Monthly Archives: May 2014

getting over myself

I need to learn to get over myself.  I need to learn to rely on myself. I need to be ok with the boundaries placed around certain relationships, and the amount of support I can receive from them…

I’ve been struggling in therapy lately.  I feel like I go in, she talks to me, she validates what I say, but it doesn’t feel like enough.  I feel like she’s not listening, not letting me talk.  But when she gives me the chance, I don’t know what to say, so I say nothing. Then I get mad at her because I feel lacking.  The truth is, it’s all my fault.  I don’t say what I need to.  I am not clear in what I’m asking for, even when I think I am (but I’m not).  I don’t know what to say I need because I’m afraid.  I’m afraid to get rejected.  I’m afraid that I’m as much of a mess as I think I am (as I have been told I was). So I need to get over myself.  Because none of this is helping anything at all.


Vertigo and the Epley Maneuver

I was taking to one of my nieces about vertigo, and realized that most doctors either don’t know about, or don’t care to mention to their patients about the Epley Maneuver. It’s simple, quick, effective, and doesn’t require meds. Oh, and did I say it was effective?! It consists of finding out which ear is the one causing the issue, then doing a series of turns in a specific way to move the calcium crystals further out the ear canal. It takes about a minute to do (maybe a minute and a half), and makes the vertigo so much calmer. I went from the room spinning wildly to being able to walk a straight line immediately after we did it.  Prior to trying the Epley Maneuver, I was popping motion sickness pills like candy just to get the room to slow. I would lay in bed not moving in hopes of not making those pesky crystals shift.
There are a few considerations with it though, the biggest being able to figure out which ear canal has the crystals (generally, if you lay on your side, the world spins faster when you lay on the side with the floating crystals). When doing the maneuver, make sure you turn to the affected side. The other consideration is doing it with someone who can hold your head steady and keep time (you would be surprised how hard it is to keep your head still when the world is like a merry-go-round on coke). If you don’t hold your head steady, the crystals don’t go to the right place.  If you don’t hold the pose for the recommended time, the crystals can’t float on down to where you want them to be.
The best thing about this: it’s free and you can do it as many times as you need to. I only did it once the first time, but twice, a few days apart, the second. It sure beat all the meclizine I would have taken.
Anyway,  I will dig up the video link and post it here, along with some links to other helpful articles on vertigo. Hope no one experiences it, but in case you do, hope this can help.

I couldn’t find the site I had originally visited, but here is the link to the Johns Hopkins info page on it.


Stupid things…

…that are not all that stupid, but they are.

I ordered some charms for a bracelet I wanted to make. It was something that was inspired by a song that means a lot to me. I searched high and low to find the charms with the right look. They had to have just the right look. I finally found them. I ordered them, and waited 3 weeks for them to arrive. Now that I see them in person, they don’t fit. They are too large and bulky for the piece of jewelry I want to create. It’s not supposed to be a big deal, but the meaning behind it is huge for me, so the fact that the pieces I am trying to combine for the finished product don’t fit well together are bothering me more than they should. I want to cry over it. I want to sob and tantrum like a little kid… All over some stupid charms that don’t fucking fit. Part of me (that stupid little [big] negative part is saying that this is the way my plans for my life will go: the pieces I think will pull everything together will not fit, and everything will need to be figured out all over again. It’s how life always goes)… so it’s stupid, but it’s not. I’m mad that I “wasted” money on these really awesome charms that just don’t work. And I’m mad that I have to figure shit out all over again… and I’m scared that is how this move will go, and how all my plans for life will always go, because that’s how they always have gone. FML.


The thought of him makes my skin crawl

G is in state.  He is staying at a hotel, but he wants to come over tomorrow to visit with M. I will be out of the house, but I’m still uncomfortable with him coming over. The tension in the house is mounting as it often does when he is near. I feel creeped-out by the thought of him coming. I don’t want him to see anything of mine or ask M any questions about me. I don’t want him touching anything I ever touch. I don’t want the animals around him. He’s inappropriate enough over Skype, I don’t want to think of his lack of boundaries when here. My skin is starting to crawl. I feel dirty and really uncomfortable. And I feel anxious that I may return before he leaves. I think I will just plan to be out at the beach or something all day tomorrow. I’m glad the survey paid in a gift card, and I’m glad I did not use it over the weekend. I will have a way to pay for food and parking tomorrow. Internally, I’m shuddering… I hope this all is over soon and he leaves the country again. He’s just not good energy.


who you were and who you are. ~stephen king

love this quote, though only read it for the first time just now… very fitting.


muddling through

It’s a rough transition.  Both L and I are struggling with the concept of being separated.  Both of us are struggling with our environments and our inner demons.  But both of us also seem to be finding a way through.  I wrote a really long but honest blog to De today.  It helped a lot to simply know that she will know all of that, to know that I was honest and putting things out there in hopes of getting support.  It’ll be an uncomfortable session on Friday (because a lot of it is surrounded by huge amounts of shame), but at least I’m being honest and trying to figure things out.

I’m very aware of my neediness and my mal-adaptive thought patterns, but I am having trouble changing them all by myself.  Awareness is the first step though.  I am hoping she can help me with the changing piece.  I was able to ask for some specific things directly for probably the first time ever.  I was able to identify specific things, how they would help, and what I would like to ask from her around them.  That’s not an easy thing for me.  I often have trouble identifying and admitting to my needs.  I think it comes from a combination of having them either flat-out denied (by being told that they are not actually my needs, and my needs are something else), or having serious consequences for voicing them.  I can remember a number of times when my opinions were denied and corrected (some as recent as a few weeks ago). It’s an interesting dynamic that happens in my family.  I will say something along the lines of “I need to talk to someone about X” only to get the response: “No. That won’t help. You need to do Y”  Even if I give concrete examples of how Y has been counter-productive, it is insisted that I really do want Y, just afraid to say it. When someone hears things like that often enough (and the person is forceful enough), they learn to change their desires to fit what is being insisted upon.  I guess this doesn’t happen so much if you have no history of abuse, but it certainly happens with me.  I lose the drive to argue when no argument in the world would help my case.

 

 


today is a new day

I ended up at the beach last night.  It was nice.  I will really miss the beach after the move (it’s a mere 20 minutes from here, but will be about an hour from where we will be living… and there will be no palm trees or wading in the winter months).  I really needed the time away.  I needed to think and drown in my music.

I can’t remember which blog turned me on to Angel Haze, but I am in love.  She’s inspirational, positive, and kicks ass.  I can’t pick a favorite song because I like almost all of them.  Dirty Gold is my current obsession, but there’s also Battle Cry (ft. Sia), Angels and Airwaves, A Tribe Called Red, Same Love (remake)… and ok, just about all of them…

I have been fighting strong self-harm urges since the TSA line back up north.  I guess it’s a good thing they no longer allow sharps in the airport because I would have shredded my arm and leg in the airport bathroom before boarding, they were that intense (and I had that little resolve at the moment).  Music has been my centering tool.  I have not picked my art up again yet, but the iPod is glued to my side, with earbuds wedged into at least one ear.  If I don’t have my iPod on, I am playing music through the computer or my phone.  I am sure I will run through the gamut of coping skills in my repertoire before De returns from vacation.  This weekend is a long weekend and most people already have plans.  M and I will be spending more quality time together. It’s not a bad thing, but we have forgotten how to interact. We don’t have simple casual conversations, it’s only ever stuff that lights one of us on fire (if not both).  I wish I remembered how to talk to her.  I wish I knew how to rekindle that close relationship we had back in the day (or at least I think we had).  We are both lost in our own drama.  When we meet, we tend to collide because the spinning arms of the drama hit before we meet causing sparks to fly and fires to light.

I volunteered for a research project on reporting sexual violence.  I’m not 100% sure what they are looking into, but I believe De had said they are looking into how to improve the reporting experience, and what causes barriers to reporting.  I was supposed to meet the lady tomorrow at De’s office, but they will be closing early for the long weekend.  The lady will be coming here later on this afternoon.  I hope the dogs don’t maul her while trying to get her attention (they LOVE people SO MUCH they are not quite sure how to contain themselves. I also suck at keeping up with their training, and they don’t get out as much down here. They do better when they have seen other humans recently).  The questionnaire should take no longer than 15 minutes she says, so it shouldn’t be too painful.  I don’t think it will be too triggering either, so it should be well worth the money I get from it… I miss research opportunities.  While I was never a fan of writing the papers, I did enjoy coming up with the ideas for the papers.  I love expanding the knowledge base on things that we don’t quite know too much about.  I love education, and helping people understand things.  I wish someone would do more research on the after-effects of sexual violence.  There’s so much anecdotal stuff out there, but so little “official” understanding of a lot of it.  I recently found a blog entry on a topic I have never really seen discussed in print.  I know I have been told that it is not uncommon for assault/abuse survivors, but I had not seen anything even remotely close to educational about it anywhere before.  It is also one of the few places to write about it as a function of coping with the abuse vs a pathology simply deemed psychotic.  I wish medical professionals had access to that information.  I think I may have gotten some more effective treatment earlier on had the doctors seen it as something that makes sense in the context of my trauma.  I’m fighting with the thought of posting a link to it here because I don’t think it’s something I’m ready to admit to anyone outside of a few select people.  I know it would have helped me immensely seeing it before now. It helps ease some of the shame to know (other than just hear one or two professionals tell me it is not uncommon and it makes sense) that others struggle with it.  I was surprised to see the number of comments on that post (well over 200?!) from people all struggling with it in one form or another. I’m just not ready to go public with that aspect of my struggle. I guess I could post a link to the blog itself, and let you wade through the posts to find the one I’m talking about… I just… I can’t say it right now. Not yet.  It’s still something I’m working on with De (and eventually with whomever I see up north)… Anyway, the blog is called Blooming Lotus. She has not written recently, but there’s a ton of good stuff on there (at least stuff that can help you feel less alone).  I hope, if you struggle with anything she speaks about, you will find some peace in knowing that it really is something others struggle with… and that’s coming from people who know it first-hand, not just through trainings or clients…

On a totally random note (random because I’m not 100% sure what train of thought led to this) but how can you hold two completely opposite and contradictory ideas as true at one time?  I know DBT covers some of this, but I am allergic to DBT, so I don’t really remember the concept behind the “dialectics”.  I’m talking about such opposing ideas that they should not be able to be held as true at the same time because they virtually cancel each other out.  If I tweak one idea, it’s a little easier to understand how I can hold them both true and correct at the same time, but they are not tweaked, nor do I wish to tweak them.  One is the concept of  “never, ever give up.” The other is the right to “bow out” as each individual sees fit.  Suicide is seen as giving up, so how can I hold that sentiment with the belief that everyone has a right to give up if they choose to do so? How can I advocate for life at any cost in one breath, and the freedom of choice to end your own life in the next?  I am not currently suicidal, though the freedom to have that “escape route” is calming to me.  I hold at once the obligation to fight any and all demons, and the option to give in to the desire for peace and an ending.  How is that even possible?  Maybe it’s that I understand the pain on both sides.  I have felt the desperate need for relief, and I have felt the devastating black hole born of the death of someone I care for deeply.  I grew up with the women in my family (and possibly even the men, but I don’t remember that as explicitly) lamenting about death being around the corner.  My grandmother said that she would die soon (should die soon, needed to die soon) since before I was born.  My mom would always say she wanted the right to kill herself should she ever be incapacitated (she wanted to make sure we all understood and agreed with her right to choose to end her life if she could no longer live it the way she was used to living, be it physical or mental).  I think I recall my father saying similar things.  No one ever expected to “get old”, yet the only person who did not speak regularly of death died at a young age.  My grandmother was 94.  Both my parents are still alive (despite saying neither of them wished to reach the age they are currently).  Bitch is still alive in her late 70’s (all of us wish she wasn’t).  But K is gone, and has been for 20 years this year.  She was 52 when she died, but she was the only one who wanted to grow old… I was indoctrinated to believe that every human has the right to decide to end their own lives.  But I’ve also felt the loss, and had the training that ingrained in me the instinct to preserve the life of others (and maybe even my own)… so I hold those opposing truths at once. Sometimes it’s a mind-fuck.

pass almost 2 hours: The lady for the research study came and it took me an hour and a half to complete the survey.  Her computer was slow, but I also think I kinda spaced on some of it.  it was only supposed to take 15-30 minutes.  Clearly, I did not fit that time frame.  It was ok.  I thought it would ask more about any history, but most of the questions revolved around the last 12 months.  I remembered an incident I had not thought anything of because of where it happened and the circumstances surrounding it.  It was during a hospitalization last year. It happened on a locked unit, by another patient, and in front of staff.  It wasn’t anything major, he was having a psychotic episode (or so they said) and tried to grope me after another patient mentioned that I was a lesbian.  I pulled away. I was able to re-direct him in no uncertain terms, and staff told him to stay away from me (and really everyone).  Despite the fact that I was in there due to my PTSD reactions over past assaults, I was never spoken to about the incident, no one asked if I was ok.  I simply stayed out of the common areas for a while, and later had some really bad body memories that ended in an uncomfortable verbal incident with another staff member.  The thing is, you lose all rights when you are hospitalized for psych issues.  You lose your personhood. You become a thing without feelings, needs, or any control over anything.  They treat you like prisoners (though I tend to think prisoners may be better off in some respects).  If you don’t do what you are told, you are lectured and called “defiant”.  Things slide that would never slide outside those locked doors. People (other patients as well as staff) can treat you like crap, violate all sorts of boundaries, order you to do things, and you just have to accept it.  You have no rights, you have no decision-making capabilities, and anything you say is clearly an exaggeration due to your mental instability.  I was expected to have no real reaction to this man invading my space and trying to invade my body because he was a patient and so was I.  It’s counter-intuitive that a patient’s reactions and feelings are not taken into account on a psych unit, but it’s true way too often.  The minute you step foot onto that floor, you are no longer a functioning, reasonable human being who is simply having a difficult time, you are a crazy person that needs containment (even if you are there for depression or anxiety). With or without a psychotic diagnosis, you are treated as if you are actively psychotic.  At least, that is how the hospitals in this state are.  Up north, I felt a bit more human, a bit more sane.

Anyway, I digress… the survey took longer than I had expected, but I did get paid, so that’s good.


co-dependance, how did I get so bad?

It’s amazing how much you can come to rely on someone for your daily activities.  Since I have been home (all 36 hours), I have found I used L as my distraction and activity.  Our interactions shaped the days.  I would go out with her, or hang around the house, or watch movies.  Almost all of it hinged on her.  With her in another state, I find my motivation almost zero.  I don’t want to go out anywhere (can’t think of any place to go), I have no motivation to walk the dogs, I don’t do anything other than sit around.  It’s a stark contrast to the last 6 days when we were running around every minute of the day to cram in all the visits and activities we could in those 6 days.  The most I’ve accomplished down here was a shower…

I used to be self-reliant.  I used to cherish my time alone to re-charge.  Now I find I have too much of it. How can your personality shift so drastically?  How did I come to cling so desperately to another for my spark when I used to be totally ok on my own (happier even).  Is this a healthy, loving relationship? or have I crossed the line into another pathology?

 


our beautiful brain – the altered book

very cool idea. I think we have to try this L…

Where I Stand

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What you will need:

– A Hard Cover Book to alter – if you don’t have one -Thrift Stores often have hard cover books for a dollar or less.

– Something to stick things down with – I use all types of things when gluing, Mod Podge, White Glue, Double Stick Adhesive, you can use whatever works for you.

– Mod Podge to seal your Masterpiece

– Acrylic paints, colored pencils, crayons, pastels, markers, and pens to doodle with and to add color

– Anything that you would like to use to collage – virtually almost anything can be used in a collage. My favorites are pictures from old books, vintage jewelry, and patterned textured paper.

How it works:

An altered book is an artist-made book recycled and modified into something new in appearance, and meaning. An altered book offers a long-term art-making process for healing. Altered books can be…

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And so begins the three months

I’m headed back down south after our “vacation” up north, where I’m leaving L to get us settled before I come up with the zoo. This is the first time we have voluntarily spent time apart for longer than a week, and definitely the longest we have been apart since meeting 6 years ago.  This will be a test of our relationship, but it will hopefully help us ease out of our intense co-dependence…
I’m a bit nervous about my eventual relocation. I was hoping to get back to being able to see Dr C, but she has not responded to any calls or messages since I mentioned we were coming back.  I know I have time yet, but I like to plan when it comes to this stuff. I like to know I have support through transitions. We’ll see.  She may return a call when it’s finally closer to the move. If not, I will have to find someone else that can take state insurance and has expertise in trauma, sexual assault, and “bat-shit crazy” (lol)…


one day left

today is the last full day visiting.  I fly out tomorrow morning and we start our 3 month break while we try to get re-settled in our “old stomping grounds”.  I’m a bit apprehensive.  It’ll be ok, but it will be a big change.  I will really miss L, and I’m guessing she will miss me.  It will be weird being apart.

I’ve already started looking at places to live here, in hopes of not only finding something affordable, but someplace that will allow all three dogs.  It should work.  It will just take some looking… and friends of ours are willing to get a place together.  that should help a lot.

here’s to making the rest of the day go slow enough to enjoy it fully.  (deep breath)


at an opposite pace

While I have fallen back into being up north during this brief vacation, L and I are glaringly at very different paces.  I feel a frantic pressure to see everyone and do everything before my departure on Tuesday morning.  L is taking her time, getting back into the groove of things, and planning for the coming weeks.  I feel bad unintentionally putting all this pressure on her.  I want to be able to go out and visit friends, eat at our favorite restaurants, and check out my “old stomping grounds” in this very short 4 days we have left.  I hurried trying to settle the car, I am making plans with friends and putting it on the calendar.  The pressure is rubbing off on her.  I don’t feel like just sitting around doing nothing.  The nap we took today (while very much-needed and appreciated) felt like a waste of time.  I need to be engaged and actively doing things because I want to cram SO MUCH into these few short days.  Like I said, I feel bad about pressuring her.  L is working on the time-table of remaining here where she can see friends and family as she pleases.  If it doesn’t get done this weekend, it can happen next weekend.  And I think she might be trying to slow time.  Neither of us is looking forward to my departure… I hope the interim months go by quickly and we can get things settled so I can move up.   As much as I love the semi-tropics, the beach, and the friends and family down south, I really miss here also.  I miss the mountains and the hiking with the dogs.  I miss seeing our friends and getting together just to hang out for a few hours.  I miss seeing the kids. I will really miss L when I go back. In the almost 6 years we have been together, we have never been apart for more than 2 weeks, and even that was peppered with brief stays at home between my myriad of hospitalizations.  This is the first time we will voluntarily and “healthfully” be spending time apart.  It’s a little daunting.

In preparation for the return, I have been eyeballing houses with “for sale” signs on them in hopes we can swing a “rent-to-own” situation with one.  The prospect of settling once again is appealing. I like the idea of trying to get our lives back on track.  The thought of having to work again full-time is a bit nerve-wracking, but this whole environment is generally healthier for me, so it should be doable.  The memories are quieter here (they did not originate here).  I find it easier to fall back into a groove of trying to be productive.  My head and heart feel lighter away from all those triggers at home (the physical environment).  It feels emotionally easier to breathe, even if it’s just because I’m only visiting at the moment.

Anyway, it’s glaringly obvious that our heads are on different schedules.  We will make it work though.  I keep trying to remind myself to slow down, and L is very accommodating about my urgent need to do everything all at once.  I know we will get through these changes in one piece.


Suicide Stories

another really good blog on telling stories, being heard, and the stigma of suicide… I will need to look further into the study mentioned, because I would really like to be able to connect with others who have tried. There are parts of my experience I rarely speak about (even with a therapist) simply because no one wants to talk to me about it… in treatment circles, you are discouraged from talking about specifics and emotions during the act, but before and after are ok to talk about… they are missing a huge part of that story.

recovery network: Toronto

Slowly waking from a science-induced slumber, clinical and academic practice is slowly reawakening to the importance of story in a human life. There is much talk these days of the importance of “narrative”. Narrative is just a fancy word for story. Who among us  sits round a campfire telling “narratives”? People tell stories: their own story, old stories new stories, made up stories, true stories and everything in between stories. Telling stories is what humans have done since, well, since there have been humans. So how come its taken so long for medicine and clinical practice to wake up to the usefulness? Well, it seems that someone had to come up with a fancy word for “story” : “narrative and,  someone else had to append [fancy word for stick on the end of]  that other fancy word required to legitimize any thing in medicine – therapy. As Robin Mckenzie…

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“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, …”

I like this. we are so often told to be mindful of the moment, but remain silent in our pain. It’s in our pain that we need to speak out and have someone share it. I even struggle with this in therapy lately. De isn’t big on talking about what’s eating me, just how to cope with it. Sometimes that’s helpful, but a lot of the time I need to be able to give voice to what’s inside. It took me so long to be able to talk about things, then I get a therapist who focuses on the distractions and coping skills without much energy devoted to just being in the moment of the struggle. I know she has helped me learn some invaluable skills, but at the same time, I feel more alone than I ever have much of the time. My family does not hold a culture of speaking about what bothers you. L tries, but I resist much of the time. It’s so easy to fall back into pushing things away. We need to pay more attention to opening ourselves, to feeling and being less alone in our hurt…

I Dont Want To Talk About It

wolf-howl-silhouette1 “…but by making the darkness conscious.” I went to my Men’s meeting the other morning.   As usual it was an interesting place to be.   One of my issues with AA is the unwillingness to making the darkness conscious at the meeting level.   My wonderful friends who are suffering from the effects of PTSD and other “mental health,” issues express confusion that when they are in meetings and they struggling, most of the other people in the rooms are speaking of gratitude, acceptance and/or tolerance.  They ask me and I question also whether the people speaking of gratitude etc. aren’t just “imagining figures of light,”  because they can’t/won’t deal with the darkness that they carry.

When I am struggling, and much of the time my depression makes me feel like I am searching for a life raft in the middle of this sea of hopelessness, I have a hard time with…

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Post weird dream during nap weirdness

I took a nap today.  It was one of those half-awake-half-dreaming kinda naps where I was aware that time was passing and I was dreaming, but still fell into the story line of the dream. I can’t remember it though, just that it was strange and surreal. It left me with a weird feeling. I don’t really know how to describe it. It wasn’t too outlandish, just… weird.
I’m now trying to shake the weird feeling. I wish I remembered the dream, I get the impression it would be easier to rid myself of this feeling if I knew what I needed to process in order to move on.


Worst fear

My worst fear is not any object or event.  My worst fear is that everything the negative side of me thinks and feels is accurate. I look for evidence both to support and refute these conclusions on any given day.

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identity crisis

It’s come back to me again recently that I have lost my identity with this disability determination.  I used to be a youth worker, a domestic violence counselor, a substance abuse counselor, an educator… now I’m just… nothing.  I know De and L and J would all argue against that, but much like L struggled with work being a huge part of her identity last year, I’m struggling with it now.  I’m not even a good mom to my “kids”, I fail them regularly. It’s underscored with this impending move and all it means.  I have to try to hold a job again when I move back up north.  I have to be productive and live up to all those expectations, but I also have to do it within the bounds of disability.  I can’t afford to screw up.  I can’t afford to lose this determination and then screw up life again.  Finances scare the crap out of me.  Screwing up scares the crap out of me.  I know I have a lot to prove during this time that L and I are apart.  She has her fears about the pressures, and I have mine.  I know I have been doing really well (comparatively) these last few months, but that nagging fear of screwing up is always in the back of my mind (and L’s, and everyone’s…).  When you lose trust from those closest to you, it’s very difficult to build it back.  When you lose trust in yourself, it’s just as hard.  I know I tell L that everything will be fine (and for the most part I believe it), but there’s that little voice in my head that says I will never be a real human being.  I will never get through struggles in life without major meltdowns. I will never be “safe” from myself… I know these are only doubts, but I need to give voice to them.  I can’t carry them all alone right now.  I saw De today, but I was too busy trying to avoid tears and fear to acknowledge any of this.  Now that things have slowed (I’m just sitting watching TV with L), my head is filling with all the things I’ve been frantically pushing away (and then some).

I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t know what I’m good at.  I have no way to make money or to help alleviate the pressure on L.  I have no useful skills.  De was trying to get me to come up with some way to structure my days, but even that instills trepidation.  I don’t want to commit to volunteering because I don’t think I can keep up with the gas commitment even if I can manage to keep my emotions in check to allow me to go in every day.  Everything is far here, everything requires driving, which requires money, which I don’t have.  Hobbies require money. Hanging with friends requires money (and friends)…  All of this I don’t have.  So whatever.  I have to suck it up and just deal with crap.  I have to ignore it, or breathe through it, or something.  Back to running through the fog trying to avoid all the road blocks.

 


well that was a first…

for the first time in my entire history, I spaced on a therapy appointment today.  I never miss appointments without extenuating circumstances, and never simply because I forgot, except for today.  I was sitting there bopping to my music and making jewelry when my phone rings (rudely interrupting my very bad singing).  I recognize the number as the one De calls in from, so I answer, still thinking nothing of it.  We get through our greeting, and then she tells me I had an appointment with her today.  She said she was wondering what happened because I call even if I’m only going to be 5 minutes late.  In my defense, we have had our weekly meetings on Fridays since the holidays.  I apologized to her and promised nothing was wrong, but I just forgot that we had switched to Thursday this week.  Luckily, she has time tomorrow.  This would have been the last appointment before a 3 week break.  I’m still kicking myself.  Either I’ve got nothing urgent to talk about, or I’m in massive denial about the stress next week’s changes mean (or some combination of both).  Mostly, I think it’s denial.  Next week, L and I head up north.  I will be going for 6 days, but she will be staying up there to try to get us re-established.  We have not packed much beyond 2 boxes.  there’s still laundry to do, and plans to be made for how to get myself and the “kids” back there… and there’s no plan for how my days will be spent once I no longer have L around to pass the time.  We are refusing to look at all this stuff, because it’s hugely scary (but also exciting).  We don’t have the best track record for cross-country moves that actually accomplish what we set out to do.  So now what?  Panic has yet to set in.  Even a sense of urgency might be helpful (less than a week…). I also have yet to “realize” that today’s session with J was our final one.  It was the same as all the others.  I didn’t make much of an effort to say goodbye, though I know I should have.  The only thing different this time was that we hugged before leaving, and we did not make any further appointments or plans to meet up.  I’m sure it will all hit at some point either this week, or when I get back on the 20th to find that “normal” no longer is.

Too many goodbyes recently.  I don’t like it.  Too much loss coming up and resurfacing.  I’m trying not to realize that we effectively re-homed one of our cats (the one who is miserable here and much prefers living with the older couple down the street).  The loss of Twiggy hit again today when a box of her specialized food arrived from the vet today.  I guess they automatically send out “samples” of the specialized food when the test results warrant it.  Too bad it’s 2 weeks too late… I miss Twig.  I know she was hurting a lot before she was put to sleep, but I still miss her presence in the house.  It’s ok to miss the ones you love, even if their passing is for the better. And now I will miss Danny too, though he is still alive.

So I’ve spent my days obsessing with jewelry-making, art, and spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need because it’s easier than dealing with crap that is about to slam us.  I’m playing games on the computer and on my phone that I have not touched in weeks.  I make every effort to leave the house when I can get away with it.  I throw myself in to everything but the things that need addressing.  Heck, I’m even working on random therapy stuff to avoid dealing with other, more looming, more frightening things.  J has a quote she has told us many times in the last 2 months: “if you are just scared, you don’t want it enough. if you are just excited, you already have it, if you are both scared and excited, it’s worth it” (or that’s the gist of it).  I think I’ve draped a thick blanket over everything because I’m neither consciously scared or excited about this, I’m simply going with it because that is what we have decided to do, and there is no real other option.  If I look into myself hard enough, I see the fear and the excitement I’m trying so hard to ignore.  I catch glimpses of it in the tears of loss, and the avoidance.  I notice it in my drive to push every thought of it out of my head (because, really, who wants to realize that within the week they will be separated from their significant other for several months, or think of having to uproot everything they cultivated in the last 18 months).  I throw myself into anything and everything that enables me to push the thoughts away.  It will catch up real soon, but for now, I rival the skill-set of those most versed in denial and avoidance.


bits of progress

Today started out slow enough, but then L convinced me that we needed to start packing.  We got through a bunch of the stuff in the bedroom.  It doesn’t really look like a dent was made, but we did a lot of work.  There’s still a lot to be done though.  Tomorrow will be spent cleaning the house because a friend is coming for a few days.  Then we resume packing.

We were invited  over to one of Lisa’s co-worker’s house for dinner.  We introduced her family to the game “Apples to Apples” and a fun night was had by all.  I think as we were leaving they mentioned having to go buy it for themselves.  It’s a fun way to get to know people and still not have to talk too much (works amazing for those of us who get anxious talking to new people).  Then, if you already know your competitors, you can have a blast trying to convince them to pick your card.  (They also have a kids version. There is a second game with similar rules, but a bit more crude if you are into that.  I was shocked the first time I played it, but it really can be quite amusing if you remember to keep the humor).

Anyway, I’m off to try to sleep now.  Hope you all have a good night.

 


spent

I know De and I met today, and we talked about a lot of stuff, but I’ve already lost the specifics.  I had gone in feeling spent, and the session just intensified the feeling.  I remember playing with playdoh and what I made, but I don’t really remember the content.  I know when we talked about remembering things, I made an elephant without realizing it.  When we switched the topic to moods, I ended up with a creature face that matched the mood we happened to be talking about at the moment… I noticed all these things because I was not really making them on purpose, just ended up with them as we were talking.  I made sure to take mental note of the connections, but I am not totally sure she noticed them.

I returned home spent and tired.  I took a 2 hour nap, then had a heavy conversation with mom.  I remain spent all day.  I just feel drained and out of “fight”.  There’s only so long I can go defending myself and standing up for myself before I lose steam.  Today took everything out of me.  I don’t even want these stupid beers I opened and inherited (L did not like hers, so now I have 2)…


why is it not ok?

Why is it frowned-upon to cut a family member out of your life if they cause nothing but grief?  Why is it not accepted that I no longer want to speak to my father or hear about him, or have him anywhere near me?  We have a long history of disappointments and abuse.  I don’t need to have that in my life anymore.  I have made the decision to not speak to him or see him.  Why is that considered selfish?  I had a long conversation with my mom today about him. Several times, she tried to convince me that I should “forgive” (not her word, but the gist of what she meant) him and not be so staunch in my refusal to see him or have him visit.  I tried to make my point that we are now all adults.  For me, this is a self-preservation thing.  I no longer want him in my life because he has proven time and time again that he is only ever thinking of himself.  She tried to convince me to “just ignore him”, but why should I set myself up for stress and frustration? Why should I allow myself to be put into another abusive situation.  Mom and I agreed to disagree.  She is also an adult and can do as she wishes with her personal relationships.  If she wants to keep bringing him into her life, so be it, but I will not allow him to continue to damage mine.  He has been nothing but hateful towards my family and friends.  I don’t need that in my life.  To me, chosen family is often times much stronger and more valuable than “blood” family (at least when it comes to my dad and his bitch of a sister).  There is no expectation to stick around through abuse and disrespect, but for whatever reason, there is with “blood” relatives.  I don’t accept that.  If you are hurtful to me and the people/things I care about, you are out of my life. I will not be bullied back into that relationship because now I do know better and I do have a choice.


Disappointed in myself

Do you ever wonder how you got to a  particular space in life? What triggered the change? What prompted you to think the change was good, or even acceptable?
I realized just moment’s ago that I’m the reason our cat doesn’t want to come home.  Somewhere along the way I made it acceptable to be anything but loving. I wasn’t nice to him or kind to him when redirecting his behavior. I listened to someone when they said that fear was the only motivator he would comprehend. I became my father… I know better. I know that fear only motivates resentment and more fear. I know that’s not how people or animals should be treated, and yet I fell into that trap without even thinking about it. Once again, I am a person I despise.
Time to change that. Time to take a hard look at myself and put my foot down with myself. I refuse to continue to be this way. I refuse to have my animals scared of me… I’m sorry kitty. I didn’t mean to be an asshole. I didn’t mean to change into this. I didn’t mean to be my parents (because somewhere along the way my mom picked up my dad’s habits so, she too is like him, despite knowing better)…