Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Exaggerated Head Space

via: Pinterest

Once too many Negative things happen and I get Overwhelmed I enter into what I like to call The Exaggerated Head Space.   It's a very dramatic state of Being where everything is magnified and exaggerated, but not in a good way!   I can find myself wallowing in the extreme thinking that predominates once you've entered that Space in your Head, where exaggeration reigns and clouds actual judgment and skews perspective.

I try to never make any decisions when I'm in The Exaggerated Head Space, it would be unwise.  And yet Life goes on, sometimes at a frantic and hectic pace, so I have to figure out the best way to get back into balance.   Usually this means I'll have to shut down and sleep it off to reboot.  Monday was mos def a day when I entered The Exaggerated Head Space.  

You don't don't just enter... you get pushed in, usually thru extreme circumstances.   On those exceedingly crappy days, where one too many Negative things happen in rapid succession, and the feeling of being overwhelmed by it all sets in like a ton of bricks.  It's not as if you want to or even choose to have The Exaggerated Head Space to deal with too, because I'd rather never BE there actually.  It adds another heavy layer of complexity to an already overly complex and Negative day.

Since it is a Dark Space to occupy, it too is just another Negative in the long string of them already playing out.  But Monday I entered the realm of The Exaggerated Head Space, by mid-afternoon it was a full blown episode and so I was sleeping it off by 6:00 pm and didn't wake up until it was a brand new day!  Emotional and Mental Exhaustion from the crappiest of days ever is even more draining to me than Physical Exhaustion... and I had all three, so I was a Hot Mess by Five in the Afternoon!

And I suspected it was gonna be one of those days, just by looking at the itinerary on the Calendar.  Then throw in an unexpected twist with a call that has you now changing gears rapidly, be trapped in a vehicle with a Psychotic Teenager who is uncooperative and belligerent about what he has to do that day ... and there ya go!   First on the Agenda was my Doc Appt. for the out of control Diabetic thing, so I knew that wasn't going well.

It actually went worst than I expected... with far more bad news which just made me feel quite doomed and basically screwed.  I'd Fasted in case they needed to run MORE Tests, so I missed Breakfast and later had to settle for a crappy Lunch while waiting endlessly for the new Shot Rx at the Base Clinic to be filled.  Yes, I'll be on shots again... ugh... and another pill in the long list of pills adding up... double ugh... I Hate Western Medicine!  I was now one of those Old People with the big bag of meds walking out of the Clinic that I never wanted to be of The Tribe of... Le Sigh!

They assigned me a Life Coach, very nice Lady about my Age, I could tell she commiserated with my predicament.   That being, as a Caregiver of three high maintenance people, if your Doc says the only way your absorption of the insulin correctly is gonna happen is if you have less Stress, more Rest, carefully planned Diet {apart from what the rest eat} and DO less... well, she's basically telling me I'm Screwed.  Knowing what to do when you have no way of actually doing it just makes one feel doomed!

It didn't help that gastric bypass was suggested and they want me to consider it since they will pay for it being I'm a special needs candidate to keep vertical!  Yikes, I know I'm overweight, 229 and creeping upwards no matter what I do dietary wise to stem the ascent.  But I also know the long process and recovery time involved in such a surgery and the Negative side effects... and did I mention I'm the sole Caregiver of three high maintenance people? 

 So, um, whose filling in while I take a long time to recover and physically adjust from such a Major Surgery pray tell?  I'm the only driver and we live out in BFE now without a network or staff for coverage if I am 'down' any length of time!  Whose taking Care of me while I convalesce?  Not this crew... Hell, when I got Home after this intense day I'll finish regaling you with, I fell into Bed at 6:00 pm utterly spent and with a bad case of The Exaggerated Head Space! 

 The Man says, "You need to eat Honey...", so he'd make me a Dinner and wake me up so I'd have one decent meal of the day.   I dozed off and he got distracted immediately by an episode of American Ninja Warriors and completely forgot about me and making Dinner, as TBI people often do... and when I woke up it was a brand new day!   And the only good part of that was I wasn't in The Exaggerated Head Space anymore.

So... back to the most Negative Day that put me there tho'!   As I'm sitting in my Doc Appt. I get The Call... the unexpected one... from that Charter School for The Young Prince that we never thought would actually call us back with an Opening!!!   They have an Opening... switch gears now since that very Afternoon the Young Prince and I have an Appt. at Mental Health with his Educational Family Support Advocate who was gonna help us battle The High School!   Ooops, New Battle Plan now has to be formulated on the fly, since there ultimately will be a Battle eventually, you can count on it!

 After my dismal and grim diagnosis at the Clinic, driving home solemnly with a big ole bag of medical supplies and meds, wrapping my Mind around all of those changes for my own Plan to stay vertical...  I'm wondering now how to break the News to Prince D?  He's been in Psychotic Mode for days now, big ole Shark Eyes and the whole schtick!   He's uncooperative, belligerent and debating everything under the Sun as if he's some defense Attorney for the Mob!  He already doesn't want to go to said Appt. at Mental Health... throwing another big Change at him right now was not going to go Well!

But I knew we had to make the Change, the accommodations temporarily made at the High School is two hours of Warehousing him basically while they awaited a Transfer and Withdrawal.   Though his I-School Class might have had some Positive effect, the Life Skills Class involved nothing by his account, but it's required by Law to tack on... so he sits there doing nothing so that Legally all is accounted for... Splendid. 

But we are on Spring Break, so his High School isn't Open 'til a week from this crappy day, so I can only get part of the required documentation to the Charter School on short notice.   I didn't bring him on that errand, I didn't have it in me nor did I want them to change their Mind if Shark Eye Boy showed up in Top Psychotic Form and put the kabosh instantly on the whole thing?!  *LOL*  We'll let them ease into getting to know him, the unmedicated SMI him... and see how long that lasts shall we?

So... back to his Family Advocate Appt., which went better than I expected as far as Clark giving us good feedback of an on the fly Game Plan switch due to Charter School now being in the mix!   That said, rewind a bit to us in the waiting room before our Appt., where The Young Prince is pacing like a caged Tiger and glaring at me with Shark Eyes saying that if they're one minute late in calling us in, he's leaving!  *Oy Vey!*   Luckily they have Staff observing Waiting Room and what might Pop Off in there so they were acutely aware he wasn't having a Good Day and containment might be an Issue?!  *Winks*

So I'm edgy knowing he could Pop Off at any time once the last ounce of logic and reason left his Mind completely.  So to distract myself from the slide I'm already feeling into The Exaggerated Head Space, I begin eavesdropping upon a nearby conversation between an Old Male Veteran and a Custodial Grandma who looked on the verge of Medical collapse herself.   This poor Woman was a Hot Mess physically and clearly Emotionally she was at wits end with her Kinship Placement Grandchild, a Female SMI Teen.

I just got out... of serving Ten days in Jail she's venting to the Old Vet, and levied with a Thousand Dollar Fine!   This poor Woman didn't look like she could survive a day in Jail or was any kind of Criminal so I hadda hear this Story in it's entirety!  Apparently her Seriously Mentally Ill Grand-Daughter was being severely bullied at her High School to the point of being Suicidal and needing Hospitalization... no Surprises to that Story... been there, done that too!   Well, when said Grandchild gets out of Adolescent Psyche Ward she refuses to send her back to the School until the Asst. Principal deals with said Bullies effectively so it would be a safe environment for her Child to return to.  Sounds reasonable.

She begins getting threatening letters from the School System {Yeah, I'm familiar with those too...} saying that excess absences means she could be threatened with Jail Time and Fines if she's not in Compliance.   Since the Bullying Incident is well documented and the Hospitalization of her Grand and what necessitated it, she holds out, awaiting the School to take action against THE BULLIES.   Nope, instead she's arrested, sent to Jail for 10 days and assessed a Grand in Fines!  Thus, why she's now sitting in Mental Health with her Kiddo awaiting Advocacy and Therapy from the Trauma of the whole shitshow she and Child have endured as VICTIMS!  The only consolation she got was that the Asst. Principal got Fired for failing to follow up on the Bullying Charges!  Small consolation... I've prevailed and gotten people Fired too, it doesn't make me feel very much like anything Changes tho'.

The System, as it stand, never ceases to slay me... I think the only reason I haven't been down same road as this Gramma is becoz they'd have to find Placement for all three of my Loved Ones, no easy feat, in fact, probably an Impossible one, in my absence.  Plus I do them the Favor of the Math... of how much per Month it would cost them to PAY FOR Caregiving for all three of them should they spirit me away from the Family for said 'Punishment', which would also be on the Taxpayer's dime... just so you know where your Tax Dollars are going in this shitshow.

  Not to mention my Promise, that once incarcerated, I'm likely to totally Lose It, cut loose and vent all my many years of pent up anger and rage upon whatever actual Criminal is handy and is foolish enuf to jerk my chain, to extend my stay.  Probably indefinitely... becoz I could go just that Bat Shit Crazy Postal and Ballistic if pushed over the edge of all Sanity and have absolutely nothing to lose.  Jail Time would be more of a Vacay than they realize for moi, and as for their Fine, they'd never get paid, I'd light the Money on Fire first in front of them!  Burn Baby Burn!!!

 So go ahead, don't threaten me with a Good Time!  *Smiles*  Thus they have tried to Work Things Out about the Truancy Charges for LEGITIMATE Mental Health Absence days that I provide sufficient Medical Documentation to justify!  Besides, even when you do send them on Psychotic Days, you get the immediate Call to come pick them up... so it's a Catch 22 either way, you can't Win for Losing!   But my Heart ached for this poor Woman in the waiting room, as if it's not bad enough a Custodial Grandparent is trying to raise a profoundly Disabled Grandchild, The System makes it MORE difficult and MORE of a Hardship than it already is... it's a disgrace!

So... that's the sort of conversations you hear whilst eavesdropping in the Waiting Room of Adolescent Mental Health Facilities... not exactly an Encouragement nor Uplifting.  My Exaggerated Head Space was expanding, mebbe I just shouldn't have overheard THAT conversation coz now I'm even more pissed off and agitated!  *LOL*   The Young Prince had overheard it too... "See!!!" he hisses vehemently, "This is ALL a waste of time... nothing will ever Change or get better... I want to leave NOW!"   About that time Mercifully they call us in... and Clark helps me Calm him down a bit... enuf to get thru said Meeting of Strategies for School and getting him an Education of some kind.

He's amenable to going to the Charter School, why not he says, I have nothing to loose, True that!   Will it be another Failure, perhaps, but at least I will have tried one more thing in the Laundry List of previously Failed things... to try to get a Seriously Mentally Ill but Genius Child an Education.  So that Hopefully one day he can manage Independent Living and be a contributing member of Society and tap into his Genius Beautiful Mind effectively... perhaps? 

  Either that or he'll need Lifetime Caregiving by me or someone else... or Institutionalization off and on or permanently... or be sitting on a Park Bench in the Rain, I'm not Sure???   I don't like to think about it much either, or The Exaggerated Head Space expands further and longer!   I've already got one Adult SMI Child, his Mother, who went down the Dark Path and into the Abyss that can be Serious Mental Health decline.   I don't like to think about Witnessing another Loved One be an absolute train wreck.

So... we get thru said Appt. relatively intact and I'm anticipating cooperation now and no more resistance, silly me, because I'm offering the allure of a Nice Healthy Restaurant Dinner option as a Reward to us both.  Especially since I missed Breakfast and had a crappy Lunch I was rather looking forward to the Comfort of one Good and Healthy Diabetic conscious Meal.  Since Hell, I have to embrace my grim diagnosis and prognosis and it's not as if the Kiddo is unaware I got serious Health Issues going on.  But he's in Psychotic Mode, remember?

I don't want to go to that Healthy Menu Restaurant, but you can, you're the Diabetic... I'll just watch you eat.    Aw shit, this after he's whined about being ravenously hungry for the past two hours on drive to Appt. and waiting for Appt. and during Appt.!!!  "I want McDonalds!" he protests loudly!  Clearly McDonalds is not the most Diabetic Friendly Menu option on the Planet, and it's not even Real Food, so I already know I'm not eating there... but...

  If you have never, ever, tried to Reason with a Psychotic Person, Word Up, don't waste your breath or your precious energy and time.  Don't get sucked into their Psychosis... contact has been Lost with external Reality and engaging is futile and could even escalate to some pretty intense shit you don't wanna hafta be handling!  Especially not trapped in a vehicle with them careening down the road together!  You'd be Proud of me tho', I didn't push him out of the moving vehicle {they frown on Parents doing that no matter how your overall Sanity is Tested... Winks}... I didn't even do a Thelma and Louise tho' I felt like it... yay Me!  A small Victory, but a Victory nonetheless!

I went thru the McDonald's drive-thru, stoic... he ate his greasy non-food contently and during the long Silent drive *Home {See Footnote: we actually then went to Urgent Care for the Ear he couldn't hear out of...}... we said nothing.  And eventually The Shark look left his Eyes... and as we rolled into the driveway it was as if nothing had happened... which is the Surreal part of dealing with those living with Mental Illness... the Switch.   The Switch is even more eerie actually than the Psychotic Event to me... or the time leading up to it, which you can usually see coming on if you're vigilant... and you better be!

Because how do you do it... pretend like it didn't happen either?  Because YOU will remember it, all of it and how awful it all was.  Well, for me, and especially after a very intense day where too many Negative things happen and I become completely Overwhelmed, I just fall into bed and Sleep it off.  Because whenever I wake up, it's usually a brand new day... and we can start over with a blank slate.   

By then The Exaggerated Head Space where Drama reigns and skewed perspective is disabling and renders you practically non-functional has subsided... and it can be back to business as usual in Mi Vida Loca.  Where you wake up the next Morning and realize, Yup, The Man forgot he was going to make you that Dinner you Needed last Night, you even forgot to wake up or be woken up and take your Insulin Shot before a NORMAL Bedtime... and this is why you're probably doomed Girl!

*PS Footnote: Ooops, I almost forgot to add that we also squeezed in an Urgent Care visit for him for that pesky Ear infection brought on by Spring Allergies... coz with Kids it's ALWAYS SOMETHING... so just a little somethin-somethin thrown into the already Crazy Mix... because why not have a Medical semi-emergency when he can't hear out of one Ear, right?!  *winks*


Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. I would certainly say no to gastric bypass. My sister had it. Didn't work . she did it on her own. But the side effects have caused her trouble, maybe her cancer. you don't need all that with everything else for sure!

    1. I have heard similar reports Marlynne of the side effects being bad and you still need to make lifestyle changes anyway, so why not just make the lifestyle changes without surgery is my thoughts. I'm looking now more at labels of foods and using the books they gave me to realize what healthy foods are NOT good for Diabetics, ignorance was my biggest obstacle in dietary changes that would be most effective. I was focusing more upon eating what I knew to be healthy foods, managing portions, eating smaller amounts more often, etc... and avoiding Junk or Fried foods... well, that's only part of what I need to do, now I'm watching Carbs closely and trying to scale way back on them, not eating later and not skipping meals when things are hectic. It's going to be a Process. How are you holding up? Big Hugs to you my Friend... Dawn... The Bohemian

  2. Soldier on, and the diabetes can get at least under control. I try to stay under 50 carbs a day--and never over 100. This can be done---but you literally have to realize which carbs are 'useable' by your body and which are not. When you are under control--the rest will be workable. So good luck with the whole SShow as you aptly describe your situation. Sandi


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl