Monthly Archives: March 2016

Bullying

via Girl Was Bullied Mercilessly In School Until She Did This. This Is Heartbreaking

I was bullied in school. Not to the extent that this young woman experienced, but there is a lot about her that strikes a chord in me. No, I didn’t have rich parents, and no, I did not try to buy my way into friendships. And no, unlike her I was not reduced to being a smudge on the heel of the popular kids.

But, I’ve always been somewhat boisterous.  And, blunt. And had armor up damned near 10 feet thick.

In middle school (technically 7th and 8th grade, as the church school I went to had K-8 in the same school).

I was the one everyone tried to make do their homework, or at least force me to let them cheat off of me.  When I refused, they’d play fairly cruel little pranks on me.  But, I was also the one that the younger kids would come running for, because when they would get bullied, they knew I would protect them.

On one level, I was too strong-minded, too stubborn and too protected by too much armor to be mentally and physically destroyed by the cruelties of children.  I took my parents’ route in many ways — keep the bastards at arms’ length, and isolate because it is safer (or at least that is what I saw my parents doing, they may have had a different view.  But I know that from approximately 1981 on, I rarely saw them spend any time with people outside of our nuclear family).

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Emotional Backlash

There is a a down side to epiphanies on occasion.  They’re important, and they often change your life for the better, but they have consequences. Often, when you experience one of them, you can get what amounts to an emotional hangover.

I don’t know what the psychiatric community would call it, but it’s the same kind of response that happens when you lance a boil.  Essentially, while it is healthy to have those experiences, the would had to be cleaned out, and that means an open wound.  And sometimes you have to get it cleaned out more than once, if the root of it is deep inside.

On the positive side, the backlash isn’t depression.  Not that my depression has gone away, but that it is staying in what amounts to a background noise – a loud one, but still background, like hearing a jackhammer or a chainsaw outside your window.

Unfortunately, that means it is pressing the button on the anxiety.

I get angry at the end of my cycles of both depression and anxiety.  It is as if my brain is saying, “You’re a dumbass.  Pull your shit together and move on.”  But, I’m noticing that the anger that is from anxiety is much more insidious than the rage that depression seems to cause.

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Mind Blown

March has been a significant month for me this year. There have been a lot of insights and/or epiphanies that I have had both during therapy and outside of therapy. Things that have rocked the foundation of my personality. How I perceived things that I believed with all of my being, that may or may not have been based in real, objective reality rather in my own subjective world.

The thing is, that is a normal experience for any human if they are honest with themselves and are truly attempting to be the best variation of themselves that they can be.  But, it requires an honesty with one’s Self that few people are actually willing to do.

It’s far easier to blame other people for the things that are wrong in your life.  That way, you can tell yourself that you have neither control of the situation nor that you are just as responsible for its continuation.

For example, as the person who primarily was responsible for the financial end of things while I was married, it was quite easy for my ex to blame our financial situation on me.  That way he didn’t have to take responsibility for the fact that he often manipulated me into paying for things we just didn’t have the income to support.  I would rob Peter to pay Paul, simply to keep the peace at home.  Now, obviously, I bear accountability for not looking him straight in the eyes and telling him, “we don’t have the ability to do that.” But as a fully matured adult, he bore the same responsibility to deny himself instant gratification for things he wanted so that we had the money for things we actually needed as a family.

No situation is ever truly clearly delineated, particularly in interpersonal ones.

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Cooking As A Sacred Act

Roast Pork & Root Vegetables

Today was Easter Sunday for Christians.  It’s actually one of the few religious holidays for them that is based on the lunar calendar in addition to the solar calendar.  It is movable because it is figured as the Sunday (Sabbath) after the first full moon (lunar calendar) on or after the Vernal Equinox (solar calendar).  That means all holidays relating to Easter between the end of Epiphany and the end of the “season of Easter”  (which include Ash Wednesday, Lent [46 days long starting on Ash Wednesday, but in the count of 40 for the time Jesus spent in seclusion in the desert they don’t count the Sundays – and the date changes based on when Easter is going to be], Palm Sunday, Holy Week [Monday through Friday of the week between Palm Sunday and Easter, with Maundy Thursday and Good Friday being particularly special, as Thursday is considered the day of the Last Supper, and the night in Gethsemane; and Friday considered the actual day of the Crucifixion], Easter, the Ascension of Jesus [40th day after Easter], and Pentecost [50th day after Easter]).

The Wiccan calendar celebrates this fertility holiday on the Vernal Equinox itself, which this year happened on March 20 at 4:30 am (last week Sunday, being Palm Sunday for some variants of Christianity).  But since that computed date is located at Greenwich, you have to pay attention to your time zone in relation to that date/time (so, in my location, that actual moment was on March 19, at 11:30 pm CDT). The Equinox is based on the exact moment that the Sun crosses the equator, whereas the Solstices are the zenith of the Sun’s travel in the summer (for the Northern Hemisphere, opposite for the Southern Hemisphere) and the nadir in the winter (same situation as previous).

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Thoughts About Vows

I’ve been working on an art piece for the last few weeks.  It is titled “Discarded.” It depicts a broken wooden puppet.

As much as this quote is a set of wedding vows, there is much more to my feelings on any kind of vows.

There is – for me – a difference between a promise and a vow or an oath.  A promise means that I will do my damnedest to fulfill that promise, unless life makes it absolutely impossible to do so.  A promise is a private deal between me and someone else.

On the other hand, vows and oaths are far more sacred.  That’s because it is not only just between me and the other person, it is witnessed by the Divine.  If I have asked the Divine to bear witness, I cannot allow myself to break that vow/oath unless the other person has done so first.

It’s similar to my thoughts on aggression.  For the most part, I am a pacifist.  But, especially after my marriage, I will not allow myself to be victimized.  If that makes you think that I am not fulfilling your ideas on what a pacifist is, that’s your issue.  It’s also the same way I look at unconditional love – I love the person, but I am NOT required to put up with their behavior if it is harmful to me. I will fight, but only if forced to do so to keep from being victimized myself or allowing someone else to be victimized.

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Antiquated Notions In Medicine

It never ceases to amaze me how much bullshit there is involved in the medical industry. I’m not just talking about the fact that most of the industry is run on how expensive shit is, and what they can get past the insurance company. Nor am I just talking about the arrogance of some of the doctors, nurses and other patient-interacting individuals.

I am upset by much of the ignorance and prejudice that is rampant among doctors and nurses. I’m upset by the biases of which they cannot seem to rid themselves. In particular, how they treat many people with chronic, “invisible” illnesses.

In my case, this list includes the listed “invisible” illnesses to the right.

However, because I am overweight AND have diabetes, many of those “invisible” illnesses are considered to be “part of” or “caused by” the diabetes and the weight.

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Anti-Hillary Is Being Sexist?

via Your Gleeful Liberal Takedown of Hillary Clinton Is Affirming Institutional Sexism

I firmly and emphatically disagree.

First off, way to go setting up anyone who disagrees with your opinion.  Calling detractors of Hillary Clinton “gleeful” and “institutionally sexist” is already starting off the discussion with slanted language, intentionally setting anyone who disagrees on the defensive.  It may be a worthwhile strategy when one is looking for a polarized yes or no answer, but it is NOT a good strategy for persuasion.  When a person is defensive, they are far less likely to be persuaded.  In fact, when a person is defensive they are likely to become entrenched and stubborn in their understanding and position.

My issues with Hillary have absolutely nothing to do with her gender.  If she were a man, I would consider her just as unethical, just as elitist and just as “owned by the so-called establishment.” In fact, I considered Gore and Kerry to also be puppets of Wall Street.

I will NOT vote for anyone I consider to be unethical, regardless of what form of genitalia they are carrying around.

While I will admit that investigators found “insufficient evidence” in each of the investigations during her husband’s tenure as president, that is NOT in any way indicative of her innocence.  In fact, the only investigation that cleared her of charges of misconduct was the Filegate investigation.

She has, sadly, consistently made choices that support the opinion that she is an unethical person and has little to no personal honor or integrity.  That has nothing to do with her gender, only to do with her choices.  Those choices have been advantageous for her in a business environment and a financial one, but are serious strikes against her being trustworthy as President of the United States.

Don’t get me wrong, my distaste for her ethics (or lack thereof) is matched by distaste for Trump’s ethics, integrity and honor (to my mind, entirely lacking in him).  Again, not a gender issue.

The sexual misconduct of her husband, for example, bears no weight with me.  Their marriage is a private situation and as such, is really none  of my business, nor anyone else’s.  As with spirituality being between someone and their version of the Divine, they must answer to each other for mistakes in their marriage.

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Enlightened Self-Interest

via What Americans don’t understand about Nordic countries | Business Insider

I want to point something out to my fellow Americans. Sadly, most of the masses in America have a very slanted, very ignorant idea of what life in Europe looks like — whether it is the Scandinavian countries or mainland Europe or Mediterranean Europe.  In many ways, in general, Americans consider Europeans in general to be effete wastes of the oxygen they breathe. The different countries may have different stereotypes applied to them, but in general, there is an attitude that the people of Europe are morally bankrupt and don’t have the same drives or ambition that it is assumed of their fellow Americans

The sad thing is, from a motivational and emotional foundation, the average person in  the rest of the world isn’t that different than the average American.

Yes, the rest of the world has their selfish, greedy jerks; their uber-liberal, pie-in-the-sky idealists and their typical middle-of-the-road who just want a good life for themselves and their family.

What makes the difference is the base concept of enlightened self-interest. Many of you may be surprised to hear where I first was introduced to the concept (beyond idealistic, philosophical discussions within the family). I was introduced to it as a way of life by Satanists and Luciferians. And, yes, contrary to the stereotype of the sinister sacrificer or the teenage rebel, there are middle-of-the-road types in those religions as well.

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Mutants R Us

I’ve spoken before about the fact that our family is not in any way similar to the norms of society.  We’re not the only ones, really.  Most families in the world rarely reflect those norms.  That’s why often those supposed “norms” are considered to be stereotypes.

In our family, some of the oddness comes from the fact that while my family is quite conservative from a religious standpoint, they are quite liberal from a political standpoint.  Well, liberal with some leaning toward libertarian (personal responsibility and integrity).

I grew up listening to a lot of folk music, and yes, also a lot of what is considered hippiemusic. My parent’s favorite musical group is the Kingston Trio, so I heard quite a bit of folk and political activist music.  In fact, the Kingston Trio can be said to have laid the groundwork for most of the political activist music in the 1960s and early 1970s.

So, no big surprise that I loved the following song:

The YouTube version above combines Original Caste’s vocals and the animation created for Sonny & Cher’s cover of the song.

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Testing Average

I finally got my report from my neuropsych testing.  Oh, I had the results more than a month ago,  and posted about it. But I got the physical report, which I was unable to read while I was there (partly because I wanted my sister’s opinion on the report, and partly because the post-doc I was meeting with had to get his supervising psychologist’s approval on it, which he had been unable to do prior to our meeting last month.

Now, I will admit that he (and most other people reading a report like this) where the worst issue is a “low average” score (the Brief Cognitive Status Exam [BCSE] which is scored opposite most others, with the top performing as Average, and Low Average being essentially the 2nd best score), and most scores were “high average” there would be some confusion at why I would consider that to be proof that I have a certain amount of cognitive loss from my own personal baseline.

While I have always perceived myself to be the least intelligent person in my family of origin, that doesn’t mean that I am stupid.  Everyone in our family has consistently tested above average.  Even with my father’s mini-strokes, he has only lost 1-2 standard deviations from the mean his premorbid condition. The family’s IQs are between 95th and 99th percentile.

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