Saturday, December 29, 2012

The good things about holidays is that they only come once a year.

I can't say I don't like holidays. I like time off work and school. I like buying presents for people, picking out special things they may or may not like, wrapping them up. I went to see a display of Christmas lights at the Florida Botanical Gardens with my mom one night. I liked that sort of. I mean that I liked the lights. They were pretty. And the ballerinas dancing were good. And it was all very festive. But there was this heinous crowd of people there and I couldn't handle that at all. I kept saying, "I really need to get out of here now. I can't stand all these people around me. There are way too many people here." My mom just ignored me and looked at the lights in her manic way, saying, "Come on, look at this!!" and "I KNOW WHAT WE SHOULD DO TOMORROW!! GO TO DISNEYWORLD!!" Um, no. That was not about to happen. I  hate Disneyworld. Hate it. I hate going there with my mother more than just about doing any other activity I can think of which I've done in my life. Numerous times it's been a complete disaster.

Here is how it goes:
-Kids screaming
-People bumping into me
-Lights and colors everywhere
-Music coming from everywhere
-People talking, yelling, and laughing everywhere
-My mom totally in a manic rage getting irritable more and more by the second till she eventually blows up and creates a huge mortifying scene.
-Smells of various foods
-Moving rides
-Constant walking and standing in the hot sun and sweating and feeling tired and achy
-Hearing voices
-Anxiety attacks
-Need to flee
-Freaking out

And that is so much fun!!!!!!!! I know, it is totally worth 90 bucs!! Right???  Yeah, so I avoid this catastrophe whenever possible. Unless I am nbeing really stupid. At Christmas time about four years ago, I was really stupid and it was a miserable nightmare.

Anyway. So back to now. I liked the display of Christmas lights even if it was hard to deal with the crowds.

I also found out I got A's in both my classes, which makes me happy because it means all the classes I've taken at the University, I've gotten A's in, so that's nice.

But overall, I'm glad that the holidays only come once a year. This year, as usual, Christmas was greeted with family trauma drama. My brother, who is an alcoholic with untreated bipolar disorder and no health insurance, is sleeping on my sister's couch because he has had nowhere to live for years, except for his time living with my mom or living in the halfway house which he should have stayed in. My sister is mad at him and doesn't want him to stay living with her. He is mad at her and doesn't want to live with her anyway. He felt bad he couldn't afford to buy Christmas presents, but yet he didn't even get my mom a card at the dollar store for fifty cents. And I offered to drive him there.

My mom, as usual, spent a bunch of money on us all, but she did not spend as much money on my brother as she did on me and on my sister, which made me feel bad for my brother who has nothing.

My mom, as usual, put a huge guilt trip on us because my parents have been divorced for 24 years, and we still have a dad who is very much alive, who we visit every holiday. My mom, as usual, called me five or six times and left countless, lengthy messages for me while I was at my dad's house, even though I had already spent Christmas Eve night with my mom, and all day on Christmas from 10 AM to 4 PM with my mom, before I ever saw my dad.

My sister, as usual, was mad at my dad and decided to ditch his house right after opening her presents, making it very obvious how much she values her relationships (or lack thereof) with him, just like he values the lack of one he has with her and with me and with my brother.

My stepmother, as usual, talked a lot, and very fast.

I felt, as usual, guilty. For no apparent reason. And for every possible reason you can imagine.

But, I took pictures and videos, and spent time with my family. We laughed and played games when we weren't being passive-gaggressive or manipulative or pathetic in our  behavior. We talked about things that don't matter, and , as usual , avoided the things that really do. My sister said behind my brother's back that she's kicking him out of her apartment as soon as the new year comes.

And then my mom, and my sister, after Christmas, left to go to Baltimore, because they can afford expensive plane tickets and travel like that, which I cannot, so they are up there in the snow visiting my family. I am down here feeding my mom's cat.

I did get together and see Les Miserables, which was amazing and wonderful, with my friend Kathy, a few days after Christmas, because we get together and exchange gifts each year. I loved the film, and wished I had seen it on Broadway, which I haven't, as I bet it's amazing in the theater. The music is beautiful, and I've already memorized most of "I Dreamed a Dream".

I've been in a low state of deep depressive despair pretty much. I haven't been doing anything much at all in the past couple weeks other than the getting ready for Christmas stuff. I neglected chores that needed to be done. I have been lying around staring at the walls again, wishing I was elsewhere or someone else, something, someplace, some other being.

I think I'm always going to be alone, that I'm always going to wish for true love and never actually have it in my life, that I'm never going to meet someone who wants to be romantically involved with me who lives in the same country as me, and that it doesn't really matter anyway, because I hardly care. I think it is going to be really hard going back to school and work after being off for two weeks, because I work for a  college, and the college has been closed. I have gotten in to the obviously DEPRESSIVE habit of staying up all night and sleeping all day. This is not useful in real life. But it doesn't matter when you have nowhere you have to be. I really need to get my shit together.

Tomorrow I am going to a memorial service for a wonderful advocate named Nancy Durstein who did more for people who live with mental illnesses and their families than most anyone I know has ever done, in her life, and who passed away recently from breast cancer. She was a wonderful woman. It will be a sad day.

I've been lying on the floors, staring at the walls, just breathing, barely alive, I've been feeling like I'm not even a real person. I feel like it's impossible to do every day tasks of daily functioning. I feel totally overwhelmed by my life. And I don't want to go back to work or school like this. I don't know how I can.


  1. Jen, you keep it real- I appreciate your candidness- its refreshing even if I have the pleasure of witnessing it online and not in-person.

    A friend said, 'that same mind that is in a funk can also pull itself out [with proper supports].' I hope you get out of the depressive funk and are able to return to life- work and school whenever it starts again.

  2. Just found your blog via Ashley's... thank you so much for sharing your stories. My brother lives with mental illness, which means that I live with mental illness.

    Happy New Year,
    Breakfast After 10


I welcome comments from all readers and encourage you to leave them! Please do. However, due to spam, I review each comment before it can be posted, so it may take 24-48 hours before your comment appears on the blog. Please be patient. I post comments that are not spam.Note: my definition of "spam" includes ALL links to sites claiming to cure or provide "the solution" for incurable diseases such as Schizoaffective Disorder and Schizophrenia. Vulnerable people come to my blog, and I will not let them be preyed upon, but people who post snake oil remedies on the internets. Take your garbage and peddle it elsewhere. Since Blogger doesn't weed all that garbage out, I've been doing it myself for years.