“It’s not like you’re launching missiles from a submarine and you both have to turn your keys.”

I had a good weekend.  I’m in a band, now.  I accepted without asking any of the obvious questions.  Such as, what’s the name of the group?  I’ve made a note to find out this weekend.  (Among other things.  Heh.)  I was just so happy to be invited, it didn’t cross my mind.

Today has been slippery.  Most of the day got away from me.  I had a meeting this morning and a violin lesson after lunch.  I didn’t have any further demands for the rest of the day.  At first, I felt anxious about it.  It feels like driving without a seatbelt when I don’t have anything to do.  It’s too loose and uncomfortable.

I got dangerously close to panicking.  When I saw my window of escape was quickly shrinking, I jumped through in the nick of time.  I sat down and thought about Stevie Nicks.  It totally worked.  I ended up watching the first three episodes of Grace and Frankie.  (Stevie Nicks likes watching TV.)

gracefrankie

I know Stevie Nicks is a big fan of Game of Thrones, but I can’t handle the TV show.  So I wondered what she’d watch on Netflix.  Heh.  (I’m such a doof.)  Grace and Frankie looked promising.  One of my oldest TV memories is of Lily Tomlin in a rocking chair that made her look like a little girl.   (I’ve loved her ever since.)

Grace and Frankie is fabulous.  I kept telling myself to keep my expectations in check, it’s just TV, and they keep blowing my freaking mind.  No wonder Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are raising their rates.  (They’re showing network TV why so many of us abandoned them altogether in favor of amateur podcasts and access to all the music.)

I was so engrossed in the show when I looked up again, it was dinner time.  We had a blizzard today, and it’s still windy.  The sound of howling wind reminds me of Patrick Rothfuss.  I’m off to start rereading his novel; The Name of the Wind.  Peace.

I’m sorry to bother you, but I’m a US postal worker, and my mail truck was just ambushed by a band of backwoods mail-hating survivalists.

Today is a good day.  I got invited to jam with a local band this afternoon.  I didn’t want to go, but my reason sucked, so I went anyway.  I was pretty anxious on the way and for the first few minutes.  Then I asked if I can play too.  They asked me what I play, and I said I’d love anything with sticks or strings.

When anxiety turns into excitement like that, it’s a weird feeling.  It almost feels impossible to contain.  Everything in me demanded I jump up and down or I would burst into a gazillion broken pieces.  I hopped a few times to prevent it, then stopped and hoped nobody noticed.  The man who plays lead guitar (saw and) said he hoped my enthusiasm was contagious.  (I decided I love him.)

I went for the bass because nobody else did.  I told them I’ve only been playing it for a short time, so don’t expect any solos.  They all laughed, and I had another one of those moments where I wonder if they know I mean literally, then agonize over whether to ask.  I didn’t ask.  (Thank you, Stevie Nicks, for being the one person on this planet who finally managed to convince me to always think before speaking, and take my time.)

Tangent:  It took a long time for me to fully concede it’s sometimes better to say nothing, (even if it’s incredibly hilarious.)   It’s a semi-painful concession.  Part of me would rather live in a world where anything is okay to say, so long as it’s wicked funny.  Then I remember there’s absolutely no way that wouldn’t end in (rivers of) tears (for me.)  Damn.  I guess Stevie Nicks got me to (finally) grow up.  Um…  Ow.  😂😂😂😂😂

I had so much fun playing my face still hurts from smiling.  M. complimented me and seemed surprised how well I hung in there.  Then I ruined it by telling him it’s because I practice with the same songs, and therefore suggested them (Jackson 5.)   Jermaine Jackson is the bar I set for my bass playing endeavor.  (If you knew how many notes I currently have to drop to stay in time with the song, you’d be laughing with me.)  It still sounds pretty good, though.  I’m a rhythm bass player.  Heh.

I brought my violin, but as expected, they just looked at it, then looked at me, then looked away.  Did everyone in South Dakota get together and decide on this reaction?  I bet there was cake.  😒  I’m probably still a little bit over excited.  It’s hard to calm down after having a great time.  M. wants to go sit in the hot tub.  It would probably help, but it just seems so unsanitary.  Maybe I’ll just put my legs in.  Apparently, my germaphobia ends with my knees.  💜

I can’t believe that you saw her before me.

I realized I don’t code most of the time anymore.  I think this is a good thing because I laugh more.  It feels like I broke an addiction because I get random urges to start new projects all the time.  I thought I would have a harder time letting go.  It’s mind boggling how much time I’ve spent writing code on a computer in my lifetime.  It’s probably just under the time I’ve spent sleeping.  I’m impatient.  If something takes ten hours to complete, there is no way I’m going to break that up.  I know my limit is between 19 and 21 hours.  (That’s not typical, however, and I swear I’ll never do anything that long again.)

I can stay awake(ish) for 32 hours, but those last several hours are wasted time.  All I do is nod off, startle myself awake, laugh about it, (rinse, and repeat.)  I fell asleep on guard duty once when I was in the Army.  The fucker who was my relief saw me, went and caught a tarantula, and put it down my shirt.  I ripped my shirt off while screaming and running in place.  Then I burst into tears and told him I hated him, while he fell on the ground laughing.  Fucker.  Although, I never did it again.  Fucker.  (Full body shudder.)

I’m well into my second reading of The Dark Tower series, by Stephen King.  I’m just marveling at the details this time.  I think the mastery lies in his restraint.  He only told us enough of the story to force us to obsess over what he didn’t.  Human brains make premature determinations all the time, so he left room for the Constant Reader to use their own imagination and cryptography skills to add even more richness to an already lush tale.  I know!  Holy shit!  No two will experience the exact same story.  Sigh.  My next boyfriend will be more of a reader.  (It’s a joke, mostly.)

I read an article yesterday about Prozac being used to “treat” autism.  The Army came to that conclusion when I was a teenager.  I always forget about the delay.  It seems an unusually long one, though.  I’m not a parent, and I’ve already shared my thoughts on the drug.  All I can say is thank goodness I don’t have to make such a hard decision for someone completely dependent on me.  And I know that’s just one out of thousands like it.  I can’t even have a dog, so I’m generally awed by good parents.  It was the single parent of an autistic kid who helped me realize activism isn’t optional.  (Last year, sigh.)  I’m always late to the party.

I’m super anxious today, and I’m subconsciously trying to match it by speeding up.  My heart is telling me I should be running, not sitting on the floor typing on a laptop.  I’m having a difficult time remaining seated.  It reminds me of the time my PC doctor yelled at me for jumping up and down when I was supposed to be waiting to get my blood pressure checked.  (Jumping up and down makes it feel like time is moving faster, and makes waiting less annoying.  Duh.)  It scared the shit out of me because she came up behind me.  I must have accidentally let the I’m about to cry face show for a second because she immediately apologized.  It was a tiny bit funny.  Sometimes I have to admit I am too fucking literal.

I saw an interview on Youtube with Stevie Nicks and noticed she was rocking throughout the interview.  I mentioned it to M., and he said, “She’s not autistic, she’s high on cocaine.”  (I didn’t ask him if he thought she was autistic.)  I paused for a second to decide if his reading my mind was funny or infuriating.  I decided it’s funny.  (I kinda think everyone is half black, might be undiagnosed autistic, loves Star Wars, reads, and sings a lot until otherwise is proven.)  That’s right.  Still not sophisticated.

One thing I’ve learned from Stevie Nicks is to trust my intuition with a fierceness when necessary.  Also, I noticed she doesn’t tear people down.  I like that quality in a person.  For those who also wonder;  she still looks gorgeous because she stays in the shade, uses La Mer skincare products, and never ever goes to bed with makeup on.  I’m settling for 2 out of 3.  I can’t stomach paying that much to stay cute (while not being a rock goddess.  Besides, La Mer would be foolish to make her buy it.  All they have to do to make bank is put “Stevie Nicks uses this” on the bottle.)  I’ll just be kinda cute instead.  It looks the same from my perspective.  😂

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.

Not everybody knows what the crop circles are.

I’ve learned a bit about executive function since joining Autistic Twitter.  I just read my Pocket Sister’s blog describing her adventures with this challenging quirk.  It involves a phenomenon familiar to neurodiverse humans.  The executive function primarily entails the mental ability to manage time and focus.  Mine is spotty at best.  I find the most frustrating aspect to be losing words.  It nullifies my vocabulary acquired from spending so much time reading novels.  It complicates my ability to communicate with others.

Imagine trying to successfully express a complex concept using only the words contained in a nursery rhyme.  That’s as close as I can describe what it feels like to communicate with most other people.  The words I can consistently recall in real time when anxious are the words I had learned by rote before comprehension was a factor.  When I speak of being on auto-pilot, it could also be described as functioning by rote.  It’s my recovery mode.  It’s what happens automatically whenever I’m outside my home, and my anxiety gets triggered.  I suspect I spend more time on auto-pilot than not.

Anxiety is the bane of my social existence.  The worst part; it’s justified based on my history of socializing with others.  It’s absolutely the logical way to feel when attempting something I’ve failed at so many times.  I’m human, and we all need social contact with other people to some degree.  It’s a need I’ve tried to eradicate before, (always striving for efficiency.)  I couldn’t pull it off.  Instead, I just keep trying.  I stopped keeping track of how many times I’ve fucked it up.  It was discouraging.  I’m not seeking fame or popularity, (I couldn’t type that without laughing at the thought.)  I just need enough socialization to prevent my becoming too weird.

By too weird, I mean the way all humans change when isolated from other people.  We start talking to ourselves, and to inanimate objects (Wilson!!!).  When we do finally encounter another person, we tend to overshare overlong.  There’s more, but you get the picture.  I’m trying to socialize with other humans enough to prevent losing the ability.  It’s absolutely a Use it or Lose it skill.  So I put up with feeling anxious and inarticulate.  I’ve gotten used to needing a paragraph to express a sentence.  It’s hard because I value conciseness.  I find it easier to write than speak.  By quite a bit.  I just haven’t been able to convince those in my world to restrict their communications to text or email.

I’m working on a virtual presence device.  My first obstacle is designing one that won’t result in theft, vandalism, teasing, etc.  It’s a fun project, and I intend to use it often once completed.  As long as there is tech, I’ll find a way to fit my square peg in this round-holed planet, and I’ll have fun in the process.  I’m off to beat my drums with sticks.