I Will Never Be Trusted

I lost my mind.  It sucks.  I have been fighting for the past 4 years to regain my sanity.  It was bad.  I did bad things.  I’m not proud.  I said lots of crazy shit when I was dropping my basket.  No one knew what to do with me, other than take me to the crazy hospital.  I swallowed a handful of Tylenol PM meds in an effort to go to sleep.  Not the sleep of the dead, to actually go to sleep.  The doctors didn’t believe that I hadn’t tried to kill myself.  My husband believed me, but he was, at the time, clueless to how very far I was actually gone.

I was gone.  I flew the cuckoos nest.  I did bad things.  I am not proud.

You see, the problem is that I have regained my sanity.  I am sane.  I take my meds.  I visit my doctor.  I talk about what is going on with my doctor.  I don’t see a therapist right now because my last one was full of shit and made me do workbooks, rather than talk to me.  Maybe I should find someone better, but who has time when you are working full time in construction and you have a deadline and are already a month behind on completion.

If you have been following, I am still having a hard time sleeping.  I talked to my p-doc about it and he associates it with my anxiety.  I have been fired from every job I have had since I got sick.  I actually like my job.  I don’t want to get fired.  But, being extremely sleepy doesn’t make me a good employee.  I can’t sleep at night but I’m falling asleep at my desk in the mornings.  Something isn’t right.  I will get it figured out.  Things have been improving.

But, you see, I was talking to my husband tonight about being okay and being sick, and he pretty much admitted to me that I am not ever going to be trusted for my word.  If I make a joke about something, I will receive a raised eyebrow until I explain that I was making a joke or being sarcastic, or making an observation about something that might be a little out there.  I used to be allowed to be silly and make jokes – it was part of my charm.  But that has been stifled.  I cannot make jokes when it comes to my sanity because “what if she needs to go back to the hospital.”

I will be the first person who knows if things don’t feel right and because I don’t ever want to feel as bad as I did when I dropped my basket, I will announce it to the masses.  You guys will even know.  If my meds stop working, I will be the first person to admit that I am not feeling okay and need more help.  I will gladly go check myself back into that hell hole so that I don’t end up damaging everything that I have built up since my first break.  I simply do not want to ever feel as scared as I did.

My husband and I have been through the wringer.  I cheated on him.  He forgave me and treated me like shit for about 2 years.  This is my blog, I can say that.  It came to a point that I couldn’t apologize any more, and finally things have gotten better.  But, it hurts when he says to me that he will never fully trust what I am saying when I say something a little “out there”.  Even if it was my personality prior to having my break.  I am quirky, I am silly, I used to be funny.

I am not those things anymore because I have to watch everything that I say to all the people who are closest to me.  They will always have in the back of their minds that maybe I’m losing it.  So, it’s like a chip on my shoulder that I never put in place.  I will never, ever, ever, ever be the same person that I used to be because I cannot be trusted.  I might “lose my mind” again.  I am not to be trusted.  Because even if I feel firm in my recovery and how I am feeling, I will always be questioned.

It is stifling.  Trying to get back to the person that I used to be has been my goal.  But, I am met with resistance because, “WHAT IF”.  What if I drop my basket again?  What if I cheat again?  I’m sure it will probably happen again in my lifetime (not the cheating), but I’m not doing anything to help that along.  I take my meds.  I go see my doctor.  I’m fighting to get enough sleep.  I’ll get it figured out.  The sleep thing, that is.

I should be trusted.  I should be allowed to make a joke and my sanity not be questioned.  I am a human being.  I am better.  I should be trusted.  It is just very frustrating.  I am frustrated with this road block in my recovery.  I want to be trusted.  I haven’t done anything wrong since my trip back to Texas.  (More on that soon…)

The only person who has not questioned me, to my knowledge, has been my mom.  Perhaps it’s just her encouraging spirit and fighting for her daughter, but she has trusted me.  She gave me space when I needed it back in Texas.  She gives me space now.  Our dynamics have changed, but she is truly my #1 cheerleader.  Not that my “peeps” aren’t my cheerleaders, they are just very quick to not miss anything.

They say they were too close to see what was really going on.  I suppose that is true.  They don’t want to miss anything on my journey now, because they love me and they want to help.  Bottom line, they don’t want to miss what they missed before.  So, I forgive them of their questioning – to a certain degree.

But, when it stifles my continued improvement, I get a little angry.  A little resentful.  Don’t you know me?  Don’t you know that is how I used to be?  I’m coming back!  I’m fighting and I continue to fight!  I should be trusted, but I am not fully trusted.

That makes my heart hurt.

I Made a Huge Mistake

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Guilt that Haunts Me.”

My cursor has been blinking at me for the past 30 minutes.  I’m about to jump into a completely uncharted territory for me – I’m going to talk about my bad behavior leading up to my break.  I am not proud of this.  This is something that I will have to live with for the rest of my life.  Did I mention that I am ashamed?

My husband was working the overnight shift at his job.  That meant he was gone the entire night and I only saw him when he was either sleeping or walking out the door to go to work.  I was so lonely during this time.  Here we were, living in this vibrant city and we were not able to enjoy it together.  He was always working, making sure we had a roof over our heads and paying our bills on time.  I was angry because I felt abandoned by him.

One of the symptoms of bipolar disorder is hypersexuality.  It turns you into this version of yourself where you feel your most beautiful, most sexy, and most vibrant.  You think you are this golden unicorn that everyone wants.  I had no clue of what was to come from these feelings, but I was riding a high.  I was lonely and feeling like my best self.  A recipe for disaster.

I found him on this adult meet up site.  My husband and I were talking about the possibility of having an open marriage due to him being away so much and both of us wanting something more.  We were only talking about it, not acting on it, but I took the opportunity to run with the idea behind his back.

It started with simple messages and then a meet up in a local park.  I was nervous, but wasn’t thinking clearly about the absurdity of meeting a complete stranger for a hook up.  I didn’t know this person.  He could have been a deranged killer and I was walking into a situation I had no business being a part of.  I was supposedly happily married.  But, I was chasing a high and wanting instant gratification.  This person provided that for me.

I won’t go into the illicit details, but I started having an affair with this guy I barely knew.  It was exciting and gave me the fulfillment I was looking for, factoring in my hypersexuality and loneliness.

I wasn’t in love with this person – I was there for the sex.  It became a frequent occurrence, maybe a couple of times a week.  It was easy to participate in this situation because my husband was gone all the time.  In the cover of dark, all secrets are safe, right?

This affair lasted for months.  I don’t really remember the amount of time it actually lasted, but it was enough to know that what I was doing was wrong.  I should have never started the affair, but, I continued to participate in the illicit behavior.  I was completely disregarding the respect I had for my husband and the vows we took when we got married.  I was reckless and I didn’t really think about the consequences of my actions.

As I mentioned before, I never fell in love with this person.  He was a means to an end.  I think he might have had genuine feelings for me, but I always knew I was going to stay with my husband.  I felt dangerous, though.  I was chasing this high and it was always eluding me, no matter how bad my behavior.

Little did I know, my husband started tracking my behavior.  He watched our phone records and even left work a few times to check that I was home while he was away at work.  I don’t believe I was ever home when he came to check.  He knew what I was doing, but was biding his time until I confessed or he had enough evidence to confront me.

He finally confronted me one night when he wasn’t working.  I had been pretending that I was texting one of my friends for a while, always keeping my phone close by in case he had intercepted a text between me and the other guilty party.  He asked to see my phone.  I stupidly hadn’t erased my text conversations with this illicit person.  Perhaps it was my way of wanting to be found out.

He locked himself in the bathroom to read the texts and I melted down.  At one point, I threw a glass at the door, shattering it.  I had been found out and I didn’t know what was going to happen.  I was scared, but a part of me felt justified by my actions because I was so angry at my husband for abandoning me.  Although he hadn’t actually abandoned me, it felt like that because he was never home.  It was my way of punishing him.  We have a mark on our bathroom door where I shattered that glass.  It will forever be a reminder of the deplorable act I had committed.

Needless to say, my husband was hurt.  I don’t think the word hurt can really describe what he was feeling.  He was working so hard for us, and here I was shitting on our dream.

I don’t remember how I ended the affair.  Part of me thinks it fizzled out, but I might have said something to the effect that the situation had to end.  Regardless, the affair ended.  I was relieved.  It’s hard to maintain that level of energy when you aren’t sleeping, lying to your husband, and losing your mind.  I just didn’t realize I was losing my mind.  That was still months away.

This situation has been a heavy cloud over my recovery.  I am writing this today, with his permission, to let my truth be known and to hopefully let others know they are not alone.  I live with an amazing, committed, understanding man.  We have had to work extra hard to regain trust because of my actions.  However, he has not wavered in his love for me.  He only wants the best for us, and I still don’t understand his ability to forgive me for my transgressions.

But, we are better.  It has taken a long time, but we have a mutual trust and respect for each other that appears to be life long.  I am lucky to have married such a person.  That being said, had I not been sick, I don’t know if things would have turned out the same way in the end.  But, in the same breath, I don’t believe I would have acted in such a horrible way.

Now I know what the symptoms are leading up to a full manic episode.  If you look at the guidelines of what makes a person bipolar, I am pretty much a classic case.  I will forever be shameful of the acts that I committed, but I know that there is love on the other side.  And, I will never, ever act on these impulses again.  I simply will not let it happen and my husband won’t let it happen either.  I have a good man.  I am lucky.

The Church Bells

church bells

We live in New Orleans proper.  There are many churches that surround our home, as well as the river and the street car line.  We also have a police station near by, therefore it creates a cacophony of sounds at any given time during the day.  We hear boats, sirens, trains, and of course, church bells.  They chime every half hour and hour and chime hymns on the hour, every hour.  It is a comforting sound and I love the location in which we live.

After I was released from the mental hospital, these church bells took a dire turn for me.  They seemed overly loud and would stop me in my tracks every time I heard them.  It was overwhelming and I had no way of hiding away from them, as we have thin walls.  The thing that had given me solace and pride were turning into an obstacle in my recovery.

There was one particular hymn that the bells would play, I don’t know the actual name of the hymn, but it sounded like a demented version of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”.  It sounded like it was in the minor key and it was following me everywhere and at every hour of the day.  I couldn’t stand it.  It made me paranoid and scared.

As I wasn’t out of my psychosis upon being released from the mental hospital, this was particularly hard.  I was surrounded by this sound and it felt like the song was mocking me.  I couldn’t get away from it and it became one of the major things I focused on – the playing of this particular hymn.

It brought me back to my childhood in a weird way.  It sounded like Tim Burton had written the tune and was taking every chance he got to make my life miserable.  I would hear the church bells and announce, “They are playing ‘The Itsy Bitsy Spider’ again.”  I know it drove my husband crazy, the constant reminder that I was not well.

It is amusing looking back, but at the time the fear was real.  It felt like the church was mocking me for not being a more devout Christian and I simply did not have the capacity to deal with the noise.  Nothing could be loud at that particular time and the bells of the church hadn’t heeded that warning from my camp.  They simply chimed away each hour, chiming the same hymn over and over again.

I am not sure when it happened, but eventually, through much time and respite away, I got over the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” hymn.  I even started to joke about it being played, which made my family and friends question whether I was bothered or making light of what had once bothered me.  Many a time I received a raised eyebrow for making that statement.  My sanity was still not trusted.  I reassured them that I wasn’t still reading into the church bells, that I was only observing the sounds that had caused me such offense.  .

The church doesn’t play that hymn any more on the hour, perhaps because the season changed.  Sometimes I try and listen for it, but I am met with a new, non-threatening hymn.  Maybe part of me is trying to hold onto some of my psychosis, to reassure myself that I am not in that same frame of mind.  But, I am glad the church and I have moved on.  That was a scary time, indeed.

That Time I Was Fired for Being Nice

Too NiceI used to have a job as an assistant to a very high powered woman.  Think of Meryl Streep’s character in “The Devil Wears Prada”.  It was intense.  I was excited to get this job and attacked it full force, but I never received the proper training on the software we were required to use, so I was always kind of a step behind.  Not a good thing when you are working for a high powered executive.  I asked for help, and it was given (not without some grumbles), but nothing ever stuck.  Maybe I had a mental block about what I was learning–I don’t know.  What I do know is I tried my hardest to do the best job I knew how to do for this woman.

That job lasted about nine months.  Then I was called into the HR Department Head’s office where he and my direct boss were waiting for me.  They went on a whole diatribe about how I worked so hard and I was very resourceful about many aspects of my job, but I was just not “getting it”.  Then they said, “But you’re so nice!”.  As if that was supposed to make me feel better.

Around this time, my husband and I were about to sign on the dotted line for a house we were trying to buy.  Literally, the next day we were supposed to begin closing proceedings.  I was shocked, devastated…pretty much every emotion one feels when being fired from a job you have worked so hard for.  I promptly called our realtor and told her the deal was off, that I had lost my job and we had to stop all proceedings.

Looking back, I realize I was starting to become manic while I was working for this woman.  Hindsight really is 20/20.  But, at least I know that I’m a nice, professional person and I realized through the process of working, quitting, and being fired from a handful of jobs surrounding my break that I want to work with passionate people who aren’t just married to his or her job.

The last job I had was working for a silk screen printing company.  I don’t typically have allergies, but I was allergic to that job.  Literally allergic to the paints they used to print those shirts.  So much so that I missed work.  They told me they were okay with my absences, and I was finally getting my health under control.  Then, they fired me.  I wasn’t as shocked this last time.  I’ve come to accept being fired as a huge possibility when working for someone.  I sometimes feel like I just can’t catch a break.

HOWEVER.  I had a job interview today. It was with a temp agency, so basically, I’m hired but they have to place me in jobs.   I’ve been out of work for about 9 months now.  I was registered to work with a temp agency before, but haven’t had much luck working temp assignments through them.  I took a break from sending out my resume around the holidays, but I’m back at it full force again.  I really hope that this new gig can help me gain full time employment – I have had success with temp agencies in the past.  Let’s hope this one sticks.  Wish me luck!