I am understanding my response to stress with help from some online sites on the topic. I had all the symptoms of stress over the course of my adulthood: high blood pressure, nervous habits, impatience, angry outbursts, lashing out, anxiety, fear, worry, withdrawal, coping with alcohol. I feared people didn't like or trust me in Alameda. I feared I had made a big mistake moving here. I wondered how to curb the hostility coming from others, including people living around my home. All this time it was just me reacting to stress by attracting inappropriate people and situations, and seeking morale support from the wrong people.
I had taken too much on, stemming back to being a five year old orphan who thought she was in charge. An old friend in L.A. used to say, "You need to relax." He could see the tension even when I danced at parties. I remember a female friend in Alameda saying, "You are under stress." I remember tarot readers warning me against stress and its triggers. I remember drinking in public, lashing out at people and then crying myself to sleep in private. I remember people in authority being so concerned about my mental health that I nearly (1) wound up in a psych ward and (2) could have lost Belle.
The stress of losing my parents violently, sacrificing my own desires to be a rock for my grandmothers, including elder care and inherited rental property at a time when I could have either gone to grad school or bummed across Europe, being isolated from extended family and friends, losing a lover to suicide and then a big move just got me. I fell apart completely in Alameda. I blacked out my entire pregnancy and had a break down at delivery. That was me at my lowest point, and for that I was judged and practically condemned. I looked and sounded like some mentally ill woman out of touch with reality when I had simply suffered through years of trauma and stress.
There is more to share later when Belle is asleep.