Monday, June 30, 2014

Baja, Flames and the Firemen

When you put them all back to back like this it sure appears I have lived an exciting life...for someone so dull.

Please note that the paper in my home town had an issue with getting my name correct. In my little town my family names were ....totally freaking out there unique. My name is FOUR letters, its not hard, and I always spelled it out too. But still they insisted on butchering my last or first name, every chance they got. This spelling was a particular favorite of theirs.

This nice tidy little recap however isn't he whole story. hee...he..hahahar! Nothing in my life is that cut and dry.

Neither is this follow up article.

To get the full picture, and totally enjoy the show you must pull up a chair and hear it from me or my sister.

*pulls up my chair and cracks my knuckles*


First off this is all that is left...melted keys in the ignition.

Second sister and I cast a frightening accurate foreshadow on that Tuesday evening, on our way driving out to the Rollerdrome. Shortly after getting in my sisters old dodge dart, Vangelis - Chariots of Fire came on the radio.

Being the creative writers we are, we naturally added our own lyrics to the instrumental.

Which included.....

"My chariots on time has expiiiiiiired!"

over and over...

The night was filled with the usual Roller-skating crowd and the skate was uneventful, until suddenly the rink went black. Not willing to let a black out spoil the evening, we kept skating while the owner shined a flash light on the giant mirrored disco ball to give us a wee bit of light. After ~15 min, and multiple crashed into the walls and each other, we had to give it up, and we all reluctantly called a end to the session.

We were among the last to leave and as we backed up there was a tiny bump then the sound like we had driven over tin cans. Knowing there is nothing in the parking lot drive over/or make that noise/sensation. my sister braked instantly and looked at me with a what the? look on her face.

Here is where the story goes covert.

My mind, my writers mind, INSTANTLY jumped to full gear and started throwing out causes. We ran over a can of spray paint...we can over cans....we ran over a power line....and that one clicked with the power outage already in play.

WHICH then got my anxiety to chime in with its knowledge about cars and downed power lines. and I instantly pulled my arms and legs inwards away from the car.

The line was starting to arc at this point, and give off a glow and strange sound.

My sister opened her door and leaned out to see what was going on. I waited watching. My mind already envisioning that she would get fried once she stepped from car and grounded herself. I half laughed to myself, as my brain tried to shake off the strange crazy idea that we were on a power line and in danger. I at that point honestly thought my run away imagination/anxiety was just nuts. I had no idea we  really WERE on a power line.

Still I waited to see what would happen as she stepped from the car.

She didn't die.... so I opened the door without touching anything metal with my skin, got up on the seat so as to not touch the frame at all and jumped from the car without touching it or the ground at the same time.

Clearly laughing at myselves for being such a drama queen, for inserting danger into normal situations.

Once away from car we and the other people could see the rapidly increasing ball of raw power where the line was arcing. Thoughts were tossed back and forth including the idea it was a road flair. Some of the bystanders even suggested that my sister GET BACK IN AND DRIVE IT OFF the object!!

The writer in me was enjoying this whole situation. I don't remember who finally figured it out and called for help. By the time the police arrived it was arcing to a point it was looking very menacing.

It would take Pacific Power and Light quite some time to get the power shut off so there wasn't anything to do. So my sister, me, the newspaper reporter, the police and the fire department stood back and watched the show. Which was spectacular! The combination of cool night air, burning flames, the evil sounds of raw power zapping and spitting and hissing, and adrenaline, was quite thrilling.

The line finally got to such a size it ignited the car, and it make short work of consuming it.

At one point my anxiety couldn't contain itself and it pondered aloud, "should we be standing so close? Is the gas tank going to explode?"

The big burly police man chuckled and said, "That only happens in the movies."

A few seconds later one of the tires blew.

We all jumped and the cops stepped behind my sister and me using us as shields.

"Ummm many be we should watch from over there" a fireman said backing off.

Once the power was off they doused the car in short order. A fireman walked to the other side with a flash light and looked at the downed line where it was under the car. I will never forget the look on his face as he made the discovery. He came right over to us, and brought us back to show us just how close we came to being fried crispies.

When my sister rolled onto the wire it curled up and the ragged end was about 3-4 inches from the frame. The firemen told us if that end had connected with the frame itself this would have been an entirely different accident. A very tragic accident.


That's when my anxiety started doing its cocky little I told you so dance.

The police drove us home and about 1/2 way there my mind burped up our foreshadowing song lyrics, and I burst into nervous giggles, and leaned over to my sister...and sang...."My chariots on time has expiiiiiiired!"

We laughed like the warped humor of it.  Hey, if your going to cheat death, you have to at least enjoy it.

We woke out parent to fill them in. I'm not really sure they fully comprehended it until the paper came the next day with the above article in it.

A very interesting phenomenon occurred in the following days too. Apparently a time/space portal opened up and transported quite a few students homework into my sisters car, where it perished in the flames, as the number one excuse for not being able to turn in homework/projects was..."it was destroyed in ____'s car!"


Despite what the paper says, it was NOT the urging of bystanders that saved me. (hello?! get back in and drive it off? what the!!!)

It was the fact that I watched EMERGENCY! as child and I learned from squad 51 the proper way to exit a car with power line on it.

It was the fact my mind is not normal and everything thing I experience is turned into a drama that is directed by my anxiety. My heightened awareness of my surroundings saved in other words. I can thank my PTSD, and TV for getting out alive.

But I credit my sister for saving my life.

She is the one who taught me the What if? game.

What if  I leave you here?
What if  we run out of food?
What if  the cow stampede is heading our way?
What if the dam bursts?
What if there is a robber in the closet?

Playing this endlessly with her as a child taught me to think quickly, assess the situation and come up with fast plan.

What if your car is on a power line?

You wait till your sister gets out and see if she dies...then you get out properly. heh.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Paja, Pepsi and the Police

Time to lighten the mood.

This is a true story. Every detail is true and can be corroborated by eye witnesses. There is even a police report in some file out there in court house land.

BWAHAHAHAH!!! even just thinking about it cracks me up.

First let me introduce you to Hellfire. a Mercury Montago. I was in my twenties and this was my wheels. Take note of the chicken barn behind the car, and all the fat chickens. That is also my travel trailer on the far right. Those trees above it are where the chickens like to roost. Oh, and that is my man Troll strutting the cat walk there.

Um yeah....I have a prior history for painting vehicles....

He also had the most coolest Gum Man on the dash. There was a split on the dash and I put gum in one day when it was super hot to see if it would bubble up into a monstrosity. Then the kids started adding theirs. The man joined before too long.

But I digress...

It was a spring day a long time ago when I lived on the farm. Probably circa late 1990 long before I was disabled by the OJI.

I was unable to sleep in my trailer because of the heat. I went into the house and watched TV for a bit, then announced I was going to the store for a Pepsi.

I got in Hellfire and made it the top of the street we lived on and the engine chugged and died as I stopped at the stop sign.

I freakin blew a mental gasket. I HATE HATE car trouble. Nothing pushes me over the edge like it.

I tried to get it to start and as my anger mounted I finally had to turn on the hazard lights and admit defeat. I got out and locked the door and slammed it shut.

Okay fine, I am going to use my therapy skills and deal with this problem rationally. I will ask for help.

I started the hike back to the house. Occasionally looking back at Hell fire and its blinking lights. The anger was building and stewing with me. I had planned to go into the house and ask Farm grandma for help. But each time I glanced back at the car the more furious I became.

I walked into the house.

"You got your Pepsi already" Farm Grandma asked.

"Nope." I snarled and went to the junk draw in the kitchen  and yanked it open. I grabbed the hammer and headed back out of the house.

"where you going now?" she asked.

"Car broke down, I am going to fix it." I said raising the hammer so she could see it. And left before she could comment.

By then it was growing a bit dark as the sun was setting.The hazard lights blinked a taunting message "ha - ha" "ha - ha" in the distant as I made my way back up the 1/2 of a mile road, to the car.

We had worked on expressing anger in therapy, letting it out vs keeping it bottled up. That's is when I finally snapped and started running. I had one thing on my mind as flew up the road.

I am so going to put those  *&^^%$^$&^ hazard light out when I get there.

And this what I did. Two fast swing of the hammer and they went out. The action tripped the mercury switch in  me and I lost it completely. I screamed and ranted and went around Hellfire beating the crap out of it with the hammer.

It was a life time of rage and anger and pent up emotions spewing out in a toxic volcano of hammer blows and screamed obscenities.

Then in a blink it all dissipated. I was left standing on the road holding a hammer. My mind cleared instantly. I was panting like I had just ran a marathon. I leaned against the car and started chuckling.

Oh Richard, you were right when you told me that someday I would find my trapped emotions.

The absurdness of what just happened and the laughter turned into hysterical belly laughter.

"Okay P" I told my self, "now lets go ask for help."

I made it down the road to the drive way before I saw the police round the corner and pull up next to Hellfire.

Rafff. I did an about face and started back.

About this time it finally clicked in Farm Grandma's head, that there isn't much in the way of car repairs that one can do with a hammer and she sent one of the boys to see what was going on.

The police headed my way so I backed up and waited for them at the drive way.

The stopped a fair distance from me and an officer stepped out staying behind the open door and shined a flash light on my face blinding me. He mumbled something I couldn't hear.

"What?!" I asked gesturing with my hands that I couldn't make out his words.

He adjusted the flash light off my face and put his hand on this holster, and very slowly and calmly said. "MA'AM.   PUT.   THE.   HAMMER.   DOWN."

I glanced at my upheld hand with the hammer still there in it. Oh shiiiiiiiit I am going to get gunned down for threating the police with a hammer. I dropped it like a hot potato.  "Hah...sorry, I'm part Italian I talk with my hands."

He approached me with his hand still on his holster and kicked the hammer away from my feet.  "we received a report of a tall man beating up a car with a hammer." He said looking down at me. All 5 foot 6, 115 pounds of me.

I laughed nervously. "No man involved it was me, that's my car. It died on me and I beat the crap out of it. I hate car trouble." I looked at him with innocent doe eyes.

He looked at me like I was insane, then hollered back to the driver of the back up unit. "This is our tall man right here!" and cracked up laughing.

...and that when the boy farm Grandma sent to check on things showed up. The very tall boy. 

Flashlight swung and they grilled him like he was my accomplice. As if this young man didn't already think I was a total freak, hah!

Once they ran the plate and found it was indeed my car they shook there heads and we joked about women and car repairs. The officer paused for a second before getting in the squad car. "Tell me why a hammer?"

"There wasn't enough extension cord to use the power saw." I grinned.

He laughed and climbed in and left.

The boy and I went and collected the battered Hellfire and pushed him to the drive way where Grandma was waiting. He left us and Grandma and I continued the job.

Of note the drive way is filled with holes from puddles. Also its exactly 1/10 of a mile and is fenced on the right side for about 1/2 of it and all that is on the left side is a single telephone pole.

One single lone telephone pole.

So Grandma digs in behind the car and I have the drivers door open and I am steering with one hand as I push on the frame with my hand and right shoulder.

I clear the pole with the front of the car by about 8-9 inches max.....totally - TOTALLY FREAKING FORGETTING ABOUT THE DRIVERS DOOR THAT IS HANGING OPEN TO THE LEFT OF ME.  My only thought was: don't hit the pole with the car.

Thank heavens that the sound of the door striking the pole caused me to straighten up and move my neck out of the door jam. In the next second the forward motion of the vehicle caused the telephone pole to shut the door.

There was no stopping or escaping. It was a sensation like nothing I have felt before or ever want to feel again. I literally got shut in the door. It was in a weird slow...smooth motion too. arm - shoulder - ribs - collar bones - neck.

You don't have time to scream as the air is crushed out of you, you just make a horrific squeal like a hamster being violated in a perverted manner. The pain levels go off the mind had just enough time to think, oh shit I'm gunna die...and the door cleared the pole and swung open.

I toppled to the ground and laid there trying to catch my breath while farm grandma stared on in horror. My heart was beating all crazily from the unorthodox chest compression it had just received. Oh thank goodness she was there to keep the car moving. The wheels had settled in one of the many holes in the drive way.....she had pushed it past the pole. I just came frighteningly close to crushing my self to death.

When I could speak I lifted my head and addressed the car. "What... was that Hellfire?! ...retaliation for me hammering you?!"

It took a few minutes before I was able to sit up and access the damage. I was numbed by the sudden adrenaline flow and other then feeling like I was still being squeezed. I couldn't tell if anything was broken.

"Someday" Grandma nervously giggled "this will be funny."

"No," I wheezed, breaking up "this is funny now!"

We continued our task. THIS time I sat INSIDE hellfire with the door closed and Grandma pushed him alone. Once parked in the yard I went with her to the house to fill her in on the complete Pepsi saga. We laughed and laughed at the absurdity of all of it. None more then when I lamented "...and I still didn't get my  @&*(^&%^9$# Pepsi!!"

Did I go to the ER? I didn't have insurance at that time. So no. Matter of fact I had to work that night so I went out to my trailer to lay down for a little bit. As I stood there unlocking it the chickens who roost in the pine trees above my trailer started cackling and then ....shit right on my head.

I sat down on the trailer step and HEE-hawed till I was crying as the chicken poop ran down my head. As if this little life adventure needed anymore comedy added to it.

Back to the house for another round of laughter and a shower.


I should have taken pictures of the bruises...they were spectacular.

Years later when I did have insurance and I went to the doctors because for muscular chest pain that would not go away, he carefully palpitated along my rib cage where I had been crushed. He guessed I broke at least three ribs, and mangled the cartilage that attaches them to my sternum. As I showed him the results of effect on my collar bones he winced. "Ow! that must have hurt really bad."

Yup. All healed without proper treatment. Being young and dumb I had just ignored it all and didn't even miss a single day of work. I am left with some lingering after affects that plague me now as arthritis has set in.

And Hellfire? He never ran again. Didn't need a mechanic to diagnose cause of death either. Two days prior the Pepsi/Police event I had drove him to the coast and back (4 hours round trip) without any oil in him. His death was ruled a murder. He was offed by a stupid young girl, who has since learned the importance of oil in cars.

...also of note is one will go on Pepsi runs with me anymore...bwahahahahha! cowards!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Connecting with the world P style

I am very shy in real life. To a point it is actually crippling at times. When people see me or talk to me I get all twisted up inside and dissociate. I worked nights for nine years, on a locked geriatric psych unit. It was a perfect fit.

When I started therapy one of the things Richard suggested to me STRONGLY was I needed to get off night and re-connect with the human race.

When I was injured and work had to do something with me they were going to send me to days. The horrified look on my face must have influenced there final decision to place me on the PM shift.

I can function with ease with young children, the elderly and animals. The rest of the planet not so much.

I have always been fascinated with people who can just walk up to someone cold and start a conversation. It boggles my mind, how they can do that without tripping over themselves. When I try that, I end up blushing and saying stupid stuff.

My talent with words ends with writing. It doesn't translate to a verbal skill at all.

I have been thinking a lot recently on what I want to do when I go back to work. Which leaves to wonder....can I learn to be social? Can I lean to be at ease with people? So today I thought I would work on connecting with people and see just how much work I need to do.

I have been observing people who are at ease socially for a very long time. Trying to pick up what ever skill they have that makes it look so easy for them. At the very least I should be able to fake it Right? RIGHT?


Uh, nope, not even.

I decided to man up and print out the fireworks blog and hand it to the gentleman this year on our annual trip to buy fireworks. The plan was to hand it to him and then run like hell before he could read it or ask me any questions. Cause well, that is the extent of my courage.

The rule was if he spoke to me I had to hand it over.

And that is exactly what happened.

Which totally foiled my plan of handing it over and running like hell. HAH!

We were only 1/2 done checking out which left me in a position where he was reading it on one side of me and my kids were asking me stuff on the other side. I could feel my self turning red and running in my head. A thought shot through my head....if I bolted for the exit and left the kids here could they find there way home?

Now, I know that I am an eccentric lunatic and should come with a warning label so I made sure to include my little blog disclaimer over there next to my picture at the top of the copy. I didn't want to scare him. He laughed out loud after reading that line and asked if I really had that on my blog.

So now he knows my name. Not how to pronounce it, but at least what it is. I figure by the time Hansolo had graduated high school I will work up the nerve to finally ask him what his name is. That is if he hasn't already filed a restraining order on the weirdo blogger who visited him today. LOL

Dude, I can say with absolute certainty it is not possible for me to even FAKE the ability to be a social creature. Ha!

I have a lot of work to do on my social skills. I must learn to be more social. Now I really, really wish I had listened to Richard's socialization lectures more closely.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Standing in the light of the fire works

I have friend who doesn't know he is my friend.

He is like no other friend I have. I only see him once a year, for a few minutes. On rare occasions sometimes twice a year. He doesn't know my name, and I do not know his.

He runs the firework stand on the outskirts of town. For a few weeks each summer he pitches his tent and deals with unbearable heat, freezing nights, dust, excruciatingly long hours/days to make sure everyone gets a great deal on fireworks. He blows me away every year with how he runs the business and manages the young staff. There is just something so... magical about him.

He gives off a light that outshines every last fire work he sells. I get a kick out of, for a few moments sharing in this human being's light. Quietly enjoying his presence. It's like seeing a comet that comes by only once a year and lights up the night, and leaves you breathless and feeling connected to something greater.

He first caught my attention when my son was little. It took JUR till he was four to discover his inner pyro, and once he did I couldn't wait to share my love of fireworks with him. We went to the stand on the edge of town and went in. The smell of the place lite up my brain instantly, and I exhaled contently with a loud aaaahhh.... I am a junkie when it comes to things that go boom and light up the night.

As my son wandered around looking at stuff, I became distracted by the man behind the counter teaching the young kids how to run the register. He was a quiet humble teacher with seemingly endless patience.

He came by a few minutes later to make sure all his customers were finding everything. I am so used to being invisible that it shocked me when he looked me in the eyes and then asked about the color of my son's hair.  Wait, your talking to me? Are you really taking the time in the middle of all this bustling foot traffic, and hectic business day to speak to me? oh that sealed it. you sir fascinate me to no end!

The next year we returned and truthfully I had forgotten the pervious years encounter. I walked into the tent and see him and my memory stirred and reminded me of the other encounter. I smiled and watched him again. As we paid, he said, "nice to see you again."

What? nah, there is NO way he would remember us. I am not that memorable.

"Look how tall he's getting!" he smiled at my son.

Noooo.....he met us for a nano second a year ago and he remembers us?

I left, even more intrigued by this man.

Each year after that the same story.

A few years back he got booted from his usual selling spot and once we found he had been displaced we tracked him down like professional stalkers. No one gets our fire work money but him.

My son was not with me, just my daughter. No red hair to tip him off. A true test to see if he was just yanking my chain all these years with recognizing us.

We walked into the tent at the new location and he glanced up with a big relieved smile, "Oh I am so glad you found us!!"

We exchanged more words that day then we had in all the years combined.

I also noticed for the first time, how he greeted people as they came in. It was "welcome" to some that he must have not known and a different greeting that clearly indicated those he did recognize.

I realized that this man does remember me, not for the few dollars I spend each year or the various children who accompany me, but for a reason I cannot comprehend.

He is indescribable. Just a quiet person who enriches others with his presence.

I wonder every year where he goes after the firework season is over. What other areas of life get blessed with his presence.

Some how it would remove the magical quality to his life if I were to know anything more about him. My writers mind is captivated by him, much the way a young child delights in the magic of visiting Santa once a year. A pure enjoyment of seeing and being in the light of someone unique.

I have often thought I should at the very least learn his name. Or tell him my name is P and I have enjoyed quietly standing the light of the fireworks with him for all these years.

That I am thankful that in a sea of faces that he swims in each year, he always somehow see's mine. I know that its not a business ploy to keep customers...its a dazzling testimony to the man he is...and I appreciate his gentle attentive care of other human beings.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

see, I am okay

for all those worried that my cheese has slipped off my crackers. (it has but hey, we have already covered what a complete nut I am.)

Mentally things are improving FAST. I am 10 days job free and the crazy stress level is gone down to zero and I feel amazing., not so good there. I starting tweeking  my medication regime yesterday to see if we can't get the physical aspect back in control.

Can you see that edema in my shoulder? Its in my face,neck also, and just started going down my right arm. Not much fun.

I am working on the yard care for the summer right now and once that is done my aggravated chronic orthopedic issues should stop flaring and ease off  the MUSTKILLYOUNOW level of pain they are currently at.

All in all, enjoying having the luxury of time to relax and be with my family.

I can't thank my husband enough for helping me to make this happen. I couldn't do it without his love and support.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Support team (trigger for self injury)

When I was little my support team consisted of stuffed animals.

When I was a teenager my support team was a box of matches I used to burn myself with and a broken bone handled hunting knife.

When I was in my twenties I had no support team.

I ended up in therapy in 1987....(You know I just need to post that whole story. Might be helpful to someone)

When I started therapy Richard insisted he was my support team.

I wasn't so sure about that at first. It took a HECK of a lot of work on his part to convince me that I could trust him.

Early in our sessions he gave me his home number.

"I want you to be able to reach me directly, without having to go through the answering service." He said passing me over a card.

I eyed him then the card.

His brown eyes didn't waver. "I want you to call me if you are going to hurt yourself."

I felt  my eyes narrow as my system mulled that over. "We wont call you." the broken part of me finally spat out. "You will not be able to stop me."

"Probably not, but a friendly voice couldn't hurt."

I flipped the card over and over in my fingers mulling this information over. With a snort I finally tucked the card in my therapy book.

I called him a grand total of three times at home.

About a year into therapy I called him twice one night. I had already hurt my self, but the desperate wanting to heal and stop the self inflicted violence behavior finally gave me the guts to reach out.

Now, important to know is, I DO NOT LIKE MAKING COLD CALLS. NOPE, NADA, UHUH. I just don't go there.

For me to reach out for help .....a huge thing.

I dialed the number with my hand shaking so badly I had to set the card down so I could read the numbers.

Before he could even get the H in hello out I hung up on him.

I walked around the room in anguish. A huge fight in my head. CALL HIM BACK!!

Returned to the phone and dialed again...this time I walked away from the base to stop me from hanging it up.

Dissociation is a wonderful tool for not dealing with life....I step back in my head and numb out to the gills.

"Hello?" I hear his accent and I can resume breathing.

"Richard, its P...." is all I can get out before my voice cracks.

""Are you okay?" He asks.

Looking right at the bleeding injury on my arm I respond, "I feel like hurting my self."

Keep in mind he had never worked with a client who self injured before. This was new territory for both of us. I have never reach out to any one before/during/after injuring, I have no idea what will help me in this head space, and neither does he. At this point in therapy he had not seen any injuries, or scars. I am not really sure he believed me that I actually was a self injurer at that point.

We muddle through it together.

Near the end of the call he asks. "are you going to hurt yourself?"

I am at that moment digging at the wound on my arm ripping it bigger. "No." I lie to him and we say goodnight and hang up.

That call set the ground work for me to be able to actually voice my needs.

Soon my support team consisted of Richard, N and I my hypnotherapist, and my pig.

Slowly over the years more and more people were added.

In my 30's my husband joined.

My three therapist are still on that list.

Any guesses as to who the number one person to reach out to is?

They are the only one who can reach me when I am going to hurt my self. The only one who knows what to say and do to help me 100% of the time. The only one who will drop everything and come running 24/7.


But I don't always feel like helping my self so I have learned to rely on others to offer help.

Can you talk me out of an injury? No.  So, what really helps me? Exactly what Richard said. "... a friendly voice couldn't hurt."

Simply talking with me will get me refocused. I don't need a therapist to talk me down, I don't need a lecture, I don't need threats of hospitalization, I just need to hear your voice.

human connection.

I can't tell you how many times I have called my house and talk with my husband for a minute or two. "hi , how your night going? Kids good for you?"

That is what he hears.

If I was able to put it into words it would really say:


He answers with a hello, quick update of what ever game he is playing that night, and a report on the kids.

Which I hear as this:

I love you, your family loves you, we need you, we are here for you, no matter how it may feel at this moment you belong with us..

and that is all I need from my support team.

Its that simple.

Everything else is up to me.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ticket to ride (TRIGGER)

***** Trigger: I am going to graphically cover a self injury attempt with an overdose . ******

Your about to step into my head and whoa nelly....that's a dungeon with more trap doors then your party's thief can de-trap.

my main goal this summer is to de-stress and get my health/ head back in alignment. This is a peek at why this became my goal recently.

I remember 12 years ago when the nurse came flying into my room and shouted at me "put that baby to breast, his blood sugar is incompatible with life!" It was a clear warning of approaching death/danger.

You don't usually get told that clearly when death/danger is threating you or your loved ones, and if you aren't paying attention you can miss those subtle messages that life gives you.

I had that same experience happen to me the night I turned in my two week notice. Except it came to me in a different format. I had arrived at work and before I got out of the truck, I opened my purse to get my name badge and keys. The first thing my hand found was my bottle of Ativan I carry with me for emergencies.

It took me a nano second to realize that I had opened it and chugged the contents, without even realizing I had done so.

To be so far dissociated from my self to have no memory of even doing a potentially fatal action, is something that has not happened to my system since I was pre-therapy in my 20's.

I glanced in the rearview mirror to make sure it was me in there. The eyes that meant mine were haunted and wounded, and worse then that, they had let go of the rope...let go of the ledge... "put that baby to breast, his blood sugar is incompatible with life!"

Then my eyes dragged themselves to the symbol burned into my wrist along time ago when I was in therapy.

< o ( 0

a code, a life saving code. A message left there by me years and years ago, just in case of emergency.
A rip cord to yank and deploy a parachute. A 911 call that my soul would hear.

Finger in throat, puke.

what the hell P? what the  *!^&%$ hell just happened?

I faded into my head and quietly watched as my body went in to work, clocked in and began working. Within a few minutes I found something on the desk that slammed me to the front of my head again.

Tsunami scale waves of urges to hurt my selves crashed over me. No the kind that will be appeased with a 3rd degree burn, the kind of urges that want a limb or my life as payment.

Again I find my self looking at the code branded into my wrist. call a support person now!

I reach out to my husband without telling him anything more then, "I'm done. I think I want to turn in my two week notice."

He agrees and offers reassurances that he's backing me.

I hang up and immediately email my two week notice.

what the hell P? what the  *!^&%$ hell just happened?

Wait, did that just happen? I check the sent folder, and there is the email.

The self injury tsunami waves roll over into waves of nausea and I taste the puke in my mouth again.

I struggle to catch my breath.

A movement in the doorway catches my eye. A resident is slowly coming in to see me. Its a gentleman who visits me each night. "Oh, it's you!" he toothlessly grins. "Honey I am here to save you!"

The sob clamps my throat shut and all I can do is smile back at him.

"lets go dancing!" He says continuing his usual nightly repertoire.

I catch my breath as the parachute finally deploys and catches me in mid free fall and yanks me upwards.

The heavy waves of calmness of the Ativan that my body had been able to grab before I puked it out finally hits me.

For a second I close my eyes.

Breath....hang on. Someone in your internal system jerked the rusty track switch and headed you down an unknown direction. Your life is switching tracks and your going to be okay.

"No dancing tonight, " I finally say to him, pointing to the stack of papers on my desk. "Work is filling up my dance card tonight." I reach into my bag and get us both a Pepsi and as he tells me stories, I sort though my stacks of paperwork.

Your life is switching tracks and your going to be okay. Just hang on.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


 *******************TRIGGER WARNING****************

A few of you wanted an update on my head space.


Tonight I want to hurt my selves. So in other words....I'm pretty much normal for me. I am feeling a wee tad off too. The combination of the physical pain I am in with the unpleasant jab to the gut of a 500$ repair to my truck, has me a, hmmm cranky. Yeah cranky.

So much so that I don't think I should be blogging, or else you will get treated to a bloody manifesto of pain splattered on here like a serial killer ripped through my head with a chainsaw. So in the interest of not fueling the about some old positive cheese? I will leave it worded as it originally was and you can all assume that I am talking to my self....cause I sure could use a cheering squad in my corner tonight.

* morning update - not quite so cranky this morning. Feeling sane and rational. I think the chronic pain is pushing me over the edge, I need to get that under control again. Right now the only thing not hurting on/in me is my toenails.

Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004


Looks like a train wreck in here.

we have been hit hard lately. This is not a good time of the year for us to be lapsing into silence/hibernating etc.

Everyone get up and get dressed and lets get focused and moving again. We are all laying in our own pools of winter depression and self inflicted madness and violence.

Lets get healing again.

Lets have a look at the beast shall we?

Object of dissection: "SIV" aka self inflicted violence.

What do we know about it?

What do we WANT to know about it?

Friend? Foe?

lets get asking questions...HARD questions. We need what works and what doesn't work. We need to KNOW what we are fighting here so we can heal from it and release it so we can be free and have peace within our systems.

Let us look at the injury we produce.

Do you know why we get addicted to the actual injury (over and above the act of inflicting it?)

We tend to live in this life NUMBED to the gills 98% of the day. We have grown accustom to not feeling emotions/physical sensations. We internalize everything. We experience emotions fleetingly and they are foreign to us. a wound is a way for us to actually FEEL something. It breaks through the numbness and dissociation. If we are skin starved and not getting the proper nurturing touch a wound gives us a source of physical sensation.

How many of us pick, rub, press objects into our wounds, or otherwise mess with them?

Feeling pain in absence of good nurturing touch is better than no contact at all. Our brain is starved for feelings. The pain receptors are like hungry little puppies woofing down there food. The brain eats up the pain and is producing chemicals. WE GET ADDICTED TO THIS. THIS IS WHERE THE CRAVINGS COME IN. THIS IS WHAT IS SO HARD TO STOP.

It doesn't take long for you to start rationalizing that a wound would "feel" nice, or that it "feels good" to have that sweet pain.

This is a lie of your mind. This is your mind trying to make sense of the madness. Abused children who grow up thinking what happens to them is normal and that it happens to all kids. The brain can't escape the horror so it rationalizes and tries to make it make sense.



which is why it is so addicting and easy to "fall in love" with.

It is painful to experience emotions. To put yourself out there to be vulnerable and exposed. We all have been wounded by careless people who trampled our hearts.

So why not start with something simpler than living in the moment and being constantly "feeling" feelings.

Start by getting reconnected to your skin. Get back into your body. Go find a new fuzzy nightie to touch your skin in a nice gentle way.

hold some ones hand and be aware of what another hand feels like, what does it feel like on your skin?

get a massage.

soak in a oil scented bath. feel your skin.

Touch yourself in a kind gently way. (rub your hand down our arm gently).

Stand before the mirror and cup your face and feel YOU. Look into your eyes and just see you.

You may feel alone and lonely and like the last person on the planet, but darn it. you always have you. That person in the mirror is the one who will always be there for you. That is the one who will be the best healer you will ever meet. S/he is one person you want on your side as you advance in the healing process. Making peace with you is a high priority in healing from SIV.

It might take a while, especially if you have been at war with yourself for a long time. But you will do it. You have to save you. No one else can do it for you.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


I knew then as I know now,

seaweed washed ashore can't ever go back.

An uprooted entity set adrift in the vast ocean...

I feel like seaweed. 

I too uprooted from the comfort of my personal madness,

and unceremoniously set adrift in the unknown realm of sanity.

With, as it is with seaweed,

no chance, no possibility,

no hope, no prayer,

of ever going back to where I came from.

We are both going to wash ashore on some beach and become something new.

After living and growing submerged in the aquatic world of liquid and salt,

the surface must be a frightening place,

as is sanity a scary thought after centuries of existing between the cracks of madness.

May 23, 1990 (c) PR

Friday, June 13, 2014

Baby bird

The baby bird tumbled from the nest and landed at her feet. In such a hurry she was, she almost kicked it.
She stepped around it and kept walking.
It tweeted loud, distressed tweets.
Finally she turned back and returned, plucked it up and set it quickly back in the nest.
A short while later her path once again passed by the nest. The baby was again on the ground again, this time hunched and puffed up with eyes half closed.
“what are you doing little one?” she asked concernedly, as she slid it back into the nest.
aaaand I'm out of time to write today. Okay, you will have to wait to see what happens in the story. Well...I have to wait too to find out, this little blurp just surfaced the writers pain and it comes with a promise of being a good story, I just have to buck it out and polish it.
We are off to the coast for a chess tournament and to just breath.

I am mentally....doing okay considering the roller coaster I rode the last two weeks. Physically...eeh....not so good. Maybe the sea air will rejuvenate me.
Peace be the journey

A quick recap of 31 years in long term care

It was 1983 and I was 17 when I started. I was a young, skinny, damn fool that knew less than Jon Snow.

I worked the floor as a certified nurses aide (CNA) I was trained as a Senior aide, and an Alzheimer's specialist, and as a Medication aide (CMA).

After nine years and the devastating OJI my career as a CNA was ended. Work had to do something with me so the stuffed in medical records.

I was still able to function as a CMA, and did so until I could no longer. So for quite a few years I did both at the same time. Work got quite a deal their....two employees for the price of one.

Loved my residents I did. A life time of richness that I will never ever be able to put to paper. So many beautiful people that have blessed my life. On an equal scale are the wonderful bunch of people who were my co-workers for all these years also.

Tried to leave when I had my children...was told, bring them with you to work. A blessing like no other. Used to have to page my infant son to be returned to my office as everyone would run off with him. Let my CMA license lapse around this time as my back could no longer keep up with the physical demands.

so we round out 31 years in long term care with this picture...

It is 2014 and I am 48 when I left. I am now a old, fat, damn fool, but I know a thing or two now.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Righting the wrongs of the universe one tricycle at a time

 Came back from dropping the kids off at school to find a small boy on broken tricycle resting his head on the fire hydrant, his face defeated from trying to keep up with big brother and mama on a defected vehicle. 

 "What's wrong little one?" I asked.

 He sighed and squished his too long legs back on the too little pedals and slowly left to go after his mother.

 I spoke with his mother and then set up my ambush.

 I went and got WEEEEEE! out of the garage. (yes our tricycles name is WEEEEEE!) I set it by the fire hydrant and waited.

 They were back shortly and as soon as he saw it, he abandoned his too small broken trike and came running with a huge grin. Saddled up and was off with the wind in his hair and squealing gleefully..
I have been holding on to WEEEEEE! waiting for the right child to come along to pass it on too.


 JUR and all his friends rode it,

Hansolo and her's too. Now its once again racing the sidewalks and creating more memories, and I get to add another child's smile to my stack of wealth.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Well that didn't last as long as I thought it would.

I must have a job. I cannot do this. I thought I could take a vacation and deal with my health issues, but the stress and anxiety is going to have me job hunting tonight next week when we get back from the coast.

I have two days left at my current job.

My anxiety is off the charts.


Not helping tonight with its foot firmly on the PUSHMEOVETHEEDGEPEDAL is the financial aspect. Truck had a fire in the headlight line....just 229$ to fix. Hubbys car just needs replaced completely.

ragged breath...

We will get no where with me running my self into the ground physically/mentally.

Or burning the crap outta my self either.

2 days to stay safe.

didn't we just play this game recently? Like just the other day?  I am SOOOO tired of my head tonight.

(6-9-14 - I am safe, hubby home. he has medicated me since I don't trust me not to swallow the entire other bottle of Ativan. he's talking with me and helping me through this. People...your support team is important, if you don't have a solid on that, they can safe your life.)

6-10-14 - update: mmmmkay....waaaay to stressed to deal with stuff right now, so I am turning to my food therapist Mr. Peach pie and his assistant Miss Whip cream to offer me their wise council and warmth and goodness.

Fallen from the nest


not yet bloody, but the swelling urge to inflict injury on my skin is building, in quick increments today.

Heart palpitations today.

Was awoken several times last night by dreams of a heart attack. thought my brain was translating the knife in the back pain from my ortho issues into my dreams. No it is indeed cardiac related today.

The really weird things about my heart palpitation's is,,, there is only a delay of 1 max 2 seconds before my heart beats again.

Yet in that tiny, tiny time frame my anxiety can do a life time of damage.

They haven't been this bad since I made the decision to under go the RAI in 2008. I wore a holter monitor (electrocardiography device) for several days with instructions to try to trigger the palpitations so my PCP could document them and determine the severity and decide if they needed to add cardiac medications to my drug regiment.

That was hellish few days. Wired up like a suicide bomber.

Nursing Miss Hansolo still, so I had to watch she didn't remove any of the ECG leads. 

I was already F_R_E_A_K_E_D_T_H_E_F_U_C_K_O_U_T about having the palpitations without the added stress of deliberately trying to trigger them.

So what triggers them in me without fail 100% of the time?


oh, and caffeine.

Both of which I avoided while nursing.

Downed a 6 pack of Pepsi, walked on the tread mill for 15 min then went to my room and read my therapy journal until it triggered flashbacks. Oh we were quite the pair that night. Me wired on caffeine and flashbacks and poor Hansolo wired on caffeinated breast milk.

They got there evidence. You have to record on a log the time you felt the palpitations and what you were doing. I listed "reading."

The cardiologist did ask me what I was reading because it provoked some as he put it "very impressive heart palpitations." I told him a very scary book.

Ultimately it was the fact that I was having heart palpitations WHILE being medicated with the PTU, with my labs being smack dab in the middle of the normal land, that caused me to have to decide to draw the line. The Graves disease was breaking though the medication. I could not justify dying to a thyroid induced cardiac event, my family needed me.

So everything quickly switched from trying to manage the Graves disease to verifying it again with an uptake scan and then stopping the PTU and allowing my thyroid to rev up to full and then attempting to kill it with radiation.

...which lead to where I am today. Back to having heart palpitations. Sigh.

thyroid much fun, so much fun (sing it with me).

Saturday, June 7, 2014

hyperthyroid again


labs off slightly, most people probably wouldn't notice/feel effects but I sure do.

We are going to do some experimenting with my thyroid meds to see if we can't find a better balance with the side effects.

I started the experiment last week, but the stress with everything at work caused me to spin out badly, with the full return of the headspace that I lived with all winter. (NOT going back there!)

I am waiting to try again till the 16th.

So watch for nutty blog posts, raging thyroid psychosis manifestos and other tom foolery from my mind.

I will detail the med regime in another post. Right now I am off to work.

5 days left.

then for the fist time since 1976 I have a whole summer off.

I think I might return to school in the fall. I mean COMMON!! ONE, ONE! 
ONE class short from graduating college.

That diploma can keep my high school one company.

That sparked my interest, the possibility of going back to school. Opens a whole new realm of possibilities.

If only my blasted thyroid and mental health would stop playing the games with my head.

On a side note...I've managed to transverse the stress of leaving my much loved work family with out self harming to cope with the emotional turmoil. Just 5 days left.

At peace.

At least for today.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

hmmm...might need lessons.

Might need vacation lessons.

I still have eight days left at my job and I am already looking ahead.  On the list of things to ponder are:

1.  get my medication aide license again.
2. go back to school and take my math class and graduate with a AA degree!
3. heck....go back to school and get a new education and career path.
4. become a bum.
5. go back to long term care.
6. start my own business.
7. gather a raiding party and roam the country side plundering.

I'm partial to number 7, as I look good on a horse and I have a sword.

Your not suppose to be already looking for a job, your suppose to be relaxing and taking a much needed break.

I know, but I really will  need lessons, I have forgotten how to not work. I have been employed since I was twelve. I've been working since 1977.

I would be very surprised if I make it the whole summer. I am already feeling panicky that I do not have a job. How weird is that? I lack the ability to be a freeloader.

We should have a contest to see how long you manage to stay off.

okay, fine, the contest should be: What will be the thing that prompts the abrupt end to my vacation and results in my returning to work?

Lack of money to go eat Chinese food.

HEY! no giving hints!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

P Piper

We all have useless skills. I seem to have more then most and I am not sure why. Quirky things like I can write with both hands and both my feet. I can whistle in and out. I can lay a quarter on my wrist, snap my fingers and have it flip over without falling off. But one that baffles me, and I have never found a good use for, is my pied piperness. I can with little and sometimes no effort at all, run off with all the kids.

Last week I took JUR and Hansolo to the park. JUR ran off to play alone in the sand and Hansolo wanted me to drive in the "jeep" with her. I parked my middle aged self in the back seat and opened my book and began to read. A few pages later I glanced up to find the jeep overflowing with children. I scanned the play ground. Only two kids were not on the jeep.

What an utterly useless nonsensical skill this is.

I remember when farm Grandma and I had taken then 5 year old KSS to the park. As she played happily with the other kids I mentioned to Grandma that I was a Pied Piper and in less than 60 seconds could have all the kids on the playground rounded up and on the merry-go-round. She studied the number of kids out there and took off her watch and said. "your on."

"Your buying dinner if I can do it in less than 30 seconds." I said standing up. "tell me when."

"GO!" she said laughing.

I sprang away from the bench with a terrific scream. "IEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAGGGHHHHH!!!! THE GROUND IS HOT LAVA GET TO HIGH GROUND!!"

I grabbed KSS on the way past and we bounded onto the merry-go-round, "COMMON MAN!" I yelled to the other kids "MOVE IT MOVE IT DON'T GET BURNED UP!!"

I spun the merry-go-round as the kids flocked onto it. The kids joined in reaching and hauling aboard fellow men in the lava. When the last was aboard I triumphantly raised my arms and looked at Grandma.

She was too busy rolling on the ground laughing her arse off to document the time.

Its not just an verbal skill either. It just happens even when I am trying to be invisible.

On JURs first day in special-ed pre-school, I was allowed to attend the class to help ease his transition into the program. Knowing about my Piperness I was very careful to try to be invisible as possible, I sat quietly on a bench in the corner. The kids kept ignoring the two teachers and coming to me. They brought me toys, books and even just came and sat next to me. I smiled at them and gently redirected them back to the teachers. There came a point that I had the class...the whole class, I was not talking to them they just all migrated to my space. The teachers were watching me with surprised looks on their faces.

I had wanted to be a teacher when I grew up, but my issues with spelling/grammar killed that dream. That was the only use for this skill I could think of.

Back to the present and the park and the jeep. I sighed and tucked my book away, some thing's you just can't fight, and when you got it you got it. "FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS! HANSOLO'S A MANIAC SHE IS DRIVING WAAAY TO FAST!!" I made a gunning engine sound.

I leaned out of the jeep door and then pleaded for help to be pulled back in. The kids reached for me and helped me back in. I noticed the last two kids had joined us. aahh, I still have it.

What ever it is.



April 21, 2011 (c) PR

I was lost in concentration trying to function through the brain fog of my thyroid condition when I realized the resident I was admitting was younger then me. I glanced upward to her diagnosis. A slew of fatal words greeted me. Our paths crossing this day as she came to our facility to die.


Anger. You would think that after working in long term care for almost 30 years I would have developed a thick hide of armadillo skin. That after being there for over 300 peoples dying moment..sitting right there... holding there hands as they slid from their earthly body that I would have developed a hard heart.

Tears again.

I remember everyone of them. All my residents. All the beautiful souls that crossed my path like soap bubbles. Sharing a part of their journeys with me. Some drifting for years, other popping and gone quickly.

I kept the obituaries of everyone person I watched die...until it hit 300. I was 22 years old when I drove to the bridge and tossed them in the muddy Rogue River. From the time I was 17 to 22 I saw more death then I ever wanted to. The number is without a doubt well over 1000 now. I count this way now. one.

each death is simply: one.

You get to pick who is there when a baby is born. You get to pick who welcomes them into the world. You get to pick who will be your friends in your life, you get to pick who will be your spouse, you don't get to pick who is there when you die.

Oh the heart wrenching stories I have seen and been part of. Oh the mysterious and magical deaths I have been part of....oh the tears I have shed...till there were none left.

yet still each life that crosses my path is a different one...each one...simply one.

Worked with a woman with kids 3 - 4 and 5 who slept on the couch as she worked nights with me. I was off for two days and came back to find her a resident dying on my wing. Wrap your head around that without letting it scar your soul. Her children's cries as I carried them one by one out to the police car the night she passed, Haunt me even to this day.

Still my heart is reachable...and each and every resident who comes in is a individual to get to know, even if its only for one day, one moment.

She put on her call light and as I walked in to see her, taking my hand she said, "Darling He is here for me"

"who?" I asked as I tucked her hair behind her ear and straightened her covers.

"He's come to take me to the circus" She giggled easing back into the pillows. Her eyes sparkling in the dim light.

I tucked her in and kissed her forehead. Started towards the door and felt a strong jump in the energy level in the room. Turning back I saw she was gone.


We walked into the room and there he was hanging from the door with the restraint around his neck. I reached him first and lifted him to ease the tension in the strap as co-worker sawed through it with dull bandage scissors. I tried to protect his head as we three fell landing on the hard tile. We laid there gasping for breath. When he had caught his he gurgled "I want to die"

"me too" I confessed.

tears, so many tears.

She groaned painfully and winced in pain.

"Please go get a warm blanket from the dryer" I told co-worker.

I climbed in bed with Mrs. G and laid her head on my shoulder.

"its okay" I whispered "Its okay, I'm here"

Co-worker tucked us in the soft warmth.

'Its okay to let go. G. its okay." I let my breathing sync up with hers. Each one further and further apart. "let go of the pain G" I felt her slid from my arms. many does one have? Will I run out someday?


I may run out someday, but for today I have enough for one more.


This was written in 2011 when I was struggling with thyroid issues and the relentless assault of death at my work.  I post it today because, in the end I ponder the question: many does one have? Will I run out someday?

 Now I know the answer. (click link)

The answer is yes.

and to save my self, I must leave long term care and run for my life. I look forward to finding a job that doesn't gut me and leave me emotionally spent. My heart can't take even one more death.