Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Ending Hard

Tomorrow I'm going to run errands that involve delicious food for us for a few days. There will be at least one instance of standing in line outside in the rain. Maybe I'll reach out to friends to have a happy hour Zoom.

The end of 2020 is here and I can't say that I'm hopeful about the new year. The accumulation of the headlines this week, the pictures of people screaming for the freedom to not wear a fucking mask as thousands more die.

The reality was hitting me hard today. Umm going to hit the anniversary of not teaching online in just about 10 weeks. March 13, 2020; nearly a year.

The new normal isn't great and I'm afraid it's going to get worse when the election isn't certified in a timely fashion.


Kindness is a Warm Blanket

I made it out of the house with all my things, even though I tried to leave in my slippers!

I got to OHSU South Waterfront, where the diagnostics lab is, and got myself checked in.

There were a lot of kindnesses that helped so much.

The staff folks checking me in were very sympathetic and understanding of my anxiety about risk. They had me wait separate from the open atrium waiting area so there wasn't anyone coming by me.

It was a bit of a wait.

Being inside a closed up medical building waiting for a procedure is a whole new level of anxiety.

Once in I was delighted to find out that the scan used a CT, so I could wear my high-protective mask, didn't have to worry about my nose/ear piercings, and I even got to keep my bra on since it didn't have underwires! I kept on my tank top too since the electrodes could be placed around and under my clothing!

The very tall, kind man, Brandon, who conducted the test got a pillow to support my legs so my back was comfortable. He also brought me a warm blanket, which helped my anxiety hugely!

I told him I have Complex PTSD, he'd not heard of it before. I noted that for me it's due in large part to developmental trauma.

"My Mother had a personality disorder.", I said.

I've come to find that telling people that just lets them know enough to realize that I've survived some terrible stuff. Usually no one asks more, which is fine.

Brandon nodded, "Yeah, I hear you. That's too bad. You just let me know if you need anything else to make this easier."

Then three electrodes and lying still and breathing when the machine told me to. About five minutes.

We chatted a little at the end about why I was there. He laughed, "You mean you're here because you're being proactive about your heart health?!"

I said that was about it. I was keeping ahead of my family's genetic issues, where possible.

He told me he was proud of me and that he wished there were more patients like me.

That was pretty awesome!

Now I wait to hear from my doctor about the results.


Carotid Calcium

I have a heart test at OHSU at 8am to measure the possible calcium deposite carotid artery. I was convinced to come in after being reassured that this lab is really safe and not where sick people go.

The test was ordered by my doctor last spring. She's continuing to assess risk to my heart health since my cholesterol popped up after menopause. Her hunch is that I'm genetically predisposed to high cholesterol and the results of this test will either reassure me or we'll discuss what to consider.

I've been taking a red rice yeast compound that's a precursor to statins. I've not noticed significant pain with adding it. After the first of the year she'll test my blood again to see if it's having a positive result.

COVID makes everything harder. I'm going to do my layered masks. I'm worried I'll need to remove piercing jewelry from my nose and ear; awkward to do with masks! I'll call before I go up and check, I'll bring my jewelry pliers set.

EKG pads on my chest; minimally invasive but I'm still feeling icky about being touched. Might bring my weighted blanket.


Boxing Day

Today I dropped off gifts for a few local friends and my sister-in-law. I didn't stop to chat with anyone, I didn't have a lot of energy and was hoping to save some for playing games with CK. It still left me feeling tired!

When I got back home I discovered CK glued to a laptop trying to fix a work issue so it doesn't page her later. She figured it out, but it took a while longer. I'm glad she's off for a couple of weeks after being on call this eh

We did play around lunchtime, and I've been reading the books I was gifted. All in all a restful day.

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COVID Christmas

Spending Christmas day with just the 2 of us isn't unusual, but this year there was the additional weight of watching the totals of cases & deaths versus the totals of daily air travel.

Between the 22nd and 24th over 6500 people died.

The CDC took today off from giving data.

Merry Christmas.

I wanted to have energy to play games all day, instead I slept very poorly and drug myself through to 3:45, then napped for an hour. Even with a nap, I still felt out of sorts and exhausted. Feeling like on Christmas felt like I was letting the day down.

Tomorrow I'll hopefully feel better and will deliver gifts.



I rather loathe that words like resilience and grit have lately been co-opted to be another way to make individuals responsible when they fail to overcome systemic injustices. It's so fucked up the way this country wants to blame victims of oppression.

It cheapens the words.

I was punished often for being stubborn, for resisting the world view I had imposed on me.

I'm able to steer my EMDR processing now; finding instances where I'm exhibiting creativity, ingenuity, resilience, intelligence, and so much tenacity. All these things my Mother and family labeled, "stubborn", were there behaviors that kept me alive.

Age 6 today; last session of 2020. Still pieces coming in, new sharp slivers of adults being terrible.

Realizing I was groomed for months. That I've not felt safe sleeping for most of my life.

My Mother knew I was molested and was incapable of responding responsibly. Instead she made up excuses, shamed me, blamed me.

Rage, rage, and more rage at all the terrible adults I encountered.


Gifts Are Go!

I sent out 3 handmade cards, two with little packages of stickers, and a small parcel today. Today was the deadline to post Secret Santa items for the Reddit exchange. When I got home my own package was waiting for me!

It's been fun taking part of it, I'm definitely doing it again! I was sent a huge Star Wars comic collection, something I'd not have thought of getting myself.

Tonight we put together packages to send to CK's family and very close friend. I'll send them tomorrow. I also worked on gift bags for local friends and a couple more small parcels to ship.

Ursa helped.

It's been fun this year creating these packages for our extended family. We picked out things together, CK handmade one special item, and it's helping us feel more connected.

A good first day off! Although I forgot to do my boxing!



I've felt blue and unmotivated all day. Of course I didn't really become fully aware of it until I was crying.

I got stuff done, but everything felt hard and wasn't satisfying. I just feel like a useless jerk.

Christmas Blues and anticipatory therapy angst? Already going into a schedule crash since I'm not teaching for a couple of weeks?COVID despair?

I wish I knew. I think I don't tell CK when I feel this way because I don't understand the cause and don't want to say, "My mood is off and I don't have a good reason."


Last Class

Today I taught one of my Super Soothe workshops, these focus on a warm up, restorative movement and held shapes, then 30 minutes of Yoga Nidra, a guided meditation. I've offered several of these over the years, especially for the Winter Solstice.

This year it was online. Like everything else. I foresee many online workshops next year, so teaching 2 at the end of this year helps me plan for how to do these better going forward.

Now for a couple of weeks off. CK and I are going to work on taxes, sending out some holiday gifts, delivering some gifts to friends & family in town, and house chores. We're also planning to make art, play games, watch movies, and play with the kitten.

Tomorrow I'm going to suggest we work on a rough daily schedule to give us both some structure. While she's on-call next week and kind of working, she's not expected to do many of the usual tasks that fall to the primary on-call person. We'll both be off for a while together.

I included a "process" shot from a greeting card I'm making for the Reddit card exchange. Showing the way I deconstruct things like advertising postcards to remove elements for my collage.



I responded to a Tweet the 16th that asked what mundane thing you missed from pre-COVID.

I miss going to Powell’s Bookstore and browsing. Really, any bookstore, but I recently had a wave of longing to sit at a table in World Cup Coffee, the place in the corner of the first floor of Powell's, and peruse books I'm considering purchasing while watching people.

Just the joy of walking along the tall stacks to see what jumped out at me. To look for bargains among the used and remaindered titles.

I then expanded my comment to say that really any shopping where I could just casually browse without being hypervigilant for people too close to me. Without worry that some white woman is going to pull her mask down because she just has to open up a bottle of lotion and smell it (recently seen at a New Seasons Market), the bro who just has to get his poke and gets too damn close, or the elder woman who bumps into three people on her way down a narrow aisle.

Complex Trauma means I'm always a little vigilant about people in my personal space, much less touching me. COVID has taken what was a little tickle of irritation and turned it into a bullhorn. Robot yelling, "Danger! Danger!"

The past couple of days were shopping days. I often come home from them and just lay across the bed for a little while. What was once something that could be a pleasant diversion and has made it an exhausting chore fraught with strong emotions.