Nightmares

I have a lot of them, every night.They are all awful and I wake up exhausted from fighting monsters in my sleep. Some repetitive stuff, like my brother begging me to save him. Some generic chase/run from unknown evil ones. Some just everyday zombies,vampires and werewolves.

Just recently, a dead guy with half his head sheared off diagonally (my husband is to blame for that one as he told me all the gruesome details of an industrial accident that (I think?) was a misguided attempt to help me accept random death.) Nope, just more fodder for my deranged brain.

But the absolute worst Sponge Bob Square Pants. He was as yellow and goofily annoying as always but inside his mouth he had multiple layers of Great White shark teeth and he was after me.

 

These days I am scared to sleep because it is so unpleasant.

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My daughter held a bbq for her birthday

The actual birthday isn’t for a few days but it is the last weekend before they go off to South America so an early celebration is in order.

I didn’t want to go at all. To start with, I always have to see my ex-husband and his family there and it is stressful. Right now, social interaction is incredibly hard anyway.

I normally provide some sort of food and a homemade cake. I’d actually bought all the cake ingredients but today was a day when I couldn’t even brush my teeth, let alone turn an oven on. Husband was dispatched to buy an ice-cream cake instead.

I was very anxious about going there because I don’t have the social skills right now to deal with groups of people but she is my lovely daughter and I can make a huge effort for her.

It didn’t work out well.

I am lousy with the memory right now and one of the causes of my grief is that I don’t remember the last conversation I had with my brother. Because I didn’t know it would be that last conversation and a huge part of my grief is that everybody else in my family had the chance to consolidate and bind and say important things but I never did. Because they kept it from me while I was away and I only found out by a random email from overseas,wishing us all good luck.

I don’t think that I will ever be able to fine tune memory down to that last conversation but I now do realise the last time I saw him as he truly was. It was at the last year’s birthday party. I can even see exactly where he sat. His absence, from a family scene so typical, was absolutely devastating.

I feel flayed, like every nerve ending is screaming with raw pain.

 

 

 

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Up and down

Pretty much mostly down. The people that imply (or even outright state that I choose depression) can bite me.

Why the hell would anybody choose to feel this?

Last night there was a family gathering to farewell my daughters before they went to South America; one of them is planning to travel on indefinitely and the other will be back in a few months. Our get-together was held at my mother’s house and once I got there,she asked my advice on whether or not she should display a picture in front of my sister-in-law.

The picture (taken by my other brother) showed my terminally ill brother walking down a beach. It was taken from behind and showed his footsteps in wet sand, along the beach and behind his outline.

 

It detailed his tremendous steroid weight gain, his insistence on a dilapidated hat and a walking stick and it summed out everything over the course of his illness.  That he tried to walk in the hope that exercise might help. His obsession with certain objects. His delight in being outside on the beach, even if he couldn’t swim anymore.

I took him for so many of those walks. Every time, it was a struggle to get him into and then out of the car. Hard to manage the short steps to the sand. Even harder to walk upon it. Sometimes we tossed a ball backwards and forwards to try and let his brain relearn those actions. Sometimes he wore a weight plate because he tried to make exercise count as much as possible (we dissuaded him from wearing it a lot of the time because it made him appear as a crazed suicide bomber).

 

Every time people stared at him because his appearance was so bizarre. He knew and it hurt him but he carried on anyway. I think about all those times I took him out and how hard he tried to fit into a semblance of a normal life.

That picture encapsulates everything that was good and worthwhile about my brother and ever since seeing it, I can’t stop crying.

 

 

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I think you just get tired

Or I do, anyway.

I feel perpetually exhausted at the thought of the struggle to come out on the other side of this latest bout of depression. I’ve done all the right things, put all the support networks in place prior and it STILL hasn’t helped. Except maybe to convince people that I am functioning well, when the truth is that I am not.

 

It is not constant, either, which you’d think would be a good thing but in my case, again no. I get brief periods when I think I’m coping well but they never last longer than an hour or so, tops. Back down to the depths again and more utter misery, probably compounded  with extra obligations, due to the things I committed to do the last time I felt ok.

I don’t want to put any of my grief on my mother or my SIL (I suspect all three of us are behaving similarly, though, and withholding for the same reasons) so my poor husband gets it all. He’s been sterling but I wouldn’t want to be married to me right now. Hell, I don’t even want to be me right now.

The constant fluctuation of up and down is so much more exhausting than just being chronically depressed. It also totally fucks up my memory and I can’t remember more than two thoughts  in a progression. Life is a huge, huge struggle right now.

And I am so tired. I dream every night; exhaustive scary dreams that I remember the next day. This week’s winner was me being chased through the dense words by a big black dog/cat thing that constantly bit my legs as I ran: I couldn’t see it because of the dark night and the bites came totally at random out of the dark. I was absolutely terrified,both in the dream and when I woke up.

 

I only ever have such vivid nightmares (or even regular memorable dreams) when I am mired in the mud and fog of clinical depression.

The black dog is chasing me.

 

 

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Not doing so well

I think it is because I’m not working. I never do well when I’m in a low cycle and I’m not fully occupied 18 hours a day.

 

My husband is getting fed up with me and I don’t blame him. He didn’t sign on for this: really, nobody knows what it is like to live with somebody bipolar until you do,no matter how much you explain it.

I’m writing here and that’s about the most positive action I’ve been capable of for days. See a medical professional? I can’t change the sheets on my own, let alone be proactive with medical help.

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I don’t like telling people

Presumably it will get easier but it is so hard right now. Thinking about why, it occurs to me that I can’t handle the social obligation politeness. Tell somebody that your brother just died (mostly as an explanation for why I am trying to take current actions, legal or otherwise) and there is an automatic social politeness rejoinder of regret. But they didn’t know him and they don’t know me well enough to really care how I am functioning and I don’t want to display the inevitable emotion that comes up if I tell the truth.

 

I do understand that most people are just trying to be nice by saying it, and I appreciate it, but I still shrink from it. Contrarily, when people should say it but don’t, I get hurt. It is a social norm that I think marks out decent people from others.

The two people who haven’t said anything at all, even when they knew me and the subject came up, aren’t people I classify particularly highly as stellar human beings and their lack of empathy just confirmed what I’d already felt about them.

I didn’t expect my ex-husband to send me a card but when he nagged me about doing something and I apologised for my tardiness, explaining the circumstances and he just responded “I know”, well, that made me sad. I was married to that man for 17 years and he should have the basic social levels of a human being.

I got mad at myself after, though. The thought kept rippling through my mind “I was married to that for so long?!”.

 

Currently, I shrink away from social interaction.

 

 

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