Tuesday, March 6, 2012

a room of her own

Kitten 2 is still alive so far. An hour ago we found her quivering under the bed again, breathing in short raspy breaths. The landlord had come over and frightened her into hiding with his deep baritones. 

Now she sits up against me cleaning herself, her fear forgotten. 

I am thinking about the new house and the extra bedroom. It's tiny and yellow and full of sun and I've claimed it for myself as my "writing room".  Which sounds heavenly under most any circumstances, but more so because I haven't had even a bedroom in over a year, never mind another room all to myself. Roi and I simply can't sleep in the same bed because he's such a light sleeper that even a small snore from me will set his teeth on edge the whole night, and while I'm a heavy sleeper he has such severe restless leg syndrome that he rattles the windows with his kicking. Only a corpse could sleep through that.

Now I will have a separate bedroom and the writing room. 

For however long I'm there. 

It was not my decision to buy this house. Despite what Roi thinks are good intentions it doesn't seem within his realm of abilities to think of us as an us. He thinks he thinks this way, but in reality he operates as though I'm along for the ride. He wants my approval on things, but that approval always has limited options created by him. 

Roi decided the market was right to buy a house and suddenly "we" were house-hunting. And what a roller-coaster that was for me, the ups and downs of which Roi seemed oblivious to. I had say in what I wanted, and the house we finally chose makes us both happy. And because he's buying it with his money and credit I'm not taking on any financial risk (I couldn't anyway even if I wanted to) but this makes it feel like it's "his" house and not ours. And given the ever present relationship problems, particularly around trust, it's created an emotional landscape of fluctuating hope and despair. I'm trying to ride the waves of these emotions with some amount of grace - trying to let a cool head prevail and look at only the logic of it. 

(to be continued...I have a neurofeedback appointment to run off to - let's see what funhouse of emotions this session leaves me with.)

Monday, March 5, 2012

character defects

Let's talk about my character defects for a moment. 

I'm stubborn to a fault. My mother used to tell me I would cut of my nose to spite my own face. Granted, I would shoot a venomous look her way and say, "what does that even mean?!" I wasn't big on reflection. It is difficult to label this only as a character defect since my stubbornness has also gotten me through very tough times when someone else might have given up. It got me into the college I wanted, and it ensured that I was able to do original research at an undergrad level. But there's no doubt, my stubbornness gets me into a lot of trouble too. 

Then there's my temper. On a scale of 1-10, I'd rate it at a 7. I don't throw things, break things, hit people, and most of the time I don't say really mean things that I regret later. Sometimes I kick things - things that can take it and won't break, but that's happened all of 3-4 times in my life. But I do yell, and I too often tear out of the house yelling things over my shoulder. Usually petty, childish things like, "you don't care", or "I hope the roads are slippery". Essentially, I act like a 10 year old who's running away from home because my parents said no to a new pony. 

I've had this temper, as far as I can remember, since I was a teenager. But it is specific. I've never "lost" it at work (not counting working for Roi, because, well...), or in a public place, and I don't blow up over people leaving their laundry around, or forgetting to pick up the milk, or things not going my way/according to plan on a superficial level. I lose it when I feel I'm being attacked, when I'm trying to talk about something that's bothering me and I'm not getting the response I think I need, when people in my life are doing things that I feel are affecting my right and ability to make decisions for myself or otherwise affecting my life in a damaging way. Or when I've had a calm conversation about something that bothered me and the other person agrees it was wrong, and then they do it again. And again.

I can't quite figure out how to handle this and where exactly my responsibility is. I guess it's in the walking away, but that still leaves me with no solution to come to resolution about the things I need. 

Then there are the bigger and more complex character defects that come together to glue me to addicts. We'll just label that codependency for now, for lack of a better term, even though y'all know how I feel about that label

And finally, there are the "character defects" that I'm not sure are defects so much as a response to trauma and sadness and living with other crazy people.  For example, my utter lack of planning or taking care of business. Instead curling up into a ball in my bed and hoping that "tomorrow is another day" and I'll get it right then, but not now. My lack of self-care. My waiting for something to be a crisis before I start dealing, and then grasping to other people to, "please help". These things are relatively newish (the last few years). 

I'm thinking about this because Roi and I are fighting a lot lately. Moving is a stressor, Kyd is a stressor, losing a kitten to an ugly disease is a stressor. I get that. We're all stressed. I'm just trying to figure out what's what, who's who, and how I can keep my side of the street clean before I'm living on that street with a garbage bag of my clothes and Lexie sitting next to me with a black cloud of "you fucked up Mom" hovering over her head.

Friday, March 2, 2012

neurofeedback and brain states

My post of the other day reflected a somber mood. Not long after that post I descended into a blubbering mess over a restaurant getting my order wrong and Roi feeling accused when I wasn't, in fact, accusing him of anything. 

I was in a bad brain state because I had just started a new Neurofeedback protocol, and even though I had given Roi fair warning that the new treatment could set me "off" for a couple weeks, he forgot when faced with the actuality of it. 

Neurofeedback had been tremendously helpful to my c-PTSD but I was still struggling some, particularly given new events with Kyd and the ongoing struggle to repair a relationship devastated by Roi's sex, opiate, and alcohol addictions (and all the wonderful isms that go along with those). All exacerbated by the stress of moving and the tragic death of a lovely, sweet, beautiful little kitten - because really, kittens dying is 500 kinds of wrong.

Therapist is very committed to Neurofeedback and attends a lot of training. She had just started a new protocol that works on a deeper level to "reset" and stabilize and wanted to try it with me. While there are standards, it is still trial and error just like medication. There's no way to know what the right frequency is for a given person, so there's an exploration period. The wrong frequency, just like the wrong medication or the wrong dosage, can put a person in a bad way. 

That happened to me for a few days. My last session was much better and I'm feeling like I have my feet under me again. 

I have more I want to say about the move, the new house, and how I wish I was Julia Child (at least the movie version). But more on that later.