Songs…

I am approaching my breaking point. My overwhelming feeling is “I wish I could just stop crying…” but I’m not crying. I am maintaining pretty well on the outside. I am, for the most part, keeping up with feeding everyone, laundry, work, pet care… Fuck, I am even pushing ahead in some areas: getting more competent at my job, decluttering this place, eating better, getting slightly more exercise, I’ve even got a garden plan lurching into motion this week! I’m orchestrating weekly date nights. Fucking date nights! (no pun intended, see? I’m even keeping up my sense of humor!) I am exhausted from this past year plus. This song is just my anthem right now:https://youtu.be/r5yaoMjaAmE (Human, by Christina Perri) closely followed by: https://youtu.be/BF-nZziUCCY (You Don’t Know, by Katelyn Tarver)

I am plodding ahead encouraging, supporting, drying the tears, soothing the fears, reassuring my 3 anxious, autistic, grown children. “Just one step at a time, Sweetie, I’m here, just do one thing at a time, breathe, I’m here, I’m here.” “It’s okay my little love, it’s ok, just keep showing up, that’s the thing, that’s at least 75% of life, you’ll find your people, you DO know how to connect, you have deep connections, look at me, look at my eyes, we have a connection, me and you, that’s not a guarantee, that’s not automatic, even if I wasn’t your mom I would WANT to hang out with you because you are funny, you are kind, you are brilliant! Look at me, look at the cats, look at dad, look at our puppy dog who fucking worships you. Making friends is a skill you can learn. Depression is a LIAR.” “you’re doing great, we all start from where we are, it’s ok, you’re making progress, you’re doing great, I’m here, I’m right here beside you.” I’m getting more sleep lately but this song was my life for parts of this, even before the fucking pandemic: https://youtu.be/cjVQ36NhbMk (How to save a life, by The Fray)

I am grateful to Amanda Fucking Palmer forever for her song that tells the truth of motherhood. She sings about the early days/weeks/months but honestly, the central message holds fucking true. At the end of the day, if everyone is alive, that is a victory, a line in the sand, and we got up the next day and try even harder to be better. https://youtu.be/bDk7CNsQqUk (Mother’s Confession, by Amanda Palmer ~Note LONG song) She’s captured the exhaustion, the frustration and the fears of being in charge of fragile beings. And, while I’m talking about fear, here’s another one that captures all the fears I can barely name for fear of shattering: https://youtu.be/70ApTTyKpdg (Drowning in the sound, by AFP)

It probably seems like all this music is, I don’t know, fucking depressing? But on the rare occasions when I get to play it all and sing and cry, away from the eyes of those who need me to be a rock in this stormcrash life, it helps. I sing loads of other highly emotional songs that are less on the nose too, and I cry and it helps. But I am surrounded by people who need me to be strong, and they never really leave the house, you know? And, for the one who is My rock, I need to keep it together, need to keep pulling beside him so he knows he isn’t carrying it all alone. We have a lot on our plate here and it is what it is, I’m not going to drop in my traces. This is one of the songs that sums up how I feel about our relationship: https://youtu.be/0yW7w8F2TVA (Say you won’t let go; by James Arthur) This one too, adding in the rest we need, the break we’d like to have from responsibilities for a while: https://youtu.be/GemKqzILV4w (chasing cars, by Snow Patrol) How many weddings you think this one gets played at? https://youtu.be/450p7goxZqg (All of me, by John Legend) Anyway, I’ll happily jump on that bandwagon.

I’m ok. I will be ok. Writing all this here helps.

Life is Like Chocolates filled with Toothpaste.

Spring feels like it’s really here so no surprise that snow is forecast for Friday. Sure it’s been up in the mid seventies already but Friday is supposed to have a high of 37 and a low of 32. I feel really bad for all the plants and trees that are out there budding, flowering and leafing like mad.

Things are nuts here, as always, work is crazy for my husband who has six major projects all happening at once in his department because of the infinite wisdom of his employer. They do not understand that if people are forced to do many things at once nothing will really be done well and those people will burn the fuck OUT. I don’t know how he’s stayed in the job for so long. He’s been working so hard through this whole pandemic. Minimum of 60 hour weeks. Even working from home he doesn’t have a sane work/life balance because the work culture seems to be “drive yourself into the ground! Work constantly!” People from his work will email or text him at ANY HOUR day or night. It’s insane. He got 18 texts while he was in a 5 minute shower this morning. Bonkers.

I want so badly for my husband to have a job he loves, a sane work/life balance, and for him to he HAPPY. His employer seems pretty bent out of shape that he is still working from home even though he is at great risk with this virus and its creepy variants. There is an expectation that he will come back to work in person soon even though he doesn’t have a desk anymore as they finally hired a replacement for his last assistant and at long, long, long last hired a 3rd person who is supposed to do helpdesk stuff. His assistant has his old desk and the helper has the old assistant’s desk. There isn’t room for a 3rd desk and his employer’s solution is to have “one of you floating at all times.” Yeah, one of 3 IT people should definitely just wander around, building to building, … all the time, like some sort of nomadic computer tinkerer. That is an example of why I don’t think his current job is a good one. They could give his department more space but they give any and every other department priority over IT no matter how little sense it makes. I honestly don’t know how my husband puts up with it.

We also have a situation at home. My two twenty-something, autistic, transgendered daughters are living at home. One never left and the other bounced home about 2 (?) years ago and was saving money to move out on her own again when the pandemic hit and she had to quit her retail job in a pharmacy to protect her dad. So, for over a year now, she’s had to spend the money she’d saved to get her prescriptions, pay for doctor’s visits, etc. So frustrating for all of us. It is getting to a point where the girls can head out to job hunt again but we’re not quite there yet. I have faith the eldest will get a job eventually, she’s got an employment history, interviews reasonably well and is personable. My middle child has job-hunted for years with no success at all. I don’t think she has even landed an interview. She has no sensibility about how to dress and quirky doesn’t come close to describing her style. She is also very soft-spoken to the point of absurdity. I’ve tried to counsel her on dressing and grooming for a job interview but she is fixed on “How I look shouldn’t matter.” Oh Sweetie, but it does.

Yeah, so, the situation. … that wasn’t the situation. Middle child asked to speak to both my husband and I privately. She brought notes, lots of notes, and told us that Eldest child has been relentlessly harassing her pretty much since she came back home. Eldest has been complaining to me that Middle won’t forgive her for ancient history, Eldest wants to be friends but Middle just keeps rejecting her. I have told Eldest that she cannot force anyone to forgive anything. I have explained that she needs to build trust by doing small, kind things without Any Expectation, and perhaps, over time, Middle might soften. Apparently that has gone in one ear and out the other. It even seems like Eldest might be trying to manipulate how we perceive Middle. Winding her up when we are not in ear shot then asking an “innocent” question and provoking a snarling response from Middle while we can see it. My heart, at this point, is a bunch of jagged glass shards held together with glue that won’t set. We’re trying to figure out what the fuck to do that won’t make things worse. Just up front there are only a few possibilities I can see:

  1. Middle child is lying to us and just hates Eldest and rejects her overtures because of prior bad acts.
  2. Middle child is telling the truth and Eldest is manipulating us so that we only see Eldest trying to be friends and see Middle reacting harshly.
  3. Eldest is so incredibly socially awkward that her acts of harassment are some attempt to be funny and Middle perceives it all as an attack because of old history.

Having raised the two of them, all these many years, these are my thoughts:

  • Middle child is not lying. She was so on edge she was literally shaking while she talked to us. At the very least, she is telling the truth as she perceives it.
  • Most likely, Eldest is harassing Middle, she may be stupidly trying to force Middle to interact with her, she may be actively manipulating the situation, and manipulating us, to make Middle look bad because she is refusing to “be friends,” or some other muddle-reasoned thing I can’t grasp.
  • Eldest has a history of being pretty freaking cruel to middle, there is no denying it, the last time things got physical was 1 /12-2 years ago but it was 100% on Eldest. Middle did exactly as she should have and attempted to walk away from Eldest. She was pursued to her room by Eldest who tried to force her way in while screaming horrible things at Middle. Middle tried to push her door closed but was weak as she was recovering from gastroenteritis (or something? anyway, it led to anemia and made middle exhausted and weak) Middle has PTSD and reacted to what felt like a very dire threat striking Eldest with her palm on the forehead to try and push her out so the door could be close. Eldest responded with repeated elbow strikes to Middle’s neck and shoulders, maybe her head too. I did not witness any of this, neither did my husband, but we heard about the incident from both girls and the accounts only differed on what words were exchanged during the whole thing, really. Each of them felt justified in what they did. … … …

Sometimes I freaking Hate being a parent. WTF? WTF am I supposed to do with this? Talking to Eldest about the situation might cause retaliation. I don’t think dredging up the old physical incident would be helpful at all, though it does add weight and veracity to Middle’s perspective on current events. I need to protect Middle, I need to stand up for her because I know she was the one my ex targeted for extensive punishment that led to her PTSD while he favored Eldest. (Not that is was all skittles and beer for Eldest either but she definitely had it better w/ my ex in most ways) This is Hell. If someone not my kid went after one of my kids, my path would be clear, that person would be made to understand that they would not continue their BS if they wanted to live a long happy life. Undiluted ire is so easy, so straightforward, how easy that would be. But one of my kids is making another of my kids miserable, and I haven’t witnessed any of it so it’s all “she said/she said.” And I don’t want to come down on any of my kids with the wrath of the Elder Gods. This is misery. This is horror.

Middle is relying on my to defend her, to somehow defuse the situation, get Eldest to back the F off so Middle can just live her life in the house without hiding in her room all the time. I need to do something, I just don’t know what, and no matter what the truth is, no matter what I do, this is going to hurt. See why I haven’t been posting much? I totally slacked off because how do I even talk about this stuff? I sound like a crazy person or maybe just an asshole but I am just trying to do the thing that causes the least harm. I’m just trying to help my kids learn to act like human beings and grow the F up and start their lives.

TL/DR: My husband’s job is unreasonably and unnecessarily bad and my older 2 kids = a situation I don’t know how to deal with with my mediocre parenting skills, that I learned mostly from watching nature documentaries as a kid, and my ex is an asshole who I should have found a way to cut out of my children’s lives when they were young.

Happy Spring!

Disclaimer: My keyboard is still broken so please excuse anything that should be capitalized and isn’t it only responds to the shift keys when it wants to.

It’s March, late March, and it’s Spring. This is what’s going on in my world.

I am working on a few goals this year;

1. getting a garden going for real this time,

2. becoming a “Fuck Yeah!” friend,

3. getting more movement into my days, (as I sit here blogging like a slug…)

4. eating more veg,

5. becoming more competent at my job, and

6. Decluttering!

There is some progress in all areas, however slight. The beds are in as of last Fall and I hope to get planting (with guidance) soonish. I am saying “Fuck Yeah!” as much as seems safe to friends asking if I want to do stuff. I am on my feet more for sure even if my phone isn’t showing the steps. It, like my little laptop, has issues and it dies a lot. I am eating slightly more veg and focusing on just making sure it happens every day. Tougher than I thought it would be. At work I am taking on some new responsibility, nothing huge, just helping cover while my boss is out on maternity leave. I am practicing to get better at commcat, trouble-shooting when there are issues with computers and printers, planning for Summer Reading as best I can. I also keep signing up for webinars but I have been missing most of them. I am just so burnt out on zoom and all that. I have a few coming up that I plan to actually attend and I intend to view the recordings of the ones I’ve missed. Decluttering is still stupid and complicated because my usual drop off places are still not taking things. meh. I do have some stuff ready to go and I will do more when it makes sense to.

One of my niece’s just got married! ^_^ YAY! So nice to have something to celebrate. She and her new husband looked gorgeous and I was so glad that we could at least be there remotely. My eldest daughter is taking a couple of online classes and doing well. My middlest is getting a little money in with a kind of online gig type thing and took over dish washing and it really helping me out. My youngest is in the final stretch of his senior year and is doing well, sticking with it, getting ready to ease into the future. My husband is still working remotely but is finally scheduled for his first vaccine. (YAY!) We will be celebrating 24 years together later this week. WOW.

Gaming is still the main source of entertainment around here, I think we are in and/or running about… 6-7 games. I am using Pathfinder 2e to run my husband in a one-on-one game. We used to run one-on-one a LOT when we lived far from anyone and had a young child. I’ve missed it like crazy and apparently he has too. ^_^ So I am still struggling with constructing encounters that won’t kill him. LOL. Even with all the charts and whatnot encounters are so brutal. I think I have been thinking about it wrong, like my math is somehow backward or twisted. I’ll get it sorted out. One-on-one is not a thing Pathfinder is super designed for so I am pretty much making my own “adventure path.” It’s fun and challenging and I am enjoying all the prep work. I have part one pretty well finished and have started part two. I’m not sure how many parts it will have. I was thinking two, taking the PC from level one to… 8? 9? 10? But I might keep it going. Have the main quest die down for a while, let him “Witcher” it up monster hunting all over Golarion and then bring the main quest back later. I don’t know, we’ll see how he likes the main quest as he hasn’t even started on it yet. He’s travelling to investigate a rumored event and I’ll have to see if he likes it or if it’s too weird for him. I can do grim and gritty just fine but it’s always leavened with chaos and whimsy which he doesn’t always “get.” If he doesn’t like it I know some people who will so I’ll just save it and rework it for them later and cook something else up for him. I love him so much.

Anyway, I need to get ready for work.

XXXOOO

wolftree

i don’t look it but i’m strong. i’m a realist but i’m optimistic. i believe for as long as i can that things will work out somehow. i believe and believe and believe, and i stand strong and steadfast right up until i shatter. then i suffer and rage and weep and grieve like a maelstrom. then i usually drink myself blind to the land of dreams and wake up, spit out some teeth, adjust my crown and light my inner fire once more… and i believe again.

my dearest chimpy, i miss you still, i mourn you still. forever. you live in my heart and that is all there is. maybe one day we’ll meet at the wolf tree and my heart won’t miss you anymore.

https://youtu.be/BF-nZziUCCY

i am a gemini=full of contradiction

note; please excuse lack of capitals and a partial lack of proper punctuation. my laptop is being a beast.

i aspire to live in a tiny home. it’s insane how drawn i have been to this idea since the very first time i came across it and yet it may not be something i could actually live with. on the one hand, i can see paring down on many, many possessions. i can see getting by with minimal kitchen gear that all nests together as much as possible, minimal dishes and cutlery/utensils, no problem. minimal wardrobe wouldn’t be an issue for me, i could digitize the movies and shows i ‘need,’ i already use a little laptop not a big desktop, i can totally see minimizing down to essential towels, bedding etc, i can see one day living with just a single cat or smallish dog instead of constantly cohabitating with a minimum of 3 furry fellow-travellers. shoes are not an issue. i can get by with a single pair for each function; snow boots, hiking boots, sandals, work shoes, and one dressy pair. i don’t even need a bunch of make-up i wear it maybe a few times a year. i’m sure there are other areas i could easily pare down as well, but…

it all falls down when i consider;

  • books. i have lots and i am forever acquiring more despite my best intentions. i have a nook, and there are many books i could handle having only digitally… but i ‘need’ a shocking number of books as physical objects. i love them so completely. books.
  • art supplies. paints, canvases, sketch books, colored pencils, bags crammed with odds and end i intend to use in some nebulous future project, adhesives, brushes, etc etc etc. it is hard to imagine paring it all down enough to keep in a tiny home.
  • crochet and knitting gear. holy crap. i have lots. lots. i can honestly see paring this particular hobby down a fair bit, getting rid of items i don’t really need, of which there are many. this one might be doable; a single bin of yarn, a basket for scraps and all the hooks and needles.
  • also sewing stuff. i have a sewing machine, a serger, and tons of fabric and hand sewing items too. just the basics of this one is fairly bulky.
  • games and gaming books, minis etc. we have a lot. we have several game platforms and tvs for video games, multiple bookshelves of rpg books, endless, boundless bins and bins of minis, etc. plus board games, card games and on and on. we could probably halve the amount without pain but it would be awfully difficult to divest ourselves of much more than that.
  • fandom stuff. yeah….. i do not, we do not, have a vast epic collection of museum worthy, collectable amazing fandom stuff, but we do have more than it seems at first glance. i have made tons of cool harry potter/hogwarts stuff for wearing, decoration etc. i have tardis string lights and a dalek pepper pot. in brief we have; marvel stuff, star wars stuff, doctor who stuff, game of thrones stuff, star trek stuff, fruits basket stuff, ruroni kenshin stuff… and many, many more. how would i even begin to pare that stuff down…

plus, i keep a lot of food on hand in case of emergency/illness/etc. i am not sure how low i could manage and not induce anxiety in myself. i tend to have at least a few months worth of food on hand. they wouldn’t be the best months we ever got through but we damn sure wouldn’t starve.

oh, and stuffed animals, using the term very loosely, i have more than would likely be great in a tiny house. henry, rocket, cap, and yix all live in the bedroom and i have a doll crib overflowing in the hall with more. i have pared down in that area, wildly. my remaining collection is ‘bare-bones’… for me.

so i want to live a minimalist lifestyle in a tiny house …but… i will also need another tiny house for my books, another for arts and crafts, and we’ll need a dedicated gaming tiny house as well.

yeah.

sigh.

i think that many tiny houses probably equals pretty much a regular house.

disappointing.

Snag

My idea of reopening my shop in March has hit a snag. Well, snagS, to be honest. A lot has been going on in my world.

Ramping up crafty productiveness made me suddenly decide to make my first sweater… I think. I have vague memories of maybe trying before? Eh, likely not terribly successful, or why isn’t my wardrobe chock-a-block with cute sweaters I made? So, I found a tutorial for a super cute sweater I totally want to wear ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYHF8e8q1hY&list=LL&index=4&t=14s ) and bookmarked it. Then I searched for “super easy beginner sweater tutorial” and landed on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xl-O8RC_g8. So, I made a sweater. Not just any sweater, MEGA SWEATER. It is huge! I didn’t actually watch much of the tutorial, I used the linked text pattern, if there was a swatch/scale I missed it completely. My sweater is unstoppable.

It’s so huge I couldn’t get it all in one shot.

That ate up basically all my free time for a week. On the plus side it could be layered over the most massive of other sweaters. (Mega Sweater has no equals.) Yeah, so I’m calling it a modest success and a great learning experience. Meanwhile I have moved on to making the next sweater and I did do a swatch and it worked out fine. I’ve finished the front piece and started the back.

There will be some scalloping added in the neckline and I hope to use it to make the sweater more reasonable. If it comes out really wonky I am considering trying again with different yarn and hopefully whatever lessons I learn/knowledge I get from this first try. Crochet is tricky! But I’ve had it with being afraid to try things. Fuck it! Life is not a dress rehearsal.

I also got side tracked making a baby present for my beloved boss. She’s having her first baby like any minute now and I wanted to make something nice as I know she appreciates heartfelt handmade items. I made these adorable stars that were going to be a mobile but ended up being a wall hanging. and it looks like “insert pic into text” is just a well-oiled machine! Anyway, she loves it and already hung it near the crib. I’m glad I went with ‘wall hanging’ because she is making a mobile. Here’s a bigger pic:

These little things are fun and easy to make. Fast too!

So, I still have a couple of weeks, or more if I open later in March, to get things done. I have several pairs of mittens that need liners, (that I still need to make) a basket full of cloth waiting to be made into cloth napkins, a couple of boxes filled with handmade envelopes, and lots of plans to make more mittens in new and exciting colors. I’m just not sure I will get enough done to be ready to actually open. The liners are a big project as are the napkins and our place is currently cluttered all to heck since I haven’t been able to purge things we don’t need for almost a year. I really need to box up major amounts of clothes, books, etc and get them to the thrift shops to find new homes. It’s getting ridiculous. No, I won’t soon be seen in an episode of “Hoarders” but clutter is basically everywhere at this point and no room really looks nice anymore. Yeah. I need to get to work on the clutter even if it has nowhere to go. I need to figure out something to do with it all!

quiet

I went quiet for a while.

Life was so stressful after the attempted overthrow of our Democracy, I was so worried all the time, then things moved ahead mostly as they should and I was weird and jittery for a bit. But I am still here. I couldn’t write, I wasn’t feeling it, I read instead but also did a lot of other things.

  • I am upping my Game Master game, trying to get better at running combats, better at Roll20.
  • I’ve been gaming a lot. I average about 3 or 4 RPGs per week including the one I am currently running.
  • I learned how to crochet a Magic Circle so now I can crochet amigurumi better, and mittens, etc.
  • Mastered the “half double crochet” stitch. You’d think that would be a single stitch but no… anyway, I finally got that one!
  • I have been making amigurumi stars, bees, etc
  • I am attempting my first sweater, I think it’s my first sweater, I forget a lot of stuff these days. LOL
  • I’ve been doing my usual stuff too and working.

So yeah, still trying to level up and become a more competent human!

Kintsugi

Sometimes i feel like i’m just a collection of broken pieces.

I walk around pretending to be a functioning human being.

I have interactions and conversations but i’m only half there because i’m lost in the maze of traumas past.

I’m trying, I’m fighting my very hardest. that you can’t hear my battle cries or see all the blood stuns me

those closest to me suffer through my fucked up reactions to everything

changes in plans that are nothing to everyone else hit me like an avalanche. it is an emergency, a threat, and I come up swinging, panicking, running for my life.

gods forbid someone startles me,

no telling what you will get

anything from falling to the floor crumpled in fear,

to a roar of rage-fueled ready to fight,

or maybe I detach, float in the fuzzy space that is nowhere, cold and safe

watching like an unconcerned, alien observer.

just the smell of the wrong aftershave and I am 5 years old

terrified, nauseated, scrambling to get away, screaming in my head for a mother I didn’t have

the one that would have stood between me and danger,

the one that would have seen,

would have known,

would have prevented me from shattering to pieces

But that isn’t how things happened.

This is what I have.

The child inside of me is defended now

when my inner 5 year old screams

the maelstrom rises to defend her

flaming swords and vicious bloody curses that rend the dark and all the dark things lurking there

but the monsters are all gone

bladed words hit those I would die to protect

in this safe new world

I am still made of broken shards

I keep gluing

and I keep breaking

I’m fighting as hard as I can

battle weary and covered in gore

but making a stand atop the hill

where I drew a line

feet planted

every day finding

there is still fight left in me.

Banner credit: “169/365” by drubuntu is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

2021 two weeks in…

So, we’ve had a seditious attack on our capitol by a rampaging mob who murdered 2 police officers and smeared human shit on the walls, so, wow, we are off to a really awful start! I am happy to see anti-democracy, home grown terrorists arrested and charged, that’s good, tRump losing his twitter privileges is good, far too little too late for him to learn anything from it but it’s something.

In my own life I’ve been a bit ill and very stressed out but mostly ok. Our furnace is not doing well so that’s a problem but we’ll get it sorted. The headache I currently have can take a flying leap, so over it, but I’m alive. I’ve been reading, trying to cook and clean, crocheting a lot, thinking about reopening my Etsy shop, maybe, the pile of mittens grows, I may as well give it a shot. Probably.

So, Democracy hangs by a thread, climate change teeters on the verge of destroying us all, a pandemic rages out of control, and my head hurts. I’ll be napping under the bed if anyone needs me.

waiting for sanity

Yesterday was surreal. When Hillary lost the left was in mourning, they knew what trump would do to this country, they knitted pink hats and wrote checks to planned parenthood and amnesty international. Now that trump has been defeated, despite his cronies’ attempts to sabotage and steal the election, the right is on an unhinged rampage and attempting a coup. They are smashing the windows of the capitol building and attacking police.

This chaos is an attack on Democracy. It has been encouraged and incited by a sitting President and is Treason on his part and the part of all who followed his lead. They literally hung a trump flag in our Capitol Building.