Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.

25Oct/200

Neighborly

I finally took the neighbors up on their offer of a glass of wine and conversation outside. Masks were worn, aside from sips. It was nice and I'm glad we connected more. I made sure they knew we were both around in the event of an emergency, especially now.

I didn't make it under the weighted blanket, but I'm doing ok.

It's very cold, getting our first frost tonight. CK and I got the hoses put on the shed and hurriedly picked anything in the garden worth picking. I've got a stack of greenish tomatoes in the kitchen window, I'm hoping they'll ripen.

22Oct/200

Debate Nope

We gave the debate about 7 minutes. Apparently the muting was only on the first statement? We then turned on The Vow, a documentary about a cult turned multi-level marketing scheme with sex abuse and human trafficking.

Our ballots were accepted for counting today, we're definitely not undecided. Still, we usually watch the debates, it's what we have done together for several years.

It's just too horrible. There are too many people who want to believe what the GOP is saying is true. It doesn't matter that so much of what they say is demonstrably false, their voters want it to be true, so it is. There's no logic to it, no sense.

This has been feeding my existential dread today.

11Oct/200

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.

9Oct/200

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.

8Oct/200

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.

7Oct/200

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!

6Oct/200

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!

5Oct/200

Back at It

Today I got a new video made, uploaded, and sent out in a newsletter I wrote today! All that and I taught Yoga in Chairs. All this and I made is chili for dinner, put up the leftovers, and cleaned the kitchen.

I struggle ever feeling good about what I’ve done since there’s so much that needs doing. I’m always choosing what not to do, knowing it will stop need doing. I’d love to hire someone to come do a deep clean, but there’s COVID.

Today’s comic; in which we make a Jaw Yoga video.

30Sep/200

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.

28Sep/200

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.