A Workable Solution
Edit: The new system is up and running. Sorry it’s later than promised, the site crashed.
Let me start this: Sarah is amazing! We all dearly love her work, myself included. That being said, we all have issues. Sarah has been sharing hers with you on here, and now I get to share some of mine. First, I have a day job, and I absolutely cannot do anything SAPayne related on the work computer, and I am still learning my Android I got in September. So if you send email to firstname.lastname@example.org, I will get back to you, just probably not between 9 and 5 EST.
Unfortunately, it may also not be that same day because I just moved. My stuff is everywhere, and being able to cook and clean, find all of my clothes and all that fun jazz takes a little bit of priority.
And thirdly, it seems to be my week for car related troubles. Last Thursday my radiator went, last night one of my best friends got an ambulance ride to the hospital and I had to move her car, and today I got rear-ended on my way to work.
All of those things play into what I am going to say next. Sarah and I have come up with a workable situation for the membership aspects of the website. Some of the details will need ironing out, and I have to tell the plugin all kinds of wonderful things about the site. Which mainly comprises me having to copy and paste a million things. I’m working on it as fast as I can, however, all of the things above are eating into my time to do that. I’m hoping to get it done no later than early next week. I have something else going on tomorrow night, and I have to work on Saturday, all day, so I may end up crunching this on Sunday.
Also part of this, is the current membership listings. It’s awesome how many of you there are still invested in Sarah’s stories through all of this. Bad news is, you may need to sign up again. I don’t know if the new plugin is going to keep the member list as is. We’ll figure that out.
If you have any questions, comments, etc. don’t hesitate to let me know at email@example.com.
The new theme stinks!
Okay so I found a great theme that I like. It should be pretty and easy to use and all shiny and such. However, it isn’t letting me save changes. The company I purchased it from is attempting to help but it’s going slowly. Please hang in there. I can’t really do any changes, tweaks, pretty stuff until I can, ya know, save the changes. GAH Can I throw rocks at something? Pretty please? Anyone know of any good themes you think would work here and look nice?
Getting the site together…
Please excuse the fuss and changes in themes back and forth. I’m trying to learn wordpress. I’m playing with themes and layouts, plugins and whatnot. I suck at this but if you prod at a problem long enough I think eventually you get lucky and figure out a working situation. It might not end up pretty but I think with a little help from Orient we’ll get it smoothed out. Cross your fingers for us!
Puppies and an air of Professional Puffing
So yes, that is a cute puppy. His name is Gus, Augustus von Otto Cute to be precise. Gus is one of the changes over the last few months. Some of you know I’ve been struggling with the desire to have spawn. The genetic joint thing I have would make being knocked up a really bad idea and give the little nipperkin a 50% chance of getting what I have. Husband and I talked about it and couldn’t do it, it was too risky. He wasn’t worried about the kid, he was worried about me. Which is super sweet but try telling that to my hormones! Anyway with all the crap going on we did the proper, logical thing and said no to reproducing but we compromised and got Chihuahuas instead. Charlie first, Violet second and now Gus. Yes, they’re all named for Willy Wonka characters and they really are like our kids… only I can kennel them and no one calls the cops. Gus has settled in nicely, is a total mommy’s boy and makes me laugh. Dogs, pets in general really, help wounds that aren’t visible heal.
Too bad I’m a wimp and a coward. Orient came to see me in the store yesterday and I told her how I’m struggling so much with feeling ashamed of myself, of my failing, of letting you all down. I got all weepy and horrid and told her how deep to the core frightened I am of failing again. She told me how many of you have said such wonderful things, things I have trouble hearing because they scare me too. She gave me a few very solid goals to focus on because I get swamped in the big picture too much. Annnnd in a puff of professional working woman (she has an assistant now! She’s a big wig!!) she was off back to her real world that isn’t populated with too emotional artistic crazy women with minds full of pretty gay boys humping.
So I’ve followed her advice. I’ve moved the site to wordpress. It’s still ugly and full of kinks, and not the good kinds…well there are some good kinds floating about…I can think about the piano scene from Lies any day of the week! We’re going to try to get this ironed out and working. We’re going to try to make it pretty and functional. There is a new crazy nerdy geek girl on the staff at the tea shop who might be poking a nose in here too. Better still, both have promised to help me feel a little more secure and less frightened and to get writing again.
So please, hang in there with us. I’m going to take some swigs of hard liquor and snuggle some pups. I’m going to keep reading my wordpress books and trying to figure this thing out. In the mean time it’s all here, or I think it is. You can contact Orient about getting access or moving your access or whatever. She’s told me to not get pressed down with the dread that I’ve fucked up. Everyone does right?
Wow, I can feel anger now…
So I’ve found out that one of the side effects of being on anti-depressants is that I actually have real emotions now. Who knew? I mean really, who knew? I’m not a big fan of meds because I do think they’re handed out like tic tacs. Feeling blue? Take the red pill. Feeling wound up? Take the green one. I think we’re supposed to feel sad sometimes and scared sometimes but I didn’t know that was all I was feeling.
Long and short of it is I’m able to feel anger now. It’s new for me. The husband laughs at it and says ‘welcome to the rest of humanity’ but it throws me for a loop. I never felt anger before, not really. If I got angry I would shut down and cry and be utter useless to do anything. I was too exhausted emotionally to be able to sustain anger in any form other than pain and emptiness. So here I am now, angry and justified in it, and all I want to do is punch someone. I mean really, me? The woman who pops her shoulder half out of place picking up some boxes here at the sore. Floppy girl wants to beat the living shit out of someone for something they’ve done. In my defense the target of my weak and really not very frightful wraith deserves it because of what they’ve done to a dog but that’s besides the point. I don’t know what to do with anger.
I didn’t take a baseball bat to anyone’s skull. I have not been arrested, so I must be coping somewhat well. What was really upsetting is that as I was stomping about the house last night cussing with the husband watching me like I was some odd creature he’d never seen before, I tettered on shutting down. Everything felt so overwhelming. People are awful, wicked, nasty creatures that I don’t generally understand. I will never fit in or belong. I can’t even manage myself or get my shit together long enough to get back something I loved doing. Everything felt beyond me and I wanted to curl up and give up.
It’s progress that I didn’t. I got up this morning, came to the store and started transfering the site to the new format. I moved forward, still angry, still feeling like a child learning to deal with emotions but I kept moving. That must sound so stupid to most of you. I don’t know of a better way to explain it but with the truth. Depression is like quicksand. I’ll sink into it if I flail about too much or too little. I’ll sink into it if I do nothing and just try to float. Just getting up and moving, refusing to not give up, is sometimes all I can do. I’m scared, I’m feeling broken. I feel like a stranger to myself but I am moving.
I still want to smack the shit out of the bitch that got me angry. I guess I have been welcomed into the human race thanks to happy, little pills.
I’m going to copy and paste something I wrote a little while ago, a few weeks, when I set my mind to trying to get my shit together. It’s a little out of date but still valid. I am trying. I’ve lost who I was, who I am, and I’m trying. I was proud of being able to share these silly, stupid stories with you. I haven’t been proud of myself lately. It’s a sad trade off between not being so consumed by depression that I feel totally worthless and being a functioning writer or being a decent, stable human and not being able to write. I’m hoping I can be both.
Anyway, I don’t know wordpress but it’s come along way since I first looked at it ages and ages ago. It’s useful for this sort of thing now and I’m trying to get transferred over. I’m sharing this now so you can see I haven’t given up. That and having someone looking over my shoulder will make me feel more accountable and, maybe, a little more eager to get it done. Please bear with me as I try to learn this new method of making the site pretty. I know it’s a crappy theme right now but with a bit of luck and fairy dust I might be able to change that!
Below is what I wrote and meant to post last month and was too cowardly to actually get it up:
Any Dr. Who fans out there? I’ve wanted to write this for a few weeks but I’ve been scared. I feel like the Doctor without any of the coolness, like I’ve regenerated and don’t know who I am. It’s been a crazy, horrible, scary year and I find myself not knowing who I am. In a lot of ways it’s easier to ignore problems and issues, to let yourself, to let myself, just be a bit crazy. It feels easier to throw up my hands and say hey it’s genetics and there’s nothing I can do about it. Luckily for me I have had people around me that haven’t let me give up on myself.
The meds I was switched to last year, the switch that almost killed me, are working better. I say better because it’s like having any chronic condition. The anti-depressants help but they aren’t a cure. On a good phase I wonder why I’m on them because I feel normal and I have to remind myself I’m feeling normal because I’m on them. During a bad phase I wonder why I’m on them because they aren’t working and I have to remind myself of how bad it was without them and that I’m not there because I’m taking them.
My family isn’t one to seek medical help easily, seeking medical help for a ‘mental problem’ is almost unthinkable. It’s been really difficult for me to say I need this. I just have to listen to the people around me who remind me it’s no different than any other medical problem. My husband has a thyroid condition. Without his medication his body will shut down and he’ll die. There is no shame in taking that med and he has tried very hard to get me to see that my depression and self harm issues are the same. I am genetically wired differently. Medical science is still figuring it all out but they’ve got options to make it something I can manage. It stings what little pride I have left to admit that and it’s been very hard to change my upbringing and thinking to believe it.
But I am taking my meds and things have gotten better. I’ve had far less panic attacks this year than any other and they’ve been smaller. I’m getting better at feeling the early signs of depression and panic and giving warning, nipping it in the bud. It’s not fun and I am still struggling with the shame of feeling so broken inside my head. It seems like such a stupid, silly thing in the spectrum of mental disorders to be so upset over. I still believe I should just be able to shake this all off and be fine if I just will it to be so. In my thoughts I still view it as something not serious medically and more of a personal weakness. Stupid, I know, but I’m not finding it easy to change that thinking.
Physically I’m trying to do better. The husband talked me into going to a Rheumatologist, a doctor that specializes in joints and, in this case, chronic pain issues. For the first time I got to hear someone who sees thousands of people with joint complaints actually say to me that yes, I am hypermobile. She had me hold my arm out and said something like yes, my elbows are hyper extending and I was thinking really? My elbows are one of my more stable joints! I’m seeing her every three months for this first year and she’s tried me on two new medications. One is for the start of fibromyalgia, because yippy I’m getting that too!, and the other is an anti-inflammatory. They’re helping but some days not so much.
Right now I’m taking ten pills a day, not counting vitamins and any extra Tylenol type pills. Frankly, honestly, I hate it. I really, really, realllllllly hate it.
But, it seems to be working, or helping, which I guess is the same thing.
Trouble is, it’s left me feeling lost. I’m not sure who I am any more. That takes me back to the Dr. Who question. I’ve been regenerated, broken bits of me have been pasted back in place, and I’m not sure who I am. I guess it’s the delayed teenage growth that I never went through. I never had a time in my teens or twenties of ‘finding myself’ because I’ve been in survival mode for so long. Every day has been about just making it another day without letting anyone else see how damaged I am and there was never anything left over for anything else. I’m tired of hiding my cracked, broken bits. The meds have made me more stable and for the first time I can do more than just survive.
It’s left me feeling very unsure, stumbling about on figurative and literal wobbly legs. Things I wanted to do I can’t do, won’t be able to do because of physical limitations. Who am I now that I’m able to take a deep breath and just be?
I am deeply embarrassed and ashamed of myself. Of the failings of the last year or so, of having given up on my writing and myself, it scares me silly to try again. I took a few months to re-read the stories. I took a few months to not even think about them. Now I’m not sure where I stand. I’m such a big wimp that I’m afraid to read your emails. The positive ones make me cry and feel unworthy, and any negativity sticks to me like glue because it’s the same things I tell myself. I’m not sure I have the skills to code the site any more. I have no help in that department any more. It feels like roller skating uphill it feels like it’s impossible. I think most of that is my own fears talking. I was so proud of myself. I was making something and while the stories are/were just fluff romance and not life changing I was proud to share them, to make them, to know that out there you were enjoying them. I was proud that I had crafted something. Now I’m ashamed of myself for failing and scared to the core to try and fail again. This new person I’ve become, that I’m trying to become, isn’t sure she is strong enough.
But how will I know if I don’t try?
I’m talking to you because, well, I’ve pulled out raw nerves, my own personal abuses and issues, things I’ve survived and feared and longed for, and spread them out into the stories like hidden bits of my history and heart. If you’ve read the stories, you’ve seen glimpses of me in them. You’ll know I’m damaged, broken, and hurt beyond the crappy genetics I happened to get. I’m talking to you because I think you’ve seen me enough to know me, even a little, and to understand. I’m talking to you because, sadly, I’ve few others to speak with.
I’m a shitty friend. I always assume that I’m not worthwhile enough, not good enough, that I seem to pull away from people. Even people who have helped me so much, cared for me so totally, I pull away from because I know, just know, that sooner or later they’ll see how horrid I am and break from our friendship. The loss of that would cut so deeply that it’s easier to hide now and have them asking my husband if I’m mad at them rather than trust that they might actually like my friendship. Screwed up, huh?
Hiding seems to be my only defense. I seem to take things too much to heart. I dislike being alone so much but am comfortable in my silences.
I’ve had some emotional shocks this year as well. Someone I considered a friend turned out to just wish to use what help I could offer. Her children grew close to my heart. When she moved on to wherever, I’ve had to face the fact that I will never be a mother. If you’d asked me ten years ago if that fact would bother me I’d have laughed at you but now, now it feels like a limb has been hacked away. It’s not a child or a baby but the desire to parent, to love and be loved, to see someone grow and become a new person. I wanted the chance to be the guide to that, to see the world through fresh eyes and to see innocence that I never really got to have as a child. I have accepted that getting pregnant and carrying a child, risking passing on my genes, is a really, really stupid idea but this year I’ve had to give up on the idea of even adopting. The process is insanely difficult and invasive. With my issues of anxiety and fear of being judged, I don’t know if I could make it through it. So short of someone saying, here, please, raise my child, I’ve had to accept that I am never going to be a mother. Such a basic, simple thing to hurt so much.
So that has been added into the mix of who this new me is. I’ve regenerated and I’m not sure who I am. I’m frightened. I feel alone. I feel lost and like I’ve lost things. I know that I’ve gained things that I can’t define or see yet but right now I’m just lost in the woods. I’m in pain. My body is screwy and short of figuring out how to fix the faulty gene is going to stay screwy. Pain is going to get worse as I age and things continue to get damaged. This is part of the new me. I will not be a parent, short of a miracle, and maybe that’s a good thing. I’m not sure I should raise a child with how defective I am. That’s another part of who I am. I want to write again and be proud of that but I’m scared. I don’t know if it’s in me any more. I think it is. I want to be able to code the website and make it shiny and wonderful and useable. I feel overwhelmed by that idea. I have a brain that remembers that the filling for the twinkie was originally banana flavored but was changed to cream because of World War One but that can’t stay balanced enough to sometimes want to hurt myself. The me I am becoming is slowly starting to be comfortable with my flaws and broken bits and is starting to see them as okay. I’m scared. I am lost but I am here. I’m breathing, I’m trying to not give up. I’m trying to learn and become. I’m trying to feel worthy of myself, of the people who have stood by me, of you who have not hated me for getting lost and maybe even have left little ribbons tied to the trees in the forest for me to follow in my search for the way out.
That said, tears shed, truth laid out raw, where do I stand? I’ve thought about just taking the site down. Giving up, giving in, tucking tail and running away to hide under a rock, it is a temptation. Instead I’m going to try. With a bit of luck and if the meds hold out and I don’t wimp out I’m going to start right now to get my shit together. The site needs tweaked and fixed. I could use help if anyone has any desire to. It’ll go faster with help because I’m a bit dumb about these things now. I will be changing it to paypal donation only because we changed card processors and I haven’t been able to figure out how to fix that. I don’t want to get bogged down in that and not write. Prices will go down. I can’t ask for much in support when I suck so badly. I want to go back to the start and try again.
I’ve written a little. Something I like, something in Macy’s world but I’ve a story floating about with islands and kingdoms, beauty and ugliness, longing and teasing. The story lines have started to appear in my head again in recent months. When I sleep, I’m dreaming again, which for a time I wasn’t and that’s odd for me. Normally I travel to odd and vivid worlds while I dream and I always remember bits and parts but for a time that was closed to me. I’m becoming again and I want to try to do something I loved again. Something I was proud of again. Please forgive me. Thank you for not laughing at me or hating me and know I’ve done enough of both to myself to more than make up for it. Isn’t it odd that we always seem to be our own worst enemy?
Anyway, I’ll end this. It’s too long, too whiny, too vulnerable but it’s honest. I’ve always tried to be honest, even in my fiction. I might miss the mark but I try. That’s all anyone can do I guess, just try and keep trying and forgive themselves. I’m trying, it’s a good motto. I’m going to try to get this back in shape so please check back in the coming days and weeks. It’ll be slow but know, I’m here, I’m deeply touched and moved that you’d even still care enough to read this, and that I am trying.