Epiphany #5

This “I’ll work on me, you work on you babe” while taking a break instead of just breaking up seems beneficial to our relationship.  We are actually talking to each other now and, in some ways, we are in a better place then we had been there for awhile. It is nice to remember what we like about each other, what attracted us to each other in the first place, and how much we actually do love each other.

I’ve been sharing my little epiphanies… from “I am here, I’m still me” to the “I don’t really know you” with a list of stupid questions like, “Do you own a cast iron skillet?” Yeah, there are a LOT of little things that I do not know about this man.

He got the point:  I need him to be a little more open and honest with me and he needs me to stop hiding aspects of myself that, for reasons real or imagined, I felt like he might not be able to handle it.

Where do we go from here? Who knows? Right now, it is just one day at a time.

 

LATER:  I was thinking about how to tell the new student doc assigned to me at the family clinic that when I ask for an antidepressant, I want a low dose SSRI, preferably Lexapro, NOT 300mg of Wellbutrin (way too much, that’s enough to send me over the edge so I’m NOT taking it) and suddenly, I got hit with Epiphany #5.

How do I tell him? He thinks I lost my me… oh my gosh!

That “strong vibrant woman” he met and fell in love with ye 3 to 4 years ago (I didn’t jot notes on a calendar or keep a diary) was riding a prolonged cusp on the edge of mania, self-medicating with 100 proof peppermint schnapps straight up (hey, alcohol is a depressant) plus Jacks & Coke and a few other things when we first got together.

I ended up back in therapy, bailed out and eventually crashed, series of harsh things took me down into depression… that’s easier to hide. I have a lot more experience going down. I blogged about some of it, from Wired in August 2015 on up past the new year, mixed in with other stuff.

So, basically, he has seen me up and seen me down, both ends of my mental health spectrum, but might not have realized it… stable is the middle ground. So he thinks I lost part of my me… that my stable me is missing something?

Epiphany #5 just opened a frikkin can of mental worms.

Stable me is NOT so vibrant. Stable me doesn’t drink, mainly because I know alcohol is a depressant and I tend to cycle down a lot more than I cycle up. Stable me is a responsible human being. Stable me doesn’t make as much art, doesn’t read poetry on street corners, doesn’t do wacky things.

Humm… I’m going to have to think about this for awhile before I venture to bring it up in conversation.

Thanks for reading!

 

Yorkshire Pudding

This is a one egg Yorkshire Pudding so it only makes enough for one or two.  I baked it in a toaster oven on “toast” with temp set to 375 degrees fahrenheit and left it in a hair too long, but it still hit the spot… adapted from my great-grandmother’s recipe. Fat drippings from a roast of beef may be substituted for oil. She served it with roast beef and gravy. It’s good with chicken, too. 

YORKSHIRE PUDDING

  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • dash of salt
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • few chives, optional
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil (for pan, could use a little less)

Beat egg with a fork, add flour and salt and beat until smooth. Slowly stir in the milk.  Add chives, if desired. Put oil into a 9″ metal pie plate (or other suitable pan) and place in oven for just about a minute (not much heats fast, so don’t let the oil overheat). Pour batter into hot oil, return to oven and bake until lightly browned. It will puff up here and there and drop down again. Cut into wedges. Serve with gravy.

Note:  I’m launching a new section of this blog called “Small Plates” as I’m learning how to feed just me again, can’t live on toast forever… some posts will include recipes cut down for one or two. Old posts with modified recipes will also be added to this category.  There is a dual purpose in this… I’m working with a therapist who specializes in eating disorders (finally!) so maybe posting about food will help me, too. Thanks for reading!

I AM HERE

Epiphany #3:  I AM HERE… as in, ALL OF ME is still frikkin here.

If I hid parts of me from you, it was an unconscious, automatic reaction to clues (real or imagined) as that is what I do when I pick up on vibes of disapproval. If I think you find an aspect of me unacceptable, then I will simply hide that part of me from you.

It is easy to do… childhood conditioning.

I was raised in an era when children were seen and not heard, when little girls were supposed to be passive, weak, adorable, meek, soft spoken little ladies, and oh so very nice… stand still and look pretty.

Double down if you live in a glass house called a parsonage.

I was one of five little “angels” with impeccable manners, pretending to be what I’m not… feeling more like a fraud with each passing year. And, of course, little girls are not supposed to even FEEL negative or “inappropriate” emotions, so there was no outlet if you do, not allowed to express them. Best not tell anyone if something bad happens… your own fault anyway, something fundamentally wrong with you.

It took years and some therapy to love and accept myself as I am… now I am trying to be consciously aware to override that auto-response to clues (real or imagined) so I can stop hiding aspects of myself from those who love me.

Please know that I don’t do it out of shame or guilt or even to make myself more acceptable to other people. I do it for self-preservation, to guard my precious me… I am my own treasure.

I guard my me because I have always felt like people want to change me, or make me change myself, just so I would be more acceptable to them and/or fit their own impression of who they thought I should be.

Fixing me is not your project.

I am not going to change who I am to please anyone. The only one I have to answer to, besides my own self, is God.  The approval or acceptance from other people is not necessary. I hide my true authentic self from people who may find me inappropriate just so I don’t have to deal with their bull. Who I am is none of their business. They don’t need to know all of me.

WHY would I hid parts of myself from the ONLY person who has ever noticed that I do that? The only man who has accepted, and encouraged me to be my true authentic self as I am?

Clues babe… that automatic response kicks in, it’s unconscious… wasn’t done on purpose.

What clues?  Well, here’s an example… when I briefly mentioned what I was writing a book about, he pretty much told me that my topic wasn’t very nice, that I shouldn’t write something like that. So, I just never mentioned it to him again… it became none of his business… he doesn’t need to know anything about it. Eventually, I took ALL my writing underground, essentially closing off an aspect of myself as writing is vital to my existence.

Oh yes babe, I still write. I write a LOT… even got phone apps for that, so I can write anywhere at any time and email it to myself. That’s what I did in the wee hours of the night, when pain pulled me from slumber, and I got up so my moans and thrashing would not disturb your sleep. You bitched too much about me being on the computer so I alternated with using phone apps at the kitchen table, writing to take my mind off pain while waiting for pills to kick in.

Another example? When I try to talk to someone about things that are important to me and they cut me off with “why bring that up again” or some other offhand remark, I just shut up and stash that topic off as something I cannot openly discuss with them.  After that happens a few times, I stop trying.

Suppose it doesn’t matter anyway… but we are supposedly just taking a break so I can work on myself while you are out doing what you do.  That’s Epiphany #4:  I don’t really know you.