i’m limiting my facebook time to 15 minutes everyday.
a change of pace.
it means i’ll be writing more here.
understanding, analyzing and identifying MY MANIA! (patterns of manic behavior) comes like some sort of GREAT RELIEF to my psyche. Now, I am just self diagnosing myself here but i am on the road to getting a real psychiatric evaluation, but the process for the uninsured low income folks has to be an ardous one.
The feeling I’ve had lately with this self diagnosis is comprable to the feeling I had once I realized that the chronic coughing that I had been doing for 4 months in 2010 was an ASTHMATIC COUGH not a whooping cough, a cold or a side effect of my bong smoking. The feeling I had once I had come to terms with my many instances of sexual assault/abuse before 21 and had committed to working with a counselor towards healing the past and becoming stronger to survive the inevitable imperfect future…the beginning of identifying as a survivor.
I had always known I had anxiety and depression, but had never until Jessie took over SWOP-LA did I start to see that I had these manic leadership tendencies that really stunted the growth of many of the projects that I’ve started. Manic people do amazing and brilliant things though, do not underestimate our abilities! I feel liberated in identifying a pattern, but scared that every great idea is just mania and needs to be controlled with someone silencing me. like i shouldn’t raise my hand anymore. is this what psyche medication will do?
one of the peer counselors at the domestic violence/rape crisis center I started going to after breaking up with the crazy abusive ex suggested that I have ‘borderline personality disorder,’ which wasn’t curable and could be improved with the support of group therapy.
i watched a few youtube videos on a few different personality disorders and I did not see myself as having borderline personality disorder AT ALL. Her misdiagnosis could be so potentially damaging to another client who wasn’t as analytical and fact checking as i was. This counselor just did not really understand my drug use and sex work behavior. She did not understand that the period of self destuction had everything to do with the sexual abuse that occurred from my martial arts instructor.
The borderline personality is characterized by the feeling of “walking on eggshells” around an unstable person who could snap. one day they LOVE this person/husband/girlfriend and the next day they HATE them, they broke up with them, they’re throwing their stuff out the window, etc. They are deathly afraid of being alone. This describes one of my friends really well, and explains why she keeps going back to her abusive husband with co-dependent boyfriends in between. This personality disorder is believed to be created or [un]nurtured by abuse or neglect in childhood. I may have had some of those traits when I was early early in my dating career from 16-21. the time period before sex work. the golden innocent but naive era of my life. when i cared about what men thought and said about me. The period where my happiness often revolved around liking a guy and whether he liked me back. It seemed like he had all the power over me back then and it wasn’t until I started hustling lapdances that I finally got my power back. But that’s a different epiphany….
while i was researching on youtube i started looking at manic depression/bipolar videos. Manic 1/Bipolar 1 clients I have had lots of. I have been elated to princess of the week by two extremely manic sugar daddy clients. I am typing on a MacBook Pro I was gifted, can boast of being flown to Vale, Tampa, new snowboard boots, 5 star dinners…I was Sasha Gray for a week! high class escort for a month and then a piece of forgotten shit the next! O well. I still have all the things and the memories! I never saw myself in this man. I was much healthier than him, i thought…
we are all crazy. just different levels of crazy. finding compatible pathologies and mating. pair bonding in dysfunction and semi function or living life alone. My friend might be a borderline personality but I care about her, am still her friend and want her to get out of her abusive relationships and heal. but i don’t spend too much time on trying to fix her. We don’t hang out that much but i try to support her, and in turn, she does well in trying to support me but each of us has our plates full with our own stuff.
I love the Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland. When the Mad Hatter character has MANIA he starts spouting off Scotish soliloquies until Alice and his other friends make him snap out of it by calling his name so that he calms down. I remember having to do this with my late best friend David. He would paint for days and then sleep for days. He would mash his teeth and go off on literal mad tangents just like Johnny Depp portrayed but in such a lovable, non alienating way that you accepted it as part of him and wanted him to know that he was still lovable and talented, though he was mad. David wasn’t as mad as the Hatter, he would break out in spot on Chris Farley impersonations who no doubt was also manic but it was his mania that made him hilariously famous! My best friend David was equally brilliant as Johnny Depp, and most definitely bipolar. I am the one who introduced him to medicating with marijuana. His paintings transformed from dark, grey and green Francis Bacon (screaming zombie like figures stabbing themselves) type of paintings with suicidal themes to happy, funny stoner paintings, brilliant, bright colors, equally skilled but clearly riddled with so much less mental pain. Marijuana is medicine. It helped him, it helps me and so many others but sometimes, some of us need a little more. “DAVID!!” me and his girlfriend would yell…and he would stop doing the Flashdance chair scene in the restaurant because our table was ready…”What? What? Was I ‘going off’ again?” he’d say. “Yes, calm down. Restaurant. table’s ready.” we’d say laughing as we all headed to our table. When you are unmedicated and the world is nothing but dark and hopeless, how could it be bad to feel better, especially if the substance that medicates you does not destroy you at the same time.
I feel like I am going back in my own timeline and noticing all the times my mania was controlling my decision making and driving me to the point of burnout or inevitable failure. Sometimes at the last minute, I will look on the schedule of my martial arts school and find out that the next class is in 25 minutes and rush rush rush to try to make it, run in 10 minutes late, fight for an hour and then and only then do I calm down on the drive home. I inhale cannabis AFTER my workout, take a hot shower or bath and wait for the phone to ring. Sometimes I do all that rushing to class and I am too late and I end up getting angry at myself for always being late! Its like I get an emergency telegram to my brain and it RUNS with it vigorously for a couple of hours and then stops. I think I use the marijuana to calm myself down as well as to help with the depression, although at times being stoned has increased my mania, increased my good idea outbursts at meetings and increased my dominating the room or conversation with jokes or performances. People definitely think that I am funny and have good ideas, but they rarely get on board with them and now I know why! It’s almost like I need to call my own name and calm myself down when I begin to “go off” and start envisioning fire department permits so we can have Burningman style flame throwers and live amplification in West Hollywood for the next December 17th Day of Rememberance.
i have had clients with borderline personalities, in my last relationship i fell in love with an undiagnosed schizophrenic who may have had borderline as well, and have lived with a mother who went completely mad for over a year but somehow came back but not nearly quite back to normal. The videos say that the best way to be X is to be raised by X. This is true for alcoholism, abusive patterns and mental illness it seems. Most of my exes are codependents and this man that I was most recently attracted to is also a codependent but with interesting talents, a job, a car and more direction than most of them have ever been.
Escorting has a lot of head games. A borderline personality type client will say they are coming to an appointment, they are on their way, getting off of the first light, and then oops, they’re cancelling at the last minute. What makes them borderline and not just regular clients who are flaky though has to do with the story that they spin and weave you into BEFORE this manipulation. They pretend to empathize with your situation, they will haggle your rate down knowing it degrades you, and then on top of that they will cancel at the last minute. They feel that if they let you down before you let them down they have somehow survived something. Or maybe they never had the money in the first place and were just playing a game with you. I am in contact with a lot of head cases as both a sex worker and as a sex worker activist. But perhaps it’s because I am also crazy and only crazy people can tolerate crazy, but our pathologies have to match up!
The feast or famine pattern of sex work IS MANIC DEPRESSION defined. How could it not be depressing to be unable to pay your rent on time, pay bills that you normally can pay, to not be able to do destressing activities like workout in martial arts and yoga so you don’t feel so much anxiety? How could it not be elating to suddenly have money to pay doctor bills, buy needed prescriptions, pay musicians to back you up in gigs that you have coming, pay a director to get your solo theatre show off the ground and premiered to the public? I reasoned that if you were not manic before you started sex work, independent sex work and (stripclub stripping also has this pattern) will CREATE symptoms of manic depression in anyone. But maybe this is just the way it is for everyone who runs their own business. When I worked for the agency 4 days a week and took indy calls on the side it was way less manic, but crazier in a different way. (you can never win).
I get soo excited by men (and women, really) who are above and beyond because I’ve dated such low men on the totem pole. When the “ideal man with the ideal job/house/car” that I had a mad crush on called me back to talk I felt incredibly insecure about my class and my work and any future we could have. He would never accept or like a girl like me, I knew it. I can’t keep my mouth shut about my bohemian lifestyle. It emanates out of my person even when I am not speaking. I suddenly realized why I sometimes shoot low, and crawl into bed with a sancho that I nicknamed my LAME (but sweetie). I get to see him whenever he feels like making time for me, which is randomly about twice a month. He makes me feel great in limited doses until something true comes along. He reverse escorted me somehow. I use him for short term Boyfriend experiences. (BFE)s and it is good for what it is because I have zero expectations. I care about him more than he cares about me. Sometimes, I wish I could make him better or somehow up his game and fall in love with me and do those things that people do for people that they love, but he never will. But when he is there for me it’s soothing and nice. It keeps me from being undergoodsexed and lonely. He’s not capable or interested in having a relationship with me or anyone, and it’s really okay because he’s pretty inadequate as a temporary boyfriend as it is (...youd rather change your own windshield wiper blade than see his weak ass whiny reaction to your request). The relationships that he had had not been as demanding as one with me would be. We are very different. We don’t talk about art and music. He likes the Lakers, gambling (throwing money away) at casinos and watching ESPN on a big screen TV (i don’t own a TV) are fun to him. (Bleah..) We talk about wrestling entertainment and laugh and have a great time staying in bed all sunny day (with real boyfriends I would be going on hikes or to the beach) having lots of orgasmic great sex, sleeping cuddled together, showering and making out. We go to dinner and I go home fulfilled and wanting more but am always denied. I bitch at him like I’m his baby mama sometimes but neither of us have a kid together nor are we even in a relationship tho it’s the way we interact. I even tax him when he pisses me off and he pays me a little cash so I will keep seeing him. That’s what gives it that baby mama vibe that I’m sure would be the same whether or not I had a kid or not. He helped pay for my engine repair and from that night he became my favorite client and slowly won over my heart. Money, (when someone gives me the money I need in a desperate situation) is also a trigger for MY codependence. Orgasms are also another way to keep me hooked! I am really amazed and proud that I easily trained this man from being a painfully shitty lover to the first guy to give me 9 orgasms in 12 years, so in that way I literally feel like if I can coach him to success in the bedroom, why not outside the bedroom as well? My favorite line is,”If you aren’t going to put the effort in making this like a real relationship then you gotta pay me to be your whore.” and he does. otherwise Fuck the sex. and the intimacy. RIGHT?? sometimes. something about this unattractive mediocre man is so irresistible to me….sigh.
Money (not having money suddenly) is my trigger. The borderline will say come come come come come come and at the last minute push you away and say, never mind. You can see how this can INFURIATE the wrong person into a fit of rage. Sometimes I have been that wrong person and its because I felt manipulated by them dangling a carrot and having me follow it and denied at the last minute. One of my ex boyfriends did that to me once and I nearly broke up with him because the situation led me to an outburst early on in our dating. A client that was going to be the first client in a dry spell of almost 2 weeks with little or no income decided that he would cancel in my face without giving me gas money and then turn around, run in the house and slam his door in my face as I chased after him. I started to kick his gate on his front door while I rang the doorbell vigorously. I was yelling shamelessly revealing what I did and that I needed the money, i Pleaded with him to open the door…and he did. And we went from that to a multi-hour appointment and me selling him a couple LINES of coke for $50. (like buying a beer at a baseball game, I charge A LOT). I did a couple lines with him like I usually do. I had an appointment in the Valley to escape to. I sped up the 101, flipping through my ipod and switching my air from hot to cold every five seconds. When I got to the gas station at the Universal Citywalk exit, I parked and reclined my chair to relax and think.
Thoughts raced through my blood into and through my brain…
I was too jacked up to see a client now.
I stayed in the car and put my phone on silent. The prospective clients hotel was 5 minutes away, but I chose to pass on the call and try to calm myself out of the anxiousness I was feeling from just 2 lines of coke, which usually doesn’t give me a rise like that.
This was the 2nd call since my mushroom meltdown that I had had to pass on for safety reasons. I was too jacked up to drive and the anxiety that coke sometimes brings on is crazy for someone who already HAS anxiety…! I know some of you don’t get the continued desire to use. Like living queer youth, it does get better. I love the numbing effects and the ride slowly up is light but euprhoric..the down is usually not so bad, especially with the pop of xanax as a calming aid…but lately its not been fun at the top. and that’s when we know it’s time to stop.
I decided to take a drug break. TWO TIMES now I have had to pass on seeing clients because of drugs. Drugs getting in the way of my money? Not acceptable.
I did this in january. They last about a month. A month and a half. In a period of 120 days, 100 of those days I will be offered drugs to do, often for free.
Fits of rage are exhausting. By the time I dated him, I was no longer willing to fight and yell with anyone that I was in a relationship with on a regular basis. I was not afraid to be alone. Being around him was like walking on eggshells. One moment we were in love, the next he was texting me verbal assaults and calling me out of my name with death threats. I thought that HE was a borderline. BP people make good abusers or good abusive partners. Abuse to honeymooon. Rage to honeymoon. Repeat. Not me. I did 2.5 months of that shit and threw it back in the trash. (well it wasn’t that easy, but anyway..)
I think if i can recognize my shortcomings I will be able to work on them better. If I recognize my pathologies I will be able to control their effects on me and others around me. I will understand why I tend to get fired at jobs so quickly and why my relationships attract codependent and helpless men. I am scared of psych meds. scared of losing my sex drive. I am scared of my asthma inhalers and the detrimental effects of steroids. Scared of the price. Scared of how to have a sober pregnancy when I depend on marijuana and asthma steroids everyday. I have no choice now in taking those as they change my daily physical state daily with or without them. My depression is certainly affected by the level of asthma sickness I have in any given day or week. I am dependent on these drugs to breath. 10 minute coughing fits and feeling like you might pass out at a party is depressing. The weed helps but it has not been strong enough lately. I am doing much much better now after having these epiphanies and finally making some money.
Money makes so many things possible and better in my life. I am working everyday to eliminate this cyclical pattern and make it less painful for me. My health is currently much better than it was in Palm Springs. I changed inhalers to a stronger one. A flurry of clients came 4 days in a row to ease the finnancial deficit. Her misdiagnosis was a blessing in disguise.