That time Kris was scared of Tina

Kris here

Tina’s been writing quite a bit lately about some personal things she’s been going through and I’m very proud she’s advanced to the point that she can share these things. She gave me the go ahead recently to discuss another rare facet of her glowing personality, so I decided to give it a brief mention. Something she can’t tell you about, because she’s never been there!

There are a lot of preconceptions in the world, and I’m not really sure how or where I’ve built all mine up. The one I wasn’t prepared to have shattered was the one about sleepwalking. Do people actually sleepwalk? Heck I don’t know, it’s just a movie trope I guess. I’ve moved rooms and not remembered it, or told someone how to solve a math problem and then lapsed into unconsciousness. Is that sleepwalking? Maybe, but let me tell you about some stuff I’ve learned in the last ten years.

Firstly, there are different levels of sleep walking and my experiences certainly don’t span the spectrum – they only span my wife.

The first time I encountered this was about seven or eight years ago. Tina jabbed me awake a bit roughly, so I jolted up like the house was on fire. “Zomg what’s wrong!” I looked to my adorable wife in alarm. She stared at me. Just..staring. And then she handed me a small children’s toy. Okay sure, but what’s the matter! I took the toy from her hands and investigated, maybe it was actually going to explode? No, no it’s just a toy. She bolted from the room into the pitch-black kitchen and rushed over to the fridge and just stood there. She was staring at the closed laundry door for about a minute or so in the darkness and obviously I’m a grown adult, so I’m not going anywhere near. I’ve seen the Blair Witch project dang it. She yanked the freezer open, talking about “I have to save them! I have to save them” Looking frantically, tossing stuff every which way. I flipped the light on in my room and followed her into the kitchen.

“Saving who Tina?”

She plucks this bag out of the freezer in triumph, backing away from me clutching the bag like a stolen candy bar. “I have to save the peas”

“The …the peas?”

My wide-eyed wife ran into the bathroom with those frozen peas and climbed into the bathtub, where she stayed in a state of panic until she fell asleep about 5 minutes later. A minute or two following, she woke up super groggy and disoriented.

“Kris, why am I in the bathtub?”

What did we learn from this experience? Well, Tina is just so cute and terrifying. Sleep walking can apparently turn you into a different person with very different goals than your usual self. Lastly, if someone wakes you up in the middle of the night and then runs off into the other room to stand unmoving in the darkness, just hide until they get into the bathtub and everything should be fine.

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Izzy – Happy 1st Birthday!

Tina here, and yes you read that correctly, Izzy is now 1 year old! She has come so far since we first got her and learned so much. Her willingness to work with me and learn and adapt to new tasks has been incredible. We have had our problems and issues with things like chewing on dear lord everything! But over all, She has been the biggest blessing in my life, providing me love and compassion with all of her heart.

She has molded and adapted to understanding when I need space or when I need her close. She knows when anyone else in the house isn’t feeling well too. She has been an amazing protector and only barks/growls when asked to or when someone is around the house without telling us first.

I love her so much and it is so fitting that her birthday is on Valentine’s day, considering how full of love and care she is and how much she wants to give it to everyone she meets.

We are still working on training but for the most part she has 3 tasks now that she helps me with everyday, Getting up the stairs, general balance when not using my walker, and space awareness and creation. She does so much more then that but when people ask me what tasks she preforms for me, those are my go to. Okay, now for some adorable pictures.

Building my support

Tina here! I want to look back on the last year of mental health improvement that I have been working on and mostly remind myself of how far I have come and how far I can still go.

When I started out on my journey to help my depression, I didn’t have much hope that anything would change. I spent everyday in bed. Food and drinks were brought to me. I entertained my son with videos and video games and limited my interactions with people to the point that I truly believed I had no one besides my husband. Even then he was just putting up with his lot in life because he would never give up. I had convinced myself with what I felt was firm evidence that no one wanted to be around me, that they put up with me for one reason or another.

One day, Kris said that there was help being offered at work. He encouraged me to take the information and just talk to someone. I didn’t do it because I had some epiphany that I could get better. No, I truly thought my family would be better off if I was gone. I did it because the one person I saw as having a choice to stand by me was asking me to try. Not some like lovey dovey reason. Just that it might make his chore of caring for me a little bit easier.

So I called the number and talked with a coordinator who took action to get me a list of people in my area I could go talk to. Which is great but it took many reminders from Kris and several follow up calls for me to even start calling anyone on that list. I didn’t know what to say or if I would say something wrong. I tried several of the numbers only to leave messages that were never returned or to be told they had no openings. I was defeated. I gave up. Kris had a few more weeks of sad mopey me who had “tried”.

I get a call from the wellness coordinator with my husband’s work who was check in to see if there was anything she could do to help because of recent ER visits for migraines. I don’t know what sparked it in me but when she said, “But seriously if there is ANYTHING I can help you with please let me know.” I cracked. I started bawling and telling her of my struggle to find someone to talk to and how I had gone over the list and still couldn’t find someone.

This amazing nurse jumped and started calling for opening herself. Then gave me a list of those. She then helped me set up a Primary Care Doctor so that we could get me started on long term treatment plans. I called and left messages on 3 phone number and felt defeated again. I was sitting there crying about how even if I wanted to change that the universe was against it, when she called. My saving light. She called me back and set up to have me come in the next morning.

Jane was my push. She saw me not as someone broken and needing to be fixed, but as a strong intelligent woman who had faught for so long and was so tired now. She helped me rebuild that confidence and self reliance that I had once been so proud of, and she pushed me to seek help for the things I often dismiss as unimportant.

She helped me realize that it is okay to be tired. It is okay to feel useless. But you have to remember who you are in your core, and set up people around you who know you and can remind you at times as well. Build your ladder as my favorite YouTuber Martina says. How to build your own ladder.

What kind of ladder can you start building today?

Kris’s random totally-not-procrastinating blog about a dream

Kris here,

I’m a big fan of scary stuff. Movies and games, stories, creepypastas, SCPs. Not the gory stuff, that’s actually terrible and I hate it, but if you throw me at a spooky world filled with ghosts or monsters lurking beneath, chances are pretty good that I love it. I think it’s because I accidentally watched one of the Poltergeist movies as a 4/5 year old after everyone had fallen asleep. Sitting in the dark listening to some tiny lady talking about some ghosts and go to the light child, it gave me nightmares for about a decade. Which was great!

I’ve actually spent a good while seeking out good nightmare stories on the internet over the years, so if anybody knows a fabulous one, go ahead and throw it my way.

I don’t really mind the scary dreams though, I kind of prefer them. I’ve had a bit of a recurring dream recently. Well, more like a recurring place. I’ve dreamt about this big spooky, dilapidated mansion 5 or 6 times in the last few months – but every time I do, I remember stuff from the last time I was there. Once I even brought Tina for some reason, and she was like “oh well we have to bring Nik” and dream Kris was like “are you crazy this place is haunted we can’t bring a 6 year old!” Obviously we did bring him and he gets lost and I wake up while my dream haunted mansion slams a door in my face with Nik on the other side.

Thanks dream, I really like a good adrenaline rush to get going in the morning.

For anyone out there like me, surrounded by people who hate being scared, here are some classic fallbacks I recommend:

http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Anasi’s_Goatman_Story – This one might be hard to read if you’re not a fan of the greentext style, or the more casual (read: bad words) style of storytelling. I don’t let things like that get in my way but I understand we all have our sensitivities.

http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/The_Smiling_Man – This is a pretty brief story, nothing extravagent but still a good read.

http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-087 – Man this story is super classic, I’ve read it like 5 times. It’s just fabulous. The entirety of the scp-wiki site could honestly be featured here because there’s a lot of good writing, but not all of it is spoopy and I’ve only read about a hundred or so.

http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Ted_the_Caver – I don’t have a particular affinity to creepypasta wiki or anything, but it’s a convenient aggregate of stories that I’ve read over the years so why not keep it simple? Ted the caver was such a sinkhole of amazing when I read it a few years ago, I can’t not recommend that everyone just take some time to read the whole thing right now.

Leave a comment and share your favorites, let’s make sure we sleep with the lights on for a week!

Head problems

Tina here. Dealing with various medical issues I feel rather apt in saying that I have an extremely high pain tolerance.

Wait.

Before my husband can edit this and say, “No way dude, I poke you and you bruise.” I don’t mean that I don’t feel pain jerk off! I mean that I have to deal with a barrage of pain almost 24/7 at this point. Currently to write this post I am wearing sunglasses in a dark room where the windows have been covered by blankets. (I really need to buy some black out curtains.)

 

Among my sideshow variety of medical issues, I have menstrual migraines. Meaning that once a month when my hormones get pissed I didn’t get pregnant, my body goes into shut down mode. If I am lucky it just tries to kill me slowly from the ovaries out, however, there are times when it goes that extra mile and jacks with my brain. I get blinding headaches that make me want to pull out my hair for relief, or pull my eyeballs out with a spoon just so I can put pressure on the one spot in my head that is trying to kill me.  This has exploded to the point of me needing to go to the ER and get shots of morphine and later Dilaudid. Or what my nurse called legal crack. It was just to give me enough relief to get some sleep.

 

I am blessed not only with Menstrual Migraines but also, aura migraines, where you see pretty colors around things before getting a migraine and migraines that take away my ability to speak, write or at times understand English… I could speak Japanese though! I also had one migraine that made colors change. Blues and greens and oranges were the primary colors I saw.

 

All of this being said, I do my best when I get these lovely pains to push past my own problems and ensure that my family knows that I am okay. That I love them. It wasn’t healthy. I got a lecture from my 6 year old.

“Mom, if you are sick you should take some belly breaths and lay down. Drink your water and rest. Your body needs rest to make you better so your good germs and cells can fight and repair whatever is broken.” As his father shushes him from my side. I love this kid. He is wise beyond his years. So I guess what I am saying is, I don’t have an insightful hope raising piece this week… I am resting with lots of water and belly breaths and letting my body fix my migraines.

That *one* time Kris skipped school to read

Kris here,

Long ago when the world was still young, I attended high school. I was thinking about it recently for one reason or another and I was reminded about the time that I accidentally skipped a week of school to read a couple of books I’d stumbled upon.

Don’t worry, I caught up with my schoolwork. In fact, I’m pretty sure my teachers at the time were relieved for a momentary reprieve.

And yes, my mother did in fact try making me go to school. I told her I was sick and how irresponsible would it be for me to be selfish and go to school. It wasn’t a lie technically, I was sick of not having read those books already.

But I digress.

The books in question were specifically The Belgariad and The Mallorean by David Eddings. I loved the characters’ personalities and conflicts, as well as just the entire everything about Belgarath. I didn’t even actually like the main character of the story for about 80% of the story, but the world was so fleshed out and all the other characters were written so amazingly. I didn’t necessarily hate the MC, more along the lines of him just being so underwhelming next to everyone else.

Okay yeah he was like 15 or whatever and my favorite character was a thousands-of-years-old sorcerer who literally drove the direction of the world. I guess I have to give him a year or two to mature before he fits in with his traveling companions of sorcerers and royalty.

Now that I’m older and better read, I’m able to recognize the hilarious number of tropes and cliches written into that story so brazenly. I’m almost positive Eddings sat down one day thinking, “I bet I could just mash together every fantasy stereotype and everyone would buy it. I’m not going to even hide it, fight me world.” He made it work, so I can’t complain.

The story itself revolves around a kid named Garion who lives with his aunt Pol on a farm for a decade and a half or so. One day a super important orb is stolen by the evil main character to awaken the evil god and we all gotta go stop it. The journey is long and dangerous and explores the world in question through some pretty diverse backgrounds. It’s also one of the first stories I read that spans a time of years, instead of everything happening quickly and immediately.

It isn’t an in-depth, complex look at humanity or anything like that; good guys are GREAT, bad guys literally sacrifice to their god by cutting the hearts from living victims. So the bad guys are BAD. There’s a prophecy and some interactions with a few gods and all in all, it was amazing. I recommend it whole-heartedly for any fantasy fan. It’s a bit of a lengthy read, but I’m not sure why that would put a damper on anyone.

I actually started reading the series to my 5 year old for a week or two before remembering that, oh right – there are some pretty descriptive death and murder scenes written in. Nothing gory or crazy, but almost guaranteed to give the child nightmares for a while. I had to give up on it for now, but we’ll resume in a few years.

Year of Change

Tina here.

This time last year I had just started with my therapy and finding help for what I thought at the time was maybe just depression, and a bit of some kind of crazy. Because what sane person sees demonic or dead figures, watches them act out a story or scream their name in the middle of the night?

Well, I was right that I had depression, however, it was classified as Severe depression with Highetened Anxiety. Oh and Untreated or documented PTSD! Wooooo.

The voices and visions were because my brain didn’t know how else to tell me something is seriously wrong and we need help. They made great inspiration for scary stories, but I was so tired all of the time and seeing random things just made me jumpy all of the time.  I can’t count the number of times Kris woke up to me crying and saying creepy things about why I couldn’t sleep.

Fast Forward to a full year plus of being on medication, getting help and having a subject to research and help me keep on top of things. I feel like I still have bad days. The visions are not completely gone, especially if I forget to take my meds. I know that my family is upset to see me on so many pills and think that I am just trying to medicate myself away or that my doctor pushed me into it. No. I went for help. I do use the pills, they do help. I can tell a clear difference of when I have not taken them. (as they wear out of my system)

I enjoy being able to stop myself from yelling about stupid little things like my husband taking a bite out of all the food he makes for me. OMG that bugs me so much, but I would become like, someone just slapped my kid angry about it. He didn’t even know! I hadn’t told him it made me upset. He just did it out of habit since childhood. The communication about how I feel has been sooooo much better. My husband doesn’t understand feelings, or rather, how others feel. He thinks you should take everything at face value and that there is never a hidden meaning behind something unless otherwise said there is. He is extremely Vulcan. I am EXTREMELY emotional. Everything has meaning and you should always be aware of what you say and how it could come across in the situation. Yeah… We had some problems. We are coming up on 7 years of being married and I can honestly say that we understand each other so much better now. He knows that if I start getting upset or worked up with what I am saying that I am most often just having an off day. He will offer me tea, blankets, hugs, bubble bath, time alone. Whatever he things might help me. And I have learned how to take a deep breath, think about what I am feeling and explain it to him much like I would explain my symptoms to a doctor. It helps him get a better idea about how to address whatever we are talking about. It also helps me understand myself and why I might have been getting worked up about it.

So a year might not seem like a long time, or maybe it seems like forever! Either way, keep working on yourself. I have gotten help with my mental problems, developed greater communication with my husband and family, and went to school! I am about to start my finals for my second Term in two days! Just keep swimming, put one foot in front of the other, all that jazz.

 

Much love,

2018 Tina