Triggers: places where I have no definitive purpose. I had to limp the car in to the car guy, stopping every 3-4 blocks to get it to stop overheating, girlchild following me, turning the engine off at every signal. She had an early appointment and was tired and cranky, so she didn’t want to go back home. She needed makeup for her senior photo today, and though I had tried getting it last month when I was in a store I visit approximately once every 13.5 months, she didn’t answer the text in time, so of course it was my fault she didn’t think of it until 9 PM last night. So she argued I could drop her at her appointment, go to the mall (aaargh, shoot me now), buy it, and come back in time to pick her up.
Sigh. I hadn’t eaten. I thought I was going back home. But I pick my arguments these days, and sometimes it’s just easier to go along with her.
So to the mall I went. And realized Walmart and Target are here, so I might as well get school supplies off my list (your friendly neighborhood public school teacher just spent $150 of her own money on your kids…one woman thanked me for my service when she asked why I was buying so many folders.). Because that’s not depressing. Half the mall stores aren’t even open until 10 though, so I’m typing this on my phone in Panera (better than Cold Stone for breakfast), where Wyatt cheerily and spacily took my order (oh my lord, you dear sweet boy…who hired you?). But I still have 25 minutes until Macys fucking opens and the muzak and early morning mall people are driving me nuts. And I just realized the kid who told me I could keep the plate that he did his cell model on must have stolen it from Panera. Ok, probably not. I don’t want to accuse someone of stealing just because it looks exactly like this plate in front of me that had over 500 calories on it that I will have to burn off later.
And you know what? The mall, by myself, is a fucking trigger. It makes me sad. It makes me depressed. Sitting around and watching mall people in the mall doing mall things, all being mall-like, I shouldn’t be there. If I go in knowing exactly what I need, like a target strike, and get the fuck back out quickly? I’m fine. Or with other people, I’m OK. Mostly. Depending on the purpose and the people. But this really fucked my mood for the day. I was doing OK yesterday. Not great. Just OK. Bearable. Not drowning in anything. Today. Today is different. Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow does not include the mall.
At comic book club, we decided we didn’t like the book…Pretty Deadly, Vol 1. The art was nice, but the story was just not present. Or coherent. Sigh.
Or should that be comic-book book club. Or comic book² club. No one knows.
I did quilt a lot yesterday. I got everything done up to the breasts. I only did about 4 hours though. I wanted at least 5, but when I got home, girlchild wanted help picking her photo outfit, which turned into “what’s my favorite color”…
(yes, that’s a snake on her head and no, that’s not what she wore for pictures, although I did double dare her), and I needed to draw something for GISHWHES, and my SIL called and I talked to my brother, because he remembers “write me a note telling me WHY,” from middle school, and then it was really late and I knew I had to get up early to deal with the car. And tomorrow is a total loss (first professional development of the year, expect nothing and you will only be surprised by whatever it is, although the over-2-hour long movie presentation planned for 1-3 PM will make me sleep…is he fucking NUTS?). And now it’s after 4 PM and I still haven’t started quilting today. FUCK.
My scheduling has deteriorated into a WTF moment. I am losing it. Deep breaths. I achieve small things each day; some days the achievements are smaller than others. They are still achievements.
I think I need to go crawl into a ball shape and put a pillow over my head, and then maybe my eye will stop twitching and faeries will come and organize the hoard, plus make a reasonable schedule of all the tasks that need to be completed before August 31, and if I’m lucky, they’ll suss out my personal life as well so I can feel more human and less like everyone’s mom. EVERYONE’S mom. Yours too. Or a sad ball of snot. That’s not your mom.
And even more…
Not much to say, except wow. There’s a lot of quilting on this sucker.
Learning to think differently about things is not the same as positive thinking. When people tell me to be more positive, I think actually it is more useful to me to have a neutral response to things that might normally cause me to stress excessively. For example, when my credit card number was stolen, in the past, I would have freaked out and stressed and verbalized all that. Instead, I had a very neutral, calm response. Shit happens. Go through steps 1-3 and shit will go away. And I did that. And it did. So as more stressful things are popping up this week with school coming closer for me and the kids, and the thought of sending boychild off with all the stuff that goes along with that, I’m better off thinking about major stressors in a neutral way. It’s in my nature to want to be prepared, so I have a couple things in my brain for one thing that’s coming up that is causing some PTSD related to authority figures. There’s a mantra in my head from a recent stressful event…”don’t say anything until they’ve talked. don’t freak out. don’t say anything.” One friend said I wasn’t being true to my self, but I’m not sure that my self is particularly helpful in these situations. Sometimes she just needs to calm down and hear all the words…and all the NOT words, because there seems to be a lot unsaid. I spent the last few years feeling attacked for having the wrong feelings and saying the wrong things, and feeling like no one was listening to what I was saying, even though I was the only one actually communicating. But what I said was never heard. It was never considered. In multiple parts of my life, that is still the case. I feel a need to guard my self more carefully now. She needs more protection than she used to, and it’s possible that communicating what she’s thinking is not in my best interest at the moment. Maybe I just need to hold what she’s thinking carefully in my head instead of putting it out there. For now. I’d love to be able to trust someone enough to not feel that way, but I don’t.
“If we decide to think positively, that may be useful, but it is not meditation. It is just more thinking. We can as easily become a prisoner of so-called positive thinking as of negative thinking. It too can be confining, fragmented, inaccurate, illusory, self-serving, and wrong.” Jon Kabat-Zinn
To me, all that overly positive thinking, the cliches and cute little things on Pinterest and Facebook, it’s just a mask. It’s not real. It’s hard for someone like me to read them and think, oh yeah, if I just THOUGHT hard enough (because I don’t think hard?), I would be happy. It’s magic. I’m just not doing it right. No, ma’am. You’ve spent two years being told you weren’t doing it right. I was doing. I was talking. I was thinking. I was watching. There is a change that needs to happen, and it is, slowly, like a snail traversing gravel, but it’s not about cute little maxims. It’s about changing the response. Letting the big bad stuff just roll over into the swamp behind me. Pushing forward through hanging vines and snakes without letting them grab on and trigger that fear, that fight-or-flight response, that adrenaline rush caused by stress. Or even that sad wave, so different than the fear, more of a washing over your head than an electrical charge to the heart.
OK. With all that in my head, it’s probably best that I quilt for the next 10 hours before talking again.