Half of me has so much within me that needs to be said that I do not even know where to begin. And half of me feels like there could not possibly be less of a point to doing so.  To say that right now is a rough time is a supreme understatement. And I feel like any way I could describe how it feels would sound melodramatic. I mean, it’s very intense, and it’s very bad in the way that you really don’t want it to be bad, because it’s the Serious Resignation type of bad, and I promise you that kind of bad is not headed in a good direction ever. I’ve got to get out of the way of this kind of bad, and I’ve been trying, but my resolve is started to fade, because everything is in knots and I don’t feel like anyone understands.

My world is really small and I spend most of my time alone. Those I do interact with are not really sure what to say. And it’s hard to be your own advocate and explain what you need when in the thick of this. And I can’t separate what is situational and what is not anymore, because there is so much stress and so little future. And the fucking future: I am still learning to code in hopes of actually having one for once, but I have to make it to that future, and every month is a crap shoot, every month is barely squeaking by, and now I am buried in vet bills and grief as well.

And part of me is just resigned. Not resigned like this is what my life will be. I mean, yeah, obviously it’s looking like that. Which is horrible. But resigned like nothing is worth saving, especially not me. Cause I’ve waved my little “help me” flag and here I am, alone and typing into a screen so I can broadcast my extremis into the void. Or a preamble of my extremis, since I’m not even really describing the entire torpor that is going on in my head right now. I think in more detail than anyone knows, and so the maelstrom of thoughts is not only hellish but really  complicated, and coupled with the intrusive thoughts that come with OCD, I can’t straighten any of this out alone. I can’t afford a therapist who is actually trustworthy and good, and I can’t afford to travel to the appointments if I could.

I’m staring down an empty hallway that leads to a dead end, and the walls are decorated with symbols to remind me that there are others who are not trapped in a hallway like mine. They are living actual lives that change and grow. I am in this position because of something I can’t control – mental illness. But that doesn’t stop me from feeling like a loser. That doesn’t stop me from BEING a loser in the eyes of most of this society, does it? No matter how much I struggle and try to improve things. Doesn’t matter there, and doesn’t seem to matter in that effort’s impact on my life.

Another thing that doesn’t matter is all this shit I just wrote. What good does it do? Maybe it relieved a little pressure. But it’s all just the same as when I started, and I have wasted the time I spent on this when I could have used it on my stupid attempts to make things better.

Which I will now get back to.

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Insert Throbbing Temple Vein Here

“Remember the magic of chaining functions!” says the tutorial that up to this point has NOT ONCE MENTIONED CHAINING FUCKING FUNCTIONS.

This is getting irritating. I do not have an envelope up to my forehead like Johnny Fucking Carson so I cannot predict what information that I HAVE NOT YET LEARNED will suddenly be needed in a challenge that I am working on. Is it so unreasonable to ask that a tutorial actually TEACH YOU THE SUBJECT MATTER before they ask you to demonstrate your ability with said subject matter? Is that crazy? Am I crazy?

Okay, yes, I am crazy, so this is making me CRAZIER. Which is the last thing this fucked up world needs right now. Off to Google with me to look up CHAINING FUNCTIONS, for fuck’s sake.

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Of Innards and Angels

I lost two of the most special and amazing creatures that ever existed in two weeks. Heartbroken and shell-shocked and weirdly numb in the places where I’m not totally destroyed. And inanely smart-mouthed in some sort of misguided manic attempt to put on a good face. Just one of the numerous shitty parts is that I did not have enough money to save either of them. To have to watch the ones you love die because you can’t save them, because you FAIL to save them, it is a bitter fucking pill to swallow. Which is kind of an odd expression because you’d WANT to swallow the bitter pill, get it away from your taste buds. You WOULDN’T want it lingering under your tongue, where it would be pumping out little particulates into your saliva streams and flooding your mouth innards.

Oh – and “mouth innards” is mine – don’t steal it. It’s too GRACEFUL a phrase to just let go. (Yeah, I can wax sardonic as a cover-up, but it’s like my concealer. Caked on and obvious.)

The thing about tragedy is that it forces you into a new space, a new energy. You shed skin, at least if you’re doing it right. If you are the kind of person to go through major life events without changing at least a LITTLE, well, I don’t know how to know you. Things definitely feel like they are – different. Some of that is obviously terrible. Some of it is okay. The okay stuff doesn’t change the fact that I miss my kitties. It doesn’t change how it feels like part of my heart has been ripped right out of my chest and my stomach is taking a ride in a elevator with snapped cables.

Animals are the purest creatures. I mean, babies are nice and innocent and sweet and all, but think about this: a baby will also smack the shit out of you and then laugh about it. There is that. My cats didn’t slap at me, but if they did, they would not be laughing in their paws about it. They were literally the sweetest souls I have ever encountered. And in the world the way it is today, there is something profoundly disturbing, beyond the obvious issue of losing that which you love so very dearly, to watching that purity extinguish. It is a heartbreak on several levels, and one of those levels belongs to humanity. It’s a weight on the soul, the heaviness of watching angels die.

I don’t know what to do with the ache. You never do. Grief is like that. You just have to learn to live with it, and bear it as it gets a little duller each day. It will never go away completely, but then, neither will the love. And that is the strength of this world. The brutal force of mortality will ultimately rob us of everything we hold dearest to our hearts. But the love, that’s the thing it can’t touch, can’t change, can’t steal. It’s sappy, but it’s true. Love endures. I will love my cats forever, whatever the concept “forever” ends up meaning. I will take my love for them with me to my grave – which will probably be a cardboard cremains box for the indigent, but hey, you get what you get. Whatever the case, the fact is that the love endures. It’s like an endless echo made of memory and will.

It’s traumatic playing God for a beloved pet. Especially when ‘pet’ seems awkward and ‘cat child’ would be a more apt description. “So they don’t suffer” still feels like selling them down the river. I should have been Shirley MacLaine in “Terms of Endearment”, for fuck’s sake. I shouldn’t have just given in, given up. I should have been ready to raise hell and crack skulls, but instead, I listened to the damned vet. “You should go ahead and put her down now,” she said. And maybe it was the kindest thing, but I just keep thinking, that cat TRUSTED me, and THAT is what I fucking did.

And that line of thinking is what you call Counter-factual thinking, and it is part of Denial. “If Only” counts as Denial. I did not know this before my World Grief Tour (2012-2018) but it’s true. Sitting there going over and over what you could have done differently is absolutely part of Denial. As far as I know there is no organic way it stops – you just have to willfully say FUCKING STOP to yourself. You have to tell yourself, Look – the person/animal is gone now and all of this thinking will NOT bring them back, it’s just going to put YOU in a hole you will never get out of. And you have to will yourself to stop it. And you will suck at that at first. But you will get better at distracting yourself. You will get better at distress tolerance.

And I will, too. Or I will be forced to beat the living shit out of myself.

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RIP

Yesterday I had to say goodbye to another one of my kitties. I am heartbroken.

 

Rest in Peace, Ticaboo
5/17/03-2/3/19

 

 

 

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!!!1111

I can now write a little function in Javascript that changes out text or images or what-not with the click of a button. Yay!

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Rabid Banality Mongers

It seems such a rare thing to ever glimpse an argument online where the parties calmly make their points, using their minds and ideas as leverage instead of the brute force of emotion. It is so seldom that I see people disagree on something where things don’t immediately devolve into – or hell, start off with – pettiness and personal attacks, launched with what surely must be the power of a thousand disappointments now directed at the one they debate.

And it’s so depressing, especially when I happen to share one of the opinions over which they argue. It turns the whole point into an indefensible one, because it is no longer about whatever issue was on the table, but instead who can hurl more shit. It’s disheartening when people just tear down others for sport because they disagree. When they ascribe certain characteristics to their foes which are ridiculously inaccurate demographically, turning their targets into cartoons and obscuring the real things they should be critiquing, it defeats the entire purpose. Why even debate anything with anyone if you do this? You’re not discussing a topic anymore. You’re just chewing on someone.

A lot of times in these pile-ons, people seem to believe they are saying some hilarious shit.  I am not shy about being a comedy geek. And I can tell you, I certainly would not stand in the way of comedy, if anything any of these people said was actually funny. But none of them ever say anything remotely humorous. And they all seem to make the same jokes, repeatedly. So it’s just bullshit. Trite bullshit that makes you cringe because it’s tasteless, but not in the fun way.  It’s like reading a bunch of shitty bumper stickers at a truck stop.

I know. I’m not perfect. I am so far from perfect that, as a much-maligned comedian once said, the light from perfect would take 6 million light years to reach me. And I have itchy amygdala that, well, the words IMMEDIATELY RESPONSIVE come to mind. I really should not be reading these threads. And being all judgmental. And from now on, I will resist that that morbid curiosity, that dark temptation to “smell the bad milk”. 

To paraphrase the late, great Carrie Fisher, there are softer walls to bang my head against.

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The Impossible Dream

My eldest cat, who is eighteen, is blind. She screams all day. I say “screams” and not “meows” because it is usually not her standard meow, but instead a howling caterwaul that sounds like how I sometimes feel when I post to this blog. It is blood curdling and, frankly, nerve-fraying. I do my best to soothe her. I make sure she isn’t hungry or thirsty, I make sure she doesn’t have to use the litter box. I pet her, talk to her, sing to her, kiss her on top of the head. Any fix I try lasts for approximately 10 seconds. And then it’s right back to Scream Time. So basically everything I am doing lately is with this backdrop of abject feline misery.

If that’s not enough to make me feel not so good at the life thing, clips are not doing well at all this month. I mean, generally speaking I am not pulling in much from them, but every little bit helps and some months are better than others. I am pretty sure that other people doing this are better at it in one way or many and make significantly better bank than I, because I don’t see anyone besides myself doing this for long without much reward. Why then do I do it for not much reward, and for as long (excuse me, fucking long) as I have? It takes a long time to recover from a psychotic break, first off. Secondly, systems are not set up so that one can easily be weaned off of them, particularly when said systems are set up only for subsistence and not for leveling up Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Spending every day scrambling to do better sucks up a lot of focus.

Not that this will stand in my way. I am stubborn. And though some may believe that hope is a pipe dream, I still see value in it. It is the fuel that keeps me going. The hope that with enough focus, enough effort, even with the bullshit obstacles that stand between me and the serious improvement of my situation, I can overcome. Some may say that my hope is directed toward something ‘too good to be true’. That it’s overshooting to imagine that I could go from what I do now to what I want to do. To that I say, it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t have a choice.

I got started on this road because I lost my job due to mental illness, which violates the ADA – but I didn’t know about the ADA, and I didn’t know that I could apply for Social Security Disability. At that time, I had enough credits. I was absolutely eligible. But my husband, who loved letting everyone know what a Socialist to the Nth Degree he was, didn’t bother to tell me about these two things. I just figured, well, I have to do something to earn a living. And so I did. I I pulled something out of thin air, rather than get assistance from the government. Who knows, had I pursued the idea that the government could help me, what might have happened had I applied for SSDI at that time. I would have gone down a completely different road. I would have had access to needed medication, I would not have worked in jobs where I got no SSDI credit, I would not have met the person who put a gun to my face and who would eventually hold me against my will and assault me in numerous ways. A lot would have been different. A few things might be much better. A couple of things would be missing from my life though, and the people that I now treasure, I would not know. So you know, it evens out. In fact, interpersonally, I come out far ahead. I am lucky, and grateful for that fact.

But, because I worked instead of applying for disability at that time, I am now a “lifer” on a much lower, less survivable form of disability assistance. That is, unless I can pull off the rabbit in the hat trick. Some may think it’s not feasible. But some didn’t think it was feasible that I would be able to rehab myself to the point I am now at, post-psychotic break. One therapist even went so far as to say, “You will never be happy. You will be lucky if you are able to function at all.”

Yeah, she probably should not be a therapist.

There are still some speed bumps, even if the road turns out to be mostly smooth, which is a big even to throw in there. I am still inconsistent in a lot of things, though I try to work on this fact daily. I have a lot of ups and downs and bursts and dearths of energy. Sometimes my brain is a really scary place in which to hang out. And sometimes I get stuck in the past, because there is just so much of it that was traumatic and hurtful and confusing, and because I am trying to unravel all the wrong things I learned and replace them with correct things.

I read a tweet yesterday that nearly knocked the wind out of me, it was so resonant. It was about being just intelligent enough and just high-functioning enough for people to glance over and assume that any sort of difficulty a person was having with things like organization or going places or communicating or what-have-you was not due to illness or disorder – in this case ADHD, which I also have – but to be difficult out of spite. I can’t even tell you how many times that has happened to me. How many times people have summed me up incorrectly and figured, “Oh, well if she can do THAT, then she can also do THIS, and she JUST DOESN’T WANT TO.”  In fact, shortly after my psychotic break – which lasted four months before anyone even thought that maybe my bizarre behavior was a sign that something had gone terribly wrong in my brain – my mom said to me, “That stuff was all just because you were mad at me, wasn’t it?”

She wasn’t saying that out of any kind of cruelty or anything, she just did not understand, having been born in the times of Walk It Off or Be Lobotomized. She listened when I explained that it was mental illness, not spite, that caused me to behave as I did. But a lot of people don’t listen, and they don’t believe. Some of these people are actually doctors. But present as high-functioning and you can be easily labeled as attention-seeking or worse, a malingerer.

Whatever, though. In the end, all of this is a bunch of words, and I will be aided mostly by action. And that action is learning to code. I have achieved a total of seven certificates so far, but only one of them recently – the first six were from a false start two years ago. Still, this one cert is a big deal for me, and now I am trying to figure out something I was never taught – how to set goals, and create a logical daily plan of steps to achieve them. We shall see how that goes.

In the meantime, I am doing the best I can as I can grab time to focus on it. It can be frustrating, because sometimes the free site I am using leaves important info out and then gives you a problem to do that utilizes the info they left out and it feels like you are expected to just magically “know” it. It is really easy to say, “I’m not cut out for this”, but the thing is – I am.

I am cut out for this. I believe I can do it. I do not know how long it will take. I do not know if it will result in my super-hoped-for goal of a really good job. But I am finally using my mind again, and that feels so amazing, and so right.

There is a place within each of us, no matter how stressed, no matter how crazy, where the judgement of others at long last falls away, and we feel most ourselves. The trick is finding out how to access it.

What can you do today that will help you access that place?

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