albino peacock

(no subject)

Last winter I almost lost the battle.
Winter is always rough but last one was especially so. Each day felt darker than the rest. I wished desperately to do anything to break away from the hopeless rut I was in but the doldrums of every day was all that I had... the very things that tether me here and ground me were overwhelming to be a part of. In some way those routines protect me. I can't kill myself, who would take the kids to karate. I can not kill myself today, I haven't done the dishes yet.
When my cousin died, some 24 years ago, and I watched my family go through the pain of losing her... I knew deep down that suicide wouldn't ever be the right answer. How could I ever willingly put my family through that?
Dont get me wrong, my depression lies to me like everyone else. It tells me that I wouldn't be as missed, that I am not as loved. That she was so much more worthy of living than I... oh for years how I wished to trade her life for mine.. please please.. why couldn't I have been taken instead.

Last winter though, all of the reasons and groundings that I have ... just disappeared. I felt completely and totally numb, and resolve set in. I started planning.
I felt detachment and a strange sort of dual consciousness. Very out of the body, observer position but still with some rational cognitive thought. On a day that was semi sunny and mostly dry I drove myself to a nearby park. Its very wooded, lots of trails. No one was around. I knew I needed exercise.. it was an attempt to pull myself out of these dangerous thought patterns with the power of exercise but it was fairly ineffective.
I walked through the park, visualizing how my corpse would look under the particularly interesting trees. my mind played out the grim theatre of what it would be like to take my last breaths. I looked on in morbid fascination as my mind played out the scenarios. How long would it take to find my body?

I got back into the car after my walk and realized I had no idea HOW i would even go about such a thing. I dont have a gun, dont want a gun... None of the other things I could think of sounded right. I briefly considered driving my car off a bridge but .. drowning..
and then there'd be the car! for some reason this is where it all hit a road block. I couldn't leave my family without the car. They'd have to deal with buying a new car AND dealing with what I'd done...
Ridiculous. Thats when I broke down. out of all the stupidest things thats what pulled me out.

Before my cousin died I remember telling her that I didn't want to be alive. That I wished I'd never been born.
I've been thinking about this shit for nearly 30 years now. At what point is it just -time-. I have exhausted every single caring shoulder, I have bored, frustrated, saddened and depressed every willing ear. At this point in the journey I think that there's probably a good number of people willing me to just do it already.. so that they can have quiet. So that I can finally be at peace.

I actually tried to make NEW friends this year with the intention of having new ears to hear me through this winter.
... but then covid 19 happened and .. well I wasn't ever any good at making friends anyway.

Things definitely took a downturn when I stopped journaling.
I think the old brain needs to just purge thought sometimes. Organize or .. just spew.. i dont know.
For now, thats the new coping plan. Purge. Purge. Purge.
I am safe. for now

"But I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep,
and miles to go before I sleep."
-Robert Frost

(no subject)

The infographic said we have 13 years to avoid environmental catastrophe. 13 years.
In 13 years Laurel will be 25, and Alice will be 23. Years that are meant to be formative, years that are meant to be the start of your adult life. Will they be done with school? Will they be finding love?
What kind of world are we handing them?
That deep frozen feeling in the pit of my stomach is back and I don’t think I can handle life.

I don’t have a plan.
I desperately need one.
We all desperately need a plan.


The worst part is how it haunts my dreams. So much in my life I’ve been able to get over. So many things I’ve dealt with and come out the other side...
but the lasting effects of this, haunt me. Not in the way you’d think either. No, the dreams probably are symptomatic of some sort of delusional thought process. Instead of eternally paying my debt for my wrongs, in the dreams everyone is suddenly much more rational and understanding. And even so, I am so nervous and so afraid of them. So injured that I can’t even begin to rebuild... and so I run.
albino peacock

(no subject)

Today I walked downstairs and the girls just looked so grownup. They both looked like little fashion plates, each in their own distinct style.
I remember when they were toddlers, falling in love with their emerging personalities. Watching as they became something ... created by me and perhaps inspired me but something so completely different than me.

A few weeks ago I stood next to my cousin on a hot sunny beach and we watched as our daughters played in the sand. He said "you learn a lot about yourselves when you're raising your children"
He's not wrong. I've said the same thing many many times.
You watch your own traits, played out and personified in front of you. Sometimes more dramatic than you feel your own traits are, and sometimes less. Amusingly so having more than one child even deepens those assessments.

This morning was hard, watching them in their own selves.. growing and changing in leaps and bounds. I am usually clouded by my rushing around.. rushing toward the next stage, the next phase. The next class or event. Obsessing over the minutia and small detail of this or that. Today the big picture hit me, and I wasn't ready.

Life is like that for me. I'm never even vaguely prepared for anything coming at me.

Last night in class we were listening to an audio recording that has instructions built in.
"combo 4, a left hook and a right straight punch!" "defense! defense!" "combo 2!" It gave instructions super fast and even though I could HEAR the attack I was defending against I still stared blankly. Overwhelmed. The instructions of what I should be doing next were well within reach and still I was unprepared. Lagged behind.. dumb.

My mental clarity isn't what it used to be.

The headaches started in spring.
I tripped over a pinecone and felt my neck click. I thought nothing over it and the gash on my knee was worse than anything. After two weeks of daily intense headaches though I remembered the falling and saw a potential connection.
I figured it would improve, but it didn't.
I lost my ability to cope after three weeks of all day, every day, often migraine strength headaches. I had to remind myself daily that there were still things to try, things to do.. I regularly had to remind myself that I didn't need to kill myself to escape the pain.
I can't take most painkillers due to some super fun inflammatory GERD issues. Chronic upper GI inflammation. Tylenol is one of the only ones I'm allowed to take and it did nothing to touch the pain.
I finally went to the doctor on day 19 of chronic headache. They looked concerned. They prescribed big barbiturates. They said to schedule a followup with my regular doctor after giving a standard neuro exam and asking a few questions. Gave referral to Neurology dept. Instructions given on when to go to the ER.
Saw my normal provider just two days later. She's concerned. She says to keep the neuro appointment. But she looked at the muscles in my neck and told me she thought i should go to Physical Therapy. Great. this sounds like actually a solution not just symptom masking. She prescribes Anti Anxiety meds. She says if I have another bad migraine to just go to the ER.

I read the side effects of the anxiety meds and have a panic attack. I can't take them. They're too dangerous. Terrible withdrawals should i ever want to not be on them. Badness.

So many days spent assuming I'm dying. Worst migraine ever happens. I cried nearly 6 hours straight. Finally I told Joel to come home early to take me to the ER.
He does. We're there 6? hours. Catscan. IV meds. hours of a dim tiny room and so much fear and anxiety.
but there's nothing
no tumors. No bleeds.

PT happened next. A guy named Jimmy. Isn't that just what you want? a provider named Jimmy. My pal Georgina says the name reminds her of Dr. Nick from the Simpsons. I'm skeptical.
He scrapes my muscles with a plastic tool. It seems like the most ridiculous thing I've ever had done to me. I feel more skeptical about this than I did holding crystals to my forehead and begging the universe to take away my pain. It feels like nothing.
but the next day I didn't have a headache. The first non headache day in something like 26 days.
and the day after there's no headache either.
I'm floored. and hope returns .. a little.

Summer was spent running between PT appointments, karate classes for the girls, some Krav Maga classes for me when I was up to it. We bought kayaks and went several times. with twice a week PT i was usually functional. I developed a huge amount of different things that help reduce my headaches upon onset. essential oils, sports creams, a yoga routine.. so many different things

in July I saw the neuro. She didn't want to order additional scans. She wants me to take magnesium,. she prescribes muscle relaxants. She thinks I'm fine. Tension headaches triggering migraines.

Its September and school is back in session. I still have some degree of headache the majority of days. Sometimes just a neck ache... they feel that the tension headaches are due to muscle imbalance. I'm not .. better.. but I stopped saying goodbye to my children each morning (silently, in my head(, sure that my death was imminent.
I've been warned that coping with chronic pain can become part of your identity.

I've been urged to find the root cause of my anxiety and address it.
Everything in my life is urging me to do so.
but i'm so afraid.

I'm not sure this is fixable.

I'm not sure I'm worth fixing.

On Fighting.

I have been fighting my whole life. Fighting my genetics, my past, my experience, my perception.. Fighting myself. The thing about fighting is that when it's done ineffectively you're only left exhausted, and disheartened, and with your ass kicked. You have no energy left to protect yourself, let alone to attack back.
At some point your only option is to lay down and accept it, to admit defeat. To be broken and ruined.

Or you could, you know..
learn how to fight.

We enrolled the kids in Karate classes at a local studio here in town. The focus and order, structure and energy of the place makes me grin ear to ear. The kids were unsure of how they would enjoy it, but have quickly begun to not only enjoy it, but also excel at it. As a perk of having two kids enrolled, they offered me free classes. Adult Kungfu with the Gi and the bowing and such, or a much more casual (in clothing and tradition) martial art called Krava Maga.

I considered it, but I got pretty freaked out when I watched sparring videos. This stuff is hardcore, and its scary, and its aggressive. It is everything I am not.
I'd given up the idea of doing it and wasn't asked again if I wanted to try, until a coordinator at the studio sorta corner me and asked if I wanted to and .. completely thrown off guard I had no excuse to throw at her. I said yes, and the very next day I was there.

I've swam laps at pools, gone to the gym and lifted weights or hit the treadmill, or elliptical or cycle .. whatever. I've tried my hand at running... I've played wii fit and dancing games.. I've tried hula hooping and jump rope as fitness plans, but never, before this class have I ever learned to SWEAT.
I sweat freely, and disgustingly. I sweat unapologetically.

I still dont feel more aggressive or assertive in my every day life yet. I dont feel any more prepared to take on an attacker. My main baseline defense is to shriek and flail wildly and ineffectively.. but I am hopeful that overtime training will kick in and somehow fuse the practice to my instincts.

I am happy though.

My genuine self is almost certainly a non-violent hippie sort... Very much not this.. I was afraid I would damage my ideals..
but I haven't.

I can see my genuine self and she likes this a lot.

I'm tired of exhausting myself being ineffective and inefficient. It's time to learn to fight.


Something happened when I started demanding that I deserved things.
Slowly, very slowly, im starting to worthy of things.

A bit ago I decided that I was going to cosmetic remodel my craft room space, and since the money was already earmarked for the project.. The only thing standing in my way was myself. There's a lot of shit that was contained in this room. Too many hobbies, too many boxes shoved full of shit at the last moment before a move. My grandmothers' things from when we cleaned out her craft room when she died.

The room was bad, really unpleasant, and it's been my space.. The rest of the house was made vaguely live able .. But my space was left... Disgustingly dirty because we didn't ever clean it before we moved in.. And it was the first room we just filled with -stuff-

I could go on, and have.. Gone on about the remodel.
The flooring went in last weekend and the process made me feel closer to Joel. We didn't fight, we seemed to appreciate eachother.. And it went smoothly, it felt like a team effort. I kept waiting for the stress but it didn't happen.

Now little needs to be done to finish up, cabinetry to hold all the stuff remains, but for now the plastic bins of stuff will be awkwardly stacked in here to ugly up the place.

But the changes that are occurring are more than the cosmetics of the room. I feel healthier, more whole. I feel amazing that I get to be in a beautiful space.. One that I thought up and orchestrated to the best of my ability.
I feel like this is the sort of space where important work gets done.. Important means.. Whimsical, deep, life changing, inspiring. I'm not embarrassed of this space.

I don't know why but Joel allowed me much more leeway with this space. Thusly it feels like I was able to make decisions, not fearfully worrying if he'll like it or not. It came together fast and well because of that decisiveness that came with the power of ownership.

This feels like a room I can sew wonderful things in.. Write books in, paint and draw. It feels like a room I want to BE in. Very little spaces in our house make me fee like that. I've come to feel that way about our bedroom but it also feels unfinished and crappy.. The rest of the house can feel unwelcoming at times.
But I also feel an insane need to plan out and execute the minutia of a room in order to really own it, and when we bought the house we had a very short amount of time to make it clean and live-able. We've not decorated or customized as much as I think we wanted to yet.

One of those days

It's one of those days. Where everything is so bleak and dark that it feels irreparable. Everything is so broken to bits that no amount of glue could fix.. and not a soul around with that sort of commitment and patience.

I opened Illustrator the other day and got lost in it. It pleased me to see lines and shapes be some thing recognizable. It felt defining again in a way, this is something I Do, something I am. I've not been defined by ability and talents recently. Perhaps by my baseline interpersonal skills that remain even when I'm in crisis mode... my ability to continue to care for my kids.

Everything is crumbling around me. I honestly can't tell when I'm being overly dramatic anymore, because it feels so appropriate to be upset. I think I've been under reacting, walking around numbly for so long that any emotion feels like an over reaction. It feels like an immediate reason to berate myself.

So. I will cry this morning. I will pull it together and put on makeup and volunteer in the third grade classroom this afternoon.. I will come home and go through the motions, attempt homework with the kids and housework and dinner. We will go to the Winter Festival this evening. I will smile at the PTA moms and try to keep my self loathing down where it's mostly invisible.

.. and then I'll come back here, and regret that I spoke words.
It's hard to fade away into obscurity when you speak.
It's hard to be forgotten when your thoughts leak out your fingers too.

(no subject)

Today, I ran.
I walked mostly, and coughed big globs of illness from my lungs, but.. I sprinted when I wasn't doing those other things.

Running feels different since I joined the gym. Wishing I still had the endurance I once had, but enjoying this floating, freeing, speedy feeling. It feels like fleeing in the best way possible.

I'm listening and trying to follow someone else's plan. I am sabotaging myself the whole way through and I see that.

but today.. there were moments where I lost myself.. I was something else.. something faster, sleeker, and better than myself.

(no subject)

My skin looks different, I look older .. Much.
It came on suddenly. I can't stop staring. Aging isn't what I thought it was when I start at it under the microscope as it slowly happens to me. It's not this beautiful graceful natural process. It's actively participating in decay.

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