Sunday, August 31, 2014

More about my cycle

You might want to skip this if you're a guy with lust issues (although I don't see HOW one could possibly...) or squeamish. 

I started my cycle when I was 13.  I had a little spotting one month, nothing for a few months, and then wham full blown cycles.  I literally started right around my 13th birthday. 

I'm sure hormones played a role in the depression that followed that winter, hanging on pretty relentlessly. 

I'd have racking cramps for a few days, cycle about 5 days.  Pretty average flow from what they told me in my health classes.  That's been standard for the last 27 years. 

Back in the late 90's, my cycle changed up a bit, lighter and brighter.  I asked my Nurse Practicioner (oh I wish I could have brought her to Texas), and she said things change every several years. 

I developed an ovarian cyst on my right ovary in 2000, which made my cycles hell.  The cyst would bleed into my abdominal cavity every cycle, causing excruciating pain.   I couldn't even sleep on my right side.  I decided to see a doctor. 

I had surgery, got the thing out, and things went back to normal.  Ron and I started the business. 

Back in 2009, I developed a severe allergy to my SSRI antidepressant.  My throat swelled up and I developed extreme hives all over my body.  It was hell, one of the "best" satanic attacks I've ever endured. 

I finally asked Doc for some Wellbutrin, as the depressions became pretty bad.  It helped a lot but caused hot flashes. 

Or was it the Wellbutrin? 

Hot flashes, sometimes I get hot at night, but I always have... cycles still pretty much the same. 

The last several months, though, I've had a hellish headache the day the cycle started.  That, I hear, is normal in the menopause process.  I have developed large variations in flow and massive, alarming, clots.  Sorry, no way around the word.  That, I hear is normal, too. 

If possible, I try to plan to stay home.  Not much fun to work with cramps and a hellish headache to boot. 

And when I calculated, basically the whole works comes out over a day or so, instead of 5.  I'd rather that anyway if I know it's coming.   I'm not losing anything - it's still the same flow, just all at once. 

So, I yank the favorite sheets off the bed and layer my protection.

I endure hot flashes and wonder if it's our "cheap" on the air conditioner or a "real" hot flash.  I always wore 100% cotton anyway. 

Do I care if I'm in menopause?  Absolutely not.  I'm already taking the supplements I would use (minerals). 

I don't want to be fertile. 

Like I told Ron, it's not like I'm going to marry another guy and have kids.  I'd just as soon be infertile if that ever did happen. 

I have bad DNA. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Probabilities

I slept well, once I fell asleep. 

I wish I were that good, I could turn it over to God, leave it in His lap, and go to sleep quickly.  I'm not. 

I battled some anxiety, a lot of fear, and I guess what I'd call "forecasting" trying to figure out all the details of what we'd have to do, before we even hear anything.  Let me tell you, it's exhausting. 

That's why I'm supposed to leave it up to God.  That's why I'm doing my best to do just that. 

Sometimes, like now, it's pretty easy.  I look at probabilities and think "No, it's not going to happen." 

It may.  It may not.  Anxiety isn't going to help, though. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Not again!

It wasn't the best morning. 

I had a hard time getting up, I'd had an awful time falling asleep last night.  I finally decided God did not want 10% devotion and worship, He'd rather wait until after work.  I just took my shower, threw my clothes on, and left. 

We went to the warehouse.  I got some candy (almost out of Snickers, eep!), etc.  We went to work. 

I saw the other vendor.  He asked me to get him a cup of coffee (I did) and told me, "Oh, the boss is here meeting with the plant manager about opening a snack bar." 

[sigh]  Here we go again.  Everyone wants a snack bar. 

I've talked about the deli period of our lives, how it was without a doubt the worst period of our lives, worse than cheating, verbal abuse, blackouts, the accident even... here's a link: http://houstonheather.blogspot.com/2011/06/when-are-you-going-to-open-deli.html

Short version: people really like the idea of a deli.  They like the idea of hot food made to order and a smiling face.  Some of them like the idea of someone to scream at and push around, verbally.  We saw a fair amount of that.  They don't like the idea of paying a market price.  They don't like the idea of limited hours.  Yes, the plant is open 24/7 but we're not robots.  We need to sleep and take care of our personal business.  They don't think about all the equipment required or the electricity required to run it.  They don't think about the cost to build the snack bar.  The cost of goods, very perishable goods, required to stock it. The very expensive repairs.   Sales Tax.  Payroll.  Cost of Goods.  They want to buy a lot in the beginning and never come back. 

You also have what I'll call the "milk" ers.  Years ago, we stopped selling milk.  We had a high food cost, low sales, and a very perishable product.  Months after we stopped selling it, we had baffled people looking in the food machine saying "Oh, where's the milk?  It was here last time!" 

Meaning, they only came in once every 3-4 months and wanted us to be on the ready, every time.  That's not feasible. 

We had great sales every night it rained, and terrible sales every other night.  In fact, months after we closed the deli people were still coming by the area on rainy nights, shocked we had closed. 

You haven't been here in 6 months, and you wonder why we closed? 

A lot of issues, a lot of emotions.  I went to work and did what Ron pays me to do: stock vending machines. 

I did that, helped Ron, and got the other vendor a couple more cups of coffee.  The boss came by.  I got Ron, and him, cups of coffee, and listened. 

I don't know who reads this, so I won't lay out any trade secrets:

Our management may or may not choose to open a snack bar. 

If they do, they might force us to run it. 

Or, they might open it up to another blind vendor (our preference if they do open a snack bar). 

You could say they have arguments for and against.  The last one didn't work.  But we have more people.  But we didn't have one built properly during the remodel.  They will have to cobble something together off in a corner.  They could.  We don't want it.  But other vendors would, absolutely. 

I could rip myself to pieces with anxiety.  I'm sure the devil would like that. 

If you believe Good exists, then you must believe in Evil.  Evil hates those who follow Good.  There, I took all the theology out of it. 

The devil would love to mess us up. 

I decided not to let that happen.  It's not like I had an epiphany and made a concrete decision, I just decided I didn't have time for bullshit.  I had machines to stock, and I'd do that. 

God's gotten me through so much, I know He has my back.  Whatever happens He'll help me deal. 

I serviced the coffee machine.  I serviced the food machines.  I serviced the snack machines.  I helped Ron with bottled soda.  I helped Ron with canned soda.  I rearranged the stockroom so he could get at the Hawaiian Punch.  I did meter readings (an A/R accountability feature so Ron can track sales, it's like a sales odometer). 

Somewhere in there, I drank a couple bottles of Diet Dr Pepper and had a bag of Cheetos.   I got the other vendor yet more coffees, on request.  He's going to be up all night! 

Good news, the coffee machine has been beautiful. 

All my machines have been great.  Right there, I could go to worrying about who will stock the vending machines if Ron and I "have" to run the deli.  Not going there. 

So, after all that we went outside.  We waited on our ride - we just went home after work. 

I took a nap. 

When I got up, I remembered something.  One whole wall in our cafeteria has no electricity.  Another area can't feed the microwave AND the employee fridge.  "They" wanted 8 microwaves, but only 7 can run at once.  The 8th is just unplugged sitting off in the corner. 

They don't have the electricity. 

If they don't have the "electric" to run a single fridge and microwave, how can they run a snack bar requiring, I'll say probably 150 amps? 

The fridge and "mike" only take 30, if that. 

I imagine management will have to change their tune, after talking to the contractor. 

Thanks for that, Lord. 

You notice He let me turn that over to Him and then told me.  :) 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Get in line

1.  I told Ron I was already depressed today.  I don't know if he doesn't receive it or he disregards it.  If I were to call him on it, he'd probably get very offended and say I never told him.  Note that in the context of what follows. 

2.  I mentioned how all my friends and the paratransit service were very supportive of me, dealing with the verbally abusive driver (more in post below). 

3.  Ron's response to said verbal abuse: It's your fault for being fat.  Lose weight.  You could be thin if you wanted to, but you want to punish me so you stay fat.  He believes it is "shameful" to be married to a larger woman.  I did not make any comments about his problems, but I thought about it.  If I were like him I'm sure he'd ditch me.  He really thinks verbal abuse is OK, if "there's enough provocation".  My existence at a size 22W apparently qualifies.   He harangued me for a good 15 minutes every time I brought it up.  Sometimes, not often, I wonder why I confide in others.  Then I remember. 

4.  When I have lost weight, he rants about other "failures" - and makes comments like "Your body isn't fat but your spirit is fat!  You're fat!" 

5.  I always thought he was supposed to be my confidante.  Instead, I find myself preferentially seeking out God, and others, before I go to him for comfort. 

6.  Having lost a size didn't qualify (I wasn't even trying, and was more shocked than anyone).  Because "it's not enough" and "I'll only care when you get down to 130".  Let me be clear: I was not trying to please Ron.  I'm trying to eat more protein and less junk - better quality foods if nothing else.  I am also extremely physically active taking care of Ron and running the business. 

I'm sure Ron wonders, on some level, why I shut him out.  Right now, literally.  I have headphones on, staring at the glowing screen, my back to everything and most particularly him.  I tune him out, I shut him out. 

He's talked some about getting online.  He thinks it will be less lonely that the existence he's made for himself.  Most of his "old friends" do not return his calls because he was ugly to them during blackout phone calls.  I don't blame them.  He's very judgemental of everyone but himself. 

I think about what Ron will find if/when he does get online.  I'm sure he'll find my blog.  I could never get him to read letters I wrote to him, trying to work out our problems, so firstly I'd have to say he probably wouldn't be bothered to read it.  If he does, though... it would either polarize him and make him realize he has to change, or most likely destroy his image of our marriage. 

I had a panicked thought or two that I might have to delete the whole thing, but decided I wouldn't.  I may have to hide my thoughts and feelings in person (standing up for myself ends in more verbal abuse, and unless I'm willing to leave him entirely that will not stop), but I don't have to hide them online. 

I'm not sure how Biblical that may be - but I have to have some defenses against the verbal abuse.  I'm not going the self injury route.  I'm not numbing myself with chemicals.  I'm not going to become a frantic pleaser worrying about upsetting or offending him.  I'm not going to attack him back because that validates him and "See you're so broken".  It is TREMENDOUSLY rewarding to him if I answer back in any fashion, so I don't.  He wants that payoff - where I lose my temper and shout at him.  One of my other abusers was very similar.  Ironic. 

So, like I did growing up, I shut down.  I shut him out.  I let other people in (not very far) because I don't want them to see the ugliness in my life. 

I believe any "normal" man would have been furious at what happened, outraged on my behalf, and demanded justice before I even thought of it.  But that's not who I married. 

He had the whole attitude, if anyone wants to kick me they should get in line behind him. 

Not necessary

I really WANT a boring life.

Yesterday morning we got on the paratransit vehicle. The driver took one look at me, gaped, and began interrogating me about my "weight gain". For the record, I am DOWN a clothing size from last year, although my scale weight is the same. You can see my pictures. I have been "about" this for a couple years now.

Anyway, she carried on like I had gained 100 pounds in a week, DEMANDING I tell her "how I gained the weight". Very insistent on that. "You were so skinny" she told me - yeah, maybe 20 years ago!

Anyway, I kept asking her to stop. She kept rudely demanding to know "how I had gained the weight". I finally told her "I take medication for severe mental illness" - next time I would tell her "That's not your business and if you don't stop I'm going to make a video for management"
I also added I had to take 4 very toxic prescriptions that cause weight gain, not that it was her business. She kept telling me how terrible I looked "I used to be so cute and small" etc. I don't know who she is referring to... all I can think is she must have mixed me up with another client or caregiver. She kept saying I was so "small and cute last year when she was pregnant" so I know that wasn't me.

Why are you so fat? 

"Why don't you call Customer service and ask?"  I replied. 

Anyway, when she's satisified as to the "why" I gained weight, not that it was her business - I got the lecture on how she lost her baby weight "really quick" and I should be able to do the same.
She is 20 years old. I am 40. She does not take toxic mood stabilizers and antipsychotics. [head desk]
Bullying, unprofessional, and immature.

I had a lot of issues, as a Christian, with this encounter. Should I report her? Should I forgive her (I have) and decline to make the report?

She was training a new driver.  This happened in front of Ron, another client, and the trainee, who outweighed me by 100 pounds and must have been mortified. 

I talked to a couple people yesterday. 

Ron was upset because it reminded him I'm "fat".  He's said, repeatedly, he doesn't want a fat wife because everyone would think as a blind man, he "had to settle" and "he married his fat mother". 

Everytime I've brought up this incident he said "Well, lose weight" and tried some really lame reverse psychology. 

I hope to God I never fell for that years ago. 

So, we went to Walmart.  We came home.  I put up the groceries.  We went to the warehouse, and then to work. 

We had problems.  Various vending machines were not working.  Apparently they blew a transformer, Monday, after we left, and the machines were down for over an hour. 

Complex vending machines do not like that.  Basic ones like my Snack #2 can take it. 

I had to fix them.  I stocked and made sure everything was fine. 

I need candy bars, that's about it.  And maybe Poptarts. 

We left and came home.  Remember Ron indignant about having to settle for the "fat wife?"  Took me to the mall and bought me fast food.  Talk about mixed messages. 

Midly depressed, I bought myself some Yankee Candles.  They had a sale $5 for a small glass one, and they had two in "Red Rose" - my very favorite.  I'm burning one right now as I type.  I'm glad I got them. 

Ron ate himself sick on Chinese food.  I really wonder where he puts it.  He is completely inactive and average weighted. 

I had to do some accounting stuff for Ron, and then he paid me.  I went to bed. 

I had trouble dropping off but I slept OK once I did.  I woke up around 6 - that's sleeping in.  For once, I did not have a headache. 

Normally I get horrible headaches when I sleep in. 

I did my God Time, still pretty upset.  Too depressed to shower so far. 

I thought about it.  I thought about it some more. 

I watched Supernatural on TNT.  I took a nap. 

I woke up. 

I decided to call in to the regular paratransit line and give them a heads up on the driver's behavior. 

I got someone who knows us pretty well.  She died laughing when I said, "I'm mentally ill, I'm a caregiver, I run a small business, and I'm married to [Ron's full name]."  

I got to the first "You're so fat" and she stopped me dead, furious.  "That is completely unacceptable!  That's awful!  I'm going to transfer you!" 

I had just planned to ask them to issue a memo stating please don't make comments about the client's weight, especially if they are asking you to stop. 

I got a higher up.  Again, "You're so fat" and she went nuclear!  "We will not tolerate this behavior!" 

Well, Metrolift doesn't like this.  I guess it's a good thing I called. 

I ended up on hold for a long while and making a formal report.  I don't regret it.  Odds are they will talk to her about it.  I doubt she will be fired unless she is already on probation. 

It comes down to this: if I'm not treating my customers right - God forbid I verbally abuse them, they can and should report it. 

Same applies to the drivers. 

This wasn't just a joke gone wrong or an offhand comment.  One driver said "N*gga, please" when I gave her directions one day.  I thought it was hysterical.  The one guy thought I was pregnant.  He was very earnest and sincere, he wasn't being ugly. 

This was just ugly, ongoing, hateful, verbal abuse.  She kept saying "You used to look so good, now you're so fat and I'm skinny". 

That's not necessary, ever, to drive someone to a destination. 

Clearly she has major body image and self-esteem issues, but that's not my problem.  Get some counseling.  Don't beat me up! 

I have enough grief already! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

That wouldn't work

Manic today.  I always seem to be manic when I see Doc [scratching head]. 

Ron kept checking on our ride, because, unlike work, we actually had an appointment.  Sure enough, there were problems, but they fixed it. 

We got one of our favorite drivers.  Even better, she stopped at a gas station.  I bolted and bought some snack foods while the driver pumped gas. 

I was a little worried about putting Ron in the back, because the backseat driver's side passenger was an autistic guy in a helmet.  I have seen autistic clients beat up the vehicle, grab the steering wheel while in transit, and hit the drivers, so I'm wary. 

I really did not want Ron in the back. 

Yes, I know most autistic souls are lovely people.  Two of my favorite relatives are high-functioning autistic.  Let's just say, the ones I've met on paratransit can run the gamut of behavior. 

Ron decided to play some music on his talking book machine, which made him the immediate star of the show.  The other client began clapping along with Gloria Estefan, and vocalizing, as we went down the road.  It was a rather surreal moment. 

One of those "I have to put this in the blog" moments - but today I actually remembered. 

We got the client dropped off at his day program, which is in a terrible area.  Don't any caregivers actually do research?  I wouldn't want anyone I loved in that area unless they were helping me with a Bible Handout. 

Maybe he lives in a group home and they don't care. 

Yet another reason I would never have Ron in a group home.  The ones I have seen really take advantage of the clients.  The clients are usually dirty, unkempt, hungry.  Behavior issues.  The drivers agree. 

We finally got to the office.  The driver overshot it a bit but I told her that was OK, let us out in the street.  I used a parking lot entrance as a "ramp".  I went up to the front of the buliding, which is set back from the street. 

I got a little irritated as I viewed the flights of stairs, leading into the building.  Well, that wouldn't work. 

I went around the side of the building.  Aha.  There's a switchback wheelchair ramp leading up to the building.  I failed to notice: it did not have an exterior door handle.  In fact, when I got to the top, I realized it was the "emergency exit" egress ramp.  That wouldn't work. 

I was pretty upset.  Ron begged me to park him on the sidewalk so I could walk around.  "No, I won't do that" I told him grimly.  "I'm going to get you in the building." 

I spotted some office workers walking past. 

"Excuse me!" I said loudly.  They stopped.  "Where is the Federally required Americans with Disabilities Act wheelchair ramp?"    They paused and gaped at me. 

"Um, in the back?" one replied.  "You didn't see it when you parked?" 

Some of us are crippled!  I didn't say that, though. 

"We took public transit" I replied.  "Not everyone can drive a car."  They gave us a pitying look as they walked past, in the street, as though Ron might be contagious. 

Ron kept telling me to calm down.  At the very least I told him, they could have had a sign up at the other doors, telling wheelchair users to go around back.  Agh. 

I was not happy walking into the building, but I didn't want to present angry.  I take pride in my label as a "very stable" patient and knew Doc would have a resident on hand to observe.  I enjoy both. 

I walked around the ground floor, pushing Ron in his wheelchair, as I calmed down.  I found the office easily and went in when I felt ready. 

The office is a lot smaller.  No view of the skyline.  They must have been raping him on the rent at the old place.  This place looked a lot more reasonable.

I did wish they had a vending machine, but, [sigh] they don't. 

A resident came out and got me, we talked a little, and Doc came in.  "I can tell you're manic" he said cheerfully "I could hear you down the hall." 

We discussed my case, and I shared Ron was uncomfortable with my level of depression.  "It's my understanding, you want me functional.  If I can bathe, work, eat, take care of the cats, that's OK. If I'm not functional then we need to talk?"  He agreed. 

"I just don't like the illness beating her up" Ron replied.  Doc agreed. 

I asked for more phenergan while they were doing my prescriptions.  It works very well for me, against migraines, and minimal interactions.  It isn't addictive either - always a primary concern for me.

My birth mother always made it clear she had a lot of addictions, and it was important for me to stay away from anything that might cause a problem.  My adoptive mother completely backed that up.  As I got older I realized it was just a good policy. 

Other than that it was pretty standard.  We left. 

I did give Doc a scripture booklet in a bag of candy.  I've been seeing him for 8 years.  He is about the only important person in my life I haven't really shared my faith - I felt it was time.  He can read it or throw it away, it's up to him. 

We had a long wait afterward, an hour and a half on our pickup.  Doc actually walked by, going to the bathroom.  "You're still here?" he asked with concern. 

Ron explained: paratransit. 

I cheerfully noted we don't have to buy car insurance, and he laughed. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Some help

Ron usually takes an afternoon nap and gets up in the early evening. 

When he did, he told me, "Oh, I decided your life is so much better with me."  He then proceeded to remind me of all the indignities I suffered growing up and "remind" me that he didn't do that. 

I had some very bitter thoughts.  One, thanks for reminding me of all I've endured.  You just made me more depressed. 

Two, you're no treat yourself.  The all night verbal abuse and blackouts come to mind.  Caregiver burnout.  Old things I won't repeat because, like I said, it'll just worsen my depression. 

"I wish you'd stayed asleep" I thought then and at various moments throughout the evening. 

After that, he did his existential stuff for a while, which I always find completely depressing.  The sad thing, I think he really believed he was helping me out. 

I told him I found it very depressing so he wanted to talk about depression.  I told him: you wonder how "You can tell if I am really fighting the depression or letting it run all over me without resisting". Well, I got up. I took my shower. I went to work and worked over 13 hours sometimes. I come home. I cook food. I take my meds. I do laundry. I take care of the cats.  Clearly I am fighting. 

I found it pretty insulting I even had to explain that.  He says I am "lazy" - even though I work 13 hour days, day after day, literally dripping with sweat unloading a truckload of merchandise... he'll say things like "God made my back go out so you'd have to work for a change."   I guess, to him, "emotional laziness" goes right along with that. 

You and I know the truth.  I don't have to defend myself; my own actions speak for themselves.  I'm a dligent worker.  I battle demons at every moment of every day.  I fight harder than Ron can imagine. 

Then I looked up the taqueria.  Our former favorite, it went on the naughty list when I caught it shut down with the Health Inpsector, writing in his notebook, outside.  The inspector looked pretty grim. 

I finally dug up the report.  It's horrific.  5 visits in a one month period.  Multiple, multiple, violations.  Twice they had to throw out the entire contents of the fridge.  Cross-contamination.  Handwashing issues. 

Do I need to go on?  I was horrified. 

Ron immediately leapt to their defense, I think identifying with the restaurant owner.  "How do you know the health inspector wasn't trying to extort bribes?  How do you know these are real violations?" 

Ron, I told him, five visits. Each visit has multiple citations.  I'm never eating there anymore.  We argued. 

You have to admit, he demanded, they might be innocent. 

Sure, they might, I told him. 

But you can go eat there on your own.  I'm not going. 

If you get sick, I added, I'm not taking care of you either.  He got pretty upset at that.

I reminded him, you need me stocking your vending machines.  Do you want me sick?  Who's going to fill your machines? 

He got angry at changed the subject.  Apparently, I was just supposed to "open my mind" to the fact that the health inspector could have gone to all the trouble of "fabricating" these reports because "He has a friend with a competing business, or he wanted a bribe." 

People, I don't believe that for a second. 

Anyway, feeling far worse than I did while he was asleep, I now have to wind down and go to bed.  Agh. 

Make it better

Sorry I haven't posted lately. 

Rapid cycling.  Short "def" - bouncing up and down like a friggin' bungee jumper. 

I am happy I'm not "mixed" - that's up and down at the same time, and like I told Ron "That's where everyone suicides".  Well worth the $8 a month for the Depakote to keep that away.  Worth the weight gain.  And the brain fog...

Anyway.  Torbie cat has been an awesome, sweet, girl, sleeping with me every night, and even during some naps. 

Ron's been alternating between supportive-ish and verbally abusive.  He went off on me for 5 minutes today, in front of customers, because I asked him to bend his knees as I cut around a sharp corner.  I couldn't make the turn with him sticking his legs straight out.  He kept accusing me of "attacking him" and trying to get me... I don't know what the hell he wanted. 

Anyway, he wound down, I avoided him, except for the usual bellowing for me now and then.  Exhausting.  And it was a short day! 

I finally had the energy to go to Sears and order my glasses.  I got 2 pair bifocals for about $300.  Not bad considering, and purple frames to boot. 

Ron paid.  I don't feel at all guilty for that.  He liked that mall. 

I should get my glasses in 2 weeks. 

Depression days are awful, I can't even do my God Time half the time.  Manic days are good but I can't catch up on everything I couldn't do during the depressions. 

Work is good.  I'm showering and keeping up with the laundry. 

I'm just weary. 

Tomorrow (as scheduled for 3 months) I'll see Doc.  Odds are I'll be manic.  [rolleyes] 

I get that Ron feels very frightened and uncertain when I'm depressed.  He's very dependent on me.  I understand that translates to lashing out at me. 

It doesn't "make it better". 



Friday, August 22, 2014

Are you going to see a doctor?

I own a couple pair of shoes. 

I have my standard leather-upper steel toed loafers, ($20).  I wear them to work and on the occasional Bible Handout.  They also work for church. 

Second most popular, my $3 fake crocs.  I got them at the dollar store.  I wore those yesterday.  I also wear them to church.

I also own a very battered pair of sneakers ($12).  I wear them on Bible Handouts.

Lastly, the sandals, a comfortable slip on.  Most expensive at $24.  I bought them for a wedding but they work well for church in mild weather. 

Yesterday, I wore the "crocs".  They worked OK with my battered foot.  I took my foot out and displayed it to a few people who wanted to know why I was limping.  They all gasped and asked me the same question "When are you going to see a doctor?" 

I'm not, I replied.  They can't do anything for a broken toe.  [Not a greenstick (incomplete) fracture of the pinky toe.]

Not only that, sick people go to the doctor.  I don't want to be anywhere near that, especially as we enter our busy season at work. 

I spent enough on pain relieving sprays, etc.  Those actually work, especially the arnica gel and the icy hot spray. 

The arnica's done a great job reducing the bruising.  The Icy Hot spray relieves the pain without messing with my lithium levels, liver, or kidneys (unlike an over the counter pain reliever).   

Speaking of kidneys, Ron and I ride with a lot of dialysis patients.  I never, EVER, want dialysis.  They are all universally sick, weak, and depressed.  Half of them can't even get on the vehicle under their own steam. 

Let me go. 

I have some personal issues with organ transplants.  If Ron or I are brain dead and deemed suitable, go ahead, but don't give us anything. 

For instance, at work they are doing a bone marrow registry drive.  That's a good thing.  Donating myself?  Notsure. 

I just did research.  Not only am I too fat, but I have a delusional disorder.  Looks like I couldn't donate.

Huh.   


God IS watching

I had a migraine, Wednesday.  I worked anyway.  Over the course of the day, at appropriate 4-to-6 hour intervals, I took a couple doses of over the counter headache meds, which are known to raise lithium levels. 

Later that night, I ran into and fell over the couch, breaking my left pinky toe and bruising up my left forearm. 

I had Thursday off, we just went to Walmart and home.  I started getting a little manic.  Thank you JESUS! 

I had to work today.  I had to work today, early.  As in, get up at 2 AM.  We went in and paid a $5 refund because the bill changer went down.  She worked the night shift and the other vendor's wife witnessed the transaction.  The other vendor's wife told me "Oh, there she is."   Note that.

We saw the Big Boss today because the other vendor's moving into their new breakroom up front, near us.  I did what I could to be helpful and bless them because, after all, God IS watching. 

We had truck day - we went to the warehouse and I got a whole flatbed of merchandise.  One of the other vendors, a "big" customer, gave me an approving nod as he saw me pushing the behemoth (ow!  With a broken toe!) through the store. 

Our friend picked us up and I unloaded the pallet right as the Big Boss showed up.  He was impressed. 

I got the loaded handcarts shoved into our area.  We saw the day shift as I loaded the machines and Ron did his department.  The Big Boss shook his head in amazement as Ron rolled by in his wheelchair, again and again, holding a case of soda in his lap each time. 

Ron's pretty unstoppable. 

The state movers took a minute to adjust the lineup of some vending machines - they had been shoved very close together and it was impossible to open or close them.   Perfect, because, according to contract, they are the only ones allowed to move the machines anyway! 

Finally done.  We have been at work for going on 8 + hours.  The swing shift starts to come in, and a lady runs over "Oh, your bill changer had a light on it?  That's because it ripped me off for $5."  No, it didn't.  It ripped the other lady off.  Once a machine "takes the money" it shuts down, at least ours do.  It couldn't have taken $5 and then another $5 12 hours later. 

However, we paid the refund.  God will repay her if she's lying.  Like I said, God IS watching. 

Ron said he was OK on the food machines being a little light on soda, since the bottled vendor was stuffed.  We really are done.  I put up what I could on the racks, but since the other vendor was there the stockroom was pretty crowded. 

We can get it later.  Pick the battles.  Besides, I slept pretty poorly last night and I'm exhausted. 

All done.  Yay.  We had a good ride home with a driver I like.  I told her some of the outrageous-but-true stories of our life together.  She was roaring with laughter. 

After we got home, Ron said "Well, you need an audience."  Since when?  I could tell she was having a bad day and cheered her up. 

Ron is a little uncomfortable with me getting positive attention.  For instance, work seems to work like one of those ultimate workout machines.  My NEW pants are getting baggy now.  I told Ron I may need to size down again. 

"Don't lose too much weight" he replied.  "You'll get a lot of attention." 

Whatever!  I'm no whore.  I am very modest even on the hottest of days, covered from my neck to my knees and nearly to my elbows.  For Houston, that's positively prudish. 

Today, for instance, I saw a pair of hot pink hot pants I wish I could unsee. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sick enough not to write my usual book

I slept badly last night; woke up with a horrible headache.  Copied from my Facebook: 

This morning at 3:45 AM found me wranging a wild grasshopper on the transit van. Attracted by the lights, it flew aboard, causing the driver to flee the driving area and have hysterics. A chase ensued - me vs. grasshopper as the driver shrieked "Get it! Get it!" I caught it in my hand (I've had practice thanks to Baby Girl) and disembarked. I made sure the driver shut the door before I threw ...the bug into the air. Then I knocked on the door, showing my empty hands, and got back aboard.

Can you imagine if that had flown into her face as she went down the Beltway?

We went to work - I washed my hands very well, and worked. We have been there for all three shifts this week - very proud of that.

Oh, and I had a horrible headache. Since I could work and put up my soda I won't call it a migraine but it has been nasty.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Another Tidwell Handout

I was so eaten by depresison I couldn't even do my God Time. Showering was a massive undertaking but I can't scare the recipients!  

I knew depression would eat me alive if I stayed home.  It did every other time I did that, lately. 

We went to W. Tidwell @ Antoine. It was a good spot last time. I hoped to hand out 50 Bibles in an hour. I had mostly whole Bibles, the last of what I got with my "fun money" from Ron. They're a nice whole Bible with evangelism section, $1.40 each in a case. ...I got them from Lifeway.

However, as before, I handed them all out in half an hour. An African immigrant in a cab wanted 2. The cab driver leaned back away from the Bibles as I handed them in the window.

Everyone at the bus stop came over to get a Bible, except one lady. I went to her. New bus stop passengers kept running over as I faced them with the sign. This happened last time as well.

I had a couple people stop going the wrong way to get Bibles, including one old lady in a beat up car. She wanted 10. I "just happened" to have 10.  I always shudder when they do that, envisioning a horrific rear end collision.  I tried to get them served as quickly as possible. 
 
I kept running back and restocking.

I "only" had 50. Pretty soon I was out and yelling at Ron to put the sign down. I had about 3 Spanish left, but I also handed out a couple of my "emergency" Bibles (in case someone approaches me after I'm "out", it happened once and I truly had nothing to give him). I really did about 50.

Then we had half an hour to wait on our ride. Since "The worker is worthy of his wages" (1 Timothy 5:18), I took Ron out for a fried chicken special. He ate 6 pieces and had a great time.

I came home, took my pills, had a nap. Today was a lot better than staying home would have been.

Please pray for the recipients.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I wanna get better!

Hideous depression.

I recently found a song that completely describes my thoughts on the matter: 


I wanna get better. 

[big sigh]  Failing that, I tossed and turned all night.  Woke up at 2 AM for a delivery that never came.  Did what I could of my God Time (got the rest before I got online).  Torbie slept with me and woke me up a couple times snoring. 

Man, that cat can snore! 

I went to work totally depleted and worried about half a dozen things I couldn't fix.  We saw the other vendor, he's been amicable.  I told him I'm looking forward to his new breakroom to take some of the load off, and I meant it.  He laughed. 

We worked 13 hours today. 

Highlight of the day: pouring the French Vanilla powder into the wrong canister on the coffee vending machine.  Ugh.  Once it's in you can't get it out. Very frustrating. 

I did get plenty of whole beans (everyone likes our whole bean coffee), and added some grounds to the hopper. 

As I was stocking in the later afternoon, I came around a corner and saw the cranky customer frowning as she shoveled coins into the cold food vending machine.  I hid. 

[laugh]  One of the other employees saw me, looked, and looked back at me, grinning.  Pretty funny.   Best of all, she didn't blow my cover as I hid behind the other vendor's unplugged cold food vending machine. 

Not so fun when we came in though.  Both food machines were down and I had to throw away all the perishable food therein.  Having almost died of food poisoning back in 2004, I am adamant about food safety. 

We lost about $15 (wholesale) inventory.  Not horrific.  I fixed that.  I fixed the bottled vendor which had been naughty.  I stocked everything and helped Ron stock canned sodas.  Ron is impressed and appreciative. 

I stocked what I could for snacks.  They were pretty slow.  I suspect power was out for a long while this weekend. 

I paid some refunds.  Good.  I want people walking away happy.  I give them a choice between product or cash.  Most times they take the product. 

I was working hard.  I'm exhausted.  I didn't have problems with the depression while I was working.  Not really, other than the anxiety. 

Dr Pepper came, for the other vendor.  They swear we'll get our stuff on Wednesday.  Agh.  Get up at 2 AM two days in a week.  Ugh. 

Sandwiches came.  He's a nice guy.  I stocked most of them but held some back for later this week. 

Then we went to the warehouse, where I got the coffee supplies, cold food (more burritos and frozen sandwiches - the freezer was OK).  If something thaws out and refreezes you'll see ice crystals.  I didn't, and the temperatures were in the proper range. 

I also got some candy.  I stocked it all. 

Pretty soon it's time to go and it's pouring.  Ron and I prayed and the rain passed.  By the time our ride arrived, it was clear. 

Thank you Jesus. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

If I'd known my day I might have stayed home!

I didn't sleep very well, but I still got up in time to do my God Time, and shower. 

We got ready for church.  Our ride, however, was nearly an hour late. 

I noticed something important as I climbed aboard: the radio was on the "Protection" channel.  Remember the song about the "cleanup woman"?  That's Protection.  They clean up trips that other drivers couldn't handle. 

She wasn't our original driver.  She did nothing "wrong". 

I noticed a very sour-faced woman sitting in a wheelchair.  I greeted her politely and sat in my seat.  I laughed with the driver about the lack of a seatbelt extender and grinned as she used a "red belt" to secure me instead. 

The other client was having a tantrum, wanting to go to her church.  A little geography. 

If Houston is a clock, Ron and I live at about 11:30.  Our church is located at about 8.  The other client was going to "6", and insistent, as she talked to dispatch, that she was "on the way" to our drop off. 

That's the second time I've heard a client lie like that.  She made several phone calls, including to the head of the program.  If she doesn't have one already, she earned a reputation. 

Ron and I, in the meantime, discussed how calling an hour in advance of our ride, instead of 30 minutes, might have prevented the drama.  "It's so important" I told Ron, but really speaking to the other client "Not to take our frustrations out on the driver.  She's just doing her job.  She has to go by what's in her box" (computer) "Metrolift has thousands of rides and hundreds of drivers, every day.  Thousands of miles in service area.  I'm amazed they work as well as they do."  The other client snorted.  "And, as Christians, it's so important not to shame Jesus with our behavior.  Jesus doesn't want us getting ugly at the driver on our way to church.  That shames Him."

Of course Ron didn't need to hear it.  But the other client did shut up. 

We got to church late.  One of the elders had been interested in the Scripture booklets (www.wmpress.org) so I brought him a baggie of assorted.  He was thrilled to get it. 

Unfortunately, the usher sat us in front of the pentecostal lady.  She is new.  She was dressed up like prom night and very vocal.  She kept mumbling loud prayers during silent moments, adlibbing during pauses in the songs, yelling over the pastor, etc.  It was exhausting for us. 

"I just wanted" Ron confided after the service "To tell her to shut up."  I don't understand - she didn't seem to notice - no one else was carrying on like that.  She wasn't worshipping, she was performing. 

I do know the ushers will have a word with her if needed. 

You may wonder "Why is this a problem?"  Other than the obvious, it's very distracting and takes the focus off God - the Bible itself says "40 Let all things be done decently and in order." 1 Corinthians 14:40

In the meantime, Ron needs to get us there early (he did something different this week) so I can pick our seat.  If I can pick it after 'most everyone sat down, I can hopefully avoid that again.

After church, an elder gave me a case of Invitation New Testaments for handout.  I told him "Let's see how fast I can hand them out!" 

"You've got 100 there" he told me. 

I know.  It's not my first case of Invitations, by a long shot!  God has done over 100 just in one handout (I just go, it's not "me" doing anything, but God). 

They told us, during the service, that the landlord is giving us the boot.  So the church has to find a new home. 

I'm selfish, I'm praying it's in the Metrolift area and a little closer to home.  But at the end of it I have to ask God for His will, not mine. 

We went to Burger King.  I ordered our food while Ron used the bathroom.  I handed out some candy. 

Our ride came, one of my favorite drivers.  He's really nice, bright, talented driver, overall awesome. 

We had a good ride home.  Since I have to get up very early tomorrow, I decided to take a nap.  I got a good 2 hours at least. 

Then I had a horrific nightmare about growths in my breast.  When I "popped" them horrible dead "alien" creatures came out. 

After that I had to get up! 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Neon green and black

Ugh.  Horribly depressed. 

It's not work, even though I worked long shifts (11-13 hours) with a lot of heavy manual labor.  My only issue with work is finding a decent snack. 

I sell 4 different protein bars (off the top of my head), but they all have chocolate or nuts, both migraine triggers.  I am 90% certain I have a pretty nasty almond allergy. I had severe throat tightening the last 2 times I ate them.  Scared me pretty bad. 

Most granola bars have some kind of almond.  Now, I have to do a shout out to the allergy people, just like Ron lauds "wheelchair people".  Ron used to think the "wheelchair people" were real pains in the butt, demanding access.  He thanks God for them now as he rolls around in his wheelchair. 

I never had anything mean to think about the allergy people, just that those with peanut allergies had better stay far from the vending machines.  Anyway, the allergy advocates ensured all food is properly labeled.  "CONTAINS ALMONDS"  Put it back! 

I got tired of my pants falling off, this week I tried on a smaller size, and sure enough I am.  Good.  Let's hear it for the heavy, mandatory, physical labor.  I actually like physical stuff. 

You know what I hate?  Office politics. 

Yesterday at work I caught a manager "inspecting" my vending machines.  At first I thought he was just looking for a snack.  But as he viewed the contents of every vending machine and bought a cup of coffee he didn't drink, I realized he was doing an inspection. 

I was a little pissed for a while.  There's a woman at work -  I'm certain she has borderline personality disorder.  She's always having hysterics.  The other vendors don't work anywhere near her shift, so we get the brunt.

At first she was angry the coffee machine wasn't working.  OK, I get that. 

The new thing - sandwiches in the cold food vending machines.  She's having fits because we might run out of sandwiches sometime.  The other day she was very agitated because we "only" had 7 (before I stocked).  We only sell, on average, 6 a day, if that. 

A few days ago a manager complimented me on our product selection. She heard him, came over, and started going off about the sandwiches again.  We all got to hear the same tired story - how the other vendor ran out one day, years ago, and she had to walk "all the way to Austin mail" to find one.  The whole time I've got 15 sandwiches sitting in the vending machine! 

My guess is she filed a formal complaint - even though I always have sandwiches, other cold food (burritos, hot pockets, etc), snacks, and soda, in the vending machines.  I think the guy was their answer.  Even though one food machine could have used some work (it still had plenty of *food* though), the other machine was totally stuffed. I could have maybe stocked a few bottles of water but that's it. 

I also told him "If you don't see it I'm probably about to stock it." 

I feel sorry for the managers.  It's bad enough they have to work a high pressured job, but they also have to manage an assortment of voilatile personality disorders - and a lot of them tend to congregate at work. 

Now that doesn't help the depression.  It makes me feel like no matter what I do it's never good enough - but that's depression talking. 

Ron also tells me, and I agree, I need to stop seeking approval from other people.  I agree. 

I fixed our "down freezer" problem this week.  Yay.  Now we can get more frozen food.  What's the point of having frozen food if I had to throw it out once a week? 

I might also bring back the yogurt.  It did have a fan club.  But I'd have to take out the pickles and I know people like them.  Ron's got that fridge pretty crowded, too. 

Anyway, yesterday: we went to the warehouse.  I shopped.  I loaded up a flatbed full of merchandise.  Offhand I got about 20 cases of bottled soda, and 10 or so cases of snack items.  I also bought some candy. 

Living in Houston, I carry an insulated tote bag when I buy candy.  I also buy a box of frozen rib sandwiches.  One of my customers calls them "McRibs".  I put the box of frozen sandwiches in the insulated bag (I'd better!), and toss in the candy bars.  The candy doesn't melt and the sandwiches stay frozen. 

I have eaten melted and rehardened candy.  It was awful.  I'm not selling that. 

I paid for it and waited outside for our friend.  He has the truck.  A Ford F-150.  No "lid" on the truck bed, thank God. 

He arrived.  The cart guys know I'm appreciative.  Maybe I tip them but that would get them in trouble so I'm not saying that.  But I do know how to say please and thank you. 

One of the cart guys loaded the truck for me. 

We went to work.  I got my metal hand carts.  They look like this: 
 
 
 
 
One of them has stripped wheels, but it still rolls.  Our State guy brought me another one.  They just fit in my corner of the stockroom. 
 
I brought them out and got them loaded.  They looked good.  I shoved them up the ramp (push, don't pull!) and got them over to our area.  Whoo, that was a good butt workout. 
 
Calves and thighs, too. 
 
I had another small handcart I unfolded.  The guys loaded the snacks and did a decent job.  They didn't mash my pastry. 
 
I got everything into the building and stocked.  Ron needed some help.  I had to get everything snack into the snack machines.  The snack machines can take literally thousands of items. 
 
I stocked everything possible and got my leftovers shoved into my corner.  As we prepared to leave, I also brought in the 2 handcarts, still loaded with sodas. 
 
I was really glad I brought my folding chair.  I was pretty exhausted.  I don't mind most of my job.  I think right there I have an advantage.  I also got paid.  Ron gave me a modest raise. 
 
Today, woke up depressed, went to Walmart.  I got another bra (Fruit of the Loom Ultra are awesome!), some socks (on sale), glucosamine for Ron, and I finally found some protein bars. 
 
No coconut, almond, or peanuts.  No chocolate.  I got some Luna Lemon Zest - I know I can eat those, I have, off and on, for over a decade.  I also got some Clif Oatmeal Rasin Walnut (I can do walnuts). 
 
Good.  Now I have an option when I'm hungry at work and I could use some protein (like just having done insane manual labor). 
 
Oh, and a guy at work complimented me on my back brace yesterday.  It's neon green and black.  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A lot about nudity

Hideous depression today.  I didn't even brush my hair but I did get my God Time. 

I also got a decent night's sleep and a small nap. 

I feel so o-pressed.  Like a giant weight is squashing me and I'm holding it up. 

No, I'm not in danger. 

Yes, I always seek help.  I even have the crisis # for the mental health center in my cell phone.  Not there though. 

Instead, I try to find fun things to do.  Not always easy. 

Have you ever thought how many weekday TV shows are either staged "gossip talk shows" (I'd gouge my face off before choosing to watch one), "fix my problem" talk shows (same applies),  soap operas (NEVER), or grisly and depressing crime dramas? 

I usually opt for the latter but not even that today. 

Like I said, I at least did my God Time. 

If I were manic I might have spent some time copying Bible verses or something. 

I haven't seen a mania in a while.  I can't really say that I miss them but I miss all the things I could do. 

Doc is always thrilled when I tell him I haven't seen a mania in a while. 

Anyway, I got online.  Participated in a few online discussions.  Cringed over yet another photo of a freind's topless little girl. 

I just don't think you should put your daughter out there, topless, ever.  No matter her age. 

In fact, years ago (2001) on a message board, one member put up nude photos of her daughter.  A member who struggled with pedophilia came out of hiding and told her perverts were downloading these photos, trading them, and doing disgusting things while fantasizing about her daughter.  He begged  her to take the photos down and she basically said "You can't tell me what to do." 

The moderators took care of that, deleting the photos. 

I was profoundly uncomfortable.  I did look and they showed full nudity, front and back.  I'm sure those photos are still viewed today. 

As a side note, the mother, after this point, mentioned how she wanted to "get my daughter into modeling" - several times, and each time was discouraged as it demeans women and promotes worldly values (not what I said but I agree).  A former model told her all this, more than once... 

Clearly that mother had some issues. 

My other friend is always putting up topless photos of her toddler.  I understand a mother may see it as "innocent" but I just feel uncomfortable looking at female human nipples of any age.  Except my own. 

I just wonder if child perverts find these photos stimulating.  I wonder if the mother even thinks of this when she takes another topless photo.  I mean, I can't recall a photo of this little girl wearing any kind of shirt. 

I just don't understand what leads a parent to put up naked, or half naked photos, of their children. 

That said my Dad had a photo of me in the bathtub.  I was covered in soap, "growling" at Dad.  We had a little bathtime routine called the soap monster.  I would lather up and become the soap monster, I'd growl at Dad and he'd cringe.  Fun times.   

Anyway, my entire baby album, and this photo, were destroyed by the #3 stepsibling.  So it doesn't matter. 

I look at my neighbors.  #6 seem to be "good parents" and their kids are always fully clothed.  I can't imagine them posting topless girls on the internet, of any age. 

But, God gave the child to them... and they are free to make their own decisions. 

The worst thing in my life

Yesterday's comment, combined with reading my old diary, made me realize I need to clarify something: my birthmother was not the worst thing in my life. 

My entire family life has been sick, abusive, and downright ugly. 

In my life, at least it wasn't just "Oh, that one person really made things hard".  I feel as if no person has my back.  No one. 

I know God does. 

My aunt and uncle do more than anyone.  But when I asked them to appear on "Intervention" and talk about Ron's drinking, they refused.  They didn't want to talk about it on TV. 

My Dad loves me, would absolutely take a bullet for me.  But he left me at the hands of some dark and twisted head games.  When confronted with the truth, he denied it and said he'd cut me out of his life before he'd believe they hurt me.  His reality is more important. 

My "blood" sister tried to do her best to split me from Ron, so I could move in and be her caregiver.  When I cut off contact (for other things) she stalked me after I had specifically requested no contact, thus ensuring a permanent break.  If you can't respect me when I say "Don't call me for 6 months" - then you don't respect me at all.   It wasn't just one call, it was dozens.  She didn't call me that much in a year. 

My "blood" brother is pretty distant but he hasn't hurt me either.  If someone needed a butt kicking I could always call him, even though he hates my city.  That's oddly comforting to me. 

My stepmother had a lot of issues.  She and her kids tortured me psychologically.  Verbal abuse.  Occasional physical abuse.  A good example, when her #3 kid used to beat me up, she'd reward him.  Then I was punished. 

He would come into my room without permission, and verbally abuse me.  Most times it would end there, but several times he also beat me up.  If I fought back they both acted as if I'd attacked him.  I have scars on my body from these assaults.  One time he burned me with a knife he held over an oven burner.  Another time he bit me on the chest because I wouldn't submit to his "authority".  That assault resulted in a scar the size of a nickel.  When I reported the attack and showed the wound, I was called "a faker" and put to bed. 

I realize now they knew CPS would get involved if they took me to a doctor. 

 If I "told", it was "stop picking on your brother". How was I picking on him? Because I exist?  

No, he never sexually assaulted me.  Other than the bite on the chest which I guess qualifies.  I'm glad Ron can't see it.  He'd be furious. 

Sometimes I had to choke him just to get him to back off.  When I started doing that she did rein him in because we all knew there was a good chance I might accidentally kill him. 

I find it really alarming he has a child now.  A boy.  If I knew he had a girl I would make a phone call. 

There were other psychological tortures.  Hiding my textbooks - from the time I was in the second grade.  How could I perform in school without my books? 

One time my stepmother offered a "bounty" on a missing textbook.  She told the other 3 kids - without my agreement - I would do all their chores for a month and surrender my allowance to them, if they found the book.  The #2 child went in the garage and brought the book out in 2 minutes. 

I asked how he knew where to find it.  He smirked at me.  Up until that point, I had liked him and seen him as the best of the bunch. 

One time I went in my parent's room and found several of my missing textbooks in the crawlspace next to their closet.  I presented them to her and said "If I'm losing the books why are they in your room?" 

The question unanswered, I was punished for "trespassing". 

I finally got smart in High School.  I was in a program for emotionally disturbed (you don't say?) kids. 

I left my books at school, in my work area, and came in early to do my "homework".  When I was manic I could do a week's lessons in an hour or two, so it worked out.  As long as I had it done by the end of the semester, they didn't care. 

I started pulling A's. 

The "program" also realized I had no lunches.  She gave her kids lunch money and special lunches (I was not allowed to touch many foods in her kitchen).   She gave me a loaf of white bread (which I loathe!), a jar of peanut butter, and a box of fold over sandwich bags. 

My teachers confronted her on that, and she "had" to start making me lunches.  Generally a Dinty Moore beef stew cup or a frozen burrito.  But at least it wasn't peanut butter on white bread. 

The program also (bad program and bad Heather for taking them) gave me free lunch tickets.   I repent of my sin.  I do miss, terribly, the wonderful peanut butter oatmeal honey energy bars the lunch lady used to make.  They were divine. 

I could also bring in tea and store it in the beverage area, and it was still there when I came back. 

After I met Ron, I gave him my diary and my Bible.  I knew he'd take care of them.  He didn't realize what I had at "home" until I did that. 

My first apartment - the day after I turned 18 - a badly converted garage apartment.  It still had the garage door to fool the housing inspector.  Ron was and still is verbally abusive. 

But at the end of the day he's a lot better than what I left.  Even if I didn't love him (I do) I would always value him as the person who got me out of that house. 

Irony: 2009.  Family reunion cruise.  All of the other kids are walking around drunk whenever possible.  I hang out with Dad, and Ron.  I'm pretty wiped out from my SSRI and need a serious nap everyday. 

One night the other kids "borrow" Ron and get him very drunk.  They bring him back to me falling out of the wheelchair drunk.  But he was mellow so it was fine.  We went to bed. 

The next day, they kept coming up to me and telling me Ron was "so cool", how much they liked him, and how I made a "good choice". 

When did they ever think I wanted their approval?  I just laughed inside as I thanked them. 

Yes, I forgive them, all of them.  I feel sorry for their kids. 

The Bible tells us to forgive if they repent.  They didn't repent when I forgave them, but my stepmother did afterward.  She was full of apology, after. 

I don't have any human children so it doesn't matter if she's in my life.  My cats do not like her.   

I spoke to my Dad about death, etc a few years ago.  He told me about his will and proudly stated "You're the only one who never asked me for money." 

Ron and I take great pride in that. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It's going to get better

Suicide.  Everyone's talking about suicide today. 

I've been there many times.  I actually witnessed at least one suicide attempt - my birthmother. 

When they found my poor birthmother dead, everyone was shocked her cause of death was a heart attack.  It was so bad my sister literally carried around the autopsy report to "prove" she didn't kill herself. 

I would have understood if she had.  She had a lot of pain in her life and only came to know Jesus a few weeks before she died.  She drank.  She had bipolar demons. 

It's hard to explain, but I told Ron: "It wouldn't matter if you brought me 2 dozen roses and lay them at my feet, along with the Hope Diamond.  It wouldn't matter if you brought me a litter of kittens, or a winning Lotto ticket.  I'd still want to die." 

The pain is just that bad.  We're not thinking about you, we just want to end the pain. 
 
I have seen a lot of harsh judgements today, sadly, from avowed Christians.  I don't think they made God smile. 

I have seen a lot of people, more than I knew, whose lives were changed forever by a loved one's suicide.  I'm glad they felt they could share with me. 

I don't want to be the person of judgement.  For instance, I have heard these responses from Christians.  Christians.  When they realized I had a severe suicidal depression: 
  • You have a generational curse.  Mental illness runs in your family, it is a curse, you have to break it.  (I thought I did that getting fixed)
  • You have sin in your life.  It's eating at you and that's why you're depressed.  It will go away once you confess and repent.   
  • You need to fast and pray. 
  • If you take psychiatric medication, it will turn you into a psychotic shooter (I have had to unfriend several over that persistent delusion).   Trust me, I'm a lot scarier off the medication.   
  • You have a demon in your spiritual life, maybe more than one.  You need to vanquish it. 
  • You have depression in your life because Ron is verbally abusive.  If he stops you won't be depressed. 
  • You are weak in your spiritual walk/faith.  You need to memorize Bible verses and recite them when you feel bad (latter advice not bad, actually). 
  • You need to praise more.  If you praise God, you won't be depressed.  (It is possible to praise God while depressed but in my experience the one never cures the other). 
  • You need to clean up your diet. 
  • Those medications are addictive.  (not!)
  • Those medications will put you in bondage to pharmakeia - The Bible warns against that and you will face God's judgement!  (The Bible warns against using "bad" drugs, not mood stabilizers). 
So.  They blame the victim and then say the medication will set me up for judgement? 

It would be easy to be pretty bitter.  But I don't want to be that person about anything.  Dude, if I start getting bitter I'm going to be the original sour pickle. 

I don't want to be that person.  I am ashamed when I see people like that, and try to gently suggest that perhaps God would appreciate a more loving tone. 

This is the person I want to be when I encounter someone with severe depression and/or bipolar disorder:

  • Can I hug you? 
  • I've been there.  It's horrible.  People don't get it, do they? 
  • Can I pray for you? 
  • Would you like a Bible? 
  • Can I hug you? 
  • Here's the number of a really good doctor. 
  • Here's the number for the mental health crisis line.  They really helped me out one day. 
  • It's OK to take medication (as I tell the story of how Ron was on the waiting list for the nursing home before my diagnosis). 
  • Medication has really given me a great quality of life. 
  • Here's a great book on bipolar disorder. 
  • You can have a great life again. 
  • It's going to get better. 
  • God loves you.  He's going to work this for good in your life. 
  • Be very careful with alcohol, as it cancels out the mood stabilizers.  My mother had a terrible time managing because she continued to drink. 
  • Can I hug you? 
  • It's going to get better. 
That's what we need. 

NOT the judging. 
NOT the pep rally.

Just love and compassion, understanding they are battling a serious illness...if need be pretend they have cancer. 

Some cancers have lower mortality rates than bipolar disorder. 

Big Girl

I had bermuda shorts for work.  I bought them early this summer.  Size 24. 

They have been falling off for a while.  I couldn't find the good bermuda shorts, just a pair of regular shorts, in 22.  They fit OK but they're a little shorter than I'd like (maybe a 4 inch inseam).  The waistband binds a little, too, even though the hips and thighs fit fine. 

That's all they had in the "Big Girl" department. 

Today, exasperated at pulling my pants up yet again, I went over to the Big Girl department.   I found "the" bermuda shorts, size 22, on the clearance rack.  I also found some khakis. 

What the heck, I thought.  Let's give it a try.  I headed off to the fitting room with 2 pair khakis and the bermudas.  The bermudas fit perfectly.  I can hardly wait to wear them tomorrow.  The black khakis (blakhis?), were too tight.  Nope.  But the tan worked fine. 

I threw them in the cart and got some underwear too. 

Ron had an interesting reaction.  Made a comment about guys chasing me if I got skinny.  Uh, no. 

I admit I had an emotional affair (99% of my dirty laundry can be found right here in the blog - it's very freeing) 14 years ago.  I never did anything but hug the guy once. 

And, at the time, I weighed within 40 pounds of what I do now. 

If I wanted to cheat I'm sure I wouldn't have any problems finding a playmate. 

I don't even think I need to dignify myself or the blog with an avowal.  I don't cheat.  Period.  When I got into trouble emotionally - I asked God to help and He did. 

Like I told Ron, any man who wants to be with me has to understand he's #2.  God is always #1 in my life. 



Monday, August 11, 2014

Fussing

It was a long day. 

Got up.  Didn't do my God Time (then).  Took my shower, pills, went to work. 

Some customer complaints:
More pastry
Large bag regular cheetos
More gum varieties (he was management)
Jalapeno Kettle chips

Glad we'd already made a trip to the warehouse.  I got all of the above, plus chocolate.  Went back to work and stocked. 

The machines are stuffed and looking very good.  Three gum varieties for management. 

About that time a manager came up and said "You really have an amazing selection, I've seen a lot of improvement."  I thanked him. 

About that time a chronically dissatisfied customer jumped in complaining because we had a couple empty slots on the hot pickle row. 

I knew she was just "fussing".  It was still trying.  Some people just like to make drama. 

I continued to stock.  We got it all done. 

Yay.  Time to go home. 

Nap. 

Woke up, God Time, ate, pills.  Blog, internet, bed. 

Exhausted

Pretty depressed Saturday, but I got in my shower and my God Time. 

I suggested Ron move his vodka, because it just seemed a little too accessible in the wheelchair.  He used to "walk" up to the front of the house, take a nip, and go back to bed.  Now he can just roll up there and sit in the chair. 

He didn't listen.  He fell asleep in his wheelchair, in the kitchen.  I put a pillow under his head and went to bed. 

A horrific blackout ensued. 

He thought he had fallen in a hole.  I just heard incoherent screaming and ravings.  I made a video (which Ron called "life changing" but we'll see). 

He kept raving.  Finally he went to begging me to "get him out of this hole".  God would want me to help.  He was bent over in the wheelchair with his head stuck in a cabinet.  I got his head out and took the brake off his chair before he started getting ugly, trying to hit me.  I got out of there. 

More raving and personal abuse for about an hour and a half.  I am a "God Lover".  [snort]  He's right on that.  He thought I was having an affair, with someone I would never.... ugh.  I didn't dispute it, I've learned it's better to just let the train run.  

I did tell him yesterday.  Just in case he had any doubt.  I don't even give out my phone number to men I know on the internet.  Our friend at church who does Bible Handouts with us doesn't even have my number. 

Then he went to rearranging furniture.  [sigh] Yeah.  I don't know how he did it in his condition. 

Needless to say, I got NO sleep and woke up with a migraine.  We still went to church and work after. 

I got a decent night's sleep last night but I'm still exhausted. 

I won't be posting this video.  However, Ron knows if this happens again I will post a video to this blog. 

In my life I get a strong feeling from others - oh, it's not that bad.  You're just exaggerating.  One relative thinks Ron won't drink if I become a better housekeeper, because Ron usually raves about it when he's in a blackout. 

It doesn't work this way.  Ron drinks because he has a problem.  His behavior is horrific. 

He knows any woman would leave him after one blackout, much less 22 years. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

It stands

Today, as Ron and I rode the bus down Antoine, another wheelchair passenger got on.  She was accompanied by a guy with clear Fetal Alcohol Syndrome features.  He had the social issues, too.  He kept starting rudely and getting into people's personal space (even off the bus).  He had limited awareness of social rules, leaving his companion's wheelchair completely blocking the sidewalk in two directions as he gaped at something.  He hung like a monkey from the grab bars on the bus, lifting his feet up and swinging, his shirt pulled up to expose a disgusting hairy belly.  He kept flirting with me even when I flashed my wedding ring and made a point of addressing Ron as "my husband".  He wasn't teasing, either.   

I have a hard time with people who have cognitive/developmental issues.  I am embarrassed and ashamed to be lumped in with them. 

I have issues with people who are mentally ill and unmedicated, for whatever reason.  Most aggravating to me are the homeless, addicted, mentally ill who're aware of their diagnosis.  I just want to smack them for making us all look bad. 

I also have problems with addicts of every stripe. 

In the first instance, as I told Ron: You can only be rude to them.  If I am rude enough they get the message to leave me alone.  They don't understand subtle, you have to beat them over the head with it.  "I don't want to talk", turning your back, and becoming pointedly interested in something else will usually do the trick. 

For whatever reason, a couple of "slow" fellows on the paratransit service like me, so I had to learn how to shut them down.  If I say a word to them they think I "like" them too and they pester me.  They touch me, grabbing my arm and yelling my name to get attention, etc.  Unless I am rude. 

So I am.  I don't like it.  New drivers think I'm a bitch, being so rude to the poor slow man.  Older drivers know these guys are relentless and will continue to pester until one of us disembarks. 

One driver (back when Ron could "walk") picked us up.  He had 2 seats left, one in the middle back, and one back passenger.  I "made" Ron get in the middle back because one of my "boyfriends" was eagerly expecting us, sitting behind the driver.  I didn't want him sitting directly next to me because I knew he'd keep poking at me and pestering.  The driver thought I was "horrible" "making" Ron sit in the middle.  When Ron realized the situation, he was happy to do it, and kept the other fellow distracted enough to leave me alone. 

Do I think I'm all that?  So hot they can't leave me alone?  Hell no.  I just think I'm reasonably young, not slow, and friendly, so they take an interest.  One made a point of telling me he "only likes white girls" so that may be a factor. 

I told Ron, I need to work on this.  I need to work on loving them.  Right now I mainly just feel disgust and embarrassment that I am in the club.  I need to ask God (and will do this) to put His love for them into my heart, His thoughts in my head, and His words in my mouth. 

I need to work on my own emotions - dealing with cognitive and neurological deficits.  I need to get better at loving myself with these problems.  I don't.  I hate myself for being "less than normal". 

No one else ever loved me with them.  When they realized I had them they just got angry and beat the crap out of me verbally.  A lot of tears.  I don't want to be the haters who abused me.   I don't want to be the hater to myself, or others. 

So.  I need to work on these issues with mental illness as well.  I am proud to be associated with well medicated, stable, mentally ill people.  Not so much the rest of the crew.  Gotta work on that. 

Like I told Ron, God always has me working. 

Lastly, addicts.  It's easy to see why I have issues: alcoholic mother.  Neglectful.  Abusive in drinking while pregnant.  Then I married an alcoholic who can get very verbally abusive. 

It's easy to hate.  Really easy.  Sometimes I look at my views - I was around 3,300 a month for a while this week - and I think, this is why people read.  Because I am honest even when it makes me look awful. 

It's so easy to hate all of them as weak, horrible, going-to-hurt-me-if-I-let-thems.  I have had some very Bad Thoughts. 

God doesn't want that.  He wants this:
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
 
Ron's drinking tonight.  He was very affectionate (verbally) for a while but he kept pulling my hair as he stroked it.  I got so angry at him.  I kept most of it bottled but I told him I'd cut my hair short if he pulled it again. 

He couldn't receive: I can only let you do that when I have just conditioned, and brushed, my hair.  I cannot let you do that at the end of the day when my hair is tangled because you'll keep snapping it and pulling it out.  If you want me with long hair you need to understand this.  When I am depressed you cannot do this.  I only have the energy to use a 2-in-1 shampoo, conditioner, and it does not provide enough conditioning for leisurely hair stroking.  I basically just made him stop. 
 
He has not been verbally abusive.  If anything he says what he thinks - "I love you so much, etc."  I just wish I could hear this when he's sober.  It's not like we're dating - I've been with him for over 22 years.  I married him blind and in a wheelchair.  Clearly I'm not going anywhere. 
 
How do I overcome his drinking issues, with good?  I need to pray on that and figure it out. 
 
I know this, only God can fix Ron.  I'm either helping God or getting in His way. 
 
I know God does not want me to enable.  I won't even bring Ron a can of beer out of the fridge, and I do not help him shop for any alcohol.  I remind him, when we eat out, margaritas aggravate his neuropathy (he's asked me to do that). 
 
I know God does not want me to hate.  God doesn't want me putting up every shameful detail of his behavior.  
 
I just need to figure out how, as a Christian, I can love him without feeding the illness.  I need to root all this hate and bitterness out of my own heart (on all these issues) so I can serve God better. 
 
My #1 job is pleasing God.  I haven't said that in a while but it stands.   
 
 

Tidwell Handout

It was a good handout with a wierd aftermath. 

I woke up at 6.  Ron said he didn't want to go on the planned handout, he cancelled the rides.  I decided that was fine for him, but I was still doing a Handout. 

I decided to pray, sleep, and think on it and went back to sleep.  I woke up around 9 with my destination clearly in mind.  Tidwell @ Antoine. 

I've never done a handout over there, but it has a convergence of different neighborhoods.  A nicer senior area.  Garden Oaks, a plusher "white" upper middle class area with $300K homes.  Raw areas of Acres Homes, with $300 a month apartments. It's a huge catchall. 

It also has an EXCELLENT median and a gas station where I can use the bathroom (with purchase).  I hated that about DeSoto.  I understand, but I hated it. 

We took the bus.  Ron took forever getting ready and I reminded myself God would bring the recipients.  I couldn't be "late" because He had it all.  I just had to show up with the sign and the Bibles. 

I loaded the Bibles (about 50) into my crate and attached the folding umbrella.  Ron said that worked very well for him. 

I had my tote bag as well. 

We got there and I headed over to the median.  I faced a bus stop.  The 45 runs down Tidwell.  The 85 runs up and down Antoine; so you have a lot of people waiting at the bus stops. 

The second I unrolled the sign I had bus stop people signalling me to come over.  I did that. 

"I have Kid Bibles!"  I passed out one Spanish, 5-6 kid Bibles, and several "Grown up Bibles" in just the first few minutes alone. 

Wow.  They had a huge appetite, all my recipients.  I had to keep loading and reloading my tote bag.  It was insane - I felt like the handler for a rock star and everyone wanted a date! 

It was wonderfully exhausting.  Nearly everyone was clearly low-income. 

My favorites: 

A black guy held money out, said he didn't want a Bible.  I gave him my "winsome" look and said "I don't want your money!  You know what would make me happy?"  I wiggled the Bible at him and turned up the charm. "If you took one!"  I made a sad face.  "Don't turn me down!"  Grinned again.  He took it.  "How much did you pay for this?"  I kept telling him "Friends bought it" and he finally realized I really didn't want the money. 

I had another black guy.  He watched me for a minute or so and rolled down his window, smiling.  I walked over and offered him a Bible.  "Oh, I'm an agnostic" he said. 

"Well" I replied.  "You might get curious.  Wouldn't you like to have one on hand?  Annnd... it has a question and answer section in the back."  He took it, the light changed, and off he went. 

Spanish people loved I had Spanish.  I found it interesting how some Moms wanted a combination of English and Spanish Bibles. 

One black family, two single women and some kids in the back.  They got their Bibles as the kids looked on.  3 kids.  I had 3 kid Bibles left.  I handed them over to the delighted children. 

Let me tell you, kids were THRILLED to get those kiddie Bibles (an easy to read New Testament with pictures). 

A young couple got off the bus and crossed the median.  "Hold up" I yelled.  "Let me hook you up with some Bibles!"  They waited, smiling as I handed them each a Bible, then headed off. 

When possible, I let everyone know I was praying daily. 

I saw a white van with two well dressed white guys.  The older one pointed at me and said something to his companion, grinning.  As I got up on them I saw they were Mormons (probably working Garden Oaks).  They grinned at me and the elder gave me a thumb's up. 

I knocked on the window.  When they rolled it down I quoted Matthew 22:9 at them "Go to the street corners and invite everyone you find."  They liked that and headed off with the light change. 

All done.  I yelled at Ron to roll it up (his sign).  He gaped at me.  I ran up to him, panting.  "I'm out!  Put it down!" 

"What?  It's only been 25 minutes!" 

"God brings them and boy did He.  Gimme that."  I took the sign and put it away.  I got Ron into a safe place and used the bathroom. 

We rode the bus, planning to eat at our favorite taqueria afterward.  When we got there, the health department had closed it down. 

Yike. 

I had to go to the bathroom again.  That's the only problem with proper hydration in a Houston summer.  I have to pee!  Constantly! 

I saw a Kebab place in the strip mall.   I went in. They were very rude and overpriced.  I wasn't too wild about the obvious imam eating the lunch special either.  I backed Ron out of there and we left. 

I went to the bathroom (half the story of a Bible handout would be all the places I go to the bathroom) at the grocery store.  Then we went to Little Cesars. 

Ron called a cab.  The guy was a Muslim.  He wasn't too happy about the pepperoni pizza OR what was left of the Bibles, riding in his cab.  They had to go in the trunk.  His cab, his rules. 

Finally home, typing out my update! 

Pray for the recipients! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bad Energy

God has given me many awesome things. 

Today, for instance.  I'm stocking our vending machines in our lovely cafeteria.  I see management walking through with the union representatives.  Everyone's smiling and nodding in approval. 

YES! 

Our boss came by - one of them.  She rated us 100% on our review.  She loves what we're doing.  She is definitely behind us on two issues that need addressing with the other vendor. 

I made sure to emphasize I don't want her to make any waves right now, at least not on my behalf, because "They're under a lot of stress right now losing a lot of their business". 

Another thing - God chose to give us a lot of the business lost by the other vendor.  [shrug]  That's God.  We certainly didn't go after it, the business came to us.  I just ask God to be a good steward of whatever He gives us. 

Ron doesn't see things that way.  He was very bitter, belligerent, and angry for most of the day.  I understand he has problems.  I don't have to receive his attitude, though. 

I can observe it and not let it soak into me - and it would be so easy.  I wanted to launch the blog with a bitter retelling of how he called me a filthy name with a customer sitting not 5 feet away. 

But, at the end of the day, bad behavior like that just makes Ron look bad.  Everyone, you included, knows I am devoted to him.  I give 100% in our marriage, and at work.  Probably 125% at work.  [grin]  If he wants to abuse what he's been given it's on him. 

He WILL account. 
But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
 
That also means I need to be careful relating my day.  [wink] 
 
We got up early.  I got to sleep late, so I hit the snooze a couple times.  What with all the stupid skin infections I decided to take the shower and do my God Time later (just finished before I got online). 
 
We went to Walmart; the wholesale club hasn't had any Mountain Dew.  We serve a night shift population: we need Mountain Dew. 
 
We got the Mountain Dew.  We went to the wholesale club (Ron waited outside).  I got some sandwiches. 
 
I had a very legitimate complaint: the sandwiches run out and they have nothing to eat if they're required to work overtime.  I got some more sandwiches and corn dogs.  We sell the corn dogs with ketchup and mustard, for a dollar.  One is pretty filling by itself and a good idea for a postal worker on a budget.  I've never had one expire.  Never had a complaint, either.  I made Ron eat one (I'd get heartburn) and he loved it. 
 
I got those and loaded them up.  I also got a little candy and "Big Hot Chips" (2 ounce assorted hot). 
 
We went to work.  I stocked.  We had our visitations.  We did well. 
 
Ron didn't know anyone was there so he stocked quietly.  I've noticed....
 
He used to deride my social skills.  I was wierd.  I would "make him look bad" etc.  He used to be obsessed with the thought of me embarrassing him, and go nuclear if he felt I had.  These days, management, customers, repairman, and our bosses (we have 2) all prefer to interact with me vs. Ron.  I find that interesting. 
 
So, when the boss lady came she dealt with me 95% of the time.  I know the business and I am clearly second in command.  I don't want to be the boss, but I do my job well. 
 
Glad that all went well. 
 
Then we went to the bank. That took a while. 
 
We finally came home.  I was pretty wiped out - all that bad energy I guess.  I took a nap. 
 
I got up and did my God Time. 
 
Ron agreed to do a Bible Handout tomorrow.  I let him pick the location and the timing - God will make it work and it made Ron a lot more amenable since he felt he was "controlling" it.  Ha!  It's all God, Baby. 
 
So, we're off.  We do a Handout and that's it.  It should be interesting.  I have kid Bibles.  Those always go fast.  Almost as fast as the Spanish, and I have them too! 
 
It's going to be hard packing my crate - so many awesome Bibles. 
 
 

Consolation

Ron needs to realize, not everyone is consoled by his "Don't worry, the end of the world is coming soon" speech.  Agh.