Saturday, February 27, 2016

PTSD Kicks in

PTSD gained more and more recognition over the last 15 years.  CPTSD is fairly new but fits better with what I lived with since I was 5 years old.  These past few weeks pushed my stressed levels to about a 8 on a 10 point scale.  Next comes screaming then passing out.  Wednesday sucked.  I was shocked to walk into work late to find to teachers waiting for me to open the door to have a meeting.  Both knew our teacher was forced to resign but here they were expecting me to fall in line with their meeting with no message or information to me that this would happen.  I was stressed because I had another meeting to be at.  (I have a much deeper sympathy for all teachers and all the meetings they have to attend.)  I called the teacher for the other meeting and cancelled. (First mistake....the appropriate answer, "I'm sorry, I knew nothing about this and have a commitment some place else.")  So I am sitting in a meeting I know nothing about when half way through they launch into a prolonged discussion about child birth. 

A.  Fashion class has nothing to do with this.
B.  I am sitting there fretting about the mountain of work I need to do.
C.  I don't want to know this much about them.  Eww.

My anxiety is sky rocketing.  Then over this bizzare conversation of how much of the body was exposed to the world during childbirth, one of the teachers asks if I have knit fabric.  Actually we did get a bunch that wasn't usable for our projects.  She asked if she could swap for some of this.  It seemed like a reasonable request.  I am already complying with the meeting.....what ever.  My attitude should have given me a clue I was spiraling down.  After the meeting was finally over I went over to get the knit fabric we didn't need.  While I am getting it down, this other teacher starts going through all our fabric drawers, pulls out our very expensive leather, and exclaims, "Oh, we could use this for the bracelets we are making."  PTSD kicked in.  I fawned all over her and helped her to her big SUV with our leather and fabric.  Like the well trained robot I was taught to be, I didn't object once.  By the time I was back in the classroom the rage smacked me around for being so compliant and stupid that I didn't JUST say NO.  I would LOVE to be able to just say no.  PTSD is a pattern of behaviors that helped me survive a hellish childhood.  However, it sucks as an adult.  Fortunately, the long term sub was there for class so I sent myself on errands to keep my foul mood far away from the students.  Teenagers quickly pick up on a nasty attitude and blame themselves.  The students are great, its the adults that I am struggling with.  I still feel so used, stupid, and completely pissed off.  I also feel like I need to replace the leather we lost because of my inability to tell the teacher to keep her hands off our leather. Some days, I hate PTSD. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

People crave problems

I am learning that people crave problems.  If they don't already have too much on their plate, they going looking for more problems.  Most of the games on the internet are some form of problem solving, either things to match, crops to grow, or levels to master.  I am also that people want problems they can actually solve.  Too many life's problem over whelm and beat us down.  Instead we escape in someone else's problem in a book, online, in game, or maybe a crossword puzzle.  I am learning that I need to step back from helping students too much and let them struggle through the problem.  When then get to the other side of the problem, that's were they pick up a bit more confidence. 

I also learned there is a significant difference between challenging myself and someone else setting me up to fail.  When I challenge myself, I feel excited, energized and enjoying myself.  When I am set up to fail, I feel overwhelmed, discouraged and dread each day.  I am working at challenging myself without getting overwhelmed.  I can't control what other people do but I have 100% control over how I work to resolve the issue. 

Dark clouds lend interest to a brilliant sky. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Challenge is the blessing

Many times I hear people pray that their problems will magically disappear.  Sometimes they do only to be replaced by another problem.  I wonder how many times a person prays away the very thing that will help them?  About 7 years ago, I went to the doctor's office for an in office procedure.  His office was right across the street from the hospital.  Something went wrong and I was raced across the street and flew through the ER leaving my sister-in-law to tell the hospital people who I was.  I was immediately put through a bunch of test.  Basically what happened that the problem with the procedure actually located a much large life threatening issue that I ignored for years.  5 days in the hospital and 2 years of medication finally repaired the damaged area in my stomach.  If I hadn't had the simpler problem, they wouldn't have found the hole forming in my stomach until it was too late.  The small problem was the blessing.  I think there are other events in life that the problem doesn't provide other blessings but is actually the blessing. 

We see messy problems and we ask that they be straightened out and smoothed over.  We miss the point, life is messy.  It is supposed to have ups, downs, twists, and turns.  It is in the very process of going through our lives that the designs are revealed at a much later time.  I look back over some of the rough patches and wonder why I needed to do them.  Then I have an experience now and realize that all that went before prepared me to be where I am right now.  I like the way Froglogic states it, "Embrace the suck."  The sucky challenge is the blessing. 


I feel like one of those cartoon characters that was catapulted into space with their mouths open cheeks flapping is the soar through the air knowing a crash is coming.  I never intended to be substitute teacher when I secured my certificate.  I did it strictly to stop criticism of me working with student without a teacher present.  Now through a series of events that I have zero control over I am now a part time substitute teacher.  I am in shock.  I just finished my first week.  By Friday, I crept into the classroom during lunch and locked the door so I could eat alone.  I was exhausted.  I am trying to make the best of a weird and difficult situation.  I am realizing today this change is having quite an impact on me.  I went with my family to the Renaissance Festival.  I gleefully took pictures of costumes to prepare for a lesson at the end of the year about making costumes.  I talked with one of the people dressed up.  I asked for a picture and explained why I was doing it.  She directed me across the path to one of the ladies in charge of all the costumes at the Ren Fair.  I visited with the second lady and she gave me her card with the assurance she would be happy to come talk to the class.  Wow, wow, wow.....I am so far out of my comfort zone.  I keep remind myself that my goal this year was to stretch and get out of my comfort zone.  I succeeded. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Out of my comfort zone

One of my goals this year was to get out of my comfort zone.  I learned from Froglogic and other sources that there is no growth in the comfort zone.  Think about what happens to a seed when it sprouts. 
(link to picture
It is buried in dirt.  The seed splits.  The insides come out.  Struggles for the light. All along nobody can see the progress because the ground is dirt.  Nothing of what is going on inside shows unless you put it in a plastic bag to see it.  I spent my first day doing what I never planned to do.  I'm putting all I have into a new adventure.  I am stretching in ways that I never believed I would do.  I set a goal to get out of my comfort zone.  I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Out of my comfort zone

Team Froglogic recommends you get out of your comfort zone.  I'm afraid that I dived into the deep end of the pool.  I was comfortable at work, then my world was turned upside down by another tsunami I have no control over.  I'm feeling a bit like a half drowned rat.  Tomorrow is the start of my new adventure.  I'm nervous but hopeful.  Tonight I encountered another situation.  I tackled the project and it did not go well.  Again out of my comfort zone.  However, this morning I had an opportunity to play Frisbee and push kids on the swing with two of the grand kids.  I also had a delightful visit with one of my daughters who is teaching me how to crochet more stitches.  It was a delightful morning.  One of the challenges of PTSD is recognizing that a bad moment is not a bad day.  A bad event isn't my whole life.  There are pivotal moments in every life where a seemingly small decision has major repercussions.  I'm learning to adjust to a new reality which starts tomorrow.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Dread happy

I dread happy.  Really.  Every time I get to a really happy place at work, all hell breaks loose.  I am still reeling from this last blow.  The teacher I worked with was forced to resign because of a glitch with her teacher certificate.  I'm devastated.  She is such an awesome teacher and knows how to reach students.  She lets them create with enough supervision to keep them growing but not so much to stifle their creativity.  I am going to spend this weekend absorbing this new blow.  Sometimes rules make no sense.  This is one of those times.  I'll get my feet back under me to go again.  I am allowing myself to feel very sad. 

Creeping along.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Child parts

Child parts

This article is fairly similar to my experience living functioning in parts.  I worked hard to integrate all of me back to one whole.  Imperfect whole but still together.  TV makes it sound like the person living this way knows what is happening.  I put myself in the category of last to know.  Friends noticed, children noticed, teachers notice but didn't understand what the behavior meant.  I was called a liar, weird, manipulator, lazy, and all sorts of other things.  For me, life as one of the other parts was a black out to me.  I describe the sensation that I would go to sleep on Monday, wake up on Wednesday and wondered what the hell happened on Tuesday and why I am in trouble for what ever happened.  I was confused, frightened, and questioned my sanity.  Some day I will give a speech that starts out, "Every teenager believes their mother is crazy.  My children have documentation."  Functioning in parts in a dissociative system is a powerful yet complex survival tactic.  I lived through hell this way.  Living day to day is difficult in parts.  Not impossible but difficult.  As my counselor and I discussed my options.  I believed that I wasn't born a multiple, it was learned.  I decided we all came together.  I wanted all of me together.  I originally wanted all the memories too but decided fuzzy was good after a couple of humdinger flash backs.  I know enough to know I wasn't lying but not so much that I can't live with my past.  I wish I could say it stays buried.  It doesn't.  A smell, a sound, a phrase can bring everything crashing down on top of me.  I'm thankful for KavinCoach assisting me as I untangled my gordian knot.  I made the choice not to cut through the knot but to persistently untangle each line until my heart felt whole.  I like Walt Disney's quote, "It is kind of fun to do the impossible."  Integration is not for everyone.  I recommend it but totally understand the complexity of letting go of a powerful coping skill.  I occasionally miss the chatter in my head of myselves talking to each other.  I embrace the joy of peaceful silence with in from time to time.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


I want to be a lighthouse.  A friend posted an amazing short video of different pictures of lighthouses pounded by waves and storms.  When the water pulls back, there's the lighthouse, solid and unmoved.  Fury, storms, banshee winds and the lighthouse still stands.  A beacon to others that no matter what, somethings don't budge in a crisis.

Lighthouse also brings to mind one of my favorite urban legends.

This is the transcript of a radio conversation of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995. Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10-10-95.
Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a Collision.
Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.
Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.
Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.
Americans: This is the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States' Atlantic fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers and numerous support vessels. I demand that YOU change your course 15 degrees north, that's one five degrees north, or countermeasures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.
Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call.[2]

Yup, I want to be a lighthouse.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Self harming

One of the darker aspects of abuse survival is self harming.  When I was a teenager no one breathed a word about those that might be harming themselves.  Over the years, with 'Hollywood's Help', this practice came to the attention of general public.  Sometimes those that self harmed were villianized, ridiculed, or portrayed as heartless and lost.  I became more aware of the hazards of self harming as I worked toward integration.  For many years, I dissociated to escape internal pressure.  As I closed off this avenue of escape, my internal distress would hit excruciating levels.  I discovered relief when scratching my own skin.  The pain made what was internal real.  I could look at the marks and see my pain.  Then I reviewed other ways I unconsciously used to self harm.  Not eating when I was hungry, pushing myself when I am exhausted, eating foods that I know make me feel sick.  If anyone realizes that self harming is becoming a part of their life or the life of a loved, please, get professional help.  Someone that understands the outward expression of inward pain. 

Self-harming comes from a deep pain.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Sick sucks

Last week end I was sick.  Today I am sick again.  Allergy season is upon us.  I always swore I didn't have allergies, then DH pointed out I get sick at the same time every year.  Heavy sigh.  I guess not everyone has itchy eyes right now.

Judy posted a meme on Facebook from PTSD Support And Recovery

sometimes i feel like i have my life together and them i'm like 

that was a great 45 seconds.

This sums up my week.  In review, I'm not taking responsibility for someone else's choices.  I am continuing to do what I do know how to do.  I am staying patient with students.  I am having some fun playing Happy Acres on Facebook.  I played to support my daughter-in-law since she is one of the developers now.  I am actually enjoying the challenges of planning, saving, and creating food.  My place is a bit messy but I don't think that will change over time.  

Starts tomorrow.  Woohoo. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

All Fall Down

I was getting on my feet.  I was feeling good about where I was headed.  I was prepared to move forward.  News today, knocked me to my knees again.  May as well stay here and say prayers.  Blessedly, my sister was able to visit with me today and I feel little less overwhelmed.  Tomorrow, I will find out if I am still working a month from now.  I'm sad, bewildered, frustrated and angry.  I am watching a tsunami come in and can't do a thing about it.  Must swim faster....wait.....this is a freaking desert.