I have been on Steemit for just over a week. I guess it is about time I did a real introducing of myself. I did a sort of one earlier, but it wasn’t much. I wrote pretty much the cole’s notes version which is pretty typical of me.
I rarely talk about some of what I’m going to write here.
While I show up as @shadowspub on the screen, my actual name is Patti. I’ll be entering a new life year in about two weeks. Damn another year added to the tally already.. That tally will be 58 years.
I’m resident in a small community in eastern Ontario. I love living in a small community but then I was raised in rural Ontario. For several years I worked in Toronto, would never even consider living there. I’d commute 100 miles before I’d live there, in fact I did commute 100 miles one way for almost 10 years.
Yes, I Have Post-Secondary Education
My formal education is as an Electro-Mechanical Technician with a speciality in Robotics. I had left high school during Grade 13. I had to move from a small school to a larger one and really hated the larger one. During the eighties I went to college as an adult student, completing the two year regular program in one calendar year. Twenty-three of us started the course, ten finished. I was the only woman to finish the course.
I never ended up working in the the field though. I worked in the engineering department of a large pharmaceutical firm in Toronto. The only female in the department. A seriously sexist supervisor empowered an even worse workmate to make the working environment a living hell. I reached my limit after ten years.
After the Stress Levels Got Too High
The stress levels triggered me into PTSD which had its roots in abuse and trauma as a child. One of the effects of the PTSD was agoraphobia. That is a serious anxiety producing fear of leaving one’s home. If you ever find yourself at your door and in panic because you know you need to open the door and go through it but are terrified to do so, you have experienced agoraphobia.
I would literally force myself to drive a mile down the road to purchase groceries. Once there, I’d force myself to leave my vehicle, and then move as quickly through the store as possible to get what I needed. If I arrived and the parking lot was full of cars.. I’d go home. Opening time and just before closing was my safest time to handle getting groceries.
My contact with the outside world was largely through the computer. I made some good friends online. Some very supportive friends.
I Did Get Back Out Into the World
Gradually, over time I’ve learnt that leaving the house wont be the death of me. That I do have the mental strength to get through what I need to do and I will be able to return to home as my safe space.
My first steps out of the house for anything except a mad dash and back, was to go to church. I literally would arrive one minute before the service started and, if I made it to the end, would immediately leave. I always sat in the back pew closest to the door.
The parish priest realized what was going on and reached out to me. It was the first time I had told anyone offline other than my doctor about what was going on. He was very supportive and understanding which helped to build my confidence level.
I’m Proof To Never Judge the Cover
Over time I have gradually gotten to the point that I can function outside of the house. In fact, many people would be very surprised to know the fear that lurks just below the surface when I am out in public. There is a lot of metaphorical deep breaths and reminding myself that this will end and I will be able to go home.
Time at home is absolutely essential for me. If I can’t get at least one day a week when I have no need to leave the house, that outward facade gets difficult to maintain. In many ways being home is my recharge time.
Leadership Is Not as Easy as it Looks
Having told you all this, you may be surprised to learn that I am in a position of leadership. I am currently President of a local veterans organization. I am not a veteran. I am the child, grandchild, niece and spouse of veterans.
There are times that position seriously strains my coping ability. There are times that I must be present in a crowded environment, leading ceremonies or even giving speeches. Now, that takes some serious mental combat to keep myself not only looking outwardly calm but to focus on what I need to do to get through the event.
I sometimes remind myself that I can get through what ever it is I need to get through because it’s to honour those who chose to feel the fear and fight anyways to protect my freedom. If they could give their life for freedom, I can fight past my fears to honour that sacrifice.
I Did Have a Husband Once
My husband, who was a Korea War veteran, died 27 years ago. Today, my main company at home are two cats. The female is a part maine coon long hair. She’s 10 years old. She’s also one of the biggest sucks I’ve ever had. When I return home after being out she will follow me around the house until I sit down, then she leaps into my lap and wants to be cuddled and held.
I Promise I’m Not a Crazy Cat Lady
I’ve had several cats over the years. I’ve never had one that demands as much attention as Dawn does. Her housemate Fawnya is a 8 year old male tabby. He’s affectionate but in limited amounts. He comes up, wants attention and then wanders off to curl up somewhere and go to sleep.
As I write this, Dawn is laying beside me with her paw on my leg. She’s not particularly happy she can’t be laying in my arms. Once I stop writing, she will likely be demanding her cuddle time. If my attempt to display pictures worked, Fawnya is up there, and Dawn is just below. Yes, that is my arms she's laying in. Her favourite spot.
I May Be Older, But I Still Plan For the Future
These days, I live primarily on a disability pension plus a widow’s pension. I’m working towards establishing myself as a writer and want to see if I can’t make some income developing infoproducts and online courses.
I have built a few blogs where I have been writing. Not enough, but I have been writing on them. I keep striving to write more regularly. I hope to contribute some of the knowledge I have acquired here. I may share some of the content of my blogs here but I sort of need to be careful how I do that so I don’t get accused of using other’s content.
Steemit Opens Another Worldview to Me
I have to say, stumbling across Steemit has exposed me to the world of cryptocurrency that I really hadn’t paid much attention to before now. I had heard of bitcoin and read a bit about it but really didn’t understand it. Discovering that bitcoin was just one of several was a bit of a surprise.
As I work out how this world of cryptocurrency works, I am considering making sure that when I do offer products for sale, that I include one or more as an option. Just need to get head around how to move from fiat to crypto and back again easily.
If you haven’t gone running off into the night, maybe you might consider following me?