Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Stand By

We avoided watching the debates last night. We usually make a point of it, watching together over dinner and discussing. Not this year. Neither of us has any reserves of energy to give the spectacle that is Trump.

During the debate the President of the United States of America was asked to denounce racism. He refused. Not only that, he told the Proud Boys to "Stand back and stand by".

My therapist had been telling me that she didn't find the Proud Boys intimidating. They're too clueless and directionless, they only attack people who are alone, etc. I wonder what she's saying today with them being encouraged during the debate.

I'm increasingly worried about the election. A friend told me they feel hopeful. I don't get it. I don't think he'll stand down, I don't think all the power grabs are going away.


Worth Keeping Safe

Trauma Therapy Tuesday today. Skipped last session on account of the smoke. In person sessions are contingent upon the windows being open in my therapist's space. I realized that if she hadn't moved to this space, with windows all along the north side, I wouldn't be able to continue seeing her!

I don't like this work. It is sad and difficult to repeatedly confront instances from each year of my childhood where I felt worthless. At age 5 I felt so worthless that I didn't think I was important enough to be kept safe. This was the only explanation as to why my Mother left me with a violent caregiver that made sense my my brain.


That's the message again and again. Eventually it winds itself around the belief that I myself am just toxic, that's why people must leave.

The message I want to believe about myself at age 5 is that I'm valuable. I'm worth keeping safe.

It hit me during the processing today that CK setting things into motion for us to move is this huge, tangible demonstration of how valuable she finds me. I, we are so important that she's prepared to move us far away so we'll be safe. So if something happens to her I don't lose all my healthcare and support.

No one has ever done that for me before.


So Tired of Being Tired

Today I finally had a long nap in my hammock. I found a pillow that worked just right and slept for nearly an hour after lunch. It was awesome even I'd other plans.

I'm accepting that the work I did over the weekend was tiring on multiple levels and some days I need to nap without judgement. I didn't sleep well, having bedtime anxiety spike and waking around 4 from a nightmare where I was trying to hide.

Most everything leaves me feeling angry and sad these days. I'm trying to stay fully present to the bits that bring comfort, connection, and joy.


Bit by Bit

Today I loaded up all the clothes. CK sorted through her closets today as well, looking for cold weather gear. Between us there were a dozen paper bags for Join.

I reached out to friends and a couple of folks have got back to me that they will have stuff off the Needs List. I'm really glad I reached out!

If had a plan at the beginning of the year to have a fancy tea. I wanted to encourage each friend to take home the tea cup and saucer they'd picked to use. This would address the small collection from my Grandmother's very large collection.

Following Marie Kondo's konmari philosophy, the tea cups don't bring me a lot of joy. They are delightful, beautiful items, but they too painfully reveal my family to me. Giving them to friends would bring me joy, so I'm considering how to do a COVID reboot.


Sorting: Clothing Edition

Today I sorted through eight large bins of clothing. Much of it doesn't fit, that which did fit just isn't what I'm wearing any longer. I sorted out 12 paper bags, half to go to an organization helping houseless citizens and the rest to Goodwill. There's a small amount of sentimental things. Thete was a few that fit again!

A couple of bins were CK's, which were sorted for best use as well. Tomorrow I'll move all the bags out of the house.

My back doesn't appreciate the effort, but my heart is lighter.

Obie threw up some water this evening, no food that I could find. He was also uninterested in bedtime meal again, not in the least so I needed to shoot house meds into his mouth. He's been crouching this evening at times, looking like he's uncomfortable. Trying to decide if it's time, if he's just not enjoying anything any more. We'll see how he is in the morning.


Joy, Amidst the Sorrow

CK received a commendation and small monetary reward for giving a presentation to another team. Then she received another significant bonus for the great year she and her team have had. All that and she loves her job!

I'm really proud of her. Doing good work this year takes so much more effort.

I'm also really grateful she has a job that truly values and celebrates her for who she is. It's such a refreshing change.

I managed to get several tasks done around the house and on my computer. All that despite sleeping poorly.

I've decided to stop judging myself for my insomnia. It's just what this time is. I had planned to teach a workshop on the Yoga of Sleep this year. Somehow struggling with insomnia again feels like failure. Like I'm a fraud because my tools aren't working for me right now.


No Justice, No Peace

Today the men who killed Breonna Taylor as she slept failed to be indicted. One was, for endangering property. None for her murder by cops.

There is no justice for so many in this country, but especially so for Black people. Tonight uprisings are happening all over. Tomorrow I'll be reminding students that these events are cries of pain, the voice of the unheard, and rage at police violence.

The President strokes the flames of hated and division. He doesn't discuss peaceful transition of power if he loses.

Today the CDC's website agrees that over 200,000 lives have been lost to COVID.

Today I went to the Japanese bookstore and supermarket. I picked up my calligraphy and ink themed art box, gifts for a friend, special grocery items for a couple of friends, and some food to make an extra comforting dinner. I also picked up comics and games. All tasks related to joy and comfort today.


Bodily Autonomy & Flu Shots

I went out to get my required flu shot today. All volunteers for the hospice I work with are required to have one annually. They even hold a clinic and give them free

It was lousy. The nurse giving them was insistent that they had to be given very high on the deltoid. I told her I knew from experience it would be painful. My shoulders are pretty tender.

When I involuntarily hissed out my breath she asked if it hurt. I confirmed that it did, butt she should just continue, finish the injection.

Instead she pulled out the needle, I loudly asked, "Why did you do that?! What are you doing?! I said to just finish!"

She injected again, slightly lower. I got through that she needed to just finish, thankfully she did!

She was kind and apologetic, but it didn't make up for her ignoring my request to just finish the first time. I told her as much as I left, noting I should not have been put through that.

I wrote to complain, which made me feel terrible. I'm expensively trained, but I've never been assigned to a patient. I picked up my badge as the State began the shelter in place order. I felt bad, ashamed, for complaining about my free shot.

The volunteer coordinator reminded me I'm valued. They thanked me for the feedback, it will be passed on. They shared that the nurse wasn't a in house staff member, but from an agency hired to do the clinic, who has better training in listening.

That and the world today has me feeling blue tonight. I made tortilla soup tonight from scratch, the first homemade food I've made in days. It was just right!

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Preparing for Disaster Again

The election is coming. I've been restocking the freezer, snacks, comfort foods, and the like. Just like I did back in early March, when we thought somehow we'd all hunker down and COVID wouldn't be so bad. I'm planning to pick up another 5 gallon propane bottle so we go into November with 2 full tanks. I'll be finally deciding where our emergency water goes when those bottles are full.

If Trump wins, I think there will be unrest, protest, possible strikes.

If Trump loses, I think it might be even worse given the armed checkpoints brought on by fires.

Oh, and I awoke to the news that early this morning the Trump administration declared us an "anarchist jurisdiction", along with Seattle and NYC. There has been federal wiretapping of protestors here.

Each day I'm going to try to make a small step in our exodus. This week I'm going to prioritize all the bins of clothing I'm not sure fits. If it fits, or if I'm keeping it for emotional reasons (perfectly fine), then it gets kept and ready to pack. If it's usable winter gear, it sorts out to be donated on Friday. The rest into paper bags and into my van to be donated to Goodwill.

We made a plan for books over a game this evening.

Slowly we start to move forward with leaving even as I plan for us to be hunkered down at home in November.

I'm grateful I got to see my students today and chant with a couple of them!


Respite for Obie

Getting Obie back on the digestive medication relieved his distress. I also started giving him the pet CBD more often, plus a single drop of human grade a few times a day. This combination of keeping him more comfortable, so less meowing incessantly.

The past two days have felt so hard, liked I'm pushing through quicksand to get anything done. Surprisingly, we ended the weekend with all the clothing laundry caught up, the kitchen clean, and 2/3 of the floors upstairs done. CK hung shelves in the den today.

I'm trying hard to keep moving. When I'm not moving, I'm focusing on my breath, the feeling of the Earth beneath me. I'm not staying in the fear and despair, but it is work and I'm tired.

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