princessofburundi: (Default)
It's nearly 4 a.m. and I'm still wide awake. This undoubtedly is because I slept for a full twelve hours last night, and didn't wake up until nearly 1 p.m. I'm reading in bed, The Great Zoo of China, which is a repeat of Jurassic Park, only set in China, and with dragons instead of dinosaurs. The writing isn't great, dialogue rather stilted, but it's not a long book, so I'll finish it.

I've been watching "Big Love" on CraveTV - a TV show about a polygamist family in Utah - and there was a scene where women were lamenting being evicted from their homes on the FLDS compound with only five minutes to collect their things. I was astounded at how hard this hit me. I am not going into detail, but last October I was illegally evicted from where I was living in the Canadian Arctic with two hours to get out. This happened in the peak of polar bear season, which means peak tourist season; there were no hotel rooms and it was a really and truly horrible and dangerous situation which has left me traumatized and scared of my own shadow. I had no idea that the mere mention of eviction on a TV show would affect me as sharply as it did. Thank goodness I have a therapist.

I'm still thinking about the teaching ESL thing. I haven't made up my mind. It seems like a good idea. I can get certified online, and I can probably get financial aid for the cost of the course. But before I make any decision, I'll need to investigate the job market to see whether or not I'd be likely to get a job teaching English as a Second Language either locally or overseas. I'm 53, and many of the overseas options close at age 50, I am given to understand. I also don't live in a big city centre that attracts a lot of immigrants, and I'd be reluctant to move to another city, partially because I don't have the money to relocate. So I will have to research job opportunites and then make a decision. Also, it is a bit daunting, at my age, to be starting an entirely new venture. This is the part of my life where I always thought I'd be gliding towards retirement - my dad retired at 55, and my mum a couple of years after that - not starting anew. I am feeling timid, and will need to gather some courage to make a new life for myself.

Sleepy

Apr. 21st, 2017 06:09 pm
princessofburundi: (Default)
It's only 6 p.m. but I'm just about ready for sleep. If I nap now there will be no sleep tonight, so I'm working hard on staying awake.

Yesterday I went over to a young friend's place. She has a 10-week old baby boy to whom I am an unofficial auntie, and I love that little boy so much. He is so cute and warm and sweet. M. started inviting me over when her little one was three days old; I was really struggling with depression around the time he was born and she thought snuggling her little baby might help me feel better. It did. I go over every week, and I enjoy both her company and cuddling Mr. Adorable. I think the thing that helps me most about it is that M. often goes out while I'm there to have a bit of a break from the baby, and I realize how much she must trust me to leave me with both her young boy and her apartment. That trust gives me a real boost of self-esteem.

Most Fridays I meet my mum for coffee at the local shopping mall; I did so today. I don't go over to her place much as my dad has become such difficult company and it's impossible to have a conversation with my mum when he's around. My dad's an amputee, and although he can do a fair bit for himself he much prefers being waited on, and he's utterly rude to those people who are helping him. Never a word of thanks. My mum likes the opportunity to get away from him, and I get that. It's always nice to meet up with her; I look forward to it.

I think I'm going to try to qualify to teach English as a Second Language. I'm not sure yet, but it does seem like a good idea. I think I am probably too old to teach overseas, but I could teach it locally to immigrants, or I could teach it online; I've noticed a lot of postings for online ESL teaching. It would allow me to support myself, and to feel more independent, plus I think I'd really like the work. I have a BA and an MA in English, so I have a good background for the job. At the same time I think I will brush up on my Spanish speaking - most of it has disappeared - and see if that helps me work with immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries. There are a lot of immigrants in Canada from Central and South America. Anyway, this is just something I'm thinking about, but the more I think about it the more I like the idea.

Behind

Apr. 19th, 2017 06:58 pm
princessofburundi: (Default)
I've been on Dreamwidth for only a few days and already I am behind. Thank you for all the comments and I'm sorry that I haven't had a chance to answer yet - I'm so overwhelmed with my own crap that I haven't been able to function in my usual manner. And I've not read my reading page in a couple of days. Sorry to be so behind.

Therapy

Apr. 19th, 2017 02:38 pm
princessofburundi: (Default)
I just went to a therapist's appointment at the hospital for the first time. Holy crap, it was hard. Talking about all that *stuff* that I keep bottled up inside of me was so difficult, and I spent most of the appointment in tears. One thing I learned is that my waterproof mascara isn't all that waterproof. Another thing I learned is that grieving sucks. All this anger I feel? Part of grieving. Part of the path to wellness and acceptance.

I'm not ready to talk here about what I'm grieving. It's not a death but a huge loss. It's been overwhelming. And it's just so scary to talk about. I feel that if I start to write about it that I'll never stop, that my words will flow like tears across the page.

That's all. I have posted that I'm having a hard time and that's all I really want to say right now.

There isn't an emoticon offered that expresses grief and anger and hurt and being overwhelmed all at once, like a torrent of emotional lava engulfing me. So I'm just going to use "gloomy" which is the best I can find to describe both my mood and the weather today. 

 

Wow

Apr. 18th, 2017 03:29 pm
princessofburundi: (Default)
So many people commented on my post about my feeling bad for taking Ativan. I can't even begin to express how helpful the comments were. I've gone from feeling like a failure for taking them to feeling like they are necessary pills for my brain, which isn't producing the chemicals I need for good mental health. Thank you to all of you who commented. You all gave me so much strength. This is why I've missed LJ. You can learn so much from the experience and knowledge and kindness of other people.

*am crying, but with pleasure and relief*

Tired

Apr. 18th, 2017 02:59 pm
princessofburundi: (Default)
It's 3:00 pm and I'm beat. I have so much to do around the house but it's going to have to wait for an hour or two.

This morning I had to fend off another powerful panic attack - brain, this can stop anytime you like, preferably NOW - and then shower and dress and put makeup on to have lunch with my mum. Picked up cat supplies en route to lunch; spent lunch hour hearing about how I have no backbone and am too dependent upon people. Heard the story of my suffragette grandmother who emigrated to Canada, arriving in Toronto with 29 cents in her poocket, and how she didn't let that get her down. Apparently, getting help from social workers and the hospital is another form of weakness; I should be taking care of my mental health without "leeching" (I'm quoting) off community services. My mum is so good to me except when she isn't, and today she really, really wasn't, but at least she paid for lunch.

Picked up prescriptions, did a healthy shop - no junk except for pretzels, which are lower calorie and salt than potato chips - as my blood sugar is quite high - last night it was 15.2 which is way over the top. I wonder if high blood sugar and panic attacks are related?

Now I'm just going to sit here for a bit and release the tension and the tiredness. Then I must do chores, bleah.
princessofburundi: (Default)
I spent until 1:00 today doing various things to get rid of the panic attack, and when none of them worked I took an Ativan. I don't like doing that. Most of the time I feel really weak for "giving in" (that's the language I use) to taking medication, but I think it's about time that I realized two things: 1) that my psychiatrist prescribed them for just this reason, and b) that being wise enough to know when I need to take one is a sign of strength and self-awareness, not weakness. This is something I really need to learn.

Ooh!

Apr. 17th, 2017 12:40 pm
princessofburundi: (Default)
Did I mention that I subscribed to Crave TV last night? It's only $7.99 a month, and has nine seasons of Doctor Who, as well as tons of other programmes. I watched an episode of the Doctor last night (Matt Smith's intro episode: "The Eleventh Hour"), and then a fascinating documentary about the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints and the trial of Warren Jeffs. So glad to have access to the Doctor again!

Feeling a lot better after clearing out my inbox here.
princessofburundi: (Default)
I woke up late this morning, around 10:30, and I awoke in the middle of the mother of all panic attacks. There were panicked thoughts - this is going to kill me, I'm going to need to be locked up in a mental asylum - lots of gastrointestinal stuff that comes with the fear, weeping, and shaking like a leaf. I haven't had a first thing in the morning panic attack since January and I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed by it.

So I told myself that I could stay in bed until I was ready to get up (it's 12:15 and I'm not yet ready), and I've been doing things that relax me. I've prayed fervently for God's help. I've played a couple of rounds of Lexulous (a Scrabble-based game) with [personal profile] globetrotter1. I've done a couple of jigsaw puzzles on the phone - they are great for helping me clear my mind. I have a cat cuddled up to my leg, and that is a big help. I'm going to watch an episode of Doctor Who. I called my mother, but she couldn't talk as she was in the middle of making a Merlin costume for my 10-year old nephew that needs to be ready for tomorrow.

No more mornings like this one, please. Just no.

Easter

Apr. 16th, 2017 10:00 am
princessofburundi: (Default)
Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it!

I have woken up with a mighty case of acid reflux, so BLEAH to that, and I was woken far earlier than I would have liked due to my younger cat deciding that first thing in the morning was a good time for head scratches and for walking up and down my back. I told her to go away and let me sleep, and she pointed out that she doesn't speak English, so she won. She always does. She's so adorable and fluffy that I indulge her every whim.

I'm morose this morning. For me, holidays are a reminder that I'm alone in the world. My parents and brother's family, who share a large home in the country, have not invited me to Easter or Thanksgiving for several years now. My elder daughter hasn't spoken to me in seven or eight years, my son lives far away in Vancouver, and my younger daughter is in the middle of exams and doesn't celebrate anyway, being an atheist. I don't have much in the way of real-life friends, certainly not the sort to open their homes to me on holidays. I look back and wonder how I ever thought that family celebrations were annoying or too much work, you don't realize how precious they are until they're gone. I remember delighted children hunting for Easter eggs, and my mum's lovely ham roasts, and a church family where I worshipped regularly, and I don't know where the years have gone.

Anyway, enough of being depressed. It's a holiday, so I'm going to ignore housework except for dishes, and spend the day reading or watching TV. It's nice and warm today with a delicious breeze, but it's raining on and off, and isn't really the weather for venturing outdoors much, so I shall stay home and enjoy the company of books.
princessofburundi: (Default)
How exciting it was to arrive at Dreamwidth and find 47 notifications in my inbox! I have a whole host of new friends whom I'd like to welcome to my journal.

Hello to [personal profile] 3v3y2k, [personal profile] 8hyenas, [personal profile] atomicnectarine, [personal profile] cherrypixel, [personal profile] coeur_de_noir, [personal profile] divinemusings, [personal profile] dorchadas, [personal profile] emeraldem, [personal profile] fragbert66, [personal profile] iddewes, [personal profile] innerslytherin, [personal profile] jo, [personal profile] norfolkian, [personal profile] seraphina_snape, and [personal profile] slvrbld47. I'm thrilled to meet all of you!

Also, I've joined the [community profile] doctorwho community and would love to see new Whovians over there!

Lazy Day

Apr. 14th, 2017 11:03 pm
princessofburundi: (Default)
I didn't sleep well last night, and was awoken by the bloody right-hand neighbours doing, again, some construction on their house, with chain saws and hammers beginning at 8:00 a.m., just like they did last weekend. They had friends come to help with the work and they were all shouting above the chain saw and the hammers, and their five (six?) kids were yelling in the front and back yards, and the dog barked endlessly, and I live in a neighbourhood where the houses are barely six feet apart from each other, so the racket was terrible. As a result I had a headache all day, and the barely-suppressed desire to go over there and say unforgiveable things or perform illegal acts upon the noisy bastards. Obviously I didn't, but my goodness they were maddening. Some people make me seriously misanthropic.

As a result of the headache I spent a lazy day on the sofa with Netflix; watched three passable movies and two episodes of the final season of Wallander, which I'd not seen before. I do love that show; Kenneth Branagh is perfect in the title role. I read a little as well; Kate Morton's books are so engrossing. Tomorrow I must clean stuff. I have a stack of dirty dishes in the kitchen, and so on and so forth.

My friend and her baby are still in hospital. If she's still there tomorrow I plan to go visit her. I'm worried about the baby. (My friend is only in hospital because she's the baby's food source; she's perfectly healthy.)

And so to bed. Good night.
princessofburundi: (Default)
I went to a friending community here on Dreamwidth today and I have new friends here! Welcome to [personal profile] cassie_faith, [personal profile] kristy, [personal profile] spilledpills, and [personal profile] michigangster!
princessofburundi: (Default)
I'm so tired and hyped that I can't get to sleep; I thought that journalling might relax me.

I'm hyped because I'm worried about a friend's baby. He's not quite 10 weeks old and he is losing weight instead of gaining. His mum is breastfeeding, but they've figured out that he's only getting 1 oz. of milk per feed, which simply isn't enough to maintain a growing baby. I went over to the hospital to bring my friend food and beverages and to sit with her a bit; she's very worried and was glad to have someone to talk to. I love this little baby and I want him to thrive. I hope nothing is wrong with him.

Bought myself a book today: A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab; fantasy and it looks interesting. And I ordered three books from Chapters last night. I would be much better off financially if I didn't buy books, but is life without buying books really living? I love my ever-growing library.

Okay....going to find something to do to help me wind down. Journalling isn't doing it. Good night, all.
princessofburundi: (Default)
Still sick, but knowing the cause has really calmed me down, and the thought that ceasing to take the pills means that I won't be sick to my stomach all the time is such a pleasant thing.

My son finally paid me back the money he owes me, so I've treated myself mildly. I ordered a couple of books online last night, bought a book at the mall today, and got my hair cut (badly needed). The rest I will keep safely tucked in my bank account. It makes a world of difference to be able to do something nice for myself.

I'm home again, tired from the anti-nauseants, and am probably going to nap. I'm so very glad to be home.
princessofburundi: (Default)
I've been getting sick to my stomach and having stomach pains for about three weeks now. This afternoon I googled my symptoms and of course ended up diagnosing myself with some really unpleasant illnesses. This evening I connected the dots.....about three weeks ago I started a new medication. All of the stomach stuff plus the occasional dizziness I've been getting are common side effects of the drug. Wish I'd read the product monograph before I started diagnosing myself with cancer and other dire illnesses, but am greatly relieved to find out the root cause. Time to call the doctor and switch to something with less potent side effects. These ones have been ruining my days and my nights.

Grrrr

Apr. 12th, 2017 03:32 pm
princessofburundi: (sick elephant)
Vomited in the night; woke up feeling sick to my stomach. Not much fun, especially as younger daughter is visiting. She's napping right now and I'm taking some quiet time in my room, and earlier this afternoon I came to bed and lay down for half an hour, which helped. When she leaves I'm planning on putting my nightgown back on and climbing into bed with a book or my computer. This really sucks.
princessofburundi: (books and candle)
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, 2013, 403 pages, 4.5/5 stars

A Tale for the Time Being, written by Canadian-dwelling American-born Ruth Ozeki, takes place on a remote island in the temperate rainforest of British Columbia, in Tokyo, and in Fukushima Prefecture before the tidal wave and subsequent nuclear meltdown. Ruth, a writer living on the Canadian island (identifiable as Cortes Island) finds amongst the flotsam on the beach a diary, a watch, and some letters inside a plastic bag. Their provenance proves to be Japanese, the diary of Nao, a schoolgirl in Tokyo. The diary tells of Nao's problems with severe bullying, her father's suicide attempts, and her own relationship with her great-grandmother, who is a Zen Buddhist nun living in the Japanese countryside. As Ruth reads the diary, her tale becomes entwined with Nao's, and in a dreamlike fashion, their narratives of both females affect the outcome of the other's story.

I really liked most of the book. It was written in a style that I've never read before: the people on Cortes are Ruth and Oliver; the author's name is Ruth and she is married to a man named Oliver, and they live in Cortes. It was hard to distinguish where memoir and fiction divided. The details of everyday life in Japan and in the Buddhist monastery of Nao's great-grandmother very much interested me, as Japanese culture is so alien to my own and thus my curiosity was piqued.

However, the final sixty pages of the book left me cold. I can tolerate a small amount of magical realism in novels, but it is not my favourite literary device, and without giving away any of the ending, I can say that magical realism took over, much to my irritation. I find it disatisfying; I am one of those people who likes books and movies to have a definite ending, not to leave me guessing what the outcome is. For the most part, though, I found the book intelligent, unique, and riveting, and would not hesitate to recommend it.

Today

Apr. 11th, 2017 09:25 pm
princessofburundi: (Default)
I always worry about boring people with my entries. I try to tell myself that it's my journal and that I get to pick what I write, but the truth is that I know that this is a semi-public journal, and I don't want my reader(s) to die of boredom. I was married to a man who reiterated on a fairly regular basis just how dull I am, and it's stuck with me, one of those insults that somehow you just can't shake off, no matter how hard you try.

Last Thursday I completed and filed my human rights complaint against the landlord who, last October, evicted me for having mental health problems because they made me a danger to the other residents of the home. In many ways I feel very glad that I've filed it, and that it's winging its way towards the human rights people in the middle of another province. On the other hand, ever since I filed it I've had stomach aches, headaches, night sweats, nightmares, and terrible difficulty concentrating. I'm mostly worried about my son, who works for the unethical clods who evicted me, and how this is going to affect a) his job and b) his relationship with me. The stress is really taking a toll on me; I hope like hell that I can settle down and relax about it soon.

In the middle of the night last night I woke up with stomach pains, and all sorts of gastrointestinal symptoms that I won't go into. I was also beset with a splitting headache; more stress, undoubtedly. By 9:00 a.m. I still felt like hell, so I cancelled lunch at my parents' place, and decided to spend the day in bed, reading and watching a TV show on Netflix. By early afternoon I was starting to feel better, and was definitely relaxed after the inertia of the morning.

Then my younger daughter, (AR are her intitals, and she's 18) texted me to say that she had three essays due and could she write them at my place. I don't know why she likes working at my place, but I'm glad she does. Of course I was fine with this, although feeling sick, so I got up and showered and established some order and cleanliness in my house, and eagerly awaited her arrival. It's been nice. She's staying the night. We've had take out Chinese food, watched a film, talked, and I've listened eagerly as she's shown me images of her year-end projects. (She's just finishing her first year in a studio arts program at university.) But I've just told her about my human rights thingie and it's clear that she disapproves. She says she doesn't but I've known her for her entire life and I know that facial expression. I wish I hadn't told her. I thought she'd want to know about it, but I can see I've made a mistake in telling her. The last thing I need right now is the extra stress of daughterly discontent.

Well, fuck that, it's done, and I'm pretty sure that I did the right thing in filing a complaint. Not 100% sure, but that's life. We do what we can and we hope for the best, and we can never be entirely certain how our actions will play out. So I will deal with her malcontent. She wasn't there when I got thrown out into the Arctic night in sub-zero temperatures with hungry polar bears quite literally roaming the streets. It was humiliating and dangerous and unethical. I did what I thought was best. So there.

Gah

Apr. 11th, 2017 11:09 am
princessofburundi: (sick elephant)
I don't know what happened in the night....went to bed feeling healthy and chipper, and have been awake since 4:00 a.m. with some sort of horrid stomach thing; I will spare you the details. Thank goodness I have an en suite bathroom.

Today's plans were: visit my parents and my brother for lunch, help my mother wash curtains, go to the gym, go to see Beauty and the Beast in the evening.

Today's plans are now: sit on/in my bed and feel crappy.

Bleah.

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