Life, with my dogs, living on one acre in Tasmania. Living on a low income, and with Complex PTSD. I write about all sorts of things. I called my Blog Echidna Home because I have echidnas that live here
May be triggering and language some may find offensive. Please do not share or use any of the following without consent of Echidna Home. (C)
Living with a mental illness such as Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is so shit at times. I have been moseying along living life in way that has been good. I was out for a day with a friend on Saturday all day and it was really lovely we went to a town further a field. I was so exhausted afterwards. I have to say being with her is quite relaxing as their is nothing like being with someone who really understands what having a mental illness is like. We shared a lot it was really interesting, though at one point she mentioned that she often felt suicidal. This just blew me away, we talked and shared (as we both have had too many people we know and love succeed in suicide. )
Yesterday Sunday (it is a long weekend here in Tasmania). I was just at home and perhaps just switched totally off I am not sure even what I did. Yet I woke feeling good.
I needed to go and get some chook food so drove int Huonville. I did the little bit of shopping I needed too, and stopped for a bite to eat and coffee at one of my faviourite cafes. Sitting in the lane with my dogs, a small disagreement with another dog, sorted and my dogs under the table. His dog near his and all fine. Thy moved the dog and it blocked the access for the staff to bring drinks and food out. One staff member spilled coffee another almost dropped a dish, then the dog jumped up and tried to take food from a plate a staff member was bringing to another table. These people made no effort to move the dog, they never apologised to the staff. I suggested they move the dog form between the stairs and table, they saw no problem.. I was triggered and ended up just loosing it. I could not believe anyone would put anyone else at such risk to conducting their work. I even said it was a health and saftey issue. They just laughed at me and my escalation telling me I should leave. Of course I responded and it went on..I just could not shut up and fucking was used by me numerous times it seems to go with the course. Then one of these people said in a loud voice that I had obviously missed my medication as I was crazy. Well that was just the final trigger. Mocking mental health! I just kept on at her. I was shaking and crying red in the face.
When they were leaving after a very uncomfortable silence had settled whilst some of them finished their food.
It was ugly and horrible and I feel so ashamed, I lost it completely I was so so disappointed as I have not had anything like this occur in over a year. Sigh. I know I know I have a mental illness. I get triggered and when I am triggered I say fucking a lot. Positive is I will be speaking to my psychologist later on this week.
I feel so ill and so tired from all this. I hate this illness. Not being in control and all the work and effort is so tiring so all consuming. I feel I am growing I know I am moving forward I know all this. Yet an experience like this is just frustrating and now takes so much work to not let my self loathing feelings of shame and disillusionment and all those delights that come after such an episodes.
For me where I am now right now is that I do still have insight, I still know that I am so much better than I have been. I am still moving forward. I know I am improving and this is just a small set back.
It taught me that there are some truly wonderful people out there who when someone with a mental illness is falling a part I had someone who stood bye me and cared. For this I am so very thankful.
Having a mental illness such as CPTSD really can stuff up so many of your plans..then add the crazy summer weather here in my part of Tasmania and how my garden is somewhat neglected. I am doing OK though. It is a rough period in my treatment of my illness. Things coming from out of the blackness of my brain where for so long they have been stored. Being shared with my psychologist and now me working on how to manage the impacts of these. New symptoms such as nightmares, and grinding my teeth. Nightmares that are similar to ones I had as a child. This is the truth behind what it really is like when you are dealing with mental illness and attempting to keep moving ever so tiny amount forward.
This is my life, here on my little acre.
Rain is falling again as I type music to my ears. It is lovely to hear the rain on my metal roof, gurgling down the gutters and the water running into my tanks.
The garden will be very happy. I am very happy and the chooks will be ecstatic in the morning to go out and hunt for worms.
The chooks have been happy as we had rain last week so the grass was showing young green shoots.
At least five of my six hens and Roopert the rooster have. Sadly it seems I have lost one of my hens. I live in hope she is sitting on eggs somewhere and will return, there were no feathers to show bird of prey or animal took her. I have seen no sight of her in four days. It is Frieda my larger black hen with the frizzy top knot. Sigh I love and appreciate them all so much. She is a sweet nervous hen who was just getting to the stage of coming and eating out of my hand. I know at least it was not my dog Busby loving her to death. He has been incredibly good around them. I have been working with him to minimise harm to them and the wallabies. I am remaining hopeful.
Today was a lovely morning. The joy I feel when I go off to do my weekly bits and bobs in my local town is always pleasant. I meet and catch up with so many people. Today I had breakfast at Cygnet Port Hole Cafe which does a delicious menu. Very reasonably priced menu. Pretty good coffee too. It is lovely to sit outside with my dogs and look at the gardens about the cafe that grow herbs and some veggies flowers and I think there is an apple tree and plum. It has been several cafes in my time of living here most memorable and original was The Lotus Eaters, but this new cafe is equal to it as a meeting place and good food at reasonable prices. On Friday nights they do Tacos and music.
I really enjoy taking my library books back and looking for new ones. We have an amazing library with such a plethora of reading material available state wide. I know I am feeling somewhat more competent as I have picked up some books that are more emotive ie the rise of feminsim in China, and a few others that are of interest to me. One about the impact of social media on society. Depending on how they are written and if my brain can manage them with out to much frustration I look forward to enjoying them.
I am getting organised for winter. Though some days and nights here lately you can think winter has already arrived. A few people have had their fires going. I just turn my electric blanket on and head to bed with my laptop..lol or put on my Ugg boots and winter trackies. I ordered wood for winter. I have a good amount left over from last year and the year before I need to move and stack under cover. So the new wood can be put where this is. My mind says plenty of time for me to attend to that. It is no due until February. UNTIL I suddenly realised February is this week!
As the next day is just as likely to be super hot. My house if I put the fire on takes a day to cool down.
Routine wise I am eating better, and averaging out getting to bed earlier. Showering has improved and I have walked twice this week up the road and more when we have been out.
I also changed my bottle gas LPG provider. I was also able to provide my research information on the local community pages so people can see the differences. I have saved over $190+AUS/145Us /106.34GBP a year minimum by going with the new company who also delivers down here three times a week where as my old company delivered only once a week. So if you ran out of gas, which only happened once for me as I do have two bottles 45kg/99lbs ea, It was when I was really ill. Of course it happened on the day after I would have got the delivery. I had to wait a whole week for gas. Y ou pay rental yearly for the bottle and then each bottle of gas costs so much.
The new company had a great new customer deal so even without that I still save a lot of money a year with the new company. With my old company if you did not know to check what others in the area were paying you would get charged heaps more I saved money on each bottle just by doing this. Yet their price and rental were still dearer substantially and they have a yearly administration fee.
I have noted that I received a notice in my facebook thread today something that may have triggered my Obsessive part. A lady was travelling on the boat The Spirit of Tasmania (which connects Tasmania to mainland Australia arriving in Melbourne), it is an overnight trip and carries cars our trucks with supplies food and other things, holiday makers campervans etc, you can take your dogs on it. You can place them in their horrible metal crates, or you can pay extra and have them remain in your car, though the company makes you sign a waiver of rights even though it would not stand up in a court of law (since you paid for a service), if something happened. This poor lady was traveling with her much loved doberman, who was put into the dog crates, and somehow the dog escaped. (vanished) No trace so far has been found. You are only allowed down once on the journey if you want to check your dog, otherwise it is locked area only staff are allowed there. The dog this poor dog has not been found, and this woman I can only imagine is devastated.
My own experience of bringing my cat over when I moved here was bad enough I worried all night if my cat would be OK. When I picked him up he was in a huge metal dog crate with a dog bowl that was like a swimming pool that had flowed all over the place and he was saturated. He had also been one crate away from a very large German Shepherd. (most likely a lovely dog) my cat had never been around a dog at this point. Sigh when we took our dog over to the mainland he travelled in the car we still worried but all was fine with him as he knew where he was and obviously felt safe.
Now I have put posts out to all sorts of groups asking people to contact the Premier Peter Gutweins office and the Minister Michael Fergusons office. Explaining that my dogs are my family they are the reason I am still alive and if this had happened to one of my dogs well who knows how I might have reacted. I explained about my mental illness and the woman at the premiers office said oh like a companion animal yes exactly but not officially. I went on to say they should have dog friendly rooms available so dogs could travel with their owners in the rooms. That the cost of all the issues pertaining to animals that have had issues (16polo horses died a few years ago, traveling on the Spirit the court case is still happening I believe), but this is a cost that the Tasmanians people will have to pay someway. As I am sure the legal ramifications of this latest episode.
Plus the many people who travel with their dogs when they come here, will be fearful.
My problem is as much as I want to keep pushing this. For me it makes my mental health and physical health worse. So I have done what I can as one individual. I must not keep pursuing it or I will get ill again. As I have before when I obsessively operate. I am well enough to observe the potential for this to happen. I am pleased and proud of myself that I am happy to have done something, and must leave it for now. Hoping the dog is located, and reunited with its owner. Hoping that regardless something will change in the transport of dogs and rights of owners on this trip.
wow this has gone a bit all over the place, but this is how my head is working tonight..
Yet that is pretty much how my day has been. I am content and happy, I am thankful that I have tools helping me manage the things that are coming as I work through issues. I am thankful for the rain.
Wondering sometimes if sharing so much of my own life and experience with this mental illness can cause some anxiety. I ponder often if I just kept living my life in private would I be better off.
My answer is a resounding No.
I have not posted for a while and that is partly due to life, and more to do with not being so well. As for many people the holiday period can be unsettling. Yet mine personal experience has been more about what I have been hiding from myself. I missed the time with people I care about and love, those I have welcomed into my life not necessarily those by birth. I do not celebrate ‘Christmas” the church holiday, nor am I a big fan of the commercialised concept.
After gorging on almost 3.5kg of Toblerone (darn supermarket had the huge huge blocks so cheap)plus a whole lot of other highly processed food. Over a couple of weeks, I realised I was not well. Yes physically but also mentally.
I had been with people on boxing day (26/12/2020) and it was really lovely. Yet I had a dark area forming in my moods. I began to sink slowly not wanting to be but not really being able to stop. Feed my face feel angry, eat more, feel upset, eat more, yet no comfort did I feel from my emotional eating.
I feel my psychologist was aware that I might have been heading for a bit of a backstep. In combination with COvid and all the lockdowns seeing an increase in mental unwellness our Federal Government increased the number of visits to a psychologist/psychiatrist/counsellor you could have to 20 a year. Prior to this it was 6 having over the past few years gone from being 12 to 6. So I am seeing my psychologist more often.
Shortly into the new year I had my first appointment. I really did not want to do a zoom, or talk to her. In the morning as the approaching time came my neck began to itch unbearably. As our meeting began, it became to so extreme I could not talk all I could do was rub my neck, jawline and cheeks. I had welts and rash from this, and it just was so intensely and utterly uncontrollable I just had to scratch. She offered to reschedule but I knew I wanted, to no needed to talk about what ever this was.
As I began to talk I just let the words come and what I discovered was I really wanted to have people over, to decorate my home for Yuletide(even though here it is summer). I wanted to celebrate the season, to share in what is in the northern hemisphere the returning of the sun and longer days. (Maybe I need to look at celebrating it in winter down here..lol ). Now we can not celebrate sitting around a fire (total fire ban) and daylight goes until nearly 10pm. But..the idea of just being a group and yes of women friends. Sitting sharing and talking about their passions. Being thankful for all we have.
As I really thought about it, the itchy remained and I was scratching and rubbing. Very aware of it, but also of the feeling or overwhelming sadness. tears rolled down my face as I began to have memories of wonderful times at my grandparents home. 40dC/104dF the combustion (wood fired stove) going cooking Christmas lunch in a tiny 2 bedroom fibro house with 9 people inside around the fan and a water filled air conditioner. It was not just about being with my grandparents. It was something more. It was not perfect. It was simple it was hard work for my grandmother and mother. I think it was that my Grandparents had decorated their tiny home with so much delight. There was a real feeling of wonder. Perhaps that is just a simplistic childlike memory of a better time in my childhood. Yet it is a deep memory that has come out and changed me.
It was not instantly. I did not toss or give away the remaining highly processed food, nor get immediately back on my routine. (Yes I was totally off every aspect of my routine). Are you sick of my routine yet?
I have been kind to myself. I have not punished myself, or done the negative self talk as much as possible. I have sat with the feelings, working through them now rather than emotionally eating in an attempt to keep what ever my mind and body needed me to get out. As small and simple as this new knowledge been to me as I worked through all that was happening internally and externally, yes the hives continued for a week even with anithistamines. I now know more about what I need for myself.
Pushing myself to talk and work through the incredible discomfort of this as with so many other times on my path towards managing and maybe healing my mental illness. Is hard, intense, extraordinarily emotional and confronting at times yet worth it. For me my life now is about living my best life. MY LIFE.
What my CPTSD has taught me so far is that as a child my brain was so incredible at creating ways to keep me safe and living by just pushing all the screwed up shit that was my childhood so often deep inside me. I lived two lives the one at home an the one at school, the one where I tried to make friends, to be a friend yet even as a small child I was filled with rage and anger at what had been done and was being done to me.
Finally I am really aware that I love being alive. Even on my really bad days. I love that I am moving through so much that has happened in my lifetime, but especially in my childhood and adolescence. As hard as draining and scary sometimes letting these hidden experiences feelings and emotions out is, the understanding that each time this happens is a step forward for me to BE ME. As corny as that sounds.
So yes I will keep sharing my personal journey. My life. Its warts and all that happens. I am currently a mature aged woman who has Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, who is not so afraid of the blackness as I was because I am learning that the blackness is all my trauma, all my fears, known and unknown. That part of my healing is working bloody hard to accept and let these fears,and emotions of my life experiences out. To just burp the bottle a bit at a time. Not every appointment with my psychologist is such. However for me it is the time after where I really develop understanding and can really explore what has happened in the appointment are where the biggest shifts in my life are. Where the new strength is and where my adult self is able to speak up. Say and do what I want not just need to live my life as I chose.
The other reason I keep sharing the good the bad and the unwell, is that not so many years ago the word Cancer was never said, then it was whispered about if someone had it as if it might be contagious. Well I see similarities with mental illness. As statistics say •Mental illness is very common. One in five (20%) Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year. The most common mental illnesses are depressive, anxiety and substance use disorder. These three types of mental illnesses often occur in combination. For example, a person with an anxiety disorder could also develop depression, or a person with depression might misuse alcohol or other drugs, in an effort to self-medicate. Of the 20% of Australians with a mental illness in any one year, 11.5% have one disorder and 8.5% have two or more disorders. Almost half (45%) Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime . Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2009). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 4326.0, 2007. ABS: Canberra
By Rubina Kapil on February 6, 2019
Mental health and substance use challenges can take many forms. There’s depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, addiction and the list goes on. Some of these challenges are more visible and you might recognize them immediately. Others can be harder to see when you’re not looking for them. But, they are still there.
These statistics provide a look at how many people face a mental health or substance use challenge, whether we see it or not:
In the United States, almost half of adults (46.4 percent) will experience a mental illness during their lifetime.
5 percent of adults (18 or older) experience a mental illness in any one year, equivalent to 43.8 million people.
Of adults in the United States with any mental disorder in a one-year period, 14.4 percent have one disorder, 5.8 percent have two disorders and 6 percent have three or more.
Half of all mental disorders begin by age 14 and three-quarters by age 24.
In the United States, only 41 percent of the people who had a mental disorder in the past year received professional health care or other services.
So when you look at these figures my personal feelings are we need to be talking openly and honestly about our illnesses. This brings more understanding to others going through it, to family and friends of people who are dealing with CPTSD and PTSD. It makes the politicians more aware of the impacts on work experiences, prejudices of some employers, how difficult life really is, costs to individuals and families emotionally financially, more one on one services and packages for those of us unable to afford access to psychologists and psychiatrists. It may help to reduce suicide. Family issues. Our own issues. Employers/businesses will really understand why we might behave or respond in situations. Also Schools may begin to realise that so much of how and what they encourage as ‘normal’ is really not for everyone.
It may also help those younger folk who are not ‘fitting in’ to what society says is ‘normal life’ If I had known for me living out of town and not having heaps of social activities and lots of friends was perfectly normal and OK for me at a much younger age it may have been helpful.
I had created a routine, which is really simple way for me to keep moving forward.
It is a simple routine
Walk the dogs everyday. When I am not well I drive the car and the dogs run or walk . The dogs are getting exercised me well not in this manner.
Get in the garden daily do something even if just pulling a weed. I am doing work in the garden. Not as often as I would like to.
Eat well/healthy fresh food. Hmm off the rails. Though I have begun to eat some of my home made frozen meals. I am thankful that I have frozen meals. I tend to make a family meal when cooking often. I then freeze portions left over. Budget friendly and incredibly handy.
In bed light off 22:30. That has really gone out the window. As in last night it was 04.15am. I was up at 10am so not bad. Though my big dog went out for a wee this morning, came back inside, took himself up the stairs back to bed. Fair enough.
Shower every two days. This is still happening.
Change my clothes every two days still happening. I am washing my clothes and not leaving them in the machine. (which is what I used to do when I was not as well as I am even now.)
I also force myself to not just go grocery shopping, to take time have a coffee and have something to eat at least being out of the house, and with a chance to catch up with someone.
I do talk with some neighbours regularly as our dogs play.
The other thing in improving my mental health is that I know what is triggering me. I have shared all this before. Yet for anyone with a mental illness the necessity to be able to identify your triggers, understand them and how you respond is important. It has been
I know that a conversation with my psychologist where I released that part of the reason my home may be as it is inside and my seemingly inability to DO SOMeTHING about it was related ( (so many people believe that you can just get off the couch and DO IT) ah if only so easy.
As anyone with CPTSD or PTSD understands you can have every intention of doing your washing, cleaning your home, eating well, exercising, paying bills, shopping, all the things we know help us, just find it almost impossible to just do it! I am so ashamed about the inside of my home. I am so hard on myself sometimes, when I see how I am living. I am learning to not be hard on myself.
Starting something. Anything. I commit to doing a small thing. For instance my stove. I did that ..I was so proud of it. It looked great. Alas that too has
I had a lovely night at a neighbours last week. It came with consequences for me. Exhaustion, and a need to not see people for several days.
Similarly when I do spend time chatting on my shopping day. It is an experience which is lovely and lifts me also exhausts me and I come home overstimulated and just need to be quiet. I know what I need to help me and I am not worried about ensuring I can care for myself. I am fortunate in this. I can not imagine how others with CPTSD or PTSD who are working and or have a family cope. I know I may have overdone the socialising aspect in recent days. (We are out of lockdown and allowed so many people in our homes as long as we remain social distancing).
Feeling many mixed emotions knowing that this huge tree will have to come out my partner loved all the trees around our house. It is home to critters, birds, insects, it provides shade. I feel sad and distressed that it will have to be removed. Yet I understand it is a necessity totally. I am thankful for the extra money that I have received from our Government as this may help with the cost of the removal. (I am dreading it will be very expensive.
The other possible reason I am slipping is that it is the 10th anniversary since my darling man died. In a couple of weeks. Anniversaries are some of the hardest times for grief. The pain is still there my coping abilities are greatly improved and it sometimes feels like yesterday and other times so much longer. I will always have a hole in my life is still there it is smaller but it is still very present.
I have been in the darkness, and have absolutely no desire to go back there.
I find sharing this sort of thing helps me to see more and be aware more of how far I have come, and the insight I have of my own mental illness.
Every person with a mental illness. Every person with the same diagnosed mental illness as I have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) must work hard every day every single day sometimes every hour to keep moving forward. I thought I had paused, last week, but this week I can see I am going backwards. I am working to get my routine back into shape. I can hear some people reading this saying encouraging things buy good food, my worms and compost have been having some great contributions lately.Just get up and go for a walk. I hear you I really do. You do not know how impossible just that simple thing can be. I am not at risk, I want to reassure you all of that. My dogs are not at risk they are great if very tired today.
This is not being written for sympathy, this is just the only way I can share what is going on in my life if I have not been there for you, if I have not responded to your posts, to your messages.
Life is up and down for all of us. I understand this. if you have read this all the way to here, thank You. I will move forward again. I am seeing how close I have come to the edge of the black hole. Even rereading the words I have written here fill me with positivity. As I know I have the management tools and ability to move forward again.
I am so thankful for that. I am thankful for the roof over my head, the food (even if it is not great for me), the extra money I have been receiving from the Government. I am thankful that my rates did not go up hugely, I am thankful for my car. I am thankful my dogs, for you all. I am thankful that I live in Tasmania, that I am warm, and comfortable and have more than I need. I am thankful that I live in this community and have lovely neighbours.
One of the hardest things for me is to leave my dogs at home when I have to go somewhere. It happens rarely if it is going to be a hot day and it is not safe to leave them in the car, it is raining heavily and I can’t leave the windows down or it is stormy with wind. Today was going to be warm, humid, stormy and windy. All things that Busby would not deal with in the car. I made the choice to leave them at home.
I almost cance
I have been diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD). I have had anxiety since I was in my teens that I am aware of, it may have been earlier but I do not have any recollection. I developed depression in my early twenties. I first tried to kill myself when I was 22.
Most people will be aware of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) but many people will not have heard of CPTSD.
It differs from PTSD in that instead of one traumatic event that impacts a person. The person, with CPTSD has had this occur in early childhood, and had repeated and long term trauma/s.
I explain this because I have certainly found myself having to explain and justify, why I am not able to work, enough times to make me annoyed.
When I can go out and basically all I do manage these days is shopping, once a week usually, appointments and my dogs exercise. (not sounding so healthy that Tazzie).
I have insight and know I am perhaps borderline Agrophobic. Why am I writing about this today? Whilst I really enjoy being at home and I am content at home, I do have anxiety sometimes and panic attacks , not as bad as some people. Mine tend to have me itching, hot and sweating ,heart racing and red in the face and neck. Perhaps not what most people would see as a panic attack.
I went to see a new Psychiatrist today; as the one I was seeing decided he did not want to see me any longer. I do not think he liked some of my comments to him about his not hearing me, or understanding the reality of my rural life, and my concerns over going on Ritalin. Having been a nurse I always check out any Doctor (no not just google but on reserch and journal articles, if they are affiliated with a university what the professional descriptions states. I am not intimidated by any Doctor. I was a Registered Nurse and Had specialist Post Grad degree in Mental Health Nursing so will speak my mind. A doctor who hears ME and sees ME as an individual rather than seeming to have his or her own agenda, is upfront direct and honest. I will respect him or her.
I needed to see a psychiatrist as my Psychologist (who is not a Clinical Psychologist) and my GP both feel that the chances of me working or volunteering (which I have attempted unsecessfuly ) successfully in the foreseeable future is Nil. They agree I need to be applying for the Disability Pension.
For that I need to have an assessment and a letter from Clinical Psychologist or a Psychiatrist. Which is why I have been and am seeing a Psychiatrist.
So I saw the previous mentioned psychiatrist for 5 months the medication (other than the Ritalin) he prescribed me has helped my cognitive function so much that I almost feel my brain is back. The side effects are not wonderful sleeping to much for periods and than not enough, weird bizarre dreams so real that I wake up and have to remember it was a dream. These I am prepared to live with.
I was so anxious this morning as I was due to see the new psychiatrist. I was not going to allow him to change my medication as I feel the best I have apart from the a fore mentioned things. I nearly canceled, because I was going alone and I was running a few minutes late on the hour drive, which was good as it did take my mind of everything except paying attention to the road and not speeding or driving stupidly. I got there. I did not have time to think about my dogs for the next hour .
He was brilliant. He really listened to me, (even though the connection was breaking up at times). It is done by Skype in my GPs office. I have to see her afterward otherwise I could have my appointment at home. This psychiatrist suggested Melatonin for helping me to sleep. It will depend how much this costs as it is not on the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme. PBS (government subsidy for low income earners, people with disabilities, chronic illness, pensioners pay $6.60Aus for any script on the list).
He was also supportive of my application for the Disability Pension Scheme which means that when I receive his letter I will finally be able to apply for this. If I am successful it will mean I no longer have to deal with Centrelink and Newstart! I will not have to go to the Job Provider Network for a review, and potentially be made to again do volunteering. Or look for work. That will be a relief . It would also mean a big increase in my fortnightly payment.
We chatted about quite a bit in this hour, and he was concerned about my not leaving my home and whilst he said because I was doing a positive thing in making myself go shopping and have coffee and talking to people. I was possibly borderline for Agrophobia. I have thought about that since arriving home and he is onto something. I need to be really aware of this. I need to keep doing what I am and also consider adding another small thing. To keep me from closing off totally.
Sometimes it takes other eyes to see something that you have been aware of but to actually voice it back to you as potentially detrimental.
The problem now lies in dealing with the process of applying and ticking all the boxes crossing every t and dotting every i and hoping sincerely hoping that I will be accepted. There are so many horror stories out there about people who have severe physical illnesses and combination of both physical and mental illness that break my heart when I read them and wonder how these people can be knocked back. I do have the help of a Community Health Social Worker who has been helping me with all my paperwork that I find too confusing. (I know I said I had my brain back lol nothing to do with paperwork).
So even though I am happy that this is a forward movement I understand and realise it is not a sure bet. So many people are knocked back. All I can do is follow the directions, have all the letters from Psychiatrist, Psychologist, and GP together with it and submit it all together and hope.
So I am thankful today that I went to my appointment, I met a good Psychiatrist, which made me feel a lot better. I am thankful that this Psychiatrist actually said I needed to be on the DSP. which made me feel less like a con which I have been as I seem so ‘normal’ when I am talking one on one or small groups over a coffee or just running into people. I am thankful that I have asked for help and that I am accepting it. I am thankful that I continue to move forward. I am thankful for the incredible welcome I got on my return home.
Why would I shy away from my meeting with my psychologist? Our last meeting was good, as it ended she made a small comment along the lines how good it was that I had three people helping me with supporting and helping me.
Its true, I have three professional people helping me just to manage the things in my life that I am no longer able to manage. This is a serious part of my CPTSD. It is a part that is not visible and something I struggle with in myself. I get frustrated and flustered with the fact I have had to ask for a social worker to help me with paperwork.
I have always been very independent and strong. I have always found it impossible to ask for help. I have had too. It sucks. It was so hard for me to respond when my GP referred me to the Social Worker. I do have to say she has been pretty great in dealing with Centrelink for me. It is good.
So for me hearing the words I had three people supporting and helping me, the words have sunk down into my dark place, quietly and my reaction is self preservation and do not talk to anyone! The positive is that I am aware of what is going on. Which says how far I have come. Insight is always a good place to start.
My psychologist has sent an email. I of course have not read it yet. I will as I will also compile an honest email to share what has/is happening within me at the moment. Perhaps this will happen over the weekend.
The the three people who are supporting and helping are my psychologist, GP, and a Community Health social worker.
I need them all at this point in my life and I am very Very appreciative, and happy to have them to help me and support me as I keep moving in a forward direction.
If I could share one thing with anyone asking for support and help may be really hard. If you need some, ask for it. Having a social worker who is able to speak to Centrelink for example on my behalf, we had to have an authority signed by both of us to say she could. Just having this has been a huge help as I know I can contact my social worker and she will deal with the issue on my behalf. Dealing with Centrelink has triggered me a lot over the past years.
Pushing through my own emotions and anxiety to ask for help has been a positive thing for me. It can be for you too. If you need support and help. You like I did have to breathe and do it for yourself. Asking for help if and when you need it is a good thing.
I am thankful for the three people who are supporting and helping me on a professional level. I am thankful that I did ask for help.
I ran into someone today in Huonville who asked me how I was, as they had not seen me for a while and I was very rarely on Facebook. I responded no I did not go on much. That I was actually not bad, and quite content being at home, attending to things. He asked me if I was unwell withdrawn or OK being at home. I reassured him that I am perhaps feeling the best I have been in a long time. That I was OK at home. I was very aware I need to have social input. At the same time I know for me that I need to limit that.
I surprised myself when I said this. I also realised the truth I had spoken.
I enjoy my lifestyle and always have tended to be happy enough on my own (apart form when I lived with someone and especially when I lived with my partner for a lengthy number of years before he died).
I have a lifted spirit, and have be doing some small things in my home.
Now I do not think I have mentioned, that part of my CPTSD saw me become a hoarder. It was the way for me to keep people out of my home. It was cheaper than building a wall, and along with never asking anyone to visit, created a total impregnable barrier.
Several of years ago, while seeing another psychologist (whom I never really connected with Though he thought differently. Weird that, I read some notes he wrote to my GP at the time, whose office closed and I was able to get my complete notes from it ). He decided to work with the hoarding as my major issue.
This psychologist also encouraged/pushed me to be referred to a social worker. Who was a nice enough fellow, but not at all it seemed to me at the time, or in hindsight knowledgeable about hoarding and how to help.
I was extremely unwell at the time, and really was not able to say no to things. I also was fighting to stay out of hospital. As I did not want to have to be admitted to the mental health ward/s I had worked.
After a few visits at coffee shops with the social worker, and me sharing the issues of hoarding and my home with him. He somehow ended up coming into my house with my invitation. Within three days I had a skip and someone coming to help me get sorted. Perhaps anyone with anxiety, CPTSD and huge trust issues might understand the distress and angst I was feeling. I was extremely worried that the person coming would know me. Maybe in a professional capacity.
I also felt mortified because unbeknown to me the social worker had hired a large skip to my place.
The day came and the woman turned up. She was a lovely person, and I saw the disgust and sadness in her eyes. She was a doer. She was a cleaner not someone with knowledge or experience of assisting hoarders to work through the hoard and issues that go with that.
This was not her fault, and as she was in my home and I was so unwell mentally, that we both just began cleaning and throwing things out. All the while me feeling panicking, and sick in my stomach. I had a headache, my jaw was clenched and I did not want to chat. I dreaded each day she was due.
I did attempt to explain my situation. She bless her did her best. I on the other hand felt pressured and guilt, I was very ashamed and distressed. I continued with this set up for four weeks. In the end I had to say to the social worker that it was causing me great angst and I was feeling worse especially on the mornings she was due. I was triggered and I just wanted to not answer the door in fact I did not want to get out of bed.
It is quite strange even writing about this situation is causing the symptoms again. In the end I explained to this lovely woman it was just not working for me. That I had appreciated her help very much. When she left I went to bed and did not get up for two days, except for the dogs and my needs, and food for the dogs. I ignored for the next fortnight the Social workers calls, and messages.
Eventually I came out of my room and contacted him. He was helping to find a Mens Shed Organisation to come and take my partners wood turning and wood working set up as a donation.
This was going to be so hard for me. I had taken ages to decide what I wanted to do with it all. I thought about selling it but I was to unwell at the time and I just wanted it all gone.
I had been in his workshop and sorted through everything that I wanted to keep, I had taken some items into the house, and stacked everything else separately away in a corner. I showed the social worker what was to remain.
I knew it was going to be a traumatic and emotive time when the lathe and his own tools were removed. I could not be at home while it was happening. I explained this to the Social worker, and he reasured me he would be there.
I was numb when I left in the morning. I took my dogs for a walk along the river and then we went and met up with a friend at a local cafe. I was not thinking about any of it.
A few hours later I returned home with great trepidation. I was really uncertain how I was going to be impacted with my partners passion his wood turning lathe, his carving tools, his woodworking books, the band saw and the bench all gone.
I parked the car, let the dogs out and noted that the large skip was fairly full. I wandered over and to my dismay there were all the things I had put aside that I wanted. Things that I needed for the garden, some paint to finish some things. Bits and bob, netting for my fruit trees. All covered in oil and sawdust. I panicked and attempted to pull everything out, but items were broken, and as I said covered in oil. Some of the tins of paint had spilt. I was so upset. I recall I just threw my arms up in the air and sobbed loudly.
I then charged up the steps into the workshop. I stopped and was flummoxed. There was just an empty room. A totally EMPTY ROOM. All the shelving had been removed. All the containers of screws, nails, bolts, bits and pieces that my partner had saved, collected to repair things in your home. Especially when you are the person who built the home and know every nook and cranny every gap and thing that will get finished one day. The chain saw and drill, the axe. Paint rollers, brushes. My things that were now in the bin. Destroyed. All The very things I had said to the social worker were to stay!
How could this have happened.
I was floored. I was angry, wounded, I was bewildered, lost. I had made sure the social worker knew what was too go. What was to stay. How could this of happened? Of course it was to late to contact the social worker by this time. A really bad nights sleep, and my mind just going over and over what did I do or say wrong that caused this to happen. Grief overwhelmed me, I had lost everything EVERYTHING and given away treasured items, I felt so let down. I rang the social worker in the morning. It was quite weird and I have to honestly say I do not have a huge recollection of what happened, with the exception that he did say he was not there at my house when the men came to remove everything. I had never met any of these men, I did not know any of their names I did not even know where everything ended up. I know at that point I really just shut down. I could take no more.
I never spoke to this person again. I never reported or lodged a complaint. I just sat in my home, cuddling my dogs. I stayed home for a few days and began to hoard even more bizarre things. I did not go out, I did not shower, I did not clean, wash up. All I could manage was to ensure my lifelines, my dogs were exercised fed and loved.
The trust I had begun to rekindle in people was gone. TOTALLY and UTTERLY gone.
I did eventually realise how I was deteriorating and went to see my fantastic GP (who left a year later to go and become a psychiatrist) . It was through her I was put on the council program and met the psychologist I have now.
Now if I feel that my trust has been taken advantage off, or I have been manipulated I do not even bother to say anything. I just never go back to the place, or deal with the person, or continue the friendship of the person where I feel this has happened.
It took me so long to be able to ask for help. Then to let someone inside my home and see how bad it was. To let someone in to help me ‘clean’
Even now as I write I feel violated and that is such a weird word to write when I am talking about this.
I am OK and it always help to share and write things down I find.
I feel from my own perspective and experience. The ‘kind meaningful help’ that can be offered to anyone with a mental illness or chronic illness, a disabilty, are so very subjective and if respect and understanding, and most importantly keeping the promises you make as a paid support worker are not met. I ponder how the duty of care is maintained.
Perhaps if I had lodged complaints about what occurred it might have helped. I was to unwell and mentally not competent to undertake this. Not even in a phone call. I could not even say what I really felt to the social worker.
What I do know is that it put me backwards in my treatment and I quit the psychologist at the same time, never explaining or seeing him again. He never followed up to see if I was OK.
I struggle now to let workman into my home. I need a couple of things fixed. I let one in to fix a leak under my verandah door upstairs in my bedroom, that leaks into my kitchen. He assured me he could do it. He was a lovely man. I had to call him back three times as each time (when it rained the leak was actually worse than it had been origianlly). In the end he just said he could not do anything else? I wanted to scream, again I could not. I had paid him in full. (you only find out the job doesn’t work when it rains. I did not think to put the hose over it. So now I can not afford to pay someone else to fix it. I dont have any trust in anyone else to fix it. I keep thinking I can probably fix it. (maybe I can). lol. Living rurally can be hard to get anyone to come out here.
Even with sharing all of this, I still feel better than I have in a long time. I am sleeping in weird patterns, I sleep for two weeks 12-14 hours then for 4 night 4-6 than the for some nights 8 hours. It seems to be a cyclic thing, so perhaps the medication. I also have really bizzare dreams and sleep very heavily. I do find taking paracetamol and ibuprofen seem to stop the dreams. That seem so real.
wow did this post go a way I did not see coming..
I am falling in love with my home, I am seeing it again, and wanting to slowly remove things. One of the things I was hoarding were cardboard boxes. To use to kill of the grass about the veggie area and pathways. Now I bring a box home, empty it, and then flatten it and go place it out side where I want it to go. There are no boxes inside my home. Where a few months ago I had 30. One situation is being managed. I am proud of that.
Moving and improving your life with CPTSD is about so many things. I found forgiveness was a huge milestone for me. I may have posted this on another post. Forgiving the people who abused me. Not to their faces, or in writing. I just voice my forgiveness. I did it purely for me. I just basically with a sincere heart said. I forgive……,……, and……,……. ect for what they did to/at/against me. I will let it go. I felt something give, something change. Like a hole opened and a light shone inside me. I felt brighter. I felt less anger.
It has been over a month closer to two since I did this. I now am able to work on changing my mood and not fixate so much. I am more positive. This ties in to the very first paragraph.
I have forgiven the Social Worker and the Person who came to fix my leak. Again not in person, or a letter but for me. I feel a sense of another piece has fallen off my wall.
I am thankful that all this happened as it was through this whole shebang that I ended up on a Huon Valley Council mental health package where I met my current psychologist. I am so SO very thankful for Her.
I feel at peace in my home. I no longer want to flee, because I can not deal with the hoard and mess. I don’t like the way it is however I know that it is a very slow, time consuming and emotive at times, work in progress. That in all honesty I must do on my own.
Umm Have I mentioned I have a bit of a tendency for OCD. Now my psychologist explained it well to me. When my home is clean and comfortable. I tend to like my CDs in alphabetical order, my books in genre and alphbetised by Author. My pantry in food types and alphabetised, My wardrobe and drawers in type ie pants, shirts and within that colour groupings. So her feelings are that it part of what is inhibiting me.
Perhaps I will share more of my work in dealing with my hoarding here.
I also note that having connected with so many other peoples blogs some with CPTSD some with depression anxiety, physical, chronic, illnesses and disabilities, others with none. Connecting and reading stories written by wonderful writers, from all over the world. Connecting with an supportive art group from beginners through. I am meeting people I would never have had the opportunity to have connected with in my life here in Tassie.
I feel so thankful to have all of these experiences, I feel thankful to have had my breakdown and I know that sounds really weird. I just see my life in such a very different way now, and I accept it. I also do not really care if others do not.
I am so happy to have connected (even if I have not done any painting this week ) with the art group, I am thankful for them and Charlie for his blog Doodlewash. https://doodlewash.com/
Thankful to my neighbours, who I know keep an eye on me. Especially thankful to these two.
I receive my benefit payment once a fortnight, so I budget quite fastidiously. It does not take much to create a bit of a bottleneck of who is getting paid first and who can I possibly leave for a fortnight. I am not saying I will not pay bills when due. However it is pretty usual to receive a reminder if you do not pay the bill before the due date. If that happens I usually will ring the company and explain honestly the situation and that I will pay the full amount in however many days.
I have found it to be so beneficial firstly to pay bills generally by the due date. If for some reason I can not pay the full amount I pay a proportion, and contact them to say the rest will be in the next fortnight. I have never incurred late fees or charges as it happens very rarely. I believe to that most companies will understand and see intent to pay.
I used to get very upset and anxious. I would fixate and then I would not be able to phone the company. It could have become a horrible situation. As I do not own a credit card.
I seem to have somehow created this potential situation this fortnight. My internet payment which is done as a direct debit for some reason did not go out on its due date. Of course the money was used as I assumed it had been paid. (Yes I know assume only makes an ass out of u and me) 🤪.
I have been attempting to pay this, again since I do not have a credit card and the call centres can not provide a bank account number or a BSB so I can transfer the money. I have grown frustrated angry and over the situation. My account is due again this week, and I just hope they will take two payments! I have been emailing the company attempting to explain that I have CPTSD and dealing with the call centres every second day for basically 3 weeks has caused huge issues for me, as they can not resolve the issue, even when I provide the reference number. I also can not seem to lodge a complaint or access them through a thing they call toolbox. Go Figure. So whinge over. I owe them $140 at the end of this week.
I have ordered my dogs meat (they eat raw diet) I get 14kgs /30.6lbs which lasts us about 21 days. The meat costs $6perKg/2.2lbs $84 in total plus some lambs frys 2.50each I got 2 so $5 and a bag of dog bones probably $5 So $94 all up. I also ran out of my LPG (gas/propane) and had to order 2 full bottles 45gk/99lbs I think I pay about $120 a bottle delivered and installed. So $240 due this fortnight.
In total bills for this fortnight will be $474.00 leaving me $104 for the entire fortnight. Not as bad as I had thought. I will have the money to pay everyone fully and still have money for essentials.
In the past I would have made myself very unwell and my anxiety would have run away with me. What I was able to do, and I know I am so very very lucky that I do not have to pay rent or fares, etc. I had been putting some money aside and had a couple of hundred dollars, this was towards costs that I work out for 12 months all my known bills and on last years I usually add an extra 10% to budget for this years. This meant I did have some extra money because off course this fortnight I also needed to buy some pantry staples that had run out.
I was out today and did a rather large pantry shop. I am also fairly certain my next quarterly payment for Rates is due at the end of this month. It will not be as high as normal as I paid extra on it last quarter. This is another thing I will often do with bills such as electricity, and this year with Rates (as it is the first year I was not able to save for the full Rate payment amount and pay only it).
For me a really positve change in the last few months is not getting so distressed when I feel overwhelmed by how many bills I have and costs. To talk to the companies before it becomes a bigger issue. To also when I do have extra money to pay a little more off a regular bill so if I am short the company can see I endevour to pay their bills.
I am thankful that I live in a country that supports people who are unemployed with a monetary payment (as small as it is and as hard for so many to live on).
I am thankful to now be able to manage when speaking to companies generally in a more relaxed and conscience manner. It is something I still struggle with especially with my internet provider call centres. I am still very much a work in progress in regard to my CPTSD. I am thankful to have found other people who have CPTSD and who share their own experiences through blogging. It really does help to hear and see you are not alone or that unusual. I am so incredibly thankful for having found a psychologist who has really been able to work with me and I with her, (not always an easy thing to find) who I have had consistently for several years now. Which also makes it a heck of a lot better. My GP who is great and supportive, who says it like it is. I am also thankful for all the lovely folk I am meeting through this blog. For their stories and comments here and support. What a blessing.
It is really interesting, I kind of thought with my budget being so tight and me being more content at home not finding it easy to be around people even to just pop in on people who tell me too. I have not been anywhere out of my home area, well the dogs walks and I have chatted briefly with neighbours, for a week. I imagine to many this must be such a strange thing and way to live. I do not believe I am depressed, as I am achieving some small things inside my home. On top of having been getting my veggie garden up and functional again this summer. My dogs make me laugh and I laugh at things I watch appropriately
I have achieved finding a new psychiatrist, but I had to do all the work and that really annoyed me and exhausted me. We have a company/organisation called Phscy 2 U. Which is supposed to provide people who live in rural and isolated areas the access to psychologists and psychiatrists. I have been seeing a psychiatrist for 7 months (need to have an assessment conducted to get a letter from he/she to apply for disability pension). I use the term 7months very loosely here. I saw this particular psychiatrist for five months and then I have been trying to find out why he told my GP I no longer wished to see him. (I never said that). So to catch to the chase. I had rung the organisation to find out what was going on and if he would see me but I needed a new referral from my GP which was sent on the 12 December 2019. They never got back to me. I rang again, to be told that they would look for another psychiatrist. Never heard anything, and as it was Christmas time now there was no point trying again until the new year. So ring again I did. No he was not seeing me anymore, no reason. They would look for a new psychiatrist.
One week later I ring again having heard nothing, oh the Psychiatrist had been away on leave and they would imagine I would hear from him soon. Another week passes, I hear nothing.
I ring again to be told I have to wait for this person to contact me as I am on ADHD medication and he is the only psychiatrist who can prescribe in Tasmania. I say I am not on ADHD medication where did you get that information from it is incorrect. Oh. I say since I am not on that medication you could find me a psychiatrist who could see me. She says she will send some emails.
I ring back again 10 days later. No record of me not being on ADHD medication no record of the conversation I had 10 days ago and no emails sent to any other Psychiatrists. Me not so happy. Person I spoke to lovely and says she will send something of right now. Me great I have been waiting since the 12th December it is now 26 January, and I have rung several times to follow up and no one has ever contacted me. This is making me unwell having to chase all this up my anxiety CPTSD is not great.
I ask if I can speak to a supervisor, she says no one is available at the moment but someone will ring back. I ask today? Yes today. OK
I wait and wait, the office closes at 4pm I have heard nothing and it is 3.30pm so I ring. The woman I spoke with was no help I said I had been waiting for a call from the supervisor, she says did you want the office manager or the Head person, me I just want someone who can help resolve this. She then went on to tell me emails had been sent before, I said are you meaning the emails that were sent this morning? No before that. Really how come you are the first person to tell me this, as the woman I spoke to this morning said nothing had been sent and she would email them. So would you give me the dates these emails were sent please. She was reluctant to do this. I again asked for the dates, and said to her I felt that I was getting a bumsteer from this company.
I also found out that the actual second referral from my GP which was faxed on the 12.12.19 (I rang my GP to confirm) was not put into this companies system until the 06/01/2020. No explanation available as they did not close the office until 24/12/19
In the course of this conversation I discovered there was no record of one of my phone calls and the conversation from that date. I as an RN/RPN (no longer working) stated that legally that was a huge error. I had called and there was no record of it! I said in a legal situation the courts would say if its not documented it did not happen, and that is wrong in so many ways in a medical setting to not have a record of a clients call documented. I said I would be contacting the Ombudsman in regard to that. I also said I had a right to know when the emails were sent I did not want to know who too. Just the date they were sent. She then admitted they were sent that morning! UGGh! I was feeling so angry.
I was so fed up and I could feel I was being triggered and my anger was beginning. I hung up not expecting to hear from anyone today.
A few minutes later I got a call from the person in charge. I had managed to calm myself a bit in the interim time, but I just waited for her to begin the conversation as she had rung me. She begins with there is no issue about the phone call not being recorded. I disputed this. I also requested that I wished to make a formal complaint about the process and what had occurred with the documentation she refused saying that me speaking to her was dealing with it. I said NO I wanted it to be documented as a formal complaint so it would go to the governing body. or whomever. As medical notes had to be kept objectively and correctly again I stated that in a legal situation the fact my phone call and the information was not documented in my notes meant it did not happen. How many other clients were having this sort of treatment? She did not like my attitude. She then said my previous psychiatrist did not want to see me. I said sorry is that documented? Where did you get this information? She did not respond. I said he sent my GP a letter saying I no longer wanted to see him, and that was not correct, as could be seen as I had rung up (and fortunately that had been documented twice) to say I did want to see him. If she had records saying he did not want to see me, than they should be sent to my GP, as the information she had was incorrect. As a mental health client that could go against me, if the Disability people thought I did not want to see the psychiatrist. I was so upset and my anger was rising. I just wanted to get an appointment with a psychiatrist, there are no psychiatrist available in the southern area of Tasmania that bulk bill. I can not afford to pay to see one at all. I was crying by this point and had to hang up. She rang me back about 10mins later, saying she hoped I had calmed down…I really battled to not bite her head off.. I let her talk, she said she had tried to ring 2 psychiatrists but no one was answering. She had left messages. I said is that all? yes I hung up. I was drained exhausted frustrated and just shattered.
The next morning I rang and lodged a complaint about information not being documented in my records and asking for a copy of the information that says the psychiatrist I had been seeing no longer wanted to see me. Not that I did not want to see him. I wanted my GPs records to be amended. I had to do that on the computer which at least was not a huge form.
I just can not cope. I do but it takes so much out of me. I get fixated and then begin to think if I am struggling and I am sort of better than I was, in some ways, how would anyone who was more unwell deal with any of this, and like with my Centrelink ban, I think many people would just give up and try and struggle on.
The concept of these Skype meetings is full of good intentions. But having people who have no idea and seem to not want to know anything about you but just give you drugs, (and Yes the meds I’m on are helping my brain but other areas are blah..like constantly weary. I sleep 12+hours with some weird really weird dreams, for a week or more and then I have a few nights were I am up all night, It is part of the have a brain that is functioning, or not symptoms.
Yet when I create a post such as this I see my mind is a bit all over the place, and I really struggle with paperwork. I am so fed up with what seems to me having to resolve things that I as the person with a mental illness should not have too. I am exhausted by the dealings of it all and my reaction is to begin to close myself off again. Not look at the phone, not communicate with other bloggers, not go and get the food I need. It was really only because my dogs needed their food for the fortnight that I ended up going out today. Then I am out for so long as I usually run into people who want to chat. Even today, I had rung and ordered my dogs meat, on Monday, and the person who took my order did not get it right. I had a few kilos in the freezer at home which would have got me over the long weekend(which I was oblivious too). So I was able to manage the situation in a no major issue kind of way, which was positive.
I keep reminding myself to be aware and to breathe, to acknowledge the feeling but not let it rule me. I also am getting better at saying to my little me that I the adult person am in charge and will deal with it. I am really happy to be finding so many amazing bloggers out there I especially love wordpress.com/read/feeds/36149739/posts/2580354980, Charlies writing and his artwork make me smile and light a spark inside me wanting to be creative again. Yet for the moment I have to put that on hold for a few days.
I am really thankful that as a hoarder, (I have not shared that here before) I actually am really conscientious about what I am bringing in to my home. For quite a while I was gathering boxes, so many boxes cardboard and today the dog meat came in two cardboard boxes, and I know that they will go out in my car port(now devoid of cardboard boxes) but I will use them and put them on the grass in my veggie area that I am trying to get rid of. I threw a fair few of the other ones away as it was very big problem into recycling. I was somewhere else today and I was offered a box to carry some things (breakables) but I said thank You but I won’t and explained that I hoarded them! Wow was I so happy that not only I said no, but I reiterated out loud the reason why I did not want a box. I knew I had two already. If I had a third that I could do without, and I said NO huge step forward.
As a hoarder I also have to look at anything I am bringing home in any multiples. For example I got several large bowls at the tip shop(which is where I was offered the box) and a few pie dishes all glass or pottery. Plus I needed to replace my microwave glass plate that spins having broken my 18 months ago. I was tempted by so much stuff, and the constant thing in my head was you do not need that you are trying to de clutter, and not hoard, you are hear for large bowels for bird baths and drinking bowls for wild life. (some of my old plastic ones are deteriorating and need to be replaced). So I came home with four bowels, on microwave plate and this was a near miss in the hoarder scenario, as I there were five different sizes and not being sure of the size I almost bought the five. Self talk and I looked at them all and from somewhere inside my brain, take this one and if it is not right I am sure they would let you do a simple swap next timer! YES wonderful. I got the one I chose home and it fitted. Yippee.
So along with the part of my brain that is not functioning well and the constant tiredness, some aspects are going well.
The other thing is I am doing OK. I do think some of my reactions in dealing with the psych 2 U people were anxiety driven, I am no closer to having my assessment for DSP than I was nearly 8 months ago which is frustrating. I was about to write that I was also worrying about the new person changing medications, and I could feel myself reacting, and my auto anxiety responses physical sensations begin, and into my head came…not much point worrying about that now, you have five weeks before your appointment.
I am thankful I have an appointment, I am thankful that I am on meds that have some positives that out weigh the negatives, I am thankful for the wonderful bloggers who I enjoy reading, seeing their creativity and learning and sharing experiences with each other.
Do you get veggie garden envy? Do you look at others gardeners around you and compare your veggies to theirs? I do have a bit of a complex about this. Firstly I have an elderly gardener down the road from me whose garden is astounding. He has lived here for over 40 years and he grows amazing produce. Then up from me is a relatively new garden I look at each day and see how his pumpkins are growing (actual pumpkins) whilst my pumpkins are just flowering and tiny balls. Sigh.
The CPTSD part of me gets a bit triggered by this. What am I doing wrong, how can I over come it, beat him. What am I doing wrong? Why cant I grow these like they do? I’m hopeless. What is the point? I am a failure! I have spent a few hours today and I mean hours just doing that kind of fixated thought processing.
That is until I went for a wee walk in my little veggie garden and looked and saw what I have achieved this year so far. Sure mine is not the pristine, stunning, with all the appropriate structures for each veggie garden as my up the road neighbour. Or the old established garden of my elderly neighbour down the road.
My garden is my garden. It is a reflection of me, of where I have been and am coming from. It shows a hope for harvesting what I have sown. It is a simple display of my illness in so many ways. I started the day of with the what ifs, and have ended it with the wow look at how far you have come Tazzie. My garden shows even how I have been using the treatments to help me and each time I walk through it, my garden, I am filled with hope of a bounty of good produce. I am productive, I am working, I am contributing and I am looking after mother earth.
I did not realise I would be triggered today by such a benign thing such as vegetable gardens. I have a feeling that is possibly why I did not get to the first crop swap of the year, and possibly why I did not make it to the last one for 2019. My feeling of inadequacies. Yet I am not inadequate. My garden is showing that. Things are growing fruiting and ripening.
It is so frustrating to question myself by comparing. I do not have the experience of the older neighbour, and I do not have the money to spend on compost and the right soils or structures. I am not in a competition. I am doing this solely for myself. So how HOW does this become what it did for me today. Isn’t that the million dollar question for anyone with CPTSD. How and why does a trigger trigger you into that down hill spiral. I am so proud of myself that I eventually got up and walked out side, into my own garden.
I have been attempting to remove old growth and rearrange some pots on my deck, I am also making my half wine barrels into more flower space than food space as the wallabies seem to be able to get to almost anything I put in them though I have allowed several brassicas to self seed and hope that they will grow and I can share those with the wild life. I had to fence of my deck area to discourage them from coming up on it and eating everything. It includes the possums who love to denude my lemon and lime trees.
My fig and grape both have fruit on them, as long as I can keep the birds off them I may get some this year. I need to get more tulle material for next year as the netting can cause smaller birds to get trapped in it. This year it might be some tulle bags I have to attempt to save the grapes. If I can It would be my first harvest.
The chili I planted last year is looking quite happy and I have a couple of small purple appearing fruit on the one below.
The three sisters bed is going well the beans and corn are flowering, though I do fear that the squash is overshadowed for flowering. Which means I am extremely doubtful that I will be successful with any squash from this bed. I will wait and see February while a short month is usually the hottest in Australia including down here.
The tomatoes are fruiting and have more flowers which is great finally! The lettuces are doing well I have been picking some, the brassicca that has self seeded in here I have no idea what it is meant to be and has bitter leaves, but I have eaten them. It just seems to go to flower fairly rapidly. There is the self seeded sun flower growing extremely close to the the tomato plant on the left of r side picture. Everyone else’s sunflowers are flowering. My garden is an anathema. Eggplant/aubergine, has flowered though it is not doing as well as the one I had in last year. The marigolds are growing and flowering, yeah! There are also two capsicums in this bed that are tiny but have fruit, I also feel there is a zucchini/courgette or two in this bed that is beginning to take off but no flowers. There is such a schamozzle of vegetables growing in this small bed, it is a wonder any thing is happening really.
Brassicca bed is doing OK the cabbages have vanished, but the kale is holding on and the broccoli is beating the white cabbage moth with my help. Silver beet is seeding so I will let it and spread the seeds about other areas also. Perhaps not in beds as it grows quite well just in the grassy areas of the veggie patch.
My barlotti beans are flowering there are several around the edges of the three sister bed, the climbing beans whose name escapes me has purple flowers and is looking good.
The apples on the Crab Apple are getting larger. Down in the paddock the yellow gage (might be the green gage) plum is not ripe but the birds have tried them. I assume it will be a race to see who can get them. I have hardly any leaves on either of my gage plums they seem to have been devoured. Which is really weird, as it is not wallabies as it is more the higher leaves.
Blackberries look abundant, these are wild usually delicious and with the rain we have been having the last few days it should be a good season for them. Like wise apples this is the first time since I planted this apple tree (above right) and the plum( below ) they have fruited. The apple is loaded and the plum is well not so loaded but has some fruit. All the trees in the paddock get no extra water than what nature provides. The gage plums get the run off from the french drain which is the reason I believe they are so much bigger. Where as these two trees are totally reliant on nature.
A berry off my neighbours vine, I am not certain it may be a mulberry, it was lovely. I had picked it and popped it on the post while I looked for some more. This was the only one.
The Deck. I am growing quite a bit on my deck this year. I have onions, herbs, sage, thyme lemon thyme, rosemary, basil, I have tomatoes in pots and above right shows my first ripening tomato. OH MY I am excited. The basil has been doing well in the photo below left with the other tomato plant which also has fruit. There are two other pots with tomatoes that are flowering. I have lettuces growing in containers. I have Tahitian limes, normal limes, and a couple of types of lemons in pots. I have not as yet put any in the ground. I neglected my citrus trees and spent another few days cleaning aphids and scale off them, making ants very unhappy as I destroyed their farming. I have some strawberries growing but they have not taken off, and I know this is due to me not putting them in a more acidic soil. I have grown potatoes in the past but they take up a lot of space and I can buy them fairly cheaply fresh local produced. I don’t eat a lot of potatoes.
You can see the fencing I have used to keep my produce garden on my deck safe from possums in the left photo above. It is great easy to take away and move about, I can pack it away when not in use.
My garden is all my own work, I make the compost, I bring in manure from local horses, and a friends sells sheep manure. I am proud of what I have achieved this summer so far.
My garden in whole brings me so many blessings, the wild life, the birds, the views, flowers, shade on hot day, wind protection, a place to sit and watch the world go by. A place to earth myself, to get down in the dirt and feel at peace. Connected to Mother Earrth. To see the cycle of seasons, life, death. To plant a small seed and see it grow and provide food for me, for creatures. To have land to just lay down on and watch clouds roll by in the sky. I am so rich, I am so content, and I have all I need.
Mother earth is important to care for and all that lives on her now and in the future.