Left-handed

If you have read my “About Cat” page, you will have read that I am left-handed. I didn’t know I was different into I began to learn how to write. I attended private school in the early 70’s. Taught by the Franciscan Order – Nuns! Penguins! Old lady’s in habits with those witch type black shoes and giant rosary beads hanging from their belt.

I was sitting down at the table practicing my letters, when my father noticed something.

“Why is your left hand behind your back?”

I told him that’s how the Sister had told me to practice. He looked at my homework. Some of the letters I had written backwards. He started yelling. He went into the living room, yelling to his mother (my grandma) about how he was taking to me school in the morning because he was going to talk to the principal. He came back into the kitchen. “Stop writing & put your arm down. Now pick up the pencil.” I picked it up with my left hand. He smiled. “Feel better?” I smiled.

That was my first memory of being “different” or left-handed. My dad did go to my school and had a talk with the Sisters there. I never had to put my left arm behind my back again.

I remember writing was and still can at times difficult for me. Especially when writing in spiral or composition notebooks. And don’t even get me started on those erasable pens. Those were never meant for lefties to use. I ended up wearing most of the ink on the side of my hand.

I do not write like most lefties. I hold my pen the “correct” way as right handers do. My handwriting can slight in all three directions. I can’t hold my pen and turn my wrist inwards. That hurts. I hated those left handed scissors. UGH. I would turn them upside down and try to cut with them that way. I remember there were even notebooks with the spiral on the opposite side, just for lefties.

I only use my left hand to write, drive and eat with. However there are times I can use my right hand to eat with. And I will say something to my family like “Something doesn’t feel right.” And my kids would be the first to notice that I was using the “wrong” hand. I can if needed use my right hand to eat with, write with and drive with. When I was younger and was forced to participate in sports I could use either hand. I actually performed better with my left hand, it was just never strong enough. I never trained with my left hand. I used to bowl (stop laughing) and I was taught to use my left hand. My score increased by 10-20 points. When going out to dinner I need to pay attention to where I sit. Sometimes I forget and I don’t enjoy my dining experience.

My maternal grandmother was left-handed. I have a few close cousins who are lefties. And out of my three children I have only one lefty. That’s the Manchild. Who is very creative and very intellectual. I am not as creative as I was when I was younger. Maybe I never was, just thought I was. I did do a lot of art projects, however at times it was difficult.

I never have given it much thought to being left handed in everyday life. I probably struggle a bit more, but I don’t attribute it to being left-handed which that might be the cause of my difficulty.

I know it was difficult to learn to dance. Doing the steps, for some reason I always got turned around. I tend to carry things in my left hand, such as my phone, car keys. Then I find it difficult because when I get into the car I have to put everything down before I can closed the car door behind me. I use my right shoulder to carry my purse, I used to wear my wristwatch on my left wrist. Then my father explained that it should go on my right wrist because I would continuously bump it on things. I would have a pen in my left hand, watch on my left wrist. That was weird.

Playing guitar when my dad attempted to teach me, I played right handed. It felt so uncomfortable playing left. I don’t think I am a true lefty. Because they do everything left-handed. I don’t. Sadly, my right hand, arm has taken a beating because I use it so much. Not to long ago I tried using my left hand for other things, just felt uncomfortable. I don’t take a lot of stock in those articles that a lot of statistics about lefty’s. That they are more satifified sexually, they are more likely to die younger, recover from a stroke faster & better and so on. I just don’t give it much thought. I’m just a left-handed woman in a right-handed world.

Are you left-handed? Not sure? Ask yourself these questions. Find out more at Lefthandersday.com

  1. Imagine the center of your back is itching. Which hand do you scratch it with?

  2. Interlock your fingers. Which thumb is uppermost?

  3. Imagine you are applauding. Start clapping your hands. Which hand is uppermost?

International Left-Handed Day

Stigma [BFMH2014]

 Do you think the stigma against mental health is beginning to fade compared to 10 years ago?

It’s been my recent experience that there is some stigma with mental health. However, when it comes to some friends & family, it seems to be easier for them to make reasons or excuses, allowances for me to “be” the way I am. It wasn’t my fault, it’s the way my parents treated me and so on.

I still will not tell the outer circle of friends. I think if I said “oh by the way, I’m bipolar or have schizophrenia.” There might be more of a stigma with those than with BPD. My opinion is that since I’m higher functioning, seemingly well and can be the fun chick. Most seem to overlook it, like it’s no big deal.  Not to sound mean, but because I tend not to be emotionally unstable in public, people don’t seem to be bothered with me being “different.”

When I first stumbled upon this whole “mental illness” blogging category. I realized there are millions of people with a mental illness. Some suffer from mild depression to some stuff I’ve never heard of. And most people I talk to have some form of “dysfunction” to me that’s an illness. It’s like its the new cool thing to have a mental illness of some kind. Whether it’s addiction, depression, BPD, PSTD. I do think that  society might view some illness as “cooler” than others. Like having Anti-social Personality Disorder, I think that would make people feel uneasy when they fully understood it. Another is schizophrenia, I think that one fills people’s minds with the homeless person pushing the cart with foil paper on their head and talking to themselves about government plots.

I think in another 10 years, it won’t be as it is today. More education, more people talking about their stories will help to ease the current stigma of mental illness. Mental illness is just now of one those diseases, illness, sickness that pretty much everyone has. There might even be those out there who don’t even know they are sick with a mental illness.

Keep in mind the above are merely my personal opinions on the subject of mental health stigma.

Alcohol, Drugs & Mental Health

Have you used alcohol or drugs to manage your mental health symptoms? How did that start? 

It was only last year when I “learned” of my issues. I would always joke about certain issues, but never knew the cause or the proper terms, names for all of it.

I started drinking heavily my senior year in high school. I had a best friend who partied harder than I did. She would go into school drunk. I didn’t do that until after I really started becoming truly rebellious. I’m not sure if it was a mental health issue or not. I knew that in social gatherings I would be so uncomfortable, the anxiety would be there. I learned somewhere that alcohol took the edge off. I would drink at the football games. Brought my peppermint schnapps to add some hot chocolate to and just walk around the high school grounds.

I couldn’t be alcohol, because I was too young. However, I had a few older cousins who taught me a few tricks. When I would get scared I would stand outside a liquor store and ask a stranger to buy me some cheap booze. I would tip him a 5 or 10 for his deed. I would get some of the nastiest booze. Ya know the bottom shelf stuff. Wild Irish Rose was one. That I would drink straight from the bottle. Usually before I left my house. So by the time I got to the party I was buzzing. I guess that’s why even today, when I meet up with old friends and I’m sober the first question is “You ok? You’re not acting like the normal you.”

Normal me?! That was a buzzed hyped up party girl.

I continued to drink heavily. Wednesday through Saturday night. Then things changed. Life happened. I won’t go into any of that. Again looking back, there have been many periods of my life when I drink more than others. There were years of dryness. Alcohol never entering my mind. Not giving it a thought. Any time there was a family function, wedding, funeral or just weekend get togethers when the “elders” would be there. I was buzzed. Not high on drugs,but alcohol. I guess then the answer would be yes. Liquid courage to face the family. the negative comments for any one and everyone. Especially my father, Jesus, was he an asshole.

Let’s speed up to present day. In 2007 I got busted for “self-medicating.” That’s what they called it. Because at the time I was suffering from depression. My daughter moved out at 17 to live with her 21 year boyfriend. I had lost my oldest son to the system thanks to that bitch of a girlfriend. I was spiraling down into the black hole of nothingness. I slipped into a place that was full of self-loathing & self-hatred. I didn’t know it back then, yes. I was trying to cope. Not knowing there were more positive ways of coping, dealing with the emotional pain I was suffering as a mother.

I only drink when I go out socially. There are times when I find it difficult to watch how much I drink & how fast I drink it. Like potato chips, it’s difficult to have just one. However, if the event is boring, I don’t drink that much. It’s when I’m having a really good time that I tend to get carried away. Do I think I have a problem? According to the professionals, NO. I don’t meet the requirements, nor has any of these behaviors effected my life in a negative way. There ya have it, just a bit more about me and my past.

 

Borderline

When I went to get tested for Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder the Licensed Clinical Psychologist had told me that he thought that I had some of these symptoms but would need more sessions to get a better assessment. It only took one more session to see a pattern from childhood. He did mention that I was “very together.” No trouble with the law, no substance dependency kind of thing. It’s one reason I stopped going to therapy. I wanted to know what was wrong with me, now I can work on fixing me.

I have written a few posts about mental illness while taking part in this year’s Blog for Mental Health Project.  I’ve debated whether I should say anything at all. However, part of me thinks, there’s nothing wrong with me, ya know? I look like everyone else. I seem normal. Yet, I know there are times that I am not normal. I’ve been given excuses for my past behaviors. Oh, you’re just passionate, you’re rebellious and you’re just saying what everyone is thinking. And so on.

Here are a few quotes from a few websites that I like the way it describes Borderline Personality Disorder.

…that centers on the inability to manage emotions effectively.  The disorder occurs in the context of relationships:  sometimes all relationships are affected, sometimes only one….

…While some persons with BPD are high functioning in certain settings, their private lives may be in turmoil. Other disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse and other personality disorders. can often exist along with BPD. National Education Alliance Borderline Personality Disorder

Most people who have Borderline Personality Disorder suffer from:

  • Problems regulating their emotions and thoughts
  • Impulsive and sometimes reckless behavior
  • Unstable relationships

To be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, a person must experience at least five of the following symptoms:

  1. Fear of abandonment or rejection – for me this isn’t so much a problem. I do not fear abandonment or rejection with my spouse. However, others in my life I do feel that they will leave me or reject me. I used to joke about the idea of me having the “fear of rejection” prior to my knowledge that I have this illness. I look back and did some really crazy things to keep people (especially men) in my life. I would do some really crazy shit. I sometimes try to control the other person’s leaving, by pushing them harder to leave. So I can deal with the loss of them in my time.
  2. Unstable or changing relationships – Looking back people tend not to stay long periods in my life. I push them along, quickly. There are few that have stayed in my life over 20 years, however the key is not to be on constant contact with them. My friendships/relationships would spiral into a push-pull relationship. I would push and push and push a man to the edge of his sanity. Just as he was about to fall off the edge of the cliff I will pull him back. I would use anything I could to keep him with me. Even when I knew that we were never meant to be together. I don’t have many female friends. It’s not that I don’t want a group of women that I can hang with its because of insecurities on either or both sides. I can only fit into their mold for so long before I begin to undone.
  3. Unstable self-image; struggles with identity or sense of self – I blame my parents for this. My issues with my body and who I am as a person are up & down. I was always told about “fat” people. Don’t get fat like your mother. No one wants you you’re fat. I heard this from different people in my life as I was growing up & when I got divorced. I don’t have a true sense of who I am. I tend to “fit” in with a group as best I can. I can only think of it as a girdle. Everything is held into place, until I get home and that’s when I let it all hang out. My mother taught me to “use” my assets to get what I want & need. So, my body is really my selling point. Since my main asset is no longer at its prime. I  hit a “mental pothole.”  That’s when I will do whatever I need to do to get the weight off. It can be illegal drugs, weight loss pills, laxatives, exercising for hours. I don’t go to the gym any more,  because I  would hang with the guys from the gym. I got into too much trouble which would led into #4 (below)
  4. Impulsive or self-damaging behaviors (e.g., excessive spending, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). Continuing from #3  I would need a way to make myself feel better about me. I would use sex as a method to get “high.” However, in my 20’s I realized that it was a circle. I wasn’t doing any thing different. I would feel worse after I snuck out of their place, car or where ever we were. The high emotion never felt the same. I was always chasing it. The wild sex adventures is what makes me feel good. I have a few regrets. I bounced from reckless & risky sex adventures to binge drinking, drugging and over spending on clothes & shoes. Funny about the driving being listed. Because, I was fast when it came to driving. Looking back, surprised I’m still here. My driving record is clean for the most part, due to it’s now my career. I must have a clean driving record, can’t mix any booze & drugs while driving.  I would lose my license. Explaining this to my beloved would crush me,  I “act out”  in private. I don’t include any one from my inner circle. Strangers or people I don’t expect to see daily.
  5. Suicidal behavior or self-injury
  6. Varied or random mood swings – I didn’t wanna believe this one. However when my kids are in emotional turmoil I tend to feed off their emotions. If someone close to me is upset, I can easily get upset also. Sometimes when the #7 kick into high gear, all of it gets pushes into mood swings into self-image issues to impulsive behavior. Just a huge circle for me at times.
  7. Constant feelings of worthlessness or sadness, emptiness – This is constant feeling. Sometimes, I go days without knowing how I feel. I just feel blank. Difficult to explain to normal people. I used to describe it as just black. There is no color. Just like my future, I don’t see myself in 5 years, 10 years or 20 years. It’s just all black.
  8. Problems with anger, including frequent loss of temper or physical fights – Not so much anymore, but when I was younger. There were fights at school, fights with family members and fights in public places. My anger in my childhood was to me extreme. I would have tantrums where I would pull all the drawers out of the dresser. Clothes everywhere. I would act out like a caged animal. I think that if I could have been allowed to express my feelings correctly, burn off energy. I might not have had such extreme anger issues. I was still having physical fights in my 20’s. Although those fights were with my ex-spouse or ex-boyfriends. I had a physical fight with my “fuck buddy” in the bar we hung out in. I was on a date with my current spouse, when my fuck buddy had said to me “You’re a fucking slut, I know you’re gonna fuck him and then come over to fuck me too.” I lost it. I punched him in the face while he sat at the bar. Since the bartender knew both of us, he told me to “take it outside.” I did. I basically fought him in the parking lot. I won. My evening ended shortly afterwards.
  9. Stress-related paranoia or loss of contact with reality

Read more my of my Blog for Mental Health posts.

The bold print above show my symptoms. Some tend to be stronger than others. Some symptoms are not as plain as the others. Looking back to my childhood I can see how & why this all occurred. To me, I believe it’s environmental along with biological. I was not sexually abused, physically abused (only spankings at times) I was very spoiled by all, except my grandmother. What a bitch. I accept that I was neglected as a child. I was placed on the pedestal, taken down and shown off by each parent when it was convenient for them. To me, half the problem is knowing the back history of it all, now to move forward. I don’t see anything major wrong with me. I’ve been able to hold down a job for long periods of time, a marriage, residence. I think the key is finding a person who understands you as an individual. Maybe even opposite of you, to help in keeping the relationship balanced.

The Family that Rides Together [WW95]

Together… what does this word mean to you? 

Do you think of two people when you see the word? You and your lover, maybe? Or do you think of a group of people engaging in the same activity at the same time? Do you like to do things together with someone else, or do you prefer to do things alone? Or does it depend on what activity you are engaging in?

Share what the word ‘together’ means to you…

 

It means a lot of different things. The first thing I thought of was riding. Because it was the love of riding motorcycles that brought us together in the first place. I asked a man that I saw riding his bike one warm spring day. He just happened to work with me. He helped me to buy my first motorcycle, how to ride it and how to survive a crash.

1998 Harley Davidson 1200 Sporty and 2001 Harley Davidson FatBoy

1998 Harley Davidson 1200 Sporty and 2001 Harley Davidson FatBoy

The bikes (above) are our most recent two. I have had several since we have gotten together. He used to have a 2003 Indian Chief. I won’t go into that right now. This activity is something we do together. There are times I will ride alone because I get too restless to stay in the house. It is the main reason my Beloved bought the bike for me, to calm my restless spirit.

There was a time when we belonged to an “association.” We would get together on the weekends and ride as a huge group. We would get together for dinner parties, holidays and family gatherings. It was fun while it lasted, then it just got to be too much. My Beloved & I would even take out the kids on the bikes when they were young. Now 4 out of the 6 kids know how to ride a motorcycle. It’s something we did together as a family. Even up until the Manchild moved out of the house. Great memories.

I enjoy riding with my beloved mostly, just him & I.

It’s what we do – together.

 CLICK the link below to get the full list of bloggers that are participating in this week’s topic – “Together.”

Parenting is Never Easy

All the kids are out of the house. Friends would say “they’ll be back, ya know!” No. Never. Once again, the manchild has been dealt a kick to the teeth by life. He went to school, got a trade skill, even moved 1000 miles away from home, to a place where he has no family and only one former classmate. Time for the boy to become a man. Right?! Right.

After my tears dried from him leaving, I got to spend the holidays with him. Leaving knowing that he has become a man. Paying his bills, working for the company that trained him. He was set, for now. He realized shortly afterwards. That what he had decided to do, wasn’t what he wanted to do at all. However, he knew that he had to fulfill the contract that he signed to stay with him until September of this year. That what he planned, he had also been looking into attending night school to work towards something else.

He overheard some staff members stating that his boss was out during lunch with some of the other managers. That someone’s relative was in need of a job. The manchild was the last on the list. That day he was replaced by a relative to manager. I’m not saying that my son is perfect, I do know he is a very independent hard worker. I have never experienced hearing of a company that just paid tuition and then let to employee go. Sure, it’s a tax write off, right? That’s business. How does a parent explain that to a young adult male? What does a parent say about employer practices? That life is not fair, no matter how honest & hard working you are, you’re still gonna get screwed over. How does a parent prevent a young adult male from becoming bitter?

I can’t understand the thinking behind it all. If the manager at the dealership in Mckinney Texas  was not satisfied with the manchild’s ob performance, why not sit down with him. Keep in mind the manchild is only 20 years old. He’s green, he’s fresh clay in the work force. Yet, he was kicked to the curb even after all the training the education, the determination and hard work of relocating away from his family. This manager without a second thought, without giving ample warnings or instructions, or guidance of any kind dismisses him, only to be replaced by a family member. How does a parent explain that to their child? 

Maybe I am making too much of this. Maybe I’m over reacting as a mother. We have all been there at some point, with out a job. Looking at eviction, not having enough experience or having too much experience. The manchild now faces all of that. He asks me “how do I get experience if no one will hire me?” He’s gone for several interviews now, a few dealerships. They told him, sorry you don’t have enough experience. Next. I have no idea how Texas works as far as unemployment services, but Manchild is having no luck getting any money. What happened to the days where a person could go stand in line and meet with a real person? Everything has to be done online?

As a mother, I feel that my hands are tied. I can’t do it for him. He’s not stupid, he’s just at a low point. Now enter my Beloved. Who tells him to go back and call the school that assisted him in finding the job at International, ask them to help him find another job. Manchild doesn’t want to because he is worried that he may get stuck with the tuition bill for being terminated. My Beloved insists on the “who cares” attitude.   Only thing, I’m not sure how many International dealerships there are in the area. I do love my beloved but sometimes that “old way thinking” is so out dated. He keeps saying “Go there and be a pain in their ass, either they will tell you why they won’t hire you or they will give you a job.” I disagree. After being kicked in the teeth for so many times, one no longer wishes to smile. My beloved continues to believe that our son is not trying hard enough to find a job. Really?! He’s gone on lots of interviews, one a day there for a while. It boils down to not qualified or over qualified. It’s so frustrating. Manchild has noticed that most people could care less about someone like him, not being able to find a job. It also doesn’t help that he is only 20 years old. Most places want a 21 year old to drive or work at those heavy jobs. Beloved also stressed that he wants the Manchild to hit an emotional bottom, to learn to set his pride aside. Take that job, washing dishes. Sure, that would be great if he was 16, however he can speak English.

I am looking at this now as, where will the money come from to pay his rent, food, not to mention the dog. Bills, loans. Thank heaven he is not married or have children. That’s got to be hell on a man. So much pressure to provide. I can understand why it would be easier for some to turn to a life of crime after there have been no positive rewards for any honest work done.

I understand being a man is not easy, there is a lot of pressure. I understand how an average 40 something male can flip out and kill his entire family or others in his work place. I can understand why men, drink, whore around, taking part in other illegal activity. Anything to release the pressure, tension from everyday life. Then add in the mix ungrateful children and a non-working over budget spending wife.

How does a mother tell her young adult son “life sucks and it ain’t fair, but it get out there anyway.”

 

 

Deleted, Moving On

A few months ago, I decided to take a 30 day challenge of deactivating my Facebook account. I survived. Returning and logging onto Facebook wasn’t the same as before. I realized a lot of things. One is that the family I thought would stay in touch, never did. Some family & friends actually deleted me as their friend. Mostly realizing that my stalker was not stalking me any more. I felt free.

Others, got upset because they for some reason took it personally. That was not my intention. I had just wanted to separate my family from my online friends. So, that my online friends could remain that, also that they would be privy to stuff like this. My blog, photos, twitter, etc. Unlike my family who I wanted to completely keep out of the loop.

Yesterday, I was told that a former co-worker had sexually assaulted the daughter of another former co-worker on a company vehicle. There is a “NO stalking” Order of Protection in effect now. I decided to lurk on a retired former co-worker’s Facebook page, who is my friend. Why? Because I knew that they might have been informed or had posted something about it. Yes, I was looking from more information.  There were some other former co-workers on their page, I click on their pages. I see a former co-workers page who had told me a while ago  “I don’t have a Facebook page because my wife will get too jealous.” I clicked on their page … “WHAT THE FUCK?” My mother???!!! Yup, my mother was one of their friends.

I lurked around on their page, now seeing that my mother has been sharing some of my photos, statuses with these former co-workers. WHAT?! yeah. Maybe I shouldn’t be upset, but I can’t help to feel that I don’t want any of my former co-workers to know what’s going on in my life. If I did I would be their friend on Facebook. My mother? She’s another story, I distanced myself from her back a few years ago.

I deactivated my Facebook account soon after I thought all this through last night. I noticed that my phone has not beeped, no emails, nothing to ask “why” am I not there on Facebook. I do believe that Facebook was an addiction for me, when I first joined up. However, it’s boring & pointless now. So, what’s my new addiction? You are. My blog is. I decided to combine my sex blog & this formally clean blog into one true reflection of your favorite little kitty.

 

 

 

 

 

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