Betrayal Is Such a Silly Word.

Whenever you start thinking about the word, “betrayal,” you really have to stop for a moment and ponder about how ridiculous the word is. The word, “betrayal,” sends images in my head of kings being killed by their subjects; queens seeing someone else when they’re married to the king; and a seemingly innocuous kiss upon the cheek to signal the armed forces to swoop down and “save the populace.” Really, the word just heralds visions of chivalric missions written by Chétien de Troyes or Wolfram von Eschenbach. The unfortunate bit about betrayal, though, is that it is every bit as adequate a word today as it was back then. Only instead of betrayals that could span across nations, we just get it on a personal basis… which is probably why it hurts as bad as it does.

Last Friday, TH’s grandfather died. It wasn’t a shock to anyone, really; he had some major health issues for years. However, he was still a big part of the family and in other ways, he had been missing. That night, we went over to TH’s mother’s house to help her out. TH’s step-father was out of state getting his daughter’s car in Mississippi, so we went over to spend time with the family. As is normal in the family, there was some fairly heavy drinking going on. That’s just how they are – they’re social drinkers, though neither TH or I fall into this category. I think we drink all of once a month, if that, although TH will drink more often than I. He got pretty fucking drunk…

…and thought it was the perfect time to discuss our relationship, and my asexuality, at 12:30 in the morning. I was trying to fall asleep to some shitty fucking movie (Supernova) and he wanted to talk about our sex life. I shut him down. I was completely rude about it, as well. I will admit that I was over-the-top and an asshole about it. However, I had tried to have this discussion with him in July of last year and he made it seem like I was grasping onto straws with the idea of asexuality. He shut me down back then after I had requested that if we couldn’t discuss it, then he look into it and get back to me with his opinion on it. He never bothered. I think he actually forgot about it until, nearly a year later, he realized we hadn’t had sex in close to 12 months.

Either due to the passing of his grandfather and our lack of a conversation on Friday, TH hasn’t really spoken to me at all over the weekend. I figured it was probably a mix of both, honestly. I was a d-bag about it. In fact, I was such a jerk that I kind of felt bad the next morning. But, I figured he would come to me when he was feeling a little more on even keel. Not only is discussing a relationship right after you find out that your grandfather is dead not good timing, it’s just really a bad idea all around. Let’s ignore the pain I feel at the loss of my loved one so we can have some hard truths about our relationship? Oh, yeah. Perfect idea, that.

Yesterday, they had the funeral for TH’s grandfather. We all went – including R, which did not make me happy to have him there – and we all did the family thing. After the funeral service, we hung out at the club that TH’s family is associated with for a few hours. TH actually maxed out his bank account so that he could get drunk while there. (My face: -.-) R and I left fairly early on but I get the rest of the family went over to his uncle’s house to finish off their mourning or spending time together. Whatever. TH came home and then left again a while later since he had his mother’s car to go tooting along in. After he came home the second time, I think he was home for all of a half hour when he says, “I’m going to BFMA’s.” And I was pretty sure I misheard who the fuck he was talking about, so I asked. Nope. He really was going over to my best friend’s house.

Now, normal people would just assume that in all the time they have spent together with R in the mix that something happened between them. They’d immediately latch on to affair and run screaming from the hills. However, I know that the taste BFMA has in men is not my taste and she has never even remotely been sexually attracted to TH. I know that TH finds her sexually attractive, but I’m kind of over it since all of my boyfriends have always been hot-for-teacher over my best friends. It doesn’t matter what man I’m with or who happens to be my best friend – the guy I’m with has sex fantasies about her and I either have to learn how to deal with it or end the relationship. I’m still with TH, so obviously, I’ve learned to deal with the fact that I’m the ugly friend and my best friends are not. I’m only half joking there.

I decided not to freak out, even though it’s really fucking creepy knowing that your boyfriend and your best friend are talking about you when you’re not around. What made it worse was the fact that the two of them don’t even like each other! TH has told me time and time again that BFMA uses me all the time and that I should jettison her completely. BFMA has told me time and time again that TH is using me and that I should jettison him completely. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Isn’t it fucking hilarious that they both tell me the same shit about the other? If I didn’t fucking know any better, I would assume this is a jealousy thing on both their parts, but whatever. They were talking about me, to one another and they both fucking dislike each other.

When TH got home, I asked him how he felt about talking about me and our relationship to someone he fucking dislikes. He admitted that he didn’t like it. And I flew off the fucking handle. What the fuck is the fucking matter with these people? Is it fucking impossible to fucking realize that the way to have a relationship is to go to your spouse instead of talking to the one person who may or may not know what the fuck is going on? And no. BFMA doesn’t know a fucking thing that is going on between either TH or I because I haven’t fucking told her because it’s none of her fucking business and I’m not going to fucking give her grist for the gossip mill with her shitty ass piece of shit on-again, off-again “boyfriend” to discuss in the middle of the night. Not to mention, if I really need to fucking discuss what is going on between TH and I, then I’ll say something. But I fucking didn’t need to talk about it because, stupid fucking me thought he would be an adult and bring the subject back up.

And that was my fucking mistake because, you know, patterns from the last six years do not fucking show him as ever being a fucking adult.

And he’s not.

He is twenty-five years old and still acts like he is 12.

Whenever we have a “discussion” about our relationship, it is usually me doing all of the talking (or ranting) for who knows how long while he sits there and stares off into space. He gets that fucking glazed look in his eyes that says he’s actually only getting about one word in twenty and only responds when pressed with a monosyllabic response. No matter what I say or what I threaten, nothing ever gets fixed and nothing ever changes. When he’s working, he still doesn’t help me with the bills or with anything else. When he’s not working, he sits around and stares at the TV or his video games instead of cleaning the bathroom or doing some laundry or fucking anything besides being a lazy fucking bum. He does the dishes, though! At least there’s that!

He is a selfish asshole and I fucking put up with him because I still always believe he will change into the man I need. When will I learn that I’m with a little boy and not with a man? It may just be this time.

I think what makes this worse is that BFMA, when I told her not to do this again, came back with how upset TH was and she just was giving him someone to talk to. Nope. Nuh-uh. That will not fly with me because I know him and she’s a fucking idiot. He has online friends just as much as I do. While I was utilizing my resources, I.E. talking to a friend who isn’t going to go back to my fucking boyfriend with every fucking word I said, he was fucking making me distrust the one person in this area who was my friend. They are not friends. They do not like each other. The only reason he turned to BFMA was because he thought I would have said something to her about all of this by now. (And she’s read my asexuality entry, as her comment indicates, so I’m sure she had something to say on the subject.) Nope. Sorry. I’m not going to go running to her about every little fucking thing that’s happening in our life.

The lesson of the story, as far as I can see, is that TH is not an adult, nor will he be any time soon. BFMA is only to be trusted at arm’s length.

And me? I’m the one who gets fucked because I trusted, evidently, the wrong fucking people with my heart and my soul.

A Year in Review (Better Late Than Never).

I have been debating about this entry for a while. I haven’t really wanted to write over here, actually. I’ve been told that all I do is “complain.” Even though I have a little caveat on the side bar that clearly indicates that is the point in this entire blog, I’ve been keeping myself away even though I’ve been at near-explosive levels of irritation and rage in the last month alone. I’ve also been accused of using this blog to belittle and angst at people. Again, I have to point out that it clearly states on the side bar that if you don’t like what I have to say here then don’t fucking read it. With that, let’s talk about this passed year.

There is no other way to put it: 2012 sucked for me.

For almost the entire year, minus the month of November, I have been unemployed. Most people would assume that being unemployed would be “fun.” I’ve heard people discuss the whole unemployment thing like it was a game. “A bit of time off to get your head in order and then you find a job.” The reality is that unemployment is extremely boring and beyond terrifying. For months on end, you are endlessly hunting for something to replace the last position you had, at a similar pay rate and with similar hours, only to find that there are twenty people in line with you for the same position for the same reasons. And invariably, you don’t get the job and you’re left angry, depressed, and beyond upset at the callousness of your situation.

It may take a while but the “joy” of having some time away from work is quickly replaced with nothing but negative emotions that you have to try to constructively get rid of, otherwise you’re bound for depression town with no way out. Medication is all well and good, but to remove yourself wholly from the depression, you have to get out of the situation causing said depression. How do you do that when 7% to 9% of the entire country is in similar boats? There is, unfortunately, no quick fix for these situations, either. The government keeps going on about how they’re “fixing it,” but the reality is that most of the unemployment numbers are as low as they are because people have lost their benefits and are no longer eligible for any sort of assistance outside of state welfare programs.

I bet if anyone stopped to look at the numbers of welfare programs, state by state, we’d see the reality of the unemployment numbers. I wrote about this in October or so, in which I wrote about my frustration and angst. I was lucky, unlike a lot of people in that situation. A job opened up with the temp agency I had been “working for” since August and I was able to actually take it. For a glorious month, I knew where the money to pay my bills was coming from. But then, the unemployed thing happened all over again, only that time, I wasn’t eligible for state unemployment benefits.

What has made our situation all the more devastating is this fiscal cliff shit that has been going around and around. I watched as the unemployment aid that TH was receiving completely dried up. That’s right; for the last half of December and thus far into January, TH has not had any unemployment benefits either. In all honesty, I think unemployment for construction workers, painters, and other trades should be calibrated differently than other workers but they aren’t. So, we have been literally living entirely off of what is left in my savings account. It got us through Christmas; it got us through no state aid in health insurance, food stamps, or cash assistance. Every now and again, I think ruefully of being denied Head Start funding for my son and wonder, if things had been this dire in August, would we have gotten more help?

Throughout the entirety of 2012, I have felt very much as though a large round mill stone has been around my neck in one form or another. Aside from constantly going to interviews – success; someone wants to talk to me about my qualifications – I have had more rejection E-mails than I can count. All of that has really added up to fray up my confidence. I’m not exactly the most self-confident person in the world, so in either receiving the “thanks, but no thanks” E-mails or no responses at all… it’s added up. I’ve constantly felt as though I am completely inadequate, unable to take care of my family, and just a complete failure in every sense of the word.

What really irritates me about this whole situation is that I have only, ever, applied to jobs that I felt I was qualified for. Occasionally, on a whim, I would fill out for jobs I had no business looking into. Mostly, I’ve been looking in the customer service sector since I know that job backwards and forwards. And for the most part, I’ve been informed that since I don’t have a college education, I can’t possibly get the job. Since customer service really has no business being a college course, I’ve been at a complete low ebb, flowing from anger and irritation to depression and inadequacy.

In early December, I loss a childhood friend who was very dear to me. I’ve written of this friend before. She was “BFTX.” Since she started her path into Christianity, I’ve been waiting for the inevitable fall out that would happen between us. I am distinctly pagan, specifically polytheistic, in my practices. I’ve known that there would come a time when I would lash out or she would. I tried very diligently in giving her advice regarding her “darker moments” and I had tried very hard to maintain a friendship that was slowly falling away into a crumbling heap mess. I won’t get into the specifics, if I ever will. But, the loss of my childhood friend because of a difference in religion really hit me square, center over my heart.

I always thought that our friendship would slog through every possible hook that could be thrown our way. We past through hell, ten times over, together and we managed to come out, not whole, but at least relatively safe on the other side. We stopped talking to one another quite a few times since we started our friendship at eleven, but no matter what, we’ve always managed to pass through the sinkholes and come out all right. In this one, however, I don’t really think that could possibly happen. She’s since blocked me on Facebook after claiming to have apologized for being a bit of a jerk regarding our differences in opinions. Since the words, “I’m sorry I was a dick,” have not reached me, I don’t consider anything she has had to say on the matter properly closed.

I have yet to heal from this loss, in all honesty. It still tweaks at me in ways that I cannot convey. When it comes to soul mates, you just think, Forever and ever, but that’s not always the truth of it. There must be reasons why we are constantly searching for the soul mates. And even sometimes, it doesn’t really matter what the situations are… maybe you find them and maybe you don’t. That doesn’t mean that you’ll be with them forever. Fairy tales have passed out of this world for a reason and reality is a lot of things from happiness to pain. In this particular instance, pain is what I’m learning and what I will, hopefully, one day be able to recover from.

In the mean time.

This past year has been literally awful in so many different ways. I’ve felt, very often, misunderstood, unwelcome, disliked, and unqualified for various reasons. I have felt like a complete failure in religion, friendships, family life, and on a personal level. I have felt as though everything was going to fall down around my shoulders and without my being able to fix it. I think after time goes by and I move further away from this past year, I’ll hopefully be able to look at it more subjectively than I have in this entry. Right now, I simply can’t. There has been too much heartache and too much pain for me to look for all the good things that have happened. Good things have happened in various ways, but the overwhelming feeling of 2012 has been a complete nadir.

As everyone else in my situation has said, or people giving advice to me have said, it can only go up from here.

Tragedy Strikes And… We Make It About Us Instead of Them.

I will admit that after yesterday’s horrific events, I came home and hugged the hell out of my son. I refused to let go as tears slid down my cheeks, feeling the absolute horror for those parents who will not have a beautiful child in their life because someone ended it prematurely. I hugged him so tightly that he said, “Mommy, you’re hugging me too tight.” And then he saw the face I was making, the silent tears strolling down my cheeks as empathy for those parents welled so deeply in me that it had to come out, and he kept hugging me back.

As a parent of a child who is nearly at the age bracket of some of the victims from yesterday’s massacre makes things like this all the more real, more pervasive, and painful for me. Next year, I have no choice; I cannot keep him home any longer. He will be enrolled in a public school, possibly one just like Sandy Hook, and for hours in the day, his care will be given entirely over to the school system. I will not be there to protect him from bullies or scrapes. I will not be there to protect him from himself or from others. I have to hope and pray that the school system I enroll him in is as on-spot as Sandy Hook’s system seemed to be: teachers hiding their students in closets, another turning the lights off and locking the door while she read a story to her scared students, and yet another who refused entrance to the police until she saw a police badge produced beneath the locked door of her classroom. I have to hope that, in just such a situation, my son will come home to me.

I cannot begin to convey how deeply terrifying this entire situation is for a parent. And I cannot fathom the levels of pain and anger for those parents whose children did not survive.

What gets to me about this entire situation is the hounds running around, making it political. They want gun control; they want laws to prevent just such things. And then there are the people who keep going on about how tragedies like this wouldn’t happen if we allowed the Christian deity into the classroom. And I’ve seen people politicize Obama’s speech about the massacre to make it about the drone strikes in other countries. And I’ve seen people turn this into debates about how abortion is just some bad, bad stuff. And honestly? For almost the entirety of the bullshit now circulating the Internet because of this tragedy, I really have to fucking wonder what in the hell is the matter with people. This has nothing to do with anything except the gun control debate.

We should all be coming together and aiding those people who are suffering because of this tragedy, but everyone has an opinion. And like assholes, a lot of those damn opinions stink ten times over. The ability to turn tragedies into propaganda sickens me and it should sick anyone who reads this. High horses are all well and good, but if this were to happen to you, do you really think you’d give two shits about Obama giving a speech about it, much less how it relates to what’s going on in the Middle East? Nope. If this happened to you, do you really think you’d care how the murder of innocent children correlates with the abortion debate? Nope, I don’t think so.

So, how about instead of being fucktards and dickwheels, we offer some love and support to the people who need it and leave our agendas at home.

I do plan on making a post about the political agendas engendered by this tragedy, but right now, I’m planning on offering prayers and energy to the people who require it at this trying time. Maybe instead of worrying about abortions and Christianity, you guys should do the very same.

The Land of Claims.

I think one of the major reasons this job grates on me is the bureaucratic bullshit I’m hearing about. I get about three to four calls, a day, in which I have to listen to an irate policy holder complain to me. They almost all are usually demanding to know when an adjuster will be coming by to view the damages to their home or calling to set up an appointment to come by to see the damages to their home. From what I’m seeing and hearing, not just from these people but from other people in the center, it would appear that this particular company is sitting on their ass and busily doing nothing.

It drives me insane.

It’s not that I’m being yelled at (although that is extremely irritating) but that I can’t assist these people. They are calling me for the answers that I have absolutely no access to. All I can do is give them a telephone number (usually the one that they called to get a hold of me to yell at me) and update the information to be sent off to the main branch. I can’t give them absolution or a time limit on how long the travails will be happening to them. And usually, that’s all they’re looking for. They want to look at their shit time as being finite and I can’t tell them that.

I am really good at customer service, if I do say so myself. I know how to foster a relationship. I know how to smile even at four in the morning when I’m dog tired. I know how to troubleshoot. But, here, I can’t do that – my hands are completely tied. I can only respond with, “I don’t have that information. I apologize.” And then, give them a useless fucking telephone number that will probably bring them back to someone else in the call center.

It’s fucking maddening.

I am rapidly beginning to realize that I am a “soft touch” as Tony from The Tenth Kingdom would say about his daughter. I want to help these people with their problems. I want the good feels of a job done well. I want to be able to say, “Hey, I know this is awful right now, but it will end around this time,” and have it come true. I want to help, help, help.

And I just don’t feel that I will be able to do that here.

After work, I am just completely grateful that I survived another day.

And that, my friends, is a huge fucking problem.

The Interesting World of Insurance Claims.

After feeling like the largest failure for having been on unemployment long enough to actually stop receiving it, I got a phone call from the temp agency that I’ve been “employed with” for the last few months. Every time they would call me, I would be unable to do what they requested. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to because, you know, bringing in an income is really fantastic. However, they always seemed to forget that I’m a single parent and that I can’t just drop everything to run to work. I have to make provision for my son and set up things like that. And I know how competitive it is to be working for a temp agency, so I had no illusions about them “holding a spot open” while I settled my son into an unfamiliar new environment. Since TH is now out of work, I can drop everything now.

The job is… well, it’s very taxing.

I work at a claims outsourcing group call center. In effect, if you have an accident or something happens to your home, then you call me and I end up boring you with a hundred questions about where you live, your number, and the incident in question. Then, I give you a temporary claim number until a real adjuster can call you back and make everything wonderful again. The reason I’m working for is because of Hurricane Sandy. So, while I would normally just be sitting around all day and listening to people talk about car accidents or bitching about their neighbors’ children throwing a rock through their window, I now get to hear every possible scenario of horror story out of Staten Island, Long Island, the Jersey Shore, and various other hard hit areas. Most of our calls are out of New Jersey and New York.

Everyone else in the country gets to watch the news and read the newspapers to click their tongues at and feel absolute sympathy for these people. I get to do it while speaking with these people. To say that I come home completely drained is an understatement. There is no diminishing of my well of empathy or sympathy for these people and that’s why. As a friend of mine said a while back, some people are cut out for this kind of job and some people aren’t. And I am woefully not. I’m sure, over time, I’d begin to develop a clinical type of detachment to the stories. But, in reality, I just don’t see myself as that kind of person. I spent a lot of my childhood filled with clinical detachment. For whatever reason, I finally actually have some kind of sympathy for others – I’d like to keep it.

The Reality of the Unemployment Situation.

I called a friend of mine up in a panic today on my way home from submitting applications and feeling true despair at the totality of my situation. She told me that I wasn’t allowed to panic. We would brain storm about things later together. And then she said to me, “Just don’t panic; you can go on Don’t Panic, but you can’t actually panic.” So, here I am.

Yesterday, I received the news that I knew was coming from the office of unemployment. I was no longer eligible for unemployment benefits and now, I have to become a “welfare bear” in the hopes that my family and I can survive the harsh reality of our situation. I cried. There’s no other words for what my reaction was. I just cried. I cried and I cried and I cried. And I can’t help but wonder how many other people are in my situation, crying their eyes out as they try to find something that allows them to survive in a country that has “no jobs” and is itching to cut the very benefits that will keep people like us alive? I can’t help but be angry at the situation – it sucks – but in reality, I feel very betrayed and disenchanted with everything this country is supposed to stand for.

We hear the politicians talk about how unemployment rates are lower than they were. All right, yes. I’m sure the rates are lower, but the only reason is because people have passed their extended benefits and are no longer eligible, whether they are employed or not. The break down isn’t discussed. You just hear this magic number (I believe it’s 7.8%) touted about and everyone pats each other on the back. “Look what we did! The unemployment rate is down!” But how many of the people who have fallen from unemployment are still looking? How many of those people are living off of state aid in an effort to stay with a roof over their heads and food on the table? I seriously doubt I’m the only person in the entire country facing this crisis.

Did you know they did away with the third tier benefit? And that’s probably the real reason why the unemployment rate is so low.

When you’re filing for unemployment or are living off of the state assistance programs, they actually make you go and take classes at your “local career center.” This is a euphemism for a dark, shadowy place of imprisonment that has absolutely no desire to help you find a job. They tell you about the classes they have and they tell you about using their computers and they update their job postings every day! These are half-truths and outright lies. For example, I have applied for the same job three times via their resource list that cut off hiring in August. In August. (I keep applying because by the time I get that low on the list, I’m drunk with typing and thinking.) Their computers need to be signed up for days in advance, but that’s no big deal. And the classes? They’re typing 101 and they’re how to write a resume 101 and all the next levels to these classes. How are they supposed to get you a job?

Why not have a class about what to wear to an interview? How about a class on proper E-mail etiquette when you’re fishing for a second interview? What about a class on how not to feel like a complete fuck up and loser while you’re going through this crisis? Why not offer counseling services for your mental and emotional well-being instead of all of these “skill set” classes? For the most part, I have to assume that they get enough students for the classes. And I have to assume that they are well received by the local and federal governments because the local career centers are still getting aid at the state and federal levels. So, obviously, this is all well and good in the eyes of politicians who don’t understand what it’s like to have to worry about where the next meal is coming from and what’s more important: gas in your car or toilet paper for your ass.

I am so angry and frustrated all the time. I hate feeling this way. I really feel very similarly to how it was just before MEH and I officially broke it off. I am angry. I am frustrated. I am hurt. I am bewildered. I am scared. And always the same advice from friends and family, “when the doors closes, a window opens.” What they forget to tell you is that you didn’t bring a flashlight, the window is probably a thousand miles down some tight corridor, and you have to find it in the pitch blackness of reality. I hate that phrase right now almost as much as I hate the phrase, “have some hope.” Have some fucking hope?

Everything is wrong and evil and stupid and I am so fucking angry. I am beyond angry. I want to hurt that company so badly. I want to stick it to them. I want their pens to dry up; their computers to be attacked by viruses; their questionable fucking practices investigated on a state level; and I want them all to suffer. I want everyone who threw me under the boss and everyone who still works there and everyone who kisses ass over there to hurt and be angry and know what it’s like to be thrown under the bus after nearly two years of committed service. I want every single one of them to know what it’s like to get interview after interview that lead to nowhere. I want every single one of those selfish twats to see me crying as I panic and worry and have anxiety attacks about how I can’t possibly raise or take care of my family.

And I hate feeling this way.

I’ve worked a very long and hard time to gain adequate control over my emotions. I’ve probably taken that control a little too far, to the point where crying actually physically hurts sometimes because I just… don’t. But I prefer to be in complete control over my emotions instead of being the insane raging beast that I used to be. I much prefer this to that, in all honesty. And the fact that I am always angry, hurt, bewildered, scared, anxious, and panicking drives me fucking insane. All of this drives me fucking insane.

The politicians who think they’re doing a good job.

The people who think they can give advice when they really don’t know the situation well enough to give me advice.

The people who offer me the same old platitudes.

The people who aren’t around to watch me suffer.

The people who did this to me.

I am so fucking insane with rage that all I want to do is shake someone or something all the time. (I suddenly understand BFMA’s intense desire to throw shoes at a door whenever she gets upset on such a better level now.) I don’t do this. I scrub the counters. I scrub the toilet and the bathtub. I do load after load of laundry. I sit down and I fill out endless applications. I sit and I fret, but I don’t shake anyone or anything. I don’t throw shoes at a door. I end up crying instead and have panic attacks.

This is the reality of unemployment, people.

Keep that in mind, too, when you vote on November 6th.

P.S. In case it’s not clear, this isn’t some random “VOTE FOR ROMNEY” ad or anything. Romney can eat a bowl of dicks. I lived in MA when he was governor and he was next to useless. His stance on things like Planned Parenthood, abortion, and his belief that his “business savvy” make him ideal of president are laughable. What I’m saying is DON’T VOTE REPUBLICAN.

Why a Bipolar Diagnosis Helped BFMA.

This post is brought to us today by idiots on Tumblr. (FOOD FOR THOUGHT OVER THERE.)

Today, someone I follow over there was discussing about needing help to learn to live, preferably on her own, with bipolar disorder. I was talking to her prior to her outcry for assistance in finding places that would be capable of helping her. I told her that in my life, with BFMA, I was the buddy that she had to get her to live on her own successfully. (HI BFMA.) However, as the person pointed out, she doesn’t have a buddy in her area to do that, so to go her own, she’s looking into halfway houses for such a thing. A young child made a commentary on her post that was, well, young. That person’s comments were pretty hilarious and also very dangerous chatter, in my opinion. When young’ns come into something not knowing a damn thing about a mental health disorder but feel like they can just spout out whatever they can type as quickly as they can type, we have a problem. Life experiences are kind of more important to such things as mental health disorders than, say, being able to look shit up on WebMD or Wikipedia. But, really, what got to me was when someone said something along the lines of, “Who needs a diagnosis? I think everyone is a little bipolar everywhere.”

And I lost my fucking shit because I’m BFMA’S BUDDY.

I lived with her before she had a diagnosis. I got to watch her break apart every two weeks when she went into a depression cycle. I got to watch her start a shit-ton of projects that never got done when she was in a manic phase. I got to watch her try to kill herself when she was in one of her depression cycles. I got to watch her talk about how she was going to buy a fucking set of bagpipes because she would learn them when she was in a manic phase. I got to watch this tear her apart because she didn’t know what was wrong. Technically, she had a diagnosis – she was depressed and she suffered from ADHD! What a hellacious way to live your life. It was the worst fucking thing to watch her think that she was just batshit insane and no one would understand, the doctors didn’t care, and everyone kept walking away because it was “too much” or “too overwhelming” for them to deal with it.

Prior to a an official diagnosis, she went on and on about how she felt like she was crazy with no real reason. She had people tell her that she was insane – inventing things. Her own family and doctors would infer or out right tell her that she was melodramatic. I watched as people walked into her life and then right back out again. I watched as people from previous relationships warned new boyfriends and friends away from her because she was “way too melodramatic; fucking crazy.” She had the stigma of being “too overwhelming” and “too melodramatic” or “too paranoid” prior to being diagnosed. It was hell on fucking earth watching her go through that and trying to help her get through it one day at a time, one step at a time. It was fucking hell.

Never mind what the doctors did to her. Invariably, they all pretty much called her crazy or making things up without actually coming right out and saying it. Or, they would tell her that she was making things up for attention. As if having severely suicidal tendencies after a week of feeling like you’re on a constant high is something to do so that you can get attention. They never listened to her. They never thought there was something more wrong than the depression. They weren’t interested in listening to the one person who could explain all of the symptoms clearly. And it was because, on her chart, it says that she was melodramatic, overwhelming, and given to flights of fancy.

Then, she was diagnosed about six years ago and everything magically clicked.

It all began to make sense. She wasn’t over dramatic. She wasn’t overwhelming. She wasn’t really anything that people labeled her as because she just had a chemical imbalance in her brain. She had a reason for her outbursts. She had a reason for the suicide attempts, the stays in hospital, the random spending sprees, the being unable to hold down a job, the entirety of her life began to make sense. The pieces fit together instead of being jammed together with scotch tape and glue. Everything began to just get so clear and so obvious.

Do you know how sad it is when your best friend calls you up, excited and thrilled because she finally had a real diagnosis for all the shit she had been going through and putting others through? No? Well, I can tell you that it is a very bittersweet moment. On the one hand, you finally have absolute clarity for things that never really made a lot of sense. And on the other hand, it is so fucking sad and depressing that you get excited over a doctor finally listening to you, after years of fucking ignoring you when you say, “something is wrong.”

However, on the other hand of the spectrum, there comes a whole new host of issues that you didn’t really understand. You have to work hard and do a lot of med checks to get the right dosing. Some of the side effects of those drugs are hilarious but not when they’re happening to you. (The lactation. The being unable to feed yourself because you have the shakes so bad. A serious case of death.) And then comes the fun part of explaining to people that you are the way you are because you have a chemical imbalance. And you get to watch yet more people walk right the hell out of the door because they can’t fathom what it’s like to have to deal with this in a relationship, in a friendship on a daily basis.

So on the one hand, you get to think that you’re fucking insane for no reason whatsoever without a diagnosis. And on the other hand, you get to think your fucking insane for a very serious reason that no one can understand or is willing to cope with.