I’m Selfish and Insecure (I know. Shocking!)

“I’m selfish,
impatient and a little insecure.  I make mistakes, I am out of control and at
times hard to handle.  But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as
hell don’t deserve me at my best.” 

I love this quote by Marilyn!  I think it sums up how a lot of people feel.  
For me, Jerry is the only person who deserves me at my best!  He has had to deal with quite a bit in our first decade of marriage.

After two and a half years of marriage my Gramps passed away and my Nana asked to move in with us in Texas.  She was with us from our 3rd Anniversary in March 2002 until she passed Thanksgiving 2008.  Even though she spent the last few years in Assisted Living due to her medical needs, she was a very demanding narcissistic (selfish) and quite the drama queen, so it wasn’t easy.

During year 4, my brother and mother got into an argument in Maine which resulting in her being arrested and him sleeping in a van in February a mile from the Canadian border, so not knowing what else to do (and also knowing my mothers temper having usually been the focus of it) we flew him to Texas and he spent a year with us.
After 5 years of marriage, we took a trip to Ireland for our anniversary and while it was beautiful, the trip was slightly soured when I became sick on the second day.  What we thought was a flu like virus did not go away once I received treatment back home and in June 2004, my liver began to fail and after many, many, MANY, tests and trips to the Doctor, one CT Scan just happened to catch part of a tumor and I was finally diagnosed with cancer.  He spent the next year taking me to and from scans, tests and chemo.  He stayed by my bedside all day during chemo treatments as boring as it must have been for him and took car of all my Nana’s needs during that time.
After 9 years of marriage he was my emotional rock when my mother decided to declare war on me and my Nana going so far as to call attorneys, Adult Protective Services and trying to have her declared incompetent from 2,000 miles away having not seen her since 2000.
After 10 years of marriage I finally crumble from the years of stress the cancer, my family and work had put me through and just start crying uncontrollably one day.  I didn’t get out of bed for 6 months and he took care of everything and didn’t push or judge in any way allowing me to heal as I needed.
Year 11 saw us selling our home to prepare to move across country to the East coast away from everything he’s ever known just to make me happy.  He even agrees to fly to Maine to see my brother and sister-in-law in the middle of December and to go to New Hampshire to meet my sister after 2 years of communicating with her online.  The trip to see my brother was wonderful and I wish we had stayed there.  We cut the trip short in order to go to New Hampshire on Saturday, so we could drive into Mass to meet my sister only to have her send a message on Sunday that she decided she didn’t want to meet me.  I was crushed and had another period of depression (after initially crying for 4 straight hours and wanting to cancel the rest of our vacation). 
That depression lasted several months, but in January I decided to stop seeing a counselor and to go see a Psychiatrist.  Jerry held my hand through the entire ordeal.  After a lot of testing, it was determined that my IQ was high (duh, already knew that, 140’s) and that I had Type 2, Bipolar Disorder.  Thankfully after several weeks of medication I felt much better.  Jerry was a rock through it all.  Always wanting to do whatever it took to make me feel good and be happy.
Finally!  In our 12th year, we got to make a decision about our lives that for the first time, was not guided by some other obligation or responsibility; we moved to Richmond!  While it’s taken a little longer than we hoped to find positions in our respective fields, Jerry has never wavered and continues to make me feel special everyday.  
As we approach our 13th anniversary, we are happier than ever, healthier than ever and for the first time since I was a teenager, I feel normal!  I don’t think I would feel like this without him.  I can honestly say I believe he saved my life.  If I had moved to Maine with my family in 1999, I do not believe I would be alive today.  I believe I would have died from alcoholism, committed suicide from the depression or ended up on the streets.  He came into my life at the perfect time and his timing has been perfect ever since.
From here forward I am going to be less insecure, but more selfish!  More selfish with Jerry and the time we have together and make the next few decades as wonderful as I can as a Thank You for sticking by me through the first!

Need to Calm My Nerves

2 years of therapy and today all I want to do is crawl into bed and cry.  It is taking every ounce of control I have not to let the tears flow today at work.

Evidently, my mother has remarried and I received an email from my new Stepfather (as he signed it).  Since I don’t know him, I am assuming his intentions were most likely good.  Probably a misguided attempt at facilitating some sort of reconciliation.  I’m sure he did not realize how much anxiety this would cause me, at least I hope he didn’t as that would be cruel.

I don’t understand how someone could expect I would want to communicate with them, when I am sure every thing they have ever been told about me is negative, cruel and blatantly untrue.  There is no way i would ever convince him I am not the evil, conniving bitch I have been made out to be, so what is the point?  It makes me very uncomfortable.

I have been blamed for everything wrong in my mothers life from her marrying her second husband (how this could possibly be my fault , I’m not sure) to my breaking up the same marriage.  What’s ironic, is that while my own father refused to communicate with me but, I still communicate with that husband.

I don’t see how I could be the center of all that is bad in her universe.  Why should all the blame be placed on me?  I don’t know how you could end up with 3 children, all with problems that they either take prescription medications for or choose to self medicate with alcohol and drugs and honestly think that you have no responsibility for these problems.

No one is saying her life was easy.  Growing up with a narcissistic, domineering mother and a pedophile father could not have been easy, but at some point you have to admit that there may be something wrong with you and maybe you should get some help.  After all, everything that goes wrong can’t be someone else’s fault.  At some point you have to break the chain, otherwise the pattern continues generation after generation.

I was 24 when I decided to break the chain.  The moment came suddenly, it didn’t have a build up, just cruising along and EPIPHANY!

On this particular day, we were out at a psychic fair and were heading back home when my mothers “wife” had to stop by her work and pick up her check.  Now her wife always took forever at everything she did.  She was slower than molasses.  We were in a 2 door car, mom driving, my brother was visiting from Seattle (his first visit since he left town right after graduation), it was September in South Texas which can still be brutally hot.  My mother pulled up under an awning just far enough for her to be in the shade, leaving my brother and I with the sun bearing down on us through the rear window.  We were in a 2 door car with little wriggle room in the backseat.  For an agoraphobic, this was torture.  I had anxiety attacks before when I felt trapped, especially in the backseat of 2 door cars and had always been told to stop being such a drama queen.  To make matters worse, as she always did when stopped, she turned off the engine so there was no air and the backseat had no windows.

Now this might sound petty and you may not understand why I remember this one event so clearly and my heart still races recalling it reliving the anxiety I felt that day; I think anyone that has a moment that single-handedly changes the direction your life is heading in, tends to remember that moment.  This moment was mine.

Up until this point my mother and I had for the most part, been good friends.  We had a lot of fun together and spent a lot of time together.  Up until then, what I knew I considered normal for everyone.  Then my mind started flashing to being teased (at home) when I started getting breasts, that when I got my period I was so afraid of being teased, I didn’t tell anyone for 6 months; being taken with a fever & chicken pox out camping and boating in an aluminum boat; being told for as long as I can remember that I was proof contraceptive creams didn’t work; never receiving a real compliment (mothers compliments were like a double edge sword, (she would say, “you don’t look half bad in that shirt, considering it came from QVC”). All the years of sarcasm and insult humor that as a defense against, i also developed.  Insult humor is not necessarily hurtful at the moment uttered, but it build over the years and the only when to deal with it is to develop the same skills to deflect it.  I have spent the last decade trying to retrain myself, some days it works, some days it doesn’t.  Of course, my 2 brothers that she raised are exactly the same.  It’s very hard to have a serious conversation with either of them.  When they hear your mother calling you a bitch and a slut on a regular basis growing up, even jokingly, that stays with them.

On my wedding day, she told Jerry he could go ahead and leave, no one would blame him and then proceeded to tell some of his Aunt’s & Uncle’s (whom I was meeting for the first time) that they should know they are getting a real bitch in the family.  I can’t believe Jerry actually stayed.  His family didn’t want to hurt my feelings so I didn’t hear about this until a while after my wedding

You never knew what mom you were going to get.  Her moods would change in an instant, at least towards me.  The boys were always treated differently than me and even between the 2 boys, there is a clear hierarchy.

My mother hated her mother and had a difficult relationship with her until the day she died and I think by having me, she had the opportunity to re-enact the relationship she had with her mother, but this time she would assume the role her mother had and try to make me feel like she did.  I think this was her way of working things out from her childhood.  Hence, the abused becomes the abuser.

My mother blames my youngest brothers problems on his father, my middle brothers problems on her father and my problems, I’m not sure, so we’ll just say because I’m a bitch.  However, I think it is far more likely that like her mother and her grandfather (maternal) and her children, she suffers from a psychiatric disorder.  Otherwise it miraculously “skipped” her generation.  Studies say that children that are predisposed to a psychiatric disorder by genetics, are 4 times more likely to develop a disorder if raised in a household with an untreated or uncontrolled disorder.  The common denominator between everyone in the household is the Jodrey genes so I don’t think blaming the fathers will work any longer.

At the very least, growing up my mother was manic depressive/bi-polar.  On the high end of the scale, I wouldn’t rule out a borderline personality disorder.  I can forgive someone for past mistakes, but only if they own those mistakes and are getting treatment.

The past 2 years I have worked very hard at making my self a better person.  I sat down and wrote out a list of everything I don’t like about myself, everything I do or say that may be hurtful to others and anything else I could think of.  No one asked me to do this, I just decided that i wanted to hold a mirror up and write down everything that was reflected that I could change and be the better for.   It wasn’t easy, but I felt stronger acknowledging that in addition to being far from perfect, I could be mean unintentionally.  If someone can’t admit their flaws, they can’t work to change them.

Everyone has regrets in their life, but you have to move on.  My mother won’t let anyone do that.  She always jumps to the past.  She will still throw something I did when I was 16 years old up and get pissed and ruin the day.  In the past, just talking to my mother required a 12 pack and an extra pack of cigarettes. If the phone rang and those items were not in the house, Jerry would run to the store.  I used to binge drink to deal with stress.  Coincidentally the last time I binge drank and got out of control was the last time I saw my mother in the Bahamas in March 2008.

I don’t “blame” my mother, but I do think she needs to claim some fault.  Only the 3 of us who spent our lives being raised by her have seen all the sides of her personality.  She’s pretty good at just showing people what she wants them to see.

The only thing I have blamed her for is my relationship with my older brother.  We were friends before he fled to Seattle, but after that I am fairly certain, she started slowly and managed to drive a wedge between us to the point I was not invited to his wedding because as she told me, he said “it would be uncomfortable with me there”.  Which I have no idea what that meant.  I believe she started it, but he is a grown up now and needs to make his own choices.  She seems to be happiest when the kids aren’t talking to each other and our only contact is going through her so she can filter who hears what and how they hear it.  She takes that to the extreme of not even giving us each others address or phone numbers if we ask.  That doesn’t matter much for me, I’ve had the same phone number for 11 years, my brothers moved around a lot and used no contract cell phones, etc…

One thing I do find curious is how my older brother always seems to move to the opposite side of the country that she is on.  He is planning a move to Oregon now from South Carolina and she is in Maine.  When she was in Texas, he was in Seattle.  The only time he lived near her is when he was trying to get his life back together.

While some of the things we have tried in therapy have bombed and sent me into a deep depression (contacting family), for the most part everything has been good, especially 2011.  Everything isn’t perfect, but I never expect it to be.  Jerry is a wonderful husband that keeps me strong and he has been so supportive of everything where so many men would have bailed.

I needed to vent and I’m not sure my train of thought stayed focused, but I mainly wrote this to calm my nerves and hopefully dispose of the urge to cry.  Writing things out usually stops the anxiety and the nightmares that stress cause.

if I skipped around too much, that’s the ADD and I’m not in the mood to go back and edit.  Sometimes reading it right after I write brings the anxiety back.  Maybe I’ll proof it later…  It’s just for me anyway

Can’t get my brother out of my head….

My brother keeps popping into my head during the day, when I’m trying to sleep and even into my dreams.  
All the news about Sandusky and his victims keep my brother in the fore front of my mind day and night, but that isn’t the only thing making me think about him.
The main reason I’m worried about him is him possibly relocating to Oregon.  It is too close to Seattle where everything went to hell several years ago.  I don’t think it is healthy for him to go back to an area of the country where so many things went so drastically wrong in the not so distant past.  I think he needs help that can’t be found in a bottle.  I personally do not have a problem with people smoking, having been around stoned people and drunken people since a very early age; I’ll take the stoned people any day!  They are much mellower and less prone to violence than drunken people, they just stink more that drunken people.

When he was still a pre-pubescent he was molested by a pedophile. I don’t know how far the abuse went, other than a few passing, small comments, my brother have never discussed it with me.  Many years after the abuse, he out cried to my mother while watching some made for TV movie one evening.  By this time he was late into his teens and not interested in counseling.  My mother called me to tell me about it, and from then on proceeded to broadcast the information to everyone she could find contact information for; Aunts, Cousins, Family, Friends, etc…
Now, one could argue that I also am broadcasting the information; however, I do not use identifying information in my journal so the only people with the knowledge required to deduce identities, are already privy to the information anyway.
I often ponder what could have been different had my brother out cried about the abuse sooner.  Maybe he would have gotten counseling, never gotten into drinking and drugs.  Maybe we’d still be close and mom wouldn’t have been able to drive a wedge between us?
My brother started using marijuana by high school and graduated into other drugs.  As soon as he graduated, he went to Seattle, and that is when I feel I lost my baby brother.  I know when he was in Seattle he fell deeper into drugs and other unsavory enterprises.  I don’t know much about his life in Seattle, my mother likes it best when everything goes through her, so everything I heard about him was through her and vice versa.  Remember, this was 1996, most people had not even heard of email!
He did get married while in Seattle, but my mother told me I was not invited because he would be uncomfortable?  Whatever that meant…  At this point I did not even have a phone number for my brother so talking to him was impossible.  My mother always refused to give us his phone number.
Finally one day, she gave him my number because he needed help (and of course by help, I mean $$).  By this time my grandmother was living with my husband and I so they figured we were rolling in money.  After that he would call periodically and I would leave messages for him.  He was working 6 days a week as a Chef, so his hours were crazy while I had normal hours, so touching base was difficult.
After I hadn’t spoken to him for a while, I got a call from my mother saying that my brother was exhibiting signs of schizophrenia.  He was in the right age range for onset of symptoms, and he was talking about getting in trouble from the captain if he didn’t have his reports on the aliens submitted in time?  That is the only example of his rambling I can remember, but it was some weird stuff.  Mom started calling all around Seattle trying to get police to pick him up or at least do welfare checks, she called state hospitals and god know who else.  At this point, I don’t know if she actually made all those calls or just kept calling me telling me she did, because she likes to maintain drama between her kids so she can maintain control. 
Once we got him out of Seattle and to Maine, he got better.  I was told he was delusional because of the harder drugs he was taking in Seattle, but once he got away from his wife and other bad influences there, he mellowed out. 
I saw him in the Bahamas for Spring Break 2008, but never spoke to him again after that.  The only good thing that seemed to come out of that trip was that I stopped binge drinking cold turkey.
I haven’t spoken to my mother since March 2009 and as of then all I knew about him now, was that my mother told me he was a severe, yet functional alcoholic as long as you didn’t “let him drink brown liquor”, that evidently is when he got irrational and had a tendency for violence. 
I would like to be able to text/email my brother.  He moves around quite a bit being a Chef so regular mail is out and he never checks his Facebook when I’ve asked for his number, so…
Well this entry has already gotten much longer than I anticipated, so I’ll have to write a sequel later

How could a mother "never like" her child?

This was a refreshing topic to see on such a mainstream program as I have wondered about the same thing most of my adult life.