Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.

6Jan/210

What Ifs

At therapy today I had a round of "what ifs".

What if I hadn't been born to a family with intergenerational trauma going back who knows how far?

What if anyone in my family took my side.

What if support within my family wasn't always transactional, if it was offered at all.

I noted, and my therapist agreed, that these part of my grieving. She reminded me that having a supportive family doesn't yield a positive results. Well-off people from loving families end up living on the street, alone.

They came up after considering how my Mother would say to me when I was an adult how hard she tried to be a good parent, that she did the best she could. As I process new trauma I'm once again angered at this, that this was the best she could do.

My therapist said that, sadly, this was true. She really couldn't have done better than what I got. It brings up the grief for a childhood that I never got.

I started the year by making the best gluten free cornbread ever! Bubbles!!! I'm making it again this week to try and replicate, then document!

5Jan/210

Back in Class

I started teaching online today. 13 students came and they're stayed after for kirtan! It felt pretty good to be back at it.

I considered taking another week off since CK is still off, but I think I made the right choice to start. We still have the afternoon to connect, aside from tomorrow which is a therapy day.

We're both continuing to make progress on various house projects. I feel hopeful that tomorrow's session won't be too destabilizing. I haven't felt as much from Age 6 Sherri the past 2 weeks; there's been a lot happening and she's felt cared for.

3Jan/210

New Year Nesting

I cleaned up cobwebs and sentient dust brings from the office downstairs. Then I vacuumed. I organized the storage area in a way that will enable us to have origami paper easy to get to. I also folded towels and put fresh linens on the bed!

A gift I ordered for CK for Christmas, a stunning light, arrived with a small chip. The expense was such, and it was a gift, that I told the company about it. Today a another lamp set arrived, no need to send back the slightly damaged one!!!

We'd considered a second for my side of the bed because CK set her gift up her side, loving the way it provided indirect, low light, and is a small sculpture. Now we have two!

This also meant a pair of small lamps, over if which I'd used in the bedroom, became altar lights. I love how it looks at the light it gives me while meditating is great!

I also got a reply to a difficult letter I sent last month; a company changed their bag-check policy after I had a terrible experience being told I had to check my wallet because wearing it on my body, as opposed to in a pocket, made it a "purse"

That feels HUGE!!

I'm sure I'll ache a lot when I wake up, but I feel good about what over accomplished!

2Jan/210

2021

So it goes. A new year is here but existence is still fraught. Time feels even more like this construct these days.

With that in mind, some hopes for the New Year.

I'm hopeful vaccines will become available to us. I am hopeful I will get access more quickly than CK since I'm a hospice volunteer, this is good since I have more exposure.

I'm hopeful we'll be able to have routine health appointments next year, things like having our teeth cleaned.

I'm hopeful that CK and I will continue to work together to support each other.

I'm hopeful that I will integrate several more terrible years of childhood trauma, giving me more balance and presence.

I am hopeful that we'll survive without Unemployment Insurance payments, even if it scares me.

I'm hopeful we'll really make a budget.

I am hopeful that we'll get rid of a lot of stuff and get better about having a cleaner, more organized home environment.

I am hopeful that we'll get the taxes caught up and paid off, somehow.

I am hopeful that CK's company will address relocation assistance and we will begin our move to Canada.

I am hopeful it will be safe to take long drives and walk on the beach again.

31Dec/200

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.

30Dec/200

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.

28Dec/200

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.

26Dec/200

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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26Dec/200

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.

23Dec/200

Tenacious

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.