How to Write When Writing Seems Impossible

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How to Write When Writing Seems Impossible

I had a big post planned for today. It involves split peas, baking soda, balloons, and other crafty type things. Only I never got there. And so far, none of us are getting there. Today is a struggle.

It didn’t start out that way. It started out with an appointment that made me very nervous. Mom talked me through the nerves and I felt better… until we got there. The lady wasn’t very pleasant. I made it through, but the discussion brought up some big emotions and I seriously couldn’t get out of that building fast enough.

Brother number 2 hit his head at school which landed us in urgent care. He’s fine, a mild concussion, but he’s okay. The story of how it happened was actually a bit comical and one I’m sure he’ll love to tell later on in life.

We got home and I didn’t want to write. We made a commitment though. We have committed to our writing. So I wrote one article for a website and its under review. And then I came here. I’m writing here even though I feel sad, tired, and overwhelmed. I made a commitment to write and this blog isn’t just about the silly things we come up with. It’s also about the emotions. The pain. The hurt. And how we can get through it. So like yesterday’s post…. sometimes you just have to sit down and write.

 

Rachel

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Productive Days Keeps Anxiety At Bay?

Productive Days Keeps Anxiety At Bay?

Maybe. I mean, I think so. I’m no expert on what works for anxiety reduction in the long term. Some days I can barely manage my own anxiety in the moment, and that doesn’t include the rest of my system’s anxiety. We can be a real hot mess at times.

However, I can absolutely say without a doubt that staying busy and focused does help keep anxiety settled. And not just for me. Our emotional support dog, Howard, has anxiety issues too. When his anxiety ramps up he tends to lose confidence, become insecure, and really skittish. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve found something that helps.

What helps? (I hear you asking)

Productive days. Howard goes out with us for a 3+ mile walk 5 days a week. We’re only on week 2, but let me tell you the difference has been incredible for both him and us. Either we’re all too tired to be as anxious, or the anxious energy has an outlet. I’m not really sure which but it may not matter. What matters is that our emotional support dog is happier, healthier, and far less…well… emotional. He has more confidence and is more playful and secue.

Aside from the walking, we’ve been doing more writing. We’re also doing more scrapbooking, and paying closer attention to our planner and journaling. Part of that is developing a routine and schedule, and staying on it as much as possible. We’re trying new things and taking risks by putting ourselves out there and being more open to new opportunities.

You’re doin what?? That sounds scary!

Kind of a conundrum. Being more open to new things and applying for things is really anxiety producing. We get into the cycle of overthinking a lot when it comes to this. Which ends up leading to us needing more activity or crafty things to settle down the anxiety. Know what else it leads to? Pride. Pride and confidence. We become proud of ourselves for trying and more confident to keep trying.

Does being more productive lead to less anxiety? For us, I believe it does.

All or Nothing

 

One of the areas we find that we can all identify with is the All or Nothing Mindset.  Actually I know for sure that a lot of the people who follow us on Facebook and read our blog also get stuck in the same mindset. The graphic below has made it’s rounds in the Facebook groups we follow and on our friends’ timelines, and it’s totally accurate for us.

Mindset

A beautiful explanation of the all or nothing mindset that so many of us experience.

I did an outline of how we experience this whole all or nothing mindset stuff. My outline is two pages long and after making the outline and re-reading it several times I’ve realized that we really really REALLY don’t notice the grey areas very well. And we really need to work on balance, in just about all areas of our lives.

See, we all tend to get really passionate about something. Anything, really. It could be grapes.** We suddenly, with very little warning, become really passionate about grapes. Grapes become all consuming. We have to have grapes as a snack, and grapes with breakfast, and grape flavoring for our water. We have to color pictures of grapes and declare that green and purple are our favorite colors because… grapes. And then, just as quickly as it comes on, it vanishes. We no longer care about grapes. They are just a fruit. Seriously, why is everyone talking about grapes so much??

This literally happens with just about everything. Someone notices we spend too much time online? Okay, we can fix that. Soon we find we can’t put down books. Have to read. All the time. All the books. The doctor thinks we should pay more attention to what foods we’re eating? Can do. We must log every single bite of every single thing. All the things. Even if we only thought about it.  We need to talk more about our feelings? Okay. All the feelings. All the time. ALL. THE. TIME.

And then the people say… No! That’s not what we meant! OMG don’t any of you understand balance? Holy crap, girls!

So we stop talking about feelings AT ALL. No more talking about anything deeper than the weather, but don’t talk about that either because weather is stupid and annoying and if you don’t have anything worth saying why the hell are you still talking omg you are so annoying!! And the logging, you aren’t even doing this right. Do you even take this seriously? Do you need to know everything you eat? Why are you so obsessed? Its just one more reason to be online and obsessed with the cell phone. No more logging. Not logging a damned thing. Except now we’re floundering and have no idea where we are at calorie wise and spend every day feeling like we are failing and are too afraid to eat much. Until we get really hungry and then we must eat all the food. And then we must walk all the walking. The fitbit tracks that. But even those numbers start to become an obsession. Daily goal? Can’t hit it? Failure.

This post has not even gone a little bit like I had intended for it to, which is also triggering my delete reflex. The whole …. uh, this is wrong so its a failure. It’s not all I wanted it to be so therefore its nothing. Stupid mindset.

These mindsets are almost impossible to live with. I wish I understood where they came from. I know it’s a focus in therapy and one of the things we are working on is learning that uncomfortable is okay sometimes. But truthfully, how the hell are we supposed to know what an okay uncomfortable is and what not okay uncomfortable is?

What’s an over-reaction? What’s an under-reaction? Why is numb and calm bad? Why are our thoughts moving in warp speed right now when sometimes they barely move at all? How do we explain to other people that we aren’t trying to manipulate them? That we don’t know why this happens? That we aren’t sure how to balance anything or what balance even is? That we don’t even know how to trust our judgment about what we may or may not need.

Seriously, we can’t be the only ones frustrated and confused by this. I wish I had some kind of answers. And someday I might. For now its enough to get it written down.

Brina

**Grapes was simply an example. To my knowledge its never gone that far with grapes haha

Inside Where We Live (Josslyn)

image from google

hi im josslyn an im like, i dunno, 13 i guess. i usedta be littler but i was scared of everything and spent a lot of time under my bed or in the closet cuz i was always scared. but then i took a really loong nap, like from november to march and now im awake an with my twin sister parker and im bigger and not scared anymore.

my job is kinda to help watch stuff inside and to help feel fear. i see a lot of what the inside sisters do and how they act and i see and feel when they feel scared and i can mostly tell where the fear is coming from an why. i can find help, like tellin mama and daddy, or i can keep it to myself, or i can tell kaysie or bella or brina. they are the protector team. mama and daddy are on the protector team too but i don’t think they know that. some people think its weird that mama and daddy are only a few years older than the body but they raise us and treat us as our age but they don’t gotta live our life and its really not their business anyways so no one asked them.

i really like to color. i have a stuffed animal pony that is striped with all kinds of bright colors and i love butterflys. at our old house before this one i had butterfly stickers on the walls all over by our bed but daddy said they wouldn’t stick again so they didn’t get to move with us when sister peeled them off the walls. that really sucks a lot and i miss them cuz they were bright and fun.

we usedta have a husband. i guess we kinda still do. he hurt us a lot in the heart and on the body. we have a half moon burn on our calf that itches a lot today that he burned in there. he called it a brand and he spent weeks peeling the scabs to make sure it scarred real good. i still have dreams about that. it was scary. he has our dog and we have the bodys kids with him that we gave to mama and daddy because we can’t raise kids and none of us remember much about having kids and we didn’t even really want to but he liked pregnant girls and liked to keep us pregnant cuz we were easier to keep quiet an we were clingy. its hard to look at the body’s kids sometimes but mama and daddy help a lot an took over there and the body’s kids say giving them to mommy and daddy was the best choice we ever made for them and that we usually make bad choices for them so they are happy about this one.

i wrote a lot. i guess. oh well. thats me and what my job is an what i was thinkin about. oh an we have a butterfly tattoo i hate cuz its a property mark we were made to get. but its a butterfly.

love,

jossy

Time Flies!

Its been over a month! I know, it sucks for me too. It turns out we despise trying to write a blog post on our cell phone. Our laptop is touchy and we really don’t like being at the big computer with our back to the room, and the big computer takes forever to load stuff and its frustrating so we often don’t bother. But then we don’t write!  And Lord knows we need to write. We all do better writing and writing on paper isn’t happening anymore.

Journaling is really helpful for most of us. Hand writing feels awkward and we all feel reluctant to have our thoughts laying around on paper. At least here we can make things private if we need to or want to, or we can share them with the world anytime we want to.

There are about 9 of us active right now…. they are….

Me (Kaysie)
Alayna
Jenna
Cadie
Lyssa
Hayley
Abby
Zoey
Bella

Bella isn’t fronting at all unless absolutely necessary. The rest of us are handling day to day life as best we can. Its been tricky because we had to make the very hard choice to give our dog to our ex for reasons that are best for her….mostly health reasons. She was our therapy dog… our bond was tight and we miss her like crazy. Its only been a week but the chaos its created is nuts. Everything from feeling alone, abandoned, unsafe, unable to trust, attachment issues, and overwhelming sadness. I’m hoping it all starts to settle down soon.

Because everything is mixed up we have been working on new ways to stay connected and together. We have found a way to communicate outside when communication inside is tricky and the parents have been monitoring everything to make sure we can ask them whats been going on and they can help us out. They have been pretty patient too. We want to start writing more too.

Thats about it for now…

Kaysie

The List

This is, hands down, one of my most favorite memes from Facebook. It completely describes most of us in this system. People have asked us before why we always seem to need to learn things the hard way and the answer has always been the same….. we didn’t realize there was any other way. I think, in a way, the hard road/way always seems easiest to understand. We are leery of things that seem too easy. Almost like its a trap or not “real”. 
So, these silly girls take the hard road. Part of taking the hard road seems to be never looking at what’s right in front of you. Right in front of me is a ton of opportunity to learn new things and to do things that previously were impossible. Mom and Daddy are really supportive of whatever it is we want to try. So some of us made lists of things we would like to try to learn or do.
My list so far: 
Lose weight (working on that, down 32lbs since we moved here in August)
Learn to bake
Learn to cook
Become a better and more consistent writer
Get divorced
Knit something useful
Change the way the body looks to better reflect us… get comfortable in our skin
Learn to bead on a loom
Become somewhat athletic
So far that’s what I’ve got. Glee is playing now (binging on Netflix) and they are talking about Domestic Violence. I’m home alone, like usual these days, and anxiety is bad. I have brownies cooking for Mama in hopes that it makes her smile. I used a box mix because I have no idea how to bake anything from scratch, nor do I understand what ingredients would be needed. That’s why baking is on my list. 
Its time to switch. I’ll let you know how my list progress goes.
Alayna Jade

Our Aching Feet…..

Most weekday mornings we head out for a walk. We aim for anywhere between 3 and 5 miles, although sometimes we’re lucky to hit two miles…. haha.  The walks weren’t something we could really do in our old life. We didn’t feel safe enough or comfortable enough and it always seemed like our time was better spent in other ways. Here, though, we are greeted every morning by this sight:
Our mountains wish us good morning (taken 11/1/15 with the samsung S6 around 7:45am).

We really didn’t think the walks were accomplishing much except for aching feet. (Pretty sure we have a muscle/tendon problem in the right foot, but no pain no gain, right?!). When Mom realized we were serious about the walking she decided we needed new shoes and that has helped a lot (stupid arch in the right foot is still killing us tho….shhh). We seriously had no shortage of aches and pains but we own a mirror and nothing seemed to be changing. It was getting pretty disappointing, which was leading to feelings of defeat and failure. Those feelings were, in turn, fueling some massive bad energy and I’m willing to bet causing us to overreact to other things. We were getting tired of seeing this (see picture below) and still feeling rejected and worthless (other things contribute to that feeling but this wasn’t helping):

This a partial screen shot of our Fitbit Flex today (11/1/15).

The negative emotions were eating us alive. We were second guessing a lot of our recent major decisions and trying to figure out how we had screwed up so badly in life. We were trying to figure out what was wrong with us and why we are always rejected and/or left behind. It was just bad. If you’ve read other posts, you know how bad things got. Everyone in this house was dealing with their own problems and adjusting to their transitions in their own way. Everyone was battling big things… and we were sick. We spent almost all of last week with a bad cold and a mild fever. That helped NOTHING at all, especially because we couldn’t safely go for our walks. We could barely make it safely across the driveway. 

Being down for the count last week, having to rest and not walk seemed like a great thing. It seemed so wonderful to not ache and not deal with the arch pain in our right foot. It continued to seem like that, but our life seemed to be falling apart at the same time. We were a mess, our life felt like a huge mess. 
Thursday of last week Mom insisted that we were not only going on our walk, but that we would complete two miles before coming home. Honestly, I (meaning me, Alayna) was pretty sure she had lost her mind because we were still running a slight fever so in my mind we were still sick. Sick kids don’t go for walks. Sick kids binge on Netflix. I wanted us to binge on Netflix. Needless to say, if you’ve ever met my mother, we lost and we went for our 2 mile walk. We lived through it and Jenna at least, was pretty proud of us for getting it done. Then we went back to hanging out with Netflix. (side note: Netflix is pretty much our only friend here, so we’re pretty attached…lol)
Friday morning comes around and Mom, once again, insists on a 2 mile walk. We ended up with close to 2.5 miles on Friday. 
By yesterday, we realized that when we don’t walk, we miss a lot of benefits from walking. We miss our park, our mountain, and our trees.

More importantly, we miss out on the good feelings that come from walking. We’ve always heard that walking releases endorphins and raises mood, blah blah blah. I can honestly tell you that the blah blah blah is real. Our mood and our life was spiraling out of control because we weren’t doing what we needed to do in order to take care of ourselves. No, we shouldn’t be walking when we’re sick but we could have tried sooner. Mom knew though. She knew how badly we relied on that, even when we didn’t. She made the choice to force us back into it knowing we didn’t feel well. 
That’s not to say that our problems as a family were all due to a lack of walking. God I wish it were that easy. No, we as a family have a lot of work to do in order to make everyone feel welcome, safe, and happy. But we can make it better on ourselves and, in turn on our family, by keeping up with our walking. 
This morning, while we were hanging out in Mama’s room watching her go through her laundry, she had us try on some pants. Almost everything she gave us to try on fit, and most of them were smaller than what we already had. She had noticed that we were struggling to keep our pants up. We noticed too, kinda, but figured we stretched them out or something. We never considered that we were ready for smaller pants. Her scale (which she only lets us use once a week) showed us today that we have lost 30.2 pounds since we moved here in August. That’s huge. It’s seriously huge and we never noticed. I spent a bit looking in the mirror today, and I really can’t see it. The neighbor sees it. Aunt Leslie says she sees it in pictures. Mom says she sees it. We just don’t.
What we do see: Our hair is growing back thicker and in much better shape, our nails are getting healthier, our blood sugar is almost always close to perfect and a blood sugar level of 90 feels great. When we first moved here 130 triggered a low reaction. Our average blood sugar sat around 300 and refused to budge.  
Today, after completing 3 miles and seeing the scale, the clothes fitting differently, and spending some not emotional, perfectly normal time with Mama, I feel good. Not only do I feel good, I feel hopeful, strong, and I feel a weird sort of peace. I don’t really feel safe yet, that I think will come in time. I think I need to work on not pushing myself to feel safe. Pushing this system to feel something we aren’t ready for or can’t seem to grasp always seems to lead to disaster. I think I’m going to do my best to keep my sisters and I looking ahead and I’m going to keep building my support system. I love my family and I won’t give up.
Alayna Jade