♥LOVE NOTE – Saturday November 29th, 2014
It will be 46 WEEKS P.F. [Post Fire] tomorrow and it feels both like the fire was decades ago on the one hand, and only yesterday on the other……the ache for home is still so raw…..and filling the emptied space in my soul is so tiring and wearisome….definitely a “quest”…..and not for the faint-hearted…..
I’m imagining you are as tired of hearing me share about how exhausted I am as I am writing about it!!……and experiencing it……Yet being real and authentic seems to be one of the most important lessons for me on this Post Fire journey……staying present to what is feeling real and true and not trying to “pretty it up”and just covering up and presenting as having it together…..I value an appreciation ♡Lisa made of this – we usually “get the edited cleaned up version not the warts and all version…”
Today has not been such a good day….. too many precipitous and steep downhills on the ole bushfire roller coaster.……I don’t know whether people ‘get’ just how exhausting it is to continually have to be vigilant about bringing oneself back to being positive and grateful….especially when one’s brain and physiology is still teetering on the edge of Post Traumatic Stress…. having to keep looking for the positive…..
– and how phony it can feel to have to pretend…….
– and how that sort of gratefulness doesn’t last for very long……
– and how it can feel a bit like being on a constant and arduous giant hamster wheel / treadmill of life – doing lots of exhausting fast footwork but really staying in the same-place-getting-nowhere fast…….
TIP 1: don’t assume just because people look like they are coping that they are!! ……..
Being so high on the stress scale and so low on resources I got massively triggered into some old history by some of ♡Shelton’s actions today and ended up being soooooooooooo T O T A L L Y out of my core values and ‘going for the jugular’ from a heavy-attacking-take-no-prisoners Self that could have won the Olympics for foul-mouthed fish-wives ……aka coarse-mannered, vulgar-tongued women……
Will she survive, that is the question? Or maybe, will he? Or more to the point, will they? Our connection is very strained and fragile at times. It adds significantly to the pain….
TIP 2: don’t assume just because people look like they are coping (and you think that they should be able to) that they are!! ……..
You may remember I mentioned in the post on the auspicious day of the 11th of the 11th we got our “eviction notice”…..the request to vacate ♡Ivan’s place where we have been renting….. so the last few weeks since then have been ‘seriously’ getting on with the renovations to the Owl House at Warm Fuzzy Hill so we can live there…….and I think I just might start believing in Murphy’s Law seeing it seems if something can go wrong and get screwed up it does!!……and it has!!
I’ll spare you the details of the things that have ‘gone wrong’ …….I am over-the-moon grateful and relieved to announce the space that is being converted to a kitchen and dining room has been re-concreted and the floor tiles bought, the cabinet maker will have our new kitchen cupboards finished and fitted when we return in late January, broken windows have been repaired, door locks have been found and installed and the Owl House is now secure (you can’t imagine how many hardware stores were sold out of the ones we needed!), the electrician and plumber are teed up to do their part to connect things up, a sea container has been bought and positioned on site as a storage shed for the furniture and gear that was originally in the rooms we will be using…..and that is just the major tasks
Back at ♡Ivan’s it has felt like continuous full-on and tiring days of organizing. sorting. washing. clearing out rooms and cleaning up. packing……. shifting things and discovering things I had forgotten we have been given……so many things that have been stored waiting and waiting for what it is we are going to do next…. for such a long time some of them…….
One aspect of our circumstances is that we have been accumulating and collecting and gathering and stockpiling all sorts of this and that…..bits and pieces. assorted paraphernalia. all sorts of new and pre-loved belongings. supplies. things. equipment. gear……and as we have been renting/sharing ♡Ivan’s house we haven’t been able to use most of them and make them “ours”……..
Some of it we don’t even know if it is ‘ours’!!!….When you are living in someone else’s space / home and most of our stuff is “new” to us it is a challenge to sort what is “ours’ and what is not…..stuff in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry, office, lounge……. but then again do you know I even go through my clothes and many of them don’t “feel” like me or mine…..it is such a weird feeling…..like going through someone else’s wardrobe……someone else’s belongings…..
TIP 3: never underestimate the value of your popping in (even for a few hours) and offering to help with whatever task is being done. There are always options whatever your level of fitness and strength and availability….
TIP 4: packing up (or in fact ALL seemingly overwhelming jobs that need doing) is best done with ‘accomplices’ who aren’t going to let you off the hook (read – give up!) as it all feels like it is toooooo much!!
As well as renovating and packing up, November has been the month to clear out the acres and acres of “giant weeds” that have needed weeks of whipper snipping and piling up to burn off along with more of the dead trees……I am very. very. V E R Y grateful for ♡Shelton for working day after day often from 8am to 7pm for such long hours doing such hard work……….true grit and doggedness to the MAX!! I admire and appreciate his huge strength and tenacity and staying power……. What a STAR!! 3 Cheers Hurrah!! :)
So I guess it makes sense how I am sooooo looking forward to getting on the plane tomorrow (Sunday) and flying to Victoria for the holiday that we have had planned for months……… I am grateful that I can actually still walk after getting through all the tasks…….well maybe it is I am grateful that I can ‘hobble’….it’s like everything hurts and is groaning for a break: my back in a few too many places, my legs, my shoulders, my feet, my calves, my arms, my fingers and especially ‘that’ knuckle that now feels permanently crippled and aching from raking up and pulling up weeds and more weeds…..
I am grateful to you for reading this and following my story…… that matters over and over to me. Big Appreciations to you :) …….Unfortunately one consequence of PTSD is people tend to isolate socially, which I have done. This often follows the repeated experience of people not really getting or understanding how it is……and having to inform them (which can often feel like having to justify) over and over of how it is…………..it just all gets T O O much…..
This leads to less and less having people to call on for help……and anyway, reaching out and asking I do less and less, as it is too hard to hear people say over and over, No they are not available (and I do understand people have lives of their own that are very full and it is OK to say No)….. because when they do it all feels even more hard and hopeless and being alone……it is a very vicious and dangerous cycle……
TIP 5: don’t assume just because people look like they are coping (and have stopped asking for help) that they are!! ……..
TIP 6: don’t say, if you need help just ask. People usually won’t ask. Many people say, if you need help just ask and don’t mean it, so it doesn’t take long to generalize it to not asking to eliminate not being disappointed.
TIP 7: when people have been through any type of prolonged stressful life experiences (and especially traumatic ones – illness, tragedy, death, loss, heartbreak, relationship breakdown, etc, etc) expect it will take longer than you think for life to feel ‘normal’ for them again. We have been informed to expect at least 2 years!!
TIP 8: ‘words of encouragement’ and ‘acts of service’ go a long way to lift people’s energy and add to their resources when they are under stress. I am amazed at how often my energy levels were raised by someone saying “Good job”, “Well done!” or “I can help you with__________” or “I’m here for the next couple of hours, give me a job”……..
TIP 9: there are many sites that share great information on how to reach out to check whether people are going OK and to connect with them. One of my favourites is the grassroots R U OK? movement in Australia. I wrote about it in this post
TIP 10: the fresh perspective from someone (you) who is not day in / day out looking through the same lens and going through the same experience as you can offer great insights / options / help.
It is somewhat depressing to read back over some of my recent posts and see that things haven’t changed all that much since 9 months (36 weeks) Post Fire. In fact it is mostly the same theme!!
So I guess the solution is just more of – back to my mantra – One day at a time!!! …..or even one hour at a time!! and sometimes just one minute!!
Gratefully, LOVE Susie♡
♡♡DAY 333 - Being-♡LOVE-and Being-Grateful for it All