Category Archives: family

Life update: a depression edition

When last I left off, I was about to head to the local mental health event.  I went, got there late, wound up not seeing anyone I knew except for one person I used to be friends with ages ago (and was very glad to see, and we’ll be hanging out some after I move).  So all that worry was for nothing.

Since then I’ve descended into a godawful depression, caused by school stress.  I got behind on my work, started freaking out about it, and that led to a vicious cycle that wound up with me hearing things: voices laughing and whispering about how I’d lost control, music that no one could hear but me, etc.  Plus panic attacks.  I saw my psychiatrist yesterday morning.  I went in telling her “I’m just stressed so there’s no need for anything but a refill on my meds,” but then she started asking questions about symptoms and I nearly started crying two different times because holy fuck, I’m more messed up than I thought I was.  She said she’d write a letter to my school disability office telling them I need an Incomplete for the term, so when I got home I emailed the office to say, “hey, I’m in crisis and my doctor will say so,” and they contacted my professor who agreed to give me the I.  You have no idea how relieved I was.  Am.  My sister, wonderful soul that she is, has been helping me get my research done for my term project and being extra-encouraging, despite having a full-time job and a family.  I don’t know what I did to deserve her.

So I’m taking this weekend to recover a little and work on packing boxes.  The movers are coming next Saturday to take our furniture over to the new apartment, so Mom and I have to bust our asses this week getting ready for them.  Mom’s lived in this house for 25 years, and we’re throwing out more stuff than we’re taking with us.  (I have very little here, but I’m helping her go through all her shit.)

I also need to get back in touch with the nonprofit director; I had warned him I had major school shit going on last week and this week, and now that I can breathe again I need to do some stuff with moving domains and registering a new one.

My niece is finding me super-useful as Knowledgeable Adult lately.  I’m not going to get into details, but she’s trying to find herself and I’m able to give advice about some things.  I’m also babysitting for my sister whenever she needs me, and generally I’m trying to be a good family member and help everyone as much as they’ve been helping me.  I’ve been saying ever since I got sick (17 years ago) that I’m lucky to have an excellent support network.  I’m glad I can give back some.

It’s 4:15 in the morning.  I’ve been awake all night.  Being crazy sucks.  Maybe I’ll try to get some homework done…

Cello amusement, and children

A little bit ago I was practicing and realized that holy shit, I was actually playing the piece and it sounded good and felt good, and the realization freaked me out and I went back to sounding like shit.  Hmph.  But hey, 11 notes of feeling natural is an awesome thing to experience.  Maybe I can get it back in tomorrow’s practice again.  Or later tonight if Mom doesn’t turn in too early. Right now my hands need a break.

Awesome Niece and Nephew were over for a few hours this afternoon.  Nephew is weird.  But he’s seven.  Aren’t seven year olds required to be weird?  I actually took notes on some things he said because they were so funny.

  • He sang a song about “butt lips.”  Butt lips on eyeballs, butt lips on chickens, butt lips on earrings.  Butt lips everywhere.
  • People can also drink with their butts.
  • He spent an hour tying people up and asking them to tie him up in return.  Methinks he’s getting a healthy start on a bondage fetish.

I played “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” on the cello for the kids, at their request, because Nephew was eyeing my instrument and touching my music stand.  Despite me sucking, they were impressed that I could make non-screechy noises on it.  Nephew said my new nickname is “Cello Master.”  Like I’m going to argue with that one. (To be fair, though, he gives people new nicknames every half an hour or so.  Just in the time he was here he nicknamed my mother “Baby Chicken” and “Compost”. I’m sure I’ll have a different name next time.)

Niece is about to turn 13 and looks adorably goth.  (“Emo”, she said.  Still looks like a goth to me.)  Black nail polish, big boots, dyed hair, cute black dress.  I’m so proud.  She also has become the queen of innuendo.  Hilarious.  I love that kid.

Also, I had forgotten how hilarious it is to watch my mother eat sour candy, especially when she doesn’t know it’s going to be sour.  Ohmygod, her face.  Niece got it on video.  Sadly, we are not allowed to post it to YouTube…

My sister’s sweet.

My sister, a Buddhist, has started attending a super-liberal Christian church.  Like, so liberal they have an atheist on the board and she’s treated just like anyone else.  Sis feels very comfortable there and wants me (an atheist) to go with her occasionally.  She’s apparently been telling the minister about how awesome I am.  She’s sweet.

The church is in the process of building a respite house for people with mental illnesses to come when they need some quiet time but aren’t in the need of medical inpatient care.  I would really, really like to volunteer with them if they’ll have me.  I’m about to finish my psychology degree, I have two years of experience as a peer counselor for a community mental health organization, and I can definitely relate to the people staying there because I’ve dealt with similar stuff.  I’d be a very good fit.  If they’ll have me.  fingers crossed

Sis told me today that they’ve put someone on their welcoming committee specifically to help transgender people feel more comfortable in the church, and they’re putting gender-neutral signs on the bathrooms.  LOVE.  Can I go hang out there and skip the sermon part?  :D

Update (five hours later): Sis says I don’t have to go to the sermons, if I want to come just hang out and talk to people between services.  Also, she told them about my wanting to volunteer with the respite house, and that my counseling focus is on GSMs with mental illnesses.  They were delighted to hear it.  Also, apparently it’s possible to become a certified peer counselor.  It takes 500 volunteer hours, and they would be happy to have me do my hours there.  Holy shit.  I’m going next week to meet with the person in charge of it.  So excited!

Love, friendship, scales, and sleep

The Valkyrie and I have been having some relationship problems.  I’m not sharing the details publicly, but we had a really good talk tonight and made some decisions about where to go from here.  We’re both committed to fixing things, so I’m confident that we can sort it out. We might do couples counseling if we can’t do it on our own, but the fact that we’re both willing to work on making things better says a lot. We had to do counseling once before, ten years ago, and it made a huge difference, so we’ll take that step if need be.  She means the world to me.  Wish us luck.

Remember my BFF that I stopped being friends with in January? Well, we’re BFFs again. Spent the afternoon hanging out and everything was perfectly cool and I am SO HAPPY.  We had chatted a bit on Facebook over the last few days and I spontaneously asked if I could drop by while I was running errands today. She said yes and there was SO MUCH HUGGING and it’s like we were never apart. I’m utterly delighted.

Last night I downloaded a music theory app that includes scale work, and I’m quite pleased about that.  Not only am I getting to memorize scales, but I can also do them on a digital cello fingerboard so I know roughly where the notes are.  Obviously it’s no replacement for my actual cello, but it’s teaching me (for example) that F on the C string is at the same spot as C on the G string, and that is very useful knowledge to have.  Doing the scales was a real mental workout.  It’s been a long time since I’ve learned something radically different, as opposed to extending knowledge on an existing topic.  I’m quite enjoying it!

I seem to be having a sleep problem this week. I have sleep apnea. Around 1pm every day I’m having to take a nap whether I want to or not. Twice this week it’s happened while I’ve been running errands and I have taken 40 minute naps the car in parking lots. It’s like I was before I got my CPAP machine 1.5 years ago, and that scares me a bit. Maybe I need more air pressure now? Maybe I’m taking my mask off in my sleep too often? No idea. But I kept it on all night last night (woke up with it still on) and I still napped in the mall parking lot. Bizarre. If it’s still going on by Monday I’ll make a doctor’s appointment.

I have a weird tender lump in my jaw. It wasn’t there when I went to bed last night.  BFF says pulled tendon. MIL says swollen lymph node. (Both are nurses.) If that’s not gone by Monday I’ll go to the doctor for that too.

Okay, enough babbling.  I have some bass clef sight reading to practice…

I’m not dead, I promise!

But I am just coming out of an extended, serious depression.  It started in April.  I didn’t get online for three months except to read fanfic.  (BBC Sherlock is my imaginary boyfriend.)  Hell, I didn’t even talk to my mother for two months, and she’s one of my two favorite people in the whole world (the other being the Valkyrie).  I was a wreck.  I started feeling a bit better a couple of weeks ago, but yesterday my doctor had me add Ritalin to my daily medication cocktail and I’ve actually gotten out of bed.  Better living through modern medicine!

So this post is going to be a rather long life update…

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Life update (including the Against Me! concert)

Against Me! was amazing.  That was Thursday night in Orlando.  The Valkyrie and the Naiad got to meet Laura Jane Grace after the show, and they were over the moon about it.  The Valkyrie got Laura to autograph her Midori cover with a Sharpie.  It’s awesome.

Other stuff that’s been going on:

I’m not going to be able to have my hysterectomy this Wednesday.  I’m sick.  Breathing hurts, my sinuses hurt…  Yeah, no surgery.  I’ll schedule it for May or so, after my semester is over.

This last Wednesday I found out that the Valkyrie didn’t know she was triggering me for all these years.  We were both horrified that I’d never told her, that she’d never known.  Talking about it made everything better.  I’m so happy.

Thursday I had lunch with my former BFF.  She wants to be friends again, saying she’d never stopped being my friend.  She just needed time to heal from the death of her cat while she was away, and that seeing me reminded her of the cat.  She doesn’t seem to understand that she could have said that to me in one sentence way back when and we could have avoided everything that happened after.  She says she’s sorry for being an asshole about it, but… I dunno.  We’ll see what happens.

Friday I attended a seminar about dealing with compassion fatigue.  It was… okay.  Not as good as I’d hoped for, and the heteronormativity of the old white cis male presenter annoyed the fuck out of me.  (Seriously, for a laugh he had talking dolls that were supposed to be the perfect girlfriend and boyfriend.  The girl said shit like, “It’s okay that you left the toilet seat up, honey.  It makes it easier for me to clean.”  The boy said things like, “Can we go cuddle and just talk?”  It was offensive as fuck.)

Saturday I ran errands and then laid around the house a bunch because my hip hurt.

Today I drove up to my mom’s house (75 miles away) to do some stuff around her house for her.  I am very annoyed that my sister can’t drive the five minutes to Mom’s house to change a freaking light bulb.  We had a nice lunch, though, and I dug through a 13 year old box that I’d left behind when my ex-boyfriend and I broke up.  There was one of his sweatshirts in there.  Now I have long-sleeved shirts belonging to two dead exes.  (The other is a jacket given to me by a girlfriend around the time she was diagnosed with a brain tumor.)  It’s… weird.  Also in that box was a forgotten and unopened gift from a friend who killed himself about five years ago.  I haven’t opened it yet.  I’m not ready.

And that’s been my week.  I’ll probably go to bed early tonight, as the Valkyrie has physical therapy in the morning…

Birthday, and applying to grad school

Yesterday was my birthday.  It started off just after midnight, when the Valkyrie and the Naiad and I all exchanged presents.  V got me an adorable owl coin purse…

From JetPens

and a Manatea tea strainer that had me laughing my ass off.

From Amazon

I had seen both these things online months ago, thought they were adorable, and never got around to buying them for myself.  Which means they were perfect presents.  The Naiad bought me a Lamy Al-Star in Ocean Blue, and some gorgeous BFL wool.

Woolgatherings BFL from the Naiad

I had bought Valentine’s presents for the girls.  The Valkyrie received a handful of awesome washi tapes, instead of roses.  They were skulls and circuit boards and black lace and…  there were six different ones, I think.  And I got the Naiad a glass dip pen and a subscription to Goulet Pens’ Ink Drop, which is for both of us, so we can try new fountain pen inks every month.  V&N exchanged presents, too — N got V a nice pen and some washi tape (as V is obsessed with the stuff), and V got N a really pretty amethyst ring.  They were all mushy and it was totes adorbs.

Saturday morning I spent an hour and a half in a Barnes & Noble with my mom, sis, and sis’ family.  We had a great time.  The B&N we met at is huge.  The cafe has spinach-and-feta-stuffed soft pretzels that are to die for.  Mom and I will definitely be meeting there sometimes.  Anyway, I was talking to my sister about whether or not I want to reapply to grad school.  She said that I sounded like I did.  So this evening I wrote up my application essay.  I’m having a few people look it over, and then I’ll submit it tomorrow.  Gulp.  Sis got me an Amazon gift card, which I used to order a canvas backpack.

After B&N, Mom and I went to lunch at Red Lobster.  It’s a birthday tradition.  She’s taken me there for my birthday lunch almost every year we’ve lived with/near each other since I was a kid.  I didn’t get the annual Birthday Daiquiri because drinking makes me feel awful these days, but I had lobster tail and shrimp scampi so I was happy.  After dinner I got my gift from her, which was the Cuisinart electric tea kettle I’d been drooling over for a while.

For dinner back at my house, we had steaks, and I consumed a pound of cooked and peeled shrimp with some of my MIL’s delicious homemade cocktail sauce (with enough horseradish in it to completely clear out my sinuses).  For dessert there was a cake, and there was singing and candles.  MIL gave me two Lamy Al-Stars, in ruby red and raspberry.  They’re both pretty rare pens.  They were not a surprise, as I’m the one who ordered them with her credit card.  But I love them all the same.

I had a bit of a cry last night because I was missing my BFF, but otherwise had a nice time playing Dying Light with the girls and knitting.  I didn’t get to bed until after six this morning because I was covered in cats.  After I got up this morning, MIL and N and I went to the Russell Stover outlet, and I behaved myself.  Shocking.

Okay, back to working on my grad school application.  I don’t have to do too much for it, as all my paperwork and recommendations from last year are still valid.  All I have to do is some minor stuff, and then turn it in.  Wish me luck.

Loopy post

I had to take a hydrocodone for my hip because I was walking around a lot today and my right hip hates me so much right now.  Fucking bursitis.  Do Not Want.  So I’m a bit out of it.

Speaking of hips, my BFF has a bad hip too, which leads into the next thing I wanted to post about: she and I are hanging out tomorrow afternoon and I’m very excited to see her and give her hugs and figure out WTF I did wrong and hopefully be okay again.  We’ve had some nice chats over SMS and it’s feeling back to normal.  So I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

Today I drove the Valkyrie to our gynecologist’s in Orlando.  An hour there and back, plus the waiting room and exam room, plus stopping by Sci-Fi City to get some magazines: pain.  This is why my hip hurts.  At least I can still spin without pain.  Which is good.  I’m a little over halfway done with my commission yarn.  It’s fun to spin, even if I feel like I’m on a deadline.  (Recipient wouldn’t get mad if it took me a while longer, but she bought me wool so I want to get her yarn ASAP.)

I also chain-plied part of the merino/silk blend I was working on last week, just to clear off the bobbin.  I need to wind it into a skein though, so no pictures yet.  Chain plying is not as awful as I remembered it being, and I spun the singles fine enough that the end result is about a worsted.  Sweet.  I can’t wait to see the skein.  It’ll knit up into stripes!

For my birthday I asked for four Lamy Al-Stars to round out my collection of the different colors they’ve come in over the last 10 years or so.  I already have like 7 or something.  I forget off the top of my head.  Check out the Pens page if you’re curious.  Which reminds me, I need to find the missing pen box.  I have like 5 that went missing when I last moved house.  Annoying.  Anyway, I feel bad about asking for the Lamys, because how ridiculous is it to collect a type of fountain pen, what a waste of money, but my family wants me to have physical gifts to open.  I asked MIL for a year’s subscription to Dropbox, since I pay them $10 a month right now, but she wants me to unwrap my presents.  So pens it is.  I feel wasteful, but it’ll be nice to have a full set of Al-Stars.  Worst case I can sell a few of my existing ones should I ever need extra money, as some of the ones I bought in 2006 have gone up in value.  (Not by much, but there have been points in my life where an extra $50 would have meant food for the week.)

I feel sort of guilty for living in a nice house, even if it’s my MIL’s.  Marrying into this family, I went from lower middle class to upper, and I feel guilty for not having to struggle anymore.  It sucks to have to have family support me.  I try to remind myself that I’m actively trying to get to where I can support myself by going back to school, and that for someone with schizophrenia I’m doing pretty well at working towards that goal, but I still feel guilty.  And I’m pretty much at the beck and call of MIL whenever she needs help or companionship or whatever, and being beholden to someone can suck sometimes.  She’s very nice to me and loves me like her own child, but sharing a house with her means less privacy.  At least we get along well, and at least my FIL doesn’t live here.  I’d rather live in a cardboard box than share a house with that abusive douchenozzle.  Asshole.

Anyway.  I’m going to go hang out with the Valkyrie and the Naiad.  Or maybe just fall asleep.  I don’t like it when medication makes me feel loopy.  Ugh.


BFF update, and productivity

Turns out I may have overreacted with the BFF situation.  From her perspective, she told me she needed some time by herself for… some reason.  Which I don’t know yet.  She was not, as I thought, telling me to get out of her life. When I was freaking out about it on Facebook and unfriended her there, she thought I was telling her to get out of my life.  While I am still upset that she won’t come out and tell me why she’s upset until we meet in person next week, I can see where I was a bit rash in thinking it was over.  Also, it sounds like there’s some other shit going on in her life right now that’s hard to deal with, so that plays a factor too.  I expect all to be revealed next week.

That conversation started with her texting me out of the blue, by the way.  I’m so very glad she did, and that we’ve started sorting things out.  She told me to try to relax.  I will try.

In other news, the housekeeping fairy sent her dustmop arrow into my heart this evening, and I cleaned like a motherfucker.  I am ashamed to admit how messy I’d been lately, so let’s just say that I accomplished a huge task I’d been putting off and then did a whole bunch of other little things, all of which contributed to my head being clearer.  Amazing how decluttering a room can declutter the mind a bit.  I feel like I actually accomplished something today, which has been rare lately.

I’m tired but not sleepy.  I think I’ll do some spinning and then go to bed.

I just don’t understand what I did wrong.

I keep thinking about my BFF, and wondering what I could have possibly done wrong.  I couldn’t have killed her cat, I never did anything but clean the litter box and feed them food from the right bag and/or cans (depending on cat).  She had left the toilet in her bathroom running when she left; I didn’t hear it when I was over there, as I had no reason to go in there, but because I hadn’t heard it I was prepared to pay for part of her water bill.  I don’t think I said anything bad, but if I did she should know me well enough to know I wasn’t being mean, just maybe thoughtless.  My MIL (who was also friends with BFF) thinks BFF was jealous of my friendship with the Naiad.  I don’t think BFF is that petty.  So what did I do wrong?  She’s never going to tell me, she’s never going to speak to me again, and it hurts so much I just burst into tears sometimes when I think about it.  We were so close.  I would have never hurt her on purpose.  I’m sorry, I’m repeating myself, I’m just in a lot of pain.  I miss her.