Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Needles and Pins

I'm using the title as a pun for so so existence. I know that I hurt my friend when I said that I kind of wish my ex had hit me. That would have been a clear sign that things were terrible. Instead, we had this wishy washy, so so relationship that I kept going because I didn't know there could be something so different.

I apologize. Just because I couldn't get out of hum drum without dramatics, doesn't mean anyone else should wait for abuse.

You're probably way more interesting than your ho hum job or your Mr. Right Now relationship.

Go DRAMATIC on your own self. Take your big dream and set it up. I don't know how or where to direct you. I mean, sure, there's Barbara Sher with her Wishcraft, how to get what you really want book or Martha Beck and her Finding Your Own North Star book, but have they lead me to my ultimate dream?

Well, yes and no. They're great books and great women. I highly recommend them both.

I'm just wondering about the settling gene. What makes us stay in something when we feel so meh about it. Shouldn't a relationship make us rush home to be with that other person? Shouldn't a job make us love Mondays?

Can one have both? Both a wonderful relationship and a passionate vocation? How about an amazing parenting experience? I don't want kids, but I have never understood the people who feel obligated to create human beings and then resent them. Isn't anything worth doing, worth doing the best you can?

People seem to even settle for lack luster pets, or houses or stuff. Why are we settlers? I saw the neatest dress in the Avon catalog the other day. Apparently, someone designed a dress that you can reconfigure its strapping to have so many different looks. Brilliant. Now I have to rethink my pant only fashion sense! I wonder if that designer makes blouses or coats? That would be awesome. A coat you could configure different ways for different outfits.

What wild ideas tick inside your heart while you tock away at your dead end job or put up with your boring spouse? Might your significant others perk up if you showed them the way? Explained to them that you want a shiny life.

*I* want a shiny life. Where's my shiny life, dammit!

Kind comments encouraged.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Time after Time

Been thinking about all this domestic violence stuff going on. As I've said many many many times, I watched my mother get abused, mostly by step dads.

What I've been told starts with my own father. He broke my mother's wrist just as they were divorcing. Mom said that she "couldn't work" so she let dad take custody of my sister and I.

I don't remember "confronting" dad about this, but I do remember him telling me that they were fighting and mom pulled away and banged her wrist against a car door.

I do think it matters which story is true. I wish I knew. I was only four and there's no way to tell honesty. Both my parents failed to give proper care to me.

It's a mixed up thing. I love my dad. I don't give him a pass for any of this. It's a simple scale, mom physically and emotionally hurt me more. And, if dad's that much of an ogre, why on earth would you leave your CHILDREN with him??

Okay, so mom hooked up with husband number three. I don't know anything about husband numero uno, he left her. I do know mom got kind of shot gunned into that one.

Anyway Dick the third (or turd depends how yous see it) beat mom so bad he ruptured her spleen. She told me later, she didn't want us living with him because "she knew he was an animal." Um, yeah. It's okay for him to be an animal around her, but not her kids. Way to teach your kids how to love and value themselves.

I don't know what broke them up. She told me a story but they were still together after it happened. She said that she broke up with him after a trip to Florida where she caught him in bed with another man. Never mind that he had sex with her daughter, age seven, but GAY??? GOD NO!

The truth is, I don't remember any of his violence against her. I remember them arguing loudly when they were drunk. Usually after getting home from the bar.

I did see step dad number four kick the door as she was leaving a room. This cut the tip off her finger. I saw them get into slap fights and he lived his life in a state of pickled, bleary eyed, slurring stuporhood.

One night, he decided mom was cheating and I lay in bed listening as he got out his guns and sat there grilling my mother about her cheating ways. The idea of a super drunk guy with loaded guns, he was a security guard, scares the shit out of me. I am deeply sorry that my mother had to go through that.

That guy, Art, confused me as deeply as my dad. He loved me nearly as much as dad. Even came to visit me after they divorced. Though he was never sexually inappropriate. He just liked kids and thought I was special.

Abusive jackass number five lasted only a few months. No big knock out drag out physical fights, but that jealous slap around jealous drunk phase started pretty quick. He was a bit happy go lucky when they weren't fighting. Though with that  troubled drunk stuff lurking just below the surface.

Before husband number five, she did have a long time boyfriend who could have been the poster child for alcoholics anonymous failures. I have no idea if any of them went, he just drank so much he could barely function. He knocked her around too. I didn't see it though. I heard them once in a while and it was all very low key. Not hidden so much as, he probably passed out before he could get too violent.

The boyfriend taught me to play chess and was generally nice to me. His intelligence could have rivaled a genius, if he could have found sobriety. Same with mom's last husband.

Dennis died last year in hospice care. My mother is now in poor physical health so it's unlikely she'll marry another guy.

She married Dennis for his GI bill. I suppose they got on okay. She abandoned me after she hooked up with him, though that improved my life a lot. My older sister and I lived together in our own stable apartment. I was 15.

Wow, she stuck it out with Dennis 35 years. His abuse involved more of a slapping and never quite keeping steady and responsible work. He got fired for being drunk at work and mom defended him. Then, he hit her and she called the cops. They made him go to anger management. This just made him angrier.

I suppose a lot of my mom's story is about her picking the devil she knew. She couldn't seem to ever find someone nice, so she found someone who didn't put her in the hospital. How sad that she couldn't decide different.

OKAY, now here's the simple reality that I learned from all that. Pick your mates from a place that meets YOUR VALUES. I would never go to a bar to meet a guy.

Decide before anyone ever hits, that you will not tolerate that even once. If you want to help someone, go to college and get a counseling degree. You don't bring home a sick person and try to learn amateur doctoring in your spare time, so why do that with the mentally sick?

Caring people ask you what you want, abusive people tell you what you want. Passive aggression is aggression. Even trained counselors cannot "fix" another person. They only guide those who want help.

They say NEVER take meth, not even once. I say, never try abuse. Not even once.

Long post, I felt it needed all the details to know where I came from. Kind comments encouraged.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Oedipus Rex

Dunno if you've noticed but my titles are all song titles. This one comes from Tom Lerher. It's about the Greek tragedy, told with amusing lyrics.

I wanted to talk about family and how we learn to relate to other people. We learn from example. It's no wonder my mother hooked up with violent men, that's what her father taught her.

I'm grateful to my dad. He might have had many problems, but he showed me love. I picked men more like him than other examples.

I started to wonder, lately, about my mother's mother. She always seemed quiet and calm. Maybe with a little pep here and there. When my sister asked her if birds have a penis, without skipping a beat, grandma said "No, they eat with their peckers. "

What was she like as a mom I wonder? What was she like as the wife of a violent father? I bet she was stuck in a troubled life. Mormons marry for life. My violent grandfather died just a few months after my mother gave birth to my oldest sister.

The man I called grandfather married grandma after her children were grown and didn't appear to be violent. At least I didn't hear it spoken of if he was.

If I had pigment, I'd probably look like my mother. We have similar features. Murry looks like his mother, with her thick lips and oval face. I saw a picture of her and mistook it for him. He laughed at me, but he really does look like her.

I think Freud was on to something, but I think he took the correlation a bit far. I think we use the examples we see when we choose a mate. I also think we move away from those examples if we don't like them.

I saw a study on monkeys where they had replaced their mother with two replacements. One was made of metal that had the bottle of milk. One was furry. The monkey preferred the company of the fuzzy mother. Researchers would scare the poor little thing and it would ALWAYS run to furry mom.

Sometimes I feel like I've been experimented on. It's been a challenge to find the furry mom. It's been a bit easier to find the furry dad.

Even the man who molested me didn't cause me a huge amount of physical harm. His sexual abuse left me with a greater confusion as he made a point to make it pleasant.

Years later, another man tried to touch me. He said "you want to feel good, don't you?" I told him not like that and never went near him again.

I watch people and how they relate. How they interact with their spouses. Just recently I saw George Takei's documentary Being Takei and saw how he and his husband loved each other. They bickered and chided at the same time as they cooed and flirted with each other. I saw my own marriage in theirs.

Love is love. I wonder which parent gay couples model? Both maybe? I guess we all model both.

But we all run to fuzzy mom or fuzzy spouse.

Thoughts? Kind comments welcome.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hit the Road Jack

Well, hit the road, Debbie. The day before I moved into the house that Murry owned, his roommate's girlfriend, Debbie, had a meltdown.

She somehow convinced herself that the new woman would threaten her status. Turns out, she had reason for concern, but I'll get to that in a minute.

She decided that Murry was "dangerous" and crawled out the window into the roof. Murry never knew what he said or did that sparked this reaction. I even asked him if my moving in would be any issue and he said it wouldn't.

So there she stood, jumping up and down calling "help police," while Murry tried to coax her inside. Roommate, Bob, hadn't gotten home from work. Murry had a guest over and they were just watching TV when she started acting weird.

Back then, Murry worked nights and it was about time for him to go to work so he left. A neighbor called the police and they arrived the same time as Bob and since they didn't know what was happening, put him in handcuffs.

They managed to get her to come to the door and she said it wasn't the guy. Bob told them that it must be a landlord issue and they left without filing any report.

Murry came to visit me on his way to work and said that she was being weird. I knew something was gonna be up when I showed up with my truck full of stuff the next day. She tried to tell how "dangerous" it was to live there. The only danger I felt was from her.

Murry decided that she needed to leave and he insisted she get her own place. I guess he felt she had tenant rights so he gave her 30 days for this. After 30 days, supposedly she had her own place, but she hung around her boyfriend and would stay up there while he worked. We could hear her stomping around.

Friends and her daughter showed up at the door asking for her. Implying we would harm her, the daughter said she was "checking on mom."

One evening, she and Bob came in and started walking past me as I lay on the couch  watching TV. She stopped and reached over and started petting the cat laying on my lap. Then she snarked  that I should tell Murry she has her own place. This didn't have anything to do with me, so I told her that was between them and that she needed to tell him herself.

She called me a bitch and whined about how he's too dangerous to talk to. Bob hustled her out of the room and apologized. I must have looked up in a way that told him she had crossed a line with me.

I'd been ignoring her for the better part of three months. Until that night, I didn't feel it was my place to say or do anything. I'd always believed the pen was mightier than the sword, but I had no idea how powerfully it could pierce.

I wrote her a one page letter and posted it on the front door and the door to the Bob's loft room. I don't remember all nine points, but I remember it was filled with rational musings on the situation.

If she didn't consider this her address, why did people come looking for her there? Why was she there alone? If Murry's so scary, why did she come into the house at all?

I also put a sign with big fonts that said "Deborah does not live here" on the front door. She ripped down the notes and called me a bitch again. But she did it as she stormed out.

I never saw her again. Murry said he saw her in Bob's car about a week after this.

Bob wasn't a bad guy. Seems weird that he would hook up with a selfish bat shit crazy woman. They did eventually break up. and he moved on and bought a house.

Debbie kind of reminded me of my mom. they're both selfish, self abusing lost souls who will defend their crazy with righteous indignation. I wish them both peace.

Got any roommate stories? I'd love to hear them.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Joy to the World

A friend on Facebook asked for the "keys to happiness." Funny expression. Like we can get into it and drive off and all will be happy. I did reply because I think I have found my way to happy.

Sure, I fall off into "why bother" land more than I like. And I still think happy is still the base from which I lift off.

I'll comment and expand on what I told him. Here's what I said: Embracing learning from mistakes. Not only yours, but those mistakes you see around you. Make choices that fill your soul. Courage means having the fear and pain and going on anyway. Take a moment to celebrate when you recognize you're in an amazing experience. Be around like minded people who buoy your spirit. Let go of those who for whatever reason drain your energy. Find serenity to accept what you cannot change, courage to change what you can and dig deep for the wisdom to know the difference.

Everyone I interact with teaches me something. I often speak of watching my mother be brutalized by her spouses and how that taught me to pick something different. That lead me to learning from my own mistaken assumptions about the character of men. I see now that they come in a lot of flavors and it takes luck AND skill to detect the one that fit your taste.

Choose how you are going to be in the world. At first, I didn't know how to do this. I had to choose okay for a couple of years. I think I started before I got that advice but I became aware of it after I heard Iyanla Van Zant suggest it for someone. "Where are you NOW?" she begged of the women she was trying to help. That was me. Where was I, were people beating or molesting me? If not, why live as if that was happening inside my head?

Pain and memory need expression and resolution. Life requires examination to improve it. Once improved, life must be CELEBRATED.

After my divorce, a friend suggested a fabulous trip. Though it was some years later, I did that and climbed, explored and ate my way around Europe. Though I had fears and moments of desperate doubts about traveling alone, I went on anyway. I live those days over and over, reinforcing the pleasures I first experienced 15 years ago.

I found people who think as I do and who share my values. I move away from and try and think kindly of those who think different. I will state my point of view so people know I have one and if it's not well received, I go somewhere where it will be.

I love what some call the serenity prayer. Because I am a person without faith, I think of it as more of a philosophy. I love science because it looks at the world as it is, not as we wish it to be. Sometimes, one has to DIG, exploring every aspect of life, to find courage, serenity and wisdom.

I know that I cannot change my past. I cannot erase the memories of it either. I can look at those events and the people involved as they truly were. Including myself. Warts and all. I changed much of my drama and distress into surviving and gratitude.

Now I try and share my lessons with others.

Kind comments encouraged.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Drama filled my first marriage. Drama ended it too. I brought it in, but he kept it going long after I decided to give up the sound and fury signifying nothing.

I did the best I knew how. He never hit me and never drank. He did betray me and he had little respect for my things. 

My ex slept with my best friend on our anniversary. He might argue that I told him because I did say the words. Though if I'd told him to go away and die, I don't think he would have done that. 

I needed the drama to wake me up from my fantasy. I held myself accountable for every problem. It didn't occur to me that he could be in the wrong,. His had sane parents who stayed together. I thought that gave him the relationship edge. It doesn't work that way.  

Once we were apart, I could see clearly he liked for me to be sad. He felt like a hero comforting me. He learned this from his mother that he could be confidant and comforter. He learned from his dad that anger equals crazy.

He didn't like when I was angry about anything. I don't blame anyone for our troubles. We both did the best we knew how. 

He told stories to my friend implying that I struggled with sanity. It seems a very common theme for cheaters. "My wife has a problem with...."  

Looking from the outside, I realized that I began to grow and change. I had a good therapy gal and attended regular meetings of Survivors of Incest Anonymous. I also had another friend who liked to spend time with me separate from my ex. 

He didn't understand any of that. He wanted to stay the only hero in my life. It confused him when I started to calm down and feel confident. 

The "she's crazy" lies spread to our mutual friends. It hurt some that many believed him. Though I guess in a way it held some truth. Growing up crazy leaves a mark. 

I'm glad for the two great therapy people and the survivors group. Those people let me get the crazy out into the open. They supported me through my separation and divorce and lead me to amazing emotional breakthroughs. 

I wish my ex husband and ex best friend peace and happiness. I know I've found such things for myself. I don't have to live in so much drama anymore. 

Kind comments encouraged.

PS this post has some similar themes to a previous post seen here: Do that to me one more time

Saturday, August 16, 2014

So Happy Together

Not to brag or nothin but I picked a way better second husband. Was just watching a movie with a bunch of different romantic interests and each of the couples had a thing keeping them from coming together.

As these were movies and not real life, eventually all of them worked it out. It was all a kind of "love abides" pile of hokum. Don't get me wrong, I'm a deeply emotional romantic. My problem with this film comes from it's over complicating something that's almost an equation.

I do love math and science, but I don't mean that kind of exercise. Making a romance work requires both parties to have mutual goals and dreams, a willingness to adjust to the other person's "bends" and a lot of being in the here and now.

In my opinion if those things are "work" then you're fundamentally with the wrong match. My marriage requires attention to how we connect and that means understanding. Care and adjustment move things along nice.

Murry and I discuss what we want to do often. Sometimes this involves a list we each draw up and then share and make a joint goal. Though sometimes we just say out loud what we want. I find things become more concrete, more "real" when they're committed to paper.

Once we've got a road map to where and what we want, it's time to sort who will do what parts. This is usually very informal. He drives, I pick the restaurant. He builds the counter from my design.

I guess SOME of our compatibility comes from happenstance, but I know big parts of it comes from intending to have someone who is handy. You get what you ask for from people.

When we fight, and we do occasionally, we both try and stick to the one topic at hand. We also try and keep everything about now. That isn't to say that "then" never comes up. The whole point of this blog is to explore a lot of "then" so I can live a better now. My emotions are mine, his are his.

If the present brings up a past pain, we deal with that in there now. Early on, we had a gripe about feeling let down. I thought he promised we would go out and he thought the plans were more fluid. Now, if I want to go somewhere, I just tell him where and when.

It's not my job to worry over if he doesn't want to do something. If he doesn't want to go where I want to go, when I want to go there, he can make a case for a different activity.

I expect to be treated with dignity and respect. I get that, because I would tolerate nothing less. We give each other space to be individuals AND a couple. Both AND. We are 100 percent whole people choosing to come together.

See? I knew numbers would come into this somewhere.

Kind comments encouraged.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Shop Around

A friend of mine decided to start a feminist dating page because she doesn't want to have to explain and train a man to respect her. I totally get that.

Though I saw violence and every kind of relationship trouble in my mom's marriages, I wanted a calm love life. I wanted a guy who wouldn't think of hitting as a relationship tactic.

I did manage that. No man has even tried to hit me. Though I didn't know about the more subtle relationship abuses. Maybe abuse is too strong a word. Lets save that word for people who do more intentional harm. Lets call it manipulative romance.

My first man friend wanted me to have his baby. He bugged me and told me things like birth control pills were creating forgetfulness as a survival characteristic. Coming from the family I had, I have no idea why I didn't buy into his pressure. Maybe I didn't want a baby stronger than his attempts at manipulation.

When I broke up with him, he threatened to kill himself. Yet another tactic that I saw through. Though I do feel for people who feel great pain and consider suicide, I knew to him it wasn't real.

With every man I dated, I expected to be treated with a a certain level of respect. Maybe the type of man who would date someone like me tended more toward grateful over controlling. That may be a fair possibility. As they said in Revenge of the Nerds, "Jocks think about sports, all nerds think about is sex."

Yes, it's a generalization and therefore slightly inaccurate. I cannot speak to and or advise average people. I mean I can, but my "tribe" consists more of the quirky personality.

You wanna date a man who's a feminist? Look in places that type of man hangs out. For me, that turned out to be science fiction conventions, computer clubs and chatting. Sure, there are aggressive "jock" types in these places. Though I'd argue there are more nerdy quirky grateful for human contact types.

As with any dating pool. one must have clear set of standards and stick to them until one finds the right fit. Some will tell you to never settle. Some items on your standard list need to be must haves and must nots, but some are more flexible.

Anyone I would have dated must have a car and be able to drive. I can't, so that was important to me. I preferred a man who put the toilet seat down. I could deal with being without that characteristic, but I'm glad I got it.

I feel life consists of a combination of luck and skill. I'm lucky I met a great example of the type of man I wanted. I had the skill to know when I found one for myself and to hold on through the figuring that out.

Swim in the pool that most meets your requirements, be selective and patient within that pool and be who you are. Have confidence that people respond to the energy you put forth.

Be open to the personality that fits what you want, but that may not "look" the way you want. I like red hair. I have dated and had fine romances with non red heads. Know the difference between a preference and a must have. Adjust.

I would never tolerate physical and mental abuse. Though I do know that some people have a sexual fetish for physical pain. I wouldn't presume to tell someone their desires are wrong. That's not my thing and I don't want it. Neither do I like avocados.  So? More for you who do like them.

When I first started dating, I had a better handle on what I didn't want than on what I did. I think that's OKAY. How did I know what kind of relationship would enliven my spirit? I had little experience with anything but the violent drunks my mother married.

I say use whatever place you are at as a jump point. Build your standards from there. Make new and interesting mistakes.

I hope my friend looking for a feminist man finds him. I hope that she can help others find the kind of relationship that live up to each individual desires.

As always, kind comments encouraged.

Oh, and if you're a feminist oriented, or even feminist curious male, write to me. I got some people for you to meet.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Penny Lane

This is number 5 in a science fiction series I started. Here are the links to the previous ones if you wish to catch up. This is completely made up as I go and started on a suggestion from a chat. Comments welcome. 

  Georgia crouched down to pick up a piece of fruit she nudged off the table. "Now," she whispered into her com.
  Though she knew what would happen, the force of the blast left her ears ringing. Several people bumped past her before she managed to get under the table. 
  The electromagnetic pulse knocked out lights and cameras, but not life support. Those areas had protections and safeguards to prevent disruption.  After this, she though, even Penny Lane would be secured with redundant systems, space station operations would see to that. 
    The market took up the center of deck nine. The gang confined the disruption near the Chentry section. They hoped to blame the whole operation on anti Chentry separatists.
  Market goers began to bump and jostle in their panic to escape the darkness. Georgia scurried from her hiding place, feeling for the edge of stall tables. The scents of fresh cut fish, guided her to the left and down two tables. 
  She knew security officer Jones sat and had coffee with his cousin every morning at 10. As she rounded the corner she heard his gruff voice bellowing, "Stay calm!"
  The panic in his own voice only served to upset more people. "He's doing my job for me," thought Georgia. As she moved closer she bumped into a table of hissing insects. As she reached out to steady it, she felt a tentacle slither under her fingers.. 
  Shuddering she snatched her hand away and began wailing to attract Jones to her. As he neared she grabbed a passerby and body checked them into a small group she heard milling about. 
  She ducked under the bread table across from the now fighting crowd and listened as officer Jones tried to stop the chaos she created. 
  Georgia reached up and grabbed a loaf to nibble on while she waited. The  pungeont flavor of the sourdough took her back to the first time she went to a Penny Lane. 
  Benhi had just handed her a phone that served as ID. She turned it over in her hands and checked to see her face staring out at her. 
  "You'll have to learn how to use it before you go out. You don't want to be fumbling with it when asked," said the Chentry."At least you can read, that's a step up from most people who live on the street."
  Georgia clicked through the menus and noticed that she had a few credits on balance. Benhi told her that she'd earn more as time went on. She smiled to herself at the new found personhood, though it did make her feel a bit dizzy.
  Early the next morning she dressed in her brown overalls and black shoes and headed to the market. Benhi wanted her to run an errand for him. She needed a few things for herself  as well. The Chentry don't have hair so Benhi neglected to buy her a comb. She made do with her fingers, but she needed to learn proper grooming.
  They decided that she would start out as a low level worker and build her ID as time went on. She needed time to adjust to having an address.
  In the past, she avoided the market during the day. Though it proved excellent nighttime scrounging grounds.
  Now that she could browse and even buy a few items, Georgia savored the pungent aromas of fresh local delicacies. One stall  piled fish around all four sides. Three aproned dark haired men stood around the center table gutting and skinning  items for customers too lazy to do it themselves. She eyed the chum bucket and thought about the times when she'd found fish heads to eat after the market closed.
  She kept to the edge as she glanced at bread and fruit and guessed at a couple of items where more Chentry stood waiting their turn. Vats of dark liquid roiled with living thing waving tentacles out the top. Cages of hissing insects protested with piercing chirps when the clerks grabbed one out to sell.
  Georgia lurked past the minstrel strumming a lyre. He thrusted his chin at her hoping for a tip, but she didn't know how to do it so she scurried past. He turned to look for easier pickings.
  An argument between a pair of stall owners ensued near where Georgia stood. She looked for a place to hide , but realized that no one else was paying any attention to the loud voices. She forced herself to hold a passive expression and moved away.
  Lost in the excitement of the new experience Georgia realized she missed the alarm on her phone. When she found Drax in the electronics section, He yelled at her for being late. 
  "You think I have all day? Now you wait for me." With that the brown skinned man sat and began watching something on his phone. 
  Georgia watched him a moment then looked down at his wares. Old useless junk, she reasoned. Nothing on his table shone with the gleam of modern tech. 
  She decided to try a bluff and see how he would react. "I guess Benhi will have to take his business to someone else. Someone who delivers." She turned to walk away. 
  He stood and glared at her frowning a moment, then shrugged and smiled. "Any friend of Benhi's" he trialed off. Taking the package from him, she gave him the stern look she always got in the orphanage. His smile faded as she turned away and hurried back to her mentor. 
  Back at the space station, lights began flashing about and crowds  filled lit corridors. She slid in near Jones just as the gang gave her the all clear. 
  After the market cleanup, the security chief picked her up when he saw the video of her ducking down before the blast. He used this as an excuse to debrief her. She feigned complete ignorance. She didn't know what they were exchanging, only that they needed her to keep Jones occupied. She did report on some minor gang activity and they agreed that nothing would be done. 
  Her cover more secure, Georgia rose within the ranks of the gang and kept her under cover status with the chief. Soon she began using both resources to trace the people responsible for killing her mentor. 

Monday, July 28, 2014


Doh! While working on the fiction piece I cut and pasted the whole thing, then I cleared the page. Before I pasted back, I forgot I had the story cut and pasted and copied something else.

It's gone, but it's okay I remember what I did and how. I just need to redo it.

Slap my forehead and sigh. It really is okay. I read where Garrison Keeler lost the first draft to Prairie home Companion and had to start all over. At least I have part of it saved. in a draft.

I had hoped to post the fiction today, it's going to be delayed. I bet I'll be happier with it too. I do so love writing it. It's a neat little universe that wandered into my brain.

Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

You Oughtta Know

I want to do something exciting with the fiction story here on this blog. Nothing comes when I sit to write it out. I have another slow bit, where my main character transitions from street rat to citizen, but it's quiet and boring. 

I just had an idea. Not SUPER exciting but I think it'll be cool. 

What is that about my mind, that I go to complain about something and I solve my own problem. It's way cool. Funny ole noggin I got. 

I'll write it up and post later.

Maybe complaint has a value in life too. People tell you not to complain about stuff and I think maybe the rightness of that depends on who you are complaining to about what. "Waiter, please take away this cup it has lipstick on it and I am not wearing any," would be completely appropriate. Please, involving the manager if said waiter says something rude to you. 

Complaining to your dinner guest, probably doesn't help anything. And it might spoil the mood. 

So much of life is like that. Martha Beck writes that we can't expect the person who hurt us to help us solve the pain. They have their own problems and asking them to fix something they broke, is like expecting them to change personalities on our schedule. Ask someone else for help. 

People do change, but in their own time and for their own reasons. Our influence on those changes has much more to do with them than us. 

My best therapy person told me to use "When you.. I feel.. I would prefer..." As example of me to my husband; "When you went to the store I felt abandoned. I would prefer you let me know when you are leaving." I try and use it as much as I can. 

Start thinking when you are complaining to effect change and when you are just making noises. Start asking yourself if nothing is changing, who would be a more appropriate person to talk to about it. 

What do you have to complain about? What steps do you take to change what's going on? Do you ask yourself what benefit you get out of what is happening? Can you get the benefit in ways you like better? 

Keep kind comments coming.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Do You Know

Woke up early to see my man off to training for his new job. We spend a lot of time together  and though it will be a shock to be apart for a few days, it'll give me a chance to sort out what's going on inside my head.

I've been bugging my chat friends about what I should do with myself. It's not that I expect them to have a solution, but I find often the conversation sparks something and helps out. There's also this thing about getting a different perspective.

It seems I have to do a lot of thinking and talking in the gap between acting on my goals. A whole bunch of "hurry up and wait," permeates my life right now.

Murry had to jump through a bunch of hoops for his new job. A lot of driving to a town about 90 minutes away. He's driving a truck so they needed him to pass a medical check. Had to see a specialist about an issue, but it was nothing to worry over. Just delays, delays.

With him working, I'll be on my own a lot more. That's okay, I enjoy my own company. I might get a job too. I could do something to fill my time. It's not as easy for me to find work as it is for a person with closer to 20/20 vision.

I heard a lecture on working for the disabled. We don't often get "starter" jobs like other people. We can't just walk into a fast food joint and start flipping burgers.

The closest I came to that starter job was when I answered the switchboard in high school. I did like it. I got a couple of babysitting jobs from doing that. I liked school, but I liked working more. It was easier and less stress.

As an adult, I've mostly worked for myself. Not on my own, but with a husband/partner. Now I write, which is a self employment thing too.

I guess I want to be creative with words and pictures. Writing, frustratingly has a lot of rejection associated with it. I spoke to a "life coach" a couple of years ago. She said that I don't have to be a "rejection handler." Get Murry to deal with the rejection. I could just be the writer. That hasn't worked out as yet.

Yesterday, I showed the fiction on this blog to someone and they were begging me to write more. She told me it was frustrating to want to know more and not have it available. That's a huge motivational ego boost.

I got an idea what to do with the story, so I think next post will be another installment. Writing fiction draws me into that universe. I start seeing scenes play out between the text. Same thing happens when I read other people's good fiction.

Yeah, I am in a writer place. Now to work on profiting from my talents.

Kind comments encouraged.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Someone made a joke about dying from cancer and someone else found that offensive. I let it slide because I think we need to confront big scary things with humor.

When I had cancer last year, I asked people to make me laugh. The big scary procedures deeply freaked me out. I sat and shook and cried myself to sleep. Real, raw deep emotions welled up and I let them roam free. I find it helps me.

My way may not be for everyone. Whatever works for you, do it that way.

I wonder if people thought I was mentally challenged when I went to my CAT scan in kitty ears and a kitty tshirt? Or maybe they thought that when I was wearing pajamas and a robe standing outside the pharmacy? I care that they think I'm not smart, but not enough to take off the kitty ears.

Some things I feel deeper about than others. I want to be thought of as smart, knowledgeable and kind. I have given up wishing to be thought beautiful, fashionable or like other people.

Maybe given up is wrong. I care less about beauty, fashion or "fitting in." I try and live my values.

What things do you care most about when being judged by other people?  Do you respond in ways that are consistent with your views or do you bow to social pressure to conform? I totally get that urge. I conform sometimes. Just to avoid the hassle.

I wonder if one should do the hassle more and more? Get yourself used to it so that the world doesn't run you over and challenge you quite so much. Maybe that's why I keep confronting issues. Maybe it teaches me how to live my values and keep myself mentally fit.

Kind comments encouraged.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Beautiful Day

A friend posted on Facebook about how she felt injured by troll comments. I wrote about being called ugly in Hall of Ugliness. This got me to thinking about how we feel about insults.

Some of us were raised by family that thought nothing of "teasing" with words. It hurt deeply to be called a "brat" as an adult. And I've written before that my sisters and mom called me and my brother black sheep. He wasn't there to hear it, but I'm sure he got similar things when he was around.

These kinds of experiences install trigger buttons in our psyche. People will tell you that you're giving your power away by reacting to people who push these buttons. Though I do want you to be aware there is some truth in that, it's only a small part of what's going on.

I'm angry that I have to work so hard to overcome what was done to me. It's not fair. People like my mom should be suffering and sensitive and in pain for the problems they caused.

No, I don't really think that. I think that unkind people need MORE kindness. Accident or intentional, I'm the one with the broken psyche and I am the one that has to go through a process to recover.

I am on the constant hunt for the trigger buttons and their connection. I challenge those thoughts and put the "more facts" along side the trigger.

For me, I cannot seem to erase the buttons entirely, but I try and change the reaction. Instead of feeling bad for being ugly, I flash past feeling like I am ugly to thinking about the times when people have said I was pretty. I pump up the weight and balance the argument.

Murry's comments get more weight than any other. I trust him to be a positive influence on me. In our 14 years, we've spent no more than a couple weeks apart. He's never said a thing to assault my character.

My daddy admired my smarts and valued my ability to sort through my problems. Again, he never used words as weapons.

Neither Murry nor my dad act perfect. They have flaws that I am aware of and sometimes irritated me. I live in a real world with real people around me. Here's the thing; if ya can't say somethin nice, then ya aint supposed to say nothin at all. - Thumper.

We are all an imperfect creation made up of our experiences. Learn how to turn those buttons and triggers into armor and draw bridges. Deflect arbitrary insults into the designer thought sections of your mind. Pull up the bridge whenever the insults get to be too much.

You don't have to end friendships if someone has a bad day and says something rude. Just let them stew in their pain for a while. When YOU can handle it, try and sort it. Turn off the internet for a day. Screen your calls.

Sometimes friendships DO need to end and give yourself time to grieve over that. I give people lots of chances and ask them outright to stop doing things that hurt me. If they can't or wont, I know I gave them lots of chances.

I work very hard at not doing what I learned. I work very hard at deciding to have peace in my heart for everyone who caused me harm. I believe deeply in what John Bradshaw says, "Your parents are either sick or doing the best that they can." I believe this of everyone.

Notice when an insult hurts deeply. Set about finding the wires to that trigger and paralleling them with wires to good thoughts. Let yourself know it's okay to be offended and insulted but turn it into a powerful force for good. Make lemonade.

Kind comments encouraged.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Stuck in the Middle with You

It seems to me that most people just want to live their own lives. They just want to get up, do work that they enjoy, come home and drink a beer. Though my choice would be root beer.

I want to live in a place where the "community" stuff just works. I want smooth, well maintained roads, an honest police force, strong well trained firefighters and education that teaches kids how to use the tools of knowledge.

I care about my progressive ideals, yet I don't want to concentrate on those that put me in constant opposition. Seems to me the most courageous thing to do is choose the middle. Choose to open up to the desires of the people who may not have time for research on all aspects of a political point.

I want to know what the center thinks and wants. I want to know how to have a real middle of the road conversation. I want to be part of the middle and share in the pleasures of the latest popular tv show.

How can we agree to disagree on the fringe stuff and find common ground on the basics? How can we gain representative for that which needs doing and let the edges worry over the big questions? Who will speak for us?

What do you want, middle people? And how can we gidder done?

Kind comments encouraged.

Monday, June 30, 2014

99 Tears

I've been avoiding problems in my life. We have massive debt left over from closing our business and owe taxes and fines beyond our meager income. The pile of paperwork to sort through it all seems insurmountable.

I've been paying the state of Oregon and I have a federal tax bill due on the first. Basically my July income has been spent.

Murry has some health concerns that are prolonging his hiring doing a job he wants. He has a doctor's appointment to find out what's going on.

I'm happy for him to have an opportunity and I appreciate the frustration. Though the job promises to be long hours. Which will be strange for me. I'm used to him being around a lot.

We need to fix things around the house and tend the yard, but it's sporadically raining. I guess I should just remember that nature is not something I can change and let it go.

We could really use high speed Internet, but we can't afford it right now. We tried to get it last year when Murry was working almost full time, but the cable company flaked out. My browser I have set up to do larger text with nice colors wont load things like Facebook.

I feel so left behind by all the new fangled technology. I want a smart phone too. We checked just before he got that merchandising job, the cheapest regular phone company wanted around $60 a month for one. I know I can get one of the pay as you go connections for $45, but  I will have to buy a phone.

I am mad at myself for not posting often enough to this blog. Not everything I think about involves joy, and I forget that it's okay to share that too. I am still an optimist and I feel very little shame about having problems. I feel a little guilt. Just a little.

If I weren't a procrastinator I wouldn't be a pro at anything ;)

If you feel the urge to offer help, make it in the form of morale support. Kind comments always welcome.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


All happy happens sometimes. Mostly happy happens most of the time. With a little happy, ambivalence or neither happy nor sad and unhappy in about the same minor proportions. I'm counting content in the "mostly happy" category.

I went to two parties this weekend and before I even got there, my heart filled with the possibilities of meeting new people and getting a new perspective. I sometimes fret a little about putting too much pressure on something I haven't yet experienced. Though I do love being around people. Even if I didn't get to speak to anyone, just the chance to watch others interact would be fun.

Every time I go to gatherings it reminds me how social I am. When I wrote up my "dream day" for a goal setting exercise, I made sure it ended with a dinner party. I love diversity of conversation.

I can and will talk to strangers. "My that's a lovely shirt, " to the lady in line at the store. "Have you grown Armenian cucumbers?" to the farmers market vendor. Bold, honest, happy chat, anywhere, anytime.

Even my Murry got into the spirit. Last night he mentioned that we could fix up our yard and start having more people over to our house. Evidently, though he's a bit quieter than me, he had as good a time as I did.

Both parties had live music. One had a dance floor like great room and people swayed and whirled around in solstice celebration. Both bands flung melodic tones enlivening all who heard.

One party celebrated the 50th birthday of a friend. Since I had no such celebration for my own big 50 this year, I felt so close to the guy. His wife made deviled eggs from their own laying chickens and potato salad from ingredients she grew herself. She also made a wonderful carrot cake that surpassed any commercial confection I've had.

At the second party, people brought in pot luck foods and laid out an amazing spread of salads, dips, burritos (Murry's) and various interesting flavor combinations. I'll be dreaming about the bacon and cheese stuffed mild peppers for a long while.

I love being a sensor. Touching, tasting, seeing, hearing and smelling  new and interesting experiences raises me up. Add to that thinking about all the stories people tell. Connecting to some new friend's dream of moving to Oregon and finding it so charming. Hearing the story of a couple meeting 35 years ago and noticing how it has similar elements to meeting Murry. Telling my own view on the world. And having someone nod as they listen.

Experience + fellowship = happiness

Okay, dunno what you might comment on. If you think of something, then make it kind.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Side By Side

The ability to think fills me with such joy. It's a rare occasion when I cannot entertain or at least comfort myself with a casual stroll along the back roads of my brain. My brain sparks with a blinding brightness.

I first came across the theory of right and left brain differentiation in an art book. "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" suggested that our thinking gets in the way of rendering art. If we view the world as merely shapes, shadows and hues, we can draw anything. If we truly look at the world, and then put that on paper or canvas, this opens our creative right side to the possibilities around us. 

Some studies of stutterers suggest that speaking comes from the left brain, but singing emanates from the right hemisphere. Often one person's speaking trouble goes away with learning to speak in a sing song way. I suspect that doing so makes new brain connections. This makes the speaking more stable. 

As I have expressed with my "mental house" self awareness, I became conscious of very strong different parts of my brain. I realized I am both creative (right brain) and logical (left brain). I feel they equalize to roughly the same amount of influence over my life. 

Though I'm not sure if it's nature or intention, my left brain has control most of the time. I'm very creative, musical and emotional, but I do try and push those things to an "appropriate" time. This control sometimes gets out of hand. 

Left brain views his way as the "better, safer" way to be. Yes, I think of my brain as male. I love my female self and have no interest in being any other gender. My brain simply seems "male" to me. Lefty being in control works well until he becomes a tyrant. Righty sometimes has to throw a tantrum in order to remind Lefty to let him have his turn. 

My right side is all about fun, play, creativity and emotional expression. Lefty believes that I cannot sing all that well. He seems to keep track of the rejection in my life. Righty thinks that singing's purpose isn't based on the quality of the song, but on the quality of the expression. 

Both sides add amazing value to make all of me shine. Lefty keeps calm in a crisis, makes sure the bills are paid, loves doing math and understanding chemistry. Righty has a connection to everyone and everything. My right side comes up with the ideas and the left puts them in practice. 

After Righty throws his fit, Lefty gets a clue and grudgingly gives up his hand on my life rudder. Righty doesn't want to be in control ALL the time. He readily gives it back when he has had his fun. 

As I integrate these two friends, the emotional upheavals reduce. They're both beloved aspects. They reside in my mental house too. 

What kinds of connections do you make between your different selves? 

Kind and informative comments welcome!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Spin Me Round

I let a discussion derail my writing. Or maybe I needed a blog break. I suppose I should have alerted those who read this to that, but I didn't.

I value myself and my ideals. I value my vision of the universe. I can accept, after a time, that other people may have a different perspective, but it does take me time. To me, pieces fit "my way." And it's confusing if someone sees a different puzzle.

Take for instance that I am an atheist. I don't view the universe as controlled by a consciousness. Though there are "forces" at work that are partly beyond my ken. Not beyond anyone's knowing, just things I cannot figure out.

I don't have to understand everything. My heart beats, sends blood around my body, without my conscious awareness. I'm okay to "not" study everything. I'm okay to have a passing awareness of these universal forces that guide stars and atoms around.

I like to share my perspective, part because I think diversity of thought is interesting and part because I think I'm "right." I don't want to live in a world filled with me, but I would like to live in a world filled with sorta kinda meness.

I want and value different points of view. Or do I? I don't want to talk to the Mormons or the Jehovah Witnesses that cross my porch. I have not compared different kinds of faith and rejected them all. I have listened to a smattering of interpretations and come to the conclusion this isn't for me.

I value rules and social constructs designed to benefit humankind. Fellowship holds a high place in my heart. Though my fellowship is based on a mutual love of the provable universe.

Some of my friends wish to remove a cross from a memorial in a local park. I don't care if there's a cross there or not. The one argument that intrigues me most comes from someone arguing that if it were a symbol from a non Christian faith many of the very same folks who want to keep the cross would be clamoring for it's removal.

One person's symbol of faith is "good," the other groups iconography is "bad." I still remained disinterested in removing a long established monument, but that argument holds more weight in my mind.

Okay, so I am gonna try and write more and not let things throw me off my high horse. Don't like what I have to say? Make your case. Kind reasoned and spam free comments get posted.

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Sometimes life throws us so much shit that we have little choice but to retreat into our heads. We keep people away, at arms length in the vain hope that they can't reach us.

I do this. I crave understanding and interaction, but I do not want to be put down or used. I remain aloof and even hostile to the idea of being around others.

A friend of mine told me that in his younger years, he retreated into such a logical being that people thought he was Mr. Spock. He learned to protect himself from painful memories by denying the pain entirely. Though no one can keep such a defense up forever, it''s a very valid strategy for survival.

Later, after he regained an emotional life, he experienced the Supertramp song "Logical" at a talent show. The words made him cry at the memory of his experiences.

Questions run so deep, for such a simple man. I know it sounds absurd  but please tell me who I am. These deep questions inspire a deep longing for connection. Both to others and to one's own inner self.

Though I have never met my friend, I feel he's a kindred spirit on the path to self awareness.

Did you have a logical phase? How did it help you get over pain? What songs make you break down into puddles just thinking about them?

Kind comments encouraged.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Talk Too Much

I love to talk about what's on my mind. For a lot of my young life that involved sorting through what was happening to me. Though I have no memory of threats related to not telling about abuse, I can only guess that something was said.

I didn't tell my mother the babysitter lady beat on me. I only told my mother abut the sexual abuse when she separated from him. She did deny that he could do that. When I was an adult she told me she did that to protect me. That's total bullshit.

When I was a kid, we didn't have all those talk shows like Oprah, but we did have daytime shows sort of like The Talk or The View. Only usually hosted by men or a couple. Guests would sit down and talk about their lives on particular topics.

Because these daytime shows were mostly on while I was at school, I only saw them on rare occasions  This one called "Hour Magazine," hosted by an actor named Gary Collins was one of my favorites. They had segments kind of set up like the night time talk shows where they'd interview a celebrity, have a cooking segment and possibly a new product demonstration.

One day, I remember I was about 12. They had a dark haired lady talking about being an alcoholic. How once she quit drinking that all these memories of her difficult childhood started to come up. She had been molested and started to drink to suppress all the confusing feelings that comes from surviving that kind of childhood trauma.

She said that in order to recover, she had to talk about and deal with those feelings. I watched my mother and her husbands drink and realized they must be covering something up as well.

I never wanted to drink and this made me realize that I had to talk about and deal with my own experiences. I see that I bet I drove people, especially my mother, crazy with my talking.

Mom and my sister Kathey constantly told me to "stop dwelling on the past." I wouldn't, couldn't stop. I wanted to be happy. I didn't see how being silent helped make anyone happy.

So I sought out every chance for guidance. I went to counseling and support groups. I count myself lucky to have found a couple of good therapy people who helped me sort through major and minor traumas and to realize that I can be okay.

Because my family and my ex husband all gave me the message that I talked too much, I felt somewhat guilty about talking about my past. I still did it, I still do it, but that guilt was a bit of a sting.

Meeting my Murry changed that guilt during a drive one day. I noticed I was talking a lot and I said "I'm babbling too much, I'd better shut up. " Murry casually says "Talk as much as you want, when you're done, you'll stop."

The acceptance in that simple statement still blows me away. I don't even think my therapy people gave me the permission to talk as much as I needed to.

I sort things out by talking. Repeating the same story, reduces its emotional impact. It hurts less. It becomes a historical account rather than a painful memory.

Pain unexpressed, festers in dark shadows that lead to emotional breakdowns. Murry said, I see your pain and because I didn't cause it, I can hear it. It's weird that as an atheist I discovered the value of confession. Only I'm not expressing the burden of my sin, but letting go of the weight of my personal suffering.

I'm a gonna lay down, this heavy load.

Kind comments encouraged.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Papa, can you see me?

I woke up a couple days ago realizing I have a very simple dream that I cannot find any reason to be afraid of. I want to be seen and understood.

Not everyone will understand the crazy scheme mind I live with, and that's fine. I ask that people ask me to clarify myself. I don't expect anyone to do anything beyond those two things.

How do I want to be seen? I want the world to be aware of my existence. I want to participate in social customary greetings and be included in social activities.

When I was a kid, my differences separated me from others. Though this did lead me to find my own posse of buddies, it's time to e part of the general goings on within the world.

As for being understood, I'd like to know that what I am saying here in this blog, on Twitter or Facebook, gets read. I don't even care of other's disagree with me. If people did, and they had a better argument than mine, I can and will change my mind.

Sometimes I take a point of view to explore the ideas related to that topic. For instance, I heard a joke recently that struck me as totally true. Hitler did one excellent thing, he killed Hitler. That made me think, after I stopped laughing.

I like to think strange thoughts and sometimes opposing thoughts. I like peanuts and chocolate but not peanut butter and chocolate. That seems weird to me but it's my truth.  Though I love peanut butter separate from chocolate.

So, see me and understand me. If you don't understand, ask me to explain in a way you can understand. There's a chance you'll still not "get" me and that's okay. I know that I'm odd with what I ponder.

Kind comments encouraged.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Last night on Charlie Rose he had a bunch of guests talking about curing blindness. Very interesting science, but quite humiliating depictions of blind folks.

I'm all for a cure for my blindishness. Sign me up today! But what are you going to do for me if it doesn't work on my condition?

The only representative from the blind community lost his sight at age 20. That's rough for anyone. Going from one state to the next, all of life's major transitions, come as a shock.

Add to this how Charlie and some of the other guests spoke of the devastation and fear associated with blindness. Be afraid, be very afraid. Live in fear of losing something and fail to prepare for reality. Yeah, that's a great strategy.

Stop projecting your fear onto our existence. JUST STOP IT!

Sighted people's fear creates a public that lives in fear of associating with blind people. Then there are the do gooders. The software makers who decide what accessibility features work best without consulting those with visual impairments.

For example, the magnifying glass application that I use has a major flaw. It puts the mouse right in the middle of the enlargement window, enlarged of course. This covers up what I'm trying to read. I can't change where the mouse rests within the window. So I make the window bigger than necessary and read on the other side of the mouse. This imperfect solution works okay. It's better than having to download and test yet another piece of software.

I image there are all kinds of published studies on imperfect people. I bet they show that we are happy and sad and angry and fearful at about the same rate as more "average" people. We want to have meaningful lives and get married, just like the average person.

I expect that if you see me struggling, you'll offer to help. JUST like if I am aware of your struggles, I will offer mine. Both of us can say no thank you. Don't assume your help is needed and just try and do something for me. Some things I want or need to work out on my own.

I realize my disability factors in as part of my existence. It's rough to find work if you don't fit into the mold of the potential employers. We can change that mold by requesting that people are portrayed more as they are and less as a caricature of who someone thinks they are.

Kind comments encouraged.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Scared of Flying

I lived near Los Angeles in the late '80s when we had a serial killer called the "Nightstalker" prowling the streets. This guy found open windows and crept in and murdered people while they slept.

To anyone who didn't have air conditioning this made for fretful nights. I found a way to keep my windows slightly ajar and yet still safe from a break in. Then I did a reality check.

Out of 11 million people in the Los Angeles basin, how likely was it that this guy would find and kill me? Not very. Plus I didn't live in the area he committed these crimes. Though he was moving around a bit.

I reasoned out, it was not very likely and I started to relax myself. Then the news put a shrink on to say the same thing I had worked out on my own.

Fear exists as a great legitimate tool to prevent us from doing something totally stupid. It keeps us from poking bears and kicking sleeping tigers. Sometimes those instincts get in the way of modern life.

Getting on an airplane I feel a sense of apprehension. I ignore it because I know that I am safer in the aircraft than I was riding in the car to the airport. This knowledge doesn't prevent the fretting, it just lets me keep going with confidence. Most people think nothing of getting in a car.

I'm not asking you to feel stress on the roads. Though some attentive care may save you from crashing into that motorcycle that cuts you off.

I've seen several desensitizing techniques for overcoming fear that I feel are worthy of sharing. First, don't deny that you have dark thoughts. Let them be real, write them down so you can see what you're really thinking. You might be surprised what your subconscious thinks.

Judging your fear at this point may just push them deeper. Let them be okay so long as they are not directly creating problems for you right now. In that case, think of ways that you can do what you need, the minimum amount, with the least amount of fear. For instance, if you fear flying and have to take a trip for business, is it close enough to drive or take other transportation? Can you telecommute or ask someone else to go instead?

If you have no alternative but to do what you fear, start by treating yourself with the most kindness. Tell the people involved that you are fearful of what is about to happen. You may hear things like "Don't be afraid, " but most likely you'll hear someone else say that they understand and have a similar fear. Let the fear deniers know that you expect them to be kind, even if they do not share your concerns.

Desensitize yourself with information. For me, I feel percentages help. If I know that there's a bigger chance to get hurt in a car, I feel less afraid of airplanes. Then, expose yourself to some of the item that gives you trepidation. Have a friend place a photo of an airplane on a wall as far from you as possible. Then every few minutes, look that direction. Get used to the idea of seeing what you most fear. this can take as little as a few minutes to calm yourself.

Remember to breath and be kind. Concentrate on breathing in on the count of four, holding for a count of two, then out on four. Once you're calmer start moving closer to the picture of the plane.

Move on to a video of planes. Nothing scary, just average plane sights and sounds. Notice that most people smile when they ride in airplanes. Notice that they get on and get off  calmly and some even relax enough to sleep.

Remember, it's perfectly okay to still say that you are afraid. Be kind to yourself.

Now go near the airport and watch some planes from a distance. Remember to breath. It's not always possible to find airplane seats, but you could put a couple chairs close together and get some airplane sounds and pretend.

Finally, if easing up to the fearful activity doesn't work strong enough for you, consider asking your doctor about a sedative. There are lots of calming things that are over the counter, they might suggest one of them or they might write you a prescription. Some people use alcohol to alleviate fears, but I find that makes me more stressed. Find the least action that gives you the best handle on the fear.

As I said, I'm still afraid when flying. All I need is the breathing and the awareness of the safety. When I had my day surgery, I cried until the nurse reminded me to breath. The crying lessened but didn't stop completely. I am proud that I had a way to handle the fear.

I'd like to hear if you have your own fear reducing activities. Kind comments always welcome!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Someone Left the Cake Out in the Rain

I don't begrudge anyone their piece of cake. I celebrate the mom who takes care of herself and provides a loving stable guiding life for her kids. No one can get anywhere on an empty tank.

Where did some people get the notion that it's selfish to take care of one's own needs? Realize the difference between a sense of healthy self interest and the very real selfish tendencies of some, but let go of the idea that taking a fair slice makes you bad.

We all build on our past. We learn to add and subtract so that we can understand how to multiply and divide. One builds on the ground of the other.

Remember that fuel comes in many forms. I'm excited by new and interesting ideas. When I don't get the chance to talk with people about some crazy idea I've had, I start to feel empty. It almost doesn't matter if the idea has any merit, it's just important to express and explore it.

To put gas in my own tank, I found a group of like minded people and I go and meet them twice a month. To rev up my engine, I go and exercise. These things build my foundation platform so that I can build myself into the architectural dream I see inside my head.

So now it's your turn. What ways to you fuel up? How can you learn to take care of your own needs so that you have the capacity to care for others?

Kind comments welcome!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

We Are Family

I went to Survivors of Incest Anonymous meetings for just over a year. After a few months, I separated from my ex husband and then moved out of the area. They helped keep me sane through all that. I loved those gals and the fellowship we developed over that time.

In 12-step programs we talk about two kinds of relationship ties:  family of origin, the one you're born into and family of affiliation, the one you form from friendships. I've always been closer to people outside my family of origin, mainly because I felt unwanted by the people who were supposed to care for me.

Since my father died last year, I've been quite wary of contact with my sister and niece. I don't say this to hurt them. I wish all people peace. I say it to explain my point of view.

My sister told me that my mother made her take care of me and I bonded to my sister as if she were my mother. I have no memories of it, but my she told me that I wouldn't let my her new husband sleep in bed with her. I do remember when she had a baby and I didn't want to hold him. I wanted to push him off my lap and step on him. I didn't. I was four. Sounds like sibling rivalry to me.

I am closer in age to my sister's oldest children than I am to my own siblings. Though I didn't bond that close with them. Mainly because my sister's family moved far away not long after she had her first baby.

My parents divorced and my other sister and I went to live with dad for less than two years. Then we moved in with a babysitter. That lasted about the same amount of time as living with dad. My mother took custody back and I lived with her and her new husband for just over a year.

My older sister had her own family difficulties and after she moved back to my home town, I ended up living with her and her now two children. At some point her first born went back to live with his dad. My sister started dating a man and they decided to live together.

I'm sure my sister didn't want to be taking care of me. Though I know I was never her child to raise, I felt rejected again. I deeply resented my sister's now husband. As I got older, he never made any effort to understand me.

While the rest of the family praised my brother in law's high powered job and monied background, I felt he put me back into a terrible family. I have no memories of further abuse, but I had to live with my mother and the man who molested me.

To be fair to my sister's husband, he might have had zero knowledge of what had happened to me. It's also possible that my sister didn't know. I hope that if they had, they would have take care of me.

My brother in law always treated me like the outsider "bad seed" child. Well, no, they all treated me that way. In light of life threatening abuse and sexual molestation, the rest of my family's action seem almost mild.

No one ever spanked or did time out punishment. It seems they all had either crazy over reaction or ignore as their parenting tools. Mom once pulled me around the house by the hair because she was upset I didn't answer the phone. She left me home alone at night and I went next door to be around the neighbor kids.

I happened to be at my sister's house when her husband returned from an out of town trip. He brought trinkets for the little ones and I asked if he brought something for me. He replied, "You're not my kid." I didn't think about it at the time, but neither was my sister's daughter. He didn't have to be an asshole about it. I so desperately just wanted to be part of a family.

I remember being quite a needy little girl. For years, I felt guilty for being molested because I liked the attention. I learned that guilt runs deep and springs from a common river in children who survived sexual abuse. Kids take on a lot of family problems.

I don't feel guilt or shame about what other people have done to me anymore. At least not for the really bad stuff. I do feel some guilt, a little naggy bit, about all the rejection. Knowing that it isn't about me helps. Not always enough.

I have some small talent for finding a family of affiliation. Though, I do see that I don't bond too close to people. I put Murry off four years before I would even meet him in person.

When we had to ask a customer to leave because he was rude to one of our employees, he asked, "What? Are they like your kids or something?" I thought, YEAH, they're FAMILY! Now get out of my store and stop being a jackass.

Either stop being a JACKASS or get out of my life. I know that sounds harsh, but I put up with and felt guilty for..  too many already. No more. Kind people are part of my family. Unkind people  are sick and I hope they find their happy place, it's not near me.

As always, kind comments welcome!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

School's Out for Summer

Science and math compliment each other. Most of the classes I took had a math prerequisite. Having them taught with two different instructors, left me somewhat confused.

While taking chemistry and pre-calculus during the same semester, we covered logarithms at the same time. Finally the value of logs made sense. I aced the test in both classes because the subjects paralleled each other.

I told the math teacher that the "word problems" within the text book were vague and difficult to understand, but doing the exact same thing IN chemistry, made it all become clear.

I think that math and science classes need to be taught together. I mentioned this to some friends and they suggested that humanities have similar complimentary classes. Things like social studies, literature and even history all go together. Often my literature instructor talked about the times in which a story was written and explained how that colored the perspective of the author. Dry history  turns into exciting river rapids if taught with a flair for the social nuances of the times in which it was happening.

Teaching these classes in a complimentary way would benefit students by engaging them more in the topics. With math, it's way easier to understand logs if you use the calculation for something you can see. With literature, Jonothan Swift's "A Modest Proposal,' takes on a whole new meaning if you understand the Irish famine and political problems of the day.

Yes, it's a more complicated educational model and would require far more educator coordination. Plus it goes against the status quo.

Perhaps such a plan could begin with a simple coordination of subjects. When I took college level theater as literature along with film as literature, the professor complimented the two classes. Not everything did a direct connection, but we did watch two different films about Shakespeare's Richard III while we read the play. We also saw a live performance. All in the span of a week.

We didn't, but we could have talked about the history of that king in our history class. Those two professors could have simply coordinated and shared a brief examination of the truth versus reality of the fictional accounts.

We did talk about these things with regard to the fictional portrayal of William Wallace. Though Braveheart wasn't one of the films we viewed in our literature class.

What class combinations would you like to see? For educators, have you had experience with any kind of coordination with other subjects? How did these work out? Kind and thoughtful comments welcome.

Friday, March 28, 2014

King Midas

Last year about this time, Murry and I decided that we couldn't afford to keep our store open any longer. We had begged, borrowed and cajoled as much as we could from our friends and family.

Tuesday of this week, I had a massive bout of personal failure. I suspect that the anniversary of the business closing, along with having to fill out some biographical information for the Oregon Commission for the Blind, overwhelmed my confidence.

I'm doing better now, but it took me some time to sort out that the one year anniversary could be a big source of stress. Murry suggested I just do one thing. Concentrate on going to Curves. I love going to exercise and interact with people.

I also changed doctors this month and ended up with a very similar person. She's from a different country and has browner skin, but what irritated me about my previous doctor, irritates me about this one. This was my fear. Getting stuck with the same thing.

I'm going to stick with the new doc because I don't have any kind of bad history with her. I am going to try and express my feelings more up front. I've found, that if one expresses a troubled emotional history, doctors ignore any other thing you say. But I can talk about my "today" feelings.

My friend Jess asked me what I wanted in a doctor, I think I posted that I have no idea. I kind of do, but I am a bit afraid to ask for it. It seems pointless to ask for what isn't very likely. Though, what does it hurt to dream?

I want my doctor to see me as a person with lots of interrelated medical conditions. I want someone who cares about my emotional state as much as the physical. I want a doc that tries to deal with conditions as a whole body approach. I want appreciation for the efforts I am making. I want a real person who understands that chocolate is a valuable substance. I want reasonable doable suggestions. I can find vague generalities on my own.

I would like to talk to a nutritional expert on occasion. They must be a human who knows what it's like to be imperfect and how life is sometimes a struggle. I'm lucky I have caring people who specialize in exercise to talk to, but if I didn't, it would be nice to talk to someone like that. I wish I had a group that talked about the emotional aspects of letting go of weight on a regular basis.

If I really had everything health related in a perfect state, I wish I could do therapy in a park while taking a nice walk. I know that's pure fantasy, but I think it would be good to give my body something to do so it wouldn't just sit in a chair and fret when talking about my problems.

So these are the things that have been on my mind this week. As always, kind comments welcome!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

In the Year 2525

If you don't know the song I used as title, find it and listen. Lots of social comment in lyrical form. Interesting.

So I've had a thought and though it's different than the song implies, I felt the flavor suited my thinking best. I have a proposal of sorts to the wealthy and those who wish to deny the less fortunate any opportunity to thrive. Why play these ridiculous games?

The planet cannot continue to support this many people. Rather than  locking up and turning off their heat, why not start farming the less thans?

Jonathan Swift suggested just eating babies in his essay "A Modest Proposal." I say, why stop there? Many wealthy people have made it clear that they feel  the poor are a nuisance  So why not remove the problem? Start with prisoners. They're "bad," after all.

Then I suggest farming the homeless. Oh, first you get them off the street to fatten them up for some nice marbling. Then anyone who's ever been on welfare or government funded disability income. Grandma might not be so tasty, so feed her to the younger poor.

A committee will need to be formed to figure out who to eat and who might be too toxic. Perhaps made up of former prison guards?

Removing the weakest links will strengthen the offspring of those at the top. No more need for tax increases to pay for any entitlements. Much of that farmland that we use for cattle and corn can be turned back into natural habitat.

The privileged can make their human cattle perform a limited farming duty on the land that remains. After all, potatoes and a nice salad go well with meat.

This will take a few centuries to accomplish as there will be some who may resist. But once it's in full swing, the rest of the life on the planet will have time to recover. Then the progeny of the powerful  can reap.. or rape... the benefits of less people using up resources.

I feel my rational, suggestions serve a valid argument. Should your views, differ, state them plainly.

If you take this as a serious proposal, I think you should possibly be the first to graze the future pastures.

Kind comments welcome.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Time for letting go

Love means security and comfort to me. If that sense of security gets threatened in some manner, love seems to wither and dry out like unkempt plants.

Growing up with an erratic mother and a loving but absent father, I learned to be practical with my heart. I've watched parents put their children's needs ahead of their own and wondered what that was like. I often think, my mother neglecting me didn't seem to benefit herself. So why did she do it? What was the goal?

Looking at it in as detached a manner as I can, I came to the realization that she has an emotional trouble spot on her brain. She probably survived a similar childhood as mine and reacted a bit different from me. As a fellow human being, I can have compassion for her. As her daughter, I try and let go of the resentment I feel over being so neglected.

Almost every day, I work on letting go of the fantasy that my life could have been different. Each of the people who abandoned me to the whims of another erratic guardian, did so for reasons that had little if anything to do with me.

It's no wonder I have some difficulties  In psychological experiments with rats, random food delivery drives the poor little rodents crazy. Random houses, random rules and random levels of affection drove me into occasional bouts of madness too.

Thankfully, my rat brain has a human center of reason attached and can work out resolutions to feelings. I choose to be in the now. No one is abandoning, neglecting or moving me from my stable place. I choose okay. When I am fully comfortable with that okayness, I can choose happy, courageous or loving.

I can also choose my family by choosing my friends. Sometimes I keep someone around for too long because angry broken people are familiar, both when I look in the mirror and when I think about the past. As often as I can, I am learning to let that go. Wish them peace and say goodbye with kindness.

So how often to you examine your life for pasts and presents to let go?  If you are keeping something that doesn't feel that great, maybe you haven't gotten what you think you need from that experience. What would it be that you need and want? Have you gotten it and just haven't realized it?  Have a look and see.

Share something of your experiences and what this post made you think. Kind and gentle comments welcome.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Doctor, Doctor!

I fled my doctor's office in tears. I've come to realize that something about our discussion triggered a fight or flight response in me. I know I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I just thought I'd mostly dealt with it.

Some tell me I over share. While my drama sometimes sticks around when I express it, usually things get better when I can resolve my conflicts. Doing so publicly means there is a chance that someone else can benefit from my meltdowns.

The Oregon health plan allows you to change doctors twice in a 12 month period. We have few general practitioners in our rural county and I didn't quite know how to pick one.  I asked around, but the doctor everyone suggested wasn't taking patients. I did find someone who patiently listened to my problems and suggested two doctors for me.

Since I don't have many choices, I have decided that I will go in with this new one with my own plan and lay down the law right off the bat. She can advise and counsel  but I will decide what I will and wont do. I will be stubborn and reject any and all suggestions that I don't feel will help me.

I haven't decided if I shall disclose my emotional history. I feel it may not matter and some medical professionals use such disclosures as a kind of excuse for rejecting my point of view.

I recently told someone to play all the what ifs to a situation. Rather than sit and decide what an outcome will be, test it in your mind and figure out what to do if....  before ever going into action. Plan for the worst, make strategies then expect the best. I guess I'll take my own advice. I feel so much better now.

See, that's why I "over share." Someone might read that and take that tack in their own life.

Kind comments welcome.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Kung Fu Fighting

During a casual chat, I mentioned that I didn't understand the people on Dr. Phil who screamed at their spouse. Murry and I don't fight like that. I wouldn't like to live with all the screaming, name calling or slapping.

But why not? That's what I saw as a kid. Though what many of the men my mom married beat her. One ruptured her spleen and nearly killed her.

What is it about me that I wouldn't live like that? My causal friend said that it was because I didn't work out of the house or have kids. As if that excuses intimidating your spouse? "It's okay officer, I can slap my wife, we have children together."

That was my first major relationship decision. NO HITTING. Assuming the hitter survived after his first blow, he would be single in seconds.

Over the years I've learned to try and stay on topic of I disagree with anyone. I choose to fight only when I am sure my position will be best for all parties.

I guess that's what switched. I'm dominant, it's my nature. I can choose to not domineer.

Lots of things aggravate me with my spouse. So? Unless it will cause me harm (putting the knives up in the dishwasher or in the sink for example) I let it slide. Even then, I ask for things to be done differently. I ask that mistakes be corrected. It's so much more effective than fighting over trivia.

My mom felt a familiarity to the abuse. So much so that she let it continue. There's a line from a song, "Who taught you to live like that?" Someone, probably her own parents, taught my mother that hitting was okay.

I found better teachers.

If you find yourself fighting with anyone, maybe it's time to examine what role you play in repeating patterns. Change it up. Fight only when the reason for the disagreement TRULY threatens your way of life. Otherwise, let it go, walk away.

If your children refuse to clean up their room, what good does it do for you to be angry about it? Take things away until they comply. Not out of anger, but out of love. Prepare them for a life. Love is free flowing and everyone has to work for things.

It really amazes me how people don't examine the effectiveness of what they do. Is this method working? Can I try something else? Am *I* doing *my* best to make this work?

Agree to disagree over the topics that it doesn't matter on. Let the other person save face. If they still want to fight, keep telling them you care for them, but that you aren't fighting anymore.

How do you live a peaceful life? Kind comments welcome