I’m Still Here

For now, at least.  I’m just tired of talking.  It doesn’t seem to get me anywhere; it just leaves me feeling more alone and hopeless.

Everyone wants to tell me I should live, and honestly, I just can’t take hearing it anymore.  That probably makes me an asshole, but I guess that doesn’t really matter anymore.  Maybe you’re seeing who I really am now, when I can’t keep up appearances anymore.  Maybe you’ll hate me.  Maybe it’ll make you understand why I can’t live.

I’m tired of people trying to fix me and solve my problems.  I’m pretty damn smart, okay?  And I’m pretty damn resourceful.  If there were resources to be found, solutions to be invented, I would’ve figured them out already.  I’m tired of being polite when people suggest the same things over and over.  Yes, I’m on disability and food stamps and Medicare and Medicaid, I’ve applied for energy assistance, I’m on the waiting list for housing, I’ve been to the food banks, I’ve tried the buses, I can’t afford paratransit.  I’ve tried forums and self-help books and support groups and CBT and DBT and EMDR and psychoanalysis and ECT and the Department of Mental Health and Community-Based Flexible Support.  I’ve been to respite, the ER, more psych units than I can count, two trauma units.  I’ve gone to church and prayed and mediated and done yoga and changed my diet.  I’ve been on antidepressants, anxiolytics, mood stabilizers, stimulants, and anti-psychotics.  I’ve taken 5-ASA’s and steroids and chemo and immunosuppressants and biologics.  I’ve consulted psychiatrists and chiropractors and reiki masters and neurosurgeons and physical therapists and acupuncturists and gastroenterologists.

Nothing helps enough to make my life survivable.

You can’t fix me because I’m too many problems to solve.  It’s depression and complex PTSD and DID.  It’s ulcerative colitis and hearing loss and brain surgery and mobility impairment.  It’s disability and isolation and poverty.

And you can’t solve just one because they’re just a big knotted mess.  You can’t untangle one thread from another; they’re all felted together now, and there’s no extricating them.  And nobody can fix the whole big mess.  Not even me.  I did everything I was supposed to do.  I tried so hard for so long, and things just get worse.  Now, I just can’t try anymore.

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34 Comments

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34 responses to “I’m Still Here

  1. happilydpressed

    You’re not being an asshole. You’re just tired, and you’re entitled to be. You’ve been through a lot.

    • Thanks. Sometimes that’s really all I need to hear. Everyone gets so focused on fixing me that it feels like I don’t even really exist as a person–I’m just a puzzle to be reassembled.

      • happilydpressed

        I’ve come to accept that there are parts to all of us that we can’t fix. And they can’t finish the puzzle without all the missing pieces. Only you know you. I know it’s hard, but try to ignore it. It’s the only way

  2. I love you, my friend, exactly as you are. I know the heroic efforts you have made and continue to make, just to survive. I wish neither of us understood, but I’ve always felt so much less alone around you. xox

  3. Glad you are honest on your blog. It sounds like you have done everything you can and the problems do not lessen. I hear and understand why you are burnt out. You are dealing with so much. You will be in my thoughts. Keep sharing your truth.

  4. I’m curious what happened when you did EMDR. I was also diagnosed with C-PTSD a few years ago and did a few rounds of EMDR until finally the third time around it did work. I mean I had some success with the first two rounds but the third was able to open up my brain from 20 years of amnesia. I often wonder if it’s because the woman did it differently. I’m sure you’re familiar with the eye movement technique. That’s what the first two times I tried it was. But the third time the therapist put buzzing nodules in each hand that buzzed back and forth. 6 sessions to completely heal…after running crazy for my whole life it was pretty amazing.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t give up. Please keep trying. 🙂

    • What happened when I did EMDR? Well, I didn’t have the support I needed to deal with what was coming up, so my trauma took over my life. To try to feel in control, I let my eating disorder get more severe than it ever had, and it nearly killed me more than once. The end result of that was 3 months in residential eating disorder treatment and then two years in a residential program for people with treatment-resistant mental illness.

      EMDR is not recommended for people with DID by most of the experts. I did EMDR before my DID diagnosis, so I can’t fault the therapist for that. But please don’t project your solutions onto me. I’m glad you found something that helped you, but don’t assume that it will work as well for everyone else. Even if I wanted to try EMDR again, I don’t have the money or the transportation necessary.

      There’s really nothing left to try. I’ve exhausted all the options that are available to me. There are resources that could save me, but they’re out of reach.

  5. cougarblogger

    Fair enough. But you’re still here, as this blog is entitled. Taking your life is a very difficult and brave action. Sooooo, you are brave and work hard.

    Do whatever you want to do but do it knowing that your bravery, intelligence, hard work and beautiful heart will no longer be here for yourself and others.

    How exactly are you planning on killing yourself?

    • I do actually know what suicide is and not being here anymore is rather the point.

      I’m not going to discuss methods. There’s really no point, and there’s the possibility of having my blog deleted or possibly even criminal prosecution if I do. If you’re really that curious about suicide methods, there are lots of websites about it that haven’t been taken down (yet).

  6. Just Another Pixie

    ((hugz))

  7. Reading this painful post reminds me of something I wrote in the prologue of a novel I published almost 15 several years ago, under a different pen name:
    “It is commonly said that we will never be given a burden too heavy to bear, but experience has taught me that this is a lie. When we’ve suffered more than we are able to bear, one of two things will happen: we either go insane, or we die.”

    Back in 1973 I think it was, I called the suicide hotline one night and told the guy who answered that I was thinking of killing myself. He said, “Well, why don’t you go ahead and do it, then?” and hung up on me! I swear I am not making this up.

    Only YOU can know what it’s like to be in your shoes, in your head, in your life. I am so sorry for all the suffering you have gone through. Your words in your blog and on Pam Wagner’s blog have touched me deeply. I hope you make it through this.

    • Wow, and I thought it was bad when I just couldn’t get through to the suicide hotlines. What in the world was somebody like you encountered doing working at a suicide hotline?

      When we’ve suffered more than we are able to bear, one of two things will happen: we either go insane, or we die.
      Very true. I already did the going insane thing, and then I got better. I think I might’ve been better off if I’d just stayed crazy because at least then I’d have a way to survive. Now, I don’t anymore, and I can’t seem to go crazy again, at least not enough that I lose track of how shitty reality is.

      • I’ve wondered if I was the only one that suicide hotline guy ever said that to, and if not, did his cruel words push someone over the edge? I had never called that hotline before, never called it again, so it wasn’t just that the guy was sick of hearing my voice. Not that it would have been an excuse, though.

        Truly, I used to think there was something inherently wrong with me, that brought so much rejection into my life. It was like I was cursed or had really bad Karma. When I was twelve my parents’ marriage ended violently. My mother became so depressed that she would sometimes get a butcher knife out of the kitchen and threaten to stab herself with it. She would do this in front of me and my younger siblings. We would all cry and beg her not to do it, until finally she would put the knife away.

        When I was sixteen, after she was happily remarried, I went into a bad depression. I figured my momster would understand how I felt, so I told her I was feeling suicidal. I had never said anything like that to her before. Her reply: “Well if you feel that bad, I think we have enough pills here to do the job.”

        Again, I swear I am not making any of this up. You see what I mean about having really bad Karma? My life pretty much sucked until… I hate to say this… until the year I turned 50. My life has been mostly good since then. I hope you don’t have to wait that long for things to turn around for you.

      • I wouldn’t have called that hotline again either. I mean, what the actual fuck? Who says that to anyone ever, especially someone who’s reaching out for help to avoid committing suicide? There is no excuse for that.

        My mother also threatened suicide when I was a kid. She’d go into these periodic rages, and the threats usually came after that. Often, she’d threaten and then disappear–sometimes just for a few hours, but sometimes for several days. I never knew if she was dead or alive, and I was always afraid of what would happen to me and my sisters if she did kill herself or even if she just didn’t come back one time.

        My mother never directly encouraged me to kill myself, but my first suicide attempt was prompted, in part, by her saying that the family would be better off without me. I was ten and had no idea what I was doing, so I didn’t even come close to actually killing myself.

        I’m glad things have gotten better for you.

  8. Your entitled to your feelings. Just because you feel the way you do doesnt make you an asshole! You are a very smart person, I know that. I can see it in your writing, in the way in which your writing goes. Your intelligent! Sending hugs! XX

  9. Eek.. it is early morning in my time zone right now and I’m posting before having any coffee… never a good idea. I just reread my last comment. How many times did I use the word “that”?
    LOL… I may be mostly happy in my life these days but I’m still more than a little crazy. Only an OCD perfectionist would worry about grammar when talking about suicide. 🙂

  10. OH God. Kyra. As I was reading your comment about your “mother,” I just wanted to SCREAM. She sounds so much like my momster, they could be clones. Telling a 10-year-old the family would be better off without you.. my God!

    It breaks my heart. It breaks my heart for the sweet innocent child you were and for the sweet innocent child I was and for all the kids who are born to a parent who cannot love… although in at least a couple of cases I know of, it was an adoptive mother who treated her kid like a piece of crap on the bottom of her shoe. WHY would you go and adopt a kid just so you can emotionally torture him or her…. well I guess it’s the same as asking why you would bring a child into the world and then do that.

    In one of your recent posts you wrote that you have been in contact with your mother for about a year, after several years of no contact. If I remember correctly, you also said she’s planning to see you at Christmas, and you said she has a husband now to lean on so she doesn’t need you to do things for her. I am probably not getting it all exactly right, but hopefully I’m not too far off from what you wrote. When I read that post, I couldn’t help thinking that I hope your mother’s change is real and permanent. I hope she doesn’t turn and go back to her old cruel ways, like my mother always did after worming her way back into my life.

    2003 was the last time I thought my mother definitely had changed. She was “born again”… mmm, yeah, right. She had “seen the light” and now she was all lovey-dovey and oh how I’ve missed you and I’m so sorry for anything I may have ever done wrong to you. No specifics, though, no heart felt let’s-get-real God I can’t believe what an evil BITCH I was to you when you were growing up, how did you ever keep from committing matricide! All she gave me was a quick generic “sorry!” But still, it was better than she had ever given me before. Plus she was calling me every few days, chatting about this and that.

    Then one day my mother called me and said, “Have you ever heard of the book A Child Called It?”

    I told her yes, I had actually read it. (In case you don’t know, A Child Called “It” is a memoir about extreme child abuse, a case so severe that one of the social workers involved called it the most severe case of child abuse in the history of California up to that point.)

    After I told my mother that I had read this book, she then asked: “Was I as bad as that mother?”

    Kyra… I almost fainted. I felt like I had won a multi-million dollar lottery. My mother, the Woman Who Could Admit to No Wrong for most of my life, was seriously asking me if she was as bad as the “worst case of child abuse in California’s” mother? For REAL?!? Oh, wow… truly my mother really had changed.

    Can you guess what came next? Long story short… she did NOT change, it was all either fake or voodoo or a good but alien spirit had temporarily taken over her body or who knows. Within a year and a half of her asking me how she compared to the It’s evil mother, my momster was back to her old tricks of spreading lies about me to the family, setting me up for thinking she was going to come visit me and then snottily telling me that seeing me and my husband while she and her husband were vacationing in our city several hundred miles from their home, was “not in our plans.” But THEN she lied to her husband and the other people they were traveling with, by telling them she had invited me and my husband to meet them at a restaurant in our city their last night here… and when we did not show up, because we had not in fact been invited, she gets all hysterical with worry about “what may have happened to them!”

    Arrrrgh… THEN she followed that stunt with a 62-page handwritten hate letter which she mailed to me, a crazy, twisted, lie-filled letter telling me everything that was ever “wrong” with me in my entire life, ending the letter with “but Jesus will forgive you of all these things it you’ll just repent!” AND she gave copies of that horrible letter to others in my family of origin, too. I was so devastated, I went to bed and stayed there, deeply depressed for…. WAY too long. I don’t even want to tell you how long I went without brushing my teeth, I was so freaking depressed over losing my mommy’s “love” yet again!

    DEEP BREATH…. Kyra, I hope your mother doesn’t go that way. I fervently hope I am wrong in being nervous on your behalf. And I may be wrong, God knows I have be wrong about lots of other things in my lifetime. But… please be on guard. Although, excuse me, you are obviously very intelligent, I can tell that by the way you write and the way you think. So you probably don’t need my warning, you are probably already thinking that her change may not last. Still, the need for a mother’s love is so deep and intense, even when we are old enough to be a grandmother, like I am… it’s too damn easy to be fooled, when we need and want something so fundamental.

    In any case, I’m so sorry you had a mother who threw raging fits and threatened suicide and disappeared for long periods of time when you were little. That alone is more than enough to give anyone severe complex PTSD.

    • Yes, she’s now remarried and MUCH less crazy. In the past, I’d often try to cut off contact, but then she’d do her perfect mom routine, and I’d get sucked back in. It never lasted more than a few weeks before the crazy would start back up. She’s never in my life gone this long without having a major rage episode or getting manipulative and dramatic.

      I think the years of no contact did me a lot of good. I finally stopped hoping that I’d ever have a real mother, so I stopped getting sucked back in when she’d try her perfect mother act. I figured out a lot about who I am apart from my family, which I couldn’t do while I was still in contact with them. I think if she does get crazy again, it won’t do as much damage to me because I have a self separate from her now. I’m not saying it wouldn’t hurt, but it wouldn’t destroy me the way it used to. And I know now I’ll be able to walk away and say, “Nope. I’m not dealing with this shit. I don’t owe her a relationship just because she gave birth to me.”

      You’re right; I know this change might not last. I’m still wary, and I guard some things–for instance, she gets no information about my mental health struggles because I know she’ll use that against me if she does got batshit again. But writing her off completely seems, on a gut level, to be the wrong response for me given the current circumstances. My eyes are wide open, but I’m cautiously hopeful about our relationship.

      • Wow. Good for you! Your reply just gave me goose bumps!

        Okay, I need to get off here and go to bed. It’s 3 in the morning my time and we have plans to have Thanksgiving dinner later today with some friends. Good night to me, good morning to you!

  11. Dounia

    As a PTSD sufferer I know how you feel about all the stuff you tried. I never tried EMDR because my dissociation is always bad and it scarred me off really.

    My mental health support was of course different because I live in Belgium and my trauma is different. I’m also sexually abused so thats the same and the eating disorder as well.

    I’m wondering if during your recovery if you ever had someone of the staff you really really trusted?

    • At various points, I’ve worked with people I trusted and connected with. But there hasn’t been a lot of stability–I’ve been bounced around to different programs, hospitals, doctors, and therapists so many times I’ve lost count. And now I’m getting virtually no help, just the case manager who I’m supposed to see once a week. I have zero trust in her and no real relationship. Lately I’ve stopped even answering her phone calls. I’d rather have no help than pretend to be grateful for completely inadequate services.

      • Dounia

        Own that really sucks 😦 But why did they send you all over the place? That doesn’t make sense to me. Don’t they know it’ll help you more if you had stability or something?

      • A lot of it has to do with money, and a lot of it has to do with my family. See, my parents are solidly middle-class, but my grandparents (my mother’s parents) are very wealthy. For several years, my grandfather financed my treatment. That meant I got high-quality care, but every time he thought I wasn’t getting better quick enough, he’d yank me out of one program and send me to another. For a while, they sent me 500 miles away to live with my father, although to be fair they didn’t yet know that he’d abused me. He committed me to a state hospital, where some incredibly traumatic things happened. After that, things went way downhill, and my grandparents sent me to a program 1000 miles away. It saved my life, but he yanked me out before I was ready. Eventually, he decided that I’m faking my mental illness so I don’t have to get a job and support myself, so he cut me off completely.

        So now the only place I can afford to get services is the Department of Mental Health, and they’re really bad. I don’t have a therapist or a psychiatrist, and they apparently don’t think that’s important. Even if I found a private therapist on my own who would take my insurance, I wouldn’t have a way to get there because I’m physically disabled, and public transit in my area is not accessible to me. So no stability and virtually no treatment at this point.

      • Dounia

        I understand. It really hurts me, because it’s damn unfair to not be able to get good help! I sense that’s the most problem in America and then I think; “when the fuck will mental health get cheaper for you, or when will all people be able to get an insurance that’ll help them.”

        It also seems unfair for your grandfather to cut you of if he taught it didn’t help. Didn’t the people from treatment call him about the positive effects?

      • One of my biggest frustrations with the mental health system in the US is that good help is available but not affordable. There’s a MUCH greater income disparity in mental health treatment than in physical health treatment. I’m on disability and have Medicare and Medicaid as my insurance. (Those are the publicly-funded programs: Medicare is for seniors and people with disabilities, and Medicaid is for people with low incomes.)

        I have a relatively rare, severe autoimmune disease, and I receive top-notch treatment for that. I have an absolutely wonderful doctor, and I’m on very expensive medications to control my disease. They’d cost more than $6000 a month without insurance, but I pay a total of about $5 per month. My office and hospital visits and lab work are totally covered. I’ll probably require surgery at some point, and that will be fully covered too. Every doctor and hospital I’ve ever been to accepts my insurance. There are no limits on how much coverage I can get. It’s a lifelong disease, and I’ll be covered for life.

        But for mental health, it’s a very different picture. Insurance will cover therapy, but most therapists won’t take my insurance. The ones who do are so booked that they can’t take new patients. My mental illnesses are much more common than my autoimmune disease, but I’ve repeatedly been told I’m too sick for treatment because therapists don’t know how to deal with people with my illness. (Particularly the DID.) My insurance covers some psychiatric medications, but not all of them. They try to dictate that I have to take certain drugs, even though I’ve tried those and they didn’t work. (I’m now off psych meds because nothing worked, but the system’s still screwed up for those who could benefit from meds.)

        As for my grandfather, yes, various people have tried to get through to him about the importance of treatment for me. But he’s stubborn and doesn’t listen to reason, and he refuses to change his mind about anything. He’s a very smart guy, but he chooses to stay ignorant on this subject.

      • Dounia

        Thats really bad 😦 😦 I really really hope that one day you’ll wake up and a miracle has happened. ♥♥

  12. Kyra, I’m sorry things are so difficult. I’m curious to ask, when you said there are resources that could help you more but that are out of reach, what were you referring to?

    • Our country has the financial resources to take MUCH better care of people living in poverty, but we’re not important enough to the people in power. It’s more important to them to bomb the fuck out of other countries and bail out big banks than to make sure people can meet their basic needs.

      My local transit authority could make public transit better accessible to people with disabilities and make paratransit more affordable, but they don’t.

      The Department of Mental Health could offer me therapy and adequate case management, but they don’t.

      • I agree with what you’re saying. All of these are horrible misallocations of resources; unfortunately they are probably ones which will damage the eventual wellbeing of everyone in this country (for example, going into debt on the wars). This is just so frustrating… it’s hard not to become defeatist in the face of it. I figure I’m right in guessing that you don’t have financial support from relatives at the moment? If so I’m sorry. That is where a lot of people in trouble get their support and it’s not fair if you’re not getting that.

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