Friday, September 30, 2016

Seventh ping failed

I have to admit I was certain I'd score with ping seven but, well, I got a "no thanks" response.

I asked them why but given the delay in even getting an initial response back I suspect I will never know.

So it's a big kick to the ego and a lesson not to emotionally invest in a ping until a ping pings back. 

The result sparked anxiety and dread even though logically I shouldn't feel that way. But then I don't get to control the sparks; I just deal with the aftermath.

So onward and upward—even though I just ate a face-full of wall.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Post attack jitters

I had a public cook off which then turned into a full blown raging attack after a bunch of happy children at play screamed with delight.

It was a brutal one. Once the sheer emotion had passed I broke free to find a spot to de-clench and sat on a concrete block heaving tears. I got stable for a bit, found a better spot to sit, then bled out the anger and tears on a chair for the frail at the public place.

The anger and unfairness boiled through me.

The next day I had lethargy and hyper vigilance which is a way of saying being sleepy and on the cusp of fight (slash) flight at sudden movement or noise. My guts raged with IBS spasms, flaring through my body like gas from an oil rig at night, my condition worsened from the attack of the night before. My hands shook and fingers trembled, my fine motor skills robbed. 

That's the deep shitty side of psychological injury; the manifestation—public, no less—of anger and deep fright; the raging grief out.

But my injury was obtained in full glory in the advancement of the state. If you're going to have the mental equivalent of coming off a motorbike at a hundred kays an hour without a jacket and helmet that's a pretty kewl way to get injured.

(Fist raised for most glorious country that is most powerful and strong).

Monday, September 26, 2016

It's like I've had a second go for me

I didn't know how I'd go at being a dad. It turns out I love the experience and I am good at it. Mind you thewife does 90 per cent of the actual work—because of my disabilities and her preference for domestic excellence—but in terms of emotional and actual availability I am there with boots on.

When I had my seventh psych assessment the assessor asked about my childhood; how it was. I said it was "neutral". He I asked what I meant. I said that I had full care and support and mechanisms to excel but that I endured disability, scorn and mockery which included from my parents.

Needless to say I still have a fucking chip on my shoulder.

So with theboy none of that bullshit is happening to him that happened to me. It's like I've had a second go for me, to raise him how I should have been raised—with deep love and affection and zero judgement for physical failings or, indeed, for any failings. And where effort, even that which ends in failure, is praised then praised again.

Of course he's an only child so gets double-barrelled deep focused love—there's no others to be measured against or favoured like what happens in almost every family with more than one child (and which happened in mine). 

The best revenge is doing well and I am doing well with theboy. I love him and he loves me. 

The other day I watched Lincoln, the story of Abraham Lincoln's attempt to get the thirteenth amendment to ban slavery passed at the tail end of the civil war, The most poignant moment is when he takes his twelve-year-old Thaddeus to bed. Lincoln lies on the floor, interacting with Thaddeus at level, then on all fours playfully throws his kid on his long back and four walks about for a bit. 

The other day I was on all fours and theboy was atop my back, his head nestled in the hollow of the back of my head. I stalked about for a bit then stopped and just enjoyed the experience.

Revenge is fucking awesome. Take that, everyone else—I win.

UPDATE: It's not all roses for him, though. Sometimes I am not available for him emotionally because my fight (slash) flight has triggered and I cannot cope. I recently broke his set-up rail track by mistake. He got angry then slammed stuff around and I couldn't handle it—anxiety had fired. In a shaky voice I just told him I couldn't deal with him being upset. 

He sent me to the shed. 

I stood in there, crying, because my less-than-10-year-old had given me a time out in my room. After he was done fixing it he came and got me and I told him how proud I was of him, and just how much better he was at controlling how he felt than I ever was at his age and that I hated being injured because I couldn't help him sometimes. He listened patiently as I cried and talked and then he gently led me back inside.

As a child I saw my dad go down the one time to acute, wrenching despair. So bad I had to call my mother to come get him.

My son sees it on a weekly basis; sometimes daily.

My injury's footprint is monstrous and a child shouldn't have to parent a parent; not when they're still a fucking child.   
At least he gives a shit; but then he wouldn't be my child if he didn't. 


Sunday, September 25, 2016

A hazy shade of haze

I was up until just before five am, awash with gas pain and unable to sleep. I woke before ten still bloated and pain wracked. I had pain meds then spent the morning drifting about in a haze of fuddled mind and bloated distention. 

Then I saw I hadn't take my head pill last night—the one my brain now chemically needs in order to fall asleep. 

I'd been in that kitchen more than a dozen times during the failed mission to sleep and I can't believe I didn't notice it. It's the first thing I normally check for when I can't sleep. 

When you miss a dose it's normally best to grin and bear it until the next one but my mind is so fuddled from lack of sleep and the wigs from lack of medication that I took it on discovery, along with the morning one, and I'll just have to see what happens next.

I feel somewhat like Elric; he needed medication just to function but when he functioned he was power personified. Mind you he later swapped his meds for a demon-inhabited super sword and the best I can do is a battered laptop and a desktop PC so old it still has a floppy drive—and I still need meds.

So now I wait. I wait and see what happens with the medication and sleep. I'll probably zonk out for six hours and with my sleep cycle shot to shit be up at 2 am again, head pill or no.

It's the price you pay for getting injured, even if the injury makes you awesome; a clarifying event and catalyst for change and self-acceptance. 

It's like an origin story but in reverse.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Chickens want food!

I was musing in the shed when there was this horrid, repeated scratching-on-metal sound through the outside metal wall—the shed making up part of "the wall", the chicken pen fence that separates them from us.

I went out. They were clustered behind the fence near the shed door. The big one had been scratching and pecking.

They looked up at me and clucked with menace—with the implication that the shed wall noise would continue if I did not meet their demands.

I caved. I got a small amount of feed and sprayed it across their yard so they'd be excited about finding it. They didn't move at first; they looked me in the eye with a cocked, tiny, menacing dinosaur eye, and only then went off to find then eat it.

They already own 20 per cent of the garden. One morning I'm going to come out and find they've annexed the shed and I'll have to bribe them out with two sacks of feed and a Tony Abbott chew toy.

I know, the latter surprised me too. I think they're socialists—earlier I caught one of them reading the Green Left Weekly.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tyrants pwned; 19th century style

Abraham Lincoln from one of the Lincoln–Douglas debates for the senate race in Illinois, 1858.


That is the real issue. That is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the eternal struggle between these two principles—right and wrong—throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time; and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, "You work and toil and earn bread, and I'll eat it." No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.

Yo' got Lincoln-slammed, tyrants.

That's the heart of good government—the belief in and dedication to the common right of humanity.

Lincoln for the win. The irony being while he lost this race—the 1858 senate election—ultimately the debates won him the presidency in 1860 due to the earned media exposure. 

Way to play the medium, Linky.  

(Stovepipe hat doffed)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sent off to buck up

My old gallbladder removal scar and tissue beneath is swollen, distended. It hurts depending where I sit. I believe it's surgical adhesion, my organs are "stuck" with scar tissue to muscle and fat above instead of slipping around nicely beneath. 

It's an unpleasant sensation. As I ride the exercise bike the sag of my girth pulls down on the scar tissue within and it feels like someone has grabbed my guts and yanked them towards the floor; surgery meets weight meets gravity. 

Earlier I had looked in the mirror to check my stomach and saw how fat I am and got sad. It looked repellent. I have achieved almost total body acceptance but even self-worth that high can't beat a mirror. Later, a while after the solo viewing, as theboy and I were doing stories he noticed I wasn't focused due to this misery. Then we got to the end. 

"Now go and have a lie down or a cycle," he said. 

He'd noticed me spacing out during the shared story then commanded me to go and fix myself with CBT such as with dark time (lying in the dark and reading the tablet with white noise playing) or cycling (swamping anxiety from brooding with physicality of exercise).

He's less than 10. I love that he can do this but I hate that he has to. Hooray for an empathetic child. Boo for having a dad that needs a lot of fucking empathy.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Defeated by a watering system so my face watered

I tried to get the backyard tap to work but the automatic watering system that was bolted onto it defeated me. No matter the setting I picked I could not get the water to come the fuck out. 

I started unscrewing the system so as to bolt the hose directly to the tap with my trembling, coordination-robbed hands, thought better of it knowing I lacked the dexterity to put it back or even connect the hose to the tap at all, then screwed it all back up and left it.

I felt utterly useless. I started crying in the kitchen because I couldn't do a basic task and shouted I was useless. Then, as if my son was there, I yelled I wasn't useless because that's he would have said if he heard me. 

So it was an echo of yesterday; feeling defeated, lost and robbed. But the moment passed, I gritted teeth and then kept the fuck going. 


UPDATE: The battery on the automatic watering system had died. It was not me; it was a tech fail.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

They came in the morning then again that day

It's rare to have a double-attack day but the first one primed the second and I cooked off. The second time I was crying under a crossroads sign as the rain fell, huddled, pulled into myself like I could retract deep into my being as pain, anger, sadness and loss collapsed into a single miserable singularity. 

Then I snapped out of it, fixed things, then had another attack but this time in a safe place where afterwards I'd feel better.

That's what it is to live with psychological injury. That you can enter moments of juddering insanity and deep, wrenching grief but then you just have to claw the fuck back out of it because people depend on you.

I hate the injury even as it's made me strong as fuck. I loathe these acute moments because I feel useless even though I am extra-useful; it's just I have limitations with things like basic dexterity and coping with a crowded car park on a wet Sunday. 

If I was a GM in a points build game and someone presented me as a character I'd strike me out as too limiting to the action; "This fucknob has to make a fear check every time he's exposed to a sudden and or loud noise? No deal!"

But it's real life and we play the character we get; I'm the true-rolls version of me and I'm the only me I'll be. Unfortunately only me comes with a side order of occasional grief outs (1).

Being me is still fun to play, even with all the disads—and sometimes because of them.


(1) Space outs but with crying and light staggering

DoSoTPC—the new steed is ridden

SoTPC the exercise bike has been consigned to the discard pile and a new steed, Daughter of Son of The Purgatory Cart, or DoSoTPC, is in its place with thanks to thewife who assembled it from the box (1).

But, in the interests of ease-of-use and in tribute to man meets machine in a perfect resolution, I shall call it "Betsy". For you should always thank the machine that keeps you aloft and helps save you in the event of a crash. 

Betsy was a delight. No horrid, jarring skipping like the dying SoTPC where the resistance would slip causing a "free wheel" and risk you tearing your knee or throwing you forward. 

It was glorious to ride something that I did not loathe. I still hate exercise but if you have to do it make it the least horrid you can.

Hooray for Betsy—long may she hold me in her loving seat.


(1) My fine motor skills being shot to shit from medication and injury such things are beyond me. Not that I built stuff before; she did it then as well.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Living ear muffs

We were waiting as a family at the optometrists when a baby just inside the room started screaming. 

I was sitting down when it happened. theboy stepped forward and immediately clasped his hands over my ears to dampen the noise in case it triggered an anxiety attack. I was using my phone at the time.

He's less than 10. That he thinks to do that is amazing; that he feels he has to is a black lump of crud at the back of the microwave. 

I have an amazing, caring, empathetic child. But it grieves me to my core that my wound forces him to factor in the likely physical and mental reaction I may have to an external triggering stimulus and to then act in the moment to help me.

He shouldn't have to do that. No child should. No child should be forced to parent a parent but he has to just in case I regress into a wounded animal state.

That's what it is to carry an injury to the mind. Someone with a broken leg doesn't induce changes in people around them except to be a bit more careful moving around near them or to offer to get them a sandy now and then. 

But I wouldn't be me if I wasn't injured and he wouldn't be him if he didn't give a shit. 

He should not have to give a shit. He should just get to be a kid.

Mad in the dark

I had a series of space outs whilst trying to sleep, space outs that robbed me of sleep because I just got mad during them and that drove away the falling asleep part.

I was up past three.

A anger-can't-sleep series of space outs hasn't happened in a while. I blame the stir up from recent success and success-spawned brooding.

Sometimes I just have to discharge it during the day with spitting oratory at an imagined audience.

But it's part and parcel of the heal and weal. I know this; it's happened before and each time I go through it I get better at going through it. It's the hottest fires that makes the hardest Mikey.


Friday, September 16, 2016

"the wall" fall post-snore

Ow. I awoke with an aching, feeling-bruised body from my (to me) epic fall through "the wall" of chicken pen fencing that keeps the dystopia-inducing chickens from destroying anything organic less than tough wood any chance they can. 

thewife showed me techniques to get them to voluntarily return from a sudden dash to garden destroying frenzy freedom using a combination of finger clicks and an enticing spray of grain ejaculated across their dusty, post-apocalyptic wasteland of a yard, food that will offer instant gratification. Then, when they dash in to start madly pecking at that, close the fence off behind them. 

She showed me in action; she was like a Barbara Woodhouse for chickens, or a Steve Irwin for not-stingrays.

So that's good to know for future escapes that with finger snaps and guile I can guide them in and I need not risk a physical pick up then drop over of a fat chicken that could lead to another fall through "the wall".

Poor Mikey body. He hates it when it hurts more than it has to; hates it

(gulps nastily).

Thursday, September 15, 2016

G-rated cursing habit dropped

Since I rarely need to self-censor my ability (or desire) to self-censor has left.

I admit it's a design fail to have keys on a hook above the kitty litter tray but when I dropped the keys I cooked off; nasty, spitting anger with pure venom—"You _______ ____."

Of course the reason I dropped them is my fine motor skills are shot to shit from medication and injury. I think that's why I got so mad; because it's unfair. My body already didn't work properly and then I had dexterity stolen from me as well. 

I'll have to re-bake in the habit when I cross back into normalspace but for now it seems I'm just letting my cursing flag fly.  

"(insert top row of keyboard letters ending with!)"

Just fell through "the wall"

"the wall" is the name for the chicken pen fence that sections off the yard we sacrificed to the chickens. It's made up of bamboo, an old screen door, a gate and some ornamental fencing and is about six feet high.

The wind had picked up and the large wooden plank that keeps "the wall" from collapsing outward had fallen and when I came out of the shed the chickens were loose and madly tearing the veggie patch asunder. 

I swapped out my slippers for slip on sandal-thongs and chased one back in, restored the wall, and then went for the fattest. I started in the veggie patch and caught her next to then pen.

I lifted her up to push her over but had to stretch up and lean. That's when her weight, my weight, the angle we were at and physics took over and I fell through "the wall". I felt myself go and had just enough time to think, cartoon style, "uh-oh."

Then I found myself on the ground, facing upright, the bamboo middle section pinned beneath me. Fortunately neither chicken was harmed—nor escaped. I took a whack to the gut, and scraped hands and forearms. I got up and restored "the wall", though the middle section that I fell through has a partial Mikey-vent through the top third. I'm hoping the chickens can't flap that high.

Then I went and had a shower given I'd rolled fresh wounds through a semi-muddy chicken yard. 

So go me for an achievement for the day. 

"What did you do?" 

"Well, I fell through a wall."

She's back


On read of Senator Pauline Hanson's speech I can see it's the same pig ignorant bonkers stuff as last time she was in parliament.

Six years of this. Six.

Double sigh.

UPDATE: Hanson already epic-pwned by Graham Perrett (from ABC News):

... Labor MP Graham Perrett described Senator Hanson as a "one-trick pony".

"And that trick is fear and division," he told reporters at the entrance to Parliament House.

Brandishing a pocket version of the document, Mr Perrett quoted Section 116 of the constitution, that the Commonwealth shall not prohibit "the free exercise of any religion".

"It's very clear that the founding founders put that in our constitution for a very good reason, so that the bigotry of people like Pauline Hanson cannot be visited upon people who want to pray according to their beliefs," he said.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A peril of shed-based writing; spiders

I just had a huntsman spider run onto my hand, exiting from the top of a hard drive and on to my flesh.

I felt it at first, then looked, and a mini-bolt of terror shot through me. But I stayed still and it crawled away after a few beats. 

I tried to get it before it vanished into the depths of IT desk clutter and failed.

But then it came back. Despite being nestled against laptop cables I double fisted downward slams to stun it then found my shed-based grabber to fatally squish it (slash) take its body to the bin.

To have what feels like a giant spider crawl onto your hand only to look down and confirm that is exactly what is happening is genuinely unsettling. 

I fully feel for people who are scared of spiders; that would have done my nut had I been arachnophobic and I'd have to insect bomb the shed to take out the likely others. 

In fact I may just do that anyway.

(Adds it to chore list)

Eighth ping; found typo in ninth para

It was after I sent the eighth ping that I discovered the typo. 

And no, I did not print and read aloud before sending like I said I would.

I thought about re-sending with a correction made but the information provides enough context for the meaning to be clear. 

It's still a yucky typo and I hates the typos.

I know why I didn't print and read; because it was anxiety inducing. I needed to boldly Point Break out the plane and to do due diligence might athwart me.

So eighth ping away. Here's hoping it pings back.


UPDATE: Ping back after a follow up. Area man excited...

UPDATE2: Non-Jesus wept, two fails in an email and so that means two more emails with corrections. I fucking have to print and read! Area man needs to heed own advice, for fuck's sake. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Reverse whinge

I suddenly remembered mid-motion that I am awesome and I have to admit being in the middle of a shit and experiencing self-actualisation was in itself a delicious additional oddity. 

I'd been whinging of late about my state and when in mid-motion it occurred to me that such thoughts just should not be.

Without the me there would be no injury. 

My psych told me that I am values-led and that leads me to make quixotic attempts to fix the world.

Except, they're not quixotic. I have actually brought change and I have a Trump-esque heightened sense of self worth—I am fucking awesome at my shit (1).

Indeed, like Trump, I too know all the words, the best words, and I am about to use them again in a very real and meaningful sense.


(1) Which, as noted, the re-realisation occurred mid-shit. And, unlike Donald Trump, I'm actually good at my job. Unless, that is, his job is to be a which case he wins (salutes Donald).

Fatigue dropped the next day

After the juddering horror of yesterday's attack I was tired but not sleepy; I was awake until 2 am. Instead the fatigue landed at noon the next day, driving me to bed with a hot water bottle to slip in and out of sleep for three hours.

Psychological injury; it warps your fucking life.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Literally cried at spilled milk

Milk was being poured and it went everywhere including on the Apple TV remote; "JESUS FUCK" I bellowed in frustration.

theboy was the one pouring. I didn't mean to yell, and not at him, but he got upset and then I got upset because I'd made him upset. 

It triggered an anxiety event. I ended up in the shed with classical music coming through headphones as my body and brain went through the normal reaction of juddering, angry, crying. I knew that I would be okay but there were a couple of moments of acute hysteria where I babbled incoherently and with great upset.

I eventually got back to a calm point, left the shed and went and played spadebomb with theboy, a game involving bashing a red rubber ball around the yard with a spade. He made me "shake it off"—where we literally shake our heads after crying to make the sads go away—and we got stuck into it.

I always get back to an even keel after a wobble but I hate that I yelled and I loathe that my injury imprinted once more. I hate the fatigue that follows a cook off where you just want to curl into a ball and sleep it away.

The injury; it's the elephant in the fucking room. 

But one day, in the future, it won't be there.


Thursday, September 08, 2016

Ragequit the shed door

The other day the router dropped out at a moment of heightened anxiety and instead of gently opening the shed door I bashed it open with the underside of my fist. 

On the inside of the door are about thirty magnets holding up a poster of movie lines and a number of them sprackled off the door and across the cement floor and just outside—one shattering into three pieces. 

It was an IT-fail-caused moment but I instantly regretted the fisting because it was noisy and it was unneeded. It's not its fault; it's a machine—and almost certainly it's the ISP that is causing it.

Plus, I then had to pick the magnets up. I used my magnet-on-a-stick, my grabber and, with gritted teeth, I had to also bend to get them. The discomfort of retrieval was another lesson not to rage against the (IT) machine.

Part of Zen is self-acceptance. We fail and then we try once more.


Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Three AM ... forgot head pill

The trouble with anti-depressants is the side-effects and, more importantly, what happens to you when you don't take them.

The wigs, for one, is something that happens. And, if it's the night pill, then something doesn't happen—sleep.

I got to about 2:30 AM lying in the dark wondering why I was still awake when I realised the pill was not taken. It took another 30 minutes to kick in. 

Ah, the delight of psychological injury. It keeps impacting years on down the track; years.

But I still wouldn't change what happened for a second.

(Fist raised for Comrade Mikey)


Monday, September 05, 2016

Three hours to write; found a typo ten seconds after I sent it in

I set my task of bashing out an option paper and sending it in. 

It was in re-reading the email that I saw the typo in the second para and sighed the heavy sigh of someone who has emailed an email with a typo in the second para.

It is what it is; and it's a reminder to, if I re-edit an intro, to read it aloud once more to make sure it makes sense. It's such a basic thing to do and I forgot to do it.

I just hope it doesn't sully the substance.

Anyway, I set myself the task to do it today and it is done. 

Sixth ping position paper is away; WFTW.

UPDATE: Found another typo. Sigh. I re-sent it with corrections. Now I am not going to read it again in case it happens again.

UPDATE2: Re-read it and found two more typos so corrected (again) and re-sent it. Fucking hell. I should have printed it and read it aloud before sending. Non-Jesus wept!

UPDATE3: Confirmed arrival and a touch base later. Hooray! 

Sunday, September 04, 2016

A jam-packed 48 hours

The sixth ping chat has led to a commitment for a position paper from me and another chat with a friend resulted in my chucking an application at a place I'd love to work for. I had the CV prepped, I just needed a covering email and I bashed that out in a couple of minutes.

The next day I saw an article in the SMH about older workers who lose work—those of my age—and take forever (if at all) to find a new job as they compete with younger, high-skill people. For a few moments I wondered if that would be my fate.

Then I realised, no, it will not be; I am a diamond in the rough and the rough is about to come the fuck off.