Topic: Ear Protection = Bliss

I highly recommend buying ear protection if you have any noise sensitivity. I don’t know what they’re called. They look like giant headphones but they’re for things like shooting ranges. I wear them all the time now. I wear them on the bus, I wear them when washing dishes, I wear them when vacuuming. I wear them when studying and it increases my focus by about a million (but the starting bar was pretty low).

The only issue that I experience is when removing them. Sometimes I get seriously cranky and I just want everyone around me to whisper. Why is life so loud and painful?

These ear protection headphone things don’t block everything out. I’m not listening to silence. It just dims everything way, way down. It’s heavenly.

Advertisements

Long-Overdue Update

Hi all,

Deer crossing in front of our car

Deer crossing

I haven’t checked in or updated here in a very long time until just recently when I had a little emotional emergency. So I thought I should go ahead and try to fill in some gaps, briefly.

Since I last really updated on here, I quit my awesome tutoring job and the in-person school and went fully online. I also started volunteering at an animal shelter. The online schooling is boring as **** and I’m kind of regretting the decision, BUT it is going faster than it was going when I was trying to juggle tutoring, classes, and more classes at the same time (tutoring is tied to taking several additional classes).

My first pea plant flower of the season!

First flower! Pea plant

I’ve also started gardening, which I used to do years ago. It’s great. I’m growing peas and lettuce. I’ve started some flower seeds but super late, so I’m not sure they’ll do anything. I tried beans twice but they were immediately eaten by something (I know I hand-killed a ton of thrips but I suspect more than just them were at work).

Also, as you can tell, I found a psychologist and was seeing him once a week. It took at least a month before I decided I could trust him. Obviously, I am not as sure about that right now.

But whatevs. I have a dental appointment today. Next week, I have a psychiatrist appointment. I am only seeing her twice a year now, but I might try to increase to 3 times a year since just recently I’ve been having more trouble again.

GullSandwich

Stolen: Child’s sandwich

Oh, and I exercise a ton still! And I’m eating a little bit more healthfully, much of the time! It seems that whenever I exercise a LOT in a week, I feel emotionally good. Whenever I don’t exercise, due to illness or just getting swamped with other things, I get depressed. The correlation is INCREDIBLY strong. Exercise = emotional stability. Sedentary-ness = instant hopelessness. Obviously, I need to use this knowledge for good.

Once a week, I see my friend, “Joe”, who some of you may remember I dated for a while, like two years ago? I don’t know how long ago. Anyway, he’s probably my best friend now. We go on a long Pokéwalk every week. It’s often along the piers, where I can see the birds and sea lions and sometimes a harbor seal and some fish. Sometimes, we go to different parks, including a particular lake that always has tons of different ducks and birds and squirrels. I’m very grateful to have him as a friend. Also, because he has Asperger also, and has dealt with therapists and group therapy and more, he really understands when I have my downs and instability and has great insights.

ALSO, he’s as into wildlife as I am, so he doesn’t mind one bit when I stop 800 times to photograph slugs and squirrels and birds and rocks and everything.

Close up of gull's eye, which is reflecting water ripples

Water reflection in eye

He and my SO (significant other) have met twice but only briefly. I really hope they become friends because then we can all go hiking together and stuff. We’re all attending “Joe”‘s b-day dinner this weekend, and I hope it all goes smoothly. I’ve had terrible experiences in the past with my ex who hated my friends. I’m not at all concerned about my SO hating “Joe” but I know that “Joe” has difficulty around other males. There will be up to 15 people and I’ll have met like 1 or 2 of them. Hopefully it all goes well.

What other news? I’m still living with SO and his mom. I had a rough time with it like a month or so ago, but since then I’ve been working on establishing what I consider more boundaries. She’s awesome and very generous but can be a little bit controlling about certain things, and I have a hard time knowing how to shrug it off. So I’m learning and I’m working on it.

Ducklings, back in April

Ducklings (from back in April)

I’m considering getting a part-time job at a coffee shop. I want something nearby, not too intense (although busy is okay, and I enjoy customer service). But my feelings of self-worth slip every day that I’m unemployed. I didn’t think it would happen, since I know that finishing school more quickly will get me a higher-than-minimum-wage-job more quickly and thus is productive, but it doesn’t FEEL productive. Even when I volunteer at the animal shelter twice a week, I love it but I still feel rotten about myself. Also, I’m focusing less well on school the longer time passes since I was at the in-person school. Bummer.

I set up a bucket to catch water in the shower as we wait for hot water. I also bought grey-water-garden-safe laundry soap and hooked up some tubs to catch my laundry water. There’s a plant out back that is a water hog, so this grey water really helps.

All right, that’s all for now.

When people argue; Panic

It’s incredible the flood of anxiety I feel when people begin to argue.

These two people do not shout. These two people do not throw things. These two people do not hurt animals. These two people do not give each other the silent treatment later or love each other any less tomorrow.

But they do get intense with their voices. One of them is forceful and the voice raises, not in volume but in pitch. The other gets forceful and uses “YOU” statements that I find very rude. “YOU” are not listening. “YOU” have switched what you are arguing.

These arguments always end peacefully and they love each other the same immediately after. For them, the effects are null. They argue. They debate. It’s part of what they do. Frankly, I would go so far as to say it is part of who they are as people.

But for me, the effects are longer lasting. I will be afraid of them for days. It was not directed at me; nobody is arguing or debating with me. I have already put in my noise-isolating headphones and escaped up the stairs. I have already blared music directly into my earbuds.

But the flooding of anxiety is so strong and so immediate. It’s an emergency for me, when two people argue. It is danger. It is red alert. It is unpredictable and unsafe.

They will not hurt me. The worst either of them could do to me, based on who they are and what I have seen, is to use an insulting tone of voice and say “YOU” don’t understand what I am trying to say. Or something like that. That’s the worst I’ve seen or heard from them.

But my body goes straight to fear. My body says, the monsters have surrounded me. I am prepared to run. I am prepared to hide. I am prepared to face the streets in the dark at night amongst strangers. I am prepared to kill to protect myself.

My intestines prepare to evacuate immediately. I need to run. Outdoors. I need to be one speck in an infinite darkness, alone. Unknown. Safer.

Instead, I am trying to prep for bed. I brushed my teeth. I’m listening to my music, blaring into my ears. I can hear the voices. They are calm but still firm. It’s only a difference of opinion and grilling over various scientific studies to prove one side or the other. My shoes and coat were already on (because me and one of them were about to go on a very short walk). I am ready; I want to run. I could take anxiety medicine that will help me sleep. It’s been 30 minutes, right? I could take off my shoes and coat without offending. … Or I could slip past and go on a jog into the darkness.

Ponies and such

It’s hard to look into the eye of a life change that already happened without you acknowledging it. I moved away a couple of years ago and left my pony behind out of necessity. It’s becoming more “real” that she won’t be mine and I’ve been feeling completely numb and irritable for the past few days.

It’s a GOOD thing for my pony; the lady who wants her is very dominant– exactly what my pony needs in order to listen and stay safe. They’re both full of energy. It should be a good fit. But it’s hard. I’m selfish and “want” this horse to be mine forever. I’ve had her for a very long time. She was still pretty young when I first got her; now she is at least 11.

But it’s the giving up of the horse world. I wonder if I resent that I got involved with a human that isn’t into horses and doesn’t want to live with them on his property. In a past life, I would have found that unacceptable. Now, year by year my old life slips away.

I’m in a city and there are things about that that I like. I like that there are always people around, and their energy. I like all the street lights and people and in some ways, I feel safer in this environment than I ever did alone in the woods.

But at the same time, I don’t feel like I’m home and I don’t expect to live in a city forever. Home is where the horses are. Home is where the mountains are. Home is where the forests are.

I don’t know if I’ll ever make it back home. But I am telling myself that I want to stay here until I get this Accounting degree. AFTER that, I will be free to leave. AFTER it, I will be free to find a horsey place and breathe them and hear them and feel their steps around me. I’ll have a dog again (maybe foster dogs). I will make this happen AFTER I get a degree. It should take 2 or 3 more years.

This is life and I must remember to breathe and enjoy the scents here. There are trees around. There is sometimes a very strong sun and warmth on my face. I might feel lonely at times, but I’m certainly never alone here. It’s strange to me that there isn’t a single horse barn in the city. Not a single one. I guess real estate in populated areas would make it unaffordable, since horses need a lot of room. But it’s too bad. Wouldn’t people pay a bundle for carriage rides through parks?

If this is all there is to life, it will be okay. I am getting outside to walk a lot now (thanks to Pokémon Go– which will certainly cause some of you to pull back with some disdain). It’s also got my out and bicycling quite a bit. I’m getting lots of outdoor exercise. What more could I want from life? (Other than to go back to my old-old life, with my parents and my dog, and my pony at the first barn, and gardening and painting and writing and drawing and watching “The Dog Whisperer”…) Funny that the time I’d look back on as my favorite was from a couple of years after my failure at college, and after my Asperger diagnosis, just chilling with my folks, working parttime (at a high-paying job that was very difficult for me) and taking care of my animals and plants. THAT was LIFE.

So I am doing a little bit of “life” right now, with the outdoor exercising. I drew a picture the other day. I knit a tiny bit yesterday (first time in years). But I’m so, so numb right now. Hopefully it will pass quickly. I do need to solidify the transfer of ownership of my pony, however.

A Brief Update (and a single picture, for now)

imageI couldn’t let you know ahead of time but I went Home (my parents and dog) recently. I’m back home (bf, school) now but I made it and it was wonderful. I can’t say much tonight; I’m going to go to bed very shortly.

There was much skiing and walking and such. I mean much. Every day.

So now that I’m back, I don’t want to lose that momentum. So I went to the bike shop after school yesterday and got my bike all fixed up (there were some things wrong). I also bought yet another lock. Two, actually. One is just to hold my seat on. The other is a fricking expensive but light-weight u-lock for my frame. City living…

So I biked to school today. That was pretty rough. I had to walk two hills on the return trip. It was a total of 9 miles and not flat enough for me. And my anti-persperant definitely couldn’t hold up… Plus I had jogging class. Apologies to the folks who sat near me at the tutoring center today.

It’s hard to be away from my parents and my dog. It’s interesting what kinds of things I have such strong emotional attachments to and what I can now part with. I parted with some more clothing. Even a black sweatshirt I had held onto for maybe close to two decades even though it had shrunk and was too small for me. But for many years, it held sand from an old Hawaii trip in its pockets, even after numerous washes. It was very sentimental for me. But I was able to part with it.

Then there were things in my childhood bedroom that had been rearranged and I was actually able to rearrange certain things, too. That’s pretty big for me. Certain shelves had to be kept in a certain arrangement or else I would experience intense anxiety due to OCD. It would feel that my luck would change and I would get terminally ill or those I loved could get terminally ill or injured. But it was not so bad this time around.

That is not to say I was able to part with all sorts of things. There is still so much I’m hanging onto and I wish I could let them go. But I won’t despair; it seems that things have been getting a little easier each time. So perhaps next time I am there, I can part with a few more things. And so on.

Anyway, I really need to go to sleep. One thing I did not get a lot of was good-quality sleep. For one thing, I was sometimes very sore and didn’t take pain medicine and thus didn’t sleep well. For another, there was a headboard I wasn’t used to and kept bonking my head into it.

Oh, but being with my parents and dog was WONDERFUL WONDERFUL WONDERFUL. There is so much I could say and tell about.

Pure and utter shit

Damn. So following my last post, things were smooth. I mean, several days in a row were smooooth. I almost made myself post about them. Things were going so nicely. I love my new job. I’m staying caught up in one class.

Then boom. Sickness hits. It’s just a minor head cold. The sore throat (my trigger) passed within 24-ish hours, so very little panic and whatnot. Sniffles, no biggie. Cough, no chest pain. Post-nasal-drip during the night for several nights in a row, so hardly any sleep, terrible but survivable. Then I picked up some cold medicine and it let me sleep through the night for two nights, pretty much. I haven’t needed to use it again since then because although the cough & nose are still productive, it’s not that bad.

Slipping. I’m slipping. Emotionally. This other class happened last Saturday and again today. The time inbetween has … okay not been the best. This class has assigned papers and too many for a one-week period (I did… um 2. The short ones. The rest, are now officially overdue). Okay that could certainly be a trigger. My bf tried to tell me this but I refused to listen (i.e. I thought he was wrong and wasn’t listening to ME because I kept saying it’s just this damn cold and once I feel better, I’ll be on top of my stuff again). No, I should have listened. It’s was a big, motherfucker trigger.

So now? My energy has been leaving more and more every day. It’s this goddamn virus, I swear it is. I checked last night too — I took anti-anxiety medicine just in case that would clear things up and I’d be able to focus on the paper. But no, it didn’t help.

Mono. If any of you have had mono before, that is how I’ve been feeling lately. Like I have the energy level I had back when I had mono. In other words, capable of going about some zombie resemblance of a day and then CRASH. NOTHING left. NO words, NO thought, NO movement. I felt like my body was dying.

But it wasn’t truly until today that shit is hitting. It is hitting me. I don’t know what the fuck is wrong, altogether. I walked myself to the ER tonight. I didn’t check in; I just paced in the ER for maybe twenty minutes. I texted with “Joe” from last year. I feel like he’s the only one in my life who is capable of showing sympathy/empathy in the way that I can “feel” so I told him I was in a really bad spot and he listened and asked me what had me so triggered, and that’s the first time I was thinking about it rationally. Like in the sense of triggers. Of course this class with assigned papers is a trigger. Of course the pressure to maintain my straight-A’s from last semester is too much for me. Of course the new job of tutoring and this guy who seems to have a crush on me (but I’ve made it very clear that I have a boyfriend and am not looking) and other students who come in and out and some of them I’m able to help confidently and others it is a real struggle but I am really enjoying that job.

But things with me and my bf are so rough right now. We’re not communicating well and it’s mostly me because I am making things weird and being really touchy. I don’t want advice about it, please — I wish to share what’s happening in my life, but please take it for what it is — I am just sharing — not seeking advice on my relationship. I need to get my head straight again.

I wanted to cut tonight. I don’t know what’s been up. My head is in and out of reality today, this virus, the fog in my brain, reality and dissociation. I was walking to the ER and I looked both ways to cross the street and let my mind ponder, because I had started to cross first without looking, I mean the hand sign was green and all that, but of course the small, old voice was there, telling me that if a truck just happened to be coming at me, that would be perfectly fine.

As if nothing matters? I knew something was going wrong this week because I stopped flossing my teeth four days ago. That only happens at the start of a a terrible depressed episode.

But I am determined that I am going to get my head on straight, get healed from this awful, energy-sucking virus, and go to a fucking therapist/counselor. I’m thinking of going to the free ones at school this week — I don’t know how good they are but I think it would help to get to talk with someone.

I hadn’t finished talking about how I’m affecting my relationship negatively — I’m so insecure this week, I am positive he is about to break up with me, against all signs. I can’t stand myself, so I’m assuming he can’t stand me and wants me gone. Or is about to want me gone and just doesn’t know about it yet. So I’m interpreting everything poorly, and looking scared this week, and he’s started to be weirded out by it. And I am fighting the urge at every moment to ask, “Do you still like me? Should I leave?” As if my life depends on him liking me? Of course it doesn’t, but it’s still eating at me this week, because of this insecurity and all of this SHIT that’s engulfing my head about me being a yuck person and blah blah blah. What the hell triggered this??? Was it something at work? Was it the terrible, terrible class that I’m now overdue in with several papers? Did it make me feel like a failure and I’m shifting that feeling into my personal life?

I walked back from the ER and the sky was still clear and the weather perfect. I came back in, bf said hi but was still watching some TV news with his mom, so I went out back and hung out on the back porch and chatted for a minute with a neighbor who is somewhere around my age. Mostly I just stared up at the sky and asked God[] to please let my breath be used by someone who is more stable than I. Someone more deserving. Then I did stop and wonder, am I feeling like I’m undeserving because I’m not emotionally stable? That it makes me less deserving of a human? That’s not very fair or nice. So I begged, Please empty out this shell of body and use it for something worth while.

It would be nice.