The Anxiety is Strong With This One

Tapering off of xanax is the hardest thing that I’ve ever done.

I have been sexually abused, raped, beaten, kicked out of my home when I was 16 and pregnant, forced to have an abortion, cheated on, been ignored, laughed at.  My house has burned down and I lost absolutely everything I owned.  I’ve huddled over my children underneath a water pipe in the basement as a tornado went over our house – twice.  My oldest son was born 2 months premature and we both nearly died in the process.  My youngest son was born and immediately started having seizures from withdrawing from a medicine that my doctors told me I needed to take and wouldn’t hurt my baby.

Xanax withdrawal is harder than that.

At my highest dose I was taking 12mg a day of Xanax.  That is A LOT.  I had been going along just fine, really, and then my life fell apart when I developed a severe phobia of the only transportation available to get to my job – a ferry.  Without the ferry there was no way to get to the city to work.  I had 2 major panic attacks every day while trying for months to overcome the phobia – one in the morning on the way to work, and one in the evening on the way home.  It was a 45 minute ferry trip each way, and the entire trip was spent hiding in a bathroom, sitting in the First Mate’s office, laying down on a bench, or hiding in any other way that I could find – even in stairwells trying to convince myself that I was in a building that wasn’t moving, and not on a giant steel boat in the middle of the water with no chance of rescue should I drop over and start to die.  At that point I had been having panic attacks for about 16 years, since the age of 19.  I was taking 3 to 4mg of xanax a day, but quitting that job in the city brought a whole host of new stressors into our lives.

We couldn’t afford to live in our nice house anymore and had to move into ex-military housing that had been remodeled into small, ugly, cramped living space with really scary neighbors.  Our car was repossessed in the middle of the night and the tow truck driver threatened to hurt me because I honestly did not know where the valet key was.  My husband’s job was in jeopardy because of the many, many days I begged him to stay home with me and not leave me alone to deal with the panic by myself.  One night it became too much and I had – truly – the worst panic attack to date.  I called 911, and I had never done that before.  I was absolutely certain, without a shadow of doubt, that I was going to die.  I made my husband put our youngest son, who was 5 years old at the time, in his bedroom with the door closed and a radio on so he couldn’t hear or see the paramedics.  I did not want him to witness his mother’s death.

Obviously I didn’t die, but my husband did find a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner that was able to see me fairly quickly.  From the 3 to 4mg of Xanax per day that I was taking, she immediately bumped me up to 12mg per day.  2mg every 4 hours.  I continued to take that dose for a while.  I had no life, but that wasn’t unusual.  My husband had to keep a chat window open at work the whole time he was there and talk to me if I needed it, and I needed it.

Eventually I was able to taper myself down to 8mg per day, and it was really difficult.  The lack of Xanax was causing withdrawal symptoms that were like anxiety on steroids.  Horrible headaches, nightmares, tremors, constant…constant shaking and body aches.  It was pretty bad.  But now it’s even worse.  I was on that high dose of 8mg of Xanax for nearly 7 years.

When I quit my job, and got through my final two weeks, and just before my birthday that year, I promised myself that I would keep busy.  My first day of not working I went into the Obama campaign headquarters in my town and volunteered for the phone banks.  Nobody was very friendly and I felt extremely awkward, which led to anxiety, and so I just never went back out again.  I pretty much didn’t leave my house for the next few years.  I couldn’t get further away than 5 blocks – and that had to be in a car, in the passenger seat, while ONLY my husband drove.  Not that I knew anyone else that would drive me someplace anyway.  Or…knew anyone at all for that matter.   So, basically for the past near 7 years I’ve been inside my house and not even looking outside.

The PNP (psychiatric nurse practitioner) only refilled my prescriptions and sent me “Lighten Up” forwards from a hypnosis-based weight loss clinic.  I received no therapy other than medicinal.  Obviously I didn’t get better.

And then things started getting better.  We moved into a nicer home for two years, but our landlord was literally insane.  She was a psychiatrist, but retired.  She was constantly coming by our house very drunk, but because my father had been an alcoholic I knew it was more than just alcohol.  Then she talked about the pills that she took.  Ahh, mixing drugs and alcohol certainly would explain her psychotic calls and emails to us.  Wild accusations of killing 40 year old Clematis (that had been dead many, many years before we moved into the house.)  Constant threats.  We were being terrorized and felt trapped.  Then her husband committed suicide and that is when we knew we really had to do the healthy thing and get the hell away from her, but the problem was that we couldn’t afford any of the houses on the island we lived on.  Amazon had come into Seattle expanding more and more, and this bumped up the price of rental houses an insane amount.  To move into a rental unit you need first and last month’s rent, and a deposit in the amount of the rent, plus any pet deposits of $500 each.  Also, good credit.  (Ours had been ruined because I had quit my job.)

A week before our son was scheduled to start 5th grade we found a house in the next town over.  This was a HUGE relief because we had given our 30-days notice of intent to vacate, and had found a small apartment, but that fell through at the last minute so we were looking to my husband’s friends and asking for help…we were facing living in a basement, but we were okay with that – anything had to be healthier than staying in that house with the crazy landlord.

It was $1,650 per month, though.  How do you come up with over $5,000 move-in costs when you’re absolutely broke?  You do what we did, if you’re lucky enough to have that option, and cash out of your 401k, and you get enough extra from that loan so that you can also buy a car (even if it was at a “We Finance Anyone, But Prepare to be Ass-Raped!” places.)

Suddenly we had a very nice house again, and a very nice car.  Sure, the car was older, but it didn’t look it, and that made us feel like decent human beings again.  We thought things were starting to really get better, and I suppose that they were for a while.

A few months ago, just after the 4th of July, I started working again (for my sister, as you can read in past blog posts.)   That made me start to feel really useful, and at that point I had been seeing a psychologist for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for about 2 months.  I was starting to really push HARD to step out into the world.  And I did make progress.  I was able to – for the first time in 15 years – drive by myself.  Yes,  it was only 3 blocks, but it was progress.  The panic attacks continued, though.  Then, the shit storm hit.  My PNP found out that I was seeing a psychologist and they happened to know (and hate) each other.  This infuriated my PNP and she decided that she wasn’t going to prescribe me Xanax anymore, so she needed to taper me off of it very quickly.  I’ll keep this very brief and only say that she had me go down 4.5mg in 2 months and I seriously thought it was going to kill me.  The CBT stopped helping and my sister had some sort of psychotic break and lost the business that she was taking over, meaning that I lost my job as well.

Back in August I could not reach my PNP to get a refill of Xanax.  I called well in advance to both her office and cell numbers and left messages.  I sent emails.  The pharmacy faxed in two refill requests that went unanswered.  The last call I made to her – the last message I told her that I only had 3 doses of Xanax left and because it was Friday night, and I knew she didn’t work on the weekends, that it would mean that I would have to go to the hospital if she didn’t “PLEASE!!!!” call or fax in my prescription, and that I would be completely out of medication on Sunday morning.  Still no response.

I ended up going to a local Urgent Care center in a panic, and the doctor there very kindly gave me enough xanax to get through to where I could see a new provider.  My husband had made an appointment for me for 2 weeks from then and it’s a real miracle that I even was accepted as a patient.  There simply aren’t enough mental health care providers to treat the number of people in our county.  Our county has nearly doubled in size in the past few years, but mental health care providers are all either retiring or over-booked.  I was turned down by 10 other doctors.  Turned away, I should say, with no ideas from them on who else I could try or where I could go.  So yes, it was amazing that I was able to find this new doctor, and even more surprising that he was an actual psychiatrist, and only in his 40’s – not ready to retire any moment!

My old provider had terrorized me for years.  Always held the threat of withholding my medications if I didn’t do or say exactly what she wanted me to do or say.  It was truly awful.  When I first saw my new psychiatrist it was such a huge relief that I cried.  He was kind.  He was compassionate.  He halted the Xanax taper and allowed me to stay at the same dose for another month before planning any further reductions.  I was able to breathe again and feel a sense of hope.

And then my old provider emailed me.  I got the email this morning with her acting as if nothing had ever happened.  She had attached a prescription to the email; a copy of the prescription that she had sent to Rite Aid.  I do not know why she would think that she was still my provider after she failed to do any providing, and after the voice mails that I left for her, but yep…there it was.  An email from her.  Oh, and the best part was that it was for doses to be taken starting on September 31st.  (Wtf?)

Needless to say I was angry.  When I get angry I get very anxious and my heart starts pounding really hard and fast, and I get really hot.  That was the state I was in when I wrote back to her with this:

I literally thought you were dead.
That you sent me this email with this prescription is so completely baffling that I am going to have to forward it to my psychiatrist to review so that they will know exactly what I’m talking about at my next visit when I am learning to deal with the anxiety that you, personally, have caused me.  I do not say this out of anger, but rather with complete sincerity.
Then she wrote this in return:
I telephoned you several times last month  and spoke with your son.  Did you not get the messages?
And my final response to which I am hoping she doesn’t reply to…and keep in mind that I was incredibly angry and anxious when I wrote this, so I realize that there are a few typos and it may be a bit disjointed, but I had never spoken to her (or anyone!!) like this before because I was terrified that she would stop treating me.  (And my son, but that’s a whole other story!)
My cell phone log only shows 1 call from you on 8/21 at 12:37pm and I was at work that day.  My son may have answered the phone, but he passed along no information.  The last voicemail I got from you was on 7/16 and it had no useful information other than “I called.” in it.  Prior to that, the last two times you dialed my number was 7/16, and 6/2, both times I responded via email, but received no follow-up from you.
The last time you called our home number was on January 13th.
So, not several calls last month, but only one where you did not even make contact with me.  You didn’t respond to two faxed refill requests from Rite Aid, and you didn’t ensure that I had a prescription for when I was scheduled to have finished the previous prescription of Xanax even though I emailed as well as left voicemails on your office phone and your cell phone requesting a refill.
As for emails – the last one you sent to me before today was June 24th, although I emailed you on 7/3 and 8/20 with concerns, but got no responses.
Were you trying to rely on a 12 year old boy who you know is being treated for attention difficulties to relay very important information regarding my medication with that call on the 21st, or was it to simply say that you had called and assumed that he would tell me?  Regardless, no.  I did not receive any “message” that you may have left with him, which is why I took the pharmacist’s advice and went to Urgent Care on Sunday the 23rd.  The prescription that you attached to your email this morning says that it was written out on 8/26, which makes no sense to me since you say it is for my “next prescription” on 9/31?  The 31st of September isn’t even a date that exists.
It was with a great deal of effort that I was able to see xxxxxxx xxxxxxxx  at xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx and explain my situation and be referred to the section head/psychiatrist at xxxxxxx xxxxxx.  He described the tapering schedule that I had been following as quite aggressive and completely unnecessary.  I will continue to see him for treatment, as well as (my psychologist for CBT), and taper at a more realistic and less aggressive rate, as there is no apparent rush to take me off of xanax after taking it daily for 24 years, especially as I do still actually suffer from what he referred to as the worst case of panic disorder with agoraphobia that he has encountered in his career.
Therefore, you can absolutely call Rite-Aid and cancel the xanax prescription you may have faxed to them with the understanding that you are no longer my mental health care provider.

So, yeah…a tad furious.

I really hope that she doesn’t write back because I’ll panic if I see a response from her in my inbox.  I would think, though, that if no email comes tomorrow that I’m in the clear and can put her in the past where she belongs, and really start to heal from having taken such an extremely high dose of Xanax for so many years.

To be honest, my psychiatrist said it may take up to 3 years to completely taper me off of Xanax, and that worries me, but at least the cuts are only a quarter of a milligram a month instead of a half a milligram every two weeks.  He said he has a lot of experience tapering people off of doses of 6 to 8mg a day, so I’m grateful for that.  I had described all of my symptoms of withdrawal and all of them are normal, thank God, and my big question to him – would my short-term memory ever recover?  It will.  What a relief.

But let me say again that even today, at this point, the withdrawal symptoms are really fucking terrible.  There are times when I can’t type because…well, I just can’t!  My brain simply doesn’t work.  Noises become ROARING loud and I cannot hear what my husband is saying to me.  I am in a constant state of elevated anxiety – it just simply never stops.  Ever.  The shakiness never stops.  Off balance?  Always.  Everything – absolutely everything feels “off” somehow.  And yet, all of that is normal he says, and I have to trust him because I have to believe that there is hope for me.  It’s my last hope.  It’s my last chance.  I want to live and I want a life with people in it.  Friends.  People who might send me a card, or write an email to me.  A phone number in my cell phone that isn’t a family member or doctor.  I can imagine it, and I want it desperately, and so I’m not giving up no matter how much worse it gets.  I will get off of the Xanax or I will die trying.

So yes, this is absolutely the worst thing that I have ever endured, and the next three years might be this bad, but I have to be okay with that.  I’ll be almost 47 years old at that point, and I hope that I’ll have at least 20 years of life left to maybe enjoy some things.

I’m tired of being the forgotten one.  Most of all I am so, so sorry for what my anxiety has taken away from my children and my husband, especially my husband who has had to devote every single day of the last 15 years to making sure that I was protected from absolutely anything that might trigger a panic attack.  He is exhausted.  He is no longer him, and that’s my fault.  I really can NOT fail him, but also, I can’t fail myself.

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Friday Wasn’t a Nice Day

My dog just bit a 5 week old kitten.  Jada has bitten before, but never another animal, and certainly not a tiny kitten that simply walked next to her.  She’s bitten my friend, as I said in my first post on this blog, and my youngest son, and my husband.  And me.  It’s time to do something about this, I realize now.  I don’t know how to afford behavior modification or medication, so I have a lot to think about, and that’s hard while she’s been relegated to the outdoors for the evening and is currently scratching furiously at the door.

But, that wasn’t the worst part of my day.  I suppose my heightened (read: extreme) anxiety for the day was justified, really.   I got a text just as I was laying down to go to sleep (after a sleepless night) at 6 AM from the boys (who I took in) mother.  Today was her oldest son’s birthday, and I had gone out late last night to get him a small cake and a card so he’d have that when he woke up – of course we had to put it downstairs on his bathroom counter in a plastic container because he doesn’t actually ever come upstairs other than to use the front door.  Anyway, his grandmother was supposed to drive up here to drop a gift basket off that she’d made for his birthday.  She was going to drop it off at his school.  She is disabled so she had to arrange for a driver.  That’s what their mom texted me about at 6am – grandma isn’t going to be able to make it afterall so what could I do to help?  And I wanted to help, but my husband was just getting ready to walk out the door to go to work and I was ready to pass out from exhaustion so I said I’d think on it and get back to her.  I only got back to her at around 6:30pm after talking to my husband when he got home from work, and he said we could run down to the grandmother’s house (a good hour round-trip) to pick this basket up, but then the mom never got back to me.  The boys came home at 10:45pm tonight and I only saw them for 5 seconds.  (Not an exaggeration.)

Their dad had called my husband and via that exchange I got reamed out because apparently I have to have his permission to have the boys see their maternal grandmother.  Someone could have told me this before.  However, I never said I’d arrange for that…I was just going to give him a gift from her to her grandson.  I told the kid’s mother that if SHE arranged a meeting with the boys and her mother – meaning that she cleared it with their dad – that I would ensure that it happened.  So, yeah, their dad is really pissed at me because I’m talking to his ex, and only the oldest boy is talking to his mom.  I hear horrible things from both parents about each other, and I’m tired of being in the middle, and honestly?  I’m tired of having two ungrateful teenagers just coming here to sleep every night.  I want to help them, and they are headed down a very destructive road, but I’m powerless to do anything about it.  The crazed mother of the oldest boys girlfriend OWNS their lives and is golden in their dad’s eyes, so she gets to make more decisions than I ever have.  I have NO control of this situation, no respect, and it’s starting to really get under my skin that the dad is telling my husband what I should be doing and not doing.  Hey, I have an idea!!!  Save up for an apartment that your kids can live safely in and then I won’t have to be involved?  Just a thought.

I need the room anyway.

My middle son called me tonight crying his eyes out.  His boyfriend, who he has been with for two years now (and cheated on him in the first 3 months of their relationship) has been chatting sexually with other guys online, on the same website where my son met him.  He had been at a music festival and was supposed to be having a great time, but he got drunk and then really upset, and then decided to walk the hour-walk home while on the phone with me.  I wish he would have taken a cab.  He is so hurt that his boyfriend wants to cheat.  He is desperate for intimacy that he hasn’t had in three months.  When you hear your child crying that he wants to come home it literally tears you up inside.  I immediately got sick to my stomach.  I was helpless, and then his phone died.  He only called me when he finally got home a half hour later.  So I picked up the phone and it wasn’t him, but rather his boyfriend, and I could hear him crying – no, sobbing in the background.  His boyfriend said he’d have him call me in the morning, and now I’m worried sick about him.

He’s built up a real life, has an amazing job and has been promoted.  He’s in school.  He has a dog.  He is 3,000 miles away from me and I can’t just go pick him up.  I can’t teach him that it’s okay to run at the first sign of trouble, although that is what I want him to do – just come home and let me take care of him.  I don’t know how to handle whatever he says tomorrow morning, and I’m so worried about him.  I hope that I’ll say the right things and leave my “momma bias” out of the conversation.

My oldest son, though…at least he sent me an email with some good news.  I needed that.  I really did.

He said that he was sorry that he didn’t get back to me the other morning, but that his new “possible boyfriend” had come over and they’d spent the last two days talking.  He sounded really very happy, which means the world to me.  My oldest has been through so much, and has been so lonely.  I want him to find someone so badly.  I want that person to see how amazing he is and to show him some tenderness.  I haven’t been able to do that because he moved away, 3,000 miles away, when he turned 21 five years ago.  Again, he’s been through hell and I haven’t been able to be there for him.  I just want him to be happy.  He deserves that.

He also mentioned that his stepmother was home, and “wearing a pant suit,” which means, apparently, that she was headed to her lawyer’s office to start a lawsuit against her family and the doctors who treated her in the psychiatric facility.  Her parents did endanger her job by calling her CO and telling them what was happening.  Not good.  I hope things work out for her.  AND I hope she gets the help that she needs.  Also, my son needs some of that weight lifted from his shoulders.

So my sister emailed me at around 3:30 and I got the email a few minutes before my husband got home, so around 6:20pm.  Apparently the owner of the shop who she is suing responded to a letter from her lawyer with information of his own, which included information that I had given him.  Her email to me was incredibly threatening, to the point where I started panicking and shaking.  I know that I must sound like an absolute wuss, but I’m actually not.  I am just truly terrified of her.  Oh, hell, I’ll just paste the email in here:

If you are trying to work with (owner) for money as a paycheck then you better show them the taxes that you moved from the sales tax of money that was accepted and you said that you moved or I will assume that you moved it to your own personal account and you will have to deal with them on that. I will give you until the end of the weekend to make some defense that I can add to my response to his attorney accusing that you never moved that money and my suspicions that you moved it to your own account.

I don’t want you involved in my life any more then you want me in your yours but if you don’t want to help me answer these questions then I will have no choice but to have the lawyers involved contact you and when you don’t answer your phone or emails to them I am more then sure they will send someone to get the answers they are looking for.
The hours you’ve told them you worked with out pay is highly exaggerated and easy to prove so I’d suggest helping in the problem since (owner) is more then happy to throw everyone under the bus, you can’t possibly believe after seeing his book keeping that he wont throw you under as well just so he doesn’t have to prove all of the things he’s been covering up with the business.
I’m only asking once.
I just need to defend myself here.  My sister took credit card payments from customers via a Paypal swipe card and never moved that money into the business account and no taxes were ever paid on those sales/services.  She simply treated it as a cash account, and although it is true that she did transfer money to my Paypal account from that money, I have already told the owner that she did that.
I don’t understand why she’s mad at me.  All I did was leave the shop without saying anything.  That is ALL I did.  I didn’t say anything to her.  I didn’t act strangely.  I stole nothing.  I didn’t DO OR SAY anything wrong!  I walked on eggshells around her and was careful in how I spoke so that she wouldn’t get angry.  I took a lot of really bad treatment from her because I supposed that she was just really stressed from starting a business and I wanted her to succeed.  She was extremely mean to me and eventually to my youngest son, but me?  Every single day – just saying the meanest shit that had nothing to do with anything!  I tried my hardest to get her through everything, but all it did was end up fucking me over.  Apparently walking out of work to avoid a massive conflict (because I KNEW she wasn’t done yelling about things just because the owner had given up listening to her yelling and walked out the door) to her meant – somehow – that I was a backstabbing bitch who never wanted her in my life again.  It makes no sense to me, either, trust me.
So, she threatens me that lawyers are going to send people to my house TO GET ANSWERS (uhm, yeah – it doesn’t work that way!)  She threatened me about the hours that I told the owner I’d worked without pay, but I have it written down because – get this – I’m not a moron.  Also, I never found ANY evidence in the owner’s bookkeeping that he was doing anything even slightly shady.  The only thing I would say is that he could have been better at remembering to mark invoices as paid so that it was reflected properly in Quickbooks.  He just kept all of that information in his emails to fill in the blanks later.  I just happen to prefer to do it immediately.  The man is NOT shady.  He was above-board.
Then the final threatening sentence.
“I am only going to ask once.”
And then what?
See?  I act like it doesn’t bother me, but truly – I am actually very upset by that.  It’s an open-ended threat, of course, but it still scares me.  Is she going to come to my house and get violent?  Is she going to scream and yell at me and my son again?  (Thank GOD she left my house key on my dining room table the day she came by and took her camera and tablet while freaking out on us.)
I thought long and hard, as best as I could, about what to do about this email.  Then I talked it over with my husband and did what I thought was the best, and most right, thing to do.  I logged into the business Paypal account (I am the only one with the password, although she knew it at one time she forgot it.)  After doing that I made a PDF of all of the transactions, and then another one of all of the withdrawals from the account.  I then sent both PDFs via email to her, her attorney, and the business owner.  In the email I told the owner that if he wanted to take over that account that I would change the password and then email that information to him so he could have it.  Anyone who received the email could see that I offered that.  I just want NOTHING to do with this crap other than to get my paycheck for the hours that I expected to work.  That’s right – not the hours that I actually DID work, which was 457.5 hours over 41 days, but a compromise of 328 hours over 41 days because I didn’t feel that it was fair to the business owner to pay for my sister’s crazy need to keep me at the shop for 11 hours almost every day without a lunch break, so I adjusted the hours owed to me down to what an 8.5 hour day, minus a 1/2 hour lunch, would be.  328 hours.  And that is all I want.  I definitely don’t want to be involved in a fucking lawsuit because she’s doing underhanded shit to a decent guy!
Then what happened?  Oh, well, the most upsetting is trying to soothe my 12-year-old son and swear to him that the dog had not killed his favorite kitten, the little gray one.  He’s been sobbing and cuddling the kitten for about 2 hours now.  I’ve tried to reassure him, but he’s just really upset.  (Do they make doggie Xanax?  Because my dog needs doggie Xanax!!!)
Random news – went to my mammogram yesterday and it was normal.  Had to reschedule my yearly internal because – of course – it was a random “that time of the month.”  I am always “off” by about 2 weeks when I’m supremely stressed out.
God,  the fucking dog scratching at the door.  What am I going to do?  She is now whimpering.  This is my DOG.  I love this dog so much and she’s been so precious and dear to my heart for nearly six years, so I just don’t understand this behavior, and I’m scared of what this could mean for her.  It has to be medication and behavior modification – I will NOT ever give up my dog.  (But I can’t have her biting people and animals!!)  😦  I also can’t afford a huge veterinarian bill right now.
Oh, one last fucked up thing – my friend who is being treated for breast cancer – well, she had chemo, surgery, and now is at the stage where the she is cancer-free, but has to have some chemo, and daily radiation; she is having a horrible reaction to the radiation.  She has received five treatments, yet her breasts (when the doctors examined her) appeared as though they’d been through 15 treatments, and she is really very unwell.  She was able to skip radiation yesterday and today, but will resume on Monday – and then possibly chemo on Wednesday (thank GOD it’s not the chemo that makes her sick, though!)  I just don’t understand why every step of the way has been riddled with trouble for her…it’s just not fair.
She really wanted to go to an event tomorrow where there is a decorative glass company that makes a whole bunch of these little glass pumpkins (Halloween is her absolute favorite holiday) – and she wanted to photograph them and hopefully be able to afford to purchase one.  My husband and I were supposed to go with her.  Now it’s 7 hours and 15 minutes until we’re supposed to meet her there, and I still don’t know if she’s going to be up for it.  I hope so much – for her – that she is feeling well enough to go.  She’s wanted to go for several weeks and has been really looking forward to it.
Okay, so I’m sure the shit is going to just explode on the fan when my sister gets the email that I sent and sees that I sent it to her lawyer and the shop owner as well.  Meaning that I’m sure that I’ll have plenty to write about this weekend.
Wish me luck.

This Explains A Lot – Email Filled with Expletives I Wrote to My Oldest Son

First of all, how are you doing?  How is (your stepmother) doing?  What happened there?  I hope she’s okay.  😦  I don’t know if you can tell her that I hope she’s feeling better, but I really am.  Mental health issues are such a fucking bitch.  Is she taking medicine to help with it?  I imagine this must be incredibly stressful for you.  Don’t take it out on your body, though.  Get enough sleep and eat as well as you can.
So, want an update?
I don’t think (my sister) will ever talk to me again.  For real this time.  She has gone so far off the rails that she’s in the river at this point.  In no way am I even close to joking – that girl is crazy, and I feel bad for her because she doesn’t know that she needs help.
Fuck.  I’m not sleeping, and when I do I have bad dreams and nightmares, so I don’t even know where to start.  Mix that in with going down on xanax – I’m at 5.5mg/day from 8 to 10mg/day in July, and I can’t think straight unless I get sleep, but I can’t sleep because of the withdrawal symptoms.  Ugh.  So, while I tell this story, please forgive me if it’s all over the place.
What Is Going On In Mommy’s Life – by Mommy
About ten days ago I saw a posting on one of those local Facebook groups about these two boys who were going to be homeless and needed a place to stay.  Of course I offered your bedroom and the downstairs areas.  It was arranged that I would take them in for a few months.  Their dad had gone to jail several months ago for like, a day, for something stupid but not in any way violent and when that happened their mom decided that she was going to leave her husband.  She wanted to leave super fast, and so she had the kids help her pack some stuff up, the moving truck pulled up and the kids had packed their bags, and when the truck got there their mom announced that she would be going alone.  At first she said she was moving to a new house across town, in (local town), but she ended up in Arizona with her parents.  The kids were like, wtf?  She just left them there!  (Youngest boy) just turned 12 and (Oldest boy) just turned 15 – way way way too young to be going through something like this.
So their dad goes into a deep depression and starts using heroin for some fucked up reason.  This is a completely normal, middle-class family guy, and he just couldn’t take it that his wife left.  He stopped paying rent and going to work.  A few months go by and he starts going back into work regularly, but never paid the rent and so he didn’t notice that his landlord had posted an eviction notice.  So finally, 3 days before the sheriff was due he decides to start moving out.  Except he had no place to go, and he didn’t tell the kids anything about the eviction.  He had some friends help him take stuff to a storage unit.
Well, a day or so later the kids are walking home from the skate park and their dad is at work, and they get home and the house is padlocked by the sheriff.  They, again, are like, wtf?  So the oldest decides to take his brother next door and his dad never came home that night, so he decides they’ll just sleep there that night.  That was fine for one night, but not any longer than that.  So their dad gets them and takes them to stay at this crack house with like 8 other adults, where they stay a night.  At this point his girlfriend tells her mom what’s going on, and she (her name is (not nice lady), and like all (not nice ladies), she’s an airhead/bitch – although this one is not totally heartless) she takes them into her house.  It’s all good and she’s got money and a lot of help from her husband, it’s a good family, but she can’t keep the boys there because her older 16 year old daughter hung herself (unsuccessfully) and then a few days later ran away to Portland.
So that’s the night that the boys came to stay with me.  They are like, shell-shocked.  They don’t come out of their room.  They don’t use the kitchen.  We put another bed in that room but the younger one always sleeps in the same bed as his brother.  It’s fucking sad as hell.
So I don’t know how long I’ll have them, but I do hope that they come out of their shells soon and are okay.  They started school yesterday – and the bus has to come from (their original town) to get them, so they have to be at the bus stop at 6:55am for that, or they have to switch to (our local school), which they definitely don’t want to do – and nobody wants to disrupt their lives further, so that makes sense.
Okay, now – work.  So it’s been 2 full months since I started working with (my sister) at the  shop and things were going okay. I learned a lot, kicked ass, and did a lot of great things even though she was stressing every day and freaking out on me constantly.  I just bit my tongue and figured that she was stressed, so whatever.  But she kept getting worse and worse.  Every day she was saying HORRIBLE things about the guy that owns the place and is just giving it to her, training her in every aspect.  All day long that’s all I heard – how he is out to sabotage her and ruin her life. She got more and more paranoid about it.  It started to freak me the fuck out because she started to get paranoid about other things, too.
Like, the owner used to have this lady come in and do some work for him, and when (my sister) took off to PA in mid-July for her nervous breakdown and was gone for 2 weeks I hired (that same woman) to help me work. She was AMAZING, really.  And super nice.  The day that (my sister) first came back to work and met her she HATED her.  She called her a redneck hick (to me) and talked down to her.  She was so nasty to her.  So we go in the next morning and I check the work email and (the woman) emailed that someone drove by and saw her truck there, and told her boss, and he said that she can’t work a second job, especially at a competitor, so she couldn’t come in anymore.  Of course that’s not possible because she had parked her truck behind some fucking bushes, but it’s a good story and an easy way to say “I’m not working for psycho bitch, but thanks for thinking of me.”  So(my sister)  starts saying that (this woman) saw all the things she was doing and is conspiring to start her own company, buy a building, and take all of her customers.  I’m like “what in the actual fuck???”  Why would she want to do that?  She’s 62 years old and in NO WAY interested in doing that!  She lives near (far away town) – she is not a threat to (my sister) at all, but she wouldn’t stop saying these paranoid things about her.
There’s other stuff, too.  Like, totally believing that when we ordered fabric that the lady who took our orders when( my sister) called them in wasn’t actually sending us as many yards as we’d ordered but was charging us as if she had – or that she was billing our account for things we never ordered.  I had to keep going online to the bank account in front of (my sister) to show her that nothing like that happened.
Then she started fucking up every single job she did.  I mean, simple things, too.  I think she was doing it on purpose, maybe?  I don’t know.  I just feel like she wanted to get out of the business because she wasn’t succeeding or something.  Maybe.  I don’t fucking know – but she continued to get more and more bitchy, picky, and yelly.
She relentlessly picked on me.  She said that I looked like an aging hippie.  She said I had to “stop wearing those fucking leggings and get some real jeans or something.”  Like, seriously???  So I explained that because of my weird pregnancy thing with (my youngest) where I had too much amniotic fluid it tore the abdominal muscles down the center of my stomach, that my waist was just way way way bigger than it should be, and that I literally CAN NOT wear jeans or pants without elastic waists, and she didn’t care and just said “That’s bullshit – stop dressing like a teenager.”  She told me to get my hair cut to a normal length – hell, I even dyed it brown to make her happy!  (I refuse to cut it, though.)
What else did she have a problem with? Oh, that I didn’t “do” my hair every day, didn’t put makeup on for work, that she had to drive me to work and drop me off (even though she has been bringing her dog over every single day because of the heat and we have A/C so she’s here anyway so what does it fucking matter if I go in her passenger seat and don’t take my car?  That would be a stupid fucking pointless waste of gas, which I can’t afford, because she’s not fucking paying me!!!)
(omg, I’ve been smoking too much and am now convinced I have lung cancer.  Ugh.)
She was just constantly so mean to me.  The final straw was when it started getting … weird.  Like, I was starting to sense that there was this weird violent vibe behind the mean shit she was saying to me.  See, she has always told me that I’m not “allowed” to go to job sites with her because “that’s not what I hired you for.”  Then on Sunday night I reminded her that she had a 9 AM appointment to meet with this really old guy who wanted her to take a look at his ’00 Cabrio’s roof because a seam had split and he couldn’t afford a new roof, but his wife just loves the car so much so he wants her to be able to drive it.  So, I go to bed on Sunday night, wake up like 2 hours later, because nightmares again, and I’m up for a few hours – see (my sister) come online at about 5am, and start trying to sound cheerful.  I said “Good morning!!  🙂 ”  shit like that.  She took forever and then said Good morning back- then I said, eventually, that I was going back to bed since she wasn’t going to pick me up at 8 because she had to go the opposite direction to meet with the old guy.  Because of that, and her having to meet with him at 9, I figured that it would take 20 minutes at his house, and that she’d be here at 9:45, so I told her that yeah, I was going to try and get a little sleep.
So here is how that conversation went:
  • (my sister)

    It is

    Alright I have to go get ready…what time is this appointment

  • 8/31, 6:32am

     me

    9 – so I’m going to sleep for a little bit

    me

  • 8/31, 6:33am

    (my sister)

    Don’t over aleep

  • 8/31, 6:33am

    Me:

    I won’t

  • 8/31, 6:33am

    (my sister)
    I’ll be there at 830 to pick you up
  • 8/31, 6:33am

    Me

    be nice to him, he’s just a total sweetheart

    smile emoticon

    nooooo

  • 8/31, 6:33am

    (my sister)

    Your going too

  • 8/31, 6:33am

    Me

    pick me up after!! lol

    why?

  • 8/31, 6:33am

    (my sister)

    Nope

    Cause this is a work thing and I don’t have all day

  • 8/31, 6:34am

    Me

    that makes no sense since you’ll be driving right past my house on the way there, but okay

  • 8/31, 6:34am

    (my sister)

    See ya in a bit

I was really pissed. I’m serious – the guy WAS a total sweetheart of an old man, too. When I had talked to him about his car on the phone when he made the appointment you could just tell that he was really lonely, and he said that his wife had gone on a trip, and then he said he’d be sure to put coffee on for (my sister) when she came because he knew it was first thing in the morning. I told him she would LOVE that, and you could pretty much persuade her to do the job if he gave her really good coffee, so he was like “I have my favorite secret coffee from New Orleans – and I’ll buy her some pastries, too – I know the kind to get her, she’ll love them!” Just so incredibly super fucking sweet. That’s why I told her to be nice to him.
So why the FUCK did I have to miss going back to bed and actually getting maybe 3 hours of fucking sleep especially since I’m not “allowed” to go on customer things???? And it made no fucking sense to me. Like you can see, she just said “Cause this is a work thing and I don’t have all day.” What the actual FUCK did that mean, and uhm, I’m the one who schedules shit so I know you have plenty of fucking time to dick around if you wanted to. Whatever. I just said okay and slept for 45 minutes, woke up with a fucking headache, and then she picked me up.
First she was pissed that I needed to stop at Starbucks. It was between ferry’s so there was like, NO traffic, and nobody at Starbucks so I have no clue why she was mad. So I asked her if she wanted anything and she said “No. I don’t want to have to be drinking a cold mocha.” Uhm, ok? (And hey, just assume I wanted to buy you a $5 mocha and not a $2.50 fucking regular cup of coffee, right?) So rude.
So I get my coffee and I start to move her stupid cup holder ashtray that she uses so that I could put my coffee down, and she was like “No, don’t do that!” So I had to literally put my coffee IN my purse because it was so fucking hot. I spilled it everywhere and was so pissed.
We get to the old guy’s house and she’s already pissed because it is “too far out of town to be going.” Although she said she would NEVER take another job on (Island where shop is) again, and it was like seriously 5 minutes from where we lived when we first moved here. Honest to God.
I spot the Cabrio and she slams on the brakes and then backs up to his house. Spill more coffee. I start to get out and she says “Don’t say anything – this is my business and I do all of the talking.” ??? Then WHY THE FUCK AM I HERE??????
She then proceeds to be a total. fucking. bitch to the guy. She said she couldn’t fix the seam and she didn’t really examine it. I know she could have fixed it – all she would have had to do is have the top open so it wasn’t all stretched tight, apply adhesive to the seam, and then stitch it for good measure- maybe clamp it for a few days, and let it set. I said to myself that I would come back to his house and just offer to do it for him. Then she talks him into letting her sew a fucking strip of 3″ wide LIGHT BLUE leather over top of the seam for $300 – and ONLY if he brought the Cabrio to the shop.
Son. The Cabrio and top were DARK BLUE. But the leather doesn’t come in dark blue – and do you know, can you imagine, how fucking stupid a 3″ strip of ANY color leather on the back seam above the rear window of that car would look?? OMG.
So he invites her in for “that coffee I promised you…” and she said “Well, only since you already have it made.” He looked at her heartbroken. 😦 He didn’t have it made already. We followed him into his house, it was cute, and he apologized for the mess because his “sweetie” was out of town and he was being a man. He starts telling us story after story while heating the water to make her this coffee – I took a picture of the can with HER phone so now I don’t know what kind it was – and she’s not even listening to him but standing there literally tapping her foot. I wanted to fucking slap her! She kept being so rude to him – interrupting him, saying stupid shit, it was awful.
Anyway, so then he wants to quick show us his shop where he makes birdhouses and I told him I really wanted to see it because I LOVE birdhouses, which I actually do. (my sister) gets pissed about that. We go in, he shows off his stuff, and is trying to make (my sister) happy for some fucked up reason and then he gives her the cutest bird house that he made. I was like, DUDE – why???? But he was like, trying to cheer her up or something.
So we leave, and I jokingly say that “I get that birdhouse”.
Oh.
My.
GOD.
You would have thought I said her ass was fat or something or made fun of that giant growth on her back.
She FLIPPED the fuck out on me. SCREAMING while she’s driving down the highway that “YOU CAN”T FUCKING TAKE EVERYTHING!!!!” She was saying that I take everything and I totally didn’t fucking understand where in the hell she was coming from!!! It was CRAZY! So I was getting really anxious and just said “Hey, don’t worry about the fucking birdhouse.” We were near Walmart when I said that and she didn’t speak a fucking word to me from that point until about oh, 45 minutes later. It was fucked up. She didn’t have a lighter – she couldn’t find it for some reason, so she needed to use mine on the way to the old guy’s house – but she was so pissed at me that she wouldn’t even ask me to use my lighter – so she didn’t smoke at all until we got to the (local gas station/coffee) shop and she went in and bought a lighter. (She knows I have like 5 lighters in my purse, seriously – she KNOWS that – so another WTF???) After she got in the truck I’m still really anxious and I want her to lighten up so I start reading her funny Jimmy Fallon quotes from his facebook page and she’s not responding AT ALL, so I just stop.
We pull into work and the lights are on in the shop already – and (the owner’s) van was there, so evidently he was there and opened up. No big deal. He owns the place, he can do what he wants, right?
Well, no.
She goes in and doesn’t say anything for about 3 minutes. He is talking to her and I hear him say “I notice you’re only talking in single word sentences. What’s going on?” Well, OH MY GOD.
I thought it was bad in the truck!! This was ten times worse. She opened up on him and was flinging “you fucking fucked me over” and “you fucking said….” and “You never fucking planned on giving this business to me….” and “I don’t even fucking know why you’re in the shop!” and on and on and on. It made NO sense and it was so fucking uncalled for – (son), I was fucking terrified.
It was like when I was a little kid and my mom would flip out like that on my dad and I’d LITERALLY hide under my bed and push covers around me so if anyone looked under they’d just think it was a bunch of shit stuffed under the bed and no kid. That was like a daily fucking thing growing up and I guess something triggered in me and I got really scared and started shaking. I tuned them out and just went into panic mode – you know how when you’re in that mode you can’t fucking hear anything being said? Well, I didn’t hear anything, but it continued for another five minutes or so – and keep in mind that (the owner) is nearly 70 years old and semi-retired, and really, really wealthy, so screaming matches at work are NOT something he’s used to (like who the fuck would be, though, right?)
(The owner) goes to the door and just leaves and (my sister) goes into the back room, stomping and throwing shit around. I post to Facebook asking for someone to come and get me. Nobody can. So I grab my big heavy tote bag and purse and as soon as I hear that she’s on a machine I go outside, go down the stairs, and walk 1/4 mile to the highway and wait for a bus in the rain. I didn’t even know how to use the fucking bus – but thank God I had 2 dollar bills because that’s what the fare was. I even fucked up pushing the “stop” button – I pushed it right after he started moving the bus after the stop right before you turn off to our house, but he said “The next closest stop is the church, is that okay?” Of course I said it was and felt like a fucking moron – thank God by that time there was only one guy on the bus other than me. So I get off the bus, walk maybe ten or fifteen minutes home, so like – 1/2 a mile? And you KNOW I’m terrified of walking anywhere, let alone while I’m panicking, while I’m carrying two heavy bags, and while it’s raining, and while I’m terrified that (my sister) is going to drive up and jump out and … I don’t know what. I just got home and fucking couldn’t stop shaking. I made a cup of coffee (decaf, of course), took an extra xanax, and chatted with (my husband) on google chat. A little while later I got a chat from her on Facebook that said
 
  • My Sister:

    Did you just leave without saying anything? That’s fucked up even for you

I sure as fuck didn’t respond, but was thinking “what the fuck do you mean, “That’s fucked up EVEN FOR YOU.” ??? I was so terrified that she was going to come here.
And then she did.
I had the windows closed and the curtains closed so I didn’t hear or see her truck. But suddenly there was POUNDING on the front door. (Youngest son) had been asleep on the sofa – it was about noon – and he jumped up in a panic. I ran to the door and looked through the peephole and saw that it was her, and I RAN to my bedroom, telling (youngest son) to tell her that I was asleep and to go away. He was scared, but he said okay.
So she must have decided that banging wasn’t enough, so she used a key I’d given her and just unlocked the door and came in. She immediately started yelling at (youngest son). She wanted to know where her “fucking camera” was.
She had bought this stupid fucking digital camera from (her son, who is a heroin addict and lives in the city) for $500 – and (son), it was a total piece of shit and worth about $150 on eBay. She gave it to me so I could figure out how to use it so that I could take pictures of projects we’d made at the shop. I had it out in the car, and (my husband) and I had gone into a casino and he wanted to hide it so that nobody would break the window so he put it in a paper bag, so that’s how it was in the house – on my desk in a paper bag.
So she couldn’t’ find it. (Youngest son) couldn’t find it.
This whole time I’m standing with my back against my bedroom door pushing on it as HARD as I could and bracing my legs so she wouldn’t push it open – my heart was pounding and I was fucking terrified and KNOWING that in about 2 seconds I was going to have to go out and get (youngest son) away from her. It was so fucking terrifying. Then I felt someone pushing on the door – and then a few seconds later (youngest son) comes back the hall and asks me through the door where the camera was and I said on my desk in the paper bag – but he thought I said the garage (for some fucked up reason) and so he goes to the garage and starts digging, and she goes down after him and keeps yelling at him – I was about to go out when they came back upstairs and he comes back and asks me again where the camera was. I repeated myself. He showed her where it was and she grabbed it then wanted her Samsung Tablet. FUCKKKK. She gave that to me 3 months ago to figure out how to hack into it because she forgot her screen lock passcode. Of course I couldn’t hack it and didn’t feel like fucking with it, but 2 nights before all of this I took it out of its case to see if there was a model number on it so I could buy a charger for it – because when I asked her through chat if she still had the charger she never replied. So (youngest son) says it’s on the dining room table, but she could only find the case for some reason – even though the dining room table was cleaned off and only (youngest son’s) two computers (both broken) were on it. She sends him back to ask me where the fucking tablet it and I was so sick of it all and so anxious, so I just said “I don’t know.”
She screamed WELL THAT’S FUCKING CONVENIENT!!!!! And I opened my door and as I was coming out she was at the door screaming that we’re all “FUCKING THIEVES!!!!” …. and then she was gone.
(Youngest son) and I were both shaking and crying. That night I literally had to give him his medicine early to go to sleep, and I am SO fucking thankful that those boys weren’t here at the time – they were at their school for some sports practice thing.
It took me a few hours to calm down and then I went to bed.
The next morning, after a totally rough night, (my husband) emails her and said this:
 

your tablet was on the dining table.
(Me) fled yesterday in total fear, you made her feel like your parents made you guys feel when they fought, it was terrifying and she was trapped so she ran.
you coming over and flipping out was exactly like (my sister’s landlord) trying to let himself in by pushing on the door while you tried to hold it shut, she was left shaking, (Our youngest son) left bawling.
we have never stolen anything from you and don’t DARE ever ever ever accuse me of that again.
(Me) didn’t say a damn thing to you, she didn’t take sides she just had to run. and this is your interpretation.
do you see how you must look to the rest of the world? no you don’t you don’t care. (Me) worked for 2 solid months for you for FREE, when you threw a toddlers temper tantrum and fled the state to go get rescued and flung the keys at her and said here you take it, she damn well should have or should have just given the keys to (the owner of the industrial complex buildings). You only came back to any business at all because of her and you say “yea i really appreciate that” but did you ever say thank you? no, you flip the fuck out when she asks for a dime and say she can’t have EVERYTHING then turn around and throw $500 at a worthless camera.
I’ve held my tongue as best i could for 15 fucking years because my wife’s wishes trump everything but i’m done, you have mistaken my kindness for weakness but now you have fucked with my family enough, I won’t stand for it, I do not want or need your respect, its not worth jack to anyone you’d give it to, I laughed my ass off when you said “well at least I have integrity” because i SERIOUSLY thought you were joking and meant for us to laugh, that you were owning your shit and saying hey, i’m not perfect and being sarcastic.  that is how utterly far off of reality you are and i’m not saying that to insult you, like it or not you are family and in my family we tell it like it is because no one else is gonna be honest and tell us we have a glop of food on our shirt, well you got a glop of food on your shirt and you are going to need help to clean it off. thats the best i can offer, we can’t fix whatever it is you’ve got going on but it sure as shit isn’t our fault, that is completely delusional, we haven’t done shit to you but save your ass and your discarded kids ass way way too many fucking times, its someone else’s turn.
I’ll mail you your tablet it was only in our home so we could try to fix it for free.
when you figure out that everything I have said here is dead on right and honest and not even remotely out of spite call your fucking sister and appologise for being a terrorist.

She responded with THIS:

I’ve waited before writing this email because I’m smart enough not to burn bridges before their time. Your wife is a drug addict as much as my son and not ever did it matter to you that she was finally living and had a place to go every day and have a purpose. Nor did it matter to you that (youngest son) finally was having a life and doing the things boys do, bowling, hiking, golfing, sailing. Not to mention meeting all the right people that would allow him to have a real future. I may seem crazy but wouldn’t you be crazy if every day you were faced with the one thing that was your families future and the only people that showed up to help are so drugged up that they can’t remember anything you said only moments ago? That was my every single fucking day. I had a business that made good money and I had a life but I took the leap and had faith that I wasn’t being lied to and I fucked up because now I sit here and am reminded that the only one that matters is number one. You think she went to work for 2 months and didn’t get paid???? HAHA…so you don’t know all about the money she got, funny thats really funny to me, maybe you should have kept a closer eye on her at the casinos. Funny that you could afford to go there but it was me buying (our son) cereal. Real funny.
You can come down on me all you want  but everyday I was crazy trying to fight so we all had a future that otherwise we can’t grasp. You can’t do better then you are right this very minute because you don’t have the degree that puts you there and (me) can’t work because she can’t drive or get off the drugs that keep her even remotly able to have a real conversation with anyone without studdering all over the place, I gave her a place to feel like she had a purpose and she didn’t sleep her life away. God (my husband) she’s over half way through her life and she doesn’t even cope with being a mom or a wife she knows she doesn’t help with anything and she feels useless, do you have any idea what that does to a women??? I doubt it because you are so busy not seeing the big picture and just daydreaming of a better life.
Forgive me for being the only person that has a clear head and I lost my grip and ran to the East Coast. I had a nervous breakdown and I’m sorry that didn’t work for you or her. I can and will relieve you both of me, she’s no longer my sister and I’m sure she’s thrilled to be free. This is the end of that relationship, YOU JUST ENDED IT.
And by the way….I looked all over the table as did (our youngest son) and it was not there, just the case. She feared me?? Really?? Why what did I ever do but fight for what we’ve all been working for? SHould I  have just stood there and been a pussy and not face shit, stick my head in the sand???? I obviosuly put more into this then anyone, you guys just think life is a fantasy and never care what it really takes. I’ve lost everything so be happy have another bottle of wine and say cheers to your happy self for ever sticking up for the one thing this family could of had. She couldn’t even stick up for herself the 3 times he blamed HER for the start of the problem. Wine and zanax woo—-hooo!!!!!
You should really learn to get the real facts before launching a campaign that ends family ties.
Have a nice life

First, let me explain that (my sister) had given me $550 in cash over the course of two months in small chunks.  (My husband) already knew about all of that.  I don’t know why she thinks he didn’t.
Second, drug addict?  What the fuck???
Third, I told her very, very, very fucking clearly that while I was tapering off of the xanax I would be in withdrawal and that yes, I would have trouble concentrating and would have memory problems, but it wasn’t bad like she was saying – yes, it happened a few times where I had to ask her to repeat a name or something little like that, but that’s it.  A FEW times in 2 months.
Anyway, so her and (my husband) just kept going back and forth in emails and (my husband) was getting so upset that he couldn’t work.  He doesn’t “do” angry confrontation well at all, so he was shaking so badly and she kept saying horrible shit that made him angrier and angrier.  He seriously couldn’t work for the rest of the day because he was that anxious from fighting with her and hearing the horrible shit she was saying.  This isn’t the way we act in life!  Nobody acts like this in real life!!  Do they?  It was so surreal!!!
You think this is finished?  OH GOD NO.  That was only TUESDAY.
Wednesday, yeah –  holy shit – that was only yesterday, things got super unreal because the owner of the business, responded to an email that I’d written to him where I apologized for the way (my sister) had treated him.
Yesterday morning was (youngest son’s) first day of school, so he had to leave at 7 to get the bus and I guess if you have been on Facebook  you can see how pissy he was being just by looking at his “first day of 7th grade” picture.  So that was fun.  Then we had to haul ass to (nearby town) because – Halle-fucking-lujah – I got an appointment with a real psychiatrist FINALLY after (old provider, a ARNP, who I had been seeing for 7 years with ZERO problems) decided to just up and STOP filling my prescriptions.  And you can’t just stop taking xanax – especially at the dose I was taking – or you could die, and you would definitely have seizures.
When she wouldn’t answer mine or (my husband’s) emails, voicemails or phone calls I really started to fucking worry.  I had literally FOUR doses of xanax left when I went to the pharmacy and asked if there was any idea of when I would get my refill.  The pharmacist was really concerned because they hadn’t gotten a response from (old provider) either, so she had someone re-fax the request and said that if I didn’t hear from her (the pharmacist) by the next morning to go to Urgent Care or the Emergency Room.
Of course I heard nothing.  I went to the Urgent Care and thankfully the doctor was extremely nice to me, and gave me enough xanax, like 2 weeks worth, to get to my first appointment with the new psychiatrist, which was yesterday at 9am.
It was really fucking hard to see him.  It was at (the office) and we were sitting in the waiting room – well, waiting, when suddenly someone was next to me and said my name and I fucking jumped out of my chair and almost fell into (my husband) because I was so fucking anxious.  It was my new psychiatrist and he was horrified that he’d scared the shit out of me.  Kind of funny when you think about it.  (First rule of psychiatry – don’t startle the psych patients?)  haha
Anyway, so I tell him the whole sordid story about how (old provider) hasn’t seen me in person for at least 2 1/2 – closing in on 3 years now, and that I had started seeing her when I was taking 5mg of Lexapro and 3mg of xanax a day, and that she bumped me up to 12mg a day, and then I took myself down to 8mg a day, and kind of just stayed there for 7 years while she ignored me until I started seeing an old colleague of hers for CBT therapy and that pissed her off, and she emailed me and said she was taking me off of xanax, and like SUPER fast.

He was fucking stunned when I told him that I had gone down from 8 to 10mg a day in July to 5.5mg a day now.  He said that was WAY too fast!!  He asked me how I was feeling, and God, I just told him everything – of course I don’t feel good!  I’m ALWAYS anxious, I can’t sleep, I have constant nightmares and killer headaches that never go away, I can’t concentrate very well, and literally my entire body hurts so bad and that Advil does NOTHING to help.

So, in the end he explained to me that it sounded to him like someone reviewed my medication usage – specifically the xanax – when (old provider) was in the process of “semi-retiring” and it red-flagged because he said that was actually a malpractice-level prescription considering that she wasn’t seeing me in person.  He said it was unheard of.  Then we got into my history with anxiety – and by the end of the session he said that I had the worst case of anxiety and agoraphobia that he had ever seen in 20 years.  Just fucking lovely.  But, he also was really really supremely nice and said that it wasn’t my fault about the xanax, so not to feel like it was.  He was pissed that I showed him in an email where (old provider) told me I was a drug addict and other things, and he apologized to me that anyone would say that because it’s not true – sure, I’m physically addicted, but I’m not out there looking to buy it on the street like “drug addict” makes it sound.  That providers are taught to never use language like that and that (old provider) was just an absolutely horrible example of a provider.  He also explained to me that it was in NO WAY reasonable to have had me go down by 4.5mg a day in 2 months – that during that two months I should have only gone down 1mg a day at the most, but now that I was used to the 5.5mg a day he’d keep me there, even though it’s “uncomfortable” – until I get used to it – hopefully in the next month.  He said out of his 2,000 patients the highest dose of xanax anyone he sees is on is 3mg/day, and that is considered high in the medical field “these days after much more research has been done.”  UGH.

He is going to taper down by 1/4mg a month – IF I feel like I can do it.  I was so fucking relieved, but then he said that it would probably take three years, and that made me sad.
God, he was so nice to me.  And I was a nervous wreck the entire time and kept apologizing.  Ugh.  I’m such a dork.  I cried in the car after we left because I was so relieved that he was nice to me.
Okay, so THE POINT IS – that was fucking stressful as fuck, dealing with not knowing what the fuck was up with (old provider) and my prescriptions and trying to taper so fast the past few months, meeting a new psychiatrist while I only had literally 1 1/2 tablets of xanax left not knowing if I was going to leave his office and have to go to the pharmacy for a refill or to the ER because he wouldn’t help me.  Stressful to say the least.  And then I got an email from (owner of the business my sister was supposed to take over).
He asked me if I knew what (my sister) personal bank account numbers were so that he could deposit money into her account.
In his email was forwarded an email that (my sister) had written to him earlier after he told her that he had taken all of the money out of the business account and that the check that she wrote to herself for a paycheck wouldn’t clear.  In it she flipped out on him and said that if her rent check and other bills bounced because he stopped payment on that check that she would sue him for everything he had.  She was BRUTAL and he was panicked!
So, at this point I’m exhausted, but I get home and start digging around online and see that (my sister) had indeed deposited the check that she made ME write out to her for a paycheck (when (the owner) always pays her, so I don’t know why she forced me to do it in the truck after we left that old guy’s house – the one with the VW.)
I also see that when she deposited it she already had around $5,500 when she paid her rent – and her rent is only $1000, so of course the rent check had already cleared and she had several thousand dollars in there.  So – in essence – what she was trying to do was get him to deposit another $2800 into her bank account.
So I downloaded her entire bank statement into a PDF and I emailed it to him, telling him NOT to give her any more money, and that – as he could see – all of her bill payments had cleared so nothing was even remotely close to bouncing.
He was really upset.  We emailed back and forth a few more times and I realized that I had forgotten that (my sister) had used one of those things you stick in a cell phone so you can swipe credit cards and get paid via paypal, and had collected around $900 in the past few days.  She had me move that money to her personal paypal account and told me she was going to deposit it into the business account.  I asked her why she didn’t just transfer it into the business account from Paypal and she told me just to do what she said – so I did.
So, I tell him about this $900 – and he checks the business checking account, and nope – she never deposited it.  I have to explain to him what Paypal even is.  At this point he’s even more upset.  I spent the rest of the day trying to find invoices that we had sent out to customers and hadn’t gotten the money for them yet because he was trying to come up with enough money to pay me for working there for two months with no pay (score!!!)  He said he just needed to figure out where things stood with the business bank accounts first.  So – I found a few invoices in emails, but I couldnt’ get him all of the proof of money owed to the business because I had been using (my sister’s) laptop to keep those records in a program called QuickBooks.  (This is why I encourage everyone to use QuickBooks online version for like, $30 a month…because then it’s accessible from any computer, and nobody gets fucked over like is happening to him.)  Without her laptop I have no way of getting that information.  He says he understands, and after I email him a couple of invoices I found he said he was really grateful for all of my help.
Oh, I was more than happy to help.  Honestly – (my sister) fucked (youngest son) up really bad, and that’s just not cool in ANY fucking way – and really treated me like shit, and (my husband) – so I’m MORE than happy to help him figure out how to save his business, even if that means getting her in trouble.
I figure that she needs help, and if she gets in serious trouble then maybe she’ll finally get some help that she so obviously needs.
The last thing I did was this morning, just a few hours ago.  I checked her bank account and I could see that she had moved the $900 from Paypal into her personal account.  So she fucking stole $900 more dollars from him!  I didn’t know what to do because that’s very fucking serious – that’s called embezzlement – and I had proof of it.
I decided that the right thing to do was to print a PDF of her bank statement showing that she put the paypal money in there, and then spent money from that bank account afterwards, and email it to (owner).  I did that.  But, it was like 3 in the morning so he hasn’t gotten it yet.
I asked him to please not tell (my sister) where he found out about this Paypal money because I didn’t want her coming to my house in the state of mind she’s in – and told him to tell her that he found printouts from each paypal transaction in a folder on the desk (that I actually did have there so I could  move the tax money into the right account later) – that way she wouldn’t know it was me who told him about the paypal money.
If she finds out she’s gonna kill me.  I literally asked (my husband) if I should file a PFA, but he said not to.  Do you think that I should?  I cannot describe to you clearly enough how absolutely fucking crazy she has been acting, and how it’s been getting worse and worse over the last two months.
And that brings us to now – me sitting here for hours typing this email to you, drinking coffee, thinking I have lung cancer, and wondering what in the hell this day is going to bring.
Oh, wait – there’s more.
Remember (old family friends)?   Well, (husband) had gotten fired from (law firm where we used to work) 2 years ago and never could find another job.  (Wife) is the only one working, and the bank fucking sold their house 20 days ago without telling them – they only found out yesterday that they didn’t own their house anymore and that as of midnight last night they would be squatters in their own home.
They came over last night to borrow our hand truck and she was telling me all of this and trying to get it all off of her chest, and she was petting Jada – and Jada fucking snapped at her and bit her face!!!  She was bleeding on both sides of her nose and above her eyebrow.
Oh my fucking God I have never felt so fucking low in my life.  😦  I was in tears trying to help (friend) – who is just the sweetest person – and she’s all like “No, this is just how my life is now.”  😦  God, I could have killed that fucking dog.  Now I have to get her to a vet and figure out how to get her on like, prozac or something.  Fuck.
You know, ever go through so much shit that you actually feel like it should be quite a few days later than it actually is?  It’s like that.  I cannot believe that it’s only Thursday.  It feels like this week has been so slammed with horrible things that it should be at least Sunday or something.  😦
Oh my God, how long is this email, right?  I’m sorry to have dumped on you like this, but I started typing a short email to tell you what was going on and there was just no way to make it short yet make any sort of sense.  And, believe it or not, I left shit out.
Okay, I’ll let you go – and haha – I’ll write more later 🙂  Hopefully happy stuff.
Please please let me know what’s going on with you, okay?  And don’t be all like “Oh, I can’t tell her that or she’ll just stress” because that’s totally not the case.  I promise.
I love you so so so so much and you’ll always be my Jellybean.  🙂
Talk to you soon sweetie!
Mommy

Breakdown Town, or Break. Downtown.?

Either way, there’s so much going on in my life that I need to talk about.  I am not going to have a nervous breakdown because I can’t afford one, so I figured blogging all of this would be better.

I’m currently undergoing a taper plan to radically reduce what was once a very high, 12mg, dose of Xanax.  It was doctor prescribed and I wasn’t aware of how truly addictive it would be, or how difficult it would be to stop taking it.  I am currently taking 5.5mg per day.  How I got there is a short story which only started 2 months ago, really.  Never taper that quickly.

My sister is going through some sort of psychotic episode and I don’t know what to do.  I’ve had anxiety for over two decades, but rest assured that I’m not “crazy.”  At least my doctors tell me that.  My sister, however, is fucking crazy.  I’m 43 years old and at this point I’ve decided to try and disable the “sister” feature in my life.

I am currently housing two young boys who I had never met before they came to live with me.  Their mother and father got a divorce and they decided that they didn’t want to move away from their friends with their mother.  The father got in some trouble, got evicted, and now I’ve got the boys.  They are 12 and 14.  The 14-year-old’s girlfriend is a big part of his life, and her mother makes MY life a living hell.

I just lost the first job that I’ve had in 2 1/2 years through no fault of my own.  I had worked for my sister for two months as she was taking over a company, and I did that with the promise of getting paid “in September.”  She had a breakdown and it was very ugly, and I left work.  I can’t, and wouldn’t, ever go back.

I’m currently undergoing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for agoraphobia and a driving phobia.  Losing the chance at that job has put a serious crimp in my progress.

I am about to start three lawsuits against three different entities.  My (now fired) anxiety doctor, or “provider” for prescribing such a high dose of medication without seeing me in person for more than two years. My doctor’s office for drawing blood on two separate occasions in 2009 and not telling me that I had diabetes (Type 2), and my only finding out from my OB/GYN in 2014.  And finally, oh – the last one isn’t a lawsuit, but a possible application for disability for my acute anxiety and the extraordinary difficulties that come along with tapering off of xanax.  (Please, don’t ever take xanax for more than 3 weeks in a row.  And certainly not for 24 years.)

I’m not sure about the disability, though.  It seems like a huge cop out.  I certainly feel able to work most days.  I have severe anxiety and hideous short term memory from the withdrawal, though.  My new, professional and well-educated professor/psychiatrist has informed me that it will be a three-year process to completely stop the xanax.  Starting now.  Also, that I haven’t even gotten to the “hard part” yet.  That’s scary because it’s already been really, really difficult.

I have three sons.  All of them are gay.  I don’t care that they are gay, just that they’re happy, but 2 out of 3 of them are not happy.  The oldest is hidden away in his stepmother’s house (who is currently committed to a psychiatric hospital after 14 years of military service and severe PTSD which has led to her becoming psychotic.)  He has severe anxiety and PTSD from his (stepmother’s) house being taken by a flood and his only having mere moments to get out of it safely before it was taken.  My youngest son has ADHD, is bullied constantly at school, and has extreme phobias and general anxiety.  My middle son is a fully functioning, happy, and well-adjusted young man.  I still worry about him.

My husband is overwhelmed.  He’s just got that zombie look that many middle-aged men get.  He used to be so vibrant, but our lives have worn us down.  He takes care of too many people without any help.  He is the most intelligent man I have ever known, and I love him so much.  It’s incredibly painful to see him living his life like this.  He uses food and alcohol to numb the pain, although he is not an alcoholic like my father – who died suddenly at a too-young age, was.

Other medications that I take for my anxiety don’t allow me to lose weight even though I haven’t had carbohydrates in over a year.  When I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes I weighed 300 pounds even though I never ate and wasn’t completely sedentary.  I have lost 85 pounds, but in four months I have not lost a single pound more.  My doctor says it’s the Effexor XR that I take causing this.  However, if I could not take that I’d lose weight, and losing weight is very helpful for people with Type 2 Diabetes.  My cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels are all fantastic due to my strict diet, but the weight just doesn’t want to move downward.

My dog is starting to bite people.  She bit me one time, too.  Recently she has bit two people in the face – my youngest son and a family friend who had stopped by to cry on our shoulders after learning that her family’s house had been sold by the bank three weeks prior to them being notified.  Being bitten by a dog she was petting lovingly was the LAST thing that poor woman needed.  I love my dog, and I’m worried about her.  I don’t know why she is so upset.

I smoke.  I have been smoking too much.  I have a problem with spending money online.  I have a problem being able to control myself in a casino.  I love casinos, the slot machines, but I have to leave my wallet in the car, locked in the glove compartment, and give the car keys I have to my husband so that I won’t spend more than $50 – because if I any access to any money in any form, I WILL find a way to get at it and spend it.

My anxiety has been so severe for the past few months that it takes every ounce of courage and determination that I have to leave my office area.  To people who have no experience with agoraphobia that must sound so very strange.  It is strange, really.  It’s stranger to be the one suffering it because you KNOW how ridiculous it is.  I literally can not go into my kitchen without panicking.  I have three “safe” zones in my house, and even in those zones there are zones.  I can be in my bedroom, the toilet and sink area of my bathroom, and my office chair.  I watch “tv” on my computer even though my office is right next to the living room, which is the nicest room in the house with a very large television.  I only really push myself to go into the living room and watch TV when the Seahawks are playing.  So, once a week for a few months during the year.  After a game I’m so exhausted from the effort it took not to panic from being in the living room that I have no choice but to take a nap.  I know these things sound ridiculous, and even when doing them I say “God, girl, you know that these thoughts are completely irrational and that you are furthering your anxiety, right?”  I do know, but still…the adrenaline rushes come, and the panic starts.

So my house is a mess.  My youngest son, who is 12 1/2 years old, can’t maintain focus on any task long enough to help me or my husband.  He is the only son we have who lives at home anymore, so … yeah, messy house.  My husband is too exhausted to clean properly, but he does what he can.  I am very, very careful to not make any messes, but my desk area is like a war zone.

I want nothing more than to get better and be a good wife and a good mother, and maybe even some day a part of my community.  I want it so badly.  I have a beautiful view from my house – it overlooks our cute town and then out across the water to the mountains.  I’d like to visit all of that some day.  And that’s the story of my life.

Everything I want is juuuust out of reach for me.