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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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