Tag Archives: anxiety

Tattoos and Suicide Series VI: Mental Health is a fickle bitch

When you love someone who has issues with their mental health, some days can be a long hard battle. When you also struggle with your own demons it can make it more of a challenge. I am solar powered. I suffer hard when the weather changes, and the last few months of cold and yuck were taking a huge toll on me. I have been feeling horribly unmotivated and I have been struggling to find and keep my inner peace and keep my cool. I seem to have gotten into a roll of being awesome at work and a total bitch at home, or awesome at home and so off my game at times my boss has sent me home. Twice. So today I woke up blessed to an amazing weather day. I had prayed for a break and a resolution, and woke up to sun on my face.

My husband was sort of…out of it, but I figured he was just tired. He asked us to go out for a big family breakfast road trip, which we have not done in ages. I was thrilled he was motivated! After the ride south and fat bellies, he stayed home while we all hit church. I had a great day with the kiddos in my program, they were all so awesome today, and well behaved!  I felt like the day could not get any better. I started to feel recharged. I made plans to clean my van while the boy broke in his new scooter he got for his birthday. It shoots fire, so what 8 year old wouldn’t be itching to break it in? But when I came home, it hit me. I went to talk to my husband and he was just…there. He was really out of it. He was moody, non communicative. Monosyllables. I could see he had been crying at some point. But as always he didn’t know what was wrong and didn’t want to or could not talk about it.

Heaven forbid he talk to his fucking wife about what is on his mind. I wish he would talk to me. Even if it made no sense. I do listen when I need to, and it is never a burden. Damn him. It makes me feel like he has no faith in me or trust. I know the reality is he does not want to burden me. But I married him for better or worse. Fucking talk to me!

He went and took a nap, so I went about my day, chalked it up to being tired. Got done with the van and watching the boy and having a good rebuilding day with him. Hurricane and I had a tough week. Hubby was awake and just rocking in his recliner. Eyes glazed over, still looking like hell. I asked if he had taken his pills. He then told me he had been out of them for a few days. After a call to the doctors office, and a call back from Dr. Giggles, came the battle. Here take these pills. Yes you need to take them. Because Dr. Giggles said to. Yes I called her. Because it’s been 3 days and I wanted to know how to dose you. Yes you DO need to eat. NO you are not getting fat. No, you do not need to get under 200 again, when you were that thin everyone thought you had cancer or AIDS. Yes you will. Ok now here take this one. YES the fucking yellow one again. (BREATHE MOM-T) Here honey, yes you do need the yellow one again now that you ate. Trust me. Thank you.

Seriously? I love the man but he is nearly 40 fucking years old and he can not remember to tell me to refill the damn pill box? I can not remember to do it on top of everything fucking else and 3 damn jobs. I guess I have to set an alarm on my cell so I can keep on top of this. If he had not pulled the suicide thing I wouldn’t HAVE to control his pills and keep them under count and key. But his dumb ass tried to OD before the BIG attempt and the madness started. Fuck you didn’t take your pills. And this is somehow my fault. Because even though I hear him in his sleep talking to his dad, telling him he hopes I know how much I am appreciated, how he does not know how I am doing it all, working my ass off at 1 part time and 1 might as well be full time but being paid for part time good thing I love it, job, and home schooling our son, keeping on top of most of the housework, he no longer can manage his own meds, that is my fault.

So, magic pills on board, and a small power nap later, he came back to us. He told me he felt weird and wondered if he had an episode, asked why he was so tired. I told him the yellow pills make him tired, and he had to take 2 of them today.

But now I worry about myself. Selfish bitch that I am. But how will this affect me tomorrow? All the calls, stress, pacing, pulling my hair out while talking in the calm therapist voice and trying to get him to do what he is SUPPOSED to do without it being an argument or me being a bitch. My IBD is going to kick up into high gear tomorrow. Fun time ahead. What? Why am I on the couch being lazy? Well, my stomach flares intensify when I am stressed. Why would I be stressed? Fucking wonder why.

Someone told me the other day, well his legs don’t work but he is still fine, he should get a desk job. Why are you applying for aid?  But he couldn’t. He is surviving day to day with this, because of his routine. Breakfast the same daily, watching the same shows while he eats, play the video game for a bit, run the vacuum, help Hurricane with homework, daily nap, working on his cards. It has to be the same, and changes have to be his idea or it throws the whole universe into a tail spin. He has to have some control. He can not control his legs anymore, really. He can not control his racing thoughts. He has finally started writing again. He let me read some of it. It was hard to swallow. His pain and his sadness come from years of scars he held in. One reason I let Hurricane explode out his anger and boil over with tears. I want him to deal with emotions and not be wearing the scars in  30 years.

Maybe. He will someday be there. But unless you LIVE with it, don’t judge it. Don’t pretend you know what is really going in here. Mental illness and health can be a powerful and painful experience. Don’t think I have not heard the quiet whispers behind my back that this is maybe on me. He was fine, and it was me that made him the way he is. These issues were bubbling long before I came around. I hear whispers that I am making too big a deal and trying to make myself a martyr. Until we moved in here even my AMIL (Awesome Mother In Law) had no idea how hard things were at home. She came to me last week and apologized. She has now seen some of the mood swings and the scary “black out” moments where he is totally not there and I am on the verge of calling 911.

Yes, I am lucky as hell to have her. But the comments about how it must be nice to live with someone who is taking care of 70 percent of the bills and the mortgage payment, how it must have taken SO much stress off of me? Yeah. No. Because every day we wake up not sure WHAT mood he will be in, how my IBD/Crohn’s is going to be affecting me, and how we are going to power through the day. But I never ask for help from friends or family, because I don’t need it. It’s my cross to bear, with a lot of help from God. I have recently exploded into my faith. Because it’s coming back to me. I am facing demons I have been running from for a long time.

I am seeing the strength in my corner. And seeing who I can count on vs. who I need to cut loose. I don’t like how things are. I could take a new job, be better off financially and more stable in other areas of my life. But money will not replace time. Time is what we need. Money will help. And it WILL come through soon. But every moment I am away from them already is pain. My husband tells me his secrets in his sleep. He told me his worries. He misses me when I am at work. He hates that I have to be the one to work and to be away from home. He knows I have days I love my job and others I want to walk away. He wishes he could see me more. He understands my time is being monopolized by Hurricane and home school in the mornings, and by work at night and when I get home I am just wiped out. But he misses me. I am working on that.

We are still struggling along. Suicide “survivors” is what I was labeled as. What we really are is suicide zombies. Day to day getting by. I hold a lot together on the inside, few of my closest friends know who I “really” am outside of this little internet world, and have told me my facade is much like in the movie MirrorMask. Which is why I identify with it so much. I have an ideal in my mind but allow the darkness to consume me. All while trying to be the light for two people who need me more than I ever thought would be possible. It’s like yin and yang, only in a spin that makes it all gray.

Advertisements

A mother who doesn’t love her son…

Hurricanes birth story. It was a series of ups and downs and insanity. It started when I found out I was pregnant. The immediate sick feeling I had in my stomach pretty much summed it up. Not happiness. More real. What in the actual FUCK am I getting myself into? And how the hell did this happen?

REWIND: January, 1998
A very young me sits in a hospital gown, freezing half to death. She can hear the doctor and nurses talking in the hall in hushed whispers, and her boss has paged her 3 times. She has been having major troubles with her uterus, and the pain had her scared she might have been having a miscarriage. Which would be a neat trick since she was not having sex with anyone. Finally, the doctor walks in. He has a really peculiar look on his face. The nurse will not look her in the eye.

“Go ahead and get dressed, the exam was fine. But we will have to go over a few things.” he says.
“I will be late for work, just tell me while I get dressed behind the curtain, please”
“I really…”
“Doctor- please! I need to go to work!”
*big sigh from the doctor*
” The procedure went well, [Nix], but… I am afraid I have some bad news. There was a significant amount more damage and scar tissue than we anticipated. If you ever decide to have children, you are going to find it very difficult, if not impossible to conceive and carry a child…”
“And?” says the foolish young 20 year old me. “Who’s worried about kids right now?”

Fast forward: March 2001
Miscarriage. How did I have a miscarriage? What’s a DNC? I am not even supposed to be able to get pregnant. How can I have had a miscarriage?

Fast forward:  May 17, 2006
*dials phone* “Hey sis? I need you to come over….Because I have to take a pregnancy test. Yes I am serious. My period is late. It’s probably nothing. I don’t want to tell him yet. He will flip. We have a 5 year plan! And I am not even supposed to be able to get pregnant!”
…..3 hours later….
This can’t be right. I go for my surgery consult next week. I will have them test me.

May 24:
Surgical consult time. Gall stones be damned they are coming out. Pregnancy test? No need. I can’t get pregnant. Required test for all women? OK whatever, give me the cup.  “WHAT DO YOU MEAN I AM PREGNANT?!?!?!?!?”

January 30, 2007:
Induction at 5 AM, still in labor at 5:30 PM. In walks my doctor, and he looks scared to talk to me. “So. There is good news and bad news!  Good- since I broke your water, you are having this baby today.”
“And the bad?”
*Awesome Doctor slowly backs out of the room ready to run* “My shift is over and [Bitch from Hell Doctor is my relief]

Sidenote: BFH doctor told me at my 4 month checkup I was morbidly obese and should have waited to get pregnant, and since I was already pregnant it was too late, but I needed to gain no more than 18 pounds my entire pregnancy. My husband was and still is a BIG dude. How can I have HIS linebacker child and gain only 18 pounds? I hated her. And now she was going to be the one to deliver my baby.

*In strolls BFH. Does cursory exam of my nethers*
“You are not progressing, and the baby is in distress. We are going in for a cesarean. These are the risks, sign this waiver, lets go”

Why isn’t he crying? The cord was around his neck several times. He was slightly blue. They wouldn’t bring him to me. I was in panic mode. He wasn’t crying. My mom looked worried but kept telling me he was fine. Then I heard it. The loud scream. They brought him to see me, and I looked deep into the eyes of my newborn son. And felt…nothing. Like it was just another day. When my husband came in for the first time to see us, to see him, he looked so happy. This look of pure joy to see his son. I felt…nothing.

Week 1- in the hospital. I had setbacks. Spinal headaches. Some infection they could not control. I could not breastfeed and the feeding Nazi was in my room telling me I HAD to nurse. I HAD to feed. It didn’t matter that I was sobbing uncontrollably, telling her even the pump on the lowest setting made me want to scream in holy hell pain. My son was a delight according to the care team. Nurses held and snuggled and cooed and fought over holding him. Family came and held him. I did some. I tried bonding. Skin to skin. Tried to not let the BF Nazi upset me. My savior. Nurse Babs. (Real name) She came in as I was crying and upset, not holding my son, because I was in so much pain. Feeling like a failure because in all honesty, I hurt. And breast feeding was the farthest thing from my mind. I wanted to love and hold my son. I wanted to care. And I felt.. nothing.

Week 2- We are home. We are getting into a routine. He screams, he eats, he pukes, he screams again. He never sleeps. He screams and screams. I feel… nothing. Wait. I feel something. I feel anger. Resentment. Frustration. He won’t. Stop. Screaming. He is broken. I want a new one. That is cute and doesn’t scream and throw up everything he eats and make me feel like hell. I kind of wish I never worried about him not crying in the delivery room.

Week 8- The only time he does not scream and actually sleeps is when he takes a nap in the sun next to the cat. I lay him on his belly on a blanket by the sliding glass door, while the cat snoozes out on the balcony, he snoozes inside. The only way he will sleep is sitting up or on his belly. I have told the pediatrician 20 times I think he has reflux but am rebuffed and told it is “colic” and will get better. He starts to scream at 4 PM and by 11 PM he has not stopped. King Pig has awesomely put away the clean dishes before he left for his night shift. Which includes the babies bottles, which are missing and he will NOT stop screaming. I try to hold him one armed and slam cabinets open and shut looking for the bottles with my other hand. My neighbor bangs/knocks hard on the wall. I am loud. I am bothering her. I am SO angry, I take the cabinet door and I open and slam it over and over about 10 times. I am done. I finally find the bottles and make him one. He spits almost the entire thing up. In desperation, I lay him on his belly in the bassinet. It is 1 AM. I am exhausted. He settles and dozes off. I do too, my hand on his back as he sleeps. I am awakened by the sound of my husbands heavy footsteps.
“Hey honey! How was your night?” he says
“A million times better since you are home. Please watch him for a few minutes. I need to sleep.  I am so glad you got off work early.”
“Honey, what are you talking about? It’s 7:22 AM!”

And then. I felt it. Something. I felt an overwhelming horrifying panic. I was gripped with the biggest wave of choking emotion I have ever felt, even still to this day. I sat straight up in the bed, and shouted “Oh my god the baby!!” and looked over at the bassinet. Where he was sleeping soundly. And right then. I finally felt it. That wave of emotion that they say a new mother should have. I looked at my sleeping son. Who had finally stopped crying and slept several hours. I watched his back rise and fall, and realized he wasn’t dead.  And I bawled. I cried so hard I peed. King Pig had no idea what to make of it, so he just wrapped me in a hug and let me snot all over his shirt. But I finally felt it. I was so connected to him in that moment, I could feel every breath he took inside my heart.  And now, I feel it daily.

I feel it when he calls me in his sleep. When he falls, when he fails, when he succeeds. When his night terrors grip him. When he watches for me anxiously out the window if my afternoon shift turns into a night shift and I see his little face peeking out watching to see if I am home yet. When he has a meltdown because the situation has overwhelmed him and the world won’t stop moving when he needs it to be still. When he comes to me with his grubby face and fist and no pants. When he argues with me, eye rolls, when he brings me he 3957th Lego creation that he has made, when he goes on endlessly about Minecraft. When he has a flash of anger and lashes out. When he bounces in my room way to early and hollers out “HI MOM!!!!!”  When he lays in his bed asleep. I feel it.  But it took some time. We had hurdles to cross. We had to build that bond. Maybe that makes me a bad mom. To not feel this overwhelming sense of emotion. But the reality is, love in any capacity is not an automatic thing. Love is built. Even from birth. I didn’t love him then. But now, my love has no description. No end to its capacity. New moms, know, it’s not always automatic. But it will come. In it’s time. And you will love every minute of it. But please know. It’s not horrible to feel or not feel. Let the love grow until you can not let go. ❤


Tattoos and Suicide: Vent – Meds Suck

I have determined anti-depressants are a life saving enemy. I understand and agree, they need to be given. I have noticed a change from life ending to simple melancholy. But the side effects are craptastic. That’s all I got tonight. Its been a long day. ❤


Tattoos and Suicide Part III: Who is more angry, him or me?

I left my house tonight after hours of fighting. I am tired of the fighting. And being so angry. And feeling totally alone while surrounded with support. I am tired of fights he will not remember in the morning! I am totally surrounded by an amazing network of friends and family. But lately as I have shouldered burden after burden, the fight is one I am starting to think I do not want anymore. I am starting to feel tired. Tired of having all my ducks in a row and then missing my big shot, tired of fighting for someone who often seems like he no longer wants to fight for himself, and tired of fighting for myself and getting lost in the shuffle.
Its been such a long tough road. We just had our anniversary, and my surgery is in less than a week now. I have been wanting, needing, wishing, to feel more support. But instead I am being put under more pressure to be the strong one. So many people tell me I have it in me. But there are nights like tonight, where I sit in my car, alone in a Starbucks parking lot so I have net access, and feeling like I had no choice but to walk away, I want to just run. It took every ounce of my being to not hit the road and not look back. I know this is all part of the process, but damn it I am tired. I just want to scream back and not feel like my part in this does not matter sometimes. I love my family with all my heart, and I will fight til the end, but right now, I need to breathe. Just. Breathe. A little time and room to breathe. I just keep looking at that silver lining. Its gotta be there somewhere.

I spent a few days away from my Facebook world, focused on school, and tried to ignore the bigger issues at hand. I was sent a blessing in the form of a friend of my husbands who is helping me out, and I have been finally brave enough to reach out to those friends who have told me its ok to not always be a rock. But its not my nature. So instead, I will keep being angry because that is what is keeping me solid. I know its not the healthiest choice, but it will keep me going for now. And in a day or 2 I will let him know how I felt tonight when I walked out, how I almost didn’t come back. But how deep down after 10 years together, 8 married, I couldn’t walk away.  We have survived financial issues, foreclosure, deaths, suicide, and more.  Even the pissed off parts of me are parts of him. And life is not the same without it.


The tattoo that saved a life… Tattoos and Suicide Part I

For every bad thing ever said about a tattoo, I always defended the form of self expression. And from this day forward will never tolerate hearing any malice towards the art form or those who perform it. All because of this.  A tattoo saved my husbands life.  A simple tat. Just a name, just an arm. And it saved his life.

Long time followers of my Facebook page are aware, we are personal friends with some amazing tattoo artists. A family run operation, our friends Shane, Samm, Vicki, and Athena run Thurmont Tattoo, located in Thurmont, Maryland. When they were local to us, we would have them over for dinner, have home tattoo sessions, stop by the shop just to say hello. We still call them to celebrate our family triumphs, our tragedies  and our best and worst moments. Over the years, they became not only our ink artists, but friends, and now they feel like a part of our family. They are perceptive, warm, loving, and amazing. And they gave my husband the tattoo that saved his life…

My story… After work, two weeks ago. 

13 missed calls? How did I get 13 missed calls? What on earth could be wrong? From her cell phone? Oh lord. She is in the hospital again. Oh god, maybe it is my husband. His breathing is not much better since he got the bronchitis. He was supposed to start his night shift again.  Please god let him have made it to work alright. Calling her. Straight to voicemail. Why? Try again. Straight to voicemail again.  Ok. Call his work. He called out sick. Maybe the bronchitis got worse. They tell me his mom called and said something about the hospital. Ok, so he is in the hospital. Call my roommate to see if he can watch Hurricane. Mid call. Call waiting. Oh god it is mom. Let him be ok. 

Hello? Mom? What’s going on? At the Emergency Room? Why? But? He did what? Wait? WHAT? How? No mom, I am not ok hearing this. Well I will be. Will they let me see him? He is where? I mean WHICH emergency room?  But how? And he called you? OK I am on the way.

Suicide. He attempted suicide? But why? How could I have missed the signs? How is he doing? How will we recover as a family? What will this do to our family unit? Is he going to be ok? How did I miss it? He seemed fine. Tired. Stressed. But he just recently started to see a therapist. She put him on a medication. Maybe the medicine is making him worse. I hear that can happen. He is supposed to be getting better.  It could be nothing. Sure. That is it. The medicine. It has made him worse.  Oh lord, if our son had found him. If he had been successful. How DARE HE? Our SON would have been the first one to find him. I would have let him take the keys and run ahead of me into the house to see Daddy when I saw the truck home. That prick! I wonder…How did he try? Why? How did I miss the signs? His mom couldn’t let me talk to him. Oh god, I hope he is ok. Please, lord. Let him be ok. I can’t…Oh my. I almost lost my husband. Oh lord PLEASE not my husband.  Thank god he called his mom. Why didn’t he call me? Let me check my phone. Ok he did try to call me. Why didn’t I have my phone on me?  Why wasn’t this a day where I left it in my pocket?  I hope he is going to be ok. Oh lord. Please give me strength. Please let him be ok. Please. Let him be. Just let him be. Let him be strong and alive. Let him be safe. Let him be in my arms. I am going to punch him. Our son…that prick! But he is alive. Thank you lord, he is still alive. He was not successful. Oh god. How did I miss this? How? 

Drop off the kid. Get my laptop because I know hospital TV sucks, he might be bored.  Plus my page and my internet friends are my escape. My safe spot… Pull the roommate aside. Fill him in. I gotta get to the hospital. Call his two best friends. They are brothers to him. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN HE TOLD YOU HE TRIED THIS ALREADY LAST MONTH!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????? And I am just now hearing about this? FUCK BRO CODE. Fuck him saying he would see a shrink and then doing it. Yes, He WAS going to see a doctor. But still. How could you not tell me? This is fucking serious. YES you needed to tell me. I have to tell the doctors. This changes everything. He might not get to come home now.  OK. No time to fight about this. I will deal with you later.

REWIND: THREE YEARS 5 MONTHS – KING PIGZ STORY
Samm:  Listen, bro, I think you should get your son’s name down as part of the sleeve we are starting on your forearm instead of your back.
KP: Really? I was thinking I would put it on the shoulder as part of the back piece we are starting
Samm: I really think it needs to go on your arm. You should have the most important things in your life front and center. I really feel like this is a better idea.
KP: You are the expert, man.  Ok. Right there. Top side of my forearm. Let’s do this.  
(The tat ended up being Hurricane’s name down his forearm, and the birthday on his wrist like a bracelet)

FAST FORWARD-2 WEEKS AGO
King Pig stands in the kitchen. Holding a knife. He can’t take the pressure. He feels useless. Alone. Hopeless. He stands over the sink. Knife in hand. Tired of being in pain. Tired of feeling alone in a house and world full of people. Tired of feeling like no one cares. Tired of not understanding the fear that grips him on a daily basis, the thoughts that race through his head.  Tired of feeling like a burden because I am doing it all at home. He holds the knife in his right hand and reaches his left arm out over the sink.  Suddenly, while turning his arm over to get the correct angle on his wrist, he catches sight of the tattoo. The one he was going to have put on his back. There it was. Front and center. His son’s name stares up at him, in the same shade of deep red as the blood he was getting ready to spill. He stops. His son. He knows since losing his own father last year just how bad the pain is of losing a parent. His son. 5 years old. Would never recover from this. His wife. Me. He wonders how I will get by without him. He stumbles. He drops the knife into the sink. He hits the floor and fumbles to find his phone in his pocket. In tears, he tries to get someone on the phone. Anyone. First me. No answer. I am at work. Of course he can’t reach me. I am working. Teaching. My phone is in my bag while I am with my students. He panics. Considers grabbing the knife again. Runs his hand up and down his arm over his son’s name, there, in bright red ink. As red as the blood he was about to spill. He fumbles with his phone again. This time, he reaches his mother. He starts to cry. Through his tears she hears the words. Suicide. Pain. Help. She calls him from her cell on call waiting. She keeps her cool and keeps him on the phone. Talks to him the whole way down the highway to our house. She arrives. The normal 25 minute drive takes her 12 minutes. She begs him to get in the car. Tells him she will call the police if he doesn’t. He gets in the car. ER. She calls his doctor while she waits. No answer. They take him back. The frantic calls to me begin. But thank god he is alive.

A tattoo saved his life. The next several months will be filled with appointments. Pain. Healing. But a tattoo saved his life. And I will never. EVER. Be able to thank Samm enough. A simple conversation and decision. It saved his life. Thank you lord for bringing us to the shop for the first time 3 years ago. Thank you for your guidance and for inspiring Samm to make the choice he made. And thank you for keeping my husband on this earth. I would be lost without him. And I will forever be grateful for the tattoo, that saved his life.

Inked The first letter. Samm, no matter what happens in your life, please know this simple bit of ink, will have more impact than anyone could ever know. We love you.

Part II of this healing journey has been written and can be found here:
https://momtroversial.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/a-tattoo-and-suicide-more-than-just-you/


%d bloggers like this: