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Archive for the ‘Coping Skills’ Category

#Sleep of the Damned
   If Only I Could, I surely Would

 

“Life is all about timing… the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable become available, the unattainable… attainable. Have the patience, wait it out; it’s all about timing.” Stacey Charter

I know about the sleep of the damned. It’s not quite what you might think. No diving into a hellish deep, tortured souls tearing you apart – perhaps it is for some, but not for me.

Mine lies somewhere between a light doze and wakefulness. It’s the lightest doze imaginable where my heartbeat plays time with my thoughts. Thoughts in colour and action to make sleeping a sometimes joke. Occasionally I’ll slip in the transition between the two and fall into sleep’s welcome embrace. Of late, it’s filled with vibrant dreams, some easy to understand, some so confused I’m not sure where the middle, beginning and end are. But that too is immaterial here.

For several weeks, I have fought a good fight against the effects of a niacin flush. Sounds like a fancy cocktail, but without the little umbrella! Instead, it’s a detox strangle – melodramatic, I’m sure. Yet I told “them” I was allergic to “B” vitamins. I’ve had to be careful for years, guarding myself against anything containing “B” vitamins which it seems my body cannot tolerate, all except B12, in which I am so deficient they call it ‘Pernicious Anaemia’!

So my niacin flush – beautiful blushes of sunset red or sunrise hues – more like sunrise I think, as it’s followed by the rising heat of the blush and a raging conflagration – akin to a wildfire. It cannot be quenched or put out, nor tamped down. I have to allow it to – yes, flush through my body.

Like most things it’s good and bad. The good is the benefit of the detox, removing those things harmful to me. The bad – oh just the crippling migraines, light sensitivity, crushing aches and pains as though my body is being torn apart.

Even this could be managed with good rest. Yet the pain, muscle, bone, head all combine to throw a huge barricade across that nebulous boundary between the twilight doze and real sleep, hence the “sleep of the damned”!

It’s frustrating since I crave organisation. I like my ordered routines. Poetry, stories, conversation and more, photos and sharing my thoughts. That has been tossed out like yesterday’s garbage, until my niacin flush has gone away.

If I find it frustrating, it may be worse for those trying to follow my blog, since you have no idea what or when I’m publishing. It pains me to say it, as so much else does at present, but I’m having to learn patience. It’s a dreadful curse, one I’ve fought most of my life. But I promise you this, I will be back on track, with my writing and my schedule, just as soon as I’ve put out my bushfire!

Since today was my day to visit my doctor and half a dozen hypodermics later, thought is a vague thing, and vision is blurry. You might say the spirit is willing but the body is weak. Hence this little explanation for you to understand my dilemma. Now I look forward to another night of the sleep of the damned again!

 

Blessings, Susan, ♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2014

© Executive Sorceress, 2014

Image from http://www.josephienwallart.co.uk  

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#Communication. It's Only Words

Image courtesy of nashontechnology.blogspot.com

 

“From this point forth, we shall be leaving the firm foundation of fact and journeying together through the murky marshes of memory into thickets of wildest guesswork.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Have you ever stopped to wonder why words cause so many difficulties? After all they’re only words, the means by which we convey our thoughts and feelings. Yet so many times, what is a simple and forgettable word to one person, can be a veritable insult to another. Is it any wonder that there are so many hurt feelings and arguments over what we mean by the words we say to each other?

Many are the words uttered in anger, or whilst feeling under pressure or stress. Do these words mean the same thing if they were said whilst calm and unpressured? I rather doubt it. At least, that has been my observation.

Computers and computer programs, have the singular honour of creating the most intense feelings of frustration for many people, even over minor matters. They are such contrary machines, aren’t they? Some days, no matter how hard you try, or follow the same steps you followed the day before, the wretched program refuses to behave as it should. You’re blood pressure rises and you can feel the irritation begin to mount.

In retrospect, it is at this point that the rest of the household, or office, should embark for points north, south, east of west. Anywhere, in fact, to avoid the likely wrath to come. But no, everyone remains and the ensuing eruption of heightened emotion spills over and someone ends up feeling hurt or misunderstood.

#Communication - It's Only Words

Image courtesy of sherwoodfleming.com

“Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself. Impossible. Confusing. Frustrating … but there are other ways to understanding.”
Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

The irony is, the person struggling with the computer, or any appliance which is being contrary, should simple mutter under their breath, except….. Someone is sure to ‘demand’ that they repeat what they have just said. I can almost guarantee that the word “Stupid” will form part of the epithet. Guaranteed!   What’s even more certain, is that the person listening is going to hear that they are being called stupid. It may even sound as though that was the intention. Yet I am positive that the intention is that the computer, program, appliance, even the operator of the machine is really saying they are stupid for not getting it to work correctly. Perhaps if the person offering assistance has already pushed their help on the struggling and irate digitally challenged person, then they may mean they feel, momentarily that they are stupid for not being able to offer the solution.

However, I’m sure if you were able to ask that person what they meant, they would not have been accusing or abusing the other person of being stupid. Now we have a recipe for an even more bitter and disastrous interchange to occur. The mountain of misunderstanding rises moment by moment.

#Communication - It's Only Words
Image courtesy of twiki.org          No wonder my head hurts at times.

Now we have a struggling computer person, who is definitely not nerdy, feeling even more stupid themselves, plus the person offering to help, when they should have left well enough alone, feeling hurt and offended, because they feel they’ve been abused and called stupid. What a disastrous state of affairs. Why? Because of words. Words should be used to enlighten, to assist, to love and cherish, foster loving feelings and calm hurt ones, not to abuse and enrage. A classic case of miscommunication.

So where now? Somehow, through this veritable minefield of the English language, two people have to tread warily, and hope they can untangle this knotted ball of wool. I had a ball of wool recently, so knotted up that it took two hours to untangle it… I wasn’t sure I had the patience but I did succeed in the end. I know for a fact that I cursed that wool roundly and often – without it taking offense. Luckily for me!

#Communication - It's Only Words

Image courtesy of webdesignledger.com

“I personally believe we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain.”
Jane Wagner, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe

Human emotions are not as easy as a ball of wool. You can’t hurt the feelings of a ball of wool. You may chop it into pieces if it is really annoying and tangled, but it isn’t going to be hurt or upset. Yet here we have two people who have to walk a tightrope and hope they reach an understanding. Why is the English language so fraught with traps? What is meant by one is not meant by another and this misunderstanding of the use of the same word can cause irreparable damage. Someone, at some time, definitely did not like people conversing.

So, I’m about to try to walk the minefield of knotted logic and understanding and hope I can get my point of view across and understand theirs, so that harmony can flower in the home once more. What puzzles me the most, is that we are speaking the same language. It isn’t as though we are talking different languages and it is an interpretation problem. Or perhaps it is. Perhaps that is the missing key.

English has been added to over the centuries, as the various conquerors have added their offerings to the base language and idioms. In retrospect, it’s not surprising there are so many misunderstandings. Perhaps I should go back to school and study English again, although I fear everyone may need to so we can all be on the same wavelength.

#Communication - It's Only Words
Image courtesy of http://www.iusb.edu    Build the base for communication.

“Oh what a wicked web we weave”. My aching head is going to bed. Good intentions will succeed in the end – survival depends on it.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
Nelson Mandela

Very wise words.

 

Blessings, Susan.♥

© Susan Jamieson. August 2014

 

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“I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”
Albert Einstein, On Cosmic Religion and Other Opinions and Aphorisms

~

Something went slightly awry today and my routine changed. As a result of that I went into my reader before I did my post. It spawned a changed of topic.

There has been much debate about the proliferation of self-development courses, which I am differentiating from professional development and Spiritual development. All have elements in common but I don’t wish to get embroiled in the necessity for or against professional or spiritual development. Suffice it to say that there seems to be a consensus that there is no need for self-development courses other than those which are followed ad hoc via free online tutorials. They have their place, but are they fulfilling the needs of society?

When I read through the posts in my reader I found some of the posts I expected, the poetry which I enjoy, including the various themes from spiritual to mythical and love. There were the inspirational image quotes and just straight forward quotes, always something a little different.

There were my usual posters who talk about various struggles with illness and how to cope with different aspects of them. Obviously I’m following these people because they know their subject, are very helpful and supportive and have become good friends. In a mutual supportive environment it is gratifying to find people who are altruistic enough to share their triumphs and failures and help each other out.

In other topical pieces I found references to posts which were basically a running commentary on the applause for self-gratification in one’s own sexploits.  Again, I have no problem with this as I can read it or not since it is reader beware.

Then there were a number of reblogged articles. Reblogs are helpful because you learn about a far wider audience than you might hope to cover alone.

There was:

  • an article about a young African American still in prison after 3 years because she defended herself from domestic violence;
  • the harrowing open letter by Dylan Farrow about her sexual abuse by Woody Allen
  • the pollution of the Dan River in Eden, N.C after an aged pipeline burst, sending poisonous grey ash into the river
  • the FBI sting which rescued 16 child sex slaves and 45 “pimps” at the time of the Superbowl, which the FBI have asserted is common practice for these groups when any major event is on
  • Suicide Prevention week in Canada coincides with Love Yourself month, an indictment on some of the most famous originators of self-development such as Nathaniel Brandon, Virginia Satir and Wayne Dyer, who made improving oneself big business and forgot about really helping people to improve their self-esteem
  • The US allegedly using Weather Warfare against the Philippines
  • Top Black History Month Scholarships – a great idea unless it is balanced against the abysmal treatment of African American students elsewhere in the school system
  • The ABC reveals the scam claims by Big Pharma that the anti-Cholesterol lowering drug Statin reduces cholesterol. Big Pharma pushing medicine which does not work, again
  • Judging Philip Seymour Hoffman, a lovely article which does not seek to criticise or condemn but simply regrets the passing, too soon, of a good man with a problem
  • Black History Month in Canada where artists were acknowledged
  • Facebook celebrates its 10th birthday with a ‘movie of your life’ day. I didn’t know it was 10 years old which speaks volumes
  • A young woman in Scotland who cannot get decent treatment for Fibro or other ailments after leaving the UK
  • More from Sochi, first they are killing all the dogs near the stadium, now the facilities are falling apart and repairs are impossible, and finally
  • How there are 7 things from High School repeated later in life

From the posts I have briefly mentioned, and I hasten to add I am in no way passing any criticism on these blogs, they are all excellent posts and have valid stories, but this is my point. Of those listed above, of the fourteen stories (14) there are ten (10) which are bad/depressing/just plain wrong news plus one which rates 50:50.  They are wrong in the sense that they are a poor indictment on society.

#Enough or Nor Enough

image from ceslava.com

What are we doing accepting wrongful imprisonment of a woman defending herself from domestic violence? When did it become alright to arrange child sex slaves for big events? How did we let Big Pharma con us with all their nasty pills and potions which are making us more ill and not less? Why did we applaud a paedophile for making big money making films and ignoring his deplorable behaviour? Child sex abuse is an offence and it doesn’t matter who the hell you are, you do the crime, you do the time. What you don’t do is haul the child, now grown, over the coals for being unable to see the case through to the court stage where she would have been blamed for the events anyway.

This brings me back to my first point. We may have lost faith in the big names of the personal development arena that have become rich telling us how to act, but if the above is a representation of the norm for behaviour then self-improvement is still needed, and it doesn’t matter what you call it.   We are supposed to evolve to become better people as time goes by, not revert to base animal behaviour and not against children and the ill.

Society, in general needs to take a hard look at itself and take the steps to improve. Unless, of course, they are trying to tell us that the behaviour of the day is stupendously wonderful. I pray not.

“Folks, it’s time to evolve. That’s why we’re troubled. You know why our institutions are failing us, the church, the state, everything’s failing? It’s because, um – they’re no longer relevant. We’re supposed to keep evolving. Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right?”
Bill Hicks

Blessings and prayers, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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“I did the only thing I knew how to do: I built my own walls of silence to disguise my desperation and what later came to be recognized and diagnosed as depression.”
Sharon E. Rainey, Making a Pearl from the Grit of Life

A strange thing happens when I sit or recline to write. Either I’m eager as a beaver because I feel I have a stunner of an idea, I sit and look at a blank screen and finally something surfaces like a safety line thrown to a drowning person, or I languish forlornly staring at the accusing emptiness and suddenly words will flow and something is on the page. Ideas like bubbles blowing in the breeze wash over me in a magical haze and words appear in front of me.

Amazingly, the latter are the best of all, so I need to tap into my well spring of creativity or, do more prep work because I love writing and love seeing the finished item as I hit that publish button. I was told many months ago that writing for the acclaim of others was a waste of time. If I didn’t like writing for myself it was a lost cause and I should simply stop right then. Incredible as it sounds, that advice was true then and is still true now.

Having said that, it certainly is wonderful having people enjoy what I write and comments are always appreciated because they give me a chance to learn more, about myself and this craft of writing. Yet this is not what I wanted to talk about.

I am a terrible ‘patient’. Terrible doesn’t cover it. Abysmal is closer to it really. I hate the whole illness, can’t do things, must take pills by schedule, do this, do that, everything ordered by someone other than myself. This is not independence. I am, or rather was a fiercely independent person. No – I still am. I haven’t changed, I simply have had to accommodate some changes that irritate but I have to accept as a necessary evil! Temporarily!

For three days I’ve been incredibly emotional after a unpleasant , horrific dream. Even though it turns out the dream is not as bad as it felt, it left me emotional. I hate emotional. It is a loss of control, it is an undermining of the little independence I have left and it leaves me tired, in pain, unimaginably so, and with a burning desire to do something, anything to make me feel, even for a short time that I am ‘normal’ once more.

#Desperate Measures

Ocean Shores 4.30am

Normal, what a stupid word to use. What is normal? Well, for me it is being able to do what I want, when I want without needing any assistance, even that given freely and with love. Independence. It is a heady draught and having it taken away is dis-empowering. Yes, everything revolves around empowering ourselves. Illness removes that empowerment in the cruelest way.

So, after another sleepless night and emotional day before it, I lashed out. I secreted my clothes and sand shoes in the laundry before ‘officially’ going to bed. At 4am I decided my husband was deeply enough asleep I could afford to get up. He is used to me getting up and down during the night now anyway. Quick trip to the bathroom and a little makeup, just in case someone should see me and I crept out to the laundry where a light wouldn’t disturb anyone.

Yes, I sneaked out of the house like a teenager breaking curfew! I even had the forethought to grab a water bottle and my phone. I haven’t walked to the beach where I live and I’ve been here a year. I haven’t sat on the beach and seen the sunrise (at the beach) for a year either. I used to do both regularly when I was alone, independent, before I was engaged or married. I was like a drunken sailor, or a drugged up lunatic, weaving and staggering down this hill. I thought the beach was at the bottom of the road. A kilometre later I reached the sandy access to the beach.

All I could hear was the pounding of the waves. I wished I’d brought my camera but I don’t think I would have made it to the beach if I had. My whole body trembled from the exertion and I staggered down onto the hard sand to sit down. Thankfully seeing someone staggering in the soft sand doesn’t raise eyebrows. I was there and I wasn’t going to be able to move. But I was THERE!

#Desperate Measures

Sunrise at Ocean Shores Beach 5am

I watched the sun rise above the horizon and the clouds.

It was beautiful. It wasn’t hot – I can’t take the heat and the meds had made me burn easily. I could feel the calm wash over me with every wave breaking along the shore line and the rays of the sun peeking over the horizon.  I hadn’t known it was a dog beach. A dog. OMG – how much I want a puppy, a miniature fox terrier and all my own. It’s like an ache, never ending. The dogs began appearing with their owners and I was truly happy when they came over to say hello. To pat them, scratch behind their ears and look into those kindly brown eyes, was blissful. Strange how little it can take.

My photos are grainy – even the lauded iPhone can only do so much. But I will be returning with my camera,and soon. By 7am I was beginning to feel more than a little uncomfortable. Couldn’t move my legs properly and turning around brought a sharp twinge.  A few more canine cuddles and I knew I couldn’t wait, it was time to start the trek UP the hill to get home.  The sun was now a blazing ball in the sky but it was still cool.

#Desperate Measures

Sunrise Ocean Shores 6am

I hit my first hurdle. I couldn’t stand up, couldn’t twist around and couldn’t bend my legs enough to kneel up.  Just a little problem. Soft sand….. I finally managed to flop around like a beached whale until I I got one knee pulled under me enough to lever myself onto hands and knees. Humpf!  This is what emotional independence gets you. Somehow I made it upright only to fall flat on my face – almost, hands and knees again. After my third staggering attempt and fall someone noticed it wasn’t quite normal and offered to help.

Help! I had to acknowledge I needed help to get up that soft sandy dune and she was a nice and concerned lady. So we managed to get to the seat at the edge of the dune so she could stretch after her walk and I could regroup after hiking up the sand dune! I was determined to walk up that darned hill. I stood up and walked to the footpath with my new found friend. My body, not one part of it, wanted any part of moving in a co-ordinated fashion. I staggered like a drunken sailor with palsy until I finally reneged on my independence and accepted a lift to the top of the hill.   So much for being independent.  After showering and changing I’ve been sequestered in bed, complaining body reminding me of my foolhardy outing at every turn. Yet desperate circumstances require desperate measures to be taken.

#Desperate Measures

A mini foxie friend at Ocean Shores

I may have paid for my intemperate haste to be independent, but I have my doggie pics and a few hours of remembering what it felt like to be able to go where I wanted, when I wanted to with impunity. For a while I forgot I was this person with an illness. I was Susan all over again and it felt wonderful. One day, one day soon, I will be that person again… come hell or high water I will be.

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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#What's the Safety Word?

Image from footage.shutterstock.com –

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.”
John Joseph Powell, The Secret of Staying in Love

Everyone has heard about the ‘safety word’. The safety word is the serious-I-mean-it-now time-to-stop word. The word the ‘client’ arranges when he visits his S&M bondage person so he doesn’t accidentally get himself killed during the ‘play’.

What I wonder, is the safety word when you’ve had enough of the ‘merry go round’? I’m referring to that time when you feel you literally cannot face another minute of the hurt, the pain, the torment, the abuse, the depression, the………. (just fill in the blank).

It almost sounds like the beginning to a play or a movie script. The notes followed by the story board before shooting begins. Except it isn’t part of a fictitious film, instead it’s a serious and real part of life. Not the calculated gambles people want to take with their fetishes or fantasies. If something goes wrong there then you almost have to say – ‘they knew what they were getting themselves into.’ But what happens when life pushes you too far?

Talking to people is easy. For some reason I’ve been fortunate that people find it easy to talk to me. I’ve been told many things. I’ve been blessed by sharing the good news of a daughter’s engagement, a son’s engagement, marriages, the unhappier news of divorces, accidents, windfalls and tragedies. It may sound strange to include windfalls as part of the unhappier news, but for many people it hasn’t brought them the happiness they hoped for. Sometimes yes, but many times they have found themselves in a much worse place than they were before their good fortune.

Sometimes there simply are no words to express how you feel. Sometimes you need to rely on a hug or holding someone’s hand and send them strength because there is nothing you can say or do to change things. Having to tell someone their child, husband or wife is dead is one of those times. Words just aren’t made to let people understand you feel their pain.

I had many talks with ‘Sharon’, a lovely lady who was always putting herself down. She simply couldn’t believe she was good at anything she did or that she was wanted or needed by anyone. Despite having a good job she was convinced she was stupid, since her husband continually told her she was. Even though she had two children she couldn’t persuade herself that there was any purpose to her being there. She convinced herself that they would be better off if she was no longer around.

Sharon took a bottle of pills and curled up waiting for the end to steal quietly over her. Her husband came home early and she was rushed to hospital. Unfortunately she didn’t get the help she needed and her unhappiness and feelings of low self-worth grew. Her husband helped her with that part. When she finally left him he embarked on a calculated plan to undermine her self-confidence and she found herself spiraling further down that dark hole.

She moved and I lost track of the family for a while. In trying to out run the influence of her ex-husband she isolated herself from everyone who knew her. She avoided anyone he knew and anywhere he was likely to go. There was nowhere for her to turn to. Her children moved out, as they do when they finally grow their wings and she fell into a deep depression. Depressed or not she still managed to work.

I met her again a short time ago. She often spoke to me of her struggle with ‘The Black Dog’, but being alone it was too difficult for her. She began trying to out run her problems. She would drive day and night when she was not working until she finally fell into a stupor to get some rest. But you can’t roll those dice for long before the stakes get too high. It’s almost like putting your hand in a basket of snakes and expecting not to get bitten.

Sharon told me she didn’t want to leave her children without some kind of support. She didn’t want them to be dependent on their father to “look after them”. Years later he still influenced how she thought and she didn’t trust him to do the right thing by his children. So her game of Russian roulette on the roads didn’t seem to make much sense on one hand, but knowing how her ex-husband had eroded her self-worth, it did.

It felt as though she was holding on by some tenuous thread and at times I wasn’t sure she really heard me. She did see a doctor and get medication, but it was going to be a long haul back.

Sharon died in a pile up on the motorway. She was on her way home from her mother’s funeral. A drunk driver had lost control and ploughed into the oncoming traffic. Her car was hit head on.

What was Sharon’s safety word?  I can’t help but wonder if she had a safety word.  Who could she have called out to, so that she could stop the merry go round? If she had a safety word when should she have used it?

Tell me, do you have a safety word?

#What's the Safety Word

image from s279.photobucket.com

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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#Pushed to the Limit

image from ogdenutahcriminaldefense.com

“Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

There are times when, irrespective of how much you try to do otherwise, you fly off the handle. These episodes are usually preceded by periods of intense pressure, things not going according to plan or life generally not playing out the way you hoped. Colloquially they are called “knee jerk’ reactions. They are usually regretted almost immediately as soon as the blood cools down sufficiently for coherent thought to return.

If, like me, that cooling off can be fairly quick, most of the time, it leads to a great deal of soul searching and castigation for behaving in a manner which isn’t liked. However, many times the damage has already been done. Trying to set things right is quite often impossible.

All my life I’ve been told I should behave in certain ways. I was “better than my protagonist” and so held to a higher standard.  “I knew better than that” and so should have controlled that impulse to retaliate.  When you are placed on a pedestal and expected to live up to everyone’s perception of who you are, it can be extremely difficult to find the real you.  You may not even recognise the‘real you’.

#Pushed to the Limit

image from cstl.semo.edu

There have been times, over the years, when that pedestal has rocked alarmingly as I tried to keep my footing living up to so many other people’s ideas of who and what I was. Can you imagine how difficult it might be to understand what you want in life when you are so busy living up to someone else’s ideal? The saddest part of the situation is that it all begins with the best of intentions.

Hard as it may be to understand I was a very shy and quiet child. Head down and mouth closed so I drew as little attention to myself as possible. Yet all the time I was trying to live up to firstly my parent’s expectations of me and later my first husband, my work colleagues, my brothers, and then it seemed everyone else. Everyone had this idea of who I was and how I would respond in certain circumstances.  My first husband had a whole list of ways in which I was allowed to behave and respond that I hardly knew who I was. Sad, pathetic but true. The fact that I did respond as they expected, because it was expected, simply cemented these thoughts in their mind. Sadly, very few of these personas held more than a grain of the real me.

Not wanting to disappoint anyone it was easier to continue to play the roles I was ‘given’. It was safer in one particular area to follow the ‘rules’ than to face the consequences. At the same time I was able to hold down responsible positions, firstly as a police officer, later as a bank official and mother, school chairpersons and so on. I wasn’t actually hidden away where it may have been easier.

Realisation, when it seeped in was the beginning of the real humiliation. Knowing I had been this milksop of a person when I could think, had opinions and could do so many things was quite devastating. The fact that my husband was a police officer meant that I had nowhere to go and no-one to go to. Who would believe me over a serving police officer? It simply didn’t happen, not when the domination is psychological and emotional.

It is still hard for me to write these words, to accept them as reality and realise what I allowed myself to become – a doormat. I was a slave programmed to perform to command. I can never look at a woman in a domestic violence situation and condemn her, man, woman or child in that situation because it can be started so insidiously that it is too late by the time you realise. I was a slave to my ex-husband’s drive to achieve financial stability. The fact that he failed to support his children after I left, usurped part of my settlement and told the children it was theirs, all added to the ongoing manipulation. He is still doing this to my children, though they are grown and through them he is doing it to me because he knows they are the only way he can reach me.

#Pushed to the Limit

image from paulissakippisms.com –

Why have I told you all this. Because if it happened to me it can happen to anyone and if someone reads this and recognises where they are in this cycle and can get out, it is worth my embarrassment. If it helps someone reach out, to me or to someone else it is worth the embarrassment. I am tired of allowing him this hold over me. I am taking my life back, all of it and I refuse to allow him the space in my mind, in my life ever again.

This is real. It can happen to anyone, at any time. Please, if you recognise someone who is drowning under this type of treatment, offer a helping hand. Tell someone in authority and help them before it’s too late.  Life is a precious gift and shouldn’t be destroyed by insecure bullies.

#Pushed to the Limit

I am a woman, flesh and bone, heart and soul.

“Every woman that finally figured out her worth, has picked up her suitcases of pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change.”
Shannon L. Alder
Everyone has the right to respect, like breathing, take it away and the soul dies. – Susan Jamieson

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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“What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful.” Scott Westerfeld, Uglies
#Medical Alphabet Soup

image from commons.wikimedia.org

That which God said to the rose,
and caused it to laugh in full-blown beauty,
He said to my heart,
and made it a hundred times more beautiful.
Rumi
Illness: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship medical ship Disease. Its five-minute mission: to explore strange new names, to seek out new diseases and new acronyms, to boldly go where no few doctors have willingly gone before.

Some of you may have noticed that I have been “Missing in Action” for a few days.  I literally jumped onto WP and dropped in a few songs and jumped off. I haven’t been in a good place and I wasn’t sure I could get my brain cells to co-operate enough to write something which was going to come out coherently.  Well, here it is and something a little different, a rant with an edge.

I had to attend an appointment with my doctor. I’m reaching  have reached the point where I detest going and feel infuriated when I am returning home. It makes going there counterproductive. I have always had an inherent dislike for the labeling system, and not just within the medical fraternity. It is endemic in society.  Now, it isn’t enough to append labels to everyone, thereby dehumanising people by placing them in an arbitrary group for the benefit of…..who? The Government? It’s almost irrelevant if it wasn’t so invasive, but its aim is so that we are able to be “controlled” with greater ease.

Not content with being labelled and grouped we are now being reduced even further by being diagnosed as little more than a group of letters. Such as:-

ADD  and ADHD Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that appears in early childhood. You may know it by the name attention deficit disorder, or ADD. ADD/ADHD makes it difficult for people to inhibit their spontaneous responses—responses that can involve everything from movement to speech to attentiveness.

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_signs_symptoms.htm

The information I found basically made ADD and ADHD into one category. All the signs, symptoms and treatments appeared almost the same. They appear to simply transition adults with greater ease if they are placed in the ADHD basket.  By that I mean if a child is diagnosed as ADHD they move into adult ADHD, there appears to be a very small number of adults referred to as having ADD.

Bipolar Disorder Bipolar disorder is the name used to describe a set of ‘mood swing’ conditions, the most severe form of which used to be called ‘manic depression’.

http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/public/bipolardisorder/bipolardisorderexplained/ 

Bipolar is treated the same as any other ‘mental’ disorder. It appears that any depressive illness is graduated eventually towards Bipolar, a nice easy fit for the sake of treatment.

#Medical Alphabet Soup

image from theredpillnews.blogspot.com

ME/CFS – (Myalgic Encephalomyeltis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) suffer from post-exertional malaise (flu-like symptoms following activity). CFS is a neurological condition that can affect children and adults of any age. Other symptoms include pain, disrupted sleep, difficulty thinking, and changes in blood pressure, hormones and body temperature.

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Chronic_fatigue_syndrome

FMS – FibromyalgiaFibromyalgia (Fibro) is a name given to a group of symptoms marked by generalised pain and muscle stiffness. These symptoms can be felt in all different areas of the body. Extreme fatigue (tiredness) and sleep problems are also common in fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia does not cause inflammation or damage to the painful areas, but seems to be due to an over active pain system.

https://www.arthritisvic.org.au/Conditions-and-Symptoms/Fibromyalgia

These last two are cut from the same cloth. All that is being done is simple semantics being argued. Post exertional malaise is different from muscle soreness and stiffness? It wasn’t when I went to the gym. Tiredness and sleep problems are the same as disrupted sleep – within parameters. It is all another way of segregating people into nice little baskets and putting labels on them. But why?

This may seem like a gigantic waste of time, however, my point is that the medical “powers that be” are manipulating the terminology to describe various conditions for their own purposes. Purposes we are not made aware of.

Whilst one source will say that ME/CFS will occur often with Fibromyalgia, another source will declare that FMS and ME/CFS are totally separate ailments. Yet the descriptions themselves show overlaps. I’m not wishing to be contrary, however, I am trying to show that this is a veritable minefield when someone is trying to find out what is happening to them, and getting a diagnosis.

Many of those who have been visited by one of these delightful acronyms over the years, have battled for years to get a differential diagnosis from ONE doctor, let alone a consensus so we can get the best treatment possible. Most of the time we have to struggle on alone, trying to get someone to ‘admit’ there is ‘something’ wrong. Not only is it wrong, it is criminally wrong.

In my opinion, splitting each part of the symptomology into small groups and relabeling it slightly, is another way for “the powers that be’ to be able to say, a smaller percentage of the population is ‘suffering’ from this or that ailment.  Then the real fun begins as they hyperventilate over which medications can be given to which group of people to treat their specific symptoms. Is this a cost cutting exercise?

Why has this latest visit caused so much ire? As many will already know I was diagnosed with Lyme disease last year. It doesn’t exist in Australia, according to the ‘powers that be’ and that creates a bucket load of problems, not least being there are no doctors who have the authority, from the Medical Association, to treat you. Some of the symptoms for this delightful ailment are, ‘flu like’ symptoms. In its lesser aggressive state it can cause inflammation of the joints, especially the knees, (arthritis.) The heart can be affected, (heart failure), Bell’s palsy, meningitis and so on. The arthritis of Lyme disease can look like many other types of inflammatory arthritis and can become chronic. Anxiety and depression occur with an increased rate with people with Lyme disease.

But it doesn’t exist here so I don’t need to worry.  My GP does not recognise that Lyme exists in Australia and therefore I do not have it. I’m not doing terribly well and I need to understand what’s happening. After all, it is my body we are talking about.  I’m a good researcher. It’s what I do when something bugs me. I research and my results led me to Fibro. This has been going on for years. I’m listed as a ‘chronic pain’ sufferer. The ‘argument’ is that Chronic Pain is an accepted diagnosis so why do I need to find out if it is Fibro? Simple – I need to know so I can understand what I can do and where I can go to get help.

Under pressure – I was finally told, Yes, I have Fibro. Chronic Pain is Fibro. I cannot have an operation because my spine is Swiss cheese. I have had this for so long it has degenerated too much to do anything with it. Let’s have a Party!

#Medical Alphabet Soup

image from opencaremedicalcenter.com

So I now have a generalist who says I have Lyme disease: who isn’t allowed to treat me because the Australian Medical Board has restricted his license. Why – well it doesn’t exist here and he was stupid clever enough to make a ‘you tube’ video advertising his treatment of it. Smart move! I also have a Medical practitioner who says it doesn’t exist so he won’t treat me for it. I have Chronic Pain, or Fibro, or both, or ME/CFS.  And they wonder why people get depressed or anxious!

Sarcasm is the final stand for people who are being ignored or not listened to. I shouldn’t need to be as wealthy as Rockefeller to get good health care. I shouldn’t need to go to the UK or US to get medication. I shouldn’t have to wait an additional ten to fifteen years to get medication already approved and in use in those countries.

#Medical Alphabet Soup

image from http://www.label-makers.com.au –          Is this our future?

Reducing every ailment or disease to an acronym, for convenience, not only depersonalises the situation it also dehumanises those affected. We are not numbers, nor acronyms. We are not our disease or ailment, we are people and should be accorded the dignity that warrants.

I have one final theory – is this a concerted effort of ‘the powers that be’ to introduce eugenics in the population under the guise of ill-health? Now that is a scary thought.

“You can truly value life, when you have looked Death in the eyes and held its hand.”
Lionel Suggs

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

#Medical Alphabet Soup

image from fineartamerica.com

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and hold no medical qualification. All the descriptions used are taken from an Internet search and relevant bodies who advise on these conditions. All opinions stated are mine.

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