Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My Trigger Is Love

My comment regarding a post from a fellow Bi-Polar Blogger:
"my god...how can our triggers truly be avoided. i find myself trying so hard to tune them all out. it's difficult when your triggers are the ones you hold so dear.

i came to realize a while ago that it wasn't my husbands fault that i had to start on medication. it wasn't mine either. no more blame, no more passing of the buck. lol i was born with this disorder as was my sister, probably my alcoholic mother, several of my cousins some of which have been in jail several times all the way back to my grandfather who tried to commit suicide a few times.

financial triggers, life triggers...all those things, they come and they go and maybe you can avoid them, but how do you avoid your family. i did for a really long time without realizing or knowing why. i wasted so much time without them.
" Maharet on Mercurial Mind Bipolar Blog

When I was 14 years old I had one of the most explosive fights with my mother I had ever had with her. That day we yelled and screamed at each other at the top of our lungs. I have no idea why. It could have been because she didn't want to let me date a boy, or go to a school dance...Maybe even just go over to a sleepover with friends. I have no idea, but it was bad. Keep in mind that yelling and screaming at the top of your lungs (and when I say the top I mean the fucking TOP) was a regular occurrence at my home. Of course, you can't scream at the top of your lungs without calling someone stupid or an idiot with a sprinkling of fuck this and fuck that. If you can think of it, it was said. I hit a point in my life where I just called her everything in the book, believe me, she started it. I was sick to death of her drinking and embarrassing me in front of my friends. My entire neighborhood new she drank too much. But that's not what the fight was about. That's just one of the reasons, ONE of the reasons why I didn't respect her, that's all.

I was so enraged. I can almost still feel the horrible anger I felt. I wanted to choke her or kick her, but I would never do that. I wish I could remember what the fight was about, but I can't. Maybe I just block things out, but that day was the day I told her that the MINUTE I turn 18 I'm gone. Eventually she left with my sister, come to think of it my sister was probably picking on me and I kicked her ass, who knows. I couldn't get rid of those horrible feelings and I desperately wanted them gone. I could feel my body being swallowed whole by that awful energy and there was nothing I could do. I know now why I felt that way. I went to the kitchen and contemplated using a knife. I ended up in the bathroom crying my eyes out and watching the tears run down the sink. Wasted tears. I got into the medicine cabinet and found many useful items. Easy pills to take. Crap the Dr. gave us or aspirin, I didn't care what it was because I knew it was time for me. That was it, I was going to end it.

I grabbed a bottle of tiny little pills that had been prescribed just to me.... by my allergy Dr. Yes, I had a HORRIBLE skin rash when I was a child that plagued me for many many years. I hated this skin rash with a passion the likes of which you will never know. Well, maybe you will know, but I don't care. We're not talking about you are we? This was how I was going to go out. This would be my mighty opus, the greatest thing I would ever do in my life, die at the tender age of 14. That'll show them, that'll show them all. I took the tiny little pills, there were like what... 7 of them left? Maybe 10? I took them all, I can still remember the sweetness of the little casings on each purple pill. Strange the details you can recall. I then looked at the aspirin but even in my rage filled fury I knew I didn't want to die and I wasn't really trying to kill myself. I just felt so awful. So alone and misunderstood and uncared for.

Eventually, although those feelings did not subside, I began to fall into a stupor. I thought the pills were having an effect. 'Maybe I will die. Maybe I'll fall asleep and never wake up again. If I do, will you miss me mom? If you do, I'm sorry. I love you.' and I fell asleep. Suddenly I woke up to the smell of my mothers cooking. I had been asleep for 6 hrs. She came in and asked me to get ready to eat. She always tried her best, even after a huge fight. I think she mostly ignored things rather than deal with them and talk about them. I got used to it.

Three years later we ended up homeless. We struggled a lot to get our lives back together again and when we did I had finally turned 18. Things weren't great, but Mom was actually trying to make a living instead of leaching off the government to support us and my sister and I were going to school. I was just trying to get my GED, but something was going on in my head. I didn't know what. I came home one day to find my little sister sobbing like a maniac by the window. How I regret my actions this day. Had I known what I know now about her I would have sat by her side and given her a great big hug. I would have told her everything was okay and would be okay. My sister and mother have such a bond. I don't understand this bond. This bond makes me excruciatingly uncomfortable. The thing that didn't help matters is that on the way home from night school I came across something that looked like a dead horse by the side of the road as I rode my bicycle home. Talk about an over active imagination. I rode home like the devil was shoving a fork right up my ass... FAST. I hauled ass down every hill and every road to get home. I peddled my chubby little legs as fast and as hard as my muscles would go.

I made my way up 4 flights of windy, dark and stinky stares only to find my creepy little moody and very creepily attached to mom sister crying her little eyes out and staring out the window in completely the wrong direction from where my mom would be coming home in the first place. It freaked me the fuck out. So instead of being sweet I said, "What the fuck are you crying about?" as if I was testing this little creature. Are you really my little sister or some horrible gargoyle like beastie out to get me. Fucking dead horses. She turned to me and said, "MOM'S DEAD." What the fuck? She sobbed and sobbed and wouldn't stop. I did try to tell her not to worry, that she's fine, but I don't think she heard that. I may have told her to shut the fuck up and stop being a cry baby, but I can't remember. All I know is that she pissed me the fuck off to no end INSTANTLY and it wasn't even her fault. Maybe I was jealous of their bond, maybe I thought it was fake or maybe I just didn't care or pretended I didn't care. Whatever the case may have been I wasn't about to start worrying. It was too early to worry. Mom often came home late at night.

I helped my mom keep the apartment clean daily so when I went to the bedroom and found a mess in there I yelled for my sister to come to the room right away. She went alright, but when I demanded that she clean up her mess she probably told me to fuck off in so many words so I kicked a glass in a rage. To the mugs misfortunes it shattered all over my steel toe boot and sprinkled all over my sisters bed. I muttered, "Fuck." in a very defeated sort of way because now I'd have no where to sleep. It was bad enough that our mattresses were both on the floor now I'd have to vacuum up every single piece of glass and make my sister sleep on my bed so she wouldn't get glass up her butt or stuck in her face or something horrible like that. I went to the kitchen to get something to pick up the big pieces of glass.

When I came into the room my sister had placed all the pieces of glass that where on her bed on mine. Right in the middle. "What the fuck is wrong with you? Are you stupid or something? Now where the fuck are you going to sleep Gloria???? WHERE??? FUUUUCK!!!" I picked up all the glass probably on the verge of tears at this point and cleaned it all up. I knew there were still bits on it though so I told her she'd have to sleep with mom. She may have told me to fuck off in so many words. I don't know. She did that a lot. So many words usually consisted of a nice and simple, "Fuck you bitch." with a nice and forceful emphasis on the word BitCh. I went to the kitchen and decided to make myself a weenie on the stove like I used to when I was a kid. Just crack open the weenie package and skewer it on a fork, turn on the stove and shove it into the flames. Weenie flambe, yum. For some stupid reason my sister decided she wanted one too, all the shit that was on the floor was from the food she had eaten so I knew she wasn't hungry and was doing it on purpose to piss me off. Probably to get me to hit her, but I didn't.

Why she had to get so close to me though I will never know because I then had to get her away from me. I slightly shoved my elbow out so she'd get away from me. She was far to close and I couldn't stand it. Have I mentioned that I don't like it when people touch me? I do sometimes, but not when I'm pissed off. Not usually. The next thing I know my sister, MY LITTLE FUCKING SISTER, tries to sucker punch me! I dodged her little fist, but her fingernail caught my nose. Holy shit, she's lucky that's all she did to me. At least that's what I thought for the moment because the next thing you know I went to touch my raw nose and as I pulled my hand away I saw red. Bright red blood on my fingers. Prior to this my sister had stood there in brave defiance of me but when she saw the blood on my nose I saw the look of panic strike her face. It was too bad I wasn't able to stop myself from what I did to her next.

I sidestepped as I gripped and double wrapped a hand full of her beautiful curly brown locks, tripped her over my right foot at the same time yanking her head backwards so hard her neck was entirely exposed. she crumbled to the floor like a ragdoll as my knee slammed into her chest. I was making sure she couldn't breath. I can't remember if I socked her in the face or not, I can't remember what I said to her, I can't remember if she cried all I could remember is the horrible rage I felt and how badly I just wanted to end it all. End her, me and our entire lives because they were useless. She was choking and almost stopped breathing. Just as I was about to slam my fist into her face I heard my mom calling out to me. "MICHELLE QUE ESTAS HACIENDO? PARA MICHELLE PARA!!" Her voice however loud it may have been was nothing but a distant wind begging me to stop because I could barely hear her. Still, it was enough to pull me back from whatever black fog I was under. I let her get up and go to the room. When I turned to look at my mom she had been standing just 3 feet away from me the entire time she had been yelling at me. I don't think she's ever put her hands on me when I've been that way and for that I'm grateful because I don't know what I would have done to her.

I began sobbing like a child and took my shaky hand up to my nose again to show my mom the blood. I told her what happened and my mom said something along the lines of, "You know your sister isn't right in the head. Why do you listen to her Mija?" Mija is a term of endearment that can also be directly translated as my daughter, but is used as Dear or Honey. I mumbled that I couldn't do this anymore. I may have confused her because even I didn't know what "this" was. She eventually tended to my sister who had shut herself in my mom's room and I jumped on the phone with my soon to be husband though I didn't know it yet. This was the day he told me that if I decided to he would pick me up, but that if I ever went back home not to expect him to stay with me. We would be through. He'd let me go and never look back because he didn't want to be in a relationship with me if I was going to fight with my family leave them, stay with him and go back and forth between them like an idiot. I made my mind up and told him to pick me up.

I went to my room and started to prepare my things. I pulled out my clothes and some of my more important items which were few. My mom came in to check on me as I was folding away some linens. What a great idea to clean my room and keep myself busy she said as she began to help me. That's when I hit her with it. The tears rolled down my eyes and I apologized, but said I would no longer be able to live with them. It was time for me to go and I would not be coming back. She began to get angry and I tried to reason with her. There's something wrong with me, I nearly killed my sister and if she hadn't walked in I probably would have. We don't get along and there's nothing I can do about it. She has to understand that I couldn't do it anymore. She understood alright. she understood that I had been planning this all along. That it had been my intention to leave for months and couldn't find a good enough excuse to do it. Now that I purposely picked this fight with my little sister, now I decide to leave? How convenient.

I was mortified that she would think that of me. I truly was. It hurt my heart that my own mother would think I would come so close to ending my own sisters life just to have an excuse to leave and live on my own. She had to have been out of her mind with grief. Angry dreadful grief. I didn't see it at the time and even if I had I don't think I would have cared. I left and never looked back. My birthday was April 22, sometime before this fight. I was married October 31st, dressed all in black. It was 1992.

I left and I never looked back.

Never. I tried to find every excuse not to visit them. Every time I did visit, I'd end up having a panic attack on the way or after I left. I could never be around them for more than a few hours at a time. I thought It was them. The whole time I thought it was them. I could never have dreamt that it was all of us. There were many things that threatened to keep us apart. Many times when I contemplated simply never going back again.

One time, I decided to stay with them overnight. I missed them so much, especially my sister. I was in college and I believe she was in high school. Mom had gone to sleep and she and I had stayed up talking. I was having a good time, but it was hard to talk to her about the past. She always had to bring it up and I was always uncomfortable confronting it as though I'd rather bury it than keep on thinking about it over and over again. Visions of the sexual abuse I endured all those years flash through my brain every day and the last thing I wanted to think about was the time my sister shoved me into the wall and I beat her into the ground, or the time she smashed her fist into my back and I beat her into the ground, or he time she called me names and pushed me so hard I scraped my hands and knees and I beat her into the ground...get the picture? She didn't care though, she never cares how anyone else feels. At least that's how I felt at the time and she let me have it that night.

She started off by telling me how much she hated me. That she despised me. She said these things to me with a straight face. Nothing maniacle about the way she said it to me. She blurted these things out as though we were having a regular conversation about nothing in particular. There may have been some spittle involved, but she can't help it. She's got buckteeth and I didn't help matters when I broke off a piece of on of her front teeth with a set of key's when we were kids. Eitherway, let's face it Sis, we have f'd up teeth. We need braces and maybe a little tooth whitening wouldn't hurt. Anyway, she told me I could die tomorrow and she wouldn't care and that she would happily spit on the very ground I walk on. She told me so many things. So many awful things. I did feel that I deserved a lot of what she said, but I also knew she had no idea how much I'd suffered. I told her that it was okay that she felt that way. I also said that she may hate me right now, but the day would come when she would regret those words for the rest of her life. She was adamant that she never would. She was wrong.

We were wrong about a lot of things. I was wrong, Mom was wrong, my sister was wrong, my husband was wrong and shit loads of other people were wrong. Most of all they were wrong about us and about how we should deal with one another. Running away from your problems and staying away from your "triggers" as a bi-polar person isn't always the right answer because in the end, can you actually stop stressing out about the bills? Will there ever be a time when you can stop cleaning your house and feel good about it? Can you really stay away from your family and not let it bother you? I thought I could...I was wrong.

So, what is my trigger exactly? Is it my mother, my sister, my husband or my ex-husband? No, I don't think so. Perhaps my trigger is love. Pure and simple love. The real and honest love I have for my family can send me into an insane and rageful frenzy when bad things happen. I don't know why. It could be anything from them hurting me or my feelings to not understanding me under certian situations. I don't know why I'm like this. I wish I weren't, but I just am. It's who I'll always be I think.

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