Panic

I am sitting trembling under a table right now. I just had my first major panic attack in seven years. I’ve had anxiety attacks by the dozens but actual panic attacks are rare.

I’ve calmed down a good deal or I wouldn’t be able to write this. My hands are still shaking so it is hard to press the right letters on my phone. I have turned off the lights and that seems to have helped. I’ve also sung the alphabet song in my head a dozen times or more. I went with twinkle twinkle Little Star too.

It sounds silly I know. But right now I feel like high impact glass that has been shattered. I am still in one piece but I have hundreds of cracks running through me and one more blow will sent it all crashing to the ground. A large broken pile of sharp cutting edges.

Anxiety attacks and Panic attacks are terrifying. Your own body has turned against you. You feel like you should run but you can’t even if you wanted to because you can’t breath. I can’t even talk to anyone right now without crying and spiraling back down into another attack.

Instead I am sitting in the dark, typing out a blog post, hoping that writing it out will help. My logical mind is still functional. I just can get control of everything else.

For those who may think I am being silly or stupid, then maybe you should try it and see how it feels. Being strong isn’t as easy as it looks.

A Morning Moment

I didn’t think I would have time for a blog post this morning. I rolled out of bed less than ten minutes ago and already there is a long list of things to be accomplished today. I thought my blog just might be one of those things toward the bottom that I didn’t get to cross off.

Then I let the dog out to do his business. As his tiny paws padded down the front steps, I tossed the stray cats a scoop of dry food.(Yes, I know. That is why they keep coming around, but I have a hard time letting anything go hungry.) I stood back up from my furry soup kitchen and was caught in the face by a breeze. It teased me with the coming of rain.

Instead of calling the dog and going back inside to start my busy day, I sat down on the steps and took a moment. I felt the cool air and breathed in damp promises. I listened to the sighing of the trees and just enjoyed the quiet dark. I was only a moment. Just one tiny stolen fraction of my day. But it filled me up with peace.

Taking time out for those stolen moments is something I don’t do enough of. It is necessary though. That time increment of time listening to the stories of the wind will carry me through the rest of the day.

 

 

Only a test

It’s that time of year again. Time to see how well my little fish can climb a tree. That’s right it is standardized testing time!

I am a bit nervous this year because this is the first year I am the teacher. Homeschooling has been fun but now it all comes down to one test. If my son does well, yay for him and yay for me. If my son does poorly…well then I am a crappy teacher. That’s the way it works right?

It doesn’t matter how much he knows about Faraday cages or The Black Ships if they don’t ask questions about those things. Some how I don’t think the fact that ancient Egyptians tossed the brain during mummification, because they didn’t think the brain was important, will come up.

These are all things we learned this year right next to long division and adding decimals. However, this is standardized testing. Usualy it is only the numbers that matter.

A rather depressing state

dust-cloud-593091_1920Recently I have been learning a great deal about the American Great Depression of the 1920’s and 30’s.  My grandparents were children during this period and it echoed throughout the rest of their lives. The more I learn the more I wonder if we aren’t heading for another one.

I know, I know, the politicians tell us that the depression of the past few years is over. However, it is an election year so they will say that. It also gives them an easy platforms to preach from because so many voters need similar things right now.

I don’t usually get into political topics because I don’t have the time or patience to make sure the boiling pot doesn’t boil over. I will make some observations though, because I see parallels between what I have been learning and what is going on today. I hear and read people constantly putting down and insulting those on welfare. Many of those programs came to be during the depression era. In pictures, I see the shame on the faces of the adults warring with relief as they wait in commodities lines for food to feed their families. These were people that were proud to worked hard. But at that time it didn’t matter how much they sweated in the fields or pounded the pavement in search of work. The rewards for diligence simply were not there.

Today I think if people look close they will see that same warring shame and weary relief on many of the faces of welfare today. True you still have those that abuse the system and see it as cart to carry them, rather than the hand up to help them stand it is supposed to be. Those aren’t the people the programs were created for.

The politicians will tell you that unemployment has gone down over the past few years. They will tell you hundreds of new jobs have opened up. What they don’t tell you is that many jobs that used to exist have vanished and many of the new positions are part time. With the health care reform acts many companies have been forced to provide insurance for their full time employees. This sounds like a good thing on paper.

However, insurance companies are being forced to accept new rules too. Since no one wants a drop in profits, they raise rates and adjust things here and there to keep their margins where they want it. The companies, who may not have a problem with the idea of helping their employees with health insurance, also don’t want profits to drop so they stop hiring full time employees and find insurance companies who offer lower prices for less coverage. The letter of the law is met and the bottom line protected even as the out of pocket cost rises for the average worker.

Everyone is required to have insurance or be fined, but few can find full time positions. Those lucky few that do, find that the hours they work are just barely enough to qualify as full time. Their take home pay is gouged severely by insurance premiums, taxes, stagnate wages, and minimum hours. Many work two or three part time jobs but still only bring home hardly enough to cover the basic bills.

Some of these employees apply for welfare from the over loaded system. They are working hard but it isn’t enough to both keep the rent paid and feed hungry mouths, much like the dust bowl farmers of the 30’s.  Others tighten already tighten belts until their ribs crack. Morale drops even as stubborn determination sets in. Families suffer under stress. Many are single parent homes, where the parent has to work several jobs and the kids go unattended. The choice these people must make is, Do I want to spend time with my children? Or do I want to feed them?

All of this means that the idea of “disposable income” is a joke. Sure those with the bonuses can buy the new car, house, or bass boat. But the backbone of the working class cannot. Most of them can’t even afford new shoes for aching feet.

The retail worker, the server, the cashier, the teacher,…the list goes on, these people are struggle financially. No one looks too close however. Even those fighting don’t really want to know how close to the edge they are.

If this routine continues, like an inflatable raft with a leak, the economy will eventually sink. The middle class that is supposed to blow air into the nozzle to keep it afloat can’t breath any more. And like dustbowl farmers before the droughts, the big money makers keep trying to increase their crops even though few are buying.

Eventually it will all turn to dust.

No sleep for the weary

This week has been poor in the sleep department. I have been getting maybe two or three hours a day. Enough to keep me from going insane or experience hallucinations, but not enough to recharge the physical and mental batteries.

I still have two nights of my pays-the-bills job left and only four days to wrap up a few writing projects before I miss the deadline. Then lets not forget all the mom duties and such. I am exhausted.

I am also incredibly grumpy. So grumpy that there is a long list of infractions that would get someone stabbed if I carried sharp and pointy objects to work. I’m in retail, and I am pretty certain stabbing customers would go against our customer service scores. Also, bail would cost too much.

Sleep has to happen soon though. There is a limit even to the magical restoring powers of coffee.

 

Guilty Blues

It is Monday again. My daughter goes back to school today after  being off for Winter break. Both of us are dragging our feet to get her there. Winter has finally arrived here in the Southern United States. It took a while. It may be chilly out right now but a few days ago I was comfortable on the porch in just a t-shirt and jeans.

Yesterday I divided my time into: feeling bad because my boss was sick and I couldn’t come in to work because my usual babysitter was AWOL; wondering why my parents weren’t answering their phone; feeling guilty because I felt the tiniest bit of relief that I wasn’t able to go to work because I couldn’t find a babysitter; and working on a story for my niece.

Today I still feel guilty because I was unable to go into work. This is the reason I never skipped school as a kid. The guilt eats at me. I never want to face droves of customers even on my regular shifts. I shouldn’t feel guilty because I felt relief at not facing them on a day off. But I let my boss down so I do.

This is the circle of self disappointment that has been swimming around and around my brain since the second or third time I failed to reach my mom. Yeah, I know. It’s dumb. Welcome to anxiety  depression. You obsess about things sometimes.

Forever home

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To start this story I’ll add some background information about the children .
Courtney is six (6) years old and undergoes trauma therapy.  She is still adujsting to having a bed, clothing, a steady supply of food, electricity and water.  It took me a year to get her to sleep in a bed due to her former lifestyle and just as long for her to understand that the electricity in our home wasn’t going to be randomly turned off…  her stuff wasn’t going to be sold and that she didn’t have to worry if she was going to get to eat that day, or any other day for that matter.  Courtney needed glasses and she now has them.  Christopher just turned three (3) and has undergone three surgeries, will possibly have another in October this year.  He attends physical therapy weekly for what the doctors call Tibial Torsion.  He wears leg braces to help him stand and walk.  If this does not self correct by age of five(5) the doctors will have to break his legs, place pins in his bones and cast his legs for a time….”  

Read the full story on the gofundme page here.

I have personally met these kids and I am friends with their grandparents. If you can contribute and feel like doing so that’s awesome. If you can’t, that’s fine too. Spread the word or just add them to your good thoughts. These kids are in a place where they can be given the love they need to bloom. I have seen it. Lets help them stay there.

 

 

My bed is calling

There will be a blog post here. Eventually. I actually already have it written but it’s on paper and in my messy handwriting. I just got home from work and the kids attacked with “Mom can you…”

I was tired before, now I have passed the tired line drawn in the dust and moved on to exhausted. My brain is too much like mush for me to compose something that makes sense. Or even to copy something already written. So I am going to bed. Maybe when I get up I will sit down and write a blog post.

If I don’t do it this afternoon, I will do it tomorrow. However, if for some reason I miss the tomorrow deadline, there will definitely be a post on Wednesday. A blog post is coming. The timing is just a little iffy.