Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Who Loves Salad? I Do!

Here is a salad I ate the other day at a restaurant., the one day I could escape outside this month since we had a very brief warm-up. I love salad. This was a chef's salad but of course I had to tell them to remove regular cheese and eggs from it which I am allergic to. I like to make salads and make everything from bean salad with sweet onions and Newman's Own Balsamic Vinegar to coming up with concoctions over iceberg lettuce or organic greens. Here are some salad-making links.

50 Meal-Worthy Vegan Salads

Vegan Salad on Pinterest

Regular Salad Recipes on Pinterest

Monday, December 30, 2013

They Don't Care About the Constitution Anymore

Cartoon from "Studied The Constitution. Didn't Like It." {Ted Rall's blog}
It's scary to see how America is giving up all its freedoms that previously made it a great country. Bush started this and Obama is continuing at hyper-speed to remove freedoms such as the right to a trial among American citizens. Rall is usually more liberal then me, but seems to be a liberal that is an independent thinker instead of a Kool-Aid drinker for Obama. There are people on all sides with integrity to know what is happening is WRONG.

Good for Michigan: Michigan Nullifies NDAA's Indefinite Detention.

My Apartment Clean Out

My apartment is being cleaned out by me, to attempt to have a more healthy life. Today I am working on the bookshelves full of thousands of books, some thrift people will be very happy very soon. The above picture is just one corner. This place was/is jam-packed. Eight hundred square feet of living space really isn't cutting it anymore but everyone has to do what they can. I needed more money to really live life the way it needed lived, but have in my mindset that I need to live the best way I can with what I have. I barely hold to to this apartment financially but should enjoy it to it's fullest.

 This task will be a week-long one.

 I am getting a hospital bed soon to elevate my extremely swollen abdomen and left leg. They know I have body-wide lymphedema now, I am STILL at this point exploring medical avenues. My leg is far more controlled and uninfected but that takes 4 wrappings a day to maintain. In the spring, I will be going to a hospital clinic, when I am not housebound to deal with my severe lymphedema [already diagnosed] and possible lipedema problems to figure out what the next steps will be and more intense therapies.

My Occupational Therapist has been very helpful and I feel more hope in being able to function with my health problems. She has taught me exercises to help with stamina and focus and how to break down tasks into smaller pieces and manage the heart and breathing problems, that often led me to get overtired and to go give up. Sometimes it seems insane to me that I expend so much energy just trying to keep a small apartment from imploding even with husband's help in doing the laundry and with the errands, but maybe that it is the way of the world.

 There is a lot of pushing past problems I have struggled with all my life,even with my own self-imposed structure and rules. Even with my Aspergers, serious focus problems in sensory tests were discovered. I kind of knew about this already. My ability to do school work well most of the time papered over a lot of other serious functional problems in life. Adults who can't focus outside of being able to read 10 books or even write on a blog for fun, don't get much accomplished. Add in sensory processing problems, and well there are times I wish many of these things had been dealt with well before 45 years of age.

Anyhow I plan to get this place cleaned out as much as possible. My kitchen and bedroom are already in far more order. Some techniques I have learned have helped me in functioning in everyday life.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Very Old Painting of Mine

I painted this oil painting, when I was 22 years old, that's over 20 years ago. It is actually right in front of my eyes as I have it hanging up behind the table with the sit-up computer. This painting is around 4 by 3 feet so is larger. The meaning of this painting always seemed interesting to me, at the time, I thought of a girl looking at her horizons or what awaited her. Almost like intuition knowing there'd be rocks to climb over.

Surviving December Blues

[picture from Charming Charlie Tumblr]

Poor Charlie Brown. I was always into Peanuts and often I think Charles Schultz and I would have been soul mates considering his outlook. He always got to the right of the heart of the issue. I should post about my fandom regarding Charles Schultz and Peanuts soon.

Seasonal affective disorder mixed with 100% house-bound-ness like I am in jail, is not always pleasant. I've had one day outside living like a normal person in the last four weeks. It may warm up tomorrow and Friday to 40 degrees and perhaps the outside world will see my presence. Here's hoping. Around the third or fourth week of imprisonment, some of us feel funny. There was one winter so bad, 90 days straight passed by of staring out the window. If I had money, I would winter somewhere else, but it's not an option. Heat bugs me too so moving South is not a solution.

 Some Depression creeps like cat through a window, back to some of us when the days get shorter and darker. I have had it's struggles life-long, and have had to manage it the best I could, but December is known as the month I dread. Once I'm over it's hump, Jan and Feb aren't always so easy too, but for some reason December stands out more.  I'm involuntarily away from my peer counseling group which does not help. I should get one of those light-boxes maybe but some circumstances are impacting things. Waking up sometimes I wish I was a happy "normal" person who did not have their body dictate so much of their life. The sin of envy combined with the "should of, would of, could of" Sometimes in the morning I wake up and think "What happened?" How did I get this sick? How did so many things fall out of my hands or out of my reach?"

 A person can know they have some gifts and worth but regret is a river that can drown you and right now, I'm trying to swim for land. I'm praying to God too in doing so.

I'm trying to focus on maintaining myself, my kind medical professionals helping me with getting a bed to elevate my legs, to managing my apt--organization, Aspie focus and sensory problems, and how to get things done with serious cardio-pulmonary issues. One thing I've learned is I need to slow down, rather then work myself into a frenzy collapsing because my lungs and body have checked out. The walking and exercise has helped. All medical scores have improved including blood pressure and the rest. My leg has shrunk. I've been watching old movies, and doing cards and talking with friends and trying some semblance of happiness. Part of the formula here, is DO THE BEST THAT YOU CAN

I feel badly about how things panned out with the family. So much regret. One website helped me saying, relationships are two way streets, and if you are the one who is always trying, and the effort on the other end is at the extreme minimal or even toxic in terms of the narcissists, it's not your fault! They say going no contact is hardest during the holiday season and in the first year. With the family I lost, I will have contact with some of the kind ones, but I know my mother will remain central and I'm on the outs. Part of me thinks what if I had been healthy, or had money or have achieved more in my life? Would I have been "somebody" to them? If that is what it took, then it would have meant nothing anyway. My mother had her party where she gave out presents and almond bark, and well let's just say she is far more in the middle of everyone's vision then me. I will never know the satisfaction of grandchildren or a family or many things she has enjoyed in her life. It's kind of funny how things work out that way in this world.

December is not a fun time for every human being out there. If you are lonely or not feeling the holiday cheer, remember others out there are feeling the same. Not everyone celebrates Christmas too including some Christians who are not Jehovah Witnesses and many others. There are others who have walked away from the go-go greed fest too based on secular reasons.

  For those of you who find this a tough time of year, I will pray for you and trust me there is some of us who understand. If you have been broke for years all the focus on presents and shopping, can stink too. You watch people who seem to have endless buckets of money sink money equal to your rent just for the specialness of a TV being flat screened instead of a giant box.  You can comment here if you want. The forced smiles and the rest can be a trial. If I was not housebound, I would go do some work to forget myself, such as at a soup kitchen and am working on some cards for those in the hospital which I'll be working on after I write on here but many do not find this the happiest time of the year. Many of my friends have been good to me, one keeping up regular visits I always enjoy and another calling me every few days, to help keep my spirits up.

  Some of us await January 2nd, praying for the relief it will bring. Most Decembers of the last 10-15 years, I've been housebound with my bad lungs. It is not one of my most happiest or memorable months though there are others that keep me inside too. One sometimes has to look at pictures of last spring to know some sunshine and good times will return.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"14 Painful Examples of Fat-Shaming"

                                          [picture source]
14 Painful Examples of Fat Shaming

"Blogger Melissa McEwan created the #FatMicroagressions hashtag to start a conversation about the inappropriate and hurtful comments directed at overweight people on a regular basis. Microaggression, a term coined by Professor Chester Middlebrook Pierce in 1970, refers to small acts of aggression towards people of a certain group -- usually those of non-privileged races, classes or ethnicities."

Fat Microaggressions, hmm to me these may amount sometimes to the look you may get while existing in a fat body. Of course one does not want to enter the world of paranoia where you think every person hates you because you are fat but fat micro-aggressions for me would be this list:

1. Chairs with arms and going into doctor offices without any non-armed chairs.

2. Hip restaurants that have all high stools and little uncomfortable chairs.

3. Stores that always stop at size 26 or even 32. 

4. People who say at buffets, "That's all you can eat?" One time I ate 2 plates of food at a Chinese buffet, and the owner came up to me and said, "Don't you like our food?" I said, I ate two plates, I'm full, she didn't believe me.

5. Being told if I ate a certain diet, it would fix all my bodily problems.

6. People who don't understand that bodies do not work the same.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Narcissist Family Events: "When I Visit My Family I Will Rent A Car"

One joke that was told in my household, with my husband and me was "When I Visit My Family I Will Rent a Car" [Stuart Smalley style]. I would add to this, "When I Visit My Family I Will Always Have a Hotel Room to Escape to." Stuart Smalley was an entertaining character, no one told him about no contact!

My matriarchial narcissist ruled the roost. Our family events were ones of the tribe paying homage to the chief, with a big dinner put on for all.  These were not ones of free talking or loose fun, imagine prim people sitting on straight on the edges of sofas. Everyone measured their words as to not offend the queen or "queens" when my grandmother was still alive. I wrote about the time last year where my mother wrote an email about topics that were not allowed. This really was about producing the PERFECT picture of a family rather then dealing with the individuals as people. Sometimes going to these things was like going to a play, playing your proper part and then walking off. Narcissists desired the stage show they directed.

 I got more satisfaction watching paint dry. Sometimes with a relative I liked or hadn't lost their soul to the narcissists, I'd try to drag them "off stage" to have a real conversation. This could happen with my brother and a few cousins--the people I kept contact with, but never with any of the others. I remember trying to get my Aunt who is the scapegoat and a few others "off stage"  and out of ear shot of the rest but they were too busy trying to please the queens to take note of the likes of me even if they just saw them last week and hadn't seen me in two years.

While the food was tasty, family members would parade their children and babies, brag about their jobs, and it was almost like going on a job interview. Who has the best job? Who has the most children? People without children even if infertile were deemed "selfish", those without jobs, deemed "lazy". Every morsel of food eaten analyzed and up for comment. Don't get hungry at a different time from the narcissists.

This was no place to relax and be yourself.  Everyone was focused on impressing one another and gathering the kind regard of my narcissistic mother or grandmother. These family dynamics were disturbing enough. Some family members who were not present, sometimes would be in for a "bonding over putting someone down" session. My brother's ex wife was often in for it, my scapegoat aunt too, though that got lesser as she was invited and taken to more events the more submissive she became to my mother, and who ever else was on the "bad" list that week/month/or year. Screw up and you were cannon fodder.

Add in hardcore neo-con [on the freedom hating side] Republican politics that condemned everyone without a job or money, as being a "loser" or "not trying hard enough" and oddly a mixture of the worse ideological things modern culture has to offer and some of the conversations got kind of harsh. You simply were not allowed to have another opinion. Last year she tried to pre-empt any conversation she would not like, and actually sent us all a list of things we could not talk about in email, these ranged from God to homosexuality to some bill before Congress I can't remember right now. With the God rule, being a Christian, I felt like I was being asked to commit an act of idolatry to Nero and pals and did not show up. They didn't know where to pigeon-hold me which seemed to make them more angry.

During one family event where I broke my Stuart Smalley rule and actually [horrors] sat in a car with my mother on a trip to my grandmother's for the first time in 15 years. She broke endless speed limits as I sat there mouth clenched, all this for trying to make nice and get to "closer" to my family. She yelled at then 30 something year old me to stop fidgeting, and that I should wear pants and not dresses all the time. That is a day that will live on in infamy, one telling moment was her dogging out the farmers we bought some vegetables from their home stand, saying they were dirty and disgusting and me replying and saying, "One isn't going to be perfectly clean, farming for a living". No one was immune. Everything could be held up to criticism, your weight, your clothes, the way you moved. If they weren't telling you that your life was a mess, they would get find something else small to pick on. Everyone else was failures while the narcissists especially my mother and sister were "perfect".

My father when he was alive and part of the family events combined his seething rage, put downs, and screaming fits with all of the above. His later absence rendered the family events more calm on the surface. There were times, he wanted to make you cry to show off to the others. Having one's father order you around like a slave in front of cousins demanding exactly three ice cubes in every drink and others was not too cool. He had no problem disrespecting two of his own children in front of others and seemed to glory in it.  No one ever defended a kid against their narcissist torturer.

If anyone drank or was high at my family events, they did it in secret and kept it on the down-low. I never had any substance abuse problems in my life as a teetotaler and never touch any drugs except prescription ones that are all non-narcotic, but Benadryl became my "lite" tranquilizer of choice to cope with my family. I could go two months without needing it for any allergies and pop a couple to take the edge of everything, a light "buzz" to help envelop me in a cocoon to deal with the sharks.

I still remember the other scapegoats and those who were poor, coming to the family events like they were having teeth pulled. My scapegoat aunt would come just to eat, saying around a total of 10 words and disappear into her broken down trailer next door to my grandmother's house citing fatigue. One uncle with his silent children--now all adults in their very late 20s living at home with few prospects and no mates who are the new targets being called "losers" in our dying economy, would sit there eating and not saying a word. Were they afraid to talk? One wonders.

Intellectually, as we sat at the table, or later watching TV, my brain would freeze and silence would take over and I would wonder what could I talk about? Every topic had to be instantly assessed to make sure it was safe. Being an Aspie, this was a nightmare. I couldn't talk about current events with people offended by the slightest digression in opinion. I couldn't talk about books because none of them ever read and hadn't visited a library in years save for my brother. I couldn't talk about personal stuff because that opened me for attack. One could only drag out discussion of the weather so long or compliment one of the narcissists on their new furniture or shopping acumen so I became quiet and over the years dare I say sunk into the background. While today I think this is one of the many things that made me a "stranger", what other choice did I have around people who got angry every time I opened my mouth?

I would stand up for myself from time to time as it was mandated like the time both my mother and grandmother attacked me for being fat, ironically during a lunch where they pigged out on pizza and I just had a turkey sandwich because I am lactose intolerant and yelled back, "Do you think my body works like yours?"

One thing I used to pray to God, was "How could you give me a family like this"? Where there was no one I could really talk to? [things were better with my brother and a couple cousins but even there I had to gently lead them away from the manipulation of the narcissists and it got wearing]. Facebook I am sure was strange for some of them seeing all these friends of mine profess out and out love for me, something that never happened in our family where the prevailing attitude was one of utter disgust and not being good enough. With some of these relatives, who I like and care about, I feel bad, that our relationships have been so adversely affected. I posted this for their sake and yes for some of my own, today on my Facebook page:

No Contact for the first time during the holidays is tough terrain.  This is supposedly the no-contact hump, that if you manage to cross things will get easier. I hope so. There is this feeling of GUILT. I've seen psychologists warn against "fear, guilt and obligation" before online, the so called FOG that can keep one enmeshed in toxic relationships. It's what kept me dragging myself to all these family events where I was invisible and a "worm". I had to sit back and ask, "What are you doing?" Self care actually had me refusing events almost an entire year before I went totally no contact.

There are some family members I care about and still have some contact with, but I wonder if I ever will be able to see them again since the only family gatherings and visits that happen rotate around the nexus of the narcissist matriarch. Being no contact for me, may actually mean never seeing one relative ever again in person, even the ones I want to see. This is one reason I stayed low contact for so many years too but one gets to the point where they can do it anymore. Even in the video I linked to where Stuart debates going to a family Christmas gathering or not, saying "Ill go, No, I won't go." That was me for years. Even the stress in these last few years triggered infections or a kidney stone almost on cue.

In my case part of my "giving up" [no contact et. al.] rotated around the very that my health couldn't take it anymore.  No one was coming to see me. One loved best friend knows I am unable to get out to where she lives, so she comes to me. Actually this would describe several friends but with my family that never happened. The ones I am in contact with, are the one who are more financially limited like me, so I understand.

There was one Thanksgiving where the temperature dropped into the low and mid 30s which is beyond what I am comfortable at lung wise [the 20s would have put me into the hospital] and I pressed on, hoping it would be on the warmer end. My reward was hiding the endless asthma attacks and breathing problems in the bathroom, throwing up a few times. The stress of keeping a smile on my face and keeping it together made it even tougher. My mother's house was not a place where someone would give you a bed to lie down on if you took ill. It never was a place of comfort. A rented hotel room for one night helped me keep it together in front of them.

This was hard. Sometimes I would literally cry if the temperatures nose-dived leaving me no options, trying to see nieces and nephews I had not seen in two years and truly do miss, and feel heartbreak at not being able to have formed closer relationships with. But some of you may ask "What is missing here"? There was absolutely no accommodations from the others. My mother had a downstairs bedroom but because she is such a neat-freak and so uptight, I never could ask her even to put my swollen leg and stomach up. Nothing. No one came here or visited even if they driving by one mile from where I live, they were always too "busy". These are folks who drive 1,500 miles to Florida back and forth and other sojurns for hundreds of miles. I live 75 miles away from my mother. My grandmother's old home and where the family is meeting is almost 200 miles away.

Going on visits I could not physically handle bought me breathing problems and leg infections. Remember I'm a woman where I qualified for housebound services. I haven't left my apartment but once in the last three weeks on a day where it hit 49-50 degrees. Yesterday I had breathing problems from the temperature going down to the teens. I did not need to go to the hospital-my inhalers worked but I was under serious strain.

 The Baby Boomer modern American experiment of having families separate by hundreds and thousands of miles worked when people had expendable income to travel and buy a new car every two years, but for Generation X and the Millennials, it has meant more isolation and more loneliness and far more stress! Some lose their families due to poverty and distance--which applies to me quite a bit, even before any chosen no contact, and others go into hock trying to step up, visit and get presents they can't afford. As I have written before, this is a system where wealthier family members earn more of the families notice and attention, and where poverty and illness can render you invisible.

December is the hardest month of the year for me, since my housebound time begins and its 100% house-bound-ness now, where a cool or warmer day just doesn't happen to break up the monotony like in the summer. Being outside of this all and getting some perspective, I realized now how utterly selfish, that all the travel was to be one way for so many years. Narcissists however have that insidious way of doing things, blaming you for everything, even non-chosen health problems and setting things up so you are in the pleasing them department instead of pleasing yourself.

I found out from one relative I have some contact with, that my NM is having a big blow out holiday party, with a rented hall this weekend for the annual family gathering. Even if I was not "no contact" with them, it'd be too cold to go.  Of course what am I missing? Not much.  Once I get over the false guilt that is slowly ebbing away, I can already feel the RELIEF coming....

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"Richard Simmons Goes Bonkers"

This is kind of sad. Warning you will find this video very alarming. Well diet guru, Richard Simmons, has gotten older and hopefully he will have figured out, the 1980s are over, and most young people may not even recognize his name now.  I honestly haven't seen him anywhere in years on TV. I don't watch mainstream news shows except rarely. This video is very crazy. Please watch it at least half way in to see how far things disintegrate. It shocked me.

 I never liked Richard Simmons, he's not my cup of tea but this interview is SCARY.  Notice when he says to the interviewer, "it's about me!"  I always felt sorry for the fat women who would burst out in tears on talk shows to Richard Simmons, and always felt uneasy about it. Like he was the histrionic conductor of misdirected emotions from fat people. I had to quit reading this books or watching his shows, because he made me feel lousy, and while I danced to the Oldies a few times for the exercise, I was still fat.

The misquoting of the Bible literally made me cringe, "when you have self worth, you inherit the earth", um, Richard, it says the MEEK will inherit the earth. Obviously he went through hard times and was bullied in high school. He seems very depressed and mentions that he has buried a lot of people to obesity. Sigh, well even I will admit the war on obesity has failed. My own war, I've been stuck in the trenches and barely staying alive, just kind of holding the same line despite endless efforts on multiple fronts so on that score I can understand the tears. However I believe Simmons has damaged many fat people by pushing the false status quo of the diet industrial complex while he purports to CARE.

Simmons does the nauseating fake crying though some of the emotions may be real, he seems to overdo it.  Richard Simmons maybe today could come out and say "Look the diets and exercise is failing, something more is going on here. We are not winning this war!" Yeah I'm dreaming. He seems to be more a distraction rather then anyone who will bring truth to the whole mess. There's no one whose going to derail the money train that is enjoying it's benefits.

Then he goes into a litany about parade floats and the rest that makes absolutely no sense. The "conspiracy" website Vigilante Citizen maybe would tell us Richard Simmon's "programming" is breaking down if they saw this video and reported on it. Some will know what I am talking about a la Brittany Spears style. Maybe this is Simmon's public head shaving event, but he makes no sense and seriously engages in "word salad" as the pyschiatrists would say! I watched this seriously worried for his mental health. Why does he keep wanting to crawl across the table towards the interviewer? The lewd gesture he keeps making with his mouth is disgusting.

Is he cracking up because he looks out at the landscape and sees the lost war on obesity? I don't know. This is one scary video......

Why is the one creep laughing in the background as he slips back and forth from lucidity to delusion?

More mild weirdness earlier on:

Stranger stuff on another TV show...

Disturbing....if this wasn't some famous guy with money acting like this, they'd getting him some help. Everyone laughs but I do not see what is so funny. I think we should have compassion for those with mental health problems and challenges, but I feel bad watching him. Something is very off. I do not think he is faking "craziness" only for attention.

This picture says it all....

                                                      [picture source]

He always has been "wacky" and even was 25 years ago but this is new terrain....

Fat and Fit Doesn't Exist?

Well I've said myself there's no 400 and 500lb marathoners, but how fat do they mean? Does one have to be stick thin to be in shape? Once the fat is on, it's harder to exercise too. I have to go do my walk after I type here, it's cold--I have to do in the apartment hallway which is fortunately long and now I can traverse it twice instead of just once, but exercise for me is only keeping me mobile and doesn't have magic life-changing effects beyond that. I do wish someone would get to the core basics of fat, one can tell all us fat people, yeah you're unfit but what is that going to change if no one is able to lose weight and keep it off.

It's Cold!

                                         [picture source-Pinterest]

How are you faring in this cold weather? I'm housebound, I can hear the wind out there, and it's very very cold. Global warming where are you? You'd think we have few more mild Decembers then this!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ban on Trans-Fats

It's odd how they are willing to ban this, but do nothing about the GMOs, and MSG.....

Can you imagine a Weight-Gain Ad NOW?

Wow, times have changed....

My leg is progressing

Wrapping my leg has shrunk it down. I am shocked at how small the leg is under the fluid. I can walk a lot easier. It is being wrapped 4-5 times a day so this takes some time. My hope regarding my leg is far more. Three months without an infection is a good thing.

See: The Swelling.

Feeling Invisible

                                        [picture source]

Feeling Invisible

"The problem with this is that when you are not acknowledged, when you cannot see yourself mirrored in others, when they do not reflect back to you, like answering your questions or laughing at your jokes or responding to your greetings in an appropriate way, if your sense of self is not immensely secure, you begin to lose it.
And if you get enough of that kind of treatment from the significant people in your life, you begin to feel invisible, too…you begin to wonder if there is really anything to see, since nobody else seems to see it.
It goes deeper than that, even. Have you ever said something in a group of people and nobody even acknowledged you spoke? Have you ever asked a question and the person to whom it is directed acts as if you were not even in the room? Have you ever been in a group and what you have to say is not ignored so much as it is not even heard? Absent strong self-esteem, such experiences can make you feel disconnected, unbalanced…as if you exist only at their pleasure and the rest of the time you don’t. It makes you feel unimportant, devalued, diminished, invisible, shunned".

This is an excellent article about growing up as the scapegoat in a narcissistic family. They do render you invisible, voiceless like you are not even there. For me silent treatment and being unable to communicate was a given. The number of silent moments with my mother reached to the ceiling as I tried to reach out, and received only silence and anger in response. There was no true sharing, no being known.

One thing that happened to me when wanting to see more of family members is they would tell me, "We have our own lives" as if I was a bother or nuisance. It was strange how they always gave me this message to tell me to "go away". I always had my own life and community too. I was not bothering them to visit me every month, or even every year. Once you reach a certain age and place, you will stop asking and you know that going to empty wells is a waste of time.

There was always the message of get back in line, you are low on the priority list. For me it started very young. My very ill sister came first during my young years. Later my sick father's needs came first, but even when everyone was healthy, I was in the background, just there.  One thing that happens if someone is a scapegoat in a dysfunctional family system, is the narcissist or narcissists train the others not to devote time to you. You are rendered obsolete to them.

I knew I grew up, knowing outside of my close friends, no one was really listening to me. My opinions were shouted down, my values, and who I was ignored. It was like a tree falling in the forest with some standing there shrugging their shoulders and going ho-hum.  My narcissistic mother and sister shared nothing with me. I have realized "withholding" where a person shares nothing of their mind, emotions, and thoughts with you is an insidious form of abuse. You become an "outsider", unheard, unseen, and unthought of, and breaking this up or standing up to it is impossible. Demand to be seen, heard, noticed, and recognized as a human being and then you are told you are a bother, we are busy, we have our lives. You feel like a sap trying to draw attention from those who don't want to give it. As a child, you're kind of trapped, under their rules, you can only go seek out others so much, as an adult, you have to reach the point, and tell yourself, that there is nothing more I can do, I tried. Trying to seek the love and attention of people who do not have it to give, is very unhealthy.  There were times as a child and teen I literally faded into the wallpaper. What does that do to someone in the long run?

Years later this would worse, as moving, distance, and money problems triggered some of my problems that are rooted in these early family experiences. When I left my small town community in 2007, it was grief, I felt like I had lost another family [which included a church and co-op I was close to] and I really HAD.

I know I will never move again, since I lost my last community, the grief was so great, I refuse to leave the friends and things I have now. I never had a family so I need to have a community to be attached to. I need roots. There is no way on earth I will ever let myself rip up the roots again. The last time took too far of a toll, I just recovered in the last couple of years due to new friends and opportunities. I have told husband I will not do it again.

I don't take loss well. I know inside I have a lot of grief. Too many people have been taken away from me via many circumstances. I suppose this is part of the human condition. It is never easy to "lose" anyone or to imagine what may have been. I think not really having family in this world or growing up in a family system where you are rendered as "nothing" can take a toll. Some of us survive and thrive via close friends who love us, we connect to communities--I know I did and have. Even then this early "lack of love" can take a lifelong toll on many others.

Some of us are not well-suited for modern life, and it's transient nature. There is a reason Bowling Alone is one of my favorite books. I have told one close friend of many years duration, that my dream life would have been one in the same area where I grew up in a place and stayed and had those roots I always have grasped for.

I hope one day I will have a feeling of belonging somewhere in this world. Even with the few family members I talk to now, it's long distance stuff--a few Facebook hellos, nothing "too deep". I do not expect anything more any more.

The blogger talks about the times she had to realize that people weren't ignoring her on purpose via her family baggage. That is something I worked through years ago. If your family has the default setting of ignoring you, this doesn't mean others with their responsibilities are too. Here one has to have grace and understanding for other people and unload the family mode, when dealing with others.

My friends and community groups etc, treat me decent but I know inside, there was this feeling of being invisible that stayed with me because of how I was raised too that I had to overcome. Narcs draw in attention like a iron fillings draw to a magnet. The times of being a "ghost" in the room with all the "look at me" narcissists who demanded full attention did take their toll on me too. I am a more shy person, who via my housebound times, avoids attention. Think there's a reason you don't see my mug plastered on this blog? That probably is part of it. I have very close friends but I know this developed a "going into myself" solitary outlook. I also know I love and value people very strongly. I never want anyone to feel alone or rejected.

Some of these effects may be lifelong, the feeling like you have had no feeling of belonging anywhere? This feeling of not belonging of being untethered? It's a hard one to carry in this life, that's for sure. How does one overcome this? My Christian friends tell me, this world is not our true home, and one day, we will be with God's family. All my friends, are "family" as it were to me, in this world. I know today people "see" me.

Friday, November 29, 2013

In a nutshell.....

Speaking of what I said about the Competition Prison here....

Chronic Illness

This goes along with Dorothy's article too. Chronic illness can impact a life greatly.

How Aspergers is Seen

I found this funny, I was literally called "absent minded professor" when I was young. My Neurotypical friends see me just like the guy in the picture above too. If someone loves new ideas, we will be close friends. Normal parents care about the isolation. I miss my planet too!

What's Your Excuse?

This made the internet rounds, a very thin woman with a mainstream acceptable body that works in the fitness industry posted this...

It created a firestorm. She looks like one of those genetically thin people. Her Facebook page is public and she eats food like baked french-fries and waffles. I am sure she works out and it's "her job", but to have this attitude that everyone who is fat is "making excuses" is nonsense. Not every body responds to exercise the same way hers does. I have been around thin people enough to know how they live, many are thin due to no expended effort, ie: they aren't hitting the gym everyday. Some actually eat quite regularly while others do not seem as plagued by hunger pain. If you can exercise and do it well, go for it but why slap people around and put them down if they do not or cannot? I do exercises everyday but I don't see any magic results from it except the ability to walk a bit further and stay off oxygen. One thing about a sign like this, is the narcissism, it takes to take a picture of yourself half naked with your three young sons, and then put down others who are not as thin and "fit" as you.

Fitness Mom Lands Herself In Trouble Again

A tumblr website was started called "We Don't Need An Excuse" in response to all this. Some thin women even with chronic health problems responded. Some spoke of "body positive" and "self-love" but then I found myself thinking, everyone is in a competition to "explain" themselves, outside a few posts, where they wrote, "I don't have to care what anyone thinks".

I was thinking about this, how everything in our society is a competition. Women especially are trained to "compare" themselves to others. Comparing bodies, income, looks, if they got to have children, careers, degrees,  etc. It's tiring. I already lost the war myself. No kids, no career, no money and a body that is way beyond the pale.

I have as many books on my bed as the woman above including an autobiography of Mark Twain, but no money for the degree, though I consider myself a "self-study". Ok that said, have you all noticed everyone is chasing this idea of "perfection", that we must all be "the best" and prove to the world we have great wonderful lives? This is a facet of American culture getting way out of control!

 Do I have to have exciting hobbies or be learning to wrestle alligators or get a Phd to prove myself "worthy"? This may sound odd, but remember how I said, "escaping the beauty prison" was a good thing? How about escaping the "competition prison"? Who are we trying to impress?

Is God going to open the door to the pearly gates because you have perfect abs?

Too Fat To Travel?

Too Fat To Travel?

What's weird about this is I have read about specialized services that help disabled people travel world wide. So fat people are off the roster here too? It is scary that this man traveled for medical services [weight caused via a hormonal imbalance] and there was so little mercy for him. Many foreigners are realizing the drastic changes in the USA that are not good ones.

One thing to think about here, is look at the open and blatant discrimination, other disabled people even wheelchair bound ARE allowed to travel thought it often does appear fraught with difficulty, no one is banning them.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"Disability in the Modern World" {Written by Guest Blogger-Dorothy}

Dorothy is a friend of mine and we have gotten into discussions before about what life is like being disabled, from all ends. We have served as a support system to each other in friendship in navigating this world. I have dealt with both physical disabilities talked about in detail on this blog as well as the Aspergers and it's emotional baggage while Dorothy has dealt with both physical and mental disabilities. Many people do not understand the nitty-gritty of the disabled life. There are special issues with visible disabilities as well as invisible ones. Being disabled since the age of 28, life for me panned out very different and many disabled people can attest to that. She is correct about what those with disabilities of all kinds face. I agree with her decision about what the disabled person must do. We can grieve what the disabilities did to our lives, but we can focus that perhaps in this world we were given a different purpose by God in being here. Well read on....
If you are disabled in the modern world of 2013, you have special problems. If you are so disabled you cannot work, then you're really in trouble; but all of you know this! This article is partly for people who are NOT DISABLED, and those who are. We need to address both sides.
In my travels with disability, which have involved very severe trauma of the mind, PTSD, and mental emotional severe depression, I think that probably disabilities that involve the persons' personality, FEELINGS, and mental state may actually be worse than physical disabilities.Anyone who looks at you, usually cannot SEE that you have mental or severe emotional problems enough to make you disabled; those "regular functioning people" often have a sixth sense, that can tell there is something WRONG with you.(to them.)
 For example, a group of mentally ill young people who were sitting outside a business, waiting for a bus, were remarked upon by a passerby who said "Those must be the retarded kids!" He couldn't tell, just from looking, what it WAS that was different. If you're in a wheelchair or a power chair, or with crutches, or any of those disability devices, in public people can tell exactly what's going on with you. You probably get more sympathy from them.

However, if you're going to AA, and you're sitting in a large group meeting, with both men and women, and you start having a panic attack and get really nervous, you get a much worse REACTION from your friends or acquaintances. A lot of them just don't understand. As far as trying to get WORK, and a JOB, it's extremely hard for somebody with very bad emotional and mental problems to get one and hang onto it. All my friends and people I knew, who had ,for example, "bipolar disorder" almost always could not work.

One of the people tried to go back to work, full-time, and wound up in the hospital again. This cycle was not uncommon.It really depends on just how BAD off you are with the problem. But usually, bipolar disorder,is one of the hardest mental illnesses to deal with by the person who has it. Ditto Chronic depression.
This is compounded by the fact that employers don't LIKE hiring disabled people; even an autistic person,who has proof he can do the job, has been turned down, because he was "odd" and "would not fit in."--which means they can refuse to hire ANYONE who is DIFFERENT; and they DO.

There are extra problems as I hinted above, when you have a disability of mental and emotional illness (or even if you're in a power chair physically disabled, although we won't go into that as much); and that is, dealing with the rest of society in all forms, that think you're weird, deranged, or even dangerous. The movies depicting mentally ill people don't help! Anyone mentally or emotionally ill is usually CRAZY and DANGEROUS, in a movie. The fact is that most mentally and emotionally ill people are not dangerous at all except to themselves sometimes.  We go around now with the reputation of being "too sick" to be friends with other regular supposedly "well functioning citizens".

So this is one of our main problems, when we're disabled; especially if we have mental or emotional illness severely. It is DEALING WITH PEOPLE IN SOCIETY. Trying to FIT IN, when it's clear that, usually, you're not exactly the  same. Putting up with rejections for dating, for example, is so tricky, because it's so personal when somebody decides to reject you. It is difficult not being able to fit in in clubs or groups you join. Obviously because you haven't had the same experiences, or vice versa, and it's easy to feel rejected or "not fitting in".

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So one of the hardest things with having this type of disability is, HOW do you manage in the real world? How do you find a place to live that you can afford? (One of the very worst problems if you're disabled) Do you have to live with relatives? What do you do with your TIME? Is there any kind of even part-time or minor work you can find, to do? These are some of the hardest things about this kind of disability; YOUR WHOLE LIFE, every day, is almost impossible to deal with.

Extremely physically disabled people also go through a lot of the same social rejection, and bad self-esteem. But particularly if  you have  mental or emotional illness, you already have that to contend with; and then you have to put up with society and people rejecting you completely, not to mention trying to put a roof over your head and EAT.

                                         [picture source, disabled vet evicted]


If you are not disabled severely mentally or emotionally or physically, and you're reading this article, now do you get it? Do you get just HOW BAD life can be, when you're in this state? You not only have to worry about the most basic MONEY PROBLEMS, to physically survive; you have to contend with people and society at large, rejecting the hell out of you! Not wanting to be friends with you, or hire you, or be in a club with you!

All this stuff, and especially the social body of people at large  rejecting you, or avoiding you, really makes life HELL. It's not just "inconvenient" to have severe disabilities like this; it's not just "a little frustrating". It's can feel like HELL TO LIVE IN! 

So having a semi-normal life, having a mate, getting married, working, having kids, socializing, having interests and community involvement, are really off the table. All these things that you  disabled and emotionally and mentally WELL (or at least functioning) people take for granted; all the needs of a satisfying, regular lifetime.

THAT is what people like us, don't usually get to enjoy. If the physical disability is bad enough, mental and emotional disability really reduces the basic quality of your life. Some almost give into despair thinking that it's not worth it to keep living, because it's so miserable and low-quality. Its a very hard road to be on. Despite even slight progress in the person,severe mental and emotional problems DO NOT CHANGE, MUCH, for the better.What can you do, then?
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Maybe one of the most effective methods to deal with the problems, is, to  STOP fighting them; stop trying to "fit in", be accepted, or even be socially accepted.FACE IT,THIS IS YOUR LIFE!  And you're not better or worse than any one else .Stop beating yourself up!

Take the attitude that "I'm a real person, if you don't like it, bug off!" Whether or not you realize it, the Creator sent you here, like everyone else, to find your mission in life, on earth. So what if you have a disability? You are on the planet for a REASON, you just to find what it is.

Realizing that you are here for a REASON,just like everyone here,is what every disabled person must realize at some point. It was NOT  an accident you're here,you have a PURPOSE for being; probably not to get super-rich, famous & successful, or become a celebrity. If this sounds too religious and sermon – like, it is what we disabled have to realize, and focus on.

We have to realize that we are PEOPLE ALSO, and we have a right to be on the planet as much as anyone else. That is the main focus of my article.and we need to search, and work, to find our reason for being here, as much as the average non-disabled person does.

So do keep in mind, if you have a very bad disability mental, emotional, or physical, you are not alone in the world; most of the population of the planet has some kind of miserable life, rather than the perfectly blue sky American image of what life is supposed to be like. You definitely ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES.

I will end by saying that, of course we're not the only ones in life to get a bad deal, people get bad miserable lives every day of the week, who aren't even disabled, and they have to fight it, and learn how to survive and live. But you do it by taking the attitude that, "Everybody else who tells me I have no right to be here  or that I don't matter can go to hell,  I'm going to survive and live anyway. And I'm going to be proud of myself for doing it."----Dorothy

Matisse Paints a Fat Woman

We need more portrait painters to paint pictures of us...


Kind Medical Professionals

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I am getting some better help now, this includes occupational therapy and I just completed physical therapy and am doing my exercises everyday. They know my sticking to the first bout of physical therapy saved me from having to go on oxygen and being able to keep the mobility I do have. Maybe I will be able to build things up even more. There have been some good health effects like having my blood pressure become more controlled.

They are trying to increase my stamina and help me function. One thing that did happen to change the lay-out, is the medical professionals have realized I have serious swelling issues that far surpass the obesity. They have realized the amount and degree of fluids I am contending with and how strongly it is impacting my life from the fluids on the leg to the extreme fluids in the abdominal area. This has gotten me far more understanding even from my regular doctor.

 The lymph therapy is improving my leg but sometimes I am having to have my leg wrapped 4-5 times a day which I am very thankful to my husband for. I can wrap it now somewhat as a stop gap to keep it from swelling bigger using an ottoman to prop it up on but others can wrap it tighter and better then I can so my husband has been my predominate "wrapper". The occupational therapist has helped me with massages, Kensio tape and other techniques.

It helps to have kind and caring professionals, who are helping me deal with many practical issues of life, this includes my problems with cleaning, and I may be applying to get a house cleaner and see if I can make that work. I put it off for many years but my husband with his health problems is having difficulty keeping things up. Often one is not lazy but just dealing with serious physical issues in trying to keep their place clean. They have told me they know I am trying my best and some have sat down and talked to me about not blaming myself for what has happened to me physically and issues related to depression and health.

It took me years to learn self care, and how to get help, and I am glad I am getting some help on multiple fronts now. They have treated me kindly and with care, and that definitely has been a very good thing.

Emotional Abuse: Being "Erased".

Even by the age of 18, I had therapists tell me I had faced some of the worse emotional abuse they ever had heard of. When one cottons on to the games, it can be quite revelatory. One game my mother used to play was telling me off in the backroom out of ear shot from company, saying things that were cruel, and I would become sad, depressed or angry, and then later with smiles for her company or people she treated better, she would say, "Oh fivehundredpoundpeep's so negative!". One can't win in that kind of set up can they? You always look bad to others. She is the nice, kind lady, cooking meals and giving presents to these folks. "Why so sour fivehundredpoundpeep?" is what they thought.  They would think I was a bad person who did not love her "kind" mother. Even friends of the family thought I was the perpetual weirdo sourpuss, while she was the happy go-lucky mother horrifically saddled with the likes of me. In other words, I lost the psychological war and then some. No Contact really when one cuts to the chase is the ultimate retreat to stay alive emotionally and in some cases like mine, physically.

One disturbing message I always got from other relatives, was that I needed to ACCEPT my sister and mother as they were. I would hear these speeches about how they simply were more stoic and kept their emotions close to the sleeve. No one was accepting me. A few of these relatives when pressed would admit, "Yes she is cold, she doesn't treat you right, she engages in BAD BEHAVIOR" but oddly their message to me was always that I was the "bad" party who refused to accept them for who they were, when acceptance from them was never on the table.  Most were turned against me but even the few who were not including my brother, told me I should have taken that same path of "acceptance". How and why did that happen?

I had to realize with the emotional abuse and psychological games, that inherently other relatives were dealing with a DIFFERENT PERSON. They were not seeing the same person I was. While my brother saw a few bad behaviors that came to his attention, I doubt he ever was approached when alone by her, and totally decimated and told his life was worthless as adult. This is something I had to contend with, that these narcissists when they choose a scapegoat, do treat you "differently" from others. The bystanders are NOT seeing the same person. Talk about making a very muddied up picture. This is how and why the invalidation by the primary narcissists can be so devastating.

Sometimes I would stuff my feelings to make sure the others didn't hold this against me, but then with Aspergers I was lousy at hiding those emotions. I also think because of being an Aspie, that my ability to see through the social games was far lesser. Even right before I went no contact, my N sister and N mother would manage to manipulate things where I would be in shock that I did not see it coming.

 Mine reveled in the confusion, the anxiousness, the fear and making you feel like you "owed" them and were the lowly worm at fault. I found out from distant relatives since I have gone no contact, she has basically "disappeared" me. It did not matter, she said not a word that I had left to any other relative. "Whose going to look like a great mother if one of their children totally cut contact?" So she keeps her mouth shut, everything has always been about appearances to her. I suppose she hopes no one notices I am gone, and just like people who have died in my family, I will cease to exist the same as them to her.

The cutting of the contact by the way is not easy, I am 6 months in, and well, it has been a journey of grief. I realized how much I did really truly lost. I did not get to enjoy many things that others take for granted. The love of a family, the feeling of belonging somewhere, the feeling of kinship. It is a facing of incredible loss that I had always shoveled under the psychological carpet before. Sometimes I am flabbergasted to see the loving families on a social website. I know they are not perfect and even in the best ones, there are alliances and debates and disagreements, but what I faced I think is a bit beyond the pale.

 I believe my poverty and lack of means and health to visit relatives that cared about me like my brother and some distant cousins, also impacted things in a very negative way for me. Even there she impacted those relationships with her games and putting me down. They saw her as she had the money to travel thousands of miles, and a new car every two year and endless funds for the gas, I was "missing in action" and basically like pencil eraser taking to a piece of paper, she grew more dominant in their lives while I faded involuntarily from the scene. I sent cards and made phone calls as much as possible. I have a lot of grief about this, I feel bad, that I could not become more of a part of my nieces and nephews lives or get to know them more, everyone was too scattered to have a place to move to, and many things were not possible. I do think in my life, I have lost too many people due to circumstances and other events.

A few years is different then encroaching upon 20. I basically lost my father's family due to the lack of contact and geographical distance. That wedding I wasn't invited to? Well my mother lied there, and told them I didn't want to be there. Think about that, those people then think I do not care and want nothing to do with me. So I'm firmly out of their lives. She's in. She couldn't even leave one person alone, as busy-body, she even took the ones away she isn't even related to by blood. Devastating lies on multiple fronts all centered on turning me into a non-person.

This of course is easier to do when everyone is very geographically distant. More about that later. All I know is being this far into NC [no contact], I realized how extreme the psychological games really were. As I have said before the worse thing both my sister and mother, ever did to me, was the damage they created to other relationships.

As they tried to "erase" me, they never really knew who I was. I was a stranger.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Adventures in Cardmaking

Here are some recent Thanksgiving cards I made. Cardmaking is fun. There are too many hobbies I want to work on. At least I am never bored.  Some of the cards I have now added stamping art to as well.

Both Sides: Still Wrong

My opinions about NAAFA are still the same. These seem to be two ladies who are making the new size acceptance rounds in the media. I find the lady, Jeanette DePatie, who teaches exercise fascinating. She admits later in the video, she did a marathon. I know that would not be possible for the lady, Julianne Wotasik, who is in the 400s sitting next to her. Julianne seems to be a well spoken and put together woman, but she is going down the wrong path, she is already super-sized and it saddens me they even forced her to sit awkwardly up on those high stools. Exercise is a good thing and fighting weight discrimination, both of those I do agree on but as I have said before, why accept a health condition that is so painful? The "Fat Shame" side and "We Must Love our Fat" side all work with each other.

Meme Roth just spouts the same nonsense, but then she is just the other side of the coin as I have said before: Both sides are WRONG.

The Scale

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