I’m trying not to cry so I’m keeping busy. The camping trailer is entirely together except for the board that will be cut to fit on Friday. Yay! I put the tent up. It is spacious and wonderful. My bossy neighbor (I appreciate the advice so much) came by and said “Scotchguard. Get you some.” So I will do that soon.
Today during babysitting time I will finish backing the pallets in the yard. Then I will get dirt from the nursery. Then I can fill in my new planter boxes that have been sitting there just kinda hanging out for months. They were finished before the elimination diet. I have not felt physically well enough to do anything about them since. Now that I’m eating pretty much anything and I’m exercising again (my ankle finally feels better after falling in October) I feel physically up for doing things again. It is like magic.
(On the poop front. A few days ago I felt like I had to go really a lot so I went into the bathroom. I tried to relax and not “force” things out but not much was moving. I encouraged a bit and was rewarded with bile and a touch of slippery, mucosy blood. Haven’t seen any blood since. I stopped trying to go that day. Since I stopped tracking I’ve seen a variety of consistencies. I am (at this point) mostly respecting FODMAPS only I’m back on wheat and dairy… mostly. Sorta. If I *really* want something with wheat I have it. FODMAPS technically isn’t a gluten free diet (depending on which source you read) it is a wheat-free diet. So I’ve been skipping wheat stuff as much as possible and having some wheat now and then without getting upset. My poop isn’t as awesomely solid as it was, but I’m also having lots of Big Feelings and that upsets my digestion.)
I have to get the planter boxes finished because I have to start planting the mushroom kit we got from Ms. Bladerunner (technically I only have 35ish days left!) and I need to move some plants from the front yard to make room for the incoming bathroom expansion. We have an appointment with them tomorrow night to talk about the next stage. Blueprints are done. We are going to go over them, ask for modifications, and hopefully get a start date for work. I’m crossing my fingers. I’m feeling really yicky about breathing black mold.
I have started preparing for the trip in terms of medication. I talked to my nice delivery driver. “I swear on a stack of bibles I’m not reselling, but you are going to see some very large purchases from me early this year and then I’ll disappear for a few months. I’m not stocking up before losing my card. I just won’t be able to buy on the road.” He was very nice about it. We spent a while talking about his impending fatherhood and how it changes life. He advised me to pack the medication separate from everything else and put a copy of my medical recommendation on top of the container so if anyone opens it, that’s the first thing they see. He’s a smart guy. I’ll use that tip.
Do you know what just fucking occurred to me. I really shouldn’t go through Canada. The international border is probably the most dangerous spot for me with two children and a lot of quasi-legal medication. (It’s legal in some states sorta but illegal for the federal government.)
Well… I’m sure glad I thought of that now.
Damnit. I really wanted to go through BC.
Good thing I stop and consider my actions in advance. Ha. (sometimes)
Want to know what’s awesome? Once I catch up on the planter boxes and finish the trailer on Friday… I don’t have any big projects hanging over me. I have just the ongoing daily life stuff. The remodel will impact my life but I’m not doing the work. I don’t think I should start another big project until next year. Wait! I know what I’m going to do. Once I have the yard a bit more settled after the remodel, my nice yard guy and I will be putting in a drip watering system on a timer so my plants don’t die in the six months I’m gone. I have limited trust in my husband’s ability to keep my garden alive. Not because he’s a bad person or anything. He’s just…. not so much an “out door guy”. He has many wonderful talents. Including being able to pay the nice yard guy to put in a drip system. Everyone wins! Yay!
Talk and not talk. What makes someone safe for me to be around? I don’t know. I know that I have big triggers of things that will cause me to blow up. If someone knows that I have these triggers and doesn’t care to modify their speech then I need to take steps to insure that I don’t blow up. That’s the grown up response.
I’ve been reading a lot about existential loneliness. I think in my youth, ignorance, and self absorption I had no idea how much of a truly universal phenomena this is. I hit some point in my early 20’s where I told a friend, “I’ve figured out that “being grown up” has to be the same thing as being ok being alone.” I was never ok being alone as a child. I was alone… but it wasn’t ok. I wasn’t ok. Now I have found my way to alone being ok.
The older I get the more I appreciate my own company. No one yells at me for crying when I’m alone. No one tells me that I’m letting people down by not projecting the kind of joy they want to see. I’m not being held to an impossible metric I can’t meet. No one insults me and calls it a “joke” when I’m alone. I’m really easy to insult. Yes, I’m “over-sensitive”. Being alone is awesome. No one will tell me that the way I exist is wrong.
I spotted another PTSD support group. Since people keep telling me I should find a support group. No aspect of trauma can be discussed at all to prevent retraumatizing people–all discussion will be in the moment positive steps you are taking.
Snicker. Not a group for me.
I would rather be alone than be in a “support group” where I have to carefully sterilize everything I say in order to only be a positive influence on people around me. That’s too much pressure. I can’t do that. I sure as fuck don’t expect anyone to provide that for me. I think that providing support is sticky and messy.
For one thing, in the kind of group where we are only allowed to talk about current things… I’m a rich bitch. I should have no problems and let me tell you in a support group I would be god damn reminded that I have it easier than everyone else so shut the fuck up about your problems. I’ve seen it happen to whoever is sitting highest on the hog in most support groups I’ve ever been in. Someone has to be told they have it better so that other people can say they aren’t doing as well because of x, y, and z privileges. That’s been my experience through I have no idea how many support groups.
I’ve been in support groups for families of brain injuries, incest, PTSD, sexual assault recovery, and for post-mental-hospital-commitment-support. Many of those topics I’ve been in several different support groups over time. The patterns are really consistent.
I am predictable. If I’m told I am not allowed to discuss my trauma at some point I will compulsively blurt something and get in trouble. I’m really bad with being told I’m not allowed to talk about what is hurting me. I don’t follow those rules. It feels like those rules exist to punish me for not being comfortable for other people. So I get asked to leave the group.
I’m kinda done with that at this stage. I’ve had enough therapists tell me to my face that I’m never going to be a good fit for group therapy combined with failing at it a bunch of times that I’m done.
And 12-step groups have their own issues. Combined with me not being an abstinence only believer.
What would “better” look like for me? What am I working towards?
It is hard to create a metric mid-stream. I have periods where I cry a lot and periods where I don’t cry for weeks. I have periods when I have specific interpersonal stress and I’m angry a lot for a while but mostly I’m not angry.
I’ve been upset since October because of a specific incident and then I had other things snowball on top of that to max out my stress response and that’s been festive. To prevent screaming periods I have flatlined what I expect of myself in terms of projects and I reduced social contact and mostly I’ve gotten through this period.
I’m afraid that 10 days before my period I may always want to die. This is a known, common chemical problem. That isn’t about me “doing something wrong”. The only thing they can tell me to do is go on an SSRI and I’ve tried them and they don’t work well with my body. That is a medically proven phenomena–the drugs react very badly for some people. I feel like writing about it and crying on the day I feel like that are reasonable responses. I haven’t cut. I’m not drinking alcohol on those days to “block the pain” or anything stupid. On the days when I feel really bad I don’t ask too much of myself beyond survival and I sit and cry. Then the day ends and I go back to my life.
It is inconvenient. It isn’t my favorite thing about myself, but it is fairly predictable and I can schedule around it to a large degree given the constraints of my life. Mental illness isn’t ever convenient, near as I can see.
What is “better”? I don’t know. I really don’t know. But my kids are awake. My navel gazing time has ended.
My kids continue to inspire the feeling that I do actually need to be alive. Not just because they “need me” (they are less dependent by the day) but because I can feel how much I need and want and love my mother. If there is the slightest chance they will feel that way about me, I want to be here for it.
I don’t want to be like my mother–three out of her four children have worked very hard to get her out of our lives. One killed himself. Two divorced her. I’m sure it hurts very much. If my children rejected me the way my mother has been rejected… I would not sit through decades of that. I’m sure that is why my mom can’t repudiate my sister even though my sister is a child-rapist.
If it is take a bad person or have no one… I don’t know.
Life is complicated. I have no answers. What is “better”? I really don’t know.
I know that I have worked really hard on my hypervigilance this year. I no longer count exits in public places. I consciously chose to alter that behavior. I think that is a big deal. I consciously chose to feel safe enough to believe that in an emergency I will be able to follow a crowd and get out. I don’t always need to be prepared for a bolt-hole. That is a huge adjustment in how I spent my attention when I’m out in public.
Doesn’t that count as “getting better”?
I’m feeling very flattened by my shrink. I’m not looking forward to talking to her tomorrow. I feel so sad. It isn’t just that she is fallible–that happens. (She gave bad advice for court, in my opinion and in the opinion of my lawyer–but she isn’t a lawyer.) I don’t even know. I’m just… blurgh. Yuck. My stomach hurts.
We have started training for the 5k at the end of January. Really we could do it cold, but it will be easier and more fun if we are in the kind of shape where we could run a 5k instead of slowly trudging it. We probably won’t be running, we plan to do it with friends, but it is nice to have options instead of hoping you can make it through the distance. It’s one of the color runs. The kids run for free and friends asked us to do it with them. We’ll see how that goes. If it doesn’t work out I think I’m not going to sign up for a race with friends again. That isn’t going very well for me. Apparently running is going to be a solitary hobby for me and I just need to accept that. Not the end of the world. Scheduling is just too hard.
I am learning about myself that I only have so much oomph for chasing a given person in my life. I can pour energy into a relationship and at some point I have to get a bunch of energy back or I run out. Once I run out I have nothing left to give. I will have to go off somewhere by myself and slowly build up my reserves and eventually I’ll meet someone else I hope will give some energy back and I’ll try again and I’ll give until I run out and then… the cycle continues.
This is why people on a long rotation last a lot longer. I don’t empty the bucket I have for them very quickly–it takes years and years. When I pour a lot of energy into someone in a relatively brief period of time and they take the energy and they don’t give me any back…. I hit a wall. I hit empty. I hit done. I don’t have enough people in my life pouring energy into me. I don’t have enough to just give it away.
I need to feel like people pay attention to me. I’ve noticed that I’ve just about entirely lost the feeling of being the main character of my life. This isn’t working for me. I don’t need to be the main character around which everyone’s life revolves (ha-fucking-ha) but I need *my* life to revolve around me. Lately I’ve been feeling like I only exist to be a supporting character.
I mean, I stayed home and did the elimination diet and that involved not really talking to people much. It wasn’t really a time period that invited people to focus on me. Heh. I don’t need people to care that much about my bowels. (Though it would be nice if I could get a doctor to care a little.) I’m treating my body like it is important. That should solve a lot of the main character issues. Hell, friends even tried hard to accommodate my food ups and downs. Why isn’t that the same thing?
I don’t know. I’m trying to figure it out.
Noah just scared the shit out of me. I still startle easily. The day should begin.