“Pamela Morgan Beesly, you need to apologize to your mother right now.”

sleeping

The Depression Monster has had me in a choke-hold for a while. I can’t recall ever spending this much time sleeping in my life. I broke the no napping rule with wild abandon. I didn’t even exercise yet, today. (I absolutely will before I go to bed tonight, though.) I need to locate my mouthguard and start over using my massager to force my body to unclench.

Even though I know exactly how to help myself out of this pit of despair, I’m glad I started therapy again. I appreciate the objective voice of a trained professional. It’s kept me from fleeing the state and hunkering down as far from humans as possible. (There are no limits to what I’ll do to prevent being incarcerated in the VA psych ward again.)

My fear is irrational because they can’t hurt me unless I go there and ask for help. Duh. (I forget this when my thoughts start to frighten me.) I’m not in my bed, which is a victory for today. It’s the first time in my life that I love my bed. I’ve always thought it was weird when people mention hating to get up in the morning, but now I get it. Sleeping can be a refuge from life.

late

I’m so grateful for Sheryl Crow. I’ve been streaming her songs whenever I’m awake. Sometimes while bawling. She’s teaching me the art of songwriting, and her songs soothe my soul in ways I can’t articulate. Between that and working on the drum part of Evanescence’s Wasted On You, I’m hanging in there. I’m good at drumming with hip-hop songs, but Evanescence’s music challenges me.

It’s hard for me to listen to just the drums when Amy Lee is singing. I got a book about syncopation, which is helping. I have massive kit envy over Evanescence’s drummer. He’s got the top of the line Roland electronic kit (drool.) I don’t have the drummer’s ear that would necessitate owning such a setup yet. It’s excellent motivation to keep practicing, though.

I got my Blu-ray set of the show The Good Place. πŸ˜†Β  I’ll be binging it as soon as I finish watching season 2 of Dead To Me on Netflix.Β Through podcasts, I’ve discovered so many shows I love are created, written, and or produced by a lot of the same people: Karen Kilgariff, Liz Feldman, Michael Shur, Marta Kauffman, Greg Daniels, Mike Judge, Larry David, and Whitney Cummings. (And those are just the names I can remember.)

feet

I’m delighted by how helpful my favorite podcasts have been during the pandemic, too. The episode of Good For You with Whitney Cummings talking to Kat Dennings is fabulous, even though I had to recharge my earbuds halfway through. Heh. I love longer episodes, which is part of why I love Armchair Expert so much. The ability to hold my interest that long is a skill.

Staying In with Emily and Kumail is another excellent podcast. All Fantasy Everything is one I look forward to each week. They crack me up, and I love the sound of them laughing hard. It probably releases dopamine in my brain or something. And of course, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. (Conan is like personified Prozac to me.) He just has to exist, and it makes me feel better. Heh.

Welp, I’d better go work on unclenching my body before I get on the treadmill. Hopefully, my coma-like sleeping marathon is over, so I can get some chores done. I hope your weekend includes lots of laughter. πŸ’œβœŒπŸ½

“Weird. I didn’t get both of your messages.”

teenage engineering pocket operator

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your story. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better. – Bird by Bird, Anne Lamotte

Edit: (May 9, 2020) I recently learned some helpful information while listening to Unlocking Us podcast with BrenΓ© Brown. The latest two episodes included a discussion with Harriet Lerner, titled, How To Apologize & Why it Matters (part 1 and 2.) It made the person understandable to me. I had no idea about the correlation between arrogance and low self-esteem.Β 

Even though I’m speculating, I no longer feel confused. I now see it from a new perspective and am so grateful. I don’t feel hurt by it anymore. Instead, I feel concerned for the person who misbehaved. I hope they choose to focus on healing. It takes time and effort, but it’s a lot like grabbing hold of a life preserver before drowning.

It’s not easy to hang on to the preserver while climbing out of peril, but it feels so much better than drowning. The only thing I can do is pray for them and hope they summon the courage. 🀞🏽

I debated about sharing this and decided to go ahead. (There’s plenty of evidence to back up what I’m about to share, but I’m withholding the name by choice.) I recently emailed a podcaster who expressed interest in being a rapper or music producer of some sort. I thought perhaps some audio equipment might be helpful in learning and asked if they were interested. (I’m a hobbyist level music producer who is presently obsessed with synthesizers, drums, bass, and guitar.)

I offered to send some Pocket Operators (handheld synthesizers) and books, and they accepted and asked me to email them at another address. (I feel foolish for not recognizing the red flag in the alternate email address. If it registered, I would have realized I was being fucked with and ceased contact.) And then the shenanigans continued. My silly ass emailed the dismissive address, all excited, and in response, I received a physical address to send the equipment.

I only had a medium prepaid USPS box which I filled with six Pocket Operators, already in cases, extra batteries, a small mixer, and cables. I included a printed out page with a photo and a link to this blog. I sent it out Priority USPS (with tracking.) I got a text alerting me it was delivered, and followed up by checking the tracking online. Yep, delivered.

analog setup

I waited a week, expecting it might take a bit before they could let me know it arrived safely. After that, I emailed again, inquiring as to whether it was received. I had another package ready to go with more equipment and some books but wanted to be sure the first one made it before sending it. I never heard from them again. It’s been several weeks.

I thought I was making a connection with a fellow music lover who was just starting to create. I went in with expectations of a friendly acquaintanceship and ended up hurt, confused, and ghosted. I don’t care about the loss of the items, as giving them to this person was my intention. What bothers me is how I feel about it. I feel foolish like I failed at a coolness test or something.

M said this person gaslighted me. If I failed the test, why did they resume contact at the other address and accept the equipment? It feels like it’s their way of telling me I’m a piece of shit who deserves to be mistreated and ignored. It feels like they rejected me as a fellow human, and went out of their way to hurt me. I have no idea what I did wrong, which is likely why I allowed this person’s misbehavior to upset me.

It took me a bit to forgive them, which alarmed me. I felt like a dork who gave away my name, address, and blog URL* to an ungracious stranger. Nevertheless, I managed. I don’t listen to the podcast anymore. While parenting myself through this unfortunate situation, I learned a bit about performative behavior versus sincerity. It can be pretty subtle, but in this case, I believe it’s too much benefit, not enough doubt. I had to adjust my bullshit detector.

person

I talked to my (new) therapist, M, and a few friends while processing. I’m grateful for this lesson and information about behavior. Hopefully, the next time I encounter someone whose imaginary self-image trumps decency, I’ll walk run away unscathed.Β  βœŒπŸ½πŸ’œ

*When I realized I gave my blog URL to someone I no longer want to connect with, I unpublished most of it. I forgive, but I also take notes and measures to protect myself from hurtful people.

β€œI guess it’s goodbye, chunky lemon milk.”

Midi Fighter 3D
Midi Fighter 3D

The Depression Monster tried with me earlier. I couldn’t be bothered, (she said as if tears weren’t involved at any point in the thankfully brief struggle to regain homeostasis.) I’ve gotten good at doubling down on my best coping skills. Cut to me on the treadmill, singing while finger drumming on my Midi Fighter 3D. A girl knows how to clap back, yo. πŸ™ƒ

Singing cadence while marching or running in-formation was one of my favorite activities in the military. I’ve been fascinated by how well singing and moving together as a group bonds people, ever since basic training. It’s also helpful for depression. I understand why John McVie (Fleetwood Mac) walks around while he plays. Music demands motion.

All that you touch, you change. All that you change, changes you. The only lasting truth is change. God is change. – Octavia Butler

Octavia Butler
Octavia Butler

Since I know many people are grieving right now, here’s a book (When You Lose Someone You Love, by Joanne Fink) that might make an excellent gift for yourself or someone you know. πŸ’œ It turns out I was wrong when I thought I couldn’t be friends with my neighbor. All relationships hurt, sometimes. Fortunately, we seem to have figured out each other’s boundaries naturally, which made all the difference.

I purchased a Trikke PON-E 48V from her and am going to take full advantage of the bike trails on it this summer (pandemic permitting.) I did manage a test drive just before going total hermit. I had a blast. It felt so fast I plan on wearing my helmet even though I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s (when slamming a door was far more likely to get you yelled at than riding a motorcycle without a helmet.)

Side note: In South Dakota, you can’t cycle without a helmet anymore unless you’re over 18 years of age. (Then, the law allows for all sorts of bad decisions.) Perhaps the message is: Welcome to adulthood. I hope your head doesn’t get crushed, but if it does, it’s your fault, starting now. 😢

I was super thrilled when Pamela Adlon was on Anna Faris is Unqualified podcast recently. (She crushed it.) I discovered Ologies podcast with Alie Ward, and it’s so great I’m binging the back catalog. Joy Bryant was on Armchair Expert again. She’s a drummer. (!!!) πŸ₯° Also, Deon Cole was on 3 Questions with Andy Richter. Yep. I squeed so loud, dogs probably barked.

I just finished listening to D’arcy Carden on Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. She shares what she’s working on now that The Good Place is done, and had me laughing so hard, Amelia B is still hiding. Also, Conan completely took Sona Movsesian out, and her laugh is hella contagious. My face still aches, but I feel that same level of confidence to face the world you get from a powerful buff in a video game, only it’s real. Bonus. I’m off to locate and comfort my cat. πŸ’œβœŒπŸ½

“Dangerous. Tacky. Sharks. Haunted. No.”

 

As I’ve been recording myself reading past blog entries, I ran into a problem. Here’s how I hope to work around it:Β  I want to hire a podcaster to read and record some of them on my behalf. I’m not going to repost all of them; only the ones I feel may be helpful to others. (The Pain Scale is what I believe the most valuable post on my site, for example.)

I’m going to take a risk and contact the podcaster that immediately came to mind. I’ve already accepted there will likely be a panic attack involved in the process, so bring it, Anxiety. I keep my anti-Anxiety tools arranged on a bamboo tray atop my filing cabinet. (That’s right, Anxiety. Coping with your antics is now part of my decor.) 🀭

anxiety decor

Reading back has been emotionally draining. My memories consist of how I felt at a point in time. From there, I can often recall scents, sounds, and a few blurry visuals. The only certain parts are the feelings, however.

On top of that, I can’t do time in my head. (I’ve never possessed this ability.) For me, there are three categories: Everything happened in either the distant past, recently, or yesterday. If you need me to be more specific, you’re going to be disappointed, because I’m going to guess (likely while walking away.)

I liken it to someone who was traumatized when learning math, and thus automatically dissociates when forced to do math in their head publicly. We probably both decided as children; these are boundaries. I know if someone tells me they hate math, never ask that person to do math in their head. I recognize there’s a very high chance they’re anxious about it, so that’s what I accommodate. (Many people have math anxiety. Bill and Melinda Gates are some of the people working on improving how we teach kids.)

elephant grafiti
Photo by Bryan Gomes from Pexels

Podcasters, I decided against a list. Instead, I will share about podcasts I love and why regularly. Whenever I make a list of people, I end up taking it down (as soon as I recognize it’s what’s causing the pain in my gut.) A list feels like I’m ranking people, and that grosses me out. (I live in what wants to be a glass house when it grows up.) 🀭

Recently, I was so happy to discover A Very Special Self-Quarantine Episode of Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend podcast. They created it at the producers’ home (Matt Gourley,) and it was hilarious. Also, Sona Movsesian, (his Trusted Assistantβ„’) along with Andy Daly, Β David Hopping, and why are you still here? πŸ’œβœŒπŸ½

p.s. I’m more excited about Stevie Nicks today than I was when I began my deep dive into discovering the Queen of Rock, a while back. Also, Fleetwood Mac rules. πŸ™ƒ