Safety, I Scream

Each night the demons return, they scream and grip at my throat

Daylight, they hide in my head and heart. My body has become their cocoon.

I’ve done nothing so terrible to deserve this existence 

Spending each day repenting for sins others have committed leaves me exhausted

Bottles of different colored remedies do little for they cannot control my external life. 

Safety, I scream!

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My Confession: the beginning 

My confession: the beginning 

I am married to a man with schitzoaffective disorder. 

For those of you who are unaware of this chronic mental illness, as taken from WebMD:

Schitzoaffective Disorder:

A mental health condition including schizophrenia and mood disorder symptoms.

Common:

• More than 200,000 US cases per year

• Can’t be cured, but treatment may help

• Requires a medical diagnosis

• Lab tests or imaging not required

• Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong

What is not listed:

Paranoia, delusions, tendency towards addiction, often medication resistant, self absorbed, unaware of bizarre behavior, low functioning and very dependent.

Examples of the disease, common:

• Believing electronics (television or radio) are sending messages specifically to that person

• Conspiracy theories all centered around the person

• Trust issues

• Erratic behavior 

• Fixations on a multitude of possible different ideas – all not real or reasonable

Re: My confession

In choosing to remain with my husband, who has been in FULL blown paranoia and delusional mide for the past year, I am sick.

We have been together for nearly twenty years and married for more than fifteen. There are years that are painless and livable; there are years that break you. 

As he has been so very ill for a year, I am sick and broken. 

My days are dictated by whoever wakes and his mood. I’ve allowed myself to lose my person in an effort to survive his illness. 

Rock and a Hard Place:

Love, obligation, caring, self-esteem issues and fear for him all have kept me hostage. I do love him, there are also days when I cannot endure another moment with him.

Today he emerges from the bedroom just before 1:00pm. The entire house is immediately engulfed in his “mood”; on edge and cold.  

As always, he calls his mother before uttering more than a word or two in my direction. 

My heart hurts because he can be so sweet, funny and living; it’s been a while. Each day I hope and pray that his illness will ebb, leaving room for us to bond again. It’s my daily secret wish: “please let his illness slow, please bring my husband back to me“.

I know that there are people who would have fled this situation.  Some of these people are very much in my life and wonder why I stay on this endless, impossible roller-coaster. I’ve no answer for those who question my sanity almost as much as his. 

Perhaps it is fear

• My fear of what would happen to him

•My fear of being alone

• Fear of abandonment 

• Fear of disappointing him – or myself – or anyone

Eventually he relaxes as we watch mindless television. I rattle off things that I want to get done on this day; I say the words more to motivate myself than for his reaction. Much of what is done in our world is achieved by me, there are days when I begrudgly enjoy the control.  There are other days when I resent all of the responsibility. 

Desperately, I try to save myself and him all at the same time. 

It is no wonder that I’m riddled with anxiety!



Fear

This is what fear looks like:

• Waking up and counting the hours until you can go back to sleep. 

• Not remembering if you showered yesterday. 

• Knowing your husband’s shadowy moods will dictate your day.

• Wishing you had just one friend. 

• Feeling hunger and getting sick after each attempt at eating. 

• Making lists that – wait, you’ve stopped making lists. 

• The writer in your soul has been lost amongst the darkness. 

• Hating the medication. 

• Missing those that I’ve lost but never speaking a word. 

• Desperately wanting to scream – but keeping silent instead. 

• Looking for a higher power because everything and everyone on Earth has failed you. 

• Cursing the darkness and shaking in terror when you are alone. 

• Being finished talking about “it” and what you should or should not be doing. 

• Crying endlessly alone on the inside and acting without pain on the outside. 

• Constantly thinking, “Please send me a direction and I need a friend”. 

• Living in his shadow, wanting what is best for him and fearing the worst at every turn. 

• Praying that you’ve got the right combination of medication to sleep a full twelve hours. 

This is what fear looks like. 

The Final Day of May

I no longer recognize myself in the mirror; I’ve become old overnight. My eyes have fallen behind dark circles and my skin has become sallow.  My once light blonde hair now hangs in strings and strands. 

No matter how long I sleep, I look exhausted. 

Simply far too tired for words, appearing to be an old woman. Nobody would guess my age as the young girl any longer. I have aged exponentially overnight. 

Life has suddenly turned cruel on me.  As have the partipants; I can’t trust anyone.  They keep to themselves and their clan gathers close, leaving me alone. 

No guilt. 

IF I make it through this battle than it will be a miracle. 

I am broken by all of the stress. 

Who will be on the other end of the telephone?  Please let the medication allow me to sleep through the night.  Is it wrong that I want to worry about me?!  

I have needs and fears too, I’m a bad person for not being invisible. 

Monsters & Medication

There are monsters every time I close my eyes. They wait for me and I can’t stop them from coming.

They wake me with a headache that rattles my brain with agonizing pain.

I am FRANKENSTEIN – an experiment.

Test this drug or that one, let’s see what happens to her next.

What has happened is:

• screaming night terrors
• endless binging of the worst kind
• cluster headaches that won’t go away
• mood swings that leave me weak on my feet
• I’m not the same person
• who is that EXPANDING woman in the mirror, the one that is filled with fury and then love?

Are you sure that you know what you’ve created with all of your *magic* medicines?

I can’t stop any of this; a freight train headed for disaster.

If you cannot fix this than I will figure it out myself and take the risks because I cannot live inside the body of this monster.

The one with the insatiable hunger, screams in the night and roller-coaster while the sun is awake.

Monsters need to be stopped.

And so must this insanity.

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Me

It’s me, I’ve changed.
I’m sure that’s what must have happened.
It can’t be that ALL of them have changed.
So, fine it’s me.
Now what?

Now what do I do when it’s obvious that I can’t be around these people?
I can feel my blood boiling and my spoon hits the “frozen yogurt” in a last ditch effort to remain IN CONTROL while I wait for the *magic* to kick in. Ah, yes, if not for the *magic*, I’d probably explode into a rage.

Help me, oh gods of chocolate and *magic* – help me cope!!

Another Day into Night into Day

I’ve no direction any longer.
All that needs to be put away is done.
Her chores are complete.
Nothing I want to purchase in this size.
No job
No desire
No life
No family

But
How the house looks great
I care so deeply for my dog
And husband

Otherwise
I hide this big girl
That the medicines continue to feed
The medicines keep me too calm to move to change anything.

Same day into night.