Welcome!!! Please, if you are new here, READ THIS FIRST!!! Thank You!!!

Thank you for visiting. Content MAY BE TRIGGERING ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED ABUSE, STRUGGLE WITH SELF-INJURY, SUICIDE, DEPRESSION OR AN EATING DISORDER. Contains graphic descriptions of suicidal thoughts, self-injury and emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Do not read further if you are not in a safe place. If you are triggered, please reach out to your support system, a mental health professional or call 911.

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Disclaimer: Although I have worked with persons with mental illness for twenty years, I do not have a Master's Degree or a license. This is not meant to be a substitute for mental health care or treatment. Please obtain professional assistance from the resources listed on the right of the page, if needed. And call 911 if you or someone is in immediate danger.

A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Worship in Song ~ "Praise You In This Storm" ~ Casting Crowns



Praise You in This Storm
words by Mark Hall/music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I was sure by now,God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

Chorus:
And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away

Chorus

I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

Chorus

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Reality Invades Denial & Fantasy

Hello Everyone!!

I don't feel like delving into my journal just yet...it is a rather intense entry that will take 3-4 more posts. I'll probably start again next week. I hate it when reality shows up. I'd really rather stay in denial or into my little world of fantasy. But, then I never deal with the real world.

Well, over the past few of weeks, my aunt has been slowing telling me things that she remembered about my childhood. We are only ten years apart. And, my mother was barely 20 years old. This has been quite difficult as it makes it harder to deny how bad things were. Basically, my aunt raised me although she was only a teenager.

When my mother separated from my father before I was four (I'm not sure how old I was). My grandparents decided that for my safety that we should move in with them. Reportedly, she had no sense of responsibility at all or how her choices impacted others. She hated that I looked more like my father.

My aunt says that my mother "would go out ALL the time and Grandma tried repeatedly to tell Susan to be a mother and take care of you. I guess, you can figure out that she didn't listen. She was young, restless and angry." Basically, it was only my aunt and I together almost all of the time.

"You became not only mine to love and take care of...I'm glad I was the...I got to see all the joys of you grow up that your mother missed." She also said that my mother hit me all the time when we lived with them and used to hit me in the mouth. This was in front of everyone. I was twenty-two (?) the last time that she hit me which was when she slugged me in the back.

My mother tends to tell others what to do, but will not listen to anyone else. Observations from spouses is that my mother is out right mean to me at times, now. And, will often ignore me. When I was a infant, I used to cry for my mother, but she ignored me and even if she was in the same room, she would just leave without acknowledging me. She partied all the time leaving me alone with my aunt and grandparents. My aunt was the only one who could calm me down.

I have always thought that my mother didn't want me. My aunt said, "...I can't say that isn't true because I don't know...how she felt...she was yound, rebellious and was, in no way, ready or realling to be a mother. She wanted to be young and free and party. She wasn't responsible...your grandparents just gought with her to try to make her act more mature and responsible and in here actions said, "F you."

My grandmother also reported to my aunt that she saw my step-father sitting on his lap and moving me in sexual ways on him. This was in the open with others home. I told my therapist that I can't image what he did when no one was there. He said, "yes, you do." Sigh.

To say the least it has been a really rough the last few weeks and emotionally I am drained with also having to deal with my health problems...I'm still in wait mode. However, today I have my CT scan, but the don't take my blood until September. I had three doctor appointments last week and that didn't include my five days of therapy. (I had an extra session because of how all this is affecting me. I'm really and angry and sad. The suicidal thoughts and self-harm urges are back...damn it. Happens everytime I try dealing with my anger with my mother. I just hope I can hold it together so as to not need hospitalization which we can't afford.

Hard to deny how bad it really was and makes the other things that I remember hard to deny. (I'm tearful now...)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

People who are gay are twice as likely to seek mental health treatment

I don't feel like writing today, so with Kathleen Blanchard's RN consent, I will give you a little snippet. Then, to read the rest of the very interesting information go to EmaxHealth. Thank you Kathleen.

According to the results of a new study, gays are twice as likely to seek mental health treatment, mostly from discrimination, violence, and stressful life events.

Susan Cochran, in conjunction with a team of researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, examined data collected from 2074 people interviewed in the California Health Interview Survey to find that 48.5% ...

To read additonal findings findings of the survey and interesting facts go to EmaxHealth.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Past Journal Entry: 12/30/05 to 1/2/06

PAST JOURNAL ENTRY: 12/30/05 to 1/2/06

This begins a series of entries from December 12, 2005 to January 2, 2006. My therapist is away on vacation and I am angry and taking it out on my husband. I am also having difficulty as I am fragmenting. At this point, I have a really difficult time with my therapist being away (borderline fear of abandonment and feeling "bad" about myself.) I still have difficulty, but not as much.

Geoffrey,

I am having a really tough time and I haven't been able to journal. I've either been too tired or I haven't been home. Feels like my emotions are all over the place. Feeling really angry, really hurt, abandoned, confused, bad. I'm wanting to scream and really hurt myself. Feeling like I don't matter...making everyone not exist. (due to anger for feeling abandoned and if no one exist, neither do I...borderline trait.)


Wednesday night, I was able to finally sleep without any nightmares. However, last night, was difficult because I kept having nightmares of getting spanked or slapped of generally just feeling trapped and scared. (My therapist and I had been discussing some of what my mother did, so I was having nightmares and flashbacks.)

I'm glad that you were able to call me back on Tuesday. I don't know what really happened, except I became scared when my husband got frustrated and stressed out with the drive to the mall and I didn't respond to my trying to help him calm down. I became really scared, thought he was angry at me when he slammed to car door saying he was going for a walk. (this was quite uncharacteristic of him) I sat there for awhile, then I walked through the parking lot making cars stop and then through the mall to the other side.

I was really angry and and just sat on a bench with my knees and just rocking. I briefly went to the restroom and warmed up. I knew he was angry because he had left the car for more than one hour and hadn't called me, so I was afraid to call him. He did call, but I wasn't interactive. Eventually, we talked and he said that he was never angry with me. We were able to do some shopping after that.
(During this whole time, I was really fragmenting because I didn't know what to do with my anger which was mainly due to my anger with my therapist being away. I also knew that my husband was angry, but was not admitting it.)

Wednesday morning was really bad. I wanted to go to the bank early, but we both got up late. When I was ready to go, he wasn't. I became angry and left to the bank without him. Felt band and felt even worse that I had forgot to transfer funds two to three weeks ago, so I went into overdraft protection. And, I just became angrier, but was ready to go shopping and run errands as planned. What I told was that I was going to the bank without him.

When I came home and parked the car and left saying, he was going to the post office, so I figured he was angry with me as he was going in the same direction that we had planned to go and that I had already parked the car. I went into the house and got things together and into warmer clothing as it was slightly raining. When he came home, we argued and I left without him...I scared myself as I was driving too fast especially on turns as I slid. I went to the Hallmark store and he called apologizing and admitted that he was angry with me. I came home and we ran errand and had a good time shopping. I still was feeling bad and really wanting to cut. I felt bad because he didn't want to be with me.

(Besides the anger, I was feeling bad, so I set things up to make me feel worse...borderline trait again.)

REMEMBER
THIS IS A PASTJOURNAL ENTRY.

To be continued.....

Friday, August 21, 2009

When an engineer owns a dog!!!

My husband, who is an engineer, was absolutely facinated trying to figure out how it works, how it was put together and if he could build one himself. Thing is we don't own a dog!!! My husband was born to be an engineer. I hope that you enjoy this...you don't have to be an engineer. I was watching the dog.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

An Ode To Mr. Theodor Seuss Geisel



I wrote this poem (or at least an attempt at one) as my husband and I were unable to attend my niece's baby shower. We were all supposed to bring a favorite children's book to start a library. Dr. Seuss would have been my choice. (Although, the book pictured is not a children's book, it is appropriate for the readers and contributors! )




At your shower, we wanted to be
So sad that we couldn't be
Pain, coughing and sleep is me.

But, tell me?
Will green eggs and ham be what you eat?
Will it be on Mulberry Street?

Dr. Seuss for you we wanted to bring,
But, figured that many others would too
Then, there would be a litter of cats in hats
And more than one or two fish
Snagles of sneetches, herds of Hortons,
foxes with socks, and could be a Lorax or two, of course

From Dr. Seuss baby will learn
Oh the things that you can do are good for you
And, she will learn about eyes, feet, teeth, ABCs, and sleep!
And, about Wockets in Pockets and the Grinch
Oh, about Yertle the Turtle and Hunches in Bunches
Oh, and how to run a zoo.

Then, again everyone might just Hop on Pop
And, we would all have a good time.
Who knows they all might stay!
But, a gift certificate is coming your way.

What children's author or book would you have given?


seuss-big

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Past Journal Entry ~ December 23, 2005 ~ Part II

Possibly Triggering ~ violent content

Past Journal Entry ~ December 23, 2005 ~ Part II

Part of the purpose of this blog was to share past entries from my journal and add my current perspective. Well, between my health problems, my dealing with mental illness and three hospitalizations, I was side tracked. Today, I thought that I would go back to sharing my journal entries. The last one I wrote was in January and the journal entry was for December 22, 2005. I was having difficulty with flashbacks and thoughts of suicide, self-injury and violent fantasies. Remember that my journal entries are addressed to my therapist, Geoffrey. Today is a continuation of December 23, 2005...


Geoffrey,

...And, yes, a way to disconnect from the reality of the situation. I think that is why this week has been so difficult with being present with you...I always try to disconnect with you before you go on vacation, the holidays and stressful as is wanting to catch up on work...and just trying to work..and just trying to grasp the reality of what it was like growing up is so intense...the rage, terror and pain.

I keep wanting and making it different, but I know that it wasn't. It is really tough and I feel like my emotions start going all over the place and I don't have control. And the wanting to die, take the pills, cut, burn, stabbing myself and/or burn gets so loud...it was really bad all the time...and angry, terrified and hurt.

Sometimes, it just feels like I'm reliving it all over again only this time it is repetitive and isn't really happening, but the feelings, images, and sensations are quite real...sometimes, it is hard to pull out of it; therefore, that I'm safe and nothing is going to harm me and no one is going to be angry or hit me. Sometimes, I feel so threatened and terrified of everything.

Although this was written almost four years ago, I still struggle with these issues. The suicidal thought and self-injury urges are is why I went into the hospital. I became "loud" and I knew that I was headed into dangerous territory. The focus on my therapy now is accepting how bad it really was growing up. My aunt recently verified some of what I didn't want to know which just makes it harder to deny...but I try. This is a long and painful process. However, I see improvement when I stick to pushing through this...it is worth it.

Remember that this is a Past Journal Entry from 2005.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Past Journal Entry ~ December 23, 2005

Possibly Triggering ~ violent content

Past Journal Entry ~ December 23, 2005


Part of the purpose of this blog was to share past entries from my journal and add my current perspective. Well, between my health problems, my dealing with mental illness and three hospitalizations, I was side tracked. Today, I thought that I would go back to sharing my journal entries. The last one I wrote was in January and the journal entry was for December 22, 2005. I was having difficulty with flashbacks and thoughts of suicide, self-injury and violent fantasies. Remember that my journal entries are addressed to my therapist, Geoffrey. Today I'll start with December 23, 2005...

Geoffrey,

Last evening and this morning were not as loud (with the thoughts of suicide and self-injury) because we were busy. However, the first thought when I woke up was stabbing my thigh with a knife. I woke up at 4 am and couldn't go back to sleep. I kept having nightmares and flashbacks all night, but was able to fall back to sleep.

Like I said to you yesterday, what I wanted to do and the images, I'm having are really horrible as they are so bloody. I used to imagine just taking the screwdriver (which was used to sexually abuse me) when my step-father was on top of me in the van and stabbing him and that his blood would be all over and that his blood would be all over the pads on the floor, the walls, the seats and me...I just wanted to repeatedly stab him until after he was dead. (I was wanting enraged and wanted to hurt him with the things that he hurt me with.)

When we were in the apartment, I remember, thinking about taking a kitchen knife and in the morning after my mother left, standing on the bed and with all my force stabbing him repeatedly until he was dead and blood was everywhere.
I also remember thinking of stabbing myself in the leg or stomach hoping that I would die. (Again, an expression of anger and self-protection

When I was a teenager, it progressed to using the chef's knife (which was used to threaten me), but first drugging both my mother and step-father. Sometimes, it would be just my step-father, sometimes it would be both. But, every time ended in my killing myself.

I realized this week that , I stared bruising myself when my father was around, but then I would hit myself in the legs with my fists. When my step-father came around, I still used my fists, but also started to use objects and burning my fingers. (I was angry at myself and others, but had no outward way of safely expressing it. Also, at a very young age, I felt like I was "bad" and needed to be punished.)

Everything got worse and more self-injurious as I became older I was cutting or scratching sometimes drawing blood. The bruising progressed to almost daily during the summer. Most of the time, I was hurting myself without even knowing how I go there. (I was disassociating)

I think it was a way I could express my anger and pain. It was also a pain that I could control. Feeling bad or at fault for the things that happened. (meaning my abuse)

There is more for this entry, but this is enough for today. I have more insight to share, but I will do that when I finish this day. Remember that this is a Past Journal Entry from 2005.

To be continued...


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Worship In Song ~ "All Things New" by Steven Curtis Chapman

Steven Curtis Chapman - "All Things New"

You spoke and made the sunrise, to light up the very first day
You breathed across the water, and started the very first wave
It was You
You intoduced Your glory, to every living creature on earth
And they started singing, the first song to ever be heard
They sang for You

You make all things new
You make all things new

Then the world was broken, fallen and battered and scarred
You took the hopeless, the life, wasted, ruined and marred
And made it new

You make all things new
You make all things new
You redeem and You transform
You renew and You restore
You make all things new
You make all things new
And forever we will watch and worship You

You turn winter into spring
You take every living thing
And You breathe Your breath of life into it over and over again

You made the sunrise, day after day after day
But there's a morning coming, when old things will all pass away
And everyone will see

You make all things new
You make all things new
Come redeem and come transform
Come renew and come restore
You make all things new
You make all things new
And forever we will watch and worship You

Now and forever You are making all things new
You're making all things new

Hallelujah...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

One of the buzz words lately is mindfulness. Also, it is being used for the treatment of mood disorders. What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the act of being aware of our thoughts, emotions and body in the moment without judgement. For me, it is just letting myself “be” who I am at that moment without self-judgement which takes me on a different pathway. Self-judgement, thinking about the past or the future often gets in the way of being mindful.


The more aware you are the better you are able to handle things that come up in life or just day to day events. But, it easy to become distracted. Mindfulness can take the form of nothing more than taking three successive breaths while remembering they are a conscious experience of body activity within mind. This approach is particularly helpful when it is difficult to establish a regular meditation practice.

Most often we are usually in a state of mindlessness...okay stop laughing. Or "zoned out"

Examples are:

  • While driving, you don't remember the experience or which roads you took.
  • While having a conversation, you suddenly realize you don't know what the other person is talking about.
  • While having a conversation, you're already thinking about what you are going to say.
  • While reading, you suddenly realize that you have no idea of what you just read.
  • After putting down something, you can't remember where you just put it.
  • While taking a shower, you're thinking about something else and then don't know if you washed your hair or some other body part.

Mindfulness is an English translation from Eastern practices. I believe in its usefulness on many levels. Wikipedia states, "Mindfulness is awareness of one's thoughts, actions or motivations. Mindfulness (Pali: Sati; Sanskrit: smṛti स्मृति) plays a central role in the teaching of the Buddha where it is affirmed that 'correct' or 'right' mindfulness (Pali:samm?-sati; Sanskrit samyak-sm?ti) is an essential factor in the path to enlightenment and liberation. It is the seventh element of the Noble Eightfold Path, the sadhana of which is held in the tradition to engender 'insight' and 'wisdom' (Sanskrit: prajñ?)."

I also think of this in terms of Christian ideas, which I won't get into here. To me, Examples are practicing Gods presence, silent prayer, Quakers, being still before God. However, mindfulness differs in that you are not trying to hear God, but hear yourself. But, in order to really hear God, you have to hear yourself and be quiet. To me, mindfulness, is the step just before you hear or sense God's presence. Now, remember this is my opinion. I'm not looking for a debate.

One of the essential keys to mindfulness is breathing and meditation. Practice it with this video. (Remember this is only a part of mindfulness. It is much more complex.)

So how was that for you and what is your experience with mindfulness or meditations?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Validation & Free Parking ~ SMILE!!!

Validation ~ "In psychology and human communication, validation is the reciprocated communication of respect which communicates that the other's opinions are acknowledged, respected, heard, and (regardless whether or not the listener actually agrees with the content), they are being treated with genuine respect as a legitimate expression of their feelings, rather than marginalized or dismissed."

We all need to receive and expresss validation and affirmations. It does help everyone to feel good and SMILE!!! :D

Please take the time to watch this video that was brought to my attention by John of Storied Mind. Go take a look about his poignant, thought provoking, and from the heart blog about depression. Please watch the whole video even though the beginning is a bit long...the ending is worth the wait.





"Validation" is a fable about the magic of free parking. Starring TJ Thyne & Vicki Davis. Writer/Director/Composer - Kurt Kuenne

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Health Update ~ Waiting!!

Last Thursay, I found out the result of my blood work. I have one low antibody per the nurse practitioner and I was sent for more blood work. I asked many questions, but was referred to speak with my allergist who requested the blood work. I kinda...well panicked later as I didn't understand what all that meant and my allergist and pulmonologist were unavailable, and the nurse mentioned something about an infusion.


I then, called my primary care physician, who told me not to be alarmed and that the nurse practioner should have given me that type of information. She then, spoke with my allergist and they are puzzled and there are probably going to be more tests. My PCP, who I've had for 18 years, is very good and knows me quite well. She is also going to consult with my pulmonologist.


Needless to say I am quite scared and frustrated because I do not know what all this means and what it could mean...I really am getting tired of all this, but at least there is a reason for my symptoms (shortness of breath, fatigue, wheezing, etc..). I am in wait mode as I won't have any answer regarding my blood work until at the earliest next week. I don't do well with waiting.

I've kept my sense of humor and faith in God. I have a wonderfully supportive husband and a good support system. My therapist has been really supportive. I just hate the waiting and all sorts of things run through my head...so what is new about that!

I do apologize that this blog has become my place to air my health problems instead of a mental health blog. I promise that will change soon.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

International Friendship Day!!!


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The following is a quate from The Society of Confluence in India. Human beings are social creatures and have always valued the importance of friends in their lives. To celebrate this noble feeling it was deemed fit to have a day dedicated to friends and friendship. Accordingly, first Sunday of August was declared as a holiday in US in honor of friends by a Proclamation made by US Congress in 1935. Since then, World Friendship Day is being celebrated every year on the first Sunday in the month of August.

This beautiful idea of celebrating Friendship Day was joyfully accepted by several other countries across the world. And today, many countries including India, celebrate the first Sunday of August as Friendship Day every year. Celebrating Friendship Day in a traditional manner, people meet their friends and exchange cards and flowers to honor their friends. Lot many social and cultural organization too celebrate the occasion and mark Friendship Day by hosting programs and get together.
The day is basically a day to make a positive difference in someone's life or to appreciate someone. The whole month of February is International Friendship Month. What will you do to appreciate or spend some time with a friend this month? You could send a hand written card or note, send, email card, send flowers, spend a day together, go play a favorite sport with a buddy or just enjoy coffee with some friends.

"Friends are like stars... you don't always see them, but you know they're always there." ~Hulali Luta

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