At this ACT training that Brenton and I went to a couple months ago we were asked to set one goal that would move us closer towards being kind to ourselves. Something that demonstrates caring for ourselves as much as we would if we were someone we truly loved. Mine was to keep a food log, because I know how much simply being aware of your habits motivates you to change them. Far more so than if you were to simply say, “I am going to change my eating habits.” My goal is to have good nutrition. To feed my body so that it has energy and I am not suicidally tired and lazy all the time any more. I have been eating far better since I started this log. About ten thousand percent more fruits and vegetables. Imagine my dismay when I look at my average nutrition information to find I’m still nowhere near meeting my RDI targets:I think this is based on a 2000 calorie a day diet and I don’t eat that much, which I think is partly the issue. The rest of the issue is that I’m an abject failure. So I simply dread to think what my averages were before I started keeping this log. When I went to a nutritionist years ago, she informed me that my body was probably leeching nutrients from my bones. Well, that’s been going on a while now, so I’m clearly doomed anyway. So OK gonna marshmallows for dinner.
My tolerance is down. I just don’t know how I ever got the idea that things should be a certain way. I’m wondering if I should give up driving for a while, since I’m of late becoming so irritated with red lights and slow traffic and every single car that doesn’t defer to mine. Either that or I become distracted by interesting or pretty things I’m passing and drift up onto the side-walk, ruining my tyres and terrorising non-existent (thank goodness) pedestrians. This wouldn’t be an issue were I on buses and trains. Oh look, there’s the council truck! Hooray, it’s kerbside collection day. I’m unsure how often it happens, maybe once every year. The council brings these giant trucks around to take large unwanted items.. furniture, timber, mattresses… that you just pile up out the front of your house. Well you know we’re renovating, and even though we hired a skip a month ago to take most of it (now I know roughly how much 12 tons is), we still had some house parts left over; a laundry trough, some wall pieces, door frames, a large window we replaced. These are the things we put on the kerb. There are a silly number of people who drive around in their own trucks, prior to council day, rummaging through peoples’ piles, looking for redeemables. It’s always made me feel a bit pleased, since it means those things they take are being recycled. Only yesterday… ugh! When I arrived home I noticed they’d taken our window frame, but had first smashed out the glass… all over our nature strip. They’d taken the biggest shards, say the length of your arm, and hidden it under some cardboard. O how mad I got! It struck me as so dangerous, and meant the council workers wouldn’t touch our pile of stuff, of course, for safety reasons. Now I glare at everyone in a truck who does one of those slow drive bys meaning they’re scoping out my pile. I want to run out there with a rake to chase them off. Animals. Sigh. I guess I’ll go prepare the bedroom for painting. You know… the higher being who’s controlling my sim gives me far too much license to waste time.
I was reading Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey yesterday when a sentence kinda stood out as incongruent. The protagonist has an altercation in the hallway with a supercilious, condescending, rude and sardonic man. These are all words she uses to describe him, before going on to say, “She’d been furious with him, and yet her anger had been partially fed by his diffidence…” Diffidence? I thought. I don’t think she’s used the correct word there. I mean, nothing in his described manner had seemed diffident in the slightest. Then, just to check, I tapped the word to look at the definition.
diffidence dɪfɪd(ə)ns noun modesty or shyness resulting from a lack of self-confidence. “I say this with some diffidence” synonyms: shyness, bashfulness, unassertiveness, modesty, modestness, self-effacement, humility, humbleness, meekness, timidity, timidness, timorousness, reserve, reticence, introversion.Um, what? That is not what I expected. Is this dictionary insane, or have I just been wrong all these years? For that matter, hasn’t Anne McCaffrey also got it wrong? I mean, that character was the exact opposite of modest or shy or lacking self confidence. The literal opposite. But that’s why I looked it up in the dictionary: because I was sure she had gotten it wrong. I was right, only, I also had it wrong. All this time I thought diffident meant nonchalant, unconcerned, apathetic. I’d never looked it up before obviously, just kind of picked up a meaning from reading it in context. Unfortunately that meaning was way off. All those people I thought were being indifferent were actually being timid. wtf my mind is blown what is with this evil word.
I love Facebook and everything, but it killed personal websites. That sucks man; I miss personal websites. They were gorgeous & righteous & cacophonous. From what my mind gathers, picking bunches of thoughts like cotton, I have three types of visitors to this, my personal website.
- People who are in my life now. There aren’t many of them. I mean, there are many people in my life, but not many who know of my blog, or would particularly care to know, because they are quite healthily really only interested in their own lives.
- People who used to be in my life and aren’t any more. Of these there are two varieties:
- Those who are not on social media (so aren’t sick of my shiz yet) so maybe every now and then want to see that I’m still alive.
- Those whom, whether they were on social media or not, wouldn’t be permitted access to my shiz because they terrify me in various ways.
- People who don’t know me and never have but are still interested in my shiz for whatever reason.
I just realised that sometimes I suffer from an unwillingness to be wrong. It seems silly on multiple levels. I mean anyone, when asked, would say, “Well of course I can admit when I’m wrong. I do it all the time.” Certain scenarios flit through my mind. Apologising to Brenton for something or other, conceding defeat in an intellectual dispute, those kinds of things. But then there are situations where no one is completely right, or wrong, and lack of perspective and the resulting frustration and impatience all bubble away together in a self righteous, indignant, obstinately blind mire. What is silly about it is that it’s the small stuff that counts the most, because it’s so small it doesn’t seem to be worth too much analysis, so it is never acknowledged. It’s simply “Man everyone but me is a real jerk,” and moving ignorantly on to the next relatively insignificant problem.
Like say you’re driving home from grocery shopping one day and you pull up at a T-intersection and a car is coming along towards you indicating left so you assume this car is going to turn into your street and you pull out to turn right, only it turns out this car was indicating just a bit too early and was actually going to be taking the next left, and the driver honks furiously, glaring, waving fists because YOU pulled out in front of it. You glare back, thinking “well indicate properly then you pompous nut socket,” and both you and the other driver drive off muttering incredulously and swerving dangerously before your heart rates return to baseline. In the under-layers you both know you were both wrong, but you don’t allow that to come up to the over-layers.Which reminds me, Brenton doesn’t believe there are layers of thought, but I think that’s a topic for another entry. My point is that it is so much preferable to be angry and right than ashamed and wrong. And that’s enough sermonising hypotheticals I guess. I’ll tell you what actually prompted my epiphany. So you know I’m a mental health superstar. At one of my jobs, when a potential client signs up for counselling, they are assigned first to a case worker. The case worker assesses whether my service is right for the client, and then refers the client either to me or to a more appropriate service. A client came through to me whom I determined was not right for my service. I sent the information back to the case worker, asking her to re-assess and refer to the service that I thought the client was clearly looking for. A week later a different case worker referred the client back to me, advising me that, based on the information provided, I couldn’t possibly make the call that the client wasn’t right for me, and that I should perform the assessment with the client and refer if needed. Upon receiving this communication I became quite irate with the second case worker. I compressed my resentment into a bitter little pellet in my belly and just emailed the client for clarification. Lo, it turns out I was right. I referred the client to the right service. Today (another week later) the counsellor who provides that service has emailed me saying he has reservations about taking on this client and it is OK if he refers her elsewhere. I rather energetically tapped out a response fuelled by righteous frustration that the client has already been screwed around by us for a period of three weeks due to case worker incompetence. It was as I was composing this reply that I realised it wasn’t all the case workers’ fault. Yeah, it was mine. I was too eager to insist that assessment was the responsibility of the case workers. When I received the referral I had options. I could have explained to the case worker why I felt the client wasn’t right for me. Or, I could simply have emailed the client first thing to confirm which service she required. It would have taken me twenty minutes tops, and would have been sorted out weeks ago without bouncing back and forth between various staff. My own smug “It’s not my job to deal with these merely administrative details” attitude was the start of it. My willingness to place all the blame with the case worker rather than accept any responsibility was what resulted in that automatic email response being so bitter. I’m just glad I realised it before I sent it. If I’d sent the email I would have come across as that obstinate, self righteous, pettily muttering driver who couldn’t admit the part they had to play in the resulting almost-collision. I want to be a person who does more than the bare minimum required, who is flexible and easy going, and who admits when she has made a mistake. And that’s what else I meant when I said it seemed silly. Such an insignificant issue to have an epiphany over.
I reflexively expel 30 simultaneous groans when people ask me, “So, what’s new?” Such questions automatically clean-slate my mind. I need more to go on! Something that actually triggers thoughts, rather than putting me on the spot to conjure them from nothing, and also that prompts me as to what you’d be interested to hear. For example:
- What did you get up to last weekend?
- What are you reading at the moment?
- Do you have any projects on the go?
- What do you wish you had more time for lately?
- What are you looking forward to?
Well, gosh, it’s May. My birthday approaches. We’ll be having a party, a fancy dress party, in our new house. Perhaps we’ll be able to use the lower half of the house by then? Renovations so far:
- The side of the house that had been sinking has been raised up, and now it’s all level.
- The foundations have been repaired, and the giant crack running through the floor of the lower level has been concreted in.
- The inner walls of the lower level have all been removed. New walls have been put in, outlining a new laundry, bathroom and bedroom.
- The back door has been replaced.
- Tiles have been lain and grouted for the entire downstairs area save the bathroom (still being installed) and the hallway.
- The laundry and bedroom have been painted.
- Install the fixtures for the new downstairs bathroom, tile and paint it up.
- Replace all the lower level windows.
- Refurbish the bar area.
- Pull out the kitchen upstairs, and replace errythang.
- Same with the upstairs bathroom.
- Fix the cracks that were created upstairs when it was raised, and repaint those areas.
- Replace the front door and the glass tower above it. I’ve no idea what that will look like yet.
- Build an outdoor entertainment area of some kind. Patio-like.
- Paint the exterior.
Brenton and I took a two week holiday this month; first holiday in for ever! On Tuesday 7th we flew down to Melbourne for a couple days and stayed in the Grand Hyatt. Whoa luxury. I was still in pain and recovering from surgery so didn’t get to do much. Wednesday I spent the entire day in bed in the room, watching TV and ordering room service, while Brenton went visiting. It was pretty indulgent but also felt a bit of a waste; spending a whole day in bed watching TV which is what I could do at home anyway.I think it helped speed up my recovery though. Thursday we flew to Launceston and picked up a hire car. Thus began a week and a half of driving around checking out Tasmania. Launceston was like a country town. Isn’t it supposed to be Tassie’s second biggest city? Then I learned that the whole of Tasmania consists of 500,000 people. The whole state! There are four times as many people just in the city of Brisbane! We visited a seahorse farm (they had weedy seadragons!) and lots of wineries, which all had white wine and Pinot Noir. When Brenton voiced his disappointment there was no Shiraz, one lady directed us down a crazy dirt road to get to the only winery that made Shiraz, run by a brain-fried hippy with constant psychedelic word vomit. He called us squares. SQUARES. Us! We went down to Cradle Mountain and stayed at a lakeside lodge so we could check out some national parks and do some walks. We walked around lake Dove, which took three hours (I was pretty sore by the end of that). Brenton got pretty badly sunburned. So much for the Antarctic sun being weak and ineffectual (Brenton insisted on referring to Tasmania as practically Antarctica the whole time we were there). The landscape around Cradle Mountain wasn’t like anything I’ve ever seen before; so different to the rest of Australia. Striking. Lots of red shrubbiness (coral fern?), underground rivers with sinkholes and craggy broken mountaintops which every now and then would suddenly break into lush rainforests or yellow grasslands. We saw two wild echidnas which was pretty amazing. There were lots of wombats around too; unfortunately the only ones I saw were dead on the side of roads 🙁 After a couple days in the west we drove over to Freycinet, which took almost all day, passing fields and fields of flowering poppies within arm’s reach of the roads we were on. Yes, there were lots of “Keep Out” signs but I just couldn’t get over it. One person told us they were monitored by satellite cameras, another by laser counters, so we didn’t get too close. We stayed at Freycinet for two nights, taking a walk up a mountain with an amazing view of Wineglass Bay. By this point I wasn’t in any more pain at all. Hooray! Drove down to Hobart and met up with some friends who took us to the MONA festival which happened to be on and is apparently a big deal in Tasmania. Checked out the Cascade brewery. Went to the MONA gallery which was spectacular. The day after we drove up to Port Arthur to check out haunted ruins and convict history. It was pretty cool. Also we didn’t get massacred, which was nice. For our last day we drove to Bothwell to visit the Nant distillery, in which Brenton had invested. We got some pretty special treatment (had dinner in the restaurant as the only patrons and had four staff running around just for us). The dinner was one of the best I’ve had ever, and the courses were matched with different whiskies, which was fun. Came home and went back to work the very next day, where there were 200+ emails waiting my attention. Yay!
On the morning of Sunday, 29th December at around 6am I woke up with strange cramps in my right lower abdomen. I had my period at the time so figured it must’ve been ovarian pain or something, which I’d had once as a teenager. I went to the bathroom and drank some water before lying back down, but it got worse. Suddenly I felt really sick, so sat up and stuck my head out of the window. Brenton (I was at his house) murmured “don’t do that” cuz I was letting in the light, but quickly changed his tune when I vomited up the water I’d just drunk. I lay back down and the pain eventually receeded. I went back to sleep. An hour later I woke up as the pain was coming back. It came on slower this time, but after half an hour it was really bad. I couldn’t lay still; constantly trying to find a position that didn’t hurt. Eventually I called 13HEALTH, but had to hand the phone to Brenton half way through the call so I could vomit. I used to work at the same call centre, so I know the nurses there follow a series of pre-set questions, kind of like a flow chart, to diagnose and advise.. however it’s really limited in that if you answer one or two questions uncertainly it gets the diagnoses totally wrong. I think we went wrong when she asked if it had been sudden or gradual onset and I was unclear on the difference. She advised us to go to the doctor if it didn’t go away after an hour. “It’s been longer than an hour already,” Brenton said. He hung up and called for an ambulance, because at this point I was crying and hyperventilating. The ambulance came and the paramedics gave me the green whistle. It tasted like Ether, and after the first puff my memory gets really hazy. All I can remember is the female paramedic being very cool and blasé (at one point rolling her eyes), and that the whistle didn’t make a dent in the pain at all. They took me to the RBWH, a hospital in Brisbane that looks itself like a small city. Brenton followed in his car. The next I remember I was in the emergency ward. The doctor was lovely, asking questions about what kind of pain, where it was, poking me a bit (which hurt a lot), and giving me increasing amounts of morphine – which made me feel weirder and weirder but still had no effect on my pain, which just continued to worsen. I was writhing and groaning and sobbing, Brenton holding my hand through the lot, looking miserable. I had an ultrasound (yet more pain), which confirmed the doctor’s suspicion; a big cyst on my right ovary which had twisted the whole thing around, cutting off the blood flow. I needed surgery immediately to save the ovary, if it wasn’t already too late. Two very smiley, lovely doctors came to introduce themselves as the operating surgeons. I was given more morphine and changed into a gown and weird surgery tie-on underwear, then wheeled straight to the operating theatre. It was at this point the morphine really kicked in. Apparently, in the elevator with the orderly, a doctor, and Brenton as audience, I sang a song about how happy I was to not be in pain. I can barely recall this which is annoying because it sounds hilarious. I do remember the doctor laughing. In the operating theatre everyone was highly energetic, chirpy and friendly. The anethestist asked me when I’d last eaten or had alcohol. I said I’d had some yesterday, at the cricket, and became very anxious that this might mean I’d die on the operating table. The anthetist reassured me by asking what kind of alcohol I’d like in my IV. I was slid from my bed to the table, and suddenly needles were going in and masks were going on. The anethetist pinched my throat as I went under. Next thing I remember is being in recovery, Brenton and mumm standing over me with worried expressions. Everything from this time is still really hazy, but I can remember feeling just fine, euphoric and well. I laughed the whole thing off. I asked mumm to take an amusing photo of me for facebook, completely underestimating the panic that would ensue among my family and friends. When I finally became lucid, I was surprised to learn it was about 5pm. I wondered what had happened. Had they saved my ovary? After mumm left I lay in my bed with Brenton perched beside me for several hours, still pain free and pretty happy, waiting to find out. We watched Kill Bill while waiting, as dozens of nurses came with various pills and machines to scan me. The doctor came at around 9pm. He stood seriously over the bed, and told me what they’d done to me. It had been a keyhole surgery, with a camera going in through my belly button (*shudder*) and an incision just above my pubic area. The cyst had been around twenty centimetres long. It had twisted around itself three times, choking the ovary. The doctor went so far as to show me pictures and explain to me that cysts are weird in that the cells are quite new, and can form into anything. In my case they had formed into the kind of cells that make up your face, and so they had hair, and facial oil. Thanks for that little tidbit, doctor. They’d had to chop the cyst into lots of little chunks to take it out piecemeal. As they did this, gross cystic juices exploded all through my guts, so they’d had to make a drainage hole in the other side of my abdomen. The tube coming out of this hole stayed with me for several days, leading to a bag full of bileous, bloody goo. It was pretty gross, carrying this bag around with me every time I had to get up and pee. Anyway, after removing the cyst the doctors waited half an hour to see if the ovary would regain its colour. It didn’t. I am now less one ovary. Apparently you only need one quarter of an ovary to be fertile. All the doctors and nurses who came to see me carefully assured me that I was not 50% less fertile now. However, while my other ovary is perfectly healthy and fine, it too has a benign cyst (albeit much, much smaller) that will need ultrasounds every two years or so, just in case. YAY. I’m not worried, though. I became pregnant a year ago, at a time when this cyst was certainly malevolently spreading its junk through my junk. No worries. Anyway I stayed in hospital three days all up. Most of that was spent in considerable pain and unable to do anything but doze and whimper. Visitors included Brenton, Mumm and her partner Rob, my sister Sarah and her husband Hawkins, and my very lovely good friends Chelle and Marie, who both brought me the most thoughtful presents and books to read (not knowing I was far too doped up to read them). I had other offers of visits but couldn’t have really handled them, I don’t think. I was discharged Tuesday evening, which, incidentally, was New Year’s Eve. I was forbidden to celebrate the event with anything more potent than ice cream and movies. Brenton, the sweetest, kindest boy who ever boyed, spent it with me nonetheless, cooking me a healthy dinner, helping me to bed and feeding me my meds. It is now Thursday and he is still doing just that, but also watering my plants, doing my dishes and fetching me my glass of water from a table that is less than half a metre away. Sitting up really hurts. Recovery is taking a while. I’m definitely better than I was a couple of days ago. I’m on a regime of 1000mg paracetamol and 200mg ibuprofen 3-4 times a day, and 5mg oxycodone at the intervals the pain is worst, currently twice a day. I find it so weird that after an invasive abdominal surgery, whilst in the recovery ward, the go-to pain relief was paracetamol. Seriously? I take that every other day for mild headaches! Apparently it demands far more respect than I ever have given it. So it’s day four post surgery and I’m feeling pretty good. I attribute this to: 1. I’m healing, duh. 2. Today. I. POOPED! I hadn’t since Saturday. Oh man was I getting worried. It’s weird, but this poop today I feel has been one of my greatest accomplishments. My outlook has lifted considerably. I’m gonna be okay. 😀
Ugh. I became all hayfevery late yesterday afternoon and so took an avil. It made me almost immediately fall asleep, and then I felt like a zombie for the rest of the evening. It is really difficult to accurately describe what avil does to me. My whole body feels heavy and incapable, and so does my mind. Slowed movements, slowed reactions, slowed cognition. Flat affect; yeah I feel utterly flat. Communication is really difficult because it’s not simply making words come out your mouth (which is hard enough), you also have to imbue your voice and face and body with meaning which takes so much energy. When someone speaks to me all I really can do is just turn and stare at them and a really long, drawn out sigh sounds in my mind, only I don’t have the energy to do it out loud. It’s been several months since I’ve had to take avil. If I’d realised I would still be feeling the full effects now, 18 hours later at my desk at work, I would have thought thrice about it. It’s funny, I was also really grumpy when I started writing this.. but since just writing just this much the grumpiness is gone. I was annoyed with drivers on the way here, annoyed that someone was in my usual parking space, annoyed to find out I’d have to work through Christmas, annoyed that my colleagues have all been blissfully chirping “good morning!” right into my slack, miserable face. It could be the coffee, 75% of it consumed in 5 minutes. I dragged myself into the lunch room to make it, annoyed that the sugar is in individual packets (so wasteful), annoyed by the unstacked dishwasher, annoyed by a worker I don’t know crowding my space at the bench. Speaking of chirpy goodmornings… One or two days a week I work in a big office building where the organisation that employs me takes up one floor, much of it open plan office space, the rest counselling rooms. Several services within the organisation operate from here, so I don’t know everyone. We smile and say hello to each other because we all work here, but generally people only know and chat to others within their own service. While I was in the kitchen, grumpily making my coffee, one of the counsellors from my service came in to put away her lunch. This counsellor baffles me. We have meetings together and sometimes work together and she is nice to talk to… friendly and professional. That’s fine. When I pass people in the office I make eye contact, smile and say hello, and if it’s someone I know well we may have a quick chat. This is a social norm. It runs seamlessly all the time always. When I pass this counsellor I try to do the same, only she never, ever looks me in the eye. I never get to make eye contact, so immediately my greeting process stalls. I feel confused and uncomfortable. If she doesn’t make eye contact it is like she is closed for business. I get the impression she is strictly avoiding hellos and quick chats and that I shouldn’t intrude. So I find that after my glance, which bounces right off her unreceptive, turned-away face, I have the urge to look away also. To walk right past her, both of us pretending the other doesn’t exist. I try not to give in to this urge, because that just seems ridiculous. I say hello, feeling unwelcome, then she looks at me and replies, and it’s a bit awkward but it passes. I wonder what goes on for her, though. She is a naturally quiet, shy seeming person, only speaking up in meetings (even small, 3-4 people meetings) when directly called upon. Is it shyness? Introversion? Insecurity? On those rare occassions she is obliged to speak up in a professional capacity she is insightful and effective, seeming confident in her opinions, which makes me think it’s not insecurity. So I wonder if it is shyness. If it is, and she wanders the halls with downcast face and closed mouth because she feels socially ineffective, and people are not engaging her because all they can see are her self protective walls, then unless I risk feeling uncomfortable by saying hello she will plummet into a vicious cycle of loneliness, rejection and self hate and die alone in the gutter. Thank goodness for me, saving the world one good morning at a time.
I just took half a Xanax that my friend gave me. I’ve only ever taken Xanax once and it knocked me right out. I passed out 15 minutes after ingestion, and I was in a room with three other people. When I woke up I had no idea what had happened. So I’ve taken a half. We’ll see how it goes. It’s the favourite drug of many people’ so I am interested to see. My friend gave it to me today when I was telling her what things have been like for me the past few weeks. They’ve not been good. Sometimes I go through moods for no apparent reason. Depressed moods. Spans of time, a week or two or three, in which I lose all motivation and hope and interest and energy. I shut myself away and read a lot of Sylvia Plath and watch Elfen Lied and listen to Yield and The Bends and August and Everything After and flick through all my old journals. I don’t mind it too much; it’s a time of self indulgence. It’s somehow peaceful and safe to feel too depressed to care about anything. So recently I’ve been going through a mood, obviously. This one isn’t depressed though; it’s anxious. For the past three weeks I’ve been experiencing a constant buzz of anxiety and tenseness and stress. I’ve been irritable and grumpy and frustrated with everything I do. I’ve been worrying myself stupid about every insignificant thing, dreading interactions with colleagues and petrol station attendants, lying awake at night with a brain full of static. It took me a week or two to figure out it was even happening. At first I thought my period was coming, but it didn’t come. Then I thought I was pregnant, but two tests smugly laughed at me for not even knowing my own body and told me to keep looking for an explanation. Then I thought that maybe it was mumm suddenly moving in with a boyfriend she hardly knows, or Brenton and I searching fruitlessly for a house to mortgage ourselves on, or.. hmm, maybe.. work. Too many too intense clients at once. One really aggressive, verbally abusive client with some kind of undiagnosed personality disorder; one really obsessed, lonely client with another; one child forced to visit her sexually abusive father; subpoenas for client files; etc. I talked to one of my managers and referred the scary client elsewhere, and suddenly felt a whole lot better. Took a day off and feel better still. I just feel so silly for taking so long to work it out. A psychotherapist with total lack of insight into her own anxiety condition. Harhar. I’ve just never experienced anxiety before, though! I don’t consider myself an anxious person in the slightest. I guess it was more stress than anxiety. Stress is so ill-defined it’s difficult to diagnose. Yeah, that’s it. It’s not that I’m clueless about my own feelings; it’s that they’re just so complicated. How long does Xanax take to work? I think it’s been about ten minutes. I’m going to pause writing and come back when it hits so I can describe what it’s like. … It’s been 20 minutes. I’m feeling a bit detached; like the part of me that observes and experiences things is sitting a bit further back inside my head, or maybe has shrunk a bit. If I were a giant puppet with a tiny me inside that looks out through my eyes and feels out through my skin, then the tiny me has gone deeper inside.. has moved away from the experience. My whole body feels slightly numb and rubbery. My lungs and heart and chest grow heavier; my breathing is slowing down by itself.. it feels too slow, and I find I’m breathing unnaturally, thinking about it.. it’s like if I don’t think to inhale at the end of an exhale then my lungs will forget to do it themselves. My ability to thoughtlessly use language is decreasing, becoming less natural and easy. My head and vision seem somehow indistinctly fuzzy. I feel more relaxed, but I can still feel the tension deep inside me. It’s like a ball that has been more strictly compressed, contained, but I can still feel it trying to send out tentacles to reclaim its prime of place in my torso. Prime of place. Does that even make sense? I feel good, though. I feel like interacting with people. I wonder who’s online… I really like the word xanax. It has good feng shui.
was on the weekend. he had a keg party at his house and invited practically erryone in Brisvegas. It started at 1pm. I got there at around 12 and helped set up the tarp in the backyard (cuz it was looking a bit cloudy). I also started drinking around that time.. because you can’t set up a tarp without a beer in your hand I mean come on. aaaand my memory starts getting hazy almost immediately. I hadn’t eaten that day. I can’t even really remember a bunch of who came and who didn’t.. and I can remember saying hello to certain people as they arrived, but then not talking to them later on, even though Brenton tells me he saw me talking to them. pretty early in the night one of our friends offered me a line of mdma (after I hassled him several times, that is) and it was a pretty enormous one. and my judgment went out the window. I am kind of grateful I can’t remember what I was spouting to the people I spent lots of time talking to. there are stand out moments. Marie came and got drunk even though she said she wouldn’t cuz she had to work the next day (she didn’t work the next day) yay. Storm and Ticket came. I can remember sitting with them on the bed under the house and telling them a fairy tale.. The Frog Prince, I think. except my version had a lot more swears, and the frog was a filthy hairy hobbit, and it ended with him telling the princess off for being a snooty-faced lying selfish brat, and riding handsomely off into the sunset alone. there were people I didn’t remember, but they remembered me. that’s always the utter worst. there was one bit where I remembered one girl really clearly and made exuberant greetings, but I didn’t recognise her friend at all, even though I’d met them at the same time. aaaand there was drama. the first drama was when Josh told Darryl he was making Lia uncomfortable. Darryl was highly offended. HIGHLY offended. so offended he spent the rest of the night ranting at Josh at the top of his lungs (in between bouts of heart-rending sobs).. and.. AND.. deleted Josh from facebook. THAT’S how offended. there was a point where I was sitting on a couch with Jake and flirting really obviously. oh man. I can remember it vaguely but really don’t know what I was thinking. we were talking about polyamory.. how obvious is that. anyway Brenton noticed and came over and I got up, embarrassed. I’m still embarrassed. all the substances shut off my brain, that’s all I can say. apparently there was also another point where I was giving Matt reiki, because he’d injured his chest.. but I can’t remember that? Brenton told me about it and said it looked suspicious. poor Brenton. he didn’t seem upset about it all.. just didn’t think it was appropriate. I think he trusts me so doesn’t get angry. he should trust me. I just get silly. I regret everything. oh there was also Darryl. after Josh and Lia left he was still ranting about them and I was sitting on the couch talking to him. while we were talking he kept running his hand up my leg. I’d just flick his hand away and tell him to stop it and he’d apologise.. but then do it again in ten minutes. well I didn’t think it was that big a deal, but people noticed.. Jimmy and his friend. it came up the next morning and further drama ensued. Brenton talked to Darryl about it and Darryl got really upset and… sigh. I think it was the mdma. but it was also just a sexually charged party, for some reason. everyone was flirting. in conclusion, I need to notice flirtatious behaviour more, and not engage in anything that could be considered reciprocity even slightly. I’m a lot better than I was when I’d just come out of a polyamorous relationship, but obviously there is lots of room for improvement. cuz I just wanna be with Brenton <3
The other night I had to go in to the office for the domestic violence group. I’ve been observing it for the past month or so, with the aim of taking over facilitation at some point. It’s facilitated by a man and a woman, so that they can model a respectful partnership for the group members. Not many women want to do this sort of work though, because the group is for men who’ve used violence in their relationships. When I say that, people generally respond with “Men who’ve used violence? What, you mean domestic abusers?” Nope, nope I don’t. Cuz labelling isn’t helpful. These are men coming to learn how to have respectful partnerships. When you define a person by their actions, for example a domestic abuser, or a drug addict, or a criminal, or a politician (and also when you define a person by their experiences, for example an assault victim, or an autistic) you aren’t giving them credit for doing and being all the other things they do and are. Further by making it something they are, rather than something they’ve done or experienced, you leave no room for change or growth. It’s kind of fatalistic. Anyway that was a big tangent. I went in to observe this group. It finishes quite late, and then we have a lengthy debriefing session. Often I don’t finish until 11pm. At around 10pm my friend started messaging and calling me, asking me to meet her after work cuz she was upset. I left a bit early to go meet her, and then on the way I got a call from my mumm, telling me she wouldn’t be home that night because she was staying at a friend’s house because she couldn’t drive because she’d been drinking. She said she almost drove home just so that she wouldn’t have to tell me, because she knew how disappointed I’d be. Well, man, I’m glad she told me. I am disappointed, but not in her. She’s done really amazingly well. Slipping up is part of the process. I just hope she sees it that way and not as a failure. Soooo I didn’t get to sleep till 2am. But it’s okay cuz my friend (who slept on my couch) and I watched The Goode Family alllll day. That is, until I realised I was late for work. And by that I mean until Brenton messaged me to find out where I was because my client had arrived. >_<
Last night UQ had a postgrad advice night that I’d been planning to attend. Mumm was going to come with me. She got home from work at 5.30pm and didn’t really want to go. I said that’s fine! and prepared to go on my own, but then she elected to come along anyway.. I think mostly because she’d’ve felt guilty for making me go all on my lonesome (even though I really didn’t care). We left at 6pm.. and realised soon after what a bad time of day it was trafficwise to drive from the northside to St Lucia. We took the Inner City Bypass and towards the end I said to mumm, “get in the right lane.” “Are you sure?” (mumm doesn’t know Brisbane very well yet.) “I think so yeah, but I’m not totally sure.” (I don’t know that side of Brisbane very well, but I was still pretty sure). Anyway mumm decided to ignore me and go in the opposite direction. A direction that took us to a gridlocked intersection at which we got stuck for 15 minutes. The light would turn green but no cars would be able to get through cuz the traffic was just too bad. We sat there getting later & more frustrated till I said “fuck this let’s just go get dinner.” So I didn’t go get postgraduate advice. I want to do a PhD. There are factors, though. FACTORS. Ones I kinda need to consider. First, I’m not too definite about what I want to do my PhD on. You kinda need to go in with at least a vague idea, right? Something you can talk to potential supervisors about so that they look surmisingly at you and think “yes, this one has passion and drive, she is clearly meant to be here. I’ll take her!” I know I want to do it in the field of social psychology. Social psychology is what got me interested in psychology in the first place. I am passionate about social psych research! But that’s a teency weency bit too broad. I need to narrow it down. I did my honours thesis on inter-group relations. It would be most easy to continue in that. I would like to do something different though. Something to do with gender, or young people. The socialisation of gender and how it relates to… rape culture? Or maybe young people and how they communicate about uncomfortable issues like… rape culture? Maybe I just need to go in with something like that and see where it takes me. But then there are the other factors… I am saving up to make a deposit on a house with Brenton. Currently I am saving about $1000 a month. At that rate I’ll have saved enough in 6 months… and then I’ll be paying off a mortgage. How can I pay off an enormous amount of loan when I’m working a bunch less because I’m studying? A PhD takes four years full time. I don’t think I’ll even be able to do full time the whole time. I have three jobs at the moment. Which brings me to the other factor. If Brenton and I want to have a child it’ll need to be soon. I’m 32. Even if it does take me only four years to finish studying, that’s still too long and I’ll be 36-37 and too old for childing. How can I do a PhD while paying off a house and having a child I can’t. So I need to work out my priorities. Why does deciding have to be a thing :/