So now it is finally time for me to write about my hurt, my anger (which I have come to know is why I was depressed). Anger turned inwards becomes depression. I have a right to be angry. I must become angry and yell it out loud and clear. It will be the only way to save us as a family. If my family can not hear the truth then they will lose me until they can open their minds to the fact that I have been terribly hurt by all that has transpired over the last few years.
I know, as I have said so often, that their intentions they thought were good. But I also know that their intentions were misguided and guided by fear, which I have come to find out is put out there by the devil.
This is getting too serious … time for a cup of coffee and the 50th cigarette I will have smoked in my sister’s home because I will no longer follow her rules especially when her rules are different for me then her. She smokes and drinks in her home.
I will no longer follow the family rule of thou shall not say what we feel in case the other person can’t take it.
My family must think I can take a lot though because this rule only applies to the rest of the family and not me? Because, my God, in the last few years I have been treated like some imbecile that does not even know her own mind or what is good for Lesa.
Only when they can accept that perhaps Lesa does know what is good for her and by my making this public you will know that I am no longer afraid to say what I have been trying to say for so long now.
You do not have the right!!!
Also this book is about lessons. This book is for any mother, father, sister, brother, spouse, significant other who interferes with their sibling, significant other, etc’s life. You do not have the right to tell someone how to live their life and certainly not how to think.
Please understand that my beefs are not about you as an individual but about your behaviour towards me… the ones that have caused me to feel so many sorrows.
How many times have I told you I don’t need your help? All I asked for was your faith in me.
So now to continue with my anger, that has been turned inwards for nearly two years. It is still difficult for me to write about it. My heart is beating quickly. I just took an ativan. Yes, sometimes I do need a pill or a drink to calm my nerves. There is nothing wrong with this. Why do you think wine has been around for so long? And while I have many beefs with pharmaceutical companies, there have also been some drugs that have been invented that have helped people through turmoil. These ones need to be weeded out until we find more natural cures.
Once again I am avoiding the hurt.
I will start with a phone conversation I had with my sister, Carol, during my final week at Jean Tweeds, which I now refer to as Divinity School.
It was a very short conversation; we were allowed one 10 minute conversation. I had used up five minutes talking to my nephew Adam. Carol and I discussed my going home on Friday. I mentioned to her that I would like some time to myself because after talking to so many women for so many days I really did need to clear my mind for a bit. I said I would go to her place for dinner on Friday. I mentioned to her that I was happy that now I could have a drink. Her immediate reaction was to question me once again, as my family has so often done in the past. To not believe me, to think she knows better then me what is right for me.
I was visibly upset but did not have the opportunity to get into it. It was not the place or the time to vent my anger towards her.
I have to get over this in order to start my new life with no baggage. Or very little anyway, because perhaps I will need to bring along a few things with me.
One of the counselors, Maggie, a sweet girl who reminds me of a marionette, saw my upset. She talked to me kindly and I told her that I was disturbed because once again, regardless of what I said, or what professionals have told me, Carol could not believe that I am making an informed decision. Why would I lie? Maggie told me it was very important for me to talk to my counselor about this. I mentioned to her that this involved one of the three goals I had made for the program.
Listen up and listen well. I did not attend the program, as I have tried to tell everyone over and over again because my drinking was a huge issue. I was self medicating and I needed to find out why. And now I know, with out a shadow of a doubt, why I do this. I do this when other people, friends, family, whoever, doctors included, tell me what is right for me despite being me.
No one has the right to try and control anyone’s life. If you are unable to accept this, and this is how it stands right now with my sisters, and I am not so sure about my parents and brother, and some questionable friends, then you are not allowed in my life.
If you can not accept me as I am, I can no longer tolerate this treatment. I have just gone through nearly two years of not believing in myself because I listened to so many mistruths.
This will be a very long venting journal. Also there will be little humour in it because this is not a subject to joke about or sweep under the carpet. This is my circle’s white elephant and I am daring to get it out in the open. I am once again being brave and am now self assured enough to know I will not let the fears of others become my fears.
The next day, after this phone call I attended a group therapy session. Coincidentally the topic was about being hurt. I did not realize at the time that I still had not gotten over the hurt. The counsellors were very astute in getting to the root of the problem.
When it was my turn to talk, the whole truth came out on how I arrived at CAMH. A place now I realize that I was destined to visit, not because I was a danger to myself and especially others. My God, I can’t even kill an ant, never mind harm myself, but for other reasons that will eventually become obvious. I knew when I was admitted that I was there for a reason. I am sure you will find this in my medical records, because it was one of the first statements I made.
How anyone could go along with this is beyond me. Any one that knows me should be able to see that I have a lot of strength. However, I am also susceptible to believing what others say. Another major hurdle for me is to learn is not to care about what others think. This was the break through that my personal counsellor wanted to hear. This was my battle scar. This is my scar that needs to be healed.
I have a feeling that there will be people who will be incapable of hearing this. So I am now practicing through this journal how to handle these situations.
So the details of how I arrived at CAMH without knowing where I was being taken to came out during the session. I have mentioned this previously but honestly I thought I was going to a surprise going away party because I was taking an indefinite trip to Barbados. I now know this was not an unrealistic journey to take and no one should have interfered. What gave them the right? But this has become one of those “reasons” or “proof” that Lesa you were really off your rocker.
My God, some of the justifications my family have made to prove to themselves that they were not wrong. Here are a few of them.
When I first moved into my apartment Janet came shopping with me. I was very happy and energetic and feeling very creative. I was on a mission to have the apartment of my dreams. Well I guess I tired her out because she wasn’t use to walking all day. I was use to walking miles because I had been checking out the neighbourhood for a few months and enjoyed walking for hours… just like I have always done whenever I have been on vacation. I do not know how many times this has come up in conversation in order for them to prove to me that I was not normal?
How everything started or where it started is not very clear to me. But I do know that Carol was researching bi-polar and was in contact with Dr. Arani. He called me once from home to tell me he was concerned about her interference.
Perhaps it started when I started voicing my opinions. I once got angry with my niece Amanda, because she invited a boyfriend over and did not include me in the visit. I felt awkward and was slightly upset also that she was not contributing very much to chores. When I wasn’t working I didn’t mind but I had been working in a very stressful environment so I thought it was time for some payback. After voicing my opinions to Amanda she ran home to her mother and whether Janet thinks so or not I think I was justified in thinking that Janet in this case should have taken sides. What is wrong with my family? Why do they not take sides when the behaviour is obviously wrong? It doesn’t mean they are condoning that person for life. How was Amanda supposed to learn that people have boundaries that need to be respected if these mistakes are not pointed out?
And this has been done over and over again. I don’t want to sound like an outcast but all I have heard over and over again from them is how I should lead my life and hardly ever has anyone taken my side when I do not agree with their version of what I should do.
Anyway, my discussion with the group led to my last conversation with Carol and how she did not believe once again what I was telling her. Even though prior to going to rehab I was told that my self medicating problems were caused by triggers and once I knew what the triggers were Avril thought I would break the barrier. Why can my family not hear this? Should I have written a note and pinned it on myself.
When I finished my story, the group wept for me. I wept for me.
When my sisters visited me at the center I joking told them “bet you I am the only one to go into rehab to find out they don’t have a problem.” They didn’t say a word, as usual, so I assumed, as usual that they were starting to understand, and as usual boy was I wrong.
How many more times do I have to tell them the truth before they will believe me? Well this is the last shot.
I am no longer arguing with you. If you prefer to not believe me that is your prerogative but this time I am not going to believe something only I can know to be true or not. If I am not treated with the respect that everyone in this world deserves then unfortunately we will both lose sisters and that makes me sad. But I know now how dangerous it is for me to feel that I do not have control over my own life.
So when I arrived at Diane’s I called Jim to make arrangements for that evening. Now that I think about it, he sounded like something was up that I was not aware of. I didn’t think too much about it. I called again around five thirty. I had expected to hear from Carol or Janet by then. I left a message but instead of returning my call I received a surprise visit.
Carol and Janet walked into Diane’s house sans wine. I was once again hurt and extremely angry this time. Once again they went behind my back, gossiped, as I have now found out at Jean Tweeds is very dangerous (perhaps that commandant about how thow shall not bear false witness does make sense to me now), and decided between themselves that they were saving me once again. I am not stupid. They created the problem, found a solution, and expected to be my saviours.
Well if you know my family well you would never recall a Friday evening where we didn’t share a bottle of wine or two or three. But of course they have rules for themselves and a different set for me.
It is not easy for me to write this. There is a lot more I could bring up about the evening. But once again I can not bear to recall it. To say I was disappointed in their reaction would be an understatement.
This evening was planned despite whatever I told them or whatever proof I have. It is just too hard for them to admit they are misinformed and are protecting themselves from any responsibility they have played in my life.
There are bigger fish to fry though. This is what I have been investigating.
The day prior to this I was once again brought to CAMH. I am not certain why my counsellor wanted me to see a physiatrist for a reassessment. I will have to get my records one of these days. I was very upbeat and happy during my stay at Jean Tweeds, and I have come to understand now that enthusiasm, or spirituality, may be misconstrued for mania. Any emotion that is not on the so called “normal” scale.
We waited for an hour or so to meet with a doctor. Leslie, my counsellor was in attendance during the reassessment. I answered all questions honestly.
The reassessment took approximately ten minutes.
Shrink: Do you think of harming yourself?
Me: No (thinking why would I want to harm myself?)
Shrink: Do you think of harming others?
Me: No (thinking I can’t even kill and ant)
Shrink: Does the t.v. talk to you, are you getting strange messages? (Something to this effect)
Me: No (thinking well when the sound is on and I definitely do get messages)
Shrink: Are you having racing thoughts?
Me: No (thinking though I have a lot of creative ideas lately, what exactly does racing thoughts mean?)
Shrink: Have you spent large amount of money lately.
Me: No (thinking have been afraid to spend a cent least I end up as a bag lady)
Shrink: Have you been promiscuous lately?
Me: No (thinking haven’t slept with anyone for the past two years in fact)
Shrink: Have you been sleeping irregularly?
Me: No (thinking I have been on a very strict schedule while at Jean Tweeds. What does sleeping regular mean anyway?)
Shrink: Are you unable to concentrate or make decisions?
Me: No (thinking definite no, I have made many decisions lately)
Shrink: Are you more social or outgoing than normal?
Me: No (thinking I have always been social and outgoing)
Shrink: Are you more talkative or speak faster than normal?
Me: No (thinking I am normally talkative. What kind of question is this?)
Shrink: Have you felt much more self confident then usual?
Me: Yes (thinking but that is the reason I am attending Jean Tweeds)
Shrink: Have you done anything risky lately?
Me: No (other than stepping foot in this place once again)
So having answered “No” to nearly all of the questions she asked me what I was doing there. That was my question also.
First though she informs me that she wants to check my files. She comes back approximately 10 minutes later and decides she has made a mistake and that perhaps I may be headed for a manic episode???
Well I must say this annoyed me. How can you basically answer all the questions correctly and then you are told that you are to double up on the medication, Seroquel, which has made my feet and legs swell, gain a lot of weight, and has given me high blood pressure?
Is there anyway of proving you are not crazy? I did not take her advice.
Being back in this institution brought up many negative emotions. I felt like once again I was being railroaded. I started to think back…
Before I finish this journal I want to end off this entry with something that has already given me so much joy. A present from my parents. My best present ever and one that makes it easier for me to forgive all the mistruths.
One that makes me even forgive my sisters for once again calling my parents to come and save me.
My parents brought me a new puppy!!! This showed me that perhaps they may have some faith in me after all. And what a puppy he is! And can you imagine, not too long ago I was mentioning to the girls at Jean Tweeds, that I was planning on getting a dog when I move into my apartment!
TeePoo, a tiny Lhaso Apso, who is the cutest creature you will ever meet, in my opinion anyway. He is also bilingual and a separatist (rebel), coming from Quebec. He is smart, curious, kind, energetic, loveable, funny and a definite show stopper. I always thought I would have a girl but I have a feeling this little male in my life will bring me constant joy and someone to love unconditionally. Also someone who will love me unconditionally. He reminds me of me.