Jul. 6th, 2010 05:19 pm
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I'm having a serious disability frustration day today.

The neighbor who called the council on us over our previously-messy patio has, indeed, been gone. Yay! But, over the weekend we got new upstairs neighbors. I'm relieved that they do seem to be pleasant enough, but now I get to readjust to the noise overhead. I'm very aware that it's not them, it's me. It's mostly just normal walking-around sounds--with a running toddler--but they keep startling me. It doesn't help that even having people walking around over my head is only something that's been happening the past five years or so; guess I'm additionally spoiled by detached houses.

I didn't sleep well this morning, even with the usual earplugs, so am groggy and more prone to overload and pain amplification today. It's hard to concentrate on doing much. And I keep jerking and tensing muscles (the SSRI-triggered bruxism has gone wild), so the myofascial situation is not at all happy. Sometimes I get really, really tired of the combo of sensory issues and hypervigilance. With any luck, I'll adjust to the sounds within a few days.

Also, with any luck, I'll get past the "if I can hear them, they can hear me" hangup, and stop trying so hard to keep my verbal tics under wraps or at least quieter. That is very stressful, in itself, especially when you're at home where this is usually not a concern. I still seem to have a lot of internalized shame going over the Tourette-type stuff, and at some level still don't want people to think I'm weirder than they might already. It doesn't help that we did have a horrible neighbor up there before who honestly started trying to bully me with her stereo whenever [personal profile] vatine wasn't home, for whatever reason, so I really don't want to do anything to "set off" the new folks. (Ridiculous/victim-blaming/futile as it is.)

The really frustrating bit, though? After they talked to me off their balcony/deck a few times, I have been avoiding going into that part of the house. And I have been enjoying spending time on the patio in the sun, enjoying the plants and the pond, to decompress lately.

The thing is, I want to be a good neighbor and not come across as rude, and I really didn't mind, say, lending them the socket set to take the packing bolts off their new washing machine. But that kind of interaction with people I don't know is hard for me on a good day. Which this has not been, so far, for those purposes. The auditory processing goes haywire when I'm tired and overloaded, which makes for extra joy. And avoidance. My brain still has to work overtime to make sense out of Estuary English, too.

It also just hit me a few minutes ago that my nerves are probably even more shot because I have been avoiding going back there to smoke. (Yes, I am well aware that it's lousy for my health in a lot of ways.) Nicotine withdrawal is probably not improving my general sense of wellbeing.

Sometimes I get really frustrated, especially when things I was always made to feel ashamed of get in the way of doing what I want/need to do. It is a relief, in a way, knowing now that I really can't help it and this is not a matter of Not Trying Hard Enough to be socialize on other people's terms. OTOH, it's not entirely comfortable being reminded that these are real problems, and trying harder won't help me look more "functional". Talk about shame: Damn, that is really just the way I'm made! ;) And that even if I don't kick myself so much over just not having the gift of gab, other people are still prone to putting some funky interpretations on it.

I am also frustrated because sometimes I just don't have enough spoons available to try to come up with workarounds for things that I can usually work around. So, I'm trying just to distract myself with music, and roll with things instead of catastrophizing.

I was going to write something along somewhat similar lines, inspired by a couple of posts I ran across: The Class Dynamics of DIY Clothing at Red Vinyl Shoes, and craft pr0n and how it’s killing America at Underbellie. But, the spoons won't stretch right now. Maybe I'll get to it later. At any rate, the problem is not just classism, but also ableism. And internalized ableism, in my case. I keep feeling like crap and getting frustrated because I can't do nearly as much art/craft/DIY stuff as I would like to and keep feeling like I ought to do. (Though coming more from a DIY-from-necessity background.)
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I managed to forget all about an appointment at the optician's this afternoon, to get the still-unwearable new glasses checked out. Then again, I was laboring under the impression that it was Wednesday, until the phone rang. (What is this "time" of which you speak?!) This kind of thing is frustrating. Especially since I couldn't handle answering the phone, and will probably try to deal with it Monday. It's also one of those things which, other than making sure to enter appointments into my mobile's mini-PDA (then remembering to carry the phone), Just Trying Harder will not help. At all. And I really do not like being unreliable.

Instead of keeping kicking myself over that, however, I used most of my remaining spoons on a sorely needed grocery shopping trip. The walk down there was pleasant, and I'm feeling better for the exercise. (And for having stuff to eat and drink.) Bit of a shame Max couldn't come along, but there is nowhere decent for him to wait outside there; at least he's OK with taking the bus home, if necessary. I didn't get to take him out yesterday.

I was hoping to get one of the goldfish tanks cleaned today, but that will have to wait (again). OTOH, with Ingvar gone and not much else to do tonight, there's no reason not to do that fairly late if I get enough energy back. Otherwise, there will probably be a lot of reading and possibly some Wii after I fix some supper.

After I got home, I noticed a bizarre hair double helix, which struck me as amusing. Then again, sometimes I'm easily amused. ;)

The shape is better than it looks in that photo. More pics on Fotki. Better shots of my armpit than the curl, but hey...
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Woohoo! I should now have working debit and credit cards again, after activating them.

How I went for months with no cards )

In a while, I'm planning to head off to break in the new card at Sainsbury's. Beforehand, though, I'm sorely tempted to make sure it's really activated at an ATM, to avoid potential embarrassment and phone calls to the bank at the checkout!

I also lost my Virginia driver's license in the wallet, so will have to apply from scratch once we hit California, which is really inconvenient in itself. (And expensive, since I'll have to get a driving school vehicle for the road test, with the DMV's weird insurance documentation requirements.) Virginia won't let you request a replacement online without the customer number on the license (helpful!), and I am so not going to fly back home just to go to the DMV. Next time I get my paws on a license, I'm keeping a photocopy in a safe place, with the passport one.

That should be fun for a while, especially since [personal profile] vatine has never really needed to get a license. Getting a British one requires a lot more hassle than just walking into a DMV branch (especially if you're a foreigner with chronic health problems!). Neither one of us wanted to mail our passports off to Swansea, and they require a remarkable amount of hoop-jumping if you have just about any kind of health problem (which includes "any mental ill-health condition (including depression)"#).* So we've both made do without.

At least his future workplace runs employee shuttles, so he should be able to get to work without too much trouble until I get things sorted out.

* Unfortunately, the weird phrasing seems to reflect some attitudes.

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