Friday, September 21, 2012

Hair, Kitties, and Group Therapy

New hair!



I only bleached the front for the pink and somehow the black dye mixed with the red, orange, and yellow and I ended up with blues and purples. It's kind of awesome!

I popped in on the very first episode of Jaclyn Friedman's brand new podcast, Fucking While Feminist. I'm in the sex advice portion, talking about oral sex and asking for what you want. I haven't listened to that part because my voice and speech are just weird to me so I avoid hearing it. But definitely check it out! As well as the others!



Twice in the span of three days I woke up in a massive puddle of cat piss. It soaked through the comforter, flat sheet, fitted sheet, covering, and into the mattress. Then I found piss on the living room carpet and curtain. Which led to The Great Cat Piss Defunkifacation Project. It involved a lot of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.

I was only able to get one cat into a carrier. The other hates being held or picked up. Beyond hate. When I managed to pick her up and partially got her into her carrier, she started fighting so hard she caused it to fall apart. So I took the bigger sister to the vet and told him what was happening since I strongly suspected a UTI. I got antibiotics which, luckily, were liquid. A few days later I called and asked if I could just get antibiotics for the other since she was impossible to crate and he was fine with it. God, she was skittish before this! Now that I've been having to pin her down and force meds down her throat, she hides as soon as I come too near her. On the plus side, I haven't come across pee in a couple of weeks. Hopefully that's the end of it.

I attended a of couple of Wasted Wednesdays. My goal was to start exercising some self control in the form on sticking to either one 32oz well drink or a few bottles of beer. I haven't been liking the way too much hard liquor makes me feel. And it was totally cool! I remember everything!

I went to Adult Trivia Night with a couple of friends. It was way tamer than I expected with the word “adult” in the title. And the MC was just...eh. It was only the second time they held a trivia night but still. I mean I'd definitely go again because it was fun hanging out with friends and answering questions and the food was good. On the plus side, Carter and I got to yell “analinguis” across the room when the MC couldn't pronounce it!

The DBT group ends next week. She's allowing me to take the course again which makes me incredibly happy. I'd mentioned it a few times and she said it wasn't allowed but then she said yesterday, that if anyone wanted to continue on and take the course again, she'd allow it. I'm especially glad because my head is in a much better place than it was even a month ago. I actually started looking forward to going each Thursday morning instead of debating whether or not I should bother. It helped me so much that I decided to switch from the therapist I was seeing to the leader of the group because she kind of specializes in DBT and working with people who have borderline traits. I talked to the group leader first and explained it to her. I told her, “I know you're a hard ass and I know you're going to call me on my shit. I know you'll push me to grow and act, which is what I need.” I was really happy that she agreed to take me on.

She told me my first assignment was telling my current therapist that I was switching. (I initially asked if I could see both but that wasn't allowed.) Because I told her how scared I was that my current therapist would be hurt or offended by my needing someone else. She told me that people switch therapists all the time and they're used to it and understand completely because they have very different styles. She also pointed out that this is all about me and what is going to help me the most.

I saw the current therapist in the hall before group the next week and asked to talk to her for a few minutes. I told her that the DBT was helping so much and, because of that, I'd like to start seeing the leader. I told her how much she's helped me and how, by working so hard to get me into the psych ward, she saved my life. How she's my biggest cheerleader and has helped me so much. I asked her if I could hug her and she said of course I could. It was hard but I did it. The sessions with the group leader have been great. She explained a lot to me and I processed a bunch of stuff and she made great suggestions. I feel as though making this switch was absolutely the best decision for my mental health. This feels promising. Terrifying but promising.

My little cracker box of a trailer is about to become home to three adults, two cats, a dog, and two snakes. Shit just got interesting! They were going to be living in their car as of the 1st and I just couldn't allow that. We get along well so I said if we could all squeeze in, they could come stay here. It's funny, I'd only hung out with them alone once of twice but we get along really well. And the husband just so happened to join my DBT group a few weeks ago. So I think, to a degree, that has kind of given the three of us a closer connection.

I was thinking it through, trying to make sure it was a good idea, and I came to the conclusion that it was. Because a) it'll make it less possible for me to isolate, b) the husband and I are going to work together on the DBT workbook I bought, c) he cooks amazingly well and his OCD comes out through cleaning plus he's a handyman and works on cars so, seriously, that's one hell of an awesome barter package, d) it'll allow her to focus on finishing her degree without having to do it while living in their car, and e) I'm able to help them so I will. I told they didn't have to pay me a penny. There was some crying on her part. I did tell them that I can't afford for my expenses to increase so, when that happens, I will need them to pay the difference. And they stressed that if I need help to please tell them and they'd find a way to get the money. We're all adults and I trust that we can bring up any issues we may have with each other. It helps that I trust them and feel comfortable with them. He's, like myself, trying really hard to focus on bettering himself and dealing with his past so we'll have live-in support and the three of us can all work together to become the people we want to be. I don't really know how to articulate it just yet but the whole situation just feels as if it will be very healing and transforming.

I told them, flat out, this help doesn't come with expectation, obligation, or conditions. That they shouldn't feel embarrassed or guilty if they buy some beer or go out to eat or, fuck, even find a way to go somewhere for the weekend. Because poor people are allowed to have fun too. And because that's, sometimes, what allows you to survive when you're struggling. I told them that, if things work out, they're welcome to stay until she finishes school in June. That I don't want them feeling like guests, this is their home as long as they choose to stay. I thought about it to make sure this decision came from a healthy place and I genuinely think I'm not doing this out of some feeling of guilt or because I was too uncomfortable/scared/embarrassed to say no. I genuinely want them to stay here until they're in a place to be able to move into a new home.

So, yeah! I think it's going to be cool and fun and, in a way I can't really articulate yet, healing.

11 comments:

  1. this makes me incredibly happy to see <3

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  2. I'm so glad to hear you're feeling better, Heidi! Best of luck with your new roommates.

    Here's a quick tip re: giving meds to animals. When I have to give pills to my dogs, I cover the pill with peanut butter. My dogs love peanut butter and since it's sticky, they don't spit out the pills (as they used to when I'd wrap the pill in meat or cheese). I don't know if your cat likes peanut butter, but you might want to consider it. It might be easier than forcing the meds down her throat!

    Best of luck with everything -- you totally deserve it!

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    1. Thank GOD the medication was liquid and had an eye dropper! There's no way I would have succeeded in giving her a pill. I've never tried peanut butter...I will TOTALLY give it a try. I remember - with past cats - giving them pills was always an absolute nightmare!

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    2. They sell cat treats, often you'll find them at the vet. They're called Greenie's pill pockets for cats. Also the trick to giving a cat a whole pill is simply to shove it all the way to the back of the mouth and they'll automatically swallow it. Cats don't have the choking mechanism the way we do.

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  3. You are getting better...it really shows. The fact that you asked to hug your therapist; you explained why you wanted to switch to another, you wanted the one who would be tougher on you is amazing. And...you want to continue in the group therapy because you want to....plus inviting people to live with you. I hope it all works out for you. GOOD JOB!

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    1. Awwwww, this means SO incredibly much to me. Thank you. You always leave me the sweetest and kindest comments. I can't thank you enough for them - they ALWAYS make me feel happy and like I'm actually accomplishing so much! Huge hugs!

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  4. Regarding the cats, did the vet take a urine sample and get it under the microscope to look at? Or did he just assume it was a UTI? If they didn't directly confirm the presence of bacteria, and you find that the problem isn't going away with antibiotics, you need a urine sample because it may very well also be urine crystals. Urine crystals are what they sound like, tiny crystals. They irritate the lining of the bladder and they can also group together along with other waste products and block the urethra entirely, which is not as common in female cats as it is for males.

    Regarding the pee smell. Cat pee smell is strong, and pretty disgusting. You may find that it isn't coming out all the way with a regular cleaner. At that point, all you can do is use an enzyme based cleaner that's meant to be used on bodily fluids. There's a pet one, but it's fairly expensive, called Urine Destroyer, that I use at my house. You'll find it at Petco or Petsmart for sure, they have a general one and one targeted just for cats. You may also be able to find a similar cleaner meant to get bodily fluids from humans out of things, that might also work.

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  5. I am SO happy to see how much progress you are making! its wonderful to hear about how your life is going and I'm very happy that you are getting roommates. They sound like wonderful people and I wish you all the very best. I also want to say thank you so much for comforting me when my mother died. I don't know if you remember responding to my emails but it made a world of difference.

    I wanted to let you know that yet again you have helped me out and given me strength and courage. I have to leave my old (very pricey) apartment and my uncle has offered to buy me a mobile home. I had never even been to a mobile home park before and anything that is even slightly different tends to upset me ( I do not deal with change very well)but when I found out about it I wasn't scared. Or upset about moving. I though cool! I can be like Holly. That is so stupid but your kind of who I want to "grow up" to be. I just think you are so wonderfully kind, smart , funny and a kick ass writer.

    Anyway I just wanted to say Kudos to you for being brave enough to get a new therapist. I feel kind of better knowing that I am not the only person who feels that way when it comes time to change to someone else.

    Also when I have to give my cat dropper meds It helps if you wrap them in a towel. I don't know about your cats but mine are declawed in the front so I have to sort of hold them in a way that keeps their back paws contained.

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    1. Oh, honey, this comment means so incredibly much to me. If there's ever any way I can help you, please don't hesitate to let me know.

      I'm absolutely terrified of change. But less so now that I've made such a massive one by moving to Alabama. I promise you'll be okay. I promise you can take this world by storm.

      <3

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  6. Hi Heidi -
    One thing I've found that REALLY helps difficult cats get their meds down is -- if you like tuna -- keep the liquid out of the can and mix the medicine into a little bit of it, and give it to the cat like it's a treat. Just make sure that there's enough tuna juice that the flavor of the med is hidden. Good luck!

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