Everybody Needs Something

I want something and I really do not know what it is
There’s a need in me that I just can’t see
There is something I need that is what it is
It is hidden down deep within me.

He can see my entire soul
He can see what I need
He will not lead me afoul
I am still yet just a seed.

What I need is Him in my life
Every day and every night
The evil one tries to bring in strife
I’m trying very hard to fight.

I need Him
He created me
His light never dims
Sometimes I just can’t see.

– van –

Weekend Coffee Share

Image result for coffee mugIf we were having coffee, I would tell you about that squirrel.  During the week, I would look up from my laptop and see a squirrel on my windowsill.  I spotted it about the Image result for Catsame time as did my cat.  I am so glad the window has been closed throughout the week, due to the drop in temperature that we had.  I’d tell you how that squirrel causes my cat to come running from, I don’t even know where, race through the room and up in the Image result for squirrelwindow.  An occasional bird also causes that reaction from her.  I am always afraid that she is going to go right the window screen, and out on the ground. Fortunately, not that the temperature is cooler, the window has been closed, and I can stop worrying about the screen popping out, right along with the cat.  That squirrel has also left a little pile, of what I first thought was dirt, but appears to have shell pieces and other whatnot in it.  It looks like just a pile of dirt.

Image result for coffeeIf we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I have finally started going back to church.  Last night was the second week in a row, and I have been asked to do an additional bit of work for the church.  I now run the Power Point presentation, which contains the words to the worship songs, so there is no need for hymnals in the backs of the pews.  This is a good thing, since we don’t have pews, but just rows of chairs on a gym floor.  I’d tell you how I started going to this church just one month later, from it’s beginnings in a rental arrangement with Image result for chairsanother church.  Since those early beginnings, we have moved three times, in eight years.  We moved from one church building to another, and that place became too small, due to the growth in numbers of churchgoers.  I’d tell you how we moved to a new location, with a larger sanctuary and adequate space for growth.  Unfortunately, due to the passing of the pastor at that location, the bills didn’t get paid and the church was closed after the electricity was cut off.  The first week after that happened, we didn’t have a church service, because we had no place to meet.  Then came another location, with rows of chairs on a gym floor, and that is where we have been since then.

Image result for paper coffee cupIf we were having coffee, I’d tell you how this church is not like the church your grandma went to.  The pastor, who has a beard which has grown to mid-chest level, and long hair, which is tied back in a pony tail.  He comes in wearing any shirt, possibly the one that he has worn all day, a pair of baggy blue jeans, and a leather vest, covered with pins and patches on the front, and the church logo on the back.  I’d tell you that if you were not a regular churchgoer, you would be surprised and feel comfortable there.  We are a biker church.  The church tagline is, “You don’t Image result for bikershave to ride to come inside!”  We don’t sing regular, but instead sing contemporary Christian songs, as well as some well-remembered songs from the 70’s and 80’s, which have had some of the words changed, to make it a song we would sing in church, as well as take home with you, in your head.  I would tell you that the pastor does not preach from the Bible, but rather teaches us about what the Bible has to say.  There is a mixture of messages, some or most of which often causes laughter.  I would tell you how, if you didn’t go to church (something I did throughout the entire summer), but wanted to know a little more about church,  if you came and listened to my pastor give his message, you are quite likely to come back again.  We are jeans and leather friendly, but you can wear most anything you feel comfortable in, as long as you are actually wearing clothes.  I would tell you that the way he gives his sermon, you learn about what is written in the Bible, as well as how it applies to us, even today, and have a website which I (as the church’s Webmaster), have revised, and then re-designed, and is chock-full of information about our church.  I would tell you that I’m going to do yet more redesigning of our church website, making it suitable not only for your computer, but also your tablet and even your phone.  I am going to be working on that project this afternoon, and hopefully will get it all working the way we all would like.

Share Your World #37

rocksHave you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?  I used to carry around a Tigers Eye, oh, back in the 80’s I guess.  I loved that stone, and I still do if I happen to see one.  But as far as pet rocks?  I was too old for those (or so I thought).  When I was younger (quite a bit), I used to collect interesting rocks, particularly during the summer of 1989, when I was taking a 2-week Geology class.  We packed up our camping gear, and spent two weeks, roaming through the rocks and geological formations in southern Illinois.  I know, who would have thought there were any kind of hills or canyons in Illinois?  I still have pictures to prove it, but not the rocks.

What is your greatest strength or weakness?  I believe my greatest strength, which is my mind, is also my greatest weakness.  Due to mental illness, even as a young child, my weakness was the mind, and that as I grew into adulthood, was plagued by nightmares, flashbacks, fears of things, real or imagined, which prevented me from living a fulfilling childhood, and caused me to live as an adult, still caught up in the mire of mental illness.  This lead to alcoholism and other behaviors that caused me to lose one job after another.  I believe that my mental illness was caused by both parents, as well as a gene carried by my mother.  My father was a pedophile of the worst kind, not that I’m sure there are varying degrees of pedophilia, and I was his victim – at least the only one I knew about.  My mother was a narcissist, who I believe also carried the gene believed to be needed in order to develop Borderline Personality Disorder.  This form of mental illness continues to plague me even today, causing irrational fears, inappropriate emotional responses to certain triggers, short, highly emotional relationships, fear of abandonment, and many other symptoms.  I also suffer from anxiety and depression.  Combine those with the MS, stomach issues, thyroid, parathyroids, and gall bladder problems and the results of all these problems, and I take 22 medications every day.

But my mind is also my greatest strength.  It got me through school with high grades, and then making the Deans list when I went back to school in the late 1980’s.  It is where my love of music, singing it and playing the guitar, saxophone, clarinet and the piano, originates from.  It is where my creativity stems from, allowing me to take a good look at myself, learning, understanding, and growing from my past.  My creativity has led me to writing, and then writing poetry, but also the ability to sit and look at an abstract design on the page and color it in, never knowing from the starting point where I will end up, but it is almost always something I feel is really good. 

firefliesWhat makes you feel grounded?  I think what makes me feel grounded, is being out in the country, or the woods or a forest, all of which make me more aware of this world that God created, and created me to live in, enjoying the ‘fruits of His bounty’.  Watching the fireflies blink bright green in the darkness of my campsite, or in the back yard when I was growing up (I don’t see them much now, since I’ve become city-fied. I don’t even have a backyard now.).  Or rolling down the bike path in my power chair, with only the sounds of the birds and insects that are all around me, when I am in areas that are overgrown once again with grass and bushes, and in wooded areas that I pass through.  The feel of the sun on my face in the Spring and the Fall, since I can’t be out much during the summer due to the MS, as I sit, stretched out in my chair, talking with others whom have come out to enjoy the nice weather, and the company as well.  Nature is what it is that makes me feel grounded, I guess I’d have to say if I was to put it all in one boring sentence.  😄

 

Would you rather never be able to eat warm food or never be able to eat cold food?  Oh this is an easy one.  You’ve all heard of comfort food?  Well, to me, comfort food is food that makes me feel good, and this is warm food.  Don’t get me wrong – I love my bowl of ice cream in the ice-creamevening, no matter if it is in the middle of summer or the middle of winter.  But cold ice-cream-conefood can get warm, and then definitely loses its appeal so just does not apply when talking about comfort food.  You can reheat a cold dish of chili, but you can’t put melted ice cream back onto the cone.  😬

 

 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  From last week, I am grateful for that monthly government check which just plops itself right into my bank account every month.  I’m grateful I was able to pay all my bills for the month, and still have some money left for groceries, as well some to put towards my upcoming trip to San Antonio, TX.  

This week I am looking forward to cooler temperatures, when I will be able to go outside and enjoy myself once again.  I look forward to practicing for the events I will be taking part in, at the Valor Games Southwest, in San Antonio, TX.  The Valor Games are adaptive sports competition for disabled veterans as well as Active Duty members.  It is a time to celebrate old friends and make new ones.  I need to be able to get outside and practice for the air rifle event, find a Senior Center where I can practice my table tennis from a wheelchair, and to just go bowling.  A healthy body is a happy body.

Cee’s Share Your World is a weekly feature and all are welcome to play along.

What’s going on in your world?

 

Wearing A Face Kept In A Jar By The Door

English: Child in Tiger face paint
English: Child in Tiger face paint (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This so describes me totally.  When I’m at home, I don’t need that face, for there is no one to look at me, except for my cat Mittens.  All those feelings that are roiling around inside of me are there for no one to see.

When it is time to go out, I take the face out of the jar, and wear that one over my real one.  No one then can see the pain, anger, sadness, sometimes rage, and fear, that I feel but are not visible.

What if someone saw the real face?  Would they go running, scared?  I think I would.  When it’s in the jar, I only look in the mirror to brush my hair.  I don’t even want me to see that face.

It would make me very, very sad, but then, I’m already sad.

~ van ~

Run.Rabbit.Run.Ptsd award

I have been nominated for this award by a wonderful blogger and mental health advocate,   mychildwithin at  https://mychildwithin.wordpress.com/ , and I thank you so much for recognizing me.

run-rabbit-award

 

Previously Known As The Blogger Recognition Award.


The rules:

Thank the blog who nominated you, share the link and award on your blog.

Write a brief story on how you started blogging and

any advice you would give to a new blogger.

Select nominees (max 15)

Advise nominees.

How I started writing this blog:  When I started this blog, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with it, and there were some odd little posts where I did a little ranting and raving, about some of the rudeness of people, such as those who use handicap parking spaces, when they have no handicap at all, to the rudeness of a hotel I stayed and the staff were so rude, to the WalMart shoppers who have no clue that there are those of us who motivate around in wheelchairs.

I gradually fell into a pattern of looking at the child abuse I went through, in the form of poetry, which I had no idea I could write (the poetry I mean).  I eventually reached the stage of recognizing my blog for what it was.  It allows me to look at the abuse, how I felt about it then and how I feel about it now, and how it has affected me throughout my life.  My hope is for other survivors of abuse to read,  and look at themselves and speak out.  This is a subject that often no one wants to speak about, but everyone needs to write, read others blogs, identify with me, and that I can reach out to them and help them in some way.

I would advise the newcomer to become comfortable enough with themselves, and write about what it is you feel, or want to say, in some way that you and others will enjoy, identify with or just laugh at some humor.

I would like to nominate the following for the Run.Rabbit.Run. Ptsd award:

https://mandysmithsthoughts.com/                  

https://survivorroad.wordpress.com/

https://confessions92.wordpress.com/

https://noimnotok.wordpress.com/

https://patriciajgrace.wordpress.com/

All of these blogs have helped me to see what others have gone through, are going through now, or with advice and writings which moved me, or inspired me to look at my issues, and shown me other ways to look at what I’ve been going through since childhood.

If We Were Having Coffee

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I’d tell you that it has been a long week.  I have not been able to go anywhere, due to the heat and humidity.  Fortunately, I didn’t have any appointments to go to during the week.  I’d tell you that I have a fascinating (at least to me) idea for a new blog I’d like to start, as well as some changes to the looks (Not the content!) of this blog.  I’d tell you I spent a tremendous amount of time, playing Sudoku online, as I play that to try the repair some of the deficits in cognitive ability due to nerve damage on my brain from MS, by stimulating new nerves to take the place of the damaged nerves, with new ones (not sure that has helped).

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee,  I’d tell you that I spent Friday baking goodies for us to eat with our coffee.  I’d tell you I made a delicious carrot cake with cream cheese icing, and molasses cookies (because they are my all-time favorite, after chocolate),  but the cookies were burned because I forgot to set the timer on these newfangled stoves they put in here.  The weather here has turned a bit cool after the storms went through, and I had to put on jeans for the first time all summer.  The air conditioner is off and the cat is enjoying the open window.  Unfortunately, my flowers in the window boxes on the sills did not fare well due to me or the weather (I’d rather blame the weather).  I may have to try something different next year.

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I have an exciting week ahead.  I will be going to Chicago for three days, for the 2016 Valor Games Midwest.  These games have been adapted for veterans with many different types of disabilities, ranging from Archery to Tandem Cycling (for the ones who cannot see), as well as Field events, Indoor Rowing, and some exhibition sports that we can try out, and see if it is something we would like to pursue.  I’d tell you that since I’m either sitting, or in bed for the night, I don’t get much exercise, except when I use my manual chair when someone gives me a ride somewhere.  So I play adaptive sports in the summer, both for the competition, the wish to push myself a little further, to meet up with old friends, or just cheer for our teammates.  I’d tell you I went to Salt Lake City the end of June, into July, and that I won a bronze medal in 9-ball, a silver medal in bowling, and a gold medal for the Power Slalom, which is just a fancy way to say an obstacle course for power wheelchair.  I’d tell you that I don’t do it for the medals, but for the competition with friends I’ve met over the years, conversations by the pool that can last half the night, and the opportunity to travel all over the US.  I’ve been to events from the western part to the state to the eastern part, and I have yet to visit a city I haven’t liked, except for maybe the heat.  I’d also tell you that in September I’m going to San Antonio for the Valor Games Southwest.  This will be my third year going, but this year is the first year that I’ve had to pay for everything myself.  I was charged an extra $200 for my flight, because I changed my departure day to return home, from Friday to Thursday.  Then I turned out I had the return flight scheduled on the correct day the first day, but my departure from home was a day early.  So I cancelled the reservation entirely (BIG mistake) and applied for a refund for the entire trip.  I then made a new reservation, on the correct days, but was later informed that I would not be receiving a refund at all from the first reservation.  Any ideas how I can do that??  I would also tell you that I won’t be posting much this week, due to my travels.  And I would tell you to have a great week!

I Am A Winner!

Throughout the years of childhood abuse
They made me feel there was no use
Through all those years of constant strife
I could not live my very own life

A children’s view of this time
I never had a thing that was mine
Hand me downs from those of old
No longer did keep out the cold

The home itself was cold as well
Living there, I went through hell
They taught me when I moved a way
That others still had their say

In how my life to be controlled
Again I lived in that cold
Afraid to peek out of the hole
Burrowed deep within my soul

Now I live here on my own
My body now is fully grown
But carries all the scars I earned
That taught me I had never learned

But down the hole, did I fall?
Little by little I changed it all
Every night I sit for dinner
Another day  I am a winner

Anger!! Who’s Really To Blame?

I would like to tell you I had an emotional week.  I wanted to get mad at everyone, due to my forgetting to schedule wheelchair transportation for an appointment Wednesday morning.  I assumed they were picking me up at 10:15, for an 11:00 appointment.

At 10:00, I started questioning whether I had scheduled the transportation, and finally called to see if they had me on the schedule that day.  They did not.  First, I wanted to blow up at them (Really??).  Then, I called my therapist to cancel the appointment, why, and asked that she called me back.  I wanted to keep calling her, until she answered the phone and I could vent my anger and frustration (Why??).

Image result for Anger
Photo: Google Images

When she finally called me back, I explained what happened and she asked if I would like to reschedule (Ya think??).  We made another appointment, and then I wanted to vent at her again, because the appointment was not for another two weeks (??).

After hanging up the phone, I sat here and I realized that the person I was really angry at was myself.  I had screwed up, forgot to schedule transportation, and I missed my appointment.  Did I really expect her to rearrange her entire schedule, to get me in earlier?  No.

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Photo: Karen Van Benschoten

I have MS.  I have mild cognitive impairment and some memory loss.  I know this, and I know that if I don’t put extra reminders in place, I may very well forget something.

 I wanted to blame my aide, as every time she arrives, she usually takes out my planner, checks for any appointments that she hasn’t already written on the (very) large, dry erase calendar, that hangs on the wall above my wheelchair desk.  She asks if I have transportation.  I call and make arrangements.  Once I’ve done that, I put a check mark next to the appointment in my planner.  But not this week.  I don’t think I gave a single thought to that appointment, and usually I never forget that particular appointment.

But who should I be mad at about it?  No one.  Not even myself.  Everyone makes mistakes, and I can’t be mad  because I made a mistake.

Image result for Netflix
Photo: Google Images

So I played Sudoku and then watched more episodes of “The Fosters.”  Really like this show.  Whatever did I watch before Netflix??

 

BPD – What It Means For Me

I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder many years ago, and have been taking pretty much the same medications over this time. I have BPD. I know I have it. I recognize the symptoms when they get worse. I wouldn’t dream of stopping them, for fear of the consequences.

It has long been thought that BPD was caused by abuse as a child, or some other horrendous trauma experienced when young. It has been brought to my attention that in order for someone to develop BPD, there has to be one or both parents who suffer from this disorder. This disorder is passed on genetically.

Without the genetics, BPD does not occur, despite popular belief, because of chronic abuse as a child, alone. The gene must also be present. I realized a couple years ago, that my mother must have had the same disorder. Based on the way that she treated me, along with the sexual abuse from my father, I developed BPD.

There has to be at least five symptoms a person must have to be diagnosed with this disorder.

  1. Unstable or poorly regulated emotional responses – anger, anxiety, depression
  2. Inappropriate intense anger that is difficult to control
  3. Chronic feelings of emptiness
  4. Self-damaging acts such as excessive spending, unsafe sex, substance abuse, binge eating, and
  5. Suicidal ideation, acts, threats, self-injurious behavior
  6. Persistent, unstable self-image
  7. Paranoid ideation or severe dissociative episodes
  8. behaviors from most people, impaired social reasoning under stress
  9. Frantic acts due to chronic fear of abandonment, very intense and unstable relationships

To be diagnosed with BPD, five of these nine symptoms must be present.  When I finally learned about Borderline Personality Disorder, it was sort of an ‘aha’ moment.  Now, things that I feel or do, I understand why.  I suffer from eight of these nine symptoms.

I understand why I will do almost anything to prevent what I perceive as abandonment.  I understand why all of my relationships were either inappropriate, extremely intense and unstable.  I understand why I have a great deal of new debt, that has occurred after the agreement with the debt management program,  that I would not apply for anymore credit cards, and this new debt is due to three  new credit cards.  I understand why I became a chronic alcoholic (Nearly 17 years sober now).  I understand the cuts on my arms, the overdoses, and all the threats of suicide, and all of the psychiatric hospitalizations.

I understand now, why I am me, and why I still do many of the things on that list.  Do you now understand me?

 

Up Close And Personal

I keep them at a distance,
I don’t get hurt that way,
If you let them in your heart,
They’re going to leave one day.

I didn’t have a choice back then,
She was always in my face,
I had no time, of my own,
Or my own private space.

Nothing was ever done just right,
Not a thing got past her eye,
Poking in my private stuff,
At times I thought I’d just die.

Try to keep it hidden,
You know you have done wrong,
She’d always find out in some way,
It never took her long.