Topical Tuesday: Taking a Quick Break

Hihi guys! Thanks for coming back to see me. Today, though, the topic isn’t as light-hearted… Wait, yes it is. I’m going on vacation!

For those of you who don’t know, I’m in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend of nearly two years. Because we live in states that are fairly far apart, we don’t see each other that often. In fact, my first time meeting him was also a bit of a ‘meet the family’ deal, since he lives at home. Well, I missed out last year on getting to see him for his birthday, but this year… I’ll be there!

However, as I’ll be staying with the family who are all kind and friendly to me, and even more so spending time with the man I love, I can’t guarantee how often I’ll be using my computer and, when I do, being able to update the blog. I promise this is only going to be for a week or so- I return on the 22nd and leave tomorrow.

I’ll try to post if and when I can, but you’ll more likely see me on Twitter, Discord and some of the forums I love when I’m online. I apologize if this is too late to tell you about this trip- I thought a day was enough, but you can let me know if I should’ve said so sooner.

Anywho, that’s all I really have to say for the time being. I look forward to seeing you all back with my regularly scheduled posts after I get past the jet lag from going to Arizona. I wish you all a wonderful week! <3 Take care!

Soulful Saturday: PTSD 2

Hey guys, how’s it going? Last week, I got some great reactions to my Saturday article talking about my trigger involving my uncle (don’t worry, I won’t cry saying it right now). It was requested I share more of my triggers, and those do tend to be very deep, albeit difficult subjects. So, Soulful Saturday seems perfect for it!

Today, I’m taking you back to my high school years. I lived in a two family house, with neighbors that regularly changed. I believe I was in 10th grade? I’m pretty sure it was while I was at Cornerstone… Or was it NAA? Oh well. Point blank, we had a very troublesome neighbor. I’ll go on and explain some of the things he did.

It started with water pouring all over our dining room table. Apparently he’d flooded his kitchen or something of the sort? He promised to pay for the damaged goods, but he didn’t have insurance, if I recall correctly. He offered to fix it, even.

All I know is when we questioned him for updates on getting paid back the damages, he started to change for the worse. He was volatile, banging on our windows first thing in the morning, using his leaf blower right near my computer desk’s window knowing it would hurt my head and drive me nuts. Eventually, he and my father had a confrontation.

Unfortunately, when the police came, dad- who hadn’t started it at all or even taken much part- was unscathed, while the neighbor had a bloody nose. They didn’t make any charges or anything, but it didn’t make them like us very much.

The harrassment began to get worse after that. In fact, the man went so far as to come up to the van I was being brought home in and put his leaf blower right at the window nearest me. The driver and my classmates were horrified that this would happen. I was crying by the time I got inside.

And soon enough, it all came to a head. The neighbor was pounding so hard on our door, our living room clock fell off the wall. The noise was horrifying, and I ran to hide. Dad went out and didn’t fight back, even as the bastard kicked him hard with steel-toed boots. The police came once again, this time to a very different scene. I have a vague memory that I was threatened to be next, but dad says that didn’t happen.

Unfortunately, that false memory still remains, as does the very real memory of seeing all my father’s injuries being checked. He was already in horrid shape- he is half of where I get my fibromyalgia from, and he’s had MRSA twice so far in his legs. I don’t recall if he was diagnosed yet with psoriatic arthritis, but… either way, the point is he wasn’t in the best of health as it was, and this guy felt a need to attack.

Now, there’s a couple things I didn’t mention about this man.

  1. He was a severe alcoholic
  2. He was taking advantage of a woman he promised to help get her green card
  3. He was just messed up, according to said woman, but she couldn’t leave.

Knowing all this, I became paranoid for a few years that he’d find us and attack again. I became afraid of anyone that drinks alcohol for a while, because I assumed they could be just like that man that haunts my nightmares. The two upstairs disappeared, but I didn’t feel safe until we moved ourselves. And sometimes, I still worry he’ll come after us. I don’t know why… I just fear it.

I have many fears that relate to this one incident alone. A fear of alcoholics (though my uncle had already partially instilled that in me. I’m getting over it though, at least a bit!), androphobia (fear of men, for me mostly ones I don’t know. It just added to it), and a fear of leaf-blowers that I try not to think about when there’s landscaping being done outside. To be honest, that last one I haven’t even really talked to dad about… You’re the first to know this secret.

I think that’s enough for today. Do you have any of the fears I mentioned? I’d love to hear more about you- whether you want to share what kind of drunk you are or what makes you uneasy. I’m greatly hopeful you never have to experience such a deranged person. I wish you all the best of luck. Thank you for continuing to read my life.

Throwback Thursday: Mental Health Diagnoses

Hey everyone, how are you? I’m doing alright myself, but I’m having some issues that regard my mental health. After looking back quite a while, I realized that I never actually told you all of my conditions and how they affect me in my daily life. I have a lot of diagnoses on my rap sheet, both physical and mental, but I was thinking that today, I could look back on my mental health issues and share just what happens when they act up. On that note, let’s begin. In no particular order:

Schizoaffective Disorder: Not my oldest nor my newest diagnosis, this disorder is essentially a two in one type of deal. People with schizoaffective disorder, from how my doctors have explained it to me, is when a person has schizophrenic tendencies (psychosis and the like) along with a mood disorder, such as my bipolar type 1 (the kind with full blown mania). It can also be schizophrenic tendencies and major depression disorder.

  1. In my case, this means I have hallucinations- mine tend to be more auditory, but I occasionally see people in a scene that aren’t there, which leads me to tugging at my dad’s shirt and asking if someone is real or not. My meds help with that now though, for the most part… So that’s good.
  2. Unfortunately, though, I also need meds that control my mania (which my anti-psychotic is actually additionally useful for). I once went to Walgreens on a walk and ended up spending eighty bucks I didn’t intend to spend. I was energetically leaving the store and gave myself a once over realizing what I’d just done. I didn’t go back though- instead, I kept it as a reminder to myself what happens when I shop alone (that, and I’d intended to get some cosmetics, just didn’t expect the price!).
  3. I have a fairly unhinged cycle when it comes to my mania and depression- but when they hit, they hit hard. I spend depressive cycles fighting my urge to self-harm, crying uncontrollably over the tiniest thing and basically just look and feel like a total nutjob.

Borderline Personality Disorder: I can’t help but bring this up again. Yes, I have a personality disorder. It basically means my ability to trust has been warped by my abandonment issues. And let me admit: I’ve been abandoned (emotionally) by a lot of people, all starting with my mother. By age thirteen, I had a psychiatrist wanting to label me with the disorder, but legally unable. But basically, I see the world in black and white, metaphorically speaking. There’s a fine line between good and bad and I can easily place people on one side or the other at the drop of a hat. It’s far from something I’m proud of, and I’m trying to fight it- but it’s still a problem, and it’s still part of me.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (with Panic): As the name suggests, I have a strong tendency to be anxious over things that don’t require/normally trigger it in people. And, at times, my anxiety gets so bad I’ll have panic attacks over said things. I can get overly anxious over things like being late or spilling food. If it’s something to worry about, I can find it.

PTSD: I’m telling about what lead to those on Saturdays for a while, so I’ll just explain there. Besides, you probably know this one too.

OCD: Another common disorder, but how it affects me may not be quite the same as other people. For me, it’s an urge to correct things: adjusting all the store products to be aligned just right when I don’t work there, my inability to ignore a typo without correcting it or I can’t concentrate. You’d think this would make me very meticulous with my room or desk, but it doesn’t. I have my routines, but it doesn’t involve cleaning up. I’m still a clutterbug- just one that likes things to be all facing the same way.

I do have some other diagnoses, but these five are the main issues. I may do another of these but for my physical ailments, depending on what you guys think. But until then, let me know: do you want more? Do you have any of these yourself? Ask any questions or responses in the comments. I love hearing from you guys! But for now, take care. See you Saturday!

Topical Tuesday: Communication is Key!

Morning, everyone! Are you having a good day so far? Today, I want to talk to you about a little thing called ‘communication’. Yes, we all hear about this word when it comes to trying to get along with people. However, I’d like to discuss a few things that pertain to my own communication skills and flaws. So, let’s begin.

Offline, my communication can be pretty awkward. I often speak too fast and quietly for people to hear, and it only gets worse when I’m anxious. And that’s not the only issue! My wording is often a mess- and so, sometimes, I avoid voicing the things on my mind, when my blunt honesty isn’t in effect. Neither bluntness nor silence make for a great person to be around. What’s interesting is who I’m the quietest with. The more I trust you, the less I feel a need to speak.

With strangers, I’ll babble on about anything just to deal with the awkwardness… But, for example, when I’m with my boyfriend in person, I didn’t actually speak nearly as much as when we’d chat online. And that last part I’d like to emphasize for a moment. Why do I talk to people more online than offline, whether I’m close to them or not?

I think the answer is not being able to see them. I get really awkward whether it’s voice or video chats. For me, the more real it is, the more I find it hard to separate it from reality and thus my usual feelings of relief take the wheel and I go quiet. That’s just my hypothesis. I can’t really tell what the truth is though.

Another issue I have with communication is wording. I write better than I speak- when I speak, I often sound like a chicken with its head cut off. I misunderstand things easily, miss puns, and can’t always recognize sarcasm or jokes. I also can’t hide my feelings well on my face, so my words don’t fool anyone. I’m the worst liar I know, and my wording only makes it worse. I misuse idioms and want to hit my head on something the moment I realize it. I stall and stutter, which is a not so great quality either.

Basically, talking makes me uneasy, but not talking makes me uneasy. I guess overall… Communication just makes me anxious? It’s something I’m not proud of… So I better get to work on that!

Do any of you struggle with communication? Do you have any tips or tricks that help you with talking slower and louder, and just keeping small talk alive? I really don’t know what I’m doing… But I’m sure someone out there does! So, if you have any ideas at all, please share them in the comments for the rest of us. Pretty please with sugar on top? I promise, I’ll thank you.

Soulful Saturday: PTSD

Hey guys! Today’s Soulful Saturday is going to be a little deep and dark. Today, I want to discuss flashbacks, actually. But these aren’t any ordinary flashback… they’re flashbacks from PTSD.

I have been through a number of traumatic situations. I’ve been in many car crashes, I’ve had a crazy neighbor attack my dad, and I’ve had someone sexually harass me and I just couldn’t get it to stop on my own.

Each of these issues put together encompass the majority of my PTSD. On Friday, I had a severe panic attack after having a flashback of my uncle sexually harrassing me. And you see, here’s the thing: my uncle isn’t a great person, but at the time most of us thought he was a good person all together. The thing is, he’s a drinker. And when he drinks, he unthinkingly starts touching you in places that make you very uncomfortable, such as your butt or getting really close to your chest. He’s tried kissing me right at the corner of my mouth, and honestly, I was disgusted. All of this just disgusted me… And I was afraid for a long while to tell anyone, “Uncle Bob [not real name] has been harassing me”.

The day before Friday, my dad left the room while on a call, and I went to look for him and make sure he was alright. I ended up hearing him talk about issues with my uncle. And I broke down in SECONDS.

Friday, however, was a strange one. My panic attack took a variety of coping skills and tissues to calm myself down enough to write this. So yes, this was written on Friday instead.

Today, I had a flashback of when he’d touch my butt even after I said no. I felt it as if it was happening in real time, and it scared me so much I literally got up and took an anxiety pill immediately. Also, that was the last one I have… or… had? I’m not sure whether it really makes sense or not with tense, but oh well.

The point is, something so simple broke me at my core. And that’s just one of three major triggers. I don’t want to talk about them though, because I want to focus on writing out my pain from this particular experience. If you guys want to read about my other PTSD triggers, I’d be more than happy for you to comment and tell me.

I don’t know how long the backlash of hearing that conversation is going to be. All I know is I’ll recover. But, it’ll take a lot of time to truly heal…

Throwback Thursday: Convertible Computers

Hey there, guys. It’s already Thursday? The week has flown by it seems like! Just yesterday I was talking to my dad about how it felt like it was still Tuesday… Well, we were looking for a Thursday show anyway. But that’s not really important right now!

Today, I want to talk about computers- but not just any kind. No, today’s post is about convertible computers. Now, if you aren’t sure what those are, you’ve probably seen them a lot lately. They’re those laptops that can turn into a tablet, which is great for when you’re trying to draw something by hand with digital art. The thing is, I have one complaint about recent versions of this computer type.

Why do more than half the ones I’ve looked at leave you with your keyboard sitting against your lap!?

It’s not like convertible computers are brand new as an idea, mind you. In fact, my laptop maybe eight to ten years ago was a convertible. The way it worked, though, was very different. The hinges weren’t on the side, but the center. You’d turn the screen around and then lay the back of the monitor on top of the keyboard instead.

Okay, so maybe that doesn’t sound the most logical, but if you’re like me and are very active while sitting (I mean tapping your feet to a beat, constantly changing poses, etc)… Well, my concern would be both comfort and the possibility of my shaking leg causing buttons to be pressed a lot. Unless you get a very flat keyboard and it has a lock so it won’t leg-type like a phone, I would worry greatly myself.

As I’m doing my shopping online, I can’t test the comfort and protection against typing with my kangaroo knee. And so, I’ve been looking at a ton of computers in my price range- many of which are convertible- and so far, I can’t find one that flips in the way I thought would be natural considering computers of old.

I know this post is a bit of a vent, but I do have a question for all of you: do you have a convertible computer? How does it change and if it’s like the above, does it have precautionary additions to avoid knee typing? What kind of computer do you have in general? I’d love to hear about what’s important in a computer to you!

Until next time- take care!

Topical Tuesday: Bullet Journal

Hi everyone! Welcome to a new week here on my blog! Today’s Topical Tuesday, I’m going to return to a recent topic I covered. I’m returning to the concept of journaling, because I ended up caving in to the pressure I gave myself watching all those videos about bullet journals.

That’s right, everyone. I now have a bullet journal. I walked to the dollar store on Friday of last week and ended up buying a tiny, cute journal to work with. “Why did you write about this now and not on Saturday?” I hear you asking. Well, to be honest… I did start on Friday, but I like to write my blog posts a day early, and I wrote Saturday’s post before my walk that afternoon. Thus, I hadn’t started it until I already had a post written- one that’s very important to me, no less.

I’ve noticed that my blog has been less and less related to my writing, and that made Saturday’s post extra important to me to write about: because my life is writing, yet all I’ve been writing is my life. And I write way more than that! That’s why, that day, I wanted a change of pace. A return to my roots, so to speak.

And that may also explain why I decided to try bullet journaling. It works as a reminder that I’m a creative spirit, one that needs a lot of help keeping track of things. I’m very unorganized as a person- the fact that someone showed admiration for the fact I can keep a general schedule on two blogs made me remember why I decided to take on the challenge: because I was amazed at how organized those people were.

So far, I’m still learning the ropes. I haven’t done a ‘daily’ page as of writing this post- but I found a lot of interesting pages to work on, and it’s also been a great help in trying to make my handwriting better (though it’s still pretty bad, if I’m being honest!). I even found inspiration to make pages listing my coping skills for my mental health, a page with ideas for future topics with you guys in mind, and plenty more. I don’t have much artistic flair in it yet- my gel pens refuse to work efficiently, so I could only draw on one or two pages with color… But I did doodle on a spread that’s meant to remind you who you are and what makes you you!

Here, have a couple pictures of my journal so far:

Do any of you guys journal in any sense of the word? Are there any bullet journalers in the house? I’d love to hear all of your experiences and advice on the matter- because while it’s meant to be personal, isn’t it good to share personal things sometimes?

Soulful Saturday: Obsession

Hello everyone! It’s time for another post of me gushing about things that aren’t just topical, easy to discuss things. For a change though, my topic is actually writing related! (Shocking, I know!) Today, I’d like to tell you about a little problem I’ve had most of my life since I learned to read and spell. A little thing called…. Obsession.

I don’t know why or how it started. One day, I just noticed an error in the work I was reading. And, when I found the error, I stared at it. I stared hard, thinking, praying it would fix itself. I was certain it would, because I was a child at the start of this. But no, it didn’t change. I couldn’t will it. And, thus, I never got through it. I just kept staring, and staring, and staring some more.

When I hit middle school age, it became a bigger problem. Whether it was English class where we were learning grammar, or another class unrelated to language, I would stare at any issue I saw, even if it was done on purpose. Eventually, I started asking to answer each question regarding proper use of commas and the like, when three were on the board for three of us. I wanted all of them- because I couldn’t trust my classmates to get it right, and that’d just lead me down a spiral of despair. And this wasn’t even the worst of it.

In high school, I was hospitalized for suicidal ideation. No, this wasn’t because of errors on the chalk board, but it leads to my favorite story of just how badly my need to fix errors was perceived. You see, once you’re out of the psych ward for- for children, anyway- you get sent to what’s called ‘partial hospitalization’. Basically, it’s the gate between the hospital and normal life. The people that work there are mostly therapists and doctors, and they know all your problems, whether because you warned them or because they had your records from your stint in the hospital.

You’d think a therapist can keep their cool when they know a patient means no harm and has an issue where they can’t focus when they see an error. But this one time, I got lucky and found the one that didn’t fit that stereotype. She was telling us about mantras- you know, the things you say to yourself to calm down, or to meditate? But what she wrote on the board was manta. Like a manta ray fish. Naturally, this became my new focus- and, knowing myself, I automatically raised my hand and, when called on, corrected her mistake.

She exploded. “Oh, so now you’re a genius with foreign words too!?” I don’t remember if I pointed out to her mantra was considered a word in the English language too. Or, y’know, the fact it’s got the ‘r’ sound right in it. She was beyond pissed with me, and we never seemed to calm that storm she felt toward me since then. I wasn’t sure how to feel myself, however. To this day, I don’t know what I think of her.

Not everyone saw my obsession as a bad thing though. When I was a teenager, I dealt with the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS). My DYFS worker couldn’t spell for her life, and she knew it well. She warned me before we were going to do an exercise of some sort that involved writing things down on her side, and told me to correct her anytime I saw a misspelling. Which was a lot. But the fact was, this woman accepted she was far from perfect, and gave my imperfection of obsessing over these things a new meaning.

I’ve made peace with myself over this obsession. I know it’s not healthy, so I try to tame it a bit, but I also know denying it is denying myself. Half the reason I do things like NaNoWriMo are because they promote accepting the imperfections in our writing as part of the process. And I need that, even if I fail to complete my story. I’ve been doing it almost every year for twelve years- that’s since I was fifteen! I’ve still got a long way to go, but knowing you have a problem is the first step to solving it, right?

That’s enough rambling for today. Why don’t you tell me some of the things that you’re obsessed with? Or just little pet peeves that drive you wild! I know I can’t be the only person around that can’t focus when certain things aren’t exactly as it feels they should be… Or can I?

Throwback Thursday: Irritating Planes

Hello everyone and welcome back to another Throwback Thursday! Wait, Thursday? The week moved so fast- kind of like a plane zipping through the sky. Okay, you caught me, I just wanted to make the theme of this post a little less obvious. Today, I’m going to share a couple of plane-related stories.

You see, I’ve flown in planes a lot in my life. My family ended up sleeping in an airport because of blizzards keeping planes grounded. I don’t remember that one, but I was an infant or toddler, so no one should be surprised. It happened when we were going to visit my grandparents for the holidays.

But I haven’t just flown in a plane. I also flew a plane. Well, sort of. When I was turning…thirteen or fourteen, I can’t fully recall… Anyway, on that birthday, my aunt got me a flying lesson. Yes, my aunt thought giving a teenager a flight lesson was smart- and I so thank her for it!

I may be spoiling things for those of you who have flying lessons come up, but there were a few major… ‘mishaps’ during the flight itself. For starters, my best friend at the time came on the plane with me as a passenger, not telling me about her fear of heights. There’s nothing like trying to focus on my teacher’s instructions while there’s a girl screaming in the back while we’re already in the air!

She wasn’t the only scared one though. Apparently, a part of a flight lesson in a small plane includes the teacher turning off the engine to show how the plane glides. It glides, but you could have just told me instead of giving me a panic attack!

That’s not my most irritating story about planes though. My next one is as a passenger, by myself as a teacher. It actually happened before the flying lesson, as this was the flight to stay with my aunt in the first place!

It wasn’t my first time flying as a minor, but naturally, it was my first time sitting next to the person in the aisle seat, a person you don’t even know. As he noticed me, and we greeted properly, his first question was… quite miffed. His question? “You must be Jewish, am I right? You have a big nose, and you’re dressed quite conservatively.”

You heard it, didn’t you? He was automatically stereotyping me. For starters, I didn’t choose this bloody nose that can’t even smell. That said, it’s not even that big to me- you should’ve seen my great grandpa’s! But what really pissed me off was his point as if only Jewish people wear conservative clothing ever. I was wearing conservative clothes because it was chilly and planes get really cold for me. I was trying to stay warm, bastard. Don’t use that to tie up your already damaged recognition.

To be honest, I don’t remember anything else from that flight. I just remember seething all the rest of the way, and trying to pretend he never existed. The worst part, though, was that he was right thanks to stupid stereotypes. Yes, I am technically Jewish. My mother was Jewish, so I’m Jewish. It’s in my blood. But at the time, I didn’t know that. I didn’t know Judaism was half race and half religion. I just knew I didn’t have any interest in the religion part, and didn’t consider myself to be it. So, in a way, he was also wrong. But that he was remotely correct is what bothers me to this day.

So, those are my two stories for you today. You never know what to expect on a plane, do you? That’s why you should always be prepared to deal with rude people, remember the plane will glide so don’t panic if things are shut off, etc.

Do you have any plane related memories that you’d like to share? Please do so in the comments- I’d love to see what to be ready for even further! Let’s all help each other see what can happen, guys!

Topical Tuesday: Friendship

Good morning, guys! It’s hard to believe Tuesday came so quickly. I’m still not adjusted to days of the week yet, or so it seems by my extreme fatigue. Fatigue aside, I have a great topic to talk about today, and it just so happens to start with an F: Friendship.

Friendship is a very special thing- but it’s even more special if you’re like me and struggle to trust people even 10%. My fear of being abandoned has made it common for me to try pushing people away the more they become close to me. That’s right folks, if I was pushing you away, either I really didn’t like you or I just liked you too much. And yes, I know that’s confusing.

I’d like to put an emphasis on one word there, though: was. I’ve come to a point where I don’t always assume someone is going to leave me because of how close we are. I still occasionally react as if I do think that, but I’m learning a way to separate my real friends, such as you guys, from my friends that I can’t seem to see staying by my side. That difference? Family.

To me, my true friends, my good friends- they’re family to me. It doesn’t mean I’m guaranteed not to push them away at a certain point, but I’m far less likely to than if I don’t see them that way. I hate my extended family much of the time, but my friend family is very dear to me. I try hard to fight the urge to avoid them far more than I’d avoided keeping away from friends before. I do have friends that may feel I’ve pushed away from them still. Friends that are extremely dear to me, the closest to family I have offline. But that’s not intended, and I hope someday they see this: I love you all, I just kind of lose track of time.

Time isn’t something I’m good at keeping an eye on. As my schedule is barely existent, days blend together and so I can’t keep track of when I last spoke to someone. Was it just a day, a week, a month? I also still have one worry that comes up often: I don’t want to be too clingy like I tend to be. What if they’re busy or something? It’d make me feel bad if I interrupt them while they’re working hard on things in their own lives.

That said, I want you all to know- if you’re my friend, you’re my family. And to me, all of you reading this are somewhere in that family tree- and I can’t be more thankful to have you, despite my insecurities.