Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Just Me Jen in Oz

Michal, 90% of this is going to look very familiar so probably not worth reading.
Everyone else, this is what I wrote to Michal when I finally had power.  I Am SO blessed to have come out of this storm as I did, as you'll see.  Much worse things should have happened and God protected with safety and a great deal of grace.  Even the heat issue which is for me a big deal was resolved when our power was restored far sooner than expected or than for many people affected by this.
OK, here's my story of the last 24 hours.  At 4:30 or so I left to dogsit while my mom was with high school friends who have an annual slumber party 2 hours from her house.  She called to make sure I was on the way and would sedate the scared of thunder dog upon arrival.  I did.  She said a fierce storm was coming and to look it up but mute the TV because the emergency noise makes the dog aware of what is coming, then put the tv on a regular show as this helps the dog.  Fine.  I let them out (thank God), gave the pill, fed them, checked radar and worked hard to find a station not going to weather emergency, having to eventually watch that show about crab boats in Alaska (I think; it was weird but the channel wasn't going to emergency and I wasn't aware yet that I needed to be watching that radar).  I'd almost finished my suppper (again thank God) when the storm hit.  Within a minute I looked outside and there was no view.  I could see a green haze and water.  I called my mom asking for where flashlights were just as the power went out for the last time.  I am pretty calm in emergencies but when a flying branch (that flew at least 100 yards) hit the window in the room where I was searching for a flashlight I yelled something about basement NOW called the dogs and sat down there for 30 minutes or so.  The storm sounded a bit better so I went upstairs and got the other flashlights out and checked for leaks/broken windows.  I tried to get Anna into her carrier to bring her down where it was cooler and I could manage in an emergency.  She wouldn't come out from under the bed.  During that time I called my mother to come home because of the massive damage to her trees.  Soon after I heard the emergency warning despite no TV or radio; I flew downstairs and it was my cell phone saying tornado warning, take cover NOW.  I don't have a smart phone and had no idea it could do that but it got us downstiars before the scariest part of all hit.  Again I ran for the basement, this time with 3/4 dogs following.  We went into the corner under the stairs where a pipe sticks out.  I am so sore from our position but didn't feel safe to grab anything to sit on, water, or anything else. The really scared dog spent the next hour huddled under this pipe, head on a shelf with a dustbuster. I kept my arms around her as tightly as possible for comfort.   Another dog (not small) sat in my lap.  And I alternated praying and calling people for more information.  After an hour I couldn't hear the dangerous wind anymore or the degree of thunder.  I went upstairs to discover that what I called bad damage before was much worse.  Thank God yet again there was no damage to the house.  I couldn't go outside until 2-3 hours after it all started and had no way to determine if the house was damaged except I knew there weren't broken windows detectable from inside.    When I did go out I knew for sure that the tornado had be quite close; apparently they think this was downdraft with the worst tornado-type damage downtown.  It's bad there and I'm not going to be very specific as it may be easy to find me with that information. 
At my mom's there were enormous trees broken and fallen and sticks that I found that I flown from one end of my mom's property to the other.  My car was in the driveway; a large branch was on each of three sides but no damage to the paint.  A much bigger branch that had also flown oh, 200 yards, was within 18 inches of my car.  There is a small woods along my mom's 1/4 mile driveway; many, many trees were down there but again none hit the house, car, and her driveway was cleared by me easily within the first hour.  The person next door had a huge tree across their driveway.  The neighbor men worked together and got the road reopened as it had been blocked in many places.  At least one of them worked all night on freeing people and he came and checked out my mom's house before believing me it was ok.  He was also able to check the portion of roof I hadn't been able to see because I couldn't climb over the branches as he did in one area.  My mom had trees in the road and a huge chunk was precariously hanging in some lines (phone we hope).  My mom drove 4 hours to get home because of the destruction.  We agreed that despite several thousand dollars of damage and probably the worst hit on her road that it was a miracle because the only structual damage is the dog yard fence is destroyed and our garden was mostly crushed (she tells me it is perking up and much less is lost than it seemed.  There were plantars hanging on her shed door; I found a plant without a container and the container had bounced off my car 10" away.  I didn't find the others.  Another planter had dumped its contents and flown another long distance (200 yards?).  I never saw part of the damage well because it was impassable.  I found 3 trees together that simply had the tops snapped off and were hanging side by side.  One huge tree had clearly been a lightning strike; had that started a fire it would have be carried by the wind, so thank God for that amount of waterfall as everything was so dry.   And again it is a miracle that there was no destruction to the house or my car and that the dogs and I all made it safely.
My power was out until a few minutes ago and everything in my fridge/freezer is ruined.  Aside from a few branches that handing loose in the tree I see to be fine (need to look at the roof).   However the basement freezer is fine except for some sweet potato fries and I need to cook a bunch of fish filets that the sauce defrosted a bit but not the fish.  That is another answer to prayer as I have oh, $200 or more of fresh beef, plus another easy hundred of chicken, 30 of hamburger, many vegetables, etc. down there.  I have a clause in my homeowner's that will pay for most of the upstairs fridge/freezer contents if not all.  And when talking the food that was in there versus my food budget that clause is going to be a huge benefit.
Both siblings lost trees.  One damaged their neighbor's swingset and the other was a huge beautiful shade tree that was probably 100 years old and kept their deck cool all the time (as well as part of the house I suspect).  But it could have been so much worse, was so much worse for some people and mostly now it's just cleaning up and dealing with adrenaline, fear and shock.
More tomorrow when I'll hopefully be a little calmer.
 I finally have had A/C running for a while and it is getting cool enough to be ok for me (heat is dangerous with lithium and the issue it has caused with my electrolytes)..  It didn't get incredibly hot in here until this afternoon and I was going to my mom's to be a litlte cooler when the power returned.  The damage her is much less, consistent with the tornado theory.  I keep being told it was "only" a downdraught that I experienced but that was enough!  That's 3 tornados in my life.  We don't get a lot but they careen off the hills and bounce around. It can be hard for them to be sure where they touch down and there's never a clear path aside from areas of damage that sometimes procees in a line.
It was really bad.  I don't know how many people have died and what the losses are going to be like.  My mom got on a list for a tree estimae and was told it may be a week before they are even able to do that because of the extent of lifethreatening issues. 
The weird thing was that with all that wind and destruction my niece's turtle sandbox (has a lid that is pretty tight) and her water table didn't blow anywhere.
There was community even on my mom's country road.  Neighbors worked to make the road passable (many trees were across it), then another neighbor used a backhoe to scoop up the debris and either make is safer or gone altogether.  2 of my mom's neighbors checked on us, offering help with any damage while I walked the dogs (which the fence destroyed I had to walk 4 dogs separately and somehoe got my shirt covered in poop which is best not thought about.)  I am so grateful they cleared that road as my mom needed in and I needed out. The person who I think led this I believe hiked in climbing over trees.  I saw him gun his riding mower with a trailer to get it up the hill and then heard him cutting. I had no idea that they kept going with that for the whole distance to the main road.
I am just so grateful that things weren't worse for us as it truly seemed like my mom's house should have been damaged by something, and I am grateful beyond words that I have power.   The only injury in our family is I've got a sore back from my prolonged time on the basement floor in a weird position.  I am also grateful that if I have to spend 90 minutes in one day in basement that it was my mom's nice open, clean, safe basement.  When you fear basements tornadic activity can be horrendous. 
And that is the longest description what was probably only 2 hours but feels like a week, ever.
Just once again, THANK GOD.

Friday, June 29, 2012

5 more months (aka you all get to pester me)

Since almost nothing is sacred on this blog I shared yesterday that my first period not related to the Mirena (hormone producing, period calming, although not entirely effective for me and apparently a source of mood issues until removal a month ago) was not quite what I'd hoped for.  There was a chance that the D&C I had last year would have a more permanent effect.  It did not.  I had forgotten what the blood bath was like.  I just had to pour peroxide on my shirt because I somehow bloodied it (peroxide used immediately and preferably kept wet until washing removes nearly any blood stain ( healthcare tip I got when donating blood the needle person (can't spell it) went a wee bit too far and hit an artery, drenching me and the ceiling with blood before removing the needle, keeping me supine with a very tight pressure dressing and warning that "this is going to bruise badly").  I don't remember.  I do remember the excitement of getting blood out of my white dolphin shirt easily.

Without being gross let's just say that things are ugly.  I've been too uncomfortable to move around too much which is partly because Ohio is cooking people and my lawn this week.  Mostly though it's that I'm hurting.  It's the same as a year ago, like someone is stabbing my right ovary.  It is helpful to not have to be in the car which always was more painful last year.  If things don't change next month I am going to be on my way back to the anemia that made me feel absolutely horrid for much of last summer.  With the Mirena my hemoglobin had actually been well within normal.  I wanted to kill myself, but I wasn't anemic.

I am supposed to wait 6 cycles before going back to the dr. and that is scheduled.  If 3 pass and are like this I'm going to call in and probably see her sooner.  The worst she can do is say she needs the other 3 cycles and the other would be that we accept the hysterectomy and get it over with, reducing my anxiety issues dramatically.  Dr. Brain will certainly send her an update whenever I see her again so that may help my cause.  I'm fairly sure when surgery is agreed upon and patient assistance approves it that even then there will be some waiting time for anesthesia and psychiatry to agree that I'm not safe to be off the MAOI and need that protocol again.  I suspect there will also be some meeting of scarily intelligent minds regarding prevention of what happened last time I had surgery.  My mom is terrified and I think wants to say I just just keep trying to handle this but it's not realistic that I'm going to have my life be this controlled by menstration for another 10 years or so.  This has to stop.  It's too bad the Mirena didn't.  I really hoped that since I had screwy periods with it that those would continue and not this.  As it is I've not been comfortable to sit in an upright enough position to knit much today.  That counts as a bad day although I did get a lot of reading done.

In other news Anna is eating more and more.  Thank God.  No more puking for several days, also thank God.

Hope everyone is having a better week than this.

Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I have had a rough day.  I didn't sleep last night because my cat was vomiting again.  I keep finding myself begging God for more time.  I am being a complete pessimist with this and I know it's from losing another cat to vomiting but I am afraid.

I got my first real period post Mirena and I am dreading the months of waiting I have ahead of me to show that a pattern of issues exists.  The same sharp, something is stabbing my ovary pain is back although at less severity than it was during the last few weeks before my surgery last year.  I knew from my gyn and family doctor's comments that this was likely and research shows I have maybe 20% chance of this not being like a year ago.  The pain frightens me because it became so overwhelming last year.  I know that if several months pass and I am having tons of pain and blood loss that I can probably see my dr. sooner and have surgery sooner but she really wanted 6 months before making such a permanent decision.  But even with the pain not so bad I can't position my leg some ways and that was precisely what happened a year ago.

I had a crazy nightmare when I did sleep that hasn't helped.

I also had some idea in my head that 6 months from leaving the hospital I would be all better.  Tomorrow is 6 months.  I'm doing a lot better but not where I thought I'd be.  I know this frustration is created by me and that it's partly because I don't know how sick I was then.  I know I'm vastly improved and doing better than they thought I might ever reach.  But I'm still facing a long time on suicide precautions and apparently I had decided that I should be past that by now.

I don't know.  I'll be better tomorrow.  I'm tired and really discouraged by the pain.  That was the best part of the Mirena and I've improved enough that I clearly will not have another of those.

Sorry for crankiness.  It's possible I miss Dr. Mind and my schedule a bit more than I thought.

Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Monday, June 25, 2012

Grief tears

Grief isn't a particularly familiar visitor in my life.  Many times I've been told I was grieving the losses caused by my illness, or by my family situation, but rarely have I grieved for a true loss.  I have grieved for many patients but patients, even the ones you are closest to, are supposed to be just a season of life.  I carry many, many patients with me but I was a distant figure in their real lives.  Death is not something I've dealt with much.  My grandfather who abused me died when I was about 10, which is just too young to get it and my grandmother died when I was 18 and able to get it far too well.  Yet in that case there was profound sadness and grief, but not in the way that I think grief typically occurs.  There were so many circumstances.  When I was 15 we were told to say goodbye because she'd live on 6 weeks or so.  Grieving started then and stopped when 6 weeks passed and we clearly would have much more time.  I spent so much time with her during the last 2 years she was alive that I really felt we'd said good-bye.  And to finalize that the day before she died I walked into the nursing home room where she was sedated past the point of consciousness as she had been for several days since morphine became all that kept her comfortable.  I said hi and she woke up.  We maybe had 15 minutes to talk but she made it clear that she was aware she was going to a happy and lovely place soon and that she was not alone.  A few minutes later, before I could say goodbye in the way I wanted to and did not know how to manage she was unconscious again.  A nurse came in and found me crying and talked to me, agreeing that this was a sign it was about time.  I went to my mom's school where she was on break and told her it would be within 24 hours.  The call came at 6 the next morning and she died 2 hours later.

She made death hard to grieve.  During those few amazing minutes she told me that she kept seeing many people who she'd known through her lifetime who were all dead, and each of them was very happy and encouraging her to come with them and essentially she was describing the most perfect, beautiful reunion possible.  Then she asked me who was in the chair.  I said "nobody Gram.  Just a blanket.  Maybe you're seeing it from a funny angle".  Then she told me "no, there's a beautiful woman there and she is softly telling me to come join them".  She described an angel.  I know few deaths are so peaceful, but hers taught me not to fear it.  The next morning when the call came she'd been rapidly declining since I'd left her room and they'd assigned an aide to hold her hand all night, then called when the end was near, which was her preference.  My parents were already in town and got there about 6:15; my sister and I had to finishing dressing and drive in.  I wound up driving quite fast.  We got there around 7, the breathing pattern that often comes with death was explained, and we went in.  I had said good-bye the day before, I simply gave her a kiss and whispered something that will make no sense without a backstory that I can't tell but that she needed to hear, and that I loved her.  My sister said goodbye in her way.  I wanted to stay but my sister was frantic about NOT wanting to stay and I knew that there'd be no good-byes better than the previous afternoon's.  So we went to school where we both were at an honor roll breakfast when my father came to tell us she was gone, not even 45 minutes after we left.  She died very, very soon after we left and had just waited for that last goodbye.  I remember her visitation as a time of laughter and few tears, just as she wanted.  The funeral was harder but seeing her not in pain and no longer afraid of the bleeding from her ovarian cancer made it easier.  And my life helped with the rest of that loss.  I had prom a week after she died, then a schoolwide blood donation day that got everyone out of class, then the last day of school, then graduation and a summer of 50-60 hour workweeks and then I went to college.  There never was a time that loss hit over and over without warning.

The grief for my job and really myself is different.  It strikes with no warning and demands tears that I don't even notice.  Somehow in the last few weeks that grief is hitting more frequently.  This time it took only a song that I didn't even notice was playing in the background of a webpage until I started trying to sort out why I had tears running down my face.  I know this is a totally different kind of loss.  This is partly sadness that I tried so hard and just couldn't make it in the typical life of someone in their mid-thirties.  It is partly sadness that I lost who I was a year ago to whatever happened in surgery and that was so unexpected.  It is partly the repeated reminders that as this current song says "things will never be the same".  One of the things I want to find a way to do is to share as far and wide as possible why whooping cough vaccinations and boosters are so important.  Whooping cough did not do all of this but I'm fairly sure without whooping cough this wouldn't have happened.  Even that makes grieving harder.   It feels like the last nearly 2 years have cost me everything.  I just wish I had one more day that I knew was goodbye.  I couldn't have stood that but saying goodbye would have been a good thing.

And now I've suddenly lost an hour to blogging and I need to do laundry since I have an appointment tomorrow with a substitute for Dr. Mind who is on vacation and I have no clean shirts to wear.  So I need to get moving.

Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I have discovered.......

the dumbest thing that makes me homesick for working.  I own a LOT of water bottles, mostly the aluminum kind with no BPA as well as a few BPA free plastic ones that I don't like as much because they require freezing some water to stay cool at all.  The collection of bottles grew as home health became part of my life and I realized the difference between bothering to fill a ton of bottles every night and throw them in a cooler and paying for water or going without when it was too rural.  I drink so much that it was easy to invest in many bottles.

A few were in the cabinet and the rest were, I thought, stored in the cooler.  Yesterday I needed a clean one and took one from the cooler.  This is how I discovered the bottles in there are still full.  They are a preparation made for my last day of work and not needed because I spent that day with the office water cooler.

I dumped the bottle I used last night.  I have a few more to go.  And once again it feels like I'm moving further away from where I'd love to be.

Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

My biggest fear right now

As a reminder, Anna is my old, maybe sick cat.  She is certainly my old, confused at times, very sensitive to illness girl.  That goes with being an old cat.  She was diagnosed with cataracts a while ago and I'm noticing she doesn't see well anymore.  I put food down and she no longer sees it until I show her.

Now that we have the stomach bug under control she is a happy girl again.  Less active than 3 weeks ago but that may be recovery still.  And her activity level was ot nexactly athletic anyway.  She is more happy to spend as much time as possible getting pets and I'm soaking that up because I know that she has declined in the last 6-8 months and that I won't always be stuck in one spot because she is propped on my leg.  She also likes for me to carry her around more than usual.  It's all about snuggling; if I pick her up she immediately settles into her favorite spot and rubs her cheeks against my earpieces of my glasses, just as she always has.

But I'm not stupid.  I know that we've gone from rarely seeing a vet to I think 4 trips since January and several phone calls.  I know the price of a lab panel because we've done it so often.  She's on medication that is quite expensive but makes my life so much easier by getting her good rest.  I know she is very confused and upset if I'm gone long; she is very reliant on me to make a pattern in her days.

Anna isn't going to be here forever.  It may be not the cause that we thought for years, her kidneys, but she's quite old and her body proved this week it just can't take much.  I truly was going to take her in for vomiting because of the quantity and it had happened a few days running, but I was sure I was safe for one more day.  I was wrong, as the blood demonstrated.  Thank God I found that when I did; I don't know if she would have lived until Tuesday with the dehydration as bad as it was.

I think she knows that she's going to leave me sometime soon.  Probably not tomorrow, but probably not years from now either.  One or two years if we are very, very fortunate and nothing changes much.

I am terrified of losing her.  I truly don't know that I can handle it.  I barely handled this sickness.  I've talked to her and told her that if she needs to leave me then to please just go in her sleep and I will know that she went peacefully.  I've told her she has to tell me when it is time.  Her response has been making an effort to be with me a great deal more than usual in the last few years.  I know she doesn't really understand but she is very in tune with my feelings and I think she does know that my sadness is related to her.

And I have come to love our time together so much that I dread needing to get up to get some water which is coming in just a few minutes.

I just don't want to see her get old, yet I very much do want to see her get old.  The hardest part of pets is loving them because they aren't going to live as long as you wish.

Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Pain and tears

Tears first, that's easier.  Michal asked if the times I cry uncontrollably are bipolar in nature or count as crying.  Often they are real crying except that I kind of save up tons of tears and every so often it is like my head explodes and I cry hard.  Part of this is abuse and part of it is my meds which can blunt emotions.

Pain......again there are 2 factors in my not feeling pain normally.  One is certainly abuse.  I was taught to ignore it and to hide reactions to things that hurt.  That is complicated by something I do not know scientifically but I've observed it as has my dentist:  antipsychotics dull pain.  The combination is not good.  That's why I didn't have ankle surgery when it would have made sense, because after spraining it so badly that I could get a shoe on and there was a baseball sized purple lump on the outside of my ankle within just a few minutes of the fall, yet I insisted in walking in my sock feet into urgent care and through the building.  The exam hurt and I said nothing.  I was much more vocal about fighting off a tetanus shot that could kill me than I was about getting someone to understand the pain I was in.  I left with no painkillers at all and had to contact Dr. Body the next day and ask for some.  Crutches were inconvenient so I pretended to only need one long before I should have.  I neglected to tell Dr. Body that the extreme bruising was accompanied by extreme pain so he did exactly what I asked and got me into a walker boot, which I then abused by walking so much that I had to back to non-weight bearing.  I knew my dentist had a not-believing me policy after I nearly wound up septic by saying a tooth that was severely infected "hurt a little".

It wasn't until after the severity of my ankle injury, plus the healed fracture that I learned about 18 years too late that I realized the extent of my inability to discuss pain because of abuse.

That hit home even harder when I went to Dr. Body with chills, fever, and severe pain that seemed consistent with a bad UTI or a kidney stone.  He did all these weird things and I gave answers I thought should be right not what I really felt.  He sent me for a CT scan that was negative and the previous scan I'd had to rule out stones had been misread.  I waited until the 2nd day to go see him and since we didn't know there was a stone to begin with the negative CT had me in tears because I hurt so badly and felt awful and felt like I was faking.  I wound up having a long talk with Dr. Body about never believing me about pain and why and confessed to lying on the testing.  At least one test would have indicated the strong possibility that I either had a stone or had passed one.

I truly don't know how realistic it is to hope that I'm going to make great gains in this area with  PTSD treatment, but then again I've noticed and paid a minute's attention to several days since the IUD was removed that the familiar but not as sharp pelvic pain has returned.  I really don't think it's a ton of pain I'm ignoring; I think it's a low level version of a year ago.  So maybe.  The meds have a chemical effect on pain.  My childhood taught me that pain was bad.  It's not a very good combination.  I remember when I was waiting for surgery last summer telling Dr. Mind that my pain was about a 7 much of the time.  He said that it was too bad that I had no way to tell everyone who'd be treating me that this meant a 12/10.  Dr. Mind saw my ankle and helped me to my car after I fell.  He was horrified that I walked more than necessary on that.  I learned a lot about pain from that.  I should have used the wheelchair?  Huh.

It's a weird combination and it means my doctors have to be very thorough in getting information out of me.  Thankfully they do.

Could I cry because of physical pain?  Nope.  I had tremendously bad bladder spasms with the catheter with my surgery.  My body clamped down and left me with a painfully full bladder that wasn't draining much.  I was begging for pain meds and didn't have any ordered for hours.  I was sweating and trying to get into any position that felt better and saying it was 9/10 and I don't get think anyone believed me.  If I have a hysterectomy I am going to Dr. Brain to write an order for something that will make me nice and sleepy through the night.  I had anxiety meds that would have helped the pain but didn't think to ask.

Anyway, time to quit typing and work on relaxing.  I have a much healthier feline snuggled against my leg and it's time to work on sleeping.  I walked 3.06 miles today (probably a little more since I put my step length in the pedometer with the wrong math) and was so tired coming back.  I wish it had lasted. Although this looks like a 2-3 night instead of a 4-6 night so that's good.

M., I'll check out that website as soon as I finish the one I am currently reading.  I am looking for something specific and can't remember what search landed me there so I'm trying to find something to remind me.
Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Friday, June 22, 2012

A few answers

First, I am allowed to think about this and can be within my boundaries.  Basically I'm not supposed to go looking for trouble (ie, not doing things likely to cause memories to reappear or strong feelings that I can't handle.  That won't happen without my poking into things.  And if it does spontaneously happen then that's why I have to see another therapist this week.  The main restrictions are leaving my written story and recorded story alone and not reading my grandma's diaries.

As far as why I say I need to feel it, many reasons. One is that that if I feel the pain and associate it with what caused it I may become less fearful.  In life there are many things that are simple that I can't do, things as simple as going to a store and back to my car after dark.  Even in my tiny, very safe town where I'm probably the only person who locks the house or car I struggle to go to the car and back in the dark.  I do it but it is hard (easier with a remote lock that lights the car; I didn't have one of those until this car).  It also will help me from being smacked hard with all the feelings at once every so often when something upsets me.  I am having a hard time coming up with an example of what I mean there, but because I have all these scary feelings that I have never let myself feel, sometimes I become very upset about something not that upsetting.  On the hand in a situation that triggers too much I dangerously underreact.  One example of this was back in grad school I had gone to Meijers (a very awesome Walmart-like store that I should have stayed in Michigan for) to get my can deposit back and wander around for a bit as a break from my thesis.  I would have been 23 or 24, plenty old enough to know how to respond to this.  But anyway, as I walked around I noticed this man following me.  At first I thought it was coincidence but no matter where I went he was there, getting closer and closer and bumping me with his cart, all the while grinning at me.  My reaction?  Head for the least populated part of the store.  I didn't scream.  I didn't try to get security.  I didn't head for the front of the store and the security guards there or any employees.  I panicked and made a bad situation turn dangerous.  Finally, probably soon before he tried to grab me a store employee came into the aisle.  The man looked at me, laughed, and said "next time" and left.  I walked away from my cart and stupidly walked straight out into the huge dark parking lot where he easily could have been waiting.  Then I drove home, giving him a chance to follow me.  I need to learn to feel because I need to learn to respond in these situations.  A couple years ago Dr. Mind gave me scenarios of what the proper safety reaction would be.  I repeatedly tried and was wrong every time in how much reaction was needed.  I started trying to guess what he wanted to hear and even then I was wrong every time.  I also don't feel normal emotions.  To me sadness is not something I share and I barely am able to cry at home.  I cry with Dr. Mind but that took many weeks of work and even then sometimes he has to help me know I can cry, that it is safe to do so.  Anger is something I really don't have any concept of.  I almost never cry with Dr. Brain even though I know I get hugs and sympathy if I do.  In the hospital I remember crying for the first day of my first admission, when I've had a conflict with a nurse, when Dr. Brain came to see me, and when I talked to Dr. Mind on the phone.  No matter how severely depressed I don't show it.  My doctors know when I'm faking and get it out of me, but the hospital staff who know me but not as well didn't catch on that I was in there the last time because I was dead-set on killing myself and had kind of come in as a last chance for someone to show me why I would want to live.  The day I told them what they were missing it was very tempting to just let it go, be released on the Friday as they'd anticipated and then kill myself.  Thankfully I did tell them and was taken extremely seriously at that point.  (Manicky/depressed reactions don't count as emotions, by the way).  Most of the time the only feeling I'm certain of is anxiety and I then go far overboard with it.  Dr. Mind just pointed out that I'm worrying about 2 years from now and I'm only now improving after a year of being very ill.  But I don't know what else to feel.  That's making the grief process for my job even harder because I struggle to say "I miss doing _____ and I wish I could work".  Instead I wait until I'm blindsided by something like an article on what it feels like when God's plans differ from our own.  So it's not just about these events, it's about something that shouldn't really be a skill but is for me.  When I was in kindergarten I failed stairs because I didn't alternate my feet.  Now that would have gotten a PT evaluation; back then they simply had stairs failures line up and walk up and down stairs.  In my case it was something that I hadn't learned to do because I was small for my age and the stairs were big steps for me and I didn't feel confident.  I had to learn to use the railing and trust I wasn't going to fall.  Emotions are a lot like that to me; something I should know but don't.

The easier question was what did I mean about the "eleven years" posts?  I've posted several times about things that I experienced in my 11 years as a therapist.  I want to do as many of those as I can because I want to remember as much as I can.  With so few memories of the last year I've learned the value of writing things down because this disease can take them from me, and working those 11 years was so important to me.  If I had only kept a journal of events I could have a book.

My cat has just informed me that she would like dinner #2.  And who am I to deny her?  She's eating but small amounts and she's even more picky than usual, which is frighteningly picky.  However she no longer seems to feel bad and she is  beside me purring loudly right now.  She's spent cuddly time with me, including once that she very clearly wanted me to carry her to the food bowl; I obliged of course and she even beat up her toy mouse once.  Usually that's a nightly thing.  So we're going the right direction for sure.

2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Your turn

So for a year now I have written only what I wanted to.  During the last few months it's been more difficult because many things just don't belong here yet it's been all I've lived and breathed.  I am more or less on a therapy vacation until a week from Monday (I have to go see another therapist for a check-in to make sure I'm not suicidal or flipping out in a delayed response from this, since I kind of stunned both Dr. Mind and myself by my reaction when something much easier had me on the verge of driving to the hospital.

But my instructions are to rest, continue getting my equilibrium, no tapes, no working on taping myself which I think I need to do because I have to feel something or we've not done much.  I'm not allowed to read more diaries until my safety net is home since it is quite possible something is going to appear with a nuance I never picked up before that makes me feel better.  It used to be that rape meant pen**i*le penet*tra*+tion.  I always felt that took away from my my experience; I described it for years as "everything but rape".  Shortly before Dr. Mind and I started on this topic I read somewhere random that the definition has changed.  I checked, and sure enough I now have a word for what happened and that makes a difference in that it feels validated.  I would always read about people who had been molested and while not ignoring their pain I usually found myself thinking that using the same word for what happened to me as them wasn't quite right.  Now, although I doubt I'm going to run around saying "I was raped" there is an acknowledgement that really bad things happened.  So I'm open to discussion on that too.

Frankly I don't know what to do with myself.  I did a lot of cleaning in my bedroom tonight and there's plenty more to do through the house.  I can only do so much and then I get lost or overwhelmed (I forget one task, leaving whatever I'm organizing out, do something else, find the mess, get distracted, etc as well as just getting tired quickly.)  But I want to try to do some.  I am feeling better, not like who I used to be but some version of that who I don't know.  /the therapy for PTSD truly worked (one more to go hopefully) and I have gotten steadily better since the Mirena IUD (tiny amounts of hormones are released.  My body hates hormones) was removed 3 weeks ago.  So there will be no more hormones for me, ever.  I don't know how to settle into being someone who isn't me but is me.  And I really don't want to spend 10 days thinking about that.  

I'm working on an application for financial assistance to let me see Dr. Body without paying out of pocket but I'm stuck waiting for a form to come.  Bless him, he told me that he'll let me determine a need for antibiotics because I have never abused them (aka I usually need stronger ones because I ignore things until I'm good and sick, at least that was true when I got sinus infections.  I can't explain this but since I had whooping cough I've not had a sinus infection.  Until then I had them every few months.  I have the bad combination of not being able to take meds to prevent junk from growing in my swampy sinuses if I catch a cold because I can't take meds, and I have tiny nasal passages, tiny sinuses, tiny throat, and it leads to gunk collecting.  I think perhaps whooping cough altered my passageways.

So, now is your chance.  Ask anything.  It can be about bipolar, my change in lifestyle from well off to not in a few weeks, the PTSD treatment, my Selah obsession, what social security is like, my med situation/effect on recovery, abuse, daily life, my upcoming anniversary next week of 6 months out of the hospital, financial assistance I've found invaluable as a low income uninsured person with multiple medical issues, my sick cat, my healthy cat, my obsession with milk with a drop of chocolate in it, whooping cough and my spiel about how you need to take action to protect yourself from feeling crummy while risking infecting someone like me who isn't vaccinated, typically an infant, who can die.  You can ask about my knitting and whoever guesses the correct total of hats I've made since August and have no discarded or that weren't for my niece gets a pretend prize.  You can ask anything else you'd like as well.  Grieving questions are welcome although I tend to only realize the grieving has hit when hours have past from seemingly random  sobbing.  Don't ask what having your life totally change in nearly every way in 9 months is like because I don't know.  You can ask what I remember of those months. (short answer).  You can ask about my complicated feelings about the potential of having a hysterectomy and the fear of anesthesia plus my TERROR of the spinal she hopes she can do it with even though usually that way is reserved for someone who gave birth.  May not happen but given the twinges of pain I'd say not promising start.

Anyway, your turn.

Or you can continue reading last night's novel.  I just didn't know how to divide that up well.

I want to write another of my "In 11 years" posts because those make me happy and may be valuable as I adjust.

Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 21, 2012

what I've learned in the last week

Dr. Mind is going on vacation for a week after tomorrow.  I asked him a while back to try to get me to a place where his leaving wouldn't make me suffer.  After my suicidal time period about 2-3 weeks ago we took a break and got me calmed down and so moving into sexual abuse a week ago was a calculated move with the plan kind of being to get me to where I was ok to coast (and have a suicide check with another therapist while he is gone).  It worked better than we'd hoped.

I wrote a few posts ago about our prayers that I be led to find what I needed.  I can't explain the appearance of the diaries, only that I've never seen them before.  And God can do anything.  So I'm calling that an answer to prayer I'll never understand except that the one from 1979 was precisely what I needed to cope with this.

Background:  My mom had said I told her when I was 2 and I have scoured that diary for answers.  They did not exist.  That's because she lied.  The set-up is too clear for her to not know when it happened.  But thanks to my grandmother and my ability to understand the twists in how she says something as her way of not saying it (because I've read these diaries repeatedly, including aloud to her while she was dying, so some stories were clarified then).  But 1979 has the key.  My sister was born just before Christmas 1978 and I turned 3 three weeks later.  My mom took a long maternity leave when I was born because she hoped to be able to stay home and they were financially experimenting.  Because of the way she accumulated days off at that job at that time she didn't have much left for my sister.  My sister was a surprise baby and I was a bit of a miracle after a botched procedure left my mother without a uterine lining.  They'd said there was no way that she would ever be pregnant or that her lining could return.  (Essentially she had an unwanted endometrial ablation before that was a procedure).  One day her cycle returned and a few months later she was pregnant.  (This is why I laugh that my father would say he was tricked into having me.  It was a years long process, not an oops in any way).  So my mom hadn't really worried about saving leave for another pregnancy that was was rather unlikely.

From the age of 8 months I had stayed with my grandparents when my parents were working, so pretty much 7-4 daily if not later.  Sadly the 1976 diary pretty well tells when my grandfather started molesting me. It lines up with my vague memories and it happened because I was well, the diagnosis was SEVERE colic, like as in I was on phenobarb. except it scared my mom by sedating me.  Now it would probably have been called severe GERD and meds would have helped.  But at 8 months I was only barely starting to not cry 20 some hours/day (really, like as in my mom didn't sleep in her own bed for 9 months).  I had been cared for only by my mom because she couldn't really just leave me in that condition and my father wouldn't help.  (Introduce bonding issues.  He changed one diaper.  I don't think I had a relationship with him until I was 2 1/2 or 3 and even then it was limited.  We'll get there in a few weeks).  So when I started staying with my Gram I cried almost all day every day.  I wore her out completely and she couldn't get anything done because I was being held.  So after a few weeks of this they decided my grandfather would take me upstairs and rock me and try to get me to nap in the crib.  Except that isn't what happened.  To my grandfather the pedophile it must have felt like being handed a pile of gold; a child to molest who couldn't talk and wouldn't for months.

Anyway, when I started reading the 1979 diary I noticed right away that I would ask someone to help me call my Gram daily and even though when I stayed with them I loved going everywhere I could with my grandfather (he had village and church responsibilities that had him out all morning most mornings; I was also molested during these excursions if he found a place and time.  I was also well known as being "bashful".  I was shy but I was terrified of men with facial hair and everyone was moderately amused/confused by this.  There were reasons I'm not going to give here; I'll say it is related to why I gag at the dentist.  So he had this reputation as a wonderful grandfather with the little girl with him all the time.  Makes me sick that I made him look good, but I did. But after being home with my mom for a few weeks I didn't want him; I wanted to talk to and see Gram.  In February, I think the middle to end (my memory of the diary gets wobbly for a bit as I realized instantly what was going to happen) my sister and I both went to my grandparents' daily.  I resumed the morning of errands with my grandfather, lunch, nap/molesting, afternoon with my grandma.

I should add here that my mom's pregnancy had been really rough.  My sister was much bigger than my premature brother or me; I was just petite.  My sister had about 2# and 3 1/2 inches on me and was approaching 3x my brother's weight and 5 1/2 longer.  And she was full breech but the dr. never told my mom.  So my mom spent the last month or so in horrible pain with my sister's butt engaged in her pelvis, while managing a toddler and a freshman in high school and working.  Then my sister was born without any interventions except a double episiotomy (no clue how to spell that).  It was a very rough birth and she signed herself out of the hospital 24 hours later because of me and Christmas (and my brother but he understood).  I made her life miserable during the time she wasn't allowed to climb stairs after the birth because nobody else had ever, once, put me to bed or read to me.  I think my brother (who had read to me) had to do that part because my father had no idea.  I have never cried like I did that first night.  I knew my sister's crib had been moved downstairs and that mommy couldn't hold me but not that she wasn't going to be upstairs when I needed her.

I got past that finally and don't remember my mom's maternity leave at all.   I remember my sister as a new arrival and then not as much for a while, then more when she disrupted the routine at my grandma's. The point of all that is my mom physically was in a rough spot to go back to work at 12 or less weeks and then because she did all parenting she was getting up at 5 (presumably after feeding my sister in the middle of the night), getting up up, fed, dressed, me to the potty, etc.  (Interject funny story:  My niece is fully potty trained for BMs and pee is hit or miss.  She's been trying underwear a few days lately.  She was playing in a puddle from pouring her water table water over my feet b/c I needed a bath and suddenly looked up and said "splashing in pee puddle?"  hehe).  Then she had to make 3 lunches, load us into winter clothes and drive 20some minutes to my grandparents, unload us, say goodbye, work all day, and spend the evenings doing baby and toddler care and being involved in my brother's life as well.  So stress seemed to make perfect sense.  But it started to get very apparent she wasn't holding up well one week and that Friday she left work early and took us home, saying it was nerves.  (I have no memory of this time period).  My father stopped in that night and told my grandparents that my mom was considering taking a leave for the rest of the year, possibly not going back at all, and that they were considering moving several hours away, closer to my mom's sister.  As far as I can tell my father did not speak to them again for several months.  I suspect that there was an unspoken time he pulled his father away during that visit as someone had to confront him.  Dr. Mind believes that both my parents were possibly sexually abused; he nearly certainly was and my mother behaves like she was too.  I don't know most of her family so I have no idea what lurked besides alcoholism.  That would make this all harder and explain their ineptness.   His birthday was in the midst of the turmoil and it wasn't celebrated which was very atypical as well; I have a feeling my announcement may have been his birthday gift.  And we never made a huge fuss about his birthday again.  So maybe they wrecked my birthday for me but I think I ruined his.

The following Monday my mom didn't go to work.  That afternoon she called to tell my grandma that she had hired a babysitter to watch us at our house starting the next day.  My grandmother wrote a page that showed her love for me so very strongly.  She wrote that she cried and my mom cried and then my mom came in and they cried together.  They cried together I am 100% sure because my mom told my grandma what was going on.  The diary that day is full of shock, but none that shows why.  Yet reading that diary I noticed that if I wasn't there my grandfather took a nap per the diaries.  If I were there a different word was used.  I even know how she avoided knowing, sort of.  She knew but kept herself distanced in her sewing room which there is no way would have captured sounds from where I was.  She had reasons to be there, she made extra money sewing so while she was avoiding it it's not like she was listening as I have always thought/feared.  I can't explain my relationship with my Gram but it is hard enough to know that she let me be hurt because until I realized that about 2 years ago I thought she was nearly perfect.  Obviously not perfect but in some important ways she's who I want to be.  I spent so much time with her when she was sick and dying, and when she was dying she was on morphine and had been non-responsive for several days.  I came in, took her hand, and said Hi Gram, it's Jen.  (I nearly typed Just Me :).  I had been making a point of praying when I came in so you imagine how I jumped when she opened her eyes and started talking to me.  That's another story (an amazing evidence of Heaven if you remind me to tell it) but she made it extremely clear that she was getting closer and closer to Heaven, that she was happy, and that it was something she was looking forward to.  Then she had some words only for me, and made sure I knew where my graduation gift (used towels, but she had been basically comatose).   She and I were so close and I have trouble believing she took part in the conspiracy that led to awful things happening to me.  It's not fair as I'm angry at virtually all adults involved but her.

Anyway, my parents thought that this protected us.  I think they may really have believed that words could be enough.  I think the new babysitter, a WONDERFUL older woman we both loved, was aware of what happened to me; she was very sensitive with dressing, pottying, etc.  The reason I think they felt their words were enough is that 3 days later I was back to stay and was alone with my grandfather for hours.  My sister was not left there again until she was about 6 months but the restrictions were easier to enforce with her and I don't think she had nearly the alone time that I had.

This diary was a gift.  Dr. Mind believes it was both written as a gift by a woman who knew I'd need to know someday (if I asked anyone questions it was probably her) and that her insistence that I inherit the diaries did not stem from the hours we spent reading them when chemo was making her too tired to read for herself, he think she knew I needed that week of entries.  I hope he's right.  That kind of makes up for anything she didn't do because writing this was a risk.  Also, she usually stopped writing for weeks or months when something horrible happened and this time she kept on going, often about missing me (and my sister but she's only had my sister for maybe 3 weeks and me for years and my sister was still in the eat, sleep, cry, poop stage).  And again she may have let me know how much she missed me as a way of saying sorry.

The diary also showed something.  My parents kept my past from me despite the high likeliehood that I'd have problems and my clear issues with the opposite sex.  I had a boyfriend for a few years in high school and it's possible that they thought this meant I was ok.  Which is why I've had one boyfriend touch me (put his arm around me for a picture) and one tried and was punched.  They showed anger.  Not the way that would have been best, but in attempt that was in line with the desire to protect me from questions or even court, that nobody would have believed me anyway because of my age, and
criminal action would have meant I grew up with everyone knowing and being "that poor girl, she'll never be normal".  I do not believe they did the right things, and I think they ignored huge clues as well as signs it was continuing and signs that I was psychologically in trouble.

But something happened.  My father stood up for me.  That happened once in my life and I didn't know it until Saturday.  My mother and grandmother cried together I assume in sadness for me and in  helplessness.  My mother (and father since he helped decide) almost quit working to protect me.  And they somehow procured a sitter with no advance warning (easily done in a small town) and she was the perfect one for me then.  The next one was also wonderful to me.

Another thing that I have learned from this out of thin air diary and the one that follows it:  My father had a friend.  I'd forgotten that.  Actually he had 2 friends.  He participated in a club and was quite active and had lots of not as close friends there.  I don't remember when that changed.  But it's good to know that he did have a period of social skills good enough to have friends.  I even remember them.  My parents also got along very well with our 2nd non-family sitter and my father did some carpentry work and other stuff for them, probably in trade for sitting.  They came to a picnic at our house and everything.

I still am broken in ways that probably won't be fixed.  There is no reason to work at it and if there is one then we'll handle it.  For now I'm ok there, just knowing that I don't want to try to fix it.  My parents still betrayed me and soon we'll move on to they abused me.  I still need to learn feelings.  I think that I need to be able to read this with expression and am going to ask if that's what I can work on while Dr. Mind is away.  The nice thing is that this  time through because of the diaries and how hard I worked writing I think that the only memories left hidden are the ones I should never, ever know.  I will never fully understand the decisions of the adults in my life.  I will never know why me although I think that several factors came into play.  I think my grandfather was always molesting someone and I was little and incapable of fighting when he needed a new victim.  I was available.  And as a bonus I couldn't run away or tell because I was a baby.

It is very hard for me to see my niece and all this sparkly personality and her trust of her family and her love for us.  The worst thing that has ever happened to her is my sister raised her voice she she was driving and my niece bit me so that I couldn't extract myself.  Oh, and she fell in the creek and her daddy immediately rescued her.  I didn't get to be that kid.  She's 23 months today.  At that age I knew things and had experienced things that someone my age shouldn't have to know or experience.

It is still horrible.  But this blessed gift of a diary told me what nobody else ever has.  My grandma died just over 18 years ago.  This was her gift to me, not the towels she told me about.  Especially since cleaning the bathroom buried in those towels was my cousin's gay porn.  I doubt that was intended to be part of the gift although my mom and I had a good laugh about my grandma's curiosity and if she'd ever seen this and then shoved it back.  Nobody will ever know unless a diary entry has huge hints.

The biggest thing is that I am finally able to work on shifting from being so angry to knowing that even though it seemed like nothing happeneId (made worse because he was very cruel after I told knowing that was against the rules), a memory confirmed by what my grandma wrote (again I thank God because I NEEDED to know my memories weren't crazy.  Instead I have found accuracy, over and over.)  And at least there was anger and there were tears.  It finally feels like someone cared enough though they were clueless.  Which isn't even their faults; that is how my part of Appalachia was in the 70s and even now; family secrets stay in the family.

Ok, bedtime (ha, pretend bedtime) for me.  I have Dr. Mind and some running around to do tomorrow.  Yogurt and watermelon must be purchased.  I finally made my own version of cat food and she ate a bunch but I need some bland foods.  She clearly is still nauseous.  I need to call in about that too.  She's getting enough and behaving normally to more than normal (wants held a lot) but she isn't all better. I do know that this is not the end.

What a week.
Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Life goes on even when I'm processing the same information

I'm really not ready to write about this week, although I will say that my cat is doing much better and the end seems less near.

But, sadly, for a "family" member the end IS here for his mom.  This is my mom's companion and his mom has been on hospice for a long time.  She has been at the end stages of life for probably 2 months.  Yesterday hospice (who are usually uncannily accurate) said she probably wouldn't make it through the night.  She is still hanging on, barely.  It doesn't sound like she is suffering but I've been around death enough to know how hard it can be to wait when it stretches on.

Please pray for him, his step-father, and that her death be peaceful and soon.  I don't know how this is going to affect things for me.  He may or may not want me there and I may or may not have to go dog-sit for my mom's, sister's and his dogs.  I just don't know.  So if I'm not posting I am still ok, I just have even more going on than I did and I'm not not eating or sleeping well so it's hard to post in something like English.

I have been around death so much.  I actually accurately predicted this happening within a week last Thursday.  But I don't have much experience in the non-professional supportive side.  It's hard to wait for someone you love to get hurt, even when the hurt is expected.
Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Monday, June 18, 2012

What a day

Last night was not a good sleep night and I was up after only 3 hours.  I got back to sleep for a while then needed to get up and get ready for Dr. Mind.  I made a vet appointment for tomorrow and then went into my closet to get some shoes.  On the way out I found the cat's latest puke and it was blood.  So I called back and got into the vet today, changed Dr. Mind to tomorrow and took off.  I got a vet I usually don't trust but she did a good job today.  Anna was down a pound since February but some of that was dehydration.  Her February labs didn't make much sense in that she actually was not in renal failure, yet she acts like a cat in renal failure and her labs have been clear that she had it before.  So we repeated that, which will also tell us if she's got an infection (no fever).  They gave her sub-cutaneous fluids so my cat is leaking water out of her shoulder.  I got nausea medicine that I'm not sure I can give her without help (took my mom and I both to get the first dose in) and she came home.  They'll give me lab results tomorrow.  I have her set up with food and water in my bedroom.  She won't eat and hasn't all day.  I'm going to have syringe feed her if she hasn't had something before too long.  She needs water too.  The sub-q fluids helped the dehydration but she still needs intake.  Right now she is not so happy with me.  I don't think she wants the food I want her to eat and I'm not about to give her the fish she usually prefers as I've cleaned up enough gross pukes.

I'm really worried she's on a decline path.  (I had another cat die from the effects of not eating so I'm extra concerned about that.  It was an unpleasant death).

On the other hand I saw 3 rainbows coming home.  It seems that when I see rainbows things get under control so I'm hoping that is the effect now.  I need that to happen somehow.  I've been ok but this is making me feel like it is just way too much.  I am so tired after all that.  (I had to stop at my mom's and we went to supper with my brother.  It was delicious and so good to see my brother happier than he has been since with wife left him close to 2 years ago.)

Anna is at least finally in her bed sleeping.  I guess about 11 I'll have to try to get her to eat somehow.  I truly don't know that I can syringe feed her.  She's very strong and does not like being forced into anything and she is very angry at me still about the NEEDLES and THERMOMETERS and didn't I know where those went??????  Yet there was no choice.  If she doesn't eat she'll have to go back and whatever happens then (more fluids for sure) will make her just as unhappy.  I hate this for my girl.  It feels like one of those times that you wish that someone/something would pass in their sleep and instead I'm seeing that would be a luxury and that I am probably going to be making more difficult decisions sooner than I wanted.

Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Sick kitty

The last 24 hours have revealed brutal truths I'm not yet ready to discuss.  They are though things I can discuss here, so it will happen once I've had some time.  I think that I could now write a book on how not to handle finding out your child has been molested.

But I am worried.  My older cat, Anna (17 next month!) has kidney failure as I've discussed before.  She's been doing quite well actually, stable weight, good intake although she's as picky as can be, but that's normal.  She usually goes through a picky phase then picks back up on eating.  It seemed she had gotten there.  And then the puking began.  She's puked rather massively 1-3 times per day for the last 3 days.  Today I don't think she kept much down and more worrisome she doesn't even want her beloved baby food meats which are the thing that she will ALWAYS eat for me.  She's acting fine, actually spent more time awake today than usual by a lot, has come and cuddled, and when I brought water to her bed she got up and drank a good bit.  We'll be going to the vet, probably Tuesday, but I'm concerned.  As kidney failure advances cats puke more and require meds to keep their stomach less acidic.  I'm not ready to say "advances".  I know that we're surpassing the expected lifetime after diagnosis in the next month or so and that she is 17.  I know she's not going to be here forever.  I am not ready though.  Too much loss already this year.  I've thought enough; I know what defines quality of life for Anna.  My mom buried her cat in this old garden seeded to be a meadow and as long as it's not winter Anna will go with Gypsy.  They lived together when Anna was young and I didn't have a home for her (Anna fell deeply in love with me the day I met her when she was 5 weeks old).  Mom said from then on she was mine when I could take her.  She made my first real home of my own (a tiny trailer I rented in grad school) home and it was so goo to always have someone happy to see me after long days of classes.

So please pray that Anna bounces back and the vomiting was a fluke.  For one thing it is gross, for another she needs nutrition.  I think I'm going to restrict her diet.  I'm concerned that this new crunchy food I bought that they both eat like I eat chocolate is at fault; Anna hasn't eaten chrunchies much in years, ever since she had a tooth pulled.  For now she's going to get baby food, tuna juice only, maybe a little chicken.  And I'm going to get her hydrated even if that does mean frequent super cold water delivered to my bedroom floor.  And for the final thing, I can't take losing her right now.  I know I never will be ready but because I have in my head what end-stage renal failure that has gone on a long time (both my mom's cats) looks like I get side-swiped when I realize she may not even get that scrawny, she may have a different path.

Having a hard time settling down tonight.  I won't say more or I'll be telling my story (none of which is really worse than it was, but people LIED.  A lot.  and I care more than I should).

Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Can't really talk

Things are coming together.  One of the diaries that appeared from nowhere has many answers.  I've spent numerous periods sobbing, as well as at least getting in the direction of anger as I read this diary that gives me a timeline for much of what happened in terms of when my parents found out and the seeming flurry of activity and my mother crying with my grandmother as she told why we'd have a sitter at home effective immediately.  Yet within 3 days of all this drama I was left alone with my grandfather.My sister was kept away for about 3 months.  Guess 6 months is old enough to defend yourself.  I'm glad I've never seen this journal before because it is not easy reading.

As I go through this more memories come back (both the diary and the tape).  I am starting to use the word "feel" but then don't get a feeling word out.  So I'm going to have Dr. Mind explain what should be in my blanks.

This is just so incredibly hard so I have no idea about posting.  Today it felt too hard but since I freaked out completely writing the last post and edited a bunch off and posted without looking I wanted to just say that I'm ok but this is beyond difficult.  If I didn't have the diary I think I'd be sitting here waiting for something, but taking notes from it has brought a lot out.

I went for another long walk tonight.  I discovered that in 90 minutes you can cover nearly the entire incorporated part of the town.  I didn't go into development and the cemetery, otherwise I was out to the outer boundary, the right boundary (almost, didn't 'walk to it specifically) and the left boundary.

Someone is coming to buy my old mower in the mower.  I hope I can sleep.

Be around as I can.  This is so hard because I just can't share it all.  There are a lot of things that need to stay between Dr. Mind and I and as more comes out I seem to be more and more upset and occasionally I say something that should be angry except that I know that emotion should be there and instead I have no real emotion.  Sarcasm in my notes sometimes, but I think I'm on the brink of learning angry.  This is going to make Monday's counseling hard.

Please pray that I can eat.  I just don't want to and today I've had a few glasses of milk (the only thing that is good), a yogurt cup at 4 AM when the cat demanded breakfast, a few spoonfuls of macaroni salad and a few peanut butter crackers.  Oh, and a banana.  Not good.

Anyway, I'm going to see if I can get to a point in this diary where I can put it down without having more nightmares.

Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I'm glad I believe in God

Dr. Mind has prayed several times for me to have the tools I need to do this.

I inherited my grandma's diaries.  They are my grandma's edited version of truth, but they do help me find out things like I was 8 months old when the molestation began, nearly certainly.

Here's the thing.  At one time diaries from every year from 1930-1980something existed.  By the time I inherited the diaries I had 1930-33, then nothing until the 60s when my father and his brothers were adults.  There were some other missing ones.

I just went looking for 1978/1979.  First I found a notebook of jotted wisdom I've never seen before, then a handwritten recipe book.  Then I found the 1945 diary.  I don't know how to say that I have not had this diary before. I've read them all.  This diary has miraculously appeared and I am praying it will have answers.  Then 1979 appeared and I don't think I had it before either.

I don't know what to say but God.  (And that the dr. made my grandma quit nursing because my uncle was gaining weight too fast on breastmilk.  Crazy).

Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Not quite CNN

I suspect the news is heavily covering this story but in case they aren't, a father (a young father) found a man molesting his 4 (5? I've seen both) daughter, beat the crap out of him and at the end the molester was dead of head trauma.  I think this speaks of adrenaline but it would take an amazing punch to kill someone without having an object in your hand.

But they are running a quote as the headline.  The quote is from a resident of the town and is this:
"Any father would have done that,"
Not true.  Sadly, not so true.

This was what finally triggered some of the emotional stuff we've been waiting for.  So I'm stopping this post and we'll see if I feel like coming back eventually or not.  If you see this please pray, if you do that, that I get lots of the bad stuff out.  I've been sobbing to the point of not even being able to breathe for about an hour now so something certainly happened.

I wonder if I can write this man a thank you note.  I am actually serious as I think about it.  Hmmm....

Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Friday, June 15, 2012

Really neat (and really NOT)

I've written a few times about how the Christian band Selah has had such a positive impact on me as I am adjusting to well, everything.  A while back I sent an email just thanking them for sharing a perspective that you don't always get from Christian music, which sometimes it very close to the painful "You aren't doing it right if your life is hard" attitude.  Today, to my surprise and delight I got this:

Jen, thank you so much for writing me.  I haven't checked this email in a while because I'm so busy with Josiah, but today I had a few minutes. I was so moved by your email. I just sat here crying for you.  I'm so sorry that people hurt you and made you feel like you weren't good enough for God; I'm so sorry that you've struggled so much with your health; and I'm so sorry that you're having to lay down your career at the cross.  That being said, I really feel like God has something so great in store for you. We all often go through periods of putting God on the back burner, but when we finally start to put Him first and really seek His will for our lives, that's when He can do so much with us. 

I really hope you can come to the concert in OH, I would love to meet you.  

Please keep me posted as the date comes closer, so I can be looking for you, should you decide to come. And don't let your inability to sit still hinder you from coming out.  Just come. Like God says, Just come as you are, and He'll take care of the rest.

As in, I got a personal response to the only fan letter I'm likely to ever send.  I am so thrilled.  It came when I most needed it too.

I'm fighting hard with I continue to feel nothing about the sexual abuse.  It makes me sad but really feels like it was someone else.  I usually cry near the end of the tape when Dr. Mind talks about it not being my fault.  However, the rest of it is so distant and it feels so weird to be so unemotional even while reminding myself that this story is talking about ME.  I have no feelings.  I'm not sure I can even identify what feelings are supposed to be there.  Anyway, it is discouraging and frustrating.  I feel like I'm going to be going back to Dr. Mind and admitting defeat.  Which isn't true.  Since he's here this coming week and then gone for a  week I know he's not going to throw me into some new way of shaking the protective coating off but I also know that not only do I need that and that I'll probably just have to wait out the time he is gone.  Possibly I will be continue to listen to the tape.  I know that I have pulled myself so far from this because every other time I've struggled greatly with insomnia at first and generally have been totally isolated from everything but that set of thoughts for days.  This is much harder and I'm showing no signs of getting it.

The only sign that this is at all hard is a tension headache.  I was going to take a walk but then I needed my headache medicine and I had no idea if I would be really sleepy from it.  Turns out I didn't.  I was surprised because I took it last night and it did make me sleepy.  But although I'm a bit tired I'm awake.  So now I know I can take easy walks with that stuff.  I know I have to watch for my blood pressure to lower with this and since it is a muscle relaxant I also need to be careful of hurting my ankle.  But on the plus side I think we can be sure these are tension.  The eye dr. said it wasn't my vision.  And the headaches have increased each time I've started a new story.  (And Miss I'm-not-sleepy yawned as hard as possible).

And to demonstrate that I may be getting fancy emails but my life is less than glamorous, I just had to clean up cat puke that had enough weirdness I had to get a plastic knife and poke through it to see what on earth it was (looked like a huge worm).  Don't know other than she ate something she shouldn't have. Again.

Anyway, interesting day and I also am having trouble typing because I am so sleepy.  Have a good night.

Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Nothing. I have no feelings.

OK, my computer just ate my post.  Quick version now, more tomorrow.  Dr. Mind read my story, plus prayed, plus added his own thing at the end.  I felt nothing.  I feel emotions try to stir and then I run away from them.  I am completely unsure that I will ever get this.  Even today Dr. Mind noted that I did not talk about feeling almost anything, mostly confusion comes up a lot and a little fear regarding threats that were made to shut me up.  This is going to be a long row.  I'm going to have to try hard to get Dr. Mind to make me stick to it until I can feel something because I don't think this is going to go away unless I can feel something and preferably feel something that I can verbalize.  Regardlesss tonight I'm find although I forget my homework.  It blurs in my mind with something about the 23rd Psalm which is also unclear.  We'll have to try that Monday.

I'm actually acting sleepy so I'll write more tomorrow.
Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I may have a slight issue

I keep writing about people being called mentally ill for bad behavior.  Now I am going to revisit a topic that was much more of an issue when I was diagnosed.  There is a tendency for illnesses to go through spurts of popularity.  I think that sometimes it is because many illnesses, especially mental illnesses are a bit like horoscopes; you can see yourself in it easily because we all have some characteristics.  It's kind of like my OCD.  I sort of meet the diagnostic criteria.  But for the most part I do not have OCD, I have characteristics and so that is considered with treatment but I don't have a diagnosis.  Sometimes the popularity is simply because it is something the doctors feel is treatable.  When I was diagnosed new treatments for bipolar were popping out everywhere and so were people diagnosed with it.  I used to get so frustrated by people who were insistent that they had bipolar yet if you got them to be more specific they didn't have anything that went along with the diagnosis.  They might have cylcothymia (mood swings), but they were telling me they had mixed episodes, which is the hardest part of my illness and a characteristic that is not particularly common.  Mixed episodes mean that you are experiencing mania and depression simultaneously.  Those who read often have seen my mood change 5 times in a post and they are usually when clarity is poor.  Mixed periods are when I have the greatest difficulty writing and talking and I have a history of rage during these times although that's under control.   Mixed episodes on are the equivilant with psychosis/are a form of psychosis/include psychosis.  They are why I am bipolar I instead of bipolar II.  To give you an idea Dr. Brain has told me before that mixed episodes are one of the hardest things people go through.  They are not part of most cases of bipolar, especially not the cases where people are living a normal life off medication, just feel moody and notice some energy fluctuations.  (I think that mixed epsidoes have replaced what used to annoy me greatly which was everyone wanted to be the most rapid cycler on the planet.  By definition rapid cycling means 4 episodes per year or more.  I can cycle multiple times in one therapy session.  Not trying to say I win, just saying that I have one level of bipolar and then there are other levels, but that my characteristics make my disease severe.

Bipolar is nearly always diagnosed in the early twenties if it is significant.  The guru was shocked that it took me until age 26 but that was a series of misdiagnoses and not very good doctors; It was clear by I think age 24 and if I did not have PTSD and had been more honest it would have been caught at 21.  That doesn't mean some people don't make it through for one reason or another, but if you have a significant case you are probably going to begin having difficulty functioning.  True mixed episodes are extremely difficult to function through and in fact a continuing education class I took last year stated that people experiencing mixed episodes usually need to be hospitalized.  I laughed because if I were hospitalized with every mixed episode I'd be living in the hospital.

I read today about someone a couple years younger than me who was diagnosed with mixed bipolar.  She functions completely normally although she does seem to like to have some form of medical drama (for most of the 5 years I've occasionally read her blog).  I can see the bipolar.  I also can see mild bipolar, cyclothyrmia or maybe bipolar 2.  But bipolar II does not contain mixed episodes although there is some discussion on that.  BP II can be more severe than BPI in some cases, if the BPI is very infrequently an issue and the BPII is consistent.  But just like when I was diagnosed and half the world was diagnosed with bipolar it is not good when these criteria are over used because it makes it harder for me to get care for my real, honest-to-goodness mixed episodes.  If I go through my whole "BP I with mixed episodes and rapid cycling; PTSD; GAD" thing people (medical ones) should know what I mean.  But because people have thrown around all these technical words that belong solely to those of us who have had our lives destroyed completely (because the point is that if you have mixed you have a major issue) by bipolar people take me less seriously.  And if I'm saying my mood is changing then I mean it.

I'm not putting this person down or anyone else.  I know that I have a severe case of this.  Even Social Security thinks so. But that doesn't mean I'm thinking anyone else's experience is lesser.  I just want experiences to be correctly identified and when numerous people are told they have symptoms that are beyond what they really have when the diagnostic criteria are used it messes things up.  Having said that the criteria for this is about to dastically change in the next year.

This is probably something I shouldn't publish; I don't want anyone to misunderstand.  I just hate that the things that define my disorder and explain why I can't work get tossed around by people with another form of the illness that allows them to function.  I am however sad because I watched a video about the loss of dreams and it made me sob.  Someday we may need to go back to that in therapy.  I lost so much and was far too sick to talk about how that felt.

Don't know what tomorrow will bring.  It's the "big day" with Dr. Mind so we'll see how I feel.  Right now I actually feel tired and ok, although I've chewed my lips raw and my head is covered in itchy scabs because of picking/pulling out hair.

Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Therapy decision

To my surprise I got another relatively easy session Monday.  I only cried once and that was only a few tears.  Important stuff was said, but there wasn't any major trauma.  Dr. Mind let me decide what I wanted to do, more or less.  Which meant that I had to admit that I WANT to learn to say those things with anger and that it felt good to hear him do it.  We have only 3 sessions before his vacation; I decided I was comfortable with that if we divide this into 2 stories, essentially abuser 1 and abuser 2.  I admitted that I am still not able to read it with feeling and that I think I need to listen to him doing so.  So he is going to do that Thursday and I am probably going to cry hard.  In fact I suspect I'll be crying a lot for the next couple weeks.  But if at the end I am able to say "that makes me angry" or even better SHOW I am angry if you don't know to watch my facial expression for subtle changes.

I did get him to give me some idea of where I am now.  I can't tell; I don't have the memory to compare to sick months and I am certainly not close to how I was in July 2011, even when one takes into account that I wasn't at my best then.  He doesn't know, obviously, what to really expect.  He thinks I'll feel better.  He does not think that I will get to do everything I want to do, meaning work.  Which is funny since the day I was praying and became aware that God was firmly saying I wasn't going to be able to be a clinician anymore I really have not felt any desire to do that anymore.  I know all too well how stressed it made me/I made me, because the only way for me to do that is to put everything into it.  And even working a few hours per week would not keep me from throwing myself into it too hard.  One of the things that I'm shocked by because I never paid attention before is that when I write those 11 years posts I remember thousands of patients over the years.  Many I remember a lot of details.  Often what I can't do it put a name to a face.  But all those years I was evaluating patients and treating them as well as supervising assistants and I had to know their patients too.  I often had 40 patients I was responsible for, and often that would mean a phone call question and so I needed to know quite a bit about my patients.  It adds up to a tremendous number of people.  I certainly don't remember everyone but I remember enormous quantities of them.  Often they were more on paper than in person which is why I don't remember faces, but I do remember more than I thought possible.  I even remember having once 2 "John Does" in 2 buildings.  Both were about the same age, both were in wheelchairs, both had Parkinson's disease.  I had to tell my assistants and mark both charts that if they called with a question about these men they had to be extremely specific because it was too much to keep straight.  You have to memorize like that because thanks to HIPPAA I wasn't able to keep my own chart that went with me that had basics on my caseload.  If I hadn't been able to do that my first year or two I wouldn't have made it since I was supervising at 6 locations and I think 4 assistants, or 5.  Anyway, I believe that a good therapist provides what is needed, even if that is extra time, socialization with treatment, or long periods of family education.  That was something I loved about my last job; that was the expectation, not something they got mad about.  If I spent 2 hours with someone I just had to make sure my other visits for the week were completed.  Another reason I know that I probably am out of my clinical skills that I think are vital is that writing this blog is hard and I don't have to remember technical terms (I get stuck on regular words frequently) and I don't have to recall huge quantities of information accurately, nor do I have to write so that Medicare can trace every thought, action, response, and analysis in my head during the hour or hour and a half I'm with the patient.  I've told Dr. Mind I don't think I'll go back.  He doesn't believe me.  But I'm very serious; I'll happily admit I was wrong in a few years if that's true, but somehow I think I'll be doing something else that is not medical.  So he's saying that I am not going to be able to work the way I want and truthfully I just want to find some simple job that isn't a long time commitment each week and I want to just make a few hundred dollars per month.  That will let me have some spare money instead of being on the verge of broke.  I'm hoping to maybe do some online teaching.  But even that is a while off because until I have Medicare I can't afford to work.  If I do then I'll lose my free medications.  And there's no way I will make enough to pay out of pocket for those.

Anyway, speaking of my mind wandering while writing, I seem to have landed far from where I started.  What I was trying to say is that he seems to thin I'm improving, which is true, but that it is still precarious and I am still working my way out of the mud.  My suicidal issues last week while handled well and were the first time in a long time that happened are still "significant".  I take that to mean I will get my meds back in about 20 years.  I'm actually glad we had the conversation simply for that.  Last week I was so agitated I think he was trying to just be a calming presence and so my scared admission that I'd managed to scare myself and needed to do more to manage suicide than I have in some time, and that the tylenol was not yet safe for me to have.  I don't know what changes suicidal behaviors into going away.  I keep asking questions and nobody wants to give me a full answer.  Understandable but frustrating.  And it's not like it's a good idea for me to start reading about it.

Anyway, my computer is being weird and I need to get all these meds away from me (just filled pill boxes).

More tomorrow when the anxiety is certain to increase.  I finally hit on one reason I have struggled so much with this.  Not using benzos to limit the response is fine.  But I have been treated for anxiety with benzos for so long and not getting overly anxious is so hard on me that I've been supposed to use benzos to prevent me from getting too upset.  So first we upset me, knowing that my body is fragile about this and that my body is not use to any stimulants, including simple caffeine and that we've noted before I seem to have an extra response to adrenaline because of the no caffeine thing, and then add in 11 years of consistent benzo use and it's not surprising my body is a bit sensitive.

Just got an email from my mom.  She just got home.  I'm glad I stayed until 6 and I'm very glad I put her sheets on her bed.  Having to do that now would be rotten after hours of travel with an active toddler.

Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com

If someone does something you don't like, search for mental illness. Any mental illness.

Last remote post for now.
I just posted about everyone in the blog scams being called all kinds of mentally ill and hearing all sorts of "lock 'em up" comments that sting.  Well, here's a new one:
Notice that they couldn't even get someone to comment, they just pulled a few quotes off WebMD.  Histrionic personality disorder does not create child molesters.  There is not a single mental illness that does.  Yes, I believe someone has some problem to molest children and yet I do not think it is mental illness.  Mental illness does not make someone do something. The majority of the time the molester has done a geat deal of planning that just isn't possible with psychosis.  I am 100% certain of this having had psychotic symptoms.  Mine aren't even that bad relatively and I lose abilities to function normally.   A person who is psychotic and hallucinating may do what the hallucinations tell them to do and I suppose that could be molest a child.  But chances are prettty good that a person who is hallucinating/psychotic doesnt have the capacity to plan how to do this repeatedly or even to avoid rapidly being caught.  The simple truth is that pedophilia would be a diagnosis if it were an illness.  And as far as a personality disorder goes, well, they may cause the person to behave inappropiately but the person is in full control of their actions.   "ooh, I want attention" is a far cry from what is involved in molesting a child.
There are things that I do/have done that were my illness, not my choice.  But every one of things is somethig that I remain responsible for and I have apologized to a lot of peope for making bad decisions when handling something while manic.  Now I am generally able to not react until I have some time to settle down, but aside from doing things when psychotic they are still my responsibility.
This is truly the dumbest defense ever, and it once again is a case of mental illness is made to look bad, despite the fact that the vast majority of people with mental illnesses hurt nobody.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I am at my mom's for a few days to petsit.  For some reason my computer won't connect to the internet even though 6 weeks ago it did so without difficulty.  So I am posting via email and really have little to say.
I saw Dr. Brain yesterday; as soon as i finish PTSD therapy we will try to medicate me into better sleep patterns.  I hope it works.  I would love to go back to my old 11-4 sleeping although I suspect that won't happen.  Without pushing so hard to function I probably will sleep more.
I'm working on making some bibs for a cousin who is having a baby shower soon.  I had a bunch already cut out, plus one that is nearly done and one that is close.  So that helps.  I feel unsure of myself sewing and so even though I'm not near the actual sewing part I'm finding I am anxious about it.  The part I'm on now really couldn't be easier except that I am having trouble finding something I like for the last bib.  It will happen, this always happened with Anne's bibs too.
I am so tired from yesterday.  I had 5 hours of driving plus my appointment with Dr. Brain then I had to bring in a lot of stuff here (4 day stay and the sewing is at a stage that a lot of stuff is required.)  The room I use is upstairs and tends to get really hot.  So I spent a long time trying to get it cooled down.  Today I'm fighting as it it gets warmer and that seems to be working better.  I hope.  My cat is stuck up there and I don't want her to get too hot.   And I prefer to sleep when i can breathe.  The point though was supposed to be that it is really amazing to me out easily I get tired.  I know it's not sleeping but it is still weird; I've had patients over 100 years old with more energy than I often have.
Really not much to say.  Tomorrow will make it up I'm sure; I have an eye doctor appointment, a stop to feed my cat, drive to Dr. Mind, an aniticpated hard session, drive back here.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Internet Scammers are not mentally ill by default

Three years ago and 2 days ago Michal, who I didn't know at the time, and I both prayed through days that lead from weeks and months of prayers.  The prayers were for a young Christian woman who had become pregnant out of wedlock, by a man who was not a Christian.  The baby was diagnosed in utero with 2 fatal conditions.  My medical knowledge gave me buzzes of "not right" but I let them go.  The woman's blog gained reader's incredibly quickly (it later turned out that she had been posting comments directing people to her site EVERYWHERE.)  Her pregnancy wasn't expected to last very much longer than 32 weeks, with the blog starting at 30-32 weeks.  Suddenly many ads appeared.  She was tricky though.  She set up things like a weekly list of prayers so that if you clicked out to a blog and then came back you'd earn her more clicks and more advertising money.  And then this "no way the baby will live to term" pregnancy reached 42 weeks.  Under pressure she gave birth at home.  A series of posts appeared after the birth about nasty comments and the blog disappeared.  The day I googled April Rose scam and immediately hit many, many pages of information I was stunned.  I didn't want to believe it, just like I didn't want to believe my medical hunches.  I finally read enough to be convinced.  Eventually there was a news article and an interview where somehow she came out looking like an anti-abortion advocate and said she started writing as a way to deal with a prior pregnancy loss and then couldn't believe her audience.  Having arrived from a comment somewhere on her 2nd post that was patently false. An apology that wasn't an apology was on the blog, off the blog, on the blog and constantly adapted.  But it's hard to believe someone is a creep.  How do I know this?

For me (and Michal) and many other people it was very hard to let this go without knowing everything possible.  It's hard to put emotion into something then find out it was all manipulation.  So both of us wound up on a blog that delved deeply into trying to show exactly who and what the person who did all this was.  This blog was addictive.  There was drama, there were always promises of more excitement, there was always a chance to be one of the author's "favorite readers".  Then suddenly some mean blogs went up about the blogger and she shut down, writing about how she had learned she liked blogging and would do so again.  She promised a wrap-up post of information still not given.  And she promised that she would send people who requested the information on discs as soon as possible.  And then to my knowledge she was never heard from again.

There's a third blogger who I started reading 4 or 5 years ago.  Back then she just had a blog.  In the last few years she became well known after yet another round of prayer requests went around the world for first her unborn son with a heart condition believed to be incompatible with life, then who was miraculously fine, then very sick through a couple procedures and now is fine.  During her son's illness she changed from the "just writing" person I'd started reading to someone out to do anything to increase her ad revenue.  I quit reading there in disgust probably right around the time of the first scam.  (Who, by the way, I found through blogger 3).

One night recently I checked in on the 3rd blogger and found she's in the midst of some sad times.  Yet all I could think on her blog was "commercial".  While reading about some of what was then clearly a big plot to make money often using her kids as well as lying a lot to her readers, I found reference to the name of blogger 2.  I clicked.  Turns out she's another scammer.  Blogger 3, in the meantime I continued to read because I just can't even understand the financial decisions and lies that her blog has been about from the beginning.

Blogger 2, I eventually discovered, lied numerous times during the time we read her blog so avidly.  I pulled it up on reader (can't access it otherwise) and realized that she just pulled everyone along with her, creating drama, never telling a whole story, never, ever providing evidence that she continued to state she had.  Then I found her first blog from about 3 years prior to when we "met" and found more lies and inconsistencies that made me think that she had made up some of the props for the drama effect on her own blog.  Now she had pulled of her own medical scam.

And now.  I read a couple weeks ago about a blogger whose children's pictures had been stolen and used as siblings on an extensive facebook network about a young child with cancer.  Thankfully I'd never been trapped in this one.  The picture of the child with cancer was also discovered to be stolen, as did the other 6 or 7 siblings as well as daddy to all and adoptive mommy to all plus she was pregnant.  "Mommy" was in a horrible car accident a few weeks ago and was brain dead.  She lived long enough for the baby to be delivered and then died.  And then apparently the scam fell down again.  Today I've read some about it.  The scammer is a 22 year old who lives in Ohio, in a town I'm not sure of.  She allegedly attended this medical school in my general vicinity (Dr. Body used to teach with them) that is a combination college/med school in 6 years? (I think) deal.  You have to be very smart to get in.  A number of doctors I've seen at Cleveland Clinic have come there for residency after graduating from that place.  I just drove by it 8 days ago.  Vagely she's on leave from there.  The truly incredible thing is that she has been running this scam which involved at least 100 made-up identities, plus much time mailing packets and individual bracelets and ribbons for support, since she was a teenager, possibly as far back as 11 although I can't see that.  Her identities conversed on facebook and IM'd people, sometimes 2 of her "people" were IM'ing in separate chats at the same time.  The comments are the same as those made when scam #1 in this story was found.  Horror, shock, desire for her to be punished, nowhere to turn.

And in all of these cases the thread holding them together:  Immediately everyone calls the scammer mentally ill, wants to force treatment, make comments about "If I were her parent I'd take to a psych unit and leave her".   First off, for those who feel they need to say that, never gonna happen.  First, psych hospitals are for people who are at risk of killing themself or others or experiencing treatments that can't be done outpatient, like a few of my med issues my first 2 admissions.  Second, if you parked your daughter at the psych unit and left she'd stare at a very tightly locked OUTSIDE of a door.  They don't take drop-offs.  It's not a dry cleaner.  A psych admission is generally done through an ER or occasionally how I have done it, with my psychiatrist calling the unit and saying "Jen needs hospitalized, can you take her".

Most importantly, people do horrible things.  Christians call it sin.  Others call it other things that I'm too tired to think of (karma? evil?).  Doing something awful does not make you mentally ill.  You may have a mental illness contributing to what you are doing, but that's going to tend to be a personality disorder.  Those are not even close to bipolar and schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorders, or severe depression, which are what hospitals treat.  People who run these scams are not likely to have a severe mental illness because they are far too organized and much different in how they think than someone with severe mental illness (remember, I have a lot of clinical experience with this as well as my personal experience and knowing other mentally ill people).  The only really effective treatments for them are psychotherapy.  And even that isn't always very effective.  These are sadly broken people.  They do HORRIBLE things.  I was spitting tacks when I found out about blogger 2 and some of what blogger 3 has done.  But in general the entire "theye need to be locked up in a psych unit"; "they need an intervention"; "they need to be in a psych ward for a LONG time", those comments are, well, unfair to those of us who do need that kind of care and also it leaves stigma.  I can promise you, not once in my mental illness nor in anyone mentally ill I know has that kind of scam come to mind.  I had one patient who faked paralysis for years along with other things and HE might have done something like this had he been willing to move but he had a personality disorder or 2 or 3.  And it's not that these people don't need and deserve help, it's just that everyone leaps to a conclusion that makes the vast majority of severely mentally ill people look bad.  Bipolar/schozophrenia do not make one lie and manipulate.  It makes it much harder to do so.

And it really hurts to constantly read people's perceptions of what mental illness causes people to do.

(And I swear that I am not a scam blogger!)
Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com