The weekends this year are starting to remind me of the winter of 1996. We’ve had two winter storms so far and we’re only fifteen days in. In 1996, we seemed to have a winter storm every single week in January and a couple into February.

Of course memories of that year are pretty vivid since it was also the winter when so many relatives died and the year when both of my grandfathers died. It’s also the year when my OCD got kicked into high gear. Basically, it wasn’t the best of times for me & my family.

I love snow, except for how it seems to isolate me from my friends and, now, Chris. It gives me no way to get out and deal with my anxiety, which isn’t great. At least when we were on lockdown, I could be in my car and drive around a little. Or I could go up to Lowe Mill and work a little, but I can’t do that even on the clearest day since that studio is no longer being rented by HAL. (I need a safe place to do art.)

I hope the snow won’t keep us stuck inside for long.

I have to get back into the hang of blogging and I know eventually I will. I know I used to disappear for days and weeks and months on end, but I don’t want to be like that anymore. I want to be more reliable.

Christmas was pretty good, though it was a bit scary at one point when we found out that Chris’s son had COVID-19. He was in California at the time, so we were helpless and heartbroken. I may have also been extra bitchy towards people during that time because I was upset. O is fine now, which ended up being the only thing I really wanted this Christmas. (Though if you want to get something for my birthday, I wouldn’t be opposed to that.)

The dessert table at my aunt’s house on Christmas Day.
Our dessert table on Christmas

I spent Christmas Day with my mom’s side of the family, and Chris spent it with his mom’s side. We waited until the day before New Years Eve to wrap presents for O, which were unwrapped within an hour of O getting to Chris’s house on New Years Eve. He seemed to enjoy his presents, which I’m so glad. You watch enough Charlotte Dobre videos and you start to worry about how kids will react to presents; though I never really have to worry about with O because he’s a good kid.

Chris and I went to a “party” before Christmas at our friend Elenya’s house. (It’s also Colin’s house, but he wasn’t there that night.) It was really just a Writers’ Club meeting with Christmas themed prompts (by Rhiana) and desserts & hot chocolate. I wrote this, which is only available on my Patreon.

So that’s what happened over my holiday break. And now I’m sitting in my living room listening to rain and sleet as part of the winter storm that’s going on right now. Fun times.

A redheaded woman in a shirt that reads “Not a Lot Going On at the Moment”
My T. Swift shirt on New Years Eve. Please ignore the toilet in the background.

On the way to celebrate Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house on Thursday, my mom told me that she and my dad had had a conversation recently about me. She told me that she told him that I would be happier and easier to get along with if I was on mood stabilizers. I was horrified.

My first response was, “what?” That was followed by my pointing out that I had tried every mood stabilizer and that I had adverse reactions to a large chunk of them (lithium, antipsychotics, and several anticonvulsants) and a zombie on most of them. My mom told me that I hadn’t. (I have taken all but two FDA-approved and off-label mood stabilizers.)

I’m actually much happier and feel relatively stable off of them. Being happier is why I’m not at home as much. In fact, the goal of my mental health care over the last decade or so has been to increase my ability to leave the house with the hope that one day I could actually live separately from my parents. And my treatment plans have had to accommodate my inability to use mood stabilizers.

When I told him what she’d said, Chris said it sounded like she wanted me to be compliant and stay home all the time. Unfortunately that was what I thought too. I haven’t told him all of the times she has said she wants to be my representative payee or have me placed in a program through Social Security that would eliminate my access to a bank account & remove my ability to run my shop. It would keep me without true resources.

It makes all of her talk through the years about my lack of control & my inability to live without continued assistance of my parents seem all the more sinister. Not to mention how it colors my view on her wanting access to my accident settlement (she wants it in her bank account) and how she wants to raid my cash box for the festivals I’ve sold art & jewelry at. I’m fairly certain she’s been repaid most of the change she thinks I owe her on that. Then again, this is a woman who has threatened to sell or throw out my belongings before, so who knows what she thinks about that money?

It makes me want to make sure I definitely get a studio out of this house so that I can definitely gain independence. It also makes me want to stay out of my house all the time. I don’t feel like she views me as a person.