It Feels like I’ve Been Holding My Breath... (approx. 6 – 7 min. read)

About fifteen months ago I wrote a blog called, “Leaving the Shire.” Since that time, my husband, Gary and I have packed up and moved our suitcases nine times while we set about building a house and sometime over the next four weeks, we’ll make our tenth and final move into our forever home.

It’s been extremely difficult, and the expression “living like a fish out of water,” describes how I feel to a T. I need order and control over my environment, especially when it comes to my safety and we've stayed in places over the last four hundred and sixty days, that have made me feel less than safe, but I feel like I'm different. I'm fanatical about locking my doors and unless I’m outside in the yard, my doors are always locked and if I’m in the yard, I need to be able to see the door that I've left unlocked. Which means that if I’m in the front yard, the front door is unlocked but the back doors are locked, and when I'm in the backyard, the back door is unlocked, and the front door is looked.

 This obsessiveness, for lack of a better word, to always have my doors locked may seem like a little much to most people, but I’m afraid of the outside world and most of the people in it and if I didn’t have a bird’s eye view to any compromised doorways, I'd be afraid that someone would enter my house without me knowing. If that happened, I would start this battle in my head about whether I was safe going inside the house and the only thing that would quiet that battle was to verify that I was safe - beyond a shadow of a doubt. Verifying that its safe means grabbing a large kitchen knife and doing a full-blown search of every nook and cranny of the house, and I mean EVERY nook and cranny. Because until I've done that, I won't be able to settle in or feel safe.

 I've tried to be different and not to be so obsessive about making myself feel safe, but it’s either I do the search, so I can reassure myself in order to let the fear go or I obsess about it until I eventually give in any way. It seems to be completely out of my control and unless I confirm, in my mind, that there is no one hiding in the closet or under the bed waiting for me to go to sleep …so that they can rape or murder me in the middle of the night, I’ll lie awake all night in fear.

And don’t go trying to tell me it’s irrational, because there’s a part of my brain that knows that it’s irrational, but there’s a bigger part of my brain; the amygdala, that’s relentless in trying to convince me that I’m being rational. It’s inexorable and my brain continually reminds me that bad things have happened to me before and they can and will happen again.

 Anyway, here we are at the end of October 2018. October 20th should have been moving day, but due to many, many circumstances beyond our control, our house isn’t ready and I’m thinking that it’s going to be at least a couple more weeks before we’ll be at the point that the city will give us our occupancy permit.

 It feels like I’ve been holding my breath in anticipation forever and I’m about ready to burst. My health has taken a severe hit and I’ve just filled a prescription for Metformin for the first time in three years because I’ve got Type II diabetes again. Plus, the fact that I can’t be in the cold for more than thirty seconds before my fingers are white and tingling from Raynaud’s syndrome; another stress-induced issue and I’m not sure how much more I can take…

Most everything about the build is back on track and we're almost done, but our heating source has been back ordered and the place we ordered it from has no idea when it will arrive. In fact, when Gary drove down to the place we purchased it from to find out what was going on, the guy that owns the store admitted that he had been avoiding Gary because he didn’t know what to tell him …without a heat source, we won’t get our occupancy permit and we'll have to find somewhere to live out the winter – again.

The worst thing about not being able to finish the build and get our occupancy permit, is that the insurance company that's providing our builder’s risk insurance, told us they won’t insure our house unless we’re working on it. They said that far too many people get to the stage we’re currently at and for one reason or another, they aren’t able to finish their homes. Whether they’ve had financial issues, or not enough time, some people can’t complete their build and instead, they burn down their homes to claim the insurance. Hence the reason insurance companies are protecting themselves by cancelling the insurance until the homeowners are able to start building again.

If our insurance is cancelled, we will be at risk of losing everything, and I keep trying to tell myself not to stress; that everything is going to work out, but it’s a constant struggle to win the war that's raging inside my head. I try to remind myself that things have worked out up until this point, but my overactive, catastrophizing brain seems to have another agenda and I’m not sure how to take back control of my thoughts. I can’t seem to get the negative thoughts out of my head and like I mentioned previously, it’s really starting to cause a lot of stress to my body and I need it to stop before I end up with another stress induced illness.

 …which brings me to the main reason for writing this week's blog.

 For the last six years, I’ve been pretty much trying to deal with my PTSD symptoms on my own. One of the last people I saw for help, told me they felt sorry for me?? Not only was what they said extremely unhelpful, it sent me spiralling into an abyss that's taken me years to climb out of. 

…but, and it's always a big but with me, I decided to give it another try and called the local mental health unit this past week. Apparently, they have a program that’s covered by OHIP; which is the provincial health plan in Ontario Canada, and I have my first appointment on November 6th, only seven days away. I’m really not sure what to expect, but it’s been ages since I have talked to anyone outside my “circle” and I feel that anything I do at this point to help me move forward will be beneficial in helping to lower my stress level, as well as my blood sugars.

 Stay safe and stay strong. Thanks for following.


P.S. In case you’re interested, here’s our timeline:

 House to Trailer (Knight’s Beach) (81 days)

Trailer (Knight’s Beach) to Trailer (Property) (11 days)

Trailer to J&C’s (friends) (23 days)

J&C’s to Best Western (Laddie’s training) (7 days)

Best Western to J&C’s (38 days)

J&C’s to Mom & Dad Lytle’s (77 days)

Mom & Dad Lytle’s to E’s (friend) (5 days)

E’s to Billy & Joe’s (names have been changed) (51 days)

Billy & Joe’s (names have been changed)to Our property (167 days and counting)