mckarlie

I have happiness in my heart and a thorn in my soul

The many masks of mental illness

Sometimes i feel like a vapid fraud. I think all of us adjust the way we act or speak depending on the company we are with at the time, but it doesn’t usually adjust one’s actual sense of self. For instance, around one’s parents you’re probably less inclined to discuss your sex life and how you got so drunk friday night you may have peed yourself a little. You may have friends that you tend to use more colloquialisms with, more relaxed syntax and what not, you probably have friends that you swear more around and so on.

See for me, the issue is that my sense of self is as fluid as the company i keep, and i have determined that it’s predominantly because of my mental illness and the trauma i experienced in my formative years. I wont bang on about what happened to me because many of you already know, but in a nutshell – i was sexually abused by my mother’s first husband from ages 7-9 then physically emotionally and mentally abused by her second husband from ages 11-26, true, i was 26 the last time he got drunk and had a go. Added to the abuse i have abandonment issues with my mother, we are trying to resolve all of this now but it’s a long and drawn out process. I am bipolar and have ptsd, boy am i fun at parties!

I feel like my masks run deeper than most and that it’s dysfunctional. I feel like almost an entirely different person depending on who i’m spending time with, it’s bizarre and exhausting. I’m trying so hard to look like i have it all together, there’s no one that sees all of the real me, not even those closest to me. I hide my pain, I hide the ways I deal with my pain, i try to look like i have it all together but i’m really just treading water, no matter which version of me i’m being at any given time, i’m always treading water. My sense of self is skewed, i know things about myself that are definite, i have opinions and views and inclinations but no true character, no definite being. Maybe that’s what your 30’s are for? Figuring out who you are?

xo

Advertisements
10 Comments »

Why do men and women fight?

This question, why men and women fight, has plagued me for some time. Relationships can be tough, we all know this, and yet there’s no definitive answers when it comes to why so many of us find it hard to maintain relationships and why fights happen. There are obviously many options and answers when it comes to this question, but recently during an argument with my man i sat there and analyzed what was happening, what he was doing and why, what i was doing and why and i came to somewhat of a realization: priorities!

Different priorities are often the root cause. If you think about the last few arguments you had with your partner, you can probably trace at least some of the cause to a difference in priorities. Basically, if something is important to me but not deemed as important by him, it causes issues. If he wants to do something and finds it important but i don’t feel the same way, it causes issues. I genuinely believe most problems in relationships boil down to some version of this, different priorities.

I have been married for nearly 13 years now, at the start of the marriage i was still a kid really, packed full of bipolar wonder (many many years before i was diagnosed and understood my patterns of behaviour at all) and ready to take on the world, i got married on my 21st birthday. It was whirlwind to say the least, we had known each other for a while but barely, and then within six months we were ready to walk down the isle. We were married in melbourne and moved to england about six months after the wedding. I was, to say the least, incredibly selfish at the start of the relationship. I was so infatuated with butterflies and this big passionate love and when he disappointed me in any way i turned it into a big drama. The amount of silly fights that ended in me throwing my arms up in the air and declaring ‘i just can’t do this anymore’ was ridiculous. Basically, i had grown up with my mother having a string of dysfunctional relationships so my model of how men and women worked together was skewed. Everything i knew about relationships was either from my mother or movies, probably more so movies, and we all know that movie love is so very very different from how things actually work in life.

Movies teach women that we can act however we want to act and if he really loves us he will fight for us through all of our batshit crazy nonsense. He will stand outside our window with a boombox playing peter gabriel love songs, or he will chase us down at the airport as we’re just about to get on the flight to paris, he will confess his love in front of a mall full of shoppers over the public announcement thingie. You get where i’m going with this, it gives us this sense that love should be manic and passionate and impulsive and a constant battle. If you’re not feeling something big at all times, then something is desperately wrong and it’s not true love. That’s all well and good for movies but it doesn’t help us much in real life.

After a few years of marriage we hit trouble, my behaiour was all over the place because of my silly expectations and ideals and he started to withdraw and play video games more and more. We stopped actually talking to each other, neglected each other and nearly stopped working as a couple all together. Then, something occurred to me. One day i caught myself making an unrealistic demand of him, and thought to myself ‘if he said this to me, how would i feel?’ – this became my new map, a new and better way to navigate my relationship, and it was something as simple as ‘do unto other as you would have them do unto you’ ha, i knew all those years of sunday school would someday have a use to me.

So armed with my new weapon, let’s call it logic, i started to consider my actions towards him more. I tried to put myself in his place, i started to care more about his feelings and the effect i had on his feelings. I had spent so much time concerned with MY happiness and MY love and MY feelings that i didn’t know how to put someone else before myself. But i learned, slowly and with many mistakes, how to monitor his feelings and try to be a loving positive thing in his life instead of a constant stream of stress.

This is not to say i’m the perfect wife, or that i have it all figured out at all. I don’t. But i’m bipolar, and there aren’t many bipolar people who get to have long term marriages, so i must be doing something right somewhere, right?

So i would encourage anyone out there who is having relationship issues or finds themselves arguing a lot with their spouse to have a think about what’s underneath the yelling and screaming and throwing and nonsense, what the REAL reason for the disagreement is. It’s usually something as simple as the other person feeling bad because you don’t care about something that is important to them or feeling like they’re not being heard or respected. It’s easier than you think to show love and respect in a relationship, and as cliche as it may be, communication truly is key. It’s easy to stop trying, to go from arguing to nothing at all because you just can’t be bothered having one more fight, but talking is so important. If we spend a little less time consumed with getting OUR point across or having OUR feelings heard and focus on the other person’s feelings and needs then we will probably have happier love lives. If two people in a relationship are both looking out for the other person’s needs then you have two people looking after each other, which is ultimately the whole point.

Peace xo

Leave a comment »

Bipolar, my 50 shads of cray

I’m having a depressive episode, the last thing I feel like doing is writing which is why it seemed prevalent for me to do so. It’s like the colour has been sucked out of everything. When I’m “up” everything is bright, I want to help others, I smile at the people who serve me in stores, I smile at strangers who pass me on the street. I write endless amounts of poetry and stories, I’m full of creative energy and bursting to share with everyone.

When I’m down, it’s like everything is a lighter shade of what it should be, greyish. I don’t smile at strangers, I don’t talk to people who serve me in stores, I get angrier when I drive. I find myself staring off into nothing for what seems like endless amounts of time. Everything seems like an effort, going to get milk from the store, taking my daughter to get new shoes, it all feels like WOE IS ME, and I then feel guilt over being so ‘slack’ – logically i know i’m not slack, I have an illness, but it’s hard not to feel guilty when I feel myself being so unpleasant, so empty.

I know it’s just a matter of time till it passes, I know it will pass, thanks to medication i’m not as low as i tend to get during an episode, i’m just numb. I’m like a zombie, there’s small signs of life here and there but for the most part, I’m just on autopilot trying to get through, waiting till I’m back up and can feel again. I feel like my ‘up’ self is my true self, that I am a happy person who gets a tad manic at times but for the most part my up isn’t manic, it’s just happy and productive. There’s no point in drawing lines as to where my illness ends and where i begin, it’s an impossible task, I can do so in my behaviours by analyzing and trying to figure that out but when it comes to me as a person, such lines can’t be drawn.

Anyway, to all who are feeling the same, I feel for you. Not as much as I normally would lol oh gosh is that a bad joke? You have to laugh at yourself sometimes or else you truly will go crazy. But genuinely, I know there are others out there feeling shitty just like me, I know there are others having the up part of the cycle at the moment, it’s all part of the different shades of cray, ha.

13 Comments »

Bipolar Baker

So most of you will know by now that I’m bipolar. I am also a stay at home mum and study part time, I often have to take time off study when having a depressive episode, but one thing that often keeps me going is baking, i’m a bake geek. I don’t really love eating a great deal of cake, but i LOVE creating different things, so i thought i’d try out posting pics for the first time and share some things I’ve baked

Husband's Green Lantern Cake

Husband’s Green Lantern Cake

Inside of husband's green lantern cake, chocolate with ganache layers

Inside of husband’s green lantern cake, chocolate with ganache layers

The above cake took me about six hours, the decoration was quite fiddly but hubby loves green lantern and superman and all those kind of guys, so i made a three layered chocolate buttermilk cake with chocolate ganache in between, it was pretty good!!

My Daughter's Angry Birds birthday cake

My Daughter’s Angry Birds birthday cake

The above one took me about 16 hours, it was a chocolate layer cake with fondant angry birds and decoration. One of the hardest ones I’ve done but it was so much fun. It felt like going back to kindergarten molding all the figures.

Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes

Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes

These are the ferrero rocher cupcakes, SO SO rich, ridiculous. But really tasty, I love the chocolates.

My daughter's pikachu birthday cake

My daughter’s pikachu birthday cake

The pokemon cake took me about ten hours, it was very fiddly and precise but she loved it. I get so much joy making things like this for my kids, they get pretty excited.

Donut eclairs

Donut eclairs

And lastly, possibly the most decadent. Home made potato donuts with stabilized whipped cream and home made raspberry jam. They were so tasty but I could only eat one, you could feel your heart clogging up! Haha.So i would encourage anyone who gets stuck in a down swing to find something you love to do, something you can do at home by yourself and get into it. Just doing SOMETHING can make all the difference, I’m a creative soul and so creating anything, be it a song a poem a painting a cake, it’s all cathartic for me.

20 Comments »

Not so merry go round

I’m in the throws of deep despair

I cry out silently but no one’s there

I can’t tell them what’s going on

I can’t tell them how it all went wrong

So I stay silent, screaming inside

In my own pain I bathe and abide

I want someone close but push them away

If I had the chance I’d not know what to say

Help me please, make me feel something other

Help me please, be a friend or a Mother

I just need this pain to end

I just need this ache to bend

then all of a sudden, I pull myself out

I’m positive again, I scream and I shout

I’m hIappy now and I try to help others

I’m happy now, you’re all sisters and brothers

I feel like I could fly, let’s maybe write a play

There’s so many things I can do in just one single day

The memories of pain they quickly fade away

And I feel amazing I’ve found my voice and words to say

Suddenly again, the sadness starts to creep

Suddenly again, all I want to do is sleep

If I’m not awake then I can’t feel the pain

Oh God it hurts so much I wont ever be the same

Just breathe, just breathe, and quiet the angry voice

Just breathe, just breathe, don’t make the final choice

So round and round and round I go

Up and down and round I show

On the not so merry go round

Will true peace ever be found?

 

4 Comments »

Bipolar makes relationships so freakin hard

I think it’s the bipolar, i’m sure within myself i see the grey area and am fairly open minded, but bipolar can make things very black or white. My husband and I have been together for 13 years, we have been struggling a bit of late, but the last few months have been really great. I have been trying my absolute best and hardest to make things work and he has been putting in a lot of effort too, but when something comes up and i try to talk to him about it, i get a brick wall. He turns things around and tries to make me the bad guy, i’m not trying to make anyone the bad guy i’m just trying to talk, but i don’t know how much more i can take of this, we haven’t been on truly steady ground for a while now and i wonder just how far down the rabbit hole i’d fall if he wasn’t around. But I don’t know how much longer we can tread water, something’s got to give.

I think my bipolar has affected me in a way in which I am going to be a lonely person, people don’t flock around me as i share my opinions too freely, i don’t edit myself enough i just say what i think, and i can understand how this puts people off side. i have a handful of close friends but there’s only so far a friendship can go, there’s only so much of each others shit you will put up with in a friendship, so yeah, i’m feeling pretty alone.

He’s sitting out there in the lounge right now with the kids, i can’t bare to be in the same room with him at the moment because it makes me want to cry, so i’m hiding away in the bedroom writing and watching tv. Surely my kids have sussed that something is wrong, we usually all do things together, i don’t know what to do.

I’ve cancelled plans we had for today because there’s no way either of us can put a smile on our faces and make it through a social occasion, we aren’t even talking to each other i don’t feel like talking to everyone else and pretending everything is great.

I wonder if i was born with bipolar or if all the messed up shit that happened to me caused it, part of me thinks it’s the latter and i get angry at the people that did those things to me when i was young. i get angry at my mother for letting it happen ’cause now i’m a broken human who can’t make relationships work and who feels completely isolated from the world. Anyway, just my rant, it’s best to get this stuff out.

12 Comments »

Trying blindly

I feel as though I’m invisible no matter how much I try

I feel as though I’m laughed at and it makes me want to cry

All I want to do is help and heal each others pain

But most they find me odd you see as I don’t play the game

I don’t say one thing to a person’s face, another behind their back

I don’t act passive aggressively and pick up others slack

If I have a feeling or a motive I feel I make it clear

This isn’t the kind of person that most people want to be near

I feel a little sorry for myself yes I guess it’s true

But it’s only because all I tried to do was simply to help you

And people either back away or take until you’re spent

I’ve written so many letters which will always stay unsent

I want to share my feelings but I stop and make a track

‘Cause once you share a feeling there’s no way to take it back

And I have learned that most are best when inside goes unsaid

Most people just want chit chat, their life to be unshared

So I will keep on trying and hurting as I do

If you know someone who sounds like me, they probably just care for you

So maybe you could try a little bend and open up

“Cause if you keep it all inside then one day you’ll have had enough

You’ll look around to find a friend to find an open ear

And maybe when that time does come such a person will be nowhere near

 

Leave a comment »

Open heart

It’s hard to heal or find happiness when you feel you have no home

It’s hard to find your place in life when you feel you’re all alone

Sometimes we shut each other out for fear of being hurt

We crave love and attention but build walls to keep avert

We lock ourselves away from love believing we don’t deserve any

We think that we are all alone just another one of many

But we are each special and unique in our own way

We all are worth something and should each have our own say

If we let a little love in and make a crack in all the walls

Then soon we’ll feel we’re worthy and those walls will start to fall

I know the last thing someone wants is to feel like a charity case

And when love is offered to easily we turn and run apace

We don’t trust something that seems too good because of all the pain

We feel we are not worthy ’cause on ourselves we place the blame

So next time someone offers you an open arm or ear

Trust that they truly care and that it’s genuine and dear

The fact is we all need help sometimes there is no shame in this

And if someone offers love to you, it would be a terribly thing to miss

 

16 Comments »

Traveling Unmanned

As I walk along the path, the night air nips my skin

My pace is fast and steady can’t help trying but to begin

Thinking of all the things that press down on my heart

A voice keeps nagging at me “you were doomed from the very start”

My heartbeat pulses against my ribs I can barely catch my breath

It’s as though I’m running away from life, life and love and death

All these things all at once I feel like I am drowning

I look up at the moon and I’m sure I hear a vicious howling

I stop dead in my pace, all of a sudden tightly I wind

There is no beast here present, the noise is in my mind

I’ve worked myself to such a state that I can barely breathe

I notice that I’m crying and wipe my cheek off with my sleeve

All this angst and all this worry weighs heavy on my mind

I’m sure when I started walking it was for answers I would find

But Now I’m in a panic and I don’t know where I am

I slowly turn around to figure out where I began

I’m lost and cold and out of breath I fall down to my knees

I see the moon disappear behind a cloud behind some trees

I stay like this, weeping, heaped upon the ground

Surely this is no way, for answers to be found

My heart rate slows I take in air it stings my beating chest

I realize I feel helpless, even though I do my best

Life is still so fucking hard, there’s still so much to bear

And I can’t find escape from it not here not anywhere

I slowly make my way back home, slower in my pace

My head feels cloudy and out of control, it’s not a healthy space

I dream of peace and all it brings and wonder if I can

It feels as though I’m on a train, traveling unmanned

3 Comments »

Fight for your happy

She floats through life in constant pain

She bathes in memories, stays the same

Flashes come and flashes go

She’ll never admit all that she knows

When she was little he had his way

It sometimes happened every day

Touched in a way no child should be

Haunted to this day by the depravity

Then her next “Father” he liked to hit

It chipped away at her bit by bit

She kept calling out for her Mother

But her Mother would never bother

So she accepted that she was worthless

She gave up on life and all it’s tests

She merely accepted her illness

And her absolute lack of wellness

She forgot she had the option to fight

She forgot to try for what was right

It all got lost along the way

She made plans for another day

A day that would never, ever come

Because she felt broken and undone

Until one day she remembered her voice

And on that day she made a choice

To take her stories lay them bare

Not caring of others would mock or stare

She shined a light right deep down

And found that people gathered ’round

To also tell tales and comment and share

She found that others truly care

And from the shackles she finally shook

All the broken pieces they took

And wiped herself clean shiny new

It’s something that was hard to do

And still she struggles to this day

But she has found a different way

Take the darkness and shine a light

And for your own happiness, you must fight

11 Comments »