Marks To The Past

I walked into a door today. Not through an open door. I just walked right into the door. I ended up with a lovely bruise to show for my troubles too. Because it isn’t enough for the people who were near by to witness my inability to read and follow the instructions to open the door. That would be too simple. So I have a lovely bruise that has generated a lot of questions from people.

Some very concerned people asked me if I had been hit or abused. Which I understand as we are more “aware” of violence now. Well perhaps that’s not the right wording, I doubt we were ever unaware of violence, but rather that socially it isn’t tolerated and therefore people are more likely to think in those terms these days. At any rate when I said I walked into a door, for some people, it meant I was hit. I wasn’t. I walked into a door. This time.

I do appreciate the concern and am grateful, truly grateful that we can speak about violence, abuse and such now. Except we can’t always do that. Because as much as we’ve brought this issue into focus, we still haven’t really been able to understand abuse and why people stay in those situations.

As someone who was in an abusive relationship at one point in her life, I have used excuses in the past to hide bruising. Although I don’t think I ever said that I walked into a door. But I can see how someone might see that as an excuse. I had a lot of items stored on higher shelves that would fall on me when I tried to reach them while standing on my tiptoes. At least that’s what I told everyone. It isn’t just because my abuser told me no one would believe me if I said I was being abused.

The thing about abuse is that it becomes how things are. It isn’t so easy to just walk away from someone who you are emotionally invested in. You have hope that this time the person will change, that things will be different this time. Sometimes you believe that you deserve to feel the impact of fists on your flesh, the sharpness of kicks in your ribs reminds you just how much you need to try harder. After all you aren’t’ perfect and this person is really just trying to help you. Until one day something happens.

In my case the something was realizing that I was tired of hiding by wearing long sleeves even in summer. Or pants. Or makeup. I even artfully arranged my hair to hide bruises and cuts at times. And then one day I just stopped. Well I ran away, but I stopped hiding. Because I was afraid if I didn’t get away I’d be dead. The funny thing was I was more scared of how my death wouldn’t be noticed as a murder so to speak, as I’d be dead because I was clumsy after all.

And while I’ve run from that part of my life, and I’ve dealt with it, you never really leave it all behind. So when I saw the bruise form on my face I wondered how I’d hide it, if I even could hide it. And when people noticed I watched them give me that look when I told them how it happened.

Sometimes a bruise is just a part of something bigger, and sometimes, it’s just a bruise.

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Stuck In Between My Adult Self And Inner Child

My inner child is having a party today.  A party complete with music, dance, crafts, activities and a bouncy castle.  My inner child invited all of her imaginary friends, some of which aren’t even human.  Apparently this party included large doses of sugar to keep the inner child and friends in energy to spare!

now who doesn’t love a good party?  Other than me, when I’m not invited and my inner child is.  You see my inner child will simply get set for the party without care or concern for what I have planned for the day.  Like today.  A meeting with an accountant.

Pas I’ve mentioned before, I’m deathly allergic to math, so when I have to meet with the number crunchers, I have to be able to really focus.  Focus is not possible when my inner child is giggling uncontrollably and bouncing on her tiptoes.  It’s just not possible.  Which makes for a rough time all around.

And since someone let my inner child have al that sugar, my inner child managed to slip into a tantrum.  Honestly it wasn’t me and it it’s totally my inner child’s fault that I said the coffee sucked.  The adult me would never be so vocal about dreadful coffee.  Sure she might think that the coffee sucks, but she wouldn’t loudly announce it in full Cafe.

thankfully the tantrum vanished once my inner child saw cookies.  Who can remain in a tantrum when there are lovely cookies to be had?  Neither my adult self nor my inner child can hold onto that mode around cookies.  And there was the perfect song to listen to while munching on cookies.  Unfortunately my inner child decided to dance, my fractured adult foot was against this.  I’m pretty sure my adult doctor would say the same thing.

And now I’m adult self is tired from the party the inner child threw.  But there is a mess to clean up and I’m not even going to ask how an elephant got in here.

Avoiding The Unavoidable

I’ve been putting off tomorrow’s appointment for as long as I can.  Now I have nothing against this doctor, honestly he is a sweet and helpful man, but I just have been avoiding seeing him.  Because we both know where this appointment is going.

I would have continued to postpone this appointment, but while trying to get a prescription refilled I was told I had to actually see the doctor this time.  Gulp!  Oh sure he will be his usual pleasant, polite self as he tells me we are out of options.  No more putting this off.  And I will sit there in that small black chair and grasp at some other straw.  Anything other than a hospitalization.  Again.

Last time we danced around this very topic I was literally saved by the bell.  The fire alarm to be exact.  Going off down the hall so we got evacuated and by the time I got back, I had figured out my strategy was to take another six months just to really test how the current medication was or wasn’t working.  I think because he was somewhat distracted by things, he agreed to my request.

Short of getting another fire alarm this time, I somehow doubt I can ask for another six months of poor results and further health complications.  And it isn’t that I want to get worse, I just.  Look it’s a hospital.  Not my own home.  It’s not my bed, not my things and not my routine.  It means needing help…more than I care to have.  It means being vulnerable..more than I care to be.  And none of these things comes with the promise of getting better.  If I’m lucky they come with the promise of being stable.  Which frankly would be nice, I suppose, but it’s been so long since I’ve been stable I am kind of comfortable in my instability.

Of course Beloved has decided that my instability with how lupus affects my organs may migrate to making me irrational.  Why else, he wonders, do I put off what can help slow down if not prevent damage now.

Of course it isn’t him going into the hospital.  The freezing cold rooms.  The noise and smells.  The routine not like mine, the insistence that I rest when I have much still to do.  The food isn’t the same, the dogs won’t be there.  Oh I can draw a huge list, but before I get too far down the road, I will spend some time seeking straws to grasp for tomorrow’s appointment.

Betrayal By Coffee, or High Tea With Lupus

I was supposed to attend a high the today.  But I forgot.  Until it was time to be there.  And then, well, it was too late because one does not make grand entrances for high tea.  Or so I’ve been told.

I knew when I got up this morning that we had high tea scheduled.  I think I even mentioned it as a reminder to Beloved as I lurched towards the beverage of the gods, that great elixir called coffee.  Or maybe I just thought I mentioned it.  Life can be a bit confusing before coffee.

So I went from knowing, even in that pre-coffee haze of whatever life is called at that stage, to forgetting.  Forgetting after I was out of the pre-coffee haze when anything is possible because I think differently.  Coffee let me down friends.  Betrayed me somehow.

Or was it the dogs.  You see the wee beasties required a walk, also known as a million sniffs mixed in with a few steps here and there.  So I wrangled them up as one sometimes does with dogs that forgot how much they enjoy walks.  Maybe because mine don’t.  Enjoy walks that is.  What they enjoy is the million sniffs, or finding mud.  Walking, not so much. But I digress.

Somehow with all that intense sniffing and snuffling I lost track of high tea.  I may have lost track of my sanity too, but it’s debatable as to if I ever had any.  There were three trees in particular today that required a thorough sniffing over by each dog.  Followed with great snuffling around the same area.  We went maybe seven steps forward, just to turn back and make sure what we thought we smelled was in fact what we smelled.  We did this a few times.

I even pointed out squirrels, hoping they’d take an interest and take chase.  Not because I like being drug along like a too-heavy boat anchor, but because it would be something different.  By the time they grew tired of this game and headed for home I was feeling bone weary and exhausted.  So home was a good thing.

What wasn’t a good thing was letting the dogs know I was going to stretch out for a few minutes.  The dogs take is to mean I’m dying or some other such variation on the topic.  I’m pretty sure the reason they will stay where ever I’m resting is to see if, when I’m dead, they get more treats!  😉

Okay so not entirely fair because they know when I’m not well and they stay near me.  Comforting me even when I’m not aware that’s what I need.  And so because they do this, well for that reason and another, tea time didn’t cross my mind.  Until I heard the clock chime out the time and remembered that it was time for high tea.  As in tea was to be served at that time.

I phoned Beloved, explained to him that once more he’d be solo in some social setting because I could barely move.  I assured him no reason to come home, I just needed to not move.  So he attended high tea and I contemplated why energy wasn’t something you could just get more of.  You can order just about anything else online these days so why not energy?  And new joints?  Just to make life easier for those days when lupus isn’t playing nice.

except maybe lupus was playing nice because I’m not a huge fan of tea the way Beloved is.  So maybe lupus decided to exact her price now and allow me to miss high tea because she knows I have no clue how to select the right tea or eat those tiny sandwiches in a fitting and dainty manner.  Speaking of which, Beloved came home with said sandwiches and scones and offers to make me tea..

Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Of Great Tasting?

I may have a wee problem.  Just a small one.  In fact not so much a problem as a habit.  A social thing of sorts.  Acceptable and embraced by many.

You see dear friends when I received my new coffee maker and new coffee I stumbled into a fantasy land of sorts.  Amazing experiences!   And the thing is, I’ve decided I rather enjoy settling down with a cup.  Or two.  Or more.  Throughout the day if it’s acceptable to drink one right after the other.  Like a thirsty person who has stumbled into the world of water and is finally able to drink deeply.

A few people have told me this may be a bit, much.  Okay actually one person used the word excessive.  Someone else said it was ridiculous.  This words seem a bit, harsh shall we say.  I mean the coffee is that good and well….its quality control sampling on my part.  Sure that’s what it is!

I thought after the first day the novelty would wear off.  I’ve told myself its  just coffee.  But nothing works.  I may have to change my view-point on marriage.  Pretty sure I will be doing the proposing, to my coffee maker! 😉  Crazy?  Yep probably.  I’m not hoping to outgrow this love affair with my coffee maker and the lovely coffee it makes!  But it’s not an addiction.  Surely not!

Have You Stretched Lately

I recently had the opportunity to attend a talk about stretching yourself to reach your dreams.  When I had agreed to attend I felt healthy and anything seemed possible.  Of course by the time the event rolled around I wasn’t feeling as healthy.  A part of me thought I would just stay home and rest.  After all my doctor is pretty big on getting me to rest more.  But I was rather eager to listen to the speaker so I decided to drag myself out.

I reasoned that at worst, I would be able to rest while listening to the talk.  This was simply a talk, not an aerobics workout class so rest seemed possible.  Well at least resting my body because I wasn’t so sure my mind wouldn’t be actively engaged in the talks.

The speaker’s message was focused around people jumping in to make their dreams happen.  He suggested that people simply give it a try because in his experience if you wait for the right moment, it never comes along.  He used his personal story of deciding to start his own company to show that all one has to do to reach one’s dreams I stretch a bit further.  Find your company’s name and niche market and viola you have success.

I was correct in knowing my mind wouldn’t be able to rest because as I listened to this story my own mind was coming up with stories.  I agreed with the speaker in that if you wait for the fit moment you will send your whole life waiting.  At least if you fall into the majority of the population.

We all have stories we tell ourselves for explaining why we don’t reach our dreams.  The timing is wrong, the economy isn’t right.  Maybe you feel you need more education or experience before you can reach your  dreams.  The list of reasons why not to try can the circumference of the globe.

It is easier to find reasons why not to try something than it is to take a deep breath, close your eyes and just jump towards your dreams.  Pride, fear of failure, fear of judgements, fear of the dream not being what we envision; these are powerful things that hold us back and stop us from stretching.

Lupus, at times,mis a gray reason for me not doing things.  I realized fairly early on in this partnership with the illness that I could use lupus as a reason for not pushing as hard.  Lupus could be the justification for settling or giving up on dreams.  It’s an incredible amount of power to give to one thing when it comes to impacts on your life.

It’s because I refuse to allow lupus to have that much say in my life, and because I don’t believe in regrets, that I continue to stretch.  And my hands have grasped some dreams.  Granted a few of my leaps towards my dreams have ended in massive belly flops, but I’ve had a grand time all the same.  And I believe I have stretched a bit longer and am better for it.

Have you stretched lately?  Have you managed to get out of your own way?

Tears and Theft

Today I was grateful that the rain came back.  Because in the rain, no one sees your tears and I had already used up all the hot water in the shower.  Besides I needed out of the house.

Aging is a hard thing, when it is coupled with dementia or Alzheimer’s it’s a much harder thing.  When you spend the bulk of your time surrounded by people your own age or younger you can forget the harshness of aging.  And then you are confronted with it, in a loved one or friend.

Aging slows us down, sometimes limits what we can participate in or how our voices are heard.  These are cruel truths for most people as they age.  Through dementia or Alzheimer’s into the mix and the isolation becomes greater.

A dear family friend, whom I haven’t seen in a while, stopped by and I was surprised at how much she had aged.  Her movements were that of an older woman, and she carried herself in a careful, guarded manner.  When she lifted her cup I noticed a tremor in her hand, and a slight palsy to her neck.  She was ever so careful with her words, apologizing  for not using the correct term or such.

She had apologized for not coming by sooner, but it was really I who should have said sorry.  But I didn’t, not st the time.  Instead I wrapped myself in the excuses of working, being busy with work, my illness and just every day life was safe reasons why I hadn’t stopped by to visit her.  The truth is, I was afraid.  Her aging made me fear what my future might be like and so I hid from her to pretend that aging doesn’t happen.

i also hid from her because her sister has dementia, slow progressing dementia and so she is aware of what she is losing.  She once said dementia is like being robbed of your memories and who you basically are.  But the truth is, dementia and Alzheimer’s both act as thieves in other ways too.

For these illnesses feed the fears of “normal” people in such a way that we stay away from those who have the diagnosis.  This means that our irrational fear rob these people of our compassion, friendship, love and human touch.  And some how most of us draw comfort in being “too busy” or “caught up” and thus pretending that this part of aging doesn’t happen.

And so, dear friends, I was grateful for the rain to hide my tears.  Tears of shame and regret, at not being there more often.  No one was asking much of me, just a few moments of my time but I was too afraid to give that.  These tears were mixed with tears of anger and fear.  Anger at myself for not being able to see and meet the need for snore human who was being cut off from visits etc.  And fear that this would one day be my future.

I was also grateful for the rain because it washed my disgust with myself away and instead watered and helped grow the idea that in order to be more human I must not hid from my fears of human fragility, certainly not under the guise of being busy.