and suddenly, my problems are tiny

My last post was really intense for me – I hadn’t written in so long. It was personal, and to be honest, I expected some sort of astounding response; like all the people suffering from c-ptsd and other assorted types of horrendous trauma would say “hey – I get that!!” But alas, each day I check, and there is no loud validation or camaraderie. I have neglected the blog too long, I lost my network.I was busy losing my mind.

And then today I saw that “fighting like hell” liked my post. So as I usually do, I sauntered over to take a look at her blog. I will tell you that I generally read the latest post or two of another writer and then I move on. Today, this was not the case. I was grabbed by the heart, almost a little violently, and emotions started flailing around inside. I felt a little panicky; I had to tell myself “it’s not you!”  Totally full of compassion yet powerless, her words penetrated my soul and I also felt ashamed.

Oh the rare occasion I confess to being diagnosed with PTSD it’s not unusual for me to feel ashamed. I think of the Vietnam Veterans of my youth, so tortured, tossed aside and misunderstood. THOSE men and women earned the right to say they had PTSD. All are soldiers who return from the Middle East – entitled. This writer, who I just stumbled upon, SHE has the right, good Lord does she have the right. But her words are stirring up my own demons and I keep thinking – I DON’T have the right!

So I keep reading her extremely talented and compelling memoir of sorts. The chick can write! She puts into words what I have never been able to express without sounding like a fool. She is my new idol. I want to hug her. I want to scream at the computer “YOU WERE SIX!! IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!” (you really have to read her blog). My mind is unleashed now. “She needs a publisher,” I tell myself as I sit in the dark, in the middle of the night in silence except for the irritating ticking of a lone clock. There is no spot for comments on her blog. I am frustrated. “They shouldn’t make you relive it! NO NO NO!” “It’s nice that your husband was trying to protect you, but why did he have to be such a controlling asshole about it?” I secretly wished that he hugged you and promised you it would all be okay. Lunch and a manicure would have been nice! But somehow, people don’t know how to comfort us, without judgement or shame. It makes it worse.

I have very recently started going public with “our” Complex PTSD. It doesn’t matter. No one understands it anyway. The one who was the littlest at the time, I don’t know if I can save him. I don’t know if he will just live his life in this quiet torture.That is the worst of it for me. Almost unbearable. And it becomes a circle and we are triggers and trauma reminders for each other…while the rest of the family just says – “it’s over, I don’t want to hear about it anymore.” OK – and we just get worse. And we two who were victimized drift farther apart – and it’s so heartbreaking.

I try to tell my siblings – I think that if someone understood, it would be easier. “People go through so much worse things, ya know!” Fuck off, I want to say, but then I read this blog and yes, it was SO much worse. and I am so so very sorry. I don’t know you, but I love you. I love you because you are a human who has been cut off, adrift at sea due to other people’s actions, and then reactions, and ignorance. I am so sorry. It wasn’t your fault – none of it. Your last conversation- don’t think of that – you were warriors together – you had love in your heart for each other – he knew that.

I know you – I feel you – I will pray that you can find a life that gives you some kind of joy. You deserve it. Keep writing – you are incredible. You are worthy of all good things – And maybe all of us with this awful emotional WOUND can comfort each other and maybe feel a little less alone. Maybe the world can show some sort of compassion again – maybe the gray can go away. Just Breathe! You are wise.You are beautiful.

 

Update: Please follow Fighiting like hells blog.   https://justbreathe826.wordpress.com

 

Words CRUSH – even years later.

In July of 2007, my borderline personality ex took his own life. I was left to sort through the wreakage that he left behind. For a person that was neither highly educated nor intuitive, he carefully and methodically spent months brilliantly preparing his dramatic exit, so that the world would continue to see him as the victim and those he loathed as villains. What kind of distruction did he leave in his spiteful maniacal path? Only time would tell, and only those enlightened few will notice!

Hmmmm, how do you exact revenge from the grave on those you leave behind?  Murder/suicide is often the headline grabbing choice, but maybe you would rather be more subtle. Maybe you don’t want your legacy to be that you were in fact a  cowardly  piece of excrement. So how can one obtain the greatest impact while preserving their “false self.”

Certainly you wouldn’t want to hurt your own children, but their mothers, ah ha! That’s who you need to punish and you hurt them the most via their own children. The fact that they are yours as well is incindental. Sorry, the kid’s are just a casualty in this war. So you will take their innocent souls, turn them against the people who might save them and infect them with our own insipid sick ramblings; twist them with your paranoid ideas.You have become very adept at this. You did it to their mothers. You do it to ANYONE who challenges you or gets in your way. You are good at it and YOU are a monster. It is second nature. So you proceed to make vegetable soup out of your childrens’ emotions; injecting them with your sick masogonistic, paranoid ideas. It doesn’t occur to you that you are the lowest piece of garbage on face of the earth. OR that hat they will struggle for years to feel good again or have healthy relationships. All that matters is that you will have the last laugh, and that you will come out smelling like a rose. Poor you, all the injustices you suffered, you could not bare it any longer.

So you leave this earth. You disinherit your kids, which isn’t even the worst of it. You turn everyone against them, leaving them with little to no support, except the mothers whom they’ve grown to hate (google Parental Alienation Syndrome). Some of these kids will thrive. Some will turn to drugs, or sex or crime, or gambling or become abusers themselves. Others will be perfect little soldiers; ideal citizens, until one day, a small thing, a semingly insignificant thing pushes them to the brink; and they crumble.

The people around them, who you brainwashed as well, will not connect the dots. They will not recognize your sick handywork after so many years. However, the mother’s will know, if they are smart and tried to learn about the devastating disorder that took over your personality and mind. They will know. But it won’t matter, because you have rendered them powerless. YOU have planted seeds of doubt and lies over the years.No one will take them seriously. THEY are hysterical, they are bitter, they are the reason you were forced to sink to such depths. (If you are reading this and a victim of abuse, please know that this is utter bullshit.)

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So NOW the mess is left in the caregivers laps – (I speak as a mother because that is my perspective, but I am sure there are men who have endured the same hell.) We are left with angry, brainwashed, broken children. Grieving, confused, disenfranschised, they will not recieve the support they need because the dysfunctional families that spawned them will want to disavow any responsibility. No one will want to really look at how sick the individual was. Things like that don’t happen in a vacuum. Everyone in the family is infected in some way or another.The whole family needs help, but few get it. Everyone just wants this ugliness to be over. But it’s not.

For the people that truly love the children that are left behind, they won’t want to admit the extent of the damage. They will say well meaning things like “she will be fine!” “time heals all wounds” “it wasn’t that bad!” and the granddaddy of all ignorant insults “people go through much worse – they should be stronger.” There is nothing more frustrating than people who speak athoritatively about things they know nothing about. You will find this archaic narrow minded thinking most often, in my experience, in men over fifty. Do not turn to them – you will want to rip your own hair out and just feel more alone than you already do.

I don’t have answers – I have anger. But I will. There is no force greater than an angry mother lion. One thing that I HAVE learned through all this is that it is admittedly really hard for everyone involved to deal with mental illness, me included.You can’t help but second guess yourself. But when teens go on shooting rampages you will hear the echoing refrain “where were their mothers????? Someone MUST have known that something was wrong! ” We are an indignent jugdemental society, and until we educate ourselves and have some kind of compassion instead of judgement, we are all doomed. Do you know someone who is abusive to a child? Do we even know what abuse is anymore?


I was going to turn the focus of this blog towards autoimmune disease; the frustration and shame that is involved in it. Did you know that most autoimmune diseases start with trauma? I guess all people who let trauma effect them are weak. I am here to tell you – that’s utter nonsense AND you are not alone -The ignorant people who make you feel worse and try to blame it all on you can go fuck off….cause honestly – I have had it with this selfish, self involved society that doesn’t have a bit of compassion. My blessings to all of those who have suffered at the hands of a monster or who have had to watch silently while those they love suffer. I refuse to be powerless any longer. I wish everyone peace.

*****PHOTO CREDIT*****

https://actionagainstabuse.wordpress.com

PLEASE VISIT THEIR PAGE

Who is the enemy?

My mind has not been cooperating with me at all lately. It’s incredibly frustrating. I have been trying to put into words who or what is my imaginary enemy. When I came up with that new title,  it was because, although I believed my undiagnosed ADHD was my imaginary enemy, I knew it was so much more than that. I wanted to be able to widen the scope of this blog.

I needed to figure out exactly who this enemy was. So as I walked through each day, I had an “aha” moment. And each day, I could not put it into words. One day it was the autoimmune illnesses that have basically made me a punch line. “Oh you have Chronic Fatigue, I’m chronically fatigued too, hahaha.” Another day I believed it was childhood trauma. And yet another day, I thought it was the loneliness of being judged and misunderstood. On the final day, I decided it was ME.

I suppose in reality, it’s all of those things and none of them. I truly believe that having ADD made me lose faith in myself; so everytime someone judged or mistreated me, I somehow thought I deserved it. I knew in my heart that there was something “wrong” with me, but had no clue what it was. As a child, although I did well in school, it was made very clear to me at home, that I was at the core of me, “bad.” But I was smart too, so I decided to camouflage it with “crazy.” Fun, silly, irreverent, crazy. It was a pretty good plan, except it left me feeling very alone. No one knew the real me, because I didn’t believe the real me was lovable.

I want to share my story, not for a boo hoo, but so that others might feel less alone. Everyone is different. Some of us have brains that work in a quirky way. Many of us have illnesses that are mocked and dismissed. Others have history with well meaning parents who hurt us deeply and did not give us the coping skills to negotiate the complexities of life. In the end, for me, it’s all those things.

This week, someone unexpected looked me in the eyes, shared their story, and smiled. When I told him I had ADHD too, his eyes twinkled and he said “I knew there was a reason that I always felt a connection to you.” He touched my hand and that touched my heart. He is half my age but wise beyond his years. He did something for me that no one has ever done. He shared his truth and in doing so, made me see that the part of me that I thought was ugly is beautiful. This post is for you Shaun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Blog gets a New Name!

Hello everyone! If you have been following me you might know that I have been battling a flare in my autoimmune disease for the past 4+ months – I was so ill at one point, the most I could do was let the dogs out, and microwave soup a friend had thankfully made. I have had a nagging guilt of not writing here – but I am facing so many challenges – it’s hard to stay focused on the ADD – That is actually quite funny and ironic.

Today, after a totally disheartening visit to the Mayo clinic, who basically told me there is no treatment for autoimmune disease and you just have to not only live with it, but expect to develop more, I decided that I had to get to writing again and had to broaden my topic to include the other things that I am dealing with and believe are all related. (Such a run on sentence – my apologies).

So, never one to give up, I purchased the domain name myimaginaryenemy.com and started a small website. I am going to keep the address on this blog the same – because it will still deal a lot with ADHD – because really, that always adds into the mix of whatever I am dealing with. The new title will be My Imaginary Enemy – and that will give me lots of room to discuss topics that are important to me that I’ve struggled with or learned a lot about through my life.

Thank you to all of you who have been encouraging and supportive in my journey and of my writing. This has been a truly healing process, so I would really like to continue it. If you have ADHD let me suggest you look at seeinADHD.com  Jennie – an adhd coach in NY, has been an invaluable mentor and online friend. She writes amazing posts, has a book I plan on reviewing – and is a non – ADHD er trying to educate the world about the challenges of living with ADHD. She also has incredibly interesting and informative podcasts – Follow her on twitter @seeinADHD and join her FB support page She is really an incredible resource and person. The support group is full of really nice people.

Cheers to everyone!!!

 

 

Chronic Fatigue Gets A New Name

This eloquently and clearly depicts what it is like to have this illness – I could not have written anything that closely describes this roller coaster ride. So thankful that I found this blog. I thought I’d share it with my readers so they can understand the health crisis I am dealing with at the moment.

Tales from the Reading Room

So, The New York Times reports that the Institute of Medicine has suggested a new name for chronic fatigue syndrome. The proposal is that it should be called ‘systemic exertion intolerance disease’, which is quite a mouthful. But maybe an almost-unsayable name is appropriate for an almost-intolerable illness. Basically, the name is designed to reflect a significant symptom of the condition: ‘a sustained depletion of energy after minimal activity, called postexertional malaise.’

I used to describe the experience of the illness as akin to having a leaky car battery. You could charge and charge that battery, but as soon as you started doing anything you could feel the energy draining away. Quicker than seemed possible you’d be reaching the point of exhaustion. Sleep makes no difference. So during term at the university, I’d be struggling by about the second week in, watching my symptoms come earlier every day in the…

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Flummoxed! But I am back!!

I have been simultaneously longing to write again and dreading getting started. I was on such a roll with my blog and my life in general, when a series of events merged to make the perfect storm. Over the past two months, my health, along with my quality of life, dropped to a depth  I never thought I’d see again.

A little over a year ago, I FINALLY accepted my diagnosis of Adult Add and began taking meds and learning about an illness I felt completely removed from. It was liberating, embarrassing, and confusing, all at the same time. Within a month, however, everything started changing. Finally, after so many years of dealing with other “imaginary illnesses” I could think clearly enough to take measures towards improving my health. and my life. I started loving myself more and judging myself less. It has been a little surreal, being part of and also just watching the metamorphosis that was taking place in my brain.

With my new found clarity, I started setting goals and making plans. I had an out of town wedding in 10 months and I wanted to look and feel good for it. I started planning in my head. The first step, and it was a hard one, was giving up gluten. That deserves a post all it’s own, but suffice it to say, that too was life altering. I lost 10% of my weight and began to physically feel so much better; better than I had felt in years. A remarkable ” side effect” of my new meds was that they sidelined the unrelenting Chronic Fatigue that had waxed and waned across my life like a storm for the past two decade.s.

Next I went to a psychiatrist specializing in ADHD. She looked at the constellation of illnesses I had struggled with throughout my life and said these magical words; “This is a fairly typical scenario – I believe you have one or more MHTFR gene mutations. Your physical symptoms are causing your psychological ones.” For anyone who has suffered with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (no longer called by such a trivializing name), and/ or Fibromyalgia, – hearing those words was like the sky opened and an angels choir began to sing.

Now it’s 2 months away from the wedding. Dealing with the MTHFR, just learning about and weeding through all my genetic information, would be a lengthy process, but I felt more hopeful than ever that I would regain a less tenuous footing on my health. Things were finally shifting!. And then it happened. I accidentally ingested gluten at a house warming party. I, to this day, have no idea how this happened because I was so careful, but that is when the backslide began, in spite of all my efforts to counteract it. One month passed and I still felt “off.” .

To make a long story short, I made it to the wedding, felt OK and looked pretty good, if I do say so myself:) The next day however, true to form, I woke up with a sore throat and felt like hell. I knew this was not good. I do not get a cold – I get 4 weeks of asthmatic bronchitis. But not this time! This time it was pneumonia. The wedding was in early November, and as preparations were being made for New Years Eve,  I thought it was just about gone. It is close to the end of January – and I can not believe how far I felt so fast. I had to put the blog on the back burner, which broke me heart because it was off to a fabulous start. Weak and worn out, with an immune system that seems to be on vacation, tending to my health has had to be my number one priority.

I started this post when it was still 2015.and have not had the energy or mental fortitude to finish it. I just want to let my followers know, I have not given up – I have lots to say and share. I am coming back!! This is an important journey for me, and I intend to stick with it! I am still struggling, so please be patient – but when I can, you can believe I’ll be right here writing. Stay tuned!