“We can’t let her think we’re unintelligent, T”

My mother is still stressing out over the benefits situation. This morning found her surrounded by bank statements again; double, triple and quadruple checking dates just in case she’s made a mistake somewhere. The living room floor has become a holding pen for pieces of paper, pens and cups of cold tea as she tries to ensure every last little bit of money in her account can be explained. Pension credit. Money my father occasionally paid into her bank for work on the house. Gifts. Every last penny is being accounted for, and it’s driving me crazy.

I don’t know if she’d ever understand this, but they’re investigating me, not her. I’m doing my best to ignore all that’s happened and let it wash over me, but the constant stress of my mother’s obsessive perfectionism is ruining my attempts at coping. I want to slap the bank statements out of her hand and shout at her; tell her it’s my life on the line, not hers, and if I can try to deal with it then she should too. I know that’s a selfish attitude to have, but I wish I could make her see that she’s just winding herself up. The fraud officer… she doesn’t need all this information. I wish I could explain that, but my mother doesn’t hear me when she’s determined to prove some sort of private point to herself.

I had to type out a couple of cover letters earlier, to put in with the collected statements. My mother’s wittering and stressing and tutting… I made so many mistakes, and each time my mother pointed the errors out and said, “we can’t let her think we’re like the others who get accused. We’re intelligent”.

She reads the Daily Mail.

I haven’t felt able to think rationally all day. It’s 1am now, and I’ve been trying to write this post since early this afternoon, with little success. Every time I sit down to type, I get distracted. I get like this sometimes; I go from laid-back and lazy to almost-ADHD within a second, unable to stop my brain running away with itself. Today was one of those days, with a hefty dose of panic thrown in.

All day I’ve been on the edge of tears for no damn reason. I hate it when I get like this. I can remember standing at my teacher’s desk in primary school, being told off for something stupid, and bursting into tears. I felt so ashamed; no other kid reacted like that. I still do it whenever I feel threatened or backed into some sort of corner.

Before we even got to town, I was panicking and snapping at my mother. I didn’t mean to; I just had no control over my emotions. Again, I hate it when this happens… everything in my life is about control and knowing exactly where I am emotionally, and when I freak out it feels like I’m going to die. All the protection I build around myself gets stripped away by anxiety and I feel utterly exposed. Like the whole world knows I’m a big, fat failure.

It’s now 3am. I tried to sleep, but my bedroom is too warm and my mattress is at an odd angle since my mother flipped it over at the weekend. I keep thinking back to today/yesterday, and realising just how much anxiety still rules my life. It’s not just a one-off either; I freaked out at the weekend too, while S and I were in Liverpool. I was frustrated that everything was hurting, and walking was near-on impossible. I couldn’t keep pace with S and even though he tried to slow down for me, I still felt angry that I couldn’t walk normally. That I had to keep stopping and sitting down to give my hips and legs a rest. I felt like I was letting S down; he’d gone to the effort of taking me for a day out, yet I bitched and griped my way around the city.

I tried eating at the restaurant he took me to – a bistro we’d visited before – but even the Greek pizza tasted like disappointment. On the train home, I sat next to S while he chatted to an old man sitting opposite, feeling utterly miserable. I know I shouldn’t let the pain get to me, but sometimes it’s hard not to wish I could just be normal. Just for one day.

We got back to his landlord’s house and sat in the garden for a while, smoking and drinking coffee. We chatted a little, and I made a few jokes about my inability to cope. S seemed unusually introspective, and something inside me decided to take the BPD view on things. I asked if he was okay. S said yes. I asked again. I worried. I thought perhaps I’d ruined the whole day by being me. I said he looked sad; he said he was just tired. It took all my strength not to ask again, to avoid grabbing onto his arm and begging him not to leave me.

It’s now half past two in the afternoon. Managed to sleep, eventually, after going downstairs and stuffing myself with mango jelly. I’m quite proud of myself; I wanted chocolate cake, but forced myself to go for the low calorie option instead. For now, the binge cycle is somewhat under control.

Yesterday ended up being a total disaster. I was angry and defensive to begin with, and my mother commented on my paranoia; something I hate being brought up. I know I’m paranoid. I don’t need to be told. I tried to keep it together as we walked around town, but everyone seemed to be staring at me and getting in my way on purpose, and half way around the shops I realised I hadn’t taken my medication – which only caused me to panic more. Life without the cipralex and beta-blockers is unbearable, and it amazes me how quicky I can go from coping quite well, to a nervous wreck within hours of missing a dose. Especially without the beta-blockers; they slow my heart down and stop me going into the fight or flight response because of entirely ridiculous things.

I complained. Bitched. Moaned. I felt bad, but I couldn’t help it. My brain said one thing and my mouth said another. The pain in my ankle was frustrating me and every tiny little noise set me off. Our main shopping street isn’t particularly big, so it gets very crowded. Even though it was pouring with rain, the crowds were enough to make me feel entirely insecure and vulnerable, and my mother kept telling me off for being irrational, which didn’t help at all.

I’m sorry for this post. I know it’s mixed up and confused. I don’t even know what I was trying to say.

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33 Comments

  1. You were just trying to get the stir out of you. There’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes, the emotions run so high that it just feels like this awful vibration. At least for me. Channeling it here is a good thing.

    It’s really difficult when the people you look to for some grounding are unhinged. It sounds like your mom has really gone off the deep end. My husband, who has always been my rock, has been going off the deep end about many things lately. Losing that really makes things topsy turvy.

    I do hope you are feeling better soon.

  2. Aww sweetie damn I hate you feeling so awful. Your mom’s obsession with making things look right would wear on me. That’s no lie. I cannot stand that kind of chaos around me either. You needed her strength through this and instead she seems to be unable to cope without having the statements to hang on to.

    You & S were just absorbing too much of one another. Being out in public can be hard enough, but when your life feels in turmoil than every little things feels giagantic. Good on you for holding back from asking him one more time. It’s hard to let the guy we love just be alone with his feelings for a while. I always thought in the beginning I needed to know every nuiance of what he was feeling. Now I know Thank God I don’t need to know.

    I wish I could just hug you and tell you that when this is over you’ll look back and think, now why did I get so upset? I promise.

    • I’d really appreciate one of those hugs, I have to say. Maybe one day, and thank you for thinking of me, luv.

      My mother… eh, it’s so hard to deal with sometimes. I try to keep in mind that she’s struggling with her own demons but when I’m stressing out and panicking it’s hard to remember to be kind. She frustrates me so much when she acts like the world’s going to end whenever something out of the ordinary happens. I feel bad for getting angry – I’m not proud – but sometimes I can’t cope with it.

  3. You know better than anyone that you’re going to have days even weeks like this. Don’t let them pull you down. You’re stronger than that! If mom wants to sit on the floor and stress over accounts, let her. You know it’s you they’re investigating. Let her waste her time. Walk away. Go to your room and close the door. Immerse yourself in something that makes you happy.

    • Thank you luv. I do know I’m going to have times like this… I suppose sometimes I forget. I expect to get over it, and need to remember that it’s a long-term thing I’m going to have a problem with for quite a while. I’m not used to being a bit more able, yet… the meds have helped a lot, and I’m getting used to functioning a bit again.

  4. Sending love and hugs to you, and sending up prayers for you. Dealing with all that’s going on for you is a hell I can’t even imagine; I’m not even going to try because I can’t ever imagine what is going on in someone else’s head. I’ll just do what I can and that is pray for you and give a damn about you.

  5. Love from your sister-in-spirit ♥ I looked all over to see if I might have your email address somewhere. Since I don’t, I’m only going to say part of what I want to say now. Selfish, or more acceptably, self-oriented, is perhaps where you should be — I hear you expressing some kind of pain or problem, and then beating yourself up for giving your feelings words. For now, try this: Tell your mum and S. that you are going to try something a little different, so please accept that this is something I have to do. Then, for one whole day, I see you sitting with a pillow, and if something comes up that you feel you shouldn’t say, put the pillow right over your face and scream it, or say it, a couple of times. You may hate it; if so, try only doing this with pain. Every human being who feels pain is not only allowed to say it; A baby cries, a workman hits his thumb — “Shit, that hurt!” — lovers who are feeling joyous about their connection will often talk about their feelings to each other. Everybody does it, because that is how we’re made, or at least, that’s what I think. Maybe you should try it — you might begin to be able to say your feelings without feeling guilty. Then, you’ll be on your way —
    All kinds of love and hugs and support, judith

  6. *big time hugs* I hate those days where everything seems either shattered or about ready to, where everything you try to do only seems to make it worse. I hope it getting at least a bit better, that you don’t beat yourself up over what happened. S has to know you’re a human being, meaning good days and bad. As for your mother… Yeah, sometimes mine drives me nuts too. I try to live a bit of zen every moment, letting go of the things that are entirely out of my control. It isn’t easy, and my mother wants to worry over every little thing. Let’s just say that growing up around her was a challenge.

    This too shall pass though, and I hope it does soon for you. My thoughts are with you.

    • Rarely do I read other comments, even more rare is me to comment on anothers. No reason I just don’t. That being said I need to chime in here and add to Judith’s words of woisdom. First I find her advice kind of spot on concerning relationships with our signifigant others. Its true, that all comes with love being kind.
      Next I want to add that Judith has something here about beating yourself up for normal human feelings. I think you just are really hard on your self.

      I love her idea of screaming into a pillow, I’m thinking that sincce anger is still such a hard thing for me to express in a healthy way. I am now going to be screaming for release. Arrrgggghhh!!

      • Like you, I don’t tend to read other comments on the blogs I read. I do if they’re quite long, because they usually turn out to be interesting, but like you… I just don’t. No reason. It feels nice to see bloggers commenting on other’s words.

        I am hard on myself. Eh, you’re the millionth person to tell me that, and I wish I could take the advice to chill out a little. I do try, and sometimes succeed for a little while, but then I bring myself down over something stupid like my jeans getting tight or having a bad hair day.

        As for screaming into a pillow… done it many times! It does help. As does punching a cushion into submission.

        • Please be especially kind to yourself right now, you’re going through a lot and have a lot to overcome. I understand that getting to where you want to be feels next to impossible. But can you take this promise from a 50 year plus woman that one day you’ll look back and wonder why it ever mattered so much. I find myself looking back on the angsts of my 20’s and now wonder why I let somethings overwhelm me so.
          Easier being said than done I know.

          Just keep looking here at your friends who really do care about your beautiful self, we trasure you and the inputs into our own lives. Gentle hugs sweetheart~

  7. I hate to say it but your mum has created all her own stress. By taking control of your finances, she has left herself wide open. She has to take the consequences of this action, which is the pain of sorting through bank statements for the investigation. It is most certainly not wrong of you to get angry with her and please DO NOT feel selfish. She is projecting all her own anxieties onto you. Sounds like you are coping with the investigation quite well, so don’t let her panic influence you. If she had kept out of your business, she wouldn’t be so stressed now. You are dealing with a lot right now and it isn’t helping that she is pointing out your so-called ‘inadequacies’. It would be weird if you were not angry, resentful and fed up of your health problems. I think it is normal to feel like this and healthy to express it. It doesn’t have to make sense on here. I for one support you massively and am happy to hear whatever you have to say. Love and hugs! xx

    • Thanks so much for he support Laura, much love and some hugs right back at’cha!

      I’ve been waiting for the finances issue argument to happen, because you’re right. If she’d handed over control to my money when I turned 18 (when I stopped being a vulerable young person by law), she wouldn’t have to deal with any of this. All the DWP want is the statements, and she could have ordered them from the bank without having to spend days searching for old statements. It’d have been up to me if she’d been less controlling, and as strange as it seems, I want this responsibility. I want to have to deal with grown-up things like other people my age.

      Thank you for reassuring me I’ve acting in a somewhat normal way. I’m always scared I’ll lose it again. xx

  8. Your mother is being very smart. Because your benefits go into her account she needs to show that they are being used for you. She may not need them so meticulously done, but better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them.

    I know that you are feeling stressed, anxious, frightened, paranoid, frustrated and overwhelmed. Don’t beat yourself up for your reactions, they are going to happen and we know they are going to happen. Breath deeply and try to let all this wash over you like a wave on the beach.

    Love, hugs and happy thoughts my friend.

  9. Love,
    You ARE normal…it’s your normal and not anyone else’s or based on the expectations of society. There’s a pic and quote of Einstein’s going around on fb that references the fact that … hold on … let me find it…ah here it is, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
    ― Albert Einstein

    I know it’s much easier said than done, especially when symptoms get in the way, but accepting that normal isn’t real and everyone’s normal is different and that your’s is as well, might help with the coping a bit.

    In the meantime, know that even though it feels you are alone, you are not. You are loved.

    Blessings,
    Kina

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