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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, January 31, 2010

"I Will Rise" ~ Chris Tomlin ~ Worship in Song


There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
[x2]

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Protect Insurance Companies PSA!!

Clinically Clueless here from Southern California taking a look at health insurance. I promise you that the video will be funny in a sarcastic sort of way. Click the link below, please.

A bit sarcastic, eh. Well, in the United States, health care is a huge problem. Lots of people due to finances or pre-exsiting conditions, have to live without health care insurance. I even had an insurance company tell my doctor which medications to prescibe without them even talking to me!! Some guy in a suit making lots of money denies coverage that I need because I don't take the less expensive medication even though I am finally stable!!! Grrrr.
I am writing this in October and am currently waiting for a very expensive treatment that I need to increase my low antibodies so that I stop becoming short of breath...who knows if they will approve it as it will be at least $10,000 for a one time treatment. I may require more.

How is your health care insurance in your country or state? Do people fall through the cracks, do you have to wait a long time for approvals, etc.

Friday, January 29, 2010

This Monday and Tuesday, the drama continued…


Monday morning, Adrian emailed Judy stating, “Have you or Arleen heard anything new about Grandma? Love, Adrian” Later, Judy responded, “No, Adrian I haven’t but if and when I do. I’ll let you know. Also, please ask Coleen NOT to send any ecards from Hallmark to me. I hope you’re doing ok and lots of love to you always! Hugs, Judy.” (Obviously, before Judy’s response to Adrian I had sent her an ecard apologizing to her which she did not open.)

Monday evening, Adrian emailed Judy stating, “Okay. Thanks. I talked to Coleen and the E-Card she sent you was an apology. She is taking responsibility for what she did. Did you open it? Love, Adrian”

Tuesday afternoon (today), Judy sent an email to Adrian which follows:


Hi Adrian,


No, I didn't open it. Last week, Coleen took the time to email Arleen firstly, with her agenda/questions ~ (of course,)
about Grandma and then requested details. Then, as purely a secondary subject, she apologized to Arleen and then indirectly, to me.
Needless to say, I did not feel sincerity in her apology.


I can't deal with her right now and I know she's sending messages through you and it needs to stop, please. I'll repeat what I've said to you
before:


1. IF and when I hear anything about Masaye, I'll let you know.
2. I feel what Coleen did to Arleen is reprehensible and I, for one, think it shows Coleen's projections. I will never tolerate any person
in my life who would say such outrageous, cruel and UNTRUE things to the woman I love. For me, she has caused irreparable damage.


Feel free to email me anytime, Adrian - but not with Coleen's agendas.


Love,
Judy


Since Judy was not going to open any e-mail from me, I tried one last attempt at apologizing to her. I didn’t write anything except for the subject line stating, “I am sorry that I hurt your feelings.” I was pretty sure that was the only way to get my apology to her. She sent two emails to me one stating, “THIS is an apology?? SERIOUSLY??” The other one stated, “”There is no need for you to email me or contact me again.” This essential cuts me off from Arleen who raised me and is emotionally my mother.

I want to say that I understand that my fragmenting and leaving the mean messages on Arleen’s voice mail were wrong and that there are consequences for which I am paying. Sometimes when I fragment, it gets bad enough to where I don’t care what I say or do. The unfortunate thing is that Judy is also fragmenting. It isn’t the right thing for me to do, but I go there where I don’t care.. I am feeling angry, hurt and abandoned and my suicidal ideation and self-harm urges are loud. However, I have it in check…so, don’t worry.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Drama and Depression

(Tomorrow, I've written about this week's Monday and Tuesday.  However, last night which was Wednesday, my husband and I recieved a call telling us that Grandma only has 25% of her lungs working and was given one day to six months.  We don't yet know anymore detail even what is diagnosed with, but I'll update as I know. Please pray for my Grandma, family and I.)

Okay, I am going to try to remember what my husband told me about his two hour conversation with Judy and Arleen.  I'm glad that he took some notes.  I was a good thing that I was asleep and didn't know about it especially since Judy reportedly did not want me in on the conversation. 

Apparently, earlier in the day Adrian had emailed Judy letting her know that he has some information that might help her to understand me better.  She was mostly responding to my second message to Arleen.

Adrian indicated that the tone of both of their voices were that they were venting.  He could tell they said what they wanted to say and that I was all bad to them. Judy did most of the talking and Arleen wasn't even listening.  It was only when Adrian wanted to explain some things that Judy got on the telephone.

Back to what Judy told Adrian.  She stated that I was rude, disrespectful, cruel, egocentric, never apologizes, never listens and everything has to be about me.  She started to explain how my Grandpa's funeral became all about me and that I made Grandma being in the nursing home about me and that God forbid that when she passes that I will make that all about me too.  (That is absolutely not true verified by others)  Judy also stated that she is closer to Grandma then anyone else in the family.  (Bullshit...I was extremely hurt that Arleen did not counter anything Judy said).

Judy stated that she knows more about nursing homes as she has had to work with staff directly and wasn't in and out, but stayed for full days sometimes, so knows better about nursing homes. But, she listened to me as I went on and on with about a 50 point sheet sheet of what to look for in a SNF. Judy stated that we know better that her and that she just kept going on and on about stuff we already knew.  (She was referring to my addressing my uncle as he had expressed a lack of knowledge about SNFs.  While going through the list she would state oh that was something I didn't think of and at the end I asked if she had anything to add.  She indicated that she was appreciative and that my experience was different in working with SNF and was valuable.  She managed to exclude me from a meeting for my Grandma)

Judy stated that she listened for hours about my problems, but I never listen to her. (In actuality she talks about 75% of the time, and I often am not able to talk about the reason that I called her.)  She stated that I never support her. (Previously...She has told me that I can ground her like Arleen can, that I am a good listener and someone that she can talk to that will listen. I also called her four times during Arleen's surgery to provide support.) 

It was asked if Gary was a good therapist because after so many years, I should behave better and have more awareness and take responsibility for my cruelty.  Arleen indicated that the whole family can be cruel.


Adrian shared quite extensively about what he talks about in therapy and that night for the first time I shared with him about my session and the "bad" things.  (I really felt betrayed for awhile, but quickly go over it once he apologized.  I knew that he was only trying to help, but that he wasn't heard.  They heard only what they wanted to hear.)

Unfortunately, Adrian told them many things including that I choose to fragment, him kicking in the door because he was so angry at him, saying cruel things and pushing him away.  He indicated that after he thought about the conversation that his indicating that he was listening made it sound like he was agreeing with everything Judy was saying.  He did say that I don't fragment all the time and that I am getting progressively better and that I do take responsibility when I am not fragmenting.

Adrian stated to me that he shouldn’t have offered to help. They didn’t understand that what he was saying was to help them understand. They didn’t get it and I made it worse, gave them more fuel, they only heard what they wanted to. (I felt so badly for him.)

Judy and Arleen both ended the conversation with feeling sorry for Adrian for putting up with me and surprised that he has stayed with me and hasn't left or divorced me. Also, that Adrian’s emails and telephone calls are under duress due to my pressuring him.  They told him that they understand how I am and that he can call them anytime and that for now, they need to protect themselves, so they will have no contact for now.

I really can't say anymore or my observations other than the one's that I indicated in the last two posts.  However, I am very depressed, the suicidal thoughts are loud and the self-injury thoughts are really intense.  But, I am safe!!!  So, much for 2010 being boring so far.  Sigh.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

...Drama Continues

(Please refer to yesterday's entry if you want the background) Since I didn't sleep and was not fragmenting, I wrote an email to Arleen.  The following is the email:

Thank you for letting me know what is going on with Grandma. Sounds like it was a really frustrating situation that you didn't get to be involved. I'm sorry that it went that way. Were they specific regarding when the pulmonologist would be requested? I'm glad that the plan is for two weeks, but does that include sending her home with oxygen? I know that you were not able to participate, but was Grandma involved in the meeting? How is she doing? I didn't get a chance to call her last night as planned as I was out in the rain for three doctor appointment. (I left the cake out in the rain...did you see the green ice slowly melting? Name that tune!)

I wish that I could have been there. I even asked two of my doctors if a wear a mask and gloves if I could go. He said, "absolutly not that I can't be in a hospital or a nursing home." It is extremely frustrating for me because I have really been wanting to visit her when she was in the hospital and a nursing home.

I am really sorry for the messages that I left last night. I'm not trying to make excuses what I did was wrong. However, I was really hurt and it felt like you were breaking all ties with me without even letting me know verbally. (I sobbed for a couple hours after I read your email) I hope that this doesn't do any further damage to our relationship, but I understand if it does. But, do know that I am extremely remorseful. I'm sorry that I screwed thing up. If it helps any, I did the same thing with my therapist and later called to apologize. I was going to call you, but was afraid that you would be angry because I was leaving another message.

I would have responded to your message earlier, but I didn't get home from S. Pas until 5:30...with the pouring rain it took me 1 1/2 hours to get home. I was exhausted after leaving you the first message and knew that I wasn't in a place to respond to your email...but, duh...I didn't realize that I also shouldn't have left you a message either...sometimes, the brain doesn't kick when I want it too especially when I am hurt, angry or feel misunderstood. So, I don't want to screw things up anymore than they are already. I'm really afraid that I have lost you again...I don't want the last words that I hear from you is you yelling to me about how to handle Michael.

I'm sorry that Judy felt that I was rude and disrespectful. I'm sorry if that I hurt her feeling and made her angry. My brief side is: At the beginning of the conversation, I told her that I was not really feeling well. I do listen to her talk and try to be supportive. I only cut her off when she started to go into Filipinos and how the U.S recruits them and they take away jobs and that it is Hillary Clinton's fault. I also did tell her of my experiences and how I worked with nursing homes if there was no follow through.

I hope that given the your email that you will still keep me in the loop regarding Grandma. I hope that this make sense as it is 2:30 am...I was worried about us and Grandma, so I am probably up for the day. I don't want to make another mistake in saying very inappropriate things, so my proofreader (?) reader will do his thing later and then I will send it. Again, I really regret what I said on you cellular VM. I was wrong and hope that this doen't drive a further wedge between us as I really do emotionally feel like you are my mother and that you and Judy are really the only family that I have, but it sounds like I lost my relationship with you too. I do love the both of you.

Thanks (hopefully) for listen to my 2 am rambling.

Love you both,

Coleen

Second email:  oops, I think fourth paragraph? I didn't mean that you were yelling at me. Just that you were in another place and needed to yell so that Judy and I could hear you. I don't ever recall you yelling at me...maybe, firm...but never raising voice unless you were try to irritate me by singing funny. :-)

After my husband read it and I sent it, he informs me that he had a two hour conversation with Judy and Arleen last night. It wasn't a good thing...stay tuned tomorrow for details.  I was extremely hurt, angry and felt betrayed by my husband.

Oh, by the way, all of this time...my suicidal thoughts and self-injury thoughts are intense. This is out of the "I am bad" which goes along with my self-hatred.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Family Drama, Anger, Pain & Fragmentation!!

The short story and not the three day version...bottom line is Arleen and Judy are not speaking with me anymore. Arleen is my aunt who is emotionally my mother and Judy is her partner/wife.  For the longer version, read the three day version.  :-)

Important terms for this week's entries (we all do these to various degrees): 

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.

Mirroring ~ "copying" another persons affect or thoughts.  Basically, demonstrating agreement with another, so that they feel like you think and feel the same thing.  In infants and children, this is extremely important.  When this phase does not take place, a person will try to do this with adult relationships.

Alignment ~ attempts at having another person think and feel the same way.  This is a part of infantile fantasy and mirroring.  Infantile fantasy is that everyone and everything align or agrees with how you think and feel.

Sigh...again not a boring time, yet. Last week, was EXTREMELY stressful. Lots of fragmenting on everyone's part.  I was exhausted from driving in the rain everyday, 6 1/2 hours of therapy because of what was happenning. I slept all weekend!!! I even slept through the night...Yipee!!!

Judy, my aunt's partner, called and updated me about my Grandmother's condition.  Short update.  Grandma was moved to a skilled nursing facility (SNFs) without notifying family. Judy and Arleen (my aunt) both have experience as respitory therapists going into SNFs and 40% of my clients resided in SNFs.  (I had already spoken with my Grandmother, staff and my contacts to find out how the good the facility was where she was temporarily residing.)

When Judy called, I told her that I was not feeling well.  She indicated that she would be short.  I listened to her about her concerns regarding her family, step-parents, Arleen's medical care, and frustration that the Director of Nursing (DON) did not call her back. Well, I gave her some suggestion, acknowledged her frustration and explain what might have happenned.  She proceeded to complain about all Filipinos are all the same: lazy, incompetent, don't understand English, never do what they are told, etc.

The DON was Filipino. I tried to tell Judy that while I have had those experiences and worked with mostly Filipino care providers and nurses that my experiences have been mixed.  (I was also feeling defensive and protective and becoming angry.  We have had many, many conversations regarding this issue.)

Judy continued on and then began to complaing that Filipinos take all the jobs away from Americans because the U.S recruits them and that it is Hilary Clinton's fault (note: Judy is fragmenting quite badly as shown in the bold all, and never...black and white thinking). When she brought Hilary into the conversation I told her that "I really can't listen to this right now." 

Judy's demeanor and tone immediately changed and she sharply stated, "Well, what do you want to talk about."  I responded, "I don't know".  I just know that I can't listen to what you are saying."  Well, we abruptly ended the conversation.  (I didn't fulfill her infantile fantasy by mirroring her and aligning with her point of view about Filipinos).

The next afternoon, I received a curt email from Arleen regarding my Grandmother's status and the end stated, "By the way, you won't be receiving any phone calls from us until you apologize to Judy. She listens to you when you need to VENT Coleen (which Judy needed to do last night) and you were rude and disrespectful to her.


I still love you with all my heart and that will never change."

Well, I immediately fragmented and called Arleen and left a message on her cellular telephone after no one answering her home telephone stating, "You don't really love me because if you did then you would at least call an get my side of the story."  I then, left a message on Gary's (my therapist) answering machine telling him what happened.  He interrupted that message and told me not to do anything. He said, "damn it."  I knew that I was fragmenting...Arleen, Judy and I.  In line with what we have been talking about in therapy and how hard he has been pushing me, he indicated how I am responsible for some of my actions.  First, he was very supportive.  Then, he had to go as his next client was there.  I was quite angry, hurt, feeling bad and immedately began crying.

Adrian came home to me sobbing which I did for a couple of hours. I felt like I really screwed things up even more and that I had lost contact with Arleen and Judy forever.  Later, I left two messages for Gary. In the first one, I lashed out at him for leaving me in the situation of crying and feeling bad (thinking I was bad..."bad" is not a feeling, but a self-judgement) during our last conversation.  Then, later I left a second one apologizing and telling him that I would see him tomorrow.

I also left a second message for Arleen stating, "I don't feel like you love me. I'm hurt by your cutting me off.  It feels like the last six months has been a sham.  For more than ten years, we didn't have contact because you listened to my mother without even checking with me despite my numerous telephone calls.  Cutting me off now feels the same without you checking with me again."  (I knew that I was fragmenting, but I was in a place where I figured out since I screwed up everything anyway that it doesn't matter what I do now.)

OBSERVATIONS:  I've made many observations about these events that I added into the narrative. This was after about 11 hours that I was able to do this...hooray, progress.  Needless to say, everyone was fragmenting and reacting to each other which just made things worse. I felt like I was being punished and unfairly judged without being able to defend myself.  My feelings were extremely hurt and I was really angry and thinking I was bad.  Fragmenting can go two ways either all good or all bad. Arleen and Judy were in the all good; therefore, reinforcing my all bad thinking.

...tomorrow, more fragmenting, crying and hurt feelings and my non-fragmented response.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Are You Cushioned ~ Part II

I forgot a very important part of the post.  Here it is:


If anyone has purchased, received or sent a breakable item, you can’t deny the importance of it protecting fragile contents. Having completed most of my Christmas shopping online, I have a whole box to reuse or pop and recycle. So, I was sitting just staring at the bubble wrap and began to think about the importance of having protection around ourselves for those bumps, tosses and squashings of life. For bubble wrap, if there is an area that is damaged, then that part of the item becomes vulnerable which is why there are layers usually.

So, I wondered what is it that protects us from the bumps along the garden path? I wasn’t thinking in terms of faith, spirituality, friends, family or anything materialistic. I was wondering about personality characteristics. I think, about what I have been through in my life and it is my sense of humor/humour, resilience, thoroughness, and stubbornness, just to name a few.

What do you think are some of the personality traits that cushion someone from the bumps or squashing of their Garden path?

Go deeper. It is okay to say nice, positive things about yourself. What personality traits get you through the Garden path’s bumps and squashing?

Are You Cushioned?



You may have thought I was crazy, after this post you will know that it is true!! I can't believe I'm really doing this, but when I saw the item at the end I thought it was so funny that I had to share it with you. Hopefully, you will have a sense of humor!

Today is Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day!!!  In 1957 two engineers, Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes started out trying to make plastic wallpaper. They did not succeed. What they ended with was the world’s most addicting invention, bubble wrap.

Bubble Wrap Calendar














I found this at http://www.coolest-gadgets.com/ which states, "The Bubble Calender designed by Stephen Turbek provides one popping bubble every day. On each corresponding date there is a bubble in need of popping. It’s the same princliple as writing an “X” across the date square, just more fun.
The Bubble Calenders have a very simple design. With a stark white background and available in both horizontal and vertical versions, the calender certainly isn’t overtly flashy. But no matter. Most of the time it’s the most basic of actions which makes us the happiest.

The poster sized Bubble Calender won’t burst your bubble of anticipation. You’ll wake up every morning knowing you have a fresh piece of bubble wrap to pop. The extra bonus being that you can keep up with the date in the mean time."
Bubble Wrap Keychain







From http://www.thinkgeek.com/, "One of the single greatest gifts (and curses) to anyone who is a little anal retentive is bubble wrap. Sure it's good for protecting packages, but the real joy is popping each and every bubble. You can't let even one survive or your mission as bubble popper has failed. But what happens when you desire the joy of popping bubble wrap but don't have the time to invest in popping a full 60' roll? Welcome to the future, my friends; electronic bubble wrap is here.

Each keychain device has 8 rubbery little "bubble" buttons. They have a pretty close tactile feel to actual bubble wrap. Guess what happens when you push one? That's right, you hear a little pop. In a nutshell, that is the simple beauty of the electronic bubble wrap keychain. But there is one bonus, and here's where the OCD can kick in a little. Every 100th "pop" is not a pop at all, but a silly sound: a boing, a bark, a rude noise, etc. And since you can easily pop (pun intended) the keychain in your pocket, you'll always have bubble wrap when you need it most (you know, like when your boss starts talking).

Here is a short demonstration:




Have some of your own fun!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

"We are One In the Spirit" ~ Jason Upton & Kent Henry ~ Worship in Song



The following is from the YouTube information:


Blogging: Love is Love; without fear. There is much division in the world and the Church has adopted a the spirit of division like a tornado trying to separate us from the love of God and the love of "true fellowship" with others as if it was their job to divide. Ha! Ha! I laugh at that kind of spirit that separates.

Call me crazy and you can kick me and Jesus out of your Church if you like... but I see no reason why straight believers, gay believers, ex-gay believers, ex-ex-gay believers... why they can't just all live in honestly, come together in the same churches, worship God as one God. I believe it was said like this "Hear (and open your ears) oh Israel (believers), the Lord your God is one God." And it the phrase ended in the final resolution by saying, "hallelujah". And I take that as a command to come together and worship as one.

The truth is just that simple to understand; Ha!, Ha! Tornados that separate... Ha! Ha! You've come to the water.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What Were You Watching in 1970s?

Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles sings in their July 2008 concert.

How we remember the 70s as seen through TV ads: FDS - Feminine Deodorant Spray, AT&T Trim-Line Phones, Wonder Bread, USMC Recruitment Film, Anti-Drug PSA, Old Spice, Starsky & Hutch (David Soul & Paul Michael Glaser), Tab, Chevy Camaro, Gas Rationing, Three Mile Island, Keep America Beautiful (Crying Indian), Palmolive (Madge), Munich Olympic Massacre 1972, Watergate, Iranian Hostages, Jane Curtin and Chevy Chase, Dan Akroyd, Candice Bergen and Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Steve Martin and Dan Akroyd, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and The Millennium Falcon, Carol Burnett Show, Kermit the Frog (The Muppet Show), Mary Tyler Moore Show, All in the Family (Carroll O'Connor), Mary Hartman Mary Hartman (Louise Lasser)

Share your favorite reminder of the 70s. If you were not born yet, share something that reminds you of the 70s. YouTube video links encouraged!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Oh, Not Her Again!!!

This post was written about a year ago just prior to the holidays, but I still find it pertinent.


In the United States, we are beginning the holiday. I started thinking (run, she is thinking again!) about all the people that we "have to go see." (Well, the "have to" is another post) How many of you like every person that you work, visit, or interact with including family. No one, if they were honest, would have been able to answer, "everyone."

There comes the dilemma. What do you do with aunt Sally who continues to call you her "sweet baboo" and you are 46 and not six anymore (not that you liked it then either). Or sister Lucy who complains all the time or needs to be in charge. Or Charles who just isn't exciting to talk with. The neighbor who talks about all the wonderful things that he has done in his life, but doesn't listen to anyone else. Your brother the minister and philosopher, who is a wonderful person, but eventually talks above everyones head.

Help, what do I do...?

Anyway, we all have people like this in our lives and others and face it we don't like everyone. When I was working in the social service field, I used to tell new people that "our job is to help our clients, but that doesn't guarantee that you are going to like everyone. It is a luxury to like all your clients, but usually not reality. However, we still need to show them dignity and respect and listen."

What I use in my own personal and work life is to find one thing that you can like about the person. Everyone, if you think hard enough, has one thing that you can like about them. Maybe, it is that they try really hard, have good taste in clothing, makes that one dish really well or you like their haircuts. Just one positive thing and not a negative turned into a positive. One thing that you can outright say that you like about them.

Then, the trick is to try to focus on that as you get to know them better. Usually, as I get to know someone better, I understand them better and why they act the way that they do. Then, I might even start liking them. This usually works for me except some situations. I'm still working on especially with family. Just like everyone else.

In most situations, what I do is I start thinking about why they are the way they are and focus on that. I guess, I take a step back and become clinical or just look at the situation with some distance. It is usually some inner hurt or wound being covered up with thorns. But, thorns still hurt even if we understand them, so you also need to take care of yourself.

It does help both my husband and I to be a wee bit more compassionate and patient. But, there are times when I have to turn away or walk out which is perfectly acceptable. Take care of yourself and have a good time at the holidays.

Do not spend time with someone who is abusive including verbally or emotionally either speak up or walk away or don't go in the first place. I suggest discussing this with someone you trust first because you need to be prepared for the consequences. If nothing else, at least it is a time limited interaction and you can remind yourself. Going for a walk with someone or by yourself is a good thing to do when it gets to be too much. Remember, you are never trapped.

But, spend most of your time with the people that you want and make you happy. And, if you can't run...remember, you can always focus on that one thing. It just makes life a little easier. At least, this is what I try to do. I'm still working on a few relationships.

Searching for the things you can like about someone will take your focus off all the things you may dislike and there may be lots of fuel. And, it is okay not to like someone. This is only meant to be helpful it you want to try. I still do complain which is just being yourself and with all your feelings. I hope this help some of you to have a different perspective and helps you to enjoy your time together with others better. (Okay...I like aunt Sally's cookies, I like aunt Sally's cookies and I do love her hair...)

How do you handle being with people including family who you don't like or are difficult to be around? Share some tips.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Do You Need A Hug?

CC here from Southern California in a hugging mood today.  Today, January 21st, is World Hug Day.  This day was founded in the U.S., but has spread all over the world.  Some nations and Americans call iting Day Hug Day, World Hug Day, Send a Hug Day, International Hug Day, and even Hug a Bear Day!  It is a reminder to show the world that 'peace begins with me.'

From the site, World's Biggest Virtual Hug, these are some suggestions for this day or anyday.

1. Pledge-A-Hug for Peace
2. Join the World Peace Society (free!)
3. Peace Begins with Me Program
4. Become a Place of Peace
5. Submit your peace poetry
6. Submit your peace art
7. Get active - view calendar of events
8. Unite online - participate in forum
9. Send a free peace e-card
10. more actions for peace...

Send an e-hug card for free.

According to the Website, Squidoo , there are many benefits to hugging…..



This simple act accomplishes many things that you may have never considered.
· It feels good.
· It dispels loneliness.
· It overcomes fear.
· It opens doors to feelings.
· It builds self-esteem.
· It fosters altruism.
· It slows down aging (huggers stay young longer).
· It helps curb appetite (we eat less when we are nourished by hugs and when our arms are busy wrapped around others).
· It eases tension.
· It fights insomnia.
· It keeps arms and shoulder muscles in condition.
· It provides stretching exercise if you are short.
· It provides stooping exercise if you are tall.
· It offers a wholesome alternative to promiscuity.
· It offers a healthy, safe alternative to alcohol and other drug abuse (better hugs than drugs!).
· It affirms physical being.
· It is democratic (anyone is eligible for a hug).


Some of the additional benefits to hugging include
· It is ecologically sound (it does not upset the environment).
· It is energy-efficient (saves heat).
· It is portable (you can take it with you).
· It requires no special equipment.
· It demands no special setting (a fine place for a hug is any place from a doorstep to an executive conference room … from a church parlor to a football field).
· It makes happy days happier.
· It imparts feelings of belonging.
· It fills up empty places in our lives.
· It keeps on working to dispense benefits even after the hug is released.
· Blood pressure increased significantly more among the no-contact group as compared to the huggers.
· Heart rate among those without contact increased 10 beats a minute, compared to five beats a minute for huggers.


According to the Greeting Card Association, the benefits of greeting cards include the following:


· Mean someone has taken the time to send a special message
· Add a personal touch to special occasions and holidays
· Connect us to all different types of people including co-workers, teachers, family and friends
· Help us put our emotions into words
· Provide a tangible keepsake to document special moments in our lives
· Help us reach across generation, gender and cultural communication gaps
· Provide comfort to someone and make sad times less painful
· Boost emotional well-being through reaching out to others
· Make a loved one feel special
· Preserve memories of connections with friends and family
· Show someone you care!

We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth. —Virginia Satir, family therapist

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Letterman Perpetuates Misunderstanding of Transgender

Enough of the late night talk show squabble. It has taken over the jab that David Letterman has taken against people who are transgender. I applaud the Obama administration for appointing Amanda Simpson, a transgender woman to the U.S. Commerce Department by the Obama administration.


From Urban Dictionary, transgender is defined as: A term referring to when one's gender and sex are not always or ever equivalent. Often used as a referrant to the person themself. This is a broad term that includes transexual (pre/non or post-op), non-gender, bi (tri & multi) gender, androgynes, etc. The state of being transgendered may or may not have any bearing on sexual preferences.


The following is taken from
Queers United blog: The David Letterman show on the CBS network has insulted Amanda Simpson, a trans woman who was recently appointed to the U.S. Commerce Department by the Obama administration. In the clip below David Letterman announces the news, followed by a guest on his show who breaks out in shock that "Amanda used to be a dude" the man is disgusted and outraged and runs off stage, the segment insinuates the man had some sort of relationship with Simpson and reinforces the sentiment that being transgender is somehow disgusting, misleading, and abnormal.





Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2010 Not Starting Out As Boring!!

As my regular readers know, last year was quite an eventful year.  So, many people have been praying that this year would be boring. Well, it isn't starting that way.  Over the weekend my 88 year old Grandma was hospitalized for difficulty breathing.  They did some testing, but gave no diagnosis and were going to send her home with oxygen.  However, their own reports state that she is weak, not eating and is still having shortness of breath.  She also lives alone.

Although it would have been better for my Grandma to stay in the hospital a couple more days, the hospital without notifying family transferred her to a skilled nursing facility (SNF) for rehabilitation to include physical therapy and respiratory therapy.  I have seven years experience with working with many SNFs, but am extremely frustrated as know one seems to want my opinion or cares about my advice.  Again, I feel like I don't exisit.  It is also creating additional friction within the family.

In therapy, we've been working on my self-hatred, so it has been quite difficult and I keep going into "I'm bad."  Grandma's situation has added to that as I am not able to visit, help figure things out, advocate for her.  I really want to visit with her, but due to my immune system and continued respiratory problems, I have been forbidden by my doctors to go to hospitals and SNF...I know they are right, but I still want to provide support in person and check the place out.  I did call her last night and it seemed to lift her spirits.

Needless to say, I am very concerned, frustrated and my feelings are easily hurt.  What happened to boring?!? Please pray or send up good thoughts for my Grandma and my family.  Thank you.

Addendum...

Now at 8:30 am, I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself and like I don't exist with my family and that my opinion and experience doesn't matter. Who cares that I've spent seven years of my career working with my clients who resided in skilled nursing facilaties and know them inside and out. Last night, Judy (my aunt's partner seemed ticked off and countered ever thing I said. My aunt didn't come to the telephone even when I had a specific question for her.


This morning, I sent an email to my uncle offerring my assistance in giving him some ideas of what to look out for. Then, I even sent an email to my mother with two suggestions. My uncle responded to my mother's email, but not the one I sent to him. I just feel like I don't matter and know one wants my opinion. I "feel" bad.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Haiti: Hatred and Heartache

As I write this post, I am crying.  I was going to write a different post and was delaying addressing the Haiti Earthquake because my heart aches so much.  I am also filled with extreme grief and anger.  My heart aches for those in Haiti and those in the United States waiting to hear about loved ones.  Everyone including the aid workers are in my thoughts and prayers.

I wish that I didn't have to express my anger, but I found very disturbing comments and videos as I searched for one for this post. Again, I say that disasters and crisis bring out the best and worst in people. (I have decided not to show a video as most of us have seen or had opportunity to see the images and it is not necessary to do so now).

Some Christians are saying that God did this to punish them as they are seen as involved in voodo, witchcraft, Muslim activities, etc.  This is not the Christian God that I know by the scriptures and I know that he deeply grieves for them.  (Do they also not understand that Americans as well as many others from other countries died also!)

Others have said that this is a sign of the end times as illegal Haitians will eventually be sent back to where the came from as will other races as written in the Bible.  One person said that they hated all n****rs and do not feel sorry for them and won't help them.  I feel so sick having read these and more comments of such type.

Others have stated that God made it happens, so therefore He is not loving.  I don't think that anyone can ever adequately address this issue to human understanding as we are not God and our minds do not have His capacity or the larger picture.  Horrendous things happen all the time in this world.  I know about free will and natual disaster arguments, but bottom line is that I do not know why such things happen.  But, as a Christian I know God as loving, accepting, compassionate and that this disaster grieves Him.  Christ would have helped and demonstrated these characteristics...I wonder do I or do you?

The Bible says that "we will have trials and tribulations, but be of good courage..."  Other translations state "cheer" instead of "courage" which is incorrect if you go back to the Hebrew words used.  So, we are to have the courage to carry on and not put on a happy face or say, "I'm over it or God will take care of it."  Listen and allow people to express their emotions and grieve with them...that is one of the most loving things that you can do.

People have also said that President Obama is milking this for all he has to increase his ratings with the American public.  Any president would have done the same or this country as well as others would have criticized the U.S.  I am not implying that he provided aid quickly to "look good," but any descent person would have done the same.  It is also being said that this is good for President Obama as he will gain the support of both dark and light skinned blacks.

What an opportunity for people to really show their real colors, ignorance and hatred. We are all part of humanity no matter our beliefs, values or morals.  I wish there was more compassion expressed in this world.

If you want to express your compassion and aid you can contact the following:
( For links to each site click here to find the list from MSNBC)

Action Against Hunger, 877-777-1420

Agape Flights, 941-584-8078

American Red Cross, 800-733-2767

American Refugee Committee, 800-875-7060

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, 212-687-6200

American Jewish World Service, 212-792-2900

AmeriCares, 800-486-4357

Beyond Borders, 866-424-8403

B'nai B'rith International, 202-857-6600

CARE, 800-521-2273

CarmaFoundation

Catholic Relief Services, 800-736-3467

Childcare Worldwide, 800-553-2328

Church World Services, 800-297-1516

Clinton Foundation, 501-748-0471

Text "HAITI" to 20222 to donate $10 to Haiti relief

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

Concern Worldwide, 212-557-8000

Convoy of Hope, 417-823-8998

Cross International, 800-391-8545

CRUDEM Foundation, 413-642-0450

CRWRC, 800-55-CRWRC

Direct Relief International, 805-964-4767
Doctors Without Borders, 888-392-0392

Episcopal Relief and Development, 800-334-7626

Feed My Starving Children, 763-504-2919

Food for the Poor, 800-427-9104

Friends of WFP, 866-929-1694

Friends of the Orphans, 312-386-7499

Habitat for Humanity, 1-800-422-4828

Haiti Children, 877-424-8454

Haiti Foundation Against Poverty

Haiti Marycare, 203-675-4770

Haitian Health Foundation, 860-886-4357

Healing Hands for Haiti, 651-769-5846

Hope for Haiti, 239-434-7183

International Child Care, 800-722-4453

International Medical Corps, 800-481-4462

International Rescue Committee, 877-733-8433

International Relief Teams, 619-284-7979

Islamic Relief USA, 888-479-4968

Lions Club International Foundation, 630-203-3836

Lutheran World Relief, 800-597-5972

Medical Benevolence Foundation, 800-547-7627

Medical Teams International, 800-959-4325

Meds and Food for Kids, 314-420-1634

Mennonite Central Committee, 888-563-4676

Mercy Corps, 888-256-1900

Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, 800-306-9950

New Life for Haiti, 815-436-7633

Operation Blessing, 800-730-2537

Operation USA, 800-678-7255

Oxfam, 800-776-9326

Partners in Health, 617-432-5298

RHEMA International, 248-652-9894

Rural Haiti Project, 347-405-5552

The Salvation Army, 800-725-2769

Samaritan's Purse, 828-262-1980

Save the Children, 800-728-3843
ShelterBox
UN Central Emergency Response Fund
UNICEF, 800-367-5437
United Methodist Committee on Relief, 800-554-8583
World Concern, 800-755-5022
World Hope International, 888-466-4673
World Relief, 800-535-5433
World Vision, 888-511-6548
Yele Haiti, 212-352-0552
Wyclef Jean's grassroots org
Text Yele to 501501 to donate $5 via cellphone


The U.S. State Department Operations Center said Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti should call 1-888-407-4747.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Do You Know How To Do Your Job?


Wow!! I was astonished that this happened live. I was quite uncomfortable. Mistakes and miscommunication happens during live broadcast, but I've never seen anything like this. Talk about public humiliation.

I was unable to find out what happened after this "fight" to the anchor and reporter. Please share if you know.

Have you ever been publically humiliated at work or anywhere else. Do share!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Do You Take the Risk of Trusting?

Trust ~ verb. to place confidence in : rely on .

Vulnerable ~ adjective. capable of being physically or emotionally wounded .

Risk ~ verb. to venture upon; take or run the chance of.





My mental illness has often revealed true friendship and trust. I’ve learned in painful ways that who I thought were my friends really were not. During my first hospitalization in the 1990’s, I lost a friendship of more than 15 years. Unfortunately, my hospitalization coincided with her boyfriend of seven years breaking up with her.

But, once I was discharged, we talked and she told me how I had abandoned her, in her time of most need. Also, that she didn’t like the way I was acting before I went into the hospital and that she did not want to be friends with me if I was going to be that way again. We scheduled to get together and I cancelled deciding that it wasn’t a true friendship, if I have to be a certain way. This was quite a painful lesson. (By the way, I didn't like the way I was acting either and the way I was acting was an indication that I needed hospitalization.)

Recently, since I’ve been letting more people know about the things in which I struggle, I have found that my feelings are often hurt the more I trust and become vulnerable. Generally, my moods and ability to deal with things are up and down. During these times, I am not my usual self. I become vague, tentative, quiet, confused and unable to track conversations. I had opened up with someone and apparently these behaviors are not acceptable for her to continue to trust me in a relationship.

Needless to say, I am angry, hurt and sad. However, I still believe that it is important to continue to reach out in trusting others which has taken me “forever” to learn. With my history, trust is a hard fought battle, but I have seen and enjoy the benefits. However, I am a little more protective and cautious now as a reaction to recent events. As a side note, I am having difficulty with a lot of intense emotions coming up in therapy, so I may appear inconsistent...please bare bear with me. :-) Really a mistake. Thanks for letting me vent.

“We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone- but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy” ~ author unknown.


So how do you define friendship?

Is trusting someone worth the risk of getting hurt for you and why?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

PAST JOURNAL ENTRY: 12/30/05 to 1/2/06 ~ Part V (final)

...Some of the dreams have had to do with work...Kathy (supervisor) getting angry with me and backing me into a corner regarding my being behind, therapy sessions and decisions I've made...just felt like Kathy was questioning or being critical about everything I was doing before I left for vacation. (self-hatred having cut and drinking the alcohol. anxiety about telling Gary what I have done.)

Dreams also have to do with my gather leaving, my mother getting angry and feeling trapped by Gene (former step-father). I'm just feeling "bad and angry and scared. I can't seem to attach it to a specific thing...it seems very general, but very intense and I feel really disconnected from everyone including myself. Sometimes, it is really difficult to identify what I am feeling. Sometime, I want to cry, scream or hit.

I do know that I am extremely anxious about tomorrow and I don't want to tell you what I did, but that is worse than just not keeping the promised. Felt like I could only fight for so long until I began to feel disorganized and began to disconnected from you. Afraid of your reaction. Everything was going to "bad" before you left, now even more so...I just want to disappear and die. (These are all my usual reactions to him going away and after the holidays. But, not this year!!!)

Feels like I couldn't handle being angry at you and Adrian for so long with you being gone. Started to feel really overwhelmed, disorganized and disconnected. I really made you not exist and that I didn't matter. The promises just didn't matter, nothing mattered. Just felt really "bad" and angry at the world felt like just screaming and hitting. (Being mad at the world sound like I was an infant being angry that my mother wouldn't come for me...Infants are all feeling. This is what I am feeling about Gary...that he won't come and comfort me in my time of need.)

Now, I feel bad, want to cry, feeling a little sad for what I did and realizing how self-destructive I can be and have been I'm really anxious about talking with you...almost cancelled, but wanted to try to keep my promises. I really wish I didn't break so many. I'm disappointed in myself. But, it really felt like I needed to do it. And, I'm feeling really remorseful. And the thoughts are louder. I'm also angry with myself and really want to keep my promises. When I mad them, I intended to keep them. Really scared of you...somewhere along the way I kept thinking that you were angry, now it is just worse.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

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

Forth in a series while my therapist was away during the holidays of 2006.

...Gary,

Today (Sunday), I woke up feeling badly about the alcohol, so I threw it away. Last night, I didn't sleep very well...different noises kept waking me up and I kept having flashback type nightmares. (Anxiety and still having flashback of my abuse) Was feeling bad (not a feeling, but a thought that was judgemental...borderline dilemma), angry and agitated and cut again.

It really helped make me feel calmer and numbed out which has helped me not to snap at Adrian and to focus on work, but not as much as I wanted. I immediately felt calmer and more grounded and less disorganized when I cut. I am a little remorseful, but I feel so much better it is comforting to me (need to find a different was to self-comfort). I also feel bad that I didn't keep my promises but also trying to figure out when I can cut again or bruise which I haven't done. The goal is to feel better...actually better put is "not to feel"

I was able to utilize the tape, writings and cards. (All of there were from my therapist which included his writings and voice). This was helpful until Friday. Then it really felt like I had to cut...like it was something that I needed to do. I kept thinking of when I can cut again or bruise (addiction!).

With the alcohol, I really regret that. But, I didn't drink enough to do any harm, at least physically. In someways, it reminds me of the overdose of Tylenol...just feeling so angry, bad and wanting to die...but not enough to really kill myself, but really toying with the idea.

I feel really out of control and I want to cancel tomorrow. (Trying to push everyone away because "I am bad.") Maybe, that is one promise that I can keep. In someways, I feel really confused and like things stared to spin downward and the more that happened the more disconnected I felt (always get into trouble when I get disconnected). The more disconnected I felt...the more nothing mattered to me...the more you didn't exist (the more I didn't exist the more was disconnected to myself).

The thoughts of suicide and wanting to harm myself became louder. Now, I feel kind of stuck in looking for the next fix where I can hurt myself. There is a part of me that doesn't want to stop and another part that is scared to stop...it just feels so good...to be numb and calm.

Obviously, I was having a really difficult time and out of control. Up until this year, I had struggled with all of this; however, my therapist being away really made it worse. I can see how much growth there is. I wouldn't carry out such things as I did then. The self-injury is so much an addiction.

To Be Continued...

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