Potentially Nonsense

Postcards from places I've never been.

Category: Pets

Personality defrag

The Write 31 Days prompt for today is: The struggle is real. What’s yours?

For nearly the last two years, I’ve been doing the work of pulling myself together. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a chameleon, and I hate it. There was an art to being safe in my childhood home. It was mostly Bad to be noticed. It was Good to be helpful. It was Good to be quiet. It was Bad to let anyone outside the family know what was going on inside the family.

Awesome, right? Right. I’m not alone in this experience, but I sure felt alone at the time. I think that isolation was part of the point, looking back.

All six of my siblings and I learned to give different faces to different people. It was a survival thing.

Our senses of reality were f*cked with. I’ve continuously kept a journal since I was twelve, because I was told so many times that something happened that didn’t, or didn’t that did. My siblings and I still, still sometimes check in with each other, just like when we were kids. “Did that happen? Do you remember? Mom says it did/didn’t.”

A journal was unchangeable. Ink on paper was reliable. I still sometimes go back and check an old journal, and sometimes I remembered it right, and sometimes I didn’t.

We all learned to wear carefully crafted faces, different for each person watching us. We learned different sets of memory, different for each person we were presenting to. We fragmented for survival.

The thing is, we are our memories.

It’s like I took a dozen different jigsaw puzzles, and shook them together in a box, and nothing goes together quite right, even though some of it does. Sometimes. Kind of. The story the puzzle tells makes no sense. Memories don’t quite work together, and it takes some outside help to make sense of it all, and sort out the stories we were told to remember, and the ones that actually happened.

So I’ve been doing some head chiropracty, trying to pull everything as straight as possible. It will probably never all quite fit, but it can be better aligned. My therapist was worth twice his weight in gold, for having the patience of a god. EMDR and therapy has changed my life, y’all. It’s dangerous to go skull spelunking alone. And thank goodness for modern medicine to correct my brain chemistry so I could start therapy.

During this 31 day challenge, I had a real thunderbolt moment. I’m a whole, fully integrated person when I’m writing. All the fog clears. The puzzle pieces make sense. I can think more clearly. I can remember more clearly. I knew this, but I didn’t know it, you know? Since you’re taking part in the Write 31 Day October blogging challenge, it’s even money that you do know this. I don’t know if it’s because I originally began writing to track my own reality, or if that’s just how brains generally work.

My continuing struggle with integrating and with running a personality defrag is made easier by writing, and writing is easier when I’m less isolated. I’m grateful you’re here with me, traveling through this writing challenge like we’re all on the yellow brick road, waving to the pixels as we skip past.

Thanks for being here with me.

In case you need something to smile about, here is a Corgi in a scarf.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

My own private Ida-nope.

Today’s post is short1. I’m going to go to bed early. I’m going to get up later than I’ve been getting up this week, because I’m writing this ahead of time. I’m scheduling it.

In the morning, I’m going to take a longer shower than necessary. I’m going to have two, two cups of coffee.2 I’ll take the dog on his constitutional, and then I’ll go to work. After work, the doggo and I are going for another walk. How decadent!

That’s what my self care looks like, today. That’s how I’m going to take care of myself. That’s how I’m going to protect my self, today. I may come back later and post pics of the walk, or I may not. It will be a surprise for both of us.

So I’m not writing a proper post today, because I’m opting in for a little nonproductive time spent taking care of myself.

Are you doing anything intentional this month to look after or protect your own wild and precious self?

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

It’s my first ex-anniversary, and boy are my arms tired

Twelve years ago today, I made some vows with and to another adult human. The vows were real flippin’ easy ones, and they were the same for both of us. They were so easy, and the ceremony was so fast, that the photographer missed the kiss for the first time in his 50 year career.

You wouldn’t think they’d be that hard to remember then, right? Alas.

To be honest, I had originally planned something heartbreaking and angry for today, but after processing so much this month, I just… don’t need to. Thanks for helping me work through so much, y’all. The set up costs of blogging are much cheaper than therapy.

I woke up this morning with a giddy thought. I CAN UNPACK ALL THE THINGS. All the boxes we never unpacked when we moved here years ago, because every time I started to clean or set our home up, I was met with a wall of resentment and silence, and I was afraid of the repercussions of that anger, so I did everything I could to avoid it.

I stopped living, I stopped being me. But… now? I can unpack my stationery and pens. I can unpack my quilting supplies and embroidery supplies and all the activities I’ve loved since I was a wee bairn. I come from generations of makers and builders. I was working in my mom’s wood shop as soon as I could handle a tack hammer and had enough dexterity to unravel rope.

I don’t think I can be me and not be making something. So instead of griping today, and doing something largely symbolic, I’m unpacking. I’m taking up space. I’m going to create. I’m going to make. I’m going to rebuild, stronger, faster, better.

This is going to be glorious.

So that’s why I’m not writing, today. It’s my first ex-anniversary, and I’m celebrating by finding myself amongst the boxes and bubble-wrap. No time to write! Things to do!

In case you could use a smile today, here is my teacup chupacabra in his Halloween costume.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Weekend Link Love #2

Time to share a little love, this weekend.

Things I’ve listened to this week: Radio drama and the like is life.
Wolverine: The Long Night (FREE PODCAST, people!)
The X-Files: Cold Cases

Here are a few of my favorite people:

* Penny, who is stumbling along in the most interesting way possible.
* XKCD, which pretty much always makes me smile.
* Post Secret, for breaking my heart weekly, in the best way possible.
* The Coffee Snob, who wrote this gorgeous and devastating piece that might or might not be about a hat.

And shout out to the US Postal service, just because mail carriers are my heros. And also because I love working in the mail room every chance I get, and I only get that chance when the usual mail person has a vacation. RACK UP THAT PTO AND TAKE A VACATION, ALREADY.

OK, fellow Write 31 Day-ers and Five Minute Free Writers, we’re nearly at the halfway point. C’mon, we can do this! Everybody pull!

Close enough.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

VACUUM ALL THE THINGS

I’m not writing today because I need to clean. There are dishes to do, meals to prep, carpet to be de-furred (three cats + one dog = pet hair tumbleweeds overnight), and basically everything looks important and more fun than writing, right now. It’s great to avoid writing by being productive at something else. It’s such a convenient reason! Thanks, dog footprints on the carpet. You’re the best.

Yes, there are definitely more important things I need to do today than write.

Look! Look over here! The bathroom sink clearly needs a good scrub. Maybe a baking soda soak, while I’m at it. Look. Go on. It’s all so fascinating.

It’s self-care! That’s what it is. Self-care. It’s not procrastination or fear of failure at all. I’m just taking good care of myself. And, really, who can write with a sink full of dishes staring at them? Not me, that’s who. No siree.

When was the last time I washed the cat beds? Too long ago, that’s when. I have time for a load of laundry while the dishes run. It’s not like I need to watch it. I just need to get it started. There will be plenty of time to write after that. Plenty.

Should I run the carpet shampooer? I mean, maybe I should? I did already vacuum three times, to make sure I got up all the pet hair. If I’m going to do that, maybe I should go ahead and run the shampooer. Might as well, right? I’m halfway there, already.

Oh, oh! I could sweep! The entry way needs a tidy up. Groceries? How am I for groceries? If I’m going to pick up groceries, I’d better clean the fridge, first, and if I’m going to clean the fridge, I need to take the trash out, and if I’m going to take the trash out, I might as well empty all the trash cans.

And… and… and….

VACUUM ALL THE THINGS.

So that’s why I’m not writing today – I need to vacuum.

Absolute credit where absolute credit is due. Besides, “Hyperbole and a Half” is hilarious. She said it first, and the internet was never the same again.

In case you’re having a bad day, here is an emergency Hank.

A photo of a woman wearing glasses, sitting on a couch, with a small dog resting his head on her shoulder.

Responsible for 100% of the dog hair and pawprints in this apartment.

This blog has been taken over by the Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.