Thursday, May 28, 2020

New Meme: The Gift


Essay: The Gift

There are moments recovering from trauma where the mind connects two unrelated things.

That revelation is enough to double you over.

You fall to your knees as the unleashed feelings pour over you.

It makes no difference where you are, kitchen, bedroom, or street, you are struck immobile as the mind seizes this new connection.

You barely breathe as the mind traces this new idea through your life.

---

Slowly other parts of the brain begin firing.
Car horns.
The asphalt under your hands.
You right yourself and continue on, clutching this new revelation tight to your chest like a gift.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Perfect Nerd Date

Perfect "nerd date" with hubs last night.
Alexa - open internet. Find "Pathfinder 2e character elf"
"OK."
And - it worked.
So hubs and I spent the night reading through the changes from Pathfinder 1e to 2e cuddled together on the couch.
Like I said.
Perfect nerd date.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Just Don't a new 100-word Essay: Defined

I like to think I am relatively 'easy going'. I've had folks tell me that I was a pleasure to work with. Huzzah. And I like to think that not many things send me into a point of anger. Of course, that could just be the CPTSD and the fact that I have virtually no emotions talking. But, hey. It's chill. I'm good. 

But then I meet folks who want to redefine my story of my life. They sit there and explain to me how my representation of my experience is 'wrong'. Yeah. I ran into one of those recently. Oh... I really wanted to 'rage post', but my interior editor stopped me. Thank goodness for that titanium trap in my mind that usually keeps me from uttering something that might later be - ahem... unfortunate. 

So, instead, I sat down and wrote this 100-word essay. I hope you enjoy. 
And, just as a tip. When someone is divulging their truth to you, do not attempt to invalidate their experience in any way. It makes us grumpy.




Sunday, May 3, 2020

Hope on the horizon?

#Cptsd folks and #PTSD folks here is a bit of news that hubs passed to me. It is from Texas A&M and was found in Discover magazine for May 2020.

The website is http://Fearlessfront.com

Is there a new therapy, perhaps a cure coming?

I'm going to type out the whole announcement so this might be long. Hang in there. Also, this is announced as for #PTSD and not #CPTSD. So... it might not work for us, but still, if it works - I can't envision the horizons it might open.

Start quote:
Welcome to the new frontier of prosthetics.

Across the globe, millions of people suffer from the debilitating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research by Dr. Stephen Maren in the Emotion and Memory Systems Laboratory
@TAMU is

bringing them new hope.

Dr. Maren and his team are researching implantable "neural prosthetics" that would monitor activity in the specific area of the amygdala responsible for generating fear. Using optogenetic technology, these devices could suppress fear responses within milliseconds, essentially stopping PTSD relapses before they take hold.

Through this groundbreaking research, Dr. Maren and Texas A&M are striving to normalize brain activity in PTSD patients -and bring some normalcy back into their lives.

Innovation on every front."
End quote.

This is a long way from being a cure NOW, but go check out their website for more information.

http://FearlessFront.com

I hope someone in our community can benefit from this research.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Another beer...

Please, hold my beer.
We'll see how this one works.

Here, hold my beer.

I'm going to try something new. We will see if this works - or not.
And if everything goes massively awry...

Here - have a cute kitten.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Oh, the Irony. Coming alive in a time of pandemic.

Oh, the irony.
30+ years of being various degrees of suicidal
an now we have a pandemic -
I want to live.

I'll take a moment to unpack this one.

My depression started somewhere in seventh or eighth grade. It's possible it started earlier, but I have no memories earlier except for a very few, so let's say - around 12.

At age 12 I started to self-harm. And 'escape' was always in my thoughts.
I didn't know much as a pre-teen, but trust me I knew I wanted out.
Out was still a fantasy in my head of rescue or of running away.

Other people, with other mental issues might have managed to escape on their own.
I couldn't.
I was the very epitome of learned helplessness.
Added to that was incredible ambivalence and no idea of who I was.

Where would I escape to?
Who was I to even think that escape was possible?
Who was I to think I even deserved better?
This was my lot. Suck it up. Manage.
Who did I think I was?

As a teenager, my resources changed.
I had access to a car and endless mountain roads.
I was always safe in my car. I felt 'in control' of something.
And here I started to think that maybe I could control at least my death.

My fantasies of escape became fantasies of dying.
I wore black constantly. I was erasing myself from my own life. (Not that there was much to erase.)
I was vanishing before my own eyes.
And I was content with that.

I was content with this process of unbecoming because I had a way out. Sitting in the driveway was a 1980s bright orange mustang. Ugly as sin. But the straight 6 engine was a beast.

Having a way out made staying easier.
Because I knew I didn't have to stay.
I had a choice.
Of all the things in my life that were broken, out of my control, dangerous, or terrifying.
I had control over one thing.

How does all of this relate to today's situation?
For better than 30 years I managed to face tomorrow because I knew that if I didn't want to, if it was too hard, I didn't have to.
I could stop.

In my 20s, as I saw all my friends growing and flying and becoming these spectacular people. I was sheathed in lead.
The learned helplessness and the 'shoulds' of my family ruled every aspect of my life.

I slept a lot.
And I hoped I wouldn't wake.
And when I was awake I would actively ideate suicide.
I came close to death a couple of times.
And I had my first hallucination. Thankfully also my last.

The 30s were calmer, at least on the surface. I finally found help for the depression, but not for the problem at the root of all of it.
Ideation swang back and forth between passive and active.

As my 30s wore on I found the pendulum spent more time towards the passive side.
That was good. I was more able to function.
But that was all it was - function.

This joi de vivre that people seem to expect other people to have was completely missing.
I'm not saying I was never happy, but I am saying every day was a trudge. An exercise in existing.

So, where I slept through most of my 20s, my 40s were marked by a type of emotional numbness. And on occasion, the ice beneath my feet would break.
That would plunge me into terror.




A couple of years ago (2,3) I finally made the connection with cptsd and found a good therapist to work through it. I'm still working on it. I will for the rest of my life.
I'm over 50 and only now discovering how to live. I mourn so much of my life because I missed it.


So here's the irony:
I'm writing. I adore my husband. I am finally discovering who I am.
I have put most of my desire for death aside.
I want to live. I have something to live for.

Here, at a very scary moment in a world that I have always shunned because of fear instilled in me, at a moment when life seems most precarious, most easily lost.
Now - I want to live.

Coronavirus and Mental health and Cptsd (April 20, 2020)

To all my extrovert friends. I'm sorry you are suffering from this prolonged visit to my kind of world. But, in all honesty, if it were not for your discomfort. I would wish the world like this always.

I like quiet. I like silence. To me, these things are good.
They are safe. They are peaceful and without violence.

As you feel uncomfortable in a world that is moving a bit too slowly for you, the "normal" world feels a bit too fast and crowded for me. The lights are too bright, too harsh.

This slower world, with its breezes and the patter of rain on the roof, I'm happy with it and I will be sorry to see it go.
Something I haven't told my readers before is that at one point in my life I lived alone for nearly two years. There is a little house, by a creek, on a road that leads nowhere, in Meat Camp, NC where I spent 2 years healing.

I was removed from the world for a little while in my 20s. In a time of life that most people equate with experimentation and adventure, this tiny house became one of the most important shelters of my life.

I have so many stories from that time of my life. The house was near the bend in the creek, and stories were caught daily in the thickets along the banks. There was always something new to see or learn.

I think the reason that haven is in my thoughts today is that I learned so much in the silence. I learned how to sit with myself again on the steps at the kitchen door. I found my laughter caught in the tangle near the footbridge.

I found so many of the pieces that I had surrendered or cut away to please someone else. A toxic person that even though they were hundreds of miles away - I still feared, because of what they had shaped me into. But, those tales are for another day.

Today I wish all my extrovert friends could see the world as I do.

To me, this isn't a dull boring place. I'm not lonely. What I see is a sky that is so clear and blue that it makes my heart ache. I see people walking. Not hurried steps desperate to "be there" - but slow steps of people who "are here"

The colors are more intense, the green of the maple leaves against the sky is a shocking clash of color. The silence lets me hear the trees sigh in the breeze. I can hear the birds overhead and the squirrels chittering as they race around the bottom of the trees.

I wish all my extrovert friends could see what I see

And, more than that, I wish that it could be as great a balm for them.

But, I know that many, perhaps most, people want to resume "normal". This quietude makes them restless and irritable. The world on pause feels so much more welcoming to me. Without clashing noise of the constant burble of voices, I find the world welcoming. I might even say "better.

I know this condition won't stay.

But I hope that all my extrovert friends will remember these days when all the noise of life is resumed. Perhaps they can then understand a bit, what it is like for me to live in their world

Like the wildlife, I am enjoying the respite from the persistent human pace of normalcy. Until the world breaks out again in progress and activity I'll just be over here. Enjoying the quiet.

Well, I've been lax. Actually, no. I've been over on Twitter.

For some reason, this year I have discovered that Twitter is more to my working method. I have no idea why. Because I am still petrified by it.
More on that from one of my first posts: Yes, I'm afraid of Twitter

But, right now it is providing an immediacy that I need.
I might go think about that.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

January 2020: An update

Hey folks.

Looks like 2020 is rolling. That's good. The "holiday season" is over, things are returning to normal.

The season of string is upon us. I'll spend endless dark winter nights looking at Phiala's String Page, and far too many YouTube videos by Bernadett Banner and Angela Clayton. (Ayup, just lost a half hour looking at a 1940s coat construction video.)

Dreams of sugar plums will be replaced by dreams of double-ply alpaca fingering weight wool and kilt-making.

While the days are crystal clear and brutally cold I will spend time writing, querying, and hopefully rounding this mess of a website into something new - or at least up-to-date. I'll be satisfied with that.

And, I'll be keeping folks informed of my path of recovery from #cptsd. So, stay tuned for more on the mental health cha-cha. 

(I don't remember where I got this photo. If it is yours, please let me know so I can attribute it properly.)