June 11th, 2009

Some things can't be fixed

So hi.

How's by you?

Still on social-media vacation, btw, but giving a little more illumination: things are bad in my head right now. And I find that this sort of bad has been recurring all year. So... I think I need a neurological workup, because anti-seizure meds could be the root of it; I'm on double the recommended dose of Lyrica, after all. So there's that. Possibility of the special hell of anti-seizure med roulette.

So far as my "are you obligated to do something just because you're good at it"... for that, I ought to back up a bit. What I always wanted was to be a scientist. (After I got over being a ballerina.) For various screwed-up-adolescence reasons, I never got to go to college, and I ran off to Vegas and had adventures an got knocked up, et cetera.

I was home with Elayna for two years, then started working at Castle, a HOA/condo management company where my business cards read "administrative demigoddess". And yeah, it was an office job, but the thing is, I was damn good at it (they needed three people to replace me when I left), I was appreciated there, and I had co-workers who became good friends. So work was hanging out with my friends all day, doing stuf I was good at and getting major props (and chocolate) for it.

Now, I'd been writing since fifth grade, and writing Shayara since I was 15. There was a blip in me actually writing it down after the rape - seven years of writer's block - but it was always going and growing and developing in my head; the characters had long since developed lives of their own. And even though I wasn't writing it down, I was telling it to myself and telling it to my friends.

I left Castle when I moved to Atlanta, and ugh, the shocks I got there - the biggest being that I hated my job there. Four years of daily awfulness. Still an office gig, but with a boss who actively didn't like me - and unlike the mile-a-minute rush of Castle, this was long stretches of absolutely nothing to do, punctuated by mad rushes. And I had to Look Busy during those stretches of nothing to do. (Yes, this is when I started my LJ.)

So why did I stay there, you ask? Well. I will tell you. In year two, I started having seizures. This led to a bunch of stuff, featuring:

1. Inability to drive, therefore inability to change jobs - I was working on the same campus as Adam, so we carpooled.
2. Drastic horrible side effects from the anti-seizure meds, therefore inability to learn a new job, therefore pretty unhirable.

I'd just started working on Shayara with my first artist when all of this hit, and I clung to it like I'd clung to it as an institutionalized teenager. I couldn't walk down the hall, I couldn't read, I couldn't think straight, I had no short-term memory - but that was in long-term. I still had that.

Side-effect follies persisted. For years. It was three years before I got on a medical regimen that allowed me to finish a thought. In the meantime, I was losing my ability to work - I went part-time to deal with the brutal exhaustion, and I was fired a few months later for reasons related to my epilepsy, and if I'd had my brain together I could've sued, but I didn't yet - and I was getting the first warning shots of fibromyalgia.

Through it all, I told myself my stories.

I can think straight now, when I'm not hammered by fatigue or fibrofog. But I'm still unhirable, if only because my short-term memory is shot to hell - I can't learn. Or I can, but it takes a lot of effort, repetition, and hands-on teaching.

So my work ethic has taken a terrible blow, these past eight years, and that's not getting any better.

So we decided that since I couldn't reliably work outside the home, I could finally Be a Writer.

But here's the thing, the "just because I'm good at it" thing.

I don't want that to be my Job. Not because I'm lazy.

But because dammit those are my stories.

At the root of it, Shayara and Places You Haunt are my stories that I live with in my head. There was never any intention to share them with anyone... hence my years-long struggle to find a Way In for the Shayara reader. There was never intended to be a way in. It was always a closed system.

And so there is a heavy resentment factor at play here. That I don't get to have the career I want - which at this point would be rape crisis counselor and/or neurologist (doing research, not seeing patients) - and that I am instead forced to give away my self like this. I'm an introvert lashed naked to a pole in the town square. And when my head is bad like this, all manner of prostitution metaphors come up. Because the stories that aren't my hart, well, they just feel like that.

So yeah argh. In this mix, we have me feeling useless because of my malfunctioning brain and body, me feeling useless because I am not providing for my family, me going spare without a job when I have a gnawing work ethic, me being forced into things, me feeling exposed and unable to end that exposure, and me beating myself up for not doing the stuff I don't want to do anyway. And an undetermined amount of it could be just my drugs combining in ways that multiply it exponentially. And this week's meltdowniness has been brought to you by the realization that I have to do another run of Wind Tunnel Dreams in order to get some money raised, and I genuinely grew to deeply resent Wind Tunnel Dreams over the past year. And generally feeling like I have had no choices, and will never have any. So. Tailspin.

I basically took to my bed yesterday; I gave myself permission to just read, since my brain was really not up to anything else. I'll likely do the same for part of today - I'll try to be more functional, but I'll give myself permission to take it slow, and I am keeping in mind hat my brain has basically been pounded with a chemical jackhammer for six years - the thing about anti-seizure meds is that no one knows how or why they work. It's a big experiment. They throw chemicals at the brain, and if it stops a certain percentage of seizures, it gets packaged up and fed to us; doesn't matter what *else* it does to the brain. So either this is yet another unlivable side effect or it's something else.

And I have to give myself permission to disconnect.

So yeah, still not reading LJ or Google Reader or anything; if you're a Facebook friend, please feed my Hatchlings? I will try to be up to calling my neuro today. And I will try to take care of myself today. And I will be tabling for BARCC at the Pride Parade/Festival on Saturday, so I should be resting up for that.

I will get to being fine because I have to.

EDIT: A note brought up in a good conversation with tithenai - one could think of this as temple prostitution. And being as I'm one of Inanna's, that's a whole 'nother way of looking at it, and one that could possibly be useful.

Other note is the paradox that I want a job I enjoy, but I have issues with taking money for things I enjoy.

Much to ponder. But. Disconnecting now, to read and wait for a call back from my neuro.
Alice: World of my own

In brighter news

Got this shiny in the mail yesterday, part two of my three-part Mother's Day gift - I picked it up to show it to Mark and said "This is totally a space station. Moreover, it is the space station where "Apostate", "Thank You for Erasing my Memories", and "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" take place." He agreed that it clearly was. (Three flash pieces, all fragments of the same space opera that will maybe get written.)

Also got this from spoothbrush, shortened to 16" - simple and elegant with just enough edge to it. Her stuff is gorgeous and way affordable.

Knittingwise, I finished my first thing that wasn't just a rectangle - my first wristwarmer, in the same jewel-toned alpaca as my scarf. Have started the second one. After that I'll play with elongated stitch or with increasing.

And I showed Mark A Very Merry Muppet Christmas, which I could not believe he had not seen.

Now I update the Blogathon post, then I disconnect.
Writing - XanaDuMalion

Sleeeep. Also, choice.

Slept the day away; posting this morning and sleeping helped. Thank you guys for your thoughtful comments on a tough situation.

As noted in comments, yeah, it feels strange that I'm fine exposing my guts in posts like that, in speeches about rape and sexual assault, etc., and yet I clutch my writing to my chest like a security blanket. I think what it all comes down to is choice. I choose to discuss the impact of my seizures. I did not choose to make writing a Career.

And if I did have the choice? I would be writing! It's just that I'd also have a part-time job. I want to work. And I want to bring in money through my l33t BARCC skills or my administrative demigoddessness, and not be forced to look at things precious to me as something that must be monetized.

My life is full of things I never got a choice on. Rape and sexual assault, obviously, but I never got a choice on college - and yeah, I could go back after Elayna graduates, but it's not the same, and besides I have trouble learning now anyway. I never got a choice on career, partly because of college. Now there are the lack-of-choice things imposed on me by my brain and body. And sometimes I really rail against that; my darkest spirals have always been about lack of choice. So with a clearer head, I can see that that's where a lot of this is coming from.

So I need to feel like I have a choice.

That's a start.

What I may go for Wind Tunnel Dreams is put up the Telenias story, "My Empire for Ashes", as I revise it. Because that's close to done. And I could post it here or through e-mail, by subscription. Interested people, what would you rather?

EDIT: And actually... I guess maybe yesterday, I was given that choice. When Adam hugged me and said that if I needed to just curl up in bed and build a pillow fort and just read the day away, that would be okay, for as long as I needed to.
One Person can Make a Difference

Oh and re: Blogathon craftiness...

...it doesn't have to be a thing you made specifically for my story - if you've made something that you can tie into my stories in any way, that works too.

Thank you.

We have a little over a dozen makers of stuff participating so far, with everything from knitted goods to baked goods to jewelry to dolls. Go crazy! I'm blogging for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC), and my Blogathon tends to be one of their bigger annual fundraisers. Your help really does make an impact.