Marsia's Diary

liza

Well-known member
Sorry to hear you feeling down about the move Marsia. I can imagine it would be a very emotional time and now that packing is getting finished up, I could imagine the reality of it really hitting.
I hope you are feeling better today. :grouphug:
 

Cate

Support crew
Oh, honey. Getting your house to where you have always wanted it to be, knowing that you will be moving soon would be so, so tough! I really feel for you :grouphug: You have made me realise that we should fix up the things that are not quite right with our place if we can. Sending you lots and lots of love & hugs xoxoxo
 

Marsia

Well-known member
Thanks everyone! I had a couple of days where I sat and cried occasionally about moving again. It was the beautiful new back deck overlooking the redwood forest that did me in this time. But I listened to all sorts of YouTube things on what countries to live in, and I did a lot of belly breathing exercises and stopped myself from ruminating on how this might be the most beautiful place I ever live, and it might be all downhill from here. I figure I can just list what things I'd like in a new place and compromise so I get new exciting things in my life, and even live a lot more frugally, which will be a wonderful change from how incredibly expensive it is to live here. I also found a nice person who trains therapists, and he said something interesting that I've never heard, that you can't be depressed without ruminating. So I tried it (stopping myself from thinking up negative scenarios and worrying, I mean), and so far, I think he's right.

So I had to take a break today because my middle back is a little out of place and I did so much, it's complaining now. It also just felt good to stop procrastinating so much. I got overwhelmed at how much there was left to do and had to keep reminding myself what Cate said about taking one step at a time. So now my room is largely cleared out, mopped, the huge bookcase in there is dismantled and ready to move, and I have most of the boxes that haven't been moved to their sorted spot ready to put in there. By tomorrow I could be ready to move all the furniture out if needed, so I am actually largely making my deadline. Imagine!

Cate, I don't know how things are where you are, but here the supply chain is very messed up. It's very hard to get things, so I have been ordering our remodeling things as far in advance as possible. We also have a labor shortage, and so the people who repair appliances are booked out months in advance. Also the things that are in stock are a lot more expensive. It seems like things aren't as bad where you are though, so hopefully if you do decide to fix up your house, since you can do it at your leisure, it will be a nice project and not stressful! Thank you for the hugs! I really needed them!!

Thanks, Liza, I'm feeling much better and also looking forward to being done packing. I realized that next I paint and garden, two things I really like!

Thanks, LaMa! I'm glad I peeked on the forum the other day and got to see your new haircut, and you in your stripy dress. You look fabulous! I think the really short hair looks very modern and sophisticated on you. I am mostly Polish heritage, and I don't really ever look sophisticated, so I really love when people pull that look off well!
 

LaMaria

Well-known member
Wonderful to hear you're doing a little better, Marsia :grouphug: I'm 100% convinced that the future is worth working toward. Change may be hard but it's also exciting. Also: plenty of Polish women here and they can look very sophisticated. I always feel large and whatever the opposite of elegant is, regardless of my size. Feelings aren't always true.
 

liza

Well-known member
Good for you for consciously switching your outlook Marsia. i think it's ok to grieve a little as we experience different losses, but yes, great to see the positives this move will bring you as well.
I hope your back is feeling better.

As for short haircuts...I would like to cut my hair off, but when i was a child I always had short hair and was always taken for a boy--it gave me such a complex that now i'm afraid to cut it off!
 

Marsia

Well-known member
I'm 100% convinced that the future is worth working toward.
I really like this! You are right about sophistication and Polish women. I grew up in a rural place with mostly German descendants, and people thought I was homely because I didn't look German, so I think I developed a little complex. I've always felt large from being pretty tall, but I don't mind it now. I keep thinking about how nice it felt when I was back down to 170, and I felt really good. I think that's wonderful and would just be so happy back there again. Sometimes you don't realize when something is really what you want, and you forget to appreciate it profusely while you have it.
Move to Tasmania :grouphug:
Ha! I would love to!! It looks amazing!
Good for you for consciously switching your outlook Marsia. i think it's ok to grieve a little as we experience different losses, but yes, great to see the positives this move will bring you as well.
I hope your back is feeling better.
I am glad you mentioned CBT - it got me thinking about how much I don't question negative thoughts, so looking at that every day has sort of shocked me. I am much better than I was, but wow, I still do myself in with pessimism a lot! I did really need to cry about moving, as when I first saw this house and property there was a magnetic attraction, and I feel this even stronger now, so its just hard giving this up. My back feels better this morning. It was twinging all day yesterday, so I took it easy and sorted stuff instead of moving heavy boxes around like I'd planned. I did lots of forward bends and got a lot of vertebrae back in place, so hopefully that worked and it'll be happy today. I tried short hair in college and didn't like it. I have a long neck which gets cold without the hair, and I really like being able to put my hair up when it's hot.
Buddhism, if compared to f.e. Christianity, has similarities and differences; in large parts of Asia it's politically and historically speaking very similar to Christianity in the West
I notice that the core values are very similar, and I like that Buddhism can be a philosophy where you don't need to have faith or religion - it's all verifiable by trying things out, like a science of the mind.
But; while Christianity demanded strict adherence to monotheism and had less leeway for folk beliefs and religious minorities, Buddhism took a very different approach. In most Buddhist majority countries, folk beliefs and minority religions were allowed to coexist;
I really love this about Buddhism. Once I was taking a walk in the mountains near the DMZ zone in Seoul, Korea, and there was a shaman-like old woman sacrificing a chicken with her big incense pot and ritual things behind a beautiful Buddhist shrine. I love how Buddhism is about our desire to find deeper meaning in life, and it doesn't put other systems of belief down in some power struggle for dominance, it just talks about acceptance and compassion.
I didn't get baptized until after I had already gotten my Theology degree, because I considered it to be a huge step to take, not something to do willy nilly.
Wow, you have a theology degree! That would be fascinating studying the world's religions!!
In a hundred years I might be seen as a monster or a saint, but what matters is the life I am living now. I think the most probable scenario is that we only life once, but that who we are keeps echoing across the universe like waves after you throw sand into a pond.
I like the image of the ripples of your influence on others in your life. I never was that curious about what happens after we die. I figure energy gets recycled, it doesn't really die, but whether we retain our own separate consciousness or not doesn't really affect this life, so I'll just have to wait and see. Plus even if we do reincarnate, we won't remember past lives, so it'd be like a complete do-over! Anyway, please feel free to write about Buddhism or any other topics as long as you like in my diary. I really like reading what you write. Sorry not to get to your diary lately. I am just so worried about the move, I am being careful to only spend a little time here on the forum until we are out of here. Our taxes on the house once it's sold may go up a lot if it sells next year as opposed to this year, so I am rushing to move as fast as I can just in case.
 

Floater

Well-known member
Anyway, please feel free to write about Buddhism or any other topics as long as you like in my diary. I really like reading what you write. Sorry not to get to your diary lately. I am just so worried about the move, I am being careful to only spend a little time here on the forum until we are out of here.
Don't worry about responding to my diary at all, I understand how taxing it is to have to deal with IRL issues and it makes sense to only have time and energy for so much online stuff. I'm mostly MIA from all of my online friend's diaries however much I would like to contribute and keep up with their stuff.

However, your post here inspired me - I have had a pretty intense past few days, psychotherapy on Friday and a talk with my priest today. And it's pretty much a year to date when I got released from the psych/ neuropsych ward. And it's October, so it's the perfect time for some spooky goodness. While I'm making light of this, it actually did affect me spiritually and made me question some of my ideas about what "health" looks like.

I know this might seem odd or even gross, and it certainly is nutty by definition, but as I was going through my several month long breakdown last year, I was first staying in an acute psych ward and was then transferred to a neuro-psych ward. My stay in the acute ward was pretty chaotic, and at one point I was roomed in with an older lady who stayed up all night talking to herself, making arts and crafts, and complaining how she wasn't allowed to have scissors so she had to rip all her materials by hand. I would ask her to please stop with the arts and crafts and kill the lights as I needed to sleep, but any time I fell asleep, she would put the lights back on and start doing her arts and crafts again, yammering vaguely about all sorts of things... Some of which were pretty queer and occult. Then again, you have to remember I was heavily drugged and sleep deprived, so what seemed very dramatic to me would probably just sound and look embarassing to others.

I was fully aware in that moment that I was a mentally ill person locked in a room with another mentally ill person; but something about this old woman - an archetypal hag, really, with her droning voice and messy long hair - kept captivating my attention to the point that I could not go to the staff and ask to be transferred elsewhere. I thought to myself that if I'm so pulled in by this odd and creepy lady, maybe I should listen and listen well. And behold; maybe it was by accident or by her sensing I was being sucked into her delusion, she asked me to go to the window and look at the words carved into the window frame. It spelled "APUA", "help" in Finnish. Rationally speaking, this is one of the most likely things a psychotic person would carve into a window frame; my only concern in that moment was that she had done it herself and were still in possession of a sharp object she could attack me with. Maybe she had done it herself with scissors that were later confiscated; maybe it was done by someone else way before. I just kept staring at the markings and wondering how come it is possible that being so insane I was in the moment, I was still kind of forced to look after myself...?

As I was standing by the window, the woman asked out of nowhere whether I saw a tree outside. Of course I did; the window was facing a beautiful courtyard with old, lush trees, well cared for and protected from the elements by the architecture and heat from the hospital complex. But I also had a feeling she was referring to _a_ tree, not the bunch of them. I responded with "yeah, an oak tree", as one was so close I could have touched the leaves dancing in the wind if it weren't for the glass between us. The old woman kept ripping her paper craft stuff and nonchalantly informed me, in an unctuous voice _(*sorry I had to Google what the adjective "mairea" could best be transferred to in English, and this was the best I could do)_ , that the oak tree is my tree.

I shit you not. In that moment, sleep deprived, medicated out of my wits, in green hospital pajamas, looking at the tree... It felt like some grimdark rendition of the Arthurian legend. Of course the oak tree was my destiny, as little as I understood the prophecy itself! The conviction in her voice was not only real to her, it felt... Meaningful. Even after she left the ward, I could not completely shake the sense that she was something more than just a kooky old lady who would hang her - frankly, strikingly beautiful and strange - artwork all over the walls where it stuck after her transfer, only to be trashed a few days later by the personnel. (BTW, imagine if psych wards archived all the art done by patients; there are true artists out there.)

Well, in a few weeks I was finally transferred to a neuropsych ward and taken off antipsychotics, which made me feel a lot better in a matter of days. To my shock and surprise, the witchy lady was there, as well. Considering that this was the only neuropsych ward in my area, not really surprising, but to me it felt really impactful to the point I felt uneasy around her. Once, after dinner, as everyone was watching TV, I approached her and asked her if she remembered me. She said she did. I asked whether she remembered the night she told me the oak was my tree and what she meant by it. And she clearly did remember. Which in the context of psych wards is quite something else. I forced out a laugh and tild her I don't really feel strong at all, to which she gave me the deadest of stares, like she was bored out of her wits, and said - "you just need the growth".

Do you understand how huge it is that she could remember me and our first encounter?

In that moment I giggled to kind of distract myself from the emotional impact, and told her "don't we all?", and she just looked at me all frustrated, as if she knew I knew what she really meant. And, yes, all of this took place in a hospital, but this is the closest thing I have ever come to a genuine shaman or wise person. Like, I know plenty of folks who are educated into the dogma of different religions, and I have no issue with that. But this one woman whom the world will always label as "crazy" provided me with probably the deepest spiritual encounter I could ever dream of, and it was specifically because we both existed in a space where normal courtesy no longer exists.

Maybe my willingness to look at the world from the point of view of this strange old woman had, at least partially, to do with the fact that I kept telling the nurses I'm trans and they called me psychotic for that. And then this holy hag came along and basically assigned a sacred tree for me. Both viewpoints are probably skewed and false, but I choose the oak instead of the sterile and automated system of modern psychiatry.

Sorry about the strange ramble and I will remove it if it's too odd! Think of it as a storytime. I actually really want to write into some of my fiction projects, but it has been way too hard to grasp so putting it into words here really mattered to me.

Take care everyone!
 
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LaMaria

Well-known member
(BTW, imagine if psych wards archived all the art done by patients; there are true artists out there.)
A friend of mine works in a psychiatric hospital and they sell patients' artwork to help fund more materials.
And then this holy hag came along and basically assigned a sacred tree for me.
Which, as I'm sure you know, is a symbol of masculinity as well.
to which she gave me the deadest of stares, like she was bored out of her wits, and said - "you just need the growth".
Even if that wasn't a special moment in and of itself you're making it one by growing into your full self. Which is how prophecies work.
 

Floater

Well-known member
A friend of mine works in a psychiatric hospital and they sell patients' artwork to help fund more materials.

Which, as I'm sure you know, is a symbol of masculinity as well.

Even if that wasn't a special moment in and of itself you're making it one by growing into your full self. Which is how prophecies work.
<3 thank you, @LaMaria .

PS, as you at least get it - I can make this old lady into my personal saint. There's something comforting about the idea, even as it only exists in my mindspace.

But the oaks are real, and they smell incredible in the falltime. 🍂🍁
 
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liza

Well-known member
I am glad you mentioned CBT - it got me thinking about how much I don't question negative thoughts, so looking at that every day has sort of shocked me. I am much better than I was, but wow, I still do myself in with pessimism a lot!

Yes I really feel that the CBT work is on-going, very much like the Buddhist practice. I feel the 2 paths really complement each other!

Glad to hear your back is feeling better Marsia.
 

Cate

Support crew
Hi, hon. Your next happy place will be lovely because you will appreciate it & have discarded so much stuff you don't need. You'll have the time to do your art & take long walks, listen to music, take a class, meditate & enjoy life. You are moving toward that, my friend :grouphug:
 

Marsia

Well-known member
Maybe my willingness to look at the world from the point of view of this strange old woman had, at least partially, to do with the fact that I kept telling the nurses I'm trans and they called me psychotic for that. And then this holy hag came along and basically assigned a sacred tree for me. Both viewpoints are probably skewed and false, but I choose the oak instead of the sterile and automated system of modern psychiatry.
Wow, Floater, that is some experience you had! I grew up with a brilliant but violent dad who had paranoid schizophrenia. He was into Nietzsche and the existential philosophers and we had fascinating conversations. I didn't realize at the time, but I can think in very loose connections between thoughts because of being raised by someone who thinks like that. I had a friend on the school bus who made up a new language with me, and it turned out he had schizophrenia from a bad shock that happened in his family triggering it (being the first person to see a family member who committed suicide). My second internship as a counseling psychology student was working with homeless people with schizophrenia and usually also substance abuse. It was at a creative center for the arts and group psychotherapy, and was very intense. Basically people with schizophrenia have such active imaginations that they are living in a dream-like state where they can't tell hallucinations or bad thoughts from reality, like if we were to walk around in a dream state and not know it. Also because people with schizophrenia were often not socialized to have normal interpersonal boundaries, they tend to pick up on things that "normal" people don't, and they can seem psychic at times. I have had friends with schizophrenia at times in my life because I was raised to follow someone's thinking where they only say out loud 1 of maybe 5 thoughts, so you have to make the huge jump between disparate ideas. So people with schizophrenia tend to appreciate that I can understand them often. What was so interesting is that the people who were clients in my internship were from all walks of life, including a couple of UC Berkeley professors and staff. Definitely very intense, usually highly perceptive people who can be just brilliant, but who really struggle with what is the general feel of the environment or of the people around them (ex. hearing people arguing feels like a fight within their own head), and what is them and their own private thought processes. Carl Jung really has amazing things to say about psychosis and the spiritual realms.

there are a lot of places i'd like to move to, but there's this ocean less than a mile away that i cannot see myself leaving... :)
If we could afford to stay, we would, but we are barely treading water right now, and really just need to move to a less horrible state as far as taxes, insurance being outrageous, and where we aren't in constant threat of wildfires and rolling blackouts. It's also getting very dusty here with a drought that has lasted over 10 years. Other than that, we live in a place with such happy, creative people and beautiful scenery. It's very hard to move even with all the minuses.

Yes I really feel that the CBT work is on-going, very much like the Buddhist practice. I feel the 2 paths really complement each other!

Glad to hear your back is feeling better Marsia.
Yes, it seems like Buddhism and CBT go hand in hand. My back seems to have recovered, thank goodness. Yoga is amazing!

Hi, hon. Your next happy place will be lovely because you will appreciate it & have discarded so much stuff you don't need. You'll have the time to do your art & take long walks, listen to music, take a class, meditate & enjoy life. You are moving toward that, my friend :grouphug:
Thanks, Cate! I actually started looking at places we could move to in Mexico, which has many amazing, safe, incredibly beautiful places I really hadn't thought about before. That actually makes me more enthused than moving to another place in the US. I may be a globe trotter, I am thinking!

So yesterday we went to our new apartment and cleaned. I am so happy J and K went with me. We cleaned for several hours and didn't even finish and were exhausted. The place is J's friend's house, and she is letting us have a couple of rooms with a separate entrance and little kitchen for way, way less than market value, so we are cleaning it and had our contractor make a doorway between rooms so we didn't have to go through her house to get to our other room. Then today J and K went and put more of the greenhouse together while I got a lot of packing done to the point where we can now move out any time. And we went out for ice cream to celebrate. I am feeling better enough so eating sugar didn't crash my immune system, so having a green tea ice cream was a nice treat.

Anyway, finding places I'd be enthused to move to was really nice. I even put on some Spanish lessons for kids and brushed up on my very terrible Spanish a little. That's really saying something that I'd be willing to learn a new language to live somewhere. I am very bad at learning languages!
 

LaMaria

Well-known member
Sounds like a hugely exhausting but very rewarding weekend. The whole wide world is open to you at this point: that´s gotta be exhilarating.
 

Cate

Support crew
You have bounced right back, hon. Well done! It does sound like an incredibly exhausting process & I am in awe of your effort. It's understandable that occasionally you fall in a heap. You're only human after all, but I think you're amazing :grouphug:
 

Marsia

Well-known member
Wow, thanks you guys!! I actually did plonk into a heap today. K was up until about 2am last night, and I made her a warm milk and honey and we watched a little bit of a show. Then she fell asleep, but I didn't until about 4 am, so J took her to school this morning and I slept in to 11 am! That felt divine!! I have been puttering around cooking up a lot of nice fresh veggies in a lovely cilantro sauce I made, and I went around the whole yard to survey what I still need to do out there. The apple trees are so laden with fruit, I'll need to pick a bunch so the branches don't break. The yard is looking good though and the house is nearly there, too.

I am researching getting residency on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico where there are amazing Cenotes (cave lakes) and tropical jungles, and Carribean beaches, plus a few conveniences like American banks, which is the part that makes me most nervous about living abroad, trying to bank in a county where I don't speak the language. (When I lived in Seoul, I had to illegally change my money into US banknotes and put it in my shoe to get out of the country with my earnings as my employer was a tax cheat and didn't declare my salary, so I tend to be nervous about money and foreign countries now.) Anyway, there is an inland city on the Yucatan Peninsula that is more safe than most cities in the world, and there are lovely museums and gorgeous architecture, plus Mayan ruins. And Mexico has great visa-free travel countries you can visit, like all of Europe and Malaysia where I really wanted to live, but they just upped the citizenship by investment requirements to a level that is too expensive for us. It's really fun looking at where to live next!

I ate really well today - everything healthy. I think having this project almost behind me is a huge, massive weight off my shoulders. Living here was a good investment because the house appreciated quite a bit, and fixing it up is going to be profitable, but wow, has living here been hard!!!

Oh, and yesterday K and I went to our favorite cafe and figured out how to build a website for a school project she is doing. I am figuring out how to use Wordpress and how to customize it so we can write our own code from scratch. It's a fun puzzle that has me enthused. I can help her build an online portfolio of web-based programming projects, so I am feeling happy to pass on my knowledge of this stuff to the next generation. She is so good at coding, she'll far surpass me once I show her all this, so it's very inspiring I am going to help her make her first website from scratch. I've only done rudimentary websites before with free web hosting for fun projects or used a university or government website and just posted my content to that. So this is exciting doing our own official website with our own domain name and everything as if we are a serious business or something!
 

Cate

Support crew
I love how you just throw that in there parenthetically :rotflmao: You really do adapt to anyting and roll with the punches!
I think you are amaaazing!
 
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