Sunday, January 31, 2016

Heart test

So had the echocardiogram on my heart today.

This is what happened prior to it.

Hospital parking leaves a lot to be desired. Arrived early and had to park in the back 40 acres and hike to the west entrance. To do this I had to walk past the North entrance.

Get to West entrance and the instructions say, walk in the big door and go to window on the immediate left.

I go in and turn. Solid wall.

After a full blow anxiety attack and endless wandering the hallways, two kind employees found me crying in the hall and escorted me to where their best guess the instructions should have taken me.

At that window they tell me, I need to go to the north entrance. I look at my watch I am now late. I take off and run allllllllllll the way back to the north entrance and get in the right line. By now my heart is beating like crazy and I want to beat my head into the wall until I draw blood. I am super stressed. Like toxic stress overloaded.

I pace trying to slow my breathing and stop from having a heart attack, while I wait to be checked into admitting.

As I am doing this it occurs to me. Perhaps this "being given the wrong directions, IS the cardiac test."

I break free of the SIV urges as I chuckle and half expect to get to the register and have her tell me, "Oh you made it! You passed the test, that will be $875."

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Names * * * TRIGGER sexual abuse discussion * * *

(This is going to lurch and sound awkward in spots...that's because I have edited out a slew of stuff from my original post. Sorry for that,  I wanted to share at least parts of it here, and redacting was the only way I could.)





Pretty ugly words that can make you cringe when you see them, hear them, read them.

Not words you want to ever find attached to yourself.

Actions you never want done to you.

Words you wish you weren't so familiar with.

I went round and round with Richard on this subject. He had the gall to tell me that I had been sexually abused.

"WHAT?!" I had nearly screamed at him. "Sexual abuse happens in movies and is horrible and violent and scary!"

My definition and perception of what "sexual abuse" was, was nothing like what happened to me.

"I don't feel damaged. I don't feel damaged."

He looked at me and then down to my scarred arm.

"I don't feel damaged." I snarled, balling up in my chair. "My definition of abuse doesn't equal what happened to me."

"You gave me this yesterday. I want you to see it." He hands me a page from my journal.

There in my writing is this...I had to keep my underwear on, Even it if was just on one leg I felt safe with it on.

I looked up at him unsure where he was going.

He paused selecting his words carefully. "So you were feeling unsafe?"

My head roared and all of me rebelled with the direction he was pointing at.

Sexual abuse is like that. Your mind is going to rebel and say, naw that isn't abuse...abuse is... not to deceive yourself but to preserve your self.

You mind is trying to rationalize the actions of others and maintain its hold on sanity.

How can I keep functioning if I HAVE BEEN ABUSED? Not possible, abuse would damage me beyond repair.

I am not denying what has happened, I just don't want to classify it with that awful word.

Maybe its not so bad if you call it something else...but it sure is bad if you call it RAPE. There is no denying that word and the power behind it.

I kept fighting with him in a battle for my life.


He finally compromised with me and we agreed to classify what occurred as, "inappropriate sexual contact."

Because in reality, my mind simply couldn't classify it as "classic sexual abuse" due to the lack of well, the movie and book descriptions of the RAVAGES OF ABUSE.

Once we agreed upon "inappropriate sexual contact." as the label for what happened, we could move on.

Over the years I have mulled over that label. Is it any different then labeling an avocado as guacamole? Same thing, just a different form.

My mind was not ready to take on that label of being sexually abused. Simply because my description of it differed.

There are grey areas in most definitions. SA is no different. Call it what you will, find the nomenclature that will allow you to breath and move forward.

After time and space and growth I can now say without cringing or wrestling within my self that. I was abused as a child.

Wishing I had a different past isn't denying what happened. It confirms it.

Wishing I was not so familiar with these words:





Isn't denying it, its carefully adding a layer of insulation to my fragile soul so I can keep on breathing and moving on.

It isn't not wanting to accept those words that is making me hold out my arms, its the fact that if I keep them at arms length then I don't have to worry about them tripping me or smothering me in my sleep.

I know those words are "no take backsies" There is no undo button.

No one wants to love those words.

It takes incredible strength and courage to even peek at them within your soul.

The classic definitions should be broader to encompass more. Or new terms should be invented.

I was point blanked asked by two different teachers in my childhood it I was being sexual abused.

Both times I said with all honesty, "no."

That is akin to being four feet under water and denying you are drowning.

Children think differently then adults do. To be given examples of SA today as a grown up I can easily classify them. I know what is right and what is wrong.

Its not always so clear cut when you are little and in the mix. Sometimes for you sanity and mental protection you just had to think, "what's going on is...nothing, it's just how life is."

That makes it hard as an adult to look back and connect with that child you were. Your mind is stronger then you think and crafty. It helps you stay alive and function while being a child.

Our minds are powerful things.

they never stop trying to protect us.

There will never be a time I proudly declare those words to be a part of me. I will never add them to my resume as I apply for a job. But I can admit they apply to me and that I know,

boy do I know,

how difficult it is for others to admit they might even apply to them.

Because those words bring so much more then just a label to the table.

worsting contests

Years ago when I worked at HH the night shift would clock in and we would get right to business with a "worsting contest".

Who ever had the it "worst" would win. An example of the game: 

Aide #1: I only got four hours of sleep....

Aide #2: I only got 4 hours too, but it was all broken up in one hour chunks.

Aide #3: You guys are so funny I only got 2 hours of sleep.

Aide #4: I only got 1 hour of sleep.

Aide #5: I didn't get ANY sleep!

Me: I haven't slept since 1974.

The idea to be the worst, no matter what.

Aide #1: I twisted my ankle today

Aide #2: I got caught ion a bear trap once, snapped my ankle in 1/2.

Aide #3: oh yeah? I broke both my ankles sky diving.

Aide #4: I had to have both my ankles fused.

Aide #5: I don't have ankles!

Me: I stepped on a leggo, then fell into a pile of Legos, then stood up and crushed my nephews ankle. While filling out ER paperwork I got this here paper cut, which caused and infection and they are going to have to amputate my ankles.

We as a society seem to have lost the ability to just listen to someone and offer compassion. To just simply validate the other person.

"I only got four hours of sleep...."

"I'm sorry, you must be tired."

"I twisted my ankle today"

"Oh no! how is it feeling now?"

How simple is that?

The following is an email conversation I had years ago with Blogzilly. (used here with permission given back in April of last year...yes this has been sitting in my draft file that long, not sure why I never published it) He must have found, my off the cuff response to something he said, worthy because he offered up this comment on it.

Blogzilly: Holy CRAP that was well said…I should just copy half of it and hit ‘Publish’….:)

I responded at the time:

Paja : Go for it. I would love to hear how you would expand on it.

Because to me it just sounded like my usual ramblings and he is a much better writer then I am. Now a few years later and looking back on it, I can see what he saw at the time.


"Todays blog is brought to you by Blogzilly and Paja...both writers who are depressed, anxiety filled, thyroid suffers with bad backs, who both need to go out and do yard work but the pain stops them. So no commenting unless you meet the "club" requirements or have it worse.....oh wait I have a old push mower so I have it worse then Blogzilly, I win! WhooHOO!"

Damn, when you say it like that it really points out the flawed thinking patterns we live with. Life is some sort of competition? When did being "you" become not enough? When did others pain and predicaments become something to compete with?

From: Blogzilly
To: Paja
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2012

Love this response, thanks. Lots of it to cover, but the bottom line is you are right…I don’t want to put Bennett’s darker side on the net because I feel guilty about things, or because I feel like, I dunno, a sense of reaction to factions in our community (and I think this is where this might be springing from) who tend to lump the community overall into sub-groups. Who tend to suggest ‘my kid’s disability is worse than yours so why are you complaining so much?’.

Even in life overall I have had to kind of learn that The Norms have every right to bitch too, and even non-disabled kids have the ability to cause each of us great pain and anguish as parents. I need to figure out how to talk about this delicately yet forcefully. I will, eventually.

From: Paja
To: Blogzilly
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2012

It is a subject that I have to bring up occasionally on the Self harm community and Sexual Abuse survivors support community on __________, where I hang out and offer support and my two cents on stuff. (Kinda weird I have trouble with my own life, but I have no trouble helping others with theirs? heh.) There is no tactful way to do it, you just have to throw it out there. I would start my posts with this title: "Time for a whack upside the head". Sometimes that is what is needed.

With the Self injuries (SI) its so easy for us to get into "worsting contests". One reason group therapy for self injuries doesn't work is this: Mary's SI is in the form of cutting numerous small superficial cuts. While Nancy's SI is in the form of hitting her hand on the table and bruising it, and Sally's chosen form is to burn 3rd degree burns.  

All three have to support each other but its hard for Sally to see that Nancy's form of SI is "legitimate" so she is brushed off and excluded from the group because her form isn't as severe as the others. When in reality it is.

Whether it be a scratch with a paperclip or a gash with a razorblade, both should warrant the same depth of compassion and concern as the other.

On the sexual abuse board I see the same thing played out in this way. We will get a person coming and bravely sharing there story of nearly being molested/violated and they are pacified with stuff like "Oh be glad, at least you weren't raped". As if there is some requirement to be in the "club".

Same too if a child is smacked across the face and an adult is smacked also. Hearing of child abuse gets this reaction "Oh that poor child, lets call CPS and get them help" and the adult gets this snarky reaction. "well he's an adult, he can get out of that situation/should never have put themselves in that situation."

If two friends came to you and said they attempted suicide and one swallowed 6 aspirin and one has rope burns around his neck would you react the same way to both of them?

Why is it so hard for us as humans to drop the "requirements/expectations" on pain and suffering.

So why do we turn carnivorous on our own kind? Does it boil down to the ugly truth of survival? The deep "must cull from the head any signs of weakness, in order to make the species strong and survivable".... or something more complex?

Or some thing ridiculously simple like: " I need right now to be your focus, I need you to put down your life and just for this moment see me and just listen to what I am saying, give me your full attention just see me, hear me, let me show you my underbelly of vulnerability and my guts, allow me to be wounded, I need compassion and understanding, support me without judgment or making me feel that I have not earned the right to be in this club."

Kinda strange the human mind. We say "you don't know what its like to be in my shoes" .....and mean it. But we also forget that human emotions are native to us all.

The pain that drove the fictitious 6 aspirin swallower to attempt suicide is the same pain that prompted the other one to other to attempt by hanging.

Questions then deepen, why is it some of us want/need to hold our pain/life as a crown over our heads, we want/need to be worshiped in fact that we suffer the most. Why is that important to some?

gahhh! stop it! look what you did! you made me get on my soap box and start chewing mental gum before breakfast! LOL, no more reading email before breakfast! I get lost in thought and there goes 1/2 my morning.

encyclopedia's are full of information

My absolute earliest memory is of the set of encyclopedia Britannica set that was in the living room at my parents house. I am laying on the floor having my diaper changed and I am trying to touch them.

They have been a part of my life, literally forever. Printed in 1965 the year I was born. That is them behind me on my first birthday.

In my late teens I found my mothers ledger of the family expenses for those early years. She recorded the purchase and payments of the set. She wrote a note in the ledger justifying the rather large expense. Something along the lines of: In hopes my children will develop a love of learning and use these to quench their thirst for knowledge.
We sure did use them. We used them like bricks to build towers. Used them as weights to flatten what ever project we were gluing together. Walls to corral our guinea pigs in as played with them in the living room. We used them to hold up our hot wheel tracks. We used them as makeshift stepping stools to reach stuff on higher shelves. We used them as booster seats.

A copy of Rodin's The Thinker, graced the top of the book case. How on earth he survived as long as he did still amazes me. Every child knocked him off at least twice in their childhood. 

(I am pouting here because its my birthday and I want to open my presents but my mama wants us to pose for a picture.)

My older sister and I would take turns picking on the glossy color pages of horse pictures. Over and over till the pages were dog-eared and had to be taped back in.

They were our "Google" and countless references were pulled from them for our schooling.

Last summer on a visit my father and I were standing in the garage discussing his latest project when a box caught his eye and he asked, "hey do you want these? there on there way to goodwill."

I pulled off the lid and there were the encyclopedias.

It was a weird thing that pinged my gut. Like the last tie that anchored me to the my past. The last physical evidence of my childhood.

I didn't need them. I had in fact just a few months before donated my own set of eyewitness books 20+ volumes, that were my own similar collection of books I used with my own kids; to the local school library.

I helped my father load them into my truck. Not because I wanted or needed them, but because of a strange tie to them. Going back through time to a mother who dreamed of teaching her children.  Proof that at one time she had good intentions.

I shared them with my kids when I got home. It was fun to pick horses with my daughter and do what my sister had done to me countless times....making sure the last available horse for her to pick was the "ass" picture on the last page.

I will be there caretaker until the time/situation is right and then pass them on.

rush of wind

Three graves on a hill.

This family lost a infant daughter each year.

I was a young girl when I found those three small head stones.

By that time I had already lost three baby brothers. I understood them more than a pre-teen child should.

I wonder, did that mother try again? Or as she wrapped that last tiny body and laid it in the coffin her heart broke and she closed that door in herself forever.

What is it in us that breaks?

What physical part of our body - brain snaps...disconnects....breaks?

There is a stilling in my heart when life whispers to me. With a rush of wind I am filled with a sensation that I can't explain. But just for a second I am taken apart at the seams and I become a conduit that taps into an energy that is so intense I don't dare grab it.

Like all my emotions are quick silver and they pull away from me in tiny beads. The weight of this place crushes my heart and I feel skinned, inside out and contorted. In this place I have the answers.

Its too much. I close down, I feel the hold on me release and the wind recedes, and returns me to the vacuum of my daily presence.

It is in this place that she writes.

The one who reaches out with scarred arms. The one who the past didn't kill. The one who loves despite of all of it. The one I can't be. The one who words I read the next day and can't believe they came from within me.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

reader feedback on last blog

"You forgot to put a trigger warning on your last blog!"

"that was painful to read, it should have had a trigger warning."

"Trigger warning next time!"

The omission of the warning was intentional.

After all, with rape, you don't always get a nice handy warning its coming.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

What its like to be raped

Imagine a fairy tale life where you were safe and protected and there was no bad guys or danger. Where parents kept you safe and could heal your booboos with a hug and kiss.(that is how childhood should have been for all of us)

You grow up and are excited to be on your own and take charge of the world and do great things. You feel powerful and in charge. You charge out into the world demanding respect and love from it just like you received in childhood.

You build a strong house on a firm foundation and life is good.

Then you are visited by the man with the flesh knife and he breaks in and leaves his filth on you like a shadowy grime...and in you like some oozing slimy cancer.

The sun rises the next day and you discover all the walls of your carefully built house are gone. There is blood and dirt and darkness everywhere in your house staining all that is yours and you.

The sun is shining.

People are walking by looking inside your destroyed house and ignoring the devastation that is RIGHT THERE. Your soul is hanging inside out and withering from the immense mental pain.

You fall down from the weight that is crushing you. Breathing is a chore and you are afraid you are going to die...and afraid you are NOT going to die.

The sun keeps shining, the world keeps turning and everyone and everything goes on oblivious to your pain.

You look at your house and are so overwhelmed you don't know where to start the repairs. Every broken thing you pick up cuts you and makes you bleed.

At last your mind can take no more and the numbness sets in.

You seek the calm, comfort of nonexistence...maybe if I just look away it will all go away.

and the sun rises, and you find the world has gone on without you, left you in some cruel wake where you are neither alive nor dead.

then the fear sets in.

You sit in that wall less house realizing JUST HOW VULERABLE YOU ARE. That anyone can just come in and disrespect you and kill your soul.

The fear turns to anger and unfocused it boomerangs back to you.


You want to make sense of all this soul churning madness and the only way to make madness make since is to see it as this.

"I" must have done something to deserve this. "I" must be evil, bad, etc etc.

But the love you received in childhood conflicts with this new madness.

You seek to protect yourself. Nothing you do returns that sense of balance and safety. No matter how thick the walls are rebuilt you can't escape him as he haunts your memories.

You turn to things to self protect.

thoughts like...."I will make my self so ugly that no one will touch me want me again." you build fences by shoving those who love you away, you don't want them to get caught in the poison you feel yourself oozing.

You shove all those who love you the furthest away. So when you can't take it anymore and die from all this pain in your heart they will be protected...and not miss you.

You fall so many times tying to catch back up with the world spinning away from you at 10000000 mph that you give up and just lie on the floor with eyes clenched.

You wait for someone to come help you. To rescue you and help you.

Then when they do you bite their hands and chase them off.

Their compassion and love seem like dangerous sink holes that threaten to consume you.

That if you accept the offered love then you have to face, REALLY FACE that happened.

If you keep running you can keep 10 feet ahead of the horrifying truths that claw inside your head.
This is how it is for so many....way too many.

You can run forever and the truth will chase you the whole time. At some point hopefully, someone will see your pain.

Someone who will climb over the rubble and wade into the madness and set their lantern down.

In the dim light you will fight like some captured animal. You will say and do things to self protect and keep any help from you.

The person with the lantern will stay with you.

And in time you will tire of running and the rope will fall slack and in an exhausted heap, you will look up and the anger will return and you stand up and fight like a mother fucking wild cat to take back your power. And you will heal.

The journey is different for us all. Some fight the whole way, some give up, others are too afraid to loosen there grip on the floor to get up and start it. Some have no strength in there hands to reach out for help, or even hold on to the life lines offered.

Thankfully there are those with strong hands who can hold on for us.

Ambiguous genitalia

Finally got the MRI and cardiac stuff set up with the hospital.

But boy howdy did that test my patience today.

Caller: Hi may I talk with R____ Page-ah

Me: That's me, I'm Mrs. R____.

Caller: I'm calling to schedule his test at the hospital

Me: (sighing) That's me and I am a woman and my name is Pa-juh R______.

Caller: Oh will he need an interpreter?

Me: (chewing on the phone cord) No, I'm sure I speak English.

‪#‎unusualnametroubles‬ ‪#‎sigh‬ ‪#‎IlookedIdonthaveapenis

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What is it that opens that door with in us?

The other night at work I learned one of my male co-workers wife has been cheating on him. I have known this gentleman for a few years. It devastated him. He came to me later and wanted to talk to me about it.

He said things like "I felt uncontrollable rage" I wanted to cut the pain away" "It burned my heart to learn this" "her actions punched me." etc...lots of terms that sounded to me like this man was on the verge of using Self Inflicted Violence as a coping method.

BTW he and I have talked extensively on the subject of SIV as he is very interested in it. He has a psych background and had learned about it before meeting me.

He said he felt the urge to SIV, to step over that line and deal with the emotional pain with SI. He was hurting so bad he wanted to inflict physical pain to equal it. But he couldn't. It piqued his interest later when he calmed down. He wanted to know HOW I was able to do it. How I justified it to myself.

I had to really think on that one. For me I have self injured since I was very young. Others treated me badly, so it just made sense. I was not worth protecting. I was not worth it. Simple as that.

He has a strong support system and healthy normal self esteem. Nothing erodes his sense of self. Loving parents, good friends, goals, dreams, direction etc. He feels "wanted/needed" by others.

I didn't feel that/have that until I got married (and surprise) that's where the true healing set root. In that environment the SI went to zero for many years. Because I felt "wanted/needed". The SIV resurfaced only after life stressors and things surfaced that I needed to deal with.

Somewhere in the past years I gained a sense of self worth. Not a egotistical " I am super person - bow down to my greatness" but a quiet voice in side that says "I am worth something." I am worth fighting for, I am worth protecting.

We came to the conclusion the SIV came close to taking a bite out of him because wife's actions, gouged a hole in his "worth". Opening the door/weakening his defenses to a choice that cropped up because of his interest in the subject.

Does that make sense?

I was left with a spinning head of thoughts and ideas. If you are never exposed to SI would it never crop up in your coping skills? If so then WHY do we discover it? Are the children of SIers more at risk for it cause they have been introduced to it?

What breaks in your spirit that allows this coping skill to suddenly become a tool you reach for?

When does pain cease to be pain and transform into something else?

What pathways are created/activated in your mind when you seek and welcome the pain and override the urge and basic impulse to avoid injury?

aaahhh, interesting stuff to think about.

I wrote this on a message board years ago.  I was reading through my file of post that I wrote and printed out. Some deep and powerful writing in there. Some....some absolutely great writing and insight in there. Stuff I can't post here because I haven't opened that door here yet. Hinted at it, yes but not addressed it.

I am having a powerful push from my gut/heart to open that door, and go there. 

let me give you a direct hint at where we are about to go:

"The number one most common denominator among SIV-er's is a history of sexual abuse..."

I guess this is your chance to jump ship if you don't want to go down that road with me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Over qualified

This is the blog I wrote as my sister and I were polishing up my resume

I was so burned out and run down from a YEAR of fighting for my life due to the levoxyl recall and the adverse side effects that the generic levothyroxine and synthroid that my cheese had slipped off my cracker.

Its interesting to note that I was only back on the synthroid for a week. Then after reading up it came to light the first batch of levoxyl wasn't up to par and everyone was feeling like crap on it. I returned to it and upped my dose, and peace returned to my head. (well my version of peace anyway ha!)

Any way...its the last part of the blog that catches my attention:

"Right now there is a company who doesn't know it yet, but there going to put out an ad looking for a new employee, and I am going to walk in and be more then they ever expected."

I am highly respected in my line of work. It used to baffle/bother me, but I have gotten used to it, as my confidence in my self has grown.  I simply do my job and do it well.

It wasn't always that way, I was once a young goofball with no experience, and no confidence.

Seventeen and dumb as a post.

 I had the opportunity to work with a LOT of fantastic nurses, CNA's, patients, families and doctors over the years and I paid attention. My life experiences enriched me as a employee, but more importantly as a human.

A little older and wiser here, but still learning...come to think of it, I'm STILL learning even today. Knowing you are human and capable of making mistakes helps keep you humble and mortal.

Anyway.  When I made the jump to the town I lived in, no one knew me. I was a blank slate. I didn't have 31 years of people who knew me or what I was capable of.  Which was actually, nice. There was no expectations or demands of me.

I was just a face to my new employers and co-workers.

It gave me time to switch gears and get my feet under me in a new company, without the expectations that I was some supreme super employee.

I fooled everyone but the residents. They saw right through me from the start and fell in love on the spot.

But that was par for the course, because, the love and affection was mutual.

So my incognito blending in got blown. I was busily passing the morning med pass when I lifted my head to say good morning to a person walking down the hall.  I found my self face to face with an RN from my past.

Neither of said anything for a second, then we smiled, and I ducked my head and chuckled.

"So here is where you have been hiding." He smiled.

"Ssshh! don't blow my cover." I laughed.

He walked closer and whispered, "You are WAY OVER qualified to be working here!"

After a quick chitchat we both returned to our jobs.

His statement ringing in my ears and leaving my gut twitching like a dog petted the wrong way.

It was sitting with me like the statement "I'm just a CNA" used to sit with me eons ago. I have written many manifestos ranting about how "You are not JUST a CNA, you are a CNA...etc etc" Barking from my soap box in defense of my profession.

That was in the days before the internet, so you all missed out on them.

My passion on the subject hasn't faded one bit.

"You are WAY OVER qualified to be working here!"


So you are implying that the basic, basic, BASIC care of a human being is above me? That my age/experience some how rises me above caring for other humans?

It makes me want to get a stick and poke you off your high horse, and soundly thrash you with it.

We are beyond the herd mentality. We have evolved beyond taking the weak/sick/elderly/disabled out and leaving them in the woods to die. Being in a position to give a person kindness and compassion and be part of their last years of their life journey is a profound HONOR.

And I never forget that.

The pay check is a nice bonus, but the real pay is the human connections I make. There isn't time to meet all the fabulous souls in this world. So I stay put and those that need to meet me and visa versa are arranged by the (universe/heavens/pick your deity of choice) to come to where I am. And we travel the winding path of lives journey together.

Be it years, months or days.

I love my job, and I am not overqualified to do it. People who are "overqualified" for the job are the ones who think they are above being a decent human being.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"It's never lupus"

So the search to get a diagnosis for me has now lead to us having a white board and playing Dr. House.

The search has stepped up and here are the pending tests incoming. MRI of my brain, Ultrasound of my carotid artery and Echocardiogram of my heart. If all normal then their going to do an EEG.

On the white board we are ruling out cardiac damage due to years of untreated hyperthyroidism with the accompanying super high cholesterol levels that brought on.

The MRI I reckon is to make sure I actually have a brain in there...LOL.