Tag Archives: treatment

Leave Me Alone

My case manager keeps calling me.  I’ve been avoiding her for the last few weeks because I just can’t fake it anymore, and I’m afraid if she sees how bad things are, I’ll get hospitalized.  That whole agency is really enthusiastic about hospitalizing people, and I feel like I can’t trust any of them.

I mean, they haven’t exactly done anything that would inspire trust.  This case manager’s not quite as bad as the last one, but she’s still pretty much useless.  The sum total of what she’s done for me in the months I’ve been seeing her is that she brought me one housing application and took me grocery shopping once.  Pretty fucking impressive case management, huh?  I still have no therapist.  I’m still constantly broke, behind on all my bills, with no hope of ever catching up.  I’m still effectively housebound.  But hey, she took me grocery shopping once, so clearly they’re rendering highly effective mental health services.

I want to pick up the phone the next time she calls and scream, “Stop fucking calling me!  You’re not going to help me, so just leave me the fuck alone!”  I want to lash out.  I want to make her hurt because I hurt worse, and instead of helping like she’s supposed to, she just leaves me to suffer alone.  I mean, she’s never once asked about my symptoms or how I’m coping.  Nothing beyond the rote, “Hey, how’s it going?” when I first see her.

Eventually I’m going to have to answer the phone or she’ll send the cops after me.  That would trigger the hell out of me, and I’d probably end up in the hospital.  Of course, if I try to terminate, she could use that as “proof” that I’m refusing necessary treatment (hah, what fucking treatment?) and get the cops to drag me off to the hospital.  It feels like I’m screwed no matter what I do.  I just can’t keep seeing her and acting like everything’s okay, knowing that if I said things weren’t okay, the only additional services I’d get would be hospitalization.  I can’t see her because I just want to scream at her.

I don’t know why I’m so angry at her.  I don’t like the person it turns me into: it makes me want to hurt her, to make her cry.  I don’t like the part of me that makes me want to take out my pain on other people.  There’s no reason for me to be this angry at her.  I mean, I don’t even want to hurt my father like this anymore, and the things he did to me were far worse.  I want to destroy this nice but useless woman, and I don’t even understand why I hate her this much.

Advertisements

12 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Scattered Thoughts

  • I’m not sleeping again.  The past week it’s been pretty bad.  I just don’t feel like there’s any point in trying to fix it.  I’m used to sleep deprivation by now, and I can deal with it.  I’d rather just deal with it than go back on meds that leave me foggy all day long.
  • Don’t pick a chauvinist fight with me on the internet at 2:00 am.  I get pretty punchy.  And if you’re dumb enough to provoke a fight by being a sexist asshole, then don’t think you’re going to win by insulting me and trying to shut me up.  It’s not going to work, and you’ll look like an idiot because I can dance rhetorical circles around you.  And I will laugh about it the whole fucking time.  Especially at your pathetic insults and attempts at intimidation.  I work in politics, and I talk to people much, much scarier than you, Princess Poop-for-Brains.  You’re gonna have to really step it up if you want to scare me.
  • I went to a meet & greet with our Lieutenant Governor candidate and several state senators and representatives.  I went with a friend who lives in the same ward as I do, and the city councilor from our ward was there.  He came over and said hi, and he said, “You’re the only normal people here.”  Um, thanks?  I don’t often get called normal.  Ten minutes later he called me a unicorn, after I said I was one of those rare voters who is persuaded by facts and hard data rather than abstractions and fuzzy-wuzzy feelings about a candidate.  (We’ll leave my huge Platonic crush on Joe Biden out of this.)  So apparently I’m a normal unicorn.
  • My gastroenterologist’s office called and said my labs all came back normal.  Uh, then why can I still not stand up for more than two minutes?  I just want a definitive answer about what the hell is going on with my body.  Even if it can’t be treated, even if it’s going to get worse, I want to know.  If I know what’s going on and what I can expect in the future, then I can accept it.  But how can you accept something when you don’t know what it even is?  How can I make plans and learn how to deal with it if I don’t know what’s happening?  It’s just so frustrating.
  • My new case manager is somewhat better than the last one, but she never asks how I’m feeling or how I’m coping.  I can’t find it in me to bring up on my own how much I’m struggling, and I can’t ask for more help on my own.  But if she would just ask, then I could tell her.  But she doesn’t, so I can’t.  I hate how powerless that makes me sound.  Hell, I hate how powerless it makes me feel.  But for now, that’s the reality of the situation.

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

We Don’t Need More Awareness

miawarenessweek

Apparently, it’s Mental Illness Awareness Week, and apparently, since I’m a crazy person, I’m supposed to care about it.  Well, I don’t.  I think it’s bullshit.

Lack of awareness is not the problem.  We all know mental illness exists.  I doubt you could find anyone in this country, in any developed nation, who doesn’t have a lived experience of mental illness or know someone who does.  Plastering banners on Facebook and wearing rubber wristbands and pointing out that 25% of us are bughouse nuts doesn’t actually help anyone.  We don’t need more awareness.

What we need is compassion.  We need people to stop treating us like we’re all axe murderers who will hack them into pieces at the slightest provocation.  We need people to stop being afraid to let us be around kids.  We need people to stop ignoring us because they don’t know what to say or how to make it better.  We need people to stop treating us like we’re intrinsically different from them.

We need to look at the epidemiology.  We need to look at the fact that people of color and poor people are more likely to be diagnosed with mental illness.  We need to look at the fact that trauma is probably the single biggest predictor of a psychiatric diagnosis.  We need to look at how being mentally ill puts us as much higher risk for being emotionally, physically, or sexually abused.

No, it’s not even that we need to look at those things–we have already established these as facts.  What we need to do is prioritize finding solutions to these problems.  Psychiatric treatment doesn’t address the underlying issues of poverty and racism that, in many cases, cause the emotional distress.  Most psychiatric treatment is still not trauma-informed; in fact, it is structured in a way that takes away all of the patient’s power and makes it even easier to abuse them.

We need more involvement in the system.  We need to remake the phrase “inmates running the asylum” into a good thing, into a working model for treatment of emotional distress.  We might not know exactly what we need in our moment of crisis, but people with lived experience know better than any guy with a white coat and a diploma on his wall.  We need professionals who will work with us, who will respect us as whole, competent people even when we don’t appear that way.  We need to hold the choice in our treatment and the power in our lives.  We need to stop being so afraid of violating boundaries that we leave people suffering all on their own.

We need a system where the patients hold as much power as the clinicians, or close to it.  It can be done; I’ve seen it work.  But it’s only available to rich people.  We need to find a way to make that available to everyone who needs it.  We need healthcare that doesn’t discriminate against people with emotional distress.  We need doctors who take our physical problems seriously instead of telling us it’s all in our heads.  We need to be listened to, heard, believed, included.

We need a system that doesn’t turn people away because they’re too sick or not sick enough.  We need a system in which the quality of care doesn’t depend on the amount you can pay for it.  We need a system that can offer people support beyond one hour of therapy a week if that’s what they need, but without threats and seclusion and removal of freedom.  We need a system that, instead of isolating us further, brings us into a community–first a community of other people experiencing emotional distress, and then into the larger community

But awareness?  No, we’ve got plenty of that.  All it does is reinforce the broken system that’s currently in place, so count me out.  I’ve got all the awareness I can stomach.  Instead, I’ll leave you with a poem.  To me it says everything I’m saying here except much more clearly, so here’s hoping you guys can understand it too.

Formaggio

The world
was whole because
it shattered. When it shattered,
then we knew what it was.

It never healed itself.
But in the deep fissures, smaller worlds appeared:
it was a good thing that human beings made them;
human beings know what they need,
better than any god.

On Huron Avenue they became
a block of stores: they became
Fishmonger, Formaggio. Whatever
they were or sold, they were
alike in their function: they were
visions of safety. Like
a resting place. The salespeople
were like parents; they appeared
to live there. On the whole,
kinder than parents.

Tributaries
feeding into a large river: I had
many lives. In the provisional world,
I stood where the fruits were,
flats of cherries, clementines,
under Hallie’s flowers.

I had many lives. Feeding
into a river, the river
feeding into a great ocean. If the self
becomes invisible has it disappeared?

I thrived. I lived
not completely alone, alone
but not completely, strangers
surging around me.

That’s what the sea is:
we exist in secret.

I had lives before this, stems
of a spray of flowers: they became
one thing, held by a ribbon at the center, a ribbon
visible under the hand. Above the hand,
the branching future, stems
ending in flowers. And the gripped fist–
that would be the self in the present.

–by Louise Gluck, from Vita Nova

19 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

It’s not that we don’t try.

I read a blog post today written by a therapist.  I’ve been following this blog for a while, and mostly it’s decent.  But today, I just want to throw things.

This therapist is talking about how people with mental illness give up on treatment.  Apparently, according to this guy, 80% of people with depression get better after a year of therapy, but we just give up and won’t put in the effort.  He says, “Most mental health issues, for example, can be much better managed with a modicum of effort. Most people still do not put in the time.”

I don’t even know where to start with this.

First of all, where is this 80% statistic coming from?  He doesn’t cite any sources, and I don’t know if I believe it.  I know too many people who struggle with unremitting or recurring depression despite years of therapy, myself included.  I know my anecdotal experiences don’t disprove statistics, but I’m not just blindly going to accept numbers thrown around on the internet without any sources cited.

Second, how are we defining “getting better” in this statistic?  Are we using the HRSD?  BDI?  CES-D?  Goldberg?  Wakefield?  What score indicates “better”?  And over what interval of time?  For instance, counting someone as “better” 3 months after a depressive episode might be accurate then, but if they later relapse, are they still counted in the 80%?

Third, define “good counseling.”  Every single therapist I’ve ever seen claimed to be good, but some of them weren’t.  Some of them were probably good therapists for other people, but they weren’t good therapists for meSo when I terminated therapy with them, was I giving up and refusing to put in the effort?  Was I being one of those patients?  What about the therapists who have fired me?  Who said I was too difficult, too sick, too complex?  I guess I should’ve been a better patient so they wouldn’t have given up on me.

It’s bullshit, blaming people for not being able to do therapy.  There are a million reasons why someone couldn’t.  I, for instance, am mobility-impaired, don’t have a car, and can’t access public transit easily.  I cannot easily get to a therapist’s office.  I also can’t have a therapist whose office requires me to climb more than a few stairs, which is a major barrier in the area where I live.  This is not because I’m not willing to put in the effort.  I’ve pushed myself to the brink of physical collapse to try to get therapy, but my body just can’t handle it anymore.  It’s not okay to blame me for not getting better.

I have a Deaf friend who lives in a small town.  She can’t find a therapist who is fluent in ASL, so how is she supposed to access therapy?  That’s not for lack of trying either.

Or my friend who’s working two jobs.  She can’t just take off work from her low-wage jobs to go to therapy when the therapists are working.  She works from 6:00 in the morning until 10:00 or 11:00 at night.  She wants therapy, but there’s no one near her who can accommodate her schedule.  She doesn’t get sick time, and it she asks for time off regularly, she could easily be fired.  That’s not because she’s too lazy to put in the effort in therapy.

And what about the people who do get therapy, lots of therapy, for years, who work their asses off to heal…but don’t get better?  Yes, we’re statistically a minority, but we exist.  And to say that most people with mental illnesses won’t put in the “modicum of effort” to manage their symptoms is misleading and hurtful.  Most people don’t want to suffer.  We don’t want to be miserable and alone.  Most of us are doing the best we damn well can, and most of the time we’re doing it with far too few resources and far too little support.

It’s easy to sit in the therapist chair and judge us for what you perceive to be a lack of effort.  It’s easy to say, “Why won’t you just _____?”  And I think it’s especially easy to judge of you’ve recovered–you think if you can get better, why can’t/won’t everybody else?  But it’s not that simple.  Your illness is not everyone else’s illness; your pain is not everyone else’s pain; and your solutions are not everyone else’s solutions.  You may not see progress, but that doesn’t mean we’re not trying.

11 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

I have no mouth and I must scream

I want to scream HELP ME HELP ME HELP ME until someone does.

Part of me thinks no one will even hear me.

Part of me thinks that they’ll hear me, but they won’t care enough to do anything.

Part of me thinks they’ll just force me to accept more “help” that doesn’t help–hospitalize me, force me into a group home, crap like that.

Part of me thinks that even if I got all the best help, everything I think I need, it wouldn’t work.  I think I’m a black hole–I’ll swallow up everything I can reach, but I’m still empty.

But mostly the problem is that I can’t scream.  I never could.  I used to try, when I was little and my father was abusing me.  He held my head under the bathwater until I passed out.  He held pillows over my face until I thought I would die.  I stopped trying to scream, and then I stopped even knowing how.

19 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

There are a lot of posts going around lately about how to help/not help someone who is depressed or suicidal.  Some of them are good, and some of them make me wonder what the writer was smoking.  Anyway, this isn’t one of those posts.

This one is about me.  Maybe it’ll resonate with other people, and if so, cool.  If not, whatever.  It’s only meant to be about my situation and my experience.  It might piss you off, but I’m not in a place right now where I can care about other people’s feelings.  I’m an asshole, I know.  I should probably apologize but I’m fucking sick of apologizing for having feelings.

I get suicidal fairly frequently, although much less frequently and much less seriously than in the past.  I have major depression secondary to complex PTSD and dissociative identity disorder (DID).  Basically, some shitty people did a lot of shitty things to me for a lot of years, which will mess anybody up.  But the trauma and the depression aren’t the primary causes of my suicidality these days, at least not directly.

The primary cause of my suicidality these days is that I’m trying to survive an impossible situation with no hope of getting out of it.  Hell, at this point there’s not really any hope that it will improve.

Because of the side effects of shitty people doing shitty things to me, I’m on disability.  Basically, I have zero ability to cope with stress.  When I get stressed, I dissociate, or I cut, or I starve myself, or I binge and purge.  Basically, I can’t function because I’m too busy being crazy and destroying myself.  So I get SSI and SSDI.  That’s designed to keep poor and disabled people out of poverty, but it doesn’t actually work that well for a lot of us disabled folks.  See, I’m supposed to live on $700 a month.

To put that in context, rent for a one-bedroom apartment in my state averages $925; average rent in my town is $820.  That doesn’t include utilities.  In the summer, electric is around $50 a month, and internet is $100.  When you add heating in the winter, it’s much more expensive because we have oil heat and a pellet stove.  Then there’s food costs, transportation costs, medical costs.  You can do the math: there just isn’t enough money.  It’s not like I’m spending money on outlandish things; I’m talking about basic necessities here.  There is no money.

I’ve done everything there is to do.  I’ve applied for subsidized housing in my town and several of the surrounding towns, but there are long wait lists.  I get food stamps, but it doesn’t cover enough because my illness requires an expensive diet; there are no special provisions for that.  I eat one meal a day, usually.  I get Medicare and Medicaid, but sometimes I still can’t afford to fill my prescriptions.  I get fuel assistance, but when I have to fill the oil tank, that’s a lump sum of around $600.  Buying pellets for the pellet stove is a similar lump expense.

I get every form of assistance offered to poor people, but it’s still not enough.  I still can’t survive.  I still can’t afford an apartment on my own, and I can’t find another roommate.  I still can’t reach public transit since they cut the stop near me and I’m too disabled to walk to the next stop.  I still can’t afford enough food to eat a healthy diet on a regular basis.  I still can’t afford to pay most of my bills every month.  No amount of budgeting is going to solve this, and although I shit a lot of stuff, money isn’t one of those things.

It’s enough, I think, to make almost anyone suicidal.  You do the best you can, but it’s not enough to survive.  You’re too sick, too disabled, too poor.  And the people in power, the people who could make it better, they don’t care.  They don’t even know you exist because they’ve made you invisible.

And yes, I’m getting mental health “services” too, but they’re laughably inadequate.  I have no therapist.  I have a psychiatrist, but I haven’t seen him in at least four months because I can’t get to his office.  I’m not even really sure I have a case manager anymore, since mine left and no one’s bothered to tell me who my new one is.  I’m pretty much on my own because my old case manager decided I was fine.  Yes, clearly I’m doing fucking great.

I don’t have friends or family I can borrow money from.  I can’t get a loan.  I can’t get a job.  Believe me, if there were an obvious solution, I would’ve found it by now.  No solutions exist, so fucking stop telling me what to do.  I’m not stupid.

And stop guilt-tripping me for being suicidal.  I think this situation would drive almost anyone to suicidality.  For me, it’s even harder because it triggers emotional flashbacks to all the times no one took care of me when I was a kid.  It feels like no one gives a shit whether I survive.  And no, I don’t need a lecture on how that’s not true, either.  I know people care, but honestly, that doesn’t do me a hell of a lot of good when the people who care can’t do anything to make my situation survivable.  I know that makes me an asshole, but there it is.

Don’t lecture me about how it will affect my friends and family if I kill myself.  For fuck’s sake, do you think I don’t know that already?  I’ve lost friends to suicide.  It hurts, but honestly, it hurts less than it did when I lost a friend in a car accident.  He didn’t want to die.  He liked being alive, and there was a lot more he wanted to do.  My friends who killed themselves were miserable, and they didn’t want to keep on living.  Now they don’t have to suffer anymore.  It’s a relief to know that they’re dead and not having to hurt anymore just to avoid hurting other people.

Again, to be clear, I’m not about to off myself right now, so don’t anybody freak out and call the cops on me.  But don’t fucking tell me to swear I won’t do it, either.  I won’t make that promise.  If I hit a point where I truly can’t survive, I’m not fucking going to force myself to live through hell just to keep other people from being uncomfortable.  And honestly, I’m not sorry for that.

28 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Reconstructing Lost Time

I think I’ve mentioned here before that ECT caused me to lose almost all memory of about a four or five-year period preceding the ECT.  I have a few isolated memories of particular events, but they’re disconnected and out of context; I can’t form a coherent timeline or a narrative of that time.

This afternoon, I talked to a friend who I was very close to during much that time period that I can’t remember.  She said she said she saved a bunch of notes I’d written her, and she also offered to photocopy pages from her journal where she talked about what was going on with me.  She even suggested sitting down and talking about the few memories I do have so she can help fill in some of the blanks.  She won’t be able to fill in any information about the work I was doing in my intensive therapy, but a lot of the rest, she does remember.

Part of me is excited at the idea of being able to reconstruct that time.  So much of my life is empty holes and blank spaces.  It leaves me feeling unsure of who I even am sometimes–how can you know who you are when you can’t remember most of your past?  This friend and I are both writers, and she’s encouraged me to write a memoir about that time.  I’d like to be able to do that, and even if I don’t, I’ll still feel better if I can put together more memory of it.

But part of me is also hesitant.  That was an incredibly difficult, painful time for me.  Ultimately it saved my life, but to get there, I had to open myself up to feeling more pain than I’d ever let myself feel in my life.  My relationship with my therapist ultimately showed me how to save myself and gave me permission to do it, but I spent a lot of time convinced my therapist hated me.  From what I can remember, I spent a lot of time convinced that everyone hated me, but it was much more intense in the relationship with my therapist.  I was struggling intensely to give up a lot of self-destructive stuff, and that was incredibly painful.  And I was beginning to face the depth of my trauma for the first time.  I remember spending most of my therapy hours with one hand shading my eyes, like you might in bright sun, so my therapist couldn’t look at me, although I wasn’t aware for most of that time that that’s why I was doing it.  In the two years I worked with that therapist, I’m not sure I ever made direct eye contact with her.

But it’s not like the pain of that time is new, and it’s not now.  I survived it once, and it let me save myself.  I think remembering that time might let me reconnect with the feelings of hope I eventually uncovered, and that would be a very good thing.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Depression takes over

Why can’t I just ask for help?  Why can’t I tell anyone that I need a therapist?  That I’m falling apart and need far more help than I’m getting?

Things are bad.  I’ve been kind of in denial, hoping that if I didn’t name it, it would go away.  But instead of going away, it’s getting worse.  Depression.

Right now, I can’t make myself care about anything, even the things I was most passionate about.  My sister, who I love more than anything in the world, is getting married, and I don’t care.  I’m seeing my sisters for the first time in 5 years, and I don’t care.  I want to care.  I act like I care.  I go through the motions, but the truth is I don’t care.

Same with work.  I love politics.  I love feeling like I have a voice and I’m doing something that matters.  Except now I don’t care.  I don’t want to fight.  It all feels totally pointless.  I feel like I can’t really change anything, and no one cares what I have to say because I’m sick and crippled and poor and useless.  Whatever is going to happen is going to happen regardless of my involvement.  I feel like I have no power and no purpose.

There was a phone bank last night, and I slept through it.  On purpose.  I knew it was happening, but I just didn’t care.  I couldn’t force myself to cold-call 200 people who just want to get me off the phone as fast as possible.  It all felt pointless, and I couldn’t bear to pretend it meant anything.  So I ignored the calls and texts and Facebook messages.  I just laid there in bed, half asleep, sweating under my comforter.  It’s the only place I feel okay at all, curled up and covered up, wrapped up safe from the world.

It feels like the world is just too much to deal with right now.  All I want to do is hide and sleep, but since I can’t sleep, I watch trashy TV shows on Netflix for 12 hours a day.  That’s what my life is.  That’s all my life is.  I haven’t done any work.  I don’t have any friends to go out with.  Nobody checks to make sure I’m actually okay.  I haven’t looked for new roommates.  Things are falling apart, and I just can’t care because it’s all just more than I can handle.  The world outside my bedroom is more than I can handle, and no one in my life even notices anything is at all wrong with me.

I wish I could just die.  I don’t want to kill myself; I just want to be not alive anymore.

27 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy Dance Time (or something)

Idiot Case Manager is leaving the program I’m in!  I won’t have to deal with her for a whole lot longer!

It was really hard not to act excited when she told me.  Really hard.  It was even harder because she seemed to think I’d be upset about it, and that made it hard not to start laughing.

Then she basically tried to push me out of the program, which is fucked up on a number of levels.  I know I seem high-functioning, but the last few weeks, my life has been falling apart more and more.  I really need support right now, not that I’ve been getting that from ICM.  She doesn’t even ask about my life, beyond, “Hi, how are you?”  She’s done nothing to gain my trust, so of course I just tell her I’m fine.

I really hope I get someone better when she leaves.  I need someone who actually knows what they’re doing and is actually going to try to help.  I really, really need someone right now.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

I have to.

I think I’m going to have to call my grandparents and ask if I can stay with them for a week for the wedding.  I really didn’t want to do that, but it’s the only way I can afford to go to my sister’s wedding now that I have to buy a plane ticket.  I can’t afford a hotel too.

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve barely spoken to my grandparents in the past 8 months.  See, they funded my treatment for a long time–it’s expensive, but my grandfather is the VP of Investments at a major brokerage firm.  They’ve got plenty of money to spare.  I have mixed feelings–I’m grateful that he funded my treatment, but he also interfered a lot and yanked me out of the only program that was really helping me.  And then, at the end of last year, he cut me off.  I went from having an apartment he paid for and treatment where I saw someone every day to basically nothing.  I had to move into a one-bedroom apartment with two other people because the only money I have now is the $700 a month from Social Security.  My treatment team is no more–now all I have is ICM, who’s totally useless.

(BTW, she apparently is on vacation this week and didn’t bother to tell me.)

See, my grandparents think I’m faking my illness for attention and using it as an excuse not to grow up and take care of myself.  By that logic, they assume cutting me off will cure me because I’ll have to stop faking it.  Clearly that’s working great.

I’ve always had a complicated relationship with my grandparents.  When I was a teenager, I bounced between living with my mother and living with them.  That had a lot to do with their relationship with my mother and my relationship with my mother.  They think she’s a bad mother, and in a lot of ways, they’re right–but I think she got that way mostly because of the damage my grandfather did to her.

See, my grandfather is a narcissist.  He’s very focused on achievement, and it only counts if it’s what HE defines as achievement.  I grew up listening to him mock my mother for being a special ed teacher: “Those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach.”  In front of her children.  He also likes to debate, but she doesn’t, and he bullied her.  She’s one of five children, but he’s always made it clear that she’s the one he doesn’t approve of.  I have a lot of sympathy for that, for her as a child, but I don’t have sympathy for her choices as an adult because she verbally and emotionally abused us and neglected us.

My grandmother, on her own, is very sweet and caring.  But she won’t stand up to my grandfather, never has.  I’m not sure if she even has her own opinions.  Most of her life centers around taking care of my grandfather–cooking for him, cleaning for him, doing laundry for him, ironing his underwear for him (seriously), sewing for him.  She’s never had her own job.  She seems happy with it, though.  But I sometimes want to shake her and scream, “Be your own person!  Have your own opinions!  Have your own life!”

The last time I talked to them was on my birthday, at the beginning of June.  Before that, it had been at least six months.  I figured since they weren’t giving me any money, I was no longer obligated to talk to them.  My grandfather has made it clear that I’m the family fuck-up and have no value in his eyes because I’m not working or achieving anything, so I didn’t really want to deal with it anymore.  When my grandmother called me on my birthday, we talked a little, and then she gave him the phone.  We went from “Happy birthday” to “When are you going to get a job?” in less than three minutes.  I blew it off with excuses about my physical illness, but it really hurt.  He knows how to turn me back into a little girl desperate for approval and love that are extremely conditional, and that pisses me off.

But I don’t have another choice.  There’s no one else in Birmingham I can stay with.  I can’t afford a hotel and a plane ticket.  So I’ll have to put up with the shit from my grandfather and the silence from my grandmother.  They’ll probably think I’m being overdramatic if I need to use my cane or it I’m sick or in pain.  I’ll have to deal with knowing I had to ask them for help again.  I really, really hate this.  I wouldn’t do it for anyone but my sister.

12 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized