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 got a little more excitement than I was bargaining for, right after I woke up. (Thanks again, sleep drunkenness! Which can actually last for hours.) Disruptions to my morning--well, noonish, nocturnal as I tend to be--routine are not easy to deal with.

Bare description:

Wake up. Lurch into the kitchen to make coffee. Open patio door to let Max out. Go back into the other part of the house for my temporarily misplaced glasses. Hall door to the kitchen and TV room will not open. Jiggle at jammed latch, curse. Scan for shoes, settle on fuzzy bedroom slippers. Snag spare front door keys, shuffle around the outside of the house--through tall grass and a couple of overgrown elders (with bugs-crawling-on-me phobia)--muttering all the way. Stretch up in clumsy arabesque, reach arm through rose bush to unlatch back gate from the outside. Luckily, patio door is open.

Max gets excited, seeing me going in and out of the gate without him. Repeatedly. At least the gate opens inward, so he can jump up on the unlatched gate to his heart's delight without opening it.

Turn the kettle back on for coffee. Realize I need to go to the bathroom. Find sandals, go back around house. Get tripped by the Mirrors kitty on the way. Snag screwdriver to remove the door handles while I'm there.

Finally get water into the coffee press. Blink repeatedly while slurping the sweet, sweet nectar. Tackle door handle; some genius has painted over stripped screw heads. Naturally, most of the tools are in the other part of the house. Go around house again in search of the Dremel, which turns out to have been lurking in the TV room all along. Remove a couple of unstripped screws on the other side of the plate while I'm there. Back on the other side, try to cut stubborn screw heads off. Poor dog dashes outside in alarm. Fail miserably, because they're fairly flush to the plate. Get fleck of paint in eye. Break the one suitable cutting disk on that side of the house, give the Dremel attempt up as a bad job.

Go back around the house to fetch a small crowbar. Start on that side of the door. Indeed, a steel crowbar trumps a brittle wrought iron aluminum painted to look like wrought iron door plate. Hadn't intended to break it into pieces, but that freed it from the stuck screws! Go back around the house, and pry at the other plate, while Max watches dubiously through the patio door.

At some point in this whole process, strain my already tight iliopsoas, for that extra-fun "groin pull plus thrown-out back" effect.

Finally get the handles off, latch is still stuck. End up jimmying the door open with the crowbar, wishing I'd just tried that first. :/ Luckily, manage not to damage either the door or the doorframe beyond a few minor scratches. Finally finish my coffee.

We may have to keep that door shut with a doorstop temporarily, since we still need to keep Max and the cats separated so he doesn't chase them, but at least it is now open. That should work over the weekend, since [personal profile] vatine is heading off for a long weekend in Sweden tomorrow and I don't want to try to install a new door handle and latch. Since he's on call this week and needs to get home fairly directly, a stop for pain relief is looking more pressing ATM than obtaining a new door latch. :(

And this unexpected morning dance could have been a lot worse: we could be living upstairs. And we did have suitable tools around, where I could find them.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I made the mistake of baggying and leaving Heenara hair oil in overnight. I like the stuff, but its initially pleasant smell got so overwhelming that it kept waking me up! It probably didn't help that, thick as my (not-quite-shoulder-length) hair is, I had to use about 1/4 of a bottle--even clipping sections up and trying to get it mostly on the scalp. Lotta hair in the way, still. I ended up getting out of bed about 3 hours earlier than intended, and had to go wash it out even before coffee got made.

My hair did seem to like it, though.

So, now I'm feeling like a particularly overload-prone zombie (thanks, "sleep drunkenness"!), and need to get out shopping before long. I am still not fond of UK Sunday opening hours, oh my no. After I get back, it's nap time. Then, maybe I won't be so grouchy. ;)

Oh yes, I am also trying to ignore another little surprise this morning: some garbage on the patio. This time, it's not a gift from the upstairs neighbor--actually, I think he's gone! *crossing fingers*--but from a bag-ripping fox. Max was inside when it happened, overnight, and I've stood there and watched foxes do that before. :-| I like the urban foxes, and they need to eat too, but I really am fonder of them when they aren't strewing garbage around my patio. At least none of it is actively smelly.

Not mine, but the BBC's. Couldn't resist a foxy photo. ;)

With the sciatica finally calming down a bit, I am so not bending over to pick that up today. (Part of the point of the trip out is to get some more pain relief!) Ingvar is in Reading helping some friends move their shop today. So, I guess he will also have a lovely surprise when he gets home tonight. :/

September 2011

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