First of all, last night I had all these racing thoughts. I couldn’t even focus on yoga, when usually I can be aware of extraneous thoughts and let them pass. There was none of this yesterday. I lay down. The thoughts got worse. Nothing really bad, thanks be to God, no suicide, no homicide, but the quantity of the thoughts were intrusive. Also, little bits of nausea were crawling up to my throat. For some reason, I was convinced that salty nuts would help out, so I went downstairs and in the dark found some peanuts. I got upstairs when I realized hey were not salted, but they were the best I could do without waking up B, who was asleep on the couch. I ate the nuts, drank some water and tried to rest. I wasn’t sleeping. Usually my head hits the pillow, my body hits the mattress, I turn over twice, like a dog, and go straight to sleep. I get out the computer, and praise be to God my friend H, who is a missionary in Asia and has enough to do with her work and four kids, took some time with me to pray and be kind. She told me to lay down and rest. I decided to take a Xanax. It works for anxiety, and racing thoughts can be a symptom, although I attribute mine to bipolar. Anxiety is one of the only mental illnesses that I carry a stigma towards. I am sorry, anxiety-possessors, but I just don’t know how to process that. I’ve had exactly one anxiety attack in my life – I was in the tenth grade. It was attributed to eating cheetos for lunch and a young girls hormones. I realize it’s not that simple, and I love many people with anxiety, but it’s just hard for me to really understand it.
Anyway, I threw up the Xanax. When I throw up, I hold my nose to keep the acid from hitting my sinuses. Vomit in the nose really hurts, and when you vomit as much as I do you develop a technique. I threw up great gallons of yellow water and bile. I sneezed, which caused the vomit to go every where. I heaved and sneezed four times. Then, I got a bloody nose. It wasn’t a bad one, I am prone to serious bloody noses, and I think my poor nose was not up to all this pressure. I have a small nose – it shouldn’t have to go through all I put it through. My nose also has freckles. I had nothing left in my belly so I started dry heaving. This worried me, I usually just empty my stomach and that was it.
(Have to add that I’m not bulimic, I’ve been to the doctor about all this vomiting and he ordered a scan and I’ve had tests and all that. The doctor said that they don’t know what is causing the nausea, but that it’s nothing serious. No cancer, tumors or even acid re-flux. So don’t worry about that, okay, T?)
I went down to talk to B about all of it. I was thinking before I needed to go to the hospital, but I was afraid they’d recommend I go to the “Behavioral Health Center.” (I love “Behavioral Health Center”- it’s just so ridiculous- how about calling the hospital what it is – the psychiatric floor? Less stigma? Please! “BHC” just sounds so much like running mice through mazes or putting those electrodes on a patient’s head.) I have Small’s birthday party Saturday and no time for a hospital visit. They keep you 5-7 days, or longer if you do something like drink and pill yourself into a coma and won’t admit you have trouble with alcohol. I know of someone who stayed over twenty days because she wouldn’t agree with the doctor that she had a problem with the bottle.
I have stayed twice, for six days each. I wanted to get out early the second time and they gently threatened me. I could be released, but it would be Against Medical Advice. It wasn’t a good idea for a mother to have such things on her record.
I hate that they were right and I didn’t want to risk anything. I know I’m not the first mental health patient to be afraid of her children being taken away, heck, I’m not the first any kind of person with that fear. I believe it’s more of a grounded fear for people with mental disabilities. If you confide in a friend, there is a chance a well-meaning (or vindictive) person might call CPS because they believe you to be incompetent. Quite honestly, there were times in my journey when I was incompetent. I was sleeping all the time, leaving a toddler to the run in the house. I was very, very sick and she may have been better off in a home that was more closely supervised. I didn’t see that as an option then, B was clueless and I was too sick. I will always be relieved nothing happened to Small and that we all got through it together. I would say I believe Jesus Himself was my babysitter, but what about the kids who pull bookshelves out on themselves, or drown unattended? Did Jesus run to take the cookies out of the oven and lose track of them? I don’t think so.
Anyway, Small survived, I survived, both of us by a very close margin. I didn’t lose her, I continued to nurse her. My resolved feelings about the subject of whether she belonged in foster care is that she did not. As messed up as I was at that time, I was the mommy God gave her. (I do believe that, even lousy moms are chosen by God. They do not necessarily need to be caring for children, but I think they are chosen by God) My daughter is okay now, not visibly worse for the wear. She is an independent girl, who still loves spending time with her mommy. She doesn’t cling to me in public, but I am the one she chooses to talk things out. My neglect no longer services my shame for me, it’s just part of my journey. I am more gracious to myself than I thought I even could be. If something had happened to her, it would have been harder.
Back to my ickiness. I feel fine today, a little tired. I was supposed to return a bunch of stuff but I found out if you buy things with a check you have to wait five days for a refund, so the march of shame will not be taken until Wednesday. Things I was sure I wanted, even needed, aren’t needed now that the dust has cleared. I am keeping some shoes and some clothes, but not five pairs of shoes and all kinds of clothes. I haven’t had a shoe binge in a while. It was kinda fun but not more fun than embarrassingly dragging them back to the store. It didn’t even feel good wearing them. I have a cousin who has a whole room devoted to her shoes. I counted and discovered I have fifty pairs of shoes. The average American woman has 30-40. I’m above average. I did not believe I had gotten so out of control. I am trying to give them away to people I know, because I cherish them and can’t stand the idea of having to be apart. I have a pair of gray patent leather heels. Wait! I have two pair of patent leather heels. I gave one to Small for dress up and kept the other. Have I ever worn either of them? I’m sure I got them on sale, but I really would rather have the $70 than the shoes. I even feel a little ashamed. It is amazing how our hearts work. I’m okay with blatant neglect, but not gray patent leather heels.
I’m a Rambler today. Forgive me. I am so glad you are reading this blog. I spend a lot of time on this, probably time I could spend on other things and other writing, but I feel compelled to continue. My first blog started when my grandma got sick and ended at her death. I have no such landmark when it comes to this one, so on I march.