Lots of Problems to Share

Upcoming Holidays
September
9/29 Michaelmas (?)
October

10/5 Full Moon

10/13 Backwards Halloween

10/13 Friday the Thirteenth

10/22 – 10/29 Preparation for All Hallows’ Eve
10/31 Halloween/Samhain/All Hallows Eve

November
11/S Full Moon

11/3 Satanic Revels

11/23 Thanksgiving
Important dates in Nazi groups
10/16 Death of Rosenburg
10/19 Death of Goering

10/20 Hitler’s half-birthday

11/9 Kristallnacht

11/11 Veteran’s Day: Armistice, 1918

Lots of Problems to Share

Computer problems. My cat jumped on the keyboard and up came the screen asking for my computer password. I didn’t know it because my daughter had changed it and didn’t change it back. She didn’t remember it either. So I thought I would reboot it and see if the normal screen came up.

Turned the computer off, but no matter how long I held the on/off button, it didn’t start, the screen just stayed black. Checked all the plugs, blah blah. Called Apple tech service, who had me do all the things I had just done and then said it was hardware and I should bring it in.

Without my best buddy I had nothing to do except clean house, which is not much fun but it is sorely needed.

The next day I made my coffee as usual and sat sadly looking at the black screen. I nostalgically started playing with the keyboard, caressing the buttons that make up such a large part of my life. Guess what! The computer came to life and gave me my normal start page.

So I was wrong. It wasn’t that I couldn’t turn it on, it was that I couldn’t turn it off. Even when I unplugged it for a minute. Bizarre, huh? My energy field has always broken things and now it went and fixed something. I am baffled and grateful.

Eye problems. I went to Nashville where my daughter, son-in-law, and their two kids had rented a little house in the path of the eclipse’s totality. We did a bit of sightseeing and went to the Johnny Cash museum. On the day of the eclipse everything was perfect. A cloudless sky, lovely warm weather, a lawn to sit on, protective glasses. And my daughter had made several different pieces of equipment to look at the changing image of the eclipse through a pinhole. Way cool.

I knew how awesome (in the original sense of the word) totality is because I had seen other eclipses. But this time I saw a blurry ring of light, all fuzzy, a dark ring, and then another blurry ring with a dark center. Like a little donut inside a big one. Wearing glasses didn’t help, shutting one eye and then the other didn’t help. I was devastated.

Figured it had to be my cataracts and it was time for them to go. I made the first appointment to start the process.

I am thrilled at the thought of having 20/20 vision for the first time in my life, but terrified of having somebody slice open my eyeballs.

Temperature problems. For two days, San Francisco was officially a record 104 degrees. My apartment, on the top floor, was more like 112, 115. I drank a lot of water, and was fine, except I had zero energy. The cats, who normally sleep under the covers, were lying stretched out on their sides like lions. I tried to rub them down with a wet washcloth, but they didn’t like it. They ran away and found another place to flop.

Ant problems. There are little groups of ants here and there. Teeny ones. On my plants. In the bathroom. Underneath my coffee pot. No matter what I do, they are back in a couple of days. I hate killing them, but they don’t leave when I ask nicely. I hate the feeling of ants on my arm and I hate imagining them in my hair. I am very grateful they do not bite.

I think that’s enough problems for now.

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Problems with Blog Writing

Upcoming Holidays
September
9/20 – 9/21 Midnight Host

9/22 Fall Equinox

9/29 Michaelmas (?)

October
10/5 Full Moon

10/13 Backwards Halloween

10/13 Friday the Thirteenth

10/22 – 10/29 Preparation for All Hallows’ Eve
10/31 Halloween/Samhain/All Hallows Eve

November

11/S Full Moon
11/3 Satanic Revels

11/23 Thanksgiving

Important dates in Nazi groups

9/1 Start of WW II
2
9/17 Hitler’s alternate half-birthday

10/16 Death of Rosenburg

10/19 Death of Goering

10/20 Hitler’s half-birthday
11/9 Kristallnacht
11/11 Veteran’s Day: Armistice, 1918

Problems with Blog Writing

Way back in the olden days, before the Internet had pictures, there were forums that discussed different topics. No moderators, no way to block messages, just free and open speech. Sounds great, but free and open meant that the forums had no way of banning posts that said, “You are the biggest idiot on earth,” or worse. They therefore had a finite life span. Trolls chased out the serious members and then got bored when there was nobody to rage against. But the forums were very helpful in the beginning.

I found a group called “Alt Sexual Abuse Recovery” (ASAR). I read every post and wrote a fair amount. After a while I noticed that people rarely answered my posts with support, information, or questions. Or flames, for that matter. I wondered what the matter was, so I got up my courage and asked.

The answer was totally unexpected. “You write too well. There is nothing left to say after reading one of your posts.” I was shocked and baffled. I really didn’t think I wrote well at all. Inside, I wondered whether what I was talking about was off-the-wall odd or else common knowledge and therefore boring.  I ached for support and didn’t get much.

For a while I tried to write badly. It reminded me of a failed effort to get friends in grade school. I decided that the reason the other kids didn’t like me was because I was too smart, so I tried to do badly on tests. I got poor marks, but no friends. I still had a big invisible sign on me, “Stay away. No friends wanted.”

I was hoping that the comment section would become a little community, with people writing each other, sharing resources and supporting each other. Compared to what I had hoped for, there are few comments. But I am very grateful to those that do comment and try to answer each one.

The problem must be that somehow my writing communicates, “No comments needed or wanted.” Too well written? I can see that the posts are tidy – everything has a beginning, a middle, and an end. My fourth grade teacher would be pleased.

Maybe I should practice leaving off the end — it’s the hardest part to write, anyway. Maybe people wouldn’t like my writing as much and would comment and tell me so. Maybe it’s something else entirely, something I can’t see. Maybe it is all in my head.

Evidence-Based Trigger Reduction

Up-Coming Holidays
September
9/4 S Labor Day
9/6 Full Moon
9/5 – 9/7 Marriage to the Beast (Satan)
9/7 Feast of the Beast
9/20 – 9/21 Midnight Host
9/22 Fall Equinox
9/29 Michaelmas (?)
October
10/5 Full Moon
10/13 Backwards Halloween
10/13 Friday the Thirteenth
10/22 – 10/29 Preparation for All Hallows’ Eve
1
0/31 Halloween/Samhain/All Hallows Eve
November
11/S Full Moon
11/3 Satanic Revels
11/23 Thanksgiving
Important dates in Nazi groups
9/1 Start of WW2
9/17 Hitler’s alternate half-birthday
10/16 Death of Rosenburg
10/19 Death of Goering
10/20 Hitler’s half-birthday
11/9 Kristallnacht
11/11 Veteran’s Day: Armistice, 1918

Evidence-Based Trigger Reduction

My insurance company wanted to enroll me in a preventative cardiac health program. I understand the logic: it costs less to keep me healthy than have me go to the ER and perhaps get hospitalized. And every year I stay healthy they make money on my premiums.

I said sure. The lady who enrolled me had a script to read from and she could not deviate from it to answer my questions or take additional information or laugh at my jokes. But she did tell me I would have access to a triage nurse and to a health coach. I get weekly emails from a lovely, sensible, brassy life coach on the Internet, so a health coach sounded exciting!

The health coach called within a couple of days. The poor thing had a different script to read which consisted of asking me questions that I had to answer on a Likert scale of 1-10. That is impossible for me because I get lost in the numbers and my only honest answer is, “I don’t know.” I faked it as best I could. There were also some easier questions, like, “Have you used any tobacco products in the last month?” and “How many servings of fruit and vegetables a day do you get?” (I didn’t know because I don’t know how big a serving is. I can count the different vegetables, though.),

The only thing the health coach could latch on to was my stress level. Now I know it’s been a lot, lot, lot worse but I don’t think it is low enough to be considered perfect. So I thought about the last ten years or so and guessed it was a four. “What would I like it to be?” “A two,” I said.

Then she listed some ways of reducing stress and asked me what I could commit to. Walking briskly for thirty minutes a day, every day, has been out of the question for well over fifteen years. My present goal is to walk 1800 steps a day spread out over twenty-four hours. The script then made her ask about dancing! Meditating would be wonderful, but I have tried many times and keep forgetting to do it. Frankly, the process of enrolling dissociated old me in an evidence-based program like they offered seemed a little ridiculous.

Finally I agreed I could journal about my stress levels for a month. I chose a bright yellow notebook and put it near the computer where I had to look at it every day.

Day 1 was a snap. I thought I had missed Day 2 but when I looked on Day 3 I saw I had identified a trigger and had written down a plan of dealing with it. Day 4 the morning passed and I still had no idea what my stress level was or what to write. So I wrote, “No triggers that I can see, therefore no plan of action.” This is going to be harder than I thought.

It has occurred to me that I may already be identifying triggers and coming up with doable plans. If I am going to accomplish anything, I have to do something new. It’s like losing weight – you can’t expect to get lighter if you keep on eating the same yummy foods every day. Not that forgetting things and messing stuff up and pushing unpleasant or anxiety-provoking things out of awareness is exactly yummy.

The problem is that I already know how to reduce my weight. (By the way, I just reached my goal after being on a plateau for about a month. Yippee! But then I went right back up again. No yippee. And then back to my goal again!) I think I am doing everything I can to reduce stress, with the emphasis on the “can.” But obviously I am not, or I would be meditating. I know meditating is wonderful for lowering stress, I understand the directions, I have quiet time, but…

I just came up with a plan of action. Break the big goal into little goals. Sit still and breathe consciously for two minutes a day. Then make it three minutes a day. Then make it twice a day. Etcetera.

Get a meditation Fitbit that will effortless track my behavior. HA! I would have to invent it. It’s easier to make my own graph and enter my progress. Or maybe not. Maybe the Internet has one ready-made for me. I spent too much time looking and found that the charts and graphs are mostly for general health or yoga and most cost more than $50.00.

I think I have gotten off-track, which is writing about the journal of triggers and action plans. I just looked at the yellow notebook and found that I hadn’t written anything in fourteen days. Obviously not high priority, right? How am I going to explain this to my health coach?

All I can say to her is that charting things appeals to accountant-type people and I am a poet.

I stopped to wonder why I have lost interest in tracking my stress levels. I don’t think it will teach me anything new because I am already pretty good at identifying triggers and managing them. I feel I have better things to turn my energy to.

I can’t imagine anybody finding something helpful in this rambling post about not doing something I committed myself to. I think I’m writing it simply because I want to complain and it feels good to complain to people who I trust to not sneer as they put me down for failing such an easy task. And for being different from all those people who gave evidence that this system really does work. I feel like the eternal outsider, but I am not when I am in your company.

Thank you, my friends, for being here for me.