• the anomaly that is me

    stronger roots

    Fourteen years ago today, our apartment was on fire. Seven years ago today a man jumped off a building and landed at my feet. On Monday it will be thirteen years since we picked up the keys to this, our first (bought) home. As of Wednesday we officially have an Ontario address, and by the end of April our first home will be passed over to its new owners, and over the course of the month, we’ll be moving slightly West to our new (temporary) home. That’s a lot, huh? And yeah, I focus on numbers way too much. Or maybe not enough. And I won’t lie, because I focus so intently on those numbers, I have been dreading today more than I have dreaded this date in a while. If it was exactly seven years between two major life suckage events, what would this year, another seven years passed, have in store? But today has been sunshine, and warmer weather, and I am home. I had 100% hoped to have been living in my new town, in my new place by March 2020, but life didn’t work out that way. And right now, the world is a freaking scary place. Not just for me. But I am far away from tall buildings. I am comforted by my husband, my dogs, and even yes, the cat. My Mum checked in on me. I have been sent love virtually that is just so appreciated that it’s almost physical to touch. (But…

  • the anomaly that is me

    different struggles for different muggles

    These are sort of crazy times right now, amirite? But for me (well, us), they are pretty normal. Having been off work for a few months, and also being socially anxious and introverted, staying home every day is the dream. The total dream. The hard part, for us, is LEAVING the house to DO things. We aren’t fans. The more I stay home, the more difficult I find it to force myself to leave the house. We do groceries online (not right now though because I don’t want my food to arrive two weeks from when I need it), we order take-out online, we do whatever we can online to avoid phone calls, or people. I love being home “doing nothing”. I fill my days with naps, reading, naps, art, naps…etc. And right now, we also add in packing so we can move. (Which is scheduled in April, so timing is just WONDERFUL.) When I am not working my health improves. My chronic migraines and other pain, go away. My stomach issues go away. My exhaustion goes away. But I do get anxious when I need to leave the house for any reason. And then without the work income, the mental health stress is worse. Because you need to pay your bills, right? Winning the lottery hasn’t worked out for me yet. But by golly, if that ever happens we will become full-time recluses. For real. The only outside I’d encounter would be on my own property so I can…

  • the anomaly that is me

    loss & lost

    there are a multitudeof words and emotionscrashing around inside my headand heart none want to escape theirdark, swirly, hideawaysand find themselves on paperor screen. these days I see nothing butmemoriesof who lived within each boxof 28, 30, or 31 daysI know it’s just a matter of perceptiona glass half empty / half fullsort of filter when I look at the calendarbut right now, all I see are empty spaceswhere family, friends, pets, and loved onesused to be this date used to celebrate that personthat date used to celebrate this personempty boxes that represent empty spacesin my heart, and in the world. and six years ago today, when my life changedfor better or for worse(who knows)perceptions changed, priorities changed.but I’m still not sure howor what I want to change I have been wandering, lost.through a maze of possibilitiesuncertainty trailing behind me like a shadowwhat I thought I needed, wasn’t what I neededwhat I thought was the right path, turned out to be a dead endand somehow, I am back at the startall over againor, maybe not.maybe it’s a new direction, from the same entrance, but with differentpossibilities and goals to achievemaybe it’s not the same start, but a new one Still.I look at those empty boxes on the calendarand all I see is lossa birthday that is now a memorya deathday that reminds me, yet again, of the empty spaceeach loved one, human or animal,now has two empty boxes within 365 dayssometimes moreand I have lost so much time myselfbecause of…

  • Uncategorised

    fauxplessness

    The good news: After four years, I have finally gotten to the point where I am confident I have overcome the trauma I suffered in March 2013. I am no longer broken. I am scarred, but not broken. This means my doctor and I have been slowly decreasing the medication originally prescribed to help glue me together. I am looking forward to being medication-free once more. The bad news: The first week of a decrease in medication is rough. It varies in difficulty per person, per medication, and even per dosage. And sometimes that roughness sends you into spiral of complete and total hopelessness. There’s no point in anything. There is no hope. No light. No reason. But it’s not a true hopelessness. It’s false. I call it faux-plessness. Because I know everything isn’t hopeless. I know I am OK. But my brain is currently trying to figure out why it feels weird. My body is looking for extra dosages of whatever it was in those yellow and white pills. I guess it’s looking for the white part, because the pills I’m on now are all yellow. I feel like total crap this week. From dizzy spells, to nausea, to random bouts of paranoia and anxiety, to a deep, suffocating sadness that convinces me there’s no hope for anything in my life. My head is in a fog. I want to cry one second, rage the next. I feel abandoned by friends that I love, and yet feel a total…

  • the anomaly that is me

    the healing power of a bookstore

    Hey, you know what? It’s the 27th of March today. And, like, I knew it was the 27th of March today because I know I’m working on the 27th, but I didn’t realize it was MARCH 27. As in traumaversary March 27th. (Warning: not a happy post in that link.) As in PTSD issues March 27th. Until I thought of the date and then did a mental double-take when I realized what day it was. Normally I am hyper-aware of when this date is about to arrive. I have many sleepless nights, nightmares when I DO sleep, random panic attacks, and more leading up to the end of March. It’s been the norm for the past 3 years. And yet, I really have not thought about this at all. And today, when I realized what day it was… I have had no reaction. Maybe tonight, now that I am thinking about it (but not obsessively thinking about it!) I might have a nightmare or something. But to be honest, I feel so calm, and NORMAL that I don’t feel like that will happen at all. Because I removed myself from so much that reminded me of the trauma. I am no longer downtown. I am no longer walking to the office I was walking to when it happened. I am in a job that keeps my brain busy, my body busy, and my mood HAPPY. So, so happy. The trauma was always in the back of my mind for so long.…

  • after the fire,  the anomaly that is me

    missing: me, myself, and I

    Sometimes a lyric deeply resonates with you. You hear it and your entire world stops. The only thing you know is, “This. This is exactly what I feel but I couldn’t put words to it.” And it’s amazing how much can change in a decade. And it’s strange what dates we cling to as we keep track of time. Some people have said I should let go of these dates, but I can’t. I don’t want to. They are a reminder of how much of the battle I have fought, and not lost. ——- Ten years ago today, I was 30. I had just been offered a new job a couple of days prior. Our apartment burned down in the evening. Ten years ago. So much has happened since then. So many changes. I’m still in the same job I had just been offered. I’m now 40. I own a house. We didn’t lose anything important in the fire. Shawn was home when the flat above us went up in flames. He was able to get out with the dogs. I came home early from work. We watched firefighters battle the blaze for over 4 hours. We didn’t know where we’d live. But it worked out. We survived. We got stronger. ——- Three years ago today, the sky came crashing down.  It has taken me a long time to realize that my trauma from this event isn’t just seeing a life end in front of me, in one of the most…

  • the anomaly that is me

    peripheral participation

    I don’t want to participate. I just don’t feel like it. It may look like I’m participating because I’ll post something on social media; I’ll update a status; I’ll take a photo of the dogs (mainly Yoshi). But I’m not participating. I don’t read emails, I don’t read private messages on FB. If I do, I don’t reply. I don’t want to reply. I honestly don’t feel like interacting with the world these days. I’m not scrolling through news feeds to see what your doing. I follow, and speak with, only a handful of close friends these days. They are all I am comfortable with right now. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the kindness and concern directed at me. I truly feel lucky to have people in my life who care about me and want to help. But I don’t have the energy to explain everything over and over to people. I don’t want to. And for some, even though I don’t keep what happened to me a secret in any way, I just don’t feel like spilling all the details. I have a very close, tight, bubble around me at the moment and only a small number of people are allowed past those walls. It’s all I can handle. I am avoiding requests to come over, and hang out, or having people want to come over and hang out. Nope. Can’t do it. Don’t want to do it. But thank you for caring about me. Honestly. It means…

  • the anomaly that is me

    aKNITction

    My new addiction: knitting. Turns out that knitting is quite helpful at dealing with anxiety. The repetitive motions and the feel of the needles and yarn are rather soothing. And, well, if you have an addictive personality (like I do), it suddenly becomes ALL you want to do. Two weeks ago I needed to up my mental health healing game. Painting the craft room wasn’t cutting it (and I still need to finish that room, sigh.) So I took myself to Michael’s and WalMart and bought myself some yarn and needles and was determined to teach myself to KNIT. I failed almost immediately because I couldn’t figure out how the heck to cast on to start a knitting project. Thanks to a video chat with my wonderful friend Jeanna, I figured out a very basic way to cast on that I could actually DO. And then I began to knit. And knit. And KNIT! I was a non-stop knitting machine! The simple garter stitch, over and over. It was calming and fun. I am in love with multi-coloured yarn. I can’t even seem to buy any yarn that’s only one colour. I like the rainbows that show up with multi-coloured yarn. I wanted an infinity scarf and very soon, I had one. This took me five days to complete. I also watched 2.5 seasons of Law & Order SVU while knitting. This was my second attempt at a scarf, the first yarn I bought was too fuzzy and fragile for…

  • the anomaly that is me

    the colour of healing

    I don’t know if I’ll be back at work next week or not. Personally, I don’t think I should be, but I guess that’s up to the doctor to decide. I’m still not sleeping and having stupid panic attacks all the time. I’m sad, I’m angry, I’m manic, I’m exhausted. But I have an appointment tomorrow, and we’ll see what’s what. Also, it’s 5pm and the sun is still out. Time change this weekend, which always makes me tired (will I even notice a difference?) which means MORE light at the end of the day. I like that. Meanwhile, in my random manic moments, I am channeling that energy into finally making myself a craft room area. We took the single bed out of the room (which was really only used to hold JUNK), and cleared out a ton of other stuff, and now I have a space to create the way I want. And right now, I want to be surrounded by blues and teals. This is odd, because I generally do not like blue. But blue is calling to me right now. I mentioned on facebook that I hope I still like blue/teal when this current ptsd set-back is over, because I’m ALL IN right now. Paint, decor, etc. Clearing out the junk took a while. Because… JUNK. But once it was all cleared out, I could put my new desk together (that Shawn got me for Christmas), and take my sewing machine out of the box (which…

  • the anomaly that is me

    place holder

    I don’t remember what I was going to write about when I began this post on February 22nd, and wrote the subject line only. It probably had to do with what’s been going on in my head and how I’ve been struggling lately. I have a second post in drafts that I began last Thursday, and I even made a graphic for it. It was, and is, supposed to be an upbeat, positive post. Only when I went to write anything –  all energy and motivation left me. Which is what I think happened with this post, too. It’s almost as if I deflate like a balloon when it’s time to get the words out. Words I need to get out to help myself heal. I’m having a difficult time. I haven’t been sleeping. Not since somewhere mid-January. I’m currently off work for a week or so. I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back next week if I am still not sleeping. The increased medication, and the anti-anxiety pills I was given aren’t helping – yet. In short: PTSD sucks. It sucks big time. I can’t control reactions. I try, but it doesn’t always work. I work so hard at being OK. I work so hard at being healthy and on top of anything that might seem to be a trigger or a downward spiral. I work at it. I get help. I don’t like asking for help. I don’t like that I can’t control this and just…

  • the anomaly that is me

    1027

    The number of songs currently on my iPhone, and I don’t want to listen to any of them. They are all annoying me. I just skip, skip, skip, past each one. I stop, thinking I’ve found a song I want to listen to, but then skip it half-way through. I hate this feeling. I hate days like this. Well, more like weeks. I had over 2000 songs on here until recently, but got rid of most of them, keeping only those I was more inclined to let play.  Alas, not so much any more.   So, I can’t read, and now I can’t listen to music. My two main outlets are currently out of service. I keep rustling my feathers, unable to sit still. I could really use a break from all of this.

  • my muse

    i’m not ready yet

    It was cold and grey the day the sky came crashing down without warning the sky is falling And I will never forget that sound And you came running And everyone was running And I waited for screams that never came Is it the end of the world? Is this the end of the world? Cause if this is the end of the world,               I’m not ready yet Through chilled air there were sirens muted by silence; muffled by fear And I stood frozen in time your hand was in mine Disbelieving everything Is it the end of the world? Is this the end of the world? Cause if this is the end of the world,               I’m not ready yet Through all the chaos and everything we have lost like dominos it all fell one by one It pulled the trigger, making the worst get bigger and we’ve fallen in the rabbit hole down and down But we will climb back up with time Now a year has past since the sky fell We’re rebuilding our walls and our foundations Because it all was shattered it’s slow piecing it back together And if it’s the end of world I don’t want to know               I’m not ready yet © cjh november 2, 2014

  • the anomaly that is me

    sometimes, you just need to be your parents’ little girl again, even if you’re all grown-up

    I am still dealing with my PTSD. I am still not quite ok. I am much better than I was 3 months ago, but I am still unable to work a full 5-day work week. I just want to get through March. Today (Wednesday) and tomorrow (March 27) is the one-year mark for my trauma and the jumper. I knew I didn’t want to be anywhere near downtown this week, I didn’t want to be anywhere near work. So I did something that seems to be quite helpful: I escaped my home and city and came to visit my parents in a completely different Province. I’m currently blogging from the bottom bed of a bunk bed (I am sadly above the weight limit for the top bunk) in my parents’ house. I have come alone, letting my husband have a much needed vacation from me. 😉 I have been driven around, and fed, and entertained by my parents for the last 2 days and they have made me all of my favourite foods, and even altered some to make them gluten free for me. I took a train. One-way, since my parents are driving me back home since they were coming back to Montreal this weekend anyhow. I spoiled myself and nabbed a discounted business class train ticket for the trip here. I was served a wonderfully delicious gluten free meal on the train. (Seriously, Via Rail has managed to impress me three times so far with the quality of…

  • Uncategorised

    broken

    I’m supposed to write about this. Write it down and get it out of my head. Write it down and change the memory. Make the memory more safe and less jarring, sharp edges that slice me open every time I close my eyes. I’m supposed to feel safe, and comforted as I re-live an event that I thought I had managed to overcome but is apparently still with me and is trying to claw its way out. Turns out delayed onset of PTSD is a thing. Who knew? I didn’t. I thought everything I did to help myself get over the shock and horror of the jumper guy back in March was enough. I thought I was ok. I thought I had dealt with it and moved on. But I’m not ok. At least, not right now. Right now I am a broken mess. I am pieces of a person I don’t even recognize anymore. Nothing I see has colour or sparkle – even the glitter ornaments I just made this weekend. I am a shadow of myself. I am grey and bland. I wasn’t just not dealing with November for any old reason though. That’s sort of nice to know. By the end of the month I was so broken I didn’t think I could be repaired. I couldn’t cope with anything – I still can’t, although I think I am very slowly on the mend. I had a breakdown in my boss’s office and I knew, just knew,…

  • the anomaly that is me

    monday madness

    I’m not one of those people specifically hates Monday. I will happily hate whatever day of the week I have to wake up and go to work on. Mondays do not have the sole monopoly on bad days, but sometimes they can get a little crazy. Did you know that Monday, July 22 was a full moon? I did. So really, none of the crap that happened yesterday came as much surprise, but I did find myself thinking that this Monday was particularly Monday-ish. The morning was comfortable temperature-wise and as I was standing at the bus stop, sleepily awaiting the bus I noticed a small dog come around the corner, cross the street and meander across laws while peeing on every dandelion and shrubbery in its path. In fact, one particular clump of dandelions must have really caught his attention because he peed on them about 5 times. Since the bus was about to come speeding down the street, I knew I couldn’t run after the dog, and I was pretty sure it belonged to a house three doors down from us (and on another street!) I called Shawn and asked him to come out and try and corral the pooch and bring it home. Of course as Shawn came around the corner and headed towards the little scruff of a dog, the dog took off and ran out into the street and nonchalantly walked around me (as I tried to grab him) and then the bus came. So…