Wednesday, September 28, 2011

R.I.P. Raymond P.

I've had two guys I knew commit suicide this year, both guys who used to work in the same office as I did, though they were not close to me.  Then, this morning, I heard that Raymond  had taken his own life.

He was a guy in a group with me, who I had been reaching out to, and text messaging until my cell phone died (and took a number of phone numbers with it) a week or so back.  I got the news right before a hearing before Judge Snelson this morning.

I am still caught by the news.  So sorry for him and those he loved.

Resources for those with disabilities:

Cross post (of sorts)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Finding myself in the midst of my life

Sometimes it is interesting to find myself in my life.  I'm used to an emotional ebb and flow that goes with specific dates or holidays that have migrated themselves.  December 26 and January 26 as days children died.  Valentines day, before and after.  (Jessica and Courtney were born two days before and two days after Valentines, they died January 26 and December 26).  Robin managed to emotionally migrate to the 4th of July and Labor Day for me.

But it is also easy to think that those dates limit the times I'm emotionally vulnerable, to lose myself and my reactions to history and the calendar.

Recently I had a friend admitted to the hospital with an aneurism and emerging bleed.  Usually that means direct admission to surgery.  I checked into the hospital where he was (I happened to be right down the street when I got the news).  He wasn't listed.  They were gentle with me, the diagnosis he had and not finding him usually means that he did not live long enough to be admitted.

Turns out there was a typographical error with his name.  Even better, the brain aneurism was of a rare type and the bleed had stopped and (after a significant time in the hospital) he resolved without surgery at all.

We've been busy at work.  I've been working the equivalent of two full extra days a week for the past little while (up from significantly over).  And no, I don't get overtime or even comp time, so it is just extra work that has to be done, really long hours that have to be completed.

As for the Tourette's syndrome issues,well, we recently had a significant improvement in medication results.  Very recently.  I'm pleased (so far), though I could wish for a lot more.  Still very time consuming.  I sometimes feel like a large sheep dog in the mornings.

But, since it wasn't Labor Day or Christmas or my wedding anniversary (January 26 just happens to be that day) or the 4th of July ... I did not see myself as being emotionally vulnerable, just busy.  Had someone comment (as I explained why I was busy, and perhaps not thinking deeply enough in what was really a social situation) ... that perhaps what I was expressing as time consuming was expressing things that were emotionally impacting.

Suddenly (before I discovered that Mike was going to recover without dieing or major function loss -- we had a close family friend who was a neurosurgeon when I was growing up -- he left the field because all of his "successes" were really just a different form of failure other than death) I realized that I might be having emotionally stressing events that weren't related to the calendar.

I found a part of myself in the midst of the busyness of life.  In all the time consumption I had lost sight of the fact that there are other emotional events and stresses other than the ones that I take for granted in my personal calendar.   That I'm still reacting and affected by things.  My dad's death, other events, other stresses of life.

Still digesting that.  Still tempted to withdraw from some time commitments and some parts of life.  But also able to reach out and find parts of myself, acknowledge what I am feeling and doing and stressed by.  Finding me in the middle of what is my life.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


You know what, though? Having stood on the other side, I hope that isn’t the truth. I need to believe that part of the reason she has come through with such grace is because she doesn’t have to explain herself every where she goes. People just know, and they either accept it or they don’t, and there is no hemming and hawing around the edges. I want that. I want to be known as who I truly am, not just a part of who I have become. For I am a survivor ...

Read the rest of the post, it is about surviving and not being controlled by what you have survived.  Longing to be complete, without having to explain yourself and how the past does not cripple me today, and talking about it does not harm me.

Well worth reading.

Books I'm looking forward to

I've been listening to the podcasts from Writing Excuses.  First I got the first three seasons on CD.  Now I have the five season DVD to listen to.  But it has made me appreciate some books more and some authors a lot more.

The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn novel..

Yes, I'm really looking forward to it.  Have already read the on-line chapters, and the cover is close to perfect. had it partially in mind when I chose the video clip for the post.

Echoes of Betrayal: Paladin's... (Hardcover) by Elizabeth Moon

My wife and I both have really enjoyed this series (back from the first three novels, many, many years ago) and we are looking forward to the next book.

And maybe ...

Honor's Paradox (Kencyrath 6) (Paperback) by P.C. Hodgell

This series has been as drawn out and as long as Jack Vance's Demon Princes novels.  I'm a completest though.

Anyone have a novel that is coming that they are really looking forward to?

Otherwise, as soon as I get a new phone, I'm getting the best available app ;)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weaponizing mental illness

evil and deluded men ...

I was thinking about that comment in a blog post, and it made me reflect that for the most part, much of what is going on in the world today is weaponizing mental illness.

I realize that there are alternative names for suicide bombers, though the alternatives actually are ones that the bombers would prefer.

But what is significant about so many of them is that they are actually disabled (either systematically or temporarily -- as in suffering from significant grief or depression for the temporarily disabled) and what is going on is that a system for weaponizing mental illness has been developed.

Now that wasn't 9/11.  In 9/11 we now know that most of the terrorists involved did not know that they were expected to die with the planes, that they were really on suicide missions. They thought they were engaged in "catch and release" hijacking (where you hijack a plane, but everyone knows the passengers will be released after you've made your statement so there is no need for security forces to storm the plane and kill you).

But that is what has been going on since then and is very much an untold story.