Here's hoping you're all well this week! How am I? I don't know, honestly. Mentally, I'm fine. Physically, I'm falling the fuck apart and I don't understand why. You would think that losing over 40 pounds (yes, yes, I did...consider that your small, harmless weight update without details!) would make me feel better - and it has. But lately, after bowling, my left hip has been hurtin' something awful. It's usually fine if I sit stationary, but getting up to get a water refill or to do simple household tasks - HURTS. It's been gradually happening; and most noticeable the days after league bowling. It'll feel better a day or two afterwards and then I go bowling again and am back at square one. I feel like an old lady.
BUT y'all will be proud of me when I tell you I've ALREADY been to the doctor...better yet, TWO doctors. The first visit was to my primary care doctor, had to go see him in order to get the referral to the orthopedic. He was my second visit and took x-rays of my hips. He found nothing. It's not arthritis, it's not any other issue with my hip. He did ask me where exactly it hurt and when I pointed, he said based on the location, he feels it's more of a muscle/back strain, and prescribed 2x a day over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, ice after bowling (which I'm not going to do - I don't like ice) and physical therapy where they can work some of the muscles out and perhaps teach me some exercises I CAN do at home that may lead to my back/hip feeling better, overall. My first PT appointment is this coming Friday. I'll keep you all posted.
Had my monthly visit with my mother, AKA 'Oompa Loompa.' She was supposed to come LAST week, but forgot that she had promised her free babysitting services to my sister, who had a wedding to attend. So the week before's visit was rescheduled to this past weekend. She arrived early on Saturday, we had lunch here (sandwiches) and she spent some time with the kids before they went back to their Dad's. Then, we actually did something we never really do with her - and we went to a movie - we saw Peppermint - not a very realistic flick, but still was nice to get out of the house and to go someplace where we didn't have to entertain each other by actually talking (see what I did, there?) to each other. When we got home, she went to sleep. That was the gist of Saturday - it was painless, it was 'busy' and she had time to enjoy her grandchildren during the day. Sunday was a little different - she needed the local craft store because my eldest niece will be turning 1 next month and she's making the centerpieces. So I drove us down to the Hobby Lobby - knowing fully well that I was going to be exposed to all sorts of FALL things as soon as I walked into the store.
She went off looking for what she needed and I kinda lingered around where the garlands were.
Lemme explain a little something else that I may not have shared before - I'm not a fan of the fall. I never was. When I was a kid, 'fall' meant school was starting and summer vacation was over. I hated school - I was constantly picked on and bullied - back in the 80's, they didn't have preventative measures in place so the kids that were fat, handicapped or different in any other way were getting bullied left and right - and because I was 'the pudgy deaf kid,' I was an easy target.
When I was a late teen, the fall was the season when I started college as a freshman, and also the same time of year that I was raped. My 22-year anniversary is approaching - October 4th is the 'date.' I do have to say though things have gotten MUCH better, the looming season change has always been accompanied by triggers, memories, little ugly-cry fests (for no particular reason) and bouts of depression, moodiness, sluggishness, etc. I almost always feel crappy during this time of year. Even though many years have gone by since my assault, it's almost an automatic fuck-with-your-emotions-thing at this point.
I however, DO like Halloween - I know it's a 'fall holiday' but it was always, ALWAYS my favorite. I loved the idea of being someone (or something) other than myself. I hated myself - why like me? No one else seemed to! But yeah, Halloween...too bad it only comes once a year, right? And there's CANDY...lots of it. That made it all worth it. I don't know if it would have made any difference, but when I finally walked out of that party where the assault took place, I did NOT see any Halloween decorations. The walk from the party site to the diner at a local intersection was not a long one, but still - considering the time of year, I was pleasantly surprised to not see any carved pumpkins. It might have been too early for that, though, the carved jack-o-lanterns don't usually come out until later in the month if not on Halloween night. I might also have not seen ANYTHING but the tear-blurred pavement in front of me.
So, at the craft store, there is a section dedicated solely to Halloween - here, you have all your black, orange, green and purple wreaths, the window clings, your skeleton/skull stuff, your cobweb netting, other decorations that you can 'add onto' existing wreaths or garlands, (these are called 'bits') and so, so much more. You can literally go nuts in this store - and I did. I actually found more season-related items than I did Halloween - I do already have some things to decorate further with in the garage - last year's 75% off sales at Walmart were amazing for such findings.
Anyway, what I DON'T have is too much generic 'fall decor.' The most I'd ever done was put out my (fake) sunflower bouquet and then when it got closer to Halloween, I'd put out some (also fake) pumpkins and gourds...if I'd made it to the supermarket for a real pumpkin, I'd carve it on All Hallow's Eve and put him out on the front steps for the trick-or-treaters to enjoy.
So, I found some leaf, berry and pine cone 'bits' for half-price, then I found a 'fall leaves' garland that was lighted - my creative juices were flowing - I can't explain what came over me in that moment. Here I am, I hate the fall and I'm standing here, appreciating the prettiness of these fake leaves, acorns, etc. What the hell, man? I have no reason to have this idea but here I am, thinking about how I could pretty this garland up even further by adding the 'bits' to it and securing them with thin pieces of twine. I have a lovely mantle in my home that the finished product would look nice on. And so, I filled my cart with small items that I could add to the (also half-price) pre-lit garland. My mother, in the meantime, found everything she needed to put together centerpieces and met me up front. We paid for our items and were on our way home.
Once it was quiet-ish, (as much as it could be with my mother's nonstop mouth) I laid out all my 'bits' and the garland on the floor in front of me. I then got to thinking as I began stringing together the garland and the bits - maybe I've been looking at it all wrong, all along? Yes, the fall will forever present as a 'bad time of year' for me, both because of being bullied at school and the sexual assault having happened in the fall. But the season really had nothing at all to do with what happened. People didn't treat me poorly because the air was chillier, because the leaves were changing colors, or because to was October. Hell, classmates or other people have fucked with me at least once or twice in the spring, summer, in the winter, my ex probably had made me cry at least once a month, so all bets were off as far as what my worst time of year actually was. My hatred of the fall really doesn't have to do with something so beautiful; maybe the gorgeous fall scenery should be a distraction rather than a reminder. Maybe instead of grumbling whenever I saw pretty colors up in the trees, I should have refocused on its natural beauty - for that's probably what I needed rather than focus on the ugly memories. I'd been holding onto this particular dislike of the fall for the wrong reasons - and for too long.
I should add, this will be my second fall in an entirely new state - I remember last year's fall - we were still new to the area. I had to pick up my son from school daily, and so the drive through the back roads was always SO scenic and absolutely gorgeous in the fall, and then of course, in the winter after snow had fallen. So maybe new state = new slate? Is it time for me to seize back a love for those things that are natural? They ARE more beautiful here than they were in New York City! Plus, here, I was not abused or bullied. Here, I have no reason to dread the change from summer to fall. Here, I have a new life and am sure being three and a half hours away from where I was assaulted is a huge help.
Perhaps I can learn to appreciate these things again, or even for the first time in as long as I can remember.
I'll ATTEMPT to get a picture uploaded of my finished garland. I still have that irrational fear of the wasband coming across this blog and seeing all the things I've ever said about him, and as he's a frequent visitor in my home (kid transfers, holidays, drop-ins, etc) he knows what my mantle looks like and would be able to pick it out of a line-up (of mantles). I'll play with photoshop and see if I can't crop it a bit and make it a little less incriminating...
I WILL say that despite my unspoken rule of having to hate anything having to do with the fall, it IS quite nice to look at - and I enjoy having it lit up in the evenings while we watch television or a movie. I feel at peace with my creation - and for the first time, with the season.
Now, I FULLY expect to go through all the motions as my 'anniversary' nears - but perhaps this year, I will allow the scenery to provide me comfort rather than remind me of the inevitable - fall's going to come along every damn year - it's how I embrace it that matters. And perhaps this sudden burst of creativity will make this upcoming anniversary and anniversaries to follow a little bit easier. This year, I made a garland...and I think that on the 'anniversary,' I will make it a point to sit outside for a little while and take it all in. And next year, I'll do something ELSE to reclaim the fall - to take back what, all along, I should have been enjoying but couldn't.
And that's progress!
Hoping you're all having a good week. I'll update again soon - likely this weekend with a PT update.