April Showers

April Showers rosebud

I’ve been feeling better this week, but still not really secure. I didn’t make any mistakes at work, but they’re also cross-training a woman from another lab, so maybe she’s supposed to be my replacement? One woman in our lab is on maternity leave. Another will likely retire later this year. This is why they need another person. I wasn’t in a position to be tested and judged on my technique, so my only challenge was to not annoy anyone and not do anything stupid. I guess I did ok.

April showers help grow May flowers, but can also foster mildew and rot. Maybe perspective is what’s most important then. I’ve told myself that if this job doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world. I still will have made good money to live on while I look for another and will have gained good experience. I’m also seeing some personality conflicts among my coworkers that might not bode well if I do stay there. One of the women is “jokingly” called mean by some of the others, but I sense there’s some truth in that label.

It rained Saturday, when I went to the Doggy Dash at Land Park. Mud was deep by some of the vendors, so my new sneakers were caked with it. My dog Kaylee was visibly tired, but happy. I got her a few treats and a short psychic reading for myself. Once again, I was told my future might lie in Rancho Cordova. Another psychic told me the same thing last year. I can’t move to a better place to live until I’m secure in a job, so maybe my next job, will be in Rancho Cordova?

I popped into Second Life last night while my roommate had a party here at the house. The latest update of the Maitreya Lara mesh body has movable fingers on the hands (Bento project upgrade), so I tried it on Alycia, then got her some nice free hair from Lelutka. I made myself log off and go to bed by 11:30 pm, though, because I need to keep a relatively early to bed and early to rise schedule for my job.

 

No Magic Beans

magic beansI’m feeling down today. My life is still imperfect and still a struggle. That’s normal though. Nothing is ever going to be perfect and Life will always require work.

I made it through the first month at my new job. One of my trainers said I’m doing much better now, though my plating technique still needs work. My supervisor comes back from vacation next week, so she could decide I’m doing ok or decide I’m not learning fast enough and let me go. I guess I’m like Schrödinger’s Cat right now, because in my mind I’m both secure in my job and about to be fired.

I want to feel safe, comfortable and happy, but I seldom do. I still wish sometimes that I could take a pill that would easily end my life. Most of the day I’m too busy focusing on work and necessities to think like that, but when I’m physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, it’s hard for me to see a happy life in my future.

I think I should be able to have some fun, but I have to balance being responsible with having fun. I also feel guilty for having fun sometimes, or for spending money on eating out or buying some little treat for myself.

The only new clothes I’ve bought in the last 6 months were a 2 bras, pair of inexpensive interview shoes, discounted Sketchers sneakers and a purse at DD’s Discounts. I’ve also bought a pair of jeans and a few tops at a thrift store. I need a few more clothes for work, another pair of jeans or slacks and a couple more blouses. I probably need new glasses. My car also has a problem with the driver-side door that needs to be fixed. I’m trying to be really careful with my money until I know this job is secure, though.

I try to eat somewhat healthy food and get enough sleep. I take St. John’s wort, but no prescription antidepressants. I had an edible cannabis treat last night when I was feeling anxious, but the THC dose was too high for me. I’m ok with 5 – 10 mg, but this tiny lemon-bar treat had 50 mg, so I ended up feeling dizzy and sick to my stomach. In my drunk-like, half-conscious state in the middle of the night, I kept thinking to myself, “Do not do this again. Know your limits and abide by them.”

I read a letter from one of Mom’s conservators that said she was sitting in the activity room of her convalescent hospital when this person tried to talk with her. She was barely responsive and had drool on the front of her shirt from putting her blanket in her mouth. She also said “I don’t hear you”, when the person tried to ask her questions. – This notice was what made me feel anxious yesterday.  I need to go see Mom, but the thought of seeing her brings up so many mixed emotions of guilt, sadness and anger. I pushed through my anxiety when I was out shopping, then decided to get the cannabis treat to see if it could make me relax and feel happy. It didn’t. It just made me feel dizzy and sick.

What does it take to feel safe, comfortable and happy? There don’t seem to be any magic beans for these things. I keep thinking I *should* be able to focus on the positives in my life, but I keep feeling anxious and depressed.

Safe Spaces

bubble-bath-700

I have several safe spaces. The bathtub is one of my favorites, either with bubbles or essential oils. I used to love soaking in a warm bath when I lived in the house I grew up in. I think now it must remind me subconsciously of being back in the womb, where the rest of the world can’t hurt me. Later I moved to a house with a shower instead of a tub, but I still dream of my old home. It’s never nice and relaxing there though. It’s always hard to get enough warm, clean water to bathe. I dream of the plumbing backing up, so the water is dirty. The plumbing is always bad when I dream of my old house. I think that’s because water represents emotions and bad plumbing represents unresolved emotional conflicts with my mother.

My bedroom is another safe space. When I dream of my old bedroom though, it’s a mess. The old brown and beige wool carpet is still there. Some of my old toys and belongings might be there. The closet is full of clothes that no longer fit though, and I know I no longer own any of those toys and things.

The home that I grew up in used to be a safe space. When I dream of it now though, I remember that my mother and I no longer own it. She sold it. Other people live there now. We don’t belong there. Why do we keep coming back here in my dreams, when we no longer deserve to be here?

The beach, especially by Fort Brag, California, is sometimes one of my safe spaces. In my dreams the ocean is usually peaceful and calming too. When it’s not, it’s stormy or rising up over the land like a tsunami. I sometimes wonder if when I’m drawn to dive into the ocean in my dreams, if what it represents symbolically is death and the desire to be free from this world?

Sometimes I can create a safe space inside my own mind. Other times my mind is my worst enemy, creating fear, guilt, depression, despondency, catastrophic thinking, and suicidal thoughts. Sometimes I can calm the storm and create a peaceful beach in my mind. Other times it screams at me that nobody likes me, I’m a loser, I’m broken, and the only way I’ll ever be at peace is in death.

( Reposted from my comment at this blog: https://mindfump.com/2017/03/20/68-calm-finding-your-safe-space/comment-page-1/#comment-2285 )

Spring and Testing

flowers in test tubes

Happy Ostara!. That’s pagan for the first day of spring. The United Nations also says this is the International Day of Happiness. I’m pretty happy – all things considered – but still not out of the woods yet.

I’m being evaluated at work – all this week and the next – to see if I can get proficient in core skills for our lab. I’m so nervous when I know I’m being evaluated that sometimes I do worse than I did the first 2 weeks when I was just practicing a little. I need a lot more practice to get proficient, and to relax when I’m being evaluated.

I took too long to weigh out stuff. I took too long to plate and inoculate from my practice flakes. I didn’t drop a pipet tip into the sample flask today though, so I guess that’s better. I did drop a pipet tip on the ground. (It bounced out of the trash.)

I was so anxious this morning that I couldn’t eat breakfast. I ate a fruit and nut bar and drank a yogurt drink at my first break instead. I was too anxious to eat my lunch at lunch, but I ate it during my afternoon break. This weekend I couldn’t eat much either, but I can stand to cut a few calories and lose some weight. I don’t feel so anxious that I can’t relax and sleep tonight though, so that’s an improvement from last Friday.

I can’t wear jewelry at work that might help me feel grounded and magically protected, so I drew protective runes on my bra instead. Whether there’s a magical effect or not, little rituals like this help me relax and feel protected. I need to get through these next 2 weeks of evaluations ok in order to keep this job.

 

 

 

Life is hard

Life is Hard
Everything is not happy and rosy for me yet. I’m still struggling internally and externally. I’ve been 3 weeks in my new job. I like it and the pay is good, but I’m not proficient yet. I’m behind where my boss expected me to be and was told I showed “behavioral problems” as well. Specifically, I asked too many questions or talked about my previous lab work when my trainers wanted me to just listen and do as I was told, I went looking in drawers and cupboards for something when I should have asked where it was, I looked for work to do instead of waiting to be told what to do, and I suggested a way to test the best way to shake samples before weighing them out. My boss said everyone wants me to succeed, but for now I need to just do what I’m told.

I’m anxious so much of the time at work. I keep thinking people don’t like me or they’re talking about me. I feel sometimes like nothing I do will ever be good enough.

I’m struggling this weekend not to go into catastrophic thinking. I don’t think I slept more than 4 hours last night and only ate a few bites of food so far today. I asked my Dad’s spirit to help me be successful at work next week. One week at a time, I’m telling myself. Four weeks working here will provide me with 2 months worth of living expenses if I continue to be very careful with my money. I don’t want to lose this job, though. This last year has been too hard for me to have to keep struggling now just to survive. I also hate this feeling that comes with my fear and desperation that maybe I’m supposed to kill myself. I don’t want to think like that, but it’s hard when I have hardly anyone in this world to support me emotionally. I have a few Facebook friends and relatives, but I doubt they’ll read past the first paragraph of my blog posts that show on my Facebook page.

I got my 2nd paycheck direct-deposited yesterday. I went to my bank to move half of what was in my checking account into my savings. There was a man sitting on the sidewalk in front of the bank, asking people for money. I couldn’t feel much sympathy for him, because he was bothering me and the other people going to the ATM. I went inside and told a manager that he was out there bothering people, then I gave him $ 1 on my way out, so he wouldn’t think I was the one who ratted on him. There’s another man who sleeps under the porch of a nearby building, but doesn’t seem to bother people. I gave him $ 20 last weekend when I took money out to spend at a psychic faire.

The Difference a Year Makes

Life is Like Underwear

A year ago I felt so depressed, desperate and hopeless that I wanted to kill myself. I planned to shoot myself, but couldn’t do it when I had the gun.

Now I have a good job that I like, an ok home (though I’ll probably move again in a couple months), a car that runs ok and is insured. My life is starting to come back together and get good again. It was not an easy road from there to here, but it was do-able with help from a few people along the way. (I’d like to write that having Hope made a difference, but I know that when one is in the middle depression, Hope can seem like the most impossible thing to ever have.)

Now though, my dog and I are both alive, safe, and relatively healthy and happy. If I had given up and killed myself, both of us would be dead now.

Sometimes I still have feelings like I wish I could die or wish I had been able to shoot myself back then, but these are just passing feelings, not serious concerns.

Depression can be hard to deal with, but with prayer and effort, it doesn’t have to be a death sentence or a permanent state of being. Life can indeed get better if you keep trying to make it better. Don’t give up on yourself or on Life.

Demon Mother (dream)

Handle with care - Lucinda Jacob

I had a freaky nightmare this morning. I didn’t write it down right away, so I’m sure I’ve forgotten most of the details, but I still want to record what I can of it. The picture above doesn’t fit exactly, but it’s a close as I could find.

I’m in the house I grew up in, the one I always return to in my dreams. My mother is here too and she’s old. I realize I’m dreaming and tell her she shouldn’t keep coming back here (in dreams) because we sold this house and someone else lives here now. Maybe she gets angry at me then, because I think this is when she starts to change. She seems like she’s a demon or possessed by a demon. She lunges at me, showing her teeth, and I see metal wires like needles coming out of each of her fingertips almost like fingernails.

I feel mixed feelings toward her. She’s a monster that’s trying to kill me, so I want to fight her and destroy her – but she’s also my mother and a poor old women, so I don’t want to hurt her. I think this isn’t the real her, she must be possessed by some kind of demon. I go outside, leaving her inside the house. I see a neighbor’s house next door. Another old lady with short grey hair lives here and comes outside. I talk with her for a moment. She seems nice.

My monster mother comes outside then and attacks the other woman like she wants to eat her. I fight my monster mother and kill her. Then the other woman begins to look like a demon. I think the demon has jumped into her now and it is my real enemy, not the old woman. I try saying the Lord’s Prayer (which I often use in dreams when I’m trying to fight a demon), but this doesn’t seem to do any good. I try saying the rosary too, but that doesn’t do anything either.

I run from the demon, which I feel even when it’s not visible in the body of another person. At one point I view it as a red snake twisting and flying through the air. When I’m crossing a city street that is at a crossroads, I think I can call on Legba to help me fight the demon instead of relying on Christian prayers. A couple other women join with me in reciting the prayer I make up. They might be black and wearing brightly colored African headdress, but I hear them more than see them. We’re all running from the demon as we keep repeating this prayer:

Papa Legba, protect me.
Papa Legba, keep me safe from harm.
Papa Legba, send this creature back to Hell.

We repeat this over and over until the demon seems to go away for a moment. Then it seems to jump into me. I keep saying this prayer until it leaves me and disappears completely. The other women and I are on a downtown city street somewhere. I wake after this.

Notes & Interpretation:

The silver wires coming from my mother’s fingertips were the image that stayed strongest with me. This probably refers to the times she grabbed my arm and sunk her nails into it when I was trying to look after her.

Not being her normal self, but seeming like a demon refers to her bad behavior, which I had told a coworker about on Friday. Long before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she still showed spiteful, vindictive behavior at times toward me and my siblings. I told a coworker how after I’d hurt Mom’s feelings one day (probably when she asked me why her children hated her and I told her why), she came to my job with a letter she’d written intended to make me cry at work. She had written that my father would be ashamed of me, etc…. The letter had her desired effect of making me cry, at which point I saw her smile. (Shortly after this I told her she wasn’t allowed to come to my workplace anymore because of increased security after 9/11.)

Wires coming from her fingers may also symbolize her emotional and psychic connection to me. Luckily, this connection seems to be much weakened since she’s been in a care home, then a convalescent home. I suspect her spirit may still travel back to the dream-plane version of our house when she sleeps, but she doesn’t seem to affect me when I’m awake.

The other old lady doesn’t seem like anyone I know. Maybe she represents the effect I suspect my Mom may have on her roommates. I think Mom is a subconscious psychic vampire who can drain energy from the people around her, and thus make her roommate’s health get worse while she maintains her own health. I can’t prove this theory, because I can’t ask if her roommates seem to get worse without soundly like a nutcase myself. I still believe this idea, though, so it could get into my dream.

Viewing my mother as a monster in my dreams isn’t a new thing for me. When I was in high school, I dreamt of her being a witch who was chasing me and trying to stop me from flying. I once dreamt of cutting off her head with an ax when she was harassing me. Even a couple months ago, I dreamt of her driving into a pool full of zombies, then having the zombies grab at me while I dived in to try to save her.

I’ve got a grief-counseling session scheduled for Monday after work. I think I should go see Mom first today and give her a couple stuffed animals I bought for her, but I wanted to record this nightmare about my feelings toward her first.

I thought it was cool that I prayed to Legba in this dream when I wanted help fighting the demon. My little shrine to the deity archetype I call The Guardian of Crossroads includes offerings to Legba and it’s one of the few deity shrines I kept up after losing my old home. (I’m an eclectic polytheist witch, so I evoke various deities as they seem appropriate for me. “Papa Legba” is the term voodooists use when referring to or calling upon this loa.  American voodooists don’t view the loa as deities, btw, but more like saints who rank below God the creator.) Legba is not generally viewed as a protective spirit, but since he is in charge of the borders and gateways between realms, I thought it was appropriate to call on him to send back this entity that I viewed as a demon in this dream.