Unpacking My Baggage

I have a confession to make.

I have an obsession with birds. Not in a lesbian sorta way, but in a David Attenborough sorta way. When I was young I do not remember having this fascination with birds. I do remember sitting out on the patio in Georgia with my beloved Grandmother watching the birds in her garden while she told me their names. My grandmother only knew them by their familiar names and I remember her love of Blue Jays and Cardinals which she just called ‘Blue Birds’ and ‘Red Birds’. I suspect it was because of the crowns on their heads as well as the bright feathers which charmed her, I know I also love crested birds. This week we had 4 different types of birds in one tree at the same time and I spotted a pair of mousebirds which also have little crests on their heads.

My family laugh at how many bird feeders I have and Norm despairs every time I buy a new one. However I needed to replace all 4 of my little houses as one was stolen by a workman and the other 3 with the same design were leaking. I tried repairing them with a hot glue gun but that was a messy, time consuming disaster.

But my birds were in need of food so I had to find some replacement feeders and I bought a couple of new ones which are not very attractive but hopefully they are functional.

The birds seem to love the suet balls the most and go through about 6 or 7 suet balls per week in this feeder. It can accommodate any size of bird so maybe that is why it gets so much attention.

I often mention my insomnia, and this is the sort of thing I think about at night when normal people are sleeping – HOW do the birds know when a new feeder or food source is available? Do they send out some birdy message? Is it a mental communication? Is it energy? Is it verbal?

I sit outside with my little eyeglass Norm bought and I can watch them nibbling away. I noticed that on the day after I filled the suet ball feeders that one bird sat on top of it and sang so loudly for ages, and soon he was joined by a whole flock of others. I have only seen one or two on my new feeder so I am not sure if they just prefer the suet balls or whether they have not all properly discovered the new ones?

Yesterday we woke to the sound of rain bashing against the windows of our bedroom. When we looked outside it was pouring rain and howling wind. It was quite spectacular.

Tonight my insomnia will probably be about birds when it rains. Where do they go? Do all birds have nests? Where do they sleep?

Yes I could google all of these things but that is not how it works in my head. I will just go further down the rabbit hole of pondering about something else once I answer ponder topic number 2,006,942.

I am so in love with our new grass. We have not had a lawn since 2019 when the drought hit. It is so wonderful to feel the grass underneath my feet instead of thorns. Norm mowed it for the first time on Wednesday and it looks so lush and gorgeous.

I’ve been doing my morning prayers on my beautiful little grassy hill. I take my drum with me some days and on others I perform the movements and gestures which our drumming circle did to accompany the lyrics. I greet the day to We n’ de ya ho, aka the Cherokee Morning Song, which is a traditional Native American song sung by the women in the tribe to welcome the day. It grounds me and helps me focus and stay calm(er). That is if Mr. Finn does not spot me. This week I was doing my prayers when I was tackled and launched across the garden by Finn.

He thought we were having a great time. We were not.

Last week I wrote about trying to reframe my confidence and how I feel about myself. Last Sunday Norm agreed to come with me to the shops to try a new desk chair I wanted to order. I had slimmed down too much to wear my ‘usual’ jeans so I decided to go through my cupboard which contained a range of sizes from a size 16 up to a size 24 / 3XL. I did not even bother trying the size 16s, I bundled them up and put them on a high shelf for the future slimmer Lisa. I did however slide easily into a size 18! When I asked Norm if they looked ok he said WOW I have to take a pic for your mom. So we did so and I posted it on Facebook. I decided to create a before and after pic and even I was shocked at the difference.

This was the 1st time in a long time that I had ‘dressed like me’. I have been wearing loose flowy fabrics and dresses or long loose sweaters over the top of my trousers to cover me. When I am at a comfortable weight my style is jeans and t-shirts and I feel like I can actually wear that without having to wear a long something or other over it to cover up my lumps and bumps. Whenever I feel like I am fed up with having to watch what I eat I can look at this pic to inspire me and to remind me why I am sticking with it.

I know from the struggles I had with anorexia when I was at university that I have at least some level of body dysmorphia but mine seems to almost a detachment on one end of the ‘scale’ and an obsession on the other. When I am at my largest I am not aware of my size until I see a photograph of me and then I am shocked. I feel svelte until I have to lumber up a set of stairs. When I was at University and I was my skinniest ever, my narcissistic psycho fiancé repeatedly told me that I was unattractive and fat, that no one would ever love me, and that I should be grateful that he did. Did I buy into his narcissistic controls because of the past damage to my psyche as a child who was sexually abused, or is this the ‘root‘ of the damage that caused my issues with food and my body image?

This week I discovered that the crazy thoughts and feelings I have about relationships is a known ‘mental illness’ called ‘Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria‘. RSD is extreme emotional sensitivity and pain triggered by the perception that you’ve been rejected or criticized. It may also be triggered by failing to meet self-imposed high standards (aka just being a Virgo).

People with RSD aren’t just “sensitive”; the emotional response physically hurts them much more than it does others. It’s unbearable and can even be disabling trying to sift through the lies your head tells you vs. the truth.

People who know that others struggle with this issue can actually use it as a weapon against us. My cousin told me ‘everyone hates you because of the way you are’. That resulted in me becoming estranged from my other cousins because I thought they had told him they hated me. My political and religious stance is diametrically opposed to the majority of my family, and this coupled with my RSD meant that I was receptive to his poisons and lies. Luckily I reached out when I went home last year and healed those rifts with several of my family (but not with the weaponiser).

The first step to dealing with this issue is recognising when your mind is lying to you. I think for me the best way to do that is to be open and honest with the person my mind is lying about, or to discuss it with my kind and logical husband who can separate the thoughts in my imagination from reality. But both options mean exposing the chaos in my head. That is also hard to do, even with a man as gentle as Norman. Being vulnerable is something I really struggle with. Admitting I need help or that I am not coping does not come easy, but sometimes our greatest strength lies in our vulnerability.

I will keep focusing on unpacking my baggage until the load is light enough for me to bear.

I am still doing intermittent fasting and we are still eating well. On Tuesday I had Vanessa round to give me my monthly pedicure so I finished up quite late. I needed something quick and easy for our dinner so I cooked some gorgeous Kingklip (a local meaty fish) and it was so divine. I am not a huge fish lover so it needs to have texture and flavour for me to enjoy it. I coated it in avocado oil, lemon juice, garlic and paprika, fried it on one side for about 3 minutes, added some butter to the pan to get a bit of colour on it, then flipped it and cooked on the other side for another 3 minutes. Fish is so low in fat and high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2 so it is great for LCHF and overall nutrition.

On Wednesday night we had our friend Mark over for a casual dinner. He does so much for us and we could never repay him, but at least we can save him having to cook every now and then. It was all a last minute thing because I cooked a big pot of chili and there was enough to share. I also invited my lovely neighbour Kate to join us but she already had dinner plans so she just popped in for a quick drink on her way out.

I use black beans instead of pinto beans as they are higher in fiber and lower in carbs. The fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content of black beans, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. In addition to the chili I made some cheese quesadillas and homemade guacamole and put out bowls of nacho chips, cheese, sour cream, and salsa for the chips and quesadillas. It was simple but tasty and filling.

It was nice to have time to have a proper catch up and chat with both Kate and Mark. Of course Finn was in heaven with his idol Hunter here too. The two of them ran around and around like lunatics and eventually at the end of the evening they lay down on their sides, paws touching looking like mirror images of each other.

I’ve been ordering a variety of things online too. I ordered some sheepskins for myself and Caitlin. I want mine for sitting on in ceremony or in prayer. They are so soft and beautiful. I will give thanks to the sheep who gave his pelt to me and I will also sage and bless the skin this weekend before I use it for my prayers.

I also ordered a new desk chair for myself and a new messenger bag for Norm. His old one was looking so raggedy and I hate to think of the level of germs that were living on that thing. I got a bigger one so he can carry documents or other things in it if traveling. It is a soft, thick leather and is made locally and I am happy to support local brands.

Today Norm and I are going to lunch at Chefs Warehouse in Constantia with our friends Julie and Darren who are moving to France very soon. It is a very special venue and as much as I look forward to the food, I do not look forward to yet another friend moving away.

I hope you enjoy your weekend. Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxoxo

One thought on “Unpacking My Baggage

  1. Pingback: Platitudes and Attitudes – Kitten in the City

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s