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.

Thoughts: Zen & Trauma

Listen While You Read to Sleepless by Daisy May Erlewine :

So an intelligent, receptive Buddhist monk (and former psychotherapist of thirty years for people with PTSD) says something very interesting: Trauma frees us because we have come to the edge and returned. We no longer need to be fearful (http://clearmindzen.blogspot.com/2010/05/zen-of-trauma-part-one.html ).

So what happens when we no longer need, but we still are? Does it go beyond will? If we need more help along with our will, then is the will damaged? Or deterred? Can we really will our thoughts into healthy, helpful ones? I believe in part that we can (which means, based on will, we can’t) but we need therapy and perhaps medication–depending on the damage and severity. We need an outside means of survival…unless we’re really strong? No, this has nothing to do with strength. We need the patience and the awareness of the enlightened? We need to realize we are not our bodies and our minds, we are in everything and everything is in us. That’s forging a path for me–hard to see–but it’s there. Our society suggests to us that we are broken. Our own raising suggests it. Well we’re not. Something larger than us happened and something larger then must help repair. Or is that dualistic thinking? To have the full faith in the truth–that we are not our bodies and minds–is a breath of fresh air in this tight, achey chest. Because doesn’t that then knock down our terrorizers from the almighty pedestal of doom? Doesn’t that shame them as they cower in their own weakness? I think so. The deal is not to be concerned with ‘them’ or ‘it’. Oneness with the Self. Awareness and respect for the Self. That opens up an entirely new way of thinking. Is it possible to follow this and find your way and have faith in it–while you’re freaking out out of nowhere, dissociating, and depersonalizing? Can we find it and achieve it–the Moksha, the meditation, and deeper to the Self, beyond all desires, towards Brahman–can we find that place and life of being while our brain and nervous systems are chemically out-of-whack? Why are we so terrified–knowing deep down that yes we have seen the worst (thus far we hope) and we have been to the edge and back–it scared our balls off. Yet something in us tells us to go on without fear, because there is something much more amazing out there–or in here. Our instincts whisper to us like always, and when they’re in overdrive don’t we still feel a part of us that just knows (no matter how bad the flashback or whatever gets) knows knows knows that we aren’t entirely that scene. Our soul, our Self, knows no pain, but waits. Waits for us to catch up, with all the patience in the world, with our hearts. I’m sure I sound totally Western here but hear me out. The Buddhists have a name for depersonalization (panna?), and it is a level they seek to achieve. Hinduism isn’t all that different. What are these Eastern thoughts saying? I can’t wrap my brain around it and I’m becoming forever caught up in it–it’s only natural. Because it’s everywhere. And those of us with PTSD and Chronic PTSD (wave my little flag there) know that over time, all of our questions to evolve, they turn away from us and into something bigger, something more important. Is that Brahman? Are we tapping into what our pains and losses and loves have been trying to teach us?