Paper Girl

Listen to Modest Mouse:

Well I’m sorry I haven’t written in so long. I and my docs experimented with new meds, which involved getting off what had been lifelines for me for so long–abilify and seroquel. And we tried Latuda, which was amazing at first–got rid of my auditory hallucinations (yeah I hear a little girl crying CONSTANTLY throughout the day if I’m not medicated or “my time” is coming), but unfortunatley the amazing med made me sicker than a dog. I was a useless wreck, tapered off, then went somewhat crazed and terrified for lack of meds in my system, and now we’re trying Lamictal. I also had during this Bronchitis and a seriously infected tooth. Sure I’m complaining, but really I just wanted to tell you why I’ve been gone so long.

I am disappointed in my mental reaction to being off most, maybe all, my meds. The abilify was just about out of my system when I momentarily “cracked”, the Latuda I quit for three days to stop the nausea, and the Seroquel was well out of my system. My, I guess, “reaction” or “state” was extreme anxiety ( I was certain I was going to lose it again and be back in the bin), I thought flashbacks were coming liking a train and I was this amebic blog that was pissed that I hadn’t managed to develop my own, personal defenses and strategies strongly enough; I was sort of in that floating stage where nothing seems quite real,

where you’re on the ledge of a very big drop and vacancy into outer space, that godless place. I called all my favorite numbers and was, thankfully, able to reach my psychiatrist who was on call and he prescribed me some benzos (not my favorite things but they helped). I actually called the hotline, bawling like an idiot, and said I needed a shot of Abilify in the ass before it was too late. 🙂 Yes I said that. “Too late? For what? Are you going to hurt yourself? Are you in danger?” Ummmmmmmm…trying to figure that out when you’re off your rocker is a tough one. What if you feel like there’s this count down happening in your system and at zero you’re going to lose total control and you may hurt yourself or worse, someone around you. Yet you always get like that when it’s bad, and you never hit zero. Ever. Must just be a fear. But how can you not be scared when you hear crying and you run for the door, thinking it’s your child or a neighbor girl in serious trouble, in pain and sorrow, only to find nothing there. And why did a med for schizophrenia work SO WELL for me, aside from the nausea? I felt better on that (before I got sick) than I’ve ever, ever felt in my life. Now there, I suppose I’m fearing labels. And that’s ridiculous.

I was driving the other day, waiting at a stop sign, when something wretched occurred to me: What if I’m not the best thing for my daughter? What if I’m not the best thing for her? My head tells me I’m not good for her, look at the bipolar (tho it’s mild and I still think it’s mistaken for borderline personality disorder), adhd, complex ptsd, psychotic features (though they don’t effect her, are not even seen by her, and mainly occur during PMS), unable to work (i’ve tried so many times and I’m going to again dammit), can’t finish my chapbooks or even start the memoir–what kind of example am I setting? Then my heart kicks in and it’s like this–the way I love her is my example to her. I love her good and I know I do. Our relationship–our connection–is beautiful. I realize I wouldn’t want a child to grow up in a “normal” “perfect”, conforming environment, but I want her to know she is so lovable and is loved, and to believe in herself, to have faith in her body and mind, but to eventually teach her that that body and mind can trick you, and then you have to rely on a strong heart and a faith based on your instincts and secret moments. I want her to have faith in every step she takes, accepting mistakes and learning her lessons. She’s got such a huge heart, always looking out for the feelings of others, and I want to be sure she doesn’t forget herself. Like her mother. I guess I feel like she doesn’t have a sick mother, she has a mama that learned a lot through some wretched experiences that I will never let her go through (unless she has chemical, biological mental illnesses), and I’m still learning. I see, I see more and more about this life and who I am and how I want to not live it but just be for now (it’s all I can handle), and how my family taught me about love when I was mad and lost and given up in the hospital or in the prison of my rooms, faithless and empty and scared. But they loved me in all kinds of ways that kept my sick head afloat, like they held out a rope to me and said to the shell of what I was “we promise, we promise, just keep swimming.” And eventually, when I came out of it, they were there, in tears, waiting and believing and knowing I’d come out somehow. It shocks the hell out of me when someone proves that they believe in me,. It shocks the hell out of me that I was worth drudging through all the shit with, that I was worth anything at all. I still find that hard to believe. “Just stick to your mother role” my T always told me. I miss her, after ten years, yet she just wasn’t letting me be me. Or of course it could be me and not the educated psychotherapist–I just couldn’t, in the end, breathe with her, I wasn’t me shining, I was becoming this paper girl who acted as directed. Paper Girl. I’ve always felt like a paper girl, but when I’m with my girl or my sisters or cousins, it disappears. In small ways I’m becoming whole, fractions are filling in, and I just have to keep taking the shit in stride.

On an end note I was extremely happy with myself a few weeks ago–I started dissociating and instead of panicking like usual, I faced it, I accepted my depersonalized body and no mind, and actually was able to shut off my mind (no mind!) and let it just happen. And the fear vanished and suddenly I was in control of losing control, it was amazing, so the fear never came and it ended sooner than usual. Sweet, eh? More later, Amy Jo.

Radiohead and Cat Stevens and Awolnation–my music choices of the month.

3 thoughts on “Paper Girl

  1. Great post. Recently had a change in the dosage level in my meds (40 mg of Paxil for depression and anxiety) and it’s been interesting how much that extra 20 mg has me feeling better than I ever have (the only side effect I’ve noticed is a little frustrating, but not terribly detrimental). And in the past few months I’ve experienced some of the same thought processes and emotions you been going through recently because of the depression and anxiety. Yeah, we have to swim through the shit but it seems to get better. I also recommend meditation to aid not only with disorders but a great way to discover insight into self.

    Stay well, dear.



  2. Hang in there, Amy.

    This quote, I thought, was quite brilliant, and I feel it often, too:

    “What if you feel like there’s this count down happening in your system and at zero you’re going to lose total control and you may hurt yourself or worse, someone around you. Yet you always get like that when it’s bad, and you never hit zero. Ever. Must just be a fear. But how can you not be scared when you hear crying and you run for the door, thinking it’s your child or a neighbor girl in serious trouble, in pain and sorrow, only to find nothing there. ”


    It’s odd that schizophrenic meds worked for you. Do you believe that you may have MPD/DID? It can make you hear voices and have hallucinations, too. It’s a rarer diagnosis than schizophrenia, but a possibility. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia many times before MPD/DID, now I’m dealing with that, and Complex PTSD, same diagnosis as you. (I hurt voices of crying and screaming constantly before I got it sorted out that it was an alternate person, a young one, who was trying to communicate with me.)

    (Have you read the book, “The PTSD Workbook” ? It has some really great writing exercises in it.)

    I wish you all the healing in the world. I am so pleased you know of the healing power of writing. So many survivors don’t write, or journal, or express themselves, and they truly suffer for it, and don’t develop, and don’t feel (stay numb) or if they do feel, they are unsure of what that feeling is. Writing does help with sorting some of that out, doesn’t it?

    I am not that active of a blogger, but I do write pages and pages in my paper journal every day. It’s very grounding for me, and downright essential. It helps me to stay present and focused, and to know what I’ve been thinking and doing throughout the day, and the week. It helps me to see the progress I’ve made, or to help me keep track of time. It’s invaluable. I don’t know what I’d do without it, probably officially go “nutters,” I guess. 🙂

    If you want to talk about journaling or writing with me, you certainly can. I love corresponding with others through writing, particularly those who are working on actively healing, as you are. It can be really encouraging to correspond with someone who is looking at the bright side of life, and trying to cope with darkness as best as they can, while continuing to grow. I have seen many survivors give up – either physically by suicide, or emotionally by numbing or dissociating out of their lives, or they’ve disconnected themselves from everyone and just go through the motions. It’s very sad-making to see, when they could be so much more. I am so happy you have chosen to take the harder, but infinitely more worthwhile and healing path.

    Loves and hugs to you, on your healing journey.

    Best wishes,



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s