Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Fooled a cat and other happenings

Black cat, bad cat
The black cat has a habit of sneaking under the double bed around bedtime so she can come out and lick someone at 3 am.

We have two ways into the big room—through the shared bathroom or the door to the room from the corridor. She is black and waits in the dark. If you open the door to the room she will dart in and go under the bed.

Thus far the only way to get her out is to entice her out—or rage lift a double mattress—by luring her with promises of wet cat food, the kind that comes in silvery pouches. The crinkle of the pouch and a nudge of the bowl the food goes in is usually enough to get her out from under the bed.

I made the noise and held up the packet as both cats came, the black one from under the bed and the ginger one that doesn't sneak under the bed for a surprise morning licking. I held it up, unopened, then when the black cat was past me I threw it into the kitchen and hustled to shut the bedroom door.

Then I went back and actually opened the packet and fed them; I'm not an arsehole.

Pwned by David Sedaris
I got the second of his books and asked him it dedicate to thewife because I failed to give her a present due to a leg boil which she opened on Christmas morning—the only "present" she got from me.

His dedication said "You deserve better".

Then he did a prop comedy bit for my son—likely the youngest person at his reading. It was gold; a personal comedy bit from David Sedaris.

A thanks for a thanks
I pitched a project plan in October to some peeps and they wrote back to say thanks. I wrote back to thank them for taking the time to read it and that they made my day for actually getting back to me to say it was useful. Then I got a follow up thanking me for the thanks. How nice is that? I pitched it with no expectation it would even get looked at and it did. Here's hoping the ideas get passed on.

When you're born the world is thrown at you; some lucky fuckers get to push the world back. 

I want to be one of them. 

Recumbent Bike II
I passed the Booger-looking dude with the recumbent bike. He was riding it—is that the right word for it?—with an open-faced motorbike helmet on and aviator shades. To me recumbent bikes are to bikes as fanny packs are to the world of fashion, a wound on its soul. 

But then who am I to judge? I ride a adult-sized trike with the only thing not making it a 2:1 scale tricycle is the fact all three wheels are the same size. 

And I've crashed it more than once, toppling onto roads and the ground. He's not going to topple unless he's stunt riding and I've yet to see anyone stunt ride a recumbent bike.

What's the bet they're safer to use as well?

Maybe I'm like one of those arseholes from the '60s who refused to wear the new-fangled seat belt on the unlikely grounds he might get trapped in flaming wreckage versus the far more likely result of smashing through his windshield.

I have been very wrong about things before. Like that time I thought the next President of the United States would likely be a centrist Democrat sliding into office on the strength of Obama's performance. I actually said "I am not worried".

Then Donald Trump became president.

On his recent cognition test—the one they give elderly people to confirm if they're mentally damaged—he bragged he got the highest score any president before him got; one hundred percent!

One of the questions is apparently "who is the current President of the United States?"

It's a test they only give to people they suspect have physical brain impairment or degradation.

To be honest I thought they wouldn't even do the test on the risk he'd fail it. 

So he's not got dementia; this is just him and how he operates.

Probs save us all—for this truly is the darkest timeline. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Danger period

When you have a wound you keep teasing at the danger period is when you wake up. I lay ten minutes in bed idly having a go at the healing volcano on my face before summoning the will to rise, to shower then to dress the wound.

My psych said to make the process a ritualistic healing one, when applying the cream and the band-aid to tell the wound that I am now looking after it and that the sensation of cream and band-aid is a healing sensation to bring calm to an angry welt.

It has mostly worked. Except for this morning where I had a minor go before following the steps needed to stop having a go at my face.

I had bad dreams—when you have depression, anxiety and PTSD then bad dreams are typical. I woke with feelings from the dream then worried at the wound. As with most dreams I can longer longer recall it; just the despondency upon waking from it. 

Then I picked my face.

But then I stopped picking it, had a shower and dressed the wound site to stop further picking.

Modifying your behaviour is hard when you're deeply damaged, especially when damage of the moment (picking a wound) helps salve against the deeper damage (why you're picking at your wound). If you pick at a site your mind tends not to space out into horror recall; you're just in the present and pick, pick, picking. It's pleasurable—because the pain and pleasure centres in the brain are so close you can fuck up your brain chemistry where something that is clearly wrong feels good to do. 

The wound site has been healing since my intervention; the days of 'pick, pick, pick' for now have been arrested. I still have this desire to claw at my face but it's not as strong as it was. I had a backslide on waking but it was only for 10 minutes. 

It's amazing to be in a place where you can celebrate not hurting yourself. But that's what it is to have depression, anxiety and PTSD—taking pride in not making your body as fucked as your mind.

WFTW.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The YouTubers ... they were screaming...

It was on the other day—streaming through the big TV—with a pair of YTs playing games. One was American—super American—the other a British girl.

My anxiety was up and I wasn't even in the room when she started screaming. It was happy screaming but my brain didn't hear that as happy, it heard it as an incoming threat. I asked theboy to turn it down at first then eventually had to ask him to turn it off because I was in and out of the room. He countered that at low volume the sudden screaming shouldn't trigger and then I went into my exhaustive PTSD "my brain is injured and it cannot perceive the screams as not threatening" speech and he stopped me just a few words in because he's heard it so many times. 

He shouldn't have to hear it so many times because he should be able to watch YouTube without factoring in the mental wound of his dad. I felt like a fucking arsehole asking him to turn it off all together—even with the low volume—because that's bullshit he can't do normal things when I happen to be in place.

My anxiety is up because I am procrastinating on damaging work. I need to do it but I've not been doing it because the first day was too stressful. I have to look at it as I look at my thigh boil bandaid; deeply unpleasant in the moment of trying to find the edge of the wet bandaid in the shower to pull it off because I forgot to do so before hand. It's nasty, it takes a minute or two because have you ever tried to pull off a bandaid in the shower when you're wet and soapy and have injury and medication robbed coordination? It makes the shower fucked until you get it off. Then you feel like you accomplished something and enjoy the rest of the shower far more because you earned it.

So ... here I go on my mental soapy wet bandaid...

UPDATE: That'll do for today, little pig, hat'll do. I lasted less than 30 minutes

UPDATE2: I had three Valium after the shakes kicked in. I can feel the storm coming.

UPDATE3: Used the first mindfullness exercise from the CD my psych gave me; it was about perception of body and breath. My mind kept going back to my half hour as a piglet sheep-whisper but then I'd be prompted to return to where I was and what the air inside me was doing. It was Zen. I'm going again!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sanity check

In the RPG Call of Cthulhu, set in the 1920s as human investigators chase down and gibber at Lovecraftian monsters, they have a sanity game mechanic. You start off with, from memory, a stat value x5 (creating a number from 5–100) and you typically go down from there. Fail a sanity check means your sanity value drops by a number of points—in addition to whatever temporary derangement may seize your character such as a love for stroking fungi.

And, deliciously, the forbidden arcana that is Cthulhu Mythos, the skill that allows you to identify the powers and type of these monsters, is tied to your sanity value in that your maximum sanity score cannot exceed (100 minus Mythos %). The more you know, the less sane you are. If your character goes fully insane then they become a non-player character belonging to the game master who may have them re-appear at some point as an enemy. 

There are books found in the game that increases your mythos lore but you pay sanity for reading them; take damage and lower your maximum Sanity value.

In real life such things do not exist. But mentally damaged people have to engage with texts that cause them harm. It's a bit like one of those Chernobyl debris responders—termed "bio robots"—who could spend but a short time on site before they hit their lifetime radiation exposure count; if you have to engage then do it for a limited time before forcing yourself away lest you cause damage.

So after an hour I stopped, had one and half Valium and a shower.  

I'll see how I go with that.

Apologised to self for noise

One of the crap aspects of PTSD—and there are so many—is being scared by sudden, loud noises. Your animal brain takes command, decides it's a threat, and logic brain can at that point take a back seat in a car that is aquaplaning. 

Sudden is the unexpected part and that's the bit that triggers animal brain to think "defend yourself" but even if I make a loud, sudden noise I apologise to myself—and the rest of the house since they (the other house members) try to avoid sudden, loud noises as well.

When the laundry screen door is open it means the wooden door into the house will close with a bang if you just push it shut. 

It happened to me; I caused the noise but was not startled—but I said in a raised voice so both I and all could hear "SORRY!"

Because even if a sudden noise I create doesn't scare me because sensitivity to loud noise or making them is contagious when you live with someone with the condition it scares them that you might be scared.

So I had to own up to the noise and with the cheery aspect of the "SORRY!" indicated I was okay. In fact I'll say sorry for a sudden noise even if they're not in the house because it's a baked in habit.

It's balls to live like this; sudden loud noises are a part of life and brick and mortar of when you have a child and a family. Noise, noisy noise, happens. I have ways to cope, CBT techniques to talk myself out of an animal state if a loud noise drops me in it. But it's still balls my family is wounded because of my wound.

One saving grace is my trauma is heroic; I copped this wound fighting for others. It would be exceptional balls to have PTSD as a result of an accident; an injury that can stay long after physical wounds have healed. Because there is no rhyme or reason to it; you experienced trauma and got PTSD. 

But if you have it then know that it's not a failure of will; it is damage to your brain chemistry and the way your brain recalls and stores memories. You can have your condition treated, the quicker the better, and actually end up PTSD free.

That's not me—I left treating the PTSD aspect of my injury go too far before I got specific treatment for it and that means it will take longer to treat. But the treatment is working because my PTSD is less likely to trigger when faced with a trigger, and the severity of an attack is usually less; logic, for example, can take over and you can tell yourself to do things in a calm fashion even if you're pissing tears, have a fast heart rate and feelings of overwhelming dread.

If you can achieve a state of pseudo-calm in the midst of a PTSD-spawned severe anxiety attack then you've won; you'll know the physicality of the episode will now subside. That calm that you will be calm helps make you calm.

Or a clam, if I had committed a typo.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Noisy ninjas

You'd think it a paradox but theboy got a Ninjago Lego set and as he's building it the team members that came with the set are fighting or training and making a lot of HI-YA!-style noises.

They're not PTSD friendly noises so I am staying well away from that rowdy melee.

Who are ninjas; I mean I know the classic ninja outfit is actually a puppeteers costume from dramas that used stagecraft with that costume to represent their stealth on stage. But I am pretty sure not making noises whilst fighting would be a prime ninja skill need.

But who am I to correct the anachronism? It's just fun. Noisy fun---which is why I'm hiding here ... like a ninja...

(Star fishes above bathroom wardrobe area)

Volcano face

In the '80s to have a volcano face, to me at least, meant severe acne. I had peers that suffered it to the point their faces were left pitted and scarred as adults.

I have a volcano on my face but it's not a zit; it's a scar ridge lump of tissue from my picking at that spot during OCPD-fuelled space outs where hours go by and all I've done is sit, lie and pick at it while my mind drifts.

It's as if the steady pick, pick lessens your mind storm; a metronome beating to take you outside of your head.

But because I've done this the scar tissue has risen above the smooth lines of cheek skin and when the head of the scar is ripped off it's a red and glaring crater atop the white scar tissue that forms the cone

I have to take active measures against my OCPD desire to self-mutilate. If my son was going through this I'd be shocked, deeply worried that he was hurting himself. But I'm the one doing it to me. 

Last night, before they got home and saw the damage, I bravely clipped the beard hair away from the around the cone—brave because the setting was at 0 at I risked snagging a chunk of scar tissue as I removed the hair—got my prescription cream, daubed the spot and put on a bandaid. 

I am going to cover the spot each day and not pick it. It's going to be hard. There is a pleasure pulse you get from hurting yourself and triumph if you rip a chunk of scar tissue off even though that tissue will grow back, probably thicker. 

I hate that my injury made this minor habit a major fail; that to pick at my body until it bleeds gives me peace and comfort is warped brain chemistry and I have to actively stop it. I have to stop picking at my face because it looks bad, it's an infection risk and I enjoying doing it. 

Now I am going to find the baby nail clippers—which I can use one-handed with reasonable dexterity given my injury-caused hand tremours—and clip my finger nails right back so if the bandaid comes off and the skin gets dry I don't immediately go back to pick ... pick .... pick (hours pass).

UPDATE: thewife clippered back my finger nails  We sat on the swing seat in the garden. I used an emery board to smooth out sharp bits. So maximum physical security against picking have been applied—I've covered the site and removed the finger nails to the quick. Let's see if that works. 

It is bizarre to be utterly sane but be mentally ill. Stupid duality of man balanced on the edge of madness and reason.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Naked out from the side hatch

With thanks to Tenacious D.

In all the efforts to re-secure the tarp on the hutch I hadn't properly closed the side hatch and as such one of the Polish Scruffs escaped. 

It was a hell of a thing to corner—it can't fly but it can flap and gain about three feet and it flapped / ran into the weird water heater room at the back of the house that contains the heater and assorted gardening crap. I had to pull the mower out to try to get to the chick and as I did so I screamed at it "I AM A MIDDLE-AGED MAN!"

It was a statement with a clear tone of "I cannot deal with this shit". 

But I did catch it, trying not to hurt it, though it flapped in terror until I got it back into the hutch. 

I secured the side hatch. 

I believe that's the only time I have yelled my age category at a bird in anger at its antics that my now-aged-and-injured-crap-at-birth-body found a challenge to deal with. 

I love them to pieces when it's all going well, but fuck me I do get annoyed when they act like nature says when escaped from captivity and you try stay that way. I'm sure if I had left the hutch door open that the others would have stayed in and the escapee would have eventually joined them at dusk. But I wanted certainty they were locked away and ended up in an unpleasant not funny chase sequence with a fear-crazed bird which involved age-based shouting.

Fuck kids getting off my lawn; chicken, get out the fuck out of my water heater room! (waves stick).

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Stolen

I have a womb-warped body with short arms and short fingers. Combining that with injury to my ability to handle objects due to PTSD it means I struggle to do basic things. 

We had fierce winds and lashing rain so I tried to move the cover on the chicks' hutch. Only I fucked it up and had to take it off and try and put it back on. But with my short arms, my inability to handle fine objects like small D clasps meant I could not put it back on. Plus my glasses kept falling off because the frames are bent and pain sweat kept causing them to slip off if I looked downward.

I had a rage attack at the cover, ripping it off and stomping on it, after 30 minutes of concentrated, deep painful bending and lying on the ground trying to get it back on.

This is something a normal person could do. This is something I cannot. This is when I feel robbed, that my life was stolen. First by my parents who couldn't be arsed to look after me in the womb then bullied me for the result and then by my workplace injury that makes my already womb-fucked life exceptionally more challenging.

I had to take Valium, brace the cover as best I could without clamps or rings because my womb and work robbed fingers cannot manipulate them and because I was trying to do it bending which my womb-fucked body screams in agony when I do it.

Stolen; my life of being normal was stolen from me. I never had a fucking chance.

Sure without all of this crap I couldn't have done what I did t but that pales when you're in juddering, angry tears because you're not normal; you're sub-normal and you feel it. 

UPDATE: The wind tore the cover off. I have used kettle bells to hold it down on one side and a giant inflatable hot dog to hold down the other. Kettle bells and an inflatable hot dog; that's my solution. So far it's holding.