Technology is not my friend

My ASL 1 class has just started. Since it’s online we meet our professor and other “mentors” (other people who also teach ASL who we practice with) via Skype.

I may have mentioned this before, but technology is not my friend. I can do some things, but a lot is over my head. For example, I just rejoined Facebook as a way to be involved in the Deaf community while in quarantine (thank you COVID-19). There is so much about it that I just don’t understand and don’t know how to do things. I try to stay off it because I don’t want to do the wrong thing somehow and post something or something like that and embarrass myself with it.

Needless to say, Skype is also over my head. I just recently received a 0 because I couldn’t get my Skype to work to contact my mentor with whom I had scheduled the weekly meeting as per instructed. I hate making bad grades. I mean, I hate it. With my anxiety over other things, bad grades on top of it just stresses me out. When I get stressed out, I shut down. I sleep a lot. I don’t do things. I avoid, avoid, avoid. So that’s what’s been happening for me.

I’ve got a new appointment with a mentor scheduled for this week and hopefully I’ll have figured it out and don’t miss it again. Other than my issues with technology, I’m loving the class, learning the new signs and everything. So interesting and the nerd in me says fun too!

Moment By Moment

I heard, or rather read, something recently that hit me. You know sometimes you can hear something a thousand times and it doesn’t sink in, but one day you hear it and it does — whether it’s a different phrasing or you’re ready to hear it. That’s what happened to me.

Being a Christian, I think of all the things I have to do to be a “good” Christian. But what I heard struck me. I can’t remember the exact phrasing, so I’ll paraphrase it. Every day is a decision to follow Jesus. That hit me. Instead of thinking of the whole big picture which overwhelms me and makes me feel like giving up and why even bother when I know I’m going to fail already? But looking at it as a choice every day made all the difference in the world.

Each day in the morning I wake up and open the Bible app. I read a devotional and listen to the audio version of the Bible verses being discussed. Then I tell myself, “Today I’m going to follow Jesus and do what He would do.” Of course, I still fail in small ways if that makes sense.

My mother always says, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time,” to me whenever I get stressed out about something I have to do. That’s what it is. Take each day as it comes. Don’t worry about tomorrow or the day after.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own.

Matthew 6:34 NIV

Doctor’s Appointment Pt. 2

I posted about this earlier, but here’s the continuation. Here’s how the appointment actually went…

First off, I wasn’t alone. My mother came with me. In a previous appointment (at a different doctor’s office) I had a panic attack while on the table with the doctor in the middle of doing her work and jumped off the table and sent things flying. Needless to say, I never went back there again. To keep that from happening again, my mother (so kind and supportive) comes with me.

Secondly, I still cried. Silently, but there were still tear marks on my face even though I tried to catch them before they fell. Embarrassing.

Third, the doctor did tell me everything that she was doing and that really helped. I was prepared for it, or at least as prepared for it as I could be. And she was very, very fast about everything.

All I kept thinking about was that if I were normal and nothing had ever happened to me, this wouldn’t be such a big deal. I wouldn’t be a grown adult who still needs her mother to hold her hand. If I were normal… And that’s what really hurts the most, I think. All the things that might’ve been if what happened to me hadn’t happened, if I’d been in a different place at a different time… all the potential I had wasted because I was afraid of my own shadow for a while. Which made going to school impossible. So I’m in online university which is great and I know what I want to do and that’s nice. That might’ve not been the case if what happened to me hadn’t happened. That’s what I have to tell myself. The silver lining…even if it is a little tarnished. Anyway…

I’ve just gotten home. I stopped at Starbucks on the way home and got myself a little treat. My therapist, when I went to equine therapy, told me that when I go out and do something I don’t want to or that causes stress and anxiety that I should reward myself. So that’s what I did. Starbucks is my reward.

I’m glad the whole thing is over. Don’t have to go back for another year. So glad it’s a once a year thing and not a 6 month deal. Anyway… That’s how it went.

Doctor’s Appointment Pt. 1

This may be too personal.

As a victim of sexual assault, going to the OBGYN once a year is very difficult. It’s one of the most dreaded days of my life. I don’t know how to explain it really. I just feel like enough people have seen the most intimate part of me, and I don’t want anyone else to see it. If that makes sense…

I have a great doctor though. She believes me when I say I’m not sexually active. She tells me everything that she’s doing before she does it, just to prepare me. But there’s just something about it that every single time makes me cry. And I hate crying. Especially in front of people. Especially if those people are virtual strangers.

But it’s something I have to do whether I want to or not. Like going to the dentist. I hate going to the dentist but still have to go.

I’m posting this now to compare my feelings about going before I go and then I’ll make a post about going after and what the appointment was actually like. My appointment isn’t until later in the week, but it’s already giving me borderline panic attacks.

As I’m typing this, the doctor’s office literally just called to confirm my appointment and my heart rate just went through the roof – just talking on the phone with the doctor’s office. I feel so pathetic.

Expect another post soon…

Busy Busy Busy Bee

For the past few weeks, my life has been crazy busy. I’ve been gone from home more than being at home. I stayed with my sister and her baby and fell in love with him completely. (not posting pictures for privacy) I may be biased but I think he’s the cutest newborn baby I’ve ever seen. He was absolutely perfect.

While I was there, my school term started! In a matter of days I went from not being a student to applying, being accepted, registering for a class and then it started! I mean, it was less than a week – the whole process. I was amazed. Promo note: If you’re ever looking for an online university that’s a legit university – Troy University is the best. They work with a lot of military so they’ve been doing online for years as well as having an actual brick and mortar university and different campuses. I’m just starting week 3 of my course and I can say that so far the professor an advisors have made my transitioning so easy. They answer questions quickly and thoroughly. It’s just a great university.

Anyway. I’m doing my class, I’m waiting for a specific job opening that would be perfect for me, and currently I’m cleaning out all my stuff, going through everything. So it’s been a busy time, hence the absence on here!

But I love being able to say, “Yes, I’m a student.”

I want to prove my high school teachers who all told me I’d never graduate college wrong, and I want to get my degree. I want to prove that little voice in my head wrong, the one that says I’m worthless and can’t do anything right. I want to show that even people with mental illnesses and PTSD can be successful!

I’m doing it and you can too!

Official Student and Baby Watch

I’m officially going back to school to finish my degree in psychology!

Due to my PTSD, anxiety, and depression along with my many other mental health issues, I was forced to take a hiatus from school. That short term break turned into 6 years.

But I’m going back now! It’s totally online, 100%, which I love. It’s perfect for someone like me.

Baby Watch.

My sister is pregnant and is due to be induced later this week because she’s so far past her due date that she just can’t stand it anymore.

They haven’t told us the name, but we do know that it’s a boy. So I’m going to be an aunt. I’m going to have a nephew to spoil rotten and even though I can’t emote that publicly and show how excited I really am (mental health issues), I am truly very excited. And nervous. I’ve never really been around babies much, but this is one I get to spoil and send home to their parents on a sugar high!

So that’s my fun news of the week! I’m going back to school, and I’m going to be an aunt!

Anyone else with exciting news? Or boring news? News of any nature really…

Get Rid of the Stigma

My world has recently been shaken by some upsetting news. Someone I know, or rather knew, killed himself. He had been struggling for years,  but thought that he didn’t need any help because he was a man. Being in the south means that there’s an expectation to live up to, being the man of the house, being the bread winner, be the stable rock for everyone else.

I can’t explain why he did what he did. I can’t explain his reasons because I don’t know. There was no note that we’re aware of yet. He didn’t get the help he needed because it’s so stigmatized and seen as such a negative thing, a man needing help emotionally. I still don’t know how to process it, but that’s what’s been happening.

About a year ago, the man who lived across the street sent his wife out to the grocery store so that when she was gone, he committed suicide. I can’t imagine it. Well, I can. I’ve been suicidal in the past. I’ve literally held a gun in one hand and a phone in the other. Because I knew how it would affect people I loved, I used the phone and reached out for help. There’s still a stigma, even with women, but I think it’s worse for a man.

If you’re reading this and you feel like ending your life is your only solution, I’m here to tell you it’s not. I don’t know what you’re going through, but I know what I went through and am still going through. I know that it’s hard and some days you don’t want to get out of bed or even open your eyes because that moment between dreaming and waking when the world is nothing but black is better than real life. I know what that’s like. You might think that no one cares about you or will miss you, but there is someone out there who does and who will. Even if that doesn’t convince you, reach out for help anyway because it can’t really get worse, can it?

Call the national suicide hotline (US): 1-800-273-8255

If you can’t actually talk about it, try texting CONNECT to 741741 to talk to someone for free.

Just try it. It won’t hurt. Before you do anything, talk to someone, anyone, because this world needs YOU. You just don’t know how yet. Seeking out help doesn’t make you less of a man, less of a woman, or less of a person. Seeking help is that first little brick of inner strength. We all have it if you dig down deep enough. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Talk to someone. You never know how it’ll help.

I can’t help but think that if there was less stigma around suicide and mental health, that the two people I mentioned (not including my own family members) would still be here today and would be able to reach out and help others by sharing their story. So share yours. Talk to someone.

Valentine’s Day

…is over and no complaints here! Because you know what that means!? The sappy movies are over on TV and all that candy is on sale!

But seriously… I spent my Valentine’s Day waiting in a doctor’s office. How fun is that? Let me tell you. None. No fun at all, but it is what it is. It had to be done and I’m glad it’s over with. Maybe it would’ve been nice to have someone to share Valentine’s with, I don’t really know. All I know is that despite everything and all the work I’m doing on myself right now, my anxiety lets me do hardly anything at all.

Anyone else like that? You imagine yourself doing something, can picture it so clearly in your mind and are excited and happy about it, but then when it comes right up to it, you chicken out? That’s me.

This year, I plan on forcing myself to do something different, something I haven’t done in a long time. And I plan on doing it and writing about it on here, so that’s me holding myself accountable. I will be going to a Mardi Gras parade. At some point. In 2019.

Because it’s Mardi Gras time and the king cakes are out for sale now! 

So yum! I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve always kind of wondered about king cakes and like where the tradition came from. Maybe I’ll do a little research and do a post on it! What do y’all think? Interested?

Warning: Long Post Ahead

A bead of sweat rolls down the back of my neck. I’m in the New York country side. It’s supposed be cool! I left the south for a break from the heat, not to bring it with me with no AC! Yet, here it is. I’m sweating waiting for the elementary band to come marching down the main street of this small town’s 4th of July parade. I can hear the drums and the cheers of the very small crowd from down the street.  It’s not a very big parade from a two-street town, but it is cute and they do throw some candy. There are horses and most of the “floats” are actually different kinds of tractors. It lasts less than an hour before the entire parade has passed us by.

The whole family is together, and it’ll probably be the one and only time that we’re all together like this at my grandmother’s house. She’s 88 this year and not getting around like she used to, but still all there. So there are eight of us in a three bedroom house. We’ve rented an RV for extra beds, but with this heat and lack of AC it’s not much fun to sleep in a, for all intents and purposes, a tin can with other sweating bodies. The only thing is that it cools down at night. That’s the saving grace. I enjoy the heat of the south – that sticky, sweaty humid air that makes your hair curl – but I do like being able to come inside into the AC. It’s refreshing.


It’s been a few days since I wrote the above, but the internet here is a little spotty so it didn’t post. I’m just going to add to it.

My bipolar-ness showed just before this trip, and I bought a thousand dollar camera that I don’t actually need. It was on sale, but it was still expensive. I justified it by saying I’d be using it to make a movie of this trip because it’ll never happen again.

As I write this, I’m sitting in a separate room away from everyone. People are outside playing croquet, drinking and laughing. Others are in the kitchen helping to prepare dinner (that I’ve been smelling all day and it’s making my mouth water with anticipation). With eight people in this house, things have gotten a little intimate and there’s no place to go to be alone. With my issues, I need my alone time. It’s like recharging my batteries. Not only is there the eight of us, but we have other family members coming over to eat and play games. It’s fun, but it’s also overwhelming. Things get to be too much – noises too loud, lights too bright. It kind of sends me over the edge, so I’ve got to find the time where I can to be on my own. Hiding before dinner seems to be the only time I can.

My family can be loud. We can be angry. We can be hilarious. But mostly what I feel, or rather don’t feel, is a bond. There isn’t a strong bond between all of us like I’ve witnessed in other families who actually enjoy being together and want to and make time to spend together. It’s something I’ve always wanted and am only recently learning to accept.

Another thing I’m learning to accept is that my grandmother has no filter from her brain to her mouth. I’ve got to take everything she says in stride because I can’t yell at an 88-year old woman. I learned also that other people have noticed that my grandmother isn’t particularly nice to me. Of my siblings, I’m the only one who isn’t married. I’m in my mid-twenties and by my age, my siblings (all older) were married or in a serious relationship (which led to marriage). I’m not dating anyone. I have no “prospects” either. I’d like to shout at her, “How am I supposed to be in a relationship when men still scare/anger me?!” Issues from being raped still reverberate through my life. It isn’t something that just happens and you eventually move on. You never move on, you just learn how to live with it. So while she calls me a spinster, she also calls me a brat. My parents help me out a lot because with my issues it’s hard to keep and maintain a job. I can’t yet finish school because of my anxiety, but I want to. She thinks I’m spoiled. She lets me know where I rank in her estimation of her grandchildren, but I can’t tell her why I am the way I am. I have to bite my tongue and turn the other cheek and pretend she doesn’t hurt my feelings or say what I already think about myself out loud. And it’s really hard. I mean really really hard. She doesn’t get it.

This post was supposed to be a happy one about the 4th of July and the fun side of this trip, but I’ve managed to turn it into a whining rant, so if you’ve read this far I’m sorry. I’m not going to change it because it’s cathartic knowing I’m putting it out there and someone, anyone is “listening” to me. It’s therapeutic. But dinner’s ready now, other family members have arrived and I’ve got to do my best to smile and be sociable when all I want is to take a plate into a separate room and eat silently.

Anyway, thank you for reading this far and I hope you had an awesome, safe 4th of July!

tl;dr I’m Back, Crappy and all!

It’s been a while. Why? Life. Life just gets in the way of these kinds of things doesn’t it? We get so busy, so wrapped up in appointments and other obligations that the things we enjoy doing fade away.

Two members of my family are currently on a trip to France, so I’m house-sitting/pet-sitting for them. This basically means that I get a vacation. Now, I had planned on being able to lay out by the pool, swim when it got too hot. Unfortunately, the weather has other plans. It’s stormy and not ideal by the pool weather. So I’m vacationing inside. I didn’t bring a lot to do inside and I’ve run out of other things. Then, I remembered I had this blog!

There’s something freeing about having this blog, remaining anonymous. It’s like the masks on Mardi Gras. You can be whoever you want, or you can be the real you and take off the other mask you wear every day (like me). Having a blog means you need to be able to write. Well. Not sure I’ve got that bit down, but I’m trying and I’ve heard that the more you do it the better you get at it. Fingers crossed for me and for you, if you’re still reading this far (thanks). Another thing is that you have to have something to write about. That either forces you to go out and have a life, or be thoughtful and write something deep and meaningful after thinking about something for a long time and actually have something worth sharing, anonymous or not.

I guess it’s possible to just have a really crappy blog (like mine, currently). I’ve got to get better at using the computer (this site specifically), writing, and having a life. My anxiety or my PTSD or both make it very difficult to go out and do things. That means saying no to your friends until they just stop asking. I don’t mean to whine because this isn’t a blog about me whining. It’s going to mean something…eventually. Actually, it’ll probably just be like my brain whose focus bounces around like a wild ping-pong ball.

I apologize in advance if you’ve read this far. I also thank you. Next post will be me actually saying something, not just typing words about typing words.