A letter to future me: Please read this whenever you think perhaps you can get away with it just this one time. You cannot. You cannot get away with it. You’ve forgotten the consequences because it’s been so long since you last attempted this foolishness. Stop it right now. Read the whine-fest below, and remember where it leads. Dammit.
I’m a strong woman. Sometimes I make poor decisions and regret them later. Apparently, I’m also a bit of a sadist, because I’ve made this particular error repeatedly. I know better. I guess I forgot I’m autistic and have PTSD or something. Oops. Tut tut. There are rules. I can’t eat garbage without paying a hefty price. It’s due to consequences that usually take at least a week to resolve entirely, and sometimes far longer.
The universe is laughing at me. (Not the fun kind you can join.) I put the wrong fuel in my body, and now it’s acting up. I need a priorities intervention, stat. I get tempted by junk food every so often, and instead of analyzing why, I give in and indulge. I need that data because the results are once again kicking my ass. (Perhaps some mild public shaming will finally put an end to this folly.)
It hit me just before 7 AM. I awoke later than usual with no desire to get out of bed. Just the idea of rising made me whimper inside; a red flag because I’m not big on sleep. Unless I’m unwell, I’m ready to get up when I wake up. Then, The Depression Monster showed up. That bastard went straight to a commentary about politics designed to raise my blood pressure.
My mood did a backflip over the cliff, while simultaneously flipping both birds at half mast. It happened so quickly I was stunned. It probably worked in my favor by causing me to question what the hell just happened. I realized The Depression Monster was involved and slammed on the brakes. Then I figured out why and launched directly into beating myself about the head and neck for doing this to myself again. Sigh.
I didn’t manage to shower and dress until 4 PM. I didn’t spend that time in bed, though. I spent it pacing around my apartment while debating with myself silently. Some of that time was spent experiencing awe over how long I’d been doing it. I tried so hard to stop. I even wrote out the one step I was trying to take on my whiteboard, (then passed it over and over without it registering for a long, long time.) It said, Get in the shower.
These are hours of my life I can never get back, (and this is day one.) All because I had to eat some freaking garbage. It’s not worth it. Memorize this, Alison. You’re in training for menopause, and it could start anytime in the next decade. Get your shit together, or it’ll end you. Dammit.
I finished building my workstation computer last night. I had to remove the enormous Cooler Master MA610P RGB CPU Air Cooler, and it’s going back to Amazon, along with the non-working cable extenders, and the extra Cryorig H7 ordered accidentally, (a $10 return shipping fee.) I think it’s the last PC tower I’ll be building, even though I probably said this last time. Heh.
It’s incredibly fast, so I’m pleased with the outcome. I’m most impressed with the G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series RAM. It looks fabulous with its cycling rainbow LED lights. I wish motherboard producers would stop putting their drivers on a DVD, though. It’s time to use stick drives as Microsoft does with Windows, (at least the LAN driver.) I haven’t built a tower with a DVD drive in ages. Software distribution by downloading is nearly universal. I can’t think of an exception.
I’m heading out of town soon. The Depression Monster still has me in a headlock. I don’t want to do anything. Everything takes so much effort and makes me want to cry. I guess it’s a good thing I forget about this shit once I’m feeling better. The downside is how surprised I am each time I experience an episode. I hate having to give myself a pep talk just to get up and go to the bathroom. Fortunately, Amelia Bedelia is a sweetheart, and she follows me everywhere as if she’s lending me some strength.
My appetite has fled. I forced myself to practice my drums yesterday. I’m also almost finished rereading Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson. I’m awed by its depth of understanding regarding PTSD. It’s helping me in a manner I thought could be achieved through therapy, but unfortunately, I’ve never had a therapist who could see beyond my skin. I regret how long it’s taken me to recognize it’s a dead end. (I’ve met a few who saw me as human, but they weren’t available to treat me.) Thank goodness for the incredible novels I’ve found, (Harry Potter series and the Cosmere stories.)
I listened to the latest episode of Gettin’ Grown with Jade and Keia on Tuesday. They talked about how women of color are at a higher risk of certain diseases and conditions, and the necessity of maintaining checkups and preventative care. They both admitted to neglecting to keep up their appointments and committed to scheduling them before the next episode. I thought about doing the same, but then I recalled my predicament. Subjecting myself to the treatment I’ve received at the Sioux Falls VA is sadistic.
I still liked listening to the podcast, though. It’s something I look forward to each week. I’m more interested in enjoying however much time I have left than potentially prolonging my life by enduring hateful people. As much as I’d like to forget my experiences there, I’m grateful I remember because it prevents me from going back. I could do without the nightmares, though. The CBD oil has allowed me to sleep for at least four hours a night since I started taking it. I only take a few drops before laying down (because it tastes horrible.)
I’m going back to Azeroth (World of Warcraft) to force The Depression Monster back into hiding. Flying around and looking at the scenery while listening to my healing sisters (Stevie Nicks, Agnetha Fältskog, Lorde, Amy Lee, Beyoncé, and Sheryl Crow on my ultimate playlist) will help me shake free of this lingering melancholy. Then I’ll follow it up with some comedians on Netflix and a lavender bath bomb before finishing my novel. I’m feeling better just from typing this out. Yay.
I’m sad about the passing of author, Ursula LeGuin, yesterday. Today is Virginia Woolf’s 136th birthday. I decided to spend the day listening to Lorde. I’m not done yet, but it’s been a soothing day so far. She’s one of my healing sisters, along with Stevie Nicks, Beyoncè, Amy Lee, Sheryl Crow, Agnetha Faltskog, and Aretha Franklin.
They’re who caught me up through their music when I was (barely) enduring a period of devastation. Losing my parents and closest siblings, divorce, surviving rape, etc. All leveled me. I can’t really wrap my head around the concept of such powerful bonds with people I’ve never met. It’s too abstract. (Much easier to just cherish it and enjoy the music.)
I’ve come to an important decision. The next time Stevie Nicks or Fleetwood Mac tour, I’m going to go. I’ve imagined it and tallied up the known consequences as well as potential unfortunate situations. If they all happen, it’ll still be worth it. (If nobody shoots me,) it’ll be an incredible experience. (That’s the only thing I can think of at the moment that would utterly ruin it.)
I’m not going to let autism or PTSD rob me of this experience. (Because hell no.) I already know it’s not possible to die from being too happy. So it’s all good. Whatever I have to pay afterward (stapled to the floor) will be worth it. Depending on when, I’ll either be going with M. or his sister, S. Hopefully both.
I have noise canceling headphones to wear when the band isn’t playing. Also, dark tinted glasses if it’s an outdoor show, or they flash bright lights at the audience. I have lots of pocket-sized fidgets and anxiety focus figures. Mini Tina (From Bob’s Burgers) is my favorite.
She’s only 2″ tall. I also have a 24-Karat-Gold: Songs from the Vault keychain from the Stevie Nicks website. I love how it feels to hold, and it’s always cool. I used to have a tiny Garnet from Steven Universe, but I lost it. (I love cartoons.) Now I want to watch Hey Arnold!, or Rocket Power. Heh. I’m off to read.
Audio file of this post (improved, but still needs work. Sorry, I’m learning):
I didn’t run on Tuesday or Wednesday. Long story short, I triggered myself and was unable to eat for a few days. (No big deal for healthy, first world Alison.) I didn’t run because I have an irrational fear of falling and freezing to death on a winter run. It’s barely irrational (in South Dakota), which is why I’m not even working on overcoming it.
It wore off, and I was able to eat a light breakfast this morning before heading out for my run. It was 9° F, according to my phone. I was warmed up and excited. My playlist includes Perfect Duet by Ed Sheeran and Beyoncè. It’s every third song between Stevie Nicks 24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault. (It’s as if Stevie Nicks created the song.)
I was utterly lost in the music, my body a vague avatar on auto-pilot when I fell. I was almost home. I could see my building across the river. I got up and reoriented myself with my body. Then I slowly counted to ten before assessing the damage. Nothing hurt, and the music was still playing.
Aside from an anxiety rush, all systems go. Yay. (Flashback to when I fell and dropped my portable CD player, and it shattered on impact without harming the CD. Panasonic.) I finished my route feeling like my world is right again. Then I got to the stairs, and my hip started whining. Anytime I feel any degree of pain in my hip; my imagination announces I’ve broken it, and it’s all downhill from here.
After I stretched and showered, it was no longer an issue. I just hope I don’t find a bunch of bruises tomorrow. I have my annual doctor’s appointment next week. That tiny bit of potential awkwardness is enough to psych me out of going. I’d better disarm it before it gets me. I’m incredibly distracted of late due to my introduction to synthesizers. Typically, I avoid Virtual Black Holes. Maps, cryptography, metaphysics, quantum mechanics, biochemistry, etc.
These are points of interest so intense it’s not likely I’ll ever return to whatever I used to give my attention. Usually, I recognize them quickly and run. It’s like saying no to drugs. It’s not that I don’t want to indulge, it’s because I don’t want to trade my legal adult status for an incredibly lonely, narrowly focused, otherwise joyful existence. It bothers me because I couldn’t tell you why. I’m off to practice my drums (and think about synthesizers.)
Yesterday was eventful. I’ll start with the good part. I had a blast at Sky Zone. I love trampolines. I went alone and met some cool people. They invited me to join them later at a bar, but I declined. It felt nice to be asked, though. I came home and set up my new bass pedal. The difference is astonishing. I’m a better drummer just from moving to a real bass pedal. Who knew?
I played along with Stevie Nicks’ In Your Dreams album. Ghosts Are Gone is a lot of fun to play. Her music isn’t easy to play. It forces me to focus keenly, which also makes me play better. This is good, as I want to progress to playing Evanescence songs. (I’m stalling because the other end of yesterday sucked.) Last night, I was laying on the floor, reading. It was after 1 AM when I heard an awful sound.
I went through stages of identifying the sound. First, I thought someone accidentally turned up their speakers to full blast while watching porn. That only lasted about a second, then I realized it wasn’t a recording, someone nearby was making those noises. My heartbeat sped up, and I felt alarmed. I went out on my balcony with my phone. It was a woman wailing.
I dialed 911 and told them I thought someone was being hurt. It was loud enough the operator could hear someone was in distress through the phone. I said it sounded like a woman was in labor, or being harmed. There was also a man’s voice, but much softer and only briefly. I ended the call with the police and ran downstairs, still carrying my phone.
I was shaking and breathing hard from being freaked out. I found the woman and a man in the parking lot, just out of view of my balcony. She was on the ground, and he was leaning over her. Something I hate about PTSD is my fight or flight mechanism is broken. I don’t react the way I desire. I don’t react at all in real time. I freeze when I most need to act.
I’m starting to shake again, just relaying this. I’m pausing to get it together. Okay. Whew. Better now. Cut to me sprinting up to some random guy leaning over a wailing woman. I should have laid on the ground and calmed myself at that point. There was a moment when this occurred, and I ignored it. My bad. (Blatant foreshadowing FTW.)
So many things were running through my mind at warp speed. I consciously decided to push some random guy as hard as I could because I was terrified he was hurting some random woman. The sound was so awful. An actress in child labor is the most accurate reference I have. The man saw me coming but didn’t move. He fell back and landed hard.
Then he sprung up and punched me in my left cheek so hard. So hard. Keep a few things in mind; I divorced a man who beat me up twice, and I have five older brothers. I’ve been punched in the face before. It sucks. Getting hit in the face hurts like hell, is very disorienting, and it hurts for a long time.
It turns out, the woman was okayish. I asked her if she was alright, and she said yes. Then she apologized for frightening me and whimpered for a bit. In my experience, her behavior last night could indicate severe underlying issues. I’m not qualified to determine what the hell was up with her. Then the cops showed up. They basically stared at us from their vehicle for a while, then drove away after making sure everyone was okay, and nobody wanted to press charges.
The man also has PTSD. The thing that blows me away is I wondered this just before I pushed him. The way he reacted was off. He froze. Then he responded in a delayed manner while in full panic mode, (exactly as I do.) Do nothing, then overreact as if you’re about to die when you’re clearly not. Good times. Sigh. He’s pretty upset, of course. I feel like crap.
I told him we have to blame this on PTSD if anything, at least until we’re calmed down enough to trust our rationality. Having five older brothers also taught me how intensely it can hurt a man to accidentally harm a woman. Most men don’t beat women. (To do something you abhor against your will is torture.) He agreed, and I can tell we’re allies now. He’s also an Army veteran, but he served in Afghanistan.
He was an officer, though. (It’s a different world as far as I know.) I’m pretty sure it makes it worse for him, though. The differences between enlisted and officers are similar to (idealized) blue collar and white collar civilians, respectively. I got the impression officers are held to a stricter standard of military bearing. So we’re both in a lot of pain today. I suspect the woman was under the influence of something and had a bad trip.
I’ve spent the day in my closet, having a delayed reaction to a scenario I feared but didn’t take place. I barely comprehend it, and am irked I have to go through it despite reality. And my face hurts like hell. I’m still a little dazed. I’m texting my new ally every two hours to make sure he’s hanging in there.
I asked him if he had any drugs or guns while thinking to myself how weird it is I knew to ask. His hunting rifle is in the trunk of his car, and I have both sets of his car keys for now. He’s been drinking all day, but I don’t know enough about alcohol to do more than babysitting. (Neither of us is willing to go to the VA.)
He’s in a program for dual diagnosis of PTSD and drug abuse. It’s sad how normal that is to me. I don’t know very many veterans who aren’t in that program. It makes me feel weird sometimes because I don’t abuse drugs. Then I remember it’s mostly because I’m not outgoing enough to meet a drug dealer since I got out. Odd how that works in my favor, but I’ll take it.
I can’t think about drugs without thinking about Stevie Nicks. I wonder if her other fans are affected this way. It’s fascinating to me. Reading Chrissie Hynde’s book reinforced my stance. She’s clean now, too. She also paid a high price for her past use. Her journey is different than that of Stevie Nicks, but they reached the same conclusion. “Drugs are bad, m’kay?” (Southpark reference. Sorry.)
I’m a bit surprised how much better I’m feeling now than when I began writing this post. I’m not shaking at all, and have laughed a few times. Thinking about Stevie Nicks always cheers me up. That only used to work with comedians. Bonus. Okay, I’ve rambled long enough and got it outside of me.
I’m off to check in on my new ally. Neither of us knows who the woman is, by the way. Our training compelled us to respond to her wails. Nobody else in the complex did more than look out the window. That’s strange and disturbing to me, but I don’t know anyone else’s story.