Domestic Violence

Last week I spent about three hours with a client that finally shared with me that her partner assaulted her the night before our session.

She gave all kinds of reasons why he did it; she did something wrong, he said he was sorry, she didn’t want people to talk about her, she didn’t want him to get in trouble, she didn’t want her family to beat him up, she’s not the kind of person to call the police, and she can take care of herself.

It’s so difficult for someone in an abusive relationship to speak up! They blame themselves or think they deserve to be treated the way they are.

My neighbor’s daughter was murdered by her ex boyfriend. It’s so tragic and terrible.

A little more than a year ago, I worried my daughter’s life was in danger from her husband; when she told me (finally) what was going on-I (with help from others) packed her up and moved her out of harms way in a few hours.

The time that women (usually a victim is a woman but not always) are trying to leave a relationship is the most dangerous and the time when that person is at high risk of being hurt or killed.

I am enclosing a link to a domestic violence website and a PDF of the cycle. Please speak up and get help. There are so many resources out there for you.

The Hotline

Domestic violence cycle

The Long Walk

Hi everyone! Happy weekend!

So when I went on vacation, I thought I would walk 10,000 steps a day. I like walking.

But actually walking 10k a day takes FOR EVE VER! I’m serious! It took about 2 1/2 hours to walk 10k. That’s like half my morning…and can I add that if you walk 10k for 3 days in a row; it gets pretty boring. There are only a couple places I can walk that far without worrying about traffic and without being in full sun (remember my rosacea does not like the sun). So it’s a little boring.

I would so much rather ride my bike. It’s faster too.

When I was 8 years old (I think) I got a purple bike with a purple banana seat and I rode it all over my little rural town in Wyoming next to my grandma’s house during the summer. What fun memories. I would so much rather ride a bike than a long walk….

Painless

Hey friends! I hope you had a safe and fun 4th of July!

I’ve experienced a few physical injuries that might have contributed to my chronic neck pain- two falls and one big punch between the eyes (this gave me headaches, that’s why I think it hurt my neck). And I’ve found two (2) things that reduce my pain.

ICE-yes ice. I have a big ice pack in the freezer and some nights after work my neck and head are particularly tense and sore (lets be honest-some mornings and some days and some afternoons and some middle of the nights) and if I lay on that ice pack-most of my pain is numb because it’s so cold. (I once used heat after ice-never again-it was terrible to flare up the pain)! Also-sometimes laying down is terribly painful.

Guns-I had just made the decision to buy a gun (was in terrible pain) and stopped by a local gun store/range. A clerk told me about the different guns and then I rented some to try them out-DUDE I was distracted from my pain because I had to focus so especially solely on the gun I was using to be safe. Since I noticed this wonderful affect, I’ve been going to the gun range often as I can. I didn’t even notice when the slide took a chunk out of my hand until my blood was dripping down my hand (sorry but this is important information) I was so focused on shooting the gun and trying to figure out how to hit the target that I didn’t feel any pain.

THIS COULD BE A MARKETING POINT 😊

ICE and GUNS-why don’t doctors tell anyone about this??

Adventures at the Gun Range

Hey friends!

In the course of renting guns and shooting at a local range I had some interesting things happen.

The first time I tried out a gun, I wasn’t quite sure how to hold it (one of the male cashiers gave me some quick tips but he wasn’t really into helping a woman I’m guessing). I held a gun in my right hand and had my left hand too high on top of my right-when I fired the gun-I think the slide kicked back and took a piece out of my hand below my thumb. I didn’t really notice until the blood was running down my hands. I didn’t have any Kleenex in my bag but did have chlorox wipes so wiped my hand with (🤨)

I walked out of the range into the store and asked to switch guns-also asking if they had bandaids and apologizing for bleeding on the gun handles. The clerk looked at me like WTH??? 😂

Another day I arrived at the range to shoot by myself. The clerk asked if I was alone and I said yes. He asked if I had been there before. Yes again, twice before. He then asked to have me call someone I had been shooting with that could “verify” my mental stability. What?????

Yes, he said they always do this. Well not the two previous times (is he the clerk that knows I bled on the guns and has a resentment against me?) so I called my husband who thankfully answered and verified I was yes very stable.

When I came back in to switch guns the aforementioned resentful clerk switched guns by pointing the muzzle of one right at my face (that’s a low blow right?)

Anyway I finally found the gun I wanted (with help from my co worker) despite some idiot yanking my chain.

GO ME

My husband joked: well, were you wearing a wig or your butch cut?! (Right, that explains why I look unstable!) He laughed and said he should have told the clerk “oh my gosh, don’t let her back in, call the police right now”!

Yeah that would have been funny 😆

Some of my Fears

Hello all,

Several years ago (actually about 2001) I was searching for my dog (Rufus) around 130am in my neighborhood with my (now ex) husband.

I ran out of the house in just a knee length T-shirt with no shoes. It was summer and I often run around with no shoes.

I couldn’t find Rufus and set back walking home. I was only about 3 blocks from my house (ex husband was on a bicycle looking) when I realized someone was following me. I turned around and a man was on the sidewalk nearby..I think he said “come here” and reached out to grab me. I jumped so far back and maybe I yelled I don’t remember. It was scary. I called the police the next day but nothing happened. I don’t remember feeling safe in my neighborhood again.

After this incident I took a Taekwondo class where I learned how to yell and punch. Who knew I had a hard time yelling?

Then a few years ago (again quite a few, this is 2007) I worked at our local State Mental Hospital graveyard shift. One morning around 6am-I am almost off -and as I walked out the staff door into the general patient area-a psychotic woman (much bigger than I) punched me in the face-between the eyes-(it did not break my nose but hurt like hell later and gave me terrible headaches) I cannot remember her punching me but found myself on the ground in the hall with her arm around my neck-choke style. Several staff members got her arms from around my neck and I stumbled to the staff desk.

A few years ago I called 911 because I could see a man beating up a woman on our street corner. I didn’t feel safe going outside in the middle of the night to confront someone.

As a woman (especially one getting older) I feel vulnerable and I don’t want to be beat up again or fear for my safety in my neighborhood or in the car by myself.

So the last few weeks I have been visiting my local Ready Gunner-and I’ve rented about 10 handguns deciding what I like and what I’m comfortable with. This last Tuesday I bought a Glock 43X and now I need to spend time at the range getting more comfortable with my new friend.

In Search of a Comfy Bra

Hi friends!

I know it’s been awhile but I’ve been somewhat preoccupied with covid crap, working from home/telehealth appointments with my clients, and life in general.

Last night I started my staycation and I’m feeling a little better. I went for a walk with my family on the river trail-so it was relaxing, shady, and there was a little breeze.

With all this work from home-I decided I needed a new bra-one that doesn’t dig, one without wires, and without tiny straps that hurt my shoulders.

I found one nice bra on Amazon (of course) and got a beige and black version. It’s so comfy and almost feels unnoticeable to wear.

I love this bra and might order more. I do need a white bra; I’m often wearing white blouses or TShirts and I don’t want my bra to be super visible but this bra doesn’t come in white. Thus I keep searching…and find one at Target. Actually two!

I ordered the Hanes bra in white and the Tru and Co in pink. They will be delivered in a couple of days so hopefully my uncomfortable bra days are over!

Yay for the end of the uncomfortable bra!

Ambiguous Loss and Covid 19

Hello Friends.

Life has changed so much since I last posted and there are daily changes.

About two weeks ago, I noticed that I feel sad and overwhelmed when I wake up and then I thought “things are still the same, it’s not a bad dream”. This feeling is similar to the time that my son died and many years ago when my dad died.

I remember waking up (during both these events/timelines) and being hit with a wave of sadness and feeling overwhelmed and discouraged (similar to how I feel now) and not knowing when the feeling would end or if it would end.

I think many people have feelings like this now with Covid 19. It’s terribly difficult wading through an emotionally painful, difficult experience and not knowing when or if it will end. I recently discovered this is called “Ambiguous Loss”, coined by Pauline Boss, Ph.D., and Emeritus Professor and Clinical Supervisor of Marriage and Family Therapy, at University of Minnesota.

I was part of a webinar training based on her book about a week ago and I wanted to share some newfound insights. Ambiguous loss is described as “An unclear loss that defies closure…often times it does not have validation or clarification or resolution”. Boss’ research includes information from POW experiencing crisis from Vietnam, 911 families, military deployment, and families of loved ones with dementia. Most every person right now has experienced some type of ambiguous loss-losing connections with loved ones who are physically absent but emotionally present whether they are sick or well, people experiencing job loss or co worker relationship loss, and healthcare providers going into a situation where they can be at high risk.

There are physical symptoms of ambiguous loss including depression, anxiety, family discord, confusion, grieving, hope, hopelessness, shock but it’s important to remember all these symptoms are NORMAL. She identified the ways all of us can shift from experiencing despair to hope and I will list them below with an example of what I am doing.

  1. Finding Meaning- I realize that my family relationships are very important to me (how are we pulling together?) and connecting in some way helps me distract from the world.
  2. Tempering (Adjusting) Mastery-learn to hold two opposing ideas at the same time-I have a lot of anxiety listening to the news about Covid 19 AND I feel peace when I don’t listen to the news and connect with others or reach out to help someone else (be cautious to blame oneself or others).
  3. Reconstructing Identity-try to recognize how my roles have changed before, during, and after Covid 19 (separate myself from Covid 19 and don’t stay in a role that doesn’t work-working from home and doing therapy by video-“no shoulds”)
  4. Normalizing Ambivalence-and I love this one because my webinar had a quote “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Tolkien   Try to acknowledge yours and others feelings, try not to judge yourself or others, and listen to each other. It’s actually kinda cool to think I’m sort of like Frodo and this is an adventure (I choose the word adventure instead of tragedy) I have never experienced.  Here’s another example:I want to see my family and friends, but I don’t want to get sick or get them sick.
  5. Revising Attachment-try to acknowledge how difficult it is separating social ties through social distancing and try to do new ways to strengthen or create other attachments, maybe through Facetime or Zoom or Marco Polo.
  6. Discovering Hope-I also love this one because Hope is increased through strengthening our connection spirituality. Whether you have a Higher Power or believe in God, discovering hope is huge and can comfort us. I know I feel comfort and peace when I connect with God by reading my scriptures, or praying, or listening to a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints General Conference talk. I have found life is so much less stressful when I connect with God.

 

I hope this information is helpful for all of you to manage this stressful time in our world which is new for all of us.

My hopes and prayers go with all of you my friends.

 

 

Isolating Together

Hello friends!

I haven’t posted for some time as I’ve been dealing with some pretty terrible neck pain along with our continually changing world.

The last couple of months I’ve had two sets (six shots each) of “diagnostic” shots in my neck to determine if “therapeutic shots”-shots of electricity to burn my nerves in the bulging discs of my neck will decrease my pain.

The last two weeks I’ve had these therapeutic shots and isolated at home on my bed because of the pain but I know not everyone is comfortable or ok in isolation.

I have many mental health clients that struggle mightily with depression; and isolation makes this worse. One thing that helps somewhat: everyone is going through this right now. If you struggle with depression or suicide thoughts, you are not alone-many people in our country or world right now are struggling with isolation and we can support each other.

Here are some ideas to stay connected during this time:

Join an online book club, watch live Facebook comedy shows, FaceTime your friends or family, get outside and go for a walk or a bike ride (isolation does not mean don’t go outside), read a good book-libraries have online resources too, visit a museum online, take an online course, learn how to speak a new language-there are many apps to discover, take a virtual national park tour, learn how to cook, learn how to sew, finish those crafts that you never had time, write your life story ( I wrote mine at 18 years old-there’s more to update!) scrapbook your photo memories, do some family history research online, call a relative you haven’t spoke to for a long time, and there are lots more ideas of things to stay busy and emotionally healthy.

I am adding a few ideas I have found online:

Details Are Important!

Hello friends! Happy Sunday!

I am not a detail oriented person. Ask my husband; he builds spreadsheets to share information about our budget, retirement, and investments-and it’s too much detail for me! I get overwhelmed and ask him to just give it to me in a summary.

Details might be important. I’ve tripped over things I might should notice on the floor, I’ve ran into walls I forgot we’re there. Yesterday I ran into a STOP sign.

Yes

An actual STOP sign.

My husband asked me, “did you run into it with your car or physically “? Yes-physically. With my head. It super hurt.

You may ask, how on earth did this happen??

Well -I was walking into the mall with my mom and sister-we crosses the street entrance on foot because the parking lot was full. There was a line of trees separating the street from parking and I walked next to the trees so I wasn’t on the street. A stop sign is positioned right next to the last tree with branches overhanging into the street.

I never saw the sign coming and walked headfirst into that metal sign. Have you heard that saying about an immovable object meeting an unstoppable force? Well I actually did stop when I met the immovable object! That sign did not move and I have a lump on my head and was sobbing in the parking lot BUT no blood.

Seriously! It hurt so bad but no blood at all. No stitches. No proof at all I was injured unless amazingly you saw me run into the sign! There is a red scrape on my head under the hair I actually have and a bump but that’s it.

You’d think that kind of disregard for details would be more serious!

Interestingly enough, the bottom of stop signs are my height 😂

I’ll try to be more aware of “signs” in my future. The sign in question is close to this entrance below

Wig Mistaken Identity

Hello friends and happy Sunday!

Since I’ve been wearing wigs, I’ve become more comfortable changing the color, length, and style of wigs I wear which is really fun for me although sometimes difficult for others 😂

Today before I left for church (I like to be early and hubs doesn’t mind arriving 5 minutes late-so we drive separate) hubs yelled at me “hey come back” (I was headed out the door) and I entered our living room he remarked “I just had to see what you look like so I know what hair to look for; I can’t find you if I didn’t see what hair you are wearing”!

I thought about this and yes I guess I put friends/family through mental gymnastics trying to find me in a crowd if I’m wearing different hair. I guess that’s one complication of wearing wigs! 😂🤣