Suicide bunny and other musings ….

I am not sure how to start this post.

This is not a cry for help.

This is not a cry for trying to convince me to speak to someone.

Really it is not.

I have this post on the edges of my brain, and if I don’t put it down then what ever I write is going to feel like I am being dishonest.  As that is not what is really on my mind.

I have struggled with depression and an anxiety disorder for some time.  I have my good days, and I have my really cannot get out of bed days, but know I must pull the duvet off and just get on with it days.

I am on the right depression and anxiety medication.  I feel a hundred times better than I did say two years ago.  I am much more level and my emotions and reactions are even keeled.  The internal buzz has more or less quieted down to a mild drone.

Good times.

The addition of IBS has been challenging – the problem with it is that I feel ill much of the time.

My abdomen swells, I look 6 months pregnant – the pain spreads out across my back, then everywhere to the point where my skin actually starts to feel sore.  I am fending off remarks about “when I am due” with way too much frequency – of course it affects how I feel about myself and look horrendous.

I hate the way I look.  I hate looking at myself in the mirror.  I try to avoid seeing myself.  Tricky with floor to ceiling mirrors in our bathroom.

If my child asks me once more if I have I have a baby in my tummy, I might throttle her.

I have changed my diet/intake of food lasts week, because I believe my issue is far greater than a few days of feeling shite.  I am reading a few books on IBS and there have been several home truths -and reading another two for perspective.

book-whatyourdocIBS

The list of what I should avoid is long.

There is no easy quick fix.

There is a however a solution if I carefully monitor my intake, and ensure that I avoid refined sugar, refined wheat, dairy, caffeine and alcohol – pretty much everything at McDonalds.  Clearly I draw the line at excluding alcohol.  Let’s not be rash and too hasty now.

If I am excluding that, then the reason to live starts to get a bit hazy and uncertain.

The last four or five days have been a period of exclusion and making different decisions about what I eat.  There is just no way I can continue to survive and eat as I have been doing.

I don’t eat badly or in excessive, but I just cannot eat this way for myself and be healthy and comfortable.

This requires some thought, and a bit of a rethink about my life going forward.  I am not suggesting that IBS is a bit of a stomach ache.  I am suggesting it has become such a pr0blem that affects my every day functioning – I need to decide to behave differently if living is a goal.

My other issue is misophonia – a violent, sudden and physical reaction to sound.

I generally control the sound I experience and generally it does not change my mood or the way I behave.

The only exclusion is the drive home in the afternoon with the kids from school. It has become abundantly clear that I am actually unable to do that five days a week, and ensure all four of us make it home alive – the fighting and the noise in a confined space is doing my head in.  One drive home at a time.  One at a time.  I wistfully think of giving them bus fare/taxi fare and just “winging” it. If two out of three get home, then it is a win, right?

I have been falling out of the car recently and being thankful we have all made it home alive.  I am so irritated, and tense that the rest of the evening is a total lost cause.

Music radio??

For the love of gd.  It is beyond me how I managed to listen to it for so many years.  At the moment I always have audio CDs to listen to when I get into my car.  I listen to a story, or a collection of music CDs that I know will not trigger a reaction.  More story CDs than music, because I find the repetitive nature of most songs sets me off.  It is like having nails across a chalk board, or cutting wool with your teeth.

However when I get into Kennith’s car he listens to Five FM, and I seriously start wondering if I opened the car door, and released my seat belt if I could quietly roll away and the sound of the repetitive really bad music would stop and I could roll myself into a coma and then quietly pass away.

I am weighing up whether rolling out of the car is better than stabbing him in the temple with my Revlon chubby stick.  I am not sure.  I get more irritated that he does not realise how much the noise is a factor and how much it upsets me.  So instead I sit there and stare out the window and praying the car trip will be over.  Grinding my teeth and praying.  Soon.  Let it end.

Music radio is repetitive and at a pitch that I cannot bear.  5 minutes of five FM and I would kill you to make it stop.  Like dead.  I would feel total comfort in burying your body under my lavender.

Not feeling well, makes me wound tight as a reel.

Everything totally freaks me out.  I am sore, my nerves are shredded and no doubt it just makes my stomach tighten and the cramps and spasms worse.

Priv has just had a baby. Priv is my rock, she is the reason I remain vaguely sane.  The last month (June and July) without her in her usual position has left me frayed and stressed.  I was stressed before she has her baby, as I imagined the worst possible outcome for her and her  baby.

I worried, I fretted.

She went into labour last Monday, and the week was about running back and forth to the hospital, waiting in waiting rooms, trying to navigate the public health system and worrying for her every moment of every day made my nerves frayed, and I am exhausted.  I feel sick with worry.

Priv and her baby girl are happily home and I am relieved.

But I worry.  I worry how this is going to work going forward.  I worry about everything.  I worry about her.  I worry about the baby. I worry about how this arrangement is going to work going forward.  I worry. I worry eternally about everything.  Of course when someone asks I say “it’ll work itself out” in a little sing-song voice I have mastered.

Every little thing. I worry about.  I worry to the point that my jaw is sore because I have it set in such an uncomfortable manner.

If I started biting my nails (as I did until 1999) they would be bitten to the quick and bleeding.  But I have nice nails, and no longer chew them – but I have started scratching my legs – that helps.  I also pinch my upper leg, or I flick my fingers.

I am so worried about her.  I am so worried about me and my ability to cope at the moment.

My IBS on a scale of 1 to 10 is a good and solid 8 1/2 and I feel grim most of the time.  It makes me irritable, hostile and angry. I cannot function when it is at it’s worst.  My stomach swells, I feel nauseous, I feel sweaty – I have cramps and spasms that are surely my comeuppance for not attempting a vag.in.al birth.

The last three nights as I dozed off my mind has been trying to calculate exactly how much medication an overdose would be.  How much would I have to take?  Would I prefer a 3 month coma or straight death?  Tricky, tricky — which will it be?  I have enough schedule 5 drugs to stop a small herd of goats firmly in their tracks.

Could I just go to sleep, and be at peace?  No more pain, no more discomfort, no more feeling shite.  Could that really be an option? Or is it time to schedule another little sojourn in my nearby clinic?

I don’t want to rob my kids of a mom.  I also do not want to be an irritated, upset, horrible mother than clouds their existence.  The reason they are on a leather couch in 15 years bemoaning why the fuck their mother could not just be happy.

I looked at some short videos that Kennith had taken recently of our holiday, and Georgia’s birthday party.

I am not the one smiling.  I never look happy. I look pained, irritated and angry – which is pretty much how I feel most of the time.  I am never smiling in videos or photographs – unless someone tells me to smile, and then it is forced and never moves to my eyes.

I know that if I wrote down a list of “things to be happy for” and “things to be fucked off about” – my list of happy would far exceed my “things to be fucked off about.”

I have a good life.

I have some wonderful advantages in my life, I have so much to be happy about – but I am unfortunately so deeply unhappy.

The reality is that my reality feels dark, sad, pained and confusing — and at a certain point I start to look for ways to step off the fun, but nauseating round about.

So that’s how I feel them.  Clearly not main stream happy, and maybe not Living and Loving Magazine cover bullshit, but there we go.  You know what they say …. actually I have no idea what the fuck they say.

 

suicide bunny

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Noise really does change the way you behave …

I have always been somewhat sensitive to sound, to light, to what I deem as “excessive” in either.  Sound is probably the most intrusive.

I also struggle with space and too many people being too close to me, or even being touched too much — I really struggled when my children were small and having them “ON ME” all the time as babies do.  That hot sticky milkiness was as lovely as it was a trigger to drive me to insanity in a green clown side-car.

It would make me feel very anxious and stressed, and I would feel the panic that starts to grip me when ever any of my senses are overloaded.

The problem with all of these “over sensory stimulation” issues is that if you do not realise what they are, and you do not understand why you react in a particularly (and in some cases) violent manner.

You start to convince yourself you are the village freak!

Because what could be wrong with your children touching you, talking to you really loud, in your face, and fighting with each other for who will clamber onto your lap?

It’s normal.  It is natural.

What is not normal, natural and rational is you edging with your back towards a couch or a wall, so that you are defending your back and only have to deal with the “attack” from the front.

This weekend we were away, and I really enjoyed it.  The only thing that makes me very stressed is that when you are travelling and away from home you generally are in situations where everyone is physically together.  Together in the car.  Together in what is usually much smaller accommodation to what you are used to.

Together in that you are walking around the Cango Wildlife Ranch and your children keep grabbing your hands, and hugging your legs, and everytime you sit down it is as if two of them turn into leeches and try to suck the life out of your head, because that is where they appear to be trying to sit.

And talking and talking.  In loud high pitched voices.

Noise and clingy-ness is a natural and normal part of having children.  I  try to adjust and breath through it.

I came across the term “misophonia” about two years ago.

I thought I had stumbled on to the holy grail when I found a support forum at http://www.misophonia.com.

I sat and read people who understood what I was going through.  Who were going through the same things – and they were talking to each other about it.  Rather than sitting in their room weeping because they could not bear to be shamed by “acting funny when there is a noise you do not like.”

I was fortunate to have a psychiatrist and a psychologist and a CBT guy I could chat to – so I was not feeling as lonely, misunderstood and desperate as many people whose only support mechanism is this forum.

The forum however made me realise that there are people like me, and people who suffer more.

I recall reading a post from a guy who had to move to a small town, as he could not deal with the surround sound you get in a city.  He also had to move to a place where he could walk to work, as he found the noise of the bus too noisy, and it would put him into a state of panic.

I saw this post on the forum recently, and I wanted to share it with you:

Once again I would like to affirm uncategorically, this is indeed a real condition, with real physiological changes in the bodily functioning, even if we cannot ‘prove’ it yet.

This is not some weird psychological condition that you created for whatever reason for yourselves.

The over riding pattern of onset, identical histories and reactions, having evaluated 100s of patients and corresponded with 1000s by phone or email or Skype…..it is all to me one long running documentary that supports the fact
the Selective Sound Sensitivity/Miso is indeed a real condition, a genuine alteration or aberration in the way the central nervous system is functioning.

Many people struggle with this, every day I am asked, isn’t this just a psychological issue, like a phobia?

No, it is not.

Every day I am asked, people think I could just stop it, but I can’t. If I try harder, can I stop?

No. No more than you can try to stop the red blood cells from flowing into your arteries and veins. No, you cannot stop it by thinking your way out of it. No, you cannot stop it by simply ‘stopping’ it.

You can control your reactions, you can keep a public face, you can manage your environment for your best outcomes and highest comfort.

I really need to be clear here, in my own words, carefully chosen as I do not want to paint of picture of hopelessness, I want to affirm the fact that 4S/mis is a true condition that has biochemical and genetic components.

How we can change that is all up for grabs right now, some approaches are proving more effective than others.

And I do not mean to imply that proper psychological counseling does not help those who suffer, it surely does!

But that in itself, does not ‘cure’ 4S/miso, it can certainly alter how we manage our responses.

I need to say this often, I get so many calls or emails from people, parents, desperate for help or information and many have been told they have an emotional/mental problem. Every day I see kids who have been diagnosed with all kinds of things who primarily show signs of 4S/miso more than any other symptom.

Please, believe me, I have proof of the pudding with 15 years of contacts and direct clinical experience, this is real, this is physical, this is going to be imaged one of these days.

Dr. Marsha Johnson, Audiologist

I had spoken to my audiologist, my ear specialist, my CBT guy and my psyciatrist and none of them had ever heard of Misophonia.

The point I am trying to make with this is not that it DOES NOT EXIST, but the fact that it does, and it is often so poorly recognised that the medical fraternity does not diagnose it and thus treat it – or supply advise and expertise on how you can deal with it.

I cannot tell you how I felt a sense of “see I was right” when I had searched and searched and spoken to people about my aversion to sound, and how it sets me off.  How it changes the way I feel.  And what a revelation it was to know that it is real, and there are thousands (maybe millions) of people who struggle with the same.

How noise or particular sounds puts me into an advanced state of panic and anxiety.

Most people associate it as a symptom of anxiety and stress disorder, but maybe it isn’t.  Maybe it is a “thing” that sets off the anxiety and stress, and not symptom of it.

Misophonia Symptoms:  People who have misophonia are most commonly annoyed, or even enraged, by such ordinary sounds as other people clipping their nails, brushing teeth, eating, breathing, sniffing, talking, sneezing, yawning, walking, chewing gum, laughing, snoring, typing on a keyboard, whistling or coughing; certain consonants; or repetitive sounds. Some are also affected by visual stimuli, such as repetitive foot or body movements, fidgeting or any movement they might observe out of the corner of their eyes. Intense anxiety and avoidant behavior may develop, which can lead to decreased socialization. Some people may feel the compulsion to mimic what they hear or see.

Misophonia it is a real condition people.

stop popping that gum.  stop slurping that soup.  for the love of god stop chewing so damn loud.  leaves room.  slams door.  lies on bed in room where it is quiet until the kids find me.

{another good resource – http://misophoniasupport.tumblr.com/}

misphonia

Misophonia … and the urge to stab someone in the eye ….

I have always had a sensitivity to sound and light.  Left to my own devices, I wouldn’t have a radio on, and certain DSTV channels put me on edge, and make me stressed (more than usual).

Of course I put it down to being cranky and just being a bitch, but at some point I stumbled on misphonia.com and realised that the fact that I react to sound is not JUST because I am a bitch.

I am not arguing that I am a bitch, but the way I react to sound is even more bitch than even I find “normal.”

I do not choose to react in an extreme manner, but there are sounds that are like hearing nails on a chalkboard or teeth on wool.

I have an ACTUAL physical reaction to certain sounds.  It does not matter if I dislike or love the person, when they make certain sounds it is like a phosphorous bomb going off in my head.

Big explosion, sharp green light, and then a material that eats through flesh when it lands on it.  My reaction to sound is EXACTLY like that.  The part where my flesh gets eaten until I die is the most accurate.

I have realised I CANNOT sit with my kids at meal times – Connor knocks the fork against his teeth, Georgia eats like a savage ….and the chewing sound sets me off.  I know it should be all holding hands and meditating at meals, but I actually need to sit at a different table.

Today around 11am I made myself a bowl of muesli with yoghurt, and a cup of tea, and I went to sit in the tv room.  Not to watch tv, but so that I could close the door, and shut out all ambient sound.  I put the tv on for a few minutes and then turned it off and just sat there.

Kennith has been away for about two weeks, and before that he was away for about four weeks.  I have no issue with dealing with the house and the kids myself, I am actually extremely self-reliant and I can put my head down and do what needs to be done. But I feel like I am actually going stark raving mad.

My top sounds-to-drive-mommy-to-a-Zoloft-script are:

1. Georgia’s high pitched voice that does not stop.

2. Connor has a particular whine when he whines … he goes “Moooooommmmmmmie” and it sets my teeth on edge.

3.  I have a bird who has now been flying against my dining room window for 8 weeks – I have blocked out windows with paper and masking tape, I have fitted fine gut netting which is actually really cruel to catch birds in, I have tried cut out of ferocious looking birds on the windows, I have gone out and sweared at the bird like a drunken whore, I am at my wit’s end.

4.  Isabelle calls “muuuuuuummmmmmmmmmm” when she needs me to do something with her. I am her glorified hand servant.  Having your child call you is really sweet. 10% of the time. Right now I want to get the large kitchen scissors and stab someone.  Anyone.

5.  My kids drink from sucky bottles —- I really cannot bear it.

I need a holiday from sound.  I NEED A HOLIDAY.  I NEED TO RUN AWAY JUST FOR A BIT, because seriously I am going absolutely frkn crazy.

I realise I sound like someone who is about to lose their mind, or should be on a stronger brand of antipsychotics, but I can’t quite express who I feel like my head is going to implode.  I can “do sound” up to a point.  About the point where I cannot do sound.  Which is about right now.

The next person who tells me “to just get over it” is going to get a blunt broken wine glass in the temple.

Know a place I can holiday for about two weeks, cheap with really controlled sound?

You chew that apple and I am going to stab you. In the eye.

I have been sensitive to sound for almost forever.  But in the last 10 years it has got remarkably worse.

These are a couple, in no real order, that drive me to anger and rage almost instantaneously:-

1.  Kids chewing cereal …. even Pro-nutro … but you can only imagine what the sound of crunchy cereal does to me head/mind/sanity.

2.  Slurping tea or coffee – and my best is slurping soup.

3.  Repeatedly tapping of feet onto a surface (my kids kick the centre pole in our kitchen whilst eating) or Isabelle picks up her spoon and drops it on the counter, picks it up, and drops it — repeat until mother bursts a blood vessel.

4.  The sound of normal chewing …. I always sit next to Kennith at the dining room table, and I have been wondering whether it would be rude for me to move to the other end of the table.  We have an 8 seater, me on one end, him on the other at dinner time … strange much?

5. Sucking of marrow bones, or chicken bones or anything that makes your lips smack …without a doubt this is when I excuse myself from the table to go and attend to a child … even when I am out without my children.

6.  Sniffing…. I keep tissues in my bag for the sole purpose of handing to my children and strangers.  I make it look like an act of guidance or caring.  Meanwhile.  Not so much.

7.  A door that isn’t closed properly that knocks every time a breeze blows down the passage.

8.  Someone flicking through television channels, and the variance in sound that occurs as they move from one channel to another.

9.  Reality shows – especially American Idols or X-Factor – there is a severe pitch variance, and a lot of screaming and loud voices and then the low sound as someone says something deep and meaningful and then the screaming again.  Does my head in.

10.  Wind that whistles through window joints, and the bang-bang-bang that usually occurs on windows.

11.  The squeezing and sucking sounds caused when someone drinks from one of those water bottle numbers.  I can’t.  I really cannot bear it.

12.  Teeth sucking …. like after dinner and then there is this teeth sucking.

Okay let me stop.

Now that I make a list, I realise that the list is rather long and I have not touched the ice berg of the things that make me lose my shit completely.

I think there are lots of noises/sounds that we do not like.  But with me it does more than just annoy me.  It makes me angry, and irritated, and well just fkn angry.

My heart starts to pound.  I can feel my eyes narrowing.  I focus on the sound at the exclusion of everything else and then I can feel I get angrier and angrier as the sound gets louder and more acute in my ear.

Kennith always says that if we go to the movies, I will attract the guy with the slush puppy who sucks, and does that shoesh-shoesh-shoesh sound as he pushes his straw through the slush to loosen up the liquid, for another suck.

Kennith is probably right – I attract these people like nobodies business.  But the reality is that no matter where the slush puppy person sits, I will be able to hear them.  And the added problem is that I can’t hear the movie, as the sound gets louder and louder and louder for me.

This issue alone is probably the main reason I no longer go to movies.

Of course I just put it down to the fact that I was a miserable cow with too many issues to number – seems fair enough, so let’s not totally discount that as a good reason for my being irritable.

Then I saw this word on Friday “Misophonia” and suddenly so much makes sense, or at least I do not feel so guilty for always feeling so damn angry when there is a sound that sets my teeth on edge.

I thought this definition was bang on the money:

The response has been described as a reflexive emotional flood of rage and panic with a storm of fight-or-flight reactions becoming paramount. Adrenaline flooding, face flushing, heart-pounding and/or shaking and the need to physically flee or attack are often experienced. The mindful thoughts that the emotional reflex/response is unreasonable given the facts of the stimulus is often actually harmless come only after the fight-or-flight response is in full force and the affected person may find themselves in a constant mode of “talking themselves down” into a normal state of calm.

The hypocrisy of it all, is that I make a noise when I eat, and I often flick my nail when I am alone – I also love chewing raw pasta — all of these sounds would drive me to commit manslaughter if someone else did it.

According to my research there is no cure – one either must avoid the sound, do extensive CBT or take enough medication to not hear anything.

One bloke suggested moving to a quiet town, and never being in public places so the sounds of the masses do not drive him to insanity. He also has opted to work from home as “office” sounds also set him off.

Sadly I think it is too late for me.  What is sadder is that I understand his point of view, and his plan does not seem that unreasonable to me.