The Futility of Fighting Back (but doing it anyway) -First in the Fragment Files

Fragments

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                                                                                 Just out of reach…

4 years old

I remember my mom let me walk to our only neighbour by myself. I had a doll (I think it had red ringlets) and she was in a toy stroller. I walked to the end of the road where the neighbours lived. I was greeted by their large German Shepherd. It “attacked” me, knocking me to the ground. It was much bigger than me. I think I knew it wasn’t trying to hurt me, but I knew that it could. I was scared.

It was mauling me, rolling me around on the ground, pawing at me with its claws and nipping at me. I remember the futility of fighting back, but doing it anyway. I remember grabbing whatever I could from the ground–clumps of grass, pebbles–and trying to throw it away from me so the dog would get distracted. It didn’t work.

Eventually I heard shouts from the porch of the house and the dog was gone. They brought me inside. I don’t remember what happened after that, but I ended up with two horizontal tear drop scars, one under each eye. I remember, not too long after this incident, they put the dog down. I think I felt guilty because I thought it was because of me. I was told at some point that it was more because it was chasing their cattle.

Thoughts:

This was one of my first experiences with a dog. It surprises me a little that I grew up to love them so much. But the sound of a dog barking at me still causes my heart to pound. Not sure if it’s from my experience, or related to my sensitivity to noise and anxiety.

My therapist suggested I start a chronology of childhood memories, because mine seem to be so scattered and hard to reach. This seemed a daunting task. But I’ve been working on it. I’m going to post some of them here in hopes that it will motivate me to continue with it.

*Image found on Deviant Art by grr9

Just Be.

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In February of this year I found a therapist. The last time I went to therapy was with a counsellor at the university (and I don’t even want to think about how many years ago that was). I’m not sure yet if the therapy is making a real difference, and I’ve had to downgrade the frequency of our appointments due to using up my insurance coverage.

But, since starting therapy I have been trying to be more active again by getting outside for walks, and buying a yoga pass. I even bought a bike which is something I’ve been putting off for years, (in part because it all felt so pointless and in part because my anxiety makes shopping for a bike a nightmare). But I did it, and it’s locked up outside my door, just waiting to be used.

If nothing else, meeting with my therapist has given me a reason to get out of the house on the weekends, when I’d really rather play hermit and watch Netflix. Once I’m out of the house, I try to take advantage of it. I usually end up at a coffee shop with a book or my work-in-progress. I’m trying to be okay with just being there, among the humans, without getting too frustrated that I can’t concentrate in public. My therapist has pointed out that I tend to think and do in extremes: it’s all or nothing. And most of the time I choose nothing because I’m somewhat of a “perfectionist”.

So I’m trying to just be –outside, in public, visible.

My therapist also pointed out to me that I might have ADD. I never really thought of my symptoms as ADD but she’s right. She asked me to set up an appointment with a psychiatrist to get an official diagnosis. Two months later, the appointment is over. Yes I do have ADD but “let’s treat the depression”.

Because I’m not too keen on starting antidepressants again (last time I took them was in 2005), my psychologist thought treating the ADD would help me get back on track, give me the focus and energy to make positive changes in my life which would then help my depression. I made peace with taking something like Adderall. However, I got to the psychiatrist and he agreed that I have ADD but wasn’t at all interested in focusing on that.

He’s quite convinced that I need meds for depression, and wants me to start with a newer drug called Trintellix because it might also help with the cognitive symptoms I experience, like problems with memory, focus, attention-span, executive functioning of the brain. I remember the long list of side effects of antidepressants and the severe discontinuation symptoms that lasted two weeks or more when I very responsibly weaned myself off of them. I remember the vertigo if I forgot to take one pill. I remember feeling that the minimal improvement to my mood wasn’t worth it.

I left his office feeling defeated. I didn’t agree to anything. I can still call him back and say no, I want ADD meds only, or I can go the Trintellix route. I can also be a part of his research for this drug which would at least mean more follow-up. He also told me about ECT treatment, which I was interested in, but apparently it means two months in a hospital, so that’s probably out.

I don’t know what to do. And I need to decide soon.

My therapist suggested I start a chronology of childhood memories, because mine seem to be so scattered and hard to reach. This seemed a daunting task. But I’ve been working on it. I’m going to post some of them here in hopes that it will motivate me to continue with it.

In the meantime, just trying not to spiral too fast so I can get my footing again.

A Random, Jumbled Mess

Right now I’m sipping on herbal tea, trying to soothe my raw throat. I’ve been quite sick since Thursday and it seems to now have developed into a dry, painful cough.

My throat feels so restricted I’ve seriously thought about what I could use in my place if I have to keep it open to breath. (I settled on the empty shell of a pen if you were wondering. Or maybe….the exercise tubing I got from my physiotherapist, at least it’s flexible).

Am I overreacting? Maybe. Here’s hoping.

I haven’t been on here in quite a long time, once again. I don’t know why that happens. Everything’s going swimmingly and I’m writing on a regular if not sporadic basis, and then bam, I’m all like “forget this shit, it’s pointless”. But I’m here to try, try again, cause isn’t that what it’s all about? Try and try and try again until you’re dead?

I was told once that the narrative suffers when posts are spread out so far apart. Kinda like life. There are these slightly higher, lighter moments but they’re just so fucking spread apart that my life story becomes a random, jumbled mess with no real point.

Maybe I should get some sleep. Sigh. (raspy, painful sigh)

Carl Wilson: I Knew About Jian Ghomeshi and never said anything. Am I complicit in his alleged abuse?

I can’t stop reading about Jian Ghomeshi and it’s really depressing. Reminds me of someone…

National Post | Full Comment

You know Jian, of course. So does almost everyone else you know.

You are all part of the downtown-Toronto arts scene. Jian is the host of the popular public-radio culture show Q, heard across Canada every weekday morning and syndicated to 180 U.S. stations—a rare CBC success at reaching beyond retirees.

[np_storybar title=”Jian Ghomeshi’s journey: From immigrant’s son to cultural icon to pariah” link=”http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/10/31/jian-ghomeshis-journey-from-immigrants-son-to-cultural-icon-to-pariah/”]

In his memoir, 1982, disgraced radio star Jian Ghomeshi recounts a typical young person’s early experiences with sex, from a first kiss in Grade 5, through to an ill-fated make-out session in Grade 8, when he stripped naked with a girl and did not quite know what to do. When he bragged, his friends said he was “the master.”

“But I was no master. I was 13 then, and I had no idea what I was doing,” he writes. “Part of the problem was that…

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Update on this whole life thing.

Dear Internet, 

Since I last posted a lot has happened. I had my last day at the Hellmouth and it was awful. It’s been extremely hot and humid here, and the air quality has sucked even more because of forest fires with far-reaching smoke. I had a tiny little office in the back of the building with no proper air circulation or air conditioning, so I was literally drenched in sweat at my office job for the last week.

One last story of the ridiculous nature of my workplace: It’s a tradition to provide a farewell lunch for people who leave the Hellmouth. So my boss, who I fondly nick-named The Beast, came to my office and said “What would you like us to have for lunch? You can pick anything you want.” To which I replied, “Hmm, let me think on it and I will get back to you shortly.” So I asked a few people on my side of the office and came to the conclusion, that instead of the traditional Chinese food, I would like to have Indian food. She predictably turned her nose up at this and said that “no one would eat it.” No one. Apparently that’s just crazy talk. Anyways, she guilted me into saying “It’s okay, I just want everyone to be able to eat. Let’s go with Chinese food.” So she tells me to check out their menu and make a list of my favourites. So I do. And the motherfuckers didn’t order a single one of them.

Don’t get me wrong, a free lunch is a free lunch, but why the Hell would you bother asking if you have no intention whatsoever of being accommodating? Typical. I was about 80% certain that it would go down that way anyway, but there was just this tiny part of me that was like, maybe….

So my last week there was stupid busy and hot and humid and sweaty and I still bloody cried on my last day. I should have been jumping up and down with joy while thumbing my nose at them and screaming “see ya later suckers”, but instead I got all stupid and teary-eyed. Have I mentioned that change is very hard for me?

My Musician Guy

My Musician Guy

Anywho, the plan was to go visit my family for a bit, come back to the city in time to go to Epic Concert, and then have a week to enjoy the fact that The People Upstairs are gone for a week, before starting my new job.

So I went home. And as soon as I got there, I got really, really sick. Had to go to the doctor, was told I have strep throat, was given antibiotics, and was sick almost the entire time I was home. It was smoky as all Hell for a few days there too, and I’m guessing the poor air quality didn’t help my sickness.

So I finally felt better on the last day, and then we leave, driving the 10 hours back to the City. The next day I found out my dad had a “minor” heart attack. What the shit? I’m freaking out about it as he’s still in the hospital and they are flying him to a bigger city for an angiogram and possible angioplasty.

I don’t know what to do. I was just there (it’s ten hours away) and I’m starting a new job very soon. They’re moving him for the out-of-town-test possibly tomorrow, but it’s not for sure, and if I went, I think I would have to fly but don’t think I have the money.

I’ve been pretty emotional. There’s a lot going on, and I can’t stand the thought of my dad in a hospital bed, emotional and frustrated that what he thought was a healthy lifestyle hasn’t made a lick of difference to his heart health. I’m scared. And I’m angry and frustrated that people can let themselves get to a point where making changes and trying new things seems absolutely out of the question. Like, I know yoga would help him in so many ways, but do you think he would ever consider trying it, even if his life was at stake? I don’t think so.

It also makes me worry about the rest of us since heart problems run pretty strongly in the family and it just feels like a destiny I don’t want for any of us, but what the shit does it matter because it’s out of our control anyway, right?

Sincerely,

Stressed the Fuck Out 

Two of My Favourite People I’ve Never Met –Veronica Mars and Mary Poppins! Together at last.

My impersonator

The other Mary Poppins

 

 

Could it be? I knew I felt a strange connection to Kristen Bell. I thought it was because I related to her misfit character Veronica Mars, but really… I’m her! She’s me! Oh, this is so exciting.

Anyway, if you haven’t already you need to check out this video, Mary Poppins Quits, with Kristen Bell. It’s hilarious. She really does make the perfect Mary Poppins!