Inside My Head

the literary rantings of Angie Frissore

Good morning, Angela.

I wake up in the morning, drenched in sweat and confused by lucid dreams, which are side effects of an anti-depressant which is supposed to make me feel better. Sometimes I don’t know which is worse – the depression, or the fact that the side effects make it all but impossible for me to even want to try to date. I mean, inevitably, the night sweats will become an issue – if my moods don’t scare suitors away first.

I look at the scars on my body, which are the results of life-long skin picking – another aspect of my poorly-wired mind. I notice that the medication is turning me into a 5’3” blob of blubber, and I can’t help but examine my new fat parts. I hate them.

I hate every part of me these days. It’s as if I live in a bubble, hearing the muted sounds of the outside world. The bubble is transparent enough for me to notice how much living other people do that I cannot imagine myself belonging to that world. My emotions, which seem now to be controlled by outside forces as well as in, stream out of me into the bubble, with nowhere to go but back into my mind. There is no release. Only recycled air.

The bubble turns everything gray. There isn’t any color in a world so shaped by bipolar disorder, particularly when you’ve inherited the condition and it has been a part of your life for as long as you can remember. I don’t see the same normal world others do, and I don’t know that I ever will. All around me are vibrant lives, filled with stories of friendly get-togethers and family and love – all things that have become foreign to me as I age. I remember being loved, once, but that was almost twenty years ago.  I don’t know what love even involves anymore (unless it’s love for a dog).

I feel more connected to my dog than I do with other humans. It’s most likely because I’ve grown into this boring lump, sitting around waiting to eat or shit or sleep. My body language gives me away, despite how good I have become at faking it. Sometimes I don’t know if I will bite, bark or simply lay down.

I thought being open about it would help, but now it’s just used against me. To others, I am either a lost cause or a girl who seemingly has her shit together at her job. I can turn my public persona on and off as needed, though it always results in sheer exhaustion. So much energy is spent during a normal work week just to seem, well, normal. Once I am out of that environment, I break down into an exhausted, useless human being who lacks the simple joys of life she once knew. Nothing interests me anymore. The fear of acting out around people or having a PTSD trigger keeps me hidden on a regular basis.

I used to love travel, particularly traveling on my own. These days, I’m either terrified of wasting money by inevitably hiding away in a hotel room, or terrified of what lies outside of my daily routine. So now I simply stay put. I miss out, again and again.

I have regular conversations in which someone will ask, time and time again, why I can’t get a hold of the basic of things – my budget. They know it’s a bipolar symptom, financial irresponsibility. But there is always the same pressure and question of, “Why can’t you make this work? It’s easy.”

But it’s not easy, at least not for me. If I had explanations of why I can’t get my finances in order or why I forget the simplest of tasks, I would fix it myself.

I wish it were. I wish it all were easy. Perhaps it will never get better. But it might, though on the other side of better, nothing is left to welcome me back. There is no carrot on the string anymore, only the prospect of living out my life alone.

September 22, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Monsters.

I wake up ready for the day, albeit sluggish from the previous night’s dose of antidepressant, and try to hit the ground running. The moment I am alone with myself in the shower (this is a benefit of having a dog: I’m virtually never actually physically alone), the battle with the intrusive thoughts begins.

I don’t hear voices in my head, let me make that clear. I hear a particular voice, one that keeps track of every slight, every injustice, every emotionally traumatic experience I’ve had in my 37 years. When we are alone, it seizes that opportunity. It sounds like my mother, but it isn’t her.

“No one stood up for you to her,” it reminds me.

“He does the best he can,” I insist.

“But he didn’t stand up for you this time, either. Remember? It’s easier for your family to place all of their blame on you because they want to keep the peace. Remember?”

The issue with the monster voice is that it does remember. It remembers well, and, at a moment’s notice, will call to mind historical evidence to support what it is telling me. It was built upon volumes of incidents involving abuse, a narcissistic mother, and familial gaslighting – and it knows exactly what buttons to push.

“They blame you more than they blame her, you know.”

“I didn’t ask for this.”

“Well, too bad. And do you really think others feel differently? You’re fundamentally flawed.”

“And you’re an asshole.”

“But I’m right. And that’s more important. Everyone grows tired of you, and so will he, eventually. I mean, you didn’t even give him grandkids like your brothers did. You didn’t give him anything. You are just a burden.”

“I guess you’re right.”

The monster offers an embrace, reminding me, “I’ll always be here.”

August 19, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment