Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Weird Dreams and Fatigue

As usual I am woken up today by weird dreams. I slept ten hours but it feels like less than three, fatigue sucks. I was sore, stiff and felt like my head was made of lead when I finally get up. Now as for the weird dreams part, these I still remember. I was out with a group and we start on the side of a road and ahead of us are a series of tornadoes that have been touching down in the vast field ahead of us, we're taking pictures of them and moving close to their drop zones. I know how a tornado works and you would NEVER move closer to them when they touch down, the suction and powerful swirling winds can lift you hundreds of feet in the air and toss you five times that distance. They work when rising warm air off the earth reaches the colder air of the atmosphere above and rapidly drop back down in a "funnel" shape. They have six classifications called the Fujita Scale, an F0 is the weakest of the six but still incredibly strong and an F5 is the strongest, largest, and most destructive on the scale. Anyway, in this weird dream I am photographing them and I watch them touch down and then disappear, only to reappear near by. This is typical tornado behavior it "skips" along the ground. Then the weird part is I see it lifting chunks of earth and water and beach up in what looks like Minecraft-esq blocks of pixelated images of fish in the water part of the land chunk. It slides along the ground like an ice cube on a countertop and comes very close to us, expecting it to suddenly "collapse" and flood us with water, the group backs up but the block doesn't break. We see the water around our feet but it's not wet and makes no splash when we walk in it. Then I see these horse things with brown cow spots on them walking on the surface of the water like it's not big deal. I turn and see a flag illuminated by the sunlight, the tornadoes have cleared up and the sun comes back out. This is the flag I see slowly waving in the wind:


That the provincial flag of Quebec. I don't know why I see this flag on the pole, waving in the wind I have never been to Quebec nor have I ever seen any part of it that would get tornadoes. The area of the tornado cluster looks like a lake surrounded by high cliffs covered in trees and grass, a lot of Ontario's northern part has the Canadian Shield running through it, sheer cliffs of solid pink granite and I have seen them before. Years and years ago when I was a child attending a camping field trip with my grade 7/8 class. The Canadian Shield does run through Quebec too but I have never seen it in that province, nor have I ever seen any pictures of it so I would have no idea what it looks like. The camera I am using to take these pictures is also strange, it's bulky and thick like an early 2000's digital camera I don't like the way it feels in my hands or how it works. I tell someone in my group this and they don't say anything. It only takes about twelve pictures before it says the memory card is full and it displays a white screen with text in it. I can only make out some of it because I didn't read it all but the text says the camera is on "cool down" mode and "memory card full". Most digital cameras today have memory cards that can take up to 5000 pictures and 47 hours of video before it's full, I have a two gig card in my digital camera now and I have never filled it completely. Either way it was strange enough to wake me up, I was still tired and it was a fight to even open my eyes but that dream was just too weird for me to stay asleep, and also bladder alarm clock went off so yeah...

Monday, April 29, 2019

Hacked...Again.

In this day and age if you choose to live without a cell phone for one reason or another, in my case it's not having money to pay for one, it seems everything you used to do is now working against you. Today I tried to log into my Gmail account and was told my password was not correct, the recovery email was set to something at hotmail which I DON'T use so that tells me someone has gotten into my Gmail. It's my main email account so I had to change the password again, hopefully this new change will keep whoever tried to change it out for a while. My recovery email for that was also the same so I hope it works this time. I don't have $600 to buy a cell phone to set up that annoying two step verification that everything wants these days. At least I was still able to get into here and change my main password that way, it seems the hacker didn't think I'd use that back door to get back in. I'm thinking it's probably some spam bot because a living person would have checked everything connected to that email account and not just one part of it. If I knew anyone with a cell phone that I could trust long enough to ask to use theirs for the two step verification part of pretty much EVERYTHING these days, I would. But I don't so until I can get some sort of money coming in every month I'll have to deal with this. This will probably be a short entry, I just hate waking up to have to deal with something like this when I didn't have any intention of thinking about it. Also I'm hungry and that also makes me mad.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

The Demonic Wall of Doubt

So about twelve days ago I finally applied online for ODSP and within three days I got a call back. My caseworker suggested that since I have no income coming in currently that I should also apply for Ontario Works and tell them that I am also applying for ODSP. I didn't have to tell my dad this because he had already heard the message on the answering machine so that was one relief, however turned out my relief was short lived. Applying for Ontario Works can certainly help out here with the financial crunch we're in but it also means that most, if not all my monthly Works payment will be going to my parents as "rent" and that means it will slow down my chances of finding my own place. As soon as my dad found that out, he was literally like a dog salivating over a juicy steak I told him  I wanted to also see if I could find a part time job as well as getting these monthly payments coming in, as I said, I'm trying to get out into my own place and every little bit helps. His reaction to this was proof of the reason why I should get out of here. He said that even though corporations like to think they're "progressive" and "all inclusive" in hiring those with disabilities, despite that public statement as soon as they find out I have MS they won't hire me because I'm a "liability" for them. He was also quick to add after I said I wanted my own place that children should be taking care of their parents in their old age. And yes, that's true but does it have to come at the expense of that child's own happiness and dreams? There has to be a way for both sides to be happy right? If there was any doubt about whether or not my parents are Baby Boomers, then those cutting and frankly mean statements would remove all the doubts. I told my mom this today because as per usual brain doesn't allow me to sleep when it has all these thoughts waking me up after six hours of sleep, and I had expected her at least to be supportive and say she was glad I was finally going to do something...not. She didn't say anything until I mentioned she was walking away as I was explaining what had gotten me up this morning, her comment about why was "I don't know what to say, you get these ideas in your head and then..." she trails off and doesn't finish that sentence but I know exactly what she was going to finish with; "you never do anything with them." So much for her being the less "offensive" parent to talk to.

I know my dad is a very toxic person, he always has been and it's one reason why my sister left fifteen years ago, I had come to accept that but my mom too? It just hurt, really, truly and deeply hurt to hear her true thoughts about me.  Now what had felt like a real step towards making it on my own has become just another leash. I am allowed to think I'm getting out and starting to take steps towards becoming a real adult, only to have that invisible leash yanked on and knocking me back down. It has made me doubt whether or not I should even apply for Ontario Works now if it means I won't get to use any of it for my own place. Just goes to show why I've never even tried these programs before, I didn't think I deserved them because I wasn't in dire need of it. I said this to my caseworker when she called back about my ODSP application, I said I had no idea what to do because I never felt I deserved to apply for these programs and she told me that's why these programs exist. And now, after those biting comments from my parents it is becoming clear to me that I DO need these programs. Because not all toxic environments have physical signs, some are invisible to an outsider. And despite that, I still doubt. I still think I may be as my dad says "being stupid" about this. After twelve years here I've been blind to most of what he says, not realizing how damaging it really is to hear daily; because I've heard it daily so it's become commonplace, and it's left scars on my mental health and my mental state that I'm only now seeing. So does that mean I should be "grateful" I've actually had a place to live, a roof over my head, food in my belly, and a place to sleep? And that I shouldn't be complaining about it now? If this was 20 years ago, yeah sure back then the invisible mental health state was not talked about, you were expected to shut your mouth and keep your head down about it. Suck it up and deal with it, you should be grateful you have a place to live even if it's not "ideal". A mentality that still lingers even now in 2019, mostly from those Baby Boomers like my parents.

The question is, now that I recognize the toxicity of the environment I am in what do I do about it? I'm not a minor, I'm not legally trapped here I can leave anytime I want because I'm an adult. Am I exaggerating things? Am I doing this for attention? No. I am not, sometimes you just have to wake up and realize some things are not as they seem, even if it takes twelve years to do so.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Subconsciously Prompted to Progress

I woke up today again because of strange dreams. This time it centered around a metaphoric image to make progress and to move forward.  I was on a bus and it felt like I'd been on there for a long time, going round and round on the route but never getting off to go somewhere, until today. I finally get off and start going somewhere. Other than the oddly specific person I recognized in it, my old high school friend that I have literally not spoken to in over 15 years Julie Vanderburg happened to be the face I recognized, still looking as she did back then. We weren't really that close and didn't hang out a lot so I don't know why my subconscious chose her image to present to me today. There wasn't much else in it except when I stopped the bus to get off it was in front of some food vendor/food truck like thing with a bunch of sandwiches out for sale. The one I happened to choose was something like teriyaki beef and Swiss which probably wouldn't taste very good together, having had both teriyaki beef and Swiss cheese (separately, not together) before I know those two flavours are very distinct. The sandwich also happened to be ridiculously priced and despite there being four in a pack they were sold individually. I wanted all four so for some reason it happened to cost me $200 which is NOT normal. Other than her image being used by my subconscious  Julie didn't do anything in this dream other than get off the bus with me, she kind of vanished afterwards. Dreams are weird. It was enough to wake me at 10:30 am today despite the fact I only went to bed at 3 am.

I was up after that with a clear set of steps in mind to take in order to satisfy my obvious desire to make progress and start doing what I had resolved to do on NYE which is to start the ball rolling so I can build up some money to move out of here.

1) Start the online application for ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program)

If the application wants me to submit a more recent MRI to confirm my MS status then move to next step.

If not then skip to step three.

2) Call my neurologist and see if she is still going to see her other patients from out here.

If yes, then set up an appointment to see her and get another MRI scheduled. They take months to schedule if they are low priority so this all has to happen soon.

If no, then see if she will give me a referral to another neurologist who still practices out here, then repeat previous statement.

3) Submit MRI results to ODSP application if needed, if not then wait for it to come in and start clearing my credit card debt with whatever amount I am given for my current living situation.

4) Once credit card is cleared, or nearly cleared enough I can start saving the monthly income from the disability for a first and last month's rent on an apartment, preferably close enough to have my parents near if I need them. Because I know they will worry or freak if they know I want to move out.

5) Find a place, in a good and safe area. Budget the remaining savings from the ODSP until I can find a part time job. Only for extra security would I need to find a part time job, which has been clearly defined by the government recently as only being 20-25 hours a week max. Anymore and it's pushed into full time status, and that is not going to happen. Most employers stick to one or the other. No more will they allow what happened to me when I was working from 2008-2011, being hired part time but scheduled for full time hours and not being paid full time rates. This step will also allow me to start making payments on my much bigger student loan debt that I also have to contend with.

6) With my own place I can finally begin to look at setting up the streaming center I have wanted to do ever since I got my Twitch account. I won't have to share the internet with anyone, won't have to accomadate other people anymore, I can finally live like an adult. With the money coming in I can also apply to the Trillium Drug Benefit program so I can start my MS meds, which means a return visit to the neurologist to get the prescription started. And I can finally get a cell phone again after living without one for over ten years. I'll need some sort of communication which isn't a computer if I'm going to be on my own, for safety mostly.

As I write all that out it seems so simple and clear, so why am I nervous about even beginning step one? I've also resolved to not let my actions be dictated by fear anymore, being nervous is anxiety, anxiety is fear so I need to get over whatever is making me hesitate and GO FOR IT. Of course a little fear is healthy, it keeps you sharp and alert so you don't get killed or something, it's instinct and no matter how strong you've tempered your will to be, that instinct will always be there. To completely eliminate instinct makes you not human, it makes you a machine with no will or instincts of survival. Unless you're going all Sky Net and T-1000 like...but that is pretty extreme. ^_^

So what will I do? Probably start the application process either today or sometime this week because right now, I'm not ready to let go of that nervousness just yet.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Resolving to Change the Future, While Thinking of the Past

As the first month of 2019 comes to a close I am wakened up today by a strange dream. For some reason I find myself in 1997, in my sister's old room at our previous house. I am talking to the 12 year old version of her, the thing about my dreams is that I can speak and read in them so I could hear myself talking and understand what was being said to me. Why 1997 of all years? I have no idea, maybe it was because in 1997 I was just starting high school and for many that is the beginning of the road that shapes them into the adults they become later. I was 14 and I didn't know what month in 1997 I was in so if it was January I would have still been in grade 8, we don't call it middle school up here. Up here elementary school runs from junior kindergarten to grade 8, THEN you get into high school from grade 9 to 12. Grade 13 or OAC (Ontario Academic Course) has not existed for 20 years I was in the second last year to get the option of going to OAC. Anyway, I was being asked questions that normally one would be taught in Sex Ed, don't ask me why my 12 year old sister was asking me about that, dreams rarely have any sense of logic to them. And then I saw my 45 year old father and my 43 year old mother come up the stairs as well as my 14 year old self. My parents were bringing dinner on a tray for some reason to the bedroom we were in and my 14 year old self saw me and just turned to go back down the stairs. They saw the older version of me sitting there and the younger version and instead of freaking out, like one would assume one would when seeing two versions of your daughter, my dad said to me "What year are you from?" My parents are sci-fi fans so I guess that means when they see two versions of their daughter they just assume time travel. The next thing they say to me is "Tell us about you and the future." My reply is "Do you really want to know that?" And then I reach full consciousness and there goes that. However, I still think about it now like where would that conversation have gone? I don't actually wake up or get out of bed I am lying there still thinking about what I would have said to the younger versions of my parents and myself.

I suppose 1997 was sort of a pivotal year for us, I was starting high school and that is a milestone for any family when the oldest is starting high school. Had I had the chance to tell my parents what was coming what would I have said to them? Well, for starters I would think that their first question would be "Is everyone healthy and happy?" and I would have to say no. My sister has become a smoker and a drinker like my grandfather, my dad has pinched nerves and degenerating discs in his spine, mom has cholesterol issues, my uncle had major heart problems, and I have MS. Of course I would not just drop that bomb on them so bluntly, I would have to ease them into it. First thing I would say is no, we aren't and if their next question is who and why I would start by telling my dad he needs to stop working 60-70 hours a week right now. That pain he has in his back, it's being caused by a tiny little tumour that is growing around his spinal cord at the base of his skull putting pressure on the nerves, and that tumour is not cancerous but is caused by stress. His chiropractor is the one who finally suspects something else is wrong when my dad is getting no back pain relief from the sessions he attends with him. My dad's chiropractor literally saved his life. This was discovered in 1999, two years after the time I happened to land in. My mom needs to get her cholesterol under control as well, I am not sure if the cholesterol medication Crestor existed in 1997 but if not then any family doctor can prescribe whatever the alternative at the time was for her. This is especially significant for my mom because her mom died in 1976 from a heart attack, she was only in her 40's which in 1997 was the same age as my mom was. My sister started smoking when she was 16 because at the time my grandmother had just died in February 2001 from lung cancer and instead of remembering that her cancer was caused by over 50 years of smoking, my sister still starts. The drinking comes later after my sister takes off and starts living with friends. She was never one to resist peer pressure that well.

Then we come to me, in Canada at least 100 000 people have MS and for our country's small population size that is a huge percentage of the people. I happened to hit all three of the criteria to get MS as well as getting the bad end of luck odds. Studies show that in those who develop MS, it has been linked to a vitamin D deficiency the mother has if she's carrying the baby through the winter months when it's cold out and not much sunlight. I happened to be a baby that was carried through the winter months. The chances of MS are also higher for those living in northern countries where the sun doesn't shine as strong or for as long, like Canada. Also if you're born female, it tends to be worse in men but also rarer for some reason. If I could tell my 14 year old self something it would be to be confident, I am far more capable of handling a higher level of school subjects than I think I am. Ontario's school curriculum in 1997 had three levels of courses you could take; Basic, General, and Advanced. I stuck with general level courses because I didn't think I was smart enough to handle the Advanced levels. This is not true, I found that I could have very easily done all advanced level courses and STILL done well enough to earn subject awards for the highest grades. Book work and memorization were my strongest suits. I would have also told 14 year old me to start taking the same doses of vitamin D and vitamin B12 that I take now. I don't know if it would have changed my odds of being diagnosed with MS in 2016 if I had been taking the same doses I take now for the previous 19 years, for all I know it could have built up my body's reserves of the vitamins and prevented the MS from ever triggering in the first place.

My uncle's heart problems were probably existent long before we started to notice his symptoms. The uncle I am talking about is my dad's younger brother, he is also mentally challenged. For his entire life my grandparents tried to deal with having a mentally challenged child as best they could for the time they grew up in. They would often leave him to his own devices or simply ignore him. My dad tells me that he was often told to leave his brother alone when he would do something to annoy him. My grandparents tolerated his mentally challenged state and didn't do much of anything to help my uncle find the support he needed because of it. They never pushed him to brush his teeth which led to him having to get them all removed in 2016, the heart surgeon would not operate on him until his rotten and broken teeth had all been removed completely before hand. Keep in mind my uncle will be 65 this year and because he was born in 1950's there was no tolerance for the mentally ill or challenged, they were shipped off to asylums often and forgotten about. My grandparents were Depression Era born and as you can imagine the stigma existed even back then against the mentally challenged and ill.

What does this mean for my future? The past shapes the present and if I had changed everything back in that pivotal year of 1997 my present self would cease to exist, having no reason to go back in time to change things in the first place, a paradox. Many scientists agree that time travel only flows in one direction, forwards and going back is not currently possible according to our current level of scientific knowledge. All I can do now is use that past to change my future. This year my New Year's resolutions were not about losing weight or being healthy, as I am right now I am okay and keeping my MS symptoms under control with the vitamins. Even though I am aware of the fact that the vitamins are only a stop-gap measure and to truly manage them I need much stronger medications. They all have side effects and cost a lot of money I am not sure I really want to deal with those right now. I need to get some money coming in, either from a job or finally applying for disability. I want to move out of my parents' place this year and that requires money. So my resolutions involving making that happen. January is always a terrible month for me, I ALWAYS get sick for the first two weeks of it and I just don't want to do anything. Also not many places are hiring in January, as they have just finished their Christmas rush and are now cutting loose their temporary hires. I still look though, not all industries have Christmas hires or even get Christmas rushes. There are still 11 months in 2019 left to make that happen so I don't have to do it all right now, I can get the ball rolling in January which I have.

As this year goes on, there will be more entries here about my progress and what's happening. This is why I started this blog to begin with. When I have strange dreams that wake me up like today, I come here to write them out and what I think will happen because of them.

Friday, December 21, 2018

The Season of Lost Hope

Everyone says that Christmas/Holiday time is supposed to be about happiness and joy, coming together and a time when for a little while the world seems a little less cruel and painful. For me, I haven't felt that in a long time, not since I was a child and didn't know any better. Adulting is hard, you lose faith and joy in the things that you once loved as a child. Bills, taxes, stress, debts, all of that comes crashing down on you all at once and it tends to kill any joy you would have had for this time of year. Not to mention the painful pit in the stomach feeling of losing hope in something.

This happened to me recently, I decided to talk to my ex again after ten years and for about a month it was nice for both of us, we cleared up some unanswered questions we both had about what happened ten years ago and it all seemed to be going well, things were coming back around. Unfortunately, the recent events in his life and the stress in his marriage had been what prompted him to contact me again. I was willing to listen to him vent and to let him get rid of some of that stress he had been dealing with in his life. And it gave me hope, it sounds kind of bad when you think about what had to occur for that to come about in the first place. His marriage had to fail if there was going to be any real chance of getting back together, and sadly it did. Now he's facing being a single father with only minimal interaction from his sons' mother in their life and he's decided that I wasn't going to be part of that anymore.

After trying to have hope about it the reality can really destroy that. Now I'm left right back where I was before I spoke to him again. And I'm thinking about what to do now, I know many would say I should have never reopened a door that was closed ten years ago with him, while others would say there is nothing wrong with hoping for a second chance at a future together. He did want that with me back then but I was too immature and focused on my own crap to see what he was trying to do for us. And now it's too late. No going back. I have an idea of what I could do, find a job and start saving money to move out of my parents place into something of my own again. Finding time to make things happen for me because no one else will hand them to me. I have been back with my parents for too long now and it's time to start living my own life. Just not right now, it's too late in the year and no one will be hiring and of course I have to worry about what kind of work I can do with MS, I just don't feel like looking right now, too hurt from what happened to try.

Writing down my thoughts is the only way I know of to help ease my pain and sadness, I get the thoughts out of my head and then I can go back to a semi functional adult again. Without it, I just get stuck and have no release. Probably have to censor them for a public forum like a blog though, no names or anything like that. I still want to get married though, perhaps have a child and when I was talking to my ex again after so long that was what I was thinking about having with him. I wouldn't have minded being a stepmother to his boys either, before he drops this bomb on me I was worrying about what I would say to his boys when I saw him and them for the first time. Worrying that they wouldn't like me and only see me as an intruder in their life. But hey, no worrying about that anymore he just took that away from me, so yay right? A load off my mind already. Except that sinking pit in the stomach feeling isn't going away with accepting the inevitable, it's still there. Makes me want to cry because it hurts to have your hope stolen away from you at the last second before you can reach for it. That is what hurts most of all, to lose something like that. Do I really want to close the door on having a child by starting my MS meds? Because as soon as I do that door closes for good, there is no going back to change that. Or do I keep it open and just wait for the next time I get so close to getting what I want in life only to have to stolen away again?

So that's why I call this The Season of Lost Hope because for me it is. Depressing is another word for this post but I can't be bothered to lie and write something I just don't feel. Either way, getting it out of my head DOES help a bit but only a little, the underlying cause of the thoughts is still there and won't be going away any time soon. All I can do is write this out and hope my ex doesn't go looking for anything associated with my name or Google account sometime later on, not that he would but I am allowed to be a wee bit paranoid about putting anything out on the web right?

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Ghosts of the Past

Did you know that two days after I created this blog, I got an email from my first ex after ten years. It surprised me that he would do something like that since we've been broken up since 2008. It brought up memories, some good, some not so good. It also made me remember an email I wrote using the Future Me site where you can write yourself an email today and the site will hold onto it and deliver it at a future date. Most people pick a milestone birthday and I remember I did one that would be delivered on my 30th birthday in 2013. I sent it, oddly enough, in 2008 a mere few months before my ex and I broke up. I vaguely remember what I put in it, I think I wrote something like what had happened to me on the day I wrote it, my nephew was only a few months old and he had a cold or something, mom was on the phone with my sister about it. It was also talking about how that by 30 I had hoped I would have been married to my ex and we would have our own place. I hoped that we would have had many travels and adventures together because at the time I wanted to travel. I didn't actually get to do it until a year later in 2009 for the first time. I took my mom and I to Hawaii for her 55th birthday, I asked her in February that year about it I said "How would you like to go to Hawaii for your birthday this year?" She of course was literally floored that I would even ask that and took all of one day to think it over and say yes. That was the first time I had left the country, like ever. I mean sure there was that trip to the Thousand Island's American side when I was a kid, I don't really count that because honestly, I barely remember it I had to be like 5 or something. I paid for the flight and the hotel over the next eight months and mom paid for a few tours and things we did there, dad gave me $1000 in Traveler's Checks and cash to go there. I came back with $63, because Hawaii's expensive. I would have taken my dad too but I couldn't afford three tickets and at the time his work situation was up in the air, they were in the midst of talks about being bought out by an American company. We also had a sick cat at the time who needed his medicine administered orally, dad had to stay to do that. Mom and I were there for nine days and we called back here to Canada once a day, Hawaii is six hours behind us here in Ontario so we had to back up our times for the calls so it wouldn't occur at like 3 in the morning here. I did get some nice things to write about after that trip though as well as some amazing photos. Photography is my other passion, I love taking nature and landscape pictures because it's story telling through images. I don't have a fancy expensive camera (I'd love to though) with three different lenses and light filters so I take all my pictures with an ordinary digital camera. I got a better camera after 2009 so my Hawaii photos do look a bit blurred and odd to me now that I look back at them nearly ten years later, I still have that camera too.

I made some 8x10 prints of my best butterfly pictures and gave two of them to my sister for Christmas one year, others I've posted on my DeviantArt page which is where my best and least blurred pictures are uploaded, I watermarked them too just because I'm proud of them. I know I can sell them off that site, there is that option but I haven't done it. I have very few pictures that are not of butterflies, landscapes, or flowers and no pictures of people. I have thought about taking my camera out one of these days and just wandering around to see if I find interesting things to photograph, it's been two years since I've taken any new pictures of butterflies. I would go to the Butterfly Sanctuary in Niagara Falls to get them, I love going there but I haven't gone recently which makes me sad. One day I hope that the urge to get out there with my camera really pushes me to do it, it's all part of me trying not to let the fact that I have MS keep me from doing the things I loved before the diagnosis, it's still a work in progress but I am getting there. Making this blog is one of those steps in getting back to what I love.