Mother’s Day

•May 4, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I had a unique childhood.  I grew up in Wisconsin, adopted by a wonderful single parent (mother) when I was 3 weeks of age, and she was 38.  I ended up with a grand total of 4 siblings, two brothers and two sisters.

My brother, Andy, was a schizophrenic.  I was frequently his target of hatred.  He said I breathed too loud (I have asthma), and that I “smacked” my food.  Of course, on his good days, such things were not an issue.  On his bad days, and there were many, at best I was a target of verbal abuse.  At worst, he’d try to physically harm me.  And I’m not talking an angry brotherly punch in the arm, I mean trying to stab me with scissors or smothering me with a pillow.

That said, now that I am grown and able to understand his illness, it does need to be made clear that my brother was SICK, not a bad person.

It also needs to be said that my mother is a brave, selfless, kind, loving, deeply devoted person.

I harbored a lot of anger when I was young, especially in my teenage years.  I felt ignored and insignificant.  Everything was about Andy.  What Andy needed, what Andy wanted, what was best for Andy.  It is a very hard thing to feel so small, but to also be unable to properly articulate those feelings.  I didn’t understand the feelings then, I only knew I was angry.  I wasn’t a particularly good daughter in my teens either…I was still angry.  Still didn’t understand why, but I was.

I hope my mother knows she did a good job.  A superb job.  No child is flawless, but a child’s flaws are not only brought on by their parents.  That is just nature.

Indeed, I do value my mother very much, and I only wish that the clarity of being able to reach that acknowledgement had been obtainable to me at a much younger age.

I love you mum.

Flail on,
– Classical Spazz

Alone

•March 28, 2013 • 2 Comments

I have not blogged at all in the last month.  I have had nothing of note to share.  Nothing has changed.  I still fall, I am still tired, I still have no answers.

I am angry and I am anxious.  I feel guilty for having feelings at all.  I often wonder how long I will live, not because I will kill myself, but because I feel that at some point, my Tourette’s will kill me, accidental though it may be.

I wake up in the middle of the night, but I am paralyzed.  It takes a few seconds for me to be able to move or breathe.  Do you know what that feels like?  What it is to wake and have no breath?  To try to breathe and have your body fail to respond?

It is utterly terrifying.  And there’s nothing I can do about it.

I am told that there is nothing neurologically wrong with me, and all I can think is that the doctors are unequivocally irrevocably wrong.  People don’t just fall for no reason.  And I wouldn’t sacrifice the use of my legs just for a scrap of attention.

Strauss is retiring next year.  He is my legs.  Mahler is not suitable for service.  He needs a place he can be somebody’s best friend.  I need a dog I can bond with and trust like I trust Mouse.

I feel like I’ll never have that again, and I should just give in, and get a wheelchair.

I am anxious, and stagnant.  I feel exhausted, and broken.  I feel guilty for a reason I can’t quite discern.  I am upset that still, after all this time, I am left with no more knowledge than I had a year ago.

I feel emotionally crippled.

I feel very, very alone.

Flail on,
 – Classical Spazz

Crash and Burn

•February 5, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I don’t feel I’ve had much to write about lately.  Same old same old.  I’ve been exceptionally tired, and crabby (sex would be nice, but still not really possible….makes me damn pissy).  I would really love to wax philosophical, but I can’t.  it super blows actually, as I’d love to be in my “British state of mind” (as I like to call it).  I feel that’s when I do my best writing.

I fall a lot these days, and I do mean a lot.  It has gone from being maybe a weekly thing to a daily thing.  Now, I do stumble frequently, but I generally catch myself.  I don’t call it a fall unless my knees or my ass hit the floor.  My legs are wicked sexy because I have to catch myself so often 😉  But….I do legitimately fall on a daily basis now, and I dislike it.

I haven’t talked about it because I really haven’t hit the level of acceptance necessary yet to admit that I am still deteriorating.  The most frustrating part is that I’m not falling apart on a physical level.  It’s all neurologically.  Physically speaking, I can still lift 90 pound animals.  I am not weak in musculature.  The fact of the matter is that I just don’t do it often now because at any moment my brain can go “AH HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHA BITCH!  DARKIE GOIN’ DOWN!” and I could collapse in a heap with a 90 pound animal on top of me.

That would not end well.

With Mahler washing out of service (and he will not be going anywhere), I must find a new candidate for work.  This means that some way, some how, I must raise money for a new candidate.  I have asked nobody because it largely hurts my pride.  This may not be the time to be prideful, but I feel that it is all I have left (in terms of maintaining my own self worth).

I like to go out, but have noticed that I ask to do things that involve sitting down (watching movies, going to a restaurant, riding bikes).  I do not like to fall in front of people.  It isn’t the fall that is my issue, honestly.  Rather, it is the massive rush of people that want to come help me get up.  While I appreciate the care, it’s embarrassing.  I’m a grown woman.  Unless I am crying because I’m seriously injured, I want to get up on my own (particularly if Strauss is with me…that’s his job).

I guess the whole point of this post is that I’m still alive, not much going on aside from the fact that I fall more now.

Flail on,
 – Classical Spazz

The Wash

•January 28, 2013 • Leave a Comment

One of the hardest things to do as an owner trainer is washing a service candidate that just is not suitable for the work.  Unfortunately, sometimes it must be done regardless of one’s attachment and high hopes for the dog.

Mahler is one of those dogs.

He did start out with a lot of promise.  Happy, eager to work, social, all that good stuff you love to see in a puppy.  However, as he’s grown and his drives have grown, many issues have surfaced that just make him unsuitable for this sort of occupation.

I need a handler hard dog.  Mahler is extremely handler sensitive.  He takes physical corrections (collar pops) personally, and emotionally speaking, if I get anxious, he gets anxious as well and starts screaming.  A service dog cannot scream if their handler is having an anxiety attack.  Not only is it disruptive, but it makes the situation worse for the handler in terms of stress level, and can make medical personnel extremely hesitant or even render them unable to help the person in need.  If I have a meltdown, I must have a dog beside me that can remain calm and collected while I am attended to.

I need a dog that can think on his feet.  Mahler is unable AND unwilling to think independently.  Puzzles frustrate Mahler, and when he gets frustrated, he shrieks.  Yet again, not ok.  The work I am asking him to do does involve him needing to do a decent amount of independent thinking.  Finding pathways, understanding when it is appropriate to disobey my commands, and just “thinking on his feet” are all things he is unable to do.  He needs to be told what to do every step of the way, and if I’m having a day where I’m feeling particularly dizzy and am stumbling, I don’t always have the presence of mind to direct my dog where I really need him to go.

I need a dog that is ok being left when I take out another dog to work.  Yet again, Mahler screams.  And while we are working on correcting this to begin with (because it is absolutely OBNOXIOUS in general), he is very slow to understand that this behavior is unacceptable.  He goes from 0 to over threshold so quickly that he basically doesn’t even know he is screaming.

The aforementioned issues are the big three that have caused him to wash out as a possible candidate for me.  And those things do not mean that he is a bad dog.  He is a GREAT dog!  But he is a bad, bad dog for the kind of work I need.  Excellent for sport, but not service work.

If he had been slated to be a guide, he would have washed out far sooner than he has.  I gave him more time because the work I was going to be asking of him was different, but it was just not meant to be.

I took a (foolish) gamble and lost.  That happens sometimes.  But now there is nothing to do but hug my Butter Bean and see what lies ahead for us.

Flail on,
– Classical Spazz

My space is mine

•January 16, 2013 • Leave a Comment

As a person with an anxiety disorder, I greatly value my personal space.  Meeting new people is hard for me.  Often times dealing with people I already know is hard for me.  I have learned to fake my way through uncomfortable situations for the most part, but sometimes I fail miserably, and I upset someone unintentionally.  It happens.

Here’s the bottom line for me.

I hate hugging.  I hate it.  Absolutely, unequivocally DO NOT LIKE IT.  There is a VERY small group of people I will hug and enjoy hugging, but for the most part, I would like to stab the person in the eye that thought hugging was a good idea.

Here’s what a hug says to me: 
“HI!  I HAVE NO REGARD FOR YOUR PERSONAL SPACE AND DON’T CARE TO ASK IF YOU CARE TO BE INVADED BY ME!!!!”

I think it’s actually a pretty rude gesture.  It makes me better understand why dogs consider such things rude behavior.  Nobody ASKED the dog if they wanted their “bubble” to be burst and a new bubble created with another entity inside it.

A hug is part of the social code in many groups, and so I may go along with it, but I’ll never feel comfortable with it.  I feel assaulted.

It’s not a personal affront to you if I don’t want to hug you.  You don’t smell, I don’t dislike you, and to reiterate it’s not personal.  If you’re a huggy person, that is TOTALLY cool, hug other huggy people.  I am not one of those people.

My space is MY space.  It is not a free for all for people to shove their way into.  End of story.

Flail on,
 – Classical Spazz

 

A Sensitive Subject

•January 8, 2013 • Leave a Comment

The following post features “adult themes” that may make some of my readers uncomfortable.  I’m posting this warning now so that you may have the option to read, or not.  While I normally give no shits about anybody’s comfort level and write whatever the fuck I want, I do deem the subject matter of this post sensitive enough to warrant the warning.

Probably because I’m a hypocrite :p

——————————————————————————————————————-

Tourette’s affects every aspect of my life.  It affects how I walk, where I am able to go and when, it affects my social life, how I am able to care for myself, and it affects my sex life.

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve gotten to be intimate with my husband in the last 8 months.  That is fucking pathetic.  Seriously.  And it pisses me the fuck off.  It is bad enough that I don’t walk right, that I can’t get where I want to go, and that I sometimes go for a month or two without being able to shave my legs.  Now I’ve lost intimacy with my husband.

Sex is, in general, a very private thing [in Western culture].  However, it stops being private when you discover that sex is so incredibly painful, you’re pretty sure that your insides are damaged and are going to fall out of you at any minute.  It stops being private when you have to go to a physical therapist twice a week so she can manipulate your innards and try to get you flying straight again.

What I have is actually called vaginismus (Google it ladies, seriously, could do you a world of good).  While it is actually not an uncommon issue, the cause for it is completely unknown.  It can be caused by any number of things.

Mine seems to be caused my my Tourette’s.

Remember a couple blogs back when I mentioned that my pelvis was rotated and unlevel?  It’s because I flail even in my sleep.  i now sleep in a special belt to keep my pelvis in place, and while I am frequently level at my appointments, I do still rotate.  When my entire pelvic assembly is out of alignment, it affects the muscles and tendons that hold my pelvis in place (shock of shocks) as well as the vaginal walls.  YAY!  So if I can have sex at all, it’s excruciating!  YAY (not yay)!!!

Fun fact #1: When I have an orgasm, my TS goes into overdrive, and I twitch so violently that I could punch my husband in the face inadvertently.

Fun fact #2: I really miss being able to be annoyed by fun fact #1!  Can’t do it now!

And the fact that my TS affects my sex life means it also affects my chances of ever having a kid (if we wanted one).  I cannot imagine trying to carry a kid to term when one of my tics is to hit myself over the fucking heart.  I can just see myself somehow punching myself in the gut while I’m pregnant.  That would be GREAT!

The most maddening thing about all my extra ailments is that they stem from one BIG ailment.  My Tourette’s.  It is not a matter of me traveling across the country to find better doctors.  It is not a matter of lack of quality care in my current location.  What it is, is a complete lack of interest in the medical community in regards to this disorder.

My disorder is not significant enough for people to REALLY study.  It “won’t kill me”, so it is not worthy of further investigation.  I am apparently not worthy of the time of the medical community.

And that, my friends, is some motherfucking bullshit.

I am not ashamed of my TS.  My self esteem is not affected by my TS.  My weight, my glasses, my weird variety of laughs?  Yeah, those can really fuck me up sometimes.  But my TS is pretty inconsequential to how I feel as a person.  The lack of treatment I am able to get because nobody knows a damn thing about my disorder?  That is a big deal to me.

I would like to know why twitchies are so unimportant.  Why are we not considered more interesting?  Why are we not worthy of more studies and write ups in medical journals?  Why are we ignored?

No, I’m not terminal.  My TS may not kill me unless I twitch at just the right moment.  But I am a person.  I am a person who IS sick, even though I do not always look sick, or feel sick.  I am worthy of aid.  At least I think I am.

I am tired of losing things that are important to me.  My legs, my freedom, and, to some degree, my husband.  Sex isn’t a whole relationship, but it is an important part of many.  It’s an important part of mine that I do not get to partake in, and it is in large part because nobody gives a damn that is big enough to offer me any long term solutions.

It’s a travesty.

Flail on,
– Classical Spazz

Happy New Year

•January 4, 2013 • 1 Comment

Hello loyal readers.

I am sure you noticed that I largely took the month of December off, and didn’t even post on Christmas or New Year’s Eve.  This is not because I have been terribly busy, but rather because I was stuck in a pit of misery, and had nothing positive to say at all.  My last few blog posts have been heavily negative, and I worked very hard over the last year to be a bit more positive.

I do not want Twitch and Shout to become another cesspool of my anger and hurt.  That is not to say that there will never be negative posts here.  There will be.  But I want to try and keep things as positive as possible.

I am going through a very stressful time right now, as it is really very likely that Mahler will be washing out of service work.  While he will not leave my home, and will become a happy sport dog for my husband and I, it puts me in an extremely tight bind, as I do need a successor for Mousedog.

I will say that I had a major breakdown over the revelation that Mahler is not right for service work.  It happened for many reasons.  I felt like a failure.  I felt worthless.  I felt…empty.  I struggle every single day with my self esteem and self worth.  I feel that I have disappointed my mother, as my life has not turned out as either of us planned.  I struggle with feeling that my in-laws may feel I have ruined their son’s life, though we love each other very much.  I get very upset because I often feel I let my husband down with my limitations.

My case for disability is currently in review.  I am hoping that this means I will have a hearing no later than summer, and I will receive back pay.  It would take a huge weight off my shoulders in terms of finances.

I have applied to be in a clinical study for those diagnosed with Tourette’s.  I am waiting to hear back, and am hopeful I will be accepted.

I would like to end this post with a few thoughts.

There is no such thing as having a good day every day of your life.  Especially when you have a disability.  Sometimes every day is not a gift.  Sometimes it is a painful, disgusting, sickening struggle.  Try and cherish the good days.  The days when you have minimal pain, or your limp isn’t noticeable.  The days that you can turn your head and wave at somebody, or complete a task that is hard for you.

On the days you feel worthless, hug your dog, your cat, a friend, a family member.  If you don’t have any of those things, remember that your life is not empty.  Stand in front of the mirror, put a hand on the glass, and you tell yourself that you are worth something.  That your eyes, your laugh, your smile, are all things that belong to you.  That your self worth is based on exactly that.  YOURSELF.  Not the things you own or the people you know.

On days you feel ugly, look at your old wounds, inside and out, and remind yourself that it is only an ugly day, not an ugly life.  Acknowledge that the next day could be ugly too, but that it could also be beautiful, and that beautiful day will be worth more than all the ugly ones.

On days you feel like giving up, go ahead and give up for a couple of hours.  Realize that even though you fight, sometimes you lose a battle.  A battle is not the whole war.  Sit down, scream, cry, throw things, write profanity all over your damn walls in permanent marker if you want to.  And then, when you feel better, grab a can of paint and a paintbrush, and put a fresh coat on your walls.  Remember that those feelings are not buried, but rather that you’ve put up a fresh canvas for new feelings, and you may paint on that canvas again, whether those feelings are positive or negative.

Know that even if you feel you have no one else in the world to love you, that YOU have you to love.  It will often times feel an empty gesture, but go ahead and give yourself a hug, and then find somebody else to hug or help.  There is always somebody that needs help or a hug.

These are hard things to do.  They are new rules I have, and even I frequently find them asinine.  It’s ok to feel that way.  Try them after you’ve moved past feeling they’re stupid.

Have a happy new year.

Flail on,
 – Classical Spazz

 
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