2016-01-24 - 10:45 a.m.
I have ordered a new phone. I did so a few days ago as the house really is rather clean and organized, as is my car , yet the old one did not yet turn up. I just realized I SHOULD have checked EVERY Coat pocket... as that is a place it might actually be. OOPS..
In any case, I upgraded from the standard $15 refurbished Trac phone with triple minutes for life to this time and Android for $40.
I think I can do so now and feel safe.
A real reason for my anti technology stance was a clear PTSD symptom of paranoia and NOT WANTING TO BE ABLE TO BE TRACKED, or STALKED.
ITs been ten years now for goodness sake since I actually REALLY DID have real experiences that instilled what was then a legit fear.
I think its time to move beyond that!
It stays with one and just becomes part of life as you know it.
Another one of the kids started having panic attacks.
I am sad for her that she is experiencing this.
They were apparently pretty bad when they occurred at school. Fortunately a teacher and the school nurse were very understanding, helpful, knowledgeable and supportive.
I think in her case it was actually very fortunate that I made an apt with the general pediatrician but they called to cancel and didn't reach me as I was driving so they called her Dad. That made it easier for her to open the lines of communication with BOTH Parents which I think is truly essential. She needs support in this from BOTH parents and despite the fact much of her panic and fear was brought on out of worry over how her father would react in learning she is failing MATH I believe her FEAR of her Father's reaction was greater than the REALITY of what I believe is his loving support of her.
I got the sense when I talked to her that he IS being supportive of her. My response was to find out what her panic was motivated by, listening to her talk of failing math and letting her know we can get her a tutor. Dad will work with me on organizing that as I spoke with him and he is happy to have the tutor we reached out to come to his place and when with me she can have the tutor here. Its good to CO PARENT to help , and I think ESSENTIAL EVEN IF, and in part MOST PARTICULARLY IF FEAR OF A PARENT IS THE REASON FOR THE ANXIETY.
I think that the parent FEARED is in fact the one who MUST BE THE SUPPORT.
Often the fear is GREATER than the reality.
In her case, yes her Dad has been angry at times and yes has yelled (heck I called to talk to her and it made me tense up and enter hypervigilant self protection mode and walking on eggshells body tensing anxiety JUST HEARING HIM YELL That she had to get off the phone)
Hell if someone on the other end of the LINE gets stressed just HEARING HIM YELL , and not in a necessarily MEAN or ANGRY WAY... but yelling to a kid to come NOW...
Well, no wonder the kid is a nervous wreck and has anxiety.
Parents who are yellers have no clue how destructive that can be for SOME KIDs.
But I believe ALL PARENTS WANT WHAT IS BEST FOR THEIR KIDS
The yellers LEARN how to better communicate and the KIDS learn how to cope and how to gauge and judge the communication and eventually learn that they don't have to be in fear of every raised voice.
Its hard however to not feel that tension when one HAS flown off the handle in anger and HAD BEEN VIOLENT.
The denial of those moments of violence and the impact on others is not helpful
The good news is, that I think the actual violence of abusive parenting IS IN THE PAST.
The bad news is, that EVEN IF IN THE PAST, OUR KIDS still have the aftermath of the ANXIETY and the problem of never KNOWING for sure if it could happen again.
And I am not entirely convinced their Father actually ever really clearly SAW or KNEW how he ACTUALLY was acting. ONe child of ours acts so much like him and he can talk of her having no emotional development and empathy and the decision making of a three year old, but seems unable to see that when he rages that is EXACTLY THE SAME WAY HE ACTS.
He has moments of acting completely emotionally and not rationally, with NO EMOTIONAL CONTROL and he seems unaware of them. Fortunately they seem to be in the PAST (I HOPE.. I can't KNOW ... but I BELIEVE THEM TO BE IN THE PAST)
But now, his kids do live in fear of him at times. I am SURE NO PARENT has an easy time in recognizing that . I am SURE no parent who had moments of rage that created actual harm and then the aftermath of fear from those real moments of harm EVER WANTED TO HARM THEIR CHILD.
I AM POSITIVE that all parents who abuse actually REALLY LOVE THEIR KIDs
It is what it is.
So they , as parents have to work REALLY HARD at the SUBSEQUENT HEALING OF THE wounding and severing of the healthy relationship THEY WANT with their children.
So I was actually GLAD the school nurse didn't reach me and then called Dad. For in order for our child to be healed, he needs to work on that particular issue that is a part of her panic.
There are OTHER issues that have NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM of course that also contribute to her anxiety.
It took up about two and a half feet on my floor in the middle of my room, which is now cleared and vacuumed. I had been vacuuming AROUND IT all these months and picking up a bit of it here and there but then running out of time and having to go to work, or cook or do something that took greater priority.
So now after shoveling out for a couple hours and interacting with neighbors, the plow that took care of our street has broken and left us still snowed in. I typically work every weekend. I work seven days a week with one weekend off a month, so that makes it forgivable at not having time to have attacked the Pile!
I am proud it is GONE, and now am making progress on THE MOUNTAIN.
The MOUNTAIN was as big as the pile.
It was a mountain of what I thought was ALL Socks, but digging into it I was surprised to discover T SHIRTS, Cleaning Rags, underwear, my one daughter's favorite ugly camo jeans, a purple pair of jeans and other items of clothing I had no idea were hidden under all those socks to be matched.
THE MOUNTAIN sitting on my BED on one half of it for months. The shirts discovered were a favorite of the youngest in the Fall. So now I am attacking the Laundry Mountain and making great progress on that.
By the time the snow storm is all cleaned up and I can get out and about I will have FINALLY caught up on ALL THE LAUNDRY FOLDING.
So for my part, to create order and peace for my children I work really hard at ensuring that EVERY TIME they come here they return to a clean and orderly peaceful environment.
Classical music, scents of either homemade comfort food- soups and biscuits, or the oils burned for air freshener (I am not a fan of incense as it gives me allergies, although my son just loves it and said it reminds him of the marvelous poet/nanny he and the oldest had growing up), or other calmning relaxing music is what I LIKE to have in my environment. One of my favorite things is the diffuser that was my own BD gift to myself about a year ago.
I have been SO BUSY however that I have not kept up with the clutter. It is hard to expect kids to want to keep a place orderly and clean if the PARENTS don't do so! So for my part that is MY CHALLENGE, as it does take some time, organization and investment in making that a priority for me which does not come EASY.
I am as guilty as the least organized of my children in taking off shoes and being inclined to leave them about for example. So I have gone out of my way to be sure to have an organizational system and make it a point of reiterating with the girls EVERY TIME we come in "Hang coats and put shoes on the shoe rack; put backpacks by door , don't leave them around at the end of the day."
They STILL NEED PROMPTING
I still have the lapse and have to go gather my things I carelessly left strewn around my space as well. (My room !)
The desk in the central room becomes the catch all space for piling of things.
So I am happy to have this time home to get the house in order, declutter and toss out anything not being used.
I am not sure if I can get to work this afternoon. I called and said if anyone is heading there from my town I can make it to the main road to get picked up. We are not sure if anyone is coming by this way (and I think the girl there may just WANT the overtime and may have energy and drive to continue to camp out working all weekend! She needs the money and that is her only job, so I am Happy for her to have the opportunity if she Is up for it! IF THEY NEED me they will likely find someone to come get me as it really is not that far away)
I however think the plan is for me to finish the laundry pile and then go play in the snow!!
YES!! My fabulous next door neighbor asked "Do you want to play in the snow later?" She wisely moved her car to a different street, which is an access point to the grocery store and she already shoveled it out this morning. I was shoveling and I came in and heard a knock on the door and it was her teen daughter who said "Hi, I am here to help you shovel"
Awesome neighbors! ONe helped shovel our walk last night along with my housemate. (My home is shared with another mom and her kids who live in the basement and are just THE BEST tenants yet!! She pays rent on time, is so lovely and was very diligent in motivating us to get out and shovel every few hours. She is an essential employee who HAS to get to work tomorrow. On top of that, last night as I brought a new filer to her for the heating system after finding it in my closet and realizing it was time to change it, she asked if I ate and gave me a wonderful bowl of CHILI!! It was 8pm and I had not yet eaten dinner, so it was fabulous! I finished cleaning of the pile after and got done at 12:30AM)
Last night as she was shoveling one of our neighbors came and helped her. I told her I was in WRITING about how the best part of snow is meeting the neighbors but she was out actually DOING just that! I promised when done with THE PILE I would re-emerge.
So this AM , she was out shoveling and I saw her shoveling the other neighbor who's door could not be opened. I went out and did pitch in so our other neighbor can now open her door.
SO now, the teen is continuing to work on my car! So awesome how neighbors do all come to the aid of each other when there is a shared experience like a snowstorm.
I told the teen I would go match socks and then come out later with a sled and we are all going to go sledding. The mom and I are going to go with her youngest and the teen. The youngest is the CUTEST little person in first grade.
One other thing I will mention, as I think it IS WORTH Acknowledging and understanding.
It was just a LOVELY WONDERFUL SNOW DAY yesterday. However now without my own small PTSD moment.
It is really hard for anyone who was never tramatized by violence to fully comprehend this. EVEN THOUGHT I EXPERIENCE I understand the INITIAL REACTION IS TO JUDGE A PERSON HAVING THOUGHTS LIKE THIS AS CRAZY. The initial reaction to one who says something like "my husband tried to kill me" is to assume the person uttering the statement is not SANE.
In fact a resident of the retirement community told me HER STORY of how she left an abusive husband with three small children. It was an incredible story of a very strong woman who had stayed for years then got away. EVEN I had that fleeing thought "is she just crazy"
YES I LITERALLY Thought and this is the WORST PART " I wonder if I check her chart if she is diagnosed bipolar"
Now EVEN I wondered Was her thought her husband tried to kill her a delusion? Was it a manifestation of her illness.
I was ashamed and appaled at that thought as I OF ALL PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW THE REAL QUESTION IS
HOw many abused woman who have spoken the TRUTH OF THE VIOLENCE and WERE In LEGIT FEAR AND THEN LATER HAVE ACTUAL PTSD MOMENTS OF FEAR and then called CRAZY
The same fight or flight mechanism at times irrationally overcoming other brains functions
like common sense
Which was NECESARY for their survival
KILLS more often than not
those are indeed SENSELESS killings.
So for me, as a person living with PTSD, diagnosed with bipolar (which may or may not be accurate but it does seem to makes sense to note that diagnosis only came AFTER being severely abused. Anyone who does not acknowledge having a picture frame CRASHED OVER A MOTHER'S HEAD AS she is nursing her infant and then being punched in the head and the arms IS NOT enough traumatic abuse to make one fear for their life is truly in denial)
So for me as a woman who at one time DID fear my husband MIGHT KILL Me
it was not a stretch (and the above is only One of a number of incidents)
for me to actually legitimately FEAR things like
A fear mentioned in court to make me seem crazy.
That no matter how much I enjoy her new friendship, and even if it was a COUPLE of years I have know her..
that is not THAT Crazy to have a fleeing thought
"OH GOD, What if I were just poisoned"
"What if HE hired her and she came her to live as my tenant and was REALLY an Assasin"
If I were to kill someone WHY WOULD I NOT want to establish a realtinship first and get the person to trust me and NOT do it right away so I look beyond suspicion. Why would I NOT hire someone else and NOt do it myself??
Living with the contact fear of harm.
In my case it is very particular
I don't have these thoughts OFTEN, but you know I was also thrown in a car when in PJS eight months pregnant and taken for a drive on a country road in the middle of the night and threaten to do what I was told right after my oldest's child was smashed to bits in front of her
So It seems PERFECTLY NORMAL TO ME That once she went out on her own she had her moment of absolute panic attacks, thought she was dying and had what some may fairly characterize as a full blown breakdown as YES her whole system shut down and she could not function
She too has been hit in the head with the fist of that same father figure
And the child who just had panic attacks now in her high school years had a hand print on her stomach which was what compelled me to leave for good as HE LOVES HER SO DEARLY.
Yet when up late EVEN after a relaxing day I had a BRIEF GLIMMER OF THE PTSD MOMENT
as I KnOW WHAT IT IS
And then I think
OK HELLO PTSD YOU ARE STILL HERE WITH ME, YOUR VISIT NOW IS OVER... GOOD BY
I am going back to sleep
Or I am going to have a cup of tea
FEAR YOU ARE NOT WELCOME TO MY TABLE
GET OUT OF MY WORLD PLEASE
I am creating a space without room for you.
Life with PTSD is such that every once in a while fear comes to visit, and one has to be really quick to recognize it for what it is and make it unwelcome.
I am VERY FORTUNATE I have that ability to make FEAR unwelcome and kick it out when it shows up.
Not all who have PTSD show up are as lucky as me.
Yet the reality for ME is that I have these moments, most often VERY SMALL , yet there in which I just feel the fear swallow me. I am fortunate I can push it aside , name it, and tell it to go away. YES in those small moments I have absolutely irrational thoughts when taken in the context of what is going on around me in this moment in the hear and now. The thing is, in the context OF MY PAST , the reaction is not AT ALL irrational.
It is perfectly NORMAL that when one has undergone ACTUAL THREATS TO THEIR VERY LIFE
FEAR YOU ARE NOT WELCOME IN MY WORLD.