Quickie Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

I enjoyed this story very much. I chose this book for a pre-teen nephew in hopes it would subversively develop some humanity in him – not that he isn’t already a lovely and sensitive young man, but because in these times, books are our armor.

Anyway, there was a lot of humanity in it. People were taking care of each other and fighting evil from the start, well after the very beginning where Jack killed Bod’s entire family. It actually empowered me in a nightmare/out-of-body experience because I recalled the scene where the ghouls take Bod into a different plane and used it to my advantage. If it can empower a grown woman, then I think it might inspire a young adult or two as well. There is even a bullying situation that is resolved – something most school children and many adults experience.

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Quickie Review: Even the Stars Look Lonesome by Maya Angelou

I enjoyed this. It felt like having a conversation with a good girlfriend or my sassy grandmother. What a woman! What a life! She described things I could feel so well, like the power of a gospel song. Her honesty about the subjugation of Africans and African Americans, especially women, is heartbreaking and powerful and inspiring for anyone. Her essay on art is of particular importance in these times. These essays are amusing, insightful, and entertaining.

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Quickie Review: Don’t Let Anyone Dull Your Sparkle: How to Break Free of Negativity and Drama

Overall this is a book by Doreen Virtue that will help you take better care of yourself, and in turn, the people around you. It is science based, but focuses on the practical rather than encouraging the reader to get bogged down in minutia. I love the gentle, loving, and generous spirit of this author. It shines through in her writing.

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Quickie Review: A Dog’s Tale as Told by Lakota

It was a nice little break from the negativity of the world. A mentor told me to read something inspiring, like a biography. She didn’t say it had to be a biography of a human.

While it may be a little more about the “owner’s” version of the dog’s life, it was still charming. It helped to reflect on life in general. I did feel the joys along with the dog and people in this story.

The dog reminds me of a dog I knew way back – similar looks and similar souls.

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May is Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month

If it’s not obvious, BPD has a high level of stigma associated with it, which is why – with much trepidation – I’m raising awareness with this post in hopes a few may be open to learning more about it. You could help by sharing any of the links listed at the bottom of this post. Thanks!

I could write for ages about the topic of BPD and mental illness (or health), and psychology forever, but it’s not my idea of fun. Instead I’ll share posts, articles, memes, and videos that I feel say it for me. My disclaimer is that I usually don’t agree with everything said on these topics. Sometimes I’ll point that out, and sometimes I’ll let it go.

bpd 3rd degree burns

Marsha Linehan

There are so many areas where all of us need more awareness. I don’t consider this particular issue more important than others. Since I happen to be living with it, I feel obligated to raise it up for examination. And believe me, that is at great risk. People with mental health issues are frequently discounted; ridiculed; abused – especially by people in positions of authority; passed up for jobs or other opportunities; and generally overlooked socially. I’ve had people tell me I shouldn’t disclose my mental health issues because of this. I also have enemies and predators like most people do, so to expose this vulnerability is an act of courage.

I’ve learned to cope better than average with many characteristics of this disorder. A lot of that comes with age and work. I’ve also learned to deal with some of this in unconventional and sometimes unhealthy ways – most of them being rooted in isolation. At mid-life, it’s becoming a very spiritual endeavor to manage life with these challenges. In a world (or a mind) where everything seems so very separate and isolated and “getting myself out there” has not cured it, I gratefully have learned to create or become aware of the rich world of connection and wholeness that is always there.

I’d prefer my life to be perfectly fulfilled; abundant in health, love, beauty, service, creativity, and all the needs of daily life; comfortable, safe, and secure. I’ll notice when these intangibles are in my life. That is gratitude and it is the greatest tool. While life isn’t perfection for me (or for anyone else), I’ll do the best I can and try to remember that this is my contribution to the world — even though many others won’t ever see it that way.

My struggles don’t all fall under this label. This is a label along with multiple other labels that I’ve accepted — not as limitations, but as a means for support. Support of some kind is needed by everyone, even if it ultimately comes from within. As much as I’d like to think I could survive on a desert island (I almost said dessert, you know where my head is at), we all need the knowledge that we are not alone. That in and of itself is support. I think about this every time I’m in a public space.

I’m conscious of others who don’t approve of labels, the term mental illness, using the words depression or anxiety, or the field of psychology (or psychology as practiced). Hey, I’m not in total agreement either. Uniquely, I’ve had less experience with the faulty field of mental health for these reasons:

  • simply because I lacked funds or insurance to seek out care
  • but also because the stigma kept the adults in my childhood from helping me
  • also because growing up in my environment, I was acutely aware that I could end up in foster care if I brought my problems up outside my home and that foster care could make my life all the more complicated
  • and finally because I had seen my mother go in and out of mental wards with no success and come home with horror stories and derision to share

This is not to say that I haven’t had negative experiences with mental health services. I have, but that would be a long, unpleasant write as well.

I know people who have claimed victory over their mental health struggles through the mental health system (or outside of it) and who either want to put it behind them, want to focus on the pitfalls of the mental health system rather than an immediate source of help for those who are still suffering, or feel it should be dealt with excluding mental health diagnoses. I do and have certainly gone outside the confines of the mental health system for managing this set of symptoms (or characteristics).

Still, I stress that labels and services were likely intended to help and do to an extent. I hope people would support any means available to help people suffering, while working on better means of support. (That extends to everything really.) In a proverbidiom, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Terms and ideas change over time for the good, but there is a period of growing pains and people still need support while that is happening. Psst, Trump & alt-right, if you think any one of us is on this planet or in the cosmos to do anything other than love and support one another, you are missing out. This is bigly, the bigliest!

Now I have to say I hate the term Borderline Personality Disorder, but since it is the mainstream term right now, I’ll use it. In the meantime, I’ll be promoting a more positive name change because the current label smacks of stigma and paints a picture of permanent defectiveness, poor character, a dangerous person, etc. The term I currently like best is Emotional Intensity Disorder (EID).

This leads me to say that many labels I identify with have traits similar to the symptoms of BPD/EID. Is there one reason for anything? I think there are many contributors (genetic, environmental, socio-economic, karmic). If there was one reason for anything, I’d say it was a deficiency in love — malnutrition on a metta scale. I do think these traits could use support whatever the individual living with them chooses to call it…

  • Highly Sensitive Personality (HSP)
  • Indigo Child/Crystal Scout
  • INFJ
  • Pisces
  • Addict
  • Empath
  • Clairsentient
  • Co-dependent
  • Survivor…

And by the way, the world would be in a lot better shape if people of all personalities, abilities, socio-economic backgrounds, genders, colors, origins, sexual orientations, just everybody (ok?!) were loved, supported, and honored.

Thanks for hearing me. ♥♥♥♥

eyore love

Links/Resources:

Video Series – Borderline Personality Disorder

I listened to the first video in this series and it was on point. Seems good for anyone who wants to help, understand, or be in relationship/family with someone with BPD/EID- Emotional Intensity Disorder. Anyone with BPD/EID is very lucky to have anyone in their life who cares to learn instead of dismiss or walk away.

 

Schema Therapy for Treatment of BPD: Domains and Their Schemas – HealthyPlace

I used a schema therapy book for a while and I think it’s integrated in to my therapy, which includes EMDR. I didn’t like the language of the book, so set it aside. I did find that I have most of the schemas to various degrees. I’ve also used parts work (family systems).

 

Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month: What BPD is Like – HealthyPlace

I can relate to a lot of what this author describes and the symptoms. One of the several symptoms that has improved over the years is identity issues. I know I’m a good person. I know I’m bisexual/queer/pansexual. I know what I believe (and I also know that beliefs are no more than that). I have to disagree with the “mood swings” lasting a few hours. They can last 4 or 5 hours, or a day, or three days, or two weeks. They certainly swing though. I can feel ok in the morning, then like hell in the evening, and feel good the next afternoon. When I reach out for support, by the time friends get back to me the mood has often passed and I’d rather not re-hash it. One thing I wish people understood is how intense the emotional pain can be. I often feel so alone when in it. The trouble is none of us can feel what another is feeling. That is why I love NVC (another topic).

 

Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month: Facts about BPD – Borderline Personality Treatment

The best treatment for most with BPD/EID is a formal DBT program, which is available in limited areas and out-of-pocket.

 

BPD Awareness Month: Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms and Treatment – Borderline Personality Treatment

#8 (anger) is the only symptom that isn’t a consistent problem, but I can remember at least four instances of rage in my life. A (male) sous chef I worked with back in 2003 told me I had anger management issues. The topic of discussion was lack of insurance through my employer. (It’s not always the illness that’s the problem. Sometimes it’s patriarchy or the healthcare system that’s the problem.)

 

About BPD

The basics of BPD (EID- Emotional Intensity Disorder) are on this page. Please read the paragraph on the bottom about medication. Going med-free is not for everyone, and I don’t point this out to offend anyone who benefits from medication. I have tried going with and without meds and had more complications with them. I’m tired of the mainstream assuming everything can have a med thrown at it.

 

BPD Awareness Month

The author describes much of my experience with BPD (EID- Emotional Intensity Disorder).

 

DBT Self-Help

 

Borderline Personality in 60 Seconds

Interesting. I am probably not the only one with Emotional Intensity (Borderline Personality Disorder) who has long forgone desperate attempts to avoid separation, and instead chooses to live in a way that there is no one to lose.

Strange how so much of the information on the web about this condition fails to point out any physical issues other than serotonin deficiency. Defects (faulty wiring) in the pre-frontal lobe of the brain have a lot to do with this.

There’s an anecdote I read in a book about this condition describing the behavior of a man who had survived a spike going through his pre-frontal lobe. He experienced the same emotional intensity those with BPD experience.

Some people with BPD (not many) have had perfectly good childhoods, but something went amiss in their brain. I wouldn’t be surprised if findings emerge that trauma and neglect create changes in the pre-frontal lobe. Some say it is a combination of being born this way along with the addition of trauma that causes BPD.

 

The truth behind (arguably) the most misunderstood personality disorder of our time

This post was well put on many points. Of course I will voice my differences with it as well…

It focuses on the typical outward behavior of the person suffering with the condition and in turn makes that the actual problem. The behavior is not the actual problem. The extreme emotional pain and how that affects the individual’s ability to thrive is the problem.

I wonder if there are any people with BPD out there like me who learned that being a good girl, adhering to all the proper manners, staying out of trouble, and excelling in school would protect you from harm and from negative attention. When I had the rare outburst, it was met with more misunderstanding and punitive remarks. It is possible to have BPD and not be outwardly emotional. It does not feel good to keep it all inside either.

The author says it is only apparent in social situations and that someone with BPD on a deserted island would be fine. This is absolutely not true. It only means the person wouldn’t affect anyone else. The person would still struggle with intense emotions.

On a more positive note, I have found other techniques to stress this “middle way” approach to healing in the Sedona Method, EMDR, yoga nidra, and other meditation forms. DBT has some very Buddhist characteristics – see The Buddha and the Borderline.

 

“I wasn’t wrong” – The gift inside Borderline Personality Disorder

I’m very impressed by this article on BPD. It is mostly accurate and perceptive in my opinion.

Again, this does not mention problems in the pre-frontal cortex that I wish we mentioned. Gift or not, our brains are different either from genetics, environment, or physical injury.

I feel the following statement is misleading, “It is extremely unlikely that someone with a placid, passive, unengaged, aloof temperament would ever develop borderline personality disorder.” Someone who has experienced trauma and abuse can develop “no affect” and therefore appear to be placid, passive, unengaged, and aloof and also have emotional intensity. It is just not often apparent.

Further into the article, it talks about parents’ rejecting of the emotionally intense individuals’ perception and I am reminded of how that is a reflection of society and magnified by society. I’m recently becoming aware that this thing I call society is actually the result of white supremacy. I’m seeing how it is harmful to white people like me as well as to people of color. That may seem like a totally different topic, but they intersect. I plan on doing some writing around that in the future. Everything is connected.

 

Twenty-three year old Sophie on experiencing Borderline Personality Disorder

Very grateful my insurance covers a therapy session a week. It’s tough when my psychologist is away though. Been two weeks. I think UK has better healthcare than we do. If it’s bad there, it’s worse here.

 

 

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A Poem for National Poetry Month

Hi! I’ve noticed folks are going crazy posting poetry. Maybe that’s because I tend to follow the blogs of poets, but I think that April being National Poetry month has a little more to do with it. So one hour left to the month and I will share one of my poems with you.

I’m choosing the poem, Tulip Fest, because I was at the park yesterday and found the tulips out full force. Spring is in full force too. It was a grey and slightly chilly day, but people were all over the park enjoying it. Nature definitely is a balm for depression. The lilacs, violets, and magnolias are out. I made sure to bring samples home.

The Halfmoon Market was going on as well at the Lake House. I was drawn by the sound of a woman singing in French, like Edith Piaf. When I got there, the music was gone, but there were all kinds of neat crafts and foods made by hipsters. It’s cool seeing people getting back to the Earth, even if it is still capitalism. I’m reminded that I might want to keep some of my diy secrets under wraps in case I decide to capitalize on them.

Perhaps this poem needs a little background for non-Albanians. There is a Tulip Fest in Albany every year – something started in an attempt to impress a Dutch Queen I hear, or maybe it has something to do with the Dutch heritage of Albany. Anyway, it draws a lot of people and it sometimes has a bit of a festival atmosphere (like the modern use of the word festival – which includes drunkenness, pot smoking, and pathetic attempts to attract attention). I’m sure they’re having fun too and many stay sober.

Does anyone else hate wordpress’ inability to keep the intended format?! Imagine this poem without the extra spaces.

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Tulip Fest

tulips that look like roses

tulips that look like fringe

white tulips

black tulips

pale peach tulips

bright coral tulips

brassy red tulips

butter – cream – tulips

 

Tulips look better without the crowds.

 

sea of people with nothing to do,

but stare at each other

buy some grease

and a trinket or two

 

Buy a bonsai.

Don’t let it die.

 

food

bad food –

lots!

 

sloppy drunks

Men – staring at my tits

declaring, I must pay them attention!

 

Yes– I’ll take your photos–

happy, young, sweet couple.

That’s what odd old gals like me

are for.

 

sweet babies

in their strollers

sweet babies

in the grass

puppies and babies

in the grass

 

grass wafting in the air

 

tiny dancer in the grass

Pure joy!

That kid can feel the music!

 

The colors are beautiful,

but I’ve had enough.

I go – in gratitude.

 

© J. Rae

 

 

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4-18-17

chill lamb

the sweet life

Oddly folks have been looking at my website and facebook page. Hopefully, not the same folks – that would be creepy. It’s odd because I don’t post regularly. It’s seems I un-publish more than I publish. I took down four poems today. The reason is good I think. I’ve submitted them to journals.

I’m writing this random post for the random person who visits my silly site. I don’t know what people are thinking when they visit. I try to be as uninteresting as possible, and I think I do an exceptional job.

I’m hoping to publish something this year – to a journal that doesn’t know me. I’m trying to take my work semi-seriously, which is something I don’t normally do.  I take myself much too seriously though. I’m learning that I might not be a poet, not yet. I’ve learned that I’m not going to get better at it if I’m not writing and reading. I get serendipitous insights just by practicing. I’m pretty good at observing and emoting, but that doesn’t make a poet. Maybe I missed my calling as an actress. I might have. My two attempts were ill-timed.

I just went to a poetry reading. Cool stuff. I just wish people would enunciate and speak slower. I get tense trying to take it all in. I’ve always been this way, with music and reading as well. It’s as if my bandwidth doesn’t have the same range as the average human. I’m slower than the rest of the world. I hope this uniqueness pays off in some way. I listened to the cards today and joined a group activity. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough though. I’m more of a one-on-one person.

I just worked on my writing prompt for a good stretch. Now to hone it into a poem. It was fun.

So my boring life of late is consisting of physical therapy for an incessantly tense neck which started to mess with my ability to type. I can type alright again, but I’m still sore and tense. I guess it will be an ongoing battle needing regular stretching and strength training. I’ve started going to the gym because I guess I care about high cholesterol. I bet they’ll say it’s not a thing ten years from now. I needed more exercise, especially since I can’t give up chocolate.

I volunteer on a farm once in a while. It is hard work, but I get so much out of it.

forsythia

things you find on the way to the outhouse

I fuss over living in affordable housing for the elderly and disabled. I get tired of giving a shit about the nut-balls and perverts, the lack of privacy, respect, and peace and quiet. I’ve got a home and that’s a lot. I’ve got some great plants. Most of them have names.

I occasionally write posts about the food co-op I belong to on another site. I don’t know if it’s worth it. The drama is ridiculous, but we’re still here. That’s something.

I’m going to an NVC practice group, and practicing NVC. Can you tell I’m tired?

I’m corresponding with potential friends I meet on stupid dating sites. It’s more of a bother than anything. It turns out the same in the end. I’m Eeyore! I love Eeyore, so that’s something.

I made a big batch of chicken soup. Most of my efforts are toward balance. This leaves little time for progress. Sometimes I wonder what it’s all about. Don’t you?

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