mental health

We’re All Mad Here Part 3/7

This is a seven part series. A new part will be released every Wednesday until all 7 are out.

Disclaimer: As some of you may know, I took a Memoir Writing class in 2017.  For that class, I wrote a lengthy (22 page) story about my first time going inpatient in a mental health facility back in May of 2015.  I utilized a “journal” or sorts that I kept while in the hospital. It was really just a yellow legal pad with notes scribbled all over it each day. I was hesitant to share it here because it’s very frank and may contain details of thoughts I had that some people may find disturbing, but I also feel it’s an important look at what being in a mixed episode can feel like.  In a mixed episode, you experience symptoms of both mania and depression.  So you may have a ton of energy and engage in risk taking behaviors but your self talk may be incredibly negative and scary.  At any rate, I’m now going to share that story with you weekly in several parts.  I’m not sure how many parts yet, but I don’t want to make each post so long that no one wants to read it.  Some parts of this story contain strong language not suitable for children.  I know some of the stuff I have written and write in this part are really off the wall and bizarre, but they are the honest thoughts that I had at the time.

We have a group today where we play drums, play twenty questions, then toss a ball back and forth to learn each other’s names.  It is your basic team building stuff, but it is pretty fun.  Shortly after, Mom and Dad come to visit, but the hour and a half they are here for flies by like a number of seconds.  They bring me a picture of River, my stuffed dog, coloring books, colored pencils, and markers.  I hug each of them for a long time before they leave.  They look weary but are trying to put on happy faces.

Samantha takes me and a few other girls outside for a walk before dinner.  The food here is actually really tasty.  I have grilled cheese and it has about three different kinds of cheese oozing out of it on delicious buttery bread.  I head back to my room after dinner and attempt to read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, but my mind is all over the place and I can’t focus long enough to get through a simple paragraph.  Someone comes down the hall and wakes me up because I have a phone call and it is Tiffany! I could say “I have the best support system in the entire world!” a million times and it still wouldn’t be enough for me. Phone calls are limited to ten minutes to make sure that everyone gets enough time to use the phone so I go back to reading and dozing off. At 8pm it is finally time for snack, which is necessary since so many of us take antipsychotics that require at least 350 calories eaten recently for them to absorb properly. After snack, I am one of the first in line for meds, which I take and decide to go straight to bed.

When I find out that the movie for that night is going to be Pride and Prejudice- the Keira Knightley version, I decide to stay awake and try to watch all of it. I make it through all but the last fifteen minutes of it because at that point, it becomes very necessary for me to leave the room. One of the women on the ward, Dixie, is one of the most obnoxious people I have ever met in my life. She is constantly asking questions throughout the movie that either a) she would know the answer to if she had been paying attention to or b) no one else knows the answer to because we either haven’t seen the movie or don’t have it memorized line by line. When I get up to leave she asks me why I am leaving and I say I want to try to go to bed.

The next day I have a migraine and am excused from all of my activities.  Nurse Sarah brings me an ice pack for my head and folds my laundry for me.  Nurse Layla gives me 100mg of sumatriptan.  It’s not what I usually take for migraines and it’s not nearly as effective.  I go back to sleep for a long time, then emerge from my room for lunch, after which we watch part of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince until visitation, which made me very happy.  Dixie asks again why I didn’t stay for the whole movie last night.  She makes me feel very punchy, but I don’t act out on it, I just seethe on the inside and dislike her from as much of a distance as I can possibly be in a small locked hallway.  I said again that I was tired instead of yelling, “It’s none of your fucking business, bitch!” at her like I wanted to.  See, I can be skillful even while manic!  I really don’t like her.  I overheard the nurses saying she has a textbook case of Borderline Personality Disorder, which makes a lot of sense.  The symptoms include impulsive actions, unstable relationships, mood swings, etc.

Mom, Dad, Joanne, and Rylann all come to visit me.  Joanne and Rylann can only stay for a little bit but it was so amazing to see them for as long as Rylann could tolerate being there.  They have to leave a different way than they normally would have because we got a new patient who is “excitable.”  Mom and Dad stay the whole visitation time and are allowed to leave the regular way.  The time with them always seems to pass too quickly, but I’m so grateful to them that they are willing to come visit every time they are allowed to.  After visitation, I watch part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 before dinner, then more of it between dinner and snack. Two of the other ladies, Evelyn and Marie, were both really into watching it as well. After snack, I take meds then take a shower, then other people (DIXIE) have started Free Willy 2, so I can’t watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which I have mentioned like a million times is coming on at 8:45pm and that I want to watch it. Instead, I call Sheridan and leave her a message then call and talk to Mom and Dad.

One of the girls here talks a lot about all of the time she spends in the spiritual realm and Dixie is convinced that her daughter has somehow illegally had her involuntarily committed. She thinks she is perfectly healthy but believes the doctor can hold her for 7-10 days. I’m 99% sure they can only hold you for 72 hours before committing you or not committing you for your own and others’ safety and then they can keep you here for as long as they deem medically necessary.   The result of my blood work was that my triglycerides are very high, but I don’t know what that means.

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mental health

We’re All Mad Here Part 2/7

This is a seven part series. A new part will be released every Wednesday until all 7 are out.

Disclaimer: As some of you may know, I took a Memoir Writing class in 2017.  For that class, I wrote a lengthy (22 page) story about my first time going inpatient in a mental health facility back in May of 2015.  I utilized a “journal” or sorts that I kept while in the hospital. It was really just a yellow legal pad with notes scribbled all over it each day. I was hesitant to share it here because it’s very frank and may contain details of thoughts I had that some people may find disturbing, but I also feel it’s an important look at what being in a mixed episode can feel like.  In a mixed episode, you experience symptoms of both mania and depression.  So you may have a ton of energy and engage in risk taking behaviors but your self talk may be incredibly negative and scary.  At any rate, I’m now going to share that story with you weekly in several parts.  I’m not sure how many parts yet, but I don’t want to make each post so long that no one wants to read it.  Some parts of this story contain strong language not suitable for children.  I know some of the stuff I have written and write in this part are really off the wall and bizarre, but they are the honest thoughts that I had at the time.

A few hours have passed since I arrived.  The nurses have taken my vitals and the nurse named Sarah went through my bag of belongings when I got here to make sure I wasn’t bringing any contraband in.  I was allowed to keep everything except for a few books.  “You can switch them out if you’re here long enough,” she said.  She also made a comment about how I may not want to wear some of the exercise shorts I brought because of how short they are and something about the chairs.  Frankly, it seemed a bit judgy to me, particularly since I’m in a women’s only unit.  No one here seems quite as bad off as I anticipated and the nurses are actually all very nice.  I know that I can’t do anything else I’d be ashamed of while I’m locked up in here.  I can’t spend any more money or flirt with any people I shouldn’t or drive too fast and it’s apparently Harry Potter weekend on Freeform, which is a channel we get in the TV room.  In here, I know the hallucinations are fake even more than I know they are out there.  I’m sitting here now, locked in a mental health ward with a bunch of other mentally unwell women, watching my very favorite movie series, with the knowledge that I am completely and totally unable to fuck up in any lasting way as long as I’m in here.  I’ve never felt so safe in my life.  This isn’t so bad.

Since it’s the weekend and a holiday, there’s less going on here than there normally would be.  Right now, it’s a whole lot of sitting around and waiting until I can go to sleep.  I wish I was allowed to put things up on the wall.  Maybe I am, but I’m afraid to ask.  One of my best friends, Joanne, made me a beautiful card.  It’s sitting on top of the desk in the corner of my room.  This place is weird, but it isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I guess I will find out on Tuesday what it’s really like on a normal day. I think it’s fucking stupid that they limit the number of books you can have in your room. I also wish River, my three-year-old Airedale Terrier, was allowed to come visit me.  I walked around a corner earlier and nearly ran into Samantha.  Samantha used to come into my first job at a local food place all the time and she is a therapist here. I have known her since I was 17 years old. It felt a little weird finding out she would be running groups I’m in, but it was also really nice to see a familiar face and I got used to the idea quickly.  I just had my first dosage of in-hospital medication- 20mg of Propranolol which is a blood pressure medication that is sometimes used for anxiety.  The nurses and I didn’t realize that it was for 5pm and it’s after 7 now. Now I’ll have to take my 9pm dosage a little late. I think I’ll probably be drugged out of my mind tomorrow after I see the doctor. They will probably get me out of here fairly quickly.

It’s almost midnight and I’m still scribbling on a notepad as fast as I can.  I wasn’t allowed to bring anything with a spiral or wire or string binding, so what I have is a yellow legal pad.  My thoughts are racing so quickly I can barely jot down what I mean before running along to the next thing.  I almost kind of feel like I don’t really need to be here, but I know that’s not the case because of the spending, hallucinations, racing thoughts, trouble sleeping, acting out of character, and questionable choices.  I hope I don’t have too much trouble sleeping tonight.  Especially since my window has no blinds or curtains and I apparently have to wake up at 6:15AM to set goals for the day or some shit.  My parents are coming to visit tomorrow and I can’t wait to hear how River is doing.

It’s after 1AM and I’m still scribbling on my notepad.  It’s taking a lot of effort for me to check my ego at the door here. I may think I’m a little better off than many of the other women here currently, but each and every one of us is spending time on a locked mental health ward in the hospital right now and we are doing so for valid reasons. I wonder how much time people here usually spend in their rooms and how much they usually spend in the little common TV room.   I can’t stop crying because I just wish River was here.  I miss her so much and it’s weird trying to fall asleep without her next to me.  I am exhausted from the events of the day and, having cried myself out, I finally fall asleep.

The next day is long but better than the one before it.  A nurse wakes me up shortly after 6AM to take my temperature and blood pressure, both of which are fine.  I’m not a morning person, which must be glaringly obvious, because she says, “I’m so sorry for waking you up.  You can go back to sleep for a little while.”  I decide to try that since it had taken me so long to fall asleep in the first place, but another nurse comes in to take my blood for some labs, then the doctor comes in a few minutes later.  He is tall, handsome, and has brown hair.  Thankfully, I am too groggy to flirt with him.  When I first got back to America from the Peace Corps and was doing an Intensive Outpatient Program, I said to the doctor there, “has anyone ever told you that you look like Ewan McGregor?  Because you definitely do.”  Inappropriate flirting is definitely a thing I do while in a manic or mixed episode.  It’s so embarassing.  The now doctor doubles the dosage of my antipsychotic and adds a powerful anti-anxiety medication in hopes that it will help me sleep at night and calm me down some during the day.   I sort of figured they would want me as drugged as possible to end the mania or at least slow it down.

mental health

When Anxiety Makes You Plan Your Own Funeral

I know that title probably made you go “wait, what?”, but hang with me for a minute.  People sometimes say they can’t tell that I’m mentally ill from talking to me.  While I get that, it’s not as though I usually go around discussing delusions, hallucinations, causes of anxiety, or other symptoms with people I’m not particularly close to.  While I thankfully haven’t experienced any delusions or hallucinations lately, my anxiety has been increasingly bad since before Christmas in spite of being almost nonexistent for several months prior to that.

I recently went to a funeral where a lot of preaching and not much actual talking about the person who passed away happened and left thinking “hmm, I don’t want that when I die.”  I also had a general sense of impending doom even before our carbon monoxide detectors went off a few times this week.  (The heater is getting fixed as I type this, so don’t worry- I won’t actually die from carbon monoxide poisoning, but that wasn’t very comforting in the middle of the night two nights in a row when the alarm went off).  The sense of impending doom is honestly just part of suffering from anxiety.  It isn’t that out of the ordinary for me.

So last week and this week (or a few weeks ago by the time I publish this and you read it), I spent time painstakingly planning the details of my funeral service, selecting readings from some of my favorite books, writing my own obituary, making my own funeral programs (complete with book recommendations on the back), and making a slideshow of photos and videos from throughout my life.  In the past, I have seen how difficult it is for close family to do all of these things following a death and I don’t want the people I love to have to worry about those details when I am gone.  Hopefully that’s a really long time from now and I get to add tons of photos and videos to the slideshow and change the age on the obituary by many many years, but either way it is done now and on a flashdrive where we keep our important documents.

I know this may seem kind of morbid, so I want to assure you that I did talk with my therapist about it and she seemed to think it was a fairly reasonable response to my anxiety.  It’s something productive I could use my anxiety for instead of stressing and losing sleep and obsessing about what my funeral would be like.  When I die (again hopefully a long time from now), I want my funeral to be a celebration of my life and the ones and activities I loved.  Planning it myself was a small way to hopefully ensure that will happen.  Obviously, once I’m gone I’ll have no control over what anyone actually does, but my wishes are very clearly spelled out in black and white and most of the work is already done.

Anxiety is a tricky thing because it can keep you up all night and there often is little you can do to make it go away.  Coming up with creative solutions to lessen my anxiety is something I hope to do more of in the future.  Would you ever consider planning your own funeral?  Let me know in the comments!

mental health

We’re All Mad Here Part 1/7

This is a seven part series. A new part will be released every Wednesday until all 7 are out.

Disclaimer: As some of you may know, I took a Memoir Writing class in 2017.  For that class, I wrote a lengthy (22 page) story about my first time going inpatient in a mental health facility back in May of 2015.  I utilized a “journal” or sorts that I kept while in the hospital. It was really just a yellow legal pad with notes scribbled all over it each day. I was hesitant to share it here because it’s very frank and may contain details of thoughts I had that some people may find disturbing, but I also feel it’s an important look at what being in a mixed episode can feel like.  In a mixed episode, you experience symptoms of both mania and depression.  So you may have a ton of energy and engage in risk taking behaviors but your self talk may be incredibly negative and scary.  At any rate, I’m now going to share that story with you weekly in several parts.  I’m not sure how many parts yet, but I don’t want to make each post so long that no one wants to read it.  Some parts of this story contain strong language not suitable for children.  I know some of the stuff I have written and write in this part are really off the wall and bizarre, but they are the honest thoughts that I had at the time.

The walls are white painted cinderblocks.  The floors are white linoleum.  The air is cold and sterile and it smells like disinfectant.  In the room, my room now, there is a wooden desk with the drawers nailed shut, a chair, a made-up bed that’s bolted to the floor, a small open locker to place my things in, and a window overlooking the roof of the hospital that has a fairly wide sill on it for me to place books and belongings on.  The door doesn’t lock and there’s a smaller door inside the larger one that can be opened from the outside.  There’s a shower, a toilet, and a sink, but a shower curtain is all that separates them from the rest of my room.  Lying on my bed, I wonder if anyone has ever killed themselves in my room before and if so, how?  They couldn’t jump out the window.  There are bars over it and it’s locked.  They couldn’t jump off the roof because they couldn’t get out of the window.  They couldn’t hang themselves with the sheets because they have made sure there is nothing to hang them on except for the shower curtain rod, which isn’t strong enough to hold the weight of a body.  I conclude that the only way a person could kill him or herself in my room would be by drowning themselves in the toilet, which is just disgusting and doesn’t sound like an appealing or dignified way to go out at all.  I don’t want to kill myself.  I’m just curious and, being manic, my thoughts are racing a mile a minute in all sorts of weird directions.  I’ve only been here for a few hours and the place is still strange and foreign to me, but I know I will adjust.  I’m behaving very out of character.  I’m spending a lot of money.  I’m not really sleeping.  I have a ton of energy.  I can’t seem to stop moving.  My thoughts are racing so fast I can barely nail one down to focus on it.  All of these things are classic symptoms of mania.  I’m also feeling ashamed and embarrassed, two feelings that don’t typically happen for me until the end of a manic episode.  That coupled with the obsession about how someone would kill themselves here makes me suspect that this may actually be a mixed episode.

I finally came to the ER last night after trying to get in touch with my psychiatric nurse practitioner all day.  It has been her pattern for weeks that I will call to say I’m manic and desperately need help and she will refuse to call me back.  I was amped up and couldn’t stop pacing and moving and talking, even after extra Ativan.  The ER sent me home but told me to call in the morning to see about getting into the hospital’s Intensive Outpatient Program.  That’s a program where you do group therapy for three hours a day three days a week.  I found out I can’t do it right now because you have to commit for 4-6 weeks and I’m supposed to go on vacation with my family to Destin, Florida in a week and a day.

It’s Friday, May 27th, 2016 and I am at Park Ridge Hospital sitting patiently with my parents waiting for a volunteer to walk us up to the locked psych ward.  I look up at the clock on the wall and it’s a little past 3:30pm.  I’ve just signed the paperwork to voluntarily check myself into the Women’s Hope Unit for “as long as their doctors deem medically necessary.”  Now that’s a scary concept.  I’ve been in a mixed episode for a couple of months at the very least now and my psychiatric nurse practitioner has just kept insisting that I’m experiencing anxiety as opposed to mania.  She is being negligent and I know better.  I’ve been having tactile, auditory, and visual hallucinations.  I feel like bugs are crawling all over me, I’ve heard a non-existent man’s voice twice now, and I’m seeing moving shadows out of the corners of my eyes.  I’ve also racked up a lot of credit card debt.  Out of control spending is a symptom that doesn’t get talked about much because it’s so embarassing, but it sure does happen.

It’s our turn to go up now.  We step into the cold steel elevator and the volunteer asks, “how are you doing?” in a cheerful voice as she pushes the button for the second floor, as if my life isn’t ending as she speaks.  I think it’s a really stupid question since she knows I’m headed for the mental health ward.   I’m so scared.  I’ve seen Return to Oz, Girl Interrupted, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  I have very specific ideas about what the mental health unit will be like and those ideas are terrifying.  We exit the elevator to the right and continue down the hall to two doors on our left.  The volunteer knocks on the first door and a nurse walks out and takes my bag from me.   “Nothing with strings or wires,” the nurse on the phone had said this morning.  “What am I supposed to do about bras?”  I asked desperately.  No wires would be a bit of a hindrance for me.  “We’re very strict about the wire and string rule.  It’s for your safety and the safety of other women on the unit.  Maybe try sports bras” she had said.  Great.  Even my sports bras have underwire.  “Bring a couple of changes of clothes and some comfy pajamas, but you’re not allowed to bring any electronics.”  “Not even my Nook?!” I asked incredulously.  “Am I at least allowed to bring books?”  “A book is okay, but no electronics at all.  Electronics are contraband,” she replied.  My mom had to go out shopping for sports bras for me while I packed the few things I was allowed to take with me into a suitcase.  She was able to find two that fit me and one that did not.

It’s time to say goodbye to my parents.  “Y’all should go home and watch Girl, Interrupted, that way you’ll know what I’m up to,” I say. “That’s not funny,” my mom says with a frown.  I know my parents are just as scared as I am.  I hug them each and hold on a little longer than I normally would.  I’m close with both of them because I’ve lived at home with them off and on ever since Mom got breast cancer in 2011.  I moved out for five months to join the Peace Corps, but I moved back in as soon as I got home because that’s when I developed the Bipolar Disorder.  A buzzer sounds and I walk through the second door on the left.

Books

My Favorite Books

If you know me in real life, you know that I love reading at least as much as I love writing. Having mental health struggles can sometimes make it difficult to immerse myself fully into a story and read a book. Depression and mania both make it difficult to concentrate while anxiety tells my brain that there are other things I should be doing. In spite of the difficulty I sometimes have with reading, I love it and love to share book recommendations.

Here are 25 books/series that I really love and recommend, along with links to where they may be purchased through Amazon. Just click the title to be taken to Amazon (It will open in a new tab). I suggest also checking Thriftbooks.com and Ebay.com to see if you can find a better price!

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher
Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
The Charlotte Holmes Series by Brittany Cavallaro
The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Adventure

The Career of a Lifetime

If all jobs paid the same, what would you choose to do?

-The Hemingway Deck by Best Self Co.

Throughout my life, I have wanted to be many things: a bumblebee so I could sting my big brother, a veterinarian, a ranch owner, a criminal profiler, and a school counselor to name some of the bigger ones.  What I think I have always really wanted to be, though, is a writer.  I’ve enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember and I have always loved reading books, even long before I could read them myself.  It simply never occurred to me when I was younger that I could be a writer as a career.

If all jobs paid the same, I would write on this blog about my experiences with life and with mental illness and I would write books.  Possibly a memoir to start as I’ve already done a lot of the research for that, but my real passion has always been YA literature.  It’s my favorite to read and would, I think, be my favorite to write.  I used to think I had to be manic to be creative enough to write a novel, but I know now that with the right medications, I can be both stable and creative.

Sometimes ideas for novels come to me in my dreams and I take notes on as much as I can remember as soon as I wake up.  Sometimes they come to me randomly during the day or as I’m trying to fall asleep.  I haven’t started writing any of them because I haven’t had the confidence necessary to do so.  I have trouble believing that I could write anything fictional that is creative enough and engaging enough for other people to actually want to pay money to read it.  I struggle with the idea that I could actually create worthwhile content that people enjoy.

It occurs to me that I’m sharing my biggest wish and deepest hope with all of you right now and that it may never come to fruition.  That idea is embarassing and makes me feel ashamed.  What if I’ve put this out into the universe and am never able to write or publish a book?  What if people who read my blog start asking me about what else I’m writing?  I think it requires a little bit of courage to say to the world “this is what I really want.”

The past five years have been incredibly rough for me.  You would think that while I haven’t been working would have been the perfect time to work on a book, but the truth is that my brain has been really unkind to me and I’ve spent the majority of the last several years depressed, with a few manic episodes thrown in for spice.

The reality is that I will soon have to get a full-time job.  I don’t know if my re-evaluation is in March or May, but whenever it happens, as long as nothing substantial has changed with my life or my mood, I should be cleared to go back to work.  FINALLY.  The idea of going back to work used to terrify me, partially because I knew I wasn’t ready for that big of a change.  Now, I feel hopeful.  I probably won’t be able to find a job writing, but I can find a job that pays well that I don’t hate and continue to write in my free time.  Maybe I could take a grant writing course at AB-TECH and apply for grant writing jobs.

This is me, putting something scary that I really really want out into the universe.  Thank you for caring enough to read this and I hope I don’t disappoint with whatever else I end up writing.

Adventure

5 Songs That Move Me Right Now

This doesn’t come from the Hemingway Deck, but music is and always has been a huge part of my life. If I’m in the car, I’m listening to music. If I’m in the shower, I’m listening to music. If I’m in my room writing, I’m listening to music. Here are some of the songs that have really affected me lately.

You Say by Lauren Daigle

I realize this song was probably written about a romantic partner, but honestly it just reminds me of my Mom and the way she is always supporting me and telling me how loved and special I am. It says, in part:

“You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me.”

Strip by Little Mix ft. Sharaya J

This song is the reason I haven’t stepped on a scale outside of a doctor’s office or worn makeup in months. While there are likely people who think that’s a bad thing, I don’t think it’s negative to finally FINALLY start to be able to love myself as I am instead of as I wish I was. The lyrics say:

“Take off all my make-up ’cause I love what’s under it
Rub off all your words, don’t give a uh, I’m over it.
Strip!
Jiggle all this weight, yeah, you know I love all of this.
Finally love me naked, sexiest when I’m confident.”
and
“I’m a woman, don’t test me.
Baby, I’m growing, my stretch-marks are sexy.
I don’t owe you nothin’.
Nah, I don’t give a uh, no, not anymore.”



More Than Words by Little Mix ft. Kamille

This is another one that was probably written about a romantic partner, but it makes me think about my best friend, Tiffany, because the lyrics say:

“I need you more than words can say. Oh you’ve shaped me in ways that I can’t explain. Always been there for me, now I’ll do the same. Oh I need you more than words can say.”

Perfect to Me by Anne-Marie

This song started out as “Perfect” by Anne-Marie on her debut album Speak Your Mind (Original audio can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vzLH36L68A) It’s another one that has really helped me with body image and loving myself. The chorus goes:

“Don’t feel like putting makeup on my cheeks
Do what I wanna
Love every single part of my body
Top to the bottom
I’m not a supermodel from a magazine, mmm-mmm
I’m okay with not being perfect
‘Cause that’s perfect to me
‘Cause that’s perfect to me
‘Cause that’s perfect to me”

Mean by Taylor Swift

There are a few specific people that this brings to mind that I won’t name for obvious reasons, but the realization that someone who is mean to you is doing it because of them and not because of you is a huge and important one. It’s a lesson that it took me decades to learn, but the truth is that people who have been hurting you for a long time are unlikely to change, so it’s best if you can change your perspective about them.

“Some day, I’ll be living in a big old city and all you’re ever gonna’ be is mean. Some day, I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me and all you’re ever gonna’ be is mean. Why you gotta’ be so mean?”
“All you are is mean, and a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life, and mean.”