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The endeavor to walk in the world : Colors.

The endeavor to walk in the world : Colors.

They say when things get tough, that’s when you see people’s true colors.

In each of my trials, I’ve been shown the “true colors” of my friends.  I’m lucky to have so many good friends.  I appreciate all the calls, messages, shows of support, and offers to hang out now that I’m stateside again.  And, I truly appreciate my online friends as much as my in-person friends. 

Blog of many colors

Right now I’m coming to grips with how this atrocity even happened.  I was handling all that Mother Nature was dishing out; no electricity, no running water, violent storms, horrendous heat, Typhoid Fever, with a fair amount of grace I think.  And then without warning, at the end of my weakest state, John Goosen went on an unprovoked ape-shit rampage and decided to fling me around like a rag doll to make me listen to his drunken rant.

Some days are good.  Some days are bad.  That’s normal.  I write more on my good days, but lately it’s writing about my bad days.  That’s also normal.

I value being able to read through other blogs to see the uplifting and helpful information out there.  Feeling like there is a community of people who understand the process I am going through is so wonderful.  Sometimes it can be difficult for my in-person friends to understand.

And then there is always the hope that through this blog someone else can be helped as I work through everything and keep living the day to day as well.  Life goes on and this is how I’m trying to learn as I go.

All the Colors change

Once something traumatic has happened, you see the world differently.  I see the world differently.  Not better or worse, just different.  Things that were once important aren’t any more.  Things that weren’t important suddenly are.  Everything is colored a little differently.

Different or not, I’m still trying to walk through this world. I’m still trying to learn from this and become a better person for it.  I still see the beauty in the sunrises and sunsets.  I love listening to the birds in the morning and the coyotes in the evenings.  I enjoy conversations, cold beers, painting, reading, laughing.

But behind it all I’m trying to find my voice, give voice to those who don’t have it, and blaze a trail for change.

I pick at and piece through the trash pile that is the ways abusers work.  It is alarming how often I pick up a piece of that trash and think, “Oh, that looks familiar, that must be mine.”  Only to turn it over and see an Abuser’s name on it. It’s a bit disheartening to see how pervasive the blaming/ shaming way we treat victims is. 

For example, we all have heard “there’s a way victim’s walk, or hold their head, or (….) that clues abusers in that they are a good target”.

First,

and I want to scream this at the top of my lungs,

NO ONE SHOULD EVER. BE. A. TARGET. 

It doesn’t flipping matter if PersonX walks around with a real sign that says, “I let people abuse me”, PersonX should not get abused.  PersonX should not be a target.  PersonX should feel and be safe.  End of story.  Even if the sign has shiny flashy lights with arrows.

No one should be a target.

Think about that for a minute.  If PersonX has poor self-esteem, (and that shows through their posture), there are people out there who are compelled to hurt PersonX because of it.  Abusers look for people who already feel inferior, then Abusers humiliate them, isolate them, manipulate their emotions, make them feel crazy, makes others think they’re crazy. 

And instead of denouncing the Abuser, instead of stopping the Abuser from finding and hurting others, the general population looks at PersonX and says, “hold your head up more, walk straighter so abusers won’t target you”.  Everything gets shifted over to PersonX.

Why are people so afraid of Abusers that they can’t stand up to them?  I stood alone in trying to get people to see see John Goosen as an abuser.  The other people in Mozambique were so afraid to stand up to him.  He needed to work. He needed his space.  It wasn’t good what he did, but he’s sorry.  He needs medication.

Not a single person, other than myself, looked at him and called him out.  Not one person actually stood up to him, except me.     

It has been enlightening to say the least, to realize every single person I’ve discussed abusive situations with has given ways to change PersonX.

Ex:   “I’d try to get them alone to tell them I could help them if they leave the abuser.”

“Abuser has a (…) problem.  PersonX needs to be more understanding.  I mean get away, but then they need to worry about themselves, not Abuser.  Good riddance, they can deal with themselves”

“If you just tell them to leave, they say ‘it’s only one time’, or ‘Abuser loves me’.  You have to give them little examples how to leave without really saying they need to.”

“I don’t understand why PersonX would go back after that.  PersonX needs to get their head examined.”

Not a single person suggested that the Abuser needs to change. 

The Abuser straight up thought, “Hey PersonX looks (insert adjective of choice ie, lonely, sad, etc.).  If I make them a little less (adjective) they’ll take any shit I dish out.”  “If you feel bad, I want to make you feel worse.”  “And I’m going to make you and everyone else think it’s your fault.”

And everybody else thinks, “PersonX should’ve made themselves look less like a victim.”

This is what abusers do.  They work the whole scenario from the beginning.  From the initial lure to the end, everything and everyone in their environment is part of the set up to get off scott-free.

Our True Colors

I think we are so entrenched, as a general population, in generations upon generations of dysfunctional families, war torn memories, secrets, and lies that we don’t even know how to see the first red flags anymore.  Abusers have done such a trick on the mainstream psyche that when we finally see the red flags, we all point fingers at the victims.

But how can we stop the abuse from happening if we start at the end?

What do you think? 

As you’ve heard/ read my and other stories, how many times have you asked the ‘questions of change’ to the victim rather than the abuser? 

How can we change that scenario?  How can we really stop abuse if we don’t change it?

 

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12 Ways to Move From Powerless to Powerful

As I read this I realized that I am trying to do the things that good leaders do while feeling completely powerless…..   So I’m going to really work harder on numbers 3 and 4 especially.

 

And realize that those things the weak people are doing are not in my control.  It’s a good read from one of my favorite bloggers and something I really needed to read this morning.

 

Thanks Dan for yet another great post.

12 Ways to Move From Powerless to Powerful.

 

^^^  Yeah click there to read it  ^^^ up there  ^^^

 

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Taiwan Winters and I have not made friends yet.

I have spent the majority of this winter sick.  Yes, full blown, stupid sick.  I had back to back to back colds.  I’ve lost my voice three times now.  I’ve had 2 rounds of ear infections, now three.  I’m pretty sure the natural shape of my nose has been permanently altered with all the sniffling I’ve had to deal with.

What have I learned?  I’m still trying to figure that out really…..

Last week started out with a migraine (graciously, the first in 5 months!) that a quick trip to the ER and a shot took care of fairly quickly, thank goodness!!

This week I was able to truly embody the saying that “If you’re going to do something, do it well!”  So I got sick really well.  I was starting to feel it Monday, but by Tuesday morning my ears felt like they were being forcibly widened and elongated by use of no less than 8 sets of chopsticks shoved into each ear.  My throat had been stuffed with golf ball sized bags of glass shards and my lungs had been given the once, or twice, over with a blow torch.

I couldn’t yawn, swallow, breathe, eat, swallow, think, breathe, yawn or think without pain.  Once I went to get out of bed to get dressed, I realized that even my skin hurt.  Seriously, my skin felt every slight movement of air, and sent pain signals shooting through me.  Pressure, therefore, clothing hurt, but no clothing hurt just as much.  My joints hurt.

I stood for a second, barely haven gotten dressed, thinking about how I was going to get to the doctor……

And then it happened.

Yup.  The worst thing that could possibly happen at that exact moment.

The overwhelming need to vomit could not be held down.  I expected to see blood. I was sure that my insides had just been ripped and shredded and sent back through the glass shards and between the chopsticks.

There wasn’t any blood, but I wasn’t waiting for anything else to show up before I got to a doctor.  Thankfully, that one time was the only time I wretched through all this.  Somehow the rest of my body sent the message to my stomach to shut the frack up this time.

I went to school, I calmly explained, and asked my head teacher to please write it all down in Chinese for me and then walked to the hospital.

Where I was told, “You have an acute double ear infection, and acute double tonsillitis, bronchitis, and influenza”.

Well.  There it is.  If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it well!!

The doctor explained that they were sending off a surgery consult for my tonsils and that I needed to go through all the little hoops to get my out-patient medicine along with my shots.

Off I went.

Back I came and the nurse administered two shots.  One for pain, one anti-biotic.  If you have ever been anywhere near me and needles when we are in the same skin……. well you know that having to get three shots in 6 days does not make me a happy girl.

The surgeon came in and who knows what was really said, but my some-what English speaking doctor told me to go home, but to go see the ENT guy next door to keep an eye on it.

He did not keep an eye on it.  He kept a suction tube stuffed relentlessly, painfully, and remorselessly in my tonsils.  I do not like him.

As a sat gripping the chairs’ arms like a recently found, long lost lover, that was leaving again; while a long 3cm wide metal device was shoved down the back of my throat in order to keep my’gag reflex’ down (which it did not btw), and a suction tube was repeatedly inserted into my tonsils, I couldn’t help but think, ‘If the devices they can concoct here for making people feel better are like this…I’m not sure I ever want to find out the kind of devices they can concoct for torture.’  No squirming moved him, no gagging stopped him.  Hmph.

He and his little side chuckle while he tells me, “Don’t work so hard, haha”.  Asshole.

But slowly, ever so slowly, I am recovering.  Thanks more in part to those lovely WESTERN things called anti-biotics.  Today, Friday, my throat merely feels as though I went to a UNM game with a close score and it’s within the final count to the end of the game.  Raw, sore, and overwhelmed.   I can deal with this.

Only 8 more days until vacation.  Please, please, please, pretty please, with every favorite condiment on top please, keep me healthy the rest of winter!!! Please.

I do not want to be hospitalized here…..

One lady in the ER just holding a bird that was pooping all over her IV, nbd.

One lady in the ER just holding a bird that was pooping all over her IV, nbd.

 

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It took 2 months to notice it, 6 months to understand it and 10 months to finally do it.

When I first moved here, I was enamored, confused, astonished, and shell shocked. I didn’t really notice all the people sleeping ANYWHERE and EVERYWHERE.

Then one day almost 2 months in, I began to see it, and wow….. Taiwanese people can and will sleep anywhere, anytime, on anything. Their post work “down time” is spent at night markets, family dinners that last for hours, and general socializing into the wee hours of the night/ morning. Then they start all over again at work. Nap time is actually built into their work and school time.

Because it’s necessary.

Building laborers eat lunch, grab a brick, lay down, and are snoring on their brick pillow in 3.6 minutes or less. Teachers are out as cold as their students. Office employees lay their heads on their desk like it’s the comfiest bed around. Couples hold hands and lay their heads on the fast food table between them. Children, toddlers, are standing up, on scooters, with no helmets, with their little unprotected heads resting on their hands, which are gently placed on the dashboard of the vehicle weaving in and out of traffic.

naptime

Now, I not only get it; I do it too. The most looked-forward-to part of my day is nap time. I bring a little towel to fold under my head, and pass the frack out at 12:50 every weekday possible. It’s some of the best sleep I get, given my ridiculous insomnia.

The first time I slept in public was when Cori and David were still here. We’d gone to the night market and got back to the hostel late. We were up early to catch some sun time at the beach before heading out to our next destination and Cori wanted a Mango Shaved Ice.

I couldn’t stay awake. Right there in the middle of the shop, I found an empty table, laid my head down, and was fast asleep before Cori finished her order. I slept the whole time it took for it to be made, eaten, and cleaned up.

Sleep is significantly important….. I need more of it.

 
 

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Grateful for the healing process

Grateful for the healing process

I LOVE being able to do so many more things now.  It’s been a long time coming.

I got up a little later than I had hoped this morning, but I still got to check off a morning salutation from the to-do list.

https://i0.wp.com/25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_llci10rt6o1qih6j1o1_500.jpg

It feels SO good to be able to do yoga again!   Man I missed it.  It’s been a week of yoga now.   I was terrified to try it again because so many poses, most of them, torques my neck, requires me to support my weight on my arms, or hold my head at various not-good-for-my-neck positions.

My recent round of photos is what gave me the courage to try again.

After doing a side-plank for about 20 seconds and lying on my side for a couple poses,

I fully expected to have a real situation start.  I was willing to deal with it, but wasn’t necessarily looking forward to it.   It didn’t start.  My neck tightened up and I could feel the pulsing behind my eye.  I took half an imitrex and it all went away.   I was amazed, so the next day I tried a DVD that has some really modified movements on it.  I could do most of it!

I have to be careful, there are certain positions I still can’t do.  I am just so glad to be able to get back into a routine that I have sorely missed.   I know I have a long way to go – but it’s closer than it’s ever been.

I was talking with my friend Sheri about the difference between how I handled my mindset on movement right after the fall and how I handle it now.  In some ways I baby the whole affair more now that I’m finally healing than I did when I was first injured.

Why?  Because now I have full understanding of how much pain I will be in and for how long.   We all fall or bang something up.  It hurts.  Sometimes it hurts for a few hours, sometimes a few days.  Occasionally it hurts for a week or so…..   Our minds know that and so we carry on with the pain knowing it will go away soon.

This pain, the pain I experience all day every day, doesn’t go away soon.  It’s been three years.  THREE YEARS.  Before, on my good days I would try to push myself – “You’re not going to get better if you just lay here and hurt.”  Right?    But I would sill hurt ….  I couldn’t work myself enough to get sore, just enough to get a migraine, or twist the stupid muscle that healed wrong, or pinch a nerve, or bulge the disk more…

However, I think in the long run I have healed more completely because I pushed through the pain.  I sometimes worry that the healing process is taking longer because I kept pushing myself but no- I don’t really believe that.  I think I would be in far worse shape than I am now if I had just lain down like everyone said to.

On the other side of that coin, I definitely push too far sometimes.  And THAT is how I became the weenie I am now.

Well, ok more of a weenie than want to be and way more than I used to be, but not a total L7 weenie.

I learned my lesson well that I do not put my body weight on my arms.  Period.  That causes week long migraines that I want no part of.   Don’t lie sideways, that puts my head into angles that my neck cannot support causing week long migraines.  Don’t put my left arm higher than shoulder height.  That makes all the muscles in my shoulder and neck go into uncontrollable spasms that cause week long migraines.  You get the picture.

I’m glad I gave up the spinal injections, though they were necessary at the beginning.  They stopped the spasms enough that I could get through the first rounds of physical therapy.  I’ve written before about how much I LOVE MY ACUPUNCTURIST.  (http://www.healingpointnm.com/)  Without her I would not be where I am today.  She is skillful and easily put and kept me at ease even though I was (am still) afraid of needles.  I am also truly grateful to my Primary Care Doctor for going beyond the norm and giving me the freedom to try this path.  I’ll say it again, I LOVE MY ACUPUNCTURIST.   And I had a WONDERFUL physical therapist as well.  Love her.

I really love healing.

I cannot even explain how grateful I am to have learned Belly Dance way back when.  It is the only thing I’ve been able to do to stay in any kind of shape.   I can still say I have decent muscle tone in most of my body.   And through Belly Dance I’ve been able to slowly work through shoulder and neck issues to the point that I did a modified version of Downward Facing Dog today!  It feels SO good to be able to say that!

Healing – it makes for more and more good days!

Is there anything that you have found that has helped you heal from an injury?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 18/06/2012 in art, dancing, health and healing

 

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