The Woman Who Played With Matches

Tuesday was a big day. The Blackberry – now dubbed BB4, because I’ve determined I’ve doomed any inanimate (and potentially animate) object I name, arrived. And I struggled at every step getting the damn information transferred.

A compulsion dragged me into two different pharmacies in town, in search of a replacement Sharpie pen. I obsessed about it. I couldn’t continue writing in my journal without it. The writing wouldn’t look right. I saw the hideous tag of $9 and change for two. And I decided that day that my sanity had a price.

I continued with my regression therapy experiment by listening to The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails. The album as a whole. Still nothing but lyrics. I can’t ever remember where I put my phone and my cigarettes. But, I’ll never forget a single lyric from any of those 14 songs.

All day, obsessions. These obsessive, intrusive thoughts snagged and snapped at me.

You lose everything remotely important. Check your bag for your pens. Your cigarettes. Your phone. Check again and make sure you see it. Did you put it back in there? Check again.

The world whizzed by me. And the music blared:

“Need you.

Dream you.

Find you.

Taste you.

Fuck you.

Use you.

Scar you.

Break you.”

Eraser

C L I C K .

– – – – –
“Fine-ally!” I seriously thought my bladder was going to literally burst inside of me. I pulled myself to sitting on the beige bench seat, all the way in the back. My heavy sandal fell off of my foot and landed directly on my copy of The Downward Spiral. I plummeted at freefall speeds. And upon impact, BANG! I was fiercely sobbing, van door open to a busy, boiling hot highway.

I rustled myself out of that van, and into that rest stop. I lit up a cigarette in a stall (back when you could smoke almost everywhere), and continued to sob.

“What the hell are you causing so much fuss about?” I heard from the stall next to me, “Me and your dad will buy you a new one when we get there.”
– – – – –

My father wouldn’t let me have anything that held any value. I didn’t even carry a wallet until I was 18. I didn’t carry a purse until I was 21. Why have these things without valuables. He insisted that I’d lose it.

When I did lose something, I’d never hear the end of it. Things I’ve come to realize can be easily replaced. A pen. A hat. The trouble is that these things never were replaced. If I lost something, and I loved it, it was gone forever.

Gone forever.

“Everyone I know, goes away, in the end.” Trent purred.

I was eager to get the key into the lock. I couldn’t remember the last time I had to go so urgently. I threw my bags on the sofa as I rushed through. I shedded my coat onto a kitchen chair and turned the corner to the bathroom. I walked up to the toilet and –

The seat was up.

Why was the seat up? I was the last one in the house.

A cloud descended upon me. A dark, nasty, vile cloud filled my head with heavy, smokey noise. It seemed a man had been in my house. And seeing as how only two men have a key to this house, and know the odd work hours I keep, that narrowed it down.

I take my father at his word. The man doesn’t lie. He would just avoid the subject.

That knocks it down to one.

“Confront him.”

“Wait! Don’t! Confronting a potential liar gets you nothing but more lies. Provoke him into exposing himself.”

I fired off a text, “Someone is busted.”

Normally, there is a lag time between fifteen minutes to three hours between texts. “I’m just so busy with everything going on! I’ll go to text you back and something will come up.”

More excuses. I don’t expect to take precedence every day. Just one day would be enough.

Immediately, a call shot to my cell. I nonchalantly answered the phone. At first, he carefully poked around. “Who? What do you mean? What happened?”

We didn’t speak while he was coming home. Unusual. He was only quiet when he was either alienating someone or plotting. I had him cornered.

When he arrived home, he put on a great show. He anxiously scoured the house looking for clues. In paranoia, he wedged himself between the fridge and the wall to boost himself above the drop ceiling. It was quite the farce.

He made a mistake. My husband, a man who is not guilty of anything and deeply crippled by anxiety, would not have given up so easily.

He was chipper when asking, “Would you like to take a walk over to the store for freezer pizza?”

I was bitter and suspicious. He hadn’t regarded me in that way in nearly a month. Each revision of behaviors became more noticeable. He eagerly set up the stroller. He made a pass of the exterior of the house for good measure. Only a pass. It was anything but thorough.

“So who do you think it could have been?” he uneasily questioned me.

Fishing.

“Anyone.”

“Like who.”

“Everyone and anyone who could gain access to our house. Whether it be by force or key.”

Some more silence.

He rattled off a few very unlikely people. Forced. Any shift away from focusing on him. The insinuation was nowhere near vague. If there was something to hide, I’d find out. I made that unmistakably clear.

He trotted through the store. Suddenly, necessary items considered to be superfluous became important. I begged him for toothpaste when I had thrush. I knew it would clear faster. But, though we had just gotten paid, there was no money available.

He was overly enthusiastic about everything. At one point, he went to the Digiorno pizzas, and exclaimed what a great price they were. I had done so three months ago, and was shot down, claims they were still “too expensive'”, and returned to the same nasty, three, overcooked Tombstones.

Fake. Appeasing me. Buying my distractions.

I glared as he rushed through our taxes without complaint. We have never done our taxes so late. Never down to the wire like this.

Irresponsible. Careless. Uncharacteristic.

I fished through his cell phone for clues. He’s clever. He would have erased any tracks. He’s too paranoid to let anything revealing slip.

I have my reasons.

Big Money, No Whammy, STOP!

What does it feel like to have 20 Grand hanging in the balance?

I ran I Bet Jekll Felt This Way past C.S. a couple of nights ago, in so many words. I rarely read directly from the page. I’ve gotten in hot water by doing that before. Sometimes, there are just some words that shouldn’t pass from my lips.

He stood across the kitchen poking through the elephant box while I sat at the table. He suggested, “Maybe it’s one of the supplements. Are you taking any new ones?”

I answered, “No, not really. I started Adrenomend again, and I’ve already been taking the Brain Energy for a few weeks now.”

“I’m going back down to bare bones. Something is causing me a problem again,” he mentioned, as he swallowed a handful of supplements.

I considered his suggestion. But, I knew that my brain can’t survive a chemical shift without shifting itself. I wasn’t about to add fuel to the fire and risk facing something scarier than this. I’m taking about a dozen supplements for various reasons. I wouldn’t be able to break something else before figuring out how to fix this.

Doctors recommend ceasing all medications / supplements when it’s impossible to discern which one is causing the problem. What about just starting the shed the most recent ones, regardless of whether they have worked in the past? There are only two potential risks. Either I take something away that causes a bad day, or I don’t take away the right one and I continue in the state of dyphoric hypomanic paranoia.

I took away the two most recent additions, Adrenomend and Brain Energy. C.S. suggested taking away Adrenomend, because he had a bad reaction in the past.

Of course, he suggested that the panic attacks were rebound anxiety from “too many benzos”. “That’s their gimmick, give you medicine that causes anxiety.” I’ve been on these for two months now. You’d think I would’ve had a reaction by now. Well, I am the woman who had a life-threatening reaction to an epidural 20-25 minutes after receiving it. *Shrug*.

So far, so good. Yesterday, I managed to handle surprise fire drill with no problem. I’m not anxiety free, but I’m panic free without my midday Xanax. I’m a little more fatigued than usual, so that indicates something was pushing me toward hypomania. The anxiety might be residual. Anxiety is like a virus in the respect that it generalizes and mutates as it takes hold.

My only hope is that those supplements were the only thing holding back the flood gates of depression. Because l know I haven’t paid the piper yet for my last hypomanic episode.

In other news, I thought I’d mentioned C.S.’s promotion we’ve been waiting on. We finally got word, and it wasn’t the one we were hoping for. The big wig at the top didn’t go for it. He’s upset about the staffing budget and put out a hiring freeze. But, C.S.’s department manager isn’t giving up on it.

We didn’t have any numbers before this. Today, I was texted a number than blew my mind. I wrote back, “Not even in my wildest dreams did I even consider that number!”. It’s $20,000 more than he’s making now. Yeah, my mouth dropped to the floor.

But now, it’s in limbo.

I bet it feels like winning a lottery, but then nobody has the money to pay up.

I Bet Jekyll Felt This Way

I’ve mentioned this in recent posts. But now, it’s gotten to a point where I’m not even sure what is going on anymore.

In case any readers aren’t up to date, I’ll summarize with some links. This all began with my last cutting episode. We determined that the mixed emotions I was going through was dysphoric hypomania. It lasted 16 days and I though it was over when I got sick. I thought I went from hypomanic to panic. But, I’m not sure that’s the case.

Yesterday, I was hit with panic earlier in the day. My mind started drifting and I got this urge to call off of work. I had this strong feeling like something was very wrong. However, since I’ve been in the throws of panic lately, I figured it was anxiety. That was that.

I started feeling very bad at work. I’ve been feeling ill – unsettled stomach, puffiness, etc. At work, it was magnified. I became nauseated with a throbbing head and a terrible stomach.

I wasn’t right in my head to handle kids today. I let them pretty much do what they pleased, within certain boundaries. I snapped out at my 3rd grade class because their behavior was atrocious. More than anything it was agitating because of the extreme annoyance. Children don’t typically annoy me. This was a clear sign that there was something very wrong.

Later, one of my co-workers pointed out a mistake I had made. I took it very personally. I became inexplicably angry that he would dare correct me although I knew I had made the mistake. I wanted to jump down his throat and tear him a new one.

But, I feared that he would put me up on the chopping block. I became paranoid, thinking he was the unidentified source who reported concerns to my boss about my performance. He had it out for me. He secretly didn’t like me and wanted me eliminated.

At that point, I had the mother of all panic attacks. I sat still, far in a corner of the room. I was trying to plan an escape route without anyone becoming suspicious. I had to get out. I couldn’t get it out of my head. But, if I left early, then someone would be upset. I’d be giving them even more reason to send me away.

I couldn’t wait to get home. Home, the only safe place left. And yet, just three months ago, I would’ve said that about work.

Here’s the question. Am I hostile at work because I’m feeling threatened because I’ve been having panic attacks at work that are making me delusional? Or, am I actually still in a now dysphoric mania with serious paranoia and delusions?