Category: Disability

I’ve never met anyone else like me…

I’ve never met anyone else like me…

My greatest need for support is in finding a way to adapt my Anxiety/Panic Disorder through the lenses of an adult still very much living with ADHD from childhood and who was never given the necessary support and consistency in tools to manage interpersonal situations. Couple that with the early childhood trauma and thats where the symptoms of PTSD really manifest themselves. Depression is never far away thanks to my maternal biology and while not entirely omnipresent. Things do run in cycles and when the low hits, it get dark very fast and for a very persistent period of time.

My day to day Anxiety is at such high levels its affecting my health. Seemingly ordinary stress from trying to managed very ordinary skills such as the randomness of grocery shopping or dealing with the local post office are constant land mines that I still haven’t been able to adapt to.

I’ll never be free of these symptoms, physically or emotionally, there’s too much psychological damage for that. To me that’s not really a bad place to begin from. In the sense that if I accept that I do in fact have challenges, as do many other people with all sorts of disabilities and varying degrees. Then the work begins in dealing with the one last topic I’ve never been able to fully unburden myself of and that’s having been sexually abused by my own Aunt while my Grandmother and Mother both knew. It’s the mainspring of all the events in my life as I recall them.

I’ve never met anyone else like me. I probably never will. I think that part hurts me the most right now. I disconnected myself from trusting people at the age of 5 but it began much earlier than that and was fully complete at the age of 8 in the story I’m about to share.

Over the years one way I tried to categorize things in my life was in terms of biological issues versus nurture issues. Biological would be things like multiple childhood surgeries starting with a skin graft at the age of 2 and kidney surgery at the age of 8. The kidney surgery was during one of the roughest times of my life while trying to adjust to being newly diagnosed with ADD w/hyperactivity disorder, they didn’t call it ADHD back then. The house I recuperated in with my mother is also where I would have Petit Mall seizures. My father was verbally abusive and on his visiting days and would enter the house by loudly saying “Alright…what’d he do this week?” all while staring at me as though he couldn’t wait to hit me and chase me. It was like a sport with him. The truth is I never did do anything other than have trouble in a school environment that wasn’t able accommodate my ADD needs while being raised by parents who never followed up on recommendations by our local neighborhood family services clinic.

This was the same house my mother left my suitcase on the doorstep for me one night after spending the weekend with my father. We pulled up on the opposite side of the street. No lights are on, the screen door looks open but I can’t make it out.

Inner Video: My ears begin to ring…time slows…I don’t understand…my stomach hurts, it always hurts. His head is down as he walks back to the car, slow motion, mind racing lightning fast, wondering, calculating for what was about to come. I’ve always had to plan for every eventual outcome, it’s a survival mechanism.

The suitcase goes in the backseat and we drive back to Van Nuys. My father was a factory worker with challenges of his own. He kept a simple one bedroom apartment there while he worked 2nd shift with split days off for a large commercial bakery. I never lived with him full time until 7th grade. This was the night he sent me to live with the family of the woman he cheated with at my mother’s reception. I didn’t know all of these things at the time of course, but it definitely explains the horrible living conditions I was in with people I didn’t even know and no support from anyone anywhere that my mother just abandoned me and my father is paying strangers to take care of me. Zero, zip, nada.

Next video: “I don’t know where she is, all she left was his clothes and a note,”

I see myself from behind every time I recall this, hair wet, knees pulled to my chest in bath with water that’s gone cold. Cold because I didn’t want to make noise moving so I could hear what was happening. Stuck. Panic. Fear. What was going to happen to me? If not with my mother than where? Where????

“Please don’t send me back to my grandmother’s house. Please. That’s where Catherine lives, I can’t go back there.” my inner dialog is raging, racing, panicking.  I’m paralyzed, forever broken and unimaginably gutted…my father would never know as I swallow my fear and await for the next fork in my timeline to unfold…

i can’t go back there…someone hear me…please…someone protect me…please…….please.

this is real time as of Tuesday May 15th at 6:32pm.

I’ve just come from a crucial therapist appointment where I may finally have a way to move through this. I’m not editing this piece. It just poured out.

This is my story. This is where I begin.

#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth #CSAQT #WallofSilence #HealMeToo #NotAlone #RAINN #NAMI

 

thursday…8:37 PM

thursday…8:37 PM

…bad day today. one of those days where my body let’s me know how much it hates me by making every inch of it ache. brain fog pushing against you while trying to string together sequential thoughts.

coffee first, no, not coffee…which…backtrack, cats…yeah cats first…no no not that either…bathroom definitely bathroom…everything hurts. back, shoulders, neck, legs, feet, knees, hips. i want to crawl back into bed but have to try and keep moving.

on these days i measure my accomplishments by task completed and in as few steps as possible. i hate being physically winded when my brain is overloaded, makes pushing back against the rage and frustration of simple things a lot more difficult.

8:54pm the tv just came on by itself. happens every once and awhile and doesn’t bother me oddly enough. must be vern or my sister having some fun, nothing to lose sleep over.

cuckoo clock strikes early and the gentle tick tock resumes… funny how they speed up or slow down depending on the humidity. the living room humidifier needs refilling and i think i need a fire tonight. soothes the arthritis.

flashbacks can come in all sorts of forms i think. like dreamscapes that seamlessly work their way into your thoughts and before you realize it you’re transported right back to that particular moment in time…

i have tunnel vision and i’m looking at a long concrete walkway, it dips down at the middle and then leads to a set of steps. patches of grass but mostly dirt to the right, tallish grass along the rusty chain link fence to the left. a long row of identical single story apartments were on the other side.

i never liked the concrete stairs, too granular and hurt your knees and hands when playing. we must have had a front door but i never recall one. my film only ever sees it with through the screen door, shafts of light coming right filling the small living area.

a faux avocado finished console style record player was front and center. can’t remember where she got it but she was happy trying to refinish it. some combination of avo green pain and black and somehow you got some wood grain. lines of black mingling with the more predominant and shiny looking green. one large round speaker on the front with some gold’ish fabric for a cover. i’d play my peter pan record on it over and over.

9:21pm tired, exasperated, frustrated. trying not to let my depression and anxiety get the best of me so i’ll pick this up later. writing about things does seem to help.

like unpacking a dusty leather bound chest from the attic and taking things out one by one. in a place of silence and calm without distraction. even if my body isn’t cooperating, i still know i’m one of the lucky ones.

Digital Interfaces Aren’t User Friendly For The Sensory Challenged…

Digital Interfaces Aren’t User Friendly For The Sensory Challenged…

Digital companies tend to irk me more than usual these days. The incessant march forward in demanding more and more control over how users ‘must’ access their interface. It’s not that I’m a dinosaur or anything, I totally get it, it’s the digital age and phones and digital devices are now the default.

Okay, maybe I am a dinosaur but for very good reasons. Lol. After 20+ years in tech we’d regularly use analytics in content development. It was early on in the field but once you get a grasp of how they slice and dice the data and why you kinda get hip to the gig.

It should be common practice to use 3 email addresses at a minimum. one for banking and financial accounts. one for personal private family and friends. and one for credit card logins, loyalty cards and generally ‘spammy’ things like that.

Want to cut down on robo callers? Sign up for a Google Voice number which I think is still free. I use that one for EVERY phone number including gas, electricity etc. Never use your cell for anyone other than friends and family. And the great thing about Google Voice is you can ‘forward’ it to your cell or any number really, and it’s transparent to the caller. If they leave a voicemail you get an email transcription which is pretty nifty.

This one is a huge relief for my PTSD. The ring on my own phone can cause a jolt so I tend to keep it very low. If my cell ever got out to those robo dialers I’d be in big trouble. This one is a MUST have. So I use it as a junk caller filter and it does have some filters and blocking.

6:55 – I’m back, kitty panic attack while stuck in box crisis averted…

My PTSD and ADD have some not to obvious challenges, especially when it comes to navigating the web. It’s no secret our digital footprints leave a trail of our likes and dislikes. Data used to provide a ‘curated and personalized’ experience they say. “A more personal and authentic ‘experience'” they say.

With the pervasiveness of cookies, beacons, pixels and host of other things, tracking is part of our daily lives. There are those oblivious to its extent where it blends seamlessly without care as something to be embraced. And there are those who acknowledge and knowingly trade personal info for tailored movie choices in their digital library.

There’s also those that don’t really care about all the whizz bang flashing sliding morphing sticky nav bar fluid design shifting morphing images…sorry…that was my ADD getting distracted and forgetting which bill I was trying to pay before I timed out…

Then there’s those really super-duper over the top awesome times when out of nowhere, without any warning whatsoever…blaring unwanted video about something I could care less about jolts me out of my skin my blood pressure goes sky-high because loud noises trigger my PTSD…

Currently I have to use 4 different browsers just to get things done. Safari just bit the big one tonight. Whatever their new release had in it, it’s made thing grind to a halt. To be semi-fair I do have a zillion ad-blocking, anti-tracking, ad-guard, donottrack, disabled plugins…

In my defense I really don’t have a choice though because guess who no longer has control over their own user experience? That’s right, it’s us. In the never-ending pursuit of marketing needs on their never-ending quest for the last dollar in your pocket, it’ll get worse and worse.

It used to be the user was in charge of when they wanted to upgrade their system or browser version or whether or not they didn’t use flash and so forth. With HTML5, Flash and other technologies, it’s become a Push rather than Pull when it comes to content.

As well as my visit with Jerre was yesterday I’m just wiped from having to fight with BofA today as well as trying to pay a simple gas bill. NationalGrid was designed by a dropout from MySpace and literally blares at you. You must allow pop ups. You must allow cookies. Seriously? I mean who does that shit? It’s gotten to the point I just call companies and force them to take my payment over the phone. I blow right past the “There’s a $2.00 fee for thi..” “Yep, just make the payment please…” Click…

Because of that whole Spectre thingy I upgraded my browsers thinking it ‘might’ make things easier, silly me.

I spent hours trying to make a simple payment and it always makes me wonder how many companies actually comply with ADA Compatibility requirements. I had been working on a few projects in 2013ish and we used to actually think about these things. The model was what would works for most not what only works for phones and tablets.

All browsers are not created equal, which apps frequently call up, and most especially not on a digital device.

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