Reappearance

Wow its been a while. I find myself as of late so compiled and entrenched with work and stress I barely have time to stop and breath. At night song lyrics flow into my head but are gone by morning. During the day issues I want to discuss pop into my head but get tired of waiting and float away before I ever get home. My self care has been minimal, and that’s a problem. I’ve become a warden of sorts to my partner who is seeking mental help for maybe the first time in his life voluntarily. It’s not my battle, not for me to overexert myself over, but I love him and seeing the struggle hurts my heart. I’m an empath with too much to give. But its showing in my energy and my care for myself. I’m working on making him take the reins despite how horrifying this journey can be.

Depression has been an issue as a result of all of this. My sleep takes a hit and the nightmares hear the ring and come forward. Echos of people past reverberate within them and taunt me and ask forgiveness. I think this is also a result of instances between my partner and I that cause me to recoil. Impulsivity is a great fear of mine. Not in me but in others. It’s a common excuse for actions those that harmed me have taken as a forgive all. As if they cannot control what they do and who they do it to. My partner does not use it as an excuse but realizes it as a problem, but the idea stands and hurts.

So I try working on my surroundings for safety. But its exhausting and just furthers the never ending broken sleep cycle. When did I become so bad at caring for myself? I recalled to someone all the self care hobbies and activities I used to spend so much time on for the sake of myself and realized how long it had been since any of them had been a part of my life… Space can’t always be the excuse. I digress. Or just trail out to too many things on my mind.

I’m trying to organize my thoughts more clearly.

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For the love of Space.

When I first moved to San Diego it was the first time I’d been given enough space to spread out a creative place to make jewelry and take photography. I had a whole room just for art. And it felt amazing. I loved having all the space I could have hoped. A place for everything. So organized and neat. Giving that up was difficult. Jewelry was very hard to make in any of the rooms I lived in after except my last room in the community I lived in. I was paying for a bigger roomy AND extra space outside of it just so I could make jewelry again. But I wasn’t in it with enough time to even unpack.

I thought I might have room in my current place. I tried. But my inventory of supplies out weighted any space and was too disorganized for me to have any energy for. I’m finally looking into a space that will have enough roomoney and I’m ecstatic. To have room for animals AND craft. Both huge anti anxieties and loves of my life. I’m floored.

To have anyone see this and not understand how beautiful a transition this is does not truly know me. Never until now have I been unrestrained in my care and keeping of animals and able to explore my craft at the same time. Even when I’ve had room for jewelry in the past, the people and environments I’ve lived in would not permit me to keep or care for as many animals as I have now. My ex husband fought me even to have one hamster with my one cat. He fought me on adopting a stray that gorgeous caught in our apartment. Who is now a big part of my life.

I feel like most of my life has been fighting to be allowed to follow what my heart desires. The older I get the stronger my conviction for my heart becomes.

Crab Cares.

So its been a while since I’ve posted anything about animals or my hobbies. Life has a way of taking off with you. I admit my hobbies have mostly fallen to the past. I have no space for caterpillars however much I miss them. My jewelry and craft center has turned into piles of disorganized clutter thrown into boxes. I have acquired a few more additions to my living loves (a snake and a terrarium of carnivorous plants) but have little space and time to elaborate on them.

I’m trying. I know I need it. For my sanity and happiness.

I did mention a few blogs ago that I was going to start teach 2nd and 3rd graders about hermit crabs. My tank is pretty outrageous and still in progress. I made up a 20 gal and took 5 crabs from my large tank and have been teaching the kids with a portion of my colony, which is now about 25 crabs large (I say about because I rescued two in very bad health and am still seeing if they live). I was wary a bit about teaching children but this class has given me so much to look forward to during my week. And I’m so passionate and enthusiastic about these little critters that it brings me so much joy to find willing and happy listeners.

I also finally made time to catch up on my homemade food for my hermit crabs. The only things I buy for them pre-made are dried seafood and other things I can’t do myself. It really gives me so much happiness to do things for my animals. Eventually I even want to be making my own cat food.

Discovery.

We are thrust into this world with heavy expectations waiting for us. How many people can say they were a purposeful pregnancy? Or the expected and even wanted gender?

I was always soft. Impressions left marks on me that saturated my personality, my likes, my ideas… I know I followed much more than I led. Most of my life I just wanted people to be happy with me. I never recognized the pain of individualism until I had no one left to impress upon me.

I hid a lot of the small weird intricacies of myself in journals and loose leaf sheets of paper that gathered in folders and scattered around my room and bags. I hid my real interests and passions unless they seemed acceptable. I dressed like the people around me. I did like the people around me. Its not uncommon to do so. I imagine most animals, especially humans, feel a need for inclusion and so do what is necessary to be accepted into the herd. Unfortunately mental health is a monstrous issue, and herding often encroachs upon you and leaves you defenseless.

Every time I got to my worst I broke out of the herd. A rather chaotic and dangerous way but habits are hard to break. I do not look lightly upon my suicidal tendencies and psychotic breaks, but I understand I needed them, in a way, to forcibly break myself out of my own prison.

Over the years the more myself I am the less my brain yells at me. Suicidal thoughts and feelings happen less and less. Anxiety dissipates quicker. I am starting to become my own safe place.

I think I’ve always known my tastes and interests were obtuse. That I would likely outcast myself to a much much tinier herd, if even there was one for me, by pursuing my passions. Or by wearing what makes me comfortable. By looking how I’d like. That even my thoughts and feelings may not be “normal”. I will not be accepted or be seen as a valued human being by all. A majority of people will bring judgement before they’ve even laid eyes on you. And I’ve long since grown tired of figthing against those heavy expectations I was born to.

I will be me. More and more. Androgynous creature loving thing that I am.

“Be who you are and say what you mean. For those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter won’t mind.”

Lovely, lovely.

Things are wonderful right now. In a week I’ll be teaching classes to 2nd and 3rd graders about hermit crab care, in a month I’ll be taking a week long teach er trying course and then have my first class as a self defense teacher, I love my job and I lover my partner.

I still have troubles. Of course. Relationships are still proving a bit difficult. My ptsd is triggered a lot and I find myself dissassociating at the smallest things. But for the first time I have a partner who is patient and encouraging, even if he doesn’t always understand it.

I have also been looking to get a therapy animal. I had a rabbit on the community but couldn’t take him with me. Where I’m at I don’t have much room. Bunnies and rats need a lot of space. I have cats but they are not outdoor cats, which is what I need. So I finally decided to get a snake.

So I bought a young Albina sand boa. Small breed. I tried to adopt but they are not easy to come by. I have a Sandy hot desert tank set up and on tuesday I will offer him food for the first time.

Things are still hard sometimes but I finally feel like it’s all worth it. I can finally make plans for the future with a partner and not be scared shit less or full of anxiety.

Life is lovely right now.

Surprise.

I like sitting in traffic. Driving is calming to me. Freeing. Traffic allows me focused thought.

I sat recently and had a series of realizations I hadn’t given much time to where before.

There are two things I consistently tell people. I hate surprises, and my sister is more my mother than my mother ever was. Seemingly random, I know. But the two thoughts struck me. Why? To both. What is the core reason I don’t like surprises? What did my sister do to make me feel her maternally?

Growing up my mom never played with us. Not that I can recall. She locked us out of the house or locked herself in her bedroom. I can’t recall a time she was ever engaging with us except at holidays when the whole family played board games.

My sister however encouraged so much more play and imagination. She walked us to the creeks nearby. To pick blackberries or visit stores we loved. Sometimes she engaged us in video games even though I suspect she never enjoyed it much. One of my fondest memories of her is when she helped my little brother and I cut and paint huge Gatorade bottles to make them into terrariums for caterpillars we found.

She encouraged my first experiences with jewelry making.

And here my thoughts tie in with surprises. My mother was always terrible with surprises. She always took words or ideas of things she thought I would like or wanted me to like and bought and gave items that way. I don’t know if my mom┬áto this day understands what I like, because she’s too busy pushing what she likes on me.

And when I obviously didn’t enjoy what she’d gotten me I was relentlessly guilted. How could I not appreciate something she’d spent so much time on? How could I not love and adore anything I was given by her?

So I learned to hate surprises, because I hate disappointing and letting people down.

My sister, however, liked to play a game with presents. She liked to have me ask questions. Try and get me to guess what it was days and weeks before I opened them. The gifts were always in themed layers. Small but bountiful surprises in many boxes and bags. I always loved what she got me. And to this day I still do.

But ptsd makes the bad linger more than the good. I love doing things and surprising my loved ones. Yet I often refuse or deter them from surprising me. My surprises are often done with deep asking and consideration towards the person wants and needs. Never random. But, I think I often feel no one would put that much energy into surprises for me. If my mother couldn’t even be bothered to, why would anyone else?

But people have. My sister did. Still does. And even if she does something on a random whim and I don’t like it? She never guilts me. Never makes me feel like she’s wasted time or thought on me. It’s as simple as being mistaken. Because everyone is wrong sometimes, even about loved ones.

Testing the waters.

Unfortunately there are some things I cannot do myself. It’s been a life long journey to realizing and accepting that. Especially with mental help. I would not be so stable without having had so much help.

Even now my new partner is helping me work through a lot. I’ve always felt it was not fair to have anyone work through my panic attacks and triggers with me. Now I’m realizing I don’t think I would ever be able to do it alone. Not codependency, but nurturing and support. He holds my hand and tells me I’m not scary. That I’m okay. Reminds me I’m safe. And when I’ve calmed down, however long it takes, he helps me dissect and feel out my reactions. He doesn’t make me feel guilty. He doesn’t make me feel like a burden.

So much feels like progress. So much feels so good right now. I love my job and make good money. I moving into a new apartment at the end of June. So much is going so well. It’s almost unbelievable.