Category Archives: psychological stuff

Square Feet, Eggs & Others

This was started 12/29/18

After I returned from breakfast, I contemplated what I should cull next?

It’s a dump day, so I can take whatever outs I want to the dump, today, no hanging around waiting to be disposed of, which is great!

The first piece was a copy of Square Foot Gardening which I haven’t look at in years. Long ago, I started reading Steve Solomon’s writing on growing vegetables and he has a long discussion about the French-style biointensive form of veggie gardening and why it may not be the best idea. I’d read about the biointensive form and it hadn’t worked all that well (including the square foot gardening idea) here. Solomon’s idea is that plants need a healthy root system, not crowding to deal well with stresses insects, diseases, etc. And that made more sense to me than timed and measured planting. It seems to work better here. It isn’t as tidy, but the plants are healthier and I’m convinced that means they’re better for us. Accordingly, I haven’t used the square foot gardening book for some time — so out it goes!

A reprint of The Egg and I soon joined it. I remember the story fondly, but the book isn’t something I’ll reread (or I haven’t for years) and this copy isn’t worth anything on the resale market — out it goes too!

And so on. There are books you’d likely NOT keep that I will.

  • A Treastise on Cake Making, a manual for bakers. I’m keeping it to convert some of the recipes and the forms used for inventory and recipes interest me.
  • Dahl’s Menu Making for Professionals. Largely kept for much the same reasons as the cake making book. I use professional books to find things which work with the least amount of extra fuss, materials.

And other books I’ll get rid of:

  • A manual for growing food, wholesale. I’ll offer this to the neighbor with a farm.
  • A price guide for children’s & illustrated books, offered to a friend who has always had an interest in illustrated books.
  • A copy of The Song of Roland edited or translated by Dorothy Sayers. I love her Whimsey mysteries, but somehow never read this. I’ll offer it to the neighbor who loves Sayers’ work. . . . None of these were takers, so they went to the swap shop.

DH is working on my Christmas present, a bookcase to replace the stacked small bookcases which currently house books in our upstairs hall.

house with bookcase

(It’s that bookcase again from images.google.com)

 

He originally made the small bookcases so they could be packed beforehand for shows. They worked wonderfully for that. But they’re too narrow to be a really good house bookcase. They wobble when you take a book out — always makes me nervous!

The old show cases are likely to end up in the shed or attic when DH gets the new bookcase made. It’s a built-in, so it won’t be replaced.

Today’s additions 1/8/19:

Annoyingly, the insert a line function seems to be broken here, sigh. Computers haven’t been working for me all day. My primary social media site seems to  be down or my account has been hacked. DH thinks it’s the site, and I believe him. But things have just been weird all day.

Today’s culls, so far:

10 books to the swap shop bin, 3 books to the bookstore box, 1 new skein yarn and 1 pair of gloves also to the swap shop.

Found contact info so I can return 2 prints, or at least a place to start, hurrah!

I’m feeling “bloated.” I’ve used up the space I have for sorting things and have no room. I had pulled out boxes for something earlier this week and noticed that the lack of floor space just stopped me cold. I replaced the boxes, but still have no room. I have 1 “floating” box right now, with nowhere to put it, 3/4 full. Filling it will be pretty easy. Finding a place to put it away? That will be hard.

I need a new inspiration, a new idea about where to put sorted, boxed items! My first one put 3 boxes next to the stairs. The next one put 8 boxes in my office. The last one straightened part of a bookcase and found a home for 5 boxes. But until the accumlated culls create enough space that having room to sort, cull and PUT AWAY the items which need that, I am going to keep having this problem.

Utimately, the things I’m keeping which have no home are going in the attic, boxed. Fine. But there’s no room there either….

Sigh.

boxes

(This isn’t my home; it’s just how it feels!)

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Baby It’s Cold, Culture, and Change

I first heard the idea that “Baby It’s Cold Outside” as a rape rant a while back and thought it a bit far fetched.

I listened to it again and although I could see the point, it still seemed a bit “off?”

Then I read Shatner’s comments, and something there seemed wrong, although I couldn’t articulate exactly what it was.

A short response to Shatner’s comments changed that. The comment, which I cannot find to quote, was something like, “You’ve missed the point. It’s not up to the guy.”

And the sun burst through the clouds for me.

Okay. I realized my cultural take was that rape is an act of violence. Anything up to violence wasn’t rape. But I am the same generation as Shatner, where, when I was young, women were ornaments, expected to be the “moral guardians” of their families, live for their families, and put up and shut up with whatever men wanted of their bodies. The penultimate Barbie doll outfit when it was new, when I was little, was a bridal dress.

I am a rape survivor, no matter how you parse it, I was raped. It was a violent act. I probably as a young woman put up and shut up 50 or more times with men going farther and using my body more than I wanted them to. I wasn’t discrete, careful or picky enough for a long time (rape survivor and PTSD both contributed there).

But I also described that rape, for years, to men, and even male psychologists said to me, dismissively, “Oh, you were date raped.” as if that made it less of a rape?

I was culturally programmed to “put up and shut up” because of when I was raised. All those June Cleaver, Betty Crocker and Barbie stereotypes contributed. And the sexual revolution changed a lot, but all that stuff still lurks under there, because that’s what being a woman was when I first saw myself as a girl.

This isn’t a bludgeon to beat men with Mr. Shatner, it’s a major cultural shift. I saw the song for years as a seduction song, not rape. And, although there’s no violence in it, I can understand now why someone could see it as rape, because the male character is ignoring what the female says, and that’s not acceptable any more.

sheet music

For years, I thought I’d processed the rape, I could talk about it right? Then about 20 years afterwards, I heard a show on NPR about date rape and this teen-aged guy said something like, “You can’t pay attention to what they say! They think they can’t act like they want it, because they wouldn’t be the right kind of girl if they did. So you can’t listen to them.”

I told DH about this later. When I relayed the comment by the kid, I started crying and cried for days. (Hit a chord, ya ‘think?)

And yet, despite all that, my first reaction was still if there was no violence, there was no rape in “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

I’m culturally programmed; we all are. But the programming has changed.

Hallelujah — It’s about time!

 

Wimp

I wimped out. I was supposed to have a colonoscopy and endoscopy this week. I cancelled it.

Why? Because my PTSD brain had decided that I would die under the anesthesia. Crazy, right? But it wouldn’t go away. Every time I did anything about the procedure, it would show up, again and again.

Don’t tell me it’s irrational. Thanks I know that already.

I got tired of crying about it.

Also, different than in years past? I didn’t grit my teeth and just do whatever, so that others wouldn’t know I was scared or think less of me. I was scared and yeah, you can think less of me if you want; I have no control over that anyway.

For one of the few times in my life about something pretty big, I let myself wimp out.

Different? Yes. I kept telling myself it was no big. I kept telling myself it was my crazy PTSD, anxiety-ridden brain going off the deep end.

It wouldn’t go away.

Finally? I was supposed to watch this 40 minute thing for the hospital this morning, and that put me over the edge.

So I wimped out.

On the one hand, it’s nice because I’m actually being honest. (Unlike all the times from dissecting a frog in high school, to almost anything else, up to and including submitting the memoir to a publisher, because I thought others would think less of me if I didn’t.)

And, the pay off? I’m pretty sure if I wasn’t dead, it wouldn’t have been a big deal. But if I was? Well, it’s hard to write and live this life then ‘eh?

And I want a chance to do that living. I owe DH a clean house. I owe myself the chance to see what, if any, impact the memoir can have. I want that. I want to see what kind of other life I can have!

panic

But there’s a large part of me that’s saying “I’m done.” The work which started when I was born 3 months premature, fighting for my life, is complete. And, if I’m really, truly going to be honest here? That’s what really scared me. I wasn’t sure if they put me under I’d  want to come back. So, I blamed the medical profession, but it was just me.

You know? I have no idea who I am if I’m not fighting. And I’m not, not really any more.

Maybe I’ll get a chance to grow up/grow past the stupid childhood before I’m 70? You think?

In Limbo

I’ve been avoiding this place, because I’m ready to and have indeed done much of the work to split the two main topics into two blogs, well three.

Frankly, I’m waiting on  the publisher and I’ve been working on the house in my usual semi-organized way.

But none of the “next steps” can be done until one of three things happen:

  1. I decide to take the mask off I have here just because.
  2. I decide to do #1 because I have a publisher for the memoir and news about that.
  3. I get the house clean and the book finished about it, and have THAT book to promote.

I haven’t forgotten about this place. Have thought 100 times I should write a blog about a topic — but I’m not ready.

image from workitdaily.com via google images

(image from workitdaily.com via images.google.com)

After 10 years of work, from rough stories because I thought I might need an online memorial (had an operation in 2008) to more refined to yet more refined, to finally being far enough away from the stories that I could use my professional skills and pull a book together?

After 3 editors, 3-5 computers, 3 word processors, a file which was so corrupt it had to be retyped, etc. I am done.

And done in I think too, or maybe exhausted is just a better word?

Having the memoir done and knowing it’s pretty good has changed me in some weird fundamental way. I don’t really have anything else to say right now.

I’m done.

 

 

(But Happy holidays!)

And Counting

Sent note today, no answer, yet.

Sigh.

3 Days — and Counting

I asked my co-editor how long I should wait before I queried the publisher about the memoir. His answer? One month.

That’s 11/15, 3 days from now.

I really, really can’t think about this or it will make me bonkers. But inevitably, I AM thinking about it.

 

Fallout

I am surprised. I’ve had relatively little fallout/backlash from sending the memoir out to the publisher. Sending it to my writing group was worse. Every time I talk to someone about it or make changes someone sees, yes, it’s a little nutty. But… no screaming awake. No crying jags. No being pissed off and not knowing wtf is wrong.

There’s various pieces of consensus: there are still a few typos. There are some stylistic things I did which every single editor has pointed out. The last half isn’t as well written as the first.

That last didn’t surprise me at all. The first half is what took 10 years to write; it’s the map to my particular Hell. The last half was difficult because I just couldn’t see how to write it so it wasn’t a total bore. There’s a reason “They lived happily ever after.” is one sentence. But I needed to show the unraveling of the PTSD and healing that allowed that to happen. I needed to show that it wasn’t a straight line. I needed to illustrate that the process is not done and never will be.

That all took some doing. I only sort of really knew what book I was writing, what the arc of it really was when I sat down last month and decided to pull it together as I did. For one reason only. It had to be the best, most concise piece I could write and present to my publisher. I finally could look at it with my professional eyes, rather than through the lens of the wounded kid with PTSD.

I have no idea what happened that made that possible, but it was.

J