General Health & ETC

Aside from being crazy, I’m generally healthy, despite my weight (which is still going down).  Had a full checkup with blood work and all.  Kidneys and liver both checked out fine.  Thyroid is back in the normal range with medication.  Blood pressure and heart rate are fine.  No diabetes or anemia.  Cholesterol is slightly elevated, which I’ll be treating with diet and exercise.  Doctor feels no need for medication yet.  Some blood test showed evidence of inflammation in my body.  Well duh, tendonitis in my wrist.  Doctor agrees that’s probably it.

So all in all, I’m just crazy.  I haven’t been sleeping as well, despite medication.  Same with the anxiety.   Terrible nightmares where I’m being raped or tortured.  Afterwards when doctors try to help me (usually involving giving me something like IV benzos to help me calm down so they can treat the injuries) I beg them to stop.  Strangely enough, the doctor in the dream is usually “Ducky” from NCIS.  I have no idea why, outside of the fact I’ve been watching a lot of NCIS lately.

Two weeks ago, my shrink gave me some IV compazine to combat the nausea I was having.  I can definitely say having an IV placed at the base of your wrist, palm side is probably the most painful site.  For some reasons, the nice veins in my hands went diving for cover.  I was so tired and felt so sick and overwhelmed, I just lay there silently crying.  The following week the doc asked why I had been crying.  I explained and added that I was tired of feeling crazy and I was mad at my parents for contributing to my craziness (both genetically and environmentally).

It feels like I’m in a PTSD flare-up right now.  They physical pain in my wrist doesn’t help.  I think the touching, while helping on one level is making me more jumpy and anxious and flashbacky than usual.  I guess I’ll try to explain that to Dr. P when I see him on Monday.  It’s a good thing that he only gives me a week of meds at a time.  I’ve got some niggling suicidal and Si urges going on as well.

Holy crap.  I didn’t realize all this was going on until I started typing (sans splint, I’ll be a good girl and put it on as soon as I finish).  I don’t want to feel like this.  That’s different from 10 years ago.  Then I thought I deserved to suffer and be punished.  Now I just want to be happy.  And I want it to be real.  I don’t want it to be the forced happy mask I’ve been putting on at work.

And I guess I should clean up the apartment.  The general level of pain and exhaustion has led to a mess of a living space.  Doesn’t help that my washer is slightly unbalanced and it takes about 10x longer to do laundry than it should.

And damn it.  I’m not going to cry!  No.  Stop it Kathryn  Crap.  Not working.

 

TTYL

This Week’s Ivory Pics

Kitten!

I have an adorable ball of fuzz.  I’m so excited.  It’s only in the last couple weeks I’ve felt like I’ve completed the grieving process with Sparkler.  I loved her so much.  But, I knew I didn’t want another guinea pig.  I knew I wanted a cat.  Now, you have to understand, Korea is not a cat country.  No serious.  It’s really not.  I went to a dozen places before I found one with a cat for sale.  And dear lord was she expensive.  But she was totally worth every won I spent.  She’s been in my life less than 12 hours and I can’t imagine living without her.

Right now, she’s curled up in (on?) one of my shoes.  Once I coaxed her out from under the bed, she started to play.  She has one of those mice on an elastic string tied to a stick.  She loves it.  She was going crazy.  She’s purrs like no cat I’ve ever heard before.

I’m still working on the name thing.  I know her Korean name will either be 눈(noon) which means snow (and eye) or 구름(goorum) which means cloud.  I’m sort of leaning toward 눈.  I’m just not sure what English name to give her.  I’ll take suggestions.  You’ve helped me name animals in the past.

So here are some pics of my new baby.

Some updates

I don’t have a whole lot to say.  I’m still processing being home.  There are days it seems so real and days when it just feels like a bad dream.  I’m thankful to be back in Korea.

It’s a three day weekend.  Thank goodness.  I’m still exhausted from the trip home.  The weather flying back was really bad for the last 2 hours on the flight into Tokyo.  No seriously…  I started saying Hail Mary’s.  I left my stomach somewhere over the Pacific.

I updated the OS on my computer today.  That turned out to be a bigger pain that I thought.  Why is it that I seem to need 2+ tries to actually get an upgrade right.

I bought some new bedding for my apartment.  My summer bedding was too light now that it’s getting chilly at night.  I technically didn’t need it.  However, the stuff I had was pink.  I’m not a pink person.  The new stuff is blue with pink roses on one side and stripes on the other.  Right now I have the flowered side up, but I think I’ll change it to the striped side.  I’m not anti-flower, but I’m only kind of meh about the pattern.  Find bedding that wasn’t god awful ugly and/or expensive was really challenging.  When I do move home, I’ll ship both the summer and winter bedding home.  I’m not leaving it for the next people.

That’s about all.  Emotionally I’m confused.  I’m tending toward stuffing mode, so I’m working hard to at least acknowledge that I’m feeling stuff, even if I don’t understand it.

Offline for a bit

My mom passed away yesterday.  I’m trying to find flights and stuff to go home for a few weeks.

I’m prepared with a slightly increased dosage of Zoloft, Halcion and some Valium.  I won’t have much in the way of internet access because I’ll be staying with my grandmother.  I can cross my fingers that there’s an open wi-fi access point nearby, but I’m not holding my breath.  The average age of the neighborhood is probably up around 60, so not too many tech savy folks over yonder.  I’ll be a the mercy of my brothers and father to drive me around because I don’t have any auto insurance (why pay all that money for the car to sit in the driveway).

Hmmmmm….

Last weekend (about 10 days ago), my world got turned upside down just a touch.  I don’t know why this is bugging me so much.  I mean, I don’t have much of an emotional attachment to my mother.  Let me back up.  I found out a few months ago that my mother has uterine cancer.  She was having some problems with bleeding, so the doctor didn’t want to do the hysterectomy until that was sorted out.  During this discussion with her, my mother led me to believe she was severely anemic and nothing more (not that anemia isn’t serious).

She tells me last weekend that the reason for the bleeding (she needed a transfusion of 3 pints of blood after the D&C) was liver failure.  She needs a liver transplant.  In some ways, I’m not surprised.  She was a heavy drinker all my life.

Before she can have the transplant she has to have 6 weeks of radiation.  Only then will they put her on the list if they are convinced the cancer is in remission.

I’m trying to figure why this has hit me so hard.  I honestly can’t say I love my mother.  She did too much shit for me to ever love her.  It’s taken me a long time to get over the bitterness, and I don’t think I’m totally over it. I’m confused, to say the least.  I have no control over this.  I hate feeling out of control.  And those caretaker instincts kick in.  I want to take care of her.  That’s what I did growing up.

I guess it boils down that I’m falling back into those old behaviors.  They caused me more distress growing up than I care to remember.  Just writing this out has helped some.

Add this little twist…  I have no idea what has triggered my anxiety the last 3 weeks or so.  I’ve been having severe panic attacks, especially at night.  I haven’t slept well in a couple weeks as well.  All this together is sending me into a depressive episode that’s slightly too deep for my comfort.  I’ve temporarily boosted the Zoloft back to 100mg a day.  I had been stable at 75 for quite a while.

I’m tired.  I don’t know any other way to put it.  Work takes every ounce of my available energy.  Putting on a happy face and singing silly children’s songs all morning is nearly more than I can bear.  I want to hide in my closet.  I have to keep my doors closed because I can’t stand to hear the kids screaming during lunch time.  None of these are good signs.

Sparkler Update

Sparkler is doing well. She’s getting big. She’s getting very big. I hope she stops growing soon. She used to fit in the palm of my hand. No more.

She definitely has a personality of her own. She lets me know when she’s unhappy with something. She can be very loud at 6 o’clock in the morning when she needs food or water. She seems to like the “other stuff” (the seeds and such) in her food better than the guinea pig pellets, so I bought a bag of the other stuff to mix in with her food. She still also loves oranges, peppers and cucumbers.

So now for a few pictures…

Enjoy!

A Letter

April 26, 2008

Dad,

I’m tired of stuffing my feelings. I’m tired of pretending that I don’t hate what you did to me. I’m tired of ignoring the insanity of my childhood.

Never was my life a bed of roses. I worked hard to get where I am today. And as sure as I am that I am a huge disappointment to you and Mom, that isn’t necessarily a reality. I’m trying harder to accept that there are people who think I’m good at my job. And it warms my heart when one of my students say “I love you, Teacher!”

It’s taken me a very long time to figure out that life is wroth living. I now realize I spent way too much time contemplating how to end my life. And it’s a miracle that I never tried to end it. When things got really bad, I was lucky to have people to turn to. I was extremely lucky to have J, P, J, R, L and Dr. M in college. I was just as lucky to have L and Dr. D in grad school.

I’m angry. I’m very angry. That’s a hard thing for me to say. All those years you taught me that being angry wasn’t okay. It was fine for you to be pissed off at the entire universe. But for me, I had to be the perfect little lady. I could never let my emotions show.

To this day, I’m never really sure what to do with my emotions. I’m trying, slowly but surely, to learn how to express my emotions safely and in a healthy way. It has been a huge challenge for me.

I don’t know how I feel about you. I know I hate your actions. But I don’t know if I hate you. I know I don’t love you. I don’t feel any sort of emotional attachment to you.

I don’t know whether to hate you or pity you. I’m quite certain horrible things were done to you when you were a child. But that isn’t an excuse for what you did to me. That isn’t a reason. You made the choices you made. No one made you follow the path you did. And now, I have to live with those choices.

The good thing that has come out of this is that I’ve made different choices than you made. I have broken the cycle abuse. My method may not be the healthiest, but it is effective. I have chosen to not have a family of my own. And even though that’s unthinkable for you, I know it’s the right choice for me.

It’s taken me a long time to finish this letter. At times, the emotions were just too much. I had to put them, and this letter, away for awhile. And even though it’s been slow, it’s been a huge step forward. I didn’t run away as I would have in the past. I persevered. Progress is progress, no matter how slowly it may be made.

And even though this has been hard, it’s taught me one thing. I am a stronger person than I give myself credit for.

Storms

Nightmare city tonight…

It’s not secret I’m freaked out by thunderstorms. They were predicting them all day. They never arrived. That’s a good thing.  As I’ve written out the dream, I’ve put some comments in parentheses, mostly possible symbolism.

So in this dream, I’m in some sort of a summer house with a sun room.  You know, one of those glassed in room deals (feelings of exposure).  I’m sleeping on the floor and my mother is sleeping in the bed.  Why in the world is the sun room set up like a bedroom (so much happened in the bedroom)?  No idea.  The dream starts out with me sleeping.

All of a sudden it starts storming.  Just a little storm, nothing really bad.  The type of lightening that just lights up the whole sky and some rumbling thunder.  But it’s enough to wake me up in the dream.

So I wake up and after a minute or so, the little thunder storm turns into a rip roaring insane storm.  The lightening is the cloud to ground kind.  The thunder is the kind that booms and shakes the entire house.  In the dream, the lightening changes colors, usually centered around the reds and golds (anger???).  At times it seems to be in slow motion.  As I’m busy freaking out, I keep thing “Oh wow, this would make an awesome picture.” (trying to find some normalcy???).

I sit up and I’m shaking.  I’m doing the whole hypervigilance thing.  I’m waiting for the walls of this flimsy sun room to blow in or out at any moment.  I can see them bending and hear them groaning as the wind blows.  I start screaming.

If the dream stopped there, I don’t think it would have bugged me so much.  But in this dream, I start clinging to my mother.  I’m an adult in the dream, but I literally wrapped myself around her legs.  It wasn’t her reaction that bothers me.  She basically just kicked me away.  It was me as an adult going to her for comfort when I know damn well, she wouldn’t do anything to help.  The futility of it all is what drives me crazy.

I know I long for a mother figure and a father figure.  I long for parents who would have loved and nurtured me.  I don’t think that’s all that abnormal.  In fact, if I didn’t, I think I’d be more worried about my mental health.

So basically, it’s 3:30 AM.  I’m waiting for the Ativan to kick in.  I’m biding my time by writing this and fooling around on Facebook (god can that be a time sink).  I have the irrational longing to go to the convenient store across the street and buy a couple beers to get rip roaring drunk, either that or a bottle of Soju (10 bucks versus a buck).  I won’t, because I’ve taken the Ativan and rationality should ensue quickly.  And I won’t because I know that getting drunk won’t solve anything.  Oh yes, and I actually need to get stuff accomplished tomorrow (errrr…. today) and being hungover would definitely put a kink in the getting stuff done mode.

OK, random thought before I go to bed.  This is well over 500 words.  Any of you remember when it took hours to write 500 words?  I remember having to write a 500 word essay on “A Tale of Two Cities” as part of our summer AP English assignment.  I remember counting each and every one of those words (yes, this was back in the day before spell check and word count in word processors — PFS Write for an Apple IIC if you must know) and rejoicing when I hit the 500 word point.  It took me days to get get there.  OK, well over 600 words now.  And I banged this out in what?  Fifteen minutes?

Mother’s Day

I always end up with mixed feelings on Mother’s Day.

Sometimes I think my mother was just as much a victim as I was. Sometimes I even feel some empathy for her. I don’t know with 100% confidence that my grandfather did the same things to her, but it’s a pretty good bet. Things like that just don’t start.

And then there are the time when I just hate her. She made the choices she did. She walked away when she saw what my father was doing to me. She allowed that cycle of abuse to continue. I’m not saying it would have been easy for her to intervene and get me help. But it would have been the right thing to do. She saw kids day in and day out at work who were going through similar circumstances. She helped them, but she couldn’t help me.

I’m sitting here writing this and I realize just how angry I am. It has taken me years and years to get to the point where I can feel anger. It’s not a pleasant feeling, but it isn’t nearly as bad as I imagined it would be. There are no lightening bolts coming in through my windows. The earth isn’t spinning off its axis. The city hasn’t self destructed. It is really windy outside, though.

I still question whether I have the right to be angry. Maybe I should just suck it up and accept things were the way they were. But just the fact I can feel some anger is a good sign.

I’m angry because of all thing things I’ve lost in my life. I’m angry for the thousands and thousands of dollars I spent on treatment to deal with the hell my parents put me though. I’m angry because it just wasn’t fair. Life is rarely fair, but my childhood goes beyond the whiny “It’s not fair” things.

Okay. I need to go take some Ativan before I totally wig out. I’m still mostly all right, but I can feel the panic rearing its ugly head.