The Weird Thing About Facebook…and

Actually this is more about the weird thing about the area I live in combination with Facebook, because hey, most of the people in my friend list are from this area.

I have lived in this county most of my life. I moved here when I was 3 from a nearby state and have lived in numerous places within the county. My parents moved with us kids, four times since I was born. I’m the oldest.

The county we are from has a lot of school districts and is densely populated with over 560,000 people, so in that respect I guess you could say it’s a large county. But…and this is a big but…the area it covers is less than 2000,000 miles.

That, my friend, is a tight squeeze.

There are still many school districts though and since most people meet in school and still know each other, around here, it’s not like everyone knows everyone here.  Small town size and we even have some farming as well as woodsy/forest-y areas. Most of it is suburbia but it can feel like city in some of the more busy areas, like the main terminal for public transportation, between city and burbs and the just the area its in, has more of a city feel.

Let’s just say, although it’s a small area, it’s not like we all know each other nor are we just running into people we know, every time we leave the house. It happens, but not every time.

My siblings and I started off in Catholic school, a very small school in the town we grew up in.

Once we each reached a certain grade, we went to public school.

I finished my one year of Catholic high school and I started public school in my sophomore (10th grade) year. My brother switched over that same year as well but started at the middle school. My sister stayed at the Catholic school until she was finished with 5th grade. She had one more year to go when my brother and I made the switch. She had lots of friends, so I’m not sure if she minded much.

For some strange reason, only known to my fucked up father, he didn’t want to put any of us in the public elementary school.

{Side note: The year my brother and I both switched over, was the same year they moved 9th grade over to the high school and 6th grade over to the junior high, making the junior high a middle school.}

Thing is, because the school district we lived in is so small, I wouldn’t say that each person from that school district knows everyone else from it. But a lot of people know each other, intertwine and there are small degrees of separation.

I can see this so well on Facebook and even though I have my siblings blocked, there are times I can see that one of them has commented on a mutual friend’s post.

This just happened.

It doesn’t set me back or anything but it does make me sad.

The post that prompted this post is one from an old next door neighbor. She posted a picture of her and her father on her wedding day.

My father and her father would have long chats when they’d run into each other outside. The woman who’s post I’m talking about here, ‘babysat’ us once in a while also. So we have some memories there.

I was going to comment, but then I noticed my friend, addressed someone with the same name as my sister and I figured it must be her.

Since I have her blocked, I can’t see her comment but can tell by the friend’s response that she is indeed addressing my sister, not someone else with the same name.

So that kind of changed my mind about commenting.

I know one thing I could do is un-friend anyone with connections to my siblings. I have actually thought of that. But that’s the crazy thing about the area I live in. So many of us are intertwined with each other. Even though I’m more than five years older than my sister, we know a lot of the same people. She’s even got people in her list that she wouldn’t know unless she knew me. So that’s a bit weird as well.

I’m guessing here because I can’t see her profile anymore with blocking her. But I had been on Facebook before and after a breakup, I deactivated my account and allowed it to completely close. I’d closed it before waking up to who and what my family is so before that, I’d been connected to my siblings through Facebook.

When I made a new account a few years later, one of the first things I did was block my siblings.

In some cases, I’ve done just that. I graduated with my brother-in-law’s cousin. We were friends before I closed down my original account. And I, in fact didn’t block her in the beginning, likely because I didn’t think about it. I’d seen her in threads and just didn’t engage. This was a bit of a battle for me because I like her and wanted to friend her again, but knew it wasn’t a good idea considering the circumstances.

I eventually did block her, but didn’t feel good about it.  You can bet however, you’d see many matching names (because of school) in our friend lists.

But I refuse to do that with every single person who is intertwined with one or both siblings and myself. Whether it be for the principle behind that or because I enjoy their posts, want to keep up with their news, or because I don’t want to hurt feelings or whatever, I just don’t feel good about bowing out of every connection.

The woman I did block from my graduating class, is also family…sort of. My sister and her husband are close to his cousins so yeah, that’s too close of a connection and that’s different.

I see the presence of lots of people who I’m not friends with as well, who could possibly, probably and some I know for a fact, know my siblings. I don’t generally initiate the friending when it comes to those people. But I will friend them back if they request it.

Last I knew, both my siblings were also still friends with a friend of mine I met in a work place, through an old boyfriend. She is from the same county but from a different school district. So they didn’t know her until long after I did.

So, it gets a bit sticky there on Facebook. I’ve navigated for long enough now though that I don’t really think about needing to be careful or anything. Not as of yet, at least. I don’t use Facebook to air the family shit so there’s no worrying about anything getting back to anyone.

I mostly post cute animal and pet stuff. Once in awhile I might take a stand on something. I generally stay out of politics although I’ve made a comment here and there. But most of my comments in other people’s threads are benign and sometimes attempts at being funny.

There’s cool things about so many people having small degrees of separation. But sometimes it has this entrapping feeling, just because of the situation I’m in with my siblings.  The good thing though is that the county I live in, has many school districts and the population is dense.

I mention school districts for a couple reasons. One…it seems to be a way to divide areas in our county that makes sense to pretty much anyone you talk to around here. And two…because that’s where a portion of the people come from that people meet.  One hundred people out of 242 are from my high school. A couple of those are a friend’s kids. But that’s still quite a ratio.

Thankfully the large population of the county, makes it so that run-ins with my siblings are not highly likely.

{Now watch me see one of them tomorrow, since I said that.}

Either way, I’m not going to just de-friend all those people. If anything, I would shut down the account completely. But I’m not gonna do that either.

I try not to get on too often because when I do I get sucked in and waste a lot of time there. I admit I’m not close to anyone in my friend list on Facbook though. I do see it as a good way to stay connected and especially with future in mind. You just never know when you might want to reach out to someone…or vice versa.

I do have issues with a couple people in my list, but I don’t make anything of it on FB. I’ve thought about un-friending there too. But have not and at this point don’t have the intention to. Radical acceptance in the works.

I’m feeling a bit sad and nostalgic after “seeing” that my sister commented on our old next door neighbors post about her dead father, who I liked, and so I would’ve liked to have comment on the post too, but the sadness will pass.

It’s not like I bumped into her physically, so I’m still safe.

I know there’s a lot wrong with FB and it can really be a time waster. But there are positives about it too. I don’t post a lot and I don’t comment much either. But I do want to keep the communication lines open there, for myself to the people I may want to or need to reach out to at some point.

Luckily there’s a block function and I know how to use it.

Father’s Day?!

It’s 2 pm here on Sunday June 18 and I just realized it’s fathers’ day. Thank you google.

Happy fathers’ day to those fathers out there who are breaking and have broken a cycle of abuse and any and all who were never caught up in one. And any other fathers struggling for their children daily.

I’m in need of remembering that not all fathers are bad dads. I read and hear about such horrid experiences from learning about my own, it helps me feel better to know that there are people…specifically referring to men today…who genuinely love their kids and understands what that even means. That it’s more than making the statement, “I love you.”

My father said it all the time but many of his actions and some of his behavior contradicted those words.

My father also used to tell me I could do anything I set my mind to do, referring to earning a living. But there was no guidance or nurturing of any talent or skill.

I was searching YT for a video to post in honor of good fathers and I kept worrying about posting something too upsetting. Even in the funny ones something may come across as abusive to someone.

One series of videos I came across though was something ABC did in 2009 (?) on breaking the cycle of abuse. It features more than just fathers and shows abuse taking place in homes where the parents and guardians agreed to have cameras put in their homes.

It’s hard to watch and precisely the reason I’m not posting the actual video(s)here, but my point is that the admittance of the abuse is the first step in stopping the cycle. These people were able to see and admit that something was very wrong.

One father had been abused by his father as a child and wanted to do the right thing but of course didn’t know what that was since he didn’t have a proper model.

See how it’s a cycle. I know it’s easy to get angry at each abuser but each one learned it somewhere.

The people on the show got the help they needed in learning how to cope with the unpleasant behaviors of their children, prevent them from escalating and learned the proper way of teaching them right from wrong other than spanking, threatening, etc.

As I said, it was hard to watch in parts, but it was also good to see awareness from those who know they are causing pain, acknowledging it and doing something about it.

Anyway, happy fathers’ day.

A Quote in Context

So I have this refrigerator magnet that my mother gave me. Not sure when but no doubt it was part of a bigger gift. She was always a great gift giver.

But this one thing, this magnet say, “Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.” -Native American Proverb

It’s a nice thought actually. Just that saying all by itself. But in the context of the message that’s been tossed my way each time I had some issue, some problem I wanted to discuss after it had made its way into the what she considered too far into the past to be important. And even worse is that many times it never was important to her at all.

The living too much in the past and being too sensitive was the message, even if it wasn’t said directly.

So the magnet, or rather the saying on the magnet seems just another way of sending that message.

And that’s why when I found it after unboxing some stuff I had stored away, I threw it into the living room from the dining room, and said, “That’s outta here.”

I salvaged it off the floor today long enough to write this post. Now that I’ve done that, this thing is going into the Goodwill box.

Diary Card is a Trigger: Having an Emotional Flashback (or Five)

I’m not in a good place right now. I’m having an emotional flashback about this stupid diary card. I feel like a little fucken kid right now as a result and really sensitive.

I remember as a kid in school I would be feeling vulnerable for something like not doing my homework (just as an example) and this would make me afraid, especially when it came to certain teachers. Specifically my first grade nun was abusive when I didn’t get the homework done or even do it right.

So if I was already vulnerable I would be sensitive to just about anything adverse so I would cry easily.

Once I’d forgotten my homework in 7th or 8th grade and (guessing because memory) called my mother and asked her to bring it up to me. She did and when she got there, I saw her at the door of the classroom.

I shot up out of my desk, both embarrassed and relieved to see her there. When I got to the door, I nudged her into the hallway and the tears just flowed.

One year, just being back after the summer, the teacher gave the assignment to write out the multiplication tables. We were only supposed to got to 12 on each number but I kept going, not remembering this from the previous year. And I felt so overwhelmed and don’t even remember now how far I went with each one. It must’ve taken me hours that night to finish that assignment.

I didn’t go to my parents, because I didn’t know if my mom would send me to my father. He was the last one I needed or wanted helping me.

Now for some reason this diary card is sending me back to that assignment and just endlessly writing the times tables and then finding out when I got back to school the next day that I made it even difficult than I had to because I didn’t remember from the previous year, what to do.

So I’m sitting here in tears and I guess I’m supposed to record this shit in that itty bitty box with no fucking room!

DBT Diary Card-Help?

My new DBT therapist gave me my first diary card yesterday and already I’m a little confused.

I have not started group yet as there is not an opening for another month. This is OK with me as I have started individual and gives me time to acclimate and prepare myself to be part of any sort of group.

I tried googling to see if I could find a sample of someone having filled one out but I’m not finding the type that I have. In addition, my therapist only instructed me to start the top part, not worrying about the ‘Skill’ portion yet.  This is also good for me as I would be overwhelmed with too much right away.  My brain just can’t handle too much at once at this time.

The diary card, at the top going across, lists: Joy – Fear – Sad – Anger – Shame
And then I’m supposed to rate each one, each day, from 0-10.
There is also an extra block for another emotion. But I have like three other emotions I feel frequently.

So my questions:
1 How do I accommodate in those little boxes for the emotions I feel more than once a day? It seems that there is only room for one number, which seems to me like I’m only supposed to count one time. But I can feel each emotion many times a day. Right now I’m squeezing numbers in, but this could get sloppy on the paper and impossible to read if say I feel anger or sadness ten times in a day.

2 For the three other emotions I’m accounting for in one block, what should I do for this? I am thinking I could just do some of this on a separate piece of paper. I’m already seeing I’m going to need to do that for the notes anyway. I like to write out what the reason is for the emotion, because remembering why is helpful with dealing with the emotion as well.

Suggestions and help is welcome.

Adrenal Fatigue…I Think

OK so I’m not diagnosed or anything, but having read enough about PTSD and the effects of long term abuse, I have no doubt I have adrenal issues of one sort or another. What the title of the diagnosis would be, I have no idea.

I also know that when tested by a conventional doctor, the ones covered by shitty insurance, the tests they do won’t register, in some instances, as having anything wrong even if there is.

I have not been exactly diligent in taking care of myself either. I do feel I could recover but it means changing a lot of habits. It means eating better, sleeping during a certain window of time and it means doing the right exercises. And it takes time.

I went grocery shopping today. I made sure to eat before I left so I wouldn’t be hungry at the store, or get into trouble with wonky blood sugar. If I get hungry, it causes stress reactions in my body, sending more cortisol to my brain.  Something I don’t need since it’s part of the problem of PTSD.

Even taking care to take care of myself before leaving, I still feel exhausted. It didn’t even take me that long, despite going to a store that I don’t really know my way around all that well yet.  I went there for a couple reasons:

1) It’s cheaper than Whole Foods and I am trying to find ways of saving on food money. (I will still use Whole Foods for produce because it’s the only grocery store that has good produce around here. I can pick up a few things here and there at other places but at WF I can pretty much get my whole produce list.)

2) That particular branch of the chain I went to, although a little out of the way, it is not crazy crowded. And today I discovered the people that shop there are not rude or walking around with a feeling of entitlement. Meaning they don’t keep coming toward you and expect you to move, even if they’re on the wrong side.

They also said excuse me at the store I went to today, when it was appropriate. The clientele at WF doesn’t generally do this. They will walk right into you and then act like you’re the rude one.

Anyway, to get to my point, I’m exhausted, just from going grocery shopping. I feel like I could take a nap now at 4 pm and sleep through the night.

I have just begun to change some things so I don’t want to say much about that yet. Consistency is key and not a strong trait of mine.

Caturday-Cali

Before Oz there was Cali. She was a cute little cat.

She used to raise her paw when she wanted you to pet her.

 

You can see the date this was taken with a ‘regular’ camera. We’d only been in the house this was taken at for 5 or 6 months. (So long ago!) She is so cozy on that blanket.

 

 

Caught her in a hunched position just as she was going in for some grass.

Reviewing an Old Journal: Rediscovering the Manipulation of My Sister and My Mother

Here’s another old post. Not the best night for this reminder but wanted to reblog anyway, since I read through the whole thing.

Sleeping Tiger

I finished my ‘to do’ list yesterday, except one thing. I wrote that I wanted to get through an entire notebook (journal) yesterday and that didn’t happen. It was the last thing I did from that list and it wasn’t until about 8:00 pm that I started.  But what I did do was to get through a section of a three subject notebook. I don’t have much doubt that’s contributing to my feelings of depression this morning also.

I didn’t find anything pertaining to the time of my father’s terminal illness. I didn’t think I would though because that particular journal dates back to 2009. It was on top of the pile though so I figured I’d start there to minimize the overwhelm.

It’s alarming to see the same basic themes running through me and my life back then as today. I struggled with authenticity just like I still do…

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