Friday, August 31, 2012

Topsy Turvy

My head is still spinning from my counseling session last night.  I am feeling a bit like Dorthy waking up and finding herself back home in Kansas.  Or just before when she was told that the ruby slippers could take her home at any time.  Giving myself a chance to reorient myself....

If you are interested in reading something good today you could check out my sister's blog at...

Or you can explore a new site of the ACoN Society that is working towards having a place where people that have found out about what a Narcissistic relationship is and trying to wrap their minds around finding themselves in a FOG created by FOO...

The brick walls are not there to keep us out...
The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something
Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough!
~Randy Pausch

Enjoy your day what ever it is your day...I am headed to work. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Being different really OK?

A comment sometimes gets me to explore a situation a little more.
vicariousrising said...
I've been getting increasingly comfortable in my "different" skin, but it's not always been this way. My mother liked to call me "odd" and "unique" (this latter was NOT a compliment), and it made me want to hide in a corner.

I wanted to hide my uniqueness; your comment sounds familiar.  My friend in Canada kindly posted a link to an awesome post on this subject.

Why You Should No Longer Care About Being Normal

The post hit five main points:
3. ACHIEVEMENT – Nothing great was ever achieved by normal people
My perspective on this post

1. Ever learned something new that gives you mental whiplash?  I had to read that first paragraph at least 3 times.  I spent years trying to become 'normal.'  The idea it is insane to be normal has me reassessing where I attempted to go for years.  Maybe it is more like taking blinders off a horse.  Whoa ~ there is a whole different world of possibilities.  

2. Yes, I agree 100% it does take courage to be different.  People made fun of me including my mother for some of my odder behaviors.  At the university I worked at, I found my niche.  I didn't mind being called odd there.  I hadn't realized it before but there my oddity was appreciated because I could make the computers and printers do what they wanted.  Odd was acceptable.  If felt good to be accepted.

3. Surviving day to day leaves little time for achievement.  I studied the Butterfly affect in my philosophy class.  I wrote a paper about how the Butterfly affect altered how scientists viewed every experiment.  The Bell curve of results in the past the scientists excluded the extremes and focused on the 'normal' results.  After the Butterfly affect and the chaos theory smashed the idea that normal was what needed to be studied, scientists noted that the amazing things happened in the extremes.

4. <Insert wry chuckle here> Being a multiple certainly led me into some fascinating adventures.  I need to reassess my thoughts on this.  I will agree that my photography takes me on many adventures.  I am planning another one during my next vacation. 

5. Imagination, photography opened up a whole new world for me.  Growing up as a child I was told more than once that I was an imaginative child.  I guarantee you it wasn't meant as a compliment.  I was being shamed into keeping my thoughts to myself.  Art classes and sewing unleashed a part of me that I always felt ashamed of, now I am embracing this wonderful gift. 

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” ~ Einstein

I painted this in the faculty lunch room. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Attitude adjustment

Attitude is everything...yet many times I need an attitude adjustment.  I learned that there are many ways to adjust my attitude.
Healthy Eating

Today, I will share what I learned long ago, before counseling, attitude mind set.  One of the jobs I had when I started back to work after 15 years being a mom was working one-on-one with a physically, mentally and emotionally handicap child.  Everyday he called me bitch, hit me, and spit on me.  I hated the job.  I was not prepared for what they expected me to do.  No training was given on how to wrestle him down if he ran away.  I could take him to a time out room but I was in charge of him there too.  It was a horrible awful job and I didn't feel like I could leave in the middle of the year.  (I know better now.  I should have walked off the job when they stood by and let me be abused.)  This is when I encountered the book Life's Uncertain Eat Dessert First The book described to me how to use your mind to reset your attitude.  I took the challenge.  I stepped out the door the next morning ready to take on the world.  First thing I see is clouds.  Gray....clouds....a blanket of them.  I was born in Phoenix, AZ,  the devil's summer home, because it is hotter than hell.  180 days no clouds... a sunshine girl.  And here were clouds.  I refused to let a few clouds get me down.  So, I focused on those daggum' ornery clouds.  I first glared at them, then I opened my mind and heart to the clouds.  They magically changed from gray drab clouds to a stunning canvas of grays.  It looked like a giant paint brush swirled across the sky, God painted this especially for me.  It happened in the space of less than a minute.  I am not going to say that the day went wonderfully because that moment with the clouds didn't change the student.  It did change me.  I learned about attitude mind set.  I am not one of those that stand in a circle holding hands believing that everything will work out perfectly if you have a wonderful attitude.  I do believe that within me, and you, is a well that we can dip into and pull out some of the most extraordinary things.  Cleaning out my soul, remembering my past, and unburdening my spirit is tough ugly work.  Sometimes I need a break.  I retreat into that place in my mind where there is a place for me with lovely gardens, cool breezes and a tree to sit in.  I know it is temporary...sometimes I forget it is there...but like the room of requirement it has what I need when I need it most.

"It is a room that a person can only enter when they have real need of it. Sometimes it is there, and sometimes it is not, but when it appears, it is always equipped for the seeker's needs"
Dobby explaining to Harry Potter the abilities of the Room of Requirement[src] 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Charles R. Swindoll said:

“Attitude is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home… We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.” 
 Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.
William James
If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
Maya Angelou
Before integration I had tremendous control over my attitude.  I could flip it like a switch.  I just didn't know that was exactly what I did, switched.  Integration brought on a whole new bunch of challenges and one of them is my attitude.  I feel like there are times when my attitude and my whole perspective of life is just skewed and out of whack.  Other times with a bit of effort, I can bring my unruly emotions under control and alter my attitude.  I know for some people it is hard to fathom not having any emotions to interfere with my attitude.  Dissociation separates my actions from my emotions and without that connection I am able to have any attitude I want.  One of my favorite quotes, (I don't know who to give credit for it) "I got an attitude and I know how to use it."   There are attitudes that need caution signs plastered all over them:
The victim attitude:  Gives me a target on my back that says, 'kick here.'
The dumb attitude:  Playing dumb may get someone to help me in the short term but it sacrifices my integrity to get it. 
Do or Die attitude:  Has me putting in a ton of energy into something that may not be worth it.
I'm right and you're wrong attitude:  Keep my heart and mind open since every person has their story; I can learn from them. 
I can get anything I want attitude:  Taking what I want without thoughts of the consequences can sometimes cost more than planned.  
Yup, there are some dangerous attitudes.  I believe that attitude is something to cultivate and safe guard from my own unruly thoughts and rascally emotions.  My attitude is my responsibility.  I need to take time to consider what is kind, what works in the long run, what builds instead of tears down, these are the things to use to build an attitude for life.  Happy building. 

Constructing attitudes is as important as constructing bridges.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Being different OK?

Quote of the day: “If there's any message to my work, it is ultimately that it's OK to be different, that it's good to be different, that we should question ourselves before we pass judgment on someone who looks different, behaves different, talks different, is a different color.”
― Johnny Depp
The message today is being different is OK. I wish that were true for everyone, everywhere but I know it is not. I spent a lot of my life hiding how I think differently. When I found out that I functioned as a multiple, I was cautioned not to share the information. I found out the hard way that there are situations where being different is definitely not OK, not even close. Sometimes I feel really bugged by this. I believe that functioning as a multiple is what made it possible for me to survive extreme circumstances at a young age.  Choosing to integrate was a belief that I was born whole and I wanted to be of one mind again.   I found situations where I was not accepted for being a multiple and I also found situations where I was criticized for integrating.  Being different is not easy.  I try to be accepting of others but I noticed in my own way I sometimes come across as thinking that I know what is best for someone else.  I don't.  I remember that in one of the jobs I worked, upper management wanted me to become a different type of manager for the student workers.  My theory was we knew what needed to be done and I hired people that would do it.  I did not micromanage or have a bunch of rules.  They sent me to a 'life coach' to change me into a different type of manager.  I just looked at the lady and said, "I have trouble managing myself, how can I possibly tell someone else what to do?"  This was not the right answer.  After I was laid off, one of the people I knew let me know that they wanted to get rid of the difficult employees.  I was different so the best thing to do was to get rid of me.  The comment hurt.  It had enough truth in the statement to hit the mark that says "different is bad....never tell anyone that you are different."  I noticed as young as fifth grade that something was different about me.  By high school, I learned the art of hide who you are so that you can be socially acceptable.  I still struggle with hiding behind masks.  Sometimes I just resort to silently listening.  I worked at one place for 3 weeks before I started to talk very much.  The teacher teased me, "So you can talk."  She was kind so I didn't mind the teasing.  I am different.  Even after integrating, I am still different.  I am learning to share my story and I am learning that sometimes different is OK.  I like the world of people that accept differences as part of the magic and wonder of living.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

in the Word

Ehhhmmm, I don't like to gossip, but I heard the Father telling the Son to tell the Holy Spirit to tell the Angels to protect you today, tonight and always! It’s in the Word.

Ssshhh...Just say AMEN and pass it on!


Look back and thank God.

Look forward and trust God.

Look around and serve God.

Look within and find God!"

God closes doors no man can open and

God opens doors no man can close.

Without God our week would be: Sinday, Mournday, Tearsday, Wasteday, Thirstday, Fightday & Shatterday.
 Sent to me in an email from a friend.  :)

One of the more interesting discussions I had with KavinCoach was the day he asked me about my faith in Christ.  He wasn't surprised when I related to him that it was my faith in Christ that kept me going in my darkest hours.  However, he actually showed a little surprise when I said, "If when Heavenly Father picks me up I am made whole, would He be worried too much if I am broken?"  I learned over the years that God's idea of what is OK and my idea of what was OK did not match.  Job, Joseph sold into Egypt, Noah, Naomi and Ruth all experienced severe hardships yet they were favored by God.  I believe that my faith in Christ didn't keep me from harm, it helped me cope with the harm that happened.  I also believe that my faith in Christ is not a get out of consequences free card.  It teaches me to accept responsibility for my actions and change for the better. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Little things

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.  
~Robert Brault

Taking a little break reading my sister's book.  I recognize bits and pieces that we discussed while walking.  Delightful to take my time reading it.  :)

Check out the cover and a small blurb on Laurel's web page:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Power of Clothes

Teen years are brutal time of trying to find your style.  I chose my style different than anyone elses.   In college, I took a clothing class since I realized by then that dressing to suit my mood didn't always suit my body type.  I was blessed with narrow shoulders making me look like a little kid.  When I was waiting for the bus to go to college, a cop stopped me and wanted to know why I wasn't in school.  Fortunately, the stack of books in my arms convinced him I was on my way.  I wanted to know about clothes so I took a class studying the subject.  After I married, my husband bought me a sewing machine on the faith that I would learn how to use it.  Mostly used it for patches.  Then I made a costume for my sister and I entered a magical world of taking flat pieces of nothing and turning them into something.  I fell in love.  Sewing grew along with my family.  Spending all my time in a fabric store landed me a job making the model garments.  They had me sew all the odd ball stuff that nobody else wanted to do, jeans jacket, dinosaurs and aprons.  Moved back to the city and needed a bit more income.  I wanted to do something that I could do at home.  I connected up with a costume designer.  Sewing for plays is a level of intensity that cause emotional break downs and divorces.  The year I did 9 plays, my family nearly divorced me with good reason.  I quit sewing. But not before I learned the power of clothes.

I happen to agree with Dr. Banks that clothes has more to do with ego than any other item we own.  Dr. Banks assured the audience that the only one that needed a mink was a mink.  Skunk will keep you just as warm.  How many skunk coats have you seen?  Over an over again they say don't judge a person by the way they dress.  However, that is the first thing everybody does.  See a man in a $1000 suit verses a $100 suit and most people could spot the difference in seconds.  When you know the language of clothes, you can watch an entire play or movie just by the clothes they were.  Certain characters dress in a way that you recognize the person by their clothes long before seeing their face.  Eliza Dolittle in My Fairlady attend the racehorses and everyone believed she was some kind of royalty by the clothes she wore and her manners.  Until she screamed at her horse to "move ye'r blooming a**."   Flylady tells her flybabies to dress right down to your shoes because what you wear reflects what you feel.  There I was back again with clothes speaking for me.  I started looking for and finding t-shirts with slogans to express how I felt.  The one KavinCoach liked the least was the day I wore a t-shirt that said, "When I snap you'll be the first to go."  I wore it on a day that I meant it.  Darn it, he knew it and was pleased that I was trying to push back.  My choices in clothes since integration were indeed a direct reaction to the memories and emotions I was feeling.  I wanted to cover myself in a hole in the ground and hide.  I used my clothes to do it for me.  Who would remember a nondescript old lady in frumpy clothes?  I wanted to loose myself.  I knew how to do it.

If you ever feel bored on a weekend.  Dress down in grubby looking clothes and walk into a jewelry shop and ask to look at their most expensive rings.  You will get some fascinating humming and hawing if they talk to you at all.  Then go change into something dressy and put on makeup.  Walk back into the same store and check out the difference in how they treat you.  I studied the fashion world at the safe distance of the library.  I learned why Coco Chanels coats are some of the most beautiful coats in the world.  I learned how models tortured their starving bodies to have 'the look' of the year.  I still remember the BC cartoon with letters to Dear Fat Broad.  (No insult intended it really was what it was called, before pc politically correct.)  The first two frames: "Dear Fat Broad, I hate women, I hated them all my life.  I want to make their lives miserable."  Last frame her answer, "Go to Paris and design women's clothing."  In my college course, I had the opportunity to listen to Edith Head speak at the Art museum.  ( Check her out here, She dressed some of the most beautiful women in Hollywood.  I don't remember anything in particular she said I just came away knowing that clothes are powerful communicators.  NewCounselor just repeated back what I already knew I had said.  Like the doctor telling me I need to loose weight for my hearts sake.  I was surprised how I felt by his candid observation.  Kind of like balking when an editor says you need to alter a section of your precious book.  After all these years, I am still trying to find my style.  I need to love myself first and then my innerself will do the picking when it is time to buy my clothes.  Or I need to break out the old sewing machine and make my own style.   

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fox to Frump

Your worst battle is between what you know and what you feel
May be triggering for some people.
Roots to Blossoms courage to hit publish tilted my courage to write today's post.  The debate ran around like squirrels on a hamster wheel.  NewCounselor mentioned at my last session that I dress like a frump.  Shouldn't have bugged me, but it does.  I remember in high school wearing hot pink velvet hot pants with a silky purple pirate looking shirt to school.  My mother bought it for me.  I was one of those girls that teachers complained about how short the dresses were only to find out that their mother's bought their clothes.  I wanted clothes that were different from everyone else.  Electric blue pants suit. Maxi skirt with stars and planets.  Macrame belt on hip hugger jeans with huge bell bottoms.  I worked hard at having clothes that nobody else had.  Disappointed the day another girl wore the same red velvet dress to school on Valentines.  I was 'branded' wild because of the clothes I wore.  Nobody realized I spent 80% of my time doing homework.  I wore clothes like a fabulous disguise.  But the clothes were all wrong for me and only made me look silly most days.  I once begged my mom to curl my hair for pictures.  She used rags and made my hair into tight ringlets.  She wouldn't brush it out or let me wash my hair to get rid of them.  They lasted a long miserable week of a lot of teasing.  I got hand me downs from a cousin that had a totally different coloring and body shape.  I looked silly.  I wanted to be cute but always seemed to be heading in the wrong direction.  In college I rode my bike 3 miles to school so clothes had to be what I could ride my bike in.  However, dances were no holds barred.  Short, long, silky, slinky, what ever mood I was at the moment came out in my clothes and my dancing.  Yes, I got a lot of attention with both.  Unfortunately, a lot of negative attention.

After marriage, I still wore the same clothes for the next 10 years.  After 6 kids, I thought I should update my wardrobe and tone down my clothes a bit.  I still liked wearing bright colors but they were more stylish and conservative.  Then I became sick.  Really sick.  My last two pregnancy the big event of the day was to get up.  Changing out of a robe was done only on the days I had to leave the house.  I loss all interest in my clothes.  Plus about this time, I started noticing that someone kept putting weird clothes in my closet and shoving mine to the back.  (I didn't know until much later that each of my separate personalities each had their own wardrobe.)

I headed back to work my clothes devolved to serviceable and cheap with an emphasis on the cheap.  I also worked as a computer tech.  If you only see the techies come in to fix office computers then you may not know that many jobs having to do with computers shoved under desk and into closets with wiring going every which way, I wore clothes that could go there without exposing too much of myself.  One of the assistant principals insisted that I wear clothes that looked more professional...she meant a dress.  The day I worked on her computer she found me laying on the floor with my arm up behind her desk fiddling with the wires that connected her to the network (BW, before wireless.)  She stared at me on the floor and out of no where proclaimed, "Dresses wouldn't be appropriate for you."  I was truly proud of myself for not busting up laughing on the spot.  Another computer job at the art school and I indulged in funky off the wall T-shirts.  My wardrobe was still devolving.  I used the excuse to wear overly large men t-shirts and blue jeans.  When another department took over my job they insisted that I wore button down shirts.  Women's shirts are two short when I was in my 40's and still needing to bend, twist and stretch like a contortionist.  I wore men's Hawaiian shirts, buttoned down and covered even at the weirdest angles.   I had clothes devolved further hiding a huge scar and a feeling of somehow I was less.  I mostly shook off the feeling but kept necklines as high as possible to cover my nothingness.  I started counseling and the bottom fell out of my world.  I learned things about myself that I am in awe that I forgot in the first place.  With remembering came being able to feel.  I became a washed with emotions.  When it came to clothes, one of the emotions that stomped all over me was shame.  Intense, horrible, oil spill of shame and embarrassment for my younger self.  The realization that my mother dressed me in a way that spoke of a sexuality well beyond my years, like she was pimping a hooker, shorter, more revealing, more body hugging the better was her opinion.  I realized that she was trying to auction me off to the first person that would wed me.  I felt shame for all the times I chose clothes that looked sexy when I should have been too young to know what it was.  I wanted to attract male attention and I did for all the wrong reasons.  I felt so much shame for what I did and was done to me.  The pedophile told me repeatedly that my clothes gave him easy access so I must want what he was doing to me.  Shame.  My clothes devolved further.

Integration proved to be hard in some ways and the main way was the realization that all those weird clothes in my closet were all mine.  The shame I felt intensified.  I used clothes to hide behind.  I gained a lot of weight over the years.  I felt ashamed of what I became.  I was a frump.  Hiding in ill fitting clothes that totally camouflaged and hopefully made me invisible.  I was devastated when some one asked me why I wasn't in Hawaii with my boss.  I told them because he went with his wife.  My clothes devolved further trying to prove I wasn't chasing my boss.  I didn't want to be attractive.  I didn't want people to notice me.  I wanted to disappear, the easiest way to do that is to dress like a frump.  Who notices a frump?        

PS  Please be kind to my counselor.  Right now we are working on my view of my sexuality and how it effects my everyday life.  He didn't tell me anything I didn't already know and was totally acceptable in the context of the conversation.  I was surprised that I felt upset by it.  I encountered the same reaction with KavinCoach about 5 years ago.  I thought I already worked through why I dress the way I do.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Feminine Wiles

Definition found by Google
they are the womans capability to come up with cunning strategems to manipulate men... thats what feminine wiles are 'normaal' wiles are just ...

I am probably about to tromp on some toes.  Not intended.  I am writing from the negative side of watching my mother manipulate the entire family while she said, "Anything you want dear."  My mother actually taught me how to manipulate situations to get what I want. She showed me how to cover my face so people couldn't see that I wasn't actually upset.  She talked about slumping your shoulders down and shuffling your walk, the whole nine yards.  Passive aggressive much. I also heard the phrase, "My husband may be the head of the family but I am the neck that turns the head." My mother fluttered her hands and said, "I would never do that."  Except that was exactly what she did do.  Fury would bubble inside of me when I watched her sobbing in her hands, then totally dry eyed check to see if my Dad was buying it.  Worked almost every time.  I wasn't sure who pissed me off most my mother with her emotional manipulation, my father for falling for it or myself for not saying anything.  Her emotionality was used like a cat-o-nine tails.  Took several years of talking in counseling just about my mother to start pulling apart the enmeshed narcissistic relationship I had with her.  I, however, was not allowed to have any emotions.  If I was angry I was sinful, if I was happy she would tell me something to bring me down, whatever emotion I showed she manipulated me to control it.  One of the many times I used the words, "I had to.....blah, blah, blah."  KavinCoach asked me if anyone was holding a gun to my head.  There you have it,  feminine wiles were used like a gun to my head.  In my attempt to not be like my mother, I consciously shut down my emotions.  I was successful.  I was accused of being less than a woman more than once.  One of the more stunning times some one told me I didn't have a testimony of Christ because I didn't cry when I talked about Him.  Since when were tears a requirement for faith in Christ?  I remember a young lady student in the computer lab working on a project showing different aspects of women.  She portrayed them sly, cunning, manipulative, nothing positive, at her critique I asked her if she felt women had any positive attributes.  Her professor liked the edginess of her work.  The lady professor glared at me and probably wished she could have ordered me out of the room.  The young lady reviewed her pictures.  The next time I saw her project was her show where she filled the small gallery with images of herself portraying a wide array of attributes of women, positive and negative.  She talked about how uncomfortable she felt making some of the portraits that showed women in a negative light.  In my way of thinking, feminine wiles were a bag of emotionally charged tricks frosted with sexuality to manipulate men to do what they want without consideration of what the man feels about anything.  The lady wants what she wants and by damn come hell or high water she is going to get it.  KavinCoach attempted to teach me that feminine wiles did not need to be used negatively.  Those discussions were an epic fail when I asked quite bluntly why it was needed at all.  What was wrong with just asking for what you want and if the answer is no find another way to meet your needs.  I think during those discussions were the closest I saw KavinCoach to frustrated.  Eventually, he became amused at how clueless I was about feminine wiles.  It was like my mind shut down at the whole concept.  A huge, barbed wired top wall rose up in my mind and cut out my ability to discuss the subject at all.  Nearly blacked out once.  I think he mentally threw up his arms and just worked at getting me to stay in touch with my emotions. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Motherhood...toughest hood around

Katherine Mansfield  Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.

I was 19 years old when I turned my world upside down and inside out. I married and about a year later gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. My world tilted and never was the same again.  I was thunderstruck by the jump off the cliff type feeling.  Once done, it can not be undone.  Due to problems with his lungs he was immediately whisked away to get him breathing properly.  The nurse finally came and said you can get up now...where do you want to go?  First stop, looking at his gorgeous little face.  I was in awe.  All those months of misery, throwing up, and labor (seems easy now that I have been with my daughters) culminated into this tiny being that my husband and I were responsible for.  Panic hit like a wave,"Dear God, I can't send him back, what if I mess up?"  (With added experience, I could guarantee my younger self, you are going to mess up.)  Is he ok?  Will I know what to do? (Often I didn't.) The next big shock came the next day.  The nurse asked us what we were going to take the baby home in.  Why the shock you ask?  Some how in my mind, I didn't envision actually taking the baby home. 

I write often about being raised in a fear based life.  My mother used fear to keep me from premarital sex.  She had worked in a children's hospital and told me of the deformed babies and birth defects of babies born of teenage mothers.  (She left out the part the early teenager years or those on drugs or any other qualifier.)  I refused to have a baby shower.  I didn't buy a single diaper.  My father-in-law bought a crib and dresser but nothing was in it and I wouldn't go in the room where it was set up.  (Does anyone besides me see that there were some serious glitches in my thinking?)  I risked everything to gamble on this hood called Motherhood.  It changed my life forever.  I believe the change was for the better.  I was blessed to add 5 more children to the first.  Funny thing is I don't talk to other people about my kids very much.  They are precious to me.  I want to protect them.  I want more than anything to be the best mom in the world.  I often failed in my own eyes.  However, I sit here with tears in my eyes thinking about the different times my children have expressed their love for me.  I messed up.  I am thankful for their forgiveness.  I am still in awe of all 6 of the most wonderful adults I have ever met.  I am delighted with the 6 wonderful partners they have brought to our family.  I am thrilled by the pitter patter of little grandchildren feet.  I even love the messes.  The hood is tough because Motherhood makes you face the toughest truth, yourself. 

Counting toes

Let me help you take the picture grandma.

Such a cute little ear.

Where's the car?

Daddy, Grandma takes a lot of pictures.

Day before Birthday

Dimples used shamelessly to get out of trouble.


Can't I chase them like the pigeons?
Adding to our family on their wedding day.

Monday, August 20, 2012

What it really means to be feminine?

Comments enrich this process of sharing my challenges and struggles.  Toto's comment generated today's title.  What does it really mean to be feminine? 

I remembered talking to KavinCoach years ago on this subject.  I remember considering what it meant in high school during the height of ERA (Equal Rights Amendment).  I read books on the subject.  I struggle still.  KavinCoach pointed out that my distress over the subject was multifaceted since my femininity was attacked from every angle from as early as I can remember.  In preparing to write today's post I reviewed some of the many emails I wrote to KavinCoach on this subject.  Today I read an article that challenged my thinking one of the comparisons was, "are you feminine or strong and independent?"  Why are these considered polar opposites? I am going to be writing more to myself and just putting it here to let you listen in.  I know that not everyone will agree with me.  I know from talking to both my counselors that my perception is different.  I remember KavinCoach asking me to find a statue of what I thought was an ideal woman.  I found an angel, it was close to Christmas, in a homely corduroy dress with the softest look on the face that held so much kindness.  KavinCoach was so surprised.  Where were the beautiful clothes?  Where was the makeup?  Why did I see this as feminine and beautiful? He was shocked by my vehement answer that clothes did not make the woman.  In my teen years every Christmas present was clothes to make me look beautiful.  The clothes were beautiful but I quickly understood that it didn't turn me into a lady.  This story had profound impact on my opinion:

Once, a powerful king agreed to help a small, lost boy find his mother.
Since the boy described his mother as the most beautiful woman in the world, the king commanded all the beautiful women in the kingdom to come to the castle.
From miles around, they came -- women with complexions of porcelain and hair of spun gold, with cheeks the color of apricots and eyes as dark as the raven's. But none of them was the boy's mother.

When the last of the women had paraded before them, and the king and the boy had begun to despair, they heard a timid knock on the door. "Come in," the king said wearily. In shuffled an old washer woman, her gray hair tied up in a kerchief, her hands rough and red, her dress coarse and patched.

"Mother!" the boy cried when he saw her, and he leapt from his chair and raced into the woman's arms. The king stared in amazement.  

At age 16, I decided to never marry and never have children.  (I did change my mind in college.) I hated babysitting and almost anything considered feminine by my mother. I hated emotional crying. I disliked knitting, crocheting and sewing. I felt like my childhood of romping with my brothers was much better than being crammed into these creepy ideas about what was feminine.  I decided to redefine feminine for me.  I was in college working on my engineering degree.  I disliked the girls that spouted off that they could be in engineering if they wanted.  I felt if you can do the work, take the classes.  If you can't do the work, get out and let someone in that can.  (They limited how many people could be in the engineering program.)  I learned painfully that because I was good at engineering that other women considered me less of a woman.  Years of my own exploration to counteract put downs I experienced are summed up in this paragraph.  It is a work in progress, not complete or all encompassing, plus I believe a feminine woman is always in the process of evolving to be her best self. 

A feminine woman knows she is a daughter of God.  Appreciates the incredible gift and ability to be pregnant and nurse children.  Embraces her ability to listen with her heart.  Able to be independent and strong but willing to cooperate and be soft.  She is gracious, knowledgeable, caring, truthful, wise, and curious.  She does not manipulate, emotionally blackmail, or use her sexuality as a weapon or to control others.  Allows others to shine without feeling less herself.  She finds beauty where ever she goes and in each person she meets.  People leave her presence feeling enriched and comforted.  She feels awkward on a pedestal and much prefers cuddling a child or an animal.  Her style can vary, there are no set rules, her interest are many, and she fills her life with all that is uplifting to her.  She has a backbone and will stand courageously to protect children and others that are unable to defend themselves.  She does not need to be perfect in everything for she accepts herself and others.  She appreciates the beautiful differences between men and women without feeling a need to emulate men.  Women are simply one of God's greatest creations.   

Very idealistic, I know.  I am still working on the definition but this is a start for me.    


Sunday, August 19, 2012

I am Female

"You must take personal responsibility.
You cannot change the circumstances,
the seasons, or the wind, but
you can change yourself"
- Jim Rohn

Click Here For Success Tip # 021

I am female.  I may change how I dress, my hair, or any other outer part of me and I remain female.  Gender is part of who I am.  I was raised with two older brothers and treated like a boy, too.  My hair was cut in a pixie, I wore their hand me downs but I couldn't take my shirt off in the summer time.  I felt this was most unfair at the ripe age of 7.  I could dig a hole, play army but was banned from taking wood shop.  I could cheer on my brothers from the sidelines at track but couldn't run in the races.  When I graduated from high school, I entered engineering program at the community college and learned once again that women were discouraged from taking these predominantly male classes.  There were 5 girls in a class of 30.  I married, moved around with my husband's jobs, and loved being a mom.  Then I returned to college and was stunned to find out that the new ratio in engineering classes was 3 girls in a class of 30.  I became a computer tech and was puzzled over and over at the shock people showed on their face that I was a computer tech.  I think my favorite run in with this prejudice was working at a junior high school.  The first week of school one of the teachers called me to come to the classroom to see what was wrong with her computer.  When I entered the room, the teacher politely introduced me as the computer tech that would fix the computer.  A piping voice at the back of the room announced to everyone, "But you're a girl."  I looked down at myself and agreed that I was.  I was so thankful that the problem was minor and I did fix the computer.  I studied about being a woman.  Read several books on the subject.  I knew that being female was wonderful.  I was in counseling before I found out about the horrible feelings I had about women and myself.  I realized that being raised that women were less than second class citizens it would be difficult not to have negative feelings about my own gender if for no other reason it was my mother that repeatedly taught me that boys were more important than girls.  My father reinforces this by only asking about the males in the family.  We came to visit, my mother walked around me to hug my son and my husband.  I really thought I had put things in perspective.  That was why creating the wall for Innercleavage became the main part of my photography show.  Woman are amazing.


In college, I took two wood working classes. I love working with wood.

My own little chair, sturdy enough for me to sit in it and short enough for our grandchildren to sit in it.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Cleavage a word that caused me distress just by being.

The sense of "cleft between a woman's breasts in low-cut clothing" is first recorded in 1946, when it was defined in a "Time" magazine article as the "Johnston Office trade term for the shadowed depression dividing an actress' bosom into two distinct sections."
Cleft between a woman's breasts became a symbol of women, a body without brain or soul.  If you read my blog for awhile, you know that this is a major trigger for me. 

The dictionary meaning describes a word that seems to divide and opinions are divided. 



1. the act of cleaving  or splitting.
2. the state of being cleft.
3. the area between a woman's breasts, especially when revealed by a low-cut neckline.
4. a critical division in opinion, beliefs, interests, etc., as leading to opposition between two groups: a growing cleavage between the Conservative and Liberal wings of the party.
5. the tendency of crystals, certain minerals, rocks, etc., to break in preferred directions so as to yield more or less smooth surfaces (cleavage planes).

I was watching Apprentice and there on national TV was the admonition to the female contestants to use their bodies to make the sells and get ahead with their business ventures.  The recommendation, "Show some cleavage."  I avoid that show.  Teenager in the 70's I was in the middle of women's rights.  However, studying how the law was written I finally felt that the law must have been written by a misogamist.  It impoverished women without truly making there opportunities equal.  I also learned during that time that you can not legislate attitude, only behaviors.  I didn't have any cleavage even before cancer.  Just wasn't much there, sufficient for nursing 6 babies that came to our lives but none for show.  I am aging now.  My body is bulging and sagging where it never did before.  I use clothes to conceal missing body parts and shrimpiness.

Opinions are divided as to how women want or need to be viewed today.  More and more girls and women are encouraged to see themselves without limits.  However, more and more women are judged by how sexy they are rather than any intelligence or compassion.  I spent 10 years as a woman computer tech and encountered prejudices over and over.  What I didn't suspect was my own prejudice.   Experiences in my formative years left a seething bitterness that I didn't suspect was there.

KavinCoach first helped me to see how deep down I had very negative feelings.  I buried them deep and denied their existence.  He was my counselor and knew that any emotional garbage left hidden would continue to fester and destroy all chance of becoming healthy.  Pealing back my memories to reveal the maggot infested distortions in thinking....agonizing.  Although I said out loud that woman were amazing and God's greatest creation, I had this pocket of puss buried under layers of lies.  During the process of acknowledging and recount how I felt I came face to face with one of my own demons, my own femininity.  The project of 19 women became a turning point for me.  I took a hard look through my camera lens to see all these different and astounding women.  

CZBZ commented on my post on women and shared that her perspective is quite different.  It is.  Her experience was vastly different than mine.

 I am now come full circle.  I believe women are God's greatest creation and I am thankful to be one of them.

Friday, August 17, 2012


I thought it appropriate in light of my recent posts to include this email...

12 Things PMS Stands For

1. Pass My Shotgun
2. Psychotic Mood Shift
3. Perpetual Munching Spree
4. Puffy Mid-Section
5. People Make me Sick
6 Provide Me Sweets
7. Pardon My Sobbing
8. Pimples May Surface
9. Pass My Sweatpants
10. Plainly; Men Suck
11. Pack My Stuff
and my favourite one:
12. Potential Murder Suspect

Forward this information to all the women you know for a good laugh ...... and men who need a warning.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Inner Cleavage to me

May the love hidden deep inside your heart find the love waiting in your dreams.  May the laughter that you find in your tomorrow wipe away the pain you find in your yesterdays. 
I don’t know who said this, but I love thinking about the love I hold deep inside my heart, because it is a love for life and the laughter that I know will come tomorrow absolutely helps me wipe away the pain and tears of the past.  NOW is the time to love and laugh.  Pam
Please visit our websites at,, or

Inner cleavage concept came from the articles from yesterday's blog. It was a new idea for me in 2005. I had to wrestle around with it in my mind. Caliban's Sister pointed out that cleavage means split. Coming from a history of working very hard not to be split I pondered this. The cleavage in this article referred to the physical attribute of the actress with breast being her main selling feature. More like what vicariousraising referred to in her comment, her physical cleavage, the slit between her breast. The article shares the terror of the actress where she felt her body was who she was.  Her body got her jobs.  Her breast and outer cleavage predominantly advanced her career.  She questioned in her mind; without the outer cleavage, who was she?  She decided that she had inner cleavage the part of her essence that did not rely on her physical body to have worth. I struggled with the concept.  As a child, the pedophile treated me as a body without heart, mind or soul.  I was an object used to satisfy his deviance.  I shuddered at the word cleavage.  One of the things stumbled upon by KavinCoach was my hatred of women, myself included.  Cleavage in my mind meant women in the most negative concept, grasping, manipulative, lying, vicious... you get the idea of my dislike of women.  (I always considered it odd that men abused me but I hated women.  I finally concluded that women in my childhood abandoned me to the men.  Instead of pulling me to safety they shoved me into harms way.  Took a lot of work with KavinCoach to come to peace with that issue.)  Then I met my night nurse.  She could have just done her job and made sure I was physically safe.  She did so much more than that.  She comforted me with a kindness that melted walls of indifference.  After her, I looked at other women in my life, I discovered that I really did like a lot of women and they each had their own unique quality about them.  I actually admired many women I knew, especially my daughters, daughter-in-laws, and sister.  Amazing women that I worked with that until I really looked at my own prejudice I kept at a distance.  The woman that made the afghan had a rocking chair in her office that she would let me come and rock for a bit.  She cared what happened to me.  She cared about the students she worked with.  The article challenged a deep seated prejudice and made me really look at how I viewed myself and other women.  Breast cancer took one of my boobs but I came through a more open and compassionate person.  I learned to lay aside my prejudice, I opened the way to learn to love myself and women around me.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Inner Cleavage

Inner Cleavage broke the news around the time I produced my photography show, Baseline.  The professors I worked with encouraged me to submit a proposal 3 years after I had cancer to show the work I had done to emotionally deal with surviving breast cancer.  Interesting thing about proposing the work a year before is not all the pieces are finished.  When I saw the gallery I had a huge wall to put pictures on.  The other walls were more broken up.  By adding a wall section it was broken up into smaller spaces.  However, there was one long wall and I had no idea what was going on that wall.  I had a year but I knew I would be working hard all year to complete the show.  I kicked around several ideas with my professor.  I don't remember how I came across the term inner cleavage in connection with cancer but I wanted to know more.  I searched and found the article below.  2005
This is an update of the first article.!&id=211111
I kept wrestling with this concept over and over again.  Defining it in my mind to see how to portray it visually.  About the time I came across this information, I landed in the hospital with a different health problem.  I didn't sleep well so had many hours in the middle of the night with all the lights dimmed.  I learned when I had cancer that I could use drawing to calm myself down.  It was magical.  Like a sedative but I didn't sleep. The night nurse was awesome.  She talked to me, admired my drawings, and general help keep my spirits up.  To me, she epitomized the very essence of inner cleavage.  Her body was a tool to bring comfort to others.  Her purpose was to make sure every person had a good night.  She watched over me in a way that was totally unfamiliar to me.  I think God knew I needed to meet her and arranged an minor inconvenience for me to arrange the meeting.  I persuaded her to let me take her picture.  She was my first step into understanding the inner cleavage, the inner beauty of a woman.  She radiated goodness, kindness, comfort...her inner beauty shown through loud and clear.  I caught a vision....20 frames down that huge long wall.  I talked 19 women into sharing my vision of inner cleavage.  Four of them were my daughters and daughter-in-law.  I admire them so much.  I included my sister and her dog, a bond that I believe will stretch into eternity.  I chose different women that portrayed different attributes.  I signed a promise to only use the pictures for this show.  I labeled them with an attribute...kindness, indulgent grandma, spunky... each woman unique yet sharing a commonality, we all had breast, cleavage, boobs.  The twentieth frame was blank, the label listed the number of woman that died of breast cancer the year before.  Some fool, joked that was the easiest picture.  No, it was the hardest, I cried and cried when I read how many woman died of a disease that caught early enough is survivable.  A disease that rocked my world and brought me face to face with my own mortality.  It was a pivot point that altered my life's path in ways that I am still trying to comprehend.  Last night the woman that gave me the pink afghan was one of the woman on that wall.  She crocheted the afghan in shades of pink representing the fight against breast cancer and the courage to survive. 


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Warm and cuddly

Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth.  To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.  Meaning does not lie in things.  Meaning lies in us. ~ Marianne Williamson

Tonight I received a beautiful gift from a friend I hadn't seen in several years.  We worked together at the same university over 7 years ago.  Neither one of us work there any more.  When we worked together, I enjoyed going to her office where she had a rocking chair that she would let me rock while trying to solve a computer problem.  Then I would head back to work after a few minutes in her homey office.  One of the sad side effects of depression is many people, me included, tend to pull away from their friends.  Sometimes just too tired to call back or get together....time passes....guilt builds up....then life just seems to go hurrying on.  Fortunately, my friend is very persistent and emailed me yet again.  I had missed seeing her other email while I was out of town.  She didn't give up on me.  She called and invited me over.  When I arrived she presented me with the most beautiful crocheted afghan.  I felt like my heart was wrapped in its warmth.  I am looking forward to visiting with her again and not wait so long to do it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sharing opinions

Posted by my friend on Facebook.  I have cool friends.
These two quotes seem to belong together!
"Our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become." ~ Barbara Geraci
"The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand." ~ Irene C. Kassorla
I was trained at a young age to be obedient.  Dinner conversations revolved around my older brothers and my opinion was usually shot down.  That was my background.  My circumstances have changed but I kept playing the silent listener roll.  I lost my voice for a long time.  Now, I am finding my voice through this blog.  One of the necessities to integration was growing a shared backbone. (Only 2 of the parts had a backbone.  I needed one for all of me.)  KavinCoach knew that I needed to be able to stand up for my opinion in order to thrive.  Unfortunately, this activity normally happens at a much younger age.  I discovered that sometimes in sessions he would set up opportunities for us to discuss ideas in a safe environment where I could disagree without being shouted down, ridiculed, or hurt.  I didn't always realize what he was doing.  Sometimes I just thought it was a lively discussion and wouldn't be until later that I understood that he gave me a safe opportunity to share my ideas.  I miss those conversations now that he moved away.

I read on a few other blogs conversations that would become lively, ideas shared and everyone could have their opinion.  I loved reading the post and all the comments that went with them.  However, I read other blogs where comments were bullying, name slinging and sometimes painful to read.  So I am going to try an experiment.  There are certain self-help authors that throw out some opinions that just have me bristling.  I decided that for a few posts I am going to share their view then respond to what I think and what my experience has taught me.  I would like to invite readers to express their opinions in comments.  Agreeing with me is not needed, however I do ask that people be respectful of each other.  (So far, a troll has never left a comment and I hope it stays this way.) I learned in the discussions with KavinCoach that disagreeing I sometimes gained a different perspective of my own opinion.  One of the awesome things I learned in counseling that many of the 'Facts' I was taught as a child were really just opinion wrapped in authority.  I am looking forward to sharing my opinion and reading yours.

First the quote:

In this moment you have it all, right NOW and right here, there is nothing lacking. Take time to be quiet at least 5 minutes per day and in time you will discover that you do have access to HAPPINESS, PEACE, ABUNDANCE and all that is good at all times.
You have everything you need for complete peace and total happiness right now. ~ Wayne Dyer 

I believed this for along time.  Until my world started falling apart before counseling.  I read many self help books and I kept trying harder and harder to make sense of my world.  I searched within myself since I believed that the first resource is myself.  I entered marriage counseling with the idea that if I just learned to communicate then all would be well.  I did not have a clue what I was getting myself into.  The thing I discovered was lacking in my life was connection to my own emotions.  Until my counselor pointed out the disconnect I didn't know it was there. Would a woman in a third world country that never used a phone, miss having a cell phone?  Of course not, she wouldn't need one.  I needed my emotions, though my experience taught me to disconnect at an extremely young age.  I could have meditated 500 minutes a day and I still would not have seen the disconnect.  I needed someone outside of me to help me see what was missing.  If I had all that I needed, I certainly didn't know how to use it.  If I gave the woman in that third world country a cell phone, she just might use it as a door stop.  Having something doesn't mean you know how to use what you have.  He also left out the little piece of information that there are some people, not everyone, but some that have physical problems that cause imbalances in their brain.  I've done research and learned a few things that taught me that the human body is a fabulous chemical factory.  Imbalances can cause things to happen inside a person that make happiness and peace as great a challenge as a quadriplegic climbing stairs.   To me this type of sweeping statement, implies if you don't have happiness, peace and abundance then you just aren't trying hard enough after all it only takes 5 minutes a day.  One last aspect of this statement what does he mean by abundance?  If he means that a person will have all he wants, there are people that want so much that the world cannot match their desire. (Example, Napoleon.)  If he means that a person has enough to meet his needs, who decides what that is?  Using vague terms to make promises that can't be fulfilled is a twist of truth that has me wanting to tell him to stop lying to me.  I understand that he believes what he is saying but I would write this a bit differently. 

Within you, there is a mind and heart that if you would take 5 minutes a day to really listen to your inner voice that will help lead you to happiness, peace and more than you thought possible.  However, sometimes you need to ask someone outside yourself to help you recognize your own roadblocks. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

People pleasing is fear based

Received an email early this week that set in motion my posts about people pleasing.

I had another couple of thoughts on your post about the ten commandments of dysfunctional families. I was just thinking about the analogy with totalitarian regimes and how their rule is based on fear. I remembered you posting something once about a fear-based life so perhaps there's another connection there. Another point you made also made me think of the Pharisees at the time of Jesus and how they're were also obsessed with looking perfect and whiter-than-white but Jesus called them whitewashed graves because they had so many skeletons in their closets.  From K

To bring readers up to speed. 
Ten commandments of dysfunctional families:
Fear based life:

People pleasing is fear based.
Service is love based.

I wrote the post about people pleasing to prepare for this post.  A fear based life means every choice is based on 'what if something bad happens...' If I didn't do what I was asked then... they won't love me any more, I will be left alone, I will be selfish, I am ungrateful, I will make my mother sick, I will be disobedient, and disobedience leads to death and endless damnation.  Not small stuff for a kid.

This evening as part of the Olympics a brief history of the raise of Nazi Germany and their assault on England was shown.  Years ago I studied Hitlers treatise on the Big Lie.  His own writing on propaganda and the lies needed to turn a nation into his own personal war machine.  One of the books KavinCoach had me read was "Man's Search for Meaning" a book written by Viktor Frankl, a survivor of the Holocaust.  KavinCoach used this book as the final book in a series of increasing levels of abuse to see if I would react.  This was the book that after I read it I told KavinCoach, "What do you want me to learn from this, is not the right answer."  He compared my childhood to survivors of a concentration camp.  Pointing out my total lack of surprise that humans would treat each other with such a total disregard for human decency.  Indeed the functioning of Nazi Germany were based on the same 10 commandments of a dysfunctional family. 

This same imagery was pushed into how I was taught about God.  Images of a wrathful God holding humans over an abyss of eternal damnation, a single wrong move plummet the person into a fiery eternal destruction.  Every choice, decision, or move is based on doing that which keeps me from being punished, fear based.  I believe that Christ came to change all that.  Christ disliked the Pharisees and the way they set themselves up to point out the errors of other people while ignoring the filthiness of their own behavior.  Pharisees were called hypocrites.  The entire chapter of Matthew 23 is Christ's tirade on the scribes and Pharisees. The particular scripture referred to in the comment above:
 Matthew 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

As described in the post "Patterns," the most important things was to keep the dirty secrets of the family within the family.  I learned this from a young age.  I once mentioned to someone outside the family that my brothers hit me.  When we got home I was pulled a side and lectured on not telling these things to strangers; they wouldn't understand.  I felt confused because the person I told I knew but they were not a family member.  I remember as a teenager a friend telling me how lucky I was to have such a wonderful family.  I lied and agreed.  Choosing counseling, choosing truth I chose to discard the lies.  Not a popular decision, but I was not trying to please someone else.  I was standing up to years of hiding in fear, the truth of my own existence.  My life wasn't all bad.  I focused on the good parts but like Christ's description of the sepulchers my life looked good from the outside but the terrible memories of my real life was kept hidden.  Counseling gave me an opportunity to clean up my life on the inside as well as the outside.  Christ made it possible for me to do this.  His admonition of Love the Lord thy God and my neighbor as myself was revolutionary in His time and still today.  A loved base life begins when I can love myself so I have room in my heart to love my neighbor and my God.   

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Extrodinary sand

Just wanted to share a link to some of them most amazing sand sculptures.  Enjoy. 

People Pleasers Price

"If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes."  -Andrew Carnegie 

I am sometimes amazed when after a post, I encounter just the most amazing things that totally change how I view the issue at hand.  Growing up I survived by people pleasing, parents, siblings, teachers, and pedophile.  I thought constantly about what I could do to be the person they expected.  Tonight, I needed to wait for dinner to cook, and since I am not the most patient person in the world, I spent a bit of time on Facebook.  My sister and sister-in-law posted the most amazing post.  I followed this link:
I met Joel a fellow that writes a blog of impossible things.  He shares his encounter with “Russell Kirsch”Nerd's and geeks knows he is one of the founding fathers of computers and he created the first digital image.  With my obsession with digital pictures I might need to build a shrine to him in the corner of my computer room.  There were two main points that Joel learned:
  • Nothing is withheld from us which we have conceived to do.
  • Do things that have never been done.
So what does all this have to do with People Pleasers Price?
This is what clicked in my mind after reading this inspiring story.  Being a people pleaser, I fulfill someone else's dream.  I give up my dreams to fulfill their's.  The irony, the person that I try to please often never acknowledges or appreciates my sacrifice.  More often, criticism is heaped on top until what little light is left snuffs out.  I still believe in giving service, to me, that is not the same thing as people pleasing.  The difference is service gives someone else a helping hand, a people pleaser lays down to be their rug.  There is a certain easiness to people pleasing, I allow someone else to do my thinking for me.  I don't need to agonize over what needs to be done next, just follow orders.  In my opinion, people please long enough and a zombie has more life.  Reason I know, I did it.  I am done.  I have dreams.  Woohoo.  I've come along way.  I still remember sitting exhausted in KavinCoaches office feeling bewildered towards the end of a tough session, years ago.  KavinCoach asked me a single question, "What do you want?"  I just stared at him lost in a ravaged mind.  Then my strange answer, "Am I allowed to?"  I learned to stop wanting.  I learned to stop asking.  I learned to stop dreaming.  That is the People Pleasers Price.