Tuesday, May 08, 2012

a little uncomfortable here....

Blogger friends, are you out there? I am nervous. I write this blog mostly for you people who also write blogs. It became clear a long time ago, that you're the people who will write comments and let me know you were here, therefore, this blog is mostly geared towards other people who have mental illnesses and write blogs...not that I am against anybody else reading it. I just don't want people I know to read it. Like, ever. Really. So if I know you, can we just say this is a deal, and have you now exit this page?

I kind of made a mistake recently. I shared a letter I wrote to a senator with some people from NAMI and they published it in the newsletter. That was okay. But I mentioned my full name and the name of my blog in the newsletter (and they put a picture of me to boot). Which is really not okay at all. I tried to convince myself nobody would read it. My mom said, "What if someone you work with reads this??!!" when she read the letter in the newsletter (thanks for that one, Madre, and I hope you never read this yourself). I told myself, "Nobody is going to read it." Well, that turned out to be inaccurate. Some people at the last NAMI meeting told me I should write a book. That was a nice compliment, and it was okay that they read it, because I actually told them about my blog when I spoke to their class for family members. I guess what did not occur to me was that I was going to see them again in this lifetime....

Then today I went to the community mental health center and the pharmacist (how do pharmacists always remember my name? surely this is a bad sign) said he had read my article in the newsletter and he really liked it. So did the woman who  works with him in the pharmacy. That was nice, but really, why did I put the name of my blog in that letter that I allowed to be printed in a newsletter? A simple Google search for the name of this blog will  quickly land one right here. Right where I am totally exposed to the world, in all my psychotic glory. Great. Just what I wanted to do to myself! Embarrassing details are written here that I don't even talk about with mental health professionals. Needless to say, I would prefer that mental health professionals never read these things!

So, I guess what I'm saying is, if I know anybody out there who happens to be really bored sometime and ends up reading this blog, it's fine, but do me a favor and don't mention it to me ever. I would really appreciate that. Because it's very uncomfortable to think anybody I know has read any of this. It was terrible when I found out a long time ago that my mom and other family members had read it. I shut down the blog temporarily because my mom was freaking out at me for something I had written (needless to say, pretty much everything I write here would freak out my mom), and I deleted some posts. I don't want to have to delete posts again. I learned the true meaning of the term "regret" when I left a lifetime's worth of diaries in a storage facility in Virginia and never got them back because I had no money or logical thought processes to manage to do so. That is something I would never do again. Ever, ever, ever. Not even to hide them (which is what I was doing) from the CIA and the Illuminati, because I was psychotic. I don't delete stuff here anymore. I decided at some point in the past that if my mom reads it, she will just have to learn to deal with it. But I choose to believe my mom doesn't read this blog.

Does anyone understand what I'm saying? Afton/In the Pink wrote on her blog a page I read a long time ago to people who know her in real life. I might need to do that and post it at the top. By the way, her blog is excellent if you haven't read it.

The other dumb thing I did was send out this email to a bunch of people - pretty much to everyone I know - trying to raise money for NAMI and get people to sponsor me in the Bowlathon. It occurred to me (things always occur to me too late) later that this most likely would lead most of these people to believe I was a formerly homeless mentally ill person (which is pretty much what I hinted out directly in the email). And that is, well, that is rather unfortunate. I also sent it to two reporters! I wanted to raise awareness for NAMI, fully expecting neither reporter to read it, but one of them did read it and wrote back. At which point I told her I had Schizoaffective Disorder (do not ask me why because I have no idea what possessed me to do this). Not exactly the way I want to present myself to the world. I mean, obviously I'm not totally secretive about it, but as I have mentioned here before, like many of you, I am also not totally open about it. And until they stop stigmatizing the hell out of people with the term "schizo" attached to their name then I do not feel I owe it to the world to be totally open about it because it is not my job to fix the problems of planet earth singlehandedly. Therefore, I reserve the right to pretend I am fully functional and sane whenever I please. Which I do, quite often. It seems to work, though of course, if it's not working, I wouldn't know because most people are not going to come up to you at work and tell you that they figured out that you're batshit crazy (I like the way Marya Hornbacher uses that term in the book Madness: A Bipolar Life).

Anyway, I guess this is a rather useless post. But perhaps some of you will relate. Incidentally, I am actually raising a little money for NAMI. So far two friends have given me a total of $35 for the Bowlathon. One of them is my neighbor who lives on $800 a month, and once spent nine months in a state psychiatric hospital where she gave birth to a baby she was forced to give up for adoption. Seriously. She was very adamant when I mentioned that I was going to this fundraiser that she definitely wanted to contribute, even though I tried to talk her out of it because she can't really afford it.

I also bought a couch for the first time in my life. It was on sale at this store called Big Lots that I go to all the time. I had this savings card so I saved 20% off the sale price. It's a discount store, and probably the cheapest store where it is possible to purchase a new couch anywhere near where I live. I felt that, at 37 years of age, it was time I allowed myself to use some of my tax refund and purchase a couch. Plus, my mom always would  tell me how horrid my old couch was. Turns out she was apparently right about that, because I haven't been able to get anybody to take the thing off my hands including the Salvation Army, but that's okay because a homeless man has made it into his bed for the week (my neighbors be damned). I was not (and am not) remotely manic when I bought the couch; it was something I thought about doing for the past couple of years. Anyway, so I'll attach a picture of the kitties on the new couch. My cats are both five years old now: Ribbit the Little Lion and Princess Spooky the Chat Noir. I talk to them about anything I feel like discussing, and they are very good about not repeating it in English.

"Silent All These Years"

~By Tori Amos

Excuse me but can I be you for a while

My dog won't bite if you sit real still

I got the anti-Christ in the kitchen yellin' at me again

Yeah I can hear that

Been saved again by the garbage truck

I got something to say you know

But nothing comes

Yes I know what you think of me

You never shut-up

Yeah I can hear that

But what if I'm a mermaid

In these jeans of his

With her name still on it

Hey but I don't care

Cause sometimes

I said sometimes

I hear my voice

And it's been here

Silent All These Years

So you found a girl

Who thinks really deep thougts

What's so amazing about really deep thoughts

Boy you best pray that I bleed real soon

How's that thought for you

My scream got lost in a paper cup

You think there's a heaven

Where some screams have gone

I got 25 bucks and a cracker

Do you think it's enough

To get us there

Cause what if I'm a mermaid

In these jeans of his

With her name still on it

Hey but I don't care

Cause sometimes

I said sometimes

I hear my voice

And it's been here

Silent All These...

Years go by

Will I still be waiting

For somebody else to understand

Years go by

If I'm stripped of my beauty

And the orange clouds

Raining in head

Years go by

Will I choke on my tears

Till finally there is nothing left

One more casualty

You know we're too easy Easy Easy

Well I love the way we communicate

Your eyes focus on my funny lip shape

Let's hear what you think of me now

But baby don't look up

The sky is falling

Your mother shows up in a nasty dress

It's your turn now to stand where I stand

Everybody lookin' at you here

Take hold of my hand

Yeah I can hear them

But what if I'm a mermaid

In these jeans of his

With her name still on it

Hey but I don't care

Cause sometimes

I said sometimes

I hear my voice
        I hear my voice

       I hear my voice

And it's been here

Silent All These Years

I've been here

Silent All These Years

.....I always liked that song.

P.S. to the Uninitiated: If you are somebody who doesn't have a mental illness and just found this blog, perhaps it will help to read wrote some good descriptions of hallucinations like this. It would be harder to write stuff like that now, because, most of the time, I'm not experiencing serious psychosis now. So I actually do forget some of the details, or else, I don't bother mentioning them because I've already done so before on this blog. For example, these days about 5-10 times a day I am hearing my phone ring when it's not ringing (sometimes when it's not even turned on, because I turned it off so I would know it was not ringing). As my mother woud say, "that is not normal at all". But for me this is a really minor problem, so I don't talk about it in detail anymore when it happens. I notice it, and it makes me nervous, so I hope it goes away, but it's not something that is new to me. It wasn't happening for a long time, but it started up again; now it's just like when it happened before - not new to me. But if you are new to this stuff, it's okay that you read it. I would prefer you don't come up to me if I ever am around you and tell me that you read about something I did when I was psychotic, but if you are trying to understand what it is like, then it is okay for you to read it so that you can understand better. The pages at the top of the blog have some stuff that might help. Also check out the other blogs linked on the lower right hand side and the blogs of everybody posting comments, because these people are brilliant. You have to understand that recovery is possible, so whatever you read, don't forget that the people who wrote it might be better now than they were then and they might be better next year than they are now.


one brave duck said...

i will have more to say about people you know reading your blog in a bit... it's a heavy, heavy issue for me because of the mess it caused between my sister and me...

but anyhow. what i mostly wanted to say is i can sponsor you a little bit for the bowlathon, but do you have paypal? i live in canada so sending a cheque isn't really cost effective. i make a little money on the side from selling photos and i keep that money in paypal to do things just like this. last month i sponsored a friend on a bike a thin.


Jen Daisybee said...

Hi Catherine,

Well, NAMI Pinellas (my chapter that is doing the fundraiser) doesn't have Paypal that I know of. But thanks for offering! I don't know if I can legally collect money via paypal to donate in your behalf myself, but if I ask somebody that I am guessing they would say signs point to no. I appreciate you're offering though!

Ethereal Highway said...

Oh, I so understand. I like to stay anon on blog and yet I have posted a few pics. I even moved my blog once when I got hits from here in town. Also, I have suffered many bouts of blogger's remorse in the form of writing just a bit too truthfully and being upset afterward. Sadly, I often feel immense shame after being too truthful. That makes me sad. But right now I am a bit irked that any of us suffer for admitting that we suffer. That's really awful. It's not my fault that I have the problems that I do. It's not your fault, either, and I totally understand your feelings about this kind of thing. What I don't understand is why people can't just accept that not everyone is exactly like them and sometimes people have problems and they don't get to choose them.

Chelle said...

My cousins stopped reading my blog when I posted about a creepy stuffed bear that my mother had made for me out of my dead grandmother's bathrobe. In an effort to be humorous, I offended them greatly. I had to go back and rewrite the post, which made me so mad because why should I have to cater to relatives I'm probably never going to see again.

My mom also reads and it really limits what I can say. I'm always writing while feeling that she is standing over my shoulder. I would move the blog, but I have over 450 posts and am afraid I will lose them all because I am such a nitwit in the technology department.

After I got fired (because I have fibromyalgia and couldn't increase my work hours, but really because they just didn't like me), they found my blog and were making horrible, nasty comments until I wrote a piece about bullying and then they finally stopped. Of course, they all found out I was bipolar when they found the blog, but as of now, I couldn't care less. That was almost two years ago that they canned me and I really don't care what they think since I don't plan on ever going back to work and won't need a reference. And if I do "work," it will be writing a book on bipolar or fibromyalgia or living with both.

I understand perfectly why you are uncomfortable. I would wager there is no one who hasn't done an "ooops" like the ones that you are describing. And they aren't even mistakes, except for the fact that you don't really want people you know to read your blog and now the blog address is out there.

I wish I had a solution to help you get through the discomfort, but I'm afraid all I can do is offer my support and encouragement. Your blog is one that I always click on when I see you have a new post. I hope you won't be so uncomfortable that you feel like you have to shut it down.


Borderline Lil said...

As much as it's uncomfortable and scary for you Jen I think your blog, and your life story, is so important it needs to be public. You really do need to write that book and be the next Marya Hornbacher and change peoples lives - which is hard to do when you're trying to stay under the radar. You're a true activist not a baby blogger like most of the rest of us. Own it, girl, live your truth and stay brave and honest. Massive props hon xx

Chelle said...

Well put, Lil. Well put. Jen, you have NOTHING to be ashamed of. Actually, you should be extremely proud of how hard you have worked to get where you are and how much you help with NAMI and the local police force.

The world needs more people like you. If someone can't handle your blog, well, that's their problem!

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Your comments about the stigma of mental illness hit home with me. I echo the other commenters who state that we have nothing to be ashamed of if we have a mental illness. I hid my illnesses for years--didn't even get help until I was 26 because of all the fears/shame I felt.

I blog under my real name and post links on FB, so anyone who knows me and is a FB friend can read all about my illnesses if they wish. That does give me pause sometimes about what I should/shouldn't write, but I am trying to get over that. I write my truth, and I can't help it if someone I know can't handle it.

Great post!

FrankandMary said...

2 ex-bfs & the dad of one of them(the dad is a retired psychiatrist) read my blog & so do various other people I know, including a doctor I do consulting work for. It is not an issue for me, & in some ways I believe it helps..though I have to be careful not to alter my feelings/writings just because I know they are reading.

With all that said, I still very much understand your feelings here & I hope that anyone you know IRL would honor your wishes.

"Lil Ol' Me" said...

I hear you!! I REALLY hear you. LOUD and clear. I read your follow up post also. And can't agree anymore.

I have people who read my blog, that I've online and since met IRL bc of a 'different' common bond. And initially, it was hard for me.

I'm currently in somewhat of a pickle bc of a work injury that needs surgery and the surgeon will NOT do surgery on me bc *don't pee yourself when I say this*...bc of my depression, anxiety and ptsd dx. What a f*cking moron. Not sure if you read my blog or not - if so you will know that I called him more than just that.

((((HUGS))))) non of my family read mine, I watch the blog stats very carefully. And if I see a local isp I check w/my therapist to see if she's logged in.

Follow your heart!

You are a wealth of information, support..and I appreciate you for that.


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