Megaphones Don’t Work on the Hard-of-Hearing

I’m sad and pissed off and lonely and missing Stephanie and I’m not coping well. But I’ll tell you one thing; just because she’s not here to play mediator for me and Derrick–doesn’t mean I’m gunna stand by and deal with shit that’s driving me fucking insane. So I’m gunna continue to write and to vent and it won’t be pretty. It’s my truth and I’m tired of hiding it behind a filter just so it looks acceptable online…

It amazes me just how wildly different 2018 is from 2012.

In 2012 we were a family of 6 crammed into a small 2 bedroom apartment. Struggling to pay rent and keeping the utilities on. But we had love and fun. It may have been cramped, but we’d spend hours laughing playing Just Dance on the Wii, walking to the park to have picnics, hikes up Mount Rubidoux, walk to the movie theater or Killarney’s and spend hours playing Rummy on the patio, or heading downtown and hanging out at Back to the Grind while I bravely stood up on the stage in that blinding light reading my raw personal prose and poetry to a room full of strangers, but it didn’t matter because love was there.

After I had Vanna I descended into my own madness. Manic Depression, modernly referred to as Bipolar Disorder had its grip around my postpartum hormones and I slipped into psychosis. It was a terrifying time. Full of mental trips, suicidal ideation, binge drinking, spending, disappearing, self-harming, hallucinations, warped reality, hospital stays, diagnosis, doctors, nurses, orderlies, mind-numbing reciting, therapy, therapy, therapy and medications. But I had support. I had family. And friends. And even though it was both scary as fuck and frustrating, I was at times very resistant to it all, I knew I was okay because I had love. And as I began to come to terms and accept my diagnosis; I began to lose friends, a lot of them, a lot. I lost my church family and was asked to leave the council. I was told I wasn’t needed to cook, bake or host because it was too overwhelming for my “delicate time”. And though it hurt, I understood and I survived it because I had support and love.

NAMI meetings helped. DBSA meetings helped. Educating myself and my family with books, articles and videos helped. Talking about it helped. Taking him to therapy with me helped. I felt like the depression (and anxiety, and manic episodes, and self-harming, and racing thoughts, and intrusive thoughts and triggers and just everything) was finally being understood.

But over the next 6 years it’s been a slow decline in the understanding department.

It’s gone from feeling loved and safe and supported in my own home, to feeling outsided, to feeling like I’m more of an annoyance.

It went from having a pre-teen daughter who tried to understand my issues and wanting to talk to me and comfort me and invite me to speak to her school about mental illness…to having a teenager who uses her mothers mental illness as an excuse for not getting her homework done, for having poorly grades and for her lack of concentration and her being tired. When in reality it’s her choosing to play therapist to her friends via social media and texting on her phone, rather than her do her chores and homework and go to sleep at a decent time to wake well rested.

And it’s not like my marriage has improved. I can sum up the last year of my marriage with 3 sentences:

“You’re ‘depressed’ because the house is dirty.”

“It’s above my pay grade.”

“You’re sad and frustrated about how your cake came out that you blame it on me and the kids for all the distractions.”

Clearly he must’ve been sitting there daydreaming about fucking donuts while attending the NAMI and DBSA meetings. And I doubt he ever read any of the books, articles or blogs I’ve given him.

I mean really…he just got dentures. How would it make him feel if I said he only got dentures because he’s addicted to soda and is too lazy to brush his teeth? It’s wildly inaccurate and hurtful to imply that about him, right.

So why the fuck does he think it’s okay to imply that I’m not really depressed, I’m just upset that the house isn’t clean and the kids stop me from being selfish?

But I’m the failure. I’m the one who can’t handle baking a simple fucking cake. I’m upset that I can’t fulfill my dreams and goals because I have 5 needy ass children. I’m the one choosing to give up on myself.

So, since he only technically works 4 hours, MAYBE 6 hours on a busy day, and there are absolutely ZERO kids bugging him for snacks (or for reaching cups, or about making dinner, or about signing paperwork for school, or about reviewing homework, or yelling for paper towels, toilet paper, for a towel after a shower, or arguing about the order of showers, or when a certain load of laundry will be washed, where this is, where that is, what are we doing this weekend because I have plans, can I go to this thing last minute, etc) or to be breastfed every 5 fucking minutes, why the fuck isn’t he a famous character designer yet?

I mean if I’m supposed to be able to conquer the world, bake elaborate cakes, attend school, run a household, clean said household, dole out snacks whilst my breast is being bitten and my tit fucking shredded by a pinching 10 month old, all while whipping up a perfect fucking Shepard’s Pie–all without making an income mind you–why the fuck isn’t he a celebrated artist?

For fucks sake–I bitched about TWO Ziploc bags full of rotted chicken breasts, inside a shopping bag, sitting on a shelf, inside the brand new refrigerator 10 (TEN) FUCKING DAYS AGO…and guess what bitches!?! The bag is still fucking there! LMFAO.

I make the “nagging” “complaint” that I’m tired of doing everything.

I get told to stop nagging and complaining because I DON’T do everything.

Yet the rotting chicken breasts in the fridge know the truth…

Our 10 month old had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, of which Derrick knew about because he was sitting less than 5 inches away from me to my right as I was holding Ivy in my left arm, and on my cellphone with my right hand, sitting next to him on the couch as I called her doctors office RIGHT AFTER JUST CONVERSING WITH HIM about her needing some meds for her cold and how she needed her next round of shots. The appointment is made. The appointment is added to the family calendar. Thursday morning comes. Her appointment is at 9:30. 8:30 rolls around and he’s still on the PS4 in the living room. 9 rolls around and he’s still in the living room on the PS4. 9:30 rolls around and the PS4 still holds priority over his sick 10 month old.

Sure, I could’ve taken her–but I am SO fucking shit and tired of people making fucking excuses for the man, and judging the shit out of the mother.

I didn’t sign up to be just a mother–especially not a mother to my fucking husband. The dude is almost 40 and we’re still having the “I’m not your mother” conversations.

You know, he thought he was being a funny dick the other night when I told him I was leaving and he asks if I’m going all “Eat Pray Love” on him—and as a HUGE Elizabeth Gilbert fan I laughed and then felt selfishly sad that my ass wasn’t going on a finding-myself-journey to gorgeous countries because lord knows I fucking deserve it.

I don’t want his money.

Honestly, I just want somebody who gets it and if he doesn’t get–he’d be a fucking man and admit that he doesn’t get it and ask me to explain it to him.

I’m not interested in staying in a marriage with a man who deflects OR thinks all my issues are solely about the kids. The kids are just a fraction of the pie chart honey–stop focusing on just their section and start taking some responsibility for your shaded slice.

I’m not interested in staying in a marriage with a man who, during a conversation, rather than LISTENING and HEARING what the actual issues are and then acknowledging them and discussing ways to mend things, he listens just long enough to hear for a pause just to interject some smartass, snide, sarcastic or mean-spirited comment. Or he sips his soda or beer and mumbles some shit under his breath.

Honestly buddy, just because you technically bring in the paycheck to keep the Netflix going, doesn’t mean you can take advantage of me. I am your equal. I am your partner. I am your wife.

I am NOT your employee: I am not a nanny, a wet-nurse, a housekeeper, a maid, a professional organizer, a secretary, an errand runner, a personal shopper, a baker, a chef, a chauffeur, a teacher, a personal cheerleader, a nurse, a medic, a librarian, an art teacher, a craft supervisor, an activities planner, a hostess, the manager of the lost and found, the garage is not my domain, the gift giver, the purchaser and signer of all the cards for holidays and birthdays, the appointment setter, accounts updater, the medication refiller, the keeper of counts, an alarm clock, a timer, a reminder and all the other fucking jobs I have to pull If I was your employee–you couldn’t afford me; based solely on what I listed.

***Your day consists of waking up, making coffee, turning on the TV, waking the kids up for school, watching TV until you drive them 4 blocks, come back home and watch TV with coffee and either play on the PS4 or watch TV until you go to work at 1:30pm. Once you’re at work; you do your walk through, fill out your paperwork and hit all your stops. Depending on the day–you get a nap, or you download torrents on your Soap Operas–either way, you get to listen to whatever you want. If you get pallets, then you take those in. You fuel up, grab a Big Gulp and park at the yard when your day is through. Maybe you stop for gas, maybe not. You come home. Maybe the baby wants cuddles. But back to the TV and most nights the PS4 because the kids are already in bed and I’m nursing Ivy.***

I do all that and I can’t even get a fucking date night? I can’t get interesting and fun sex?

I mean, I COULD if I planned the date, right?

The sex could be fun and interesting if I dressed up, if I wore the heels, if I donned the red lipstick, if I stripped, if I danced, if I did the non-missionary positions, right?

And yeah, going back to the pie chart of my “complaints”–I have a huge issue with the lack of parenting on your side. You know how pissed I am that Evelyn barely does her chores, and when she does, she less than half-asses them…a funny thing happened yesterday, that you weren’t here for–Evelyn took it upon herself to punish the younger girls for not doing their chores correctly and for what she claimed was the young girls arguing and fighting. When in reality–Evelyn hadn’t done ANY of her chores and she was pissed off that the girls were done with theirs and they were playing loudly–too loud for Evelyn to sit and enjoy her social media on her fucking phone. Did Evelyn tell you about that, about her A) lying to me B) punishing the girls for doing absolutely nothing wrong C) not doing ANY of her chores, but sitting on her phone and was annoyed by the kids? And even if she did tell you, what would you have done to discipline her?

Absolutely nothing.

You don’t parent. You’re not willing to parent. You’re not willing to learn how to parent.

I don’t want to parent with you.

I can’t see the future; but I’m smart enough to know that past behavior predicts future behavior and I see no changes or improvements coming.

Read the Warning Labels

Settling. Compliacement. Competition. Facade.

How does anyone really know they made the correct choice for their relationship? You meet someone, your personalities mesh, you “vibe” and things sync. You fall in love and you move to either make things permanent or place meaning on it.

Life seems fantastic. You’re happy and in love. You wanna spend time with each other; but you still have the ability to be yourself–because being you is what made the other one fall in love with you and vice versa.

Tests come and you ace them with flying colors and you’re inspired to take things even further; engagements and marriages. And you weather storms as a united front and yet still have your independence.

Maybe eventually you decide that you have more than enough love to share and you think to yourself; having a little mashed-up version of us running around wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

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“Hello, my name is…Wife & Mom”

Pity Party, party of one.

Why does it seem that being a wife and mother of yesteryear was so much easier than it is today? The ironic part is we live in the day and age of technology simplifying everything. Writing this right now is both a blessing and a curse; the ability to vent about things that concern me helps to relieve the endless racing thoughts that bombard my mind 24/7, but at the same time; you’re criticized for being an oversharer and judged for not handling your dirty laundry privately. Gone are the days of SAHM gathering at one neighbors house, playing cards and sipping Gin, while the kids play outside and you vent your frustrations. Now it’s writing and sharing posts on the internet and having either people commenting in agreement or you’re made to feel worse when people judge you and reply with shit they wouldn’t have the confidence to tell a person in person.

In my 32 years of living, I’ve learned there really is no “safe place” to share anything; everyone is always judging you. And when you come to the realization that there is no safe place; you’re left with all your stressors stuck deep inside you and you either contemplate life being better off without you or you find some way to cope. Sometimes those coping mechanisms are healthy and other times they’re not. Some turn to drugs; either prescribed anti-depressants or they smoke a joint or they slowly kill themselves with heroin. Or they become functioning alcoholics, or they save the alcohol for a rare one night out and they take it too far with binging. I smoke and drink far too much coffee. Others comfort themselves with food. Or punish themselves with the lack of food.

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Cruel Summer. But I’m a Survivor.

It’s been a quiet summer in this household. Not much we can do when most of our income is either going to outrageous bills or being saved for a vehicle or, and in complete honesty, cases of beer, just to mentally withstand all that’s happened this summer so far.

We’re struggling to stay on our feet, but we can’t help feeling unstable when the rug is constantly being tugged from underneath us. But I’m keeping my brains about me. Which is hard. But I haven’t had to deal with my depression in the last few weeks and that’s helped.

One trouble with being in Southern California during the heat without a vehicle to accommodate our large family and an air conditioner that only brings the inside temp to around 87 degrees, is that we’re all cranky and trapped together inside. Our yard has gone to hell because my husband cannot physically fix it the way it needs work, and we can’t afford a gardener right now. I won’t do it because I have an enormous fear of spiders and guess what our house has? A HUGE infestation of spiders, especially Black Widows–really, they’re everywhere. I really wanna hire someone to use a pressure washer and clean the under-awning of the lip of the house, all the way around and then have them spray for spiders and Widows. I’ll tell ya, we’d spend a helluva lot more time outside if I didn’t have to worry about them.

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Breaking the Vicious Circle of Guilt

It’s been a few weeks and the atmosphere has drastically changed at home again.

Derrick and I have our fights. And sometimes they can get bad, real bad, especially when one of us has mental illness and the other tries to understand it, but sometimes fails to grasp OUR reality and it just becomes a huge frustrating mess of shit.

But we worked through it.

We talked and we apologized to each other and without invoking too much emotion, we explained where each other was coming from and it’s so useful to be able to reconnect like that, with a sense of calm maturity, especially after having such a strung-out immature fight that ended up with me sleeping on the couch, ignoring him for days and just being irritable AF. It’s hard living with Borderline Personality Disorder, but I have to imagine it’s even harder for Derrick. He doesn’t live with it, he doesn’t understand that we live with our emotions and anxieties always within the extremes. He may be upset, but I’ll be devastated. He may feel hurt, I may think the world is ending. He may be happy, I get elated. He may be frustrated and impatient, I become enraged.

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Fuck the Facade

Postpartum depression.

I hate those words. I hate them because as a mother, I am bombarded with awareness for PPD and blogs and articles written about how to survive it, where to reach out for help, how you should have a support network and all the signs you shouldn’t ignore. But how does one differentiate “motherhood” and the crap that comes with it, and actual postpartum depression? Kids can be a lot of work, whether you’re a SAHM or a working mom, or whatever. And we lose our minds, we lose our shit and we become short and irritable and frustrated, but where’s the line of when too much is too much?

Over the past 5 years, I have worked my ass off trying to learn my triggers and emotions and signs to know when I’m depressed or entering a manic phase. I saw no signs of Postpartum Psychosis when I experienced it in 2012, it just happened. And though my stability has been rocky since 2012, I’ve managed to be somewhat aware of myself, though I’ve had setbacks.

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Alcohol Was Invented by the Gods…for Parents

Today it’s finally clicked for me, why there’s so many memes and posts dedicated to Moms and their love of wine, or alcohol in general.

I am tired. I am chronically bitchy and irritable and stuck within 4 walls with 5 kids. Their personalities are as wildly varied as their ages; from newborn to teenager and I don’t know how to parent each of them individually. You’d think, after being a mother for nearly 14 years, I’d be a veteran, I’d have this shit pat down.

Sure, being a SAHM is one of the toughest jobs a parent can have, and true, it can be rewarding, but at the same time it can be psychologically damaging. The constant arguing, bribing, negotiating, demanding…and that’s all AFTER the civil conversations. My issues vary amongst the kiddos too; one refuses to do her chores correctly or just doesn’t do them, another half-asses them and I have to go ’round and clean up what they supposedly cleaned and the other 2 just refuse to do their ACTUAL chores in favor of doing the easy things that’ll earn them points on their chore chart. My oldest is lazy, which, I wish if I were as lazy as her, I wish I could be as thin as her. My son, though he is INCREDIBLY helpful and always asking me if I need anything; has a habit of forgetting to do things, things that are specifically spelled out in his chore folder. Then the little girls; they throw each other under the bus for playing rather than cleaning and they get distracted by EVERYTHING.

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