Thursday, May 26, 2011

PTSD

I've been going back and forth between posting on this subject for almost two months now. On the one hand, there's definitely a line between what's appropriate to share with the wide world of interwebbiness and what you should maybe not share with absolutely anyone who would want to read your blog. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure I know at least most of the people who read my blog, and I figure that they're really the only audience I should be worried about. Plus, sometimes I just need to write about something and know someone out there will read it. It's a way of processing, but it's also a way of telling myself, "Hey, it's okay to talk about this."

Because I really don't feel like I can talk about it. Sometimes I may say things. If the tornado sirens go off in class and I'm freaking out inside, I might mention to one of my friends after class that I hate tornado sirens. But if they show any kind of concern, I quickly say, "Yeah, it bothers me, but it's okay. I'm fine." And I put on my cheerful face. When a friend was in an accident and nearly died and dealt with post traumatic stress, I knew what she was dealing with before she did, and I recognized the way she talked and processed. I'd say things like, "Well for me after the tornado . . . so it makes sense that you . . .." But I tried to never let on that watching her trauma made me think of my own, and I actually felt badly that the tornado could still bother me so much, that even watching someone else deal with trauma could make me relive the tornado as if my head had turned into a giant movie screen and I was stuck in the red velvet chair. I felt badly that I could not focus my entire attention on her and what she was going through. I felt stupid that I was still so bothered by the tornado three whole years later.

This was before 2011 officially became the year of the tornado. Thankfully, a few weeks before the Alabama tornadoes, I had gone and talked to someone about it and we agreed that I was still "officially" dealing with PTSD. That was helpful. But then Alabama happened. Then, this past Sunday, the sirens went off. My grandparents, aunt, and cousin were here, so that meant sitting in the basement surrounded by people who didn't get that talking about tornadoes a few miles away was not the most helpful thing for someone who was almost killed by one three years ago. And then I found out that the tornadoes tore through the neighborhood I lived in from ages 2-8. And that that same day tornadoes may or may not have touched down in North Liberty. And then Joplin happened, and that was even more fuel to the "everywhere I turn, there's tornado coverage" fire.

I guess I feel like I can't talk about it because I don't get why tornadoes still bother me. Logically, I think about it and say that I'm fine with the fact that I almost died and that I almost lost many of my close friends, I'm fine having lost most of what I owned--I really don't get sad about losing everything and hardly did even a few months after the fact, and I'm not really afraid that it would happen to me again because--really--how statistically improbable is it that it would happen twice to the same person. Why, then, do I want to cry every time I hear tornado sirens? Why does my heart race and my stomach knot up every time I see pictures of tornado damage? Why do I still get angry about the tornado emotionally when I'm not angry about it in my head, logically?

I know it doesn't make sense and that it isn't suppose to make sense. I probably need to worry less about how I'm *suppose* to be and learn to be okay with how I am. I just am so convinced that everyone else from Union is perfectly better now and that something must be wrong with me for me to still be dealing with it. And that's just silly. I wouldn't be surprised if many people still feel the way I do but also feel silly for expressing it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Was Hoping Not To Cry At This One . . .

Seriously. I didn't think I'd cry at my brother's graduation. I'm pretty sure I didn't cry at his high school one, though I have cried at other graduations before (probably including both of mine). But then I was planning and prepping some things today. And then it happened. I pulled out something I've been saving for awhile, and I remembered that when I put it away, I thought, "It's going to be years before I need to find this, I hope I remember!" And then I realized how quickly those years have gone, and how grown up James is--and therefore how grown up our family is--and I got just a teeny bit choked up. I'm so glad that through all of his growing up, though, we have remained such amazing friends :-)

Here's hoping that I make it through semi-tearless!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Craftiness

I have a long and complicated relationship to craftiness. No, not the sneaky, conniving kind--the William Morris, stereotypical homeschooler, Country Home kind. I was "officially" adopted into my extended family at age 9, and all of my cousins were 4H kids. That means that all of my female cousins can cook, sew, quilt, scrapbook, etc.. I cook well, and I enjoy the little scrapbooking I do, but sewing, crocheting, quilting, knitting, embroidering, cross-stitching . . . these are all things that I really don't do.

In addition to being surrounded by a wonderfully crafty family, I am currently a half-Victorianist. The other half of me is a Modernist. It's a difficult split identity. Stereotypical modernists tend to be hardcore academics, progressive thinkers, possibly experimental (especially the American modernists), and probably snobs (especially the British modernists. Like me ;-) . . . ). Victorianists, on the other hand, tend to be sweet cardigan-wearing girls prone to socialism. They also tend to like arts and crafts.

And it's not just my fellow Victorianists who enjoy the arts and crafts. This semester, I've realized just how many of my friends knit, sew, crochet, and do other wonderfully crafty things. All of these forces came together, and I felt this urge to become crafty. The problem is, I've tried knitting, and I don't think I'm a knitter. Knitters tend to be multi-taskers, and when I do something, I want to do that thing. And I think that crocheting is a similarly multi-tasking kind of craft. So, I decided that I wouldn't try to be that kind of a crafty person any more.

At first, I thought that meant that I had given up craftiness altogether. I'd just cook and bake and let that be my thing. But, recently, I've decided that I want to learn how to sew. It's hard to multi-task when sewing. Plus, you can do it in bits or you can work on small projects that only take a few hours. The problem with scrapbooking was that I took forever on a single page and never finished a full scrapbook. I'm hoping that won't happen with sewing.

So, next time I'm in Minnesota, I'm going to get my mom's sewing machine, take it home, and teach myself how to sew! In my head, I envision myself being like Lorelai--teaching herself how to sew and then becoming an awesome sewing lady. Also, she's not crafty, but she's really good at sewing and she really enjoys it! Unfortunately, I don't have a baby to make clothes for. But maybe I'll just make little things for other people's babies.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Because the Interwebs Told Me To . . .

Yes, you're right. It's been forever since I've written here.

Because, really, I admit it. A play-by-play of a Saturday of paper writing doesn't cut it as a "real post."

In my defense, there was work. A lot of it. So much teaching, paper writing, class attending, proctoring, student meetings, and grading to do. And also a little sleep. I still have the grading left, and I'm alway proctoring, but I am happy to report that the rest of it was finished as of last Thursday.

Why, you may ask, has it taken you four days to return to you blog? Well, after finishing everything, I crashed. I sat around and caught up on my TV shows, and I cleaned my apartment in short spurts. But mainly, I laid around on the couch and slept a lot in bed. I thought about posting, but at first nothing came to mind and then everything did.

I wanted to post about the world's reaction to bin Laden's death and the very awesome class discussion I led about President Obama's (equally awesome) speech. I wanted to post about my newly dubbed "Complementarian Feminism" and talk all about how I believed that Christian Complementarianism and Feminism work perfectly fine together. I also wanted to post about how I've started writing again, both poetry and non-fiction, and talk about that for awhile.

Instead of any of those posts, you're getting this one. And it really isn't about anything.