mental health, Mental illness

To Wander Off…

I was reading an article about a woman who continues to have, much to her dismay, a deep desire to just disappear. She used the phrase “emotional paralysis.” I couldn’t have found a better way to express this feeling. It’s not so much wanting to die, which I’ve experienced way too many times in my opinion, but much like this woman, I’ve been wishing that I could just cease to be.

I was talking with my therapist a couple of days ago (yes, I’m not out here dry-dogging it solo) and I told her that I was actually amazed that I was still top-side, sitting on my bed talking to her on the phone.

It’s the age of the coronavirus and I haven’t seen her in person since February. 

She’s a really good therapist and I should know; I saw my first one when my age was still in single digits. Nowadays, I only get two 45 minute sessions per month, but it’s better than nothing.

After all that I’ve been through the last few years, I am somehow still interested in actively engaging in therapy. Given everything that I’ve experienced, it’s like some sort of minor miracle. 

miracle
Calm the fuck down, Jules

Because a part of me wants to just wander off the planet, never to be seen again.


I’ve become emotionally paralyzed, after so many traumatic events in a short span of time.

My husband was cheating on me.

I kicked him out, while still being a victim of his gaslighting and manipulation, then eventually got divorced from said cheating husband.

My mom was severely ill and then died. Our once close relationship began to erode the sicker that she became and although a part of me understands her reasoning behind pushing me away, it still stings like salt on an open wound.

I decided to sell my condo and move into a century house because the memories in every shadowy corner of my failed marriage was just too much to bear. I thought that moving would make me happy and although I do love my new home, I am still unhappy, mostly detached from my emotions.

The coronavirus hit home and someone that I loved died from it. 

My previously healthy elderly dog died suddenly and without warning.

Just last week, my hip became partially dislocated! Oh joy of joys!

It never fucking ends. It seems like each day is brimming with the possibility of yet another trauma, just waiting to be unleashed. 


Since this is my first official post on my new blog, please take a minute to check out the About Me page. (Unless you’re a good blog friend of mine who already knows all about me! Then feel free to skip it!)

abuse, anxiety, depression, divorce, grief, healing, mental health, suicide, thoughts, trauma

Unpopular Facts

I’m having a major existential crisis.

I’m trying to figure out who the hell I am. After years of being abused, gaslighted and controlled, I seriously haven’t the foggiest idea. I’ve been hardwired to believe that I’m unworthy, unsatisfactory and unlovable.

I know that there’s a good person deep down inside of me. It’s like peeling the layers of an onion. There are things about me that I love, some that I like and then parts of myself that I really dislike.

What to keep and what to toss away into the garbage is a daily struggle.

I have regular nightmares that leave me with a doomed feeling that’s difficult to shake off.

I’m on a journey of healing, which sounds so cliche, I know. But damn is it hard work. There are days when I just want to give up. More often lately, I’m going down a unfortuantly familiar, self-destructive path…Googling suicide and indulging those fucking demons.

The Wikipedia page about suicide methods is like a trauma-induced bedtime story when I’m in that frame of mind. It’s much like a car wreck; you don’t want to look but you’re still morbidly curious.

I find that it’ll bring me some comfort…that it’s an option.

Just knowing that I can choose to leave on my own terms somehow lessens my ideations, as odd as that may sound. It’s only something that a truly depressed person could understand and as much as I realize how disturbing it must be to most people, I feel the need to let the truth spill forth from my fingertips.

There is a darkness inside my mind and if I don’t purge it the best way that I know how, through writing, I fear that it’ll eat me alive from the inside out.

The only way forward is to replay and process everything that’s happened to me. I suppose that’s why I have nightmares so fucking regularly. 

I found this meme the other day that struck a chord with me and made me feel validated.

I hate him. I’m relieved. I’m thankful to be away from him. 

It still hurts, anyway.

There are good memories that remain.

Another unpopular fact.

childhood, food, memories, thoughts

Toast

There was a five and dime called Murphy’s when I was a kid and sometimes on a Saturday morning, my dad would take just me with him to the lunch counter.

We’d sit at the chipped formica table together. I always told the waitress that I wanted chocolate milk and toast. My order never changed.

My dad would get some coffee, of course, because that’s what most adults drank.

And he’d always let me reorder more toast, I don’t recall one time that he told me no…nor do I remember him saying no to another glass of chocolate milk.

I loved the small packs of butter and jelly. I’d take my knife and carefully spread both onto my beautiful toasted bread, cut into triangles.

Not too light and not too dark. In the middle somewhere, the perfect tan color.

As an adult myself, whenever I get a taste for something light, yet comforting, I’ll go for the loaf of bread (usually wheat now), check the fridge for the butter (with a touch of sea salt) and then pray that we have some jelly (or jam) in the house.

Tonight, I opened up a new jar of BEAR jam that I recently bought at a farmers market.

Just like when I was a kid, one serving isn’t enough, so I make myself another round.

Instead of chocolate milk, which I rarely drink because of the high sugar, I just drink a glass of plain milk.

The store is gone now, they closed it down many years ago. Oh, how I’d love to go back and sit at that old fashioned lunch counter with my dad again.

I had my father for 12 years here on earth and I’ll never stop missing him. I’m just really glad that I have this special memory from my childhood.

anxiety, depression, mental health, thoughts, trauma

The Mental Health Blues

The incident that triggered my latest bout of the mental health blues happened last week.

I was woken up on Monday, September 7th by my doorbell ringing like crazy. Even without my glasses on, I could see the police lights through the front window. I instantly thought that it was about my daughter, who leaves at the crack of dawn for work.

I remember looking down at my dog Maya and saying, oh God, B’s been in an accident.

But thankfully, she was just fine.

Northeastern Ohio was experiencing nasty storms that morning. As I squinted to see the chaos in my front yard, the officer said, not so kindly, that it was going to cost me an arm and a leg to get an electrician out to fix my power line, especially on a holiday.

Oh shit, it was Labor Day.

Great.

Amazingly, I still had power, although I was told not for long. The storm took some tree branches out, which then fell on top of the car that’s been parked on the street for months now. The man who owns the car said that his insurance won’t cover an “Act of God.”

But he seriously didn’t seem too pressed about it. The car is still sitting there, for fucks sake!

The storm also pulled the thingy that held the powerline to my house down. They put yellow caution tape everywhere. (See photo below.)

The electric company was on the way to turn the juice off, the fire department guy informed me, since we couldn’t have a live wire on the ground for safety reasons.

I made myself a quick cup of coffee while I still could.

That’s me standing there with a blanket wrapped around my shoulders. My friend Fran took the photo.

Then I instantly went to call my mom.

A reflex.

My boyfriend was really upset. He asked me if I wanted him to call off work and come over but I told him no. He barely gets enough hours as it is. Besides, there really wasn’t all that much that he could do. There are times when he’s too overly helpful and then makes matters worse, although I know that isn’t what his intentions are.

I had a video chat with my friend Fran, who didn’t hesitate for a second and said that she was on her way.

My heart swelled with relief.

I tried to call my brother, who works for the electric company and I thought that perhaps he could swing by or something. But when I finally got a hold of him, he was basically like, well, that sucks, sis. End call.

I decided to cancel the professional electrician that I had coming to do the repairs when an older dude from the neighborhood said that he could do it for cheaper, because I’m poor. He never did come back to fix the shattered weatherhead that the electric company man found laying in the grass when he finally showed up to turn my power back on, so I’ll be having someone come out soon to do that. Plus a few other things that I’ve been diligently saving up for.

The joys of home ownership. I do love this old house, though, so I want to do my best by her.

Yeah, my house is a girl and my car is a boy, so hey, whatever. Bwahaha.

Fran’s sister also came over (she drove through a thunderstorm and she has anxiety as well) to help us clean up the debris, brought food and to offer me emotional support, which proves that family isn’t only blood.

The old tree is supposed to be cut down one day this week (right!) and since it’s on the treelawn, it’s the cities responsibility. Thank goodness for that! We think that it got struck by lightning that morning and the forestry man who came out to look at it the next day agreed. It appears that people have called about this particular tree way before we moved here.

Speaking of our new city, my daughter and I belonged to two Elyria Facebook groups. Well, someone took a picture that day and posted it with the intention of being mean. As humans are wont to do online, they started talking shit about us without knowing the details. I guess, according to B, we shouldn’t own a house if we can’t take care of the property.

I felt like I was going to vomit. I didn’t, though.

I quickly unfollowed both groups and told B not to tell me about any of it again due to my ongoing, shaky mental health. I became scared of retaliation and started looking at guns online (I ended up hiding a kitchen knife in my foyer instead) and couldn’t help but to picture a bunch of people coming to my house with pitchforks and torches.

Move out of our city, you shitty homeowner!!!

I ended up having a prolonged panic attack that didn’t start to abate until 3 days later. It was fucked up, one of the worst that I’ve had in quite some time and I was extremely close to going to the ER. But from my past experiences, I knew that the only thing they could do was reassure me that I wasn’t, in fact, having a heart attack.

So, when I don’t handle stress well, I get pissed off at myself.

Then I’m reminded of how broken I still am.

I miss my mom so horribly that it aches like the first day without her.

I get hurt by my brother, again, for not seeming to give too many shits about me and what happens in my life.

I’m grateful for the people who do care, like Fran, her sister and my boyfriend. Then, I begin to feel unworthy of their love and kindness, because it’s so foreign to me.

The negative thoughts amp up.

Drama follows me everywhere that I go.

Nothing I do will ever be enough.

I get overwhelmed too easily.

I can’t handle adult matters without turning into a complete basketcase.

I’m a failure and a wreck of a human being.

It takes me forever to get back to my usual baseline of normal depression and everyday, mostly tolerable anxiety.

I fucking hate it.

anxiety, depression, lyrics, mental health, suicide, thoughts, trauma

The Depresso’s

After eight years of blogging/writing, I’ve noticed something interesting.

Happy equals more likes and comments.

Sad equals less likes and comments.

Each time that I’ve written something depressing (which is often), I’d say to myself, damn Mer, people hate this negative fucking shit. Wouldn’t it be wiser to just pull up your happy pants and write something with a bit of sunshine in it?

But then I wouldn’t be authentic, now would I?

I wouldn’t be real, I’d be blathering on, full of fakeness just to get more likes, comments and followers.

That’s not what this new blog is about.

I do have my happy moments, as rare as they are. And I wish that they’d stick around longer, I really do. But that’s not my reality, unfortunately.

I’ve recently joined a Facebook group full of depressed and anxious people.

My people.

I decided to copy and paste my previous post there and was surprised when I received so many comments that echoed my own feelings. It reminded me of my double stint at the psych ward way back in 2015, when what I nicknamed the “depressos” found each other. Much like high school, we all recognized each other, formed a group and stayed together until it was time to go to our rooms for the night.

It’s easier to do your time when you’re part of a click.

Only other depresso’s understand what it feels like to be depressed and anxious.

Some of them even get that whole, gee whiz, I kind of wish that I wasn’t topside.

There’s a few ladies on the Facebook group (it’s private, thankfully) that concur with my dilemma of having no other choice but to stick around because of their children.

Yes, I know that it’s awful, isn’t it? I mean, I don’t even fucking like it, you know? But it’s how I feel much of the time and I’d be a liar to claim otherwise.

My therapist knows. I’ve told her. When I have my virtual visit with my new shrink next month, I’ll tell her as well. I see no point in lying to the professionals.

I get really sick of being a fighter.

One of my friends told me years back that I’ve always been so gosh darn melancholy.

I’m just a melancholy baby.

Come to me, my melancholy baby
Cuddle up and don’t be blue
All your fears are foolish fancy, maybe
You know, dear, that I’m in love with you
Every cloud must have a silver lining
Wait until the sun shines through
Cuddle up, my dear
While, I kiss away each tear
Or else, I shall be melancholy too

How can we change who we are?

If anyone knows, I’d be forever grateful.

Ever since my mom died, I’ve been riding this bitch ass, grief-tinged mental illness train mostly solo, so it’s been a real treat finding some kindred spirits within my little online support group. Most people in my life either avoid the hell out of me or stare like I’m a sideshow freak.

Okay, maybe I’m being a tad over-dramatic…one of my specialties!

The only real outlet that I have is to write about it and now I finally have a safe place (this blog) that only a very few people even know exists, which is exactly what I needed and partly why I canned my old one.

I just have to say to those of you who followed me from my old blog, thank you. I appreciate your loyalty. You guys are so used to my ups and downs. And I know that it’s difficult to know what to say sometimes, especially when I write about my suicidal ideations.

Just know that they’ve been a part of my life since I was a young teen and I’ve mostly accepted the fact that I’ll probably be this way until I do take my last breath.

anxiety, depression, grief, mental health, suicide, thoughts, trauma

They Don’t Know

I have this amazing ability to pretend that I’m just fine when I’m absolutely not.

I can be with others in the same room, at the exact same table and they don’t have a clue about what lies beneath my pasted on smile.

I laugh and make silly jokes. I’m a human jukebox and often find a song lyric to fit any topic that comes up during conversation, which helps me to engage in the banality of smalltalk.

They don’t know that my heart is always racing with anxiety, that there’s a pit the size of a small apple sitting inside of my stomach almost constantly.

They don’t know that all I really crave nowadays is to be alone so that I can stop acting like I’m actually glad that I woke up again.

And that I’m filled with shame, guilt and self-loathing when so many others would give anything to have woken up again.

Why can’t I just stay thrilled with the gift of life for any long length of time?

I’m tired of being a burden and an ongoing project that isn’t finished yet.

I’m fed up with trying so hard to finally be healed. I’m told continuously to let my demons go, that all I need is to think more positively. I feel like I have to magically transform myself for the comfort of others…that I need to mend all of my broken parts because the way that I truly am right now just isn’t good enough for anyone.

That I’m not acceptable in my current state, a middle aged woman, who’s filled with grief, fear, anger and weary deep within her soul.

I’m tired of trying so hard, taking three steps forward only to backslide five again. Each time that I start to think that I got this shit licked (just when I’m getting a bit cocky) I get knocked down off of my high horse.

Then I get to face my reality and cry myself to sleep because I failed once again.

I’m exhausted from feeling alone even when I’m sitting at a table with others.

I’m so great at pushing it all down and they don’t know.

death, depression, grief, lyrics, mental health, music, suicide

Mom

Sometimes my tears get stuck and I need some help to cry.

I’m really struggling right now. The desire to give up is strong.

But I can’t.

My God, I miss you, mom.

I’m trying so hard.

Donna Taggart – Mom

Little baby told God, hey I’m kind of scared
I don’t really know if I want to go down there
From here it looks like a little blue ball
It’s a great big place, and I’m so small
Why can’t I just stay here with you
Did I make you mad, don’t you want me too
God said child, of course I do
But there’s somebody special waiting for you

So hush now baby, don’t you cry
‘Cause there’s someone down there waiting, whose only goal in life
Is making sure you’re always gonna be alright
A loving angel, tender, tough and strong
It’s almost time to go and meet your Mom

You’ll never have a better friend
Or a warmer touch to tuck you in
She’ll kiss your bruises, your bumps and scrapes
And anytime you hurt, her heart’s gonna break

So hush now baby, don’t you cry
‘Cause there’s someone down there waiting whose only goal in life
Is making sure you’re always gonna be alright
A loving angel, tender, tough and strong
It’s almost time to go and meet your Mom

And when she’s talking to you, be sure you listen close
‘Cause she’ll teach you everything you’ll ever need to know
Like how to mind your manners
To love and laugh and dream
And she’ll put you on the path that will bring you back to me

So hush now baby, don’t you cry
‘Cause there’s someone down there waiting, whose only goal in life
Is making sure you’re always gonna be alright
A loving angel, tender, tough and strong
Come on child it’s time to meet your Mom

anxiety, dogs, humor, pets, thoughts

If We Could Talk To The Animals

Having a sick pet reminds me of when my daughter was really little and I had to decide what the right thing to do was without much information to go on.

Baby B: Wah! (Pulls at ear, projectile vomits, ect…)

Me: What’s wrong? Oh good Lord, what’s the matter?

Baby B: Goo goo, wah! (Puke!)

So, do I take her to the ER at 2 am or wait until her symptoms get worse or miraculously better? (Or she learns how to verbalize?)

I took her to the ER so many times her first couple of years, because I didn’t want to be a shitty mother. The nurses got somewhat annoyed with me, to say the least.

Nurse: She’s FINE.

Me: You promise?

Well, she’s 23 years old now, so at least I don’t have that problem anymore.

Sort of.

My dog Maya is my 2nd child. And when she starts acting ill, I go back to the old days, when I had to use my own judgement (oh geez ass) to figure out if it’s an emergency or something that can wait until, oh, I don’t know, a daytime appointment with a regular veterinarian.

We lost our sweet Maggie back in May, so I guess that I’m still traumatized by it. She had a tumor in her belly that had ruptured and because we’re not rich, we had no idea until it was too late to do anything. With Maya, I don’t want to be a shitty dog mom and not take her distress seriously.

Maya: Whine! Cry! (Starts to shake, looks up at me with those big dog eyes.)

Me: What’s wrong? Oh good Lord, what’s the matter?

She started acting strange yesterday. My boyfriend and I kept a close, concerned eye on her. It seemed that she was having pain in her backside, like her hips were bothering her. But it didn’t seem like something that needed addressed asap with an expensive ER visit on a holiday weekend until late, around 11:30 PM.

The time when the bad shit seems to hit the fan.

My daughter works crazy hours, so I didn’t want to disturb her and I let her sleep.

I called the animal hospital and I was all ready to take her in.

As soon as she got outside she started getting really excited and so I decided to take her for a walk instead. She was really pulling me hard and I figured if she could do that, then perhaps this wasn’t a true emergency, after all.

Maya: Cool, a late night walk!

Me: Slow down, you’re killing me here, Maya Pie!

We went back inside and I gave her some OTC doggo pain meds that we’d purchased a while ago, thankfully not expired until 2022. I stayed up and waited for her to fall asleep on the couch and then I finally crashed myself around 3:30 am.

The pain meds seem to be helping her and she’s moving around better without crying but I’m exhausted and don’t want to leave her alone. I was supposed to go to my brother’s house for a social distancing cook-out but there was just no way. My daughter went for the both of us and maybe if I’m lucky, they’ll send me a plate of food.

I’m taking her to a vet this week to get checked out because I don’t want to play Dr. O’Leary here, but B and I think that she might have arthritis or somehow injured herself while chasing the cat around the house.

Resting comfortably, thank goodness for those pain tablets.

I just wish that she could talk! She’s not a puppy anymore and that makes me wish that pets lived longer.

chronic pain, fibromyalgia, health, photography, traveling, Uncategorized

The beach, the waves and sunshine!

My trip to the beach last week has given me a jolt of writing inspiration. I have no idea how long it’ll last but I’m just going to roll with it. That seems the easiest way to take life lately.

I took a bunch of photos from my vacation to Holden Beach, North Carolina with my best friend from high school and her sister, plus their husbands and another friend of the family. The trip was to spread their mom’s ashes in the Atlantic Ocean, as per her wishes.

She sadly passed away from the virus at the end of April this year.

Unfortunately, I was too tired that morning to join them, not to mention that the water was so rough and choppy, it would’ve been impossible for me to hold my own.

I did try to go into the ocean the day before we left. I didn’t last long. The water whipped me around like a ragdoll. I just don’t have the strength and stamina anymore to face any kind of rough waves. Each time that I got blasted by one, another one came as fast as lightning to kick my ass. Fran’s husband was kind enough to escort me back to the shore, where I could safely look for shells.

Mer vs. Ocean…ocean won.

I did have an incident the first night that we were there, when my blood sugar went so low that I passed out on the deck. Thankfully, everyone took great care of me. When I was able to talk a little bit once I came to, I knew what to do. I was alright after I ate a sugary goody and then a sandwich. I really don’t take my diabetes seriously enough and this was a huge wake-up call to eat throughout the day. It was scary!

Without further ado, here’s just a few snaps that I took last week. I’m glad to be home (I missed my dog so much and now she won’t let me out of her sight) but I’m still sad (a letdown feeling) that the trip is now over with and I don’t have all that much to look forward to.

*We mostly stayed at the beach house due to Covid, which was just fine with me.


I love this photo and how foamy the water is.
The beachhouse.
Gray skies, still gorgeous!
We saw a beautiful rainbow after an early morning thunderstorm.
So many shells, so many crafts to do!
Two sandpipers came by to say hello!
Peace! And my foot.
Our neighbors had a bunch of neat kites.
A picture of me, obviously. And now you know who I’m voting for.

We discussed going back…but the next time, I’ll be helping out with the cost of the beach house. I’m still so honored to have been invited on this trip.

divorce, fibromyalgia, healing, mental health, opinion, relationships, thoughts, trauma

The Truth About Forgiveness

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I’ll never be able to forgive my ex-husband for what he did to me and my daughter.

Not because I don’t have it in me to do so…I consider myself a kind and openminded person that’s capable of seeing the reasoning behind why humans do what they do. By putting myself in their shoes, I’m often able to eventually have an “ah ha” moment of understanding and clarity.

But I don’t want to forgive him, you see.

You forgive a dog when he takes a crap on your living room carpet, not someone who tried their utmost best to ruin someone that they claimed to love.

No, not even for myself, to set me free. I appreciate all of the forgiveness people out there but I’m not buying into it. Telling me that I need to forgive him in order to have a better life does more harm than good, in my opinion.

I can be free, happier and still loathe the man.

I’ve felt rather free the last year or so, I reckon, and my distaste for him has only strengthened. I hold onto it like a hot stone in my hand, which motivates me to do better each day, to stay strong, brave and fierce.

He’s a sly worm, a half-ass excuse for a real man. He’s also not my problem anymore and no longer a source of continuous stress for me, which has been such a breath of fresh air.

Chronic stress contributes to illnesses such as fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety and OCD, all things that you’d find if you took a gander at my medical records. Being with him exacerbated my conditions.

I hate to admit it but my daughter and I suffered at the hands of a vulnerable narcissist for 15 years. He had such a way of manipulating people into believing that he well and truly had a heart, a soul worthy of true commitment to someone other than himself. Yet, he was so full of shit, I’m surprised that he didn’t smell constantly like he’d just rolled around in manure for an hour.

I get seriously irked when someone tells me to forgive him. I have a good laugh.

Why the fuck should I? He damaged my psyche. He abandoned me when I needed him the most. He continuously let me down. It wasn’t just the cheating that made me ultimately kick him out and end our (way too long) relationship.

In hindsight, I now realize that it was his narcissistic abuse. And he’s the reason why I’ve recently been diagnosed with Complex-PTSD.

He fucking messed me up and the longterm harm continues to manifest itself in a myriad of ways.

When I finally opened my eyes to see the real him, up close and center, I was sickened by what I saw. That was over 3 years ago and I’m still plagued by flashbacks, nightmares, irrational fears and avoidant tendencies, although I’m working on them slowly.

He doesn’t deserve my forgiveness. Plain and simple.

Wherever he is now, no matter what he’s doing or whoever he’s with, I’m certain that I don’t cross his mind. If I do, it’s only with regret and anger that he got caught and seen for who he really is.

The best thing that I did was to move on and rebuild my life.

When I wake up each day, I’m proud of myself for taking on the daunting challenge of ending our toxic union. Looking back on what my life was like 3 years ago, I wish that I could hug the woman I was then and tell her that it does, in fact, get better.

I loved myself enough to do one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to do.

The person that I need to forgive is myself, for taking so long to do it.

No, I won’t ever be able to forgive him. He’ll forever be dangling off of that hook in my mind, caught like a fish on a pole, struggling for air.

And I become freer by the day.

depression, empath, grief, healing, mental health, poetry, trauma

Useless Bleating

“The cure for the pain is the pain.” ~ Rumi

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Why do some shy away from feelings?

Why are some so afraid to cry?

Though each life is filled with sadness

Yet when asked, some opt to lie?

I’ve been hit, took such a beating

Bruises brushed like watercolors on my sleeve

But my words of sorrow, compared to useless bleating

Now often when I speak, I’m considered naive

Told, uncomfortably, not to show my tears

For the love of God, please just let it go

I try to keep it inside, afraid of the jeers

Tucking them away so my grief won’t show

You feel too much, you always mumble

I do?

Your words are skewed and hard to hear

I’m sorry.

When pushed you always seem to stumble

Not always.

You’re just too sensitive, it’s extremely clear

But…it’s who I am.