Better Days

So, last night, i decided to share with Sir Raven about the email letting me know a friendship was over, without any explanation.  i don’t think this person is a thoughtless person, but its the same person who never told me that a chat feature wasn’t working for them and then just dropped off the radar before.  Shrugs.

i don’t have many friends, by design.  For one thing, i’m a slave and an introvert.  i’m not too great at letting people get close to me, i think, except that most people don’t know that because i’m warm and that tends to get confused with intimacy for some.

i place a very high value on people that do really know me.  i’d say less than five people are the true friends in my world, that i can tell anything to, and they wouldn’t abandon me.  Sir Raven, bigs, karida, olivia, ro, lesli.  Fortunately, those people still love me, so i’m good.  🙂

i don’t always choose friends well, i guess.  i’ve had a lifelong custom of keeping people away, because there was generally far too much crazy and abuse going on.  It was actually considered disloyal to have anyone close.  It was always something that caused rage attacks, and i just avoided it.

It was actually a big deal to talk to Sir Raven last night about how i was feeling.  We cuddled in our big warm bed, and i told her that we had put in a lot of time and energy moving from “You and me, against the world,” to have a tribe.  And that now i was feeling that we were back to “you and me, against the world,” together.  Really, that is fine with us.  Maybe we need that energy to be used elsewhere.

We also talked about school, and she encouraged me to keep trying and have faith.  She believes hope is important for healing and growth.  i believe in faith, and broke up with hope a long time ago when it ripped my soul out.  Faith is enough, she says.

Sir Raven can compartmentalize really well, so it can be harder for her to understand why i don’t give up on people or want to give people the benefit of the doubt.  i always feel compelled to follow the demand to “always be a lady,” no matter how badly others behave.  Sometimes, that leaves me with a lot of puzzling feelings, because that demand inside overrides my human desire to want to be blunt and say that i think their behavior is egregious.  In the worst, most depraved experiences, my mother would beam at me, “Now,” she would say, “I know I don’t need to remind you to always walk out like a lady.”  She would carefully scrutinize the whole event, careful that i not ever embarrass her in any manner.  So i often never had the chance to ask anything, and i can shut down all together under a demure smile.  All in all, not a bad coping strategy to have in life.  Life is unfair to everyone, and it doesn’t hurt to be a lady in challenging circumstances.

It might make it harder for me to understand the motives of other people, though, and harder for me to work through things later.  i find that i have to have a huge degree of trust to plainly tell someone that i don’t like something they did or said or whatever.

Anyhow, its been a nice and quiet day at home.  The weather has been very foggy, and its been still enough to hear the 4 train in the distance.  i like it when its so quiet we can hear the automated conductor say, “Stand clear of the closing doors, please.”  Our home smells warm and sweet, from roasted chicken and a lavender soy candle i have lit back here in the bedroom.   i just got a nice hot shower and washed my hair and am under a light heating blanket, waiting on Sir Raven to get home from work so we can have dinner together.

i have two short papers to get through tonight, and some makeup work, then to finish up the last week of these classes.  i am so ready from the constant stress of being behind so much to be done.  seriously, right this moment i just care about passing.  i’m a tired girl.

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wow.

Most of the few people that i’m actually close with are long distance friends.   All are slaves, or at least have lived in some form of power exchange.  Otherwise, i just don’t have the time or ability to have a friendship.  To me, friends are people you can trust with who you really are and to know what your life is.

i just…don’t do that very well or very often.

One of my online friends just-out of literally nowhere-sent me a few sentences “dr john” note.  i’m floored.  i’m way more hurt than i should be, mostly because there was no explanation.  Nothing had happened whatsoever.  i mean-obviously-something happened from their perspective, but i have no clue what.  Never an argument or cross word or anything like that at all.  Actually, really limited contact.  So maybe i just suddenly look crazy here?  Because other than that, we have been both healing from health stuff for several weeks so we haven’t been emailing or anything at all.

The few people i’m close to have had a variety of stuff come up-major life changes, work changes, no online access.  i’ve had less support, as a result.  So i’ve been kinda feeling a bit more alone, with the health challenges and nightmares.  It is hard to talk about anyway really.  The child abuse stuff is just….hard.  i don’t know why its coming up, other than the increase in pain effecting me emotionally.  i joined an online support group, just to see if i can at least offer support to others.

On one hand, life is good.  Peaceful. Happy.  Sir Raven and i laugh every day, she is happy with me, so i am happy.  We are still loving our home.  She has been painting a lot, and put together a shoe rack yesterday when she got home from work.  We also have a ton of stuff coming up in the next few weeks.

Neurosurgeon visit, doctor for her, Onyx Pearl bar night, a consent panel we have been invited to be on.  i feel like i’m forgetting some stuff, but anyhow its a lot going on.

My leg went out from underneath me tonight, while i was washing dishes.  😦 Thankfully, Sir Raven was home and pulled up a chair for me, where i sat and finished the last pan.  i’ve been having pain in my skull on the left side only, which sucks.  Its been a bit difficult pain wise and to focus on schoolwork.  i am really trying, and frustrated, as my best isn’t always good enough.

Other than the health stuff, everything is really really good.  i genuinely have an easy time making a gratitude list every day.  i am thankful for the  control in my life, and i’ve noticed in the last few months that i don’t really care about anything outside of being the best slave i can be.  i’ve sort of stopped wanting to distract myself from anything, deal with the night terrors and give thanks for the rest of my life.  All i really care about is making Sir Raven happy.  It seems like everything else has fallen away.  Friends, outside desires, my own needs.  It seems like everything gets stripped away and that is what is left and constant-that everything is done how she likes it, that she is happy to come home to me, and that i am trying my best for her.

Can we just hug it out?

It’s been a quiet few days at home, getting ready for Halloween.  It is a day of invitation, one i always hope will invite our grands for a visit.  It’s not to say that they don’t visit-they do-but not by invitation.  Heh.

i got the house dusted, everything mopped and fresh and shining.  i killed a few magic erasers.  Sir Raven was out for the afternoon, and came home to everything gleaming and a sad girl.  i couldn’t find my new kitty ears, or my grandmother’s ring.  My mind just won’t remember the very obvious place i have them.  i looked while cleaning, trying to not panic over the ring.  No kitty ears.  No diamond ring.  i always loose things this time of year, much to Sir Raven’s chagrin.

i received a message from Sir, who had discovered some of my things in the closet of an old suitcase in my old room.  She didn’t elaborate but to say that it was a rosary and “some other things.”  i was hoping it was my pink winne the pooh.  It wasn’t winnie but far better.  She sent my rosary, a gift from my mother.  And a memory card that the Catholic Church sends when you have made a donation in exchange for a Mass dedicated to a departed loved one.  Inside, two photos of my grandmother.  In one, she is wearing her Navy uniform.  Of the photo, she had said that she had nice legs, and liked how she looked in this picture, surrounded by a few Navy men.  Now, these treasures are on the white Altar.

i am forever looking for a photo, or sentimental item, or comfort thing-and then remembering, sometimes days later, that i haven’t actually had that thing in close to a decade.  So when i’ve lost something of great value to me, it is just one more thing.  The whole thing is just unfortunate-not in the lost items, but in the ways everything was taken from me.  My mother reacted to me moving out by going through everything i owned and taking all of my jewelry, most of it cheap.  Many of my photos.  My art. So, generally the things i wish i had are not of any financial value.  If i could only have one thing it would be my great-grandmothers photo, the iconic one of her in pearls.

Anyhow it is always jolting, these useless exercises in looking for things taken.  It is just a reminder of the damage done to my brain.  i’ve learned to describe the item to Sir Raven, ask if she has ever seen what i’m talking about, before i spend much time looking.  i get frustrated, mostly because it is an obvious reminder of the traumatic brain injury.  Sigh.

Sir Raven met with a nutritionist and came back with a lot of good information.  We actually got a ton of positive feedback about my cooking, food choices, and skills.  We just need to tweak a few things here and there, more about how i am combining foods, and she gave some ideas how preparing snacks for Sir Raven too.  i’m excited, actually.  i’ve never met with a nutritionist before.  She was happy that i buy local food, have lots of fresh vegetables with every meal, don’t use salt, don’t fry foods, and rarely cook red meats.  i need to focus more on adding more fresh fruits, and preparing snacks at home.  Sir Raven has to stop making us pancakes for weekend breakfasts, which is very very sad.  This came at a good time, because i have been doing a whole lot of binge eating, and i seriously need to get it together.

Yesterday, we went together to the cardiologist.  i was surprised and delighted that Sir Raven let me go with her.  i was expecting to hear a lecture about smoking, but it didn’t happen.  This is another area that i am going to work on again.  i decided i will get through the rest of these classes, then try and quit when i get my little break.  i am just too stressed right now to add one more thing to stress about, and quitting is stressful.  Overall, it was a really good appointment.

When we were leaving through one of those awful round doors, my white cane got stuck under the door, making it impossible for anyone to enter or exit the medical plaza.  We were just stuck there, jammed, and pulling on a white cane doesn’t dislodge it.  i stood there with my hands over my face, wanting to disappear, muttering, “this is so humiliating,” over and over.  Sir Raven agreed with me on that point.  We had to have maintenance come over with tools to pull the rounded tip out from where it had lodged under the door.  Sir Raven had just been saying she saw the bus, and i was singing my, “Go Go Rowdy Racer,” song when it happened.  She had just told me to wait, but the cane got stuck before her warning could register.

She absolutely did not want to hug it out.

Heh.

Sir Raven has been using her time off work to send me to nap repeatedly.  She says i’m like a baby and keep popping up.  i imagine its like playing that whack em game with the huge mallet and the little monsters keep popping out.  Every time i get up to pee, or get a drink, or smoke, or ask her for a hug, she just says, “you didn’t nap yet, go nap.”

i’m trying to decide if i should nap first, or go out and get my errands done.  i am thinking about taking my laptop to starbucks with me, since i have to be really close to there to make a pharmacy run.  i always have so much homework to do, and i’m always tired.  i’m not sleeping well, and this time of year seems to deplete empaths.  i know Sir Raven is right, that i need to rest more, and i’m trying.

i know, i know-all of you grownuppy types think it sounds fantastic to nap.  It is not fantastic to get sent back to bed over and over.  i don’t like the idea of needing a nap like a baby.  i don’t like the idea that i’m sick and have to rest to think.

In the Residency, they did a “session” for us to watch, and one of them was particularly riveting.  The “therapist” asked the “client” which her she didn’t like.  i had a very angry reaction, first for the “client,” and then in general.  Because it made me feel decidedly hostile, i paid attention to it, and decided to sit with it for awhile.  The part of me i don’t like is the disabled part, the sick part.  No wonder it pissed me off.  At first, i was angry for the “client,” because she is black and because her tone reminded me of someone on the verge of yelling how they were a child of God, and God doesn’t make mistakes, and she loved every damn bit of herself.  As she should.  Naturally.

She never got to where she could answer the question.  So when i moved from anger for her to anger in general, i had my answer a few days later.  i wonder what it means, and how i can feel good about the parts of myself and my experience that i have no real control over.  So i’m working on what i can control-losing weight, namely, so i don’t look sick anymore.  So i don’t feel shame.

i’ve bought some new pjs, so i feel more comfortable and have more to focus on that feels pleasurable in my body.  i bought a mini wireless hitatchi kind of thing too.  i discovered with surprise that they sent it precharged.  Thanks, Amazon.  Its not working for me to not have access to pleasure, sexually or sensually.

i’ve noticed that i’ve been partially disassociating more, feeling distance from my body and emotions.  i’m not sure what to do about that right now.  i suspect this is how the unmet needs are showing up, as an expanse of nothingness in a life that is mainly happiness and joy.

 

Tapestry

i got most of my to-do list done.  Somehow, everything just took forever today.  The buses were weird, with so many “out of service” buses in a row.  Ugh.

So, anyhow, i got a mani pedi.  i tried something new, called “cat’s eye” in a sort of golden sparkles shade.  It felt sensational to just relax in the massage chair, not think too hard about anything.  i had tried to nap first, without success.  i had gone through a relaxation exercise, where you talk yourself through relaxing your muscle groups.  i noticed my rib cage hurting, which it does sometimes, because it got broken.  And i was frustrated, because even things that are supposed to help me stay in my body, bring on relaxation, can also cause a deeper awareness of hurting broken bones.

i sort of live in so much pain that much doesn’t make the cut, as far as me being consciously aware of most of it.  i kinda notice when the lower back, legs going to sleep, or middle back shooting pain is preventing me from getting things done quickly enough, that sort of a thing.  At some point, it just becomes an overload, and literally every bone hurts.

When the pain meds work, i get a real break, for about two hours.

When they wear off, its like being dumped into an abyss of pain.

Feeling decent when i left, i decided to enjoy the fresh air and walk one way.  i got the mani pedi done, which was really nice.  Then i grabbed groceries and took the bus to get my meds.  In the store, walking to get Sir Raven’s favorite soy candle and some cleaning supplies, the pain just went off the charts.

Right then, for some unknown reason, the music that is played throughout the store got really, really loud.  It was Carole King.  The Tapestry Album always meant that i was required to be close to my mother, be there to kiss away her tears, apologize for ruining her life when i was born over and over, and assure her that being fucked up wasn’t her fault.  Part way through the album, she would want to slow dance, and tell me that if we had been lesbians that she would have loved me.  Tapestry meant a night of her crying, and trying to make it up to her.  i feel huge amounts of compassion for my mother.  Still.

For a moment, i could see her face, beautiful and sad.

i wonder what it would be like to have compassion for myself the way i have for her.  i wish i had pictures of myself before my thirties, but i don’t have a single one.  i keep thinking it would help.  Once, in the shelter, i found my mothers facebook page, and was surprised that she had put a collage of 20 pictures up of me throughout the years.  My ballet class pictures, pictures of me in the pool swimming wearing my favorite swim suit, her favorite picture of me that she took to finish off the roll but came out exceptionally nice somehow after i had worked a double shift.  i was too exhausted to protest and my eyes did not evade the camera.

My grandmother would always become all animated when discussing a relative, who i never saw a photo of, but she would describe at length-her beautiful skin, her bedroom eyes, her tiny lips. And it would always end with her saying, “and she was so sweet, like an angel.”  Her name was Mary Elaina.   When my grand was dying of dementia, she told me she had come to visit her and brought muffins earlier.  It was me who had brought the muffins, going home to shower and change clothes and come back.  My whole life i had felt bad that i would never be that beautiful, and there i was, the epitome of my grandmother’s idea of feminine beauty and softness.

i recently dreamed i was in my grandmothers house, and i was excited to see all of the familiar pictures in the same places they had been in my whole life.  The one where my grandmother had frustratedly remarked, “what are we going to do with this stupid hair?” My hair wasn’t going to make a pretty bun like i was white.  She frequently taunted me over my hair.  It took me years to get why.

Every year, i hope my grand will visit me for Halloween.  It makes me cry that she doesn’t because i want to know what she was trying to tell me.  i had been there for two days, was going to shower and change clothes and have a nap.  She reached out, the first lucid moment in several days, and opened her mouth to try and tell me something.  Her eyes were clear, her motions to continue to hold my hand deliberate.  It was the last time she ever had any awareness.  i explained i was going to shower and come right back, and she gave a small nod and leaned back into her pillow.  She had been trying to talk, and couldn’t form any sound, any word.

i just need to know what she wanted to tell me.

i wonder if having that knowledge would help me.  i love the woman, always have, and always will.  i believe she will be there when i cross over, and that comforts me.

During the time i was still feeling the sedation drugs, i had a pretty deep conversation with Sir Raven, about what i needed to do if she dies first.  i just can’t abide a life of grief, let alone the sudden falling back under the poverty line and being homeless and without insurance.  We made an agreement and i feel a lot of peace now.

i’ve been having some grief work stuff come up.  For one, i read about a possible cure for fibromyalgia, and had to face the fact that if that had happened five years ago, i would have asked Sir Raven to let me have a baby.  On one hand, i’m glad that i didn’t make that life choice, because i don’t even know that my body could handle a pregnancy with so much damage to my spine.  It certainly isn’t something i would consider knowing that i am permanently damaged, physically and neurologically.  i don’t think it would be fair to the child.

i would still consider fostering, at least short term.  It was a goal of Sir Raven and mine.  We talked recently about how we had moved shockingly fast up the list for the building she wanted.  It could happen in another year.  i had thought we could go to a two bedroom, so that i could have an office and we would be able to offer short term foster care.  And i guess i have some grief around this not happening, as Sir Raven has decided we will just be on the list for the one bedroom.

i am feeling some grief around my educational goals and plans.

i am feeling some grief around the limitations of my body, and that i can’t find a lesson in the pain.  i have no idea what to do with the fact that everything i know about trauma work, which is fairly considerable, tells me to stay in my body.  Yet, staying in my body is painful, and a reminder of all of the abuse i have lived through.

Fall is a time of letting go for me.  Its a time to go inward, deeply, reflectively.  Its a time to focus on the otherworld.

i think that we all come to learn, and that maybe i had abuse happen because i needed to have compassion for abusers.  Maybe it is all just roles we play.  How better to understand love than to love with all your might and then loose those people, and then love again?  Maybe i just refused the role of abuser, because God knows i still do.  Maybe if i could feel compassion for the little girl i was, it would help.  i love the little girl i am, and that is enough.

i feel a slowing down inside, on a cellular level, like i am between the worlds somehow.

i’m trying to sit with it.

i’m trying to be still, notice, be aware.

This state  doesn’t lend itself to doing All The Things for school, and i can’t seem to find flow there right now.  i have to make this work.  i also have to try and respect what is coming, because this specific energy means big changes are coming.  i need to be fluid, ready, willing, flexible.

A collar caucus

We had to leave early for the doctor appointment and I had stayed up until 4am, working on homework, because I wasn’t sure how i would be feeling after the procedure.  i wasn’t allowed to eat (no biggie) or drink coffee (hellish).  We made the hour trip together in companionable silence, other that my mention that the procedures are slightly triggering for me.

You have to get partially undressed, crawl up on the surgical table, and lay there obediently while someone pulls down your pants and puts ice cold antiseptic all over your butt.  Then, there is tremendous pain because an extremely large needle is hitting nerve endings and bone and i generally do the procedure sans anesthetic.

This time, though, Sir Raven and i had agreed that it was in my best interests to do “twilight,” which puts you under briefly.

Sir Raven and i sat in the waiting room, and she would not leave me to go eat her bagel we had picked up from the food truck on the way.  Instead, she did something she had not done before ever-held my hand, rubbed my back in little circles, and loved on me.  i felt the anxiety melt away.  My pain level was really high that day, and having the soothing touch meant more than i could put into words.

When i got taken back to the surgical area, she came back with me to make sure i was settled in the area with little armchairs.  It’s where we wait, put on hospital gowns, do vital checks.

There was an anesthesia doctor who i hadn’t met before.  She went over all of the paperwork, asked my weight and several other questions.

And then she says, “I need you to remove your necklace.”

Um. what?  I’m not wearing a nec……oh.  She means the collar.  

i tried to explain that i can’t remove it, and she rushes off to get my doctor.  Now i have two doctors explaining that if they have to intebate me to breathe, the tube wouldn’t fit down my throat, that the “necklace” is a hazard, that my throat could swell in an emergency and my airwave could be closed off.

Meanwhile, i’m thinking that my Master took the whole day off work for this, that i am having the procedure, and that i’m not planning to die on the table.

Now there are three doctors encircling me, examining.  At one point, my doctor grabs the collar in her fist, and my ears are hot because it is such a personal thing to do, so very out of bounds.  i have to remind myself she has no idea what doing that means to me, and to breathe and act like this is no problem.

She notes it is heavy, holding the weight in her hands, appraising it and me.  Somehow, she has never noticed the collar before.  i insist they have done the procedure before with it on, but i’m not even sure anymore if that is true or not, just strained and weary with two hands touching and feeling and spinning the collar around because they kept not hearing me say that there is no clasp.

finally, bemused, my doctor asks how it would be taken off.  i told her that if she doesn’t have a screw driver, its not coming off today.  But that i understand her concerns, and that i will ask to have it removed for other procedures.

Okay. great.  Except the anesthesiologist now doesn’t want to give me the full dose for twilight.  At this point, i’m willing to grin and bear it.  i just want out of this bizarre situation.

i could feel the last set of needles, but it wasn’t too bad.  Not at all.  And my right side feels much, much better.  My left side feels like there is an exposed nerve that it getting hit occassionally, enough to drive me to exhausted sobbing sometimes.  The good news is that i get the left side done in maybe 3 weeks.

i am having my first really good day since the procedure.  i must have really needed the extra rest yesterday.  i already have the kitchen deep cleaned and almost all the chores done.  i finally had the energy to wash my hair, and put on makeup, and feel pretty.  i am definitely going out to get my nails done today.  i keep putting it off, because i am not caught up in school work, but its 3 weeks overdue now.  i look like hell.  heh.

This weekend, i’m hoping to finally get to color a page in my new coloring book.  Sir Raven and i went to michaels, and she bought me a beautiful coloring book, new crayola markers, and a really pretty pouch.  Oh!! And canvas!! Yes, i got spoiled.  😀 i need to get everything caught up so i can color and relax some with her tomorrow.

So i’m running the errands today, for meds and groceries.  i need to get my nails done.  i am thinking about taking my laptop to starbucks just to get out of the house and focus on work.  SR left me her unlimited metro card so i could go anywhere i wanted.  And i have my special braille starbucks card with money on it from my Beloved.

i have to admit that my Master is right about me needing to rest more, nap daily, and take care of myself.  i am learning to find a balance, listen to my body, and take heed.  It is really hard to be humbled in this area for me, because i think of my worth as being namely about being a high quality servant.  i remind myself very often that a good slave obeys.  That is it.  The only thing that matters here is obedience and then being a good servant.  i haven’t always prioritized myself that way, and so i have had to seek forgiveness and accept her corrections.

i am her slave.  i obey and serve.  It is well with my soul.  ❤

being me

There are days that are just hard.  i wake up this morning, determined to have a good day.  i had fallen asleep on the loveseat last night, waiting for my muscle relaxers to work enough that my leg would quit jerking out, wanting to not disturb my Master’s rest.

i had the television on the smithsonian channel, trying to ignore the pain and enjoy a documentary when i drifted off.  There must have been a two hour informercial on medicaid on, because in my dream i couldn’t leave the room until i signed the medicaid papers.  Then, i heard Benny Hinn’s voice and shot up as if i was electrified, desperate to get the tv off.  i had bad experiences in his church, to say the least.

i crawled into bed bone tired, still in my jeans and shirt, at 6:30am.

When i woke back up, i almost immediately brushed my teeth and showered.  i washed my hair, shaved my legs, let the hot water seep into me.  i needed to have a good day, because there was a lot to get done.

i made a bodega run for smokes and coffee, because i was totally out of both.  i came back home to do chores, drink coffee, and get organized for the day.  Within a block of my home, i got cat called twice.  And then two grown women felt the need to comment “Oh, she’s blind” to each other loudly.  i have no idea why sighted people feel the need to do this.  i just really don’t get it.

i just wanted to go back to bed.  Already.

Determined, i reminded myself of my goals for the day.  i got everything together and ran to the post office, where i kept messing everything simple up, but the clerk was really kind about it.  i use my walks as an opportunity to smile at people, feel and show warmth and kindness to others.  i might not be feeling it the first five minutes, but after that it is always genuine.  So, hurtful comments, intrusive remarks, they feel extra bad until i focus on being warmth and grace.

Then i bought her wine, got catcalled again, went to the grocery store, the atm, and back home to do laundry.  i got the goodliest Master a little gift of star wars pajamas, and i wanted her to be able to wear them for her weekend home.  i put fresh sheets on the bed, wiped the floors, thought about the “metoo” campaign.

As a group, i love men.  i don’t generally get angry with the catcalls.  i get it-i have a big ass and big boobs and live in an area where these things mark me as highly sexual.  i don’t find it angering or flattering.  i think that men don’t always know how to communicate, something we need to work on as a society.  But its not a huge issue to me to deal with mostly.

It’s offset by the number of times men call me princess, little girl, little mami, miss, sweetheart.  Those can be harder to handle.  i don’t always like how obvious it is to some people that i’m still a little girl inside.

i keep thinking that i’ve been a fighter my whole life, from birth.  i have fought with love, knowledge, showing up, prayers, sharing information, and being vulnerable.  Those are all good things.

i’m not sure seeing myself as fighter is though.

Does it symbolically mean that there will always be something to fight against, to survive, in my life?

i’m so tired.

If i tried to explain how badly my body hurts, i think that words would fail me.  What would it even mean to a person who gets to live in nominal pain to say that right now, my skull hurts, my neck aches, the base of my skull feels like it could crack, my back burns, one leg is asleep from the waist down, and the other foot is jerking spasmodically?  What would it mean to say that it feels like my left eye is trying to pop out and my hair hurts?

i try and focus on the softness of my new nightie, the joy my little bunny socks give me, the softness of my freshly washed sherpa blanket.  There is very little pleasant about staying in this body, but it is work i have to do.

i am slowly, very slowly, working at school.  My focus is not anywhere near where it needs to be to pull off so much work, all of which requires intense focus.  i don’t see a prize at the end of the tunnel anymore.  It is just something i have to get through, without thinking about how lame formatting is, or how my ability to put a period in the correct place has jack all to do with therapy.  It does, of course, have something to do with being published, and that is perfectly valid.  Except that Grad Students aren’t going to get funding or published in peer reviewed journals, so really, i wish they would get off my ass about the fine tuning of APA formats.

i wish i could throw in the towel right now.

This is when i need to be calm inside the most.  i would do most anything the make the pain stop.  It defies description and it interferes with every single part of my day, every day.  It is like my entire day is meds, chores, meds, errands, meds, school work, disgust at myself, meds, try to nap, fix a meal, clean it up, meds.  Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

i suppose this is why i’m a fighter.  It i wasn’t, i would have quit long ago.

Outside, there is a large football party going on.  Yelling, screaming, honking, hooting.  i’m really glad that some people get to live lives where they can see a game, revel in joy that isn’t couched in pain, or spend time trying to not look sick every damn day.

My brother and i once had a deep discussion, trying to make sense out of the constant trauma and turmoil, when we were both pretty young.  We figured that a certain amount of bad things had to happen, and that maybe some people took them on so other people could live lives free from abuse and torment.  It was children’s attempts to make sense out of things, but there are times it seems true still.

i’m trying to move into acceptance, that the damage to my back is for life.  Nothing can be done, except for trying to make me ‘more comfortable.”  Isn’t that what they say to dying people?  It seems inane to keep pushing myself to write one more paper, one more word.  The stress is very intense from all of it.  There is nowhere to let go, save here.

Breakaway

Sometimes, albeit rarely, i play music i kept in my suv when i would drive myself the seven miles to work.  A favorite was Kelly Clarkson’s album, “Breakaway.”  i never made it farther than seven miles for years, but this song became a secret promise to myself.

i needed out and had no idea how.

Somewhere inside me, it’s like i have a small trunk of collected images of my mother in rage at me.  i suppose i just shoved them all in there and locked it tight, the moment it was over.  At night, it comes spilling open.

i taught myself how to lucid dream when i was twelve, the year i started collected medical books for my future clients.  i relied upon that skill until Sir Raven made me take a medicine for fibromyalgia.  It does help, but everything has a trade off.  The trade off to Cymbalta is a rare side effect of extremely vivid dreams, and the loss of lucid dreaming.

Last week, pandora’s box opened in a nightmare-except it was a full memory in black and white.  It’s not as if i forgot being raped at 5 or later.  i did not forget.  However, i was required to tell my mother that it happened later, after his car wreck that gave him permanent brain damage, because it was her “only good marriage.”  The truth-that he was a pedophile-would “destroy her.”  Yes.  Destroy her.  She also ignorantly remarked that i would have died if he had done it at 5.  She was half right, but it was her denial that did that.

i remember a pool party with his relatives years later, after he had already been taken away from us after an exhausting two years of Jeckle/hyde when he would go back and forth between being himself and being a wild eyed, demented, angry, drooling, frothing stranger.  The girls at the pool party had all been sexually abused by him, their aunt was telling my mother, and i pretended to not hear.  My mother whispered in my ear to stay away from the girls, that they had head lice.  It never occurred to me until the other day that this could have been a lie to freak me out and to keep me from talking, because the oldest girl had joined in the conversation.  Even then, my mother insisted i tell her that he hadn’t known what he was doing to me, that it was after the wreck, that nothing really happened.  She would sob, beg me to tell her on demand, and i was an obedient girl.  She would say if it had been true, she would have killed him.  What happened instead, of course, was that we brought him home on my decision.  We went to visit him the day i started my period at school and felt vulnerable and exposed, after i pleaded for us to not go.

Once, in a moment of strength, i told her it had happened.  She went into a rage that lasted two days, ending with her driving me to the bank, telling me she would give me some money and then i would be dead to her.  i couldn’t drive, was under age, had no where to go, and money wouldn’t solve any of that.  That isn’t why i recanted.  i recanted because i figured if we were leaving each other for life, i should protect her first.  i should tell her what she needed to hear to go on with her bizarre idea that she “had it right” once.

i was surprised when she sobbed and thanked me, and i opened my door to go into the bank, hoping she would help me get a hotel room or something in the rural area.  She told me that it wasn’t necessary anymore, for me to be “dead.”  i was her daughter again.

So, this nightmare wasn’t a total surprise to me.  Just that i don’t often have anything come up so clearly, because when it starts i shut it down.  But there it was, the smells of him and fresh cut grass, the van, the quick stabbing pain, and then a drive for kit kats.

i woke up, covered in sweat and thankful that my full bladder had forced me awake.  somewhere inside i was screaming at myself are you okay?

But i was okay.  i am okay.  It doesn’t define me.  None of it does, really.

There are a lot of abusive experiences that i think of as just experiences.  Therapists told me that this was wrong, that i shouldn’t see my life like it was on a movie screen, that i should have feelings for that little girl.  i don’t know what my mother did to me before age five, but she had already taught me to not show terror, and i was clearly afraid of upsetting her in any way.  i know that much.  i don’t think that goes away.  So it is very hard for me to have emotional attachment to these memories, even the rare ones where i can remember feeling terrified or rage at the time.

Things that set my mother off were often benign-setting her laundry basket down of freshly folded clothes too hard, anything that could be construed as me ” standing over her,” the look on my face, my arm touching her arm accidentally in the car, being too affectionate and making her “look like a lesbian,” rejecting in any manner any way she touched me, anything that caused her own memories to surface.  That one was particularly tricky, because it would be just a random set of words or the way we happened to be standing, and once triggered she would act out on me her own abuse as a child.

i was reading recently that many women are misdiagnosed as having bipolar when they are actually DID.  i think that many women who are misdiagnosed as bipolar may have antisocial personality disorder.

Those shopping sprees?  Are they mania or a lack of responding to normal rules and conventions?  Many of the behaviors associated with mania also reek of failure to accept social norms, personal responsibility, and exhibitions of rage.

My mother casually asked me one afternoon if i knew what bipolar was.  Of course.  i listed off all of the criterion from memory.  Nodding, she flattered me, and then told me she needed me to “pull off,” having it.  She had organized a meeting, testing, and we needed the additional check in the house.  That was how it was presented-do this thing, or we can’t financially survive.

i couldn’t imagine that the result would be an acting job that would come with years of forcing me to take lithium and antipsychotics.  i had to actually take it, because you get blood work monthly and they check.  Lithium binds to receptors and creates permanent changes.  It took years to be diagnosed differently, years of meds i didn’t need, meds that kept me unable to feel much and may well have caused outbursts in a person who didn’t need them.

For as much as i try to focus on the good, on gratitude, on a good life and being productive, on my relationship being good for SR, on my education-

there are times i am engulfed by the magnitude of it all.

For one thing, the damages that can’t be fixed in my body was caused by abuse, the pain is from abuse.  The pain i live in.  It is real, now, immediate.  It effects and informs everything in my life.  i can’t get away from it.

i’m finding it really hard to have a sustained focus on anything.  Hopefully, my muscle relaxers i’ve been out of for a week come today and the skull pain calms down.  i can’t even articulate an email to my professors.  what to say?

i am wondering how i can manage the next 4 weeks of these classes.  i am wondering how-even if my Master was behind me-i could possibly get through the required hours of in person intern work, the hours required for licensure.  After that, i could work at home.  But how can i get there now?  i don’t know.

The only thing one of the best doctors in New York can tell me if she might be able to make me “more comfortable.”  That doesn’t bode well.

i’m trying to think of ways to deal with this that don’t piss me off.  i asked Sir Raven about buying a ballet barre, so i can safely work on strengthening my legs and core.  i told her that if i end up not able to walk, which is NOT going to happen, we are going to get an adult sized stroller for me.  A company that makes strollers made an adult sized one for an adult to get inside and get a baby perspective and everyone was happy inside.  Just the idea makes me grin.  But that isn’t going to happen to me, so all i needed was to tell SR that this is what i needed to think of as my “worst case scenario.”

It causes me a lot of unneeded stress to not be able to blow off steam, not turn to fucking and pain to manage the stress.  Of course, it turns those things inward.  There is nothing for me to do but accept.

The weekend before last, i was looking into doctoral programs, possibly social psychology or sociology.  i was trying to find a program that i would do well at, that can be completed online, and that didn’t have a requirement of in person hours except for residencies.  i was trying to think of what work might transfer in case i need to change gears.  i have just a few classes left and then it is really all about the in person hours, internship, and clocking hours for licensure.  My health seems too precarious for that, and i don’t have any idea what to do to handle this.

Dropping out cuts my income in half because we live on student loans, too.  So that isn’t feasible.  Getting a job with my BS degree wouldn’t make much more than i make now between disability and student loans.  It also isn’t sustainable for the long term.  Finishing my Masters degree is taking huge risks without a guaranteed pay off.  Going for a doctorate means more years of school- at least 3, realistically.  Ironically, it seems like the choice that makes the most sense.  i’m trying to move toward acceptance and figure out various plans so Sir Raven can decide the next path for me.

Today, i have a few projects for school to work on.  i fucked up last week totally, and my A slipped to a B.  i finally got the only feedback that wasn’t tersely worded from Professor APA.  i have to pull off some talented work to make up for this, explain myself again.

Sir Raven had a stern talk with me last night, after i was totally disappointed by missing a Spiritual party where my absence was actually noticed and missed, because of how dependable i am at working a kitchen.  Sir Raven went Sunday.  Yesterday, she told me how many people asked about me, and that it was noticed i wasn’t there working.  It felt really surprising to me, but i also felt a humble pride that my Master has a slave who is known by her work and smile.  She told me that i was missed, but that she was right in making me stay home to rest, and noted that her home was back in proper order yesterday because of it.  Granted, she made the trips downstairs with me to supervise me doing laundry because i needed that help.  The house is messy from art projects and stuff out and that is stressing the shit out of me, but i got a lot cleaned up yesterday and everything is clean.  That was her point in the talk, that i should be leery of pushing through the pain, that i should be focused on her only.   i sort of mildly pushed back, skirting willful, until i realized it and quieted myself.  Her tone had changed and i recognize that tone and what it means.  She is right after all.  i miss events so i can rest or get caught up in school and serve her.  i shouldn’t be sad about that.  i am here to serve her.