Not Just Your Garden-Variety Neurotic Smartass.

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.

LEGO Mania.

My daughter played with LEGOs pretty hardcore, as is obvious by the brutal scars I have on the bottom of my feet from stepping on them (I can’t see worth a shit). She always liked the little mini-figures and the superhero sets.

I was absolutely a LEGO kid, as is likely evident from the scars on the bottoms of my parents’ feet (we had shag carpeting). I was even privileged enough at one point in my young life to even be gifted the LEGO castle, which was one of my fondest dreams (that and the LEGO Death Star, which was unreasonably expensive but terribly cool).

I spent years playing with that castle – making the knights rebuild it brick by brick, lowering the little drawbridge on its tiny strings, imagining attacks by vicious LEGO dragons.

I also built little homes, schools, tree-lined streets formed with the large plastic lane-printed street squares, and I occasionally popped the heads off of my mini-people just to see how far they would fly. I had tiny cars with working wheels, tires with real treads, itty-bitty working steering wheels, and miniature taillights.

I spent countless hours sprawled out on the living room floor on my stomach, clicking little bricks together. Sometimes a friend would come over and we would LEGO it up, but I was perfectly happy just to play by myself in my imaginary plastic world.

I eventually grew out of my yen for the tiny blocks as puberty set in, but I still get a pang when I see LEGOs on the shelves at Target or at a toy store. (And wow, have they gotten pricey.) It takes me back to lying on the green shag carpeting in my shorts and a tank top, putting flags atop my castle and feeling perfectly content with the world.

I miss that.

Happy Sunday.

Apocalyptic Behavior.

I wrote briefly about the Coronavirus and some of my concerns the other day. I wasn’t concerned enough, apparently, as I went out Wednesday night for bingo and drinks, and now here we are: all socially isolating and in a national state of emergency.

I watched most of the Trump press conference yesterday and wound up turning it off after all the corporate advertising and Pence’s ass-kissing moment; but I still stand by the fact that we were so slow to react to all this as a nation that it’s pathetic.

The emergency relief bill still has to be passed by the Senate, and Mitch McConnell is out of sight.

Fuck yes, I’m concerned. I’m concerned about myself and my family and friends, and I’m concerned about everyone. I’m concerned about the elderly in nursing homes who now can’t even have visitors to brighten their respective days. I’m concerned about people with autoimmune diseases who cannot fight this virus like healthy people. I’m concerned about out-of-school kids getting fed. I’m concerned that I might have to start wiping my butt with pot holders.

Most of all, I’m concerned that since America was not on the ball for this one, it’s going to get much, much worse before it gets better.

So, if you’re scared and frustrated and angry, you’re not alone. I think most of us are feeling these things.

I am trying to just breathe, keep the house clean because Jasmine’s friends are over a lot (something that probably needs to stop), and wash my hands.

I’m used to self-isolation so that isn’t bothering me much, but I can see how having your spouse telecommuting, your kids off school, or being shut in when you’re typically on the go all the time could be trying. I think that patience is key.

As far as getting tested, my daughter and I are thinking about it because we’ve both had deep chest colds for a while now. If my insurance will pay, I will go get tested in the interest of keeping my family safe.

Unfortunately panic buying is probably going to continue, so I’m also trying to be judicious in my use of supplies – particularly toilet paper. I’ve certainly cut down to only the squares needed, and I don’t waste.

I bought a Brita filter so that we won’t have to buy bottled water (which is in short supply as well as a huge waste of plastic), but it won’t fit my 1940’s-era faucet. So, we are looking at new kitchen faucets. The sprayer is broken on mine anyway.

I think the key to all of this is to be always mindful yet not panicky; and to also be considerate of your fellow humans, because if you yourself have symptoms and are not getting tested you are doing the people around you an enormous disservice.

Also, everyone is scared. Just be nice. That should be a given.

I’ll be writing some sort of funny shit soon. I promise. Take care.