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.

Up and Down: The story of life

I can see now that I’m not exactly the most emotionally-stable person. If I were updating you regularly, you guys would know it too. Let me tell you a story.

Twice a week, my mornings begin on the campus track, under a great, open sky. Several times, it’s even been sunny and warm. But on these track mornings, we run here, we run there, we stop and stretch. We stop and slump. We stop and practice un-slumping. We slump and greet each other. We stand tall and great each other. We ground ourselves downwards for the backside and upwards for the front side of our bodies. Our heads touch the sky. We run more. We walk briskly. And as I run, I see the gulls and crows and pigeons and some other birds. I see the clouds and feel the sky. I breathe the air and feel amazing. That’s life. UP.

Let me tell you a story. Four times a week, I am now getting paid a minimum wage to help tutor Accounting 1 students. This can range from nobody needing my help, in which case I can do my own homework, or certain people needing intense help. I am a Helper by nature. Shyness and asperger are both irrelevant if I am trying to help someone. It’s awkward when I don’t have the words or I know what I want to say but can’t form it into a sentence. It’s hard to think of other ways of explaining a concept someone is struggling with. But I whip out my computer and search online for many explanations and then find the words to string it all together, sometimes. Sometimes I am able to find a way of explaining something and the person has a lightbulb moment. Those moments are wonderful. UP.

At other times, it can take me a long time to remember how to work out a certain type of problem. But I am happy so long as I don’t mislead or give wrong information to anyone. I have helped people come to correct answers several times now, so that is really, really cool. UP.

I had six combined hours of tutoring time where nobody was asking for my help, and I was able to do my Accounting 2 homework. When it came time for my Accounting 2 class, I had studied so much that I was able to do ALL of the in-class assignments without any real problems! I felt quite amazed. UP.

Here’s another story. I am taking a Beginning Piano class. It meets many times during the week. The chords are hard for me and the posture is something I work on, but I already know how to read notes and count rhythm so a lot of class is very … well, boring. So last class period, a student with a guide-dog-for-the-blind entered the room and asked to join. He asked to have a student who could sit with him all semester and help him stay on track, because he can’t read the music. I volunteered. First of all, his dog was incredibly adorable and sweet. Second of all, I was having too much time on my hands during class anyway (I’ve already practiced the book for many lessons ahead of where we’re currently at). So helping him starting today during class, and it was very interesting for me. He taught me how to find the same chord up along the keyboard easily by knowing the number of white notes between the left and right hand. I helped him learn the G7 chord we were working on in class. He’ll just have to learn the melodies by ear, but I could assist his learning the two chords, at least. And I sit right by his awesome dog, who sleeps the whole class period. UP.

The story is going to start to change soon. I’m just warning you.

So I bought a cheapo guitar the other day. I can’t justify the purchase but I’ve been playing it every single day since then and having great fun. I became obsessed with guitar again after hearing the song, “Burning House” by Cam. The piano music for it cost money, but the guitar tab was free online. Of course, the guitar cost more than the piano music would have…but anyway. Now I’m learning “Closer” by Travis on the guitar and it’s lovely. My mom is also teaching me the fingerings for alto recorder via FaceTime, which is challenging. But I’ve been meaning to do that for years. She calls this time period “another of my manic music phases”. UH OH.

I wish I could begin to tell you another story, but this one is so confusing, I just don’t know what to make of it. There’s a story about my boyfriend and myself, and maybe even his mother. I don’t know where he and I stand at the moment. I’m going to use some buzzwords and say my “love tank” is running on empty. In other words, he’s not SHOWING me love in the way I am capable of FEELING loved. I believe it is happening the other way around, as well. Sometimes he comes home from work and I’m too uncertain and awaiting and don’t make any first moves. I just wait. What am I waiting for? Him to sweep me up off my feet and spin me around and say how wonderful it is to see me again?

Life was different when we lived in the apartment with his old roommate. Our lives were different. There were times when I came home and went to the grocery store and tried to cook parts of meals for our dinner. He would try to arrange his schedule to come home earlier and he’d help with other parts of the meals. He frequently played piano. I did homework and what else did I do? Play with Curie the cat? I vacuumed a lot.

Now, what is going on? He comes home and he always greets me but I am not always initially warm toward him. I feel a “waiting” inside, like waiting to see what the rest of the evening will be like, waiting to see what’s up. One time, I was smack in the middle of re-writing some guitar chords for a song that someone else had written out incorrectly, and he came in and immediately started to read to me my Accounting textbook and ask me questions about it — which is awesome and helpful from one standpoint, but it wasn’t what I was doing right then and there — I was finishing a personal project. So I don’t know, I don’t think I handled it very well, just trying to get us to go downstairs and help his mother with dinner because I couldn’t handle trying to suddenly switch my brain over and think about Accounting. But then I spent the rest of the evening worrying if I’d disappointed him or something.

But then there are also the times when he comes home, and he always greets me, and frankly I am not always warm toward him, and he spends most of the evening talking/discussing/debating/arguing politics with his mom. Or they watch the TV downstairs together and they’re both on their electronic devices, like she’ll be on her laptop doing research and he’ll either be on his laptop or reading news and stuff off of his phone. And I just go upstairs and listen to “Welcome to Night Vale” or music. Or now, I play guitar up here.

I do join them a lot, for various TV shows, like we are in the process of watching all of the Doc Martin episodes from start to finish. I don’t mean to say I always avoid them but sometimes, I really can’t handle the talking any more.

I’m handling my homesickness by talking with my mom over the telephone nearly every single day now. Sometimes I get to hear my dad’s hilarious background commentary. For example, yesterday I made my mom listen to me struggle through an easy Bach piece on piano. I must have been on speakerphone because at the end, my dad said, “Bach is rolling over in his grave!” But it’s SO funny when he says these things because he can’t keep a straight face even as he’s saying it, so he was cracking himself up while trying to say it to me. I love my parents so much.

My boyfriend is meeting me for my nighttime class each week. That’s pretty amazingly awesome. I was too afraid to take the class, and it’s across the city from the usual campus, but he said he’d meet me there after class and we’d bus home together. It’s been working. I was 15 minutes late to class last time, since I’m still very anxious about attending the night class, but at least I made it.

So I haven’t been spelling it out for you very well, but I get down sometimes. Just down. I’m not suicidal right now. I’m not even particularly self-injurious, with the exception of a very shit non-communication that took place when my bf got home late from work last night. I worked through it in a healthy way, though. I took care of some chores downstairs, thus making myself available should he wish to find me, and then going into the bathroom, closing the door, putting in some earbuds and jamming out to a current favorite song fairly loudly and with much dancing. I painted some of my fingernails between dancing. By the time he sought me out, he found me perfectly happy and having a personal dance/nail party and he was creeping in with a very anxious look on his face like he was so worried about whatever it was that had happened. I don’t know. We are just kind of shit for communication, but a lot of it is I’m finding myself reverting back to OLD PATTERNS OF BEHAVIOR AND WITHDRAWING. That ain’t fair to anyone, and it’s not adult, rational, assertive behavior, and it’s not fair to ME. So it’s not what I want.

So it turns out that I misunderstood but one of my old TaskRabbits actually asked me out on a date like a month or two ago. At the time, I just responded letting him know who he was speaking with — I thought he’d written to the wrong innerdragon! But I later clarified, it was me! So that’s flattering but, I’m still into my boyfriend. I know we’re in a phase right now that’s going to require some killer hard work to pull our shit out of, but I still think it’s worth it. If that scale tips, well, then suck. I hope the scale doesn’t tip.

But the biggest downer in my life right now is the communication shit my boyfriend and I are going through. He sounded pretty amazed when last night, finally deciding to take some clonazepam, I was like, do you even like me? Do you even like spending time with me? Because I can’t tell. And long story short, that’s something we’re going to have to work on, because he does like me, of course, and want to be with me, but he’s going to have to learn how to show it in the ways I can FEEL again, because this ain’t working for me right now. And I told him we’re going to need to set aside some evenings for just reconnecting, like going on a walk-and-talk together or stuff like that, where we can just talk, because I feel disconnected from him, just waiting and wondering what the hell is going on. I was upset the other day when his mom was asking him over dinner about some training he’d done that day, and I was completely in the dark on that. So he had obviously told her about it and not me. The woes of living with your SO’s mother, let me tell you. And I was really upset about it and then…. I realized, I had talked on the phone with my own mom for like an hour that same day, and she knew all KINDS of things about my day that my bf has no idea about…. So then it was a little harder to blame him for that oversight. 😉

Anyway. Stay strong. Stay attending the classes. One of these days, I’m going to have to do that OTHER class’s homework — the one I’ve been avoiding because my book didn’t arrived until two days ago and the font hurts my eyes. But the disability center JUST sent me a copy of the whole thing as a PDF, so now I can have my computer read it to me. No more excuses for avoiding it.

…Unless you count that the software that came with it (and is necessary for the class) is for PC only, and I have a Mac… Ah life.

Note to my dear readers: Kindly REFRAIN from leaving any analysis of my relationship with my bf. There is so much more I would write if only I didn’t fear the judgements I sometimes receive on here. Please allow me to document my life here without fear of being told what I’m doing wrong and what you would do differently if you were me. Thank you for understanding!!

Log: Apr 23 (Thu) Music Night

Apr 23 (Thu): Work 11:15a – 6:00p, Music Practice with “Peter” 6:30p

Bad picture as I was getting out my music

Bad picture as I was getting out my music

I woke up ill with a flu, but feeling slightly better than the day before. I also suspect I have the first yeast infection of my life. (WTF is wrong with my body?!) I don’t think I’d even increased my sugar intake recently.

Anyway, it was difficult to get out of bed, but I made it to work. I brought all of my belongings for Music Practice and overnight just in case I decided I felt well enough for Music Practice. Work was easy — I had few tasks given to me. Whew. (Usually I prefer being busy, but not when I don’t feel well.) I decided to go ahead to Music Practice (after discussing my illness with “Peter” and checking to see if they wanted to be exposed to new germs or not).

We ate out and the food was good but I accidentally ordered something much too spicy for me…but that’s allegedly supposed to be healthy when you’re sick, so I kept eating it and sweating a lot. Then we practiced music and stopped by 9:30p, and the new neighbors didn’t even have to bang on the wall to tell us to stop. (I still think they should have asked us if we have a CD available.)

I had a stomach ache and difficulty sleeping, so I took some medicine around 1:30a. A lot of medicines. I took some Gas-X (my second time trying it). I took some pain medicine. And I took 0.5mg of lorazepam, because I had no clonazepam with me. I also inserted a dry mouth tablet into my cheek because my nose was too stuffed to breathe out of it. Altogether, it worked and I slept like a rock. Today’s Mood Ranking: 3.5 – 5.5 (dropped to a 3.5 when I got really upset/anxious over AGAIN being sick)

Log: Apr 4 – Apr 8 (Sat – Wed): Bicycling trip with family and friends

Apr 4 – Apr 8 (Sat – Wed): Bicycling trip with family and friends

This is going to be fun to write.

Sunset

Sunset, taken by my brother

Apr 4 (Sat): “Peter” had stayed over after his mom had driven me home from Friday’s Passover dinner. He left early to go pack for this trip and for his upcoming work trip to France. My parents arrived. My mom helped me make my list for packing. I packed. My parents and uncle went out walking. We all somehow got everything gathered and the bikes packed up into the vehicle. My parents, me and “Peter” drove to the location. We got there by evening. My brother and his gf were already out there, touring the area. We dropped off our stuff in our rented room and then we all went out to dinner together, including the family friends we were also meeting there.

After dinner, we returned to the hotel room just as the sun was setting and the sky was beautiful. I asked if we could go on a walk, and we all went. I gave my brother my camera because he is an amazing photographer. I will post at least one pic that he took here. In the late evening, we all went down to the pool area. “Peter” and I swam in the pool. My brother joined for a while, as well, while everyone else went directly to the hot tub. Then we all ended up in the hot tub and chatted with the other folks (strangers) who were staying there.

Scenery

Scenery

Apr 5 (Sun): On this day, my brother and his gf had to leave in the morning because she had to catch an airplane and he had to get ready for work. The rest of our group went out bicycling and the weather was very pleasant. The scenery was beautiful. We crossed many roads, some of which had quite a lot of traffic. We had a view of the agriculture the entire way.

That evening, my mom made us all pizzas on an outdoor grill. She had made me gluten-free dough at Home before she flew down here! She had been planning a pizza night. So “Peter” and I helped shop for and chop up the vegetables and such. The experience was very interesting and fun.

Neat woods

Neat woods

Apr 6 (Mon): Okay, this was my favorite bicycling day. This ride brought us into a sort of valley area and we rode along a very private road alongside a creek. I saw a wild turkey and domestic horses, and a lot of turkey vultures. On this ride, “Peter” and I stopped because I needed to “use the green door” (I just learned that euphemism). Meanwhile, he had sat down against a large rock and taken out his book. So when I came back over, I sat down next to him and he set his book down and we just sat there together for a long time, listening to the birds and the wind and the distant creek and watching the clouds. On our ride back, we felt a few drops of rain. “Peter” was sad that he didn’t get to ride in a downpour, which I’m adding here because of foreshadowing.

I took an excellent picture of my dad entering a stationary outhouse. I know that we all stopped at a neat food place, too, and I locked my helmet to my bike for the first time in my life and that was interesting. This food place happened to have a gluten free area, if I’m putting the pieces together correctly.

I think that we all ate the delicious pizza leftovers for dinner on this night. Then, my mom, a family friend, myself and “Peter” went and played music together in the evening! The family friend had brought her traveling piano and a tenor ukulele with her. My mom and I had brought our recorders and music. We all played various types of music and “Peter” and I got to show my parents some of the songs we’ve been practicing!! It was so much fun!! (And also somewhat nerve-wracking to have an audience.)

A break in the rain

A break in the rain

Apr 7 (Tue): This morning was beautiful and sad. It was, ironically, pouring rain at 4a when “Peter” had to leave. In this short period of time, I had gotten so accustomed to having his constant company (and loving it), and I cried when he drove away in his taxi. But he had to leave for a work conference in France. I’m glad he’d been able to attend for as long as he’d been able to. I went back to my bed alone and moved over to where he’d been sleeping, and went back to sleep. I had trouble waking up later in the morning.

On this day, our group had a late start, due mostly to me, and we drove to our new destination. It was very windy and very rainy. So we went into an interesting building and toured the exhibits there. I bought a small book at the gift shop that I think “Peter” would like to read after I finish with it. I also bought a little pig clip for my uncle, but you’d have to understand the kitchen-pig link for that to make sense.

After our weather app said the weather should start to clear, we got on our bikes and started riding. This time we were in another agricultural area but on very quiet roads. It was lovely and peaceful and … pouring rain. By the time I got back to the car, I could WRING the water out of my shoes. The roads had such deep puddles and we had to keep riding directly through them to get out of the way of traffic on the last stretch. But it was very fun. I think my dad said that this ride had been his favorite of the three.

For dinner, my mom and I whizzed through the grocery store to gather ingredients for tacos/burritos. Another family friend arrived and it was such a joy to hear all of the laughter and catching up. This is one of my dad’s favorite people in the whole world and they just cracked each other up the entire night. Joy. She left late that same night.

Two small birds chasing away a raven

Two small birds chasing away a raven

Apr 8 (Wed): On this morning, I had trouble getting out of bed again, but then we re-packed all of our things and played music together again. It was beautiful. Then we had to say goodbye to our family friends and drive back. We made it back, dumped off our stuff, returned the vehicle, and then I had to go to work for a short time! I showed my parents around my workplace and the surrounding area. I wrote about this already in another post. We walked around a lovely lake and I took a million pictures of birds and flowers and my parents. I’m not sure how this connects, but I know I already wrote about this day somewhere else. Anyway, then we had dinner with my brother near his apartment.

Total Trip Mood Ranking: 5-8

Lost Meaning is irrelevant. New Meaning is what Matters Now (Topic#047)

The list of things that lost their meaning to me is too vast to list. Instead, I am going to list things that I Currently Love. For me, love in the heart is 100%. It’s a small bubble of joy. It’s a second of bliss. It’s a moment of excitement and freedom. It’s an emotion. It’s a feeling.

Flower

Flower

Here Is What I Love Lately:

  • Finishing a project at work, no matter how tiny.
  • Missing my train because I was helping other people figure out the ticket machine.
  • One elderly gentleman actually trusting me enough to handle his $10 to show him which way to insert it into the machine.
  • The salmon, yellow, and greens of the single cut flower on my desk right now.
  • I am clean and wearing clean clothes, and am at the perfect temperature.
  • That I just turned around and got someone a missing W9 form from another company within 2 minutes of our payroll informing me that we still needed theirs.
  • Some of “Joe’s” texts making me literally laugh out loud.
  • Cars honking out my office window. No joke. I laugh SO HARD sometimes. I am waiting for a world-record of honking at that corner. Sometimes a person will just lay on the horn so long, I wonder if they’ll ever let up, but sadly, they always do.
  • The cooing of pigeons that settle on the ledge of our office windows (I don’t have a window seat but I always get up to peek on him).
  • The banter of two office workers in particular, who happen to both be in the office today.
  • The sound of their laughter. ❤
  • Watching nobody sit down on a just-vacated train seat because everybody is being polite and offering it to everybody else and nobody knows who is going to take it. LOL
  • Phone calls where you are exceedingly polite and ask to take a message and the other party says no-I’ll-try-back-later-*CLICK* hahaha Noooo YOU weren’t a spam call…not at all.
  • Having the soundtrack to “Into The Woods” in your head the entire day. (I thought the movie actually did a great job of it, EVEN THOUGH they let some happy endings slip through that were NOT supposed to be there, and hacked out “Agony Reprise” which is one of my favorite songs from it.)
  • Having a little baggy of moistened seeds on my desk, that may or may not germinate (I don’t think the seeds were fully formed when they dropped; I think the pods dropped from dehydration. But I’m going to try it anyway.)
  • After missing my train, sitting in the sunshine with my face exposed for a full 15 minutes.
  • The random musicians (or non-musicians) that try to play music for change all around here. The recorder player is my favorite. Or maybe it was the percussionist in the wolf mask…
  • Practicing guitar
  • Singing (however poorly; the vibration in my throat is comforting)
  • Calling my uncle White Trash and having him call me a Hillbilly (referencing movie “Wedding Crashers”) (“What does that even mean?!”)
  • Gluten-free, vegan pizzas
  • Taking the dogs on a walk
  • Sketching (although I have stopped that yet again for now; pressure got too high)
  • Blogging
  • Taking pictures
  • Not letting my adopted bedroom get too messy (quite an accomplishment, for me!)
  • Walking down sidewalks and just happening to be behind an adorable little dog with the cutest trot the whole way
  • Being at the Meditation center (which hasn’t happened in forever)
  • The pictures of my baby boy (dog) that my mom sends me
  • The stories of my baby’s adventures

P.S. My blog is winding down to a close now. It’ll still be in progress for a while yet, but I’m nearly done with all that I wanted to tell.

Ut oh. Crazy, happy thoughts. (Journal#059)

Flowers

Flowers I bought myself yesterday… I justified their purchase by trying to cheer up my office environment with them… 🙂

Okay WHY can’t I have just one good mood and remain stable there? Instead, my enthusiasm has to go off its little scale and get all wrapped up in things like, yeah:

  • I am going to take a dance class!
  • I should have dropped by that complete stranger’s house last night and asked him to teach me how to play the drum set like that!
  • The sunshine! I’ll just stand here with my face and palms and bare arms lifted to the sun forever!
  • I want to take American Sign Language again!

oh it goes on. How about INSTEAD I just sit here the fuck DOWN and stay calm and stable for like ONE. DAY. Is one day too much to ask for?

Some of you may be thinking, what is wrong with some chipper enthusiasm for life? Doesn’t it make for a nice break from being suicidal?

The problem, for me, is that it’s never reality. I want these things. I’ll start to make steps toward them. And then within 3 days max, it’s all gone and I’m left with a barely begun, major project. Sometimes money has even gone toward it, like my painting plans. But it’s done and over and nothing left but a terrible regret and sense of burden.

So no. Decisions made from brief moments of happy feelings are not the ones I must pursue.

UPDATE: I’ve drugged myself into sleep 2 nights in a row now. And “Joe” and I are getting along fine, no harm done. And I find out my tongue biopsy results later TODAY. (And the sun is soo bright and warm today.) So these are all reasons for some chipper-ness!! ⭐️☀️⭐️☀️⭐️

UPDATE x2: Also, I might have a tele-guitar lesson tonight!