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Russian Gothic Architecture

  I visited St. Petersburg, Russia in 2001 shortly after 9-11 happened. I was boarding my plane when the first tower has hit. When air restrictions lifted, I left with a heavy heart yet thankful for a distraction. Nothing says adventure like traveling alone half way around the globe not knowing the language. I didn’t know what to expect except cathedrals, ballet and art museums. St. Petersburg is so much more. People knew I was American since most women don’t travel alone. Russians and people from several countries came up to say how sorry they were about the tragedy in America. I cried knowing someone a world away cared. We can live in a bubble sometimes. The Russian people tried so hard to help me when asking for directions even thou we didn’t speak each other’s language. I walked everywhere even at night with little worry of crime. Restaurant owners would watch for me knowing I was a women walking alone. The food was outstanding, caviar superb and service was excellent. I felt like a princess, the gypsy music never sounded better. I stayed at The Astoria Hotel, one of the two five-star hotels in St. Petersburg. They had me at hello! From the Mercedes at the airport, to the tour of the hotel, fresh flowers, chilled champagne with hand written welcome note. The doorman knew my name when I arrived. I had a personal taste test of the different […]

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Pianists' Live Improv

Originally posted on Live & Learn:
http://youtu.be/itErRn4T2no I’ve featured Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm previously on separate posts titled: Near Light and Said & Done.  Now the two solo artists come together to create a new song live in front of an intimate audience at Roter Salon, Volksbühne Berlin.  The musicians test/practise with the new equipment up to the ~ 2:20 mark on the video and the improvision starts from there. Genius. And Magic.

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Sudan Sentenced (Flogging/Death) Women 8 months Pregnant For Not Recanting Christian Faith

Please read the horrific story of a Sudanese mother, doctor and Christian sentenced to flogging and death unless she recants her Christian faith. Mariam is 8 months pregnant and has a two-year old son.   Government of Sudan: Don’t execute 8 months pregnant Mariam Yehya Ibrahim for being Christian By Emily Clarke Malmesbury   Sign Emily’s Petition at Change.org   Mariam Yehya Ibrahim, a Sudanese mother, doctor and Christian, has been sentenced to flogging and death unless she recants her Christian faith. She is 8 months pregnant and has a two-year-old son. Please, join the international community in asking Sudan not to execute her for being a Christian. Ibrahim is charged with adultery on the grounds that her marriage to a Christian man from South Sudan is considered void under Shari’a law, for which the penalty is flogging. She’s also charged with apostasy, or abandonment of religion, for which the penalty is death. Mariam is the daughter of a Christian woman and Muslim man. She was raised Christian after her father left. However, Sudanese law mandates that children born to Muslim fathers are considered Muslim. The fact that a woman could be sentenced to death for her religious choice, and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion is abhorrent. Call upon the government of Sudan to respect the right to freedom of religion! Sign Emily’s Petition on Change.org   The person (or organization) who started […]

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Yemen votes on Child Rights Act which includes end of Female Genital Mutilation

Yemen is looking to end child marriages and FGM through the Child Rights Act. The new law would establish minimum age of 18 for marriage and end FGM. A positive vote will meet minimum International Human Rights standards. Yemen is leading the way to end the horrific use of Female Genital Mutilation. My hope is other countries take notice and intact similar laws.   Yemen law on child brides and FGM offers hope of wider progress. The smooth passage of legislation outlawing child marriage and female genital mutilation is key to Yemen’s long-term prosperity. Schoolgirls in Sana’a, Yemen. A new law promises to protect under-18s from marriage. Yemen is poised to vote on a comprehensive Child Rights Act over the coming months, which would ban child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM). The new law would establish the minimum age for marriage as 18, in line with the international human rights standard. Fines would be imposed on guardians, signatories, marriage officials and any other witnesses aware of any contravention. The push for official legislation on such issues has been endorsed by Hooria Mashhour, the Yemeni human rights minister, and supported by others in government. If approved by the prime minister and cabinet, the legislation would go to a parliamentary vote. However, successful passage of the law is far from certain. In 2009, an attempt to make 17 the minimum age of marriage for girls was blocked by traditional and religious leaders and the parliament’s sharia committee. The […]

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Washington Doesn't Want to Talk About Vaginas

Jaha Dukureh is a survivor, driven with incredible inner strength. This article is a great follow-up to the post I wrote on Female Genital Mutilation.  This is the worst form of abuse on children and women. I can appreciate bringing traditions when moving to America. Female Genital Mutilation is a tradition not excepted in America. The violence and violation of children and women is illegal, not a tradition America has ever followed and is inhumane. Most people are not familiar with Female Genital Mutilation, now is a good time to educate yourself and others. Jaha’s clitoris and labia removed and her vagina stitched leaving only a small hole to urinate and menstruate. Sex is very painful.This procedure is Type 3 FGM. It is a long post but please read her brave and motivating story. Please sign the petition on Change.org. She is a survivor and want’s to teach Americans what to do to stop FGM in America. The Futures Without Violence website http://exchange.futureswithoutviolence.org is a great resource to offer support and educate.  From the Futures Without Violence Website. Jaha Dukureh: ‘In Washington, they don’t want to talk about Vaginas’ An Atlanta woman who is a survivor of female genital mutilation is leading a campaign for the US to take action on a brutal practice happening in its own backyard. Jaha Dukureh does not give up easily. When, aged just 15, she was sent to New York from Gambia for an arranged marriage, it looked like […]

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Brave Heart Award

The Brave Heart Mission Statement To encourage all those (men & women) who have been abused (all abuse) to share their hope with others so that they will no longer be a victim but a survivor that knows they are loved.   A Victims Journal nominated me for the Brave Heart Award. There are not enough words to express how helpful, positive and inspiring she is to me. I admire her raw and honest post. The feedback she gives is no less raw. Her sixth sense of knowing when you need a boost or a little prodding helps keep me on track. I feel like she reads all of my post and always has a hug and positive affirmation.  Rules of Acceptance: Thank the person who nominated you. Answer 12 questions put before you. Nominate/award 12 bloggers. Notify nominees/awardees with a link to their blogs on yours. 12 Questions Asked 1.Tell us a bit about your blog. Who designed it The blog is an avenue to tell my story of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. I believe it also serves as a resource for men & women alike. I used a Word Press template and designed myself. 2. What is the title and description of your blog? Looking for the Light is my blog which focuses on my story of abuse  and Mental Illness. 3. Who is your intended audience? Anyone who has suffered trauma. I believe we can all help […]

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Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network (RAINN) Monthly Update

Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network         RAINN MONTHLY UPDATE http://RAINN.ORG Online Help – 1.800.656.HOPE (4673) RAINN: The nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. One of “America’s 100 Best Charities” -Worth magazine House Votes to Renew DNA Bill A bill to renew the Debbie Smith Act, which would help eliminate the backlog of untested DNA evidence from unsolved rape cases, was passed by the House of Representatives. Learn More on Website RAINN Teams Up with Degrassi to Help Teens. TV show Degrassi included a storyline that followed the aftermath of an alcohol-facilitated sexual assault and its impact on the school. In conjunction with the episode, TeenNick aired a PSA that encouraged viewers to get help from the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Learn More on Website Survivor Spotlight: Stories of Support This month, survivors share how loved ones helped them on their paths toward hope and healing How You Can Support a Friend This Month If you or someone you love has been assaulted, it’s crucial to have a support system in place. A new series of infographics shares ways you can be supportive. Learn more on Website Anniversary of ‘Speak’ Connects with New Generation. RAINN and publishing house Macmillan bring Laurie Halse Anderson’s “Speak” to a new generation of young readers. Learn more about the #Speak4RAINN15 campaign and how a $15 donation can help a survivor today. Warrior

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Terrorist Convert Hundreds of Schoolgirls To Muslims? NOT!

Does BoKo Haram think we are ignorant? What child would not comply with a machine gun pointed at her? We are not ignorant and you will be held ACCOUNTABLE. If you were one of the almost 300 schoolgirls kidnapped almost a month ago by terrorist, wouldn’t you say anything with machine guns pointing at you? I don’t believe for one minute over 100 girls asked for a terrorist group to convert them from Christian to Muslims. They are not given a choice, they received instructions to get in front of cameras and say what we rehearsed or you’re dead. These brave girls are being held hostage in the jungle by terrorist group BoKo Haram. They did not go voluntarily and have not had any choices since their school burned down. What cowards, dressed as Police Officers to convince the girls to go with them. The group is also responsible for killing 1,500 in the last month. The level of violence has escalating. I know terrorist are not trustworthy, THEY ARE TERRORIST. They are not terrorist bringing of goodwill to Nigeria. They are suggesting a trade, the girls for clan members in prison. This morning I heard the President is considering negotiating. From where I sit, it’s a death sentence. It shows the government does not want to get its hands dirty. Almost 300 schoolgirls and the blood of 1,500 people are on your hands. Why is the government of Nigeria sitting on its hands. […]

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Take Action for Children's Mental Health

National Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Update on National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2014 TAKE ACTION for Children’s Mental Health National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, May 4-10, helps raise awareness around children’s mental health. This week NAMI joins communities around the country in raising awareness about the mental health needs of America’s youngest citizens. It is a week to focus on children and youth living with mental illness and to come together to advocate for a full array of effective services and supports for children affected by mental illness. View activities you can do to support Children’s Mental Health Awareness. TAKE ACTION for Children’s Mental Health Below are bills that you can take action on to tell your members of congress to prioritize children’s mental health. The Mental Health In Schools Act (S. 195 and H.R. 628) The Mental Health in Schools Act is critically important legislation that provides federal funding to increase the availability of comprehensive school-based mental health services and supports and builds effective links between schools and the community mental health system. This legislation will improve the early identification of mental illness by funding school and community-based mental health services and linking students with effective services and supports so they have the chance to thrive and reach their full potential. TAKE ACTION The Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 2036 and H.R. 1893) This bill greatly restricts the use of restraint and seclusion in our nation’s […]

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Terrorist BoKo Haram and Nigerian Government #BringBackOurGirls

I met two women bloggers living in Nigeria last week while looking for information on the kidnapped schoolgirls. They welcomed me with open arms and were patient answering all my questions. I wanted an understanding of the country in hopes of making sense of almost 300 schoolgirls being kidnapped. Not to mention 1,500 people killed this year by terrorist group Boko Haram. Without knowing the history of the country it is difficult to understand the dynamics, corruption and terrorist groups operating in the country. Nigeria is one of the largest African nations and is Christian and Muslims. I think getting the facts from people on the ground versus me or the media is more important. I’ve included links to the wonderful women who helped me immensely. http://maureenoblaq.wordpress.com http://musingsofahappymortal.wordpress.com ******************************************* Change.org There’s a powerful petition taking off on Change.org and we think you might be interested in signing it: Live link at end of post. All World Leaders: Bring Back Nigeria’s 200 Missing School Girls #BringBackOurGirls. In Nigeria, over 200 girls were recently abducted from their boarding school and plans are reported of them being selling them as brides for $12 each. I am calling on the world to unite and save them. The abducted young girls are being affected by a conflict they did not create, and their voices need to be heard. I can only imagine what these 200 girls have been through, and their government is not doing nearly enough […]

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Oh, Nigeria

Originally posted on Poesy plus Polemics:
Nigerian SchoolgirlsPhoto from article.wn.com what terror murders innocence for yearning education rips ripe flowers from their stems to subjugate their fragrance paternalistic arrogance flaunts deep sectarian misogyny it has ugly eyes for the world bloody hands for its own stunted ethics compel its illusions who will stand for the flowers and tame this abomination…

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Sunshine Award for Looking for the Light

Sunshine Award and why I’m Crab Grass Avalanche of the Soul nominated me for the Sunshine Award. Being a new, I didn’t understand being nominated means you have the award. Please forgive me for taking so long to share my excitement. I was the kid picked last playing Red Rover. I’m not used to getting awards but I’m a quick learner. In addition to her Blog, she contributes to The Cut Throat Club Online where our connection started. She is raw, no sugar-coating, highly knowledgable, open and honest. I’ve received the most touching comments from her. Receiving the award from her is special because she encourages me daily. Her wall of awards is impressive. After reading her Blog you will understand why she is so decorated. Thank you my fellow SURVIVOR. Check out her Blog at http://avalancheofthesoul.wordpress.com Ten Things about me 🙂 1.  I started drinking coffee from my baby bottle. 2. I jumped out of an airplane from 12,500 feet. 3.  I have a soft spot for Seniors Citizens and animals. 4.  Love Technology, bring on the gadgets! 5.  If I were a plant I would be crab grass, it’s impossible to kill. 6.  I love travel, my bucket list is long. 7.  No one is to touch anything in my office. 8.  I’m a perfectionist, 50/50 good trait. 9. Wish for one more day with my grandparents, my Angels. 10. I’m deathly afraid of spiders, snakes and sharks. Sharks […]

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"I am part of the Word Press Family Award"

Inconsistently Yours surprised me with a nomination for the “I am part of the Word Press Family Award”.  I feel like I’ve won the Power Ball. She was the first person I met after starting my blog. She was particularly helpful answering question after question. I appreciate her honesty and killer sense of humor. She doesn’t give herself enough credit, don’t buy it, she is very smart. Check out her You Tube Channel where she peels back the layers of Personality Disorders. She introduced me to The Cut-Throat Club House Online which I am now a proud member. If you’re looking for a Blog to make you laugh, cry and most importantly offer support check out  http://inconsistlyyours.wordpress.com. Think of Blogs you’re moved by and pass along the “I am part of the WordPress Family Award”.   Congrats! to nominees of the “I am part of the Word Press Family Award”.  Shaun Gibson created the award. I will use his words to share what the award means to him and the rest of the Word Press community: “ is an award for everyone who is part of the “Word Press Family” I started this award on the basis that the Word Press Family has taken me in and showed me love and a caring side only Word Press can. The way people take a second to be nice, answer questions and keep it non competitive amazes me. I know I have been […]

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Nigerian Militants Kidnap 250+ Schoolgirls for Slaves or Marriage

Under the cover of darkness Nigerian Militants raid girls school kidnaping close to 300 girls. Some were able to escape yet stranded far from school. Their future is grime, girls as young as 9 years old are sold as slaves or prostitutes. For older girls the future is just as bleak. Girls as young as 12 years old will endure the horrific pain of Female Mutilation before being sold into marriage or prostitutes. International Trafficking is growing and the atrocities against young girls continue. Now is a good time to educate yourself on the complex issues. President Obama spoke out against the crime and Militants responded by kidnapping more girls. As mentioned earlier the issue is complex. This post is a high level overview of the issue. I want to do research, including responses from other countries and more specifically what President Obama has committed to. I received an e-mail yesterday from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on International Trafficking that I have yet to dig into. This situation has reached a tipping point for me. I will post a follow up very soon. I’m going to leave you with a quote from Amnesty International. “MY BODY MY RIGHTS” In many parts of the world, poverty and discrimination affect women’s ability to access education and exercise control over their own bodies. As a result, women and girls all over the world are at risk of violence, forced marriage, genital mutilation, […]

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Hundreds of Thousands RAPE KITS UNTESTED

END THE BACKLOG Give closure to Rape victims  Give jail time to Abuser What are we saying to victims? Victims are not important?. Raped at 11 & 12 years old, I didn’t tell a soul. My mother would have beat me silly. Some of you will know this first hand. It takes close to six hours to go through the photos, poking, scraping and prodding of a Rape Kit collection. I hear it’s humiliating and you feel violated again. I don’t have many issues that get under my skin, this is the ONE. How did this happen? Over years the kits collected dust stored at local level without a system to retrieve them. The Rape Kits started crowding out the local precinct storage and shipped to storage facilities and forgotten about. In recent years the money for the DNA testing was expensive and budgets were smaller. END THE BACKLOG has moved mountains in a very short time. Please pass the e-mail around and sign up on website. This is my opinion and not endorsed by End The Backlog. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Dear Friend, We have heard some exciting news and we wanted you to hear it from us first. We also want to ask for your help advocating for change. As you know, Joyful Heart is dedicated to ending the rape kit backlog nationwide. Every year, more than 200,000 individuals report their rape to the police. Almost all are asked to have a rape kit […]

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Mariel Hemingway presents "Running From Crazy"

Mariel Hemingway is the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway. Mariel’s documentary explores her famous family’s history with Mental Illness and heartbreaking suicides. Premiering on the OWN network this Sunday at 9:00pm EST. I would double-check the start time. Information about the documentary including start times is probably on OWN’s website. Their family has faced generations of Mental Illness. Mariel is straight […]

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NO MORE George R.R. Martin

NO MORE EXCUSES MEANS NO MORE EXCUSES.  It doesn’t mean Television & Cable Networks get a pass. George R.R. Martin of Game of Thorns doesn’t agree. The cliffhanger last week named Breaker of Chains was an INCESTUOUS RAPE SCENE. One viewer said “it was the most disturbing scene ever”. At first George gave lip service saying it wasn’t RAPE which quickly turned to an apology when the Network was inundated with negative feedback. Every news/magazine outlet hit the story hard. One viewer did a rewrite of how the sence should have played out and printed by a major media outlet. This is an opportunity to educate the media on what we do and don’t want to see. If we believe RAPE and other VIOLENCE is wrong, we have to stand up. Until we make our voices heard the cycle continues. Warrior

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NO MORE EXCUSES

No More Silence. No More Violence. Tune in for the NO MORE Excuses SVU Marathon This Sunday on USA  The link will take you to information about event and how you can help. There’s an extensive list of resources. Mariska Hargitay who plays a cop on SVU, gives a special address. Mariska started the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004 with the mission to help heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. NO MORE and End the Backlog are featured programs of the Joyful Heart Foundation. KNOW THE FACTS The next time you’re in a room with 6 people, think about this: 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience violence from their partners in their lifetimes. 1 in 3 teens experience sexual or physical abuse or threats from a boyfriend or girlfriend in one year. 1 in 5 women are survivors of rape. 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lives. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men were sexually abused before the age of 18. Warrior

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Where I Surf and Blog

This is where I start my day, you can see I’m on the organized side. My office would be perfect if I didn’t have three animals in there. They are like children either fighting or having a melt down. Life could be so much worse. Truly I know how blessed I am. I like to buy all kinds of cool things for the office, that way I don’t get bored. This is very close to the office of my dreams. I like it that way because I have to dream. Maybe someday I’ll get that expansive office with built-in wall to wall bookcases. You know a little more about me and a person’s desk says it all. Have an awesome day. Warrior  

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Stations of the Cross

This post does not preach or try to convert anyone of any religion. It’s the story of my intersection with the Catholic Church at 13 years old. In my recent post “I Almost Killed My Father” I told of spending a year at a Convent for bad girls. It is here I became familiar to the Catholic Religion. Growing up we did […]

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About Looking For The Light Blog

My mother, stepfather and father abused me until I was a teenager. All the scars hurt particularly of my father who sexually abused me. It’s hard to wrap your head around sexual abuse. My father committed suicide in 1992. It was an extremely difficult time, my grandmother never recovered he was her only child. In my father’s suicide note he wanted me to take care of all the details. Estranged for years but the heart still breaks. Because of the manner in which he killed himself we had to have a closed casket funeral. It’s very hard to reconcile death when you can’t see them. I gave the eulogy however I don’t remember. I struggle with Treatment Resistant Bipolar Disorder and the anxiety it brings. I was diagnosed  at 19 years old struggling for years without medication or over medicated. In 2005 I had the Vagus Nerve Stimulator implanted. The device sends electrical signals to the brain to increase Serotonin. I have taken over 40 prescriptions or cocktails. Some worked for a while then you have to try another mix. I thought the VNS device would keep me on the rails. Naïve thinking on my part. I was not as lucky as many in the FDA clinical trial. I realized the device was like any other prescription and it was another that didn’t work. I’m 50 years old now and the Black Dog drags me down deeper as I age. I’m alive with […]

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Meds & Musing

Rosie Perez Oscar Nominated Actress has released a memoir about her road to survival with a Mentally Ill mother. I saw her on a talk show not long ago.  Rosie is open, no glossing over her past. She is a survivor. The book, Handbook for an Unpredictable Life. I found it on Amazon. Many are focusing on Child Abuse Month and possibly making […]

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Female Circumcision on rise in US

I believe FGM is the most horrific form of child abuse. The article is difficult to read. If you are not familiar with the practice, I pray you’re outraged. I had no idea the practice of Female Genital Mutilation was a growing trend in the US. I found the article on NBC.com under World News with a 3/31/14 original publication date. Horrific Taboo: Female Circumcision on the Rise in U.S. BY ANNABEL ROBERTS AND MARIAN SMITH When Marie was two years old, a woman in her village in Africa cut off her clitoris and labia. Now 34 and living thousands of miles away in New York, she is still suffering. “I have so many problems, with my husband, with sex, with childbirth,” she told NBC News, withholding her real name to protect her identity. “The consequences on my life are all negative, both physically and psychologically.” The practice of Female Genital Mutilation is common across much of Africa, where it is believed to ensure sexual purity before marriage. But Marie says FGM is also “very common” in some communities in America. “The pressure to get daughters cut is great,” she said. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 150,000 to 200,000 girls in the U.S. are at risk of being forced to undergo cutting. The CDC says “at risk” because there are no actual records of the practice, only estimates – and old estimates at that. Its latest data […]

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Praying for Fort Hood

I am heartbroken to hear about the shootings at Fort Hood yesterday. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victim’s family. Please know there are people around the world who are holding your hand. My heart breaks for the shooters family. His family is suffering for the loss of their son and the victims and family members. I have to share a story about Fort Hood. Being one of the largest Military post, you can count on deployment at Fort Hood. A large percentage of soldiers fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan or other missions are proud to call Fort Hood home. The other side of the coin is a high percentage of deaths, brain injuries and limbs lost. When my grandfather died in 2010, I wanted to honor his Military service by having the Honor Guard attend. At the time Fort Hood had lost so many soldiers the Honor Guard could only service a 50 mile area. The funeral director told me not to expect anyone because we were out of the zone. Soldiers will always respect another soldier, they are bothers. My grandfather was 92 years old and served on the front line in WWII. Soldiers respect those who fought before them. They made an exception for my grandfather without being asked. My heart dropped when I saw two people to fold the flag and another to play Taps. I could see a tear in the soldier in front of […]

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New Mental Health Provisions

This is a copy of the National Alliance of Mental Health newsletter. They are an advocacy group for Mental Health. I’m skeptical anytime our government is focusing on Mental Health. I feel like we get swept under the carpet. Last night the Senate passed HR 4302. Last week the US House signed the bill. The bill is now waiting for Obama’s signature.  Improving services for the mentally ill will slow the number of people falling thru the cracks. Many bills we hear the whistle blow and they disappear in to huge stacks of other bills. I write this as a person with Mental Illness nothing more. NAMI offers useful information on website and do a good job of keeping people up on the progress of bills. *********************************************************************** Medicare Physician Payment Bill Includes Two Mental Health Provisions Last night, the U.S. Senate passed HR 4302, the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) extension. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week and now goes to President Obama for his signature. HR 4302 includes two provisions that are relevant to people living with mental illness and their families. First, the bill includes the Excellence in Mental Health Act demonstration project. This eight (8) state pilot is critical to modernizing publicly funded mental health services to align with evidence-based practices and to streamline Medicaid funding. The eight states selected will receive planning grants and Medicaid funding to provide comprehensive community-based mental health services and […]

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Hyper mania allowed me to travel

  I love to travel, my goal is to see the world. When your Bipolar, hyper mania  can make it possible. I was an Executive Sales person, number one in the company and making big bucks. I felt so lucky hyper mania stayed for 10 years. I went to Russia by myself, traveled with my friends to France and the Caribbean.  My doctor kept telling me the higher you go the harder you fall. I didn’t want to give up the person I was. The fall began slowly, I got fired from my job, blew though my savings and filled for bankruptcy. Did I mention a divorce and building a new house. I lost everything. What I lost was not worth the high. All the negative thoughts came back. My life is not as exciting, anxiety kept me in the house. Many days I didn’t get of bed. I’ve been suicidal several times, having 20 ECT treatments in the past 10 years. My husband understands my illness  and often goes on doctor’s appointments. The brain is a fascinating  question mark? I love this photo of Jesus because he carries me often. The photo was the motivation to get out of bed. Warrior

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Free to Fly

My emotions are raw today. It’s 4:45 pm and still in my pajamas. I’m sad and confused. When buried memories bubble up I work hard to lock them back up. I saw the ladybug on the roses, it brought the biggest smile. The excitement was enough to grab the camera. A smile is a great distraction, half a smile is better than none. All I can give is a half-smile today. Guilt took over, guilt tells me I’m lazy and my husband is going to leave me. I know it’s the illness talking but it hit me hard today because I was weak. Melinda

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Daddy was 52 on 2/22/1992

My father suffered from Mental Illness his entire life. When he was a teen, Doctor’s told my grandmother he was hyperactive and gave her tranquilizers. I doubt he took one pill. Estranged since I was thirteen years old, I could not look my abuser in the eye. Daddy started calling when I was 28 years old. He was delusional, talking in sentences that made no sense. I picked up he needed money, I started paying his bills. He said he was going to kill himself and kept rambling. I could not get through to him. I did not tell anyone in my family either.  He was so far gone, he could not process what I was saying. February 22, 1992 my father took his life. I felt overwhelming guilt. Unsure how my grandmother would react for me not telling her. It’s a guilt I’ll carry to my grave. At 28 years old it was hard to feel pain and remember the past. In the note he asked me to handle arrangements. I did what I’d done for years, stuff my emotions down, act strong and get it done. There are many who inherit Mental Illness, have a relative who suffers or experienced suicide in the family who suffer in silence. Healing from child abuse is difficult, it can feel impossible when the abuser is a parent. I never told my grandparents about my father sexually abusing me. Everyday is one step […]

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Caregiver to Grieving in Four Days

Each day was a roller coaster by how he felt and how exhausted I was. I learned so much being a caregiver to my grandmother and grandfather. As the population ages many of you will take on the responsibility. One of the most difficult changes was going from granddaughter to caregiver. Even at 92 my grandfather had a strong mind and felt he didn’t need help. I prayer for strength everyday. My grandfather died in 2010 at the young age of 92 years old. I spent more time with him 2010 year than I spent at home. I cherish the time we had together, no matter how painful. They are my memories and my life changed forever with his death. His health declined so fast that for two days I did not realize that he was dying now, not in a couple of weeks. He was at home under hospice care and would not get in the hospital bed until two days before he passed. He fell out of bed that morning, he was so weak it was difficult for me to get him back in bed. I don’t think we would have been able to talk him into moving to the hospital bed if he had not fallen. For him the bed meant death and he was still fighting. My grandfather had End Stage Kidney Disease. An emergency trip to the hospital for his AFIB is how we learned he had about two months to live. We knew his kidneys were losing function but I was not ready for […]

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Caregiver 101 Tips I Missed

Reblogged from 2009 I care for my 92-year-old gramps and have been here five weeks. He had three surgeries in seven days. Without Caregiving 101 training, I learned the hard way. *Ask the doctor what happens if the  procedure does not work. *If a second procedure does not work, is there a third option. *What is the recovery time and type of […]

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Lost in Caregiver Twilight Zone

Written on 12/21/2009 I’m caring for my 92-year-old grandfather following three surgeries in seven days. I’m so tired it’s numbing, it’s impossible to think about doing it again tomorrow.  My grandfather is a man of habits driven by the time of day, maybe from his military background. One morning he was upset when the hospital had not brought his coffee and could not see he was the problem. We’re in a hospital not the Hilton. At home it was far worse. It does not matter that I have changed the sheets again this morning, changed his soiled underpants more than once and got him dressed for the day. If the coffee is not ready when he expects or I don’t have the newspaper yet, I hear about it. My grandparents raised me and I love my grandfather dearly but it’s hard to bite my tongue. I want to ask doesn’t he realize or care that I’ve been moving since 5:00 a.m. to take care of him. At 92 he lives at home alone, still drives (very limited), buys groceries and goes to the local Senior Center several times a week to play dominos. He amazes me with each year. He is the healthiest dying person I know and in his mind he is much younger and more capable. This makes it impossible for him to understand recovery will take several more weeks at least. I catch him doing things he […]

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I’m Mourning and She’s Still Alive

My grandmother passed away from Dementia from two strokes in 2005. I’m reposting for the caregivers dealing with a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. For those who have not been a caregiver, these post may help you down the road. For the caregivers who give every ounce of energy, just one piece of advice if I may. Take time to clear your head, 10 or 30 minutes whatever you can for yourself each week. I did not have any one to offer suggestions and had brain drain after both of their deaths. My body was physically broken down. Due to the nature of the illness it’s hard to take an eye off them, 24/7. I was fortunate we had hospice care for both of my grandparents. My grandfather was healthy enough to help with my grandmother. I don’t know how to turn my brain off. I’m Morning and She’s Still Alive As the caregiver for my grandparents my hands are full yet my mind runs at a high level by switching to what I call “caregiver mode”. I can manage tons of information about what drugs they take, schedule appointments, discuss test results or anything else needed to take care of two people who are dying and “switch back” when at home. Before the fall and broken hip my grandmother knew me. Our conversations limited yet sharing memories with her made my day. She really enjoyed a photo book I put […]

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Dementia Induced Thought’s of Suicide

Being a caregiver to a dying loved one can leave you drained of emotion, exhausted and frustrated. All perfectly normal feelings. I felt quilt mixed in my bowl of emotions. I grew up knowing my grandparents wanted to die at home. I would grant the wish if possible. They inspired me, saved me from parental abuse and blessed me with unconditional love. Helping my gramps when making difficult life decisions, while working hard to remember she’s my grandmother. There were uncomfortable conversations, articulate to doctors how she is progressing and butt heads with family members. I ran a tight ship, no problems telling people it’s time to leave, not allowing people over everyday. God blessed me with the ability to turn my depression down and step up to next level. Love for my grandmother drove my decisions down to the last morphine stick. As our population ages the number of caregivers increase. It can seem overwhelming at times. If you don’t have a blog I would suggest checking out, it gave me an outlet. Caregivers choose to open their hearts to the emotional and physical challenges.  Dementia Induced Thoughts Of Suicide Today I used one of four “in case of emergency” pills to keep my Grandmother from hurting herself during a dementia related meltdown brought on by my Grandfather going to the grocery store. She’s had many of these episodes since her stroke almost two years ago. Today I saw […]

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