Saturday, March 22, 2014

Death, Anxiety, and Panic.

It's been a rough week all the way around. A friend who was more than a friend, but more like family, and who played a key part in helping me put my own life together after my separation and relocation to Central Mass, lost her own life this past weekend. It's almost impossible to believe that this is real. That this really happened, and that Stacy is gone forever. But it is real and it keeps hitting me over and over again. My heart is breaking for my family who also lost a friend, a love, and a mother. My heart is breaking for her family who lost a daughter and a sister. For all of her many friends, old and new.

I'm working on a memorial post for her, but this isn't it. I haven't been able to sit through more than 20 minutes without breaking down each time. I'm try to truthfully honor her and tell my story of her and why she was so special. I will get there. 

As the two people that read my blog might know, I've been working hard at trying to manage my anxiety disorder. 8 months of ongoing therapy, writing, breathing, meditation, (the eating right and exercising are coming, I promise). I've also been trying to change my thinking. All without medication. Until today. After three panic episodes in three days, today I caved. I tried and I even asked for help. I feel like I've been mocked or laughed at, or just out and out ignored. I also feel like I've failed myself. I know there is a lot going on emotionally and in life itself and I should just accept that for right now I need the extra help, but it still feels like a failure. One that no one really cares about but me. It's a harsh reminder that we are really alone in our battles.

I've spent the week in tears. I've cried for everyone that loved Stacy. I've cried for Stacy. I've cried for the emptiness and the void I feel.  I've cried during the day and in the middle of the night. I've cried because whenever I start to talk, no one hears me and immediately start talking over me. I've cried because I'm still the last to know. I cried when a stupid alcoholic character on my show suffered an aneurysm and ended up in coma, because that is what happened to my mother. Panic attack number one. I cried last night at my boyfriends reaction when I sarcastically asked him if he could tear himself away from the game on his phone. Yes, I was sarcastic, but in all fairness he's been playing it non stop all week. A week that I needed someone to talk to that didn't have to constantly say "what?" to my every word. His reaction was to put the phone down, throw his hands in the air and say. "There!  It's down! I'm done!"  Maybe that's not a big deal. I don't care. It feels like a big deal. It feels like shit. Like I'm so fucking annoying for wanting any of his undivided attention. Like I have no right to feel rejected when I'm constantly having to repeat myself because he's so preoccupied he never hears what I say the first time. I told him I was annoyed, because I needed someone to hug me, I needed to be with someone, and I needed help making a grocery list because I couldn't even think straight. He immediately grabbed the paper and starting making the list. No hug. No conversation. No being with me. We all make our choices and we make them for a reason.

If you suffer from anxiety at all, you will know that this isn't helpful. In fact it is the opposite of helpful, and instead of getting what I needed I was sent into full blown panic mode. It wasn't until then that I was allowed a hug. When it was already too late. When it was already happening and I couldn't stop my head from shaking and the sadness melted into fear of a stroke.  After the adrenaline had worked it's way through me and I was able to start coming down, I felt like I've been hit by a truck. My muscles are still tight and sore. My head hurts and my brain feels numb.

I woke up this morning feeling raw. On edge and already in fight or flight.  A few more exchanges of words and I was right back in the thick of it. I feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall. I say I need ...."blah". He say's well I'm not going to give you "blah..." because you're mad at me.  This immediately makes it worse, which he doesn't understand, or refuses to understand or just doesn't give a fuck to understand. Relax. I want you to calm down. No fucking shit. That is never going to happen when I out and out ask for something so small as hug and he looks at me as if he hates me with every bone in his body. It's more than reminiscent of my own mothers mantra "I will only love you if you become someone else."

When I'm in the middle of a full blown Anxiety or Panic attack, I can't see anything but the fear, and the racing thoughts. I can't see yesterday. I can't see tomorrow. In that moment I want only for it to go away. I will do anything for it to go away, and even death (one the primary fears of the anxiety sufferer), at times, has seemed like a welcome relief. When it's over those feelings and thoughts pass, but the fear of another remains. The reality that this is never going away magically on it's own and my only hope is to manage it, sets in. I then become obsessed with getting rid of all the things in my life that are triggers., because it's hard enough from one day to the next without having someone almost seem to be purposely trying to break you. I don't know if it's on purpose, but I do know that the eye rolls, the insensitivity, the not listening, the not hearing, the not talking to me, and the letting me cry alone for hours without even a second thought...all of those things are like poison to my mind. Poison to my life. It wasn't always like this. He would say it's because I wasn't always like this. But I was. I've been like this forever. His reaction to me used to be different. It used to be caring. Or at the very least it seemed to be. Now it's utter annoyance. That is what's changed.

I get it. It's not easy knowing what to do. I'm trying to make that easier by telling him. It's not easy living with me. I tend to feel things, and get hurt, to be anxious, and overly worried, and have this ridiculous desire to talk sometimes when I feel like this. I tend to get pissed when I feel like I'm being ignored and I've tried time after time to get someones attention. I want to scream and pull my hair out, and punch walls and kick doors and I try in all the wrong ways to get what I think I need.

The reality of the situation, though, is maybe I just don't need any of this. Maybe I've done my best. Maybe I've tried my best. You can't force someone to react in the way that you want. You can't beg. You can't change anybody. They change. That's for sure, but it's never anyone else's doing but their own. Maybe there is a lesson.  That if you ask for love and it's not immediately given without hesitation then it isn't really love after all. 

It's been a tough week. Every emotion I've ever felt is making it's way to the surface and I've gone from just needing my partner to be present and hear me when I talk to him, to feeling like that will never be possible. That he will never understand the in and outs of someone like me. That I will forever be here sitting alone in a separate room sharing my pain, and fear, and thoughts and feelings with a machine. With a blog.

Something has to change, because this isn't working for me.  I will never in my life again, ask more than once for some kind of physical or emotional support.

Hope, who, by the way, would never be a dick to someone if they were already having a shitty time of it. 



Saturday, February 22, 2014

99 Problems #4...Stinky Stuff

After the seriousness and stress of my last post, I figured I'd lighten it up a bit this time. A bit. Not too much though. I am feeling less of a weight on my shoulders thanks to my BF who took all the kids last night and left me with a few glorious, calm and quiet hours to myself. I said he saved my life. More accurately, he was probably just trying to save his. In any case. It worked. Just a wee bit of time to breath and engage in my (special) interest and I feel 10 times better. The urge to run is fading and the urge to duct tape everyone to chairs in the basement is completely gone. See?  Just listen to me and do what I say, and all will be well with the world. I've noticed he is trying. And trying is A Okay with me. 

So today, I figured I'd continue on with my 99 problem journey.  One of my alone activities last night included reading  The Girl with the Curly Hair. I've been following her on Facebook for the better part of a year and in my desperate state of mind as of late, I figured I would buy her book. I, of course, ended up buying three, because I can't ever do anything half assed. I can identify with almost everything, and even though some of the things I identify with aren't necessary good...it still feels good. It's incredibly calming and brings an abundance of relief to read her words, nod in agreement, think how much sense it makes and then breathe. Really breathe. A deep cleansing breath of... thank god somebody gets it

The problem of the day isn't too deep, although, watch. I bet I can change that. It's a sensory problem, which I've only recently been able to identify as being triggers to my anxiety/panic attacks. My problem #4.....


Not just the smell of perfume, but really, the smell of anything. Anything I don't like anyway. I don't wear perfume. I used to years ago, because, I was supposed to. Because my mother did. Because people said it smelled soooo good. I've never liked it. My BF wears cologne and if he gets too close, every morning I'm coughing and waving him away. It's not just that it smells. I honestly think the main problem is that I can taste it. I can taste all of it. Cologne. In. My. Mouth. Ugh. By the evening, however, enough has worn off during the day that I can find it somewhat pleasant. I'm like this with most things that people use to make themselves smell nice. Hair products are the same.  I hardly even used to use them with long hair. Now that I've cut my  hair I have to and it's torture. All day long I feel like I'm eating gel and hairspray. If I do it too many days in a row I'll start to get headaches.  I've started taking days off and putting my hair in this scarf like headband, so people probably think I'm undergoing chemo.

Cleaners, laundry detergent, air fresheners...it's all the same. As a child, my mother made me go to the grocery store with her. I hated it for many reasons, but one of the worst parts of the whole experience was going down the laundry detergent aisle. I would avoid it at all costs. "I can taste it!" I would say. "You're not eating it, Hope. You can't taste it." She would counter. She was wrong. I could taste it. I still can. My guess is it has something to do with my senses being crossed. My mother always used Gain Detergent. It was one of the worst. I could taste it for days.  I now use all unscented detergents. No dyes. No perfumes. My BF's ex uses Gain. I've never been in her laundry room, but I know by the taste I get in my mouth, when her kids walk through the door.

The smells created when cooking can have the same effect. I taste it. If it's something I like to taste it's not so bad. If it's something I don't like to taste, I get to, whether I eat it or not. If it's spicy my eyes will burn. 

Body odor? Bad breath? Don't get me started, and believe me, I know I'm not immune to either. I can't take it when I stink either. I cannot sit next to someone who stinks. I will move.  I've been known to just come out and say..."ewww. you smell." It's not considered appropriate or polite, but I'm sorry, I stand by that truth, simply because if I was sending off an offensive odor and for some reason was not aware, I would hope to god someone would tell me. It's like the spinach in the teeth, or the booger in the nose. Don't be a dick and let me walk around like that all day. Seriously. Don't be a dick.

So as you can see, smells are an issue, but that is not to say that I don't like any smells. I love the smell of baked goods, fruity shampoos, my hemp hand lotion, freshly brewed coffee, newly cut grass or flowers, and beer. I'm sure it's no accident that these all happen to be things I can consume, including the grass and flowers. I'm sure there are others, I just can't think of them now. 

Only 95 more to go!

Hope, who just thought of one exception to the edible/smell rule and that is gasoline. I do still kind of love the smell of gasoline. 







Thursday, February 20, 2014

Me. Bitching.

I've been reading Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. I now have love for her and I'm finding the book to be extremely helpful in my writing pursuits. One of the things she stresses in the book is to write. Obviously. But to write every day. Something. Anything. Even if it's shit. And lets be honest, most of it is. She stresses the importance of filling a notebook every month. Just to get it in. To get it done. Well. I started out really well, but now it's the 20th and I have about 8 pages filled. Why? Life. It's sucking me dry. This isn't news, I know.

I have all of these great topics and ideas and I'm dying to get to it but I can't. Not only because of lack of time, but more because so fucking much is pissing me off right now that I need to dump it before I can focus on anything else. So here I am. It's fitting as this is where I bitch. I have to warn you, this entry is probably going to suck. But I don't care, because I'm drinking. happy face with tongue sticking out.

I don't make a habit of drinking and blogging, but maybe I should. So far it feels pretty good, but then again, I just downed a whole drink in five minutes. I just recently spent some time with family. The blood kind. The only family members that do not drink or aren't addicted to coke or heroin are those in recovery. It's sad, pathetic, and disgusting, but I get it. I so get it. So tonight, rather than expending more energy trying not to be one of them, I'm just going with it. Truth is, I am one of them. I think I fight harder not to lose control, but in the end, when it's needed, I take my medicine. Sad, but that's not what I wanted to talk about.

Just had to refill. If I do that two more times, this blog will become about how everything is great!!! In fact, I'm already starting to wonder why I'm really here. Okay. So, it's school vacation week. It's hard to believe that is the only reason I feel like jumping off a cliff, and it's not, but it's not helping. I'm trying to work, I'm behind on everything and at the same time I'm trying to keep my child occupied and prevent him from sinking deeper and deeper into his own world. It's not working. While he is awesome and funny and an all around great kid, without structure and a routine and someone forcing him into the real world he will sink deeper and deeper into his own. Aside from the non stop singing (only show tunes/movie themes) it's nearly impossible to get him to do or talk about anything other than what he is playing in his mind. Because he's not really playing so you can see him playing. It's hard to explain... but basically he just has something (mostly lego guys) in his hands and he spins around in circles and he makes noises. I will say something to him,...anything... like it's time to get ready to leave or ask him what he wants for lunch...and he will say.."I think it's time to ask yourself what you believe in" or "Great. I think I got it,. but tell me the whole thing again just in case because I wasn't listening." or "I solemnly swear I am up to no good."  Nothing that has anything to do with what I'm saying to him. In fact, he's not really saying anything. Those are all movie quotes. And while it's sometimes funny and sometimes cute, and yes, I know I do it too, far too often, a full week of it is too much to handle. But I can't stop it and I can't shake him until he comes back to reality and I can't yell and I can't just go hide so I don't have to hear it anymore. As I'm saying this, I'm thinking to myself, wow the mom's with two fighting kids really do have it worse than I do and now I'm feeling guilty for not being able to deal with a child who's oddities and ocd tendencies drive me up the wall when he's home for a week. But still, they do, and I know why. It's because they conflict with mine. It's quite possible I'm driving him just as batty and that is why he's spending so much time in la la land. But in any case. School. Soon. Very soon.

The rest of it is all lumped together into what I like to refer to as The Weight of the World. I feel it. On my shoulders. Constantly. The weight of having to earn enough (extra) money so we can eat and have heat and pay all of our bills. The weight of having to work sometimes 7 days a week in order to accomplish this and watch everyone else lie around while I do it. The weight of having to buy the food and plan the meals and cook the meals. The weight of having to take care of everything in the home, the laundry, the dishes, and the cleaning (that's a joke), while trying to work a more than full time job in only the part time hours I'm allotted. The weight of being the primary caregiver for my son and losing 6 precious nights of me time per month that I definitely used to recharge. I've spent that last few years fighting and asking for help with some of this, and when I do I feel like I get attitude. Just plain ass bullshit attitude. I feel the weight of still being the "other woman" because that is how it is. I'm not The Woman. The primary woman. I still come second to what the ex wife wants and needs and I know he would disagree with this but it's true. Why else wouldn't he have made The Woman by now? On top of this, we're supposed to be making a move. Soon. Like in 2 and half months. Beside all the the shit we have here that needs to get packed up, we are moving into a house that needs work top to bottom. I have no reason to believe that anyone but me will be doing all of this because history has told me...that no one but ME will be doing all this. Does this make sense? I hope it makes sense or else I just want to jump of a fucking bridge for nothing. (I know I said cliff before. I'm changing it up.) When I voice my feelings, my frustration, my dissatisfaction with the way things are...well...basically that is just me starting a fight. Me ruining the day. Me attacking. Me blaming. Nothing ever changes. In fact, I think that with each time I do voice my feelings I make things worse.

So. I'm stuck. I'm fucked. One more drink and I'll also be drunk. Good thing is...I'm almost drunk.

There. Bitch session complete. Maybe this will free up some space to actually dive into something with more life. Something with less of a dead end.

Hope, who is becoming no fun to be around and who doesn't even care to be around much anymore anyway.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman. Another one bites the dust.

Philip Seymour Hoffman died yesterday. Or at least that is when they found his body. If you are on any type of Social Media site it was hard to miss, as is just about anything else, whether you want to know about it or not. It wasn't difficult to guess what might have been the cause of his death.  At the first news of his passing the "feed" was packed with words like sadheartbreaking, genius, and gifted. Later as more news broke the word shocking was added to the list. And then it took only a matter of hours (I say that generously, it was probably more like minutes) for those words to change. Soon the "feed" was packed with words like pathetic, tragic, loser, addict, and junkie. In the blink of an eye, the masses, once again, decide who or what a person is based on their demons. The talent becomes overshadowed by the needle found in his vein.

I'm not saying that it should be this way, or it shouldn't. I don't know. I do know that personally I don't like it. I hate to see people turn so quickly. To dismiss someones beauty simply because of what was ugly. To judge so harshly, a demon that I'm guessing most of them have never battled. It makes me sad. It also makes me angry. There is far too little understanding and compassion in this world, and far to much judging and condemning. That alone, makes it much harder, for certain types of people to find their way. They simply feel it all on a much grander scale.

As I said, I wasn't surprised to hear his death was drug related. I was hopeful that maybe it wasn't, but not surprised that it was. You will rarely find an individual with that level of depth, that has not, at the very least "dabbled", in an attempt to shut some of it off.

I'm sure people will lose interest in bashing as they always seem to do. Soon enough, the overdose won't be the main focus, and hopefully his legacy will be more about what an amazingly talented actor he was. More accurately though, it will most likely turn a sharper corner, and he will be idolized because of his demons.  In either case, I think we miss the point.

RIP, Philip Seymour Hoffman. A man, who despite all of his fantastic character portrayals, will forever be known (to me) as the man that invented "sharting". :)

Friday, January 24, 2014

525,600 Minutes.

I know I'm a little late with this but, it's January. The year 2014. Happy New Year. I feel like I skipped right over the "changing of the year", and I guess I did. It feels weird because it's supposed to be a big deal or something, but I guess it's not really a big deal at all. What is a big deal is that a whole year has passed in what feels like a blink of an eye. How does that happen?

It was a year ago, almost exactly, that I brought up the subject of Jack and Aspergers, (for the third time in his life). It was a year ago that I set out to read everything I could get my hands on to educate myself on the condition. To date I've read at least 20 books, countless blogs,  watched movies, documentaries, TED talks, and set up camp at YouTube. I even branched off, learning more about Introverts, gifted children, and the HSP.  I'd say I covered my bases.  And it was nearly a year ago that I stumbled upon what seemed like a tribe of women who's experiences and difficulties were mirror images of my own. Many of whom had children with Asperger Syndrome and later received the diagnosis themselves. This discovery sent me off on another quest for information and I suppose you could say it became a special interest. 

It's been a long, and mostly solitary, journey.  A journey that initially started out of worry and fear, but eventually evolved into a journey of self discovery, self-acceptance, and self regulation. The journey is far from over, but I can say with certainty that I no longer feel the same sense of dread that I did a year ago.  I still fear some things, but I'm no longer afraid  for my child.  I'm no longer afraid that he may have Aspergers. I've gained a much better understanding of him and myself, and while I know that he will struggle, I know that he will be okay too. I haven't said too much here about Jack's father, but if I had any money at all I would wager it all that he, himself, is also an Aspie. I have no doubts. In fact, I believe that was what initially attracted me to him in the first place. I had an overwhelming feeling that I had  "found my people." Even years before we got together, I remember his then girlfriend telling me, "he's just like you. he's like the male version of you". And it was true in many ways. Not all, but many. It wasn't enough, obviously, to sustain a relationship, but even now, I know he "gets it", when so many other people don't. In spite of all of this knowing, none of us has received a formal diagnosis at this point. My doctor, through my own therapy and the information I've shared about Jack, has taken to referring to us as neurodiverse.  (You can read John Elder Robinson's take on Neurodiversity here.) That's as formal as we've gotten, and so long as there are no major problems or services needed, that may be as formal as we get. Time will tell. I've gotten more comfortable with ignoring the "early diagnosis is crucial" cries from the Medical Profession. Throughout this process I've found more helpful advice from Autistic individuals themselves than I did from any Medical Professional that does not have Autism. And lets face it, it's too late for an early diagnosis. It's too late for the no eye contact, flappy, toe walking diagnosis. That stuff doesn't happen anymore. Not often anyway so they would never be able to see it. 

So where do we go from here? I don't know. I guess we keep learning, keep discovering, keep accepting and most importantly we keep self regulating. We treat the comorbid symptoms. Primarily the anxiety, OCD tendencies, and rigid thinking. While I'm still having some difficulty with all of those things, my son, is learning quickly, but then again, he's not an Old Dog like me.  

I feel good about where he is today versus where he was a year ago. I find it funny sometimes when someone makes a comment about his behavior, like..."is that healthy for him to spend so much time doing that?"  I know it's usually out of concern, but what's funny is it's always from the same people that don't really accept Aspergers as the reasoning behind it. It reminds me of when I was a child and I would hear... there's nothing wrong with her...along with the conflicting...that's not normal. People are funny. And sometimes infuriating. 

So, a year after this blog post , what is Jack like today?

Jack...

Is obsessed with LEGO'S and is determined to become a Lego Designer.

Is more adventurous with trying new foods, but will latch onto a certain food for weeks. Occasionally he will drop a food from his diet and not want it again. Ever.

I don't see much toe walking but have noticed the flapping returns sometimes. 

Still a nail peeler, but has started using a stress ball, especially when angry.

Still constantly singing and humming movie theme songs or T.V. jingles or making sound effects. Constantly. Did I mention it was Constantly? He also nails the tune.

When he draws it's not just one picture...he goes through 10 or more pages making one after the other. He also draws with detail and perspective.

Still prefers video games and electronics and Lego's to playing outside or with other people. At nine he still does not know how to ride a bike and has no interest in learning.

If he's not playing a video game he has Lego's in hands (constantly) making sound effects. 

Doesn't like to have to go anywhere. Would rather stay home. Doesn't like his routine interrupted, but can sometimes deal with it without tears.

Rarely has to be disciplined. Once he knows the rules he sticks to them and would like for everyone else to as well.

Is heartbroken if he does happen to do something wrong.

Has minimal anxiety about going to school. Usually only on Mondays or after a vacation. (routine interuptus) The rest of the week, though, he dives into his routine and has been all smiles. He sets his alarm for 5:30am so he does not have to rush and has time to play in the morning. He has also become a multi-tasker by using his bus ride to do homework. These are things he's initiated on his own with no help from me.

He still would like things to be perfect but, is more accepting of making mistakes than he ever was. Only breaks down occasionally.

Seems to have a lot of empathy/sympathy and cries easily over real or imaginary sadness

Has developed an obsession with watching YouTube videos. Mostly of other people playing video games. He will also watch Sponge Bob in Spanish.

Is very honest! Loves animals.

Quotes lines from movies or shows while playing.

Has taken to info-dumping, which basically means, when allowed, he will talk non-stop to me about a favorite subject, video game, Lego's or a world in his head. He could do this for an hour straight if I don't stop him.

Can be very literal and often looks to me for clarification. (was he joking?) He has learned to DO some sarcasm, but still doesn't know what it is. :)

Has started requiring alone time.

Has strabismus...little to no depth perception and is color blind.

Expresses his love for his immediate family often and easily.

Enjoys other children, laughs, is silly, but will often just watch them play and only engage in his own personal interests. Needs down time after playing with other kids for long periods of time. He's also starting to collect, and become more possessive with his "things."

Doesn't like sports. Doesn't want to be blamed for doing something wrong. Is only competitive against himself.

Will now only wear comfy pants. No jeans. No buttons. No zippers. Would stay in PJ's forever. :)


And there you have it. There is a lot that hasn't changed and some new behaviors that might be considered obsessive, especially by people with no attention span...but...and this is the most important part...if you read the previous list from last year, the changes that have occurred are all positive. Reduced Anxiety. Self-discovery. Self-acceptance. Self-regulation. 

Diagnosis or not, it's working. 

Hope, who would have appreciated more support when she started this journey, but knows now that she really didn't need it. Trust your instincts.



Monday, January 20, 2014

S.A.D

i'm sure it's just winter
the short days
the bitter cold
the dry air
the color gray

i'm sure it's just the extended darkness
the snow, the rain
the missing sunshine
fucking with my brain

i'm sure it's just lack of movement
the constant sitting
the extra weight

i'm sure it just the processed foods
the carbs
the wheat
the sugar
in the cake

i'm sure if i could just go somewhere
if i could just get somewhere
warmer
brighter
colorful
and lighter

i'm sure if i could swim
or feel a breeze
or walk in the heat
and hear the leaves

i'm sure if i just had a nice salad
and some fresh fruit
and maybe some herbal tea

i'm sure that's all it is
the darkness
the fog
the depleted energy

i'm sure this lack of focus
and lack of will
is only temporary

i'm sure i could change it
if i could just get up
if i could just stand
and go in the other room
and do...
something.
if i could just
think something
look forward to something
feel something

if i could
i'm sure it would be fine
if i could
i'd speed up time

but i'm sure it's just winter

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Peace. Of Mind.

I remember a fight my parents had years ago. I was in High School. My Mom had gone out the night before to some social event for work, and didn't come home. Well, she did come home eventually, just not at an hour one would have expected. My Mom was having an affair. I mostly knew this because I had figured it out. Not that it was difficult. If you listened to only half of what she said, it was still hard to miss each time she mentioned a man she worked with. A man she had  nicknamed "Cutie".  My father obviously didn't listen to half of what she said, because I don't believe he knew. At least, not until that fight. I remember them screaming at each other and my mothers ridiculous cries of "I don't remember. I don't remember where I was. What do you want from me?"  And I remember my father saying the same phrase over and over again. "Piece of mind. I want a little Piece of mind."

At the time I really didn't know what the hell he was talking about.  What does that even mean? Why does he want a piece of mind? And who's mind? Hers? Cuties? I was utterly confused and just wished he would stop saying it. But he didn't. He said it over and over again.

Fast forward twenty something years later, to a woman with a much firmer grasp of idioms and sayings. I get it now. Peace of mind. That's what my father wanted. He wanted that thing. That thing that I've never ever had.

Peace of Mind: Fig. a tranquility that results from not having worries, guilt, or problems.

By that particular definition, I find it hard to believe that such a thing even exists, but I suppose it does in short doses for some people. I, myself, haven't really experienced it. People like me normally require some sort of drug or substance to induce such a tranquil state. Prescription drugs can do it. Sort of. I would imagine Heroine gives Peace of Mind as well. I wouldn't know. But the kind of Peace of Mind my father was looking for, didn't require drugs. I know this because I've been searching it for it my whole life. The kind of Peace of Mind he was looking for required only the truth. Truth, can also bring about Peace. Of mind.

While my literal teenage brain may have been a little confused back on that faithful day, my adult brain now knows exactly what he was asking for. I also know exactly how he was feeling. Empathy? Perhaps. Sometimes I feel like my entire life has been a series of "Who's Lying to Me Now.". While each episode changes scenes and brings in different characters, the theme remains the same.

I wonder if being lied to bothers other people in the way it does me. I wonder if it changes them somehow. Twisting and bending them in ways they never thought possible, until they reach a point where they can no longer recognize their own reflection. I wonder. The characters in my life who do the lying always throw out the same phrases like..."it's no big deal." and "you're over reacting."  They've all done it. Each and every one.  But I also know that just because they say that, doesn't make it true. Because, after all, they're the Liars, aren't they.

Hope, who's mind will forever be searching for it's piece. Peace.