Not In Kansas Anymore...

Click your heels, and see if home is where you hang your hat, or somewhere else inside yourself as this simple, postmodern girl takes on L.A.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

My stomach is like a jello rock. I know, a jello rock, Jessica? Yeah, well, it's all trembly and feels like theres a rock in it.

In some series of events that I will spare you the details of, and oh-so-correctly labelled by Sassy as "Mean Girls Grown Up" , I was ousted from my support group yesterday. Two of the people in charge have personal issues with me and used them to put me on a 3 month suspension for "behavior". The behavior in question? Speaking not in "I" statements when confronting one of them for not doing a very good job of facilitating one night and making a joke about being "crazy" that hurt one of their feelings ( which we all do in group; it's gallows humor). I apologized immediately for both when they were brought to my attention, of course, and thought it was over.

Now these two have implemented a "zero tolerance" policy concerning any "teasing, joking, negativity, negative feedback, etc.", demanding that we always use "I instead of you statements" and "remain positive at all times". Well, that sounds like a laugh riot. And since it's a group for people with affective disorders, how we're supposed to remain positive at all times is beyond me.

There is no higher authority to take this to. It's insane ( ha) and it's not like I want to sit around and be a part of a group with such hair trigger rules. But the thing that upsets me is....well, prior to all of this, even though I didn't go all that much, this group has really been a rock for me. It was a place I could go when I was feeling crazy or sick or scared and talk, and I was accepted and loved. And it made me feel safer just knowing it was there, because I wouldn't have to load stuff on my friends so much.

And if this had happened at another time, I would probably be pissed and indignant and fight it. But frankly...I've just been getting back up on the most wobbly of legs as of late anyway. I just started thinking...Griff is gone, but Angel and I will be okay...Anthony's gone, but I'll learn to live with that, it wasnt right anyway...yes, he lied and emotionally cheated too, but I'll get over that....I lost my job, I'll get there and find another...I have EBV, but I'll figure it out....little rays of sunshine coming through my door, very small.

As it is, I feel like someone rolled a bowling ball into me and knocked me over. (Oh, and BTW, Tony's back in town today, hope you don't cross paths with him, god forbid, since he lives what? 5.5miles and 10 whole minutes away from you? What to do? Stay in my house for the month that whole time he's home? While I likely will not even cross his path, it hurts for reasons I can't even explain. Will he call?/I don't want him to call./I wish he would call.../No, I don't. I can't wait til he goes back to Global Hotspot. Which makes me feel like HEEL. Who wants anyone to got back to Hellspot? I don't. I don't care if he goes to Jamaica. If only his job took him there. )

Now the strength of the support I had there-- it's gone. And I feel rejected and afraid....and furthermore, it's just one big loss in a string of losses ....

R's who's known me longer than any of those people, and certainly seen me at my worst, read all of the correspondence. His commentary:

those "official" letters are a bit overly-mannered-with-kindness, aren't they? - , so you'll have to explain it later.. Evidently they can boot you out for sarcasm?

Blu hilariously put it like this:

WTF with the group. Oh my -head-, to fathom all the ~positivity~ bullshit standards. Yah, ok. There's a big fat UNHEALTHY psych term for that and we know it well: DENIAL. Dipshits. It sucks- but I see it as a blessing in disguise. I think if they've gotten so weird and weak (first time I've heard of actual people with Issues who LACK gallows humor!), you're best to find a group that isn't. Of course the how-to is tricky, so let yourself breathe for a second or 10 before taking the approach to find a new one.
As for That Guy being back in town.... well I'd say go about your own life. You'd found him online, not through social contacts right? I'd say continue on as normal, but if you have too much anxiety holding on, I'd say hunker down and lay low as long as you USE it as time to analyze said anxiety and continue to work through resolving your emotions which still nag at you. Journal heartily, practice positive living (yoga or fitness every day), consider it an in-house vacation- but if you suspect for a moment that you might regress or only stew in the pains, then nope, don't do it.
Funny, weren't we just talking about the universe hating someone around here ?
( she as well as a few other friends are having good ol' gut-punching weekend as well) :::looks around innocently::: *g* Girlfriend, it's prolly time we go out shopping for some serious steel-toed kharma KICKING boots or some shit. Are the moons messed up? Stars misaligned? Sit your bad self back on the sofa, there's still artificial fatty iced dairy enhancement in this here tub. You can share my spoon- I don't have cooties ;)

My response to Blu:

Yah, see I have that same problem with this term "positivity". It's bandied about ALOT in LA. To me it means what you said, "denial". It's one thing to try and give someone in group positive *feedback* about an issue or something, and try to be less accusatory when anger comes up ( as I wasn't but should have been, but excuse the fuck outta me, I was having a moment, ohmygod, and it wasn't even a huge moment! I've been goin' that group for TWO YEARS and I can count how many "moments" I've had on one hand and not use all my fingers....), but I'm sorry. If you're doing something that's pissing me off, I'm either gonna let it go and TRULY let it go ( as I have done, MANY a freaking time, too) or I'm gonna SAY SOMETHING. And NEVER, NEVER have I failed on any account to take responsibility for my behavior if it hurt someone. NEVER.

And they're acting like I shot their dog, and bouncing me out on my ass for 3 months. I told
them they'd be lucky to see my ass after THAT even. I don't have the time or energy to hold their fucking hands through every psychic papercut. I mean, I know that sounds a little like "hello, pot? This is kettle. You're black!" But seriously, what's so bad about sorting out differences? "Hi, you hurt my feelings." "Oh gosh, I'm sorry." "Okay, thanks". THANKS! DONE!

(If could've gotten Tony to do that, we'd still be together, speaking of. But I couldn't, and he didn't often enough and so we're apart. If I get to feeling better and more solid, I'll leave the house if I want to, dammit. I will carefully avoid certain areas, of course, but hopefully that won't be too hard....if I don't feel well, I'll be in here anyway, trying to get some sort of medication straight. I'll have to see. )
I wish I were leaving time for a period of time while he was HERE, instead of us basically being on the same schedule for Christmas vacation.

Hey, whaddya doin' New Years? I could come over! I could come over and we could bemoan our existence!
I can't wait til this dog of a year is overr!!

My friend Denny, although who is new to the group, says the best thing:

I'm just mad as hell over this. And I had some ideas to work out that I'll discuss with you by phone as soon as I am able. D.

I should mention her husband's a lawyer. *wink*.

Not that that will help much....DBSA National has no jurisdiction on how individual chapters run themselves.

BUT....we're supposed to have a "theraputic advisor" and when I asked in my terse letter who that was, I was deflected. Said theraputic advisor supposedly was involved in this decision as well as "several delicately polled members". Nobody I called had any clue what the hell was happening or why I would be asked to leave. I would really like to know who the "theraputic advisor" is to the group. It seems my only recourse.

However, I spoke with my family tonight and have come to the conclusion I am just too tired to fight this out. Not now, anyway. Maybe when I get back. I don't know.....perhaps it will sort it out itself. People seem to be really shocked. I just got a letter from the group's founder, who now lives in New Mexico. She's appalled and wants to know what's up.

Regardless, I certainly and at length, let them know how I felt. Nicole and Ria, the two heads of the group and responsible for this mess, have long had personal issues with me off and on. Nicole decided to write me personally last night and address how she felt our frienship was going and express her sadness. I understand that, but here's what I said. Please note it was as polite as I could muster at the time:

Had you asked me for the 3 month break in our personal friendship sooner I would be more inclined to accept this letter in the spirit in which it was written. However, as our personal friendship and that of DBSA membership are now more entertwined than ever, I am feeling less and less tolerant. It has been tainted.

I am going through much, much trauma regarding your decison as a leader in DBSA to choose to suspend me. I do not in any way believe it was easy for you and I do have compassion for your delicate position.
And yet... this time, it is yet another loss in a string of losses that have included death and love. Two of the most important life things- death and love. Freud said there wasn't anything else, remember ( eros & thanatos).
..... And yet
......I cannot get any support from a group to which I given and received SO much!. It breaks my heart, because I AM a good person, I DO take responsibility for my behaviors, I TRY and STRIVE to be better daily and it has all been witnessed by you and others! I am in treatment, I am working hard. I have had so much loss and struggle over the past two years, and the past two months especially. And now this. It's the worst thing.
(I know you know that. I know you feel that, and I know you feel compassion for it. This I do believe).

And yet....all because of a policy, while good on paper, really is only serving to protect people's triggers and fears and not allow for much growth or healing to occur between members. I feel it is severe and controlling in a group that while is in need of structure and rules, is also in need of tolerance, forgiveness, perspective and patience concerning behaviors.

Additionally, and probably most pertinent to this private realtionship between you and I, I believe that this suspension has been enacted, at least in part, out of personal issues between you and me (and Ria and me). It is all over the letter that was written- it might as well have been a conversation between Ria and me reprinted! It is no secret that she and I have personally and privately been in conflict for almost 2 years now about the very issue of what I see new policies written about and enacted. And now, I see the same occurring with you, as your recent conversation with me confirmed your presonal private conflict with me over confrontation, etc.

Even if this were an absolute misinterpretation by me ( and others) over the proximity and relationship of totally non-correlative events, there is no way for me seek recourse, discuss this with anyone, call rules or policies into question, or speak to a "board" . There is no one "in charge" except you and Ria, and I have to accept your opinons, your apprasials and decisions and HOPE that no personal issues are being brought in (??? )

The feeling of powerless and despair this afternoon over this whole thing with all its attendant interpersonal complexities were almost more than I could bear.

The feelings of being singled-out and "made an example of" over actions that I am assuming are ones I took responsibility for and did nothing worse than other group members have ALSO done who are STILL there, ... as well as the retroactive nature of it....well....that just added to the whole pile.

I cannot support these decisions in DBSA. I did not support them they were first posted on the board, but nothing was said or done. I do not agree with your and Ria's running this group as you are. And I wish it could be a seperate issue, but as I said, I do not believe the decision to suspend me was entirely seperate from personal issue. As a result I am suffering greatly and thusly our relationship has been comprimised.

Those are hard and terrible things to write, Nicole, and I realize fully how much it must hurt to read them. Please understand that I do not write them in haste. I have spent all day on the phone with friends, loved ones, the therapist, other group members and I am at a total loss of what to do.

That saddens me very much. I considered you to be a close ally, and now I just feel betrayed. Very attacked, chastised, and punished. I have always been open to what you have had to say to me about our relationship, and tried very hard to have patience and parity during difficult times. I do not believe the same, for whatever reason, has been shown as of late, especially in this incident, to me. My heart is crushed by that idea.

I know you are greatly upset by these recent events. I do not doubt your sincerity. I do not doubt the goodness of your heart nor the veracity of your feelings and love for me. I feel great love for you (and Ria and for DBSA). I will hope that in time things will pass and this rift will be healed. I do not know how to heal it at this time, on a personal level with you (or Ria). ( I remain uncertain as to my future with DBSA as well. )... I feel very overwhelmed by it all and think only time and strong efforts on all parties parts to enact healing will ever hold any promise.

If after 3 months you still wish to contact me and attempt to heal our personal relationship, I leave that door open to you. Right now I fully concede that no contact should be had. Everything is too raw, and too toxic. You are right.

I also continue to send out prayers and light to you in your journey on this life. I will never wish you ill, or anything other than good! You once said to me that I was one of your favorite people on the planet. I can honestly say that about you as well. As I have told Ria many times, I hold you and she as two of the reasons I survived Fall of 04 thru Summer of 05, when I was recovering from my breakdown. And you were present at my dear Griffin's death and held my hand through it. I do not take either of those things lightly nor will I EVER forget them or try to discount those tremendous acts of generosity and friendship in the interests of remaining a martyr or victim in this. Even if we never make it back to each other, I will always wish you peace and love and all the oatmeal cookies in the world you can possibly stand.

May you be well.
May you find peace.
May you be whole.
May we both.
And so it is.


So I know I've said all I can say....

Except I gotta say :

WHEN WILL IT END???? When will I stop being kicked by the Universe?
I am just so TIRED. I just need a hug or something! I want to hide in my bed forever.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Not much to report, for once. I have PMS, but it seems like those horrid, Post Plan-B days of being chock full of hormones that don't belong are over, finally. The Lexapro is back to keeping me normal during this week, and by and large, I feel okay. Master P and I have come to some conclusion about adding Lexapro in a tiny dose all the time, as I have been having no Seratonin Syndrome-like side effects, anymore, either, but have been experiencing motivation and a lift in mood ( see prior entry about bedroom floor).

It's been wicked cold here at night and FINALLY the Gas Co. guy came out to relight my pilot light on my old furnace, and FINALLY it's not freezing-ass cold in here anymore. What, with all these things going right, I just might pass out from all the excitement!

I shouldn't be complaining about cold too much, though: a record-breaking ice storm tore through the midwest late last week and left most of my friends and family without power. R's family retreated to a hotel, and he managed to call; I got a hold of DR right away, and my brother I figured was probably over at my parents' if he needed to be. Curiously, despite my father having a cell phone with a car charger, I had been unable to reach them til this evening. The story went a bit like this:

I get a hold of Brother this evening on his cell and while he lost power over the weekend, he's had it since Monday, and he's fine. He said mom and dad are okay, but still without power. I asked him, WHY IN GODS NAME haven't they turned on the cell phone, as I had been trying to call and see if they were okay? I could practically hear him rolling his eyes over the phone from here. He said he needed to get gas and was going out anyway so he would stop in and let them know to call. I get this call- ON THE LAND LINE???- from my mom, and she's all like, " Well, we're FINE," like I'm this big goober to have asked. And here's what's even more irritating: they were at a hotel -ostensibly with functioning power- the two nights before!

SO I left my dad this message on his cell phone, which he will pick up tomorrow probably and turn on:

"Hi Dad, it's your daughter. You know, when there's an area-wide power outtage, you might think to TURN ON your cell phone for more than 5 minutes at a time. Your daughter -or even others who care for you- might want to check in on you and make sure you haven't died or eaten the neighbors. Just a thought! Thanks!"


They're crazy, they're just fuckin' crazy.

Speaking of crazy ( don't you love my clever little transitions here?) I spoke with Therapist this evening on the phone and had a humorous exchange that went a little bit like this:

Her: "Um, so Master P. sent over some of your file today."
Me: "Oh, okay. Anything good in there?"
Her: "I wouldn't know. Could not read a SINGLE word ( starts cracking up)!"
Me: "Nothing? Not at all? Not even in context?"
Her: "Nothing."
Me: " Not even in syntax?"
Her: (Laughing) " Not even there. I had some other member of staff say, 'oh, let me try; I've done alot of this and spent some time in hospitals.' They couldn't even make it out. "
Me: "Not even words like 'depression' or 'upset' or even, 'nice shoes' or something?"
Her: "Not a single, solitary word."

I know she's telling the truth, because he has really, really bad handwriting. But doctors: known for that, right? So OH MY GAWD, how bad must it be?? He's a native English speaker, even! Finally I told her to call up his office manager and give HER the laugh of the day and have her translate it, because she's the one keeps up on his records.

Who needs help here, now, reaaallllY??? Hmm? An interesting question to be sure.

So that's my story for today and I'm sticking to it.....

Sunday, December 03, 2006

My god, I think I can see my bedroom floor.

For the first time since The Shit (plural) Hit The Fan, I have managed to clean up my bedroom in tota ( yes, tota is a word; look it up). While I've been (cringing a bit) pretty good about keeping up the bathroom and the kitchen, my bedroom has just been a repository for all of my greif.

While I would wash the clothes, folding them seemed like too much work. When I was looking for shoes, putting them back seemed like too much work. So was hanging anything back up. Needless to say, my bedroom floor was pretty much covered with every piece of clothing I owned ( not, not kidding) and every shoe I have worn in the last 3 months ( also not kidding). That may not sound like big deal, but there could have been a whole family of opossum living in there for all I knew, or cared.

I hadn't vacuumed or dusted in there since I had the housecleaners come after Griffin died. I had changed the sheets on the same principle that I was still washing clothes and bothering to bathe regularly: I didn't want to become THAT person. I was already sleeping most of the day and eating maybe once and barely living, only leaving the house if I had to. I had stopped crying on a regular basis, and while that was a step forward, I realized if I succumbed any further by stopping all hygenic goals, I would be coasting downhill toward becoming A Crazy Californian Who Once Had Dreams, of which there are far too many here already.

So this weekend, with estrogen riding high, fueling my need to clean and nest, as it does every month, I decided to commit to tackling the bedroom. I just felt it was time.

I folded all the clothes. I put them all away. I put the shoes back in boxes and put those away. Tomorrow I'm going to hang up all the clothes that belong in the closet ( but for now they are neatly folded and stacked in a basket). I will replace the vacuum cleaner belt that I bought the week Anthony left and vacuum the house of my own accord for the first time since then.

I've scrubbed the kitchen top to bottom. I even organized the freezer. I scrubbed the bathroom, too. Even the walls.

I feel good. Like I'm getting control of things again. It's the little stuff. When the big stuff has all been broken beyond repair, and the best thing you can do is say, "Well, I guess it's an opportunity for a whole new beginning when I rustle the strength to get there", it's the first small steps that make you feel like, hey. Maybe I can do this.
I can.
I can.
I can.
And I'll keep saying that til the "job" of this Doing is done.