Friday, June 15, 2012

Mirror, mirror on the wall............... be honest, I've been sitting at the 'ole laptop here, contemplating what I'd like to write about for this post.  I've got a ton of ideas in my head right now, but they all seem to keep coming back to one central point.  Healing from within.

The only way I'm going to start healing is to start at the  Selfish?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  At least, my doctor seems to think it's the right place to start.

I took the state insurance licensing exam last week, and I passed.  (Yay, bonus points for me.) Afterward, I literally collapsed and fell asleep for over a day and a half.  I guess energy drinks packed with B vitamins can only take you so far before your body says, "I'm done!"  I've recently discovered a new nutritional program through one of my high school classmates, called ViSalus.  I am SO planning on getting this stuff when my final expense check from my previous employer comes in.....which should be any day now.  There are testimonials from diabetics who began using this program, and they are now no longer taking any medications for their diabetes.  And my doctors are always telling me I need to eat better and lose not?  You are what you eat, and if you only eat good stuff, that's what you'll get & project.  As a matter of fact, there are studies that state that 30% of the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be treated through the right amount of diet, exercise, and nutrition.  The same article suggests that reading will also slow down and strengthen the mind, as well as sparking the imagination.

But, I awoke on Saturday last week and immediately took myself to the ER at the VA, as I had crunched my wrist somehow during the time I was studying for the test (to this day, I still don't know how I did it), and I've messed up the ligaments in my right wrist.  But after that, I've been left in stasis, waiting for my license to actually be issued by the Department of Insurance.
It's given me time to think.  Again, as many of my friends (or enemies) may tell you, this is a dangerous past time for me.  But today, I'm hoping beyond all hope that what you read after this will help you begin a journey of healing from within.

First, I need to get something off my chest. I'm not feeling too happy today.  On the Mood State Pyramid I received from my friends at my first DBSA meeting, my mood is somewhere between a 2 (depressed, indecisive, lethargic) or 3 (mild depression; pessimistic, irritable), and I'm feeling a bit teary-eyed.  I'm lonely, and there's someone specifically that I miss.

I've avoided talking about this person, or even talking to this person, because of the way things happened and what was said during our last communication.  I know this person is still extremely pissed off at me, and after some self-reflection, rightfully so.  But in the same turn, I'm still pretty pissed off at them.

I don't think it's a secret that I have botched up my relationship with my daughter.  Yup, I said it.  *I* botched things up with my kid.  I own up to the fact that I called her some pretty horrible names, I said some pretty horrible things about her directly to her, which does NOTHING to help her own sense of self-esteem or security.  I originally thought that what I did was going to be in the best interest for both of us, i.e. cutting off communication until she can apologize for her disrespectful behavior, but now, I see that she was exhibiting only that which she learned from BOTH of her parents, not just her dad, but from me.

If there's anyone out there that thinks that they aren't rude, disrespectful, or just down right wrong from time to time, they're kidding themselves.  We're human.  We're imperfect.  And those of us who have a mental illness know this all too well.

The plain and simple truth is, I miss my kid.  I wonder how she's doing, I hope she's having a fun summer; I'd like to think that she thinks of me, but something in my heart tells me she doesn't give a shit right now.  And honestly, why should she?  She's getting to do everything she wants this summer, including NOT seeing me because it would be in her words, "boring."

But so much has changed since then.  It's only been 9 weeks according to the Betty Boop calendar on the wall, but so many things have happened.  I no longer work for my previous employer at the photography studio; I've got my own place; I've got a professional license (it's just not here yet); I'll be working for myself, basically; my divorce is almost final (minor details need to be hashed out, like my husband needs to file the damned paperwork), and I'm doing things that are helping me to heal, get better.  But I can't share any of these things with her.

See, I told her that I would not contact her unless she could come to me & apologize for being disrespectful to me & calling me all of these horrible names (of which "a fucking whore" was among them, as well as asking me " what the fuck kind of medication are you on, woman?"), and that if she wanted to talk to me, that she would have to come to me.  Since then, I've flip-flopped on whether or not I should try contacting her first or to stand my ground.

I've read quite a few articles today on how to mend a relationship when one of the people is bipolar.  BP Hope Magazine, has an excellent article on the topic.  The magazine is written by those who suffer from bipolar disorder, and by doctors.  Some authors are both, and thus lend a lot of their knowledge to helping those in need.

But, what if the roles were reversed?  It's my child that's been made to deal with a mother (or the lack of having her mother there), who's bipolar?  She's been made to endure upheaval her entire life.  Her father & I divorced when she was 6, we fought over her for years after that, there were several physical moves out of state, then, when I started to get treatment & help for my illness, I met someone else that she didn't like (nor did anyone else for that matter), thus putting more strain on our relationship.

I tried to be a good mom.  I tried to teach her about responsibility, respect, family.....but reflecting back on it, it feels as though she didn't want to have anything to do with me at all.  Is it because her father and his family told her things about me that they shouldn't have? Was it because *I* told her things I shouldn't have?  I don't know.  Even with the events of just a couple of months ago, I really don't know if that was the case.

I do know that she was made to grow up way too damned fast.  She even bitched about it in her rant against me in her scathing email.  In evaluating my relationship with her, I'm left wondering, "What if?"  And that's the type of thinking, of which I have to break myself.  I'm not going to kid you or anyone else, especially myself; it's difficult, yes.  But not impossible.  I found an article on, where the author gives straightforward answers to questions regarding when you should take a break, to cutting them off completely.  As I read it, I began to cry, because I realized how my actions and words would be considered as a termination or cut-off of our relationship.  And that was the furthest thing from my mind when I told her I wanted her to contact me first.  But here I am; it's June already.  I didn't send her the birthday gift I purchased for her (as this all went down, literally, a week before her 15th birthday); she didn't send anything to me for Mother's Day.  And neither of us called the other. I'm doing my level best not to wallow, cry, or get emotional.  And I'm doing everything I can NOT to speculate, "guess," play the "what if?" game, or shoulda, woulda, coulda's. 
All I can do/say is this:
  1. I'm sorry.
  2. I love you.
  3. I miss you.
  4. I am getting better, but it's a day-by-day process.
  5. I'd like to try to mend our relationship, but it's going to take time, patience, love and most of all understanding on BOTH of our parts.
I found another article, from a teenager's perspective.  It's from an online support group,  And it too, made me cry.  It's just a short little blurb about how this teen feels about the way her bipolar mother treats her and does things.  And they're the same things that my daughter said, almost verbatim.

My heart broke because I finally was able to see that I had a hand in that thinking.  I wasn't the only hand, mind you, there are quite a few people in my daughter's life that have major influence upon her both past & present, but I am owning up to the responsibility of my role.  I want to make that clear.

But it boils down to one simple truth: I need to learn to forgive.  Not just her, but myself as well.

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you."~ Lewis B. Smedes

It's hard to forgive yourself for things you've done, especially when it hurt so many others.  But you've got to do it.  You've got to try.  And forgiveness, isn't just this romanticized thing where you wave a magic wand and "POOF" you're forgiven or you're able to forgive.  You have to get stronger and build up to it.  It's going to take time, strength which you don't know you possess yet, and hard work.  And hopefully, with a bit of guidance, I'll get there one day.

Peace, light, love.
Be well.
Oh, and a very special thank you to my friend, Heidi Bowles Ellis, for turning me onto this group, Gossip.  It's a great song, and one that just "fits" for this post.
And if you're reading Cierra, here's a great place to get answers, if you want to look.

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