Month: April 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Newsy Stuff

While cleaning out the garage the other day, I came across a novel I had begun some 20+ years ago. I brought it in, transcribed it into my computer and found that it was all of 40K words! Reading over it, I decided it deserved to be finished. So that’s what I’ve been working on these days, and have added 10K more words to it thus far. It’s a Christian novel, about a woman who abandons her family and runs away to Hawaii. Haha! Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. It is semi-autobiographical. *wry smile*

So until my darling brother gets done working on our fantasy novel, this is where I’ll be…trying to get into various heads and write something true.

Here’s an excerpt

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The medical examiner greeted them with a grim but benign face, dressed in a white lab coat.

“Hello. I’m Dr. Frasier,” he said, shaking their hands. “I’m sorry you are being asked to do this. I understand that it’s very difficult. But we appreciate you coming down.”

“Sure,” Griffin said, face pale. The doctor opened the door and ushered them into the room. The bank of large drawers against the wall gave Griffin a surreal feeling. It’s just like in the movies, he thought, as he moved robotically to where the examiner was standing. In one swift movement, he opened the middle drawer and slid it out. A beautiful woman lay on the slab, a sheet covering all but her shoulders and head. A sprinkling of freckles covered her pale cheeks, and her auburn hair spread like a fan around her head. Her eyes were closed and Griffin thought she might very well be asleep, but for an array of angry gashes covering her upper chest, the mouths of the wounds pink against the ivory skin.

Joe looked at his Griffin apprehensively.

Griffin began to cry, his tears splashing down his cheeks as he wept.

“Griff, man, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” Joe said, moving to put his arm around him.

“No, no,” Griffin looked up, unable to control his emotions. “It’s not her, it’s not her, see? It looks so much like her, but it’s not, see? She has a mole, right here, right here…” he pointed to his left jawline. “Right here, and see? Nothing there; this isn’t her, officer. Doctor, this isn’t Rachel, it isn’t Rachel,” he couldn’t seem to stop repeating this line. “It’s not her. It’s not Rachel.”

“Okay; thank you Mr. Andrews. We appreciate your willingness to come down,” the examiner said as he slid the drawer with its grim occupant back into its place.

The officer led them back out of the room, Griffin still wiping his eyes and declaring that the body was not Rachel’s until Joe wondered if he was having a breakdown. Once they were back in the cop car, however, he seemed to simply go limp with relief, although the tears did not stop until they were walking back through the front door of his house.

“Hey man, do you want something to eat? Have you eaten yet today?” Joe felt strongly that his friend should not be left alone at the moment. He was pale and visibly shaking, although a thin smile was upon his lips.

“It wasn’t her, was it, Joe? It wasn’t Rachel.”

“No, Griff, it wasn’t. She didn’t have the mole, right?”

“Right. Right. The mole. She didn’t have the mole. It wasn’t her.”

“It wasn’t her,” Joe echoed, nodding. “Now, I think you should eat something. Or maybe something to drink? How about some coffee?”

“Whiskey,” Griffin said, with sudden clarity.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Opinions? Thoughts? All are welcome.

Poem #17

Sometimes people
you love
disappoint you
and do things you wish
they wouldn’t do
sometimes they don’t
think it will hurt
but it does
and it’s painful
to look at their 
happiness
because they just
don’t get it
and they probably
never will
so you have a 
decision to make
will you let go?
or will you hang on?
and it reminds me
there is no love
without forgiveness.

True Confessions of a Bipolar Mama

Here’s a new post I submitted to The Mighty. Thought I’d post it here too, in case it helps someone in my small circle.

I was diagnosed late in life–just three years ago, at age 44–with Bipolar Disorder. I had suspected for most of my adulthood that something was greatly amiss in my mind, and Bipolar often seemed to fit, but I was under the mistaken impression that I could overcome the wiring in my brain by sheer tenacity. After a major manic episode followed by a spectacular spiral that ended with a suicide attempt, I began to seek much-needed treatment.

What follows is a list of things that may or may not be revelations to those who do not suffer from mental illness. It is my fond hope that it may help those who want to understand better the inner machinations of the Bipolar brain.

1. I won’t always know what I need. Do I need to be left alone? Or do I need company? More talking? Less talking? A therapy session? Medication adjustment? Time? Chocolate? Although most people might know exactly what they need and when, it is not the case when you are Bipolar. Often it is trial and error to find out what will work during a particular depressive or manic episode. Patience is key.

2. I am a really, really good actor. So good, in fact, that I fool myself sometimes into thinking I am not as sick as I am. My suicide attempt was an almost out-of-body experience. The days leading up to it I was faking happiness and well-being, so well that I fooled myself into denying I needed help, and quick. The whole time I was carrying out my plan it was as though I was standing aside and watching from a distance. Encourage frequent and deep self-examination and regular psychiatric visits.

3. It’s a whole different world inside my brain from what I let on. Sometimes the struggle to maintain a semblance of normalcy requires every bit of energy I have. I don’t always have much left over for cooking and cleaning. Your patience and help is, as ever, appreciated more than you know.

4. I worry constantly that I passed my faulty genetics onto my beloved children. My eye is always on the lookout for symptoms in my own children that signal any dangerous mental aberrations. I grieve deeply that they are at an increased risk for inheriting Bipolar Disorder, and depression, because of me.

5. I worry that I may neglect my own loved ones by my need to check out occasionally, and that they will wind up resenting me.

6. I worry that people will think I’m a fake. Do I *really* have Bipolar Disorder, or is it just an excuse for acting crazy and getting away with it? Can I *really* not control some of my actions when I have a manic or depressive episode? Surely this is all just a ruse. These thoughts cause heaping loads of self-inflicted guilt, which nobody needs or wants. Reassurance is extremely important, and regular visits with a psychiatrist will help reinforce the truth that this is a disease that warrants careful management.

7. My heart is not bipolar, only my brain. If you stick with me, I will love you passionately and eternally. My appreciation for you will increase exponentially when you bear with me during the difficult moments as I wrestle mightily with my disease, I am capable of deep and abiding affection. When I tell you I love you, don’t question my motives or sincerity, and I long to be accepted and loved in return, flaws and all.

#16

Poem #16 is an oldie. Flashback to 1992, six years into marriage and three wee ones on the ground. I found this poem in the garage last week while cleaning. It solidified my grasp on the fact that Bipolar Disorder is something I have truly struggled with for my entire adult life…
 
What is it like to be a tightrope walker?
I think I know.
It is to hover
on a thin thread
between sky and earth
and yet
being a part of neither one.
It is to balance–ever so tenuously–
between fear
and self-control
terror
and rationale.
Caught with a scream
held tightly
between your teeth, too busy
concentrating
on your next
perilous
step
to let it out
let it out
let it all out
and risk falling, not knowing if
the net is even there.
Is it there?
Is it gone?
Can I trust, and not hang on?
Can I fall, or did somebody take it
away when I wasn’t looking?
I think it’s gone
but it was no stranger who removed it
it was me.

Halfway there….Poem #15

The octopus
With legs of eight
Or are they arms?
But let’s just wait
And dwell upon
This mystery
Conundrum great
Beneath the sea
If they be arms
Now think of it
His mouth is in
His own armpit
But if they’re legs
(Is it icky
To have eight legs
All long and sticky?)
Then when he eats
You shouldn’t watch
His mouth is there
Within his……………..

Poem 14

I lived
a thousand lives
last night
became
a me
that was not
me
loved
fought
wept
grew
changed
and I awaken
and grieve
for the growth
undone
by lids drawn open
to the new day
Did I 
ride piggyback
on someone else’s
consciousness
for eight
solid
hours?
So vivid
these dreams
they make
reality pale
and tremble
as I wonder
which is
which.

#13

It rears up,
well-known
and familiar as
my own face
it inhales
and
belches
scorching
my best laid plans
with one pass
of its fiery breath
it whispers
loser
fake
ugly
fat
stupid
worthless
hopeless
sick
addicted
useless
broken
and I
stroke the scaly hide
curl up under the leathery wing
its shade is cold
and unwelcoming
but there I make my bed
and I cock my head
to listen
closer.

#12 (for my newly minted 8 year old)

Once
there was 
a wee small child
a tiny thing
a trifle wild
he grew and grew
and grew and grew
as babes, I hear, are 
wont to do
a handsome lad
a strapping son
bringing light
to everyone
before his mom
could think to sigh
he grew to eight
in the blink of an eye
and so the tale
continues on
until the days
are used and gone
My shining jewel,
my Xavier Gem,
we bless the day
we welcomed him.

#11

Oh oh oh
the banjo-o-o
makes me happy-o
makes me wile-o
away the hours in the day-o
makes me smile-o
Steve Martin did it right
And so did that froggie Kermit
sometimes I want to play and play
and simply be a hermit
with my banjo-o-o

#10

 
I awoke
from a dream of you
to reality
and the noise
of fighting
children
and thus
the day began
Yet you followed me
the scent of you
clean
like
cut grass
and
your voice
like rumbling
thunder
low
in my ear
telling me
all will
be well
and so
I continue to dream
though I am
awake.
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