Tag Archives: love

To Those Who have Lost a Loved One

Miranda John William Waterhouse, 1916

Miranda
John William Waterhouse, 1916

W. H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Mental Illness Doesn’t Discriminate, but People Do

I just left a group I had recently joined, under the impression that people who were intent on erasing the stigma of mental illness would be, well, more open-minded. I am a somewhat naive person in some respects; I will admit that. Possibly because I’m hopeful. Possibly because I’m gullible, to an extent, and I want to believe the best of people. Especially ones trying to erase the shame associated with mental illness because, after all, it’s not something a person can help.

I was surprised, then, to find a posting after the shooting at the recruitment centers, describing the shooter as having an “extremist personality” and one of the women who’s daughter had bi-polar saying, “her daughter didn’t act that way.” I was furious. And very disappointed.

I responded that if the young man hadn’t been Muslim, this wouldn’t even be a topic of conversation, and apparently the idea of mental illness being a stigma was based on race and religion, not the reality of mental illness, which doesn’t tend to pay attention to those lines. It doesn’t discriminate. And as for the woman whose bi-polar daughter not acting that way, I said knowing one person with mental illness is knowing one person with mental illness. If we were all the same, one pill would magically cure all of us and yay, the world would be a happier place. But it doesn’t work that way. We are all individual chemical factories with unique brain chemistries and genetic predispositions. That’s why there are so many drugs out there that don’t work for so many different people, or cause paradoxical reactions (the complete opposite of what they’re intended to do).

I said I didn’t want to be associated with people claiming to want to erase the stigma of mental illness, selectively. What do they think society is doing to them? Exactly what they were doing and patting themselves on the back for. Oh yes, “Extremist Personality,” my therapist pointed out, isn’t in the DSM. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, which is what the United States uses to diagnose people. I should note the DSM-V has been highly criticized. Which doesn’t have anything to do with this. I asked how do they expect to change things when they are being so close-minded themselves?

But what do you do when the people claiming to try to make things better for people with mental illness, and I should add that at that point, it was only a few people who were agreeing with this anti-Muslim sentiment, hardly the whole group, are spouting the sort of nonsense that some people do against any person with mental illness, that keeps the stigma alive? I should have not left the group in a huff, I should have seen if what I said actually made a difference. I was hasty, but I doubt what I said made a difference. Because people’s beliefs are ingrained, and that’s the sad thing. “We don’t want our children with mental illness to be stigmatized, but if you happen to belong to a religious group we normally label as terrorists, don’t expect any sympathy?”

We need a lot more love, and a lot less hate.

p.s. I realized I should add an addendum here. I met some really great people in the group, and I hope they know who they are, because I still communicate with them, and I really admire them and what they are doing, so it isn’t as if the experience was a loss–hardly. I learned a lot about schizophrenia, as well, which I didn’t know much about. It was this one exchange that upset me.

A look behind the scenes of the dysfunctional Mental Health System

Reblogged from takingthemaskoff.com

This is an excellent post on one scenario of how two people, simply due to the circumstances of their birth, end up on two separate paths. I know that sounds trite and like every other story, but please read this one

A look behind the scenes of the dysfunctional Mental Health System.
A look behind the scenes of the dysfunctional Mental Health System
November 30, 2014 125 Comments

1

“You know in this hotel room they have food every day and I knock on the door. Every day they open tha door to let me see the party, let me see that they throwin’ salami, throwin’ food around telling me there’s no food. Every day. I’m standing outside tryin to sing my way in- “We are weak, please let us in. We’re weak, please let us in.” After about a week that song is gonna change to, “We’re hungry, we need some food.” After two, three weeks it’s like “Give me some of that food! I’m breakin down that door.” After a year it’s like, “I’m pickin’ the lock, comin’ through the door blastin.” It’s like, “I’m hungry”

– Tupac Shakur

It is my hope that we have a silent army building. The revolution will not be televised. But I see the replies I get, and it gives me hope.

I saw an article in the New York Times basically saying there would be less shootings if the mentally ill had less privacy and were more easily forced to be hospitalized. This is the New York Times! Who are the sick ones?

I’m going to tell a story. 2 stories, of 2 different people. They are both true stories. Then you can see how this all begins and becomes a problem. I’ll go back and forth between the stories until their paths meet.

Here’s Dusty, I don’t know, age 3 to 5. Happy kid, plenty of love. Just loves everyone and loves the world. He doesn’t see color, sex, religion. He has nokind of discrimination, all he sees is love.

Here’s the second story. This is my cousin Donald. The man he is with is my father. Donald also loves the world, he sees no race, sex, and discriminates against no one. He is a very loving and giving kid.

Dusty gets older. He still loves everyone and everything. However, Dusty grew up in a home that was infested with cockroaches, and had been condemned 2 to 3 times. There was about 7 or 8 kids living there, they had no food. Dusty was the kindest of the group. He got beaten by his brothers, picked on, and thrown around. He was told “You are a loser, give me your money, do my work.” He did not understand, he gave whatever he had to others.

When I met Dusty he was about 8 or 9 years old. He had 4 brothers and sisters, they all smoked pot, drank, and never went to school. Everyone walked around this place with almost no clothes. They had only 2 bedrooms. The house was full of smoke.

Cockroaches were all over. They had no shower, and a bathroom with only a curtain covering it. The old guys would come around drinking, smoking weed, and getting physical. The older kids were getting worse also.

There was something special about Dusty, his heart. He was born with an amazing heart. He loved everyone, and gave all he had. To tell you of this kids strength, words won’t do it justice. As a 9 year old, he was growing up in a house in which every adult was punching, smoking weed, drinking, and stealing. Also, the gangsters knew where the weed was. THE house, that’s where they were. But Dusty, at age 9, he refused to smoke weed or drink or do any of that. However, being sweet and sensitive, he was an easy target. He did not stop loving though, he still loved them all. He saw through it, through everything, even as a kid. So what happens when you are extra sensitive, caring, and loving? You get pushed down, forced to create a mask, his was the goofy guy. This is the same house where I met Joe. Dusty and Joe were cousins and best friends.

Here is Donald. He is my cousin. He was a great kid. His father was a doctor in a small town, he made lots and lots of money. That doesn’t make Donald bad, and he is not bad. In fact, he’s a wonderful human being. I know this story puts him in privileged category. But, that is not his fault, he is still a caring, kind, and considerate human being. His father, my uncle, was once in jail for stealing cars and grew up to be a doctor. The thing about Donald was, he was born gifted, and extremely smart. He was above the genius level. He may have skipped a grade, I can’t remember. He was and is not a bad person.

However, while Dusty was seeing what he saw, Donald was going on trips, and getting the best life had to offer. He worried for nothing, he could be a kId and thrive.

Thrive he did. He is a talented, smart, and funny guy that had charisma. He didn’t have to worry about gangsters, getting food, getting raped, or having mice and cockroaches sleep on him. He had a huge bedroom, went on vacations, had all he ever wanted. He had great parents. Now another thing I noticed about Donald was that when I went to spend 2 weeks with him when I was 12, was that in this small town everyone drank, and did drugs, at age 12. Which is common for a small town. They were 12 and flung this. All of his friends.

One time we went to his friends house, the kid was sleeping and the kid woke up, and lifted his pillow and there was jack daniels. They all smoked and drank, except Donald. His parents taught him this.

Dusty did it on strength of character. Donald friends said “man your dad is always getting thanked in the paper.” That was true, small town legend.

Donald’s pressure was to follow his father, and that is a different kind of pressure. One that is often not considered a problem, the gifted child.

However, that is just as hard as raising a troubled child. People don’t want to hear that, but it’s true. What they both had in common was they were gifted.

Dusty then ended up going away for a while after missing so much school. His brothers would go just enough to not get sent away. Dusty was the extra sensitive one, he didn’t care. Me and Dusty and Joe had a bond, we all loved each other and saw behind each other’s masks. One time, on the phone, Dusty had called his mom and said, “tell mike I lo, well never mind,” he wanted to tell me he loved me, but he was afraid. I stopped hanging out there.

That’s another story, this isn’t about me. Dusty eventually surrendered and started using drugs. Then, they had a guy from Arizona living at the drug house, his name was Carl. He had packages of drugs delivered to the house all the time. The police got involved, and a sting was set up. So the package is delivered, they all have Dusty answer because he is kind and wants to help. So he always does, and he did on this case as well.

Well, he signed, and he gets arrested, and now he has a felony. They knew it was not him, he gets interrogated, and interrogated. Does he give Carl up?, nope, never. This was when Dusty was 19. That’s his booking photo. He went to jail, then he just got off probation recently.

This is someone you may see in jail, or at the shelter, or with the dirty clothes. That’s what you see, but this is what you’re missing when you make that judgement. These are the kids that come into our neighborhood, come to school, to church. We say get them out, those dirty kids with no manners. We don’t want to look at them, it’s like clutter in our clean house. We don’t want to deal with it, we want to pretend it’s not there. Then we may have to do something. So we ignore them and label them and call them losers or dirtbags. That’s much easier, isn’t it?

But that is how we all are part of the problem and we ask are co responsible for the inequality. You see these kids, these people, and no action is am action. Silence is consent.

Here’s Donald at age 19. He had a child. Now that’s a disaster if he’s in Dusty’s situation. However, Donald had great supports in place. His mom and dad helped the teenagers adjust, made sure everything was taken care of.

Donald was able to go to school and while Dusty was in jail, Donald was excelling. He finished college in 3 years and went on to medical school and finished. He’s a doctor. Now again, he’s not bad, not a superstar yet, I don’t think.

He is now starting to isolate, he is on a different level than others and he gets told that alot. So he believes it, so does his wife. So now the good doctor moves and starts dominating the medical profession.

They told me his iq is 156. I’m sure they told him too. He then joined the army like his father and got lots of medals and accolades.

Which is not bad. This is simply to show how we start to label and separate.

Here is Dusty taking care of his dying mother. He gets out of jail, meets a girl, and they have kids. He didn’t know how to have a relationship, he is on his own with no college, no skills, no understanding of life. Just love.

Then you have Donald with his 500 thousand dollar house that got egged.

How do I know this? Well his wife posted on Facebook that someone egged their 500 thousand dollar house but she wasn’t worried because they had security cameras all over the house. You know, to keep the “bad criminals out.”

Like clutter, she didn’t want to see that.

I also saw her post once that she was very upset with the mayor in the town they live in because he allowed a Wal-Mart to be built by their house. Her quote was “who else has to look out their 500 thousand dollar house and see a Wal-Mart, someone needs to stop this guy, do not vote for him.”

See as the separation is almost complete. What did dusty do to be placed below donald?

Nothing. But we see them each walking down the street and we treat them differently. That’s how we all contribute.

Dusty getting older, he split with his kids mom. He suffers from depression, severe depression. He feels rejected all the time, he smokes weed to forget, to not be himself.

He talks about suicide all the time. He misses Joe more than anyone. His heart is broken. Dusty and Joe spent all their time together. They even moved 2 blocks down from me for 2 years. I would drive by and wave. Really? Yes. I was no better than Donald. Even worse, because I drive by, and we still talked from time to time, but I was trying to get my life together. I could have said hi.

The doctor and his family. Now this is not an attack in Donald at all. It is about how we create separation. He worked hard, he’s caring, and he is a good man. He just started to believe he was different and better. He got told lies.

Lies we all believe, like, you need this huge house, cars, medals, and everyone to see how awesome you are.

So he fell in the trap. Here we are, the “look at us” photo.

You know how the native americans defined mental illness? They said anyone who lives in excess of what they need is mentally ill.

The doctors wife at the ritz.

Dusty and his kid at the laundromat.

The doctor and his boat.

Dusty at the playground. Having fun.

The doctors daughter with one of her trophies, she had special tennis lessons, beauty pageants, and she going to Oxford college on scholarship.

Same thing as Donald, smart talented kid. No fault of her own, the cycle continues. She is being brainwashed like he was.

He had a mask on as well. Still does.

Dusty being a dad and loving. He never knew life would be so hard when all he wanted to do was love.

The doctor is now continuing to serve and get accolades. To bad it’s all a lie.

Now this part is not real, but an example of what would likely happen from what I’ve seen in my years being in both worlds……

Now what happens if Dusty walks into Dr. Donalds office? How in the world can the doctor understand what Dusty is saying. Dusty says “Life isn’t worth living, I need to smoke weed.”

The doctors response is usually, “He just doesn’t care, he doesn’t want to work, he wants disability.” The thought process I’ve seen a million times. All the time, it’s the rule, not the exception.

So, let’s say Dusty had attempted suicide 2 times, and keeps coming back. He has to in order to get benefits and to get housing for himself.

The doctor is frustrated, in his mind he’s trying hard. That’s what life is, you just don’t behave like that in his opinion. In his world, you get up, work hard, and get it done. He can’t understand why Dusty complains that no medications work, yet continues to use drugs, and goes to the hospital.

He thinks Dusty has children, and he’s not taking care of them, he’s a “Predator” or a “Manipulator” or “Gamey.”

This is when I hear things like, why do they get free healthcare and we don’t. Almost a resentment at the patients. This is something that I see daily. The caring staff keep their mouths shut in fear.

So now Dusty has to be forced to take meds. He doesn’t get it, we have to help him. So we will put him on meds, and we aren’t going to listen to his side effects stories. We are going to force injections if he doesn’t comply with orders.

He can’t take care of himself. We have to in the doctors opinions.

Oh and, let’s charge insurance about 1500 dollars a day to do this. If the drugs give him diabetes, that’s too bad because he needs to be safe.

Good job young doctor, you’re saving the world.

Now Dusty has not been without weed for years, so asking him to stop is asking him to feel all these feelings that he has never felt before. Forcing him to take his mask off without support. The feelings he had been told to block his whole life, the feelings that have made him an outsider and not accepted.

Then give him a med that makes him feel no better for at least 6 weeks. Then it might not be the right medication, so we may have to start all over.

He will have side effects like drooling, sedation, diarrhea, and tremors. That occurs right away. Plus feeling all these emotions. Then when he sleeps too much we say that he is lazy, or non compliant with his treatment.

So we force him out of bed, and we make him go to groups with someone explaining all these “skills” he needs to use. Then he can’t participate due to the meds, the side effects, being off drugs his brain had coffee to rely on, and now having to freak with all these suppressed emotions.

So he is said to be non interested. So we need to give him more medications.

Of course we do.

Now he’s angry. No one listens, he’s sensitive, but he has had enough. He explodes from this and other patient’s likely taking advantage of him, and staff telling him when he can shower, piss, and treat him like a criminal.

Because, we say, look at his record, he is a felon. No one asks why or what happened, and they won’t believe him anyways, he’s a “manipulator.”

True story…

We had a young man admitted to our place the other day. I’ll call him “kev.” Abused age 1 to 3. A ward off the state at age 3. Picture a 3 year old being abused and taken from home, then a 3 year old in a privileged home, they’re is no difference, why do we seem to think as adults that there is? He was in foster homes his whole life, sexually abused, and beaten.Then at age 19 he committed an armed robbery, and he was shot 3 times. Then he Went to max security prison for 7 years. In prison, he cuts himself enough to need surgery, he has been known to swallow glass, and toothbrushes requiring surgery.

The assessment by “the team.” Is that he is “smooth, and manipulative.” He swallowed these things to get to go to hospital, a trip out of jail.

This is dangerous to call him manipulative. If I think you are manipulative then everything you do I take as a con. If we instead think of him as this kid who has a desparate need for acceptance and love, you will treat him differently. Then he will react differently. Then he gets better treatment. Our staff are young, impressionable, and eager to learn about psychiatry since it is romanticized on the media at times.

However if you work in government, they need to save the taxpayers money, they don’t want us spending “their” money. We have to hire inexperienced staff, because they are cheaper. We train them by what they see. The cycle continues.

So why would someone like Dusty shoot his doctor? It’s not so black and white if you look deep enough.

What’s the difference between…

This 19 year old young dad.

And this…

This young dad? (This is Joe and Anthony from last post)

The answer is nothing. Until we divide them. When we divide, we create class, uppers and lowers. When really we are all connected.

It won’t end. It can’t. Until people start fighting back. The battle is not going to be easy, we won’t see the end. We won’t see the victory. That will come after we’re gone.

But there is going to be a fight, we know that there is going to be a fight because we are going to start it. We will lose some, as we lost Joe. We won’t stop. Love always wins. Always.

If I’ve made you mad, then I’ve done my job. Happy people don’t create change. You have to be angry, you must have discontent to create change. So be angry. Then do something about it.

If 1 person reading this gets 1 thing and does something, that’s perfect. The ripple effect will be huge.

Love you Dusty.

The end.

If you want to see this in video.
Here it is..10 minutes I think.

 

The World Interpreted through Alice in Wonderland

6586059B-1BB2-418C-8D3F-A5D67FBC9231.png

Consulting the Oracle

  98329485-D20C-405D-95D3-009911622860.png

First Meeting

Many Don’t Arrive

  FABE021F-E329-409B-A89C-F498E4D5A936.png

A Meeting is Held

Alice is voted unanimously as Ambassador

  278C4F73-9590-4243-A0A4-5171ACD158E8.png

Waiting to meet the Red Queen

(With trepidation )

  FA7137B0-3FC9-4D3A-8291-93B61BD37414.png

A productive discussion did not seem in the cards

  759D1A69-35F5-416F-B06E-A8CE62025AF2.png

And, in fact, became quite hostile.

    A3724974-D2A8-44DD-A34F-993D65252DB9.png

Things on the home front were not much better.

  74FF846A-9372-4F45-85F3-85F9C22CE757.png

With a heavy heart, Alice helped prepare her friends for battle with what little she could find.

      933D3D8A-C481-4B7F-A3BE-8F2C4626DDB3.png

Alice listened to the Mock Turtle’s prophecies of the outcome of the war.

    4E9FC6FE-AC4F-4C99-AF28-2985270D3379.png Is the Mock Turtle going to be right?

Mr. Putin, speaker with two faces?

Mr. Netenyahu, regretful of civilian deaths?

 

Who will take responsibility for their actions?

Who will pretend to paint the roses red with the blood of the fallen?

 

Why Does No One Tell Israel No?

"Why?" Anne Frank

“Why?”
Anne Frank

Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-Semitic. Neither am I pro-Genocide. But as the body count rises steadily in Gaza, whole families wiped out with one missile, I wonder if I aided and abetted, if any of my tax dollars went into the manufacture of the arms we’ve sold to Israel over the years. Did I pay a penny or two? A finger or an arm? A whole life? What is that worth these days, or does that depend on what country you live in and who you’re killed by? Does anyone ever stop to think of that? How many people are killed by American made weapons? Strangely, it hadn’t occurred to me until I was asking my boyfriend in tears why no one is telling Israel to stop this genocide of the Palestinians, why does everyone tip-toe around them? I think it was because it has all been such a fuzzy mess to me, the whole war over there in the Middle East (not to mention the other ones) I suddenly realized, “Wait a minute, but they’re Jewish, why are they trying to kill off a different group of people?”

If I have my math about right, World War II ended roughly, in the European Theatre, sixty five to seventy years ago, and resulted in the deaths of approximately 6 million Jews–roughly 2/3 the Jewish population of Europe. And there are people that deny the Holocaust ever existed. How, I have no idea. But that’s not what this is about. This is about a country and people who are using their religion the same way their religion was used against them, and seem to have no problem with it. A country no one questions. A country young men leave America go to be “lone wolf fighters” for on the side of Israel to honor their ancestry. That was what started me on this rant tonight, a quote from one of the “lone wolf fighters.” I don’t mean any disrespect to anyone, I just really don’t understand. How could one group of people who have suffered so much at the hands of another turn around and do it to other people? How? The UN is finally speaking out, but it’s not enough.

I think Anne Frank would be wondering the same thing if she had survived Auschwitz and was still alive now. I read her diary at the same age she wrote it. In many ways she and I were the same. In many ways I thought she was much wiser than I was. One girl in my class couldn’t read it because it gave her nightmares. I have always thought it so tragic that Anne Frank died so close to the end of the war, days within their camp being liberated. Again, why?

I thought once I could change the world. That was when I was naive and didn’t realize the gargantuan web the troubles of the world were contained within, the threads snarled and tangled beyond comprehension into some facsimile of a Gordian knot. How there are bullies in the world just like bullies in school, and how everyone tip-toes around them as well. Only the stakes are higher and dead is “for reals.” All those children killed will never grow up, never fall in love, never have families, never contribute to the world. One of them, several of them, could have had an answer to some of the world’s pressing problems. One of them could have saved all of us. But we’ll never know now. Because they’re dead. For reals.

I considered abandoning this post, but then there was a breaking news flash that an Israeli missile had hit a UN run school also being used as a shelter. That brings the total, according to BBC News, to 750 Palestinian deaths and 33 Israeli deaths. And just to reiterate, it was a UN facility.

Enough is enough, Mr. Netenyahu. Does “regretting the civilian deaths” but blaming the Hamas help you sleep better at night? I don’t support extremists of any kind. But I support the Palestinians right to live.

There are some truths I believe in:

Germany today is not responsible for killing the Jews in concentration camps. People need to let that go. Forgiveness is the path to healing.

America today is not responsible for what happened with Native Americans or Slaves. I’m very, very sorry it happened, but I didn’t do it. I hope I’m more enlightened than those who did. I try to help advocate for those who need help advocating from themselves. I try to realize when the person who needs help being advocated for is me. I know how hard that is.

And there are some things (well, many things) I question:

Why are there Neo-Nazi groups popping up? Do you realize what you’re emulating is Facism at its most horrible, the perpetrators of the worst Holocaust in modern history, the worst qualities of human beings as a whole, and you think that’s “cool?” Wow. I can’t even name how many ways that’s so messed up.

Why are people letting religion take over Congress? Once upon a time, and I believe it still does, our Constitution separated the two, for very good reason. Religion and politics shouldn’t mix. Religion messes things up. There are too many religions, too many “chosen” people, too many “our God says,” just too many.

Are we ever going to learn from history, from our mistakes? Anne Frank hoped so. She was a very smart young woman, very thoughtful. Her diary did change the world. She had hopes and dreams, just like the young Palestinian teens her age who have been killed. Because at heart we’re all the same.

Anne Frank Picture

 

 

Diary 2

Diary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pictureI live in a crazy time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mila d'Opiz Australiz

Mila d’Opiz Australiz

 

 

 

happy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peterlove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

who has inflicted this upon us?monsters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

annefrank

 

 

anne-frank-quotes-2

 

 

 

 

Anne Frank improve world

 

 

www.zazzle.co.uk owns the rights to this

http://www.zazzle.co.uk owns the rights to this

 

 

Friends

From 95.7 KJR:

Lily and Maddison

Lily and Maddison

Thinking about Brains

No, not about zombies, sorry. Though, if current statistics apply, one in four zombies may suffer from a mental illness, and may want to seek help.

It occurred to me that today is a sort of interesting and complicated day emotionally, travel-wise.

My boyfriend is flying back home today, where he went for the weekend to see a brilliant man. A man who used to be as loquacious as I am (believe it or not) and would talk to everyone he met. Talk and really listen to what they had to say. He enjoyed my sense of humor, which made us cohorts as soon as we met for the first time. He was witty, quick, and curious about everything. And if we were someplace and what he was curious about was local, he would ask until he found someone local and ask them about it. It was an endearing and sometimes embarrassing trait, but when he wanted to know something, he didn’t mess around. He always wore two pair of glasses, three if he had his sunglasses on as well, and inevitably lost the pair he stuck on the top of his head.

What does this have to do with brains? Summer before last we took a vacation together in Victoria, B.C., in July 2012. In was unseasonably cool. The weather always does strange things when we visit. This was only the second vacation in my life where we’d gone somewhere either in another state or out of the country, so this was a big deal. For me. My three traveling companions had been all over the place (well, many more places). He (I’ll just say S., it’s easier, and L. is his wife) had been having a little trouble with his memory, L said, so we were keeping an eye on him a little.

There were only a couple of times he got turned around or a little flustered. Even then, at one of those points, his sense of humor and remembering the situation makes me giggle. We were at the Royal BC Museum, and the loudspeaker came on and called my boyfriend to the information desk. S. had gotten separated from the rest of us, and instead of getting flustered, went to the information desk. He told them that he seemed to have misplaced his son. They asked how old his son was. S. replied, “41.” Apparently he had a nice conversation with them until my boyfriend got there, and no big deal was made of it, but S. did tell the story as a funny thing.

We returned home, me hopelessly in love with British Columbia, and not just because it was the first place in Canada I’d been–I’m not that kind of girl. Ah-hem.

By September of 2012 S. had been diagnosed with a type of dementia I had never heard of. I know people don’t like to use the word “dementia.” But it wasn’t Alzheimer’s, and I’m not going to put the two in the same category. It was a rapidly degenerative kind, the cruelest part for him, I think, when he knew what was happening when he was forgetting things and the anger and frustration that came with that. I know to a small extent what that feels like, but nothing like he must have experienced. L is a sweet, loving, caring person, one of the nicest people I have ever met, and her husband was falling apart in front of her. I can’t imagine that. I can’t imagine the strength she’s had to have, to live with a man you still love who lives in his own world. The family decided it was finally time to move him into a home specifically met to meet his needs.

As my boyfriend flies home today, I don’t know how the visit went. There were only short visits with his father. I just know that he’s quiet, keeps to himself, and doesn’t talk to anyone very much. He can’t walk without help, and they’re getting him a wheelchair. It’s only a matter of time. Less than two years since that vacation in Victoria.

At the same time, my best friend is on a train to where he’s having an interview at the Clinic he is trying to get admitted to for his difficult to treat diagnosis. Not a physical illness, a mental one. A 7 hour trip for an interview tomorrow. This clinic has the kind of treatment he needs, and I’m not sure if the interview determines that (along with all of his paperwork) or not. It shouldn’t. He needs the therapy they offer, in that environment. He’s a brilliant man as well; I would say he’s a genius but he’d probably refute me. He’s an artist–he can do anything he touches. Theater directing, set design, costume design, drawing, sculpture, animation–he did that for a longer while, restore signs on buildings, make puppets… painting is what he thinks he’s like to do, he’s an excellent photographer. He is amazing with words. We understand each other, don’t have to explain things. This is a diagnosis that, with a good treatment regimen, the symptoms can go into remission for years. That amazes me, and I want this so much for him. More than I want anything for me to get sorted out mentally. I’m okay, I get along, except for the not having a job thing. I have episodes every now and then. Usually when my meds are off. His diagnosis is very resistant to medications. He needs hope that this really will get better someday.

But compare the two. One brilliant man fading, who has touched so many lives. Another who has so far refused to fade, also a brilliant man, who needs to start this therapy and stick with it. And to continue on doing whatever wonderful thing he decides to do next, which will come to him in time–you can’t rush ideas.

There are things other people can do, things that can help. Stop making mental illness a stigma. If you can, give money for research on issues like these. Yes, the brain is relatively small, but exploring it is like unlocking the secrets in the ocean, or the universe. New things are discovered every day. New paths can be formed in time to perform functions thought lost. Nerves are amazing things, and the brain tells all of them what to do. Recognize there are invisible disabilities that are just as difficult for a person to live with as other disabilities. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

And most importantly, love. If there’s someone in your family with a mental illness, learn about it. It doesn’t change who they are. They are a person with (          ), not the other way around. Love them the way they are, because that is the way they are. They are not their mental illness. Love them and don’t hold them at arm’s length. Know that sometimes they have very low self-esteems, and don’t believe when you give them a compliment, but don’t stop. Tell them specifically what you like. Sometimes they are perfectionists. Tell them whatever they are doing looks great. Sometimes that’s a part of the diagnosis. Talk to them about what they’d like you to do in specific situations. Every person is different. My advice here, the specifics, other people could think is really stupid. That’s okay. It won’t stop me from loving people the way they are, or trying to learn how to help. This is a weird paragraph, I don’t want to end on this.

So instead, my almost getting eaten by a bear in Victoria. Not really. And for those who know the sign “DO NOT TOUCH THE BEAR” is there…well, sometimes I’m just a rebel, what can I say?

Undisclosed Location Tall, Dark, and Handsome

Undisclosed Location
Tall, Dark, and Handsome

I was just barely, barely holding his paw. While watching for security guards. Bearly holding his paw?

 

If S’s family, as this was a spur of the moment thing, thinking about both people traveling and why, would rather this not be up, I understand, and I’ll take it down.

 

 

 

 

 

Peridot Dragon Garnet eye

 

 

How to Stop a Nightmare

Sometimes you have to leave it up to the experts. Reblogged from Jordan L. Hawk.

 

 

Nelson Mandela on Love and Hate

I was on a site where I’ve chosen other sites to follow, admiring a picture of two sloths (I relate quite well to sloths, I share some of their well known attributes), and these two were up for International Sloth Day. Who knew? If I keep it up, maybe someday there will be a day for me. I’ll see how many more animal attributes I can assimilate, because I think I’d have to be pretty unique, and I don’t plan on any surgery to add horns or fangs that spit poison–that’s taking it a bit too far. Then there was an adorable Red Panda. I love those. Then, there was a picture of Nelson Mandela:

Nelson Mandela

And I loved it–it was for United Nations Human Rights, #LGBT. So of course I read the comments, which are generally all supportive. But there is one woman’s who are just downright confusing.

1st post: Love comes softly

That could be taken in a variety of ways. It seems neutral, somewhat supportive.

2nd post: Many are filled with bitterness and hatred….so sad….I wish all the hatred would go away and those who delve off into hatred daily should follow

Again, this seems…interesting. Sort of generalized. The thing about statements like this, and my conflict about the Lily Allen song, F**K You, is that when you hate the haters, it makes you a hater, which makes you one of them, even if they might be worse, and you are justified in not liking them, but where to draw the line so you’re not a hater? I really like that song, but the chorus makes it difficult, because of the hater issue. But that’s neither here nor there. I talked to my boyfriend, and he agreed with me, so I’m not the only one with this issue concerning this song. I really like Lily Allen. This is not a bash Lily Allen post. It’s because I like the song and have thought about putting a link to it up, but haven’t because of that.

3rd post: I believe in equality, not an advocate for LGBT … Two men laying or two women or transgender, bisexuals…..adds to societal issues …. Confusion and bad influence ….. I don’t mistreat people but I don’t amen that choice life of living

Wait, wait, wait…WHAT?

Equality is equality, one does not get to choose whom to bestow it on. What gives us the right to make those decisions? As the author of these says in an earlier post, which doesn’t really make sense when read with this one, love comes softly. Exactly.

Love is love. What if I am lesbian? What if someone I love is gay? Should I give them less rights than I have? Treat them as my inferiors? Make sure they’re not getting equal treatment to what I am? What makes me better? Nothing. What makes us the same? Love. Compassion. Oh. And the fact we’re all human.

Confusion and bad influence? We have politicians for that. They’re a shining example for our children. They add to societal issues? How are the LGBT community contributing to poverty, rising crime rates, the breakdown of education and health care (which will hopefully start to get better), illiteracy rates, bullying in schools, teen drinking and pregnancy (I truly don’t think they’re contributing to the latter), lack of funding for public libraries, rising costs of higher education, therefore making it less accessible, inadequate services for people with disabilities, the lack of employment opportunities, the stagnant economy, unaffordable housing, the rise in diseases we thought had been eradicated, such as measles, polio, whooping cough, meningitis, the incredibly high cost of day care, which parents have no choice but to pay because they both have to work because they need the money? How? Because, wow, if they’ve done all that, they could take over the whole world, and next thing you know we’ll all be flying rainbow flags and will be feeling uncontrollable sexual urges toward the same sex. Good grief. And frogs will give you warts. Masturbation will either give you hairy palms or make you blind. Or give you hairy eyeballs. Plucking the petals off daisies will definitely determine your true love and the course of your life. Fairies will mess with you if you don’t turn your shoes the right way under the bed. I know someone who believes that and I will not say who–it is not me. I’ll just say sometimes my shoes have been realigned. Being gay, lesbian, trans, asexual–it’s not contagious, I swear. On a stack of Merriam-Websters and Chicago Manuals of Style.

No. Once again, look to our politicians, our businesses, and the ones who profit from this. There is no logic in your reasoning.

You may not mistreat the LGBT community with your actions, but you mistreat them with your attitudes and your words. Mother Teresa said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Love is love.

Here are the values that I stand for: honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.
Ellen DeGeneres

Maybe this seems like an overreaction, but remember, the 19th Amendment, prohibiting any United States citizen the denial of the right to vote on the basis of sex, was passed in 1920. Less than 100 years ago. And women are still having to fight for their rights. Should we give up the right to decide what happens to our own bodies because of some white haired men in congress? I think not.

Neither should the future of what happens in the lives of the LGBT community be decided by those same men. And women. Unless it’s giving them the same rights and equality that every person, regardless of ethnicity, gender, disability, race, language, orientation, gender identity–I’m trying to include everyone but am afraid I’m forgetting someone. Every single human, how’s that? We all deserve equality. It shouldn’t even be a political issue.

And who is Congress to decide? They can’t even balance a budget.

I think people are going to get a lot of mileage out of that one.

I’m Still Me Under All This (Part 2)

I never have felt like I fit in. People often don’t get my sense of humor, I do think in strange tangents, I’m odd. I’ve always looked, then, for that place I felt I belonged. I found one once online, which turned out to be completely artificial and ended quite disastrously. Many people were hurt emotionally. I wasn’t used to groups on the internet, or the way people took on personas and played ‘games,’ so I was just myself, because I can’t be anyone else, I’ve tried, with results that were just about as catastrophic. There was another person in this groups that had figured this out about me—that I wasn’t pretending and was more vulnerable because of my naiveté. The two of us had sort of slowly started talking. I thought he was funny, but was intimidated (he thought that was funny later) because he was very smart and witty. He finally did something silly, an alliteration or something, and I decided he wasn’t so scary after all, and started to talk to him. He’s now another reason I believe that there is a reason for the way life unfolds the way it does. The two of us are more similar than I would have thought I could be to someone without them being a twin, or, putting this tentatively forward, since I don’t know how he feels about it, a soul mate. I hope I offer him a quarter of the amount of comfort his advice and friendship gives me. He has patiently listened to everything I’ve been going through, while going through many of the same mental processes himself, dealing with his own hassles of a different health system than I’m familiar with—he lives in Berlin, he was born in Germany. In some ways our mental issues are very much alike. He just found a therapist that he thinks will work for him, an art therapist, and I started thinking, maybe that would work for me, too. Once I’m finished working with the therapist I am working with now (it’s through vocational rehabilitation), I need a new therapist. I need to do something different than I was. I need to process. Especially issues with my parents.

Let’s pretend, just for a minute, that we’re in biology, and we are going to dissect something (a very real looking 3D animation, not the real thing). The first is my little child kidney. It’s healthy, it hasn’t been around long enough to be damaged or hurt, given that I wasn’t born with any kidney abnormality (which I can safely say I wasn’t, given that I’ve had CTs and ultrasounds of my kidneys). The second is my adult kidney—me—with something damaged that needs to be figured out. It’s not working right. I’m not working right at the moment either. The two have a direct correlation. What happened between that first, child’s kidney, and the second one, my current one? I laugh and make jokes at the lab when I get tests done. As I’m handed the bag of equipment I need to take home with me to collect my 24-hour specimen, “Oh, look, it’s just like Christmas!”

Because what else can I do? I didn’t ask for any of this, mental or physical. All the issues that go along with kidney conditions—high blood pressure (last time I had it checked, 120/80), diabetes, being overweight—my weight has bounced around from the low end of my BMI two years ago to the high end, and now because of side effects of a new medication it’s going down again—none of them. I don’t have any of them. I did use a lot of Ibuprofen. I’m on prescription medications. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I never did drugs when I was younger. Not out of trying to please anyone. I just didn’t want to. So why? Stress? Some days at work I may as well have been as pressure cooker. So I keep myself in a stressed state in my search for acceptance and approval.

I was looking for a nephrite pendant because it’s first healing property is with the kidneys, and found a stone I’d never seen before. Eudialyte. It’s an amazingly beautiful stone, and I liked it immediately, but was drawn to one pendant in particular. The healing properties include healing and purifying the blood. Sounds good to me. It balances the root and the heart chakra (I really do need to learn more about those, but I think those are good things). “It can helps one to separate oneself from the anger, guilt, resentment, hostility, animosity, despondency, depression, anguish, and sorrow which limits ones self-love and the ability to give love to others; it is said to dispel jealousy and notifies us when our paths cross with our “soul mates”. My boyfriend thought anything to help re-establish self-love was a good idea. The whole perfection thing is very good for beating yourself over the head with. Hm. The site I found the quote from also mentioned something I didn’t find at any of the other sites—that it’s mildly radioactive. I’m not sure about the legitimacy of that. If I start to glow at night, I’ll know. I played with the test cores the US Corps of Engineers drilled out when they were looking for uranium on the reservation. That could explain some things.

I also saw mentioned on one page that Eudialyte was a good stone in terms of coincidences. Something along those lines. I received it in the mail yesterday and started wearing it. I started looking that evening for an art therapist, with increasing frustration, and finally found some listed under ‘play therapy’ instead of ‘art therapy.’ I found a woman I’m interested in meeting, who, strangely enough, has her BA in Art/German. She sounds like someone who would match my temperament, and she makes some really beautiful art.

Link is for Eudialyte quote.

http://zoultier.com/gem-historical-metaphysic-zoultier/eudialyte-historical-metaphysical-healing-properties

What are we, if not

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peridot Dragon Garnet eye