Thursday, December 30, 2010

Spiritual Warfare

For two weeks I've seen this coming, sort of.  Let me explain, and perhaps fictional literature is better to do the job at this than my direct experience?

At any rate this is the way I choose to express my Self and my Experience at the moment.

 --- --- --- --- --- 
I think THIS would be a good introduction.

At the misty shoreline, Frank paused as Scott chose to break the silence by skipping a rock.  Looking up from the dead leaves he had been shuffling against yellow and red lake rocks, Frank's eyes pierced through the older man, boring past him to an unseen point.

"They care, you know."

Frank was silent, digging his hands deeper into his pockets and his feet just shuffled against the remaining reminders of fall.  Turning from Scott, he gazed over the lake, watching the wafts of mist rise before the sun turned the sky yellow.  Breathing in slowly, he exhaled, "Never said it was about them."

"Then, tell me.  You've got to tell someone, don't you?  Can't say you're not busting at the seams to tell someone."

Swallowing, Frank continued looking to the opposite horizon of the lake while the camp lay in slumber behind them.  "Ever get an invitation from a distant friend?  You feel obliged for what you once had with them, but now you don't have much connecting you anymore?  It's not like that.  This is like your best friend asking you to consider a serious decision that benefits both of you."  Frank looked expectantly at Scott, who was more pensive than passive, "Go on."

"Well, like I've told Thom, it's kind of like praying at church.  I'm talking to a Friend about things that would benefit both of us, once we've each heard the other and considered whether the gain is worth the battle."

"What battle."

Frank looked at Scott like he was a fool, "Souls.  God asked me to help fight for the Souls that have the least inkling of belonging to Him.  What were you thinking I was going to say?"

"Not a clue.  Good and Evil is hardly convincing these days."

The teen shrugged his flannel-clad shoulders, "It's been called worse."

"How'd you get to this point?"

"What point? Quiet?  God's not in the loud wind, right?"

With a nod of his head to the right, Scott conceded.  "What happens? Where do you go?"

"Where do you go in the boundary blurriness between sleep and waking?  God uses that space, for me, to enter into His realm.  At first I was scared and unable to do very much at all.  I was answering the phone, so to speak, or returning the R.S.V.P.  Now that boundary just stretches out before me.  I really can't explain what really happens.  As for where I go, I'm still right here."

Scott nodded, longer curls than his brother bobbed along.  Turning his gaze in the same direction of Frank's he let silence slip over them for a while.  Breaking it, "So, God asks you to fight for souls.  How do you know which ones?"

"I don't.  He tells me and I heed."

"How does He tell you?"

"Mary's the four-star General of His Army.  It's marching all around every day even though you can't see or feel the trembling of it's force.  I've experienced their power, since I'm not the only one living that joins forces with the commanders and generals, which you must know are the saints.  Mary lets me know."


"Yes."  With that Frank turned from Scott and wandered a bit further along the shoreline, signalling with his body language the exploration was over.  If Scott wanted more, he'd have to chisel through Frank's armour, or enter God's world.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thought of the Day III

I know exactly what to post, just working out how I want to say it.

Will return in a few days.

Monday, December 27, 2010


I want ... need to start writing again.

Give me color-based prompts (i.e., gray, silver) and a phenomenon (i.e. dew, fog, flood).

I'll post it here & at the wordpress =)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Photos from November 26th

On the day after Thanksgiving, I went out to the South Coast Botanical Garden since I had been aching to take photos, and needed to get out of the house. An acquaintance of mine from other hiking trips has a gorgeous camera and is able to take professional quality landscape panoramics.  So, with his images feeding my itchy fingers, and mom's sour mood driving me from the house, I took to the Garden.

About 30 minutes into the park, I was photographing a borage bush that coincidentally had a bee on it.  Well, Mr. Bee decided to fly at me, and thinking it went up my sleeve, I did my bee dance and dropped the camera with the lens fully extended.  [Insert woeful face here]

These are the photographs before the bee incident.

Paper-white Narcissus

 In the Rose Garden

 Fuchsia in a Hanging Basket

 Daisy in the Volunteer Garden

 Peppers in the Volunteer Garden


 Lily of Some Sort

 Coral and Pink hued daisies

Friday, December 24, 2010


Veni, veni Emmanuel;
Captivum solve Israel,
Qui gemit in exilio,
Privatus Dei Filio.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,
Nascetur pro te, Israel!

Veni, veni, O Oriens;
Solare nos adveniens,
Noctis depelle nebulas,
Dirasque noctis tenebras.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,
Nascetur pro te, Israel!

Veni, Clavis Davidica!
Regna reclude caelica; 
Fac iter tutum superum,
Et claude vias inferum.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,
Nascetur pro te, Israel!

Veni, veni Adonai!
Qui populo in Sinai,
Legem dedisti vertice,
In maiestate gloriae.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,
Nascetur pro te, Israel!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thought of the Day II

Hanging out on the INTJf with more than 3 drinks in me is nutters ... since we're discussing INTJ preferences on PB 'n' J. =)  Like who knew that an almond butter existed ... yummers

I feel like I'm swimming in bed, more than I already usually do with migraines. I'll be sleeping like a rock tonight.

I hate Christmas shopping. Wish we could really turn back to tenebrae (spelling?) and just waiting.  Perfume and crap.  I don't really want to bother with a crummy list that isn't going to be remembered a year, let alone ten years from now.  Gimme a real request.

Thinking about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. How much does yours cost you?  If nothing, you ain't using it right. Trust me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

On Being Defensive

I almost can't remember all the events of today...almost.

By 11am the fit was ready to hit the shan.  I got up to go grab a chart from the office, when the front desk lady stops me, tells me a social worker from APS (adult protective services) tried to get in touch with me on the phone, and that he would be coming to the ADHC.  I replied that I did not a [his name] and why would APS be coming to the Center?  I got the chart and the Administrator asked me the same question, I denied it again.  It was decided with nursing, the front desk lady and the program director present that no one would be speaking to the APS social worker alone.  In fact it was decided by the Administrator that she would sit in with me while the APS was speaking with me, and there would be a joint session with the APS as well.  These decisions are against regulations.

Going back to my office, I was cornered in the hallway between my office and the nurses office by my boss (the owner of the ADHC).  He was asking about the APS report I had copied on Thursday, and I explained it as, which is the truth: I made a couple of copies because I only have a Spanish version, and I only had one English version,  and needed a few others for the future.  He wasn't pleased.  I called my co-social worker from the bathroom.  Then using the classic female ploy of grabbing my purse and heading back into the restroom, I called the APS and gave them my name and number; informed them that if they were sending out a social worker to the Center to get in touch with him and tell him no joint meetings, that he had to insist on single meetings.

Then I went back to my desk and returned to my paperwork, writing up letters to doctors telling them that their patients are showing the first signs of dementia or Alzheimer's.  I was having a fun morning between that and orienting the elderly schizophrenic that there wasn't actually someone there talking to him on the couch.
 I called my co-social worker on my cell a second time, now having shut the door and jammed the door-stopper in, so I could speak with some assurance that I wouldn't be interrupted.

After this, some discussion in the social work office with the Administrator, myself, and the LCSW about the specifics of our paperwork and the confusion that is occurring with the audit, and where previous social workers dropped the ball.  Then we all headed back to the office to go over some other charts to clear up the matter with the Program Director, and the front desk lady comes in.  She says that the man who she thought was the APS social worker was coming in from another agency and was investigating my abused elder's caregiver for a felony case, and wanted to check on his safety, and was about to go to the house and check on the other elders living there as well.  So the supposed APS worker was really a social worker from another agency checking in to see about the abused client because his caregiver is wanted for a felony case.  I don’t know the nature of that felony.

...and my back stopped hurting for a moment.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

just waiting on perfection

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2 days in review

Last night (12/15/2010) I could not sleep until I had sent an email off to a professional/friend contact and (and) made the decision to submit the report regardless of what any supervisor or administrator said because the Law stated otherwise.

My back momentarily stopped hurting after I sent the fax.

I've got to draw up a monthly and weekly budget for myself.  Without having classes 4 nights/week, I should be able to work this out fairly well so the habit is established by the time I have to start class in the spring along with my internship.  Then I'll get 3 months off with the summer to save even more, only to resume the one course and internship in the fall.

$100 for 2 weeks of gas
$75 to 100 for 2 weeks of miscellaneous (i.e., food, shopping)

Leaving about 3/4 of my paycheck in the bank.  Saving up that way for a while will enable me to feel safe financially before setting the move-out date in stone.  I'm so my father in terms of money: pinch and fret and pinch some more.  But I'm really just entering "taking care of myself mode" with the paychecks that I do have, getting $200/month for the past 1.5 years wasn't good.  It all went towards gas.  It got to the point that I would return things bought weeks previously just to get extra cash for gas and not having to ask for more.  I feel so bad for having to ask for money.  I don't want to be put in that position again.

Other things I want to take care of are some activities like kickboxing or something active that can be put to use (i.e., forget yoga or aerobics, or a gym membership).  What good is running on a treadmill, never going anywhere.  I love hiking, I get to read at the summit or take photos.  Getting the sense yet that something always has to be put to use?  It's not just an end to itself?

hm, anyway, work in the morning and Family Christmas Tree Decorating in the Evening .... (signing off)
just wanted to share a photo ... until I can get the last of my photos from the now-broken camera
itchy fingers, can't wait to see what I got and edit them

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Week in Review

I can't help but be reminded of the line "vanity, all is vanity" for this evening.

I walk in and dump my tupperware in the sink, plop the book and pursue on the counter and stick my coffee in the fridge for the following morning.  I mention that I'm up to my eyeballs in work and classes are all just finals, and I get greeted with "that's what you want, to be busy all the time."  No question about the ethical quagmires that instantly appear at work.  No question about how I'm feeling with the APS report I've got sitting on my desk and have 72 hours to fill out.  Know what happens in the 24 hours I've given the potential abuser?  I've given him the ability to make a good story and coach my elderly client on what to say.  Or how about the Administrator of the ADHC telling me that I must run each APS report past her first (because every abuse report takes a client away from her pursue strings).  Excuse me?  No honey, this is how I work: I take my Code of Ethics seriously.  I hold myself to a few Codes and you might have heard of some of these: the Word of God (heard of that one?), NASW Code of Ethics (or maybe this one?), and the Ethics of the ADHC (you do know your own ethics code, right?).  Then on top of that I have the ethics of the APA of which I'm also a member, and the ACA, which I want to become a member of, etc.  These aren't just acronyms and things you sign your name under at graduation and then forget about; codes are for protecting your client, not yourself.

Nope, that's not something to talk about when I get back from 6 hours at work and the other 7 hours at school studying for finals, taking an exam and talking with my professor at length.  No, don't engage me at all; jump straight to "let's stitch up the holes in your ears" from a botched pierced ear thing that was cheap because the pediatrician did it; they're just not straight so we got them redone a zillion years ago.  I declined and said that I don't place my worth and value as a person on some stupid closed up hole in my lobe.  Now, now I get to hear about how I don't take care of myself and "do your girlfriends also not care?" to which I can only say "my girlfriends and I wear the same amount of makeup, boots and short skirts when we go out clubbing."  Would she also like to hear guys buy me shots of Patron, because I doubt it would prove my point: closed piercing holes that no one can really see are not a sign of me being "cheap" or "low class", and employers have never had an issue with it.  Then I'm told a bunch of other stuff.  What's the point? Its the same old argument recycled.

So, I've been banished to eat my TV dinner in my room.  Please, my room?  Really?  Hah, I've got books, a laptop, calligraphy utensils, 5 unfinished quilts, 5 4 Cuban sodas, a radio, an ipod, and tonnes of other things this bookish introvert could entertain herself with for hours on end.  Heck, banishment to the room is better than the old days when I was eating my dinner in the laundry room.

That reminds me, I need a new house plant; maybe get one for the office, too.

I'm glad I'll be working on Christmas Eve, smiling and talking with my clients; just Thanksgiving I won't be able to recall one such Christmas where I have been authentically happy and smiley.  And its not because I'll be paid (not overtime, mind you).  Just being with people who are actually able to be appreciative of the littlest thing that I do or realize Christmas is not about food, gifts and walking on eggshells.

I bought a book on Friday evening.  My first impulse for buying it was the cover.  Then I read the introduction and that hooked me.  Being so bookish, it's generally hard not to judge a book by the introduction.  I found Moore's most recent book that night and spent the 2 hours at Barnes and Noble reading the first 60 pages.  I might have to go back some afternoon or evening to just finish reading the book.  Anyway, my impulse buy is "party of one".  Now, I've got to put in my caveat: I'm not a loner, but if I spend all day with people, I invariably turn into even more of a neurotic wreak than I already am on a daily basis.  I say neurotic, I'm sorta high-strung.  Anyway, the thing that got me talking about the party of one is this:

"Imagine you're a loner whose ideal home would be a cottage on the beach, miles from the nearest neighbor.  And your ideal day would be one in which you slept from noon to dinnertime, worked half the night, then split the rest between raising pigeons and walking -- alone, of course -- on the beach.
In some places and eras, you could get away with it.  Not most.  In most you would be loathed, suveilled, suspected of perversion, called a witch, hauled out, spat at, set afire -- or something like that.  With luck you might only be laughed at, mercilessly, all your life."

I've got to say, as a kid and teen I dreamed of owning an old weather-worn silvered wooden cottage in some back country with green hills and forests, raising sheep.  Then, I think it was last year, I was told sheep stink, but I imagine I prefer sheep stink to cow stink.  Anyway, my daydreams are loner daydreams: utterly alone in huge old mansions or walking city streets in old fashioned garbed alone at night.  Ain't nobody in my daydreams, except for this one kid.

Anyway, I've got work and things to do yet.
I'm off.

Monday, December 13, 2010

 because getting 6 months 'heads up' makes it easier

Saturday, December 11, 2010

spirituality ii

Don't recall exactly where I left off yesterday, guess that is what happens when I type at 12am.  I've only a half hour to type.  With Lie to Me, playing in the background, I probably won't have much to say.

Returning to spirituality, I was saying that I would have frowned upon it, and I did, two years past.  I remember one client who said she was very Christian and very spiritual during the psychosocial assessment I did on everybody as a Social Work intern.  I figure my disgust was all over my face.  Spirituality, that's the stuff for New Age tarot card reading-mantra chanting people.  That's not the 'spirituality' I'm considering.  That's spiritism, the belief of spirits and demons without the foundation of religion and dogma to declare one as benign and the other evil; all is 'spirit' and all is there to serve us and guide us.

Spirituality is the flavor added to your faith relationship with God that is grounded in the foundation of a religion.  I got to a solid understanding of my spirituality over the summer.  I delved into spirituality last winter, and came out with a different understanding in the spring.  So many are focused on the life, the spring time, the  resurrection, the sun and the warmth; I tend towards the winter, the dark, the dark night, the crucifixion, the agony in the garden.  I told a friend at a house warming party in July that people need to move beyond what I got, the faith I have is good, go and get what is better.  Some of us have to stand at the foot of the Cross at the Crucifixion.

spirituality i

Perhaps the best thing about endlessly purchasing and perusing books is knowing exactly where to look when I'm needing a particular turn of phrase.  All of Austen is available for wit, Merton for quasi-Christian-Buddhist 'silence is golden' tendencies, etc.  But if I want a mood, I also know know which authors will squash or evoke something.  I have four statistical books perfect for insomnia, Heller for cynicism, Malachi Martin for caution.  More to the point, I picked up the book I had dropped last year and resumed in in the same spot.  I've always had this knack for putting a book down for one or more years, picking it up and resuming without needing to review the previous page or chapter.

If you don't like what I'm doing, saying, or reading without good reason and just object; you've automatically lost my audience.  I'd say that two years ago I didn't understand or value in any sense the nuance between religion and spirituality; I couldn't parse out foundation from trappings.  I frowned upon it and adhered only to religion, not understanding that spirituality has its own importance.  I didn't go seeking for any grasp or understanding, I had shut it out.

In November '09 I took any job that I could find; I worked as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army: paid to ring a bell next to the red bucket.  I hated it as a job.  Coming out of my rejecting the SMMEs, the days and months were already darkly tinted; I was already in the shadows, and this job provided the transition from shadow to darkness.  At first I fought against it, but in buying a book from the library resale I learned that I didn't always have to fight off the darkness.  The author, Thomas Moore, has a way of writing in a spiritual manner but not a religious one.  Reading his work, automatically took me out of my comfort zone.

As I was being pushed out of my comfort zone in terms of religion versus spirituality, I was pushing others out of their own.  I stopped fighting the darkness and the depression.  I didn't give into the depression, obviously, but I just sat in it.  Like a hiker lost in a thick fog, I didn't waste my lethargic energy on wandering around but sat down on a mossy rock and waited for the dawn.  It was one of those fogs so thick that the trees drip and it sounds like rain, and the drops pierce through your sweater.  You're on-edge sitting there in the dark just waiting, waiting.

So I sat and waited.  I got through my depression, intentionally this time, the hard way; it's the only way I've ever known for getting through depression.  I lost quite a bit of audience.  I remember one prayer meeting, some religious people who were emotionally sensitive but religiously neurotic (cautious in all the wrong ways) told me to just make nice, to play pretend.  Those blithe statements of "smile and soon you'll feel happy."  Pardon me.  My emotions and states of mind are my own.  I chose to share with some people and not all were understanding.  Anything that's not within their experience wasn't valid.  So I ignored their opinions and turned to others who understood.  My spiritual director was understanding and supportive, my therapist a phone call away; the bases were covered.

So, this week with it's crazy paperwork fiasco at work (let's just torch it and start over), mom's episodes, finals, lack of sleep, Grampa, and other things, I made the choice to just shut down emotionally.  It's really its own state of consciousness - being emotionless.  I'm capable of emotional reactions, but I chose to ignore the ones that relate to my interior world.  Knowing that I was in need of spiritual component again, I turned to Moore's writing.  It's nice to get confirmation that it's okay to be awake at night, to be in the dark.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

stop violating the perfection of silence with your noise

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Damage Control

I can handle instigating if it means others have sanity.  But triggering myself that's an emotional event I tend to avoid.  I know that I need what I did on Divine Mercy Sunday; I cried from 11pm all the way through 4pm.  I was able to do that because it was completely dark and others didn't focus on me at all.  Not sure I'll need 5 hours, but ... eh maybe getting more than 4 hours of sleep would work better for the moment.


In other news, 1-403-896-9013 stop texting me!

Thought of the Day

Curs'd juxtaposition.

How dare I be forced to think about what I had set aside in a neat little mental package?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Rant of the Day

Pettiness is wearying.

Wearing 'chemo' scarves because she doesn't like how the hairdresser cut her hair.  Then crying around the house as though someone had died.  I've never heard her cry like that for when someone was actually dead or ill; she keeps the gut-wrenching crying and banshee screaming for pettiness.  Then she moves towards screaming about how ungrateful my sister and I are because we didn't use all our savings (we didn't have any at the time) to keep her and dad from using retirement funds for her cancer treatment 5 years ago.  If its not that, I'm disgusting to look at, or don't do anything to deserve a single present for Christmas.  Then we move back towards how all the prayers and Rosaries don't matter if "you're a bitch! It won't make a difference!" Oh, yeah.  If I'm not a bitch in December, then she'll call me a lesbian having affairs with priests in July.

... back to a test, two papers, and networking with people about code violations at work.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Week in Review

  1. To Do lists, when I have something to do, are my best friends ... after all my books, of course!
  2. Mr. C - now that was all sorts of inappropriate!  If you hadn't just been released from the hospital, I'd give you a piece of my mind.  Clients must be reminded that they are clients. I liked medical social work, no one got overly friendly or casual. It was always clear who was who.
  3. Work is a mess.  People not doing paperwork, forging paperwork, etc. Ethical nightmare. I think I have found yet another reason for why they have lost more than 6 social workers in the past 7 months.
  4. Work gave me a migraine today. *Clings to the excedrin bottle for dear sanity*
  5. Michaels & JoAnn's - you make me nauseous. Stimuli overload.
  6. I like being a Traditional Roman Catholic aka Scrooge; thank you very much!
  7. I feel like upchucking my excedrin
  8. Diggin Up Bones
  9. Thinking I might give Prof C a piece of my mind, and we all know how that will go!  Making me think of Joseph again.  Everything had been nice and neatly tucked away.  Joseph's one of those people you only think about every once in a while, at certain moments.  Then you want to let them invade your inner world like Dom let Mal into his.  Joseph's like that, and things don't seem that strange anymore.  But I wish he was here.  I still think he got lucky though; he got off.  He's got it good.
  10. To heck with the concert, gonna go do a nice quiet dinner with my friends. Stay indoors, sans parents.
  11. Want to quilt again.

Monday, November 29, 2010


I'm going to be crying myself to sleep tonight.  I'm okay with it since (a) I'm choosing to rather than being overwhelmed and (b) its about Joseph.  I'm spending time thinking about what could have been.

It was wrong of her to end class on such a morose note, but what do I know? I'm just the student.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Faith lives on things that are most dark, just as hope lives best on the elements of despair.
-- Blessed Nivard, OSB Cist.

It's the tagline in the email attached to this blog.  I haven't changed it in over 2 years; must be good for something.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Because We All Need To Escape From the Nasty World Outside, Sometimes

vernal (?) falls, yosemite, august 2009

view from chapel towards Catalina, January 2010
vernal falls, Yosemite, Aug 2009
February 2010, Confirmation 2 retreat
 snorkeling location on Isla Mujeres; June 2010
 Isla Mujeres; June 2010
 from hotel balcony in Cancun; June 2010
Zion, Utah; July 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Food for Thought

"I do not believe.  I know."
    --C.G. Jung


I got an email over the weekend from Sr Joseph with one of the most simplistic subject lines: "Fwd: Oprah."

Last spring, Oprah, featured the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist (DSMME or SMMEs) on her show.  Apparently, she's back at it.  It was supposed to have aired today.  If someone can find the full episode clip of the Sisters, I'd love to watch it.

Here's the link.

I could have been there.  I could have either learned on this side of the convent walls as I did, or I could have learned inside them, that I wasn't supposed to be there.  I shouldn't be spending time on what could have been, but on where I'm going.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

  1. An obligatory comment on the condom snafu in the news media:  His Holiness did not make it ex cathedra.  Secondly, it's an attempt to imbue some charity into immoral sexual acts: protection of an infected HIV/AIDS person's sexual partner of choice.  This is not a move towards permitting contraceptives at all; look at the intention: protection from further harm, not avoidance of creating life!
  2. Dicit Dominus: Ego cogito cogitationes pacis, et non afflicitonis: invocabitis me, et  ego exaudiam vos: et reducam captivatem vestram de cunctis locis.
  3. It's not Christmas yet, so why the music?  Don't you knuckleheads at the mall understand that Christmas starts on December 25th and extends through the octave until January 6th?  Since I'll be losing my sanity at the mall with each carol that the speakers pipe in, and I use the music on this blog as typing music, it's changed for the Advent season.  
  4. Speaking of Advent: it's the mini-Lent of the Traditional Catholic.  I'm trying to think of what to fast from; might switch to Gregorian chant for the entirety of the 4 weeks.  I've a few days to figure this one.
  5. Mrs L, I appreciate what you're trying to say, but I already know a lot of this.  I've been in discernment for 5 years, been accepted to a community and have had to turn it down.  I'm at where I am for a reason; I don't need to know that reason.  Yes, I've read smidgens of the Little Flower, but when God puts you on hold, you learn these lessons anyway.  Being put on hold isn't that bad: you know you'll get service eventually, and in the meantime you're doing small tasks that needed to get done.  I'll get through eventually.  Heck, it's nowhere near the difficulty of the Dark Night!
  6. Lastly, happy Solemnity of Christ the King.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I've got several papers to write this weekend, and I was definitely not counting on getting hired this month. So NaNoWriMo is officially in the trash can.    I have not written more than 2100 words in the previous 3 weeks.  I know the main problem is that I am aiming for quality and not the quantity brain-vomit that NaNo encourages.

Unless someone wants to declare me certifiably insane, of course.  I might attempt the 50k yet...

Monday, November 15, 2010

More often than not classes & meetings take a lot of effort.  Below are reasons why.

Here are just a few fallacies:
1. Ad hominem: Attacking the character of the person forwarding an argument.
2. Ad populum: Making an argument based on popular viewpoints, which does not verify it as correct.
3. Anecdotal evidence: Use of special cases to contradict an argument based on statistical evidence.
4. Appeal to authority: Argument or suggestion claiming validity due to an expert or authorities approval/agreement.
5. Appeal to ignorance: Suggesting that due to a lack of evidence for or against a case, then the case must be false.
6. Biased Evidence: Backing only one's own opinion without investigating around the topic.
7. Repetition: Stating things in repetition does not validify a statement.
8. Straw man arguments: Misrepresenting a position, so as to create a debating point that detracts from the main topic.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wednesday was not fun. I scared myself, and a few other people to boot.  I'd rather have people scared than unresponsive; it means someone cares.

I spent the majority of the day at school trying to read and study for an exam.  Although I brought a bunch of snacks with me, the only thing I made use of all day and into the evening was a bottle of water.  Of course with cooler weather and the time change, and not eating all day long, I was pretty freaking cold by the time I had to take the exam for my evening course.

I had one friend chatting with me via email.  Seems odd to me that I still manage to sound philosophical when on a scale of -10 to 10, I rated myself on a -5. 

  • "if i could cut out the part of me that is bad, i'd do it
    i wish i could cut the pain away"
  • "why does this take so much effort? why aren't we aware of the effort to live on a daily basis?"
It's the second one that strikes me.  Every day, we get up, dressed, eat, and go to work or school.  We do many different things throughout the day, interact with so many different people who seem to be functioning just like ourselves.  But when you're day isn't going right, or week, or month or year, or decade, &c it takes so much effort and energy to do the slightest thing. 
 Why are we not aware of the energy and stamina required on a daily basis?  What blocks our perception? What causes us to take it for granted? How did we get to this point in the first place? Could we become aware of it in a healthy manner?  How could this be used?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I should do a damage control post, but I'll just say the usual: "been there, done that & have a safe routine to follow".  Phone calls & texts started going out last week about certain impulses.  Friends replaced the role of family long ago.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Awesome background noise: Rain

little miss sunshine

my thoughts don't feel safe to share. the less i dwell, the less 'i feed the animals' the less it claws and tears at me
          gloom 'n' doom. self pity is hell. no wonder i dont explore it very often. reality
i'll keep myself as safe as possible. i'll try to drive the speed limit. i'll try to eat. i'll try not to cut

If you want/need a promise, I'll give you what we did in school social work:

The 3+ people I promise to call: Eman, Lisa, and anyone else who'll listen & my most recent former therapist
I promise not to kill myself.  I will try my best not to hurt myself (i.e., cutting) but don't feel safe/able to ensure my word at this time.  If I start thinking of hurting myself in a grayish area between self-injury & suicide I will hand over my booze, migraine medication, PMS meds, excedrin OTCs and Alieve over to a trusted friend for at least one week; along with all my sharp objects (nail cutters, scissors, sewing pins & needles, metal emery board, hand mirrors, and anything else I find a temptation).  I will avail myself to counseling services on campus; may even return to my most recent ex-therapist in Huntington.  If I feel like I'm going to break my promise, I'll find the cop who stands 24/7 sentry at the Hawthorne cliffs and submit to a 5150 (that's what he's there for; that's why people go to the Hawthorne cliffs).

Re-post from March 3, 2010

For me, it's better to feel physical pain than the emotional pain.  I can only handle so much emotional pain in my life, and it triggers memories, which only add to the pain.  So, while others self harm to release pain, I do it to feel a type of pain that has an observable, curable cause.  Emotional pain will always be there, always there under the surface waiting for some one, thing, event to dredge it all up again.  But physical pain, it gets healed and goes away; it is forgotten.

And for the people out there who think self injury is a suicidal gesture, that's not true; you need to go read more psychological literature.  Besides, if I really wanted to kill myself, I've already had 5 depressive episodes in the past 12 years.  I've had my chance, I never took it.

my reasons:
I feel selfish
I always take and never give
I have nothing to offer, especially God
If I have anything to give, it's something that God has already given to me.  I can't claim anything as truly my own.
I never add up
She will never love me
She will never see me as a separate entity, worthy of dreams and desires and wants, etc apart from herself
I never fulfill half the obligations I say I'll do for other people; including prayer
I'm a hypocrite
I constantly fail
I'm tired of failing
I'm tired of not adding up
I'm a bitch
I'm all sorts of messed up
I don't want to meet back up with my therapist
I don't want to have to be honest with my therapist; the last one stabbed me in the back
I'm tired of meeting expectations that are not my own
I'm tired of being unemployed
I'm tired of hiding
I'm tired of her never having remorse
Since I constantly fail, why don't you just give me Hell since I already live it
I have so much crap going on in my life I can't hear God
I hate hearing about my 'worth'; it's painful
I'm tired of having migraines and tension headaches
I'm tired of missing events to make sure she maintains boundaries
I'm tired of hiding books, prayer cards, and prayer journals as though they are contraband
Why do I have to take care of her?
Why do I have to walk on egg shells to make her happy, but she can stomp all over me?
Why am I invisible?
I'm tired of being constantly reminded of how I cause problems
I'm tired of being constantly talked to as though I'm a child when I'm her adult child
Why does she get to act like she is 5 years old?
I hate recieving praise and compliments because I don't know what to do with them.
I'm supposed to be entering the convent, but God won't even give me a f-ing job to enable me to fulfill His will.
I have to lie about where I go for church
I have to make excuses for dressing modestly (but prettily)
I can't cry - my emotions take a back seat to hers
I can't be angry at her; I'm supposed to be understanding due to my education and training as a counselor
I'm supposed to provide information but I cannot appear to be intelligent in the matter
I can't upstage her (i.e., cooking, sewing, intellect, etc)
Tired of living under the unspoken rule of "I'll love you when you do ____."
If I try to be my own separate self, its self defeatist
I'm not "up to snuff"
Tired of having to second guess whether something is done simply to be nice or has a motive behind it for later use
[may add more later]

there - all out in the open. now, run for the hills

Jungian Shadow Function

At some point during this past summer, my attention turned to Jungian psychology.  I’ve spent the greater part of the last 7 years in libraries, reading some awesome albeit stretching-the-subject theories on human behavior.  I’ve read studies on everything from economics of behavior to jury selection, from the impact of racially segregated neighborhoods, to cohabitation’s role in divorce.  It’s been interesting.  Between all these different interests, I really developed a liking for social psychology tied in with rational economics; I could never wrap my head around statistics.  Research and any pursuit of a PhD were automatically out.  I remember coming across Jung’s works, standing next to Freud; leather and fabric bindings falling off and tattered.  I liked those books because they smell good.  I love the smell of old books.  But I would pick the volumes up, leaf through it and put it back down. never quite being fully grabbed into the material.  I liked Jung’s exploration of the spirit and soul, and imagination; the things that seem to make us human versus animal.  

I never associated Jung with Myers-Brigg; something led me to cross that line over the summer.  I revel in my personality type; I am reading up on the development of the MBTI, and the different types.  My 'type' not only helps me to see why people don’t like me, and explains so much about why I am serious and am off-putting.  It also allows me the freedom to figure out my strengths, to stretch the possibilities.  Perhaps a precursor to this is the VIA strengths test that was derived from Seligman[i].  However these are character strengths, and in the four years since I was introduced to this material I’ve learned that these aspects of my character are non-negotiable; these are things I choose to make valuable in my life.  On the other hand, personality – its not know for certain at what age it’s fully formed, or if its fluid.  At any rate, it’s given me pause to remember why certain things happened the way they did.

Jung also decided to see Freud’s negative view of the inner mind and made it the playground of philosophy, religion and/or mythology, and symbolic imagination.  As if its not enough to take (and retake: reliability) the MBTI, Jung gave us the shadow functions: the ones that come out to play when you’re everything that you should not be.  When the Introvert spills his emotional guts, with the Perceiver suddenly starts drawing up to do lists and time management tables.  These are the exact reversal of what we typically are and they’re there when we are stressed more than usual.

It’s not a secret that I’m an introvert, so I’m easily pliable when I’m stressed out.  People get more of a response from me than they would otherwise.  The first instance from the past month alone would be when I had two exams back-to-back; if I was asked a personal question I answered it without a second thought.  The thing with the shadow functions is they are the “what’s bad about” or negative aspects of the opposing type.  I’ll act more extroverted, but in all the wrong ways: saying things I shouldn’t; let the negativity just hang out.  Some types are by nature more free-wheeling or spontaneous; if it’s a shadow function, it’s like an impulse control disorder gone wrong – more likely to pick fights, there’s no mental filter when speaking; behaviorally it can resemble a manic episode (speeding, anyone?).  One of my shadow functions is to focus on the worst-case scenario, or the negative possibilities; I’ll try to reach out and interact with people (Extrovert), but due to the impulsivity it goes fairly badly, I’ll get to the point where I wish others could get into my head the way I usually get involved with my own thoughts when not swayed by the shadow.  Yet, my I(ntroversion) blocks that pathway against all odds; like asking someone to enter my world with a 6 foot ladder to scale a mile high barricade.  Or I don’t chase down the next project: in turning off my thoughts and introversion to just watch television (when I’ll typically write a paper and watch a show simultaneously), or buy something on impulse (a candy bar, an extra yard of fabric, or like last week, 100 tea lights).  At the core, Jung treats the shadow as the natural instinct; usually recognized as Freud’s id, which is where the similarity ends.  The shadow contains the part of us we keep hidden away, its our instinct, our negativity, our evil, although it’s actually amoral.  One’s shadow isn’t determined by natural law, its just our opposing feature: it looks unnatural and evil because it’s the contrast of what we perceive to be good in ourselves.

[i] 1st: spirituality, sense of purpose & faith (shape actions, source of comfort), 2nd: curiosity & interest in the world (nearly all topics are fascinating), 3rd: gratitude (don’t take for granted the good things), 4th:  judgment, critical thinking & open-mindedness (examine all aspects, able to change mind), 5th: appreciation of beauty & excellence (skilled performance)

*sources: One Two Three Four Five (not disclosing the forum) 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Some things Don't Change

Mark Twain wrote:
“The land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendour and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of traditions, whose yesterday's bear date with the moderate antiquities for the rest of nations-the one sole country under the sun that is endowed with an imperishable interest for alien prince and alien peasant, for lettered and ignorant, wise and fool, rich and poor, bond and free, the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the world combined.”

Does the Catechism provide a specific definition of forgiveness and its relation to the concept of restitution? Have you forgiven a serious personal offense, and did you take steps to prevent that offense from recurring?

Look the difference between you and me, is that I own the Catechism and I have the ability to open it and read it. I don't have special knowledge or training. You have opposable thumbs just like me: pick it up, open up the index and read.

Ask me anything

Sunday, November 7, 2010

301.81 (a poem)

colorful haze
shiny tarnished mirror
rotten to the core
rotted away before the grave
cold, dark and unfeeling
your mirrors
your cards
your haze
shatter boundaries
basking in a glow
not your own
mirrors hide corpses
reflecting only you
dizzying unison
corpses laugh back
hollow and dry
drowning in revolt
choked by haze
mirrors cut and tear
cards tattered and burning

© Megan Singer 2010


I missed my extra hour of sleep, because I was worried about missing Mass.

Birthdays went very smoothly yesterday; someone was very heavily medicated.  I toed the line a few times, and barely got a look.  But it's fake, its a veneer.  Some things were said in jest and if it weren't for the meds, lolz.  She just about flipped her biscuit when my sister joked that she and 'T' were considering certain things for when they get married. Holy friggs, the look on her face, you could see the meds working overtime, like a switch flipped.  At least I didn't get any crap this time about not having a boyfriend; I got jabs over not having a job, though.  Not sure which one is worse.  Just a few more days to go until the actual birthdays pass, then we can all let down the guard a bit.

---Post Edited 11/07 at 3:27pm ---

What a weekend. I'm tired.  Can I get a do-over?
This is one weekend I'm really glad that I don't have to teach.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Can a person's family of origin elicit problems that otherwise would not have appeared? I think I reacted defensively to my family's problems instead of behaving proactively to create a better future for myself. How could one create healthy boundaries?

I can't help you with that one. I'd suggest finding a good therapist and working through those reactions.

Ask me anything

Ok, now that is high school.
fucking hilarious
It's only second-rate to the absinthe fairy.

to post or not to post

so I wrote this huge brain vomit post & then deleted it  =)

chocolate ice cream and gchat is helping

and my big stuffed neon orange elephant...just one of those weeks where everything shuts down

even my sense of grammar and formation shuts down sheesh

just gotta let it roll on wonder they call it urge surfing

enough bitching i'm gonna go write

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I can see how what I said a week ago can be a point of contention.  At some point in a convoluted discussion among several students and the professor I had made the comment that sometimes students may know more than a professor; the one at the bottom of the totem pole may have a better grasp on the matter than the one at the top.  Naturally, that can be upsetting to some people if they do not let the other possibilities come to mind.  However I had not expected to be called out on it this evening.

Professor comes up to me before the session began and said, “What was it you said last week? That the intern knows more than the supervisor?”  I countered with, “Well, I didn’t say it like that.  I can’t recall exactly.  Why?”  I hedged.  He’s defensive; getting into my full line of vision, dominating the physical and social space around me.   Plus, I would like to get the full context of the matter again – what exactly was it that I had said that put him on the defensive?  Was he interpreting it in a different manner than I had perceived myself as stating it?  He did not offer clarification.  He’s trying to establish order, and I can only assume that he feels that I am questioning his judgment, knowledge and experience in the field.  I did not have the opportunity because he took the pause in my words (when I’m still thinking and reflecting to come up with a response!!) to say “I’ve never had an intern that knew more than me.  It doesn’t work that way.”

Well let me tell you what does work that way.  He comes from the psychoanalytical Freudian training and paradigm.  From what has been mentioned in class he does stand behind the current paradigm of EBP (evidence-based practice) and a slight eclectic mix of other modern theories and perspectives.  However, what I had insinuated with my comment last week, and I was unable to defend, is that other fields and professions have their own perspectives and paradigms.  I’m very EBP, along with multisystemic theory, systems theory, positive psychology, empowerment and the strengths perspective.  I move within these with a lot of ease.  I see things from many perspectives; many facets.  A student or an intern may not know or comprehend more, but understand a different view or facet.  A student can appear to know more than a professor because they are not caged in the paradigm.

Professor is focused on tradition and principles, and often makes statements that draw attention to “how things should be done, and are done.”  He’s mentioned that therapeutic practices are not to differ from what everyone else is doing; well, Rogers and others broke away from the behavioralists.  Rogers disagreed that people were merely functioning on conditioning (classical, intermittent, interval & ratio), and formulated the humanistic approach that incorporated emotions and reactions; a further extension from Rogers was existential psychology.  Sometimes there has to be people who break away from the norm, the “way it has to be done” in order for there to be growth.  For my Professor, principles are not rules; rules may be broken but not principles.  I understand the concept, but support it only so far, as can be noted.

On several occasions he has stressed the appropriate need for joining professional organizations.  He has pushed local, state and national organizations.  The class he is teaching is one of the introductory courses, yet he pushes this need to professionally belong more than any of the other professors in the program.  Belonging-ness: making sure that students are not put off by him, always making nice.  At times, appearing more as a comedian than a serious professor; he’s ingratiating himself: he has to belong. 

2nd interesting link (has a spot-on humanized description) 
Kiersey's Typology

Sleep Deprivation

NaNoWriMo began Nov 1 at 12:01am, and I only started writing yesterday well after 10pm.  I went to bed sometime around 2:30 and I only have about 900 words written.  I'm in this for a novel re-write.  I'm not trying to win the challenge (I only win bragging rights)!  Still, the first chapter always drags.  Favorite sentence from last night: "The air was stale with apprehension despite the fall crisp."

Since I'm running on less sleep for NaNo, I'm also still very out of whack from Saturday; too much partying & my back hates me for sleeping on a lumpy futon.  The next time I sleep over, I'll have to bring a board if I want to avoid all this pain.  Or, I could stop partying...because that idea is so viable.

Anyway, back to writing.


From the Handbook of Indulgences
Visiting a Church or an Oratory on All Souls Day
A plenary (“full”) indulgence, which is applicable only to the souls in Purgatory is granted to the Christian faithful who devoutly visit a church or an oratory on (November 2nd,) All Souls Day.
Will you not, for love, try today to gain this indulgence?
Requirements for Obtaining a Plenary Indulgence on All Souls Day (Nov. 2nd)
  • Visit a church and pray for souls in Purgatory
  • Say one “Our Father” and the “Creed” in the visit to the church
  • Say one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary” for the Holy Father’s intentions
  • Worthily receive Holy Communion (ideally on the same day if you can get to Mass)
  • Make a sacramental confession within a week of All Souls Day
  • For a plenary indulgence be  free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin (otherwise, the indulgence is partial, not plenary, “full”).
h/t: Fr. Z.