Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Time to Reflect

The week between Christmas and New Year is when I reflect on the whole year. 
What do I remember enjoy doing? 
What were my challenges and how did I tackle them? 
Do I have 'stuff' that needs to be taken into the next year to resolve? 
Do I like where I am at the end of the year?
Are there adjustments I want to make this coming year?

The other morning I woke up with a study plan swarming my mind.  I knew it was a spinoff from all the focus I had on costumes for months.  Absorbed in the task of creating Biblical costumes I wondered if I lost sight of the main goal, the life of Jesus Christ.  Did I get so bogged down in creating angel sashes that I forgot about serving others?  I tried using a church study guide but felt dissatisfied and frustrated by the way it was headed.  I believe that my relationship with Christ is very personal and needs improvement.  I am setting up my own study guide for the areas that I know need improvement. 

My relationship with DH improved when I was swamped with costumes and most of the other sewing ladies quit, DH stepped up and sewed for three day for Thanksgiving.  He also made sure I ate for weeks.  We were a team it was awesome.

My health is in limbo.  I am waiting for test to be done in a few months to find out what a tumor is doing on my thyroid.  If it is slow growing, do I mind hanging out with a growing lump on my throat?

My diet changed by stopping eating soy.  For years, I would choke at least once a week on something I was eating.  I've been to the hospital 4 different times in the last 20 years because food was stuck in my throat.  Last January, I landed in the emergency room again.  This was the first time I was told I had a strong allergic reaction to something.  The doctor gave me a high power tier 3 medication to keep my throat open but no intention to find out what was causing the reaction in the first place.  I stopped seeing him.  Allergy tests didn't show anything.  I went with the one food that I knew in the past could cause problems in large quantities, soy.  I worked at eliminating it from my diet.  3 months without soy and I am seeing all sorts of changes I was not expecting.  Swelling in my legs is gone.  Stiffness that I thought was old age is also gone.  I feel better most of the time.  It didn't solve every health problem but it is nice to eat and not choke on my food.  Interesting thing now is all I have to do is have a tiny bit of soy and I start choking within 15 minutes.  I thought I could get away with a little bit, nope.  It is stop eating or choke because my esophagus shuts.  I think soy and I are done.  Permanent life style change. 

My work changed again.  I've worked at the same school for 7 years.  All 7 years my assignments changed.  Different classes but I realize it is all the same work.  My job is to help the teacher and students achieve their goals.  I am part of the support team.  I am working hard at better understanding needs of students and teachers so I can be of the greatest help possible.  This year networking was added to early childhood education and fashion.  I am learning Python, my fourth computer language.  I am enjoying the challenge in spite of the fact that I don't really like programming. 

My sleep sucks.  I think that one is going at the top of my list to improve.  Sleep is a beautiful thing and I am having a terrible time sleeping when I should, falling asleep when I shouldn't, and struggling to sleep peacefully once I am asleep.  Yup, taking this one into next year to head up the top of my health improvements list of changes. 

Lumosity is improving.  https://www.lumosity.com/ It tracks my brain training.  It takes only about 20 minutes 5-7 times a week.  I am remembering things better.  I can focus better.  I like the improvements I am seeing.  It is on my continue doing list. 

I will work through a lot more as I ponder this week on where I want to head for 2018. 




Monday, December 25, 2017

Survived Christmas

If you are reading this, you survived Christmas.  Congratulations.  Well done.  Happy Dance......

364 days until Christmas. 

I remember talking with my sister when she shared her experience in counseling.  She told her therapist about a particular event and the she congradulated my sister for surviving.  My sister responded, "But I wanted to do it with more Grace."

Some days, surviving with or with out Grace is a good day. 

When I was at my worse with PTSD, I could be up only 20 minutes a day.  A friend asked me what a good day was.  My quick response, "I got up."  She waited.  I stared...."No, that's it, I got up. A great day I got up and got dressed." 

Bask in the glow of making it through the day with or without Grace.  You did it. 


Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve

To Santa lovers, this is a magical night of speedy delivery of EPIC proportions. 
To the lonely, it is a time of ultimate lonesomeness.
To non-Christian, it may mean just another night.
To the retailer, sales are up and prospects look good.
To a child, it is whatever the parents or care-givers make to be.

Visions of sugar plums don't dance in every kids head.  Plans for survival crowd out magic and mystery.  A few blink with wonder at all they behold.  Others cringe in fear for another cruel blow.

Christmas Eve draped in expectations and wonder or wrapped in sorrow and sadness. 

Years ago, I watched a version of Scrooge/A Christmas Carol that affected me deeply.  Beneath the robes of Christmas present cringe two frightened children - Want and Ignorance.  I tried to find the one I remember seeing....this was the best I could do. 

https://i0.wp.com/theamysituation.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/ignorance-and-want.jpg?resize=480%2C640

Tattered, starving, hopeless these two, not the magical Christmas image that many demand for their 'perfect' holiday.  

Preparing Christmas for our children challenged me to find something to meet their needs and a few of their wants.  Always in the back of my mind are the Christmas gifts that simply missed the mark.  Others were deliberate choices of 'You want it, you can't have it.'  As an adult remembering these painful gifts, I would agonize that I didn't become the same.  How I often I was told that like mother like child.  No way.  I wasn't going to do that.  I still messed up and doubled and tripled my self-condemnation.  Now with Grandchildren, I want to give what meets needs and wants and bring delight to little faces.  At times I miss and a child is disappointed.  I fret and worry how to make amends.  No easy task with a wide variety of ages and interests and some I don't know very well. 

Lingering at the back of my mind are the waifs hidden in the robes of Christmas present.  Each year I try to do a little to help but feel like I fall woefully short.  I am Christian.  I do pray for guidance.  The miracle is at times I do get it right much to the chagrin of their parents.  Three year old little boys love flashing lights of police cars with wailing sirens.  I share gifts with strangers or people I barely know.  Yet stumped by those nearest and dearest to me.  Some times money just doesn't fill the need.  A Christmas Carol or sometimes called Scrooge conjures up the nightmares that haunt Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future.  I change my attitude and perspective of my past.  I focus on serving other and hope for the best in the present.  I allow Christmas Future to hang out by itself because I have more than enough on my plate for today. 

Whatever Christmas is to you, I pray that tonight you feel a bit of peace and God's love for you.

Merry Christmas. 


John 3:16 King James Version (KJV)

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Treed

Less than a week before Christmas the tree choice makes Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree look magnificent.  Undaunted I tested every tree.  I touched the needles and the collapsed into my hand.  Not a good choice.  However, in the clearance section there were live Christmas trees, Italian Stone Pines to be exact.  Two of them.  I only needed one.  So I am treed and decorated.  The angel topper I usually use stands centennial over my little tree.  Nice thing about it, doesn't take long to decorate.  DH said the presents wouldn't fit under the tree.  The presents are all in a big box so I put the tree on the box.  Ta Da the presents fit under the tree. 




Reminder to prepare of big events:

http://weareone-ruth.blogspot.com/2017/10/didnt-build-in-rain.html

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tree or not to tree

At this late date, this is my question.  Thanksgiving was totally swallowed up by costumes for a Christmas Pageant.  Finishing up washing the costumes for storage is well on its way to swallowing Christmas too.  What is wrong with this situation besides everything.  I am deciding if I want a tree or not.  I figure at this late date, I may as well has a live tree which dries out very fast in a heated house.  I also deciding if I want to be in our city parade.  Our school is an A+ school and an area bank wants to feature our employees walking in the parade.  I decided against that one.  I'm proud of our school but have zero desire to walk in a parade.  So one decision down one to go.






Saturday, December 16, 2017

Why this? Why now?

I did not intend to take an extended break from blogging to create the costumes for a show last week.  Why did it happen if it was not my intention?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77m8F-GWkuY&feature=em-subs_digest-vrecs


I saved Todd Bauerle's video about 'You MUST know your why' back in October, before costumes consumed my life.  I watched it tonight and gave me time to pause and think, "Why am I doing what I am doing?"

If I didn't intend to let the costumes consume my life for 2 months how did it happen?  What was my why? 

One of the things that I noticed while helping at a high school that too often events happen and we go with the flow without thinking too much about why we are doing it.  Or why we are doing thing this particular way?  I am impressed that the teachers emphasize reflecting on projects after they are done.  DH and I pondered today what did I get out of this all consuming immersion into the world of costumes.  Todd reminded me again to consider my why.....

I started out in the adventure with 5 other women.  I wasn't alone.  Then one by one they dropped out until by Thanksgiving only one lady was helping me at a pace that would not get the costumes done in time for the show, so why did I keep going?  Why didn't I throw up my hands and say "This is too much to do alone." Why this?  Why now?

I know part of the answer lies in what my counselor calls my do-or-die attitude.  He noticed that when I feel like I have to do something I will even if it kills me.  I destroyed my health more than once trying to do impossible tasks.  So part of my why is I said I would deliver costumes by Dec 7 so I delivered by Dec 7.  Do or die.

(Side not:  My counselor recommended that I lose my do-or-die attitude.  I thought about this for a moment.  I replied, "If I didn't have that attitude, I would have died."  He knows my whole history, he pondered about what he knew about me and understood I wasn't exaggerating.  He nodded, "Your right, you would have died."  Then he recommended a dimmer switch to dial it down a bit.)

I did try to lower my expectations, I delegated projects to other people, and planned and worked on the project every day.  But it wasn't enough when most of the others quit.  Another hurdle was a director that behaved as many directors do, demanding impossible then changing their mind and wanting a different impossible.  (That part is still bugging me....I need to cut that lose the show is over now.)  Another part was I prayed about volunteering and I felt the answer to my prayer was to do this.  I am a firm believer that when the Lord asks you to do something, He will open a way for it to happen.  (Example, when Moses took the people of Israel out of bondage, they had the Red Sea on one side and the Egyptian army on the other.  The people walked through the Red Sea on dry land....scientist are still trying to find an explanation for that one.)  I tackled the rest to be done with two thoughts in mind:
1. God makes impossible into I'm possible.
2. I can't fix this.  Truly, I can't fix other people's choices, I can't fix unreasonable expectations, I can't fix what needed to be done. 

Reflection what did I learn from this:

1. The Lord provides in places I least expect.
2. DH has my back.  For three days of Thanksgiving break, I cut and he sewed costumes.  He is awesome.
3. I can put my perfectionism aside and allow other to express their ideas while setting limits.  Yup, I set boundaries and then let people be flexible within those boundaries. 
4.  I can't fix other people's choices but their choices do not need to set me off track of what I feel I need to do. People quit but the costumes were finished anyway.  (A big THANK YOU to my sister who spent countless hours helping me organize all the costumes.) 
5.  Expressing my needs other people stepped out of their comfort zone to help. 

Why did I do it?  I felt that the answer to my prayer was, 'Do it.'  The Lord made sure it happened.  I am relieved that it is almost over.  I mended the last costumes that needed repairs after the show.  I washed the last load of costumes.  Only thing left is waiting for boxes to put these costumes into storage for someone else to do if they ever decide to do it again. 



Friday, December 8, 2017

Final showing

After months of preparation, frustration and a ton of work the 2 performances are upon us.  Then clean up and washing costumes and returning borrowed items and and and and and and .....

I watched the musical tonight Savior of the World put on by our Church tonight, final dress rehearsal. 

Two nights and then it is done.  I'm so ready to be done. 


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Huge project

I knew when I volunteered that this would be a big project but it is some much bigger than I thought it would be.  This post is about my relationship with Heavenly Father...if you are a survivor of religious abuse you may want to skip today's. 

I did pray about volunteering and every time I thought, 'no, I can't do this,' my heart would nag me that with my background in creating costumes for plays I had the skills needed to do this.  I was ambivalent and finally sent my name in for helping out.  They put me in charge of all the costumes.  I imagined a cast of maybe 10 people with many costumes being borrowed.  My reality check bounced big time.  A cast of over 30 people with multiple parts per person to the tune of over 80 costumes.  Easily the biggest show I ever done.  I felt overwhelmed. 

I remembered that Heavenly Father is awesome at doing the impossible.  Day after day I chip away at the project.  Buying fabric, planning, asking others to do so much, going back to planning and buying more fabric.  Good grief.  Borrowed some of the costumes but some of them didn't fit the people chosen for the parts.  Then the seamstresses helping started quitting.  Wow.  I felt backed into a corned.  I kept praying, "What did Heavenly Father want me to learn from this?"  Over the weeks two answers keep hammering in my mind, "I can't fix everything," and "people are more important than the task."  I'm not sure I am doing very well on these. 

In spite of my doubts and fears miracles are happening.  I found 31 yards of white fabric for $3.00 per yard.  The Roman sandals were 50% off the day after Halloween.  Goodwill put all there linens, sheets and curtains for 50% off.  I am watching my closet fill up with more and more costumes.  My DH and pitched in with sewing.  My sister helped put name on costumes.  People keeping stepping up when I am giving up.  Heavenly Father asked me to build an Ark and all the construction materials are all over our living room.  Faith is a scary thing some days.  Miracles are happening....now I have one week to finish.  Wow is this tough.  I'm seeing things come together. Thank you Lord. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Feeling Blue

Breathe.....really you are probably holding your breathe. 

One of the reactions to anxiety is to hold your breathe.  Oxygen deprivation really messes with the body.  Hyperventilation is not much better.  It only takes 10% increase in breathing to hyperventilate.  Some of the symptoms are dizziness, light headed, numbness in hands and feet and a host of other uncomfortable sensations. 
https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/tc/hyperventilation-topic-overview#1

One of the groups I follow on Facebook for CPTSD posted a link to a page called coherent-breathing.

http://www.balancingbrainchemistry.co.uk/peter-smith/43/Coherent-Breathing.html

It looks interesting and I want to try it out.  If anyone else has experience with this would you share your opinion, please? 

I experienced myself times when I relax so completely I can't be roused or moved.  Not good when I am at work. 

I learned early in my healing process that breathing is key to knowing when I am triggered.  Not all triggers are the obvious cause and effect.  Sometimes the quickening of my breathe alerts me that danger is near. 

Breathing in slowly and releasing my breathe slowly takes time and effort.  Practice breathing before I am in crisis ups my chances of remembering to breathe when I am anxious at night.  

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Mixed emotions

Every year this time of year is a confluence of mixed emotions threatening to obliterate me or catapult me into my murky and screwed up past.  Then I remember a project I did in wood for art class. 






Treasured pieces
Forgotten past
Lost in the recesses of a suppressed mind.
The facade cracks – the filth of my past oozes into my consciousness.
In this filthy river are bits and pieces of treasured moments.
Collect them Polish them Store them where they are safe.
Bring them out and remember. 

Life can be good. 
Moments can be precious. 
Savor the good that exists.
I can not change my past. 

I can decide my future 
Do I spread the ooze or 
Create moments to be treasured?
Only I decide.
Written by me (2009)

Halloween to Valentines Day I struggle to sort out the good, the bad and the ugly.  I want to do so much then ugly overwhelms and I want to hibernate until March.  Nothing is peaceful for me this time of year.  I want happiness and joy and peace but it is difficult when memories of stress and sorrow and chaos crowd my mind.  My own mistakes, broken promises and short comings become crystal clear.  Another round of missed birthdays, plans I don't follow through on and this year I really put myself in a pickle by volunteering to help with something that I expected to be much different than it turned out to be.  I'm sad.  I did this to myself.  I feel like sometimes I make my life miserable to replicate the angst of childhood.  To make things feel 'normal.'  I'm thankful to my first counselor that taught me that normal is only true when placed in context.  I found a quote that satisfies my need for a definition, "Normal is a setting on a drier."

Friday, November 17, 2017

Doing it again

I do this over and over and over.  I give myself an impossible task then beat myself up for not achieving it in half the time available.  I am thankful to DH and Judy for supporting me in my insanity.  They are not telling me to stop trying to do the impossible they are each doing something to support me in their own way.  DH makes sure I eat.  Yup, I punish myself by starving myself for not being done with the impossible already.  Judy is helping with keeping me calm and reminding me that I am doing the impossible.  Hugs to both.  I couldn't do this without them. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Come a long way

Hi all....I'm immersed in costumes for a Christmas play.  To take a break I was deleting old emails.  I came across an email I wrote 10 years ago.  I was falling apart because my boss changed her mind and asked me to do something different than I planned.  I emailed to get an appointment because I simply couldn't cope with a change of plans. 

10 years later.  Last week at work my afternoon scheduled switch from networking to one day networking, next day welding, then fashion followed up by Early Childhood Education.  It wasn't comfortable but I did not fall apart.  I took it in stride and continued to work on costumes after work.  I really can fit 30 angels in my trunk.  People are blown away when I explain the logistics of 5 yards of fabric times 30 people....yup 150 yards (137 meters) of fabric.  That is just for the angels. 

It is amazing what I can do now.  Loving this and enjoying the blessings but secretly promising myself that this is a once. 


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Note to helpful people

Message to myself that I am sharing with my readers. 

http://www.elizabethhalford.com/productivity/helpful-people-are-you-manifesting-these-4-unhelpful-things/

This was an awesome article and a reminder to myself that in my desire to be helpful I don't make matters worse. 

1. Creating problems

Ever been around a person that creates drama and problems just so they can be the hero and fix them?  I've experienced with and work hard at not doing this.  Sometimes I fail.  Life is like that.   If there is a bunch of unnecessary drama I do a self check to make sure I'm not the one creating the drama in the first place. 

2. Trouble

I had to read her explanation a couple of times to grasp this one.  If I am getting myself into trouble, am I doing it as a cheap and easy attention getter?  Really?  Who does this?  Children....this is a child's response instead of an adult response.  If I am creating drama and getting into trouble do I actually have unmet needs that I need to self nurture instead of acting out.

I need to separate this from the times that my brain hits glitches from emotional or stress overload.  I also learned that if I am constantly in trouble maybe I need to check on the company I am keeping.  One teacher left, suddenly I wasn't in trouble all the time.  Later found out she was blaming me for her short comings.  Sometimes when I am dogged by drama and trouble I need to check out who I am hanging with and are the healthy or at least working on it?

3. Excessive question asking

This one I have to watch myself.  This is how I manipulate people.  I ask them questions and by their answers I am building a case against them.  I usually already know the answer.  I realize this is another way of saying, "SEE, SEE I am being helpful because I am asking you what you need then I'll do it and be your hero."  Another attention getting scheme.  Work at being straight forward about asking what I actually need and DO MY HOMEWORK.

4. Saying yes to too many things

 I am a people pleaser and often (like all the time) fall into the trap of saying yes too often.


The next part I am quoting because I am still wrapping my mind around this concept.

When we were teaching our nonverbal daughter, Grace, how to use her eyes to communicate, we were using “yes” and “no” icons. The speech therapist caught a big mistake we were making. The yes icon was a green smiley face. The no one was a red sad face. Something she said changed my life “no isn’t always negative. Sometimes no is the perfect affirmative response!” I encourage us those of us who want to be helpful to feel cool with the fact that sometimes, saying no to a thing is the most helpful thing we can do. And guess what? You can say no in a way that feels a lot like yes.

 There you have it....my list of things to check in on myself to make sure I am self-nurturing, not depending on others to build my self-esteem, asking appropriate questions, doing my homework, and embracing the beauty of NO. 





Monday, November 6, 2017

Just Own It

My friend told me I could share her post. 
https://roots2blossom.wordpress.com/2017/11/01/owning-it-a-step-past-acceptance

I love this quote from her Mother-In-Law. She said “Tell them you like pink. Get some other pink things, a pink hat, flower, bow, necklace, color your hair pink. Own it. If they want to look let them look. If they want to ask, let them ask, Who cares what they think. If these glasses help you feel better…that’s all that matters, you are all that matters, not them. Just own it. Be someone who wears pink. why not”

 I love the concept to Own who and what I am.  Not cover me up.  Not hide from the World but truly embrace who I am and Own it.  I believe this is beyond acceptance.  With acceptance, I always sense a wide streak of reluctance that if there were something 'better' I would do it.

To me Owning it is embracing events and who I am as something awesome.  I also believe it is the key to thriving because you stop looking for something else because I OWN it.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Deepening Grief

My first counselor noticed and pointed out that about this time of year I go into a deep depression.  Tears are close to the surface.  Illness dogs me with allergies and other health issues.  Tiredness, nightmares, and insomnia peak out.  Really, aren't the holidays hard enough without adding this layer of deepening grief. 

I finally accepted what I feel is a deepening grief.  I grieve for what I always wished for at this time of year a close knit family that loves doing things together.  I didn't do so well with my family of choice either.  Expectations unmet and impossible to achieve, every year I consciously let them go and every year they creep back in straining the already strained holidays.  I do have some amazing memories.  I do have great expectations for myself and I fail.  I sometimes wonder if I set myself up to fail....almost like I am guaranteed to screw up.  Missed birthday cards, forgotten activities, and retreating from others when it all gets overwhelming. 

My mother introduced me to this poem and I strive not to become this.  It is hard because I love everything about the holidays and want to do everything.  This year I out did myself in adding complexity of costumes for a Christmas Musical, fortunately, I am not the only seamstress but I am in charge...I am eating, dreaming and living costumes.  I haven't done this for a long time.  Letting go of somethings and hanging on to others is an art I yet to master for the holidays. 

See Mother, Funny Funny Mother

See Mother. See Mother laugh. Mother is happy.

Mother is happy about Christmas.
Mother has many plans. Mother has many plans for Christmas.
Mother is organized. Mother smiles all the time.
Funny, funny Mother.

See Mother. See Mother smile. Mother is happy.
The shopping is all done. See the children watch TV.
Watch, children watch.
See the children change their minds.
See them ask for different toys.
Look, look, Mother is not smiling.
Funny, funny Mother.

See Mother. See Mother sew.
Mother will make dresses.
Mother will make robes.
Mother will make shirts.

See Mother put the zipper in wrong.
See Mother sew the dress on the wrong side.
See Mother cut the skirt too short.
See Mother put the material away until January.
Look. Look. See Mother take a tranquilizer.
Funny, funny Mother.

See Mother. See Mother buy raisins and nuts.
See Mother buy candied pineapple and powdered sugar.
See Mother buy flour, and dates, and pecans, and brown sugar, and bananas, and spices, and vanilla.
Look. Look. Mother is mixing everything together.
See the children press out cookies.
See the flour on their elbows.
See the cookies burn. See the cake fall.
See the children pull taffy. See mother pull her hair.
See mother clean the kitchen with the garden hose.
Funny, funny Mother.

See Mother. See Mother wrap presents. See Mother look for the end on the scotch tape roll. See Mother bite her finger nails. See Mother go.
See Mother go to the store 12 times in one hour.
Go Mother go. See Mother go faster. Run Mother run.
See Mother trim the tree.
See Mother have a party.
See Mother make popcorn.
See Mother wash the walls.
See Mother scrub the rug.
See Mother tear up the organized plan.
See Mother forget gift for Uncle Harold.
See Mother get hives.
Go Mother go. See the far away look in Mother's eyes.
Mother has become disorganized. Mother has become disoriented.
Funny, funny Mother.

It is finally Christmas morning. See the happy family.
See Father smile. Father is happy.
Smile Father smile.
Father loves fruit cake.
Father loves Christmas pudding.
Father loves all the new neckties.
Look, look. See the happy children. See the children's toys.
Santa was very good to the children.
The children will remember this Christmas.

See Mother. Mother is slumped in a chair.
Mother is crying uncontrollably.
Mother does not look well.
Mother has ugly dark circles under her blood shot eyes.
Everyone helps mother to her bed.
See Mother sleep quietly under heavy sedation.
See Mother smile.
Funny, funny Mother.
http://marriottschool.net/emp/new/CMAS/CMASPOEM.HTM#mother

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Didn't build in the Rain

Noah didn't build the ark when it started to rain. 

Too often, people, myself included, wait until their life falls apart before preparing.  More often then not preparing ahead is joked about as a Boy Scout thing to do.  Yet, every major company spends huge amount of time, money and workers hours planning ahead. 

It is time to plan ahead to the up coming holidays.  How to handle the parties, pressure, problems and pleasures of the holidays.  I discovered in my journey to healthy that I am an introvert so parties are stressful.  Add PTSD and anxiety, they can be a nightmare.  Choose wisely.  Say "No" when I really don't want to go.  Select smaller events....Have an exit plan if I do choose to go.  I write about planning ahead every year because every year I face the challenges of the HOLIDAYS.

Canada’s Thanksgiving day already happened.  In the United States we are coming up on the Holiday blitz – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years followed by Valentine’s day.  After my third year in counseling, my therapist pointed out how I wiped out each Holiday season.  Well I am consistent in something.  I learned to plan ahead for the Holiday onslaught.

First, I acknowledge that this is a hard time of the year for me.  Triggers on top of triggers slam into me.

Second, it comes around every year…..have you noticed that too? Annual holidays happen every single year – Well one year I took a break from some of the Holidays.  Seriously, I refused all invitations made no decorations, nothing – zip – NADA.  Weirdly, giving myself permission to refuse to have anything to do with the Holiday helped me enjoy it the following year.

http://weareone-ruth.blogspot.com/2016/11/get-your-tool-box.html

It comes every year, like clock work or calendar work. First, Halloween with hauntings and triggers galore.  Followed by Thanksgiving with demands for the perfect meal and a ‘happy family’ without resolving old hurts.  Then infamous/famous Christmas with expectations bigger than the National Christmas tree….do we even get a national tree any more?

Prepare my toolbox of coping skills I’ve learned….in my box I have:

Acceptance that I am not perfect….I don’t need to be.  In fact, I can’t be.  That is OK.

Best laid plans can fall apart.  I will survive plans falling apart.

Someone else can plan things and they can do a wonderful job without me being less because I didn’t do it.

Have an exit plan on hand for different situations.  Practice exit phrases…. “I loved being here but I am leaving now.”   Know where the exit doors are located and start moving towards them before I panic.

Or don’t go in the first place….. “The evening sounds lovely I am sorry I won’t be attending.”  I don’t need to explain that I am sitting in front of my Christmas tree sipping hot chocolate.
Prioritize activities.  Not all activities are #1.

Skip some traditions…. It doesn’t stop being a tradition if I don’t do it one year.

Not having some detail completed is not the end of the World.

NO is a complete sentence.

I do not need to explain my choices unless I choose to.

Breathe…..feeling blue breathe.

MMV (learned this from my sister) Mental Mini Vacations.  Emotionally escape to a deserted island where there is no holiday madness. Picture myself on a beach sipping coconut juice.

Hit the pause button, allow myself to go outside, find a private space to be alone, hang out with just one or two people.

Letting go means I don’t need to fix it or think about it any more.

Some people will flip out during the Holidays and it is not about me.  NOTHING I do will stop their behavior because it is not about me.

Remember that emotional black mail is still black mail.  I am not ‘mean’, ‘cruel’, or ‘going to hell’ if I don’t meet someone else’s expectations.

Crawling into bed and pulling the covers over my head is an acceptable activity as needed.

Call a friend or have a text buddy to check in with during stressful events that I choose to attend.

Change all my ‘can’ts’ and ‘have-tos’ to I choose to do___________________.  I don’t enjoy ___________________but I am choosing to do it anyway because some other need is being met that I may not understand myself.  No one is holding a gun to my head.  It may feel like it but that is probably emotional black mail…refer to emotional black mail above.

Christ is my Savior and as far as historians can figure out He was born in April any way.

Make choices with my happiness in my mind.  I enjoy doing things for others and I am happy doing things for them….that is part of my happiness equation.

I am not responsible for other people’s happiness.  Happiness is an inside job and I have enough on my plate teaching me to be happy during the holidays.

It is OK to be super excited and dread Christmas at the same time.  I call it being bi-North-Polar.

(New)  If I know something about the Holidays is a trigger, change it.  Make new traditions.
People in my life do not have the right to trample on my boundaries just because it is a Holiday and they want everything PERFECT so you must do  _________________.  Refusing to meet their need for perfection is a healthy choice.

Changing my mind about an activity is OK.  Just because I felt like I could do something a week ago when I RSVP’ed, doesn’t mean that event is cut in stone.  I can change my mind and call to let the host know I am not coming. NO explanation is required.

I can add to this list at any time…..anyone want to share their coping techniques?

More links to help with planning for the Holidays.

Preparing to be with Family…..
http://weareone-ruth.blogspot.com/2013/12/preparing-to-be-with-family.html

From Love Our Vets:
http://weareone-ruth.blogspot.com/2013/12/ptsd-crunches-christmas.html

ONLY 114 days until February 15th. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Passing it on

From my sister, "A friend posted this for her daughter. I don't have children, but I need this:"

1. Don’t knock it ’til you try it.

2. Always do more than expected.

3. Travel light through life. Keep only what you need.

4. Put cinnamon in your coffee, and twice as much when you miss me.

5. It’s okay to cry when you’re hurt. It’s also okay to smash things; but, wash your face, clean your mess, and get up off the floor when you’re done. You don’t belong down there.


6. If you’re going to curse, be clever. If you’re going to curse in public, know your audience.


7. Seek out the people and places that resonate with your soul.


8. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.


9. 5-second rule. It’s just dirt. There are worse things in a fast food cheeseburger.


10. Happiness is not a permanent state. Wholeness is. Don’t confuse these.


11. If you’re staying more than one night, unpack your bag.


12. Never walk through an alley.


13. Be less sugar, more spice, and only as nice as you’re able to without compromising yourself.


14. Can’t is a cop-out. Don’t want to is perfectly acceptable.


15. Hold your heroes to a high standard. Be your own hero.


16. If you can’t smile with your eyes, don’t smile. Insincerity is nothing to aspire to.


17. Never lie to yourself.


18. Your body, your rules.


19. If you have an opinion, you better know why.


20. Study your curiosities and practice your passions.


21. Ask for what you want.


22. Wish on stars and dandelions, then get to work.


23. Don’t skimp on good sheets.


24. Fall in love often. Particularly with ideas, art, music, literature, food and far-off places.


25. Fall hard and forever in love with nothing but yourself.


26. Say Please, Thank You, and Pardon Me, whenever the situation warrants it.


27. Reserve I’m sorry for when you truly are.


28. Naps are for grown-ups, too.


29. Question everything except your own intuition.


30. You have enough. You are enough.


31. You are amazing! Don't let anyone ever make you feel you are not. If someone does....walk away. You deserve better.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Stretched too thin

Recently I noticed I am doing less with friends and family.  I am stretched too thin.  Too many 'yeses' and not enough 'nos'.  Can't blame anyone but myself.  I am strained at school because there is a teacher that is out sick for over a month now.  I am trying not to fix things at school but I kind of consider it my job.  I am volunteering for a musical production that I imagined to be much smaller than it is.  I am feeling the strain of health problems, family challenges, and around daily stuff.  Now the air is cooling telling me holiday's are coming.  Halloween is already going to back shelves making way for Christmas.  Whooo wheee.  I am sitting here wondering why I've done it to myself again...buried myself in business.  Loosing track of what is important. 

Thankful to my DH for reminding me to eat simply or simply eat.  Thankful to my sister for chats in the evening when I am feeling over wound and struggling.  Thankful to a loving Heavenly Father trying to teach me, "I can't fix this."  Yea, I was the family fixer.  If there was a problem I was expected to fix it.  Failed a lot.  Then I became a Mom and carried on the tradition dishing out advice and trying to fix things.  The Good Lord is putting me on a interesting path of "you can't fix this."  Not sure how the lesson is going....so far feeling like a failure again because I keep trying to fix things, people, problems, myself.  Sometimes I can't fix things.  My sister reminds me to "Give the battle to God."  Yup.  That is a toughy. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

tips for studies

http://themighty.com/2016/01/5-tips-for-when-your-chronic-illness-gets-in-the-way-of-your-studies/

 I finished the first 9 weeks of school at our high school.  I am encountering the usual resistance from students to ask for help.  My job is to support students that need extra help.  Repeatedly I am told, "I don't want help."  Then I watch the student struggle and fall further and further behind.  I learned a new technique that I am trying to use.  I explain, "My job is to help students, help me to do my job by asking me questions."  Or I'll watch a student working on a project and I'll ask, "Tell me about what you are doing."  I am also walking around the students.  I discovered that they will not get up and ask be for help but if I am standing close by any way their quiet questions are cheerfully answered.  Sometimes I don't know the answer, so I assist the student in asking the right question to the teacher.  I am finding my nitch.  A way for me to help students and improve the learning environment.  The above article are a few tips on how to ask and get help when living with chronic illness.  The same tips work for PTSD.  I few other things that help me study, I wrote notes, I research other articles on the same topic.  If a subject is important to me I'll make a notebook and gather articles and write my responses in the margin.  If it is really important to me, I'll buy books.  I learned that I don't have any problem that someone else had the same problem and wrote a book about it.  When I learned I had multiple personalities I went to the university library and chose 10 books from different eras and times.  I started in 1960's and moved through time.  I picked books that were both negative and positive.  One of the ten books I threw across the room.  (I don't recommend this when borrowing books, they are expensive to replace.)  I was angry because the author basically said the there was no such thing as multiple personalities.  I screamed at my book to live one week in my head.  Of course, the author never heard my opinion but I felt much better expressing that I am real and all of me is important.  My integrated me is just as important as my fragmanted me.  I felt like I worked many times harder learning anything but that didn't stop me from studying and becoming an excellent student.  Over coming difficulties is not a new process, check out how somebody else succeeded then decide if you are willing to pay the price to go forward and be more than anyone dreamed you could be. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Off to see the Wizard

My body and I are not friends.  I struggle with weight, dizzy spells, passing out, cancer in remission, brain tumor that hangs out with me and over all my body doesn't do what I want it to do.  However, today when I walked with two of my grandsons we skipped and sang "We're off to see the Wizard" for two rounds.  I am learning to work with instead of against my bodies idiosyncrasies.  It costs money.  It takes effort.  About the time I think I get things figured out something else goes wrong.  However, I am not giving up on trying to love my body the way it deserves to be loved.  Work in progress and sometimes progress is slow.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The End is Near

Some people just won't believe it.   The end of the nine weeks of school ended.  A student wanted to know if they could turn in an assignment the following week.  Uhhhhh we will be on Fall break and no one will be at school. 

One of the teachers asked if I accepted late work.  I told her that in the fashion class we explain to the students that if a gown is late for a fashion show it won't be accepted late because the show is over.  We get many of our students with the mistaken idea that they have unlimited do overs and turning things in at any time.  Some are shocked when you simply say "No, what you turned in or not is it."

I believe in correcting mistakes and improving performance.  I also accept that sometimes the show is over....the end is near or the bridge is out.

Years ago I heard a joke about two missionaries on the road holding up a sign that read, "The End is Near."  A person driving quickly saw them, flipped them off and sped on around the curve.  Followed by a huge splash.  One missionary turned to the other sighing, "Maybe we should have written Bridge out." 

I'm relieved to be spending a week regenerating before returning to another round of school. 




Wednesday, October 4, 2017

If you know the answers

Is it still a test?


In high school I took a search for identity class.  We read Daphne du Maurier The Scapegoat. 

https://www.amazon.com/Scapegoat-Daphne-du-Maurier/dp/081221725X

I read it in a week then carried on a 9 week discussion with my teacher while the rest of the class that didn't read the book listened in.  She let me skip the final since she knew I read the book.  I had more questions than answers at the end of the class.  I kept trying to learn stuff but felt like I was looking at life through funny/weird/distorted glasses.  Nothing made sense until I entered counseling.  I felt like my life was turned upside down and inside out.  All shook up like a snow globe. 

I continue to explore personality types.  Here are a few of the tests I have tried.....

 http://www.9types.com/rheti/index.php

MBTI
https://psychcentral.com/quizzes/personality/start.php

There are other free personality tests you can try out.  Occasionally you will run across one that charges a fee.  Proceed with caution. 

What is interesting to me is on different days or after certain events I can end up with a different answers.  After counseling my answers are less different and a bit more consistent. 

While I was taking a True Colors https://truecolorsintl.com/ class for school that I took an Introvert/Extrovert test and learned to my surprise that I am fairly high on the scale of Introvert.  Then I watched some Ted Talks, followed an Introvert Facebook group, and studied more to realize that things that I blamed on PTSD were actually signs of being an Introvert. 

TED talk on the Power of Introverts.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KYU2j0TM4

What is your favorite personality test?




Thursday, September 28, 2017

Jerking awake

I found an interesting article shared on Facebook about that feeling of falling and jerking awake. 

https://www.buzzfeed.com/carolinekee/falling-asleep-jk-falling-down-the-stairs?utm_term=.ravdPPzDV1#.yxr577wgeP

Note: The gifs are annoying so I would scroll so they were hidden to read the article. 

Most of the time I stay awake until I am so exhausted that I more pass out than fall asleep.  I am working on going to sleep earlier but that is cutting into my blog writing time.  I need to shuffle things around a bit. 

School is picking up the pace.  Field trips, major projects and inventories keep me hopping and on the go all the time.  I am working at self care of making sure I get my breaks.  However, on field trip days hyper-vigilance kicks into over drive and leaves me exhausted when things go well and totally undone if things don't go well. 



Saturday, September 23, 2017

Soy is in what?

I am working on discovering what I am allergic to that causes my throat to swell shut.  I've been to the hospital multiple times for this over the past 20 years.  None of the other doctors told me it was an allergic reaction.  An allergy test showed nothing so dramatic that it could put me in the hospital.  I picked soy as my first thing to try eliminating and discovered the strictest diet I have ever been on.  They put soy or soy oil or soy lecithin in EVERYTHING.  Well not everything, my son asked me if I found a soy free lettuce.  He is right; I did.

I am three weeks into greatly reducing my soy intake.  Not eliminated yet because they put it in so many things.  It gets really confusing that the same brand will put it in some of their products but not all of them.  Or how about peanut butter that has soy oil added.  REALLY!?!

The diet is paying off.  The swelling in my legs has reduced so much that I can now squat down, which I haven't been able to do for over 5 years.  I am noticing that I can swallow supplements in capsule form.  I was using only chew-able vitamins.  I am not in blossoming health but I am seeing improvements.  I would have never guessed on my own that one food item could cause so many problems. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Taming Triggers

My counselor complained that I was so full of triggers it was like walking through minefield talking to me.  Today I counted 4 separate triggers plus a couple that didn't quite hit high enough to be considered a complete trigger, more of a nudge.  I handled them.  I acknowledged they happened.  I am feeling like life challenging me to keep on coping.  This morning my sister introduced an article she read about self care.  I am trying to decide if I hit this many triggers in one day because I am not being as cautious or I am neglecting caring for myself or the oddest of all since the first one or two didn't wipe me out I was still standing to take on more.  Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad one.

Over, under, around or through it.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

It's working

I spent most of this year bouncing around to different doctors to learn I really do have a thyroid problem.  I chose a 6 month reprieve to wait and see how fast a lump on my thyroid is growing.  Depending on the change of size will determine if I go another 6 months or remove it.  It solved several mysteries.  I now know that I was not doing my Karate ground work wrong, my neck was hurting because of the growth on my thyroid.  The growth caused me to gain weight and messes with my sleep and energy levels.  How rude. 

My other doctor explained that a 20 year long problem is not a high hernia as first believed but an extreme allergy reaction.  His choice was to prescribe a high dollar powerful medication.  I read the information sheet that came with it.  I promised myself years ago not to take a medication that the 'cure' is worse than the disease.  I chose not to take the prescription.  Instead, I went hunting for the thing that I am allergic to that I am eating.  My GP (general practitioner) ran an allergy test.  Nothing remarkable.  Certainly nothing that could cause my esophagus to close down around the food so tight I couldn't eat for 3 days.  So I guessed.  That's right I took a guess as to what the problem was.  I know from past experience looking for a protein snack I could eat in the afternoon I bought 6 different energy bars.  After I threw up the fourth one I noticed that the common ingredient in all of them was soy.  So I am cutting soy out of my diet.  This is the hardest diet I have ever done.  Soy is in almost EVERYTHING prepared and most restaurants.  I'm not perfect yet but after substantially cutting soy, soy lecithin, and all its derivatives I am noticing a big difference in swallowing food.  Today at Karate I was able to squat down resting my bottom on my heels.  This means the swelling in my esophagus has gone down and so is swelling in my legs.  I am stunned that 3 weeks of soy free (mostly) is having such a dramatic effect.  The down side....they put soy lecithin in most chocolate....on the upside the Dollar store has chocolate bars with no soy.  Woohoo.  


So sad - no more creme cakes and the list goes on. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Distracted

I was distracted with health problems.  Today I learned that the problem was probably there for years but I didn't pay attention to what I was feeling.  I am so used to being tired, stressed, and anxiety symptoms for PTSD that I didn't realize that my body was actually hurting and begging for attention.  This is a big problem when PTSD and CPTSD symptoms override the physical health problems that are there too.  I am deeply relieved to find out the problem is less serious than I originally thought it might be.  I will be put in the wait-and-see category.  I am thankful that the doctor I trusted introduced me to a doctor she trusts.  This is an interesting thing I am learning about trust.  Sometimes I will trust the person that trusts the person so it helps me trust them too.  I am thankful to be building a team of friends and professionals that all have my best interest at heart.  Feels good too.  I feel confident that I am making the most informed and best choice I can make at this time.  I know that 6 months from now I will go through a similar process but like all things, the more often you do something the easier it becomes, (usually.)

My fellow blogger

Monday, September 4, 2017

Introvert Hangover

I discovered that not every reaction I have to other people can be blamed on being a survivor.  On my journey of self discovery, I found out that I am an extreme Introvert.  My niece posted a link to an awesome article about the effects of Introvert hangover from over exposure to too much, too many people, too much input, too many of anything.  I need time to process information. 


https://introvertdear.com/news/yes-there-is-such-a-thing-as-an-introvert-hangover/







Thursday, August 31, 2017

The World is Broken

**************Warning - Mini Rant**************


I'm going to get on my soap box and yell to the World that the World is Broken is a LIE...that is right and out and out lie.  The World is not broken, the World is doing exactly what it is supposed to be doing testing us.  Screaming that the World is broken and needs to be smoothed out is like proclaiming that they need to get the obstacles off the obstacle course.  That is right, this spinning globe is an obstacle course, there are supposed to be challenges, things that trip us up and knock us down.  I thought today that too many people want to run a decathlon from their easy chair.  When the hurdles, discus throws and other challenges popup they want to be able to do these tasks from their recliner.  Do I believe we make our own lives harder? Absolutely!!!!! Do people dig traps for one another?  Resounding YES!!!! The World is a challenge and we make it worse every day.  The hardest one is expecting to live from an easy chair.  LIFE does NOT come with an EASY BUTTON. 

I'm done now....thank you for reading this far.  I feel much better.  I can sit back and relax now.  :)





Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I love scriptures

I follow several facebook pages that share scripture thoughts.  I tend to use the King James version.  However, I often read other versions too.  When I was about 10 years old I went with my parents to a gigantic book sale.  The book I came home with was an old battered Bible for ten cents.  I read the New Testament by the time I was 12.  I still struggle with some meanings but I am persistent and learned so much.  Yesterday's posting was from Romans 12:9

Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

What an awesome word dissimulation.... Oxford Dictionary shares this:
concealment of one's thoughts, feelings, or character; pretense: "an attempt at dissimulation" synonyms: pretense, dissembling, deceit, dishonesty, duplicity, 


So right, love without pretense, deceit, duplicity....oh yea.  That is exactly what every survivor needs.  Most abusers use emotions like love with deceit to manipulate and cripple their victim. 

Then I put it back into context. 

Romans 12:9-21
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

What amazing counsel on how to respond to those that mistreat me?  

Other things I learned from scriptures....

In Christ time in Israel, Roman soldiers could demand any person to carry their armor for a mile.  Keep in mind, this stuff was seriously heavy.  Christ suggested that they carry the armor 2 miles.  Matthew 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Here is what I learned, Christ did not say carry it for 10 miles or a life time.  He said do more than expected but then go your way.  How cool is that?  

Abusers want to own you body and soul.  They expect you to meet all their needs forgetting yourself.  They will use a scripture like the 2 mile idea and spread it into a life time of servitude from their victim.  Yup, abusers know the scriptures too will twist and turn them to their own meanings and manipulate others.  So I refer them back to Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation.



Sunday, August 27, 2017

Expressed what I needed

And got so much more. 

*********Trigger warning to those that do not want to read about medical procedures***********

Last Friday was a super high stress day.  I had to go in for a medical procedure.  I struggle with doctors of any kind and needles are at the top of my trigger list.  Combine them and it is one tough day.  First off I went to the wrong office but no big deal I gave myself time to be lost, for a little bit any way.  Then the receptionist said the doctor didn't order the correct test, oh great, now I am starting to panic.  My sister is with me and is a calming influence.  She also reminds me, "Give the battle to God."  I sat down and crocheted while the receptionist called my doctor and sorted out what I needed to have done.  Oh happy day, it was an ultra sound instead of an MRI.  But there were still going to be needles involved.  Did I mention needles are a HUGE trigger?

Onward, the nurse ran the test, verified that the next procedure needed to be done and was about to leave to get the doctor.  I stopped her and explained, "I have PTSD may I raise my hand if I start to feel panicky?"  The nurse assured me I could.

The doctor arrived.  He was upbeat, kind and reassuring.  He explained the procedure then talked through each and every step and what it would feel like.  He was accurate, no surprises.  He was cheerful and asked distracting questions like what happy thing would I do later that day.  He never wavered in his respect and consideration of me.  Woohoo, I didn't panic.  WOW.

Then we were done and he left.  My body started to shake.  I experienced this before but in the past I always tried to stop it.  However, one participant on the Facebook PTSD page shared a link to TRE® which is a way of allowing the body to shake to release tension.  (I wrote about it on my other blog: https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2017/08/27/shake-it/) The nurse watched me shaking then checked in with me that I was ok and I could sit up when ever I felt ready.  The shaking lasted less than a minute.  I felt calmer.  I was given the rest of my instructions and sent home.  It was one of the best medical procedures I ever went through.  Needles are still on my trigger list but I made it through this appointment better than most.  I am thankful for a doctor and nurse willing to meet my needs when I expressed them.  I am counting it as a win.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Brain training

My memory is weird.  I can remember somethings right down to what color the linoleum was on the floor as a child.  I remember the most minute details about computers.  However, I forget my children's name.  I agonize over having to memorize a specific thing.  Sometimes my whole brain just ups and leaves without me.  I decided to look into games that help train my brain.  I don't remember where I came across www.lumosity.com/Memory-Games but I looked at it for over a year before taking the plunge and investing in a membership.  It is fun, mostly.  There is one that is a bird watching game that a bird flashes on the screen and I have to click on it after it disappears.  To make it more challenging I also have to remember the design that is in the middle of the scene.  The flash is so quick I stare at the center and use my peripheral vision to spot the bird.  To add another layer of complexity blobs flash too.  Clicking on a blob instead of a bird is a miss.  I groaned every time this game pops up.

My opinion changed last night.  I was driving home after my karate class and out of the corner of my eye I saw a black flash.  Not a bird but a motorcycle rider in the lane I almost moved into.  Not only was a paying attention to my own lane I saw and identified the black blob in a split second.  I don't think the motorcycle rider realized how close a call happened last night.  I am now very thankful I practiced for months at getting better at a game I didn't like.  I missed him.  That by itself paid for the use of the game.  Never too old to learn new tricks if I am willing to work for it. 




Monday, August 21, 2017

Learn from Baby Elephants



I saved this article a while back.  I've thought about it from time to time. 


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-steven-carr-reuben-phd/what-baby-elephants-can-teach-us-about-human-freedom_b_2452099.html

Rabbi Steven shares how people like baby elephants when trained from a young age can be convinced that slavery is their only choice.  But we are not baby elephants.

True, I spent 10 years in counseling being retaught how to live.  My counselor pointed out how my behavior was similar to Pavalov's dogs responding to a particular trigger.  But I am not a dog or a baby elephant.

I am learning that thinking outside of the box is difficult because the box is still defining what I am thinking.  When I was computer tech I learned that there is no box.  The trouble may be electromagnet interference from a power line in a wall.  Or a mouse chewing through a network wire.  I learned that problem solving has no predefined parameters.   

I am not an elephant, I am not a dog, I am not defined by a box or my past.  The limits exist....I don't deny it.  But sometimes the limit is temporary or placed there as a challenge or an excuse to not do something I didn't want to do anyway. 

I love Walt Disney's quote, "It's kind of fun to do the impossible."



What impossible thing have you considered recently?  What are you going to do about it?




Changing view of Mondays

I used to dread Mondays.  After a busy weekend going back to work seemed like a cruel end of a beautiful thing.  I realized I am dreading 1/7th of my life.  That is a lot to dread. 

What don't I like about it?  Other people make jokes about dreading Mondays so maybe I should too....since when am I deciding what other people think control me. 

I wake up groggy on Monday....big deal I wake up groggy most other mornings too.  Groggy is not exclusive to Monday. 

I go back to work on Monday.....So, I am doing a job I love.  I am happy at work.

I think I am going to change Monday to Fresh start Monday.  Saturday morning PCroissant is my refresh button I can have Monday as my Fresh start time.  Each Monday I have a new week to tackle, life is awesome when I can look forward to Monday.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Mind goes blank

I have these great ideas for all sorts of posts then as soon as I sit down my mind goes blank.  I'm working again with school back in session.  It is interesting that my Lumosity scores went down...by a lot.  I learned that I am most alert mid morning.  I always knew I wasn't an early morning person but I thought I was a bit more alert at night than I actually am.  I am more distracted at night.  Can't sleep but I don't really function either.  Heavy sigh....I'm keep exploring what I do and do not like.  Learning a lot of new things.  I set goals for this year and accomplishing several of them already.  The hardest task is learning the students name.  I almost have one class learned, 3 more to go.  I don't interact with one class so that one will be a bit of a struggle.  I am working at stretching and growing.  I am recognizing that I am experiencing growing pains.  But I will be ok.  I was able to do some trouble shooting for one of the computer problems.  I actually like pitting my skills against the idiocy of computers.  I just don't want to do it every day. 

Found something interesting posted on Facebook.  A friend posted a link to Washington States Let's Cook curriculum.  I can't do some of it because it is too hot to turn on the oven.  But I am enjoying it so far.  If you are an early beginner at cooking you might like it too.  It is actually designed as class curriculum to teach kids how to cook. 

http://www.doh.wa.gov/portals/1/Documents/Pubs/345-NonDOH-LetsCookClassCurriculum.pdf



Resting on palms.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Started laughing

Then I watched the rest.....I was crying by the end....Goalcast on Facebook....I couldn't get the link to land on the right video.  So I went looking and discovered the rest of the speech.....


I laughed because I saw the middle of the video first instructing me to change the World make my bed.  I am glad I found the rest of the story....



https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-mozilla-004&hsimp=yhs-004&hspart=mozilla&p=William+H.+McRaven+-+Change+The+World+video#id=3&vid=9966f4eb5065c32925bc270f079b4c35&action=click


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaQZFhrW0fU

20 minutes and well worth it. 

I noticed it was turned into a book.....need to look for it. 



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. 

http://themindsjournal.com/questions-ask-potential-therapists-treating-complex-trauma-lilly-hope-lucario/

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.