Friday, February 29, 2008

I've been misled by bipolar

Today DH confided in me that he (in addition to his severe depression) has been having extremely violent thoughts and has a great deal of anger and he wants to go out and fight and hurt someone.

Naturally, I was concerned for my safety, as well as DD's, and I tried to be gentle when I asked him if he needed to go to the hospital, or if maybe we should call someone. Here is what he said:

"I've had episodes like this since I was in 5th or 6th grade, and I've always been able to work through them. So I'm just going to try to stay quite and take my meds until it goes away."

5th or 6th grade???? I think that was before we got married. I'm starting to think that all of this mental health stuff was going on for a lot longer than I thought, and that maybe I just (lucky for me) happened to meet him at a time when he was stable...?

As I wrote that, a thought popped into my head: "Well, if he was stable once, he can get stable again." Which was kind of a strange thought, because the conscious thought that I was having before that, was "Oh no, what have I done?" And things along that line.

He's extremely depressed these last two days...

Well, yesterday, basically everything I could say that in the least bit implied that I didn't think DH was perfect, got him very upset and convinced that I don't love him. He's also convinced that he's "a piece of sh**" and shouldn't be allowed to live. He met with his therapist yesterday, I don't know what was said, but the therapist definitely didn't make things better....the nurse practitioner (who prescribes DH's meds, and recently upped his Effexor dose), had wanted the Crisis team to come out for a few visits, but, according to DH, his therapist didn't think that was necessary, so they got cancelled.

I'm really discouraged. The snow has been melting, and I look at our yard and I just don't know what to do. DH has completely quit with finding any kind of trash can for his trash that happens to not be in the house, like cans/wrappers from his car. The entire yard is littered with cans, wrappers, cig butts, etc. I just look at it and get so discouraged. DH used to take so much pride in how the yard looks, now it's like he's lost all respect for himself and also for the yard. But I don't want to say anything to him about it, because that'll just be more reason "why I don't love him" and "why he shouldn't be alive."

Tonite, he's called me, but he doesn't say anything, he's been in bed all day and all night. He says he's "thinking about life." That's a new one. I don't know if I should be scared or not. I never know what to do. I do know, though, that if I wait around long enough, things'll change...they always do.....

Oh--and he was planning on going to Emotions Anonymous tonite, I guess, but the PCA that was supposed to stay with dd while he was gone up and decided at the last minute, that she was going home, so that left dd with nobody to stay with her and we try very hard not to do that.....so he didn't go. We need to talk to the PCA company about the PCA, because she's horrendously undependable, and we've been putting it off, because we like her, but we also don't have her come just for "fun", we really do need the help sometimes. And I know DH isn't likely to address the matter, so once again it'll be me...

You know, after a while, I start wanting to tell him to shut up already with his "poor me" stuff, I am sick of him feeling sorry for himself. I know it's part of the disease, but I get so sick of it, and for the most part, I don't really listen very closely any more, unless I think it's truly warranted....

Monday, February 25, 2008


You know, I've only added one measly shift to my work week. I work 66 hours a week, with about 10 extra hours of commuting time. I know there's a lot of people who work that much or more. But I am really having a tough time with it right now.

It feels great to have enough money to pay the bills. I cannot describe how great that feels. But here's something: This morning I got home from work at 9am and went right to bed. my alarm went off at 5pm, then 5:30pm, then 6pm, I was so tired, I really hated to get up. But I did because I knew the ducks and chickens had to get fed before dark (right now it gets dark at about 6:20pm. Then I went to my mom's and found out I didn't buy her the right kind of paper towels the other day, so I have to go get different ones tomorrow....anyhow, I gave her a hug and drove home (4 miles).

When I got home, I was having a tough time keeping my eyes open and I knew that did not bode well for my "staying-up-all-night" job. So I decided to take a nap for an hour. As soon as I laid down, though, I realized I wasn't going to have any time to take a shower. I tried very hard to convince myself that I didn't need a shower, but instead, I just laid there in bed feeling unhygienic and unclean for not taking that shower. So with 20 minutes to go before I had to go to work, I finally decided that I really needed that shower, took it, and showed up for work 5 minutes late. And for all that laying in bed fretting about the shower, I didn't sleep.

I know that my financial peace of mind has been greatly enhanced by this extra shift. But I'm having a hard time getting even the minimal things done that I feel are important. And I told myself on Saturday, "I only have to work like this for another year, because that's when my car will finally be paid off." Somehow I'm just not excited about that at all. So much for my "light at the end of the tunnel."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Emotions Anonymous

Well, I have to say, I had/have some misgivings about Emotions Anonymous, which is a 12-step program for people with emotional problems like depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc...I mean, I understand the Spenders Anonymous thing, it's like Alcoholics Anonymous, but you are trying to quit spending instead of quitting drinking. That makes sense to me. But I've been having a tough time understanding how you could use a 12-step program for emotions--I mean, you aren't trying to quit having emotions, right? So how does that work?

Well, DH went to his first Emotions Anonymous meeting and he was really pleased. He said he felt accepted and like he was among friends. And he felt good about opening up to the group. In fact, he felt so good, I decided to look the group up on line and see what it was all about, and, in all reality, it really sounds pretty good. Right up DH's alley, actually. And from what stories I could find online, it sounds like it really helps a lot of people, too. DH is excited about going back again, and he is still going to Spenders, too.

On a different note, I guess DH told Jim more about the night when DH went to his ex-girlfriend's house and how angry I got and (according to DH) "how bad he hurt me by doing that". I thought they had talked about that before, but apparently not in so much detail. According to DH, nothing happened. I'm going to believe that for now. But apparently Jim has been rather judgmental of DH since DH told him about that, and he's been making jokes about DH not working, jokes about DH's spending problem, and also Jim is not helping out with ANYTHING in the last few days. He wouldn't apparently even let the dogs out, so they pottied on the floor, even though Jim was there and awake. This seems very out of character for Jim and I'm not sure what to make of it yet.
Not helping out with the dogs seems like a funny way of expressing your anger towards their owner(s).

I'm not sure what the problem is, but DH is thinking that he did something wrong, and that he is losing all of his friends and he doesn't know what to do...I feel so sad for him--like a parent must feel when the other kids don't want to play with their kid....I wish I could help, I really do. It's so strange, really, because I think I've told you that DH has always had this charisma, where he could talk to anyone about anything and he made friends everywhere he went. That was one of the things that really attracted me to him, because I'm on the shy side and it takes quite a while for me to call someone a friend, I thought we kind of balanced each other out. It's so strange how things have changed. I hope that by going to Emotions Anonymous and Spenders Anonymous, he'll meet more people and get some of that confidence back. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What's been going on?

You might ask....well...basically, apparently I've been working too much. I woke up on Tuesday with a migraine and it didn't really want to go away. It kind of got "smaller" enough so that I could still go to work, but then when I got home, it came back again and nothing would help. Exact same thing on Wednesday. Now here I am at work and it's Thursday. I am hoping it's really leaving for good, but I'm starting to have my doubts. So I'll have to check my blood pressure (just to be safe) before I go to work tonite.

On the up side, though, DH's Effexor was adjusted upwards, they're hoping that will help with the depression and mood swings that have been going on for (it seems like forever) so long. I'm looking forward to seeing if that helps. Also, though, for the first time since this started, all the bills are paid, and there's money in the bank. And the Truck and 4-wheeler payments actually got paid on time....that's a good feeling! Sometimes I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel....time will tell, huh?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Something really cool to click on

Here is a link to a painting with important people in history (from all time). It's a cool picture in itself, but if you mouse over the person, it says who they are. If you click on the person, you are taken to a Wikipedia page that tells about them....

People of Influence Painting

Very very cool!!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My life is like a roller coaster

Well, today DH went to Spenders again, willingly. He says it really helps him stay grounded. Coming on the heels of his trip to the emergency room, I haven't been exactly sure of what's truly going on. Here are some things, though:

DH talked with one of the other Spenders folks who also had spent a huge amount of money, and been out of work for a long time, and eventually worked out a system with his wife and got back to work and is "in remission" (not recovered, but doing much better). He said that made him feel very hopeful that things will continue to progress. He also found out from another Spenders member, that there is an "Emotions Anonymous" group for people who have mood disorders and mood swings--it's on Thursday nights, and only about a block away from where the Spenders meetings are. DH is planning on going, because he recognizes that he ALWAYS seems to do better after his Spenders meeting, so, since there is only one Spenders meeting a week, he's going to try the Emotions Anonymous meetings and see if they can help him. I'm kind of excited about those meetings being on Thursdays, too, because it seems like DH always has most of his big problems on Thursdays or Fridays.

We talked a little about his trip to the E.R. He seems fine today again. But when I tried to explain about how I think the pain is related to his depression, it was like he absolutely didn't understand what I was saying. He just kept telling me that "the pain is real." I have no doubt that the pain is real, but I doubt that it originates in his back. I'm hoping that when he meets with the nurse practitioner next week, maybe she'll be able to change something.....he was on Cymbalta for a while when the link between the back pain and the depression first came about, but that was before he was on any mood stabilizers and so things got pretty bad while he was on it. I'm not sure if he wants to take a chance on trying that again or not, but it's for depression and pain, so maybe now that his mood is more stable, it might actually help. Or maybe there's something else that works the same way, but just not the same drug.

So. On the absolutely good side, we(I) got our tax refund back. It was about $4000. It seemed like so much money just sitting there in my bank account, but when I used it to catch up on things, it sure didn't seem like much. I put $1100 towards one credit card, $700 to the other credit card, and $700 to my car payment. (I've only got 11 more months until my car is paid off, so getting a little ahead helps until then. So that left money for propane, which I am ordering next week, and then the rest is going into savings for now. I've been very good about not "blowing" it. I can't afford to "blow" it, although I did find a rice cooker at the thrift store for $5, which I bought. I've wanted a "new to me" rice cooker for a long, long time, but never could see spending full price on one. I've got a small one, but it doesn't have a valve for the steam, so the steam runs down the sides and I have to make a "double batch" for a normal sized meal. The rice cooker I just bought looks like it's never been used, and much bigger and also has a steam valve. So I'm excited about that. I was driving to work tonite, thinking about how "cheap" I've gotten since this all began--I don't want to buy groceries until we see what we get for "free food" next Thursday. I've gotten kind of snobby about buying meat for full price, too--it's much cheaper to wait until they mark it down right before they can't sell it, then run home and pop it into the freezer. And other things....if I can't buy it used, I don't bother....sometimes I think about the day when/if DH starts working again, and how much better financially we'll be because of everything I've learned in the last year. So in that sense, the cloud does have a silver lining.

Oh. And I don't believe I told you, but I have started collecting gold dollars again. (YAY ME!)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Mrs. Bun

Mrs. Bun and Mr. Bun are two bunnies that DH came home with about 4 years ago. He got them at the sales barn in town for a dollar each, they were tiny baby buns at the time. After Mrs. Bun had a litter of "little buns" that didn't make it, I decided that Mr. Bun had to go and get a little operation :-)

Well, cut to several years later. Mr. and Mrs. Bun are still with us. They are outside in a hutch during the summer, with brief "playtimes" in a "on the ground" pen, where they can dig and do all sorts of Bun stuff that they enjoy. In the winter, when the temperatures get below 20*F, I bring them inside (still in a hutch) until Spring.

On Wednesday night, I noticed that Mrs. Bun was feeling pretty bony. In fact, it appears that she has lost quite a bit of weight. The vet in our town won't see chickens or rabbits, so the nearest "bun vet" is about an hour away and expensive. So I tried to go online to see what could be the problem.

It seems nobody ever told me that unspayed female Buns are almost guaranteed to develop uterine cancer by the age of 5. Like an 85% chance. I never knew. Nobody ever told me, and I guess I never thought to look into it....if I would've known that, it would've been Mrs. Bun going in for the operation, instead of, or in addition to, Mr. Bun.

She's eating and drinking and pooping just fine. In fact, she looks absolutely normal until you pet her. So I (yes, I know it probably won't help) gave her some extra peanuts and seed treats in hopes that maybe she just needs more fat in her diet, etc....but I'm afraid I might already know what the problem is.

I suspect I'll be bringing her in next week just to make sure, from what I've read, the tumors can be felt by a veterinarian.

I'm really sad about the prospect that Mr. Bun will lose his Mrs. They're really bonded and I hate the thought. So I hope that it's something else wrong, but I know from my previous buns, one of whom died following complications from spay surgery, medical care with buns is never easy.

#$%&*#@##$!! Enter your own swear word here.

He just called me. He's at the hospital. Getting a pain reliever shot for his back.
Only I know and on a good day he knows, that it's not his back that's the problem.

He goes to the hospital for this stuff when he's depressed. And it costs me $60 a pop for an E.R. visit. He did not try anything to relieve the depression, like all of his "people" have told him to do.

I know he believes this pain is real. But there's a pattern to it, and he is unable to see it. He never has back pain before he is depressed. He gets the back pain after he is depressed. Then he goes to the E.R. and gets all hopped up on narcotics and "feels better". The last time this happened, before he was hospitalized for mental illness, he was given the maximum dose of Dilaudid for his back, and it "didn't do any good". Of course not. You can't "dilaudid" depression.

When he is "my DH", he readily admits that there is a definite psychological connection between "back pain" and depression/mental health symptoms. But when he is not "my DH", he doesn't even hear me when I remind him about it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not pooh-poohing DH's back pain. But he's had every test imaginable, and lots of pain treatments that people usually only get when they're about to die of cancer, and still, the only thing that relieves his pain is relieving his depression.

I may have noted that it has now been almost a year since he's "needed" to go to the E.R. for this reason. Coincidentally, it's been almost a year since he was hospitalized for three weeks due to his mental illness. Apparently a big step backwards was taken tonite, and I'm so disappointed I could just cry.

And this little voice keeps popping in to my brain to say, "how much longer are you going to put yourself through this?" Right now, that's not a question I can honestly answer.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Banquet at the Assisted Living Center

Hi, tonite was the quarterly banquet at the assisted living center where my mom lives. Every three months, they have a special dinner where all the folks get dressed up, invite one or two non-residents, and we have a four-course meal (I think it's four courses, anyhow!)

Tonite was the Valentines banquet. We had roast pork, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cornbread, soup, salad, dessert, and non-alcoholic punch, too. Yesterday, I came up with an outfit for my mom to wear, and put it together for her. The top was a red sweatshirt that she had never worn before, that my brother and his wife gave her this past Christmas. "There's Snow-one like my Grandkids!", is what it says on the front. She hadn't worn it before--she tends to prefer certain things, even though some of them are getting rather threadbare.

We went to the banquet, and almost all of the ladies were wearing red, so I was glad I had a little foresight and fashion sense (haha--if you really knew me, you'd know how big of a joke that is), to set Mom up with a red sweatshirt. DH came too, he told me that he enjoys the banquets--and I always thought he only went because he thought I'd be mad if he didn't!

Anyhow, one of the ladies complimented my mom on her sweatshirt, and she told me "I don't know where this came from!" Even though I had told her yesterday that it had been a Christmas present from my brother, she not only didn't remember receiving it, but she did not remember me telling her yesterday where it came from.

Her dementia is mild for the most part--if you don't use a lot of big words or abstract concepts, you can have a good converstaion with her, but when she says things like that, I am reminded of it, and I get sad. And then I feel guilty, wondering if there was something I could do differently that would help her somehow....lately I've felt terrible because I'm working so much, I'm hardly spending time with my mom at all any more. But my only other alternative would be to have her help me out financially, and while I know it wouldn't hurt her bank account at all, well, I just don't like the idea at all. Especially when I am honest with myself about her mental state, even though she offers me money all the time, it somehow would feel like taking advantage, because sometimes she's not as "there" as she used to be.

So it's kind of a catch-22. And maybe there's some pride there, too.
I hate that my mom is old. I hate that she's losing her memory and her judgment. This is one of the worst things that people have to go through, both on her end and on mine. Watching my mom decline has actually been harder on me than DH's bipolar. Or working 2 jobs. Or being broke. I'd take all of those things ten times over, if it would make my mom better. Sorry about this, it's just what's on my mind tonite.

On the up side, when I expressed these thoughts to DH (who, tonite, is still acting like my regular DH), he recommended this: "Why don't you two make a date and go to Dairy Queen (my mom's favorite restaurant) tomorrow for supper instead of cooking for us?"

Who is he and where did he put DH.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Is it bipolar, or is it TV?

Well, I'm over my "mad" at dd now, so I'm back to being a "regular" mom again, LOL....she has been trying very hard to make up to us, and I had a nice talk with her about going through peoples' wallets/purses, and how when dad or I say "no", it doesn't mean "no, unless you can find a way around it," it actually really means "no". She actually seemed to be listening, and had some thoughts on the matter, too.

But what I wanted to talk about tonight was something that's been happening in the last couple of days.

I have to preface this with: Our DirecTV service was disconnected. I knew the bill was late, and I opted not to pay the bill, and I knew what the consequence would be.
And on the morning before dd had her tantrum, we woke up and there was no TV. We live in an area where we have to have satellite TV to get a signal, so no TV for us until we (I) opt to pay the bill.

DH was a little distressed, but I very much couldn't see using a credit card to pay for something like that. So I didn't.

And you know what? I think something good is happening.

When dd had her "tantrum", DH responded as I would expect any normal dad to respond. He didn't get all bent out of shape (any more than was called for, anyhow) and he didn't start swearing. And he actually told me this: "I was really angry, but I had to walk away, because I realized my anger was too big." That's not something "That Guy" even considers, when he is upset. When "That Guy" is around, you never know what will make him angry, and you have no idea how angry he'll get, either.

So I thought that was pretty cool, but I know how things go, I just figured this was "one of those times" where he acted appropriately.

But then on Saturday, he got up at 7am so that he could go to Spenders. That in itself was also amazing, when you consider some of the blowouts that we've had when he doesn't want to get up for Spenders. He came back from Spenders and woke me up to tell me how good it was. He told me that while he was there, he remembered that he used to always have a saying that he couldn't stand "liars, cowards, or thieves." He told me that while he was at Spenders, he realized that that was exactly what he had become and he was ashamed. He also told me that he told the Spenders group about some of the lies he'd told me, and about stealing the gold dollars from me. He said that one of the people in the group was surprised that he was still married. Then he apologized to me for everything.

While I enjoyed all of this, I still didn't really even get my hopes up, as he's said and done stuff like this before....but....then he decided he was going to clean house!!! He cleaned the kitchen, did all the laundry, fixed the phone line and dd's light in her bathroom, too....then he scooped all of the litter boxes and cleaned the bathrooms. This would actually not have been remarkable at all two years ago. DH has always enjoyed cleaning, and ultimately, when our marriage was healthier, most of the cleaning was done by him, because he was faster at it, and more thorough. But since he's been "sick", I've been doing all the cleaning. And not a very good job of it, as I'm at work so much and trying to help my mom, too, that I never get around to cleaning, and when I do, it's only the stuff I just can't stand that gets done, not something thorough like this. I was very appreciative.

Then, later that evening, DH said to me, "I almost hate to say this, but I think that when I can't just go lay down in the bedroom and watch TV, I feel better." I couldn't believe he was saying that, but hey, I'm fine with that!!!! Then today I got home from work at 9am and DH got OUT OF BED and did more laundry. After I got up and started to make supper, I realized we were out of milk, and I needed it for the hotdish I was making. So I sent DH and Jim to the store for milk. And I went into the bedroom to get some change to buy the milk with, and DH said, "I've still got $5, let me buy the milk." I looked at him like he'd just grown an extra pair of arms...."I really want to do this. I want to contribute."

Wow. Oh Wow. Who is he and what did he do with DH????

Epilogue: Even though our DirecTV is disconnected, for some reason, we still get the Bloomberg Financial Channel--one of my favorites!!!! I don't think it's supposed to be there, but hey....I'd rather watch that than CBS any day!!! (Ok, yes, I have no idea why I like economic stuff, but there it is....)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Mad mom here....

Argh. I need to remember why I am doing this (being a mom)....
DD has been asking all week to go to a dance at her school tonite (Friday).
She admitted that it was not just the middle school kids, it was high school kids too. DD is in 8th grade. In our town, the middle school kids go to the high school too, but often they have dances and other activities that are just for the younger kids. DH and I both expressed concerns about a dance that involved the high school kids too. But on one or two occasions, we have allowed dd to attend these with DH or me "volunteering" at the dance as a chaperone.

I knew I would not be home, and so I told her to talk to her dad and see what he said. I made no promises. I told DH that I felt that dd could live without the dance this time, unless he was up to being a chaperone. He decided to tell dd that he didn't have the money to give her to go to the dance ($4). Which he didn't.

So when dd asked about a zillion times to go to the dance, DH, apparently replied a zillion times that he didn't have the money for the dance. She started to get very upset. So DH went outside to have a smoke (no smoking allowed in the house), and through the window observed dd take his wallet and go through it looking for money. (!!!!!) Then she slyly put the wallet back, after discovering the $10 that I had given DH to put gas in his tank to go to Spenders tomorrow.

When DH came in, she said "Dad, are you SURE you don't have enough money for the dance?" And DH told her that he had seen her through the window. She denied going through his wallet, then she accused him of lying to her about not having money for the dance (how she would think that without going through his wallet escapes me), told him that she's glad he's not really her dad, and a bunch of other things, which did include the "F" word. We don't use that word in our house--swearing is not allowed. But it was a prominent part of her former life, so the swearing is not new, just incredibly disrespectful.

DH was so angry, and I can't say I blame him one bit, bipolar or not. I fantasized about slapping her silly when he was just telling me what happened! (don't worry, there's no slapping in our house, but that didn't stop me from thinking about it!)
There are so many not-very-nice things I would like to say to her right now, but of course I'm at work, and when I see her tomorrow, I'll have burned off some of this anger.

I believe that the consequence(s) will involve the following:

No more dances this year. Period. It will save us the trouble of this ever happening again. From now on, the answer is "no", no matter what.
And grounded inside at our house all weekend. This is bad, because it means that she won't be able to visit bio mom. We have talked with bio mom about this type of consequence and she is fine with it in extreme situations. (bio mom actually doesn't really care if dd visits or not, we don't think--but it is something that dd likes to do and the court ordered "visitation with bio mom at our discretion".) So being grounded at our house will be a severe consequence for her and, "in our discretion", we have decided to not reward her tantrum with something she looks forward to.

(not to mention we have been aware of a decided lack of supervision at bio mom's house and this (grounding) presents a good excuse for dd to not go over there). We know that before we adopted her, dd was exposed to many things in her bio mom's life that she shouldn't have been. And we have no reason to think that things have changed there.
DD looks forward very much to visiting with her bio mom, but DH and I both have come to dread the visits, so they have been getting shorter and shorter. We don't feel that we have the right to completely refuse to allow dd to visit her bio mom, since the court directed us to "use our discretion" with visits. But we sure would like to.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Boy is my face red!!!!

Well, I'm not sure how many times in the last week or so I've mentioned to you that my paycheck never came....I've been putting off paying bills, eating lots of weird stuff because we were out of a lot, etc...and complaining a lot. And I took money off my credit card again the other night to help Jim get home for his grandma's funeral....anyhow....

I've been really stressing about that check. I had called last week, and the gal in the office told me to give it some more time, so I did.

Then today I called back.

"Hi, this is Carol again, I talked to you last week about my check not coming....I still don't have it and I'm not sure what to do."

"Yes, the check that was supposedly mailed on January 24."

"Did I get my tax forms? Yes, I did."

"Yes, I got them last week."

"No, I didn't open them, I already knew what was on those forms, so I don't bother opening them until I file my taxes."


'Nuff said.

My only comment is "why didn't she ask me that last week? Or am I just the only dumb person that works for the company who did this????

The moral: Open your tax forms, even if you don't look at them.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Tonite he's depressed. Or is it me that's depressed?

I got up at about 5pm again, and right away, DH said he needed to talk to me.
I CAN'T BELIEVE HE NEEDS CIGS AND POP AGAIN. I just bought him 5 12-packs of pop three days ago, and made sure he had cigs too. And my paycheck is still missing in action, so I am broker than usual. I tried to be gentle in explaining to him that my funds are limited. I only have so much more room on the credit card, I have nothing in my bank account at all, the cell phones are late getting paid, the land line phone bill is late, too, and a couple of other misc bills that I thought were going to get paid last week when my check showed up (but it didn't)....

Anyhow, here are some things, and I'm probably kind of rambling, because my thoughts are racing tonite, but anyhow....

Jim's grandma passed away yesterday. He has no money to get home for the funeral. So I took a $140 cash advance from the credit card, gave Jim $100 and DH $40. I know that when Jim's taxes come back, he will actually pay me back. Apparently, according to DH, Jim has already said that he is going to be giving me money when he gets his taxes back. I got the impression that DH was a little resentful of that, that Jim will be giving the money to ME and not to DH. Well, too bad, I can't see things working any other way, that's for sure. But as far as Jim goes, I have no idea, if he up and gets hit by a bus or something, how I will pay all this stuff.

And DH was doing the "I'm a no-good piece of shit and deserve to die" thing, because I made a point of telling him that when I am struggling to pay for propane, buying him cigs and pop is not a priority. I told him he needs to lower his sights on whatever jobs he is applying for. I totally don't understand how he can sit here month after month, not contributing, sucking up my cash, and telling himself "I don't want to work for minimum wage." And I told him that tonight, in a nicer way. "Some money is better than no money." He reluctantly agreed, but I doubt that will change anything. He has agreed with me on this issue before, and still only applied for jobs that paid decent, of which there are very few in our area to begin with...Then he said "You know I'm really trying hard to find a job." And all I wanted to say was "You've spent the last four days watching movies, sleeping, and going to therapy appointments and Spenders. How is that going to find you a job? When you're home, you're either sleeping or asking me for money--you haven't gone out and applied for anything at all." But I bit my tongue. After all, if he was thinking as clearly as I am, he wouldn't be mentally ill, right?

Anyhow, I tried to make my point in a somewhat gentle way. There are no more hours in my week for me to work. I cannot do anything more. And the bills are mounting, not going down. I just hate this. I know I am doing so many things right, I just have this cement anchor that keeps dragging me under and no matter how hard I swim, no matter how long I hold my breath, I am going to drown. I'm scared. Really scared right now.

I did call the caseworker guy from the county last week, he said someone would be calling me back, but nobody ever did. So I'm not sure about if I'm going to try again or not....at least I did it.

I just don't know how other families do it. I cannot pay for his vices. I cannot pay the bills, let alone keep buying his stupid pop and cigs. And when I tell him "no" or when I try to remind him to conserve, he gets that "I'm worthless and wish I was dead" thing going on. I just can't win, no matter what.

Sometimes it's just really hard, that's all.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Perspective is a good thing to have....

I've mentioned before about my friend Anita, who lost her husband of 28 years back in December. Joe (her DH), was a Vietnam vet, and for as long as I've known Anita, he never had a job. (In retrospect, I realize that he also probably had some mental health issues, but all I ever really saw with my own eyes was that he didn't work, and he drank a lot of beer.)

I remember back when I first met Anita, she was so short of cash all the time, she would work any extra hours she could, and she was very frugal. When I met her, she had just bought their house for $60,000 (a pretty big sum, considering that I bought my first house a year later for $35,900). For quite a while I didn't realize that Joe didn't work. When I did come to know that, I assumed that it was temporary. As I watched Anita struggle, and scrimp and save, I realized that Joe wasn't going back to work, and that somehow, Anita had managed to accept this (at least on some level).

As Anita and I got to be better friends, once in a while she would make a little remark about Joe not working, kind of like "Well, I got a new bookshelf two weeks ago, Joe said he'd put it together, but it's still sitting in the living room in the box...you'd think with all the time he has, that he could at least get around to that..." But that was the closest she ever came to complaining about him....she didn't rant about him at all, as opposed to the way I rant on here about my own DH.

Anyhow, when we still were thinking that Joe was going to recover from his cancer, my DH had stopped working, and somehow I mentioned it to Anita, although I try not to let too many people know what's been going on. When she seemed saddened by the fact that DH wasn't working, I told her that I knew she had done just fine even with Joe not working, and if she could do it, so could I. She made a comment that basically (to paraphrase), said: "it's a really sucky situation to be in." I was kind of surprised, because I had been friends with her for 17 or 18 years at that point, and it kind of seemed to me that she would have accepted Joe not working by then. But I didn't dwell on it too much, he was sick at that point, and he wouldn't have been working no matter what.

Joe passed away in December. Anita talked to me a little about the life insurance money, and about how she was spending so much less on health insurance now. I wasn't sure what she was getting at, so I didn't add much to the discussion. I remembered how broke she had been for so long, and I was happy that she was not struggling financially as much as she had in the past.

A few days later, she was talking about some of Joe's hospital bills, and again she touched on how she has a lot more money now than she did before (when Joe was alive). She told me that they went out to eat a lot more when he was well, and of course, she bought his cigs and beer, and she gave him $25 a week in spending money, too. Since this was the second time she had brought up how much better she was doing financially, I figured it was safe to comment. Probably not a etiquette-wise decision, but sometimes my mouth overrules "what should be appropriate".

And I said something like this: "It must be a relief to have some money in your pocket and not have to worry about your finances so much."

And she got a really sad look on her face and said something like this: "Yeah, but it's nice to be able to share money with someone, too."

When she said that, I thought about DH, and realized that in that sense, she was absolutely right. I still love him very much. (I would like to divorce "That Guy", but he's kind of like extra baggage that comes along, so if I want DH at this point, I have to have "That Guy" once in a while, too.) When I think about the things that are important to me in a husband, I never wish I had done something differently (i.e., married someone else, or not gotten married at that time, etc.), I always think of DH and how he was when we were dating, and how the first several years of our marriage was, it was a dream come true. And I never wish for anything different except for "That Guy" to go away, and for DH to recover from his illness. I don't mind sharing my money with him, I don't mind working so hard because of all this stuff that has happened, and I know I would be very lonely without him. And Anita's words kind of hit home with me, and reminded me of that fact. I do love him, in spite of it all, and I hope that someday we will both be able to look back at all of this and marvel at how we ever made it....

Saturday, February 2, 2008

I don't know how long I can work like this...

Well, this morning I got home from work at 9:30 am(!) I went right to bed, didn't spend any time with the animals or anything (luckily Jim lets all the dogs out, so I didn't have to spend time waiting for all 6 dogs to do their business...) and then I slept until 5pm. I got up then, and chatted with DH and Jim, then I went to my mom's and set up her pills and put together some outfits for her for the coming week. I gave my mom a hug, came home, took an hour's nap, and here I am back at work again :-( And right now, when I think of all the time I've been spending working, well, it's kind of daunting to realize that there's no end in sight.

My paycheck still hasn't shown up, either. I'm not sure if I should call on Monday and demand that they cancel the old one and issue me a new one, because that'll take time....and I am absolutely convinced that if I do that, the "old" one will show up the next day....and I really need that money now! But I guess I've been worse off before, it'll all work out....

And on the brighter side, DH got up willingly today and went to Spenders. And when he came home, he was so motivated, and so much like his regular self...he cleaned the kitchen, did some laundry, tried to figure out a problem with our phone line (turns out it is apparently someplace in the yard, so we had to call a repairman), and all in all acted like he used to. It's hard for me to look at this kind of thing as temporary, because I married him thinking that he was going to be like that for the rest of his life and so that is the mindset I tend to approach things with...I just wish there was Spenders every day, so that he would come home like this every day. I have definitely noticed that every time he goes to Spenders, he comes back as "normal DH" and is very motivated. But Spenders is only once a week. I've been thinking about mentioning group therapy to DH and his therapist, as maybe, since Spenders is so helpful, that would be too??? But he's already doing DBT skills training, and that's with a group, and he doesn't come home all motivated from those sessions. Hmmm...

Ewww....and more Ewwww!!! Not for the squeamish!

This post actually has nothing to do with bipolar or being broke or my family or anything like that, except that broke people tend to eat more of these kinds of meats....If you eat lunch meat and/or sausages, or would like to stop eating them, check this out:
(Warning: If you get grossed out easily, you might want to pass on this one...)

Mystery Meat Tour

The money always comes from somewhere.

Well, once again I've been neglecting this blog, and there's SO much to tell you!!!

I hope I remember it all.

DH has been rather stable this past week, no big blow-ups, no huge depressions, no huge spending....right now, the biggest issue in our house is that the paycheck for my second job, which comes in the mail, is a week late. I am down to $2--that's the balance in my checking account, and I promised dd that she could go on a church outing on Sunday, which will cost $10. In spite of all the bills that aren't getting paid, and the fact that we are in real danger of the phone being shut off because my check hasn't come, my top concern is that dd be able to go with her church group. I'm not sure how I'm going to do this, but I will come up with $10 somehow, I know "the money always comes from somewhere." That's one of my mantras, by the way, it's kind of tantamount to "The Lord will provide"--although I'm not all that religious, I've found that when I've needed money badly for a legitimate reason (not for a new outfit or something dumb like that, LOL), somehow, the money always shows up. Whether it's an unexpected check from the insurance company, or a friend saying, "Remember that $20 I borrowed from you last year?", it never seems to fail. And I don't question it. If I am using the money I do have, for purposes that are not selfish and not materialistic, and I am short, somehow I manage.

I used to tell DH, "The money will come from somewhere" back when we first met. For the longest time, he kind of smirked at me and did the "Yeah, right" thing. But he sees it, too--LOL, I guess even his money comes from somewhere (me) when he needs it, tee hee.

Anyhow, I wanted to leave you with a very motivating quote from Mary Hunt (Debt Proof Living)--in this month's newsletter, she writes:

"Remember the sweet peas I planted on Thanksgiving Day? They’re alive and about 7 inches tall—holding up well against the unusually cold weather we are having. I understand that adversity makes them particularly strong and hearty because the cold weather forces them to send roots deep into the earth where it’s not quite so cold. That will help them stand tall in a few months when they reach 9 to 12 feet in height. We could take a lesson from the sweet peas. When facing difficult times do you dig in so you can stand tall?

Or are you more prone to have a pity party? It’s easy to crumble at the first sign of hardship or disappointment. It’s a lot easier to become fearful and filled with worry and doubt than to stand tall with courage and determination. The truth is, what you are going through is a season in your life. Spring is coming! And when it does, you will either be lying on the ground all sad and defeated or you’ll be standing strong and hearty—and about 9-feet tall. It’s your call"
Wow. I'm inspired.

Friday, February 1, 2008

It's unofficially official....Britney is bipolar....

Well, I have to confess, I've watched Britney Spears' "train wreck" with mild curiosity--after all, if someone as rich as her can have this many problems that are supposedly related to mental health, it makes the "everyday" problems that DH has seem that much more reasonable. I guess, the not-very-nice thing to say is that I "gloat". After all, nobody related to Britney is working 66 hours a week to pay for her "episodes", but a lot of people are very stressed out about them. I guess sometimes it's my selfish way to feel better when I see that these sorts of things can and really do happen to the "privileged", too.

On the other hand, I do feel sad that she is going through this. Sometimes I think that "someday" when DH is back to his normal self, he'll look back at the things he said and did and be horrified. And I have no doubt that it is the same with Britney Spears, too. My hope for her is that much of her "stuff" is chemically induced--that is to say, via drugs or alcohol, and that she does not have to completely lose everything that is "Britney" to this illness. I'm sure there is much more going on than just what the media reports, hopefully it is all manageable, if she finds the right treatment....

Anyhow, here's a link: Britney Spears Bipolar?

Who should you vote for?

I was perusing online and I ran across this very cool site:


I haven't really followed the elections as much as most people--although I've been following the economy (or lack thereof) very closely, I had thought that Obama was the one I identified best with, but I was surprised to see that my beliefs are more attuned to Hillary Clinton's. I also compared my beliefs to Ron Paul, they didn't match (surprise surprise), but they were closer than I thought they would be. If I had to vote for a republican, I'd probably go for Ron Paul, because he doesn't seem to be as much of a game-player as all the others. Anyhow, no matter what your political affiliation, I thought you might find this site interesting.