I Remember

******Trigger Warning********– (graphic violence, homicide)

I’m so tired.  I lay in bed for 2 hours, but didn’t sleep.  I’m on vacation, so I’m allowed to goof off right now.  That was directed at the guilt I’m feeling because I haven’t written any code today.  Last night after I set up my new Xbox One, and waited forEVER for Halo 5 to update, I started shaking.  This has happened before.  It sucks.  I broke into a sweat, and my vision started to go black.  Then I fainted.  I was halfway to the floor by then because I knew it was coming, so I wasn’t hurt.  It’s called a Vasovagal response.

It’s no big deal.  But in the brief time I’m experiencing it, it feels pretty bad.  I’m assuming this was due to a combination of lack of sleep, forgetting to eat, and being triggered.  It’s kind of ironic how I got triggered.  I was watching PBS, and they were doing a show about veterans for the holiday.  I paid attention to the beginning when they followed a few soldiers who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and were home and trying to get on with their lives.  One was attending university, and another was reunited with his wife.  Before I clued in on the fact that I needed to change the channel, they started showing extremely graphic images of dead bodies in Iraq.  I was looking right at the TV when they showed one.

When I regained consciousness probably moments later, my cat was sitting beside me on the floor.  Anytime I’m on the floor, it’s a signal to her that I’m open to playing with her, so she must have wondered what was up.  I sat up slowly, and then got up and made something to eat. I sat at the counter and started eating my peanut butter sandwich, with my cat under my chair.  I didn’t change the channel, I shut the TV off completely, so it was quiet.

As I sat there, I made the mistake of wondering what caused the episode.  Bad move.  My mind threw up the graphic image again, and I pushed it away as fast as I could.  Then my mind started to wander back to when I was in the service.  My first permanent duty station was where I was stationed the longest.  I did a lot of growing up during the five years I was there.  I was pretty naive.  People I worked with directly used to say, “Earth to Special K, come in Special K”, a lot, because my Sergeant said it once, and they thought it was hilarious.  Special K was my nickname there.

I was kind of in my own world, I suppose.  I also would sing without realizing it, and the guys I worked with would join in to bring it to my attention.  Again, they thought it was hilarious.  I got on well with them, though.  My Sergeant was from Panama, and had 2 little boys.  I spent a lot of time with her and her kids.  She was one of the senior NCO’s in my unit, which meant she had a lot of responsibility and power.  She was like a second Mom to me in many ways.  She was the most amazing person I had the pleasure of meeting while serving, and that’s saying a lot, as I met a lot of amazing people during that time.

She was strict, demanded your best at all times, and looked out for her people like a lioness with her cubs.  She made you want to do a good job, because getting praised by her was a rare but wonderful thing when it happened.  I had trouble making friends in the Army too.  I had a lot of friendly acquaintances, but a lot of the women considered me too young to hang out with.  I was one of about 4 people on the entire post who were under 18, which was the legal drinking age there.  So going to the club was out at first.  I spent all my free time at the education center, or with my Sergeants kids.

After our first field problem, I met a woman from Jamaica.  She didn’t like me at first, because I kept following her around, asking her to pronounce words, then giggling when she complied.  She was a medic and was super feisty.  She was married, and had recently given birth to a son.  I must have grown on her, because before long, we became good friends.  She lived off post in an apartment complex.  Her younger sister was coming to visit for her 18th birthday, and I was invited to attend the party.  Our unit had a parade that day, and she was covering it with the ambulance.

As was always the case, about an hour into the parade, I fainted.  I just can’t stand at attention for long periods in 90+ degree weather.  When I fell out, the ones standing around me in formation saw it coming and propped me up until the medics came and dragged me away.  While I was recovering with an IV in the ambulance, she told me her husband was coming home.  He was in our unit before I arrived, and had since been sent to Korea.  Often, if you marry someone in your unit, one of you gets orders to go somewhere else soon afterward.

I rode with her back to my unit and changed into civilian clothes for the party.  I rode with a guy in my unit, and on the way there, we stopped for a bucket of KFC.  When we arrived, my friend was upstairs with her husband, and her sister was sitting on the sofa holding the baby.  I sat down beside her and started playing with the baby.  I don’t know where the guy I rode with was.  Probably in the bathroom.  A few minutes later, I heard some shouting coming from upstairs.  Then a really long, horrible moan from my friend.

Her husband came down the stairs really fast, and ran out the door.  My ride went after him.  I had a really bad feeling.  I knew something was wrong.  My friends sister grabbed my arm tightly, and we both started to cry.  I felt so numb.  I got up and started to climb the stairs.  Her sister started to follow me, and I told her no, stay with the baby.  I went up to the landing, and looked at the bloody handprint on the door.  For some reason, I couldn’t hear the baby crying anymore.  I felt like I was far away, and my body was an avatar I was operating.  I walked into the bedroom, and saw my friend laying across the bed.  Her head was bashed in, and her brain was showing.  There was a hammer on the floor that had blood and hair on it.

I turned around and started to walk down the stairs.  Her sister was in the process of coming up them, and I physically fought her back down the stairs and forced her out the door after taking the baby from her.  I still couldn’t hear.  I just remember it was so bright outside.  Her sister was still crying, but I don’t know if I was anymore.  My friends car was gone, and an ambulance was pulling into the parking lot.  I held the baby in one arm, and her sisters arm in my other hand.  It was the most surreal moment of my life.  And inside, I had a thought that still makes me feel ashamed.

I thought to myself, “She can’t be dead, she promised to braid my hair”.  I hate that I thought that at the worst possible moment.  I felt like the most selfish person who ever existed.  The police seemed to just appear out of nowhere, and one of them was a woman.  She came over and took the baby, then some other police started directing us to the back of the ambulance.  I was thinking they were confused, because I was fine, I didn’t need an ambulance.  Her sister clung to me, but I couldn’t feel it.  They took us back to the barracks.  It was on the news on TV that night.  Everyone in the barracks was so shocked.

It turned out that my friend was cheating on her husband, and someone in my unit wrote to him in Korea and told him about it.  He got leave, came home, and beat her to death with a hammer.  Then he took off when I saw him storming out of the apartment.  The guy I worked with ran after him.  Her husband confessed to him what he’d done, then drove into the canyon in an unsuccessful suicide attempt.  The guy I worked with called the police at the apartment office.  He came to check on me later that night, and explained things to me.  I never even knew she was cheating on her husband.

It had never occurred to me that someone could sleep with anyone other than their spouse.  This is what I meant about my being naive.  The murder divided our unit pretty much into men vs. women.  The guys thought he was justified in what he did.  The women thought it was monstrous.  He was arrested that night, and it went to trial.  Some of the guys had to testify, but I was never told the details.  He got 40 years in prison.  The sister took the baby home to Jamaica where her parents decided to raise him.

We were marched in formation to the chapel, where a pair of her combat boots, her dog tags, her medic arm band, and a photo sat at the altar.  We all filed up to it, one by one, and saluted.  The guy she was cheating with was weeping so hard a friend had to help him walk.  I was the other person weeping the entire time.  I was still in shock, and the crying just wouldn’t stop.  It wasn’t my first experience with death.  Some of the foster babies died in our home when I was a kid.  But this was the first time someone died when I was an adult.  It leveled me.

I started losing weight because I was too sad to eat.  I went down to the supply room in the basement to exchange my linens, and to my horror, the bloody mattress was propped against the wall near the armory.  Apparently, the supply people had to go to the apartment and pack up her stuff and clear out the apartment.  This is a typical example of how the mission always comes first, no matter what, in the military.  It didn’t matter that they all knew my friend, and were shaken up by what had happened.  It had to be done, so they did it.

I took one look at the mattress, and started screaming.  It was really weird, because I couldn’t stop at first.  It was like someone else was screaming.  My sergeant came and got me, and I stayed at her house for a few days to regroup.  Playing with her kids was just what I needed.  The sadness has always remained, but I’ve learned how to live with it.  I still have her medic arm band.  I think about her sometimes.  I have nightmares about it sometimes.  As far as I know, her husband is still in prison.  I sent letters back and forth with her sister for a few years, and in the last photo I got of the baby, he looked adorable.

It’s a violent world, the military.  There were 3 murders connected to my unit during my 5 years there.  But this is the one that continues to haunt me.  Maybe I’ll be able to sleep now that I got it out.

 

No

I’m so shaky today.  It’s raining/snowing really hard, and wind is blowing so hard it sounds like thunder.  Okay, this is probably why I’m shaky.  Loud noises that I can’t predict mess me up.  I didn’t sleep at all last night.  I lay in bed and listened to Evanescence, The Open Door on repeat for 3 hours.  I love every LP by Evanescence, and they get better with every release.  But something about The Open Door really reaches me.

I don’t have the words to explain it.  I just know that sometimes, I have to listen to it in a pitch black room with my best (Grado) headphones on full volume.  I don’t dance to it.  I stim to it.  My cat lays across my lap as I rock back and forth to the music.  Slowly, the tension I didn’t realize I was holding loosens.  I stop clenching my jaw.  And tears start to fall.  The tears that I held in all day as I forced myself to exist in this world.  I cry because I miss my family members who have passed.  My parents, my brother, and my little sister.  I know I’m capable of surviving without them, but it’s hard sometimes.

I miss having people in my world who I could trust to care about my existence without my having to do anything for them, or give anything to them, or be anything other than who I am.  I miss being protective of my little sister, and doing anything I could to make sure she was safe and happy.  I never realized how important that was to me before she died.  It was when I could assert the fact that I was 13 months older than her, and felt a deep sense of responsibility for her.  In so many other ways, she was the big sister.  She was my opposite.  She was so outgoing, comfortable to the point of being flirtatious with strangers, loud, and flamboyant.

When I was in fifth grade and she was in fourth, she saw me standing in a corner of the school building facing the wall during recess.  I was crying, because the teacher I had that year hated me, and I was aware of it.  She asked me what was wrong, and I told her my teacher hates me.  She marched into the building, dragging me by my hand behind her, and went into my classroom.  She went up to my teacher, and told her off, loudly.  I was shocked.  I froze.  Heather told my teacher that she had to like me because I was her student.  She said it like it was a well known law.  She was furious, and threatened to tell our mom if she didn’t start liking me.

My teacher just stared at us.  I can’t imagine what she was thinking.  We went back outside until recess was over.  I remember thinking that Heather was going to get in trouble.  She didn’t.  We never talked about it until the next year when she got the same teacher.  She pre-hated her on my behalf, and I loved her for it.  Elementary school was the closest thing to torture that I’ve ever experienced.  I didn’t have any skills to cope with it at the time, and it still to this day can cause me to wake up in tears from a nightmare.

I hate how things that happened in the past can still haunt my present.  I hate that they haunt my sleep, when I’m most vulnerable.  I’ve been practicing lucid dreaming, but I’m not yet to the point where I can completely prevent nightmares.  I’ve had some success though.  I’m absolutely getting more sleep.  That makes a big difference, especially when working.  I think I need to figure out a way to stop working on coding projects before they are completed, and continue the next day.  It’s good to be able to complete them so much faster than my peers, but I think it’s taking a toll on me.  Marathon coding sessions broken up by Twitter flyby’s and bathroom breaks are taking their toll on me.

I’ve always struggled with not having a natural off switch.  I’ll continue doing a task until my body demands I stop,  I’m interrupted, or it’s completed.  I’ve completed 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles in one sitting on more occasions than I’d like to admit.  My cat has gotten really good at interrupting me.  I hate to say that it was probably necessary for her survival.  I get so focused on what I’m doing that I ignore everything else.  She’ll jump up on my desk and lay across my arms while meowing loudly.  I always go through a quick second of rage at the interruption, and then I look down at her, and she’s so beautiful and sweet that it dissipates immediately.  I pick her up and cuddle her while I get her the treat she wanted, or refill her water dishes.

In the morning at around 4:30-5:00, she’ll literally lead me to the kitchen to fill her food bowl.  I have poor coordination when I first wake up, but I manage to follow her down the hall to the kitchen.  I give her a scoop of dry food and a spoonful of wet food.  It’s funny, because she’ll stand in front of her food container, then her bowl, then the fridge, then her bowl, then she starts eating.  She purrs loudly while she does this which is so cute.  After she eats, she goes back to bed until afternoon.  She starts by getting under the blanket on my bed.  Then when I make the bed, she gets into her cat bed underneath my bed.

She’s slightly better at keeping track of time than I am.  I suspect it’s because of her metabolism.  I’ve had her for 3 years now.  I’m worried about moving her to Denver.  She’s only ridden in a car when I brought her home initially.  Her veterinarian is down the street, and it’s easier to put her in the soft carrier and walk there than cope with her crying in the car.  I don’t know if it would be better to take my time and drive her there in increments, or to fly and just get it over with.  Either way, she’s going to cry, I just know it.

I know I should be practicing with her in the car, but there’s no way I’m going to do something that I know will upset her just to get her used to being upset.  I think I’m going to get my nephew to drive us while I hold her.  If we divide the drive into 2 days, I think she’d manage.  I could put a litter in my trunk and lower one seat so she had access to it.  I’ll do some research and see what others have done when it’s closer to that time.  If she doesn’t go, I don’t go.  It’s not negotiable.

Things have changed yet again with plans.  I lost a friend who was going to occupy one of the units in the building with her family.  At first, I was upset about it.  But now, I can see that it’s for the best.  It wasn’t a good idea in the first place.  Once I recognized that, I’ve been able to muster a little excitement for the future.  I’m mostly excited that I’ll have a home that is tailored to me and my needs.  I won’t be as independent, but that doesn’t bother me.  I’d rather have help from someone who understands, than struggle all the time.  I’m so tired of struggling.

I’m going to  take a vacation from work effective immediately.  I’m not going to let this state of overwhelmed sadness spiral into anything worse.  I’m going to take this time to do the things that make me feel joy.  I’m going to go back to making music and art.  I’m going to create things purely for the sake of creating.  I’m going to express feelings I don’t know how to put into words in order to release them into the universe and outside of myself.  I’m going to banish mean people from my world.  I’m going to stop forcing myself to pass as a neurotypical person.  I’m autistic.  It’s not something I’m willing to suffocate in an effort to make others feel more comfortable any longer.  I’m done with that.

I’ve learned an important lesson in the last few months.  Just because another person is autistic, doesn’t mean they are a good person.  Or that I should go out of my way to be kind to them, when it’s not reciprocated.  Or go out of my way to support them, when they ignore me.  I don’t deserve to be pushed aside.  I don’t deserve to be treated unkindly.  I don’t deserve to be disregarded and ignored.  I don’t owe anyone anything.  I will no longer tolerate it from anyone.  It’s wrong to treat a human being as if they are an annoyance, or invisible.  I don’t do this to people, and I won’t allow others to do it to me, and remain in my life.  Being disabled is not a free pass to treat other people like shit.

I was taught to respect everyone, and treat everyone just as I would like to be treated.  Well, I tried that, and I’m rejecting it.  From now on, I’m going to continue to treat people well, but I’m also going to observe how they treat me back.  If they mistreat me, I will cease to acknowledge their existence.  I’m done being nice to assholes.  Life is too long to put up with bullshit.  Life is too short to pretend it doesn’t hurt when someone mistreats me.  Life is too real to live it without fighting for my right to experience joy.   I don’t show it, but I’m a fighter to my core.  I will fight for my rights with a fierceness that will make my enemies flee in terror.  I’ve been fighting to exist for my entire life, and I’m really fucking good at it.

Gamify Your Life

I slept well last night.  I have a feeling I will again tonight.  It’s starting to cool off and may result in snow tomorrow, so my days of running outside may be coming to a pause.  I’m not as bothered by this because there’s a new treadmill in the gym downstairs.  I haven’t been using the gym in the leasing building recently because for some reason they completely redecorated it.  They put in new flooring, furniture, window treatments, and fixtures.  They even changed how the furniture is arranged.

It looks nice, I must admit.  It took a bit for me to muster the courage to look it over.  I gave myself double points for doing alone.  There’s a new treadmill in that gym too, but the one I always use is still in the same spot.  I might use the new one if nobody else is working out.  It’s in the middle of the row of cardio equipment, which means the chances of someone working out right next to me are higher.  I’ll go at 5AM.  That way it will just be me and the weight lifters.  They just watch their form in the mirrors and ignore everyone else.  They also allow me to cut in to do my reps while they stretch, which is nice.

The people who are there just before closing are the Indian immigrants who live in my building.  They’re always nice to me, and sometimes they do cricket team workouts which are fun to watch in the mirrors.  Especially when it’s dancing.  It’s so cute to watch several guys doing the same dance moves in unison.  I’ve seen them playing cricket on the softball fields in the park across the street.  The ones who live down the hall from me play their music loudly, but you can only hear it when you’re in the hallway.  It made me feel more confident to play my violin.  We have soundproofing between units, just not the entrance doors.

I started a new project today with a friend I met on Twitter.  He’s a software engineering student.  We’re going to build a site that encourages people to do the things that challenge them in life, and reward them like any other video game would when they conquer a task.  I’ve done this for years, and it’s helped me stay motivated when doing things that are hard for me.  I love that rush I get when I finish a task that I really didn’t want to do.  Grocery shopping comes to mind.  I award myself points and do a victory dance for a bit afterward.  It feels good, like any other accomplishment, so it totally counts.  I keep score in my head.  I’m totally winning.

He’s far more into web development than me.  I got burned out on web dev years ago, and now I only do personal projects here and there.  The programming languages change over time, and the process is constantly getting easier.  I’m a firm believer in utilizing open source software, rather than recreating it myself whenever possible.  It’s kind of the point of open source-ware.  My friend wanted to build a custom content management system from scratch, but when we realized his language of choice won’t work on the server I rented, he agreed that we should use open source.  We’ll probably go with either WordPress or Joomla.  I’m leaning more toward WordPress, as I like it.

I’m excited about it, and am probably going to spend lots of time making award titles and graphics.  It’s a system that works well for me, and I hope others will find it useful too.  I’m a gamer, so it was a natural thing for me to do.  Non-gamers might also enjoy the benefits of the accumulation of small victories.  I hope so!  Either way, I’ll have a blast building it.

Kind Hearted Woman

I watched a show on PBS today that wrapped itself around my heart and tugged.  It’s called, Kind Hearted Woman.  I caught it in the middle, but was instantly hooked.  Its a real story about a Native woman from the Spirit Lake reservation in ND.  A woman was comforting her daughter before she went to sleep.  Her daughter had spoken up about being sexually abused by her Dad.  Everything her Mom said to her was so perfect.

She knew exactly what her daughter was feeling, as she’d experienced it herself when she was a child.  I have never seen someone help a child cope with this so well.  It’s not a scripted show. These are real people living within driving distance of me right now.  I immediately picked up on the Native accent.  I grew up with foster siblings from various reservations in SD, so conversing with their families during visits was common throughout my childhood.  They were like extended family to me.  Their kids were usually in foster care because they had a medical condition that couldn’t be properly treated and accommodated on the reservation.

Watching this woman cope with her past, and present while battling for custody of her two children felt like listening to one of my sisters.  She had a lot of things working against her in the episode I watched.  Tribal council law was so unjust.  They blasted her character in an attempt to cover up the sexual abuse issues going on behind closed doors on the reservation.  I haven’t yet seen how it will play out as this was filmed 2 years ago.  I ordered the DVD’s on Amazon, because I have to know that things worked out for her and her children.

I’m so used to being the outsider who never fits in, and is baffled by the behaviors of other people.  I feel a connection with her because I can relate to her struggle in feeling like the world is so confusing, and actively working against her, yet getting up and living life anyway.  It’s a nice feeling.  Like there is someone on this planet with whom I can understand and root for, and hope for her to find lots of joy in her life.

Grow

I have a friend on Twitter who is young.  We met through hash tag games, and follow each other.  At the beginning of our friendship, she got into a debate about religion with a mutual follower.  The mutual follower felt she was being persecuted for being a Christian, and had no tolerance for atheism.  My friend saw that she wasn’t going to be reasonable about it, so she asked if they could agree to disagree.  But our mutual follower felt victimized, and went silent.

The next day, I was chatting with my friend about something unrelated to the previous issue.  The mutual friend saw me being kind and supportive of her, and became angry.  She blocked us both, and told me I had betrayed her by befriending someone who had abused her over her religion.  She didn’t allow me to say anything to that, not even goodbye.  For a moment, I felt upset that she would react in such a childish way.  Then I realized she probably felt triggered by the incident, and that it wasn’t really about anything but my failure to protect her as my friend.  That put her reaction in a different light, and it became easier to understand.

I don’t resent her for what she did.  I don’t think there is anything I could have done in that moment to assure her that I cared about both of them, regardless of whether they got along.  So I care about her without her knowledge now.  I won’t be the person she needed me to be in that moment.  I won’t reject my friend on her behalf.  I won’t reinforce the painful message she’s already deduced from her life so far.  It would be wrong.  I know this with everything I am.

This young friend is a beautiful person.  She doesn’t know this.  She’s intelligent, witty, kind, concerned, and aware.  She reminds me of myself when I was younger in that she wishes her mom would have elected to have an abortion, rather than birthing her, and struggling.  I remember feeling that way for a long time.  It’s something I outgrew as I’ve grown, and I’m confident she will too, in her own time.  What she is saying is that she loves her mom so much, and would do anything to make her life easier, even if it meant giving up her life.  She’s saying that she doesn’t believe she is worth the struggle her mom has endured.  She’s saying that she wishes she never existed sometimes.  Most of the time.

Feeling that way is like that ache in the back of your throat when you’re trying your hardest not to cry.  It’s that resentment you feel when the first tear edges it’s way down your cheek despite your willing it to cease.  It’s that lack of control you feel, when you realize your body reacts in a disobedient manner.  It’s a deep depression.  It’s scary and sad.  I know this because I’ve lived there before.  So of course I can’t turn my back on her.  I can’t let her go on thinking she’s worthless when I know it’s not true.  I can’t ignore the fact that she’s a bright light in this world.

So I try to gently remind her that she has value.  I know she disagrees now, but just reading my words sinks in a little, if only subconsciously.  She goes back and forth with religion, as many do at her age.  The desire to disbelieve in fairytales and declare yourself an adult is normal growing pains.  To throw religion away is a bold declaration that you have your own mind.  It’s not done to offend those who believe.  It’s not done to try and get others to disbelieve as well.  It’s a process of growing out of indoctrination, and questioning everything in order to have a full understanding of where you will eventually take your stance.  It’s finding the confidence in your beliefs and values.

It’s something I think most people do, although probably not as openly.  There are phases where arrogance and superior intellect are lies one tells oneself to compensate for the bitterness thrown at them by Christians who are insecure in their own beliefs.  The finger pointing when one who is identified as a Christian does or says something that is clearly not considered a proper action for the religion is another.  But these are part of the process.  She’ll outgrow all of this in her own time.

I just support her for being herself and finding her way.  I see the goodness in her.  It doesn’t make me feel old.  It makes me feel like some of the hard times I’ve already lived through were worth it, because now I can see past the mask and recognize the pain behind it.

My Dad Was Better Than Santa Claus

I still feel like a zombie.  The time change is kicking my ass.  I got a lot done this morning with latest project.  I think freebie clients are more particular than the rest. I wonder if there is a correlation between people who dedicated their lives to helping others, and their ability to visualize an idea in detail.  Not enough data. Interesting, though.

A potential client called me on the phone.  Two things about it bothered me.  First, the call was at 6:03 AM.  There are several reasons I can imagine as to why that happened.  None of them compensate.  The second thing is, I don’t talk on the phone to clients ever.  I don’t publish my phone number with my credentials.  I very specifically give only an email address.

So this person had to go out of their way to acquire my phone number.  I am pretty sure I know what is going on with this client.  It’s a wealthy man who is used to playing by his own rules, and is used to everyone else complying with his every whim.  I know this because I’ve worked for a colleague of his before, and that’s likely who referred me to him in the first place.

He left a message asking me to get in touch.  No problem there.  I will think about whether or not I want to work with him and decide tomorrow.  I won’t reject the idea based solely on his financial status and general attitude.  These are things that won’t matter unless I decide to allow them to matter.  I could easily decide to be insecure, and thus refuse to tolerate his behavior merely because it comes off as arrogant.  Or I could look at it like he has an effective, no nonsense approach to everything, and is focused on the goal, not the logistics.

The latter is more logical to me.  I have been taught two ways of seeing this situation.  But one way is through the eyes of an insecure person who goes out of her way to find a reason to feel slighted.  The other is through the eyes of a professional who doesn’t pay any mind to things that don’t advance her to the goal.  The latter is more logical.  The former is what I was taught by my peers.  The latter what I was taught by myself, the military, and logic.  So it’s obvious which way I’ll run with this.

It bothers me that some people would consider me foolish for choosing the latter. Its just another reminder that I’m weird, and will never fit in because I can’t even understand the mindset of “normal”.  The bother is not overwhelming or destructive.  It’s constant and annoying.  It’s annoying to be unable to relate to most people.  It’s annoying to have to stop and wonder if they mean what they say this time, or if they are telling socially acceptable lies that I should automatically decipher in real time again.

I know I shouldn’t care that I can relate to an arrogant, successful white man far more easily than any black woman I’ve ever met in my life.  But when you look at this world, society tells me that my enemy is the wealthy white man by default. Society doesn’t give a shit about logic or fairness.  Society doesn’t give a shit that my dad was a wealthy white man.  Or that he was incredibly gentle and selfless.  And in order to live in society, I have to deal with it to an extent that disgusts me.  It sucks.

I’ve always had a dream that one day an alien ship would land and take me home. That I would be delivered to my planet of origin, where people were like me, and said only what they meant, and were kind and concerned about the whole, not the one.  It’s evolved as I’ve grown and experienced life.  I know it’s a fantasy.  But I still dream of it.  It helps me relax.

Kaisai

Today has been awesome.  I got 3 hours of continuous sleep.  Yay!  No nightmares.  Shoutout to estrella1982 for suggesting I look into lucid dreaming.  It’s fascinating, and I’ll absolutely be utilizing the technique.  I started my dosage change today.  Prozac has a long half life, so it’ll be about a month before the change takes effect.  It helps that I run because it requires me to remain well hydrated, and helps flush toxins out of my body faster.

I followed a woman on Twitter recently, and have discovered that I struck pure gold.  She’s beautiful, kind, and makes Vines that encourage people to be loving and accepting.  Plus she’s a cat lady.  Gold.  I got my responses back from Twitter regarding the racist harassment I endured a few days ago.  They basically praised their own concern for preventing harassment on the site for the first half of the email, and then told me that they didn’t find anything they consider harassment in the screen shots I sent in my reports.  I have since perused their rules regarding harassment, and discovered that unless someone directly threatens to kill you, or commit suicide, they don’t care.  So I wasn’t surprised by their email.

I accept that this is their stance on the topic.  I’ve decided to continue utilizing the site with my more thorough understanding of the role they’re willing to take in keeping the site safe in their view.  Logic is easy to accept.  I’ll utilize the block feature more readily in the future, should I encounter such hatefulness and racism.  It’s the perfect tool to assist me in protecting myself.  For some reason, in the instance I reported, I had to block the person twice before it took effect.  It could be that I double clicked the option rather than a single click.  I’ve done that with favoriting before.

I would like a more tactile option.  Like a huge red button mounted on the wall that I could whack with a purpose when encountering such unpleasantness.  But instead, I’ll just visualize it.  I’m not playing in the hashtag games today.  They are tags that encourage gore and violence.  Not my thing.  I know it’s not literal, but it’s still disturbing.  Heroes Reborn is on tonight.  I hope I can pay attention.  I missed The Big Bang Theory on Monday because I was having sensory overload issues.  Heroes Reborn is one of those shows that is right at the limit of what I can handle as far as violence and suspense.  I wish I could read it first.  Same with Minority Report.  

I’m presently reading, The Cycle of Arawn trilogy, by Edward W. Robertson.  It’s a fantasy series.  I’m liking it so far.  After that I have a new book by Amanda Palmer titled, The Art of Asking.  It was recommended by a friend on Twitter who’s awesome.  Every day she shares links to fascinating stuff.  Whenever I’m waiting for code to compile or content to render, I pop over to check my feed.  A few times, I’ve gotten absorbed in the hashtag games and spent more time than I should have goofing off.

I make up for it on the weekends, when I allow myself to hyper focus on my projects.  Allowing 2 days per week to let myself become completely absorbed in what I’m doing has been the best way to avoid meltdowns that I’ve discovered so far.  Aside from my cat, no interruptions are heeded.  I live for weekends.  I’ve been so much more social now that I’m paying attention to Twitter.  It’s hard.  Even though it’s mostly reading, it still can overwhelm me.  Today, someone I follow changed their avatar.  It really threw me.  I took a moment to stim and collect myself, and then forced myself to respond to it in the most positive manner I could muster.  She acknowledged my response, and mentioned she may put it back how it was in the future.  I felt relief at the prospect.

I’ve unfollowed a few people who change their avatar like most people change their undergarments.  I don’t understand why someone would do that.  It’s like changing your face.  It’s really upsetting.  But I’ve learned not to expect people to understand this.  Sassafrantz is the only one that doesn’t rattle me when she does this.  It’s not often, and she keeps tweets the photo of her new avatar when she changes it, and keeps the former one in her photo timeline.  That helps.

I can tell I’m still a little loopy from sleep deprivation.  My mind is all over the place hahaha.  My cat was so funny this morning.  I was laying on the floor beside her after my run.  I started to sit up to do my stretching, and she got so offended.  She made a loud, very long meow sound, and then hit me on the arm with her paw.  I don’t know what I did wrong that offended her, but it made me laugh really hard.  I guess she wasn’t ready for me to start moving again.  I apologized to her and then praised her for a bit while stroking her cheeks.  She settled, and I carried on.  So funny!  I think my cat is autistic too.  Here she is falling asleep on her Flintstones/Jetsons quilt I made her.

 

 

 

Chemical Chaos

I tried to sleep again.  I hate PTSD.  The name doesn’t really cover it.  It should be called “Trying To Function While Existing In Your Own Private Hell”.  I’m so tired.  Nightmares are kicking my ass.  I’m afraid to try sleeping again.  I hate that I am so vulnerable when I’m asleep.  I can face down my fears when I’m awake, but while sleeping, I have no control.  I’m going to design an experiment.  I want to figure out how to control my mind when it’s asleep enough that I can redirect my dreams away from nightmares.  I’ll think on how to accomplish this.  Ironically, if I could sleep on it, I’d have a better chance at figuring out a solution.

I’m going to lower my dose of Prozac.  My next appointment is in December, so I’ll inform my psychiatrist of this change then.  He trusts me to suggest the proper dosage based on how I’m functioning.  It was my idea to increase it by 10 mg.  It worked really well for a few months.  The risky thing when increasing it to this level is how it effects me.  It’s truly bizarre.  If I stay with 20 mg’s I do fairly well, but it requires me to rigidly stick to a low carb diet, exercise daily, and avoid viewing anything with suspense.  While that sounds like a cinch, one migraine headache can completely derail me.  If I miss one day of exercise, or if I forget to eat, or lose too much sleep to nightmares, my chemical balance gets thrown off kilter.  It’s very noticeable to me.  It directly effects my ability to fend off the Depression Monster.

Switching to 30 mg gives me some leeway.  I can skip a run, or a meal.  I can go for a few days on very little sleep, and still manage to keep the Depression Monster at bay.  The risk, is that at 30 mg, suicidal ideation becomes a concern.  It’s wickedly strange.  It’s like my brain chemistry becomes too steady, which makes it far more vulnerable to the slightest onslaught of stress.  I’m always a bit back, observing while these changes take place.  I can’t seem to become inured to the process.  It blows my mind every single time.  I can barely comprehend what my brain chemistry is doing when I encounter the Depression Monster while on the 30 mg dosage for more than a month or two.  It’s illogical and surreal.

I think I tried the higher dose again because part of me was unwilling to believe such a small change in dosage could be fatal.  It’s hard to accept that being on the higher dose is like being suicidal without feeling it.  Without the pain and despair.  Until suddenly, one seemingly minor stressor rips away the mask and races me to the edge of the cliff.  It happens so quickly it frightens me.  I catch myself seriously contemplating suicide.  Formulating a plan in my mind with an odd sense of urgency.  Then when it passes, it’s obvious to me that my thoughts and plans were ridiculous.  It’s scary.

It’s not like feeling as if I’ve lost control.  It feels like I’m being rational, and making logical choices. That’s what scares me the most.  The inability to recognize the fact that my thoughts are betraying the shit out of me in real time.  The knowledge that a chemical reaction in my brain can so easily lead to my untimely death.  I’ve figured out how to prevent this from happening.  That was easy.  I simply never allow myself to act on any life changing decisions for 48 hours.  Logic saves me from tainted logic.

It bothered me a lot at first when I realized how much of ‘me’ is due to the chemical mixture in my brain.  Now I’ve accepted it.  After having surgery in the past, I noticed my tastes in food changed immediately afterward.  A permanent change.  It’s fascinating to me.  Whenever I’m put under anesthesia, when I recover, I try foods I previously rejected, and have found that I’ve liked some.  I hated any kind of melon all my life.  After surgery, I love it.  Especially watermelon.  I have to wonder what other traits are so easily altered by undergoing the administration of powerful chemicals.  I won’t be doing any experiments to find out, but I’m still curious.  Once I’ve been on the lower dosage for about a month or so, things will return to normal for me.

I do better in the winter.  I suspect it’s because allergens are less prevalent.  I also like the cold.  I’m always hot, so it’s nice to get relief.  It’s 36F right now, and windy.  I have a window cracked and am wearing pajamas and it feels great.  If only I could sleep.

 

Fierceness

I’ve thought about my previous post, and made a decision.  I’ve decided that if I end up getting murdered for having black skin, then so be it.  I will go down fighting.  I refuse to surrender my joy to the hatred that permeates this planet like a cancer.  I reject the twisted mindset that believes superiority exists within the race of Homo sapiens.  Everything within me acknowledges the absolute wrongness of harboring hatred toward another based on anything other than the content of their character.  I will not cower.  I will not submit.  I will fight it with the ferocious spirit of a woman, and I will not back down.  I am fierceness.