Category Archives: Listening

The Great Pretender

I an often used as a sounding board for some people. It doesn’t happen as much as it used to and now it’s mostly my sister. Pretty much the only time she talks to me. Personally I think she knows she won’t get much of an argument from me. My stutter prevents this and I don’t want her to stop calling me. I pretty much go along with what she says while in my head I am saying what I really want to say.

I find this behavior pathetic on my part. She’s a right fighter and there is no use in arguing.

Her husband has been sober for about 8 months now. She thought he asked her out on a date to a concert. It turns out his sponsor is going and he’s been asked to lead the AA meeting backstage. It’s a closed meeting. He’s also flying out to L.A. to spend time with a somewhat newly sober singer to talk and go to some meetings there. My sister isn’t happy. She can’t understand why he has to do these things. Why can’t they be a normal family? Why can’t they have alone time? Blah blah blah.

I’ll tell you why. He was close to making it in the music business. He’s incredibly social. He was bullied to the extreme in his childhood and had other things happen. He also had problems with food as did my sister. He has a need to fit in and be recognized. He’s only been sober 8 months. Alcoholism is a selfish disease. We do not think about other people while we are drinking or when we are first getting sober. All I ever saw was my own pain and guilt.

My sister has always looked at how everything would effect her. She’ll try for a little while but it never lasts long. Even when it comes to me. As soon as I was out of the hospital it was right back to not hearing from her. I know I’m needy but the doctor even said to her “you don’t know how close you came to not having your sister anymore”. It didn’t change anything. So I pretend to sympathise with her when I want to scream. I want to tell her “you have a husband that loves you, 2 beautiful children, a house, your health and friends, why are you complaining?” But I don’t. She would hang up and I wouldn’t be able to see the kids. So I keep pretending.

What I Can’t Really Tell People Who Ask About My Bipolar Disorder

The doctors I have been to all agree that my Bipolar Disorder probably started at an early age. I would guess around 12. When anyone asks about being Bipolar I try to inform them as best as I can without scaring them away. If I told them the truth I’m afraid they wouldn’t want to talk to me anymore. But since not a lot of people talk to me anyway I have decided to tell it like it is for me.

I am on medications. I take 3 different meds. I drank heavily for 20 years and have been sober for 6 years. I have trouble socializing. For most of my life I have felt like an outsider. Standing outside a window watching everyone else live. I get an ache inside of me that is almost unbearable. It’s like a gaping hole in my chest that nothing can fill. I feel this way often. I have to go into the bathroom and curl up on the floor with a towel to muffle my sobs. Sometimes it’s so bad I make myself sick. My head hurts most of the time. There is always something in there telling me I’m not enough. I’m a burden, too negative, no one cares, I am invisible.

I often think of leaving this world. I don’t want to die but I don’t want to be here either. No one really hears me when I talk. My family says all I do is talk about my illnesses. If they took them seriously and actually listened instead of telling me what they think I should do maybe I wouldn’t talk so much about them. They don’t know the things I have done and seen or the things that were done and said to me. These things stay with me always. Some were traumatic enough to cause Conversion Disorder. A true case of Conversion Disorder confirmed by 2 experts because a true case is actually rarer than you think. They don’t understand how difficult it is for me when the stuttering starts. They shut me down and won’t let me talk.

Most days I wake up crying and it doesn’t get better until the afternoon. Everyday it gets harder. I run out of things that make me calm or give me a little happiness. I spend most days alone. I am told to make friends. It’s not that easy for me. I can barely get dressed most days. To hear a simple “I love you the way you are we’ll get through this” would help. Maybe. It isn’t easy knowing that people find you annoying and avoid you. So I don’t risk it anymore. This is the truth.

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