Archive for April, 2011

The Proper Diagnosis – 35 Years Late

From Wikipedia:

“Bipolar II disorder is a bipolar spectrum disorder characterized by at least one hypomanic episode and at least one major depressive episode; with this disorder, depressive episodes are more frequent and more intense than manic episodes. It is believed to be under-diagnosed because hypomanic behavior often presents as high-functioning behavior. Those with Bipolar II are at highest risk of suicide among the bipolar spectrum. Hypomania in Bipolar II may manifest itself in disorganized racing thoughts, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, or all of the above combined. Because these agitated symptoms are negative, it may be difficult to distinguish a Bipolar II manic state from depression.”

That last sentence is the really important one.  After seeing a psychiatrist today, it seems that I’ve been misdiagnosed with depression for years.  She said that people with bipolar II can go from normal to hypomanic, and because there may be no depressive episodes for years, they may not even be aware that anything is wrong.  Since I was a teenager I used to have periods where I would be energized, up all night, reading, writing, or whatever.  I could go for a week or more with only a couple hours sleep a night.  This kind of thing has happened ever since.  I just thought that it was my mind racing, that I just couldn’t stop the thoughts from coming, so I’d just stay up and read, watch TV, or go on the computer.  

For the past 14 years, I’ve had depressive episodes. Some lasted week or months.  I was diagnosed with depression about 12 or so years ago and treated as such.  It wasn’t until just recently, after my primary care doctor added a new depression medication, that I started having wild mood swings, from hypomanic to crushing depression, sometimes all in one day.  Apparently, if you take too high a dose of anti-depressant, you can have these hypomanic episodes more often and they will be stronger, as will the depressive episodes.  So I guess it is a good thing this happened since I now have a good diagnosis and I am starting on a mood stabilizer, which also treats the depression that comes with the bi-polar disorder. 

It will take about a month before the real effects will be seen.  We are removing one of the anti-depressants.  Not only was it not needed, that, in combination with the other anti-depressant can cause high blood pressure.  Not good.  I suppose that’s why family doctors shouldn’t be prescribing psychogenic medications

 

 

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It’s All About Me – Learning to Accept What is Given

I’ve done a lot of thinking over the past couple of days.  Thinking about how I often feel so empty, so unworthy of love.  I like to think of it as there being scales; on one side is everything you give, and on the other side, everything that is given to you.  My scales have been far, far out of proportion, with the side where what I’ve given far outweighs the other side.  The interesting thing is how the women I’ve been involved with in the past have scales that are exactly the opposite; the side where everything they have been given far outweighs what they have given.  And to make things clear, by, “given”, I mean given freely, with no expectation of anything in return.  When using this definition, their side of the scale where they have given is empty.  Understanding that this is where those feelings come from is important because it helps me to wrap my head around it and find ways to deal with them.  I realize that I need someone who wants to focus on me, who will make it all about me, just as I have always done for others.  When you have two people focused on making it all about the other, that’s pretty sweet.

Yesterday things really firmed up for me in this regard.  I am learning to accept that it is OK to let someone do for me, just for me, without feeling that I have to do for them right then and there.  I am learning that my pleasure can exist in and of it’s self and doesn’t have to be validated or predicated on the pleasure of my partner.  This is really important because I’ve always been made to feel selfish about enjoying my pleasure if it wasn’t directly wrapped up in her pleasure.  That is not how a healthy relationship is supposed to work.  I kept revisiting this idea of accepting my pleasure as a gift of love, as it should be, and I kept coming again and again back to this feeling.  It is something new, and alien, but liberating as well, because I am starting to really accept that my pleasure is valid, in and of it’s self.  

I also need to accept that I can be loved, just because I’m me.  It’s hard work, but it is worth it in the long run.

Acceptence

I have to accept the fact that I will always be alone.  I know what you are going to say, “You are a wonderful person, you will find someone someday.”.  Yeah, maybe.  Sure.  But I can’t keep hoping, and more importantly, I can’t keep wanting.

I’m going to be 51 years old in three weeks.  To be loved as I love; to be wanted and desired as I want and desire; to be cherished and appreciated as I cherish and appreciate: these are things  I have wanted since I was 12 years old.  That is 39 years.  Thirty nine fucking years!  

I can’t do it.  The pain and longing is just too mush.  Do I think I’m unlovable? No. Do I think I deserve those things? Yes.  Do I think I deserve the best? Yes.  Do I think I’m worthy of those things? Yes.    Do I think that there is something wrong with me that makes women just not want to be with me after a while, just because of who I am?  Yes.  I don’t know what it is, if I did, I’d change it.  

Accepting this is the only way I can live without being miserable all the time.  Finding a way to live my life so that I’m happy without being loved, wanted, desired, is the only way I can get through each day.  

Maybe it’s that my 51st birthday is coming up.  Maybe it was seeing my ex and her husband together and realizing that life is a big, cruel fucking joke.   I’ll still love.  I’ll still be in love.  I just won’t be hoping or wanting anything in return, except knowing that I am doing everything I can to make the lives of those I love a litter better and a little easier, that and just enjoying my time with them; cherishing them.  What crushes your soul and causes you pain is hope and expectations that go unfulfilled.  

I’m not closing myself off to love, or the possibility of actually finding “the one”.  I still plan to love as freely as ever, to pursue relationships when they present themselves, but I refuse to let myself hope for anything at all.  I refuse to want anything at all. I’ll just accept whatever comes my way.   If it goes the same way every other relationship I’ve had goes, oh well.  

I don’t know why woman tire of me after a while.  I don’t know why they slowly become more distant; why they slowly stop trying; why the phone stops ringing.  I honestly don’t, but it always, ALWAYS happens.  It’s like some kind of universal law, and it is just something I have to learn to accept and live with.

My therapist said that in order to face my fears, I have to be willing to imagine what life would be like if I lost everything.   She didn’t tell me that I need to live my life that way too.

Dredging up Old Emotions

I posted the last post because it helps to put this one in context.

I’ve been dealing with my ex’s again, all in the same week. They are so full of themselves, and everything is always about them.  Dealing with them really brings up just how alone I’ve been for the past two decades.

My kids had appointments with their therapists yesterday.  Their mother (I use “mother” instead of “mom” here because, like the old saying about dads goes, anyone woman can be a mother, but it takes a special woman to be a mom) didn’t bother to tell me about the appointment until the afternoon before.  This meant I had to get up an hour earlier yesterday so I could get to work earlier, so that I could leave work early for the appointment.  I’m pretty sure she does things like this just to piss me off.

I got almost no sleep the night before the appointment so I was exhausted and already annoyed about the lack of warning about the appointment, when I started my day.  Adding to my mood is what happened the day before.

The kids had Monday and Tuesday off school.  On Monday, their mother came and got my daughter and took her to lunch and the mall.  When I got home that evening, my son asked me if I knew where his sister was so I told him that she was with his mother.  He got really upset.  They never even told him that they were going out.  Now, I don’t expect his sister to tell him because she is a bit selfish with the time she spends with her mother, but his mother had no excuse for not taking him with them.  This isn’t the first time it’s happened.  This is a regular occurrence.  I’ve talked to her about it before and she just gives bullshit excuses, like the narcissistic bitch she is.

By the time the appointment came around, I was even more tired, and all that much more pissed off.  As I was walking in, I see the kids and their mother; and the douche bag she is married to.  Fuck me!  Now I’m seriously pissed off.  This guy is the biggest scumbag I’ve ever seen.  I won’t go into all the reasons here, but he is a true piece of shit.  The fact that my kids spend any time with him at all galls me to no end.

The appointments went well.  As for the douchey duo, the only satisfaction I could take out of seeing them is that she said that she had the worse migraine that she’s ever had; small consolation.

I am not a person who gets resentful or plays the pity card.  I don’t like to wallow, but I can’t help feeling resentful when I see that cunt with her fuck face of a husband.  Why the fuck should they have each other when I have to deal with raising the kids alone and deal with everything alone?  I know, who ever said life was fair?   It sure as hell isn’t fair and it pisses me off.    Yesterday it pissed me off more than it ever has.

Yeah, I know I’m a good person; I’m a good dad; I was a good husband.  I’ve had more women than I can count tell me how nice and wonderful I am and how I’d make any woman happy (yeah, except them, of course!)  All that is well and good, but it gets me nothing.  Not. A.  Fucking.  Thing.   I’ve been told that I deserve better; I’ve been told that I deserve the best;  my response?:  Yeah? So fucking what?  That cunt and her fuck-face husband deserve to live alone in misery, but they aren’t.   

The fact is that there is no justice in this world.  Wishing that I had someone who wants to put as much love and energy into me as I do into her doesn’t make it happen.  Wishing, hoping; they change nothing.   Wishing is how we assuage our fears that things we want to happen probably won’t.  Hope is our mind’s way of fooling ourselves into believing that life isn’t as arbitrary and unfair as it really is.  This isn’t cynicism; it is how the world works.

So yeah, I’m god damned fucking livid that I have spent the past 23 years trying to make women happy who have no capacity to be happy; who managed to use my love and kindness to manipulate me into giving them everything they asked for while never giving anything back; who left me alone, in anguish, even while we were still together.  

Who would have thought that something as simple as seeing those two together would dredge up so much anger?  I’ve seen them together countless times before and it’s never bothered me.  What made this time different?  I have no idea.  

I thought that I was over the anger a long time ago.  I guess not.  I see now that, most likely, it will never completely go away.  It will just pop up when I least expect it.  Fuck me!

My Divorce Story

I talk a lot here about my first divorce, or at least the fall out from it.  I thought it would be a good idea to give you the whole story so you might have a better understanding of what happened and why it was so traumatic for me.  This is also posted to my personal web page.

It’s a sad, strange story and, if I hadn’t happened to me, I’d never believe it.

If I have learned anything from my marriage, it is that I let my wife control me with guilt.  For the two years before we split, she had held the implicit threat of divorce over my head, made me feel like everything wrong in our marriage was my fault.  She used my guilt over what she supposedly sacrificed for me to manipulate me so that get into a relationship with this man.

First it was on line, they met on this site we all belong to, I think I’ve sent you the url before, www.deviantart.com.  His ex-wife (his wife at the time all this happened) also is a member, for a while, we were all buddies, commenting on each other’s work and such.  Then, after a while, his ex-wife, Jan, started accusing him, Kevin, and my wife, Holly of having a cyber affair.  Holly told me that she was nuts, that she had a history of mental illness.  She assured me that they were just friends.

I accepted that, because I had also made a good friend on that site, a woman from New Zealand.   We were just friends.  I never hid it from Holly.
 I was open about it and told her that if it bother her that I talked to this woman, I’d stop and never talk to her again.  Holly assured me that she wasn’t jealous.

So, the stage was set.  Holly told me she wanted to fly to Nebraska and visit a friend she knew there.  That she had been stuck raising the kids for the past 9 years and deserved it.  She said that she also deserved my trust.  So I let her go.  I even took vacation time so I could take care of the kids.

Well, she called from Nebraska and said that it was really nice here and that the cost of living was better.  Her family was also giving us a really hard time, and I was feeling trapped at my job so it seemed like a good idea.   I found a good job here in Nebraska and we moved.  I don’t regret that, I love it here, the kids love it here.

Anyway, after we moved, this friend of Holly’s, who’s name is Kevin, would stop by  about once a week.  He’d come over to visit.  He seemed like a really nice guy.   It was could tell that they were attracted to each other, but I was trying hard to work on our marriage and hoped that we could work things out.  At the most, I expected him to divorce his so-called crazy wife and then figured Holly would ask for a divorce.  I was ready for that.  I could have dealt with that.

What I found was betrayal, manipulation and lies, all to satisfied their wants at the expense of everyone else.   I still don’t believe it, but I know it’s true because I have proof.  Pictures, videos, blogs, messages. Holly told me that she has come clean, that there was nothing else she was hiding, but I keep finding more, I keep catching her in more lies.

I finally met Jan, his ex-wide.  She’s not crazy, she bitter and hurt by 17 years with an unfaithful husband.  She filed for divorce a few years ago, but withdrew it because he promised to get therapy for a sex addiction.

Well, it turns out that the nights he was supposed to be going to therapy, he was visiting us.  It wasn’t long before Holly began asking me to take the kids to the movies and swimming while he visited.  I still thought his wife was nuts and so I figured he needed some time with a good friend. Well, it turns out that the were having sex in my apartment while I was with the kids.  Not only that, they were broadcasting it over our web cam.

I didn’t think it could get any worse, but it did, and in a way that I could never, ever have imagined.    Jan found CD’s that Kevin had hidden in their garage.  One of them has pictured of Holly having sex with another couple.  Another had a video of Holly having sex with our dog!!!.  Jan turned the video of Holly with our dog over to the police. They came to the house, took our computer and cited her for Lewd Behavior with an Animal. She ended up pleading guilty and got a fine.

So, you can see why I now have custody of the kids.  She has serious problems.  She sees them once or twice a week, but not nearly as much as she could if she really wanted to.  It’s probably better for the kids in the long run, although it is very hard on them.

I was stupid and blind.  Maybe I just didn’t want to let myself believe what I feared was true.

Well, anyway, that’s the story of my divorce.  

Strange Emotions

I don’t understand how I can be happy and sad at the same time. It is such a strange feeling. I don’t think I’ve ever felt like this before. I feel so happy because so many good things have been happening in my life lately. I have so much to be thankful for; my kids, my job, my friends; my ability to write; and love, lots and lots of love from the most amazing, beautiful people. Their love is so beautiful that it leaves me speechless; breathless. Still, there is this sadness, like a deep, dull aching. I don’t understand what that is or why I feel it. It is like this desperate need to hold on tight to someone for hours; to feel their warmth; their breath against my cheek; their head on my shoulder; their arms holding me tight. Where does that come from? It is such a weird mix of feelings.

Loving and Living With a Narcissist

I am reading the book, The Object of My Affection by Rokelle Lerner. A friend suggested that I read it since she felt that my experiences with both my wives indicated that they were narcissists. I’ve just started reading the book but already, in the first chapter, I have found two quotes that perfectly describe my relationships.

“It’s baffling when the person you fell in love with, who used to treat you so lovingly and thoughtfully, suddenly acts like you are an annoyance-or worse, the enemy. It’s painful to watch this person in public, treating people with respect and generosity and doing nice things such as acknowledging their birthdays-while consistently ignoring you. Your friends may think he’s quite a catch; people may adore him. And you may begin to feel as if there’s something desperately wrong with you.”

“When you’re in relationship with a narcissist, you relinquish your identity and your soul to them. Their seduction is similar to a razor-sharp stiletto being waved in your face: it’s so mesmerizing, you won’t know you’re bleeding to death until it’s too late. But it’s not your blood that a narcissist wants-it’s your emotional energy and your individuality. A true narcissist has no qualms about taking your money, your love, your admiration, your body, or your soul to satisfy their unquenchable hunger. And just as vampires cringe when they’re in the presence of crosses or holy water, narcissists recoil at ordinary adult experiences such as boredom, uncertainty, accountability, and, most of all, having to give as well as receive.”

These were my wives, my marriages, and my feelings, there on the page, as if I had written them as a description of my life. I have been trying to make sense of how I could have ended up with two women who I gave everything to, and who then took, and took, and took, but never gave back, unless it served to somehow benefit them.

These women convinced me that they loved me, cherished me, wanted me, but in the end, only cared about what they could get from the me. Once they realized they had taken all I had to offer, they moved on, leaving me alone and sure that it was all my fault.

Even though I now understand why they did what they did, because they were narcissists, I am left with irrational fears of being rejected, of never being good enough, of being left alone again. I live with these fears every day. I am almost constantly on edge, just one step away from another panic attack. I am always looking over my shoulder, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Even though I trust the people in my life that I love, I live in constant fear that they will just leave, or worse, become disinterested and reject me. Even as I write this, the terror of being ignored; rejected, is palpable. I am on medication for depression and anxiety. I practice deep breathing and meditation to help calm myself. Nevertheless, the pure fear lurks just beyond my reach, waiting to envelop and destroy me. Or so it seems, anyway.

Supposedly, this book is supposed to help those who have suffered at the hands of narcissists. Let’s hope so.