Share Your World #40

Share Your World #40

Why did you start blogging?
Why did I start blogging?  I really can’t remember how I even stumbled across WordPress. I have since taken two classes, Building Better Webpages I & II. It started out as a sounding board for my little pet peeves, like when someone who doesn’t need it, parks in a handicap zone, forcing my driver to spend a lot more time, looking for another place where we can park. But it evolved into a place where I could explore, express, and pass on my feelings about my childhood sexual/physical/emotional abuse.

A piece of clothing you still remember?  I remember a pair of overalls that my mother made for me. This was in the 70’s, mind you. The basic color was sort of beige, with vertical, red and orange stripes. My mother had us wear our school clothes, the first set, Mon-Wed, and the second set, Thurs&Fri. Since this item of clothing really stood out among other people, someone was always making fun of me about how many days in a row, that I wore those. I was already being picked on, and this just made my time at school even worse. It didn’t matter that I got real good grades.

Who are you trying to reach with your blog?  I write about child abuse, specifically my own. My writing has evolved into a great place where I can explore my own feelings, and hopefully reach others who have survived child abuse of any kind. I want to give them a place to vent their own feelings, and hopefully they can feel free to explore their own abuse, their feelings, PTSD, and other mental illnesses that can result from childhood abuse.

Is there a stuffed animal in your bedroom?  I used to have a lot of stuffed animals, especially large ones. I now have only one, a small stuffed bear, that was given to me by one of my aides for Valentines Day, and now sits proudly in my recliner with me. His name is Jasper.

The best birthday present ever?  Having to share birthdays with Halloween makes it a little difficult to remember birthday gifts, but I would have to go with my very first guitar, when I turned 21. It was an acoustic guitar with nylon strings, and I had never even played one before. My ability has become much more proficient and I bought myself a good acoustic guitar, with steel strings. That’s not as bad as having to share it with Christmas, but parties were always rushed, so that we could go trick-or-treating.

What would surprise me about you? I think what might surprise you, is that I spent two months in one of our state mental houses, and it was not by choice. The county I now live in, had me hospitalized, due to extreme, chronic depression, accompanied by three suicide attempts. Obviously, I survived and am here to tell you about it today. I have come a long way, from that dark period of my life. But I am a survivor, and while I still have mental health issues, you wouldn’t be able to tell if you met me, or came to know me. I am stable on the medications I take, and have not been hospitalized for that since 2006 or 2007.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful that I had the opportunity to fly to San Antonio, take part in adaptive sports for disabled veterans.  I did not win any medals – the MS is progressing and I have less stability with my hands and arms.  Also that despite complications, landing at O’Hare, and first having to wait for a gate to open up, and then waiting about an hour for them to get my chair to me.  They had trouble getting it off the plane, then the elevator they were going to use to bring it up was under construction, so they had to go the long way around.  I’m also grateful for the passengers and driver got me on/off the bus, and the shuttle van was waiting for me, despite the fact that I was almost 15 minutes.  The driver knew who I was and didn’t want to leave me stranded out there, in the rain, with no other means available to get me and my chair home. (It probably weighs close to 400 pounds)  There was no other way to get me and my chair home.  All other forms of public transport don’t come out as far as that bus stop.

I am looking forward to a quiet, relaxing, week, without all the stress I had before and during my trip to San Antonio.  I am also looking forward to doing a little shopping, if my budget allows it this month.  And I am also looking forward to going to church again this weekend.  I went last week.  That was probably the first time I went since Easter.

Cee’s Share Your World is a weekly feature and all are welcome to play along.

What’s going on in your world?

Weekend Coffee Share

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I would tell you how my therapy visit was somewhat unsettling.  What am I saying here?  She made me angry.  She made me feel as though I were under attack.  She stressed for about ten minutes, how she spent more time with me than with any other client that she saw.  Was that a complaint?  Does that mean I’m a problem?  Should I be seeing her less often than twice a month?  I should hope not.  She has been my lifeline to my sanity for the past year and a half or more.  I was nearly devastated when she changed my appointments from once a week to twice a month.  And now I have to show up with a notebook, prepared with exactly what I should be talking about that day.  If she hadn’t done so much to bring me so far . . . 

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I’d tell you that this weekend has been one filled with anxiety, last-minute trips to the dollar store for mini versions of toiletries, so that I can travel this week, with only one carry-on bag, my laptop (no matter how hard I try, the decision to leave it at home never lasts) and my CPAP machine.  I don’t want to be tired all day long, because I had a poor nights sleep due to sleep apnea.  I’m trying to avoid 1) Trying to push around my big suitcase, while toting a carry-on, laptop and CPAP machine,  2) Having to wait in baggage claim until my bag finally appears and possibly missing my bus home from the airport on the return trip, and 3) Loading up with all this extra stuff I can do without.  All of this from a wheelchair.  True, it is a power chair, but that in itself is trouble as it causes me to be the last one off the plane, then often having to wait for my chair to appear, which could be a bit of a lengthy time coming home, at O’Hare.  And there is always the risk of damage to my chair, as it is a 400 pound power chair and the baggage handlers in Chicago just never seem to get it right, even though I’ve traveled to and from there for a few years.  I could not possibly tote around all that baggage while trying to push myself around in a manual wheelchair.

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffeeI’d tell you about all the exciting things I’ll be doing this week (not including the airports).  I will be checking into the hotel in the evening, and then checking in for the Valor Games Southwest, in San Antonio, TX.  I’d tell you how the elevator has a glass wall which looks out on the inner square garden.  There is also a hot tub, which I cannot go into due to heat sensitivity from MS, and a wonderful pool, lit up at night from under the water.  It is such a wonderful feeling to immerse myself into that cool water, after a hot day waiting to get on and off buses, which are transporting us back and forth from the game venues and the hotel.  I believe my first event will be with the air rifle.  I have rifled through my closets, looking for the eye patch needed to cover my dominant eye, so I am not struggling to keep my non-dominant eye open while aiming at a target which is 10 miles meters away.  And I also have to be wearing my glasses to do this.  I would tell you that another event I’ll be taking part in, is table tennis, a sport which I have played just about every year for the past 8 years.  My last event is Boccia Ball, which I first tried in San Antonio, on my first trip there two years ago.  It has since become an event in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games.  The Valor Games do not require that you be in a wheelchair, but just that you have a VA-certified qualifying disability.  I guess mine qualifies, as this is the third year I’ve been accepted to these games.  I’d tell you that just last month I competed in the Valor Games Midwest, in Chicago, where I earned a gold medal in the discus, and a silver medal in hand-cycling.  This is a sport that I’m looking into pursuing on a full-time basis.  And I’d tell you I’ll spend every evening (if I have any energy left) in the pool, and then trying to find a couple of people to drag me out of the pool, as I can’t get myself out with my legs.  I would tell you that I’ll be getting little sleep for the next 5 days, and that’s okay.  I’ll fill you all in with my results, next weekend.

If We Were Having Coffee

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I’d tell you that it has been a long week.  I have not been able to go anywhere, due to the heat and humidity.  Fortunately, I didn’t have any appointments to go to during the week.  I’d tell you that I have a fascinating (at least to me) idea for a new blog I’d like to start, as well as some changes to the looks (Not the content!) of this blog.  I’d tell you I spent a tremendous amount of time, playing Sudoku online, as I play that to try the repair some of the deficits in cognitive ability due to nerve damage on my brain from MS, by stimulating new nerves to take the place of the damaged nerves, with new ones (not sure that has helped).

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee,  I’d tell you that I spent Friday baking goodies for us to eat with our coffee.  I’d tell you I made a delicious carrot cake with cream cheese icing, and molasses cookies (because they are my all-time favorite, after chocolate),  but the cookies were burned because I forgot to set the timer on these newfangled stoves they put in here.  The weather here has turned a bit cool after the storms went through, and I had to put on jeans for the first time all summer.  The air conditioner is off and the cat is enjoying the open window.  Unfortunately, my flowers in the window boxes on the sills did not fare well due to me or the weather (I’d rather blame the weather).  I may have to try something different next year.

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I have an exciting week ahead.  I will be going to Chicago for three days, for the 2016 Valor Games Midwest.  These games have been adapted for veterans with many different types of disabilities, ranging from Archery to Tandem Cycling (for the ones who cannot see), as well as Field events, Indoor Rowing, and some exhibition sports that we can try out, and see if it is something we would like to pursue.  I’d tell you that since I’m either sitting, or in bed for the night, I don’t get much exercise, except when I use my manual chair when someone gives me a ride somewhere.  So I play adaptive sports in the summer, both for the competition, the wish to push myself a little further, to meet up with old friends, or just cheer for our teammates.  I’d tell you I went to Salt Lake City the end of June, into July, and that I won a bronze medal in 9-ball, a silver medal in bowling, and a gold medal for the Power Slalom, which is just a fancy way to say an obstacle course for power wheelchair.  I’d tell you that I don’t do it for the medals, but for the competition with friends I’ve met over the years, conversations by the pool that can last half the night, and the opportunity to travel all over the US.  I’ve been to events from the western part to the state to the eastern part, and I have yet to visit a city I haven’t liked, except for maybe the heat.  I’d also tell you that in September I’m going to San Antonio for the Valor Games Southwest.  This will be my third year going, but this year is the first year that I’ve had to pay for everything myself.  I was charged an extra $200 for my flight, because I changed my departure day to return home, from Friday to Thursday.  Then I turned out I had the return flight scheduled on the correct day the first day, but my departure from home was a day early.  So I cancelled the reservation entirely (BIG mistake) and applied for a refund for the entire trip.  I then made a new reservation, on the correct days, but was later informed that I would not be receiving a refund at all from the first reservation.  Any ideas how I can do that??  I would also tell you that I won’t be posting much this week, due to my travels.  And I would tell you to have a great week!