Thursday, December 31, 2009

thoughts in the middle of the night

The new guy in my bed is adorable. He just moved in a few days ago. His name is Ribbit, and he's an orange tabby cat who used to live with my brother and sister-in-law. Princess Spooky, who's been the only pet in residence here for the past 2 1/2 years is not taking to him too kindly yet, but hopefully that will change.

If things were different, if I didn't have this illness, there are so many paths in life I would have corrected. I dated this very intelligent, creative librarian briefly about five years ago, when I was psychotic. He didn't know I was psychotic, and neither did I. He ended up moving out of state to go to graduate school. I ended up in and out of the hospital and moving around from place to place for a long time. If I hadn't had this illness, and if I was better at forming close relationships, perhaps we would have stayed together. He would have been an excellent with which to stay together for a long time. I look back and think - "what if I would have been able to think clearly? what if I had been able to handle life and not live in a state of constant chaos? what if I had gotten a chance to marry him?"

Life goes on. It's not wise to look back too much, but sometimes I cannot help it. Life goes on, but you will never know how much of a difference a few changes in choice or circumstance could have made. You are left only to wonder. We are, all of us, hurdling towards death. I'll die without accomplishing a few million things that I would need a few more lifetimes to accomplish.

What if I could have finished college at 21 and found a full-time job, and stayed thin because of not needing antipsychotic medications that make people gain 100 pounds? What if I had a child? What if I was not alone so much? What if there was someone here to talk to other than my computer keyboard and my two lovely cats?
What if I didn't hear things that aren't really being said? What if I didn't see things that aren't really there?

What if.......

The librarian guy actually dated me when I was in one of the most pathetic states of my life. So on the upside, one could say, looking back at that, that I actually functioned pretty well for a totally psychotic person, with having a boyfriend or two during a period when I had no car, only a rented room to sleep in, no job, and basically no life. I can look back now and think, at least I was able to socialize to some degree and meet other people. If only I had known I had this illness. It would have explained so much. In a way, it's remarkable that I interacted with a number of other human beings who never realized I was psychotic during those years when I was. Odd.

I don't want to die alone. Who does, really? I held my grandfather's hand as he was about to die a few weeks ago. I wonder who will be there when I die. Obviously if I never have a child, which is probably the way things will go, I will never have a granddaughter who could be there - or a bunch of greandkids, and adult kids.....I don't think it is in the cards for me to be a mother. But I think about it. I think about what if I didn't need all these medications that are so toxic. What if I could physically be healthy enough, and medication-free, that it would be fine to have a child with someone. Then the only problem would be finding the someone. I don't really want a child, but I'd like to have the option of having one open to me, and it's really not. I can't live in a hospital for nine months, and a psychotic person doesn't make a good mother, and without the medication I would be completely psychotic.

Things are so much better now in many respect ts than they were five years ago. I have no handsome, intelligent boyfriend. No boyfriend at all. But what I do have is an apartment, a car, a job, a college where I'm going to be taking classes again, a couple friends, two cats, a therapist, a case manager, and a psychiatric ARNP (and insurance to pay for all those people thanks to President Roosevelt who created Social Security). I do not have to resort to desperate measures to get money with which to survive. I don't live in somebody else's house, or in a motel room, or in a homeless shelter, or in my car. These at things for which I am very grateful.

Nothing is perfect. There will never be a way to accomplish the zillions of things I want to accomplish. I won't get to live out all of my dreams. But there are accomplishments I can make, and dreams I can fulfill, which is what I am trying to do now, little by little, one step at a time. My therapist says that I am a very ambitious person and that it gets me depressed because I can never live up to all my own expectations. This may be true.

I wanted to get a PhD when I was younger.I probably could have done it, without this illness. At minimum, I could have gotten a BA degree. Perhaps I still can, but I'm not entirely sure there is any point to it now. I will work hard to finish my associates degree that I've been working on, off and on, for fifteen years, but after that, I'm not sure I'll go through any more college work. I am not sure I can. This semester is going ot be extremely challenging because the only classes that I am allowed to take now are the math and science and ethics courses I need to graduate. I had to file two appeals for not meeting the college's standards of academic progress and not achieving a degree in a timely manner. Luckily the appeals passed, and I am allowed do take courses. If all goes according to plan, I'll be able to pay for them with financial assistance. But this is the last time I'm going to do all those appeals. I am not going to give up on school this semester and start again another time. I can't keep doing that all m life; it's ridiculous. So I am not giving myself the option of failing this time. I cannot withdraw from the courses. I cannot give up. I cannot get too overwhelmed. I have to do it. I hope I can.

Just some thoughts.

Friday, December 25, 2009

2009: Looking back on a year.....

"It's been a long trip with little days in it and no new places."
~Anne Sexton, "Flee On Your Donkey"

I have always had that quote run through my mind with great frequency during the difficult times in my life. However, I feel today that this past year has been a long trip with long days and lots of new places.

It's been a long year in some respects. On the other hand, I can't believe it has been an entire year since last Christmas.

This year, I broke my addiction to Diet Coke which had been a major part of my life for 19 or 20 years. I lost 57 pounds, gained ten back, so technically lost 50 (since April).

I saw my sister graduate from college after her nine years of struggling with financial and other burdens that made it difficult for her, and made her success all the more awesome.

I said goodbye to my grandfather.  I saw my grandfather die. I went to the first funeral I've ever attended.

I saw The Lion King in New York City on Broadway.

I completed my first year at my job at the college where I work, and where I sometimes go to school.

I watched Obama becoming president on TV, cheered along with all his other fans, and then got disappointed at the expectations he failed to me, like many other fans.

I started exercising regularly, several times a week.

I went back on Risperdal Consta injections every other week, because the voices and delusions were too frequent and too much a problem without that medication. I saw a decrease in symptoms after a few months of being back on injections.

I realized I didn't miss my ex-boyfriend -who broke up with me two years ago-anymore.

I went to a lot of movies.

I made people decoupage presents for Christmas - meaning I did some arts and crafts for the first time in the past few years, and I enjoyed it.

I listened to a lot of music, every day.

I learned. I learned to persevere more. I learned to be less afraid of the world. I learned to accept my imperfections as what they are - a part of my human self, more than I did before. I learned I didn't need anybody the way I used to think I needed certain people in order to survive/be happy/feel normal/live up to my dreams.

I dropped out of school. Again. I prepared to go back to school. Again. I am going to do it.

I wrote, on this blog, on Facebook, in emails, because out of all the things one can do with her time in this life, writing is my favorite exercise, and I no longer have a boyfriend living with me who makes my personality feel necessarily stifled.

I watched too much TV. I ate too much sometimes. I let my apartment get really messy. I cleaned my apartment up.

I realized I will probably never have a child. I thought about that.

I reminded myself to breathe more frequently.

I became more comfortable in my own skin.

I spent a lot of time talking to my therapist, who deeply enriches my life.

I became an active member of the National Organization for Women, went to several conferences, and donated a lot of my time towards feminist work.

I volunteered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which is an another organization whose efforts I strongly support.

I realized once again that my dad and I are not close, haven't been close for a long time, and most likely will never be close again. This made me sad. Again. But I remembered again that this situation is not entirely my fault.

I walked around my neighborhood. I walked in parks. I walked on treadmills. I stopped going to physical therapy because the therapists decided I was able to exercise on my own. I stopped experiencing significant physical pain every time I tried to walk for more than ten minutes. I started walking for 20 minutes, then 30, then 40, then 50, then 60, at a time. I learned to love walking. I thanked the universe for my working, functional legs.

I worried about money. I worried about my car needing repairs. I worried about unpaid medical bills, bad credit ratings, calls from collection agencies, and a lack of funds with which the situation could be fixed. I worried about money for food. I worried about money for bills. I worried about money a lot. I felt jealous of people who don't have to worry about money.

I was grateful that I have more money now than I did during many other times in my life. I was grateful that I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and adequate psychiatric care.

I went for a second opinion on my psychiatric diagnosis at a university mental health clinic and learned that the second opinion was the same as the first. I continued on my regular regimen of medications and therapy.

I took thousands of pills, to keep myself able to function. I hated them all, or, ratter, hated the reasons why I have to take them. I thanked the universe for the pills because I couldn't live without them.

I stopped getting my nails done because it is ridiculously expensive and causes infections on one's fingers. I vowed to never visit a nail salon again, and never went back to one.

I felt grateful for my friendship with my closest friend who lives near me, and who I spent time with during many weekends of this past year because we like to see movies, and have long conversations in bookstores, and laugh together.

I missed my old friends who I don't hear from anymore. I also realized I can live without them.

I exchanged cds and little gifts and emails with an online friend who I am grateful to know.

I had periods of happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment, gratitude, and calm.

I had periods of psychosis and terror and confusion.

I heard voices most days, at least a few times. I lived with it.

I was me.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

2000 miles (people I miss....)

I miss people. I get existentially lonely sometimes, and begin to ruminate about a person or persons who I miss because they're not in my life anymore, and I liked them. Illness does that to you; it takes people. Sometimes, it takes the best people. They don't know what the matter is, and they don't understand your behavior. They think you are insane, and they don't want to deal with your weird mood fluctuations, bizarre ideas, and dangerous actions. So they leave.

I've never been one who had tons of friends. I'm shy; that's just my personality. I also have incurably low self-esteem, so it's hard to make friends. But I did have some close friends who are all gone now due to the illness, and a couple of boyfriends who weren't around long at all, but might have been if things had been different.

Then there was the main person. My person, as Meredith Grey would call it, on Grey's Anatomy (I probably shouldn't admit to watching that, but oh well). Her "person" was her best friend, Christina, on the show. My person was this guy. I wrote about him here, a while ago, but I deleted most of those posts because they were embarrassing, and also, too personal for the blogosphere. To sum it up, this guy was my closest friend, but it was long-distance, and not much of a "normal" friendship. And I also was basically convinced that we were soul mates. It's not just that I fell for this guy, but that I developed this entire fantasy world about him and I having this romance, which we never had. My fantasy worlds started when I was a kid, and I suppose one could either say that they were normal exhibits of creativity, or that they were early signs of psychosis, depending on how one views mankind.

The fantasies go like this: There's the intelligent, somewhat attractive, friendly young woman (or girl, because I started these thoughts when I was a kid), and then there is a close best friend, and some other friends, and, most importantly, there is The Guy. I referred to the guy in previous posts here as Mr. Wonderful, but now I think that term sounds a bit to sarcastic. The guy, in my head, would be named something like Neil or Ethan. The girl was always Chloe (if I had a daughter, I'd name her Chloe). Well, at least those were the names in my young adult years. I think the names were different in childhood. So, anyway, this was all a fantasy world, a creative process that I used as an outlet. There was never any harm in it at all. Being really shy, this fantasy world helped me to not be as lonely as I would have been without it. I spent a lot of time alone, thinking up stories about my characters and their happy-yet-always-tragic lives. Very emo, and "Twilight" and all that - when I was young.

Then later, there came The Guy. I met this guy, and somehow, for whatever reasons I can't really explain in a blog post, he became the real, live "Neil" or "Ethan". His name was a different name, but he was the person who I believed was my soul mate. I thought that meeting him was destiny, that we were meant to be a couple. At first the guy said the same things, and then later, he made it really clear he wasn't interested in that kind of relationship, partly, probably, because he lived in another state.

Over the past 12 years, the guy was a major focus of my thoughts, my energy, my life direction....the guy meant a whole lot to me. He never realized how much he meant to me, and will never know, I guess. But there was also a secondary issue going on, which was a problem. Whilst I became psychotic and developed Schizophrenia, I began to believe that people could read my thoughts, that I had psychic connections with certain people (particularly The Guy), and that my emotions could be felt and understood by other people even though I did not outwardly express them. So I could be sitting around in Virginia, thinking about The Guy, who was living in Connecticut, and think that he knew what I was thinking. Later, I became convinced he was one of my Illuminati/Satanic Cult/Masonic "mind control" programmers. I thought he was my handler. I believed that for quite a while. I was not medicated, was totally psychotic, and did not know that I had Schizophrenia (and if anybody did bother to tell me, during one of my numerous hospital vacations, to this day I do not recall that).

So now, fast forward to 2009. I am not psychotic anymore. I have no contact with The Guy anymore. He ended that completely a year and a half ago, and I don't blame him for it. I haven't tried to contact him since then, because I'm not that much of a masochist, and because I really do care about The Guy, who is obviously perfectly happy without me being in his life in any way.

But then the ache comes. "Lonely" is a lame word. The feeling an isolated person gets when theuy're burning desire is to have a connection with another living human being, is more than "loneliness". It's angst. It's pain. It aches. So I have a hard time sometimes with my thoughts about The Guy. I miss my old friends, too. I miss the young women who I loved dearly as close friends, and who all disappeared after they couldn't deal with my mental illness anymore. I never lived near any of them, but we became close over the internet, and I met two of them in person. We corresponded all the time for years. Then that was over. I still miss them. I don't blame them for cutting me out of their lives. I was mentally ill, and I did not know what was wrong with me. I did weird, ridiculous, confusing things, and said things that were inappropriate and bizarre. I was needy and scared and sometimes absolutely terrified, and I reached out too many times to those friends for help.

But, I have gotten used to life without those friends. One of them is still a dear friend today, and I appreciate that more than I can express, because she was a witness to all of my bizarre behavior too, but it didn't scare here away.

I have never gotten used to life without The Guy, or thoughts of The Guy, or the basic fable that I've lived with about the omnipotence of romantic love and how it is the cure-all for everything. I've never quite gotten that out of my head. I've also never stopped thinking about the funny things they guy said, the interests he had which I liked, the intelligence he possessed, and my grandiose, delusional conviction that we are soulmates.

I don't know, honestly, how to express how much this has negatively affected my life. But it has. A lot. I have these times where I would give anyting just to get an email from the guy saying "hello". Anything. And that, I know, is simply pathetic. But, in some ways, I was addicted to this guy. I trusted him implicitly and didn't truest many other people. I still don't trust many people. I lived with my last boyfriend for nearly two years, and we were together for three years. After we broke up, I missed him for about a year. And then I was over it. I never really miss him at all now. But I still miss The Guy, most likely because the guy and I were never actually involved in person so we never got to see the nitty, gritty, ugly humanity of each other, and the flaws that might have made the other person seem less ideal. In my head, the guy was The Guy, though, and sometimes, more often than I'd like to admit, I feel that I was meant to be connected to him, and I wish we were at least still pen-pals, if nothing else.

I've dated numerous people over the years. I was, before I gained 100 pounds, relatively attractive, and didn't have a hard time meeting guys. I met a number of them, but none that I felt was a real "match", except for two I dated (one the ex I just mentioned), and none that I felt was a perfect match except The Guy.

I don't know if I'll ever get him out of my mind. I think about the people I miss more often, I guess, around holidays, and times when people spend more time together with friends and family. I see my family, and I care about them of course, but I do wish that I had more friends in my life. And I do hope that, before I die, I have some kind of life partner with whom I can exist.

("2000 Miles" is a song by the Pretenders.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

You'll walk home, and other misinterpreted data

My therapist thinks there is a seasonal fluctuation of my symptoms, in that they are worse in the fall and winter than in the spring/summer. I am not sure she is correct about that, because I've had some pretty severe symptoms before in the spring and summer....but this past summer, it was probably not so problematic. I suppose she may be right. If she is right, then spending some time outside every day would be a good idea, if I could find the time to do that. It would mean waking up earlier, which would mean either getting less sleep or going to bed at 8 PM, like a five-year-old, but if I had to, I could do it. I'm not sure it would help, though, so I'm not sure it should be a huge priority. I'll do a test-run, and see how it goes, I guess.

The holidays are always stressful on most people, I believe. We have unrealistic expectations of how things are supposed to be just like they are on a Hallmark made-for-tv movie, but they never are quite like that because our family members don't read from the right script, and things go awry. My family is supremely dysfunctional, always has been, and always will be, but that doesn't differentiate us much from the rest of the United States, which I feel is a pretty dysfunctional nation in a pretty dysfunctional world. That said, I do get stressed at this time of year. Last year, I went to Disney World with my mother and had a horrible time that night hearing voices and having delusional thoughts - it was for the "Very Merry Christmas" event they have, which is really rather nauseating even if your mind is working correctly. Disney bothers me. But what I mean about that trip was that it was at this time of year, and my symptoms were very active then.

So, perhaps it should not come as a surprise that my symptoms are popping up right now. I fail to really see a clear period of time in recent history where I was not having any symptoms. Maybe I should read this blog more often. I know there must have been some months in the past year where I didn't have any kind of auditory hallucinations, but right now, I really don't remember that time. It's hard for me to explain the things that I hear, and the thoughts that I think, so hard that, even here, in the one place where I can openly talk about these things without fear, I am not always very prolific in my descriptions at all. So here is a lay-out of some of the perceptual problems I have:

-I'm at work, and my job involves answering a switchboard. People say things like "Gotcha", and I think they mean they've caught me in an Illuminati-CIA-New World Order-spy conspiracy, they've caught me giving away secret information by mistake, they've caught me committing a crime (they are the thought police), and I'm screwed now.

-I'm at work, and answering the phone, and people say "Bye" when they hang up. I hear them say "Die". All day long. I answer about 100 phone calls a day at my job, and it's only a part time job. It's a lot of times to hear people telling you to die.

-I'm at work, answering that same phone, and people say, "Bye", and I interpret this to mean "Buy", which means I just sold myself (my soul, basically) to them because in the New World Order/ Illuminati/ Conspiracy Realm in my brain people buy and sell other people verbally all the time. The goal is to not buy too much, but to sell well.

-I say "So" to someone, on the phone or in person, and I hear myself say "Sell". I hear other people say "So" and I hear them saying "Sell" at the same time. People say "so" a lot, when you start to pay attention to it keenely every time you hear it.

-People say "Thanks", and I hear them say "thinks", this means I've done something good and proven that I can "think" like the Illuminati world wants me to.

-People say "You're welcome", and I hear this as "You'll walk home," and this means that when the day comes that we all walk across the state to the concentration camps in north Florida I will be amongst those who are treated like Jews, and sent to work and die in the camps. This is a disturbing thought to have, but particularly when you've had it hundreds of times for several years in a row.

There's more. There's the way that, when I'm in any kind of group setting, I feel people are interpreting my thoughts and programming my brain, right in front of me by pretending to be talking about something else using "doublespeak". I hear this a lot in my therapy group, and the "group" only has one other person in it besides the therapist. Therapy groups are always hard on me because of this problem. It happens more often than not, much of the time. Probably most of the time.

There's more, but I don't feel like talking about this all anymore today. Maybe some other time. I'm also not sure that my descriptions will make sense to you at all, so let me know if they don't, please. Thanks for your comments. One reason I don't do detailed descriptions of "symptoms" like this often is that I feel like I am giving away confidential, secret information that is meant to never be spoken about, since a large part of me doesn't think they are "symptoms" in the first place, but simply believes they are real.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The passing of my grandfather, and the end of an era of misinformation

The figure in the bed was not recognizable. It was a shrunken, dehydrated, thin, discolored, unconscious person who looked nothing like my grandfather. I arrived at the hospice straight from the airport. I wanted to see him before it was too late to say goodbye. But I was not prepared for what I saw.

In the year and a half to two years since I had seen him, Pop's body had grown more weak, more sick, and more full of pain. I did not realize how badly he was doing. I had cards in my living room, a whole pile of them, which I kept forgetting to send. There were postcards with pictures of different tourist-y areas that we had been to with Pop when he used to visit here when I was a kid. I meant to take them to my dad's office and ship them up there, since I can mail a package there for free, and I kept forgetting. For months, I forgot. I never got them to him in time. I got them to him while he was lying there, dying. The nuns said he could hear us when we talked to him. The nurses said this too. I'll never know if they were correct or not. I hope they were.

The things I had to say were things I instantly wished I had said months earlier. I wished I had mailed the cards. I wished I had called more often. I wished I had said that I loved him before he got to this point. I will probably wish that forever.

I had apologized in the past for the accusations I made while I was floridly psychotic years ago. I had explained that I had a mental illness and I wasn't thinking clearly at the time. But somehow, I knew I hadn't said it enough times. I had thought there was more time. I had thought it was too difficult to explain it again, even though I knew that he had never forgiven me for the accusations. I knew that, but I didn't know what to do about it. So now, watching this man dying, I had many regrets.

Mostly, I cursed my illness for making me think the thoughts I had thought were true, and I hated myself for being vulnerable to this illness, for not knowing better, for not being able to know the truth, for saying the horrible things that I said. I regretted how I screamed at him when I was psychotic, and how I called the police and had them go to his house and investigate, and how he never understood (probably) why I did those things, and how I never was able to make it clear because almost no one in my family will ever discuss mental illness.

I hated myself. I hated the situation. I wept. I don't mean that I cried; I wept. I was sobbing, huge, heaving sobs, unable to breathe. We were alone in the room. I held his hand. I sobbed and said I was so, so, so very sorry. I said I loved him, and I meant it. Looking at this weak shell of a man, I remembered him as his old self, how he used to look, and how back then he wouldn't have liked any of this. He wouldn't have liked the sobbing or the holding hands, or any of it. He was a proud man, and not a sentimental sap. I knew that. But when somebody is dying, I was learning, the atmosphere changes. You say things you couldn't say before. You do what you thought you could never do.

I hate this illness. I have to say this right now, because writing this post, what is going through my mind more than anything is how much I hate this fucking illness. I hate it. I hate Schizophrenia, in all its forms. I hate psychosis, and I hate the fact that there is no cure for it. I hate how psychosis destroyed my relationships with my family members, and how the legacy it left will never be erased. I hate that my grandfather thought I had intentionally lied about him, when really I had only been saying what was going through my psychotic mind. I hate that I never knew, never even had a clue, that I was psychotic for years. Years. Years that were wasted. Years I can't get back. Years when I could have had an explanation for myself and for others, to understand what was wrong. Years that are gone. I hate this illness.

A few days after I arrived in Baltimore, my grandfather passed away. I was down the hall when it happened. Everyone in my entire family (on my mom's side) had been there to visit at some point before he died. My cousin had a wedding two days before he died, and because he would have wanted us to be there, we went to the wedding, my sister and I, and my grandmother and other relatives. I hadn't planned on that. Since my life became disrupted by this disease years ago, I hadn't heard much from most of my family, and I wasn't invited to any of the other weddings that my other cousins had during the past few years. Never got an invitation to them, but this year, I was invited, and I happened to be in town, so I went. I had to step outside during the reception, a few times, because the noise was making me hear things, and I was sad and needed to cry.

A couple of days after he died, it was Thanksgiving. We were at my aunt and uncle's house, and I was thinking how strange it was to be there, because there had been long periods of time when they wouldn't have wanted me in their home, and when they never talked to me. But things have changed, and, hopefully, people could see that I had changed. The day after Thanksgiving, we had the wake. That was hard. The person in the casket looked completely foreign to me. It was so different-looking from my grandfather that my brain had a hard time accepting that the person was actually him. I thought maybe there was some mistake, and he would come out from around a corner, laughing at us all for not getting the joke.

The day after that was the funeral. The first one I've ever been to in my entire life. All of my cousins, my sister, and I got to take part in it. My grandmother asked me to read something for the funeral. It was picked out by the Catholic church where we had the service. It was sort of a prayer. My mom had said that she didn't think it was appropriate for me to be involved, ostensibly because people still blamed me for the things I said when I was psychotic years ago. But my grandmother asked me to read it anyway, which was nice of her.

The day after the funeral, I went home. The day after that, I got my injection which I would have gotten a week before if I had been home to get it. Luckily, I didn't experience too many serious psychotic symptoms because of missing the shot. I have Had some issues with hearing things, and thinking that people are CIA agents and Illuminati spies, but all in all, I held up relatively well, I think, considering the circumstances. My family doesn't all hate me anymore, and it was nice to come away with that knowledge. Maybe everyone never did hate me, but in my mind they did, and that was so painful for such a long time, it was nice to see that I was wrong about it, or that, at least, people were willing to get along with me.

During the trip I stayed at my grandparent's house part of the time. I hadn't been there overnight for ten years, because that's how long it had been since I first became psychotic and was not wanted in their home again. My last trip up there, I stayed with my dad's parents because my mom's father did not want me staying in his house. This time, I was there to see him, and it was okay with my grandmother that I stay in her home. I know she doesn't know much about mental illnesses, but apparently she knows enough to understand I hadn't meant what I had done back then, and I am better now.

NAMI Florida sent a bouquet of flowers to the funeral home. They were lovely, and I told my grandmother they were from a mental health organization. She wanted to give NAMI a thank-you card.

Since this blog has never been about my family - partly because I don't have permission from them to write about them anywhere, and partly because they may read this - I normally don't discuss family occurrences or issues here. I have to be particularly careful about that these days, so when I wrote this post, I waited a few days before posting it here. I think it says enough of the truth to make sense without giving a bad impression of anyone or disclosing too much personal information that I don't have the right to write about here.

My grandfather died of cancer. It's a wretched disease, obviously. Since this blog is about a mental illness and my life with that illness, I didn't focus this post on cancer. Cancer matters to me, too, of course. But what damaged my relations with my family was never cancer. It was mental illness. And I am still recovering from that damage, as are my relations with other people which were damaged. Someday, maybe, the people will really understand. Perhaps I will manage to write a book, in which I'll explain everything in detail, and people will realize, I was not making false accusations against anyone because I was a bad person when I said the things I said about my grandfather years ago. I was very confused and very sick, and operating on a base of misinformation and ignorance to what was actually wrong with my brain. I hope that someday, I can also forgive myself.