Wednesday, March 29, 2017

health update


That about sums up my health status right now.

Right now I am having an episode of burry vision. (um, hellooo that is a MS symptom...that all the doctors are ignoring.)

The muscle weakness/pain in my legs and increased. I can no longer walk up stairs without my legs screaming/becoming shaky.

I can't hold any thing in my arms/hands. My biceps become painful/weak/shaky. I sat with a baby on my lap for ~40 minutes the other day. All I had to do was hold my arms out slightly and around him like a seat belt. That left my arms just screaming and weak.

The prednisone is helping with the joint/arthritis pain, that is something.

My head has been trying to kill me all winter.


I have so much to write about. But the brain fog is crippling me. Its killed the writer in me. My writers pail isn't empty it's GONE.

I don't know if its a medication side effect or not but I AM NOT AMUSED.

I am about to go ape-shit on the medical profession and throw my own poo at them until they figure out what is going on and help me.

I have not abandoned my blog. I'm just on walk-a-bout trying to find my freaking mind.

Kids! thyroid brain fog, just say NO!!

In the time it took me to hold out my hands and type this, my biceps are now weak and shaky.

I am hoping that forcing my self to write a few blogs will coax the writer out. Or at least leave a bookmark in my blank mind so I can find my way back.

Public speaking about self injury - the begining

So how the heck did I end up being a public figure who talks about self injury? Me, super shy, eccentric nut who doesn't even feel connected to the human race.

It can be tracked back to my late twenties.  It was post therapy. I was enrolled in abnormal psychology in college and in the text book, they had a few paragraphs about self injury.


A few WRONG paragraphs about self injury.

It rubbed me the wrong way that this miss information was being taught to  students who would go on to treat clients who self injured.

Why were "professionals" making guesses and drafting theories about SI. I remember wondering why don't they just ask the self injurers?

We had to do a project. Our choices were a paper or a 10 min presentation. I choose to do a 10 min presentation on SIV. (self inflicted violence) I boiled all my knowledge on the subject down and calmed my nerves and waited to present my speech.

I had consciously chosen to wear 3/4 sleeves that day to hide my scars. I wanted the talk to focus on the topic not my scars. I didn't want the talk to be a show and tell...and have the focus shift from the reasons why people self injure to the scars.

People tend to see self injury scars and respond with "ooh that person is crazy!"

I didn't want them to go into my talk already judging me as being crazy.

As class started I was the second presenter. When it was my turn I began by announcing my topic and asking for a show of hands of everyone who had never self injured. I then asked them to put their hands down if they had ever gotten a tattoo or a piercing, and kept listing things, scratched a bug bit till it bled, slapped their face in anger, bit there lip, punched a wall in anger, had more then one sun burn.... until all the hands were down.

"You have all self injured. Lets look at how this behavior gets escalated to the other end of the spectrum, of cutting , burning, bone breaking, self surgery."

At that point I said launched into a condensed, raw look at self injury.

At the end of my 10 minutes the teacher opened it up for questions.

and for the next FORTY minutes I answered questions and discussed in more detail self injury. The hunger for more info touched me. People spoke up and asked for help "My niece cuts...what can we do to help her?"

Near the end I pushed back my sleeves and fessed up to being a person who lives with SIV. Which, by the looks of some people caught them off guard. It started another round of questions.

We went waaaaay over the allotted time. The professor called an end to the talk just moments before class was dismissed.

I got an A+

More then that I got a boost to my self esteem. It was a huge push to my soul that would lead me to be more open and reach out to other self injurers. That lecture was my turning point. My ground zero. I was now an teacher/advocate  on the subject.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Explaining your self inury to your children - When mom hurts

Was interviewed recently for an article about living with SIV.  The reporter was following my healing time line and taking notes.

There was a gap of seven or so years between therapy and starting to write on the message boards. I mentioned I wrote/drew a few things for the "The Cutting Edge:  A Newsletter for People Living with Self-Inflicted Violence" a snail mailed newsletter in that time, but completely, COMPLETLY forgot to mention my greatest contribution to the world of SIV education that occurred in that time frame.

I'm going to blame it on my annoying thyroid brain fog. Ha! Anyway I figured I should put it on here, before I forget about it again!

It's for parents who self injure to explain it to their kids. The age range for this book is 4-6 years old.

There was a time after hypnotherapy ended where I was just living and putting into practice all the skills I had learned there and in therapy. I worked and returned to school and just dipped my toes back into living with the human race.

It was in that time I found the Cutting Edge. I was pre-internet and it was the only support group for people living with self inflicted violence. A place were we could talk openly about self injury.

In one edition  in 1994 a woman named Ann vented a long letter about her situation and life with self injury. As she poured out her guts she lamented, "Why isn't there a book to help me explain my self injury to my kids?"

I thought, because no one has asked before.

And I wrote When Mom Hurts that very day. I sat on the manuscript for a few years not really sure how I wanted to proceed with it.

In 2002 on the self injury message boards, I began having to reply to a lot of mothers who wanted to know how to respond to their children's questions about their scars. I finally dug out the manuscript and put in some illustrations.

Those drawings were intended as temporary fillers until I had time to go back and properly illustrate it. I ran some rough draft copies to get feed back and sent them out. I figured the book would take a few months or so to finalize and boil down to its finally polished version.

I didn't fully comprehend the NEED for this book.

It took off and went like wild fire in its rough draft state! The cutting edge reviewed the rough draft and I started getting request from all over the world for copies.

I even got connected with Ann and sent her a copy.  It was so cool to talk to her!

The story doesn't end there. When my son was 7ish or so he came up to me and told me the shirt  I was wearing was his favorite one on me.

I was cleaning the garage and the shirt was a ratty old stained one. It was gross. I said "really? why?"

He smiled and said. "because it has long sleeves, and hides your ugly scars."

His words gouged my heart and took my breath away.  I had never hidden my scars and didn't normally wear long sleeves.

Wounded I retreated to the message board and wrote this:

after calming down and stepping off the anxiety train last night, I realized my son was pointing out to me the need for me to write a sequel.

As a writer it never ceases to amaze me how little control over my gift I have. I very, very seldom choose to write a story. They just come busting in to my mind and DEMAND to be written.

"When mom hurts" is aimed at introducing the topic of SIV to young kids. Designed to stir up conversation and more questions.

So its time now to answer those questions.

here is a peak into the writing process of my mind.
First I need a working title. (So I know what to call the project until its name comes to me.)
easy that one named its self.

"Long Sleeves"

Now to wait with yellow legal pad and zipped mouth and open ears to clearly hear what my son has to say when I interview him later today.
I can't answer his questions until he asked them. Its been too long since my farm kids asked me stuff, I don't remember what I told them, or how I handled things back then.

I know I will be unable to answer all his questions...and the book will stir up more. (great just got a commission for the conclusion of the trilogy)

Some where in my massive pile of things to finish are the manuscript for Long Sleeves for ages 7-10 and the conclusion of the trilogy that is for ages 11-15.

I should really finish them one day.