Thursday, April 27, 2017

Others views

I am fascinated when other people post or write about the same things I am.  This week in a post from the Better Man Project, Evan Sanders shared this: http://thebettermanprojects.com/

When we end the war we have with life our heart begins to open to everything as it is.

It's this idea of "things shouldn't be happening this way" or "they should be happening this way"  that causes so many problems. We never truly accept what is occurring and continue warring on.


I learned early on with my counselor that accepting myself and where I am is key to getting my feet under me so I can move in the direction I want to go.  Whenever I think about thriving I remember the line from the Cheshire Cat



Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6)
http://www.alice-in-wonderland.net/resources/chapters-script/alice-in-wonderland-quotes/



Some days I remind myself to keep walking....I'll eventually get somewhere. 


Monday, April 24, 2017

High Expectaionts

increase misery.....

I am watching someone else going through a rough time because in their mind certain things should happen.  They have high expectations of what their life should look like.  90% of their misery is tied to unmet expectations.  I used to beat myself up for not meeting unreasonable goals.  I had to lower my lofty expectations to ground zero.  How many times I heard....
It has been X amount of time, you should be able to do ________________.

Have you heard it?  Have you said it to yourself?  I do have goals.  Some mighty lofty, however, my awesome counselor pointed out that beating myself up does not get me any closer to my goals.  I need to think baby steps.....lots and lots of baby steps.  Long term goals need shorter goals.  Back sliding is not a reason to put myself down.  Two steps forward and one back is the starting of a ChaCha.  Reset my expectations to more reasonable goals.  Moving forward again.....getting results. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Uncle!!!!!!!

Growing up there was a childish game of holding down your opponent and they had to say Uncle to be released. 

Free dictionary Idioms tells the story: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/say+uncle

to admit that you have been defeated
Usage notes: In children's fights, a child being held down had to say 'uncle' before being allowed to get up.


I was good at refusing to say Uncle....my counselor told me more than once that I need to pick my battles and concede defeat sometimes.  He told me to lose my Do-or-die Attitude.  I looked at him very calmly and replied, "Without that attitude, I would have died."  He thought about the experiences I finally was able to tell him and he agreed, I would have died.  I am looking at different battles and I am selecting one or two to concede defeat and let myself fail. 

Do you know what?  I didn't die because I failed...hmmmm who knew?  One of the stranger struggles I endure is knowing when to let something go.  When to walk away from a fight.  I loved the quote, "You don't have to join every argument you are invited to."  Walk away.  Many battles are not worth fighting.  Save my energy for the things that are worth fighting for. 


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Blessing

Easter is a time to contemplate my blessings, so many shower down on me.  Counting them starts putting a limit on what God can bless me with.  Thanking Him opens my eyes to more and more blessings.  I am thankful to my DH for so many things.  One thing he did was studied research on my joint complaints.  He learned that coconut water helps joints.  He shared the information with me.  What a blessing to easily walk up and down stairs when before I would walk up four stairs in our house in agony.  I am thankful for gainful rewarding employment.  I am thankful for kind people on the freeway that get out of my way when I make a mistake or let me merge into traffic when lines are long and tempers are short.  I am thankful for a variety of foods to eat.  Food channels to enjoy watching others make amazing dishes and Facebook to give me a new place to eat donuts....super yummy. Blessings big and small, tangible or felt, every day or once in a while they come in all sizes, shapes and varieties. The greatest of all He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to atone for my sins and bind up my wounded heart.  I am blessed. 






Friday, April 14, 2017

Rebuilding health

I am slowly rebuilding my health.  I am disappointed with how long I neglected myself and didn't do the things I know will help me feel better.  Surveyed the damage.  Putting routines back in place.  Not holding a grudge against myself.  Reassuring myself I can make healthy choices.  I believe that sometimes in our desire to look on the bright side we refuse to look at the damage in our lives.  Until I recognize the damage, I can't repair it.  I stopped watching a house buying show because the house showed stress cracks in the upper house that hinted strongly the foundation was damaged.  The guy bought the house anyway and the show was trying to get me to sympathize with the idiot for buying a badly damaged house then he is whining about how much it would cost to repair extensive damage.  Duh!!! He refused to look at and accept the obvious damage.  I think I was super irritated because I am refusing to look at my personal damage I did to myself for neglecting myself for the past year.  I need to pray for my enemies....I would be praying for myself because I am my own worse enemy. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Holy Week

The week before Easter starting Palm Sunday on through to Easter is a time when I turn my thoughts more frequently to my Savior.  I also juggled with feelings deeply injured by those that used religion to hurt and harm.  I glanced over a few chapters on a self-help book about emotional abuse.  The author started ranting about this religion or that.  I learned through many years of my own personal research that there are good and bad people in every religion.  Some religions actually attract predators that see church members as sheeple, easy pray.  Abuse survivors share horror story after horror story of those that used religion like a cat-o-nine tail.  Spiritually beating people to death.  Religion becomes a tough subject to share.  Offenses and hurts by those that are offended by an offer to pray for them.  However, put that offer into the context of their experience and I recognize that when I am offering a silken cord they see a coil of barbed wire.  How do I know this?  Because this is how I described it to my counselor.  I knew he was trying to encourage me and give me strength but put into the context of my experience what he offered felt lethal instead of healing.  I went back to basics, tore out all the past lies, and worked through my own beliefs.  I started with, "Do I believe Jesus is the Christ, Son of God, Resurrected living being?"  Yes.  From there I rebuilt my faith from the ground up.  I started over with basics.  I read the scriptures myself.  I put well known scriptures back into contexts.  I sorted through the opinions spouted as facts.  I came to my own understanding that works like an unbroken thread that keeps me moving forward.  God is love.  He sent His Son.  This week I reflect and strengthen the basics. Many abusers see no point in believing in a God that would allow such horrible things to happen.  I think about what happened to His Son and He knows horrible things happen.  The understanding I came to was the Living Christ can heal me with a touch.  I am whole in His sight.  To Him, I can present a broken heart.  I am still working on the contrite spirit. 

I like the New Version of Footprints in the Sand:
http://www.wowzone.com/prints2.htm

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Enjoyed the day

I had a lovely day with grown children, in-laws, grandchildren, sister and Dad.  It was relaxing and fun.  I enjoyed digging around through books for the grandkids to find books that fit their school assignments.  One of my grandkids hugged me and told me how much he missed me since I was sick for several weeks.  Such a wonderful feeling.  A blessed reminder that today is what families are all about.  Peace, joy and sharing can exist in a family.  I am happy tonight. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Weakest link

I learned long before counseling that I often reveal things about myself that I didn't realize myself until I share it.  My mother is in a care center.  A hip replacement started the ball rolling but the final decision was based on her increasing dementia.  I tried to visit her several times a week but the visits were getting more and more difficult.  I shared my opinion with my siblings about the issues involved.  I wrote that I would be reducing my visits since she saw me as the weakest link and badgered me more and more each visit.  I pondered why this seemed to happen.  Didn't take long for me to remember incident after incident after incident where I would give into to what she wanted.  I was raised with the 'peace at all cost' mantra and 'take care of your mother.'  The expectation was never that mother should care for me.  I was her care giver.  Designated provider of happiness and meeting her demands.  If I didn't, she would threaten, whine, demand until I gave in and I did give in over and over and over again.  I would set a boundary she would ignore it.  Before she broke her hip, I was going no contact with her as much as possible.  I reduced seeing her to about once a month and sometimes less. I was doing pretty good.  I liked how little I saw her.  Then she broke her hip in a bad fall.  I felt a ton of guilt.  I also struggled with my definition of who I was and what would I do regardless of my mother's behavior.  My sister and daughter categorically informed I was nuts for going to see her.  I did it anyway.  Weird, huh.  Then an incident came up with a formal complaint against a nurse.  I happened to visit the day my mother lodged the complaint.  The nurse was professional but didn't put up with her nonsense and constant demands and counter commands.  Yes, she would tell the nurse one thing then as soon as the nurse did it, mother demanded the opposite.  The nurse walked away.  I almost cheered.  The complaint was lodged.  I was able to explain to the nurses supervisor about mother choosing favorites and lying about those that are not favorites.  The complaint was reconsidered.  A different nurse was assigned.  We had a meeting with the doctor and he stated, "One person has your whole family in turmoil."  I needed to hear this from an outside source.  It was a relief to me to have someone else 'see' the insanity of 7 people running around frantically trying to appease one demanding person.  I learned at a young age that she would say, "He that's doing to doing does it their way."  However, the consequences are "do it my way or there will be hell to pay."  I walked on egg shells constantly jumping when she said jump.  She expects me to do the same now.  She expects me to volunteer to care for her, like I have always done.  The best years of our relationship was when I lived a 1000 miles away.  Over the phone we had a decent relationship because I still didn't know that my mother can talk the talk but doesn't walk the walk.  I decided for my own self-preservation I must reduce my visits with her because every kindness, every gentle gesture, in my mother's perspective is one more piece of evidence that I am the weakest link.  Her badgering, complaining, and tantrums are getting worse with me.  The longer she stays in the care center the more desperate she will become.  To her, I am always the weakest link.  They call it tough love for a reason because when you have a tender caring heart, it is tough to listen to her pleading and still say no.  No is the healthy loving answer even when she rejects it. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Slowly resuming life

Allergies high-jacked my life then complicated it making me susceptible to some nasty infection that I finally gave in and saw the doctor.  He took one look at my eyes and declared me a mess explaining that the gunky eyes were just the tip of the iceberg.  I am sleeping in a recliner so I can be mostly sitting up.  I have the energy of a moldy limp dishcloth.  I finally got back to work but couldn't make it to karate class.  I am bummed to feel so lousy.  Tonight I read a friends blog that described her virus attack and I thought....hmmm mines not so bad after all.  Nothing like a comparison with something worse to be thankful for what I have.  I feel like I am starting to regain my interesting in anything besides breathing.  Amazing how important breathing becomes when you feel like you can't bring in enough breathe without having a coughing fit.  I am also trying to reawaken my interest in anything else.  Medication is good, breathing is awesome, thankful to be on the mend. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Change is essential

My sister wrote that Change is Inevitable, embrace it.  https://theprojectbyjudy.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/embracing-change/  I reached the point of change or die.  Melodramatic?  Passed out driving yesterday.  Hitting the curb jarred me to consciousness.  Guardian angel put on the brakes.  I stopped nose to nose with the neighbors parked car.  I have to admit that allergies are kicking my butt.  Struggling on to meet obligations is not doing myself any favors.  Putting myself in the middle of a shit storm is not helpful either.  I don't have the emotional reserves to weather the out pouring of rage dished out by my mother.  I haven't seen her for 3 days and I am finally starting to balance out.  Change is essential to my survival.  I drive an hour or more a day on the freeway....passing out driving on the freeway instead of a residential street could be lethal for me or somebody else.  Sometimes with health issues, PTSD, and other challenges it really is change or die.  Sadly current statistics estimate 20-25 deaths per day because of PTSD.  Over-whelming thing for me is what do I change?  I like my job, but they are asking so much from me now.  I love karate but feel too sick to go.  I love my kids but feel unable to visit or have them over for dinner.  I love DH but I sit down to visit and fall asleep.  Not looking good for me.  One thing on my list causing the greatest distress is visiting my mother.  I think I need to reduce the number of visits for my health and well being.  Taking turns does not mean I need to go every other day.  Backing off is a healthy choice, now I need to convince my 'mean boss.'  Yup, my counselor pointed out years ago that I have this awful mean boss that expects me to go above and beyond to a ridiculous degree.  Go to work early, stay late, visit your mother everyday, clean and cook dinner that is delicious and nutritious....exercise, do this do that....yea, that nasty boss is me.  Fired her once, I can fire her again. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Miserable Misunderstanding

And over thinking, put me through a very tough week.  I thought DH answered a question in a way that rocked my world.  I spent all week thinking over and over and over how to handle what I thought happened.  I remembered from YEARS of counseling to not go into a discussion with an assumed end.  Share how I feel and watch what shakes out.  The conversation went sideways and upside down when I realized what DH thought I asked was totally different than what I asked.  After clarification of what he thought I said.  I put that together with his answer.....TOTALLY DIFFERENT meaning.  We ended up covering a lot of information that went a long ways to mending several misunderstandings.  I am thankful to counselors that taught me a pattern of communication of using I-statements, asking for clarification, and accepting answers that I don't expect.  Look for misunderstandings - don't simply assume the other person understood what I thought I said.  This whole communication thing is tough but with 90% of the people I know if I take time to use I-statements, express how I feel, invite feedback, and a tentative plan for a solution with an openness to accept other solutions amazing conversations can happen. 

I-Statements http://innerspacetherapy.in/self-help-and-improvement/communication-you-i-statements/

Repeat back what I think the other person said to me.  (Feed back) Invite the other person to share what they think I said.  (Would have helped if I did this on the first conversation.)  Work in progress. 

Own how I feel.  Not the other persons fault that I feel the way I do.  By owning my feelings, I control them.  (Very cool once I figured out how that works.  Still a work in progress but old ladies can learn new ways.)


Conversations can be stickier than walking through cob webs. 


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Slippery Slope

I'm not in a good place right now.  I'm on a slippery slope but not yet in free-fall. Depression is a solution to anger which hides all my other emotions that I don't want to deal with.  I'm working at sitting with my emotions.  A technique introduced by my second counselor of staying with what I feel and allowing myself to feel it, instead of squashing my emotions with depression.  Sometimes it is easier to feel depressed then some of the other ugly emotions like rejected, used, jealousy, disappointment and a whole freaking long list of emotions that are freaking uncomfortable.  Depression is easier. 

I looked up 'sitting with your emotions' and Mr. Google sent back this link:
https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/09/30/how-to-sit-with-painful-emotions/

Time to refresh my memory on the importance of sitting with painful emotions and not brushing them aside or depressing them. 

Times like these.....Grumpy Cat appeals to me.   

https://www.grumpycats.com/

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Changing and unchanged

I spent 10 years working with counselors to change how I function in the World.  Yet with all that work there are still parts of me that remain unchanged.  My counselors often spoke about my core.  The very essence of who I am.  My Spirit, unchanging and eternal.  I was born into a home that maintained the facade of loving bliss and harmony.  Threats, shaming, and deliberate lies maintained this front.  People still believe it.  Every once in a while I encounter a person that tells me how lucky I am to live in such a loving family.  The rage instantly rises, lately to boiling over with a single comment.  I changed so much within myself but outwardly I still do some of the same things.  Reason and thought behind the actions changed but some behaviors remain the same.  I question myself, "Did I actually change? So much remains the same."  Refer back to my core.  It didn't change.  Finding that core and honoring my values, that changed.  I learned at my father's knee, 'Peace at all cost.'  By my teen years, I knew that would cost me everything, my values, my honor, my very soul must be compromised when seeking 'peace at all cost.' A chameleon hides itself by blending into it's surrounding.  One is never quite sure the actual color of a chameleon the change is almost instantaneous.  It adapts, always. Try to confuse a chameleon with a multicolored surface, no problem it will adapt to that too.  Stopping adapting necessitated figuring out what are my values, what is honor, and who am I.  That changed.  I don't adapt quite so easily.  People that were accustomed to pushing me around call me mean and unreasonable since I no longer do their bidding.  I found my backbone.  I chose my color.  Counseling taught me to live, a human being with rights and privileges of living.  Took 10 years to scrub away layers of garbage to find my soul.  That changed everything.   


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Catching Up

So hard to do.  People point out that if I kept up in the first play I wouldn't need to catch up.  I smile because I know this comment comes from a place of ignorance.  A person that experienced that knocked down flatter than a pancake feeling understands that after a time of complete chaos you finally get your breath and catch up takes a bit of time.  I also learned about let go and my favorite MIND OVER MATTER....Yup:

If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.  


Truly this works.  I was sitting in the living room.  My kitchen sink was over flowing with dishes.  My DH asked how I could just sit there knowing all those dishes needed washing.  I smiled serenely.  I knew if I stood up to attempt to do any of the dishes I would pass out.  I didn't mind the dishes sitting their quietly.  They weren't being rude.  They weren't leaping off the counter.  They were minding their own business and I figured we would all be happier if I just let things be.  I didn't mind, so it didn't matter. 

Thank God For Dirty Dishes

Author Unknown
Thank God for dirty dishes;
They have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry,
We're eating very well
With home, health, and happiness,
I shouldn't want to fuss;
By the stack of evidence,
God's been very good to us.


I am now blessed with a House Elf that blesses me by helping me with dishes.  I am thankful and feel loved.  Thanks.  

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Burning bridges

There are some bridges that once you cross, they need to be burned.  This prevents one from going back to that same place.  I remember a photography student I worked with years ago.  When he worked on a piece he never saved versions.  He made one image made changes until he was satisfied.  I asked him why he didn't save something to go back to in case something didn't work out.  He shook his head.  He declared, "Life is like a river ever moving onward never back."  So many times people are told not to burn their bridges.  Save the past, no matter how rotten.  Save the relationship, no matter how abusive.  Sometimes the bridge needs to be burnt. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Shared Beauty

I love my Facebook friends.  They share beauty, music, and lots of good stuff.  Thank you. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rI02toOHn0w&feature=youtu.be

Michael shared this.  He had a heart attack last month so his photography was curtailed.  He shared beautiful music instead.  I enjoyed it so much and found links to many other beautiful videos. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How long can you tread water?

This is how I am feeling right now.  I am treading water.  I am not moving forward but I don't appear to be moving backwards either.  I am in the waiting pattern like an airplane waiting to land at a closed airport.  I am substituting frivolous fun for real effort and work.  Tried to change that yesterday.  Paying for my foolishness today.  Not exercising with lunges for a year it is a bad idea to think I can pick up where I left off.  Allow myself to back up and try again.  My health is improving.  Knowing the real source of my swallowing problems is an eye opener.  I hadn't realized I was afraid to exercise in case I made my internal problems worse.  Now, I know that it had nothing to do with my muscles and everything to do with being allergic to something.  Not sure what yet.  Other people assured me that the blood test would take a while.  Trying to be patient and I am still bad at it.   I am noticing that my head feels clearer.  I am getting back into doing my karate and actually feeling better about my efforts.  Preparing for the next level tests. That is one part of my life.

The other part that is consuming time, energy and pushing me way out of my comfort zone is visiting my mother after hip replacement surgery.  I stop and visit on my way home from work.  I am trying to use my training from Early Childhood Education and observe what she does and say.  I am also doing a bit of research on Alzheimers.  People are saying mother's behavior is caused by old age and possibly Alzheimers.

http://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-stages-behaviors.asp

I am accepting that my confusion is, to me, she isn't acting any differently then she has for the last 50 or so years.  The main difference is now she treats everybody like she treated Judy and I.  She still has her favorite nurses that get effusive thanks and praise and the scapegoats that are blamed for her discomfort, usually female physical therapists.  I am a piece of furniture or a person to order about.  If she doesn't like the conversation she is too deaf to continue.  But sometimes she talks so softly I can barely hear her.  Some conversations make no sense then the next time I talk to her, the past conversation never happened.  Same as I've always known.  I am struggling with accepting this is simply the devastation of old age.  To me she would have had Alzyheimers in her 40's. 

What I learned that I think is helpful-

Top five tips
  • Try not to take behaviors personally.
  • Remain patient and calm.
  • Explore pain as a trigger.
  • Don't argue or try to convince.
  • Accept behaviors as a reality of the disease and try to work through it.
    Read more: http://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-stages-behaviors.asp#ixzz4ZEkvjekq


    Basically what I learned with the help of counseling....her behavior is not about me.  Whether it is a disease eating away her brain or maggoty fears triggering her behavior, it is still not about me.  Interesting how this knowledge takes a burden off my shoulders.....all she is, not about me.  I can't change her, fix her, or make things better.  Daily I remind myself, her choices and behavior are not about me, ever. 



    Still waters run deep
    http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/lorettalynn/rosegarden.html

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Pondering or sulking

Counseling started over 15 years ago.  I reached the point where everything was gray....little or no emotion.  Counseling was a desperate grab to get out of my personal twilight zone.  My counselor poked, pestered, and prodded until I exploded and found anger.  Then we peeled back anger to find hurt, fear and frustration.  Digging and cleaning out the hideous sludge I found happiness, contentment and joy in bits and pieces.  I learned that feeling only one emotion is a bit odd so only happy is almost as weird as only gray.  I am learning to identify and cope with a wide range of emotions.  Lately, I am in an odd mood.  I am trying to identify what it is.  I am thinking..... a lot.  Hence, I am believing it might be pondering.  But I also have tinges of resentment and discontent so perhaps I am sulking wanting to call it pondering because that sounds better to me.  I know I am not angry.  I am tired but that is more physical than emotional.  I am not really happy, not excited but I am not grumpy either.  You know, gray is easier...no confusion about what I am feeling. 



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Verbal abuse

https://theprojectbyjudy.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/types-of-verbal-abuse/

Buried in my drafts folder I found this link to Judy's blog.  Her post is a response to this link:
http://verbalabusejournals.com/about-abuse/what-is-verbal-abuse/types-of-verbal-abuse/

I needed this today.  I counted.....today I was verbally abused by a student that used 12 of the 15 different types of verbal abuse.  I got frustrated and I could hear it in the intensity of my voice.  However, I didn't loose my cool.  I kept things even.  I did call security and had the student removed from the classroom.  I am reviewing the situation as to what might happen in the next few days.  My job is to stay as far away as I can possible get.  Fortunately, the student is not in a room that I work on a regular basis.  I don't need to tolerate abuse from anyone.  Thanks to Judy as I recounted the incidents and let me talk through all that happened.  I was verbally abused today.  I don't like it.  I don't need to tolerate it.  Hmmm.  I'm glad I dropped Judy's link in my box about 2 years ago.  Very helpful today. 

Things I can do tomorrow to avoid this student. 
1.  Arrive in the room after she leaves. 
2.  Stay away from the corridor where she walks to another class. 

If I do encounter the student,
1.  Observe her behavior
2.  Say hello only if she speaks first. 
3.  Remind myself that it is not my in my job description to tolerate verbal abuse. 
4.  Walk away. 

Overall
1.  Make sure Security phone number is easy access on my phone.

Plan ahead; follow my plan. 

Do not accept spider's invitation.  


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Inspiration Motivation

"Don't drink the Kool-Aid"

What do these three things have in common?

For several weeks I've struggled with what to write, so I spaced out my scribblings hoping something would come together.  Yesterday I read Roots2Blossom awesome blog on getting motivated right now.  https://roots2blossom.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/get-motivated-right-now/
Sometimes I feel so unmotivated....my getup and go, got up and went without me. 

Another post by someone else was inspirational, probably my sister, but I didn't save the link.  My heart felt lighter.

Then the third one wrote about making choices and not just following the crowd like lemmings.  Only the guy did his homework to find out that lemmings leaping off the cliffs was a Disney hoax, for which they got sued.  Immediately what came to mind was "Don't drink the Kool-Aid".  This was news when I was a teenager.  A bunch of people followed Jim Jones to their death by drinking poisoned Kool-Aid.

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AwrTcd1RsZpYFGAAXConnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTByNWU4cGh1BGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw--?qid=20101219173652AAuoOIm

What a combination. 

What do I get out of this?

Choose carefully who inspires me and what motivates me and make sure that someone isn't giving me funny tasting Kool-aid. 


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Progress

I shared on my other blog my progress I had from a post I had on this blog 2 years ago. 

https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2017/02/04/what-has-changed-in-two-years/

It was interesting to write the post and realize I came along way.  2016 was not an easy year.  I failed some things.  I did some other things that I feel ashamed about.  But I also did somethings that were good, fun and amazing.  I traveled with my daughter and her kids to visit those kids living out of state.  I helped some students in a big way.  I discovered some health problems.  I gained back the weight I lost plus some.  I survived.  However, looking at 2 years of change or 5 years of change or 15 years of growing.  I am amazed at where I am at now compared to where I was then.  My emotional growth, healing, and changes I feel light years from where I was.  I think one of the values of blogging for myself is I have a record of what I was doing and thinking at the time.  I am thankful for the growth and many many fellow travelers that share my journey.  Thanks

Progress not perfection. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Hollywood did it again

Hollywood decries putting down groups due to race, religion, or gender preference but has no problem ridiculing those that are over weight by their standard or mental illness.  These groups are fair game in the movies to turn them into victims or monsters.  A grade B or in my opinion D movie came out called "Split."  The main character is a multiple personality that terrorizes 3 teens.  REALLY.....I am sick and tired of Hollywood twisting the truth to their convenience and to line their pocket books.  I will gladly help them pack to move anywhere outside this country. Sending them clear off the planet seems reasonable.  (Not a death threat but tickets on the next space stuttle need to be handed out in Hollywood.)  Fortunately, there are websites that demystify the twisted truths.  The people over at Trauma and Dissociation gave a quiz on what really happens when a person splits into parts to survive. 
https://traumadissociation.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/split-movie-quiz-dissociative-idenity-disorder-fact-versus-fiction/

Yes, I did get a 100% on their dissociation quiz. I didn't check every page but what I read coincided fairly closely to what I experienced.  I lived with parts for over 40 years.  My kids figured out first that Mom was a bit complex on how I handled situations.  Took a lot of years of counseling to integrate and learn a new pattern of solving problems.  My aunt that worked in a mental hospital also recognized my behavior for what it was, a complex coping structure that consisted of 5 personalities that kept me functioning in an insane world.  I worked very hard to bring down the barriers within myself.  I also had people and jobs that cut me off from their association because I was the problem.  Here's the deal.  I was the same person they liked before they found out how I functioned.  For me, there were black out of time, loss memories and confusion.  Who kept moving my clothes to the back of the closet? And who's clothes were they in the front?  I knew that I could write something then later not recognize my own hand writing or what the note meant.  I felt stupid and scared and confused and I withdrew more and more.  Counseling was my last resort.  I was terrified, glitches, and behaviors were becoming more noticeable.  I was blessed with an amazing counselor that understood who and what I was.  He guided me through acceptance then taught me coping skills.  I was determined to bring myself together.  I was born together and I wanted Humpty Dumpty together again.  A daunting task that I would not brave alone or without prayers....lots of prayers.  


Monday, January 30, 2017

Need to Play

Rush rush rush...

Rush to talk
Rush to walk
Rush rush rush

Rush to school
Rush to learn
Rush rush rush

Rush to grow up
Rush to graduate
Rush rush rush

Rush to work
Rush to deadlines
Rush rush rush

Rush on the freeway
Rush on the way home
Rush rush rush



I work with Early Childhood Education program at our school.  Part of the lessons teaches high school students the importance of play for children.  As I work more on growing healthy, adults need to play too.

Link to article about children need to play:
http://www.educationaltoyfactory.com/why-is-it-important-for-children-to-play/

  • playing helps children expand their understanding of themselves and others, their understanding of the physical world, and their ability to communicate with others
  • recreation creates the basis for a great foundation in all areas of life
  • play teaches the basics that every person needs to know for the real world, things such as:
    • You don’t always win
    • Good Sportsmanship
    • Take turns
    • Colors
    • Reading
    • Strategy
    • Math awareness
    • Cooperation
    • Memorization
    • Creativity
    • Self Confidence
I know that I needed to build self confidence, unleash my creativity, improve my memory, learn to cooperate,  yup, right up the line I benefit from play.  I am playing an online game.  Sudokus and crossword puzzles are part of my routine to healthier brain.  I decided to try Lumosity.  www.lumosity.com/  However, I have to set some boundaries.  I put time limits on how long I play.  I allow myself to make mistakes in the game or puzzle without condemning myself.  I am practicing cooperation on Happy Acres.  https://apps.facebook.com/happyacres/?fb_source=sidebar_bookmark
I'm having fun. I'm adding painting abstract and drawing to my activities.  I am learning to slow down the rush and enjoy events, people, activities and living. 


For Moms

Found on facebook....thanks for sharing.....simple reminder to Moms

To the mom hiding in her bathroom, needing peace for just one minute, as the tears roll down her cheeks..
To the mom who is so tired she feel likes she can't function anymore and would do anything to lay down and get the rest she needs...
To the mom sitting in her car, alone, stuffing food in her face because she doesn’t want anyone else to see or know she eats that stuff…
To the mom crying on the couch after she yelled at her kids for something little and is now feeling guilty and like she is unworthy…
To the mom that is trying desperately to put those old jeans on because all she really wants is to look in the mirror and feel good about herself…
To the mom that doesn’t want to leave the house because life is just too much to handle right now…
To the mom that is calling out for pizza again because dinner just didn’t happen the way she wanted it to…
To the mom that feels alone, whether in a room by herself or standing in a crowd...
You are enough.
You are important.
You are worthy.
This is a phase of life for us. This is a really really hard, challenging, crazy phase of life.
In the end it will all be worth it. But for now it’s hard. And it's hard for so many of us in many different ways. We don't always talk about it, but it's hard and it's not just you.
You are enough.
You are doing your best.
Those little eyes that look up at you - they think you are perfect. They think you are more than enough.
Those little hands that reach out to hold you - they think you are the strongest. They think you can conquer the world.
Those little mouths eating the food you gave them - they think that you are the best because their bellies are full.
Those little hearts that reach out to touch yours - they don’t want anything more. They just want you.
Because you are enough. You are more than enough, mama.
You. Are. Amazing.
By: Bethany Jacobs
Facebook.com/latchedattached

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Another explanation

One of the challenges of sharing my experience with dissociation is how I experienced is different than how other people experience the feelings.  It is difficult to describe something that I barely understand myself.  I came across an article that attempts to explain dissociation disorders.  I read the link and found that some parts are very similar to what I feel but others are quite different.  Treatment used with me was a combination of techniques honed by my counselors 30 years of experience and a PhD.  I was still able to surprise him from time to time. 

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/106212/posts/1311240248


Monday, January 23, 2017

Normal...sort of

Medical tests came back....I'm on the low end of normal for thyroid, my blood pressure is on the high end of normal, and I am really allergic to something not yet identified.  Problems come in 3s, 4s, 5s or any other number they want to.  But the doctor said that all my medical tests came back in the normal range.  However, due to the extreme allergy to something, I will be a card carrying EpiPen carrier.  I talked to my doctor and asked about the outrageous price hike on Epi Pens....apparently the price is back down and the company is sporting a bit of a black eye and loss of a great deal of respect.  Selfish people never see past their own needs to the big picture of sharing space on this planet. I do have several medications now to put my body back on the mend.  2016 was a rough year and I am still experiencing the fallout.  I did two good things, I brought my information from one doctor to update the records kept by my primary care doctor.  Plus, I checked in to find out if I need another specialist or did they have another option.  Yup, my doctor does allergy tests.  She also has a friend that deals with extreme allergies so had a little better understanding from a personal perspective.  Thankful to find an excellent primary care physician and his assistants. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Slow Down

The first time I read this poem it was part of a hoax email.  But I love the poem.  I used Snopes to find out the true author.  Here's a link to David Weatherford:   
http://www.davidlweatherford.com/slowdance.html


SLOW DANCE 
Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round? 
Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground? 
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight? 
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night? 
You better slow down. 
Don't dance so fast. 
Time is short. 
The music won't last. 

Do you run through each day on the fly? 
When you ask, “How are you?” 
Do you hear the reply? 
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed, 
with the next hundred chores running through your head? 
You'd better slow down 
Don't dance so fast. 
Time is short 
The music won't last. 

Ever told your child, 
We'll do it tomorrow? 
And in your haste, 
Not see his sorrow? 
Ever lost touch, let a good friendship die 
Cause you never had time 
To call and say,'Hi' 
You'd better slow down. 
Don't dance so fast. 
Time is short. 
The music won't last.. 

When you run so fast to get somewhere, 
You miss half the fun of getting there. 
When you worry and hurry through your day, 
It is like an unopened gift.... 
Thrown away. 
Life is not a race. 
Do take it slower 
Hear the music 
Before the song is over.


Surviving takes up so much time that sometimes I forget about living.  This poem is a reminder that the butterflies, friends, kids at the park, slowing down is what living is all about.  Have a beautiful day.  





Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Testing done

Now waiting for the results.  I think there should be background music....something like 'Jaws' if the answer is more problems or something fun like 'Beer Barrel Polka' if all is well.  I did get a bit sarcastic when I was asked if I was effected by cold.  I walked in from 60 degree F weather with a coat, sweater, and scarf.  Yes, I am cold constantly.  Did you know that if you shiver for about 20 to 30 minutes your whole body aches like you had a tough work out.  Too bad it doesn't burn that many calories. 

 I am finding new resources and web pages to explore.  I found this page after reading one of their articles they posted on Facebook.  With a bit of exploration they look fairly credible.  I haven't checked every page but the ones I browsed look like some promising resources and perhaps future blog posts.  https://www.domesticshelters.org/domestic-violence-lists



Friday, January 13, 2017

One Done, One to go

These last 6 weeks have this constant energy drain of unknowns with my body.  I had emergency surgery with biopsies the first part of December.  I had to wait until today to hear the results.  This morning I accepted in my mind the possibility I have cancer, again.  I felt a tremendous relief when the biopsies all came back negative for cancer.  The doctor suspects the underlying problem is allergies.  Apparently, I am eating something in my diet that is causing swelling in my esophagus.  So I am looking for a good allergist that might help me track down what I eat that creates the internal swelling.  Does my body cooperate and tell me what I need to know? No.  I do know it gets worse I am stressed, in a hurry, or general raise in anxiety for any reason.  Guess what?  Allergies get worse in these same conditions.  I had this problem for over 15 years and this is the first doctor that suggested checking to see what I am allergic to.  Monday and Tuesday are my 2 day thyroid test….and I wonder why I dread seeing doctors.  Oh yea, the stress of not having a clue why my body does what it does and relying on a person I just met to tell me what would be the best course of action.  Trust issues can really interfere with getting proper medical care.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Snap Snarl and Growl

I didn't realize how much my medication helped even out my sleep, moods, and general outlook on life.  Thyroid medicine makes a difference.  Not taking it I am watching my sleep deteriorate, my concentration sucks, and I'm craving salt of all things.  I envy a cow or a horse having a salt lick.  I've devoured almost an entire bag of salty corn chips.  I snapped at a student, tried to pick a fight, then laughed with my sister with that sound on the edge of hysteria.  I sometimes wonder if doctors think through what these tests do to their patients.  For one, I lost my patients.  I wish I could just stay home and curl up in a ball for 5 more days.  This had better work....just say'n.


Monday, January 9, 2017

Emotions

I was worried with going off my thyroid medicine would toss me back into deep depression.  I realized my body feels depressed but my emotions are functioning.  In the last two weeks I had highs and lows, I'm feeling all of them.  My emotions are varied.  I am learning that sad is different from depression.  Sad for an identifiable reason, like pointing to a bruise and saying it hurts here.  Happy can intermingle with sad.  I was sad our dog died but I was relieved she was out of pain and able to run again in Heaven...yes, I believe all dogs go to Heaven.  Going off my thyroid medicine is messing with me in several other unpleasant ways.  One of the tough ones is having a chill down.  The room is normal temperature or even hot and I am shivering like I am barefoot in the snow.  My body aches after shivering for 20 or 30 minutes.  Blankets help, sometimes I resort to hot chocolate to warm from the inside out.  I don't know how to describe this feeling of feeling cold inside no matter what the outside temperature might be.  Insomnia is worse.  Sleeping is worse.  I am craving salt like crazy.  I bought a bag of salty corn chips and almost finished them myself within a few days.  This is what gets tricky about PTSD and illness and what is normal any way?  Oh yea, a setting on the drier.  Next week I take the medical test that I went off my medication for to prepare my body to share what is happening inside.  I wonder if doctors ever stop to think what will happen to their client when they ask them to endure some of these tests? 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sad

I am sad today.  Our dog Tera died last Friday in here sleep.  We found out about a month ago that the lumps under her fur were cancer in several places in her body.  I am thankful to my sister who tenderly cared for her in ways that I don't know how to do.

She loved chasing balls. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Looking back to move forward

I spend the time between Christmas and New Year looking back to move forward.  I use the time to review how I did this past year to see what I need to do this next year.  This year was a tough year.  I've had tougher but not many.  Physical health took a dump.  Family relations are strained.  Emotional resilience is suffering.  This year was tough.  So now what?

I am adding more consistent scripture study.  That is enlightening.  I am noticing that when people quote scriptures they tend to cherry pick and take things out of context.  I am taking the time to put these scriptures back into context and reading what comes before and after.  WOW.  Some of them get watered down and diluted when taken out of context.  That is going well. 

I am doing less photography but staying more engaged in activities.  Photography tends to put the camera between me and what I am experiencing.  I am working at connecting more in now situations.  I still enjoy photography but I work at not allowing photography be an escape from connecting. 

I bought a bunch of art supplies that I plan to do more art in the coming year.  I am looking forward to doing that. 

I looked at a cooking class and decided with extreme food restrictions for the next while cooking isn't much fun.  I did have fun making rice crispy treats and I have more to make.  Looking forward to that.  I am also reading a children's cookbook.  It takes things back to the very basics.  I still enjoy watching cooking shows. 

I am crocheting more and I am learning new patterns.  That is a continued goal from this past year.

I am analyzing how to best approach the problems facing my parents as they age.  Some I am walking away from.  Others I feel a heavy sense of responsibility.  Not sure what I want to do with this one.  This is when I wish I could talk to my first counselor.  He would always tell me he wasn't God and didn't know the answers.  I would reply he knew more than I did about relationships and feelings.  He always agreed with that.  His words are in a notebook that I am reading slowly.  Maybe I should up the reading in his book?  I'll think on that one.   

School is better than ever.  This is one bright highlight of this year.  After last year with teachers leaving mid year and ending up being a substitute to this year I am now working with 3 excellent teachers, big improvement. 

Physical health is a mess.  I gained back all the weight I lost plus 20 lbs more.  It sucked.  I finally ate whatever because it sucked to work hard and watch the weight pack back on.  My yearly physical revealed my thyroid has gone haywire.  It quit working years ago, I didn't know it could mess up so much.  My stomach problem is back, my last doctor said it would come back to haunt me.  So annoying and frustrating.  I am aware of what I need to do, as I have strength I am working at getting diet and exercise back on track.  I am hoping sleep will improve when I am doing better in other areas.  Aging is tough.  I like the bumper sticker that says, "Growing old is not for sissies." 

I am hopeful that resolving to make healthy choices spiritually, emotionally, and physically, I'll get on track to a much better year this year.  I learned years ago that simple adjustments to what I do with my life are more effective than attempting drastic changes.  I've done drastic changes but I do better when the adjustments are small, consistent and long term. 

To read further about small changes you can read my earlier post:
http://weareone-ruth.blogspot.com/2013/09/small-task.html

Inching along into the New Year.