Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blah Blah

Well, just a little note to say "glad I didn't let myself get all carried away with DH's 'new' self"....

Yup, he's back to not getting things done, back to talking in slow motion, and the last two days, when I reminded him to take his pills, he said, "I'll do it in a little bit", and then got himself off the schedule. So we're back to "normal". Sigh. I'm hoping that this is just a "blip". But bracing for the possibility that it isn't.

My New Years resolution, though, is to find a way to strong-arm him into applying for Social Security Disability. That and getting the roof fixed somehow....

Anyhow, this is a kind of short post, because I brought up the possibility of a little New Years Eve get-together at my Mom's assisted living apartment, and she got really excited. So we are going to make some frozen pizzas and have a glass of champagne (and DD is having non-alcoholic champagne, if it didn't freeze in my car)...anyhow, I have to head home to get that going--I like when my mom gets excited and looks forward to something, even if it's really not much of a big deal....I always remember that this holiday could (for anyone, actually, but an almost-80-year-old woman, for sure) very well be the last one (although I very much hope and pray it isn't).

So Happy New Year to you, and SEE YOU NEXT YEAR (tee hee) (I always used to hate when people would say that and think it's funny....now I'm doing it!)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Somebody stop me!!!

Hi everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and I also am hoping that 2009 brings wonderful things for all of us....

Christmas was fun, but it should've been "funner". I love Christmas, it's my favorite time of year. I can get very much into the spirit, and things are usually a lot of fun. This year, though, I think all the crap is wearing me down. For example, every year since DH and I have been seeing each other, I have been in charge of "the games".

"The games" evolved because DH and his family would get together to play poker every Christmas Eve. But I, not being much of a poker player, thought that was boring, and so I came up with my "own" games, which are kind of like games that you would play at a wedding or baby shower, with little prizes that were either free samples, or from the dollar store. It's turned into the highlight of the year, and every year I try to come up with new games and some serious and some very wacky prizes. I love that! But this year, I really didn't have the gumption. I went through the motions, and it was fun, but honestly, if someone had said, "Hey, maybe we shouldn't do those games this year", I would've jumped at the chance. And I did all my (what little there was) Christmas shopping online, because I had no time in between snowstorms and work to go anywhere at all. And even my half-a**ed attempts at holiday spirit were really pretty lame. And after it was all over, and I was left with that "Holiday Hangover", where all I wanted to do was sleep all day and all night, I was left asking myself, "What's wrong this year?"

After all, when you consider that my mom had broken her hip last Fall, and DH was not on Lithium back then, and I had less money than I do now, because I am working that extra day this year, it would kind of seem like I should've been more stressed out last year, not this year. I guess maybe things are starting to catch up to me and that's scary when I think about it, because I start wondering how long I can keep doing this....a while, I hope!

Anyhow, there is a bright spot: DH is doing better than he has in ages. I'm almost afraid to write that, I don't want to jinx it. But here's the thing--he's been working hard at taking his meds on a schedule--that is, he is taking his morning meds at about 10:30am, and his nighttime meds, which include the Seroquel that makes him sleep, at about 11pm. With that being the only change, I can say that the changes in DH have been quite remarkable!!!

First off, for Christmas, he gave me coupons, for chores that I don't like to do or don't always have time to do. He thanked me for staying with him, and wrote me a very nice letter, too. So far, I've used 4 coupons. One to fill the feed hopper full of duck food, one to duck and cluck, one to unload groceries, and one to get him up at 8am to go and get a Christmas tree at 50% off (at the day after Christmas sales). And he did all of those chores right away, no complaining. Then, DD got a gift card for Christmas, and DH took her to the store to use it, and he did not buy one single thing!! He told me he looked at a CD, but he decided it was "too expensive"!!! Can you believe that???? No back pain, no discussions as to why it would be better if I would just let him die....DH is shocked by the difference, too--he says he feels like he did five or six years ago, when things really didn't bother him much and he looked forward to each new day--Now how's that for a Christmas present, huh?

Ok, the title. I'm pretty nervous about controlling my expectations when DH is doing so good. Like I've told you, it seems like when DH has a period of "good" time and then he slides back into "That Guy" mode, I'm having a harder time accepting that and I find myself getting more angry and disgusted when I shouldn't be. So even though right now, DH is the best I've seen him in years, I'm afraid to even acknowledge it on some level, because as much as I hope that he can go back to being the wonderful guy I married, so far, history hasn't borne that out. So there's this little fight going on inside me--the part of me that is SO loving this change, the part that remembers that "this is how it used to be", and then there's that part that's (I hate to say cynical, maybe reality-based?) telling me, "Don't worry, it won't last...."

Despite all my ranting and complaining, though, I guess I'm an optimist, because I'm still hopeful. I love him so much, what I would give to have things stay like this forever....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas to all of us!

Well, I hope you're done with all of your running around and craziness. I hope that you have time to look at pretty lights, time to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" (my favorite movie of all time) and time to hug everyone you care about. This year I have so much to be grateful for. I am hoping that 2009 is full of blessings for all of us. Anyhow, here's a video for you--thanks very much for being with me through all of this bipolar mayhem!!! There are so many times that something someone has said in a comment will stick in my brain and carry me through a really rough time, I'm happy to know all of you--thanks again!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pre-Christmas Surprise

The surprise is, that DH has been doing amazingly well!!! Today, he (of course) woke me up at 8am to tell me he was getting up for the day --for those of you who have been reading for a while, you know that the fact that he is getting up at all is pretty wonderful--anyhow, he got up, fixed the plow, plowed the driveway (we're having yet another snowstorm), then took DD AND her bio mom shopping at the dollar store!!

All of this time, I was blissfully sleeping, after working all night. He pottied all the dogs, filled all the cat bowls, scooped litter boxes and then....drum roll please.....

You know DD's light? The one in her bathroom that has been out of commission for not just months now, but for I think close to two years????? YUP!!!!! I can't believe it--he went up into the attic and fixed that light! And he hasn't complained about his back hurting for AGES. I was so excited, I wanted to shout this from the rooftop (except that our roof is in such bad shape, I don't think that would be a good idea!!) I really really hope that he can keep this up at least until after Christmas--he's really been trying hard!!

I should have taken a picture of that light. I still might :-) It's a milestone--for sure!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Time Magazine: Mentally Ill Die Younger

For me, this was a shocking article. I've known for a long time that, especially when DH's mental illness is not well-controlled, he is at a much higher risk for suicide, or an auto accident, or an unintentional overdose, I had never really thought about the fact that even if he never succumbs to these things, certain aspects of his lifestyle put him at a much higher risk. He is obese. Although he has cut down on the pop drinking quite a bit, he still makes poor food choices. And of course, you all know he smokes. When he was healthy, I used to refuse to even run to the store to buy cigarettes for him. Now, I not only go, but I pay for them, too. Just like the pop used to be, he believes (and I have never been a smoker, so I am not making light of the situation, just not completely understanding) that he could not live for an hour with no cigarettes. During one of his half serious attempts to quit smoking, he started chewing tobacco, and now he is dependent on that, too. And the possibility of quitting seems to threaten his very being. And he has already been diagnosed as "diabetic", although so far, he has refused to really acknowledge it....but, Carol, let's face it....DH fits this article, lock, stock, and barrel.....

It's more than scary so see an article like this and wonder if it was written specifically about DH. Yikes.

Here's the link, for those of you who are interested:
Why Do Mentally Ill People Die Younger?

Repeat after me....

Remember DD's therapist, how she recommended that I "lower my expectations" with regard to DH....well, I keep messing up!!!

I got home this morning, and DD supposedly could not manage to get the garbage down to the road (that's one of her little "jobs"). DH was up, he said he'd take care of it. And then I changed the litter box that was starting to smell two days ago, that he said he'd take care of...

When I got up to go to work, I noticed that the load of DD's laundry that had been in the dryer, was now jumbled in a laundry basked, even though she had been instructed to fold it and put it away.

And then DD had an "issue", and when that was said and done, nobody had taken care of the ducks and chickens and I was at work and DH was all ready for bed.

I was so crabby--a lot of times I really truly feel like nothing, not even the little stuff that I specifically request, will get done at all unless I do it.

So right now I am going to count a few blessings to cheer myself up.

I'm employed. I have, not one, but two jobs. Right now, there are a lot of people who don't have any.

Nobody is having a crisis right now.

My mom seems relatively stable and even though I work a lot and feel rather guilty about that, I love my mom and I love making her life more pleasant.

DH is miles better than he was last year at this time (pre-Lithium).

I love where I live and all of my animals too.

Our house, despite the complaining you see on this blog, is full of love.

The bills are paid.

I have friends, both in "real life" and in the blogosphere!

I know I shouldn't complain so much, I really do. But sometimes (ok, lots of times) it all seems so absurd to me. And even when things make perfect sense to me, with DD and her problems, and DH and his mental illness, and my mom with her dementia, still nobody can see things clearly and then I start wondering if I'm the one who's not thinking right....it's nice to have a place to vent. But I think I am going to pay attention to how much I complain and try to tone it down a little, if I can. Sometimes I know it seems like that's all I do....whine, whine, whine...

Monday, December 15, 2008


Well, when I got off work at 8 this morning, I decided to go to WalMart, because it wasn't snowing at all yet. So I got dog food, a gallon of milk, some cereal, and some firestarter sticks to start a fire in the fireplace. I didn't go hog wild, I was only in there probably twenty minutes, including the checkout. When I got back outside, it was simply unbelievable! It was snowing so hard that I couldn't even push my cart through the snow!!!

And then I had to drive home. I don't know what I was thinking. I have known for at least three days that there was a big storm coming. But when I got to WalMart and it wasn't even snowing, I figured I had it made! Well, the 30 miles home were about the scariest I've driven in years, if ever. Instantly there was about four inches of snow on the roads, and that's not a really big deal for MN, but when the wind is blowing so hard that you can't see the road at all, well, it's a very big deal! I don't know how I got home. I'm usually a pretty cautious driver in the snow, the one that all the "macho" guys in their 4-wheel drives like to pass....but today, after about the first mile, absolutely nobody even got close enough to think about passing me....and by the time I got close to home, I was the only crazy person on the road. I don't know how to explain the fear I had--it was like the windshield was fogged up, but it wasn't. I can't believe I made it home without going in the ditch. My adrenalin was really going by the time I got home and pottied all the dogs!!

Then I went to bed, and DH got up to plow the driveway. Just as he finished, the plow broke. So I guess if that was going to happen, I'd rather have it happen at the end of the plowing than at the beginning!! I am hoping that he has enough wherewithal to fix it before the next snowstorm....

Once again, DD was being horrid. As soon as she saw me, and heard me talking to DH, she put her coat on and said she was ready to go visit her "real mom". I told her there was no way anyone was going out in that, and sorry, it'd have to be another day. So she whined about it all day!!! "But...but....I haven't seen her for TWO WEEKS!!!" (She has gone the entire summer without seeing her "real mom" and didn't even express a speck of worry) "But we were going to the Dollar Store!" (but she told me that she didn't have any money--and I know her bio mom doesn't have any either...) And then came the "you guys never let me do ANYTHING!" I told her that if she wanted ANYTHING, acting like that wasn't a good way to get it. I got the dogs in, and then I went into the living room and turned on the radio. DD was reading on the couch. "Can you turn that off, PLEEZE?" I said "I'm just going to listen to the weather report, then I'll turn it off." "But you've got a radio in your room, can't you go in there?" "No, I can't. I pay the bills. If you don't like what I'm doing in the living room, then take your book and go read in your own room."

Anyhow, you get the point. I don't know what's going on--I know part of it's just being a teenager with limited social skills. But boy oh boy, she is being a JERK!
(She did apologize to me before I left for work. DH is still waiting for an apology for the time when she sassed off to him, he told her to go to her room, and she said, :NO! MAKE ME!!!".)

The coolest thing was that DH was very calm, very rational, during all of these episodes. "That Guy", who is usually the first "grownup" to say something (and it's usually not indicative of good parenting) was nowhere to be seen!!! Very very cool. It was my regular old DH, the one I married because he was very even-tempered and rational....

I know that he's not all that much better...I can tell that by his "job hunting". On Friday he went to the Job Center and had to wait in line to get on a computer. Then when he did, there were "absolutely no jobs". So that was that. Looking in the newspaper, or talking to the jobs guy, or just going down to the fast food place and filling out an application, well, none of those crossed his mind, and even when I pointed out that he could try those avenues, he discounted it. So that (and the pawn shop thing) show me that he's not "doing fine". But I guess with bipolar, you take as much "normal" as you can get.

Oh--and the title of this post? Aside from the snowstorm and the cold attitude of DD, by the time I get off work in the morning, it is supposed to be 24 below zero actual temperature. Brrrrrr!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Question of the day

Mom? What's the best way for me to come up with three or four thousand dollars by April?

Me: Did I hear you right? (I'm thinking....she's thinking car....and doesn't know we've decided she's not ready to drive yet...)

DD: Well, it might be more....

Me: What are you thinking you need that costs that much?

DD: Well, I'm going to be 16 in April, and for my "sweet 16" party, I want to have ACDC come and play.

Me: Um, honey, you'll need a LOT more than that....

DD: No I won't!!! They're all old now!!!

Me: Maybe you should try to come up with some cheaper ideas.

DD: Well, can I have a deejay?

Me: We haven't even discussed whether there will be a party, let alone what will happen there!

DD: Well, could you open me a savings account?

Me: Ok, sure!! If you can save up thirty dollars, I will be very happy to open you a savings account.

DD: Oh. Well I don't think I could save that much.

Me: Why not? You just earned ten dollars the day before yesterday for combing the dogs--do that twice more and you've got it made!

DD: I already spent all that money.

Me: Oh.

DD: But can I shovel the walk or something and you can pay me?

Me: Um....it hasn't snowed all week.

DD: So?

Me: Why don't you wait until after the blizzard hits on Sunday, then after we've got a foot of snow, we can talk about shoveling.

DD: Oh forget it.

(It seems like nobody is happy with my inability to conjure up money out of thin air these days!)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Again...and again....and again.....

The phone rang this morning at 10:30am:

Caller: Is Mr. DH home?

Me: yeah (handing the phone to DH)

DH: (to person in phone) Uh, yeah. No I didn't. Uh, probably tomorrow. (hangs up)

Me: Who was that?

DH: The pawn shop.

My heart sank. I didn't say anything after that. I don't want to know what he hocked. Not my problem. Not my problem. Not my problem.

Except for that little part a while back where he was so grateful to me for paying off that stupid pawn shop when he hocked his brother's gun...he said he'd learned his lesson. He wouldn't do that again, for sure.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I usually schedule DD's orthodontist appointments on Mondays, because that's one of the most likely days that I would have off. I noticed that I had written down her December appointment for Tuesday the 16th, and I started second guessing myself, wondering if I wrote it on the wrong date.

So I called the orthodontist's office. "Hi, my name is Carol, and our DD sees the orthodontist there. I usually schedule her appointments on Mondays, so when I saw that this upcoming one was for Tuesday, I figured I'd better call and double check."

"Well, ma'am, I don't really know what to tell you. Our orthodontist passed away suddenly over the weekend. We don't know how long it's going to be until we can find someone to take his place."

"Oh no!!! It must've been a heart attack, then, or something? we just saw him two weeks ago and he looked fine!!! How very sad. I'm very sorry."

"Yes, it was a heart attack. He was only 47 years old."

"I am very sorry. I understand that you don't know what's going on right now. I'll call back next week."

No matter how stressful I think my life is, I think his family will be wishing they had my kind of stress. How sad.

I haven't told DD yet. I don't know how it will affect her. I'm sure she knew who he was, but most of the time the "nurses" did most of the work and he just kind of supervised, so I'm not sure if she'll honestly feel bad, or if she'll get all dramatic, or if it'll be no big deal. There's really not much in the parenting books about this kind of thing!


Well, this morning I got home at 6:30am. It would have been a waste of time to try to sleep for 20 minutes, so I watched the economic news for that time, until I had to get DD up for school. I usually sit up while she gets ready, because she sometimes tries to wear very inappropriate things if she isn't supervised. One time it was 30 below zero and she decided she needed to wear flip-flops with (of course) no socks. That was an argument....but she did end up putting on her tennies....

Anyhow, so I waited until she got on the bus, then went to bed at about 7:15. I set my alarm for 10:30, because DH has been doing much better since he's been trying to take his meds at 12 hour intervals and he has told me that he can feel a difference and he likes it. But most of the time, given his own devices, he'd still forget to take them in the morning. So I set my alarm to wake him up (of course, that means I have to wake me up, too....but having "That Guy" on vacation is more fun than being well rested :-)

So at 10am, a half hour early(!), DH woke me up and said, "If you set your alarm, you can turn it off, because I'm getting up, and I'm taking my pills." Well, blow me away!!!! So....back to sleep.

At 11am, a clinic called about my mom's Dr. appt tomorrow. Of course they needed to talk to me to tell me to be there five minutes early for paperwork.

At 12:30pm, I got up to hop in the shower. Pretty often I put it off (showering) because it's something I can skip for a day or two. And then I end up feeling yucky. Anyhow, took my shower. Went and picked up DD for her therapist appointment regarding the meltdown last week. So it's a big deal.

We're in the middle of some heavy duty therapy stuff, and there's a lot to say. But, suddenly, DH is there, knocking on the door, telling me that I need to go to my mom's assisted living place because she is having troubles. Last night, she got confused with her pills and took this morning's pills when she should have taken the ones for last night. (She has three boxes of pills, one for morning, one for lunchtime, and one for bedtime, and she took the pills out of the wrong box). She's done that before, but the nurse was concerned because this morning, after having everything all fixed, she still couldn't remember how to do the pills....so...instead of going to work, I took mom to a same-day clinic 30 miles away, where they checked her for a UTI (as far as they can tell, she doesn't have one)...then they did blood work, as far as they can tell, she's fine, so that's a HUGE relief.

But while we were there, she missed supper at her assisted living place, so then we had to go out to eat. While we were eating, DH called me, purportedly to see how my mom was, but really, I think it was because he was out of cigarettes. So I told him we were eating, and he wanted to come down and join us. I like his company, but I was paying for supper, and DH eats a LOT and all I could see was more money floating out the window....then he told me he was out of cigarettes, and did I by any chance pick up his sweetener for his coffee? I kind of blew up at him. He called me back and apologized and asked how he could help. So I had him feed the outside animals, and I gave him a $20 and told him to go buy whatever he needed.

Then I went to work. Here I am. I seem to have a lot of days like this.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Emotional wipeout

Well, things are finally calming down. DD got through school without me being called. She got through the after-school time without being rude to her dad. And DH got through it all without being inappropriate to DD (in other words, "That Guy" stayed away, and DH did not lose his temper and/or swear at her).

DH is still angry with DD for what she said to him. But it became very clear when we talked to her last night that she didn't have a clue what she had said to him. She didn't remember any of it. So being mad at that point is kind of senseless. But I can understand why he would still be mad. I hope he can get over it relatively soon....

I tried to have us all sit down and talk about what had happened. And I tried to make sure that DH took part in the "parenting" too. But then he went off on this stupid tangent about how DD probably has a mental illness and she didn't have a choice, and she might as well get used to it..." I have no idea what he was getting at. Yes, DD will probably always have mental health problems. But I think that more than that, DH is desperate for someone to be "like" him. So he's putting these stupid things onto DD and it doesn't do any good at all. He just kept going on and on about it, and it had very little to do with DD's meltdown, and even if it did, I think that it really didn't help the situation at all. I kept talking with DD about who she should apologize to, and what she could do differently next time, and DH just wanted to keep telling her that she was stuck with mental illness, even if she didn't want it. I let him ramble about it, though, on the off chance that talking like that might have helped convince himself that he can't deny the fact that he's mentally ill. I think DD was as confused as I was as to the relevance of it, though.

Anyhow, now that things have calmed down, I really feel wiped out. Like I've had the flu for three days. My whole body is exhausted. I am so tired. I know DD is tired, too. And DH, but he's always tired. I can't wait to get home from work and go to bed.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Still dealing with the crisis...

Well, this morning I went to school with DD and learned that she had a "very bad day" on Monday in school, too. The counselor said that she had "meant to get a hold of" me, but she hadn't. In fact, she thought that we had come in to talk about DD's day on Monday. I just told her what had happened, and we brainstormed a little to see if we could put a finger on what is happening, and, as near as we can figure, it's something to do with an ongoing issue that DD has had with two other girls.

Apparently those two girls were in church group last night and DD made a lot of threats and made a lot of people concerned. Two adults from the church group called DH after DD was already in bed to express their concerns about how she was acting. I'm always torn when we get calls like that from adults, because I really want to know how she's doing, but I think a lot of people, even though they know intellectually that she has "issues", don't actually recognize those issues when they come to the surface, so it ends up feeling like "you're not doing your job!" And then I feel defensive. I'm trying. I really am.

Anyhow, DD said hurtful things to DH like "I want you gone!" and "I wish you didn't even live here any more, I wish it was just me and Mom!" and "All you ever do is sit around! You never do anything!!! I'm sick of you!!! You're a bad Dad!!!"

I guess you could say that didn't make DH's mental health any better. He is still very hurt and upset about the things she said. I tried reminding him of things she's said to me in the past, but he doesn't remember any of those at all. I reminded him that she's a teenager and that teenagers (and kids in general) can say very hurtful things. I'm worried about how tonite will go with the two of them, as I had to come in to work.

And at about 1pm, DD's school called and they were concerned about her mental health. They were having a tough time calming her down and they thought that if I talked to her, she might feel better. I don't feel like that was particularly successful, but maybe....

Then I guess, when DH talked to his mom and told her what was going on, she said "YOU'VE GOT TO GET RID OF HER, SHE'S NOTHING BUT TROUBLE." (We've had that conversation with her about a zillion times back before DH got sick and before she was really ours, so I kind of expected that from her.) And then I guess he called his brother and his brother told DH "GET RID OF HER. YOU'RE WASTING YOUR TIME AND ENERGY ON SOMEONE WHO'S ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE." I have to admit, that lots of times, DD is tough to appreciate. I just wish these people could keep their mouth shut if they don't have anything nice to say. If she was biologically ours, nobody would be telling us that, they might actually be trying to help us, instead. Oh well, no use wasting my time trying to change people who don't understand.

But on the "upside", if there is one, DD's caseworker gave us the number of a "children's crisis line" in a nearby town where, if DD has another meltdown tonite, we can call the hotline, and they will actually send a cnild/adolescent counselor out to our house to diffuse the situation. I hope we don't need it, but it's very nice to have. She hasn't had a crisis like this in a long time. I'm a little nervous about calling home to see how she's doing. I'm worried that DH will lose his cool and the situation will escalate.

Just so you know

With all this drama, I've decided that since DD's therapist only works on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and DD has an appointment for next Wednesday, that will be too late to deal with this in a counseling sense. So I've decided that I'm not going to stay over in the city like I usually do, I'm going to leave work early and go to school with DD in the morning so that I can talk with the school counselor and maybe figure out what is going on. I'm worried about DD, but I'm also worried that DH might not handle things as well as I'd like, so I need to go home and make sure everyone is ok.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Whoa!!! Drama overload!!!

My phone double rang tonite--that means it's someone from outside the building. Usually it's DH, and I had someone at my desk asking me a question, I didn't answer. I called him back and checked to see if it was him.

Me: Was it you that called?
DH: Yes, but this isn't a good time. I'll call you back.

Five seconds later, my cell phone rang, which was a miracle in itself (maybe) because I usually don't get a signal at work.

All I could hear was DD screaming and crying.
I told her, "You've got to calm down before I can talk to you--I can't understand you!"
So she screamed as loud as she could in my ear and hung up.

So. I called DH back, asked him what was going on. I could hear DD screaming at the top of her lungs in the background. DH says he is going to call the police, he thinks she needs to be committed. I can tell from his voice that I am talking to "That Guy" (of course), but I try anyhow--"No, don't call the police, I think we can handle this. I don't want them to take her away from us for any reason."
DH: Well I do.

DH: I don't care what happens to her.

Me: I know you don't now, but we've put years of our lives into making sure this kid is loved and grows up to be as well-adjusted as she can, given her circumstances. Why don't you let me talk to her?

DH: You're not going to be able to calm her down. Every time I say something, she starts screaming. I'm fu**ing sick of it.

I could hear him trying to hand the phone to DD and I could hear her screaming in the background. And I'm wondering how I'm going to take care of this, since I'm 2 hours away from home. Suddenly DD decides she wants to talk to me after all, and I have no idea how, but I got her calmed down and she agreed to go to bed and stay in her room. Before she let me go, I asked her to hand the phone to DH. He wouldn't take the phone from her, which, of course, made her scream and cry more. Finally I just told DD that I'd get a hold of Dad later, and she should just go to bed.

DH still won't talk to me.

Probably, that's a good idea right now.

I want to tell him what I think of his parenting skills. I have no idea what kinds of things "That Guy" said to DD. I'm really afraid to find out. He and DD used to be so close. He was so much better at this before he got sick. But then I know that "That Guy" didn't show up because he was a good parent. There hasn't been a huge meltdown like this for probably a year or so. I'm worried about DD. She has a tough enough time without trying to understand that DH used to be a good dad but now he isn't because he's sick. I wish I was home so I could hug her.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oh by the way....

We did get approved for the skip a payment plan for DH's truck. So there'll be about $500 extra in the budget between now and January.....that's a good feeling, too bad that won't even touch the price of a new roof....

When it rains, it pours!!!

Hi everyone....I wish I was writing to tell you what a wonderful holiday weekend I've had, but, well, you know the drill...it started out with DH having a wonderful Thanksgiving day at my brother's, with DD and me, too. He was cheerful, helpful, and just all-around, the DH I married. I was very proud!!!! (DD, on the other hand, was not at her best, taking toys away from the 2 year old and getting mad at the three year old when the three year old didn't play her way....she was the lucky recipient of several stern warnings)....

Anyhow, nothing big happened at all....then we got home and our telephone(s) didn't work. And since I paid the bill last week, I was pretty sure that wasn't the problem. DH went outside to see if the problem was inside our house or out in the phone line, of course it was inside our house. But then he "didn't feel like" tracking down the problem and fixing it, of course....

Then he decided he was going to clean up our bedroom. What he discovered when he did that was not a good thing: Under Kirby Puppy's dog bed, the floor was wet. But it wasn't from a dog. There is no plumbing in our bedroom. He examined the wall and the bottom of the wall is wet. While there are no stains on the ceiling, what it means is that there is some kind of roof problem. Not surprising since our roof has needed to be replaced for so very long, but it's hard to convince a bank that "Yes, I know I've got $45,000 in debt not including the mortgage, but I really need another loan...."

The credit union in town does know that DH is mentally ill. I could probably get them to loan me roof money. But there's no way I could pay it back, and with my job situation so precarious, there's even less likelihood that I could fulfill my obligations there. I think I'm going to start this process by learning how to clean the gutters on the house--maybe that's the problem (I know, probably wishful thinking)--anyhow, I had been hoping to use the tax refund to redo the roof, but if things are actually rotten, I'm scared that might not be enough. And I'm scared, because here we are, at the beginning of a Minnesota winter, and the roof is in scary bad shape.

But wait!!! (as they say in those infomercials) There's more!!!! DH got a letter from the lumber yard in town, they are pretty angry about the money he owes them and hasn't even bothered to pay back. I hate thinking that his reputation in town is going down the toilet, so I told him if he a) looked into the roof problem to determine the source, b) fixed DD's bedroom light, c) fixed DD's bathroom light, then I would put the bill on my charge card. He was really excited about that deal (me--I knew I was going to get stuck paying it anyhow, so I might as well get some work out of him)...anyhow, I think if I have to go to the lumber yard on Monday with those jobs not being done, I am going to strongly suggest that they not extend credit to him any more :-( The thought of doing that makes me sad, but I am getting more and more angry about having to cover these bills that are for stupid stuff that he just decided he wanted right this minute.

And of course DD. Her bedtime has been 9pm for years. But lately she's been seriously testing the limits of that. (I understand that most 15 year olds don't have a 9pm bedtime, but her special needs make a routine and plenty of sleep pretty important)...anyhow, one night she was told that it was bedtime. So she got up and took her pills and then sat by the fire and refused to go to bed. She went to bed after losing some privileges for the next day.

Then, last night, I told her it was time to go to bed. She looked at me and said, "I'll go when I feel like it." I said, "That's not funny." "It's time for bed." Then she told me "I was JUST kidding, jeez, Mom!" And I said, "You heard me, it's not funny, and it's time for bed." Then she tried to get Dad to take her side, "Dad, I TOLD her I was just kidding!" And Dad saw the eye roll and sent her to bed in tears. Then today she told me she's been horrible to me, horrible at Thanksgiving, and horrible in general. I told her that the fact that she is aware of that is a good thing, what was she going to do to make sure it didn't happen again?

So....tonite. DH tells her to go to bed. She says, "Why?!" He repeats the instruction and she says, "Why?!" (can you almost hear the sulk in her voice?) After two more tries at being civil, DH yelled at DD to go to bed and she went to bed in tears, screaming and throwing things in her room. Then right when I was leaving for work, she came out and asked me to tuck her in. (This might be wrong on the mom front) I told her that we had talked about this last night, we talked about it this morning, and if she wanted me to tuck her in, she should've gone to bed at 9pm when she was supposed to, and I would've been happy to tuck her in. As it was, her tantrum was making me late for work, so I told her that she needed to tuck herself in, and give some thought as to how this problem could be avoided in the future.

And with all that on my mind, I came to work.

It's 3am. DH just called me and told me his moods are cycling very rapidly. He has been going from sadness to energy to anger in minutes. He is thinking maybe he should go to the hospital. I told him to take his meds and try to sleep. I hope he does. We can't afford another hospital stay.

I'm feeling pretty sorry for myself tonite. I started thinking about how "this wasn't how it was supposed to be." And how much I just want someone I can depend on from day to day, where I didn't have to do everything all the time. I'm the mom, I'm the dad. I'm the nurse. I'm the breadwinner(s). What I would give to be one of those pampered wives who gets to stay home all day and get hairdos and facials and all that....

Then it kind of morphs into "Why me? What did I do?" But I know this crap happens to people all the time, why shouldn't I be "people"? Sigh.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Don't talk to my husband!!!!

Well, here is what happened:
DH's truck payment is $274/month. We got an offer from the credit union where, for a $35 fee, we could skip our November payment and thus use that money for Christmas. (Or in our case, for bills). (There won't be much Christmas at our house, I don't think).

Anyhow, I filled out the form and turned it in. The lady at the credit union told me that they'd call in the next day or two and let me know if everything was ok. I didn't hear anything, but also didn't get a "rejection" notice, either. (I was kind of thinking that even though we aren't late on that bill, that maybe DH's bankruptcy would cause a problem, so I wasn't all that confident that we would be accepted). I was chattering to DH about what I should do, because nobody had called and so I didn't know if we had extra money or not....and he said,

"No, they did call!!!"

I got all excited and asked him what they said.

"Uh, I think I have to go there and sign something....no....I think everything was ok....yeah....I think they said it was going through....oh, I don't remember!!!!"

So I had to call the credit union and tell them that even though they did talk to a live person at my house, nobody had any idea what was said :-(

And of course, the people who were in charge of that program were gone for the day. So I'm stuck. I still don't know if we will have extra money or not. I wish I could just tell everyone important, like doctors who call with test results, or teachers who set up conferences for DD, OR THE CREDIT UNION, "Don't talk to my husband!" "He won't have any idea what was said, if he even remembers talking to you at all."

But I won't, of course....and even if I could, I probably wouldn't think of enough people and it would still happen.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The daily drama (or, "when does Carol get to sleep?")

So I got home from work at 6:30am, got DD and her crappy teenage attitude on the bus, and went to bed. Shortly thereafter, the following ensued:

DH: Carol, are you asleep?
Me: Yes, what's wrong?
DH: You know that tooth that was bothering me yesterday? Well it's worse. It's killing me.
Me: Well, it's 8am. You should probably get up and call the dentist and see if they can get you in.
DH: Ok.

DH: They're closed on Wednesdays.
Me: Well, maybe you should try a different dentist, just check the yellow pages.
DH: Ok.

DH: Are you still awake? The other dentist in town said it'd be $181.00 to pull the tooth.
Me: Oh!! That's a lot of money. But if you need to do it, you need to do it....
DH: I'll just see if it will go away.

DH: I can't wait til tomorrow, I've got to do something.
Me: Well, there's that Ambesol in the medicine cabinet, why don't you try that?
DH: Ok.

DH: The Ambesol isn't doing anything at all. It didn't even make a difference. I'm going out to have a smoke.
Me: Ok, good night.

DH: Are you still awake?
Me: No.
DH: I called our dentist back and got an appointment for tomorrow morning, 8am.
Me: Oh good.

DH: I can't stand this, I've got to do something.
Me: Did you take an Advil or something?
DH: I took one last night.
Me: How about this morning?
DH: Oh yeah, right. Good idea.

(At this point I was ready to pay $181.00 just to get some sleep!)
DH: The Advil isn't doing anything. What should I do?
Me: Is there any way you can wait until tomorrow? Because our dentist will let us make payments....
DH: I'm going to call some more places.

DH: I've got an appointment at 1pm at that other dentist in town.
Me: Ok, well, I've got the money, but the 4-wheeler payment is going to be late.
DH: Well, that wouldn't be the first time, would it?

DH: I just called my mom and she's going to mail us the money so that you won't be too late with that bill.
Me: Oh, that's a big relief!!!!

Alarm clock: Ring!!!!

Epilogue: DH got a tooth pulled. They prescribed Vicodyn instead of Percocet, so that was a relief, too. I am very tired.

I understand that toothaches cause huge amounts of pain and I'm very sympathetic to that. I just have a tough time with the fact that he couldn't handle this without constantly waking me up for guidance....the only thing that I would LIKE to be consulted with was whether we could spend $181.00. Most adults could've figured out the Advil, the Ambesol, the "try a different dentist", and all that. ARGH.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Back on schedule (not)

I am really frustrated with trying to get DH to take his pills at a scheduled time. Yesterday, at about 7pm, he kind of gasped and said, "Oh no, I forgot to take my morning pills again!! I'll take them right now." So then, of course, when he takes his "nighttime" pills at 1 or 2 am, undoubtedly, his Lithium levels are not stable...

So today, he got up at 1pm and took his "morning pills" not too long after that. I got excited. But I shouldn't have. I just called him to remind him to take his pills, and he said, "I will, as soon as I'm done with the laundry." So, in other words, he'll be up all night, and he'll be taking his nighttime pills at 5am or so. I just have such a hard time believing he doesn't see this. But he doesn't.

For a while, he was doing better on the pill schedule. We had had a discussion and I was not feeling all that subtle that day, and I had said to him, "You keep saying you want to work. But how on earth are you expecting to get up every day and get to work by a certain time every day, eat lunch at a certain time every day, and finish your work by the end of the day, when you can't even set your alarm clock to take your pills in the morning? That must've hit home, because for a couple of weeks, he was better about taking his pills. But he's backsliding again....

It's kind of funny. I thought that since the Lithium was doing such wonders for him, that the rest of this would be a piece of cake. Even if he could never work again, the worst was behind us. But there's always something to worry about, and it never stops.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oh Deer

Well, I drove to work thinking that I was going to write a post about how good DH has been doing--he's been getting up at 5:30am to go out and hunt. He hasn't been watching TV. Of course, he hasn't been doing much of anything else, but that's not unusual....LOL

So anyhow, tonite he told me that while I was working, he was going to do a little cleaning, because his mom is coming by tomorrow. That sounded great, too!! But at midnight, I called to see if he had taken his nighttime pills, and he said, "no, I didn't take them, because I've got to stay up and clean." He decided that instead of just putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher and sweeping and mopping the floors, he was going to clean the whole house. At 3am he still hadn't taken his pills. Then, at 4am, he called, all proud of himself, because he had cleaned the whole house. And since it was so late, he is going to stay up until 5:30 so that he can hunt. I just wish he could see that when he does this, I lose out....I won't even get home from work until 10am, and his mom is going to be at our house at noon. And if he stays up all night, THEN takes his pills, well, then I'm the one who gets stuck entertaining on two hours of sleep. And I have to go back to work tomorrow night, as usual, so if I don't get at least 4 or 5 hours of sleep, I'll struggle at work, too.

And he doesn't have to go to work, or anyplace. So I guess this isn't going to be a post about how good he's been doing, after all.

Oh, and when he's been going out to hunt, he only stays out for a couple of hours, then he goes back to sleep. So he hasn't gotten a deer, and neither did Jason. We really really need that meat, though, I don't know what we'll do if there's no deer....I was just at the grocery store and the cheapest hamburger they had was $3.00 for .75/lb!!! Yup, they are making .75/lb packages now, I guess people can't afford a pound any more....I've been using a half pound in recipes that call for a whole pound, but jeez, at 3.89 a pound or whatever it is now, even that doesn't really save much...so I'm going to stop at WalMart and get some of their super-cheap hamburger....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Job update

Well, we had our big meeting today--and, as you might have guessed, it's definitely not good news, but I suppose it's better than it could have been. In a nutshell, no pink slips today. But starting in early 2009 there probably will be. They aren't saying or (yeah right) aren't aware of the specifics, like how many people, who, when, and all that....so it was just a "heads-up, you probably don't want to go out and buy a new house right now because your job is probably going away in the relatively near future" meeting. I'm mostly relieved, because every paycheck puts me closer to being out of debt....so I'll just keep putting one foot in front of the other until I know what other options I have....

So I guess I can say "Whew!" And cross my fingers that everything works out ok.

Next, I'm scared.

As you all know, I have two jobs: a full time one about two hours from home, and a part time one on the weekends. Today when I showed up at my full time job, I (and everyone else I work with) received a special invitation to a "mandatory" meeting to be held tomorrow. We have never had a meeting like this before. Rumors are flying, but the bosses aren't saying a word. I suspect that in the current economy, we probably aren't all getting a raise.

I hope I'm overreacting. But if I am, so is everyone I work with. I'll keep you posted, of course....I think not knowing is worse than anything. You can't plan when you don't know what's going on.

First, my rant.

I hope I'm PMS'ing, that's all I can say, because I am positively disgusted!

First off, DD lied about doing her homework. I called her and she told me "I'm doing it right now." Then when DH asked to see it (of course it was past bedtime by then), he discovered that it was not done. So when I got home from work, DH was just getting up to go deer hunting, and he had gotten DD up. But I had to sit there with her and make sure she actually did her homework. So that was an hour and a half of sleep I didn't get (grrrr).

Then, on Monday, DH told me not to worry about cleaning the litter box that is in our master bathroom. He keeps making DD scoop the boxes that are in the laundry room, but she isn't allowed in our bedroom, so one of us (usually me) does that one. But this time DH said he would do it. Then he forgot. On Tuesday, he "forgot" again, and called to tell me he'd "for sure" do it "tomorrow". But he didn't. So after I got done policing DD's homework, I had to clean a litter box, even though DH was still telling me he'd "do it later, I promise"....I couldn't stand it any more.

So then I went to bed and got up about 3 1/2 hours later, because my mom had an appointment to get her new orthotic shoes (for her hammertoe). So we went and got the shoes, and, since she missed lunch at the assisted living place, we had to go to McDonalds, and that made me late for work. Then I got home, and DH was sleeping, and he hadn't brought the paperwork to the clinic that he was supposed to. Everything was a mess (even more than usual), and he hadn't done anything around the house at all.

Anyhow, that's the way today went. I'm sure you get the idea. I am/was crabby.

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's deer season again...

Remember last year, how I had taken DH's guns away, because I was afraid he was going to kill himself? That seems so long ago. Since then, we've found Lithium, and DH, for the most part, is getting out of bed and talking to people (and he wasn't doing that last year). Things have really gotten so much better.

But this morning, shortly after DH went out to hunt, I heard a shot and I got so scared. I had been completely unaware of how worried I actually was. All sorts of things went through my head, most of them involving me becoming a widow, and some of them pertaining to "how could I let him hunt?"

Then he walked in the door. He was in a good mood. No, he didn't get a deer, it was someone on an adjoining property. Nothing was out of the ordinary at all, in fact, if I hadn't just suffered through this last year, I would've thought it was like any other. But I was so scared.

And on a side note, DH's brother came up to hunt with HIS gun--you might remember, that DH pawned his brother's rifle TWICE in the past year when I wouldn't give him money for pop or cigarettes....then I wound up having to pay to get it out of the pawnshop because I don't want DH to have to deal with his brother's wrath....which, would be rather well-deserved, after all, the gun was not DH's to hock....oh well, all's well that ends well, right?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I guess that's not the answer

Well, back to the old grindstone, after my "mini-vacation"....sigh....I brought DH to the grocery store with me--bad idea. He wanted this and that, just like a kid!!! And then I started to feel like a big meanie, because I kept saying "no" but I was buying stuff that "I" thought we needed, and--do you know what I mean? I guess I didn't want to be "treating him like a child", so I got his pot pies, his fancy lunch meat (even though I know the last time I bought that lunch meat, he ate it all in one day, as a "snack"), ingredients for a dinner that he enjoys....when it was all said and done, I wound up spending a LOT more than I had planned. And now, because I was careless and frivolous, I'm going to have to find a way to come up with DH's truck payment--it's already 2 weeks late, and I don't usually let things go that far. I'm afraid I'm going to have to "rob Peter to pay Paul" and I just hate that, especially when I know that the problem could and should have been prevented....I think back to the times when we were both working and we were debt free, too, and how I didn't even appreciate the fact that I could go to the grocery store and not feel bad when I got home....you never know what you've got until it's gone :-(

And to top that off, I don't think the additional Lithium is doing much for DH. I haven't seen any real difference yet. Maybe it's too soon....I hope....

DD's therapist told me that DD is doing "amazingly well", "beyond her wildest dreams". She told me I'm doing an amazing job and she doesn't know how I'm holding everything together. If I stop to think about it, I don't know either. But I don't feel like I'm holding everything together, I feel like little by little, things are slipping out of my control and I am stretched so thin that I can't do a thing about it.

My mom's cat had two "episodes" this past week where he (um) messed all over her apartment. And the assisted living people called me to come and take care of it. Since that is not normal for him (obviously), I took the cat to the vet and he was diagnosed with kidney failure. So back to the vet for special food and education. So now I am managing my mom's cat, because she can't do it. And the assisted living people told her that she needed to clean his litter box more often, so now I'm going to be doing that, too. I'm only complaining about it because I have so little time. It's a labor of love, of course, but it signifies two different things for me, one, my mom is slowly declining, and two, more care-taking for me. The first one, makes me so sad, I try to keep myself in a constant state of denial. The second one, well, really no big deal. But I can whine a little about that. I love my mom so much and she has done so much for me--it is so painful for me to see her like this: "Carol, I got the top off of the can of cat food, but how am I supposed to get the food out?" "You're gonna have to take a spoon and use it like a shovel and shovel the cat food out." "Oh, that's what I was doing, but I thought I was doing it wrong." When I stop to think about it, it makes me want to lay in bed and cry for hours.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I enjoyed my weekend immensely.

I ended up having the weekend to myself. It was so invigorating, I really started to feel like myself again, and that light at the end of the tunnel, well, it was a lot clearer, especially when I got 8 hours of sleep and no drama!

And then yesterday, DH had his psychiatrist appointment, as soon as he got back from his mom's house. We learned that his Lithium level was only 0.6 and they try to aim for 1.0 (? I could be wrong as to where the decimal point falls, so please let me know if I am and I will change that). Anyhow, it was relatively low, considering how much he had been taking (1500 a day). So the psychiatrist said, "Well, you're a pretty big guy, let's try 300 more and see what happens."

It is very possible that this could be a source of some or all of the instability that has been happening lately. This morning when DH got up, after his first extra dose, he seemed more alert than he had recently. I don't know if it's too early to start seeing results, but I do know that I saw results within the first two days when he first started on the Lithium, so I don't think I'm too far out there if I am hoping that I'm seeing improvement!

My Father in Law voted for Obama

That in itself isn't news. But, if you consider that one of the reasons I have a tough time enjoying DH's dad's company, is that he is "Archie Bunker recincarnate" (in other words, a HUGE bigot), it becomes a big deal.

I have never been in a restaurant or any other place where my father in law has not referred to people of color as (whatever their racial slur is--depends on the background of the person). When I was first getting to know DH's dad, I was constantly appalled by his attitude. Then I just started to avoid him.

Then, this weekend, DH asked his dad who he was voting for, and his dad, apparently really quietly, said, "I'm voting for Obama." No jokes, no racial slurs, just that statement. You could have knocked me over with a feather.

It's a new era, for sure.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The prospect of this weekend

I cannot believe my good fortune! The last time I had a Saturday night off at my part-time job was July 2007 (my 40th birthday). Since then I have worked every Saturday, and for ten months, every Sunday, also. I hadn't realized it, until I started to get really burnt out.

I made an offhand remark to my boss about how the last Saturday I had off was in 2007, and she suggested that I take a weekend off. She actually suggested this coming weekend, because there is an extra payday in October this year, so the financial hit wouldn't be quite so bad. And then she worked with the boss at the other location and found people to fill in for me.

So I have four days off in a row, where I don't have to work anywhere at all!!!! Woo hoo!!!! It has been so long!!!

And here is something else--DH wants to go to his mom's for the weekend because I won't be working and can be home to take care of animals, etc.!!!!

But wait!!! There's more!!!!

He wants to bring DD with him.

Oh what a wonderful weekend that would be!!!!

The catch is, of course, that he still won't accept any money from his mom.
So that means, I have to come up with it. So, since the price of gas has gone down so much, I probably only need to come up with $140. Might as well have to come up with a thousand. I have no idea how I will get that money. I've got $65 in my savings account, and I've got a change jar....but I don't think there's enough money there...

Maybe I can talk him into accepting money from his mom if she is offering....it would sure make things easier...but I don't dare bring it up myself, because he might decide not to go at all. I'll have to figure this out.

As hard as it is to manage everything when he's gone, it's still a lot easier than when he's here--I always know what to expect when he's gone. (unless he calls from wherever he is with a drama, that is) LOL

But even if he doesn't go, I'll still have a good weekend.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

New name needed!

Ok, well, there's DH, who's my soulmate, the best husband ever. Then there's "That Guy", who's the antithesis of "good husband". He's coldhearted, irrational, demanding, and inconsiderate.

But there's this other guy, too, and I need to get rid of him too! It's the guy who wallows in self-pity. "I can't find a job." "I'm worthless." "Everyone would be better off if I was dead." The guy who, when you say something that isn't absolutely 100% glowing praise, shuts down and won't talk at all. "What's wrong?" "Nothing." "Did I do something wrong?" "No, that's part of the problem, you've done absolutely everything right." "Well, can we talk about it?" "I've been doing a lot of thinking." "About what?"

"I've got a lot on my mind."

"I don't want to talk about it."

"Why don't you just tell me to go?"

"I'm such a burden to you."

I (Carol) just want to say to him, "Ok, so you feel like you're a burden. I assume that's because you are always asking me for money. If you don't like how it makes you feel, then make a goal and change it."

But that always makes "That Guy" mad, because I don't understand.

(In reality, I guess the "wallowing DH" is just another one of "That Guy"'s shining personality attributes. And I wish "That Guy" would take "wallowing DH" away, too.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"Just charge it"

When DH's mom first sold her land earlier this fall, and got her $150,000 for it, she had announced that she wanted to take us "all" (DH, me, DD and DH's two brothers) on a trip to Las Vegas. I didn't want to go, because I hate to fly, and also because I didn't want to take all that time off of work, and also, nobody would be around to take care of the animals--we usually have DH's brother housesit for us when we've gone on trips, but if he is going to Las Vegas, then we would have to board a bunch of them, resulting in lots of stress for all involved. DH didn't want to go either, because he is terrified of flying, and I think he was starting to realize how much trouble it would be to go on a trip with the entire family...

Anyhow, when she realized we really didn't want to go to Las Vegas, DH's mom decided that she was going to buy us hardwood laminate flooring for our living room, instead. She was hell bent on it, pointing out that our carpeting in the living room was at least 25 years old, and in places, it was held together by duct tape and we used rugs to cover the holes and the duct tape. So we agreed to the new flooring. DH and Jason installed it. I had shown DH a color that I was hoping to use for paint for the living room, to go with the new floor. My plan was to put a little money aside every payday until I had enough to buy the paint. The next day DH came home with two gallons of it, already mixed. "I charged it. I know I'm bad, but I wanted to surprise you." I was upset, but I couldn't do much about it, because the paint had already been mixed together, and I knew the small hardware store would lose out if I made DH bring back the already mixed paint. DH assured me that the next time his mom sent him money, he would pay for the paint. I know that didn't happen.

So....cut to today....DH and DD were scrubbing the white wainscoating in our kitchen. DH pointed out to me how much better it looked now that it had been cleaned, and I said, jokingly, but still kind of seriously, "Now don't you run out and charge paint to paint that." DD said, "Uh-oh, dad."
And really quietly, DH said, "I already did." And I was furious. I told him I'd talk to him later, because I was leaving for work.

I fumed all the way to work, about how DH is still spending money with absolutely no way to pay it back except to hit me up with the bill. And the fact that he kept on doing it, made me feel like I was being taken advantage of big time. Basically, he's forcing me to come up with money, and when he does that with little regard for my budget or feelings about something, to me, that qualifies in my mind as stealing. I was in a foul mood when I got to work.

When DH called, he told me he had given a lot of thought to the situation, and did I want to hear what he thought? I said yes. He said, "It's pretty hateful--towards me, I mean." I said, "that's what I was afraid of."

Then he said, "I have no job. I have no money. But I keep charging stuff. And I have no way of paying it back. So you end up with the bill. And that's stealing."

And I said, "That's the exact same conclusion I came to."

He said, "This paint is white. It's not mixed up yet, they can put it back on the shelf. I'm going to bring it back."

I said, "Good." "Since it's clear that you have the same thoughts as I do regarding this, I'm not going to say anything more about it right now. You know what my thoughts are."

"I was going to surprise you and paint the kitchen for you."

Me: "If you wanted to surprise me, charging stuff is not a good way to do it." "I can come up with a list about three miles long of things you can do around the house that would involve no money and would surprise me and make me very happy." (I'm thinking, like maybe fix DD's bathroom light that has been out of commission for over two years....fix the chicken house.....fold the laundry....a zillion things)

DH: "Maybe you'd better make that list, then." "I'm going to go for a walk now. I feel so small."

Me: "Are you going to hurt yourself?"

DH: "No. But I've got to go now."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bipolar reality

Well, this past week has been a chore, to say the least! In between the nearly constant arguments about me "treating DH like a child" regarding the Percocet, I've also had to deal with more instability.

DH called his mom to set up plans to go to her house to finish the work he didn't finish last time (because he was in the hospital) and the time before (when he just didn't get anything done). His mom told him he needed to bring the truck (over $100 gas money one way, and I don't have that). He said he didn't have any money and she told it like it is. Probably she shouldn't have, but she only spoke the truth: "You are costing me a fortune. I can't afford this. I've paid for you to come for two long weekends and so far all I've done is buy you pop and cigarettes, pay for your prescriptions (that they gave him in the hospital) and feed you. And that's not counting the gas money."

I'd like to say I'm shocked, but really, that's how I feel a lot of the time, too, I just don't say it, because I know what happens when I do: Instead of saying, "you know, I've really got to get my **** in gear, all I've been doing is sitting around.", he says, "I'm such a burden. All I do is make people broke. I'm a piece of shit. You'd all be better off without me." I know how it goes, because every time I bring up the money he "needs" for things that I don't see as "needs", he says the same thing. This time it was a little bit worse, though, because it was his mom, not me, and she had never said anything like this before. He's been having a pity party for the last three days. His mom finally said she'd wire him the money, and he refused it. So then he declared himself to be a piece of shit because his mom needs his help and he refused her money. I ask him "Do you feel like hurting yourself?" "A little."
But he won't do anything about it. I think we really need some medication tweaking.
He was doing so good there for a while, when we found Lithium, I'm really disappointed that we're back into all the drama and self-pity again.....and the Percocet, too. And this time seems so much harder for me to handle in a nice way. I'm biting my tongue more. I'm finding myself making sarcastic remarks under my breath. I'm really frustrated. Supposedly, if he goes, he has an appointment with the psychiatrist in early November. I'm crossing my fingers for that. I don't know what else to do!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Now I don't remember how much I've told you about DH and Percocet, so I'll give you a little recap--way back before the bipolar stuff really started, DH had some kind of pain, I can't remember if it was back pain or tooth pain or what, but anyhow, he was given a small prescription for Percocet. After he had been taking it for a couple of days, he told me, "Boy, I can see why people get addicted to this stuff...I can see me having a problem with this." So we talked a little more and he decided that he had better make sure that he didn't get any Percocet in the future. And that was that.

But then, when the bipolar stuff started happening, he was going to the emergency room every single weekend because of back pain. And the doctors all gave him Percocet, and DH told me that he "could handle it, don't worry."

One night, I was kind of surprised, because DH, who, while he is usually friendly and charming, is not really talkative, was talking and talking and had all these ideas, and couldn't stop telling me how much he loved me, and blah blah....he basically talked for nearly an entire night straight. Now, keeping in mind that this was at the beginning of the bipolar odyssey, when I had no idea that I wasn't dealing with a rational person, I commented on it, and DH told me that he had "probably taken more Percocet than he should have."

From then on, I was worried about him becoming addicted to Percocet. And I could usually tell, too, when he had taken "too much", because he would always be so talkative.

In hindsight, when I write about all the nonstop talking that he did, I wonder how much of that had to do with bipolar and how much of it had to do with Percocet, but at the time I didn't know that DH was mentally ill.

Anyhow, I was so very concerned, and DH promised me that he would talk to his Dr. about the Percocet and have a note put into his file that he shouldn't have any. Like a fool, I thought he would actually do this, but of course he didn't. Then one day, I was seeing more strange things, and I decided to search his truck. I found a bottle of 200 Percocet pills, they had been prescribed five days earlier, and they were all gone. I didn't know what to do. DH was basically passed out for two days straight. During that time, I did a little research and learned that the biggest worry was the damage to his liver, which might not show up for some time, but which could, considering the number(s) of pills he had consumed, likely be fatal. I was so scared.

When DH came to, I confronted him again about the Percocet and he got scared too. And he told me that he wasn't going to do that again, he didn't know about the liver problems, and then he told me that he had taken "almost that many" before and he "turned out fine". I was not convinced. But it was right about then that all the bipolar stuff started to really happen, and not too long after that, DH was hospitalized for what they thought (and treated him for) was depression. The Percocet problem kind of went by the wayside, because I figured the hospital would a) put him in withdrawal, b) possibly fix the problem(s) that caused him to self-medicate and c) pick up on the addiction and force him to deal with it. Yes, you can call me naive, I recognize that now, but I'm still learning.

Unfortunately, none of that happened, and things really spun out of control at that point, where DH was unable to work, but still able to spend, and I was faced with paying 100% of the bills on 50% of the income, and trying to care for DD and DH and my mom too.....it seems like we just kind of forgot about it....sort of...

Anyhow, every so often I would randomly search his truck, his car, his shed, etc., for Percocet and didn't find any. I started to think the problem was "pretty much fixed" and didn't pay so much attention to it any more, although I did suspect that I was probably wrong, I didn't have the time or energy to follow up on anything at all--there were just too many other things to worry about.

Although he had told me that he had requested that his doctor put a note in his file (again) about the Percocet, I strongly suspected that that was not true. But due to privacy laws, I couldn't find out for sure. And I thought about just calling his doctor and saying "I know you can't talk to me, but I need to tell you something." But I didn't have any evidence that anything was going on. So, being the trusting person that I am, I hoped for the best and didn't call anyone.

Well, I was aware that DH had gone to see his Dr. last week. He told me that one of his medications had been adjusted (not a mental health one, though, just for high blood pressure). The next day, I had to go to the pharmacy and pick up a prescription for my mom. The pharmacist knows me very well, and knows that I frequently pick up prescriptions for DH, DD and myself, in addition to my mom. "We've got a prescription for DH here, did you want that one too?" Sure. I was expecting to pick one up, as his blood pressure meds had been adjusted.

So they put the prescriptions on the counter while I paid for them. I looked at DH's, to make sure the dose was right, and it wasn't blood pressure medication.
Yup, you guessed it.

I just acted like nothing was wrong and paid for everything and then left. I dropped off the prescription at my mom's that was hers, and went to work. I didn't say anything about the Percocet to DH, I wasn't sure what I should be saying.

Then he called me. "Did you pick up a prescription of mine today?" "Yes". "Oh." "I can explain." And then he proceeded to tell me how his doctor had convinced him, against DH's better judgment, of course (sarcasm added) that he should have Percocet because nothing else was helping his back pain. I have no way of finding out what the truth is, but I'm pretty angry that he was trying to pull one over on me again. When I got home, the first thing he said to me wasn't "Hi, how was work?" It was "where are my pills?". That said a lot to me, right there.

Eventually we had a fairly big argument about it. He finally agreed, that although i am "treating him as a child", he would "allow" me to hang on to the Percocet and just give him what he was allowed to take for one day at a time. That seems to be working for now, and the bottle of pills that I have in my possession does not allow for any refills, so temporarily we are ok. I just hate being in this situation. I hate when he accuses me of "treating him like a child", and I hate having to decide how much I can believe of what he says. I hate being "controlling" when he can't do what he's supposed to. But I know I would hate myself forever if I wasn't "controlling" and because of that, DH died.

I'm pretty angry with bipolar now, and I wish I had better insight into how something like this should be handled.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just wanted to mention a new website

This site was mentioned on another blog that I frequent and I checked it out, there appears to be a LOT of information for people suffering from bipolar or depression, and also resources for people who care about those people.

Here's the link: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

I hope some of you find it useful.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Restoring my faith in humanity....

Wow--here's a story for you!

I've been putting a little money aside here and there so that we could get our chimney cleaned. I had saved up $150.00 and I knew it was going to cost "$104 to $125" (according to the chimney sweep) to get it done. We had the chimney sweep coming out today. Unfortunately, the timing wasn't all that good, as my friend Anita asked me to drive her home from a medical procedure, since she was going to be sedated (she's the one who was widowed in December), which meant that I had to get up early and leave. And I couldn't get DH to wake up, so I had to reschedule the chimney sweep.

I had the $150 in cash, waiting to pay the guy. (I assumed that there would be tax or whatever, so I made sure I had a little extra.) One fifty dollar bill and five twenties. Last night, when I was still at work, I counted it to make sure I had the right amount, then I put it in my back pocket, where I keep my mom's credit card. (I don't carry a purse, as I tend to forget them and lose them, so everything important (there's not usually much) goes in my back pocket).

So this morning (after I rescheduled the chimney sweep) I got up and needed to pick up a prescription for my mom before I went to pick up Anita. I transferred everything from the pockets into my clean pair of jeans and went to the pharmacy. I picked up the prescription and dropped it off at my mom's. Then I went to Anita's (she lives 90 miles away--but close to where I work). Once I was in the city, I decided to put my $150 into the bank so that I wouldn't be tempted to spend it, and it was GONE.

I was pretty positive I had put it into my pocket. But I had been pretty groggy when I woke up, too, so I wasn't absolutely positive. I looked in all the "cubbys" in my car, I looked in my tote bag, I looked under the seat, and under the floor mat. Part of me was thinking that "maybe it fell out at the pharmacy", but I honestly do not lose things often--I can't remember the last time I lost something that was in my pocket like that--no doubt it's been years, so I discounted that.

Then I called DH, figuring that the money must've fallen out when I got dressed, or maybe in the bathroom. Nope. It was kind of embarassing, too, confessing to him that I didn't know what had happened to that money I'd been saving for months...

Once again, I thought about the pharmacy and discounted it. The odds of me losing that amount of money from my pocket were pretty slim, and the odds of anyone finding it and turning it in were even slimmer than that.

But DH just called me and told me that he called the pharmacy, just on a whim and asked if anyone had turned in some money, and lo and behold, they had!!! He was able to tell them that it was a fifty and five twenties, and they told him that an elderly man had found it and turned it in. No, they didn't know the man's name.

So I sat here at work with tears streaming down my face. What are the odds, huh? I feel pretty sheepish for being so careless when the money was so very dear to me. I'll no doubt learn from this, and I'm so grateful for a happy ending. Sometimes you need a little reminder that there are honest people in this world...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ok, I'm calming down, I think

Today DH approached me and asked me "what's wrong?" And I told him that I was angry. About the snoring thing, but mostly about a few other conversations I've had with "That Guy", where he got very angry with me for "treating him like a child".

It was clear that he wasn't completely aware of what "That Guy" had said or what the context was...he seemed surprised when I told him why I said and did what I did--apparently "That Guy" had convinced him that I was just being a controlling jerk. Then he told me that he "thinks he's slipping, mental-health wise" and was thinking about checking himself into the hospital because he's been having a lot of urges to self-medicate. I again suggested that he start seeing his therapist again, and he said he would, but he's said that dozens of times now...

Anyhow, he also confessed to stealing $20 from me yesterday and I hadn't even realized it yet. I was mildly impressed that he up and confessed. His mom is sending him some money tomorrow, so I made it clear that I expect him to pay me back. And I bought a locking safe box (for important papers) at a garage sale and am going to put all of my gold dollars and any other money in there, so he will have no ability to do that any more. All I can think is that it must've been "That Guy" who did the stealing, and DH who felt bad about it...?

Anyhow, today DH seemed so confused and frustrated about what is going on, that I couldn't stay mad at him....(but I could stay mad at "That Guy")...

As an aside, and probably contributing to my stress, I have a fairly painful infection of my nail bed on my right thumb. I went to the doctor on Thursday and they told me that if it was not better by Saturday that I would need to have it lanced and it would be extremely painful. Being as how I hate pain, and being as how our clinic was only open until noon on Saturday and they have a fit when you want to come in on Saturday because it's apparently a huge inconvenience, I opted to wait until Monday and hope it went away. But it hasn't, and I am dreading the painful procedure that I am going to have to have tomorrow :-( I'm such a baby....but when the doctor tells you that it's "very painful, and the anesthesia itself is extremely painful", that's a little scary. So I guess once tomorrow's over I'll be in a better state of mind.....I hope!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I am so fed up

And I don't know what to do about it. I really don't even want to go home from work, but I don't really have a lot of other options. Now he's angry that I "treat him like a child". I want to say, "Well, let's see....you aren't working, you have no self-control, you have tantrums, tell me again why a person would treat you like a child?" But I know I can't.

So I'll say it here, LOL. I really didn't realize how little of the "same old crap" it would take to get me wondering if it's worth it. I thought that maybe if I had a break, you know, a couple of months where he was his "normal self" that I could be better at dealing with the crap. But the opposite seems to be true--each little thing seems to bring this huge swell of anger in me, and I end up surprised. And kind of scared, because I'm usually pretty easy going, this anger is something I'm not used to and something I'm not sure of.

Tonite I was really wishing he'd just up and leave, like so many bipolar spouses do. Then my next thought was, "No, he'd kill himself for sure, then." But right now part of me just wants this all to be over with, so I can get back to a normal life. I hope I'll feel better tomorrow.

Sleeping with "That Guy"

Me: Honey, can you roll over? You're snoring really loud.
DH: Uh, ok.
Me: Did you fall back asleep? Could you please roll over? You're snoring really really loud!
DH: Yeah.
Me: (shaking him awake) Could you please roll over? I can't sleep with you snoring like that.
DH: Yeah, just let me wake up here a second.
Me: I can't sleep on the couch because you've got all the furniture piled up in the corner of the living room and the couch is upside down under the table.
DH: I know, I know, I'm waking up...
Me: (shaking him awake again) C'mon, can you PLEASE roll over?

DH: (getting out of bed) I'm f***in' leaving. Leave me alone. (slams door and leaves)

I hate this. I want to divorce "That Guy".

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Typing as fast as I can....

Hi everyone, I'm sorry again that it's been so long between posts--there's been so much going on, I haven't really had time to keep you all up to date--but I'm going to try to remedy that tonite...

As you remember, DH had spent his mom's money at the casino. After he told me, I told him I didn't have the money to help him--it was a little bit of a lie, because I had the money, but it would've meant not getting our chimney cleaned this year again (last year we couldn't afford it either)...

So he "manned up" and actually called his mom and told her what he had done. "Needless to say," she wasn't exactly thrilled. I guess she gave him an earful about how he needs to sign up for Social Security Disability and how I work all the time and all he does is lay around and spend money....and then she wired him(via Western Union) some more money so that he could go to her house this past weekend. He was sufficiently chastened to where he did not spend that money on anything other than what it was intended for. I haven't heard the "spend" in his voice since the night he went to the casino.

We got a hold of the nurse practitioner who prescribes his meds and she called the psychiatrist and they decided to raise DH's dose of Lamictal. Hopefully that is a good thing.

Anyhow....so DH was going to his mom's for the weekend. He left on Friday--I told him to call me when he got to his mom's. When it got to be after Midnight, I started to get a little worried, but not much, because I figured he had just forgotten to call. I planned on calling him before I went to bed. At 2:30am the phone rang: "I'm in the hospital. I was driving and I hit a log and the truck flew up and landed and then my back really hurt bad, so bad I drove myself to the hospital." I was worried, but they had already done a scan and determined that nothing was broken...

This is where I get so confused...there obviously was a "physical" cause for the back pain. But given his recent mental state, I still am not sure how much was "mental" pain and how much was due to hitting the log....DH was in that hospital for 2 days. I will have to pay 20% of that bill and I am dreading it. His mom was really disappointed, because there she was, out that gas money AGAIN and she still didn't get the work done that he's been promising....but I know she was worried, too. I think, that since DH has been spending this time at her place, she is starting to have a better idea that he's not the same person he used to be....

Anyhow, DH came home on Monday, to our house. We went for a drive, and here is what he told me:

"I have something I need to tell you. I'm afraid to tell you, but you're the only one I can be straight with. You know, all my life, I've been an excellent driver. I was a truck driver when you met me. I've gotten us out of some pretty scary situations driving-wise. And what I'm going to say is freaking me out. You know that log I hit? I saw it. I had enough time to get out of the way. I even had time to figure out that I could 'straddle' the log and not hit it. But I didn't do anything. I can't figure out why. I don't know if I hit the log on purpose? That's really scaring me, because that would be such a selfish thing to do. Maybe I was looking for an excuse not to do that work at my mom's? Or maybe I just wanted to see what would happen? I was going 70 miles an hour. Why didn't I swerve to avoid that log?" "I wish I could remember what was going through my mind."

This has worried me more than I let on to DH. Based on what he told me, he has no idea why he hit that log and is confident that he could have avoided the accident. I don't know what to think. And since he got home, he's been complaining of nausea and (of course) back pain and just lying around again. I can't remember how long it takes for the Lamictal to take effect, so I'm not sure if I should wait to panic or not....The truck had no damage. My pocketbook will be damaged, I'm not sure how I'll pay that bill....I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there....

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I think I'm going to be sick.

There is just no end to this bad week. Silly me for thinking that was all there was....

After DH got home last night, he called to tell me that he was home, everything was ok, and DD was in bed. He told me that he was going to have to go back up there to finish the work he had started but not finished, and that his mom had given him gas money (it costs about $130 in gas for him to get there in the truck and I don't have that kind of money). I was relieved, both because I wasn't expected to come up with the cash, and because DH was leaving again. It's kind of funny, I love him so much, but things really run so much smoother when he's not there....

Anyhow, about a half hour later, he called me again. I got a red flag alert right away--he had that sound in his voice--I've called it "triumphant"--like he's just conquered the world. I don't know how else to describe it, it's not the words he uses at all, but his voice changes....anyhow, there's only one thing that particular voice has ever signified: spending.

Hoping I was wrong, and still hoping against hope that he was still at home (but doubting it due to what I had heard in his voice), I asked him "Where are you going?" "Well, I forgot the key to our bedroom at my mom's, so I can't get into the bedroom." "So I thought I'd go to the casino and spend $20 while I wait for you to get home from work. I'm on my way right now." (remember we lock our bedroom door because DD had stolen from us years ago...). BIG RED FLAG BIG. BIG.

And I told him so. I said, "you've got that spending sound in your voice again." "I don't think it's a good idea." "You can't afford to be throwing away money at the casino." "Why don't you go home and just doze on the couch until I get home?"

He said, "It's only $20."

Me: "I'm afraid that won't be the case."

DH: "Well, I can't spend any of that other money, my mom gave me that especially for gas. There's no way I could spend her money like that."

Me: (Thinking about when his mom had given him $1200 for the bankruptcy, and he spent it all, after saying the exact same thing to me when I suggested that I hold on to it) "Are you aware that we've had this exact same conversation before? More than once?"

I didn't want to bring up the $1200 that he had spent, because I figured it would just make him mad and he would feel like I was bringing up "past sins", so I didn't.

DH: "We have?"

DH: "Well, don't worry, I know without a doubt that I am only spending $20."

When I left work at 4am, I called our house, and DH was not there. I was so angry. But then I somehow convinced myself that maybe he had won a bunch of money....and I let it go at that.

Then today, he was intermittently losing his temper with DD for no good reason...

I called him from work and his voice had that thick sound, like he was talking in slow motion. He said he was "thinking". He sounded very depressed. I asked him how much of his mom's money he had spent at the casino.

"Every penny," he said. "Every single cent."

There are so many emotions going through me right now. I'm angry as all get out. I'm so sad I want to cry. I am thinking maybe this is all hopeless, maybe I'm wasting my time after all. I feel sorry for him, because in retrospect he told me that he should have listened to me. And I'm terrified that he's losing control. I'm scared that things are going to be so much worse by November when he finally gets to see the psychiatrist. Dear Lord. I'm so scared.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm doomed--or at least I feel like I am...

I'm feeling really overwhelmed today (and yesterday too). Over the weekend, DH went to his mom's to (purportedly) do some work and get paid for it. That left me with DD and work too. Luckily, I was able to put DD to bed at 9pm on the weekend nights, and then go to work, so there wasn't too much opportunity for her to get into trouble....but I still worry so much leaving her like that...I know she's 15, but still....

Anyhow, that was the start of it, and then I had a bad night at work--one of my coworkers left me a not-very-nice note that basically said I wasn't doing my job. Not just a "you forgot to do this" but really not nice. But the thing she was complaining about was a tiny trivial thing--I forgot to empty the wastebasket in the office and, according to her, "It was overflowing". It was true, I had forgotten about the office, because most people, myself included, don't go in there at all--it's for administration--filling out forms, reading mail, etc. When I went into the office after I got that note, there were about 5 pieces of computer paper crumpled up in the wastebasket. And it looked like a couple of pieces of paper had been thrown on the floor to get the point across that it was overflowing and all that. In the real world, if the five pieces of paper were that upsetting, most people would have just pushed them down to the bottom of the wastebasket to make more room....I had to fight with myself to keep my sarcastic replies to myself. I wrote an email that was much nicer than I thought she deserved, saying that I messed up, thanks for the heads-up, etc., basically not pointing out that she probably spent more energy and time writing that note than she would have if she had just dealt with the situation. This is the same person who, one time when I filled in for her, was being checked up on by the director, because they suspected that she was sleeping on her overnight shifts. When the director showed up at 2am and saw me, she said, "Oh you're not the one we were checking up on," and without directly saying that they were checking up on her, I told my coworker what had happened, so that if she was sleeping, she wouldn't get caught. I guess (yup, I'm pretty disgusted) I'll just keep my mouth shut next time!

On Monday, I went to my mom's and (as usual) read her the newsletter that pertains to the assisted living complex where she lives. They were planning a drive to see the fall colors and a lunch on the way. My mom went on that day trip the first year that she lived there and she still talks about it. So I reminded her that she really enjoyed that, and she should sign up. And she made an excuse like, "I want the new people to have a chance to go." And I told her that she had as much right to go as anyone else, and she started yelling at me, really! She wasn't just stern, she raised her voice as if I'd ordered her to dye her hair green and told her she had no choice. I couldn't say anything at all, she was angry and although I'm sure it wasn't really me, it was one more thing. But don't worry, even though she was mad at me, she still needed me to go to the store for her :-)

So that wasn't a good start to my weekend, and DH called and said that basically for about two days at his mom's, he hadn't gotten anything done. That didn't surprise me, because that's kind of how things go at home, too. I spent all day Monday doing stuff and still ran out of time. I did about 10 loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, went to the store for my mom, got feed, etc., then on Tuesday it was back to work at my other job. When I got there, I was the recipient of a not-so-nice email from my boss, because the week before, I had been working on a certain system, and the system went down and was still down when I left. When it came back up, my job was "stuck" in the system and it held up other peoples' work, so my boss (who is not the most tactful or considerate) had to write that email. Double work whammy. I don't think that's ever happened before.

So I started thinking about it--I know I'm getting burned out. I HATE going to work. I HATE that every single paycheck is spent before it even hits the bank. I HATE that I have no time to do the things that are important to me outside of work. So maybe I AM slipping....so I gave that some serious thought. I think some days are better than others, but I don't feel like I'm doing any worse than anyone else in general...

So I tried to figure out why I was so upset. I've been on the brink of tears all week. It's like my emotions are right there at the surface. Could it be the economy? I've purposefully tried not to say much about it here, because what I have to say won't be good. But maybe that's what's been dragging me down...I don't know.

So then DH was supposed to be home from his mom's on Tuesday before DD got home from school. At 2pm he called and told me that he was still at his mom's (4 hour drive).
So I had to go to work and leave DD by herself. She can usually do ok for one day of being awake and alone, and then on the second day she gets brave and that's when the trouble starts....and she did do ok. But then I had to worry about the dogs, too, because with 6 dogs you always have to be aware of the dynamics, as there are pack mentality issues and personality issues. DH had said he would be home by 6 or 7, so when I left for work I left two dogs tied up outside, one dog in DD's bedroom, and the three others in the house (the three that were least likely to cause a problem). When DH didn't get home by dark, DD called and told me that the outside dogs were barking, so I had to have her put them in the porch. I don't like that she had to do that, because she is not as aware of the things that can happen. (Don't get me wrong--our dogs are all quite friendly and mostly non-assertive, but the possibility always exists and we would be bad owners if I/we weren't aware of that possibility and do what we can to make sure the chances are minimal). We've coached DD ever since she came to live with us that "if dogs ever get in a fight, don't try to break it up, just get away from them and stay safe." But she's never had to do that, so I don't know if she really would. Luckily, everything worked out, but it was just another worry. DH did get home at 9:30pm. And by that time, I was frazzled.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The truth comes out

In the last week or so, I've seen "That Guy" make brief appearances several times. He left very quickly (thank goodness), though, and DH was sorry afterwards. One day, DD was just being herself and doing a normal kid thing, she wanted to have a friend overnight. We told her no, I had to work, and DH was going to a meeting (Emotions Anonymous), and since nobody would be home to supervise, we suggested next weekend instead. DD handled it well, but then a few hours later she started with "how about if my friend comes over and we just stay in my room all the time?" "How about if you call my friend's parents up and ask them if I can go over there for a couple of hours then she can come over to our house later?" And "That Guy" came out and instead of just saying "No, it's already been settled, sorry." This cold voice came out and started berating her for arguing and for not considering other people, and "yes, we'll just call your friend's parents up, and then we'll have Mom stay home from work, and I'll cancel my meeting, and then you'll stop arguing, right?" and DD looked a little shocked, and started to defend herself, and that made things worse. DH said, "I need to drive into town." I asked him if he had his Lorazepam (remember he takes that to fend off mood swings and panic attacks). He said it was in his car. I said, "You probably want to use it."

He came home about a half hour later. I was fuming at That Guy and very worried too.

He said, "I need to ask you something. Did I overreact?"

I said, as kindly as I could, "Yes, I think you probably did."

Anyhow, that led to a conversation where I asked him if he had been taking all of his meds like he was supposed to. He couldn't lie to me, and he told me that no, he had stopped taking the Seroquel. I asked him about the Lithium, and he swears he has not missed that except for the time or times when he forgot to take it, he didn't on purpose miss any of that. I hope that after our talk, he sees that he really does still need these pills. There will be more discussions, for sure, if I keep seeing changes. He has an appointment with the Psychiatrist in November. He talked with his nurse practitioner who usually prescribes his meds and she said that there were a lot of things going on right now (migraines, mood swings, etc) and she wanted to wait until the psychiatrist sees him to change anything....

So that's the news....