Categories
family Home Stress

All in the family

Family drama: part two.
Well, my husband had a talk with my mom today about my sister, and apparently whatever got up her butt just happened to explode last week, because the stuff she’s been complaining about has been going on for five years. Yeah, pretty much since I started having to do laundry at Mom and Dad’s to save money over the apartment laundromat, I’ve been disturbing her life and turning things upside down.
The new story isn’t about how I’m treating Mom but how my visits make my sister feel. She feels uncomfortable in her own home (Mom and Dad’s home, but she lives there). She doesn’t like us coming over to do laundry whenever we please (never mind that I always ask Mom if it’s okay before I come over), I don’t hang out with my sister like I used to (except I try to ask her if she wants to do stuff and she never joins in), and I “don’t seem like I care” about her (despite the fact that she hides in her room the entire time we’re over there and I make an effort to go to her room and ask how things are going).
Keep in mind that these things have been the same for five years. Since my husband and I moved out of our friend’s house and entered apartment life. The timing is freakin’ weird though. I mean, we are roughly a month away from moving into our own home where we will have our own washer and dryer and no need to mooch off Mom and Dad (if that is indeed what she thinks is going on). A month. And she chooses now of all times to start bitching? This is going to be a nonissue soon. We’ll be able to visit without our motives being called into question. Or will we?
I’m so mentally exhausted over this. I can’t win. Just because things are going right for me for once I’m suddenly this evil bitch.
Now that I now the “real” cause of my sister’s disdain, I was hoping I’d gain some insight as to how to smooth things over. No such luck. I am still as clueless as ever. Do I even bother? Will this blow over once I’m not invading her space anymore? Should I try to go over there sometime and talk to her? For some reason I don’t think that’s too bright of an idea. She has her viewpoint on things, and skewed though it may seem to me she’s set in her mentality. This has been stewing for so long that she has warped reality to fit with this viewpoint. Five. Years.
Why didn’t she speak up sooner? Why let something like this fester, and why bring it to the surface when the offending behavior is about to subside?
This house can’t be finished soon enough. Now I have to find someplace else to do my laundry for the next month. Don’t want to make my sister feel uncomfortable in her own home. Or something.
So done.

Categories
autoimmune Depression Exercise Fitness Health Mental Health Stress

Sneaky little sh!t

Well that was unexpected.
There I was, filling out a form at the rheumatologist’s office, when all of a sudden it hit me: I’ve been mild to moderately depressed for a good two or three weeks and I didn’t even notice.
I should have noticed, but I guess I’ve been so busy it just snuck up on me. I haven’t been super interested in the usual stuff, and that should have been a big sign. Combine that with the fact that I ran out of my meds, and it’s hard to believe I didn’t put two and two together. (Not to worry; all the meds are in the process of being refilled.) It just wasn’t until I checked the box stating that I have been experiencing depression that I even gave it a thought.
I guess that’s kind of a good thing, if you look at it a certain way. I was doing well enough for long enough that I almost–almost–forgot I am bipolar. Almost. So much else was going on that “bipolar” and “depression” kind of simmered on the back burner while I dealt with the now.
(Hubby just asked me what I’m writing about. I told him, and he has properly scolded me for not taking my meds.)
To prevent further issues, I have had the pharmacy put my meds on auto fill. Clearly I can’t trust myself to keep track of that kind of thing right now.
One thing that hasn’t surprised me is the increase in arthritis pain and stiffness lately. I’ve gotten out of the habit of exercising a couple of times a week and it’s taking a toll. Work schedules don’t allow for much exercise though, at least with my friends’ current regimen. Their best days and times happen to occur on the longest work days of the week for me, so I don’t get the opportunity to join them often. When the opportunity does arise, I’m usually so exhausted–both physically and mentally–that I just don’t have the drive to go. My joints have noticed the lack of exercise. Oh, how they have noticed. I can’t sit in one position too long or my knees get really stiff and uncooperative. Just this afternoon, on the way to the doctor, I got out of the car at a gas station and almost couldn’t walk inside. My left knee was so stiff and painful that I had to limp most of the way into the store and a little bit inside before I regained adequate range of motion. Not quite to “handicap parking”-level loss of mobility, but definitely not my norm.
I think I have a psychiatrist appointment next week. Better brace myself for the inevitable lecture on keeping up with my drug regimen. At least I am aware of the problem before I go in. I can try to remember not to automatically tell the doctor that everything is “fine.”
You’d be surprised how easy it is to slip into that automatic response no matter how bad things actually are. It’s become customary to say that you’re “fine” when someone inquires how you are doing. We don’t want to burden friends and family with our problems, we don’t want to sound like we’re whining, or whatever the reason happens to be. I have to get over that enough to let my doctor know what he needs to know. He can’t help if I don’t let him know there’s something going on, after all.

Categories
Depression family Home Mental Health Stress Thoughts

Stranger in a familiar land

I’ll be the first to admit: I don’t go over to my parents’ house as often as I should. Once a week for laundry and watching Project Runway and maybe dinner if we can swing it. I mean, we’re moving in right next door, so we’ll theoretically be there more often soon, right?
Well, maybe not. Apparently, visiting Mom whenever I get the chance and trying to get her to go to the doctor when she’s been sick for over a week and not going along to the dog training classes for her new service puppy qualifies as being “disrespectful” according to my little sister’s out-of-the-blue texts this afternoon. No warning, no prior complaints of lack of respect from her, but now it appears I’ve been treating Mom so poorly that sis “can’t watch” much longer. What. The. Actual. Fuck.
Never mind that our brother is in a constant state of getting himself arrested, lying to Moms face, bringing unsavory individuals into Mom’s home…I could go on, but that’s a blog for another day. Suffice it to say, I’ve suddenly been blacklisted in my parents’ house and I have no idea where this is coming from.
My sister has made her…distaste, let’s say…for my husband known for quite some time. She doesn’t like him yelling at the dog who jumps up on him and chews on his arm, and rather than be rational about it, she blows up. He doesn’t hit the dog, doesn’t make sudden angry movements. He yelled. And when he was instructed not to yell anymore, he stopped. But I guess not praising the dog when he didn’t know that praising was part of the training is “disrespectful.” We’re supposed to know the rules even though we didn’t even know the new training was going on until last Friday. And the few rules we were taught on Friday, we followed. But no, we are apparently not treating Mom right by not knowing how to train the dog.
There’s gotta be something else going on, something underlying. The dog training thing can’t seriously be the straw that broke the camel’s back unless there was a fucking crapton of straw piled up. If our brother can be the Grand Poo-bah of Fuckups that he is without repercussions or consequences, there has to be something that I’m missing.
I’m just too pissed to ask what it is without making things worse right now. I can’t be trusted to use my words in a productive manner until I’ve had a chance to calm down.
I haven’t broken the law. I haven’t brought a criminal to have dinner with Mom and the family, lied about still associating with said criminal, then gotten Mom involved in the legal ramifications of hanging out with said criminal. But I’ve been “disrespectful.”
Why the double standard? Why does our brother get away with his bullshit when I am living a responsible life and not getting Mom caught up in drama that only serves to further stress her out?
Okay, I guess I’ll go over it in this blog today. Why not? I’m venting familial frustrations, might as well go all out.
So if I were to list his transgressions here, the Web would run out of memory for it. He has been the playing the victim in his self-destructive actions for years, and he’s been pulling Mom into his insanity–both figurative and literal–for years as well. Don’t get me wrong; I love my brother, but I can’t condone or enable his actions any longer. He. Doesn’t. Learn. He just doesn’t. I don’t think he really wants to. Why bother learning from your “mistakes” when they’re 100% forgiven and forgotten? Clean slate #72. Time to fuck up again.
Me? I try to learn from my errors. I take my meds for the most part. I take responsibility when I forget or run out and I get a little “off.” I don’t go playing the blame game, sidestepping any true accountability. I have never been in trouble with the law, never gotten arrested, and the few times I ended up in the wrong crowd, I’ve extracted myself from the situation without getting my family involved in my mistakes. But no, I’m the disrespectful one.
I’ve got a stable, successful career. My first book is in the process of being published. I’m in the process of getting my own house built so I can get out of apartment life and have even more stability. I try not to impose on my parents unless I absolutely have to. If I didn’t need to do laundry there, I wouldn’t even use their house for that. I’d come over to visit and watch Project Runway and have dinner and then go back to my home and do laundry in my own washer and dryer.
Is that her issue? Does my sister think my weekly visits are 100% about the laundry? If so, she is woefully mistaken. I could easily DVR the show on my own and watch it from the comfort of my own home. I don’t have to go shopping with Mom on occasion to have some “us” time. I do these things to keep from losing all connection with the family that is growing into strangers, especially my mom. How is that disrespectful?
Maybe if I ever get over being so angry I’ll calm down enough to respectfully ask why my sister is so angry with me. She doesn’t seem to have a problem with our brother, so I don’t understand why this dog training thing suddenly resulted in a bunch of texts detailing what a horrible person I am.
I don’t want to become alienated from my family, but it’s looking like that’s the way the cards are falling. I typed up a post a few days ago about my brother and the fact that he was hospitalized last month after getting the shit beat out of him and no one in the household told me. No one. My own brother. In the hospital. With a broken orbit among other things. Not a freakin’ word. Combine that with today’s drama, and it makes the jabs about “disrespect” sting all the more. Perhaps that’s why I sound so hung up on my brother’s screw-ups. He gets himself beat to shit (likely because of associating with the criminal element I mentioned earlier), and not only does no one “respect” me enough to tell me, but they take him in and coddle him while I’m being cast out.

Categories
animals Cats family Fandom Friendship Geek Home

A River runs through

Today, our little “family” (myself, my husband, and our cat Rory) became complete with the addition of this tiny little darling:
IMG_20180317_164006434.jpg
Meet River, Rory’s new little playmate. Yep, we’re those annoying Whovians. Get over it 😉
River’s been home now for almost two hours, and she and Rory have been cautiously ignoring each other for about an hour. There was a lot of hissing and growling on both sides when she first arrived, and they haven’t been very close to each other, but I’m optimistic that once they get used to each other they’ll get along swimmingly.
Rory has always enjoyed playing with the cats living at my parents’ house when he went over there to visit, but he’s never had a permanent “sibling” living with him. He’s been, essentially, an “only child,” which means he’s never had to share his territory. For an animal like a cat, that’s a huge adjustment to make. I think they’ll be okay though. I wouldn’t be surprised if they start getting along within a couple of days at most.
I’m happy that River feels safe enough here to doze a bit. She’s still wary enough to fight going fully into a deep sleep, but she’s doing really well. I look forward to when she and Rory start playing together and cuddling and all the things that kitties do when they’re friends.

Categories
#nerd Celebrity Geek Social Media Thoughts

Into the Void

Pi Day, 2018: a sad day for nerds everywhere. It was “as if millions of voices suddenly cried out” when I read the news…
Stephen Hawking has died.
Now, I don’t claim to be a huge fan of physics. I’ve never read any of his work, and if I did I’m sure I’d be lost just perusing the forward, let alone delving into the inner workings of the mind of this incredibly brilliant man. I can kindamaybesorta understand the Schroedinger’s cat theory of physics. Kinda. Maybe. Sorta. But black holes and the universe as a whole? That’s wayyyyyyy beyond my comprehension. So why does it make me sad that Hawking has passed away?
I think I’ve figured it out. He was more than just a physicist. More than an theorist. More than the sum of his IQ. He was humorous. He put a smiling face out to the world when it must have taken all his effort to do so. He freakin’ guest-starred on a sitcom about nerd and geek life, not to mention the Futurama and Family Guy voice-overs. This was a guy who could take his disability and say yeah, it sucks, but I’m not going to let it be the be-all and end-all of who I am. Was he as well known for his disability as he was for his science? Yeah, but I think that’s more society’s fault than his own. I mean, he has no control over what perceptions people choose to focus on when they think about him. Human nature sucks sometimes. We zero in on the oddities and abnormalities and oftentimes overlook the light within the shell.
Where will Hawking’s light go now that he’s gone? He may have had a scientific mind, but the afterlife is kinda a personal ambiguity that is, in my opinion, unique to the individual. Are there fluffy clouds and angels and saints? Is it as empty and inescapable as a black hole? Are both true? I think that, for the sake of sanity, those are questions best left to each person to figure out and reconcile in their own way. I don’t know Hawking’s personal thoughts on the matter of life after death; I don’t know if he believed in an afterlife in the religious sense or if he was of the school of thought where we’re born, we live, we die, and we rot. And to be honest? I don’t care. That’s his afterlife. That’s where he chose to go, what he chose to believe, and if it gave him more comfort in life to believe that his mind ended when his body did, then so be it. More power to him. I for one will let my imagination wander a bit on this. I’d like to think that now he has answers to all the questions he ever had in life. I’d like to think that, free of his body’s limitations, he can now travel the galaxies and actually witness the inside of a black hole. I’d like to think that he knows now how accurate his theories were. I’d like to think that wherever or whatever he is now, he’s at peace.
I’m not quite as torn up as I was for Carrie Fisher’s death. I’m sad, but I’m not sobbing. A little tearing up, but that could be allergies to be honest. Maybe a little dry eye. Regardless, a great man is gone and it sucks that he had to go, but it’s great that he had the life he did. He was able to continue to use his mind even when his body betrayed him. He had the fortune to live in a time when technology could advance enough to prevent him from being completely trapped inside himself. It makes me a little verklempt. Okay, so maybe it’s not allergies. Or dry eyes.
The Age of Celebrity Deaths is far from over. We’re so immersed in the lives of our favorite celebs/public figures that we forget that we don’t always personally know them; we mourn as though we were present for all those media moments that awarded Very Important Person a spot in our hearts. The knife of death cuts deeper each time, but we’ve got to remember that every celebrity in history eventually comes to the same end we all come to. Some more violently and tragically than others, true, but it happens. Media saturation just makes it seem sadder than it has to be.
As I ponder these things, I think about my own eventual demise. Oh, don’t be like that; again, it happens to us all. I have no intention of speeding up the process by any means, but I need to start maybe living a little more. Write more. Make more art. Leave my own little mark on the world. Who knows? Maybe some day, in some distant future, some blogger fan of mine will be doing some pondering of their own as news of my passing reaches the media. They’ll be sad, they’ll tear up a little, and they’ll write up their own tribute that I’ll never get to read.
Or will I?

Categories
animals Cats Thoughts

Pitter-patter

No, no, it’s not what you might think. We’re not “expecting”–ZERO chance of that–but we’re expecting to be expanding our family soon. Our little Rory-kins is about to be a big kitty in a bigger house than he’s used to, and since we’ll be free from apartment life we’ve decided it’s high time we get him a little friend to play with.
We’re looking at two prospects in Phoenix, but one of them is highly sought-after according to the foster owner, so it will likely be the other. We’d like either one of them, really, and they’re both so stinkin’ cute on the Petfinder site! The best thing is both pet profiles state that the kittens do well with other cats, so that’s a definite bonus. We’d hate to go through the adoption process only to find that Cat X has territory issues or something.
Fingers crossed that Rory has a little brother or sister soon!

Categories
#nerd fencing Friendship Geek Home Parties SCA Social Media swordfighting Time

House(party) plans

Time is inching ever closer to the house being done! While there are still some things that need to be done before done is done, we’ve gotten started on some post-house-completion plans…party plans, that is.
We don’t have too much planned yet–just a couple of parties, one for work/family and one for SCA friends–but I’m surprised at the sheer number of names that came up when we made the SCAdian party invite list. I didn’t even realize I knew that many people, let alone that many that I’d invite to my house. It’s kind of weird. Not that I’m complaining; I like that I have that many people that I’ve met and talked to in person among the numerous friends on Facebook (that’s where the invite list came from) whom I haven’t even met. Who I haven’t met? Whom? Eh. That’s what editors are for.
Still, there is much to be done both before and after done is done before we are ready to party. We’ve got to close on the house, move all our crap in, get some new crap so we have places for these people to sit and congregate, unpack crap, set up a rapier course (still planning on that; can’t wait for it, either!), etc. Y’know, the usual housewarming-party-preparation stuff.
For the work party it’s going to be much smaller and more controlled (with less swordfighting 😉 ), but there’s still stuff to do to get ready. I’ve got to get a flyer made to post up at the offices, gotta get moved in, get crap unpacked, etc.
It’s so weird finding myself to be social when I’ve been so socially awkward and inept for so long. Now? Now I have friends. People who are interested in at least pretending that they’ll maybe come to the event I made, people who are interested in inviting other people to the party…kinda nifty.
I guess I should get to flyer-ing or something. Be productive. Stop blogging nonsense. 😉

Categories
#design Art Crafting Drawing Learning Original art Reading SCA Sewing

Pot calling the kettle argent

So after finishing my first Arts & Sciences project (or at least the physical part–not the documentation yet), my husband decided he wanted a similar thing for himself, which means more embroidery. I’m cool with that and all, but I have to find a design for what he wants…and there aren’t too many period-esque cooking pot drawings.
My hubby is definitely the cook in the family. I can manage mac and cheese, ramen, and some salads/sandwiches. That’s the majority of my cooking “skill.” And I’m talking box mac and cheese, not scratch. So for his SCA device, he chose a couple fleshpots (an oldschool type of cooking pot) as part of it, and since I used part of my device (a swan) on my piece, he wants a cooking pot on his. I can do it, but we were hoping to find a Viking-type or knotwork design, and Google is not providing any such thing. So together we’re working on a compromise in the form of a period-style circle around whatever design of pot I choose. Or he chooses. I don’t know; as far as I know he hasn’t found what he wants yet.
I was going to start the embroidery this weekend, but unfortunately we didn’t have the pot design picked out before we left for our weekend trip. I could freehand something, but I want this to be neater and more precise than what I can sketch. I might have to wing it, though, if I want to start today. I might just read instead. I have a book that I’m reading for my research paper portion of my A&S entries, and I plan on bringing that to the SCA thing today as well. Give myself options. Or something.
Well, almost time to go. Gotta get my stuff together and get cracking. Embroidery or research…what will it be?

Categories
#design Art Crafting Depression Health Mental Health Novel Sewing Thoughts

All mixed up

I am feeling great. Got my first Arts and Sciences project done (except for the research/documentation), work this week hasn’t been too bad… so why am I not feeling so great?
Oh yeah: mixed episode. It seems that I’ve entered one of those recently. Not quite sure when exactly, but I’m noticing that even though I think I feel fine, I’m not taking as much interest in the things I’m usually interested in. I have a research paper for A&S that I’ve been dying to jump into, but I can’t seem to make myself read more than a couple of paragraphs at a time. I was all excited to finish the physical work on the first project, but instead of feeling accomplished I feel… empty. I’m not writing, I’m not tweeting, I’m not doing much of anything that I usually do with my free time.
I think the art project was providing enough momentum to keep me going, but although I don’t feel like I’m depressed, I’m not acting like I’m not. Makes no sense? Well, it doesn’t make sense to me either.
I’m hoping that my mental state picks up soon. Well, not too up. Mid-level. Hell, just plain level would be nice.
Some day. I can’t be down all the time.

Categories
#design Art costuming Crafting Critique Education Learning Reading SCA Sewing Tattoo Time

Niche-y

I have a new place in the art world, and it’s an interesting one. Thanks to my new interest in embroidery, I have become the maker of belt ends.
Let me explain:
My husband weaves belts and trim, and he’s made a few now for “foreign” royalty. One thing he wanted was a way to end the belts that would look nice and be functional. Our solution? Tiny, 1.5-2″ embroidered coats of arms sewn into little sleeves, into which I slide the end of the belt, and then it gets sewn shut. Ta-da! Belt doesn’t unwind, and it’s personalized for the recipient.
I guess it’s been done before, but from what I understand it’s not done often…at least not that I’ve seen. And so far, the people who have received the belts have loved them–especially the embroidery.
It’s kinda cool, but a little painstaking at times. The designs I’ve done so far haven’t been too complicated to shrink down and stitch, but I wonder what I’ll do when we get a commission for a more complicated coat of arms. I want to get recognition for the work I do, but I don’t want to get to where people expect more than I can do.
I’m finally done with the commission embroidery for the meantime, though, so I can focus on A&S. I’ll be reading and embroidering and measuring and cutting and sewing and typing and…yeah. A lot of work ahead, but it’s work that should be fun. Interesting, at least.
There won’t be any progress pics here, though, because that’s part of the research paper; you have to include pictures of the process of whatever you’re doing. Once it’s all done I’ll post stuff… but that’s a few months away.