naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
 Saw the doctor yesterday, had my foot X-rayed, they haven't gotten back to me yet (?!?) but it's irrelevant at this point.  I'm walking on it again, if not comfortably for long distances.  I also got a good look at the X-rays after they were taken, courtesy of the two kind techs who let me behind the barricade to see my lovely little foot-bones!  I saw nothing amiss in the slightest, although a hairline fracture might not have been apparent.

And, more importantly, we discussed my worsening -- or at least, not improving -- depression, and she raised my dose of Lamictal.

We talked a little.  I told her that I have been dealing with this for years, and that I'm good at it, and that I'm not feeling the urge to hurt myself, so for me to ask for help really is unusual, and she agreed.  She basically said "Yeah, that's really worrisome, since you're usually so on top of it.  You were absolutely right to come to me, I'm really glad you did.  Good call." 

Which made me feel like a strong person in a rough place, rather than a weak person.  And made me feel . . . I don't know.  Respected.  Valued on a personal level.  I really like her.  I like her so much.

It was exhausting, though.  Running around to get signed in to the hospital proper and get to the lab and get X-rayed and back to the parking lot in the thousand-degree heat.  Much much much thanks to Sargon who came along and helped me out.  I really appreciate it.

I felt a mess later and only realized belatedly that, despite being EXTREMELY excited to have radiation shot through my extremities, the environment had nevertheless jabbed me in a really nasty spot and I had to fight off a few stray gross feelings yesterday and today.  But I'm fine.  I am.

Took the first raised dose of Lamictal this morning.  Really hoping it works.  Really hoping it does as well this time as it did last time.  I felt so much better.  I hope it's the same this time.

Thank you guys.  For everything.  Please keep your fingers crossed for me, that this might make a difference and let me get back on top of everything.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
The steamponies are DONE. I will be photographing them ASAP, and hopefully they'll go out next week. Then y'all can have pictures once they're in their new homes, and the project will be complete. They are gorgeous, and I am foaming at the mouth to make you all look at them. It's taking reserves of self-control I was not aware I had not to post a teaser, but I don't want to ruin the surprise for the recipients.

More good news: test results say my thyroid is definitely out of whack, so I am starting on a higher dose of Synthroid tomorrow, and should be feeling better in a few days. I get my blood re-tested in a few weeks, and hopefully that'll be the end of that for another six months to a year. I'm just pleased that I was right, and we don't have to go looking for another explanation for the vaguest of all possible symptoms: always kinda tired.

I had a small meltdown today . . . probably unwarranted, but Monday and Tuesday were full of frustration and long waits, Wednesday was okay but I had company and was very tired and by the time I hit bed I felt unbelievably shitty, and today I find out that we are going to have to argue with Medicaid to cover the two really expensive meds I'm on. I've been trying to get these fucking meds refilled for a week, and it's one roadblock after another. BUT I would prefer not to talk about that, and I feel like an asshole complaining when so many people have it worse, and I really do not want to trigger the flood of "I needed a head transplant and insurance would only pay for a dog's body so now I spend all day licking my junk" stories because I think if I hear one more fucking depressing "I died three times while I waited for them to refill my nonaddictive anti-spontaneous-combustion pills, and then they repossessed my donated kidney to pay for the hospital bills" story I swear to god I will go drown myself in a bathtub full of bees, so, moving on.

Smooch is having some trouble with his not-actually-an-eye, and I think he may have gotten scratched inside the lid by Asshole during a play-fight. It's a little bit of clean blood and clear fluid, nothing foul or gross-colored, not inflamed or anything. I'm going to watch it, but if it doesn't improve quickly I'm taking him to the vet. Not that he can lose the not-an-eye, there's literally nothing in there, but I don't want any sort of infection settling in and potentially spreading into his sinuses or something. Poor baby. I will definitely be asking for help if we have to take him in. I'll ignore my own health problems, but not my boys'.

We're watching Supernatural, nearing the end of Season 2, and it's terrible. Just terrible. It doesn't take itself seriously, which -- besides the boys -- is its one saving grace. I am enjoying it immensely. I think I could eat Jared Padalecki three times a day, seven days a week, and not get tired of the faces he makes. I need to find or make a list of the episodes in which he cries, and see if anyone's made a montage of him making that earnest and sympathetic face he does so well. It'll be interesting to see if knowing that the show has horrendous gender issues ahead of time makes it tolerable, or if I'll be put off anyway. I suspect I'll sit through a lot of punishment, because if you like boys, you don't find that kind of eye candy every day. In other news, I need to start on Teen Wolf.

Next month is the campaign for the new Adventurotica novel. I'm already exhausted thinking about it. I'm so tired of having to beg for money. I'm tired of spending a month stressed out of my wits. I'm tired of scrambling to finish things that should never have taken me that long to begin with. I'm tired of it not being my writing -- not that there's anything wrong with Sargon and what he does, but . . . it hurts. I don't know how long we can keep this up, or what will happen when we can't. And I feel like an asshole again for complaining because it's really unprofessional, I know it is. I'll definitely ask if we need help for the cat or my meds, but if you want to help just in general, and maybe get something for your trouble, save your dollars and donate through there, help us reach goal.

I was doing really well a couple of days ago, and I suppose I still am, in that I'm not having a panic attack, nor rage flares, nor do I feel like stabbing my eyes out with plastic forks just to keep myself from crying, so I'm actually doing all right -- it doesn't sound like it, but I'm better than I could be. I'm trying to take my own advice. I'm worth fighting for. Never give up, never surrender. I'm just tired. I'm tired of having to do it. I don't doubt that I deserve better, I'm just tired of trying to kick "better" out of the disgusting Greyhound station vending machine of life while rich people deny that there's anything wrong. But I don't want to talk about that, either. Because if I hear one more "the government is full of evil fucknecks who want to take our rights away and then kill us" story, I'm going to fling myself into a vat of yak snot, because I'm pretty sure that'd be more pleasant.

Have a video of a leopard purring. He looks and sounds like Etrigan, adjusted for size. Listen to the harmonics on that purr!



I have to say, those big chuffs that are basically happy snarls are scary as shit, and yet also utterly adorable, and I wish I could pet his throat and feel him rumbling. From the fur sample I have, leopards are shockingly soft.

Ugh. I'm so cheerful tonight. But I said I'd update more, so there. That's an update.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
The National Institute of Mental Health is abandoning the DSM.

This is potentially monumental, and I've seen very little mention of it anywhere. Partly, I think, because people don't really grok how big a deal this is.

This is a very good thing, and for those who don't grasp why, I will try to explain. (Though the link does a really great job of it, so really, you can just go read it.)

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is a big-ass book released by the American Psychiatric Association that provides a standard method of categorization for mental illnesses based on related symptoms. Like a dictionary, it has given doctors, psychiatrists, and other medical professionals a common vocabulary with which to describe and define mental illness, so they are using the same terms in more or less the same ways, and arriving at consistent (even if they are sometimes inaccurate) diagnoses. It has been revised several times since the first edition in 1952, and has been released in four, soon to be five, major versions.

It has been a useful tool, but it is now insufficient. Over and above the fact that it has always and still does pathologize certain normal, healthy behaviors, which I won't go into here, it relies on a primarily medical definition of mental illness. It does not place a diagnosis in context with the patient's environment or upbringing, etc., or even with their experience of their symptoms.*

That would perhaps be tolerable, but . . . the DSM does this by relying on a purely symptomatic mode of classification, without taking into account underlying neurological/biological causes – different things may cause similar symptoms. So, it reduces mental illness to medical causes . . . but doesn't then require there to be a common cause. Disorders are defined by symptom clusters, and not by actual, you know, hard data about neurotransmitters, brain activity, and so forth.

To liken it to something more familiar, chest pain might be caused by blocked blood vessels in the heart, or might be caused by acid reflux. If we were working by the DSM model of diagnosis via symptomatic classification, they would both be the same, yet I am sure every single person reading this understands that a heart attack and heartburn are not at all the same thing. Classifying them under the same category and treating them the same would be disastrous. (The linked article uses the exact same example, yes. Because it's perfect.)

The more we learn about mental illness, the more we learn that it is a tremendously complicated thing. What seems to be one category of illness (depression) can actually be two or more conditions which appear similar but stem from very different biological causes. Depression might be caused by a lack of serotonin. It might be caused by a lack of dopamine. It might be caused by a thyroid imbalance. There is more than one chemical irregularity responsible for the set of symptoms we call "depression."

As an example from my actual life, until recently, bipolar disorder was not divided into bipolar I and bipolar II. There was just bipolar I, which is the classic "manic-depression" that everyone's probably heard of. You didn't get classified as bipolar unless you had manic states. Because this automatically excluded people whose bipolar disorder skewed toward the depressive side and seldom or never ticked into the manic, or excluded people who didn't recognize mania for what it was, bipolar II was often diagnosed as unipolar depression.

When you treat bipolar II like unipolar depression, you can get a very sick and possibly dead bipolar II person. At the very least, you get a person who doesn't get better, because bipolar disorder does not just go away. SSRI drugs, often the first line of defense against depression, usually do not work on bipolar depression. You can see why this sucks.

This mistake is part of why my mother was never diagnosed properly, and why her depression was never managed. She suffered needlessly because of it. For a long time, I did, too. There are ugly real-world consequences to the symptoms-only approach. Not just human suffering, but jacking up data that could have led to better treatments.

Imagine all the bipolar II people who were thought to be depressed who were doubtless included in data collections, in experiments, altering the results. SSRIs don't work on bipolar people, but bipolar II people totally made it into SSRI testing. We can't know what kind of effect this has had. We can know that it isn't good. It's not leading to better drugs. It's not leading to better treatment. It's leading to mistakes. It's leading us to ditch treatments that only work on 10% of people with a particular symptom, when those 10% are mostly people with a totally different underlying condition. That treatment, applied only to the people with that condition, might be 60% effective or more. We have lost opportunities because of this. It is a certainty.

Back in the dark ages, we went at everything symptomatically because we had no way to understand what was happening inside us. We thought that fevers were caused by poisonous emanations from the earth, or evil spirits. Medical treatment was often "bleed more, poop more, puke more, one of those will make you feel better." Well, now we understand things a lot more thoroughly, and we acknowledge that treating the root cause of a thing is better than going after the symptoms and not resolving the issue. Why address lethargy, weight gain, depression, constipation, high cholesterol, and infertility with who knows how many drugs and treatments when you could just treat a simple thyroid hormone deficiency with one very cheap and easy to obtain drug?

This approach has not really spread to mental health yet. Frankly, that's because we do not yet understand the causes well enough to treat them. Without understanding the causes, something like the DSM has some value, diagnostically. It gives us something to go on, and its not completely horrible or inaccurate or anything, just inadequate and far too broad. Clinging to it is unjustifiable.

NIMH's new protocol, the Research Domain Criteria project, or RDoC, is not a new classification system, it will be the framework for gathering data to fill in the gaping holes in our understanding of how mental illness actually works.

Essentially, NIMH, which carries out a great deal of very important mental health information-gathering and research, is jettisoning the DSM as a classification system for purposes of that information-gathering and research. Currently, the DSM classifications are used when researching mental illness, which biases results inherently in favor of those classifications.

It is not going to transform what doctors do and how they treat mental illness starting tomorrow. What it will do is lead us to a better understanding of mental illness, and over time that will lead to radically better treatment.

This is a big step forward for mental health research. In my opinion, we will start seeing results surprisingly soon, as the first waves of research yield more accurate information. There is so much we don't know that increasing the data set even a little bit is going to improve things.

I'm excited about this. I look forward to seeing what new things we learn.

(The fact that NIMH's announcement comes only a few weeks before the DSM-5 is released amuses me.)

* Example: I "hear voices." Also, I am sometimes other people, a little bit. The DSM doesn't acknowledge those things as a deliberately and carefully cultivated coping mechanism, only as a bad thing indicative of other bad things. In context, it is healthy. In the book, it's pathological. Regardless, it's a sanity-saver, and one I continually seek to reinforce. Doesn't matter how it looks on paper. Say hello to the boys. They keep me safe.
naamah_darling: Glass of tawny port on a table branded with a seven-pointed star. (Port Wine and the Morning Star)
The disability thing: I'm not getting as much money as I think I should be, but I'm getting an amount we can maybe work with, and possibly increase.  I still don't really want to talk about it or hear horror stories or even hear "It'll be really hard but eventually they'll give you what you want."  I honestly don't have the energy for "really hard" right now.  Even "moderately difficult" makes me want to throw myself out of the chariot and dash my head against a rock, so hearing that it will eventually be okay is really really not reassuring.  I just want to say that I'm . . . 65% okay with it.  It's just made thinking about anything else really hard, which means my ability to do necessary things has suffered.

But I'm improved.  Much less upset.  Might have something to do with the fact that I misheard or misremembered what Sargon said, and so for two whole days I was walking around thinking I was getting HALF what I am actually getting.  Might account for me being kind of a mess.

Smut: We're releasing the Golden Mask ebook next week on Amazon and on Smashwords.  We'll let you know when that happens.  Right now I'm doing the formatting for the print books, and I have to say, I'm not a fan of the process.

Really Bad Smut: Since I started this experiment on the 14th, I've sold around 80 copies of my horrible short story bundles.  At a profit around $0.30 - $0.35, that's, like, a little under $30.  So, not much monetarily, but sales are pretty good.  Debating whether to continue the experiment, but I think I should really give it a few more months of adding new stuff every week, and see how that goes.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
No check in my bank account yet.  Haven't heard from anyone.

It's going to be like this.  Calling people, bothering them to keep the wheels turning, re-applying for things when necessary, letting them look at my financial records whenever they want basically forever, never saving money or owning anything of great value.  No assets.

I'm trying to reconcile myself to a life spent waiting for other people to do their jobs so I can lick up the scraps they throw me, trying to live off those scraps, and I'm not having a lot of luck.

I got approved, and I'm supposed to be happy.  Things are supposed to be getting better.  And I'm reacting to this whole thing really, really badly.  I didn't expect that.  Maybe I should've.  I mean, there are about a thousand reasons for this, and they are all completely legitimate.  I'd just expected . . . I don't know.  I'd expected that maybe things wouldn't be so bad.

I'm trying to just . . . let it go until we know more.  Until we have a chance to sit down and crunch the numbers and see how badly we're screwed.  So I'll save my enumeration of all the ways in which that is very likely to happen for another time.

There is no "should", when it comes to how you feel about something like this.  You don't get anywhere by telling yourself you "should" feel differently, that you "shouldn't" be angry or hurt or scared.  I know that.  I do.  But this bleeds outward.  It's affecting my husband, who has his own serious issues to deal with, and doesn't need my relentless grieving over the whole mess.  It's affecting my ability to do anything constructive.  It's making me angry and bitter, extraordinarily so.  It's affecting my attitude toward just about everything.  I'm having a hard time, just now, understanding why I wanted this.  I don't understand how it can possibly help, long-term.

I don't know what to do.  Because honestly?  Killing myself is not an option, lord, no, but . . . I feel like I'm having my life taken away from me.  Again.  And when I do die, eventually, I don't want it to have been . . . like this.  I'm tired of being helpless and having no options.  I'm tired of feeling guilty for hating my life when I have so much more and am so much healthier than other people I know who are going through similar things.  I'm tired of digging my claws and teeth in and being able to do nothing but slow my slide toward the edge.

I'm tired of being scared.  Tired of being unable to want things, because I've forgotten what it feels like to be able to dream bigger than what I can do tomorrow, or maybe next week.  I'm tired of being melodramatically upset.  Tired of being sick.  Tired of everything.

I thought the hard part would be getting approved.  Turns out it's the part where I have to live the life that limits me to.  Who knew.

Note: I don't want to hear anything even remotely "WELL HERE'S A STORY OF HOW I GOT SCREWED" or "HEY HERE'S ANOTHER WAY THEY COULD FUCK YOU SO MAYBE WATCH FOR THAT OKAY."  No advice, either, please.  I'm not in a place where I can even contemplate making a phone call because it's all just leading to more shit I can't fucking handle.  Questions they won't answer.  I fucking hate this.

naamah_darling: A tiny week-old tabby kitten with her paws raised and her eyes half-closed. (Kittens)
They screwed up the appointment, but we still got in to see someone after waiting for two hours. So, approved, will get money, they can't say how much, but I might find out in the next week or so.

Can't celebrate yet, but at least the gears are still turning.

Gives me at least a little satisfaction to spend the time I'm forced to wait in a government office writing perverted incest porn.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Thane)
Okay, so this is fucked up and hilarious and completely, unexpectedly awesome.

I wrote about being denied for disability here: Time and tide, and a complete lack of surprise.

Except . . . the letter wasn't a denial letter. It was an acceptance letter. The most backhanded piece of mail I have ever received, one that masqueraded almost perfectly as its opposite. It said, in one line buried in three pages, "we have determined that you are disabled." But it then went on to say that I was not eligible for help, so no cookie for me, and that is what the whole rest of the letter was about, and so I didn't really understand what I was seeing, because all I was seeing was the big red NOPE where the money I desperately need should have been.

So we talked to a lawyer, and the lawyer explained that this is what happens when they don't have current financial information on you, because they've dragged their heels so long they can no longer use the info they requested from you at your initial application. They want new proof of our liquid assets, that's all.

We called the Social Security office and talked to someone there about it and yeah, that's the truth. I'm approved, contingent upon my ability to prove to their satisfaction that I need their money, but they aren't arguing that I'm not crazy.

We now have an appointment to go see them on April 12th, though that might get moved or shuffled about, I don't know.

The important part is that I haven't been determined to be eligible for financial aid.

But I have been found to be disabled by the state.

And that's . . . that's the big one, isn't it? The hard one? That's the part I was fighting for, and so afraid of? The thing that never happens, that I knew would not happen: they admitted I was disabled with my first try.

I mean, I . . . I did it. I didn't even know I did it, but I did it. And . . . I don't . . . I just . . . I feel so incredibly weird about the whole thing, and there is a lot to unpack. I have complicated feelings about it, and I am afraid of the restrictions that will be placed on me because of it -- there are some, regarding how much money you can make or whatnot, and I don't know what those are, and won't, until I talk to the people in April. I am still afraid this will be taken away from me.

But they want me to bring my bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit, guys, and it just . . . it could be a real thing. And I don't . . . I don't . . . really? I mean . . . really?

It's too soon to be really super-happy about it, because we don't know about the financial situation and how much help I will be eligible for, if any. But I want to be happy. Because this is . . . huge. Isn't it? This means no hearing in front of a judge, no lawyer fees, no more testing, no medical records, no notes from doctors. This means no warpath, less bracing myself for more of what I've been getting, which is kicked. This means 75% less fighting. I was ready to do it. One hundred percent, I was ready to do it. And I probably won't have to. Not the way I thought I was going to.

I don't know what to think. I don't know what to feel. But that, over there in the corner, that little, fragile, half-invisible thing, that is identifiable hope. And I don't want it and I'm trying not to feed it, I'm trying to ignore it, but it's there, no matter how unwelcome. Not hope for the long term, not hope that I will someday become rich and powerful and have an army of minions in neatly-coordinated suits. Hope that, in a year, I will be able to go to the doctor or the dentist without waiting months and months. Hope that I will be able to live a life less devoid of a meaningful future. Hope that I will be safer, and less afraid. Less afraid. Less afraid.

Less afraid.

Fucking hell, I have spent literally most of my life feeling unsafe. "Less afraid" is all I have ever fucking wanted.
naamah_darling: The Punisher skull with a red ribbon barrette. (Punisher Ribbon)
I've been meaning to write about this for a week now, and kept forgetting, but the whole "You aren't actually mentally ill, just a goldbricking asshole" SSDI thing reminded me.

So, I had this dream about a week ago where I had this combined trial for committing a crime – nobody would tell me what it was – and a disability hearing.

It was held in a Wal-Mart-type store, and the jury was all pissed-off sales associates. I don't remember what the deal was with the judge, but it was equally bad. I think he might have been a taxi driver in a penguin hat?

As part of my defense, I had to basically build a science-fair-like diorama explaining my life and chronicling my mental illness (and my alibi to a crime that wasn't even specified). I had half an hour to do it, and I had to do it with the money I had in my pocket, and whatever I could buy inside the store. I had about $30.

So I ran around the store desperately trying to assemble something like what they wanted with stuff like posterboard and paperclips and plastic army guys and so on. I didn't know where anything was, people kept getting in my way and getting angry with me, or stealing my cart, and there was this really loud siren/alarm thing with spinny lights that would go off randomly.

In case I need to emphasize it, it was completely hopeless.

So what I wound up doing was taking that money, buying a bunch of stuff from the Halloween/Mardi Gras aisle, and assembling the materials into a completely ridiculous disguise.

I ran out of the store looking like a glitter-covered cross between the Phantom of the Opera, the Joker, and Rainbow Dash, throwing beads and fake gold coins, and ran away into the vaguely overcast afternoon.

When I woke up, I thought it was hilarious. A Wal-Mart trial. The whole thing was literally a joke.

It's less funny when, you know, it's all a perfect metaphor, but I still am snickering about it off and on.

I'm not that upset, you guys, about the denial, in that I truly was not surprised, just angry, and it's the kind of anger that's just a flare of what I've already been feeling this whole time. Nothing new. I was expecting to be denied, I was, now it's happened, and now I can actually move on to the next step, which is good. I have been looking forward to this (sort of but not really) because it means it's my move.

I am pretty sure I can win this. I don't know what it will cost me. But I am pretty sure I can win it. Because I do deserve it, there is something wrong with me that prevents and will always prevent me from having a "normal" job, and unless something truly unforeseen happens, I will never be able to make enough money independently to survive.

I just hope it's sooner rather than later. And that there are no dioramas involved.

Although I did love doing those in school, even if the teachers were kind of disturbed by the beheaded deer.
naamah_darling: Spotted hyena teeth. (Teeth)
So, I got denied for Social Security disability benefits. Finally. Just about a year after we applied.

I wanted to call a lawyer before we even started, but that didn't wind up happening, so they get this first round. Sargon called an attorney yesterday, and we'll see what comes of that.

This doesn't surprise me, of course. I know people who are so fucked up they cannot even reliably get out of bed in the morning, and the government still won't admit that they can't go work a 60-hour wage-slave job every day. So, I didn't expect to be the special snowflake, and this isn't a setback, it's something I fully expected to happen.

But it makes me angry.

It makes me angry because even though I knew the answer would be no, there was still that moment before the envelope was opened where I felt my guts go cold and still with hope. Hope that I had to viciously crush down, like a weed, so that there was no dashing of it, no crushing. So that there will be no target for them to swing at, and so there is nothing to be hurt. And I hate doing that to myself. It's hard for me to feel hope. Like, not just emotionally hard, but it is actually difficult in that I am not really a hope-full person.

Hope is a thing that, if you beat it hard enough, stomp it down enough, will shrivel up and, to all appearances, die. Resurrecting it requires a Biblical miracle. It takes desert magic. It cannot be done before its time. The desert frog cannot dig its way out of the earth until the rain comes. Nothing fruits or flowers. It's estivation, the summer-sleep, life slowed to the thinnest trickle. No movement, just the sun impersonally blazing away, sucking the life out of everything while people who do not have to live there look up at it and think, "How beautiful it is."

I had to crush things down just a little bit more yesterday, because doing that while the hope is small is less awful and less destructive long-term than letting it grow and flower when I know it's only going to be dashed again before I win.

That's awful, isn't it? How the entire system, which doesn't care for me or about me, gives me wounds and ruin I am not supposed to take personally, but which bleed me dry. How that system turns me into a thing that will do its work for it, crushing my own hopes.

I don't have hope. I don't have an expectation that I will win, though I consider it fairly likely that it will eventually happen. All I have is the knowledge that I will keep fighting as long as I can, that I will try over and over, because that's the only thing there is to do. And it's not a given I can keep that fight up. I may give out before I get what I need and deserve. Not because I am weak, but because this is hard. The living like this, without hope, scraping by and feeling filthy and stupid and unworthy and guilty because of it, because I should be able to do better, even though I know I can't, because there are others who deserve better, too, and some who have less and deserve it more, that is what takes the greatest toll. Every day of not being able to support myself, of being trapped by the leg and having the very thing that is supposed to pry the jaws apart turn me away and say "No, we've thought about it, and you still have all your legs. You should be able to get yourself out of there."

I've been told not to take it personally, because, like floods and hurricanes, it isn't meant personally. But when someone attacks you, when someone tries to take something away from you that you require, when they say they are there to help but refuse to give you something that you need and call you undeserving, that is violence, and that is personal. It's not impersonal, like an sandstorms or tornados or droughts; those things are not the results of an unjust and broken system. This is not a thing that happened to me, it is a thing done to me. Yes, it is impersonal. No, the system didn't look at my name and decide to attack me in particular because I am undeserving. It doesn't even see me as a person. That doesn't make it not personal. Killers don't necessarily see their victims as human. That doesn't make them animals, or things. Impersonality is a flaw, not a feature that we should just accept as the price of admission.

There's a bit in Irish myth, where Cuchulainn makes a terrible mistake and kills his own son, who has come across the sea to meet him for the first time. Senseless with rage and grief, Cuchulainn, who is at his core an animal trained only to kill, begins attacking everything, everyone in sight. To prevent further tragedy, the druid Cathbad casts a spell upon him that causes him to see the waves of the sea as warriors marching on the shore, rank on rank. Ulster's Hound turns upon the sea itself and attacks the waves, slashing and hacking, thigh-deep and water foaming, sand and stones slipping under his heels. He fights until he can fight no more; the tide goes out and leaves him fallen upon the sand, nearly dead with exhaustion.

And it's that I think of, sometimes. I think about it regarding my mental illness and how fighting that is like fighting water, and now I think about it regarding this broken, evil thing I'm struggling with. I'm not fighting anything with a throat to cut or a sword to break. I'm fighting time. I'm fighting a system that, like the sea, will win simply because it does not need to fight, only persist, and wait for me to fall.

I'm not depressed. Much. I fully expected this to happen. But it makes me angry. It makes me angry because this wouldn't happen if the people who could make the most difference didn't believe the most stupid and awful things about people like me. It makes me angry because the people who should be helping, whose job it is to help, are not interested in helping, and it isn't just unfair to me. It's unfair to other people who need it, too, and I should not have to hate myself and spit out the bitter taste of self-loathing because I am fighting for resources other people might need more. There should be enough for everybody.

I have no idea how much fight I have in me. I guess we'll see. And maybe I will outlast the tide. Maybe getting the help I need and deserve is an eventual given, like the return of the rain, and I just don't know it. Maybe this really is just a period of estivation, of summer-sleep, and when I am approved things will loosen up again, and I can dig my way out of the mud again, and get on with living.

I'm having a good day. I've had several good days in a row. I feel good. I'm optimistic, but that's not really the same thing as hope. Is it?
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
Oh, look, it's another Real Life post brought to you by the letters DSM and the numbers 269.86.

You know what would be awesome? Not being afraid.

Not being afraid, every day, of tomorrow.

Not being afraid for no reason at all.

Not being afraid of the future, because there's not a future visible worth having.

Not being afraid of my body, because it might do something at any moment that will hurt me or cost us too much money to take care of.

That would be awesome.

Y'all have any idea how bad it is not being able to trust tomorrow? It's no wonder I have trouble sleeping sometimes.

Jeez. I think that describes it. Insomnia: the fear of going to sleep because tomorrow might sneak up on you.

Just spent ten minutes leaking from the face.

The kind of crying I do because of panic/tension is the weirdest thing. I could hold a totally rational conversation, and not really seem that emotionally disturbed, and still be leaking like a busted faucet. I really don't like it. I mean, who would, right? But it's both upsetting in its own right, and frustrating, because it seems so pointless and stupid. (It's not, it's the body's way of purging tension and probably toxins, too, but it sure feels dumb while it's going on. Like, I'm trying to look up instructions on how to refinish a dresser, STOP THAT DRIBBLING.)

Took a clonazepam. Hate taking them. Love what they do for me, hate taking them. Hate that I need them, always afraid I'll need more, always afraid I won't be able to get more. Hate that they make me off-kilter for a day or two after. But they make it go away long enough for me to get up and get moving again.

I am done for today. Just done. And I've barely started. I've been pushing myself too hard lately, not even for all that much result. I still have so much to do. It keeps piling up. I just want to walk away from it all and have it cleaned up while I'm gone.

And the hell of it? I'm not even in a bad mood, or especially depressed. I'm just emotionally beat down, and I need a break. A genuine vacation. I don't think you get those when you're poor and crazy. I think you get breakdowns.

I have blackberries in the fridge. I will eat them all. I will spend time talking with my imaginary people. I will pet this enormous flatulent feline. I might even take my hole punch after paint chips for no damn good reason, just that it's fun. I might color in a coloring book. Then I will feel better.
naamah_darling: Cartoony snarling wolf in profile. (Werewolf)
Hey! Being crazy is annoying! And also boring! It's amazing how that works! And by amazing, I mean totally shitty!

I am getting nothing constructive done! I don't feel like doing anything! And when I try to do anything, I find that I can't! It's really aggravating!

Yeah, okay, stopping now. It works for CL4P-TP. "If I sound pleased about this, it's only because my programmers made this my default tone of voice! I'm actually quite depressed!"

But really, it's boring, and stupid. I'm "okay" in the sense that this isn't pain so much as fear, frustration, worry, and boredom all stuffed together in the dirty and rather damp wool sock of self-loathing. This isn't crying and hand-waving, this is grinding my fists and my teeth and staring at the ceiling and having a hundred necessary things and a hundred fun things I could do and not wanting to do any of them, or being able to.

I'm seeing the edges of something taking shape around me, something coming into focus, and it's hard to articulate, but I'll try. One of the worst things about my life right now is the fear. Fear of not having enough money, of being hungry or not able to buy enough healthy food that I don't feel tired and sick and in pain half the time, fear of losing our home, of not being able to support ourselves or our pets, of going without medical care that I need more or less until minor problems become urgent, and more difficult and expensive to treat. It's a completely rational fear.

Naturally, my response to this fear is to try to do something about the situation I'm afraid of -- that being how we are in a chronically bad place re: money -- but because I'm snake-fucking crazy, I can't sustain the effort needed to really make things work and improve our financial situation. It wouldn't be as much of an issue, but Sargon has his own mental health stuff to worry about, and he's not a whole lot better off than I am -- worse, in some areas.

I can devote myself almost single-mindedly to a task I enjoy, but not forever. When I get stressed out, I need to do something else, fast, to keep myself from spiraling down. I can't take commissions -- no, literally, I am never doing that again. I can't. It fucking kills me.

The best thing for me to do is to settle down and wait patiently for it to pass. Because it usually does, within a couple of months. But when I'm this scared and hard-up for money, and it's a perpetual thing that never, ever ends no matter how many people help me out, I can't do that. I keep trying, like an animal with a broken leg, to get up and do something about it, no matter how feeble and fitful. And when I have a day where I accomplish nothing to better my situation -- which is most days, let me remind you -- it hurts like fucking hell, and scares the shit out of me, and it makes me hate myself, hate myself, for being such a fuckup, and it makes me doubt every decision I have ever made.

So I wonder whether, if I were financially secure, it would be less horrible. Whether I would be more functional. Because I think it would.

So I need to get on disability, obviously. Only I don't know how much I'd even get, or whether it would be enough to live on, or if it would only prolong the spiral.

And then there's the terrifying thought that if they give me the money to support myself and care for myself physically, and that makes me productive enough that I can work at the things I love to do, they will take it away from me, because I obviously don't need it any more if I'm able to make or write things to sell.

I'm so scared. I can't go to see the doc for my psych meds, or even talk to my therapist, without being afraid of something I say being used against me, or being afraid that without my knowing it, they are putting something down in the notes that will hurt my odds of getting the help I need. I'm afraid, for instance, that refusing to let them raise my dosage of my antidepressant will be taken as evidence that I am in a place where I can do normal human stuff like have a job and leave the house more than once or twice a week. Rational or not, that's how deep the fear is.

And I look at the pancake that is my daily existence, and I wonder where all the dreams and hopes and aspirations are that I once had. I wonder where the hell my life went, because I had one around here somewhere at some point, and now it's just . . . gone. I mean, don't get me wrong, day to day it's not so bad. But if this is all I get, and this is all that's left, and this is all there is going to be, I . . . I'm sorry, but I don't want it. I'll TAKE it, I really don't want to be dead, but Jesus Christ, I don't want it.

The best thing in my life, period, is Sargon, and the imaginary places we have together. My real life happens in two or three hour bursts a couple times a week, when I can go somewhere else, be someone else, do the things I have always wanted to do.

And that's . . . that's not enough. It isn't. And I feel so awful saying that, because I should be happy with what I have. Sargon's a good guy, a supportive guy, and I want him as my friend and partner forever. My friends are incredible people, and I adore them, and they keep me going when the lights are low and I can't find my own stupid way. I have a house in a quiet neighborhood, and its peculiarities are only mildly annoying as opposed to soul-crushing, like they were at the old place. I have my own studio -- a dream for so long. And I want more. And I feel like an asshole for wanting more, when I can't even take care of myself, let alone go out and have the adventures I want to have.

I want a boyfriend, a playmate, a chew-toy, a pet. Desperately. Jesus, I'm lonely for this whole set of things I have never really had.

I want to travel. Preferably alone, honestly.

I want a clean, organized house. Not pathologically, like the folks on those organizing blogs (terrifying, seriously), but to live in a comfortable, attractive place.

But I don't have the time, money, social latitude, or physical endurance to do any of those things.

I am a writer. By definition, I believe that fantasies and dreams and imaginary people and places are tremendously important. More important, actually, than most of real life. And I feel like such a fuckup, because my imaginary things are so wonderful, and I shouldn't need all this external stuff to be happy. I feel horrible about it.

And I can't help but feel like if we were more secure, physically, and I could get back some of the energy I'm losing to being so fucking afraid, always, and maybe get some extra money here and there, I might be able to take steps toward the things that I want.

I just . . . I really can't win.

Ugh. I am all over the place. Obviously, one of those days. Weeks. Months.

I'm tired, now, and I'm going to try to find something to do, probably involving those imaginary things, and forget about how ruined everything around me seems when I'm in a place like this. It's like having magic glasses that show you the past and present and future, except all you can see is the worst parts. What you see is absolutely true and real and 100% accurate, but you're missing the parts that are great, or even just okay.

I want different glasses.

I'm only putting this out there because, again, I believe it has some value to others, even if it's hard for me to see that.
naamah_darling: Cartoony picture of a black panther with curved horns and a red ball in his mouth. He wants to play. (Jandar Sad)
Sometimes I don't actually like posting stuff about the lycanthropy publicly but that's what I do, and I believe in it, so . . . apparently I'm going to.

I went to see my case manager last Friday and we talked about the doctor I don't like. I have two other people to choose from, both of which are apparently terse, but also apparently easygoing with the meds. After consultation with my imaginary friends, decided to see the one that's an actual psychiatrist. I don't have to like the person. I just need to trust them to listen to me and do right by me. Two different things, actually.

The visit was simple and easy and the case manager was nothing but sympathetic -- apparently the doctor has done this sort of thing before -- but she can only help to a limited extent.

I also discussed the waiting room issue. I won't be waiting in there again, and will arrange to have the doctors look for me in the other area. Not ideal, but better. Apparently there's nothing to be done about the longass waits, but if I'm in a room that's not A) really crowded and B) got that fucking television in it, I can probably amuse myself with a book. Ordinarily, actually, it wouldn't be a problem, but given how often I've been aggravated by this place already, it's like my system is primed to be on high rage alert every time I go in there for anything but therapy. Thank fuck I like the therapist.

I've been doing okay, but it's like . . . I just get my feet under me, and something else knocks me over, and then it takes me forever to get up again. And, frustratingly, embarrassingly, it doesn't take much to unbalance me.

People say not to let your illness define who you are, and I agree with that, but often there's no letting about it. It does dictate what you are and are not able to do. Even when you are able to do more, that's the illness letting up. So a very large part of my frustration is born of being unable to be the person I desperately wish I was. I went to pieces when Etrigan left to visit the Not-So-Great Outdoors (agree with you on that one, dude). I'm upset about that. My therapist was like "That was a normal response. And then, when he came back, you felt better, and that's good, so overall, that was healthy. It was okay." And I'm just like . . . I can see that, I guess, but . . . I need that to not be me. I need to be able to respond better, to deal with things better, because there's nobody fucking helping me with 75% of this shit, when shit gets bad. Nobody can.

I want to be a different sort of person. I want a different kind of life. And everyone says that, so I probably sound like an asshole, but not everyone who says that has to live with what I have to live with. It's hardly the heaviest burden, but it's way more than most people have to carry.

I've lived my whole fucking life thinking I am weak. I was told that over and over and over by everyone close to me as a child. Weak, spoiled, a baby, naive. And I took the fact that life is hard for me, and mostly always has been, as proof that I am weak. It's not that hard for everyone else. I look at people doing stuff like having a "normal" job, going to college, raising kids, owning a fucking dog, and I think "That would break me." And I feel so weak, because those are things that everyone is supposed to be able to do, and things that mostly everyone can manage at least sort-of. Better than I can. So . . . to do what seems to me to be incredibly difficult if not impossible, they must be so much stronger and better able to cope so much better than me. And they can cope better, but that's not weakness, that's just the luck of the draw. That's me having a handicap on the field that they don't have. That's me not having the same tools or the same resources.

It never occurred to me that other people seem strong to me because they aren't dealing with this shit. That the gap between "normal" and "Naamah" is just that wide.

And I was told I was weak, and a whiner, and a pussy, and a crybaby, and lazy so fucking often that now I find it hard, maybe impossible, to believe that I am just that screwed-up, and not just a failure.

I'm having a bad night. I tried to get work done on two different projects and got nowhere, and I tried to make some headway on sourcing the materials for some of the Indiegogo incentives and realized that I may have to spend more on them than I thought, and . . . I don't want to have that argument. I just don't. I can't. I can't cope.

I'm not tired so much as worn down, because it never seems to get any easier. I'm not in pain or depressed so much as just exasperated, because I'm running out of time so fast, so very fucking fast, and there just isn't enough life left to fit in all of the things I need to do because it takes me so very long to do anything at all. And every time I start to make headway, I get kicked in the balls again.

I really, really, really fucking wish that some trustworthy but impartial outside source could get literally right up inside my mind and take a look around and tell me whether I'm halfassing it, or whether I am so fucked up I'm doing well to be doing as much as I am. I suspect it's the latter, but I wish I knew. Because most of the time, it doesn't feel so fucked up. It's just that I can't do anything. I function really well within my limits, but I cannot go outside them. And that has got to be one of the hardest things to get across to people. I seem functional in my habitat because I've evolved to fit it. Take me out of it and put me somewhere else and I don't do so well.

I hate being like this. I wish things were different. I wish I was a different kind of person. I really, really do. Sometimes I can be, but those parts of me are small in comparison to the hugeness of Life, and they can't always run the show. And those parts, too, want things that we can never, ever have. (I am so sorry, guys. I really am.)

You know, I lied. It's not even a particularly bad night. It's just. I'm just tired of being alone with these stupid thoughts, and I am tired of knowing it will be the same tomorrow, or worse, because the odds of it being better are so awful that I learned to never bet on it, or I will fall into the Gambler's Ruin of spoons, hedging against a day when I'll be able to pay, catch up, when that day is never really going to come.

I'm not hopeless, I'm not suicidal at all, but Jesus, I wish I could get away from my life.
naamah_darling: The Punisher skull with a red ribbon barrette. (Punisher Ribbon)
The place I am getting therapy at is . . . kind of jacked up, as we have discussed. I won't go into that again. But I do want to note that I like my therapist so far, and while he's a bit fluffy and soft, he's also just a little relentless, kind of like one of those big ol' sheepdogs. He might also be able to keep up with me, or at least prevent me from running circles around him. He asks good questions.

I can't say if it's what's helping, but every time I have gone, a day or two later something will bubble up out of the tar pit of my subconscious and I will figure something out, or talk through something with Sargon, and progress is made. I am untangling a lot of ugly crap that's been tangling up my feet. I may never be able to run, a "normal" life is out of the question, but even being able to slog at this point is a good feeling. The scenery has improved.

Thank you, everyone. Actually talking this stuff out with you, reading what you have to say, hearing your stories, sharing mine, is an incredibly helpful thing, and I . . . I kinda blame y'all for a lot of my strength.

I am going to go write now. Writing, which I have not been doing this steadily in years. And there are new chapters, and an ending being written right now, and the next book to start, and I am proud of that. And so happy. It takes a lot of control not to post excerpts constantly, because I have been bubbling over with excitement over the new words. And I think I improved during the fallow period. That's good, too.

I hope things are well with you all. Wherever you are. And if they are not, I know that feeling, and I hope that you find something that sustains you and gives you hope.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Thane)
I am laughing really hard about this, JSYK I'm not distressed, but I just startled at seeing a new comment in my journal when I refreshed. This anxiety thing? That shit is AMAZING. I dare some motherfucker to look me in the face and tell me this is not disabling, when FUCKING ANYTHING CAN SET IT OFF.

LIKE A FRIENDLY COMMENT ON THE INTERTUBES.

Yeah, why the fuck would I make this shit up? I wouldn't willingly do this to myself or stay here, and if I were inventing shit, I would not invent something this stupid.

*facepalm*

I didn't sleep well last night, so I'm tired and my armor is a little thin. I have the reserves to cope with it today, so no big, but . . . I just want to point out that this shit? Nobody would choose to live this way, 'kay?

Love you all.
naamah_darling: A very sweet-faced one-eyed Himalayan cat with a crooked jaw. (Cats)
Good Thing #1

You people are the most generous and helpful readers anyone could possibly ask for, and I am not lying when I say that you have been incredibly good to and good for me, and I would not have made it this far without this connection, which is like a place where I can go when I am scared, and people will pet me without lying to me and telling me it will be all right, and where it's okay to be fucked up and twitchy and generally a mess, because I know I am surrounded by My Own Kind. I cannot thank you enough. I don't have any idea how to even go about that.

Good Thing #2

All of the above to my IRL friends, who have the occasional disadvantage of having to deal with me doing that in real time, which puts more pressure on everyone. And yet they are my friends, and I think they are amazing people, and I admire all of them more than I really can articulate. I am often acutely embarrassed by my inability to express those things adequately, because the feeling is so strong that I cannot articulate it, and it is almost impossibly frightening to contemplate saying it out loud to someone in person. But it's there. Y'all are my family, my pack, my pride.

Good Thing #2

My husband works as hard to take care of me as he ever has at any job. He is my friend, my shield-brother, the person I love more than anything else in the world. He has my back. He covers my ass. He deals with me when petty, annoying shit is too much for me and I just can't make myself do the simplest, stupidest things. He is a good person, and becoming a better one, and helping me to be a better one, and I think, ultimately, if there is anything more that you could want in a companion, I don't know what the fuck it is. Sometimes we drive each other absolutely crazy. Nothing is perfect, but something does not have to be perfect to be strong and good.

Good Thing #4

I am jinxing myself hardcore with this one, but I've been writing on Vengeance and Valor again pretty steadily, finding that the fire has not died down, that I am still in love with these characters. I learn new things about them all in every chapter. It is a three-part story arc, and I'm coming up right on the tail end of part one, which will probably wind up as book one. And it is already book-length. I'm not going to publish it until I have at least the next one in the bag, but knowing that it's almost done, almost there, is a kind of satisfaction that non-writers may never understand. I am laughing and hurting and loving all the way through it, and sometimes I think, given all my other limitations, the things I cannot do, the shortness of my chain, this is the realest life I will ever have. The imaginary one. I'm not happy about that, but I love my work. Especially when I am able to do it.
naamah_darling: Cartoony snarling wolf in profile. (Werewolf)
Mostly posting this just so I can find it later, but damn. Daaaaamn.

In comments to this post by Captain Awkward, this comment by PomperaFirpa really stood out to me:

Parents don’t give Adult Human Status to their adult kids when they act like good children; they give it– grudgingly, unwillingly in these abusive cases– when their adult kids act like good adults. And oh, God, it hurts, because you’ve wanted this specific kind of approval your whole life and giving up on getting it feels like giving up on the idea of being a good person, of being a whole person, of being real and adult and official and Approved and done with this crap. It means moving outside the framework of what makes you Good that you’ve operated in your whole life, and that is so terrifying, because you feel like you understand what it would take to be Good within that framework, but outside? Holy crap, it is all open and vague and weird and there’s no telling! You just want someone to say OKAY, YOU’RE A GOOD PERSON AND YOUR CHOICES ARE GOOD, and how are you ever going to get that?

LW, you decide that you’re a good person and your choices are good, because you are the expert and specialist in the study of What Is Good For You. You are the only one living in your body and brain. Not your mother. You’re the expert, not her, not anybody else. They’re never going to have all the knowledge of how things work for you that you know already; they don’t know jack shit. You are the king hell-ass best at being you, so you are the only one who can decide when you are Doing It Right.

Parents fuck with this, I know. The whole thing about raising a child is that for years they DON’T know better on a lot of things, and a lot of parents extend that sphere of Mom (or Dad) Knows Best to, you know, EVERYTHING. It’s not true.

Speaking from my own experience, I would venture to guess that your social anxiety and your mother’s emotional abuse are connected, but not with the social anxiety causing your reaction to your mother– it’s that your mother’s emotional abuse has caused you to second-guess yourself constantly and you can’t find a way to turn that off when dealing with other people.

Developing the ability to piss other people off (or even to RISK pissing them off) without knuckling under is pretty much the Holy Grail of emotionally abused kids, I think. We are programmed to respond at the first sign of displeasure, and we don’t have the faith in ourselves and our decisions to weather the storm– or even a mild sprinkle– so we tend to freak out as if the world was ending if a cloud crosses the sun. We freak out about the possibility that we’re wrong, that we’re doing the wrong things, that we’re making the wrong choices, that we’ll make someone angry, because there’s this awful certainty lurking at the back of our minds that says “If you do the wrong thing, you will be in TROUBLE.” And being in TROUBLE is the worst thing, ever, because that part of our brain is forever three years old where our parents are our whole world and being in TROUBLE is the end of everything.

It takes a lot of practice to gain that sort of gut-level knowledge that we’re strong enough to handle this stuff and that the world doesn’t end if someone else is angry at us. It’s not an innate quality that some people have and some don’t; people who grow up in non-abusive homes learn it when they’re young, is all, and the rest of us have to learn it when we’re grown up. And it sucks, and it’s not fair, and it’s not fun, but there’s no getting around it, and you can do it, you CAN.

You can piss people off.

You can be wrong.

You can fuck up.

You can do stuff that everyone thinks is weird.

AND IT IS ALL OKAY. The world won’t end. You will still be a good person. And the likelihood is that most of the things you do WON’T be wrong, and WON’T piss people off, and WON’T be up-fuckery, and WON’T be weird, but if it is? The hell with it; fix it, if necessary, and move on.

You can have that. You can learn that kind of confidence. It takes time, and a lot of work, and a lot of frustration and fear, but you can and will come out of the other end being the kind of adult who, when her mother gives her the silent treatment, will see it as the temper tantrum it is, and shrug, and ignore it. I have all the faith in the world in you.


I was talking to my therapist -- and holy fuckballs, I really hope this works -- just the other day about how, because of Things That Happened, I have some pretty fucked-up responses to things. I was never physically abused, never, but I didn't grow up in a healthy environment, emotionally. There were some things that it was just not okay to feel -- anger, frustration, sadness, pain, pride, confidence -- not because they were morally wrong, but because they weren't safe. The believing it was morally wrong came later.

Only recently did it occur to me that these responses might be things that other people developed in response to similar situations. So deep did my programming go that I assumed my fucked up responses were a defect of character when, in fact, they were coping mechanisms that I needed in my life for years, and have intermittently needed ever since.

I learned how to tell within five seconds if someone I know is feeling good or feeling crappy. I learned to deduce from how someone closes the car door, how they drop their keys on the side table, how they put down their coat, how they get a glass of water, how they turn over in bed, how they make eggs, how they open a fucking can of soda pop, how likely they were to be mean to me. You learn to be a knife-fucking sharp judge of mood, of tone, of facial expression and body language, and the learning is so unstudied, so not-deliberate, that you often cannot even articulate to other people, to make them believe you, how it is that you know.

You just do.

And the awful part is that you get so good at it that even as an adult you are almost never wrong: you many not have to walk on eggshells around the person, but you did deduce their mood correctly, and it was a bad one. You were right about that part. So you get scared anyway. And the learning that it's okay and can even be safe for other people to have negative feelings around you (but not AT you) is a lot slower than the learning to be afraid.

And, consequently, it scares the fucking shit out of me when people are angry around me. When they yell or stomp around or rant or whatever, any of the completely normal (I guess? Because I do not actually know for sure what constitutes "normal" in this context.) emotional venting shit that people do when they are angry and that shouldn't really scare me unless it is directed at me, personally, which it almost never is. It scares me when I think someone might be angry with me. It scares me when I feel hurt or sick or scared and am barely hanging on, and somebody does something that makes me feel alone or unwanted. It scares me pointing things out that upset me, because historically that was a good way to get myself in hot water. It scares me making my own decisions, because I could be making the wrong one, and will not only probably make someone mad, but have to do it alone, or change my mind anyway just to make the anger stop.

I guess these things are normal for people who were children in similar situations? Maybe?

I understand now that my parents weren't trying to hurt me, and I'm not . . . I'm not really even mad about it. I'm mad that it happened, but I don't know that I can be mad at those people. I mean, Mom's dead and can't do this shit to me any more, and anyway, she was bipolar and didn't know it, so I can see now where a lot of that came from -- she was miserable, too -- and I have a lot of sympathy for her even if I doubt we would be friends if she was still alive. I'm not mad at my father, who did what he could, and maybe it wasn't right all the time, but at least he never acted like he really, really hated me. We get along fine, now. Anything my sister did was accidental, entirely, and since she shielded me from a whole hell of a lot of it, I'm not about to lay any blame on her feet; she helped me. But, angry or not, I still have to try to become a Real Grownup with all the shit I got "wrong" crammed into my head as things to constantly try to avoid, every failure ever something I have to be aware of, all the time, so that I don't fuck up and repeat it, and it's . . . it is so fucking hard.

I've never had a chance to be my own person. I moved out of the house straight into marriage, and pretty shortly after that had a years-long breakdown, so I never really learned to be my own person. I never learned to trust myself enough to not be afraid. And I am still not sure that I ever will, or even that I can.

I don't . . . I am not even sure what I need. I hope this is it. At least I have a good partner, and I have good friends, and my cats are mostly all right.

And I still don't know how to feel, because I am still too afraid to risk that. I have to keep myself . . . safe.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
Overall, I am not happy with the place I'm going to get counseling. I had another hour-plus long wait to see a doctor for, like, two minutes, in that waiting room. The doctor said something vague about someone had threatened to burn down the building, which, yeah, I can see how that would throw your schedule off. That's pretty awful, and I am really glad nothing happened. But maybe they could have mentioned it at the front desk? Because I would not be angry about it if I hadn't perceived it at the time as part of a demonstrable pattern of behavior.

I've been treated so shittily by so many of the people who were supposed to help me, going back to my single digits, that being kept waiting under certain circumstances is triggering. It makes me feel neglected, unwanted, like I am dealing with people who don't want to deal with me, no matter how nice I am. It makes me into a worse person, an angry person, and if I let that show they treat me differently. But it's hard to stifle it. Normally I manage just fine and I'm polite about it and it's brownies and handshakes for everyone. But this is not "normally." I'm not doing well. When you aren't doing well, it's hard to crush that down. Especially when you have been proven right so many times. Especially when you are seeking help for an inability to cope with shit, and "shit" suddenly encompasses a newfound ability to freak out in clinical settings, like this one, no matter how benign. I thought I was over that. Apparently not. Congratulations! You've just taken two giant steps back.

I've made a big deal out of documenting my efforts to get mental health care and to get some disability benefits for that. So I'm going to write about this even though I really just want to leave it be, because I cannot change it and cannot get out of it. Even though I am pretty sure it will not seem that bad later, and I will be less angry and upset. Even though I was just triggered by being neglected -- A. GAIN. -- and my reaction is therefore probably excessive given that it was completely unintentional and not malicious on their part at all. Even though I am bipolar and therefore all of my moods are suspect, possibly meaningless. Even though it will probably all work out in the end. *sparklechimes*

They seem like nice people, and most of them seem like they maybe do really want to help. I think. I mean, they're nice, for the most part. But I don't like the prescribing doctor they have me seeing there at all, who seems to think that having a negative response to being kept waiting for an hour is a problem that means I need more meds. First, you have to be prepared for the fact that I am going to ask you to explain why you think that's necessary, and second, you had better believe I'm going to take my time thinking about it. Seriously. Dude, don't fucking spring that shit on me, especially not with your pen in your hand and your prescription pad out and you barely listening to me, and when I tell you that I would not like to raise the dose of the one genuinely scary drug I am on, seriously, don't give me a look like I'm the crazy one. Which I am, okay, I get that, but I am not fucking uncooperative. I jump through hoops like there were beautiful, naked young men holding baskets of blackberries and sex toys on the other side. I do my part, I ask for very, very little, the absolute minimum actually. Given how you treat me, I want to see you people less often. So when shit goes awry in a way that leaves me really, really uncomfortable, pardon me for being honest with you about how I am feeling and poking holes in your bubble of not giving a shit so you have to breathe the same air the crazy people are breathing for five fuckin' minutes. Uncomfortable? Motherfucker, you should be. I am your worst fucking nightmare. I am a patient who cares what happens to her too much to listen to people who are not listening to her.

They cannot schedule effectively and are always running really, really late. They'll schedule appointments for times the doctor isn't even there. If you're lucky, they'll call and let you know about it. If you aren't, they won't, and you'll get there, and they're like, "Oh, he doesn't even get here for another hour. Sry." Do they not have clocks on your planet? Is linear time that confusing? Is the guy just . . . Superman in disguise, constantly racing off to do battle with pissant local crime lords?

The waiting room TV is tuned to some horrible "health" channel that is really nothing more than a bunch of fear-mongering health-shaming bullshit that pisses me off just having to listen to it, let alone listen to it for an hour. I cannot believe they play that shit where people have to hear it. If I did a shot every time they started in with "obesity blah" and "lose weight blah" I'd be dead in a pool of my own vomit in about half an hour. And you get to wait in there for an hour at a time. They treat people in recovery for eating disorders in this place? Christ.

I have to remind them every time that they are not to weigh me, which is essentially the same as just letting them do it, because they are still fucking bothering me about it . . . I'm sorry, that's just disrespectful and inconsiderate. It's in my fucking file. If you need to, write it on front of the fucking file folder. It's not hard; the English language has an alphabet that is designed specifically for that purpose. I have to sit through their automated blood pressure thing, which really hurt this time, and now I'm going to have to argue with them about that shit too because I don't see why I should have to just sit there meekly while I get shooting pain down my arm and my fingers twitch convulsively. They truthfully don't need that information for any reason whatsoever, it's just part of the "woooooo we are medical professionaaaaaaals trust uuuuuuuuus" show. Which is flimflam, and does not work on me.

My case manager said she'd talk to someone about me not having a counselor, then that person left on vacation. I couldn't ask my counselor whether she'd gotten a chance to talk to her, because my counselor left on vacation, too. (When you say "I'll do that tomorrow," and then go on a vacation, I'm assuming that was deliberate assholishness, or forgetfulness due to stupidity, because vacations do not sneak up on you like that. So what else am I to assume? You're stupid, or you're an asshole. Pick one.)

In retrospect, the conversation I had with the prescription assistance program woman about how addicts need to take responsibility for their issues was awfully . . . blame-y (maybe not in the substance of it, which is that only you can change yourself, and I do agree with that since it's a demonstrable fact that nobody can do the work of recovery for you, but there was something really off in how she expressed it that nags at me). One more person there I am not sure I trust. And if you aren't sure you trust someone, really, that's just a polite way of saying . . . you don't.

Sargon still hasn't gotten in to see a counselor despite jumping through their hoops left and right. It's been four months. Getting prescription renewals is a tremendous pain in the ass, involving phone tag and doctors that keep irregular hours and a pharmacy that closes at three different times depending on what day it is. Good luck remembering.

I had to pitch a hissy-fit to get in to see anyone for counseling (largely fielded by Sargon, for which I am still ashamed), and I am still not 100% sure that will work out. I'm not, at this point, even confident. He's nice, but I am not sure he can keep up with me.

I go in there and come out fucking exhausted every time. It is taking more resources to deal with this than it is to keep myself stable otherwise. And those are resources that I now cannot divert to keeping myself stable.

This is just fucking unacceptable. It hurts.

I'm just tired of having to fight for every scrap, tired of having to call and harass people to get anything done, tireder still of having Sargon do it, and feeling worthless and nauseatedly guilty about it afterward. Tired of having to wait for completely unreasonable lengths of time for what is straightforward, very basic care that I actually make very, very easy on my end, tired of having to go here or go there or get this paperwork or do that other thing or talk to this person. I know they're working with lots of ill people, many of them difficult, inpatients or addicts, on a shoestring budget. Admirable. It truly is.

I am too fucked up to care at this point.

I don't have the energy to think lala happysympathy fuzzlewuzzle thoughts about how they're having to work really hard and it's not an ideal situation for anybody and they are doing their best and I should be grateful for what they are able to do. I only have energy to try to survive. If I make room for error they will err, and it will cost me. This has been proven to me at this place four or five times now. Sadly, trying to take care of myself now means fighting the people who are supposed to be helping me. And that means I am not being helped.

And the worst of it is, I have only once found any place that was not at least half this bad. The one place that was better was the best in the state at what it did, well-staffed, and priced accordingly. So I don't expect that if I jump ship and try to find something else, I will actually find anything better. I'll just be starting over on the same ride, delaying whatever eventually happens.

I don't . . . I don't know what to do.

I don't have a whole lot more energy to deal with both of us having these sorts of problems. We can't help each other enough right now and it's tearing both of us to pieces. He's running out of strength, way faster than me, and I just . . . I've done what I can. I don't have the strength to keep bearing him up, and me.

I've done what they asked, what you are supposed to do. "Get help." I can't do any more on my own.

I tried. I tried. They aren't helping. They are, slowly, making it worse by requiring interactions from me, and then making those interactions such a tremendous pain in the ass I wind up inadvertently clawing gouges in the paintwork because my fingers won't stop clenching in rage. I can't do this anymore, but they are the only choice I have, and I can't, I can't let Sargon, just walk away from this chance. Especially him. Especially him. Because he needs this more than I do right now, he needs it desperately, and I am literally terror-stricken whenever I think about him walking out of there. Like, I have had crying jags about it, quietly, alone.

I feel weak. I feel weak and stupid and whiny. And it was pointed out to me today, rather sharply, that I am not weak. That a part of the problem here is that I am, in some ways, very strong. Strong enough to actually expect a certain level of treatment. Strong enough not to knuckle under and accept poor treatment, strong enough not to simply wash away down the drain when they are trying to piss me away. Strong enough to be angry when I feel I've been mistreated or neglected, and not just feel sad and go back to hiding, like I used to. But this strength can become inflexible, it can make me defensive. And perhaps I do defend myself a little aggressively. Maybe I don't need to get so angry. But . . . I don't know any other way to be right now. I am too tired to suck it up, like I have been for 35 goddamn years. I am too full of other ugly shit right now, and I cannot swallow back the anger this stuff provokes long enough to stop the cycle of becoming angrier. And people who think that is an unreasonable or somehow surprising response should volunteer at pet shelters and see firsthand what animals will do when trapped and confined, even with the best intentions. Some cower and cry, some just . . . die, and some become hair-trigger savages. And it's the latter ones that we get angry with, fed up with, give up on, put to sleep. So showing anger doesn't help. Especially if you need help. Especially if you are poor.

This is what it's like when you're poor. You're a good little animal-child, you do what they tell you, you go from room to room, lost every time because you are too tired to remember faces, and faceless because you are too unimportant to be remembered. You take what you can scrape from the bottom of the system's shoe, and you are supposed to be grateful, even when it's not enough. Sometimes it works too slowly. Sometimes . . . sometimes they take too long to get you help. Sometimes it's just bad care. And it's all you get, because it's all you can afford. Financially, temporally, emotionally. It's all you can afford.

And then you get blamed when you don't get better. Because you had access to care, and it didn't work, and that must be your fault. Because it was there. You should have been more patient. You should have tried harder. You should have been stronger.

You shouldn't have been sick.

You put yourself in that cage.

So, yeah, had better days. I just want all this to be over.
naamah_darling: Cartoony picture of a black panther with curved horns and a red ball in his mouth. He wants to play. (Jandar Sad)
I have an appointment at Planned Parenthood tomorrow for the biopsy thing. I'm not really worried about it in the concrete sense. I don't care much about the pain, I can deal with it. I'm not really worried they'll find anything super-bad, since this has happened before. But I'm full of fear just because of the whole being touched by doctors thing, and it will only be worse tomorrow. I plan to go there drugged to my gills, so drugged it goes back the fucking evolutionary chain. It is part of my plan. I'd rather not take the clonazepam, but it's a strategic move. I'll do it so that the negative association from the walloper of anxiety fit I had last time will not be reinforced, or at least not too badly. I don't want to renew my fear of doctor's offices. I only just got better about that.

Except that appears to be buggered already.

I went to the dermatologist today -- really a wonderfully kind fellow, and so understanding of our financial situation, which is . . . ugly -- to check in with him about the rosacea stuff, which has gone mostly away but for the redness. And despite the fact that I have never been afraid of dermatologists and have only very positive experiences with them, I was having some nasty physical panic symptoms. Shaking hands, nausea, elevated heartbeat, twitching, jumpiness, pulling into small spaces, inability to concentrate or remember things as simple as what drugs I am taking, circular negative thoughts.

I'm fine now, except for a sinus headache and some apprehension about tomorrow, and it wasn't even that bad while it was going on, but there was just no reason for it, and that bothers the shit out of me. I knew it was happening and still could not stop it. Or maybe I was, maybe I was doing all I could, and that's why it wasn't worse.

This is so annoying and stupid. I can't help but feel like I could control it better, that I'm being overdramatic and unnecessarily difficult. I mean, I'm aware of what's happening, fully, while it's going on. I am aware that it's bullshit. That it means nothing. I don't understand why my brain keeps falling for the same stupid tricks. It's embarrassing.

No, really, it's humiliating. I hate that this is the person my friends know, this broken mess of a person, loveable, sure, but not reliable or solid. A non-Newtonian fluid. Because in my heart, this isn't who I am. It's just my stupid chemistry and the negative learned responses it fosters that have thrown me off-target. And because that is to a rather large extent not under my control (the responses, yes, but not the stimulus), I don't think I ever will be that person. I can still try, I will still try, but I don't think I'll ever get there. And I think it's stupid of me to aim for it too singlemindedly, because that would only negate any advantages derived from being what I am.

Just . . . if you are friends with someone who has to deal with this shit, especially on a level that prevents them from functioning normally most of the time, please know that we didn't want this. We aren't what we wish we could be. We want to be more reliable. We want to be the particular kind of strong that is most admirable, that strength that helps others, because we do care. We really do. But so much of our strength is bent on just . . . coping as best we can. Which is usually not so great. So much of our personalities is shaped by this thing that can't just be ignored or suppressed, but must be dealt with, lived with. We have to build our lives around the massive intrusion of it, somehow.

We aren't weak in the sense of being weak-willed and cowardly people and I think deep down a lot of us know that, hence the indignation when people dismiss us or our mental issues. We still fear being seen as weak, as useless, as obnoxious burdens; both because pretty much nobody wants to be thought of as weak and valueless, and because -- sickeningly -- we know we rely on others' tolerance and goodwill for so much of our survival. We don't want to care what other people think, but we still have to, and that is . . . terrifying. Every bit of input we receive from our social environment tells us that to be safe, we have to be other than what we are. We have to hide it. We have to change it. We have to make sure that it doesn't inconvenience anyone beyond their tolerance. And when we can't, we feel horrible about it. Worthless. We often feel that it is a generous act to be friends with us, that we are somehow less worthy of attention or esteem than other people.

It isn't true and anyone worth calling a friend will know that, but it's a hard thing to live with, a disorder like that, that set of chemical misfires and maladaptive responses that often lead to failing even your own expectations.

I don't want to be the kind of person who has to drug themselves to do something that ordinary people are able to do, perhaps not without apprehension, but without mindless fear. I don't want to be the kind of person who takes days to bounce back from something even remotely outside my comfort zone. I don't want to be the person so caught up in anxiety and the fear over raw survival needs that they cannot control themselves and leash in what is so very obviously a totally unhelpful response to usually false input. I don't want to be so beaten down by the rest of my life that I can no longer handle the simple if difficult task of keeping the fear at bay.

I wanted differently. I just . . . I just wanted to say that. Maybe I'm only speaking for myself here, but I wanted to say that. This isn't what I wanted to be. I love many things about myself, and I am a good person mostly, so I'm not saying that what I am is bad, necessarily, just that it isn't what I wanted, and I'm sorry when it's . . . not enough.

Someone please say they understand. I am not articulating this well.
naamah_darling: Spotted hyena teeth. (Teeth)
Man, is it just me or are the idiots and assholes out in fucking SWARMS tonight?

So, the dominatrix pony repaint is done, and her hair is here, but the needles aren't here and her hair has yet to be united with her scalp. Soon, my darlings. Soon. You'll be seeing her on Thursday!

I want to spread this one around to make sure all the pervs see it and can bid (I need the money, not too proud to say it), but I don't know if I can eBay it because of the extremely adult nature of the enormous, shiny pony dong. The combination of My Little Pony and a pink and black strap-on harness is, I think, something that they might spit up. So I think I'll have to host it here.

Which, you know, that's cool.

So.

I'm tired. I don't feel well. The mental health place I'm going to has still not gotten me in touch with an actual therapist, so I have to call tomorrow and ask what the fuck is going on. Being confrontational and demanding, yet polite! My favorite motherfucking thing. I get that resources are scarce, but I'm enough of a mess right now that I am prepared to be completely fucking selfish. I have literally stopped caring if I'm taking resources away from someone worse off than me. I just want this to end. Because if it doesn't, I'm going to be one of those people worse off than me. I can't go there again. I might not come back out.

I need some medical testing, and I haven't gotten a straight answer on what it's going to cost; $200-$400 is the range. I want to recount this so that you understand what poor people have to deal with getting health care at the least level of resistance. Because this? This is still pretty fucking good compared to what other people have to deal with.

I apply for Medicaid. I am approved, somehow. I still don't understand this given what their website says, but whatever.

I go to Planned Parenthood to have some annoying pain looked into. It is determined that I need two rounds of additional testing: an ultrasound and a biopsy. I agree that both are necessary, and am willing to have it done, even though the idea of both makes me sick as a dog.

Medicaid will not pay for the ultrasound. Great. I go in trying not to throw up, figuring they will use the rape wand on me (they didn't) and pay $200 for 10 minutes of nothing. Nothing shows up. I was hoping something would (grounds for getting this piece of shit uterus yanked sometime in the future), but hey, whatever, it's one less thing to worry about right now.

I overcome my phone loathing (seriously, it uses spoons fast) long enough to call to make the appointment for the biopsy. Between a callback that never came, getting accidentally disconnected, and failing to navigate their stupid-ass IVR properly, I have to do this five times. Regular Medicaid won't cover the biopsy, which will cost $400. Great.

The Planned Parenthood lady says that there's a Medicaid program that covers breast and cervical cancer screenings, and it should pay for all of the biopsy thing. I just have to apply. Separately. For some fucking reason. (Note: during this whole thing, she's the only one who told me that this coverage might be possible. They don't make this information easy to find.)

To get this coverage, I have to bring them a birth certificate, a photo ID, and fill out a bunch of paperwork where the info fields are too small to write even my first name in. I have to do this in 114-degree Oklahoma heat. Not exaggerating. That shit is dangerous.

Unfortunately, while I am apparently automatically approved for the program on the basis of being born with girl parts, it won't cover this particular biopsy, because my last poke-and-scrape came back normal. Never mind that I have some sort of lump up in there that bleeds whenever the wind changes direction. Mysterious bleeding lesions that I can feel with my fingers are apparently irrelevant and clearly not important!

The lady quotes me $210 for the procedure. Not the same as $400. She seems pretty certain that's correct, which would be great. But the other people -- two of them -- I spoke to seemed equally sure it was $400. So I have to call back and get at least two more people to give me their opinions before I can feel sure about what I'll be charged. And I still won't know for sure until they charge me, because fucking nobody seems to understand how this shit works, even the people who have to deal with it on a daily basis.

All this on top of feeling like shit, having seriously stupid but nevertheless serious problems dealing with phone shit, and being depressed and hopeless as fuck because I'm fucking crazy -- which I also cannot get help for, apparently.

I want to be clear: this is probably nothing. Something like it has, in fact, happened before. Twice. So I'm not actually worried about it being something serious, not really, but my current anxiety levels make it impossible for me to ignore it. And I am not looking forward to being in pain for a good several days after having people spelunking in my crotch for decidedly un-fun reasons, so that has me irritable and kind of panicked in advance. Because that is how that shit works.

This kind of thing is easier for people with resources. Jobs, money, medical insurance, yes, but also the emotional resources to deal with having to fight for every tiny scrap they throw you, for having to exhaustively document and justify your need for every dollar spent keeping you alive and marginally healthy. People who don't have the kind of brain that on a good day will let them make two phone calls, and on a bad day shuts down after one bout with an uncooperative IVR system.

People who don't, before an exam, have to sit there with the medical waste bucket between their knees, trying not to throw up, unable to do anything but count the "r"s on the same two pages of the book you are too nervous to read. The same two pages, because your hands are shaking so badly you can't turn the pages, and might drop it and, having to bend over to retrieve it, throw up on it.

I am intelligent, I am brave, I am determined, I am strong. It seems absolutely ludicrous that I should have problems like this, issues that make me look broken and weak and cowardly. That make me feel broken and weak and cowardly. That make me look to other people (not youall, but people who have no understanding of this . . . like most of the people who have power over me that I did not consent to give them) like the kind of person who has no self-control, who could fix themselves up with enough willpower and boostrapping, who can safely be ignored because they are valueless, of no importance. Being honest about what you need only makes you look worse. The details of your story, when recounted, do not make you look credible. They make you look like one of those people. You know the kind of person I mean.

It seems melodramatic to talk about it this way, and it probably is. But that's the thing. When you're damaged, you don't have the resilience, the resources, to deal with the day-to-day slings and arrows, and when you are without adequate defense those arrows find their mark and things do get really melodramatic pretty goddamn fast. It seems melodramatic, but that is how it feels, all day, every day, because you are having to wait and wait and wait for other people to help you get what you know you are, by right of being born human and able to suffer, entitled.

It isn't just about seeking disability, and how hard that is. It isn't just about fighting to get respectful medical care at the very low price you can afford -- a price that often approaches zero. It isn't just about trying to get mental health care from a system already hideously overburdened and which, once you do "get help", might prove inadequate to the task of actually helping you. It isn't just about being hungry and not sure how you are going to pay your bills, and not only being unemployed, but being unemployable because you are ill.

It is about all of those things, unrelenting.

Dealing with depresses you further. It makes you hostile, short-tempered, touchy, unreasonable (one of THOSE people). It forces you to focus on what's wrong with you . . . something that all those lovey-dovey inspirational pictures on Facebook type of people urge you in the strongest possible terms -- often in Comic Sans -- not to do because it is harmful.

It may be harmful for some folks. I certainly try not to dwell on it; that's not productive or helpful. Yet, it happens. It takes energy to fight it off, energy that I don't always have. The focus on the damage that has been done to me, that is not a cause of my depression, but a side effect of it, and of the ridiculous things the system demands of depressed people, just as though they were healthy and capable.

And it has done this to me, it has made me fucking incapable of doing anything but play with ponies, and sometimes not even that. It has turned me into the kind of person who writes stuff like this over and over. Like a thing made of frustration and hostility and pain. It has made me afraid to do anything lest it be held against me. Afraid to make art, because that may be taken as evidence that I could work on commission. Afraid to save money for a vacation, because that may be taken as grounds for reducing my benefits. Just afraid.

That isn't who I am, but I can't be who I used to be anymore. Which leaves me wondering what it is I will become, and if that's anything I will be able to stand being.

I'm just tired, and ground down, and afraid that when it's done there won't be anything of me left that I recognize as myself. I'm afraid I won't want what I have left.
naamah_darling: Really rough-looking long-haired guy with the hilt of a sword sticking up over his shoulder.  Distressingly frank stare. (The Baron)
EDIT: I posted this on Thursday but for some reason it did not crosspost to LJ from DW, so y'all missed it. I am posting it now, because I've had folks weigh in with some concern over the results of the eval, and I wanted to let folks know I'm okay.

***

Nothing to do but wait for it.

Had the inverview. The lady was really nice, and about as thorough as time allowed. I was about as thorough as time and memory allowed. It wasn't bad, it wasn't scary, but I did have to let the shields down because they interfere with my ability to be truthful. Shields are up, I minimize the suck. I can only be honest about it when I'm deliberately applying no coping mechanisms at all.

Holy Christ on a sidecar, I had not realized just how much that shit holds me together. I've been thinking all this time that my coping mechanisms were insufficient and kind of puny and sad. They are fucking powerful, and I'm not going to sneer at that anymore. Holy shit.

I cried, though not when I expected to. I was kind of a mess otherwise, but able to answer coherently, albeit with some messy bits where I couldn't remember things or got things wrong and then had to correct myself. I know for sure I got the date wrong. I knew as soon as I said it. It is not the 23rd. I'm doing well to think it's the 23rd, though. My inner clock thinks it's November 16, 2011. At 7 p.m. or thereabouts. I am not ashamed of any of that, and am in fact kind of grateful it manifested a little.

Sargon gets major thanks for being there to help me out with dates and stuff. Thank you.

What y'all said was pretty helpful, I think, so thank you all so much for the advice, though I have not had the wherewithal to respond to comments individually.

Thanks, everyone. It's not a bowl of laughs, me documenting this shit, but I do it in hope that someday it will help someone else the way it's helped me to read other people's stories and have them share their experiences.

This could have been worse than it was. I am glad it wasn't. I don't know if it will help, but I do know I don't have to worry about it for a while. It's out of my hands. Out of my hands, and I don't have to fucking carry it for now.

I don't feel so hot, but I feel better than I did, and am looking forward to not having anything non-negotiable to do at all for the next few days.

Right now I just want to go somewhere and hide until everything is okay again. Which will be a long time. So I will settle for just mindless busywork. Sorting beads. That sounds really nice right about now.

Good puppy. Have a cookie.

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naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
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