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+BOPPING BLACKBIRDS

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Thursday, April 17, 2014.  I am not a happy camper as far as this computer change fiasco is concerned.  I have FINALLY dared to open up a sheet of paper here in this transported Office configuration on this sweet new Dell computer, Sara Lee – who is most unfortunately POSSESSED in assorted, irritating if not obnoxious ways by a Microsoft NEW mess currently known as 8.1.

Obsolete Windows XP was murdered last week by its creators.  It ran perfectly for me.  Cannot have perfection floating around on this planet, can we?  Microsoft, the poisonous elixir of the poor folks.  If I had had $1,500 to replace my old system with a Mac instead of the $500 I did have to buy this Dell replacement, I could have almost eliminated Microsoft from my existence.  Alas.

If I want to traipse around any part of the computer universe in my worn out clod hoppers I have to learn how to cross this bridge without falling.  I am not quite there yet.

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One of the small pleasures I have discovered in living in this so-not-me environment here is the feeding of finch, chick-a-dees and sparrows.  I tossed out my small allotment of seeds onto this small cement slab outside my sliding glass door (my only window in this apartment) this morning only to look outside at the arrival of a flock of blackbirds devouring in minutes what the smaller birds can enjoy over the course of an entire day.

Life in this material world.  Keeping things in balance?  If there is pleasure in feeding finch there will ALSO HAVE to be irritation in the arrival of hordes of blackbirds.  Now I must be either vigilant in watching for “the enemy” so I can chase them away or I give up.  I am still not able to drive (another story), so replacing seed is not an entirely simple matter.  Neither is the cost of feeding a cityscape of blackbirds – oh, and yes, the first dove just joined the feast – very possible for me in my poverty, either.

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Now, to see if I can save this little document on this new computer – and then find it again somewhere in Microville….  Well, I saved this.  Will look for it later.

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This morning my thoughts have been playing in a new way with the ideas behind my Libra rising sign.  There is more to this “balancing things out in fairness” than this ascendant of mine would suggest.  Take one side of the scale and add into it lots of cute finch and life will SURELY bring a ton of blackbirds to – BALANCE the scale?

Hummm…… I am left with the struggle – aren’t we all??

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Oh.  Turned away.  30 seconds I am back.  Screen is blank.  Have to watch this magic cursor.  Puts itself up into a paragraph.  I don’t notice.  Type away, no words appear HERE.  Part of some previous text has highlighted itself, vanishes, new words appearing where I did not want them.  Have to – what?  Cut a piece of cardboard, tape it over the computer’s own mouse version?

Wait.  I’ll be back….

Baby has filled his pants.  Has run off somewhere with a cardboard piece of the new Clifford puzzle.  He’s eating it.

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Kashi brand Organic Promise cereal box cardboard piece taped to computer – doing so suddenly turned my Word page HUGE.  I am so out of my element.  Why do I TRY?

Chased away more blackbirds.  Or the same ones?  Diaper changed.  Peace returned.  For how long?  Oh.  Stuffed fuzzy kitten toy suddenly appears.  WHOPP onto my keyboard.  Out of nowhere?  No.

Out of SOMEWHERE and that somewhere is just LIFE.

I am reminded in the back of my mind that for all the 18 years I was abused by psychotic Mother, being told in every possible way that if I were not such a bad child, if I didn’t exist at all, everything in Mother’s world, and through her in her family’s world, and beyond us all to the whole wide world as it existed – all would be perfect.

I have worked since my earliest memory to keep my own self right-side-up in such a dark and malevolent, turbulent, hopeless kind of universe.  Even though I might not – moment by moment – believe that I am ALL THAT BAD, I have not managed erase even the tiniest corner of my corresponding belief so programmed, beaten into me, that there IS such a thing as a Perfect World!

I continue to think this is true – both that the world MUST be perfect and that I so deeply believe this to be true that I still, at age 62, have not found any way to alter or to eradicate this belief, that I am continually shocked and dismayed to find that there ARE just as likely blackbirds in that proverbial pie as anything else I would consider “so much better.”

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I am left with the continual question, “WHY?”  Why is the world not perfect?  (Running in the background, a faulty operating system:  “Would the world be in its perfect condition if I were not in it?”)

Where is the end of the line of this kind of thinking?

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I had something written here:  “It’s all my fault.”

Then this computer magically did something obnoxious, changed my page so that I could no longer type a dang thing, did not let me fix it.  I shut down the page and prematurely was forced to go look for it.  Short story = I found this and continue what I was doing before mayhem appeared!

“What did I do to cause THAT glitch?”

Dared to try to write a blog post.  That must be it.

It’s the stress, distress, anxiety provoked by all these asundry occurrences and disturbances that dismays me nearly continually.  I do not have the inner resources to flow through any kind of water that feels threatening to me!  Continually life asks of me that I readjust – not my choice of words but baby is effectively demanding all of my attention – yet again – ‘cause that’s what babies do….

He wants cereal.  Not the banana he just demanded and will not eat.  Cereal that comes in the box whose cardboard is now taped to my computer.  Hodge podge, makeshift, demanding world we live in.  Of course PTSD and other inner trauma-related disturbances in this body I live in prevent me from simply COPING in any kind of easy way – with ANYTHING these days.

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Like the constant roaring drone in the walls and ceilings of this apartment I am living in.  I am sure I have (“bad me”) COMPLAINED about that drone in a previous post.  It is one of the very WORST conditions my PTSD could be forced to cope with.  It’s on the blackbird side of the scale as it attempts to balance out – what?  That I at least can gaze out my one window at a little open area that has a cat tail pond full of flickering little wings that send bits of last year’s fluff off into the sunlight instead of another building’s dead-end wall crowding in on me?

“It’s my own damn fault I am poor.”  Huh?  Like being tormented, tortured, terrorized, traumatized from the time I was born and for the following 18 years – conditions that caused so much damage to the development of every system in my body – that all created permanent forms of disabilities I live with that prevent me from living a full, healthy life (PTSD, reoccurring major depression, dissociation, depersonalization, derealization) are ALL MY FAULT?

Blackbirds.  That feed on my own thoughts.  Self-sustaining blackbirds.  How tiring to ALWAYS have to be fending them off, chasing them away, trying to eradicate them, or transmute them into something positively sustaining.

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Meanwhile.  The only surface that supports this laptop for working on it out of reach of baby is NOT a location with internet access.  Yes, the wireless router my daughter so sweetly bought for me sits here in its pristine box awaiting time when she can work all those angles out for me.  (Fortunately.  I am grateful).

So, how do I get this post onto the blog?  And when?  There are blackbirds in my way.  My problem is I let that bother me.  I think I will go stare at the cloudless sky on this windless day and be happy more snow is melting while I await the arrival of my TechnoCalvary.

There goes that magic cursor again.  This time I caught it elevating itself up into my document before it could devour portions of my post.  So much for my cardboard Band-Aid.  Harken!  Do I hear trumpets?

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NOTE:  My drumming lessons – over there on the goodness side of the scale of my life – are FANTASTIC!!  I am being trained in “classical drumming!”  What a HAPPY HOOT!!!  I am working hard to use the positive in my drumming experience to counterbalance the negative I feel at living in a city, in a frigid climate, etc.  (complete with AWFUL droning walls and ceiling surround noise).

I am working to convince myself that I have moved to a town to attend drumming college!  I cannot imagine ever again in my lifetime living somewhere with this kind of opportunity.  My instructor, Brett, has a doctorate in percussion and is a perfect (!!) teacher!

No “sloppy” slap dash of my hands on conga drumheads.  This is precision training with sticks on a practice pad.  (Cursor moved itself up again.  SHUCKS!)  I get to watch my trauma-altered brain LEARN what I am being taught.  It reminds me of 30 years ago when I took college trigonometry.  My brain had to find entirely new and unusual ways to process that information.  But I DID IT!

And I will do this, too!  I am learning how to do extremely fast drum rolls in perfect form.  Once I have mastered THAT I suppose everything else will seem easy.  Eventually, I suppose, I will be able to move so fast I can then bop those blackbirds on their little greedy heads before they know I am coming.

“Linda.  Shame on you!”

Nope.  I simply do not APPRECIATE blackbirds.

I will have to find a faster metronome, I suppose.  I will ask Brett about that.  There are probably online versions once this internet mess is straightened out.  My old windup metronome has a top speed of 230 (or so) beats per minute.  That SOUNDS fast to me until I begin to drum.

At that point each hand takes on 115 of those beats.  And at that magic moment it’s like stepping over a threshold.  I am no longer on the outside of the beat listening in.  Once I begin to match the beat with the sticks I step inside the rhythm and become one with it.  How exciting!  Now – to ask Brett, “Exactly how fast is a drumroll?”  Incredible.  This is an incredible experience.  And I so do NOT want to worry about that other shoe falling.

(Moved computer over to attach internet cable.  Baby is napping so the coast over there is clear.  Computer would not recognize the internet link until I rebooted it.  Say, WHAT?  Now, let’s see if I can post this motley collection of words.)

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job).  Click here to view or purchase –

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

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Please click here to read or to LEAVE A COMMENT

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Monday, April 07, 2014. I just tried out my daughter’s pedometer. I walked 45 minutes on “a track” around this small apartment for 45 minutes, burned 165 calories, walked 4900 steps which equaled about 2.4 miles. Too bad I have become addicted to Snickers candy bars! I would have to walk 6 or more hours per day to get rid of those calories!

Actually, on my all-green organic vegetable “diet” I lost 45 pounds in less than 3 months. That losing got a little scary – so, back to eating basic crap for the most part. I had actually discovered that not even 1% of what’s sold in grocery stores is GOOD for me. So, for now, I gave up and decided, “What the ever-lovin’ HECK! I’ll just eat dang Snickers!”

Too high of a stress level is evidently nearly as bad for one’s health as is improper diet – and my stress level remains ridiculously high! I figure – “Snickers are good anti-stress agents!”

AND, when I do my walking in the house I can practice with my drumsticks the entire time, strengthening my hands and fingers, etc.  Not sure I’m quite up for doing all of THAT out on the public sidewalks yet.

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Overall I am sad at the ending in the next few hours of support for Windows XP. It ran SO WELL!! My poor only Suzy Cute, old computer – too bad, so sad….

I am with her until the bitter end. Captainess going down with her ship?

Nearly so.

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A friend sent me a great link today that reinforces my own thinking about the harm of daycare centers. This is a British article. (I challenge my friend to find a comparable American take on this condition!)

Infants ‘institutionalised’ by overexposure to childcare

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), says that pressure on parents to work for long hours is damaging family life and failing to meet the needs of children

I don’t think very many people have a clue what this article is talking about. Although I do use the term “day orphanages” I had not directly connected the situation considered by this article to “institutionalization” but I clearly get the point.

As one commenter to this article mentioned, “…the state agenda is all about controlling future generations by becoming their parent instead.

The reality of the neurophysiological consequences to infants and preschoolers who are being robbed of close safe and secure attachment relationships means that how these children develop will be different than it would be if the attachment relationships were present. To continue to use the argument that “poor and disadvantaged” and “abused and neglected” children are “better off being cared for outside of the home” and in “early schooling environments” simply carries NO weight when it comes to applying it to ALL THE REST of the children!

Personally, at least at this moment, I am not thinking too highly of those people who occupy “mainstream America.” Maybe not their parallel in Britain, either.

(Insitutionalized: That’s what people used to say about what happened to those locked up in mental hospitals. It’s what happens to prisoners whose institutionalization keeps them permanent returnees. It’s what Red China used, what Hitler used….. The truth of the matter is that MANY, MANY mothers would NEVER choose to stay home to care for their children, not even their newborns, not their children under five or of any age. Their fathers would not make that choice, either. These parents do not WANT to stay home with their children. DO-NOT-WANT-TO. So, blaming “the state” is exactly – how helpful to the little ones growing up most of their waking hours of their lives in these day orphanages?)

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job).  Click here to view or purchase – 

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

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Please click here to read or to LEAVE A COMMENT

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Saturday, April 5, 2014.  I did not sleep well last night.  Today is the day of the big percussion extravaganza I so want to attend at one of the local colleges here.  I am moments away from my daughter’s arrival to take me over there.  Am I nervous?  Yes.  Nearly unreasonably so.

Something in my dreams last night, dreams that I will never consciously remember, told me when I woke up the last time as morning arrived that I am dangerously missing one of the most essential ingredients to having a good life.  Self-confidence.

Oh what a blessed attribute of self self-confidence is.  Now that this concept has arisen to the surface of my thoughts I am understanding something differently about myself in my life.

Few things – other than disappointment itself – can hurt and hinder me as much as having my extremely fragile sense of self-confidence threatened.

Suddenly this morning hosts of situations from my life going all the way back to my so-abusive childhood have arisen to show me exactly where, when and how my self-confidence was destroyed.  I have so LITTLE of it from the beginning of my life my self-confidence might be the most valuable, precious, scarce, necessary and missing resource I so barely have.

I sure don’t have enough of it to comfortably take me out my apartment door this morning to attend a (to me) strange event in a strange place swarming with strange people.

For one thing I have lived long enough to be growing old – and I look it.  Being this old – all by itself – brings to mind how my having been diagnosed with advanced aggressive breast cancer in July 2007 tumbled my perceptions of myself in my body and therefore in this lifetime into the ground.

Added to that, after a year of fighting that cancer, the very person who should have been most in support of my continued survival, my oncologist, said to me at my last visit to him, “I wouldn’t bother having breast reconstruction if I were you.  You won’t live long enough to enjoy them.  And besides, we’d just have to cut them off when the cancer comes back again.”

8:00 am.  My daughter is here to pick me up to take me over to the college.

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Monday, April 7, 2014. Here I am perched on top of the fat book I ordered online to help me plow my way through Windows 8.1 on my new laptop. The book sits on top of the usual stool I use at my makeshift computer table (high, to keep baby fingers off of my keyboard), but today I am writing on my old laptop whose support for Windows XP expires today. The old computer is sitting on top of the new computer – which has been nothing but a pain in the you-know-what since I first turned it on.

My office? A shambles, actually. I have no idea how to make this area user-friendly for me, the person who is supposed to function as something else other than grandma babysitter. My body-brain is in no better shape. Scrambled. Off-key and off-kilter. That’s me.

Backing up to the percussion event I attended last Saturday. All went remarkably well! The set-up on the college campus was perfect. A large instrument staging area sat on the floor of the auditorium that doubles as a basketball court. It was surrounded by sound panels. The permanent seating went up above it in steps that allowed me to situate myself at a distance from the moderate crowd of about 150 interested people.

At one point the MC asked everyone to “please move to the area over there” as he pointed. 99% of the crowd got up and shifted as directed. Not me. And the place where I remained was the perfect spot to witness the unfolding, note by note, of a perfect musical extravaganza in percussion.

Interspersed between the performances were clinics on sight reading for snare drum and drumming technique by a visiting fantastic drummer from the east coast. I soaked it all up, wandering alone around areas of the campus during the “lunch on your own” (I ate Snickers) portion of the day.

I called my daughter to pick me up 2 hours before that day ended. We took the little ones to a park for an hour and then I was dropped off for my drumming lesson. I walked home across parking lots in the midst of roaring traffic. But I made it.

(I also slept 12 exhausted hours Saturday night in consequence.)

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Yesterday began the nightmare of the NEW COMPUTER. The computer is the nicest I have ever had but Windows 8.1 is insane. Just saying. I am eternally grateful to my 28-year-old son for his help yesterday as he accessed my computer remotely and set it up to run as smoothly as possible. He is of the techno-love generation. I am not.

I hate change for the most part under the best of circumstances. I, along with everyone else running an older computer with Windows XP is being FORCED to abandon ship and jump into shark infested waters while I bleed techno-incompetence into the churning polluted waters. (Just saying.)

“All good things come to an end,” question mark?

I have never used a Mac computer nor do I have the finances to own one. I hear my tolerance for computer mayhem would be better served by that technology. In the meantime I have exactly TODAY to safely navigate the internet world on this old computer. If I could have gotten – FINALLY – a decent computer, which the new one is – that simply ran Windows XP I would be just fine. But sharks and barracudas do run the entire globe where money is concerned.

If it did any good to complain, inwardly and outwardly, I assure you I would be at the top of the heap.

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Drumming. My Saturday lesson was fantastic. My fingers were not, however, remotely cooperative with their instruction. “SAY WHAT?” I had to tell my teacher as he positioned my fingers properly on my drumsticks for their next new move, “I am sorry. I kid you not, but those fingers are not connected to my brain! Therefore, I CANNOT DO THAT!”

So, my practice this week will not be particularly fun unless I sneak away from teach’s instructions to bouncing around willy-nilly to beats I enjoy. I have to snap my attention back to those errant fingers of mine, “Pay attention! I am TALKING TO YOU!”

The point is I am supposed to learn to separate signals to the digits between my thumb and my pinky so that the lightly and responsively roll in their balancing of the stick. The point is that I need to learn meticulously correct form in order to move into the direction of eventually being able to create 120 beats a measure in clearly defined 2-distinct-movement movements!

Something to aim for. So is being able to smoothly boss my new computer around.

Long ways to go? Am I confident I can reach my goals? I have to be. I can’t come up with another choice.

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(Later I might write about my realization yesterday that I feel like a wild animal confined in a zoo living in a city.)

(Meanwhile, I will spend a chunk of this day watching YouTube videos about how to make peace with Windows 8.1 — ha.)

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job).  Click here to view or purchase – 

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

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Please click here to read or to LEAVE A COMMENT

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Friday, April 04, 2014. I am not fond of days when I have nothing constructive to say. I do not see that I am even able to think constructively today. I cannot even define for myself what I think constructive thought even is. But whatever it may be I am identifying its existence by its absence.

It is warmer here in the north but yet again it is cloudy. I do not do well in cloudy climates any more than I do in frigid ones. I continually struggle to think and feel positively in this place, as I have mentioned many times in my posts since I returned here last fall after a 20-year absence from the northland.

I have to try to focus on miniscule aspects of my existence right now to find the positives. There ARE positives. I am having a hard time tuning into them so that I can feel positive resonating within. Like trying to listen to a radio station that is too far out of range to dial into. Static. Neuroscientists might even describe what captures my attention as “brain noise.”

I am never a fan of noise!

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Two words popped into my thoughts: chattering tires. I cannot remember the last time those two words appeared in my thoughts. No doubt they are tied to a message I am receiving from my creative right brain hemisphere in some kind of an image form.

I Googled the words. What is tire chatter?

One site defines it this way: “It is when you are trail braking hard on the front, and you get a nasty vibration or even sometimes a hopping sensation from the front tire!”

Another site says this: “Wide, ultra-performance radials when turning sharp at slow speeds may “chatter” a bit. The severity depends on the surface, but some chatter is to be expected.”

Or, do I want to learn what aviation experts have to say about brakes, tires and landing gear?

Not so much…..

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I can tell from even this simple search that what I am experiencing has to do with GOING, rate of speed, STOPPING…. Oh, I get it. My stress response system is out of whack. Surprising?

Not so much….

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I Googled “brain noise” and received many thought provoking replies.

How about Wickipedia on NEURONAL NOISE? “Neuronal noise or neural noise refers to the random intrinsic electrical fluctuations within neuronal networks. These fluctuations are not associated with encoding a response to internal or external stimuli and can be from one to two orders of magnitude. Most noise commonly occurs below a voltage-threshold that is needed for an action potential to occur, but sometimes it can be present in the form of an action potential; for example, stochastic oscillations in pacemaker neurons in suprachiasmatic nucleus are partially responsible for the organization of circadian rhythms.”

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How about, “Our Startle Response and Noise?” Oh, I bet this one is getting closer to a description of my current state!

Crucial to survival, this instinctual reaction to noise enables us to go from a deep sleep to a quick sprint in a matter of seconds. . . or to do battle with surprising strength. Today, however, our stress response is getting knee-jerked around by all the bells and whistles of modern civilization. From the clatter and jar of diesels and dump trucks, to chest-thumping teenage car tunes, noise is almost impossible to block. It’s very uncontrollability further adds to the stressful impact.”

I have NO silence solace in this place I live in – inside or out. The ventilation system in this building drones with a dull roar throughout my walls and ceiling. In this tiny place I cannot escape the noise of my refrigerator, either. I timed it yesterday. It runs every 15 minutes for 15 minutes 24/7.

There is NO quiet outside. NOTHING but traffic noise. I have also lost all the privacy I created for myself in my walled Arizona garden. No privacy outside. Not good for me.

My stress response system is NEVER quiet where I live. I hate cities. Period. My body tells me why and how all of the time.

Is this CHATTERING? Yes! I cannot stop the sound here. I tried earplugs. I can hear the droning in my apartment wearing them. I created 3 fountains that run all of the time in this one room I am living in. The water chatters as it flows – but at least I CREATED those fountains. I manage them. But this is all wearing on me.

I am on edge.

I need to remind myself that this is normal for me here.

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From ScienceDaily: Brain Noise Is Good: New Study Overturns Notion That Brain Noise Quiets Down With Maturity

Date: July 7, 2008 Source:Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care

Summary: Canadian scientists have shown that a noisy brain is a healthy brain. “Brain noise” is a term that has been used by neuroscientists to describe random brain activity that is not important to mental function. Intuitive notions of brain-behavior relationships would suggest that this brain noise quiets down as children mature into adults and become more efficient and consistent in their cognitive processing. But new research overturns this notion.

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Does Background Noise Make Consumers Buy More Innovative Products?

June 19, 2012 — Moderate background noise enhances creativity and makes consumers more likely to buy new and innovative products, according to a new … full story

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Brain Waves Control the Impact of Noise on Sleep

Sep. 6, 2011 — During sleep, our perception of the environment decreases. However the extent to which the human brain responds to surrounding noises during sleep remains unclear. Researchers have now used brain … full story

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Playing White Noise in Class Can Help Inattentive Children Learn, but Hinder Others

Sep. 28, 2010 — Playing white noise in class can help inattentive children learn. Researchers tested the effect of the meaningless random noise on a group of 51 schoolchildren, finding that although it hindered the … full story

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Oh, and there’s this –

‘Butterfly Effect’ in the Brain Makes the Brain Intrinsically Unreliable

June 30, 2010 — Next time your brain plays tricks on you, you have an excuse: according to new research, the brain is intrinsically … full story

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The Noisy Brain – Edmund T Rolls

http://www.oxcns.org/b9_text.html Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-958786-5. The activity
of neurons in the brain is noisy in that their firing times are random when they are
 …

BrainNoise‘ Increases With Age | LiveScience

http://www.livescience.com/2662-brain-noise-increases-age.html2008 Noise in brain increases with age, could be sign of normal functioning.

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So. I recognize that I feel trapped in this apartment in this city in this climate. I recognize that the feeling state that resonates within me about being TRAPPED goes all the way through the 18 years of psychotic abuse I suffered from Mother. She trapped me nearly ALL of the time one way or the other, which included massive amounts of isolation and confinements.  TRAPPED is hard for me to ignore.

I have to turn to choices. I chose to come here. At some point I imagine I will choose to leave, hopefully to return to the region I left last October, although are many complications, nearly all of them tied to my poverty, about how any such transition can happen for me in the future.

Meanwhile I do look forward to the very NOISY percussion day event I plan to attend tomorrow followed at 4:30 in the afternoon by my second drumming lesson. I DO want to learn how to “chatter” my drumsticks as fast as I want to! Meanwhile….

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job).  Click here to view or purchase – 

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

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Please click here to read or to LEAVE A COMMENT

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Monday, March 31, 2014. (#2) It comes to me as I inadvertently consider the implications contained in the first post I wrote today that severe early trauma survivors carry within us both the toxins of that trauma and the cure for those toxins. We are living paradox. How could we, how did we, how do with LIVE with what defies life?

We are not mediocre people and perhaps in a society that denies the fact that it more than welcomes mediocrity we threaten just by the fact that we are PEOPLE OF POWER. There could not be anything mediocre about us or we would not be here – as in, we would be long gone DEAD.

We are not status quo people, either. We were not formed in a status quo environment. Trauma is anything BUT status quo. Trauma exists at the same time it is the epitome of a challenge to what ordinary is. Trauma is an EXTRAORDINARY experience. If it was ordinary it would not be traumatic.

We are EXCEPTIONAL PEOPLE. We found ways to endure what could not be endured, many of us from the time we were born.

How do people who were not trauma-challenged during their most formative developmental stages of life ever come to KNOW that they are capable of greatness? We as survivors know we are capable of greatness because if we weren’t we would be – well, you know – DEAD.

Are we celebrated as the heroic warriors against the darkness of pervasive evil that we are, for that is what we survived?

I am just wondering, are there times (plenty of times) when nonsurvivors are not willing to know they are fully capable of listening to us tell of our reality simply because if they DID listen to us they would have to (1) recognize our greatness at the same time they would also have to (2) recognize that they have never grown as individuals so strong, so resilient or so powerful as we have?

Now. Make no mistake about it. “Shooting the messenger” is a pattern that exists all around us. Did we CHOOSE to be terrorized when we were little people, without solace, comfort, safety, protection or even love to sustain us?

We most certainly did NOT make this choice. But once in the broiler of early trauma that would have left us cinders and smoke if we had not been able to find what we needed inside of our self to endure and fight back we obviously made the right choice.

What of people who have never been put into any situation that would have required of them such choices, such actions?

What do people of trauma awaken in those without such horrible early histories of abuse and neglect?

I’ll let you know if I ever find such a person willing and able to tell me.

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job).  Click here to view or purchase – 

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

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Please click here to read or to LEAVE A COMMENT

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Monday, March 31, 2014. I was talking on the telephone to a good friend last week when the word surreptitiously popped into my thoughts. I admit. I didn’t really know what it meant. Not specifically enough to know why it came to me in connection to how I feel – have always felt – when walking through ‘regular’ city housing neighborhoods.

I remember all the way back to how I felt at 18 shortly after I got out of Naval boot camp and into computer training school in San Diego. (Computers? What a horrible mismatch that field was for me!) I used to walk very late at night to and fro from Ocean Beach to the training center through such neighborhoods. What was always mirrored within me was a nearly devastating loneliness. “I don’t belong here. I’ve never fit in here. All those people. Secure in their solid cozy homes. Sharing their lives with each other, with their neighbors.”

Me? Having spent so many years of my abusive childhood living in a curved canvas Jamesway hut on the side of an Alaskan wilderness mountain. Fit in? Nowhere. I didn’t know what that feeling was then. I could only guess. I still have those same feelings walking down city sidewalks past ranch homes and ramblers and split-levels but I no longer have to guess why I have them.  I no longer wonder what I long for.

++

SURREPTITIOUS

1: done, made, or acquired by stealth :  clandestine

2:  acting or doing something clandestinely :  stealthy <a surreptitious glance>

 ++

That’s me. Me living a clandestine secret life as a trauma-changed severe early abuse and neglect survivor among ‘the regulars’, the ones who create and own the civilization I reside within.

Walking – invisible to all – down any street at any time. An unknown entity. But what I am grateful for is that now after all these years I know why.

++

I mention this word as it appears to me again in connection to a pleasant and informative telephone conversation I had last night with my ex, Joe. We were talking about events that transpired in connection with the lives of his friends over 40 years ago. All his friends.

He was born and raised in this area. Of course he would have had a circle of old friends. He fit in. He was (seemed to me) most appreciated, valued, loved, respected and welcome. Me? Living surreptitiously undercover in stealth mode as Joe’s wife? I went along but I felt inadequate. An outsider. Painfully excluded and not through any fault of my husband or his friends.

I was telling Joe about my feelings back then at the same time I told him where they originated, how and why.

“STOP IT!” he said to me right in the middle of one of my sentences. “JUST STOP IT!”

I did what I have done as a surreptitious individual all of my adult life. I shut up. Instantly. As if a barrier wall stronger than any metal on earth slammed down with me on the inside and everyone else on the outside.

We went on talking. About other things. Things acceptable to Joe. Things familiar. Things comfortable. Tolerable.

Meanwhile shut-up-me within this wall pounded and SHOUTED, “Wait one minute! I have something to say! I have a right to say it.”

After about ten minutes I was able to allow myself to bring up the “STOP IT” to talk about it.

I learned something.

Joe is not alone in needing to keep the truth of early abuse and neglect survivors silent. If our truth is NOT heard it does not really exist. Not in ‘their’ world. My truth could not be tolerated my Joe now. I can take that fact all the way back in my thinking past 40 years to realize NO possible way could we have maintained a marriage because who I am, what I know, how I feel, what happened to me, how that affected me, changed me, affects me for my lifetime had to be kept on the surreptitious side of a world of comfort for others that I cannot LIVE IN.

Living a lie in silence to keep other people comfortable in their reality is so not my thing. That’s what I was forced to do during those long 18 years when my life was hell within hell. I was forced by the circumstances of my life to live that way, even being surreptitious to myself. Surreptitious came natural to me when I was married to Joe because I knew no other way to live.

I had no friends in my childhood. Never. I didn’t know what a friend even was except as I watched other people being friends within circles of friendship. In order to have a relationship – something I define by the honest sharing with caring within it – I HAVE to be fully me. Not that I have to ‘burden’ other people with any projection that they have to cure or heal me. But anyone I would call a friend today knows exactly who I am and is not afraid of me or of my reality.

I AM a person, not a shadow/wraith/ghost of an un-dimensional being. Skittering, tramping, lying on my belly desperately trying to move forward in my life. Always in hiding, hidden, living surreptitiously behind a phony front designed to keep my reality apart from the reality of nontraumatized people so they do not have to feel uncomfortable.

I appreciate the opportunity I has last night to see these kinds of patterns in actions. I tested what I saw by bringing the conversation back to the “STOP IT” point. Why did Joe say that? What was he saying?

I know. He doesn’t and probably never will. In his reality – he can’t. WHY this is so is really none of my business. Not anymore.

Survivors tolerated trauma because it was a MUST. We had no choice. We had to in order to live.

It is not surprising that most ‘regular’ people cannot tolerate ANY PART of our trauma reality. They don’t have to. Yes, that leaves us in one world and them in another one. Yes, that mostly leaves us alone and lonely. Yes, that gives them the advantage. They can set the social rules.

When they say STOP IT to us – they mean it. Past that point we cannot go with them nor can they go with us.

++

I feel a surprising and unfamiliar sense of freedom this morning as a result of the part of last night’s conversation I am describing here. I somehow dissolved a wall of “surreptitiousosity” last night. I pulled myself BACK from that part of my past, from those patterns that operated for so long within me in my life when I so desperately wanted to be a part of some social group without knowing how much I wanted that. I set myself free by accepting my feelings AND the feelings of Joe.

Back then, how desperately I wanted to be liked. I wanted to have value to other people. I wanted to be accepted. I wanted people to want me in their life. I wanted to mean something to someone. I wanted to MATTER to others as if mattering to them meant I could BE BORN into that other world – as if I could become one of them.

What a joke.

I see that now.

Couldn’t happen.

No fault of mine. No fault in others. This is “a no fault state.” But as long as other people will not tolerate our full being with all we have been through TRAUMA will not be healed. As I have said so many times on this blog the BIG traumas we survived did not belong to us. They belonged to the bigger society that let those traumas happen.

Society has to hear the lessons within trauma, LEARN from what they hear and then CHANGE conditions so those traumas STOP!! As it is, trauma and those who survive it are forced to live a surreptitious life – hidden invisibly in silence. And the traumas go on….

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job).  Click here to view or purchase – 

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

++++

Please click here to read or to LEAVE A COMMENT

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+SWEET DESIRES

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Saturday, March 29, 2014. Above my head. Blue sky this morning. And an eagle circling. So high above me. One solace taking me away, for a few moments, from this ugly, foreign city. I was comforted. The eagle has long since left this place where I could watch it. I won’t forget its visit.

++

Stricken with a surprise – of course unexpected – unanticipated in any way. My new computer arrived at a friend of mine’s office, delivered there to avoid any possibility of loss as I am not sure what happens in this apartment complex when something arrives here that does not fit in a small mailbox. I was grateful for this help and looking forward, finally, to this new computer’s arrival in my life.

A “not really but yes really” kind of dreaded hopefulness. I am not technosavvy. I hate change. My current slow laptop runs Windows XP which will not be supported by Microsoft after April 8th. I really didn’t have a choice. I needed a new one.

Intimidating. At my son’s recommendation I bought a Dell 17 with a processor upgrade running Windows 8.1. Everyone I know runs Windows 7, but I figured that I would try to get a little bit ahead of the curve knowing in the future 7 will drop off of Microsoft’s radar before 8 will.

I ordered David Pogue’s, “The Missing Manual” for 8.1. In my own way I have been mentally and emotionally preparing for my “new baby” knowing I know next to NOTHING about all-this-jazz. But I’ve been PLANNING for this (unwanted but necessary) change, creating the most positive attitude I could manage. Last night my friend called, had the computer up, running, online – NOT at my house!?!?!

I could not explain my reaction. My friend was instantly enraged that I could possibly object to their assistance in “setting the computer up.” That rage shut me down so completely I have been leaking emotion out the soles of my feet ever since.

A BIG DEAL?

I had internally arranged to meet-n-greet this intimidating new technopartner-of-mind right out of the virgin box. MY hands taking the computer out. Nobody else’s.

I find now that I WANTED to “do this” my way. I WANT very little as I have written about on this blog before. WANTING anything during the 18 years of my childhood was TOXIC to me because psychotic abusive Mother USED any wanting/wishing/hoping I managed to touch inside of myself against me in VICIOUS ways.

Over and over again she set me up to want/wish/hope KNOWING somewhere in her deranged mind EXACTLY what she was going to do to crush me next. It always worked, too. In my innocence I never saw her evil attacks coming. NEVER. (Dissociation was handy that way.)

++

Nobody’s perfect. “Everyone has glitches,” as someone said to me last week.

It’s not my business what contributed to my friend’s explosion last night over the phone as I “dared” to have FEELINGS about – especially – not being ASKED if I wanted “help.”

Blah blah blah – fast forward through my emotional mined-quicksand to this moment nearly 24 hours later. Yes. The computer is here, delivered sweetly by a third party. I took it out of its box (but not FIRST and without the joy I had “planned for”) and it sits on my kitchen table like a lump of dead, broken toy.

Am I overreacting? From an outsider’s view, I suppose so. But not from mine.

I KNOW my history. And I know that this is the first new computer I have ever scraped the money together to buy for myself. I know how hard this move has been for me. How hard living in this cramped dark gardenless cage of an apartment through the horror of a frigid North Dakota winter has been for me. More fast-forwarding through blah blah blah.

How fragile any state of well-being — real and hoped for — is for severe infant-child abuse survivors.

I have been blessed with two long calls with a friend who lives far away from me but is very close in my heart that have helped me process the crushedness that arose for me over this teensy miscommunication and the explosion that followed. He is a survivor like I am. His kindness, compassion, empathy, understanding and wisdom helped me stop the inward craters from opening within me any further.

I don’t believe humans evolved to process information at the pace required in today’s frenetic world. My friend, meaning good, not harm, is evidently moving far too fast through life to be able to slow down far enough to HEAR ME. Truly hear me.

That is OK. It has to be.

But I am reminded yet again about how hard it is for me to make peace inside of myself and when I find any way to do that, how terribly delicate that peace really is.

Not a lasting peace. I have to come up with an entirely different plan about how I am going to cross the chasm that exists between my comfort and dexterity with this old computer and the entirely new, intimidating, downright scary transition I will have to do to make peace with a new computer which will, eventually, give me so much more of what I need than this old one does.

Peace again with my well-intentioned friend? I trust our relationship. We will of course “get past this.” At the same time – having been built through trauma the way that I was – I have yet another strange wound ricocheting down the corridors of time within which I have more wounds than I can barely bear as it is. So – something has now CHANGED inside of me regarding my relationship with this person. I learned something the hard way. I don’t forget these things.

Not even if I want to.

++

While all the sweetness I had worked to put in to the computer change in my life has gone away, I did manage to hold onto the precious sweetness of happiness about my decision to invest in professional drumming lessons for myself.

A friend took me to my first lesson today and I could not be more tickled. Gently, sweetly tickled. Brett spent this first 30 minutes carefully – and I mean CARE-FULL-ly arranging my shoulders, arms, wrists, hands and fingers into precise shape as he dictated precise motion. I felt like an awkward mannequin assemblage, clumsy and lost – but also feeling delighted in being on that little stool in that tiny (I have claustrophobia) room with that amazingly gifted musician-teacher.

Lucky!

I was not scared. I was not crushed. Nothing big like a mammoth trampled my joy or my hopes that I can ACTUALLY learn to play DRUMS!

Not a note. Not a tap of sound today. Hey! This is the RIGHT way to learn an instrument! I am SO Happy!

And happy has such precious value to me. I was formed to be nearly constitutionally incapable of feeling safe enough in the world to feel joy – or to play! All three are intimately connected — safety, joy and play are inextricably intertwined.

So while any possibility of playfulness has at least currently been removed from my interactions with this new computer in my kitchen, I DO have hope at least I can plow forward, trudge along forward, live through whatever it takes next to get my computer-plan back online in some sort of fashion.

And I most certainly have drumming hopes! Next weekend is the all-day percussion event at a local college I mentioned here recently, so no lesson again for two weeks. By then I hope to be a much-skilled mannequin moving my elbows this way while my wrists don’t swivel as my drumsticks go that way – and then reverse. I will PRACTICE as if my life depends on it, you can bet!!!

I am STARVED for the experience of inner personal joy (is there some other kind?) that I imagine non-abused people can at least some of the time simply take for granted.

++

PS. Personally, I don’t think anything about being alive is simple for early severe abuse and neglect survivors. EVERYTHING has a cost – good or bad. Trauma survivorship requires HUGE outputs of resources that we have ALWAYS had great difficulty in providing for ourselves. We simply pay our entire life for the shortages of goodness we did not receive and the abundance of harm we did receive.

Yet sometimes I just marvel at the SWEETNESS inside of me. It was there in me as a child. It has always been there, always been a part of who I am. I am extremely tender – and yes, that does mean I am extremely sensitive.

I am done apologizing for that fact.

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job).  Click here to view or purchase – 

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

++++

Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment

++++

 

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Thursday, March 27, 2014. I began this morning in between interruptions from 20-month-old baby scrawling down on paper a few of my thoughts:

Why would I be surprised if I discover as my truth the fact that PLACE is more real to me than people are?

Mother had no boundary between herself and her projected-bad-self-into-me.

I have no boundary between place and myself.

I have too much of a boundary between myself and people.

I have no boundary (except an intellectual one) between myself and physical environments.

—- Weather is directly tied to place.

—- Geography of place. Of self. Of others.

++++

Baby is down for his morning nap. I can continue….

I am unable to separate myself from the environment I am exposed to. I react – super react – to sounds, scenery, weather, light, etc. I have become increasingly unable as I age to calm myself when I am interaction with – and therefore in reaction to – all of the stimulating factors of environment.

The reactions I have here in this northern climate and in this city, as I have been reporting on this blog, have not been pleasant ones for me. I spoke recently to a southern friend who told me that due to the unusual warmth of the winter season in the high desert and to the lack of moisture there is a great deal of dust in the air down there. That dirt in the air DID bother me while I lived there. But in a weight-to-weight ratio of what bothers me MORE – I would take the dust.

No, no place is perfect. But for someone like me who is nearly – or entirely incapable – of erecting workable boundaries between place and self the milder the climate, the more scenic the view, the better off I am.

When it comes to people….

It strikes me this morning that when an infant is born to an incapable mother and does not receive any or anything like enough resonating-mirroring of self from this early caregiver NOT ONLY is the definition of self hampered but so, also, is the growth of a definition of OTHER.

When Dr. Daniel Siegel and others speak of increasing one’s “mindsight” abilities in adulthood so that the other can be more clearly recognized and distinguished-differentiated – I am pressed into my critical areas of thinking enough to report that for some people, myself included, any later stage endeavor to “understand other people” will NEVER bring us even close to knowing what we should have learned from birth about what another person IS.

Popular self-help for “co-dependency” and for “adult children” “recovery” talks about such survivors “guessing at what normal is.”

Much, MUCH more serious and pervasively problematic for some of us is the fact that we will GUESS at what being HUMAN is – for the rest of our lives.

++

Because Mother’s psychosis and her psychotic abuse and neglect of me did not involve any recognition of BOUNDARIES I was coincidentally also left with NO BOUNDARIES to cross.

If there was no boundary, say, between Mexico and the United States (I say this after having lived for years with that boundary fence in my backyard) there would be no boundary – duh! – to protect, to cross, to violate illegally, to define, to respect, to understand, to assess, to value, to work with or to work against.

But this morning I am realizing that in my case there IS a great and seemingly uncrossable and nonnegotiable boundary between myself and other people! Because nobody ever negotiated ME as a person and never negotiated themselves as people with me, either – I was left with an UNCROSSABLE boundary.

This thinking about boundaries, although very hard for me to articulate in words, lets me know that there is a kind of focus-shifting I might be able to do when it comes to the struggles I have on many levels.

My reacting to environment, to place including geography and climate, is likely as extreme as it is because I never formed my HUMAN-self boundary that would have excluded me from place.

On the other hand, my reacting to humans, also an extreme and not pleasant (most of the time) involvement , probably happens the way that it does to a large extent because the boundaries are so fixed that I cannot cross them OUTWARDLY and others cannot cross them to get in to me, either.

++

As I wrote that sentence it dawned on me how necessary it was for me to keep a boundary – an impenetrable, unbreachable boundary between myself and my mother. My boundary was that I was born sane and I kept my sanity. My sanity was always in direct conflict with Mother’s insanity.

It has been only within this past year as I continued writing books that it became clear to me that although I was oblivious of my sanity it WAS my sanity that allowed me to survive Mother.

But the fact that I had no other person with whom I could negotiate self-and-other with I was left growing far into my adulthood before any power of reflective awareness of myself in my life ever reached me.

By then, it seems, it was far, far too late for me to begin to negotiate on any kind of real or feeling level what humans are – let alone WHO they are.

++

In this case there really is not “sharing” of anything. “You are on your side of the uncrossable boundary. I am on my side. I cannot reach you and you cannot reach me.”

That is a very simple way to state a nearly incomprehensible reality that I believe is the uncommon one shared by people who survived severe abuse and neglect from birth. One blog reader uses the term “The Great Divide” to describe this non-negotiable distance between survivors and others.

++

I cannot find awareness of asking this morning for these thoughts to arrive, but now that they are here I am thinking “This is how resolving trauma means we have to continuously reinvent ourselves by taking repeating looks back over our life story in continuously changing ways.”

This lens in my thoughts this morning brings many parts of my life story into view. I think about the death of my black rabbit pet Peter when I was seven. I was CONSCIOUS after that death happened (as it included Mother’s insane abusive response to me) that I was bearing unbearable sadness. I was not ONLY sad. I KNEW I was sad.

In my memory that is a clear example to me of one time I came face-to-face with my SELF experiencing my own life.

Yet as I write this I realize I would have to go back and revisit (I am not going to do that now but I know I might in the future) every one of my memories in which I know I was NOT doing what psychotic Mother saw me doing and then horrifically abused me for doing (not doing). I WAS aware in myself of my own reality. I simply knew that reality of mine as it differed from Mother’s version.

Did my definition of myself evolve through a process of knowing I was NOT someone else? If so, how could have that process allowed me to form any kind of bridge ever between myself and any other person?

++

I also have known for a long, long time that my relationship with the wilderness of Alaska during my childhood saved me from extinction. I NEVER thought of myself as being separate in any way from that PLACE – including all life that made up that place (including stones, the rock of the mountains, the sky and all that lived there including the wind, etc).

(Some places giving me solace, other places giving me absolute dismay at the same time I have no boundary-making ability to separate myself and how I “feel” from any place.)

++

There is another segment of my childhood story when I was around age 11 that I remember clearly looking inside of myself, considering the facts of my situation as I understood them, and making my informed decision that led to disastrous abuse consequences. I see this morning how important it is for me as I include that “story” in my lifeline that I realize the significance of my having been INSIDE of my own SELF in some kind of state of awareness of my own existence. I am not sure I could track any other memory of such an event prior to my age 16.

++

On and on it goes as if I think I can someday, if I just think the right thoughts, resolve the whole mess and “just be OK.”

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job) – what a gift and thank you Ben!  Click here to view or purchase: 

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

++++

Please click here to read or to LEAVE A COMMENT

++++

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014. In many ways I feel like a stranger, a foreigner to myself right now. It wasn’t until late this afternoon that I realized I didn’t even have the day of the week correct. I just went back and changed the day I put on my post last night. I was wrong about the day even then.

When and how does one stop fighting something that doesn’t fit, doesn’t suit, yet must be – because – obviously – it IS? Acceptance gained like a free pass to somewhere beneficial. Who cares if it’s fun? I talked with a good friend down in the high desert last night. I can walk that place. So familiar. All the people. The terrain. The climate. Those changes of those seasons.

But I am – obviously again – right plain here. Another big wind coming. Blocked by cityscape from seeing any view worth seeing except for bits of sky, bits of grass yet to turn green with this change of season in this place.

A sort of giving up. A giving in. Something I seem to NEVER do without balking. Giving in never seems safe to me. Yet it happened down south. It took years living in a place that felt like home, but it did happen. Am I a visitor here? How long until a visit, if this is a visit, becomes something else again – and I am gone?

++

I lived a kind of controlled poverty. My basic needs are met. Wishing gives way to wanting only what I need to get by. Dreams? True dreams, it seems, in this cultural climate, most often come with price tags. I am watching the price of gasoline at the pump going up and up again. Knowing that down south those prices are significantly higher. Moving around? Moving home again? Being able to return here for reasonable visits instead of having to uproot everything known to sacrifice home for some time, for some chance, to spend time with the family up here that I love?

Such a small person am I. With such small desires, such small worries, such small concerns coincidentally coincidal (No, this is not a word) with SO MUCH of such import belonging to so many other people. How do I not feel guilt for being myself?

Perhaps because for the first 18 years of my life I survived by always letting go and never holding on I am so cautiously scared to admit that there IS A ME – that is defined. Has a definition. Has something going on within boundaries (that are OK?) – that makes me an individual separate, distinguishable, differentiated from ANYONE else – and THAT IS OK?

When it comes to issues of safety versus lack of safety. I fight as if it is true that if I stop fighting I cease to exist as my own self. Giving in? Giving up? Float along like a cork in a stream. That’s the best I can come up with for a life?

++

Living on the outside always looking in. Outsiders. Not fitting in with the mainstream? Is that a bad thing? Not if one is strong enough within to know nobody else is worth more. Nobody. Others can seem to “have it all,” but do they?

I just don’t want to disappear to myself. It’s a fine line. When I wrote last night about a certain kind of inner freedom I knew as a child (certainly until age 18 when I escaped that abusive hell hole of a family home) I did not know then (a part of that freedom) that I was SUPPOSED to be a person inside. I DO NOT want to let go of that person.

Infants are supposed to find themselves mirrored back to them by the people who take care of them. I never had that mirroring. (I had the reverse where my psychotic mother saw the horridness of herself in me.) Having to create the mirror myself so that only THEN can I look into that mirror to find myself is – well – tiring. It takes a fight. A certain kind of fight. Not only to stay afloat but to STAY one’s self at all. Stay present to the person-within.

As if with a certain kind of tiredness one could give up/give into the pressure to conform to a culture – yes, cultures can certainly be localized geographically even within fairly narrow ranges – and then disappear to who they are. I’ve lived here before. A long time ago. But here nonetheless. And I felt this disappearing thing back then. I FELT it but I did not know what it was.

I AM an outsider. I AM a foreigner. I cannot be seen by people here. They do not see me. That is a fact. And if I am not seen – do I give up caring? Trying? Is it my rightful place – here – to only become invisible as myself? To pretend that I am somebody else, a different kind of person so that I can be “recognized” at all?

This is a danger here. I needed to write this post so that I can see in the mirror of these words this reality of what it is I fear. The reality of what I am feeling. Because IT DID HAPPEN TO ME BEFORE – here. I need to be inwardly wary.

I am poor. I live a small life. But at least in that high desert people could SEE me. I was not entirely invisible. Not that they understood me – but at least they were open-minded. Often gently curious. Some call that easygoing. There were many characters in that place. I could be one of those many.

++++

PS. From a developmental neuroscience point of view I believe that over 80% of my adult life or more has been determined for me by the brain changes that happened to me in response to terrible traumatic abuse during my first 18 years of life that – among so many other things – removed from my body the ability to build an ordinarily-functioning “higher cortex” region.

I never had and still do not have – although at least now I have the comfort of having identified “what’s wrong” – the ability for what’s called FUTURETHINK. I COULD not plan my future. I could barely see past the end of my nose when it comes to making decisions about myself in my life.

As a result I have felt lost more than not lost. Scared nearly all of the time because I cannot PLAN for my own best well-being. I take the best information I can understand and make the best decisions I can. But I am always aware of what I am lacking.

I believe the ‘normal’ ability to practice futurethink involves a sense of FEELING one’s self in the future as much as it does being able to ‘see’ one’s self in one’s future in any kind of practical, tangible, material-based way.

Because I finally understand how psychotic Mother was – and I mean that absolutely literally – I understand that the patterns of her psychotic abuse of me denied me the ability to create anything within myself that resembled an ability to predict or control any part of my reality. I was formed, then, from the inside out from birth with a special kind of blindsightedness that replaced – in the literal physiology of my brain – an ability to use mindsightedness (as it is called today) to PLAN my life based on a true understanding of the ramifications of decisions I make as those decisions are going to affect me on a moment-to-moment basis.

I am therefore nearly always “at sway” as if I am being tossed around in a massively moving sea I cannot understand – because I CANNOT! I do not believe I have the ability to take certain kinds of information ‘ordinary’ people are privy to — nor can I use the information I do gather in my own ‘special’ way — in order to create an inner (or even much of an outer) place of sanctuary from the neverending storm.

I am always in flux.

I have been blessed with an ability to do pretty darn well with whatever is at hand to keep myself going. To keep myself afloat. But the motion never stops.

This means that the emotion never stops. All through my childhood I never had one person I could depend upon to care about me ONE SINGLE BIT. It was that lack of ANY safe and secure attachment relationship that made sure I would remain for the rest of my life essentially alone in this great sea of life. This is true in important ways even now that I am in the physical proximity of my loving daughters and grandsons.

As I have said so many times I lack the ability to FEEL their connection with me or my connection to them. This is a form of hell. I am quite clear, quite certain of this as fact. I know there are readers of this blog who know exactly what I am trying to describe. In this particular kind of aloneness we are together.

I would not wish this on ANYONE. Of course not! But neither am I going to pretend it this state doesn’t exist for me and for others like me. And I believe because of this essential aloneness my soul will be restless until I leave this world.

Is my struggle worse for me in some places than others? What circumstances in my environment make it worse? What make it better?  (A better struggle!?)  Was I presented with a set of problems from my childhood for which there is no solution? Yes. I was.

Not only is the problem unsolvable but I was prevented from forming a brain that COULD have found a solution – should there have been one! And I wonder why I struggle?

Giving up just does not seem to be a good plan.

(I think I better practice some drumming now.)

++++

Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job) – what a gift and thank you Ben!  Click here to view or purchase: 

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

++++

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014.  I am not used to having nothing to say.  At the same time this frame of mind bothers me I also recognize it as something I am aiming for.  How can that paradox be me?

PARADOX

: something (such as a situation) that is made up of two opposite things and that seems impossible but is actually true or possible

: someone who does two things that seem to be opposite to each other or who has qualities that are opposite

: a statement that seems to say two opposite things but that may be true

I don’t know.  How could I?  If I knew wouldn’t the paradox be resolved?

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Yesterday I could swear I was 85% a different person than is the person I am today.  How is that possible?  Is there such a thing as paying too much attention to HOW a person is in the world?  What is this awareness for that Dr. Daniel Siegel and so many others propose to be one of the super-sized panaceas of modern humanity?

Origin of PANACEA

Latin, from Greek panakeia, from panakēs all-healing, from pan- + akos remedy

First Known Use: 1548
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I find myself being aware of my thoughts and feelings in very rapid order.  At the same time I reject the whole mass (mess) of nearly everything that reaches my awareness within.  Nearly everything comes into my mind with a costly price tag attached:  I question!  I question nearly every single event that I experience – and I mean EXPERIENCE – as in “I am the person experiencing this experience.”
The cost to me of what I experienced of severe trauma and abuse during the first 18 years of my life left me without any awareness of myself having an experience of having experiences of being myself having experiences.  In other words, I was inwardly moonless:  I lacked the ability to self-reflect.
When youngest child was 4 he asked me from the backseat of the car one afternoon as we crossed through Albeuquerque, New Mexico when I was attending art therapy graduate school there.  “What is infinity times infinity?”
I didn’t know he knew anything about infinity.  What was I to say?  “Infinity is infinity.  Infinity times infinity is still infinity.  Nothing is changed by multiplying it times itself.  (How did he know what “times” was, anyway?)  Nothing changes infinity.”
What changes my experience — my experience of myself having experience of having experiences?  Where does it all stop?
Questions. 
In a world such as I seem to be presently residing in everything is relative.  (Yes, I am up here because of relatives but that’s not what I mean — or do I?)
If everything is relative then there are no answers for any question at the same time there are an infinite number of answers.
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I found myself thinking this afternoon of two people known well to our family.  In both cases I now see that neither of these two people can “handle” being out in the world — certainly not working (both are supported, fortunately, by their spouses).  Neither seem to be able to handle the hum-drum run-dom of life any better than I can.  And yet neither one of these people suffered from trauma in their early life.
HUH???
My daughter mentioned back to me as I reflected on this “condition,” “Chances are neither one of them could have possibly survived what you have lived through.”
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Oh.  Great.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Whoopie Do???
If I had not survived I wouldn’t be around to miss myself not being here.
My kids and grandkids wouldn’t miss me.  They wouldn’t be here either.
My point?
I don’t have one.
That’s my point.
Except for the thoughts that soon became tangled up in my paradoxical mind:  The surviving didn’t just happen ‘back then’ when I was entrapped in an extremely insane abusive hell during the first 18 years of my life.  I have been surviving THAT every moment of my life!  I will be doing THAT as long as I live on this planet.
So……
Although there are obviously, evidently, people who don’t “fit in” much better than I do — people who do not have histories of trauma — I often feel FURIOUS because I KNOW I would NOT BE the way I am now if I had NOT suffered the trauma I suffered — and hence still suffer from today.
I KNOW that.  I know I would have had a very different life.  I would not be lost, which I almost always am.  I would not be sunk into poverty I do not have the means to escape.  I would not have to struggle to understand so much of what it must mean to be human.
On the other hand……….
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What I do know is that I actually did something today that inspired me to feel TRULY HAPPY — a kind of FREEDOM-IN-HAPPINESS that is so rare for me I bet I’ve maybe felt it 20 times in my life — and even that is probably a reach.
Today I registered for DRUMMING lessons at the very impressive music strore in Fargo (with a million dollars of pianos in it, a million dollars of guitars in it….) that is about a mile from where I live.  The teacher has his doctorate in percussion.  I walked out with a lesson set for this coming Saturday at 4:30 in the afternoon feeling not only like I was SIX YEARS’ OLD — but like I was one HAPPY six year old!
I was NEVER truly happy at any point in my abusive childhood.  I was always under threat.  Always in danger.  The books I am working on describe the vastness of the UNHAPPINESS of my childhood.  I cannot speak the words now to describe that.
Nor can I adequately express what it feels like to me to have felt that HAPPY knowing that I gave myself permission to take these lessons, that they are available, and there will never in my lifetime be anything about percussion that I want to learn that this teacher man, his name is Brett, cannot teach me!
$20 per half hour.  I feel I am healing — TRULY healing — a part of myself in doing this.  THIS is one thing I can do for myself living in this place that I am very not fond of that I could not do living in Arizona where I was before last October.
THIS I DO FOR ME!  For nobody else in the UNIVERSE but ME!!
I am realizing there is very little I have ever done for myself that hasn’t in some way been FOR someone else. 
THIS I DO FOR ME!!!!
I do this for a HAPPY ME!!
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In my paradoxical current state of being I know that I not only WANT to drum expertly (at 62 I will have to work hard to catch up!), I WANT to be able to DRUM THE PARADOX OUT OF MY LIFE WHENEVER I WANT TO!!
ALL OF IT!!
EVERY TINY SNIPPET OF PARADOX.  To me there is a purity in rhythm unmatched by any other experience I have ever had.  In these past few days as I considered taking money from my meager budget each month to pay for lessons I subtracted rhythm from music as I experience music and came up with only one thing left over:  TIME.
Not that I can reach that perfect goal, but if I could drum perfectly, be in perfect time, I would BE IN TIME in a way that would let me simply BE. 
Will there be passion in that experience?
Yes.
I am not passionate about the paradox of being human.  I am tired of it.  Sick of it.  I want it all to stop.  No words.  No thoughts.  No reflections.  No awarenesses.  Nojudgments or assessments.  No questions or comparisons or wonderings.
In some vital way I essentially want to return to the purity of my inner states of childhood (actually it lasted into my 30s).  Back then I had no choice. 
I am choosing now to “go back there” for that part of myself who could live in the moment in such a way that I was oblivious of trouble.  AMAZING feat that was?
(No, I was not HAPPY in childhood (except for two experiences I remember) but I WAS in important ways inwardly free as I have never again been able to be as an adult.)
I guess it came naturally to me.  I am certainly hoping the more complex states of drumming — the status of being ‘in time’ that I seek — comes equally as naturally to me.
I aim to find out.
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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  A very kind professional graphic artist is going to revise our cover pro bono (we are still waiting to hear that he has accomplished this job) – what a gift and thank you Ben!  Click here to view or purchase: 

STORY WITHOUT WORDS

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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