At First I thought that Donald Trump was making me lose my hair . . .

But then I remembered that I have been this stressed out about life before and not had hair fall out in clumps.  Maybe shed more than usual, but not in clumps.

It’s been happening for 3 weeks now.  It slowed down for a while and then last night I had Child #2 look for bald spots and she found twice as many as before, but I also think she pointed out the same one three different times.  She also pointed out places it is just thinning.  And told me to change my part or it would show.  Also, some spots have stubble and are growing back, but the big bald spot that I found first, right in the front in my hairline is smooth and has no sign of hair growing back EVER.

This is when I freaked out and spent the night wondering how sparse it will get and when I should just shave it off.  Also I look terrible in hats.  And my face is not made for baldness.  I would have to tattoo hair on my bald head.  Or buy a wig.  But then I’m so clumsy and scattered it would be halfway off my head all day before I would notice.  And if I go to see my doctor, will she find the cause or will she say she has no idea.  And if they take my thyroid out will I be out of work long because my husband can’t carry us, so I’ll have to go back to work with a big bandage around my neck and tell people not to freak out.

I didn’t sleep well last night.

I called the doctor’s office this morning and they are closed.  Because it’s the one day of the year that I need them.

Anxiety in a car and bad neighbors on the same stupid day

I’m just going to post my email to Abrah, because she understands my anxiety so I always feel better after telling her about it.

I went out to my garden to weed.  It was still looking okay after all the flooding and downpours and quarter size hail while we were in Denver.  AND THEN our new neighbors who moved into a small duplex about a month ago with 4 dogs, 3 vehicles and a boat and cut down trees to move in a huge shed, running over our water pipes to the backyard.  Well, I look at my corn and peas by the fence that separates us and everything was orange.  They had used a sprayer to stain their side and the fence has gaps between the boards, like 2 inch gaps, and they had sprayed all my corn, peas, half the lettuce, and the peppers and some other things that may or may not continue to grow.  I went in the basement and cried while Nick went over and yelled at them.  The guy went off and came back with a handful of seed packets.  As though I can just replant in early July when my corn was almost knee high.  Nick told him that that wasn’t good enough to cover all our hard work and so the neighbor threw the packets on the ground and kicked them.  And threw a bag of topsoil and one of grass seed against his own house, bursting it all over his rocks.
There’s really nothing to do to fix this.  They also are raising two bloodhounds as rescue dogs and the woman cornered me a couple of weeks ago, yelling “Is Joe still in Jail?” and then she told me that she couldn’t put collars on the puppies because they whine so much.  So she takes them off. And then how she got into a fight with the neighbor behind us because he yelled over the fence for her dogs to shut up and she told him that his bark just as much.
So I was just heartbroken about my garden and no apology fixes idiocy and bad neighbors and then Nick had this excellent idea of going for a ride in the mountains on a “road that should be fine” but which really goes along the face of a cliff for a while here and there and I ended up walking and swearing at him because I was trying not to lose it and have multiple panic attacks.  And he didn’t understand any of it.  Just like when we were taking off in planes and he didn’t understand that I’m better off closing my eyes and concentrating on grounding myself and breathing.  He kept telling me I’d be better if my eyes were open. 
Anxiety builds on itself.  All the plane flights, the drives to and from Denver, Nick driving in the rain at night on a bad road,  the girls’ plane being “off the radar” and landing 45 minutes lateit all adds up, like a storm cloud brewing, building turning dark and dangerous.  And I breathe my way through it.  Control.  Control.  But then my neighbors spray oil and stain all over my garden and my control slips.  There is never a good time to put me in a car on the edge of a mountain, but definitely not as the storm edges across the valley toward me.

Anxiety is always with me, but things trigger it and raise that general base level I walk around with every day.  I think years of not knowing when the attacks would come have trained my body to always be on guard.   It’s not a logical thing.  Reason does not talk it away.  And it’s very personal to me, and not based on what someone near me thinks about how dangerous something is, or what exactly there is to fear.  I didn’t pick it.  It chose me.

Just like my new neighbors.  Some sad pictures:


 

This one is sad too for different reasons:

And this just creeps me out:

Is it PMS or does everything just happen on the same day?

I’m seriously annoyed.   I tried.  I really did. 

You know that dream everyone has that they are at school and don’t have their work done, or are in the wrong class, or are without some article of clothing? 

It seems to be happening to me weekly now, in real life.

I show up when I’m supposed to and then find out I should have been there 2 hours earlier only no one told me.  And then it’s like, well what am I supposed to do?  I feel like an idiot.  I look confused.  I don’t even want to go to the meetings I know I’m supposed to be at the rest of the day.

And I volunteered!  That’s the worst of it.  I don’t HAVE to be there. 

So if it isn’t happening, then I QUIT.  Because I’m not supposed to be there.  So I’ll just go do something else.  Maybe I’m supposed to be doing something else. 

I think that instead, I’m going to sit here and think about what I want to do with my spare time.  I’m going to do some yoga and drink some coffee and enjoy myself!

Existential Crisis Solved

I was going to post about nipples, but I’ll save that for later.

I was walking down the hall at work yesterday when a co-worker asked if I wanted to go to a training with her.  An EMDR training.  In San Diego.  This only seemed absurb for about half a second.  Then my existentially hungry for some kind of input self kicked in.  Why the hell not? 

Registration made, plane tickets looked at.  Hotel on the ocean or near the training?  Seafood?  What time does it get dark so we can watch the sunset from the cliffs?  These are much better questions than why am I here and what am I supposed to be doing.

I’ll write about nipples when I get a change.  During the 3 days a week that I work there is very little time for anything else.

An Existential Crisis

I used to wake up with panic at 3 a.m.   I still do.  My reasons were different a couple of years ago.  I had a job that was my dream job, except that I didn’t make enough to live on.  I knew I had to move on from my apartment in the ghetto.  I was struggling so hard to just survive with 3 kids that I didn’t have time to think about anything else.

And I’m not complaining now.  I have everything I was working so hard to get, or waiting for since I was young.  An awesome husband, a nice home, some extra spending cash, a good job, a good degree, feeling safe and secure.  When you’re living just to survive and then you get everything you want, you SHOULD just be happy, right?

Well, yes and no.  Happiness isn’t the end of the road.  It isn’t ever after.  And believing it should happen just means there’s more anxiety when it just isn’t that way.   Sure, I’m happy.  But now I have more time on my hands, less things to dream about, and happiness is . . . boring.  Who would want to read a book where the main character is happy all the time?

It hit me two weeks after I turned 40, this existential crisis of mine.  My time suddenly felt LIMITED.  There is an end point to it all.  I couldn’t see that before, back when I was just scraping by and waiting until something good would come along.  Now I can picture myself growing older in this exact spot.  My children are going to grow up and move out.  It’s only a matter of time before they will box up my things and talk about my life.

Morbid?  No.  The beginning of life is all about adventure and creating a life.  It’s full of big, usually vague, plans of DOING SOMETHING.  Something important.  Something to change things.  But then things change to something to leave behind, a legacy, not being forgotten.  The big existential questions wake me up at night.  Why are we here?  Is there any meaning in this?  What is life anyway?   And how do I fill in the rest of my life with worthwhile things instead of just passing the time, which is what the first third of my life feels like?

This is where my life does fit into Maslow’s pyramid.

I’ve been living on the bottom two steps for too long.  And when you’re down there, you don’t have time to think about other things as much.  Some, but not much.  Now I’m working on the upper three.  I have a great relationship, but not so many friends.  All this moving around has been hard on friendships.  I have some achievement, but am not licensed yet and am still insecure on my professional self-esteem and heading out on my own one day.  I have some of the self-actualization, but lack spontaneity and creativity.  It’s nice to be working my way up the ladder, but at the same time, things are difficult up here and working on some of these things is almost as scary as the bottom two.

Some of my morning anxiety is also over uprooting myself last June and starting all over again on many of these things.  This move has been difficult for me.  I’m not as adventurous as I used to be.  Not as able to pick up and do it again.  I don’t have young children to hide behind.

As I prepare myself for their exit from my home I have to find myself all over again.  They have defined me for too long.   What does one do when the job of mother, cook, cleaner, counselor, finder of lost things, and all that other stuff I spend almost all my time doing, goes away?

Batter’s Tactics, Domestic Violence, and different forms of Abuse

Almost every day someone finds my blog while searching online for these things.  I’ve been meaning to post better lists, but my resources are at my office.  Except for today, when I remembered to bring some home, which means I’m fending off the dementia well at 40.

Domestic Violence is a pattern of abusive behavior including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as other controlling tactics, used by one person to maintain power and control over a current or former intimate partner. (From the Duluth Abuse Intervention Project)  It is not necessary a single event, but can be.  It is not self-defense.  One partner is always the one with power, and the other without.  The one without power feels afraid for their life, health, sanity, pets, children, or belongings.

Examples of Physical Abuse:

  • Not meeting the victim’s basic physical needs.
  • Spanks, chokes, hits, kicks, punches, bites
  • Pushes, shoves, squeezes, pinches, pulls, restrains, shakes
  • Throws objects, at victim or at something else
  • Repeated hitting
  • Leaves bruises
  • Use of objects as weapons, sledgehammer, full glass of rum, car, etc.
  • Abuse where medical treatment is needed
  • Burns, broken bones
  • Internal Injuries
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Disfiguring
  • Homicide

Emotional Abuse:

  • Put-downs of the victim’s abilities or efforts
  • Isolation
  • Questions victim’s sense of reality
  • Demand’s victim’s time and attention
  • Resentful of children
  • Specific jokes about victim’s behavior or faults
  • Insults
  • Ignoring the victim’s feelings
  • Yelling, name calling
  • Scaring friends and family away
  • Repeated humiliation
  • Blaming the victim
  • Not taking responsibility for own action and saying the victim is responsible instead
  • Threats of violence or retaliation
  • Tells victim about affairs
  • Denies previous actions or events
  • Lies
  • Jealousy and accusations
  • Destruction of property
  • Threatens to take the children
  • Threatens suicide
  • Abuses pets

Sexual Abuse:

  • Denies victim privacy
  • Jokes about women in general
  • Looks at women as sexual objects
  • Accuses her of affairs
  • Minimizes victim’s feelings and neeeds
  • Criticizes sexually
  • Unwanted touch
  • Sexual name calling
  • Demands sex
  • Wants sex all the time
  • Forcing victim to strip
  • Forced pregnancy of abortion
  • Promiscuity
  • Using threats and pressure to get sex
  • Forcing sex with others
  • Rape
  • Using objects to cause pain or injury during sex

Let’s call it what it is, shall we?  It’s not just a bad relationship.  No one deserves any of it.  Domestic Violence is a pattern of some or all of the above behaviors that are use to control a partner.  To degrade self esteem.  To make it impossible to leave.  And the most astounding part is that the batterer is the one with low self esteem and such a sense of worthlessness and insecurity that they don’t know any other way to keep someone around.

I have a list of warning signs for new relationships.  I’ll post it later, after work.  I was thinking this was an uncheery kind of  Holiday post, but the Holidays are usually the worst time of year.

Fear of heights

The odd things was, Dickie longed to experience that feeling.  It wasn’t any kind of death wish:  there was not a suicidal cell in his body.  Rather, it seemed that the very sensation, the inner force that made Dickie’s scrotum tighten, his throat constrict, and his eyeballs swim in dizziness also made him want to tumble into the precipitous void.  And ultimately, his fear of longing to fall war greater, more disturbing, than his fear of falling.

Villa Incognita, by Tom Robbins

That is the best definition of the feeling I get at the top of a mountain that I’ve even come across.  It’s a disturbing feeling that I might throw myself over the edge just to see what it would feel like to fall out of the sky.  A joyous lunge.  A thrilling long jump.  A primal scream of furiously happy as I say SCREW IT to this world and leap out of the box.

And that’s why I hyperventilate and cling to trees.  Take my last valium and close my eyes to slits open only enough to not run into anything.  Why I never will sit on the edge.  It’s that uncomfortable feeling that I might lose control over myself for one second, and the next find myself in midair, riding the wind, all the way down.

The same feeling I get in important meetings that I might blurt out something completely ridiculously perverted and obscene.  And start laughing uncontrollably. 

Not a death wish at all.  A longing to feel free from the constraints that have me wearing matching socks, attempting to brush my hair, and not farting in public.