A Quick Update

And – presto change-o! – suddenly that bleak, black mood that had me is gone. What happened? I don’t know. This is one of the reasons I hate writing when I’m in such a dark place. It passes and then I feel foolish for spilling out all that awful stuff. Of course it is possible that spilling the yucky stuff out is one reason that the feeling passes. Who knows? I don’t.

Now I have a too-full day planned for tomorrow including company, a Hebrew lesson, and a trip to pick up new ‘work’ glasses. I have a dream, it’s not a big dream, that I might be able to thread a needle again. Say a prayer for me or keep your fingers crossed. Oh, and I have to pick up some pretty multi-coloured yarn to knit a washcloth for a friend. Something to look forward to! Oh, frabjous day! 😉

In any event, be well, all, and Gd bless.

It starts out light, but takes a sudden sharp dive

I’m struggling today, and as I’m struggling I’m noticing things that I wonder about. Why do some blogs that I follow send an email notification when they update and some don’t? Why do some show up only in my reader on my iPad? Why do some blogs have a ‘like’ button on the computer, but not on the iPad – and there are blogs that I supposedly ‘follow’ that I’ve never heard of? It’s all too, too strange.

I have cats. Right now two of them are curled up napping in my room. One is pressed heavily into my leg on my bed, the other has taken over my chair (one reason why I am sitting on the bed right now). I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by the cats. Okay, by all the animals. But the cats are the ones who keep me from turning over in bed, take over my room, my clothes, my covers. They are the ones who claw at my screen and let the bees and lizards in. I love my cats, but I wish they were a little more aloof, as cats are supposed to be. Instead I have the equivalent of a 5 kilo tumor on my leg. Ouch.

Today is a really rough day. I have mentioned before that I have M.S., I am disabled. I have chronic pain. At times it is barely noticeable, at other times completely debilitating. Today it’s just there. Adding to the mental malaise that is part ptsd, part simply being overwhelmed by stress and all the extremely difficult things I am living through right now, and part hormonal crankiness. I’ve got it all, baby.

Today’s deep question is about feeling so bad and being around other people. Long, long time ago, before I was even diagnosed with the M.S., my plan of action was set. I had small children. It was my job to put on a good face and not to share my pain and my bad days with the kids. Sometimes, obviously, I couldn’t help but have some of it spill out; but as a general rule I smile, I find things to be grateful for, and when people ask how I’m doing I say things like ‘Not dead yet,’ or ‘Barukh Hashem.’* I try not to complain and I will avoid people rather than listen to myself listing off my miseries.

To a greater or lesser degree this has worked through physical pain, horrible flashbacks to childhood abuse, marital difficulties, financial stress, social traumas, … I may not be happy, but nobody has to see how miserable I am. The kids are protected from the worst of it at least, and I have felt better about myself for not being a constant whiner and complainer (yeah, I only do it intermittently. *sigh*).

Only I think I’ve reached my end with this. My kids are almost all grown, my physical condition and living conditions are fairly awful, I’ve just had the motherlode of garbage dumped on my head, and I do not want to have to pretend any more that I am okay. I do not want to work at being happy. I want the right to just be miserable for a while. I’m tired. I’ve put on a good face for long enough I say.

So I run through various scenarios in my head. Do I call all the kids together (those that I are talking to me I mean) and say – ‘I’ve done with working at being happy for you, I’m miserably unhappy, just deal with it’? I mean, really? So — what? Truth is people have walked in on my crying enough times in the past week alone it shouldn’t require such a dramatic announcement. But we are all so accustomed to acting as if nothing is *really* wrong. Sure, I’m having a bad day, or I’m in a lot of pain, or whatever, but that’s normal and we all carry on.

This isn’t just being in a lot of pain. It’s not just a bad day. I am sick and tired of having to hold up my end. I don’t want to have to put a smile on my face and listen attentively when one of the kids wants to tell me something they are excited about. I don’t want to say I’m generally okay when what the truth is is that I am terribly unhappy and everything sucks.

Okay, my kids don’t suck.

The animals don’t suck.

Just for the record.

The Husband sucks, sometimes. So it goes.

This isn’t one of those times.

But anyway, … *sigh*

I’m overwhelmed. It’s all too much. And I’m so-o tired of pumping sunshine. When do I get to stop? HOW do I stop? This is no ordinary bad patch. I was actually coming up with fantastical plans to get myself admitted to a mental hospital. Wanting to be dead. NOT suicidal, please note. There is a difference, at least for me, between wanting to be dead and wanting to kill myself. Maybe I’ll tell a story about that another time.

I don’t take these things lightly. I take them as a sign that I have gone as far as I can, and I have to stop something. Of all the things I can stop – I can’t stop moving house; I can’t stop The Husband’s job hunting; I can’t stop being disabled; I can’t make myself not have ptsd. So what do I have a choice about? I do, theoretically, have the choice to stop pretending that I am coping better than I am.

Any ideas?

***

So now you know why I’ve been avoiding writing lately. This is what it is. Not always as bad as today, but … bad. It can’t go on forever. One well aimed rocket and I can stop worrying about packing up my stuff. (The point being that the stuff would get blown up, not me). Or something else will come along to distract me. Maybe (it’s just possible) we’ll get moved and settled in, TH will get a new better paying job, the wheelchair van will finally show up, and I will suddenly find myself living in such a way that I will be able to be genuinely happy, instead of just working at not being too unhappy. At the moment I find it hard to believe in any of that, but theoretically it all has to happen eventually. Assuming I survive that long.

Hopefully next time I’ll have something more upbeat, or of more general interest, or at least that won’t require me explaining that I’m not *really* suicidal. *wry grin* In the meantime, be well, all, and Gd bless

* Barukh Hashem – literally ‘bless the Name,’ I use it most often as ‘Thank [insert name of deity/higher power of choice here]

It Is all about me. *sigh*

WordPress has changed a bit since the last time I tried to write something here. I’m sure I’ll figure it all out as I need to.

I’m here because I want to write. I feel bad when I don’t write. Something is missing in my life.

But here’s the challenge. Everything I write eventually ends up being all about me. I am so sick and tired of everything being about me. I can do okay if I have a topic, a theme. But lately, not so much. My life has been terribly full, but not anything that fits into any particular category, except the ‘me’ category. *sigh*

So here I sit. And I guess I’m going to write about me. My life. My thoughts. I hope other people aren’t as thoroughly bored as I am with it all.

Since last I wrote a few changes. The house we’ve been living in, renting, was sold by the landlord right out from under us. By the Grace of [insert name of deity/higher power of choice here], there is a house for rent just the other side of the moshav. It is significantly smaller than this one, and it is only one house (here we have two). So most of my ‘functional’ time is being spent sorting, organizing, packing, and worrying how we are going to fit ourselves into this much smaller home.

It is a very nice house, actually, nicer that this one, better laid out. It has no bathtub, and only one toilet. One of the first things is to install a second toilet. At least initially it will have to be outside on the mirpesset,* in an alcove intended for a clothes washer. Hopefully a curtain will provide enough privacy while we are getting all the other urgent needs taken care of.

Another ‘first thing’ is getting a shed prepared to be habitable by my oldest son. It’s a nice little building that needs a new roof (old one has asbestos), new windows (at least it *has* windows), a (new) floor. Possibly a new door. It needs electricity and running water – and possibly another toilet. I’m pushing for a composting toilet, we’ll see how that goes. He’s not getting an internet connection out there. If wifi from the house won’t reach, he’ll have to come into the house. The biggest upside of this shed living? He’ll have the only wooden floor on the moshav. After eleven years of concrete and stone floors, this is no small thing.

The house needs new doors, and a new water heater. Oy, it needs *so* much work. Our lease takes effect April 1, but we have until the end of June to get out of this house, so hopefully we can some how make it all work? B”H**

***

In other news, I passed my driving test first time for the joystick, but I still haven’t got a wheelchair van, nor am I likely to see it anytime soon. It’s been more than three years, and it will probably be four years since this all started, before I get the van. I AM getting the van. The Husband wrote two extremely large checks that are supposed to be for the van, so it has become extremely real to me. Sixty thousand shekel in the hole for this van – and I’m told I should absolutely certainly and for real have it before July. June 30th anyone? Yeah. I can’t say I’m excited, I’m too busy being discouraged and depressed. We could really use that van for moving, but … yeah.

***

In still other news, my youngest daughter is just about to get out of the army. She has roughly six weeks, and as long as no new war comes along she’ll be enjoying sleeping in by the end of April. She is ready to be done, and we are all looking forward to it.

***

My middle son and his wife have – for the time (I hope) – cut themselves off from me entirely. Without going into he said/she saids I’m sure there is fault on both sides. I’ve been terribly hurt, but I am doing better now, and healing continues. I am hoping that if/when they decide they want something from me, I will be in a condition to cope. Until then, I keep them in my prayers, and – I don’t think I have words for this. Not the right words, anyway. I hold onto the love that I have for them, hold it in my heart, and I hope that somehow, someway they benefit from it. I don’t know. I just don’t have the words.

***

As I refer to healing, it seems important to insert a little background here. This is public, so I’m going to edit myself pretty severely but the general outlines will hopefully suffice. I was horribly abused growing up. The whole time I was growing up. Included in the abuse was deliberate torture, enough so that it actually kind of blurs, and specific incidents don’t stand out unless there was something really special about them.

A little over a year ago (it was in December) I had to see some doctors for the National Insurance (Americans can think of Social Security). I receive disability support but they have me listed as less disabled than I currently am. My condition has worsened over the years (I have M.S. – Multiple Sclerosis), but also the last time I was interviewed by one of their doctors he flat out lied on his report. Annoying but not unheard of for sure. He basically said that I don’t need help with dressing (Hah!), eating, toileting… Which I’m sure is why I’m still sitting here in my nightgown and needing a bath at 2pm on a Monday because The Husband had to go to J’lem (Jerusalem) for a job interview today. — Oh, one more fun thing – TH (The Husband) is job hunting! Just to make sure we don’t miss any of the big life stressors at once! —

I think I got distracted. Yes, well. Went to see the doctors and one of them was a true sadist. I mean that literally. He poked and prodded at me, and asked unanswerable questions (of the ‘have you stopped beating your wife, Senator? variety). And he smiled. His eyes lit up with a joy that was terrible to see. I saw it. I felt it. He was enjoying my suffering, he was happy as a pig in mud.

What happened? I can only assume I went into shock. It was weeks before I realized that I had completely shut down, had become – for lack of better words – emotionally catatonic. Tharn. I’ve had way too much experience with sadists enjoying themselves at my expense. This doctor triggered what I’ve taken to calling an attack of P.T.S.D. Again, for lack of better words. I’d gone completely ’round the twist.

One of the results of my special upbringing and six children is that I am very good at continuing to function no matter how messed up is my internal landscape. I don’t know if anyone was really aware of how bad it was. *I* wasn’t aware. I didn’t even recognize what had happened for weeks. I was completely just going through the motions for months. I wasn’t in my right head at my middle son’s wedding, and I knew it, even if I didn’t have any way to express it. I just tried to hide it and hope that I would/could hold it together until things started to sort themselves out.

What happened to start the sorting out process was – I was called in to see another panel of doctors. This time it was for the wheelchair van. I had to be assessed to determine what sort of assistive devices I need. I got the notice I had to go to see this panel of doctors on a Thursday afternoon. I went completely and utterly mad. Absolute freaking terror at the thought of having to face doctor or doctors. All the feelings I’d been numb from since the sadist dr. were suddenly and completely up, present, and in my face.

And there is more to that story, but this is already quite long enough. The important things: the visit with these doctors went better than anyone could possibly have hoped. We laughed together, they told jokes… It was in the (rented) wheelchair van on the way home that I felt the stress start to lift. It was then that I first realized how utterly, completely insane I had been (and still was). Seeing these other doctors and having a positive experience took all the terror away, and allowed me to begin to recover from the earlier experience.

I can still see that @%^^&^# bastard laughing at me and the gleeful look in his eyes.

But, I am better. Recovering. I have, fortunately(?) lots and lots of experience in recovery. I understand the process, I know how to take care of myself; and my family is, for the most part, familiar with the general situation. I apologize for not being able to do things, they reassure me that they understand. I feel guilty, they feel guilty. We all cope, somehow. Or, in the case of middle son and dil, perhaps not. I don’t know. They aren’t talking to me, and they never listened to me when I tried to explain. So it goes.

I’m still pretty shaky all things considered. Even without losing our home, changing jobs, daughter getting out of the army, the eternal carrot of the wheelchair van that doesn’t seem to get any closer; the effects of that sadistic doctor reverberate. The effects of my childhood are with me still and probably forever, but that is, for the most part, ‘old pain.’ Known, familiar, and not very interesting at all.

***

I guess that is more than enough to be going on with. I hope I will find some interesting things to write about, but even if not, I guess I’m going to be writing. It’s what I do.

Until next time, be well, all, and Gd bless

* deck or porch
** An abbreviation that means, roughly: ‘May It Be According To [insert name of deity/higher power of choice here]’s Will