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Month: August 2015

Middle of the night nonsense

Middle of the night nonsense

 

We were up last night, cuddling in the corner of the couch where I once believed the lies of a narcissistic drama loving pathetic excuse for a family. “Do you want to go to bed?” “No, no, no.” Little arms around my neck. How did this happen, when did my baby become all limbs and torso and tall, who is this child who will hold my gaze indefinitely, pressing our foreheads together so we each have one giant eye, who answers my promptings of “Who does Mama love?” “Who makes Mama happy?” correctly.

I remember the first night in that same spot, and I think a lot about trauma all the time, worrying about your little brain and my own. It will never be enough. We didn’t cocoon, really, but we became hermits so maybe that should count for something.

I bribed you back to bed with juice that you were too sleepy to drink. I would have stayed on the couch with you if it had been at all comfortable, and if I didn’t have to get up this morning. As it was you went to bed and slept peacefully, or so it seemed, and I went to bed and was woken with a panic attack (again) after dreaming that my current (good!) boss and a coworker set up a meeting with me to tell me I had received a promotion but it was at the church. I could have the job I wanted in 2010, or I could stay in my current job. In the dream, I decided against my will to go with the church, because it was more money and, in the dream, I thought more flexible hours. I didn’t want it as I agreed to it, I didn’t want to have to pretend to agree with the things I would be required to agree with, or believe things I didn’t believe, or deal with the politics and drama and people and cult behaviors, and the entire thing was a nightmare I still haven’t fully been able to shake. I realize now why I dreamed it, at least partially – some similar conversations/events not involving me at work. But I woke up hyperventilating and shaky and super anxious. I would never, ever, ever choose that. No matter how miserable I am now, I would never. And yet it was what I thought I wanted.

So I go back to googling trauma and PTSD and anxiety. I fail to call back someone who mentioned questions about dissociation and trauma and I realize the word “dissociation” is a legitimate description of the complaint I’ve had for months, which is that “my brain just shuts off” intermittently throughout the day. “I’m doing a thing, and then I’m not. It’s just gone.” How many people have I said this to? So many. I don’t know the cause. It feels like microsleeping, or maybe it is. There’s something else to worry about.

Then I decide no, that’s dumb, it was a dumb church, that was all. Except if I read through lists of “signs you’re in an abusive relationship”, they fit. With my former boss or with the church. Can you be in an abusive relationship with a whole church? So many of them are accurate. The connection of psychological or emotional abuse to trauma doesn’t seem crazy at all.

Emotional abuse in the workplace provides more articles. Scholarly ones. But emotional abuse seems so strong. Until I remember that my narcissistic boss managed to post my position online without telling me I was fired, posted it two days before the holidays hoping I wouldn’t notice, and never told HR about it. How did that even work? Who was in charge of website updates? And would it have even mattered, with the amount of nepotism and power that his supervisor had in her favor?

In conclusion, 3/3 members of this household have night terrors.

 

Miscellaneous Topics, Now In One Post

Miscellaneous Topics, Now In One Post

The Effects of Chronic Stress

This isn’t it – I can’t remember what I was going to say here. At the time it was big and disclosurey, and it wasn’t a passing thought. It’s been in my head for years, since I found secret twins and theorized about human trafficking, but it was the part I never said. Except… I now forget entirely what it was.

I’ve said to multiple people, over and over, maybe as a cry for help of sorts, that my brain just goes blank. All of the time. I don’t think it’s a brain tumor, I think it’s whatever “mommy brain” is (gross term) or (more likely, more recently) dissociation. I thought dissociation was more psychotic but apparently not, apparently that’s psychosis. I think there are so many things in my brain, and so much anxiety and stress, all the time, for so long now, that it just short circuits every now and then. Or most of the time. And then everything is just gone. Like no one moment connects to the next. Did it happen in a different room? Then it happened in a different life.

Two Multiple Choice Games, fun for the whole family:

1. Is it giftedness, ADHD, sensory processing disorder or trauma?

2. Is it burnout, compassion fatigue, anxiety or depression or secondary trauma?

Who even knows because all my symptoms overlap with ALL THE THINGS! See dissociation above. Also I can, and alwyas have been able to check nearly everything on the SPD checklist. I was watching videos by Dr. Karyn Purvis the other day, because Karyn Purvis is brilliant, and considering my own kids’ risk factors for trauma and also realizing I had some myself. Difficult birth, medical issues, extended hospitalization, check, check, check. I identify so much with the things I read and learn and it makes sense. Also the sense of isolation and lack of connection (giftedness), especially now that my work has completely removed me from consistent meaningful human interaction. I go to work alone and then I come home and have kids and am basically alone. I complain and curse the foster system every week when I have to uninstall and reinstall my car seats, and this week I also got completely soaked in the rain, and have lost all filter. Complaining to my mom, “I’m SICK OF THIS!” and she said and the meetings, all the meetings, but honestly, I’m cool with the meetings as long (as none of our social workers expect my house to be clean) because I don’t have any friends. I don’t even care if you’re paid to come visit me. CONVERSATION!!!! ADULT HUMANS!!!!!

Car Seat Safety for the Masses

My car has warning stickers all over everything. Seat belts! Rollover risk! Airbags!

Why aren’t their stickers with arrows on car seat chest clips that say “ALIGN WITH ARMPITS” in bold, brightly colored font? Because “READ THE MANUAL” is all well and good, but most people still won’t.

How to start a support group for gifted single anxiety-prone ENFP control freak foster parents with just one person
I am my own support group. I’ve also decided to start being my own friend. There’s no way to say that and make it sound not crazy. I am not crazy, but maybe this is the edge of it. I work all alone, all the time. All the things that do or don’t happen, I experience alone. I can’t imagine the luxury of parenting with someone else in this capacity, though I also like not having to disagree with anyone else’s parenting style.
So I’m trying to be more objective and distanced with myself. Like, good job, me. Way to go, self, you are not really failing because LOOK AT WHAT YOU ARE DOING! You are still breathing. Look at how long you’ve held on. Look at how you keep fighting, even if it’s just by waking up and doing another daycare drop off and answering another email and making another plate of chicken nuggets. Break out the “cried but did the thing anyway” ribbons. A+++ me, would survive a day again.
There are some phrases that will stick with me forever, things like “God is has” from senior year, and one of them was a question in an email from our agency counselor: “What are you doing for self care?” And I couldn’t answer it. But now it pops into my head at inopportune times.

What are you doing for self care?

CHARGING $70 RAY BAN SUNGLASSES BECAUSE THEY’RE USUALLY MORE THAN $70 SO IT’S LIKE SAVING MONEY AND EVERYONE GETS TO MAKE IRRESPONSIBLE DECISIONS BUT ME

EATING A CHOCOLATE CROISSANT FOR BREAKFAST AGAIN BECAUSE IT’S A WEEKDAY

PEACH BELLINIS

WATCHING AN ENTIRE SEASON OF COMMUNITY IN ONE SITTING

NOT THE DISHES LET ME TELL YOU

Hermits: let’s be them, together

Basically same as above.

 

I’m tired of hating everything but it’s difficult!
Can you say you like reading if you hate everything you read? I miss being able to actually enjoy things. I miss feeling excited about music, books, whatever. Actually just music and books, and mostly books. I feel like I hate 9/10 things I read lately. It’s not like I’m looking for things I hate. I’m picking up books that look interesting, the same as I always would. I’m reading books based on Goodreads recommendations.

I used to love reading and I used to have much lower standards. What happened? I want to blissfully enjoy something again, but very few things meet my expectations. I don’t even fully know what my expectations are. I’ve learned I like first person. I have to like the characters. I have to in some way identify with the characters. I have to feeeeel the setting. The author can’t do anything distracting, like overuse parentheses, or try to be “creative” with formatting. Just follow the basic rules of formatting, please. I also hate inexplicable POV changes or jumping back and forth between time periods. It can be done, preferably in moderation, but it’s rare that it’s done in a way I can tolerate.

Nicole Nordeman Song of DISAPPOINTMENT
I liked Nicole Nordeman back in the day and I have been into Sara Groves lately. I thought Nicole Nordeman might be a good addition to my life, since she had a new album and it was $6 on iTunes. The first song was/is borderline too catchy, but I told myself it was okay because my musical taste tends towards Taylor Swift and One Direction… tends toward as in stays exactly right there… so I should be able to tolerate it and perhaps even embrace it despite the Christian music-ness of it. And that was all well and good, until the second song.

The second song is called “Not to Us” and the whole premise, particularly when taken in conjuction with the song before, appears to be turning away from fame and hype and the whole bigger-is-better-see-how-awesome-we-are phenomenon of the church. Except… this song sounds just like the Hit Worship Chorus Of 2015. It was made for loud singing in a megachurch context. The drum beat in particular was giving me anxiety. I hear it and I see a dark room, all the fancy light show, the fog machines, the frenzy of emotion, the swelling music, everyone singing and all the manipulation of feelings. NOT TO US, NOT TO US, as everyone is putty in the hands of the worship band and the laser lights flash around them.

It makes me want to demand an iTunes refund. Or a church PTSD trigger warning. Or at least tone it down to a piano ballad so the message actually fits with the music.