Take My Word(s) For It, This Is A Dull Post

Intentionally blank pages at the end of a book.

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Hello, again.

Lately I have felt like writing. Obessively writing. I had hoped at first that this would bring on a hypergraphic mania that would lead me to complete my novel manuscripts in record time, but alas, Vikalpa and Remote are still sitting patiently on my desktop. I seem to have a knack for documenting my life and recalling recent dialogue, but I’m no good at fiction. Just dreadful. I love my characters, but I’m truthfully a horrid writer.

This blog is dangerous, really. When I’m a frustrated, emotional mess I feel the need to write and- oh, how convenient! WordPress is waiting! (This would be a reference to my post last night.)

When I write as emotionally as that and read it later, the thought flicks across my mind for a moment – not enough to induce anxiety, but enough to initiate mild apprehension – regarding the fact that my family tree is full of mentally ill folks. If someone isn’t schizophrenic or bipolar, than they’re nearly agoraphobic – locked in their own homes that become a prison of their own fear because of the unpredictability of the outside world, and the anxiety, bother! The anxiety is everywhere.

I’m not always fearful, really. The longer moments between the anxiety (some might argue that I shouldn’t use the terms, fear and anxiety, interchangeably because of notable differences, but I find them more alike than not.) it’s actually pleasant, thinking and discussing in my mind. Though the dissociating is a bit of a pain – who am I kidding? It’s like an unwanted house guest that has not only outlived its welcome, it never had a welcome to begin with –  but thanks to the experiment I am happier.

My mother has agreed to let me see the GI specialist Doctor Madame at the ER suggested. I’m relieved about this, because while they were convinced that I have an ulcer, the doctor insisted that we talk to the specialist to find out if anything else is going on (they couldn’t be %100 certain what is wrong with me, the ulcer was a we’re-pretty-sure diagnosis). Batwoman, on the other hand, wants me to start back on my hypothyroidism supplements and start taking some sort of tree bark oil to treat the ulcer. I trust Batwoman, but I also want to get an opinion from someone with an M.D. in their title.

I didn’t mention much in my last post about driving for the first time – it was surprisingly uneventful (perhaps because I was expecting to crash within the first ten seconds…) I suppose it’s thanks to the fact that the Fit is a newer, compact car and everything was incredibly sensitive to the slightest tap. Also to the fact that my mother is rather easy-going, and let me roam around the lot as much as I wanted, commenting when I was veering where I shouldn’t or the fact that you aren’t supposed to be nearing 50 when going over a speed bump. It was a rare (or rather, the first) occasion where I was grateful that she was busy on her iPhone and not listening to me or paying attention to what I was doing. When I first got behind the wheel I felt so distant that I wasn’t certain for a moment that my mind could still communicate with my limbs, but thankfully after ten minutes or so I was so focused on the task at hand that I felt relatively normal. Mom had me park and she took a photograph from outside of me at the wheel. When she showed me the picture I was shocked, because it was the exact same expression I had on my face when she took a photograph of me in the ER in the Baylor Regional gown, hooked up to an IV and sitting up on the hospital bed. I looked…confident. Like I had everything under control. It seems to be my default expression when a camera is nearby.

I’m contemplating adding a weekly ‘Favorite Blogger Quotes’ post. I don’t do themed posts normally (or, rather, at all) but so many posts have utterly quotable phrases that I believe need recognition.  Also, I’ve created my own blog award,  The Classic Award, but I’m uncertain if I want to hand it out – after all, it isn’t notorious like the Versatile Blogger award (probably because I haven’t even let it loose on the web), so I suppose we shall see.

On a similar strand – I’m stuck as to what my next psychological experiment should be. The Rorschach Experiment in April was a grand success and heaven knows I still need to write that giant paper on it (I don’t feel comfortable with the profiles I’ve completed yet), but by January I want to have another one set into motion. Though hopefully I’ll find an assistant this time. While the Rorschach interviews were an exciting experience since I didn’t answer to anyone (or anyone to me), I still had a severe want for a Watson to help me out. If for no other reason than the hours between interviews were rather dull and I had no one to bounce ideas off of. The Center is filled to the brim with creative human beings who would be excellent for such a position, but availability has always been the largest issue. I suppose we’ll see (and indeed you will, obviously not an inch of progress will go unwritten, this is me we’re talking about…)

Take Care,

-Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

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A Rambling Madwoman In The Making

Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, smok...

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Moments that I understand as memories, feel like figments of my imagination.

One of the side effects of a week of nonstop dissociation. I’m only ever present, existing in any moment, never participating, not really. I choose what this vessel says and does, but I’m no longer ‘one’ with it. How can the mind and body feel so distant, yet cooperate so smoothly since the first moments of consciousness in the world?

Heather has had to deal with certain things that post-panic attack anxiety brings. The occasional psychosomatic symptom, the paranoia. It’s mild thank goodness, but still an inconvenience… It just doesn’t feel right. These things happen to me. It just feels incorrect when I remember that she went through a panic attack. Like the fact doesn’t fit.

I drove a car for the first time in my life today – in the parking lot of the church my brother teaches at. The dissociation felt so severe that for a few moments I couldn’t shake the intensity by focusing like I typically can.

Dissociation is created by the mind trying to distant the ‘host’ from the present situation. I’ve been distant for nearly eight days now, so I find the need to channel my inner Freudian in contemplating: what on earth is my own mind trying to protect me from? The anxiety? The sense of impending doom every night? For Pete’s sake, I’m alright! I can handle it, have been handling it for a long time now, I don’t need the inconvenience of my own perception of my involvement in my existence being distorted to pull me away from the present and alter the clarity of my memories!

I am angry at the moment, frustrated. For a week now I can’t stop thinking about the world, about how big it is, about how little and insignificant I am. It isn’t a hurtful fact, it’s just a fact. Trying to change the world with a word is like tossing a piece of miniscule pebble against the heel of an elephant. I realize there is a world outside of me, I see people in their cars and in their gardens and walking around the stores and streets and I realize that they are as focused on their lives as anyone else. We’re all wrapped up in our own tiny worlds and situations that seem so massive and life-altering because we aren’t present in the minds of everyone else around us worrying about the exact same things! Bother, how tiny, tiny, tiny my problems are. But here they are. I think about the world’s hurdles, and how a woman walking along the road is thinking personal thoughts about her personal life because it’s her life. I’ve been so distant from my own self that I’ve been thinking about the self of everyone else. The present feelings and thoughts and moments of everyone else. What it might be like, to believe and wonder and create through their eyes. And it’s incredibly unpleasant when I can’t find my way back to my own mind, when I don’t feel involved with my own existence.

I have found things to be happy about, and I am happier. And honestly most moments it isn’t as dreadful and black as I paint it here – it’s just the accumulation of frustration and wasted effort that builds until I spill out the reality of the entire scenario here.

It’s past midnight now.

Alright, I’m just being a bit of a rambling loon at the moment, so I shall do what I have done only once before – and that is, disable the ability of my readers to comment. For the same reasons as before, I don’t want my blogging family to come across this here post and feel obligated to say something (you’ve all yet to realize that you’re much too extraordinary to worry about my little life troubles.)

Goodnight,

-Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

My Meeting With Batwoman

Bat signal

Image by goosmurf via Flickr

Olga has come to be something of a superhero. Like a bedtime story.

Listening to mom describe various superpowers and bullet-proof invincibility, you sit there. Doe eyes, perked ears and slacked jaw, you marvel at the fictional figure being presented to you in the form of one miraculous tale after another. Someone you’ll have dreams about and aspire to become, showing your undying alliance in the form of plastic bat ears and foam biceps when Halloween rolls around, knowing all of the cool kids will recognize the image you portray.

If I hadn’t seen her with my own two eyes one dark night in Addison, I would believe her to be fiction.

Olga is a strikingly beautiful, unbelievably intelligent Russian my mother went to beauty college with. And today at 2:00PM, she is going to be my unofficial physician.

Yep. Still sounds like fiction, doesn’t it?

It’s 5:29AM, I haven’t slept for a single minute, and I have no idea what today is going to involve. For the first time in months I’ll be going to church (church sanctuaries trigger my panic attacks so, I suppose we’ll see how I work that one out.) And, as mentioned, I will be meeting Olga. Addison (where she resides) is a bit of a drive, but it is worth it. It’s apartments are beautiful, the streets are clean, the public art has a fresh, modern appearance to it. I certainly wouldn’t mind living there one day. And it is the location of hopefully a new chapter in my life. Starting with a hair sample being snipped and sent off to a lab somewhere in Arizona to be sliced, diced, boiled and analyzed. Hopefully holding some key or other to my panic attacks (though I still believe my anxiety symptoms to be predominantly psychosomatic, I have a family history of anxiety, which leads me to want to seek more organically medical roots – pun not intended.)

I shall write more later on. After a quick early morning meal I suddenly feel rather tired, and I’ll take any sleep I can get.

Until then,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

Talk Therapy

My life is currently surrounded by therapy. My father is in anger management, my mom is an aesthetician, and I am going to be a psychiatrist. Never placing aside the therapy of talking with Heather Madame, though when it comes to the role of patient and therapist the roles are comfortably constantly changing.

About a month or so ago I finally convinced my mom to let me see someone about my anxiety. The bad news is that the someone I was able to see wasn’t a therapist, it was a naturepathic doctor. I remember being impressed at first at the modern and professional appearance of the place from the outside, it looked like a stylish two-story office building. When we stepped in we were met with sparkling granite floors, light grey walls and complete and utter stillness in the air. Our steps echoed as we made our way to the doctor’s office. As we sat in the waiting room, I was convinced an attack would hit me (after a while one starts recognizing the signs from the room suddenly feeling distant and an indecisive heartbeat), I told my mom I had to use the ladies room and the receptionist directed me to one down the hall. I kept finding myself shaking my head, perhaps from denial, perhaps that little kid in me insisting I don’t wanna go, I don’t wanna go! I walked over to the sink and washed my hands longer than necessary, my every move, breath and step echoing. As I dried my hands I realized they were shaking. I don’t wanna go, I don’t wanna go… I felt like crying for a moment, but a quick glance in the mirror made me straighten up and toughen up. Funny how reflections do that. I’ve been furious and yelling before and one flick of the eyes to a mirror or reflective piece of glass and I was silenced. And we’ve all been crying when we have caught view of ourselves, fighting (and, for some of us, surrendering to) the impulse to throw or cover the surface, blinding ourselves of how others might see us.

About a minute after returning to my seat the doctor’s door opened and a tanned, large, rather round woman walked out wearing a lab coat.

“Sorry about the wait, please, come in. I’m Dr. Sanchez.”

After sitting down in her office she explained who she was and advertised an AM radio program she hosts. Her office smelled of B.O. She asked basic questions about my eating habits, repeatedly expressing approval at my homemade-dominated diet. She then had me fill out a piece of bright yellow paper entitled “Is It A Yeast Infection?” I kept waiting for the stepping onto the scale, the listening of the heart, the checking of blood pressure and the usual doctor looking me directly in the eye and talking to me because it was I, not my mother, who was the patient. But instead her and my mother spoke about the benefits of eating healthy and what a shame it is that America is going downhill. They chatted for a while, making the appointment go over by 30 minutes (to which the doctor said that she would ‘let us off’ without having to pay for the extra time used) she suggested a list of supplements and sent us off. Only once did they directly discuss my panic attacks, it was also the only time I was able to speak directly about my anxiety.

“Can you do it?” I surprised myself by asking my mom, “I don’t think I can talk about it without breaking down.”

She shrugged and looked uncomfortable, “I don’t remember that much.”

I cleared my throat, though I could feel a lump forming. For six months I had been waiting to tell someone who could help me exactly what happened. I explained the first attack in church and the one the following week, along with the dissociation and feelings of general anxiety, periods of agoraphobia and the nightly sense of impending doom. Within three minutes I had explained everything, though, as I expected, at the end the waterworks had started up. My mom joined in to give her side as to why she didn’t take me to the ER when I had my first attack. I had been sobbing and begging her to take me to a doctor that day to tell me what happened, but once I could breathe normally she became very irritated very fast, glancing around the foyer of the church as we stepped back inside, knowing that social appearances are too important to me to make a scene.

“I know she thinks I didn’t handle it the right way…” My mom explained, “But a doctor would just write a prescription and send us away, and it would cost a fortune-”

Cue sob.

Dr. Sanchez looked over, she too now entirely unsure of what to do. She started talking to my mom with clear intent of me hearing it, “You know, that is right, a doctor wouldn’t have been any good. Modern doctors now have forgotten the art of healing.” To which my mom added another bit and Sanchez had another turn. I had gotten out my handkerchief and tried in vain to make the detestable tears stop.

“Do you wish we hadn’t come?” My mom asked as we pushed through the double-glass doors to the outside world.

“It’s too late to do anything about it now.” I said, feeling drained, helpless and betrayed all over again after reviewing my attacks anew and due to the river I had just cried. She just stared at me as the car pulled up, uncharacteristically silent.

Heather Madame has an aunt that happens to be in the nurse profession. After sending her a timeline and a long list of my symptoms she confirmed what I had suspected this entire time. My mental problems began two years ago, in the first mobile home (also when bulimia made its first fierce comeback), and have simply sprouted and manifested in increasing ways ever since. My physical symptoms are all psychosomatic. I remember when I became rather desperate for a therapist, and my symptoms became more extreme. It was only when I thought about why my symptoms were suddenly worsening that I realized that something in me was reacting to my want to see a therapist, that I know I have things I want to talk about, to discuss with an actual doctor – at least the brand of doctor I know I need.

The reason for any of my blogs is so I can be completely honest and have this outlet for everything, because I have so desperately needed it. WordPress has become a safe haven. Blogging has helped me keep my head, writing and reading what strangers and friends have to say has given me new perspectives on my own life, and more than once has redirected a choice I was going to make. I want to remain honest here. That’s right, ya’ll, Classic is a bit of loon.

Yesterday I received my mineral supplements, and I’ve officially started on the regime. It can be slightly inconveniencing, and I tell you that a homeopathic cure is using a stick to unlock a door. I know it won’t work, because minerals cannot silence the past two years, and it can’t erase the fear, the anxiety and the helplessness felt the past two years. My plan at this point is to save up for a few therapy sessions on my own and go to whomever I need to. Heather Madame has stood by me and will provide any transportation I can’t get myself. Again I thank God for her; truly, everyday.

Here’s to the day of the talk and the cure.

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic