Friday, November 30, 2012

Maya Angelou

I like surfing the net, reading blogs, articles, looking at pictures. I wander from one link to the next and before I know it I am miles away in unknown territory. 

This is how I came across Maya Angelou. Holy Cow! She has accomplished so much. 

"Dr. Maya Angelou is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. Hailed as a global renaissance woman, Dr. Angelou is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist."

"Dr. Angelou’s words and actions continue to stir our souls, energize our bodies, liberate our minds, and heal our hearts.

It was the many quotations that drew my attention. Her words inspire. Because I blog about gratitude I thought this quote would be fitting and so I am sharing it with you. 

I have been practicing gratitude and I wake up in the morning saying thank you. When I am grateful I cannot feel sad. I can't feel anxious or frustrated or angry. I feel happy and blessed.

When I practice consistently for a few days, I have a warm fuzzy feeling of inner peace and happiness which up to now was a very rare event.

Unfortunately, change is difficult. Sometimes negative thoughts creep into my mind or escape my lips. That's when I stop and say, "but I am grateful for . . . " and turn it back around to gratitude.

If you haven't tried any of the gratitude practices, a magic morning is a good place to start or you can start at the beginning. That post is titled, The Road To Inner Peace and Happiness.

You may want to read more about Maya Angelou so  I have copied a few links for you.


Do you have an attitude of gratitude? I am not there yet but I am working on it. How about you?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Seth Speaks . . .

Who is Seth?

Lately, I've been thinking about this book, SETH SPEAKS by Jane Roberts. I first read it about twenty years ago. A friend had read the book and highly recommended it. 

The book begins, "I do not have a physical body, yet I am writing this book." When I read this line, I couldn't help asking myself, if my friend found this book in the fiction section. How could a ghost, spirit write a book? Obviously I had to keep reading.

In case you have not heard of Seth or Jane Roberts, allow me to reference some information from Wikipedia. Please keep an open mind.

In late 1963, Roberts and Butts, living in the Elmira, New York area, experimented with a Ouija board as part of Roberts' research for a book on extra-sensory perception. According to Roberts and Butts, on December 2, 1963 they began to receive coherent messages from a male personality who eventually identified himself as Seth. Soon after, Roberts reported that she was hearing the messages in her head. She began to dictate the messages instead of using the Ouija board, and she eventually abandoned the board.

Roberts described the process of writing the Seth books as entering a trance state. She said Seth would assume control of her body and speak through her, while her husband wrote down the words she spoke. They referred to such episodes as "readings" or "sessions".

"For 21 years until Roberts' death in 1984 (with a one-year hiatus due to her final illness), Roberts held regular trance sessions in which she spoke on behalf of Seth. Butts served as stenographer, taking the messages down in home-made shorthand, and recording some sessions. The messages from Seth channeled through Roberts consisted mostly of monologues on a wide variety of topics. They were published by Prentice-Hall under the collective title Seth Material."

Explaining Physical Manifestation 

There was something that Seth said that I have always remembered. "You create your own reality." I know this is not a new concept but he explained it in a way that I had never heard before.

These are his words, "Each thought or emotion therefore exists as electromagnetic energy units or as a combination of these under certain conditions and often with the help of coordinate points, they emerge into the building blocks of physical matter. This emergence of matter occurs as a neutral result regardless of the nature of any given thought  or emotion. Mental images accompanied with strong emotion, are blueprints therefore upon which a corresponding physical object, or condition, or event, will in your terms appear."

"The intensity of the feeling or thought or mental image is therefore, the important element in determining its subsequent physical manifestation.

The intensity is the core about which the electromagnetic energy units are formed. In your terms, the more intense the core, the sooner the physical materialization. This would apply whether the mental image was a fearful one or a joyful one. Now there is a very important problem here: if your turn of mind is very intense and you think in vivid mental emotional images, these will be swiftly formed into physical events. If you are also of highly pessimistic , given to thoughts and feelings of potential disaster, then these thoughts will quite faithfully reproduced in experience."
Seth Speaks by Jane Roberts

“Your beliefs form reality. Your individual beliefs and your joint beliefs. Now the intensity of a belief is extremely important...

And, if you believe, in very simple terms, that people mean you well, and will treat you kindly, they will. And, if you believe that the world is against you, then so it will be in your experience. And, if you believe...IF YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL BEGIN TO DETERIORATE AT 22, then so you shall.

And, if you believe that you are poor, and always will be, then so your experience will so prove to you. Your beliefs meet you in the face when you look in the mirror. They form your image. You cannot escape your beliefs. They are, however, the method by which you create your experience.

It is important that you here realize that you are not at the mercy of the unexplainable, that you are not at the mercy of events over which you have no control whether those events are psychological events or physical ones, in your terms.

Let's see if understand this. When your emotions are strong, your thoughts can can make physical objects, or conditions, or events.

Changing Your Reality

As I have told you, there is little difference if you believe that your present life is caused by incidents in your early infancy or by past lives over which equally you feel you have no control. Your events, your lives, your experiences, are caused by your present beliefs. Change the beliefs and your life changes.” Seth

Is Seth a motivational speaker? It sounds to me like he is an expert on the Law of Attraction and physical manifestation of our thoughts. 

What do you think?

You can read Seth Speaks on line. Follow the link.

Thank you for the money I have received, am receiving and will receive. Thank you because money comes easily and frequently. That is an affirmation for today.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

How it all Came Down

Update on Running Out of Time

f you have been reading my posts you probably have already figured out that the bank did not foreclose. Somehow we managed to get the money to the lawyers on time.

This is how it happened.

Remember, my husband had been speaking to our local MPP's assistant? Well my husband gave a copy of the psychologist's diagnosis to Nick who shared it with the MPP. Interestingly, the MPP used to be a doctor. He read the document and immediately said he did not understand why WSIB had not approved the claim. 

The MPP wrote letters to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Labour explaining the situation.

The Minister of Labour wrote a letter to Mrs. Elizabeth Witmer, Chair of the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board of Ontario. 

(Here's just a bit of background information about Mrs. Witmer. Elizabeth Witmer was appointed Chair of Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) on May 17, 2012, following more than 30 years of continuous public service.She was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1990 to 2012, representing Waterloo North, and later Kitchener Waterloo. During that time, she served as Deputy Premier, Minister of Labour, Minister of Health and Long Term Care, Minister of the Environment, and Minister of Education.)

It took approximately one week between each letter. Then surprise my husband received a phone call from WSIB. That was Monday June 18, 2012. Sorry but I can't remember the title or name of this person who called but I think she was Mrs. Witmer's assistant. She told my husband she had his file in front of her and would be reviewing it that very same day. She also said she would have an answer before three o'clock that afternoon. 

Holy cow! Freak us out. After all this time. It was nerve racking. Each minute was torture. We felt positive she would come back with an approval but there is always that small chance scratching at the back of your mind - what if.

A little after three o'clock, my husband received the call. His claim was approved. Yahoooooo! Treatment! Money!

When? When will treatment start? When is the money coming? We need the money to be at the lawyers office by July second! We are running out of time.

Tuesday came and went. 



My husband called me at work in the morning. He received a cheque for almost six thousand dollars by Purolator. Wow. We need more but it was a great start.

He took his cheque to the bank to deposit the cheque into his account.

There's a problem.

PROBLEM! What problem?

Gary has not earned any money in more than a year. The bank closed his account a long time ago because it was inactive. At the time, his bank account was in the minus. Quite a bit in the minus.

When my husband found out his bank account was closed, he had to speak to the Assistant  Manager because the Manager was away for a few days. They could not reopen his account and would not open a new one. 

He lost it. I can picture it. His face all red, frothing at the mouth, and that vein in the middle of his forehead enlarged and throbbing. Yep he was yelling, swearing and calling her names.

As usual, when something is going on, my husband called me at work as soon as he got home to tell me what happened at the bank. I listened and told him to go to a different bank and open an account. He agreed but turned out he didn't. He ended up calling the Assistant Bank Manager and apologized for his behaviour - explaining how his PTSD made him do it.

Friday June twenty-second. I got up as usual and started to get ready for work. He started bugging right away. "Take the day off." "Go to the bank and cash the cheque." Shit. He just wouldn't stop so we went to the bank.

We didn't wait long for a teller. I explained that my Husband did not have a bank account and we needed to have this government issued cheque cashed. She told us that she would have to put the cheque on hold for five business days. Please, I asked, we need at least four hundred dollars because our house insurance had to be paid before four-thirty or it would be cancelled. We have been waiting a year for this money. We have missed house insurance payments so many times and they would not wait. If we did not make this payment deadline our insurance would be cancelled then it would be impossible to  obtain insurance anywhere else. And since our mortgage was at the lawyers, the bank would foreclose faster if the house insurance was cancelled. 

The teller apologized. She wished she could help. The bank's policy was to put a hold on large cheques like this one. Even government cheques? I asked. Yes because sometimes the government will put a stop payment on a cheque. I pleaded some more. She said she would be right back. She wanted to speak to her supervisor.

Oh look. It was the Assistant Manager. She came over to us. She would not cash the cheque. She would not allow me to deposit the cheque and disburse a few hundred dollars to us. She could verify the cheque on Monday and cash the cheque. We explained about the deadline and Monday would be too late.

The Assistant asked us to take a seat and wait for a few minutes. She had to take care of a couple of things and call  head office.

Ten minutes later she returned and asked us to join her in  her office.  No good news. The bank wouldn't budge. No money for us here.

My Husband freaked. He walked out swearing. I sat there for a moment trying to compose myself. Tears swelled up in my eyes. I apologized to the Assistant Manager and explained, it's been hard. I stood up slowly and walked out of her office and out of the bank.

When I got to the car, Gary was standing beside it having a smoke. His cousin, Claude, who came along for the ride was having a smoke too. 

Claude told Gary to go to the bank he deals with. My husband has no identification but we decided to give it a try. 

I sat in the car while Claude and my husband went into this bank. 

It was really hot in the car. It must have been thirty degrees with the humidity. I had two smokes. I was getting anxious because I had to get to work.

Finally. They came back. I couldn't read the expression on Gary's face. He sat down in the driver's seat. 


No problem. 

Jack had went up to the teller with my husband and said, hi, this is my brother and he needs to open a bank account. This teller has a thing for Jack. They were flirting back and forth while she looked my husband up on the computer. She found him there from years and years ago when he had an account there. She opened a new account. She called WSIB and had the cheque verified right then and there. My husband deposited his cheque and took some cash out. No holds either.

I closed my eyes and thought, thank you. Thank you so much.

We went straight to the insurance company and my husband plopped the money down.  

Saved again.

What a great weekend we had. Okay we were foolish but I didn't care. We ordered in food on Friday night. Went shopping on Saturday and on Sunday. It was fantastic. I don't even remember when I could go out and just spend. There were so many things we needed. It was hard choosing. Pluck it. Buy whatever came to mind. Yah!

I spent four hundred dollars! I bought for two of my daughters, for my husband, for two of my granddaughters and things for the house. It felt so good to be able to buy for my family. It had been so long. I wanted to spoil them and I did.

I knew more money was coming. Wednesday afternoon another cheque came by Purolater. And another cheque.

My husband deposited the cheques in his brand spanking new bank account and had a certified cheque made out to the lawyers office in the amount of eleven thousand dollars. And a couple hundred to spare. He went straight to the delivery company and had it sent out with a void cheque. 

Just in time. Proof of insurance was sent out on Wednesday. The lawyers received the money and void cheque on the last day. Friday June twenty-ninth before closing. 

Saved again.

I have been very fortunate to have so many caring people in my life. Everything in the universe shifted to save the day at the last minute. Thank you.

Do you have a similar story to share? I would love to hear it.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Joys of a Broken Ankle

n an earlier post, I briefly spoke about how I broke my ankle. I thought I would share with you a little bit more.

It was the fall of 2010 that Union Gas disconnected our gas for non-payment. You know it wasn't that we didn't want to pay our bills. Our finances were in bad shape because my husband's PTSD prevented him from working and his WSIB claim had not been approved yet. Such is the life while living on one income. 

In this part of the world we are lucky to get four very distinct seasons. Each season is a reason to change your whole wardrobe! What can I say, I like the variety.

Spring is cool and rainy. Summer is hot and sometimes really hot with the humidity. Autumn cools down again and we are gifted with the leaves changing colour. Winter means lots of snow and below zero temperatures that freeze your boogers and can damage your lungs if outside too long.

Fortunately the winter of 2010 was a mild one. We were able to get by with a couple of small electric heaters in the bedrooms. Our house used to be heated by electricity but then converted to gas by the previous owners so there were two electric heaters remaining. One is in the entrance hallway and the second heater is in the basement rec room.

The real problem was that the water heater ran on gas. Cold water is okay for washing clothes. Pots of water can be easily heated on the stove for washing dishes. Showers were another story unless you love extremely cold water beating down on you in the middle of the winter and turning you into an ice cube. I braved it. Hated it but I got clean. However I could not expect the same from a two year old. She loved bath time, it was part of her bedtime routine and she deserved warm water in the tub. So I would boil water in two pots at time and carry it a flight of stairs one at a time to poor the steaming liquid into the tub. 

Oh yah that was great fun. Two pots of hot water barely covered the bottom of the tub. I would have to make six or more trips up and down the stairs then add some cold water just to make it an inch deep.

On this particular evening, I placed an empty pot at the top of the stairs. I don't recall why but I walked into the bedroom then went back to the stairs. I leaned forward to pick the pot up, lost my balance and started to fall forwards. For a moment, a split second, I thought I was going to catch myself but then momentum grabbed me and propelled me forward head first down the stairs. I pictured my head hitting the floor at the bottom of the stairs snapping my neck and killing me or paralysing me for life. I then pictured my hands straight out but that meant broken arms. I quickly tucked and rolled. 

I felt my head hit a stair and my neck twist. My forearm  struck another step. I tumbled some more and my back hit the corner of the wooden step. Endlessly falling. Bang, bang bang. Finally. I landed on the hardwood floor at the bottom of the steps, laying on my back writhing in pain staring up at the stucco ceiling.

Oh the agony. Then wouldn't you know it, my sweet two year old honey bunny thought it would be so much fun to sit on Grandma's tummy and bounce up and down.

I heard the refrigerator door close so I looked up and back. My Husband was standing about two feet from my head looking down at me while eating a sandwich. His mouth was full and he asked if I was okay. All I could think was, can someone please get the baby.

At last my daughter Christina came running down the stairs. She was freaking out. She had been sitting on the edge of my bed when she saw me leaning forward then falling in slow motion. She immediately ran to the hallway to grab me but it wasn't like the movies where time slows down and the heroine leaps at lightning speed to the rescue. My daughter couldn't get to me on time so she felt guilty and scared. She was sure I was going to die.

Christina lifted her daughter up and yelled at her father, "of course she isn't all right." I could hear the panic in her voice.

I lay there for a moment then sighed realizing I was not going to get any help from my Husband. He already had the fridge door open again, this time pouring himself a glass of milk. 

I rolled over onto my stomach and slowly rose to my hands and knees. I closed my eyes debating what my next move should be. Everything hurt so much. I would normally put my right foot on the floor and raise myself up from there but my ankle was throbbing so I sorta turned and flopped my butt onto the bottom step to rest. 

I sucked it up. Pain? What's that? I managed to make it up the stairs and continued where I left from. I gave my granddaughter a bath. Read her three stories and put her to bed. 

As per my usual routine, I went down two flights of stairs, turned on the computer and checked my emails. 

It makes me laugh when I think about it now. I rested my forearm on the arm of the chair. I couldn't figure out why my arm was teetering there. I lifted my arm and looked at the chair. It looked normal so I rested my arm down again. What the heck? I looked at the chair again then it dawned on me. The chair was okay so . . . I looked at my arm. Holy cow! There was a huge lump on my arm. I mean it was huge. It looked like a golf ball was stuffed under the skin. Weird thing was it didn't hurt.

And my ankle? My gosh the pain was intense. I took a look at it. It was severely swollen and had become multi-coloured. Red, yellow, purple, blue. I could not walk on it any longer. Oh no. Maybe my ankle isn't just sprained. Maybe it is broken.

I decided to go to bed and get some sleep. I left a message for work saying that I would be in late as I was going to Hospital in the morning.

What a nice way to spend a Friday. I had breakfast then my Husband took me to the Hospital. You know how hospitals are. I was not an emergency. A Doctor eventually got around to examining me. He ordered x-rays on my ankle to confirm his diagnosis. He threw in some x-rays on my forearm for good measure. 

My ankle was definitely broken. I apparently caused more damage by walking and putting weight down on my right foot. The bones in my ankle were loose and had shifted. My arm was just swollen and bruised as was my knee, shoulder and back.

There was talk about surgery so I was not allowed to eat. I sat in a bed in the hallway waiting and waiting. At seven o'clock they said I could eat because the surgeon did not have time to work on my ankle that evening and it would have to wait til morning.

In the meantime, I was not given anything for the pain. Good thing I have a high tolerance or I would have been freaking out. The nurses actually thanked me for my patience. Most people would have given them a hard time. I  did feel anxious a few times but there was no use in taking it out on the nurses. It wasn't their fault I had to wait for an open space. I wasn't their fault I couldn't be given pain killers so why would I take it out on them?

Later that evening I was finally moved to intensive care in the emergency area. Beds lined the walls with curtains dividing us for privacy. Sound travels and not all the curtains were closed. So many people for very different reasons. 

Snoring came from the bed beside me. It was an elderly man who never got up once. Me on the other hand had to ring three times for assistance to the washroom. First time,  a very nice middle aged nurse responded. She was so helpful in guiding me to manoeuvre in such a way to not put weight on my ankle. The second nurse was also female. She was amazed how quickly I had adapted to not using my right  leg. Now the third nurse was a young male. How awkward is that? He had no clue and he was going to join me in the washroom until I told him I could manage on my own.

After a long restless sleep, the orderlies were making their rounds serving breakfast. I watched as each patient one by one received their meals. I didn't take my eyes off the cart. I was starving. Hey, where's my food? I'm hungry. No way! The orderlies were leaving and I had been given nothing. No fair.

The doctor told the nurses I would be going into surgery within the hour and so I was not allowed to eat. That hour came and went. Then another one. He is taking longer than expected in surgery but he would get to me before lunch. No I cannot eat.

Yeehaw!  Finally. Let's get this done! Here we go. Ah, the famaliar stroll down the hospital corridors. Lights on the ceiling going by. Zoom, zoom, zoom. Going up. Another hall then into the operating room. A bright white room. People moving around. Surgical instruments on a tray. The Anesthesiologist mumbling something softly to me. A nurse inserting an intravenous into a vein on the top of my right hand. Something injected into the IV. My eyelids fluttering. A strange feeling hits my brain and everything goes black.

Broken Ankle X-Ray
Broken Ankle
What feels like seconds later, I woke up shivering in the recovery room. Everything was blurry. I didn't have my glasses. I could hear someone talking near by so I called out. The nurse came over right away and asked if I was cold. Apparently general anesthesia causes the core body temperature to drop several degrees. I felt disorientated and groggy. I closed my eyes and nodded, my teeth chattering. It felt so good when she placed a hot blanket on top of me. Another one please. So nice. I felt myself drifting away. 

The nurse's voice brought me back. "Darlene, try to cough. You sound a little wheezy." I tried to cough then fell back to sleep. The nurse repeated herself. "Darlene, you sound wheezy. You need to cough. So I coughed.

At this point my memory gets a bit vague. I remember being taken up to a room. There were four beds but I was the only patient. The nurses must have come in to check me a couple of times and gave me a shot for the pain. The surgeon came in to see me. He was able to realign the bones in my ankle. I now had seven screws and a metal plate in my ankle which will stay in there for the rest of my life unless they cause a problem at which time they would be removed.

My Husband came to see me. He said that our granddaughter Faith was upset because I wasn't at home the previous night. This would be the first time I wasn't there for her at bedtime. I missed her too. I wanted to go home but I had to stay another night, this time for observation. Damn.

After another long restless night, Sunday finally came. I was anxious to get home. I was impatient. Once my Husband finally arrived I asked him to find the Doctor so we could get  the okay to be discharged. There was a quick examination by the Doctor and a brief lesson on using crutches by the Nurse. If there was a test, I must have passed and I was on my way home.

I had to be careful. A few thin bandages were wrapped around my ankle and part way up my calf leaving me feeling very vulnerable. 

I was instructed to not put any weight on my right foot and to keep it elevated. Sounded simple enough. It turned out to be a challenge. 

The simplest of tasks became a chore. For example, going to the washroom meant going up a flight of stairs. Sorry but I am not a spring chicken and not in the greatest shape. There was no way I could hop up the stairs even with the crutches. I had to crawl on my hands and knees. It was a painful process because my right knee and the palm on my left hand were bruised from the fall.  Even more difficult was getting off the floor once I was at the top of the stairs, get to the washroom, get my pants down and get my but onto the toilet. Then  came the chore of getting back down the stairs. I had to go on my bum with my right leg sticking straight out and using just my left leg to do all the work. It was exhausting.

As much as I wanted, I couldn't take the time to rest and heal. I was so tired and in so much pain but I knew I had to get to work. I had so much work that needed to be taken care of right away. On Sunday I called my boss to arrange going back to work on Monday.

This seems like a good place to stop for today. 

I look forward to your comments. Don't be shy. Share with me!

My PTSD Nightmare

The PTSD’s Spouse

feel lost most days. I feel like i am wondering in a thick fog with my hands reaching out wildly in the air. My mind races wondering what will hit me next. I am so use to being on high alert I don't remember how to stop and smell the flowers.

It has been a long journey and we are near the finish line. My husband's WSIB claim has been allowed. He will receive loss of earnings, treatment and medicine. Yet I cannot feel relief. I am full of anxiety. Depression still has a strong hold on me. 

A friend of mine shared a saying with me. He roughly translated it to English. He said, "you are so use to eating shit that when someone places a delicious meal in front of you, you are suspicious and think it too will taste like shit."

What does this mean? Exactly as I said earlier. I am so use to being on high alert I don't remember how to stop.

Every once in a while I force myself to slow down and attempt to the tame the beast within. When my mind returns to the past rehashing the hardships, I immediately stop it. When my mind looks to the future bringing the what if scenarios, I stop it. Most times. 

I try to practice mindfulness. I stop and pay conscious attention to what is happening to me at that very moment. For example, on a hot summer day, I sit back in my chair on the front porch enjoying a nice cold glass of cola. I close my eyes and listen to the birds. I revel in the sensation of the slight breeze brushing across my face. I feel my heart beating slower in my chest and tell myself all is well. Once I do this, I am enclosed in the warmth of well being. It doesn't last forever but it helps.

That is one way I cope with what has become of my life. My life as dictated by my husband's PTSD.  I trained myself to do this. I have come to realize that I have unconsciously protected myself by putting distance between my husband and I. Don't get me wrong. I still love him but I don't let him in completely so he can't hurt me with his spite and anger. I can walk away from him easier and not get sucked up into a fight. I'm not saying it doesn't affect me because it does. But it doesn't hit me hard like the flu. More like an infection festering under the skin.

I have nightmares. He's yelling at me and smashing things. He is yelling and hurting everyone I love. Everyone is angry with me. Each way I look, I see hateful faces staring at me. 

Every night I dream of moving out of my home into a decrepit infested apartment. I am crying hysterically because I have uprooted my family to live in this condemned building. I am screaming at my husband for forcing me into this situation. I am scared because the structure is not sound and it could all come tumbling down around us. I don't understand why we can't go home. I feel devastated and abandoned.

I understand what the dreams mean. I feel like my husband upsets so many people who then look at me to blame. I feel no stability or security in our home. I want my husband to be a source of strength for me but he isn't.

It's all just so exhausting. Some days I want to lay down and wait to die. But I have to get up and take care of business. So I drag my sorry ass out of bed again. I work. I clean. I pay the bills. I take care of my family.

I have to say, I keep writing. I wonder if anyone is reading. I have no followers and no comments. 

I would really love to get some feedback people! Good, bad or ugly.

Finding Happiness

ast summer I was in the midst of chaos. My husband was raging and my family depressed. I always knew happiness was a choice. Life is what you make it right? 

I used to be a very positive, optimistic person. I believed  everything always works out in the end.  Somewhere, somehow I lost my way.

I use to blame my husband because he was, is the most negative person I knew. Negativity breads negativity. And it is contagious, infecting everyone around it. Hence the depression which took over my entire household.

I couldn't figure out how to to get back to myself. I needed help. Not just for myself but for my husband and my family. So I started researching on the net for ways to find inner peace. 

I actually enjoy researching. When I find something interesting to share I will put it together in a summary and print it off for my family to read. On July 29, 2011, I compiled information I found on the internet and called it Mindfulness and Meditation - Finding Inner Peace and Happiness.

It is a thirty-five page document so I can't share the whole thing with you. All at once anyway. I think I will spread it out it into little snippets so you won't get too bored.

But before I get into my extensive blurb on mindfulness you might want to check out Torrey Shannon's wonderful explanation of mindfulness on her blog.

And now my explanation. I see mindfulness as paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment in a non-judgmental way.

I know this sounds simple but it does take practice.

Most of us spend a lot of our time remembering things, imagining possible futures. We rely on habitual patterns that we have developed over the years to react to people and situations. Our automatic pilot takes over and we react instead of paying conscious attention to the people and situations now. We perceive it as oh here we go again.

We all have automatic reactions based on past experiences.  Those experiences which caused feelings of pain, anger, betrayal. We allow the automatic reactions to work for us when we are feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

It takes a great deal of effort to pay attention to what is happening now because our minds are constantly reliving the past or picturing and planing for the future. I call it the broken records because they replay over and over again in our heads.

Oh poop, it is now five minutes past four and my pillow is calling my name.

What is Mindfulness?

hat is Mindfulness? Mindfulness as paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment in a non-judgemental way.

How does "paying attention" relate to mindfulness? If you think about it most of us don't really pay attention to what is happening in our lives at that very moment because we spend most of our time thinking about other things. We think about the past and the future.

And it's hard to pay attention when something happens that reminds us of times we were hurt or betrayed. We respond automatically as if those times were happening again.

This brings us to the "on purpose" part of mindfulness. We spend most of our lives on automatic pilot. We don't even try to pay attention to what is happening in our lives and so we don't see new situations as being different. But once we realize that we respond automatically we can make a conscious decision to stop doing it. We can pay attention on purpose to what is happening at the present moment.

How does "in the present moment" relate to mindfulness? Stop right now and think about this. What do you spend most of your time thinking about? If you are like me, you'll see that your mind keeps taking you to memories of the past or daydreams of the future. You are probably also distracted from the moment because your are so busy multi-tasking.

How does "non-judgementally" tie into mindfulness? This is the hardest part to achieve. The non-judgmental quality of mindfulness brings great freedom to see things more clearly, to evaluate situations with some distance from our habitual emotional reactions and impulses, to observe emotions and impulses as they arise without either trying to escape them or letting them carry us away.  

Normally we automatically and instantly judge situations, people and our own thoughts, feelings and behaviour. We think or say negative things like "I can't take this any more!" "He's such an ass hole." "Why me?" "I hate my life!" These negative thoughts can spiral out of control, increasing judgement and stress.

Thoughts like "I need..."  "I want..."  "I deserve..." can also be a problem especially when they are automatic.  We can get caught up in cycles of addiction, self destruction or selfishly taking advantage of others, etc.

"Can you think of time that you were feeling so positive and relaxed that something which would normally cause strong judgment and negative emotions is seen as no big deal, more clearly for what it is: a passing unwanted experience or temptation to indulge." Jim Hopper

Can you imagine feeling like that all the time? Well we can, by practicing mindfulness with kindness.

"And for those who are vulnerable to remembering and reliving painful experiences from the past, to strong waves of emotion, to intense self-criticism – the cultivation of non-judgmental mindfulness can bring tremendous relief and freedom from old patterns." Jim Hopper

Please feel so free to leave a comment. I look forward to hearing from you.

Friday, November 16, 2012

PTSD Affects the Spouse

We Suffer Too


e live in Canada.. my husband has PTSD from witnessing an accident at work on a construction site. Many people just don't get it. But you know what? It does not matter what country you live in or how you were injured.  PTSD is PTSD.

Yes it is hard on the person who has PTSD but it is also very hard on those who love and live with them. We suffer too.  I believed my husband when he spat out hateful lies at me. I could do no right. I was a failure to my children and a useless human being.

Most days I would wake and think I hate my life. I had to break that record in my head and replace it with, "today is a great day to be alive". "I am grateful for another day" and I count my blessings.

Actually it is more than just thinking happy thoughts.  It is changing my whole way of thinking. It works well enough that I manage to get through the day. But there are times like today which I cannot pull myself up and out of the sinking sand. I guess I am a work in progress.

I am just sad. No particular reason. And this pisses him off. I don't understand that!  He wants to know what is wrong with me. That is a laugh. I just look away into the distance. I am too tired to talk. 

Pleading For Help

Letter of Depression
his is a copy of a letter that I emailed to our local MPP's office. At this point my husband has been to the MPP's office several times speaking to to Nick, the MPP's assistant. My husband wanted me to write to Nick. I didn't and still don't understand why but he insisted and growled at me until I wrote the email. I don't think in the scheme of things that it made a difference to Nick or my husband's case but I actually felt better after writing it. Have a read.

Hi Nick,

You don't know me but you have met my husband. I am not sure what he has told you. But last week I was so depressed and crying because i just had nothing left in me to keep going. He leaned toward me and said to stop worrying. He explained that you told him to stop worrying, that you would take care of it. It was enough reassurance that I could get up and kiss our honey bunny good night.

I didn't really believe that everything was going to be okay. These last three - four years have been a living nightmare. The constant anxiety, the butterflies in my stomach, my heart racing, the urge to rip my hair out and run around screaming. The problems with money, the problems living with someone who has PTSD . . .

As you know, my husband has not been working. He has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. His WSIB claim is pending and Disability takes forever.

We are always in arrears with the mortgage so the threat of foreclosure is always looming over our heads. Actually, I feel alone in this. My husband just doesn't seem to get the importance of paying our bills. Maybe it is his prescriptions or his PTSD. I don't know.

I have a three year old and a sixteen year old that I am responsible for. And of course my husband who cannot contribute financially, emotionally or physically (around the house). I can't afford food or keep up the bills.

In the fall of 2010, Union Gas disconnected our gas. I was carrying pots of boiled water up the stairs to the bathtub so our Hunny Bunny could have a warm bath. (The rest of us tolerated ice showers.) I ended up slipping and falling down the stairs and breaking my ankle. I had surgery on Saturday night and went home Sunday afternoon. I went to work on Monday because I couldn't afford to take any time off. I don't know if you have had a broken a bone like that -requiring screws, but the pain was excruciating.

My husband's car is sitting in the driveway. We have been using it for parts to keep my car going so I can get to work. We can't drive once it gets dark because the rear lights don't work. Someone slashed all four tires last spring then a few weeks later smashed the rear passenger door window. Someone thought I was lying when I told them what has been happening because no one has that much bad luck.

Did you know that Union Gas can shut off your gas in the fall and then when winter comes and you still have not paid the bill, your family can just freeze?

Did you know that Cambridge North Dumfries Hydro can shut off your electricity in the summer. That means no cooking, no hot water because the water heater requires electricity, no lights, nothing....

Did you know that we cannot get any kind of assistance because I make too much money?

I need to see light at the end of the tunnel. I am literally losing my mind.

We are going to lose our home. Nothing like kicking a person when they are already down. We were financially in a good place, now it has all fallen apart. I had to cash in RRSPs. I am being garnished for credit card debt. We racked up the cards trying to get by. I have borrowed from almost everyone I know. We are at the end now. No one else can lend me the money I need to catch up the mortgage again. The bank has sent the mortgage to the lawyers to initiate foreclosure. WE CAN'T LOSE OUR HOME. Please help us. Please. . .

Darlene Nemeth

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Bureaucracy of WSIB

Workers Compensation

h the bureaucracy. I understand that the case managers have been given set guidelines to follow but some cases just don't fit neatly. Like my husband's case.

He thought he gave them everything they needed but still they would not allow his claim.

Our family doctor was the first to diagnose his PTSD. He referred my husband to a  physcologist  who confirmed that diagnosis. Then WSIB sent my husband to their  physcologist  who also confirmed the diagnosis. 

WSIB sent out an investigator to our house to interview us. He said this was a classic case of PTSD and saw no problems with the claim going through. He just had to speak to my husbands former supervisor and co-worker then he would get back to us. We waited a week then my husband called the investigator who told him they could not reach either of the two witnesses. We waited another week but still nothing and again nothing.

The Case Manager requested my husband's medical file. I don't know if that helped or not but she did say she believed he had PTSD however she would not allow the claim. She said she was doing him a favour by expediting it to appeals.

And so we waited.

It’s Been More Than a Year

es that is correct. It has been more than a year since my husband was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It has actually been one year and one month.

No treatment. No work. No money.

The never ending nightmare with no light at the end of the tunnel.

What are we going to do? 
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