Monday, January 30, 2012

Childhood Trauma Part 2

         If you don’t allow yourself to get angry at the person or persons to whom you feel are responsible for keeping you safe and free from fear as a child, you cannot put the past behind you and develop properly into adulthood. You will have trouble with relationships and with making and maintaining friendships. You’ll find yourself in a relationship but it will be an unhealthy one. And you’ll probably be in it for years getting sicker and sicker and losing more of your self esteem every day.              

       Be certain to write down ALL your feelings about that time in your life. Another big feeling that lingers on is fear. Many adults who experienced childhood trauma suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. If you don’t what a panic attack is it feels as if your heart is pounding out of your chest, you’re shaking all over, you start to hyperventilate and every little thing seems overwhelming. Sometimes they last for minutes and other times for hours. This is no way to live.

(to be continued)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Childhood Trauma Part 1

        Some, if not most, people have had to deal with some type of trauma while growing up. Whether it is neglect, psychological, physical or sexual abuse, or some children have to deal with the constant worry of sick or handicapped parents. Sometimes children have to learn live with the death of a parent or sibling. This kind of early trauma can last well into adulthood if not dealt with and overcome and can cause serious psychological problems and problems interacting with others.

        Overcoming early trauma is something best left to professionals but what do you do if have no insurance for counseling and psychiatrists?  There are steps you can take on your own and with a trusted friend that will be quite beneficial. These simple steps will be some of the hardest work you’ll ever do for yourself. And even if you see a psychiatrist or counselor, these things will still help you.

        The first thing you can do is buy yourself is buy a small notebook and start writing. Write about every painful thing that happened when you were a child and write how it makes you feel as an adult. Be certain to list your feelings no matter how guilty they make you feel. The number one feeling you will have trouble expressing is the one most important one you need to let out; ANGER. Now you can call it hurt, or can call it disappointment but it all adds up to same basic emotion; being down right mad.

(to be continued)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hate Comment

       It seems I got lectured pretty badly from a regular reader and commenter for having Bruce as a friend. And while it’s true that I talked about meeting up with him, that reality never came to pass and probably never would  have because of one simple fact. I’m in love with Eric, no matter how long it’s been since he’s made love to me. No matter how many times he’s broken my heart like a china tea cup with his affairs and indiscretions. No matter how many times he’s hit me out of anger or laid my soul to waste with his razor sharp tongue. Even if I did make arrangements to meet someone in secrecy and he found out, I’d be homeless. So I’m trapped by more than just love my irate friend. I have lost all control of my life the day I broke my neck and I think part of Eric enjoys having all the control since before my injury I was so out of control with my life style of drug abuse and alcoholism.

       So the next time you go off on tangent and start lecturing a person about their life choices, it might be good idea to have ALL the facts about the people and situations involved before putting somebody down and judging them as if you were the Supreme Court. So here are the facts.

       In seven years, Eric has made love to me exactly five times but cheated on me THAT I KNOW OF six times, two of which were long standing affairs. What he and Nicole did to me could be called criminal and when he flew to Canada to be with Devie, he was gone for nine days. I had nothing to say about it. He did what he wanted and if I wanted to live here I lived with it.

(To be continued)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Friday, January 20, 2012

AADP Part 2

When we were first introduced, I couldn’t understand a word a said and relied upon his attendant JoAnne to interpret everything for me. As it turned out, Don wanted me to speak at the ADA Anniversary rally being held in front of the court house in town square Greensburg, PA. I had never given a public speech and was thrilled at the idea.

            So in July of 2009, on a rainy afternoon my speech notes on my lap under a rain soaked plastic tarp I was given in haste to try and keep me dry, I gave a speech. One that was from the heart not from my unreadable notes. I talked about what the ADA was, why it was enacted and how it was still more relevant today…  how it kept a whole population of us disabled people in the work force and went on to add a personal story:

            While I laid in the hospital bed, with a ventilator deep in my windpipe, half a dozen bags of medicine going into an IV AND an ng tube in my nose feeding me, I awoke to fuzzy, hazy kind of consciousness. I could hear my fiancĂ©e, Eric talking with the surgeons that had just fused my neck. They explained to him why they had to do the surgery and how they tried rather unsuccessfully to put my neck in traction. My vertebrae was too badly damaged and diseased with arthritis to hold together during traction, it just simply crumbled every time they attempted it. So they borrowed a piece of bone from my hip and fused my neck. They told him the injury to my spinal cord was very severe and that I would never walk again, use my own hands or go to bathroom by myself. Since my own family was unable or unwilling to help, the burden would fall squarely on his shoulders. The doctors told Eric there would be no shame on him if he put me in a nursing home. Eric was livid at te idea and told them both he’d rather die than see me in a home. He also told my family what he thought of them. Then he reached in a white bag he had been concealing and pulled out a large red teddy bear. He then placed it gently under my arm and bent down to talk to me. I had only seen Eric cry one time in 11 years, that was when his Gram died, but he was crying now. He told me not worry about a thing, we would start a new life and it would be fine. I was overwhelmed with love, regret, guilt, hope, depression, shock, happiness, sadness and confusion. I knew Eric was giving his life up for me.

            I got a standing ovation for the speech. I suppose I pulled a few heart strings but the adoration was what just self esteem needed. And only two months later Don asked if I wanted to model adaptive clothing for disabled women in a fashion show being put on by the Three Rivers Centers for Independent Living in Pittsburgh, PA. I couldn’t have been more excited! When I came down that catwalk, every eye on me, smiles everywhere and camera flashes going off like Christmas lights I didn’t feel as if I was in a wheelchair. I felt like I was floating down atop a winged creature!

After that night I knew I had to share my story and metamorphosis. So now I write a blog dedicated solely to helping the newly injured regain their sense of self esteem, worth, image and confidence. To let them know that are still beautiful, sexy, athletic, artistic, intelligent, WHOLE individuals the same things they were and more before their injury or illness. That they can achieve ANY dream even if they have to do things a little differently. That they are not just handicapped, they are SUPERSTARS! And they don’t just sit in wheelchair, they ride in a CHARIOT!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

This is what I'm sending the AAPD

            I was driving to the emergency medical clinic still battling a case of pneumonia the Saturday before Easter. It had rained a cold drizzle the night before and washed some of the dead winter leaves into the road making slick spots I was unaware of as drove down the familiar stretch of two lane highway. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with a coughing fit and at that very moment hit one of those slippery patches losing control of my car and going into a terrible tailspin. I couldn’t regain control and the car drove backward up a small embankment and into someone’s yard where the back smashed violently into a relatively small tree. I was throw from the driver’s seat into and up against the back seat head first. As my chin was forced into my chest, my already damaged neck was crushed and my spinal cord was severed. Of course I didn’t know the extent of my injuries at the time, but I did know I paralyzed.

             I laid shivering in cold March air waiting for what seemed liked hours but in reality couldn’t have been longer than a several minutes for help to arrive. I tried to find my coat and found to my horror that I couldn’t move my arms. I was having trouble seeing; everything looked dark and misty. I didn’t know it at time but I had severely injured my left eye and was at this moment quite blind in it. I tried to move my legs. Fear like I had I never known rose in my throat. I couldn’t move anything; I was completely paralyzed. I remember thinking that I must have used up all my chances with God and now He was done with me. I actually felt the ever present, always comforting presence of my guardian angel fleeing from my side. I felt truly alone in the universe and wondered why God would punish me so severely and it was at that moment that my anger toward Him began; why didn’t he just let me die?

            After 4 ½ years of dreading waking up every morning, I finally began to see a light at the end of the tunnel.  The state had provided me with services such as money to pay attendants and caregivers. One of those services is called “peer counseling”. This is when a fellow disabled person is sent to you to take you out in the world and help you acclimate to being in public again, as a person with a disability. My peer counselor was an older man with cerebral palsy.

(to be continued)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Resolution Part 2

         Don’t get suckered into these fad diets that are plastered on every magazine and website you encounter. There are really only a few rules to follow and you will not only lose weight but keep it off indefinitely.

         As I mentioned before DON’T eat sugar. Whether it’s in a delicious dessert or your drink.

         DON’T drink alcohol, it’s just another form of sugar and it poisons your body and lowers your metabolism. Plus you are more likely to overeat if you are drinking.

         Give up soda pop. Yes, including diet, diet pop doesn’t digest in your system it simply ferments, leading to gas and bloating.

         Put down the salt shaker. Most food has enough salt in it already and too much will make you retain excess water weight.

         Exercise, exercise, exercise! What ever you have movement of, MOVE! What is paralyzed use an electric stimulator such as a TENS or NMES machine. The electrical stimulator will not only firm your paralyzed muscles, but will actually help them “remember” what it is they are for.

         DO your nightly meditation exercises nightly. If you don’t remember how to do this, check my previous posts.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Resolution Part 1

         I hope everyone has a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012 and they stick to their New Year’s resolutions until their goals are reached. Mine is to lose this belly this acquired over the holidays. Not an easy task for a quadriplegic who can’t do stomach exercises or go walking for aerobic exercise. But not impossible either. And I will tell you all my secrets to rid yourselves of that dreaded and loathed “quad belly”.

         First and foremost, stop eating the goodies. The time for pies, cookies, cake and ice cream has long since passed and now you too must pass on desert unless it’s a fruit cup or yogurt or protein bar. I realize this takes will power I have to use it myself and it’s not easy. But the rewards greatly outweigh whatever you are giving up. Besides, if start an exercise routine then you can eat a sweet treat once in a while, your bowels will move better and your mind will benefit from the endorphins released while exercising. Another easy way to lose weight is simply drink water instead of pop or other sugary drinks including alcohol. Drink water all day, it will cleanse your body’s organs, flush out toxins and fat, and actually help you get rid of excess water weight.

         Yes, I’m guilty of overindulging during the holidays, but I do these things EVERYDAY. So imagine how much more than 7 or 8 lbs I could have packed on. My only nemesis is Eric, who is constantly buying me treats to eat. I still haven’t figured out why he so wants to sabotage my figure.

(to be continued)