Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Safe to Feel

I received one of those compliments that leaves me bemused and wondering.

In yoga class today we acknowledged the anger, the rage we’re feeling. I stressed that anger is a valid response to an unjust world. I shared what I learned about anger from acupuncture; it’s the energy of spring, the power of the shot to break the shell of the seed.

We acknowledged the way women are taught to stuff down our rage lest we be labeled, “an angry woman”. How much shame comes up around anger.

I was humbled to hear that they are so grateful I have created a safe space for them to feel and express their anger!

I’m someone who feels fearful and ashamed of my anger, but I’m trying to embrace it now. I’m learning to pay attention to what it is trying to tell me.

Obie made a guest appearance today. He’s been very social and extra hungry today.


Ballots Ho!

Our ballots arrived in the mail today. We plan to fill them out and turn them in this weekend.

Thinking about the election riles up my anxiety.

We coming to terms with Thanksgiving in isolation. Back in March I think I had some hope that we'd all celebrate together by late. By June I'd lost that hope, but it's sinking in now that it's only weeks out.

Our big hope now is finding pumpkin pie we can each eat. Separate pies. I'm still sad that Back to Eden Bakery is gone due to COVID. So many delicious Thanksgiving celebrations with pies from them.

More napping today. Therapy, stayed up way too late and the bulldog needed a 2am potty.

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More Mindfulness, Less Vigilance

A student and friend said something in this morning's yoga class that is so perfect! I felt grateful to receive this teaching from my student and at the same time proud that my own teaching to her comes through this way!

We were talking about the anxiety of everyday living now with COVID and the election looming in 3 weeks. I suggested there was a yoga tool, starting with an "m", that helps when I'm anxious.

Mindfulness was quickly hit upon. This is when my student talked about the energy of vigilance, how we have to be vigilant all the time now and it's exhausting. She went on to say that mindfulness is less exhausting, energetically speaking, and she was going to strive to be less vigilant and work on staying mindful instead.

What a gift! It certainly gave me an extra boost of energy to go to therapy today. CK's homemade chai with freshly foamed milk also was a good treat to have with me.

I shared the incidents while shopping. We talked through why it's coming up; it's the next memory to get integrated, times are really anxiety inducing right now, the pressure of my glasses and the mask loops on the ears, while slight and have been fine until now, might be just overloading my ability to ignore it. We talked through how to manage it; #1 don't assume it will happen every time as that will make it more likely to happen, go to stores with a clear plan in and out, stick with the plan, try other styles of masks, considering having my glasses adjusted (my optometry place is awesome and they know I have a trauma history so needing an adjustment because my glasses are triggering, they'll be down with fixing!).

I'm also continuing to meet that 6-nearly-7-year-old energy with assurances that I'm paying attention and I'm coming for her.

I made more progress integrating the memory from age 5. I'm able to witness it now, rather than be caught in it. I also gained some insight into how resilient I was, still am, but I'm amazed that the tools I'd figured out by age 5 to keep myself safe.

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Civil Discourse

I returned to Costco today for another weighted blanket for CK, one for a friend, and a new electric blanket for the bed. I had the same head pain and feeling anxious. I wore a slightly less heavy mask, but it was still there. I think my glasses mildly contribute to the sensation, where the ear pieces press.

I joined the podcast discussion group where I made dinner and had an outburst over someone using the phrase "civil discourse".

I feel like it's a tool of white supremacy, at worst, and tone policing at best. Who defines "civil"? I noted that there's some topics that there's no "agree to disagree", which is a hallmark of a civil discourse.

Then I spent the rest of the night feeling bad about it. And cleaned the kitchen.


Less Grumpy, Wide Awake

Despite waking up around 3 with CK was paged, 4 to go pee & feed Obie who was hungry, then Bertie again needed to go out to go to the bathroom just past 6am, I slept in until 9:45 and was less grumpy today.

I have been trying to get too many things done before I sleep. Which is just so par for the course these days. One of those do be done things was a hot shower, so that's some quality self-care.

I get stuck doing too much in part because I want to wake up to things being done, feeling like I managed to make a difference.

I made up soup for us with dry, possibly a little old, Flageolet beans and kale. I got fancy and made a parsley pistou, but it wasn't just right because I tried the Vitamix instead of the food processor. I ended up just stirring it right into the finished soup, which tasted great; a big burst of bright, green, herb flavor with the olive oil finish.

My soup making recently has restocked the freezer, in the event I'm sick or just don't feel like cooking.


Misdirected Anger

I’ve struggled the past few days with my Inner Jerk, “Whinnie” is my pet name for her. This particular mind projection is hyper-critical of anything I try to do. It also is certain I need to do it all. I’m never able to do enough to satisfy this energy and what I do accomplish is either barely acceptable, at best, or so terrible I should feel ashamed.

Then I feel like I can’t do anything and, at the same time, I need to do everything.

It’s so tedious. Self-directed anger is a short trip into depression, so I’m trying to work through it.

Today wasn’t helped by spilling the dogs’ supplement all over, into the fridge to start my day! This made me late starting my class. I also hurt my thumb on my right hand trying to play with Bertie. Obie was extra demanding about food all day and broke a jar of salad dressing is made for dinner!

All of this just felt so defeating, waking up the feeling like I failed yesterday because I couldn’t get the takeout I’d planned for.

It occurred to me, when CK was asking how to help get me out of this really negative feedback loop, that I'm feeling rather about the world again. Still.

I don't feel like there's anything I can do to help the world. Turning the rather inward gives the illusion that I have the power to fix the rage. I'm in control!!

Except, I'm so not! "Whinnie" is driving me with this energy, "You must do everything! Why are you so terrible?! You can't do anything!"

I made a comic today and will add it later. It's downstairs and I'm trying to get to bedtime yoga. I was finishing it up when Obie broke the jar, so I didn't photograph it.

I'm adding a kitten placeholder photo from yesterday.

"Whinnie" thinks I'm really lazy for not going downstairs to take the picture of my comic. Sure thought the comic sucked too. She also thinks I'm bad at yoga and my Practice is lacking.

"Why do I sleep when I need to do more?!", she asks.

Here's that kitten again since I fixed the comic!

Ursa Minor, a kitten a friend is fostering.

All the Trips

I stopped at 11 places today, maybe too many?

I picked up a bunch of stuff for the Join drive from various friends and picked up some things people had for me. I visited 6-week old kittens.

I said I could visit kittens without wanting to bring one home. It’s possible I’m not to be taken at my word, one of the kittens is particularly special, the friend who’s fostering them even noted that he was something special. We’re talking about it. Despite everything.


Memories Are Triggered

I went to Costco today with my list and a few list items for friends. More and more I'm trying to reach out to see what people will need. I want to see everyone well stocked before the election and, honestly, the days between the November election and the January inauguration. I believe they might well be fraught with unrest and potential interruptions.

Shopping isn't easy or fun anymore. Costco always was something I had to gear up for. It doesn't overwhelm me, but it is stressful. We've been moving more things to pickup or delivery to reduce my stress. As far as feeling more secure, Costco has set a strong tone all along about adherence to masks, distancing, etc.

Still, as I made my way through the store, I felt this terrible tension building in my head, jaw, and neck. It soon began feeling like I'd been forcing myself to smile too hard, for too long. I started to wonder if I'd tightened the ear loops of the mask too far or the metal bridge of the nose too tightly. My glasses felt like they were digging into my face and skull! It hurt all along the under edge of my jaw and down my throat, wrapping around my neck.

My heart was pounding in response and it felt hard to breathe. I had intentionally chosen a heavier mask to be inside of a store for a while, but one I've worn before without a problem. It finally struck me that I was having some kind of anxiety attack!

Around this time I spotted the weighted blankets on display, something they had the previous year but had sold out of them by the time I went back. I grabbed one and added it to the heavy cart. I also bought a thermal, long-sleeved shirt!

All the while I just told myself, "It's just anxiety, nothing is actually wrong even though it is hurting. Breathe. Just wrap up what you're doing and get home."

I wanted to scream while ripping off the mask and my glasses.

"Just get to the car, then you can pull it off. Just a little longer."

I nearly was crying by the time I got to the car and loaded it up with the mask still on. I managed to get in and get it off. I set my glasses on the seat next to me and took deep breaths while rubbing my jaw and neck.

There's an interlude I'm recording below the content warning, do not ever feel the need to read these. I'm writing them more for my own processing and healing.

Once I felt settled enough to make the mercifully short trip home I set off. I wondered if I could just leave everything but the weighted blanket and go crawl under it. By the time I got to the house I could process some of the stuff I'd bought. I remembered there was one thing requiring refrigeration!

Then I crawled under the weighted blanket and Bertie came to lay with me. I reminded my child self that I was coming on a "rescue mission" to release her from those memories, which was soothing to the trauma energy. I was able to half nap with Bertie until CK got done working. We figured out a really easy dinner for me to make each of us and had a night that helped me feel reconnected.

⚠️Content Warning: Child Sexual Abuse⚠️

⚠️Content Warning: Child Sexual Abuse⚠️

⚠️Content Warning: Child Sexual Abuse⚠️

⚠️Content Warning: Child Sexual Abuse⚠️

⚠️Content Warning: Child Sexual Abuse⚠️

As I sat there settling down to drive home, I felt this sickening lurch of energy move almost sideways through me. I realized I had been experiencing a somatic flashback from age 6, the memory of being orally raped by my Mother's boyfriend. The incident was stopped by my having an asthma attack.

All the pain along my jaw and throat, this act. The back of the neck and head pain; his hand forcing my head to stay in place.

I couldn't breathe. He suffocated me in this act. I thought I was dying.

This is the next memory I'll get to in my trauma therapy. Today feels like a proximity alarm just went off. I've never had such a clear recollection of this horrible memory before today.


Historic Debate

We attempted watching the Vice Presidential debate this evening. We reached a point where listening was too much. Then it was too much with closed captioning and we played a game while I had a glass of wine.

I took the first of what will be many trips to Goodwill today. The last t-shirt from Open Source Bridge is gone! All those bins we ended up with are empty! That’s the last of the merchandise we ended up with.

Friday I’m picking up stuff from people, as well as more from us, to drop off at the drive for Join.

Obie has put weight on! He’s pretty content the past few days, which makes us feel happy. I’m still getting up early to give him food, but it's working.

Called Nespresso today, our machine is definitely a problem! A new one is already on its way to us! It was a very pleasant experience, especially after my nearly 3-hour hold with the Employment Division yesterday!


Forward Together

I slept terribly last night, waking up every couple of hours with anxiety. CK had really awful heartburn brought on by chili for dinner after a day of processing rage over SCOTUS news, which kept walking her up. It wasn’t a great night.

I thought about taking a big nap, but instead focused on getting through to the Employment Division. There was some Animal Crossing and I got the fancy Air Doctor purifier set up in the bedroom. It’s enormous, but it should help us both.

I keep picking up and losing the takeout menu for the place we used to go for conveyor belt sushi. I carefully asked CK what she wanted, went into the bedroom, called the restaurant, and promptly got the order wrong! She told me she thought she didn’t heard me order everything, but assumed she misheard.

Nope, I was just that tired!