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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Returning from Hiatus

Hey Readers,

So, I have been on a long hiatus from this blog because my mental health has not been okay. I will be resuming my near daily posting and my investigation into methods of dealing with symptoms as they occur. Of course, I will be sharing these results and ideas with all of you as the time goes by. You may be excited to hear that I have gotten remarried and have been recovering pretty well from my last break down.

So here goes. That's the soft update.

Peace, Love, and Bulletproof Marshmallows

Mandey Tewalt

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Back to God

Hey readers, I am so sorry that I have yet to become active again. Sometimes life just gets in the way. This is gonna be a short and sweet update post that might even make you smile. I promise more regular work soon. Lately I have been driving myself back toward the God of my understanding, and I have returned to AA meetings to get control of some of my old behaviors that put me at risk.

I cannot say my depression is waning. Rather, it seems to be overwhelming me entirely. Either way I can handle this, I know I can. God's working on my heart and I will be back on track as your loving writing lady soon. I promise.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

I Got A Day Job, Then I Lost It

Well, readers, I found a job on Monday.
I started on Wednesday
I lost it today.
I was really good at what I was doing - based on coach expectations. Only I was missing one key factor - they wanted me to have fun making cold call advertising sales. I couldn't do that. It was not fun, it was frustrating and hard to understand. The coach I had was certain that the script that we were supposed to follow was super effective while it did not allow us to practice the great sales ratio of 70% listening and 30% speaking. Instead it pretty much pressed us to put as much pressure on our leads as possible.
I was not having fun and I wasn't enjoying my work. So I was let go from the position.
Oh well. It's not the right spot for me.
I think I am just gonna go to school and work on my nursing degree while working part time and paying what I can to housing. Depends on what kind of job I find before school sets in and I have to make my semester choice.
One thing I can promise, dear readers is that I will not give up on trying to do better this time around.

Peace, Love, and Bulletproof Marshmallows
Mandey T

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Right, Daddy?

It's a moral choice,
right, Daddy?

The demonic screaming
that plagues everything
about me, inside me...

The voices of my abusers
convincing me - even now -
to push everyone away.

The obsessive and crippling fear of
falling asleep
losing too much sleep
getting my face wet
being alone in a quiet place

driving at night
the rain
loving anyone - even my own children - too much

because everyone I love is stolen from me
letting anyone get too close to me
saying the wrong thing
being touched
not being touched

being unwanted
being wanted too much
of creating anything
because there will always be people
who won't like it

of being wrong
of being right too often

needing help
needing attention
needing affection
needing intimacy
needing to be heard
needing to be understood
needing anything

wanting anything at all
because I cannot afford to be greedy
not wanting things
because that makes me apathetic

loving anyone for longer than a few moments
and so much more

But it's a moral choice,
right, Daddy?

The fact that I live my whole life
day in, day out, rain, shine, snow, hail, what have you
in a constant state of near panic level anxiety

But that's a moral choice,
right, Daddy?

Or was the moral part of it
the fact that sometimes
I fall apart,
I lose my grip on my anxiety,
I lose that battle for a split second
and everything inside of me explodes

in a fiery ball of fear
and pain
and confusion
and longing
and hatred

when I am not able to stop the explosion
once it begins, nor until it runs its course
and I am too exhausted to keep going.

These painful,
and terrifying,
and embarrassing,
and confusing,
and crippling experience

is a moral choice,
right, Daddy?

Friday, February 17, 2017

I Am Sorry

Dear Readers,

I've been kinda absent lately. My mind has been overwhelmed with a new symptom that I have been trying to come to grips with. Obsessions. My fear of water has gotten so bad that I am now too afraid of it to walk from my house to the car when it is raining, or from the car into the store if it begins to rain while I am driving there. I have to turn over exactly every 2nd cigarette in the pack, just to stop myself from recounting them every 20 minutes. Lately, I have been crying myself to sleep more - and sleeping soundly much less. If my hair will not allow me to brush it into the formation that best creates the shape that I want, then I will force it to, even if it scrapes my forehead enough times to make the skin stay red for half an hour.

I am losing it.

I have 48 drafted posts for this blog right now. Every morning, and most afternoons, I open this stupid page and I write. I start something beautifully crafted and sincere, and honest... but I have been so insecure lately that I haven't posted anything of any value. One post where I cussed out my father for ignoring and invalidating my disorders. That's it for the last few weeks.

I should be telling you that I had my audition for The Voice, and that they adored me. But, that I wasn't the flavor of the week and should come back on the next casting cycle. Or that I finally finished a set list of original songs to be produced when I have the money to do so. I should be telling you about things that I have succeeded at. I want you to know about them. But I am just not able right now.

So, dear Readers, thank you for understanding that my battleground is sometimes too rocky for much meaningful writing to be done.

I need you more than you know.

Thank you
Mandey T

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Your Questions Were Irrelevant (Warning: Vulgar Language)

So, this last week was my big trip to Las Vegas to audition for The Voice. While there I had a meltdown, and I mean a big one. This time it came on faster than most, between flashing lights, trying to help navigate through the city, and not being heard when I expressed myself my input and discomfort mounted up so quickly that I lost my composure.

During this meltdown, my father compared my Autism to a moral choice to kill someone. He actually believes that my meltdowns are a moral choice and that I can choose to stop having them. According to him, I am using these painful, embarrassing, and frightening episodes to hurt my loved ones intentionally.

So here it is, I am gonna cuss in this post so readers who are sensitive beware.

Who the fuck do you think you are? Were you there when I had to go through the hoops of being diagnosed as an adult? How about the behavior therapy sessions where they tried to help me gain even a little control over a disorder run rampant because you and my mother could not be counted on to really push hard and advocate for me? Where the fuck were you when I cried myself to sleep night after night because I just could not function as a "normal" person in your fucking society? Your questions are fucking irrelevant you sideways cocksucking bitch.

I am fucking sick of people like you. You put your own spin on something that is more painful to live with than it is for you to play the offended bystander for, then you force your cockeyed fucking ideology on me and make me the villain because I have the wherewithal to not kill someone, but not to avoid melting the fuck down. Your God must be so fucking proud of you. Just because you claim the fucking title "recovering hypocrite" doesn't make it okay when you belittle and abuse me for something I fight to control on a god damned daily fucking basis.

First off: this trip was supposed to be about me and my single biggest accomplishment outside of giving birth to my two amazing kids. This was MY thing, and I had a list of things I really wanted to see. Then your bitch of a wife, who I refuse to grant any form of a maternal title, decided that her fucked up ass knew what I wanted more than I did. Fuck that. I wanted to get a photo inside the Hard Rock Cafe, I wanted to get a photo at Diablos, I wanted to watch the god damned fucking fountains while some street kid played the drums on gallon buckets in the god damned fucking background. But no, according to her what I really fucking wanted was to go to Fremont street and have the overhead light show, and the loud concert, on the flashing casinos, and the tips performers, and the peddlers, and none of the fucking cool things that were on my god damned list. When I melted down, it was because I already aware of what "Oldtown" was and what it fucking entailed. I didn't want to fucking go there because I had chosen the things I wanted to see and do around what was reasonable for my fucking SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER! And guess what, while none of you could fucking see me, I was huddled in a quiet place, trying to bring down my sensory input from the goddamned Fremont street bullshit. Three fucking times I had to wrestle not to have another fucking meltdown, and I was just barely successful. Why? Because I had my fucking Sensory Preparedness Kit on hand and managed to destimulate myself enough, regularly enough, and with enough precision that a second and third meltdown didn't happen.

I should not have had to work that fucking hard so you two fucking cocksuckers could do the thing that YOU wanted to do on my only night in Las Vegas. I didn't get to enjoy myself. I didn't get to have a pleasant experience in DownTown Las Vegas. And then, because you believe that being older than me automatically fucking entitles you to just being 100% fucking right all the fucking time, I could not even fucking complain about the unpleasant experience because it would have simply pissed your fucking self-righteous asses off, and I didn't want more unpleasant input from the unqualified fucking peanut gallery. So fuck you, fuck her, fuck your ideology, fuck everything you fucking rode in on.

I don't need that kind of abuse. So learn to think differently or stop calling yourselves god damned intellectuals. You aren't. You are fucking arseways fucking cocksuckers with no fucking mind to spend on your intelligence because you are so fucking wrapped up in abusing others to sate your fucking religious zeal for inhumanity. Suck my fucking cock.

Mandey T.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

You Didn't Have to Hit Me

Dear You,

When we met I found you fascinating. You were fierce and intelligent, and best of all – you liked my weirdness. That first time you kissed me it was like all the dreams of any pre-teen girl coming alive in my whole being. Fireworks sparked off in my brain, my toes tingled, my heart skipped a beat, and I could think of nothing else but you. You never bemoaned my habit of bursting into song; you saw that as a vital and beautiful part of my personality. One time you told me that my uncanny ability to pull up the perfect song for that precise moment – no matter the moment – was one of your favorite things about me. You loved me.

Then we moved in together. You got to see, and get to know, the other side of me. My depression introduced itself to you and made itself clear that my soul was its territory. At home I was anxious and sullen and sedentary; nothing like the ambitious and proud woman you knew when we were homeless, and being out and about was not a choice, but a mandatory part of existing. My anxiety and post-trauma stress marked their parts of me off as well. I saw you trying to love me through it, I promise.

I saw you worrying about me. The way your eyes grew dark whenever that weaker side of me showed up. Then your dark side made sure I knew that there were parts of you I could never have. You see, I have scars on my soul from trying, with those before you, to reach past that ugly self in them and take what did not belong to it back. That’s probably one of my favorite ways to get hurt. But, it just made you resent me.

We were resolved to make our lives work out, together. We got married. I won’t ever forget the way that you looked at me. I wore a wedding dress that was 4 or 5 sizes too big and had pins and clips holding it to me from behind. My hair was fiery red and shaved into a Mohawk. But, damn, I looked good – didn’t I. In your eyes was a look that said: “You are all I have ever hoped to find in all my life and I cannot wait to spend forever getting to know you.”

Then you got a job. My grandparents had been helping me pay our rent for a few months at that point, and that support was running dry pretty quickly. On top of that, I had gotten pregnant with our beautiful little girl. I pressured you hard to find and keep a job. Hurray, you found a good one, which paid full time at better than minimum wage. You had a bus pass that never ran out and a steady income. I am not good at money management and I overstepped often and on stupid things. That resentment I had seen before came back.

Then you said it. “You are so stupid!” And it felt like my whole self had shattered at your feet. I got angry back, and I know I am ugly when I am hurt – and that time I was badly hurt. You weren’t ever quite the same. Suddenly you were totally critical of everything about me. My art was no longer inspiring, intricate, or incredible. No, now it was more of the same, mundane, odd, and useless. My singing no longer drew you in like it had before. Now it seemed only to annoy and alienate you – even though it was the only thing I thought I could do well.

Then I got really sick with the pregnancy, and I was practically bedridden. I couldn’t hold food or water at all, my body grew weaker, I developed a fever, and I lost a ton of weight – from 145 down to 103 in 3 weeks flat. My doctor confirmed that I had developed Hyperemesis Gravidarum and that it was particularly severe. I needed to go to the ER anytime I went more than 2 days without holding fluids or food, and that was a lot. We considered abortion. If I couldn’t get my weight up, we would lose the baby anyway – and possibly me if we waited too long. Then my blood pressure went up, and up again, and up again. I was really sick at this point. You were your grand old self again. You understood that I was weak with your child inside me, and you grew to fit the places my strength had left empty.

You watched me break again at 28 weeks pregnant. I realized, to my horror and agony, that if I stayed pregnant while I had an open case with the Child Welfare department (something you took as part of me and had also stood beside me for) that we would lose our little girl too. No other reasoning would ever have justified what I did next. I surrendered my rights to my older child and closed the case nice and tight. I cried for a few days and sank into a really hard depression. You praised my courage and my strength – even though I felt that I was so weak that you could have been forgiven for euthanizing me.

Then my water broke at only 32 weeks. Almost 2 weeks they kept me pregnant, that hospital did, until at 3 days shy of my 34th week they had to induce me.  Our little girl wasn’t moving, and my stats were nowhere near as good as they wanted. So, we had a baby, 6 weeks and 3 days early. Before blacking out I remember hearing her cry and knowing that she had managed to start breathing. I came to and you’d put her on my chest. She was breathing, and so small that I was frightened of moving her. There were no efforts to nurse; her tiny body was unprepared for that challenge.

We did pretty well as new parents. You went back to work, and I stuck to the business of being a mommy again. I breastfed our daughter faithfully, allowing her to also get formula to help her weight go up, and to give me time to recover from the hard pregnancy and produce enough milk. A few times we got her onto only breast milk and that was always exciting. You praised my hand at motherhood. But then, there was that angry side of you again.

Pretty soon my mistakes seemed to outweigh my successes. You insulted me frequently. I was suddenly worthless, stupid, useless, needless, and inconvenient. When I expressed that I was suicidal your response was that I should do it. You didn’t know that I tried that night. That’s why I went 3 days without breastfeeding at all that first time. I had overdosed, entirely unsuccessfully, on my old antidepressants. I had grown so accustomed to believing what you said about me that, now that you were insulting and attacking me, I believed that too.

You told me I was crazy, so crazy happened more often as I adopted that view of myself. Then stupid happened, as I stopped having any faith in my intelligence and I became anxious about my skills in any field. Next, it was that I was a failure as a mother, and I began to really hate who I had become. I wanted to die more than ever before and I eventually stopped breastfeeding so I could try without risking hurting her. When 3 more attempts were so unsuccessful that they went unnoticed, I relactated and started breastfeeding again, in hopes that it would boost my morale.

Then we lost our home and had to move in with my parents in the High Desert. I guess you could pretty well blame it on my complete lack of money skills. Oh. wait… you did. We fought more often than ever, and your list of descriptives for me grew ever the longer. I was sometimes impressed by the creativity of some of your insults. You believed, after a bad trip a few years ago, that you were literally a god, and my level of imperfection was an insult to you, and to our daughter’s genetics. I cried more often, stayed in bed more, started cutting myself again, started drinking to numb out the wounds you left on who I had become. The more you cut into me, the worse it got, and so you would cut deeper; almost as if cutting parts of me away would reveal someone you had killed a while before that point.

Then you hit me. You slapped me hard across my cheek and I found that old fire in my heart. I ran, leaving our daughter safe in the home of my grandparents – with you parenting. I knew if you hurt her, they would deal with you appropriately, but I was on my own. I think it actually hurt you that I was able to fall in love again after you. You grew colder than before and showed me that it was always about your ego. Then I had to move back in to avoid the winter. We fought again – as was expected – and now you weren’t shy about putting hands on me. Even worse, you told me that I deserved to die. Apparently, you don’t remember it; which means that if someone pushes your buttons enough that you black out and hurt them without any forethought.

You may never grow up. It’s not my place to say. But you do need to know, you don’t have to hit me to hurt me. I know how to handle being physically attacked. Those wounds heal. But here I am, a state away from you right now, and your words echoed in my ears for an hour tonight. That hissing tone of voice, the hatred in your eyes “You deserve to die!”

The crazy thing is… sometimes I still believe you when you say things about who I am. You successfully destroyed all of who I was when we met. But there’s something you should know, right this moment; I am rebuilding from the wreckage. These new and stronger parts of me are like well-grafted branches on the tree of my life. I am better than ever and finding out that I am really good at things. Guess what, I am a freaking awesome mother, and singer, and painter, and sketch artist. I make the best lover, with the warmest of hearts. All the things you made me believe were lies, and you are a devil in your own right for speaking them about me when you knew I would buy it.

There is no hope for our marriage. We will never be able to make it work because you think you have no flaws, no imperfections – that you should not have to put up with anything less than perfection – and I am as I will always be, imperfect and somewhat damaged. That’s just me hun, and I am learning to love that about myself again. You can no longer rob me of my own identity and I will never love you like I once did. Someone else has filled your shoes.

The One That Got Away