Stephen Pimley | Daily Life,Family,Illness | Saturday, December 7th, 2013

My mother was crying and bumming out my father and I, so I started rubbing her shoulders. She tried to pull away from me to leave the room and I told her I wasn’t going to let her go until she agreed to see a therapist. She refused and kept trying to pull away from my grip on her shoulders. So I gave up and let her go.

My father is telling her that she can’t sign up for another semester of college or apply for any scholarships because he may get fired any day now. Her reaction is that unless she at least gets her 4 year degree the last 11 years of her life (1-2 courses at a time due to her disability) of going to college have been a waste and there is no hope left for her. I tried to explain that her goals along the way should have been keeping her brain active and exercised, having more social interaction, and getting out of the house more than people with similar disabilities. Then she could congratulate herself on those accomplishments and not look at the whole thing as one big negative waste of time and money.

I asked her if there was anything she could see herself gaining from going to therapy and all she did was whine more about how if she couldn’t sign up for another semester of college there was no point in getting comfortable with a therapist if we might have to move soon. I really don’t know why I feel compelled to try cheering her up. When she is like this logic never gets through to her. She can ignore the most blatant of realities if that is what it takes to hang on to her negativity.

Stephen Pimley | Daily Life,Family,Illness | Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Another explosive argument with the mom unit. The culmination was her screaming and crying, “I guess my memory is just always wrong because I’m a big fat fucking liar.” She still refuses to see a therapist because she went to one briefly five years ago and therefore she is the expert on whether or not it would help her. She claimed to recall a conversation we had in which I told her all the people in my support group were complaining about how their parents raised them. This conversation never happened. The real conversation only had me making a joke about that which I clearly explained to her was just a joke afterwards. Her memory is so terrible she takes fragments of conversations and twists them with her imagination to fill in the blanks. This would be entirely understandable if just once in her entire fucking life she would admit that this happens and not adamantly defend her false memories digging her heels in until she loses her shit.

I should note that at no point in the conversation did I even call her a liar. Some times in the past I have lost my temper and said it but I held my tongue this time. Still, she accused me of “always calling [her] a liar”, to which I asked, “Did I just call you a liar?” “Well… You always call me a liar!” {Again} “Did I or did I not call you a liar? Just be honest.” This only makes it worse with her. Her brain can’t cope with the fact that reality and her emotions are out of sync with each other.

Stephen Pimley | Daily Life,Family,Illness,Thoughts | Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

I woke up shortly before midnight. My mother lectured me about how I absolutely had to buy milk before morning so they could have cereal. I went driving to pick up that and some protein bars. Instead of taking the direct route home I got on the highway and just drove the opposite direction so I could relax and give the car some exercise. When I got back to my neighborhood I couldn’t make the U-turn I needed because six out of eight lanes of the highway were closed for an accident with a tractor trailer and a SUV. I kept driving and got on another highway. I circled back around and came home from the opposite direction I left from. I opened the refrigerator to put the milk away and there was another gallon my father had already brought home earlier today. I’m pretty sure this experience can double as a metaphor for my life in general.

Stephen Pimley | Daily Life,Family,Illness | Friday, October 18th, 2013

I went to the Concerned Families of Fairfax County meeting tonight on recommendation from members of my BPD support group. The Executive Director of the CSB (Community Services Board) was there to speak to their list of concerns about mental health services provided by the county through the CSB. I had read over the concerns list in a forwarded email but I am not at all familiar with the group or any background on what has changed so far. So basically I just planted myself on the far side and listened to what the county is trying to improve upon in terms of providing mental health services and subsidized housing. I got some contact information for a person at the CSB that could go over housing options for me should I be left homeless when my father retires and my parents move out the state in 2-3 years.

I did start to have a panic attack during the middle of the meeting but I got it under control after a few minutes. I could feel sweat dripping down the center of my chest under my shirt and I got paranoid that I wasn’t holding my face in the right position. I kept moving my mouth around trying to find something similar to what a “normal” face would look like. Sometimes my social awkwardness and inexperience really gets to me when very simple ordinary tasks elude my ability to compensate for my illness.

I guess the big story of the night is that a helped a nice lady with a physical disability get her wheelchair out of her van after the chair lift broke down in the parking lot. First I attempted to follow the instructions of a mechanic on the phone on how to reconnect the loose cable but for the life of me I couldn’t find where it was supposed to plug into. Maybe if there had be some bright overhead lights in the parking lot I could have managed. I ended up using the manual crank box to get the lift leveled so she could get onto it. Then as carefully as I could I pumped on the release crank to lower her down. After cranking the lift back up her mother(?) discovered that the hydraulic controls were working well enough for lifting that she was certain they could get her back into the van. I hope they got home alright and they get the lift fixed soon. I am normally pretty adept at fixing things but without prior knowledge of what the device looked like I was as clueless as can be.

Okay enough writing for now I really need to take a ton of ibuprofen because I took my paroxetine nine hours late and I already have a terrible withdrawal headache.

Stephen Pimley | Daily Life,Family,Illness | Saturday, September 7th, 2013

I yelled at my mother and now she feels bad because she started steaming green beans and had a plastic Ziploc bag an inch from the burner. It was already melting and could have started on fire if I hadn’t caught it in time. Almost every time she cooks something on the stove I am pushing plastic Tupperware or something else away from the burner so I don’t have to worry about her burning the house down while I’m asleep or in the other room with my headphones on. I wish they could hurry up and figure out how to give her some sight back so she could at least do little every day things like this without being a danger to herself and people around her. Of course, as soon as they can do nerve transplants for eyes I could get my hearing back as well. Hop to it scientists!

After that incident I was rubbing her shoulders to make her feel better and my mother said that she needs to remind my sister more often that she has to let me live with her when our parents die. Because I’m totally incapable of taking care of myself, that is. Well I would rather wander the country homeless and die of starvation or disease in some cold alley or just straight up kill myself than be a burden on my sister too.

Stephen Pimley | Daily Life,Family,Illness | Thursday, September 5th, 2013

My mother is going to drive me to suicide someday. I can’t even begin to describe how aggravating our conversations are. On a positive note, at least I haven’t put my fist or foot through the doors since I stopped drinking. I just don’t think I can take this forever. My blood boils so much and I don’t know how to bring myself back down. She never learns from anything I say. She hears but she never listens. Every time she tries to repeat something I’ve said she has changed the entire meaning of it. It’s like the doorway of perception in her brain is a garbage disposal and I feed it well formed pears and she spits back some mashed pears with bits of carrot and lettuce from yesterday’s salad. I honestly don’t understand how a brain can function like hers does, but I know it isn’t her fault. She can’t even recognize or comprehend that she is misinterpreting everything my father and I say to her. She doesn’t have the self-awareness to realize she needed therapy almost as much as I do.

Stephen Pimley | Daily Life,Family | Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

We ate dinner two hours late because I was tearing the room apart trying to help my cats catch a loose mouse. I don’t know how we ended up with the three worst mousers ever. Fortunately, I was just about to put the spaghetti in the boiling water when I heard all the commotion so I was able to shut the stove off and chase the critter around. Plus my sauce got an extra two hours for the herbs to steep in so I guess it wasn’t a total loss. Oh and I should say that we gave up before we caught it. Rascally little bastard. :/

Burnt Beyond Recognition [Parts 1 & 2]

Stephen Pimley | Drugs,Family,Illness,Thoughts,Writing | Friday, July 26th, 2013

What is a life worth if to save it you must destroy all that it was? I thought I was wise enough given the circumstances. I thought I was doing all that I could. I tried holding a magnifying glass to the sun and burning a hole through my skull to exorcise all the dark and slithering things inside. I am left with a grey void where there was once an endless spring of light. I close my eyes and look inside a cold static field made up of a billion sparkles instead of the defined and brilliant images that used to form there. My ears pick up background hums from electronics and the creaking of an old ceiling fan where there was a chorus of neon angels playing tribute. There is a place deep inside of us where mirrors are meant to aim their focus into a single guiding ray. It is this core, heart of being that boiled off under the onslaught of my misdirection.

I wish I could describe my brain damage in a way that other people could understand. Something is gone where I used to be. I wish my family could stop believing in me so it won’t hurt so much when I have to leave them. This signal is breaking up and cutting out and I still haven’t had a chance to grasp what it was all about.


Stephen Pimley | Daily Life,Family,Illness,Memories | Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

I will try to keep in mind our day in the hospital could have gone much worse.

Over recent weeks I had been steeling myself up into an effort to contact someone, even if a total stranger, so that I would have a friendly set of hands somewhere in the cosmos to text with. I desperately wanted a way to distract myself while I could be waiting nervously for the surgeon’s report yesterday. I cannot however shake my fears that after investing so much of myself into other people over these years it has all been for naught with the sole exception of my family. Like vapors rising into the night sky and disappearing just beyond arm’s length, all of my friends seem to melt away the second we lose sight of each other. I presume they all decide at some point they don’t need me any longer and that I’m not even worth saying goodbye to. In the end I never did contact anyone until it was too late because I didn’t have the will left on tap to summon forth the words.

One of my mother’s friends has been taking her to a Korean church lately and their pastor came to visit and pray with my mother in the waiting room. It is definitely not my thing but if it helps her feel better I guess so be it. I’m not going to deny her any comfort just because I have a completely different set of beliefs. She did start crying a little bit after that but my father and I did our best to allay her fears. At the last minute, when going over some routine questions, the surgeon and anesthetist realized her primary care doctor had only taken her off warfarin 3 days prior. They ordered a precautionary PT/INR and I held her hand while we chatted for the extra forty some minutes before the test results came back. The surgeon came back and broke the bad news that her blood wasn’t clotting fast enough and it was too dangerous to continue with the surgery. We have another date scheduled for her surgery in early July so hopefully that goes a lot smoother.

For the most part this experience just makes me iterate over the fact that any nudge one way or another in the randomness of our existence can make the difference between life and death for all of us.

It Seems…

Stephen Pimley | Family,Friends,Illness,Memories,Thoughts | Thursday, July 31st, 2008

…That I have lost a friend but gained far more respect for myself than I’ve ever had before today.  If there is anyone else in the world that has publicly denounced themselves as much as I have I’d be surprised.  I don’t always know what the right path is.  I don’t even consistently do what is right even when it’s plain and clear.  I can hate myself for a million mistakes.  I can hate myself for a million sins of omission when I stood idly by and watched something horrible happen.  However my previous failings may be, today I can do nothing but love myself for doing everything I could attempting to save a person’s life even when that person didn’t want my help at all.  I contacted her friends and family begging them all to take a hand in bringing her back to safety.  In the end it turned out I was mislead in places and acting on partially erroneous information about the present danger.  I was ridiculed for acting out of turn in a dire situation where I felt no safer or more rational options could be found.  This person managed to miraculously turn their own life around to a good degree in the time being.  I am nothing but pleased this woman had the strength of will to finally bring herself out of a depth nobody should tread.  This is where I’m supposed to say that had I known this would happen I’m not sure I would have done anything differently.  The thing is, I would have probably chickened out and done nothing if I thought she was in less danger than I did.  I would have chickened out and she would have got a “get out of jail free” card from a truly dreadful decision she made all of her own accord.  She hates me for it and I don’t blame her one bit.  Before I acted I stewed upon the thought of how betrayed I would feel in the same position.  What it came down to was, would I rather be saved myself?  I made a choice in which for possibly the first time in my life there is no doubt, no fault to be found.  Nothing can take that away from me in all my days left.  I hope you read this someday.  I hope you believe it the next.*

*It is not you versus the world.  It’s you with the world.  Sooner or later you have to learn how to flow or you are doomed to be pulled under by the darkest oil-slick currents our seas can toss at you.  I am probably worse at it than anyone else I’ve known personally.  For most of my life I was stiff and lifeless and letting myself drown because it seemed merely a quicker shot to the same end.   You knew me then and you tried to help even when I fought you at every turn.  I know now that I was far beyond lucky to have the supportive family I have.  No doubt I would not have made it without them.  Please don’t hold that against me or anyone else and use it to convince yourself there is no hope.  Whatever the pain of your situation is, please always remember that SOMEONE loves you even where you can’t see it.  Now that I’m kicking against the currents I’d appreciate it if I saw your head bobbing with mine.  You are stronger than you can believe.  Now show everyone else.

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