Monthly Archives: February 2014

Tracking . . . .

I have a lot of different things I’m trying to do at the same time.

  • The new job(s). Research/write/proofread article or blog. Sell ads (2 jobs, 4 tasks)
  • Sell stuff. Find/buy stuff for sale. Price it, move it, arrange it, store it or cull it. (1 job, 7 tasks)
  • Write. Other than the things for money/publication. That’s this blog, the memoir, the other 3 or so book projects. The book that we just sold the idea to our publisher, the kitchen book, and maybe the novel cycle (if the revised idea goes anywhere). (5 items)
  • The house. Clean/redecorate/cull/organize/garden. (1 job, 5 tasks)

Most of these are long term, multistep projects I pick up then put down. Do something else.

Pick up . . . and try to remember what I was doing last?
I have devised a plan to help me be able to KNOW where I was when I quit last.  I need a visual way to both see the progress AND as a memory prod. To that end, I bought library pockets and colored, unprinted library cards to go with them.  I’m going to use the cards & pockets to give me a visual and a way to track what I’ve done and what needs to be done.

I have a huge cork board in the craft room, I’m going to use that, I think. In the meantime, I need to come up with some sort of plan to organize this, but I think it will work, at least for a while. And if it doesn’t? Well, I know a librarian or two I can probably persuade to take the supplies off my hands or I could maybe find a way to sell them. Also, I didn’t buy so many that I couldn’t store them, if I wanted to, but I probably won’t.

Making up the pockets has helped. There are 3 major areas here: writing, the house, and selling.

The things I ended up making pockets for can be further divided into two categories: product and process. The products are the end point, in most cases, but the house is entirely process. Here’s the break down:

Write: blog, memoir, other, article (products) Write: research, proof & revise (process)

House: clean, decorate, organize, cull (process)

Sell: ads, stuff (products) Sell: buy/track, clean/appraise, store, cull (all process)

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Getting Going . . . Again

Okay, for the first time in months, I opened the surface cleaning file, updated things, etc. I can’t say that I swept a floor, washed a window, etc. but I have been whacking away at the dirty bookcase in the corner of the bedroom — so there’s some progress.

Lunch & dinner got made, and the dishes got washed. The sink has been cleaned as as been the toilet and the food was put away. So that stuff is STILL getting done.Trying for the next step has been a bitch. Starting then stopping then starting, again.

There are days when I wish I could just beat my abuser. The PTSD is bad enough, the emotional abuse certainly wasn’t fun. But the lack of being safe physically or having a safe “nest” anywhere, except that stereo cabinet for a while, is just a visceral thing. I panic about feeling so exposed, so vulnerable. People will know what I care about. People will steal my things. People will break them.

Yes, I know that’s all bullshit, intellectually — that doesn’t help. Counting things in/out was for me a distraction from the panic. It was a possible workaround. It worked for a while — but then it got too big AND possibly successful.

That’s the problem with the surface cleaning thing too. It might just work.

At some level, that throws me into a literally screaming panic. I can, for a while poke at a piece of the house, like the bedroom, or the bookcase, or whatever. I make myself get up from a computer or book and go DO something, several times a day. I cook, I throw clothes in the laundry, I work on crafts, I wash dishes. I do maintenance cleaning. But there are a LOT of things in this house that need to just go away, boxes and boxes of them. And it’s like pulling teeth to get myself to do it.

It’s f’n frustrating! This is the last really big piece. I have to finish the memoir and I have to do this. I can’t do some of the things I want to do, like host a party or two, unless I do this.

There are days when I wish I wasn’t a fighter. That I could just accept, “Okay. I’m like this — too bad.” like almost everyone I know. Life would be much easier!

Yeah, yeah. Okay the pity party is over. I’m not sure what I’ll get done — but I’ll stop bitching about it anyway.

No patience. . . AND the dark pit

Okay. I belong to at least 6, probably more, “frugal shopping” sites. One of these lists sales for local grocery stores. I just quit them, for the 2nd or 3rd time because they spend a lot of time on making things “pretty” and do dumb shit things like list 24 bottles of water at store A for $3.00 and store B, different brand, 24 12 oz bottles for $3.75. Since you don’t know how big the first item is, you can’t compare them, except on price. Essentially, you can’t compare them.

I don’t understand how people can spend a lot of time & energy to upgrade a UI for a “we’ll help you save $” site and miss that they’re asking you to compare apples & oranges. I don’t expect them to do it for me, but I do expect them to understand that one bottle can be 24 oz and the other 64 — and that affects the price per unit!

(End of rant.)

Of course, I was impatient already. Why? Because I started dealing with the dark pit in the bedroom this afternoon. Great gobs of dust came off the top of the bookshelf. Everything got removed, was dusted and the top of the shelf was dusted as well as that corner of the ceiling, the walls, etc. Then I put something new up there which needed to be stored. Great!

My nose was starting to go nutz, so I stopped. I need to get the bookcase cleared off and cleaned so I can swap it out with the other one. I also need to get rid of almost everything IN that bookcase. I haven’t looked at most of it for more than 10 years. Except for one book — I’ve regretted selling the two other copies — and there’s one in this bookcase. Yeah! But aside from that one book, I doubt I’ll keep any of it.

My heirs are no doubt singing my praises, but that corner is going to take a few days of effort and lots of fortitude!

J

Ulp.

I need to actually cut fabric. I’ve been avoiding it. I have the kitchen curtains to make. Remember this?

https://teacupofwater.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/thought-experiment-2/

and I have linen tablecloths to cut up/sew for the bedspread.

Like I said, I’ve been avoiding it.

I’m not a great seamstress first of all. Secondly, almost never do my crafty “great ideas” work the first time, the way I expect them to. Usually I can kludge something together, eventually, but they almost never work the first time, as planned.

It occurred to me not too long ago that I have the large masking paper. I could make full-size patterns, and I think I will. But I’m still worried about cutting the stuff up. I always seem to forget things, like seam allowance or hems. Or I think something will work and I just don’t have the skill required.

This has been true since the apron I struggled with making in junior high and the clothing class I took in high school. I was always making clothes for my “baby sister,”* because by the time I got the seams straight, the patterns to match, etc. the piece was at least 2 sizes smaller than when I started.

(*I don’t have one!)

In other words, I don’t do well with fabric!

I know someone who sews for money, makes $ selling fabric things on etsy. I could ask her for help I guess? Dunno. I have ONE shot at this. If I mess it up  by cutting the fabric wrong, it is almost unfixable.

One more time:

ULP!

Self-Interest, Selfish, Bullying or Abuse – What Is It? – My Opinion

I grew up in an abusive household. The woman who was my abuser wasn’t related to me, but she might as well have been, in everything but genetics, she was my mother. Young kids believe anything parents tell them. She told me that I was stupid, ugly and so flawed that even God couldn’t love me. She did this in a 1,000 small ways, verbally, the way she treated me, the tone of her voice, what she said I could do and what I would never be able to do. She convinced me I was dumb, fatally flawed, and my family and God hated me or couldn’t love me.

Because of my past, I have “radar” about abuse, most abuse surviviors do. I thought I could NEVER be abusive. Hah. Not true. I have twice apologized to my husband for behavior over a period of time which I later saw was abusive in nature if not actual abuse.

How? Well, think of it this way: abuse and bullying both start with self-centeredness. I had a boat-load of problems when I came out of my childhood home, and what I’d done or the opinions I’d formed about how the world worked to me weren’t just opinions, they were FACT! and NECESSARY FOR SURVIVAL!

Because of that, I wouldn’t and couldn’t entertain other opinions or feelings as possibly having merit, including those of the man I married. I had a boatload of rage that I hadn’t resolved and that also pushed me to not even listen to my husband’s opinions, ideas, or feelings about some issues. It didn’t matter what he said, it was wrong, unless it agreed with what I thought and believed.

And isn’t this a form of bullying too? I mean really, think about it. Isn’t bullying imposing your opinion and/or wants on someone else, no matter what they say or do? I kept that up for a few years.

I also used the pattern I’d learned with my first husband, who’s parents (divorced) had called each other stupid, given each other charley horses, etc.

I called my husband names, made fun of him — in front of him — in public,. One day he started to bend my thumb back when I did this. I was outraged! How dare he hurt me?

He said, “You’re hurting me too by what you say. If you stop, I will.” And I did. I never knew you could have a relationship with a man that didn’t include making fun of each other in a nasty way, I thought it was just the way relationships worked. I’d never had another model.

There were other ways I believed I had to have my own way, no matter what, that no one else’s opinion mattered. As I’ve grown up and away from the wounded child I was, I’ve learned that they, like the lousy model I had for marriage, were born from the wounding, not truth. Yes, I have opinions. No, I don’t always think everyone else is right. But I do think that everyone’s opinion is valid and should be listened to these days. I’ve grown up. I don’t have to have my own way all the time any more to feel safe.

The hoarding is the last of these behaviors (I hope). And, yes, it’s another form of abuse I’ve inflicted on my patient husband. It’s hard to move away from something that makes you feel safe, even when you know it’s wrong. No one ever said adulthood was easy — I’m working on it!

Being Brain Dead isn’t all It’s Cracked Up to Be!

PTSD at work: I’ve basically lost 3-4 weeks here. I think I might know what’s happened, but of course I can’t be sure.

Every now and then, for whatever reason, I get brain dead –seriously.  I lose the anxiety that makes me pretty good at my job actually. I settle into this semi-cloud-like space:  I’m in the world, I do things, I get stuff done, but my edge is gone.

I’ve just had a month like that. I sat up in bed at 2 a.m. or so last night, thinking I’d missed THE monthly meeting at work last night. [I hadn’t.]

After I sent a few “OMG I’m sorry!” emails, I cried a little — because I’ve had a terrible month — typos, missing phone numbers, lousy editing, etc. and then finally went to sleep thinking that whatever the hell it is that I’d done had probably cost me my job.

Who could blame them if it had? My job is to be sharp, on top of it, accurate, precise and on time, and I’d been flubbing or nearly flubbing all of that for most of a month.

So — WHY???

I think it’s because I’m going to have breakfast with my brother Sunday morning. Yes, okay. I know, this apparently makes no sense. I know.

Say hello to the nice folks PTSD!

My family induces my PTSD quicker and I have full-blown flashbacks easier with/around them than any other group I know — even when they don’t do anything.

I’ve come up with I think a better analogy of what having PTSD is like.  Having PTSD is rather like having a faulty airbag sensor.

What you don’t know is if you go over a slight bump will set it off? If you have an accident will it work? Will go off at all? It might just go off sitting in the driveway,  or when you turn on the car, or any other “random” time. And just to make this more accurate, when you take it to your mechanic or any mechanic, by all tests and visual inspections, the thing is in perfect working order. There is no part you can actually replace.  And lastly? You can’t get out of the car either — ever.

So, there is it. Every once in a blue moon, you’ll go into a panic state. Maybe for a discernible reason, like the upcoming breakfast with my brother. But there may not be any such obvious cause.

What really pisses me off about this is that this has been ongoing for three+ weeks now. Coming back from a full-blown flashback takes me two weeks. This brain dead protective thing my brain/body/PTSD have come up with is WORSE than a flashback.

Gotta change that bucko! I sure don’t like flashbacks. Mine involves being “present” during the loss of my mother, because with PTSD you remember the trauma as if you were there, again. I go all the way back into being an abandoned three-year old internally, then pull myself back out, one step at a time, remembering and reinforcing the steps in my growth away from the loss and it being all I see/hear/feel. I compress 50 years of maturity and growth into 2 weeks.

This brain dead thing is harder, because I don’t know I’m in it until I’m in it and part of it is drifting pleasantly through life.

Like I said, it’s gotta change. My tears last night were a mixture of being sorry I’d f’d up so badly and the pain/frustration of my stupid BROKEN brain yanking my life around, again. Just because I can talk about/analyze this doesn’t make it easier. It may make it easier to fix in the long run, but it sure doesn’t make it easier to deal with.

Back to Everyday Life, Except that It’s Never Everyday Life . . . .

DH & I got one more of the bedroom curtain rods up and the curtain with it of course!

I added a request in a local online group I’m in, for one armoire, or maybe two. Said I’d pay a finder’s fee — and I will, if I find one that I like the price!

I need some pieces I don’t have for the last curtain rod. Need to clean the “dirt pit” in the corner of the room that I hadn’t tackled just before I got sick. Still not quite all well and the idea of tackling the cleaning/sorting etc. required in that bookcase & corner is NOT something I’m looking forward to! Right now, I’ll give it a pass.Maybe tomorrow, maybe the day after –when I stop coughing up crud.

But the curtain thing means we used 1 curtain, 1 dowel, 2 plumbing bits, 2 toy pieces and 4 pieces of hardware. I had a file folder on the bed for work. forms, a check, etc. DH put the tape measure down on it, slightly open. It closed. Every piece of paper from the file, one at a time mind you, shot out over the edge of the bed and settled to the floor. Looked like a Esther Williams movie aquatic dance thing, absolutely in sync. We both watched it happen.

He looked up at me and said, grinning,  “I planned that you know.”

I sneered, “Yah, right!” very skeptically and picked up my paperwork.

It was one of those completely spontaneous tiny things you  couldn’t have planned if you wanted to, but I may never forget it!

Everyday life is what you make it, and sometimes, the tiny things in the life you make are  exceptional.