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.

All images and content are Copyright © to ClinicallyClueless. All rights to the images and all content on this site and on all ClinicallyClueless materials belong exclusively to the artist/author. No use of any content, commercial or non-commercial is permitted without written consent from the author and artist.

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, June 29, 2011

Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse - Part 2

Well, here I visit this topic again...with much trepidation. Part of the effect of my sexual abuse is that I look at pornography on the Internet. After, I spoke with my therapist about it I kept thinking that he thought that I was horrible, that he thought that I was wrong or bad, etc. However, I realized that I was projecting my own feeling and thoughts onto him. Because I knew this we didn't get stuck on him.

Pornography...what a sensitive subject for me to delve into. I finally really talked about it with my therapist. I look at it least once a day or I may skip a couple of days. It is usually the BDSM type with the male being the aggressor and the female being the victim. Yes, on rare occasions I am sexual aroused.

I felt quite ashamed, but less now. I realized that what I look at is like a mirror or validation that people really do the things that were done to me, only what I look at is between consenting adults. At times, I am appalled and angry at having my experience validated as I don't want to look at how severe my abuse was. The other thing is that when the female is the aggressor, I like seeing the male being hurt as it help to fulfill my fantasies.

My therapist helped me to realize that this was a natural response to the severity of my sexual abuse. I keep saying, "people really do this to themselves and other." Somehow, it makes me feel better and breaks down my wall of denial.

I realize and my therapist confirmed that this is only a problem if it becomes an addiction. Some signs of addictions in general:
  1. Do you sense that your sexual thoughts and/or behaviors are causing problems in your life?
  2. Have sexual thoughts interfered with your ability to function at work or at school?
  3. Do you worry that your sexual thoughts and/or behaviors are more powerful than you are?
  4. Do you sometimes think that you are the only person who has certain sexual thoughts or engages in certain sexual behaviors?
  5. Do you fail to meet commitments or fail to carry out responsibilities because of your involvement with pornography?
  6. Do you struggle to control or completely stop your thinking about or viewing pornography?
  7. Do you view pornography in order to escape, deny, or numb your feelings?
  8. Do you think about sex more than you would like to?
  9. Do you spend more money than you can afford to spend on pornography?
  10. Does it seem as though there is another person or force inside of you that drives you to pornography?
  11. Do you have two standards of fidelity -- one for yourself and one for your spouse or partner?
  12. Do you feel empty or shameful after viewing or masturbating using pornography?
  13. Have you ever promised yourself that you would never again view pornography?
  14. Do you use pornography to deal with, deny, or avoid problems in your life?
  15. Do you risk legal problems in order to view pornography?
  16. Do you anxiously anticipate or fear trips out of town because of what you think you might do sexually while you're away?
  17. When you have child care responsibilities, do you put a higher priority on masturbating or being sexual than you do on the welfare of the child(ren) in your care?
  18. Do your sexual thoughts and/or behaviors interfere with your spiritual or religious life? Do your sexual thoughts and/or behaviors cause you to believe that you don't deserve to have a religious or spiritual life?
  19. Have you lost a job or risked losing a job because of your involvement with pornography?
  20. Do you scan printed material (novels, newspapers, magazines) or change channels on the television set just to find something that will stimulate you sexually?
  21. Do you regularly view pornography or engage in fantasies involving self-abuse or other kinds of physical abuse?
  22. Do you dig through other people's garbage to find pornography?
  23. Would you rather masturbate than be sexual with a partner?
  24. Do you drive around unfamiliar neighborhoods (cruise) hoping to find places where pornography is available?
  25. Do you look at pornography or masturbate while driving?
  26. Have you replaced a collection of pornographic material after destroying one collection and vowing never to purchase pornography again?
  27. Has an important relationship in your life ended because of your inability to stop looking at pornography?
Remember this is a long list, but if you identify with many of the above you maybe addicted to pornography or on the way to sex addiction.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

42 Years Ago Today!!

The following is from epromos:

The month of June is "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month." The month was chosen to remember a riot in 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan that is thought to be the beginning of the gay liberation movement in the United States. This month is meant to recognize the impact Gay, Lesbian and Transgender individuals have had on the world. June is now the month of acceptance and the month to welcome diversity in communities regardless of sexual orientation. Gay and lesbian groups celebrate this special time with pride parades, picnics, parties, memorials for those lost from HIV and AIDS, and other group gathering events that attract thousands upon thousands of individuals. The international impact has been so influential to so many people that it makes for a perfect time for an organization to be a part of the festivities.

What are the Stonewall Riots? On June 28th 1969, the “beginning” of the gay rights movement began with the Stonewall Riots in New York City. At that time, gay bars were like the bars during prohibition, blacked out, entrance in the back and lots of raids and police harassment. On this particular night at the Stonewall Inn, a New York gay bar, they fought back against police harassment which initiated several days of rioting and began an uprising from the oppression and harassment in which homosexuals had been living.

Gay and Lesbian friendly companies make great contributions to the events that transpire during this month. They provide rainbow products, banners, and even sponsor many of the events themselves to get their name mentioned during the night. The overall exposure from this proud time makes for a perfect time for an organization to advertise with promotional rainbow items.

Monday, June 27, 2011

World HIV Testing Day



AIDS is a gay disease.  AIDS and HIV is not a gay disease. It effects homosexuals as well and heterosexuals. It does not discriminate. Women, men, professionals, missionaries, across the socio-economic scale and across all ethnicity's...no one is immune to contracting HIV. The Center for Disease Control estimate that men who have sex with men account for more than half of all new HIV infections in the us. This partially due to lack of using condoms as they cannot get pregnant. Twenty-six percent of those living with HIV in the U.S. are women. Among racial and ethnic groups, blacks account for more than 45 percent of new infections each year.

HIV only effects those who use drug.  Again, HIV can effect anyone, not only drugs users.  I went with two of my friends at separate times to find out their HIV status.  Both were virgins and had never used drugs. One was a missionary and had a blood transfusion before they started screening for the virus.  The other was in the health care industry and was stabbed by a needle by someone who was HIV positive.  Both people's status for HIV was negative. 

Most men do become HIV-positive through sexual contact with other men or through injection drug use. However, about 16% of men and 78% of women become HIV-positive through heterosexual contact.

You can get AIDS/HIV from an insect bite.  One of the most prevalent myths about HIV transmission is that mosquitoes or other bloodsucking insects can infect you. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Centers for Disease Control estimates released today, 39.5 percent of American adults age 18 and older have received an HIV test at some point in their lives. That is up from a decade ago -- only 32.1 percent had in 2000 -- but it still falls dramatically short of the CDC's recommendation that everyone between the age of 13 and 64 undergo routine screening for HIV.

Even if I test positive, I can take a pill.  It's no big deal.  To date, there is no cure for HIV or AIDS and there are no vaccines to prevent HIV infection.  Antiretroviral drugs are improving and extending the lives of many people who are HIV-positive. However, many of these drugs are expensive and produce serious side effects. None yet provides a cure. Also, drug-resistant strains of HIV make treatment an increasing challenge. If caught early, treatment only prolongs the person's life span.  Most do not catch HIV early enough to receive treatment for this outcome.

You can get AID/HIV by touching someone who is positive.  You cannot get it by just touching someone.  HIV is transmitted through contact with an HIV-positive person's infected body fluids, such as semen, pre-ejaculate fluid, vaginal fluids, blood, or breast milk. HIV can also be transmitted through needles contaminated with HIV-infected blood, including needles used for injecting drugs, tattooing or body piercing.

HIV is the same as AIDS.  This is false. HIV is an abbreviation for Human Immunodeficiency Virus and AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is the collection of symptoms, diseases, and infections associated with an acquired deficiency of the immune system. While HIV is the underlying cause of AIDS, not all HIV-positive individuals have AIDS, as HIV can remain in a latent stage for many years. They are not the same thing. AIDS and HIV are related, yet different. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. A person may test positive for the presence of HIV in his or her bloodstream, yet not have AIDS. An HIV-positive individual may be diagnosed with AIDS at some later point in time or not at all.

You have to be promiscuous to have HIV.  Again, anyone can get HIV if they have risky behavior not just promiscuity. In 2008, CDC estimated that approximately 56,300 people were newly infected with HIV in 20061  (the most recent year that data are available). Over half (53%) of these new infections occurred in gay and bisexual men. Black/African American men and women were also strongly affected and were estimated to have an incidence rate than was 7 times as high as the incidence rate among whites.

1Hall HI, Ruiguang S, Rhodes P, et al. Estimation of HIV incidence in the United States. JAMA. 2009;300:520-529.

My partner and I are monogamous, so we are not at risk.  This is a common misconception among many people. In my practice, it's not uncommon for a woman to tell me her boyfriend or fiance assured her he was "clean." It is also not uncommon for the young gay couple to profess to being monogamous, when in fact one partner has strayed from time to time. The fact of the matter is people are sometimes dishonest and reluctant to be forthcoming with their past sexual history.

I can tell if someone has HIV.  You can be HIV-positive and not have any symptoms for up to 10 years.  A person with HIV may not show any symptoms for up to 10 years. Since HIV affects each person differently, many people with HIV can look and feel healthy for years. The only sure way to know is to get tested.

I can get HIV/AIDS by sharing food with someone positive.  You cannot "catch" HIV/AIDS by the following:
  • Breathing the same air as someone who is HIV-positive
  • Touching a toilet seat or doorknob handle after an HIV-positive person
  • Drinking from a water fountain
  • Hugging, kissing, or shaking hands with someone who is HIV-positive
  • Sharing eating utensils with an HIV-positive person
  • Using exercise equipment at a gym
You can get it from infected blood, semen, vaginal fluid, or mother's milk.

It is no big deal.  AIDS can be cured.  While many make claims of miraculous cures, the sad truth is there is no cure for HIV and AIDS. Be careful of claims or cures and miracles. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. There is no cure for HIV or AIDS and there are no vaccines to prevent HIV infection. 


I'm not at risk because I use a condom.  Birth control methods protect against having a child and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, it does not insure that one will not contract AIDS.  However, a condom should be used anyway if one or both are HIV positive.

It is estimated that more than 20 percent of the one million-plus people living with HIV nationally do not even know they have been infected.  People often don't get tested because they didn't want to know. If you catch HIV early enough, you don't have to develop AIDS. Indeed, since the first federal announcement regarding Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome 30 years ago, antiretroviral therapy has made it possible to delay progression from HIV infection to AIDS, significantly prolonging patients' lives.

Estimates suggest that one-in-five people living with an HIV infection does not know it. And between 2001 and 2007, one third of people diagnosed with HIV had developed AIDS within the next 12 months -- in spite of the fact that the benefits of testing and early treatment are widely known. Finding out their status so late keeping them from getting key antiretroviral therapy as soon as possible.

Left untreated, most people develop AIDS within 10 years of an HIV infection. Research has also shown that people who are unaware of their infection are three-and-a-half times more likely to transmit HIV.

Conversely, the CDC estimates that a 25-year-old who is diagnosed with HIV after seeking out testing and subsequently receives high-quality care will live 39 additional years.  'People need to know that this is all preventable, and we don't need to see new cases. With diagnosis, it's a treatable disease. No one has to get AIDS. '

GET TESTED FOR HIV

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Happy Happy GLBT Pride Month!!!

The state of New York which is the most populoous state in the country has voted that gay marriage is now legal.  They are the sixth and largest state in the nation to legalize same sex marriage.  New York’s population is slightly larger than the five states that currently allow same sex marriage, the number of Americans who will have access to this new freedom to marry will soon double. What a way to celebrate LGBT Pride Month.  

In May, the Gallup Poll found that for the first time a majority of Americans supported legalizing gay marriage, aided by a boost from independent voters, whose support increased from 49 percent to 59 percent in the last year alone. Hooray for the support of Republican Senators James Alesi and Roy McDonald, who broke away from the Republican norm and finally made an independent decision based on what they thought rather than stay with the party by saying, "Fuck it. I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing.” Way to go New York!!! It is only a matter of time before California gains the same rights!   

Friday, June 24, 2011

"Ya' Got Me"

The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles turns 'Ya Got Me' from 'On the Town' on its ear. Music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Betty Comden & Adolf Green. Soloists Andrew Abaria, Matt DeLeva and Hayes Burton pay homage to a Broadway great inspired by Jerome Robbins' ballet 'Fancy Free'. Choreographed here by Bill Rugh. Check out the chorus' website for their upcoming gigs - gmcla.org

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Feeling A Bit...



Armory: Doug Aitken “Vulnerable” at 303 Gallery.

However, I will write more about the effects of my sexual abuse.  Maybe, next week.  I am glad and proud that I am talking about it in therapy and blogging about it.  Thank you for your support.  I really appreciate it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summed up in a theme

Are the days when a show's whole premise was summed up in a theme song? I miss those days and the tunes still stay in my head. Will they ever be back? Here is a sampling of some that I found:

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse

TRIGGER WARNING

This is quite a sensitive topic for most of use who were sexually abused.  In therapy yesterday, I finally talked about some things regarding sex with my husband and my relationship with sex in general.  When I was in Junior High school, I remember having fantasies about being sexually abused in violent ways and then rescued.  I used to have to do this to go to sleep sometimes.  What I now know is that once the sexual abuse stopped for the night, then I could relax enough to go to sleep because I was over for that day.  I can't believe that it has taken me over twenty years to say anything to anyone.

I still have the same fantasies only more violent once what happened to me became conscious to me.  At that time, I also started to watch BDSM pornography on the Internet. I'm not doing that so much now.  I told my therapist that I feel a lot of shame regarding this issue.  He pointed out that shame is self-generated as a defense.  I understood this as focusing on what I judge to be "bad" is my own thoughts.  If I focus on my shame (at least where I am in therapy at this time) I then don't have to deal with the really issue.  I like to think of it as a bunny trail.  It doesn't mean that my feelings of shame are not real.  They are very real, but based in my thought system.  Shame is a "normal" important response to also need to be attended.

I realized that I associate sex with violence.  My therapist asked if I could live with that fact.  With ambivalence I stated a quite resigned, "yes."  I mean it is the truth.  Due to the type of sexual abuse (see "About Me" or my profile section) it is perfectly "normal" to have these types of behavior. Actually, he told me that it is "abnormal" that my response isn't more severe. (I'll write about my relationship with my husband in a later post...this one is difficult enough.)   It is easier to increase a behavior rather than decrease one.  So, he asked me to think of positive experiences instead and it doesn't necessarily have to do with intercourse. It can be as simple as cuddling with my husband or falling asleep on his shoulder.  Doing just those two things took me about six years to get to, so don't feel guilty if you can't be this intimate with your significant other.

I am relieved that I finally said something albeit it was quite difficult!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Borderline Personality Tantrum Over My Weight

Last Wednesday, I threw a "fit" about my weight. (I have been struggling with denial about my eating disorder, http://clinicallyclueless.blogspot.com/2011/06/coming-out-of-denial.html). That morning while trying to figure out what pants to wear, it became do I have anything that fits? I was quite angry with myself and distressed. I began to think, "this 6 times per day isn't helping, I'm gaining weight, I can't fit into my cloths, I might as well give up and go back to my eating disorder completely, etc...note the Borderline Personality black/white & all or nothing thinking. I was crying in session...basically I was a mess.

Calm down...my therapist and I helped me do this. (I actually was an active participant...hooray for for me.) With some prompting, I reminded myself that I just was taking medication that caused me to gain weight, be "puffy," increased my appetite, and caused water retention and salt retention. I also was going to start my menstrual cycle the following week (actually today) and I always go up about one size.


My therapist also reminded me that I have not been able to get around much, so I've been very sedentary. This definitely does not help the situation. He also emphasized that I need to keep eating because my body needs nutrients to heal my sprained ankle and respiratory system and recover completely from my pneumonia. (My doctor who is treating me for my respiratory system also told me that it will take more than three months to feel back to the way I was before my pneumonia...sheesh)


My mind when Borderline racing before my session, but I was able to use some coping skills with help to calm myself down. I came out of my distorted thinking to reality. It was quite an agonizing process, but well worth it.  Oh and did I ever fight every step of the way!!  :-)


I also not stepped on a scale in a month, but boy am I tempted today.  I'm still eating about 5-6 times per day which is the goal. I started to obsess about what I was eating and the amount. My therapist stopped me and asked what the only goal is for this time in my struggle with my eating disorder? ANSWER: Simply, eat something 6 times per day. 

I wonder if you have a goal that is simple that you add extra stipulations that are not necessary? I don't want to feel alone in this so please share. (yes, a cheap attempt at getting comments, but I really do what you to think about this issue. It is quite helpful). Take care of yourself!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

"American Tune"

From YouTube:  Chief Seattle once said, 'The earth is our mother. To harm the earth is to heap contempt upon its Creator. Your destiny is a mystery to us, for we do not understand when the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses are tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with scent of many men, and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires. 'Where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone. The end of living, and the beginning of survival.'

This video collage was produced just weeks before the United States' 2003 invasion of Iraq - and projected at a concert the week of the invasion. The audio is from that concert of the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another Step Forward For GLBT Rights


Yesterday, in an historic and forceful decision, US District Court Chief Judge James S. Ware denied anti-marriage forces' motion to throw out the decision that ruled Prop. 8 unconstitutional.

He erased all doubt that the Prop. 8 trial was anything but fair and thorough and sent a powerful message that extreme fringe groups cannot strong-arm the law.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal judge refused Tuesday to set aside a former colleague's ruling overturning California's ban on same-sex marriage and said the jurist's long-term relationship with another man was not a legitimate reason to accuse him of bias.

"It is not reasonable to presume that a judge is incapable of making an impartial decision about the constitutionality of a law solely because, as a citizen, the judge could be affected by the proceedings," Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware said in rejecting conflict-of-interest charges against his predecessor, Vaughn Walker.

Sponsors of Proposition 8, the November 2008 initiative barring gay and lesbian marriages, had asked Ware to nullify Walker's ruling in August against the measure and declare that he should not have heard the case.

They said his disclosure in April, six weeks after his retirement from the bench, of his 10-year same-sex relationship showed he had a stake in the outcome of the lawsuit challenging Prop. 8.

Although Walker has not said whether he and his partner intend to marry, Prop. 8's backers argued that his silence entitles the public to presume they were planning to wed when he presided over the trial in January 2010.

Ware, who heard arguments over Walker's role in San Francisco on Monday, disagreed. The fact that a judge is in a relationship, he said, doesn't necessarily mean he is "so interested in marrying the person that he would be unable to exhibit the impartiality which, it is presumed, all federal judges maintain."

A gay judge is entitled to rule in a gay-rights case, even if his decision could provide him "some speculative future benefit," Ware said.

He said disqualifying Walker because he is a member of a group potentially affected by his ruling would also require "recusal of minority judges in most, if not all, civil rights cases."

Besides, Ware said, the Prop. 8 case did not affect only a minority group.

"We all have an equal stake in a case that challenges the constitutionality of a restriction on a fundamental right," he said.

The judge also rejected arguments that Walker had been legally obliged to disclose his relationship before the trial. Courts have required judges to reveal close ties to people with a financial interest in a case, or to a lawyer for one of the parties, Ware said. But Walker had no duty to disclose "intimate, but irrelevant, details about his personal life," he said.

Prop. 8's sponsors, a conservative religious coalition called Protect Marriage, said it disagreed with the ruling, without going into detail.

"Our legal team will appeal that decision and continue our tireless efforts to defend the will of the people of California to preserve marriage as the union of a man and a woman," said attorney Charles Cooper.

Walker ruled that Prop. 8 discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation and gender. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has put the decision on hold while it considers an appeal from Protect Marriage, whose legal standing to argue the case is under review in the state Supreme Court.

Theodore Boutrous, a lawyer for two same-sex couples who challenged Prop. 8, said Ware's ruling "makes it clear that gay and lesbian judges are entitled to the same presumption of fairness and impartiality as all other federal judges."

E-mail Bob Egelko at begelko@sfchronicle.com.



Distict Court Denies Motion to Vacate Prop. 8 Ruling
June 14, 2011


Quotes of note:


“The sole fact that a federal judge shares the same circumstances or personal characteristics with, other members of the general public, and that the judge could be affected by the outcome of a proceeding in the same way that other members of the general public would be affected, is not a basis for either recusal or disqualification under Section 455(b)(4). Further, under Section 455(a), it is not reasonable to presume that a judge is incapable of making an impartial decision about the constitutionality of a law, solely because, as a citizen, the judge could be affected by the proceedings. Accordingly, the Motion to Vacate Judgment on the sole ground of Judge Walker’s same-sex relationship is DENIED.”

“The fact that a federal judge shares a fundamental characteristic with a litigant, or shares membership in a large association such as a religion, has been categorically rejected by federal courts as a sole basis for requiring a judge to recuse her or himself.”

“Further, such a standard “would come dangerously close to holding that minority judges must disqualify themselves from all major civil rights actions.” Alabama, 828 F.2d at 1542.”

“These cases lead the Court to adopt the following legal conclusion: In a case that could affect the general public based on the circumstances or characteristics of various members of that public, the fact that a federal judge happens to share the same circumstances or characteristic and will only be affected in a similar manner because the judge is a member of the public, is not a basis for disqualifying the judge under Section 455(b)(4).”

“Requiring recusal because a court issued an injunction that could provide some speculative future benefit to the presiding judge solely on the basis of the fact that the judge belongs to the class against whom the unconstitutional law was directed would lead to a Section 455(b)(4) standard that required recusal of minority judges in most, if not all, civil rights cases.”

“The single characteristic that Judge Walker shares with the Plaintiffs, albeit one that might not have been shared with the majority of Californians, gave him no greater interest in a proper decision on the merits than would exist for any other judge or citizen.”

“[D]isqualifying Judge Walker based on an inference that he intended to take advantage of a future legal benefit made available by constitutional protections would result in an unworkable standard for disqualification. Under such a standard, disqualification would be based on assumptions about the amorphous personal feelings of judges in regards to such intimate and shifting matters as future desire to undergo an abortion, to send a child to a particular university or to engage in family planning. So too here, a test inquiring into the presiding judge’s desire to enter into the institution of marriage with a member of the same sex, now or in the future, would require reliance upon similarly elusive factors.”

“Thus, to base a recusal standard on future subjective intent to take advantage of constitutional rights is to create an inadministrable test, frustrating congressional efforts to protect judicial integrity with a clear, mandatory recusal statute.”

“In this context, the “reasonable person” is not someone who is “hypersensitive or unduly suspicious,” but rather a “well-informed, thoughtful observer” who “understand[s] all the relevant facts” and “has examined the record and law.””

“A well-informed, thoughtful observer would recognize that the mere fact that a judge is in a relationship with another person–whether of the same or the opposite sex–does not ipso facto imply that the judge must be so interested in marrying that person that he would be unable to exhibit the impartiality which, it is
presumed, all federal judges maintain…To assume otherwise is to engage in speculation about a judge’s motives and desires on the basis of an unsubstantiated
suspicion that the judge is personally biased or prejudiced. Mere speculation of that nature does not trigger the recusal requirements of Section 455(a).”

“In fact, the Court observes that Judge Walker, like all judges, had a duty to preserve the integrity of the judiciary. Among other things, this means that if, in an overabundance of caution, he were to have disclosed intimate, but irrelevant, details about his personal life that were not reasonably related to the question of disqualification, he could have set a pernicious precedent. Such a precedent would be detrimental to the integrity of the judiciary, because it would promote, incorrectly, disclosure by judges of highly personal information (e.g., information about a judge’s history of being sexually abused as a child), however irrelevant or time-consuming. Contrary to the intent of Section 455, which was designed to preserve judicial integrity through practices of transparency, it is clear that fostering the practice of commencing a judicial proceeding with an extensive exploration into the history and psyche of the presiding judge would produce the spurious appearance that irrelevant personal information could impact the judge’s decision-making, which would be harmful to the integrity of the courts.”

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Proud to be an American


This post had a lot of information, but the most important part is today, Flag Day, in the United States is to be proud and fly your Stars and Stripes.

According to Wikipedia: The week of June 14 is designated as "National Flag Week." During National Flag Week, the president will issue a proclamation urging U.S. citizens to fly the American flag for the duration of that week. The flag should also be displayed on all Government buildings. Some organizations hold parades and events in celebration of America's national flag and everything it represents. Other organizations and tribal groups hold counter-celebrations and protests.

According to USA-Flag Site: Federal law stipulates many aspects of flag etiquette. The section of law dealing with American Flag etiquette is generally referred to as the Flag Code. Some general guidelines from the Flag Code answer many of the most common questions:
  • The flag should be lighted at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source.
  • The flag should be flown in fair weather, unless the flag is designed for inclement weather use.
  • The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
  • The flag should not be used for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
  • The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard.
  • The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
  • The flag should never have any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind placed on it, or attached to it.
  • The flag should never be used for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
  • When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
  • The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.
  • When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

The History Of Flag Day

According to http://www.usflag.org/.: The Fourth of July was traditionally celebrated as America's birthday, but the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as 'Flag Birthday'. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as 'Flag Birthday', or 'Flag Day'.
 
On June 14, 1889, George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned appropriate ceremonies for the children of his school, and his idea of observing Flag Day was later adopted by the State Board of Education of New York. On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag Day celebration, and on June 14 of the following year, the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, celebrated Flag Day.
 
Following the suggestion of Colonel J Granville Leach (at the time historian of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution), the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America on April 25, 1893 adopted a resolution requesting the mayor of Philadelphia and all others in authority and all private citizens to display the Flag on June 14th. Leach went on to recommend that thereafter the day be known as 'Flag Day', and on that day, school children be assembled for appropriate exercises, with each child being given a small Flag.
 
Two weeks later on May 8th, the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution unanimously endorsed the action of the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames. As a result of the resolution, Dr. Edward Brooks, then Superintendent of Public Schools of Philadelphia, directed that Flag Day exercises be held on June 14, 1893 in Independence Square. School children were assembled, each carrying a small Flag, and patriotic songs were sung and addresses delivered.
 
In 1894, the governor of New York directed that on June 14 the Flag be displayed on all public buildings. With BJ Cigrand and Leroy Van Horn as the moving spirits, the Illinois organization, known as the American Flag Day Association, was organized for the purpose of promoting the holding of Flag Day exercises. On June 14th, 1894, under the auspices of this association, the first general public school children's celebration of Flag Day in Chicago was held in Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks, with more than 300,000 children participating.
 
Adults, too, participated in patriotic programs. Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, delivered a 1914 Flag Day address in which he repeated words he said the flag had spoken to him that morning: "I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself."
 
Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day - the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 - was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson's proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pushing Myself Too Hard

Well, yesterday my therapist and I spent the whole 90 minutes talking about my health and not taking care of myself. We spoke on the telephone and he was "in my face." (in a good way...I deserved it).

We had a telephone session beause I wan't feeling well. I was achy, tired and had a deeper cough. Which means that I've been doing too much and I got a little worse. Well, that's part of the trouble. On Monday, I was out of the house from 10-4 and Tuesday from 10-2. Way too much. I should have only run one errand then them all.

But, no I have to go and be stubborn. I'm finding out that I feel "bad" because I think that I should be doing somethings as I feel a bit better. So, I do more than I should be including organizing my clothes and such as a way not to feel "bad" and "worthless."

I'm in sort of a denial about pneumonia being potentially serious and that I've already been hospitalized in the past with it. I also able to be more mobile without needing the crutches. My therapist has instructed my husband to take them away if I reinjure my ankle, so that I won't go anywhere.

Basically, I know that I need rest and to do nothing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

President Obama Declares June as LGBT Pride Month

This is from the official White House site:

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 28, 2010

Presidential Proclamation--Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month

As Americans, it is our birthright that all people are created equal and deserve the same rights, privileges, and opportunities. Since our earliest days of independence, our Nation has striven to fulfill that promise. An important chapter in our great, unfinished story is the movement for fairness and equality on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. This month, as we recognize the immeasurable contributions of LGBT Americans, we renew our commitment to the struggle for equal rights for LGBT Americans and to ending prejudice and injustice wherever it exists.

LGBT Americans have enriched and strengthened the fabric of our national life. From business leaders and professors to athletes and first responders, LGBT individuals have achieved success and prominence in every discipline. They are our mothers and fathers, our sons and daughters, and our friends and neighbors. Across my Administration, openly LGBT employees are serving at every level. Thanks to those who came before us the brave men and women who marched, stood up to injustice, and brought change through acts of compassion or defiance we have made enormous progress and continue to strive for a more perfect union.

My Administration has advanced our journey by signing into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which strengthens Federal protections against crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation. We renewed the Ryan White CARE Act, which provides life saving medical services and support to Americans living with HIV/AIDS, and finally eliminated the HIV entry ban. I also signed a Presidential Memorandum directing hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds to give LGBT patients the compassion and security they deserve in their time of need, including the ability to choose someone other than an immediate family member to visit them and make medical decisions.

In other areas, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a series of proposals to ensure core housing programs are open to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. HUD also announced the first ever national study of discrimination against members of the LGBT community in the rental and sale of housing. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services has created a National Resource Center for LGBT Elders.

Much work remains to fulfill our Nation's promise of equal justice under law for LGBT Americans. That is why we must give committed gay couples the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple, and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. We must protect the rights of LGBT families by securing their adoption rights, ending employment discrimination against LGBT Americans, and ensuring Federal employees receive equal benefits. We must create safer schools so all our children may learn in a supportive environment. I am also committed to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" so patriotic LGBT Americans can serve openly in our military, and I am working with the Congress and our military leadership to accomplish that goal.

As we honor the LGBT Americans who have given so much to our Nation, let us remember that if one of us is unable to realize full equality, we all fall short of our founding principles. Our Nation draws its strength from our diversity, with each of us contributing to the greater whole. By affirming these rights and values, each American benefits from the further advancement of liberty and justice for all.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2010 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their own lives and everywhere it exists.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

BARACK OBAMA

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The weekend started off Borderline

This past Friday, I had a telephone session with my therapist.  It was over the telephone as I was not feeling well (pneumonia & ankle). I had a "borderline" session and shut down and would not say anything.  I disengaged from myself and him.  I didn't have any real access to resolve it as I was fragmenting.

It was a very difficult session.  I realized that I really was wanting his validation for what I was thinking and feeling.  When I didn't get what I wanted, I became angry and shut down.  Pushing him away and myself.  The session ended with me not in a good place.

I wanted to terminate or cancel therapy all together, "nothing" mattered, my suicidal thoughts became stronger as did my desire to self injure. I didn't act upon any of this...hooray.  Instead, I called him and we had a hour telephone conversation on Saturday.

All of the above, are classic Borderline Personality traits.  All predictable if I didn't remain present to myself and verbalize what was going on.  Instead, I retreated into myself and nothing or no one existed.

I realized that I needed to just initiate and interact. I could have sang a song, make faces at my therapist, tease him, talk about anything having nothing to do with therapy...now, only if my brain could have activated to find those resources. But, I am getting better.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Coming Out of Denial

I know that I've written about my eating disorder before, but I feel like I'm actually coming out of denial as how much of a problem/addiction that it is and the cost that I pay. The shirts above, some of which I purchased, emphisized the point.  I actually have ones that say "anorexia" on them.  When I shared them with my therapist he cheered and said, "coming out of denial."  I am determined not to let this consume my life anymore.  I want to move on and reach my goals.  This is a tough road to travel, even as I begin.  However, I am meeting my goal of eating at least 5-6 times per day even if some days it is a tablespoon of ice cream, peanut butter, Nutella, etc...I am proud of myself for meeting my goal.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Eat A Donut Today


Today in the United States is National Donut Day!!  Unfortunately, not a day off, but a recognition day for the wonderful donut.  The following is from the Holiday Insights site:

When : Always the first Friday in June

National Doughnut Day honors the Salvation Army "Lassies" of WWI. It is also used as a fund raiser for needy causes of the Salvation Army.

The original Salvation Army Doughnut was first served by Salvation Army in 1917. During WWI, Salvation Army "lassies" were sent to the front lines of Europe. These brave volunteers made home cooked foods, and provided a morale boost to the troops. Often, the doughnuts were cooked in oil inside the of the metal helmet of an American soldier. The American infantrymen were commonly called doughboys. Salvation Army lassies were the only women outside of military personnel allowed to visit the front lines. Lt. Colonel Helen Purviance is considered the Salvation Army's "first doughnut girl".

On National Doughnut Day, look to see if your local doughnut shop, or other organizations, are offering free donuts to solicit donations for the Salvation Army or for another needy cause. If you find them, please be generous.

Note: The word "Doughnut" is often shortened to "Donut. So, if you see the term National Donut Day, its the same day.

The origin of the term "Doughboy":

The term "Doughboy" was popular in referring to U.S. Army infantryman during World War I. American foot soldiers were occasionally called doughboys during the Civil War. The earliest references to the term, comes from the U.S-Mexican war.

The Origin of National Doughnut Day:

National Doughnut Day was established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to raise much-needed funds during the Great Depression, and to honor the work of World War I Salvation Army volunteers who prepared doughnuts and other foods for thousands of soldiers.
Randy's Donuts

Isn't that interesting especially where the term "doughboy" came from.  All of the pictures except for the assorted donuts are from donut places in my area in Southern California.  Donut Man's fresh peach and strawberry (pictured) are fabulous and are only made seasonally. Must be eaten with knife and fork.

Go and celebrate National Donut Day and eat a donut!!






Hungry Yet...Bye out to go eat some donuts!!  Funny I now have a craving for a donut!!!
All comments and questions welcomed!!  What is your favorite donut?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Being Bold

I've noticed since Mother's Day that I have definitely become more comfortable in accepting who I am. The first picture is one that I own and am wearing the others I am thinking about purchasing.  I'm making bold statements, via t-shirts, and feeling proud.  I'm beginning not to think so much about what others think or say, but I'm simply stating this is who I am.  The following t-shirts were purchase from CafePress:


 




What would you want on a t-shirt if you didn't care what other people think?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Different Type of Mother's Day

I know that Mother's Day has long past, but I wasn't able to write this until now.  One, I am not a mother, but that is okay. But, on Mother's Day, I usually am angry, sad, ashamed, guilt ridden, I should, etc...due to my relationship and reaction to my mother.  This has always been to the point that I am unable to focus about anything also and in therapy we spend weeks dealing with my emotional state.  However, this year was different.

I did not call, send a card or a present since my letter to her and her lack of response to me.  Also, this was a sporadic event even before, but laden with guilt and I should be a good daughter.  Or if I did acknowledge her, I would be angry.  Neither is a great place to be. 

This year, I felt like I actually made a decision to do what I wanted to do and not go by the old rules.  I feel like I made a response based on what I wanted to do taking all things into account.  I felt really free from her. I was also happy. I didn't ruin my weekend.  I hardly even thought about it.

These are all positive steps toward accepting myself and in turn accepting her as she is.  Now, there are some guilt feelings and regrets.  I am also really looking at how mentally ill she is.  But, I am very satisfied with what I did.  HUGE step forward...now the work gets harder, but I'm moving forward.

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