The house next door…

Summer hydrangeas

I go on walks most every day where I pass by my neighbor’s hydrangeas. I laugh because each time I see them, I think they have been magically lifted straight up and out of the illustrations of an old copy of the fairy tale “Hansel and Gretal.” The way the story goes, there was this witch who lived in this gingerbread house lined with icing, candy canes, gumdrops and lollipops. I guess that’s how she lured children in. Before I learned how to read, I spent much time lost in the illustrations of this book. To this day, I swear that hydrangeas are not real… they come straight from book illustrations. They transplant themselves in normal people’s yards looking out of place, making us scratch our heads and wonder.

The amusing part here is that my neighbor who owns the hydrangeas could be a witch. Hee hee. She yells at the neighbor kids who cross through her backyard, and she has her husband all but hogtied. She is a dominatrix, and he eats it up. He shuffles around his yard like a dog with his head down and tail between his legs. You can tell he’s huffing, puffing and angry, but he won’t raise his voice at her. He keeps quiet and fumes while she belts it loose across the lawn, calling him names and telling him he can’t fix nothin’ right. He must eat it up though, because three years later, he’s still there, taking it. On weekends, she sits enthroned on her back porch and gossips about what her friends are saying and doing on Facebook, and her loud voice wafts through our patio screen into our kitchen. We don’t need Jerry Springer, we just slide open our patio door.

Saw the fireworks last night from our second floor window. We could look out over the trees in our backyard and see them from where we stood. Pretty neat. I didn’t know they would be shot off on the 3rd instead of the 4th, so I noticed them accidentally while walking past the window to go downstairs. I had just taken melatonin, taurine, and California poppy seed, which I usually take to help me sleep, and before the grand finale was over I was cutting Zzzzz’s. This is impressive, as in the past I never would have been able to sleep through the night, let alone a night where the neighbors compete for hours on end with their own homemade fireworks.

Went to a park last weekend and sat out on a lookout hill catching the breeze and some sun. Got a sunburn on my nose. It sure was nice to have two days in a row, both Saturday and Sunday, where I felt pretty much completely normal. And here’s the kicker, I was on day 1 and 2 of my period, and I felt amazing. I keep track of how I do each day in a chart where I track what NB supplements I take.

I am going to start working with a life coach this coming week. I am so looking forward to it. I have been having a tough time translating what I know and believe into a healthy practical way when it comes to my toxic family and having to be in such close proximity to them. I will be so relieved to get some answers and lay aside the angst and anger I have toward feeling like I have to keep my mouth shut when their actions really bother me. I get  emails every day in my inbox from “the Universe,” and my latest message was, Anger is almost always a sign, AJ, that you’ve been quiet for too long. Speak up, buttercup -The Universe.”

Exactly! It’s true. I really only feel bursts of anger because my family’s toxicity bugs me and I want to speak up, but feel too threatened to.

I do miss the past when I was so emotionally healthy that other people’s attempts to bug me just rolled right off of me. I know that being in adrenal burnout means that by default, my hormones and feelings will be raw and I can’t help but be super sensitive emotionally. So I want to accept this stage of my life as something that I want to work with, not against.

It’s really funny. I remember a period of time that lasted two years or so. It was a couple years before I got AF. I went through this phase where I couldn’t cry. I was emotionally like a rock. I was dating this artistic man who would often get weepy, and who I would break up with on a semi-regular basis. It would cause him to cry and be really sad, and he would write me apology letters and beg me to forgive him. It didn’t really touch me. He asked me one day why I never cried. Maybe it was because he did enough crying for the both of us. Or more likely, I had already developed my tough side on my own before I met him, and because of that I was attracted to a man who honored his softer side. I think that’s what happened. I had been in intense fight or flight in the public school where I was teaching for a year before I met him, and I had to be tough to survive. I do feel really bad now that I treated him so coolly, and was unattached to my emotions.

Interesting how these things progress. Compared to how I am now, I feel like I was in a pretty healthy place emotionally for most of my early and mid 20’s. I didn’t get overly toughened until after moving to NYC, but I couldn’t maintain that very long. Then I got sick and am super sensitive emotionally.

But I realize that this is not who I am. Karl has only seen this one side of me because he’s only know me while I’ve been in adrenal burnout. He can’t imagine me any different. He doesn’t understand that this is a side effect, so to say, of this illness. The important thing, though, is that I know. I remember how I used to be, and that’s my real identity. Emotionally calm and balanced.

I dare say, though, the way I’m headed on this NB program, I’m getting to a place where my autopilot will be a state that I was in when I was a very young child before age 5, before the abuse started: light and happy, goofy even. I hardly remember that. I used to think that my innate personality was serious and restrained, like it’s been all through kindergarten, elementary school and beyond up until now. I thought it would be my identity that I was forever locked into. Maybe not?

At a park last weekend.  Who IS this, right?
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