brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Light Pale)
So. Multiple friends have suggested I write something like this, because no matter how often I say it, I still get invalidated, scolded, told I shouldn't be doing it because it upsets people. And of course, it would be talking about my life, my disabilities, my personal health, in public forums.

To paraprhase a friend: "...taking someone's lived experiences as they apply to their particular disability and how it expresses itself, and saying that they can't talk about that because it will make other people feel bad, is not okay and it invalidates them to varying degrees. Different disabilities affect different people in different ways."

In other words, sometimes comparing things is bad. We are human. Humans all have problems. Each human has their own set of problems. Some humans want to talk about their personal problems in ways that other humans find annoying, upsetting, unsettling - but other humans find those ways comforting, eye-opening, powerful.

I don't know how else to say it, so I'll be blunt, and this time I am not going to pull any punches:
Read more... )
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
So, the comment threads have turned awesome and have been a ton of fun. We're still rolling. Starting with critiquing Temple Grandin's societal status as "that famous autistic" and moving to needing autistic representation to cerebral palsy comorbidity to mental illness and neurodivergence, this is one of the most fascinating off-topic threads I've participated in.
brightlotusmoon: (Asha)
So! I did a thing a while back. I didn't tell anyone. Anyone at all. And now it is time to come clean, because it's been long enough that I think I can finally shoot down the pushers.

I did a second gluten-free trial, lasting just under one month. I spoke to all three doctors and specialists, who were okay with it. Although I shall quote my primary physician, Dr Carolyn, who has treated me since 2003: "I don't see why it's really necessary, though. You've never had gluten sensitivity, let alone celiac. But if it will help you psychologically, then sure. Let me know." And to quote my neurologist, Dr Debbie: "Why are you doing this to convince other people? I mean, I'm genuinely amused. You don't need to cut out gluten for health reasons, anyway." All I could do was shrug and say, "I guess to prove a point to the health-pushers?" She said I had a point, since that was irritating, to be pushed at.

The results were...

Wait for it...

Absolutely nothing.
There was no reduction in chronic pain, fatigue, inflammation, or malaise symptoms of any kind. I did not feel more energized nor clear-headed. My life did not change, not even a flicker.

Now. For the past several weeks, I've been verbally assaulted across the board by people who just want me to feel better - by using blatant, callous emotional manipulation to force me to comply.
The most popular one so far has been "Well, what if you were dying? What if you found out that gluten would kill you and that by going gluten-free you could save your life?" See, okay, that is a fascinating thing right now. That is one of the most manipulative, passive-aggressive, hard-hitting, one-sided forms of coercion ever. The speaker is hoping to catch the listener in a corner, with no choice but to agree. And see, they're correct there. Obviously if I were in such a scenario, of course I would go gluten-free. But the catch is that I am not dying. I am not sick. Thus, no desire nor need to go gluten-free. Not unless that life or death scenario occurs!
Following up that particular attack, we then have this, "Well, then, don't you think going gluten-free would at least reduce symptoms and pain?" Which ties into the first, of course, and is subtle enough to seem harmless and reasonable. And... no. Because gluten causes problems if one is reacting to gluten. Which I wasn't. "But I read this book written by this doctor that said that for everybody, gluten can cause overall body inflammation and pain!" For everybody, really? All seven billion humans, with the exact same medical issue. One would assume the CDC, FDA, and various world governments would be all on top of that like roaches on dog food. Plus, I listened to a conversation said by this doctor, who is personally treating me, that said that I didn't need to restrict my diet like that. But you're right, book-writing doctors would know better.
Now, the big guns. This attack is my favorite, because it strikes right at the heart, it tries to destroy the option of choice: "So, I guess you'd prefer a life of pain over fewer symptoms." It can be said in multiple ways, but the core is always a smug, smarmy, morally superior, I've got you now rhetoric. It's a tough one to counter. If you say yes, you seem as though you just don't ever want to really help yourself after all. If you say no, well, why haven't you taken their advice? You see the attempt at emotional superiority and twisted logic? At this point, you can tell they are grasping at straws. They've seized on an idea, fixated, and found themselves unable to let go. I get that. And they most like don't even realize that what they say to you is painful or upsetting. They only want to help. They care deeply enough. Obviously, when you love someone, you want to see them happy, healthful, pain-free. When they are in chronic pain, when they hurt every day, you hunt frantically for ideas about treatments. Even when they have doctors and treatments, you just want to do something, anything, because you can't stand to just stand by. They're hurting. Why can't you help? You feel helpless.
But emotional manipulation and verbal attack is a very ugly way to go about helping. They are more likely to stop talking to you. In fact, with most of these people, I've started not talking about my symptoms. Which is funny, because these are my support networks. These are support groups, people who are willing to help. Except for the ones who don't know how to help, the ones who don't have chronic illnesses like mine, who can only see the experiences vicariously. Intellectually, they may understand that it is inappropriate to push, but it feels so right emotionally that they can't help it. And I've been there. I've done that.
The problem here is that if people actually cared about your pain, your chronic illness, they wouldn't apply these manipulations; they are generally more concerned with winning you over and being right. Nobody truly means to be an asshole in a situation like this.
However, in the end, that gut-sensation of being right, of knowing what might work, is overwhelming and almost brainwashing. It's almost cult-ish. I'll call then health preachers. This isn't about just gluten-free. This is about every dietary alteration ever suggested. This is about every medical treatment involving home treatments like food and exercise, meditation and yoga, supplements and massage, etcetera. I haven't even gotten to pharmacological medicine and holistic medicine yet. Or the people who deny psychiatric illnesses, who think psychiatry is fraudulent, who believe firmly that clinical depression isn't real and is literally psychological, delusional. Frustrating, isn't it.

So, anyway. My Plan. I went gluten-free for just under a month. I kept notes. I was alone, because Adam was away on business, so I just cooked for myself and didn't touch anything with gluten. I was hungry and bored. I mean, the food was delicious. There was a lot of quinoa and lentils and sprouts and cheese and meats and snow peas and carrots and apples. I ate a lot of steak. But I just felt annoyed.
My doctors were extremely amused and not at all surprised when I told them the results.
Seriously. Three separate doctors. All saying the same thing. I mean, at this point, if I were to tell Dr Carolyn to refer me to a blood test just for the hell of it, she would quirk an eyebrow at me and ask who was giving me the money for the test (I don't know if Medicare covers those), and we would laugh.
But I didn't tell anyone I knew. Not for the whole duration. Here and there, I casually mentioned that I'd done gluten-free trials without any changes, I casually mentioned that I didn't need to cut out gluten and that there were plenty of other ways I was already mitigating symptoms. I stopped updating my support groups. I just said that I was doing well on my medications and therapies, and when the weather got bad I would flare up terribly and kept treating myself. I mean, even if all my symptoms vanished, I would still not be rid of pain, because of the cerebral palsy. Which 1. is never going away and 2. is getting worse as I age, which cannot be stopped or relieved. Which people rarely realize, because nobody thinks about the crip adults.
So, yay, you, my LJ friends, get to hear it first. I went gluten-free and it didn't do shit for me! Yaay, that was pointless! Let's dance!
It was fascinating. During my trial, I was reading entries on my friends list about people cutting out gluten and realizing that their lives were changing for the better, that they were celiac after all, or intolerant, and that going gluten-free made all the difference and they could love food again, woooo! I was so happy for them I almost cried. It was amazing, reading about their joy and euphoria and ecstasy. Food, they cried! Food is wonderful again! And I nodded, and grinned, and focused on myself and how my gluten-free test trial was just like any other day, except boring.
And I put up with preachers, and pushers, and well-meaning manipulations. And I said nothing. It did hurt, being attacked like that. I sobbed and snarled and surrounded myself with friends who knew the powerful irritation of being shoved around by gluten-free pushers. I kept going. I took double the Klonopin. Days and weeks passed. I stopped the trial. I ate grains and wheat again, slowly, lovingly, with savor.

Today, I was recommended a wonderful book called "The Gentle Art Of Verbal Self-Defense" by Suzanne Haden Elgin. I've gotten a sample of a few chapters, and I'm so hooked that I'll be purchasing the updated version as soon as I have money to buy it. I'm lucky that I've been able to recognize Verbal Attack Patterns recently, but the book will teach me to escape as well as use communication to resolve. I need that. I need to learn peaceful communication getting to the root of the problem without hostile interaction and confrontation, without arguing over semantics. I like to hyperbolize. In fact, a handful of friends and I like to snark at, hyperbolize, and satirize the beliefs of health preachers, like those who firmly believe that gluten-free diets could help everyone who doesn't need them, the way that accepting Jesus will get people to Heaven so the preachers can see them after death and hang out with them in a conforming afterlife. See why this may not work? See why this can be more about the preachers than the listeners?
It is nearly impossible to fight a very calm, gentle person. I need to learn that art of fighting with calm. I need to learn to not be enraged and screamingly upset and insulted whenever anyone tries to manipulate my emotions. I need to learn to break my own cycle of verbal hostility, which will help me handle those manipulations disguised as helpfulness.

Other thing I loathe: Being told that having a mild version of a disability doesn't count. I already discussed cerebral palsy and aging with the chronic pain caused by spastic hypertonia. And they don't back off. No matter how many times you patiently explain anything. Now that is where I really, really need to learn gentle verbal self-defense tactics. Because oh my fucking gods I want to punch them full of holes.

Ahh, humanity. Fun!
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Light Pale)
I must quote this, because it struck me deeply and knocked me over and stunned me and amazed me.

From: [ profile] naamah_darling.
I don't know if I can explain it, any more than I can explain why I find anyone amazing, but you're open about what you are and what you are going through. You don't expend energy trying to be normal, and you never seem to even want to. You aren't afraid of what you ARE, even when the things that HAPPEN, sometimes because of things that you are, are scary. You seem sometimes scared of things that happen or that you (body/chemistry) do to you, but not scared of yourself, really. You're fierce. You're . . . we don't have a word for it. The way in which children and animals are alike, that we *call* innocence, but isn't innocence, it's just a kind of transparency and guilelessness-without-cluelessness. You're contradictory, and this isn't a problem. You've imposed . . . not order . . . but some sort of reason and meaning and story on the chaos in your life, and you have made beautiful things out of it inside you. You persist. You change, you are not destroyed. You're mercurial, joyful in the sense of being flat-out at everything you feel and not in the sense of being always happy, you're generous, you're very kind, you're forgiving. You aren't afraid to spend a lot of time working with and understanding yourself, because you know that is important. You are more people than just-the-one-you you. You are comfortable working with shape and meaning and color, when words aren't good enough. Whole parts of you are indescribable. You're a *good person*, while still being strong and fierce, and that is overwhelmingly obvious to anyone with half a synapse. You belong in fairy tales, like so many of the rest of us, writing better endings. You're kind of amazing.

And tangentially, THAT is why when people are all like "disabled people are so inspirational!" I get kinda pissed on the grounds of "THESE PEOPLE THAT I KNOW, they are SO MUCH MORE than a stepping stone for your ego or a friendly reassurance that hey, if those people can manage to get themselves to a beach/a gym/on a horse, you have a good chance of not being an utter asshole failure your entire life, and accomplishing REALLY important things!" and at the same time am like "No, really, we ARE inspirational; you have no fucking idea how 'inspirational' the disabled folks I know are . . . and if you had one iota of their self-awareness you might not be saying such asinine crap."
You want to find disabled people "inspirational?" I'll accept that . . . if what you are finding "inspirational" is their honesty in speaking out and sharing their opinions, their desire to help others, their weapons-grade swearing vocabulary (so many disabled people I know HAVE THAT, it's glorious), their ability to incorporate something literally disabling into their self-image and life when our culture gives them limited scripts and limited opportunities, their persistence in navigating the obstacles placed in front of them not by what they are, but by how our culture and the many dickheads in it unwittingly and often VERY DELIBERATELY make it harder to do so, the fact that they are often poor as dirt but are the most generous people you will ever meet, that they have known pain and so they often know great compassion.


So is persistence, yes, which is why I am always impressed when I see someone who has had to deal with major issues accomplish something that is made particularly difficult BY those issues SPECIFICALLY, but when that sort of thing is nearly always ONLY praised in the context of visible, physical disability, or when it's some completely unrelated shit, that pisses me off.

It's like . . . people are apparently impressed by when disabled people do anything *while smiling*, because that indicates the triumph of overcoming our miserable existence? Or that we have a good enough attitude to forget, for a moment, that we are fucked up and are supposed to be miserable constantly? I don't even KNOW. But these same people aren't finding me inspirational when I'm at my blackest and am hanging on by my last claw, which is arguably when I am being my MOST BADASS. That's when I need to be pulling up my bootstraps and thinking my way out of it with sunshine and baby kisses. But an ungroomed, exhausted, surrounded by laundry, not moving, fat, blotchy, cat-strewn DEPRESSED person staring at a computer screen or TV or at nothing in particular doesn't look good in a facebook picture. "This person: probably exercising more willpower not to give up hope and eat a bullet than you will exercise at any point in your whole life. Stop. Bitching. That. Your. Yoga. Is. Hard." <---- Nobody wants that. (And, while maybe sometimes true, it's also kinda dickly, because Suck Olympics are uncool. The things that have made me most miserable sometimes do not seem to be proportional or make sense. To wit, the hour-long crying jag I had when my last pet scorpion died, years ago. Dude, I cried less painfully when my GRANDMOTHER died. What even the HELL?)

All I know is that the shit people usually talk about as being inspirational is not really very inspirational to me. Like, *if* it's true that Chris Evans really does have anxiety/panic attacks (never read reliable info about how severe his "problems with anxiety" are, though he apparently went into therapy) and he still navigated two MONSTROUS blockbuster movies and associated press events, I find that totally fucking impressive, because I KNOW WHAT THAT IS LIKE, and I know I couldn't handle it. And that's the stuff people don't seem to understand. That's the stuff people latch on to and *make fun of.* Because people who don't Get It can be real dicks about that stuff.
I truly believe that if Namaah and I lived closer, we would see each other several times a week and never get tired of each other's company.
My husband once told me that everyone has multiple soulmates, that a soul can be split into many different parts. I think Namaah may be one of my soulmates. It took me five years to realize that, and that's okay. I like to take things slowly.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)
"So, do you have kids?"
"Nope. We have three cats."
"Why don't you have any kids?"
"We just don't want kids. Plus, I have medical issues and I don't want to get pregnant."
"Well, you could try adoption."
"Well, it's expensive. And we don't want kids."
"Huh. That's surprising. You sure you don't want to adopt?"
"No. We don't have the money or time or resources, and we just don't want children."
"Well, you could always find the time."
"My husband I will consider it, thank you. But right now, it's not in our plans."
"Ah. Okay, then. Well, at least your cats are like kids, right?"
"Sometimes, yes."

Dear everyone I meet who wonders why I don't have children: Stop fucking telling me I need to have children. Stop Just fucking stop. What part of "I don't want any" do you not understand? I don't want any. Ever. Let it go.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)

Oh my various gods. I am actually reading - and loving - a massive philosophical debate regarding My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic. But, I must highlight this fascinating comment. Also, I have learned that this season finale is just Part One of a trilogy, which might mean that the status quo will return or things will just get interesting from now on. Also, this comment is kind of awesome and I wanted to discuss it - oh my gods, is this turning me into more of a Brony, or does it just mean I like philosophy in everything? Probably the latter.
Also, screw spoilers. I was late to the party, and anyway the secret has been out for a while.

Ack, you're getting too philosophical! Again, while I'm not necessarily saying you're wrong, you have to remember what the canon is -- a (sometimes overly) straight-forward and light-hearted cartoon that little kids watch; yes, a cleverly written show with an adult audience both admiring and often with insatiable standards...but again, little kids watch this: they aren't going to get into complex areas of logic and reason.

Their are no "maybes" or "most likely" with this - the cutie-mark represents, not just your special talent and what you are naturally gifted in, but essentially your future - and not just your future, get over it, but your happiness...your 'true self', what makes you special, the road and life that will make you happy; it's why their is so much simplicity and eagerness for foals to find their cutie-marks because they don't have to necessarily think about themselves and their future in the broad way humans's just a matter of figuring out what they are good at (hence, the CMC trying all sorts of ridiculous things to make things interesting and funny) i.e. what their special talent is, which doubles in what makes them happy and fulfills which also parallels in being their destiny and what they are meant for in life i.e. what will make them happy like no other.

The whole thing is unbelievably simple and straightforward, and that's the point of the canon; it's how it works...everything we are thinking of are genuine wonderful questions because they are normally complex abstract philosophical discussions, but as before, this is a children's cartoon....they are not going to go off the wall:

1) Foals don't have to think too hard about their future - not like humans's just a matter of figuring out what they are particularly good at, narrowing down what their 'special talent' is which...

2) Will appear on their flank as a "cutie-mark" when they realize this; which doubles as the realization of their life's calling and what they are "meant" to do which will bring them a happiness and fulfillment like no other...something called "destiny".

3) They wouldn't get a cutie-mark for anything other then something they were 'meant' to do - meant to in the sense of being something they were genuinely good at ('special talent') and exceptional, and fits with their personality, and also in the sense of being an indication of what they are meant to do in life that will bring them a happiness and fulfillment like no other...a state of being that is truer and more representative of themselves like nothing else -- hence, their "true selves".

4) Hence the extreme importance of finding out what their cutie-marks are for, and why things are so awkward and difficult for foals and why "Blank Flank" is such a stigma...ponies can't make a life for themselves that is happy and fulfilling doing anything else -- someone with a bread-making cutie-mark can't start making fruit and expect to be happy, or live a life that's as happy (or happy at all)...they will inevitably and continuously be miserable forever and ever because they are not doing what they are meant to do i.e. what they are naturally and exceptionally good at i.e. what fits best with their personality and character i.e....they are ignoring their 'true selves'.

This, my friends, is why none of the Mane 5 questioned anything when the cutie-marks were have to understand just how dependent they are on cutie-marks - everything is unbelievably simplified in their world, and also has it's drawbacks....because even though they realized they were not good at what they are doing, they refused to even try to think about doing anything else, and nobody else tried to help them, simply because this was their cutie-mark -- of course Rainbow Dash must take care of animals, because it's her destiny, it's what she is meant to do and must be what she's good at, it must fit with her personality, her special talent and what makes her happy like nothing else will....because she wouldn't get a cutie-mark for anything else if none of that were the case.

Ergo, despite being unhappy, despite being unsuccessful....nobody helped the Mane 5 and nobody else bothered to help them in this time-warp episode because, well, "it's got to be my destiny....and it's what my cutie-mark is telling me!"

This is also why Twilight, who by the way, behaved quite appropriately actually for the situation and even asked about books, didn't ask too many questions nor did anyone else...because again, the comfort of knowing this is what she was meant to do all along, what she is good at, what her cutie-mark must have always meant...this is a time for celebration, not a time for asking longevity questions!

Destiny is always a comforting simple and explicitly good thing in their world, no.questions.asked.

Also, as I have just learned: Lauren Faust, the creator herself, said that while Twilight Sparkle becoming an alicorn was not what she had planned, she no longer works on the show and won't undermine what the writers and showrunners are currently doing. Also, Tara Strong joked "Everypony relax, Twilight is not leaving her friends, however the voice acting will be taken over by Morgan Freeman."
The point is, the status quo won't actually change; it will just mean that a princess alicorn will be living in Ponyville library while still hanging out with her friends. Hell, if I became some respected celebrity, I wouldn't leave my friends either; although I might buy a bigger house.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)
Every time I think, "But I don't WANT to be in this much pain and exhuastion!" that damaged part of my brain with all that dead white matter points and laughs. Neurology likes to make things that much more difficult. Oh, whatever. This has been happening since I was a baby, it will keep happening, and I already know everything I need to do to manage it.

And that right there brings me to this one thought that keeps circulating. The idea behind "person first" language in reference to disabilities. Me? I am against it for my own self, personally, and I finally found a comment that explains why:
"Careful with the semantics. A lot of disabled people object to 'person-first' language because it suggests their disability is a wholly negative thing that should be peripheral to who they are. I usually refer to myself as an autistic person because autism is not a disease or something to be ashamed of. It's just how my brain works, and it's an integral part of who I am. Yes, it's a label, but one that I accept and am proud of, much like labels of race, class, gender, and my family's national origin. To compare disability to, say, cancer has some very problematic implications."

I honestly do not know if it makes a difference if someone was born with disabilities or acquired their disabilities. But I do know that the majority of my acquaintances who acquired their disabilities prefer "person-first" - and often admonish anyone who doesn't, including me. I have very few friends who were born with their disabilities, but I do wonder if they would view "person-first" as a negative connotation. I wonder if it may be because people who were born with it consider it literally part of them, while people who acquired it see it as wholly unwanted since they were "just fine/normal/ordinary/etc" before they became disabled. It is a very interesting thing to think about! I can only speak for myself - aside from those who I know who agree with me. For example: a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago with a friend. He had acquired neurological damage from a car accident and one arm has been semi-paralyzed for several years while his doctors work on treatments that will help him use that arm again. Before the accident, he had been extremely active in the military, in martial arts, in sports. He said, "No, I am a person first, I am not my disability. And so are you. You are a person with disabilities" I said, "Actually, I don't know what it's like to not live with disabilities. My disabilities technically happened while I was becoming a person." He blinked, tilted his head, stared at me, and said, "Huh. Interesting." I said, "At some point, you may regain the full use of your damaged parts and will no longer be disabled. That won't happen to me. Ever. This is who I am. I am both a person with disablities and a disabled person." He said, "Okay. I can absolutely understand that, in your case." "Yes," I said, "In my case. Not everybody's, though. But it's something to think about."

And there is... well... this:
Disabled people are people, and that means that can be rude, dickish, prejudiced, judgmental assholes, as bad as anyone. In fact, yes, someone them do it deliberately, because people coo "Oh, they're disabled, it's okay, the poor things! They don't understand what they're saying!"
It is almost as awful as the "disabled inspiration porn" - example, "Look at that disabled person! She is so amazing, so strong, to do what she does while being disabled! We should all look up to her!"
No. Oh, gods, no. PLEASE don't look up to me. Look, if you want to call me inspirational, refer to the strength and power I have because of my disabilities, not despite them. I may be physically and neurologically weak, but I am incredibly strong in my soul, spirit, etc. It's just how I live. I live WITH my disorders, I don't live DESPITE them. I work WITH them, not AGAINST them. I am constantly and consistently COMPROMISING and COMPENSATING. And guess what? I HAVE LIMITS. Don't dare ever tell me all that bullshit about how "the only disability in life is a bad attitude" or "the only limits are in your mind" because fuck you. I have limitations, and the best I can to is to keep raising them, keep increasing those limits, instead of pushing or breaking them, because trying to break my limits is stupid and will leave me exhausted, drained, agonized, and unable to function. But raising my limits just means that I can go on a little longer without collapsing. That's all.
And this is not saying "I can say this stuff because I'm disabled so it's not discriminatory, ha ha!" This is saying "Many disabled people use their disabled status to be fucking assholes and they know it. Don't think I'm a sweet angel just because I'm a fucking cripple." I really do my very best to NOT be an asshole. Because it's a terrible thing to do. We're all people, we all screw up. But we also do the best we can. Most of us.

I still don't understand why so many people so desperately want to shift semantics like this, especially those who are not actually disabled. Then again, I don't get out much. I was late to the party.
brightlotusmoon: (Pixie Model 2)
I see color everywhere. I taste color everywhere. I hear, sense, feel, and connect with color. I cannot imagine a world, any world, without color, even in my dreams, even without my eyes. I speak in color. Everything I touch makes me explode in color.

People ask me why I can't use my mild psychic skills to 'heal' myself. I still have trouble explaining exactly why that is not possible. I can only pull, manifest, and manipulate elemental colors and cosmic colors so much.
I do not expect people to know what I mean. My perceptions are my own. However, I know many people who understand what I mean.

"It's something about the color..."
It's always something about the color.

Often, I dream in octarine, the color of magic. Everything is magic, and everything is color, and color shows me the depths of the universe that I cannot fully reach, not until I join that cosmic wave, full of indescribable colors that define what it means to exist.

This is why religion will never work for me. Not enough color. Not enough expansion. Too much external force. I need more color. I need more inside. I need my whole brain, which cannot happen unless the dead white matter and the damaged neurons somehow move again.

I am my own connection to whatever forces move existence. I am responsible for my own existence. My Higher Brain, my Subconscious, my Quantum Psychic Brain, and my Self are working together to create the most intense positive energy I have ever realized.

My transformation will come only from within myself. I am waiting. I am moving in directions that feel so right to me, no matter what external forces claim. I am opening myself to every past hurt, every negative feeling, and shifting them into the light. It it is a constant cycle, and it hurts so much that sometimes I cannot handle it. Meditative techniques are like lifelines.

The important thing is that I keep going. I keep growing. That is what matters. I am following the colors. I am the colors. I am made of light.
brightlotusmoon: (Pixie Model 2)
I am writing this revealing post because my Psychic Quantum Consciousness smacked me with Get Well (apply directly to the forehead) and I am finally feeling human. Ish?

My nap refreshed me slightly. So did pain drugs and herbs.
Then I decided to paint my nails twice over: first with Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Polish in Divine Wine and then with Revlon Top Speed Polish in Dress Code.
The Nailgrowth formula will help my nails grow stronger (biotin, peptides, chondroitin, keratin, silk powder). The Top Speed formula will help my nails stay healthy (minerals, gemstone powders, vitamins, silk powder, keratin).
My nails are shimmery metallic dark violet, with shimmery golden dark red bleeding through beneath. I was surprised by the beauty of Dress Code, which is much more purple than Decadent (indigo violet) and more shimmery. Revlon is really good with nail colors. The fascinating thing is how the dark red and dark violet shades are merging as the polishes finish drying. (I am also pretty sure "Dress Code" may also be named "Violet" as the Revlon site does not have a polish color called Dress Code in the Top Speed line, but the shade Violet looks exactly like Dress Code.)
I had also applied makeup this afternoon, since brightening concealer used as foundation and dark red lipgloss made me look a little less ill and exhausted. I felt like an alien, but a pretty alien.

Beautiful colors do help take my mind of how terrible I am feeling.
Eventually I will stop feeling terrible and start feeling, um, in less pain? and now I am finally, finally starting to climb out of this bizarre depressive episode that has been like a rabbit hole lined with steel thorns.
Combined with one of the most severe fibromyalgia attacks in recent months or even years plus attacks from the various sydromes associated with spastic ataxic cerebral palsy, the depression shattered me for quite a while. I am deeply grateful that it began lifting just as I desperately wanted to lie on my psychic battlefield in a deep pool of my own psychic blood, too tired and too drained to keep fighting, willing to let my pain monsters grab me and take me like a trophy to wherever they live when not hunting. I didn't feel alarmed enough to call my doctors, I just felt desperate to sleep for a day straight until I felt human again. I honestly don't know what it's like to feel so darkly depressed, but I would probably admit I was getting fairly close.

All I can say is that I really am feeling better, covered in sunlight and moonlight with healing powers, since I am a witch and a pagan after all. And I can thank every friend I have for helping me, whether they knew it or not. And I can also thank my Higher Brain and my Subconscious combined, which I like to call the Psychic Quantum Consciousness, because quantum brains are cool.

See this entry for various explanations and stuff:
brightlotusmoon: (Default)
Bright eyed, bushy haired, bright colors, babbling due to painkillers and happy muscle relaxants and healing gemstones and all that weird pseudoscience silliness that I believe in despite my atheist agnostic upbringing.

I've been pagan since I was a teenager, so hah. Polyagnostic polytheist pantheist eclectic witch who will believe even if proven completely wrong. Even when my atheist skeptic parents insist that it's just my brain and that psychic powers don't exist, I will agree because that is true, too. There are so many truths out there. I love quantum everything.
See, I follow the Discworld concept: Even if a deity manifests in front of be and insists it is a great god, I will tell it "That's nice. Just because you exist doesn't mean I believe in you. I believe in my Higher Brain smushed with my Subconscious, which you possibly came from. But since you are here, let's party anyway. Red wine?"

I also follow the concept laid out by Neil Gaiman in "American Gods." I firmly believe that Man created God, and the Universe created both Man and God, and all gods everywhere sprang fully formed from Man's brain because Man's brain is more complex and extreme than we can ever conceive. The universe is bigger than everything. And we are all made of bits of the universe, and if we create a belief system with gods and spirits and entities, the cosmic consciousness of the Universe will go, "Huh, they really want this stuff, don't they? Well, shit, why not?" And the bits of our brains connected to the Universe will make our gods and entities real to those of us who truly want and desire the realities of those gods and entities. Like, our Higher Brains and our Subconscious Brains smash together to create a whole knew kind of brainpower, with psychic knowledge and spiritual knowledge and such.

So. I believe that humans can be psychic. I have had psychic experiences myself.
But I am actually skeptical whenever someone says they can easily predict the future. Time is always moving, see. The future is extremely fluid and rather non-Newtonian, simultaneously. No one person can consistently know the exact future without fail, because every possible future is slippery and plastic (not the polymer plastic, the physics type of plasticity: "In physics and materials science, plasticity describes the deformation of a material undergoing non-reversible changes of shape in response to applied forces. For example, a solid piece of metal being bent or pounded into a new shape displays plasticity as permanent changes occur within the material itself. In engineering, the transition from elastic behavior to plastic behavior is called yield.").
So, precognitives can see several futures at once, but it's all flexible. Like, predicting lottery numbers would be rather implausible. Knowing a precise fixed group of numbers at an exact time in a specific future is really hard to nail down. That's why the classic skeptic question "Well, why haven't any psychics won a big lottery?" is essentially technically correct. It's hard to nail down such a small, specific thing. And then there is seeing a changeable future: Seeing bits of a future that can be prevented or altered. Is that actually predicting the future? Which future is it predicting if the predicted future was changed? I do believe in forms of precognition. It's just that precognition in general is so hard to pin down all the time.
See how complex it all is? It's like quantum physics. Psionics really is no different from deep quantum physics. Can we truly prove what we cannot see or measure? I completely believe in clairvoyance, telepathy, retrocognition, psychometry, communication with the dead, and other such powers. It's all quantum, and the human brain is quantum and insanely complicated.

And I have also always believed in All The Gods, so whenever someone asks me if I believe in God, I always ask "Which one?" which leads to confusion and people thinking I'm, like, evil or something and must be saved or whatever that means. *shrug* I don't care. I like what I like and I don't want to push it on anyone because my faith is mine and your faith is yours.

I just ask that you please please do not attempt to convert me to Christianity, because nope nope nope. I am fully Pagan, as I have said. But I am also Jewish on my mother's side, which makes me fully Jewish*... and I know that Christianity is a Jewish heresay: Yeshua (that Jesus guy) was just a highly intelligent Jewish man who explored various belief systems, including paganism and Buddhism and Hinduism and such, and then returned to talk about it all, since he was never part god, he was just a very good human orator with mild psychic abilities.
*(I should add that my heritage is also Russian/Romanian/Hungarian on Mom's side, with Sicilian/Greek on Dad's side. So I would say that I'm Jewish with Sicilian, Greek, Russian, Romanian, and Hungarian heritage. I choose to have no part in the Jewish religion or culture, but I have deep respect for said culture.)

So, no. I am who I am and if you leave me alone I will not roll my eyes and facepalm at you. I love you all, I always will... but I can love everyone without being bothered by proselytizing. Love is love is love is love. There is no wrong or right, there is only love. Also books. Books are love. Stories create us the way we create stories.

brightlotusmoon: (Default)
Adam and I took advantage of Venus' last hour across the sun. We did a private pagan ritual, charged my amber bracelet, made love and played with magic, discussed magic, and then discussed the fact that my psychic senses were much stronger than usual. Adam theorized that because of how I entered the world, I've always been deeply connected to the spirit realm, as it were, and to some psychics and magic practitioners I seem intensely bright and shiny while to other practitioners I seem dim and closer to ghosts; in any case I seem to have an ability to sense and attract supernatural and paranormal energies. I used to be like shiny candy when I was in college. When my friends went on "ghost hunts" they took me as a sort of bait. Adam says I shouldn't be frustrated that I don't actually know what all my talents are, and that nobody can tell me except myself. Which actually is frustrating, because beyond the sensing and attracting, I have no clue.

Anyway, enough magical thinking gibberish to make skeptics laugh forever, I have actual reality to think about for this post. Well, other than wanting to open a discussion about Humanistic Paganism which I include in my wild menagerie of weird beliefs (agnostic polytheism, pantheism, eclectic paganism, humanistic paganism, shamanism, animism, cosmic consciousness, transpersonal psychology) that are probably contradictory, but whatever; I refer to the great speech in Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" in which Sam tells Shadow what she believes, which is lots of very awesome things.

Yesterday, Adam and I went grocery shopping specifically to sustain me for the next two weeks, as Adam will be working in other states too often to come home. Today he goes to Pennsylvania and returns on Friday, but after that I probably won't see him for most of June. The cats and I should be perfectly fine, and if I need anything I can call a friend to help.

I can't talk about the death of Ray Bradbury yet. It will make me cry again. I will go through my library and pull out every Bradbury book I own and pile them up and sit there, watching them and meditating, and then I will read all of them, one by one.
brightlotusmoon: (Default)
"Remember, weirdness is not a thing by itself. Weirdness is a matter of degrees. I don't even know what normal is. I was born weird and I'll die weird (one of my degrees of weird is having multiple physical, mental, and neurological disabilities that, while highly limiting and often debilitating, make life extremely interesting). I should design a t-shirt that says Born This Weird."
-Me, from to a Facebook discussion about why being weird is awesome.
brightlotusmoon: (Default)
On the train this morning, as the question was joyfully asked and expanded on (and she kept talking fervently) and I replied as simply as possible, this went through my head.

Thank you very much for asking when my husband and I will start having children. I know you are just being polite and curious. However, you are the [insert number] person to ask me that since I got married. As I have explained to all the others, I will have children when I am ready. It may not be for several more years. I do not feel that getting pregnant, giving birth, and raising a child is something I want to do right now.
Also, while I appreciate your curiosity and odd fascination concerning the future of my womb, I find it slightly unsettling. I am afraid I don't see how my sex life, the health of my reproductive organs, and the activity of my uterus have anything to do with anyone but me and my partner. I wish you all the best for you and your [current/potential] offspring, but you really do not need to concern yourself with me and mine. Also, please get that glazed gleam out of your eyes. It's a little frightening.
Thank you.

Really, the woman seemed a little... zealous. It made me want to cover my lower abdomen with my arms and tell her that no, she couldn't have my future children.

let go

Jun. 28th, 2007 01:10 pm
brightlotusmoon: (Default)
A fascinating conversation on the train.
The woman sitting next to me looked at my engagement ring and said, "How pretty. It looks like an Ouroboros."
Surprised, I smiled. "Thank you," I said. "I hadn't thought about it like that."
The ring is rose gold, with the center diamond, a round cut brilliant, in a very low bezel setting of white gold. On each side are three tiny round diamonds with a pave setting etched into the gold in between each gem.
She asked me how the proposal went, and about me and and my husband. I told her the whole story about the ring, which had her grinning and shaking her head. I had started with the Las Vegas hotel room and ended with the dinner table at his parents' house where I'd been living with him. I told her how Adam had found the silver original versions of the wedding rings which had been our promise rings, and how his uncle had copied them using green-gold electrum for the wedding rings themselves. I told her about the wedding.
After a minute of thought, the woman asked me, "Your future-mother-in-law offered to take you to Pennsylvania and her brother's jewelry shop, to pick out a different engagement ring. Do you ever regret not taking the offer when you had the chance?
Ah. She must have heard the tone in my voice when I talked about the giant heirloom diamond platinum ring.
"Yes, sometimes," I admitted. "Recently Adam said he would have given me something completely different if his mother hadn't beaten him to it. And I don't know why, but I've been thinking about that too much."
"From what I gather, just from all this," my companion said slowly, "you're still slightly bitter because his mother seemed to take so much control away from the two of you regarding wedding preparations, but especially starting with her giving Adam that big ring instead of him giving you one of his own choice. And you wish you'd had the presence of mind and the assertiveness to request that chance for a different ring, mainly because you believe a proposal shouldn't have to involve such a tangible push from an overbearing parent. You honestly regret being so introverted and shy and too eager to please, at that one moment at the dinner table. And even when you had your mom's jeweler friend put some of the diamonds into this band here so you could have your own personal ring, you still wished you had spoken up back then."
I blinked, speechless. "Wow. You're good. You're not a psychologist, are you?"
She smiled. "My mother was."
I nodded. "Ahhh, okay."
"My name is Lisa, by the way," she said, and I told her my name and we shook hands. "You've obviously been carrying this around in your subconscious for a while," she added. "Maybe you should talk about it to your husband. I know that won't change much, but it'll give you piece of mind." She looked at the ring again. "It really is unique. Besides, I'm not big on prong-setting solitare stones anyway."
I laughed a little. "Thanks, Lisa, I really appreciate this. I was starting to think I was being petty and whiny."
She laughed too. "Nah, not at all. These things do matter. And it's not like you've been bitching and complaining constantly. I'd say you're handling it really well. You may just need to get some things off your chest just to let it go."
I nodded. "I need to remind myself that I still got what I wanted, which was a life with the man I love, regardless of how it happened."
Lisa grinned. "There you go."
We were quiet for a few more stops, and then as the train began to slow down at a station, she stood up. "This is my stop. I'm glad we talked."
"Me too," I smiled.
"I might see you around, you never know. Take care, Joanna."
"Thanks, Lisa."
I got off at my own stop a couple of stations later, feeling much lighter.

(Note: While I remember the conversation, the transcript may not be completely word for word. But that was the gist of it. She really was a sweet lady)


Jun. 28th, 2007 09:28 am
brightlotusmoon: (Default)
When I talked to Adam last night, he told me that the job had been pulled off -- not a complete disaster, but still cutting it close. He said my mother had called him to give her support; that was cute. He was with Bane; Hi, Bane!

Mom and I wound up in an interesting conversation about my childhood and my personality, after discussing my medical conditions. Mom still believes most of my physical pain and fatigue issues are due to my allowing stress to overwhelm me (that's honestly not it; wouldn't it be nice if it were that). I tried not to bristle, because for many people, that sort of thinking leads to "It's all being exacerbated in your mind and by your thinking; so part of it is technically your fault." She made some very good points, but I still don't believe that the majority of my afflictions are nearly illusory and could be simply controlled and almost cured if I "just relaxed." I keep meaning to send her stuff on the harsh reality of anorexia and how most sufferers really don't have much choice, how their thoughts are influenced by outside compulsions; but I keep forgetting. I don't want to argue. I love her dearly, more than almost anyone, and arguing with her just makes me more upset.

Fuck, I hurt. All the muscle groups in my body are burning.


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