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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Panicking!!! (Two Posts For Today)

I am in a panic as I made an appointed with a dietician for Monday evening!!  I had contacted her on Monday and she called back yesterday afternoon.  When I was working as a social worker she was my favorite dietician that I referred my clients. She is very nice and realistic. I told her a bit about why I need services...tough to do. 

So, not only do I already know the dietician, she is good and will come to my home.  She also said that she will not charge me as it is her way of giving back to the community.  (I do wonder if she is just saying that.)

It may seem like this has been a rushed decision, but believe me that I don't write something or gather information just for the fun of it. I do this after thinking about my things for a long time and then out of the blue it seems like I come up with what I'm going to do and follow through. In other words, I don't talk about something until I am ready to act upon it.

Reminder: Tell me your caption for this picture

(Tell me how you would like to caption this picture)

Just a reminder that, I've decided that I am going to "drop" out of Entrecard. It takes far too much of my time and I would rather read blogs and take a look at ones that I have been wanting to read. It was a tough decision as I have found some really great blogs. But, there are other ways that are more meaningful and worth my time. 

As of today, I have over 1000 credits that I will give to the best caption for the picture below. Even if you don't have Entrecard, I'd like to hear what caption that you have. I will feature the winner in this catagory in a blog. Have fun!! Contest ends on March 31th. I will reveal the winner on April 1st...no, fooling.

I will continue to drop, but decided to continue to accept advertisements in order to increase my EC credits. I've decided that the top five Entrecard card droppers and the winner of the caption contest will have a post dedicated just to them and the rest will be in a post together. I'll announce the winners tomorrow.I will be featuring the following blogs which are in no particular order:

As The Crackerhead Crumbles
Epicurean Health
Rambling Stuff
Get Anxiety Help
Nature's Fury and Beauty in Pictures
First Door on the Left
Health Assistant
My Strength My Song
Mature Not Senile
Sound of a Soft Breath

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Taking Initiative

I really don't want to write this post, but I feel like I need to do so. My therapist was proud of me and I was proud of myself.  Why?  Because I wrote yesterday's post and because I called regarding obtaining information regarding a nutritionist. I called my insurance company to find out what was covered and for general information.  I also called and left a message for a nutritionist that I used to work with when I was a social worker.

In therapy, we talked more about my eating disorder. I've never been able to talk about it at this level...open and honest.  Even six months ago, I would have shut down and become defensive.  He told me that it was not different than my suicidal thoughts and self-injury.  Meaning they were problems that needed to be address just as my eating disorder needs to be address. I also told him that I needed help that the pressure with trying to lose weight kicks up my eating disorder behavior. He told me that it would be very difficult to be in my situation without some help.

I just feel so much pressure. I told him that even though, I'm researching it that doesn't mean that I will follow through.  But, we both know me and indicated that this is exactly what I do everytime that I get ready to act upon it. *sigh* I don't like to admit that I really need help with this.  The other point is that it makes me sad and angry that I've struggled with this for so long keeping me from doing other things. I'm also really realizing how consuming this has been for so long. It is also painful and I'm scared which are some of the most difficult emotions for me to handle. 

I also told him that I feel really guilty that I am supposed to be losing weight, but my husband and I have been having a small scoop of ice cream every night.  He told me that it wasn't really an impact on my weight and that it doesn't take into account the benefit of time with my husband and sharing just the two of us. Also, it isn't like I'm eating a whole carton of Haagen Daaz Fives, but if we were spliting the carton that would be a whole different thing.  I laughed and agreed...my therapist and I shared a love for this ice cream.

Ironically, I have an appointment with my psychiatrist today and will talk to him about it and finding a nutritionist or dietician...I guess, I am really serious about getting better!

Monday, March 29, 2010

More Truth Sinking In!!

Well, I want to share my current process with my eating disorder...at least, I think I do...my tummy is full of butterflies now.  For those who missed a sort of introductory into this, scroll down to the bottom of the page (I know it is long) and look for three consequtive posts beginning March 9th.

This has been an very tough month regarding my anorexia (there I said it).  I'm still finding clothing here and there and putting my smalls into Space Bags (they work great) and donating my smaller clothing. A couple of things that are real clear. One, that I love clothing and two, how quickly I gained my weight due to my health last year. I have a very, very, very, very limited amount of medium sized clothing.  Also, I went from an A cup to a C cup and completely missed purchasing a B cup!!! I end up in a DD cup and extra-large to large.  Sheesh!! I feel like I am mourning and losing something very important to me. Something that I was hanging on for my life.

In donating my (probably 400 pieces) extra extra-smalls, smalls, size zero, and size 24/25, I've become more focused and have realized that it consumes my thoughts throughout the day and has for over 25 years.  It is quite sobering.  It literally had taken over my life and nearly killed me. I'm beginning to understand how pervasive, unrelenting this has been.  I am trying to hang onto it and trying to keep it at the same time...ambivalence. Ambivalence is a part of everything with me including live or die...being ambivalent about me.

To eat, not to eat, what to eat are constant choices throughout the day. I feel so much pressure to do the "right" thing. But, often, I chose not to eat because I'm not hungry, do not want to or because I ate "such and such" earlier in the day or yesterday. But, even when I eat, I'm thinking about what I may have to eat later.  And, on it goes.  It is with me throughout the day...constant.

I'm feeling angry and really sad.  And, sometimes, I just want to throw a tantrum telling everyone that I am not going to eat and will fit back into my extra-smalls.  I feel a bit panicked.  What happens if I don't watch what I eat and how much I weigh?  How do I lose my weight gain and not use my usual route of not eating?  How does one do that?  I'm scared...what if I don't lose the weight and I will be fat the rest of my life.  How much do I want to spend and waste my life on this? How much does this cause me from accomplishing my goals? When does the pain stop?

Where did the pain come from?  Do I want to feel?  Do I really want to delve into the reasons why I began my eating disorder anyway? Do I want to feel my self-hatred which is at the base of all of my dysfunctional behavior? When does the pain stop? When will I allow myself to love instead of hate me?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Courage is...


Unless you have courage, a courage that keeps you going, always going, no matter what happens, there is no certainty of success. It is really an endurance race. ~ HENRY FORD, Theosophist Magazine, Feb. 1930

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Goals...score!!

Recently, I have been learning, at a deeper level, the amount of energy that it takes to maintain my defences. (I'll probably post something about this next week).  Anyway, it takes my energy away from meeting and enjoying reaching my goals.  My goals are sort of broken down in to short-term and long-term goals.  In no particular order, these are my goals (may or may not be realistic):

  • Have my husband sleep in the same bed with me.
  • exercise and have a personal trainer
  • bake and cook again
  • grocery shop
  • volunteer
  • reduce therapy hours
  • set up a living will with my husband
  • get healthy
  • go to church
  • go to church small group
  • see Wicked
  • to see in concert Crosby, Still and Nash; Chicago with Earth, Wind and Fire, Carly Simon, Barry Manilow, Olivia Newton-John, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Adam Lambert, Creed, Rob Thomas, Jason Mraz, Train, Michael Buble, Kelly Clarkson and The Gay Mens Chorus of Los Angeles.
  • Prepare for taking the GRE.

  • Earn my doctorate in Clinical Psychology
  • Use my education for becoming involved with my church, mental health, developmental disabilities, and GLBT.
  • get involved with advocacy, counseling, speaker, counsult, train and set up programs for the above.
  • write a book
  • take culinary classes
  • become a Nordstrom personal shopper with only M-F and off by 6pm.
  • meet people that I only know from online
  • terminate therapy
  • be completely off medications
  • visit Epcot Center, Hawaii, northern california, New York, washington D.C., Europe (England, Italy and Greece)
I need to get better before I can complete some of these...But, just imagine the possiblities...I can have control over what I want out of my life.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What Would You Do?

I know that this is not a usual post, but I want opinions.  I have an antibody that is low, so I have been receiving infusion therapy/immunoglobulin therapy every four weeks for about six months now.  The following is a description is from Mayo Clinic:

Immunoglobulin therapy. Also called gamma globulin therapy, this treatment can be a lifesaver for people who have an antibody deficiency. Immunoglobulin consists of antibody proteins needed for the immune system to fight infections. It can be either injected into a vein through an IV line, or inserted underneath the skin (subcutaneous infusion). Treatment with intravenous gamma globulin is needed every few weeks to maintain sufficient levels of immunoglobulins. Subcutaneous infusion is needed once or twice a week.

Getting my rate of the amount given by ml per hour.  I am very sensitive to the rate and last month we figured out that my rate should not go above 60 ml, for which, the order is written as such. I am receiving it at home due to my allergies to all types of fragrances and some odors. It takes about six and a half hours at that rate.

Yesterday, the nurse that was sent to my home was very nice.  However, I suspect that she increased the rate to 70 ml while I was napping. When I woke up from my nap, I did not feel good.  I was beginning to get a migraine and was nauseated which are some of the symptoms that I had when the rate was above 60 ml.  I need to use "the little girls room" and had my husband go with me. We checked the rate and it was at 70 ml. 

I went back to the living room where I was receiving treatment.  I told the nurse my symtoms and she stated that we needed to lower the rate.  Then, out of character, she asked what rate do I want it at.  I asked what is the rate currently and she stated, "60." I asked again, as I was not feeling well, (it was a test and a way to give her an out).  She stated "60," so I told her 50 ml. This morning at 12:30am I woke up because my right forearm was red, blotchy and itchy.

Now, I'm trying to decide what to do. I could just call and complain.  Wait for the pharmacist of the home care center to call due to my side effects being charted. I need to schedule an appointment, so I could request that I not have her assigned to me again. There are also other options.  What do you think I should do or what would you do?

Monday, March 22, 2010

World Down Syndrome Day



Yesterday, March 21th was World Down Syndrome Day.  This is a subject near and dear to my heart as up until I stopped working, I dedicated seventeen years of my career to working with individuals with developmental disabilites including those with Down Syndrome. Seven of those years was as a social worker. I have a special interest in adults as when people with developmental disabilities are young they receive lots of attention and resources because they are cute. When they become adults, they are no longer cute and are often forgotten by friends and family and for many other reasons.

Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder where there is an extra 21st chromosone.  There are different types. In 1866, Dr. John Langdon Down, was the first to accurately describe the description of Down Syndrome thus the condition was named after him. Down syndrome occurs in approximately 1 to 800 to 1,000 births per year. The older the age of the mother, the more likely it is to occur.

In 1929, the average life span, if they survived, was 5-6 years old.  Now it is close to normal age.  One of my clients was in her 70's. Most individuals with Down Syndrome are in the mild to moderate range of mental retardation and are able to live full productive lives, live independently, be employed in the community, maintain friendship, have sex, have children and get married.  It should be noted that males with Down Syndrome are sterile, but there have been rare cases.  Individuals with Down Syndrome also marry others with a different type of disability.

Individuals with Down Syndrome have some health comonalities, such as, developmental delays, gastrointestinal problem (40-60%), congenital heart disease (40-60%), hearing (recurrent ear infections) and vision (cataracts) problems, hypothyroidism, excessive weight gain, smaller bones, increased white blood cells, recurrent upper respiratiory tract infections, constipation, behavioral changes and depression.  Physical features include flat midface, upward slanting, small oral cavity, redundant skinfolds, fingers are short and stubby, toes have increased spaces and hand creases.

When it comes to personality, my experience is that people with Down Syndrome usually are very friendly, caring, people pleasing, easy going and like physical affection.  However, if they do not like what they need to do or are asked to do something, they can be some of the most stubborn persons.  One thing that is helpful is that they like to please others and like praise.  This means that reward systems and time out works well.
I had one client whose supervisor came running to me saying, "Nancy is having a seizure."  I laughed and said that she doesn't have a seizure disorder. When I got to Nancy I said, "Nancy you don't have a seizure disorder, so stop it."  She immediately stopped, smiled at me and attempted to give me a hug.  I told her that you don't get hugs for faking a seizure, but you do if you are working.  Once she started working I immediately praised her and gave her a hug.  This is one of my favorite experiences and they are much smarter than most people give them credit.

As the video indicated, individuals with Down Syndrome have same needs as everyone else. Like anyone else friends and support are an esential part of life.  The following are just a few of my pet peeve when working with adults and teenagers:

People with Down Syndrome usually know that they are different than others and are often teased or harrassed and called retarded. Although they are retarded it has negative connotations which hurt their feelings and reinforce feelings of low self-esteem.  I hate it when someone uses the word "retard" to insult another person. This is also hurtful.

  • Individuals with Down Syndrome usually have some speech impairments which is frustrationg for the individual and often causes them to give up trying to communitcate or think that they are bad for being unable to speak properly.  With my clients, I used to tell them that "it is my job to try to understand you, but I may need you to slow down or use other words. I would also ask them to be patient with themselves as it is important for me to hear what you want to say."  It takes patience and you get better at it as you become more familiar with the person, just as it is with other people that you meet.

  • I hate it when others speak louder or speak in a condensending manner.  This would be insulting to us and is for someone with Down Syndrome.  They are not children to be spoken to in such a manner.  If you had a stroke, would you like it if your family spoke louder and treated you like a child. I usually speak slower and use simpler words, if called for.  Often they may have quite a sense of humor, so it makes it more fun.  Other times, I tell them that it is important for me that you understand, so please ask me if you don't understand what I am saying.

  • I hate conversations and meetings that could happen whether the person is there or not as often people talk about the individual rather that involve them in the conversation.  They are told what to do, rather than being asked what they want.

  • I hope that this gives you an idea and some background regarding individuals with Down Syndrome and that you will think before you speak because you may not know that you are hurting someones feelings or offending someone. Think about how you would like to be treated.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Watching and Listening in the 1950's

This post is dedicated to my friend Mike Golch of the great blogs Rambling Stuff, MJG's Loonytoon Central and his new blog Nut Case 1.  With much delight, I follow all of them.  Please go check them out. Mike is also a wonderful caring, funny and thoughtful person which is demonstrated in his blogs and comments.



Friday, March 19, 2010

Still in process with Grandma...

I am still trying to process my Grandma's passing. At the last minute, I changed what was to be read at her service, so I thought that I would share it here.  Please, forgive me for my repetition. The following is what I wrote and was the final version of what was read at the service:

Grandma,

I don’t even want to write this letter because I never wanted to say “goodbye.” But, I need to say, “goodbye.” Somewhere in my head grandparents never go away, but that is in my head like some of your “crazy” thoughts were. I imagine your bony strong fist hitting me now. I know that you didn’t go away and leave me, but that is how I feel. I really am happy that you didn’t suffer much and angry that you had to at all. I didn’t want you to die and am having a really difficult time acknowledging that I don’t have you to visit or call anymore…or tease. You were not supposed to leave…ever.

(I have know idea who the people on the left are, but this is a tribute to my grandma, so this is quite fitting.  She would purchase picture frames and leave the original picture in it and everyone would ask who is that...LOL!!)

I don’t think that I would ever been ready for you to leave me. I know that we didn’t express it directly often, but we did continually express our love for each other. I know that you loved me and I hope that you know how much I loved you.

I’m sorry that my health prevented me from seeing you more during this last year and especially on the last day that you were talking and joking. I really wished I could have been a part of the “fresh hamburger” event. But, I love hearing it and telling it. I am glad that you were able to recognize and say, “hello” to both Adrian and I. I’m glad that I was able to hold your hands and let you “kill” them while I “head butted” you when you were in pain. *BONK* For me, that physical closeness was such a gift. I just wish that I could have felt your skin more, for you not be in pain and for you to be able to tell me “leave you alone or shut up!” I hate remembering the pain you were in…even in dying you were super strong…ouch!!

I keep remembering the last time that I saw you was in the hospital. I kept telling myself that I wasn’t going to see you due to my health risks, but when I got the telephone call at 3:15 AM telling me that you were not going to make it…All I started to think of was that I needed to say “goodbye” to you and be with family. Again, you brought the family together. We all love you. I love you. I can hear you saying something funny about the time it took to get to you, that I actually took time to wash my hair and about the mask and gloves that I had to wear. I can hear you make funny sounds and faces about them.

I miss you and some of the normal everyday things like going grocery shopping, recreational shopping, going shopping for some gift, purposeful shopping and more shopping. I know that it wasn’t about shopping, but I do know that when you were younger that I would get tired before you. I think that everyone got tired before you. Going to the market with you seemed like an all day event to me as a child. It seemed like you knew everyone in the neighborhood and just HAD to talk with everyone.

Oh boy, did you have a sweet tooth and could eat despite what others saw later. I liked getting money from you for the ice cream truck…but the truth is that you wanted one too! When Halloween came, you would purchase extra candy and stash it away. Well, I’m sure you knew that most of us knew and that we “stole” some and that you probably purchased extra for yourself. The boxes of See’s candy that came to your house were different…they all had holes on the undersides. I guess that is just the way they were made.

I’m so blessed that I have very young memories of you and living with you like going to the market, mall, pharmacy, optometrist, post office, etc…normal everyday activities and you were always friendly. Although it bothered my sinuses, I miss the smell of your make up, your bedding and clothing. I remember bouncing into bed between you and Grandpa and just chattering away with the both or you. I remember holding your hand feeling like my life depended on it…everyone was so big!! Even though, I don’t have a specific last memory of you not being in the hospital, I have a wonderful sense that when I was young you protected me, made me feel safe and secure…your sweet treats which you actually wanted were always nice too. I enjoyed helping and eating dinner with you and everyone else.

You have to admit that you we’re a bit obsessed about vacuuming as you vacuumed twice per day because of the dog hair and even tried to vacuum the dog. Even when you broke your leg and it was in a cast you tried to vacuum. You sat in one chair and your broken leg was on other while you tried to move around with the two castered chairs vacuuming. You were always a silly woman and the whole family has inherited that...Silliness will live on.

You were always a good sport and willing to play all the children’s games with me. One of the most memorable times was when you played the board game “Beat the Clock” which was based on the television show. I’ll never forget you sitting, and then grabbing your ankles and had to walk in a large circle to beat the clock. I think it was called a duck walk. We were all laughing. You did really well because you didn’t tip over even while laughing. But, then again you were really strong. At one Thanksgiving, there was a pull up bar for doing chin ups and no one not even the adult men could do one, but you showed them you did three!!! You weren’t a woman to be messed with.

You always had this thing about curling her toes all the time which we dubbed the “Adachi curl.” You were even doing it in the hospital bed. I didn’t know that was strange until I was married as everyone in the family always did that. The spouses probably all thought that it was strange including using our feet to pick up things. That is from your side of the family and will carry on.

One of my favorite memories of you was at one of the Bingo family reunions. Down this long hallway, auntie Tetsuko and you saw each other. Immediately, you both assumed a pseudo-sumo pose and “tough” faces and made your way down the hallway to greet each other. When you were close enough you hit one another and laughed then hugged and kissed each other. I was laughing so hard that it made my stomach hurt. Oh, there are so many memories with you that that are warming or make me smile. I already long to hear you talk, repeating me over and over, laughing, making faces and just being around and just to touch you.

My memories and how you helped to raise me are wonderful hugs from you or a hit on the arm, both convey the same thing. It really brings a smile to my face and warmth to imagine you and Grandpa seeing each other again. I hope you didn’t hit him hard enough or make him laugh enough to fall off his cloud. I’ll continually receive hugs from both of you via the fleece jackets, I finally “stole” from you. I really miss you and Grandpa. But, today is “Goodbye, Grandma…I love you and miss you so much that I hurt to my core.” I love you and always will…Coleen

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Past Journal Entry: January 2006 ~ Therapist Conflict Part II

Past Journal Entry: January 2006 ~ Therapist Conflict Part II

...I started to go away when I remembered, so I looked at you to try to stay present, but went away more when I felt like you weren't .  Then, the women walking in the hall made me flashback to hearing my mother's heels coming down the hallway and the door flying open or door being slammed and my getting hit, so I went away more.  (starting to tear up)

Really hurt to feel like you weren't listening or even there...partly trigged how alone I felt with my thoughts and feeling growing up.  Like it wasn't okay to talk last night.

I had difficulty getting home because I started to sob when I got on the freeway and cried all the way home.  I stopped a block away from home to try to get it together befor I went home.  Took about 10 to 15 minutes.  Then, I went straight to bed not wanting to interact or let Adrian know that I was crying. Once he left the bedroom I began crying more and you called shortly after.  Felt a little better after talking with you, but still felt bad.

The following monday...Today was really difficult. I think you really trigged how alone, unheard and misunderstood I felt. I'm feeling panicy right now and starting to cry.  I'm in your parking lot and there was a mother yelling at her little boy.  Then, there was a little girl crying and screaming...feels like I really need to do that, but it really made me anxious.

This week, it seems like I've remember living at Grandma and Grandpa's when I really haven't before.  Let alone talk about it.  Really feels like I need to talk, cry, scream and hit.  I really want to hit me or the glass...Everything just hurts and I keep flashing back to Grandma and Grandpa's, the duplex and Maye and Bill's [ex-step-father's parents].

Then, I think that it is my fault because I went and looked at the houses Monday...I just have to make everything bad.  I just want to curl up and die.  Guess I'm saying that I'm in a lot of pain.  Crying a little more now.

[I really don't know what was going on with this entry, but obviously there was some sort of thing going on with me with my therapist. I did read this to him and I know that he took responsibility for his part. By the time, I left I was relieved and felt really reconnected to him. I want to encourage all of you to let your therapist know what you are thinking and feeling regaring the way that they speak to you, what they say or anything else. I know how difficult it is and contrary to what we actually want to do, but do it anyway. :-) After almost nineteen years, I still have to journal it then read it. But, it is some of the most productive work you will do. It will also increase your ability to trust yourself and someone else.]

Past Journal Entry: January 2006 ~ Therapist Conflict Part II

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Past Journal Entry ~ 2006 ~ More flashbacks

Past Journal Entry ~ January 19, 2006 ~ 5:30 PM

Gary,

I had a tough time last night.  I was actually still crying when we got off the telephone, but the medicatons were kicking in and I fell asleep, but woke up on and off between 2-4:30, then I was awake.

I've been feeling really bad about last night because I misinterpreted what was going on.  Then I became anxious because I kept thinking you are angry with me. I've been tearful and going away much of the day. I've really been wanting to cut put my hand through glass and stab my leg.

Last night, was really difficult as I kept remembering more of what it was like and how I felt when we lived with Grandma and Grandpa's.  When I thought that you weren't with me...I felt really bad...after what you said last night. I wonder if it was difficult for you to remain present last night.

When I though you weren't paying attention or listening to me.  I felt really bad and was angry.  Feeling like I was wasting my time and again there was no one to listen, felt really alone and I was in the middle of struggling to tell you about my mother slapping and hitting me and how I was terrified...I was also trying to get it out of my head because I didn't want to believe it. Always thought that I was older.

[I really don't know what was going on with this entry, but obviously there was some sort of thing going on with me with my therapist.  I did read this to him and I know that he took responsibility for his part.  By the time, I left I was relieved and felt really reconnected to him.  I want to encourage all of you to let your therapist know what you are thinking and feeling regaring the way that they speak to you, what they say or anything else. I know how difficult it is and contrary to what we actually want to do, but do it anyway. :-)  After almost nineteen years, I still have to journal it then read it.  But, it is some of the most productive work you will do.  It will also increase your ability to trust yourself and someone else.]

Past Journal Entry ~ January 19, 2006 ~ 5:30 PM...continued tomorrow

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Past Journal Entry ~ 2006 ~ Glass

Past Journal Entry ~ January 18, 2006 ~ 6:30 PM

Gary,

Felt like I was on the verge of crying in the morning and really wanting to hit and scream.  Feeling bad and wanting to cut, put my hand through a window and stab my leg. Wanting to die.

Then, sometime in the morning after, I got to work felt like I just shut down and had lots of difficulty being present.  Couldn't focus and really didn't get any work done.  On the drive here, felt achy and tearful.  Now, that I'm here I really feel like crying and screaming and hitting.  Really wanting to hit the window of my car until it breaks. [Still having flashbacks]

Remember wanting to hit the glass on the window pane at Grandma and Grandap's until my hand went through while watching my father drive away...really wanting to scream and cry.

Remember wanting to break all the windows of Gene's van with my fits just wanting out...to get away.  Wanting so much to scream and scream and cry...fight to get away, but I couldn't.

Rember wanting to hurt myself by putting my fist through my bedroom window at the duplex and house.  At work, I have two sets of windows in my cube that go from almost to the floor to almost the ceiling with many panes...I've often thought that I'd like to just put my hand through one. Remember, during my hospitalization and in college the weeklong and some of the training and supervisons wanting to just go through the sliding glass doors.

Remember, my mother's threats to throw me out or through the second story window.  Wonder if that is connected.  Also, remember during one of the fights that a piece of furniture got pushed into the family room window and cracked...it was never fixed until the house was sold.

I don't know what it is about glass, but making a fist in the drinking glass was how I really first discovered cutting.  Almost thirty years later, I still have a scar.  I used to fantasize about the glass cups by throwing or squeezing my fist in them unti the bork in my hand cutting myself.

When I started, I didn't know what I was going to write...surprised at what I wrote and feels like I jut rambled on...feeling like crying and just want to understand what it is about the glass.

[Two things really strike me in this entry.  One, it seems like I am really angry and have turned it against myself.  Two, that putting my hand through glass is like russian roullette.  I could have minor damage or I could have fatal damage. Speaks of my ambivalene toward myself and life.  Also, speaks of my self-hatred and inability to express my emotions directly instead I say what I want to do and the other person has to figure out how I feel.]

Past Journal Entry ~ January 18, 2006 ~ 6:30 PM

Monday, March 15, 2010

Past Journal Entry: 2006 ~ Feeling Bad

Past Journal Entry: January 17, 2006 ~ 6:45 PM

Another entry from my past journals.  I hope that you can see the differance and the progress that I've made from that time until now and understand some of my process.  Current commentary will be in purple. (I hope, if I remember! LOL) Oh, most of my journal are addressed to my therapist, Gary, and most were read to him or discussed.

Gary,

Seems like I've had a difficult time since the end of session.  Feeling bad about talking about showing Adrian the different homes that in the area that I lived in and where most of my sexual abuse too place, lots of flashbacks, and alse about crying. [Over the weekend, we were in the area, so I showed my husband where I used to live, my grandparents and Gene's (step-father parents...I think, this really triggered me, but I am feeling guilty because "I did that to myself" Of course, now I know that wasn't the case.] I'm wanting to cut, put my hand threw glass and stab my lef.  Wanting to die and being really fearful and going away.

Today, was tough and when I got to the office, Kristina [co-worker] immediately made me feel bad and then, I was angry. [I reacted and fragmenting into "I am bad."  She was also fragmenting. :-)] She asked it I was going to the Union rally and board meeting tonight. [executive director was refusing to negotiate current contract]  I told her "no" because I have a therapy appointment. She told me that my job is more important than my therapy session and that I could always have the session tomorrow.  I told her that I do support the union and do what I can...She said that I only support them in words and that wasn't enough...I walked away and got frustated because I really wanted to leave a message with you, but couldn't get a signal.  I was feeling really bad and wanting to cut.

Then Niima came in and said that she knew that I supported the union in ways that I can and that Kristina is just fired up. I think, I was already making everything bad, but I had an extremely difficult time focusing today and kept going away.  However, I did do some good work with my difficult families and clients today face to face.

I keep having flashbacks...Like I can see myself and feel  what I felt in the duplex or at Grandma and Grandpa's or Maye and Bill's.  Feeling so alone, really wanting out of the duplex or Maye and Bill's , wanting someone to take care of me, listen to me, comfort me and help me to understand.

[Reading this reminds me of how much difficulty I was having with trying to focus on work with the flashbacks and feeling defensive and 'fragile' and 'reactive' all time. At this point, I was in therapy 7 hours per week due to the intensity of how things were for me.  Additionally, I was talking to him on the telephone almost everyday. Oh, did I mention that I was working full-time with a very intense case load...looking back, I felt like I was okay as long as I could work.  By the way, bad is not a feeling.  It is a self-judgement, in which, I am telling myself that I am a bad person.]

Past Journal Entry: January 17, 2006 ~ 6:45 PM

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Stigma of Mental Illness ~ Pentagon Shooting


By now, I would think that most people have heard about the Pentagon shooting. Well, in surfing the Internet about this event, I found so many things that show how much stigma there is and how the media reinforces it. I became really angry and wanted to scream at some of the stuff that I found.




Words that I found referring to Bedell's mental illness: unhinged, whack job, disturbed, crazy, mental problems, idiot, fucking psycho, lunatic, bizarre, insane, half-wit, faggot, moron, mental illness is an excuse etc.  Some other phrases, "mental illness and defect of character. Aren't they the same thing?" And from the media broadcast:  "Bipolar, subject to violent psychotic behavior."

Another comment:  "The main stream media is lying ABOUT HIS MOTIVES.  They keep saying he's was a lunatic and suffered MENTAL DISORDERS. What they dont say is he thought OUR GOVERNMENT WAS BEHIND 911!"

I'd rather be described as a person diagnosed with a mental illness that was being treated.  How about you?

Regarding psychiatric care:  psychiatrist responsible;  Beldell "snapped" after being in the hands of a Psychiatric facility they, nor their drugs, fixed or cured or prevented him from doing this and; "bipolar disorder" is just a collection of symptoms that Psych's have thrown a label on, it has no scientific basis. This guy was in Psychiatry's hands, they got him on the amphetamine based little pills and he did this. The true cause of this problem is not "bipolar", it's the fact that he got further messed up by those who were supposed to be helping him.


I really am try not to scream at the comments.  First off, Bipolar Disorder is most often addressed with the drugs of Lithium, anti-convulsants, and anti-psychotics.  Some people fail to remember that he had taken himself off of the medication and was using marijuana instead.  Marijuana just makes the problems much worse and may lead to a psychotic break.  Amphetamines are not a part of treatment.  Psychiatry did not cause his actions.  It is also one of the few mental illness that generally require life long medication management.

The following video is about some myths and facts regarding Bipolar Disorder:




Bedell did not get "futher messed up by...those...helping him." It seems that during his court mandated hearings that he did not meet the criteria for being a danger to himself or others. This often happens and psychosis does not occur all the time.


In the 1960s and 1970s, due to abuse of the "mental institutions" of being dumping grounds and often people really did not have to be incarcerated, they began the process of deinstutionalization. The plan was to have community support services to help maintain and provide necessary treatment. Well, due to constant funding cuts the services are not there. In fact, in California, there is an over 250 millons cut in funding in these services including other social services, adult day health care, and education and much more.


Along with the deinstitutionalization came rights that really had been violated. No longer was there automatic sterilization. No forced medications and total reform of how people were supposed to be treated. This means that even if they are in the hospital adults cannot be "forced" to take their medications, so it isn't their fault. Without the stabilizing medication, the symptoms of his disinhibition, agitation and fearfullness complicated the lack of treatment which included psychosis and paranoid ideas which were further fueled his conspiracy theories regarding the government and the Internet.

People who have Bipolar Disorder can life fully productive and meaningful lives with medication to help stabilize their mood.  John Patrick Bedell was unable to accept the help that he needed. The following video shows just a small handful of individuals who have led meaningful and full lives:


Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Eating Disorder: Progress and Hope, Part III of III

Continued from yesterday, Part III of III

However, I have made some good progress during the past couple of weeks. I am talking about my eating disorder with my therapist, psychiatrist and husband including the lying. I’m blogging about it. Thinking about the further health problems that this will add. I’m also feeling quite anxious and angry at myself for talking. (ambivalence sneaking in) I am also feeling happy and relieved that I said something. It is really self-destructive and takes a lot of energy to not talk about my eating disorder.

Now, I don’t feel like my eating disorder isn’t just mine which brings up a whole lot more feelings and again ambivalence rears its ugly head because I don’t feel in control taking about it when, in fact, I am in more control. My eating disorder doesn’t continue take over my life.

To add to those feelings, at the suggestion of my therapist, I now have to manage the feelings that I have about boxing up for donations all of my smallest sizes. The smallest sizes include for pants, skirts and jeans are 24-25 and double zero to zero; tops are xxs-xs; bras are 32A, undies are xs or 4. To give you some perspective I am 5’ 4” and was 97-110 pounds. I’m angry that I'm donating my clothes, I feel like I’m letting go, am out of control, am sad, am disappointed and probably others that I can’t identify yet.

There is also much ambivalence. I am donating a ton of clothing (300+ pieces) that are all in good shape and not out of date. Seeing the amount of clothing also made me realize that up until last year with my health problems that I wasn’t doing very well. I have spent on and off over twenty years with this consuming me as the smaller sizes have usually fit me during those years. I’ll write further about this in a later post.

I am really angry because my therapist told me that he was sure that they would never fit me again because he would hospitalize me first. More ambivalence and control issues here. I know that he is right, but I still think that I can get down to those sizes and be healthy.

I also fool myself and become angry at my therapist when he tells me that I am anorexic. I tell him that I don’t meet the DSM criteria. He says that my thinking, feelings and behavior are the same. And, sometimes I want to fight him about even having an eating disorder. I think that he is wrong and that I am okay. Again, denial and that I don’t want to accept this or let anyone in…again, I am only fooling myself.

Bottom line is that I am anorexic and am in trouble. Also, that I am being more honest and want help. I am also willing to change some behavior, but it certainly doesn’t mean I like it. And, ambivalence says, “now I want to push everyone away.” But, I really don’t want them to go…I do want help and encouragement to work this through and am afraid that I’ll be fat. I am anorexic and don’t have control…my eating disorder has control over me.

To be continued when progress and setbacks occur...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Eating Disorder: The Ugly Details, Part II of III

Continued from yesterday, Part II of III

Now, I’ve never wanted to give details of what I’ve exactly done to try and hide it on this blog thinking that it will give others ideas. But, when it comes right down to it I didn’t want to look at the truth because if someone has an eating disorder they already know the bag of tricks and more. I just want to deny that it is a problem, that it never was, I can handle it, I’m in control…sounds like addict thinking to me…it is fucking bullshit. I’ve never been in control. It has always had control over me. Sometimes, denial is good until you can deal with the issue or it become life threatening.

There are many ways that I’ve tried to hide my eating disorder, mostly from myself. Like not talking about it and wearing clothing that hides how much I weight. When I had evening sessions it made it really easy to lie to my husband and say I’ve already ate. I would if I had time change from my more form fitting work clothing to loose clothing before session. Avoiding my husband touching or seeing me. I am not doing these things now. But, I was very vigilant when I was in real trouble.

Currently, I am in trouble now in which I will explain what I am doing. The worst part is I am lying to my husband about eating when I haven’t. I especially liked it when he was working late because we did not have any meals together. I tell him that I wasn’t hungry, or ate very little, but lying to him really means I am in trouble because I am not one to out right lie to anyone especially to my husband. I heat or cook something or dirty dishes with food and put the food down the garbage disposal. I always taste a bit, so I can tell him that “I had a little of this to eat.” (I know this is a lie…splitting hairs)

Some days consists of coffee in the morning and water the rest of the day. Sometimes, a piece of bread or something sweet. I sleep through meal times and then say that I’m not hungry or don’t feel good. I am and have always have cut my food up, so people can’t really tell how much I’ve eaten.

I started to lie to my therapist by omission or giving vague answers…I think that I was getting away with something, but, if I thought about it, I would realize that I was only fooling myself. I become extremely anxious when mealtimes come and I really become focused on everything I eat or drink. Along with it, I become preoccupied with my body by weighing myself almost every day or several times a day.

I constantly look in the mirror and see myself as grossly overweight. I am literally not sure what I really look like and haven’t in years. I’ve need my husband to point out women that look like me or if they seem to look heavier or thinner (usually it is heavier). Estimating calories for the day is a way of life. Food is categorized into good and bad food. Along with that is this thing of if I have a bad food I can’t have two meals or snacks or something.

Continues Tomorrow: "Progress and Hope"

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Eating Disorder (Part I of III): The Beginning

I want to write this post and I don’t…boy is that ambivalent. I guess that is a good way to start. One of the most difficult issues with having a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is ambivalence. Webster’s defines ambivalence as “simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action” and or “continual fluctuation (as between one thing and its opposite).”

It is difficult to tolerate feeling both seemingly opposite feelings at the same time which leads to the “all or nothing” and “good or bad” splits. There are no gray areas. (By the way, everyone does this to some degree.) The book entitled, “I Hate You-Don’t Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality by Jerold J. Kreisman,” is a good introductory book to read to gain a better understanding of this issue and the Borderline Personality Disorder.

Two weeks ago, I wrote quite personally about my eating disorder which I want to elaborate on further which is also why I explained ambivalence. For me, it is all or nothing. I either want to die slowly or I want to nurture and take care of myself. I either have complete control of my eating and weight or I am absolutely out of control. I want to live and I want to die. I want help and I want to push everyone away. I want to be taken care of or I want to be independent and need no one. I’m good or bad. I am all feeling or don’t allow myself to feel at all.

Oh, and the list could go on and applies to many other types of mental health issues and addictions. My thought process and behavior become consumed by my eating disorder. It is self-destructive, self-harming, suicidal and an expression of self-hatred like other addictions as well. It is also a defense mechanism which I use to prevent myself with dealing with what is currently going on or avoiding a topic or issue. Like all addictions there is a of addiction, which I referred to in previous posts and always hides the “real issues and problems.” I’m reading what I already wrote and if anyone has guessed it…I use my cognitive skills to avoid real issues. However, what I have written is important.

Since, I wrote my eating disorders series, I decided to talk about what is currently going on and to be more honest in therapy. You’d think that going on nineteen years with the same therapist, I’d have covered this…well, no I haven’t because part of an eating disorder is about control. And, damn it I was going to have control by omitting details of my eating disorder including allowing my therapist to think my psychiatrist was addressing it and vice versa. It was just last week that I said something and asked for help and am open to receiving it and initiating changes. (Like, my therapist didn’t know…duh)

Continued tomorrow..."The Ugly Details"

Monday, March 8, 2010

Entrecard Contest!!

Well, I've decided that I am going to "drop" out of Entrecard. It takes far too much of my time and I would rather read blogs and take a look at ones that I have been wanting to read. It was a tough decision as I have found some really great blogs. But, there are other ways that are more meaningful and worth my time. I will continue to drop, but am no longer taking advertisements. I will be featuring the following blogs which are in no particular order:
As The Crackerhead Crumbles
Epicurean Health
Rambling Stuff
Get Anxiety Help
Nature's Fury and Beauty in Pictures
First Door on the Left
Health Assistant
My Strength My Song
Mature Not Senile
Sound of a Soft Breath
As of March 12th, I have 917 credits that I will give to the best caption for the picture below. Even if you don't have Entrecard, I'd like to hear what caption that you have. I will feature the winner in this catagory in a blog. Have fun!!  Contest ends on March 31th. I will reveal the winner on April 1st...no, fooling.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Full or Empty?

This is a post that I’ve been thinking about since last year, but never felt the timing was right. Now, I don’t care, too much, if the timing is right or not. The cliché about is “your glass half full or half empty, sometimes gets on my nerves. Why? Sometimes, in life we analyze or think about things too much, when what is called for is action. I stay in the middle thinking about it which prevents me from actually making a decision and acting on it.

Now, I know that it is human nature to analyze or think unless you are impulsive. (that is a different issue) But, sometimes, we just need to do something anyway. At least, this is true in my life especially when I don’t want to take responsibility for what I decide. I look at it from all directions without ever taking any action.

Now, don't just stare at your coffee, drink it!!!

Share something that you need to or have done that required or requires action?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Addicted?

Today is officially National Caffeine Awareness Month...or should I say anti-caffeine awareness month. All of the articles that I've read seem to explain the reasons why you should quit...it is an addiction. I call it one of world's most socially acceptable drug. Please keep in mind that I love coffee and am an avid coffee fan...or is it addict. I can stop anytime...really.

Most of the information links back to the Caffeine Awareness Association. The following is their description from their site:


The Caffeine Awareness Association, a non-profit organization, is committed to the physical, mental, and emotional wellness of the public whose lives have been affected by their misuse of, or dependency on caffeine. Our mission is to provide objective, evidence-based information and advice to help reduce the health, social, and economic harm associated with caffeine abuse and addiction.

Did you know that an average size expresso drink has less caffeine than the average brewed coffee? Or that coffee comes second only to petroleum as the world’s most widely traded commodity? Caffeine can be found in coffee, decaf coffee, tea, decaf tea, medications, chocolate, sodas, and many other sources. For a child three caffeinated sodas is equivalent to an adult drinking three cups of coffee. It takes about six hours to exit your system.

There are many risks that have been found from intaking caffeine. Some are still in testing phases. It affectes the brain in similar ways of cocaine, heroine, methamphetamines as they all produce dopamine which stimulates the please area of the brain and increases adrenaline.

Caffeine increased cholesterol, is artery clogging, highly addictive, promotes heart disease, pancreas and bladder cancers, disturbs our central nervous system, increases risk for hypoglycimia, , increases risk for gallstones. It affects the brains ability to take adenosine which causes sleepiness. It also creates headaches, dehydration, impairs absorbtion of iron and calcium, causes headaches, and impairs the body's ability to absorb iron and calcium. Doctors recommend that pregnant women, heart disease patients and those at risk for osteoporosis should not drink coffee.

So, are decaffinated items better? Even decaffinated items contain some caffeine. For coffee, some of the processes used to "decaffeinate" produce dangerous carcinogens. However, those that use "naturally decaffeinated" or "swiss water processed" are safe.
The UP side of caffeine reseach is showing that it does help prevent heart disease and asthma. It also increases the body to produce antioxidants. It increases memory, mixed with carbohydrates replenishes the body faster, decreases risks for colan cancer and cirrhosis of the liver, can stimulate hair growth in those that are balding, decreases post work out pain by 48%, wards off Alzheimers disease, eases depression, increases stamina, decreased risk for diabetes, Parkinsons disease and risk of cavities.

Research at times seems contradictory and are in the beginning stages, but there are some things that are consistent regarding the addictive effect. So, it is up to you.

If you decide to stop drinking coffee or other caffeinated items be prepared as it is a drug with withdrawl side effects. When caffeine intake is reduced, the body then becomes oversensitive to a chemical in the brain (adenosine) relevant to the sleep process, causing blood pressure to drop dramatically, producing an excess of blood in the head area (not necessarily on the brain), and leading to a headache often lasting several days.

Other withdrawal symptoms reported are fatigue and muscle pain, irritability, inability to work, nervousness, restlessness, and feeling sleepy, and in extreme cases, nausea and vomiting. Gradual reduction of caffeine intake abates these symptoms.  I've had "cold turkey" withdrawl symptoms and they are horrible!!

By the way, I'm drinking my morning coffee while writing this and it is mine...all mine!!  Every place of employment and my family all know that they are unable to talk to me unless I've had some coffee.  I also can drink a full cup of coffee and go right to sleep.  But, I'm really not addicted!!

Time for some fun:

To find out how many cup of numerous choices of caffeine that it would take to kill yourself go to this link: http://www.energyfiend.com/death-by-caffeine.

The Caffeine Click Test - How Caffeinated Are You?


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