Thursday, July 31, 2014

Old Lamps for New

Is about how I feel this morning, after losing a therapist. But I meet a new one next week, so wish me luck!

The temperatures are lovely this week, in the 70'sF range. The clouds sail across a silver sky, even in the day time. I have been gathering cat fur off of the floor, enough to make a small cat by itself. Who knew cats could shed more than a dog?

Max, the dog, leaps out of bed each morning, and barrels toward the door. Sometimes, he lets me drink some coffee before he insists on going out. Sometimes, not. He's not selfish. Just has to pee. The unicorn meat eating cats linger around the outside door, peeping out for their first year with no access to the outdoors. It puzzles them, that they cannot go out. But they have made no fuss about it...the apartment has plenty of room for their territories.

I make plans with my brother, to go kayaking next week. He is looking for a job, and my niece is not in school. I want to be dumped in the water, before the snow sets in. My father was born and raised in the desert Southwest. As a consequence, we spent most of our childhood on the water. Canoes were a favorite of Dad's.

Anyway, my brother is a carpenter, minor electrician, and amazing photographer...let me know if you know of anything...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Back To Normal?

As all of my faithful readers know, I go to therapy and counseling sessions for Borderline Personality Disorder. A definition is below, from Wikipedia.

The reason I write today is that my therapist, Vinnie D., has been fired by the National Counseling Group for not having the 'technical' degree of LPC, or "Licensed Professional Counselor." In other words, Vinnie does not have a Master's. Instead, he has over 700 Clinical hours in Borderline Therapy. He has successfully treated hundreds of sexually abused and molested women and men in his career.

It's a shame that the Roanoke Valley has lost, for now, the major talent and dedication that it takes to make a BPD counselor. Once again, the Mental Health system in Virginia has taken a step backward...

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Rock, Paper, Scissors

As you can tell, if you are a regular reader, I am in full blown mania. The energy and creativity are wonderful, but no sleep in 3 days is never good.

But I am going to leave the infighting in AA out of it. The innocent don't deserve it, and I don't want to give AA a bad name for those of you who need help. Almost all of the people I have met in AA are great: don't get me wrong. But there are predators, and sickos in meetings, just as there are in the real, live world. Be careful out there, my Beloveds. Stay Safe. The Universe loves You.

Back to the ever-evolving world of mania: Max has gotten his walk, although it's too hot for it. I love having Hispanic neighbors...they make the Summer a round of light and bright colors...even in their gardens.

My neighbors has her deck decorated in lime green chairs, with wood tables, and tall, green, indoor trees. She doesn't like the 'hot' colors outside, leaving that for her kitchen. The breeze always blows through her kitchen, and friends and neighbors stop by for some cool tea or fruit juice.

My nordic tastes run to fire-engine-red, rocking chairs, blood-colored impatiens, and white begonias. But, I am learning. Her patio looks that much cooler than mine.

And, for those of you in close contact with me everyday: Forgive me, please.

It is the downside of invisible disabilities, that we need a strong support network to survive. I don't know how I have lucked out, but mine is unusually educated: I am drawn to teachers as friends. But, it can be incredibly brutal on them.

So, I second-guess myself, and don't call for support until I have exhausted all other possibilities. My support network is human, too. Each one of them can only help me so much. I have to let the professionals take the brunt of the damage.

And the professionals can't do it all, with mental health funding in it's present state. I am sure Rep. Deeds had much more help in mind, when he proposed his bill, following the death of his son. But the only change I can see, is that it is now easier to confine someone who has invisible disabilities. Freeing up beds in institutions is a step in the right direction, but education would do more.

I would like to see less stigma, and more practical help for those who need help.

But this is Today. I only have it. And You.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Cool Days

Max loves his morning walks now, the air is misty and cool. No hot sun shines on the back of my neck, no sweat trickles down my head. No waves of steam come off of the ground, to hit Max in the belly.  The grass breathes, today.

Sometimes I can barely collect my thoughts, even around the man I love, who loves me. And sometimes, just sometimes, time in the garden is not enough...

Isolation is bad for me, so I go out on this loveliest of days to do what I can.

I have placed a statue of the head of Buddha in the garden...I don't know why, but it seems very whimsical to me. I would prefer a statue of St. Francis, but none was available at the yard sale I visited. So Buddha will have to do.

The unicorn meat eating cats crawl all over me when I come home. They are happy to write their own blog, under assumed names of course. Life with me, is a trial.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Back to the Forest

It's cool and peaceful this morning, an oasis in this hottest of years. The old, polished wood of my living room chairs gleams at me, and the Christmas tree lights are a spot of color in the day.

Big news looms on the headlines...Russia and Gaza dominate. But this is a blog for the little things.

I pick up trash as I walk my dog. I have always done that. First, with Eddie Spirit Dog, my service animal along the banks of Tinker Creek, and now with Max the Clown, on the streets of Roanoke. After the walks, always, I like to look behind me, along the path we have walked, to enjoy it's pristine newness.

When I take Max to the park, sometimes he gets to meet other dogs, and I get to walk the field that I love. The Field and the Forest are still with me.

And, as I look around the field this morning, I am struck by the colors of Summer: green and gold. Ahead, in the forest, beautiful pines and maples wait...Here, in the City, there are also Crepe Myrtles. The pink ones are showy, and the red ones, dark. But I love the white ones, and the curling of the bark, along their slender limbs...

Time to clean.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Stick With Love

What does a person do when they are bullied? I am walking away...I am not bullying back, or talking about you behind your back. You just don't exist anymore.

If you read my blog to get and disseminate information about me, so that you can run your mouth elsewhere...stop reading.

If you read my blog to make my life harder...stop.

If you take advantage of the mentally ill, cause that's just your schtick...don't. And don't expect me to help you. Or fall for that crap. Or keep my mouth closed.

I don't know how many times, as a person with known MI's, (Mental Illnesses) I have had my mouth hang open at the atrocious things that the mentally ill are subject to: bullying, harassment, scorn. I had a sponsor in a 12 Step group invite my rapist to "hear my story" so I could "put the past behind me now." He heckled me through my talk. I have had a friend's ex steal my grandmother's engagement ring. The last minister at my church gave a detailed account of all my mental illnesses to the congregation, betraying my confidence, because I wanted to bring my service dog to worship services. I was assaulted on a job, and then been fired, to cover it up. That last one could have actually happened to anyone.

I don't feel singled out: the headlines today proclaimed that the mentally ill are frequently beaten at Riker's Island: New York City's repository for the unwanted. It's a phenomenon that has been building steam since Reagan stopped funding for mental health institutions.

And, like Henry VIII shutting down the monasteries to grab some cash and a hot babe (Anne Boleyn), there is no place for the weary to rest.

That is why I write this blog in a voice for those who, increasingly, have no voice...those with invisible disabilities...

I don't like Haters, and will not be in their company.

And if you think this all applies to you, try to get a life...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Over the Moon

It was beautiful to walk Max the dog, last night. The moon was full and soft clouds scudded softly over her, without obscuring her face.

I am cooking today, for a friend who lost his house and step-daughter, and all of his pets, two weeks ago, in a house fire. Microwaved food in a hotel room is no way to eat. We all do what we can.

As for me, today is lovely. The cloud cover keeps the temperature bearable. This weekend is the Big Burger Cookoff in Downtown Roanoke.

The cats say, "Hi."

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Color My World

It's a big transition for me this week, and things are looking up.

The loss of my cat, Minkins, and a terrible house fire just 2 weeks ago had me wobbling in my orbit a bit. But with the right people in my life, I am making a comeback. I am grateful for new people, and a new coloring book in my life.

Don't laugh about the coloring's a dialectical behavioral therapy trick: Color yourself into living at just that single moment. Let your world reduce itself to a quiet, cool room and a bag of crayons, or coloring pencils and some simple pictures to color. Life is so much simpler that way.

And I am avid to simplify right now.

The man I love is recovering from cancer. Every moment with him is lovely.

It's been a difficult year on the whole. I was assaulted by muggers in January, and was just starting to deal with that. But with my losses recently, I am forced to take care of myself aggressively, now. It helps to have friends to lean on.

I love you all.

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July

I am not sure what to share today. I have plans for the holiday, to keep me out of mischief. And I am overly contemplative today, not a good thing. Time to shake it up and get out and enjoy the sunshine.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Remember the Flower

It was an horrible PTSD day yesterday...too scared to leave the house of the man I love, except to walk Max. I kept having visions of the house burning...and the animals and woman inside.

The woman who died: I'll call her Rose. She was an excellent horsewoman, and had a gift with all animals. I would foster kittens, and run them upstairs so Rose could play with them, and watch them launch themselves like rockets around her bedroom. She had a gift with horses and cats, in particular, and she loved them without reservation. Her life was tinged with tragedy: her father was a Vietnam vet with PTSD, and died young. Rose always wore his dog tags around her neck, and they were placed in the pink roses and yellow carnations that adorned her coffin.

She is free and resting now, walking barefoot in some distant meadow with her favorite horses, and the cats and dog she lost. She is reunited with her Father and Mother. What a party that must have been!!!

I will visit the small graves in the backyard on Thursday, and plant something on their graves for her...
Later, when the house is rebuilt, I promised Rose I would plant a tulip tree in the backyard for her.

I was just starting to deal with being assaulted by muggers in January, when Minkins died, and then the house burned. I long to see Rose and Jazzy June, and Gracie and Tippy again. I would like to take Rose out to her pool, and sit and chat about animals and their pure love, and the strange ways of the human heart.

Now, there is a small spot of earth in the town of Vinton that belongs to Rose's body, and a lovely garden to visit in her memory.

So, here I am, this morning, trying not to drink and to practice 'radical acceptance'. That is: to simply accept what is. My mind has a hard time with that one. Because of the trauma in my life, it is so much easier to just not think about what has happened to me, and on the casual cruelty that exists in the world. My mind simply does not want to contemplate that the world is so bad.

I know that sounds simplistic and naive, but I was raised that way. Both sides of Mom and Dad's families were farmers. There is stark necessity on a family farm, but death is the way of the world.

Hell, now I'm depressing you, too.

But I walked Max this morning, and the sun rose and the breezes are lovely. There are small flowers in the grasses, much smaller than clover, that no one notices, but they are there.