What has it got in its pocketses?

When my partner and I met in the winter of 2007, I know he realised I had some… eccentricities. I’m just not entirely certain that even if he had envisaged us still being together 9 years later that he would be having a conversation with me over txt that read as follows:

Him: “Do you want your bath robe just on gentle wash?”
Me: “Lol yes pls! Can you… can you save my pocket knots?”
Him: “I already found a giant one in the bed”
Me: “Yeah I made that one last night. You can add them together if you like. It had good texture”
Him: “Please stop talking…”

Part of me can’t stop laughing.

Another part of me is fully aware that what I’ve asked him to do, goes above and beyond a man’s love for his woman.

The bigger part of me now can’t stop thinking about those knots.

I have what is known as Trichotillomania, which is a fancy word for the fact that I pull out my hair.

It began for me when I was about 8 years old, and hasn’t stopped since. I do it almost constantly, all day, but it’s much worse when I am reading or watching television.

I think that’s the norm for many Trich sufferers, though the majority that I know pull hairs directly from the scalp, whereas I twirl my hair into messy, tangled knots, and then rip them out.

For the most part, I don’t realise I’m doing it until the knot has been well and truly created. If I stop, I have to go back to it a few seconds later. It is literally a compulsion that I can’t get past.

The only real effect that it had on my life is that there were always little knots or strands of hair laying around, until 3 or 4 years ago, when my life started falling apart. The stress exacerbated the hair pulling, and I ended up with bald spots and very asymmetrical hair (not in a cool way).

While my hair is growing in at the back and I can get away with the asymmetry at the front, all it takes is one stressful night and I undo months of self-torture (also known as self-discipline) where I’ve made the knot and untangled it before it caused any damage. If I don’t make the knot, I’m always on the edge of the compulsion.

That’s where my pocket knots come in.

I believe trichotillomania is a sensory thing. For me, it’s the texture of the knots that are the best part, and that’s why keeping a few in the pocket of my dressing gown gets me out of trouble.

My sister finds it creepy that I keep knots of hair in my pockets. I reminded her that it would only be creepy if it was other peoples’ hair.

Admittedly, while I don’t think it’s creepy, I do know it’s really gross to ask my NotHusband to reach into my pockets and blindly pull out a bunch of hair balls, and put them somewhere safe until I get home.

I would totally txt him back and tell him it’s okay if he doesn’t want to, except I really fucking want those knots. They took me ages to get just right.

… yeah okay. I’m going to shut up now. Except to say that I am totally proud of myself for deleting refraining from saying  “KnotHusband” earlier.

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Psh. She’s only braver than me because she’s in shock. So what if she’s 5?

It appears that I don’t cope entirely well with hospital visits.

To be fair, I haven’t really had any practice, I’ve never really been sick in my life beyond the odd headcold.
I’ve never had to stay overnight in hospital – not even when I fell through the glass door and needed surgery to repair the nerves and tendons in my wrist – they sent me home after I woke up and I didn’t even get to see what a shitty hospital dinner tastes like!

On Monday, my Doctor gave me the flu vaccination because apparently people like me – those incubating another human inside them – are one of the three groups most highly recommended to have them, and I figured that since he’s been to medical school and I haven’t, it would be best to listen to his advice.

Approximately four hours later, I began to regret that decision when The Worst Cold Plus Other Things started happening to me.

My chest became tight, but I ignored it because over the past few months, a giant ball of baby has begun to sprout from my midsection, and I’ve found that occasionally, this causes all my breathybits to get squished.

I stood up to relieve the pressure but it didn’t really help, and before I had the chance to sit back down, my head began to pound like the drums of Moria after Pippin dropped the stone in the well – this was also something I ignored because Did You Know, hormones create headaches?

As I began to loudly vocalise these problems to my coworkers, my throat started aching – a deep, broken bone kind of ache – not even the “I’m getting sick” ache! It was weird, and so I vocalised this observation too.

“Apparently it’s pretty normal to feel like you’re getting a cold”, reassured one of my co-workers who had just paid a visit to Dr. Google.
“I don’t think your tongue is meant to start stinging though, right?” I replied, trying to get a look at it.

Around 40 minutes had passed since the initial tight chest and now, along with the headache, sore throat, stinging tongue (and lips), every joint in my body had its own little headache and I wanted to cry, and/or die – whichever came first.

I decided to call my dad to pick me up. I needed groceries to make scrambled eggs for dinner because my lifelove had had his wisdom tooth removed around the same time I was getting stabbed with THIS POISON THAT WAS NOW RUINING MY LIFE!

A few short minutes later, I had all my ingredients and climbed back into dad’s car, where I decided it might be time to phone the medical centre again because I was pretty sure I was about to vomit, and shouldn’t really be shivering like this.

They wanted me to come in – the stinging mouth was slightly concerning.

Check-ups were made and consultations with the Bible of Vaccinations were undertaken and it was determined that I wasn’t having an allergic reaction, but a “documented, but rare reaction”.  This is fairly common practice for my family. We don’t do medication normally.

Doc determined that I would feel better if I went over to the Emergency Department to get some IV fluids into me.

By now my fingertips were going slightly blue and I was shivering more than a medieval bride waiting for her gross old husband to make a woman out of her.

I wasn’t allowed to move my wrist, because my veins are almost non-existent and we were forced to IV me right there where my hand comes off my arm – that part of you that you don’t realise you move a lot until you’re no longer allowed to. In fact, were you aware that you bend your wrist approximately INFINITY TIMES A SECOND?

I really needed to move that wrist – I wanted to be on my side. Preferably watching television on my own lounge and for these pain feelings to not be in me. Life was so unfuckingfair.

I looked at the clock with big, hope-filled eyes. Ten minutes had passed. Ten minutes out of the approximate two hours that I would be required to spend there. Fuck a thousand ducks.

I moaned my complaints to my visitors – my ever patient and loving mother – who advised me that I’d already had some miniscule hundred mls of the fluids and only had ONE MILLION MORE to go.
My back hurt. My bones hurt. Even the air that touched my face hurt.
My other visitor – my lifelove with his recently removed wisdom tooth – patted me sympathetically, smiling through the swelling of his face.

Then the emergency ward began to buzz with life as a little girl was brought in – a suspected broken elbow due to a fall from a trampoline.
Apparently it was a bad one. She needed immediate surgery and she was so brave, she was barely making a sound!

That’s because she’s lucky enough to be in shock!

Really, you should worry about me, my body not even protecting me from my own incredible pain.

Plus, the morphine you gave her probably helped! I only got Panadol – and it was in tablet form – tablets I had to sit up to take when I couldn’t even bend my wrist. I had to wriggle my way upright with one hand and then get my mother to hold the cup of water while I popped the tablet in my mouth. Then we had to swap again so I could pick up the SECOND tablet!

My brow definitely needed mopping after that ordeal.

Two and a half hours later, my IV bag emptied of its precious life-saving fluids, I was allowed to go home.

“See you again in a few months” said the Emergency Department Dude, nodding at my bellybump as I held the plaster over the gaping wound that had been gouged into my arm by the needle.

Thankfully I have shown that I bear the burden of pain stoically.

Discipline

How do you discipline a cat?

I mean, really.

Spraying water in his face isn’t doing a lot to stop boycat being a jerk to girlcat.

Once, when he was very naughty and made himself at home in my next door neighbour’s house, I didn’t speak to him for an hour. I felt abandoned by him. He was my little loveface, who adored me, and now he had gone to bask in the loveglow of someone else.

“Never enough. I am just never enough for anyone!”

… that’s when I realised I had rather larger mental issues than I had previously suspected. Also when I realised I had completely stopped thinking of them as cats.

I’m not great with discipline. My little brother is ten years younger than me, and very rarely did the word “no” escape my lips when he asked for something. In fact, it seems that whatever he wanted to do, I was there encouraging it.

It isn’t many big sisters who get banned from reading to their younger brother. In hindsight, while it was certainly fun, it may not have been in his best interests for me to read Harry Potter as though I had Tourettes.

At 21 years of age, I can’t see any signs that it has harmed him, but I also can’t stop calling Professor Lockhart “Professor Cockfart”, either.

As for my cats, I think it’s me that needs the discipline.

I need to start remembering that they aren’t human. I don’t, as previously suspected, need to spell words to prevent them getting excited over things they can’t have, nor do I need to sit them down and explain why they’re not allowed to lay in my garden, squashing my newborn sunflower plants.

Most of all, I can probably stop mocking their meows when they’re talking to me after their fights.

The phrase “I don’t care who started it, you don’t bite each other and shove your bums in each other’s faces!” should probably be reserved for human children and the way things are going, Australian politicians.

Nice things, and why we can’t have them.

Britard woke up wearing last night’s pants, and the sweat of last night’s booze. It had pooled in the folds of her skin while the sun sang her to sleep.

Mornings like that were not so common for her anymore and hers was a sad, angry shame-awakening, for the second weekend in a row.

This one was going to be fairly bad if her first flashback was anything to go by. It was the computer. YouTube. Two friends on the spare bed next to her, one trying to sleep, the other suggesting songs that Britard was going to ignore.
The music was at a terribly loud volume for Morning Suntime but it wasn’t as loud as her voice, concerting its way through the neighbourhood, creating what had to be the world’s worst Human-Rooster Duet.

Groaning at the memory, Britard reached onto the cluttered table beside her bed, her fingers blindly stalking its surface to avoid exposing her sandpaper eyes to the harsh, evil air of sunshiney reality.

The next flashback came courtesy of her fingers’ inability to locate her phone. With a heavier heart than the one she’d been carrying last night, she gritted her teeth, and prepared to face a day of disappointing treasure hunting – a game called “Oh Shit. I did that last night? I did. Shit.”

In an unprecedented turn of events, today’s game was multiplayer, and as a result, Britard took less of a health hit through Guilt Damage than she usually did in this game.

… until she realised that her phone was not the only missing person from her entourage – She had also lost her glasses – a week before attending the ballet with her family for an event called “Combined Birthdays in a City Eight Hours’ Drive Away!”

“This is why we can’t have nice things, Britard”, said Britard, squinting into the distance.

Seven days later, staring through a new pair of glasses, she sat perched in the middle back seat of her parents’ car, twenty minutes into the eight hour trip home.

Her fingertips traversed the floor of the car, in search of her phone.

“This is why we can’t have nice things, Britard”, said her partner, five minutes later, hanging up the call he’d made to her phone. “Your brother will post it back to you tomorrow. Along with your wallet. And your handbag”.

Turf Wars

It’s been a shitty week.
Blah, blah, reasons, explanations, etc. The End.

I think we’re all just as tired as I am of the “Bri is not feeling well” story, and it’s time to flip the record over, so what we’re going to do today is talk about the weather.

Here, in my little corner of the world, the winter grass is beginning to go green again. Our loquat tree has started to bear fruit and everyone around me has commenced their hayfever season.

Barbecues clothed in cobwebs, dust, and the remnants of the final Summer Barbie are being cleaned off in preparation of warm weekends with friends, where the sun shines through wine glasses and dries out the least popular Hors d’oeuvres left to melt on the nibbles tray.

A short walk around the neighbourhood as dusk approaches becomes a cacophony of the persistent barking of dogs, put out by all the new people walking on their footpath, and the delighted shrieks of children, lost in a game of their own devising.

The absence of the cold wind biting into exposed flesh seems to slow the whole place down. People stop rushing from A to B, and start meandering. They look up and around them, at trees and buildings, unconsciously lifting their faces to the sun, like leaves on rainforest plants.

There is one group of people, however, who are greatly inconvenienced by the onset of warmer weather, and I’m not referring to those who suffer from allergies.

No. This Spring, pledge your support to the smokers of the world. Those committed souls who have braved the elements by spending all winter at those wind-battered outdoor café tables that nobody wanted to sit at. Think of how they feel each spring when hordes of families and trendy, judgemental people suddenly lay claim to those very same tables, simply because the weather is now sufficiently warm enough to cater to their delicate sensibilities.

Suddenly, the smoker has nowhere to sit for lunch. Those who manage to get a seat and have the audacity to actually light a cigarette in the smoking section are treated with contemptuous stares or at least a passive-aggressive coughing fit from someone two tables away, who, for the duration of the smoker’s entire meal, did not have any sign of a respiratory problem at all.

It is a great injustice against an already highly-persecuted percentage of the population and something must be done!

As smokers are already treated like a diseased/disabled part of our population, the same rules that apply on buses, forcing able-bodied passengers to vacate their seat for the elderly/pregnant/disabled, should also be applied to smokers’ seating at cafés.

If you’re not a smoker and you decide to take a table in the smoking section anyway because, well, you’re only having a coffee and there’s plenty of other seats anyway, you’d best be prepared to stand up for the rest of your café journey should a smoker require your seat.

After all, there are plenty of available seats inside. You really quite enjoyed them over the past three months.