Thursday, November 19, 2015

Storms, Lightening and Clear Skies

It's been while since I have been on here and a lot has happened. Things are a bit crazy, though they have settled down quite a bit. I probably can't go into everything that happened, but I will try to hit the high points. It's hard for me to remember everything. It's just how it goes with me. If I don't write it down, then the only things I'm going to remember are the big things.

The biggest thing is that Cassi and I are back together again! She went through a lot of crap when she ended up in Las Vegas stranded and when she needed me to get her birth certificate so she could get her ID, our first conversation over messenger didn't really go so well and I was really, really nervous about seeing her the next day - I mean, to the point of not being sure that I wanted to see her. My Complex PTSD had been triggered hardcore. But there I was waiting for her at the transit center, my focus completely on my phone when suddenly some woman sits down right next to me! I mean, her leg touching mine. I was like, what?? Then I realized it was my daughter!! And she was smiling brightly. She looked fantastic! She told me she had finally gotten a good night's sleep. Sometimes that alone can make for a much better attitude. From there, we talked non-stop. We got her birth certificate, we went to Jack in the Box for a couple of tacos each. She told me all about what happened to her in Vegas, which I won't get into here. But some bad things... but as I talked I told her that I had wanted her to be resourceful and independent, but I felt like I had pushed her too much in that direction, but I wanted her to be able to take care of herself. Basically that I had failed her. But how I hadn't wanted her to be like me - having to depend on other people and not know how to stand on my own two feet. I mean, I am assertive and most times can get what I need, but it took me a long time before I knew how to try to take care of myself and I still struggle with that. I didn't ever want that for her. But I almost started crying. I hate crying and  my kids have only rarely seen me cry. I actually think Cassi finally realized just how much I thought I had failed her. And she was the one telling me that it was okay. That she was okay. That she could take care of herself and that she was good with that. But, of course, it doesn't take away my guilt. I am going to try to work through that with therapy. Anyway, after that we went to the library because we needed to go there to catch the bus. I renewed her library card for her and bought her a book. After that, she came and saw my place. It had been so good to spend time with her. It made me feel like I was connected to her again - that she was once again my little girl. In fact, she told me she wanted me to come to her 18th birthday party that was going to be at the beach. I couldn't believe it! I mean, what 18 year old actually wants their mother at their party?? I couldn't believe it! Since then, she had come to see me a few times./It's awesome to have her back!

And my son. He is no longer living with my sister! He is living at her godmother's place at the moment. She loves him there! In fact, her husband loves him too. When they ask him to do something he does it. That's all my sister, Diana, would have had to do. Nope, like MOM, she expected it. That he should KNOW what to do. My kids and I don't work that way. You ask us to do something and chances are we'll do it. Be a bitch and guess what? The chances of us doing it goes down significantly. Just ask! Is that so hard to do? Even if it's the same thing every day! Just ASK! It's that simple! What's even better is that he got a job!! It's only part time, but it's his first job and I am so proud of him! I think he was afraid for the longest time. I haven't conquered my fear of that yet and I want to be able to look for work by February. I just need to be ready emotionally and right now I'm not. But he and I stay in touch, of course. He told me that even though he doesn't stock things as fast as they would like, the supervisors use his work to show others what they should be doing so he's obviously doing something they really like! I am just so happy for him! He's only seen me once since being here, but that's okay. He calls me on a regular basis. I saw him on Cassi's birthday. He came to see me because we were getting a ride to the beach from a friend of hers. He came really, really early, so we got to talk. He helped me straighten up my shed a bit. I took him to Jack in the Box where we spent a little time. I felt like an ice cube and forgot they keep those places cold because of all the cooking in the back making the place super hot otherwise. It was great spending that time with him. 

Then Cassi's friend came early with Cassi, her friend Chris, who she's staying with - I met him that first day I saw her. Sweet, sweet guy. He gave me a hug before they left. I have never had a problem with her friends liking me. In fact, most of my kids friends liked me because I never tried to put them in a box - force them to act a certain way - not to do things... I mean, certain things I would obviously try to stop them, but I was always more of a guiding figure. I never forced anything. The beach was fun until I got really cold and my incision started hurting. In fact, that's a story all it's own.

At the end of October after a therapy appointment, I went to the library as I always did. I ate a lunchable. A cheese pizza one. Anyway, my stomach started hurting about 20-30n mintues after, I think. I didn't think much of it except that it started hurting really bad to the point where I laid down on the floor, which is something they don't really allow. I honestly thought it was gas, so when they asked if I wanted them to call 911 I declined. Big mistake. I am feeling so bad I go home. When I get there the pain is a little worse. When dinner comes, I grab a plate. It was one of my favorites too - sea food linguine. So I'm thinking, maybe if I take a couple of bites I'll feel better. OMG! It made it worse. I ended up calling the nurses advice line. They told me I needed to go to an emergency room. That I needed to get there fast. I ended up having to call 911. I tried to just get the ambulance, but they sent the firetruck too... It's procedure. It's just that they have been called here enough times as it is... but they take me to the ER. The ER puts me in the waiting room. They do labs. They see I have a Urinary Tract Infection and that's ALL they see, so they put me on D Track, which I was pissed when I found out. D Track is where they send people with colds and crap. Anyway, they left me out in the waiting room for hours writhing in pain, crying... other people were going up saying I was in pain and they needed to do something. They did an ultrasound, though to be honest, I didn't remember them doing it until someone reminded me. That hurt too. Anything touching my stomach hurt.

Anyway, they give me a dose of an antibiotic and some tummy medication after I'm finally back in the bed. The stomach medicine actually seemed to help a little, but after the antibiotic I threw up about 15 minutes later and I am still writhing in pain. FINALLY the Doctor orders a CT scan of my abdomen. Next thing I know, they tell me I need emergency surgery. They put this thing down my nose that goes into my stomach. It hurt going in. Something crunched. Ick! But after meeting the surgeon - who is fantastic by the way - I threw up a bunch of blood and they said it was too much to be from the nose thing. Gee, guess they figured out what was wrong just in time! So I was taken to surgery and actually had two surgeries. I had some kind of hernia that had opened and a bunch of my small intestine had fallen through and the blood supply was being cut off. Anyway, they knock my ass out, of course and do the first surgery to pull out the intestines and fix up the hernia. The surgeon decided that instead of cutting out the intestines that she's going to wait and see if they pink up again. They did, so that was the second surgery. I woke up 24 hours later. Moving hurt. Coughing the first time hurt like hell! They had me on delauded, which is a synthetic morphine from what I was told. They had me doing the respiratory and occupational therapy. That took me a bit. They wanted me to cough for the longest time. I did when they weren't there, but I wouldn't do it on command. I wasn't going to deliberately hurt myself, you know? But my breathing was great! And each day, even with the pain, I was able to move more. It was a big deal with I could finally use the restroom and by myself! Before it was using the bedside commode. Ugh! It was 8 days later I was released. But unfortunately I'm still having pain even now. It's not bad, but before the staples came out, the staples were pulling at my skin. Then after the staples were removed it feels like the incision wants to pull apart. The staples were taken out Monday. 

Anyway, at Cassi's party, as I got colder and colder and sitting where I was, the incision started hurting and hurting bad. I ended up at this restaurant called Shades. They called 911. I guess it's because it was Veterans days - Yes, my Cass is a Veterans day baby - I was left on hold for quite a while. I told them what was going on. They sent an ambulance and the fire department too. They got to me FAST though, for being left on hold for so long. Instead of taking me back to Grossmont, which I really didn't want to go back to, they asked if they could take me somewhere closer. They suggested a couple of hospitals and they mentioned Sharp Memorial. That's where my kids were born! I was yes, of course. They got me in right away. They did a contrast CT scan on me to see if there were any tears with the incision and something else. It was all okay, but I was there long enough to give me two doses of delauded. After I got the okay that I could eat a drink - they had put an IV in me, of course, and ran in some fluid. I guess the labs showed I was a little dehydrated. But they got me some cranberry juice and a sandwich. That's so cool that the ER does that. And after that fact I was being released at the time. They also arranged for a cab ride because I had no idea how I was going to get  home. It cost them about $30. I was looking at that... I can't think of what it's called, but it keeps track of how much money it costs. But I was really surprised because Cassi came immediately to me when she found out I was going by ambulance to the hospital. She started crying. I told her I was going to be okay. She told me she just hated to see me in pain... Wow... I thought I had lost her. I even told her that the one day we got together and she told me I could never lose her. That meant the world to me and see how much she loved me at that moment... OMG! And Jordan stayed by my side the whole time until the ambulance came. He probably would have gone with me if he could have. I was afraid I had ruined Cassi's party and she assured me I didn't. It went on until almost dawn, which I wouldn't have been able to do anyway. I thought Jordan would have fallen asleep there, but she told me she didn't let him and he was engaged in conversation about the whole night! I was so glad! They both needed it. Cassi had told him too that him being at her party was his gift to her. I mean, things have changed so much once she dumped the asshole. It took a bit after that, but she knows how much I love her and I think she remembered that. It really meant so much to my heart because I really thought I was going to lose her... that I had lost her...

Anyway, my writing is at a stand still. Ed is going to come see me on Friday, which I am glad about. Though we email, I miss talking to him in person. So that's going to be great. And if I have nowhere to go on Thanksgiving, we're going to get together and go to Jack in the Box! LOL! Not much of a thanksgiving feast, but it works. We won't be alone. The only thing is that I won't be with my kids. That's going to be the hardest thing... Just thinking about it makes me want to cry... The holidays are going to be tough. I mean, there are things I'm going to love, like the Christmas lights, hot chocolate... Christmas music... I can use Pandora for that. I have Pandora, but I never use it because you can't make your own playlists like you can do on Spotify. However, with Pandora I can just play whatever they have going. I don't care about making a playlist for Christmas music. In fact, it's kind of cool to not know what's playing next - something you have forgotten about. Some Christmas music always makes me want to cry, but that' okay. I'm also going to try to get some cheap candy and Christmas bags and put together a little thing for everyone here for Christmas. I mean, I don't know who doesn't have a place to go and I just like to do stuff like that, but it depends if I have enough money. We'll see! And I want to get a special card for Annie and Scott for how awesome they are. They got my shed so nice and insulated! With the heater, most of the heat stays inside now. I'm still going to get gorilla tape and seal up the rest of the little holes and cracks, it will definitely be perfect! Annie and Scott cook the best food too! OMG! Eggs, bacon, toast with peanut butter, melon slices... soup, sandwiches... pizza, stir fry, that seafood linguine... We eat good here! And we don't have a curfew. Annie doesn't have a lot of rules. But one is that anyone that comes to visit goes through the front door and not through the gate. It's totally reasonable. She wants to know who's on her property. Another is to let her know if you're not going to be home. Also if you're going to miss dinner try to let her know. In fact, she was one of the two phone calls I made before I went into surgery. She couldn't believe it! And I had called Jordan, of course. He's my emergency contact - damn! I still haven't filled out that directive thing yet! Ugh! Jordan was asked all kinds of scary questions about if I ended up on life support what he wanted to do about it. Should they try to get my heart started again if it stopped or something... whatever stuff like that. I don't want to place him in that situation before. But when I got back Annie still couldn't believe I had needed emergency surgery. She was like, "You walked in like you were just talking about a toothache." I control my emotions really good and I have a relatively good tolerance to pain, I guess. 

So those are the big things. Cassi came to see me again last night! She had her friend Chris' little sister with her. She's sweet. Her name's Charlotte. Originally they were going to help me hang Christmas lights up around my room, but we never got to that. Instead we were showing each other funny memes and talking with each other. It was awesome and it really made my day after something that happened on Facebook. People really are on there waiting for someone to bash. I was added to a group. I stated my opinion on something and by the end of it I was getting bashed. It set off my C-PTSD. I mea, I was shaking and I wanted to cry. I literally had to take something to calm down. But after Cassi and Charlotte came, it totally turned my day around. I was so happy and in fact, I woke up in a fantastic mood! I still feel fantastic! I am a bit tired though. I made the mistake of after waking up around 6:30am and going back asleep only to be woken up by my friend Louie who now wants to be called Jerry - his middle name. But since my adopted nephew is named Jerry, I'm just going to keep referring to him with my writing to people as Louie. It's just easier and no one can get confused. Jerry, my nephew always stays in touch too! He was just so awesome! Also yesterday with the Facebook crap - had woken up after only about 4 hours of sleep and from nightmares no less! I couldn't remember them, but you know when you get the feeling? I did have a really creepy nightmare with my mother a couple if weeks ago... I guess it showed my hostility towards her and that she's not dead in my mind yet. She needs to be. I need to move on from what she did to me... It's a work in progress.

Speaking of my therapy - I don't think I have seen my therapist since my surgery. I made two appointments and I had to cancel both because I couldn't get a ride and I knew I couldn't do the walking. I had to do walking to get to the surgeon's. It was the most walking I had done since before the surgery and it wiped me out for the day. She was so great though. And I also want to say that after the surgery and I was admitted into the hospital everyone was FANTASTIC! I loved everyone. My problem was and is the ER staff. When I kept asking when I was going to be taken back because of the pain, the intake nurse literally told me that pain wasn't going to kill me... yeah, right! I think it almost did! But all is good now except I'm still having pain from the incision. The doctor was supposed to see me today, but apparently an emergency came up. Annie told me not to worry. The doctor had called in some medication. Funny because I was told she wasn't going to prescribe something unless she saw me. I guess that changed. She probably looked at my chart. Anyway, I should be getting medication for pain today. Yay! I am going to need them unfortunately. Two nights ago my pain was bad and I called the nurses advice line just to see if I could take ibuprofen or naproxyn and if it would work for this kind of pain (which it didn't I found out because my doctor told me to do that. Nope...) but instead she told me that with the pain I needed to go the emergency room. Yeah, right - back to Grossmont? Hell no! Not unless I'm dying and they KNOW I'm dying I really do not want to go back to that ER ever again. They would have left me out in the waiting room for hours and hours again on D Track, because this really wouldn't have been an emergency. Yeah, that's how I want to spend my whole night and into the next day. So I didn't go... I didn't die. My incision isn't bleeding or anything. I really wanted the doctor to take a look at it though. I need to ask what to do about the bandaging. I don't have any gauze and tape and I would really like to take a shower... Guess it means a phone call and wonder if they'll answer.

I guess that's it! Breakfast was delicious! We had potatoes fried with ham, onions and I think they were sweet peppers. An egg on top of that. Peanut butter toast and melon! They served milk too, but I never grab any. I just don't care for milk and it fills me up too much and then I can't eat the food I need to eat. Anyway, things are going very well today. Think I'm going to go take my beta fish Gus outside. He liked the natural light. I try to do it every day. He's my buddy. I think everyone thinks it's funny that I love him so much. I was thinking about getting another one, but it's another tank to clean out and I think Gus is enough. I might actually get some writing done today. You never know!

For now the storms are over and they had been pierced with some awesome sunshine! Today, I think the skies are going to be clear and bright! The kind of day where the sun warms you and makes you smile!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Storms and Lightening Strikes

Life has a funny sense of humor. As soon as you think things might actually be settling down. That you're finally making progress in the direction you want to go in your life. That things just seem to be falling into place, even if it's a bit slow. But progress is progress.

For a recap, I have sense moved from where I was living up in Oceanside. I am back in my old stomping grounds of East County San Diego. This is the area I grew up and lived in for almost my whole life. Plus, my situation up in Oceanside at the facility where I lived just wasn't helping me. The whole thing with that girl, Kristen, being a prime example. Of course, later when I decided to to look up how to treat Complex PTSD I discovered that what they had been doing - trying to challenge me to fight the fears that had triggered me - that what they were doing, by trying to treat it like standard PTSD, was they were retriggering the event over and over again by trying to force it. I didn't realize that's why I kept getting worse. Eventually, I shared the link with Ed and in so doing, he shared it with the staff and everyone learned something. The assistant director of the program, when they were finally pushing me out, really did a fantastic job to minimize my triggering of our meeting. He and Meghan both did great. My reaction was far less. and in the end, the move was the best thing, for the most part. Meghan found me a fantastic Independent Living Facility where I live now and for the most part have been very happy here. I have made friends. I have a space all my own (though that was a bit of a drama) and I get three meals a day - well, Saturday and Sunday it's two meals - brunch and dinner. And we get good food here too. So on the whole, I am very happy here!

Anyway, when I first got here, I was sharing a room with this woman who is 53. She is severely schizophrenic. I know other schizophrenics that I have no problems with. They are very high functioning and intelligent people. Her though... no... she wasn't playing with a full deck to begin with and then you throw something like that on top of it? Nope. And for some reason, she just didn't like me. She would be fine for a bit and then she would just turn. She was always saying I was saying stuff to her, or doing stuff to her that I wasn't. She got threatening at one point and I wouldn't go into the room until I was so exhausted that I could double up on my sleeping pills and then crash out. But even then, it just got to the point I couldn't handle it and I decided to start sleeping out in the gazebo until something changed. Well, Annie, the proprietor, didn't want me out in the gazebo, but knew I wasn't going back into that room, so as it turns out, she had a converted shed. I mean, it's still a shed, but there's a bed, couch, dressers, shelves... electricity, TV... I have everything I want! They even moved my fridge out here! But she was asking me if I was sure I wanted to move into this shed. I was like a resounding YES! And from the day I moved in here, I have loved it! It's my own personal space. I don't have to share it with anyone. And being here, I have made friends. There is this one guy, Louie, he and I hang out every day. He wants to go back to school and get his doctorate in mathematics. Since he hasn't been to school in like ten years, he has to start all over from the beginning with his college credits, but I have no doubt he'll be able to. He and I have good conversations. He also writes songs and he's an auditory learner. He's reading The Count of Monte Cristo and asked me if I'd like him to read it to me. So far, I have absolutely loved it and it's a real interesting treat to be read to. So I have one very good friend here.

Well, onto the first lightening strike. Psycho woman and I are inside eating lunch. We're each sitting at the two little tables eating and she starts telling me to stop whatever it is she thinks I'm doing. At first I ignore her, not having really heard her. Then she says it again. I say to her that I don't know what she's talking about. The next thing I know she's accusing me of having said something. That I was making her mad. Then she gets up and literally strikes me on the side of my head with her closed fist. By the look of this woman, you wouldn't think she could hit hard, but I can prove to the contrary. I had a knot on my head and I still have it. It's been a week and the bump is still there.

Anyway, I don't remember about 30 seconds to a minute after she hit me, but I didn't black out. I did, however, call the police, I was shaking, trying not to cry, smoking up a storm as I waited for the police. I was also trying to ice my head. Eventually, they came and took the report, but all they could do was have the psycho go to the hospital, which she did. So far, she has not come back, and I don't think Annie will have her back. She can't have someone violent here. I mean, come on! If it's not me, who will be next? On top of it, Annie knows that if she were to come back, I might move out and she wants me to stay. She likes me. I am very high functioning, of course, and I get along with everyone - except psycho woman. The police called an ambulance for me and they did a CT scan when I got to the hospital, of course. I was still stuck out in the waiting room for hours after that. I was so tired and light headed... slightly nauseous. I was worried I had a concussion, but I really didn't believe that was the case. Still, the wait was long and tough. The Norco they gave me for pain didn't really do much except make me more tired and once it wore off the pain was back worse, of course. And the pain went from my temple where she hit me, through my ear, to my jaw (still can't open it more than halfway without pain), down my neck and into my shoulder, Well, I didn't understand why I was having pain in all those places. By the time I was taken back there, it was literally long enough to have them take my vitals, talk with the doctor briefly, who assured me that there was no skull fracture and no bleeding in the brain. No concussion... I also got a sandwich to eat. I was so hungry. I guess another clue I didn't have a concussion. But all they prescribed was percocet. Yeah... I was taking that and I threw on 1200mg. ibuprofen at 8 hour intervals and all it did was take the edge off the pain. It didn't not make any serious dent... so I was in pain for days. I had friends telling me to get checked out again. I finally did this last Sunday. I went to an Urgent Care. Turns out that the reason I'm having pain everywhere that I am is because where the psycho woman hit me, there are a bundle of muscles there and connect to - yes, you guessed it! The jaw, neck, shoulder... Yeah... At first, he wasn't sure what to prescribe for me since they can't write for narcotics there. I told him I didn't care about that. I just wanted something that was going to help the pain. Then I remembered Louie mentioning tramadol before, so I asked the doctor about it. Turns out that he could write for that and thought it was a good choice. He also prescribed naprosyn and robaxin - Robaxin is a muscle relaxant. I should take a couple tonight, if I decide to sleep. I am feeling really good right now and am not tired, so we'll see!

Lightening Strike Two! My idiot friend Jason... He texts me about how miserable he is. That after his wife has her surgery he's going to leave. I was saying to him that it was a good thing and that after the surgery that's just what he should do - their marriage has been over for years. She doesn't want anything to do with him sexually and I'm not sure she even likes him that much anymore. The guy is abusive. He hits every warning sign of a domestic abuser. In fact, the guy is a codependent narcissist. So why am I friends with him? Well, I'm not anymore, but I'll get to that part with the next lightening strike. Back to this one!

So anyway, he tells me no, he means gone. Like nowhere. He's going to kill himself, essentially. So I spend the next 15 minutes or so trying to talk him out of this mood, not really putting things together yet. But essentially he was talking about this because he wants to get back at his wife basically, for not loving him and putting up with his abusive behavior. That he wants her to love him - or really, to just have sex with him. He also is very controlling and it's killing him that he has less and less control over her. He keeps trying and there is the problem. He's unhappy. I tell him he needs to move on. He could have a bright future, though to be honest, unless he were willing to go into intensive therapy to work on his issues, he's never going to have a happy life because he's an abuser. He will never find anyone who will stay with him for any length of time if they have a brain and aren't easily manipulated. But what really got me was as I was explaining to him that he needed to learn to live on his own, by himself and not rely on other people to make his happy, he tried telling me I was doing the same thing. That I wasn't living on my own... Okay, that just pissed me off. I immediately shot back at him that the only reason I was living where I'm at is because I can't afford to live on my own and did he really think I would have a problem living o n my own?? I would be perfectly happy to. I don't NEED anyone. I asked him if he really thought I relied on anyone here to make me happy?? Well, I think he got the point because the last thing he texted was that he wished he didn't exist. Okay, whatever. I thought about it later and figured out what he was trying to accomplish. He was hoping I was be, "Oh, poor Jason! I love you and we can move out together!" He is terrified to live on his own. He has never done it. But that's not my problem. I don't love him. I thought I loved him as a friend, but no longer - and this isn't the reason. This was an annoyance, but not the reason he is now out of my life for good.

Lightening strike three! Same day... Jason kept texting me that Susan wanted to ask me something. This was after I had asked her to take me to urgent care the following day since she couldn't do it Saturday. So finally I texted her asking what the question was. She said it wasn't her question, it was his. I was still mystified and asked what it was about. She told me he has asked her for a 'Hall Pass' to screw around basically. Now, for some reason, this didn't compute with me... that this was in reference to me!! So I guess I just laughed it off and I might have said, something on the lines of REALLY??

So he calls me a little while later and asks me if Susan talked with me. Now by this time, I have totally forgotten this text conversation, so I was like what are you talking about? Talk to me about what? So then he mentions the 'Hall Pass.'. I was like, no and the answer is no. He preceeds to tell me that Susan told him that I was thinking about it. I flat out told him no. That I told him I wasn't going there with him again. So he says something like, okay, I have to go. Then he turns around and texts me, to the effect that he has a problem and I could help him with it, but I won't and that hurts. I told him I wasn't going down that road with him again. In other words, too bad. So then he gets mad and tells me, good luck getting to the clinic tomorrow. Okay, he doesn't drive. He is scared of driving. He freaks out when Susan, his wife, is driving. The guy can't handle crap. Anyway, I told him that it wasn't up to him and that if he was going to get abusive I was going to block him. He said, see if I care. Well the last text I sent him before I did block him was that he didn't respect my boundary. The whole reason I even forgave him and let him back into my life was that he respect my boundaries. One of which was sex was never happening and to not push it with me, that I would block him again. Anyway, the last text I get from him before he is completely blocked is that he respects my boundaries...? Okay... want to explain this one to me?? Anyway, the long and short of it is, he was only wanting to be friends with me again to have sex. It had nothing to do with our being friends since 1995 (i am very patient and accepting or we would not have remained friends as long as we have an I wouldn't have given him the many chances I have over the years). Basically, he wants to just use me for sex. At first all I could think about was how I should have listened to everyone and not unblocked him and just kept him out of my life. But I was thinking about it today and realized that because of this, I now know exactly what he wants, how he thinks of me, and so I know where I stand. Grant you, at first I was angry, hurt, I felt betrayed, kind of used and manipulated... I was pissed! But Susan, when at first he tried telling her she couldn't do anything for me, told him bullshit and threw his crap back at him. Good! And obviously she took me to the clinic! Since then though, he keeps begging her to talk with me and get me to forgive him and unblock him. She told him it wasn't going to happen. He is still trying though, but oh well. He done screwed up for the last time with me. No not pass go. Do no collect $200.

Anyway, the few bright spots this week, were, of course, Louie. Also my friend Ed. He and I have continued our friendship and I am so glad of that. We both really like each other and plan to continue to develop our relationship. Also my Aussie, Ron, has been an incredible bright spot too. Everyone has been worried about me and he literally emailed me just about every day, including Saturday and he normally doesn't email me on the weekends because of being home with his family. But he was that worried and it meant so much to me that he did that. And then my new friend Mike... I met him at the library a couple of weeks ago. When Susan couldn't pick up my prescriptions from the pharmacy I was dying. The pain was horrible. I had taken the last of my percocet and so, I was screwed. Having no other choice, I called Mike, and he saved the day. He came, picked me up and took me to get my medication. I couldn't thank him enough. He's also taking me to Heartland in the morning. He might not be able to take me back here, but that's okay. I can walk one way. I just can't do both... So between all these actually great guys in my life, I have awesome friends and support. Also Susan and I are reconnecting again. We were texting today a bit and I was telling her that we should hang out again. One, it'll be fun to piss Jason off and two, I really needed to hang out with friends in real life. She agreed so hopefully sometime soon we'll get together.

Well, today the storm clouds have vanished leaving a pretty clear sky. I am not going to allow any more toxic people in my life. I am going to do my best to get rid of the last one or two there are. I am still planning on pursuing the training to be a Peer Support Specialist. I am going to continue to work on my writing and plan for a future... Despite being hit by lightening so many times, I am good. I am happy today and I will take that for what it's worth. I may not be happy tomorrow, but I am happy right now and that's good.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wall of Storms

Over one month since my last blog entry... well, things have not been going well, but because of the way my PTSD works I can't remember a whole lot of it. But I have been severely triggered. It has impaired my ability to function and has practically ruined me. I have wanted to take my own life at least once, and I created a plan... I also went out and bought what I needed to do it. If it weren't for the love of caring friends and people I would have tried. I even posted a status on Facebook that basically said that I was done... I was simply done. It was probably the best thing I could have done... I had friends contact me. I had a sweet woman on my friends list that contacted me and talked with me. I came back to the facility and without going into too many of my thoughts I shared kind of How I was feeling with two of the residents and one of them eventually went in and asked my friend Ed, the Peer Support Specialist here, to come out and talk to me. It helped me so much! Then I had a friend call that I have missed talking with for so long... It made me realize just how many people I know who care about me. It's hard to see when you're in the thick of it....

There were two separate things that set me off. One was being told that I wasn't participating properly in groups – that I wasn't filling out papers that were handed out. Huh? That pissed me off since no one else goes through this. No one else has been called in and accused of this to my knowledge. Again, this double standard. There were a couple of other things too, which, at the moment, I can't remember, but one of my huge triggers is being accused of not doing something I am or vice versa. So I was set off. A combo of that and whatever else they accused me off upset me. I might have gotten suicidal briefly. It's hard for me to remember after what followed. Either way, I slipped into a depression.

As if that's not bad enough, the girl that had been slamming the doors – my bedroom neighbor? I'll refer to her as KB now. Anyway, KB started having symptoms again – you have to understand that after the last incident her and I actually started getting along even better than before. But I could tell she was going back into symptoms. I knew... then she accused me of being a child molester. Not to my face, but to Ed. I could hear her. That I just let go because it was her symptoms and honestly really had nothing to do with me. It's whatever is going on in her head, and that's not something that triggers me. However, a couple of Fridays ago, after not having slept the night before – I was up all night with my friend Nick listening to music and smoking – I was out in the living room for community meeting early. I was sitting there playing with my phone when KB entered the room. Well, you know how it is. Someone walks into the room and you look to see who it is. Anyway, I look at her and then with complete malice in her voice that hinted of the possibility of violence, she yells at me, “DON”T LOOK AT ME, BITCH!” I was too stunned for words. I either turned my head then looked back at her, or stayed looking at her. I don't remember. But she yelled at me again! “I SAID DON'T LOOK AT ME, BITCH!” Of course, no one in the staff office heard it. But I was completely shook up. I just turned my attention back to my phone. I actually forced a couple of laughs, just because I didn't want her to know just how shaken I was.

Then as community meeting starts she goes off on getting background checks on the people in here – the residents – which was directed at me because of her delusion. My thought was, bring it on, baby! I've had a background check before, for when I was doing a work experience at Kaiser HR. Not that they would do it, but that was my thought. Go ahead! But anyway, after that, I still went on the walk. It was okay because I lingered toward the back, while KB was the first one out the door in a huff. But once we were back I went to the smoker's patio and I was literally shaking.... I mean, my whole body. I'm sure I was pale... I was too scared to go inside. I honestly felt that if she cornered me, and with just a little more stimuli, she would haul off and hit me. I was afraid to go to my room because she's in the room right next to mine... I literally had to call the staff office on my phone and tell them what happened. They had to escort me inside because I wouldn't go in. I was afraid to even be on the patio, but I felt at least there I could see her coming.

Anyway, I tell the staff what happened and what it triggered me back to – my brother trying to kill me and the attack in January... They convinced me to go to my room and lock the door. They literally had to escort me to my room too. They left me in there about an hour or so and then brought me back to the office. The first thing they did was ask me if it was okay if KB came in and apologized to me. I shrugged and said fine, but it wasn't going to change anything. So she did and she said she was sorry... which she has done before. I told her fine, but this is what it has brought up for me. I wanted her to understand that she had triggered me back to two serious events by her actions. It's not like it's going to matter. She'll go into symptoms and it'll happen again, and it seems with me it has just gotten more aggressive. It's not okay. So after she left I told the care coordinator, Jessica, that I still didn't feel safe that her apology meant nothing because she'll probably go into symptoms again. She won't get the right help, so... she's not a safe person to be around and that I still don't feel safe. She asked me what it would take for me to feel safe. First thing out of my mouth was her gone! Then I said the second was that her room get moved and her told to stay the hell away from me. Well, they told her to stay away from me... but you know what? They didn't do shit about moving her room. You know where that's left me? Sleeping out on the smoker's patio, when I do sleep... For the first week or in 170-something hours I had 18 hours of sleep. Do you think they cared? Nope. The attitude I got was, “Deal with it.” Yep! They weren't going to do shit to make me feel safe. I will NEVER recommend this place to anyone. I might even write a review. Or I might go to the higher-ups. Then as if that's not bad enough, they hit me with my extension has been denied. I was told to my face that it was because I owed money. Well, I found out that with the report they made, they accused me of not participating in the program. I went from depressed to pissed in .03 seconds! I also decided that I wasn't going to follow the program. I was going to do whatever the hell I wanted. You want to accuse me of not participating in the program when I was just to save your own asses because you can't put in the report it's about the money... Yeah, I really want to participate. On top of that, since I've been here, I have basically gotten NO help with my issues. In fact, I have been set off so much that I am in way worse condition than when I came here! And this is supposed to be a place where they help you. Bullshit! I guess I'm not their typical client, as they refer to us. I am 'high functioning' and I guess they are used to people that are low functioning. I don't know. Either way, they have always given me a double standard. They have always accused me of not doing shit I was or the reverse. They hold me up to a standard they hold no one else up to. And then they keep setting me off and it's just gotten worse... and this thing with KB and them basically not doing anything to help me... they can all just kiss off.

I am just worn out emotionally. I have no motivation. I am still afraid to go into the facility, even when I know KB isn't there. I just have this sense of being cornered. I won't go to my room except to get things or I am so tired that all I can do is pass out into sleep. I literally spend all my time out on the smoker's patio. In fact, it's where I am right now...

I did have a good talk with Ed, the Peer Support Specialist here, and a very good friend, and he made me realize that part of what I'm going to have to do is start forcing myself to go inside, at least for brief periods of time... basically exposure therapy. I don't want to do it, of course, because it's going to be anxiety inducing, but the point is to help me realize that nothing is going to happen... it will help reduce the stress and help me start going inside again. Not that I am going to be here much longer. I'm going to start looking for places to move later today. It's basically time... I am just getting worse here and no one is inclined to help me. The only people worth hanging around here is Richard and Chris. I enjoy talking with them both, especially Richard. He and I have things in common. He's a wonderful guy and I plan to keep in touch with him. His friend in Washington – I think – is sweet too.

But I feel like this place has done nothing but let me down. They have brushed me off more than once. They have told me to just deal with things. They have accused me of things that weren't true (doing or not doing something). They have abandoned me. They don't care – they could have switched one of our rooms, but I guess because Vickie, the program director thinks that I'm leaving that it doesn't matter. Of course, they should have done it a couple of weeks ago, but I guess I wasn't important enough. My fear and feeling unsafe didn't matter. So what it comes down to, is that it's better for me to suffer and stay out on the patio all night because I'm afraid to go to my room, because it would be an imposition on HER and that I am not worth to her, whether it's because of money owed, whether I'm leaving soon... whatever her reason, doesn't matter to me. What she basically showed me is that she does not give a shit about the residents and especially not me.

Emotionally, I am still very unwell. I am still wishing that I could just go to sleep and not wake up. I know so many people love and care about me, which is why I am not inclined to do anything to myself, but it would not bother me to go to sleep and just not wake up. Of course, who knows when I'm going to go to sleep now... It's 4:30am and at around noon it'll be 24 hours and as it is, I am wide awake. I will probably be up about 48 hours maybe, before I crash, either in my room or on the patio. I just hope I can somehow get a handle on this. I am actually getting tired of being relegated to the patio. I would rather be in my room and in my bed. Maybe I can bite the bullet at some point and try to go in there. I just don't know... and it's sad to say, but part of me is like, if I go inside it'll be giving in to them with their, “just deal with it” attitude. Still, I do have to think about what's in my best interests. I don't know. I'll have to think about it a bit more. But I am a bit cold out here. It's 62 degrees. Now don't anyway say that it's not cold. I am from Southern California! To me this is chilly! LOL! It's just how it is. Plus, I'm drinking a cold soda... and my fingers are definitely cold!

I just don't know what I am going to do. I think the talk with Ed helped me quite a bit, which is the good thing... I just don't really want to do what I need to do.

Anyway, I guess that's it... still in the wall of storms... lightening, thunder, rain, wind... and no real end in sight. These storms, one on top of another, is just a lot of handle. I wish they would blow themselves out... I wish... I wish...

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Thunder, Lightening, Rain and Darkness

Life has not treated me well these last few weeks. There are been issues that have caused me to experience serious PTSD symptoms, including being angry, suicidal and just outright depressed. Depressed it where I am right now. It's like being in a story sea in total darkness... no moon.. not even starts; just inky darkness... It's not a good place to be, but it's where I am. I would like to see the clouds break... even if just to see moon and stars, but it doesn't seem like that's going to happen anytime soon and it, for lack of a better term at the moment, SUCKS!

It started with my room neighbor here where I live. I realize that she was in symptoms. She has hallucinations and paranoid delusions. Anyway, I wasn't her only target, but it was enough to set me off. Now it had just been her accusing me of things, I probably could have handled that. I mean, I am pretty understanding when it comes to people's mental illness. What kind of person, and hopeful Peer Support Specialist, would I be if I didn't? But the problem was she was angry and started slamming doors. Now, I never thought this would causing the reaction it did. I have always had a strong startle reflects to loud noises - especially slamming doors. But I recover fairly quickly. However, this was different. It tossed me back to a night I thought I had long ago gotten over. Apparently not. It took me back to a night I honestly thought I was going to die. A night I thought my brother was honest to god was going to kill me... murder me... Going back to the memory I thought I was over was awful. All the fear.. the panic... it all came back. It was so bad, I was shaking. Then she accused me to trying to break her and her boyfriend up. She accused Jerry of beating up her boyfriend... though he had a long time ago. But there were reasons behind that. But anyway, that had been in the past. She was pretty much going off on staff too. But I went to staff and told them about what happened. That someone should check on her. Well, she was in the shower, but after that she slammed the doors again. I went to tell staff again, after they talked with her. When she slammed the door again and called me a bitch through the wall, I went to go talk to staff again, and she said, "What kind of lies is she saying about me now?" I mean, she also made a derogatory comment about my PTSD. I mean, it wasn't pretty, and I was overwhelmingly afraid of the emotional abuse. I didn't feel emotionally safe! She had even asked to move rooms and I wanted her to move rooms. They said for us to talk to the staff tomorrow morning. Well... I did... and I was basically told to deal with it. That I would encounter other people that would set me off. I was like, yeah, but I might not be living with them. And chances were, they wouldn't be in the room right next to mine. I also said that I didn't have this kind of problem with any of the other residents and she tried to say that the one resident that annoyed the crap out of me was the same thing. Uh, NO! And I literally had to explain the fact that he was a huge irritant, but that was it, and the fact that he wasn't in the room beside me made it easy to mostly stay away from him. And what it really came down to was that he didn't set off my PTSD. I literally had to spell that out to my care coordinator. Still, I was told to just deal with it. So I ended up angry. She was still actually up. She actually went to staff and accused Jerry and I of sexually abusing her or some crap! I mean, really?? Of course, staff knew it was just her illness, but I just couldn't believe that one. I didn't hear it, but Jerry did. So needless to say, I vented to my nephews and she, unfortunately heard me a few times. I also took to blasting music at night, until it was time to go to sleep. I went through YouTube and got some seriously pounding music that I liked. Picked out some good music by Linkin Park among others. Got some Three Days Grace and a couple of songs by Sum 41. Of course, I only knew two my Sum 41, and with Three Days Grace, their songs are hit and miss with me. However, with Linkin Park, I haven't found a single song I haven't liked! That says something. Depeche Mode is the other. I also like All American Rejects, or at least one of their full albums. Not sure about any of their newer stuff. However, I just wanted to blast her out of existence. So that was bad. I couldn't sleep, which wasn't unusual for me anyway, but this was worse. I didn't want to sleep and then when I woke up, I didn't want to, but I forced myself to, and I did NOT like myself angry. It's not who I am.

Onto the next triggers and this is what really put me over the edge. The Program Director called me into her office, so I knew something bad was up. I can always tell these things anyway, without clear signals like that. It's just how I am. Another care coordinator joined her, so I was already triggered - feeling ambushed. So she starts in on how there are things that I'm doing that aren't good for the program and basically threating to kick me out of here. Yeah, great. Another trigger. There were three things. One thing I didn't have a problem with, because it was the one thing I was actually doing, which was talking about a resident behind their back, so to say. Okay, I was doing that. But Jerry and Manny had both left the program in less that 24 hours of each other. Jerry was headed to another city, which he had to leave anyway, himself, and Manny left because he didn't want to be around the resident that I find seriously irritating anymore. So I was dealing with that. But I basically told her that the ones I talked to are gone so it was now a non-issue and it wouldn't be happening again. The second issue... Supposedly I wasn't doing worksheets during groups that I was supposed to be doing. Excuse me?? There was one time. Maybe two! I was furious. Then she said something about paperwork that my care coordinator gives me too... okay, my memory SUCKS! But I was trying things, so now, I have been triggered by two more things - feeling betrayed my by care coordinator AND being accused of something I was doing. That and the reverse are huge triggers for me. Lastly, I owe money here. I know it's substantial, but she was telling me that I had to find a way to pay more money, outside of rent, outside of the less than $200 I get for the month, which after my bills, is less than $100 for the entire month, to go for monthly purchases... and kind of hinted that if I didn't find a way, that a 30 day notice might be on offer. Another trigger - losing a place to live when I have nowhere else to go. And another - not having enough money to live on. Then, for good measure, tells me I am on probation for two weeks. Another trigger - feeling like I have to be perfect for two weeks... or any amount of time. HUGE trigger too. They wanted me to sign something. I was like, fine, and asked if we were done and left. I was suddenly so tired and so upset. I was triggered off so badly all I wanted to do was kill myself. Had I had access to a gun, I wouldn't be here, and going through these events kind of takes me back to it. I couldn't even really talk about it. I still can't really. I have told a fried or two, and my Aussie, but that's it. I literally went outside of the facility, not sure what to do. I wanted to leave... I had money to buy razor blades, which would have been my second choice to kill myself, but having been a cutter, I'm not really into pain and there was be a lot of pain to cut as deep as I would need to. I know these things, and without benzodiazepines to help it would be hard. At least with benzos I would be able to relax and with luck, just go to sleep and allow myself to bleed out. I seriously considered that. I just didn't want to live anymore. I wanted everything over and done with. I really wanted a gun, and actually turned ideas over in my head of how I might get one, and I knew none of them would pan out. I just didn't know the right people, and I didn't have the money, even if I did. But I wanted to blow my head off so bad. A gun to my temple and pull the trigger. Bullet through the brain pan and that would have been it for me.

One of the residents was coming back from the store and saw me. I never sit outside the house and I guess I looked bad. She asked me if I was okay. At first I said no, but then I told her I was okay. I guess she didn't believe me because after awhile someone on the staff came out to talk with me. I had actually called the access and crisis line because I wanted to kill myself so badly and I knew if I didn't talk to someone, I was probably going to get those razor blades as a final option. What's funny is I had found a half box of cigarettes and had smoked a couple. I am not a smoker, but I just needed to do something. So the staff member came out as I was talking to someone from the crisis line. I was more calm, but I still wanted to kill myself. That hadn't changed. I talked with staff and I made it clear what I wanted to do and a bit about why. But after I told her what had happened, I couldn't talk about it anymore. She left me outside for a bit longer because I didn't want to go back in, but a short time later, she actually opened the front door and asked me to come inside. So I did. Though I could hardly move. Apparently they wanted to do a risk assessment on me - which was done by, of course, the program director. I told her how I was feeling. That if I'd had access to a gun she wouldn't be talking with me. They said that they would take me to the ER. I wouldn't go because if I were admitted they would take my phone. They offered a Crisis House for me. It's like almost right across the street, but I just couldn't bring myself to go. It's funny to say, but I didn't want to leave my little cave/sanctuary of my room. Like if I left it, I'd be unsafe. It's hard to explain the mindset and I am still feeling that way. They have offered it a couple more times since.

And the final trigger - my daughter. Two nights after that, I wasn't able to make some calls for her that I needed to get done so that I could register her at school. So she made some nasty comments about how she knows that my regular life was so much more important than her... yeah... that caused me to feel suicidal all over again briefly and I wasn't entirely over it to begin with, though it had reverted more to just not wanting to live anymore.

Nothing serious has really gone on since. In fact, here's the funny thing. My room neighbor actually made a full apology that was 100% sincere. I can usually tell these things, so I accepted her apology. The next day, I apologized for being a bitch to her and now we're better friends than we were before. LOL! Go figure that one, right? So that was something that went right. Then, as I was smoking outside with Nick - another resident - and the one resident that annoys the crap out of me came outside and took a seat with us and for the first time, I actually was joking with him! That was different and nice. We were also scheduled to cook together too, and because I was finishing up a cigarette, he started before me, which was also nice, because I thought, for sure, I would be doing the majority of the cooking, and actually, he did! I mean, I made the salad and the veggies, while he made the bean quesadillas. I did cook some of them at the end. Anyway, it came out really good! And it was a nice experience. Since then, he hasn't irritated me quite so much, though that voice of his still drives me a bit nuts.

So it's not like everything is horrible, but there is just this god-awful depression. It's this sadness and hopelessness. And I am just so tired... I am tired of getting knocked down and having to drag myself up again. I don't want to get  up anymore, if that makes sense. It's like, things are never going to change. I am always going to be triggered and have no idea how to control them... they are crippling. Though most of the time I can bounce back within 48 hours, this is going on two weeks of stuff. Grant you, it's been thing after thing for a week before now, but still... the depression is killing me. My only real reprieve is smoking outside with Nick listening to music off YouTube and writing when I can manage to think straight. Than and writing with Patty B and reading old SB901 posts for my characters. I'm back to reading about this one character of mine name Katianna Nadira. She's one of my absolute favorite characters that I created. Great storyline. Of course, most of my characters had awesome storylines that never got completed. But then again, the idea behind a role-playing group - or the ones I participated in - were meant to just go on and on. I might be working on a story with a friend who was in two of the RPGs with me. In fact, with our same characters, though they were in two different timeframes. We started in Kirk's time on the Star Trek universe then we're just passed the Next Generation timeframe. His character traveled forward in time, where as mine - since her species live to be between 300-500 years of age - had just gone on with her life. She was thrilled to see him alive. But the story we're going to be working on takes place a year after the estimated time of where the storyline Katianna was involved in was completed. I started it and sent it to him. I hope he reads it and responds soon, though I took a bit to get the beginning to him. I guess we'll see what happens.

Anyway, I think it's about time for me to close this up, grab a quick snack and maybe grab a smoke. I am being tossed around in the waves in the total darkness still... Every night I don't want to wake up the next day... but hopefully that'll change... as it stands now though, it feels like it will just go on forever. I am pretty sure it won't, but there were times I had depressions that lasted for years. I just hope this isn't one of those times. Not sure I could deal with that... So all I can do is hope the skies will clear... that there will be no more thunder and lightening... but who really knows....

Monday, June 22, 2015

Storm Front Averted

Things have been pretty good for the most part over the last week, except that I have been worried a great deal about my daughter. I had not heard from her in over a week, more like two weeks, as of yesterday. The numbers I had for her kept going to voicemail, so I was more than a little worried. The worry had just grown as the days went by. So yesterday, I finally decided to make calls I was putting off. I started calling hospitals and I even called the morgue. Thank god she wasn't there at all. But I also made the decision that if I couldn't reach her or that I didn't miraculously hear from her by Monday, as much as I didn't want to, I would call the police and the sheriff to report her missing. I just didn't want to get them involved, which would get CPS involved and just be a whole other probably, but I was willing to finally do that. I had thought about maybe trying to call some of her friends, but I thought she wasn't talking to most of them anymore and I wasn't sure who she was talking to. Then Nicole asked me if I had any numbers of her friends, which I had looked through my list, though  I guess I only scanned it and didn't think I did, but then I remembered a conversation I'd had with her when she was going to go to her Ex-FiancĂ©'s house to get her things and I was worried about her going alone. She had listed off a bunch of people going with her and I remember hearing the name of her bestie that I hadn't even remembered. So I looked through my contacts and sure enough, found her number. I called, hoping it wasn't disconnected. Well, the girl didn't answer, but I left a voicemail and told her that I really needed to reach Cassi if she was in contact with her. That if I didn't hear from her that I was going to have to call the police on Monday because I wouldn't have a choice at that point. Also, if she could call me back if she hadn't heard from Cassi. 

Well, today I got a call from my daughter and she was like, "I heard you wanted to talk to me." And asked me why I didn't call her on this number when she'd told me to save it. Ugh... me and my memory. She told me for my birthday she was going to buy me a bunch of sticky notes! LOL! I was just thrilled to hear from her! We ended up talking with each other for 1 hour and 15 minutes! God, I really, really needed that! It boosted my mood so much! But I did tell her about her brother, who is seriously struggling and she began worrying about him too. Despite what happened, they still love each other very much and I am thankful for that. What sucks, and she pointed this out to me, is that both of my kids are basically homeless. At least her boy's parents are letting her crash with them for now, so she has a roof over her head and food to eat. I need to call welfare this week and see about her Medi-Cal and see if there is any way I can get food stamps for her, but I doubt it, because she doesn't live with me. I'm not even sure about the Medi-Cal, but I have to find out.

But then there was the issue of my son, Jordan. I have been terribly worried about him for the last several days. His time is almost up at the shelter. He didn't know where he was going to go. He was actually so upset, he was depressed and contemplating ending his life. After what I had just gone through with Jerry, I made him promise me that if it came down to him really wanting to do it that he would go to the ER first! I explained what had transpired with his nephew and told him I just couldn't go through that again. That I loved him and would rather see him in the hospital because something bad happened. Plus, if they couldn't admit him, they would try to get him into a crisis house, where they would do their best to help him. Still, it was like, he wanted to be a security guard. Turns out that things weren't as simple as they seemed. The money I gave him wasn't enough. That upset me because I wanted that to be enough and be able to start his new life. Because of that, he tried applications online and heard back from no one. He's starting to realize that life without a high school diploma isn't so easy and I think he's finally ready to start thinking about getting a GED. Either way, he needs to get a job, somehow. So he was stressing out about being kicked out of the shelter. He could talk to someone on Tuesday about getting an extension, but the chances are not good. He has also been trying to get enough money to pay his phone bill on Monday, which I'm glad about. It means he's still thinking about the future and I told him that a phone was a big priority because we needed to keep in touch and he couldn't really do anything without a phone. Then on Thursday or Friday, he has to go to an appointment at Welfare to renew his food stamps. I think I'm going to talk to him about maybe trying for General Relief too, until something comes up. But my worry is just at an all-time high with him. I posted something on Facebook about being depressed and Nicole my best-friend sister asked me what was wrong. I told her, but rather than keeping up the messages via Facebook, she called me and we talked. She's willing to let Jordan crash on the floor. Plus, her place is right near the Department of Rehabilitation, which is where Jordan really needs to go and I was just telling him about it yesterday. Also that he has to get set up with a psychiatrist and that way, not only will he get help, if he needs it, but that he'll be able to get a disabled bus pass again. He needs it! Plus, Nicole was talking about coming up to visit me with him, because he could take her up! I am happy about that. I still have to call him and tell him, which I am sure he'll be thrilled about! I am just relieved because he'll have a place to go and a place to get help. Maybe this is truly the break he needs! I so hope so!

Anyway, I need to start dinner shortly. I'm making BLTs for the house. I'm going to bake the bacon though, instead of frying it. Less mess and more even cooking. Plus, the bacon won't curl. And if my cooking partner doesn't want to cook, or doesn't feel up to it, I think I can actually handle this all by myself. I mean, literally, it's sandwiches, soup and I believe salad. Come one! I can do this in my sleep. If he wants, he could set the table, though I can probably do that too! LOL! It's good to have an easy dinner. At first, I was kind of intimidated because I was thinking of frying the bacon, then I remembered about baking. I haven't baked it before, but I am more than willing to do it. I think it'll come out so much better! I found two ways to bake it. Well, basically the same thing, just the times are different, so I'll go with the lower time and see how that works out, then adjust as I need to. But I'm following my instincts because every time I don't something goes wrong. So it's time I throw some of their directions out the window - or what's the norm, out the window - and do what I think is right. Things will be much better, I think!
Well, that's it for now. The Storm moved off and sun shines brightly! Life, for the moment, is good!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Class 5 Hurricane... Blew Itself Out

Life was going along all right, really. I mean, my sleep was kind of hit or miss. That's been the norm for me for awhile now. I was getting a couple of hours here and four hours there. Still, functioning fine. Until Saturday. Saturday night things changed... a realization made... But it started simple enough, as all storms start... clear skies... maybe hints of clouds... but this hurricane started fast and hit fast. A nightmare became reality.
I'm not sure just how much to get into, only because it so heavily involves someone else, but it a story worth telling in more ways than one, I feel. Not for the tragedy, but for the revelation and the joy in the end. As crazy as things got and how tragic they might have been, good came out of it, and ultimately that's the silver lining. Each difficulty, even extreme ones, can teach us something... something about ourselves, if we let it.
All right, I will start at the beginning. My nephew that I have mentioned many times, who I love as family, has PTSD like I do. He does have difficulties with anger as well, but has grown so much since he's been here. He has truly made exceptional progress, which only happens if you truly have a desire to change, which he has. But having the PTSD, when you get triggered, it is hard to get beyond the trigger. It almost takes you over. Well, this evening, I had gone in to take my night medication. Usually I'm the last one, but that night, I wasn't. Jerry was last. But on nights when Ed, the Peer Support Specialist is here, I will sit in the office and talk with him. We talk for hours! It's just how it goes. I love to talk to him! We have a lot of things in common.

Anyway, Jerry comes in to take his medication and I can already tell that he's irritated. Okay... he felt rushed off the computer. I get that way too, especially when I am doing something, and the impression he had been given was that he wouldn't be able to get back on the computer. But it was the weekend and I found out later that he would have been let back on. Wording is so important! I can't stress that enough. It can make the biggest difference between making someone understand you or want to listen to you, versus getting ticked off and possibly yelling and screaming at you because of it, leaving your original point mute. First thing...

So he is in taking his medication and the irritation is definitely coming out in his voice, but that's really all I heard. Apparently, Ed thought he heard Jerry escalating. I did not. He also said that he was talking rudely to the care coordinator there that night, which I didn't here. He also said that Jerry had slammed the med cabinet doors, which he had not done. I was sitting right there at the door to the med room. In fact, I should have been the one to hear any rude comments and so on. Maybe I am not as worried about an escalation of Jerry's voice, because I can distinguish intent, but apparently, enough staff get freaked out by ANY indication that he might erupt in rage Ed felt it necessary, and apparently, this is something that was put in place, that he had to go in there. But as soon as he got up I could see things unfolding. I KNEW it was going to trigger my nephew and make things much, much worse and it did. He got verbally upset and angry. He did well in the fact that he got up and left the room. Unfortunately, he wasn't as good at controlling his response to his anger. Don't get me wrong, he has NOT taken it out on people. But he went to his bedroom door, slammed it and punched it a few times yelling. Okay, that probably freaked out several of the residents. I can see why. But I also know that he had seriously been triggered. Ed got up to talk to him, which I also knew was a huge mistake and I had the urge to stop him and tell him I would talk to Jerry. I might have been able to calm him down. As it turned out, he would have been unable to let me go alone, and he might have gotten in trouble had I gone in to talk with Jerry. Frankly, I told him later that had I done it, he wouldn't have been able to stop me, and I wish I had.

When Ed went to talk with him, I couldn't hear what was said, but I heard Jerry yelling. When Ed came back, he was putting in an emergency call to the police. This also triggered my nephew. Finally, I get off my ass and go to talk with him only to find out he's outside. I know something is really bad. I hear him talking about killing himself. In my mind, I am trying to think how busy the street might be. Usually our street is pretty quiet and I'm worried that he's gone to the main street. So I'm outside and I see him on our usually quiet street. For some reason, this night, of course, there has to be all kinds of cars! That would be the case, right? And he is yelling and literally trying to throw himself in front of cars. I am stunned and all I can think to do is get out in the street and try to stop him. It took me and a few other people from a near by Crisis House that knew him to get him to stop, or they were waving off the cars. Several didn't even slow down!! It was obvious there was something going on in the street! Those are the kinds of people that need to be smacked upside the head several times with great intensity. Anyway, he ended up on the ground, crying. It broke my heart and I stayed right with him.

Around this time the police arrived. Between all of us, we got him on the curb, but he was still crying. I would say hysterics, but I so associate it with females, so I'm uncomfortable using it in this case. We were all worried and I sat right by him. I was rubbing his back, trying to let him know it was going to be all right. I said that to him over and over. We also had to convince him that the police were not there to arrest him. The police officer had to do the same thing. Eventually the nurse from the Crisis House came out with his PRN (medication you take when you need). At first he wasn't going to take it and I asked if he'd take it for me. He did. That's the only thing I feel that I honestly made a difference with. Within about 15 minutes he started calming down, but I could tell he was in a fog. It wasn't just the medication. I mean, when you're triggered, sometimes, especially when you get triggered the way he did, things become fuzzy. They just do. Unfortunately, they still had to handcuff him, because it's policy, even though he was going to be taken to the hospital. Eventually, we got him to his feet, though it ended up that we had to wait on an ambulance. I asked him if he wanted to sit back down. He didn't. I stayed beside him. I wouldn't leave him. I hugged him. But when we were sitting on the curb together, I had an incredible realization. I didn't just look at him as family. To me he was another son. I had not realized the depth of feelings I'd had for him. I am so used to keeping everyone at arms length that I hadn't realized, so realizing that was something I hadn't expected, but also made me realize I still have the capacity to love greatly because there is truly no greater love than a parent with a child (when that parent cares, of course). I would have gone to the hospital with him had they let me, though I would have gotten in trouble with the facility, but to hell with them, if I could have gone. However, one of the other staff who was out there and kind of felt the same way, told him she should be there as soon as her shift was over. Since this happened after 10:00pm anyway and she got off at midnight... I can't even remember when this whole ordeal ended. I was pretty traumatized myself.

When I went back inside I was probably still in a bit of shock, hurting and a bit angry. I went to my room, but on the way, I told my other nephew what had happened. As I was trying to process this Ed came and asked me if I wanted to talk because I looked pretty upset. I just shook my head. I didn't want to talk. I didn't. So instead, he finally tells me that he had specific questions and would I be willing to answer them. So I went and did and I was definitely visibly upset. I was actually trying not to cry and failing and I have always said that if I'm crying I'm in crisis. And I was in a kind of crisis. I had just seen my son try to kill himself.

That night, I didn't sleep. I couldn't sleep. I kept turning in my head what I should have done. That I should have stopped Ed from going into the medicine room. That I should have stopped him from going after Jerry and let me do it... I had all this guilt of what I should have done. So the first thing I did when it hit about 6:00am, give or take, was take a shower. Then after I got dressed, made my bed, I decided I would just start my chore early since it was kitchen follow-up and that meant wiping down the counters and stuff. Picking up stuff off the floor - since I couldn't sweep and mop because of my back. And just wiping down the microwave, taking out trash if it's needed... replacing cereal, which we were pretty much out so I didn't do that. But I literally went to town on the kitchen. I didn't stop at the counters. I started in on the upper cabinets, inside and out, the window sill... I mean, I just had to stay busy. Plus, I didn't want to stop and crash. Not that I would have because I was so upset. After at least an hour of that - which is was probably more like and hour and a half or more, I had to stop. My arm was hurting and I just didn't want to get onto the floor to do the lower cabinets. God knows, I might have taken to rearranging the stuff in the cabinets! But I did finally stop. When I went to get my medication, Jessie, my care coordinator asked me how I was and I told her that I wasn't really doing well and she asked me why and I went into the whole story. She told me that she had gotten an email about it, but it didn't say much. I told her how I felt like I hadn't done what I should have done. That I could have stopped things from happening because I could see it all unfold as soon as Ed got up to go into the med room... But she told me I was being too hard on myself. That I had been there for Jerry and had done more than most people would have. The thing is, I would have done that either way, so I didn't see things that way. I was still in tears and trying to fight it. For me, it was like, what was the point of seeing something unfold if you don't do anything about it. Though I have to say that my logical mind did step in a bit and rationalized that it was possible I might not have been able to stop Ed from going in there. That I might not have been allowed to go after Jerry when he got upset and slammed and punched his door. Still, my emotions overrode that. She did finally tell me I should call Jerry. I hadn't because I assumed that he was admitted and that they had taken his phone away from him. But she told me he did have his phone and I should give him a call, even though she probably shouldn't have told me.

I immediately went to my room and called. Unfortunately, he didn't answer and I was finally on the phone with Nicole since she had seen my posts and knew I was very, very upset. It was during that conversation when I saw a plaid shirt through the crack through the back end of my door. It looked like Jerry's shirt, but I didn't believe it. Then I heard him say "Auntie." I was like, "I gotta go!" I didn't even hang up. I immediately went to the door and screw the rules, I hugged him. The first words out of his mouth were, "I'm sorry I made you cry." I couldn't believe it. I didn't care about that! He was there! I told him that the only thing at mattered was that he was there and that he was okay. I just held him and hold him. Finally I let him go and asked him if he wanted to talk in the Serenity Garden. We went and did. We talked for a bit, but we were both pretty tired. Eventually, he had to go inside to take some medication and I waited for him. When he came back out, we were just like... I'm so tired! Even he was like, "I want to talk but I want to sleep!" I laughed and told him I would make him a deal - that if he went to sleep, that I would go to sleep! LOL! So that's what we did. I crashed hard. I slept until dinner. I took my medication and saw that I had been assigned an after dinner chore and one I wasn't interested in doing. I was so exhausted that I just decided I would rather go to bed than eat and do the chore. So that's what I did. The care coordinator there that night tried to talk me into doing my chore and said that if I'd had a job I would still have to go to work. I replied that I always did my work and I would call in for a sick day. LOL! She didn't have much to say after that except that I wasn't going to do it? I basically was like, nope! So she let me sleep until it was time for me to take my medication. I took it and went back to sleep. I kind of needed the sleep too, but I woke up with a headache. That sometimes happens when I sleep too much.

The following morning Jessie was there and as I was getting my meds, she asked me how I was. I told her I was much better then basically said that she knew Jerry was coming back. She confirmed she did, but that she couldn't tell me. :-) That was fine by me. The important thing was that he was back. I wasn't sure if he was going to make up with Ed though, but they talked and sure enough, things are back to normal. Jerry is his happy-go-lucky self again. It was so good to see him smile! And I still don't give a crap about the rules. If I think he needs a hug, I'm giving him one! That boy has not been hugged enough or loved enough in his life!

So the Hurricane from nowhere blew itself out and the skies brightened! Life became good again!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Warmth of the Sun

The day after my niece's death was just as bad as the day of. There was this horrible, lingering depression and though my logical mind told me it wasn't going to last forever, the emotions were telling me the exact opposite, which is exactly what depression wants you to believe. That darkness wants to make you think it's going to last forever when it won't. I did make it past that day too and the next. But then yesterday the sun came out! Though I only slept about two hours, I woke up and I felt wonderful! I suddenly had energy and I smiled. The darkness had left! I can't say why or how it was able to happen, but it happened. It's not to say I still don't want to cry when I think of my beautiful niece because even now I feel tears wanting to mist my eyes. But that overwhelming darkness has abated and in its place, the dawn has come.

I woke up yesterday morning after two hours of sleep and felt so good. I got up right before it was time for Community meeting so I had enough time to throw on clothes, though I forgot it was Friday and threw on a blue shirt. I  wanted to make my bed and was just about to do it when Community Meeting was called. I sat through that, went on the walk, came back, saw what my new chore was - which is kitchen follow-up. Basically I keep the kitchen counters clean and replace cereal. I'm also supposed to sweep and mop, but I can't do that because of my back, so I always need to find someone to do that for me. Friday another of the residents here was kind enough to do it. That way I got credit. Otherwise I would get an after dinner chore. Though I am starting to think that if I can't find other people willing to help me I'll just say screw it and take the after dinner chore because  I can always request an easy one - like clear, clean and wipe the table. It's the easiest job, in my opinion. Other people might say trash or cleaning the over, but for me it's that one.

I did struggle a little making it to morning group, which I really, really, really didn't want to go to. It was smoking cessation. I'm not a smoker... It's aggravating to have to sit though a group that does not pertain to you. But I did and it was remotely interesting, but mostly because of different off topic conversations that started going on and the group leader kept having to bring us back to topic. LOL! After that, I had time. I finally did some writing with my friend over aim. We are working on a story dealing with humans, elves, blood elves, a Dark Knight, royalty... and drama! Lots of drama! It's distracting! I was also playing on Facebook. I can never do just one thing at a time like that. I was doing something else as well, but for the most part it was those two things. I was getting tired, but I kept going. Dinner was okay. I had to cook dinner Friday night - cheese enchiladas. I was supposed to make Spanish rice too. Since my cooking partner wasn't there, another resident offered to help. To be honest, I figured the resident that was supposed to have helped me wasn't going to be much help anyway. But I couldn't do the rice right. It came out like crap. Literally, I ended up opening a couple of cans of corn to compensate and after dinner, I threw the rice out. There was a lot of it too, but it wasn't worth keeping. I did make a good salad though, and the corn, set the majority of the table and helped assemble the enchiladas. I have to say that part was fun! He and I were doing dances around each other trying to take turns filling up the tortillas after we dipped them in sauce and then getting them to the baking dishes. Those came out awesome! I ate so much. And I wanted to eat more enchiladas! That's the sad thing!

After dinner I worked more on Facebook and had thought about writing on my James Bond fantasy story, but I just felt too drained. Last night was also socialization night. I don't think you can count watching a movie as socializing, but I guess the idea is that all the residents are together. I, of course, was the one to bring out movies. I make sure all of them were PG-13. We ended up picking "Alex Cross" based very loosely on the James Patterson book "Cross." I mean, it was a good movie, but you could never say it was like the book. LOL! But that's okay. Very few people stayed through the whole thing, but that's how it usually goes.

Jerry had missed dinner because he'd been out and about, but eventually came back and I asked him if he would come to 7 Eleven with me. I just wanted to get a drink. I ended up with Gatorade. I just didn't want a carbonated soda, nor did I want tea. Plus, I figured it wouldn't be that bad to have. I wasn't drinking enough water and I was sure my electrolytes were off. And I know that Gatorade is basically water, salt and sugar. That's it... well, and flavoring. LOL! But it's what I wanted. When we got back, we hung out together a bit and then it got to be time for medication. I figured I'd be up just a little bit later than that, but the next thing I know it's 6:00am! I decided some sleep was better than no sleep, but I did sleep. I fell asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow I think. I woke up around 10:00am. I had to get up for medication or I might have slept until passed noon! I have to say I was exhausted though. But I got up, got dressed, did the majority of my chore and when I told Jessica - the care coordinator there - we made a switch. She had to take care of the bathroom in Cove 1 and so I did that for her, while she swept and mopped for me! It worked out great! I did also have lunch, which I had neglected to do the day before. I ended up getting a bagel, slicing it in half, putting on salami and then cheese, nuking it and eating! I also I was going to have yogurt, but that was definitely a case of my eyes being bigger than my stomach. I did, however, have coffee! Then I was on Facebook and on aol writing. Dinner was good. I probably could have done a better job cooking this - breakfast casserole. LOL! But that's okay. Then after that, I was off in my room again, but I actually decided to write on my James Bond fantasy. Jerry, however, had asked me if he could use my laptop to play a game with Manny, so I told me I would after I got a little written. I did end up stopping because I am at this one part where a tarot card reading is being done. I picked the cards myself - I know what they mean, though I have to reference my book. The first card was easy - The Tower. Essentially the worst card in the deck as far as I'm concerned. But since I wanted to refresh my mind on the other two I picked, plus I wanted to write an email to my Aussie and get to this, I let Jerry have the laptop. Unfortunately, he found out relatively quickly that all the data on his hotspot had pretty much been used up. He was so bummed out and I was for him too. Apparently some friends of his got the password and that's all it took. He can't replenish it until next month. Which sucks.

Anyway, after this, I will probably do a little more writing, then take meds and stay up until whenever talking with Ed, the Peer Support Specialist here. I just love talking with him! I live for it and he helped me through some of the darkness this week. All I can say is that the last two days have been wonderful. The sun rose and shined brightly! I have hopes it will continue into tomorrow. It's just nice to have the darkness at bay.

Here's to the warmth of the sun!