Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Just for fun Quilt

I found this on Facebook. I did find a dirtgirlworld website but couldn't locate this picture.  Enjoy

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Being buried

My sister Judy is an inspiration to me.  She encourages me, believes in me, and reminds me of two things, Rule number 1, stop lying especially to yourself and Praise God in the Storm.  This quote she shared on her page:

Sometimes you think you’re being buried, 
when you’re really being planted. 
God is using this season to grow you.
~ Unashamed Impact

Judy kept me grounded through childhood because I was instructed to take care of her.  With that charge I was given someone outside myself to connect with that kept me going when seemed too tough.   Now, she is a marvel.....I no longer need to take care of her.  Quite often she watches out over me.  She connected me with Froglogic and the concept of swim buddies.  I am blessed to have several swim buddies.  People that are there for me when waters get rough. 

Sometimes I was planted in rocky places. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Ask potential therapist

I spent 10 years in counseling and went through 4 different counselors.  One I guess really doesn't count since I only visited with her twice.  I decided right off that it was NOT a good match when she said she knew how to work with PTSD and did several major things that you do NOT do with my PTSD. 

I like Lilly Hope Lucario, she is a fellow blogger that puts information out there to get you to think, feel and take care of yourself.

She makes a list of questions to ask a potential therapist if you are dealing with complex PTSD.   To me her suggestions are good ones. 

When I started counseling I didn't know what I was dealing with.  I knew I couldn't express how I felt so I looked for someone that taught communication skills.  I didn't know what to say to begin with.  I knew I couldn't keep going how I was but I didn't have a clue what I needed from a counselor.  I did make a list of questions.  Some I learned as I went.  If I were to look for a counselor again these are some of the things I would ask about.

1.  What are your views of religion and healing?
2.  May I email you with questions during the week?
3.  If I feel like I am falling apart between sessions, what are my options?
4.  What is your basic philosophy of the healing process?
5.  May I bring someone with me?

My list could continue.  Which ever questions are asked I would make a written list and take notes while I was there. I would look up their web page and any other information that can be found online.  I would also say that if their looks or mannerisms are triggering I would listen to that early warning system of hyper-vigilant.   I notice that several of counselors I worked with had a fairly extensive in-take application.  It only makes sense to interview the counselor as carefully as they do me.  From time to time I look up counselors. Then I remind myself that I worked a long way through and I now have more skills and a broader understanding how to live.  The more I learn about counselors, the more I realize how fortunate I was with my first one. 

Office of my first counselor except the puzzle pieces, I brought those in. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Yes, yes, I know... I always say that normal is a setting on a drier.  For mental health, I am still saying normal is a setting on a drier. 

Today I did my mammogram....for any woman that has had one you have my deepest sympathy. 

I am a cancer survivor.  So NORMAL means no cancer.  Yup I love NORMAL.  The place where I get mine is super awesome.  If I wait for 15 minutes they will give me the answer right then and there.  Came home and slept for 2 hours. 

Far reaching affects

I read several articles this summer on the far reaching affects of child abuse.  One of the articles had 25 things that adults that suffered child abuse do.  Before counseling I hit 100%, I did all of them.  Now, I've improved on all of them in one way or another.  I wrote about them as an opportunity to review how far I have come.  I started this way back in June....

This week my son-in-law posted another article about the far reaching affects of abuse.  Proceed with caution some of the images are powerful and may be triggering for some people.

1. Bottle up anger
2. Don't Stand up for yourself
3. People Pleaser
4. Suffer from anxiety and/or depression
5. Overly Shy
6. Self blame
7. Bully yourself

Shorter list but still comprehensive.  Again, before counseling 100%.  I am working on all of these in one way or another.  Progress is sometimes hard to detect because I am struggling with so many different areas.  Baby steps are hard to see the progress but there is progress. 

Hard to see the pattern when everything is scrambled. 

Friday, August 4, 2017


I work for a high school as a teacher assistant.  Every year I worked there my assignment is different.  This year is no acceptation.  This morning I went through several scenarios of what I would do this year.  I was half right.  In the morning I work with Early Childhood Education followed by Fashion.  I never followed fashion trends but I used to sew costumes professionally for 2 years.  I worked in a fabric store and taught myself how to sew reading books and doing projects.  I know things they need to learn.  However, they threw me for a loop.  I will be spending my afternoons in Computer Networking.  After my head stopped spinning, my nerd half of my mind was doing fist punches in the air.  I love computers.  I was a computer tech for 14 years.  I can build a computer, assemble a computer lab, and worked on high end machines that I still miss.  One of the university students became concerned when he heard me refer to the computers as my babies.  I have kids of my own but computers found a soft spot in my heart.  I am surprised to realize I am so excited about this year.  Now if I can keep up the pace it will be awesome. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


I'm back at school.  I'm not keeping up on any of my blogs that I usually read.  I am tired.  I am happy.  I am attending a bazillion meetings....yes I fall asleep in meetings.  After awhile all I hear is blah, blah, blah.....or mumble mumble mumble.....many of the meeting rooms have lousy acoustics making hearing with hearing aides almost impossible.  Even fell asleep during a major Rah Rah meeting with amplified sound and big bands and cramped seats and my body is going to shut down and not deal with any of this.  I was excited when our principal received the administrator of the year award.  He earned it.

Tomorrow first day of no meetings.  I made a list of things for me to do to keep myself cheerfully busy.  Yes, I am a person that needs something to do.  If I don't, I doze off.  My body is not ok with just hanging out....either go go go or no go at all.  I sometimes wish I could go for more of average.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Healing and Mourning

One of the things that baffled me about counseling and healing was the very real sense and feeling of mourning/grieving/sense of loss.  I questioned my counselor and he explained that part of the healing process is recognizing how much I loss, my childhood, my belief in myself, the loss of innocence.  I loss so much and in my effort to survive, I never took time to grieve.  I learned that grieving is a very necessary process.  It is difficult to move on with my life without paying respects to what vanished and disappeared. 

Lifebegins45 shares her perspective of the mourning portion of healing.

 She shared this link that breaks down 3 recognizable phases of healing/recovery.

There is one thing that I believe to be important to the healing process.  There is no going back.  I read many posts about those that want to go back to before the trauma.  This would be ridiculous to me, I was 5 years old.  I hardly remember before trauma.  This put me in the position of simply asking, "Where am I now?  Is there anything to go back to?"  When I am asked my belief is to look for my new self, who I am now is important and matters. I survived a life changing experience, of course it changed me, it should.  I choose now to make this new now better than ever. 

A new Dawn, a new Me.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

At a distance

I saw a beautiful rainbow this morning with a jet flying right through it.  I realized that the people in the jet can't see the rainbow.  In the middle of the storm, we can't see the rainbows, it is only when we look back at  a distance.

Many PTSD gurus tell people to not look back at their past.  Going into counseling he started with present day issues but I kept tripping up on the assignments.  He finally asked me about my past.  What past? I didn't have any past?  Not remembering my past did not resolve the issues that lingered like a dark cloud.  As I struggled with memories and suffered increasing anxiety I was in a middle of a storm.  I couldn't see the rainbows.  Now, I am reviewing my past and how I changed my reactions in the present and I see the amazing things I was taught.  The tools, validation, self care, and so many blessings were unnoticed in the middle of the storm.  However, now when I look back I see the amazing things that I was taught and happened inside of me.  I actually enjoy looking back now to see how far I come and admire the storm and the rainbows at a distance. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Stuck without love

Bummer, getting a 100% when an article discusses the disadvantages of child abuse is frustrating.  Yup there is that word again.  This article shares some perspectives of the kinds of love a child needs as they grow.  I missed all the stages.  I am re-parenting and this summer was not particularly successful.  I beat myself up over someone's opinion.  Wait.  It is their opinion. 

I did find the stages and the emotions that became part of my thinking an interesting combination in this article.  Here's my theory, I'll test it on myself, if these are the things missing in my life to create these feelings then I need to put these things back in my life.

Earliest stage of childhood love develops trust.  If parents can't love me how can anyone else love me.  I already notice that as I learn to love myself I am developing an ability to trust others.  I have an elite group of awesome friends and family that I trust.  (I love writing this blog, I hadn't realized I do have people in my life that I trust now.)

...the child learns to be independent and develop self-control. If parents hindered development in any way, for example, they were impatiently and persistently doing what a child could easily do by him/herself, or, expecting the child to do things he or she was unable to do alone – then the feeling of shame appears.

I hadn't thought of the control issues my mother had as one of the sources I have of shame.  I need to seriously rethink this perspective.  I am currently working on reducing my feelings of shame.  I recognized this was en emotion used to manipulate me to work harder and harder at pleasing my abusers.  Shame was the whip that drove me but I always felt short, not good enough, and disappointment.  Steps to consider in reducing shame is working at feeling independent and develop a healthy self-control. 

The next step seems ironic in that I was neglected but I have feelings that a child of over protective parent has....then I rethought this.

And if parents are constantly overprotective of the child, which leaves them blind to their kid’s real needs, then the child starts to doubt his or her abilities, the ability to control their surroundings and him/herself.
Even as adults, these people, instead of being confident, they think that others look at them with judgement and disapproval. Obsessive-compulsive symptoms or paranoid fears caused by trauma can also occur in such people.

 My parents questioned my decisions, big decisions or little ones.  They over road many of my choices, what to wear, what to study at school, what I bought with my allowance, I believe a controlling parent leaves a child doubting their ability to run their own life.  A lot to think about on this one.  My parents neglected me and controlled me at the same time.  I lived it so I know it can happen, now I need to figure out what I need to do to rebuild my confidence. 

If the parents don’t allow the child to act alone, in response to their needs, they punish him/her too much, feelings of guilt develop.
 Curiosity was encouraged but it was curiosity in the things my parents were interested in.  If it was my interest I was quickly squashed and ridiculed for my interest.  This is something I can do for myself.  I have the internet at my finger tips and I can explore the things that interest me.  Plans are percolating in my head. 

There is so much more to this article.  I put a copy on my computer so I can add my own notes and work on developing these qualities of independence, trust, confidence.  I can become the parent I deserve to have. 

I'm putting together the puzzle pieces of my life story.  I am seeing how things fit together and what I can do to create a happier healthier peaceful life for myself. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Frustration is one of the many emotions that hide behind anger.  I get frustrated about many things.  I get frustrated when I do things for others that are not appreciated.  I get frustrated when I put a lot of effort into a project and another person picks it apart then tells me how little my effort is counted.  I get frustrated over many things.  This summer was one big frustration.  It was not a fun summer. However, I did do some fun things.  I did some puzzles. Spent time with people I love.  I tackled some difficult projects and in the process of finishing them. 

The thing about frustration is in the midst of the emotion I get sucked in to All-or-Nothing thinking.  All must go exactly as I think it should or Nothing is right.  Sometimes called Black and White thinking.  No room from compromise, failure, or disappointment.  I am working at accepting what I am feeling.  Recognize that other people opinions are their opinions I do not need to adopt them as my own.  I appreciate what I did this summer.  I do not need their approval to be happy.  Wow. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


I prayed for a break from the nightmares I had for weeks.  I woke up with the word Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious running through my head.  How ridiculous? For the uninitiated this is a link to the "Mary Poppins" clip.

However, I did have a break from the nightmares.  I wondered what kind of day I would have?  It was lousy. The day before I accidental ate something I am extremely sensitive to so spent it not doing much.  I learned that often my prayers are answered in totally unexpected ways. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Another Voice

I am keeping my eyes open for others that are sharing pages about DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder. 
I found a reference to this web page on the CPTSD group on Facebook.

Looks like the web page started last March. 

I appreciate her sharing her perspective on the challenges and myths surrounding DID formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. 

I jokingly call it, "Being run by a committee that hate each other." 

A few of the myths debunked are:

Is it real?  Yes.  I lived it but I also read 'experts' that declared they hadn't seen it therefore it doesn't exist.  I lived it and I dare them to live a week inside my head before I integrated.  I also believe it is possible to integrate.  I did it.  It is possible. 

Movies and TV shows spread so much misinformation then people point to this fiction stories as truth.  Frustrating part there is some truth in the stories but the whole truth is sacrificed for sensationalism.  Plus every system of personalities is set up differently according to their needs. 

DID is not schizophrenia.  DID is created to survive trauma often when a child is too young to have other coping skills but not always.  Medication rarely helps someone with DID.  Schizophrenia is a chemical imbalance in the brain and medication often helps.  After that the differences and similarities get very confusing because hearing the other personalities can feel like hallucinations before learning that there are others operating in the same body.  I understand why they are confused but they are actually two very different situations.

The author tried to nail down the symptoms for DID but missed one that I experienced, loss of time.   I would go to sleep on Monday, wake up on Wednesday and wonder what happened to Tuesday.  However, the other information shared is a fairly accurate description of how a person functions with DID.  I lived for 35 years not knowing that I worked as a team.  Some days, I miss that team work.  My friend found at much earlier in her life but she thought the others were family members other than herself.  Finding out that I was we was a big life changer for me.  I changed ever further one I decided to integrate the five back to one. 

The article goes on to share about a famous person that has DID.  Like most famous people, I didn't know who the person is. 

Fragmented Mind

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Mending with Gold in the broken places.

In many cultures people are encouraged to hide their broken pieces.  Put on a smooth and calm front and don't let anyone know you are suffering.  Wow does this ever cause a LOT of mental health issues.  It is a horrible way to live.  People feel disconnected, unloved, and isolated when they are hiding from the inspection of judgemental others.  I think one of the reasons I am so fascinated by Kintsugi is it takes broken pieces, binds them with gold and highlights their existence.  I was working on a Photo project with film photography called Imperfect beauty.  I wanted to show how flaws and imperfections are the parts that are beautiful not that things are beautiful in spite of their imperfections.  Too often to feel beautiful, lovable, and accepted people hide their 'bad' flaws, actually with good reason too.  When I first started telling people that I was a multiple personality I was either treated like a weird curiosity or with the same horror as a vampire.  After I intergrated, people that were multiples stopped accepting me because I 'left' their ranks.  I guess the thing I feel I did was have faith in Christ using gold to heal me in my broken places.  I am whole through my faith.  I worked on to put as much together as I could figure out.  The final healing I don't understand how it happened.  My faith in Christ tells me He finished what I could not complete myself.  He mended me with gold. 

I know that some people don't believe in Christ.  I know some people look to God differently than I do.  That does not change my journey but also does not lessen their journey.  We each find our own ways to heal in broken places. 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Why Don't We Open UP?

Simple answer to this one, we had very bad experiences underlining why we should not.

Scary Mommy

Scary Mommy makes a point that we are all struggling with similar type fear and insecurities so why don't we just share.  I noticed that the people she mentions are trusted others.  Too often people assume that each person can trust the same people in their lives as they do.  I remember a friend gushing that she just wished her mother was there so they could share that precious moment.  I looked at her kind of blankly because that wish never entered my head.  However, I relate very well to the squirrel cage image of thoughts racing through my head and round and round they go.

I think this is why I enjoy nattering with my sister so much, we can spout off any thing that comes in our head and the other person will listen or if we are way off the mark help each other consider other possibilities.  We are kind to each other.  Open to your twists, turns and frustrations.  Sometimes we just listen so the other person can get their thoughts of our head.  We treat each other with respect so in that atmosphere of shared camaraderie we can share.  I believe that this type of sharing is health and blesses both our lives.  This however does not work for everyone.

I know other people that if I actually told them the tip of the iceberg of the off-the-wall thoughts or strange imaginings racing through my mind they would call a crisis team to come and lock me up.  Racing thought, hyper-vigilance, and anxiety leave me tired.  I don't know if I have ever felted rested.  

Friday, July 14, 2017

Creating Fun

This is a no fun Summer.  Usually in the Summer time I plan one or two trips to visit family out of state.  Not this year.  This year I broke a tooth and got a crown for that one and while I was making myself miserable I had the other crown done that needed to be done for the last 3 years.  I took a Summer school class, worked on my blogs, and Lumosity.  (Lumosity is an online Brain training I signed up to do.  I feel it was worth the cost to get going and working on keeping my brain more flexible it is thinking. I also took on a massive task of cleaning my room that I avoided for 15 years.  I kept promising I would work on it but I never got it done.  This Summer is not fun.  So I decided to put some fun in my Summer.  I bought puzzles, called my sister and friends and added fun to my Summer.  I realized many of the things I do for fun, I do alone, puzzles, drawing, photography, painting, and playing computer games.  I realized that I learned to rely on myself and not wait for others to entertain me. 

I visited with my sister, Judy.  She told me about her friend that wanted her to go out and do things.  We talked about how many times other people expect others to provide fun and entertainment.  Doing things on my own is viewed as antisocial by some people.  I think one of the important things that happened in my research about personalities was learning about the difference between extroverts and introverts.  One of the important things I learned was I am an introvert.  I get recharged and rested from doing things alone.  I enjoy other peoples company but to recharge I need alone time. 

I realized that this summer I am having fun and relaxation by my definition.  I am physically feeling healthier.  I accomplished some big projects and I am looking forward to heading back to work in a few weeks. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Thoughts about Therapist

I debated about whether or not I should post a PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress disorder, article here.  I put most of my PTSD stuff on my other page since it was dominating when this page which is more about my personal journey to healing.  I decided to post it here because my therapist used many of these skills and methods with me.  If someone asked me about what type of therapist would help someone with extreme dissociation or multiple personalities than this would fit.  My actual diagnosis was PTSD with dissociation at an extreme level.  My counselor wanted me to sense and feel that on a continuum I wasn't stuck in any one place.  This journey is about me integrating 5 personalities to one.  As a child I didn't know how to cope with all that happened, I hid from myself and tag teamed my way through childhood.  The method became ineffective with a family of my own.  It was taking all my energy to maintain my separateness when there were no clear cut separations in my life after I left school. My therapist was a marriage counselor with extensive experience with PTSD.  At the time of my therapy CPTSD, Complex PTSD, was not an accepted diagnosis. 

If you are a person that wanted to know what kind of relationship is needed with a counselor this is an article worth reading.  It is a tough read both the vocabulary and content.  It is written by Pete Walker who wrote several books on healing from PTSD both from his own experience in healing and becoming a therapist himself.  He has been there and done that type attitude.  I feel like I have a fairly extensive vocabulary but there were several words I looked up because the words were either new to me or used in a way that was unfamiliar.  I believe it is worth the effort and highly recommend taking a copy to a counseling session and talk it over.  I remember having several sessions of counseling that were about what kind of counseling I was getting.  My counselor did not adhere to just one method so I signed a paper every year that stated I was aware that my counselor was taking me on a personal journey that didn't fit in the narrow view of what counseling should be for PTSD.  He custom fitted each session to me.  How do I know this?  My sister and friend had the same counselor and we compared notes.  He treated each one of us according to our need and personality.  He was an extraordinary counselor.  Sad day for me when he moved to another state. 

Relational Healing in Complex PTSD
East Bay Therapist, Sept 2008 By Pete Walker
This is his personal page with links to buying his books.  
I have his book and it is on my to-be-read stack.  I planned to do more reading this summer but instead spent it doing one huge task that I procrastinated for years.   

Making a nest among the thorns best describes living with PTSD. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Counseling was my farewell party

I follow several blogs that encourage me, strengthen me and remind me what really is most important.  This morning I read Jennifer Rothchild Bye Bye Ideal me, Hello Real me.

She delightfully reminded me that my ideal images of what I should be keeps me from being my real me.  I need real to remind myself I am a living, caring, changing, moody human.  Too often I was told that emotions were bad, that I should squish them.  So messed up, emotions are for the living and living real.  However, I don't need to believe every emotion that I feel.  My counselor helped me learn that some emotions are mask for other emotions.  Unmasking my emotions, peaking behind anger, moving past false faces, bring me to real emotions that are messy and add all the color to my World. 

I learned to sit with my emotions, hear them out, let them have their say.  I learned that anger was a protecting shield for fear, hurt and frustration.  When I address the fear, hurt and frustration my anger evaporates into the mist of time.  But anger helped flag me down to pay attention to my inner voice that needs me to listen to myself.  If I am angry because someone was rude to me, look past the anger to the hurt that they over stepped a reasonable boundary.  Not OK to step on my boundaries.  Think through and consider what are my options and what can I do to reaffirm I am worth protecting and caring for.  It is my job to be real and care for me.  Really. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Independence Day

Every abuse survivor eventually declares their Independence.  They reach the point of "NO MORE!"  The founding Fathers of the United States were tired of neglect, abuse of power and taxation without representation by England.  They viewed England as their abusers.  We now celebrate with Fireworks, picnics, and family/friend gatherings.  For those that find fireworks triggering I shared information on Fireworks Survival on my PTSD web page:

Independence day is important to celebrate. It is also a time to reflect what that means to me.  I wrote my own bill of rights with the assistance of my counselor. 
Working on my Bill of rights was an eye opening experience.  I hadn't realized how completely my rights as a person were violated growing up.  I also realized I wasn't doing too great with my own children.  Controlling others is almost a given as a parent.  If our children act unruly a common statement made to the parent, "Why can't you control your child?"  I realized that their is a certain amount of telling children what to do.  What is important that as they get older they have more and more control over their lives.  Children need opportunities to make choices, make mistakes, disobey and have consequences.  I am very big on natural consequences. 

I'm not raising my children any more.  They all grew up and moved out and now they have their own lives.  My responsibility is for me to be independent and live with my spouse in an interdependent relationship.  My counselor spent many sessions explaining the difference between an codependent and and interdependent relationship. 

Thanks to Webster University for doing a chart that shows the difference.

Happy July 4th

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

7 Stages of Grief

My counselor surprised me when he taught me about the 7 stages of grief....nobody died.  He went on to explain that grief applies to any loss.  I looked at him puzzled so he drew a clearer picture.  The grief of a mother that couldn't love me, grief of finding out my idealistic childhood was a fantasy, grief of losing innocence, grief of mourning a relationship that died years ago but I didn't accept it.  The list got longer and longer.  The rough thing is these don't go in an orderly smooth transition; several can mash up all at once.  Anger at feeling guilty; depressed by the pain; bargaining with life and shocked by what is happening.  Grieving is a big part of healing.  Too often someone tells me that I should, "Hurry up and get over it."  Whatever 'it' is.  Part of my depression as actually grieving and an appropriate reaction to what happened.  Some of my past experiences reached the acceptance, hope, and thriving stage....others are still in the Shock & Denial.  Reminder to self, treat myself kindly and with the same compassion I would someone else experiencing grief.  I can be kind to me. 

Here is the grief model we call the 7 Stages of Grief:
    You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.
  2. PAIN & GUILT-
    As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs.

    You may have guilty feelings or remorse over things you did or didn't do with your loved one. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase.
    Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion.

    You may rail against fate, questioning "Why me?" You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair ("I will never drink again if you just bring him back")
    Just when your friends may think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. This is a normal stage of grief, so do not be "talked out of it" by well-meaning outsiders. Encouragement from others is not helpful to you during this stage of grieving.

    During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair.

    More 7 stages of grief...
    As you start to adjust to life without your dear one, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your "depression" begins to lift slightly.
    As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by life without your loved one. You will start to work on practical and financial problems and reconstructing yourself and your life without him or her.
    During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.

    You will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future. Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living.

    You have made it through the 7 stages of grief.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Brené Brown

Brené Brown shares several TED talks that I listened to several times.  Someone on Facebook was sharing about toxic shame asking if anyone had ever heard of it.  Uuuhhh YEA.  Toxic shame comes hand-in-hand with abuse.  The abuser blames the victim and sheds their shame onto the victim.  Blame and shame are dastardly duo that are difficult to over come.  Brené Brown studies shame, really she studies shame especially in relationship to vulnerability.  I have her book but haven't read that yet.  I haven't watched all of her videos but I learned about her from my first counselor.  Over the years I watched her video several times.  I am sharing the link to her TED page so people can explore her talks.  I hope they help.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

What do I do with my feelings?

I like watching NCSI.  The particular episode had to do with Tony saving a young boy from a burning building.  The fire collapsed part of the building and he was unable to save the boy's 4 year old sister.  He made a choice.  The boy grew up to become a fire inspector.  He resented Tony for not saving his sister.  The fire inspector had a situation where he couldn't save a witness to some arson fires.  He needed to have Tony point out to him that sometimes we have no choice as what happens to us.  We do choose what we learn from it and where we go from here.  I know the episode and seen the ones following.  The fires were set by a man that lost his son to a far caused by faulty wiring in a Navy ship.  A problem that was known but people made excuses as to why not to repair it.  The father wanted others to suffer as much as he did.  The boy that grew up to be the fire inspector wanted to make a positive difference. 

I can't erase my past.  Even when I forgot most of it, I responded from that pool of hurt and rage.  I didn't understand why I acted the way I did.  I felt crazy, depressed, and unsure what to do about what I was feeling.  I entered counseling.  Took my counselor years teaching me to believe in myself, connect to my feelings and recognize that I decide what to do about how I feel.  I don't deny my feelings but I choose which ones to act on.  I decide if I am going to spread the suffering I experienced or help others find their healing path.

I took the class about bullies last week.  Again the issue is do people make excuses for the bully pointing out their hardships or do we expect bullies to be held accountable for their behavior?  Right now the climate is blame the victim and coddle the perpetrator.  So messed up.  They trot out cliches like , "Hurt people, hurt people."  Excuses such as they had a rough childhood so they hurt others because they are hurting.  BS.  Yup....everyone in the world is hurt by somebody at some time.  This is Earth life on this planet.  Gravity pulls you to the grown.  Splat you are hurt.  A bully knocks you down the victim is hurt.  When you get up do you learn about gravity or blame the Earth for having it in the first place?  Does the victim get blamed or do you look at the situation and see how relationships are repaired? 

One of the definitions of explaining the difference between being human and a bully.  A person hurts someone else accidentally and apologizes and tries not to do it again is being human.  A person that hurts someone else on purpose and doesn't apologize is mean.  A person that hurts someone else and does it again and again and again is a bully.  There is a pattern of abusing others.  They perpetrator gets something out of it and wants that again.  Feelings of power, satisfaction in hurting someone else, and a variety of other feelings remorse not being one of them.  A victim to the bully is the object and the fact they were scared, hurt or embarrassed was the goal.  Bully's behavior is not about the victim.  I wish people would stop rallying around the bully, making excuse but instead set up a plan to change their behavior.  Some will change, others won't, the like it too much. 

I remember several incidences in my life that I was mean to others.  I said things or did things or lashed out.  My main focus in my counseling is to become the person I wanted to be kind, concerned for others, caring, able to control my temper, willing to look for win-win solutions.  That is who I wanted to be.  Accepting my emotions and recognizing which ones I reinforce or act on is 100% up to me.  Yes, I have sent myself to my room because I was not behaving reasonably.  Good.  If my children were acting the way I was they would be sent to their room until they figured out how to address a problem without hurting others.  I still give myself time to feel, process what I feel, and they choose a line of action.  When I do this I am much happier with the out come then when I allow some deep dark emotion take control and act out hurtful thoughts.  Yup, there is nothing like a well placed time out to improve relationships.  I emphasize a time out.  Meaning what I feel needs to be addressed but I want to be in control of how that discussion is going to go.

I am thankful to my counselor that reconnected me with my emotions. Then took many sessions to teach me how to sit with them, process them, and make choices that improve my life.  Living with emotions is a learned skill.  I can practice and get better at making healthy emotional decisions.  What I do with my feelings is my choice.  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Restorative Justice

I work at a school and to move up the pay scale I take more classes or workshops.  If I am going to spend my time in classes I want it to benefit me in some way.  I spent two days reviewing how to protect students in the classroom.  Most of the first day was review.  Reminded again to learn student names.  I am learning from Lumosity how I can do that.  Second day, today, they talked about procedures in place for reporting abuse and other criminal acts by students against other students or teachers.  I heard of restorative justice but didn't have a clear understanding of what all was involved.  Today they explained it so I understood and we practiced it comparing it to the old standard of crime/punishment. 

Basically, the student that offends others identifies who was offended and what needs to be done to resolve and heal the offense.  That is what I got out of it.  For instance if a student disrupts an entire class one of the choices may be an apology to the class instead of a trip to the principals office.  Mediation is part of the process in situations between two people.  Or bigger offenses may involve parents or others that were involved.  Part of what I like about it is the offender is required to take ownership and responsibility for their behavior.  I found a couple of links that I plan to go back and explore more fully.

Wikipedia link:

Edutopia has multiple links to examples of schools using the process. 

What I really like about this format of conflict resolution is when a student graduates from high school they can take the ideas with them to college or family life.  I am very enthusiastic about trying this out in the classroom next year. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Aroma Therapy Heaven

Aroma Therapy is a light touch with essential oils with music.  My friend is awesome and learned how to share her oils in a healing way.  I consistently feel much better after each 45 minute session.  Today I feel asleep amidst soothing touch and amazing smells.  I felt so mellow today I fell asleep.  It was awesome.  I spent the rest of the day feeling relaxed and happy.  Thank you friend, you make a difference.  

Friday, June 9, 2017

Survival tool but

....not a living tool. 

People pleasing is how I survived the insanity of growing up in a home with a demanding mother.  By jumping through her hoops I got fed and fewer spankings.  However, People pleasing has a negative impact for living everyday.  If I run around trying to please everyone else, I don't meet my personal self care and life goals.  I essentially give the reigns of my life over to someone else.  In abuse situations giving up that freedom to your abuser may mean the difference between life and death, literally.  Viktor Frankl's book Man's Search for Meaning written about his experiences in a concentration camp illustrates how prisoners survived by people pleasing.  However, I'm no longer in contact with my mother.  I am no longer in the neighborhood where I was terrorized.  People pleasing now is a stumbling block to self-care and meeting my goals.  Of course, I still do things for other people.  Service is not People pleasing. 

I found a definition of People pleasing that comes close to what I mean:

A People Pleaser is a person who believes that they are less then most others on the planet and have the need to hide these beliefs from all whom they come in contact with. They feel so low that they typically behave like a doormat and frequently put themselves in situations where they are treated as such. A people please will do almost anything to keep others in the dark about what is going on within. Dishonesty, deception and lies are the primary tools used by a People Pleaser. Within the context of an intimate relationship, a People Pleaser will frequently paint illusions that depict what they believe their partner wants to see all the while never disclosing who and what they really are. People Pleaser's also have the tendency to frustrate their partner to no end with this insidious behavior. A People Pleaser's goal is always the same which is to keep anyone from knowing just how crappy they feel about themselves and they will strive for this goal at any cost. A person afflicted with this "disease to please" will typically tell more lies over the course of a lifetime than those with other mental illnesses. People Pleaser's can come in the form of men but are typically women as they are more emotionally based.
When a People Pleaser dies, the see the life of someone else flash before their eyes.

 Other aspects of a people pleasing behavior, they have no opinions of their own.  The other person's goal is their goal.  They take the blame for anything that goes wrong, no matter who's fault it might be.  They will do things for other people without any regard for themselves.  They put their happiness on the other person's shoulders.  A people pleasing person is only happy if the other person is happy with what they have done.  They tend to give all their decision making and happiness to someone else, making the other person responsible for their well being.  They blame those close to them if they are sad.  They blame fate or circumstances on their drifting through life.  A people pleasing person gives away their personal power to anyone else. 

Why do I know all this about people pleasing behavior?  Because I did this.  Counseling taught me to take back my power.  I learned to have an opinion and that my opinion matters.  I was retaught how to take personal responsibility for my own happiness.  I learned slowly because People pleasing was my go-to survival tool.  I struggled with setting my own goals but I am doing it.  I struggle with finding my 'Why' for living but with plenty of encouragement I am becoming the person I was meant to be in spite of an abusive childhood. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

In Spite of......

I am a huge fan of Dale Chihuly.  I love his art.  Glass blown and shaped into a symphony of form and color.  He shared in an interview his challenges with depression.

News articles disappear so I will share the article here.  This is not to say that you must follow his footsteps but to encourage and share that depression/mental illness/PTSD is part of what makes you who you are.  Live with it and thrive anyway.  

The private studio of glass artist Dale Chihuly reflects his long obsession with collecting. Sheets of stamps cover one table; pocket knives are marshaled on another. Carnival-prize figurines from the first half of the 20th century line shelves that reach the ceiling.

Amid the ordered clutter, some items hint at more than Chihuly’s eclectic tastes: a long row of Ernest Hemingway titles in one bookcase, and in another an entire wall devoted to Vincent van Gogh — homages to creative geniuses racked by depression.

Chihuly, too, has struggled with his mental health, by turns fragile and luminous like the art he makes. Now 75 and still in the thrall of a decades-long career, he discussed his bipolar disorder in detail for the first time publicly in an interview with The Associated Press. He and his wife, Leslie Chihuly, said they don’t want to omit from his legacy a large part of who he is.

“It’s a pretty remarkable moment to be able to have this conversation,” she said. “We really want to open our lives a little bit and share something more personal. ... Dale’s a great example of somebody who can have a successful marriage and a successful family life and successful career — and suffer from a really debilitating, chronic disease. That might be helpful for other people.”

Chihuly, who began working with glass in the 1960s, is a pioneer of the glass art movement. Known for styles that include vibrant seashell-like shapes, baskets, chandeliers and ambitious installations in botanical gardens and museums, he has said that pushing the material to new forms, creating objects never before seen, fascinates him.

Even in the past year he has found a new way of working with glass — painting with glass enamel on glass panes, stacking the panes together and back-lighting them to give them a visual depth. He calls it “Glass on Glass,” and it’s featured for the first time in the new Chihuly Sanctuary at the Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha, Nebraska, and at an indoor-outdoor exhibit opening June 3 at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

But the flip side of that creativity has sometimes been dark. He began suffering from depression in his 20s, he said, and those spells began to alternate with manic periods beginning in his late 40s.
“I’m usually either up or down,” Chihuly said. “I don’t have neutral very much. When I’m up I’m usually working on several projects. A lot of times it’s about a six-month period. When I’m down, I kind of go in hibernation.”

He still works but doesn’t feel as good about it. His wife noted that if he only went into the studio when he was up, he “wouldn’t have had a career.”

Asked what his down periods are like, Chihuly took a long pause. “Just pretty tough,” he said. “I’m lucky that I like movies. If I don’t feel good, I’ll put on a movie.”

Leslie Chihuly, who runs his studio, is more loquacious about the difficulties his condition has posed in their 25-year relationship.

They’ve tried to manage it as a family with various types of counseling, medication and a 1-to-10 scale system that allows him to communicate how he’s feeling when he doesn’t want to talk about it, she said.

Chihuly gave up drinking 15 years ago, and it’s been more than a decade since he was “life-threateningly depressed,” she said, though he’s never been suicidal.

“Dale has an impeccable memory about certain things, but there have been certain periods of time when he’s been hypomanic, as we call it, or depressed, and I’ll be the keeper for our family and our business around those difficult times,” she said.

She met him in 1992 after a mutual friend set them up. He was in a near-manic period, talking about an idea for bringing glassblowers from around the world to Venice, Italy, to display their art in the city’s canals. He had no plan and no funding, but she was eager to help him realize his vision — one that would eventually be depicted in the public television documentary “Chihuly Over Venice.”
Six months later, they traveled to an exhibit opening at the Brooklyn Museum in New York.
“It was like the lights went out,” she said, choking back a sob. “All of a sudden the guy who was interested in everything ... that guy wasn’t there.”

Dale Chihuly remained quiet as his wife described that moment. A tear fell from beneath the recognizable eyepatch he has worn since he lost sight in his left eye in a 1976 car crash.
Though the mood swings were new to Leslie Chihuly at the time, they were familiar to the other artists Chihuly worked with. Joey Kirkpatrick met him in 1979, when she attended Pilchuck Glass School, which Chihuly founded in the woods north of Seattle in 1971. It was a small summer workshop; the students constructed their own shelter. She and her partner, Flora Mace, spent many hours watching movies with him during his down periods.

“What amazed me about it is his persistence at picking the thing, his creative life, that would pull him along or keep him going through those times,” she said. “When he was up, he could call you up at Pilchuck on a Sunday night and say, ‘Meet me at the airport at 10 tomorrow, we’ve got a flight to Pittsburgh to go to some demonstration.’ It was always exciting. When he was down, there wasn’t that. It was quieter.”

Chihuly said the message he’d have for others struggling with the condition would be to “see a good shrink” and to “try to live with it, to know that when they’re really depressed, it’s going to change, before too long. And to take advantage when they do feel up to get as much done as they can.”

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Why can't I just be?

TW wrote me: Ruth, do you ever "have time" to just BE? Think you can do that?!

Nope...absolutely not....I do try.  Thanks TW for reminding me I am enough.

 There is a bit of history to this one.  Childhood was not a time for relaxing for me.  I was either turned totally loose to go and do what I wished any where or I was tightly under my mother's thumb.  I never knew which way a day would go.  The days of extreme control I craved to just be....for me that was so not happening.  If I appeared to be doing 'nothing' more work was heaped on me.  I learned to function at a frantic pace.  Didn't matter what, just something. A poem my mother used to chant.

If you got too much to do and you don't know where to start
And you start to feeling blue and you're quickly loosing heart,
Don't be a dumb thing,
Start something.

Evil poem....chanting of a slave driving inner critic that valued doing over being or doing something useful. 

On my other blog I shared the 11 forms of self abuse from Lilly Hope Lucereo.

 The two that drive me are 'Working too hard' and 'Lack Of Self Care & Lack Of Healthy Boundaries'.  I also spent over 3 years in bed.  I didn't know it at the time but I had a complete break down but I had kids to care for while my husband worked on the road.  I kept moving but lived a twilight half life.  I have 10 times more energy now than I did when I was 35 years old.  I have so many things I want to do and I want to do them all right now.  I was playing Happy Acres on Facebook, I became so competitive that I wasn't eating or sleeping trying to do everything.  Yes, I was trying to do everything in a game designed to allow me to pick and choose....oh no. I had to do everything.  When I started to play at work, I knew I was in serious trouble.  I was an addict.  

People forget the drugs and alcohol are not the only things people get addicted to.  I feel driven to do things.  The sit back and relax thing doesn't happen.  Watching TV I usually watch two shows and either crochet or work on Sudokus.  Just sitting and watching doesn't happen.  We went to the movies.  I bought popcorn and kept eating one piece at a time to keep my hands doing something.  I schedule break time but often work through it.  Playing a game is not relaxing either.  TW thank you for reminding me that going at a frantic pace is not required.  No one will give me brownie buttons for working harder than any one.  In fact, more than once I was reprimanded for working too hard and too fast.  The boss at the time thought I was trying to show him up.  He didn't realize I only had one speed R for RACE.  

One of my coworkers was assigned to help me change over computers in a computer lab.  30 computers to be changed out.  He moaned and groaned complaining it would take all week.  I asked him why?  I pointed to the other side of the room, "You start there, I'll begin here, and meet you at the back."  I worked silently and intently.  Took a break for lunch.  I met him at the back at a little after 5 PM, mandatory quitting time.  (They threatened to fire me if I worked over time.)  The coworker was astounded.  We completed the lab in a day.  He turned to me and asked, "Do you always work like this?"  My answer, "You mean there is another way to do it?"  He had to reassess his opinion of what he heard about me.  

At one point in my marriage I worked 3 part time jobs.  When I went to school I would take crazy difficult classes.  DH and I had an argument and he accused me of always having to get an A.  I thought seriously about this.  I demanded so much more out of a class than the teacher expected that I got the A as a byproduct of my own expectations.  I realize now, I drove several teachers crazy with how much I did in class.  In counseling, my therapist restricted me to one hour a day working on why I functioned the way I did.  He told me to fire my MEAN BOSS.  That mean boss is me.  Still tend to be a bit of a slave driver.  

TW....this summer I will set a goal to sit and be for at least....I don't know how long I can keep myself still before I jump up and go again.  Work in progress.  Thanks TW. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Body image

I shared research with someone that was talking about self image and how many people struggle with how they view their body.  Parents say things that hurt kids when they try to do this or that to make their kids look better.  Braces and diet suggestions can improve looks but sends an underlying message, "You aren't good enough."  I remember as a teenager being told I needed to go on a diet.  I was 5'4" tall and weighed 125 lbs (Metric 162.5 cm tall and weighed 56.7 kg).  I was told I needed to loose another 10 lbs to look good (Metric 4.5 kg).  To me, of course, the implication you don't look good.  Heaven help me if my father made the mistake of complimenting me then the criticism became more caustic.  I knew I didn't want to get sucked into the yoyo diets my mother obsessed over.  I could ignore my weight for a lot of years then old age and poor eating habits caught up with me.  My daughter set the example for me on how to regain a better relationship with my body.  She purchased a dance class at the studio where she worked.  Got me to get up off the couch and try to exercise.  Mega challenge when I still passed out a couple of times a week. She repeated every class, "Ladies, honor your body." About 2 years ago I went the route and lost weight.  It worked for a long time then my life at work went crazy and I was a substitute teacher for 4 months and my self-care went out the window and I gained all the weight I lost plus 20 lbs (Metric 10 kg) more.  I weigh more now than I ever did.  I yo-yo'd.  Well past that 125 lbs of my teenage years.  No, I don't like how my body looks.  After the car crash a month ago, I don't like how my body feels.  Self-care is at the top of my list for summer activities.  If I loose weight fine, but my main goal is to feel healthy.  Things I know help: tracking what I eat, choosing more vegetables, sleeping more, exercise in moderation, weighing myself no more than once a week (reminder I would weigh less if I went to the Moon,) essential oils, and the list goes on as to what I know helps me.  Now the challenge is to care for myself.  I don't set an alarm yet I'm awake by 6 AM.  I work at my computer and remind myself to get up often and move.  I like walking at the park.  Why is self-care such a chore to me?  There are these negative tapes in my head going off that each thing I do isn't good enough but logically I know they work.  I have the essential oils close at hand but I neglect to use them.  How is it the very things I need to do to care for myself seem so hard?  My favorite diet book was  Richard Simmons' Never-Say-Diet Book – October 1, 1980 by Richard Simmons
I actually used his suggestions when I raised my kids.  I left the food on the counter instead of on the table.  I didn't restrict kids eating, I allowed seconds if they got up to get it.  My exercise program is videos, walking, and karate.  Not doing much of any of these since the car crash.  I'm starting to feel much better but my neck still tells me it didn't appreciate coming to an instant turn and abrupt stop. Today, I opened up Myfitnesspal for the first time in over a year.  Do I do it?  Or am I setting myself up to fail again?  Heavy sigh.  Being human is such a chore some days.  

Monday, May 29, 2017

Remember those that fell

In comfort of home and eating bar-b-q's and picnics, it is hard to remember all those that fell before us.  Sometimes when things are far away people forget how real it is every day.  The parents, spouses, children missing their loved one that didn't come home from a war.  So many.  so sad.  Some say, "let's just get along."  Showing their ignorance of tyrants, hatred, and evil that is part of this world.  I am thankful for those that went where no one should ever have to go and didn't come home.  I feel deep sadness for those that went and came home broken and hurt both body and soul.  I am blessed to know veterans that served.  I live a life knowing that War will be necessary as long as people try to crush, destroy, control, and possess other people.  It isn't going away any time soon.  Thank you soldiers, living and dead, serving or veterans, the thin line between us and tyranny. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Jump into Summer

I jumped right into summer school class on line.  I am learning more about how to use different reading strategies in the classroom.  In my job, there is no up.  I can take classes to step up but I am at the top of what I do.  I love the teachers I work with.  They are amazing and dedicated.  I enjoy being part of a group of people that want to see students succeed.  It is enjoyable to see students graduate and move on with their lives.  However, I'm delighted to have a break.  I already have a list of more things to do than I can possibly accomplish. I'm looking at my to-do list to make sure there are plenty of people time.  Friends, family, and time for myself.  Recently I read an article about a mother that lost her son.  She saw him in a dream and asked him what he learned in the after life.  His response stuck in my head.  "I learned that relationships is the most important thing."   Marley's ghost said the same, Jacob Marley: BUSINESS? Mankind was my business! Their common welfare was my business!

As I write my to-do list, I want to make sure I spend time with people.  It is great to take care of chores and items on my list of things to do but spending time with people is the most important of all.  I think that is one of the things I watched happen to my mother.  She was so obsessed with her things to-do list that she totally missed living a life filled with love.  I watched her scream and rage her hatred at me.  I walked away.  Now she asks my Dad why I don't want to see her.  I ponder and ask myself, "How am I doing on putting people first?  Am I getting obsessed with doing projects instead of spending time with people?"  One of the interesting things I learned in another summer school class called True Colors, that I am an introvert.  People time takes a lot of energy.  I blamed my PTSD but learned later that introverts react differently to the World.  I want to make sure people time is included with recovery time so I enjoy it.  Complex planning but so worth it. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Run Run as fast as you can

You can't catch me - I'm the Gingerbread Man....

For those not familiar with the story here is a link:

I sometimes feel like if I can run fast enough I will stay ahead of the massive list of things to get done.  But sadly that willy old fox eats me up every time. 

I'm still recovering.  Almost 3 weeks ago I was in a car accident.  The bruising faded.  The car is replaced.  However, I am looking up what whiplash does and how long does it take to heal.  Yup, the news is not good.  I try to do the easiest exercises and I am in pain.  Crumbs.  I always way underestimate how long it takes to heal.  My doctor son pointed out that everywhere I had bruises they expect there to be broken bones instead.  Recalculating.  A broken bone would be 8-10 weeks recovery or more.  Slow down.  Readjust expectations.  I am getting other things finished.  I painted a table at school for next year cutting table.  I cleaned out one desk.  One more to go and helping the teachers get finished up.  One more day.  Walking exercise doesn't hurt.  I can do this.  Baby-steps work because it forces me to slow down to a pace that works. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

5 days and counting

I only have 5 more days of school.  I am feeling like one of the prisoners that marks off each box toward the final day.  I have a ton of stuff to do.  I am also planning summer school classes.  The best way for me to get paid more is to step up by taking classes.  I chose classes that talk about teenage mental health and development.  I am excited about planning fun days mixed in with work days.  Right now I am trying to remind myself not to beat myself up for not healing faster.  It is 2 weeks since I was in a car accident.  I remind myself that broken bones take 8 to 10 weeks to heal.  I did NOT break any bones but the massive bruising is still connecting the dots where my seat belt went.  I noticed today that I can't grip my water bottle with my left hand.  It kept falling out.  When I opened and closed my hand I realized that my elbow is sorer than I thought.  Apparently now that the major bruises are healing I am noticing other damage that also occurred.  I need to get back on track to getting things done and caring for my health.  Reminder, one step forward and two back is a cha-cha. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Crap Happens

Today I talked to the fashion students.  I explained why I didn't go into fashion when I was in college the first time.  The 1970's were still steeped in the image of Twiggy.  Pencil thin was in.  I looked into the business and decided it wasn't worth wasting my time on it.  The appearance over personality ratio was lethal in my estimation.  I tried costume design and construction, after staying up 3 days making last minute changes for a director, I decided that was slave labor.  I still plan to design and construct costumes some day when I retire but until then I am teaching students interested in fashion how to cope.  Raising awareness of how brutal fashion business can be.  I teach them if they don't like their life, change it.  My basis, I did it.  Crap happens....on the job, at home, with our health, you name it; crap happens in life.  It is not what are you going to do if crap happens, it is when crap happens what are you going to do?  How are you going to cope?  Coping is a skill.  We learn it.  Most people learn it at home.  I didn't.  I learned it in counseling.  Crap happens.  I have a whole tool chest of coping skills.  They came from my counselor.  Seven long tough years he trained me, taught me, and encouraged me to look at the World differently.  More powerfully, he gave my coping tools so when he moved away, I kept growing....Thriving. 


Over the next few days I will be sharing my experiences with high school students that I work with.  Two classes are studying abuse in relation to being teachers and reporting abuse.  One class is a fashion class and I will discuss what I call the slimy underbelly of the fashion world.  I am praying that I stay in tune with the students needs.  This time I told the counselors that I will be having this discussion.  In years past, one or two students end up at the counselors office realizing that they are experiencing one or more forms of abuse.  Recognizing the behavior of the other person is abusive is the first step to getting out of it.  Some people are willing to change when you set boundaries and tell them they need to treat you better.  Other people, not so much.  I feel my job is to bring awareness and give them access to tools to help cope with prickly people.  It is going to be a long 3 days.  One class each day, fashion, early childhood education, and education professions.  I want them to walk away feeling like abuse is not the end of the world.  There is an amazing world waiting to welcome those that break the chains of abuse.  Sometimes walking away from what you think you want is the best thing you can do to create a healthy way of living.

Friday, May 12, 2017


Last week I was having a perfect day.  I needed to find Christmas lights and I did in May that worked at a thrift store.  I found and collected everything I needed for the Fashion Show last Friday.  I turned on to the street to go the last mile to the school and a car careened into me.  The officer asked me what I saw.  I said, "I drove into the middle lane since the right lane merged into it.  I was going less than the speed limit since I wasn't in a hurry and traffic was light. Then my whole world exploded."  Yup all 3 airbags.  The seat belt tightened up and held me fast.  Everywhere my seat belt was, there are bruises.  Now in varying shades of blue, purple and yellow depending on the depth of the bruise.  I also passed my bone density test.  The fireman that poked and prodded me was impressed that I didn't even break my collar bone.  I later learned from my doctor son that the type of accident that I was in usually causes a broken collar bone, wrist, ribs, and sometimes hips.  Yup, there are bruises in all those places but I walked away.  A witness stopped and told the police what happened.  The driver of the other car got to me first to see if I was ok and make sure the car wasn't on fire.  There was a lot of smoke in the car from the airbags exploding open.  I looked at the tree, wall and stop sign that I missed.  I felt deep gratitude that this could be so much worse.  The other driver was shaken but will walk away too.  He talked to the police.  My DH came, he had the day off, and visited with the other driver and the officer.  I feel deeply relieved that things were not much much worse.  The teacher was able to pick up the supplies for the fashion show.  Sadly, I missed the fashion show.  Perfect days can disintegrate in a split second.  I am pleased with how I handled myself.  I felt what I felt in the moment.  I allowed myself to go home and rest.  I am healing and DH bought a new car that he will pickup tomorrow.  I'm nervous driving but not so much that it is hindering me from doing what I need to do.  Overall the emotion I am embracing is gratitude and praying for the other driver.  His day was really rotten.