General Update, Personal

Haven’t Been Around For A While

I haven’t been around for a while. Sorry.

The last month or so I’ve been taking care of Dad, which is hard for a lot of reasons. The biggest being he’s in the far south of the city and I’m downtown and it’s 25 minutes from his place to mine by car. 90-120 by bus if I make all my connections just right.

It hasn’t been easy.

But also neither of my sister has popped their heads up or offered to help either. They both know he’s struggling. He’s mentioned it to them both. Neither has bothered to offer to help though. Because why would they? They took the free rent and free education and free access to a car and easy access to pocket money until they were nearly 30 (or over 30) and now they’re just waiting for him to die.

I actually had the guts to remind him of that a couple weeks ago. I was helping him with his back and helping him with his shopping, and we were in the van heading back to his and he said that he could always ask my sisters for help if I “wasn’t up to it”, and I actually reminded him that both my sisters, at multiple times over the years each, have told him and anyone else who would listen that the second he can’t take care of himself anymore they’re putting him in a home.

“Well, a home is expensive,” he retorted.
“Yeah. I know. But you’ve also put my share of the estate in Anne’s hands, so Anne just inherited 2/3. They’ll use my third to pay for the cheapest home they can find and keep their shares of the estate intact. So don’t tell them how you’re doing. For your own sake. Please.”

I actually said that. Out loud. That is something I’ve said to Dr P, Dr W, and my Godparents all, but I always follow it up with, “And that’s something you think and don’t say. Because it’s Dad.”

But I actually said it out loud.
Still kind of in shock about that to be honest

Not that I think he’ll do anything to fix that. Which means the first thing I’m going to have to do after he passes is take my sister to court to rest control away from her. Not looking forward to that.

But I said the words. *deep breath*

Anyways….

I’ve spent the last month (or really the last 3 1/2 months if we’re going to be perfectly honest) taking care of Dad. Seeing him a minimum of twice a week. Calling him twice a day (at his request). Making sure he eats. Making sure he’s exercising as best he can. Making sure he’s drinking his water. He’s even having me go with him to Doctor’s appointments now.

*long sigh*

It leaves very little space/time for me to take care of myself. I haven’t shot a number of videos I really need to and am very behind on. I have three or four blog posts half-written in my head that I haven’t had the mental time and space to sit down and write.

Sorry. I’m trying.
This week I don’t have anything really until Wednesday. Save calling Dad morning and night to check in on him. Which always take about an hour or so to come back from. Doesn’t leave a lot of mental time/space to get much else done. But I’m going to try. It’s April, which means Autism Awareness Acceptance month, and I am very behind on both posts here and videos over at the YouTube channel. So I’m going to try and spend the next couple days catching up on those.

And thanks for understanding (at least I hope you do).
*tired smile*


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Growth & Healing, Personal

The Complicated Relationship with my Dad

Yeah yeah. I know. Daddy issues *eyeroll*. But also just let me write here, eh?

My relationship with my father has always been complicated. On one hand, he’s my Dad. I love him. On the other, he’s done a lot of physical, and psychological damage to me with abuse. On one hand he’s alone now and needs someone to just look after him. On the other hand, he’s one of the big reasons I go to session and trauma therapy multiple times a month. On one hand he’s the man who has thrown me away six times throughout my life and left me at the mercy of some really not good people. On the other hand, he’s always come back.

So things are complicated.

Lately I’ve been doing my best to look after him though. Back around Christmas he noticed a really itchy, dry spot on his ankle and it bothered him enough to complain about it but he just waved me off when I said, “Dad, go to the Doctor.”

And then it exploded all over his body.
Not good.

Doctors who don’t know my father suggested scabies. I understand that STI infection rates among seniors are stupid high, but my father doesn’t believe in anything past second base without a wedding ring, so… no. There was a concern that it might be shingles. In the end a biopsy showed it was not insect related, not cancer, not fungal, and the final diagnosis was just a really bad case of psoriasis.

So for the last six or seven weeks or so, I’ve been going over to Dad’s twice a week to rub petroleum jelly on his back to just try and keep the scale and the scabs from cracking (because secondary infections are not good), and monitoring his progress.

I’ve also kept telling him, “Dad, go to the Doctor”, which he finally did do and finally got two courses or prednisone that seem to have rebooted his immune system. When he went to his GP at first he tried to pass the buck to me… “Well my daughter said that…” and “My daughter thinks that…” and “My daughter suggested that…” and his GP apparently told him, “Listen to your daughter. She’s giving you good advice”.

*first pump of vindication*

Since his GP said that, he’s been listening to me a lot more, which is good. He’s drinking more water to be kind to his kidney (yes, singular), and eating small meals throughout the day to keep his blood sugar levels in the green. He’s not getting mad at me when I mention maybe doing a sleep study and getting a C-PAP (he’s had apnea for a long time, and doesn’t treat it). He’s not pushing himself and hurting himself as much. But he’s also starting to realise that he’s not 40 anymore (I keep pointing out to him that I am almost 40 at this point) and that his body isn’t bouncing back from things the way it used to.

But he’s doing better and taking better care of himself. The psoriasis is pretty much under control at this point. He doesn’t look like he has scales on his back anymore like he did eight weeks ago, and because of the petroleum jelly we’ve managed to keep scarring to a minimum.

My sisters must be mad at me right now. The last time I spoke to my middle sister she said, “Dad’s horrible to himself. Let him be. Let him kill himself, Sascha. We’ll get the money faster”.

Which is yet another reason why that was the last time I spoke to my sister. And I’m sure she’s not impressed with me at the moment.

And then he bought me a bed. It’s the first brand new bed I’ve had since they moved me out of the nursery in 1983. The new bed is amazing and I’ve been sleeping really well the last three nights, but it really hurt him to get it. At the furniture store we happened to get the newbie, and it took over ninety minutes for her to learn how to punch the sale into the system. It had to get punched in three times before it was right ($3400 for a clearance mattress? I don’t think so. Try again). In that time THREE senior reps, including the store manager, came to help and then had to leave again. Honestly at the 35-40 minute mark I was ready to go, “You know what? I’ll survive without it” but Dad made me stand down. Over an hour and a half later it was done. BUT, in that over an hour and a half absolutely NO ONE offered my elderly father a fucking chair. Not the sales rep. Not the two senior reps. Not the manager. Instead he was made to stand on the concrete floor. For over and hour and a half.

And now we’re eight days after the bed was purchased, and my Dad still can’t bend his knee enough that he can sit comfortably in a chair, or get in and out of his minivan. For most of the last week he has barely been able to walk.

*long sigh*

Yeah, I’m still mad. I think rightfully so, honestly. But being mad doesn’t help Dad right now.

Over the weekend I ordered groceries delivered to his place for him because he was running out of things and starting to freak out because he couldn’t get down the stairs to get in the van to go shopping. And I put it on my credit card, which I absolutely couldn’t afford to do, but he has food now.

And I’m calling him twice a day right now just to check in. Not because I need to check in, but because he keeps asking me to. He says he really appreciates just having someone check in on him and just having someone to talk to when he’s trapped in the house.

“I really appreciate you doing this”, “thank you”, and “I love you too” are not words that one easily gets from my father, but I’ve been hearing them at least once a day the last 8 days. And that is both sweet, and kind of scary.

So yeah. It’s complicated.
On the one hand there are so many things that have happened over the years that pretty much anyone who knows me tell me I absolutely have the right to hate the man for. But on the other hand, he doesn’t have anyone but me right now. He’s alone, and he’s unsettled, and I get that. Taking care of Dad comes from the same place as taking care of Dottie and Bennett with all their individual extra issues.

I’ve been thrown away, and I’ve been alone and had no one to turn to, and I never want anyone to feel like that if I can do something to help it.

Even if the person who threw me away is the one I’m helping now.

Autistic Living, Child Abuse & Trauma, Disabled Living, Personal, ptsd, trauma

Afraid to Say

It’s hard to talk about your past when the people who did the most damage are the people literally keeping you alive today.

Continue reading “Afraid to Say”
It's a new dawn, it's a new day...
autism, Autistic Living, Personal, self-acceptance

My Autism Story

I have been thinking about this post and how I was going to write it for-EVER now. Seriously. But I decided that I needed to just bite the bullet and get it down. This will probably be a Part 1, with Part 2 coming sometime in the future (I have no idea when, just saying that right now). (cw: child abuse, disabled abuse)

Continue reading “My Autism Story”

Autistic Living, Personal, self care

An Actual Down Day

Today is my down day.

Like, an actual down day. My first since last session.
Eight days ago.

A day where I’m not worried about rent. I’m not worried about food. I’m not worried about Dad’s health, or waiting for a call from Dad, or going over to help him, or prepping myself to go over and help him. A day where I don’t have any Doctors appointments, or meetings. A day when I can just be with myself (and the cats of course) and be quiet and calm and low stress and do some mental healing until I have to go out again.

I know that usually I do that over the weekend after session, but Dad’s immune system decided to go haywire and he’s needed me to help him just keep it under control. I feel so bad for him (yes I know that’s horrible English, but I’m sticking with it for impact so *raspberry*). His back looked like he had scales the hives and subsequent scabbing over was so bad. I’ve been telling him for over a month to GO TO HIS DOCTOR. Not a walk-in. His GP. And he finally did. And got a course of Prednisone. And then a second because the first didn’t work completely. And I also had to unclog his upstairs bathtub for him.

And yeah. I haven’t had time to take to just mentally take a step back and process everything until today.

*deep breath and long sigh*

I’m not just lazing about though. Because I’m not the type to do that (c’mon, this is me we’re talking about). So I’ve also taken down the dirty cat litter, and the kitchen trash, and I’m doing two loads of laundry right now (they’re in the dryer atm). And once this post is written I have to do the dishes too. So I’m not being lazy, but the quiet is good for me.

Time to find centre again.
Time to process instead of just react and survive.

I have until Sunday when I see Dad again. He wants to play some cribbage, and I am up for that. But between now and then, I am taking some down time. Repairing instead of preparing. Resetting. Processing.

It’s very overdue.

 

Disabled Living, independent living, Personal

Pay It Forward

I went to Giant Tiger to get some milk for my coffee and a couple other things.

Standing in line, the man ahead of me didn’t have enough for his groceries. He had peanut butter, the cheapest jam you could get, powdered coffee creamer, the cheapest coffee you can get, and four loaves of the bread that’s on sale this week.

I know that shopping list.
I’ve lived on it myself. For many years.
No fruit, no veg, no meat, no dairy.

I’m on Disability benefit myself. Walking into the store I had just over $120 for the rest of the month now that rent, phone, and the basic bills are covered. That doesn’t even include laundry and bus fare.

And I know that shopping list. From personal experience.

So I just told the cashier I’d cover the rest. He gave her $33 in fives and change and I put the rest on my debit card. It was only $6. My groceries came to less than his total. But he has food for the next couple weeks until the mid month cheque comes in.

I can’t exactly afford to do it, but what did that six bucks buy him? The jam and the only protein in his bag? Three loaves of bread? Most of the tin of coffee?

I’ve lived that shopping list. And I’m allergic to the peanut butter and the powdered creamer both! But I’ve lived on exactly that for long stretches of my life; both before and after I met the ex.

And now I’m safe in my apartment. With heat that works. In a warm bath (it could be hotter, but this is not a time to be complaining). And my cats have food. And we’re safe. And there’s actual cream for actual coffee tomorrow. And eggs. And toast. And I’m really lucky to be living here and to have this roof over my head, and today I passed it on a bit. Wish I could have done more. But at least, hopefully, now he can make it to the mid month cheque and he has food.

autism, Autistic Living, Disabled Living, independent living, Self-Sufficiency

Don’t Take Rote for Granted

In one of my last posts I was talking about my Godmother reminding me that things I wave off as “just rote” now weren’t always, and I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. I think about all the trouble I got into when I was a teenager and maybe just 20 when I got thrown out for the last time. I’ve been thinking about the things I couldn’t manage to even think about doing after the attack. I’ve been thinking about all the things that I struggled with even 2 1/2 years ago when I started working with Dr P.

The verdict is, I’ve come a long way. I mean, I know that I should totally be dead a dozen times over already, but when you were thrown out on your own, and Autistic, and lacking so many basic living skills, it’s honestly utterly humbling to realize how far I’ve come.

I could go back to the beginning, but I’m just going to look back today at the things I struggled with just 2 1/2 years ago vs now. The rest can come later. Continue reading “Don’t Take Rote for Granted”

Personal, trauma recovery

Catching Up With Me

I haven’t written anything here in 10 days. Feels kinda weird. But I honestly don’t feel like I’ve been doing a lot of stuff. I mean, yeah I’ve been doing a lot of stuff. Taking care of the cats. Helping my Dad. My One Thing A Day journal has pages full of stuff done, but I haven’t been doing very well to be perfectly honest.

I think I’ve really been just trying to do all the things since Dr P went on leave, and I haven’t really been taking care of myself. I haven’t been giving myself the time to adjust and reorient myself properly. And now I’m starting to feel it.

I never realized how much I depended on that check in every 2 weeks, until it stopped. And yes, I know I still see Dr W and she’s doing Dr P a solid by taking me on and I’m taking up her lunch hour and I have zero right to complain…. but I’m not complaining really. I’m just stating the fact that after two and a half years of working really hard with someone who took the time to listen and earn my trust – probably the first person who’s done that my entire adult life – I suddenly don’t have that person anymore.

I know I wrote a post about losing my navigator already, but I think I’m just starting to realize what that means for me. Personally. Internally. Saying the words doesn’t mean I really understood it, but I think I’m starting to.

Disabled Living, Growth & Healing, masking, ptsd, self-acceptance, trauma recovery

Part Two: Trauma Therapy and Not Ignoring What is Rote Now

As I said in the last post, I was not functional at all when I first met Dr P in July of 2016. I had spent my life up until that moment simply surviving as best I could, but after January 1, 2007 I had finally hit my limit. The dam had broken. I couldn’t even really survive. I was anything but functional.

And then I started seeing Dr P. Continue reading “Part Two: Trauma Therapy and Not Ignoring What is Rote Now”

autism, Autistic Living, Disabled Living, Growth & Healing, ptsd, trauma recovery

Part One: Surviving vs Functioning

This is going to be a longer post. Just warning you now.

For the last couple weeks I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around the words needed to say this. And say it properly. Give it the time and the weight it deserves. Because this is a big one for any of us who deal with executive dysfunction, for whatever reason. For me it’s a mix of Autism, PTSD, all the lovely co-morbids that come from the marrying of those two (depression, anxiety, etc, etc). For you it’s going to be different. But I hope something in what I say next clicks with at least a couple people and I hope that in some way it can help. Continue reading “Part One: Surviving vs Functioning”