Yeah, it’s true

(Stars – Leanna Crawford)

Today my experience with the DMV was SO much more positive than yesterday’s experience.

 

That doesn’t mean I walked away with all of my business handled…I still don’t have my registration and license figured out…

 

…but I have now completed day 4 of trying to get my registration/license figured out, so the fact that I am not crazy frustrated is good evidence that this experience was much better.

 

Yesterday I left crying because after waiting in line for an hour while the employees in a building that didn’t look like a DMV were being unnecessarily rude to everyone in the building and then randomly just walking away from the counter to just wander the lobby while the line continued to grow…well it was finally my turn and the guy tells me my car title is not a title (umm, there’s that word title at the top, so yeah, it definitely is) and that I need an inspection (which the FAQ’s on the website makes very clear I do not). I try to explain and he just says well you’re from out of state so that might be the rules there, but it isn’t here, and I tried to explain that the website for this state says this is what I need, but he is clearly not listening to I left so incredibly angry and just about ready to start packing my things and give up on this entire venture. Which obviously would be a bad choice considering first that I would be breaking contract with ASHP which I’m sure there’d be some consequences for besides the whole lack of professionalism quitting before my position actually starts…plus the whole it isn’t like there are a lot of other job prospects out there right now issue and you should probably have a plan before you do something dumb like that…

 

Yesterday someone said I really didn’t want to go to the other DMV in this city because it was exactly what you would expect from a DMV…I heard that and knew that my instinct to go to the other one this time was right on. It being closer to “normal” felt so much safer and more comfortable to me. Despite the fact that I had to lock my bike to a light post because there weren’t any bike racks within a reasonable distance of the place and I refused to drive anywhere else for this dumb thing, the more normal appearance made the start to the encounter already off on a better foot. And the employee I worked with was so incredibly friendly. She went through what I needed…and there was something I didn’t know I needed, but she explained where I could get it and that it wasn’t very expensive and without me even asking she made sure I knew I DIDN’T need an inspection…I had half a mind to ask if she could put that in writing for a good I told you so for the idiot at the other DMV, but first, that would use way more words than I have available for a typical encounter, and second I already told myself I never ever have to go back the other DMV…

 

…and so I still don’t have a license and registration, but I feel like someone cares and I have a plan for how this is going to go tomorrow and I just have my fingers crossed for no more surprises or other issues…

 

In related news, the Honda dealership here was kind of frustrating. The first person I talked to in the service department said I had to talk to the sales department and hung up on me…so I called again and started with the sales department who told me it was the service department’s job to help me, but when I explained that the service department told me to talk to sales he told me everything he knew which was really pretty close to everything I needed to know except for he didn’t know one thing so he transferred me to the service department again and I actually got someone who was willing to fill in the blanks for me…hopefully when I show up tomorrow someone helpful is available…but I’m pretty confident now that I can do this.

 

…I don’t know why they make this so hard…

 

…this whole thing has been really hard…like Tuesday I called an office that I needed some information from for my registration and the lady I talked to said they could only do it in person. So I got in my car and drove over there since I didn’t know if they’d need to see my car or anything. There were zero legal places to park anywhere in the general vicinity of the office. I mean, technically there wasn’t a sign in the lot of the lawyers’ office across the street that it was for clients only but I know most businesses don’t want you to park there unless you are using their business so parking at a law office seemed like a bad idea…so I was super frustrated and angry because they could have told me when I called that there wasn’t anywhere to park…so I went home and I knew I needed to get it done but I was too angry to put on sunscreen or get my water bottle. I just put on my helmet and biked to the office…and of course when I got there they said they don’t do that in person, only over the phone…and I was so over it that I stood right there in the lobby of the office and called them from their office. It seems like since I was already there it would make way more sense to just talk to me directly, but they didn’t complain about me standing in the lobby talking to them through my phone so I mean it was unnecessarily stressful but I got what I needed from them…and so I had half a mind to go straight from there to the DMV but then I was like umm, you’re already burning and were thirsty before you even left and your hands are already full. This is a bad idea…and  I am glad I didn’t, because I don’t think I could have handled another frustration that day…

 

…so yeah, there have no shortage of things going wrong around here…but I’m not gonna talk your ears off complaining about All. The. Things. right now…but just one more thing…not being pelted with fathers day advertisements didn’t magically make me start getting good sleep. I did go from getting less than an hour of sleep at night to more like 3 hours…but I’m still spending a good 12 hours in bed wishing I were asleep and am now facing the reality that soon I’ll need to go back to work which means getting ready for the day no matter how tired I am and staying up long enough in the evenings to continue getting things done to keep life going…and just thinking about going back to that is exhausting and after a few weeks off while I crave being around people again I also don’t know how I managed this for so long…and with that it is time to start the cleaning up and getting ready for bed process because staying up late for no reason isn’t going to help…so yeah, if you’re a praying person, sleep and DMV crap is what I’m gonna ask for today (I guess we’ll work on my potty mouth a different day)…

Here at the edge of fall apart

(Truth I’m Standing On – Leanna Crawford)

 

So this song played like four times on the radio while I was driving on Tuesday…and the first time I heard it I tried and failed to press all the buttons in time to see if my car could help me figure out what the song was so I could find it again later so I just memorized the approximate time and the station I was on in hopes of finding it that way…and then it played again so I got a chance to actually find the name of the song.

 

…and when I played it on repeat on youtube, eventually youtube suggested some other songs by Leanna and I loved them all. There is such amazing truth in her lyrics, but I just feel like at the same time that she really gets that life can be hard sometimes. The song on the radio is still my favorite, but they all are so good!

 

…but yeah, I’ve been at the edge of fall apart for a long time. To be honest, I’ve been pretty close to the edge for the majority of the past 7 years between the abuse and its fallout, then not matching to a residency (repeatedly), and then my dad dying…but lately life has just been hard.

 

Between the end of the second week of March and the beginning of the third week, life changed. On March 13 I found out I (finally) got a residency…and within hours the excitement morphed into anxiety…which biologically I know excitement and anxiety are nearly identical so it makes a lot of sense one could lead to the other, but it took probably about 5 days before I was really near my baseline in terms of anxiety again, and that was frustrating because I wanted to be done with the OCD and anxiety forever…and that was a reminder that chances are I will continue to occasionally have lapses for the rest of my life and I hate that because I hate the complete lack of control I feel when the OCD flares. Also, on March 13 was the church talent show. It was supposed to be a potluck, but it wasn’t – just cookies and juice. I considered not going because there was a game night in the cities that evening, but I’m glad I went because church was cancelled on the 15th and also on the 15th it was announced that by the 18th schools would be closing to in person classes…and not much after that businesses started closing…my world was shrinking.

 

So I went from Sunday AM – church, Monday PM – worship team and/or pool time and/or young adult bible study, Tuesday AM – donuts, Wednesday PM – youth group and/or prayer group and/or pool time, Thursday – volunteering at free clinic…AND working full-time…to ONLY working full-time…and then to working part-time…(and now to not working for a few weeks). Sure, within a week or two there started to be some virtual meetings, but like I’ve said many times before, the power of together is nearly impossible to replicate online…and within a few weeks most of the virtual stuff was cancelled too or might as well have been because I was the only one there…living alone used to be the only way I could ever consider living if there was a choice, and now with work my only social venue and not even a good one at that, I craved the social contact a roommate would provide.

 

And then I finally got to see some of my church friends again and then a week later moved across the country. Now I feel even more isolated. I see online people together and I’m not.

 

And yesterday I got like 20 emails of fathers day advertisements. Y’all it’s not even a real holiday and even if it were a real holiday I wouldn’t want all the reminders, and let’s be real, even if I did still have my dad, the stuff advertised for dad isn’t usually anything I think real people would actually buy for their dads…I just want it to stop.

 

And moving is never fun…but then I had to move into an apartment I hadn’t seen until I moved in…and okay, I know I would make a lousy salesperson because I’m too honest, but when someone asks about kids because your contract makes it sound like kids aren’t allowed on the property, just saying that yes, kids are allowed and there are a few families is not really the right answer if you are then going to tell me on move-in day that child-proofing is not allowed. I just feel like there was a lot they weren’t honest about…and then just the things you don’t know if you haven’t seen the place, like yes, there are walk-in closets on the property…it’s just the plural is that there are multiple units and each has one…and also the walk-in closet is smaller than my normal closet in my old apartment…and there is very little cabinet space in this apartment, and there isn’t an entry closet…and there were hornets nests all over and a water leak…and the doors go directly to the outside, which is nice except for one problem – the front door has space around it like a hall door usually does but an entry door to the outside shouldn’t so the creepy crawlies have free access.

 

And this one I knew before I signed or handed over any money, but by washer and dryer in unit what they actually mean is there is space to put a washer and dryer in your unit…which, weird, but okay fine, so I bought a washer and dryer from best buy. Easier said than done because the ones I liked best were on back order which left a few I didn’t love and some ridiculously expensive ones…so the earliest date I could have both delivered the same day was the 18th. No problem, I can wait that long. And then the 18th comes and at almost the end of my delivery window I get a call from the delivery guy that they can’t find my dryer…like seriously? It’s kind of a big thing to lose…it’s not like some phone charger that can fall behind the shelf or something…so my choices are get a washer today or get nothing so I obviously choose the washer…and I call customer service and after and they try to tell me that they can’t deliver the dryer until mid-July. Y’all, I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect it to take less than 2 months to receive a dryer that is in stock. Like I get you might be running low on delivery appointments, but you already screwed up so what makes most sense is you squeeze in an extra appointment today and bring me my dryer. Sure, utilitarianism sounds good on the surface to get the most total happiness, but as a customer I would rather you bump a series of people by one day than to bump me by another month…but finally we compromised and I get my dryer right before I go back to work…which is frustrating that I have to be home for another 8-hour delivery window, but at least I’ll be able to dry the comforter my brothers got dirty which means I can finally wash it. So that sounds like it should be the end of the story, right? Wrong…so the next day I get an email asking me to schedule my delivery appointment and I’m like isn’t that what I did yesterday?!?! Nope, they scheduled the dryer delivery, but the power cord and vent for the dryer weren’t going to be able to be delivered until later…umm, what good does a dryer do without a power cord? And also what is my installation payment doing for me if you aren’t actually going to have the necessary parts for the install? So I get back on the phone with customer service and try a customer service chat window at the same time to try to get this fixed. After an hour it is almost my turn to chat and then I get an error that the website crashed so please get in line again…I tried and it was estimating 74 minutes for my wait time – which I already knew from my previous attempt that the estimated wait time should probably be multiplied by at least two, so I gave up on that and kept going on the phone…after nearly four hours of getting transferred to higher levels of support I finally got to someone who said probably my best option was to reschedule the dryer delivery – and I was like absolutely not…and so he thought for a while and the only other option was to add a note on the dryer to please also deliver the vent and power cord if time allows…and that was the best I was going to get from them so I was like sure whatever and gave up…remember this is the girl that used to bike across town for a simple question because she hates using the phone…and so my mom tried calling the store customer service instead of the online order customer service and the manager agreed that if I came in that evening they would just give me the pieces I needed…so I did (and apparently there was a carnival being set up along the way so traffic was awful and also the best buy is on the opposite side of the city from me). And I’ll let you guess whether the manager was there and whether anyone had any idea about what I needed…if you guessed no, you were correct…but I found a guy who at least worked with me to find the parts I needed…so might I end up with extra pieces, maybe, but at least now I know when I finally do get my dryer I will have the pieces I need for it to get installed whether they decided they had time to bring them or not…if I knew buying a dryer from best buy was that much drama I would have just gone against the advice I received and bought the pretty red ones someone was selling on Craigslist…’cause like yeah, they are used, but they are pretty and I’m sure I could find someone to help me lift them and how hard can it be to read the manual to figure out how to set it up?…

 

So yeah, I’ve been struggling emotionally and the other things going on in life haven’t really helped and I’ve probably got cumulatively less than an hour of sleep in the past week which means since I haven’t had to work that I’ve been spending 12-14 hours most night trying to sleep which means the days are short and I’m not getting things done that I really should be doing…but we’re doing our best over here and praying that God has a plan, because this is definitely not a sustainable life model long term…

 

…okay, to be fair, I was also texting late into the night last night because I figured if I wasn’t sleeping anyway I might as well get some kind of connection…and I did turn off the sound, but I still could see the little notification indicator turn on…so yeah…but that was actually really good, because I do really need people and at this point even just a person via text rather than real life is still way better than nothing…and I don’t *usually* do that…

 

…and now I need to just post this so I can not be too late to church.

Still there’s a sense of deep loss in my soul…all she wants is an end to the long long night

(How Emptiness Sings – Christa Wells)

 

Sometimes it’s hard.

 

Every single day for about the last week or so I’ve seen and heard advertisements for father’s day. It’s hard and it hurts.

 

And when everything else is hard I don’t want one more hard thing. I don’t want to cry every day.

 

And today I ended up with another faith puzzle piece out of place…maybe faith is the wrong word…and TBH it didn’t really pop out today but more like materialized today after being lost and forgotten about.…IDK how to really describe it…and I don’t even know how to tell this story without talking myself in circles, but I’m gonna figure it out because I feel like even though it feels kind of shameful to admit these thoughts it will probably be better to write about it and in doing start to process it than to try to shove it into a box and pretend everything is awesome between me and God when it isn’t.

 

So around Christmas time someone told me they had a letter from my dad for me. I didn’t question where this letter came from that they had a copy but I didn’t, I was just ready for something from my dad.

 

It was a letter from the perspective of God speaking to his children. I felt tricked and angry. I think the heart was in the right place, but it didn’t feel good to me. I felt disappointed.

 

Way back a long time ago like probably high school on I think it was formspring part of my bio was that I was “loved by my eternal daddy” so clearly, the concept of God the father wasn’t new to me…

 

Well, today at in real life church the pastor was talking about God being our father…and that was obviously supposed to be a good thing but I was working really hard not to cry…but it wasn’t just missing my dad…it took me a few hours to figure it out, but now I get it…and I get why that letter at Christmas time hurt so much.

 

It feels like God is trying to replace my daddy. And I know this isn’t a good Christian thought, but I don’t want anyone including God trying to replace my daddy. You can’t just stick someone else in that hole and act like I’m not gonna notice, ‘cause just like in honey we shrunk ourselves, “guess what, I NOTICED.”

 

So yeah, I know those are thoughts I shouldn’t have, but I don’t know where to go with it. Obvi, God wants to be in every part of my life and I’m not supposed to pick and choose which parts he gets…but at the same time, it really hurts feeling like he thinks he can just take my dad’s spot. Like I know he’s supposed to be better, but I don’t want a new better daddy; I want my old one back.

 

The only out I can see is going to heaven where maybe I can have both daddies…except I don’t know if I really get that in heaven ‘cause based on the part of the Bible we read in online Saturday church it kinda sounds like in heaven family relationships from Earth are dissolved…IDK. I just know I don’t like this and I want to go to forever home. When do I get to quit?

We’re more beautiful when we come together

(Mandisa – Bleed the Same)

 

Today I feel like I have a lot of things I need to say. And I’ve kind of felt this way for a few days, but a lot of what I have to say I feel like would be taken better by “the opposition” if it were coming from someone with different colored skin…but I can’t change my skin (well, I guess I *can* but only to bright red), so I’m gonna say things anyway, because I realized that I obviously think it would be racist to say that there are things I can say as someone with light skin that someone with dark skin couldn’t say, so it is therefore just as racist to say that a dark skinned person is allowed to say things that I can’t as a light skinned person…technically our country doesn’t seem to understand that racism is when any race is discriminated against, not just certain races, but the reality I believe is that it is racism if there is race-based discrimination regardless of what race is being seen as less valued. People are people.

 

In our current political climate even outside of the Rona, people are attacking each other. I feel frustrated that (a white person) who wrote a detailed facebook post about respecting others and not taking sides then went into the comment section and…took sides and basically shushed the people whose opinions she didn’t agree with. As someone who works really hard to get my opinions heard (hashtag formerly social anxiety bordering on selective mutism) it really hurts me to see other people’s voices be silenced. I felt proud that some of these people were brave enough to stand up for themselves and further explain their opinion despite the attempt to shut them down…but I felt so sad that they had to take the defensive…and at the same time I was in awe of how well the other person was able to use her words to put someone down so eloquently…and it put me in a weird place because I have mad respect for people who can use words in ways I can’t and I know that every person deserves respect, but it still feels wrong sometimes to my innately sinful human nature to respect someone doing something negative…so basically I read the comments and felt frustrated but stayed out of it. Some people say if you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem, so I guess if those people are right then I am part of the problem…so I guess I have some things to work on…which I kinda already knew…but I mean, people also say if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all…and I felt more like attacking the shut down than standing up for the people who disagreed so it wasn’t the right time for me to spend my words trying to get involved…

 

But I think why even white people against white people fights in the political realm are so common right now is two-fold. One, some people have too much time on their hands due to covid-closures. Two, the black lives matter movement is designed to be divisive. It isn’t just my white-girl perspective saying this. I have dialogued with black people (aka people who you can’t really argue don’t think black people matter) who obviously do think that the lives of people with their heritage matter, but don’t support the black lives matters movement because of the divisive-ness. We agree that our nation would be stronger together rather than polarizing and taking sides. Even the name of the movement “black lives matter” is inherently divisive. Yes, it does not directly say other lives are not important, but it is quite clearly implied. To make things less political, consider a mother with three children, Jack, Jane, and Julie. Her husband asks do you love our children, and she responds, I love Jane. Sure, she didn’t say she *didn’t* love Jack or Julie, but she sure didn’t make it sound like she did love them – and if she wants her family to act in unity and for Jack and Julie to not act in jealousy toward Jane then she clearly could have chosen her words better. The movement also tends to prioritize being seen over being respectful. Yes, you need your movement to be seen and heard to make a difference, but you will catch more flies with honey than vinegar. More people will be willing to support your cause if doing so doesn’t associate them with disrespectful behavior. Finally, the movement tends to be anti-police. I have seen posts on facebook from both black and white people pleading please do not listen to BLM, please do not take away our police force. People of all colors recognize that the police are an important part of keeping our communities safe. The police must make difficult decisions every day and while it sure is easy to be a Monday morning quarterback for the game played on Sunday knowing with hindsight what will and will not work, like TobyMac says in This is Not a Test, there ain’t no practice runs in life. You can’t turn back time and fix things knowing what you will know later. Life doesn’t work that way. We absolutely need our police force, and we will cripple them if we attempt to micro-manage the way in which they do their jobs. Do black lives matter, yes, do police lives of all colors matter, yes, does every single other person matter, also yes. Our world would be stronger if we didn’t pick and choose who matters. Like the movement I worked with in school states, EVERYONE MATTERS. Y’all, event planning is not what I love, but advocating that everyone matters is important to me so you better believe I was all about pouring my heart into planning everyone matters week events.

 

Okay, one last thing. On an interview I was listening to this week about race I heard someone claim that the fact disseminated in the medical community that black people and white people are genetically different is false. They asserted that the reason we are more prone to different diseases is really just the way stress of racism impacts our bodies. Yeah…umm…so you’re telling me that the black people who live in Africa are also experiencing racism and that stress in white people can’t cause the same problems it supposedly does in black people? Yeah, not buying it. It doesn’t mean the black body is inferior or the white body is inferior, but like it or not, genetically there are some diseases that are more common in one race than another. White people have their own list of diseases to which they are more prone. It doesn’t mean either one of us experiences more stress in life, but simply that genetically there are differences between a white person and a black person that go beyond skin color…and to be fair, some of those diseases are more common in certain sub-groups rather than simply being more common in ALL white people or more common in ALL black people. Sorry to break your argument about why racism is a problem, but don’t blame racism for a problem that it is biologically implausible for it to be behind. Don’t throw racism around like it explains every problem in the world. Does racism exist, yes against pretty much every race, but is racism the cause of every problem or even most problems, no…but a lot of problems can be mitigated when people are in community.

He’s Painted Each One of us the Color of Love

(Git along little doggies – Little Dogs on the Prairie)

 

Today I realized that a lot of why I get so frustrated with people is because respect is a huge core value for me.

 

Let me back up a little bit. This morning I saw on facebook someone say something along the lines of real friends understand that they can be friends even if they don’t always vote for the same person…and she got torn apart in the comment section. People told her that viewpoint made her not a Christian. People told her that viewpoint made her racist and that she was discriminating against minorities. People said so many hateful things.

 

First of all, even if you do not agree with her statement, she is still a person who deserves respect. You don’t get to post hurtful comments just because someone has an opinion that isn’t the same as yours. If you don’t want to be friends with people who are not exactly like you I’m not going to say you have to, but I am going to say you still need to treat the people who are not your friends with respect.

 

I tend to agree that you can totally be friends with people whose opinions differ from your own. In fact, I have many friends whom I care much about who have very different opinions on certain issues than I hold. Our opinions on those topics may clash, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a meaningful relationship and respect that there are some things we do not agree on.

 

The idea that being friends with people whose opinions differ is incompatible with Christianity is totally ludicrous. God was about community. God was about loving your neighbor. God was about caring about the people on the fringes of society. God was about inclusion. God understood that we are stronger together and that you win people to yourself with care, concern, love, and respect; you don’t win approval by hating people. You can hate certain opinions and actions without hating the person.

 

It is also pretty bold to supposedly be anti-discrimination while actively discriminating against people who vote differently than you. It is basically saying that discrimination is only wrong when it is by people who don’t look and think like me…which is, in itself, discrimination.

 

Another example: I saw someone very obviously stealing. It wasn’t about the probably only a couple bucks of product he was taking…it was about the fact he clearly had no qualms about the disrespect of the people trying to sell products at a certain price. And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit was also about the fact that the way he was doing it was causing a line to form because he was blocking the aisle…not that theft is less wrong if you don’t inconvenience other shoppers, just that is was both things that really made me frustrated.

 

I guess going back to other things since I already opened up that can of worms…

 

There are a ton of frustrated thoughts in my head…so here’s a few more…

 

Like people are saying if we had a black president things wouldn’t be happening…umm, y’all, might I remind you that during Ferguson we *had* a black president and that didn’t keep people from destroying communities…the color of the president has little to nothing to do with the poor behavior of some of the citizens.

 

People are claiming they want justice. They are lying. They do not want justice unless they want prison time. Last time I checked, it is a crime to break and enter. It is a crime to take items from a store without paying. It is a crime to steal a car. It is a crime to vandalize property. It is a crime to set buildings on fire. It is a crime to beat up other people.

 

I am angry that people somehow think that committing their own crimes and throwing tantrums is somehow going to change the fact that George died. Could his death have been prevented? It appears so, but that is in the past and destroying other people’s lives in the present is pretty counter-productive. Some people are saying that people are more important than property so rioting is okay. I think people *are* more important than property and that is why rioting is not okay. And like someone said on facebook, perspective is important. This person’s daughter claimed that rioting is a good way for people to express themselves – so he asked if she thought it was a great idea for someone to destroy her brand-new car – suddenly rioting seemed much less okay when it felt more personal. She was able to understand that, but a lot of people out there seem to still be missing it.

 

I’m beginning to learn how to find the words

(How Emptiness Sings – Christa Wells)

 

I feel like it is time for another post…but I’ve been trying for pretty much the past 24 hours and am struggling to form words to put on the page…but there are a lot of thoughts in my head and I know I *can* do it so I’m gonna keep trying until there are words on my screen.

 

I’m not gonna say I’m hashtag so blessed because using that to describe times when good things happen can easily be damaging to people for whom life might not be going well…I definitely experienced that a few years ago when everyone was hashtag so blessed because they got a residency and God loves because they got a residency and all the other things people who weren’t Christians until five minutes ago say when something good happens. And I was already feeling crushed. The not good enough that had been engrained third year was roaring through me. And what those flippantly written words implied felt like it was being screamed in my face. I didn’t get a residency so I must not be blessed. I didn’t get a residency so God must not love me…

 

That isn’t what I thought I was sitting down to write. What I was actually going to say is that I am so thankful that God gave me words when I needed them. Sometimes what God orchestrates really does feel well thought out. I had a few smaller opportunities on Friday I guess kind of like a warm-up and I was able to use my big girl words and actually hold up my end of the conversation without anyone helping me with guess and check or much other assistance. I might have had way more words inside my head than actually came out, but I felt successful and that was such an incredible place to come from when I got to Saturday.

 

On Saturday, first there was a party. Large groups of people in a party setting has never been my forte and as much as I love people, I hate being the center of attention, but it worked so well. Because it was the first time a lot of people had seen each other I didn’t really have to be the center of attention. And God gave me so much bravery for the day. I was able to have so much fun just being with people without feeling the usual anxiety of the party scene. It was so incredible to get to see real life people and for it to be so many people that I love made it even better. This extravert’s heart was so full.

 

I didn’t want it to end, but it kinda had to because at 5pm I have Saturday night church…and again it was a good thing God gave me an extra dose of brave for the day, because I have no idea what this usually silent girl was thinking when she said yes to reading the call to worship. I might have used exactly zero eye contact, but I read my part (and even remembered to take myself off of mute first…lol). While being in front of people is definitely not something I am comfortable doing every week, it was really good to be able to add another success to my internal resume.

 

Speaking of social anxiety…I like to pretend it only impacts actual social situation…but…sometimes I am reminded that is not the case…and after living nearly exclusively in my apartment and at work for the past few months, I had plenty of excuses why I wasn’t going to the store…but…those excuses were really avoidance seeking methods of justifying staying in my safe place. I’m not afraid of the Roni; I’m afraid of all the people looking at me…and I can’t just find a day I have the morning off and do early morning shopping to avoid the crowds because for one, there is a curfew, and for two, the stores haven’t been open in the morning for a long time because apparently everyone shopping at the same time is safer than spacing it out…(personal opinion – it isn’t actually safer but not having to pay checkout people through the slow times of day cuts losses…). So when my mom said I needed paper plates I went to Wally World because I figured it probably wasn’t further notice for that fancy French store to open yet. It was scary to go in a store, especially since I didn’t know exactly where what I wanted was. After wandering up and down all the aisles where I would have put the paper plates and finding no paper plates I finally found a thousand pack which was way more than I needed and a clearance pack that was almost $10 but already open…so I started wandering other areas of the store. Next to the toilet cleaner I found more paper plates but none looked like the picture I had in my head and the idea that they were stored next to toilet things kinda freaked me out…and I almost gave up. But then I remembered that there is a birthday section and so I went there and found a pack of plates that didn’t say happy birthday on them. Probably I would have been better off going to the dollar store, but while my mom would consider buying plates from the party section a fail (and TBH it did feel a lot like failure), I see it as a win, because I went out to buy plates and I left with plates. And then I went to the gas station for a hot chocolate…which I couldn’t do last night because of curfew…

 

Here’s the problem with a curfew from my perspective as a method to stop criminal activity at night…umm, so you just made a law that says you can’t go outside. Do you really think someone who is going out specifically to break other laws is going to be deterred by a law that says they can’t? I know that the government feels like they have to do *something* in response to the destruction, but making law-abiding citizens stay inside is a bummer. Like I started craving a hot chocolate from the gas station, but I can’t have it because it was like 7:59 when I decided I wanted it and I obvi couldn’t even drive to the gas station and back in that amount of time…plus IDK if the store part of the gas station would have even been open.

 

Speaking of people doing things they shouldn’t…a bunch of people today broke the law and walked on an interstate. A truck driver saw them on the road and was injured because of them. The truck driver did everything he could to avoid harming anyone including honking to alert them and slamming the brakes and carefully steering to avoid people in the road. He was basically a hero and then his truck was attacked by the crowd. Like the comments on the article said, we don’t walk on the highway because it is dangerous. If you don’t want to be hit then stay on the sidewalk.

 

I don’t mean this to say that I am for or against protesting, but that while you are welcome to peacefully protest, your failure to do so safely puts both you and others at risk. Sidewalks were invented for a reason. Use them.

 

I guess though, full transparency, I think if you want people to listen to your opinion expressing it calmly and rationally is much more effective than throwing a tantrum. Using your words to express how you feel is going to be a much better solution than a protest. All a protest shows is that you haven’t learned how to solve your own problems.

 

With what I currently know do I think that George Floyd’s death could have been avoided? Yes, but protesting isn’t going to change the past. No amount of screaming, no amount of destruction, no amount of disrespect is going to bring him back to life on earth. Death is tragic, but it is also permanent on earth except in the rare cases God has decided otherwise. You can’t bring a person back by protesting.

 

Also, there has been a *lot* of protesting that hasn’t been peaceful. It is so hard to see people completely disrespect their fellow humans. People are so important to me. Yes, I am seeing community come together to try to help people impacted, but if there wasn’t the destruction going on we wouldn’t have these problems in the first place. I have a friend who posted a plea on facebook for help finding formula for her infant – the social network located an open store and got her the formula her infant needed, but it shouldn’t be this hard to feed a child. The people who own businesses also don’t deserve to have their livelihood destroyed. They didn’t do anything wrong, yet they are being significantly impacted. I know of a friend of a friend who worried about losing her home when a nearby building was set on fire and the neighborhood had to get out their garden hoses because it took so long for the firefighters to arrive. I saw pictures of an acquaintance hugging national guard people on her way into work, but on her way out the national guard people were being antagonized while she had to walk alongside a rowdy protest to get home. We shouldn’t need to have the national guard protecting our hospitals, but we currently live in a world where medical facilities are being attacked.

 

I mean, I guess I like that people have gotten over their covid panic now that there is something else taking over the news, but I am so frustrated at how awfully people are treating each other. It reminds me of a song that was on the radio in other people’s cars like a million years ago (slight exaggeration). “What kind of world do you want? Ask anything. What kind of world do you want?” If people could just respect each other and have conversations rather than protests we could have such an incredibly caring and wonderful world. If we could all be part of the solution rather than being part of the problem we could do so much for our world.

When it comes to relationships I’m the dumbest one

 

(Chap stick and chapped lips and things like chemistry – Relient K)

 

Yeah…that is probably true. I work really hard, but communication and relationship are a really challenging mystery for me.

 

Time doesn’t heal all things – sometimes it just makes the wound open further. The longer I am without in person social activities or even just being around people outside of work, the harder communication gets. I try really hard and sometimes I can at least keep using social media, but sometimes I try and try and try and by the end of the day one little heart or smiley face is the best I could do. It is so frustrating. I would never wish this on anyone. To so desperately want to connect but be unable to make the words go where they are supposed to is soul-crushing. Sure, it makes the times I succeed that much sweeter, but overall I would most definitely choose easily communicating over having reason to rejoice for the words that I can use…and to be honest, sometimes that little heart emoji is the result of a very concerted effort to express myself…

 

I wish I lived in one of the states where life was normal…but for now, I don’t.

 

With all the things going on right now, except for the whole having a job thing, I might as well have moved a few months ago. I haven’t gotten to see my friends that live near me either way, but if I’d have moved I’d have the same online connections but a head start on the in person connections at the same time.

 

But I am really excited for the opportunities to see some friends tomorrow before work. One of them is a really special friend because she was one of if not *the* first friend I had outside of scheduled activities (beyond the playdate organized by parents stage). I care about her and love her a lot, but beyond that, she is super special because she was patient enough to deal with my high school self who could use written words sometimes but outside of the classroom really had a vocabulary of three words: “I don’t know” to use in conversation…and she was okay with that and learned to communicate with me and become my friend and in so doing helped me learn how to have friends. I’m still not good at it, but I really think I wouldn’t be the person I am now without her gentle guidance by example. The other one is also special, but for a different reason. She is the reason I can no longer say there is nothing good that happened in the pandemic…because I wouldn’t have met her if it weren’t for the pandemic and now I can’t imagine not having her in my life.

 

And now there are a few other things I want to say. One, I really had to agree to disagree with some stuff I saw on Instagram yesterday. Someone with whom I usually really deeply agree with claimed that you can’t both care about black people and care about people who are not black and you are racist if you think otherwise. I didn’t comment on the post because I didn’t want to stir up trouble, but y’know if caring about people of multiple races makes me a racist then I am proud to be a racist and will happily wear that badge on my sleeve. And today someone I don’t know posted on facebook that if you aren’t okay with the looting and rioting and fire-setting in Minneapolis then you are a racist…and again, if respecting other people and respecting community is racist then I am proud to be racist. Is it unfortunate that someone died in police custody when it appears from the outside anyway that the death could have been prevented? Absolutely, but two wrongs don’t make a right and destroying other people’s property/life/livelihood doesn’t bring back that life. Someone online also pointed out something that I think was really insightful – every time we see a death of a black person people assume it was racially motivated even when there is not evidence to support that conclusion whereas death of white people is much less likely to make the news and if it does it will probably be insinuated that it was partially his/her fault if it was something that happened in police custody. I will be honest that I don’t really follow any news so I can neither confirm nor deny those allegations, but based on the tiny piece of the pie to which I am exposed, it does seem like that may be the case. My heart hurts for the people who loved the man who died in custody in the news, but my heart also hurts for the people just trying to do their job providing groceries when protesters destroyed the store. My heart hurts for parents who need to buy diapers and formula but can’t because the nearest store is destroyed and they don’t have reliable transportation to other stores. My heart hurts for the kind-hearted person trying to provide low-income housing solutions who had their building burned down by protesters. My heart hurts for the people broken enough to think that acts of violence will solve their problems. I don’t think I am above them – I’ve made my fair share of wrong choices, but I know that you don’t make those decisions because your life is going too well. I really don’t want to believe that anyone wakes up and thinks today would be a great day to hurt someone else – I think it happens because people don’t know what to do with their big hurts.

This world has nothing for me

(Rescue – Desperation Band)

 

This post was originally going to be titled I’m Learning (Planes Phones and Microwaves – Go Fish) last week when I started writing it…but then I felt like I was being crushed and the topic shifted…and I’ve been listening to this song on repeat. It’s an older song, but I love it.

 

Recently I was listening to a youtube video while I worked on stuff and something caught my attention. This isn’t exactly what they are talking about, but the mental image I got was this and I really connected. Pretend you are in a rowboat in the middle of the ocean. A storm comes and you lose one of your oars. People keep telling you that since you can’t go anywhere anyway you might as well get something done. Why don’t you take up stargazing or read that book you couldn’t read while you were rowing or maybe you should learn to make something…but the storm also broke a hole in your boat. The water is cold. Even just bailing the water out once in a while you are really uncomfortable. You can’t get anything done because you will drown if you stop bailing that long. Supposedly you have all this time, but in reality, you feel like you have less time than before and bailing the water all day and all night is exhausting.

 

That is what is going on in the world right now. A lot was taken away from us and people are expecting that means we can do more than ever at a time when we feel like we can actually do less than ever. To be honest, before quarantine I was already still not functioning anywhere close to where I was before my dad died. Then you add taking away nearly all the things that helped me get by day to day and having to try to refigure things out alone and all the extra tasks that got thrown on my plate and yeah, I haven’t taken up anything new and cool. I am barely taking care of the necessities (food, drink, clean body and clothes) and when those things are covered trying really hard to learn things. Supposedly I have extra time but in reality, I have less time because keeping life on the tracks takes more time without the supports I had before…and we won’t even get into how change is super hard and is happening faster than I can keep up with.

 

Another thing I have learned in my life is that you can’t fight someone’s refusal to believe in science by throwing more science at them…because they don’t believe those facts so telling them more facts that they don’t believe isn’t going to get you anywhere but in a dead end. Mostly I try to stay out of arguments because I hate confrontation…but someone said something on facebook that to me pretty much said that they felt the lives of my friends and I don’t matter. That made me angry. The weekend before they posted their comment the issue of suicide had moved from an issue that was a major problem “out there” in my patients and in the world, but not really in my circle to a problem inside my circle. Three people in my circle were gone and that matters to me. Their lives were not less valuable than anyone else’s life. So I had enough anger in my body that I felt like I needed to respond, but the person who posted it was someone I knew better than to come right out and call her an idiot and stir up trouble, but I politely explained my opinion and that I felt that it was important to respect other people. The response I got was that some people deserve to be called the A-word. And then the blaze was kindled to a full-on forest fire. No one gets to call me or anyone else that word. I continued to be respectful because relationship is more important to me than being right, but now my argument was completely out of what we were originally discussing to an argument about respect. And I ultimately won. I got an apology for use of the A-word. I probably didn’t change anyone’s mind about anything, but I felt like it was a success…

 

But sometimes life is just hard. I tried really hard to make today go smoothly. Yesterday I realized that today was exactly 9 months from leaving the hospital. Nine months ago today it was Monday and I left the hospital then a few hours later went to the eye doctor to get my glasses and have a follow up then hurried from there to the funeral home and then church and they had sandwiches and chips on paper plates for lunch there. The only shoes I had were the water shoes I’d been wearing pretty close to 24/7 since Friday and they desperately needed to be washed. So today I tore through my closet to find a different pair of shoes to wear because I figured I was more likely to struggle if I was wearing the same shoes to do the same thing. I was already running late because of a lot of reasons (trying to convince myself to get my lazy bottom out of bed, struggling with the contacts that I was supposed to wear for today’s appointment, trying to find different shoes, trying to find my phone, etc) so when I went to my car I probably looked crazy with a bag but piles of things in my arms instead of inside the bag and a laptop charger around my neck. I have discovered at least one thing I forgot to pack and am praying I won’t need…I packed lots of choices for breakfast because sometimes putting things in my mouth helps control anxiety…but I didn’t want to eat…but I only cried for like 5 minutes so it was mostly going okay.

 

And there was a road closed I didn’t know about and there weren’t any signs about it or any markings for a detour so that was awesome. Once I got there it actually went okay. Except I thought I tell them what I want they order, they order it, end of story. Instead, I tell them what I want, they want me to try another set of trial contacts and then come in for another follow up…and also this appointment they told me would take 10 minutes actually lasted around an hour…and I was super tired…and then I ate a granola bar in my car for breakfast…and I probably should have put gas in my car because that was originally on my list of things to do before the appointment, but I didn’t so now my car is a girl car because it is nagging me to put in gas…and then despite the L and R drawn on my hands I somehow still managed to go the wrong way because your girl was so confident she could do this all by herself that she didn’t actually read the letters on her hands and just turned…and then looked down and realized that the way she turned was definitely not left…and then there was a sign with a word that set me off and so I was trying to get turned around while digging through my bag for candy to throw in my mouth. I finally calmed down and got where I was going and had an awesome time with one of my friends. And so life was good. Real life people isn’t something I’ve had outside of work in a long time, so that friend time was so incredibly needed and felt so amazing.

 

And then I went to my parent’s house. I went to the bed I use and I tried to study but I missed my dad. I felt like I was waiting for my daddy to come home from work and he isn’t ever going to come home from work. It isn’t my parents’ house anymore. I feel crushed.

 

I want to quit. Death doesn’t seem so bad. I would get to see daddy again. I wouldn’t have to take the MPJE. In heaven I’m pretty sure people have real life.

 

I was excited when I learned the stay at home thing was ending…then I realized it didn’t really change much. Now instead of being allowed to go to homes or public places but having to be 6 feet apart you can go those same places but be in groups of 10 closer together. So basically, you still can’t actually have a real life if you, like me, have 99% of your real life activities take place at church. I feel frustrated.

 

And on Thursday I have to take the MPJE and I feel like I am going to fail and I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea. I mean, I do not like my current job, but I’ve tolerated it for three years and I’m finally figuring out how to make friends in my community and stuff…and now I’ll go to another state and not know anybody and maybe not even have a job if I can’t pass this dumb test.

 

And yeah…sorry…my thoughts are kind of disorganized and crazy and whiney. My shirt says I am resilient but I’m not sure if it is true.

I’ll put you back together

(Hush Hush – Nichole Nordeman)

 

Perspective.

 

Today I was really frustrated with myself.

 

It is currently lunch time and all I have done all morning is shower and eat breakfast (and waste time playing cards on my laptop). There are a lot of things that really do need to get done.

 

But then I was thinking back however many years 2017 was ago…and realized at that today in 2017 I was graduating…but at that time getting food in my body counted as an accomplishment for the day. Eating was still something I definitely thought about but was not the fight it had been in the previous months.

 

Today I don’t see eating as a success…but maybe I should. It definitely is easier to keep getting stuff done when I feel like I succeeded instead of feeling like I failed.

 

Graduation was kind of a disappointment. The ceremony itself I knew was going to mean nothing to me, but I’d been looking forward to it since 2014 because graduation meant moving away from school (aka freedom from 989) and meant that I was allowed to talk about things. And am I intentionally using 989 to refer to her because I had to stop because she hated that moniker and now I’m pretty sure she finally stopped reading and if she didn’t she can’t do anything to me anyway and therefore I can do what I want? Yeah, pretty much. IDK why she hated it, but it made me mad that she could take away from me pretty much anything she wanted because she had power and I felt stripped of power.

 

But then I didn’t match. The joy of graduation was crushed because what if it wasn’t abuse and she was actually right that I wasn’t going to be a good pharmacist and no one would ever want me? Did I know that wasn’t true? I don’t really know. It felt like the light at the end of the tunnel I had thought I’d finally almost reached was actually a train. I know I felt worthless. And the possibility that I really was a failure permeated my schema and took away the supposed joy of moving on. Now I know, but then it was murky. In retrospect, truth doesn’t need to teach shame to keep people quiet. Truth doesn’t incite fear. Truth doesn’t gaslight and belittle. Truth is gentle. Truth heals. Truth calms. Truth’s hands follow truth’s words.

 

And now I am going to eat some lunch and either study, pack, or both before all the evening things happen.

What could be worse than losing you?

(Without you – Plumb)

 

Last night I felt so tired I went to bed at like 8:15…I mean, no kidding I am tired given that I still don’t get anywhere close to enough sleep at night.

 

But despite the fact that the previous few nights I had gotten multiple hours of sleep, last night was not like that…but it was weird because as I got close to sleep nightmares would start but not with the same themes as usual and each time it was a different scary scene.

 

So yeah, I was frustrated, but then I started thinking…and now I get it.

 

Yesterday made 9 months since the accident.

 

Today is mothers’ day.

 

Last year I celebrated mothers’ and fathers’ day on the same day which was not actually either day on the calendar…

 

So yeah, I think that is what is going on.

 

 

Now to calm my mind I am going to write about something closer to neutral.

 

 

Recently I watched a video on managing BDD in the time of covid19. It was really eye opening. Before I watched it I couldn’t really think of much of anything that would make BDD harder to manage with covid19. Perspective is huge. By the time the video was over I was really sad for people struggling with that disease during this time. And so now I saw a video about BFRB’s in covid19 and am watching it because I decided I needed to know what challenges people with that disorder are facing right now. I don’t think it is so much that I want to hear about other people struggling but just that I want to understand how other people are experiencing this because if you can understand how someone feels it is easier to figure out how to interact with them supportively…why that is important when I don’t know of anyone with BDD or BFRBs I’m not so sure, but I guess you never know when you’re going to meet someone 🙂

 

Today I had cocoa puffs for breakfast. I definitely like cheerios better…guess I’m not coocoo for cocoa puffs.