A Lot of Lemonade

3.19.19 – A Lot of Lemonade

I’ve been sitting here for a while now with my thoughts, and I’ve not quite figured out how to say what I want…what I *need* to say. So, I’m thinking I’m just gonna say it, and if anyone reading knows my mom, so be it.

I feel as though I’ve never been enough for my mom, and certainly feel she’s never really been proud of me. She did not attend my sporting events. She did not help me with Senior Year expenses or go shopping with me to find my prom dress. I’m 42 years old, by the way, so there is plenty of missed opportunities. (Wait, 42..when did that happen? Different blog post.)

Anyway, my mother has never been overly affectionate with me, and she’s not one to give compliments, say any ‘atta girls, give praise, and she doesn’t seem to recognize when someone goes above and beyond in order to help her.

Now, I’m using the correct terminology by saying things like, “I feel…” but it’s not just me that notices this. I will say that this only exists in our relationship, not in her relationship with my son. That’s important to mention because she lives with us and has to be taken care of after her last back surgery, and she gets along with my son beautifully, constantly thanking him, heaping on the praise and love. She hugs him. She tells him she loves him. The two of them have had a close bond since he was born.

So, one thing led to another, and I sat down to have a conversation with my mom today. Now, I’ve touched on this before with her…several times actually, but I’ve never just put all the cards on the table and asked her to please do the same. I told her I feel like…no, that’s not an accurate description…I told her I *know* I’ve never been good enough, done well enough, and that I feel unloved. I asked her if she has *ever* been proud of me. Again, 42 years worth of material there.

She stared at me and chewed her food – the dinner I had just cooked even though I’m disabled just like her. She said that there are things she’s proud of but couldn’t think of any at the time. Guessing she could make what she thought was a valid point, she asked if I could list things that I loved about my son, things that made me proud. I spoke for at least 10 minutes about him until I realized we had gotten off course.

Now listen to me. Don’t throw at me that she was taken off guard, blah, blah. As I said, some things led to this conversation, and she could tell it was coming today, and also recall that I explained we’ve had similar discussions in the past.

Look, even my son sees how she treats him better than me. Treats my husband better than me. Treats the caretaker who helps us get her showered better than me. She actually talks and laughs with this lady for half an hour or so, which is a big deal for Mom. The caretaker that we’ve known three months. She’s here maybe an hour, twice a week.

I’ll share something terrible with you. Sometimes, in what I guess is a dark corner of my heart, I think to myself that Dad died when I was 15, and he and I did everything together. He would often praise me and was affectionate. Even though they divorced when I was two years old and only seeing Dad every other weekend and six weeks in summer, my relationship with Dad was filled with such love, joy, comfort and a sense of well-being. Mom is not affectionate. She doesn’t even say good night, just disappears. Well, let me amend that. She says good night to my son.

Anyway, sometimes I wonder if I had to lose a parent, ‘why my dad who loved me?’ I feel terrible even thinking it. I told you it was bad.

It’s not me wishing my mom passed away instead of my dad. It’s me missing Dad, and it’s me wishing Mom could be proud of me. It’s really a little girl wanting her momma’s love, I guess.

What the heck does any of this have to do with Bipolar? Mostly, that I want to share that though it hurts, I put the pain to good use. I am certain to shower my son in even more love. I am sure to constantly tell him he’s done a good job, and we always joke and laugh with one another. We hug good night and pray for each other. He too has Bipolar and we help lift the other when we’re down low.

Plus, it’s my blog. I can write what I want…LOL! No, seriously, sometimes it’s good for us, healthy even, to vent.

So, am I squeezing lemons into lemonade, here? Am I endeavoring to be a better mom because I feel I don’t have a mother that communicates with me? A mom that doesn’t love me? Yes, perhaps I am doing just that.

lemon lemonade

And you know what, I like lemonade. A lot.

 

(Image credit: cartoondealer)

The Opposite – a story

2.21.19

The Opposite

Story by @jenm_curry – possible trigger

I imagine a few at the service. A service sprinkled with an occasional photo of her looking happy.

Looking.

I imagine a couple of kind words; maybe a story or two. I imagine a child in anguish, wondering why more people weren’t in attendance, and then the sadness that will overcome his face when he realizes she was alone, followed by a brief moment of terror on his face. After all, what if this is his fate down the line, he thinks. I imagine a couple of acquaintances, or someones who knew someone else.

They might take a few minutes after they’ve left the service and are back home changing clothes, readying themselves for dinners with families and friends wondering to themselves, what did people do to her.

The reality being quite the opposite really.

Because in fact, it’s all about what people did not do.

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(Photo credit: Google images)

Black Mirror – Crocodile and Why the Heck It Reminds Me a Bit of My Bipolar

2.19.19

Crocodile

So, I have often tried to figure out why it is that certain stories and their characters resonate with me. I have found that even though the show Black Mirror on Netflix is about technology and some pretty damn serious repercussions, it could be in our very near future. I have found that there are characters in most episodes I truly seem to care about whether they acted in a positive or negative fashion. After all, so often, we act like the humans we are, and frig things up pretty badly.

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So, I took a look at Season 4, Episode 3, Crocodile.

Hold up. Let me just say that what I mainly want to do with this entry is just talk about why I like the show. In general, this particular series is a winner for me, even if not for the characters, because I identify with some of the emotions that really screw up Mia’s life, and those around her. Crappy decisions, actions and living with the consequences. Ugh. I’m not really critiquing the show. I’m certainly not saying that Black Mirror is about Bipolar, but I see parallels.

It makes me feel. It makes me contemplate. It makes me slap my palm to my forehand because I want better for these people, just as I have in my own life. I’m just a person who likes to watch TV and films, listen to music, and sometimes it reminds me, “Hey, you like what you’re hearing or seeing because it reminds you of something about yourself.”

So, as I said, I checked out Crocodile again, with lead character, Mia. When the episode starts, we are 15 years in the past, and Mia and boyfriend accidentally hit a young man riding a bicycle after they had been out all night clubbing, full of drinking and cocaine. The rider is dead, so instead of calling the police, they throw his body and bike into a nearby freezing river. Flash forward to current day. Mia is successful as an architect, with a nice husband and son. She travels to the city one weekend to give a speech at a forum. The boyfriend from all those years ago has shown up at her hotel room with news. He has decided to turn himself in; only it won’t be just himself he turns in because everyone, by law, will now have their memories extracted through a small sensor applied to their forehead while a device projects the memory visually for on-lookers, in order to see exactly what happened, all in efforts of divulging the truth. In effect,  memories can and are being harnessed. Well, poor ole Mia has to go and kill the ex-boyfriend; she has a son and husband, but he refuses to stand down. Now, unfortunately in the mix of killing this guy, there was a small accident outside on the street while she’s cleaning up her mess in the hotel room. Now, an insurance adjuster begins work on the claim of the person hit, but only slightly injured on the street, and low and behold, by looking through a series of people’s memories of the accident, Mia is seen. Facial recognition is done, and a very sweet, kind, soon to be killed insurance adjuster sets out to get Mia’s visual memory in order to close the claim. Unfortunately, once Mia is hooked up, the adjuster also sees Mia has gone all Patrick Bateman, American Psycho on her ex, and now the adjuster, her husband and her toddler must be eliminated. Had there been anything visual depicting the demise of the toddler, I wouldn’t have watched, and actually, this is all quite watchable. Black Mirror manages to do that, but it leaves you with lots going through your mind and a bunch of raw emotions. Anyway, back to Mia, it looks like at the end that maybe something good can still come from all of this when she’s watching her son sing in a school play. However, Mia didn’t realize that next to the toddler’s crib lived his pet gerbil, and there again, all CSU had to do was attach the censor to see everything that gerbil saw. And so in file the police, and we know that in mere moments, Mia will be arrested. (I do wonder if part of her won’t be relieved, as all throughout these murders she feels to be necessary, she violently vomits and cries.)

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You might ask what I relate to in this. Have I thrown someone into a freezing river? Of course not.

Not yet. 😉

My first thought went to the title and the probable correlation to crocodile tears. I mean, I think it’s a safe bet most people might think it a possibility that that’s why it’s called Crocodile. I was wondering about Mia – if her tears were real throughout this nightmare of a scenario, or if they were, in fact, crocodile tears, and I wonder that often myself, even when I’m in the middle of crying them. Over the years, somehow something has developed, most likely a defense mechanism, where I can cry, but not really feel emotion attached to those tears. The program’s events unfold due in large part to her bad decisions with drinking and a bit of drugs, which is something that often times you will hear people with Bipolar discuss. We self-medicate, especially before we even are diagnosed and know that we have the freakin disorder. And it can really wreck our lives and the lives of those around us.

But the overall driving force as I see it in this particular episode is Mia not wanting to lose her family, with her son specifically mentioned, and I have one son who I have feared losing in the past, so that immediately reached out and grabbed hold of me. It seems to take her very little time to decide to take the life of a toddler later in the show; however, and I don’t know if that in my opinion is more of a statement on a mother wanting to do anything she can to stay with her child, or a statement saying that society has basically lost its ever-loving mind and sense of decency, even if you fear losing your loved ones. Probably both.

What I am saying is this. The predominant theme and what truly reached out to me and grabbed me… what I really related to with Mia… is that she has this history and current day issue of bringing alcohol into the situation and making things worse by not thinking things through (I mean, of course she’s gonna get caught! how will that affect her family? allow these people to live!) and with making very hasty decisions, with lack of attention to detail (that gerbil again) with not slowing down and just taking a damn breath, with an ever-dwindling moral compass, and most importantly allowing her fear to dominate and dictate, she has ruined everything for herself and her family.

Like, it was gonna be ruined, but on say a 1-10 Scale, maybe a 5 kind of ruined if she just would’ve fessed up about the bicycle boy 15 years earlier (she wasn’t even driving) versus the rating of 11 now on the 1-10 scale because, after all, she’s killed like, everybody.

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Exhale.

Anyway, being overly emotional can destroy lives, and it can destroy relationships. It can destroy goals, and it can create a tremendous amount of upset and upheaval and that’s where it got me, because I have done that. I am 100% certain that just due to the nature of the beast, I’ll do it again. Then, that ending, when we think maybe just hopefully despite all this carnage, at least if Mia can be happy with her family, maybe there’s some sort of something resembling good still possible. Ah, but the lyrics. Listen carefully. She hears her son singing, “we could have been anything that we wanted to be” and later, “the decision was ours” all while police officers were filing into the back of the school looking to arrest Mia.

I have to say even though she did all she did, my heart went out to her, because I know just how far south things can go, and how fast they can do it… that’s often what Bipolar is, and does, to me. I can see both sides, even if I don’t want to be able to do so.

“It’s a blessing and a curse.” – Adrian Monk from Monk. But that’s a different show.

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Still. True that, Adrian. True that.

 

(Photo credits: Google Images)