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I hope this helps someone out there

At the start of the week I had a very frightening incident. L had to go to work and after seeing him off, I grabbed a bite of food to nibble on to keep my meds from making my stomach upset. I could still see the reflection of the headlights through the driveway facing window as he waited at the end of the drive to pull out. That’s when things went wrong. I’m not sure if the food just turned wrong as I swallowed or if my throat pulled one of its lovely episodes of making it difficult to swallow, but I ended up choking. Thankfully, as I prepared to try to use a chair to do the Heimlich the food mushed enough and my throat relaxed enough, so I was able to swallow. It left my throat so raw and sore that today was the first day I spoke fully, although I was careful to not speak a lot. I even got to eat real food again! *happy dance* I still have the side effects of it inflaming other parts of my sinuses and my ear canals, but Hallelujah!

Anyway, while quiet, L gone or asleep most of the time, and my trying to distract myself, I went down the medical rabbit hole. I started out with learning how my throat could cause my ears to have a crinkling noise and all my other symptoms, then about six subjects in I ended up with a YouTube recommendation to watch Spaulding Decon, under the Crime Scene Cleaning website. (Hey, I admitted I went down that rabbit hole. Never know where I’ll end up with my curious mind! Lol) One of this year’s videos, where they started to record and air lengthier and informative episodes about biohazard cases that they handle, came up and I ended up watching them all, and I suddenly had a whole new POV that helps me with my suicidal ideation. They clean up from regular unattended deaths, hoarding, accidents, etc., but also suicides. There is no judgement over the person’s choice or what the client has chosen for the level of cleanup once the biohazards have been dealt with, either. The thing is, it’s unflinchingly up front and shows everything after the body has been removed. You see what the family member that discovers the body would face and how the family isn’t just coping with their grief and possibly shock, but also the physical scene that is left behind.

Police and emergency personnel don’t clean up the scene when they remove a body. They’re there for the emergency (or removal) situation and possibly an investigation. They don’t clean the blood splatter from a gunshot wound or remove decomp. There are specialized companies that do this; not only for safety, but to help the people and families in need of their cleaning services. They’re heroes who don’t wear capes, just like law enforcement and emergency personnel.

Seeing the gore that a grieving family member or friend, most likely L or my mother, would see and deal with if I committed suicide, really helped me create a step back, so to speak, for my mind to walk through if my thoughts turn dark. I basically do a mental crime scene walkthrough, to see it as they would, and see how the different choices would affect them. Somehow having the intense, graphic visuals in my mind are a great way to make my mind shift focus a bit and end up completely stopping. (Ask people with ideation – it’s super hard to quiet those thoughts and take a step back from the thoughts, no matter how much you don’t want to have them or feel that way. I certainly don’t want the sudden feelings of desolation and worthlessness!)

If you suffer from ideation or know someone that does, please consider this unconventional method or talk to your mental health professionals if you are the sufferer. As my awesome psychiatrist says, you can’t have too many tools in your belt when it comes to mental health. The visuals and the meaning behind them are honestly very haunting. They’re a hell of a lot stronger right now for me than when the dark thoughts creep in. So, I hope (yet another brutally honest and odd post) will help either open dialogue if you know someone who is struggling or if you suffer and want to try another method to see if this is the one that works better for you than the ones that have barely worked for you before.

If you know someone who has troubles with ideation, please consider trying to stomach a bit of the show enough to watch “Crime scene cleanup job questions answered”. The owner has some incredible statements about judgement that are worth a listen and to take at least a few minutes to consider. It might just give you another way to look at situations.

I truly hope that any sufferer receives the same empathy and lack of judgement that this company gives, and I hope that you are able to find that one tool that works really well for you, even if it takes going down a weird YT rabbit hole to find yours.

My New Business Flickr

Hi there!  Long time, no write.  😀  I haven’t really had anything new to post, since I’ve mostly just been focusing on my health and PTSD therapy, especially since I separated out my gaming into an individual blog.  I have, however, finally had the light bulb moment that I could create another Flickr account to work as a visual portfolio of products I have made.  Once I am ever able to start working on products again and then update the website accordingly, I’ll be able to display examples of other products that I have made that I am not featuring on the website.  This allows customers to get an idea of ideas, options, and skills I have for custom orders.  I added a convenient little widget (display link) in my sidebar, but wanted to post it in an actual blog post for your convenience, in case you’d like to follow the portfolio.  I’ll include work-in-progress concepts there (WIPs), so you’ll get a little bit more of a behind-the-scenes look than I typically post on the site and often don’t blog.  (I tend to prefer to blog when something is actually done or I’ve fully fleshed out an idea.)  If you’d like to check it out or follow my business Flickr, it is https://www.flickr.com/gp/157936082@N04/jV9q0y.  I made it a hyperlink that opens on a new page and you have the option to copy/paste instead, if you prefer.

Until I next have something interesting to write about, happy pampering and best wishes! 🙂

One of my Quirks

It’s been a while since I’ve posted and although I’ve been having a lot of fun doing SL photography on my SL blog, and giving my mind time to settle, I realized that I honestly miss regular blogging. I have absolutely no inspiration or ability to create any product right now, sadly, so you’re stuck learning a bit more about just how quirky I am. *laugh*

Anyone close to me, if asked to describe me, would probably say that I’m a bit obsessed with my Celtic heritage. I totally own up to that and even bought L a machine gun toting leprechaun patch as a stocking gift even. *grin* However, it’s not limited to Ireland, Scotland, and the Druids. I love most things English, as well. Being the tech loving nerd that I am, I naturally am a faithful subscriber to both BritBox and Acorn streaming services, both with programs from across the pond, with a little Australian and Welsh thrown in.

While my favorite British quiz show, QI, is between seasons (or series, as they say), I have been exploring more of the mysteries and absolutely love Acorn’s “Queens of Mystery”. Two new episodes (they’re divided, but the second is the continuation of the first) every Monday and I have 2 delightful hours full of a bright-eyed Detective Sergeant Matilda along with her three crime-writing aunts solve a case, although the aunts are never involved if the Chief asks. *grin* With veteran actresses from amazing shows like The Bletchley Circle, Midsomer Murders (although, to be fair, I think it’s mandatory for all European actors and actresses to appear in at least one episode of that classic *laugh*), Taggart, Poirot, and one of my favorite English versions of Sherlock Holmes, it was destined to be fantastic, in my opinion. That’s some wicked talent just in the actresses who play the aunts!

There’s a continuing mystery underneath it all about Matilda’s mother’s disappearance when she was little, with very unexpected story lines, and a huge dose of charm. So if you can spare one Starbucks a month, I wholeheartedly recommend at least trying Acorn and seeing what you think about the Queens of Mystery!

So, I’m not all doom, gloom, and poison…well, they’re still murder mysteries and some poison, but this is a charming version. *grin* Although I rate at 100% as Wednesday Addams on every quiz I take, even I enjoy lighthearted shows like this (and Grease 2, Cry-Baby, and Dirty Dancing, if you happen to follow my Flickr and see my themed SL photography with those films for inspiration *laugh*). If you happen to also decide on a trial of BritBox, I recommend Midsomer Murders and The Vicar of Dibley, and maybe binge-watching/participating in QI’s trivia. I now know so much odd trivia that has actually come in handy a few times! For those that know the series, let’s all agree that Alan needs to stop saying Blue Whale. *laugh*

Anyway, that’s a little bit of random quirkiness for today. I hope this finds you all healthy and happy as you can be! 🙂

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh! 🙂

(And yes, it should be spelled with the letter “d” and not “t”, as “d” is the masculine.  We in the US have often made the mistake of calling the Saint by a woman’s name.  That’s today’s trivia.  *grin*)

Happy St. Paddys Day_001

Quick Note About the Blog

Hi there!  I just wanted to let you know that I created a website dedicated to my Second Life wanderings instead of posting them here, since several subscribers aren’t interested in my online gaming pictures and information.  If you are interested and would like to subscribe, my SL blog is https://breanamcdonnell.home.blog/  Thank you for all of the support and understanding in the meantime, and also for the feedback about separating my online gaming!  I promise to write a full post here soon.  In the meantime, I hope you can get your pampering on and have a wonderful day!

Slowly Healing

While my immune system is slowly healing, I’m working on healing the shadows I’ve carried in my memories for so many years. Once I had my breakthrough that I blogged about last time, I decided to figure out what I needed in order to heal my immediate depressive issues, and now I am slowly opening the doors in the shadows to let each memory come out for me to deal with.

I wish I could say it’s been easy. Some parts have been incredibly empowering and others are just pieces that I needed to acknowledge in order to put them in the past, like memories of things my abusive ex did. I also had to let go of my own guilt and lay it at my ex’s feet, which I have to continually remind myself to do, after feeling guilty for everything that happened for 20 years now.

A few things with my healing have been some surprising needs that I have figured out, in order to move on. I realized that we needed to name the children and my awesome friend even helped me come up with a name for the adoption, since I am mourning the loss of the child that could have been and not the child that was placed with us. I also realized that I needed some type of small ceremony with our inner circle; one to publicly acknowledge and name each child for the first time, and to have that fellowship of grief and closure. Pinterest came to the rescue and I found the perfect idea to alter slightly to fit our needs. Following is the picture and explanation, since it is so much better with the wording.

Instead of the exact theme I am going to do a layer of colored glitter for each child. The jar I’ve been hoarding for years just because it’s cute finally has a purpose. It has a little spoon on the side and I will spoon out a little of each color as we acknowledge that child, and then we will spread the glitter. I’m still working with L to iron out the details and help me make this happen, but I haven’t been this sure of something being right for me for a long time.

Another step to empowerment is another tattoo. L and I have little matching tattoos on our ring fingers instead of wedding bands, and I was shocked I even did that. *laugh* Now I’m jumping in with both feet because it’s a tattoo that makes me feel incredible and I haven’t even had the consultation yet! One spot that has the least Fibro pain is my inner arm, so I am getting a half sleeve on my inner arm, from my elbow to my wrist. I trolled artist profiles and found someone that makes incredible collage type works of art, and I’m really hoping to get mine done by her. I decided I want to have a reminder to look at whenever it’s a hard day or I’m feeling down on myself, so it’ll have a variety of symbolism that I’m leave to her artistic mind to figure out how to put them together. I’ve always associated myself with Wednesday Addams, since I tend to be as anti-perky as her, and admittedly pretty morbid. In honor, and to make myself grin, I want a bottle of poison. For those of you that don’t have the movies memorized (I admit to not being fully caught up on the original television series, but the movies were part of my youth and I found a teen character I could identify with *grin*), anyway, in one of the movies Wednesday is seen drinking from a bottle of poison, which amuses the tarnation out of me for some reason. It’s also a great way to then give a reason to having a spoon included, to represent being a Spoonie. A random spoon would be weirder than even I am going for with this. *laugh* An apostrophe will also be included, probably close to a set of books, due to the symbolism.

One little symbol says all of that; a reminder through depression and even a great reminder that although our teen adoption path did not work out for us, we have other paths to walk in our journey and other choices. It also reminds me of how many tough times I have all ready had and the strong woman that I am today for surviving it all. One apostrophe says so many things to me and it can stay private or I can raise awareness for depression when asked to explain. As you can tell, I love hidden meanings and am over the moon that these are pieces of my new someday artwork.

I also want to somehow incorporate Phantom’s mask, along with books, since I need to wave my nerd flag at least a bit. *laugh* I kind of envision books at my wrist that open up and bits of my personality are flying up from the pages, in a watercolor or sepia surrounded area. I’d love to incorporate a quote or two that I love, but as L pointed out quite correctly the other day, I’d probably need to do that on the other arm, because I’m probably running out of room with all of my ideas. *grin*

So, it’s a little bit of a bittersweet post, but encouraging, that’s for sure! I’m quite impressed with my progress, for figuring out what I need in order to complete healing for each item, and even going into my mind’s shadows to face an item at a time. For the first time, regardless of what I’ve ever gone through, I actually feel brave. Just like the apostrophe means, I have a lot more of my story to live and write. One step at a time. 🙂

The Clearing

On St. Patrick’s Day a few years ago L and I started our journey side by side down the path of adoption. At first the path was a little rocky and felt like it would take forever. Once we completed our classes, were certified to become parents, and our house passed inspection (not to mention that it was move-in ready), we took our first steps into the forest that the path took us along.

My arms were full with two binders of information about adoption and girls around the US that were available for adoption, and a mind full of random parenting traumatized children facts, while I edged my way through the darkening forest behind him; his automatic tendency to protect me. The ground grew thick with slick moss and spindly tree limbs pulled at us as we kept going. Surely God would reward us for continuing along this horrible path.

So many times I’d think I saw the light for us, but was wrong, and L would have to hold me until the tears passed and try to caution me from letting my heart get involved while we were still in the forest. But I was in love with the idea of finally getting to be a mother, so a bit of my heart broke every time that light was just a trick of the forest.

Finally a very kind woman joined us and helped lead us out of the last bit of the woods, and my heart soared. We made it through the forest, we started the walk with distance between us but had grown closer throughout, and now we could enjoy the sunshine of the clearing, while we awaited our reward for working so hard and diligently. For my loving so much despite the pain.

For a few weeks it was absolutely incredible. There was a young lady to learn about, to take care of, and to work every day to make her know that she was loved and valuable. She said “I love you” and even called me “Mom”, yet I had to keep from sharing the highs and lows with the world. Until the papers would be signed at official placement, the edges of the clearing filled with shadows of all of the secrets about her that, by law, we were supposed to keep. The shadows of secrets became so thick it was hard to see beyond the clearing anymore, especially after the woman left and most of the time it was just the girl and I. One day I finally looked clearly into her eyes and saw Evil. I had narrowly escaped murder before and knew that look well, and knew deep down that my life of dreams, work, and family was about to collapse.

With the help of a friend who understood that Evil, I was able to tell L that I was scared and he immediately stopped the proceedings. I spent the next three months sitting in that clearing, shadow secrets and trees pulling at me, the sky as dark as ink nearly all of the time. L would come and hold me close, but no one can hold you close enough or be there for long when you live in Depression.

An illness contracted from being around the child, coupled with my weak immune system, left me on bed rest for well over a month, and left me in that shadowy world to think and mourn. (I just saw my world’s-best-doctor who is now treating it and my immune system is no longer under attack! Yay! I may actually get off bed rest soon!) Although I still don’t see a light and don’t know where the path from this place is quite yet, it’s not quite as dark now that I’ve been forced to face my fears and forced to mourn.

We never received the blessings that I expected, but in some ways we came away with different ones. 15 years after our vows and I love him more than I ever did before, plus we went through such horrible times that I’ve never felt closer to someone. I learned that it doesn’t take a child to make us a family – we have four fur babies and another one planned to adopt once the youngest two are out of their terrible twos, and we finally made our house a home. Together we make a family.

I also learned a very painful lesson about myself while being forced to face it all. I never truly mourned miscarrying my daughter from my first tango with Evil and was so caught up in the idea of a pre-teen or teen girl because I wanted to share those moments with her that I never got to share with Sierra. I never got to get a dress and her hair done for a formal dance, never got to take one of those holiday card family photos, or even got to plan out a themed birthday party. I missed those special moments that parents often take for granted. But I was just substituting another for the daughter and her moments that I missed out on. That was a hard pill to swallow and an extremely hard failing to admit to, especially putting it out there in the public. If it helps one person in their journey though, I’m thankful I had the strength to write it.

I felt such sorrow for that child with so many secrets and such pain, that I truly wanted to help that young lady. I was in love with being her mother though, not with her. If she didn’t have the other issues, I know I would have grown to love her, but now I don’t know how much would have been for her alone versus a stand-in for Sierra. I also can now see just how much she was manipulating me with the “I love you” and “Mom”, as well, which I would never have realized. As disappointed as I am in myself for motives I was unaware of, I know realistically that we both had severe failings in our motivations.

In those long hours in the darkness I also realized that I have never mourned the other two children that I lost because of my ex. I didn’t carry them as long and, in a way, it was just easier to not recognize that they had been a part of that horrible phase of my life. I had shoved that pain and knowledge deep into the shadows of my mind, and had done quite the job of keeping that corner sealed off. It’s ironic that it now hurts that I hadn’t mourned or allowed myself to think about them. One was my Angel while two were secrets that my mind tried to hide, because it hurt so much. Yet again I caught sight of that tarnished silver armor when I brought the subject up to L and he said they were just as special, just as much Angels, as Sierra, so I should memorialize them too. They deserved just as much, even if I didn’t get to carry them as long. Forget the roses and poetry for me; this is the type of gift a partner can give that can truly change and improve your life. I have a whole shelf and binders of poetry, but have never read something as touching as what he said that day.

I know I’ll be in the dark clearing for a while longer, but I have Faith that I’ll see the path out once I’m ready. It is sad and hurts that we went through such a long and difficult journey to get to this point, but I’m learning to be thankful. I don’t know that I could have ever realized that it’s us together that all ready makes our family, and I don’t know that I would have ever felt peace in that without this pain. There may (and that’s one mighty big may) be a fork in the road in the future, but I’m not in such a rush to get there now. I have a lot of myself to learn about that I had suppressed, I still need to get over the PTSD and horrific nightmares about my ex that Kiddo triggered, and I want to enjoy this time with L. I never expected to have such a loving and close relationship; we were Blessed after all, just not as we expected. Although part of me would still love to be a mother, I’m very thankful that God has better vision than I do.

🙂

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