I’m still trying my best to relax this week and take it easy. My back still hurts, plus I still think that I’m more exhausted than I realize because I’ve had such a hard past few years. We did have a training session with Maggie and our private trainer through Zoom where she learned loose leash walking, heel, and leave it. She and I both did really well in learning how to do these commands. I’m actually quite good at learning dog training techniques, which isn’t surprising to me because I was a lifeguard and swim instructor for 6 years, so I pick up on physical training tasks that require coordination pretty easily. I also really like our trainer, Lise, from a place called Paws Afoot. She did really well adapting to virtual training sessions. I’m going to write her a review on google here soon.
We also had a session with our new trainer yesterday. Maggie is starting day training three times a week at a place here in Snohomish (A Canine Experience) and will be doing service dog training with them. I liked her too, and she commended us for starting off training so early with Maggie! In terms of service dog training, I actually decided that the main task I want for Maggie is to bring me out of a dissociated state, espeically if I’m having repressed memories or flashbacks. The trainer said that we need to pay attention to cues that can tell Maggie if she needs my help. Apparently, according to David, I get a far off look on my face when I’m about to have memories, so I should be able to train her to see that. Also, if my child parts are out and showing spinning behaviors (repetitive movements), I want to train her to bring me out of that. That should be pretty easy to do.
I am realizing though that my repetitive behaviors when I get anxious are not all due to autism. They are also due to the spin programming that I went through and certain ones actually create anxiety versus relieve it. Yesterday I was moving my arms around kind of rhymically up and down and couldn’t stop when I was in one of my child parts. I was also singing a jingle that I used to be forced to sing during the programming and rituals that was made up to program my child parts. David got up and put Maggie with me and she immediately started licking my face, which I’ve taught her to do. It brought me out of the repetitive movements for some time. Now, we just have to teach her how to do that without David’s prompt. That should help with my deprogramming.
I sing a lot of little jingles that I heard and was made to sing during my programming. Sometimes I change the words, sometimes I don’t. I don’t know if this is good or bad that I’m remembering this in this way. I just know that I am, and maybe should sing something else to deprogram when I do that. The truth is though that I sang these jingles for years to the cats without knowing what they were or where they came from. At least now I have the memory and awareness to know what they are.
One of the hardest things right now is having to watch Maggie and Patrick play fight with each other. To most people, this seems cute. For me, it triggers my PTSD and parts of my programming. There was animal abuse in the RA that I went through, so even though they are not hurting each other, it’s hard for me to watch animals fight in any way. I worry that they may get too rough, too, but so far they haven’t. So while I’m getting used to this new part of my life, and dealing with these new triggers, it’s really important for me to practice self-care and take it easy.
In terms of how the pets are doing, Patrick is still struggling with snifiness. He had an antibiotic shot last Thursday but still isn’t fully of his URI. He’s still sneezing and sniffly and actually sneezed on my face this morning while he was giving me kisses on my cheek! He has an appointment next week at the vet. If he isn’t better we’re going to have to take him to some specialists to see what’s going on.
And, Maggie might have a bladder infection. She started acting weird about pottying last night, and then today had 6 accidents in the house! Our trainer told us that puppies get bladder issues really easily. So, we’re taking her into the vet tomorrow to get checked out. She may also have her final round of puppy vaccines then if she’s well enough. That means that in only a few days she should be able to start going for walks!
I got my urinalaysis back from when I went to the doctor earlier this week for my strained muscle. I do have blood in my urine, which has been going on now for almost two years. The doctors always just say that it’s my interstitial cystitis (bladder autoimmune disease) and don’t do anything about it. This time I emailed my doctor about it and she is sending me to a urologist, who I’m seeing through a virtual visit on Tuesday. Hopefully they can get this figured out. The blood in the urine also makes me wonder if there is something more to my back pain than a strained muscle.
I also did do the test to become a psychic reader in a Facebook group I’m in. I didn’t quite pass. I got 70%. But, since I was so right on about some things, they are giving me a trial run to answer yes/no questions in their group. I was made moderator, and the admin said to see it as a stepping stone. I’m trying to, but I’m still anxious about it. Also, I worry that my antipsychotic might be hindering my psychic abilities. But, I can’t really go off of it because it helps ADHD and treatment resistant depression, and with possible mood disorders.
The other news is that my illustrator backed out, so I had to find another illustrator. Luckily I had a backup choice already, who’s work I actually liked just as much as the other one, if not more. I just didn’t chose her at first because she hasn’t illustrated a book before. But, her drawings are incredibly cute! So I feel like it actually worked out for the better. I sent her an email last night with my book broken into 12 sections for 12 illustrations. I haven’t heard back yet about a quote from her. I plan on using my stimulus money to pay for this.
I’ve decided in the future, when I start writing and exercising again (later this month), that I need to manage my time better to account for my fatigue issues. Even though I can do both in one day, it doesn’t mean that it won’t burn me out in the long run. I think that I’m going to try to do half an hour of yoga twice a week and try to work that up to one hour of yoga twice a week, and then do my writing in longer chunks on my off days, rather than trying to do some exercise every day plus writing. Of course, I will be taking Maggie for walks as well. I’m just realizing that I can’t keep up with the schedule that I’ve been setting for myself.
I do feel quite stressed even thinking about going back to my usual schedule, which includes house cleaning. I’m probably going to start to ask David for more help with that, because I really need to focus on taking care of myself and keeping my CAEBV from flaring right now, seeing that we’re in a pandemic and all. Plus, I just think that it’s better for me that way. I don’t like burning out every few months or years. It’s not sustainable.
I am also doing a few training sessions with Maggie every day, so that’s more to add to my load. I should start getting a break from that somewhat when she goes to day training. Maybe I’ll do my writing on the days that she is at training.
Anyways, I know I’m rambing but these are all the things that go through my head on a daily basis. I’m hoping to kind of keep this blog as a journal right now, so that I can look back at it and see what things were like during the covid-19 pandemic. Hopefully this doesn’t throw any readers off. I already do this quite a bit anyways.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment below.