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Hello again my friends! Now I know it’s been awhile again, but my last post was right before the holidays. And as of the beginning of January , I started my new job at the local Firehouse Subs (founded by firemen). So as I’m sure you can imagine, I’ve been a bit busy.
Now to get to today’s topic! If my clever title didn’t give it away, today I want to talk about mental disorders.
As a kid, I had extreme anger problems, I was quick to lose my temper and act out. I could have been depressed too, but if I was it was different then what I currently experience. I was originally diagnosed as ADHD, for anyone that might not know that stands for Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder. Basically means you have trouble focusing and can get hyper and overactive. I was given prescriptions. But I was horrible at remembering to take them, and let’s not forget I had 5 sisters so Mom had her hands full too.
I’m sure I tried to take them for a few years, but not that they did much missing them so often. I guess I just learned to live with it. Am still learning truthfully. But that doesn’t mean it was easy. Doesn’t mean I didn’t mess up along the way.
There are 2 times that specifically relate to today’s events. The first time I was about 10, I got angry with someone in my family and almost ripped a closet door off its hinges. After that incident my family sent me to a mental Institute called The Meadows. I think I spent about 6 months there. And the only thing I really remember is that’s where I learned to take a step back when I get frustrated. Just take a breath.
We were given a game to play, we had a medium length rope (thick enough to step on) and like 5 little round rubber pads. There was an area marked that we had to get across (twice the length of the rope) that we had to get across using the rope and circles (remember jumping couch to couch to not touch the lava?).
After a few tries, I had solved the puzzle, I figured out a way to get my team to the other side! But if anyone messed up everyone had to start over, and my luck would have it that the last person to cross screwed up. I remember that was the first time I didn’t just flip out. I grunted (gahhhh) took a deep breath, and stomped off and sat up against a wall. I remember one of the (supervisors? Nurses?) coming over to me, I was sure I was going to get in trouble for stomping off. In my head I was already getting angry and ready to start fighting.
I’m proud of you. That’s what he said, and I was confused. As I stared him down he went on to tell me that he seen how hard I was coaching my team through the exercise. And how upset I got when the last person messed up. He said he was proud of me because instead of flipping out right away, I separated myself and took a minute to just breathe and that was a good thing. I still remember the ugly blue pattern on the carpet in that hallway. At 10, this was the first piece of control that I learned.
The next incident in question happened when I was about 14 or 15. My oldest sister was fighting with me in the kitchen of our family home. I honestly can’t tell you most of what happened by my own account. I can’t even say what the fight was about. All I can tell you is the look of fear in my aunts eyes when she told me what I did.
My aunt was sitting at the kitchen table while this whole thing happened. During the fight with my sister, she said something that caused me to snap. My aunt told me I walked to the counter, grabbed a knife from the clean dishes and raised it like I was going to stab my sister. I walked towards her with the knife raised and screamed “I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU”.
I don’t remember any of that, my memory pick up with a knife sticking out of the floor in front of me. My aunt yelling and my sister looking terrified backed into a corner by the refrigerator. My aunt told me what I did, she told me that she screamed my name 4 or 5 times as I was walking towards my sister with the knife raised. I guess something reached me because she said that I looked at her, looked at the knife in my hand threw it on the floor (it just happened to actually stick in the floor) and walked out of the kitchen. I had no clue what had happened at the time, I felt confused and responsible and no clue why. It was an odd thing to “come back” to. My aunt swears that when I looked at her my eyes were black. She said to me “Amy you weren’t there. I was looking at you and you weren’t there”
Okay, so back to current events. I’ve been fighting a breakdown for awhile now. Rekoh’s health is bad. Someone started drama at work and now I’m the focus of glares and conversation cut offs when I walk past. They think they are slick, but this is one crazy lady that has learned to keep her eyes and ears open. And mouth shut (for the most part, sometimes my mouth gets the better of me). I’ve had responsibilities dropped on me when I wanted none. And honestly I’ve felt so overwhelmed. So responsible for the fate of those closest to me. Just when I was trying to dig myself out of a seemingly endless rut of depression.
Just when I thought I was getting better, life trips me and now I’m sinking in a pit of quicksand. The more I struggle to survive, the deeper I get. It’s crushing the life out of me and I can’t breathe…
I had a partial breakdown. Or technically 2 partials. The first was at work. I had to take a break to collect myself (my shifts are short, I never take a break). And again once I got home. It’s the 2nd one that inspired today’s post. Shorter than the first, but more powerful in the sense that I realised something of import.
I was playing a game with rekoh. Something stupid happened and being that I was already upset from earlier and trying to recover, I reacted negatively. I cursed about the game being stupid and not wanting to play it and threw my tablet on the floor.
I know that doesn’t sound too bad. I mean the space between my bed and wall is small, I could have smashed it on the wall. However, I am quite attached to my tablet and despite my anger some part of me aimed for the floor where a nice cushy blanket was piled. It’s the part of me that let me throw the tablet in the first place that has me concerned. When I got upset this time, something flashed behind my eyes for just a second white outlined in red… I couldn’t see for that split second. It’s the second after that I seen the blanket and changed the direction my tablet was flying.
I’m sure what I seen (or didn’t see) could have turned into something like the time I raised a knife to my sister. Maybe that’s why I fight my breakdowns so hard. Why I don’t just let it out. What if what comes out is a monster inside me?
What if all this time, instead of taming the monster that showed as a kid, what if I just caged it and fed it all the hate and anger, the jealously and frustration. What if I just made it stronger? What if it wants out now?
What demons do you struggle with? Do you have a child that acts the way I did? Do you have any comments or questions?