Tag Archives: moving

2am… (not the Anna Nalick song, though that’s now going through my head)

Woke up around 1 because it was too hot in here, now not able to get back to sleep. I’m stressing about our amount of stuff and where to put it all. I think a lot will head to storage. I thought we would be able to get rid of our unit, but it’s not looking like it. Even if we purge the items we have and don’t need/use, we still have a bunch of stuff.

The shipping container with our stuff from my mom’s house arrived today. I only cleared out a small portion of it but the apartment is full… help arrives later today to unpack the heavy things. Gulp! I really need to clear out the area where the snake cages will go so we can get those set up and out of the way. Then I think the rest of the big things will fall into place around it all. One of our bedroom closets smells heavily of cigarette smoke from the apartment next door. We have decided to use the living room closet instead for clothing and use that closet for tools and art supplies. We will also be putting both air purifiers into the bedroom, with the smaller one in that closet… neither of us smoke, and both find the stale smoke smell pretty gross. Hoping the air purifiers do their job.

We had an old friend over tonight. He brought his gf. It was nice to spend an extended time with friends (and without being in a muscle relaxer fog). I’m finding I am as isolated here as I was at my mom’s house, only here it’s just me during the day. L has a crazy work schedule. I’m not quite sure how she keeps up with it. I think when all is said and done, she ends up working close to 60 hours a week. Hopefully with me starting up at a former job again, she will be able to drop down to the one f/t job (which itself is almost 50 hours)…

After having met with Dr C last week, I’m questioning my self-assessment. I really need to ask her if she thinks I’m as messed up as I worry she thinks I am. I know I have a tendency to read into things based on my own perceptions, so I really need that reality check next time I meet with her. There’s so much more I’m finding I have no memory of (between anecdotes from L and from our friend, I’m finding I have gaps in time from as recent as right before I moved back to my mom’s house… though even L was saying she didn’t remember everything the friend was talking about tonight). I dunno… I know there were times at mom’s that flew by or I don’t remember, but it was easily explained. Aside of the triggered times with De, most of that time was spent lost on the internet. I think mom would have mentioned if anything noteworthy happened. Definitely need to ask Dr C about some of this stuff.

I know I was really distracted today when the landlord’s son came by with a key we had asked for. I felt bad about how inattentive I was when we talked. I’m normally more outgoing and genuine. I was just so distracted about the pod arriving, my head was in a million different places at the time. I know I felt disconnected when talking to him, and actually felt kinda dismissive and like a jerk. I didn’t mean to be. :/

Does anyone else get such a different perception of things? Does your reality match up with what others report? I find myself checking in with others more often than not these days. I don’t trust my perceptions anymore, and I’ve gotten into the habit of asking if what I’m feeling or thinking is accurate to the situation. It started as something I only did with therapists, but lately it’s spilling out to friends and family. Sometimes I even do it with strangers (which I assume gets me a few weird looks). I guess it’s better than over-reacting to something that’s actually innocuous.

Anyway, enough middle-of-the-night ramblings from me. Hope you all are having a good weekend. Send us good unpacking vibes, and no rain on Sunday or Monday vibes please! The pod leaves again Tuesday, so everything has to be out of it (slight cartoon freak-out moment over how soon that actually is).


this past week

So, I managed to get in to see Dr. C on Monday. It was weird, awkward. I didn’t know how to answer her questions. I was too stuck on the functioning, “everything’s good” side of things to be able to access and verbalize much of the more difficult parts of the past 3 years. I noticed myself telling her things in a very detached and scattered manner. I jumped around and skipped things and back-tracked. A few times I told her I didn’t really know how to answer her questions. What I really meant was that I didn’t know how to answer them succinctly. I told her the truth of the moment, which was pretty watered-down and wrapped in that happy newness post-move.

It was weird because I didn’t feel as comfortable with her as I had prior to leaving. I guess I expected to be able to pick up where I left off (in terms of trust and comfort-level). That’s not how it is shaping up… She did make a few comments that caught me off-guard though. One happened when I was telling her about my reaction to reading the records provided for the disability determination. She said something along the lines of me trying hard to present one way, while still having all this darkness underneath (accurate point). The other happened when I told her that my inner child had left after starting to tell TM more about the newer flashbacks/memories. Dr. C called my inner kid a “personality”. That threw me. I never saw her as one. To the best of my knowledge, she never took over or anything like that. She was just a kid that lived in my head. She was ok to love and care for and protect. She was just a construct of my head though. She was a vessel for that other ickiness… Yeah, she felt really separate and distinct from me, but more of a character that I had lost creative control over than another personality… I dunno. The thought of her as another “real” person makes me uncomfortable; like if she really was, then I am even more “off” about my projected image vs. reality.

Anyway, at the end of session, she brought up the women’s group I had been in (LKB had suggested I attend the group back when I was still seeing her as an individual therapist). She asked if I was interested in joining it again. Apparently, it has dwindled to 2 of the original members. I agreed to join back up. It was good to see the old group members again. It was nice to catch up. I again found myself at a loss for what or how to say the things that had transpired in the past 3 years. My cheery, happy face was on and I had almost no connection to anything that wasn’t “good”.

Anyway, that was Monday & Tuesday. By Wednesday, the “newness” of being back had started to wear off. I find myself easily bored, though my sleep is a bit better. It’s more regulated by the natural rhythm of the days. I go to sleep when L does (rarely later than 11), and I wake up with the sun (which happens to be about 6am at the moment). Most of our stuff is still in transit. It gets here tomorrow afternoon. Finally!! I had forgotten to put my sneakers into the car, so I have not been able to take the dogs for any longer walks or hikes through the woods. Flip flops just are not conducive to hiking uneven terrain, or even to longer walks on flat surfaces. So they have pretty much stayed in the apartment. Hopefully next week I can get out on some of the trails with them.

I must say, I really miss the beach though. And it’s been chilly here: only the mid to upper 70’s. I’ve been used to the mid to upper 90’s for better part of every year these past few years. Brr!

I’m so glad our stuff will be here tomorrow though. I can’t wait to get things more situated, and to be able to get back to my art. I’ve done a bit with L’s supplies, but there is no real table set up yet. Once everything is placed, I’ll feel better about spending time on my art again. I miss it. I will have to look into local classes…

I have yet to call TM with the update. I thought to call her on Wednesday, but I was feeling too needy that day, so I refrained. I don’t want to turn my update into a support session. I just want to be able to let her know I’m here and settling in. I also kinda wanted to get her take on what Dr. C had said (or more correctly, her take on my reaction to what Dr. C had said), but thought maybe I should clarify with Dr. C first. If I wait for that though, I won’t be calling TM for over a week since Dr. C is on vacation next week. Though maybe TM could provide me with a reality check while Dr. C is gone. I dunno. I guess I’ll just take it as it comes.


Dear TM…

Dear TM,

Everything inside is collapsing, but I’m pushing through. I keep remembering you telling me to just power through these next few days and everything will settle more after the move. I wish I had recorded that conversation, because I could really use actually hearing it again right now.

not my image…

 

I want to cry and scream and break things. And I want to jump for joy. And I want to hide in your office and find comfort in your presence. And I want to go to the beach & take it in again before leaving. And I want to destroy myself. I want all these very opposite things all at once. I hate that I feel things so strongly, with very little idea of how to moderate them. I wish the feelings were not so intense. I swear I never grew out of that little kid stage where every negative emotion feels like it will kill me. It’s all so intense right now. If I’m not walling it off and numbing it out, it’s eating me alive.

I’m doing it though. I’m powering through without totally self-destructing. I’m keeping the sh in check. I’m reaching out to friends and family… Just have to make it through this weekend and the move.

I go back to see Dr. C on the 13th. I have to figure out how to catch her up on everything that’s happened in the last 2.5 years. I almost want to ask her for a longer session so I can get it all out at once (because I don’t think I’ll be able to see her again till August due to finances). I’m really hoping she will be around for a while. I think she is planning on retiring this year. I’m not looking forward to that. I don’t want to have to keep saying goodbye… :/ At least I know her and trust her. That will be good to go back to. I’m sure there will be an adjustment period, and I’ll have to refresh her memory on stuff, but it won’t be as bad as totally starting fresh.

Trying to remember to breathe…

I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to maintain contact so badly when I’m leaving (but not being able to). I have not wanted to be friends with an ex-t in SO long… well, not friends, but I want you to still be in my life. Only I know even if I were staying we would have ended b/c I was crashing. This sucks. If I win the lottery ever, I will donate some to you guys with the suggestion that you work with clients for longer once again, and be able to provide more supportive services. Trust is SO hard. To have to build it time and time again in short order just keeps replaying all those childhood hurts. But you said you understood that, so I don’t really need to tell you so much as I need to tell the county… 😦

Anyway, I’ll shut up now. It’s not like you will ever see this. I hope you have a good weekend, and enjoy margaritas on your patio (did we ever talk about my margarita obsession? because when you mentioned it I did a double-take… fresh Lime in the Coconut margaritas are my favorites… another thing I will miss about here). L comes down Sunday, and we have already slated in margarita nights before leaving… I wish you could have met her (and she you)…

Anyway, yeah… I miss you a lot, but that call the other day helped a ton. Gonna keep reminding myself of all you said. Thank you for being so nice…

pieces,
sj


Sundowning is not just an institutional thing

As soon as the sun goes down, my panic skyrockets and my flashbacks pick up stronger. They build each other up cyclically. The panic increases the flashbacks which increases the panic which increases the flashbacks and around it goes… add into the mix that the flashbacks trigger the self harm urges, which also feed into the loop, and I’m a mess shortly after dark.

The anxiety and terror around going to bed are back again too. If I’m in bed before the sun goes down, it’s not so bad (even if I’m up afterwards). It’s when the sun goes down and I’m not in the bedroom that the panic hits really hard about returning to the room… and the flashbacks, and the terror, and the self harm urges…

I’m really hoping it will ease up once L is here, and again once the move is over.

On a cute note, our great niece is already packing for a sleepover at our new apartment… L tried to tell her we won’t even be there for another week, but she’s getting prepared anyway. Once she’s got her mind set on something, there’s no stopping her.  Gotta love kids ❤


found some comfort

So, TM doesn’t hate me.

She doesn’t think I’m a worthless, annoying, frustrating piece of shit.

I didn’t piss her off by calling for support the other day.

She returned my call and even said I could call her back to talk.

She was patient and kind and reassuring when I did. It was during her lunch, but she didn’t rush me.

She reminded me that there’s only a few days left anyway. Either I will be all set for the move or I won’t be, but it won’t be the end of the world.

She’s all for me going out with my friend tonight for one last trivia night. Her enthusiasm over that made it much easier to tell my friend I’ll be there.

She didn’t say much of anything particularly inspiring or profound, but she managed to say what I needed to hear: that she know’s I’m struggling with this; it’s ok that I’m struggling with it; and it will all be ok soon (for whatever reason, it sinks in when she says it, but it feels merely obligatory when L says it…).

 

Dr. C does not hate me either.

She doesn’t think I’m a worthless, annoying, frustrating piece of shit.

She scheduled an appointment with me for after the move despite me being so needy before even officially returning to her.

She has seen me at my worst, and is still willing to take me back as a client.

 

I get to hang out with M&B tonight.

M & I have known each other forever, and she still likes me.

B likes me by default I think… at least, he puts up with me.

I’m really gonna miss them when I go, but tonight we will kick ass on trivia.

Some friends will be there forever; M is one. I’m really lucky to call her a friend ❤

 

L will be here in less than 4 days!

I will physically see my wife again for the first time in 7 months!!!! 😀

I don’t know who will be happier: me, the kids, or L… I think maybe the kids, b/c there’s 4 of them, and they have not see her at all since she left last May. They get super-excited when someone returns from getting the mail, and that takes less than a minute. I’m sure they will not know how to contain themselves when L arrives.

 

 

 


Need help getting unstuck. Ideas?

Any words of wisdom or motivation? I can’t seem to get unstuck at the moment. I have not been able to pack in the last 4 days… it’s crunch time. There’s so much to be done, but no amount of talking to myself, lecturing myself, yelling at myself, or trying to express any of this is helping with it right now.
I’ve tried being gentle, I’ve tried being motivational, I’ve tried bribing myself, I’ve even tried guilting myself, but I feel frozen.
Maybe dragging myself out of the house would give me some sort of pattern interrupt to get me moving again? I dunno. Maybe the beach would recharge me?
I can’t talk about being stuck without crying (and that’s if I can even find the words) I can’t pack without crying and freezing… I tried reaching out to a variety of supports without being able to get relief or a break in this heaviness.
I resorted to leaving TM a message asking for some support. It was a boundary I didn’t want to cross, but I’m running out of ideas. I told her that I wouldn’t pick up if she called back so that she wouldn’t have to waste more than a few moments on a message. The other reason behind that is that I’m not confident of being able to actually speak with her if I answered. As soon as I open my mouth, I start to cry. Even with L last night, I couldn’t get words out around any of this…
I hate all the emotions this anniversary brings up. I hate that it’s now compounded by the move (or the move is made more difficult by this anniversary. Both are accurate ways of looking at it)…
I just need to be able to function long enough to get things done. I need something to work to make me functional.


One bucket list item done

We interrupt your normal read now to bring you this special report.

With the date of the move a mere 8 days away, I’ve decided I need to hurry up with my bucket list of things to do here before leaving.

Yesterday I text a friend whom I’ve gone field herping with, and who said he knew of a spot where we could find chameleons in the wild (though they are not a native species here, some pockets of populations exist). We made an impromptu trip to said spot.

Within the first 20 feet, I spotted a chameleon! It was a young female

image

Both of us were crazy-giddy at having found one. For me, it was a “lifer” (a herp I desperately wanted to find in situ). I used to own chameleons. They are my absolute favorite lizard of all time. I can’t express how excited I was to find one 😀

The rest of the night was uneventful. I think too many people know of that spot because she was the only one we encountered. But it was totally worth it. We also found a corn snake, several species of bugs, and a boar skull in a bucket (I’m guessing someone killed the thing and wanted to have the skull cleaned by bugs, so they left it in the field and will come back for it at a later date)…

Anyway, just wanted to share the chameleon find. It totally made my weekend!

Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming 😉


moving + shitty anniversary + stress + pms = crying every other second

yeah. that.

I hate crying, yet I can’t seem to stop.

I really wish I still had TM’s support this week.


venting

I can’t seem to stop crying. This move is what my wife and I have been working towards for three years, but it still hurts. And it’s all right at the same time as a really crappy anniversary. It just sucks. I’m not sure where to turn for real-life support around any of it. I’m not even sure what I would want or need as support. No one seems to be able to understand that it sucks as much as it does (I’m not sure even I totally get why it hurts so much). Everyone thinks I should just be happy that I’m back with my wife (which I totally am!), but there’s also this anniversary of my aunt’s death (she was the safe place to go when my dad got out of control), and losing her house, and having to re-home one of my cats as well as say goodbye to my mom & her critters, and leaving my friends, and having to have said goodbye to TM… and I’m pms’ing, which ALWAYS makes everything a million times harder.

It’s weird, because my ptsd got so much worse when I moved here, but the thought of leaving the week after next is also really triggering. I feel like I’m leaving my mom to an abusive situation again (did that at 17 when I couldn’t stay at my home any longer b/c of my dad), though this time she lives alone – there isn’t any current abuse, but it still *feels* the same, and I don’t know how to shake that feeling. I was never good at protecting her or taking care of her as a kid, and I’m no better at it as an adult. I feel like a little kid again. Writing it out here though, I’m realizing it’s probably mostly the old stuff, and it’s kinda helping to recognize that.

Yesterday I gave in and went out with friends for our usual Wednesday night trivia at a local restaurant. I should not have gone out and spent money, but I want to get all the time in with them that I can. It took me 10 minutes to walk into the place though. I couldn’t stop crying in the car. On the way home, I tore out of the parking lot and cried again when I got back into my driveway. I know I won’t lose touch with my friend b/c we’ve been friends since middle school. We just keep finding each other and catching up, but it’s another loss at a time when so many are already very prominent.

I haven’t cried this much since ending with De this same time last year. I hate it. I don’t know how not to be overwhelmed by this. I have to keep it together though. I have to sort through all my crap and pack it up and wrap up loose ends. All I want to do is either hide in bed and cry, or go to the beach and ignore the move (still trying to figure out how to get more beach time in before I leave).

I’m really hating that I don’t have a therapist to talk to right now. I could call Dr. C, but I need to ask her if I can skip a payment on my old bill next month. I don’t want to have to simultaneously ask for extra help from her when I know I can’t pay for it in the moment… I’m kinda mad the stupid IOP was so triggering. It would have been nice to be able to process some of this stuff. It’s easier to be rambling and directionless in my whining in a setting like that where it’s somewhat expected. And it would be ok to whine and ask for support. I don’t know how to do that with people in my life. I’m supposed to know what I’m asking for, and how to ask for it, and how to do it on my own before even asking. That’s just what society expects. That way you are not really asking for anything, just acknowledging that you are stuck. People don’t have to be made uncomfortable by not knowing what to do (even if all you need is for them to listen and care so you can just get the jumbled mess out of your head)…

I’m really glad to be back with my wife soon, but I wish the change wasn’t happening on the stupid anniversary. A month earlier or later would have been a bit easier (later, I’m guessing, would have been easiest b/c things always get easier once the anniversary passes… and I might have had TM’s support through that day). July 7th has not been easy at all since being down here. At least up north, some years I wouldn’t even know it was coming up. Down here though, the distress over it hits hard more than a month before, and it just keeps getting worse as the day nears. For the past 2 years, it’s also been the time I have to say goodbye to my therapist, so there’s no reliable support around getting through it. 😦

I’m so tired of all this. It needs to get better again up north. I don’t have the energy to keep going through this all the time.

Sorry. I don’t know how not to be so needy right now.


rollercoaster

moves can be such an upheaval, even if they are wanted and happy…

I go through bouts of panic, or intense sadness, or both.

I want to hide and cry, but I am trying to pack…

I want to break things (but I don’t really, just feeling very broken inside)… so I purge things and pack the rest.

progress is happening. slow, but happening.

“in tomorrow’s light, things will look a lot less frightening” – Lily Kershaw, Maybe


:(… last session with TM

Said goodbye to TM today… It was a good session, but I didn’t really say any of what I had hoped to tell her.

We colored and did pictures. It was good. I’ve spent the rest of the day feverishly sorting and packing… and I may or may not have utilized alcohol as a coping skill as well.

I can’t believe the move is in 2 weeks. I have exactly 14 days to get my shit together. It’ll happen, but I may panic a few more times along the way.

I keep wishing I had said more to TM today. I keep trying to find the right words so I could at least leave her a message, but I don’t have the words. I mentioned as much to her today; that I don’t know how to say thank you and convey the totality of what that means… and I didn’t ask her for a hug, though I really wanted to. I again couldn’t find the words. She had all this stuff in her hands, and I had stuff in mine and… well, I didn’t ask. She even asked if there was anything else, and I just said “no”. We had already gone a few over, and I didn’t want to keep her longer in the hallway as I struggled to form the question.

I did ask if it would be ok to call and update her though, and she said that she would like that.

Sometimes I really hate the finite nature of a therapeutic relationship. I’m also aware though, that it wouldn’t be as safe without the boundaries in place. It just sucks at times like these…

 


reality is sinking in slowly

I managed some sorting and packing today. I only packed maybe 3 boxes, but there was a bunch more sorting happening. I now have 4 bags plus one box of donations…

My back had it though. I was going to continue, but it put its foot down. I stepped and tweaked something, so I came to have dinner and sit for the evening. It has since stopped twingeing.

I keep having moments of panic around this move. The dogs certainly are feeling anxious. Mom’s dog is incredibly antsy and hyper. The others are starting to pace. Crusher has not been through a move with me, but the other 3 have gone through several… I think mom is also feeling the reality of the move (It’s only like 2.5 weeks away! Que Daffy Duck-esque freak out). There’s just something different about her… I’m trying not to cry too often and too heavily over this. I’m afraid if I let go too much, I will fall completely to pieces. The loss is too compounded and too huge.

I’m also seeing the notation on my calendar that next week is it with TM… 😦 Fuck. I like her. She “gets” me. She’s been able to decode my communication relatively quickly, and she’s up-front about things… She has a way of blending the professional side with the broken side. As much as I’m psyched to be returning to Dr C, I’m sad to be leaving TM. ::sigh::

Ok, gotta do something else now because tears are about to flow uncontrollably. Stuffing in progress…


Sudden freak-out moment

I was up early this morning. I normally am awake, but in bed for several hours before I actually get up. This morning I physically got out of bed before 6:30am. I sat on the patio with the dogs and drank my coffee… the problem with that though, is the panic over this move and the losses kicked in earlier in the day. I did my online stuff already and it’s not even 10 am. I’ve finished all the distractions that normally get me through to 1 pm… now there’s time to think. I really don’t want to think. I don’t want to remember that everything changes in 3 weeks. I don’t want to remember that next week is my last session with TM. I don’t want to tackle the giant task of sorting things, packing them, and moving them. I don’t want to think about the fact that I feel people see my animals as disposable. I don’t want to be aware of any of the losses or changes coming up… and I don’t want to cry.

I suddenly feel very needy today. I want to be a little kid and not worry about anything, only I’m worried about everything.

Maybe if I get the dogs up-&-at-’em, their craziness will provide a distraction for the time being. I could do mani-pedis and give the little guy the haircut he so desperately needs. Then maybe I can clean out the snake cages I’m hoping to sell before the move… and… I don’t know. Hoping that provides enough distraction and draining to allow this panic to abate.


Another Friday night, another fun journal class

I may or may not kick myself tomorrow because I may or may not have purchased another art journal tonight. There was a sale though. And a coupon. So… yeah. I had to get it. It was way cheap! (I’m really just trying to justify the expense when I had no business spending. We need to save every penny for this move…).

Anyway, went to the class tonight. We played with spray inks. While I miss having the longer class to be able to do something more than a background, I think I like what came out of today.

The first page was done with dylusion & Heidi Swapp spray inks using commercially available stencils. The second page was done using the home-made fabric dye inks and my fall-back black printer ink with a home-made mask and some commercially available stencils. I really actually like both pages a lot. The second page got more attention tonight, so it was a bit more finished. Not at all sure what I will be putting on the blue/purple/yellow page. I’m sure I will figure it out though.

wpid-20150612_204702.jpg wpid-20150612_213110.jpg

 

 

The nipples were totally an accident, but they had us cracking up 😉 I had picked up the mask and just wasn’t able to move it from the page fast enough for it to not drip… :shrugz: it works.

I’m really going to miss my friend and her classes. I was struggling with body memories today. The usual distractions at home did not help. Going to the class and engaging not only with the art, but also the others in the class helped lessen them however. They returned when I returned home but they were not as intense. I’m going to have to make sure I find something like this up north. It won’t be the same, but hoping it will help just the same.


Changes…

Change is hard. I’m finding myself more and more uneasy as the move gets closer. I’m avoiding anything to do with it at a more desperate pace. It’s weird. So much positive is coming out of this move, yet there’s this huge fear.

There are expectations when I go back. It feels like they are too much. Yes, I know I was functioning relatively well when I left. I was competent and (mostly) together. I could do (or fake) a whole bunch of stuff. Now though? Now I can barely get out of bed. The days are more rocky then stable. The fake feels too forced… all the losses I never came to terms with the first time I left here are going to have to be dealt with this time around. I’m scared of that.

While I had built distance and walls and a life up there, it all fell apart down here. I’m sure I can get back to a more balanced space, but right now I’m indulging my fear for a few moments. I’m letting the anxiety come in hopes that it will leave again. Emotions are supposed to be like waves after all. They are supposed to hit, peak, then dissipate. Only I find mine hit hard, take forever to peak at impossibly high levels, dissipate, but then are quickly followed by another wave. Kinda like trying to swim in the ocean during a hurricane that never leaves…

Anyway. Yeah. I can do this. o_O


IOP fail

Wow that was triggering. Not only did the staff not have it together (no one knew why I was there or where to send me), but it’s on the second floor of a locked psych hospital. I needed to be buzzed in the front door, leave my belongings, buzzed in through another set of doors, buzzed up the stairs… it was worse on the way out. There were 5 locked doors to get through that way.

Over the phone I was told it would be a 2-hour appointment: first filling out intake paperwork, then a meeting with the program director. When I got there, I learned they expected me to stay the whole first day. I mentioned that I needed to go after 2 hours because that was all I had alloted per the phone conversation last week. It was also all the time I paid for at the parking lot…

There was a ton of miscommunication and misunderstanding before I even set foot in the door. The groups were rowdy and loud (a huge trigger when I’m already anxious), and everyone spoke over everyone else. Oh, and the only bathroom was a single occupancy room with entries from both group rooms. I hate going to the bathroom anyplace but home. It makes me very anxious. Having people know and hear me pee? Even worse…

I was so glad to be able to get out.  There is no way in hell I’m returning there. I left 2 hours ago and still am trying to center & calm myself. I keep looking around the house to remind myself I’m home.

I left TM a quite panicked message upon leaving, begging her to tell me I never had to go back…

I think I need to call them. I will tell them I changed my mind, and ask them to shred my paperwork… the move should be enough of a distraction at this point (I hope). And I won’t bug TM after tomorrow either. She shouldn’t have to put up with me just because this IOP was more triggering than therapeutic…


Dear TM…

Dear TM,

Now you are seeing the hopeless mess that I can become. I don’t like that you will remember me this way. I don’t like that we are ending on this note. I’d prefer you to think of me as someone who can figure shit out and make it in life (coz someone needs to believe that about me. I certainly don’t)…

I’ve put up walls b/c I need you to be a stranger right now. I need to be able to leave without feeling completely crushed about all the losses. It’s not just you I have walls up around. It’s the house, and the state, and mom, and the dog and cats, and art time with my friend, & everything… I’m only going to allow myself to miss the beach. That is all. Everything else is too raw and too painful.

I still want to ask if it would be ok if I called you once I’m settled again… I was going to ask if I could call you on the anniversary day, but it will end up being the day we leave. I will need to concentrate on driving and hanging with the wife… I hope she knows she will have to do the first leg of the journey, the one that gets us out of the driveway and away from this neighborhood. I’m not sure how to say goodbye to all this…

Maybe the IOP will work out? I’m not getting my hopes up, because I don’t have faith in them billing for copays, but at least I can go to the intake without having to pay anything that day. Then we can go from there. The little kid in me wants to keep seeing you as much as I can before I go, but the other part of me sees the heaviness of the depression and knows I would be better off with more support…

I really have no idea what I’m doing, but I know I will come out the other side. I always do.

Please don’t actually hate me, just maybe let me think you do for the moment.

Pieces,

sj


doh!

I forgot my new insurance has high copays. Trying to check with the hospital whether or not they can bill me for that. If they can’t, it’s no longer an option. I can’t afford $120-$250 a week for a program (depending on the number of days and level of programming, I’d either be paying $40/day for 3-4 days of IOP or $50/day for 5 days of PHP)… I can barely scrounge even $20 at the end of the month after bills and obligations, forget what it would cost for treatment.

I had hoped the hospital program would call me back today so I could cancel early if it’s going to cost that much, but the lady didn’t return my call. She’s supposed to call tomorrow to confirm my attendance on Monday, so I will ask her then.

On a positive note, L signed the lease for the apartment earlier today. It’s more and more official. I need to start getting moving on packing and paring down our stuff…

 


jewlery-making as distraction

grounding braceletsI made a handful of grounding bracelets today… I started making one for TM, then made another for her and couldn’t decide which I want to give. Then I just kept going. Made 6 in total, and a necklace. I would have made more, but I am out of toggle clasps. Listed everything on etsy except the two choices for TM.

Now that the distractions are up, all I want to do is cry.

Made some progress on the move front yesterday by reserving a pod (so we don’t have to worry about towing our stuff. in the long run, it ends up costing about the same). We have no place to move to, but hopefully the apartment L applied for will be approved with all 3 dogs. If not, we will keep looking… The hope provided by the apartment possibility is wearing off now. The depression is looming huge and dark. I’m so tired of this.

Add to all that now saying goodbye to TM 2 weeks before we had planned and I’m a puddle. I go through the motions. I function (barely), but I’m not feeling anything but heaviness. I guess tomorrow I will call at least one of the three referrals she gave me yesterday. TL might still work there. If she does, and it would be ok, maybe I could see her again till I leave. It would help going back to someone I know even if it’s a different organization.

There’s so much stuff I know I need to do asap around the house, but I just can’t… The little dog is starting to grow dreads. He desperately needs a bath and haircut. I just don’t have the energy. The reptile room also needs spot-cleaning, but again, no energy.

How do you treat depression symptoms that neither meds nor behavioral therapy can touch anymore? I am still adamantly against ECT, so that will never be an option. What’s left?


o_O

This move is so anxiety-inducing… and then the decision around whether or not the anxiety and depression warrant a check-in call to TM today is anxiety-inducing. I think I will ask that it’s either scheduled, or that there isn’t a call expected, but that it be decided before I leave session either way. I’m leaning towards “I’ll call and leave you a message if I need to” but not set a day and time for a check-in call that may or may not happen. Having to make that decision (even though she said either choice would be ok) is worse than having to make a decision to simply leave her a message. I keep landing on the side of “this isn’t important enough to warrant a check-in”. It feels like a check-in would only be ok if it was something hugely impossible to get through (kinda like last week). This week is difficult, but not as bad as last week…

The depression is still really bad, but it’s manageable at the moment. Going out for a bit yesterday helped (so did that nap). The flashbacks are once again just “background noise” in my body. Though I would love to get them to stop completely, as well as this newer pain that comes with them, I don’t think it’s enough to bug her today… I can still change my mind for the next 2.5 hours, but at this point, I’m settling on “not gonna be annoying and needy”.

On another note, I don’t know why I thought that the happy memories timeline would be emotionally easier than the aversive memories one. There’s no real emotion attached to the happy memories, but they trigger more aversive memories that are connected to them in one way or another. Those negative memories definitely come with some serious emotions. :/

I keep telling myself I need to handle all this differently. I need to not be so triggered by it. I need to be able to deal with it without contacting TM. And then I cycle around to wondering what use trying to deal with all this is with only a few sessions left. I want to hide and put up walls and push TM away (or, push myself away). I don’t want to feel a need to talk to her about anything. I don’t want to find myself looking to her for support. I don’t want to feel like she is a safe person. I don’t want to trust her. I want to be able to walk away without looking back. I’m trying to prepare for this loss that will be huge when it shouldn’t be… Attachment and trust and safety are sticky and messy things for me. I’m not sure how to navigate them as easily as I should. It plants a lump squarely in my throat, and a huge weight into my chest.

The other day I had a lightbulb moment around why I cling so desperately to anyone I care about right before an immanent ending. I’m not really sure why didn’t realize this sooner. I was journaling when it suddenly jumped out of the screen at me: I pulled away from my aunt before she died. I didn’t spend much time with her in that last year she was sick. It was hard. She was cranky and mean from the chemo. I didn’t want to be around that, so I stopped going to see her. I stopped spending time with her. She was one of my favorite people, and I abandoned her because I couldn’t handle her being sick. Then one day, my parents tell me I should go see her because “she doesn’t have much time left”… I think I might have seen her 2 or 3 more times before she lost consciousness in her final week. Then the hospice nurse told us she was likely going to pass that night. Her body was giving up, it was out of fight. She was out of fight. So we spent several hours with her. We would talk to her, and hold her hand. And then it got late, so my mom, brother, and I left. She died later that night…

I felt cheated. And I was angry at myself for not having been there for her. I was mad that I had let my fear and anxiety win to push me away from “my other mother”… I think because of that regret, my reflex is to cling desperately to any relationship right before it’s over. Be it romantic or therapeutic, if I know it’s ending, I become annoying and needy and ever-present… I’m trying not to do that with TM. The only alternate though seems to be building huge walls and lots of distance. It’s another thing I can’t find a middle-ground with. I don’t know how to take an impending loss and not feel giant emotions around it. It was easy to recognize in the termination timing with De, but it’s been harder to put together when it wasn’t so obviously entangled. With De, termination came 6 days before the anniversary of K’s death. I would trip up and use K’s name with her. It was painfully obvious much of the gravity of emotion came from the first loss (and from the coinciding anniversary of my first suicide attempt, thought that came 13 years after K’s death)… Other losses have felt as huge, but never were that easy to put together. I’m not sure what prompted me connecting the dots with the impending loss of TM, but it finally clicked. I am well aware that most of the emotions going on right now are transference. Yes, I will miss TM. It was a good fit for the most part. I know though, that most of my issues with loss go further back… I know losing people I trust and feel safe with just picks at an old wound that never truly healed. 😦


Loss in any form is difficult, especially when you have not dealt with the past ones yet.

So I’ve had a few hours to sit with the concept of De leaving the agency.  I had cried about it (yup, actual tears spilling down my face. Not just tearing up, but real crying complete with gross boogers).  I was somewhat able to “talk” to L about it.  I have thought about it, and processed it, and moved past the anger (it was fleeting).  I’m in a weird flat place right now. If I think too hard or too long about it, I will cry again (have I mentioned I hate crying?).  So I’m concentrating on little things.  I’m concentrating on typing my words correctly (I’m sure there will be many mistakes, and I suck at proof-reading, always have).  I’m concentrating on keeping the dogs from going nuts because they are tired and want to get to bed.  I am taking breaks to take them outside one by one so I can finally put the boys to sleep.  I was concentrating on listening to my mom as she talked about how we may go about fixing the fridge.  I’m concentrating on the decision-making process of whether or not to start into Game of Thrones again tonight, or go with something easier, like Orange is the New Black, or Grey’s Anatomy or Dexter.  I’m concentrating on wanting to find a way to express myself either through art or writing, but certainly no more crying.

I’ve been able to formulate and articulate to L that this overwhelming loss I feel at the termination with De is really the compilation of losses that I have yet to deal with.  It goes back decades.  It’s disproportionate to the relationship because it is so much more than just this one relationship. It’s the loss of friends and family and memories and innocence.  It’s the loss of supports and home-bases.  It’s the loss of a sense of security.  And it’s the premature loss of someone I had expected to lose, but managed to trust anyway.  I am not good with loss.  I never have been.  Sure I can smile through changes, but the tears always glisten in my eyes.  This time they broke free.  I don’t know if was because of how worn-down I feel lately, the creeping depression, or the fact that De was the first (only) person to hear some really heavy stuff. I was prepared to walk away from this relationship at the time of my move.  I was expecting it to help keep me balanced as my stress rose.  Just last week I had asked her for more support.  This week it’s all going away much faster than I had thought.  It’s pointless to try to find another therapist for those last 6 weeks, so I guess I will have to just figure it out on my own (though I am toying with the idea of trying to get a referral to someone for those 6 weeks)… I know it will be ok, because it always is in the end, but right now it feels really shitty.

When she first told me, I couldn’t exactly speak. I was too busy trying to hold back the tears and the sobbing because I knew it was disproportionate to the situation.  My tears didn’t listen to my insistence.  They spilled down my cheeks anyway.  When she asked me to articulate what was going through my head at the moment, all I could muster was a half-whispered “whatever” through clenched teeth.  I was afraid that if I opened my mouth more than that to speak, I would either sob uncontrollably and loudly, or I would speak out of my fear-driven (and old) anger.  She challenged my “whatever” by saying that she knew this was hard for me, and she knew it wasn’t “whatever”.  All I could do was shake my head as more tears streamed down my face.  I couldn’t look at her, so I looked everywhere else in the office and just repeated “whatever” one more time.  We sat in silence for a bit longer as I looked everywhere but where she was sitting.  More rogue tears.  She asked if I could tell her what I was thinking, if self-harm urges came up.  I realised then that my head was frantically backpedaling in an attempt to halt all thought (much like pedaling backward on a BMX bike to brake).  There was a forced-stillness in my head.  Conscious thoughts had stopped.  All efforts were being diverted to stave off any melt-down beyond what had happened.  It struck me as odd that there were no self-harm thoughts or suicidal thoughts.  There just were no thoughts.  She eased into a verbal safety contract, and was able to joke around it, which helped pull me back into the room and back to functioning. When I stumbled over concepts as I tried to agree to what she was asking, she helped out by saying “Whatever you need to agree to to get back here in one piece next week is what we are going to agree to”.  In the past, she had always wanted specifics, but I don’t think I could have given those to her in the moment.  I think I recognized a bit of freedom in that change (and I think I just now recognized how the weight was off her this session.  It was familiar in that I had felt it after I had given notice at the group home, but still had to deal with the kids for 2 more weeks. I no longer cared about the strict rules of etiquette because I was leaving soon. I was able to be more genuine, and the girls had picked up on it with me.  I think that’s what I felt from De today.  It was a freedom from the pressure to be “perfect” in the role… It’s funny how some guidelines are in place to help us do our jobs better, but in the end we are burdened with the pressure to stay within the boundaries – we lose our genuineness…) but I digress.  We chatted about other things for the remainder of the session. She had asked something about letting “us” know if I ever figured out a way to apply my knowledge-base in psych to myself.  I think she was going to go somewhere else with that, but she stopped herself.  I talked about my complete inability to have access to both my emotional and intellectual sides at the same moment.  We talked about this blog, and how it had been born of the idea of being able to look at all of it over time (the more professional side of me when I am in a more emotional space, and the more emotional side of me when I am locked in professional mode).  I told her about an early entry on the concept of  “attention-seeking” and how it is not always as sinister-ly manipulative as the field makes it out to be…  I kept a close eye on the clock because I had brought my Wreck This Journal with me to show her.  With about 5 minutes left, I changed the topic to that.  She always seems genuinely interested in what I bring in, but this time there was something else again.  I showed her the piece with the prompt to “make a paper chain“.  She seemed excited about it.  It was weird because the excitement was different… I’m not sure how to describe it.  She said something along the lines of wishing she could show it to other people because it conveyed so much more than just words could. The way she said it made me feel like she was trying to make a point to someone.  I had wanted to tell her she could (I may have imagined it, but it looked like she was ready to get up and walk out of her office with the book. She scootched forward in her chair as she had said that about showing it to others), but I was caught off guard.  The words “you could” spun around in circles in my brain, but never made it to my tongue… We moved on to scheduling after she looked a bit more at my book.  She pondered the best way to fit in the second appointment.  I put my vote in for Tuesday & Friday citing my “OCD-ish tendencies” for wanting to space out the days a bit more. She actually laughed and said she prefered that for the same reason (more genuine-ness).  So I will be seeing her twice a week for the next few weeks until she leaves.  We will be figuring out the content of our sessions as we go.  She checked-in about the possibility of doing more Duckboy work on Tuesday, and would I be ok if she sprung it on me that day.  I told her I was open to whatever, but that I needed her to lead if it was the Duckboy stuff because I feel totally lost on what to do with it.  I think she was still deciding on how to approach Tuesday.  There are a lot of days between now and Tuesday, so my opinion may change, but for now I’m ok with pushing the assault topics.  I guess it depends on how far I get with this internal processing of her leaving instead of me leaving.  I may decide by Tuesday tha I really need to talk to her about some of this stuff and whatever else it will bring up.


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)…


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.


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.

 


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…)?


No words (WIP)

WIP…

image

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…