‘Not Your Honey’ – When Sexual Empowerment Disempowers

Thanks my friend for the reblog. Can’t get enough of your writing. M

contemporary women

Words: Jessica Sheridan

One of the difficult daily conundrums for women is the pressure to be sexy, but not too sexy. We are encouraged to wear high heels, but not too high, to wear low cut tops, but not too low cut. Honestly it’s a minefield of social faux pas trying to balance the two camps, and it often results in the stifling of our sexuality for fear of being too sexually open.

But women should be able to talk about sex. More than just that, women should be able to talk about pleasure, sexual desires and dislikes, the sensuality of their bodies – everything. I believe women should stand their ground and own their sexuality, recognising that their pleasure is just as important as their partners and their bodies really are a wonderland. Women should not have to feel ashamed of being sexy.

Honey Birdette is one brand that…

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Lyme Tidbit: Port Gone…after two years *Happy Dance*

Port Removed long after recommended time.

At last Psychiatrist appointment he questioned why the port had not been removed. He is also a Medical Doctor and proceeded to tell me all the flesh-eating, horrible infections a port can cause. I said not going to D.C. in several month for surgery. We received a referral from General Doctor, had surgery the same week.

Oh what a relief it is! Port implanted 2015, removed 2017. Now I can take a shower, life can take a step forward. Next eyeglasses and driving the car. I still have large holes in memory, one reason for putting off driving.

Xx  M

IV Port inserted 2015


Self-Care After Trauma

From our friends at RAINN.org


Self-care is about taking steps to feel healthy and comfortable. Whether it happened recently or years ago, self-care can help you cope with the short and long-term effects of a trauma like sexual assault.

Physical self-care

After a trauma, it’s important to keep your body healthy and strong. You may be healing from injuries or feeling emotionally drained. Good physical health can support you through this time. Think about a time when you felt physically healthy, and consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • How were you sleeping? Did you have a sleep ritual or nap pattern that made you feel more rested?
  • What types of food were you eating? What meals made you feel healthy and strong?
  • What types of exercise did you enjoy? Were there any particular activities that made you feel more energized?
  • Did you perform certain routines? Were there activities you did to start the day off right or wind down at the end of the day?

Emotional self-care 

Emotional self-care means different things to different people. The key to emotional self-care is being in tune with yourself. Think about a time when you felt balanced and grounded, and consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • What fun or leisure activities did you enjoy? Were there events or outings that you looked forward to?
  • Did you write down your thoughts in a journal or personal notebook?
  • Were meditation or relaxation activities a part of your regular schedule?
  • What inspirational words were you reading? Did you have a particular author or favorite website, like RAINN’s Pinterest board, to go to for inspiration?
  • Who did you spend time with? Was there someone, or a group of people, that you felt safe and supported around?
  • Where did you spend your time? Was there a special place, maybe outdoors or at a friend’s house, where you felt comfortable and grounded?

Self-care isn’t always easy to take on by yourself. To speak with someone who is trained to help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online at online.rainn.org.

Share this information with others. Download and distribute to friends and loved ones.

Michigan State : Three Football Players Face Charges & Coach Fired in Sexual Assault Case.

Timeline of key events in Michigan State football Sexual Assault investigation

Michigan State football players Donnie Corley, Josh King and Demetric Vance have been charged in connection to a sexual assault investigation and a staff member. In the same investigation. Auston Robertson has also been charged with criminal sexual conduct in a separate case.

Here’s the latest on how this story has evolved.


Xx M

Triple Shot Thursday *Reflection*

A shout out to Casey Sims, http://www.livingwithparalysis.wordpress.com. He is the newest Contributor at Survivors Blog Here. http://www.survivorsbloghere.wordpress.com. We are thrilled he joins us…his enthusiasm for life is infectious.

Casey was involved in a horrifying  car accident which left him paralyzed from the waist down. His positive, no holes barred attitude will have you trying to keep up. Stop by, say hello, he’s cool, relaxed and comfortable answering your questions.

It was dark week around the world. Give some extra smiles on Social Media in the coming week. One young man said to me, he would not live in fear by giving power to the few. I agree.

I’m glad you stopped by, hope you enjoyed yourself…every Thursday is a great day to take time out to enjoy the tunes.  Xx M

Bill Signed by President Obama for Rape Survivor Rights *No Victory Dance for Me*

Tunnel Light

This morning the AOL Sports Section wrote more articles on Sexual Assault cases than I could count. Lots of excuses as well. One College football player said “I had oral sex with her but no intercourse”, did she consent?  It’s long past time for accountability, all sports, girls and boys, men and women, all ages. By allowing owners and coaches to look the other way is deplorable.

A football player sexually assaults a woman with no jail time, a 20-year-old shares marijuana brownies with friends and spends 20 years in Texas jail. What is wrong with this picture?

Sports Team Owners, Team managers, College Administrators, High School Superintendents, Olympic Coaches and The Court System all need to serve jail time for their gross negligence.

Isn’t someone ashamed, enough excuses. I vote for harsh jail terms, no return to sports and permanently placed on Sex Offender list.

Listen carefully and long enough to get the message. I think Change.org partnered with the Video company.


Change.org celebrates the Victory of President Obama signing a Bill for Rape Survivors. The current climate doesn’t feel like a victory dance to me.


Talk to me! I shake my head but know we all have to move forward before change happens.

Xx M

Postpartum Psychosis by Guest Margie Lackfield

Postpartum depression accompanied by psychosis

This is not a war to win. It cages a soul and will not allow reason of any kind. I prayed, I begged and I pleaded. You can have me, but you cannot have my daughter.

On this particular morning I thought I’d heard a knock at my front door, or was that coming from the back door? I trusted nothing. I sat in the nursery until the pounding stopped, and the sound of what I thought was my name being called, ended. Rocking my angel. I sobbed so violently. I wanted the voices and the visions to go away. I wanted nothing more than to save my baby from myself.

Something made me pause. Was that the front lock-set being opened, the door flinging open, where those real voices?

They found me. Jo and Prescilla. They found me, and they did not let go of me. One took the baby, the other took the phone directory.

And every chance I get, I tell them, “Thank you.”

I spent the following three and a half months in a locked Psych ward.

Each one of us has a story that shames us, it can trap us in a sort of hell, but sometimes to escape hell, we must find words to express its grievance. I used to think this would be one that I could not share for fear of losing someone whom I love(d). Now I fear that if I don’t share it, someone may lose their way, they may find themselves lost, alone, aberrant, and of course, crazy. I would rather lose every friend I have for the sacrifice of gaining that one that reached out to me in need. The one that discovered hope, when they felt there was none left. But, if you can find clarity, if you can trust that there are people in this world that care first for others, and second for themselves, than you, and they, will walk with you through hell. When we have true friends, they don’t leave us when the going gets rough. They stop at nothing to see that we realize how important we are, in their life. They don’t call you, Pyscho, MisFit, Crazy. They call you, Friend. That having us is a joy, a blessing, a God-send. A true friend does not judge, does not keep a score card and knows that we are them, should they ever need us and not out of guilt or because a favor needs returning. No, a true friend stands by knowing that without our connection we are only half of ourselves.

When others walked out, you walked in. You asked for nothing in return. You never used my illness to shame me, to discount me, to write me off. You stood beside me, carried me through my darkest hours. Prescilla, Senn, Jo McCormack, thank you for seeing me when I could not see myself. But more than anything, thank you for saving my Megan from the psychotic lunatic that I had become. We have fought hard to win, and without each of you, I would have lost. It took three and a half months, out-of-state, in a mental institution, numbers of medications and therapy sessions, but I came home, loving and vowing that one day I would share this story.

Never give up hope. When you are at your weakest, grasp for straws. Dial for help. Swallow your pride. Do not fear that you will be labeled, CRAZY, for the rest of your life, even by those you thought would stand behind you through thick and thin. One of the best pieces of advice given to me were these words:

“They already think you’re crazy. Nothing you do, or say, will change their opinion. Absolutely nothing, therefore, be yourself. Only you know the journey and the victory.”

To Megan,

I promised you I would finish a tale that I had begun earlier in one of my posts. I think I even noted Day 16 as the day that I would write it. Day 16, arrived, but the time didn’t feel ‘just right’. Today it does. I believe you will recall the post, original, and if not, I’ll help you retrieve it.


I spent three full days in bed making Pom-Poms out of tissues. And not intentionally. “No, Martha, I did not use your official cut-and-twist guide.” I fashioned mine while I tried building a dam to nowhere, for my sinus drainage. I took my temperature so many times I killed the battery in the thermometer. I’ve never slept so many hours in my life! This comes from someone who suffers extreme bits of insomnia. Food? I found two cans of soup at the back of the cupboard, and considering we don’t eat processed canned items I can’t help but wonder where they came from, much less, why I consumed them.

I’d had enough of this Chit, so by 10:00 a.m., I drug my lazy self out of bed and into the steaming shower, threw on some clothes and asked Hannah if she’d like to go for a walk.

I thought I’d heard a lot of commotion over the roar of my blow dryer, but I wasn’t in the mood to go ‘seek-and-find,’ what all the mischief was. Once dressed, and out the door, I looked up the street to see the fire truck. What the heck?!#&@

Okay, right off the bat I have to confess. I’m not into seeking out horror. I can’t handle it. Put me in a car, drive me down the freeway and have someone shout, “Look! There’s been a car accident!” What do I do? Slither down in my seat and turn my head in the opposite direction. If I’m the one who happens to be driving, you won’t find me rubbernecking.

where was i going with this?

The Walk…(and not on the wild side.)

Finally, upon our way, and we journey toward the coffee shop. I realize I can’t enter, doggie and all, but then I remember the new app I have downloaded on my phone. Hannah and I mosey up to the patio and sit down. Attempting to order, I realize this app needs a few software upgrades, but I’m not in the mood to hack up the menu in broad daylight, much less try to find a work-around on the stores wi-fi firewall. Dang, I can’t just walk away, the pup is looking at me with those sweet, begging eyes as if to ask, “How much longer, Mummy?”

Thinking comes quick when smitten by man’s best friend. I lasso a chair with her harness and tie the pup securely to it, placing her in full view of any area I’ll find myself at once inside the store.

…..Admit it, you’re just a wee bit bored, but you just can’t seem to pull yourself away from all the action. Consider yourself a rubbernecker and let’s get moving…..

We are at a junction in the road. If we take the route we came, we’re out 1.5 miles, but if we journey the alternate route we are out 1.5 miles. Decisions, decisions, oh, and the trick math question at the end. (Find your calculators.)

Let’s go rogue. I’m caffeinated and jet-packed by toxic chemicals from eating rancid soup. What could go wrong?

The Traffic Light!…(into the jungle)

Sucker must have been rigged for red-light runners! Hannah and I were caught in the median of a crazed intersection. Everyone dreams of a cuppa joe or a fuel tank of $2.35 gasoline. I think the only thing that saved us was my California Highway Patrol t-shirt my son (in-law) gave me. I looked OFFICIAL!

Okay, I was only a third grey, now color me white-headed. I match the dog now. Lesson learned: Rubberneckers. “You folks are everywhere!” One of you almost put tire tracks on my bright orange and pink sneakers. Tell the truth, “We’re you wanting my eye color or that close-up of fear earmarked across my face?”

…..This painstakingly will end at some point. Why don’t you take a snooze and check back later for the mischief of the last mile and a half?….

Safely upon green space, we walk among the oak trees listening to the sound of acorns dropping in our midst. (Note to self: Bring bike helmets in the future.) Meandering along and I look up to see we are at the high school. My heart skips a beat, and then another. “Wasn’t it just yesterday?” Oh how time does fly. But I won’t let this moment go. I grab my phone and take a couple of photos. I zip them off to my two beautiful daughters. They’ll open their messages and go back in time themselves. I wonder at what moments their day will stand still? I knew mine. I know it well. I’ll cherish it forever.

There I sat awaiting the dismissal bell. The bell echoes. Oh, I miss that bell. I miss all the ringing of that far off bell.

Saturday my youngest daughter moves away from home. Off to her grown up home. Not a dorm room, no, those days are gone, too. There’s part of me that wants her to go, but then there is that part of me that knows how far away she may one day travel. And yet, I must give her the pieces of the apron strings, the wings to fly, to soar, to dream and dare.

Did anyone find me a pen and some paper? Did you find your calculators? Get ready, here she blows:

If I live 1.5 miles in one direction, yet I am able to travel in an opposing direction 1.5 miles and arrive at my origination, what direction am I traveling?
We set off to run errands. Hannah errands, actually. I should just admit that some days I simply say to hell with the housework, laundry included, and I put my best friend in the car and we set about finding mischief.

We ran thru CVS drive-through to pick up some of my meds and to beg for the usual dog biscuit. FAIL! They were out of treats.

Starbucks redeemed her spirit though when they gave her a Puppy Whip. It’s a small cup container filled with whipped cream.

Across the railroad tracks and we head into Southlake. The outdoor shopping mall is always fun. There are fountains galore and hundreds of shade trees. Unfortunately they have no outdoor drinking fountains. Hannah drank a bit of my iced tea as I cursed myself for not having brought along her collapsible water bowl and some water. Finally, I recalled the Whole Earth Provisions Store allows dogs in their store. I took my girl in and she made a group of newly found friends, all human and eager to dote upon her. Someone snagged a dog treat for her and everyone took turns petting her.

This picture was actually taken a bit earlier. We visited Three Dog Bakery before our walking pursuit. Seems they are in the process of doing a Facebook gallery and they wanted her photo. I expressed sadness that I’d miss seeing her posted and that’s when they kindly asked for my email so they could send her posting to me.

The girl is worn out. Now resting with a full tummy of treats and back inside to the cooled air conditioning.

“Hi, my name is Hannah. Let me teach you about life: Give a dog a bone and they will follow you home.” …words of wisdom brought to you thru Hannah’s, yet to be written book, Canine Collections.

The best possible thing you can do to help your child through your divorce

Little girl portrait

Most kids will suffer for a short time after a marriage ends, but what exacerbates and extends their stress and anxiety is when they feel torn between two parents, says communication researcher Tamara Afifi.

Fifteen years ago, I was doing field research for one of my first studies on divorce (TEDxUCSB Talk: The impact of divorce on children) and I experienced a moment that had a huge impact on me. I was going into families’ homes and spending four to seven hours interviewing them. In one house, I sat down with a 12-year-old boy and asked him about his parents’ divorce. He was having difficulty concentrating at school, he told me, and his stomach often hurt. When he said his parents fought a lot, I asked him if he talked to them about it. “No,” he answered. “Because if I bring it up, it makes the fighting worse.”

Parents don’t always know what their kids are thinking because, like this boy, they keep their feelings to themselves. As a result, they go around believing everything’s OK with their child when it’s not. Kids may suppress their emotions for a number of reasons — they don’t want to make their parents upset, they don’t know how to express themselves, or they’re simply too absorbed with their grief. After I talked to that boy, I thought, “I have to do something different to show parents how their fighting is affecting their kids’ bodies.”

Because divorce is so prevalent, many people think it doesn’t affect children that much. We’ve come to view divorce as a normal part of life, and that is true — 40 percent to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce in the US, for example. But just because divorce occurs frequently, that doesn’t mean a child won’t feel anxious or sad or angry. We need to recognize that divorce is stressful for children.

Children differ in terms of how they’ll respond to divorce. For most kids, it has a short-term impact that seems to last for roughly a year or so. During that time, they’ll suffer from lower self-esteem, increased anxiety and depression, less quality contact with their parents and a decreased standard of living. In some cases, though, the effects may linger. As adults, the children will continue to have psychological difficulties. They’ll have less satisfying relationships with their parents later in life, and they’ll be more likely to get divorced themselves.

One variable overwhelmingly determines how divorced kids will do. The most profound finding in my field in the past four decades has been the discovery of the most important factor in predicting how children will fare: parental conflict, and in particular, when adult fighting causes a child to feel torn between their parents. When a child experiences conflict, it creates anxiety and a cognitive dissonance in them, often causing them to align with one parent over another to ease their discomfort. As a result, their relationship with the other parent diminishes. It’s not the child’s fault — it’s their reaction to feeling caught — but that bond with the other parent may be difficult to re-establish. And conflict’s negative effects transcend those of divorce. In fact, the children whose parents stay married but who exhibit a lot of conflict have the most difficulty psychologically as well the most difficulty in establishing satisfying relationships later in life.

How do we know this? It’s in their spit. After meeting that boy, I started to do research on children’s physiological reactions, like their heart rates and galvanic skin responses, to their parents’ communication. But I became dissatisfied because it was unclear what emotion we were measuring. For example, a person might exhibit a change in their galvanic skin response because they were anxious or joyful or excited. I decided to focus on the hormone cortisol, which the body secretes when we’re under stress. In one study, we brought parents and adolescents from non-divorced and divorced families into 0ur lab. We’d sit one parent and one child on a couch and ask them to talk about stressful aspects of the parents’ relationship. We’d take a sample of the child’s saliva before the interaction and three times afterwards (right after, 15 minutes later, 45 minutes later) to see how their body responded to discussing family stress.

For children of divorce who felt caught between their parents, their cortisol would be elevated after their conversation. But if their parent supported them emotionally and comforted them, their cortisol levels would show a pretty steep decline within 30 to 45 minutes.The best possible thing you can do to help your child through your divorce After their interaction, the kid’s stress level was like a super ball bouncing around a room, and they’d still be revved up 45 minutes later. Keep in mind that we were measuring just one interaction between a parent and child. So if the parents were always fighting, imagine what that does to a kid’s body and how it might affect their stress and anxiety long-term. While our study sample was biased — the people who participate in such studies are likely to be better communicators than people who don’t participate — I do think our study can offer a conservative estimate of what happens in people’s lives.

Even seemingly benign interactions can cause children to feel torn. For example, Dad might say, “Can you remind your mother that you have a dentist appointment on Tuesday?” The child passes along the message. Mom responds, “Why didn’t your father tell me that? Why doesn’t he ever talk to me? You tell him he needs to talk to me more.” The result: the child feels caught between them. Less benign are theinappropriate disclosures, when a parent tells a kid something about the other parent that they should be sharing with a friend. This seems to happen more often today because children are emotionally closer to their parents than they were decades ago. These disclosures can also lead to a kid feeling torn.

Children exhibit three major responses to conflict. One way is by avoiding their emotions. Kids can do this out of good intentions — they don’t want their parents to feel sad or guilty — but it means the parents never know their child’s true feelings. Another way kids respond is by being aggressive. They mimic the conflict they’ve been witnessing and lash out at their parents and at other people. They might not even know why they’re so angry. A third response is for kids to confront their parents. This is the most effective way for children to deal with conflict: to tell their parents that they feel caught and to ask them to speak to each other. Since most children have been raised not to talk back, this response tends to come only with age and maturity. As children reach their teens, they increase their competence and gain the ability to speak openly to their parents.

What can parents do? First, explain and then listen. Parents need to recognize they may be on a different timetable when it comes to healing from divorce than their children are. Often a parent has been grieving the end of their marriage for many months or years, but the child has not. So they may need more time to mourn and to accept what’s happening. Parents should also give their kids enough information about the divorce to reduce their uncertainty about why it happened and what will happen in the future. This doesn’t mean they have to sit down and have a long conversation. Research has shown that discussion can flow more easily when parents and kids discuss serious subjects, such as divorce or death, while engaging in an activity, like taking a walk together or making dinner. If your child is young, you can play Legos with them on the floor and talk. My daughters used to tell me everything about their days while I was washing their hair in the bathtub.

Second, strive to be civil. You should try to maintain as amiable a relationship with the other parent as possible. (The exceptions to this are if they were abusive or neglectful of the child; in those cases, the child needs to know that behavior is not OK.) Even if the other parent speaks in a derogatory way about you, do not engage. If you refuse to fight back, they’ll probably get bored.

Third, maintain a good support system. People’s social networks can decline after divorce because couples may have mutual friends who drift away rather than take sides. As a divorced parent, you should have friends or family members with whom you can share your feelings instead of turning your child into your confidante. Encourage your kid to seek their own sources of support. Some schools, religious institutions, or community organizations provide support groups for children of divorced parents. It’s important for them to have a friend they confide in, especially someone who’s been through a divorce.

Finally, ease up on yourself. It’s okay to be vulnerable at times. Children need to know their parents are human, too. In the end, what’s most important is for them to know they are loved by you and that you’ll always be there for them.

Triple Shot Thursday + One with Hall & Oates


Oh the memories, his hair, they were at top of game in the 80’s. Daryl looks a totally stoned but he sounds great. Daryl became seriously ill from Lyme Disease, he survived yet left beaten down. Enjoy the tunes. If you have a request you know where to put it! In the comment box. It’s brings sunshine to my day even if the request in one song.  Xx M


Bonus! Great Tune

Live my life

Loved tune, first time addicted. Goes perfect with last nights post. Please come by, I would love the names of others bands, in America I get saddled with what I know. I’m thirsty for new, different just not nasty rap. Hope to receive a comment back. Be well my friend. Xx M

Christina Strigas

I want to be me but you keep on repeating

how my world is not yours. I want to be  you

but you keep on explaining how hard

that could be, what with my wings

and my brains in the sky.

I want to be someone else

just for a day

these blues in me

keep singing.

I bust out once in awhile

and go to the hotel

and stare at the window

and wonder what happened to us.

It’s three o’clock in the morning

and you’re actually sleeping

through my existential crisis.

Again? yes, again and again

I knew you could never handle me.

Why do people who say

“I love you” want you to change

in ways that are not in your nature?

I say “I love you” and can define why.

I love the flaws and imperfections.

I see the world in an absurd way

in a…

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I keep Moving Forward: *Not allowing My past to Chart the Future*

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”    Maya Angelo

I am a Survivor

My grandparents unconditional love pulled me from the abyss. After years of Therapy, I have a clear heart, no anger or self loathing. Not forgiving….forgetting, to allow myself to move forward. Over the years, people brought sunshine into my life. You were like Angels dropping in when I needed a push or pat on back.

My mother and stepfather physically and emotionally abused me until 12 years old. My stepfather beat my mother almost daily starting with hitting her head side to side down the hallway, the hallway ended at my room. Everyone in the house lived in hell, I got an extra dose.

As a small girl, I dreamed my father would save me from the traumatic abuse. The dream was over, he started sexually abusing me as a child. It was innocent at first or so it seemed. At 12 years old I moved to my father’s. It’s impossible to wrap your head around sexual abuse at any age.

In 1992 my father committed suicide. Estranged since my teens, we talked several times before his death. He called delusional and paranoid. Saying someone was tapping his phone. He told me about committing suicide, I told no one. The news devastated Granny her only child was dead. With a closed casket service it’s hard to reconcile death when you can’t see inside.

I battle with Treatment Resistant Bipolar Disorder. Diagnosed at 19 years old, I struggled for years without medication or over medicated. Thru the years I ‘ve taken over 40 prescriptions or drugs cocktails. A medication or medications worked for a while, then I had to try another mix.

Bipolar Disorder is a Mental Illness without a cure. I manage my illness everyday and each is different. Through advances in medicine and treatments, future generations may not struggle with Mental Illness. We can pay it forward by participating in questionnaires, clinical trials and talking about our illness. Educating others is the road to Breaking The Stigma.

I am alive with the help of God, Husband, Grandparents, Therapist and Psychiatrist. I’m blessed with a husband who won’t give up no matter how hard it gets.I get mean & nasty when going thru withdraw, Psychotic or Suicidal. 

My background and Mental Illness is NOT a complete picture of who I am. Photography, Art and Music are my passions. I love vintage cars, riding motorcycles and the great outdoors. As a teenager I set a  goal to see the world, the Bucket List is growing.

Student of Ancient History, Roman Architecture, World Religion and Art. I’m an animal lover. I’m sickened by animals being abused and killed testing dog food or facial cream. I’m concerned about extinction, global poverty and the planet. Above all Education, children are our future.


This is a snapshot of my past, I believe with the right team of doctors, treatments, extreme patience, Survivor attitude, most with Mental Illness  can reach a level of control. If it just came with a guarantee to not get out of balance. The only failure is not getting up again.

A hurdle in my twenties was telling my doctor I wouldn’t take a medication. I was vain, gaining twenty pounds wouldn’t work for me. I received many attitude adjustments, whats my reality? How did I expect to get less Depressed. My doctor is hard on me 20+ years later. He is a blessing, the commitment to me is the reason I’m alive today.


Vivid Memory #2 Guest Margie Lakefield

Vivid Memory #2



The little girl dances into my world after midnight. Drug free from day one, but moms chucking her insides out and there are four nurses pummeling me, explaining something about blood flow, placenta, oh hell, I don’t know the jest of it all! I was too busy loosing my insides, suffering a notorious headache and begging for water.

Now, the vivid memory.

I am not sure how to write about it, other than to say that it belongs to my Megan. It belongs to her and I. Beginning early in the days before we even left the hospital, something was amiss. Sadly, I felt no maternal bliss, and I feared that I knew nothing. All those books I’d read on childbirth, the before and after. None of those had prepared me for the roller-coaster ride , the journey in to hell and the fear that would one day it would descend into thoughts of infanticide.

I warn you. This is not an easy read, and although Megan is almost two thousand miles from me today, I would give anything to sit beside her and hold her hand as I attempt to answer her questions and to allay her fears. But I can’t, and since I have promised that I would find a way to communicate something to her within the 31 days of May’s Challenge, today is our day.

I could not sleep. For three days in the hospital, and for days, off and on, once we were home. Irrational fears would enter my head and I would quickly try to change my thinking. I cuddled my angel. I played with her. I fed her and I connected with her as best I could, but I was afraid that those so-called baby blues would consume me. I tried talking to my husband about them, but he didn’t get it, and how could he, had anyone in the male species been through this birthing thing?

Days dragged, literally. I became consumed with schedules. I laboriously centered my life around a list of ‘to-do’s’ to fill my time, to keep me busy. But, I still was not sleeping. And then one day I could not eat. Literally. I could not swallow. I choked each time I tried. But I had to eat and drink, I had to sleep. I had a little one that relied upon me and I was breastfeeding, so it was more important than ever that I find a way to get ahold of myself.

Then I found myself dwelling on a pair of scissors. I’d been in the baby’s room wrapping a gift. I saw the scissors, and I remember thinking, “These could kill the baby.”

The thought became obsessive. It overwhelmed me with grief and shame. And try as I might, I could not shake the image, nor the auditory, “These could kill the baby.”

I tried hiding the scissors, but I couldn’t find a place to put them, somewhere that was ‘safe’ … someplace where they couldn’t talk to me.

I forced myself to put them back in the spot where I always kept them. If they could talk to me. I could talk to them. I could tell them, “NO!”

For days I fought this battle, until I realized it was beyond me. I attempted to express my concern for the baby to my husband, but I did not tell him about the scissors, or the voices.

I became so exhausted. And then the hallucinatory began its foray. I was fighting an army, and I was ill-equipped for its challenge.

I no longer felt connected to anyone except for my baby. I felt as if I could protect her I could win the inner war, but I was losing.

The phone would ring. I wouldn’t answer it. I had nothing I could communicate.

To be continued next Monday

Southern Rock Legend Gregg Allman RIP 5/27/17

A couple of my favs.   XxM  Greg you gave us all.

AOL Story:  https://www.aol.com/article/entertainment/2017/05/27/southern-rock-music-star-gregg-allman-dead-at-69/22112691/


Howard school staff, mental health experts weigh in on suicide depiction in Netflix series

Andrew Michaels Contact Reporter Howard County Times

The Netflix hit series “13 Reasons Why” has the Howard County school system, and schools in neighboring counties, warning parents about the show’s graphic depictions of teen suicide, rape and bullying. At the same time, many are saying the show opens a doorway into conversations on suicide and other “uncomfortable” topics.

The streaming service’s show caught viewer attention nationwide after its debut in March. The show follows the story of high school student Hannah Baker, who commits suicide and leaves behind 13 cassette tape recordings for her peers, who she said contributed to her decision to end her life.

Based on a 2007 novel with the same title, the graphic depictions in the 13-episode show – rated TV-MA for mature audiences only – raised concerns among mental health experts, educators, parents and youth. Efforts against the show include that of Oxford High School students in Michigan, who started their “13 reasons why not” project, discussing their uplifting stories about getting help during tough times every day throughout May.

Three episodes feature explicit material, such as rape and suicide, and have “viewer discretion advised” warnings. In a statement earlier this month, Netflix said that they added more warnings before the first episode, following critic response. Original messages before the graphic episodes also reemphasized its content.

After becoming the “most tweeted show of 2017,” according to Variety, “13 Reasons Why” was renewed for a second season, to debut in 2018.

Howard County schools spokesman John White said the school system released a letter to parents and the community on May 1 in response to reports of students discussing the show with their peers and teachers. The letter was written by staff and student services employees, with input from counseling support and school psychology staff and nursing staff.

“While people may have differing opinions on the appropriateness of children and adolescents watching the series, we can use this as an opportunity to reinforce positive mental health practices,” the letter states. “It is critical that we consider safe messaging when we talk to all youth and adolescents about suicide, whether it is about this series or a situation that involves them more closely.”

A memo was also sent to principals throughout the school system, said Frank Eastham, executive director of school improvement and administration. The memo states that “13 Reasons Why” is not approved for viewing in Howard County schools.

Eastham said parents are encouraged to talk with their children about whether they’ve heard of or seen the show as well as provide an outlet for open discussion regarding suicide, rape, bullying or other concerns.

“When anything hits national news, such as this particular Netflix series, we want to make sure principals are equipped with the message and resources they need to speak intelligently about the issue,” Eastham said. The memo and letter included links to more information on mental health and contacts for mental health experts.

Prince George’s County schools followed suit on May 10 when Adrian Talley, executive director for student services, sent a letter to parents, which provided additional resources from the National Association of School Psychologists and the American School Counselor Association. Talley said teachers discuss suicide with eighth-grade students during the health education class and continue discussions in the high school health issues course.

Courses review causes and warning signs of suicide as well as ways to help someone suffering from a mental health illness or contemplating suicide. The material aligns with the Maryland State Health Education Curriculum.

“Our school psychologists, nurses and professional school counselors are trained to recognize risk behaviors in our youth and take seriously all reports of suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts,” Talley said.

Similar courses in Anne Arundel County public schools address suicide, and the school system posts a parents’ guide to school health on its website and includes information on how to talk to kids about suicide.

Critics respond

In Howard County, Kami Wagner, the school system’s instructional facilitator for school counseling, said she hasn’t watched the show, but heard about it from colleagues who are watching the series. The more she heard about its content, she said, the more she wanted to inform everyone about proper responses and available resources for those who need help.

Suicide, rape and bullying are part of the school system’s ninth-grade health curriculum, which White said uses educational resources based on fact rather than fiction.

Parents need to be part of the conversation, Wagner said.

“For young kids to be watching it, not that they shouldn’t watch it, parents need to be involved,” she said. “Our goal is not to have students watching this by themselves. If they are going to make the choice to watch it, we want parents to be actively engaged in the conversation.”

White and Wagner agreed that they’ve heard students talk about how the show is related to their own experience, specifically regarding its depiction of peer conflict in school. Technology and social media are contributing factors to this issue, Wagner said, with the negative effects also depicted in “13 Reasons Why.”

As a parent, White, who’s currently watching the show, said he’s talked about the series with his daughter, a high school senior who also watched the series. Despite some critics’ response saying the show “glorifies suicide,” White said it’s “less of an idea that you’re glorifying and more of the need to communicate and have conversations about the topic.”

“This is a very well done program from the movie and cinematic viewpoint,” White said.

Because certain aspects are relatable, he said, they raise awareness of the negative consequences that may follow and how to help people who need it.

However, Howard County Mental Health Authority Executive Director Madeline Morey said the show might trigger a contagion effect or copycat behavior among vulnerable youth, despite the intention of the show’s creators and producers to shed light on the issues. Individuals involved in the series creation and development discussed their intentions in a 30-minute Netflix documentary, “13 Reasons Why: Beyond the Reasons,” which accompanies the series.

In this case, the contagion effect refers to children who are vulnerable or might already have a preexisting mental health condition, Morey said. If they watch something like “13 Reasons Why,” they may be more likely to repeat certain actions as a solution to a stressful situation.

Morey said she believed those behind the show unintentionally “promoted some of the behaviors” as viable options in their depictions of suicide or bullying.

“From what I could tell, the intent of it was to introduce the subject that may be difficult for people to talk about,” Morey said. “It certainly is hard for parents or anyone to talk about some of these difficult subjects, like violence, self-harm or suicide. I think that what the producers of the show or the show itself may not take into account is that the adolescent brain is really wired for risk taking.”

It’s important to know how to properly broach the subject, she said.

The county’s mental health authority recently completed its needs assessment report and FY18-22 strategic plan, which is based on input from focus groups conducted with 111 participants, including mental health recipients and providers, family members and school personnel.

In the behavioral health system, according to a focus group within the strategic plan, a top area in need of improvement was suicide intervention in children and youth up to age 17, and reducing the stigma among adults, ages 18 to 59. Another behavioral health need identified among children and youth was discussing and understanding self-worth. Focus groups in the same category revealed parental involvement and family support as strengths, with improvements suggested in school-based mental health in the behavioral health system.

“It’s important to seek advice from a qualified professional,” Morey said. “Even as a parent, you may not be equipped to deal with some of these sensitive subjects. If a child is expressing, or you have concerns about, any behaviors, go to a professional and make sure you have attempted to address what you’re seeing or witnessing.”

White said counseling is available in all Howard schools every day, in addition to a crisis teams, if needed.

“It’s difficult to talk about this happening to any child, especially for a parent thinking about it happening to their child,” White said. “This isn’t the first time any school has had to talk about suicide. It has just been elevated by this production. We have to be aware that if children want to watch it, they’re going to find a way these days. We have to be prepared on how to engage them on their level.”


For more information or to find help, contact Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center at 410-531-6677; Howard County Mental Health Authority at 410-313-6300; or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Training To Service.org *LGBT Aging Resources*

Minneapolis ranks 4th among U.S. cities in percentage of gay, lesbian and bisexual residents. Approximately 12.5% of Minneapolis identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual. Transgender was not a category in analysis. (UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law & Public Policy)

There are an estimated 48,000 LGBT older adults living in Minnesota. Many LGBT older adults do not have the same support networks that are available to heterosexual peers. LGBT older adults are five times less likely to access senior services than heterosexual peers. By not accessing these services, LGB&T older adults are more susceptible to experiencing increased isolation, depression, substance abuse, and institutionalization.   M


I Salute Men & Women fighting in Combat & War on Homefront- Today & Yesterday for American Freedom

Home of the Free

Sending prayers to family and friends for their loss of loved ones serving the Military.Daily I’m reminded of the sacrifices made to defend the freedoms we enjoy today in America. I pray every soldier comes home soon.

Gramps, I’ll never forget the sacrifices you made to win WWII. I love you.

Xx M



Protecting our ports after Pearl Harbor.




Just Doing a little off-roadin!! Wishing I had my mountain tires on!

It takes sheer will to move forward everyday, check out Casey Sims @https://livinwithparalysis.wordpress.com, his site in new and awesome. He’s one cool dude!


Living With Paralysis

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Triple Shot Thursday*From Reguest Line*

Today’s awesome tunes requested by good friend Charly Priest. He may have a rough exterior at times, he’s made of sugar. Leave request in my comments box for next weeks entertainment.  Get ready for a musical treat. 🙂 M

3 tunes that I like in different times during the day

1 – in the morning https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLhN__oEHaw&list=RDMMhLhN__oEHaw

2-afternoon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR3Vdo5etCQ

3- late https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MnF6tonFY4atnight


A Vivid Memory #1 By Guest Margie Lakefield

“A Vivid Memory”

This may take me all of today and well into the night. I had written in an earlier post that I would revisit something. I made a special promise to my oldest daughter. And today is the day I fulfill that promise. It began the day that she was born.

She arrived three weeks early. And, just like any new child’s arrival she came without a warranty clause, a type-written instruction manual and no return address label.

I’d practiced the natural birthing process, The Bradley method. The 8.25 months of pregnancy went without a hitch, except for mom catching the flu at five months of pregnancy.

Birthing went almost according to plan. No pain meds, no spinal block, but after several hours from having my water break, the doctor(s) where concerned that infection or stress of labor may cause concerns to the unborn baby. They prescribed Pitocin, and with knowledge I’d gained in birthing class, I clung to my hope of having a natural child-birth, but was also warned that the induction could produce rather strong contractions, and it did not offer a buffering from any pain that I would incur by its introduction. I kept with Plan A. Let me bear this baby, naturally. (The following link provides further details on Pitocin via Yahoo)


Now, I have to give my doctors and St. Francis hospital in Tulsa, kudos for the way they helped my delivery. My labor had begun at work, around 8:30 in the morning, and by 10:00 a.m., I was strapped to a gurney, and plugged into all the machinery a labor and delivery room can offer for the monitoring of baby and mama. Noon came, but no lunch, who cares though, laboring the birthing of a baby you really have hunger on the last of your lists of wants.

Hubby and I logged miles around the nurses desk and lobby. Too many to count, and at one point a nurse beckoned me back to my appointed room for a vitals check and centimeter observation. I tried resting, but I was too anxious. I was on top of the world and could not wait to see my, Megan Kathleen. I had dreamt of this moment for so long. The afternoon rolled on, more walking, more monitoring, and finally at six p.m., my doctor arrives and tells me that he thinks it’s time we get this baby something to speed up her arrival. It’s that drug, Pitocin. I agree, but only after he can confirm that I can still birth her naturally, no pain meds, spinal taps, nada, zip and zero. He assures me he will follow my directive, but warns me that the drug used to induce labor can also cause severe labor pains, and if the time came that he felt it was too much for baby and me he would medically do what he needed. I couldn’t fight with him there. He’s the educated soul. He graduated medical school, a certificate that required 12 years of laborious studies. Let’s rock and roll! You carry the knowledge and I’ll try marathon walking until this unborn baby charges to the finish line. Deal?

Shortly after six my husband’s family arrived from Texas. Someone mentioned they were hungry. The folks had spent four hours en route, and I know that Cliff hasn’t eaten since breakfast. I knew that I couldn’t, but more importantly, as the Pitocin’s effects began to work on my body, and labor earnestly began, eating was the furthest thing from my mind. I asked them to go, give me a breather, grab some food, enjoy themselves. Linger if they wished. Why hell, I’ve been here all day and it looks as if I’ll be here all night trying to birth this baby.

8:30 p.m., and where in the heck were those fools? Did they not have any clue about what I was going through? I’m not a screamer, but I do enjoy a hair-pulling now and then. The R.N. assisting me was becoming less than jovial as I started practicing my Bradley method of breathing. Every now and then she would ask, “Are you sure you don’t want something for your pain?”

“Sister, where were you when I gave my directive? Is my clipboard of info missing from the foot of this bed? Has the doctor given YOU the board certification to overtake his assigned SEAT at my party?”

I tried to deliver it humorously. I tried to cajole her into seeing my side of it. She tried to get me to see her side. We both failed, Communication Skills 101.

To be continued


Therapy for mind and body

Yosemite National Park,Verna Falls