As usual, today hasn’t gone exactly as I planned. Actually, not even close. My medications are down the hatch. That is my most important promise to myself, the one that must be kept, the one vow that I would keep first even if breathing were voluntary. Pennie (aka Fluffy Buddy, Doody Boy, Penster, Pen Pen, Smoochy Kissy Boy, and Penner), our Smooth Collie/Australian Shepherd cross, has stolen my brush, yet again. Trey* thinks it’s absolutely hysterical that I complain about him snatching my rubber band ball from my desk. He looks at it from Pennie’s perspective–it’s bouncy, chewy, it rolls, and when he’s done playing with it, he gets to dismantle it knowing that I will put it back together again, and again, and again. “How can a tennis ball compare with your rubber band ball?” Trey asks me. Trey is such a blessing in my life. He makes me laugh. He told me once that he thought the way into a woman’s bed was to be sweet and caring. I told him that being sweet and caring is the way to a woman’s heart–making a woman laugh is the way to her bed. Of course, this is my opinion. I’m sure there are as many ways as there are belly buttons.
I was up at 7:30, because I couldn’t remember what time my therapy appointment was. Often it’s a 9:00 a.m. Today, it was at 3:00 p.m. Thank goodness Dr. M’s extraordinary office administrator was in the office at 8:00 a.m. and I didn’t have make an extra trip. Instead I went grocery shopping. I love shopping of pretty much any kind. My OCD is of the sort that I do more ruminatory thinking than I have compulsions. But spending money is one of them. Having Compulsive Hoarding Syndrome means I like to spend money and bring things home. Groceries, kitchen items, books, gifts for other people (with which I sometimes have trouble parting), motor oil–it doesn’t matter, I like to stockpile it all. Since my diagnosis it’s probably been fortunate that I’ve been impoverished…I can’t buy anything. Of course, I could be like some hoarders and bring home cardboardboxes or furniture that’s been cast aside. But I haven’t done that. I’m a little more in control these days. I had the best time at the two stores where I usually shop. I took my time and savored the experience. I admired the colors of the habanero and bell peppers, the fresh scent of lime in the citrus display, the perfect roundness of the tomatoes. I had made a list, though I didn’t keep to it. I was out of just about everything. And seeing as that the kitchen is clean and I want to invite friends over to eat, I stocked up. I am so grateful to have a full pantry and refrigerator. I missed some items, but that just means another trip another day. I put all the groceries away and went to my appointment.
I discussed some deep hurt having to do with my children and MCF (my children’s father). I told Dr. M. how sad I am about my house. And we talked a lot about my problems with obsessional thinking and my blog. Dr. M. said that only an action can stop the obsessional thinking, and so when I am having trouble getting started, I should practice E.F.T. or call on someone (like her) for help. E.F.T. is Emotional Freedom Technique, and briefly, it’s a method of tapping at various trigger points in the body while delivering affirmations about what you’re experiencing physically or emotionally. More on that later. And we talked about my blog. Since I began blogging, I have gone to a place deep inside of me. I feel I am connected in mind, body, and spirit. I never really felt like I had a core, or that I was solid. I feel my depth now. I feel more often present. I feel my pain and joy instead of trying to run away from them. I feel like I’m starting to keep things real, instead of living some type of fantasy that’s only in my head. It’s scary and sensational all at the same time. We discovered that in the process of blogging, I am being honest about what I’m doing, and that even though I’m no where close to where I want to be, I am making progress. And my blog is my visual affirmation that I’m doing so. She thought that I posted before pictures of my household progress as well as after, and I looked at her as if she were crazy. I haven’t progressed that much. We really didn’t share many laughs. And I started crying minutes after we started talking. Because she said something kind about me. I had taken her some Christmas Posole and Frosted Fresh Apple Cookies. She told me that she often voices her concern about how stretched thin I am financially when I bring her something, and her appreciation that even so, I make it a point to give and share what I have, and that it shows how good-hearted I am. Why is it that sometimes words of praise will make you cry when harsh words don’t? For a while I started to believe what MCF said about me–that I had no value, that there was nothing good about me. And when I was experiencing some of the worst psychological pain ever, he told me that I should just commit suicide. I’ve erred in so many ways, I know it. But never ever in my life would I dream of saying something like that to someone who had lost her mind, let alone anyone else at any other time. So it was an intense session and when I returned home, I gave it a lot of thought.
I cleaned the bathroom! I scrubbed the tub and shower! I cleaned the mirrors with Windex! I cleaned out the sink with non-toxic scrub! The toilet bowl sparkles! I put everything away that was out-of-place! I got down on hands and knees and cleaned the floor, the outside of the tub, the vanity, and the outside of the toilet! And I took pictures! One of the photographs is of this lovely artwork hanging on the wall crafted by Maxine Grossman of Humming Line Art Glass (www.hummingline.com). It’s called Mermaid Goddess and it’s a foiled and soldered clear drop glass mermaid with wire wrapped hair, shells, and a lampwork bubble. She stands 11 inches tall and I love her. ❤
I cleaned the bathroom!
I have just a few more thoughts:
- One is my delight with Ruth Bourdain’s web page (http://ruthbourdain.tumblr.com/). It cracks me up that the sub-title of her blog is, “Comfort me with offal.”
- Another important matter is the Polk Family’s Mustard Greens and Black-eye Pea Soup recipe. I really didn’t give it enough credit when I mentioned it. I have, from my childhood, a lot of food-related trauma. I was generally sitting at the table long after everyone else had gone on to other activities, generally with vegetable matter sat on my plate in front of me. Being an incredibly optimistic child, perhaps I hoped that offering might magically vanish, or that my dog, Wanda*, would suddenly develop a liking for say, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, stewed tomatoes, or creamed peas with pearl onions. Being also an incredibly stubborn child, I would usually out-wait and therefore out-maneuver my mother (she was very strict about bedtimes). Occasionally I would do that which any child would when confronted with gross, offal-tasting stuff…when no one was looking, I would scoop it into my napkin and throw it away. According to my father, as he would tell me when I occasionally got caught, this was cheating. As a child, this crazy grown-up reasoning eluded me. What does this have to do with the Polk Family’s Mustard Greens and Black-eye Pea Soup? I made it according to the recipe, and I loved it! It contained two of my childhood nemeses–greens and cooked diced tomatoes. I never ate greens as a child, though I was probably occasionally faced with spinach. And I never liked cooked tomatoes unless they were ground up into sauce or soup. Let me just say, this soup rocks! Brothy, chock-full of goodies like my new stars mustard greens and tomatoes, onions, garlic, andouille sausage, black-eyed peas, fresh thyme and parsley, hot sauce, and flavorful chicken broth, it’s now on my list of favorite soups. Forgive me, Polk family and Molly O’Neill, for not giving it the full praise it deserved. I feel much better now.
- Third is, I have a MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) sore on my chin. MRSA is a virulent staff (bacterial) infection that has become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat ordinary staph infections. Aside from the sore being hideously ugly, my chin is prominent enough as it is. I really don’t need a MRSA sore adding depth to it. I became a MRSA carrier a year ago last August when I was bitten by a spider which apparently carried MRSA. I went through five courses of antibiotics, two of which didn’t overcome the bacteria, one to which I had an allergic reaction, and then finally two courses of another that did the trick. Since then, I have smaller outbreaks and my body apparently has the antibodies it needs to keep the bacteria from becoming going past a certain point. I no longer have to go to the doctor over these outbreaks, and I’m happy about that. For the original spider bite and the subsequent infections on my abdomen, he had to open the sores, clean them out, and put some type of absorbent tape inside them–like a couple of feet worth in each. MRSA is apparently everywhere these days, so please make sure you wipe off grocery cart handles and take other precautions when in public. My therapist is convinced that I get these outbreaks when my immunity is lowered due to interactions with men. I think it’s just Terrence*. Every time I had an outbreak, it was when Terrence and I were either together, or he was contacting me. My history with Terrence is brutal, emotionally. I was seeing him in August when I got the spider bite, and throughout the fall. The outbreaks finally stopped around October when I wasn’t having much contact with him. In December he was arrested and went to jail. He would send a letter, I would get an outbreak. When he got out in March and started calling me, we were sort of back together and bingo! We parted for good, in the summer. I heard from him (he called and I did not answer) on Christmas night and subsequent days. And what do I have? Crap! It seems it might be worth it to change my phone number. I don’t listen to his messages. I have buried ( a story for another time) or thrown away everything that was his or had anything to do with him, except, dammit, his bike is still at my house, come to think of it. Tomorrow I will call a charity and have them pick it up when their drivers are next collecting in my neighborhood.
- There is a mouse in my house. And he’s a hefty little bugger, apparently. I was sitting at my desk and heard him in the vent beside me. I saw the result of him pushing against the vent cover, trying to get out, or rather, in. The vent cover actually moved! I’ve had experience with mice, a mouse-a-palooza you might call it, but that’s another story for another time.
Enough for today. Thank you for allowing me to share so much with you.
1.) My beloved children, just for being the really cool people they are.
2.) My beloved Trey*, because he totally rocks!
3.) Dr. M, without whom I probably wouldn’t be alive.
4.) My brother T., for sharing his technological genius in order to assist me.
5.) My silly dogs, because they make me laugh and warm my heart.
6.) Groceries, grocery stores, refrigerators, pantries, and fire.
Just because you got the monkey off your back, doesn’t mean the circus has left town.” ~ George Carlin