I didn’t sleep well last night. My cat has learned a new trick, and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. I lay down and quickly fell asleep after a tiring day. I apparently started to have a nightmare, and my cat woke me up. She’s a tiny, squeaky, normally quiet, kitty. But when she wants my attention, she yells. There’s really no other way to describe it. It’s loud, and insistent. I awoke immediately, startled. I was too far gone to know if I made a noise or was restless and disturbed her. She decided the thing to do was wake me up. I looked at her, and then I said, “What?!”. Because she scared the shit out of me. So she made her meow sound that sounds like I just offended her, which I probably did by speaking loudly in my exasperation.
So I rolled over and attempted to sleep again. It took a little longer, but I fell back into sleep, and nightmares. And she did it again! Only the second time she climbed on my back and didn’t bother to retract her claws. Ouch. So I sat up and was a bit disoriented, and a lot irritated. “It’s 3:18 AM! WTF do you want?! It’s not time to eat yet!” This, again, was in an exasperated tone, and she took umbrage in a major way. She did one of those loud, long meows. Translated, she said, “Look. I was sound asleep. Twice now, you’ve done whatever you did that woke me up, and then got all up in MY shit, like it was MY fault. Bitch, I’ll cut ya!”, probably.
So I got up and fed her. It was a hush feeding. I’m not proud of it. Then I thought about playing WoW, but decided I’d better wait until it’s actually daytime. I tend to get excited and a little stompy when I play. I sit on the floor, and get up often between daily quests in Draenor. Whoever lives below me probably doesn’t want to get in on being awakened too early. Being loud before dawn on a Saturday is bordering on cruel. So I worked on a jigsaw puzzle. It’s been awhile since I’ve worked one. I used to have a 1k piece puzzle a day habit. My life is changing, and there doesn’t seem to be as much time for puzzles of late.
I had a good session with my therapist yesterday. In reflection, she reassured me about some things, (my fear of becoming too dependent on her), and helped me see things from a different perspective. She’s really good at correcting me in a manner that’s so gentle that I don’t even realize it happened until later. That’s so different than how the Army approaches it. Gentle is the best word I can think of to describe it. In the Army, if you fuck up, they tell you to stop fucking up. Pretty much in those words. They aren’t worried about your ego. They don’t pay you to have a fucking ego, soldier! Which *always* amused me very much.
With my therapist, she explains what she means, and if I misunderstand, she waits for me to finish misunderstanding, then explains again with different words. I gotta say, it’s delightful. It’s also amusing to me, because of the stark contrast to that which I’m accustomed. It doesn’t matter if I’m sitting there bawling, or experiencing obvious post-crying hiccups. She doesn’t shame for tears. She doesn’t pretend she’s unaware of my tears, either. She just talks to me, and listens as I stumble over words, trying too hard to get my meaning verbalized. She doesn’t cut me off and finish what I was obviously trying to say, either. That is a wicked silencer with me. I acknowledge that it’s likely a chore to listen to me stumble over speaking out loud, and trying to remain calm enough to string together some semblance of my meaning.
I really struck gold with this therapist, and I’m proud of myself for scrutinizing the things that matter most to me, and doing my research before moving forward with her. It makes a huge difference. It’s much better than being assigned to whomever the VA has available at the moment. Especially considering the fact that I remain convinced that many who work at the VA do so because they don’t measure up to the requirements for civilian health care. There are also many who are working there in exchange for education or citizenship, it seems. And of course, a small number of people who are excellent at what they do, regardless of where they do it. But since you rarely see the same person more than a few times before it changes, it’s probably good to be a bit suspect of the revolving door.
I’m not used to developing a relationship with a single caregiver for this long. It’s been about 2 months now that I’ve been seeing her. That’s 20 years in VA time. It’s different. There’s trust, for one thing. And we have goals that we’ve discussed numerous times. The biggest one being that I don’t need her assistance any further because I’ve mastered coping with life by myself. That’s the prize at the end of the journey. It’s hard to remember that it’s a jog, not a sprint. I’m impatient. I want to absorb everything she can teach me as fast as she can teach it. Faster. I want to be self reliant. Needing assistance from others makes me cranky, I think. But when others try to assist me with things I can do for myself, I get frustrated.
When my sister tries to hold me back from pursuing total independence, it makes me resent her. I appreciate how much she’s helped me, but I need her to understand that it’s temporary. That I’m not rejecting her, just her unneeded assistance. She’s old enough to be my mom, and that doesn’t help matters. She sees me as the kid who used to stay with her during summer breaks. The one who blended in with her own kids, and read all the time. They were more like siblings to me because they were closer in age. She didn’t see me grow up in the Army, or watch me earn my PhD. She doesn’t seem to know how to see the adult me. My therapist is going to help me communicate this with her, so hopefully she will learn to see the me I am now.