Not my most “up” day, perhaps. (Journal#052)

I cracked open my laptop tonight to see if writing a post would help me feel better. I may have had an anxiety attack a little bit ago. I’m not sure. Tears were involved. I’m actually not much of a cryer so it’s always a big deal to me when I cry. It means something is off, either my blood sugar, menstruation, or a bit of an anxiety attack.

So here goes my exploration. First of all, Saturday. Saturday, I did what I’d intended to do. I rested. I napped. I rested some more. I think I did chores that evening. Sunday, I spent most of it with “Joe”. We watched tons more episodes of Star Trek TNG and we went on a walk. I’ll admit to you guys that we may have snuggled on the sofa while watching. All G-rated, but his arms were definitely around me and my head was resting on his chest and I didn’t want to ever move again. Ever. Complete. Bliss. If I could freeze those moments in time and just let the rest of my life play out like that, I would. Nothing more and nothing less.

This might sound positive but it is not. I don’t know if I’ll be able to put to words. something extremely important and desperate. something that does not deserve to live in me but it is there and will rear its head whenever and however it damn well pleases.

Desperation.

Desperation. Forgive me, I may offend as I try to type this. I don’t know what I’ll say or how this is going to come out.

All I can do is say PTSD. How else could I possibly describe it.

In my second year of college, I was starting my mental breakdown. It went on through the whole year, getting progressively worse the entire time.

There came a time when I consciously realized the desperation that had grown within me. At lunch, I would sit with a group of people in the cafeteria. I would sit with them. I would stare at them. I would try to memorize them and their presence with me and their company. I was desperate. I would not go for food any longer; every second spent getting food was a second not spent with them. I would begin to cry when one of them would have to leave to go back and study, attend class, etc. The loneliness.

It got to where I would begin to cry preemptively. Lunch would have just begun and I would burst into tears because I knew they would all have to leave shortly. I cannot put this into words strongly enough to convey. I would have done anything. What did I have to lose anymore by that point? I was desperate for company and did not attain it.

But also, I could not. Because even if someone tried to spend a moment with me, I was wracked with the loneliness and knowledge that they’d be leaving shortly.

THERE IS A WAY IN WHICH COMPANY WORSENS IT. It gives me that taste again. It gives me something to miss again. In many ways, it is easiest and best to be alone. Because otherwise, this neurotic part of me can rise again.

Well it did today. Tonight, I was so lonely I cried. And I wanted a hug. And I wanted company. And I don’t want to be alone right now.

The higher the high, the more painful the fall. I have had this now for over a decade. How did it subside long enough for me to date and marry? I don’t understand.

I thought, perhaps tonight I was triggered because I had just finished filling out a psychiatric history form for a psychiatrist I am finally going to see. But I did perhaps an overly-thorough job of going back all the way to the first time I was diagnosed with anything, and going forward from there, which means I did give a quick mention to that year of college and the time following.

Will this loneliness-I-would-kill-for-companionship feeling go away? Please, please let there be some way of letting this feeling die once and for all.

It’s a loop, too. It fuels itself. Because guess what keeps people away quite easily? Being neurotic. So my desperation for you, once I can no longer hide it, will be the very thing that keeps you away, fueling my desire to sacrifice any and all aspects of myself for companionship.

And, once it is in full swing, this is not something that will leave my head. I will not be able to think of anything else during the 24hr day. I mean this literally. It’s never occurred to me before now, but perhaps there is some OCD in there as well. As is, these are reasons I do not trust myself and I think I am dangerous to others (because I HAVE gone through times when I would say and do anything. Lie. Be someone different. Set aside anything Real for just one moment of time with someone). But I wonder now, if I were to consider it anymore as nothing more than an intrusive thought, maybe I could treat it as such. It feels more Real and more Tangible and more Controlling than that, but maybe, just maybe that’s all it is now. I wonder if I can think of it that way. I wish to God[] I could be normal and have normal, healthy relationships.

[[P.S. I was still in tears when I cracked open my laptop to try and explore this topic here, but before I started this post, I read all of the beautiful, so kind comments on my previous posts. ❤ ❤ I didn’t feel as lonely then. Thank you, everybody! ❤ ]]

Cannot. Sleep. (Journal#039)

It’s 5:11 a.m. and I cannot sleep. I’ve been trying since around 1 a.m. It’s ironic, because I had even set aside a really complicated sketch I was working on for the sake of sleep.

I guess I am too nervous about tomorrow. I’m flying out tomorrow, for my grandpa’s memorial.

  • I have issues with executive functioning, so packing is always an issue.
    • My mom did talk me through some of it over the phone earlier. But in truth, I only gathered some clothes so far. I couldn’t bring my mind to think about it.
  • I’m flying. Which brings up its own bag of worms (actually, I’d like a bag of worms).
    • My worst-ever panic attack occurred on an airplane.
      • It was before I had accepted any anti-anxiety medicines (STUPID!).
      • The flight attendants offered me oxygen.
    • Although before that happened, flying was my favorite thing to do and I dreamed of being a then-called stewardess, one panic attack can change all of that.
    • Now I always feel really pleased with myself if I make it through a flight without taking anxiety medicine. (Why do I torture myself with trying it?! I can go from handling it to being scared out of my pants in about 1 second flat.)
  • I’m just scared.
    • Of the change in routine, I guess.
    • Scared of the unknown.
    • Seeing people I don’t normally get to see.
    • Attending a memorial I haven’t mentally prepared for yet.
    • I never submitted any of my memories of him for the book they’re preparing. 😦
  • I’m getting up in 2 hours for a doctor appointment. I apparently decided, why make a normal appointment for half the price when I can instead wait to the last second before travel and see an urgent care doctor for extra$$$ for something that’s been bugging me for two months??!
    • Maybe after the appointment, I can finish packing and then NAP until my flight, since I’m obviously not going to get a whole lot of sleeping in between now and my appointment.

I’ve been down again lately. It feels like it’s gone on forever, but maybe I’m mistaken.

I don’t want to ever step foot back at work again. I’ve definitely got a “thing” about that place now.

My other contract is ending at the end of this month. Actually, that means my mom won’t let me nap tomorrow because she’ll insist I work on that contract… which would be the ethically correct thing to do. But I’m so scared about the fact that I can’t sleep. I didn’t do too badly on that contract, but the time period’s nearly over and there’s still like a day’s worth of work to do on it. Two days if I’m unproductive.

Please let me out of this job. I don’t want to ever go back. One of my aunts apparently told my mom that if I can make it through for another month or two, things will be all better. But OMFG WHY DO I HAVE TO MAKE IT THROUGH ONE OR TWO MORE MONTHS of it?! (2 reasons: One, the pay is better than most other jobs I could get, and two, I could opt for significantly cheaper health insurance through it)

I haven’t really written here that there’s been a helluva lot of inner turmoil at work. A helluva lot. It’s basically destroyed my home life. For the past however long it’s been, that’s what all the yelling and crap has been about – it’s all been work related. And when there wasn’t yelling, my uncle had stopped being able to talk with me or anything because he had to focus on contracts and all sorts of things he had to research. He didn’t tell me what was going on, and in fact did try to hide the yelling from me at first, but frankly when the walls shake from your voice, there’s no hiding it. That’s when I put in the earplugs and whatnot.

But I can’t take it. You’ve changed. I’m depressed. I’m scared of work, scared of the turmoil, scared of people resenting each other and doing things behind other people’s backs. Scared of the fact that one of them told several of the other employees what’s going on but I was still in the dark, as I was supposed to be (it really isn’t my business as an employee there). Sick. I’m just sick. I’m literally getting over my virus.

But I’m more than physically sick. I feel like all the light and all the hope of this life is just gone. Like I have nothing to look forward to again. Like every moment is a torment and I can’t feel rest and I can’t feel secure and I can’t feel loved. Listless and pointless.

But I’m glad I took Bailey to the dog park today. I needed the exercise (I had slept for virtually 4 days straight without a speck of exercise). But I feel so sick to my stomach right now. Bailey was very good with all of the different dogs and all of the people…except for her ability to sniff out each person who had treats. Silly food hog. It was cute, but I literally had to take her to the other side of the dog park because this really nice lady wouldn’t stop giving her treats! (Bailey has a fat-roll issue, for those wondering why that would be a problem. 😉 )

Don’t read on if you’re emetophobic or otherwise squeamish: Continue reading

Rough nights, journal post (Journal#032)

Gull

Gull

My dreams have been so messed up lately. Partly, I think it’s because I’ve been in some pain (GI pain and muscle soreness/aches, who ever knows why). But I’ve been dreaming a lot about my ex husband and it is kind of rough. They aren’t the happy memories. They aren’t even from the marriage itself. They’re from the falling apart. There were some very terrible things that happened. I called the police on him probably four times altogether, although it didn’t help. He needed help but wasn’t accepting it at that point.

If I could wipe out certain memories, it would be everything from that time period. Some of it was so heartbreakingly sad. Some scary. So much intensity and terrible things happening with our emotions. Then comes in the guilt and sorrow. All kinds of yuck.

I would wipe it out, no second guessing about it. Gone. Poof. I don’t want this to be a shadow that follows me, out of sight but always in the corner. If a single memory ACTUALLY surfaces, I’m instantly on the verge of tears. Who wants that?! And how do you get the fuck RID of it permanently?

Normally I love my dreams at night. But these are not so fun. If I have two nights of them in a row, I get afraid to go to bed the third night, because it leaves such an awful feeling.

I’ve been SO TIRED lately, my uncle is suggesting I go back to being an hourly employee and just work half days!!!!!!!!! I will consider that. I’ve been going to bed within an hour of getting home from work lately, and I am just so tired.

BUT I’m also messing with my Synthroid dose lately. I can’t keep missing my antidepressants so I’m taking them altogether again now, in the morning. That means I am not getting as much Synthroid, because it binds to the other medicines and the food I’m eating. I am going to continue doing this and then eventually get more bloodwork done, and have my dosage adjusted from there, if needed.

And I’ve had a chronic sore throat for like two months. It goes away a little bit sometimes, but then comes back. I don’t know what’s going on with that. I tend toward a bit of paranoia so it’s on my radar of things to worry about (I’m 4% convinced it’s throat cancer).

Update: I’m 75% convinced it’s oral thrush, actually. Over the past two months, I’ve been swishing/drinking cider vinegar (diluted). YUCK. But within about three days, it seems to help each time. But then it just comes back, so I don’t know. I’m not smoking but I do eat sugars and I also tend to breathe with my mouth open at night (because my nose swells shut due to allergies). So there are two things that could contribute to it. But I don’t know. I broke out the vinegar again tonight, just in case. I’ve decided that if it does go away within three days but comes back again, I’ll finally see a doctor (who has $$$ or that?!). Every time it comes back, my throat hurts too, always on the left side only. When I drink the vinegar, it burns there, too, but not on the other side. The body is weird.

I probably shouldn’t have read through this entire document, but my 75% certainty is now about 25%. LOL

“A Guide To Common Oral Lesions” for dentists. 🙂 http://dentistry.umkc.edu/Practicing_Communities/asset/OralLesions.pdf

Downward: Deleting my phone pictures (Topic#026)

The Ice

The Ice

**UPDATE** Now that I realize I have a flu, I’m quite relieved! All of the negativity of the week (and all the weird headaches I’ve had all week, and the total exhaustion) will all get better as soon as I am healthy again! I will be back to my more chipper self soon enough! Whew! I’m headed home from work early today, and will go straight for my jammies and a pile of blankets! ❤ ❤ **

My phone has been too full for me to take any more photographs with it, which is a problem. I’ve deleted every app I can, plus many songs, and still no space.

So I finally downloaded the pictures onto a computer and burned them to a disc, so I will have them in storage.

That is good, but it became time to delete them from my phone. There are some that make me very happy to see, and I wanted to keep them. So it meant going through the pictures one by one to select the ones I wanted to delete.

I just deleted at least 1200 photographs. It just got more and more painful. These are photos from the past six years, in some cases. These are photos of the happy moments, like my ex husband hugging his cat. Or the time we went ice skating in a wind storm and blew all over the lake, and I photographed it the whole time and it was so much fun. I am crying now & feel so alone. I know it’s silly, because they’re on DISC. But somehow, it is very distressing to delete from phone.

I wanted to delete all of these because how else can I stop thoughts of that time period from entering my mind? If I think about what I did to bring the marriage down, it is more painful than I can bear. But I WANT to have pictures of my cat on my phone. The cats stayed with my ex husband. But I have so many pictures of them that I love so much. Yet if I see them, I am brought back to that time period, and that’s not healthy.

So I think I’d better delete the cat pictures, too. I suspect I should even delete the horse pictures from then, because those pictures remind me of that time period, too. But I loved those horses so much and I want to be able to see them when I want. But I think it would be healthiest if I delete everything from before I moved HERE, so I can really be starting fresh. It’s just SO OOUUCCHHYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But maybe in a month from now, I wouldn’t miss the pictures and would be glad I removed the reminders from my easy vision?

The truth is, I’ve been EXHAUSTED this week (I fell asleep while talking with my TaskRabbit again this morning!!). And every since my mom mentioned “that time period” (the things I did to bring down the marriage), it’s been kind of on my mind too often. (And I’ve had headaches all week, feel stiff and sore, and feel very nauseous at present. Maybe I caught a flu, which could explain the yucko mood).

As I walk down the streets here, I keep thinking I see my ex-father-in-law. Which is very distressing because he has cancer and I don’t even know if he’s okay right now, and I can’t ask anybody. I wish I could stop thinking I see him. It’s strange how many people around here look very much like him.

I have also started thinking more about my ex husband and that time period. I don’t WANT to but I’m not sure how to shut off the thoughts now that they are open. It is so painful!

So how can I get out of this funk in the short term? I’ll try to ignore my phone for a while, forgetting about the pictures. I’ll listen to some music (see my list of “grounding” music on my Music page — I’ll be choosing from that list!). I’ll get some exercise later. I’ll put away my clean clothes and maybe vacuum again. Productivity will help me feel better. [I’m not sure why, but WP just made me re-create my paragraph breaks again. I don’t know if I placed them in the same spots they were originally.]

Additions to: Messages received in childhood abuse (Topic#023)

Ocean birds

Ocean birds

I wrote this as an addition to the childhood abuse post, but it became long enough that I may as well make it its own post. The first addition is about my dreams in elementary school. The second addition is about sexual orientation/identity.

Addition: In elementary school, I had dreams at night about how he and I were at war. In real life, I used to set up bells and stuff so I could hear if doors were being opened. I positioned all of my stuffed animals around so they could see every corner of the rooms, like that would protect me. In my sleep, we were at war and he was trying to kill me. I’d have to trap him or kill him first. It was life and death.

So I never really thought much of any of this until I got back from college with a mental breakdown and everyone was questioning why this had happened and on and on. That’s when they started asking me all these questions and learning more about this time period. That’s when I was diagnosed with prolonged PTSD, depression (again), anxiety disorders, etc etc. But really, I’m not convinced this played that big of a part. I think it did set me up to be in such an unhealthy relationship as what happened out in college, but I don’t think it extended beyond that. It was just life and it’s a part of me. Maybe it wired me to be more anxious, more sensitive, more observant of certain things. But I don’t feel damaged by it. Just different. But I was different to begin with.

It’s not uncommon for people with Asperger/autism spectrum disorder to experience ‘abuse’ and not think to report it or really notice that something is out of place. I was already different and I think that’s the point. (Here is a link for you to learn more, from Disability Studies Quarterly journal.)

Additional Addition: He also did verbal experiments to try and make me grow up to be a lesbian. For a stretch of time, he only called me “Lesbo” and talked about me as a lesbian and stuff. So even though I went on to middle school and never saw him again, I spent middle school wondering if his experiment was going to be successful or not. I kind of hoped it would be, because I was rooting for him. But I never found a female attractive. I never found a male attractive, either. I found nothing attractive and had no sexual interest in anything or anyone until I was like 22 years old or so (I was EXTREMELY averse to anything sexual until around then, actually). But I used to be quite concerned about it and always wondered if I liked whatever female as a friend, or more than a friend, or etc. etc. For some reading on this, here is a link to an article on Sexual Orientation OCD thoughts.

Besides, this person had already made me ashamed of my self and body in every way possible and ashamed of being female. I believed I was supposed to have been born male and often wondered if somehow I was actually born with two genders and my parents chose the wrong one. In my dreams at night, I was nearly almost a male character. Sometimes I was even dating a female in my dreams. This sort of thing still happens — I’m often male in my dreams.

The difference now is, I don’t care. None of it matters to me. I’m just a human. These things used to cause me a lot of anxiety but now, it wouldn’t matter to me one way or another. I’m not an exceptionally feminine human but I’m not masculine, either. (I started letting coworkers dress me in feminine clothing a few years ago, in one of my attempts to fit in better. And I try to get my hairdressers to give me a feminine style, to fit in better.) My favorite person in the entire world was my best friend in 12th grade, and he was a male, but had a lot of feminine qualities. Neither of us really fit our gender roles that well and it didn’t matter one bit. He is the only person on this planet who actually made me feel like I fit in and I knew he loved me exactly as I am. He’s the only one who’s EVER looked at me and I KNEW how much he loved me. I lost him when I had my first mental breakdown.

For me, that’s actually the biggest tragedy in my life – losing him as a friend. I can accept everything else that has ever happened in my life, but that one cuts to this day, even though it was more than a decade ago.

In college, a girl did ask me out, but it was in the midst of my breakdown and I didn’t have any mental energy to deal, so I said no. I couldn’t allow anything into my life. She had been my best friend the year before but I wasn’t sexually attracted to her. Still, I probably would have said yes under normal circumstances. Because I’m still rooting for him to have succeeded in his experiments.

(*OCD note: This is Topic#023, which I am making myself use, and that’s a big deal for me. I’ll be writing about OCD numbers someday.)

Pondering: Messages received in childhood abuse (Topic#021)

Rainy

Rainy

I’m hesitant to write this post due to the chance that anybody in my family might someday come across this. But I sense that several of my new “followers” (terrifying still) have experienced some similar childhood messages, so I want to write about it. Writing really helps me think, even though it often comes out as a big mess. I’ll just try to avoid some specifics.

When I was in elementary school, I received some very strong, literal verbal messages from an older kid who I spent lots of time with every day in elementary school. He was awesome and I worshipped the ground he walked on. (Enter start of my screwed up relationships with people, anyone?) Anyway, so the word I’ve learned to describe this is “abuse”. He was abusive toward me. I’m going to focus just on the verbal aspect right now. And although I have read and read and studied on the topic of abuse since then, I still couldn’t tell you if this is “verbal” “emotional” or whatever abuse. I don’t get the difference between some of the different types.

Anyway (focus! I wonder if I can get through this). So this kid was really into psychology and psychological experiments. I do wonder what he’d studied, now. How could he have been so smart? Anyway. So one of his messages to me was, “If you don’t have anything interesting to say, then don’t say anything at all.” This was his own variation to what my parents used to tell me (“If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”). He followed through on this by not allowing me to speak. If I opened my mouth, I got physical threats or maybe things thrown at me. I became semi mute for a while in elementary school. I believe I did speak at school and at home a little still, but not very much. One of my goals in life became to literally one day grow up and be the mute servant to a king. It’s what I wanted. That literal image. I became proud to do anything this person required of me, at the moment he required it. I jumped if you said jump. I ducked if you threatened. I dropped to the floor and went limp if you ran at me like you were going to attack me. You had me lick dirt off your shoes to show off your training of me in front of your friends, and I did it and I was proud of your training.

There were many times I was sure I was going to die. You held me under water in swimming pools until I panicked. You picked me up with one arm by my throat and held me there until I was panicking (OCD symptoms came after that one — NOTHING could touch my throat for many years — no necklaces, no shirt collars, nothing could even BUMP my throat, I was so afraid of strangulation). You held me over like you were going to throw me off the side of a mountain.

But I never knew anything was wrong with this, at the time. I never told anybody. I screamed when I saw you enter the same room as me, and adults came at first, but it would be unprovoked at that point and I wouldn’t have any words to explain, so in the end, I started to get in trouble for screaming for no cause.

I didn’t start to really speak, in general, until I was out of elementary school and away from you. I remember my parents commenting on how much more I was talking at home, and wondering about that. But I never thought to tell them about you. It just never even occurred to me.

In 8th grade, I was writing in my journal at 1 a.m. with my blue light on (that’s in a previous post), and I had a flashback, to you pinning me down under a heavy object and touching me sexually. That was the first time it had come to my mind since it happened. Yet it still never occurred to me to tell anybody. (Besides, you weren’t in my life anymore.) But it was your words that stayed with me the most, not the touch. You made me ashamed of myself in all ways possible. Your words had more meaning and humilation than I could ever hope to describe to anybody. (They’re still too shameful to even write here in an anonymous blog.)

In high school, my mom forced me into family counseling because I had stopped talking with her (she offended me with a question one night, and I told myself I’d never speak to her again. I already had good training for not-talking, so it wasn’t hard for me). In counseling, I remember the lady asking me many, many times if I had any past abuse, and I thought about it and said no. I didn’t know what you did was abuse. I wasn’t intentionally lying — I really didn’t consider that abuse. It was just part of my past, part of my life. It didn’t occur to me to say anything. It didn’t even cross my mind. I was diagnosed with depression, which marks my first official diagnosis of anything.

(In middle school, my whole family went to a counseling session for my brother, because he was getting depressed and stuff. I remember that appointment because it was a trip to the big city for me. I  was already very depressed by this point. It was a very gray day outside (summer), which I loved, and made me want to cry. I sat on a sofa, looking out the window at the gray cars below (we were not on the first floor, so I was looking down on a street). I recall nothing else from the entire day. But I later learned that the counselor had asked me my grade level after the appointment, and I didn’t answer because I wasn’t sure if he was asking what grade I had just finished, or the one I was going to be starting after summer). After the appointment, he pulled my mom aside and told her that he thought it was me who needed to be in counseling. I am not sure why she didn’t persue that. But what kills me is that somehow he had asked her what my favorite movie was, and she told him it was Journey to Spirit Island, and he then revealed to her that he was wearing an amulet!!!! I BELIEVE HE COULD HAVE CHANGED MY LIFE. IF ONLY she had let him talk with me. IF ONLY I could have his name and track him down. I was SO religious/spiritual back then. On the other hand, I was so screwed up back then, I would have latched on to him so much and followed him to the ends of the earth, I am sure.)

The point of this post was in the messages I received in elementary school. I wonder it is valid to think that that’s probably why I still feel like a “phony” and so inferior to everyone around me. He told me over and over again for years that I was ugly, stupid, worthless, etc. That everyone who seemed to like me was just faking because they pitied me. He set me up to tell one of his friends that I liked him, only to be hiding with other friends around the corner, who then all came out and laughed at me. He told me I had nothing to offer, that nobody wanted to hear me. He picked on my physical features and told me how each feature made me ugly.

To date, I am ashamed of my face. I feel very ugly. I always feel ugly. No matter what clothes I wear, I feel dirty and ugly. No matter how much I pay to have my hair done, I feel stupid and ugly. And unclean. He made me ashamed of my body and my thoughts. Oh my god, my legs. SO MUCH shame about my legs. If he ever saw my legs, he made me cover them up because they were so ugly (I had eczema all over my legs back then). Now I have the scars from the eczema on my legs. I feel they’re so ugly, I try never to show them, but I did this-past summer. I wore a skort a lot. I even shaved them. But I still feel they are hideous).

So what I’m wondering is, can messages given to you in childhood still have such a strong effect on you today? Can this really be the cause of some of today’s insecurities? Or is it just a “bullshit excuse” I use to be less than 100% today?

Yet to this day, if someone advances toward me rapidly with the body language of physical attack, I will still play dead. (Then he couldn’t carry me as easily/ as far.)

I’m going to talk about dissociation at some point in this blog, too. Maybe I’ll start a new post for it right now.