Workout 3

Here is my workout video for the day. I am still struggling with lunges. I almost wish I had a harness pulling me back so I wouldn’t keep drifting forward with that front knee. My arms were tired today and this didn’t exactly help with all those pushups. I am so slow with pushups but I have pinched nerves in both shoulders so I have to be very careful with my alignment. I am sure you have noticed I mostly do yoga-style pushups and that is because they don’t pinch. I had a few other issues. I am weirdly skittish about Get Ups. Squat Jumps are quite hard for me as well. I am not good with soft landings haha Exercise doesn’t always look pretty!

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Chair Pose

I think I can get slightly more of the yoga mat in a frame if I sit the laptop outside of the room. The consequence is glaring sunlight “sigh”. This is chair pose which I typically hold for 30 seconds. I used to be unable to get my arms up by ears (I held them strait ahead) which shows that the posture work has helped. I still have lower than average shoulder mobility but this for me is a big achievement. I was quite down on myself today though, not feeling my yoga at all this morning. It happens sometimes but I did get through it.

To Hyperventilate or Breathe

My day the boring unabridged version

6:00 Am Wake

6:00-7:40

Flapping aka posture exercises I do these in the morning and in the evening. It might look silly but they have really helped me!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LT_dFRnmdGs

Dress

Prepare Breakfast

Wake Isadora so we can eat breakfast together

Clean up

Brush my Teeth (which takes me a really long time people! I don’t know why)

Brush Isadora’s hair/Brush my hair

Vacuum house as needed

Get everyone’s clothes ready for the next day (yes I pick out everyone’s clothes)

Clean my bedroom (which was today’s task)

Send Isadora off to school

7:40-7:55

Check Email

Get ready

Walk to bus stop

8:05 bus arrives

Wrote a poem on the bus

8:30-11:30 ish (shorter today)

Class (I found out class actually starts at 8:00 though my paper says 8:30, I couldn’t have started earlier if I’d wanted though because I can’t leave Izzy home alone)

I spoke to the teacher and I can start at 8:30

I can also go to therapy every other Friday as intended and strangely it doesn’t effect my pay because therapy is considered something I need to do in order to be functional I suppose

Class itself was a bit overwhelming as everyone is Swedish and I am the only one with a language handicap. We had to fill out a lot of paperwork as well, if you could have a disability in paperwork I would have because honestly I am TERRIBLE at paperwork.

We had to interview another student and introduce them.

The teacher told me I can leave class if I feel panicked or anything and sit by myself so he seems to be very understanding

I had to pee every 20-30 minutes and I don’t mean like just the urge, like I seriously had to go that is what happens when I am nervous

I was starving the whole time apparently oatmeal is useless

I do not know so much about the content of the course yet or if I will even be able to do the work at my current level of Swedish. I am also concerned that there might be a lot of homework involved much more than I had anticipated, like several hours a day worth.

I talked to Sam during a break he was freaking out thinking he had to leave work and get Isadora because he was afraid there was a misunderstanding with daycare when I had Isadora swing by and request the forms. Luckily we left early today so I was able to go and he didn’t have to rush home.

I can’t remember when exactly I got on the bus but I was stuffing a sandwich ferociously into my mouth while waiting. I finished my sandwiches on the bus. I am still hungry, stress?

I arrived home tore off my clothes and put on my gym clothes

Did P90X X-Stretch as it was my rest/recovery day.

Threw on my clothes rushed off to get Isadora

Nearly did a complete mid air flip when I slipped on some mud in my backyard

Got Isadora went to daycare to clear up the misunderstanding that they did not appear to be having and filled out some forms (which I was walked through like a small child) so Isadora will be able to go to daycare tomorrow and I don’t have to freak out about that anymore

Then I realized I did not have my house keys! Could not find them, though I had locked up on leaving. Discover them by the mud that nearly took my life.

Arrive home Isadora is already off to play with the neighbor

Clean up after my workout

Prepare my poem for tomorrow’s posting

Read responses to the prompts I host

Took a shower

Wrote this post “breathe”

Today isn’t over yet

Oh also my caseworker contacted my about an auto shop looking for a cleaner. My stepdad was a mechanic and I cleaned his shop but it is not my ideal cleaning environment. She has set up an internship. Course and internship? Is the internship just the one day of cleaning? She said she would be cleaning with me which is a little funny somehow. I am, however, confused at how many things I am meant to be doing at the same time.

Bad Dreams and Congestion!

Isadora is still home from school with the cold/flu. At the moment both of our temperatures are hanging around the normal/slightly elevated range which is a welcome improvement but we are still heavily congested. The congestion was just in the chest, now it is also in the head.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate being sick? Well I do. I don’t have the patience. It was fine when I was getting sick only once a year or once every couple of years but now that my immune system has taken a nose dive I am practically hysterical with impatience. I am sure hysteria isn’t helping my immune system at all but in the last few years I have gotten sick an alarming amount.

I had disturbed dreams last night. In one installment I was in my high school gym (no one from my high school was present) and I was participating in an exercise course. I have oddly done this same course before in another dream. I was much thinner in the dream than I am in reality and my brain kept saying things like you will be happier when you look like this but of course I know that isn’t true. I have been underweight, healthy weight, and overweight, while being healthy does improve my outlook, being healthy and being skinny are not synonymous. I know the risks of being underweight. I remember how it felt and happiness had nothing to do with it. When I am overweight I don’t want to be touched. When I am underweight I don’t want to be touched. I just feel really disconnected when I am entering any sort of extreme range. The dream was intense and it was followed by a dream of being naked in a public building. Sam wouldn’t wait for me to get dressed and I just remember feeling incredibly stressed and rushed running around my arms completely overflowing with personal effects. When I finally exit the building I see the car waiting and hop into the passenger side. The car is running but Sam is no where to be seen. Then all of a sudden the car starts to roll and pick up speed. I can’t seem to untangle myself from the mountain of personal effects I am holding to get to the steering wheel/breaks and then BAM. I remember the front of the car crumpling up and the air bag and just this suffocating panic. I have never been in anything that would really constitute a car accident but I dream about them a lot. Maybe because when I was a kid my mom got into a very serious one on the way to pick me up and I remember her green and purple swollen toothless face so vividly. Stressed much? More like frantic I guess but I don’t why. No one is pushing me to do or be anything, there’s only me and my own outrageous expectations which I know are outrageous. I try to counter my obsessive thinking with balanced actions but the feelings don’t go away.

I did yoga today for about 1 hour, followed by 10 minutes in corpse pose.

The routine came from the first yoga book I ever owned The Sivananda Companion to Yoga. Aside from yoga I have been trying to get some cleaning done. Sam has been helping out but we’ve kept it pretty basic (no dirty dishes stuff like that).

Apocalypse, Dates, and Changes

Isadora is spending the night with her aunt tonight so if I don’t post to my poetry blog in the morning it is because I am enjoying date time with Sam =) Isadora hasn’t spent the night with anyone in a long time so I do wonder how she’ll do? She’s done well in the past so we will see.

This week I feel like I am seeing some physical changes in my body, maybe it is wishful thinking but it is nevertheless motivating!

What I am not doing well is coping with stress. I spend a lot of time worrying about the end of the world (I have some sort of phobia about the Apocalypse) and just the whole boob/cervix thing. With the the boob/cervix issue if I get normal results then I should relax, at least until the next exam but the Apocalypse thing I have no clue how to stop worrying about it much less why I worry about it as often as I do. Sometimes I think I am crazy, like not the funny, brilliant crazy but the tinfoil hat crazy. These aren’t the only things I worry about of course, but my thoughts have been pretty obsessive lately. I am doing everything healthy I can think of to relieve the stress exercise, eating well, meditating, breathing, getting plenty of rest, centering on the present, the techniques my therapist suggested you name it but I seem to be trapped in some chronic state of worry. Some of my worries stem from stuff that is actually happening and that others might also perceive as stressful and other stuff is NOT happening and is BEYOND my reckoning or control even if it were to occur. I guess most of worrying is imaginary and because I have a good imagination I am doomed to venture in too deep.

My yoga workout this morning was all preparing for handstand sort of stuff so it was quite a lot of upper body strength work. I am actually too scared to do a handstand at the moment (I can do a headstand) but I do the prep work and strength building components. My Pilates workout was easy to follow and I did everything as it is shown in the video, a balanced routine.

Plyocide

Today’s workout was Plyocide from P90X2. Plyometrics plus suicide! Last night I woke up unable to straiten my leg because my knee had locked up. I eventually did get it strait (man that hurts). It doesn’t seem to matter whether I exercise or not or what sort of exercise I do during the day. It happens when I am asleep, it happens when I have a bent leg, but other than that I really can’t explain why it is happening. I tend to have more knee pain the worse my thyroid levels are so it could be related to that. I had an X-Ray in high school (this has been an issue since before I was old) but they didn’t find anything and I haven’t checked it since. With my knee being iffy I did not tuck jump I did a simple vertical hop which I can control better and doesn’t put so much force on my joints. I also did not jump off the step but stepped down and jumped once I was on the ground. My step was high though because my step was a stepstool (I used the top step because it was bigger and I didn’t want to risk missing and slipping on the smaller step). My jumping lunges are slow because I am not so good at them and it is easy to twist the knee but aside from that I think I kept up pretty well. The water breaks are short but adequate. I definitely broke a sweat and I thought the time went by quickly.

I am still not experiencing weight-loss this is the most discouraging thing about having Hypothyroidism it takes at least a month (often 2) and a lot of seaweed to even initiate slow weight-loss. I have to wait until the summer to get another thyroid test performed so I won’t know anything about it until then but I will be requesting a paper copy of my last results (they were never shown to me, I was only told that it was a little high). Still I figure I can eat well and exercise and build up good, solid healthy habits even if I can’t lose the extra pounds. Ah but it so demoralizing!

Parenting Dilemmas

There are a lot of kids living in my neighborhood and my daughter being the social entity that she is knows most of them. She adapts quickly to new social situations. Recently she was promoted in English (she has been moved up a grade and into a special class for students who have English as their 2nd language). She loves her new class and is already comfortable with her new classmates, in fact she was the one who ultimately decided to accept the promotion (it was optional). She is always very excited for English, she also really likes swim class, woodworking, and math. She usually can’t wait to go to school but she has had some problems lately. She is friends with a brother and sister. The boy who will call Jacob is also in the 2nd grade. The girl who will call Destiny is a year older. She plays with them both regularly. Jacob is very loud and rowdy. Generally, they get on very well together but the other day during recess he hit her for no apparent reason other than he was having a bad day. According to my daughter he’d been angry all day, not at her, but just generally in a bad mood. She didn’t take it personally and quickly forgave him after he apologized. Despite what happened she still went to school the next day excited about one of her favorite classes. The very next day they were playing together again and he hit her this time giving her a bloody nose and again there didn’t seem to be any particular reason for the outburst. Destiny brought her home and hubbie decided to have a chat with the parents. When relaying the story to his parents Jacob attempted to put the blame on my daughter but Destiny quickly called him on the lie and came to her defense. I am not exactly sure what to do. Destiny has been a good friend and hasn’t done anything wrong so I want the girls to be able to get together but at the moment my daughter doesn’t really want to play with Jacob. I have said Destiny can come over and play without Jacob at our house but I do not know if that will exacerbate the problem since he is likely to feel left out. While I am certain my daughter will forgive him soon, I do not feel good about the whole thing. Hitting is not okay. We talk all the time about what it means to be a good friend. She didn’t hit him back according to the teacher or the girls who were present during the other altercation. She didn’t really respond the first time because he ran away directly after to avoid confrontation with the teacher. The 2nd time she said she didn’t want to hang out anymore because of the hitting. When he came by after the 2nd altercation to apologize she seemed a bit stressed and a bit forced in her friendliness. She left for school this morning again with no complaints though she did express anxiety last night that he might hit her again. I really hope that she has a good day, without any stress. I don’t want to mislead you into thinking my child is a perfect angel (she isn’t, she is very emotional, stubborn, and at times bossy) though in the recent incidents there is no evidence that she has been bullying or harassing him in anyway. She told me that Jacob has a hard time expressing his feelings with words, but that she does not think it is okay for him to take his frustrations out on her. At the moment she seems to be keeping things in perspective but I know she is feeling pretty anxious.

Extreme Naps

Sam found a trauma specialist, she is a private practitioner and I’ve been there twice. I admit I have agonized over the cost because I do not have an income aside from my book sales. I haven’t sold many books. All I want to do is write, writing is not profitable at least not the way I am going about it. I have entertained the possibility of teaching a creative writing class but I have no idea what kind of credentials I would need since I don’t have anything to recommend me. I also love inspiring people. Speaking of writing I have selected all 100 poems for the new book. I have to read through them before I send them off for editing. I am proud of what I have written, not because it is exceptional, but because I have written what I wanted most to write.

The room is different. The new therapist has a room full of instruments and art supplies. She even has a xylophone and I am a natural xylophonist according to a middle school music teacher. Oddly the only instrument I can play is one I have only played once and I assure you that was a fluke.

She seems nice. I always say that because everyone is nice when I do not know them well enough to have an opinion. She seems kooky, I like kooky. I have not told her much about my trauma yet. We are working on building trust. She gave me some questionnaires about PTSD and Dissociation. No surprise that I suffer from both. I rank very high on the dissociation scale. That’s not surprising but it is scary. One of my biggest fears is developing DID. The type of trauma I have is more or less a recipe for its construction. I have always bottled up my emotions. Pushed them down by either bulldozing through (staying busy) or by simply disappearing. When no one is around I let them out but there never seems to be an end. I really do think I could cry forever. I am afraid that when I can’t “hide” I may “fracture”. I don’t like the idea of someone else using my body, fucking up my shit, messing with my loved ones. Right now I don’t seem to be anyone when I am dissociated at least not generally. Generally I am just offline, like a mannequin that walks ferociously if highly agitated. The walking thing is kind of concerning because I do get lost and a body without a brain can get into trouble.

The last two days I have been extremely depressed. Working on the book keeps me going and Sam’s love and support keep me “alive” but I am in a very dark place at the moment (Sam is sweet he came home early with flowers and sweets when I told him I was sad and he picked me up from therapy for a cuddle). I am just really sad, weepy, guilty, irritable. I imagine that is the therapy at work, there is no way to escape that part, it is part of the healing process. I am not good with emotional disclosure. My body is vicious at the moment, a lot of pain, pain is how I cope with stress apparently. Not how I want to cope with it but when I get stressed my muscles get so tight that they pull my joints out of place and tear themselves.

Speaking of pain. My appointment was early this morning and I could not get Isadora to cooperate and get ready for school. I had to take a shower and it is a 30 minute walk to the therapist. It was also raining a bit. Well I had to run part way but the graceful creature that I am, I tripped over my own pants. My pants are always too long and my boot got caught in the cuff anyways I went down face first and I went down hard. Somehow in the fall I pivoted my hips to avoid my knees and turned my head to save my nose. I took the impact on my left calf and left wrist I landed in some weird pushup and kept my weight up so my breasts didn’t get smashed (I think reacted as I do to my HIIT training). I have a bruise on my calf but it was my left wrist that took most of my body weight. Nothing is broken I have bones like rubber bands. If I don’t break anything jumping out of a car at 25 miles an hour, falling off roofs, or rolling down countless flights of stairs I am probably not going to break myself falling on the sidewalk. Oddly no one noticed they all seemed to be looking somewhere else when I decided to plow the pavement. I think I sprained my pinky though it bends of course but it is sore. I might have also slept on it wrong because it didn’t hurt at all until I got up from my nap (which was several hours after my accident). I often injure myself in sleep. It would be funny if I took a fall that hard and then hurt myself during a nap.

The identity crisis: Guess what you’re human.

Today Sam was looking at comic strip, the intended message was that sexism goes both ways. He felt that the comic only further divided the genders. Men and women are not a separate species. What we should really be focused on is the way that we treat each other irrespective of gender, age, bank account, race etc. So much of human history we’ve spent deciding who is human, who is civilized, who is worthy. Now days money plays a significant role in determining who gets to be human and who doesn’t. As humans we often argue our superiority over the other life forms that share our planet. We even argue our superiority over each other and there probably isn’t a single person out there who hasn’t viewed another’s circumstances as either a source of inspiration or affirmation of their own successes.

I watched a TED talk about how we view people with disabilities as either heroes or victims. So here we have Joe, Joe has no legs, he has a good job, a wife, 3 kids, a house, hobbies, friends, ex girlfriends, a gym membership, brown eyes, a cat, prosthetics, a wheelchair, a collection of vinyl records etc. Joe is a human. Some people will question Joe’s right to have children or even exist. Some people will assume that Joe is receiving special treatment that accounts for his success or that his wife is experiencing a significant burden. Some people will say Joe is amazing to have overcome such hardships. Many people will assume that Joe is suffering and struggling with the supposed limitations of his disability. Joe is a human. Not having legs is normal to Joe, he was born that way. Given the choice of having legs Joe might choose to remain as he is because he does not view himself as limited, lacking, or wrong. He is, simply. We are, simply.

Humans are notorious for crises of identity, their constant need to establish norms not just for themselves but for those around them. We are all fighting every minute of everyday to maintain and establish “self”. In establishing ourselves we are all too eager to promote and demote one another. We get mad at others for imposing definitions and yet how often do we adhere to those limitations in order to establish a sense of self and belonging?

I am human. Often I assume there is no place for me so I avoid company. I have decided the kind of poetry the world deems “good” and determined that my poetry does not satisfy those requirements. I have decided that to write the sort of poetry I have arbitrarily determined to be “preferred” I would have to compromise my ideals. To be famous I’d have to churn out pretentious bland poems but is this even true? There are published writers for whom I have the highest respect. How did they achieve publication? Were they just born better? Influential friends? Money? Was it a miracle and thus not something that can be achieved willfully? Isn’t calling someone else’s success a miracle or a matter of congenital genius a huge dishonor to them and the tremendous amount of work they’ve put into achieving their goals? Are we simply making excuses for ourselves encase of failure? How much of success is based on talent as opposed to passion? My guess is success is 90%+ drive. How many successes can one expect to achieve without first experiencing failure? 0%?

I detest most systems feeling that groups are often persecutory but what do I actually know about the system? Even if the system I envision exists by what criteria am I determining its members? Do people of authority automatically belong to the system? How do I determine compatibility in avoidance? Does having standards of any defined sort prove membership in the system? Or should I say does having standards of any sort that might preclude my immediate success and initiation prove membership in the system? Do we invent systems to avoid responsibility? Isn’t most of what we know comprised of opinions masquerading as indelible laws?

I have decided that the system is huge and all pervasive, that there is no profitable alternative to the system, and no niche in which I might prosper. I have absolutely no idea if the system is even real but if enough of us believe in it and if enough of us live our lives as though it were a fact, then the system real or not possesses an indisputable power over our lives.

As a child I determined the best way to handle bullies was simply to be myself, to not allow them to dictate my choices or my venues. I went on with my life and eventually they went on with theirs. I mean really if they want to make me the center of their universe that’s their issue but I can choose not to make them the center of mine. So why not submit the poems you love writing whether or not there is a system? We set the norms. If you want poetry to be relegated to Hallmark Greeting cards keep those profound juicy pieces to yourself but if you want to read good poetry for fuck’s sake submit good poetry over and over again until the “system” changes.

I Don’t Know How To Therapy

I had a session with my therapist the other day. So far I feel the sessions are lacking. I am already skilled in the art of monologue (I am not unlike Spiderman in that way). But seriously I need something more intensive than psychoanalysis. I hate sitting there talking at someone and receiving no feedback whatsoever. Where are the thought-provoking questions? Where are the hands on activities? Where is the objective perspective? There is just me in a room doing what I always do except I am doing it with a bystander who is practically catatonic. Well to be fair I did make her laugh out loud which is probably not right either. I really don’t know how to therapy.

I received an appointment in the mail for November 6th. I thought, finally, she’s arranged for a psychological evaluation so we can see what’s going on but no it seems that’s not the case at all. I have been scheduled to see the doctor to discuss medication yet again. I have already told her that I will not take medication until we have a better understanding of my condition, it’s like going to the doctor and receiving radiation therapy before the appointment in hopes that it’ll fix whatever ails you. The prescribing of bogus drugs at random discredits the psychiatrist in my opinion.

I am moving, as many of you know, and my therapist said I would be in a new district and thought I might want to change therapists. I responded that I will be coming into town for Swedish lessons and so there is no need. She said we’d talk about it later. Later in the same session she revealed that the township I will be moving to doesn’t have any therapists (none of the surrounding areas either) and therefore if I wanted to continue therapy I would have to commute into the city. If that’s the case why would I switch therapists? I questioned her but she said we’d talk about it later. I believe she has already decided to make the switch because a substantial portion of the conversation would have been irrelevant otherwise. Unless she is saying that people living in the country are not eligible for therapy but that hardly seems legal/logical. Maybe she is considering retirement? If that’s the case why not say so? I wouldn’t have taken that personally unless of course she told me I was the cause. I believe she is in her 70s so retirement would not seem unreasonable and I would understand that completely and with no hard feelings. What I do not understand is a round about way of talking. I also considered the possibility that she thought I might wish to discontinue because of the distance (Swedes don’t like long car rides I really can’t exaggerate that point enough) but then asking me if I wanted to switch doesn’t make sense because apparently I don’t have any local options. I am probably over-thinking this but I couldn’t really make any sense of it.

Part of the reason I am in therapy is because I don’t understand social cues. How on earth am I supposed to understand someone who employs both a social and professional veneer? It would be so much easier if she just spoke plainly. Do you plan to discontinue therapy when you move or are you willing to commute? If you are willing to commute how often would you like to meet up? Something along those lines. If I then asked about therapy options in my area she might have informed me that unfortunately there are no therapists in my immediate vicinity. This may well be what she meant to say but there was a lot of fillers and extraneous bits attached. This is why I need days between all my conversations so I can decipher what the person was trying to say lol If only I could pause and process as needed! I know there is a technique called summarizing where by I repeat what I believe the person has said to make sure that I have understood them but unfortunately I kind of suck at it. I am also defensive not around everyone but with authority figures I have trust issues and so in the moment my emotions sometimes distort meanings/intentions.

If you told your life story everyday for a year to a complete stranger and then those strangers got together to discuss you, they’d all have a different version to present. When I am in therapy I always feel like a liar even if I am presenting the truth to the best of my current awareness. I am unfortunately influenced by my moods.  I think it comes in part from the disparity between stories growing up my mom insisted my dad was a good man and that my childhood was good. I kept on giving my dad chances looking for that good side. I kept on thinking I was at fault because I seemed to be drawing out the bad side in my parents. Sometimes I even thought I was imaging or exaggerating the abuse since neither of my parents were willing to acknowledge or accept responsibility. I keep trying to be more and more honest but I still feel like a liar, like a hysteric. Doctors/therapists are a particularly suspicious lot (I mean their job is to look for inconsistencies) so around them I act especially guilty.

The other thing that disturbs me is that I can’t find a therapist equipped to deal with trauma. When I started therapy I figured that my story was one they would have heard before and then some. Yet every time I open up about my childhood I am met with a very traumatized therapist (which makes me hold back). I think I need someone who specializes specifically in trauma. Sam has a coworker and his wife works with traumatized children he’s going to ask if she knows anyone who works with adults.