Child’s Play

 

~Child’s Play ~

I live next door to a Big Ugly Monster.

It waits for me night and day

swinging in its’ Big Ugly swing on a Monstrously Big Ugly porch

crying Big Ugly tears.

I run past.

A busy careful person steers clear of  Monstrous messes.

The more I dodged my Big Ugly Monster the louder it sobbed

It conned me into scheming scary plans all day.

I pictured  its’ Big Ugly death all night.

I tried to bypass my Monstrous blueprints with counterfeit prayers.

Still the night ruptured with Inhuman Wails.

It was Unbearable.

and then…

I understood .

I vaulted up the Monstrously Big porch

onto the Big Ugly swing.

My friendless friend rocked itself silent

I wrapped my shaking arms round it’s untouchable shape

And we began to swing

Embracing all its’ Ugliness I felt like singing!

Oh, I was afraid I’d cry if I did-

So we just swung and swung

through a quiet night

Me and my Big Ugly Monster.

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i to i

Your superior gaze cast from behind those damn  Movie Star sunglasses

made me so uncomfortable I wore my shirt backwards the next day

Even though I don’t trust nobody whose car windows and glasses be tinted so dark you can’t make out who they are

or what

Suspicious breeds of predators hide in plain sight

I reckon your condescending pity gave me the willies ’cause I almost saw myself through your eyes!

If I ever did see myself through your eyes I’d break every damn mirror in my house!

If I ever did see myself through your self righteous condemning eyeballs

I wouldn’t even have mirrors in my house

Cause my reflection would’ve  hauled  ass and run away!

If I ever believed I was who you saw me to be..

I’d become you!

And then I’d have to bitch slap the Hell outta both of us!

~A Thousand Tiny Moths~

The thorn of a dead rose can still pierce.

Like that crucifix spinning in my brain stabbing the underbelly of soft secrets. Shredding

sacred prayers with sharp claws over ancient remorse of confused and foggy deeds.

Like that annoying old song I can’t get out of my head, so it plays on and on…echoing

through shattered glass etched in murals of Monet-plastered shame.

Theirs. Mine. Wicked this rotation of pointy spite~filled heels.

Yet, have you ever been soothed by the humility of a single Butter Cup? Fragile

forgiveness spores the air.

Life and death held hostage in this moment.

Being Present is like that.

It moves on quickly .

Once, I caught it in a mason jar filled with lightning bugs.

My jar was so full of light it took my breath away.

In that moment there was nothing to forgive. No shame to kneel before. No groveling with ground hanging eyes.

That Presence laced with even the thinnest of hope…That moment lifted

by a thousand tiny moths fluttering with a thousand tiny more…

Nothing could penetrate!

Not even the thorn of a dead rose.

The Role Of God Has Already Been Cast

Growing up in the south, I tried to fit in with the other “Barbie Doll”, “Miss America Complex” (infected) little belles.
Problem was we didn’t know the perfection we struggled to emulate wasn’t real and some fantasies are dangerous. Nobody really talked about “air brushed” magazine pictures, weight control by lethal, addictive drugs or bulimia/anorexia. To be honest, I was spellbound by the myth of perfectly thin thighs and lost touch with reality. So, I probably wouldn’t have listened anyway.
Drinking became a coping device to fit in as well. It hid the shame of living with a psychotic mother who experimented with whatever torture the “voices” dictated towards me and my two small siblings.
I have had 4 spine surgeries as a result of those years imprisoned with a schizophrenic and have spent several weeks in 5 lovely psychiatric institutions myself . My mother committed suicide when I was 15. My younger brother didn’t make it. Nor did my baby sister Ann. Maybe if I were smarter, better or prettier…she would’ve loved me enough to stick around. Yeah right. The “not enough “seed was an ‘early spring planting.’ I’ve spent most of my life laboring with exhaustive efforts trying to harvest your approval, acceptance, love ,your loyalty and faithfulness . You know- the usual desperate gatherings of a tortured soul settling for scraps and “slim pickin’s” (as they say) pathetically bargaining with a starving self esteem. Ah, the good ol’ days~

However, there came a time of reckoning. A time when all the self pity, booze and pills in the world didn’t quiet the insane cacophony of life’s demand to be lived. It was Sept. 10th 1985. I couldn’t get drunk. I couldn’t get sober…and I was too clear to go insane. I was at the turning point. We all either live dying or die having really lived. So, I prayed ( I am not a religious person) I prayed however to whatever power I believe is greater than my self pity, my tragic childhood, my tortured soul…ALL of it! I truly believe there is a power BIGGER than ALL of me and my misery. I was not only relieved of the obsession to drown myself in alcohol but also self pity….and oh yes, I was addicted to my own misery. How do I know? I was getting mileage out of it. I needed to feel pain to feel alive. If I didn’t feel hurt or abandoned or in crisis I didn’t feel alive. So what would I do to establish my miserable comfort zone again of “alive?” I would create a crisis, push people away to feel abandoned ,so I would get to cry and bemoan the part of victim. Voila! The part of victim would guarantee attention from equally unhealthy types, but hey the mileage I was seeking was attention and company…and let’s say it in unison…”Misery LOVES company!!” Slow suicide.

After a lot of 12 step programs (and I qualify for ALL of them) therapy and medication, I began to take responsibility. I realized that long after my torturer(mother-family) were gone I picked up where they left off, but still continued to blame them for my unhappiness! The “Blame game” nearly killed me. Finger pointing became a national sport…only I stayed unhappy, sick, and emotionally toxic. When I began to take responsibility for my part and went on a ‘negativity free diet’….I lost 560 Lbs. of codependent ,misery cosigners I had enlisted along the way as “friends”. It’s so easy to be miserable. It takes real guts to be happy.

I always avoided facing my demons and standing in my darkness. However in so doing I never felt whole. I bought the same “good/bad”, “kind/cruel” polarizing ,extremist nonsense being crammed down the rest of the giant social throat. I snort with laughter when I hear so many people busting a freshly cleaned colonic gut trying to convince me of how “enlightened” they are. It seems you have to be full of “love and light” today to qualify for validation. Well, I think that makes you full of something alright. And probably why you’ll need so many colonics too .But the rejection of my dark side (or any part of me that I judge unlovable ) only made me aware the pain is in the separation. Any pain. Separation from myself, from society, from a higher power. It’s painful being separated from wholeness. So, I don’t get to judge. I do get to accept and embrace ALL of me..the “so called” good, bad and especially the ugly. Wouldn’t it be more humane (honest) to just admit that sometimes we all can be real shits and sometimes we all can be real saints…and sometimes just shitty saints and sometimes saintly shits? They are not mutually exclusive! We are divinely complex beings. Maybe if we integrate our own light and darkness ,it won’t be so hard to accept our brother and sisters? I may not be a religious person, but I heard the role of God has already been cast, so I figure we all can stop auditioning for it?

Happy and at home with my dark side as well as my light. And all shades in between. My not-so-thin thighs- those stubborn creases round my eyes-a face etched in lines tell a tale of psyche wards and jail …but the spirit stayed whole. It did not splinter. My soul committed to integration while the world convinced itself of segregation. Every time I got knocked down I just… Got. Back. Up. All. Of. Me.

I’m Bipolar.What’s Your Super Power?

The Value Of A Good Friend

I have learned to pick up the phone when in ‘crisis’ and call a trusted friend. I am very fortunate to have a handful of reliable “go-to” gals . We have practiced the art of talking each other ‘down off the ledge’ for years. Through much trial and sore “toes being stepped on” errors, we finally gave one another permission to start the conversation by skipping the pleasantries, by-pass the monotone greeting and go straight into a primal scream when time is of the essence and one of our lives (or sanity) is at stake.

Yesterday, I called my trusted pal in a full blown panic attack. The tiny frazzled wire to my mania (bipolar) had been tripped and was gaining momentum flying around unsupervised in my head and vying for a socket. The night before , the neighbor from Hell had been blasting a “concert” in his backyard with acoustic guitar through an amplifier with Karaoke machine for a few dozen drunk navy buddies . I had spent the day in debt collection offices defending one of my kids from having his credit ruined, I had then rushed to pick up my (newly neutered) puppy. He in turn became the Tasmanian Devil when I tried to make him wear his protective collar, otherwise known as “the cone of shame “. I had no energy left…or sanity…or patience. My thinking was already skewed, and caught in a warped negativity loop. ”Uh-Oh” I saw an image dash across my mind. Not unlike that of a tropical storm warning. “Flash Flood Warning! Bipolar Alert! Seek Shelter Immediately! ”

I called for help. I called one of my “rescue team member” friends. If you’re bipolar, like me, it helps to have at least 3–5 girlfriends on speed-dial who can “talk you down off the ledge.” Call until you get a hold of someone.

She listened and listened and listened and today I found a Groupon gift for something to help. She signed me up for an Online Yoga class. Simultaneously, I burst out laughing and crying. You can do things like this if you are bipolar like me. Although, I believe this particular super-power is called “rapid cycling”. We have all sorts of talents. My patient friend was aware I couldn’t get out of the house as much as I needed, because having a new puppy is like having a new born baby .She also knew I had a surplus of stored up anxiety/ stress/energy that was about to explode /implode. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of exercise. It really does take a village to stabilize my bipolar. Right combination of medication, therapy, diet, support groups, keeping a journal and yes, exercise! It took primal screaming (well, mildly pathetic whining and moderately annoying moaning) to a good friend to remember this because, when I’m in the rapid cycles of my illness I can’t remember simple solutions by myself.

That’s why I need friends to remind me of stuff I already know but can’t access. It’s like you forgot your password and guessed too many times, so now you’ve been locked out of your own web site. It helps to have a backup plan knowing this may happen. I have a tough time ‘problem solving’ with 17 hamsters doing spin class in my brain. Welcome to bipolar!

It’s taken me years to put together a few good friends who also act as “emergency standby”. They are not always available and sometimes I just piss people off and we don’t speak for awhile. Shit happens. It’s not easy being my friend when I’m manic.(Dysphoric) I am bipolar 2 (the crappy kind) I don’t get euphoric I get dysphoric. (irritable, enraged, volatile, about to chew the leather off your new pair of loafers kind of moody) Yeah, I know…my poor friends right? However, folks that mind don’t matter, folks that matter don’t mind, because they know I have an illness NOT a character defect.

So, if you haven’t found a team yet, keep looking, don’t give up until you find what you need! Even when you do find friends you can talk to- folks can’t be there 100% ALL the time. Hell, neither can you! Life’s hard. Bipolar ,without a team, is harder. Some days it’s going to feel like nobody’s there. Keep going anyway, because your bipolar head is going to lie to you. Oh, by the way you don’t have to believe every friggin’ thing your head tells you. “Nobody cares” “Life sucks” etc. So,if yours is telling you right now that it’s too hard to make the kind of friends who give a damn…thank your bipolar brain very much for sharing that extremely helpful (cough) information and now it can sit down and shut the Hell up!

Just for today I have someone who really cares and listened. Just for today. If I can focus on just today, that also helps me from becoming overwhelmed. Then again, that’s all we really have, isn’t it? Just today? So just for today, I have a friend who cared enough to listen and talk me down off the ledge and bonus…surprise me today with a gift membership to Online Yoga so I can blow off a lil steam or stretch off a lil tension. It is the payoff from investing years of searching for the team I knew I’d need….because if you have a severe mental condition like I do, “Mama said there’d be days like this..there’d be days like this my Mama said…..”

If you don’t have a “tribe” I’ll share an Online link to one I use. Just to give you an idea what’s available. No, I don’t market this site. It was a gift from one of my Tribeswomen. I’ll share as many gifts as I can. That’s why I started this blog; to share what works for me. I hope you find what works for you!

 

Review of MyYogaWorks

About Patsy’s Place

Hello and welcome!  Some folks may know me as “Patsy Pease the actress” but that’s not why I created this blog. My real life makes my acting career look boring…and I have a pretty neat acting career. 🙂

However, my personal difficulties  always seemed to baffle me. (and everyone around me) So much of my behavior remained a mystery and what little about the “roller coaster”( I called my  life)  was revealed felt brutally painful and extremely humiliating. So, it’s taken a lot of work to uncover,discover and discard the pain, the blame and the shame.

The best way I know to communicate is through story telling. After all, that’s what I do for a living. I am a professional story teller. In the pages of this blog my goal is to share my experience, strength and hope with anyone who may feel as I did. (and sometimes still do) I don’t have any answers. However, I can share some simple solutions that helped me, post a few links to cool inspirational stuff, but  most valuable of all (to me) is my experience …my story.

Also, my greatest asset , the thing that shamed me most (ironically) is also the thing that serves others best…my past.  Yep,that ugly thing! The good ,the bad and especially the ugly.

Funny, how  a clumsy word like ‘blog‘ can take an ugly duckling story like mine, share it with the world and create a swan! Thank you for being a part of this  transformational journey~Patsy

Source: About Patsy’s Place

Recovery From Shame

I was diagnosed ‘Bi Polar’ late in life.

Unfortunately, (my diagnosis) was after I was arrested for smacking a guy upside the head with a mop and spent 5 days (and 4 scary nights) in a Van Nuys, Ca. filthy  jail cell. I was also 21 years sober, a mother of 2 teenage sons and volunteered in recovery homes at the time. Nevertheless, no diagnosis–no help–off to jail.

Unfortunately,it was after I posted nude pictures (of myself) all over the internet. I met photographers in strange, remote locations. Some were just “G.W.C.” (guys with cameras) Indiscriminately, I  disrobed anyway, took nude pictures and had unprotected sex.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t diagnosed until after I flew across country to spend time with ‘mysterious’ men I’d met online. I thought nothing of spending days with these strangers in secluded places…neglecting to tell anyone where I was.

Unfortunately, it was after I followed a group of police into a tattoo parlor. I heard cops know the best ‘ink joints’ ….and well…now , I have permanent evidence of what a full blown manic episode looks like…a  link of strange symbols playfully circling and tattooed on my right bicep.

I wasn’t diagnosed bi-polar until after I turned 50 years old. Up until then I had  Major Depressive Disorder…but oh, I was called ‘slightly moody‘ and more than just a little ‘high strung.‘ My psychiatrist probably credited that to my profession (I’m an actor) rather than my disorder. Understandably confusing, some actors can have erratic, intense if not down-right ‘ kooky’ behavior. (I owe that part to my own childishness and immaturity, not mental illness)

I don’t fault my doctors for not ‘cluing in’ sooner. Maybe they never saw the mania. Maybe ‘the mania’ had a life of it’s own and worsened after menopause. Whatever the reason, it has my full undivided attention now.

All I have to do is glance at my right arm. Wrapped around my bicep is some strange Japanese calligraphy. I thought about having it removed, but I never EVER want to forget what can happen again, if I stop my medication, therapy, diet, exercise, girlfriend time etc. Yes, it takes a village. However, if I have to juggle a ‘second career in recovery’ (just to regain my self respect) I am grateful I have that second chance. Many don’t. My mother and brother didn’t.

It took me years to finally discover what the hell I had permanently inked on my arm though. Finally, I saw its’ exact replica on a symbols site. It simply means ‘white light‘ A Johre symbol for peace, protection and healing.

When I learned what I’ve been ‘ping ponging’ around with, on my arm all these years, I felt like Blanche Dubois in Tennessee William’s play “Streetcar Named Desire” (at the end of Act 11)  when she turns to Mitch and says, “Sometimes, there’s God so quickly.” The irony of all my Russian Roulette, sexually suicidal behavior, while inked in ‘white light’, didn’t escape me.

Long ago I heard, “God looks after fools, drunkards and children.” ( I’ve been guilty of all three )

Well, I’d like to add…..”and the mentally ill too”…… God knows I’m living proof.

For anyone suffering in silence, please know you are not alone.  https://www.nami.org/

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1(800) 273-8255

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week  Languages: English, Spanish Websitewww.suicidepreventionlifeline.org