6.23.2016

Pain of Being Unheard.

I am in my 30s.
I didn't realize until TODAY that it's not supposed to hurt when you get a filling at the dentist.


I don't respond to the numbing injections-lidocaine/marcaine- very well at all. I never have but dentists would not listen to me. I have been on numerous medications for years which lead to decay, and for my part I have not historically always been in the best position to take care of my teeth as well as I could have. I have assumed, my entire life, that going to the dentist to get anything "fixed" NECESSARILY meant an incredible amount of pain- because it always has previously.


Today showed me that doesn't have to be the case, but my serious avoidance of going means that I now face possible loss of essential teeth. Because having the feeling of a drill on or near a non-anesthetized nerve and not having someone listen to you about that pain is kind of traumatic.


I have had a fairly recent experience (last few years) of having a wisdom tooth extracted. I could feel everything- the doctor told me "it's just pressure" and all I wanted to do was scream. It wasn't just pressure- I could feel tissue and nerve tearing. While this was happening I also started having what I later realized was a panic attack. I was finally only given more anesthetic after, by reflex and out of fear, I almost hit the doctor for again continuing. ...but I could still feel it even after that.


When I say trauma- I don't mean "oh that wasn't fun"- I don't use the word "traumatic" lightly. I mean when people are not given control of pain it can easily become a subject of trauma. And it often is. This is called medical trauma in many cases, and it doesn't only happen to kids. Repeated related experience means I now get scared seeing doctors as well- literal fear, by association. Pain according to the individual feeling it is frequently disregarded by the medical professionals who are supposed to serve them. In my experience, my pain is frequently assessed by what a provider thinks it should be, how severe they think it might be, and not according to my report of symptoms.


I did not realize there was another way until someone acknowledged the pain I was feeling and did everything they could to accommodate me, rather than reluctantly going half way.


Listen to people when they say you are hurting them- regardless of your opinion on what "should hurt".

2.17.2016

Donnie Darko

Sometimes the worst advice you can follow is to "find someone to talk to" about IT.
Sometimes it just fucks up your timeline.

For real.

12.05.2015

Tiny Actions in a Great Big Scary World

I'm feeling a bit powerless about a lot of the ignorance and fear going on around me. People are afraid of things they can't control right now, so they need to focus on something they feel they CAN control- which is one of thee reasons targeted hate and scapegoating happens.

I am doing what I can. I am trying to talk about, share and promote positive stories and experiences. Where, despite the unknown, the tense national atmosphere- people try to reach out to each other, try to increase communication and decrease mistrust, fear, ignorance, hate.

For myself, all I can really do is be the person I always try to be, someone I feel good about.

It has been hard lately because I feel this this strong atmosphere of tension, fear, frustration as well.

But here is what I try so hard to do: more than ever now, I try very hard to be aware of my surroundings in public. I pay attention to people. I try to more often put my damn phone down and just watch outside if I'm on the bus. If I am on the subway, I read the ads, try to lightly flit my eyes across people's faces and if I catch someone's eyes I smile.

I try to let people go before me if they are in a rush and I am not. I say thank you to bus drivers, cashiers, every one I can. I'm trying to make it ok, at least IN MY SPACE- to be friendly and warm a gain.  This is all I feel I can do right now.

I'm not superhuman- I am still cranky like whoa when I get into a debate online, I still grumble and moan. I catch myself sometimes saying or doing things that are probably not really necessary. Also I swear like a sailor [but I don't really consider that a bad thing ha]

I do try to treat those around me, with whom I have brief interaction, as though maybe if we had time it would be nice to sit down and have a coffee and chat.
Because these are strangers, and it just costs a smile, a minute or two of my time, a "thank you" or "have a good night"- it's not a lot of personal energy.

It's not silly to think small acts can inspire larger ones.
These are small acts, I know.
I'm hoping it's at least a start.

9.22.2015

H. F-ing. Sh-

I don't even know what to say anymore.

At this point, whenever I have a decent day or a good time or feel joyful? It just reminds me how awful things are normally. I just put on this stupid ass face and and it's like I'm just a lie.

I'm not telling the lie- I AM THE LIE. I am kind of afraid that eventually it's going to just make sense to die and there will be NO push back.

I don't think there is any kind of medical fix for this except fucking knocking me out.  I just literally feel like I can't do this anymore. THIS meaning fucking existing.

I'm supposed to be "recovered" to do anything meaningful. I can't be "recovered" unless I feel like life and anything I do is meaningful.

SO PRETTY MUCH IT JUST MAKES SENSE TO DISAPPEAR. There is no "fix" other than changing my life.
I FUCKING CAN'T.
I have never encountered a literal "can't" before and there is no fucking way I'll change it to a CAN.

I. CAN NOT. JUST. CHANGE THINGS.
SO FUCK YOU IF YOU THINK I AM JUST NOT DOING IT RIGHT.
FUCK YOU.

9.08.2015

This thing I wrote.

I wrote this elsewhere but I'm trying to deal with this shit now and framing in a sort of FML, tongue-in-cheek, slightly morbidly funny way helps. 
---

On OCD:
One of my compulsions is avoidance- betcha didn't know that could be a compulsion, I sure didn't! ...also to clean and clean and organize and catalog and list and count and document and, and, and...

Playing the constant What If Game when your go to for stopping obsessions and fear is avoidance and a runner up is to clean and organize and straighten and create things to clean organize and straighten? Exercise in absurdity.

Then there's the repetition of "Don't Do That Wrong Thing You Are About To Do"- where you get caught in something like the inevitable Consequences of Time-Travel decisions loop, only its in your head and it's for real because you don't actually know if shutting the door half way is better than shutting it a third of the way ["leave it ajar"] while in your mind what you decide could actually affect the fate of your first born.

OCD: an entirely different type of "logic".

8.22.2015

My heart hurts.


I didn't really completely understand this phrase- I always thought it was a simplification or possibly a glossing over of some deeply complex, in describable inner turmoil that we distill down to the phrasing of a five year old.

I try not to embrace anger at this point- it's incredibly difficult lately in particular when it comes to being angry at myself. When I was in my teens and early 20s anger was a driving force- it helped me accomplish much where I thought being sad or lonely or disappointed wouldn't. To a point I was right, but it did nothing to close this gap I always feel between me an other people. It would really just harden me. But I needed to be hard.


I don't need to now but dealing with new feelings and ways of coping with them as an adult, when the brain and mind have kind of already made plans for themselves is really freaking hard. I had found that the next best thing to anger was shutting down and pulling away- preemptively, often. ...I don't actually think this is the best course of action. It's likely counterproductive on many levels in most situations.

For me, OCD often comes into play- I have major issues with scrupulosity. How it plays out with me is that, essentially, I hold myself to a higher standard than i hold others, and a higher standard than anyone else could possibly expect of me either. That's not the "why" of it, but that's what it can look like.

Telling people this, they interpret it as a "type A" personality- someone who works exceptionally hard, committed to whatever they do possibly slightly obsessively, a perfectionist.

-No, that's not it exactly. It means that I understand that anything I do or say will have repercussions, and likely a negative repercussion on someone else. The OCD is that everyone else comes first, I can't hurt anyone, I can't harm anyone- and pretty much everything can constitute hurt or harm.

The ME in here is that often i should come first- I need to be ok for those I care about to be ok. I understand there are going to be consequences to every decision and action and you can't go through life without harming anyone at all in any manner. it's impossible.
These two battle it out. The OCD versus the ME.

II often becomes a point in my mind that if I tell anyone how I am feeling, then I am hurting them because it makes them worry about me or feel bad or some other thing.

I realized at some point: My OCD is obsessive about itself.
If you are following along at home, it's pretty easy to see how scrupulosity can affect relationships even a little.You are constantly worried about what harm you might cause- even by tiny things you have or have not done, said or have not said. You obsess about something that would normally be a logical course of action.
Eventually you just start avoiding people, or avoiding talking about certain things, or doing strange things. You ask odd questions, you look for people to ask for "clarification"- but it doesn't matter what they actually say. It's a compulsion.

The avoidance, disengagement, checking [with people], steering a conversation toward a topic so you can make sure you know you didn't harm them in the past- it's all compulsion.

Eventually it alienates. There IS no way to live with out leaving a mark- and that is the center of my OCD a good deal of the time.
i don't want to leave a mark somewhere because it might "be upsetting". Hallmark of OCD? That it is contradictory to ones base personality or tendencies.

As a person, in my mind apart from the OCD? Of course I want to "leave my mark". I want people to notice some of the things i accomplish, I want them to hear what I say. I want to be heard.

My OCD tells me that if I'm not invisible it's harmful. And if I am not striving for a perfect resolution to any given problem [minus my own needs, because "I can handle it" of course] then I am a bad person. And if I don't actually reach that resolution, am a bad person.
If i don't prevent potential harm, I'm a bad person. If I don't forsee potential harm, even in a situation that does not directly involve me, I'm a bad person. So, right. Totally screws with how I can or can not interact like a "normal person" on any given day.


---
"My heart hurts."

Three words.
boom.

6.12.2015

Choosing a Soap Box.

This is a result of interaction with many many people, by the way:

It's pretty absurd to face these mini-manifestos all over the place consisting of this pseudo education regarding subjugation of the american people, abuse and violence against both foreign and american civilians, inhumane treatment of the poor, decry racism, etc etc etc...

I then may see some of these same individuals encourage an increase in SNAP benefits for the "working poor"- which is a horrid horrid concept. [People should be able to make a living wage if they are working full time, but are not able to. Evidence of a broken system.]

Some of these same individuals post things that perpetuate and support a violent rape culture, intolerance in general of a particular group, often are completely disrespectful and hateful of and toward various religions- with absolutely no point. So it's not a "challenge" it's just blatant disregard and hate.

  All of these things perpetuate a broken system of hate, corruption, systemic racism, terror, abuse and both subtle and not so subtle violence.

I get that we can't all live our lives on soapboxes- I do understand that. I sure as heck can't. I am not the first person to claim political correctness. I don't actually think halting one type of pervasive violence might be important over the other- everyone is hurt by all of the above and I have to say... what we do and say in our consistent behavior has an effect.

But hey, just joking, right? Nothing to see here.