Friday, August 03, 2007

"Face"ing Yourself

I rarely develop attachments to people or things. I am not sentimental. I am sure it is part of the disease because I look at other people who are not ill and they have friends that they have had for years. They will travel hours to go and hang out with them, they will go camping, shopping and holidaying with them. They talk on the phone for hours and trade pics of their kids. The only people that I have developed and inseparable attachment to are my children and my husband. With anyone else I lose the memory trail that I may have had in my mind.

When I graduated from highschool, I eventually severed all ties with everyone there. Up until the last few months I have not really spoken to anyone from my class. The only bits of information I have gotten are from my mom. I have wondered about them, and sometimes I have searched for them on the internet or in the phone book. I search for pictures or bits of who they are without having to make actual contact. I get them to touch me, to give them a piece of themselves without me having to reciprocate.

I am not cold-hearted or sociopathic. I am not a stalker. I thought it was something of a social anxiety; just another bullet-point for the lunatic resume.

Not so. The revelation of what it was has caused a minor meltdown. It caused me to leave a job and to try to make more friends. It has stretched me to make myself important and know outside the walls of my home.

All crisis ' have a trigger, and mine was at

If you haven't heard of it, it is a website developed for social interaction. You can message, show videos, pictures. You can send virtual gifts and play games. It is like but much easier to use.

I began searching for people in my grad class from school.

When I think back to highschool, it does not fill me with great feelings. It was a horrible time. I was very sick, cycling up and down several times a week. I hurt myself and often thought of killing myself. I knew there was something wrong and had tried to approach a counsellor at school but ended up getting turned away as there was not enough time to see me. My high cycles weirded people out, and the lows alienated me. I would stay up all night obsessing on what to wear, or bawling for reasons unknown to myself, other than I just wanted to die. I was very paranoid so I often thought that people we talking about me, and really just hated me.

I was so desparate to be liked but into my adulthood I believed that no one did. I knew no one would end up remembering me.

Our school tended to seat people alphabetically, so often if we had the same classes, this one guy and I were seated near each other. We even had the same intials, TC.

I think every girl in our class at one time or another was in love with TC. He had the greatest feathered mullet. (Remember this was the 80s....) His biggest asset with the ladies was his ability to just seem like he did not care. He didn't care about the girls, he didn't care about sports, he didn't care about school. He could be funny and nice one minute, and then cool and uninterested the next. The bad boy.

Facebook was fairly new, so when I looked online there was not many people to look in on, but TC was there. I wanted to see what he was up to but before you can look on someones profile, you have to add them as a friend. I do not know why I did, but I reached out and asked to be added to his list. "Hi [TC], this is Tiffany. You probably don't remember me, but I thought I would say hi."

I expected to not be added, or at the least to get a message back saying he did not remember me. Maybe after some coaxing I thought he may have a sliver of a memory or me.

That day I got a message back from him. "Of course I remember you..." he said. Of course he remembers me? Me?

He does not know it, but with that comment he gave me value, value I was seeking in highschool. Value that I actually had the whole time I was there, just didn't realize. I had been avoiding old friends not because of a detachement issue, but because I had felt so insignificant in highschool, that I did not think that I would even be remembered.

But I was remembered. By TC one of the most sought after guys in highschool, the guy who did not seem to care.

We sent several messages back and forth for several weeks, and what I learned about him changed how I think about myself presently in highschool.

TC lost a brother in the later years of highschool. Shortly after that his sister had a child that his mom, even though she was a single parent decided to keep in the family. So when TC was late for school, it was not because he didn't care, it was because his mom went to nursing school. She left early and TC stayed back to make sure his new baby sister could make it to daycare. The school staff still insisted on giving him detention, so no wonder he appeared distant. At 16 he had gone through a lifetime of pain, and like alot of us, was devastatingly misunderstood by the adults around him.

He wrote to me many kind things about me now and even more surprising to me, of when I was in highschool. This sent me into a small identity crisis.

I have been competing my whole adult life, with an image of myself as a teenager, that I find out does not exist. This image has influenced decisions I have made for jobs, clothes, and cars. I have tried for years to show myself that I could be good enough, but it turns out I was.

There was a weight taken off me, but then I did not know how to cope without it. The person who I thought I was did not exist. I have allowed myself to be abused by bosses and an exhusband because my disease convinced me I was not good enough.

It turns out I am more than good enough. People remember me and people like me. People like me enough that if I make them mad they will forgive me later. My husband isn't with me out of pity, and when my children are adults they will not turn out to be serial killers because I am a bad mom.

I quit my job and sought out something that I wanted. Turns out the people at the new job wanted me too, enough to create a space for me that does exist. I am joining clubs and trying new things. I am going to take up archery. I am done waiting to be good enough, because I found out I already am.

My husband tells me daily how smart, funny, and beautiful I am. Now I believe him, and now I believe that I deserve him.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


I am working nights right now. After my husbands doctors appointment I layed down.

I had been asleep for about an hour when Paul called me. This is odd because he is very careful not to bother me when I sleep.

"Don't be mad" was the first thing he said. Its never good when your husband starts off a conversation with "Don't be mad".

My husband is a musician. He is classically trained on guitar and has recorded some things with known musicians. I have heard him play on recording but the entire time I have known him I have never really heard him play.

He was in a car accident over a decade ago and with it he broke his back and his neck. He wasn't supposed to walk but did but continued to have trouble with his hands for years.

He started to get some of it back about 5 years ago but was then hit with the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.

After his accident he was pretty angry, but the thing that sent him over the edge was not be able to play guitar. He has had a rough life. I would not discuss most of it publically without him knowing but his upbringing was violent and invasive. So much so that if I did not trust this man with my life I would think he was making it up.

He turned to music for comfort, esteem, solace. Then it was taken away from him twice.

Over the years he realized it could be much worse. He has a family, great job, crazy wife. There all lots of things he throws himself into now for value.

I didn't realize how much he mourned it until the car ride home when he said he wanted a base guitar for Christmas. I have already tried twice for a Christmas present for him and he keeps blowing it by buying it or changing his mind so I told him he should wait just to make sure that he was feeling better.

When I got home I did some reasearch and tried to find money somewhere to get him one. When he came home with the car me and the girls were going to get him one.

"What do you mean don't be mad." I don't know why people say that. I was instantly mad.

He was guitar shopping. He had found one and had obtained financing for it and everything. I yelled at him, telling him he ruined his Christmas present again. He apologized and then I thought it was over. I could go and get it later.

Then he came home. And he had a bass guitar in his hand.

I was so angry and the old me would have screamed and freaked out. I would have made him see what a tool he was being. (I had previously called him a "dick" so 'tool' wasn't out of the question.

However it seems that God has granted me some sense and I saw how great the loss of not being able to play must have been to him. He has never really complained but it was obvious it pained him.

It hasn't been the not being able to play. It was the loss of the piece of himself that got him through all the terrible times.

So we talked. And he is keeping the guitar.

And he was happy.

And now I don't have to buy him a Christmas present.

And the guilt he is feeling has got to be good for some favors my way!!

The bass players are always the hottest too.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Scurvy Dog

My husband has never been well.

As a kid he had a spine deformity. In his early adulthood he was in a terrible car accident. He died on the table, and a back injury that was supposed to render him paralyzed causes him pain everyday.

Three years ago he was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Severe rheumatoid arthritis. We were told that he would need joint replacements and end up in a wheel chair in the next decade.

We made plans. We pushed my career, and we pushed every drug that was available into his body in hopes of a cure, we pushed him not to sit around and feel sorry for himself.

The drugs were brutal. They made him lose his hair, brought him down to 120 pounds. They were immunosuppresent drugs and when one month he got the flu he nearly died. He says he didn't but he was too sick to listen to what the nurses were saying when they were hooking up the ecg machine to him. He had to take four months off of work to rest and still let me inject him twice a week because he wanted to get better so he could take care of us.

For three years I have watched my husband stretch himself everyday just so he can be a good husband and father to daughters he chose rather than created.

His sickness seeped into every pore of our lives. Every decision we made was made with the question "Can he handle it?"

My husband is a great man. He put himself and his pain last so we could have a better life. He waddled his way to work everyday so he could be productive.

He was having a hard time a couple of months ago and went to go see his doctor. She told him he was in remission and should start taking flax seed as a maintenance therapy. He told her he thought this was weird because he was in so much pain. She left the office and came back in and told him in fact he was not in remission and started signing him up for a drug that costs 3000 bucks a month.

He left the office uneasy and decided to get a second opinion. About 3 weeks ago he met his new doctor and after some poking and prodding he mutter that Paul was not going to like what he was going say. He didn't think that Paul had RA. The doctor refused to say anymore until tests were done.

Today we went to the doctor for the results. I had to go with Paul. I couldn't let him take the diagnosis alone. The other diseases we looked at with the same symptoms were horrible and what if it was a new disease we hadn't thought of.

He was visibly upset in the office. His doctor came in and opened the incredibly organized file. He started going through the list of all the tests he ordered and confirmed Paul did not have RA.

Liver function, kidney function, and immune tests all normal.

Then we were told.

Paul has rickets. Osteomalacia in adults, severe vitamin D deficiency. Common in these parts due to the lack of enviromental vitamin D.

He said that this diagnosis may not be exactly it. But reading between the lines we could see that there really is not anything else.

5000 mg for three months, 1000 mg for the rest of his life. If this is the problem my husband should be feeling better in 6-8 weeks.

I have tortured my husband for years giving him needles. For three years his life has been an exisitence only for some of the time.

All he needed was a jug of milk.

I am very angry.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Check it out!

Friday, December 01, 2006


I am so tired. It is Christmas time, and as anyone knows who has worked in retail, Christmas is it. Everything that the business does is to just get it to Christmas, to make the most amount of money possible. My job is to get the stuff out to sell and to do that is to work overnight.

I have enough trouble sleeping and the flipping from days to nights has nearly ruined me. I had a terrible spell this week and thank God for my patient husband. I lost my mind temporarily. I became horribly irritable and had alot of trouble sleeping. Because of the lack of sleep, the problems my mind face become worse. I was terrible to my husband, impatient with my kids, and just wanted to spend all of my time in bed not sleeping.

When I start peaking on mania, I start to hallucinate. Its not so bad that I think that it is real. I just see stuff. I saw squirrels in my car, and people where there couldn't be anyone. The last day that was the worst I could hear the electricity.

Luckily with some drug induced sleeping I pulled out of it. I am feeling better.

Really though, I am just sick of this. One of the reasons that my husband and I decided that we should not have a child to blend in with the children I brought, is because I am crazy. Sometimes we don't go out because I am crazy. We don't watch certain shows, or visit with certain people. I have to do the driving sometimes, and the tv has to have a certain level of voluem because I am crazy.

I try to stay away from the drama of it, lamenting day in and out of all the things that I have been help back from because I am crazy. Of how bad I have it. Sometimes though, it does control my life, and the fact that I cannot control this bothers me. It smacks me out of no where and it makes me angry. I do not like ruining the time out with my family because I freak out on the way in the car. I do not like not going on vacation because I do not travel well. I feel stupid when we get to a movie theater 45 minutes early because I obsess about standing in lines and being in a crowd.

I feel as though I hold my family back and that makes me sad.

I want to be good.

I don't want to be myself.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Eating Me Up Inside

My weight is constantly on my mind. Everytime I eat, I enjoy and at the same time I feel guilty. It is a way that I comfort myself, and ease the tension in my mind and body. Buying grocercies and making meals for my family is a way that I feel successful. I wish to be thinner, healthier but also do not want to let go of the feelings I get when making dozens of cookies, or watching my husband who has spent his life at 130 pounds, make it to over 150.

I also eat to punish myself. During dark periods, sometimes after seeing myself in a full length mirror, I eat to prove to myself how disgusting and horrible I am. I eat to prove how ugly and worthless I am. How no one will ever really love me and how my husband just feels sorry for me and that is why he stays with me.

During the Sleepover I found women that used food for comfort and punishment just like me, but it came by not eating it. There were several anorexics there; the point ways to dually treat the eating-disorder as well as the reasons why they had an eating disorder. They don't eat to punish some sort of defect they feel inside of themselves and feel satisfied when they are able to control what they do not eat.

In the ward they would be made to sit in the kitchen for a period of time in hopes that the food that they ate would make it through them and nourish them.

Unfortunately they did not want to be nourished and would go back to there rooms with contraband knives or toothbrushes to push down their throats and purge.

The women that had made a life of it were obvious to all of us. They were thin with big joints. Their hair was falling out, sometimes pulled out, causing sores on their heads. They seemed dried out, worn out. Ghosts.

I learned another lesson while there. Starving yourself to death was did not always come from being anorectic or bulimic.

I saw her sitting in her wheel chair in the kitchen. She was one of the thinnest people I had ever seen. Her glasses engulfed her faced and her clothes hung on her. I automatically thought she was starving herself, but she was sitting by our stove, cooking, and later I saw her eating.

I found out that she wanted to eat, badly, but she had developed a fear of food. A food phobia. She had gotten ill from several intolerances she had to different foods. She had gotten sick of being sick from food. She found three things that didn't make her ill, and was sticking to those things: rice, lentils, and some sort of oriental cabbage. She steamed them on the stove herself, while the rest of us ate greedily from the cafeteria.

The calories that she was taking in were not enough to sustain her through the day so she was not allowed to walk anywhere. She would sit in her wheelchair outside of her room until one of us would walk by and give her a ride.

I pray they found their way. I pray that I find my way to eating better, eating because I need to and that be the main reason.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Terrible Day

This morning I was walking around feeling sorry for myself. I was mad because my husband and I had gone to a "mixer' for work last night and we had to leave early. I missed out on winning a door prize that was a trip somewhere.

This morning I was convinced that my life was pretty crappy. I didn't win the prize, I had to wear the same outfit that I have worn over and over, I have a crack in my windshield that I can't afford to get fixed.

This morning I was jealous of my boss and a coworker because they just came back from a trip and each got a gaming system that I want. The one coworker won a tv.

This morning I found out that another coworker I work with just called in and told us his son just died. He was only 8. It was something related to pneumonia and it was fairly sudden. We knew he was ill but thought he was getting better.

This morning I realized I am self-centered and selfish.