It’s Hard Admitting Real Life Behind The Facade.

So it’s been a month since Ken graduated. And things are hard for us. REALLY hard. I’ve never felt this uncertain before. Ken keeps going on positive interviews and then not hearing any news for weeks, or in one case an internal applicant suddenly popped up and got priority over him. Everyone is impressed with his resume, he is a friendly interviewer, AND he has the degree with 12 years experience ¬†there is just so much competition out there apparently. As his wife, I want to just bust into these places and tell them what talent they might miss out on because I used to work with him as a colleague as well, but ……that would be inappropriate. So here we sit, bills piling up, my SSDI case on appeal, no jobs, being bailed out by the greatest family member in my life. And I feel horrible about it.

It’s why I took my friend’s advice and started this therapeutic art thing. Its kinda what’s keeping me ¬†engaged at all with life, even if I’m just focusing on a piece of paper, a pen and the creative side of my mind. It’s working for the anxiety at that moment. That’s also the problem. After that moment is over, it’s anxiety city up in here again, and I start getting manic because its one of my natural actions to anxiety. Either I want to soothe myself with going and playing with the world, money and consequence be damned, or I go into the dark depression where I want to be swallowed into a black hole and ignored by everything with a pulse for days on end. I have anxiety meds, but i really only use one of them at night to sleep. I worry about the other, because I’m just on so much medication for other health issues it kills me to accept one more. I don’t know WHY think the Ativan is less important than the 17 other pills I take (by last count), but something in my subconscious feels its something I can sacrifice.

It doesn’t help much either that Ken will be leaving for a month in a couple weeks for Ft Knox and we are going to be awaiting some more orders for him to be gone another 3 months to Ft Sam in Texas. But hey, its pay right? We are even looking into going back on active duty on the reserve side because a place may be opening up in his current unit, but that is in its baby stages of being worked out right now. Don’t want to jinx it.

Image

Advertisements

Struggling to the Top, Again.

To be perfectly honest, I’m tired and I want pierogies. Or sushi. But since I don’t have a car today, sushi is out of the question and I have a feeling Ken might be all sushi’d out. It’s all I want lately. So shortly I will attempt to stand long enough for some pierogies which will most likely evolve into pizza rolls, and I will then hit the bed like I have been doing manual labor all day. The truth is however, I haven’t been doing much manual labor all day. I caught up with a great friend today…. I MISS YOU KURT IRBY!!!!…..I cleaned the kitchen up a bit, and I have been exhausted the rest of the day.

We found out yesterday that I was denied round 1 of SSDI approval. While this was actually expected, my psyche is actually taking it as a blow. Those fuckers have NO IDEA what I deal with everyday, how I struggle to physically and mentally remain here on this earth and try to find a purpose in my life. How I DO NOT want to ask for help, yet I know I’m in no position at this point to make it on my own anymore.To someone on the street I may look like a normal human, but I assure you every step I take is calculated, every activity planned. Everything revolves around having the proper rest and pain under control to carry on. My goals aspire to be the girl who can support others like me from home, while taking care of myself, to let them know they are not alone, there are people out there willing to connect with them. But it cant happen if this stress in my life over where my next meal is coming from continues to be a problem. I need a little support myself so I can give back to those who need support as well. Is our system so broken that this can never be a possibility for me? I hope not. In the meantime, I need a lawyer and advocate to get me through these appeals so I can continue to fight this fight until I can bring some relief to myself and to Ken who is my steadfast supporter no matter what we face, or the outcome. I need to live up to this for him, and myself at this point.

Don’t Mess With a Wife on A Mission.

I wish I even knew where to start with this mess of a blog these days. Life just keeps on ticking and by the time I turn around, I’m choosing sleep over blogging. For weeks now at a time. I love writing but the perfectionist in me wants to sit down and write some quality stuff from my brain, not just go through the motions.

I learned a lot the past two weeks about being the family member of a sick person. Ken has had some serious medical issues and I have spent two weeks at the hospital, biting my nails, waiting, and playing psycho patient advocate to make sure he only received the best care and a solid diagnosis. We are still working on that last one but I have made some real progress. It is SUPER frustrating to know enough about certain conditions because of being no stranger to chronic illness yourself, but not being taken seriously by doctors because they don’t want to hear the valuable information you may have to offer. Turns out after two weeks of craziness and one exploratory surgery, the doctor walks into Ken’s hospital room and declares its one of two things I have been pushing to get on the table for MONTHS now, like it was his idea all along. GGGGRRRRRR!!! Get the fuck out doc! Seriously? Because all this is certainly news to me….*snark*

Before all this mess, we did have a really good Thanksgiving in DC with my grandmother. She really is the stable force of family in my life, no matter what is going on, and when I come up, it makes me happy to do things for her…..even when it’s braving those horrendous Costco trips. It’s all worth it. I taught her to use a Keurig this trip so now, its K Cup parties up there too, and while Ken shakes his head, I notice he does not hesitate to have his several cups of coffee throughout the day. For the record, the Cinnabon K Cups, and BOTH Starbucks Holiday Blend and Christmas blend coffees this year are pretty damn awesome.

Also, why didn’t I know that Amazon Prime was so awesome before now? I now have kitty litter and toilet paper scheduled to show up at my door every other month (along with a few other things) through subscribe and save, so I never have to lug it home again. BECAUSE I HAVE NO SHAME IN GETTING MY TOILET PAPER DELIVERED. For free. This could get addicting. Plus more streaming video is pretty awesome. I’m really debating getting rid of all major cable at this point because I really think we could survive off the streaming video services we have. Except for HBO. HBO Go is a gift to myself this year (for half off.)

When Words Run Out.

I’m going through one of those spells where I don’t feel the urge to write very strongly. Maybe I just have no content, or maybe the content on my mind is just too overwhelming for me. Either way I just don’t know what to do about that. My life has a very specific set of issues right now, and I just feel redundant repeating it all the time when nothing fun, or hilarious happens in between. It’s just illness, with some pain, throw in a little “hi, I’m still crazy, the doc said so!” with a dash of “OMG iOS 7 came out and it took forever to download on my iPad and iPhone! (First world problems.)” Of course there ARE other things going on, and while I’m ok with talking about my issues most of the time, when it involves the privacy of others, well, you know…it’s only fair that this isn’t a place for that.

So, I’m just waiting, waiting for the writers block to lift I guess and the words to become interesting again.

BRAIN WWAARR!!

I don’t usually encourage bad grammar or spelling but I really want to scream “IMMA ‘BOUT TO NEED A VALIUM DRIP UP IN HERE!” with all the recent changes going on in my life right now. We all know I’m one crack up from going completely insane, and I just feel like life is pushing those buttons right now just to see if it can break me. JUST SO YOU KNOW LIFE, YOU CAN. YOU CAN STOP NOW. THIS WHOLE BIBLICAL JOB COMPLEX IS NOT AMUSING.

Sure, I’m on meds that are like my secret little weapons of second wave back up forces keeping the anxiety armies and tears at bay. I have the friends kinda dropping in from the sky and beating back my insecurities like kamikaze pilots when it gets bad as well. I certainly don’t want to kill them off, and everyone needs to sleep around here. And I’m fond of their devotion and all that.

But the point here is this, none of these things can keep putting my brain back together if you, life, keep dropping nuclear bombs in here of ridiculous nature. Between my illnesses, the military, financial, and family life struggles I simply need a break. Don’t you give me any of that “God doesn’t give you any more than you can handle” nonsense, because we both know full well I don’t believe in God and that saying is bullshit. Surviving and handling are two entirely different things.

I’m angry right now, I’m venting, I need a good stiff drink and probably a sense of humor. But I allowed myself the usage of the slang “IMMA” for the very first time ever, and now I am going to have to reflect on THAT for a few hours. *Cringe*

20130819-063916.jpg
I’M SO ASHAMED.

Grandma: Bringin’ It Full Circle.

My grandma is a serial cell phone swapper. She doesn’t even use it. She is one of those people who still turns it off every second it’s not in use, charges it every day at home anyway, and uses only three minutes a month. You can NEVER actually call her on it, which is annoying since she does spend A LOT of time outside the house wandering all over D.C. on foot. We do get concerned because, whatever, Carole does what Carole wants! She takes the city by storm with no car at 86 years old and there is nothing you’re gonna do about it! And she’s kicked cancer in the ass THREE TIMES.

But I digress. Back to the phones. At one point she owned one of those old people cell phones with only 3 buttons. Jitterbug it was called. Remember those hilarious commercials? (turns out Verizon was the parent company and just used the idea to pander to old people.) You actually had to CALL the Jitterbug customer service people and they programmed your phone for you because you were old and your phone only had 3 buttons. Operator, Tow (your car), and a 911 button.

20130814-065347.jpg
Three button phone, in all it’s glory. Who could mess this up?

Then she decided she could handle a real cell phone and got Verizon. Not long after that though she decided contracts were for suckers because she never uses her cellphone (remember she turns it off at all times unless she’s actively on it)…..and went to Virgin Mobile. However, now she needs me to figure out how to erase texts Virgin Mobile sends her to top up her minutes. I also have to program her directory, erase her voice mails, and all the other functions a normal cellphone user does when your phone has more than 3 buttons. So basically we have come full circle and now I’M THE JITTERBUG CUSTOMER SUPPORT PERSON.

I love my grandma. (Also, she routinely calls me up to ask me if I think going with Sprint like my mother does is a good idea. No grandma, just no. No more cell phones for you. I’m cutting you off.)

The Fruit Of the Week is: Pepino Melon

20130804-191720.jpg
This is our new fruit we are trying this week. The Pepino Melon.

It’s been over a week now. So much has happened, but I’m so tired and still confused and sad I’m not sure I want to spill my guts about it all yet. I still feel drawn to write, yet awkward about doing so. I guess my inspiration is just down. Out of whack. As broken as I feel at the moment.

I’m learning there are actual words to describe what I’ve been going through recently, and for many years in fact, and that’s both comforting and a little sad at the same time. Knowing I have a starting point for expression and help is great, but facing realities is always a difficult process. I want to just get back to some really funny stories here again, and I’m sure I will. I’m just weathering out this storm and waiting for the good stuff to come around.

I have learned this week that my onslaught of vertigo related migraines are most likely due to my use of Methotrexate for my RA, and since I have quit the injections, the vertigo has nearly ceased and the migraines have receded to happening for the “normal” reasons and only 3 in the past month instead of 18+. Now, I’m in an RA flare and must find a new med, but there are options for that and I feel that’s a compromise I’m willing to look into. My physical therapist agrees, and my Rheumatologist better get on board because well, I’m not going back on the methotrexate.

I’ve learned that sometimes the Army gets paperwork right two years later and drops a reenlistment bonus into your bank account without notice. Freaked us out at first (because usually these things are a mistake and they then take it back and it’s a HUGE ORDEAL) but this time it seems to be ours and we really need the money this month for bills. That reminds me: Make JAG appointment to update our wills. Because where the Army gives us money to live, they also want us to remember to prepare for death in a timely manner.

Pets are valuable. So are spouses/significant others and good friends and family that reaches out. It’s like a small army of people not willing to let you die mentally until you can get what you need.

I only teared up twice writing this post.

PTSD: House of Cards

This is the hardest thing I’ve chosen to write about, ever, so if I falter in my delivery, style or miss a grammar issue, grant me a pardon. I feel strongly about sharing my story on a personal level because I’m hoping staring it in the face will help me heal, and knowing its out there will make me deal better. It’s been sitting with me quietly, in writing, in private for a few days now, but I think taking my voice back is important to the process as well.

I had enough to handle as a kid growing up that I was already a pretty unstable person going into adulthood but I really think what sent me into full blown fracturing of my psyche PTSD was my rape. And I think the other night I realized just how much INSIDE I hadn’t dealt with it. I was laying in bed and it all flooded back out of nowhere. But mostly the anger at how I turned to my family, my dad for support, and what he told me on the phone the day after I escaped from that house. And then how he handled getting my stuff back, chatting with the guy, shaking his hand. I got super angry and burst into tears and sobbed right there in the bed for an hour. And asked Ken all sorts of WHY questions. I was flooded with betrayal like it had just happened last night. So bad I could not breathe.

I was living in a house in 2002, with multiple roommates, of which I was friends with and of which happened to be male. I learned over time, that said male friend had a serious control and drinking problem and ultimately it devolved into assaulting me, multiple times. With his own children also in the house. I was terrified, in shock, and at first totally unprepared to stand up for myself and fight back. I was raped several occasions, once when I was even sick with a fever and crying the entire time BEGGING for him to stop. At the end, he dropped his 14 month old daughter in my lap and went out for the night drinking. I was trapped, for I was also attached to this child as well, and stuck with the dilemma of abandoning her, for I had no legal standing on that front, or being subject to this abuse at his every whim despite my slow but surely emotional death going on inside. One night, he came home drunk, and I LOST IT. I fought back. He attacked me, I locked myself in the basement while he cut the phone lines so I couldn’t call for help. The only saving factor in this was he passed out drunk and I packed a bag with a stolen cell phone and stuck out the back door and RAN leaving all my belongings behind in the process and called a friend for help.

I broke down and called my family. My father told me that considering that God didn’t intend for men and women to live together outside of marriage, this was a poor choice on my behalf. He then told me, that he knew of my flair for the dramatic and said that I probably did something to lead him to believe this was ok, or was simply not relaying the story exactly as it happened anyway, so don’t be surprised if no one takes this very seriously. After some time had passed, he did offer to have him and my uncle move my stuff out of my rapists house for me, back to my mothers house, who at least gave me my old room back until I found somewhere else to live. During this moving, I was required to be present, and when my rapist protested over removing some items from the house he preferred to keep my dad LET HIM, because “he seemed to have a point, and was friendly about it (I didn’t even hear the conversation, I was too emotional to leave the car)” and then they laughed, chatted and SHOOK HANDS at the end. And that was that. We have never spoken of the incident again. It never happened.

Suddenly, a couple nights ago, I couldn’t rationalize ANYTHING. Why I could fight so hard to get out of danger only to be dropped on my head by my own father. Why he shook hands with my rapist instead of punching the man who hurt his daughter right in the face. WHY HE NEVER MENTIONED IT TO ME AFTER WORDS. NEVER SAID HE WAS SORRY FOR MY PAIN. Its like it never happened. I don’t want to be known as the family member who’s only hook was getting raped but I sure as hell want to know that people support my through my recovery and BELIEVE THAT IT HAPPENED. I know I have people that believe me. I do. Wonderful friends, and a husband. It’s the people that openly shunned the idea to my face that have done such damage. Because they weren’t just people I could just disregard. I have to face my dad. All the time. My stepmom wrote it off because my dad didn’t feel it important to tell her so when I mentioned it, she brushed me off. I immediately felt shame and never talked of it again. My mom doesn’t talk about things like that, her and my grandmother are experts at bottling trauma and burying that shit so deep it NEVER SEES LIGHT AGAIN. EVER. Meanwhile, I’m dying inside.

After 10 years, I’m obviously no where near over this judging by the rage and betrayal, tears and Klonopin needed that bubbled up out of my own head seemingly unprompted by anything other than my own head working its own thoughts.

Yes, I’ve been through therapy but to be honest, I realize I’ve danced around this event. I have not danced around the topic of religion or my dad, but my rape, I’ve acted like I accept that it isn’t my fault (I do, now) and I can put it behind me. Apparently…..I’m wrong. The other night was proof. Being strong and saying you know it’s not your fault is only part of healing. Never talking about it again on that premise, is NOT strength I’m learning, and it’s forcing me to relive my trauma in me dreams, and in my waking thoughts.

And I will say it WAS the moment I let go of the idea of a personal relationship with God, and started moving toward the idea of a more abstract uninvolved creator type god. Perhaps one that set the world in motion, but did not play a part in events nor did he intervene in the lives of his creations. It’s when I started my first blog in fact (in 2003.) My blog was an exploration of that idea, if I could make peace with that, if I could see beauty in that type of god. I dug down deep into the metaphorical beauty of “God’s Creation” in the bible, and tried to find inner peace with the world through nature of the earth around me. I blogged my ass off about it and thought in my head “why all the beauty out there when my beautiful body has just been torn apart inside and he didn’t care?” (I did a TON of this while drowning in drugs.) And if I could reconcile those thoughts within a church that believed strongly in a personal god. Which, ultimately, I could not. I couldn’t rationalize either. Nor accept the way the social aspects of the Christadelphians where railroading me in the wake of all this, coupled with how my childhood went. So I started reading other materials that spoke to me, in terms of evidence and logic, that have formed my path today.

Full of Angst.

PT was a total failure today. Despite my best efforts at thwarting nausea, I ended up in a mess of dizziness and puking less than 20 min in. Effectively canceling the rest of the session. However, my therapist finally got to see the effects of a “bad day” of the nausea and dizziness side of this whole vertigo thing, when it pops up completely out of the blue and I lose all control. Weirdly enough I have no real explanation for why the sudden attack. Some days it just “is.” Now I’m in bed, having ingested another does of crushed up phenagrin in water (yes I know it’s gross, but seriously, quicker delivery system and the zolfran isn’t accessible right now) and kinda hoping I get knocked out of my misery soon.

I’m supposed to be planning a sort of impromptu trip to DC this weekend, possibly starting tomorrow to retrieve my beloved camera, visit some kidlets, spend some time with awesome grandma, help her out with that ridiculous basement situation a bit, just look at my soul city a bit that I miss a lot sometimes. Now I am of course scared to move or make plans.

And my husband just came in to tell me there is a flood in our dryer because the massive amounts of rain we got leaked all the way into the house back through the vent and pooled in the dryer (something our leasing office denies happens). Seriously, just fuck today.

Ode to My Grandma, Chapter 2 “She Gets Lost A Lot”

My grandmother, as I’ve mentioned before, is a brilliant woman, whom I respect, and owe a lot of who I have become to. But she’s got to know by now, this also means my foul language and my sense of humor. And the fact that she herself makes me laugh. A LOT.

My grandmother lives and functions fully on her own, but she gets lost everywhere. At the grocery store, at Target, in the mall, places like that. I always feel like I’m corralling her into the direction she needs to go. Yet this woman can to the most amazing things considering, like work the military computer system at Walter Reed in Bethesda where she volunteers twice a week, and still remember how to ride the NYC subway like she’s still 15.

She also gets lost on the DC Metro (subway) . Like at Gallery Place, where she transfers trains 5 days a week, for the past 20 years. The part that kills me the most is the look on her face. It’s total shock and confusion. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. She then will walk the wrong way in a circle. But with a purpose. And she’s 5 ft 10. So it’s weird, towering, giant old person lost in the subway, bewildered yet determined. I do not know how she finds her train sometimes because when I’m with her, it’s me who gets us on the right track, quite literally.

Then there is Costco. The Costco thing Ken and I have developed an actual battle plan for. For when we make the Costco trip we always have to take her and her sister. And they always want the same items on their lists. Every single time. And they always get lost. In opposite directions, at different paces. Its much like unleashing two toddlers inside of Costco, closing your eye for maybe 15 seconds and then spending the rest of the day trying to FIND THEM. So we divide and conquer. And they are shocked we show up with armfuls of toilet paper, salmon, protein bars, and Kleenex. Also, dish soap, crystal light, Metamucil….And we communicate via text across the store. What’s mind blowing about this situation with my grandmother in particular is that her list never changes and she’s NEVER actually out of this stuff when we take her shopping. We come home and she’s still got 120 rolls of toilet paper left, 20 boxes of Kleenex and 3 gallons of dish soap yet to be used. It’s all in the basement, in that situation I posted about a few days ago, here

When I called her yesterday, because I call her at least every other day, this woman is BFF status to me, she told me she’s going to have someone haul away all the junk in the basement again. Minus her Costco spoils. I feel terrible about this, because Ken and I wanted to do this entirely FOR HER in recent months, but due to my hospitalizations, migraines, vertigo, his school, and general suckiness of life, we have not even been up to DC since March, let alone anything else for months preceding that. I feel like I should make this up to her somehow. Mostly because soon, we are going to have to ask her for HER help again, and she knows it.