Monday, May 24, 2010

~Mental Health Monday Guestblogger~ Brianna's story

Introducing Brianna as today's MentalHealthMonday guestblogger

From the very beginning, before anyone knew what (if anything) was wrong with me, my friends referred to me as the “Definition of Mental Illness”. Meaning that if you looked up mental illness in the dictionary, you’d find a picture of me. This is my story.

I don’t know when my mental health took a downward turn, it’s not like there was one event that I can pinpoint and say, “That’s it, that was the start.” There’s a line from the movie Prozac Nation, it goes something like, “Hemingway has his classic moment in "The Sun Also Rises" when someone asks Mike Campbell how he went bankrupt. All he can say is, "Gradually, then suddenly." That's how depression hits.” It’s true. That is how it hits, that’s how all mental illness hits, in my case anyways. People still look for reasons, events, and people to blame for the reason I am the way I am. Reasons like this include the fact that my father died when I was an infant, I was isolated growing up, I had bad friends in school, I was in an abusive relationship, I was motivated by media, I was raped as a teen, and so many other reasons. My mom blames herself, because she drank herself dumb through most of my childhood. That one hurts the most to hear. I don’t blame her. She did the best she could, and although she wasn’t always the ideal mother, she did a pretty damn good job. I’d like to blame my issues on some thing; I’d really like to be able to say I know what started it. I think if I were able to do that, it would be easier to fix myself because I would have a starting point. But I have no starting point, unless you consider conception a starting point. I believe that I was genetically predisposed to mental illness, and that regardless of circumstances and paths chosen, I would still have ended up right where I am today. Some events in my life maybe have happened because of my mental status, others I probably could have avoided, and some are probably the direct result of the little black rain cloud that seems to follow me around.

If we go by that theory, then my illness started before I was born, before I was even thought about. My mom often talks about her dad and depression. I don’t know what he was like when she was growing up, but I guess I can see it in him now. I know she was depressed growing up too, she didn’t fit in and often felt outcasted, the same way I find myself feeling. Once she admitted to being anorexic as a teen, since then her weight has been a constant battle, I’ve watched her try and fail many many diets. I don’t know much about my dad’s side of the family. He was adopted, so health questions about that part of the family remain unanswered. I wasn’t exactly born into the greatest situation though. My mom was in a relationship with a married man (my dad). He left his wife, and married my mom. The divorce was brutal according to my mom. Caught in the middle was my half brother, Jared. I guess the divorce could be blamed for a lot of his issues. I don’t know much about him, just that he most likely had what is called Conduct disorder as a kid, now he has a criminal record a mile long and has dealt with drugs on and off for some time.

Shortly after I was born, my dad was involved in a construction accident, and died. That’s about when my mom went crazy, but who could blame her. She never let me out of her sight until I was three. Growing up I had three friends, the girl who lived next door to me who was the same age, and the two girls that lived across the street who were considerably older. Technically they were my babysitters, but I considered them my friends. I don’t know when my mom started drinking; it wasn’t obvious to me then. Looking back now, I see it. I remember lot’s of trips to the liquor store, and I remember walking across the street asking if anyone over there would play candy land with me, because my mom wanted to be left alone. She tells me now that she used to buy me new toys every few days, because if I had something new to play with, I’d leave her alone. Around the time I was 4, she started dating the guy that I now call dad. He lived in CA though, and we were in WA, so we took a lot of trips to see him.

When I started kindergarten, the girl next door moved away. This is when my isolation really started. I made two friends at school; they weren’t really friends though, more like playmates. We didn’t hang out much though. Halfway through the year, we moved to CA and my mom and Dad moved in together. Making friends was hard; most everyone already had best friends they’d know since preschool or day care. I did make friends with one girl though. This would be the trend for the rest of my life. At any given point I’ve only had one or two best friends. Making friends, or even accquaintences is extremely difficult for me.

My mom’s drinking became more obvious during these years. I noticed that she was always sick. I learned that when she was sick, I could get away with murder because my dad was less observant, he also said yes to things she normally said no too. In 5th grade, I just kind of gave up in school. I don’t know why, but I just stopped caring. I didn’t do my work, and then I got in trouble at school for it. When my mom found out, I got in trouble at home. Most kids would shape up, but not me, I just kept slacking off and getting in trouble. I was ashamed each time, and I felt bad about it, but I still didn’t change.

My mom got sober, shortly after 5th grade, there were several attempts prior, but this time it was serious. Around this time was when my eating disorder emerged. It started with breakfast, then I started skipping lunch at school, eventually I started “eating” dinner in my room and dumping the food out the window. My mom knows deep down inside, she’s always known. She’s in denial though, and instead she enables me. She buys me work out DVD’s, special shoes, special clothes, pills, food scales, heart rate monitors. All I have to do is ask, and she buys it.

I got made fun of in school for my body. I was extremely thin, but everyone called me fat. I got called a lot of things in fact. Gay, Hermaphrodite, Satan lover, flat chested, un-fuckable, just to name a few. Not of these were true… except maybe the flat chested part. This was when the depression really became obvious. I can recall sitting with a friend on the play ground one day and saying to her, “I wish I had something, something I could just stick down my throat and choke on until I pass out and die.”

I started self injuring around 7th or 8th grade. One day I was curling my hair; the curling iron slipped and burnt my neck pretty bad. I showed my mom and she said, “it’s a good thing you showed me, or else I might have mistaken it for a hickey.” Jokingly of course. A few weeks after that, I got the idea to start doing it on purpose. I’d press the hot curling iron against my stomach and leave it there for as long as I could, listening to my skin burn. When the pain was too much, I took it off. I began experimenting with other forms of SI, starting with different types of burns. Like burns caused my rubbing an eraser or knife back and forth across my skin, until eventually it bled. I don’t know what caused my to do this, later in life I was asked where I learned about self-injury. Was it from TV, the Internet, and a friend? I don’t know honestly. I didn’t even know that other people did this until years after I started. Something in my head just said that hurting myself would make me feel better, so I did. The first time I “scraped” up my wrist, could have been my last. The next day I broke my wrist snowboarding, so my mom and the doctor saw the burn. Either I’m a good liar or they are gullible, but I told them I had scraped it up against the metal part on the doorframe. They put me in a soft wrist brace and sent me on my way. That wrist brace was a Godsend in the realm of self-injury. I “hurt my wrist” a lot after that. I’d just tell my mom that I had hurt it at dance class or in gym, and that wearing the brace made it less sore. Really it just worked well for hiding things. I started actually cutting the summer after 8th grade. I stole razor blades from anywhere I could find them, boxer cutters, friend’s houses, grocery stores, anywhere. I stockpiled them, I had them hidden everywhere, I was never without one.

Freshman year I started doing drugs. It started with cocaine, but when you are 14 and jobless, you’ll take whatever you can get. My friend joined in with the drugs and cutting. Together we shut our selves out from the world. We were bullied to the extreme, one time a few kids brought air soft guns to school and shot us repeatedly, we got food thrown at us, people tripped us and pushed us over. But all the teachers would do was let us sitting in the office at lunch or during class. We talked about what we would do if we could just get our hands on some guns. We’d climb up to the roof of the library, and pick them off one by one. We had no targets; we just wanted to kill as many of them as possible. The school really should have paid more attention to us, but they didn’t.

An ex boyfriend alerted my mom to the cutting. I’d been on anti depressants since middle school, but now I was actually being forced into therapy. I like my therapist, I enjoyed going to see her one a week in fact. She didn’t help with my issues though, because as soon as I left it all went back to normal. It was December of 04 that everything came crashing down around me.

It started in the beginning of the month, when I got caught stealing caffeine pills from the grocery store. I did so many drugs that my sleep schedule was messed up, and if I couldn’t get my hands on some uppers, I couldn’t stay awake through the day. The caffeine helped with that, about 6-10 pills was enough to get me through school, then I’d come home and sleep until 6pm when I went to dance, and then I’d get high and stay up all night again. When I got caught stealing the pills, I panicked. They called my mom, and I was grounded for what was supposed to be a long time. A few weeks later, my friend called and said that her boyfriend had gotten some acid, we made plans that she would stay the night at my house, and we’d sneak out to go to his place. That night though my boyfriend said he was coming to town (he lived thirty minutes away). So I said I would hang out with him for a few hours, and then he would give me a ride to where my friend was. I left first, and then she left. I was supposed to meet back up with her at midnight, but that didn’t happen. Just as I was about to leave to meet her, my phone rang, it was my mom. My friend had a bad trip and had run off into the woods. Her boyfriend had been looking for her for an hour, when he called me… except he called my house not my cell. I spent the next several hours at her house with her parents, my parents, her boyfriend, and police. Trying to make up a story that would get us in the least amount of trouble. The police gave up searching after a while; they said they’d be lucky if she made it through the night, it was a blizzard outside. They said with the rough terrain, she might break a foot or leg, or fall and hit her head, and then be covered in snow by daylight. At this point I went and sat in her room, her dad came in and I told him everything. Our parents never realized how serious we were when we told them about how shitty our lives were. Around 6 o clock we found her in the basement. She had walked all the way from her boyfriend’s house to hers; she snuck in through a window and curled up in a sleeping bag in the basement. The next week, my boyfriend broke up with me because he “was in love with someone else.” It probably wouldn’t have affected me so much if he had left me for a girl, but he left me for a guy. That night I slit my wrists the deepest I ever had, down the veins with the intention to kill myself. I jumped out of my window and walked in waist deep snow, in my gym shorts. I don’t know where I was going; my intention was to walk until I died, either from blood loss or the cold. After about a mile though, I turned around and went home. The next morning my dad discovered my bloody tracks. I was immediately sent to see my therapist. She asked if I want to go to a hospital in Reno. My mom had threatened me with this several times as punishment, but I said yes. When we told my mom my choice she said she didn’t want me to go, but my therapist assured her it was for the best.

I went to school the next day for half of the day. Long enough to get the stuff I needed from the school and to tell my friend where I was going. I promised her, I’d be back. I spent several weeks in the hospital. They gave me a new diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. I went to NA meetings and AA meetings (even though I have never had a problem with alcohol). I was on escape watch for the first several weeks, because they thought I was at a high risk to run. I didn’t get to go to meals with the other patients, instead they were brought to me, and I had to eat them in front of the nurse’s station. There really is a dark room with padded walls; they send you there to calm down. I spent a few days in there. I had an issue with one of the guys in the male adolescent ward. One day during group therapy, the therapist went to each person and said, “what is special about ______?” and then each person would say why they liked that person or thought they were special. When it came to me, the kid said,” There is nothing special about Brianna. She is a poor excuse for a human being.” When you hear this as much as I have, you begin to believe it. Here I was surrounded by people I had only met weeks before, and even they felt the same way about me as every one else I knew. I was so angry though, normally I turn my anger toward myself, but this time I turned it out. I lunged at him, and pushed him out of his chair, and I kicked as hard as I could over and over until doctor’s and nurses were pulling me off. 6 people carried me into the quiet room. Where I stayed for a long time. They said I was in there for 12 hours, but it felt like days. Towards the end of my stay I was put in there again after I hit another obnoxious guy. He’d been there a few days at that point and everybody hated him, he was 13 but acted a lot younger. After I hit him and the nurse restrained me, one of the guys said, ”Don’t punish her. We were all thinking it, she was just the first to act on it.”

I was at the point where all the girls that were there when I arrived were gone, which meant soon I would get to go home too. I got discharged, just not the way I imagined it. They labeled me as a lost cause. They told my mom there was nothing they could do for me any more and that I needed to be put in a long-term care facility like willow springs. I had heard about willow from the other patients, and I told my mom there was no way in hell I would go there. She didn’t make me. So I left the hospital with a long list of new prescriptions to get filled. They told my mom that if she wanted me to live, not to send me back to school, and to also get me a dog, so that I had something to take care of. So as soon as we could I was taken out of school and put in an independent study program, and I got my dog. I left my friend behind though, I promised I would go back and that I wouldn’t leave her alone at the school, but I did. She didn’t understand, and never talked to me again.

I got a job as a musician’s assistant at weddings, and also started teaching dance classes at my studio. I started taking college classes as a way to make friends. It was my mom’s idea. When you have a mentally ill 15-year-old daughter with a drug problem, putting her in college is not the best idea. My drugs use and Eating disorder raged out of control. I started dating college guys, sleeping with them and leaving them after a few weeks when I got bored. I told my therapist I was worried that I would never meet “the one” because I got bored of them after 2 weeks. The next time I went in though I had a new boyfriend, she asked if I thought I would get bored with him, and I said it was too early to tell.

His name was Matt (not to be confused with my husband also named Matt). I kind of knew him from high school, I took auto shop with his brother, and then later his brother left public school the same time I did for medical reasons, and we had a poetry class at the college together. Things were cool in the beginning. After 2 weeks my therapist asked if I was sick of him yet, and I said no. I spent all my free time with him. His mom catered to my eating disorder, only giving me small plates of food at dinnertime per my request. I hardly saw my family anymore. It was about 6 months into the relationship that things started turning sour. He’d known about my issues from the beginning, but now he just had this urge to fix me. Conventional ways obviously didn’t work, so he resorted to horrible things, things that to this day have left scars worse than the ones on my arms. He used manipulation to try and get me to stop. It started with the cutting, if I cut myself, I had to beat him with a leather belt an equal amount of times. When that didn’t work, instead of lashings, I had to cut him. Each time was reduced to tears, unable to do any more. But he insisted that if I loved him enough to stop hurting him, then I would stop hurting myself.

Then he started force-feeding me. He’d tie me to the bed and stuff my mouth full of food and cover it with duck tape. I was forced to either swallow or choke on it. When I got my license, he forces me to spend all my free time with him. Every morning I was at his house at 8am. I woke him up, made him break fast. I wasn’t allowed to leave except for school, work, and dance. I wasn’t allowed to drive anywhere even though we took my car since his had died a long time ago. I didn’t get to go home until 11:45, which gave me just enough to make it home before my curfew.

I started lying about when I had class, or work so that I could hang out with other people. I cheated on him, with several guys including his best friend. He never found out. Eventually he wanted a break. I was crushed. Even though we weren’t technically together, I was still expected to continue to spend all my time with him. And when he had friends over he locked me in his room and wouldn’t let me out until they left. Most of the time they never knew I was there.

I met a guy named Justin at the college. I was sitting in the commons reading, when he pulled up a chair next to me. My social anxiety prevents me from talking to strangers so there was a long awkward amount of time before he realized that I was not going to acknowledge him. He was nice and cute, and then he left. A few days later he found me again, and this time offered for me to go back to him house and watch a movie, so I ditched class to go with him. There was no movie of course. After we had sex, I got a lectured when he asked how old I was. Mind you, the first day I met him I told him I was 17. I guess he forgot. For two hours he lectured me on how he shouldn’t have had sex with me because I was 17 and he was 26, he went on and on about how I should just keep my pants on for a few more months. I really didn’t think I’d see him again at that point.

But one night I went to a party with my friend, it ended up getting shut down by cops, so we went to Stateline to see if we could meet some guys. Sure enough we did, it was Justin. He took us back to his place, and things went way wrong.

I said no. I did it to protect my friend, she was a virgin and I wasn’t going to let her lose her virginity like this. He respected her; I am different though, in his eyes, I do not deserve respect in his eyes. I said no. I begged him not to. He pulled my hair back, my head was so far back I had trouble breathing, I was in such a position that I couldn’t fight back. Soon I was too tired from yelling and crying and trying to fight that I just gave in and took it. When it was done, he let me go into the bathroom. My friend went in with me, she hugged me and I cried, and she held my hair back for me as I threw up. When we left the bathroom he gave her some blankets and told her she could sleep on the couch if she wanted, but I was going to stay with him. I woke up in the middle of the night to him, raping me for a second time.

I should have turned him in. I knew everything, his name, his last name, where he worked, where he was planning on going to school the next year, the type of car he drove, his license plate, I knew everything. But I never turned him in, and now all I can remember is his first name. I live in fear that I will see him again. In the fall he was going to flight school. Now that I am associated with the military, I’m terrified that he could be piloting any of the planes around me without me knowing.

The next morning he drove my friend and I back to my car. We got in and I sat there for a bit. And she said, ”let’s not ever talk about last night again.” And we never did. Except I told Matt. The next time I saw him he asked where I had been all night, he said I was probably out fucking guys all night. He grabbed me by the neck, held me to the wall and choked me until I passed out. When I awakened he apologized, he told me I was supposed to tell him before I passed out. I told him were I really was last night. Instantly he started making phone calls, we got in my car and he drove to various places collecting things from friends. And then he told me to either tell him how to get to Justin’s house or he would take me to the police. So I took him to Justin’s house. We sat in the driveway for a long time and I cried and begged him not to go in. I knew what he had in his pockets; I knew what he had gotten from friends. Chain, brass knuckles, and an unloaded gun. “It will still scare the shit out of him when I hold it to his temple.” He said, “plus, an empty gun still makes a good hammer.” I begged him not to, my reasoning was because I wasn’t even sure if last night was real. Maybe my head was just so fucked up that I made it all up without meaning too. After that, he left. And I paid for it back at his house.

The beatings continued after that. Society has never let me down more than it did in those final six months with him. He beat me in public, at the college. He beat me in front of friends at parties. And no one ever did anything about it. One time in particular we were hanging out at a friend’s house with 4 other people, when he started hitting me, they went down stairs. When it was all over, he left. I was crying on the floor, lying on top of what used to be a coffee table. The girl who lived there helped me clean my wounds and bandage me up. Why didn’t any one ever stop him while it was happening?

My white knight came in the form of my husband. Who is also named Matt as I mentioned above. We knew each other from high school, but had lost touch after I left. Now he was in the Air Force, living in North Dakota. We fell head over heels for each other. I warned him, I was crazy and had issues. But he said he didn’t care. After Two weeks we decided to get married. It was just what I needed. Even though I technically wasn’t dating the bad Matt, I was still stuck with him. New matt was my ticket to freedom. Even if things didn’t work out between us, at least I had escaped. He came home on leave for 30 days, and I spent every day with him. I was sure I wanted to marry him and He was sure too. I told the bad matt, and he stopped talking to me.

We planned to get married in Vegas as soon as I was 18, and not tell our parents for several years. But he started to feel guilty about that. So then we decided to tell them, and plan a big wedding. Big, isn’t what I wanted though. I wanted a small wedding with no more than 25 people. My anxiety was through the roof at this point and the thought of being the center of attention was my worst nightmare. I had to face a lot of fears to make this wedding happen, I had to call people, email people, and meet with people. I ate xanax like candy. And then he gave me his guest list, I had limited him to close family and friends only. 75 people. There were two problems with this. 1. That was way too many people for me to handle, and that was just his side. And 2. This made me depressed, because my guest list was only 15 people long. All but 2 were family. 18 years old, and all I had was 13 family members and 2 friends to my name. he had 7 groomsmen, I had two brides maids. My side, would be filled with empty chairs, because 6 of my 13 family wouldn’t be coming anyways. The Air Force saved me though, they wouldn’t give him leave, so I had to cancel the whole wedding. Instead once I finished my commitments in CA, I moved to ND and we got married in the courthouse. Me, him, the officiant, and two witnesses that I didn’t even know. I feel bad because I missed out on the wedding that I’d dreamed about my whole life. But it wasn’t my dream wedding anymore anyways, and I don’t think I had the mental capacity to handle being the center of attention in a room full of strangers for that long.

Things were great. It’s like all my problems were solved. My Eating disorder just vanished, my depression was gone, my anxiety was gone, and just like that I stopped using drugs. I had known before marriage that he was set to deploy in august, and I had prepared myself, the then they told us that would not happen. I was living life day by day, and I was the happiest I had ever been. But good news in the military doesn’t last long. And the military ripped my new husband away from me, and sent him to iraq as originally planned. I tried to stick it out. But I had no friends. I got a job but I quit after 4 weeks. I managed to find a drug dealer, and started doing cocaine again. I stopped eating, and stayed up all night and slept all day. Anxiety ruled my life. I could not go anywhere twice in a row, so I alternated which grocery stores I went too and which gas stations I used. I had to take different routes each time I left so that I didn’t drive by the same place twice in one day. At startbucks I could not order the same drink everytime. If I didn’t do these things, I made myself vulnerable, someone might learn my pattern. I wasn’t worried about stalkers or anything, I was just worried that people might think I was weird if they knew that everyday I went to this grocery store and this gas station and then ordered this drink at starbuck.

Eventually I just stopped leaving the house, only going out for drugs and to go to the gym which I did at 3am. Then started closing the gm at night, so I couldn’t even do that. The gym in the daytime was more than I could handle, there were too many people, plus I slept until 4pm, which is the peak time at the gym.

After three months I couldn’t handle it anymore. I moved back to CA with my parents. At least I had a friend there. Drugs were also easier to come by, and cheaper. I started doing Ecstasy nightly. I loved how happy I felt, I had never been so happy before. I even loved the come down, I loved feeling extremely depressed, I loved be able to cut myself. I hadn’t cut myself in so long, but doing it on ecstasy was a whole new experience. I took the pills just because I knew that when I came down I could cut myself and feel amazing. I ended up in the hospital needing stitches several times though. Usually my friend was with me, and she’d hold pressure on the bleeding until I was sober enough to go to the hospital. Other times she wasn’t there, and I’d call her and she’d come pick me up and drive me to the hospital since I was too dizzy from the blood loss.

The 8 months he was gone felt like they drug on and on, but then suddenly it was over. I packed up what I had, and headed back to North Dakota to wait for him. My drug dealer moved while I was gone, so I was forced to clean up. My anxiety came back again and started dreading the thought of my husband coming home. I wasn’t ready, a few more months, if they could just keep him for a few more months, then I would be ready. The day he was coming home, I was panicked. There was a know on the door. It was a girl I knew, we had kinda been friends, but had a falling out while of husbands were deployed. Her husband had come home 4 months ago. She said she was sorry and asked if I needed help. I said yes, I could use some help cleaning and with my hair. She came in and helped me finish cleaning, and she did my hair. She said, “when my husband came home I was bursting with excitement, you don’t seem very happy.” I told her I wasn’t happy or excited. I was terrified, I didn’t want him home, not yet at least.

That was the last day I cut myself. I wish I could say it was because I made a positive change in my life, or something like that. But the only reason I stopped, is because it stopped working. I stopped getting relief from cutting. If I were to cut now, all that would happen would be blood loss. I miss cutting, I crave it, I want it. I want it so bad, It’s a part of my life that I want to hold on to forever. But it’s just gone.

When he stepped off that plane, all my anxiety disappeared for the time being. Everything was perfect and I had nothing to worry about. The next week I went to a doctor and got put back on my medication for depression and anxiety. I didn’t feel like I needed it at the time, but I knew deep down that I did.

2 months later though, I was forced off because I was pregnant. They said I could keep taking my prozac, but I wanted to be as drug free as possible. I had good days and bad days. I never liked being pregnant, but some days were easier to manage than others. By 30 weeks though, I was unable to control my depression any longer. I felt so out of control, I couldn’t control my body like I have in the past. I was gaining to much weight, but there was no way to stop it. I wanted to go naturally, but at 41 weeks I told my midwife that I needed to be inducted because I wasn’t sure if I could handle another week. I had my baby, on march 11, 2009. It was amazing. For a few days I felt great, I had already lost 20 of the 50 pounds by the time I got home. My mom was there to help. One day she sent matt and I to the grocery store to get a few things while the baby slept. We ran into a few guys matt knew from work but I didn’t know to well. One guy looked at me and said, ”I thought you had the baby already?” I almost started crying right there. Was I really that fat? I was unable to work out because of my stitches, and a tail bone injury just kept getting worse. I was okay for a few months, but around 4 months after the birth was when post partum depression really hit. I wanted to take a kitchen knife and cut this new stomach right off. I almost did a couple times.

Sometimes, I could handle the crying anymore. So I’d lay him in his crib and just go cry on the stairs for a few minutes and then go back and take care of him. I spent a lot of time crying on the stairs, when ever he was sleeping, I sat on the stairs and cried. Each day I rehearsed in my head what I would say to my husband when he got home. I’d tell him how I was feeling, and that I needed him to go with me to get my medication, because I was too ashamed and scared to do it myself. And I’d tell him that I wanted to see a therapist too. But everyday when he came home, I found an excuse not to give him the speech.

Other than that, I felt pretty good. I was friends with the wives in my husbands group of friends. They invited us to hang out every weekend. And then we got orders to Washington. I thought this is what we wanted. But now I know, it’s not.

I felt empty as soon as we got here. I told myself though that this time would be different. This time I would make friends quick, it wouldn’t take me a year. I put myself out there. Our second day her, I went to a play group on base. I met people online, I made plans to hang out with them. I vowed to invited guys from Matt’s work and their wives over once our house was inline, and I wouldn’t be anxious about having people in my house like I was before. But nothing worked. I forced myself to go to all the playgroup meetings, It’s been 8 months, and I still haven’t made a connection with anyone there, so I stopped going. I hung out with a girl I met online, she was really nice and cool. We hung out twice, but then she stopped texting me, she never asks to hang out, and when I invited her to things she’s always busy. I can’t get over the anxiety of having people at my house, so the only party I’ve hosted was my son’s birthday. The only people that came were my family that live in the area, my parents and one of Matt’s friends from work and his Fiance. Everyone else from Matt’s work “couldn’t make it”. I hung out with the FiancĂ© a few times, she’s nice. A friend of hers contacted me on facebook several weeks ago and said that she wanted to invited me to the bridal shower that she was throwing for her but needed my address to send a formal invite. I was so excited that someone actually thought about me long enough to mention that they might like to have me present at their bridal shower. But I gave her my address weeks ago, the shower is in a few days, and I have not received my invitation.

This is the lowest I’ve felt since before I was married. Last month my husband left for Germany for about 3 weeks. I was surprised at how at ease I felt with him being gone. I wasn’t a mess like I was when he deployed. I stopped eating though. I lost 10 pounds, in three weeks. My body is very sick, my arms and legs go numb because of poor circulation and I black out everytime I stand up.

When my husband came home, I was just like I was the first time, panicked, scared, not ready. Different reasons this time though. Last time I was scared because we had only been married for two months when he left, and I was worried that 8 months had changed us. This time though, I was scared about have someone around me 24/7 again. As much as I hate being alone, I really enjoyed myself while he was gone, I loved being alone all the time and being in control. I was also scared he would make me give up my eating disorder.

He didn’t though. He doesn’t like it, but at the same time, it makes me happy and he likes that. My eating disorder doesn’t make me happy. To an outsider it might seem that way, but it’s hell here on the inside. The restrictions I live with are unbearable, and it’s worse knowing that I have placed them on myself and I can break them, no one is forcing me to follow these rules except myself. I find myself counting down the days until my husband leaves again, hopefully for longer this time. That way I can regain full control over myself again.

I hate that I feel that way. But it’s true. I don’t want him to leave again, I love him, and I love having him around. But I feel out of control when he’s here. I’m such a horrible wife.

I’m the lowest I’ve been in years. I’ve dug all the way to rock bottom, and now I’m just laying there waiting. I don’t know what I’m waiting for, maybe a sign from God. I’m too ashamed


Kris said...

Brianna, PLEASE, PLEASE go back to see a psychiatrist,psychologist or social worker. Call military one source and they will be able to set you up with a counselor. Their number is 1.800.342.9647 Do it for yourself. You have been through more than most people go through in their whole life. You can also email me any time. (((Hugs))) Sometimes things are too big for us to tackle them on our own and this is one of those times

Bec said...

I completely agree with Kris. I know how hard it is to ask for help. I have struggeled my whole life. But slowly I have been asking and getting the RIGHT help. I have seen doctors that are morons and it took some time to find good ones, but they can make such a difference. Keep on trying. Print out a copy of this post and take that with you and hand it to them. It can be much easier getting them to read something than having to talk about it. And trust me, a LOT of people do this, so they will not think it is strange. If they are not helpful, remember it is not your fault. And try another one. And keep trying until someone helps you. Sometimes you need to hit the ablsolute bottom of the pit before you can crawl out, and from what you have said that is NOW. Please, please get help. xx B

A. said...

Great blog. So many parts resonate with my story. Best of luck.

This guest blogger thing is great.

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