Stepping out

Today I am stepping out of my comfort zone. I’m writing this waiting to get my hair done by a complete stranger, whom I contacted on my own without no third party involved.

My coworker was looking through hairstyles and I said wow that looks good. She said I should do something like that. I laughed and said I wish. I’ve had my natural hair color for years. I did dye my hair black for a while but that was years ago. And of course I did it myself, no stranger touching this hair. I’ve had my natural hair for years.

After that conversation my thoughts were craving. Just going back and forth. Should I do this? Should I take a leap and go for it? Yes I should.

The next day I found a stylist, messaged her and set an appointment. I’ve never met her. And I’m letting her so close to me. She’s going to touch my hair. And wash it.

I have a slight discomfort in my stomach. I feel this tingling sensation in my arms. I can do this. I can let this happen. I will go though this because I want to do this for myself.

I’m nervous and excited. I’m also listening to another client here on phone. She’s beyond pissed. Who ever brought her left her here for hours and apparently she’s hangry. She’s having a fit over the phone. I guess this will entertain me until I’m next.

It all started with a phone call

On Sunday April 15th my mother and I were having breakfast at my house. She had spent the night before at my house when we got a phone call, it was my father. My aunt, my father’s sister was taken to the emergency room and they weren’t sure what was wrong with her. She had a very bad cough and had apparently lost weight the last couple of months. My mother left abruptly to meet my father at the hospital.

The next couple of days went by in a very normal way aside from a concerning doubt as to what was wrong with her. They said it could be pneumonia, they said it could be lung cancer. But how? Yes she’s older I thought, 77 to be exact. She never drank in her life, never picked up a cigarette, never had a child. This was all even more concerning since just this past November my father had lost his brother to cancer too. Tuesday I get the call, its cancer, and there’s nothing they can do.

I had to leave work early. I got the the hospital and I saw her. It was devastating seeing her that way. Seeing someone connected to a breathing machine gasping for air, struggling at every single breath. I spent the whole night with, waking every couple of hours trying to desperately remove her IV, her machine, my aunt kept saying “just let me go, I want to go now”. It was heartbreaking. After that she was on a heavy dosage of morphine. We never spoke with her again.

At around 2:30 pm the next day we took her off oxygen. It took only about 6 minutes for her heart to give up. She laid there peacefully sleepy, finally resting. Surrounded by us, rubbing her back, telling her we loved her and to rest.

I’ve never seen anyone die. But if I ever experience that again I hope they go as peaceful as my aunt.

I’m left with wonderful memories, loving memories. My aunt never had children, and we all were her children. I’ll miss you Tia Ofelia, may you rest in peace.

Tables are turned

I’ve always felt that I’ve communicated my feelings pretty clearly with my husband. Most of my feelings I put out there. The reason I do it is because I know that communication in a relationship is key. I know I have daily struggles, I know being married to someone with depression, anxiety, sensory issues and so many other struggles is a huge struggle in itself. I try to be as open as possible to keep this relationship working. I know that communication can help us bridge that gap, that separation that sometimes seems to grow and grow. But it doesn’t work both ways.

My husband has recently been struggling and I can see it. I married the most positive and outgoing person. He’s the type of person that never worries…or at least I thought. My husband teaches and he also travels for his music career. He manages his own band. Lately I can see the stress and anxiety in him. I can see it in his tired eyes. I can see the lines in his eyes which I never noticed before at only 35. I can see that smile he gives me when I get home and then I see it immediately  vanish right after. Yet he won’t share his problems, his worries with me. I don’t know how else to make him open up.

He tells me he can’t just dump all his problems on me that it wouldn’t be fair. It hurts me to think he is hurting yet he won’t open up. We recently had a medical scare and had to take him to urgent care. He was prescribed high blood pressure medication as well as anxiety meds. I told him last time he needed to communicate yet he still refuses. I don’t know what to do. He does what he loves for a living. He works with music in his day job and he also travels with his band. He not only manages the band but he’s also their drummer yet he seems tired and worried and sad. It angers me. It angers me because he gets to do what he loves and live his dream yet he doesn’t seem to enjoy it. And the worse he doesn’t share what he’s going through. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to help him. When he shuts down like this I want to pack my stuff and leave. I can’t handle it. I feel like the day-to-day interactions seem fake. Then I think, is that what it is to live with me? With all my symptoms, sensory issues, depression, anxiety and so much more. Is that what he has lived with for all of our marriage and now I get a glimpse of what is like? I don’t know. I want my old happy husband back. He seemed happier when he wasn’t pursuing his dream. I don’t get it.

The Darkness is Back

I don’t understand it. I just wish I understood this darkness that is present inside of me. Why it leaves me and I seem to be doing so well then all of a sudden it’s back, and it feels it’s back with a vengeance. This pain in my chest grows. The darkness clouds my thoughts. It pollutes them with sadness, loneliness, desperation, frustration and agony.  I can’t do this to my family. I have a husband, 3 children and family and friends.

My life consists of playing an act. By the end of the day my acting skills are exhausted to the bone. I am ready to drop my costume and acting  game and live in despair. The sink into my bed and drown myself under the covers. Maybe if I cover my head the right way it will muffle my thoughts, just maybe.

I don’t understand how I can live a lie, how I can mount a Broadway show of a life everyday when I am slowly withering away inside. People around me have no idea of the real me. My coworkers think of me of the always happy, pretty smile, full of jokes and spontaneous comments full of life.

I don’t understand this. I don’t understand myself. Is it possible to live like this? Is it really possible to be able to live this show everyday? Or do I really have control over myself? Over this darkness? Is it possible to control it always? Why is it that I can control it, hide it, in front of people? If I can do that, why I can’t do it at all times? Living a real acted out play everyday that becomes reality and making the darkness disappear. Why can’t it just go? How do you even start getting rid of this darkness?

I thought I had it under control. I learned to meditate, do yoga, I even started running when this darkness started to eat me alive, when it started slowly suffocating me a few years back. The non athlete who never ran, started running. But it never fades away, it never really leaves me. This darkness is part of me. This darkness is me and it terrifies me. I’m 33 years old, half of my life is gone and the darkness gets stronger.

Post concert recovery

Residente’s concert was just amazing. One of the things I love about attending concerts is, aside from of course the show and listening to your favorite artist, the energy shared with those attending. There is a magical connection that goes beyond sharing a very tight physical space. The passion that is shared as you release this energy and lyrics fill the air is almost mystical. You probably won’t ever cross paths again with those you share your space with in that moment but the energy released stays with you to recharge your life battery for a while. It stays there so when you feel nostalgic your memory brings it up and instantly you have this warm softening feeling. It’s like taking a Xanax.

By the way no medication was needed last night. Towards the end my feet and legs were tightening, I was tired but the music and vibes kept me going. There was some pushing there was some shoving, there was a long walk from the concert to a small place still open for homemade Mexican sopes and tortas. Getting up from that wooden bench in the wall eatery (literally, there was a right dark hallway to get to eat, probably scary for some to venture at 1 am in Tijuana) was hard.

As we shared out sopes and torta my husband and I enjoyed our relaxing late dinner. The walk from the fonda to the hotel was just a few minutes but it felt eternal. Our muscles had relaxed, our adrenaline was long gone and our 30+ plus body felt it. We drunkenly changed into pjs and fell to our bed.

My shoulder hurt all night and I didn’t sleep well but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I woke semi early, did a quick yoga routine, took a hot shower, got ready and walked to a nearby cafe. I sit here by the pool drinking a Mexican Mocha and enjoying some pastries. I don’t want this to end. The quiet is recharging. The stillnes makes my heart content. Today my life chaos continues. The crazy loud kids, work and the noisy coworkers, the routine continues. But I will always have this. This will live forever with me.

Today is the day

I write this while I rest before getting ready for my much anticipated concert from a hotel in Tijuana, Mexico. Mexico gets a bad reputation, but Mexico is a beautiful country with humble and caring people.

After checking in to our hotel which happens to be less than 1 mile from the concert’s venue we decide on going for lunch. My husband took me to a local seafood place, the place was packed. Like people in line outside to get in. It’s also very loud, music playing, families having a great time, busy servers and kids laughing. I take a deep breath and look down. My husband holds my hand as they direct us to a table, slowly tightening his hand around my fingers. He does that to let me know he’s there for me. He will protect me. I can count on him if I suddenly can’t take it anymore.

They sit us at a smaller section. He tells me, “I was worried, it’s a bit quieter here don’t you think?”. It is. I don’t look around. I concentrate on my husband’s face and my food. They keep me focused. We ate delicious octopus tacos.

Then it’s coffee time. We took a small stroll around the streets close to our hotel and found a great coffee place. I can see the stadium where today’s concert will be from outside the coffee place. I can’t wait. I have Xanax in case my anxiety decides to take over. I’ll be right in the front section. I’m nervous, excited and ecstatic. But it could be the Vietnamese coffee I had.

I write when my soul needs it

I’ve been away a few days. The only reason I have is that I’ve been feeling very good. I tend to write when I feel like I have no escape and my thoughts are preventing me from breathing. I write when I feel that tightness in my chest, when my brain is non stop with random thoughts. I haven’t felt that lately.

I ended up having a really bad fall which hurt my shoulder which I’m currently on muscle relaxers/pain killers for. It was as simple as me slipping on a small mop water puddle at home. It’s getting better so I have cut back on the medication. This past weekend was very special. My husband bought concert tickets for a Guatemalan singer whom I love back in November and kept it a secret for 3 months. He surprised me for valentine’s day with concert tickets. We got to get away to Los Angeles for 2 days with no kids. I was hurting due to my shoulder injury but I enjoyed myself so much. It gave me a glimpse of who I used to be. It made me realize how much I love my husband and how much he loves me. I had to have a few drinks to relax and forget the fact that I there were so many people so close to me and it was going to be loud. By the time it started I was pretty much in my comfort zone. Yes, I know alcohol is not the best way to cope with this however once in a while I don’t think it’ll hurt. I dressed up and felt beautiful.

We had the best of times. We had a awesome view from our hotel, I wish I had remembered to take a picture at night. The view was stunning.

We also visited one of my cousins in Compton, CA. And I bet you’ll recognize this place. My cousin took us out for delicious Thai food.

Before the concert ended, my husband gave me a second surprise. He surprised me with concert tickets again for this Saturday March 17 for another one of my favorite singers, Residente in Tijuana, Mexico. I couldn’t believe it, I cried because he has shown me so much love lately. Sometimes I forget that he loves me. Sometimes he is so busy and doesn’t take the time to be with me. I think he has noticed that lately. He has been working so hard to build our relationship and bond even tighter, and it’s working.

On a side note, if you have access to Netflix check out this singer’s documentary, it’s a great watch. Also called Residente, don’t worry it’s in English.

I have a new vision of the life ahead of me with him. I feel more connected than ever with my husband. I feel our love strengthening. I feel we are growing together and have reached a different stage in our lives.

On another note, I’m also starting to feel a bit old. My first-born who is 11 has stinky armpits and had to wear deodorant now. Why do they grow up so fast?

I’m a Domesticated Autistic Adult

I have a full time job. I got married, I have 3 children, participate in various social media platforms, and even participate in “normal” social gatherings to an extent. People have no idea how much I have practiced in my head how to behave in public. They have no idea how at times I just have to fake our interactions I order to avoid attracting any undesirable attention.

I write this from a mall parking lot during my regular lunch hour from my office job. I heated up my lunch, and had the usual conversation with the lady in finance who takes her lunch right on time (like me, because you know I like structure) . We exchanged weather pleasantries, I said “ok, I’ll see you later” to which she replied ok, M____ have a nice lunch.” Same conversation we have every time we see each other in the breakroom.

I wonder if she wonders where I go. I mean I pick up my lunch from the breakroom and heat it up and disappear. We can’t eat in our offices. Do they have any idea that I drive like 3 minutes to the close by mall and find a quiet parking spot to avoid human contact? Does anyone wonder? I sit here with my car windows partly open and I listen to the faint bird songs. And I listen to the sound of the passing cars and as they drive through the parking lot, crushing the tiny pieces of asphalt. It’s a crackling noise and a very annoying one in my opinion.

This is my me time. I have no children screaming or fighting. I have no noisy t.v. or nosy coworkers. My ears have a break. And I don’t speak. I enjoy my silence. I enjoy my lunch.

Beauty Sacrifice

So I decided to do my nails again. All through these days I’ve been picking at them and my co-worker who is my nail tech kept bugging me about it. But I still decided to do them again.

There’s something about feeling “normal” that made me want to do them again even if I feel this crazy sensation in my fingertips.

I can’t shake off the sensation this time. For some reason I feel them more this time than I did before. Maybe it’s just me. At this point I think I’m willing to sacrifice. My husband hugged me tight when he saw them and said he loves them. I think he loves the fact that I stepped again out of my comfort zone to do something to make me feel good.

This is weird but it feels good to be “girly”. It’s not as bad as I thought. Maybe one day I’ll let her do my toes, one day.

I’m not the only one needing help

Last night I had to take my husband to the doctor. He didn’t want to go, in his eyes he didn’t need to go see a doctor. I knew what he was going through, I saw it and he didn’t. I recognized the signs because I have gone through it.  My husband has 2 jobs one of them is putting so much pressure on completing certain project on a pretty short timeline. He manages a tribute band that travels around the country. He does have a partner in this business however most of the hard work falls on his shoulders.

The last few weeks have been very stressful. I’ve noticed that he’s lost weight even though he swears he hasn’t. He has been very agitated and most recently he’s been having anxiety attacks. He didn’t put it into words until I got to see him and he started describing me what he felt. I had to tell him, you’re having anxiety attacks! Yesterday he was so anxious that he couldn’t even stand in line at the post office he had to leave. When I got to speak with him after getting off work he was already doing something for this big project. I said, no, enough is enough, you need to see a doctor. I recognized the sings right away. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for many years and thankfully I am at a good palace right now. I couldn’t let him go through it on his own. I am currently off medication and feeling better than I had felt in a very long time.

I live in a border town and my husband’s work insurance is actually in Mexico. After work I dropped off the kids at my mother in law’s and drove him to the doctor in Mexico. Some may think that’s crazy but this is a Tuesday, I get to the doctor’s office at 7:05, the office is open, they call the doctor, she’s in to see him at 7:20 pm. She was so courteous, she was so attentive to him and his needs. He was with us for about 30 minutes. What doctor in the US does this? Not many.

His blood pressure was high and she prescribed medication for both anxiety and the blood pressure. We go in for blood work on Saturday morning and follow-up appointment next week. It felt so surreal to see him go through this. It’s like seeing myself in him. He’s been there for me helping me breathe while having massive panic attacks when I couldn’t walk, move or breathe because I was completely losing it. And although his weren’t as severe it was scary to see someone go through it.

My husband has been so brave for me for all this time, for all our marriage and he’s been taking it all in. We talked so much after the doc’s appointment. And everything he said reminded me of me. He’s been putting all this pressure on himself for me, for our children, and for our family. It hurt to see him like this. All I want is his happy self back. My husband is the most positive person I have ever met. He’s always happy, he’s so funny, crazy, outgoing and with a great outlook on life. Yet he has taken great responsibility and I failed to see it. Now it’s my turn to be there for him, to be strong for him and for our family. He’s only 35 and I want to spend the rest of my life with him. I hope I am able to show him how much he means to me. I hope you know baby.

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