Hey! I got the body of a taut, pre-teen, Swedish boy.

I’m going to redesign my blog soon, so this is fair warning.  There’s a good chance the new design will closely resemble the original.  Visual anchors are important to me, so I don’t stray willy nilly.  I’m aiming for visually appealing without being overwhelming.  When you spend as much time on auto-pilot as I do, things flow more smoothly when there are no sudden changes.  I’m at the point where I can tell the Prozac is no longer present in my system at a high enough concentration to work.  I thought I would celebrate this moment, but instead, I’m proceeding with caution.

My intention has evolved to remaining off the drug permanently.  I’m at a different stage in life where my priorities have shifted since my last summer Prozac purge.  Things that weren’t even on my radar then are now significant.  I think this is what’s led to being careful.  I’ve mocked the amount of thought, and energy others spend on arranging for sex.  It’s been an inside joke with myself for years because my complete absence of libido (thanks to Prozac) made it seem ridic and primal.  I’m not laughing anymore.  I’m kind of freaking out.

I’m trying to focus on how thankful I am this is happening now, and not when I was younger, and far, far more gullible and impressionable.  (Maybe just one far.)  M. is more mature than I am.  Shocking, I know. 😂  I’m happy with this fact because he’s a good teacher.  I’m learning how to be in the moment when in the presence of others.  The universe has this lesson on auto-repeat, so I’ve conceded, (finally.)  I’m certain I wouldn’t have survived being a kid with today’s internet.  Zero doubt, because any kid with a debit or credit card is an adult online.

I’m actually pretty amazed I’m still kicking it, to be honest.  (And a little smug because I die hard.  💪🏽)  I just had an urge to create a video game that teaches people how to be safer online.  (Suppresses the urge to begin a coding marathon.)  I’m not very confident with this topic, but don’t know how to dance around it very well.  My libido is back, and I forgot everything about being a sexual entity.  I’ve lived for years without having it, and it’s like going to bed and waking up as a teenager, the sequel.  (Except I involuntarily make a noise when I get up now, sometimes.)

So I’m kinda freaking out, but on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the worst… Kidding!  I’m only mildly freaking.  Memorizing Seinfeld has its uses.  I know the script for the worst case scenario, so it’s all good.  M. has a good attitude about it.  Not many men would continue dating a woman who made him sign a No Sex Ever contract, (on the third time hanging out.)  At least not many of the ones I’ve met so far.  I doubt I’m the only one who uses this method, though.  It’s efficient.

A lot of people just want to have sex and are doing the rest of the date to be polite.  It saves time to know these things up front.  I know about hookups and friends with benefits.  It’s more shit that used to crack me up.  Suddenly, I get it.  I’ve been giggling all day because lots of jokes that weren’t funny (to me) at the time are hilarious today.  I’m tripping on how much of an influence sexuality has on perspective.  These are all the things most people probably noticed when they were teenagers.  Or at least over a gradual transition.

Just one more thing to agonize over when deciding whether or not to take Prozac, I suppose.  Everyone’s mileage will vary to some degree.  It’s solidified my decision to refrain.  I’m tripping and experiencing things I forgot existed, but I’m certain I prefer being the sexual being I was born to be.  I also prefer being friends with The Muse and hated being in exile.  I regret trading my creativity and sexuality for a comfortable, stable numbness.  I realize now it was necessary initially, but not permanently.  Any further use will be for stabilization only, (which is unlikely considering how long it takes to reach a therapeutic level.)

Whew.  Okay, I’m calmed down now.  This is no big deal.  Aside from a slight decline in productivity, I see no cons.  I’ll be glad when I can go for more than ten minutes without realizing another new implication.  I can’t really afford to be more scatterbrained.  Also, it’s occurred to me that Stevie Nicks probably has lots of fans who lust for her.

On Prozac, this information wouldn’t have occurred and probably would have led to my feeling concerned for her safety.  Off Prozac:  Duh!  See what I mean?  I’m more adulty today than I was yesterday, (it is now.)  Yay.  And because I’m a kind person, I’m going to stop tripping out loud.  You’re welcome!  I’m off to beat my drums with sticks.

Did you just roll your eyes at him?

Butterfly

I’m home for the weekend.  I knew I wouldn’t make it the whole two weeks uninterrupted.  S. stayed in Denver to visit with a family she knows.  Now that I’m home, I feel like I exhaled after holding my breath for too long.  I like the energy in Denver, but I don’t know how to relax there (yet).  I had fun this morning on our nature walk.  I asked them to notice any patterns.  The kids found some incredible examples.  Then we discussed beauty.

They’re going to think about it more over the weekend.  It’s fascinating to hear a child attempt to articulate complex ideas with a limited vocabulary.  I’m so familiar with that excitement mixed with frustration, and can’t help but stand on my tippy toes to try and meet them halfway.  I think they sense I want to understand them, and it encourages them to keep working at it.  We finished our day early by playing with our lunch.  I ordered a fruit and veggie platter, and we made patterns on our plates with cherry tomatoes and grapes, etc.

I forgot how spending time with kids reminds me why I love people in general.  Children are unshielded by default.  I think they can sense it about me, too.  I might have a touch of fascination overload, (and I love it.)  I talked to my doctor on the phone this afternoon.  We decided four hours of cardio per day is too much, and why.  Instead, one hour of cardio, and three hours of using different coping skills, (music, art, puzzles, etc.)  In other words, variety.  She was funny about it.  She asked if I’m training for a marathon.  Then she spelled out the correlation between body chemistry and exercise, and how too much of anything isn’t a good thing.

I’m glad as I was having a hard time getting in three hours in Denver.  The book I was reading all this week:  The Long Walk by Stephen King (under a pseudonym) is a hell of a story when your legs and feet are tired and sore.  I finished it last night and enjoyed it.  I predict his books will be studied in the future.  Same with John Irving and J. K. Rowling.  And Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss, (stopping short of my full list.)  I don’t know if people fully grasp what they’re doing.  I don’t think so.  I just know it won’t go unnoticed forever.  In the meantime, I appreciate the shit out of their work.

I’m reading Hearts in Atlantis by King next.  I haven’t seen the movie yet.  (I’m still on the first season of Glee.)  I’ll catch up when it snows.  Better Things starts soon.  Yay.  My cat has decided I’m done typing, so I’m off to play with her.

Quick! Everybody under the desk!

CW: Aftermath of SA, related triggers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fuck.  I haven’t pinpointed for certain what I did wrong to cause this round of hell.  Deep down, I suspect I know, but the reason pisses me off.  I had a birthday last month, and I ate like someone who doesn’t have autism or PTSD.  I thought once a year was sufficient moderation.  I was wrong.  Hence, pissed.  Welp.  Maybe this means I’m going through The Change, (still only once since The Election.)  That would be fair.  I guess.

I’m hiding out in my closet.  I’m trying to convince myself I’m safe.  I’m self-mothering so Siri will tell me when my time is up, (30 minutes.) This is the first time I’ve ever thought my closet is too big.  I know there’s no such thing as safe, but I’m willing to negotiate an understanding.   I live in a secured building in a community with security, in a smallish city with a reliable police force, in a flyover state, in the Midwest.  I don’t need to install motion activated anything in my apartment.  Besides, I don’t want to know too much about what my cat does when I’m asleep or away, (I already negotiated an understanding with my germaphobic tendencies.)

I’m only allowing myself to use old coping skills for a day.  I’m allowing myself to be afraid, and remember today.  The overwhelming shock felt like desperately needing to inhale, but my lungs were already filled to capacity.  I got stuck there for a while.  My internal music stopped for the first time in my life.  The silence was so loud, it wailed.  For a long time, I wished I died.  It’s figuratively the night I found out math isn’t real.  The night the music stopped, and I forgot how to breathe.

I’m angry I was forced to give up my beloved false sense of immortality while still young.  I was fucking using that.  I wasn’t ready to let go.  I was so ambitious and motivated.  It still stings to remember how much I’ve changed because of one night.  I liked who I was before, and barely got to know her before I became me.  I can’t find her anymore.  I think she’s dead.  I still remember her.  She wanted to help end war for good.  She had brilliant plans oozing with logic.  But she’s gone.  I’m what remained plus what I’ve since gained.

I miss her fearlessness.  Her eagerness to volunteer and assist.  To try new experiences, and take significant risks.  I’m far more cautious and careful.  But I remember.  I’m better at accepting the changes these days.  Some would likely have come about in time, regardless, as they’re more prevalent in youth.  I’m angry my time as Alison 1.0 was cut short.  Sigh.  Alison 2.0 cracks me up sometimes.   Fucking silver linings (made of Doublemint wrappers.)

I’ve finally figured out how to accept the fact I was naive as well as the fact it wasn’t my fault.  (It was fucking rocket science.)  Based on the long pause I just took, I’m going to add, barely.  I guess I better go back to sticking post-it notes everywhere that say, “It wasn’t your fault.”  Usually, they make me think of Good Will Hunting, (at which point I smack it lightly and say, “how ya like them apples?” in my best Boston accent.)  It’s a note to my subconscious, so taking them seriously while awake isn’t necessary.  It’s such a good movie.

Okay, my time is probably going to run out soon.  I’ll just ramble on about the film until it does.  I’ve seen it several times, and M. also enjoys it.  He’s not bad at speaking in movie quotes, but a lot of my favorites are what he calls chic flicks.  (We mostly intersect with blockbusters and sci-fi.)  My favorite line in GWH is, “Because fuck him, that’s why.”  I should get it on a t-shirt.  I’m hitting the treadmill next.  Listening to Annabelle Lee by Stevie Nicks on repeat while I run is incredibly comforting.  Then a soak with an herbal bath bomb, and finally, starting over with The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.  (It’s fucking outstanding.)

If they have individual personalities, I’m not sure we should be eating them.

I’m Alison Wonderland.  (It’s what my family often called me when I was growing up.)  I embrace it because I recognize it’s accuracy.  I do live in my own world.  It’s the only way I know how to be.  I connect with people who can accept me as I am.  Usually, it’s individuals who are steady enough within themselves to come a bit closer.  Close enough so I can hear their song.  My wonderland is a bit slower and calmer.  In my world, I look with my ears because they never lie.

I’ve been watching more Stevie Nicks: Live from Chicago, after wrestling with nightmares.  It helps yank me out of the post-nightmare dread quickly.  It’s a far gentler solution than flashing light in my eyes.  (That has its own miserable aftermath.  It works, though.)  I’m super unwilling to linger on bad dreams.  They can only fuck with me while I’m unconscious, dammit.  And only then because I haven’t yet figured out how to annihilate them once and for all.

It’s been a rough few days.  My nightmares have brought background fears front and center.  I’m using paranoia level security in my apartment again.  Nobody’s getting in safely without my permission.  M. knows the drill.  He finds something else to do when I’m fighting a skirmish with PTSD.  I like that he understands my need for him to be scarce exists, and my need for him to comfort me does not.  I did a horrible job of expressing my wishes, but he still got it.  Whew.

I tried to tell him I became my own mom after my mom died.  I meant it to be a gentle way of telling him I don’t need him to comfort me;  I can do it myself.  I strongly suspect he quickly decided he’d rather go play video games alone than wait for me to explain what I meant to my satisfaction.  (Good call, M.)  He works long hours and could sleep through a tornado.  I info dump while he falls asleep, (and long after, of course.)  It’s amazing how much he remembers.  It’s fun to quiz him sometimes.  I think surgical residents are also human tape recorders.

I realized today I’m tensing around men again.  It feels like I’m going backward after so much progress.  It’s unbelievably expensive to my energy level to be wound so tightly at work.  I’ve never worked in a field that wasn’t male dominated, (but I can’t think one that isn’t ATM.)   When the nightmares stop, and I catch my breath,  I’ll worry about it.  Right now, the fear I typically keep in check is kicking my ass.  I’m hyper aware of my vulnerability.  I hate The Fear so much.

I know I can beat it back, but right now I feel whiny about it, and there’s no fucking whining allowed.  I want The Fear to be tangible so I can ask a Republican to come over and shoot it.  (No, wait, they’d want to take it home and feed it.)  Fuck!  I hate being irrational!  I want to go for a run, but…  Whoa.  Almost went there.  I’m going for a run.

How big a look did you get?

I got all my chores done early this weekend. I canceled the Twilight marathon because I don’t have any shields when I watch movies, and it’s super emo.  I can’t go there right now, but perhaps soon.  I’m too hyper to sit still for long, anyway.  I watched Stevie Nicks Live in Chicago, for a bit instead.  It’s awesome.  (Nobody is screaming, fainting, or rushing the stage.)  It’s a pretty big crowd, but not rabid.  I like the band, too.  The lead guitarist, especially.  There are three women singing back-up, but they do it like Fleetwood Mac.  It’s not a lead singer with a few voices in the background rounding out the sound.  It’s multiple voices becoming one by blending together beautifully.  It gives me chills when people can pull it off this well.

In a way, watching it on DVD is better because it’s seamless and well recorded in Dolby 5.1.  She did a duet with Vanessa Carlton, who also played the piano.  It. Was. So. Good.  I held still for the whole song, barely breathing.  That good.  I’m starting to hope I get to see Stevie Nicks perform live someday.  I know she’s not done writing music.  She’s probably working on a song right now.  I know because she’s alive.  I’m familiar with The Muse;  We’ve hung out.  I’m pretty sure The Muse has Stevie Nicks on her home screen.

I’m afraid to go to sleep tonight.  If I stay up all night, I won’t have nightmares, but I’ll be overtired tomorrow.  Being overtired has a distinct drawback:  Once I do finally sleep, I sleep too hard to force myself awake from a nightmare, and I get locked in for the duration.  I hate playing chicken with myself.  My cat usually wakes me up, but sometimes she just goes somewhere else to sleep.  Welp.   I’m going to get it over with tonight while I can still easily awaken at will.  I’ve been having flashbacks all day, so I know I’m in for a doozy.  There’s nothing I can do about it now, so I’m ignoring it until I can’t.  I just wish Anxiety would get the fucking memo.

I only have one hard thing to do this whole week.  I’m already calling the victory because it’s happening, dammit.  I might even tack on another hard thing because my anxiety can only rise so high.  Worst case, I have a panic attack in public.  I’ve never died from a panic attack.  I’ve wanted to, but it can’t kill me.  The most it can do is ruin an hour of my life.  Shit.  I’ve spent more than an hour wedged (stuck) under a missile while on guard duty in the desert, (It was the only shade.  Desert.  Shutup. 😂)  I can take the hit.  It’s worth having two hard things out of the way.  I’m off to beat my drums.

It feels like aliens poking at my body.

CW:  suicide, PTSD symptoms (Skip it if you’re not positive you’re up for it. 💜)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today has been rough.  I had the math isn’t real nightmare again last night.  It fucks me up every time.  It usually means my sleeping mind has penetrated my defense system, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.  Yay. /sarcasm.  These are the times I wonder if testing medical cannabis for PTSD might be a good idea.  I know what’s coming and I’m trying not to wig out.  I’m trying not to let four letters defeat me.

When I first entered mental health services at the VA, I was told the only way to overcome PTSD was to talk about what caused it.  It sounds simple, but talking about it means thinking about it.  Thinking about it means visualizing and reliving it mentally.  Reliving it mentally means willingly stepping into the hell that fucked you up so badly, it altered the structure of your brain.  And do this with whatever mental health professional you’re assigned.  Side note:  You won’t see the same provider more than once for the first five years of your recovery.  Good luck!

I read an article in Wired magazine suggesting the retelling of traumatic events that caused PTSD retraumatizes and worsens the condition.  I gave it to the nursing staff on the mental health ward at the VA.  It aligned with what they concluded for my situation.  They weren’t surprised.  There have been visible changes at the VA since then, many improvments.  For example; the VA now acknowledges the fact women also serve.  (I mean more than just saying they do.)

They still have a way to go before the number of veterans who opt for suicide goes down.  It’s around 20 suicides a day right now.  It makes me sad, but I understand it.  When you’re the one who gives everything you have to the military, and suddenly you find yourself in a hospital, being told you’re no longer fit to serve, (because something that happened while you were honorably serving your country was more traumatic than your brain could process,) it makes a lot more sense.  It made perfect sense to me when I was told I had to go through hell again to get out of hell.  Everything within me said, “Fuck that, I’m out of here.”

I came very close to succeeding at offing myself.  My memory of the event is spotty.  I won’t go into detail, but what I remember most is the suicide prevention counselor telling me the police were surprised I survived.  It stuck with me and helped shake me out of my tunnel vision.  I was (final) acting on only my initial perspective of my situation.  It was bleak as fuck, don’t get me wrong.  However, I tried to bail before going through the entire mental exercise.  It didn’t cross my mind I might be playing tag with PTSD.

My perspective broadened, and my situation stopped appearing so black and white.  I remembered I’m a survivor;  Of course, I can handle whatever PTSD throws at me.  It’s sometimes painful, I’m rarely well rested, I startle like the calls are coming from inside the house, and I can’t watch anything with suspense or would frighten a five-year-old.  Additionally, July 1-July 10th, I have to wear noise canceling headphones all day, and earplugs all night.  I used to love fireworks.  Now they’re torture.

It’s also best for me to get out of town when the airshow is going on.  I was in Air Defense Artillery for the first five years of my service.  Nothing moves in the sky when I’m outside without my noticing (and identifying it as friend or foe.)  Probably for the rest of my life.  I used to participate in wargames at 29 Palms, California.  It’s basically the most incredible game of laser tag on earth, (tracked vehicles, copters, aircraft, huge teams,etc.)  While it’s easily in the top five most exciting things I’ve ever done, it also scared the shit out of me several times.  Let’s just say showoff pilots who do flybys of ground troops who are under camo are assholes of enormous proportion.

I know what’s coming, and part of me wants to curl up in a ball and cry.  Sigh.  Instead, I’m going to dig deep and find what I need to get through, even if it’s by the skin of my teeth.  (Who thinks of these?)  I have my Wanda Syke’s: I’ma Be Me DVD if things get too bad.  I’m going swimming with some neighbors soon.  They’re Muslim and wear suits that are quite modest.  They gave me one when I asked where to get them.  I have super nice neighbors.  I have it on now, and I like it.  It’s too humid to run outside, which sucks.  But swimming is better for me anyway.  I’m off to focus on fun like there’s a prize.