once considered that we might need extra income, and she feels that most jobs are beneath her even though she has no formal education.

I am exhausted and weak to begin with as I get used to this strong new medication, and this has flattened me. I was in such a good mood when I got home and was so happy to be there, and she broke my heart. I feel like I have failed as a parent and as a human being. I also feel like she will never love or trust me again, all because I went to get the help I needed so badly.

I am not really ok, but I am still holding my head up, talking to friends, and trying to remain as positive as I can be. That’s all I can do.

Be well.

Reaching Out For Help Can Be the Hardest Thing To Do.

I was released from the local psych ward (sorry, Behavioral Health Unit) on Saturday. My regime of meds wasn’t working and I had become so depressed I was feeling suicidal. I wasn’t thrilled about going inpatient, but I knew that I really needed to.

It was as scary as you might imagine. I was in for six days and during that time I was not allowed to have visitors, or any of the clothes that I brought. I was given a set of scrubs and a pair of mesh underwear. I could only leave my room during certain times, like for meals or group therapy. The staff all wore masks and strictly enforced social distancing, which I thought was a good thing.

My fellow inmates were interesting. There was a woman who never for a moment stopped bothering the staff for things that she could have done herself. This same woman’s room was across from mine, and she would sit on her bed and just stare at me. They eventually put her on the “other side”, which was apparently reserved for crazier people than myself.

The day I left, the nurses were screaming at a man to shower because he was covered in poop, and he was loudly refusing.

Not going to lie, these things made me feel a bit more sane.

I also met some really nice people – I had three different roommates during my incarceration and they were all pretty nice, particularly the last one, with whom I became fast friends. There was also a really sweet guy I talked to a lot who prayed on the day I left that I would get released. He claimed that his prayers for people always worked, and this time he was correct!

A lot of other people were in sort of a zombie-like state from getting new meds. My doctor there – the same shrink I see on an outpatient basis – started me on a brand new med for bipolar that just came out of trials. I was the first person out of his many, many patients whom he prescribed it to.

Usually these meds take a good few weeks to start working, but so far so good. I am very tired and having some muscle weakness, but I think that will start to go away soon.

While inpatient I had group therapy twice a day, and I met with a social worker daily. It was more helpful than I can say. I learned coping skills, new ways of dealing with stress, and just having listening ears was a big help.

All in all, I think my trip to the nut hut was absolutely necessary and wound up being a very good thing.

So, there’s that. I’ve been working on my novel since I got home, but unfortunately I am having to do it in the notes on my phone because the edition of Microsoft Office on my laptop is being a big bitch. It’s fine for the time being – the text on my phone is huge – but I’m going to have to come up with something long-term.

I’m in a really good mood. It feels amazing. Take care.

Lethargy.

I’m not going to lie – I’ve been going through a really bad depressive period.

I haven’t been on any social media for a while, and I’m not talking to any friends, which is evident by my thousand unread texts. I just can’t do it. I feel like I have nothing to say.

I’ve been waking up early and napping for roughly seven hours a day before going to bed early. I feel drained and exhausted all the time. My house is a disaster area and I just can’t find the motivation or energy to clean it.

The state of the world affects me deeply, and my own life is not without many challenges, both medical and psychiatric. It feels as overwhelming as a burning summer sun.

I just wish things were different, as do probably millions of people, but I feel like I’ve lost any hope for the future. I look back on the twenty years I’ve been on disability, and I haven’t accomplished anything except getting fat. I don’t know what to do.

My current meds aren’t working anymore, and I have such a high tolerance that I wonder if anything would work. It feels hopeless.

I just wish things were different. I don’t know. I’m going back to bed.

Stuff and Junk.

The thing about cleaning and purging is that once you get started, you find a million more things to do; and I am almost overwhelmed by the amount of crap Jasmine and I have managed to let pile up.

Our basement is horrendous and we have two garages full of stuff that has to be sorted and sold or donated. It’s daunting, but I guess now is as good a time as any to get started on everything.

How’s everyone doing? Since I have asthma and just had bronchitis, I am being very careful and am of course staying in. Thankfully my mom is off work with pay now, so she is now staying in too, and she has been out walking every day. My dad is still working, because he’s an instrumentation tech and people still need their heavy-duty machines calibrated and repaired. He’s taking extra precautions, though, and is generally as healthy as a horse.

This morning I’m just relaxing with some coffee and watching the kittens fight, and trying to shake off the gray day. I’ll be so glad when the weather is finally warm and dry and sunny. Waking up to these cloud-muck skies is just depressing.

I am in what seems to be a never-ending war with my shrink about getting my prescriptions refilled on time, and it’s exhausting. He’s a really good doctor, but he’s got about a thousand too many clients and it seems like I’m always harassing his nurses to get him to call in refills. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds don’t work if you take a week off here and there, so that’s been a struggle. I’m hoping that he will get it together this week and get me mah drugs.

In other news, Loki the kitten is bad, bad, bad and wants to be On the Table! or On the Dresser! or On Top of the TV! or Flying Through the Air! and he’s truly enough to push the tenuous level of my sanity towards the breaking point. I keep constantly offering him toys in hopes of satisfying his need to be aloft, but he’d much rather beat up his sister Thor or jump up on the desk to sullenly eat my plant. I think he drinks coffee or possibly rocket fuel when I’m not looking.

So cute, but so bad. I tried to get a better picture, but he’s always moving.

Here’s hoping you all are safe and being careful.


Shaking Off Slackerdom.

Good morning! It’s a rainy day here in the hood, and I woke up at four to a kitten kneading my armpit.

Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie/The Postal Service has been doing live acoustic shows from his home studio every night, and I’ve been watching them every morning. It really puts a great spin on my day, because I’m a huge fan of both bands.

Yesterday I got my ass in gear for the first time in a hot minute and cleaned out all of my dresser drawers, my closet, and the large cabinet in my room; and I wound up with five stuffed-full trash bags of clothing that either doesn’t fit or that I just don’t wear. Five bags! Needless to say, my closet is finally manageable; but I couldn’t part with a single concert t-shirt, so there’s still a sizable amount of clothes for me to lounge around in.

It felt really good to do something productive and not just sit on my ass watching Netflix all day, but I was so busy all day and so tired that I passed out on the couch at 6:30 and didn’t wake up until midnight, thereby missing a Zoom meeting with some good friends I haven’t seen in a year or so. I was PISSED.

There will be other meetings, though, I’m sure, and we created a group chat as well, so I’m glad to be a part of that.

I’m also listening to the radio constantly, which is great because I haven’t really done it in a while; and I’m hearing some fantastic new music and also some recorded live shows that WXRT has been playing. It truly helps the clear the pall that’s been cast over the world at this point in time.

Today I’m going to give the house a decent cleaning, and finally vacuum my dog hair-coated rugs. Pro tip: don’t get a light tan dog that sheds like a fiend when you have dark carpets.

Right now I’m just sucking down my morning pot of coffee and listening to The Red Hot Chili Peppers on the radio with a cat in my lap, and I’m glad to be safe in my home.

I really can’t express how grateful and in awe I am of all of the healthcare workers and first responders who are on the front lines dealing with this mess, and also the people I might not have really thought too much about; including truck drivers, food service workers, and grocery store employees. I’m so thankful for all they’re doing.

The rain has stopped, and the birds are singing outside, and it’s almost time to get in gear. Have a great day.

Quarantined.

Good morning! So, what’s happening with everyone during your respective quarantines?

I am not: reading anything of consequence, showering daily, wearing actual clothes, Working on my novel, doing laundry, or making my bed.

I am: binge watching The Office, preparing to dye my hair some weird color, constantly screaming at kittens (BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS GET INTO THE WIRES BEHIND THE TV ARRRRRGH), doing some light redecorating in my room with some odds and ends I had, and stress eating.

I also cook and clean the kitchen and things, but those are basic tasks. (Not that taking a shower isn’t a basic task. I’m just in Slob Mode.)

It’s an incredibly hard and uncertain time for so many people, and I guess if ihad anything to say it would be “Help people, and have the good sense to receive help if you need it.”

Stay safe.

During Which I Put Aside My Pride.

We are terribly short on funds in Casa Trance right now and could use some supplies. The state is now on lockdown and I can’t get rides anywhere. Even if I could, I’m not sure how I’d afford anything.

I don’t normally beg for money and I realize that a lot of people are in the same position as me right now, but if you can donate any small amount, I’d truly appreciate it.

My PayPal is jennifahbloom@gmail.com, and my cash app is $trancejen. Thank you so much.

Tales From the Deathbed.

Good morning, friends. I am in quite a state right now, as is evident by the thirteen hours of sleep I got (and sorely needed) last night.

Every winter I get sinus infections and bronchitis. This probably comes from being a stupid smoker (and now, instead, a stupid vaper), so I just take my antibiotics and deal with it.

This time, though, I have a horribly deep chest cough and my asthma is so bad that I am unbelievably short of breath even after hitting my inhaler. I called my doctor the other day and told her what was going on, and she said that since I wasn’t running a fever it didn’t sound like COVID-19. She kindly called in some super strong antibiotics and an extra inhaler to my pharmacy.

I still feel like shit, though. I’m more tired than I’ve ever been in my life, and not being able to breathe is aggravating my seizure disorder. Fun all around! So, I’ve just been sleeping most of the day and all night, too.

I thought about going to the hospital to get checked for pneumonia, but I’m guessing that the local hospital is as overcrowded as fuck right now, so I’m just going to hope that these antibiotics do the trick.

I just wish that I wasn’t so exhausted, because I have a huge pile of laundry that needs my attention, my floors need to be vacuumed, and my house is in general disarray.

I have been watching a movie every morning, though, so that’s been a nice little treat. How is everyone coping with self-isolation? Are you working from home now, or do you still have to go out and interact with people?

I saw a meme today that made me spit my coffee out because it’s pretty damned true for me and a lot of folks living on disability:

Heh. Take care, and stay safe. I’ll be here, increasing the dent in the couch.