Mental Health Stigma Suicide

Four Eyes.

I decided to finally look into getting blue ray blocking glasses. I’m not sure if that is even what they are called…the kind of glasses that are supposed to protect one’s eyes from the harmful light of the computer. Specifically if, like me, you stare at it for up to eight hours or more a day.

I did some google searches and looked at a few of the “best sites” to buy blue ray blocking glasses. Then I went to those sites and looked up a bunch of them. I even added some to my cart on one site.

Then I walked away.

Then I went back to the site.

Then I closed my iPad again.

Then today I looked on Amazon and added more to my cart.

Then I stopped.

I am many things but I am always honest with myself. I reflected on the pit in my stomach that seemed to set up camp whenever I pulled up one of these eyeglass websites. I reflected on the “virtual try on” experience that made me just extremely sad as I stared at my face with the fake lovely glasses resting on my nose.

Then I felt like Winnie the Pooh in that scene when he is pondering and tapping his big yellow paw on his head.

I had a cataract when I was 4. It was removed. I am legally blind in my right eye and have been for as long as I can remember. I wore a patch on one eye for 6 hours a day for a couple years of my life. I wore a contact in my right eye (the cataract/legally blind eye) since the surgery and glasses also for as long as I can remember up until 6th grade I believe. In 6th grade I was old enough for the contact in my left eye.

The glasses were thick frames. I remember my eyes often being hot and sticky from the patch and the glasses. I remember being made fun of many, many, times by other children.

I had this Ah hah! moment in remembering all of this. Duh. Of course my entire body revolted at the idea of glasses, even just glasses to protect my eyes, because I was having flashes of seeing my clients in glasses. I was having flashes of being incredibly vulnerable in front of clients. Clients who do not need to see me have a breakdown if they so much as mention the glasses.

I have glasses. I use them at night. Alone. After I take my contacts out right before I fall asleep if I want to watch TV for a little while. I don’t think even my closest friends have seen me in them.

It’s an odd thing to be 37, a Mom, a boss, a nurse, so many kick ass things, and still be completely gutted thinking about buying glasses. This is what it does to people though- bullying. It stays there. In the back of my mind, in a filing cabinet that I put away and locked up, but that creeped out slowly with enough of a trigger.

I remain undecided on the blue ray glasses. I write this feeling odd. Somewhat shamed? Even though I know rationally it’s not my shame to bear. It’s the shame of my peers who made me feel less than because of a vision deficit that I had no control over. I’ve known since age 4 what it feels like to be different. And I’ve never attributed that experience to any of my life decisions, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I have devoted my life to serving the underserved and the bullied and the misfits.

Because I was one. Who knows? Maybe I still am. But the difference now, is I know I’m in good company.

lesbian mom · mom of boys

The Dog & the Pool

There’s a lot I could comment on. War. School shootings a.k.a. mass murders of children by children with guns they should never have. Abortion. The politicization of the Supreme Court by the Republicans. How masks are traumatizing enough for children to fuel a movement of protests and legislative action but apparently AR-15’s are not. But honestly if I sit with any of those I will be on a tall soapbox for hours fueling a deep rage toward this society.

So I’ll keep that all inside.

I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. My life could be a reality show.

My dog hates the water. She low key growls the entire time if I have to bathe her. It’s a whole thing.

I felt 100% comfortable with her by the pool because she hates water so much. She runs away if the boys splash her.

Well, it’s been a couple weeks now with the pool open. She has a fenced in area attached to the pool area by a gate. I leave the gate open and she has a ball running back and forth between her grassy area and the pool. Today the boys were in the pool, I was clothed- that will matter later.

They helped me put the solar cover on, and then got out. We were all turning to walk up the stairs to the deck and Cheetah leaped into the pool on top of the solar cover. The solar cover is literally heavy duty bubble wrap on top of the water.

Cheetah realized that after two seconds. She managed to leap along it, as I of course yelled at her, because that was helpful, and one of the boys started crying because he thought Cheetah was going to drown. She was not even in the water yet.

I’m swearing because I’m picturing her tearing into my brand new pool liner that got installed not even two weeks ago now.

I start walking into the water in my clothes. Yes in my clothes. She makes it to the edge by the filter and leaps from the sinking solar cover. Lands in the water. Epically panics. Puts both front paws on the cement on the side of the pool, and all I can picture are her two back paws clawing through my brand new liner….and she finds foots in the pool filter and leaps out. She looks utterly drenched and is shaking.

I am dripping. Annoyed. Still unsure if she ripped my new liner. I get out and make my way to her. She low key growls as I drag her inside because she thinks I’m going to give her another bath at the sink- but I drag her to her fenced in area, lecturing her about not jumping in the damn pool, she’s still shaking and growling and now smelling like wet dog. I put her behind her fence (baby-gate that blocks off my office and a weird hallway area off my kitchen) and tell her she’s staying there as long as she’s wet.

The boys are inside now also dripping all over. I change into my swimsuit because I have to go investigate the liner further with goggles. Amen for a pool heater.

It’s about 7 PM on a Tuesday and I’m underwater running my hands and eyes over my pool liner. Because of my dog. Who thought the solar cover was solid.

She still hates water. She was pissed she was wet. She let me towel her off repeatedly. And then pouted because I made her lay on a towel on the couch. She hates towels. Literally glared at me.

My sons went and spoke to Cheetah over the fence at one point while I was trying to calm myself. “Cheetah, we still love you, we are just upset with you right now, because you could have torn the liner, and ripped the cover. We still love you though. It’s okay for some one to be mad at your behaviors it doesn’t mean we don’t love you.”

Then I’m cracking up. Because apparently my sons hear me. When I’m mad or upset at their behavior and I tell them I’m allowed to feel my feelings just like they are allowed to feel theirs. It doesn’t mean I don’t love them. I can dislike some one’s behavior and still love them. I’ve said that a lot. Clearly.

So I have to re-evaluate the dog in the pool area. Well at least when there’s a cover on the pool. Though I don’t think there will be a repeat performance honestly. I couldn’t tell who was more irritated/upset/traumatized…her or me. She hated everything about being wet. And now she knows. Solar cover does not equal solid.

She’s currently passed out on the beach towel avoiding all eye contact with me because she hates the beach towel.

The boys are in bed. My hair is wet. And when the adrenaline wears off I’m sure I’ll laugh about that moment as she hit the solar cover and realized it was not solid. And my wading through the water in my clothes yelling at the damn dog, and my boys in all their innocence explaining emotional intelligence to a dog.

Title photo- Annoyed, damp, Cheetah on beach towel avoiding eye contact.