I joined and then quit, within 24 hours . . . .

Joined a site for abuse victims. To do this, you have to call and be interviewed. Fine, I get that, did it.

Today the password I thought I’d set up didn’t work and I asked the woman who sponsors the site to remove me from her membership, without ever going to the site and actually seeing for myself what was there.

Why? Because the woman who interviewed me was so off putting. . . nearly . . . abusive. It was largely me – me – ME! I wrote the books, I invented the terms, people are stealing my intellectual property, I do good-good-good!, yada yada. I got off the phone feeling like I’d just been through a long telemarketers’ spiel. I get  being an entrepreneur, I did that for how long? I’ve been in retail for about 30 years now. But she was selling me a product which should have sold itself. Not telling me about books 1-5 (book 6 coming out this year!) and her experiences on TV and how she’s the real expert and, and . . . .

Dad was an expert, world renown. If you read the book they gave him of letters from his 40 years of students at Caltech, it’s obvious he was. His students became CEOs, Generals, Admirals, Senior Engineers, Consulting Engineers, etc.  You can’t train people at that level unless you know what you’re doing, and the letters were positive.

I’ll never forget what happened the day he got that book. We were at the post office, and he didn’t know it was coming, it was supposed to be given to him at his retirement dinner, but the binder goofed and mailed it to dad. He opened it and started flipping through it and lifted filled eyes to me, nearly crying, “They liked what I did!”

I think I said something like, “Dad, they wouldn’t have kept you at Caltech for 40 years if you weren’t any good!”

He said, “But the students liked it.”

Real experts don’t have to give you a sales job, their competence and expertise speak for them. The lady with the website and books probably went through hell. I know writing books is a lot of work. I give her kudos for doing the work, but I don’t want to associate with her, no matter how wonderful her work may be. I may or may not borrow the books to read if available through the state library system, or buy them used, but otherwise, I think I’ll stay a long ways away!

Next?

The squares are all stitched together, the border started on it, and I got bored. Especially since I have no intention of keeping the thing.

I need to wash the big ball of yarn and put it and the remains of the other up for sale. If it doesn’t sell, it goes to the swap shop or a thrift store. That original 4″ square I still have, and I probably will keep it. But the rest? Nah, ain’t interested.

My big news is that in the course of working on the bedroom yesterday, I found where I’d filed the printout of the memoir with the editor’s comments from the last edit. I managed to get through 66 pages of the thing; no flashback. Writing  and editing it have been harder for me than actually living through all the events. It’s a condensed “bad parts version” of my life: one after the other. Because of that, instead of being like handling a stick of dynamite every now and then, it’s like being given a box, with a fuse lit, at least for me.

Yesterday, when I was done, I could feel it at the back of my throat, BUT I DIDN’T GO BACK! No flashback!!! If I knew how to do such things, I’d insert a gif of fireworks in here — that’s how it feels. I’m 60 and I maybe, finally, really might, just might be able to get past my crappy childhood — maybe.

Anyway, my plan is to get through the other 60 ? pages today. Then I have to make the changes to the file; then it goes to the Beta readers. But first I have to read it again and the editor’s comments.

I guess I just needed some time away from it?

Dunno.

J

Finished, well partly

I made that square, then made another. It ended up being 4.5″ wide, so it had to be also 4.5″ long to be square, yes?

The cold hung on. Ice cubes regularly went down my back. It has taken me two or three days, but I finally have 9 squares all 4.5″ . I’ve decided to stitch them together, enough knitting for the moment.

The 8th one, yesterday, I started to cry, then stopped. I really have no idea what this is about?

The ninth? That took 3 tries,but I got it done.

So, tonight I’m typing “w” for WordPress and the “about” for my 43things.com account is the top item on the auto fill,and I started to cry.

I have  lost the true, first family home I’d ever had. Many of the people I’m still in contact with, but facebook or other sites somehow just aren’t the same. There were various people working on pirate sites or lookalikes, I hope they make it.

The site had been damaged by the folks running it trying to make it into facebook 2 or such instead of embracing what they had that worked. I would have gladly paid to have an account there, but they didn’t try that, but supercheers, a book, a few other things, the spammers, from wordpress mostly invaded, and things just got worse and worse. For months I’ve avoided thinking about 43t being unavailable to me any more. But up until 12/31/14 a snapshot of the site was still available. But that’s gone now too. So this batch of tears surprises me not at all.

The knitting? All I can tell from having done 9 more squares is that I think whatever it is concerns or happened during my casting off. The second stitch of each row was stressy, I shook more, dropped that stitch more often, or what have you. The last square, I was still slightly cold between my shoulders and if I thought about what I was doing, I’d get clumsy, drop stitches, etc. I just knit the 8th one, except for the tears. The 9th as I said, took a few tries. Then I put it aside. I need to stitch the squares together, then make a border and the back. It’s a couch pillow!

I’m sure it will be embarrassingly bad to anyone who knows really how to knit, etc. but when I get this thing done I will be damned proud of myself!

Postscript: DH and I talked about it. The yarn, although still in one of my favorite colorways still is a fuzzy acrylic that picks up anything near it, hair, dust, etc. I don’t really want to introduce/keep such a thing in my home. The house we’re in came with plenty of built-in gotchas for cleaning: crud in the water, ledges in the walls, etc. (I talked about this previously. I’ll add a link at some point to that blog.) I don’t need to add more hard to maintain stuff to my home. So here’s what I’m going to do: clean the other, larger ball of yarn, finish the pillow, and take a pic of it. Then give away the pillow and the yarn. I don’t need to keep the things, but it is important to me to honor myself, I found something that was awful and I made myself get past it. THAT counts; the item in question doesn’t! 1/14/15

Knitting Lesson

I found a LARGE ball of yarn in some of my favorite color combinations in the attic. It was attached to an unfinished (of course) crocheted piece. The piece it was attached to was supposed to be a couch throw. I decided to finish it.

Except. That the hook I used was the wrong size. In the time in the attic, the yarn had gotten all kinds of added stuff: dust, hair, chaff from weeds, you name it. This was the same yarn that had been a HUGE snarl and my MIL spent a couple of days undoing.

So. I was going to finish the couch blanket, then wash and use it. But there was the hook problem, so I took it apart. Then I had TWO very large balls of yarn, both full of little bits of stuff. (It’s fuzzy acrylic.)

I decided to wash the smaller of the two balls of yarn, then knit it into squares. I know how to knit, I learned how in boarding school, about 2nd grade. So I managed to wash the yarn without making it into a huge snarl again. This morning I decided I’d use the largest needles I have and knit a square before I went off to go do my errands.

I started.

And realized I was shaking?

Cast on 10 stitches, knit a row or two, shaking so badly I’m dropping stitches. Um okay, this is just stupid. WHY would knitting a small square make me scared? But it was. Pushed past it, got to the end, dropped a stitch. Retrieved it, dropped it again. By this time my palms are also sweating.

It took me 4 hours, and 4 tries, to make a square of 10 stitches, an approx. 4″ square.

This is, for those of you who don’t have it or something like it, is what PTSD is like. Until this morning, I had no idea that I have some trauma related to knitting. KNITTING?

The only thing I can remember is knitting a square in boarding school, when I first learned to knit, 2nd or 3rd grade it would be. The yarn I was given was a dark federal blue, not any of the bright colors in the popular colorways at the time (the 60s). I thought the color was ugly. I finished the square and didn’t try to knit anything again, until high school.

In high school, I was going to make a blanket. I was knitting triangles and then stitching them into squares. I have no idea what happened to them, but I never finished the blanket, of course.

Since then, I have played around with knitting every now and again, but not with the idea of actually making anything, it was just something to do with my fingers.

So the idea of knitting squares (the idea was that it would be fast, easy to do in between work, cooking, cleaning, etc.) is something I haven’t considered seriously since 1964-5 and it makes me shake and sweat, with fear.

I have NO idea why this would be so. The needles don’t scare me, the yarn doesn’t scare me. It must be some deeply buried memory associated with that federal blue square, I guess? Dunno. Whatever it is, it sure changed my plans today! I was going to be gone by now to the antique stores. But here I am.

Once I started to shake & sweat, I decided I wouldn’t leave until I finished a square — NO MATTER WHAT! And that took four hours and I’m still shaking. I need to go get dressed so maybe I can accomplish a bit more today.

I wonder what this is all about?

When I Grow Up, I’ll . . .

Odd, at 60? to be in the position to think this, but that’s pretty much where I am.

I spent so much time/life energy fighting the pain, the crapola that came with the abuse, the neglect, the PTSD that resulted from that, yada yada. So, essentially, I’m done. Yeah, I have the house to finish, the memoir to finish, etc. but it’s details.

For DECADES I’ve put aside things, put them off. I couldn’t keep the pain at bay, couldn’t deal with  the intensity, couldn’t cope if I let myself get heavily involved in anything other than my…self. Now I don’t need that.

Do I want to go to school? Learn to sew? Try again to write a novel?

The only “goals” I can see are ephemeral, not concrete: be happy, stay in the light, flourish, be creative, and grow.

Hard to schedule THOSE classes!

I’ll think on it!

J

Slowly, Slowly . . .

Some of you may know that I’ve been playing with a kitchen book for years, a decade or more probably. I’m finally getting one place, one space to put all the various bits & pieces I’ve had. ONE PLACE. It’s amazing.

Scarey, I couldn’t find some of my data earlier today. Found it, backed it up, you bet! But there’s other pieces of this that are personal that I’ve just (re)discovered. I had, many years ago, made a “in season” calendar for myself. When I went looking for one online, it didn’t exist for the part of the country where we live. I could find almost every other region of the US, England, Australia, and Canada, but not New England. So, being me, I made my own.

Now of course there’s dozens out there; there wasn’t, so I made my own. I pulled every list I could find and edited them for what I knew was nutty here. You don’t get fresh tomatoes in season around Boston in Feb., for example. Anyway, that’s what I did; it took me hours, no months. But I did it.

And, again, being me? I went and ran the ingredients in the recipes I use thru the “in season” calendar, so I knew when I should make them, both for flavor and  lowest cost. That file was one that had been missing for oh a long time. I found it. Yay! So I printed out the Dec. list today.

People who benefit from my December food gift (usually bread) may just get more this year, maybe!

This getting organized business has become what I do when I’m not working. I told DH and a friend it feels like paper dolls for adults. I’m moving stickies all over pages and making pretty stuff, or using pretty stuff. On the other hand, if the pretty stuff helps me unravel the decades of mess in this place, I’m all for it.

We’ll see! I’ve some to do on the cleaning plan tonight before I go to bed, I have to note what I cleaned today and I have a section to figure out. AND I have the Dec. and Nov. recipe lists to file too, but those go in a separate place, for now.

Life is kind of weird and interesting and I may just buy stock in 3M — I should I’m using their tape and stickies by the bagful! I’ve gone from doing lists by hand on notebook paper to specific items on stickies on a grid. (I modded a printable I found.) I know what I want to do for the final version too, but refuse to let myself get side tracked BEFORE I finish the cleaning plan.  I have 2 sections to go I think.

I came up with, a few months ago, the SEVEN LEVELS OF STUFF. And I’m using that as the basis for my cleaning notebook. If it works, hurrah! I may do a FB page etc. If not, I’ve spent about $20 to buy post-its and ink.

We’ll see!

J

Sleep on it?

We got a flat file,a large oak one, this past summer at auction. We’d been looking for one,  smaller than the one we had; but this one is BIGGER.

DH mended, sanded and shellacked it. He fixed its frame; it’s in the living room. There are two units one atop the other. We talked today about making it into the support under our bed. It’s almost exactly the right size, would utilize a dead space used only by the pets, stray books and dust bunnies at the moment, and doing so would give us a huge piece of real estate back in the living room/DH’s craft room. We’d have to buy a box spring and DH would have to change the framing. Weird? I suppose, but actually, I love the idea!

The living room didn’t get clean by thanksgiving alas, but it is cleaner. There’s less stuff in it, almost daily. The big push this weekend was a rack DH put up that stored a bunch of items which had been all over the house. So they’re not any more, they’re in one place, organized and tidy. Hurrah! The rack is in the living room, but it works, and until we can get the pieces made/built we’d planned or we change the plan, it will work WAY better than having these pieces scattered all over the house!

Happy holidays all!

J