I didn’t have a good night. This whole thing with my dad….
I tried writing in here last night while I was breaking down but got all cerebral. I think it’s important to talk about these things though so I will type up what I wrote to a friend to explain what is happening. I edited some things to protect family members.
Thank goodness for this friend who doesn’t wig out when I write to her that I’m spiraling but calmly asks me questions. This allows me to feel * seen * and feel heard. I rattle off everything going through my mind and it just feels good to get it out.
Questions generally are an excellent way of dealing with anyone that’s struggling! I do it all the time with my students, especially young ones. It allows them to work through something without being told to feel something or feeling like someone is patting them on the head: it’s fine (no it doesn’t feel fine) you’ll be ok (you can’t make that promise) it’ll pass (this isn’t too bad, but it’s a conversation stopper) get over it (not great for obvious reasons). TELL. ME. MORE. is always a safe thing to say to someone struggling.
Basically, when someone is needing support, the golden rule of listening works well.
Me: I’m having that nervous breakdown feeling
Her: Are you ok? Nervous breakdown? Are you feeling safe?
Her: Like panic attack feeling? I cannot imagine all the emotions and exhaustion you must be feeling
Me: Sorry I left my phone. No I don’t have panic attacks really. Once when I was first in college. Yes I feel safe thanks.
It’s more like my head is just spinning and it can fly off into one scary thing - dad dying and then like 15 other intense feelings come up, grief, fear of how I will survive without him, then I can go down the road of how people are handling things and I can go into fury at the politics and how so many voters are like who cares about our healthcare system? And then I start to cry and then how do I keep doing this, esp without my dad to be like be strong and remind me that you can survive Lynch. Then there is so much uncertainty about all the financial stuff and the business.
So that’s weighing on my mind. There’s no security here. I don’t feel safe in a general sense with my situation. I don’t feel certainty that I won’t end up homeless. When I shared that fear, a male family member started to chuckle and I snapped “it’s not funny you haven’t given me any assurances this whole time that I won’t end up homeless. It’s a real fear.” I lose sleep worrying about my future and not being able to hold down a job. And who wants to be the poor relation dependent on others? Not me! My goodness. Eventually I got the assurances that I won’t be homeless. Three years later after losing my apartment. So that was super stressful on top of everything else. It’s all too much!!
I can’t even stress eat or think: oh I will hop on a plane and get out of town. Or whatever. It’s just all sitting in my face, every where I look, some shitty news and so many people are like: it’s not so bad why are you freaking out. Every level is like intense stress.
Her: sounds like everything is like crashing down all at once
Except that I’ve had like 5 out of 10 of these things happening for several years ?! Thanks for just listening and getting it. It always makes me feel better when I share this with you. You’re really good at asking good questions and then making me feel heard and it’s very reassuring!
BACK TO WRITING:
I looked on my phone to write this up and this same friend sent a text of a yellow butterfly this morning - they always remind me of my grandma, my mom’s grandma who I was close with, my butterfly tattoos are for her and my Papu - that she saw right outside one of her daughter’s window. I can’t remember if she knows about the yellow part, but she knows I love butterflies because of my grandparents.
The post I wrote on Facebook on Monday is weighing on me. I want to delete it so bad. I always want to take those posts down. Any time I take a big risk, especially when I call out lame shit, or when I reveal something super embarrassing, I can’t look for several days. A big part of me wants to take it down, but then I think of how what I said needs to be said.
I said it was time to slap people awake.
It just hurts. Every time I do this kind of post or video share, it physically hurts and messes with my mind.
People wonder why people in the public eye struggle so much with mental health issues. I can’t speak for anyone else, of course. But it’s not easy having people know so much about me and my life. Sometimes sharing my writing helps me feel better, but it’s usually not right away. It’s later that I’m like: fuck I’m glad I put that out there, and that’s done now, I said my piece and it no longer sits inside me, now others are able to carry it with me. The burden isn’t just mine anymore.
I hate being angry though. There is so much of that on the Internet. But the people I need to HEAR won’t hear if I’m too gentle. And I’m scared as fuck! Beneath my anger is always tremendous fear (probably for a lot of people??). My health isn’t exactly in the greatest place and now I don’t have the bandwidth to do a search for a gastro that could figure out why I keep getting these episodes of obstruction or twisted intestines or something getting all fucked up in there.
I can’t afford to have another one and lose the rest of my eggs. I’m barely getting three down a day - I’m still only getting 3 eggs five days per week. I’m trying so hard to keep at it. But the stress with my dad doesn’t help my appetite. I’m somebody that can stress eat, for sure. But I generally lose my appetite when under a lot of duress. You can tell the most stressful times in my life because my hair is really long (I don’t have a lot of money to get a haircut) and I’m looking a little low on weight. It’s so weird to me. I have more photos of when I’m up on my weight than low.
I truly dislike having my photo taken when my weight is down. It just doesn’t feel like ME. It’s a reminder of such shitty times, it’s no wonder that I don’t feel like having a camera on me when I’m in pain and don’t feel good.
There is just so much going on at once. I fucked up my food stamps thing. They are always kind of jerks about filing the bi-annual paperwork. If you do one wrong box wrong, they tell you they are stopping benefits. I’m only getting the $15 but if I can ever finish collecting the paperwork that shows that I spend a lot on medical expenses (sadly, not too hard to do, especially lately with the IV nutrition which I stopped doing for now, because it’s so expensive and a pain in the arse to get to and from the appointment when I have so much else going on). But it’s such a time suck. And now I’ve collected SOME from a few of my providers but they’re from February and March. Do I start all over? I don’t know.
This is how they get you. The system. They make it so SO hard to collect benefits that you just give up.
Fucking Republican legislators worry about people being fraudulent! They’re worried about me getting an extra $10 per month while they cut benefit programs and rig the taxes to keep an extra $100,000.
Yeah. Super fair. Man, I can’t wait to create skits to highlight this hypocrisy. I guess that’s why my life turned out the way it did.
It’s gonna suck. I’m going to get shit for it. But dang, too many haven’t helped. When people leave you while you’re so sick, feeling like possibly dying, maybe still are, and they just stand there heartlessly (did I tell you about the guy I’ve known since the second grade whose wife is a doctor in the area - I asked him for a doctor referral a few months ago and he wrote me offline: I’d love to but I can’t. SECOND GRADE. Thank goodness for the lovely ones who do stand forward. They’ll LIKE me calling this out, and doing the hard work of saying what needs to be said. That’s all I need to know. As long as I have my crew, I’m good.
Still scary as fuck. These days especially. But man, the mob mentality on the Internet…even in person people can be so cruel.
There’s the artist who allowed her audience to do whatever they wanted to her. I keep thinking about it and “group think,” about how primal humans are at a base level. I feel like America is acting like the audience members that did things to this artist. They’re doing whatever they want. They see someone else saying or doing something even more outrageous so then they think: oh it’s ok to act this way, in fact, I’ll ramp it up next too.
I think about how people who are in the public eye - especially the young people - may not understand this group think and how easily far too many humans fall into it.
I think of the woman who was stabbed in New York City years ago and not one bystander called the police. Why? Why do people just stand there while someone is dying and calling out for help? I’ve never understood this, even as a college student. Shit, as soon as I had a cell phone, I call state patrol if I see people walking on the side of the road! Now, I’m a little more careful about that in case it’s somebody who would be HURT by the cops, which is so incredibly sad.
What happens inside of SO many humans, too many humans, when they see horrible things happening and they do absolutely nothing. I don’t get it. The Good German thing. Don’t. Get. It.
Or, if they’re given the chance to hurt someone when it’s been * approved * like the artist did, why do they choose to hurt? Instead of tickle her or draw art on her body or something else random like that?
Why do so many stay silent?
I’ve never been hard-wired to stand still so I don’t get it at all. Of course, it’s gotten me in trouble over the years. The reason I was bitten by a dog at camp when I was 12 years old is because my cabin mate had gotten bitten. I had the stupid ass reaction to check the dog’s tags! I was on the ground a few seconds later - I blacked out the actual biting of my ear. Ends up there was something wrong with the dog - it had bitten a toddler right before us - so they had to put it down.
The dog owners came to the camp to apologize. My cabin mate didn’t want to meet them but I did. They felt so bad. I gave them a lot of credit even as a kid for coming to apologize.
How do we cultivate more empathy in kids? How do we cultivate empathy in adults who are already cooked? Is it possible? Is empathy something that can get deeper?
It’s super interesting to chat with my volunteer drivers and what made them decide to help. One had parents that grew up in Germany during the war. They took her and her sibling to the concentration camps when they were kids and hammered home: this can’t happen again.
Another went through a horrific divorce. Others just wanted to do something to help me out.
Bestie says they are the “helpers” of the world like from Mr. Rogers.
How do we turn non-helpers into helpers is my existential question that I will likely be asking until the day I die.
People often tell me something is impossible. But I’ve never believed in impossible. It’s really that core belief that keeps me going. Why believe something is impossible?
I love the idea of proving that something is NOT impossible. I have no idea why I've always felt that way. I just do.
I guess it justifies doing nothing. I see that now when people tell me to “let the organizations do the work” of fixing things in politics. I’m like whaaaaa? Why don’t you tell me to stop breathing because those two things sound the same to me.
They say these things because it makes them feel better to do nothing. That’s the core of the denial, I think. If Julie is exaggerating about dying, then it makes complete sense for me to do nothing to help.
Now that my dad is so sick, it’s harder and harder for that denial to exist. Especially when I keep beating down the doors of denial. LISTEN. TO. MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
I want to create a video of me with a war zone on the background (green screen) and me waving saying help us help us!! And then flip perspectives and have the white able bodied people who look over and see me waving with a beautiful lake behind me. They just wave back Hi Julie!
I keep saying No, no I’m not just saying hello or trying to “get attention” (well yes I’m trying to get attention but not for the reason that far too many people think I am, that’s them projecting) and a few people are like: wow, if Julie is hollering like this, someone I know and trust, she must really need help, and those people run over to help. The rest keep smiling, rolling their eyes at their equally denial friends - the ones that confirm the narrative that they tell themselves, which is why when people surround themselves with only people JUST like them, they are more susceptible to believing their own bullshit narrative - they make fun of ME and say: why are those people running over? Julie really needs to calm down. I have vacations to plan!
Thank goodness for the helpers, that’s for sure. They’re the ones who keep me at it. The ones who see the chaos of my life and run to me, not away. I was so excited after my Oregon trip. I thought things might turn around and I could finally figure out some business things.
But now my dad is coming home from the hospital and my mom and I are expected to care for a very sick person. Nobody talks about how terrifying it is to have them COME HOME from the hospital. Of course, I’m more savvy than pre-disability so I reminded my mom to get every single home healthcare service we can so she doesn’t have to drag him around the city.
I’ll find out more services but I’m too tired to think about that right now. I couldn’t fall asleep last night. I twisted my back weird in the shower super late. When my back hurts in certain spots, it means something is fucked up in my intestines. Sometimes the back pain is from laying in bed too much - that’s different, a dull ache in the lower part.
When I have something like a twisted spasm pain higher up, it’s because I ate something wrong. I remembered I “tested” that stupid fucking non dairy cheesecake crap again yesterday. I had one left in the freezer! I don’t want to think I’m THAT sensitive. But I am. Fucking potato starch will do it. I drank my Dr. Huang herbs and gave myself a second IV bag of amino acids while I fell asleep knowing the hydration will help the pain. I threw the rest of the fucking cheesecake out.
It’s all so fucked up in there. Tried to take a relaxing shower after a long, hard day and can’t even get that.
I need to stop writing. Man, I can keep going and going and going in here! So much to say, always. But lately, it’s all so overwhelming. Makes me feel better to write here even if nobody is really reading it. I really need to go through and clean up past posts. That and emailing people and editing photos are the never ending projects that I put off. I never used to be a procrastinator - well, school papers and studying YES I procrastinated big time (my sister is the only person I know that did her homework days in advance, she didn’t like the stress, I feed off it) but not my own business work. I LOVED it.
I don’t know why emailing is so hard for me now but I really need to get on it! My 2-hours per week assistant is so sweet and soft-spoken. I write her notes like “make Julie respond to emails and messenger.” Nope. I wrote her one that said “tell Julie she is a fucking whore if she doesn’t do her email.”
She just laughs at me. She doesn’t have even a tiny bit of dominance in her sweet self! I’m like DUDE didn’t I used to be a scary boss? But I know I couldn’t have been that bad because I’m friends with nearly every person that’s ever worked for me (if we’re not friends it’s not because of hard feelings, thank goodness). They don’t work for me to that long before realizing my bark is way worse than my tiny nibbles.
I still don’t do my email.
Need to shut my eyes. I tried calling to get a last minute acupuncture appointment to fix my back but one isn’t open on Wednesdays and the other hasn’t called back.
I can do this.
I can do this.
I can do this.
I’ve got to tell myself that. I keep begging the Heavens, just give me a small break. Please. A small respite.
I got my weekend in Oregon and then back at it. I hate when my back hurts. It fucking sucks.
I wish we could download my brain and personality into a little computer, like the small round one on Buck Rogers. The kids could ask me for advice, I could still download my information and ideas into software that humans could help organize.
Then I’d still get to create but not live in this body. This stupid body that “looks” the way it’s supposed to look under the Patriarchy. What a dumb thing to value, a shape. I find it so ridiculous.
The back and forth between the sad self, and the new emerging strong self, and the daughter, and the patient and the friend, and the social media person, it’s all too much for this recovering codependent.
I really do worry I could have a real mental breakdown. One that I can’t describe. One that takes away my ability to cope in the real world.
I don’t know how it hasn’t happened. I keep thinking it will. I almost welcome it so I can just stare out a window for hours each day like I did when I was sick in my twenties.
Problem is not moving, not managing my health is simply too dangerous. I think my mind knows this. Who’d ever think that someone would bemoan their resiliency?
The kids. The oldest has a ceremony tonight for his sport. I was so please he asked me to come. I’m so proud of these kids, I got to see the California ones briefly this weekend. I love them so much. They are such amazing human beings and getting cooler and more interesting every time I see them. I feel so lucky to have these talented, extraordinary people in my life.
It’s the young people that keep going these days. Maybe it always has been. I just know I feel relief as the millennials and Gen Z gain recognition and power. A lot of them aren’t doing much, but at least they aren’t asleep.
At least they SEE.