This Is New

I am *angry.*  Not the positive, motivating anger.  The boiling over, feel like screaming anger.  And I don’t particularly know why.  It’s not an emotion I’m accustomed to.

The obvious guess, of course, is that grief is making me angry.  Time of year, as far as SRA goes, also stirs up some powerful Stuff.  I realise those two issues are likely the cause of my anger, but I can’t quite pinpoint the specifics.  I just know I’m angry and, when I’m not angry, I’m incredibly sad.  Neither of those are particularly pleasant emotions.

The funny and somewhat frightening thing is, I’m not sure I *want* to feel better at the moment.  To some extent, I want to let myself feel miserable until I no longer feel that way.  Another part of me (in a non-DID sense) wants to fight tooth and nail to crawl out of this pit.  I feel too tired to work at not feeling miserable.  And I’m wondering if allowing myself to feel miserable for a bit (but not too long) is actually healthy.

I feel very vulnerable and open right now.  Quite possibly, the anger is protective in that nature.

There’s no real point to this rambling post.  I’m just trying to step out of my mind for a bit by putting my mind on screen, for lack of better terms.

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An All-about Rant

Permit me what will definitely be a rant and what might actually be a whine.

2011 has *not* been a good year, to understate tremendously.  My daughter’s memorial service was held exactly one week in to the year, and the grief issues have been fairly constant since. In April, we lost our house and most of what we owned to the flooding, literally weeks of rain, and tornadoes that popped through the area.   Part way through the year, I hit that nasty bit of suicidal programming and tried to end my life.  Things calmed down.  Therapist quit, and everyone went in to a tizzy.  Calmed down from that, and more grief issues started.  Then flashback.  Then SI.  Then just general annoyance.  Imagine my non-surprise, then, when I woke up this morning to find that the mild sore throat I’ve had all week had turned in to something like nails being shoved down my throat. [insert crude SRA joke].

As the morning churned by, my throat continued to burn, and swallowing became next to impossible.  The clammy sweats and fever alerted me that I should probably give in and go to the doctor.  Being thorough, the doctor decided on blood work and a throat culture.  I officially have strep throat.

This is no big deal at all; strep is simply a bacteria that makes things unpleasant for a bit before being scuttled off by antibiotics.  For some reason, though, it has annoyed me.  I rarely get sick.  When I do, oddly, it’s almost always strep.  A couple of years ago I thought I would die from coughing.  All will be well.  My body has just decided to crap out for a bit.  With all of the stress I’ve had, this highlights the mind-body connection quite obviously.

Here’s to cough drops, amoxicillin, and hot tea!

Anger & Outrage

Life isn’t fair.  The world isn’t fair.  I know all of those things, but some days the world is far too cruel.  A dear friend of mine lost several cats during our recent flooding.  Some drowned, and some ended up being put down in shelters.  We did all we could to save them, but we couldn’t save them all.  Today, we had to put down a five-month-old kitten who had been with my friend throughout her short little life.

Ginny was born on my friend’s front porch.  She found the kitty very early in the morning, so newly born that she was still covered in the birthing fluids.  Immediately, my friend loved her.  Over the next few months, we all got to love her.  She was such a sweet, rambunctious little thing.  She developed joint pain, and we took her to the vet who did an x-ray.  They should have done blood work at that time.

She got better for a bit, and seemed perfectly fine.  Then, she developed more joint pain.  We took her to a different vet, as the first seemed to have no idea where to start with treating her.  I dropped her off at the animal hospital this morning, and we got a phone call this afternoon telling us that, although she had tested negative for feline leukaemia, testing her a second time revealed that she did have FIV, which is the feline version of HIV.  The vet said we could try a course of antibiotics, but likely it would only delay the inevitable.  So, Ginny’s little life had to be ended today.  We all miss her very much.

I’ll never understand why things like this happen.  Family members of both the human and the animal sort, come in to our lives for such a short period sometimes.  They either go quickly or suffer, and those left behind suffer always.  If there is anything that rules this Universe, I do not even pretend to understand its motivation or the reason behind its cruelty.  Small beings that die rock the foundation of everything.

Why, if they are only to die soon after their birth, are these little ones allowed to exist?  When my daughter was stillborn, people told me to rejoice in the fact that I had any time with her at all.  The mother in me understands that to be absolutely true.  The outraged and confused part of me wants to question the reason behind it all.  Little ones– human or animal– should never die.  I don’t understand why they do.

Motivation

Ever looked down the barrel of a gun and wondered when the pain of the bullet would come?  I had that experience a few hours ago.  Have I mentioned my father had some ‘interesting’ friends who aren’t exactly fans of mine.  I push forward, and they push back.  The thing of it is, though, I know I have to push harder until I’ve pushed through completely.  And I know I *will* push through.  No questions.  That said, I’m fine.  I have a very small cut and bruise where the barrel of the gun just slightly scraped above my eye.  Every scrape, every scar, and every broken bone.  Every scream, every moment of terror, and every ounce of shame can be a motivator.

They push, but  I will *always* push back harder.

Long, Dark Nights

I don’t want to believe in SRA.  Nope.  Never happened.  This funny looking scar on my arm happened when I fell on a pyramid-shaped toy that happened to be rather hot.

Here’s the problem with that logic– it doesn’t change what happened to me or all of the other SRA survivors out there.  Neither our attempts at disbelief nor the disbelief of those who haven’t experienced it first hand changes even a minute of what happened to me and what is still happening to others.  As I said in this post I don’t feel the need to defend myself.  After all, I’ve faced much worse than criticism.

Consider that a blanket message to everyone.  I will discuss SRA via email or on this blog, but respect *must*  be given on all sides at all times.  And I will not argue the point of whether SRA exists.  If you are not interested in, are upset by, or have some twisted need to harass people who *have* dealt with SRA, feel free not to read this blog.

Welcome to Debtor’s Prison

I can’t afford to file bankruptcy.  That’s one rather frightening realisation I came to during my Wednesday morning meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer.  Mind you, I’m pressing on through this lovely little process.  For those of you (the many, many of you) who are considering this journey, let me take you along mine for a bit.

A few years ago, I was quite successful.  I was in school full time, working almost full time, and paying my bills with money left over.  At the beginning of this year, I was fighting my way through debt.  In April, I gave up entirely and stopped paying certain bills.  Last week, the lovely folks at Discover card let me know they’d be taking legal action at the end of this month.  This week, I went to see a lawyer.

I can’t quite claim to understand the American governmental system, even though I’ve lived her quite some time now. I do know, though, that the losing party in a legal case pays all court costs.  I did *not* know that that included paying the fees for lawyers arguing the other side.  Lovely.  If credit card companies take people who can’t pay the balance to court, do they really think those people will be able to pay court costs?  I don’t quite understand how that process works.  I do understand, however, that it makes my head hurt.

Bankruptcy, for someone with the sort of debt I have, is relatively simply.  I haven’t any assets or anything else, really, of great value.  I have got a loan on my car and a few student loans, but the whole process affects neither of those (in my case, at least).

The packet of paperwork is daunting.  Page after page of list this and sign that.  I feel like a child who has been bad and needs her wrist slapped.  The lawyer told me I’d go through something similar to that.  I’m guessing that will come with the $100 dollar financial counselling process that comes before and after filing.  My favourite part of the process, though, is the $1500 dollar fee that comes along with it.  $1399 is needed up front.  That’s understandable– a bankruptcy lawyer won’t quite expect their clients to pay them unless they collect the money up front.  It’s still a bit of a stiff price for someone filing bankruptcy to start.  Argh.  As I told my best friend, I’m saving up to buy myself my very own bankruptcy lawyer.

In the meantime, I’m gathering up all the information needed and speaking to the most wonderful creditors one has ever spoken with before.  Here’s a note to collections agencies *and* credit card companies:  most of us who are in debt are not people who have neglected their finances.  We’re people who lost jobs and decided basic essentials were more important.  I rather enjoy having soap, you know.  Electricity is nice, too.  It’s winter.  Things get cold without heat.  In truth, I guess I should apologise to the lovely people who answer phones at these organisations.  I didn’t realise I was stealing money directly from their pockets.  I must be, though, considering how many of them have told me about people like me making this country morally and financially bankrupt.  I didn’t realise I was so important.

I’ve read quite alot of 18th-Century literature and, being a Brit by birth, I understand well history of the class system, including the start of the proletariat .  Communism is starting to make sense.

Dear Doomsdayers

Do *not* tell me about the world.  Don’t tell me about its beginning or your idea of its end.  I stopped listening quite some time ago.  Yes, you can still get to me.  Your prophecies were burnt, beaten, and otherwise implanted in my mind.  I suffered unspeakable conditions because of you.  And what’s worse, you hurt my family as well.  Your last big move nearly finished me.  In fact, three years later it has still got quite the grip on me.  But it will *not* win.  I won’t let it.  Ever.

I realise it’s all been decided in your minds.  You are, as always, wrong.  So don’t bother me with your thoughts.  If your family is generational as mine was and haven’t got out, you haven’t had a single individual thought since you were born.  There are still so many ways you can manipulate me.  I’m not false enough to believe otherwise.  There are ways you can scare me, ways you can, to some extent control me.  But you will *not* defeat me, nor will you take away my life.

And to the doomsdayers who are *not* part of cults, shame on the lot of you.  Terrifying other people or ‘preparing them’ for some god-awful event that’s likely only in your twisted thoughts is cruel.  What’s more, you *are* individuals with individual thoughts.  Why would you use your minds to hurt others?  Can’t you see that your theories upset people?  Can’t you learn to keep them among yourself and others of like mind?  Bugger freedom of speech in this case; I respect the right of people not to be completely and utterly terrified out of their minds by people who are so small they have to invent convenient theories to make the world make sense to them.  Here’s a bulletin– page 3 of the Sun is more newsworthy.  At least it’s in true form.

So bugger off, all of you.  And take your false sense of knowledge along with you.

Quick Update

For those of you following this blog via RSS or just stopping by from time to time, I wanted to let you know I’m still about and quite near functional most of the time.  The past, present and future has looked a bit daunting for some time.  It’s still rather like that, but there is a bit of light now.  I can’t say how valuable it is to talk to people who understand personally what you’re dealing with in your life.  I can’t say how valuable it is, as well, to simply sit with people who haven’t shared your experience but are willing to stand beside you all the same.  Sometimes just sitting quietly with someone who’s having a rough go of it can be incredibly comforting to that person.  I’m bumbling about, but the people I’m referring to will no doubt understand.

My thanks.

Complete and Total Anger

This post is being written completely out of anger.  In fact, I’m banging on the keyboard and hoping none of the keys break.

There is *no reason* for a husband to hit his wife.  Period.  No question and no excuses.  I babysit the children of a woman who is caught up in a domestic violence situation.  I’ve helped her into shelters, bailed her out of jail, and sat with her a few times just waiting for him to show up at their house again.  That would be a bad mistake with me sitting there specifically to protect her.  I can do everything possible to protect this woman and her children, but I cannot change her husband or force her out of there for good.

This morning I had a phone call from the woman.  Her husband was acting like a [insert curse word here] again, and she was afraid.  Could I please come there.  I could hear him screaming in the background, so I made the hour’s drive in about 30 minutes.

Do *not* push me past my limit of anger.  It’s not pretty.  I stood between the excuse for a man and his wife while he threatened all the lovely things he could.  Being me and being incredibly angry by then, I told him if he had to hit a woman he could at least fight fair and take on someone who could fight back.  Unlike his wife, I’m not at all afraid of him, threatened by him, or intimidated by him in any way.  My philosophy is to avoid violence in all possible cases.  People get hurt, and the anger level just rises.  Today, however, was not one of those cases.  I’ll have to say I rather enjoyed pinning him to a sofa with by his wrist and that little spot on the shoulder that makes it incredibly difficult to move.  Returning the threats by telling him all the things I could do to him while we were waiting for the police to arrive wasn’t exactly a chore for me, either.

He’ll spend a few nights in jail, my friend will do whatever she feels she needs to do, and I’ll support her and the children in any way I can.  In the meantime, I’m going to try to stop shaking long enough to calm my anger a bit.  There’s absolutely no reason anyone should have to go through what my friend goes through.  I hope she can realise that as well.

National Domestic Violence Hotline (US): 1-800-799-7233

Women’s Aid 24-hr Helpline (UK): 0808 2000 247

Stay safe.  You are not alone and you do *not* deserve this.