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.

FREEWRITE

There’s got to be something.
My psychiatrist isn’t sure if I’m a bit depressed and need medical adjustment, or if it’s situational, what with the massive life changes I’m making and what not.
At this moment, I think my uncle is mad at me. I haven’t been staying in contact with him lately.

I’m staying in contact with my mom and my bf. That’s all, as of right now. It takes it all out of me, to keep up that much.

I’m staying caught up in school. Maybe too well. Not that I’m getting A’s, but I’m really staying caught up with homeworks and stuff. I’m putting everything into it. I’m often up until 11pm with homeworks and whatnot.

I’m irritable. I’m cranky. My eyes burn holes in things around me sometimes. I think I’d like to scream. Or eat less or exercise more, because I’m definitely spending so much money on food. I’m too tired to cook much right now, and am eating out A. LOT. It makes me hate myself a little bit. Because it’s SO wasteful. SO wasteful. And then I just feel bad about myself and my spending and I’m not exercising enough, and it all comes out as this yuck feeling toward everything around me.

So I’m cranky. And there are medical things I need to catch up on. Like my doctor referred me to a gynocologist because of those abnormal cells on a PAP and now a touch of irregular bleeding, but I just haven’t gotten around to making the appointment.

It’s all too much for me right now. I’m exhausted in the sense that I just don’t have the energy to do anything else, or start anything else, or research anything else, or look up names of doctors or see if they’re in my new health insurance’s network or anything. It’s too bloody much!

There are things I want to do, but after class, I’m done. I’m toast. I just want to crawl home and once I’m home, I’m okay again. I can set up my computer and my books or whatever and get to studying again. But I can’t think about traveling or visiting my uncle or my brother. I can’t think of going to work, out in that other city. I can’t volunteer or go to a beach or a go on a hike or hardly even a walk!!!!!!! My bike is neglected. Everything in my life outside of schoolwork and house chores is neglected right now.

I want that to change. I want to DO things again, I want to have some drive and energy. I still have the desire, so I know I’m not seriously depressed yet. But oh my god it is going to get close. You know??? I want to volunteer at an animal shelter. I want to spend time with dogs.

Do I want to keep living here?

  • WHAT IF DECEMBER COMES AND WE STAY HERE AND ROOMMATE MOVES OUT SO THE TWO PET RULE IS NO LONGER HIT; WILL BF BE OKAY WITH ME GETTING A DOG?
  • IF NOT, THEN I …?
  • IF I DO GET TO VISIT HOME, AS I AM CONSIDERING DOING AT AN UNDISCLOSED TIME PERIOD, WILL I USE THE TIME TO SELL MY PONY????? DO I WANT TO SELL HER??? MUST I SELL HER???
  • FINANCIALLY SPEAKING, YES. YES, I MUST SELL HER.
  • WILL I USE THE TIME TO SELL MY CAR?
  • I HAVE SENTIMENTAL ATTACHMENT TO MY CAR. MY PARENTS PICKED THE CAR AND MY DAD AND I PICKED THE COLOR. HE LIKES THE CAR. MY MOM LIKED ME HAVING THAT CAR. I’LL MISS THAT CAR. I HAVE A LOT OF MEMORIES OF THAT CAR.
  • THE EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING DIFFICULTIES AROUND HERE ARE MAKING THINGS VERY HARD. I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS THEM.
  • I HAVE BEEN MANAGING ALL RIGHT WITH THE SCHOOLWORK BUT EVERYTHING ELSE.
  • I NEED HELP.

My psychiatrist helped me to compile a “short list” of some of the doctor appointments I need to schedule, and gave me a one-week time frame in which to accomplish the calls. I am thankful; I hope I will make the calls soon. Tomorrow, actually. I would like to make the calls tomorrow. Perhaps I can do that around lunch time… which will hopefully not overlap with the offices’ lunch times.

School is going well and I even have a couple of acquaintances from the classes. There are several people who are in more than one of my classes, so that is fun. I love getting to chat with familiar faces there.

Log: Jul 11 – 15 (Sat – Wed) SLEEP DEPRIVATION

Jul 11 (Sat): BBQ!!! Family
Jul 12 (Sun):
Music in the park
Jul 13 (Mon):
Work
Jul 14 (Tue):
 Therapy 8:30a; Work 10:30a – 2:30p; Primary care dr appt 3:30p;
Jul 15 (Wed): Work

The following image shows my actual sleep logs. I’ll give you a hint: Dark blue means you’re not flailing around. Light blue means I’m restless/moving/waking up. Pink means I got up to pee for the fourth time or just moved around even more than the regular light blue moments. The number on the right is the amount of dark blue I totaled for the night. So it thinks I slept soundly for a total of 4 hr and 13 minutes last night.

My Recent Sleep Logs

My Recent Sleep Logs

Saturday: FAMILY AND FRIENDS BBQ at my aunt & uncle’s place. MUCH FUN. Stayed up way too late. Actually, come to think of it, I stayed up talking with Peter until 4:30 am. After the BBQ, much chatting around and some amateur dancing, Peter and I went to bed but I started talking, and ended up sharing some of my childhood baggage and it lasted a long time. SLEEP DEFICIT CONTINUES.

Sunday: My herpes patch on the side of my nose returned (yeah, I never bothered to write about the first one in the first place. Rest assured, I now get oral herpes on the side of my nose. This is the second batch now).

But in cooler news, we did something really awesome with Peter’s folks at a park. It involved music. I unfortunately can’t be more specific. But really cool. We then had dinner with them and got back to Peter’s place very late. SLEEP DEFICIT CONTINUES.

Monday: Work. I can’t recall it very well now. I doubt I had many tasks. I think I got a few other chores done. Normally I stay Monday nights at my aunt & uncle’s house, so I can get to therapy first thing in the morning, but Peter and his roommate had finally chosen the day we were going to try the nearby Indian restaurant and I had been planning on joining them for two weeks (without a day chosen), so I decided to attend and Peter and I would just have to get up Tuesday morning at 6 am.

So we did. And the dinner was really good and I got to get to know his roommate just a tiny bit better (although I still understand him very little).

What came out of the blue was that one of Peter’s old friends from college years was in town and could meet at 10 pm. So we got back from dinner around 9 pm. I went immediately to the bed and crashed there, not sure if I’d try to join or not (I want to see how Peter is around his friends; that was a big eye-opener with my ex, so it’s important to me). So I tried to go into my “power-saving” mode for a while. I drifted in and out of sleep but also got heartburn since I laid down so soon after eating much Indian food. Then, between 10:30 and 11pm, the friend ended up having to cancel anyway, but by then I had insomnia and took extra time getting ready for bed, doing stretches, putting away a few of my things, etc. SLEEP DEFICIT WORSENS.

Tuesday: We had to get up early (well, *I* had to, and Peter chooses to join me, which I really appreciate). I was going to have to leave the apartment at 7:15am at the LATEST to make it to therapy on time. Somehow, this was accomplished, and it even involved eating breakfast with Peter (he made it while I got ready, which takes me ever so much longer than him). I skipped my shower for it.

I made it to therapy. I can’t say it was perhaps the most productive ever. I was crabby and didn’t want to discuss one of my more recent posts, which was about things I want to do, like the music and such, because that is overly personal for me. I can’t explain why I’m fine typing it here, but it’s nobody else’s business what’s inside of me for that. I suspect I’m just crabby from being tired. So then there was a lot of silence and I fell asleep like five times. Lovely.

Work… It was not busy. I don’t recall what I did, if anything. I drank a large mug of coffee.

I left work early for an appointment with my primary care doctor. I got my mandatory TB test, and I also discussed my sudden increase in acne and some other things I haven’t mentioned on here. She noticed my “rash” near my nose and asked if I wanted a swab for herpes… I said what’s the point. We both know it’s the oral herpes virus (which I blood-tested positive for last month, along with 80% of the rest of the population). She agreed it looked like it. I said I don’t want to spend any more money. It’s a pretty damn safe bet that it’s the herpes. She cautioned me not to kiss or anything, even though it’s up by my nose. Apparently my lips could be shedding the virus anyway. I wish I’d known that four weeks ago.

Oh, also, I’m going to be going down slightly on the my thyroid medicine. The last two bloodtests indicated that my thyroid levels are just touch high. In light of the bloodwork as well as recent heart palpitations and an inability to sleep, we’re going to try lowering the thyroid a touch. If it backfires, back up I’ll go. She wanted me to get bloodtested AGAIN first, but I pointed out that she’d already done a second test and it had showed the same upward trend as the previous. I can’t keep getting tested every time I have an appointment. I’m $900 in the red already this month. Thankfully, she agreed to lower the dose and I’ll get re-tested in six weeks.

So then I got back to Peter’s place and I pet one of the cats for a short time. Then I cooked some plain pasta. Then I waited for Peter to get home so we’d go to the grocery store and get some vegetables. I don’t recall the details, but we talked a lot when he first got home, so we didn’t end up leaving for the store immediately. Dinner took a while since all I’d done in advance was cook plain pasta noodles. He made up a bunch of fancy, delicious food to go with it. I washed spinach and carrots and sliced them up, although in the end he wasn’t in the mood for a salad. It’s funny, but he and I have pretty different eating tastes, I think. The things he could live on, I consider “rare treats”. The things I could live on, he would eat sparingly in the same way. But since we’re both contributing (as much as my exhaustion is allowing me right now), it’s working out just fine, IMO.

I’m too exhausted to continue pursuing the horse front right now. Sell my horse where she is, or bring her to me. If I bring her to me, I pay extra money each month, get to ride her on a beach and have SO MUCH FUN I can’t even picture it, but in the end should sell her anyway because of the continual drain on money. Financially, I should sell her where she is. But I’m too tired to allow myself any decisions on the topic right now. It’s on PAUSE.

So I got upset over something while at the grocery store yesterday. I’ll put it this way. He was super hungry and I was super exhausted by the time we were shopping. I was contemplating toothpaste ingredients and said out loud that I couldn’t remember for sure, but I thought maybe it was the SDS that I was allergic to, and he said he doubted that because that’s a foaming agent that’s in tons and tons of things. So I looked it up online and read some things listed as the common allergens in toothpastes and read some aloud and he said he felt like the website was just choosing any large word people wouldn’t recognize and say that that would be the allergen (he has a very chemist-y background and knows the chemical formulas and other names for each ingredient and their mechanisms of action and such). So I felt there was no point in continuing to speak on that topic so I asked if we could just change the topic. We did and I was able to perk up, but deep down I was stressed about it. He tried apologizing later if he’d come off cranky. But really, I’m so exhausted, everything everyone says to me right now is coming out looking BLACK and negative.

So after dinner, I just needed some Me time. I told him to just ignore me for the rest of the evening/night, and I was going to do the cleanup that night and plug in to my phone and just zone out into my own little world. That’s what I did. I cleaned up all the dishes and counters and stovetop and whatnot and listening to beautiful music and just ignored the whole world and it was wonderful. But what I really need is some fucking SLEEEEEEP. So, all that zoning out got me to a pretty late part of the evening/night. I’m starting to fall apart, I’m so tired. I took 1 mg of clonazepam and I feel like it helped a tiny bit. TOO LITTLE SLEEP.

Wednesday: I had SUCH a hard, painful time getting up again. I’m at work. I got done what I needed to get done. I could probably leave now and not miss anything, but I’d better just stay, especially since I won’t have an income soon. I still feel grouchy.

MOOD RANKING: 4 – 5.1

Log: Jul 4 – Jul 6 (Sat – Mon) Social Days

Jul 4 (Sat): Unknown;
Jul 5 (Sun): Unknown;
Jul 6 (Mon): Work;

Will Ferrell picture, says: Sometimes I use big words I don't always fully understand in an effort to make myself sound more photosynthesis.

Look, it’s me! Haha.

Saturday: I believe Peter & I went to my workplace to see if his book got left behind there, but no. 😥 We went to my aunt & uncle’s house, and I picked up some items. I also sought out my uncle who was tending the garden, and I told him about my Fall 2015 school plans. It went over all right, it seemed! Whew. Then Peter and I went to his mom’s house and had BBQed food. (I still have some issues of feeling incredibly stupid around his parents, because they exchange so much knowledge all the time, which is awesome, but I have nothing to add because I don’t read articles or news like they do. They deal in facts, supported by solid references. I learn a ton listening to them, but I’m basically silent. It’s like listening to really passionate Economics, Microbiology, Social Studies, Political, Worldly lectures. I mean, on Sunday night, his dad is silent at his computer for a while, and then looks up and says, “I think I just came up with a cure for [insert name of rare disorder here].” And he’s not joking. That’s what he does for his work, is help find cures for rare diseases and disorders. And then can explain it all the way down beyond the cell level.) We got back to Peter’s place by 11:30p and then I went up onto the roof to watch for fireworks (there were some).

Sunday: Lazy morning. I’m talking, I didn’t get out of bed until my lunchtime alarm went off at 12:45p. I haven’t been sleeping well again. We made a breakfast/lunch, and then Peter practiced piano and I decided to scrub some parts of the kitchen that I wasn’t convinced were free of possible raw meat juices from previous meals. That took a while. Then we went with Peter’s folks to a family friends’ kids’ birthday party. And I do mean plural on the birthday kids. There were 3 birthdays being celebrated. The twins just turned 2 and the older kid must have turned 13. There were a lot of younglings there of very varying age ranges. We were there until quite late. The kids were fun but I was on quite a bit of stimulus-overload by the time we got back home. I needed some quiet time to myself but it was too late at night. So I went to bed but knew I couldn’t possibly fall asleep, so I listened to a soothing song that one of YOU WordPressers introduced me to. I had it on repeat until about midnight, and then was able to sort of drift off to sleep (well, I’d accidentally consumed some lactose during the party dinner, so the gas wasn’t helping me fall asleep).

The song: https://youtu.be/O5x57-TusWA

Monday: Got up and made it to work early. Paid a medical bill. My acne is out of control (has been for days). I have so much on my mind.

  • Locate school books (buy or rent)
  • Apply for student work study for Friday mornings
  • Submit claims forms to insurance
  • Pay 2nd medical bill
  • Locate cheap shelving unit
  • Get rid of the clothes I want to give back to good will
  • Find home for my horse, who has lived in a different state from me for a year
  • Sell my car, I guess. Maybe.

Mass Mood Ranking: 4 – 5.1

Log: Jun 23 – 29 (Tue – Mon) Grandma’s Death and a Bar Mitzvah

Jun 23 (Tue): @ Grandma’s
Jun 24 (Wed): @ Grandma’s
Jun 25 (Thu): @ Grandma’s
Jun 26 (Fri): Fly back from Grandma’s by 10a; Fly to Peter’s cousin’s place at night
Jun 27 (Sat): Peter’s cousin’s bar mitzvah
Jun 28 (Sun): Peter’s cousin’s place; Fly back home in afternoon
Jun 29 (Mon): Work 9:30a – 5:30p; Go to Uncle’s after work

Tue, Wed, Thu: With my grandma, my mom, two aunts, two uncles, and a cousin (briefly). I’m not posting TW’s because I think the title is clear: I was there again because my grandma was dying. I was there for my own sense of closure and saying goodbye as well as wanting to commiserate with my family and be of any support for them as possible. I suppose I won’t go into too much detail here but hospice was involved so we were able to help take away Grandma’s pain and take care of her there at my aunt’s house. My grandma was much more at peace there, and always surrounded by love. Some family issues came up; two siblings had a pretty severe blow-up and might not speak with each other for many years to come. Let me rewind. Also, my aunts and uncles helped me to pick out an outfit for the upcoming Bar Mitzvah, because I left all of my formal clothes back Home (with my parents and dog). I talked to my grandma or just sat near her, and each day I played some gentle piano music for her. She was in a state similar to a coma but not quite; she did respond in certain ways when we would talk to her and stroke her arm or forehead. Her eyes would blink although closed, and her mouth would close, and her breathing would steady a little. She could definitely hear us although there is no way of knowing what she could comprehend; the hospice nurses said her brain was also starting to shut down.

Fri: Left there in the morning, flew back here. Leaving there was hard. I did not want to leave. I would not have left but for the $600 plane ticket that Peter had already purchased for me. So I did decide to leave. I said my goodbyes to Grandma on Thursday night and reinforced them again on Friday morning before leaving. She’s been basically in a coma or maybe a morphine-induced fog, but there were things I wanted to say. So then I flew. Got back here, napped and packed for my flight with Peter and his dad for Peter’s cousin’s Bar Mitzvah. We left that night.

Sat: Arrived on Saturday morning. Met Peter’s paternal family. Everyone was nice. I rested a bit (hadn’t been able to sleep on the plane that night; my restless leg syndrome was being severe AND every time I started to nod off, I would jerk awake with horrible, horrible OCD intrusive thoughts). Then it was time to get dressed and ready for the Bar Mitzvah. It was really nice. I haven’t been to any before this, but I am sure it was a really nice one. The cousin’s speech was really interesting; I’d been afraid I wouldn’t be able to relate to it because I don’t know much about the religion, but he did a wonderful job and I felt very connected to what they were talking about. Of course, I didn’t know to expect a prayer/words for those mourning loved ones’ deaths near the end, so I cried and had no tissue for my snotty nose. Afterward, the reception/ceremony was pretty amazing. There was an open bar and catered food that was really good. There was mandatory dancing and I liked that. Then Peter and I danced to many of the rest of the songs anyway, although neither of us knows any dance moves. So we basically were just shuffling our feet in random ways, but it was fun. I hope a relative sends a picture so I can show my parents (pictures were allowed during this part). They’d LOVE to have seen it.

Sun: So, we left Sunday, early afternoon, after they had a bunch of family photos taken and more chatting and celebration. I got to talk with more, very nice relatives. Peter was asked to play piano for ambiance again. Then we had to leave. Flew back, said goodbye to Peter’s dad, dropped off our stuff at Peter’s place and went out to eat dinner. It was really good food. Then went to a store for a couple of supplies and that’s when my mom called me that my grandma had passed away.

She had been without food or water for a week already, and hardly eaten or drank for a long time before then. It hurts but at the same time, there was an element of relief for me. She died very peacefully, not like her husband, who struggled at the very end. My grandma’s breathing was becoming more infrequent and then at last she did not inhale again. She had waited until the family was back from a walk and they were all with her, and I’m glad for that. But it’s hard not to be there with them now. But I cannot go back right now; a coworker was getting anxious about my absence because of a large, important report that he needs me to print + bind shortly. I was hoping he’d give it to me today and then I could consider leaving again later in the week, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen today.

I had worried so long, SO, SO long, about how my mom would not be able to live on without her mom. I thought she’d be lost forever once her mom died. But it turns out, and so I think I needed to have been there and seen with my own eyes, my mom will pull through this. I saw it. She even helped with some of the night shift medicating. Reality turns into the New Norm and she is adjusting to it. I imagine it helped her too, to see Grandma during this stage of her decline. So there was this chance to see and to adjust and to live differently. I underestimated her. I guess we will all adjust to the New Norms as they happen, and I needn’t have worried so much for so many years. We deal. We handle it. We let our mental expectations change as the reality changes. We adapt.

Mon: I woke up in a pretty severe, serious mood. No joking, just taking everything very serious and saying very serious things. In contrast, I think Peter woke up in a light mood, and our conversation this morning was confusing and I’ve already written him for further clarification. I’m at work. I briefly saw my uncle. I’m going to go to his place after work today, and I’m going to watch a stupid movie with him (we’ve already planned it). He was one of the siblings involved in the blow-out and there are certain topics we’ll avoid discussing, but I’ll be glad to be with him. I talked with my mom for a while last night when she called to tell me the news about Grandma, and then I called my dad and talked with him for a while, although he and I mostly talked about my dog. I needed to talk with family. I texted with my brother some, too. ❤

UPDATE: I’ve been in a shitty, shitty mood all day today. I’ve just gone on a 2+ mile walk in the sun and I’m STILL in a shitty, shitty mood. That’s how bad it is.

Log: Jun 13 – 15 (Sat – Mon) Busy

Jun 13 (Sat): Tree planting 9a; Chores; Walking
Jun 14 (Sun): Visit Peter’s folks; Watch the basketball game with my brother
Jun 15 (Mon): Work 9:30a – 5:30p; Uncle’s house after work

Fun with new sketch pad and phone app

Fun with new sketch pad and phone app

I don’t remember Saturday very well. Peter and I walked A LOT (hit 20,000 steps!), but I think the day was mostly about errands. And more specifically, getting my medicines. I had left some at Peter’s place and one was at a pharmacy. We were dog-sitting. Also going to sell an item to someone but she flaked, so that involved some rushing around trying to get places at certain times.

Sunday is easier to remember. We went to Peter’s folks’ place for breakfast and must have been there for a while. Went to an Art supply store and got me the eraser I’ve been wanting, and ended up getting an awesome pencil, a cheapo pencil holder, and a small sketch pad for me, too. Exciting.

Then we had to be back to meet this lady for an item sale again, and this time she did show and paid for the item although she won’t pick it up until a few more days from now. Peter and I made a dinner — I mistakenly thought my brother was joking when he told me he was on a hunger strike. So I assumed he was going to eat dinner with us while watching the basketball game. But it was fun anyway, and more food for me and Peter. We did some sausage and Brussels sprouts, some leftover brown rice, and something else I’m forgetting. Huh. Avocado. Wasn’t there something else? Oh well.

A commercial came on the TV during the game that I thought was so funny, I had a laugh attack. I couldn’t stop. My eyes were watering like crazy, I laughed so hard. We all laughed. I think my brother and I bonded over the horribleness of the commercial and how much it made us NOT want the product. I’m going to keep referencing it with him until it gets very old.

Monday: I’m still trying to be more careful about my morning routine, and it’s a good thing! I had a watch alarm set for “10 minutes until leaving apartment” and that’s what woke us up this morning!! Whoops. Haha. We either slept through his alarm clock or he didn’t set it. So we got up then. I showered and everything (which is still really damn amazing, for me). I had time to drink some tea and eat some bacon he had made, but the rest of breakfast, I took with me.

The rest of Monday is To be continued…

3-Day Mood Ranking: 4.5 – 5.5 (I’m feeling better emotionally again)