Latest frigid update

Last night I realized I cannot delay any longer. I contacted a local HVAC company. I got a response immediately via email. From the guy’s iphone. He asked me where my location was. He said I should call a certain number in the morning and I have done so.

The customer service person got all my info. Now I know customer service very well of course. He did a decent job but that’s beside the point. He got my landlord’s contact info and said that they would be contacting the LL for permission to do this work.

Meanwhile, I’ve just gotten an email from the LL. They tell me they’ve just picked up my communication from TWO DAYS AGO. They say, “What is this about? We see no pending work orders for you.” Really?

Do I see a very bad case of ass and elbow disconnect here? Why is it that this seems so over-the-top that I can’t help but turn this one into one big joke?

I wrote back and reminded them of all the communications I have sent. In writing through their website. That they themselves responded to. They literally forgot about little ole me.  Hmmm…. have I totally disappeared?

Maybe I should disappear and then, get to ride the bus for free. I could walk out of Walmart with tons of stuff and there would be no one to nail for shoplifting. “But officer, that stuff just walked right out of here and we don’t know how it happened!” I could make a decent living being invisible, couldn’t I? It would be a guarantee I would never have to worry about the nuthouse ever again.

Do  you think invisible people need heat? Or can we get by in the cold okay? What would Puzzle say if I disappeared? I think she would care more if her food disappeared. Then again, she makes her food disappear all the time!

Never mind the other disappearing acts she’s been pulling lately. Little sneak. Now you see it. Now you don’t. The latest sneak act made her very sick (she should have cooked it instead of eating it uncooked!) and now I am cleaning up the remains of her guilty remorse.  Yes it does smell of doggie throw-up in here (if you have a decent olfactory sense) but I have done my best given the chilling circumstances.

So now I just got another email from the LL. And a call from them. They have hired someone else to do the job.

Does this seem so surreal, so unbelievable that maybe I am dreaming this? Will the heat actually work this very afternoon? Will this all be over in a flash? In the wink of an eye? Presto, change-o?

Do we wish that racism, antisemitism, ageism, and every single -ism out there just plain disappear including psych labeling? Do we wish that the principles of eugenics, the idea that some are naturally superior to others be wiped off the map in a flash? Can we hope for this? Can we dream again?

Are we close to it? Will we see such a thing, ever? Are all these isms tied in together, all these bigoted ideas that some are just plain better than others, can they all be eradicated at once, instantly? Or do we have to hammer at them slowly, force them to crumble down, bit by bit, law by law, one locked door at a time, till all the walls come tumbling down?

The body and the person: An eating disorders narrative

We humans love to personify non-human entities in our environment in our quest to control our destinies. For instance, we have a history of naming the cars we own. Have you ever named your car? I can recall a couple that my family owned: Angie and Fifi. Both were foreign-made cars. I find these names not only amusing, but revealing of the nature of our family. After all, we didn’t name them “Slugger” or “Killer.”

You can imagine my mom or dad, on a cold morning (such as right now), going out to start Fifi and finding that the engine was stubbornly refusing to start. “C’mon, Fifi!” my dad might have said. “I can’t let the carpool down today!”

Was Fifi truly being temperamental? Was Fifi “acting out” as a child would do? Was Fifi feeling rebellious like a teenager, or angry or jealous of the other car in the family? Was it sibling rivalry? Penis envy?

Can machines have feelings? Do they? Can they think? We humans assign thoughts and feelings to inanimate machines knowing that machines do not have thoughts and feelings. We talk to machines knowing that they can’t even hear us, as if talking to them might influence them to do what we want them to do. Does this work? Or are we just doing this in jest?

Let me alter this a bit. What about bodies? Uh oh. This makes us think for sec, doesn’t it? Okay, okay, you might argue. Bodies aren’t machines. Bodies aren’t man-made. However, can a body think? Can a body feel emotions? Can a body speak?

We’re getting in a gray area here, a very scary one indeed. A fine line that I’d like to tread for a bit even though it’ll likely be an uncomfortable one.

We need to get to the point of asking, “Am I separate from my body?” Yes I know this very well may be stepping on some religious toes here. I’m going to try to step very lightly so kindly bear with me.

Let’s say you have a stomach ache. Does this mean your stomach is talking to you and you need to listen to it?

I can go back to around 2011 and envision myself in therapy right now. I can envision psychodrama. I remember it well and I wish I did not. I know now exactly why psychodrama, engineered by a control freak abusive therapist named Maria nearly killed me.

Had I walked into therapy telling Maria that I had a stomach ache, she would have insisted that I then speak to my stomach out loud in role-playing right there in her office. She would have had me place my stomach, metaphorically, in a chair, represented by a stuffed animal, which she sometimes called a “stuffie,” and then, insisted that I talk to the stuffed animal, then, get up and trade places with the animal so that I and this child’s toy could have a running dialogue back and forth. Her goal was to push me and push me until I burst into some tearful admission of guilt or shame. This was supposed to be curative. Often, though, I’d leave her office with the fleeting impulse to jump in front of the subway.

No matter the outcome, it was as if my stomach was a separate entity from Me. She insisted that my stomach had thoughts and feelings, and that my own thoughts and feelings were separate from my stomach’s thoughts and feelings. Because I was seen as disordered, diseased, and disabled person, surely, then, my own desires were contrary to the upright and true desires of my body. Maria pushed me to start a World War within myself. That’s what anorexia is. I can assure you that a therapy-induced inner World War is extremely unpleasant.

Thus, as the therapy continued, the division between myself and my own body, in my mind, grew wider. In her insistence that I “listen to my body,” I lost touch due to her “therapy.” I numbed out. Maria took over totally. She was now in charge of my body. I separated further and further from it. This made starving myself and losing even more weight extremely easy. And I did.

Somewhere in my writings from that time (which I shared with Maria) I told her I felt that I was walking into the ocean. I was continuing to walk forward until I got to a certain point and then, it was suddenly so deep that the water was too high and over my head. Instead of turning back to safety, though, I was lured deeper and deeper into the water. It felt compelling and inviting to me and I was now past the point of no return.

I didn’t know what else to do. She continued to jerk me around and my life felt like a roller-coaster. Therapy, directly or indirectly, almost killed me.

Shouldn’t eating disorder recovery, if it’s even called that, involve taking our bodies back? For some, this may mean taking our bodies back from controlling or abusive parents or other situations where we feel trapped or cornered. For others such as myself it meant taking my body back from controlling mental health professionals.

For me, it’s been so important to realize the subtle difference when I speak of my body. I know I sometimes might say that my body is speaking to me if I have some kind of ache or pain. But is my body really speaking to me? I see things differently now. I own this ache or pain and I take responsibility for it. I choose whether to wait it out (often the better choice) or to take action. I try to do the right thing. What’s important is that I am the one making these decisions, and ultimately, I own those decisions, too.

Stopping therapy was the best favor I ever did for myself. I can’t say it’ll work for anyone else but if you are experiencing ED and decades of therapy have not helped, you might consider what I am saying. Maybe my story rings true for you.

Taking my life back, in a nutshell, sums up how I got over three decades of suffering from an eating disorder. I’m immensely proud that when I say “got over,” I really, really mean it.

Do you agree with early detection of eating disorders in schools?

Apparently there’s some legislation being proposed called the Live Well Act. Some of it sounds like something I would support, such as taking the emphasis off of weight, per se, and placing more emphasis on how to live in a healthy manner at any size and any shape, that is, how to live in a healthy way with the body you are blessed with. I think this is a good idea, don’t you? The whole concept runs contrary to bullying. Bullies pinpoint certain children for being too fat, too thin, too dark-skinned, too light-skinned, too short, too tall, too pimply, not athletic enough,  awkward, glasses-wearing, wrong hair color, too curly, too straight, wrong clothes, wrong color socks, and so on. This new twist on education would tell children that it is important to live the best we can with what we have, but also let kids know that bodies change, evolve, and grow over time.

Sounds nice, right?

Somewhere in this act, the text of which I am trying to access, I smell something very bad, but since I cannot access the actual text of this act, I refuse to jump on the bandwagon just yet. I suspect forced treatment is snuck into it. Forced treatment in the form of “early detection in the school  system.” All those folks over at NEDA likely think this is imperative. Do you?

I am worried about early detection. Why? A lot of people have come to me stating that they or someone near and dear to them were pinpointed at a young age, generally under the age of 20, as having ED when they did not have ED. This occurred for various reasons, that is, there was not one single cause of the complete misinterpretation of what was going on.

The schools were not solely responsible for this. Imagine, though, the consequences of being misdiagnosed with an ED.

A few people I know or have heard of were thin and were misdiagnosed with anorexia. What happened then? The consequences can be dire, especially when the DFC gets involved (Department of Families and Children). A misdiagnosis of bulimia can lead to unnecessary bathroom monitoring, which is extremely traumatizing for some people. If either of these diagnoses ends up being stuck on record long-term then the person has to deal with the ripple effect that hampers her social life for the next few decades.

As you can see the misdiagnosis, which is really overdiagnosis or overreaction or shall we say knee-jerk idiocy on the part of these eager-to-diagnose clinicians, can cause very serious harm to the patients who are affected by this.

What about those who do have ED but they are diagnosed with the wrong ED? That’s what happened to me. I was told I had bulimia back in 1981. I never did! What I had was not easy to diagnose because from what I hear until maybe recently it was not diagnosed too often. I don’t know if there is even a single word for what I had. Anorexia plus binge eating? I know there’s such a thing as binge-purge anorexia but I did not purge. I have certainly met other people who suffered from something just the same as I did and they, too, struggled to get clinicians to believe that this phenomena was even possible, but it is. Interestingly, the few that I met also found therapy unhelpful and had gone for years being told by clinicians that they were “faking it.” Surely, being told this is terribly unhelpful!

I did not have any ED while I was in public school and in fact, back then there was certainly no “early detection” of anything like supposed “mental illness.” I didn’t know what MI was. We did keep an  eye out for each other and if we suspected anyone might be taking LSD we’d try to help that person. We might worry if the person was smoking pot or drinking a lot. I did not drink or do any drugs when I was in public school. I had not heard of ED either. None of us had.

Schools have changed, likely for the worse. Kids are terrified, ready on a moment’s notice to turn each other in for the least infraction or sign of any mental deviance. They are being groomed as junior mental health cops, scared that their school will be the next to have a shooting. They think that sending their classmates to “treatment” is the answer to violence, but the opposite is the case. They don’t realize the each time a child gets put on SSRI drugs that child’s chances of becoming a school shooter increases!

SSRI drugs are used in eating disorders. They are used for anorexia and bulimia both. Why? Because in anorexia, poor nutrition can cause depression, so the unfortunate patient can end up on drugs. Or for whatever reason the person’s depressed appearance may be addressed chemically without even looking at the root cause (as in, bodily deficiency in Prozac, which I suppose is very common malnutrition ever since Prozac came on the market).

In bulimia, early research showed that the drug Imipramine was promising as a cure for binge eating (or, rather, to manage it). At some point, the results started to look less promising. I wonder if this coincided with Imipramine’s going off-patent, but I am only speculating here. When Prozac came on the market they started dabbling in using the SSRI drugs to stop binge eating with mixed results. Topamax was also used later on and then discarded. Interestingly, Topamax is also off-patent. Now, suddenly, Vyvanse is approved for binge eating, coinciding with BED showing up in the DSM-5, which, by the way, is not a coincidence. What is going to happen when Vyvanse goes off-patent? Will the drug then be shown to be ineffective and then, be replaced by a shiny new drug, a revived, repackaged version of some old drug that went off the market decades ago and is now patented by another pharmaceutical company as the new miracle pill? Can I really predict the future? Naw, just guessing here.

Know what I think? This all kinda looks like Russian Roulette to me. Try this, try that. Okay, when I was 25 I should have stopped binge eating by pointing a gun at myself and pulling the trigger. It would have been extremely effective.

I don’t binge anymore. I don’t think about it anymore. Such old stuff is not on my mind the way it used to be. Going to the grocery store is no longer the terrifying experience it used to be. Now the main thing is that when I push the grocery cart through the produce section I have to be sure to put on my mittens because I think they keep it around 55 degrees in that part of the market. I love schmoozing with the other seniors who also bring gloves, hats and scarves to the supermarket. I also love that I’m  not the only one to read labels for sodium content. Sometimes I help out other seniors who are having trouble reading the labels. Today I was in the vitamin section struggling to read a label, but right near there was a rack of reading glasses. I took a pair off the rack, pretending to be keenly interested in possibly purchasing the glasses. I put them on, glanced in the mirror to look totally convincing (was that overkill?), and then, used the glasses to read the contents of the vitamin supplement I was looking at. Lo and behold, now I could read all the chemicals contained in the vitamins!

Do you think early detection is a good idea? Yes I realize that early detection might help a few, but look at how it might also harm some people, too, and sadly, change the overall tone of the school setting. I am going to try to see if early detection is contained within this Live Well Act. Be on the lookout for it, please, and if you can find the wording of the actual act-to-be, kindly send a link my way.

Tienchi Soup (it’s instant!)

I have made some Tienchi soup! It is instant! Try it! This is not recommended for people who have heavy or painful menstrual periods because it could increase blood clotting (which would make cramping worse and also could possibly increase blood flow amount) but it will help with anemia for sure. Please be cautious with any herbal remedies if you are pregnant or nursing.

I used the following:

About 20 oz boiling water, poured over….

A packet of lemon juice crystals

About a half tsp tienchi powder

About 1/4 tsp Mrs Dash regular flavor

Small shake of garlic powder

A few drops of toasted sesame oil (please not that cheap “sesame oil blend!”)

Now just drink the stuff.

Thankful for……

I am ever so thankful that I still have passion in my life. I am thankful that I am not such a sheeple that I can still stand up for my rights. I am thankful that I do not take NO for an answer. I am thankful that because I am not a sheeple I have plenty to say. I never run out of words to write, which is why I never get Writer’s Block. Never.

I am grateful for my sense of humor and the fact that not having heat in the house has now generated five or six original blog entries. Whoopie! What would I do if I did not have this amazing gift? Sit and twiddle my thumbs and feel sorry for myself? What do you think I do when I don’t get calls coming in while I am working? Nothing? I don’t waste my life, folks!

I don’t waste my bad luck, either. I take advantage of it and write stories about it. I write jokes and try to see the humorous side of life. Is that gratitude enough? I am grateful that I don’t shove it other people’s faces. I don’t push “oh you have to be thankful” on other people. I figure if someone else wants to cry over the shitty situation they’re in, they have that right to do so. They can make that choice if they want to. They can sing, dance, whatever. If they want to dance in the nude in the snow they can enjoy the frostbite later on. If they want to jump in the lake, go ahead. People do! I don’t want to be criticized for choosing not to dance naked in the snow.   Hey! Do I want to be sent to the nuthouse? Besides, folks, it’s COLD out there!

Happy thanksgiving!


Okay, gratefulness-touters, take this!

I have no heat in the house. I want to ask any gratefulness-touter if they have ever been through something like this, and for how long. A day? For me, it’s been since April. No, I did not have A/C in the summer, either. I am not that spoiled.

Guess what I am grateful for? The brief hot flash I just had. Off came the hat. I got to toss aside the gloves I am wearing while working. I took my coat off, too, and even my sweatshirt-jacket. Off. I am wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I bet you men are jealous of me now. Wow, those women have it made, don’t they? Sure they do. The guys freeze and women get hot flashes and get to stay warm…for a split second.

happy thanksgiving.

What are YOU thankful for?

I am so grateful that I don’t have any thankfulness-pushers around in my life these days. Aren’t you? I can’t stand the gratitude-attitude shove-it-in-your-face touters who walk around with their noses in the air claiming that everyone suffers equally. I do not for one minute believe this is true. They’ll tell you they went through a divorce ten years ago and how that month was “such hell”…and you are there on the bridge holding a sign asking people who are driving by for a few coins please hoping the job you applied for says “yes” finally because it is getting cold out. No, people do not suffer equally. No, the person on the bridge didn’t “do it to himself” and is not a sinner. He simply ran out of luck. Was dealt a bad hand. That is all. Get real.

No, the guy on the bridge isn’t lacking in gratitude. He is cold. I am cold. I spend most of my time these days thinking about how to stay warm. That is how I spend my time and energy. A lot of my 60 years of winters have been like this. Immense fight to stay warm. Even now that I am employed and can afford a decent place. Fighting to stay warm.

Now I have written a letter to the city here explaining my situation. I am calling them first to ask if I should bring the letter or if I can mail it. Might contact the attorney I contacted the other day.

Yes I am grateful that I am not homeless and very grateful to be employed but as for the gratefulness-touters, why don’t they spend their energy helping people stay warm, get jobs, get themselves out of homelessness, instead of wasting energy claiming people should be grateful for their unlucky lot in life? Do you get my point? They are wasting their high-fallutin’ energy. Why not do something useful?

Huge news out of Dartmouth College

SEVEN women came forward, six grads and one undergrad, accusing three tenured professors of sexually assaulting them in the form of “hot tub” parties and even groping them out in the open. They were raped and then threatened and told their careers depended on their continuing cooperation. They were forced to “groom” other female students also.

Do you see the parallels? Yes and no, right? Note that if any of them went to the cops, I bet the cops did nothing at all!

The yes and no: Likely, sexual assault is not the norm for Dartmouth College. While it is likely tolerated far too often, unlike what these trustees claim, it is against Dartmouth policies. Are these policies actually enforced?

The parallel: Abuse is not in the written policy for inpatient psych units. While it is against policy and against the law, when it occurs and when a patient or two comes forward, patients’ claims are ignored. Hospital admins claim that the patients were not abused, or claim that the policies were followed or that the records, which have been fudged, claim nothing went wrong. Going to the cops is generally a joke. You get a free ride right back to the place where you were abused.

If I am guessing right, these students felt terrified. Trapped. Cornered. Rape is a crime. Don’t you go to prison for that? Are these profs going to be tried in a court of law, or are they each going to pick up jobs teaching abroad? Hey, Australia, China, New Zealand, be on the lookout for……