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.

Immediate update

Things seem better already, just having gone through the previous realization of the “manic music phase” trigger and also sharing all of my thoughts of the past week with my bf just now, verbally. He was relieved because all he knew for sure was that I was super closed down all week and not communicating and he didn’t know what in the world was going on. We’re talking again. I’m feeling a lot better knowing it was the guitar trigger and considering ways of dealing with that more directly. I am going to try a school counselor on Monday and see how that is. Goodnight, all.

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.

Brighter

Well all,
Life is weird. Right? Right?? Life is fucking WEIRD. I mean, really. Life is really, really, really weird.

Of course, maybe that’s how it always feel after you’ve just moved. And moved in with your partner’s mother. And your partner has had a crazy work schedule due to a conference that was being held, so you’ve only seen him like once in a week, or at least that’s how it feels.

And part of why it feels that way is because when he was home, at like 11 pm, and you did go to bed, you had to enforce a large space bubble because he was a stranger to you. Because you were dissociating and although you could consciously think back and tell yourself that yes, you have met this person before and actually lived with this person for a while, you don’t know or recognize this person right now. The face and hair are unfamiliar. The mental processes of his┬ábrain are unfamiliar.

Monday, I had a test. Today, I had two tests. I think I did well on all three. Yesterday, he and I chatted via text for a brief time during the day. I asked him how he was doing whatwith all this change and such. He said it was hard and he felt like he had lost some of my trust. Yeah, he had. I can’t put my finger on the reason why, but yep. I asked if he was interested in splitting up with me. He said no but that we should talk about things. I suggested we go on a walk & talk later.

I didn’t know it, but he had thought I wanted to go on a walk with him for the sake of breaking up. For me, going on a walk is like my one attempt at repairing things. Because I can’t connect with a person in a house. We connected in the first place outdoors, doing things. That’s where we need to work on repairing things, IMO.

Anyway. So we went on a walk, exploring the residential areas around here. It was a relief to be out, exercising for the first time in how long. We didn’t chat too deeply but we did get into it a little bit. I felt a lot of relief and a little more at peace.

I had been so angry on moving day. SO angry. Because he wasn’t there. He had to be at that horribly-timed conference for work. I was scared. He had taken off the day before to pack, and we had accomplished a lot but weren’t entirely done. So I was gathering up last shreds of items and trying to organize them into boxes but failing repeatedly. I managed to get enough together by the time they arrived.

Ah well. I cry every day. Because I miss the cats so much. I liked both cats but I was really fond of miss Curie, especially. She loved me, too.

My partner’s mum has two cats but I’m not attached to them yet. And I have been sneezing more here, so I’m trying to keep them away a lot. I don’t have to fear getting attached to these cats because after we move out, I expect to still see them each weekend or however often we visit (it’s typically once a weekend).

All of this sounds negative, I expect, but I titled this Brighter and I meant it. I’m feeling a lot better. It was last night that I realized I’d been dissociating a lot since the move. I told him. I don’t know that he understands but I felt better for having put it into words and recognized what was happening.

In spite of moments of going in and out of reality, I actually have found moments of joy in my heart for living here. And that is freaking amazing, that it could happen at all in the midst of so much change and stress and uncertainty. This is very unusual for me. But I have been able to just walk over with my laptop to where my partner’s mum is sitting and watching TV, and just silently sit down and watch with her. We don’t know our relationship yet; as a tenant, I’m probably invading her space. As her son’s girlfriend, it’s probably fine but more chatter would be expected. This uncertain mix suites me much better; maybe she will expect more chatter or more space, i don’t know. But getting to just come in and sit down and have company but not be pressured into speaking is so nice. And I can sit in sunbeams around here. And the area is amazing.

She took me on a walking tour of the neighborhood today. I bought a cute dog card for my dad, from a pet shop we went to. She showed me the entrance to the nearby park. She showed me two little veggie shops and one main grocery store. It was quite a walk but such a relief. I suspect my lack of conversation was noticed at some point but I’m so out of energy for holding up conversations lately. I just don’t know what to say. But I liked the company and I liked getting to see so many things around here.

I saw a Post Office so I can mail out my dad’s super late birthday present soon. We also stopped at an icecream shop that sells vegan icecream, and I bought one and it was amazing. I only meant to eat part of it but I hadn’t realized how long the walk back would take; I ate nearly all of it. The last bite is currently in the freezer.

Sleep is a bit challenging. Well, my partner & I went to bed SUPER late last night because he was helping me study for my tests. I especially requested help for the Math test; I didn’t understand one of the chapters. It paid off; I have my score for it already, and I got a 100%!! But we were SO tired this morning. I’m drained.

I’m probably also feeling hopeful now because my first ever endocrinologist appointment is tomorrow. As always, I hope for mysteries of the universe to be quickly explained and “cured” with a quick, cheap-fix, one-line diagnosis. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Chronic exhaustion… CURED
Lifetime of insomnia and sleep issues… CURED
Depression… CURED
Lethargy… CURED
Exercise aversion… CURED
Lack of motivation… CURED
Anxiety… CURED
Indecisiveness… CURED
Intestinal pain… CURED
Moodiness… CURED
Lack of self-confidence… CURED

ETC!

Well, I am going to go make some tea. Using the teapot I already damaged by forgetting about it. (Yes, I have a new system in place so that doesn’t happen again.) At least she didn’t seem upset with me. That was a rough first day. My gawd it has been stressful, when you think about it.

Mixen’ up

Today was all right. I went to classes. But at home, I didn’t go to the grocery store (desperately needed). And I haven’t done homework. I did practice Spanish a little bit, for fun. And I ate a bowl of freeze-dried noodles and freeze-dried vegetable chunks. I then ate soy yogurt and homemade GF granola, to which I added cocoa powder with mini chocolate chips in it. And a drop of maple syrup.

Now I’m drinking a supposedly-vanilla-scented sleepy-time tea. My bf wrote that he’s on his way home. That’s when I realized I hadn’t actually done any homework nor have I started to pack. Nor have I done really anything, and that’s exactly when my anxiety SPIKED again. I mean out of control. I’m weak again, my heart is fluttering rather than beating. I can’t think or process or do anything. I’m scared and gray.

Why? Because once he’s home, the lack of having packed up anything becomes real? Because once he’s home, the lack of homework gotten done becomes real? I did make some quinoa. It’s cold now, on the stove top with a lid on it so it can be reheated. But I no longer feel like it. He’s been having to work really late lately; that’s why we haven’t gone to the grocery store. I love that he has such an immense work ethic. Last night, I was doing homework and he was doing work from home until I couldn’t anymore and I fell asleep. He kept going until midnight and then we went to bed.

I guess it’s not that late here yet but it’s so dark outside. It feels late. And I have an exhaustion beyond words. It’s this anxiety. It’s wearing me down.

I have to make a change. This isn’t working and it isn’t a life. It isn’t MY life.

  • I looked at a lot of job listings today. There is one in particular, with a well-known animal rescue organization, that actually sounds doable for me. I will need to fill out an application, cover letter, and alert my references. I should still have a resume copy laying around from a few months ago. I need to submit for this job because it would be very good for me. The main downside is that it is weekends, which I wanted to avoid.
  • But frankly, my partner & I have been having an issue with our conflicting executive function difficulties as of late. It’s making it hard to be productive on the weekends as is. Last weekend, I did my damn best to write down a list of possible things we could do, as requested. I gave it to him and expected he would choose several and place them in some sort of order for the day. Instead, we just sort of did some things at random and then he was really frustrated at the end of the day for having had no feeling of progressing toward anything. We hadn’t communicated well. When I had given him that list, I expected him to take the next step. He was expecting ME to decide the order of events I wanted to do, and tell him what to do. I want him to tell me what to do. If I had the skills to choose my own damn schedule, I wouldn’t be in this mess of a life in the first place.
  • I’m gaining weight, particularly in the face which I hate. Next semester, I am going to sign up for an exercise class. I suspect I’ll do weight-lifting, because my mom thinks that’s supposed to help prevent osteoporosis, which I have a higher-than-average likelihood of having when I’m older.
  • Weekends. Do away with weekends. Do away with the potential for conflict. I want us to do our own, separate things on at least one day of the weekend. That way if our one day together is a flop, we can each salvage what we can separately. Scheduling for self alone isn’t as challenging as scheduling for two.
  • Food. I’m not going grocery shopping anymore because it gets darker earlier. Also, I don’t always have the internal motivation to leave my apartment. But I could use savings money and hire a company to fucking DELIVER groceries to me once a week or two. That would surely be cheaper than eating every meal out. I just. can’t. keep doing that.
  • Cats. I picked up a cat tonight and started crying. I’m going to miss this trouble creatures. I’m going to miss the nosy one so much. She’s always in my stuff. She’s always on me or with me if I’m out of my room. She loves me.
  • This weekend. He has a conference this weekend, it turns out. I learned it twenty minutes ago. Why won’t this anxiety medicine hurry up and kick in? I took a little bit just a bit ago, when the panic set in. I thought we were going to be moving our stuff to his mom’s place this weekend. I guess that is not the case; but we will do packing. Somehow. I suppose I’d best just hire someone. I can’t stand the thought of him seeing my lack of packing. He’s offering to skip the conference because moving is more important. But I somehow don’t think that’s the biggest issue.
  • It isn’t timing. It’s … the executing. Can someone PLEASE come out and help me???????????? I’d better hurry up and hire someone from online. I have two old contacts from TaskRabbit. I’ll ask them both if there’s any way they can help me because I just can’t get this started on my own.
  • What the hell is so hard about getting started? The panic! It’s really unbelievable. The gray and the fluttering heart. I don’t think my heart is even beating anymore – it’s just a mere whisper of a tremble. No pulse. I can’t reply back to bf, I won’t be able to smile or say hi to him when he does enter the apartment (soon). This night is going to be really rough if this anxiety medicine doesn’t hurry up and kick in. I’m scared to death.
  • Woops, I have to go now. Thanks for listening.

Things On My Mind

Pink Flowers

Pink Flowers

  • Dog sitting on Saturday. I don’t know what that’s going to look like yet – it will be at or near Peter’s apartment / nearby parks, assumedly.
  • Therapy. Will I continue seeing my current therapist? She has been helpful. But it is hard to get out to that city lately, and will become more so. And she will not be in-network for my new insurance.
  • Health insurance. I’ve applied for a new health insurance. It’s through Peter’s work. Apparently I have been accepted, but have yet to receive a card. Apparently it will backdate to the start of August, when I first applied.
  • Health insurance. How in !@$# am I going to get my money back for August for my COBRA health insurance? I’ve already paid them $785.66 for this month. They will drop-kick me the instant they catch whiff of me applying for different insurance, so perhaps they will return my August premium.
  • My belongings. So I’m going to need to clear out all of my things from my aunt and uncle’s place and officially move in with Peter. I really hope that the wardrobe we picked out is going to fit all of my stuff. I’m to clear out all of my painting supplies, too. I hope that having them handy will inspire me to start painting again.
  • Rent. Once I’m officially moved in with Peter and his roommate, I’m going to start┬ácontributing to rent. This scares the living daylights out of me. Every time I think about it, my palms start sweating. I think last time Peter did the math for it, he suggested that $500/month would be appropriate. It’s not to lower it for him but for his roommate, since I’m using part of the shared space and all that. But I know what their full rent is and I can do the math and believe me, that is not the full 1/3 amount. That’s not even 1/4. Nor 1/5, 1/6, 1/7… I could go on but I won’t. So trust me. The idea scares the bejeepers out of me. I’m glad their lease is up in December. So the thing is, I’ll only be able to afford contributing toward rent once the new health insurance kicks in — it will be saving me more than that in premiums.
  • Work. So I absolutely do not qualify for student work on campus. However, it doesn’t matter right now, because I am not unemployed. It turns out that my work has not found a replacement for me yet. So I am invited to continue working as much as my schedule will allow — which is Tuesday and Thursday after 1:20 pm, and all day on Friday. I’m anxious about having to commute this direction after school on Tue + Thu, but I’m also relieved to maintain having some kind of income for now!!! I dropped one of my classes (the music class) to make sure I’d be able to work on Tuesday. But I also dropped it because the idea of three classes that day was starting to overwhelm me — I don’t think it was a good plan. And the amount of reading it required was incredible – more than any of the other classes.
  • School. OMG. What’s stressing me out is that I am supposed to introduce myself to each instructor right away and ask them to read the request for a note-taker for me (yay Disability Support Services!). But the idea of trying to pin down an instructor before the first class is pretty nerve-wracking. I’m not too scared of the reading at present — I have access to audio for 3 of my textbooks and will soon have access to the 4th. I’m terrified of homework — I just don’t have a good track record for actually doing homework. But, I’m older & wiser now, and I know how to work WITH myself a lot more than in the past (as opposed to against myself), so I have a much better chance of succeeding now. For sure.
  • Hobbies. I have not participated in ANY of my hobbies or side interests as of late (except for photography). Maybe this isn’t entirely true, because I’ve gone on some walks and watched 2 funny videos and have done my budgeting. But anyway, this is because I am feeling SO MUCH PRESSURE from the impending start of classes. Once I have my new schedule, I think things will go smoothly.
  • Relationship. This is moving awfully fast in two ways: Officially moving in with Peter, and going onto his work’s health insurance as an unmarried domestic partner of the opposite sex (they have that category). This is a little out of my comfort zone, to be honest. It is bringing up a LOT of baggage for me, in the form of flashbacks, memories, weird dreams, remorse, sorrowful memories of specific time periods I DON’T want to recall. Etc. I’m trying to keep a lid on it but I’m going to need to deal with it in a healthy way when I can. I haven’t shared all of these specifics details, but he’s suggesting we go to couples therapy, which I think is a brilliant idea. I just need that insurance card so I can get the in-network list… ­čśŤ
  • My pony. What am going to do with my pony??? I can’t keep paying for my pony! But I am hesitate to part with her, too. I haven’t seen her in over a year! I am just paying every month for her care and I don’t know when I’ll ever see her again or what I’ll do with her. I can’t pay for a pony when I will hardly be working!
  • Work again. I’m also glad to stay on with this company for now, because I am very familiar with the people and systems now. It can be stressful for me at times, but the thought of a new, minimum-wage job is even scarier. Also, my tie to my uncle might be broken once I’m entirely gone from this job. Particularly when I’m having to move all of my stuff out soon. My brother had told him that I’m moving in with Peter (for the insurance, he thinks). They think I’m just using the system. Oy. It will be hard to stay in contact with my uncle, I think. He doesn’t really respond to text messages. Maybe I’ll have to call him every now and then, or show up sometimes on the weekend. I don’t know yet.
  • OCD. My OCD has been acting up, assumedly from increased stress. I’ve been getting some intrusive thoughts and an inability to get past certain thoughts/ they just keep repeating in my head, over and over again. This’ll go away once I’m into the new school schedule, though. But OMG it does not help matters right now.
  • Mood. At least my mood seems to be stable again now. I had even called my doctor to tell her about my extreme crabbiness and even worse exhaustion in the morning. But she is hesitant to raise my thyroid level back up, because I guess that will increase the amount of bone loss for me in the future, since my thyroid level was running kind of high before. But I’m starting to feel okay again, and I even felt like a slept mostly okay last night. I did stall for an hour in getting out of bed, but that was more from my old anxiety than from exhaustion this morning. Things will be easier once I’m into the new school schedule. It’s hard to be looking at it from the top of the cliff.