Fun and Frolic in the Woods

Today I went out with my friend Brenda to eat some Italian and then check out the body dump site. Well, it isn’t a body dump site yet, but it will be in my next Rayne Fallon story. So I thought I would share the pics we took with you. My imagination is booming. I don’t even have a new Rayne story on my to-do list for the foreseeable future. That may have to change though. Anyway, the pics:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I also found a large piece of quartz rock that spoke to me and brought home a laurel branch.

On a side note, I was my authentic self today. I normally dress according to the people I am going to be around. With Brenda, it is usually t-shirts, jeans and tennis shoes. She’s a tomboy and likes to frolic in the woods quite often. I just didn’t feel like t-shirts and jeans today. So instead, I wore a pair of black skinny jeans, a purplish-red crushed velvet, long-sleeved top, and black suede hiking boots. I also painted my nails in the same color as my top, put on make-up, and adorned my wrists with lots of bracelets. For the first time in about 5 years, I felt more like myself. It felt wonderful just to be me.

Advertisements

Thoughts on Being an Intellectual Snob

I admit it freely. I am an intellectual snob. As I sit in my room listening to programs like Democracy Now! and watching historical documentaries on Netflix, I have to wear my earphones and turn the volume up full blast. Why? My father prefers programs like The Jerry Springer Show and wrestling where people do and say outrageous things just to get attention and their five minutes of fame, and since he is hearing-impaired, he turns the volume up as high as it will go (the kitchen, where he watches tv, and my bedroom are on the same floor level). My father (and my brother) find these programs entertaining,  and laugh and joke about the stupidity of it all. Personally, I find it vulgar and distasteful and see no entertainment value from it at all.

This just further emboldens me to ponder how I ended up in this family. Was I adopted? No. Switched at birth? Not possible. The family resemblance is remarkable. Somehow, my brain became attracted to facts, figures and boring details. I think the section of my brain where humor dwells is damaged. Well, maybe not entirely. I love wit, satire and intellectual jokes. Actually, I love math jokes the most.

Hahahaha.. they kill me, they really do. Anyway, just needed to rant a bit as I was finding it impossible to hear Democracy Now! with the sound of people screaming and bleeping every  few second coming from the kitchen. Lucky for you, my readers… or perhaps not.

Final Thoughts on the Election

This is The. Last. Time. I will use this blog for anything political. In fact, I am cutting ties with all news for the foreseeable future. I won’t read it and I certainly won’t listen to it. If it sounds like I am apathetic, I am not. I am saving myself from four years of triggers from a Narcissist. That’s what Trump is and since I lived with one for 13 years, I know exactly how he is going to treat this nation.

Here are some traits of Narcissism:

  1. They don’t show their true selves. In fact, they wear many masks and change them rapidly to be whomever they think someone wants them to be at any given point. This is not to benefit YOU. It only benefits THEM. It is part of their “charm” package. It’s how they reel people in.
  2. They don’t incorporate security into relationships. Instead, they like to keep you on your toes, guessing their next move. This is crazy-making and they are masters at it. You will never feel safe.
  3. They never allow you to see them as the bad guy. In other words, they are always the good guy because they always blame YOU.
  4. They don’t like to lose control. Narcissists are control freaks and they will do whatever it takes to stay in control. If they lose control, they get extremely angry and you become the target of the rage, even if you weren’t the cause of the loss of control.
  5. They won’t let people prove them wrong. They will argue that they are right until you begin to believe it too. They will deflect, defend, make up lies, and follow you around making their point until you either agree or pass out from exhaustion.
  6. They don’t see others as equals. They see themselves as the greatest, the smartest, the best at everything they do or say. If you try to prove yourself as their equal, they will destroy your life by any means possible.
  7. They never have sympathy.  They can feign something that looks like sympathy, part of not showing their true selves, but make no mistake, they have no true sympathy or empathy. They will laugh while you cry. They won’t care how hurt you are or how much pain you are in. If it doesn’t concern them, they won’t care.
  8. They don’t do anything that doesn’t benefit them. Did they buy you something nice? They want something. Did they compliment you? They want something. They are always looking for what can give them the most benefit or the best deal. If you give them what they want, you’ve opened yourself up to abuse because eventually, they will come collecting.
  9. They don’t take orders from others. This is because they think they know everything and you are so insignificant that you cannot possibly contribute anything new.
  10. They don’t like to admit they have feelings. Many people say they have no feelings, but you can bet they do. They are actually more fragile than you are and more capable of covering up their weakness. Slights can turn them into raging maniacal madmen/women.
  11. They don’t listen. They are just waiting for you to shut up so they can make it all about them. What they want to say and what you will have to listen to. Remember, they already think they know everything.
  12. They either don’t stick around, or they will get rid of you if they become bored. So long as you entertain them on some level, they are there. The moment you stop, they are out of there. They love and crave attention.
  13. They don’t pick unattractive friends. Those closest to a narcissist will usually be quite beautiful and of the upper-crust of society, at least as far up as they can get. It has to benefit them in some way.
  14. They don’t normally give compliments. Instead, they prefer to be complimented. If they do compliment you, they want something in return.
  15. They don’t like to be polite. In fact, they speak their minds no matter how rude or demeaning their words are. Since they are far superior to everyone else, they do not need to abide by polite society’s rules.

Do any of those sounds like Trump? If you think so, be prepared to be collectively abused for the next four years. Right now, he is infatuated with all the idolization he has received in his rallies. He will lovebomb the American people for a while, so long as they keep feeding his ego. If he is called out for misbehavior, he will gaslight us as he has throughout his campaign by denying facts, deflecting, and continuing to lie no matter how much evidence is stacked against him. This is to make the American people second guess whether there was something there there.

I lived with the anxiety and crazy-making for 13 years. When I finally escaped that life, my nerves calmed down. However, this election cycle, especially in the last 6 months, has only heightened my anxiety. I was definitely triggered. I cannot afford to be engaged in this nightmare of a world the US is about to embark upon. For my own sanity, I have to let go. I will continue to be an advocate for Mental Health, but not in a political way.

So, this is me, signing off on politics. Disengaging from the crazy-making to come. Good luck, America. You asked for this with your vote.

FYI – Neuropathy Awareness

If you see me stumbling down the street, NO I am not drunk. Please do not call the police on me or mock me. I have a serious health condition, a dirty little secret that few want to talk about – NEUROPATHY.

Unfortunately I could only find statistics going back to 2012, which means the numbers are probably higher, but even these numbers are staggering.

~ 20 million people with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (source: US Dept. of Heath & Human Services)
~ 86 million with pre-diabetes who are at risk for developing DPN (source: American Diabetes Assoc);
~ 21.5 million pre-diabetics have peripheral neuopathy (source:Neuropathy in Pre Diabetes Study);
~ 230,000-575,000 with HIV-neuropathy, or 20-50% of HIV patients (source: CDC);
~ 420,000 with chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, or 30% of cancer survivors (source: American Cancer Society);
~ 125,000 with Charcot-Marie Tooth hereditary neuropathy (source: CDC).

My neuropathy is two-fold. It began with diabetes. Just some tingling in the toes, nothing too serious and I was working to control my diabetes. And then in 2012-13, I underwent chemo for uterine cancer. The neuropathy quadrupled in my feet and went into my hands as well. Today, my hands aren’t affected much, but in my feet, it has worsened and crawled half way up my calves.

Neuropathy is a real health issue and it is immensely painful. Some people, like me, cannot take the drugs on the market to minimize the pain because of side-effects or because insurance won’t pay for them. And our suffering gets marginalized by those who’ve never felt the stinging burning or ice pick pain in the middle of the night. The alternating hot and cold of our feet and hands. Heat that only burns on the inside even though our feet and hands are icy cold to the touch. Cold that feels like someone has put your feet or hands into a fire and you expect them to be burnt, but there is only cold flesh. And then there are the itching, sharp jabs and the pinpricks, all isolated to one single location, but you cannot get it to stop, not by scratching or slapping the spot. No, it continues until it is done and you are just left feeling crazy in the head. It’s the jerking that really freaks me out and wakes me in the middle of the night. And I ask myself, just as so many have asked me… If my feet are numb, why is there so much pain?

So I was drawn to write this today because I watched a woman stumbling in the grocery store. She had a cane, but I could tell that her mind didn’t know where her feet were stepping. A passing shopper commented loudly to her companion, “They shouldn’t let drunks in the grocery store.” The companion said just as loudly, “Maybe I should call the police.” The woman shook her cane at them and said, “I am not drunk, you idiots. I have neuropathy in my feet!” The two hurried away down the aisle. I smiled and nodded at the woman and simply said, “Me too.”

I write this to simply ask for your awareness. Not everyone stumbling down the street or dropping things in a store is drunk. They could very well have neuropathy. They deserve our compassion and empathy, not our disdain and mockery.

 

 

Confessions and Thoughts on Hate

I have a confession to make. My family is racist.

This is hard to confess because I’ve always been an inclusive person. I believe in diversity and that all races should be treated equally.

It’s hard living in a household where the N-word is thrown around far too often. Just today, it was used twice. Once by my brother in relations to Black players in the NFL and once by my dad in reference to a Black player attempting to steal a base during a MLB game. They know how I feel about the use of that word, but since when has anything I care about deterred them? Never. Racism is embedded deeply in their hearts and nothing I say or do prevents them from being racists.

I have another confession. They are also anti-gay.

My family knows that I am bisexual and support LGBTQ rights. That doesn’t stop them from throwing around the word “faggot” often. Just recently, my dad said that he didn’t like Tim Kaine (the Virginia Senator who is now Hillary Clinton’s VP pick). Not because of Kaine’s politics, but because in my dad’s eyes, Kaine looks like a “faggot”. That’s his only reason for disliking the man. Doesn’t matter that Kaine is a straight man who is married and has children. Nope. Not in my dad’s eyes.

I’ve heard racial slurs and anti-gay sentiment in my household all of my life. I’ve even heard it from extended family members (aunts, uncles, cousins). Living with these people, hearing their disdain for anyone who doesn’t look just like them, has always caused me deep pain. I’ve spoken up, but my words fall on deaf ears. One of my cousins even called me a Commie for my inclusiveness. What she fails to understand is that Communists are not inclusive people either. The proper words would have been a Liberal Socialist, but you cannot tell some people facts.

And now the news is filled with hate, racism, bigotry, misogyny and anti-gay sentiments on a daily basis thanks to the recklessness of Trump’s campaign. These people are crawling out from under their hate-filled rocks in droves. Hatred is fueling violence everywhere in this country.

I am finding myself retreating more and more to my spiritual base. I have to surround myself with crystals, meditate, and practice Ho’oponopono constantly. This isn’t just the sin, evilness, or whatever you want to call it, of a few; we are all responsible. Collectively, we cannot continue to allow such hatefulness to thrive. We have to speak up about it and never stop fighting against it. Love must always triumph over hate.

Back Again – Maybe? Hopefully?

It feels strange to be here again after my long absence. Almost like being an intruder on my own blog. I am not ready yet to get back to writing creatively, but I thought that perhaps I might be up to doing some kind of journal writing. I’ve mostly enjoyed doing The Sandbox Challenge, the Friendship Challenge and the Creative Questions, so I will be catching up on those in the upcoming days as I feel up to writing.

This will be slow-going as my mind is so heavily sedated these days. Unfortunately, this is one of the side-effects of psych meds for me and why I have fought for so long not to take them. I lost that battle recently and am back on the meds. Due to the medication, the voices of my muses are not only muffled, but… well, the only way to describe the feeling is that they are on the other side of a wormhole that I cannot get through. Every time I try to cross that threshold, the wormhole collapses. It isn’t merely fog. It’s a universe away. That probably makes little sense to most people, but it is the only way I can describe it.

So, in the upcoming days, I will be doing some journal writing and trying to salvage my mind. Perhaps just writing something, anything again will bridge the gap I need to get back into creative writing.

Fessin’ Up Time

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about the relationship that I have with my ‘selfish’ friend Lisa and the demands that she puts on me. As some of you know, the reason I started the Hump Day Poetry thing on A Whispered Wind was because Lisa issued me a challenge. In some ways, it was indeed a challenge, but in other ways, it was more of a guilt-induced demand. She saw that I had writing goals lined up for the entire year – some fiction and some poetry. She much prefers my poetry to my fiction and grumbled about how little poetry I would actually be writing this upcoming year. I tried to explain to her that it was difficult for me to switch back and forth between a fiction mindset and a poetic mindset, so if I was writing fiction, I wouldn’t be writing much poetry. She used the “what about me?” card. But if I truly loved her, I would write poetry, just for her. And that’s when she came up with the idea of me taking one day of the week to write a poem just for her. Reluctantly, I agreed.

I should have said no. I know my writing schedule for the year. I know the demands it will be making on me. I know how switching back and forth is difficult for me. So why did I agree? Partly because I didn’t want to hear her whine about how I didn’t love her enough to do this for her once a week. And partly because my word for the year is Abundance and I made a promise to myself that when opportunities came knocking, I would rise to the occasion. Especially if they were writing related. Still, I should have said no. What started out as a whimsical endeavor has become a soul-sucking one. I dread every Wednesday that rolls around. I become moody and dark, and these emotions last for several days. I don’t want to talk to her on the phone and I don’t want to read her emails. I’ve grown to resent her for pushing this on me.

So when I wrote last week’s poem, it encompassed everything that I’ve felt about writing these poems just for her each week – all of the anger, frustration and resentment. After reading it, she sent me this message late that Wednesday:

Well are you really have trouble in
finding the words that you can write
a poem each week sorry to hear this
& I will release you from writing a poem
just one more & you are free as a bird.

And this is where my frustration has grown. Knowing that I am struggling, knowing how I feel, she still wants one more.. one more before she releases me from this challenge.

So I expressed my concerns about this with my friend Claire and she gave me this to think over:

You did tell me you were diagnosed “borderline personality” right? Remember common borderline reaction/behavior: Snap judgment ~ snap-pullout from relationship to save oneself ~ running scared, resulting in abandonment of a friend who may (or, granted, may not) have your best interests at heart.

Ask yourself these questions:

Did you offer to help? even insist??
Is this how she has taken advantage?
Look closely, deeply…

So I’ve been doing as she suggested. And here is where it is time to make a confession. Some of the anger and frustration over this is MY fault. It all boils down to me not being able to say NO and then getting pissy when I have to actually do what I have promised to do even when I know I don’t want to be doing it. And I think because I know some of it is my fault, this is why I can’t bear to talk to her or read her emails. But I don’t think this is a snap judgement issue at all. Lisa and I have had many battles in the past over her demands. She only has time for me when it suits her (i.e. when she has no one else around to keep her company or entertain her) or when she wants me to prove to her that I love her. And no, I don’t think she has my best interests at heart.

I am left with quite a dilemma here. Do I continue to give into her demands and remain friends? Or do I set myself free? Only time will tell. I still have much to ponder here.