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Archive for September, 2009

Open Theadiness 09.30.09

Autumn_by_rad_ix

Wow!  Time is flying!  Didn’t I just post one of these open thread things yesterday?

Fall has come roaring into my neighborhood and I’m really liking it.  Yay for grayness!

–AngryGrayRainbows

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Light_the_Cake_by_avondaleklr

Happy birthday tooooooooo meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  😉

Whooo hooooooo! 

–AngryGrayRainbows

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bulb_by_tpphotography

NPR had a neat story on PTSD this morning.  So far, I haven’t found a link to this story, but I will keep looking.  😉 

Apparently, folks who were studying PTSD found that people who develop full-blown PTSD or chronic PTSD have something in common – lack of support from their communities.  People who have been through trauma who have community support are far less likely to develop full-blown or chronic PTSD.  For example, active duty soldier coming home from Iraq are less likely to develop PTSD if they live in supportive communities who understand what they’ve been through… if they have a support community that “gets it.”  However, reservists coming back from Iraq go back home to families that may not be educated or prepared for what their soldier has been through and those reservists are most likely to develop full-blown PTSD.

I am not a soldier.  I am a survivor of child-abuse and I have PTSD.  Over the years, I have been annoyed by hearing over and over from the experts that they didn’t know what one person got PTSD when another person didn’t.  When I went to 12-step meetings, I was encouraged to blame my own faulty being for having developed full-blow and chronic PTSD.  I was encouraged to think that I just must’ve been broken in some ways to have developed full-blown PTSD when some people go through even worse traumas and don’t end up as traumatized as I was. 

When I look back at my whole childhood, I was extremely isolated and when I did try to reach out for help no one believed me.  My parents were very good at putting on a charming exterior and not until my adult years did I actually meet people who could believe that my parents were capable of abuse.  I had no support.  I certainly had no supportive community or anything like that.  People tended to go right back to my parents to tell them the “crazy lies” that their daughter had been telling about them.  Then I’d get punished by my parents for “lying.”  I wasn’t lying.  Sometimes I had a hard time even believing myself because no one else believed me.  How could I ever heal a wound that I wasn’t even sure existed or if I just made it up like 100% of the people in my life claimed I was (at the time)? 

My mother always liked to say how I was just over-sensitive and somehow just wrong and paranoid and broken for reacting to abuse (even sexual abuse) the way that I did.  Sure.  Kids love being brain-washed, humiliated, beaten, terrorized, manipulated and sexual abused.  *headdesk* 

First off, my reactions were crazy.  The situation that I was raised in was crazy. 

Second, I realize that I had zero support.  It felt more like negative support… like anyone in my life was invested in believing that I was just lying for attention or because I was “mean” or “crazy” or something. 

Looking back, I realize that most of those people prolly meant well.  I have a strong sense that many people refused to believe me, because they didn’t want to believe that kind of abuse existed in the world or that my “charming” parents could perpetrate it.  If my parents (who went out of their ways to make sure everyone loved them), were abusive, then ANYONE could be.  Sigh.  My parents created a protected situation so that they could get what they wanted (abuse of me) without anyone figuring it out (by making a point of being ultra charming around friends and family) unless they were very clever or knew about abuse and such.  They did a good job of creating a situation where no one would believe me.  Isolation.  It hurt.  Maybe even more than the rest of the abuse did, cuz I craved support so deeply… and yet got the opposite when I tried to get support from friends or family…

Agh.  Sad feelings.  Maybe washing some dishes will help me get present and come back from feeling deeply heart-broken from all that has happened. 

–AngryGrayRainbows

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Open Threadiness 09.23.09

open

Open threadiness!  Whooo hoooooo!

I will start off by celebrating the new Goody ribbon wrap headband (that link shows a black headband… the ones I bought are a lovely brown to match my brunette hair.. apparently they are making these for red, blonde and black hair) that I found at Target!  It’s so rare for me to find a headband that doesn’t make my hair all weird.  Apparently zig zag headbands work really well for me, so this morning I went back and bought two more.  😀  Yay for hair accessories that make me feel pretty!

Have at it, folks!

–AngryGrayRainbows

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You are a goddess

_Shechinah__by__lestat_It’s been a really hard couple of weeks. Within these weeks, there have been a really hard few days. On those days, I have sometimes remembered to pray. To who, or what, is hard to say, sort of, like AGR. But the plea just goes out there.

Last night, I found myself praying through dance. And who, or what, I was praying to, was the Shechina, or the Jewish concept of the feminine aspect of god. There are many perspectives on the Shechina, but for me, the divine feminine force is what I was longing to feel close to.

I felt that longing also on Sunday, and there’s this woman who dances, and teaches dance, who from the first time I saw her, seemed at once familiar and mysterious. She had this openness and unaffected beauty that was so compelling, and yet, not outwardly focused. She danced in a way I found compelling, sexy, beautiful and free. Over time, our paths have continued to cross more and on Sunday, I found myself sitting cross legged across from her, holding her hands, while out of my mouth poured this confession to her: When I look at her, she is the image of the Shechina to me. It’s true, somehow, as a child, when I pictured the Shechina, she is exactly what I pictured. And she told me that she was in fact struggling with connecting with her feminine aspect, and this touched her deeply. And she said this to me in return:

“When you first started dancing here, I said to [the instructor, who is a friend of hers and someone she teaches with],’who IS that new woman, she’s like a GODDESS.’ and he said, ‘oh, I know who you are talking about.’ ”

I couldn’t help it, I rolled my eyes. But she stopped me, and said that what I saw in her was a mirror.

And she was right. And it touched me deeply. In fact, I keep rolling it around in my mind the way I might savor a particularly delicious hard candy in my mouth, slowly, repeatedly. A GODDESS. Me. Yes. Verified, validated, confirmed.

So, I’m passing this along. This challenge, which SassyBlonde started with her Recovery Goddess post, is to see the goddess in you. (This exercise isn’t just for women, either.)

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Thoughts and Happenings

neglected_thoughts__by_starlight716n

I was thinking about leaving these things to the Open Thread tomorrow, but there is so much I want to write about that it deserves a post of its own. 

Re the pooping cat: This morning he managed to mess up the couch twice.  It looks like he has a tummy ache or something.  So, I started thinking about what might give my dear Timey a tummy ache and I may have realized that this may be my mistake causing this.  Time has heart disease and takes 30 mgs of CoQ10 once a day to help keep his heart as healthy as possible as well as atenolol (a prescription med that helps his heart function more normally).  I knew his bottle of CoQ10 was running out weeks ago and I also knew that finding his special small dose of 30 mgs is very hard to find, so I’ve been looking for quite a while.  It seems no one is selling the 30 mg pill anymore, so I got him the 50 mg pill and he’s been taking that for two weeks or so in the hopes that it wouldn’t make any difference to him.  Well, it may have been messing with his tummy.  He’s an emotional cat anyway and I wouldn’t doubt that some of his behavior has also been about my new job and another cat that has been trying to monopolize all my time, but the last two weeks has been VERY bad in terms of furniture “accidents.”  So, I called the vet to let her know what I just figured out and to get her advice.  Hopefully she will tell me that he just needs a break from CoQ10 and an eventual return to the smaller dose.  No one needs to tell me what a mistake I have made.  I won’t be messing even with supplment doses on my cats without doctor advice ever again.  I’m annoyed with myself, but on the other hand I’m proud that I’m willing to own my mistake and tell the vet, so that Time can get whatever medical care he needs due to my giving him a different CoQ10 dose.  Edited to add: The vet called and apparently CoQ10 has no overdose effect that she knows of.  Yay!  If Timey doesn’t feel better by next week, he will be checked for inflammatory bowel disease…

Today, I also spent a whole lot of money in implementing my vetrinarian’s advice in helping Time’s not using his litterbox problems.  I got another litterbox (so now that we have the recommended # of cats + 1 = # of litterboxes), Feliway calming cat hormone diffuser and I changed out all the litter in all the litterboxes so that the litter is all nice and fresh.  Time’s problems started before the CoQ10 incident, but I suspect the CoQ10 only excacerbated things by giving him tummy problems.  Wish us luck in helping Timey through his litterbox issues.  No matter what, he has a home with us.  It would just be nice if I wasn’t cleaning poo off the couch and/or bed almost daily. 

I joined Facebook.  My first impressions have been that Facebook is VERY WEIRD.  Hah.  I really don’t need to know what everyone is up to on their Farmville farms.  😛  On the other hand, it’s great to have access to my cousin’s pics of her babies and it’s been really interesting to see what the girls I went to gradeschool look like and are up to.  It makes me giggle a little that 95% of them are fat now, when through my whole childhood they told me that I was fat even when I wasn’t fat (but especially they made fun of me when I WAS fat… as sometimes I was).  I suppose it is kind of healing to see their smiling faces proudly looking out of their pictures even if they are fat, obese, morbidly obese or whatever.  No, not because I think fatness is some kind of just “punishment.”  I think it’s cool that these women seem to have accepted their bodies and aren’t ashamed of them even if they have gained a lot of weight over the years.  Fatness is no punishment.  It just is a neutral descriptor.  😉  I suppose the healing bit is that I see that these people have grown up and don’t seem to be the same judgemental, fat loathing tormentors that they used to be.  It is healing to see that things have probably changed a lot for the better….

I’ve been praying a lot.  Nope.  Still not religious, but wow… I’m finding the value in prayer.  And, I think I have figured out why I am liking prayer so much…  First, it can be used as positive visualization.  For example, if I’m asking in prayer for more compassion or patience, I also find myself visualizing myself being more compassionate or patient… and then shifting to that kind of thinking and/or behavior becomes far easier.  Second, the frame of prayer helps me focus on the visualizations that help and to feel like I’m not alone.  Prayer can be conversational, so it’s harder for my mind to change the subject.  It’s easier to focus on the good things I want to internalize and the prayers for compassion that I want to make for others.  Prayer for the non-religous… who knew?  Okay, prolly lots of people did, but I didn’t.  😛  It prolly also helps to feel heard in regards to my goals, concerns and whatnot.  Cuz religious or not, since I was a child, I have felt heard when praying.  Are there any other non-religious types out there who are finding value in prayer? 

I’m feeling less ADHD’d today and that is a good thing.  The last several days have been hugely frustrating. 

I suppose that is all the randomness I’ve got right now… 😉

–AngryGrayRainbows

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ADHD_by_Bungle_Grind

Somedays I feel like my brain is completely broken.  These are the days when I get on an ADD (or ADHD – I’m starting to see my own hyperactivity, though I’m not hyper all the time…) roll and can’t seem to help myself but to do one silly thing after another.  Yesterday was one of these.  I didn’t feel good about myself.  It was one thing after another at work… I knew when I went in that I just didn’t feel quite right.  I felt foggy even with my full dose of ritalin and some caffeine as a cherry on top.  Still, I just couldn’t get my brain working.  I broke dishes.  I spilled things.  I caused a big mess with chocolate sause.  I ground coffee, put it in the brewer… and then would forget to BREW the coffee.  I forgot orders.  I suppose that I should count myself lucky that I didn’t bite my tongue or lock myself out of the car… 

I have at least a couple of days like this a month.  I hate the looks I get when someone realize I am on some serious spazz roll.  Agh.

On the other hand, I’m also better at handling my spazz days with grace, so that most of the time people don’t give me pat advice that isn’t helpful (nor do I need or want it) or laugh at me or start treating me in a condescending way.  Deep down it is a consolation to me that my worst days are a lot better than they used to be… but still… sometimes I wonder how I will ever fulfill my potential when I have such frequent set-back of ADHD that can really shake my belief in myself AND the belief that people who give the promotions have in me… 

Hmmm… perhaps the most important bit is that I believe in myself.  People seem to take their cues from me and if I don’t think my occassional spazz-outs are devastating then other people usually don’t either.  But, this is going to take some time and practice for sure.  ADHD and me have a long and painful history.  I have a very deep habit of assuming that a series of two or three ADHD goofs completely dooms me to continue to make embarassing and “careless” (as my gradeschool teachers called it” errors.  “Careless”???!!!???? The more I cared and the harder I tried the worse I got and the more “careless” errors I made.  The mere mention of that phrase (careless errors) makes me wanna vomit in anger and disgust.  Later in life, my abusive father/employer seemed to delight in using that phrase after he figured out how much it bothered me and even after I had explained many times that IT WASN’T CARELESS AND I RESENT IT BEING CALLED THAT!  Grrrrrrrr… Roar!

I suppose it is time to remind myself that despite my differentness (ADHD, PTSD and such) that I am pretty sharp and productive.  Like Sassy posted recently… perhaps it is time to remember that I am a survivor and a thriver here… not a victim of ADHD or PTSD.  Besides, who is to say that some of my success isn’t due to ADHD.  One previous pdoc of mine explained that ADHD was in essense just a super-charged brain and nothing at all to be ashamed of.  I’ve wanted to see her point, but mostly I have only seen how ADHD has tripped me up – even after I have read all sorts of books and sites about how to use ADHD as a beneficial edge. 

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to see any benefits to my ADHD, but right now I’m don’t feel that is the most important bit anyway.  The most important bit is that I respect myself and believe in myself… rather than psyching myself into one mishap after another culimating in a second degree burn on my right hand… I wish I had just made that up, but I didn’t…

I had hoped that taking on a job that I am way overqualified for and don’t even need to keep would somehow “cure” my ADHD… and that taking this job that is so far below my potential would give me a break from my ADHD woes.  No such luck.  Ah well.  At least now I know – an easy job doesn’t cure the spazzing, though often it is easier to hide, because I’m over-performing in so many other ways.  I’m starting to feel ready to head back to the world of financial analysis, now that I know even a much easier job isn’t going to “fix” me.  It is clear that the only option I have here is to accept myself, continue to learn to manage and keep taking my meds as long as I need to.  It is something of a relief to realize it is highly unlikely that I will ever be symptom free or stop having crazy spazzy mistake days at least twice within a two week period.  No one can tell me I haven’t tried pretty much everything: yoga, meditation, exercise, meds, deep breathing, therapy, visualizations, diet changes, using more caffeine, using less caffeine, supplements, prayer… and prolly a hundred other things that I can’t think of right now cuz I’m a little sleepy and, of course, a little spazzy.  Yes, I can manage to be sleeping and spazzy at the same time and it ain’t pretty.  It’s frustrating.  Really freakin’ frustrating. Maybe tomorrow will be one of my less-spazzy days.  That would be sweet.  After the last three days, I could really use a break.  I wear myself out sometimes. 

–AngryGrayRainbows

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