torture

A friend used the word torture to describe how I am letting my girls mental illness affect my life. It is true, so very true.

The torture starts when my alarm goes off. Did she hurt herself overnight? Is she dead or alive in her room? Do I go check or do I check to see the last time she was active on Facebook Messenger? I check her social media accounts that I can see and scan her posts. Is she depressed? Is she happy? Is she fighting with drippy? Does she hate me?

The torture continues at work. When the radio is keyed up and the dispatcher sends officers to a house because someone is suicidal, or someone just found a loved one dead, or someone is having a mental crisis. It all reminds me of my girl and what her illness has created in my life. I continue to check her social media throughout the day for hints of what my evening will bring. I wait for the cameras we installed to notify me that the dogs have been left out. That means she is alive and actually out of bed. Or the driveway camera captures her leaving. Where is she going? Who is she going to see? Will she come back? Why doesn’t she tell me where she is going? Would she even tell me the truth?

On the drive home the torture continues. What will I find when I get home? Will she be in her room? Will she be dead or alive in her room? Will there be dog pee on the floor because she couldn’t get out of her room to let them out? Will there be dirty dishes piled in the sink that she finally got out of her room? Will she be in a decent mood? Will I have to walk on egg shells? Why don’t I want to be in my own home with her there? Why don’t I have a save place? Will she show her face to eat dinner? Did she eat at all today? Did she drink anything today? Did she take her meds? I can’t ask her because it might set her off.

Late evening/overnight is much of the same torture. She says she is leaving to go to a friends house. Is she? Does she go to drippy? Will she crash because she is upset or high? Will she come home? I wait for the cameras to notify me that she pulled into the driveway. I wait and listen for her to come up the stairs and go into her room. I fall into a restless sleep.

The torture continues when my alarm goes off.

The stress makes me itchy. My hands itch, my face and head itch. I talked to my family doc. There is no physical reason for the itching. I feed my stress, which creates additional stress. I am not enjoying my life. I have wonderful friends who I love dearly. I am lucky to be sharing my life with my soulmate and I love him. I have two other kids who I think feel sorry for me and I see their relationships with my girl changing. I can’t blame them for that. They get caught in the wake of her illness. I have the most beautiful granddaughter. She brings me happiness. Her innocence, her laughter, her unconditional love. But I know I could give her more of me if things were different. I will soon have a grandson. I can’t wait to meet him and snuggle him. It will be another milestone in my life. But will it be overshadowed by my girl? Why do I have to worry that something will create friction during a time that should be full of love and happiness.

How do I stop the torture?

why

The last month has been challenging, to say the least. If I remember correctly, somewhere in my last post I mentioned a shoulder injury and that my girl had been diagnosed with bi-polar as well as BPD. I am going to do my best to to stick to a timeline of recent events, but I make no promises.

Late July, I had an appointment with a surgeon to review an MRI on my shoulder. I was told I had two different rotator cuff injuries and would need surgery as soon as possible. Surgery was scheduled for Monday, August 3rd, which gave me about five days to get my shit together before my dominant arm would be in a sling for six or more weeks. There was lots of cooking and freezing, cleaning, washing – all the stuff I felt had to be taken care of.

The Friday before surgery my girl was at work. She was supposed to be working 12PM-8PM. I remember she sent me lots of messages that day complaining about the job and how much she hated it, etc. I had honestly encouraged her to quit numerous times. My reasons being: 1) she was working at this job because drippy dick thought this is where she should work and I want her as far away from his control as possible 2) her mental status was not stable and the added pressure of the job was creating issues that she didn’t need. Anyway, she ended up coming home early. As soon as she came in the house I could tell she was upset. We actually sat and talked for probably close to an hour. She was upset about her relationship with drippy. She told me that she is scared of him. He has made threats towards her and our family if she left him. She admitted he controls her life and decisions. She also said he works at the same store she works at. This was NEVER mentioned before. He isn’t there every time she works because he is a “manager” and goes to various places. He does not support her efforts to try and better herself through therapy and medication. He even told her if she leaves him she owes him money for the food, gas, gifts and things he did for her during the relationship. Oh, and she also would owe him money for his legal costs, since his arrest for Terroristic Threats was all her fault. I did my best to gently explain that fear isn’t love, control isn’t love. I used as many examples as I could and felt like I had finally crossed the finish line. She knew she had to end it, she knew she would be supported by her family and if need be she could get a Protection From Abuse Order to keep him away. I told her I would be home for at least a month with her and it would be okay. She could do this. She can live without him. Her life would be better without him.

Monday, August 3rd, I had my surgery. It wasn’t/isn’t fun. Right arm is in a sling 24/7, except when I shower. I have to sleep in a recliner because it hurts to lay in a bed. I have one more week of the immobilizer sling (a sling that has a waist band to prevent the arm from being lifted away from your body), then two weeks of a regular sling and after that I can start therapy. I returned to work on Monday, August 31st. It was too soon. I am lucky to have disability insurance where I work, but it pays less than half of my actual salary. Let’s be honest. In this crazy world where prices of groceries, gas, basically all necessities are sky high – half my usual salary started to take it’s toll on the back account. So, I’m back to work in an office with one arm and it hurts.

Let’s now fast-forward, one week after surgery. At some point during this week I noticed a very fresh hickey on my girls neck. This meant she lied to us, again, about being with a friends and was with drippy. Drippy just loves to put his mark on her. It’s like a big fuck you to anyone who truly cares about my girl. It disgusts me. I asked my girl about it and got the silent treatment. I started noticing more and more irritability in my girl, more unstable behavior and actions. I talked to her about it. She was put on new meds when the bi-polar diagnosis was made and she felt the meds were making her worse and she felt extremely suicidal. She was very proactive in calling her psychiatrist and talking to him about it. She even made an appointment to go see him. He actually increased the frequency of the meds and asked her to give it another few weeks to work.

Two weeks after surgery – I’m going stir crazy being in the house, confined in a sling. I make plans with a couple to hang at their house on Friday night. Me & hubby are there, my girl is working a 12PM-8PM shift and will be stopping at their house after work. Around 6PM I get a call from my girl. She is crying. She said she is done, she can’t work there anymore and drippy just broke up with her. I try to convince her to stay there and we will get her, she said she needs to get away from him and she will drive to our friends house. She gets there and we talk and talk and talk. I am fortunate to have this friend. She has, unfortunately, been through a similar situation in a past relationship. She talked to my girl about the PFA, made a list of the good and bad parts of the relationship with drippy and just made sure my girl knew she wasn’t alone and it wasn’t her fault and she could get through this. We talk about the possibility of getting an emergency PFA. Because of my employment, I am all to familiar with the process and start making calls to put things in motion. After my girl is calmed down as much as possible, we leave our friends and go home. It’s decided we will talk about the PFA and other issues the next day.

The next day, Saturday. My girl decides she doesn’t want to do the emergency PFA and we will wait until Monday morning and file for a PFA at the courthouse. No one will be shocked to know when Monday comes she decides she doesn’t want to do it. She tells me she hasn’t heard from drippy at all and she has him blocked in every way possible.

The following week or last week. My girl was sad, but seemed to be kinda okay. She was supposedly with friends almost every evening. And then on Friday afternoon I saw the hickey. And of course when I called her out about it, it’s turned around on me. I don’t understand, I don’t get it, she has a mental illness, she is fucked up. The past week has been very hard for me and I try not to make it about me, I swear I don’t. I started back to work on Monday, and I hate being at work. I have been the recipient of my girls anger and hatred and resentment and everything for the past month. I have been lied to and deceived. I have been hurt.

Last night. Got home from work and could immediately tell my girl was in a downward spiral. We went to a local restaurant for a quick bite. We being me, my husband, my girl and a very dear friend who has seen the bad side of my girls illness. We order, my girl doesn’t order any food. My girl typically always drives herself when we go somewhere so she can leave if she feels overwhelmed. While we are sitting at the restaurant I can just feel my girl falling into her black hole. I try to get her to talk and she just gets teary eyed. She leaves, promising me that she will get food for herself at some point. Oh, I should have probably mentioned this earlier, but over the last month my girl rarely eats. She may eat every two days. I have to watch her and what she eats. She tries to eat and her mind/body fight her. She will get a few bites in and the nauseous feeling hits. Anyway, after we are finished we head home. My girl is sitting outside and we sit with her. Conversation starts and it’s not a good conversation. I lost count how many times she told us she doesn’t want to be alive, she doesn’t want to wake up anymore. She is tired of fighting and of everything. At one point my girl and I go inside and we continue to talk, like real feeling talk. I am trying desperately to get her to agree to finding more help, going in-patient somewhere. I felt raw and exhausted as we were talking. And then my husband comes inside and asks my girl why drippy is on a motorcycle in front of our house. My reaction was stunned silence. I had no reaction except to walk away from everyone. I went upstairs to my bedroom, but I couldn’t believe what I had heard and had to see it for myself. I walked out the front door and there he was on his new motorcycle. He stared me down. So many words were waiting to pour out of me. But I didn’t do it. I didn’t say anything. I turned around and went back inside leaving my husband and dear friend to watch over my girl. At some point my girl and drippy decided to go for a walk around our development. I went back to my room and crawled into bed and cried. After a short time my husband came into the room. I heard him rustling around and knew what he was doing. He was getting his gun. Drippy has a few guns, illegally of course, and has threatened our family. No, my husband didn’t go outside waving it around or threatening anyone. It was a precaution. But I couldn’t stand it. I went back outside and told my husband I couldn’t lose him because of something stupid drippy did. It was enough that I was going to lose my girl, I couldn’t lose them both. We decided enough was enough. We closed/locked up the house while my girl and drippy were on their walk. My girl knows how to get in the house if she decided to and she did come in about an hour later.

I don’t know when the last time I cried myself to sleep was, but I did last night. I am beyond drained and exhausted. I have nothing in me to give anymore. I can’t save my girl. I can’t make her want to live. I can’t keep taking on the weight of her illness, as well as all the other family drama. Some of the family have seen the ugly side of my girls illness, some haven’t. Until you see it and experience it first hand, you can’t understand it. It’s ugly and cruel. I need help in a way I have never felt I needed help before. Help deciding what to do from this point forward. Today is therapy day for my girl. I have no clue if she will go. She skipped her group therapy two weeks in a row, but did individual therapy. It’s just not enough. If I commit her based on her comments, she will play the system and be out within 3 days. How do I figure out how much guilt I can live with? If I kick her out and she kills herself, will I really be able to not blame myself? If I kick her out and she gets beat again, will I be okay with that?

I have nothing left. When I am home and my girl is home I don’t want to be there and I hate that. When my girl isn’t home, I feel I need to stay home because I don’t know what might happen. I am lost in a never ending cycle.

Where do I turn, what do I do? Is my girl alive right now? What will I find when I go home from work? Did she decide she can’t do it anymore? Every fucking minute of every fucking day these are the questions that loop in my brain. It never stops.

Let’s play a game…

Everyone likes games, right? Play the what if game with me. It’s a game my mind likes to play at 2AM when I need sleep. A game that I play as I cry in the shower. A game that makes my heart race and my blood pressure rise. A game that I play everyday, whether I want to or not.

What if – my girl tells me she’s going to point A (a friends) but really goes to point D (drippy dick)? And I have no idea where she is or how to help her if she gets in trouble.

What if – I tell my girl that I feel very little joy in my life, and her disorder is to blame?

What if – I tell my girl I can’t stand being in the house with her?

What if – I tell my girl I feel I am walking on eggshells all the time?

What if – I tell my girl I want my life back?

What if – I tell my girl I’m allowed to feel happy, sometimes?

What if – I tell my girl that my world has to stop revolving around her?

What if – I tell my girl I am becoming sad and depressed, too?

What if – I tell my girl I am not looking forward to a week vacation with her along?

What if – my girl keeps lying?

What if – my girl never knows happiness in her life?

What if – the drug of choice gets stronger and scarier?

What if – I tell my girl she has to decide if she is living here or with drippy?

What if – my girl decides to live with drippy and gets beat, again?

What if – my girl doesn’t go to therapy tomorrow (for the third time in a row)?

What if – my girl continues to cut her arms and now her thighs?

What if – one of those cuts hits just the right spot?

What if – things never change?

What if – I finally unload all this on my girl and all my feelings and thoughts come pouring out of my mouth and I can’t stop them?

What if – my honesty pushes my girl over the edge?

What if – my girl can’t handle my truth?

What if – those are the last words I ever get to say to my girl?

What if, what if, what if, what if?

What if is a fucked up game to play.

Reality

This is my daily reality. My beautiful girl child has Borderline Personality Disorder. This is what it looks like.

Self harm and this was a mild one

It’s 2020. People dealing with mental health issues are not getting the proper help. I can’t help my own child. It is devastating. It is sad. It is scary.

deja vu

It’s here again, the cycle. My girls never ending cycle of ups and downs, love and hate, happy and sad, but never safe.

Last week, drippy dick had a court appearance of some kind for the charges that were filed against him. As a reminder, after drippy beat my daughter he decided to drive her home out of the kindness of his heart. On the way they continued to verbally fight with each other and he stopped at a Burger King and told her to get out of his car. She got her shit out of the car and went into the restaurant. He ends up threatening the manager and stated something to the effect that he had a gun and is going to come back and shoot the place up. Threats continue to the manager and my girl, and she gets back in his car to stop the scene. Drippy was charged with Terroristic Threats, a felony 3 and Harassment, a misdemeanor 2. COVID-19 slowed everything court related until last week.

Last Tuesday my girl sent me a message that she had to go to court on Wednesday. I was confused because she was not subpoenaed. She said she had to be there to support him. Right.

She didn’t come home until Thursday evening and was very quiet. I knew questioning her would set her off so I decided to text her….I am the green box and please excuse the mistakes, I was not in the best frame of mind.

So, basically she is going to go and support the person who beat her prior to this incident. Will she be called to testify? I have no clue. Will she lie if she is called? Yes.

She has now missed two therapy appointments in a row. For some reason the missed appointment calls come to my cell phone. The appointments (which are still being handled over the phone) are scheduled for every Wednesday. I asked her the last two weeks how the appointments went and she said fine. Here comes the cycle.

Today, just about an hour ago, I am at work and I get a Facebook message…..I am pink, my girl has her face…

I leave work, drive home not knowing what will be waiting for me. He has access to her facebook messenger, again. Is it for real? Is he being an asshole? I have no way of knowing. My mind is crazy with thoughts of what I will find when I get home, will she be willing to get help this time, so many thoughts. She is in her room, tear stained face. She tells me she is fine. I ask to see her arms, she won’t show me. I ask what’s going on. She answers nothing. I ask again about her arms. She won’t show me. This back and forth goes on for about 10 minutes. She tells me to go back to work. She just stares at her laptop screen and pretends she is watching Netflix. I eventually walk out.

I am constantly worried. I worry constantly. I stress constantly. I think I can handle it. I think I can handle everything. I think I can be Wonder Woman. I pacify myself with food. Food makes it better. Food fixes everything. Food takes the pain away. I harm myself with food, my girl harms herself with razors and scissors.

There will be another bomb exploding soon. The bombs are coming closer together. Her bombs create craters that I am constantly stuck in. She’s fine, I’m fine, everything is fine.

Just a typical Saturday

Just another typical Saturday. I have the timer on my phone set so I can get the towels hung up on the wash-line as soon as they are finished. The sheets and blankets are already out and drying. Who doesn’t love the smell of sheets and towels that have been hanging outside for hours?

Just another typical Saturday. The sound of the neighborhood is the background noise. Lawn mowers, power washers (shit, I have to remember to get the power washer from my parents – note to self), darks barking, and kids laughing.

Just another typical Saturday. My girl child told me yesterday she doesn’t have the fight to live anymore. She wants to give back the life I gave her. She doesn’t want it. She is tired, so very tired of fighting. She is so very tired of pretending everyday is just another typical day.

I can’t explain what that does to me. She is sitting in front of me baring her soul to me. Telling me her truest feelings and emotions. And all I can do is sit and listen. We talk about options. The only real option is signing herself into the hospital, again. She decided to call her current therapist and talk to her about what some options might be or what the therapist might suggest. She called, the office is closed on Friday due to COVID-19. She doesn’t get a call back . We talk about the hospital still being an option or if she feels she will be safe at home, wait until Monday and see what the therapist has to say. We are open and honest with each other in the fact that if she goes into the hospital on a Friday night, nothing will be done or put into motion until Monday morning anyway. However, my concern is will she be safe. She told me she doesn’t have a plan to end her life and doesn’t feel like she will do anything stupid right now – but she feels it is coming to that. She admitted she is pushing us away because it would make it easier for her to leave. She wouldn’t feel as guilty if she didn’t think we cared or if she pushed hard enough for us to give up on her.

My girl feels lost and hopeless. I feel lost and hopeless. She told me the only reason she is still alive is because of me and her dad and her niece. She is not alive for herself. Wow. Think about that. Seriously, think about that. Not having anything within your self or joy in your life. Remember, as you begin to judge her – she is fighting an invisible monster NO ONE can see, NO ONE can feel, NO ONE can imagine fighting. This is not a phase, this is not a “get over it” kind of situation. This is real. It is very, very real.

Am I being selfish with my girls life? Of course I don’t want her to end her life and not be in my world. But how much can one person take? How much can one person fight? When is it enough?

My timer went off.

Just a typical Saturday.

Another jumbled mess – my apologies

Is it just me or does anyone else feel like the shower is the best place for thinking? Each morning when I am in standing in the beautifully hot water my mind becomes awakened. Thoughts and ideas are plentiful and I can’t wait to get to work to make notes and then write an amazing post that will draw in hundreds of readers and followers. In the shower I know it will epic and potent and raw and real. I KNOW IT!

Then I walk into work and the life force gets sucked out of me. I convince myself that my thoughts aren’t epic, my ideas aren’t potent and that the only raw and real part of my daily life is the feeling of – eh. I hate it. I despise it.

Someone asked me recently what is happening with the girl child. Well, nothing. She is working, which is good. She is doing phone therapy, which is bad. I know, after all the posts about needing therapy and I say it’s now bad. Let me explain. She was accepted into a DBT program – AWESOME! It includes individual and group therapies – AWESOME! She had two individual therapy sessions and was waiting for the group sessions to start; and then COVID-19 hit. Everything was cancelled, individual therapy became phone therapy. I ask how it’s going, she say’s fine. At one point she said she doesn’t know why she is bothering because the phone therapy is awful, she is getting nothing out of it, she needs the one on one. She is ready to give up on it completely. She knows if she does give up on it, there will be consequences.

Is she still seeing drippy dick? I don’t know. About a month ago she posted a picture of them with the caption “you and me against the world”. Wow, did that piss me off. Where has he been in the process of helping her get well? How is the person that beat you going to help you? Seriously, WTF? My girl is home more now than she had been in the last 5 months. Probably 3 times a week she leaves to stay over at a friends house. No, I’m not an idiot. Is she going to him? Probably, most likely, yes. Here is the part I hate to admit. When she is home, it is uncomfortable. She feels, we feel it. We are waiting for the next “thing” that sets her off and choose our words carefully – if we speak at all, and she is waiting for us to ask about drippy, which would cause the next episode. I don’t like being uncomfortable in my house. When she is in her room for hours on end, I feel guilty. Is she in her room because she wants to be or because she feels just as uncomfortable as we do? UGH. When she isn’t home, of course I worry, but it’s different some how. At the end of the day, it’s still emotionally draining and exhausting.

I did have my first therapy session. I found a psychologist that I felt comfortable with and felt I could be me. I found the doc through a friend/co-worker and was able to chat with the doc prior to my first appointment. It was nice because at the first official appointment we didn’t have to spend the entire hour on the background of my girl and what was happening. At the beginning of the appointment I was asked what I’m hoping to gain from therapy. Good question. I said I needed help dealing, I needed ideas to help me help her. We went through what we have done to help her so far, how we deal with her episodes, blah, blah, blah. At the end the doc looked at me and said, “You are doing all you can do. I don’t know what else I can tell you to do or try.” The doc had one suggestion to try to get my girl into a group home for mentally unstable people. Ummmm, no. I know what goes on in those places, especially homes that are run by the local county or state. Nope, not happening. No way in hell. So, I guess we wait. We wait for therapy to begin again, we wait for group therapy to begin and help her learn the life skills she needs. I’m tired of waiting.

I wanted to write about music

I wanted to write about sex

I wanted to write about dreaming

Maybe next time.

me

My girl was released last Monday (2/17). She was happy to be “out” and said it felt like she hadn’t been in the real world for months. Appointments for follow-up care were made through the facility. Today is her first appointment with a facility that provides the DBT treatment recommended for BPD. She will have two weeks of one-on-one therapy/counseling to assess if she is serious about therapy and learning new skills. If it is deemed she is not serious, we are back to square one. If she decides she doesn’t want to be in treatment, she is back to square one. At this point I have no clue if she will go to this first appointment or not. If she doesn’t, I don’t know what is next.

Her first night home she came to me later in the evening and asked if she could go to a friends house for the night that lives in our town. She doesn’t have to ask my permission, she is 19 years old. I asked all the questions, who, why, where, etc. She told me she was worried about being alone all day the following day and having nothing to keep her mind busy. So, she left for the night.

What pissed me off the most was the following day, she never bothers to contact me until late in the afternoon. But, I get over it (again). She was home Tuesday by early evening. Wednesday, she left for a friend that lives in the same town that drippy lives in. Now, supposedly this friend despises drippy and is very against my girl being involved with him. I tell her all my concerns and apprehensions. But she goes. She returns home Friday early afternoon. I had limited contact with her Wednesday – Friday, but did ask about drippy and if she was going to be seeing him. I was told she did not yet know what she was going to do, but if she did decide to see him her friend would be there so she was safe (picture me modding my head with a very disgusted look on my face). At some point Friday I asked her if she saw/talked to drippy. She said she talked to him on the phone. Later that evening I notice a mark on my girls neck. How I remained calm I do not know. It was a hickey. I called her out on it, to which she replied she only saw him for a few minutes…………at that point I could actually feel the tiny amount of hope I was holding onto seep from my body. I was a pile of sludge on the floor, no bones, no feelings – just sludge. I sent my girl a text late Friday night when I was tossing and turning. I just realized I deleted it, but basically said something like – He is claiming you by marking you with a hickey. He is showing us he is back in control. Dad and I don’t want to control you, we want to help you on your path to recovery.” I got no response.

This is now the me part. This may contain little bits of information about my past and my emotional hang-ups.

I haven’t slept an entire night for a long time. Since seeing the hickey on Friday, I feel more defeated than I have in a very long time. I tend to be a natural born caregiver. Growing up (and no I’m not complaining, just stating facts) I had to be the adult at times. At times I take on more than I should, but I want to be able to do it all for the people I love and care about. But, I also wish during times like these that the people around me understood how incredibly hard and draining this situation with my girl is. There are nights where I want to go to bed at 6PM and honestly I need to. I’m not good at raising my white flag and admitting I feel defeated. Right now I feel so completely selfish and I HATE THAT. I hate that I feel like I am sabotaging my health and other personal relationships to keep my girl safe. I don’t want to resent my girl and her mental health issues. I guess I wish more of the people around me understood that. I wish they could see me silently screaming from the inside. But I try to smile and keep up a fake front, so it’s really my flaw and issue to deal with.

I have a bay window in my dining room FILLED with glass balls, all different sizes, shapes and colors. I love that window. It makes me happy. I keep having a dream where all the balls start falling and breaking. It starts slowly and as I am running to the window to try and save them, they start falling faster and faster. I have no control or power to stop them from falling and breaking and I can never replace them. Of course I know what this means, I’m not a complete idiot.

As a society, there is so much information shoved down our throats about practicing self-care, putting yourself first. But is that really possible? To truly and honestly take care of myself, right now, the first thing I would need to do is quit my job. Why? Because five days a week, for nine hours a day I am surrounded by what my life is like at home with my girl. I may or may not have mentioned at one point that I work in a police department office. I’m currently in my 31st year. My hours at work are filled with reminders. The domestic calls. The little spats that after a few months turn into violent assaults. The mental health calls, people threatening suicide, attempting suicide, committing suicide. Every day it surrounds me – at home, and at work – all the time “it” is in my face and in my head. It’s too much and it’s overwhelming. What happens when I quit my job of 31 years and the salary and benefits that come with it stop? I create another stress. Money isn’t everything, but living in this world isn’t free. I need the health benefits. I don’t have a huge pension waiting for me when I can’t continue to work. I need to work or find a way to become independently wealthy. I don’t take tropical vacations, hell I don’t take vacations period. The leave time I have benefits not only me, but my family as well. I am permitted to use my time for family related issues. My girl currently being a family related issue that takes up quite a bit of my leave time. And of course the health benefits that help pay for all the various treatments, doctor appointments, and medications for my girl are invaluable at this time. So, what do I do?

I have not participated in any physical activity that is for my health in over a year. That is all on me and it makes me so fucking mad at myself. In December of 2011, I had gastric bypass surgery. At the time I was just a bit over the 300 pound mark. It was something that I did for me and it was a decision I have not regretted. It was hard, but I did it. At my lowest I was down to almost 140. But that was just not maintainable and I honestly did not like the way I looked. Yes, I could fit into a size I never was in before, but there is more to me than a size – right? I felt very comfortable with myself and my body around 170. I have exceeded that weight over the last 8 months.

One thing I found out about myself going through the gastric bypass journey, food is a comfort to me. It started as a kid. I’m not blaming anyone, that is just the way it was growing up. All emotions and feelings are wrapped around food, happiness, sadness, loss, pain – eat and it will be OK. I also grew up with a sister who always thin and beautiful. That is not her fault and I’m in no way blaming her for my issues, but my family had a way to constantly compare me to her – as far as our physical shape. Anyway, food has again become a comfort. I eat when I’m not hungry. I eat things I know I shouldn’t. I am the only one who can control what goes into my body and I’m failing myself.

As I fail myself in controlling my weight, I find myself revisiting the old feelings of body image issues. I already talked about one of my issues, that of constantly comparing myself to my sister. However, I know it goes deeper than that. Here is one of my dark little secrets.

I know it was a Saturday night in 1984, I was 14. I know it was a Saturday night because I was up late watching Saturday Night Live. If I close my eyes I can picture the living room. I can describe in detail where the sofa, TV, chairs, and plants were. I can see the pattern of the sofa and the color of the carpet. Anyway, a family friend stopped at the house. I was the only one awake, my mom was upstairs asleep and my sister was probably out with friends. I’m not sure exactly how the person became a family friend, but he was around quite a bit. He was 21 or 22 at the time. That would be 7 or 8 years older than me. I assume the door to the house was unlocked because my sister wasn’t home yet. At the time I don’t remember it seeming odd that he stopped by the house that late. Now, I find it very odd. This was someone I always felt very comfortable with. Never got a creepy vibe. Probably considered him like an older brother or uncle type person. I knew at that time that he had a thing for my sister, but she was in no way interested in him. Back to the story. I was laying down on the sofa watching SNL. He came in and sat down on the sofa, closest to my head (I was laying on my stomach). For a little while we just watched TV. At some point his arm/hand end up on my back area. And then he decided to show me his penis and what a penis does. While he is jerking off right in front of my face, his hand works down my back to my ass and under my PJ’s and he starts touching me in places he should never have touched. When he was “finished” he left. Why didn’t I jump up and scream, why did I let it happen, why didn’t I tell my mom? I was scared, I was confused, I was hurt.

Guess what the one thing my 14 year old brain took from that incident? I didn’t need to be skinny or beautiful to get attention. I found out I had other “things” that boys wanted and it didn’t matter if my “things” were covered in a layer or two of fat. This made the 14 year old feel wanted, needed and comforted. Fortunately, my soul mate came into my life a few years later and showed me he could love me for me and not my “things”. There are times I still struggle with body image. I think I felt more comfortable being naked at 300 pounds with my husband than I do now. But he knows that and loves me anyway.

I feel like I am now totally off topic! Sorry about that. I think the purpose of this post is just to give whoever is reading this a little background on me and how all that happens in our lives effects us forever and shapes us mentally, emotionally and physically. So while I face my everyday stresses and struggles, I tend to revert back to old practices of comfort. I am trying change. I will continue to try for all the people I love and care about. I need to be the best me I can be. I owe myself that.

control

Monday morning I got a call from my girl. She was in crisis mode. She didn’t want to live. She couldn’t take the mental pain of the last few days and she knew she needed help or she wouldn’t make it.

We took her to the same facility where she checked herself into almost a year ago. She went through the assessment and was deemed worthy of being a patient.

My girl called me a few times on Monday, but she also called drippy. Drippy told her he was at the courthouse for the charges filed against him and told her a few lies about the charges and what would be happening. He also blamed her for him having to now hire an attorney to help him fight the charges. I was not happy that she called him. The person who physically abused her and choked her. She asked me about the things he said and I cleared up what I could. I am familiar with the criminal justice system and most of what he told her were lies.

I didn’t hear from her at all on Tuesday during the day. This was very odd to me. Previously, she called me four or five times a day. By 7PM Tuesday evening I called the facility and spoke to her. She said she was busy all day and the phones were tied up, but she was doing alright. Not great, but alright. I accepted that. I was glad she was doing well enough and didn’t feel the need to call me as much.

This morning (Wednesday), I received a call from the social worker assigned to my girl. She happened to be the same one that my girl had the last time. She wanted to touch base about my concerns or questions about my girl. I obviously told her my biggest concern was drippy and the abuse situation. The social worker was aware of the situation, but my girl wasn’t willing to give her a lot of information and shut down when the topic was mentioned. The social worker told me that my girl would possibly be released on Friday and that we had to have plans in place for follow-up care and therapy. I told the social worker about the places I had researched, and unfortunately in this insurance/money based health care world, she is pushing a treatment facility that is affiliated with the short term care facility. It is not a good place, but there might not be other options.

Tonight was a visitation night. Myself, my husband, my son and daughter-in-law went to visit. Only two people are allowed to visit at one time so my son and daughter-in-law went in first and then my husband and I. When my son and daughter-in-law came out they said she seemed good. I was hopeful. When she saw me, she jumped in my arms and hugged me, really hugged me. Of course she did the same to her dad. We sat down to chat. I asked about her finger, told her she didn’t look quite as tired. She told us about a medication she was put on and how that was making her feel. We talked about the options of therapy when she is released. I asked the general question of how everything else is going and she immediately told us that she had to go to court for drippy. That she was going to be subpoenaed to testify on his behalf. I asked how she found that out and of course it’s because she is calling him from the facility. She is also apparently calling his mom, and his mom is telling my girl how drippy is going to get therapy and things will be perfect. I expressed, very calmly I might add, that I didn’t feel that it was a good plan to continue the contact with him while she is trying to mentally and physically heal. She then told me that someone that works at the facility also has BPD and my girl has talked to her about the drippy situation. According to my girl, this person said there is no reason that drippy can’t be in my girls life and they can continue their relationship……………..WTF? What am I not getting? Is my girl hearing what she wants to hear or is this actually being said. She was now going into shut down. She acknowledged that she doesn’t know what she should do and maybe she should just stay in “this fucking place forever.” That tells me she is no where close to being ready to be released for her own good. I asked her thoughts about going to a place out of state. Nope, she is not going out of state. However, after the abuse incident she wanted to get away. But he again has his fingers in her brain and is manipulating her once again. Is she allowing it? Yes, she is. Does she realize it? I don’t honestly know. He has her so brainwashed that I don’t know if it’s the disorder causing it or he is truly that talented at manipulation. It was time for visiting to end. She was upset and crying when we left and she promised me she would call me. No call as of yet. That was almost two hours ago.

I called her social worker and left a message about our visitation and all my concerns. I’m sure it sounds like a rambling bunch of nonsense, but that’s where I’m at. My ability to process much more is limited at best.

In my heart – at this time – I truly feel she will go back to him and either he will take her life or she will take her own life.

I will fight with all that I have to save my girl, my beautiful baby girl.

Struggling

Some days I can find a spot in my brain to tuck away all the emotional bullshit. Today is not that day.

Last night I had a dream that my girl was dead. I don’t know how she died, where she died or any other specifics. I just knew she was gone forever. I was in a car with my mom, an aunt and my grandmother who passed recently. They were all bad mouthing my girl and saying horrible things. I was so upset and I couldn’t get them to listen to me or hear me when I tried to explain that she was a beautiful and wonderful person who was afflicted with a horrible mental illness.

I am exhausted today. Drained and depleted of any and all positive or happy emotions.