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It's been a peculiarly stressful week, beginning with a short visit from my brother, who flew up from Santa Barbara for our oldest sister's milestone 60th birthday.

(First of all, oh my god how do I have a sixty year old sister?)

I both love and like my brother, and we get along well. We had a nice time together.

DarkEmeralds and her sisters, brother, nieces and mother
from left to right: DarkEm, niece, younger sister, niece, niece, Mom, niece, brother, the birthday girl

But everyone was aware that the number of times our mother will see him again in her life is probably quite small, and there were the logistics of car rental and getting around town, and there was attending a big noisy party where people I went to high school with FFS were present.

As much as I love my family, I've got a permanent trigger warning stamped on large gatherings of them. I don't know why, but there it is. I needed a day to ramp down after that, because I was pretty activated.

Then came the Supernatural season finale. I loved it--don't get me wrong--but it was One More Thing.

Then I was reduced to tears by a fire in a building 6000 miles away that I visited once three years ago.

And then the Portland Water Bureau found E. coli in one of our reservoirs and issued a citywide boil-water alert. Stores were emptied of bottled water, misted produce was discarded... It was more of a shame and a hassle than anything else (nobody got sick) but it felt apocalyptic.

And then came the shooting in Isla Vista.

Now, as an American, I'm numb to mass shootings. They upset me the way traffic fatalities upset me. I try not to get involved because, again, I just get activated, and there's not a fucking thing I can do. My outrage-o-meter is broken.

But somehow I got drawn into the whole #YesAllWomen hashtag event on Twitter. And it was wonderful, it really was. It clarified a lot of things for me, and it seemed to do the same for other people, some of them men. (A good article about it appeared on Time.com.)

But I'm feeling kind of overcooked, you know?

On the positive side of the ledger, I at least knew that I was activated and took some steps: tapping, extra sleep, quiet days, a couple of good bike rides. And, of course, I have the priceless blessing of not having to go to a stressful job anymore.

And chocolate. And Netflix. I'll get by.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 26th, 2014 07:57 am (UTC)
I'm sorry you felt so stressed. I'm glad that you were able to counter-act that. Hope this week is nice and boring!
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May. 26th, 2014 07:19 pm (UTC)
Well, thank you. And it's nice to see you around here. Nice icon!
May. 26th, 2014 07:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I have nice, boring non-plans for the week, including probably a couple more trips to the corner hardware store for doo-dads to finish a little house project.
May. 26th, 2014 07:55 pm (UTC)
Sorry that you're struggling now. I get it. Believe me ... it really bites. You might get some insight by stream of consciousness journaling. I find that when I do that I'm able to reveal subconscious thoughts (which are usually some variant of 'such and such happened and it means I'm a piece of shit') that I'm not even aware I'm thinking. Once I identify the skewed thoughts I've been having then I can counter them with my logical mind, ie, I'm not worthless because I'm a good person and have accomplished blah blah blah, which seems to shortcircuit my warped thinking. I don't know if it would help you, but you might give it a shot. I wish I could say it fixes everything but it does help.

Anyhow, I guess my point is that there is probably something going on that you may not be aware of - it could be past memories surfacing or hormones or whatever and it will likely pass in time. *hugs*
May. 27th, 2014 12:22 am (UTC)
You are absolutely, 100% right, and that's exactly what I did do. There's probably more of it that needs doing, too.

I've found EFT (Tapping) invaluable in priming the stream of consciousness and getting to the underlying (false) belief which, yes, seems to boil down an awful lot to "I must be a piece of shit."

One technique that's surprisingly effective in some cases is to slow it way down. Once you unearth the magic phrase (in our example, "I'm a piece of shit"), you start saying it more and more slowly, like, HAL9000 "Daisy" slow, until you're cracking yourself up because you sound so silly.

Sounds dumb, I know, but it works! It seems to reveal the absurdity embedded in the false belief and just take it apart. Plus, laughter! Best medicine, etc.
May. 27th, 2014 01:01 am (UTC)
It's very encouraging that you mention EFT - my husband is undergoing it right now. I can definitely see how that would work and I'm glad you've had results from it. At least for myself it seems like I have to repeat all these self-help techniques 800 times and that gets wearing. Oh, well. This is my lot in life and when I look back over time I am greatly improved over what I used to be. There's still struggle, though. Guess it means I'm alive? :-)
May. 27th, 2014 01:25 am (UTC)
I'm so glad to hear your husband is benefiting from EFT. My sister is a certified practitioner, so I get some very high-quality tips and techniques (though I don't actually "go to her" professionally because, you know, family and stuff). It's a valuable technique and its original "open source" roots have allowed it to give rise to lots of variations and new methods, many freely available.

I'm slow, too. I need lots of repetition and a high degree of thoroughness to clear what my speedier friends can raise and remove in one or two sessions.

Slowly over time I've come to accept that I'll never be quite "fixed." There seems to be a gradual process where the downward trend of big unresolved core issues gently begins to converge with the steady line of "Maybe I was pretty okay to begin with."

And yes. We're alive! \o/
(Deleted comment)
May. 28th, 2014 03:38 am (UTC)
The whole "Quiet" thing has helped me understand just how much buffering I need. The topic of introversion has been over-hyped in the past year or so, but obviously it has rung very true for a lot of people in the US's highly extroverted society.

My new refuge has been getting a lot of use, and it's been wonderful, sleeping nine and ten hours a night. Or twelve, last night. God knows what kind of sleep deficit I'm still trying to recoup from years of being in the workforce!

it probably shouldn't be relevant in any way, but you truly do look amazing in that picture.

It may not be relevant but it sure is a welcome comment, so thank you!
May. 28th, 2014 03:49 am (UTC)
I totally meant to say that I'm finding the line between leisure/quiet and utter boredom kind of hard to negotiate myself. It's like a whole new skill.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )



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