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.

Thanks for mutton.

I had a strange dream last night.  It was like being trapped in a novel.  Everything centered around a young child who told lies.  The kid continued to tell lies regardless of the actions taken by adults in an attempt to correct the behavior.  Despite the pattern of misery this created, the child kept lying into early adulthood, unconvinced their behavior had consequences.  While studying at university, the liar becomes more aware of their government.  Soon, it’s obvious the government has been lying to its citizens for years.  The pain of being deceived becomes a teacher, and an effective reminder to always tell the truth.

It’s possible I need to take a break from reading Dickens novels for a while.  (My first hint an interest has passed over to obsession is weird and intense dreams.)  At least it wasn’t another World of Warcraft dream.  Those are so surreal because they’re almost identical to playing the game, except for the pop-up messages from Blizzard during login.  For some reason, Blizzard is like an old philosopher-poet who might be a bit lonely in my weird dreams.  When awake, the pop-up messages offer in-game tips and suggest you go outside once in a while, (in kinder terms).    In my dreams, they question my loyalty to the Alliance and make me feel guilty for abandoning my farms when Warlords of Draenor came out.  And doing the same with my garrisons when Legion came out.

It totally stresses me out because for some reason, when I’m asleep, all of my adulting skills vanish.  It’s not like I have a vast amount, to begin with.  The only good part about WoW nightmares is when I awaken and recognize there are perks to being an adult, after all.  I’m addicted to the ability to reason with myself when my inner 5-year-old is threatening mutiny.  Of course, I’m loyal to the Alliance.  But it’s a game meant for enjoyment in my spare time, not a job.  Why I can’t recall that obvious fact when I’m caught in a nightmare, I don’t know.  It does feel a bit like I’m aging from toddler to adulthood every morning during my walk from my bed to the bathroom.  (I start out with shitty balance and legs that aren’t sure they can support me.)  Shit.  I’m getting old.


I think I see a nipple.

Brace yourselves.  I have unbelievable information to report.  I totally missed my Seinfeld fix today.  I usually catch it on TBS.  I haven’t started shaking or anything, but I am considering subscribing to HULU+, and streaming a few episodes later.  Yes.  This is happening.  This is America, dammit.  Nobody should have to go more than 12 hours between Seinfeld reruns.  We’re a civilized country, for gosh sakes.  Ask anyone who plans to vote in the upcoming POTUS election.  They’ll tell you, (to vote for their candidate).

I’m in a mood.  It involves my being too lazy to identify it as good or bad.  I passed a threshold in therapy today.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but it became quite clear later.  As with all challenging things in life, the ones you choose to face will come to a point where you have to decide if you will continue fighting onward, or if you’re going to cut your losses and try another tactic.  Once that brief window closes, you can either decide to fight onward, or you can decide to allow it to level you.  I’m not 100% convinced that the latter is an actual choice, or if it just happens sometimes.  Either way, hesitating is foolish.  Nothing good can come of it when you’re playing chicken with yourself.

So the way I see it, I have to fight onward.  I can’t pursue a tactic I know will fail.  So onward it is.  I’m scared.  I was going to say I hate that feeling, but who doesn’t?  I’m vulnerable because I chose to trust my therapist.  It’s not something I regret.  It feels to me a lot like posing nude for an art class.  Intellectually, you know they are looking at your naked body, and are now privy to a part of you that was previously private, but also that they aren’t seeing you as a person, but as a form to recreate.  So you pose, and you wrestle with your mind and self esteem, and it becomes a whole new level of privacy.  They can see your naked body, but they can’t know the many thoughts racing through your mind as they stare.  (It’s an experience where you can measure positive personal growth in a single afternoon.  I highly recommend it).

So I’ll be scared, and I’ll probably have some nightmares here and there.  She told me up front how things were likely to go, and so far she’s been spot on.  I’ve been scared before.  It’s very uncomfortable, but I can survive it.  Some people like that feeling, and are thrilled by it.  And of course I can survive nightmares.  So it’s not really a mountain.  More like a hill.  I’ll just lean in.

Are there keys to a plane?

I had my first session with my new therapist today.  I’m stunned.  She warned me that it would happen, so I’m not freaking out.  I paced for a bit earlier, trying to wrap my head around it.  I think I’m drained of my daily quota of abstract concept comprehension.  She also predicted I will sleep hard tonight from being worn out.  I’m already feeling it.  I came pretty close to crying a few times, but I bit my lip and soldiered through.  Crying is a good way to cope when you’re sad, but for some reason, I was cursed to spend my life crying exactly the same way I did when I was 10;  post-crying hiccups, and all.  That went over well in the Army.  /sarcasm

So I pushed them back.  I’ll let them out the next time I shower.  That’s my crying place.  It’s so efficient.  So I told her why I have nightmares.  I don’t know how it happened.  I didn’t come anywhere near having a meltdown.  I had a hard time remaining seated, but I feel comfortable with her.  Being still is something I normally reserve for when I’m sleeping, but I’ll try to make an exception for this next time.  I can’t believe I told her.  Holy Shiitake Mushrooms, Batman!  She’s going to teach me some coping skills, which is good, because running and distraction don’t feel like enough sometimes.

She told me she was proud of me, and honored that I shared with her.  Wow.