Saturday, May 23, 2015

No worries at all?

I have been working on my yoga practice to help manage anxiety and all sorts of things. And as part of that I have been working on meditation as well. I have used some guided meditations and recently bought a package from Circle and Bloom that specifically focuses on PCOS and fertility and cycles.

I was listening to today's segment and after some typical relaxation routines, she says to focus on when I was "ten years old and had no worries at all. "

And that kind of stopped me cold and all day long it's been running through my head. Because my life was being turned upside down and shaken when I was ten years old. My mom packed us up and moved us out, they were going to get a divorce, my dad just...unraveled, there were horrible, terrible fights where I was basically sobbing hysterically and begging them to stop yelling. They ignored me until my mother would tell my dad to look at me and see if this is what he wanted. To do this to his daughter.  Again. Neither one was willing to stop fighting until I could be the weapon to use against the other: "Look what you're doing to Annie!"

And then he was dead and I blamed myself for it, we moved back to our house and I felt like I had to take care of everyone. Someone had to take care of us.

I can't actually think of any age where I had no worries at all. My mother once tod me a story about how I was such a good baby. On Saturday mornings she did the big housecleaning for the week, and to keep me busy, he'd give me the old TV guide in my crib. And I would rip every single page into strips while she worked. My OCD therapist was quite intrigued at that.

One of my earliest memories is hiding with my mother and infant sister in the way back of this storage closet because we were hiding from my father. He was drunk and spoiling for a fight and we had to hide until he passed out. I would have been two.

When I was five, he said goodbye to us so he could go get help. He did inpatient alcohol detox at Hazelden. I think he was gone for a few weeks. I don't know if he completed rehab or not, but he was sober when he came home and AA was his religion for a long time.

He wasn't drinking, but he was still always up for a fight. Late at night they would argue and one night a large vase was thrown by one of them. Another night it was the phone, a heavy late 70's rotary dial phone. One night they came to check on me while I was asleep and got into a shoving match when they both tried to peek in the door at the same time. I pretended to be asleep.

When my mom would go out for her sorority meeting, he would seethe and get worked up that she wasn't there and would imagine all the ways that she was betraying him until he took it out on us. More than once he would come into my room and wake me up to make me clean it. If it was already kind of clean? He would just walk along the shelf with his arm out and knock everything to the floor.
I was in first grade being kept up on school nights just so he could poke at her, to try and make her stay home.

There was a lull for a couple years, we put on a good face. Then in third grade, things began to veer off the rails just a little bit. I can't remember if there was a triggering event, or if my brain was just already wired for worst case scenarios, but something happened in third grade, I was suddenly too scared to go to school. I could not handle it. I didn't like my teacher at all, but I think it was something at home. I would fight going every morning, looking back I recognize that I was having full on panic attacks. And then resulted to gagging myself until I vomited every morning to get to stay home. And I would take super hot baths and stay in the tub as long as I possibly could, I was probably the cleanest third grader in the world, I don't know if I felt safe in the water or if it was part of my contamination phobia/OCD. It went on for a few weeks. Until they brought me to school and my father had to carry me to my classroom and practically put me in my desk in front of everyone.
And then I had to talk to a nice lady named Karen every few weeks at school. The social worker.
And I would have been nine.

Sometime that summer I found his handgun. And I put it back because I was scared of being caught. But I was also scared that he might kill us with it. And then the next winter we moved out and he was dead by spring. Thirty-one years ago this weekend, actually.




Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sew and sew

Since I have this fancy sewing room, I am using it.

I dug out a quilt top I made forever ago, and promptly screwed it up when I tried to put a binding on it.


So, I need to practice binding, so I made some runners. One of them....I had to cut the binding off and now it's an oddly thin scrappy runner with a terrible binding. Then I made another one from scraps and if you don't look closely, it's not as horrible. And I got to practice making strips and joining them to make a scrappy binding, which I think is actually pretty cute.



And then today I was feeling all kinds of sorry for myself and sad. But I figured out what this really pretty pre-quilted fabric I bought a while ago wanted to be.  A cute bag with pleats. So I gathered together some options and then looked all over the interwebs for a pattern that I liked.

I didn't see any I loved, so I decided to cobble together my own thing.


And then put it all together wrong.




Oops. The lining was inside out when I turned it. I had to rip.







And then I screwed up the lining again when I went to tack it down and I will have to fix it. But I can fix it tomorrow instead of tonight.



Sunday, May 10, 2015

An all new craft cave

So, the painting and sprucing took a while, but I am pretty happy with how it all came out. I still need to find a cover for the existing ceiling light, or get  new light if it's not a standard size. The identical one in our bedroom exploded a couple summers ago, raining broken glass all over the entire room. So we took this one down in case it was a flaw in the glass. And then we didn't use this room for anything but storage so we never got around to getting a new cover. So it's a bare bulb for now, which is not cute at all.

My sign was getting all creased by staying rolled up,
I figured might as well hang it up.

I have so much fabric! My personal stash is in the closet.
This is all AP stuff.

My yarns, let me show you them.
And my beading supplies.
Looking into the room.The floor came out so well, I
loooooove it. And I have one trash can for trash, and one for
fabric scraps to be used somehow. Eventually.

Because lights are fun.

I had a small math fail and the curtains aren't as full as they should be.
But I love them anyway. They are fully lined.
And now the neighbor's living room won't be on full view when I am working.

ZIPPERS. Most of them. And my dishtowels that need to be ironed.
Why the fuck did I buy dishtowels that need to be ironed? Seriously.
My ironing board cover is gross, I know.
It's just water, Mary Ellen's Best Press spray, and scorch marks.
Mostly scorching.

It's a giant button that's a tin.
How could I not have it?


It will never be this clean again. The curtains fabric was how I picked the pain colors and the blue table is on it's third or fourth coat of paint. it has been white, red, cream, and now dark turquoise. The shelves are all closet cubes from target and I move them around like big ass Tetris pieces to fit whatever space I use or when I get bored. The floor is chalk paint with two coats of satin polyurethane.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I can't adult

Today has been a total shit show.

I had a thyroid check 5 weeks ago, after we increased my meds from January. It wasn't cooperating fast enough, so we bumped up the dose of thyroid hormone. I had a recheck yesterday, and it is worse than before. We have to increase my dose again. The theory is that getting my prolactin down, has allowed my estrogen to rise and therefor my thyroid is further out of whack. And fertility drugs can also screw it up.

Needless to say, the whole hormonal cascade of my cycle is 17 flavors of fucked up, shitty ovulation, short luteal phase, freaky barely happening period and on and on and on.

Also, I am tired all the time. I want a nap about two hours after I wake up. My bones ache. My hips hurt no matter how I sit, stand, or lay. My hands ache. My hair is falling out again. I hardly ever feel warm, even laying in bed on flannel sheets next to my space heater of a husband underneath two comforters. Wearing a sweater over my jammies.

I'm pretty sure I'm never going to get knocked up. I don't know how to pick up all the pieces of my heart. I don't know how to let myself hurt this much. I've worked so hard to learn how to have feelings again and now I don't know how to make it stop.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Just stop talking. Really.

I asked my husband to clean the bathroom.  This would have taken me 20-30 minutes, and that is with scrubbing the tub and tiles and taking the shower curtain down and scour the toilet. If I really got into scrubbing the tub tiles, maybe 45 minutes.

Two hours. He has been cleaning for two. motherfucking. hours. TWO MOTHERFUCKING HOURS. I shit you not.

He has pulled a chair into the bathroom because his back and legs were hurting from all the work. My house was built in 1924. The bathroom was not designed to be a spa-like respite from the cruel winter world. No. It's a place with a purpose. You go in, you wash your major crevices. You have a pee. You brush your teeth. You get the fuck out. it's a sink, a tub, and a shitter all in a room that is maybe 6x8. THAT IS IT.

And finally I asked him how long he thought he was going to be because I had to pee. So he made a huge production of taking his chair out of the room ( I cannot EVEN) and sighing. So I sat down, I peed, I stood up. He didn't bother to wipe cleaner off the toilet seat. I sat in whatever cleaner he is using. I have toilet cleaner all over my goddamned ass.

This is his plan, I swear. When I ask him to do one thing he cocks it up so colossally bad that I will never ask him to do it again. I will guarangoddamntee you that the floor will not be mopped, the mirror will not be wiped and the shelves will still have their fur coat of hair spray and dust. He probably won't even wipe his beard hairs off the sink.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Time for more painting.

I am moving my sewing/work room downstairs to what I hoped would be a nursery. We will start painting it this weekend. We aren't giving up. But we are being realistic. I need to do something aside from just housewifing to help with the constant stream of my brain telling me how much I fail. It's too hot up there to sew much in the summer. Mr. Freak Flag has been pushing for this and I have resisted because it felt like I was giving up. But it's not. I can easily repaint if we have a baby.

I may sign up for a few shows to sell, a maker market and a green market.  There are some handmade boutiques around town, too. I could consign. I don't know. It's something. I feel better when I am designing and sewing. I need to have something already going so if/when we call it quits in a year I won't have a complete come-apart.

This last cycle was fucking hell with the fertility drugs and I failed again. It wasn't timing, it's me. I'm going to wait a cycle or two to reap the benefits of the kickstarted cascade of hormones and then back with the meds. I get two more cycles this way and then we have to discuss more or considering IUI. It's super expensive and it would be our very last hope.

 IVF will never be an option unless we won the fucking lottery and used donor eggs and a surrogate.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Throwback Thursday





I took this picture while The Man parked the car after dropping me by the door of my therapist's office. As of yesterday, it has been two years since I started some pretty intense therapy. He had to drive me to that first appointment. He had to shake my therapist's hand because I didn't touch people. Ever. Not even my husband by that time. He had to sit in the room with me for the first few sessions. I loved those shoes because they had little umbrellas on them, like panic disorder was an umbrella keeping me safe from everything in the world that scared me.

He had to drive me for the first few months until I renewed my license.  He had to learn to watch me fuck up and not try to fix it. It was hard. We started seeing a therapist together to help us create new patterns, or as she put it, for me to stop inflicting my OCD on The Man. Which is accurate. I needed to stop treating him like a child and he had to stop taking care of me to such an extent that it was enabling me.

Some things came up that weren't things my behavioral therapist could tackle, they were traumatic and trauma has to be handled more carefully. For vomiting I had to watch that horrific food poisoning scene in Bridesmaids hundreds of times. Watch it until I felt no panic at all, over and over. By the end I could watch them all vomit and shit themselves and eat dinner at the same time.

You can't do that for sexual assault, so it meant a third therapist who does PTSD and trauma work. It meant poking at things and having flashbacks. It meant learning how to pull myself back into the moment when I would begin to dissociate. It meant being vulnerable. It meant feeling pain, a lot of pain. So much pain that I had built my whole life around not feeling it. I won't lie, it fucking sucked. And I am so angry sometimes, so very angry.

Last January, I was discharged from my behavioral therapist and left to staying responsible for my OCD and panic on my own. This month with my other therapist we have started to discuss wrapping up, maybe having her be on call instead of scheduling monthly sessions. Or scheduling them and I can call and say I think I am OK for the moment. Or say that I am not OK for the moment.

We will still be touching base with the marriage therapist on a semi-regular basis as we move forward with trying to build a family. We need the support and feedback, this is so much harder than anything else we have tried to do.

So that's where we are two years later. I don't have the shoes anymore, I don't walk around with an invisible umbrella anymore, either. It means getting messy when life happens.  Sometimes my feelings get hurt. Sometimes they get hurt a lot. And I can say so. And I may even cry. And it's OK.