2018 Chaos Rally #3 – Feeling Restricted

Last Friday is was raining over here. This Friday? Snowing. Could be worse.

It’s been cold enough that my dad has banned the use of my space heater in my room due to it racking up the light bill. I get it. No one is at risk of dying with a room temp of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Having said that, anything below 75 regardless of the season and I’m freezing. It sucks. It’s days like today I wonder why I don’t live in a desert somewhere.

But let me say that I am incredibly grateful that my parents have the space and the heart to turn their house into a multi-generation home. It keeps the boys and I from being homeless, but we’re also there to help with the stuff they can’t do (or shouldn’t be doing) anymore. As I watch my parents grow older, I become more aware of the increasing support they need.

And it’s likely that because of this that I’m feeling a rise in the unspoken demand to meet every expectation, need, or want that they have. As a result, I feel less able to live the life I want – like my life is on hold. There is no privacy here. Everything I do, or don’t do, is not only completely observable but open for constant commentary. If they’re not saying it to my face then they’re speaking loud enough in another room for me to hear it.

If I say or question anything about this, the response I get is that it’s my illness making me think that I’m being controlled. How often do I bring up the word control in these conversations? I find it interesting that this is the response my father gives me when all I did was complain about them listening in on my phone calls, or demanding to read my private documents from the lawyer/court, or needing to know where I’m going like it’s a bad thing I’m leaving the house, or the constant commentary on my parenting, or wanting to know what I talked about in therapy.

Never once in any of those examples did I use the word control when I voiced my complaint.

If it’s not my illness to blame, it’s I’m “being ugly“, or it’s the other parent. Dad will shift the blame to Mom or vice versa. I’m so tired of this “I’m the cool parent here! It’s not me doing that.” pot stirring game. And both of them have done this for as long as I can remember. It makes me wonder if this is the reason I’ve been hearing, again, that maybe I don’t need medication.

Why on earth would anyone say this to someone known to have psychotic features? I mean my parents make a point to remind me that I suffer from delusions on a regular basis. So I know they are aware of it. Why would they not want me to take meds for this?

I know it’s because of stuff like this that the first hospital I was going to didn’t want me living here. And I wasn’t going in blind when moving back in here. I mean when you’re not living with them and your dad calls on a regular basis or shows up at your place to tell you how you should be doing things, there’s a problem. If they didn’t make contact with me on a weekly basis, it was a crisis.

Dad always claims he wants to know where we are in case of an emergency, but when my baby sister went to the hospital they didn’t bother telling me until after she was already home. My therapist at the time, not the one I have now, thought I was upset with not being informed and bombed with “Well what could you have done if you had known?” line of questioning. The therapist I have now picked up on how it doesn’t make sense to demand to always know where I am if they aren’t going to contact me about emergencies – especially when they claim that’s the reason they need to know.

So it bugs me to hear from my dad now that I don’t need meds when talking about mental health, but he’s completely on board with the idea of me being put on a statin if my cholesterol remains high. God forbid if I change my diet? Given that heart disease and diabetes runs in the family and statins increase the risk of the onset of Type 2 Diabetes, it’s in my best interest to change my diet before starting that med class.

I’ve wanted the Chaos Rally to be a motivational and inspirational music collection series. But right now I’m finding it challenging to rally myself and I feel like a hypocrite in posting these playlists. I feel restricted like I have no private life. I feel like everything I do in this house is essentially telegraphed. God forbid if I use my free time to turn any one of my hobbies into a source of income.

Yes, I’m grateful to have a place to live but does it have to come at this price? I don’t remember privacy being this big of an issue when I was growing up. Then again, I hadn’t lived any other way at that point so how would I know any different? Has it always been like this or is this just something new as a result of them aging and feeling basically unneeded? Or maybe it has always existed but has only amplified now they are getting older? I mean yes they are still my parents, but I don’t need them to parent me anymore.

Even as I write this I can just hear in the back of my head how this is my “illness talking” and it’s all in my mind and I take things too personally. It doesn’t help that I have legitimately experienced paranoid delusions in the past. So I’m left questioning how much is real and how much is my brain lying to me just about every day. The question alone is paralyzing.

The additional layer to all this is that I have PTSD because I have had people cause me actual harm. So how much of this is due to psychosis versus a hyper-vigilant brain?

Paranoia due to psychosis is not derived from anything factual. It’s derived from a false belief. Paranoia from PTSD is based on real signals from the environment that may or may not be interpreted correctly (aka triggers).

They are each addressed and treated differently. There is a lot of evidence supporting the effectiveness of CBT and DBT for PTSD. I have no idea how well these therapeutic methods work for psychosis. Generally what I see is treatment leaning towards meds.

Which cycles me back to wondering why the hell my dad has ever said that I don’t need meds. Yes, regardless of the cause, I’m paranoid. And I don’t like it.

It’s hard to motivate yourself to do anything when you feel like you can’t trust yourself. Hell, I don’t even feel like I can trust myself to raise these boys somewhere out there completely on my own. The threat of a relapse and experiencing another episode is very real. And this coming not long after me posting about my current normal. Maybe this really is my current normal, but that doesn’t mean I can’t aim for a better one.

So today’s playlist opens with a vlog from Dave by Dave. In it he talks about how he regrets waiting as long as he did to go in the direction he wanted to go. Naturally this resonates with me because I feel like that’s what I’ve been doing all my life. The one time I felt like I actively had myself on the path I wanted and making progress was while I was in college before I met my ex.

Don’t throw away your dreams for other people. Don’t wait. No matter what you do, the naysayers will always be there attempting to block you. Even when the naysayer is a voice in your head, don’t feed that troll. Don’t let it stand in your way. However impossible it may seem in the beginning, keep at it and take it one step at a time. Eventually you’ll get there.

My journey continues, albeit in stuttering fits and starts, but I’m going to find my way. Eventually.

8 thoughts on “2018 Chaos Rally #3 – Feeling Restricted

    • I honestly didn’t understand why people would do it and stick with it until I started working in nursing homes and then realized my parents aren’t getting any younger. They’re not quite at that age yet, but they have reached a point where there is a lot of stuff they can’t do themselves anymore so I feel better when one of us is at least living near them.

      I think the biggest thing is it’s hard when you have multiple alphas in the same house trying to call all the shots. 😉 And yes, I’m one of the alphas and my dad is used to calling all the shots without question.

      But being a single parent changes the way you look at things. I’ve taken care of it alone long enough now it’s hard to let anyone step in to even lend a helping hand, much less take over. I’m working on it.

      So I also can understand how it can be upsetting to no longer be able to do everything you could before.

      • You’re such a good person for helping your parents.

        You nailed it right on the head – the alphas. That’s the problem in my family, too. And as you said, once you (a kid) lives on their own, it is very difficult to go back and become that “kid” again and be bossed around, etc.

        Thank you for such a lengthy, thought provoking reply!

      • Oh, this is exactly it! No one wants to go back to being a kid and it wasn’t until I had kids of my own that I was able to understand why parents have at least a subconscious desire to keep their kids as kids forever. I have a 16 yr old now and I’m already started to feel the denial if you will.

        Thank you for leaving a comment in the first place. It helps to know what I’m experiencing is an every day family thing. As for replying… I’m guilty for being long winded. I haven’t mastered the art of controlling that one yet. I’m glad what I had to say was food for thought and not just rambling!

      • I absolutely thrive on lengthy comments. I’m guilty of overdoing it sometimes, but I can’t help it. I see WordPress as not just a place for monologues, but as discussions, so other longer comments are music to my ears. It actually means we are sharing, listening, considering, learning.

      • This is exactly the argument (or position I guess?) that my sister took when she was urging me to take my posts off Facebook and onto WordPress. Plus, she told me that what I was doing was actually blogging. I have no regrets and I haven’t looked back. I’ve reached a point where I rarely log in over there anymore. I find communicating with only memes to be… weird I think is the best way to put it. lol And as for discussions, I enjoy them greatly. 🙂

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