2018: Chapter Three

⚠ Warning: long post ahead! ⚠

Well, what can I say? March was one hell of a month! 😮

Hubs and I got our taxes done and renewed our wood-cutting permit. It wasn’t long before the tax returns arrived, and disappeared; we’d been needing so many things, and we knew the returns would help us get them! From Home Depot, we bought our new washing machine, a water conditioner (well water is wicked hard), and a new grill; from Tuft & Needle, an amazing new mattress; and from Walmart, a lovely futon set for me. Everything came in quickly, and each item is amazing! Getting them all was more than long overdue, and we’re all so grateful that taxes made it happen. It also didn’t take long for my Men and I to get out in the forest and gather wood, once we purchased the permit. In one day, we got two truckfuls cut up, loaded, and added to the pile at home, in only a few short hours! It was awesome. I’d had a rough night before we headed out, but even that couldn’t stop me; I found and dragged some pretty big pieces to the truck (and acquired a bunch of scrapes and scratches along the way), and worked my butt off at home, too. The Kiddo helped a ton, as usual, which is always nice. Between the three of us, we get a lot done. Hubs and I also chopped wood here at home one day, while BatKid helped keep the Puppers away by playing with him nearby. He did help us stack the wood after, as well. He’s the greatest. 😍

Aside from work outside, we’ve been enjoying the outdoors a lot, especially because we know it’s going to be hotter than hell before we know it. We do a lot of playing, walking, and sitting on the deck; it’s beyond wonderful to live where we do, and we are so blessed to have so much land to explore. The Puppers is enjoying all the outside time, too, and looks forward to it each day. He and the Kiddo are outside together a lot, and that’s one of my gazillion favorite things in the world to see. They have a blast together, and can be loud and crazy without any neighbors to complain!

I went outside my comfort zone, and made a foofy (as my Son called it) DIY home decor thing; you can read all about it here. I’m quite proud of it, and my Men like it, so it was a success! 😉 I’m usually early when it comes to ordering BatKid’s Halloween costume each year (I’m talking July, people), but I ordered it already! I just happened to visit Spirit’s website one day, and saw they had only one of the costume Bug wanted, that was in His size. Now, in these situations, I’ve taken chances before, but it was usually closer to the holiday; I’ve learned the hard way that you just can’t take chances with things like that, lol. So, while we could, I snagged that costume, plus the accessories, immediately. It arrived pretty quickly, and HOLY SNAP, it’s rad as hell. 🤘 I also finally ordered some more lamps for the house, which we purchased at Walmart.com (here and here). Now all of our lamps are matchy-match, which is so nice, since we’d never been able to do that in the past, no matter where we were living. All the lighting in our home is finally complete – since it’s one of those weird houses that has no ceiling lights in the living rooms or bedrooms, rofl.

While leaving the grocery store one morning, I’d hopped on the cart and rode it in the parking lot. When I came back down, I landed wrong, rolled my ankle, and really hurt myself. My ankle swelled up to about the size of an egg! 😣 It was gnarly, lol. Thankfully, I was already scheduled to see my doctor for another follow-up on my med, so at my appointment the following day, she inspected my injury, discovered it wasn’t severe (I was lucky, which I realized after I’d climbed a tree that morning! ha), and told me how to take care of it. We also covered a few other things during the appointment, so it was a busy day, medically speaking. I’m a mess, y’all. 😕

My Son had His usual dental checkup, with excellent reports on His teeth (no cavities, as usual)! He almost wasn’t seen, as the person who’d scheduled His appointment the last time He went, messed it up. Apparently, the appointments have to be scheduled a day after the six month mark, or insurance won’t cover it (I know, wtf?), so the receptionist had to call the insurance company to see if they’d let it slide. Thankfully, they did, and we were out of there before we knew it! 😆 We stopped at Taco Bell for lunch afterwards, since we no longer have one in our town; while we were eating in the parking lot, this adorable couple walked by. One of them spotted my Batman vanity plate, and proceeded to give me a thumbs up and show off their Batman slippers and clothes, lol. It was too cute. It always makes me happy when others appreciate and share my love for Batman; he is the best superhero there is, after all. 😏 The Kiddo also had an appointment with our doctor, for pain in one of His knees. It turns out, Hubs’ genes are even stronger than we thought, as the same problem he had when he was younger, is what our poor Baby is going through now. Thankfully, it can be corrected with physical therapy, and according to Doc, we just happen to have an amazing physical therapist in town. I’m just relieved it isn’t something more serious, and grateful for Hubs coming along so he could tell Doc what he’d gone through. I know I’d have screwed it up if I tried to give her his history with knee issues, lol.

There were a few awful things that happened last month. First, I got the horrible news that our sweet post office lady had passed away after a bad stroke. Bug and I cried so hard; we loved her and were devastated! She’s already missed so much. 😢 Second, it was the year anniversary of my first fiance’s murder; he was stabbed to death at a gas station not far from his home, and left behind his girlfriend and their young daughter. It was hard to deal with when it happened, even though we were obviously long over with and hadn’t spoken in years. I’m not sorry for that, either; I care about others, no matter what they’ve done or what happened between us. It’s just who I am. 😌 Last, my Batmobile is wrecked. I was off on my usual Saturday morning outing (post office and errands), and was only about ten minutes from home, when a deer decided to play chicken with me. I saw it come out into the road and stop, and as I was slowing down, it jumped right in front of me. I hit it, and because I wasn’t driving at a high speed, it was badly injured and suffering. I was hysterically crying as I pulled over, knowing the poor thing was hurt and I’d caused it. I called Hubs right away, since he was home with our Son, and told him to come to such-and-such road, that I’d hit a deer and it was still alive. He was the first person I thought to call in my panicked state, and since I’d never been in an accident alone before, I didn’t think about calling 9-1-1…just Hubs. Thankfully, he brought me to my senses when he’d called back shortly after, to make sure I was ok, ask about the damage to the car, and to tell me to call the police. I did so, and some idiot drove up while I was talking to the dispatcher. He kept trying to talk to me, clearly seeing I was on the phone, and wasn’t at all concerned about me; he just kept saying something about the deer jumping out in front of me, and asking if I wanted him to finish it off for me. I waved him off, while hissing, “My husband’s on the way!” – all while trying to listen to what the dispatcher was saying. He finally drove off, and I hung up with 9-1-1 soon after. I called my husband again, to see where he was at, and he told me he was about halfway there. We hung up, and I waited for him to arrive, all while checking on the poor deer to make sure that, if he did get up, I could tell Hubs where he went. It was heart-wrenching to see him trying to move and tend to his wounds, and I couldn’t handle it one bit. 😭 Finally, Hubs drove up. He immediately came to me to check on and hug me, then looked at the car and told me to call the insurance company. Little did I know, he had me do that for two reasons – one, because it needed to be done, and two, to distract me while he put the poor buck out of his misery. I did happen to look up when he did so, but it hurt less to see that, than knowing the creature was suffering, of course. A sheriff’s deputy finally showed up, after having been given the wrong directions by the dispatcher, and he handled everything he needed to handle. He also moved the now dead deer out of the road; as he did so, one of its antlers broke off, an he gave it to me as a souvenir. I took it, but good grief, that was weird for me. 🙃 We ended up waiting there with him for an eternity, as the dispatcher had also given the wrong directions to the tow company’s dispatcher. The poor driver was sent all over the place before he finally arrived! It was a mess. 😦 The deputy left, we got my car towed home (holy shit, towing isn’t cheap!), and began the wait for the insurance process to begin. I was miserable by the time we got home, as I felt so guilty for not only causing harm, and the eventual death, to an animal, but for wrecking the newest and nicest vehicle we own, and causing financial burden. We’ve had enough financial crap to deal with since we bought our house; this was just the shitty icing on top of that even shittier cake. 😡 As of the following Wednesday, the Batmobile is at the shop, the insurance is doing its thing, and I haven’t left the house without Hubs since that awful morning. I just can’t wait to have my car back and fixed, and for this whole thing to be over. I also cannot explain how glad I am that my Son wasn’t with me that morning – not only for His safety (which is #1, obvi), but because He’s even worse than I am emotionally, when it comes to animals being harmed or killed. 😯

Back to better things…

One of our favorite holidays happened! That’s right – St. Patrick’s Day is our second favorite holiday, after Halloween, of course. This year, Hubs worked, but we all wore our green. I’d found some fun green flair at the store, not long before St. Patrick’s arrived, and BatKid still has a few shirts from St. Patrick’s Days past, that still fit him. We didn’t get our dinner ingredients bought in time, unfortunately, so Corned Beef and Cabbage was out (yes, we know it’s not an Irish thing, but that’s our tradition), but Bug and I picked up Subway in town, and Hubs got the same where he works. It was still a good day, despite the lack of most of our traditions, but we planned for Corned Beef and Cabbage at a later date. Speaking of cabbage, Hubs found some amazing Hillshire Farm recipes online, and printed out several for us to try. One was made with sauerkraut, which we all love, and boy, was it delicious! I’ve decided to cook a new one each week, which will give us a fun night of trying something new. It’s been awhile since I’ve made any new recipes that weren’t my own, because they all turned out horrible…but I have high hopes for the rest, after having this one.

After our Son’s knee appointment, we went grocery shopping as a Family. Unfortunately, it was in the late afternoon, so the place was packed (the main reason I go early in the morning), and it was a headache to deal with all the people. Hubs “went to the bathroom” (read: shopped for Easter goodies for BatKid), and when He rejoined us later, the Kiddo was baffled at how long Dad was “in there,” lmao. Anyway, Hubs showed me what he’d picked out after BatKid was asleep that night, and let me just say, he knows our Boy so well. It makes me so happy. 😊

BatKid watched Stranger Things and Beyond Stranger Things, plus the trailer for the third season! Well, we all watched them together, but it was His first time (and the first time for all of us, for the trailer). He loved the show so much, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I told him to look away at one particular part in the second season, but that’s because I can’t watch that part, and, as mentioned above, He’s me, magnified, when it comes to seeing animals hurt or killed. We all finally watched The LEGO Ninjago Movie, as well as The BFG, and we enjoyed both very much. I got Hubs into The Vampire Diaries, and he’s hooked! I’d be lying if I said I hated how much he loves the show; after all, I’m watching the series for the third time now, because he does. ha. He also got into the show Shooter, after we’d watched a movie called Wind River. I’d tried to watch Shooter with him that night, but fell asleep (it was pretty late, lol); meanwhile, he stayed up and binge-watched half of the season! He now uses the term “binge-watch,” which is so weird. 😂 Wind River is a good movie, but rough in some parts – *trigger warning* the roughest being a rape scene. I won’t be watching the movie again, because of that scene…even though Hubs muted it and left the room, and I looked away, until it was over. I just don’t handle that type of scene well, and I probably still woudn’t even if my past was different. Anywho, I’ve officially created a Netflix and Hulu monster…well, two, actually, as BatKid has requested we watch a few things, as well. He and I got into Adventure Time, and love it so much! He also loves that I can impersonate Lady Rainicorn’s old man voice from the translator episode, lmao. I finally watched Scream Queens, and I’m confused as to why that show ended. It was ridiculous, in a good way! ha. We bought and watched Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (hilarious!), Pitch Perfect 3 (I haven’t watched it yet, as I’m waiting for when I have the time to have a marathon), and the new Star Wars (we haven’t had the chance to watch it yet, but hopefully soon). Also, if you haven’t seen Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix, do so ASAP. Drew Barrymore is amazing, and the show is highly entertaining. 😆

The Kikis still don’t appreciate having a dog around the house, and the Puppers is still trying to convince them that they love him. lol. He tries to play with them so much, and is so sweet to them, but they still aren’t having it. It’s sad, dang it! I just want to be able to see them all snuggle and play, ya know? I have to keep reminding myself that it takes time, and it’s only been about three and a half months since we adopted him. I keep encouraging and praising them all when they are polite to each other, in hopes they get the message. I don’t know it it will work, or if it even helps, but I’m trying, nonetheless. I also try to show the Kikis that the Puppers isn’t so bad…but for the most part, I’m just letting them all be, and letting them learn, while keeping as positive as possible that the Kikis will fully accept him one day. 🙄 Hubs and I did learn that the Puppers is wicked protective of me! We can’t even wrestle around or play fight in front of him, as he will freak out and think Hubs is trying to hurt me. I have no idea what his life was like prior to becoming a stray, but man, he will not have any of it. He’s also incredibly protective of BatKid, and our property! Unless he sees the person with us (like UPS and FedEx drivers, and the tow truck driver), anyone who comes to our house, or even drives or walks past it, gets to hear ferocious barking and growling, lol. He’s the sweetest dog ever to his Family (Cats included), but anyone else sees and/or hears a big ol’ meanie! Having a protective dog is a great thing, of course, but getting him to calm down is a struggle, lol. He even hates when deer are on our property or across the road, and growls at squirrels he sees by our fish pond! Silly mutt.

I’ve been tired way more than usual lately. For awhile there, I’d been napping in the morning, after getting woken up early as hell by the Puppers. See, when I sleep in the living room, he wakes me up when it’s still dark. When I sleep in the bedroom, he lets the Princess wake me up – and she wakes me up with her “I love you” meows between an hour and two hours later than the Puppers. lol. People always assume Motherhood is the cause of my lack of sleep, so I have to correct them – it’s my critters that keep me up and/or wake me up early, not my Son. Even when He was a Baby, I wasn’t this tired! lol. The Puppers hates when I nap, and likes to jump on me, stick his nose under my blanket and in my face, or sit next to me and stare, until I wake up. The Kiddo, however, is as quiet as possible, behaves so well, and lets me sleep until I wake up (unless He has no choice but wake me up, which is rare). Even the Cats were my alarms before the Puppers joined the Family! They’re all such needy little critters. lmao. Either way, though, I’m tired. I don’t sleep well at all. I wake up all night, my bedtimes vary greatly, and it’s just miserable. I was hoping my med might help, but no matter when I’ve taken it, it’s no different. However, I keep on keeping on, and still do what I need to do for myself and my Family. Luckily, it comes easily. Daylight Savings made the fatigue even worse, though, so there’s that. 😒

I’ve still hardly knitted, but I can already see a difference in my focus since the med increase…so there has been some improvement in that area so far. I’m hoping to be done with my WIP before summer, lmao. Seriously, though, I really want to finish it and begin other projects I need and want to make. I miss knitting and crocheting, dammit! 😖

Well, I’ve written a novel and a half, so I’ll end this post here. I’ll be posting again soon, about how much I failed at not buying yarn and other stuffs, while I was not as medicated as I needed to be. There’s a lot to see, and yes, I am ashamed. 🙈

Until next time…

💋

Mental Health and Me

Anxiety.

Depression.

Suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Self-harm.

Low self-esteem.

Eating disorders.

All of these things have affected my life, but thankfully, only half of them are still an issue. The biggest ones, suicide and cutting, were a major struggle for several years of my life; however, though they seemed impossible to overcome during that period of time, I finally got myself out of those extremely dark places – and not long before I became a Mom.

Low self-esteem has always been a huge problem, ever since I can remember. I do know the earliest cause of it, as well as the other things along the way, but I still can’t shake it, almost thirty-two years later, even with a Husband who makes me feel amazing, and a wonderful Pregnancy that made me feel absolutely beautiful. No matter how many times Hubs calls me gorgeous, no matter how many compliments I receive from others…I just can’t feel like I’m any of those things, nor can I stop putting myself down or being so hard on myself. I guess hearing certain things from one’s own parents, for their entire first eighteen years of life, destroys them in that way. It doesn’t help that many people take one look at me and decide not to give me the time of day, without knowing a thing about me…nor does it help when I get stared at nearly everywhere I go, sometimes with dirty looks on the staring person’s face. Those actions make someone like me feel even more self-conscious, and lowers my self-esteem that much more.

Eating disorders are no joke. I was diagnosed with both anorexia and bulimia when I was fourteen. I was the thinnest I’d ever be at that time of my life, but my bio mother had been telling me I was fat and limiting my food intake for as long as I can remember…so I had it in my head that I shouldn’t eat, or if I did, I should puke it back up. Thankfully, it didn’t get as out of control for me as it does for many, but it was still a hard time that continues to affect me to this day – especially because of how overweight I am now. I’ll never resort to those old ways, or other unhealthy ones, to lose weight, but I still have trouble accepting my size and how hard it has been to lose weight, for the past several years. The saddest part is, I’m not overweight because I had a Kid (like many people I have known automatically assumed) – birth control after having my Son, as well as a med a few years later, put me higher up on the scale. A week after I had my Son, I was in my pre-pregnancy jeans; by the time He was three months old, I’d lost all the Pregnancy weight, plus an extra five pounds, and looked fantastic! So yeah, it is hard as hell to accept the fact that things meant to help me, destroyed my body in such a way, and continue to do so, years later.

My struggles with anxiety stem from the trauma from which I suffered as a child, apparently. That’s what the therapists I had as a teen told me, anyway. Lucky me, right? Thanks a bunch, bio mother. Anyway, it has gotten better over the past several years, but mainly in the social aspect. The general sense is still a battle, yet nowhere near as bad as it used to be. I’d like to thank ME, for working so hard, all on my own, for many years, to make it that way. It is extremely manageable, with the right tools and consistency…but it isn’t for everyone, and it can be thrown off by other uncontrollable things – as I’d discovered last year. Anxiety affects me physically, as well, which is unpleasant, so I really hate it and need help controlling it.

Oh, depression – how I despise thee! It runs in my biological family, so it’s no surprise that I ended up dealing with it, but certain things also didn’t help with it. For instance, the aforementioned trauma, as well as losing one of my best childhood friends to suicide when I didn’t even know what suicide was. Those few factors certainly set me up for a rough time, but I never knew I’d deal with it for my entire life. Thankfully, it has only been severe when something caused it to be. The two worst times, were in high school, and when my Son was only a few years old. When I was wrongly diagnosed as bipolar as a teen, I was prescribed a mood stabilizer as a result; that medication caused me to become severely depressed and almost psychotic. I ended up cutting myself the most I’d ever done by that time, and also tried to commit suicide in a more serious way than I ever had, while on that medication. It was a nightmare, and one that nearly killed me. When I was in my mid-twenties, I’d been using the Mirena IUD for three years; it poisoned me with an insane amount of side effects, most of which were physical, but the worst was another round of the most awful depression. I’d been planning to switch IUDs before it had even hit, and I didn’t know at the time that Mirena was the cause for the sudden horrible change in my mental state; however, upon having it removed, it was like a switch had been flipped. I was beyond relieved when I was freed from that black hole, as it was absolutely terrifying to feel so low, when I had (have!) the best reason in the world to be happier than ever – my Kiddo.

In my last monthly update post, I’d talked about my more recent struggles with my anxiety and depression, and how I’d decided to go back to the medication part of getting help. I am happy to report that the increase in my med has already shown some improvement in getting back to where I was when I initially began taking it, so I’m more than positive in thinking I’m going to be just fine. It’s the maximum dose for this particular med, so I can’t go any higher, but I’m hopeful that it will continue doing its job in helping me be the best version of me. I’d tried many different anti-depressants in my teen years, and I had so many issues with them…so the fact that this one is working, and with minimal side effects, is a damn miracle. I’ve also switched to taking it in the morning, to see if it affected my sleep at all, but unfortunately, I’m still struggling in that department. I’ll most likely go back to taking it in the evening, like I was before the increase, as it didn’t make my sleep issues better or worse. It does suck that I’m still not sleeping well or consistently each night, and that I’m constantly tired, but that’s been the norm for me for years – even before Motherhood and adopting pets, lol.

I suppose I could open up even more about my past issues with things, but I think I’ve gone on enough about it for now. Just know that if you’re struggling with mental issues, and need someone to talk to – I’m here, always understanding, and never judging. I do want to stress how important it is to not only be self-aware, but to not ignore your symptoms and/or the concern from anyone around you. It is the most important thing to get help for yourself, but also for the sake of your loved ones and anyone whom you encounter. Untreated mental illnesses can be terrible for you and everyone around you. Not asking for or accepting help is much scarier than asking for or accepting the help you need. Talking about mental health is also important, as it can help others as well as yourself. I’m just passing on things I’ve learned over the years, after my many different experiences with mental issues of my own, and in others. By posting this, I hope I have helped someone, somehow, or can help them in the future.

Be well, and know that it can and does get better.