Monthly Archives: October 2015

Wait what did you just say? Okay, okay, see I misplaced my masterplan courtesy of my attention span, but Imma be okay.

(Jamie Grace–With You)

In one of the books I have to read for one of my classes it mentioned that the character recognized the problem, remained calm, and solved the problem…I am not consistently good at a single part of that sequence…well, maybe recognizing the problem, I suppose in some ways I am good at that, but at the same time there is a reason my nickname in high school was “specs”…and it had absolutely nothing to do with whether or not I wore glasses…and when there is a problem I frequently react first and ask questions later…and if I do recognize a problem and remain calm that doesn’t mean I have any semblance of resolution to the problem…I am your ‘yes’ girl. I am hilariously bad at saying no. Twice this week people have asked me if I ever say no and one of them was like let’s practice…she said “I want a cookie” I said “I want a cookie” She said “you’re not getting it, tell me no” and I said “but you want a cookie and I have two cookies left in my lunch box.” (etc)…I somehow managed to agree to drive someone to the store whom I had met about an hour or so earlier…as it turned out he went to his room to grab his wallet and came back and had determined he actually didn’t need anything, but yeah, this is probably why I yell at myself wondering what I was thinking third year when I seemingly chose to stay when it seems like why didn’t I RUN…I (and probably some of the people who know me well) know when my yes is really a yes and when it is more like I just can’t say no…there’s the hesitation, the determination, and then the people-pleasing (but possibly wishy-washy if I still think I might be able to change it later) yes…although I suppose some of the accidental yeses are actually because I will respond and say yes if I think that is what is expected of me even if I didn’t really hear or understand what it was that I was being asked. That sounds really bad, but if I am having a for real conversation I’ll usually actually get clarification if I don’t know what we’re talking about, but when someone asks me something as they walk by or other situations like that I figure if it is really important and/or if my response doesn’t make sense then they’ll stop long enough that I’ll know I need to revise my answer…

So anyway…that was not at all what I thought I was going to write about…also, I discovered that while I complain about other people being way off topic in group discussions that I am not always the best role model for group dynamics either, because I start talking about one thing, get halfway through the discussion then forget we are talking about that and start asking about something else sometimes completely unrelated…I try to stick to one thing, but sometimes people are going so slow on that one thing that I can’t help but move on to the next thing, but that isn’t very helpful…

Yesterday I had the thought “all I did is go eat a cupcake and now someone is dead. What did I do wrong?” Clearly, children dying of brain cancer is not my fault, but that wasn’t exactly what I wanted to see immediately upon opening my computer to resume studying…and so I didn’t (Resume studying immediately that is…). Instead I wrote this:

Dead.

No longer living.

Passed to the other side.

Void of life.

Why?

I know that working in pediatric healthcare and even just being a living human being I will encounter death; particularly death of children. You never get used to the news, the grief, the finality. It doesn’t get easier. Each death is just as hard as the last.

Death happens every day. I know that; but when it strikes in someone who already was facing so many challenges in life it is hard to comprehend.

This one was a vibrant, full of life, elementary aged non-verbal boy with retinoblastoma. The seizures perhaps were painful, and I know from personal experience that living with communication differences can be really hard, but he isn’t supposed to be dead. He is supposed to be playing Hot Wheels Criss Cross Crash and going to school.

This would be an example of me not staying calm…although perhaps it is reasonable to be a little upset as long as it is for a confined period of time after someone dies…also, I am not 100% sure that Criss Cross Crash still exists, but I really want to play that right now…I am kind of craving the sound of the whirring motors and the cars falling off the track…I usually lost at that game because I generally picked the pretty cars which usually aren’t the most balanced cars and therefore mine were a lot more likely to fall off the track in someone else’s zone, but when I played all by myself and therefore on all four teams I had a lot of fun…

Some of my problems are easily solvable on my own if I actually cared enough to solve them…for example…I was whining at myself that it is uncomfortable to wear shorts under my pants to keep them from falling down, but it is also annoying when they are falling down or when I am trying to keep my shirt pulled down over the top to keep them up…umm…easily solved by taking the time to find pants that fit if I care that much…I outgrew an awesome pair of pants in like middle school that had an elastic waistband, and have never since found such a comfortable and convenient pair of black dress pants…if it were up to me, all pants would have either elastic or draw string waistbands because zippers and buttons are annoying and people don’t come in exact sizes so pants shouldn’t either.

Also, I did think there was too much stuff in my pencil bag…but I intended to solve that problem by cleaning out the junk that accumulated in there rather than by leaving my whiteboard markers at (school I do not attend but had to go to for a field trip 😦 )…

Someone posted criteria that they suggested that young adults meet before being allowed to go to college…I am thankful that no one applied that list to me, ’cause I would still not be “ready” for college with those criteria, nor do I believe I would ever be ready. I understand that the criteria were designed to minimize the threat of lack of emotional maturity or mental health disorders impinging on the college experience, so things like understanding that calories from alcohol do not count towards nutritional eating and having an ability to tolerate anxiety makes sense to me, but I am very much not a fan of the criteria of using ketchup/mayo/salad dressing comfortably. I do understand that the intent behind that criterion is for students who may be leaning towards/already experiencing an eating disorder to get help for that before being released onto their own and potentially spiraling downward when no longer supervised, but using that criterion I will never be ready for college, because this girl is a picky eater who refuses ketchup, mayo, and salad dressing (among many other things). Just because I wipe the salad dressing off the vegetables before eating them (if I eat them at all after they have been adulterated with the dressing) and just because I peel off the bread that touched the mayo doesn’t mean I am eating disordered any more than you would consider your Similac fed infant to have an eating disorder because she refuses Enfamil. I think the concept is good, but some of the criteria need refinement before it is a practical list. I also believe that while it is a nice idea to think that it would be best for students to be emotionally mature and at very low risk of mental illness before going to college, I think that college is a time for students to learn more about who they are apart from the constant supervision of grade school, and having or being at risk for having a mental illness shouldn’t preclude a student from attending college as long as they are controlled well enough to be aware of their own needs (as in someone who is currently completely psychotic and delusional probably isn’t ready for college, nor is the student who is severely underweight yet refuses to eat and has no desire to change that behavior). Our brains don’t fully mature until our twenties—that’s something that car insurance people know and capitalize on—so yes, many students will make bad choices, but that doesn’t mean that they failed at the college experience. Unless their bad choice caused them to die, chances are it allowed them to learn to make better choices in the future and boosted their maturity…and let’s be honest, there are full-grown adults who make bad choices—that’s why we have conflict in our lives and in severe cases what we have a legal system for—if people can’t go to college until they meet all these criteria then what are we going to do with the ginormous cohort that will eventually be 90 years old and have never attended college? How will we maintain our society when we have maybe only like one or two people ready for college directly after graduation and we thus have a significantly reduced work force to take care of a growing number of people? Just sayin’ It is also kind of like red-shirting. Sure, you can keep your kid out of kindergarten for an extra year so he or she is more likely to be at the top of his or her class and has more time to mature before entering kindergarten, but at the end of the day, eventually you are legally required to enroll your child in kindergarten and the teachers are trained to help 5 year olds learn how to function in a school environment, because they know that a lot of kids are coming to them not knowing yet how to sit in their assigned chair all morning (or afternoon as the case may be) and to raise their hands before speaking. They don’t expect the kids to know that yet…and let’s be honest if some of those kids are like me, they become comfortable with the school setting and still don’t always wait before talking, and nothing bad happened except for occasionally being told to be quiet, but most teachers appreciate the participation even if it isn’t preceded by a hand in the air.

Make believe you’re flying high

(Balloon Song–Debra Lynn La Lima)

I just need a vent session…so if you are easily offended then stop right now, because this post is not for you…instead read this cute story and then close out of my blog KthxBai:

“We go to a tiny little church, where Bud is usually the only child in their even tinier “Sunday school” program. His favorite toy in the playroom there is a marble-run building set. But he keeps forgetting the word “marbles,” and instead he calls them “gerbils.” The superball – round and translucent and swirly – is a lot like a marble/gerbil, only it’s different. And what else is like a gerbil, only different? A hamster, of course. Not even wrong. Remarkable, insightful, completely outside-the-box, but not even wrong.”

(Now would be the time you close my blog if you are easily offended)

(Seriously, I mean it, get outta here right now and save yourself if you are easily offended)

I am really frustrated with school right now. I try so hard, and I really do know the material…but my grades don’t show it. Aside from the times when my brain is just not working, and the fact that everyone makes mistakes, I really agree what this other student in my class said (wrote). I think it is extremely disrespectful and usually I wouldn’t even give it the dignity of being re-written, but unlike the student who wrote it where a teacher would be likely to see it, I doubt that the teacher will ever see it here since I do not reference even what state my school is in, and although it is disrespectful, it is very true…so here it is:

Here is how most of the questions read to me:
Out of the following choices, which BEST describes how loud the sun smells?

  1. a) Fire truck
  2. b) Triangle
  3. c) 鞋
  4. d) कुरसी

It doesn’t matter how hard you studied for a test like that—it isn’t fair and it isn’t at all a test of what you know, but rather is a test of how well you can read the teacher’s mind. People’s grades have a lot more to do with chance than they do with knowledge obtained when the questions are so ridiculous like that.

Can I also just rant for a minute about something ridiculous I saw on facebook?

http://imgur.com/gallery/KtKNmXG

This is the kind of thing that has made me really frustrated since the beginning of my school career.

First, it was show your work on your math. Okay fine, so I get that you want to make sure I didn’t google my answers, but for really simple problems, this is a waste of my time, and besides, didn’t we just spend second grade working on proving we could do math by memory without showing work?

Then show your work extended to reading and writing and science and everything else. If I can get the same answer without coloring the verbs green and the nouns yellow then why should I have to waste my time with that? Please treat me like the high schooler I am (was); don’t treat me like a kindergartener with coloring homework. I want you to teach me the material, not some dumb game to make it take fifty billionty-jillion times as long to finish the assignment…Forcing me to do all these extra steps actually makes me more prone to error because there are so many more places to lose my train of thought and makes me feel so over it by the time I am done…which is why my written assignments are usually kind of messy, because first I go through and just solve the problems the normal way. Only once that is done do I fill in the “work that led me to that answer” around my final answer and cross out any notes that were the “wrong way to find the answer.” You know what? In the real world the aim is to be able to use the information, not to be able to do a technically correct oil painting to show how you solved for ‘X.’ As a pharmacy technician I have never once been asked to show how I figured out how much drug someone needed—as long as the correct amount was on the label I could have counted on my toes to determine the right answer for all my coworkers care, and if someone wanted to write out all the steps they used to get to the right answer that would be okay too.

I get a lot more questions wrong when you make me show my work, because I have to keep stopping in the middle of a problem to write down what I did. It is much more efficient to just DO the work and then WRITE the answer…and when I don’t have to keep stopping to write down what I did you are a lot less likely to end up with 75’s that turned into 57’s in the middle of the problem, or plus signs that morphed into division or subtraction.

Now this…really? I can’t say I haven’t gotten problems wrong before for showing my work wrong, but my version of showing it wrong usually had more to do with things like I saw no reason to round off my work at any particular point when I was going to use the whole number in the rest of the work anyway. It is completely ridiculous to take points off because you thought 5×3 looked nicer as a string of 3’s than of 5’s. I would also ask you to use a little logic. How do we read this when we read the problem out loud? Unless you are an imbecile that never passed the first grade, I really hope you read it as “five times three.” So 5 times 3 means I have 3 fives and therefore 5+5+5=15. Or I could just skip ahead to second grade and realize that 5×3=15 without doing that stupid addition thing…how do I multiply 1.5×3.1 using your stupid addition method? In 7th grade I had to learn all those stupid rules like the additive property of whatever and the commutative property of whatever (clearly I learned then really well since I don’t even know the whole names anymore or what they mean)…but anyway one of those rules says that 5×3 is the same as 3×5…and that teacher should be lucky they weren’t trying to grade me, because guess what my array would have looked like on the second problem…I would have drawn an array that was simply 24 dots in a line…you wanted an array, you got an array.

You know what you are teaching kids by marking these things wrong? No, not to follow directions even if you said in class to do it the retarded way and write 3+3+3+3+3 for 5×3. You are teaching them that school is dumb and that a lot of teachers don’t have a good grip on reality. What is your goal, really, in standing in front of these students? If you want them to know how to become robots following commands and becoming disrespectful since you can’t learn to respect their time then by all means, press on ahead this way, but if you goal is for them to be able to use the material then why does is matter if my paper has a neatly transcribed list of steps to reach the final answer of if my paper has only the correct answer and maybe a picture of a sailboat and a bird from when I got tired of playing your games? Either way, I got the right answer. Either way the building has the correct supports, the patient got the right amount of drug, the program displays the correct output values.

I’m losing the strength to try

(5 minutes at a time—Superchick)

Sometimes 5 minutes at a time is too much…when your attention span seems to be closer to 5 seconds, 5 minutes can seem like an eternity…patience isn’t a virtue that I like to put into practice.

I feel frustrated. I have poured my heart, soul, and mind into school, and this semester it doesn’t seem that I have gotten any return on investment. I know a lot of people who are barely trying and getting the same or better grades than I am. To put it bluntly, I am a bit jealous. I could do a lot of things that feel a lot more productive with my time if I weren’t pouring it all into school. I would be thrilled to have more time to love on people, and to serve people, and to get more involved on campus or maybe to get a pharmacy job or you know, just anything more enjoyable than studying. I care too much to give up and try to live the life that other people are living not really studying and just winging everything…and considering how my grade are now, it couldn’t hurt much even though I am not going to let go and try it. I mean, there are some people who jut wing it and just happen to guess randomly and correctly and get A’s that way…I, on the other hand, tend to get things totally wrong if I am just guessing ’cause I don’t know…for that matter even when I do know I manage to get lots of questions wrong…

Why should I keep trying when I fail when I try AND I would likely fail when I don’t try. I know that at least for the useful information that I should try because learning it is more important than being able to read the teacher’s mind and get the right exam answers, but I am starting to get really frustrated with pouring my heart into these things just to get a lousy grade anyway. A lot of material I am supposed to be learning is stuff that isn’t things that I will need or want to know objectively in real life, and there are plenty of things I will want to know in real life that I won’t ever learn in school. While some of the stuff I won’t need to know is stuff that it is probably good to be exposed to like personality theories, being able to describe and define a laundry list of terms related to personality and personality types will have absolutely no role in practice as a pharmacist. Being aware that different people think differently and having an idea of what some of those differences might be is great, and well-roundedness is fine as long as it doesn’t make you a Jack of All Trades Master of None, but being able to label a person’s dominant trait and alternative trait isn’t going to be useful…

I am also frustrated because in real life I can take a sick day, but in school there are no sick days so my grades rate my performance without taking into account whether or not I believed I could function that day. Sure, if I went to work that day I would be doing lousy work, but in the real world there are sick days and if I am not feeling my best I can take a day off and on the days I do work I can provide excellent clinical work as a pharmacist (or whatever else I am doing, but I wanna do pediatric clinical pharmacy…). In the real world my performance will be rated on the days that I do feel like I can make good decisions and come in to work (unless I start missing excessive days). Even on the rare days when nothing I do is graded, you miss school, you miss out. Not going to lectures might not directly impact your grade, but missing the lecture is missing an important learning opportunity (and is just kind of disrespectful of the effort that your teachers put in to preparing a lecture). I have seen a lot of buzz recently about how our country has a broken education system and IDK what some of those people are whining about ’cause it’s a school, not an alternative to parenting…that article we read in high school about school-homing was a joke, not a reality…but I think the way we assign grades without consideration for sick days and the like and considering only superficial measures rather than actual obtained knowledge/skills our grades which are our version of performance reviews are not a very realistic reflection of what we can and can’t do.

The JOY will come and the hurt won’t last

(He will not let Go–Laura Story)

God is good

(Please note once again that writing is my processing avenue. Just ’cause I wrote once that this is how things are in the moment doesn’t mean that they are that way LT)

But when it rains, it pours…last night I went to an even that I had no business being at…actually, that is not true. As a leader of SDC I felt compelled to attend, and it was on a topic that I am passionate about spreading awareness of: abuse and victim blaming. I blame myself. I have forgiven, but not myself yet. I can’t. Yeah, I know all that Jesus forgives you blah blah blah, but grace is HARD and I don’t feel worthy of forgiveness sometimes. The blame and shame is too heavy to even lift enough to share…probably partly because shame breeds in silence so I have been growing it for a long time, and the longer it goes the harder it gets…but I can’t change the past, and the hurt is heavy.

Here is why I had no business at the event (aside from a peak at my grades): The pervasive sense of worthlessness, of accusation, of shame of fear were messages that were prominent and not a good thing for me to be around. I couldn’t take it anymore. My fingers hurt from the overwhelm of adrenaline racing through my capillaries. My heart was crying for the make believe people in the story. My mind began to drink in the messages of worthlessness and shame and began to be crushed by the accusations and the fear made me feel small and want to hide and I knew I better get myself outta there. I wanted to know what happened next, but I knew it was more important that I not let myself be surrounded by such hurtful messages than that I satisfy my curiosity…and I determined my duty as an SDC leader were fulfilled by showing up and the guy on stage said it was okay to leave early if we needed to so it wasn’t really that rude since I did it quietly and discretely.

…but there was another problem. So that college my friend was going to bring me to that was going to be my idyllic place to just get to be a real college student where people actually care about me and include me and let me know I belong…well, there was someone there who was from that school and in addition to saying it was fine if we left early, they also said that if we did leave early this person would follow us out to find out why and to process with us because they wanted this to be a discussion (and I suppose if you leave early you miss the discussion). The guy from that school didn’t follow me out or even get up when I left. That kicked it home for me that I truly was worthless and no one could ever care about me. I can run, but I can’t hide—even at a totally different school I won’t matter, and I never will.

After a pit stop at the bathroom to calm down before going home, because I know driving upset isn’t safe since I was in no place to make good judgment calls, I listened to “Nothing Bad Will Happen” on repeat and went to my car and then to home…and on the way home I saw an opossum and it was adorable and I thanked God for the pretty animals even though I didn’t have time to stop and pet it, and that snapped me back into a more realistic frame of mind. First of all, I intended to blame it on the fact that one of the people on stage had a horrible potty mouth, so it is kind of a good thing even though it hurt to not be approached, because deception and excuses isn’t my jive. Second, I was in the second to last row. There is a reasonable chance he didn’t even see me leave…and even if he did, just because one person didn’t talk to me, it doesn’t mean that I am not fearfully and wonderfully made. I do not know anyone else’s life experience. Perhaps he just got a text message from his wife that his child is in the emergency room and he is now hyper-focused on figuring out what is wrong and how long he’ll have to stay here. Maybe more superficially, the last time he talked to a girl with a red backpack she was a jerk and so he’d rather not talk to girls with red backpacks anymore. I can’t judge someone else’s actions on the basis of knowing that this person exists for twenty-five minutes.

Also, this is one person, and my understanding is that this is a bigger school so there are a LOT of other people there…even if it was something personally against me, that doesn’t mean that everyone at the entire school is going to be the same way. Even at my school there are some good people in addition to the not good people…and my God doesn’t make worthless beings. He makes masterpieces. And while some people (myself included sometimes…) might blame me for what I have faced and make me feel shame-filled, God sees that many of these things are realistically not my fault, and even when I have messed things up, he has forgiven me of any wrong-doings before I even asked and washed me whiter than snow, as if it hadn’t happened…I am his beloved child.

Side note: The seats in the new auditorium are EXTREMELY narrow. The fact that my pants are often too loose serves as evidence that I am not fat, but I felt like I didn’t have nearly enough space in those chairs…but at least there isn’t gum stuck on them…yet…unlike the chairs in the other classrooms…

I can be myself

(I’m not cool—Scott Krippayne)

Ever wondered what the conversations I have with myself sound like when I’m having good days? I feel like I have done conversations from my head when I wasn’t happy but not when I was…So here is a weekend of JOY…minus the parts where I was upset…It is just as random and nonsensical as when I am upset, but everything if infinitely more joy-filled…parenthetical remarks except where used to indicate the removal of my name were added later…

APPLE JUICE!! (Name) please turn both sinks off then you can reward yourself with the juice.

(Name) why is your full cup on the floor? You can put your pencil in your backpack later. Try to do ONE thing at a time.

Please put the shoe on your foot and turn off the lights. This is why it takes you forever to get out the door…but I love you anyway…

That is NOT what that sign is supposed to say…(pause, thinking)…I like it. I like it a lot.

FRIENDSES! More come?

Where is your inside voice? Can you find your inside voice? No lunch if you don’t find your inside voice. (instantly finds inside voice). I thought that might get through to you. I know you like the back of my hand. (looks down briefly at hand) Hey!! That’s new!

Oooh!! Small people! No! You can’t go play because I know you well enough to know that you’ll never make it the rest of the way if you do and then you won’t see your actual friends and then you will be sad. See? Kids=sad. You don’t want that. Go see friends!! (10 minutes later when I actually get out of my car and walk in) Lots and Lots of friends! Yeah, like 3 so far…

…and now you have a good idea why you tell yourself to grow up when you are being picky…it’s really good you discovered soy and rice milk though ’cause ain’t no one got time anymore for spending hours at the table in a face down with milk and the latest and greatest attempt to make it palatable (Let’s just say those chocolate and cereal covered straws had high potential and when eaten plain were good, but once they were used for milk they were disgusting…such a shame to waste all that good chocolate by making it mushy and milky…also hot chocolate mix > ovaltine > nestle > chocolate syrup)

Wait did that mom just say that people expect us to have flawless skin? It looks like I am the only one in this room falling short of that expectation if that is really true. I have definitely learned my lesson on chasing other people’s changing expectations of me though. That is not a game I am willing to play again. All Done All Done.

Oooh!! Look how many nilla wafers are in the bag!! That’s more than I have fingers!

Umm where did you get the idea that nilla wafers, apple juice, apple sauce, and peanut butter crackers–and a spoon packed as an afterthought–equated to breakfast lunch and at least a start to dinner? Why can’t you pack a lunch the right way? Umm, maybe because *someone* packed her lunch not wanting to use the microwave…oh yeah…someone did a real good job packing a lunch and not crushing the crackers in the bottom of the backpack. We should be friends with her.

I can’t remember what inner child work is anymore, but I do know that my inner child would like you to please pass the skittles please! I don’t think that’s how it works. I don’t think I care.

FRUIT SNACKS!! Oww my foot just got bitten off by a giant monster! Yeah, well my arms just got bitten off! Where is my body? Have you seen my body?? Areg;jaerg;ajerbg A talking head!! Hey! How are you talking?? You don’t even have a head! Umm…can we go back to studying therapeutics? Oh yeah!! That’s what I was doing!

I am SO excited to be a REAL college student again!…okay fine, more like a college tourist so the exact same thing I could do at home…umm actually I should probably find out if she meant she’d take me there to study or to like talk to people…

(Name) STOP!! You’re making a mess…but I’m just watering my flowers…umm…okay, and the table. Just ’cause you needed a quart of water didn’t mean the flowers were that thirsty. (Side note, on second thought, this might be why they aren’t looking very alive…I somehow managed to keep a plant alive that went back and forth between home and school with me a few times and even spent the month of winter break alone at school and it only ended up dying when it went through an awful hail storm and then I forgot to water it for pretty much an entire semester…but that doesn’t necessarily mean that every plant can survive that kind of abuse).

No I don’t know what the shirt you found in your backpack smells like, and yes it doesn’t smell like sweat, but it also doesn’t smell good so it doesn’t really matter how long it may or may not have been worn.

Look it’s like a kindergarten chair! If they take down the no trespassing sign lets go sit in it. Because if I fits, I sits.

Let’s do intuitive eating. But this meal has no protein. Yeah, that’s the point. I’m full and I don’t want any. Oh…Can you do that? I’m pretty sure that is how it works…speaking of listening to my body, I want some more skittles. Umm, I thought you were full, and I’m pretty sure you are listening to your mouth and not your body…How about you put the peanut butter in the microwave and eat it anyway and then SIT DOWN.

Yes, I know you said you couldn’t get up until you came up with something to write about so you have a paper to turn in tomorrow, but that was before I knew you’d need another napkin. Go get it and come back.

Umm…don’t wanna burst your bubble or anything…but…if you wanna vacuum and mop you can’t spread your notes out on the floor…it’s not gonna work…

How you doin’ work when you askin’ where the couch at?

(Til the Day I Die–TobyMac)

You know that the next weekend is going to be grocery shopping weekend no matter what when you realize that it is now the 25th and you just finished the carton of milk that expired on the 15th…TUMS might fill in the nutritional void for the week until you have time to get there, but at like 5 calories each they won’t fill the caloric void…

I looked down and was like but look how much fruit I have…but girl does not live on fruit alone so while I am well stocked for an over 3 week fruit-pocalypse, the fact that I am out of milk and only have two bags of frozen peas left kind of negates the utility of that…I wish I’d bought more last time I went to the store because I wanted another week before I had to go to the store…but I can’t change the past.

…That realization wasn’t all bad though because it also reminded me that I can’t remember if I have paid my rent yet, but considering the pile of receipts and junk mail dating back to the first week of the month that I still need to put away, my instincts say I haven’t done it, ’cause I was down to like the last few days last month so I would have just written one check to cover both months if I had paid the first week of the month…#addittothetodolist…hey, I still have 10 days I can totally still procrastinate/forget this…

Sometimes I have to remember that people only know the stuff that I tell them or that someone else tells them…sometimes I just expect people to know things because it seems obvious to me, but there are a lot of things that are obvious to other people that I don’t get, so I can’t really make that assumption…and it is one thing if I have very clearly laid out my perspective and my opinions and expectations and someone completely ignores it to drive me up the metaphorical wall, but it doesn’t make sense to be frustrated when someone with whom I haven’t ever shared my thoughts suggests something that is totally out of bounds for me even if does hit me right where I still have old wounds. Some people are intentionally hurtful, but other people are genuinely trying to be kind and just don’t know enough of my story to know that what they are asking of me is pretty close to impossibility. I know myself, but that is an area that someone else won’t have had so much experience. Thankfully the whole conversation that this relates to took place via written communication and the other person never had to know that I freaked out, because I had could take a step away and write a composed response.

…and now I need to re-download my homework assignments for one of my classes because somehow they totally disappeared from my computer…more reasons to be frustrated…one step at a time…

Nothing bad smothers me

(Nothing bad will happen–The Worry Wizard)

Oh my…isn’t it great when you realize you have 3 minutes to get to the stupid apartment complex you are looking for and have no idea where you are and are trying to press buttons on your phone to figure out where in the world you are supposed to go to get where you want to be…and then you are in a hurry so you abbreviate and just put “Wisconsin” in the search bar…umm…pretty sure that isn’t going to work…luckily I made it just a few seconds after my partner so it all worked out…and then I got lost trying to get myself back to school, but it actually worked out better because when I made a random turn and just figured I’d drive for a while why I plugged in where I wanted to go on my phone I actually found somewhere that I recognized right about the same time that I got the phone navigation going…didn’t stop me from yelling at Angie which is what I named my phone when she told me to turn and I hadn’t found the road I wanted to turn on yet, but that part was more a factor of that I am now on my third unprovoked OCD flare of the year and while on the outside I am still 97% normal, on the inside my tummy feels itchy and the only way to make it go away even just a little bit momentarily is to wash my hands…but as soon as I stop the anxiety comes right back in. And obviously antihistamines don’t work on anxiety…I kind of sort of considered help at 1, but now that I am at 3 it feels like time to tell someone…even if that someone is just the internet…I can trace back exactly what the problem is now that causes the flares, but I haven’t figured out yet how to stop it from happening. They have ranged from one and a half days to three hours, but the best I’ve done so far is to recognize when I am at risk and do whatever I can figure out to push it further out, but when it finally happens it is still like a switch flips and I go from totally fine to totally entrenched…

It is super frustrating because Thursday I kind of suspected it was coming and I really thought I could keep it at bay if I just relaxed, and I justified that if I didn’t really do homework Thursday but prevented an OCD flare from occurring that I’d be further ahead in the long run since I have a lot more free time on Fridays…it is super frustrating that I could only postpone rather than prevent it, because it means I lost Thursday intentionally and I ended up losing most of Friday anyway…I am going to figure this out though. I will not be defeated.

I might have failed my practicum Friday morning before the OCD struck, but it was probably a good learning experience, because I always kind of knew last year that it probably wasn’t anyone’s cup of tea to work with me last year, but experiencing something similar first hand drove the point home about how awkward it is for the chief complaint to be I don’t really have any complaints, everything is totally controlled my doctor just told me to come here and talk to you…yeah, I definitely didn’t know where to go with that and it showed which is why I am pretty sure I failed the practicum. In real life people don’t fail if they aren’t really sure what their role ought to be so it is maybe a little less stressful, but it probably is still pretty awkward when my contribution is I have no problems aside from the fact that I’d prefer to be studying right now so I don’t really care that I am paying you multiple cents per second, I am a typical college student tending to be more pleased when she gets less for her money. Anyway…I think the practicum may have been both the chicken and the egg. Because I was thrown off right at the beginning, by the end of the session the OCD was already kicking in, and because the OCD was kicking in I was distracted and struggling even harder to complete the practicum which stressed me out even more…oops…

Also, can someone please tell me why one of my compulsions is reading about people vomiting? It’s been that way since the beginning that when the anxiety is high so is the number of hours I need to spend reading reading reading about vomit. The stories only add to the fear, but I can’t stop reading…the best I can figure out is that it gives me a teeny tiny bit more sense of control since I know more of what is happening and where and when and what happened, but considering that some of the stories I might be reading could be many years old, I’m sure there must be some other thing going on…and maybe if I could figure that one out then the time I spend not washing my hands could be a little more productive.

…eventually you realize that you are going to need to get yourself home and you might as well do it sooner rather than later since you know it is going to be a production when you get home trying to figure out how to get everything clean enough…but it was a good choice, because at least at home the hand sanitizer is greasy instead of drying my hands out, and I can put the hand sanitizer bottle on my bed if I need to…finally right before I went to bed the anxiety finally went away and I was mentally drained from chasing germs all day, but it was good for at least a few minutes of my day to be back to normal, because I was really concerned about trying to go to a conference with only one or two people who actually know about the anxiety. Some people know how to support me when I am having trouble because it isn’t break time yet but I really feel dirty, but obviously someone I have never met is not going to know that when I am whispering/whining/begging for hand sanitizer that I am not being rude, but am just searching for something to make the next few minutes tolerable. Although, I probably am polite enough that I would never do more than politely ask during a discussion moment and accept the answer graciously if I were to feel like I needed it there…

Also, on the positive side, even though living with OCD again is no fun, it is still a LOT better for it to not be a constant unwanted companion and instead just be an occasional uninvited visitor…and maybe I’ll figure out soon how to make the OCD go completely away again…I mean, I made it past the one year point that is supposed to mean that it is a pretty good chance it really is controlled and it wasn’t until it had been more than a year that this came up so in my opinion that means it shouldn’t be too hard to get rid of it again…

They are inside your head

(Not over yet—For King and Country)

Inside my head isn’t a great place to be sometimes…there is way too much chaos and stupidity in there…

You know you’re not a “normal college student” when you look in your fridge and are super proud of yourself for looking like a normal college student because you have to look through the empty pizza box to find the box with the slice of pizza you want in it…also, the business office is going to think I have a weird addiction to pizza, because I have three pizza receipts to turn in once I get all my forms signed…what is really awesome though is that for each event I ordered pizza for I got a piece to take home for another day…

Although I recognize that writing is important and that communication is important, I wish I had never learned when I was in high school to write people letters after having “conversations” with them, because I feel like even though people tend to respond really well to it that it isn’t the greatest way to communicate since it means a lot of things that would be more easily discussed face to face will end up being discussed over facebook or email or not at all. I am trying to break the habit, but so far that has mostly meant that I just don’t communicate what I am thinking very well at all which just isn’t a great solution…I understand that writing had a definite important role. When I could barely speak or even give a yes or no in conversation, my writing gave me a voice. Also, I am a processor so a lot of times I really struggle to articulate the squiggles in my brain until I have had some time to process the information…which means that no matter how hard I try, I will probably never get rid of the feeling that I have more to say after a conversation ends…but now that I do actually contribute in conversation, I don’t want to rely on written communication anymore. I want my voice to be heard audibly…and TBH, sometimes I feel like I am wasting people’s time because they already talked to me and now they have to read what I wrote…I know that is super dumb since I mostly only write in that way to the people who are closest to me, which means they most of the time are legitimately happy to see what I am writing, but it is what it is…So I suppose this mostly comes down to a problem of that I have decided that I don’t like who I am and would prefer to be someone else. I don’t like being a processor. I want to be like my friend who is very verbally gifted and can just say whatever she is thinking (except when she gets distracted in the middle and totally loses the train of thought…but I do that too).

Sometimes I wish I could go back to second year, or even to third year…life wasn’t perfect then, but at least most of the problems were a lot more visible and thus a lot less frustrating to cope with. I mean, maybe the anxiety about ordering food is lost, but it is pretty obvious when girl has someone with her to talk for her and in groups no communication is exchanged when she is intentionally skipped in going around the circle to comment on things that girl has some kind of communication problem. Maybe the inability to think about anything but the germs in the air is lost, but it is pretty obvious when girl’s hands are bright red and bleeding to the wrists and when girl must sanitize the bag her lunch is in prior to consumption that girl has a problem likely with germs. Maybe the fact that this girl is planning on walking as fast as she can the 8 miles to her apartment because she is having trouble finding any other options is lost, but it is pretty obvious that there is some sort of problem when a young girl is walking around with a bicycle around 5:45am, or when that girl is frantically trying to make phone calls and describe where she is in hopes of someone rescuing her…and maybe the girl was too afraid and too naïve to communicate the problem and you won’t see the people talking about her as if she was some storybook character, but the girl trying to hide her tears and disillusionment clearly had something going on, ’cause during 2nd year finals people don’t just hear their email alert, look down, look terrified, and leave for a bike ride without a water bottle (P.S. ProTip: If you are doing something you shouldn’t be, you probably shouldn’t include the person you are violating in on your email even if she isn’t a tattletale…not saying, just saying)

I don’t wanna write two protected posts in a row, so I am going to leave out all the background details, but today I was thinking that it is pretty fitting that I call a certain place the “Princess Library.” It was where I was trying to go when I got a flat tire on my bike at the end of third year…and I am fairly certain it is actually a library, but I also think it has nothing to do with princesses. See the first time someone said the name of the library, I pictured it as a child sitting on the shoulder of a fairy princess, and despite learning that with the actual spelling of the name it really isn’t at all related to princesses or small children, the name “Princess Library” stuck. I can’t ever ever ever try to go back (or rather I suppose I could but the fear inside my brain says even if I had time that trying to go back could lead to too many scary unknowns with negative consequences…I’m not scared of another flat tire so much as the more person related possibilities…Also, the princess library is now associated with a person who inside my head has a nickname that involves princess…also, the reason I was thinking about this has to do with the fact that apparently the girl who sets out just before 5am to bike a totally unknown area of a city everyone tells her is like totally dangerous especially alone and especially when it is not yet broad daylight, would never when in need of some stupid specialized location ever go further than the very short distance between her apartment and school or MAYBE just maybe her friend’s house for community group…yeah…’cause that totally makes all the sense in the world…and I’m going to end this here, because I do not want to identify any specific people nor do I want to say anything negative that anyone might take offense at…once a people-pleaser, always a people-pleaser…there are a lot of things that people do that are frustrating, like the fact that my school apparently wastes money on someone whose whole job is just to play on social media looking for people posting things they think are offensive like getting people in trouble for posing with dead animals and posting it to facebook…what a stupid and pointless job. Perhaps instead of paying someone for that you could buy microwaves for the stupid new building. Or how about the people who are paid to make sure the rows of desks are straight…guess what! As soon as students enter this room, we aren’t going to leave the desks 100% in straight rows. With the money you save there you could stop nickle and diming us for our required yearly background check and the like…or just stop requiring that since you already admitted that regardless of what you find that you don’t do anything with the information…Oh wait…I wasn’t going to say anything negative…whatevs…too late…

Wanna know what I learned yesterday while playing an icebreaker game designed to build empathy and to teach about how it feels to have people believe in you? Mostly that I probably shouldn’t have included an infant in the deck of role play cards, because initially I got that card and wasn’t interested in playing anymore because how can you argue against the baby?! The other thing I learned is that when me, myself, and I are playing we mostly just learn that we are indecisive and passive…

…I have more to say, but it is now past time to hurry up and do some homework…and pretend I am totally working on my research paper that hasn’t been writing itself or researching itself…and the whole slew of other things that need to be written or otherwise accomplished…in addition to learning a ton of stuff for exams and quizzes…

You can be pretty but it’s just pity if you don’t get down to the nitty gritty

(Style Where it Counts—Little Dogs on the Prairie)

Saturday I learned why I usually read the labels of products I am unfamiliar with before deciding to drink them…the picture on the bottle looked child-like and it said natural flavors on the front despite the second ingredient being high fructose corn syrup so I just assumed that it would be caffeine free…and I assumed wrong which I discovered twenty five minutes later…and upon closer inspection, caffeine is listed on the label in tiny print at the bottom…I’ve heard that caffeine is good for concentration…but so is not feeling sick…Luckily it was enough caffeine to make me not feel great for a couple hours but not so much to make me regret it enough to not finish the rest of it.

As I was going through the random compilation of thoughts on my computer, I discovered why one particular teacher never answered my question…Teachers are more likely to respond if you actually remember to hit send on an email to them…good reminder to give grace to the ones who don’t respond when I do remember to hit send.

Resilience is spiraling down like a tornado one day and then waking up in the morning refreshed and ready to start a new day…and this is why I leave some emails unsent at the end of the day…if it isn’t excessively urgent it is often better to wait and have time to re-read it later before sending…even if I am not upset, reading it at a different time after some space from the initial writing can help to make sure I am communicating what I intended to communicate. It isn’t procrastination so much as it is trying to be respectful and responsible.

You know you’ve had a hard day when you fall asleep on top of your homework over an hour before bedtime because you are so drained…I wasn’t at all physically tired Wednesday. I’d gotten enough sleep and hadn’t exerted myself or anything…and I hadn’t even been nearly as focused as I should have been studying…but emotionally I was drained…two full size bags of skittles and a bag of peanut M&Ms brought me back to functioning status (Jesus’ love covers a multitude of sins, and a bag of candy covers a multitude of problems), but I was so drained that doing homework was something I was trying really hard to do, but not really succeeding at…and then my body proved to me that emotional energy really is a real thing by causing me to fall asleep on top of my notes somewhere around maybe 7:30pm…I was kind of frustrated with myself, but I guess I do know that if I was able to fall asleep that early that I clearly needed it to refresh my brain…when all the tabs get stuck open or stuck closed on my computer a forced restart by pulling out the batteries usually fixes it, and I guess the same thing works on my brain (except with falling asleep rather than yanking my brain completely out of my head…that would hurt…

You know you are stressed out when your joy about your favorite parking spot by the big tree that is outside the church on the corner being totally available and easy to access is replaced by self-demeaning remarks about how it is dumb that you have a favorite parking spot and even if you were going to have a favorite that is pretty much the dumbest spot you could like. Then I yelled at myself because I sounded like a certain person I never ever want to be like and I said “where did you learn to talk like that.” Which was bad, because of course I learned it from that person. I thought about washing my mouth out with soap, but that sounded like an unsafe idea and then I was a safe enough distance away from the situation to laugh at myself…and then I almost walked into the wall because I was busy looking at the empty space where there used to be a garbage can but it appears to have been removed probably because people had trouble distinguishing what was appropriate to throw there (junk mail, empty candy wrappers) and what wasn’t (Poop, full bags of trash from your apartment)…and people also seemed to have difficulty locating the trash can or were lacking the visuospatial skills to recognize when it was full to stop putting trash in it…some people also haven’t figured out that the floor where the garbage can used to be also isn’t an appropriate location for their garbage…like “assistant coach George” says in the musical “Truth Works,” “Please discard your unwanted food service items in the appropriate receptacle. Trash! Refuse! Debris! Throw away your trash!”

On Thursday night, the new building at school smelled really strongly of alcohol…YUCK! My mom says not to whine about that because when she was my age the whole building would have smelled perpetually like smoke, but I was so not above putting my hands over my mouth and nose to filter out some of the smell. Do I recognize that is childish and disrespectful, yes, but would I have removed my hands if I saw the people drinking alcohol, probably not…I didn’t remove them when I saw the cleaning people. In my opinion, if you are being disrespectful by drinking so much alcohol that the entirety of the first two floors smells strongly of alcohol then you are probably too inebriated to even notice if I am being disrespectful anyway, so I am going to continue to protect my breathing air. In the process of trying to escape from the smell though, I found a part of the new building that I actually like! There is a guillotine paper cutter (and a hole in the table so you don’t even have to carry your own trash) AND you don’t even have to provide your own paper to play with AND there is hand sanitizer if you need it which seems to be the only place in the new building with hand sani which is super nice when you are carrying a lot of stuff and don’t want to set it all down to wash your hands in the bathroom and while guillotine paper cutters aren’t as good at making straight cuts or making the cuts at 90 degree angles, they are a LOT of fun!! Especially since this one doesn’t even seem to have a safety mechanism on it…I might hate most of the new building, but I don’t hate the whole thing anymore…we still need microwaves and kitchenettes over there…

On Friday someone whined on facebook that they thought more people should come to the event. Sorry, not sorry that you didn’t get the turn out you wanted (insert fake pouty face…poor baby). If you wanted people to come then it is kind of your fault for planning an event the weekday before a therapeutics exam…Free food is not worth that much of my time for an event that will require me to sit still and listen to more people talk at me…An active social event I may have considered, but even that is sketchy if I would have sacrificed good study hours for. I did play bingo but mostly because I was half studying the whole time and I was going to watch part of a movie during the time I usually would be getting almost nothing one anyway, but then I didn’t watch the movie because I dreamed that someone I don’t like would sit next to me and listen in on my conversations the whole time and that was a scary thought so I opted out of the movie…which was probably a good choice, because pizza is better than popcorn any day and I certainly didn’t have time to do both.

You know what maybe should be scary but instead is just another frustrating day in the life? Waking up in the morning and realizing there is blood all over your fitted sheet yet after searching your body for possible bleed sites coming up dry except for a similarly shaped bloodspot on your pajama shirt except the one on the pajama shirt is very clearly old blood…meh…even cuts I can’t find will heal…My initial thought was AWESOME! I slept through a nosebleed!…but then I quickly reasoned that there was not nearly enough blood to be a nosebleed nor was there any evidence of blood on my face…

I really like going to church most of the time. I loved this weeks sermon. (The weird drawing at the bottom is supposed to be those wooden number and letter blocks except I only brought in my red and black pens and also I am not a good artist…). I almost didn’t go because I forgot my bag of clothes and guess who was going to stand out in an almost neon tie-dye T-shirt, but I am so glad I didn’t…they even put a girl on stage! She was awesome!

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I learned a long time ago that guilt is from God and shame is from Satan, and guilt says I made a mistake while shame says I am a mistake and am not worthy of love, but I heard something new about shame a few days ago. Shame breeds in silence and secrecy…and this would be why I think silence is pretty much never the right answer…but my opinion is wrong.

Sunday I ventured out of my apartment. I don’t often see much of where I live in the daylight, but it is so beautiful. I love my neighborhood.…I would end up at school though with people wanting to take pictures with me the one day in like ever that I decide I can totally get my hair into a ponytail without showering and just throw on a shirt and a pair of shorts that should probably never really be worn as anything except pajamas…luckily I am not one of those girls who really cares what she looks like…

I didn’t mean to watch cry videos the morning before my exam…but there was a scary mommy story about what it feels like to have a bullied child, which led to me reading another post with a picture of an adorable girl crying…which reminded me of the video I pinned on pinterest about indirect bullying which makes the very real point that physical bullying hurts, and verbal bullying hurts, but the indirect bullying of just being excluded hurts worst of all. It is often under the radar, but it is very real…The people I wanted to play trivia with didn’t come. I had fun playing by myself, and was even winning, but it was lonely playing all alone. It would have been easy for someone to let me sit with them, and I would have been a valuable addition to someone’s team, but no one wanted me…and sometimes I just feel so defeated that I don’t ask because the subtle rejection seems better than publicizing overt rejection.

Sometimes I am really spiteful towards myself…I was whining at myself that none of my pens were the shade of black I wanted to write with and I was driving myself crazy with it because who even cares what the notes I am going to throw away later look like?! So I found my black flare pen marker and started writing in marker…Yep, it’s the right shade…it just is hard to write in marker and it kinda smells…the only reason I have black and red flares though is that they were required school supplies throughout K12, so I guess I might as well use them up…I sure showed myself…

I was watching a video recently and it said how some people do really well doing the first 80% of a task and then struggle really hard to do the last 20% and it doesn’t mean they are lazy or irresponsible, it is just how they are…which is good, because I realized I am kind of one of those people…except it is more the first 5% and the last 15% that I struggle with…When I know literally nothing it is overwhelming and hard to get started because there is just so much to know, but once I get started I really get going and work really hard…then when I almost know it but not quite it is like pulling teeth to keep me focused on continuing to learn the rest of the material…I don’t wanna…and then I get to the test and sometimes I’m like yeah, that is that last little bit that I am not so sure on…but other times it is like I know this section of my notes word for word and even know exactly where the smudge on the page is and these answer choices definitely do not reflect what I learned would be the correct answer…frustrating…but I survived…