Tag Archives: nephew

Dude, I’m not that deaf.

I do have some hearing loss in my left ear (driving for years with your window down (no a/c) and going in excess of the 70mph speed limit’ll do that to you), and for whatever reason I struggle to understand people when they are in front of me, and I often read their lips a lot for cues, but shit people say from my side or behind me? I hear and understand every. single. word.

Thanksgiving was rough this year. I made a truly amazing dinner for my clients at work but primarily with no help, and was on my feet for 10+ hours doing it. I am already stressed out due to various work stressors- a toxic environment from my bosses who expect absolute compliance and give no room for error, fire people in a hot second and then call them idiots when they really just didn’t jive for whatever reason, where I am salaried but have been told that it is expected I work more than 40 hours/week and “that’s why you’re salaried, so you can work extra” which, um, no? Pretty sure that’s actually wage theft, or at the very least, rude. Where my going to HR and bringing up that something was particularly triggering to me during a meeting somehow was turned into a performance review where my job was threatened. Where I’m afraid to say or do anything out of line, and I just hide in my building, and run my program… which is being evaluated by CARF to determine if I will be certified next week. No pressure at all.

I was originally planning to go to my parents’ house after work on Wednesday, but I was so emotionally and physically wiped out I couldn’t even. We were going to do a 5K the next morning, and I had to be up by 6:30 to get there in time. Last year my stepdad bet my mom $50 that I wouldn’t do it, and physical fitness is an obsession in my family, and I have never measured up or been found worthy in that domain. I was so anxious and stressed out I didn’t fall asleep until 4 am, so obviously I slept right through my alarm. I then decided not to go to Thanksgiving either. I was so triggered and anxious, I was a mess. I ended up calling off work FMLA on Friday, and still feel guilty about it.

So this brings us to today- Saturday. My mom started the tradition of going and cutting down our own tree after she remarried, for just us- my brother, sister, mom and I, so every year we go out the weekend after Thanksgiving to cut down a tree. I was feeling up to people by then, so I came out to participate.

I know I can be a know-it-all sometimes, really. And I didn’t hear everything that was said, due to multiple tractors, chainsaws, and various other machines being used to trim, shake, and bundle trees being brought in, but after a random comment about how emu tastes like ham and how I know that (my Renaissance Faire in Ohio, sells “turkey legs” but they’re actually emu) and a mild disagreement that this was actually the case, but I am pretty confident in this fact, as turkey generally does not taste like ham, and turkey legs aren’t that HUGE, and it’s something of an open secret among the Faire folk.

As I was climbing down off the wagon, helping my nephew so he didn’t fall, I heard my mom say “..it’s like the Disney-Pixar thing.” Earlier in the day there had been a conversation in the car about Diney and Disney-Pixar being two separate elements, and their movies are totally different, so I had been clarifying who made “Inside Out,” Pixar or Disney. So I guess someone asked mom about me being, well, me, and needing to be right or clarifying things or whatever, and it was just… said like that. It hurt, but I didn’t say anything, partly because I wasn’t sure who had asked the initial question (pretty sure it was my brother-in-law) and I wasn’t sure what the initial question *was* though there aren’t too many possibilities, given the answer.

I avoided people for two days and texted my sister to see if mom was mad at me, after I was only able to give monosyllabic answers when my sister called to see if I was coming to Thanksgiving. (Pretty sure the entire conversation on my side consisted of five words. “Are you coming?” “No.” “Really?” “Yes.” “Are you okay?” “Not really.” “Okay, well, try to come to cut trees on Saturday, okay?” “Sure.”) I have been very anxious about if people are mad at me, if they are disappointed, walking on eggshells to try to survive, and I finally started to let my guard down again and then… that. A reminder that I can be a know-it-all and we’re just going to whisper it behind her back.

Except I’m not deaf back there.

I’m not sure if feelings were trying to be spared or what, but I was so upset. I wandered off for a while and cried, avoiding people and bonding with a very friendly, very patient draft horse in the petting zoo area of the farm. I just shrugged and pretended it didn’t happen when it was time to go, and tried to go back to normal, but I was right back on those damn eggshells.

Thankfully I have one more day to avoid people. Next week is CARF and I imagine I’ll be a disaster next weekend as well, and then I have to make Christmas happen for my residents and I’m sure I’ll end up doing that all on my own, too. :/

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Oh, for the love of…

*Insert lots and lots of curse words here*

I can’t even really figure out how to articulate my frustration at how I feel right now.

I have been getting my meds mailed to me by a small independent pharmacy back in the small town my parents live. However, they changed their policies about mailing things to require a signature, and my postal carrier seems to enjoy not leaving those little “I tried to deliver to you but you weren’t home” slips in my mailbox until the third attempt, so I have to take time away from work to go to the post office that is of course in the opposite direction of work to pick it up myself, because now it’s three days past when I was supposed to have my meds and it’d be another two if I signed the slip and put it back in the box. Not to mention when I did that the first time, it languished, ignored, in my mailbox for two days before I went to give someone an earful at the post office.

I demanded that my pharmacy stop doing that, and after a few tries they managed to get the hint, until my last shipment of meds. Even though I want to support it, because small town businesses are important, my mental health has been seriously suffering due to multiple missed doses of various meds over the last couple of months. This time, I missed out on some of my recently increased Lamictal. I finally went to the Walgreen’s that is around the corner, because I know that even if I forget to fill my prescription until the last second, I can get it filled and pick it up right away.

I am pretty sure I missed 200 mg of my 300 mg Lamictal prescription on Tuesday. I had been waiting for a refill of the 200s, so I had been substituting in two of the 100s until it arrived, but I can’t remember if I’d added them that night, and based on the hell in my head right now? I’m pretty damn sure I missed it.

Wednesday was increasingly a nightmare as the day dragged on, and I spiraled farther into a dark, dark cycle of thinking. I called in around 5 am Thursday morning, and finally managed to go to sleep somewhere between 8-9 am. I was up again at 1 pm for a return to the emotional abuse of the day before. As I write this, I’m waiting for it to be a reasonable bedtime before I go let myself sleep so I don’t get my circadian rhythm completely borked. I am really struggling. (Italicized statements are the words echoing in my head that I am trying desperately to not believe.)

I am barely letting myself eat, barely letting myself sleep, and hating myself the whole while, and the tiny rational part of me is trying to encourage some healthier behaviors even as it’s shoved further into a corner by the darkness. All of the usual arguments aren’t working- I know I wouldn’t treat a kid or my best friend this way, but I’m neither of those things so who cares.  My family would miss me, I’m sure of it, but the part of my brain that insists on telling me I’m a pathetic burden is louder right now. I bought a toy for my nephew to hold over myself as leverage; I need to stick around to give it to him.

I’m sitting here sobbing and the voices are still telling me you’re pathetic and being ridiculous. Who cares? Even the people that do care wouldn’t if they really knew you, if they really knew how much of a disappointment you are. If they knew what you’ve done and how many ways you’ve failed.

I’m a sham, trying so hard to pretend I’m normal when I’m so damaged and broken. I keep reaching out to people and hoping I can hold on to them before my weakness disgusts them, I’m too weak and needy, I’m going to scare them away. After all, I can’t even keep a boyfriend because my mental illness makes their boners sad. Primus help me, but I hope I can survive this with my psyche intact.

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Holy worst weekend ever, Batman!

So last weekend was my first weekend as a DSW (Direct Service Worker) which a) means I’m getting paid less as I am responsible for less and b) am working hours and days where I am the only clinician present, though I am not acting in that capacity officially.

The 1-1 staffing wasn’t bad, as the client is presently in the ‘honeymoon’ stage with me, so he isn’t pushing his luck with me… yet.

Activity driving? GOOD LORD. We got lost going to the first scheduled event, and then we had a complete breakdown in the van as two of the clients got extremely angry with me and started yelling and calling me names, resulting in my scrapping of the backup “let’s get a beverage somewhere instead” plan and simply returning to campus. I misunderstood that one of the clients that isn’t “true” SIL (supported independent living) as we basically are providing him all the services as the cottages, but he just can’t live there as he terrorized everyone, and I didn’t think he could go on the SIL grocery shopping, so he was pissed at me. (This is the same client I was 1-1 with on Friday and Sunday. Those days? Complete angel. When I screwed up because it was my first day and I was confused? HOLY MOLY.)

In the interim, I had a client who has been decompensating all week and threatening suicide, again threaten it while I was talking to him, and then producing the bloody razors he’d been hiding him his room for self-harm. Razors confiscated, I called 911, and then had a 20-minute argument with the responding paramedics that yes, you’ve taken him every day this week and that is frustrating, but we can’t keep him safe on campus as we can’t very well lock him in his room and campus is not fenced in or anything, and yelling at me for wasting your time, and subsequently wasting MORE of your time, is not productive in any way. I had to get the program manager on the phone to yell at them, but I was holding my ground and wouldn’t let them leave without my client. This was immediately before the 6:00 outing, so those clients interested kept milling around, wanting to know when we were leaving, and looking hurt when I had to set boundaries with them that yes, we’d be going on the outing, but can’t you see I am presently handling an emergency?

I was a bit frustrated at how the cottage staff didn’t seem all that concerned about his threats of suicide. Sure, it’s a bit of a constant, but this isn’t attention seeking behavior as the paramedics insisted; he has attempted in the past when the voices are really bad and “torturing” him a lot, and they’ve been really bad, as he kept saying the “mental torment is worse than Auschwitz!” Yes, he kept referencing the Holocaust as an example of how bad it was in his head. (Sidenote: this client looks and sounds a lot like Lewis Black, including his overall intensity, so I was trying SO HARD not to break out laughing when he was clearly upset and needed help.) Sure, the wounds thus far have been superficial, but he has multiple extremely detailed plans that are 100% plausible, so FOR THE LOVE OF GOD TAKE HIM TO THE HOSPITAL ALREADY. After five attempts last week, he was FINALLY admitted. Hopefully they’ll tweak his meds and he won’t be so tortured anymore.

The final outing, to the Tim Horton’s up the street, took THREE trips, for seven people, so nobody killed each other in the van. And nobody wanted to just sit and drink their coffee and talk; everyone drank their beverages of choice and/or inhaled their pastry and immediately went outside to smoke, which took twice as long as the rest of the process. It would be funny if it wasn’t somewhat sad.

Today I return to case management, which is MUCH more within my comfort zone, and today is the “Walk a Mile in my Shoes” event hosted by NAMI. I’ll be going along, I think, and I hope it’ll be a good day and not soggy raining like it’s been doing all week. I think it’ll be fun and the clients who were interested hopefully will have a good time.

Overall, having a weekend helped, though my weekend is Monday and Tuesday, and I spent Tuesday afternoon with a feverish, sick nephew, so that cut it a bit short. Ah, well. :/ He’s doing much better, but can’t go back to daycare until he hasn’t had a fever for 24 hours. Glad the family friend who watches him sometimes can come over and do so again tomorrow, as I think I was going to get the short end of that stick and have to stay home with him otherwise.

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Oh, there you are, depression. And here I thought you’d finally buggered off.

Just when I thought maybe I’d kicked depression pretty well, I start feeling a bit maudlin again. I’m feeling overwhelmed- I’m getting more hours at work now, up to 32 from about 26, and I can feel it. I’m also watching my nephew a lot, and simply don’t have much time to myself. What time I do have, I’m tired and don’t feel inspired, so while I have work to do I just don’t want to do it.

My brother has gotten a full-time job at a nice restaurant, which is something he’s decided he wants badly. I’m happy for him, but worried for me. Mom thinks my brother and I should stick together for a while- be roommates once we’re both more on our feet- and I don’t know how I feel about that. As much as I love my nephew, I’m tired, and he’s two and a half. I can’t take being responsible for him so much anymore. It’s starting to negatively impact me.

Everything’s starting to negatively impact me, it seems.

I think it’s bedtime.

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I guess I should do a year-in-review type post.

Basically… 2013 sucked. I broke up with my boyfriend of almost a year, I lost my job, I spent months and months in a depressive fugue, and had to have most of my cat’s teeth removed. I had to move back in with my parents and have my beloved Chihiro fostered out, where she still is after eight goddamn months because I can’t seem to get my shit together and find a job. My brother’s wife left him, taking the older boy who was hers but not my brother’s and dumping him on his paternal grandparents in Arizona, and thus my brother and his son ended up moving in to my parents’ house as well. I ran out of unemployment and started working part-time minimum wage, which saw to the end of my car insurance and the present state of “making payments on a car that’s been hanging out in the driveway for six months, and doing a lot of walking.” I don’t have enough money to buy anything for myself other than my medication, and even doing that involves a lot of robbing Peter to pay Paul. I’m paying what bills I HAVE to pay, perpetually a half-payment behind on Artoo, and doing my best to get at least to where I can see the sky again from under car debt, college debt, medical debt, cat medical debt, and money I owe to the IRS (which I haven’t filed last year on yet, because I owe over a thousand dollars due to having to cash out my 401K to live on, and there is no way in hell I can pay a thousand dollars on top of the other thousands I owe everywhere else. I’ll file for however many years I have to when it’ll come out even or I’m in a position to pay what I owe.) I’m still looking for a job, though I admit my game’s been pretty weak through the holidays because who the hell is hiring during the holidays?

There were some good points, though. I am finally, FINALLY through the multi-year hell of a major depressive cycle, after I don’t even know how many ER visits at this point. Somewhere in the ballpark of a half-dozen over two years, I think. It’s marvelous to wake up and realize I’m not depressed. Stressed, yes, but I no longer have been going to the automatic suicidal ideas when something isn’t going right. Not working, and then doing manual labor, seems to have given my brain the rest it needed to chill the fuck out. Being here with my parents, brother and nephew has been difficult on all parties, but something about the experience has helped, at least so far as the “I’m not really responsible for much other than cleaning and cooking occasionally” element is concerned. Being on umemployment was freeing. I got to go to my family’s upper peninsula cabin twice, when I hadn’t made it in the six years beforehand, and I got kidnapped to TFCon by a friend, which was my first convention in three years. I’ve been teaching myself American Sign Language, and I’ve been getting to spend a lot of time with my two-year-old nephew, which has been nice. I got to go to the Michigan Renaissance Festival once, which made missing my dear Ohio Renaissance Festival hurt a bit less, and I got to spend time with some friends I don’t see much due to them living in Michigan.

And then we rang in Christmas with an ice storm, and I rang in the new year with god-knows-what that is likely bronchitis, so now I’ve missed about forty hours of work in three weeks. *facepalm* I’ve got a 10% off sale going on in my shop. The code is ICESTORM. I swear I will get things shipped, I just turned around after setting up the sale and got hit with this nasty illness, so I’ve not been doing much other than lying in bed, hacking up a lung and living on a steady diet of cough drops and ibuprofen, acetaminophen, benedryl, sudafed, and an expectorant. Whoo, my life is thrilling.

I have made about 18 bracelets and have at least six more on my immediate list, though more might come, depending on when I run out of memory wire. I’m hoping to finish those up and get pictures tomorrow so I can get things up for sale. I’m waiting on charms for two commissions, as the mail has gotten a bit awful due to the horrible weather. We got about 16 inches of snow initially, then the wind started, and we got even more snow because why the hell not, and yeah. Climate change deniers are welcome to kiss my (very cold) ample derriere.

I miss Cincinnati like nothing I’ve ever missed before. It’s a physical ache. I think about it constantly, and how much I miss all of the things I used to be able to do. I miss my sister and I miss my best friend and I miss my cat and I miss my friends and I miss my entire life down there. Now that I’m back to looking for jobs, I’ll be looking in Cincinnati again as well, though I’m also looking in Indianapolis, and on the west side of Michigan, where things seem to be doing better, economy-wise. (Likely because they weren’t as dependent on the auto industry as eastern Michigan had been.) What would be nice would be finding something localish so I could stay at home, finish paying off a good chunk of debt, get new furniture to replace the stuff that was thrown away, and get back into my own apartment. Cincinnati might have to wait simply by necessity of getting things back together again. Alternately, finding a job and getting a roommate down in Cincinnati might not be a horrible thing, though having had the same roommate for ten years makes it hard to imagine finding someone to live with who wasn’t also my best friend.

I’m looking forward to 2014, because seriously, it can only go up from here.

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So, that was… interesting.

Here in mid-Michigan, we had a pretty nasty ice storm that started with rain/sleet for a couple days and then turned to ice on Saturday/Sunday. I think there was an estimate of 500,000 people without power. My family lost power mid afternoon on Sunday, but we have a generator, city water, and a gas stove, so once we got the generator hooked up, we were in good shape. We just had the furnace, fridge, and one lamp plugged in, and used approximately a billion candles everywhere else. (My mother has an inexhaustible supply of tea lights. There were votives EVERYWHERE.) By Monday, we had three neighbors’ houses hooked up to the generator as well, and then power came on Monday night. The Wendy’s where I work, though, didn’t get power until Wednesday afternoon, so I lost approximately 20 hours of work, which sucks. I was already just trying to get ahead of the constant assault of bills so now I’ll be even further behind.

It definitely gave me impetus to get my butt working on some jewelry, though. I started working on some character bracelets I had charms for and hadn’t gotten around to, and I set up a 10% off coupon code at Helpful Cat Creations. The code is “ICESTORM” and is good on everything, including commissions. I only have fan stuff on my site because I have all of my original work at the consignment shop, but I will try to get some original work done and posted as well. I need to go see what’s at the consignment shop and maybe do a sale there, too, to try and move some pieces before the end of the month, so then I can collect it on the 15th. (Anything in January I can’t collect until February 15th; it’s not that I won’t need money in February too, but I am trying to put out this particular fire right now.)

I’m still struggling with getting everything paid, especially my CareCredit card for Chihiro. I’ve still got about $600 left on it and the no interest period has expired on one of the charges so far, so soon enough it’ll be even harder to pay off. I need to get some cat stuff made to sell, as well. My friend who kidnapped me for TFCon made me a bunch of resin charms with Chihiro pictures on them. I wonder how she’d feel about me potentially selling a few of the repeat images. (My friend is like me and does not do things in half-measures; I was expecting one or two when she said she’d made “a couple” and got like, twenty charms.) Obviously I want to hoard them, but I’d be happy to part with them if it’ll get Chihiro’s care paid for more quickly.

Now that the holidays are mostly over, I’m going to redouble my efforts to find a better job. I am planning to look in Cincinnati and the surrounding area, as well as Indianapolis, and in Grand Blanc here in Michigan. Ohio would be best because I’ve got family there and I know I can do what I had been doing with my current level of schooling, and also because I miss Cincinnati like a dear friend. I’m not entirely positive I want to live in Indy, but I do have friends there, and that is where Chihiro is, so it isn’t a terrible place. I would need to look up licensure requirements for case management there, though, and see if it’s the same as Ohio. This “master’s degree and social work license” requirement is killing me, as is the utterly horrible job situation in this state.

My brother found a part-time job! He is still working on getting a full-time professional job, but he got a part-time job as a cook at a local deli. As he is really getting into cooking and baking, I think it’ll be great for him, though the logistics of childcare is going to be a nightmare.

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So, so tired

The holidays are exhausting. I have no money to buy gifts; what money I had to get stuff to make presents was from the commission I had from my mom to make jewelry for my sisters and myself for Christmas. I bought what was needed to make stuff for my nieces and nephew, and to make my brother a hat and scarf, which he already has, because it’s cold and he didn’t have those things. Other than that, everyone’s just getting a card.

I hate not being able to make things for everyone like I usually do, though I’m finding myself of two minds about it anyway; I pour so much of myself into what I make, and my family is generally “Oh, that’s pretty,” and that’s the end of it. My mom is the one who’s the best about it, as she wears pretty much only jewelry my stepdad buys for her, or I make for her. (And on one occasion, jewelry my stepdad bought that I then modified for her.) My sister, on the other hand, won’t wear anything but silk or pashmina scarves, and doesn’t really wear jewelry, or any of the other things I make. I have completely run out of ideas for her. My brother, on the other hand, is enjoying the hell out of his new hat, along with his 1-Up Mushroom hat and Yoda hat I’ve made for him on previous occasions, and he is looking forward to the Minion hat I am making for my nephew. Six of one, half dozen of the other, I guess.

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