on jail and thanksgiving 

It’s that time of year again….holiday time….Labor Day, Sukkot, Columbus Day, Halloween, day of the dead, thanksgiving, hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and day….(have I missed any?…)
I, myself, am an autumn baby – having fallen to this planet mid-October…..so add to the above, a birthday…
My mother celebrated her birthday in November, as do both of my grown sons….any one of their birthdays could fall on thanksgiving, depending on the year….

For many years I reveled in the deliciousness of the holidays – making almost all the decorations for the various celebrations, and definitely hand-making every gift given for Christmas (and birthday, anniversary, wedding, new baby) – throughout the year…

And then there was the food – all homemade- and even homemade Kahlua, cranberry cordial, baileys Irish cream….

And the setting of the table with seasonal dishes and decorations, and even napkin folding to suit the various themes….

Get the picture?…

I was a holiday slut…..I loved the holidays…

Until I learned, in 2002, Christmas has nothing to do with Christ….and the early Christians in this country didn’t celebrate Christmas..

And indeed, there are passages in the bible which seem to proscribe against the “Christmas” tree….such as in Jeremiah 10…..

And Jesus never said – throw me a birthday party every year on December 25th” (first, it’s not when he was born….with the snow in Bethlehem on the ground at the time of his birth, it was far too cold for sheep to be in the meadows….second, his birthday can be calculated based on the birth of his cousin, John the Baptist…that calculation puts christ’s birth about the time of the Jewish holiday, sukkot….it’s very possible Mary and Joseph were attending sukkot, which would explain why they were traveling when mary was heavy with child….sukkot is important to the Jewish people…Caesar knew this, and used that opportunity to decree tax collection then, as the Jews were likely traveling for sukkot anyway, and more likely to make the effort to pay their taxes)…and third, no mention of anyone giving him a party, or having one for him is made….

Further, Jesus was a Jew!….in the new testament, there is reference to him being at the feast of lights, which is hanukkah….

Having always thought if I was going to be a Christian, I ought to do as Jesus did, I wholeheartedly embraced my new understanding that christmas actually has nothing to do with Christianity….

As soon as the new understanding had taken hold, I purged all of my “christmas” stuff – everything…as well as all my other holiday paraphernalia….it was expunged and set on the curb for the sanitation crews to haul away…a lifetime of handmade decorations and other items, as well as lots of store bought dishes, linens, clothes, etc just.thrown.away, as I didn’t want to profit off any of the “idols”…

I never celebrated Christmas, Easter, New Years, Halloween again…and, I never looked back…To this day, I’ve never missed “doing” those holidays…in fact, I discovered what a slave I’d been to all the decorating and fixing food and attendant duties I’d heaped on myself….

The one holiday I did keep was thanksgiving…after all, we are to be thankful, aren’t we?…indeed we are…and I still had some lessons to learn around that….

I continued to celebrate thanksgiving from 2003 onward…then, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004…I kept things as close to routine as possible, and looked forward to thanksgiving to be creative with preparing food and some decorating…that thanksgiving came and went…in 2005, I finished my radiation treatments, and was attempting to heal from the toxic overload of chemo and radiation….

As I was attempting to heal from that ordeal, the relationship with my then spouse began to be far more difficult than it had been previously – and it had been plenty difficult prior to that!…I was at a point where I felt I was attempting to just keep my head above water, and every time I came up for air, he was there pushing my head under the water again…

I’d long struggled with severe fibromyalgia – the worst case my allopathic physicians had ever seen…I’d dealt with horrendous gastrointestinal problems for years, even undergoing a surgery to correct one of them – which actually failed to work…and that is when I had my death experience…a story for another time!…

I went on to develop severe hip, back, shoulder and neck pain unrelated to the FMS…my pain was so severe, i couldn’t stand it…no amount of narcotics or NSAIDs or other treatments helped…I was exhausted from living 24/7 in such pain…all the allopaths offered was more drugs or different drugs or telling me to do more exercise…..

i’ve recently discovered there are schools of thought where it is believed fibromyalgia is caused by muscle tension brought about by repressed anger secondary to living with an abusive spouse or being a caregiver to a person at their end of life and having to put your life on hold to do so….the excess adrenaline produced in dealing with these types of situations causes a build up of lactic acid….(read the article here -http://holisticlivingtips.com/2015/07/08/the-cure-to-fibromyalgia-your-doctor-doesnt-want-you-to-know/ )….further, upper back pain and lower back pain can be related to feeling lack of emotional support, and shoulder pain associated with feeling overburdened….pain in the neck can be literally, someone in your life is a pain in the neck!…(read more at http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com/studies-find-body-pain-correlates-with-spiritual-emotional-pain)….

Thanksgiving of 2005 was approaching and I was too exhausted from the pain I was in to care much about celebrating it….my then-spouse and I were invited to the home of some acquaintances of ours, and I planned on taking a very simple appetizer…

the morning of thanksgiving dawned and I awoke early with terrible neck pain…I could not stand it…I managed to drive myself to the hospital to beg for someone to find an answer to my neck pain….(I will say, by this time, I was labeled as a drug seeking individual)….this day at the emergency room, I was offered an injection of some narcotic…they were sorry, that was all they could do….I declined and walked out of the e.r., and sat in my van….dressed in my bathrobe and pajamas….

As I was sitting there sobbing in frustration and pain and having no understanding of why I could not find an answer to rid myself of this pain, a security guard from the hospital came to my door…I was frightened by his approach, and drove away….he followed me, and at the point I drove off hospital property, he stopped…..I was driving aimlessly, as I didn’t know what to do…I was in severe pain and didn’t want to go home….finally, a few blocks away, I pulled over in a random neighborhood to gather my thoughts and see what my options were….as I sat there a police cruiser arrived (that nice security man at the hospital had seen fit to call them)…the police were the last people I wanted to deal with, tho unfortunately I was less informed than I am now and I began a dialogue with them…

It turns out I’d been reported as driving erratically (I hadn’t been, and they hadn’t witnessed any erratic driving), and were told I was drug seeking…

I was told to open the door and get out of the van as they were going to take me to the jail….I’d done nothing wrong, so I was refused….finally, they jimmied the door open and pulled me out of the van, cuffing me in a violent manner, not paying attention to my informing them I’d had a mastectomy and injury to my left arm could result In something called lymphedema….

I was shoved into the back of the police cruiser and hauled down to the local jail, where my then-spouse was called (I was a grown woman, not a wayward child) and yet they called the very person I told them not to call)…and again, I was a grown woman and they couldn’t charge me with anything…what need was there to call anyone?….Belleville, Illinois is quite a patriarchal-mentality town, tho…

I spent the entire day in the holding cell of the jail…I couldn’t imagine what hell I would pay at home if I were actually arrested…it was going to be bad enough to take the s*** I was going to receive for inconveniencing and embarrassing my then-spouse just for being at the jail and “stalling”…I kept telling the police if I’d done anything they could charge me with to arrest me….I also expressed I was in terrible pain and I was crying and sobbing all day from the pain…I was debased by being made fun of over the pain and being told “everyone” said I was a drug addict and just looking for narcotics and the pain was all in my head read – I was a hypochondriac, looking for drugs)….of course, my then husband was always telling me to go take a pill to calm down, and to call the doctor for a refill if I was “low” – (typically on a Thursday or a Friday), and was always pushing me to drink, because he wanted a drinking buddy to keep up with him – this when I was on prescription drugs which specifically stated alcohol was contraindicated….

Throughout the day, I was told I could go home with my spouse…I repeatedly informed them I was afraid of him…I was afraid he would yell at me or make fun of me…I was further ridiculed and told they (the police) were “sure” he wasn’t going to make fun of me…

At the end of the long day, it was “decided” by police, my spouse could take me to the nearest large town, St. Louis, to be evaluated by the psych unit….

On the way there, I said, to my spouse, Keith, “I’m not crazy…I don’t need to go there…take me home”….

So, we went home…not much was said between he and I on the subject, though I later learned he was telling everyone about me being in jail – and none of the people he told ever got my perspective on the ordeal…I was so perfectly embarrassed over the whole situation – tho reading my writings now, I don’t see anything for me to be embarrassed about….

So, what I learned is, it would have been far better to have been arrested and put in jail, either then or any of the other times I’d called the police because of my violent spouse and been threatened with arrest myself…I’m certain I’d have been seen by a psychiatrist…and if not, by that time I was at least able to express a little of “my side” of the story, whereby the story of the provocations and violence and fear I lived with constantly would have come out more fully….(which is why Keith didn’t want me to be arrested, or be interviewed any more by psychiatrists)…quite possibly someone from the local domestic violence shelter would have been called in…I don’t l know….though, at least I’d begun to talk, and telling our own story is what no abuser wants to happen…

Yes, in retrospect, it would have been better to let myself be arrested – except they had nothing to arrest me for!….and I was afraid…I was afraid of the increased ammunition Keith would have to injure me with when I finally got home…I was afraid of the system, of what would happen to me in jail at the hands of other detainees, the police and or the courts…I could not think clearly enough then to understand quite possibly, being arrested could have been the beginning of my leaving the abusive partner I lived with….

As it turned out, it took until June of the following year, after have a long conversation with my then-husband’s first wife, to understand the danger I was in and to do something about it…

Which brings us to the present….now, I don’t “do” thanksgiving….first, every day is thanksgiving and a way of life for me – an attitude of gratitude, not limited to one day of the year….

Second, I became aware of the real story behind that first thanksgiving, and I refuse to have anything to do with a holiday which was an attempted decimation of an entire race of people, the attempted decimation which continues today….

this time of year can be fraught with all sorts of emotional challenges for me….most times I have relatively smooth sailing…this year, it’s been more difficult, as I’ve dealt with some situations which remind me of those I was in those many years ago, coming from those I least expected it from…it’s also been a really good exercise in setting boundaries and taking care of myself emotionally…

My sons’ birthday time this year has been difficult…I’ve felt frustration and loss of hope they’ll ever understand the circumstances we were all living in which were manipulated to drive wedges between us…I don’t know they’ll ever understand domestic violence by proxy, or that abuse of a mother *is* child abuse…I also know it’s difficult for me, as an adult, to wrap my head around the entire situation…they were mere babes, less than six and two, when the wedges were first planted…(fortunately, I have a very good source of support, and truly admire the wisdom, honestly and courage of Lundy Bancroft, author of “why does he do that” and “when dad hurts mom”, in being a voice in the wilderness amidst all the confusion about domestic violence)….

So, I continue to send my love to my sons in any way I can…and, I know they will be fine….they are my sons, after all – and I know who I am…

I am able to apply what I’ve learned about situations which seem “bad” on the surface, may actually have “good” in them, and to release fear over anything that happens in my life…and to know, with absolute certainty, when one door closes, another opens…

It’s been a very long road, and I still have a long way to go…

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the violence against plant based eaters….(or: sit down, shut up, and enjoy your salad)….

i have noticed something for a while…and I have read articles of other people who have experienced this, so, it is a thing….and that is – violence towards plant-based diet eaters….or, vegetarians and vegans, to put it simply…I don’t know others have identified it as violence, yet this morning, that is how I am perceiving it…

this violence has appeared to me in myriad ways….one was a meme which said, generally….I don’t want to hear about your plant based diet or how good you feel eating that way….so sit down, shut up, and enjoy your salad…..

one person said to me “my food shits on your food, so enjoy your dinner”….(if he eats mushrooms, his food lives in shit, and if he eats eggs, he is eating an aborted future-embryo expelled from the arse of a chicken…milk? – food for the baby of another species and mostly filled with pus and blood if it is obtained from modern dairy techniques)…

another said I “condemned” him for eating animal products (I’d simply shared that I am a vegan and some of my experiences around that…never a word about meat eaters, which, by the way, I once was and I don’t hide that)…

i’ve also heard people say they are disturbed by the screams of carrots as their roots are ripped from the ground….(at least he was acknowledging plants have methods of communication and a level of sentience, tho far different from other species…of course, if he looked at his statement that way, I think he’d be appalled!….)….

another stated I wouldn’t be here to embrace veganism if my ancestors hadn’t been meat eaters…..that is difficult to prove, tho unlikely, as studies show mankind in the past ate far less meat and less frequently, than we do now….some ate meat, yes, (all of them – who knows.), and the animals were killed in a far different manner than the ones raised on a CAFO and eaten today….also, elephants and cows and horses, giraffes, pandas and many more eat plants only and thrive (unless they are driven to the brink of extinction by man for their tusks or other animal-y products….)

i notice, with few exceptions, a major response from a person with whom I’ve shared my vegan status is “I tried being vegetarian once, and found out my body needs meat…I craved it”….(hmmmm – maybe your body was withdrawing from an addiction…or, if that is too strong a word, maybe your body was wanting something it likes and is used to, and isn’t necessarily that great for you…people crave coffee and alcohol and cigarettes and drugs when they attempt to quit them….food is no different – (except we can’t just stop eating altogether)….and, did I say you ought to try it, or ask if you have?…no, I just shared how I eat, which, if we are going to be breaking the proverbial bread together, is important!….

the idea of i don’t want to hear about your diet and how good you feel is quite ludicrous…tho, let me go with that for a bit….as a vegan, I am exposed to the sights, sounds, smells and ubiquity of all aspects of “your” diet, including how you are constantly battling your overweight status and feel lousy, on a daily, constant basis….I hear constantly about what you already ate, what you are eating and what you are planning to eat, sometimes many weeks in advance (think holidays)….yet, you don’t want to hear what I am excited about having eaten, am eating currently, or looking forward to eating in the future….and you don’t want to hear how great I feel eating this way…..

why?….

I would posit it is because on a subconscious level you are wondering if you, too, might achieve better health by limiting or giving up some of your standard American diet foods….

if i talk about a hobby, or a job, or articles of clothing, or travel, or my feelings that are different from yours, the response is usually one of interest, or envy, or astonishment – in a good way,…and sometimes, others will take up a hobby or start wearing the style of clothes I like, (or at least try it)….

which leads to another observation….if I bring raw vegan food to a potluck, where many times it is the only thing I can eat, omnivores heap what I bring on their plate along with their other many food choices…they love what I being because it tastes great!…they tell me how wonderful it is and ask me, many times how it is prepared, what is not, what is the name of the dish, is there any protein n it, of – and most of the time- for the recipe!….as this is going on, many also interject, but i could never eat this way all the time….what!?…you could not eat delicious, nutritious, healthy food which may actually allow your body to return to an optimal level of health?…..ok….whatever you want….just be aware, all of this chowing down on the food I bring, which is gratifying, also leaves me with very little to eat, if my dish is devoured by omnivores and everything (or most everything) else has meat, dairy, fish or eggs in it….

back to the response of defensiveness….I think it is because, as relates to food, deep down, people must look at what they are eating and the state of their health compared to mine…they may or may not know I’m a cancer (and multiple other major “incurable” illness) survivor and I take no drugs of any type, I am free of the routine of seeing doctors for refills on drugs or endless testing, and I live a life full of activity….so, even though I don’t utter a word about them eating meat, my saying I don’t eat animal products affects them on a subconscious level – and they respond in a violent way….of course, this violence is called “joking”….and if I say anything, I’m the one lacking a sense of humor…

i say, no…it is not joking…and if you think it isn’t violent, I’d love to have a conversation with you and respond to you the way I am responded to….I think you’d be very surprised about how it feels…it feels violent….

so many assumptions are made about what a vegetarian or vegan eats…many people presume I’m inflexible and militant and dogmatic about my food….heck, the fact I eat the way I do, when I used to be an omnivore, puts that idea to rest…and I eat far differently now than when first switched to raw veganism….I’ve thought about my food choices, and understood why I ate the way I did, and I’ve done something about them….most people apparently think we eat salads all the time, so if we go out to eat at a non-veg restaurant I’m told I can just get the salad….I don’t just eat salad at home, why on earth would I be satisfied with going out to get a salad?…(though, I suppose everything I eat could be considered a glorified salad, since it is veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds…..wait – is everything an omnivore eats called salad because it is made of veggies, fruits, nuts and /or seeds?….many times it has meat and is labeled as salad – ham, tuna, turkeys salmon, chicken, shrimp salads…need I go on?….maybe there are a lot of latent vegans out there! )…..i love food as much as the next person, and salad all the time would be tres boring – especially the uninspired ones coming from most restaurant kitchens!….

the bottom line is, other people doing things differently challenges our awareness and we must evaluate, even if on a subconscious level, why we do what we do and whether or not what we are doing needs to change…..

As for me, I love the way I eat!…and I love sharing great food ideas with other people!…i love the way I feel when I eat the way I do!….I do get tired of fixing my own food (and I feed other people a lot, also!), and I do get tired because no one else I know can fix food for me!….I never get a break from the planning, shopping and prep of my food….it is a lot of work even going to a store or restaurant to have to ask questions and sift through lists of ingredients, only to find at the very end of the list there is a product I choose not to consume…or, the waiter had not been listening and my food arrived with cheese, and I have to send it back and wait for a replacement, while everyone else is eating…and no, I can’t just scrape it off….(this actually happened one time – it took three tries before the food came out as I’d ordered it….my salad took longer than the combination plates of four other people)….

i am requesting all eaters – be more aware of the way in which you respond to others preferred ways of eating….it is no different from a different hobby, or a type of clothing, or a place to live….approach with a sense of inquiry and interest – or don’t say anything…or don’t go out to eat with someone who eats differently….you never know the struggles another is having and quite possibly sticking with a way of eating different from yours is the difference between life and death for a person….I’d hate to have someone give up on a healthy (for them) way of eating because of other peoples’ discouraging remarks and attitudes….

i promise you, I am not wanting to convert anyone to my way of eating…it isn’t I don’t think everyone can benefit….I do!….it isn’t I don’t eat great food and enjoy a variety of dishes just like an omnivore….I do!….I just know how difficult it is to change the way one eats, and one’s thinking….i began changing my food over a dozen years ago…I didn’t even know about raw veganism until five years ago when my body led me to it….had I made the intellectual choice to eat a raw diet, I don’t know I’d still be doing it…it is tough….it is lonely….it is tiring…it is expensive….it is easy to fail….is it worth it?….yes….I’m still doing it…..

and am in the best health of my life – ever!….

first, do no harm…does standardized medicine really know what it is doing?…

Things that make you go hmmmmm – cancer is known to feed on sugar….this is evidenced by the fact of PET scans utilizing sugar molecules with radioactivity to light up any cancer cells….at Barnes Jewish, where I received my treatments, I was encouraged to suck on hard candies to alleviate the dryness of mouth caused by chemo….indeed, in the chemo center, there were bowls of hard candy available for the chemo patients….ice cream was encouraged to help ease nausea caused by chemo…i was also given ensure when my nausea was such I was unable to eat solid food…ensure is full of sugar….I was never told, by them, about the sugar/cancer connection….chemo also, because of it’s drying up of the body fluids, affects teeth… The mouth dries out and the teeth become brittle and subject to breakage, another problem which was undisclosed by the cancer industrial complex I employed…within 2 months of finishing treatment, I’d broken 6 teeth when chewing regular foods – not sticky or hard….all of the teeth required crowning….the Hippocratic oath says, first – do no harm…..

more views of a cancer-to-health journey….

Some more views from my healing journey……with the exception of a limited number of chiropractic sessions for adjustments, the treatments I took to regain my health were paid for out of pocket, as insurance would not cover them….the costs have been astronomical – and to be honest, I did not keep track….for a while, I was spending between 2 and 3 thousand dollars a month for “alternative” treatments, which are not covered yet led to health, vs. the relatively small amount of out of pocket expense for every drug and surgery the allopaths wanted to throw at me…..sometimes it felt they just wanted to see how much a physical body could endure….the few chiropractic sessions that were paid for happened because it is well known that women who have a unilateral mastectomy end up with back problems….no matter the size of her breasts, small or large, an imbalance is an imbalance and impacts the frame of the body….insurance companies found it cheaper to pay for reconstruction than for the corrective back surgeries women were ending up with after single mastectomy….that was a major drive for figuring out reconstructive techniques- and, IMHO, probably *the* major one!…..with radiation, however, reconstruction is largely impossible, or at least ten years ago that was the case….and, i was told if I had been a candidate for reconstruction I would have had a 7 month period of complete bed rest after surgery to recover from it, as they would take muscle and tissue from my back and abdomen…after almost a year of my life gone to treatment for supposedly getting rid of the cancer, the last thing I wanted was to spend 7 months in bed!…..I’d requested the surgeon I had do a double mastectomy…she asked why in the world I would want that….I told her “so I don’t have to go through this again in five years (which the stats for my case, according to the m.d.s showed would most likely happen)….her reply was “well, hopefully you won’t have to”…..so, her own stats were showing I probably would, and she refused to do what I, the client wanted….at the least, it would have saved me a lot of back pain and therapy to correct the problem!….another part of my experience was with one of the original diagnosing physicians – a gp who ordered the diagnostic exam….when the results came back positive, he said to me – it’s ok, you only need one breast….I remember thinking – what, if I had it in both breasts, I’d need to keep one?…I don’t know if he thought I got my identity from my breasts or if he was just a sexist pig who thought women need breasts, (even if they aren’t going to nourish children) to be “a woman”….maybe he was attempting to comfort me and assure me I’d still be desirable with only one breast?…at the time, I was concerned with survival, not if I was ever going to get laid again!….the bottom line was, there was complete ignorance as to the issues I was grappling with, and assumption on his part as to what I might be struggling with emotionally…he never asked what was most pressing to me….of course, this is the same prescriber who gave me the pain drugs and sent me home…he told me, at the same time he admitted he sent me home to die, he didn’t care if I was addicted to the drugs….since he thought I was going to die soon, the addiction was unimportant….did I end up addicted to the drugs?…I don’t know…most of the m.d.s said I was and treated me as a drug seeing individual….all I know is I decided, even with pain, I disliked how I felt on the drugs, and I quit taking them….no weaning, I just stopped one day….I never had what I understand to be symptoms of withdrawals….I don’t know if an addict can do that…I also read in the book “the gift of pain” if one is truly having pain, there can be no addiction….it is only when drugs are used recreationally addiction occurs….based on my own experience, seems right on!…

A long and winding road – to health!….

ten years ago I was a 225 pound, stage 4 breast cancer patient, s/p mastectomy, having had 4 chemo treatments with two left to go, followed by 45 consecutive days of radiation….reconstruction was out of the question because of the skin damage expected from radiation…..I had pneumonia, i was on a small vacation in Branson, Missouri, and it was touch and go for a while because of the opportunistic disease…..(it is so odd I’m in Branson now, exactly ten years later!.)….I’d had one doctor give me pain pills and send me home to die – he admitted this to me later, tho I knew at the time it was the case….after all treatments were finished, I was then told I’d have to take a drug for the rest of my life because the cancer was a certain type and estrogen sensitive….I could not understand this, as I’d undergone all the treatments for almost a year to get rid of the cancer…..as the good little patient I was then, I filled the prescription…and I took the pill three days…I was so ill from it I felt I was in hell, and I could not face living in that hell the remainder of my life….I informed the practitioners I’d be stopping their drug….I was warned I’d be dead if I did not take it….I stated I would at least be dead on my terms…..I quit seeing all the usual m.d. suspects and struck out on a journey which has been wild and wonderful, and at times frightening as all get out….I could not fathom how what I was doing could be of any benefit….little by little, I was brought to healers who advised me on ways to detoxify my body and gain health – the best health of my life, in fact….for a long time, I honestly felt I was was thumbing my nose at the cancer and wondered how LNG I could get away with it….on some level, I guess I believed the allopathic people and that I really did need their drugs to survive…..deeper than that fear, though, I knew I would be fine….gradually, my overall health began to improve and some of the other illnesses I’d been labeled with began to disappear….many of the things I was advised to do seemed strange and I could not for the life of me figure out how they could possibly work….yet, I knew the drugs and surgeries had been killing me, so what did I have to lose?….along with different treatments such as detox, taking supplements, chiropractic and acupuncture, I also began to change my diet….most of you know it has ultimately led to my being a raw vegan….I never saw that coming, and it was not a choice I made with my brain and then set about to do….I learned to listen to my body and follow what it wanted….today, as I have said, I am in the best health of my life….I am tumor free, my weight has stabilized, I am without symptoms from all the other diagnoses – including hypertension, hypoglycemia, fibromyalgia, neuropathy….if I eat standard american food, some of the symptoms begin to return…fortunately, I no longer want the standard american food, tho sometimes I indulge in a tiny bit of cooked food – typically ethnic foods…..those times are more and more rare and are for social events rather than craving cooked food….the bottom line is, my health is now in my hands…I am no longer dependent on doctors and appointments and drugs and testing…..ten years and no medication – for follow-on cancer treatment or anything else….I must be doing something right, and I am so grateful for the guidance I have received in trusting my body….thank you body!…you are absolutely *awesome*!……and thank you “the search for the cures continues” for helping me understand how all the things I did healed my body….

my teacher, cPTSD….

I have a teacher….this teacher is a hard task master…this teacher is complex PTSD….

some lessons I have learned from PTSD:

when i don’t know who to trust, trust myself….in fact, if i always trust myself, there is no need to trust anyone else…..and my true self always knows…..

if i don’t trust my self, it is to the detriment of my body….and the discomfort of reintegrating is far and away too high a price to pay for not trusting my self….

sometimes there is nothing to do but cry…..

in a triggered state, everything seems upside down, inside out and backwards, and my brain struggles to figure it out and make sense of an upside down inside out world backwards world…..it is important to stop the spinning of the brain to figure everything out, and go into feeling…..

integration is most effectively achieved by physical touch and a sense of making a contribution to another being’s life….some contribution, no matter how small, even a smile, even if I don’t feel like it, even when it feels i am being eviscerated to connect with another human being , even if I think it won’t help – that is how integration happens…..do it no matter what….because that feeling of evisceration is actually my body reconnecting to my self and to others….

i am aware of my surroundings, my body, my feelings, my needs and desires….trust the input my senses are giving me to lessen the possibility of being stressed to the point of dis-integration…..

I have the love of beautiful friends in my life…..

on the road, again…..

living on the road is a lot of sacrifice and a lot of work and whoever does it is obviously willing to make the sacrifice, or they stop!…..while I have struggled recently with feeling lonely and lacking purpose, I love living on the road full-time, with all the sacrifice and all the work….. I have recently noticed feelings of conflict inside when others comment on how wonderful it is to live such a carefree life….they clearly haven’t done it!……I don’t want to burst their bubble, but this way of life is not for the faint of heart!….having to figure out every few days where to get water or dump tanks, unhooking and hooking up the travel trailer, stowing everything to prepare for travel days, reorganizing after travel due to things shifting from being bumped around by rough roads, shopping in unfamiliar stores, trying to find an organic farmer, or a store which carries the special dog food I get for the pups, or any other myriad things I need on the road, being away from people I know and have more than an acquaintance with, wondering where I am going to be parked for the night, is far from carefree….free of the cares of the “modern” stick and brick house life, yes…carefree, no….and yet soul-satisfying – seeing the beautiful vistas, and being in the woods, or on the beach, or outside at night and being able to see so many stars because artificial light doesn’t interfere, the fresh air,  hearing the sounds of the insects and animals change throughout the day…..the freedom from the distraction of the modern life – that is not for the faint of heart, either….

on being no one….or, who am I?……

I am no one….and in being no one, I can be however I choose at any given moment, in any situation…..I have no image to uphold…in the freedom of being no one, I am able to push my boundaries and find more deeply who I am – my no one-ness!….in being no one, I can be so much more…..I am no “one”; rather, I am many….and what a journey discovering all of me!….being no-one I can highly recommend….beware – it is not for the faint of heart, though so worth the letting go…..

 

the beauty of cancer….

what can possibly be beautiful about cancer?…..

the beauty of cancer was learning of a potentially deadly illness, and facing the equally potentially deadly treatment ~ and knowing despite the ultimate outcome, there are many levels of healing….

the beauty of cancer was learning what is important in life ~ self-expression, and relationships and experiences….

the beauty of cancer was surviving the illness and the treatment, and refusing to return to the status-quo of the life which enabled the disease to occur….

the beauty of cancer was learning my body is miraculous, and learning to love it and nurture it……

the beauty of cancer was knowing “i” am not this body, and no matter how the outside looks, it is what is inside that counts…

in my experience, the beauty of cancer is what it taught me about myself….

that i am the creator of my life ~ and i choose it to be full of love and joy and light….

that’s how i (currently) roll…

I live on the road… since November 2009… In my 17 foot travel trailer… with my three rescue pups… I have no stick and brick house….

mostly I boondock, though occasionally I get a campsite in order to fill my tanks, and recharge the batteries – both literal and figurative – maybe do laundry, get a really good cleaning and organizing of the trailer done.… things get jostled around quite a bit, while driving down the road, no matter how well stowed….

many people ask how I plan my travels….in three words, I do not!… My basic goal is to be where I don’t need heating or cooling, which generally means north in summer, south in winter, and in between places in between times….the next goal is to be able to contra dance – a lot…with some English country, waltz, maybe some blues or swing dance thrown in for good measure…,then I pay attention to what comes up in conversation, or what feelings arise around conversation involving different places, then I go with what feels right….

i go to an area without camp or other reservations and without really knowing what is there….I sometimes look at a map to get a general idea, of the route, tho mostly I just put a city and state in the gps and point the truck in the corresponding direction….sometimes I get there quickly, mostly I get distracted by things to do and see along the way….when I get to an area, I start conversations with locals and ask what they like to do, their favorite places…I allow activities to fill in organically – they arise spontaneously – and my life is full of joy and surprise as a result….I always see exactly what i want to and never feel the disappointment of things not working out as planned – other than maybe I have to use my heater or air conditioner, or hang around an extra week to attend a dance….I have the most amazing experiences when I simply let life occur, listening to what, in this moment, do I want to do….and many times I see how I have been somewhere or done something I have long wanted to do…those moments, to me, are miracles!…..