Backdated

I have at least a dozen posts banked. Some of them were meant to go out when I wrote them. Except, I was having serious writers block that I discussed in Perfectionists Anonymous. So, in coming days, I will release a couple backdated posts. These will include, but are not limited to, The Death Trap, The Mood Swing Diet, and The Golden Thread.

This message will update once all backdated posts are released.

Perfectionists Anonymous

We're all guilty of this at one point or another.

Hello, my name is Lulu. And I am a perfectionist.

I have at least six half-written posts ready to roll out. Each contains explanations of what has been going on in my life lately. Yes, I’m aware that nearly a week has elapsed since I posted anything.

Why don’t I release any of them? Because, they aren’t quite right. None of them are actually completed. And every time I read them, I deem that there are entirely too many non sequitur tangents, and start editing. Before you know it, I pulled the wrong thread and the whole thing unraveled! Well, sh*t!

At least I know that I’m getting closer to returning to my original condition. You see, I was born into this world as a perfectionist. It is one of those . . . (dropped the word. Thanks Lamictal!), neurotic tics in my very DNA, bred into one generation after another since the beginning of time.

During the big bang, a collection of cosmic dust got together and became determined on being perfect. In evolution, this was found as a specific enzyme that became a tiny molecule in long DNA sequences. From an amoeba, all the way through vertebrates, into the homo genus, it settled into my first line of ape ancestors 9 million years ago. This was the same ape you saw engaging in curious behavior of sorting leaves for no specific reason. Later, it was the caveman who etched, and then went back to attempt to re-etch cave drawings. Today, it’s a genetic line, mostly comprised of dark blonde Scottish women, that are consumed with the urge to perfect everything.

I hope you could find that as amusing as I did. That was exactly one of those sidebars I was describing. But, since I have deemed this a stream of consciousness post, I can write whatever pops out. Now, I want you to do something for me. Locate the little red X at the top right of your screen. If this gets to be a little too Woody Allen-esque or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, you have your option. Otherwise, note the comment section below.

Back on track, or thereabouts. This started earlier than I have memory. When I was four, I recall the need to conquer everything I hadn’t yet mastered, but I was aware of. My handwriting was always meticulous. That was until I learned that handwriting is not meant to be uniform and is unique to each person. Of course, this happened during the “I am Unique, Hear Me Roar!” phase all teenagers eventually go through. For me, it was more like the discovery of self-loathing in depression that causes complete defeat and perpetuates the cycle of self-loathing.

Here’s where I’m going.

I do not have OCD. Okay, maybe I have some tendencies, but it doesn’t cause me significant dysfunction. I do have a threshold for this. Eventually, I’ll get too frustrated, throw my hands up in the air, and scream, “F**k it!”, as I’m seen setting the proverbial (or actual) fire to the whole thing. (Note: I am not an arsonist. I think. Define arsonist.)

Joking!

That’s pretty much what happened to me. Bipolar disorder probably put the stop to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Before, I was obsessed with perfecting skills and creations. I actually remember my life before Bipolar Disorder! Granted, I was only eleven and younger, but it did exist!

Then, I became distracted with myself. My feelings, my consciousness, my cognition, and my world. It was all about me. I went around with the blow torch and sledgehammer and demolished everything. Because, if it came from me, then it was flawed in design from its origins. It was as flawed as I was.

And for a very long time, I went through a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies through self-sabotage. I carry an inherent flaw. Time to get to the incinerator!

But, as years of treatment have ticked by and the medicine has coursed through my veins, I began a process of ecdysis (look it up, I’m not linking it, I’m busy). I don’t consider this a process of reversion. But, it is not synonymous with metamorphosis, because I am not coming out of the cocoon as a different being. It is something different entirely.

I am moving in a corkscrew fashion down a time line that is supposed to be linear. It is only linear in the sense that one can draw lines down the outside of the corkscrew to find a correlation between that snap shot and the next at the point of intersection in the corkscrew.

So, here I am. A whole month of bipolar of stability. The longest point in my treatment that I have experienced this. And if I were idly questioned, I’d remark that I hardly feel stable. My life is a hectic mess right now. But hey, when is anything hectic organized? Pristine chaos – HA! But, my emotions are solid, though they rattle. Is this what non-Dx people feel like?

Now, I’m busy, so I’m going to stop writing now. Have a lovely day.

The Real Demons

We just passed Halloween, the day where we essentially celebrate ghosts and demons by pretending to be someone else. I love Halloween. But, I have experienced real demons. It’s not something I care to revisit at any time, not even annually.

The subject of Judge William Adams shook me like an earthquake. The tremor was so intense that a number of bottles on my shelf plunged to the floor. This has conjured up very old, very dangerous demons.

Repression is a defense mechanism I had to cultivate. Prior to that, I carried the burden of the emotions that those memories conjured up from their brimming cauldrons. Then, a cycle is perpetuated from those. The circular motion of violence is born, doling out vicious events with dire consequences. Repression is amazing in it’s function. Get over it.

I do not attempt to invoke pity. In fact, I’d rather be despised than pitied.

Get over it has to be emblazoned on my family crest in centuries past along with Suck it up. I learned my lesson by developing pneumonia and somatopsychic symptoms over the summer. It should have inspired me to do some “fall cleaning”. I failed to check under my bed for the boogeyman. Funny, I didn’t see him – I spent most of my summer under there attempting to locate my black leggings.

I need a sounding board. But, I have to divulge some more sordid details of my past before I can get to that.

Yeah, we’ve covered the child abuse in my life. Unfortunately, that paved the way.

I’ve covered my tumultuous relationship with my high school sweetheart. What I didn’t mention was how he violated me. Ugh. I can’t even bear to use the appropriate word: rape.

I trusted him. I consented and then changed my mind. It was physically painful. He pinned me, and smothered my screams in a pillow. “Why didn’t you stop?!”

He lit a cigarette and smiled. “Oh, shut up. You liked it.”

It’s haunting.

I was determined never to be a victim again. That inspired my mutually abusive relationship following. “Love The Way You Lie” on Youtube can give a visual representation. It was the first and last time I ever intentionally harmed someone. I just wanted to hurt him as badly as he hurt me on the inside. I wanted him to wear those battle wounds and carry them with him for the rest of his life. Because I knew I would.

I’m ashamed as much as I’m hurt.

I accidentally opened this Pandora’s box. These memories flooded in with all of the emotions that have infected my brain and stirred my disease. It has colored my world. I am angry, bitter, paranoid, and sullen all at once. Now that the box is opened, what do I do now?

What can ward off demons? Because I know holy water in a super-soaker won’t do it.

Buried Treasure

Thank you, Tori. Thank you, Trent. It’s still a bit hazy. But it is all trickling back into my memory now.

I listened to a lot of Tori Amos and Nine Inch Nails in my teens. Really, I actually went out on a bus to the music store in the square or center and purchased the CDs. (That might put some of you with Mr. Peabody on the Wayback Machine). Since my bout with pneumonia that came fully equipped with laryngitis, I’ve had problems with my singing voice. I wondered how I trained my voice before I had a teacher. And it took me back to Tori and Trent.

Anima and Animus, feminine and masculine sides of my personality and thus, my art. They weren’t role models in the familiar sense that I looked up to them. Something inside me resonated with these two figures through their music.
I sang Caught a Lite Sneeze in the shower. I know, so cliche, right? I guess I hadn’t put any thought into what the song meant in many years. Seeing it now, through adult eyes, made it mean something different.

She’s describing the push and pull of a relationship and the particulars about the man. Why did it have to be so complicated? I wanted to hear it again, so I started to listen a “Sessions” version on Youtube. And then, I knew who it was about. In the end, it was about two people who were meant to be that never were.

The hazy memories of who I started my life as came into focus. Other than shedding some naïve notions and gaining some cynicism, I have finally come full circle. I am that girl in the woods. The only difference is those woods became my home.

I was a dark blonde, long haired, chubby, short girl with big, dark framed glasses. You could always find me with a pen or an instrument in my hand, a song in my heart, and an ache in my soul. Mostly, I looked brooding or electric. I was quite a character.

“At work, I really let my freak flag fly,” I said proudly to C.S.

Today, I am a bleach-blonde, moderately weighted, short woman with Buddy Holly glasses. You can always find me with a Blackberry or a Pilot G2 pen in hand. There is a strong voice with song that made a nest in my heart for loved ones. My soul sparks and stirs, with both warmth and burns from the fire within.

Why did I have to lose myself, to throw myself away entirely, in order to really find myself?

Green, Silver, Yellow and Orange

Are you wearing any of these colors today?

It was brought to my attention by Manic Muses’ Post.

The statistics are sobering. Per NIMH, 26.2% of American adults are afflicted with a mental illness. (I only use the term mental illness when referring to symptoms causing significant dysfunction correlated to a diagnosis). That is more than one in four! In addition, 1 in 17 live with a serious mental illness. So, I’m not a 10. I’m actually a 17. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you are too.

Those statistics are compiled from census data. That means, people who were already diagnosed. Can you imagine the numbers if the people who are falling through cracks had a head count?

I’m at work, wearing my silver sweater and my green t-shirt today. I have love written on both of my arms over the beaten path of scars past. I will be happy to explain if I am asked directly. I am taking my first baby steps out of the shadows. Because, it breaks my heart too much to see people fall through the cracks because they lost their voice.

I have a voice. From this point forward, I vow to use it. Not just for me, but for everyone who is struggling too.

Why should I hide when the numbers are so big? Chances are someone may whisper, “Me too.

The Little Box of Lies

Let me tell you the tale that led to this post.

My husband and I pulled up to the gas station. He said, “If I pump, will you run on and grab the cigarettes?” That is usually the plan, and I hopped to it. When I got inside, I opened my wallet and remembered. This morning, T.D. snatched my debit card out of my purse. I grabbed it off of him, and thought I threw it in the blackhole that is my purse.

I took my bag back to the car and tore through it. C.S. Then informs me that the pump isn’t accepting his card because it’s too worn. My anxiety flaired up, “It’s not here. It has to be at home.”

C.S. huffed, “I guess we have to go back home and get it. Where is it?”

I answered in a panicked voice, “I don’t know. I have to look.”
I ripped through the house in a panic. Not on the table, not on the bookshelf, not in the basket, not anywhere. I dumped my purse on the sofa and still there was no sign of it. C.S. was sitting in the car staring at me. Time and patience was wearing out. I made the last ditch effort and rechecked my wallet. It was there I discovered that my debit card was in another compartment of my wallet. It had been with me the whole time.

I got back in the car and C.S. asked, “Where was it?”

“Bookcase,”I lied.

Everybody lies.

Sometimes, we don’t intentionally lie. It just happens. But then, there are other other times.

I am about the bluntest person you would ever meet. I don’t play games and I don’t manipulate. I don’t out and out lie. In fact, I am pretty much incapable of lying. It actually causes physical and emotional distress.

However, I have been known to drop little white lies. I have lied to avoid a useless argument. I have deceived people to protect myself. And I have lied to save myself from a serious consequence.

How many lies do we tell in a day? To others? To ourselves?

I find myself lying in small ways everyday. For awhile, I lied to myself about my weight gain. I lied to myself when I said that I’d start my diet tomorrow, with every single cookie.

I lie to my husband. Usually about stupid stuff because I didn’t want to start an argument. His is the only opinion in the world that I care about. So I don’t want to tell him that I need that nap in the afternoon. Or tell him anything else that would change his opinion of me. That’s sad, really sad. But it’s the truth.

I have a lot of confessing to do. In private.

Do we all really lie? And what about?