Saturday, January 30, 2016

Thursday's Trauma

I'm behind schedule but felt like doing some Thursday's Trauma anyways! Here are the prompts from Delores at Under the Porch Light, I will bold whichever words I end up utilizing. 

ramshackledisposemunicipalbenevolentgardenindustrious

OR

calculate, misfire, truant, cap, brick, dangling

OR
fun with rhyme

pillow, mellow, jello, brillo, dayglo, gigolo

Let's see if I can continue with Kate and John from last week, eh?
---
"Kate, watch out!" John splashed a cup of water at the floor as he waved her out the door of his kitchen. It was their fourth date and they were cooking between large glasses of wine and now a very dramatic spider encounter. 

"Chillax, he's just a little lost, give me a second and I'll dispose of him." Kate shrugged, sipped her wine and hunted for a slip of paper to pair with an empty glass for spider transportation purposes. "He'll be much happier out on the balcony garden."

"Hold it right there, you act like he's some benevolent insect just happening by for a nice visit but he's a spider; an industrious terror machine that would like nothing more than to bite your neck and spin webs in your closets!" John clutched a kitchen rag and prepared for a full on assault aimed at the quarter-sized arachnid, " Never trust a spider."

Kate laughed. "Seriously, I can take him outside in two seconds, no big deal."

As she leaned down with a piece of paper and a glass, John gasped and grabbed at her shoulders, pushing her back and up into the wall as the spider scuttled across the kitchen toward the oven. 

"Ah damn, he's gunning for the garlic bread." John frowned and edged away from the spider's path. 

"Wow, seriously? He's just a little spider!" Kate poured more wine into John's glass and guided him toward the far side of the kitchen, " You just concentrate on this while I take care of Mr. Spider here."

John continued to frown and rubbed his sweaty palms on the front of his jeans. "This isn't how things work in my apartment, spiders are the enemy. Period. I couldn't let you be attacked, it's a code of honor thing."

"Sounds like a 'code of paranoia' thing to me!" Kate scoffed. "Besides, in a building this old I'm surprised you don't have spiders in every corner." Scooping up the offending party and clamping a glass over the spider as it surfed on the sheet of printer paper, Kate carried it to the balcony before John could tackle her again. 

"You're either the bravest woman I know or the most delusional." John shook his head and watched her escort the spider out of the apartment.

"I prefer soft-hearted and decidedly not arachnaphobic!" Kate smirked and deposited the creature on the balcony in a crowded planter. "You, on the other hand, seem to possess a special kind of a fear that I don't quite understand." She shut the sliding glass door, threw away the paper and placed the glass in the sink before gathering up her own wine glass for a toast. 

"Well I think letting spiders haunt balconies should be against municipal codes but your ramshackle spider wrangling seems to have worked well enough for now." John grinned and raised his glass to Kate's achievement, "Thank you for saving us, my princess in shining armor."

"That was quite a big spider now that I think of it, maybe I deserve something more than a toast..." Kate glanced mischievously over her wine glass at John and ever-so-lightly licked her lips. He responded with a dazzling smile, setting his glass down as he wrapped his arms around her and leaned in for a kiss.

"I am most grateful and happy to oblige you madam." Smiling, he brought his lips to hers and gently kissed into the wine stained pucker. "Perhaps I'll learn to like spiders yet!"

Kate smiled and ran her fingers through his hair. "And if not, I can always be your princess in shining armor."

"Agreed."


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Memories

Tonight was my aunt's memorial. It is remarkable how surreal it felt despite the many years I've been preparing for her departure. Knowing she would leave us prematurely didn't prepare me for being in her home, being surrounded by family and friends and memories but no aunt.

Being fresh out of the hospital myself I was feeling pretty raw. It's not typical in my family to be blubbery but I couldn't help it and thankfully I wasn't alone; my cousin, uncle, and mom were all emotional too. Good riddance. I am glad we could all appreciate the impact my aunt had in our lives, I'm glad it wasn't minimized. That happens a bit too much in my family.

Somehow the memorial brought up a lot of emotions regarding my hospitalization and depression, my frustrations surrounding being sick and struggling in my own life; feelings of shame and concern about getting my life in order and being there for my husband and son and family. Somehow the horror of my depression, the potential of my suicide, was only revealed in the shadow of my aunt's death and weighed upon me this evening.

The hubs reassured me that I'm doing all the right things; ECT, therapy, medication, hospitalization, we're looking into NAMI support groups, childcare. It's a bit overwhelming, I feel like I'm a bit outmatched but I also see his point, I can only do so much at a time, all the right things still take time to fall into place.

In the mean time, I must be kind and gentle with myself. I'm still in the midst of intensive ECT treatment and adjusting to life outside the hospital again... Life's twists and turns, I tell ya.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

#5

This one is in the back of my hand. Lovely! The hubs says we should name it "something painful, something Russian, maybe Ivan."

I'm still having a hard time gauging my feelings but I'm chalking it up to ECT and hoping that things will become clearer in the next few sessions.

I was chatting with some of the other patients and it's a little crazy imagining being back home soon and maybe never seeing them again. It's sad. I know we don't necessarily have much in common other than being in this psych ward at the same time but it seems important to know each other, we support each other, it's something special. I appreciate them.

That said, there is one gal that creeps me the heck out. As far as I can gather she's here for streaking and is in some legal trouble. She kept asking me my name and when I got here.... definitely a little off. Always seems like there is one chick here that bugs me to some degree, minimum. I guess that's just Murphy's Law or something?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

How am I feeling?

I'm having a difficult time gauging my feelings... I'm looking forward to going home but I'm also nervous about making a successful transition. I think I am feeling better but I still feel like my brain is indecisive, confused, jumbled with anxiety and depression. I have a hard time letting that be, not freaking out about my state of being, not feeling like a failure or dysfunctional.

There are a few people here that I have swapped contact information with and hope to see sometime in the future. Making friends is so confusing and nerve-wracking for me. Guess we'll just see what happens, I can't get too caught up in it or I'll be paralyzed.

Been thinking about my aunt and feeling sad that she's gone. I didn't want to see her sick, I didn't want to have that memory stuck in my brain but part of me is sad that I didn't get to spend more time with her. I haven't decided if I'm going to go to the memorial or not. I would be going on my own and I wouldn't be able to drive because of ECT.... BB couldn't come because of the smoking in the house, not that I want to be exposed either hmmm. I'm not sure. I think I will but I guess we'll see.

In other news my sister has broken up with her baby daddy as it seems he was scoping out other chicks on the internet. She's moving back in with my parents. I must admit that I felt a sort of sick pride in my prediction being proven right, well, not quite a prediction but thinking that it was a 50/50 shot that my sister would end up moving back in with my folks and the baby.

Not exactly the best news for my folks! I'm sure seeing your grandkids is nice to a certain extent but losing sleep and being wrangled into babysitting right and left, questionable.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

#4

Got my fourth catheter-yippee! Named him Boris. Not counting the one the gal stuck me with and didn't land.... Really looking forward to not having needles stuck in my arm and getting to sleep in my own bed again... Miss my boys, dog included, doc says I might go home Tuesday. I sure hope so.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Another Poke

Got another catheter today and it's freakin' obnoxious, achy and uncomfortable. I named it Fritz.

In other news, I'm feeling kinda blah. I want to go home but I don't quite feel up to that yet. I go to groups and participate in a minimal fashion but I don't feel as interested or involved as I have before.

Don't feel like the ECT is doing anything yet, the doc says we're probably gonna have to give it til the end of the week at least. Ugh. Looking forward to extra sleepy time tomorrow but not the pain.

Blah blah blah.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

New Day, New Gauge


I've named this pink beauty Heinrich. I was really close to getting stuck in my hand but I've heard that sucks so I whined a bit and the IV nurse admitted that I did have another vein in my arm after all.

Today was a rough day for me. I didn't want to get out of bed. I was suicidal and really negative. Got to brekkie close to two hours late after my nurse rustled me outta bed. Despite my low mood and high anxiety I stayed in the common area for the football game (we lost) and worked on a puzzle.

This afternoon the hubs came by. Was nice just being the two of us for a bit, having the baby with my folks. Later my mom and friend S came by. I hadn't seen S in a long time, I was so glad she reached out and came to visit.

My mood is still low. I'm not looking forward to having this catheter in my arm and doing treatments and waiting around and having headaches and throat aches and missing meals but there isn't much choice. The hubs said the nurse says that the low mood is a good sign, that we have to go through the dark to get to the light sort of thing.

I could do without.

Ugh.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thursday's Trauma Writing

Personal update: I had my first ECT treatment today. Everything seems to have gone to plan and wasn't traumatic or scary for me. The recovery was a bit more uncomfortable than I expected with a sore jaw, headache, and very sore throat/neck. My nurse got me Tylenol and a Cepacol and after several hours in bed I am feeling back to good.

I have named my IV heplock Friedrich for whatever reason. He is being a good IV boy and flushes very well. Hopefully he stays that way for tomorrow and then I get a break for the weekend before I meet a new gentlemen catheter next week ;)

My mood... is detached. I feel fine, then I feel like an emotional train wreck, then I feel next to nothing. I was shocked and numbed out the first couple days and just as I felt feeling return it's slipped away, although I appreciate the break. Apparently ECT can make people feel detached sometimes, so we'll see what happens.


Writing: Doing more writing today with help from Delores' prompts at Under the Porch Light. I have revisited my characters from yesterday, Kate and John!

impatientduskmonitorflashacidexplosion

OR

calculate, spendthrift, fiscal, cigar, prominent, Mercedes

OR

wriggle, beguiling, smooth, train, sharp, clipped
---
Kate stood at the mobile charting station tabbing through patient data and inputting notes as dusk fell outside the fifth story window on the other side of her patient's bed. Her computer monitor blazed in the darkened room as the patient slept and recovered. The baby slept soundly in her father's arms as he gazed down at her obsessively from his seat beside his wife. Kate smiled then sighed, her toes wriggling impatiently inside her clog. 

In a couple hours she was meeting John for their first date at a Thai restaurant a few blocks away. While the birth of a baby would always make her heart flutter, tonight the afterglow was wearing off fast. 

Her phone buzzed in the cargo pocket of her brown scrub pants and she started. Biting her lip against a smile she wondered if it was John texting, then frowning she wondered if something was wrong. 

Quietly excusing herself she walked out of the room, carefully shutting the extra wide door behind her. Stepping a few feet away toward a small storage closet, Kate leaned against the wall and pulled out her phone. The text was from John.

Minor explosion last week at Thai place, everyone's okay but we can't have the "world's best pad thai" tonight. Will meet you at information desk, main lobby, 1930? I got an idea.

Kate's eyebrows shot up at the news as she imagined floppy noodles flying through the air and charred kitchen walls then furrowed in curiosity. She texted back an assent and returned to her charting.

End of shift came slowly but eventually Kate was showered and struggling with freshly blown dry, frizzy hair that couldn't understand why it wasn't lashed into place with three hair ties. Her wavy strawberry blonde hair wasn't quite blonde, brown, or red but it was definitely thick and on the coarse side, stoutly falling to her shoulders. 

Desperately  she reached for a gob of smoothing gel, she raked the goo through her hair and then combed the fluff into place before dumping all the date night accoutrements into a bag in her locker. Locking up and grabbing her jacket and purse she glanced one last time in the mirror and shrugged in satisfaction. She had managed to apply mascara without any major issues and her sweater and jeans were remarkably wrinkle free since they had been hanging in her closet, undisturbed, for so long. 

Making her way to the information desk on the first floor, Kate paced back and forth in front of the long, stainless steel counter with frosted glass privacy screens that formed individual stalls beneath a large styalized wall. The mural depicted people of every age and every race, playing or blowing on dandelions, dancing in the wind, and a variety of other activities reminiscent of a medication advertisement. One elderly black man looked suspiciously close to flying, Superman style, across the top of the mural. She had never figured out what he was doing, besides saving the world, but he was her favorite character.

John walked around the corner as she dropped her gaze from the painting and they exchanged a small wave. "How are you with surprises?" he smiled.

She smiled back reflexively while internally, she winced. "Not terrible but you won't see me in line for any horror flicks."

"Good. Come with me." He waved toward the front entrance and they left the hospital. At the first intersection they crossed the street, walked down a block, turned right and stopped exactly a block away from the hospital at a small storefront with blackened out windows and shiny black lacquered door and trim. A menu hung in the window but she couldn't quite read it. "Here we are, madam."

Kate blinked. "And where exactly is this, are they open?"

"Try the door." He dared.

She lurched forward and placed a hand on the cool wooden door, pushing until she felt it give and swing inward. In a flash they were awash in color and light. Bright oranges and yellows, splashes of bright green foliage, the multicolored walls abundantly laden with intricate and exuberant paintings. In the center of the room small stools, some woven, some carved, circled large round tables. Smaller square tables lined the outside walls. Kate felt as if she inhaled the vibrant energy of the restaurant into her chest as she gasped.

John stepped into the restaurant as she moved forward, surveying the number of lively diners. He placed a hand at her back and pointed toward a small table on the right, beneath a painting of a water buffalo. He pulled out her chair then went to his side of the table and sat. "Surprised?"

"Ummm, yes. Quite. I'm not even sure what I'm looking at, but it seems wonderful." Kate laughed and surveyed the bright room once more.

"It's a---" John began, but was interrupted.

"John! John, John, John." A petite women with dark cocoa skin and bright dress charged toward him with her arms outstretched, he rose and embraced her. She looked to be on the dark side of seventy-five, maybe older, with bright eyes and wry smile. "It is so good to see you stay not just grab and go back to the hospital like you do---and who is this?" The woman offered a hand to Kate.

"I'm Kate." She shook the woman's hand and smiled.

"Ah, Kate. You are a smart girl, I already know. I hope I see you here again." The woman winked at Kate with expert precision. 

John cleared his throat, "Kate this is Fannah, she started the restaurant with her son, what, six years ago now?" 

Fannah smiled and nodded, patted them each on the shoulder and blissfully said, "I will bring you emaye's special."

John grinned and Kate smiled at the sight, watching him watch the woman retreat to the kitchen. Not wanting to be caught in a stare, she turned to hook her purse on a hook in the wall beside her stool and then shrugged off her jacket to hang it up as well. John performed the same task before standing and walking to a small wooden stand with a giant glass jug of what looked like ice water with spots of green floating in it. He poured two glasses from the spout at the bottom and brought it to the table.

Before she could bring the glass to her lips Kate felt John's light touch at her wrist. She felt a warm shock rippled up her arm and through her chest and pinked cheeks. He raised his green glass to her purple in a toast and said, "Here's to going from hot to cold, er, wait. Good grief."

Kate snorted and John sunk his head into his palm. They looked at each other and shared a nervous laugh before smiling and shaking their heads. 

Emboldened by John's genuine effort, Kate raised her glass and said, "Here's to no scalding or freezing, no hurricanes or acid rain, no cafeteria food or scrubs. Here's to here---and now."

John's mouth gaped slightly before he broke into a grin and clinked his glass with hers. The cool water was laced with mint and perfectly counterbalanced the warm glow in Kate's cheeks as she sipped. She had no idea what she was about to eat, but she had an idea it would be a good night.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Words for Wednesday Writing-Some Distraction Therapy

Today I am feeling more, namely, sadness, loneliness, and hopelessness. I thought a writing exercise would be a wonderful distraction!

This week I got the prompts from Jacqueline at Randomosity, and the lucky words are:

Word Set #1

StarsPenchantYearningExploringHumanity, Delicate

Word Set #2

GauzyFlamboyant, Orange, ThinStilletosFell


Whew, used all the words but it's a long one! My apologies if I rambled a bit :)

---

Kate stepped onto the large balcony and breathed in cool night air. Despite the late hour, the city still bustled and a glow emanated from below the thick railing. Her scrubs weren't much protection against the wind but her fleece jacket and a scalding cup of coffee helped take the edge off. 

Walking to the edge of the balcony she leaned against the round railing, one foot securely planted and the other lazing behind, bent at the knee and ponderously swaying side to side. Looking down she saw a handful of people, loads of cars, red and green traffic lights, and floating papers and trash that no one else seemed to see. 

After a moment she looked up, hoping to see stars but instead saw a grey-black sky and the artificial piercing light of an airplane high above. After a moment of exploring she thought she found a couple bright stars but was disappointed in the showing.

She returned to observing humanity and hugging her cup of coffee. 

Hearing the door from the stairwell open behind her, Kate startled and attempted to keep her coffee contained as she whirled to see who had invaded her private respite; not many had a penchant for the southwest balcony since it was only accessible via four flights of stairs and far less convenient than the south or northeast balconies. 

Her breath caught, not entirely from the hot coffee on her fingers, but at the sight of John striding onto the balcony with his own coffee and world weary slump.

"Mind if I join you?" He asked, waiting for her reply before leaning onto the railing and blowing over the top of his steaming java. "Little chilly tonight," he offered and sighed.

"Yep." She sighed as well, yearning for something smart or funny to say but only finding herself inhaling his spicy fragrance and looking at the flamboyant neon orange, green, and yellow colors on his sneakers contrasting against the plain brown of his scrubs.

Kate's own brown scrubs meshed wonderfully with her sensible ergonomic clogs in brown leather and taupe socks. She didn't remember where she had bought taupe socks, but in that moment it felt like a damn crime against womanhood. 

John sipped at his coffee and winced, then smirked. "This thing is so hot it wouldn't have time to cool before it hit the ground; we'd have a new patient in a hot minute.... heh." Looking at her out of the side of his eye he waited for her reaction, his body tense.

Kate snorted and then hurried to sip at her coffee, instantly regretting it as the liquid scalded her tongue. "Damn it!" 

"Oh shit, Kate, I'm sorry!" John exclaimed and turned to her, in his haste dropping his own cup of scalding hot coffee over the railing toward the street below.

They both gasped, their eyes locking briefly as they both levered over the railing to watch the coffee cup as it fell the ten stories to the street. The cup's lid detached before it reached the ground, spraying fine coffee rain down the side of the building as the cup and lid continued down to a soft landing. Kate and John sighed in relief, relaxing as they leaned away from the railing.

Kate felt a flutter below her breast bone as their shoulders touched. She smiled, hoping that the dingy lighting on the balcony would disguise her blush. John turned to face her, frowning apologetically and shrugging. He ran a hand through his curly brown hair and then smiled back at her. "No patients then." 

"Lucky for you," she returned.

They paused, facing each other for a moment as their smiles faded to kind, open faces. It was a delicate moment, a moment Kate had been waiting for for months, like a gardener waiting for plants to bloom---any moment could be the moment.

John cleared his throat and nodded upward. "It's a shame about the stars."

"Hmmm?" 

They rearranged themselves side by side, leaning on the railing, as they were before but closer, their fleece covered shoulders nearly touching. 

"Shame we can't see any stars here." He kicked the stuccoed wall of the railing lightly with his sneaker. "Shame about my coffee too." He snickered, and then stopped his fidgeting. "Not a shame about this balcony though."

Kate tensed and then took a deep breath, "It's my favorite break spot. Wasn't sure anyone else ever came out here."

"Well, I'm glad I did." John turned toward her, resting his elbow on the rail, his other hand plugged into his coat pocket. "I mean, maybe this is off base but I can't let this chance roll by..."

She gulped, her eyes whirling from her coffee cup to his face and back. These were words for stilletos and gauzy lighting, not a chilly balcony and functional footwear; yet she felt swept away by a rush of romantic hope.

"It may be a thin chance but I wanted to see if maybe you... I wanted to see if you might want to get coffee sometime, er, outside the hospital and not on a balcony, preferably at a drinkable temperature." John smiled a nervous, toothless smile and Kate saw the tension in his shoulders as he waited.

She sighed and smiled. "I would love you--to! I mean, I would love to drink coffee with you." She hung her head in embarrassment and leaned over the balcony, her hands falling slack toward the ground. Before she could react, her coffee cup slipped from her hands and followed John's disgraced beverage to the ground below.

They both gasped, groaned, then chuckled. 

"Maybe coffee is not a good idea for us."





Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Here and....

Queer. That's a good word for it. I don't feel sick/crazy and yet part of me, somehow I know that I'm sick/crazy. It's a queer feeling. A powerless feeling yet threatening, like if the dark side gets to powerful suddenly I'll be a suicidal raptor no one can catch.

Even that paragraph was flippin' queer as hell---and they ain't even changed my drugs or nuthin.

So that's a taste of where I'm at.

Talked with the doctor today and there is a newer drug option or the ECT option or the TMS option.

Talked with the hubs and BB (well, ya know, he crawled all over the conversation) and we decided this time ECT is where we need to go with treatment.

It's a bit scary. The procedure, a little bit, but the possibility of success and the pressure of having a life to live is scary too. I am in a place where I've given up, I'm all out not all in, the possibility of taking back responsibility for a broken life when I've been prepared to hand it over like an expired credit card...

Lots of confused feelings.

Funny food note (cuz that's what I do when I'm in a hospital) I ordered angel food cake with raspberry sauce and got a teensy container of raspberry sauce. I guess I circled the sauce part but not the cake? It was pretty funny seeing the conspicuous space for the cake part on my tray. I think someone was feeling crabby down in food services! No cake for Hannah!

Jello tomorrow. Orange. :)



Thanks for reading as I figure this out.

Monday, January 11, 2016

I feel like a huge fat loser....

I'm back on the inside. Same hospital as last summer and I believe the same room my friend and fellow blogger had (odd and funny).

Thursday night my mood dipped and by Sunday I had a plan, notes, date, method and was researching for a shopping list. It was bad. The hubs caught on since I got super calm and happy all of a sudden and after we talked I emailed the psychiatrist and therapist.

Instead of driving to therapy I walked the hour walk. Turns out it worked out to not have an extra car because my therapist is mandated to report when she feels someone is a threat to themselves or others and she had the hubs pick me up and take me to the ER.

Treatment plan up in the air, meet with doc tomorrow and want to talk with my psychiatrist too. I have heard ECT which is scary. I don't feel like it's that bad but everyone around me seems to think so.

I think my brain is in kill mode and I can't fully process everything. Right now I think my family would be better off without me and it just seems obvious! (as I suppose the hubs and my docs and my friends would say it's obvious that that's wrong!)

So. Here we go again.

I'm sorry if I disappointed anyone.


Ordered enchiladas for tomorrow but no jello yet.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Barn Owls in Cleaned Nest Box, November 16, 2015





Anybody else wanna do voice overs for this like crazy????


Love the Cornell Lab or Ornithology!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

PPD Is:

Having to leave the family bed when your child is cosleeping with your husband because thoughts of smothering the baby intentionally are stalking you mind.

Although I must say I slept pretty well on the couch.


Feeling slightly better. We'll see if I can stay outta the rut. Yesterday was bad.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Losing the Battle (trigger warning: downer post)

Today I visited my psychiatrist. It felt like more of the same and I answered her questions but didn't care much about "the plan." I think the plan is going up on the lamictal and seeing if that works but her questions about my well being made me so sad I didn't even bother listening. It's all written up on a sheet she prints out before I leave anyways.

I was primed to be brought down into the depths because Tuesday the hubs started "Ferberizing" Baby Bananaface behind my back while I was out at yoga (it's like cry it out). The next night he sent me out for groceries around the baby's bedtime to avoid me hearing the crying but I came back (it took over an hour for him to get to bed) and heard it.

It made me sick to my stomach. Not just the crying, the betrayal and subjugation by my husband. I was sick to my stomach and mad as hell and muted. I feel like a non-entity. What do I matter if my opinions are ignored my feelings are meaningless and my well being is conditional upon others' convenience?

So it was no surprise that today was a dark day for me. I spent most of my afternoon in bed, lying in misery with my eyes shut or dozing (bonus) and for a brief moment or two writing down specific ways I could kill myself without much hassle.

The darkness was comfortable today. I cried a little as my thoughts descended into blackness but then was relieved at the comfort of ending my struggle. I was so disappointed and mad and frustrated with my husband I no longer cared how he found my body (in what state) and I felt so distanced from Baby Bananaface I simply had to think about him getting a new, better mother and I was so relieved.

I am curious if I die before a certain time if it would count as a postpartum death or if it would be Bipolar II? Do they even mark such things? Or is it simply suicide-yadda yadda? That would seem awfully short sighted, but who knows with the government?

Been thinking about calling a hotline and just don't know what I would say. I won't talk to the hubby beyond functional words and I refused dinner.... SIGH Guess it's my meds, Cream of Wheat, and Golden Girls. Maybe I'll shake it up with King of the Hill.

Losing the battle today, we'll see about tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Words for Wednesday Writing

There were a lot of options this week provided by Jacqueline at Randomisty but I decided to work with the sentence prompt:

I think it would be very sad to dance as if you were walking, miss.


"Certainly you realize that approaching me in front of Lady Betterly and Miss Felter made it next to impossible for me to politely refuse your invitation." Constance lifted in her chin in the most polite show offense she could muster. 

"Of course I did, for once all this ridiculous etiquette has played to my favor." Selden smiled brazenly, unafraid to flaunt his satisfaction. 

Mr. John Selden was the son of a Smith street watchmaker that had clawed his way from the working class to the top of London society, if only for his excessive fortune. Many of London's social elite were indebted to Selden for his savvy business sense and investment advice; they might feel obligated to invite him to social events but would never call him a friend. A few forward thinking peers would have Selden to their homes or clubs, and he had several wealthy climber friends that he was known to carouse with frequently. 

Selden fared well enough in polite company but resented the class differences he felt so keenly and could never escape. He often felt like a wolf in sheep's clothing although the sheep were quite well aware of his wolfishness. His appearance didn't help his case. While most aristocrats carried softer features and a pallor unique to easy living, Selden had fair skin that freckled and browned in the summer sun and his coarse, wavy hair was a deepest shade of brown that matched his eyes. His high cheek bones could be looked upon favorably but paired with his straight lined Greek nose it made his gaze exceptionally focused and often intimidating. For a man who wasn't gifted in small talk, such an appearance simply complicated matters.

Miss Constance Taylor on the other hand was fair in all regards. Her fine blonde hair was lighter in color than wheat, closer to sunshine than candlelight. In her light blue silk gown she appeared as a snow queen but in warmer colors she could appear incandescent. Her eyes were a grey-blue that was altogether too serious for her youthful appearance. 

It was her eyes and the strong set of her jaw whenever he prowled near her that drew Selden to Constance. She wasn't the soft girl everyone assumed her to be-even her herself seemed to be unaware of her inherit grit. Selden had to know more, so he pushed and plied and fought his way closer to her and had finally found a way to trap her into a waltz.

"Well I'm very glad that you have finally found some use for etiquette." Constance remarked as she turned toward him and took his hand for the dance. "However I cannot condone your methods."

Selden frowned, "I don't see anything wrong with pursuing my goals with fervor."

"One should never over exert oneself in any pursuit, never appear to strain himself or be out of sorts." Constance shook her head in pert assertion, "No. It's simply not acceptable behavior for any lady or gentleman. I would certainly never dance with any more effort than appropriate for a brisk walk in the park." 

On the next turn Selden leaned close to ear and said softly, "I think it would be very sad for you to only dance as if you were merely walking, Miss Taylor."

Constance felt his breath on her neck and gasped, her perfect dancing form slackening. The warm air pushed the light curls from her skin and she felt scandalously exposed. A flush swept across her cheeks as an icy vulnerability slithered from her heart to her stomach. 

Selden strengthened his grip on her back and smirked, drawing her into another spin with a zest that forced her attention back to their physical union. Constance frowned, digging her left fingers into his shoulder as her brow furrowed. Promptly assessing the inappropriate expression she checked herself, softening her grip and features.

"Out of sorts is the best of sorts I know." Selden firmly led them around the dance floor, relishing the storm clouds in her eyes.

---

Okay, so I tweaked the prompt sentence a little bit. Maybe that is cheating. I don't know. I won't call it so if you won't tattle on me :)

Monday, January 4, 2016

1st Monday of the New Year

I read a friend's summing up of her 2015 and it got me thinking about my year.

I've been feeling so shitty for so long I forgot about the wonderful months that kicked off 2015.

Being joyously albeit physically uncomfortably pregnant in January and most of February. The amazing birth of my son and the wonderful first few months that transformed us into a family and brought my husband and me closer than ever before. So many firsts and so many little, glorious moments when I felt like I was finally doing what I was meant to do, that I had done something so right it could justify a lifetime.

And then the sneaky slide in late spring that turned into a pained summer and a crashing rock bottom by August. Swathes of my memories are warped or erased from the fall, the winter bad still with the only relief in hiding away from the first family that had once seemed like my only support.

It was a confusing and painful year for the most part, but those first few months were amazing (I think a bit of that was due to hypomania, but still).

Here we go 2016. Here we go medication. Here we go, finding ME again.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Snow!

Had a beautiful snow shower this afternoon-nothing heavy, but pretty and light. It started out with very, very light flurries and as I laid down for an afternoon rest the flakes became big puffs that looked like goose down. I love the way the sky becomes so bright with the snow clouds during the day, glowing in that unique way.

Lying in bed I thought of two ladies. First, my friend Birdie as she prepares for surgery. I imagined every snowflake as a bit of luck for her. Second, I thought of my aunt and how this snow shower might be her last. It made me sad and yet I don't feel bad for taking care of myself and not going out of my way to connect with her. I am not well enough to be crusading after others... not that I should be pouring myself out to those that offer no refills!

In other news, my mood seems to be okay lately with less dark spots, but dark, dark spots. It's so easy for my mind to go to those bad spaces very fast. My better mood is quite often counterbalanced by exhaustion and I've been spending more time in bed in the afternoon. I also think my anxiety has been affecting my sleep so I've been tired to start out with, just the exhaustion in the afternoon descends upon me so quickly it's something special-a very abrupt, "nope, no more, that's all she's got!" and I must recline. I can't nap, but I lie down with my eyes closed.

I have been withdrawn a bit lately... I think I am still feeling the sting of rejection following the holidays and not having any Christmas with my family, well the traditional Christmas. I did see my dad and brother at a tennis facility. Ho ho ho.

I must try not to dwell on this, especially my mother and my sister, they pain me so, repeating thoughts only do more harm. Pink elephants! But I need to grieve I think... so difficult to let the sadness out. Grr.

Side note, the hubs and I listened to "The Martian" on audiobook and it was fabulous! I was laughing out loud and alternately clinging to his hand and we both agree that we enjoyed the book more than the movie. We had seen the movie first and thought it was fabulous but the book blew it out of the water.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Thursday's Trauma Writing

Attempting another Thursday's Trauma with these prompts provided by Delores at Under the Porch Light-better late than never! My mood has prevented me from partaking of late but tonight, I shall. 

The prompts are:

particles, clinging, splendid, fresh, flute, artistic

OR

bubbles, beginning, infant, decide, global, justify

OR

merchants, chipper, boxed, hibernate, dust, dishes

Ended up with another semi-autobiographical type of writing exercise which felt really good!

---

Madeline stared into the bubbles of her husband's golden hued beer as she held the frosty glass in her left hand, her ginger ale chilling her right. Trevor was busy wielding the family camera, angling his torso up, down, left, and right across the dining table as their young son demolished a thoroughly overly decorated, overly sweetened cake.

Eli had just turned one year old and they were gathered at a local family owned restaurant, crowded in to the banquet room with friends and family to celebrate the occasion. Madeline couldn't help but think of the moments when they shared the news of their pregnancy with each of their parents and then with friends and relatives. The beginning of this journey seemed much more joyous than this room of somewhat entertained adults and bored children of various ages. Why was the idea of something so much better than the reality?

Eli was transitioning from infant to toddler far more smoothly than Madeline had transformed from maiden to mother, a transition she was still struggling with. After months of debilitating depression and barely being able to care for Eli while Trevor was at work things took a turn for the worse. She began fantasizing nearly all day about strangling, smothering, drowning, abandoning her son. As she nursed him her mind raced, her eyes scanning the room for objects she could put him into and shut him away. Even in the peaceful moments while he slept when a mother should be admiring the beauty of her child in peace, her sick fantasies haunted her. 

Madeline had confessed to Trevor how bad things had truly become when he asked about why she wasn't sleeping. Everything tumbled out like ugly secrets so often do. The thoughts about hurting her baby, the anxious nights lying awake, the not eating, not showering, lying in the middle of the room as Eli pulled at her hair and scratched at her face and just not caring, wanting the pain if only to distract from the thoughts that whispered in her mind that death was her only escape. It had been six months since Eli's birth, a rare occasion in her life when everything seemed to have a purpose, six months and she had sunk to the lowest point of her life. 

Trevor had decided she needed a specialist, someone that treated postpartum women not just psychiatric cases on a global level. Madeline's altered mind had wondered if her case justified such attention, was she truly sick enough? All she wanted to do was lie in bed all day but she went to the doctor and then to the twice-a-week counseling appointments and then eventually to the once-a-week marriage counseling appointments. She took the first medication, adding the second medication when the first didn't work, switching to a third and a fourth, adding a fifth, changing to a sixth, seventh, and eighth until finally it seemed like something in her brain shifted. Another six months had disappeared into the darkness.

Now she stood in a room full of people with pasted on smiles telling her "they grow so fast" and "oh, he's walking, now you're in for the hard part" or "you'll cherish these memories" but all she could think about was the suffering and the pain and how all these people that were supposed to be her loving support system had no idea what she was going through or what she had gone through and how many times she thought she wouldn't see this day. It made her want to scream.

"Mads, hun, you okay? You got a few tears there." Her neighbor Barb lightly touched Madeline's shoulder, clutching a Shirley Temple and small, wet napkin in her other hand.

Madeline smiled, "Oh, you know, they grow up so fast." She shrugged, unable to wipe away the trickle of warm tears.

"Mmmm." Barb nodded knowingly, giving her a sidelong glance and biting her magenta tinted lip. Barb was in her mid sixties, not afraid of sequins or telling off rowdy neighborhood teens. "Or maybe it's something more?"

Madeline started, sucked in a breath and felt panic flutter awake in her chest. As much as wanted a confidante she was terrified to admit her truth and Barb's knowing look seemed to suggest the neighbor was onto her.

"I'm a mother myself, I've been in the shit if you will, but even if I hadn't-living next to you this past year I would've known something wasn't quite right. No one's ever gonna look like the commercials, but you, my dear, looked soulless for quite a few months." 

Barb raised her eyebrows and looked pointedly over her red bifocal frames. Madeline's tears were flowing freely now as her lip quivered and she stared at Barb's chunky glass necklace. 

"But I'm glad to see that you're brightening again and that is something worth drinking to more than any one day in a child's life." Barb finished with a wry grin.

Madeline cracked a wobbly smile and choked out a wet chuckle, "I don't know if brightening is the right word..."

"Hun, you are reentering the world of the living, coming back into the light." Barb raised her arms dramatically, "and you deserve some credit for making the journey. Here's to you."

The matriarch clinked her bubbling glass against Madeline's ginger ale and the two women sipped in unison.

"Thank you, Barb." 

"You're welcome darling. You keep on truckin."

"Will do."

Madeline's gaze returned to her son smothered in white and blue frosting, his wavy auburn hair tipped with whipped sugar. He was giggling and happily immersed in his messy work, throwing fleeting smiles to those nearest him. 

He looked up and found her face in the crowd, squealed, pointed a blue finger in her direction and then shoved a fistful cake into his toothy grin and Madeline smiled back, squeezing away tears and swallowing against a lump in her throat. Maybe it wasn't a good day but that was one wonderful moment and for now, that was enough.

Celebrated.

He insists on the singing part, that always surprises me! Stubborn ass...  I sure do love him and his weird ways. 😉