Reasonable Fear (Trigger Warning)

I have been reminded in the last year a great deal that fear is never reasonable, except… I was wrong to tell myself this. Fear is most often quite reasonable and is a rather rational emotion. It is our reaction to fear that tends to be irrational. It is the flight or fight response that I have personally been taught to ignore. I didn’t put this together fully yet but I feel it.

I am very much in a bubble at times and in looking at places of California, trying to fathom living where there are more people in one town than in the entirety of my state I noticed the palm trees. My brain did it’s meta data response and I realized, Palm Trees have coconuts. My imagination made a three dimensional build up of a variety of coconut related cataclysms. These included death by coconut during earth quakes to random car accidents, and then they lost some sense of reality. So I asked if they grew coconuts, a logical question given that I wasn’t really sure about the biology of palm trees. I am still trying to resist the urge to read everything I can find about palm trees to stay my fears.

M my dear friend who lives beneath these Palm Trees of Doom assured me that they are sterile palms ordered specifically because of this. My mind now sees the city of Los Angeles as a fan of disabled palm trees, after all palms are generally used for food and that is how the trees reproduce. So, they are unable to fulfil most of their tree related daily living tasks. I am not sure why I went there in my brain but M being M assures me it is cute and he can see why this is a reasonable fear.

How could I avoid the trees? I am also afraid of fires and earth quakes and mudslides, all of which do occur in California. He has been through earthquakes without noticing them, something that I just cannot concieve of. Yet, my fear, despite the amusing mental images of Hollywood disaster movies with coconuts as the disaster and the myriad of things that could go wrong because of the coconuts, including them actually being bowling balls courtesy of the Flintstones and my allergies to coconuts are reasonable fears. They are in my mind because I either am vulnerable to them or I don’t know how to stop such things and everyone is vulnerable to the flaming coconuts being rained down from the firey palm trees.

I am also afraid to go somewhere expensive. I am looking at the cost of living and with housing, it isn’t worse. The food I need is less expensive, the housing is far nicer. I am just afraid of change in general. I have never really been anywhere with so many people. That and Venice appears to be a place where all the side walks are actually flat not standing on end or so broken up that you choose streets or sidewalks that end randomly with no way down and that’s if you are bipedal. I am afraid of going somewhere else, because I know that I will no longer be one of the smartest (okay that one may not be true) I will no longer seem worldly or cultured to the surrounding people, and their minds are open. Not just comparitively but despite a lot of flaws in general US citizens, California was the start of the independent living movement. I am effected by the actions of the open minded and willful who live and have lived there.

I am afraid of not being hungry, though literally I am full there are more options there for me to consume. There are more ways for me to be. There are things to do. I could go to a museum without it being dramatic. I am afraid of not being isolated by who I am anymore. I have never lived in any other place except this poverty driven world where all the bad things that happen to me are called fantasy. I am afraid that in this place so far from the evil I know, the evils I do not know are as bad or worse.

I am afraid of being so near the people I care about. What if I don’t meet their expectations? Distance has buffered them some of my horribleness. I am a great person but I am also capable of being cranky and raw. I am also able to hide a lot of my pain via distance. At least I think I do. That may be untrue which scares me too. M comments sometimes that every picture I have my eyes are full of things, secrets, pain, and the unspeakable things I have seen are there. He sees other things. He sees the softness I try to hide at all costs, he sees my hopes and dreams there, and he sees fear. He sees mostly heartbreak and he says strength.

I am afraid all of that will go away. I am also afraid that once I see the ocean I will stop yearning to stretch my wings and fly. All of these fears are reasonable. It is very reasonable for me to look at this life changing decision I have made that I keep remaking, and feel fear. Yet, why should I live somewhere that I am unhappy with just because somewhere looks expensive on the surface? The math is showing me that California is a valuable investment. The housing is better, the cities are cleaner in a physical sense albiet more polluted and populated, and instead of being near people I am terrified will find me who want me dead in plural as well as my mother who thinks she loves me but acts out of fear and hate…. I will be near a woman who is like a sister to me, my god children, and M.

M who I love so much that sometimes I cry out of fear of that love. M who didn’t let me give up. M who loves me too. I will be somewhere that I don’t have to hide every piece of myself when I go outside. I am afraid most of all of trying to live without the masks that New Mexico requires. It is ahborrent here, and I am terrified of this hope I feel when I think of living in California.

Yes it rains more there than it has in the last four years, yes it is sunny. It is not as hot as here, which is better and I have a theory that the rain being more than a rarity will make the disabling effects go away. Not the water allergy but, that’s what long sleeves are for. Plus, if I go to California, I can stop crying when I think about how much I want to be there. Even if the palm trees had grown coconuts. It would be worth it just to take the risk of being happy more than sad.

The only unreasonable fear is the fear denied, the fear that you let paralyze you into a mental, physical, or emotional death. Fear is a catalyst for change most often, it is the fear we treat as if it is an outsider that hurts us. So I embrace my fear today, and start to lay the plans into the great and wild unknown. I have taken on many burdens, and perhaps it is time to take on one that actually has benefits that I can see and account instead of guessing at the possibility of mere survival. Besides, I think Sprite would love the beach. She likes to roll in the sand here, and an endless swath of sand? She’d be in heaven.

Reset (Trigger Warning)

I have hit the reset button on every relationship in my life at least once.  Everyone goes through periods where they reevaluate things, forgive things, or decide that people aren’t worth their time. It’s a part of nature, and that part is supposedly what keeps our world in motion. That supposition is crap of course. I gave my mother another chance out of desperation. She came through just enough for me to get my hopes up that maybe things had changed.

My bad. No, really it is her bad. I know she could find this and read it. Hell she has given clues she has read my blog. Maybe this was a form of punishment for it? I am tired, I am in so much pain, I am barely sleeping again, and I am still without my bed. My bed isn’t a luxury, it is a necessity. I know that sleeping on the waterbed increases my health because I actually sleep. Right now I am sleeping on a broken couch.

I have been moved for almost two weeks, and still no bed. Why? Because she argued with my older sister, so I receive the punishment from them both. Why? Because I come in second or third or tenth place to a lamb. I understand that other people’s wants and needs are important, I have spent my life dedicated to fulfilling their wants and needs at the expense of mine. I have sacrificed and bled for these same people. I try so hard to expect nothing because when I do get something there is a price.

First they damaged the waterbed wood. Flat pieces of wood shouldn’t have big holes in them when moved unless they are mishandled. That is not fixed yet. Then they cut my HOSE. If I want my bed filled I have to buy another. So I’ll have two hoses, one in two parts. It’s just MY Hose so why bother respecting that? Sure it could be repaired, but only if I can do it myself and I cannot.

The awkardness I feel when speaking to my mother is returned too. The knowing that neither of us is able to say what we want. I feel like I lie when I say I love her. I do love her, but it feels like I am saying it just so she may do what I need and not what she wants for me. I wonder if she wants me to just suffer? What did I do that was so bad? Compared to her I’ve had more successful relationships. Is that what I did wrong? I only married one abuser? Even my latest Step Father turned out to be a rotted fruit on the tree of life.

I want her safe, I told her if she needs to flee him to come to my home, I could make it work. How? Well I expected I would have a bed, so that my couch could sleep two, then there’s the air mattress that can be duct taped, and a third air mattress that also needs some repair. It’s still something. I cannot use the air mattresses, as I cannot get up off of the floor. I know now my ability to sleep at all thus far has been the exhaustion of months of struggle. I am worn out emotionally, physically and mentally but it is never enough.

My pain is being used as a punishment against me for the actions of others. I regret even needing help. If I could have moved without my mother? I would have. If I could tell her to go to hell and know that someone innocent wouldn’t suffer, I would. I instead must risk poisoning my spirit and heart by contact to protect those that still retain their innocence. Innocence I haven’t had for so long that it ages me.

Taking a picture of the cats sitting on me revealed my pain to a friend, I was hiding it but he can see it in my eyes. I can hide so much from the world, but my pain is overflowing. I try to give it less space, yet gas under pressure explodes and I have been under pressure for a long time. The solution to my bed problem is not simple. The screws were lost. Of course they were. The broken wood must be repaired. That costs money. I don’t have it. Again I come up against a world of need. I have tried to keep everything I own and NEED in one piece. I am falling apart at the seams myself, can’t I just have a single night of rest?

I am complaining again. If I don’t let this out then I won’t be able to stop crying. To breathe is pain. To think is pain. To open my eyes is pain. To move is pain. I am alone today as well. My caregiver thinks she has the swine flu, so until she sees a doctor I am alone. Again the urge to fire her so I can have someone reliable rears it’s head but I know this is an over reaction. One day alone won’t kill me right? Well it may but I have longed for solitude for a long time. There is a difference between alone and lonely.

I am trying to reset my pain, my thoughts and yet with my mother the reset brings out the poison. Have fun in Roswell. I said it. What I felt was instead have fun in Roswell with the lamb, while you betray me again. This is the smallest betrayal of my life and it seems the most painful. My body cannot take anything else but I have to push. I already broke again and again. I don’t think I can push anymore.

All the joy I had at being home and safe, at being able to go outside is gone. How can I go outside if breathing leaves me in tears because the couch dislocates EVERYTHING. How can I sleep if the couch stabs me because it broke and I had to put wood under it, which adds pressure. I am not sure what to do. I think I have to do this myself and it is not possible. I am not strong enough. I just want to reset this move. I want to go back to the start and change the way the bed went. I would lose the trust of my sister but my pain makes me selfish.

That’s what is being said to me when I ask. I am selfish for wanting my bed. I am selfish for asking. I am selfish for needing. I am selfish. I know it’s true. it is selfish for me to expect people to give up their time and spend an hour here to give me what I need. Selfish isn’t bad in this case. It cannot be, when my health is degrading. I am not sure I can ever recover emotionally from this betrayal, I was already weak and vulnerable and past my limit. My mother said it herself. There is no reset.

The Generic Title that Misses the Feeling

How can I title this blog post? There is no title sufficient for what it is that I am getting to write about. I am home. I am free. I am safe.  No, it is not perfect but a perfect life was not what I pursued. A safe home was. I am sitting on my couch, in my living room, looking at my cats and the art on my walls and all I feel is this burning sensation that is a mixture of relief, joy, and grief.

I grieve for what was lost. The sanctity of love itself is no longer something I can cherish. I may find it again but I will never truly heal from the betrayal of my heart. In fact, this betrayal has given me new layers to my PTSD. Simple things, as those of you who have PTSD know, can trigger it and I must learn my new triggers. Foam Cups. They make me curl into myself and want to scream. I know the reason but that doesn’t make it any better. Time sheets. This one is a problem as I cannot escape time sheets even though I can escape foam cups. I will adapt, I will heal, and I will grow.

I do not know how to explain it but the grief shrinks by the second. William has not run into a wall once here. He did attack the cable guy, who rolled the attack off without harming William and with a smile. I really had a most amazing cable guy. He was patient, he didn’t make me feel unsafe, and the cats response to him was something he found amusing instead of upsetting. He even moved a piece of furniture so it was out of my way. Not his job, he just wanted to.

I have my ramp already too. The last place fought me tooth and nail and refused to put it in. They won, as far as the ramp goes. Little do they know that there will still be an investigation by the Fair Housing people. I may be moved but the investigation will reveal much. The ramp was put in last night, and this means I can go out and in. Right now using the manual chair is hard but it is freedom. There is so much to say. I spent the last week without anything to do, my mind is in a frenzy to be used for more than imagination and organization.

I even dreamed nonsense happy dreams. No nightmares. I actually slept more than five hours, despite my bed not making the trip in one piece. I have crashed on the couch and I do mean crashed. Until two days ago the instant I was alone I would fall asleep. I am still exhausted, the bone deep type that seeps into your marrow and leaves you loathing the waking world for having energy. My bed will be put up tonight. My friend M replaced the mold filled mattress and broken bits, my mother is bringing some strong young people with her and they will fix it.

My mother has come through for me, in such a way that it surprises me. I wonder now if the Zillas our mutual attempts to communicate, or if I am setting myself up for heart break. I think it is both. I cannot however turn down much needed help. Nor will I. My mother’s own trials continue and I can help her if she will allow it. There are specific ways too. I have not fought my last battle either, the place I am living may have fair housing violations, though I managed to get what I needed. If there is discrimination it is based on Race, and I suspect this has been confirmed by my needs being met and others who happen to be another color being denied. It is sad, but, I am the ally of the truth. The truth will come forth, and that is the best that can happen.

I am bouncing from topic to topic again, my poor mother didn’t believe me about the mold inside my waterbed, and her work crew tried to siphon out the water, and now one of their number who sucked that moldy water into his mouth is very sick. I feel sad for him but I am surprised that there is no guilt. I did tell them so. They wound up dragging the mattress outside and cut it open to find it was worse than what I had suspected. I wasn’t there for that but each of them was made sick by the smell. My new water-bed is going to be treated with care, so that it lasts forever. The mattress isn’t gold this time either but is green. I look forward to sleeping on it. No pressure on my body just the softness of a warm cloud. That’s what a good water-bed feels like to me, my pain may even vanish for the first few nights. Perhaps it will vanish forever, as the bed will not harden with mold. The mold had almost burst the other mattress, it was that bad.

I am eating real food too, not just making ends meet. My foodstamps card arrives any day now, perhaps even Monday. My mom brought me Bacon when she heard me mention how that was the first thing I would buy, so now, I am free. As my house comes together I find that my sense of tension is receding, more so now that I have an outlet for my mind. That was a slow torture, I tried to hold it back but when my book reader broke, I was suddenly trapped with just a cellphone for the world. Still, most of what helped was the fact that I could sit outside. No sunshade, a bit risky for my health but, I needed some sun. It’s been five months since I could just be outside without an excuse or worse was trapped exclusively inside.

My mom promised to help me get my garden set up in the Spring. My rosebush and tree need some love, but they will be well tended. I am also going to grow my own strawberries and I was considering pansies. There is much to do before Spring is here but I can dream about it, little flowers all in a bright display right there just for me.

Too this is the start of preparations for Halloween. Today I bought shoes for Winter, I found an amazing two pairs of shoes that fit and then went to the Dollar Tree, a true dollar store, that carries the same stuff as Walmart. There I bought a few decorations for my favorite Holiday. My faith also allows for Halloween to be a very special day. I am going as Snow White. There will be pictures. I can also get my corset now that I am moved, and curtains. I also have enough room in my living room and bedroom for more art. I am going to someday get Nene Thomas’ art for my home. She’s my favorite Artist, I found her work when I was younger and was hooked. I have other favorites but she is the foremost, and her work is also not all that expensive. Some artists want 100 dollars for a print, but I can get small prints for five or ten dollars. How smashing is that? Something that if I budget wisely I can afford.

I have an electric bill now too. I have bills. I cannot hold back the glee that bubbles in me. I have bills! I have almost everything I need and there is little that I want truly. My wishlists already seem outdated and overly full. I need a blender, I should get a recliner that helps me stand (replacing my couch that broke last night) and maybe another book shelf. That is it, excluding wheelchairs.

I even have a big screen TV, it was here when I moved in. I found a windchime in my boxes of stuff too, one I thought long broken, and so I even have music in the wind. There is so much that I am getting rid of, I may be able to cover the blender after that sale.

I will write more later, I have to write a How To with caregivers, as there is some information there. I am changing agencies, and that will be the source of more knowledge. K my wonderful caregiver and I exited the honeymoon period. The change of Agencies shouldn’t cause me to lose her however. We worked out the really minor issues and the main stress with having a caregiver has to do with the paperwork and scheduling. That means I can leave that over with someone else and be much calmer.

Now I plant the seeds in my soul, for my soul and heart are entering a glorious spring after their long winter. The seeds will grow into happiness, joy, and a further understanding. I will share the fruits that come from these with the world as I have shared all I am and know. The changes that he wrought will only make me stronger and my inner garden more beautiful.

A Pale Cat and Frustration

Tomorrow I am going to write a letter, that I will deliver in person to my Medicaid coordinator’s boss. He gets a copy too. He has had weeks to respond to my calls. I have left voicemails. He called once, but hasn’t acknowledged since Adult Protective Services told him what was going on. He knows the situation. I am running out of time, to find a place to live.

Too, I am worried for William. I woke up a week ago and he was pale. I’ve never seen a cat that was pale before, but his carrying of the Albinism gene allowed me to see it. His nose was whiter than his fur, which is extremely white. He was sick. His body was cold, and even the pads of his paws had turned white. He let me hold him for a time but I put my hand on his stomach, and it hurt him.

I called the vet but with no money I was denied care for him, and I was left with hoping that he would recover. No suspsense is needed in this blog, he recovered. He ate an entire q-tip and managed to safely pass it. Every day since then I have woken, and immediately checked to see if my cat is pale.

Sprite has been more and more clinging, she cares for me too much at times, and yet there is never enough of it for her. Today she was so funny, that when I lifted her she put her paws out and struck the Superman flying pose. I will have to get a picture of this someday, because it was the most wonderful moment. It brought a laugh back into this apartment.

With all of the tragedy that I have been dealing with there is still hope. Most of what I own is boxed up, only two of my valuable items were lost forever, and although one is the stuffed rabbit that was a family heirloom, I am still glad to just be alive. That’s all I have to cling to right now, my Eviction is emminent, but I am alive.

I have learned that there are still gaping flaws with the foodstamps cards in my area. I cannot change my pin before they mail it, but with all the mail disappearing, I do not want it sent to me. I am not sure how I am to eat, because with my food allergies I cannot just get a food box. That’d be wasteful. I will not waste what could help others when the entire country is facing eviction as well.

This blog post has no happy ending yet but I am working on it. I know my foodstamps will accrue, so that I can stock my kitchen once I find one. I know too once I have a place to land I can resume trying to get the other needs I have met. I haven’t really been lonely. K has helped with that, she’s a vibrant woman and her presence has helped me to fight off the depression that I have been struggling with.

Soon, I will even update my photograph. I am cutting my hair as it is getting caught in my wheelchair and I keep sitting on it, which is painful and dangerous. I am also dying it black. I don’t know if I will look good or not with black hair but, I am looking forward to the change. Yes my red hair is naturally beautiful but, right now I am also not wanting to stand out. I will anyway, I can’t help it. It’s just who I am.

I know one other thing. When I move, I will resume writing my novel. I felt it today, the spark in my mind of creation. It’s still there. Just as the music has returned. Now all I need is to be able to go outside without feeling as if my life is in danger.

Dancing with Limited Mobility

I miss dancing. It was one of my jobs, but just as writing is like breathing, it was also a part of my life that I thought I would have forever. I started dancing when I was three, my Aunt’s daughter taught Ballet and we had lessons. I remember my pride at being able to lift my leg high, and the motions, the grace. I felt like a fairy princess during every class. I never wanted it to end. It did.

My father decided that dancing was just too good for his children, so the lessons ended. The ideals and memories did not fade. I discovered Belly Dancing when I was 17, and I once again found myself moving to music. I could feel it in my blood, coursing through my veins and just as singing, it took over my soul. I could leap, I could twist, I could use my hands and my entire body to entrance someone, as I celebrated the life that is in music.

I was the healthiest I had ever been, and I finally had a job as a dancer. I was reading through the contract to sign on as a permanent dancer with a troupe when I broke my back. I knew something was wrong immediately during practice when I first lifted my arms over head and wanted to scream. I still danced, but, quickly gave up on it. I couldn’t make my body move the way it used to. I had lost the silken rhythms and was trapped in a world of pain. It was the first blow of depression. For a time I wanted to die. If I could not move, what was the point of living?

Four years, maybe more as my time line sense is skewed, and I find the music still stirring my body. Every time, if I twitch my hips slightly my spine begins to burn and I cry. I am failing to resist the lure of a simple beat. I can hear it in my head, my heart pounds and I want it. I cannot strike the poses from my modeling career, I cannot dance… or can I?

Thanks to William Shakespurr I discovered a new method for dancing. He has mastered the remote control just as Sprite has and was watching fashion shows. He has a love of the bright colors and I think it is the techno that is the latest in fashion runway modeling that draws him. I could not resist the music. Tonight after a satisfying, if exhausting Career Builders Toastmasters Meeting I flopped into bed and got comfortable. I left the TV going and reminisced.

I remembered walking on the catwalk, Striking a pose, my body in line, my face the face that the people watching wanted. My body the perfect display for clothing, to make you want to buy it. I struck a pose, laying flat. I crunched horribly but despite the protests of my frame, I felt free. It wasn’t nostalgia, my mind was not trapped in the past, it was just the giggling and playful side that I do not let out as often.

A commercial came on with music and I moved my arms, my back is supported when laying and so it doesn’t have me tipping out of my chair. I was dancing again. This is how I dance now, a fresh discovery. I can twist, I can move, without really moving. I can feel the rhythm and I am not trapped now. My limbs feel freed. I know there will be conecquenecs in the morning, there are already now with my hands refusing to respond as fluidly as normal. I am forbidden to move like this by my doctors, yet, I need it for my soul.

I will have no regrets tomarrow. I have none now, and I am free. I am dancing in the air, I am floating in the sea. Nothing can stop me, for the melody frees me. Twisting, twirling, weightless, and so alive. I burn, not with pain but with Passions that have long been starved. Model, Singer, Dancer, Teacher, Writer. Who I have been? Who I am.

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