Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Shame & Restarting

April feels a little lost. Dora getting so sick at the beginning of the month, then having to make the decision to let her go, then COVID vaccines, and seeing a neurologist for CK.

And then it was May second. I'm wondering where the days went, what're my routine and energy went for notes, tracking to help me not miss things, and any energy for poetry. Visual art still was made, even managing to participate in a co-creative collaboration with five other artists!

With the derailment comes shame. The Whinnie part of my brain cannot understand why I just can't do the tasks on my list without getting stuck. Without needing hours of downtime. Without getting distracted by talking to people, making art, or, the worst, napping.

I got the calendar out and doodled on some prior weeks' pages so I'm not focusing on how empty they are. I made notes about this week's accomplishments and started listing what needs doing next week.

Maybe this will be the week I get to DEQ.


That Asshole

My brain, the Whinnie aspect, moved on from Inner Critic decades ago. Now all it has left is shame and I am full up.

I'm trying to catch myself those times where I'm utterly failing to follow my own advice. This is such a big area; I look up and realize I've been beating myself up all day because I haven't done all the things.

CK had a telemedicine appointment today with doctor and they talked about the weird numbness she's had for a few weeks now. Tomorrow I'm taking her over to get a blood draw; our ND said to be well hydrated because there's several years she's running.

She's concerne. We have been too. We're helping each other to not obsess or catastrophisize.


Did You Do Anything

I'm having a night where I'm trying to recall what I did all day. It feels like dishes, meals, and a small amount of cleaning in addition to a few emails. It feels like I got nothing done. It also feels like I missed something.

I had this idea that is start to do a little something move related every day. Use the habit tracking pages to help me focus. I didn't make it happen.

It's not lost on me that earlier today I reminded a friend that we're still living through National pandemic trauma and it's not in unreasonable to be unmotivated and unproductive. And still, with "Whinnie" sitting at my side asking what the hell I did all day.

Finishing artwork doesn't count for Whinne's definition of productive, but I completed a cool collage today!


Emotional Detachment

Our amazing realtor came over with an N95 mask and walked around the property and the upper floor of the house. I have a plan to move us towards vacating for sale. I know what clean up to prioritize, what contractor to get going first; landscapers.

There's so many things happening for CK at work, including her manager taking a few days off for a health need. When they return CK will ask them to connect us to the relocation support folks so we can start to get a timeline.

Since we're with the same amazing realtor, he recalled leaving us with this great house that we were moving my Mother in. When is mentioned her upending our life and then dying a year later, her assumed that was recent. I gave him a high level and noted that within a year of our doing everything to move her in, she had a massive temper tantrum and left.

I told him we had a lot of shame over not taking better care of the house. He told me that from now on we work to emotionally detach from the house, the yard, and all the dreams we had for it. From now on, it's a business to get it ready to move us on to something that's better for us.

I definitely made up a cocktail tonight! It needs work, but it wasn't bad.


Fuck Off, Whinnie!

Realizing last night that my Inner Jerk, "Whinnie" as I dubbed her, was driving my anxiety helped some. When I realize that energy is getting big I can then invite it to settle down or just fuck off.

I still slept poorly and had some nightmare. I also thought I felt pee down by my feet and was convinced our elder dog had an accident at around 4:50am, thus sleeping even more fitfully until my alarm went off. When I got all the bedding pulled away there was nothing!

Thanks, brain!

It's not likely to be an easy week. I can't decide if adding two visits that will result in hours of wearing a mask and trigger shame feelings during the same week as my Mother's birthday is a good distraction or a terrible plan. I'm hoping distraction, plus the energy to get quotes for work that's necessary regardless of what happens but the end of the year.


A Collection of Calendars + Shame

We slept in this morning. I'm really grateful we aren't awakened daily at 6am by an anxious cat who never could soothe himself. Ursa mews when he hears us up and starting to move, but not earlier.

Despite the late start I felt like I'd nod off just about every time I sat down. COVID times have me feeling so weary and emotional.

I got this fancy desk calendar in this month's art blind box, Maido-in-Box, and I'm undecided about using it. It is undated, so I can start using it whenever I feel like and go forward from whatever Day One is. I can decide without a clock ticking.

I'm undecided because I stopped using paper calendars a while ago. They were heavy and added to the weight in my bag. This one is designed to be more of a journal than a date book, it has a section just for tracking habits, and pages it suggests for sketches.

Since I have already begun two art projects for the year, including my handmade journal each month, I worry that I don't need another daily thing I'm trying to do. Adding these posts is also something I added in the past year.

Then again, I'm creating a whole new life again. Maybe a journal that helps direct my goals and projects as a hausfraĆ¼ might be really valuable!

Since I'm having such a mixed reaction to the book, and feel like the box had a real miss to it, I'm feeling guilty about buying it. I splurged on the deluxe box and the fancy calendar journal was a big part of the extra cost.

It also came with an adorable, playing cards sized calendar. I bought myself a desktop calendar for Christmas. Then I ordered one from an artist online, which already felt overindulgent. Now having a tiny desk calendar and this journal thingy arrive adds to my sense of overspending!


Midweek Holidays and Other Interruptions

Today's Veterans' Day. I thought about my Father and the tangle of bluster and myth he told about his time in the Navy and his "Service Connected Disability".

I've read paperwork that came to me when he died. He'd actually been drinking on duty, but it still came out for him. The VA's attempt to treat his back created more problems. He was also emotionally and mentally unstable his whole life, making frequent in-patient stays in the psychiatric ward at the VA here in Portland.

Mostly I tried to keep our day as even as possible. Midweek holidays throw CK off, but we managed to keep both our moods pretty even today by checking in. I was disappointed with dinner, mine was kind of experimental and it turned out edible enough.

We made some mutual progress on basement cleanup. CK continued on with her project to build us a NAS. It's already built and now she's going through old hard drives and is moving the data onto the NAS she built out of mostly spare parts! I started tackling the towers of unsorted stuff around my desk.

My therapist once suggested that my having random areas of unsorted stuff needing attention at some point in the future might not be the failing I feel it is. It might just be how my brain works. I'm not wild about this, I'd like to be a highly organized person who knows where everything is at all times.

Kitten tomorrow! I was sad to discover that while CK and I were talking about hard drives I missed the call to come pick him up today.


Extreme Wife-ing

I took care of something unpleasant today that involved talking with the IRS.

I also confirmed that there IRS still is working their way through the backlog of taxes submitted during the period they closed down last spring. Which is to say the 2017 taxes might not be truly lost, just under the pile waiting to come up.

It brought up the Shame Monster and got in the way of making dinner, I got us takeout.

CK spent time telling me what a good job I did, am doing now. That it means more than the job I wasn't able to do well before.

Obie is increasingly social and sweet. I spent some time laying by him in the yoga room.


Shame Monster Again

I tried to get 5 houses worth of hazardous materials to the transfer station today and missed the cutoff by a few minutes. The minutes I spent visiting our kitten at our friend's.

Then I got home to an IRS letter.

I know how to handle it and we agree getting closer to being caught up, but it still left me feeling like a failure and a burden.

It didn't matter what I did during the day or how grateful our made our friends, our family of choice. The Shame Monster could only focus on my not getting there on time.

The whole evening just saw my anxiety build and the Shame Monster stomping around telling me I suck.

Then I stopped my phone and it bounced across the floor and into the water bowl! It is just fine, the OtterBox helped and I was damn fast to grab it and wrap it in a towel!

I finally gave up on cleaning the kitchen, worked on art, then took as long shower. As I got ready for the shower it finally got me that I forgot to take my bedtime pills!

I'm wondering if I worker need more of the medication for my brain, particularly the part of CPTSD that creates the Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, or if I might benefit from taking it at dinner with my antidepressant.

This might help with Shame Monster's nightly rampaging.


Silence or Shame

On Thursday I watched a white woman walk in to the store I was shopping in with her mask pulled off her nose. She's walked in past an employee who let her enter despite both posted store policy and State mandate.

It was irritating, but I let it go until she got in line nearby. I asked her to put her mask over her nose.

She ignored me, turning her back on me and sighing. I note that I still want her to put on her mask.

I ask an employee to help. They ignore it.

I keep talking loudly in line.

I am shamed by another white woman for, "Talking too much and it's sending more germs out your mask!"

A third white woman faux sympathizes and tells me something like, "You can't control everyone, that's why we wear our masks correctly. Just ignore her, let it go already!"

First white woman stands with hey mask still off her face halfway, nose with fingers in ears.

I waved down the employee who had greeted me at the entrance, who let this woman in while wearing the mask incorrectly. He comes over, she FINALLY puts her mask up!

"She looks fine now.", he says.

I thank him for staying there.

I lean over to say that I appreciate that he's enforcing policy when he puts up a cautioning hand towards me to calm down!

So the white woman who was not following the rules and behaving unsafely, selfishly, possibly played the, "I'm feeling threatened by that loud, angry woman!", and I get the cautioning hand for it.

I'm tied of the way being outspoken gets other white women to pile on with the shame because I'm not being a good girl. I'm so fed up with the politics of niceness and kindness and not making a scene.

CK suggested I come up with a phrase I'll just repeat loudly about refusing to be silent and complicit on behavior that furthers a health crises.