On the way to celebrate Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house on Thursday, my mom told me that she and my dad had had a conversation recently about me. She told me that she told him that I would be happier and easier to get along with if I was on mood stabilizers. I was horrified.

My first response was, “what?” That was followed by my pointing out that I had tried every mood stabilizer and that I had adverse reactions to a large chunk of them (lithium, antipsychotics, and several anticonvulsants) and a zombie on most of them. My mom told me that I hadn’t. (I have taken all but two FDA-approved and off-label mood stabilizers.)

I’m actually much happier and feel relatively stable off of them. Being happier is why I’m not at home as much. In fact, the goal of my mental health care over the last decade or so has been to increase my ability to leave the house with the hope that one day I could actually live separately from my parents. And my treatment plans have had to accommodate my inability to use mood stabilizers.

When I told him what she’d said, Chris said it sounded like she wanted me to be compliant and stay home all the time. Unfortunately that was what I thought too. I haven’t told him all of the times she has said she wants to be my representative payee or have me placed in a program through Social Security that would eliminate my access to a bank account & remove my ability to run my shop. It would keep me without true resources.

It makes all of her talk through the years about my lack of control & my inability to live without continued assistance of my parents seem all the more sinister. Not to mention how it colors my view on her wanting access to my accident settlement (she wants it in her bank account) and how she wants to raid my cash box for the festivals I’ve sold art & jewelry at. I’m fairly certain she’s been repaid most of the change she thinks I owe her on that. Then again, this is a woman who has threatened to sell or throw out my belongings before, so who knows what she thinks about that money?

It makes me want to make sure I definitely get a studio out of this house so that I can definitely gain independence. It also makes me want to stay out of my house all the time. I don’t feel like she views me as a person.

Some of the gifts for O arrived today, which has me kind of worried because I don’t remember how to properly wrap presents. Also, I have no wrapping paper, bows, tape, or tags for O’s gifts.

I bought special paper for Chris’s presents that I could use on O’s, but I don’t know if I should. I may just get O his own paper too. I know blue is his favorite color, so I may run with that.

Or I could do gift bags.

Again.

I don’t get why wrapping gifts has to be so difficult for me, besides my clumsiness amplifying my issues with cutting and folding in straight lines. Also, tape hates me. Oh, wait. I’m starting to figure out why it’s difficult.

So it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I haven’t added my old posts back yet, but I do plan to do that. I guess I should mention what’s been going on in my life.

I am an exhibiting artist at Huntsville Art League, and have been since last year. For a while I was the Education VP there, but now I’m the President. I was also teaching there and at Michael’s, but then a little thing called COVID interrupted that.

I have published two books of poetry—The Dark Lady and Ambition. I have sold precisely two copies of those books, which was honestly more than I expected to sell. Publishing them also led to my creation of my Goodreads Author page.

I finally had to get another iron infusion last week. My hematologist had told me last year that this would definitely be the year for it, and he was right. My ferritin had been steadily dropping since 2013—when I had my last infusion. This year it actually slowed down on that descent and only got to 21, but my iron saturation went from 35% to 16.7% and my platelets had already started going up. With my risk of clots, that last part was a bit more concerning. So I got an INFeD infusion to help get that under control.

Oh, and I have the most amazing boyfriend ever. His name is Chris. He’s my age and has a 13-year-old son. Chris is funny, sweet, smart, and I am so in love with him. We have been together since May 17, 2020. We didn’t meet in person until September 2020 though because of COVID. I met his son in May 2021.

Photo of a couple with the words “Date Idea: COVID-19 Boosters”
Chris and I took this selfie when we got our third COVID shot last month.

He and I are actually going on our first trip together this weekend. We’ll be going to California for his best friend’s wedding. I haven’t been on a plane since 1999 and I’m a tad nervous, but I’m sure he’ll find a way to calm me or get my mind off of the anxiety.