Monthly Archives: March 2014

it’s all in my head

it is.  it’s ALL in my head, I just don’t always know how to access it.

There was a weird instance last week or the week before.  I refered to myself as “we”… not sure I’ve ever done that, because I don’t really remember clearly whether I have or have not in any real sense.  I was attempting to talk myself out of a negative thought pattern, and it just slipped “out” (all internal dialogue, so there really is no “out” in terms of it being voiced, but thoughts in my head).  I argued that “we [couldn’t] keep doing this to ourself.”  It was weird and it caught me off guard.  I back-tracked and shook it off.  I corrected my language to reflect the singular.  There is no real plural, just aspects that I don’t always connect to at any given time.  It’s all me though…

I know one time Dr C had wondered if SJ was someone else, but concluded that it was just easier for me to care about someone other than myself so I separate out that inner child.  Before SJ, there was no inner child, so I guess that’s progress right?  I still panic at the thought of a little “me”.  I don’t know why that is so uncomfortable.  If I try to see SJ as myself, I want to cry and shake and scream in terror.  There is no little me, just SJ.  And she is whomever she is.  I’m trying not to look too deep into any of that… She holds things I only have ideas about, and *we* are ok with that.  If I were to take all that on myself, I think I would crumble.  She is a container of all that I can’t look at, like a trunk, only in the form of a walking (talking?) child… It sounds weird, but it works…


Emotional flashbacks

Session with De today went pretty well. We talked about the legal definition of assault and rape. We compared notes and she validated my hesitation to discuss anything about Duckboy for the last 17 years. We discussed the power dynamics of relationships. We talked about how that can effect whether a person leaves; whether they fight back.  Things were going good.  I was able to see things both intellectually and emotionally without it overwhelming me. I recognized the negative thoughts and she helped refute them (or start to). Then something changed. I started drifting away. De noticed and asked about it. I suddenly wasn’t able to talk to her about anything.  I couldn’t tell her what was going on because I couldn’t figure out in myself what was happening. Emotional memories sometimes overtake me and I have no idea until long after… De helped me ground a bit.  She asked about my recent art. I wanted to show her, but I wasn’t in a place to explain it, so I just handed her the book. She looked through things and asked about them.  Some were easier to talk about than others, but it worked to help ground me (at least long enough to be able to walk out of the building. I was shaking inside and was surprised I didn’t bump into every wall on the way out). I got in the car and blasted my music. The air from the open windows and the loud noise helped me ground more.  I wasn’t ready to be home yet though, so I asked L if she’d go to the beach with me.

It was a nice change from the house.  The winds were strong so the seas were choppy.  It was sunny but pleasant. Birds were out in force. I have a “slight”obsession with birds and birds in flight. I brought my camera (the good one, not just the phone. I’ll have to add those pics later because I’m posting from my phone) and was able to get some decent shots. There was a pelican that was particularly bold. He sat still as I took pictures about a foot away from his face. He tolerated me for a good 5 minutes before he flew off.

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Because of the rough seas, there were also several man-o-war washed up on shore.  I normally see blue ones, but these ones had purplish pink on them also. I had to stifle the urge to play with them (I’m sure the sting would not have been all that painful, especially with the head-space I occupied earlier in the day)… regardless, they were really pretty.

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There was a rather large flock of birds I have never seen before. They kept their faces to the wind even when resting. They had relatively large beaks (long) for birds their size. I also had trouble finding their eyes. They were pretty cool when they took off (sadly that pic is only on the computer)… but here’s a pic of them chilling on the beach all facing the wind.

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and finally, some pictures from the “real” camera (Canon Rebel xTi with kit lens)


Updated “no words” and adding #53 Turmoil

I worked some more on the painting.  I think this is a bit closer to what I want the feel of the painting to be:

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And then I did this several days ago. It’s also a work in progress, but I have not figured out what else I want to do with it. It started as just an eye doodle, and grew from there… (2014 100 Theme Challenge #53: Turmoil).

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Deferred loss means relief for now

I am totally relieved because J will still see us next week, then work something out to try to see us every other week in the evenings while L and I figure out this move stuff. She jokingly said it’s contingent on the move happening as planned, but she said she will look into it and see how her new schedule works. I’m so happy that we will at least have her support for another week, if not throughout the move process. I am a bit mixed about it though because I had started to come to terms with the loss. That’s fine.  I will deal with it again as it happens. The support means more to me then does getting the loss over with to stifle the hurt. It’s kinda like with the dog: being able to have more time with Twiggy means more to me than getting the hurt of losing her over with.
We did give J the bracelet today though, and she seemed to really like it. She suggested that we try to sell them.  I told her our audience was limited, but I would love to make some sales. We jokingly told her to tell her friends. I know it’s a confidentiality thing with her, but it would be nice to get more sales. I think I may look into opening an etsy shop for art and jewelry, but I would need to work hard on more inventory.
Things are looking up. I think me being a mess will be postponed for a while, and I hope to deal with it better when it does come… I’m so relieved.


Holding my breath

Today will be our last session with J. I’m not looking forward to it (neither is L). The week has been emotional hell. One of the dogs is pretty sick. Yesterday she fell from the bed and popped some joints out of place. The vet was moving them around and they seemed to go back into place because she was able to walk much better after the exam. It was really scary for a few hours though, because she kept falling over and walking in circles. She is doing much better today. I hope it keeps up.

The whole J thing… Ugh. I just don’t know. I had wanted to write her a thank you letter or something, but the words are not coming. The walls are up, so the feelings have been quarantined. I know I’ll regret it if I don’t say a proper goodbye though (I always do). Inside I’m heartbroken for so many reasons. I’ve locked it away. I don’t know exactly how to access it anymore to make this goodbye meaningful. It sucks. Can I crawl back into bed for the rest of the week (…month, year, life…)?


when we are taught that “no” means “yes” but “yes” also means “yes”… (TRIGGER WARNING)

…and there is no real “no.”

A friend posted this blog link on facebook tonight.  I had wanted to see Divergent anyway, but now I want to read the book before seeing the movie (I tend to find they skimp on messages in movies).  It got me thinking; not only are movies and tv glorifying sexual violence, but we are trained that being “hard to get” is a turn on, and no never actually means no.  This is more pronounced with people who grow up in chaotic and abusive situations.  

When I was discussing the concept of rape with a co-worker many years ago (she was working towards licensure as a therapist and in the process of completing her PsyD), she defined rape and assault as needing a decisive “no” with physical resistance.  At the time, I had not mentioned my experiences with Duckboy to anyone except my own therapist, but even to her only in the most vague terms.  I was taken aback by this friend’s rigid and adamant definition.  I tried to gently give “other” scenarios (my own experiences without divulging that it was myself I was speaking about, but hypothetical subtleties in situations), but she refuted it all.  She said if the woman was truly not wanting any contact, she would fight back and scream “no” until her voice was hoarse if she had to… “what if she says no, but he doesn’t pay attention? …what if she was trained to refuse once, but if he pushed the idea, she had to go along with it? …what if he laughed her “no” off and continued what he was aiming for? … what if he said she was leading him on, so had to do it? what if she was scared because he was so much bigger and stronger? what if he could hold both of her hands in his one and pin them above her head? what if the “no” caught in her throat as she was trying to say it but all that escaped was tears and shaking her head? What if…” To all this, her reply was that it did not meet the definition of rape, and was barely teetering towards assault.  That conversation was had early in my acceptance of what had happened (there’s something about being in a situation that makes it feel normal, especially when you have always been taught to go along with whatever the stronger/louder/older person says without argument).  Prior to this conversation, I had started talking to JF about what had happened with Duckboy, but this conversation had me ashamed for feeling that any of it was something that should not have happened.  I started telling JF that it wasn’t anything wrong; that Duckboy had just been “a little forceful about the sexual stuff, but it was ok…”  I think she had tried to get to the truth of it all, but I was too ashamed.  It was not only not ok to fight back, but it was not ok to be disturbed by any of it if I hadn’t fought tooth and nail to get away.  If he had no scars or bruises, I was consenting… I think it’s at about this time that the cutting had moved to my legs.  I don’t really remember doing it, but I do remember having the gyn ask what the words on my legs were (and later JF asking about them because I had flat-out denied the existence of the cuts that were most certainly visible to the gyn).  The gyn thought she read “slut” and “whore”, but she wasn’t sure about it so JF wanted to talk about it.  I told her I wasn’t sure what they said, and that I didn’t remember writing them (I honestly did not remember it. I think that was one of the many times I had “checked-out” and cut myself only to wake in the morning to new cuts)… I remember telling JF that I didn’t really know why that would even cross my mind.  When she asked if it related to Duckboy, I reiterated that he never did anything wrong; he was just a little forceful… I stopped talking about it shortly after that.  Words appeared in blood on my legs, but I refused to talk about it.  I was lost in the shame of feeling wronged when I “obviously” wasn’t. I started OD’ing on pills to help drown out my head (though only once was I “caught” and sent to the ER. One other time I was sent to the ER because the nurse thought I meant I had taken that many pills only 2 hours ago, not 14 hours ago), and to help ease the dissonance between what I felt, and what “society” (or at least a handful of “friends”) said was right or wrong.  Mind you, my therapist, the nurse I trusted, and the gyn all colluded on the idea that what they understood had happened was indeed “wrong”, but for some reason I didn’t listen to their opinions… I didn’t address any of the assault or abuse stuff again for almost 15 years, but it crept back to my awareness regularly in the form of body memories and flashbacks.  I remember the times I would close my eyes and “just get it over with” when a friend asked for “benefits” even though that was all purely consensual.  He attributed it all to my coming out later that year.  I never told him about Duckboy.  For years, I was adamant that what went on with Duckboy was all in my head in terms of “appropriateness.”  Even when the flashbacks interfered with my relationships (apparently I went pale and stopped breathing for a few seconds the first time my ex pulled out a realistic dildo. She had offered to stop, but I recovered my bearings and did my best to ignore the flashbacks taking over enough to convince her there was nothing wrong), I refused to acknowledge the damage done by Duckboy.  It was only after the millionth recommendation from the millionth hospital social worker that I sought sexual assault counseling this past summer.  Even when the body memories caused me to cut severely in an effort to rid myself of them, I refused to acknowledge a history of assault.  When asked about it, I attributed it to the body memories, but refused to give details or call it anything other than him being forceful.  There were the body memories that came before Duckboy, but I had no actual memories to pair them with, so they “didn’t count.”  You can’t really work on something you don’t remember except on a physical and emotional level… at least, I have no idea how to do it, and I thought it was all in my head (ok, so it is, but in a different way).  I know the basics of the situation from second-hand stories of what went on, but at the same time, my involvement is constantly denied after the first admission of occurrence.  I was too young to really remember, so I only have the stories they told me about it.  I know the guy served time for it.  I know he assaulted more than one kid at the parties. I know I was told I stopped going to bed when the other kids went because I would throw a tantrum at the parties.  It was before my brother was born, so I can assume I was younger than one and a half.  The only reason I even know anything happened was that I was told to alert my parents if the guy ever tried to contact me (after he was released… I might have been 12 or 14).  But all I have of that time are distorted nightmares and vague body memories. The stuff with Duckboy isn’t too concrete, but I remember more than I do of the earlier stuff.  I have explicit memories of what he did, and fears connected to specific events.  I react strongly and violently when touched without expecting it, especially by someone I don’t know and trust.  I have scared family friends with my reactions when they were only trying to be genuinely, harmlessly playful (things that are harmless to someone who has never been violated turn into assaults for someone with a history).  Triggers are rampant in medical settings because of the nature of medical exams.  Even when I trust my doctor, dissociation is almost inevitable.  I have yet to figure out if it’s more helpful to be alone with her, or have my wife there.  It gets confusing and full of flashbacks either way.  Speaking of doctors, I’m surprised more gyn’s are not more sensitive to assault histories.  I think they are almost as uncomfortable addressing the possibility of abuse (past or present) as we are divulging it.  It took me years to find Dr. F.  Before her, no one asked about any specifics beyond the existence of an assault history.  Dr. F actually sat down and talked before having me strip for the first time.  She checks in regularly and is always asking what helps to make it all easier.  I have not yet made any effort to find a gyn here because it’s so difficult to find someone that’s willing to take time and space to make things feel safe… Even at the hospital, when the doctors knew there was a history and those triggers had led me to the hospital, simply labeled me as “resistant” and “defiant” when I insisted on a female doctor for any exams.  There was more than one occasion when I was not given a choice to refuse the exam or ask for a female doctor. There were several “unwarranted” exams that I was not able to refuse.  Then they wondered why I “left” during the exam. They deemed me a danger to myself for dissociating in a very uncomfortable, vulnerable, and triggering situation… They replayed the old scenarios in new ways.  You would think that with a greater push for awareness and understanding of assault situations (and trauma in general) that they would work harder to keep from triggering people and re-victimizing them.  There’s still a lot of growth that needs to happen in that field…

Anyway, what was my original point?  Oh, the thoughts on the rape scene in Divergent… well, I guess I addressed it.  I’m glad that our kids are now being taught more often that “no” means no, and not a veiled “yes”.  I’m glad that we are educating everyone on the concept of respecting boundaries.  I’m glad that society is changing, albeit slowly.  It gives me hope that one day my future kids will know that they don’t have to do anything that feels so wrong. I will never tell kids not to fight for their right to refuse to do anything.  I will make sure they know they can always look to my wife and I for support around anything… and I will forever be vigilant for signs of abuse with the people I care about. No one deserves to be hurt.


escaping the asylum mentality – Rufus May

Interesting.

recovery network: Toronto

In an article in Occupied Times Rufus May announces his plans to leave the NHS [National Health Service] in  UK where he attempted, for  eighteen years working as a clinical psychologist to bring change to services from the inside – by “infiltrating with  loving kindness”. In that time, he says he has seen many pockets of change for the good but does not see that things have gotten better overall.

Rufus is now chooing to work “promoting more emancipatory approaches”.

These days the asylum is less noticeable as bricks and mortar establishments on the edge of town than it is recognizable as shared mentality of attitudes and fears, of forms of segregation and control, that range from the subtle and invisible to the often heavy-handed use of medications.

Rufus outlines some of his ideas for what we will need to change beyond simply changing mental health systems if we are…

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Let’s Talk About The New “Peanuts” Trailer And Why We Love It

Just to show off Blue Sky… coz I’m totally biased towards them and know they are working their butts off to stay true to the characters. I know the animators themselves were skeptical when they first heard of it, but they are doing awesome so far. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

Jon Negroni

You’ve probably heard of Blue Sky Studios, the computer animation company that gave us the Ice Age movies, Robots (that movie with Robin Williams), Horton Hears a Who, Rio and Epic.

Well, the Connecticut-based studio has a new project coming out in late 2015, and it’s about a group of characters you’re probably more than familiar with. A Peanuts movie is coming, and it doesn’t look like anything most of us have ever seen.

Here is the first trailer for Peanuts:

Peanuts as an overall franchise has always meant a lot to me, personally. The cartoon, comic strips and movies were a big part of my upbringing, mostly due to their raw emotional pull that I  could never overlook. Most animated offerings like to pull punches with introspective kids like me, but Peanuts never really tried to do that.

It was just real. Well, as real as…

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Food for thought… If we treated robbery victims like rape victims

Quote powerful


The power of goodbye

The funny thing about logic is that it is not very convincing to our emotions when we feel so fearful of losing someone or something.

I keep trying to remind myself that sometimes emotions can drown out the logic… I think I’m driving De nuts with my incessant neediness and desperate bid to be reassured that she will not drop me before the move. I know I’m driving myself nuts (come to think of it, I don’t think she knows the half of the battles in my head about the fear of losing her too.  I think I’ve only actually mentioned it to her once, but torture myself regularly with it)… it’s funny how my head can blow things way out of proportion.

I’m also trying to convince myself to let J in on what she had meant to L and I over the past year. I never want to let people in for fear of rejection and more hurt, but I regret it every time. I know L wants to tell J how much she had meant to us, but I don’t know if I can articulate it well enough. It would make me want to cry, and I desperately hate crying. I hate being vulnerable. Like I wrote to De the other day, I either know how to be totally together, or totally needy and helpless. I have not found a middle-ground yet. Maybe opening up to J about what this loss feels like will be a good step? I don’t know for sure, but I do know that not saying a proper goodbye hurts more and longer than having closure. I think I will write that stuff down, and have L do the same, because we have a great way of avoiding things with J, and she tends to go along for the ride. Since next week will be our last session, I want to make sure we don’t miss the opportunity to say goodbye. It will suck, but I know it needs to happen. I wish I still had that article written by an old mentor’s husband on the importance of proper termination in therapy, and proper closure in relationships in general. He stressed the importance of saying “goodbye” even if you would see the person or place again, because it would not be under the same circumstances. Dr J made a huge thing about saying goodbye to people and places upon graduation. She stressed to her interns the importance of termination in therapy. I think that needs to be stressed everywhere. Too many people avoid goodbyes because they are painful in the moment. They forget that the pain then intensifies as time goes on because closure was denied… if I could go back and get closure to every significant relationship that was denied it, today’s pain would be less. It doesn’t negate the loss, but it cushions it. To this day I regret not having a proper goodbye with both my aunt and uncle. I regret not having a goodbye with my high school best friend. I regret not having it with my college roommates and friends. I regret pushing people away because it hurt too much in the moment.  Maybe what I need to ask for from De is not a promise not to leave before my move, but the promise to get a proper goodbye whenever that may be… I asked for it once when I worried that I would be too unstable to continue with her and she had said yes. I think I just need reassurance that I’ll get one before we end no matter when that is.


Overwhelmed

De did most of the talking today, only it didn’t bother me. I had no words. I still have no words, just really overwhelmed… she validated some of the little I did manage to speak,  and was really gentle about denying some of the things my head fills in behind what she says (that I’m a pain in the ass, drama queen, pathetic, hopeless, frustrating, useless, she never wants to see me again…).
We shredded the pictures of Duckboy I had taken in last week. It was anticlimactic…
I think I just want to crawl into bed and stay there.


Gifting

…because dealing with the loss is more painful than I care to experience at the moment. L and I tag-teamed a bracelet for J. Hope she likes it. Took 4 revisions, but I think we are both happy enough with it to give to her next week (which, incidentally, will be our last session with her. Last week she had said 3 to 4 more weeks. This week it was cut down to one more week… still better than D telling me the day-of that it would be our last session. What is it with therapists and shitty terminations? I hope my ending with De is handled better)…
I also did 2 additional bracelets: one for myself and one for L. It was good practice. The one for J had the pretty blue geodes. L’s is the rainbow skull one, and mine is the girlier black skull one… I may still redo mine, but J and L’s are both set.

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No words (WIP)

WIP…

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When there are no words… or the words don’t make it past your tongue.


Sadness

So, De was right. There’s a ton of grief over this whole thing. After the tag sale today (and my short nap following it) I woke up feeling lost. I had spent the last 3 days frantically occupying myself with the logistics of the garage sale. I woke from my nap without purpose or distraction. There was an overwhelming urge to cry uncontrollably, hysterically, and wholeheartedly. I didn’t let myself though. The last time I felt this urgent a need to cry, I was hysterical for over eight hours. I ended up calling a crisis line then being involuntarily committed to a psych unit. I’m in no mood to go through that again, especially in this state with such poor mental health care.
We tried to find someone to go out with as a distraction (L is the only person I consider safe enough to cry in front of, so I would end up crying wherever we went out). None of our friends were available today (or this weekend)… we ended up just going to buy food and drink. Eventually, the hunt for my preferred beverage managed to distract me from the pending tears.  They didn’t come today, but I’m sure they will soon enough… I hate crying. I hate that tears this loaded don’t seem to end. It doesn’t help that I have my monthly mood swing.


Grief

No bombs were dropped by De in session today, though I did have a few panicked seconds when she started out a sentence with “my supervisor is all over me about…” (heart stalled and breath caught mid-exhale) “…asking you if we can keep your piece for further use” (resume breathing and pumping blood). I didn’t know what to say. I guess they really liked it. I asked if I could get back to her about it. De said that it will be displayed for the month of April, but that they would like to keep it to put up in the building. I’m not opposed to that, but I’m also really attached to the piece. I think if I leave it there, I will ask that my real name be used. Might as well get credit for it.  I also told De that I had been toying with asking for it back so I could tweak it because I had a million other ideas since I handed it in. She laughed and reminded me that was why I had given it to her when I did, so I wouldn’t mess with it and end up getting frustrated when it didn’t turn out how I pictured. She’s right, because I would over-work it and feel that I need to start all over again.  I don’t think I would have a fourth rendition in me before the beginning of April. It’s good I don’t have my hands on it anymore.
We spent the rest of the session talking about the pending move and how I will need to grieve the loss of the house and such, but that the overall result will be positive (the house does hold many negatives, as does this state. But it also was a “home base” for so long, a safety net if I need it. Hope I can get some sort of other safety net from it. I’m not going to hold my breath for that though).
I’m still adamant about not crying in front of others. She was trying to convince me that it would be ok, but all the judgements and fears around crying screamed in my head. I did tear up a few times with her today but refused to cry. I really don’t think I would have been able to stop if I had actually started. So I moved the conversation along (much like I keep my head moving all day and night so I don’t crack with tears). I had wanted to ask her to focus our work on the assaults and history with DuckBoy. I just didn’t find an appropriate way to slip it in to the flow. I needed more time to explain the rest of the week. I don’t think I expressed my distaste for loss in any meaningful way. I don’t think she gets how hard that is for me. I tend to stuff it all down, so it’s easy for people to miss the little hints. I just don’t do well with loss. A whole lot of loss is coming up real soon. It’s panicking me a bit, but I’m sure it will all be ok in the end (isn’t it always?). There’s always loss. There’s always change. Just gotta learn to go with it… don’t open your heart too much to prevent excessive pain with the withdrawal of whatever it was that you let worm its way inside.
The session flew by before I knew it. On the way out I asked if they had a shredder so I could get rid of the last pictures I found of DuckBoy yesterday. She suggested “making a moment of it” and that we could do it next week. I gave her the pictures to hold on to till then (I certainly don’t want them)…
(Strangely appropriate song just came on my playlist: Goodbye My Lover by James Blunt… covers the feel of all this.  It works for the house, the history, and everything else).
Is it weird that I miss my best friend from high school so much lately? I found some pics of her and of us the same time I found the DuckBoy pictures… one relationship I’d rather forget, and one I wish was still going. But I guess loss and grief are the themes of the moment (sadly there’s only the loss of DuckBoy for which I’m relieved, the other losses just hurt). I wish I had the gumption to track her down and show up at her door. I wish I had been a better friend. I wish I had fought harder when she ran away. But what do you do when a friend ceases wanting to be your friend? …I still have the mug she gave me for Christmas one year. It’s my favorite one. I really miss her.
The loss of this house means the loss of that last connection to a bunch of positive stuff. There will no longer be a safety net here… it sucks…


More changes

J told us in session yesterday that she will be leaving the agency by April. Great. L will lose all her outside support in April. We have this huge move pending. I’m holding my breath in case De tells me something similar in today’s session; that would be just my luck. Too many changes too soon. I’m not sure I’m liking this.
On the plus side, I’ve gone through a bunch of my crap at this house and placed it in the “sale” pile for Saturday’s garage sale.  There’s still a bunch of stuff I want to clean/organize to be able to add to it though.  This house has over 20 years of crap collected in it from multiple households. I’m glad I’m in a better place to be able to finally release some of the hoarded items. I used to feel that memories were connected to the items, but I’m finding that I still don’t remember what a lot of it was. It has no meaning to me, so I have no reason to keep it.  There are a few things that will be more difficult to part with, but that’s understandable. We just have to remember that we needed to condense all this stuff to 2 much smaller apartments…


going. going. going.

just keep going.  if I don’t stop, I don’t think about the chaos that will likely happen in a few weeks.  Setting up a garage sale, sorting through 20+ years of household junk… just keep going and forget the impossibility of the coming move across country with zero money, the lack of living space to land at, the need to re-home so many animals… just keep going and don’t fall apart into a blubbering mess.  yeah… just go.  and maybe medicate for sleep.  but not too much because I have to be at the shop for the tint guy to remove the films from the 4 doors on the car so it will be legal in the new state.  Going to take some cash so I can at least tip the guy for the free work he will be doing…

then there’s couple’s therapy tomorrow.  I’m pretty sure I will cry then because there is no choice about sitting down to talk there… and I may be a tad pissed at her because she is safe to be pissed at right now.  if I were to get pissed at myself for my lack of planning, well, I don’t have the best emergency coping skills on the planet (or anywhere)…


sliver of hope gone…

just that.


Can’t sleep

Can’t sleep with the music on. Can’t sleep with the music off. Trying my wife’s pillow because mine’s gotten sadly flat in the weeks since I bought it. Can’t sleep on this pillow either… my head is humming with everything and nothing all at once.
I had toyed with the idea of reaching out to De yesterday for support but landed on the “there’s nothing she can do so don’t bother her” side of the argument. I’m stuck again at not feeling like I can reach out to her for anything other than support around the sexual assault stuff (I couldn’t specify the sa for a good minute. I don’t like labeling that. I don’t like admitting it. If I don’t voice it, it goes away right? It was never real if no one knows about it…). The way she said some stuff 2 weeks ago has me translating what she said to “pathetic drama queen” in more ways than one. It has me thinking that I blow everything way out of proportion, that nothing was ever really that bad. It has me feeling like I just never learned how to deal with little upsets like my pen running out of ink, so I dramatized it to mean the world is ending.
I feel like I shouldn’t be upset about anything. I feel like I should know better. I never do anything to help myself, so I should shut up and stop complaining. There’s starving children in other parts of the world. I should be grateful for what I have. Not everyone’s parents buy them cars (not everyone’s father’s attach the same strings for the gift). Not everyone gets included in the will (not everyone’s father tries to exert immense control long after he hits the grave. I don’t want your stipulations, so do us all a favor and write me out). Not everyone has a roof over their head (that screams with memories and nightmares). It’s not lady-like to be selfish. It’s not appropriate to talk back (or explain). Nothing is good enough, but only because I’m a spoiled little child who let praise go to her head. I only experience all this for attention. I only ever want attention (to hide in the fibers of the carpet so I don’t catch anyone’s attention). Nothing is real.  There’s no black-hole in my chest. There’s no insomnia. There’s no hopelessness, it’s all something I say because I’m lazy and entitled…

Do you ever get hit with something that crumbles the carefully-crafted image you have of someone (because you desperately hoped they were better than they presented, so you choose to interpret their biting criticism as character-building)? Do you ever mourn the loss of the people you thought you grew up with when faced with their reality? Suddenly you have an almost empty corner where you originally had one filled with support and love? Nothing has changed except your understanding of the past, and even that’s sketchy at best.

While I appreciate De’s intention when telling me not to get so lost in trains of thought, it’s easier said than done. I’ve spent so long trying to ignore or run away from everything, then learning to face it, that I have a hard time deliberately trying to pay no mind to it all again. I’d like to understand things better, not just distract. I’d like to know what my arguments need to be when I’m fighting with the negatives, not just blindly deny them… in a way she’s supporting mom’s theory of “just ignore it, it will go away” but with different words.  She’s saying to just not go there. I don’t know how to do that. It never works in the long run anyway.

It’s almost 6:30am, and all I want to do is take something to sleep. I know it would knock me out for way too long though, and it would frustrate me. So I’m going to stop worrying and hope I can get at least 30 minutes in before the dogs start to shift and stir.

(I used to be good at this writing thing back before my brain walked out on me…)


roller coasters

I swear I have done nothing but ride them since Friday… there’s no hope, then there’s hope, then there’s no hope, then there’s hope… I hope the hope lasts.  Not quite sure how to make it all work, but hoping.  As long as I’m still hoping (even if just in waves), then it’s not so bad.  The hopelessness comes, but so does the hope, so I’ll take the cycles.  I don’t want to find out that there’s really no hope.  I don’t want to fall head-long into depression over all this.

One thing that got me today was when I was speaking to someone at the affordable care act contact number… I was trying to figure out insurance for L and I, and whether or not I could still sign up/should sign up/need to sign up.  The lady was telling me the guidelines for assistance with the premiums and such when she says that there’s a minimum income level needed to be able to receive the assistance.  If we can’t meet that level, but still don’t qualify for Medicaid through the state, we have to pay FULL PRICE for an insurance plan (the cheapest I found was $220/person without the tax credit).  So how is this supposed to help??  If you are too poor to meet the income requirements for the assistance, but make too much to get Medicaid according to the state (which is anything between $700-$990/month, aka, a whole boat-load of people struggling with jobs at minimum wage), you’re just screwed now because you either pay $200/month in insurance, or you pay the fines the government levy on you for not having coverage (about the equivalent of the cheapest monthly plan)… screwed… Thanks.  Also, why is it that the plans all have 1) an annual deductible greater than my annual take-home pay, 2) insanely high co-pays, and 3) the “better” the plan, the more you pay for premiums, deductibles & copays?!… Once again I ask, how the he** is this helpful to anyone other than the insurance companies??  You could sign a waiver saying you can’t afford it all, but there are strict guidelines for eligibility to be able to sign said waiver.  (que hopelessness)

On a positive note (I will include 3, because 3 is a good number), we maybe, maybe have a glimmer of hope for remaining in the house.  It’s kinda a long shot, but it may happen.  We also called about help with some repairs that need to happen.  We are just waiting for a call-back from the agency (I hope they are not like most of the other agencies in this state that conveniently lose your message).  I will give them through the week, then call again in the early part of next week (assuming I have the energy and motivation).  Also, I was introduced to a new “top 10” musician tonight: Angel Haze.  I don’t listen to too much hip-hop or rap, but I do enjoy it, and this woman has some really, really powerful songs.  I really like all of the songs I’ve listened to tonight, especially her remake of Same Love, Angels & Airwaves, and her song Battle Cry (official video to this one can be really triggering for religious themes, self-injury, csa/child trafficking, etc so watch with caution if any of this is triggering to you).  I have her on in the background as I’m typing this.  Battle Cry is great, thought I could only watch the video once.  Without the video, it’s actually really inspiring and motivational… well, even with the video, but if I watched it too often, I could see myself getting lost in the triggers… anyway, yeah, I really like her and I’m really happy her music was pointed out to me.

random: I’ve been wanting to ask De for my picture back.  I think I want to fiddle with the background because it’s too busy with the effect I used… the characters get lost in the busy-ness.  I wonder if she will still have it in her office so maybe I can mess with it.  I used fixative, but I’m hoping I can somehow soften the bg… I may have to think about how that would work.  Anyone know how to make a “permanent” fixative workable again?


Danny

One of the cats had moved out. He really just runs when he sees us, and spends all his time at a house down the street. I’m trying to be ok with it, but I miss him. I wish he’d come home.  I wish I knew what we did to have him run and not return… I miss him a lot. I got him shortly after I started seeing L. Then he ended up going to live with her when our little dog proved he’d kill a cat if given the chance.  We ended up moving in together and Danny came with the package. We got Alex training to get him over his cat attacks. When we moved, he got worse again. I wonder if that is helping contribute to Danny’s leaving… I don’t want to torture the cat, but I also miss him a lot. He’s the first “kid” that’s ours’ together. Others have come since, but he’s just our baby… I want to find a way to bring him home, but I don’t want to trap him if he’s miserable. He hates being indoors here even though he has more space than he had since he came to live with us. Clearly we are doing something wrong and I’m heartbroken.  This sucks. Where do you draw the line between what you want and what someone/thing else wants?


Grey’s Anatomy

So, I only used top watch the show every once in a while. Recently, I started watching it from season 1. One of tonight’s episodes got to me. A father is on need of a transplant and his son is the best match, only he’s an abusive guy so the soon struggles with the decision to donate.  They drew out the drama of it for most of the episode and I found myself willing the character to refuse or at least hedge until it was too late… what kind of person have I become? How can I even think that way? I know it’s safe because it’s just a character on a tv show, but doesn’t that point to real life in a way? Ultimately, I think I would have done the same thing but… I dunno.  The fact that I can even entertain vicarious “revenge” kinda scares me.  I was never like that before. I never let my anger out in any way that would deliberately hurt another person. Refusing to donate would be deliberately hurtful. When did my values shift? When did I become so G-like? I’m not a fan of this change. Need to reverse it…


A tad bit stressed

I’ve done it again; ignored something until it’s too late… now there really isn’t much of a choice. J’s fire that she’s been looking for is firmly lit. We will be moving back up north sooner than expected and under a lot more pressure. This sucks… I’m kicking myself for putting off the asking for help for this long. Now we just have to suck it up and move on. It looks like we will have to re-home two of our pups (one of mom’s and one of our’s), which is totally breaking my heart. I knew we wore out our welcome, but now it’s also our grace period. The house needs to be sold and we will be left with nothing to show for it but more debt. I just want to hide from everything right now (lot of good it’s done so far). Trying not to panic, but not sure how to make things happen. We either find roommates that can cover half the mortgage and stand living here, or we throw in the towel and lose what we have. Pretty shitty choices since I don’t think anyone would want to live here (too many critters, too much stress, too little space)… :/


Finished the piece for sexual assault awareness month.

I finally “finished” the piece I will be giving to De for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. I wanted the background to be different, but the paint and the brush just wasn’t doing what I had hoped.  That’s ok though because I actually like it the way it is. I need to spray fixative on it tomorrow before my appointment, but other than that, it’s done. This is the most work I’ve done on any piece yet. I generally give it one go, tweak, then call it a day.  It’s unheard of for me to go back and keep trying it over and over again. It’s good practice though. I got to try out a bunch of techniques along the way.
Anyway, here it is:

2014 100-Theme Challenge  11) Shattered (final)

2014 100-Theme Challenge
11) Shattered (final)


Finally a good night’s rest

I actually slept last night, roughly 7 hours.  I felt good today, not tired, not overly hyper… AND I accomplished a monumental task (at least it has been since we moved here): I cleaned all 10 snake cages in one day!!  For the past year and a half, I’ve only done 2 or 3 at a time, and it was generally weeks before I got the drive/energy to do more of them.  I even ended up taking a break in the middle, going to get groceries for dinner, then finishing.  That’s TOTALLY unheard-of in my world.  If I ever take a break from something, I don’t go back to finish it (unless it’s art, and even then it’s a huge ordeal).  I can;t believe I did it.  I’m totally proud of myself.  I also took pics of 7 of the snakes (3 were either too stressed or hiding too well).  I miss playing with them.  I need to do it more often.  I’m just really glad my energy came back today.  I actually enjoyed what I was doing.  😀

We also perfected the stromboli-making technique (well, ok, L did that while I finished the last cage).  They came out really good and evenly distributed.  Last time we had huge wads of dough at the ends while the toppings were all smooshed into the middle.  This time there were toppings all over the place.  L did a great job.  (And I ate WAY too much for one night. I feel like I may explode).

Anyway, it’s amazing what a good night’s sleep can do to a person.  I hope I can get another good night tonight.


Insomnia, I thought we were taking a break?

Can’t sleep again.  The 3 days of decent sleep I got while on the nausea meds was nice, but now it’s back to only a few hours. This sucks. I need to invest in more melatonin, at least it didn’t knock me out for the whole day like the sleep meds do…
Can I hide under a rock now? I may get more sleep there.


I’m THAT asshole

Yes, I hate him. But I hate myself more for what I allow him to bring out in me.

I had it out with G today. I lost my shit and screamed at him (literally. At the top of my lungs). I told him how much I hated him and how he is just like his sister. I told him to fuck off more times than I care to admit.  I told him I wished his plane crashed.  I told him I wished he’d step in front of a truck… that was over 6 hours ago. The only thing I feel bad about is that I allow him to get me so angry. If it were still up to me, I would not have any contact with him at all. He would still be banished from my world, but because we moved in with mom and she allows him to stay here sometimes, I have to see him. I really do hate him. I really am sick of his shit. Maybe I don’t wish him dead, but I wish to never see him again. Maybe he’ll get the hint and stop trying to talk to me now ever again (mind you his sister still tries despite years of ignoring or cursing out, so he may not give up either, but a girl can hope)…
Anyway, I’m glad he’s gone.  He’s staying at a hotel tonight and will leave to the airport from there. Good riddance.
But back to that part about hating myself: I hate that I give him so much power over me.  The speeches to myself after the fight involved a shit-ton of arguing with the voice in my head that said I needed to cut or be reckless. I kept reminding myself that he is not worth the consequences to those actions no matter how much relief I think they may bring in the moment. It took a lot of back and forth with my head, but I had read De’s note earlier in the day, and kept reciting it to myself
image
(Last session, we had also talked about the negative voices.  She put down on a sticky that I am worth arguing with those voices. Even if I don’t believe it myself, I know L had said it before, and now De wrote it down for me.  I owe it to them to at least make an attempt to listen)…

Today’s blow-out with G also really scared mom and L… I feel bad.  I never wanted to be that person. Turns out, I am that person more times than not.  I scare them with my anger.  I scare people with my depression. I just scare people.  And I hate that. I’m sorry. Like I said, that’s the last person I wanted to be… :sigh: I have a lot of growing and working to do. I will still forever hate G and his bullshit meddling, but I need to not let myself get out of control in response to him (or anyone else).


Where physical illness and mental illness intersect

The vertigo is back, and getting worse.  I ended up going to the er on Friday to try to get more help with it, but all they really did was rule out other major things like brain lesions, tumors, low or high of anything in my blood, pregnancy (I could have come up with that on my own being a broke lesbian who hasn’t had any close (or far) contact with sperm in years). They gave me a script for an over-the-counter nausea med and sent me on my way. I was also told to visit an ENT if it didn’t go away in 4 days.  The problem with that last directive comes when my er visit was on the last day of the month. An ENT visit 4 days from then will not be covered by my (lack of) insurance. So if I still have this come Tuesday, I have to find an ENT that will charge me a whole ton of money just for a visit or 2… (and I’m still not closer to getting rid of this).
It’s frustrating on another level too: I’m only used to sleeping all day when I’m either really sick with a virus, or I’m really depressed.  Right now I’m neither, but don’t have the energy to do more than about an hour of being upright before the dizziness and medication get to me. It doesn’t stop my head from racing, but it stops my body from working. I also have to rely on my wife to drive me if I want to go anywhere. She’s not a huge fan of driving.  She is also wearing thin on her own stuff… add to that some major flakiness on my part, and we have a fun weekend planned. I feel bad for not being more supportive and for asking to go out when she clearly just wants to stay in bed.
I’m having trouble writing this post, so please bear with me if it loses cohesion as I babble on. One side effect of both the vertigo and the meclazine is an inability to concentrate or finish sentences. It puts my brain in a fog (again something I’m used to with depression not physical illness), and I forget where I was going with my train of thought.

On a side note; De surprised me on Friday with actually delving into some more trauma stuff. She asked how I felt with her springing it on me. I told her I was relieved. I have been wanting to do this since we started meeting, so to finally put more effort into it is a huge relief.  The only problem that arose was my inability to convey much. I warned her about it before hand, telling her I sometimes take a while to finish what I’m saying because I’m trying to put it into the correct words. I added that the vertigo didn’t help much in that department.  But we managed to talk about stuff and I was able to give a better picture of things that went on with Duckboy. I checked out a short way into it, but we talked about that too.  She was actually able to ground me better before I left, and it was a good session.  I told her there was some stuff that came up to which I couldn’t give voice, but that I would either try to pack it away for next week or journal about it. As it were, I was able to journal about it some on the way to the er for the vertigo.  I’m glad I was able to do it then because it has since been packed away…

Anyway, I’ve totally lost my original train of thought.  Off to take another nap in hopes of sleeping off the dizziness. Have a good Sunday.