A Day in My Life – what my regular days look like

I enjoy learning how other people spend their ordinary days, so I figured I’d describe how perfectly regular days of my own usually go.

6:45 a.m. – I get up. Mom usually wakes me, because I’d not mind sleeping longer. Unlike at night, I can sleep okay in the mornings. Mom still wakes me, because if I don’t get up early, I have a hard time going to sleep at night and after a while my sleep-wake cycle would shift and eventually turn around to only going to sleep in the early morning hours and sleeping until the afternoon. But that’s not healthy, so getting up at 6:45 it is. It’s usually a slow waking up over the course of ten minutes, because I’m grumpy in the morning and don’t like to get up and start the day.

7:00 a.m. – Every other day I shower and get dressed. Well, shock, I get dressed every day, actually. 😉 I get stressed if I don’t know where my mom is, also I feel vulnerable all naked in the shower, so my mom usually in the bathroom with me while I get ready.

7:20 a.m. – Mom and I sit down for breakfast. On the weekends dad has breakfast with us, but on weekdays he has already left for work by 7, so on most days it’s just my mom and me. Since eating can be such a struggle for me and neither of us has anywhere to be, breakfast can take a while. If all goes well it’s the two of us eating and making plans for the day. If it doesn’t go so well it’s me crying over a bowl of cereal or burying my face in my arms and ignoring the world. On those days breakfast is not so much about eating but more about troubleshooting while mom eats.

8:00 a.m. – we put the dishes in the dishwasher and go about whatever we have planned for the day. Often that means housework for mom. Just regular stuff like laundry or vacuuming. If it’s that, I either fetch my laptop or mp3-player to be nearby while I do my own stuff, or we talk about whatever or I help her. If I’m having a bad day, I tend to annoy her on purpose to share the misery.

10.00 a.m. – going shopping. I like going grocery shopping and shopping for household stuff, so we do it pretty much every day after deciding on what we’re having for lunch and supper. It’s weird that I enjoy going shopping for boring stuff so much, but it’s reassuring and feels safe. It’s most probably a result of having grown up in constant need of basic stuff like enough food and everyday items, due to most of the family money turning to booze and cigarettes. Seeing that money turns into food and other necessities now is reassuring. We usually take our time when we go shopping.

11.30 a.m. – we return home and mom fixes us something for lunch. Like from scratch. All of mom’s cooking is usually from scratch. Occasionally I crave something from a box like mac and cheese, but even that she’d rather make from scratch if I didn’t insist on the box. That was one of the hardest things to get used to, actually, mom’s insistence to spend so much time cooking and stuff tasting different than what comes from boxes. She reasons that if we put good quality, healthy food into our bodies, we’ll have good quality, healthy bodies too, and if we put unhealthy junk into our bodies, our bodies will turn into unhealthy junk bodies, and I suppose it makes sense, but for someone who grew up on convenience food it was quite a thing to get used to.

12:00 p.m. or whenever lunch is ready – we have lunch and plan the rest of the day. Right after lunch and cleaning away the dishes is usually quiet time where mom reads and I sit down to read others’ blogs and write for my own. Or I watch some TV. Depends.

1:45 p.m. – on days when I have therapy we go to therapy across town. I see my therapist, F, and mom is either with me during therapy or waits, depending on how I am that day. Afterwards we drive home again. On days where there isn’t therapy this is time for doing things outside the house, going places, even if it only means a walk in the woods behind the house.

3:45 p.m. – we return home and on most days we’ll have a snack.

4:00 p.m. – mom and I have playtime. Yes, we really call it that, but we could also call it quality time or whatever. It’s my favorite time of the day. We spend it doing things together. Anything really. Often we actually play, stuff like board games or cards or I may roam through my siblings’ old toys up on the attic and we’ll play with what I find, or we just play hide and seek in the house for a while, even tag or some rough and tumble game occasionally. Or we don’t really play, like when I’m not in the mood, but mom gives me a massage instead, or we cuddle and talk, or she reads to me, anything really. On days when I feel low I’m reluctant and don’t want to have playtime, but especially on those days playtime often turns the day around after a while. Dad usually returns home from work during our playtime and pops in to say hello before he goes to his study to finish work stuff that he didn’t do at the office.

5:30 p.m. – mom gets ready to cook supper. Dad either helps her or asks about how our day was and talks a little about his, if he can. He can’t usually say much, as he’s a lawyer and the whole client confidentially thing is in the way, but I’m not really interested in stuff about court and law and stuff anyway, so that’s just fine with me. I usually help a little with making supper, like by cutting up stuff or stirring.

7:00 p.m. – we sit down to have supper together, mom, dad and me. My least favorite meal of the day, as mom and dad usually talk about boring things, but yes, I know, their turn. It’s okay.

7:45 p.m. – we’re usually done with supper and cleaning everything away and start the evening. It’s “everyone does whatever” time and usually takes place in the living room. Mom and dad often talk. Sometimes we watch TV. Or everyone plays something together, like a board game. Or dad still has work to do and goes back to the study and it’s only mom and me, doing whatever, either by ourselves or together.

10:00 p.m. – I change into my pajamas and get ready for bed. Not because I already go to bed, but because once I’m ready we’ll do quiet time. I have trouble calming down at night, trouble with feeling relaxed enough to allow sleep to come, and it helps to end the day with something calm and reassuring. Cuddling, talking about the day, sometimes reading or listening to music. Eventually moving from the living room to the bed.

11:00 p.m. – the time after which I try to fall asleep.

 

That’s what my ordinary days look like. At least if they are days without drama. When there is drama of whatever sort, our usual activities get cancelled or interrupted for dealing with it. But without drama, that’s what goes on. It’s probably not very exciting for most people and many would probably be bored by following the same routine every day, but to me it’s really important to have that. I get really upset inside if the routine gets interrupted by something, or if changes need to be made. I like predictability and I like to know what my day will be like and that it has structure. For me that’s part of feeling safe. I’d even say it’s therapeutic.

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Talking Abuse

As you might have guessed by yesterday’s poem (if you read it), since Thanksgiving I’ve been thinking about the abuse by my stepfather and my mother’s tolerance of it more often. Maybe it’s my birthday and the Christmas holidays drawing nearer, they always put me in a glum mood and put thoughts of my birth family into my mind.

Whenever there is a major holiday, memories of days long gone intrude, and also I can’t help wondering about my mother, what she might be doing. Like how did she spend Thanksgiving? Did she see anyone? Does she live with anyone these days? Or did she just get wasted by herself, the way she used to whenever it was only her and me and home. My stepfather died in jail . . . is she mourning him on holidays? And does she ever think of me?  Does she ever wonder about what I might be doing, the way I wonder about her? And when it’s my birthday, does she think of me? Or does she not even remember?

I don’t know why those thoughts would matter – after all I haven’t seen her or heard from her in what will be eleven years in January, and I have my family now – but I can’t help thinking them nonetheless. And from those thoughts it’s only a small step to memories of abuse. I have a hard time thinking about the abuse with my feelings switched on, but it kind of works in the form of poetry, so that’s what I did.

I talk about it with my mom, too. That’s semi-emotional. She doesn’t usually allow that I split my emotions all the way off, but knows I can’t take too much and that I am afraid of getting overwhelmed by the memories if I stay too connected while we talk. So it’s always a struggle to find that fine line of the degree of emotional involvement that I can still take. Sadness is a surprisingly okay emotion. So is feeling disgusted by myself and the consequential self-hate, although we work on putting that into perspective.

I’m not used to making a difference between a person and his or her actions, but I need to learn to do that, so that’s what we’re working on when we talk abuse, too. That I learn to feel disgusted by the things I had to do, instead of feeling like a disgusting person. I still need help to be able to do that, because my borderline ways don’t really like considering such things, but with help it’s okay. Like how my mom helping with keeping my feelings of self-hate from developing their own momentum by bringing back to my attention the difference between who I am and what I did. That makes talking abuse easier.

So does feeling safe. I do not usually feel physically safe when I talk abuse. It feels as if talking about it had the power to bring it back for real, back into my life now. It’s irrational, but I can’t just shake the feeling of impending threat off, like people who are going to abuse me are going to step out of the shadows once I talk about the abuse. So in order to be able to talk about the abuse at all, I need to be able to watch the doors and the room itself to see with my own eyes that there’s nobody there, and I need to feel physically safe. Being close to my mom usually makes me feel safe and like she would protect me, just in case the threat was real. I mean I know it’s not, but well . . . just in case.

So it looks as though altogether I am going in a good direction. Which is nice. Especially at a stressful time like the holiday season.

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