Misophonia

How is there not a pill for this yet? The hatred of sound. It’s a ridiculous thing to have to live with. I can’t explain why I went from a pleasant mood to a dark place in the snap of a finger. A place that has me hoping you choke on that chip just so the sound of you mutilating it stops. I understand the irrational extreme my mind goes to, I even tell myself ‘stop being angry crazy lady’ but if the sound doesn’t stop, I go to my dark place. I’d probably be admitted to the psych ward if a picture show displayed the thoughts of my mind when other people chow down on food… or prison.

My sister asked me why I focus on the sound, she says she doesn’t even pay attention or notice it. I don’t seek it out, it’s like a radar detector my mind cannot turn off. If I’m in a restaurant full of people talking and laughing, busy staff members rushing food orders out, music in the background… I will here the repetitive sound of chip after chip being guzzled down by the man 2 tables over… as if he has been one of the children on the television, living in Africa with a belly full of air for all his life, finally introduced to food and binging on it as if he will never taste it again… okay I’m drifting to my dark place again. The gist of it is, I try not to hear it. It finds me, and it gets louder after I’ve zeroed in on it.

I have heard of other people who have this disorder. I would consider mine an extreme case. I wear ear phones to the movies to avoid the sound of popcorn before the show if that helps paint a picture. It’s not just the sound of poor manners either, I can hear you chew when your mouth is closed. I don’t like repetition, a constant knock at the door can set me off. What in the world is wrong with me? And breathing, why is that necessary…

I’ve tried to research out different treatments. They say therapy is an option, but I haven’t been to therapy since they told me I was a high functioning alcoholic. Made me so mad that I never drank again. Take that therapy lady. The other options are sound protection and noise free zones… ear phones check. Noise free zones when I live in a world full of peoples… uncheck. If you see me in public during a food and mingle event, and my face looks like I’ve just entered the dead zone… just know that I’m trying very hard not to envision your slow and painful demise. I feel guilty afterwards if that makes any difference to you 😃.

I’m curious to know the cause. Why is it selective sounds that trigger this psychopath to take up host in my body. It is selective. I absolutely love music. Music is my therapy. All genres too, from instrumental soundtrack to heavy metal. I love the sound of water. That’s a weird thing to love but I do. Rain is my favorite. I once thought about becoming a scientist just to create a pill to subdue the madness. Once the noise stopped I decided to stick with my current field of employment. I guess noise avoidance will have to work for now. Feel free to give me other ideas, I’m all ears… hahaha if you got that 😉.

“That perfect Broken part of me”

I’ve always been a lover of broken things. I could enter a store and see all of these perfect pieces and the one thing I’m drawn to is the only thing tarnished, broken, unique. Sometimes I try to fix it or keep it just the way it is admiring the beauty of the imperfections. I think we spend too much time looking for the perfect thing, place, person, life… when life is perfect imperfect. Maybe the obsession with that picture perfect life is an association with cleanliness. When I think perfect I think clean. Clean is peaceful. Broken things can be clean.

I haven’t posted in my blog for almost a week. My goal was to do daily updates, but this past week I have made a dozen drafts and withheld publishing any of them. I’m saving them for later. I think one of the most helpful things to do in times of trial is to write them down, get it out on paper or type it out, as long as it is out of you. Removing that energy you want to rid yourself of.

This past week I took some time to myself to try to alleviate a decision I’ve made. I know it’s the right decision but it doesn’t make it any easier. I took a spontaneous trip to the middle of no where to visit with nature, old cars, good people and creepy baby dolls. It’s called old car city in Georgia. When I saw pictures online I imagined this place being packed with people and hoped I’d make it early enough to have some space to myself. I stayed most of the day and to my surprise the place was desolate. Imagine taking a trip to an abandon amusement park and having the place to yourself, that’s what this paradise was like. I shared the wooded area with only the creatures within, saw squirrels and a deer between the haunted vehicles. The untouched cars had trees growing inside of them along with the debris of the forest. It was incredible!

My sister flew home over the weekend for a final visit before she deploys. She is soaking up every minute with my girls and spending the days with my mom, siblings, and friends while she is home. We went to the pumpkin patch on opening day and played on all the attractions like little kids, went on a hayride to retrieve our pumpkins, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows over a bon fire before getting lost in a corn maze at night. I felt like I was on vacation as well. I’m working towards a schedule that will allow me to have more time home with my family. Time is important to me and spending it slaving the days away from my littles isn’t optimal. I miss this. Sometimes when I sit back and take a good long hard breath and look at the bigger picture I feel the best part of me is not being projected in the right places. I’m going to change that.

One of my favorite quotes is from Dieter F. Uchtdorf, he says, “We would do well to slow down a little focus on the significant & truly see the things that matter most”. I believe that. If we stay so busy that we miss those significant things in our lives then we are far busier than God intended us to be. I was able to accomplish several things I put off for months in one extended weekend I took off work. The dresser I rescued months ago has a new life now, my daughter has a new hair cut, my house is feeling more like home again and my time with my girls feels renewed.

I felt guilty for wanting time for myself this week. I spent the first few days worrying about all the people who would be upset of my absence. But the more time I had to reflect on things I realized I wasn’t just wanting time for myself but I needed it! There is nothing more important than self care, if you don’t take time to care for yourself you CANNOT care for others. I am blessed to have people in my life that respect that and allowed me this peaceful break! You all rock 😉

Motherhood Madness

Breakfast is free at my kids school. It. Is. Free. I don’t like to make myself something early in the morning when they haven’t gone to school yet. So I usually wait or pick something up on the way to work. However this morning I want to make it to work on time and I prefer not to be hungry so I pop some quick cinnamon rolls in the oven for the girls while starting some simple eggs and toast for myself. The girls venture into the kitchen like little birds, mouths wide open, stumbling around and touching EVERYTHING. Of course they want what I have instead. Of course. I make more eggs. My niece is dropped off as her dad heads to work. I make more eggs.

Toast? I’ve made 10 pieces of toast this morning. Where’s the butter? I just sat the butter on the table… *opens fridge, pulls butter back out for the 2nd time*. Maleah (age 9) is fast walking around the kitchen as if she has places to be, grabs the butter and yells, “WHO KEEPS LEAVING THE BUTTER OUT!” Me kid. It is I.. the butter bandit. I’ve pulled out all the bells and whistles for the perfect ‘mom makes breakfast before school picture’. You know, paper bowels and plastic utensils, perfect for clean up 😉. But do my kids use them? No ma’am. They are savages. Straight up savages.

That toast ain’t even got a plate man

Remember those cinnamon rolls I popped in the oven at the beginning. They’re done now but no one is touching them. I ask my teenage daughter if she’s going to have one? She says, “No I only like cinnamon rolls made from scratch, not a can”… so now I’m looking around trying to figure out where in the Betty Crocker hell this chick thinks she was raised! Whose mom has been making you cinnamon rolls from scratch? Huh? Tell her to pull up and we’ll have a pancake challenge! I have a big spatula and can flip 2 pancakes at a time ✌🏼.

Straight from the can

With all the little bellies full, I start in on the pre school interrogation. “Do you have your teeth brushed, where’s your shoes, hair… fix your hair, grab the back packs, has anyone fed the dog?”…. “Mom, the dog killed a possum!” Kali says all panicked. “Well don’t give him any wet food today, just the dry food since he is already getting his wet food elsewhere today”. Kali looks at me horrified. *blink, blink* where do you think that wet food comes from kid?

The madness of motherhood is doing the same things over and over, expecting a different result, only to find the butter has been placed back in the fridge for the 4th time in less than an hour. Over and out.

‘The living still need you’

If you’ve ever seen the vampire diaries you know these vampires have an extreme heighten sense of emotions, they feel everything on another spectrum. They also have the ability to shut that off. It’s like a switch they hit and it’s incredibly hard to turn that back on. People in the medical field do something similar. They call it compartmentalizing.

Have you ever witnessed something so traumatic that it breaks you? Maybe you’ve watched a loved one die, found yourself at the scene of a car crash, saw an accident happen before your very eyes… the emotional claim it has on you breaks your soul in two. Nurses experience these kind of things regularly. You don’t see it on their face at the time because we compartmentalize these things so that we can continue to care for those still living.

I was rude to someone this weekend after they had experienced an unexpected trauma. I wasn’t very empathetic because I have been doing this for so long and have forgotten what that fresh nursing experience is like. You know the old saying, ‘nurses eat their young’? I vowed when I became a nurse not to be like that. I wanted to be someone you could come to and learn from without the bite that comes with it. Whether you are new or old to the medical profession, you are going to experience shock, pain, and heartbreak. We become conditioned to these things and shut it off. We flip our switches and continue to care for the next one.

To the newbies we may seem heartless after a failed code. I know that look you just gave us as we continue to eat our lunch and check in meds… all while you sit in silence with your heated cheeks and flooded eyes. I know what you are thinking… that we are all stone faced with paralyzed hearts. I promise you we feel it. We feel it when we go to lay our heads on our pillows at night, replaying the entire code in slow motion, second guessing every move we made, retracing the steps back and wondering if there was anything different we could have done. We feel it in our dreams as the nightmares fill our minds with the last agonizing breath that was let out. We feel it as we shower in the morning, we feel it every time we hear the tone of the overhead page, every time someone says our name a certain way, every time we slip our scrubs on. We feel it. But right now, right this minute, as we work we cannot feel it. You HAVE to learn to shut that switch off. You cannot freeze up and cry in that room, they need you. Everything you have ever learned, this is it. Shut that switch off and act fast now, cry later. We cannot carry the weight around with us as we continue to work and care for the living. Right now we have to put on a smile and walk to the next room and continue on. They need us.

The dream team

You can always tell the old from the new in this way. You come to trust each other and have unspoken communication. The trauma is not held on their face but you can see it in their eyes. We almost become telepathic. We could be in the same room as another nurse and say something without saying it at all. It’s like a superpower.

Our CNAs are one of the most important parts of what we do. There is one in particular that I would trust with my own life. She works the night shift, her name is Haley. Now Haley is soft spoken, at least to me. I nominate her every year for CNA of the year (probably not supposed to say that aloud but it’s my blog so I’ll do what I want). Haley has this gift I was just speaking about. She does her job without complaining, she shows up and works hard. I could tell her there’s a disaster in a room that needs attention and she doesn’t let out a groan, she just smiles and says, ‘I’ll take care of it’. Now I know I’m the wound care nurse but more often than I’d like I get put on a med cart. One morning I was coming in to start my shift and Haley comes out of a room with this face that we all recognize as the stone face (means she a veteran) and says the words no nurse wants to hear, ‘there’s something wrong with this patient but I can’t put my finger on it’. That one phrase can make any nurse cringe, it’s a enchantment for disaster… almost as if speaking the words “quiet” or “good day”. I may not speak to Haley on a regular basis or anything but I trust her, I have seen her work and she has earned that trust. Within 2 minutes we are calling a code blue for said patient, Haley saved this patients life. And afterwards, through the chaos and paperwork, I looked to check in on her and she was tending to the next patient. Continuing onward with a smile on her face. That is what these patients need. They need people who can continue to care for them even after the trauma next door.

So I know that I may seem like I wear the name badge ‘Tinman’, but I feel it too. And I’m sorry for not being more empathetic, I sometimes forget I was new once as well. I hope you continue on and create your own coping mechanisms so that you can continue to care for those that live on.

Let’s play a game

I was picking my girls up from school yesterday, asking them the usual how was school questions. My teenager for the first time mirrored that question back at me and said how was your day mom? Can you believe that?! What a dear. I choose to answer questions like this with the best parts of my day, or the worse parts. Who likes the same ole same “my day was good”… bleh. Those people are boring. What was good or bad about your day, I want details! I told her that I made a spirit stick out of highlighters and how I challenged my wound tech to a race, and how she tricked me saying she wasn’t going to race me but took off running towards the mirror ball on the ceiling… that sneaky girl… I love her. My daughter looked at me with a smirk and said, “that doesn’t sound like work, sounds like you played all day”… haha well yes, I worked but between patients I played a little. Why not? If you are having a boring or hard day at work, I guarantee if you sneak a game in there it will brighten your day up, make you laugh, and give you a fun time to look back on! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve pulled my flashlight out, turned it up on my face in a dark room, just to call the measurements of a wound out in a haunting way 😂. There is no age limit to stop playing games. Recently I was telling a friend about my day at work, he said ‘I want to work where you work’ haha well I’m sure you could make your own workplace a fun place to!

Actually photo of me at work

I just started watching that tv series ‘This is us’. How have I missed this show all these years?! I love it! Something I thought was the most incredible thing was when the family had an awful Thanksgiving. They were at a motel, gas station hotdogs, hot as hades and the kids were miserable. The dad turned the entire thing into a game! Reminded me so much of my parents! What could’ve been the worse Thanksgiving for them turned into a ritual because he made it fun! I’ve done that with my girls countless times. I even convinced them during a scary thunderstorm that I was in charge of the weather and would anticipate a clap of thunder, raising my hands as if they were magic wands and throwing them out into the world. Those fear stricken kids turned into laughing, cackling, amused little girls. I’m going to challenge anyone reading this to play a game today. You will thank me later 😉

Starting Today

If you can stand in front of a mirror at 10 years old in the dark and summon the ghost of Bloody Mary you can stand in front of the mirror today, in the light and repeat this:

Today you are worthy. Today you will smile. Today you will remember you are a daughter of God. Today you will be strong. Today you will be humble. Today you will be kind. Today you will embrace life. Today you will create a new journey. Today you will look forward. Today you will be positive. Today you will be accountable. Today you will be honest. Today you will give charity. Today you will see the good in this world. Today you are a warrior. Today you will be brave. Today you will be healthy. Today you will love. Today you will be passionate. Today you will be happy. Today you will be supportive. Starting today you will be new.

YOU ARE ENOUGH

Do you ever hear that voice inside your head that tells you, ‘you’re not enough’? I went through a therapy once that I would say changed my life. This person counseling me to confront traumatic events from my past had me close my eyes and imagine I was watching my life on a tv screen. He told me to hit the rewind button and go back to the event that caused me so much hurt in my life. An event I had chose to ignore until that day, an event that caused me to build walls that shut people out and made me into a cold person. He asked me to hit the pause button and step inside the tv to have a moment with my former self. I did as I was instructed during this session. I stepped in and saw that young girl, alone and hurt. I hated it. I empathize with that girl. I understood what she was going through. He then told me that in this part I was to imagine my former self could only hear and see me as the scene was paused. He told me to tell her I loved her. He wanted me to tell her all the things I wish she had known at that time. I don’t think I had ever talked to myself before. At least not in a kind way. As silly as it may sound this changed my life. The way I talked to myself before was cruel, I was my biggest critic.

Be your biggest cheerleader! Do not tell yourself you are not good enough, even if everyone else is saying it! Think about it, would you ever look at your child who ask to try out for the basketball team that they are not good enough to make it?! No! The answer is no! Go back to school, apply for that job, get in that gym! You are good enough! Change the way you talk to yourself. I struggle with this sometimes, especially when other people make me feel like I am less important than I am. Maybe someone blows you off, or you fail at something new you tried, it doesn’t matter… try it again, because you are worth more than you think. It took me far too long to realize this. That friend who cuts you out of their life, they don’t deserve you. That guy who ghosted you, he doesn’t deserve you. That school you wanted to get into that sent a regret to inform you notice? You got that right, they don’t deserve you! Move along and prove that you can be just as happy and successful in life without the people who have encouraged those negative voices in your head to gossip.

With all that being said, I AM ENOUGH!

Confessions of My Broken Tiara

I’ve never owned a pursue. The thought of having to keep track of a thing that holds my other things is exhausting. Have you ever tried to run with a pursue? I haven’t. Although, I’ve tried to run with a kid on my hip before and it’s not easy! There’s this thing that holds other things that won’t get you dead in a parking lot with a creep, it’s called a pocket. You can run with pockets, I do it ALL the time! And jewelry? Meh. I have a total of 9 piercing. I don’t know why. I can’t remember the last time I wore so much as an earring. My dad taught me that’s the first thing an attacker will go for in a fight. Slice my ear lobe in half? No thanks sir. I won’t give you that opportunity. I blame my dad for my fear of putting on the jewels. He made it seem like I’d be attacked a lot more as an adult.

I wore the same pair of tennis shoes to work for 10 years before being peer pressured into buying another. Shoes are expensive. I don’t even like wearing them. Church shoes are the worst. I’d rather be a woman of the Amazon and run barefoot throughout life. These new shoes should do me for another 10 years.

I’m not a cooker. I try. It doesn’t turn out. Probably because I’m not a big fan of instructions. I have an album on my phone titled “burnt food”. My wall fire alarm has been crippled with a hammer and the fire department has been summoned several times. You may be wondering how I’m surviving in the adult world. I’m wondering the same thing. Lord help any man who thinks he’s settling down with this princess.

Dinner’s ready

I am extremely proud of my flaws. It’s the reason for the imperfect photographs and post about failure. They make me human. I smile when I fail because I know already I’m going to try again until it’s perfect! Isn’t that the point of having weaknesses? To try again until it’s a strength? I’ll be perfecting my weaknesses with a fire extinguisher close by.

I may sound like a hazardous plain Jane. I’m not. I wear makeup. My daughter even commented on it the other day saying, ‘It’s not 2004 mom, what’s with the eyeliner?’ Well kid it’s 2019 and I hear they’re still selling eyeliner so step off.

I wear perfumes, lotions, smelly good stuff. I love candles and the smell of cleaning chemicals. Normal feminine attractions. Sometimes I even brush my hair. I’ll confess, I don’t brush my hair everyday… hurts my arm. I need to lift weights to manage this untamed Chewbacca like hair hosted up on my scalp.

Do you ever look at someone and think… that person right there would never survive a war… I say something similar when I go get a wax, I think… man I’d never survive a beauty pageant. These rituals normal females go through is like being a prisoner of war. It’s slow torture that doesn’t end. Painful shoes, bras that have wires stabbing you slowly in the rib cage as you walk, ripping the top layer of skin off repeatedly with waxing strips… slow and painful torture… just put me in the front line of this war and be done with me.

I admire those women who have all these qualities, you are all amazing for accomplishing these things routinely! I’m not ashamed that I don’t, I don’t like to. We are just different folks! It’d be boring if we were all the same right?! So while I’m admiring your qualities, respect mine. I won’t buy your makeup, or your thirty one bags. I pretty much have to force myself to enter a regular store let alone purchase something online. Seriously, I sit in my car for about 20 minutes debating on if it’s essential to walk into the grocery. I want watermelon but I don’t want to go inside, it’s a hard decision. Don’t waste your time on me, I’ll support you and tell people about your products but I’m not buyin. You do you boo boo.

Behavior Modification

You know that old saying, “People don’t change”? Well that’s incorrect. Before posting those memes or quotes do yourself a favor and fact check them. Who said that? Were their words evidence based? What credentials does the person posting hold?

I testify that change is possible. The relationships you have can be mended, whether with your children, spouse, coworkers, friends, change is possible. You also have that extra tid bit added onto the saying, “people only change if they want to”… hmmm. That’s part of it but it’s only a half truth. People can change with a nudge in the right direction, encouragement, support, advice, and most of all RESPONSE!

One of my very favorite movies is War Room. If you haven’t seen it, add it to your watchlist! The story line is based on a married couple who are in the thick of it, constantly bickering, forgetting why they ever got married in the first place. An older woman comes into play to counsel the wife on how to create change in her relationship. The thing that happens here is that the counsel given to the wife was to change her own behavior. She had to change the way she acted and responded, she changed her life and worked on herself before her husbands behavior followed. And if it had played out another way she could’ve just left high and dry with her new found self. I think this is very wise information. No it doesn’t work every time, but it’s the best fighting chance for that change to happen.

Find it, watch it, live it.

If we have people in our lives that have continued behavior that effect our own lives, our response to that can change everything. I once went through a behavior modification course to work with people suffering from developmental disabilities. We were taught how to modify their behavior because most came from rough situations and displayed negative responses to situations, such as self mutilation when they felt they had done something wrong. The system for correction was categorized by cognitive function. I took this information home with me and practiced it on my own kids. It worked! It included praise, correction, consequence, and a way to respond to the situation in the future.

I feel like we too often forget our children are still learning, they need to know how to respond to future situations they are disciplined for. Instead of doing this do that! The way we respond to behavior displayed can change EVERYTHING!

It also works for behavior we want to see more often too! I remember being a young girl and having to do chores, one night I wiped the kitchen table off. I wasn’t expecting it but my mom walked by and said, ‘You did a really good job cleaning off that table Annabelle!’… you better believe that for the next week I cleaned that table every night even if it wasn’t on my chore list because I was the best dang table cleaner in the house! Praise the behavior you want to see more often. Change the way you respond to negative behavior, provide correction and consequence when need, and give an alternative for future mishaps.