Last Thoughts on 2016

Dear Friends,

With the passing of another year, I have yet to find meaning or purpose in the existence of the human race. Looking forward to the sadness and negativity that shall surely come along with our next president is deeply perturbing, yet there is nothing we can do to change the future. Perhaps, the dark side has actually won this time. That is why it is up to us who care to carry forward the light.

This year I have hurt a lot, but learned a lot. One thing I really discovered this year is that you can’t let the outside get to you – or expect it to save you. No matter how much booze I drank, meds I take or how many products I’ve purchased, I’m still feeling empty. As Bob Dylan put it, “You can’t find it on a Macy’s window sill and you can’t find it on a dollar bill.”

I am not a religious person, but I do believe myself to be spiritual. My mother said something tonight that was upsetting – maybe because it reminded me of the short time I will spend in this body, in this life. Maybe it was that she seemed so accepting of the fact that things are horrendous and in denial of it all, and yet those things still continue to upset me. After all, if we who have do not help those who do not, aren’t we helping the injustice in the world? To her, the answer is no.

What she said was, “We are only here for a short time, anyway.” The statement annoyed me, because it seems like a cop-out for dealing with what is (and has been for millennia) going on all around us. On the other hand, it means we should be happy with what blessings we are given, no matter how small or large. After all, we should enjoy our brief time on this planet, not spend it as grief time on this planet.

Should it bother me that our planet will likely be destroyed more and more in the next four years? Yes. Should I let it ruin my life while I still have a chance to live it? No. I have been struggling with all of the problems, the weight of the world if you will, by slowly working at killing myself with alcohol. We are all going to die anyway, why should I not accelerate the process?

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I have one main reason, which is my child. However, my emergency room nurse practitioner reminded me a little while back that I need to live for myself, to find some happiness for me and me alone. Do I believe I can do that? Do I even believe that there is anything worth trying for anymore when it comes down to just me? After all, the world has a history of terrible problems, so why should I expect anything other than pain and suffering?

I suppose I should not. However, I can do this. I can look for what it positive in the world, rather than what is negative. It is difficult, but it is possible. So for 2017, my goal and purpose is to avoid negative energy and become a positively-charged person.  If that means changing my whole angle on things, then that is what I will have to do. My mom may be onto something with her denial tactics. Even though I find them abhorrent, I can perhaps learn from them.

Will I be successful? Only time will tell. The glass-half-empty pessimism in me says no, but the optimist that is dying to come out tells me yes. You can do it. Look for the light and you will make it.

“One little flicker of light, can erase the dark.” – Atmosphere

Take care,

HAH

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Energy Fields

The stone that the builder refuse, will always be the head cornerstone. – Bob Marley

Lately, I have noticed my energy has been aligned with my stepfather’s to the point where it has almost become obnoxious. For instance, whenever I head towards the kitchen, he is already there or shows up shortly thereafter. If my daughter and I change the channel on the television while he is upstairs, he comes down from playing the guitar usually within minutes to change the channel. And so on.

This parallel energy reminds me of a couple of things. First, it is reminiscent of women who all menstruate at the same time after spending time together. This is not exactly what I think is going on, however. I believe there is more to it.

Instead, it really reminds me of a vision I had – when closing my eyes – a few months ago, of eels all fighting for the same space in one small area. The eel thing is not all that strange because I worked for an aquarium with electric eels in it last summer. What is odd is having that moment of clarity helped me to understand how energy works in humans and other creatures.

20160826_153711Dreaming of Flowers

Tonight, I woke up at 3 AM after having a bizarre dream. My mother was possibly sick with cancer, and when I tried to hand her the test results that had come in the mail, my stepfather interfered and told me I was just looking for attention. I told him that I didn’t want his attention and was not interested in even speaking to him anymore.

Immediately following, I was outside and there were children climbing along a fence line with strange flowers blooming along the edge. The children were in between the flowers and the fence, somewhat blocking my view of the flowers. Noticeably, though, there was a sliding gate where the flowers were blooming. I was on the inside of the gate.

I awoke at that point and heard the upstairs bathroom being used. Yes, I can hear it from the basement. I knew it was him; he wakes up regularly at night, just as I do.

I began thinking about that dream with the flowers; what does it mean? So naturally, I turned to the internet. In my youth, I possessed a dream dictionary, but alas, it is mine no longer.

First, I began thinking about the flowers. They generally represent growth and hope. Then I thought of why I was dreaming of my mother possibly having cancer. It was difficult to find a good interpretation, but it appears that it must represent some negativity I am harboring. This would make sense, since I have some lingering anger for her choice of staying with a man I perceive as abusive for so long. The fact that he was trying to get in between my mother and I especially reinforced that idea.

Next, the children came to mind. They can mean many things, yet, what I found to relate to the rest of the dream was that in some sense I need to grow up. The fact that there was a fence with a gate in between myself and the children and flowers is also symbolic. The fence may mean I have built a protective barrier around myself, while the gate stands for my ability to get through it.

So what does it all mean put together? I believe that my negativity toward my parents for their faults and even their anger toward me, has caused me to build up a fence of resentment that is keeping me from growing as a person. I can use that gate to get through it, but it is up to me to forgive.

img_20160722_122713372My Stepfather and I Are Connected

Whether we like it or not, we are very similar people in a lot of ways; which is why we butt heads so often. Like electric eels, one of us must change our frequency to accommodate the other when we are too much on the same wavelength. Since we have such close ties to my mother, and both require her attention when we are sick, it is a constant battle of energy fields repelling one another.

We are also connected by my brother and his death. We are both grieving over the loss of his life. Perhaps we have different ways of doing so, but that really does not matter. We still have that connection which bounds us together for life.

The only way for me to find peace is to stop holding onto the pain and the idea that in some ways he helped caused my brother’s death. I believe in some ways my stepdad blames me for my brother’s death as well. If nothing else, he believes I took his photo of my brother as a child and he is using that belief to project his grief onto me – as though it was my fault my brother is gone. Additionally, I have a sincere belief that he wishes I was the one who died, not NCA.

Finding Hope Behind the Pain

I am a stubborn person, but I want very much to move on with my life from this hurtful, difficult situation I am in. There are ways for me to accomplish this, yet it is so very hard to let go and forgive when the other person wants to hold onto his negativity against me. How do I do it?

When I am around, he barely speaks to me. At one point, right before I was hospitalized a few weeks ago, he convinced my mother I was to blame over that photo. I want so much to be exonerated from the loss of the picture, but there is no way to prove I did not do it.

So we are at an impasse. Either I forgive him or I will continue to hurt. Whether he forgives me is not a contention, because he wants to hold onto his pain. It is all he has left. For me, though, I still have hope.

I hope that I will have a better future than my past has been. If I make it so, then I believe I can. Yet, if I continue to believe I am not good enough, or don’t deserve it, I will stay in place. This is not an option for myself or my daughter. I guess that means it’s time to move on and forgive him, even if he refuses to forgive me.

Speaking of Drunk Wives…

Yeah, I had a beer and I don’t regret it. Not one iota. Today I would have been two weeks sober. And I gave it all up to drink a beer with my friend, James, the homeless man from Detroit.

It wasn’t all my fault, even though I was the one who made the decision to have one. It’s cool though, cuz God loes loves Ugly. It was meant to happen that way.

So there were some things that contributed to my “relapse.” (One beer, okay, but in the eyes of my fellow cult members, AA, that is a relapse.) First, my phone was happily set in my coffee with an open lid left behind in the center console of the car. Let’s take note that that never happened with a beer. Second, I lost my friend, Jon. He and I got separated after he went to the car to take his jacket out there. (I told him before we went in to leave it behind, but he didn’t want to. C’est la vie!)

By the time I went out to the car after fighting my way upstream against all the other fishes in the show, I had lost my patience. It was at this point that my phone was completely incapacitated. That’s when I decided to break it down and have a beer. HopCat was right there; it was calling my name. I left Jon a note and told him to wait for me after the show. He had my keys, so I really needed to be able to find him so I could get home.

I started walking and a homeless guy asked me for some spare change for a slice of pizza. I obliged and pulled out a dollar to give him. About 20 steps later, another man approached me from across the street and asked me for a dollar. I didn’t have another single and I told him no, I didn’t have one. Yet, inspiration struck me and I invited him to join me for a beer. He told me couldn’t go in there. I asked him how come, was he not welcome there? He said it was because he didn’t have any money. I told him that I was inviting him because I wanted to buy him one.

James and I talked for a while and drank our Deschutes Pale Ales. Might I add that it was not very pale at all. We talked about my daughters and danced in our chairs to “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch.” We talked about how the area I live in is full of yuppies that don’t get me. The D is more my speed; I feel understood out there, much more than the place I call “home.” We also talked about having one night stands; I had been hit on by some guy online recently whose approach was to ask me that as an opening line. Ain’t nobody got time for that shit.

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The beer was drunk slowly, but after about 30 minutes James was ready to get out of there. It was making him uncomfortable, he said. I knew it was time to go back and lose myself in the show. He had asked me for $10 to get a room around the corner. At first, I said no, but I changed my mind by the end of our visit. If I could help a brother out and help him stay warm for one night, I wanted to do it.

We walked back and James asked me if he would see me again. I told him, “No, this is going to be a one night stand only.” We parted ways at the door and he just kept walking.

When I got inside, I made my way through the crowd but stayed toward the back. That’s when I realized I walked in right when Atmosphere was starting. I walked in just as the first song was beginning. Talk about synchronicity.

I was having a blast just digging the music, but I couldn’t see all that well. Being near the back was right where the pathway for the movers in the crowd to make their way through, so I kept getting jostled. I noticed one person’s hands in the audience ahead of me who kept making signals to Slug, a peace sign, an “I love you” and all sorts of things. It was then that I realized it was Jonathon. I fucking found him in that huge crowd! Good thing he was wearing his favorite shirt, because I recognized it immediately.

I started making my way through the crowd, telling people I was trying to get to my friend. We reunited and I gave him a big hug. His eyes were bright; he looked manic. He was having a great time.

When “Yesterday” came up, I told him that is the song I think of as for my little brother. I didn’t cry though – I just grasped my necklace and held on tightly. I was sad, but I was happy too. Bittersweet feelings rang through my soul during that song.

The set was incredible. So pure, so much love for everyone in the crowd. It was beautiful.

I was deaf by the end of the night; the bass was bumping so loud I had a hangover from it. Before it all ended, Slug, Brother Ali and Dem Atlas all busted out some freestyle. Slug threw in a fuck Hillary and fuck him (Trump) too! He was wearing a Jill Stein shirt. I was wearing a Bernie button.

They finished up with “Trying to Find a Balance” and Jon made his way to the front of the crowd. Gone again, but I wasn’t going to lose him this time. At least I got my keys back from him before he disappeared this time. Ah, the impetuousness of youth.

I saw someone throw a jacket in the crowd during the last song and I thought it was maybe Slug’s hoodie. I was wrong, however. The person who caught the jacket was wandering around with it after the show ended. He looked at me and handed me the jacket without saying a word. I shrugged my shoulders and put it on. When life gives you lemons, you paint that shit gold.

I know that drinking that beer was not a good choice, but I also know that everything goes the way it is supposed to. I can try to control things by simply taking one day at a time like the drunks do (Hank Hill), but I also know that I am not going to kill myself worrying about feeling bad for doing it.

I paid my penance by spending time with James and helping him get a room for the night. Slug would be proud of me. I’m a friend to strangers and a stranger to friends.

Peace. Love life.

The Return of Synchronicity

It finally happened. It is October, so I don’t see it how it could have happened at any other time really. My life is a pattern of events, which I have watched flowing from one moment to the next – always seeing a connection without realizing what it means. Everyone goes through cycles in their lives, but many fail to notice it. Instead, it appears there is no correlation, while in reality everything is connected.

I have come to believe there are no coincidences. I subscribe to the idea that I am meant to see what is to be revealed to me when I am ready to understand. I do not believe myself to be a wise person; I am simply someone who has felt deep pain as well as great joy. It is not a competition. After all, none of us are getting out of here alive.

Perhaps it is my brother’s death that continues to haunt me that makes me feel inclined toward doing the same, but I think it is more than that. I feel sorrow for the people who are starving, who are suffering from disease, those who are tormented by people who believe they are above others, and those who do not care about anyone but themselves. I hold the pain of the world in my heart – that is why I cry so. That is what makes me want to die. Yet, I do not want to die today.

Today, I celebrate my meager existence because I still have it. Last week, I did not want it any longer. Then something happened.

I was forced to go to the hospital against my will. My wrists were swollen, cut, and bruised from the handcuffs when all was said and done. And the officer who brought me there? One of the men who responded to my brother’s suicide almost two years ago. I would not have discovered that had the officer not accidentally entered the highway, but by mistake we ended up driving right past the site of his death.

Just like when I went to photograph the site where he died months ago (because it will be torn down soon), a man rode up on a skateboard behind me wearing a shirt that read, “Suicide Squad,” but all I saw was “suicide.” Right where my brother died. Coincidence? Hardly.

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This is what is known as synchronicity. There are parallels in the universe that bring us together with people, places, and things that we are meant to learn from. Our experiences are indelibly intertwined with those of others, yet we often see ourselves as apart, or separate, from them. Whenever I notice a pattern in my life, there is usually a link to something or someone else that concurs with it.

Perhaps this is why triggers for people with mental illness are so easily brought on. Reminders are created by certain things. For instance, while practicing a guided meditation technique in the hospital, the image of a knife was brought up to describe the sensation of cutting a lemon. However, the words, “see the knife cutting into the flesh” – yes, those were the actual words used – brought up imagery in my mind which upset me deeply, as I have used a knife on my own flesh in the past. Prior to that exercise I had been happy, but that immediately sent me into a downward spiral. I was triggered.

It is these connections that help us to learn, but they can also be incredibly harmful if we do not have the tools to manage them. I understand now that I must be mindful of these triggers, these correlations of human and non-human reminders. The power to heal is within me, as is the power to harm.

Those of us who struggle with bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder will never fully recover, but we can manage the illness. Our minds are not like other peoples’ but we have to accept that; we may as well enjoy the ride! There are a lot more of us out there than we realize, so let’s find each other and be friends. No one else will ever understand us, but we can at least find solidarity with one another and try to live life as best as we can.

A Ford for All Times

They really believe I did it. The person who created a whole website and has worked so hard to stay alive, after losing her brother to suicide, would intentionally take and destroy a photo of him.

I wrote them a note this morning, after being blamed for the falsity, that they are horrible people.

And they are.

Why is my brother dead? Because of them. Why have I lived outside as a homeless person so many times? Because of them. Why has my daughter had such an unstable life? Mostly, because of my instability, caused by them.

They will never own what they have done to everyone around them, because they have been abused so many times themselves that they have victim mentality. The projection is ironic.

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This morning, after being blamed for my little brother’s photo disappearance, and being told I always have to be the victim, I pointed out how I was the one who was kicked to the curb multiple times and basically treated as garbage. Once, I was actually given a trashcan with my name on it to represent my room because that was me, garbage.

When I brought that up in response to my mother’s accusation of my “victim” mentality, she explained my stepfather’s abuse away as a joke. Yeah, just like the rest of my life, a Ford damn joke. Is a gramme really better than a damn? Not really. I’d rather be damned to misery than live in a falsehood of reality.

So, that’s it. We’re done. Sometimes, we cannot make things right with the people in our lives. “Oh, brave new world.” What shall become of us?

A New Beginning

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How happy it makes me to relish the fact that 2015 is over, finally. In 2014, I faced homelessness, so I believed that 2015 could only be for the better. In some cases, it was better. After all, I was able to graduate from college and get out of a shelter situation (with my wily womanish ways). My daughter got to attend a great program through her school. Best of all, Bernie Sanders burst into the limelight and gave many people a glimmer of hope, especially me.

My mind is whirling with the many challenges ahead of me in 2016. I just started a new job, one that I could have only dreamed of obtaining in Indiana. Next week, I will begin attending classes again so as to finish my legal assistant degree in May. I am so close, but now my dreams have gotten even bigger. I want to do more than I ever have before.

It is almost as though my great losses have inspired much more in me than I could ever have expected. My brother’s death made me want to reach out to people in a new way; it also forced me to find a healthy way to grieve, which turned into the Borderline Bipolar Project. Losing a person in such a manner truly changes a person, no matter who you are.

I believe that experiencing homelessness again, and having to find a way out, also changed who I am. My mother has made a good point about my failed relationship with “the wrong Nick”. She recognizes that without him, I probably would not have graduated from college (even though I was only 3 credits shy of earning my general studies degree).

So for better or worse, 2015 was a learning experience, a very important one. I know now to avoid relationships that have no real meaning behind them. A loveless partnership agreement between two people living as a couple is a terrible idea; at least, I learned a valuable lesson.

And I’m still learning, every day. That’s what matters most. That is how we break free from the chains of cognitive slavery, through mindful habits and self-awareness.