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Ask The Band: Mad, Angry, Mad Son

My oldest son is truly in a bad bad place.

He’s a very angry child. We sought help from his therapist and psychiatrist, and finally, after weeks and weeks of fighting we got diagnoses.

He was diagnosed with co-morbid bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, depression, and anxiety.

It finally felt like we were getting somewhere.

Until…. that deep dark place got worse.  Now we’re fighting every day to keep him out of inpatient hospital stays.

I walk on eggshells when we talk because I don’t know what is going to upset him. I’ve had a continuous migraine for the past five days because just thinking about him makes my own anxiety sky high.

He’s a good kid and has such a good heart  – I just don’t know how to help him.

Does anyone have any ideas?  I am all out of ideas myself and  I’m mentally worn out..

He’s just so angry and mad at the world.

I just want my happy kid back.

Ask The Band: My Abusive Husband Threatening Murder & Suicide

 

I’ve been with my husband for eight years – married for five of them. We have a beautiful four-year old son, three dogs, and a cat. For the most part, we are a happy family.

My husband has been diagnosed with ADHD, borderline personality disorderbipolar disorder and, most recently, major depressive disorder.

He has been treated with different medications for all of those things. The latest diagnosis we are treating is his major depressive disorder…

…but there’s something else there, aside from the depression.

There is rage– an all-consuming rage.

As long as I’ve known my husband, he’s had these episodes.He loses control, and snaps on everyone and everything in his path. He’s broken windows, phones, end tables, lamps – the list is never ending.

When these episodes happen, the man I married isn’t there.

He’s gone, and something else takes over. He’s told me on numerous occasions that he doesn’t remember what occurs during these episodes.

He can remember the episode, but he doesn’t remember his words or actions. He told his psychiatrist that he almost blacks out when he gets to that point in his rage.

She gave him some more medication, and basically said, “See you in a month.”

He feels worthless, and that makes him angry. He isn’t a talker, but when he does talk I can hear the anguish in his voice.

He says nothing happened to make him the way he is. Nothing terrible – nothing worthy of the rage inside him.

He doesn’t want to be this way, he doesn’t want to be anxious and hopeless and angry and sad.

But he doesn’t know how to stop.

It used to happen when he couldn’t find any weed. Then someone would come through with some, he’d smoke it, and the world would right itself.

But more recently, it’s been for no reason I can understand. A month ago, he put a loaded shotgun in his mouth, and he told me, “Good-bye.”

That ended with a police escort to the local hospital.

He spent three days there, changing his medication and talking to someone for ten minutes a day. He attended group sessions, and when he came home, he was ready to be better.

It was a week before he had another episode.

And since then these episodes have been happening every 3-5 days. Some are more serious than others. The last time, he threatened to kill himself.

Unfortunately, that isn’t anything new, except that, this time, he also threatened his mother and I.

We’re going to try therapy, but right now, it feels like he’s a ticking time-bomb, set to go off at any second. From the outside, I know it doesn’t look like he’s trying but he is, he really is.

So this is where I need help, The Band: 

Do I stay, or do I go?

Do I walk away from my husband because he’s sick? Or do I stay, even if it’s to the detriment of my sanity, and my child’s well-being?

I don’t know what to do and I have no support network.

My son’s father was never in the picture, and my mother is a recovering addict – currently incarcerated. My godmother, the woman who raised me, is dead. I have a brother, but he has no job, and no home.

My best friend was witness to the gun incident, and has mostly given up on me. She told me that I’m codependent, and making terrible choices for my child. She thinks I should leave my husband, like she did. But her husband was an alcoholic – mine isn’t.

My in-laws have been terrific. Any time we need somewhere safe, their home is always open. But they are elderly – one of them is in a wheelchair. I feel I can’t burden them with this. I feel I am making them choose between their son, or their grandson and I.

Where can I go? What should I do? Please, The Band, help me. I feel so alone. I’ve prayed to every god I can think of, and I still feel so lost.

There is no handbook for when you marry someone with mental illness.

The Squirt Bottle

Unable to have children of our own, my then-husband and I had the opportunity to have a foster-to-adopt situation with a precious little girl.

Just before her adoption, we were asked to also foster her little sister, who was about to be born.

I was hesitant. I didn’t want to take on a child who had a high chance of returning to her birth parents. But I couldn’t let my little girl’s sister go to strangers, so we said yes.

As time passed, the birth parents weren’t doing their part, and I felt more and more like she was my baby, and I would have her forever.

I should have been happy. I had everything I’d ever wanted!

The money the state paid us to take care of foster children made it possible for me to be home with those two pretty little girls all day. I had always wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom. And now I had not one, but two children to take care of! The girls were happy, and the best sound in the world was their laughter as they played together.

glitter on woman eye mommy wants vodka

I wish I could say my husband felt the same way.

He was resentful of that baby as soon as she entered our home.

He hated all the time I was spending with her, instead of him.

He was jealous.

Of an infant.

This one particular night breaks my heart. I wish I could go back and change things, but he had trained me for years not to question him. Fear of his anger kept me frozen.

The baby had learned to stand. She was so proud of herself! There was no stopping her now!

From the time she was a newborn, she had always hated going to sleep, and getting her to settle down for bed was a long, drawn-out process. But with her newly developed skill of standing, it became much worse. I would lay her down, she would stand up. I would put her down again, she would stand right back up.

One night, he had enough. “I”ll make her learn she has to lay down when it’s bedtime,” he said.

He came into the girls’ bedroom with me when I put her to bed.

I laid her down in her crib, telling her goodnight, same as I always did. She stood up, and he sprayed her right in the face with the water bottle we used on the cats when they were doing something wrong. I was horrified!

But what was I supposed to do? He was my husband, and I was afraid to question him.

The battle of wills between a man in his 40’s and a less-than-year-old baby went on for a while. I would lay her down, she would stand up, he would spray her in the face.

Finally, he pushed me too far. She was soaking wet, dripping on her sheets. I knew even if she did go to sleep, she would end up getting sick from trying to sleep in her wet clothes and bed. I took a chance and said, “That’s enough!”

Amazingly, he walked out the door without saying a word.

I took her out of her bed, pulled her wet clothes off of her, dried her with her little hooded towel, then put clean, dry pajamas on her. Then I changed the bedding in her crib and started the bedtime process again.

When I walked out of the bedroom, she was back to standing in the crib. I walked out to the living room where he was watching TV. I looked him dead in the eye and said, “Your way didn’t work, and you’re never doing that again.”

He didn’t argue, and he never tried that stunt again.

I think he figured out that there was only so far he could push me when it came to the children.

He could belittle me and mistreat me all he wanted, but don’t mess with the Mama Grizzly Bear.

How Borderline Personality Disorder Affects My Life

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can be a challenge for those who experience it and their loved ones. 

This is their story.

I can only write this from my perspective, of course. I can’t tell you what my family goes through. I don’t know what my friends experience. I could guess, but that would be it: a guess. But here is what I go through, living with Borderline Personality Disorder.

First is the rage. I can literally see the switch in my head flip from peaceful to ready to explode; I only wish there was a visual clue to those around me. I fill with rage in an instant, and it just explodes out. I’m not violent with it, though that is an impulse I fight every second. My only real hope of it never getting that far is to find the right combination of medications.

borderline personality disorder

From there, impulses. Everyone has basic impulses. Gut reactions. Instincts, even.

The thing about my impulses is that they can be very less than helpful: the impulse to quit a job because of a hard day; the impulse to hurt myself because of a rough week.

I am very lucky that I’m through the job-quitting phase. Every one I’ve left has been for a solid reason. But each time, it was the final straw-impulse that put me there. I’m just lucky my love of current job is stronger than my impulse for self-defense that leads to the “I quit.”

As for the impulse to hurt myself, that started right before I was in the hospital for the first time, and it ended before I got pregnant with my second baby. It lasted less than 6 months, and I don’t plan to do it again. Another impulse that isn’t worth it.

Not all impulses I have with Borderline Personality Disorder are that extreme.

Most of them are standard – not thinking before I speak or act. A lot of it can be brushed away as minor. But words and actions do hurt, and not everyone is so quick to forgive. Worse yet, years of verbal impulses can chip away what patience there is. And I see what I’m doing – I know the pain – but I’m powerless to stop it. I honestly don’t know what I’m saying until it’s out of my mouth.

I know, I know… think before you speak. I’m getting better. I wouldn’t be married otherwise. Here’s the kicker: I can usually convince myself something is harmless or can be explained to be harmless in the two seconds it takes to think before I speak. I’m not usually right, though.

I think splitting is one of the worse parts. Imagine your entire world is black or white, where black is evil and white is godly. Everything is one of the two, no half and half, and NO gray.

That’s splitting. It mostly pertains to people who have Borderline Personality Disorder, but does not have to.

My husband, Pat, has been flip-flopping between the two for years now. He can flip ten times in one day, or he can go days or months before a flip. It has a lot to do with how we are treating each other.

One minute he can be making me dinner and he is white as hell.

The next minute he used instant mac and cheese, not the regular, and he’s suddenly evil. True story. My defense? He knew I wouldn’t eat the instant shit, so why did he bother making it?

Not everyone is one or the other, but this doesn’t mean they are gray. We’ll call them transparent. I don’t think there is a better way to describe it. They are the random people in the world you come upon who leave little impact beyond the few minutes in their presence. A cashier who wasn’t bad or good, just transparent.

And my kids, we’ll call rainbow. It’s like a whole different way of thinking.

As for myself, I’m usually black or transparent.

That’s just how life with Borderline Personality Disorder works.

I’m Tired

I’m Tired
I’m tired of acquiring but never keeping nice things; possessions I work arduously for that are torn up, soiled or otherwise destroyed.
I’m tired of endless piles of laundry, clothes strewn across the floor, indistinguishable as clean or dirty, but washed again nonetheless.
I’m tired of chaos, of the arguing, of the drama and constant conflict that ages my soul.
I’m tired of being shown how for granted I’m being taken.
I’m tired of never knowing if I’m coming or going.
I’m tired of feeling responsible for the complete care of everyone else and sacrificing my own care of self.
I’m tired of feeling chronically exhausted.
I’m tired of my complaints and concerns being pushed aside, minimalized and marginalized.
I’m tiring of knowing “things could always be worse” as a means to not being able to be entitled to my emotional journey.
I’m tired of listening to others during their times of deepest sorrow, frustration or fear and being a pillar of strength for them but rarely being given my own time to grieve.
I’m tired of being told I’m hormonal.
I’m tired of having my emotions rationalized for me.
I’m tired of being expected to “deal with it” and accept that “it’s just part of being a parent” or “being an adult”.
I’m tired of feeling like I cannot still express my inner child, have big dreams and be encouraged to chase them.
I’m tired of adults bullying other adults.
I’m tired of divisiveness and actions that only perpetuate further trauma and abuse.
I’m tired of being an angry white female.
I’m tired of feeling threatened by PRIVILEGED WHITE MEN
I’m tired of fearing for my own safety, bodily autonomy and well-being EVERY DAY.
I’m tired of, when expressing my concerns and frustrations, being called names like snowflake, FEMINAZI, bitch and CUNT.
I’m tired of working myself until I’m literally ill and yet still feeling immense guilt for purchasing that $19 shirt at Target.
I’m tired of the pressure to be the perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect daughter/sister/nurse.
I’m tired of attachment titles.
I’m tired of being expected to take a side when my beliefs lie somewhere in the middle.
I’m tired of women having no safe place to candidly talk and share without fear of persecution, name calling or mean-spiritedness.
I’m tired of male violence against women.
I’m tired of watching so many of my fellow brothers and sisters continue to live lives full of anger, resentment and self-entitlement, oblivious to their own inner demons.
I’m tired of Dr. Google. I will always side with evidence backed scientific studies.
I’m tired of watching parents put their children at risk for a lifetime of illness because of a handful of conspiracy theorists.
I’m tired of trying to explain facts to those same people and them finding a means to justify EVERY SINGLE TIME.
So, I’m tired of selective ignorance where there is a literal WORLD of information at mere fingertips.
I’m tired of reckless, self-serving decisions of others that may adversely affect countless people.
I’m tired of online battles, egocentric conversations and people’s inability to say “I’m sorry” or “I was mistaken”.
I’m tired of being oppressed because of my gender.
I’m tired of being objectified because of my outward appearance.
I’m tired of consistently having to maintain a stern exterior to protect my children and myself from pervasive predators.
I’m tired of mean, bitter people.
I’m tired of always being strong.
I’m tired of being responsible for everyone’s emotions, blatantly disregarding my own.
I’m tired of letting things roll off my back all the while knowing they will  puncture me on the way down.
I’m tired of pretending I’m always unbreakable.
I’m tired of violence, both via the media and in the world.
I’m tired of endless wars, of which neither party will ultimately win.
I’m tired of our elected officials, having taken oaths to serve citizens and country, acting like nothing more than selfish, insecure middle school children.
I’m tired of relentless mind games, fear mongering and empty threats.
I’m tired of being tired.
I’m tired of taking on all of this weight.
I’m tired of being accused of attacking others when I can no longer keep it all in and finally break down and speak my mind.
I’m tired of the fragile male ego and the need of constant reassurance.
I’m tired of watching women lessen themselves to help a man feel significant.
I’m tired of toxic masculinity.
I’m tired of men trying to justify their bad behavior as “urges” or “needs” or the old adage “boys will be boys”.
I’m tired of watching the world in its current state; its destroyers in utter denial.
I’m tired of ALL THE GREED- It has caused abuse, war, human mutilation and countless children’s deaths.
I’m tired of society’s RIDICULOUS expectations of the ideal female form.
I’m tired of fake tits, tight asses and flat tummies.
I’m tired of men expecting “perfection” in a woman while they fill their ever expanding waistlines with chicken wings and beer.
I’m tired of the ass-patters, the at-a-boy-ers.
I’m tired of seeing blame shifting, scapegoating and flat out lying all in pathetic attempts to save face and avoid accountability.
I’m tired of feeling stretched far too thin, always dancing on the edge, but never actually jumping.
I’m tired of cooking countless dinners, only to have them picked at by children.
I’m tired of washing dishes with tears of frustration in my weary eyes because the dinner I made and threw out was the last of the food budget.
I’m tired of pretending to be OKAY.
I’m tired of never being allowed to own my feelings.
I’m tired of sharing and being condemned for doing so.
I’m tired of hard swallows and “I’m fines” through gritted teeth and clenched fists; anxiety attacks in the bathroom between motherly duties.
I’m tired of pushing through my own emotions inappropriately in order to quickly address the needs of others.
I’m tired of finger pointing; defensive, argumentative conversations.
I’m tired of waiting for inevitable civil war, feeling riddled with anxious anticipation EVERY DAY.
I’m tired of the pandemic that is disrespect, both for others and self.
I’m tired of trying to fix everything.
I’m tired, I’m tired. I’m tired…
I think it’s time I rest.

I originally wrote this for my blog this past September and it remains one of my favorite writings to date. Thanks for reading!

#feminist #metoo #womensrights #angryfeminist #female #motherhood #powertothefeminist

Bunnies, Huh?

When I think back through my life, I feel pretty sad. It’s been a kinda sad life – at least I think it’s been. You know, childhood can be pretty rough when you’re the Outsider. No friends to speak of – token or otherwise. You’re just alone. Your folks send you out to play every day, but there’s no one to play with. No one you get along with.

Sure, you made attempts, tried to make friends, but it never happened.

That’s how my childhood went. I just couldn’t make a single friend, not for the life of me. So I focused on alternatives to social activity. Being alone all the time, books and video games quickly became my consolation. But I clung onto my anger at a world where I couldn’t have even one friend.

I thought”

“Maybe when I grow up, I’ll be a librarian or a scholar.”

None of that ever came to pass, though. It was like I couldn’t muster enthusiasm for living after I gave up on the world around me. I never really thought about it at the time, however, I was caught up in myself. I was really, truly lonely, all the time. I didn’t think that would ever change.

Even today, I often can’t shake that feeling.

Have you ever thought about what animal best represents you?

I think most of us have. Maybe most people would think about the animals they like best and choose one of those: a lion, tiger, wolf, bear, fox, horse, something cool.

I think I’m most like a bunny: shy, nervous, and looking for social attention, cuddling, and friends. I’m more prone to flee than fight.

Earlier tonight I was feeling alone, frustrated, like my existence and struggles were all pretty futile and pointless. What I really wanted at the time – and even now – was just someone to hug me, hold me close, and be soothing and calm. To know someone was nearby who cared. What I have right now is not at all like that.

Part of the downside is that I don’t have good coping mechanisms. Talking – hoping people care, or listen – is the closest thing I have to someone being here and holding me so I feel safe. I feel like a nuisance because of my lack of coping mechanisms and because being held isn’t something that I only need a few times a month.

It’s a few times a week, at least. My anti-suicide mantra has been:

“Why bother rushing what’ll come soon enough anyway? Maybe I can use the rest of my life to be helpful, and if I’m really lucky, find some value in myself.”

I lean toward a belief in rebirth, that I have lived innumerable incarnations before this life and will continue to do so after this life. Going forward or backward doesn’t seem particularly important, it’s just a point in a stream. It’s what we do in the present that has more relevance, our planning for the future that matters.

I tend to ramble, sometimes I don’t make a lot of sense; I’m not even sure why I’m writing right now. A friend linked me here to Band Back Together, and I’ve held onto the link for a few days.

Today I felt like I needed to do something. And I didn’t want to log into a suicide chat room or contemplate means of suicide.

Even knowing I have a few folks who care about me, I just hate that feeling of being alone.