December 13, 2012

No One Asks - - Part I

Here I lay another unproductive, useless day.  My pain is especially great today...but this post is not about that, so shall we dive right in FEELINGS.  Ick, barf, blah.  I truly can say I'm coming to an escalation of being fed up with...feeling.  Always negative.  Dismal.  Shitty.  It's exhausting.

I can already hear you trying to comfort me...some rolling their eyes...such drama.  Please let me be...feel this way.  It's healthy.  I hate 'pleasantries'...they are just that 'to please' oneself most times.  We don't always need positive affirmations (as if they have some magical power), or hugs keyboard characters.  No, it's not wrong to respond to people who are hurting in this way, but the fact is these responses serve no useful purpose.  They are not advice or service driven.  The best sympathy, which people don't normally request; to be pitied or felt sorry for is not productive, so I suggest silence and empathy.  Empathy meaning you have in fact walked in those shoes...experienced matters that have brought on the same types of feelings and results is the only way you can truly empathize with another person.  There is a huge difference. 
Without the person explaining.

The best practice is to just listen, really actively listen.

I've been reading this

I like his writing; it's in reality.  His sarcasm.  His dark humor.  I've read it and as I was I had so many of those "that is so true" moments.  No he is not a self-help expert...if he was a professional then his books would be written all 'warm and fuzzy' with do this do that to fix yourself bullshit.  What Mr. Burroughs is is a raw and honest real life writer.  In fact, he was sexual abused at the age of 13 for several years, so I'm not surprised by no means that I found a lot of familiarity of how I feel through his penmanship.

Going back to this the typical "Hi, Tyla.  How are you?"  Hi, John. I'm fine, thanks."  "Just fine? It's a great day!"  An expression of disapproval of my mood and suggest I wear a mask....that would be a fake smile, I guess.  No one really gives a dam about how someone else is feeling.

Society has a zero tolerance for negativity.  Stop people!  The greater good is you getting over YOUR discomfort when you feel awkward around someones unhappiness.  You know who YOU are.  Spare us your offensive intrusion of comments "It can't be that bad.  Put on a happy face.  Life's short."  There is no nutritional value in these statements! If you don't like it, practice silence and/or avoidance.  Simple. 

Flip side.  An individual who truly cares how you FEEL will ask just that, "How are you FEELING?"  You will ask yourself do I trust this person to tell them the truth?  Do they wholeheartedly care about you?  Do their actions speak volumes of their sincerity consistently to you?  Can you be vulnerable with this person?  Well, the answer for me to all these questions is I've never had to ask myself these questions because I have no one asking me about my feelings.


November 12, 2012

Abandonment - I Them, Them me


This is me, in one word, A-B-A-N-D-O-N-M-E-N-T.

abandonment - the act of giving something up      
rejection - the act of rejecting something
2.withdrawing support or help despite allegiance or responsibility
defection, desertion
withdrawal - the act of withdrawing
3.the voluntary surrender without attempting to reclaim it or give it away
disposition, disposal - the act or means of getting rid of something
throwing away, discard - getting rid something that is regarded as useless or undesirable
discard - (cards) the act of throwing out a useless card or of failing to follow suit

The holes in my heart and mind.

I have never felt anything else.  Do I take responsibility for some of the people who have left my life, yes.  I can say though that the reason those certain individuals are no longer in my life was not because I abandoned them.

I was born in 1970, and I don't remember much of the first decade of my life.  I don't remember whether we sat around the dinner table all together to eat each night, or being bathed, or tucked in, or reminded to brush my teeth.  I don't remember Christmases, or having friends over to play, or being sick and my mother taking care of me.  I remember what life wasn't. 

There are six kids in my family; I the youngest and I don't remember being close to any of my siblings.  I know my second oldest sister seemed to always be holding me in photos and she was fond of me when I was 8 to 10 years old, but when she left home for university I was still little and I felt desertion. 

I had no friends growing up, as I was bullied everyday in elementary school. I was always scared and alone. I felt again, abandoned, and this time by God, since I never did anything to deserve to have no friends.  I'm not a person of faith, so I don't do well with the 'spirtual journey' aspect of healing.  It's not me.

My mother abandon me emotionally I think the moment she birthed me.  I was the last child, surely I wasn't planned, we were not a well-off family.  I don't remember my mother ever reading to me, or walking me to school, or ever standing up for me.  My mother was a narcissist. 

My father abandon me physically when my parents divorced when I was 12.  Though in the seventies, well I can't say what most father's were like, I can only speak about my own, but I use the line "back then" in terms that dad's were providers financially, you did what they told you to do or you'd get a spanking.  He wasn't hands-on, like a lot of fathers are today.  He wasn't mean to me, I remember we had food, shelter, running water most of the time, electricity.  He was a good person and I felt his role was what it was supposed to be in those days.

My siblings left home one by one, sooner than most, 17, 19, 15, 18, 16, and me, at 14.  As each one left, not that I remember, I felt left behind with mother.  The withdrawal from me by all of them started very early on, leaving me feeling, again, abandoned.

Every time I needed my mother she did nothing.  The bullies at school, she did nothing.  She didn't call the principal, she didn't go to the school, she didn't call the parents of these kids.  When she caught my brother molesting me, she told me to take a shower.  I have no idea if she talked to him because he tried to touch me again that same afternoon.  When her father was molesting me every time we went to my grandparents house, she did nothing.

When it was just me and her living together, while I was out being promiscuous, she was busy enjoying sex with all kinds of men, them dinning her, charming her as she used them for money, gifts and sex.  She didn't give a dam about me, how I was skipping school, doing drugs, drinking alcohol and being sexual.  She wasn't worried sick about her baby.  She never went out driving around looking for me and finding me and removing me kicking and screaming ever.  She provided no structure, no boundaries, no consequences.  She was rid of me at 14 when I ran away. 

Abandonment does not have to be the physical removal of a person from ones life because clearly my mother's actions were all of a 'discard' nature, like discarding a Kleenex.

I ran away because she made me move away with her to another city, with a new school for my senior year.  It wasn't even 24 hours that I was missing, I had stole money from her to get a bus ticket right back to my home town. I spent the night in the lobby of an apartment building trying to keep warm, since none of my so-called friends were able to convince their moms to let me stay with them, and when I was finally kicked out, I ran the streets to my sister's house a snuck inside.  My mother never cried for me or begged that I come back home.  She was glad to have me not cramping her wanna be free, single lifestyle.

I never made any lasting friendships in high school either.  Friends came and went, I was never a part of any group.  I was used for sex.  Guys would give me attention and we'd hangout, most times I didn't even have sex with them.  I never had many girlfriends.  When I did, they never lasted.  They always ended up not liking me, or just abandoning me.  Put it this way, there is no one from high school that I want to find on Facebook.  College was not much different.

I lived with my oldest sister when I left my mother at 14.  It worked for awhile and then we began to fight and I was breaking the rules, and it dissolved.  Then I lived with my third oldest sister in another town, same thing, worked for a bit then started to fight when a guy came in the picture.  I ended up moving in with him at 18.

Domestic violence entered my life at this time from 18 to 21 when I lived with him.  He was 20 and had a really good job.  He used his money as power and he was possessive and abusive to me.  His mother was in the same thing with his dad, so she knew and she was his robot.  So I guess he learned that from his dad.  I finally got out of that when the bottle of pills were in my hand.

I then lived with another sister for awhile until I met my husband at 22.  I moved out from her place on a fight as well, though. 

One Christmas, I think it was 1996, my husband, his two children and I were at a my side of the families gathering at my sister's house and my mother started freaking out that she was hungry.  I tried to calm her down and said make a snack.  She prepared celery with cheese whiz for herself.  Only herself.  My step-kids and there were other grand kids in the house and she didn't even offer them any.  She just stuck her nose up.  She was still so selfish.  She was still freaking out that the turkey was supposed to be ready.   She was saying don't say were going to eat at six if were not!  A few minutes later she's downstairs where the tables are set up for all of us to eat and she is still screaming and ranting that her blood sugar level is this and that!  She's not diabetic.  She starts to swear the F word.  This is all happening in front of the kids.  We stay for dinner and when we leave and get into the car my husband says to me we will never be part of this again.  And we weren't.  It just wasn't healthy.  My step-kids should not have been subjected to this woman. I didn't have a holiday with them again until Easter 2000, when my son was born.

When my son was eight months old, we went to my father's home for Easter.  Another sister and her husband had moved in with my father.  My mother always managed to be invited to these meals even when my parents were divorced for years and she was remarried, she would bring her husband with her.  My mother asked this question "How much does he weigh now"?  I said 20 lbs.  In a high pitched response, she says "Oh my God, I wouldn't be able to lift him!"  You have to know mother, oh how frail and fragile she tries so hard to portray herself.  I just rolled my eyes.  She could have sat down on the couch and held him on her lap!?  Not that she'd paid any attention to her grandson since that first few days when he was born.  She stopped by for 10 minutes to goo over him and hold a baby.  During this same visit I noticed a plastic, leftover type container under the coffee table filled with weed.  My sister's.  I didn't want to be a part of this.  I was a mother now, and I work with law enforcement.  This was our very last holiday with my side of the family.

Not long after this, my sister stopped by with her husband to visit.  I brought the pot thing up to her and asked her to give it up, to quit.  She said she had quit smoking, but oh no, with a smile on her face, no, no she couldn't give up that.  I tried to explain to her that it was me and my son or the weed.  That I wasn't going to put him at risk, or my job.  She'd been busted before.  You never know, she could be raided and were there at the house, my son get taken to the Children's Aid Society, even for 12 hours until I could happens.  I don't want to associate with known people doing illegal activity.  So from that day on I couldn't go to my father's house because she lived there with her choices.  My dad never did anything or said anything.  Again, I felt angry that she discarded my feelings, and was more committed to her habit than to me and her nephew--and abandoned, again, by her and my father.  The rest of my siblings including my sexual abuser and my mother, I am now 100% estranged from because I don't participate.  None of them have ever asked what happened, or why I am the way I am.

Then when my father died in 2011, I had to see them all at the hospital for those seven days (see that post) and not one of them asked, or even attempted to resolve any issues, or bring anything up.  I looked at it as an opportunity for someone, perhaps mother to ask one give a dam question or say something heartfelt to me, her daughter, but no, nothing.  She sat there reading her book, doing crosswords, eating her snacks saying nothing to me.  It was so awkward.  I ended up making small talk, minimal, as my anger was just boiling inside of me, and all she could say could do was brag about her trip to Florida as she showed me pics of my oldest sister's house, her granddaughter etc on the viewer of her camera.  As if I cared.  Hello, you haven't spoken to me in near 10 years and you're wasting my time not talking about anything important, I wanted to scream at her. Having to be in the same room with my brother was making me ill; fake hugging him, as our dad lay brain dead from a stroke.  I haven't heard from any of them since June 2011, when my dad died.  Abandoned again, no one gives a fuck, that hey, I'm your sister, I'm your daughter and when I die DO NOT COME, to like as if, pay your respects! Fuck Off!

I know I won't be a hypocrite and attend any other deaths in any way.  If you can't be here in the present with the living, why would you when they're dead.  There's no obligation because were related, to me that's unfortunate that I was cursed with that family tree.

Does it hurt me, yes.  When I see other people sharing happy times with their extended families, when people talk about their loving parents, I am envious, I fantasize briefly of such ideals.  Do I wish, often. 

My first counsellor made a comment to me once, "maybe it's you abandoning them".  Is it me?  I'm a very emotional person, no one would no that though because I am mostly this person in hiding.  My emotional filters and often my maturity, I've been told by my current therapist, are lacking.  I've never been the type of person that thinks of a good or fair excuse for some one's lack of commitment, loyalty or honesty towards me.  I've been told I'm paranoid.  I always think the worst of people.  I do because my childhood was destroyed and I can rely on no one--there's not one single person that I trust on this planet 100%.  Not even my husband.  I did trust him, but haven't for the last few years.

People's actions or lack of action speak volumes to me.  Human beings have instincts like no other.  Our guts are usually right.  When what you expect of a person doesn't happen, I think you should be able to question that.  Why?

Since I've been off work this go around, since May 2012, with my back pain, none of my peer co-workers have called, emailed or stopped by to visit.  When I email them, I get no response.  You know when you are being ignored and judged.  Again, I feel abandoned by my workplace.  I've spent a decade working with these people; you know even if it's not genuine you'd think someone would fake care out of etiquette purposes.  What have I done to deserve this treatment?

My own son is pulling away from me.  I know it is hard for him; a mother in pain.  I've changed so much.  A mother who no longer is working, a dropout from society.  He says I'm no fun.  I'm not.  I've abandon him.  I'm no better than she.

The single person that I thought would be with me 'til the end, the was all just a fantasy.  Trust?  Did we ever have it?  Respect? I doubt.  It's always been a struggle emotionally with my husband.  I've hurt many times with his insensitive remarks.  I can't do it anymore.  Everyone abandons me...eventually, it's just a matter of time.


November 2, 2012

What Sexual Abuse Really Is

A mind torture chamber. 
Years loss because of overwhelming shame.
Day after day of guilt ridden feelings.
Struggles of endless confusion.
Grieving a life that could've been.
Stolen true personalities.
Loss and never finding you.
Questioning, who are you?
Destroyed trust, loyalty.
Forever issues with relationships.
Tears of pain and worthlessness.
Encompassing depression.
Faking smiles and laughter.
Forcing normalcy.
Hurting physically with the burden.
Secrets owning us, dark and disgusting.
Afraid of crowds, being alone.
Paranoid tendenies.
Lack of filters.
Guarded boundaries.
Non-believers crushing the soul.
Abandoned by loved ones.
Always drowning in flashbacks.
Triggers sinking in without warning.
Unsettled memories covered in Bandaids.
Violation and interruption of childhood.
Never knowing what, who supposed to be.
Changes the path the first moment of trespass.
Craters of loneliness linger.
Definitions of love entangled with caution.
Supporters near, very distant.
Details unnecessary to give weight.
Broken dreams, fantasies became.
Years of therapy, or not.
Talk to heal.
Who will listen?
Lean on who, no one's there.
Haunted by every corner.
Crushed under years of shame.
Generalization to spare those unharmed.
Graphic discretion sparing self.
No more less true.
Head in the sand.
I never knew.
Doesn't make it less true.
Forgetting, impossible task.
Forgiveness, not in the path.
Tell that someone, may regret.
Worse off than before.
Damage is done.
Do overs, there are none.
Freedom, may never come.
Protection, unsurpassed, child thy own.
Neutral, never in.
Really, what IT is.
Is you.


October 29, 2012

Amanda Todd - The Peace and Escape - A Devastating End

I truly am so sorry, Amanda.  I did not know you, but I did.  I am you, with a different face.  I am you, 38 years later.  Nothing has changed.  Nothing has improved. 

I look back and I really can't understand how I never took my own life.  Going to school was so painful everyday.  No bully could hide behind Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or their texting.  The bullies were right in my face every day. 

I can remember in kindergarten being isolated and treated bad.  The bulling just got worse every year of public school.  I never did anything mean to anyone.   I was not ugly, or fat, or terribly poor.  I did not smell or wear dirty clothes.  I was not super smart, not rich and not gorgeous.  I was just normal and average.  It doesn't matter though how normal you think you are, or plain, or not deserving of such cruelty; bullies always find something to pick on you about. 

Bullying is all about power and control.  Like most horrible events in life: childhood sexual abuse, incest, domestic violence, workplace harassment, gang  violence, religious and political corruption all are the result of abuse of power by people in positions of authority and forcing their unwanted control over you.

Although my days at school were frightening and all I wanted to do was cry and escape, I managed to get good marks and pass grades one through eight. 

I was always picked last and always left out of groups.  I so dreaded any school work where you had to work in a group and when the teacher left you to find your own group.  Why do teachers do this?  All group work should be set by the teacher.  Just do the 1, 2, 3, 4 thing, all the two's together, all the three's etc.  It was so hurtful being singled out when I was left with no one and then the teacher would just stick me somewhere where I obviously was not wanted.  One of the best lessons in life is learning to work with people other than your friends.  Grownup 101 at the office. 

I was so thankful that I was a walker for most of my elementary school years.  I was able to run home at lunch to have some reprieve with The Flintstones for thirty minutes.  Some months I did have to ride the school bus at different ages and it was awful having no one save you a seat.  Kids saying you can't sit here.  One time I was stabbed by a boy with a pencil on the mini bus.  I remember his name K.P.  I don't remember why he did it or what he was saying to me.  I still have the grey mark in my hip where the lead broke through my skin today.

In the mornings I remember in like grade four or five we would have to do these morning warm up exercises.  All the kids would find a spot in the classroom and the teacher would put on some music.  I remember a boy, D.B. calling me a slut during these exercises.  I never even had a boyfriend in elementary school, until I moved away for grade eight.

I grew up in a very small town, pop. less than 900.  We had a corner store, a post office, a train station, a I.G.A., a tavern, a bank, a couple churches, and a Chinese restaurant.  There was no hospital, no high school and no mall.

The girls at school were worse than any boy that stabbed me with a pencil, once.  There was a lead bully, she was chubby, freckle faced and not pretty, quite big for a grade six.  Her parents were well-off and she made sure everyone knew it.  The other girls were her posse.  I think they were all so scared of her that they were her little, obedient droids.  I can remember them all by name. C.K., S.F., T.G., S.G., And N.C.  I cried to my mother, and told her I was sick, I heated thermometers in hot tea to have a fever, I begged to stay home.  I told my mother I was picked on daily.  She did nothing.  Never did she call the principal.  Never did she go to the school.  My mother never went to parent/teacher interviews.  Nor did she ever contact any of these girls' mothers to confront them with their daughter's bullying of me.  She enabled me, by letting me stay home, but I could do this for only so many days, and the inevitable would return, the name calling, the belittling, the put downs, the being made fun of.

One time the lead bully, C.K. had gathered all the girls she controlled and when the end of school bell rang and I was walking out the gates on the road of the school grounds they all charged me.  A grade eight girl, grabbed me and was punching me and pushing me, they were all yelling and cheering her on.  I had done nothing to provoke this.  It was all just for kicks.  I ran away as fast as I could, crying.

Once a new girl had come to our class.  I thought here's my chance to have a friend.  She was very nice to me.  We hung around together a recess.  I was so happy.  The bullies were leaving us alone.  This went on for weeks.  Then one recess, the lead bully with all her girls circled behind her came up to me and N.C.  I was sitting on a small, plywood box by the side doors of the school, and I saw N.C. move over to the bullies.  Then C.K. laughs and says, you think N.C. is your friend?  She's not your friend.  She's our spy.  She's pretended to be your friend.  I was devastated.  I don't remember talking about any of them behind their backs anyway, but the entire humiliation just squashed me like a bug.

I felt worthless as a young girl.  I liked learning, but I hated school.  No teachers ever did anything.  My mother never defended me, never protected me from bullies or sexual abusers.

A childhood without friends is very difficult.  I never was invited to parties, or to sleepovers.  I was alone.  I had no one to talk to.  I don't think the Kid's Help Line was around in 1977-1981. 

I think about finding my bullies on Facebook and telling them how they ruined my school years, but what for?  I can't go back and have a do over of my pre and tweener years.  What I have done is make sure that my own child doesn't suffer at the hands or words of any bully.  I am his advocate.  I am his protector.  I will never standby and allow anyone to hurt my child.  I have taught my own child to not be a part of any mean and cruel actions.  To never be a bystander.  To help those who cannot help themselves.  He knows how disappointed and ashamed I would be of him if he were the one being hurtful to someone else.

I don't know how I survived.  No one ever told me these problems are temporary.  You'll grow up and these people won't be in your life.  The day to day pain was to much to bear for Amanda. There was no more crack of light through the trees for her to hold on to. 

Every young person who takes their own life because of bullying has been failed by the system: schooling and government.  This is unacceptable.  It doesn't matter how many frigging legislative laws you put in place, if no one enforces them they're worthless.  There is no zero tolerance.  All I see is out right tolerance.

Every time a youth takes their life, they have been failed by all entities that influenced their lives:  parents, authorities, teachers, health care, family, friends, government--even music, movies, television, magazines and the Internet.  That one person in your life that truly cares about you needs to teach you about the tough shit in life and how to cope with it.  This person needs to educate this young, vulnerable person.  We need to arm our kids with knowledge, strength and integrity.  Children need to know that one person will, WILL, stand behind them always.  I didn't have this one person, but I think my alter ego was her, that warrior of me.

In the end though, we all have a choice.  I was a twelve year old girl once for 365 days, and I chose to continue the crappy life.  I wasn't telling myself this is only temporary and suicide is a permanent solution.  I didn't know that.  What I knew was fishing, swimming, Christmas, candy, Barbies, Archie comics, T.V. and potato chips were worth living for.  What I knew was I didn't have to go to school on weekends.  This is how I coped. 


October 11, 2012

Cool Cakes for Youth and Past Connections

These are all cakes that I created for my son on his birthdays. 

It's odd how with all the anger I hold for my mother, I am still thankful for the memories of all the cakes she put so much time into decorating for my birthday when I was little.  I never was left with the feeling though that my mother put her heart and soul into decorating a cake for me, but it was an excuse for her to have something to do with her time and to show-off how well she could do cake decorating.  Now that I think of it, I only remember when she made me a huge diamond cake for my eleventh birthday.  It said 'you are a real gem' on it and had two large number ones for eleven.  Around that same time, is when she caught my brother violating me in the bottom bunk bed in my room.  I still remember exactly what she said to me--"take a shower", and that was all.

I was eleven when the sexual abuse stopped.  My brother tried once more after our mother interrupted him, and I told him he couldn't do that to me anymore.

Not to spoil the great cakes I have poured my heart into for my child, but it's funny, well not funny, how there is a connection to the past.

The difference for me is I bake and decorate these special cakes not for my own pleasure, but for the pleasure I get from seeing the smile they put on my amazing son's face.  He is always so surprised, and I do think he admires my creativity, and the fact that I pay attention to what he is in to any given year. 

I love him dearly, and protect him every day with full awareness to all his surroundings and the people that may be in his surroundings.  I will never be blind to any pain my child may endure.  I will always be here to keep harm from him, to give him every means of emotional love and comfort.

The Mask of Light - Lego


Fire breathing Dragon

MW3 Xbox Controller
Other cakes I've done: teddy bear, Bob the Builder Tool, Hulk, Jolly Roger flag, 5 foot Snake, and a Bakugan.  I'll have to find those pics to share.

Happy Birthday Cake emotions!


October 9, 2012

The Value of a 2nd Opinion - Hope Reignited!

On Thursday, October 4th, 2012, the candle of hope inside of me was shining bright.  I arrived to my appointment with the second opinion neurosurgeon at 2:45pm.  His office on the second floor, I stepped off the elevator and paused for a moment deciding to visit the restroom, but it was occupied.  As I stood outside the elevator waiting for the lavatory, these two elder women were waiting to get on.  I observed the one holding the other's elbow to stabilize her on her feet.  Figuring she had also just visited the neurosurgeon--I overheard her say, "well, he said at least you're walking".  The woman with her said, "so does that mean you don't have to come back again?".  In reply, the limping lady said, "I guess, no surgery for me."

My heart sank.  Of course, I don't know this person's medical history or issues, but hearing these comments made me more anxious and worried that he would reject me to, and I would live out my remaining decades in pain.

I put on the charm upon approaching the receptionist.  The way to the road to success is to win over the receptionist/secretary immediately.  You know they are the backbone (no pun intended there) of every office, so make nice.

I completed the information sheet and provided the typed sheet of all the lease invasive alternatives I have tried over the past 18 months.  Too my surprise at a cost of $3500 to date.  I think that's a pretty good indication of proof that I have been trying to resolve my pain issues, or manage. 

I couldn't sit in the waiting room because it hurts and there were only these lush, big, puffy, sink into and can get out of brown and black leather arm chairs.  It was exceptionally hot in the office as well.  I think I was the last appointment of the day at 3:30pm.  I didn't have to wait long to meet Dr. M.  He appeared businesslike, no jacket, red hair and beard, glasses, late forties. 

I had a plan this time around to be more assertive, more prepared.  I guess when I met with the last surgeon who had done my first back surgery, I assumed she would just fix me again.  I provided him with my MRI DVD.  His exam room was spacious, clean and had a PC on a small desk.  He loaded up the images and said they were good, clear images and he could clearly see the recurrent disc herniation at L5, and a new one at L4.  He examined me thoroughly, testing reflexes, stretching, bending, walking and flexing my legs.  I have no reflex in my heel and he noted the obvious weakness in my left leg.  He asked me why I didn't go to Dr. S.  When I said I did, and she said it wasn't surgically correctable, that it was scar tissue fibrosis, Dr. M asked did she look at your MRI?, I replied with not that I witnessed.

When he said to me he'd do the surgery, a laminectomy/discectomy I burst into tears!  I felt validated.  The risks are at 1 and 2% for spinal fluid leak, cutting the nerve and infection.  I felt my first surgery was a success, and knowing I can wake up with no pain in my leg is worth it.

For all these months of struggling with pain, gaining weight, being a lesser wife, mother and employee, being judged, being told a positive attitude makes all the difference, so being made to feel like all this pain is in your head, I say fuck you!

I have enough reality in my life making me feel ashamed, guilty, not worthy and ill.  I won't let anyone judge me any longer!

My next challenge now is to apply for longterm income protection benefits and CPP disability benefits.  If anyone has any advice, please comment to me.

We don't have to "live with it"!  Seek a second, a third opinion.


October 2, 2012

How to Add Pinterest Pin It Button to your Blog

I'm not sure why there just isn't a gadget already developed that you can just add to your blog without having to add code and jumping through a dozen hoops to make it actually work.

It took me quite some time to figure this out.  Reading through comments trying to find someone with the same issue as me as to why is this not working?!

So now that I've figured it out, I'm going to make your life so much easier.

Here's really how you do it.

The easiest instructions I found are at these two links.

Notes:  When she says to do this:

3. Look for <div class='post-footer'> and paste the code directly after that.
Directly after that means:  not under or below; paste it right after the greater than sign > no spaces, so it should look like this ><

There are several 'post-footer' words in the html code, so you drop the code that's in the link immediately following the <div class='post-footer'> where you see </b:if> just above it.  So it looks like this.

    <div class='post-footer'><div style='float: right; margin: 4px;'><a href='javascript:void((function(){var%20e=document.createElement(&apos;script&apos;);e.setAttribute(&apos;type&apos;,&apos;text/javascript&apos;);e.setAttribute(&apos;charset&apos;,&apos;UTF-8&apos;);e.setAttribute(&apos;src&apos;,&apos;;+Math.random()*99999999);document.body.appendChild(e)})());'><img alt='Pin It' class='aligncenter' src=''/></a></div>

The second thing I had to figure out was once the Pin It button is there, how do you actually Pin it?  It may seem simple, but when crucial details are left out of a tutorial you're set up to fail.  Again, I had to read through the comments to find someone who was having the same issue as me.  I see the Pin It button but when I click it nothing happens.  I couldn't pin.

Comment question:  I noticed this works great, but you have to be in the individual blog post for the button to show up. Is there a way for the button to show on the main blog page?

Comment answer:  This hack (button with counter) is suitable only for post pages.  You won't see it on homepage as it is designed to only appear on post pages.

You can't Pin it from the homepage of your blog.  You have to click the title heading of the actual blog post that you want to Pin, that takes you into that specific post and then you can Pin from there with no problems.
  This link solved this for me.


October 1, 2012


I don't know if I will ever 'just be'.  
Everyday feels like a struggle—an exhaustive, up hill, draining, unproductive time.  
Can I commit to anything?  
I'm pausing already—typing is even like running a marathon for me.  
Why do I feel this way? 
I feel so fake.  
Who am I?  
I have no idea.  
I'm terrible at moving forward.  
Achieving coping skills that work continuously—when will I be successful?  
Is this self-pity?  
Is this depression?  
Is this my failed physical health?  
Is it my daily self-loathing?  
Never worthy.  
My insides feel decayed.  
Where am I?  
Lost in all my pain.  
How do I fix my life!?  
An actress is what I am.  
I hate myself.  
Things weren't supposed to be this way—turn out this way.  
Let me drift...


Thank you Sarah Henderson

I just stumbled upon this blog called Writing for Recovery.  Inspirational.  I could use that right now more than ever.  I look forward to reading all of her poems and writings and gather strength from her motto, "say the unsayable".

Honorable Woman
I am an honorable woman
I live in an authentic way
Honesty suits me well
You can trust that I mean what I say
I am an honorable woman
I know when to walk away
To not take less than I deserve
If it’s not right than I won’t stay
I am an honorable woman
I am loyal to those close to my heart
Love is what gives life its meaning
Even when we are apart
I am an honorable woman
I hold myself in respect
I treat others how I wish to be treated
I never abuse or neglect
I am an honorable woman
I’m accountable for my actions
I’m responsible for my part
Of my personal interactions
I am an honorable woman
I stand up for what I believe
I want to change the world
And I don’t think that is naive
I am an honorable woman
I have faith that things will work out
I believe that God’s on my side
Even when I am in doubt
I am an honorable woman
I work as hard as I can
To maintain the standards I hold
I will not be controlled by a man
I am an honorable woman
I have a powerful voice
I use it without holding back
To proclaim my freedom of choice
I am an honorable woman
My love is both tender and fierce
I will love through pain and desire
I will love through laughter and tears
I am an honorable woman
Who continues to learn and to grow
I am an honorable woman
And should be regarded as so
© Sarah Henderson 2010

Pre-Second Opinion Appointment with Neurosurgeon

I'm feeling rather nervous.  It's been near 18 months now that I've been with a left, numb leg, an absent front, foot push-off, no reflex and living in chronic back pain daily.

I am reaching for strength and hope that my fate will be of a good nature when I meet with another neurosurgeon on October 4, 2012.  I've never in my life had to seek a second opinion.  It feels stressful and coated in a thick paste of the unknown.

My first appointment in August of 2011, with the surgeon that did my first back surgery, a discectomy/laminectomy back in July of 2009, dismissed me in five minutes, stating to me that there was nothing she could do surgically.  Even after I told her I'm dosed with pain medications, attending physiotherapy, massage therapy, and chiropractor; tried ultrasound, shockwave, heat, acupuncture, and yoga; purchased orthotics, a stability belt, ergonomic chair, therapy ball chair, and lumbar chair supports.  As well, I had no sexual function for seven months after my near fall in April of 2011. 

She read the MRI report briefly, examined me briefly, and said it's fibrosis, which is scar tissue; here try neural flossing with your physiotherapist and here's a recommendation to your family doctor to refer you to a pain management specialist for epidural nerve block injections.

Needless-to-say, I was devastated leaving her office in tears.  Where do you go from there when you're in pain everyday?  I disagree entirely that my issue is scar tissue because I was 20 months post-operation and was doing great until the near fall in April 2011.  Scar tissue forms in the first six to 12 weeks following surgery.  I had no issues until I jolted my back that Friday right before Easter long weekend, which put me in bed for seven days.  My CT scan clearly showed a recurrent disc herniation and inflammation.  I had no numbness, tingling, sharp pains in my leg and foot until that jolt.  I was a surgery success story.  I continued on pain meds and the various coping treatments including the neural flossing, which had no fix results whatsoever.
In May of 2012, after far too much sitting in my office chair hunched over the keyboard (computer job-life is going to be the death of me), I just couldn't take the pain anymore.  The inflammation was at its worst.  I felt like I'd been in a car accident and was pushing old-age.  I would come home from the office to put my housecoat on and retreat to my heating pad in my bed when it was only 4:30 pm.  I had nothing left for my family.  I hadn't cooked in nearly nine months.  I had told myself that when the one year mark approached, April 2012, I would either accept this life or do something about it.  Well, at 42 years old, I couldn't bend over and stay like this.  Pain, pain every day!  Not able to work!  Not even able to walk with a proper gait, having gainned near 20 pounds of fat!  No, I am not going to stay like this !  WTF! 

So, as the second opinion day approaches I'm not sure how to prepare.  I will be much more assertive this time around, tearing down whatever roadblocks may breach my goal.  Yes, I know my place.  I'm at the mercy of this surgeon. 

My feelings haven't been all warm and fuzzy about him either.  For starters, my family doctor made the referral in February of 2012, via fax.  Four months went by with no response.  The fax was faxed again in May.  I finally received a phone call from the surgeon's secretary in July.  My appointment was set for September 12, 2012.  I asked her if written correspondence would be sent by mail confirming the appointment.  Snarly, she said, "no, you'll have to write it down."  Obviously, I was writing it down, but it did seem unprofessional that proof of the appointment wouldn't be provided.  I would have liked to provide that to my employer since I was off work due to my back, and it would be helpful to substantiate that I was pursuing trying to get some relief. 

Disappointingly, I was notified on September 8th, that the surgeon was going to be away for two-weeks and my appointment was rescheduled to October 4, 2012.  This was left on my answering machine with no written correspondence.  Thankfully, no one in the household erased or forgot to tell me about this message.  In the least, I was not too happy, but again there's nothing you can do.  You don't want to piss off a surgeon that you've been waiting to see for nine months.  Well, again on Friday, September 28th, I got a phone call notifying me that my appointment was now reschedule from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm, the same day.  My heart sank as I was anticipating another date change!  I was thankful, once again, that it was only the time.  I called the surgeon's office confirming that I would be there.  So, I kind of already don't care for this surgeon or his staff.  People are in pain and waiting for you to make them feel better.  And what's with always notifying people on a Friday?!  I'll talk about this business of 'Friday notifications' in anther post. 

I opted not to try the epidural nerve block injections for several reasons.  Firstly, in my city there is only one pain management clinic and it is run by one anastegeologist, who I have heard from several different and reliable sources to not let him touch me.  Also, from my research, these types of injections are very shortlived for pain relief, if it works for you, and injections into the spine can cause more scar tissue.  I didn't even get an epidural when I was in labour with my son.

I will bring with me all DVD MRI and CT scans, and medical reports to support my reasons for wanting surgery.  Needing.  Needing surgery.  I believe, I have made every effort and exhausted all alternative pain relief resources and methods.

I'm presently, also on a waiting list to work with an occupational therapist, but we have none locally in private practice, so I'm waiting to see one at our local hospital and the waiting list goes by triage.  I've been waiting since July 2012.

Please help me dear second opinion surgeon.  I am not able to work because sitting kills me.  I don't want to live like this.  The pain makes me want to just reach for sleep because when you sleep you feel no pain, same with when you are dead, but I don't want to die.


September 10, 2012

The Day After The Big Tell


A passionate expression of grief.
Mourn (a person's loss or death).
noun.  lamentation - wail - plaint - mourning - moan - elegy
verb.  mourn - wail - moan - bewail - bemoan - weep - deplore

This is how I feel today.  I thought I would feel a sense of 'free', but no, I do not.  If I think this through, which I didn't, I wasn't thinking at all when I blurted out "I was a victim of sexual abuse for five years by my brother!"  "Yes, my first sexual experiences were with my brother through incest!"  I wasn't prepared for my husband's reaction whatsoever.  

Advice to all survivors; no victims-- I really want to say victims because that's the reality; I was a victim, at the time.  I still feel like a victim, but I know I've survived for the most part.  Yes, emotionally I am still terribly bruised and yes, still feel physical affects as well, like headaches, nauseous and fatigue.  Back to my advice, one should contemplate in their mind what the other person's reaction may be, so that you have a plan of how to respond, react and deal with this event of "the big tell". 

We all have a "big tell", no matter the secret; that one person who we just couldn't/can't/won't, would rather die tell.  Whether it is mother, father, clergy, doctor, best friend, partner, spouse, co-worker, therapist, we all have difficulty with one certain person, the most.  For me it took over 20 years to tell my husband, which I just did yesterday during a heated discussion about our relationship or lack of it. 

So, I'm here today, alone at home (sigh), a day I had a list of things I was going to attempt to achieve and I find myself back in bed on my heating pad on the net.  Yes, I got up ambitiously, got dressed, even made a Buttermilk, Blueberry Breakfast Cake (Pintrest!), for my son before he caught the school bus school.  Yeah, for super Mom, retch, I'm so fake, as I waste the day away...guilt, guilt.

Funny, how my mind's closet can have its compass go in all directions during such a major, serious post!  I'm experiencing a type of 'letdown' it seems.  To hold a demon vaulted inside of you for 20 years and finally I expose this "disgusting, shameful, what will he think of me now", confession results in leaving me feeling cheated of relief.  Why?  One for the therapist there. 

Can anyone relate?  Please share with me your experience because I'm so confused.

Yes, I'm now just over one year into my psychotherapy, which obviously has helped me, but I have a ways to go yet.  I cold-turkeyed(sic) my anti-depressants over a month ago now.  I could tell she, my T, was very concerned about that, but I made a choice to 'feel'. 

 I've accepted the day after the big tell and I choose to cleanse my brain today by playing scrabble, which is better than turning to the bottle!  (Which I've never done).

P.S. If you're curious what my husband said to me visit me at


The Keyhole to My Mind's Closet

The Keyhole to My Mind's Closet
Blogging = cleaning = healing.