Clear Sky, 62°F

Conestoga Township, PA, USA

As posted to FB Group "Bipolar, BPD, and MH Safe Haven"

ok, so I’ve been a member for a while and haven’t really been active. But I’m having some trouble. I’ve distanced myself from my family of blood. My siblings abused me, resent me for having protected me, without any of my knowledge or request, for being gay. And still resent me for it yet refuse to talk about it. Am I wrong to be unwilling to just forget? To me one can only forgive after discussion and deliberation, once each other is understood. Forgiveness can’t be given arbitrarily, in my beliefs. And to forget is even more impossible for me. That’s akin to acting like nothing ever happened, especially when something did. I was traumatized for life and they most likely are the reasons why my Bipolar Depression and Panic Disorder came into being. I already had the genetic predisposition. My mom also apparently always knew this also. Which adds a significant impact on my relationship with her. Especially since I’m far closer with my mom, especially as an adult, than I’ve ever been with my siblings. According to them, I’m trying too hard. WTF! But that’s not the actual reason why I’m posting.

As a result of me finally realizing that my childhood wasn’t simply abusive, but that I was in fact abused, and identifying the primary culprits as my siblings, not my mom as previously thought, I’ve replaced them in my life. I’ve replaced my whole family actually, but they exist in parallel since I refuse to disown my family of blood. I’ve always felt that that’s the cowardly way of doing things, much like forgetting arbitrarily. But the two I’ve deemed closest, also feel a mutual bond with me. One complication is that they’ve become romantically involved. I regard them as each my twin sister and my brother. But they don’t regard each other as siblings, quite obviously. But with them living together now, and 400 miles away (they’re in Connecticut, I’m in Pennsylvania), I’ve started feeling increasingly isolated from them. I know that my feelings run deeper than theirs, no matter how much that hurts me and I wish it wasn’t true. But I think part of that is as a consequence of my Bipolar disorder. We naturally feel all emotions more deeply and more extremely. They could never feel as deeply as I can. Maybe that’s not just a curse, but also a blessing to having this disorder. We feel more deeply than those who don’t have Bipolar or any other mood disorder. But I also fear that they’re more important to me than I am to them. That hurts more. The depth of emotion can’t be helped, it just is. But the assignment of importance, that’s a whole nother matter entirely. Anyway, my twin is not much different in thinking than I am, except that she doesn’t have Bipolar, or Panic Attacks. She has insanely more resilience than me, probably why she has no mood disorder and why mine are so severe. My biggest issue is that she feels ignored, including by me, which has had its own consequences, led me the closest that I’ve ever been to suicide, that day I was virtually catatonic. I felt like a zombie. I felt immune to any emotion other than dispair. Even all of their love, or declarations of it only prompted me to dismiss them as that they were only saying that they loved me out of guilt. It was only once I saw the sheer fear and longing in my Partner’s face and eyes that I started snapping out of it. But she’s been very short tempered lately, since she’s very overwhelmed at home, but the constant screaming just triggers my past childhood traumas. And the one I regard as my brother is a newer addition, so to say. But the difference is that he does have his own psychiatric issues that have only recently been noticed. But what hurts with him is that he’s a severe introvert, can almost never get him on the phone, almost always will only talk through text, and even then, gets upset with me when I’m too clingy, that just triggers my memories of how my blood siblings treated and still treat me. Even worse, they both have gotten into the habit of accusing me of making everything about me. Just because I want to speak about how I’m feeling. Am I wrong? I feel like I need to walk on eggshells with them, just like my blood, but in the same respect, I feel like they are with me also, they deny it, which just pisses me off more. But I fear that they don’t know me anymore, they just know that I’m sensitive and either fear triggering me or downright don’t care if they trigger me. I find myself seeing my blood siblings in them. I don’t want that. I would feel like a failure. I just wish that they would try to see things as I do, to feel as I do, to think as I do. I just want them to accept me for who I am, all of me, no reservations, no exceptions.

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Overcast Clouds, 70°F

Pequea Township, PA, USA

Neither do I, handle lies. But no one has told me what happened that day. No one even offered. As much as they say that they’re scared for me, I still think they’re scared of me, for me for how I could harm myself. But just like I said that day, guilt. Maybe it’s my severe mistrust. You lost it when you went back to Chris after Harrisburg, you’re regaining it. Becci, unintentionally, abandoned me and she’s been far more intolerant of me than she used to be. And I’m still getting to know Joe. He welcomes me in in one breath and violently pushes me away in the next. I know that they have to walk on eggshells for fear that I’ll blow up. I’m a ticking time bomb. But at the same time I’m walking on eggshells, exactly like my childhood, they don’t realize, or care, or simply can’t handle that they, unintentionally triggered 3 weeks ago by making me relive that trauma, that you witnessed first hand. To them I’m just making it all about myself. But I wasn’t in so much pain before then. It also doesn’t help that rather than being kinder, they’ve become more hostile, to me, in my perception, I’m willing to admit that it might be a delusion, but at least with some basis in fact. Please don’t share this. Other than Heidi Morgan or Kristen Clark (married now), you’re the only one who really understands the real consequences of what happened. I’m going to share this with Stehman as well.

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Overcast Clouds, 68°F

Conestoga Township, PA, USA

Mel, I really feel like I destroyed everything this weekend. I’m thinking more clearly, and I know that you all love me, or did at that time. But I’m looking back and realizing how difficult to deal with my psyche is. I keep going to the fact that it was too much, for all of you. And I know that makes me difficult to deal with. And I gladly deal with all of your issues. I enjoy doing it, not because I like to meddle, but because I get satisfaction from helping those that I love. But now, I don’t know who I have to turn to. It should be Stehman, and he handles it as best as he can. But ultimately none of you are strong enough, mentally, to help me. This is why I feel isolated. I know it’s too much for you all. I know that I’m being segregated out for all your safety, and my sanity. I agree with the idea of working on individual relationships on my end. My fear is that there is no guarantee of the other valuing me the same that I value them. Yes, I know that that just is what it is. But, I guess, to me, that’s acceptable for acquantiences but not to family, especially à soul family. Of course we will get annoyed at each other, and we will have to learn to listen and talk to each other. But, in my belief, love still must be universal and unconditional. Otherwise, is it really a family. This is a lot. And I’ve expressed pièces of my concerns to different people. But the truth is that I have a lot of concerns, and this is because I’m doing as you and Joe instructed, to stop being in the gray all the time. So I’m seeing things as one way or the other without any in-between. There’s also something else based on Joe’s reading of me. But that’s something else. I’m sorry if this is too much. I’ll probably just put this in my journal and never send it. Or, when I feel that you are all ready to accept what I have to say, then I’ll tell you all. But by then, I hope that all this is irrelevant.

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Light Rain, 61°F

Conestoga Township, PA, USA

I know you’ll get to me when you can. That’s the hardest part, trusting that people will actually keep in touch. I don’t fear that from you. I don’t fear that from Harley. I agree with your assessment that I need to build individual relationships. But my fear is that the importance of that won’t be mutual. Plus, what is going on in the group that I can’t know about. How much am I missing? What decisions am I being excluded from? I’m trying to stay well, but I have these fears. They are trust issues. It’s not that I lack trust in most of you, per se, but I lack trust that anyone will speak for me. I can accept being excluded from the group as long as I have a voice, someone who is thinking of me. It’s ironic that you mentioned me staying out of the group (hurt a lot) but I expected that reaction (even though I feared it). I was asking Stehman in the hospital if he’d ask, by vote, if any of you wanted me back. Now my question is whether I’m being recommended to stay away for my own protection, for the members’ protection, both, or simple banishment. You, Stehman, Mel have all individually and independently said that I haven’t destroyed anything, that you all still love me. I don’t doubt that. But I’ve never been good with exclusion, one of my triggers. I want to trust that Stehman would be my voice, but I don’t, since he’s mostly non-participatory. I could ask you, but that could conflict with your other loyalties. So, you see. This is all my fears come to life. Again, I like the idea of building relationships independently. It solves the competitiveness that I can’t seem to help having, and the jealousy. But at the same time, I feel like everyone, in the group, is having fun, getting closer, making plans (even those that may effect me), and so on. Without me. And if I am ever welcomed back, that’s just the farther down in the pecking order that I’m in. It all goes back to importance. Stehman doesn’t understand love so is currently incapable of showing me importance, though he deserves credit for trying. Becci will always put her kids first, completely understandable and genetically hard wired, but after that who’s next? Me, her twin, from a life more important to me than to her? Or her "wifey" Mel, or her new found "hubby" Joe. With Mel, she has Joe, and her kids, and not much else, maybe also Becci, probably. Joe has himself, his kids, Mel, then Becci. No room there. Harley is currently an unknown, I certainly feel a bond and common interests with her, but someone else will just nullify my bond with her. Just like the above. I should be happy that they’re all getting along, and more that I brought them together. But that happiness and pride of accomplishment has withered to emptiness, loneliness and abandonment. My purpose has been fulfilled, I’m all used up. Now my presence is just an annoyance at best, and downright enraging at worst. I’ve considered just leaving, extricating myself from the situation, but then I’m told that I’d be missed, that I am loved, I am wanted, I do have purpose. So what is it? Am I used or am I wanted? I keep feeling like I’m getting mixed messages. And either way, I’m wrong. I’m even wrong for questioning. I’m even wrong when I’m right. And worst of all, I’m not ready. Doesn’t anyone else question to understand? How is that showing a lack of readiness? Is it possible that it might need to be put into pertinent terms rather than the terms that the author feels is best? So far, as I know, Becci is the only one who never gave up on me. Even when I had trouble accepting the "truth" that I wasn’t previously ready to accept. She kept asking, periodically, changing the phrasing, changing the reference. But she never gave up on me. I don’t know what more to say other than to present this to those that ARE READY. And to point out that some simply aren’t ready to hear my truth. I can’t always be the one who’s wrong. I can’t always be the petulant child. Not because I refuse, but because I do know things that they don’t. I do have knowledge that THEY’RE NOT READY FOR. I wonder how they’ll feel when the shoe is on the other foot? It doesn’t feel good when you’re proven to be a hypocrite, and worse when you’re presented with irrefutable evidence that puts your own accountability in question. The Feather of Ma’at judges all, Pharaoh and Commoner alike. Those who fail are cursed to have their souls devoured.

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I’m a Writer

There comes a point in your life when you need to stop reading other people’s books and write your own.

I desperately want to do this. I’ve wanted to write for quite some time now. I know that I have a talent for writing, I recognize it as my art. I believe everyone has an art, so to say. By this, I mean that everyone has their own unique talent to express themselves creatively. But I don’t limit this to the traditional fine arts. One can just as easily express themselves, creatively, through any field that they have a passion and talent for. Mathematics, Scientific Research, Commentary… anything really. It doesn’t have to be restricted to the “fine arts.” I guess that this is, in some way, an extension of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, at least in my own interpretation. I say this because the Theory of Multiple Intelligences obliterates, rightfully so, the traditional view of what it means to be intelligent. It points out the limitedness and discriminatory bias of the traditional definition of intelligence. It points out that there are far more diverse ways that one can express intelligence, well beyond what is traditionally regarded as intelligence. I find that this expansive and holistic view of intelligence, by extension, can also be applied to how one defines creative expression. It shows that the idea of restriction, vis à vis the definition of intelligence, is not only flawed, but also unfairly exclusive. That what it means to be intelligent is far more expansive than traditionally defined. It also promotes a more all-encompassing and complete definition of what is valued in terms of intelligence. That the traditional definition of intelligence is incomplete at best and woefully harmful at worst. As such, since multiple intelligences expands the definition of intelligence beyond the traditional, regarding aptitude in Mathematics, Logic, and Linguistic Prowess, to include aptitudes in such fields as Kinesthetics, Artistic Prowess, Creative Expression, Empathy and Communication Skills; I feel it’s only logical to do the opposite. To expand the definition of what it means to be creative, to define artistic expression, to include Mathematics, Logic and Linguistic Prowess as well. And hence, ones art can be in any field that one is passionate and skilled in.

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Moderate Rain, 40°F

Home Actual, Stehman-Schenck Farmstead, Conestoga Township, Lancaster, PA, US

There comes a point in your life when you need to stop reading other people’s books and write your own.

I desperately want to do this. I’ve wanted to write for quite some time now. I know that I have a talent for writing, I recognize it as my art. I believe everyone has an art, so to say. By this, I mean that everyone has their own unique talent to express themselves creatively. But I don’t limit this to the traditional fine arts. One can just as easily express themselves, creatively, through any field that they have a passion and talent for. Mathematics, Scientific Research, Commentary… anything really. It doesn’t have to be restricted to the "fine arts." I guess that this is, in some way, an extension of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, at least in my own interpretation. I say this because the Theory of Multiple Intelligences obliterates, rightfully so, the traditional view of what it means to be intelligent. It points out the limitedness and discriminatory bias of the traditional definition of intelligence. It points out that there are far more diverse ways that one can express intelligence, well beyond what is traditionally regarded as intelligence. I find that this expansive and holistic view of intelligence, by extension, can also be applied to how one defines creative expression. It shows that the idea of restriction, vis à vis the definition of intelligence, is not only flawed, but also unfairly exclusive. That what it means to be intelligent is far more expansive than traditionally defined. It also promotes a more all-encompassing and complete definition of what is valued in terms of intelligence. That the traditional definition of intelligence is incomplete at best and woefully harmful at worst. As such, since multiple intelligences expands the definition of intelligence beyond the traditional, regarding aptitude in Mathematics, Logic, and Linguistic Prowess, to include aptitudes in such fields as Kinesthetics, Artistic Prowess, Creative Expression, Empathy and Communication Skills; I feel it’s only logical to do the opposite. To expand the definition of what it means to be creative, to define artistic expression, to include Mathematics, Logic and Linguistic Prowess as well. And hence, ones art can be in any field that one is passionate and skilled in.

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Broken Clouds, 70°F

Home Actual, Stehman-Schenck Farmstead, Conestoga Township, Lancaster, PA, US

Speaking to Donna on Facebook Messenger:

I’ve just been thinking that Stehman’s parents don’t personally like me. And especially since Phil (Stehman’s brother, the younger of the two) has gotten married. Yet originally, Nikki was awesome and really did a lot to bring the whole family back together. She’s the reason why I felt comfortable referring to Stehman’s parents as Mom and Dad. They always seem to respond better to it when I refer you them like that. But ever since Charlottesville and the fucking blow up that happened with Phil, Nikki and her best friend Karl, which was for the most part 3:1. I just feel more distant. I probably just need to talk to Nikki in private. I’ve always felt closer to her and to a lesser extent, Mom. Even though I asked Nikki if we were OK, her and I. And she said we were OK. But just something about how she wrote it made me doubt her words. But the four of them are doing stuff together. And that in itself doesn’t bother me, but the blatant favoritism (even if it is unintended) really angers me, and hurts, and makes me extremely jealous. But the anger isn’t about how I feel, it’s proxy for my defense of Stehman. He doesn’t even notice. There is so much about his family that I just don’t understand, that is just so alien and anathema to me and my family, or even to my upbringing. And so many assumptions. Too little effort. Too little communication. Part of the reason why Nikki has been such an awesome addition. And it hasn’t been for a lack of some effort on my part. I’ve asked and asked if they want help doing something or another and either they’re already done or say that they don’t need help. I always then ask that if they need help to ask me and that if it was something specific to just grab me. I’ve asked mom multiple times if she could teach me canning and she’s so far done a few projects but never a word to me. And I asked dad, maybe a year or two after I moved in, if he would teach me to use a gun. He looked at me suspiciously and asked why. My only response was that I’ve always wanted to learn. That wasn’t good even. Though after Sandy Hook, I told both mon and dad that due to my mental illness I am voluntarily avoiding any firearms. I told dad that I don’t want to know where any of his guns are and if he could keep them locked up. He said that he wouldn’t tell me anyway… (added later outside the conversation) But this is an issue I’ve had time and time again. People having expectations of me but never telling me what they are or how they want is, assuming that their way is the only possible way to do things and every other way is wrong. And in addition to said expectations, it’s expected that if a project needs done that I should just immediately drop everything and contribute, but that’s not how my mind works. If someone is doing a project then I don’t want to interfere with their project unless they ask me for help, which never happens. It’s just expected to jump right in, that I should know when and that the help is needed. And the phrase that sums it all up is, "I shouldn’t have to ask!" My response, in my head is that that assumption, and it is an assumption, isn’t how everyone functions and to believe so is simply selfish and narrow-minded. Of course I can never say this because it would either jeopardize my livelihood or my housing. So my anger, worry, panic, paranoia grows. While their mind becomes set that I am a certain way that has no, or little, truth to how and who I am. And rather than communicate or question or think that maybe all people don’t think the same, regardless of how many do. They set this misconception in stone and their resentment fester and grows all based upon a one dimensional assumption and misconception. The whole person is judged by a single negative act that may have a perfectly reasonable cause.

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Few Clouds, 86°F

100-186 Brinkley Dr, Sellersville, PA 18960, USA

A message to my Dom, never sent:

I feel this way whenever I’m around my family. Insignificant, non existent, not worth any effort. Living almost 100 miles away doesn’t help, but again no effort made. I recognize that most of this is in my head. But no understanding of the difficulties I face just being around anyone because of my messed up head. No visible effort made to show understanding or even sympathy, just that I’m doing it to myself (I know I am) and that I just shouldn’t do it. That I should just get over it and that I bring it upon myself, that it’s just my fault. And no recognition of their contribution to it, or taking it as an offense if or when I try to bring it up. Even though I do forgive them, but also can’t just ignore it or move on, mainly because any time I feel some way, that is abnormal, I’m reminded of why I have these abnormal thoughts and feelings and what contributed to my very warped mind. I don’t know why I feel like I should share this with you or even if I should. But earlier you commented that I’ve never been able to get it all out. You’re right, I never have been. All my life I’ve been suppressed, that how I feel or what I think is wrong so therefore it isn’t valid. That I’m devalued. That my feelings, thoughts, opinions are not worth anything. Any time I do try to get it all out, so to say, I’m told to stop crying about it and to move on. So, I tell you this because this is why I apologize for everything, even things done by others that I had no part of. And this is why it’s so easy to be submissive and minimized and objectified, because I always have been forced into that role. Except from my closest friends, whom I consider my true family, because they are the ones who treat me like family and actually consider me as valuable. But a lot of that is also my perception and I also acknowledge that. Problem is how do I stop this blatant misperception and start to develop resilience and self-assuredness?

Addendum

I meant to write this sooner, but I have begun to feel marginally closer to my siblings. Maybe I feel at a disadvantage because they know me better than I expected but I feel that I don’t totally know them. But mom has helped me learn more about the distance I get from them. Because they defended me and kept me isolated from all the homophobia, that should have been directed to me, they intercepted. But I never knew, and yet still they resent me for it. I’m at a loss. While I’m extremely grateful and want to cry out of happiness, because it is evidence that they love me and care about me. But at the same time, how right is it to be resented for something that I not only didn’t request but also had no knowledge of. Yet talking about the past, especially in terms of me, is all but forbidden. Which is anathema to me individually. I want to solve problems and to communicate, not to bury them and become diseased from the resentment. Plus, again, do I really deserve that vitriol, is this something that they have a right to hold against me when I had absolutely no knowledge of. I was completely oblivious until I was told, out of anger, years later. Everything seems stacked against me.

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Scattered Clouds, 88°F

Home Actual, Stehman-Schenck Farmstead, Conestoga Township, Lancaster, PA, US

So I’ve been depressed today, on Father’s Day. Which makes me feel worse because I am also castigating myself for, in my mind, taking the focus away from Stehman’s and my Fathers. So here is a direct quote of a conversation with an innermost friend explaining "what was wrong" with today:

"Father’s day, which isn’t a huge issue on my family’s side, per se, just that my dad is so far away (he’s currently living in Florence, SC). But more an issue with Stehman’s family. I keep feeling that his dad really doesn’t like me. And that I’m really just a proxy for Stehman, so it’s not really me that’s wanted around, I’m just tolerated because I represent Stehman.

It’s also difficult when Stehman doesn’t really have a relationship with any of his family. At least not that I can see. I mean, I’m there when they ask where Stehman is and I can explain why he disappeared. But no one is there to do the same for me. To speak for me like I do for Stehman.

And I get kinda jealous also, because I know that Stehman’s brother and his wife have way more in common with Stehman’s parents than we do. But they also don’t do a lot to include us either.

Even for the wedding, I was really just an afterthought. I know that some of what I’m feeling is the BPD, and I try to be conscious of the fact that I’m making things personal that aren’t. But on the other hand, I also can’t believe that all of my perceptions are wrong.

I always felt that Phil (Stehman’s brother) was always favored by his parents over Stehman. Some of that probably is shared interest. But again, I ask, how much effort have his parents made to include Stehman (and by extension, me). I know that if I said something to them about their not making an effort, they’d probably say that they would figure that if he (or I) were interested, then he would have shown an interest.

Also, this perceived favoritism, I know, is more of a concern to me than to Stehman. But I don’t know if that is just that Stehman hasn’t, or isn’t able to, process it; or if it truly isn’t a concern for him.

And on the issue of Stehman speaking for me, as well as him being present with his family and including me rather than me being a proxy. He said that he just doesn’t have the energy to process and understand any of it.

Oh, and I forgot, the whole trigger is that Stehman’s dad unfriended me on Facebook, which I was reminded of when I went to tag him (and my dad) on a happy father’s day post."

Sorry for the direct stream of thought.

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