So the wife adopted a kitten. She'd been pretty torn up over the death of her long time companion, the monklike cat who I sat with over and over again, putting a needle into the back of his neck to try and flush out the enzymes from his failing kidneys that eventually killed him. He went from 20lb of sedate serenity to a shaking 4lb sack of bones. That and some other stresses contributed to the events of two months ago.

We had two other cats: one whom I rescued while out running, a little ball of meowing and a triangular face. He's now turned into a large, muscled handsome cat. He lived a lot of his kittenhood outside, so he would very much like to go outside again. He's a bundle of energy and he was really built and wired to run and fight and take down prey. He's also my near-constant companion: he sleeps leaning on my feet. 

He'll chase anything that can be chased, and for the longest time he wanted to playfight with the eldest cat, who indulged him for as long as his health was up to it. When he started getting clearly too sick to play, he left him alone and started chasing our then only other cat, a long haired diva. She absolutely does not like being chased or playfighting. She keeps to herself and is a sweet thing, and she has an astounding vertical leap, which she uses to catch the occasional rogue fly who comes into the house. I've seen her tag a stink bug crawling on the upper door jamb, an amazing stunt considering she didn't crouch, she just sprang with incredibly powerful legs. 

The newcomer was rescued from a hoarder house who had 30 cats. Some had to be euthanized, some lost eyes to eye infections. As a result, she's a trembling little ball of energy who's learned to defend herself by swatting at the other cats, and spitting at them. She won't eat unless you're sitting with her and scratching the back of her head: she won't eat unless she feels she's safe. She can't meow very much, all she can put out is a barely audible squeak.

And she's made the other two cats sick. She had a clean bill of health from the adoption agency, but they check for FIV and other big things, not various other viruses that can cause gastrointestinal upset and nausea. So we piled the diva into a cat crate and drove the VERY long way to the vet we trust. 

Meanwhile, though the little cat still occasionally spooks out and hisses at the male cat in the house, he's been making a concerted effort to make friends with her after doing the usual cat thing of spending three days growling death threats through the door. She's not a well adjusted cat and she doesn't understand his body language. But he's been letting her play with him and keeps out of her way unless she wants to play. As she discovers a greater comfort level with him, he's been playfighting with her at her level, clearly dialling down his abilities. They chase each other back and forth and I think he's happy he's finally found another cat who wants to play.

Two female cats: one who's scared of any sudden movement, one who is sad and  bitter about having seen two new cats replace her as the newest cat in our home. A boy cat who stares wistfully out the window and I can't explain to him that there are rattlesnakes and hawks that will end his life VERY quickly, never mind the neighborhood kids. 

Meanwhile, I'm in therapy, she's in therapy. The scars in her arms have healed, my own internal ones are hopefully healing. And at night, we all gather in the same queen sized bed, and go to an uneasy sleep.

Yesterday I mowed the lawn, finishing before it started raining. I was upset because my oldest daughter hadn't done the trimming last time she mowed. Instead of taking action, I stewed. For years I've been avoiding getting a job. First it was too hard to write a resume since I've had so many jobs. Then I wrote a poor version, sent it to my sister who suggested some updates. Now it's much better. Monday I took my resume in to a temp agency. They offered me immediate factory work which I did not take, telling the woman I was car shopping. True, but not the truth. The other day I received a letter in the mail from the insurance company of the guy I was involved in a car accident with back in April. The woman informed me that I was responsible for repaying them for the cost of his vehicle which is currently sitting around $16,000.

I almost bought an older Honda Accord on Tuesday, but for some reason I held back. I'm trying a new strategy where I phrase things as situations and alternatives rather than problems and solutions. Last night I laid on the couch listening to a podcast on finding mastery. If you're on Twitter, you may enjoy @MichaelGervais and his guests. In the past I haven't seen much value in podcasts, but as I lay there I found myself relaxing. I think I drifted off to sleep briefly, when I woke up the podcast was still going. A very accomplished woman was speaking, undergrad degree from Harvard, master's from Oxford, PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Today I listened to a world famous surfer share stories about his life. Again I felt that calm peace descend upon me.

Tomorrow the girls will be here. I agreed to watch the neighbor's dog. I started sweeping in the garage in preparation for a rummage sale. I woke up after a night that started around 7:30 on the couch. Today I tried to eat lunch, but every bite stuck in my throat. I put my fork down, pushed my plate of pasta and broccoli aside and ate an apple. I'm scared to go back to work. Yesterday I watched a short video that talks about a rewind technique people can use as part of a way to ease thoughts and feelings from traumatic events that contributed to PTSD. It's beautifully bright and sunny outside. Inside it's much cooler. I'm terrified of the dumbest things. Dread is my constant companion, but I'm getting better at noticing the pit in my stomach and identifying it for what it is.

When I worked at my last full time job I was mostly ignored by my boss. Sometimes I feel that there are too many studies on things, but I read an article on poor workplace practices and was surprised to learn that having a critical boss is less damaging than having one that ignores you. I need money to pay my bills. I need work to keep me busy, to occupy my time, to give me something else to think about. I've acquired new skills that I lacked when I was working at a job that didn't compensate me fairly. That was a loss. That was traumatic. At the time I was in an unloving and unfulfilling marriage. I was discovering I had more food allergies and auto-immune conditions. I feel like I was treated inhumanely, ground beneath an oppressive regime that failed to acknowledge its workers.

I just have to do things. Today I did things. I made supper in the morning instead of letting the day flutter by and opening the fridge later tonight without a clue as to what to do for supper. Everything seems like too much effort. Things are actually going really well apart from the latest financial blow. When I asked the father of my children if he would split the car accident costs he said he didn't have that kind of money. Which really isn't the point. He had agreed to pay for my car insurance after we were divorced. He didn't and now I'm out a car and paying for another one. I can't get away from that simply by saying I don't have the money. I have to figure it out. And I will. I have been.

The guy I like was very empathetic which is one of the things I just love about him. I had to put this behind me to move forward. I wish there was more justice in the world, but there's not a lot I can do if he won't accept responsibility for his negligence. I'm proud of the way I treated him when I texted him the other day. Being furious with him is only going to slow me down. It feels like I'm in a room where the walls, floor, and ceiling are closing in on me. To counter this I need to take action. I need to get out of the house, buy groceries, hang out with friends, work in the yard, go to the library, have a rummage sale, do my yoga DVDs, keep taking my walks, and listening to my podcasts. It would be smart of me to accept temporary factory work. I'm scared of being stuck there. I'm afraid it will be too much for my body.

I don't know how I will manage to get Jill to her camp counselor internship, I'm nervous about being hungry, tired, bored, frustrated, and angry. These fears are tearing me up inside and destroying my health. They're doing more damage to me than any factory job where the conditions are not abhorrent. I need to find a way to say yes, I will pick up the phone and tell this very nice woman who is trying to find me a job that I will take action and do work that will net me a paycheck. I can learn a new skill, I can meet some new people. I can use this as motivation to find a better job that pays more that I want to be working at and going to in the mornings. Fear is my enemy and I need to find ways to face it instead of escaping and avoiding it. I can do this. I am doing it. I am strong and capable. I can be happier and less scared. 

Update - I called and left a message for the woman who interviewed me. Happy I made the call. Also forgot to mention that last night was the second in a row where I skipped my sleep meds. Haven't taken anything, not even vitamins these past few days. Experimenting to see what I can do on my own. I'm making progress and I need to give myself credit for that... 

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