## Tuesday, January 10, 2017

### Pierced by an [poisioned sludge-covered] iron spike

That moment when you realize, "huh. This isn't good. Things have taken a decidedly 'Not Good' turn of events."

That was the moment when I looked down at my left foot and saw the rail road spike pushing up against the underside of the skin on my foot. It had slid between the middle and left metatarsals, avoiding both bones, but decidedly lodged between them. It didn't hurt. Oddly, at the moment it happened, and for an indeterminate time afterwards though probably only nanoseconds,there was almost no sensation whatsoever.

For some time, my Mom had chided me to make sure I wore shoes while wading through the small stream that ran behind our house. It was the runoff from a now, mostly, defunct coal tipple about a half mile upstream. Tipples, the intermediary in the "old-school energy flow" paradigmn, were where the raw coal was washed and graded before being shipped out to consumers to heat their homes. By the this point in early 1980's that I was aware of, not many people used coal to heat their water, any longer, locally.

The stream was strewn with broken glass and bits of rusty iron from others in the neighborhood who had used it, for years, to dispose of household waste. At least the neighborhood had gone to public sanitation so toilets and wastewater/greywater were no longer sluiced into the 'crick'.

No, instead, all the fish and vegetation my Dad and his family had told me once lived in the crick, had long since died. The stones and sand replaced and covered with a burnt umber orange sludge from the sulfur washed off the coal ore, choking the oxygen out and making the water too acidic to host life. The clinical, scientific had term become "Acid Mine Drainage", but the people who lived by it knew it simply as "dead, undrinkable water".

All the trout? Dead. Minnows? Dead. Raptor birds like eagles who lived on the fish? Long gone because their food had disappeared, so off to happier, safer hunting grounds. Not even algae grew in the water, any more. Even insects like mosquitoes and water-jiggers wouldn't hang around the stream.

Just orange sediment sludge covering the bottom of the waterway and anything the water touched.

In retrospect, that's probably what saved me from a massive infection. The sulphur sludge. Bacteria coudln't even thrive in that level of PH shit in Pennsylvania.

In that moment, as I looked at the peaked line from the iron spike piercing my foot, there was a rapid calculation in my head of, "oh shit, this should hurt. A LOT. I wonder why it doesn't? Where's all the blood? Oh, the spike has the puncture sealed. Am I going to get lockjaw from the rust? I'm going to have to pull my foot off this [insert a string of expletives an 8 year old should generally not know or utter] spike. Mom is going to be so angry with me. And the quintessential, 'now what??' This is all a bunch of SUCKTASTICCRAP."

Mom had been adamant about me wearing shoes while mucking about in the crick. ['Crick', in my parlance, having an entirely different desination as a flowing body of water that was larger than an rivulet of water, but smaller than a stream, as far as I was concerned.] Having the logic of a kid, and an extra quarter inch of skin on the bottoms of my feet through a peculiar genetic abberition, I usually went barefoot. I had better traction with the use of my toes. To be fair, that extra layer of cheap rubber from old sneakers probably wouldn't have prevented the spike from going into my foot. It possibly could have even pushed broken bits of fungus infused rubber up into the wound. But I knew she was going to be pissed, regardless. And it's not like we didn't know the spike was there. The old, rotting railroad tie, creosorte eroded long ago, somehow embedded in the stream upside-down with the spike sticking up through some course of events long before my time, had been there as long as I had know. It wasn't a new surprise. I just wasn't paying attention.

So I stood there, looking at the peaked line on the underside of skin on my foot, and made the conscious decision to pull my foot back up and off the hunk of gross, slimy iron. It took more effort that I expected, as the vacuum wanted to keep the spike in its new home. Regardless, I made it out it leave my foot. Then the scarlet blood, mere moments later, swirled downstream in an ever widening ribbon. Then the screaming howl with fat, hot tear, started. Apparently coming from me.

It took my Mom perhaps a minute to run out the door, around the house and get across the water to me. Given that the bridge was on the far side of the property, traversing what was probably a quarter mile, it was rather impressive. To this day, I'm still not sure how she did that feat so quickly.

She scooped me up in her arms, which was no mean feat, given that I was almost as big as her [she was never very tall, standing about 5 foot 2 inches and maybe 110lb sopping wet in heavy fabric], but she gathered me up and brought be all the way back into the house as the friend who had been stomping around in the crick with me patiently explained that, "yes Dory had really stepped on the spike. No it wasn't just a piece of glass that had cut her foot. The edge of the spike had been obvious on the underside of the skin."

Mom wasn't having any of that, though. Instead I got lambasted for having been barefoot, and she insisted it had just been a piece of glass that made a deeper than usual cut. I think, in retrospect, she was more scared of what really happened than I was.

After washing my foot as best she could with soap and public, town water, then cleaning it topically with rubbing alcohol and putting a gauze bandage slathered in Porter's Linament on my foot, we called it good, and I sat on the couch with my foot propped up, with instructions to "Think About What You Did." which mostly consisted of me contemplating why she didn't believe me when I told her it was the spike and not a piece of glass and feeling guilty for freaking her out so badly. My Dad, her husband, had been dead about a year at this point, and things had been very difficult for some time for her even before he passed. Here I was, making a mess of things for her, and she had enough on her plate to deal with as it was.

My friend had told her older sister, an R.N. nurse like my mom, what she had witnessed, and her sister had called my mom to stress the fact that, just maybe, perhaps, she might want to take me to the hospital to be checked and get a tetanus shot. My mom decided that the tetanus shot was probably a good idea, if nothing else. Perhaps it would scare me into wearing shoes while I was tromping around that area.

The local hospital was a State run institution. It had been a teaching institution where she had actually got her Registered Nurse Certificate, long before that profession had been turned over to the bailiwick of Universities to accredit. She still knew many of the nurses, doctors, and other employees working there. Perhaps that was what made the vist so uncomfortable for her.

I have to admit, I don't think I ever saw quite the look of nausea and chagrin on my Mom's face as I did when the long, wooden cotton swap slipped into the wound on my foot to clean the puncture while sitting on the bed in the Emergency Room. My foot, soaking in a basin of iodine, an orangish-red color, similar but with a different, metallic lustre, to the sulphur sludge, with an inch and a half of cotton swab concealed within the mysteries of of bone, gristle, and muscle, had seemed an unlikely candidate to make my mom look so queasy. Given everything else I had viewed me mom contenting with over the previous few years, and the stories she had told, I expected her to have a more, "Huh, didn't expect THAT!" look, and less of a "I may vomit" look. In that moment, I had a smug, yet very unsatisfying feeling of, "I told you the truth." The physical wound hurt far less then the events that had transpired and the emotions I percieved from my Mom. I loathed 8-year-old-me, in that moment, for so many reasons.

I hobbled around for a few weeks afterwards at school in in slipper on that foot to accommodate the bandages, and my butt cheek hurt from the tetanus shot [though only a few days]. It was harder to deal with the recrimination from my schoolmates, teachers, and the reproach  from my mom. I had been stupid and caused anguish and discomfort that outweighed my own, to others.

________________

The peculiar, herditary skin issue [Palmar-Planter Keratoderma] had facilitated a massive fissure at the edge of the ball of my foot for years. It's slowly closed and healed back into a smooth expanse of skin, recently. For the first time in ages, at 42 years old, the two inch scar is visible on the sole of my left foot again. It's real. This all really happened, at one point, in my timeline. Even if, at times, I might wish it was all a story I imagined.

Not sure what to make of that, nor many of the other events that have happend over the past few years, but there it is. Take away from this what you will, Gentle Reader. I'll talk to you again, later.

## Thursday, November 10, 2016

### I miss you, Mom

2016 has been rough. I've started a blog post about my Mom having died at the end of October, then Blogger crashed part way through typing it out and I couldn't bring myself to rewrite it at the time. Ive thought about writing another one at various points over the past week and half, but haven't been able to bring myself to do it at those points, either. Here I am now, Gentle Reader.

This is an email I sent myself on October 31:

Having a hard time, off and on, processing all this. Over the past year, the flood of memories and things that have happened has been.... immense? Astounding? Unreal in the gravity of reality? Not sure how to put everything into words.

Best guess is that mom died sometime around Wednesday 10/26/16, though the county coroner apparently has marked it as Monday night. Regardless, she lay they for some time, alone, since no one found her until Friday. No autopsy was done, and because of the delay, the medical research group was unable to take her body. This makes me feel even sadder.

The events the days before aunt R. and uncle W. called are strange. Both in the thoughts, sensations, and notions I experienced, as well as how those around me were. Not sure how to process that, either. "Talking" with Havoc and holding her paw, eating lunch at the place where mom and would go years ago when it was called "the Mongolian grill" and having looked at the Mongolian beef and having a wistful memory of those times, minutes before getting That Call....

Little things that seem somehow profound.

Called [initials redacted] and was able to talk for a few moments with him yesterday. Felt important, somehow, that I make that call. Not easy, nor happy, but... needed done.

Talked with aunt R for a while this evening. More aspects of Mom's passing stand out. She had been buying and wearing oversized clothes, found with caffeine and diet pills of some sort in her medicine drawer, even though she had been still steadily losing weight. Indications of sleep problems as well. Her reclusivness and aversion to going out, while 'normal' as long as I can remember, had seemed to become more pronounced, as well, over the past years. The mirroring I had been experiencing leaves me wondering and concerned.

Aunt R also mentioned mom had started having memory lapses, and problems functioning with day-to-day tasks, cognative functionality slowly slipping.

At some point, mere days before That Call, Q and I had been talking about something [can't remember what the conversation was centered around, nor what prompted it, at this point], and I remember talking clinically about cellular degradation and critical systems failing. It's disturbingly eerie, now in retrospect.

So many little incidents. So little ways to concretely explain it all. Just, a feeling of... flux. Echos, reverberations, overlapping anomalies? "Follow the bubbles to the surface," but there's no specific surface to find, it feels like at the moment.

Reading an older article from the online version of Discover Magazine (Mom had got a subscription to it for many years, while I was growing up. Had saved the printed issues for a long time, and finally recycled them after lugging them around for a number of moves...) about the LHC earlier today, it made me think about all the various types of particles and their interactions as a peculiar way to describe people's lives and their interactions, over time, as we all move through the vastness of time and space on this ball of dirt and water we call Earth. That and how [paraphrasing Star Trek's term for it] tachyon messaging, moving through some [undefined, exactly] substrate seems more plausible, if not still somewhat ambiguous  [and unsigned/unverifiable, per se].

Idk. Just rambling here, in this text, I guess. Fingers and toes freezing, bit of a headache, and somewhat nauseous. Too much coffee, not enough water and food, perhaps.

-----

Had sent a few messages to old friends about possibly trying, again, to learn a new language, with the possible goal of writing an open source mobile app (or at least for various platforms) to do knitting charts. [Had also thought about the concept of an interpretive algorithm/AI - TYPE extension, for image processing to turn drawings/sketches into charts. Was thinking specifically line drawings for making textures and lace, akin to the idea of mosaic pictures, but with knitting stitches factored into the fabric weave, less so the specific color conversion [of which, there are already many programs for beading, cross-stitch, and fair isle colorwork out there.]] That's far beyond my current capabilities, however. I barely remember shell scripting and Perl, at this juncture.

Thoughts, though, I guess. Creating the Knit Modern Font [only partially finished and documented], and providing [marginal, at best] symbol augmentation to the Source Forge "Sconcho" project is a far cry from this sort of endeavor. *sigh and shrug*

I'm 42. Wtf am I doing? Idk, anymore. ;;

Then on November 6th I emailed this to myself:

well, it would have been Mom's 67th birthday. I spent the day wrestling to get into the laptop she mysteriously [and secretly] bought only a few weeks prior to her passing.

After "hacking" (and I use that term loosely, since it was more of a basic, physical access work-around and nothing fancy), I couldn't find any files locally that she made: no documents, photos, or anything personal, other than a few games she seems to have installed {and what seems to have been scam malware apparently bundled with some of them}. I dont know what I expected to find, honestly, but had vaguely hoped she might have left some indication of her thought process for events over the past few weeks. I have some vague suppositions, and strange notions, but nothing concrete, nor rational {in what I would usually term as "normal"}

Tonight, I reimaged the laptop with a clean install. I cried. I don't know what to do with this laptop, exactly; a gift that came at a depressing price.

I've learned {and relearned a few things I had forgotten} a few things, having had to delve into Windows 10 and DOS command prompts.

my existence feels... different. diminished and augmented at the same time. lyrics still drift through my head occasionally "wreckless thoughts survive"...

At this point, the intermittent "crying so hard I end up physically sick" has mostly subsided. The last I talked to her was August 30th. I ended the call with the usual, "I love you and I'll talk to you later, ok?" but for a multitude of little, lame reasons never did. While we had a tumultuous relationship over the years [what family doesnt, I guess?], she deserved better. Not to die alone, after years of pain. [She had back surgery twice, years ago, that left her with multiple vertebrae fused by titanium hardware. Through a number of falls (where she broke her wrist at one point, and collar bone at another time) the hardware had shifted, screws were pulling out and now a major portion of her lumbar and lower was misaligned (per the X-rays) but the extent of damage couldn't be completly assessed. The request for an MRI was denied and she was told to get physical therapy. Yeah, physical therapy for hardware that was out of alignment. Days after she died, while cleaning out her apartment, aunt R, as executor of her estate, received a letter saying that Mom's case had been reassessed and that she was now approved for the MRI. A horrible joke.] Somehow, I feel like I failed her. Mostly I'm numb, and try to not let the few, meager remnants of who I once saw as an intelligent force of will be reduced to the memory of a tired woman in chronic pain, once an R.N. for the State of Pennsylvania, dying alone. I'm trying to keep remembering her as that feisty lady with a book in one hand, a cup of coffee in the other (or pen), and a quick quip.

My year is ending similar to how it began, and this worries me. I miss you Mom. Love you.

 Undated photo, Lori Ferguson sometime in around 1982-1984

### I miss you, Mom

2016 has been rough. I've started a blog post about my Mom having died at the end of October, then Blogger crashed part way through typing it out and I couldn't bring myself to rewrite it at the time. Ive thought about writing another one at various points over the past week and half, but haven't been able to bring myself to do it at those points, either. Here I am now, Gentle Reader.

This is an email I sent myself on October 31:

Having a hard time, off and on, processing all this. Over the past year, the flood of memories and things that have happened has been.... immense? Astounding? Unreal in the gravity of reality? Not sure how to put everything into words.

Best guess is that mom died sometime around Wednesday 10/26/16, though the county coroner apparently has marked it as Monday night. Regardless, she lay they for some time, alone, since no one found her until Friday. No autopsy was done, and because of the delay, the medical research group was unable to take her body. This makes me feel even sadder.

The events the days before aunt R. and uncle W. called are strange. Both in the thoughts, sensations, and notions I experienced, as well as how those around me were. Not sure how to process that, either. "Talking" with Havoc and holding her paw, eating lunch at the place where mom and would go years ago when it was called "the Mongolian grill" and having looked at the Mongolian beef and having a wistful memory of those times, minutes before getting That Call....

Little things that seem somehow profound.

Called [initials redacted] and was able to talk for a few moments with him yesterday. Felt important, somehow, that I make that call. Not easy, nor happy, but... needed done.

Talked with aunt R for a while this evening. More aspects of Mom's passing stand out. She had been buying and wearing oversized clothes, found with caffeine and diet pills of some sort in her medicine drawer, even though she had been still steadily losing weight. Indications of sleep problems as well. Her reclusivness and aversion to going out, while 'normal' as long as I can remember, had seemed to become more pronounced, as well, over the past years. The mirroring I had been experiencing leaves me wondering and concerned.

Aunt R also mentioned mom had started having memory lapses, and problems functioning with day-to-day tasks, cognative functionality slowly slipping.

At some point, mere days before That Call, Q and I had been talking about something [can't remember what the conversation was centered around, nor what prompted it, at this point], and I remember talking clinically about cellular degradation and critical systems failing. It's disturbingly eerie, now in retrospect.

So many little incidents. So little ways to concretely explain it all. Just, a feeling of... flux. Echos, reverberations, overlapping anomalies? "Follow the bubbles to the surface," but there's no specific surface to find, it feels like at the moment.

Reading an older article from the online version of Discover Magazine (Mom had got a subscription to it for many years, while I was growing up. Had saved the printed issues for a long time, and finally recycled them after lugging them around for a number of moves...) about the LHC earlier today, it made me think about all the various types of particles and their interactions as a peculiar way to describe people's lives and their interactions, over time, as we all move through the vastness of time and space on this ball of dirt and water we call Earth. That and how [paraphrasing Star Trek's term for it] tachyon messaging, moving through some [undefined, exactly] substrate seems more plausible, if not still somewhat ambiguous  [and unsigned/unverifiable, per se].

Idk. Just rambling here, in this text, I guess. Fingers and toes freezing, bit of a headache, and somewhat nauseous. Too much coffee, not enough water and food, perhaps.

-----

Had sent a few messages to old friends about possibly trying, again, to learn a new language, with the possible goal of writing an open source mobile app (or at least for various platforms) to do knitting charts. [Had also thought about the concept of an interpretive algorithm/AI - TYPE extension, for image processing to turn drawings/sketches into charts. Was thinking specifically line drawings for making textures and lace, akin to the idea of mosaic pictures, but with knitting stitches factored into the fabric weave, less so the specific color conversion [of which, there are already many programs for beading, cross-stitch, and fair isle colorwork out there.]] That's far beyond my current capabilities, however. I barely remember shell scripting and Perl, at this juncture.

Thoughts, though, I guess. Creating the Knit Modern Font [only partially finished and documented], and providing [marginal, at best] symbol augmentation to the Source Forge "Sconcho" project is a far cry from this sort of endeavor. *sigh and shrug*

I'm 42. Wtf am I doing? Idk, anymore. ;;

Then on November 6th I emailed this to myself:

well, it would have been Mom's 67th birthday. I spent the day wrestling to get into the laptop she mysteriously [and secretly] bought only a few weeks prior to her passing.

After "hacking" (and I use that term loosely, since it was more of a basic, physical access work-around and nothing fancy), I couldn't find any files locally that she made: no documents, photos, or anything personal, other than a few games she seems to have installed {and what seems to have been scam malware apparently bundled with some of them}. I dont know what I expected to find, honestly, but had vaguely hoped she might have left some indication of her thought process for events over the past few weeks. I have some vague suppositions, and strange notions, but nothing concrete, nor rational {in what I would usually term as "normal"}

Tonight, I reimaged the laptop with a clean install. I cried. I don't know what to do with this laptop, exactly; a gift that came at a depressing price.

I've learned {and relearned a few things I had forgotten} a few things, having had to delve into Windows 10 and DOS command prompts.

my existence feels... different. diminished and augmented at the same time. lyrics still drift through my head occasionally "wreckless thoughts survive"...

At this point, the intermittent "crying so hard I end up physically sick" has mostly subsided. The last I talked to her was August 30th. I ended the call with the usual, "I love you and I'll talk to you later, ok?" but for a multitude of little, lame reasons never did. While we had a tumultuous relationship over the years [what family doesnt, I guess?], she deserved better. Not to die alone, after years of pain. [She had back surgery twice, years ago, that left her with multiple vertebrae fused by titanium hardware. Through a number of falls (where she broke her wrist at one point, and collar bone at another time) the hardware had shifted, screws were pulling out and now a major portion of her lumbar and lower was misaligned (per the X-rays) but the extent of damage couldn't be completly assessed. The request for an MRI was denied and she was told to get physical therapy. Yeah, physical therapy for hardware that was out of alignment. Days after she died, while cleaning out her apartment, aunt R, as executor of her estate, received a letter saying that Mom's case had been reassessed and that she was now approved for the MRI. A horrible joke.] Somehow, I feel like I failed her. Mostly I'm numb, and try to not let the few, meager remnants of who I once saw as an intelligent force of will be reduced to the memory of a tired woman in chronic pain dying alone. I'm trying to keep remembering her as that feisty lady with a book in one hand, a cup of coffee in the other (or pen), and a quick quip.

My year is ending similar to how it began, and this worries me. I miss you Mom. Love you.

 Undated photo, Lori Ferguson sometime in around 1982-1984

## Tuesday, January 19, 2016

### Farewell, old friend

Things just aren't normal anymore (or perhaps any less, maybe I just notice it more these days?). I'm unsure how to proceed. I've applied for some more jobs, but not heard anything back. Strange thoughts and sensations still occur, Fibromyalgia related or otherwise. So many directions at once, and I'm spinning in the whirlwind of nothing and everything at the same time. Perhaps that's just the peculiar nature of existence.

Jackie DeLong died, unexpectedly, earlier this week. Strange thoughts formed about the nature of what precipitated it. I don't know the details, but I have vague suspicions that it shouldn't have happened. An unhappy aberration. She was young! My age. 41. She just lost her husband, her children's father, less than 2 months ago to an equally sudden calamity. He was hit and killed by a car, just before Thanksgiving. Two young teens now orphaned in such a heinous way.

I think back on our interactions, and I wonder how things could have played out differently, better, for her. The notion that, had she never known me, things could have been better for her, perhaps. When she moved away, it was hard to be close friends with anyone new, the way I had with her.

When my mom moved us over the mountain to State College, in 6th grade, Jackie was kind to me, and didn't make fun of me the way kids back in my hometown had. She lived up the road, in Cooper's Pond townhouse with her mom, dad, and younger sister. Somehow, we just seemed to get along, and it was nice. I had my first friend who was my friend both outside of school, as well as in school. Something I hadn't experienced; no one had done that before. Jackie was a genuinely kind person.

We had escapades of all kinds: goofing off in the State Game Lands corn fields behind our neighborhood getting muddy and riding bikes, trying to learn to skateboard (and neither one of us being all that adept at it, though she was better at it than I was), helping me with babysitting a local terror-tot who could make herself vomit on cue when she was upset, boyfriends, hanging out at friends' houses coloring our hair, spending lazy summer days at the PSU Natatorium outside pool and jumping off the platforms, wandering around downtown, finding lost golf balls in the brush along the links that ran through our neighborhood... Just being... normal kids.

I introduced her to people, she introduced me, though some I regret ever getting her mixed-up with, like Matt Reyes. She dated him and he ended up being a complete jerk. When she was in 8th grade, he convinced her to sneak out one night and let him drive her mother's Pontiac. He totaled the car and wasn't even old enough to have a driver's license. I was angry. I was relieved that she was alive and unharmed, but so upset that she had gone out and let Matt take the car. I was also upset that I hadn't been able to protect her, that the whole episode happened at all. It was shortly after that incident that her dad decided to move the family to Florida. I blamed myself. I still do, in many ways.

Even before the family moved away, after the that car incident things weren't quite the same between us. Mostly I felt like I failed her.

My mom managed to somehow scrape up enough money for me to fly (by myself!!) to Tampa the summer between 9th & 10th grade, after she moved to Plant City. Making the connecting flight at Dulles wasn't as hard as I thought, and the Tampa airport was breathtaking in its colors, noises and energy. Two whole weeks in August in Tampa area with Jackie! I remember with surprise Tampa being smaller and not as tall as I expected, as the plane flew over it. Once her family got me back to their house, I remember thinking how strange it all felt. The front door had a gap at the bottom (wtf?! Bugs could just walk in!?) The grasshoppers in her front yard were enormous (the size of small birds) that could barely perch on your finger. It rained like clockwork in the late afternoons; huge, billowing thunderstorms that arrived with torrential down-bursts, then generally petered out just as quickly. Frogs hatched while I was there. The roads in her neighborhood were carpeted in tiny, fully formed frogs the size of a fingernail. It was rather heartbreaking driving because of the swaths of dead frogs car tires left in their wake.

I had anoles, tiny greenish brown lizards, as pets back home. Every so often, I would take them out of their aquarium home, and let them crawl around. They had jumped into Jackie's hair one day. We both screamed and laughed at the unexpected panic of tiny lizards tangled in her hair. Now she had anoles living wild in her new neighborhood. I remember being amazed at the little lizards crawling along fences, just hanging out in the sun.

The time there was short, 2 weeks, and also long, because somehow we did so much, even when it didn't feel like we were doing much of anything. A trip to Busch Gardens and riding on a hanging roller-coaster; Tampa Bay beach (which was more of a narrow strip of sand hugging a shallow, warm expanse of water... I recall wading out for what seemed like a quarter mile, and the bathtub warm water never went past my waist); driving somewhere (Daytona?) with her and her friend, and marveling that the roads were paved with crushed seashells instead of gravel; watching some soap opera; going to a Southern Baptist church with cushions on the pews and women who would jump up and yell "hallelujah" or "amen" during the sermon (that was VERY strange to me!); the enormous palmetto bug (flying cockroach) that literally wouldn't die after being smashed with a book, and then moved the ceramic bowl placed over top of it; hours soaking up sun while swimming in her neighbor's pool...

After that trip, she drifted her way and I drifted mine. We would write each other occasionally and send photos, but our time connecting was mostly just abbreviated snippets of distant pen-pals.

The next time I heard from her was 1992 or 1993; she was to have been getting married, but her fiance left her at the alter so he could be with another guy (of all things). I can remember being torn apart. I wanted to go to her and be there to help and comfort her, but... for some reason, I had excuses. I had no money saved so no way to get there, Jeff was in college and I recall him dismissing the idea or dissuading me from trying to get to her. Maybe I was projecting? I'm not exactly sure why I didn't go, but it made me feel shitty, like I was abandoning her all over again.

Ironically, when shit fell apart between Jeff and me years later, she had somehow found my number and called me out of the blue. I remember talking with her while on the couch at the house on Leawood, Jeff sitting next to me. I was afraid to say much of anything real about what was happening, even though it was bad, and not long afterward, I overdosed to kill myself. I couldn't bring myself to drag her into my drama. She had problems of her own and I didn't want to add mine to hers. Some of it was guilt; I didn't expect her to be there to help me when I hadn't been there to help her. Again, I drifted away somewhere and lost touch with her.

Fast forward a number of years, and we reconnect again, via Facebook, this time. Tiny glimpses of her life through status updates and photos. She was beautiful and vibrant as always. Pangs of wistful voyeurism that her life seemed ok.

June of this past year, I uploaded photos of her that she had left with me all those years ago before she moved to Florida. Baby photos, toddler photos, young elementary school days, long before I knew her, or she even lived in Pennsylvania (her dad had been in the Marines, so they traveled frequently). It was like uploading pieces of her past, her memories, to flow through the Internet and hopefully, just maybe, pieces of happiness could find their way home to her.

Months later, her husband died. Now, shortly after that, she's gone, too.

Be well, old friend. You were always beautiful starstuff, even if I lacked a way to tell you.

## Wednesday, December 02, 2015

### weird dreams and echos of reality

I woke up a very vivid, strange dream this afternoon. I’ve not been sleeping well, at all, again. Like most of my dreams, it was disconcerting. Upon waking, and reading events in the news, it was even more disconcerting...

I've been noticing bits of reality creeping into my dreams, but not in the way I normally expect. I take it as a given that previous events try and sift themselves into meaning after the fact, rearranging themselves into odd, quirky narratives. What's troubling, to me at least, is when the dreams show up in the present or short-term future.

[trying to type on the tablet with the bluetooth keyboard is not as easy as I had hoped, but then again, with my hands giving me fits of numbness and weakness on a daily and nightly basis lately, even writing with pen and paper is somewhat difficult]

------- <begin rough recollection of dream> ------

in the dream, the parts I can remember more clearly, than others, I had gone to my doctor’s office for some reason I’m not clear about now. The odd part was, it was Dr. Jones’ office, who’s been retired for over 10 years now. It was in the same building, laid out roughly the same way with dark wood cupboards and windows facing south (though the actual dimensions were skewed, larger and organized somewhat differently, but not egregiously so). He had looked me over and finished talking with me about whatever it was that had brought me there. It seemed uneventful, over all, and I don’t recall any “To Do” actions as follow-ups.

Upon leaving the examination room, I realized I had misplaced my keys (Apartment and mailbox, with the “The Walking Dead” video game ear fob). In the outer area, where I was checking out, the staff were having a ‘working’  Holiday Party of some sort, mingling, with food, and Xmas decorations like tinsel and lights, little gifts. It was cheerful and everyone seemed to be in good, high spirits. One woman, sitting at her desk showed me a set of keys when I asked if anyone had found some, produced a set that almost looked like mine, but the keys were the wrong shape and the fob was a long, thin rectangle that had some logo I didn’t recognize. So instead, I went back to the examination room to check there.

There were a few nurses in the room, which now seemed even larger, one I recognised as Katie (stage manager from NTG, oddly enough!) but either she didn’t recognize me, or was occupied with other things and didn’t notice me, perhaps? As they went about doing their work, I found my keys on the floor, under the edge of some cupboards. After picking them up, I realized there was another woman now in the room with me, younger than me,perhaps 25 with a short pageboy haircut in a dark mahogany brown color, and a large, faded pastel cotton drawstring backpack bag there as well. The bag wasn’t her’s, from what she indicated, and when I looked in it, there was a pile of crumpled, small denomination bills, something like a change purse which might have had the owner’s ID, and (again, with large dimensions out of proportion to the actual outside size) a number (6-8?) of soft, quilted fabric books that one might make for toddlers learning to read. I think I recall them being something along the lines of Winnie the Pooh (and/or Dr. Suess?) stories. They were mostly done, though some of them had seams that still needed finished so I could still see the quilt batting inside them. I got the sense they were meant as a gift for someone.

For whatever reason, instead of turning the bag over to the employees at the front area, I left with the woman I didn’t know, and took the bag with me. The money hadn’t attracted me, and I recall thinking I would try to locate the owner, myself. Why on earth I did that, I don’t know. It certainly would have made more sense to turn the bag over to the staff, since they would have a better way to identify the owner and return it. Why I left with the strange woman, I have even less of a reason to explain.

I ended up in an old, faded crimson Ford pickup truck, an older (late 40s, early 50s) thin guy driving, somehow I was in the middle, and the young woman by the passenger side door. While my home was an easy drive down the highway from the doctor’s office, he didn’t take that route. Instead, we were on backroads that looked like they were in old, reclaimed stripmining areas, with low scrub bushes, a few isolated copses of trees scattered around, and brackish, swampy areas in the low lying gullys along the roads. It was late fall, and cold and overcast, but not actually raining or snowing.

When I realized they were going to the other side of town, and I was even farther away from my place than had I walked directly from the doctor’s office, I told him to stop at the upcoming intersection with an actual STOP sign, so I could get out. Instead, he drove right through the intersection, never even slowing down. She never said anything. After making a left turn and driving another mile or so, I again demanded he stop and let me out. He did so, begrudgingly. I grabbed the mystery purse/bag and got out as quickly as I could, all the while feeling seething anger radiating from him and her seeming upset and scared. I also had the strangest sensation that I was expected to go with them, wherever they were going and to (possibly?) assume the identity indicated by the contents of the bag I had found and taken. My demands to stop and leave them had caused a problem with whatever unspoken (and unknown to me) plan was in place.

While I wasn’t sure exactly where I was, I knew roughly the direction to get home. The largest obstacles were the vast distance to get there before night while walking, and I wasn’t 100% sure the roads we had turned down; I only knew the “as the crow flies” direction based on vague landmarks and the brightness of the sky. I was essentially lost, since this area wasn’t really known to me.

I started walking back down the slight hill we had last turned onto, until I came to the intersection, perhaps a quarter mile back. There was a decrepit, rusty road sign with only one road marked, the other having fallen off, or perhaps removed long ago. All it said, in faded paint, was “War”. A short, rusted iron building, perhaps once a garage or mining storage building stood on the corner, barely safe to be in. On the uphill side, I saw what might have been an even older road sign that had both roads marked. This one said “Irish War” with a shamrock and the other road was marked something that I think began with the letter “M” [but at this point, I’m not sure if I couldn’t make out the other word, or if I’ve forgotten what it was, now that I’m awake. I have the impression I might have almost figured out what it said in the dream to tell the taxi dispatch, but perhaps couldn’t quite be sure because of how faded and worn the paint was].

Regardless, I decided since I still had some cellphone reception, I was going to call for a taxi. I still had a little cash of my own, and if absolutely necessary, I would borrow from the bag I had found at the doctor’s office (though I was loath to do so and hoped it wouldn’t be needed). Standing in the building, and scanning around at all the rusted equipment, I realized I wasn’t able to get a signal with all the metal interfering, let alone being out in the middle of nowhere with poor signal strength to begin with. Before I could step outside to try the call again, however, three men showed up in the building.

They were older, like the driver of the pick-up truck had been. They were also thinner, wiry and, grizzled in dark or dirty work clothes. Life and time had not been completely kind to them. While I was wary, I wasn’t exactly afraid. Somehow, one of them managed to get ahold of my Birkenstock sandals, so I was now barefoot in this tetanus-waiting-to-happen hovel. I went from wary to pissed off. When he wouldn’t give me my shoes back, I recall trying to wrestle them away from him, not actively trying to harm him, more of using Aikido-like momentum altering moves to bring him down to the ground. It wasn’t all that successful, on my part. I remember feeling resigned to the situation, thinking, “fuck it. I’m just leaving without shoes. This isn’t worth the hassle, anymore.”

Before I could get my shoes back, let alone call a cab, get home, or find the owner of the bag, I awoke from the dream.

------- <end rough recollection of dream> ------

The shitty part of all this, aside from the bizarre uncertainty of the dream upon waking, was discovering there had been another shooting. This time at a San Bernardino facility where a holiday event was being held. By what the news is currently reporting as 3 assailants outfitted in tactical gear. Taking into account the differnce from EST and PST, I was having this dream while the events were unfolding....

WTF?

## Wednesday, July 15, 2015

### Another jaw infection

I had a tooth filled a few months ago. It was rather bad; the tooth had literally split and was missing a chunk. It was sore, but mostly ok, as far as I knew. Two Mondays ago, it had become really sore, so I went back and asked to have it checked. An x-ray didn't show any signs of infection, so we assumed it was just really sensitive because of how deep the cavity had been, putting it close to the nerve. Sensitive toothpaste,  some careful brushing, and it should have been ok.
Yesterday, it went from from "still sore" to "OMFG, this is agony to touch my face!" and the swelling started. Apparently, it's a full-blown infection, after all. A trip to the ER, some antibiotics and mild pain killers, and here's hoping no sepsis this time.
While outside with Havoc this evening, I noticed there was wood sorrel growing all around the sidewalk. I used to love nibbling it as a kid. It's tart, and tangy, and for some reason I always liked it. On a whim, I plucked a few leaves and nibbled it tonight. It still tasted tart and tasty. What struck me as astounding, is when I looked it up in my Peterson Guide for medicinal plants, it turns out it was historically used to treat mouth sores.
Sometimes,  life is strange.

## Thursday, July 02, 2015

### Long time no type...

The guys were playing Destiny the other night, and while watching, I pulled out the old black ink and nibbed pen and scribbled on the back of some mail for Rykujin. In my odd idiom, towards the end, I ended up semi-freeform scribbling ideas in quicker snippets. A rough transcript of the bulk of the text follows:

___begin___

It's weird to think about items in my life behaving weirdly. People, they are expected off-site [in my experience], even other animals, & some times even concepts, such as corporations & causes, & even financial, information, or energy flows.

What seemed to be a major game - changer was, for me, various forms of electronics.

Music manipulated both both electricity & sound waves. [Thoughts of Ham Radios, Resistors dangling from a name Tag from working @ the Help Desk,]

But items? They move on their own, sometimes [(Molari; Delenn > universe making itself manifest)]

A number of items have literally disappeared on me, that really had no reason to dissappear. A cherished drawing of a goofy looking punk a friend drew for me in Junior High, Quarter folded on note book paper, and extremely perplexing was a very old music box in the shape of a grand piano, golden w/ white enameled & A porcelain Top /a dark Tabby cat on it.

## Sunday, April 19, 2015

### Walking a fish

Mostly, 2014 was a wild rollercoaster of downs and ups. Overall, I'm not sure hitting 40 had any major significance other than making me feel old on forms.

Things definitely feel different than they did at the beginning of last year. For now I'm going to go with "better than before". That's not to say my life doesn't feel a wee bit askew a lot of the time, because it does, but for the moment, I'm working on it.

## Friday, January 24, 2014

### This should be construed as a REM statement between blog.O and blog.N

Well, here we are again, Gentle Reader. Doing that tango of random squiggles across the page that signify us communicating. A great deal has happened since we last did this dance.Well, a great deal, a bad deal or two, and probably an almost incalculable number of boring, indifferent deals, but that's not that real point. Or maybe it is, but that's not what I'm going to type about at the moment, regardless.

The good deal can probably best be summed up as cleaning has been happening. For good or bad, I've been losing weight. At this point, I've lost about 80# in the past 6 months or so. I guess it's a good thing I've managed to start cleaning the apartment and have started taking stock of the fabrics I have on hand. I need to make new clothes. *ugh* I'm dealing with some teeth issues and a head full of snot, but the weight being off has helped with the Fibro symptoms. The public anxiety thing comes and goes too, but I'm trying to keep it in check. It's not always easy, so I'm still hiding, a lot of the time. Rykujin is not living here anymore, and we're not dating/seeing each other/partners/etc, anymore either. That's a recent development, however.

As much of a "No Brainer" this may seem to the average person, it took me 8 years to get rid of a bed that had been broken years before. I had some really amazeballs friends get me a new bed as a surprise.

I'm somewhere between excited and terrified on this whole thing.

This year, 2014, is going to be different. I don't know what it's going to hold, but I'll try to be better about bringing you along with me, this time.

## Friday, September 14, 2012

### Butterflys and silk...

►WARNING◄
This entry may be triggery- it touches on self-harm and suicide.

*tenative step out into the light, looks left then right*

Ok. So secret telling time: I'm an introverted BPD and because of that, I take everything out on myself, regardless of origin of the emotion (if anyone ever gets bored, I can give you all the DSM Axis info because I'm also anal retentive and also mildly OCD, especially about medical things. Thanks Mom.).

Sometimes I do really, REALLY stupid things to myself to take out overwhelming frustration at my inability to process emotions correctly/normally/like-an-adult/for-fear-of-displeasing-others. Some are very destructive (pulling hair out, smashing a brush with metal bristles into my scalp leaving tiny bleeding holes, and the quintessentially indicative cutting) while some are less so. My tattoo on my hand is a prime example,. At the time in 2005, my life was spiraling out of control. I had seriously attempted suicide the week before, but had been released from the hospital and was now back home in the exact same environment that lead up to my hospitalization. I felt powerless to change ANYTHING for various reasons (some genuinely out of my control, some mental blocks I couldn't tear down).

While I had been in the hospital, there was a young woman there on 3 South with me. I can't remember what it was anymore, but she had some sort of little tattoo somewhere on her hand or wrist. When I asked about it, she said she had used a needle wrapped in cotton and I think ball-point ink?

Shortly there after, I gathered up a couple 15º beading needles that had broken eyes and were no longer useful in their original capacity, a spool of white cotton quilting thread, and a jar of high-quality India ink. I figured with a very fine needle instead of some sort of miniature prison shank and good black ink instead of blue ballpoint ink, I should be able to create a tattoo for myself that looked somewhat decent. Over the next 2± weeks, I systematically dipped and poked the needle over and over, letting the lines and dots create themselves, mixing blood and ink to give me the tattoo I now have.

While the tattoo was born out of internal anguish that was allowed to be converted into physical form at a time in my life that was bleak and oppressive, it doesn't weigh me down. I see it as a testament of what I was able to do: create personal beauty out of pain.

_________________________________________

The BPD behavior started long before that period, however. I started dying my hair (usually auburn/plum/black) as far back as 14 (1988 - though the cutting started then as well) and perpetually cutting my hair weird styles. One summer, My friends Jackie, Justin, and Jessie (and sometimes Ian) all teased me because almost every week or every other week, my hair would be cut differently (obviously it got shorter and shorter as the summer progressed. I went from "mid '80s feathered girl mullet and ended up with some sort of stacked asymmetrical Mod hair cut. It was, however, the summer no one was allowed to cut my bangs. =) I also developed a habit of 'dressing up' (makeup, clothes I would normally not wear, "doing my hair", the whole 9 yards. Jackie was the only one whom I really allowed to see me like that, and even then it was only a couple times). I might take some photos (pre-digital =), but mostly I would do it, look at myself for a few moments, and then promptly take it all off. I did it almost exclusively when my mom was at work or asleep (she worked nights and I had to be super quiet during the day). Once I moved in with Demented in college, I would do it when he was at work and I was by myself. Always by myself.

I got HORRIBLY embarrassed when someone would peek in and see me (mom got up to go to the loo, etc). A lot of times, if I could hear someone coming, I would jump in the shower and turn the water on, cold be damned, simply so that I could hide the fact I had on "crazy, out of character" makeup.

Historically, I've had little problem getting up in front of people and teaching something I'm comfortable with. Computery things, certain crafty things, not a problem. I'll talk your ear off as long as I have a bottle of water to drink. I get horrible, paralyzing stage fright if I have to pretend anything (dear Bob, my therapist makes me do it sometimes and it's AGONIZING to me. Talking to different aspects of myself. UGH!) As a teen growing up, I always wanted to be the DM when playing Dungeons and Dragons or any RPG games because I could be mostly clinical in my delivery; at most it's like reading something aloud that's already in front of you. Easy! However, put me on the spot and *DEER IN HEADLIGHTS*.

So, I did the makeup thing last night. Quentin caught me. eepOMGOMGOMG! I was ready to scrub it all off in shame and he commented that he liked it and thought I should leave it. That's when it started to click.

This weird 'transformation things' seems to be the ONE coping technique I developed on my own over the years that is non-destructive (well mostly. My hair may get the brunt of the aggressiveness =). It sounds weird, but in that moment where I have turned everything inward and the darkness roils across my brain, it's sorta soothing to stop the wave of mental destruction and take the time to apply the makeup, or bleach my hair: focus on some sort of change that's easily within my ability to perform. And it's probably the one thing "silly/selfish/time-wasting/pointless/outrageous thing" that I do just for me. It looks cool to me and that's all that matters in that moment. It's like that itch you get when you know it's time to rearrange the living room furniture. (then again the constant rearranging of furniture could just be something my mom and I did... A couple times a year, things got moved around.) It's as if I need that transformation to snap me out of whatever emotional gridlock it is that I'm experiencing at that point. "HEY! I'm the one who has the power to change me. SEE!?"

So, here I am. Playing with makeup, being all girly, doing the whole 'pretend' thing after all. Irony. I haz it.

I'm gonna go eat, spin some silk, and then probably poke around on the web looking at other people's makeup and how-to's...

Hugs and love to you all.

## Thursday, June 28, 2012

### Has it really been that long since I posted?!

In fact, it has been that long...

A lot has gone on since September:
•  I started school, was doing stellar and then once again had to withdraw for medical reasons at the end of October
• Said medical reasons being an MRI shows the disk in my back at L5/S1 is now completely herniated and shifted in such a way that my left leg goes numb if I stand for more than a minute, and after about 10 minutes of walking. There was also the sheer exhaustion when I got home from school. That made life fun, too. Not.
• Ended up abysmally depressed about the whole thing. As in "debating the meaning of existance" depressed
• Pretty much isolated myself from everyone and just about everything, including missing about a month of therapy around my birthday
• Started going to therapy again in April, which has helped immensely, as well as getting switched to Safris since I could no longer afford Abilify
• Got a Jury Summons for the beginning of June (Through the blessing of computer entropy, I didn't have to deal with the Sandusky trial though!!) and am currently seated as a juror for a civil malpractice trial at the end of July
• After resigning myself to the fact it just wasn't in the card for this year, found out that because of the extraordinary generosity of Vlad, Pennsic will be happening for not only me, but Rykujin as well!!
• Dog-sat Shasta for a while while KlrWombat was in Florida
• And today I started the process to apply to volunteer at the local hospital
I think that pretty much sums up the past (HOLY SHIT!!!) 10 months.Things have started to turn around for me mentally the past month or so.

I have been knitting like mad. For a number of months (January through May) I knit at least one lace shawl a month, as well as sundry other small projects (socks, baby sweater, adult sweater with simple cables). I've managed to finally learn Estonian Cast On, & Kitchner stitch so I could knit the Estonian Flamingo Lace Wrap and was able to master fairly complex cables in lace for the Worcester Shawl. I need to block both of those, but when I do, I'll update the photos section with them. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, surprisingly. It's something positive to come from the darkness.

Knitting was something that kept me from completely caving in on myself, honestly. As long as there was something on the needles, I had a reason to wake up and get out of bed. I had something I had to finish, even if I didn't necessarily have a person in mind as an intended recipient...

Today, I signed up for the Ravellenics (what WAS called the Ravelympics until the USOC got their panties in a bunch >.< ) Team Bok Bok Motherfucker (TRUST ME!! You WANT to click on this link and read where the name comes from =) My intent is to knit another lace shawl as well as spin a plastic grocery bag of merino roving I dyed with Kool-Aid (Lime and Blue Raspberry...) during the two weeks of 27 July-12 Aug 2012 (yeah, during Pennsic!)  Mass cast on coincides with start of Opening Ceremonies in London: 7:30pm (BST). What's going to be a challenge is the spinning because I don't think I'm going to be able to take my wheel, meaning I'm going to be spinning on a drop spindle. *gulp*

Anyways, that's where I am. I'm hoping to be more regular in my updates, again. Thanks for reading, and *huge hugs and love*

## Thursday, September 08, 2011

Well, it's officially 30 years today my father died.

I remember I was playing with my friend Shawn Brown. He lived up the hill from me. I would cut through the Truhan's yard and trudge up the hill to play with him. We would feed the turkeys his family kept or sometimes we would play with his older brother's acoustic guitar.

I don't remember what we were doing, I just remember his mom telling me my mom had called and I had to go home.

Somehow I knew something was seriously wrong.

I got home and my mom was sitting on the plaid couch sideways with her back against the arm of the sofa with her back to the open door. It had been warm enough to warrant just the screen door. I could hear her crying as I peeked around the door. At that moment, I knew for certain my father was dead.

All I remember was thinking I wanted her to stop crying, stop being sad. I hugged her and started crying even before the words came out of her mouth.

The last memory of my father is him being wheeled out of the house on a stretcher two weeks prior. My Grandma, his mother with her arm around me, told me everything would be alright. I would see him again.

My mom didn't have a car so his parents would get her and take her to the hospital to see him. However, they never let my mom take me. It would be 'too traumatic' for my young mind.

I never got to see him again. I never got to say 'I love you," or "Good Bye."

It was a slow suicide by alcohol. I had watched him take seizures on the kitchen floor, laying there with my mom trying to hold his head in her hands so if he jerked the wrong way, he wouldn't split his scalp on the edge of the bottom cupboards or the table and chair legs. I have so few memories of him, but the ones I do have are emblazoned into my brain. They're not all good, they're not all bad.

He was a human. I can't imagine how much pain he had to be in, mentally, to choose the bottle over his family.

It's thirty years ago today and I'm sitting here crying like I just lost him again.

## Friday, August 26, 2011

### PSHEW! Day 1 done!

Well, day one of class is done. It went pretty well. Got my student ID photo taken, got my parking permit (#0420. hah) and got my class schedule.

Thankfully, my "Intro to Microsoft Windows 7" class is only 6 weeks instead of 12. *hangs head* I'm going to have to try REALLY hard to stay awake in class. After helping run a PDC for CSE

(granted, it's been a number of years ago at this point) I think learning how to minimize and maximize windows is going to drive me batty. "Click this button to empty your Recycling Bin."

ARGH!!!

Easy A, Easy A, Easy A... I'll just keep repeating that and I should be fine.

The other classes include 2, 3 hour studios and a couple 2 hour studios. I really like the humor my two art instructors exhibit. It's still a feeling-out process with the other students, but the teachers seem to be awesome! I really hope I can grow a professional portfolio that does everyone proud.
----------------------------------
I finished Cephalogal's shawl yesterday on her birthday. The down side is I've not been able to block it. I have a certain little kitty cat that keeps interfering. Some photos of my handiwork. I'm actually really proud. I think it's the most EPIC thing I've ever knit. I am jonesing to start another one, but I have Choperena's belated birthday present to finish first. *does happy dance*

OK. I'm off to go knit and dream in Prismacolor pastels thanks to Nanonukie

**HUGS to you all**

## Saturday, August 20, 2011

### Changes and observations

Hi Everybody! (Said in Dr. Nick's voice =)

Thursday was interesting. I went to Third Thursday Spinners with Choperena (it was her birthday!! =) out at The Knitter's Underground. I didn't do much knitting, but I did do a lot of talking and listening to Anne Grout. She's the woman who makes beautiful drop spindles that Molly sells. She's so kind, generous and KNOWLEDGEABLE about so much! We were talking about Fibromyalgia and then we ended up on a long discussion of Hypermobility Syndrome as well as Ehlers–Danlos syndrome (EDS). SO MUCH MADE MORE SENSE in the context of my health problems. For example, symptoms I posses:
• Never broke bones, but have shredded my ACL in my left knee, dislocated and popped my ankle back in to place (one day when I was 'skating' on a freshly waxed floor in Willard Building while wearing wool socks), I can remember being on crutches in 5th grade, having sprained something quite badly
• Have Bursitis in multiple joints including both shoulders and possibly my hips
• Even as over weight and out of shape as I am, I can still bend over and put my palms face down on the floor
• I have a documented 15° hyperextension to both knees
• I can sit on the floor with my legs stretched out and still put my feet flat on the floor at the same time
• Certain ways I sit on office chairs, I can actively cause my hips to rotate out of the socket and "catch" when I try to stand up. This is quite painful when I stand, so I have to be conscious of how I sit.
• One doctor told me I exhibited lumbar lordosis that appeared to have been congenital
• Raynaud's fits as well as having been told by phlebotomists that I seem to have more 'gates' in my blood vessels than normal. I'm a difficult 'stick'.
• I have a special power with my fingers... Observe:
I can, essentially, lock my finger tips and cause my fingers to bend backwards slightly. My mother can do this as well. It was great fun to do that to me as a child whereby I would commence screaming because it freaked me out something fierce.

Of course, once I discovered I could do it too, I could go around freaking other people out. The only problem is the longer I hold that position with my fingers (all 8 fingers can do this, only my thumbs are exempt, but that's partially because of the CTR surgery) the more they become locked, to the point I have to forcefully unlock them. They will try to return to that state for a few seconds afterwards. It's not painful at all, just annoying. The important thing is that I can do it at all. Compare my photo to the one from Wiki on the topic of hypermobility... All this time I just thought it was just my family that were freaks!

So, having established that I'm quite Hyper-mobile, I go on to do more research about EDS. Interestingly enough, I was on to something back in the beginning and spring of '04 when I was physically my most broken. I had done some research on Ehlers–Danlos syndrome even then. At that time I even tried to talk to Demented about it, but... well... the conversations never went well... I still have the print-outs from the medical abstracts and informational sites about the condition. *shakes head* even at my most mentally borked I was sussing out this medical jargon...

After educating myself more, I postulate that I experience Type 3. However I have strong suspicion that my Pap Carson [mother's father](died from massive burst aneurisms) and Uncle Jay [mother's baby brother] (died at 21 from end stage Lupus complications; organ failure) had Type 4 because of the vascular involvement in the nature of their deaths. What I find most interesting and more frightening is this is also appearing to following the PPK line of inherited chromosomes.

EDS could potentially be the root of my fibro! What I do with this information is beyond me at the moment. I'm still trying to digest it all.
___________________________________________________________________

So, after that brief medical treatise, I move on to my family life. I found this hiding on my laptop and thought, "you know what? just post it." It's me thinking through my life as a child relative to my parents... I wrote it back in February of this year:

I think Dad's death broke me so badly that emotionally I sort of died too. The concept of death had hit home the previous year when Uncle Jay died from lupus complications. I understood that people go away and we don't get to see them again sometimes. but then Dad died and it was a whole other thing now. I was told that Dad and Uncle Jay were up in heaven drinking beer and fishing

Mom was seen as the authoritarian figure in my life growing up, possibly because 1) after Dad died, she had to be the only one to discipline me and 2) she worked in a prison. Working in that prison as the Night Nurse for so many years began to take it's toll, negative energy and the bad side of people, she became even more misanthropic, if I think about it. She was usually withdrawn into her self. very "even keeled" in front of me, occasionally angry, sometimes sad, and rarely genuinely happy. That's what I saw life was expected to be, you should be rock steady 99.9% of the time. Wavering for traumatic events is acceptable, however, but only for a very short period. The practical adage "Life goes on." is sorta the mantra of my mom's side of the family.

That has lead me to have formal relationships with people, but not know how to get close to them. Physically, there was always a huge personal space issue and and in mentally, I didn't know how to connect with someone. I had already disassociated earlier in order to deal with the Dr Jeckle/Mr Hyde father.

I lacked the mother who was involved in my life, other than reading together or shopping… there wasn't that 'softer' side that some people have, where they take a detailed accounting of everything that has gone on during their day, TALKING on the phone (now email, chats- people are still connecting but the medium by which they do it has changed. Skype, iChat, etc.) and discussing details and gossip of the day. She wasn't active \in/ my life, we did that for a few minutes only, the rest of the time, I was in my room puttering around and she was out in the living room with a book or her diary and the TV set to channel 4 which is our local information station that plays a local radio station over the TV. Remember, this is the 80's and early 90's so it was kinda high tech…

That's not to say she didn't praise me when I did well. She did. I remember a painting I made in 92/93 on the back board of a HUGE mirror I had. I took the mirror out of the frame, and on the thick pressboard back, I finger painted. a dark background with brighter colors tipped with white all swirled. I have to admit. I'm kinda proud of that. I remember making it and Mom went kinda crazy about it. We bought white spray paint and painted the frame glossy white. Once everything was dry, she took it and hung it on the wall. I remember feeling for the first time that my mom REALLY understood and appreciated me and what I do.

Just thinking now about that statement, that she understood me for the first time. It makes me realize that a child's independence must be a hard thing for parents to deal with. Knowing that this child you are interacting with is learning all the time what to do and how to be, till at some point, after having mimicked the behavior, adopts that behavior as acceptable and amalgamates it into their personality. It's hard to know exactly when they understand the nature of things like love, and morality.

I never learned how to deal with anger or confrontation because I learned at a young age it's irrational and you get hut when someone is angry. So to this day, I generally cower when someone gets angry. I don't know what to do about it because my brain goes into flight mode almost automatically. Even when my neighbors are fighting (yelling loudly at each other about something) I feel the need to curl up in a ball and cry. It's really fucked up.

When MY anger comes out, I feel like I turn into the Incredible Hulk. I feel like Billy Bad-Ass. I can take on anything and beat it. Unfortunately, somehow my anger turned in on itself and feeds on my heart. My anger and need for destruction, pain, anarchy, all the thug-like tendencies attack my self confidence. My image of myself is distorted through shattered and crazed glass smeared with burning napalm.

I have no voice. I am like a peacock, I display my plumage and expect that to explain who I am. The clothes I choose to wear any given day, what I eat, what I listen to, with the things I pick to surround myself, even what I do. It all speaks volumes about who I am.

As always, it's stream-of-thought so it's a tad disjointed, but even that says something about how my mind works.
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Finally, I'm busily working on Cephalogal's shawl. I declare it the most monumental thing I have ever knit. I must say, I have a tiny bit of smugness that I've been able to do it. =) It's got literally 5 more rows left then The Cast-Off of Doom. A little over 600 stitches to be cast-off. It's EPIC!! and I'm completely psyched up about it.

## Tuesday, August 16, 2011

### Comedy, zombies, knitting and school

I've been on an Eddie Izzard kick as of late. I'm so jealous at how fabulous the man looks. The orange crushed velvet jacket with the black leather pants has got to be my favorite outfit of his (1996's "Definite Article") I'm just now watching his latest show from Madison Square Garden. I've also been watching Bill Bailey. That's a man who has more musical talent than almost anyone else I know. And speaking of Bill Bailey, that makes me think of Hot Fuzz (Nobody tells me NUTHIN!) which leads to me Shaun of the Dead. Shaun of the Dead leads me to "The Walking Dead" which I got to watch while I was puppysitting for KlrWombat. Good good good tv show! Well, if you like zombie things, it's good. I'm currently waiting for World War Z to come out. Yay JMS! I can't think of anything that man has touched that I don't consider golden.

Anyhow, I've been knitting like mad. I'm so close to being done with Cephalogal's shawl! It's only taken 500+ yards more yarn than the pattern called for. I'm trying to figure out what I did wrong that it's taking so much more yarn. I never swatch (digs toe in the dirt and whistles innocently) so that could be part of the problem. I probably should have gone down a needle size. The shawl is going to be monstrous when it's finally blocked. I've made a pair of fingerless mitts to help with my Reynaud's, and I'm tearing apart a shawl that I made for myself (but never wore) because it's a wool silk blend in a gorgeous dark pine green. I'm knitting it up into another pair of fingerless mitts, but making the pattern up as I go along, taking stitches from other projects and ideas from other patterns to build my own. I'm probably going to post it on Ravelry when I'm done.

School is looming on the horizon, zooming towards me at mach 9. I'm not sure what all supplies I need yet for the artsy classes (I have an email in to the instructors, but I sent it late, so no reply yet), but I have my books ordered and they should be here by Friday. 3 books come out to $240! eek! Thankfully South Hills has a voucher system whereby if you're expecting a financial aid refund they extend you 'credit' up to a certain amount (mine was$800) that applies to MBS Direct text book vendor.

So, not much else going on. I missed Pennsic this year. I have to admit, I feel a twinge of jealousy over the people who did get to go, but mostly deep, profound sadness. I didn't realize it would hurt as much as it did by not going. I think it's because Camp is literally my Family for a week or two. I'm going to do my best to be able to go next year!

I have a new therapist, Matt. It's the first guy I've had as a therapist since I was 7. It's a little weird, and yet it's a little easier to talk to him. It's going to sound really weird, but I think I can identify better with guys on some level than I can women (Woman Therapist = Position of Authority = Mom in some weird way) It's something I need to explore a little more, but I've noticed I've been able to talk about subjects with him that I never was able to bring up with any of my other therapists. Anyhow...

more later, maybe I'll have something more interesting than the fact I've run out of bird seed to report. =)