Summer Break

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How Graphic Design Has Helped My Migraines

As you have noticed, it appears that I have deserted my very own blog! 

I suppose this is accurate, but you see, I’ve been on a bit of an adventure, and spreading my wings too thin.

I’m delighted I kept this blog open and sincerely thank everyone who continues to read all of my earlier postings while leaving comments that I’ve neglected.  I genuinely apologize for that.

In early fall 2017, I began writing articles for a site called Virily.com (they pay writers for their work) and thoroughly relished writing quizzes of all things.  My writing has steered me to various spheres, but I’m new to inventing a quiz!

What was most exhilarating was realizing an old passion; art design!

When I was on Virily, a blogging friend revealed that she designs for a site called “Redbubble.”  This miffed me, but as soon as I heard the word ‘design,’ I needed to investigate.

Redbubble.com is a ‘print-on-demand’ (POD) marketplace whereby a designer or artist uploads an image of their design to appear on a multitude of Redbubble products.  They sell merchandise such as framed prints, apparel, mugs, pillows, duvets, cellphone cases and laptop sleeves, clocks, tote bags, etc. via online shopping.

All production, shipping and customer service is their responsibility, therefore, you don’t have to carry your own inventory and uploading is free.  They pay you a percentage of each sale.

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Christmas Treasured Memories

imagesCAV6F9JACHRISTMAS MEMORIES

These, among others, are the greatest presents I ever received as a young child:

Thumbelina (I adored this doll – the doll that had the thumb permanently in her mouth).  Doesn’t sound the greatest, however, she was the greatest doll to me.

Etch-A-Sketch – this to me was the invention of all inventions.  I drew lines on this flat screen for hours – it was amazing.

64 Crayola Crayons – a necessity for any child, and I absolutely adored mine

Easy Bake Oven – I dislike cooking, even to this day, but I loved my Easy Bake just for the fact that I could create cookies that were never fully cooked, yet still tasted fantastic.

xmas image

Memorable not so memorable gifts

Hot wax removal system thingy – this apparatus was absolute torture.  When I applied the wax to my legs and tore the strip off; I am positive you could hear me scream clear across the city!  This was painful stuff.  I forgot the product name, as it went into the dumpster the next day.  As for my legs, the hair was removed alright, as well as any possible hair follicles underneath and I didn’t have to shave for long after.  Thanks, Aunt Sandy.

The Clapper Clap-On Clap-Off – This gadget uses a sound-activated switch sensitive to hand clapping to turn on/off such things advertised as: lamps, radio etc. (up to two appliances that are plugged into it).  Too much clapping for me; felt as if I was at a concert.  Thanks, but I forgot who gave this to me.

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FITNESS CLUBS & NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

Written by: Deb

Here we go with the New Year’s Resolution thing again.  I didn’t make one as I generally only seem to keep it for less than 2 weeks.  I describe my protest of New Year’s Resolutions, the reason being is I, along with 88% of the world, also don’t end up keeping them past March. I recollect one year that I did make it to late February on a daily diet consisting of skinless chicken breast, grapefruit and unlimited water and 3 daily workouts per week.  I shed the pounds, however, gained it back faster than I lost it.

On four occasions I have gone the fitness club route – all I have quit and lost money.

The last club I joined, caught my attention with an advertisement “Join 4 months for $1.00.”  Who wouldn’t sign up?  Was this too good to be true….yes, as it turned out, it was.

I made an appointment; meeting the sales rep/personal trainer/receptionist who gave me the club tour (I think her main job was more the sales rep dressed in work-out fatigue).  She talked extremely fast, and showed me the club just as fast, with me having a work-out just touring the club!  Next came the all out sales pitch.  I asked about the “4 mos/$1.00” deal – “works out in the end for the annual fee, (she was bubbly), but doesn’t include towel service”, she stated.  Towel service?  I always bring my own towels anyways?  I was then presented with a long, legal sized 3 sheet document written in 6 font.  Lots of “I” this and that.  But all in all it was a decent price, I could afford it and I signed on the dotted line.

I was bound and determined to make a go of this.  At least 3 times per week I promised myself; no less, no excuses, aqua fit and floor apparatus with each visit.  Commitment.

After about a month, what began as 3X per week, sort of dwindled to 2, then 1.  Every excuse I could think of for myself; library to pick up books, going out to dinner (should have been working out-not eating), too damn tired, groceries, Wal-Mart before it gets busy, etc. etc.  Flimsy stuff; easy to think of excuses.

Not to make excuses, but the club was a little shy of the number of treadmills and other equipment causing wait times.  I am impatient to say the least, and sometimes just headed out the door home.  The first time on the treadmill (I’m sure others can relate to this), I stupidly stood on the belt, so when the machine started, I darn near went flying.  Thank goodness I was holding onto the metal side bars, as that would have been a sight.  Red faced and attempting to appear it an equipment malfunction, I did it right the next time ultimately becoming a pro after that.  I never enjoyed the huffing and puffing and that was only in the walking position on these machines; comparing to the more fit ladies next to me who were jogging, no huffing/puffing and staring at the TV above at the same time.  A wonderment at best with this coordination.

The aqua fit I really did enjoy, as being wet in the winter time was a turn-off.  Another flimsy excuse.

I never lost any weight or inches, and somewhat embarrassed when out of curiosity the sales rep/trainer did a 6 week follow-up of my progress.  Progress?  My numbers were worse than when I started!  Humpty Dumpty potato chips along the way didn’t help I guess!

I eventually quit and once again – more money went down the drain.

So this year, I am going to tough it out on my own; eating the celery and carrot sticks at my desk, soup or salad for lunch, and god knows what for supper.  I’ll just do my best and aim for a regimen of walking the dog more often, and parking further from the mall doors when I go shopping.  What’s a gal to do?  No excuses.

Quote – PTSD – Narcissistic abuse from mom

NARCISSISTIC MATERNAL ABUSE

My mother was uncaring and ignored me for most of my life...and wonders why I ve abandoned her now that she s elderly? cherished79.com blog "Living in Stigma"

I wrote this quote referring to the selfishness of my narcissistic mother.  She fails to recall the days of ignoring me, joining in on anything I found enjoyable or excited about or the entire way she treated me.  Her abuse had an enormous impact on my life, and I remain in therapy.

Now she is elderly, feels isolated and displaying signs of illness.  She questions “Why don’t you ever visit or come over for lunch because it’s lonely every day in this apartment?”.  Hmmm, I wonder why?

I finally went NO CONTACT three years ago as I was tired of her never-ending abuse.

Explaining emotional abuse from the ‘roots’

A Narcissistic Parent will drench fresh water on their golden child s plant daily yet merely permitting the scapegoat child s plant to receive tiny sprinkles of water on the odd day forever shadowed by the sun Deb McCarthy

I learned this bit of wisdom from my therapist during one of our many sessions discussing my narcissistic mother.  She explained it very clearly how a parent has children (plants); she waters some and helps them grow and flourish, yet the others who aren’t so lucky receive less attention and ignored.  I now understood how my mother cared and treated my brother vs. myself.   Do any of you feel this way?

 

PTSD ~ When a child comes to you…

Make your own photo about LISTEN to the child BELIEVE them VALIDATE their feelings and PTSD Childhood Sexual Abuse ... on PixTeller

If my parents had of believed me when I was eight years old, I wouldn’t have been in therapy for 20 years healing from the impact of their ignorance.   Thank you, Mom and Dad

Is your doctor always running late? Does 10:15 become 11:15?

Doctor’s appointments, do you really ever get in @10:15?

I doubt it. Success in seeing your doctor at the scheduled appointment time is like a crap shoot, and typically not my luck. I’m forever on time, I don’t know why she never is and I keep forgetting to bring my camping gear to set up for the day.

You recognize a dilemma when the receptionist slides the plexiglass window and smiles, “Hi Deb, she’s a little backed up this morning, we’ll call you soon”. ‘Backed up a bit, call you soon?’ “Backed up” in my experience translates to at least a minimum of 1 hour or more.

I detest these ‘backed up’ doctors, people are trapped in the waiting room fearful to leave for even a snack or pee break in the event your name is called. I think to myself, “Why did I take all morning off work, run like an idiot for the bus, not grab a coffee or something to read on the way, all so I wouldn’t be late for this appointment. Why do they book every 15 minutes, when they’re never on time?

After you have called everyone you can think of (most are at work or waiting at their doctor’s office), play scrabble or crossword on your phone or delete old contacts and your cell is frantic for a charge…your name is called. Yippeee! Now you are escorted into a smaller waiting room to wait and wait and wait some more!

~~~ Article written & copyrighted © by Deb McCarthy

The Fog Between My Fingertips

BLACK DEPRESSION

Hollowness, loneliness

Black hole

No light at the top

Drowning

No one saving me

Why?

No future

Just black dreams

Despair

Feels like a prison cell

Handcuffed

Black fog

Feeling the fog between my fingertips

Nothingness

Empty

No treatments working?

No doctors helping?

Why?

What kind of life is this

Black death sentence

Written & copyright by Deb McCarthy

Is it all because of Genitals?

Ok, so here’s the story:

A women-only spa in Toronto, Ontario, Canada took some massive criticism and triggered a social-media outcry last week, that prohibits some transgender women from using their facilities.

On Facebook, a woman stated that she refused to revisit the spa on account that they canceled her friend’s (who is transgender) appointment due to their spa’s policy which states “no male genitals” rule.

The spa explained, “because we are a bathing-suit-optional environment, our current policy is to ensure all clients are comfortable in an environment with nudity, including minors.”

The backlash was extreme from the public, transgender and LGBTQ communities. However, the spa further clarified that it’s a ‘single-sex facility with full nudity, and unlike other facilities.’  They stated they supported these communities, but the spa has policies to adhere to.

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PTSD ~ Those ‘Dirty Little Secrets’

I’ve written many posts about my PTSD (childhood sexual abuse); which was a ‘dirty little secret.’  Have you held on to secrets for years and years?

Recollecting my past, at around eight years old, while my friends and I played in our yard, the predator next door sat on his veranda puffing on a cigarette or repairing whatever under the hood of his car.

I was panicked for them and me, wanting so much to convey to them of the sexual abuse at the hands of this man, yet at the same time felt bewildered.

I had a secret; an ugly little secret, to something that I didn’t cause – or did I?

There was the distressing apology, forced by my parents to blurt out and recite with sincerity to this predator for abusing me.  That sincerity was met with confusion wondering how I wronged in the first place.  All kinds of feelings swished around: guilt, helplessness, and I was embarrassed.

A 30-year-old man is forcing sex on a child.  Would that warrant an apology?

Perplexing also was permitting this predator into our home for Sunday dinners.  Were my parents attempting to soothe the predator’s feelings for being wrongly accused?

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Little Girl

LITTLE GIRL

Hey, little girl, I saw you with that man

what were you doing, letting him have his way

didn’t you know it was wrong, why didn’t you stop it?

you could have said no, but you still let it happen

what’s wrong with you? how could you not know?

~~~~

I tried to say no, he was bigger than me

yet he made me feel wanted and special for once

I was his “princess” and he said I “danced like an angel”

and I was invisible to everyone else

even though it hurt, it was worth the warm feelings

that I craved so much, and he granted me so lovingly

but then came anguish and pain

~~~~

Finally, I did try to tell, but no one would listen

the words came out, yet no words were heard

no one will really know

that my mind and my heart

died back then

I was little and

I didn’t know how to say no

_______________________________________________________

Written & copyright Deb McCarthy/2017

*I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and it feels so much better to be able to say ‘survivor’ rather than ‘victim’ now.

Did you know that Friendship can ruin Therapy?

The therapist I worked with for seven years was amazing, we dealt with some extremely emotional issues including PTSD sexual abuse and maternal narcissism.  She validated my feelings and showed the kind of empathy that I’d never received as a child, therefore, I often craved her as a friend while in therapy.  I soon understood boundaries, and realized it just wouldn’t work; therapy isn’t friendship

A friend told me of an occurrence where friendship ruined the relationship with her and her therapist.  She had been meeting “X” every 3 weeks for roughly 2 years, drudging through many agonizing, uncomfortable, personal issues and trusted “X” entirely with what she disclosed, more than with any other therapist.

When she was pregnant with her second child, also experiencing difficulties with her spouse, “X” was there to convey her thoughts to.  By the time the baby was to arrive, they worked through marital issues, which alleviated the situation at home and for her.

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Mother, Do you deserve a Card? PTSD – Survivors of Abuse

As an unloved daughter of a narcissistic mother, the cards or flowers I handed to her with ‘love’ throughout the years were given with the expectations and desires that one day she would hug me with love.  Giving her a card each year was presented or mailed with a fake smile or strained “Love you always mom.”

She by no means ever deserved a card, lunch or dinner out, and especially a visit when I was an adult.  When I moved across the country, there was one year I ‘neglected’ to send a card or call.  This resulted in a ‘hissyfit,’ possibly threw one of her notorious tantrums including tears, resulting with my father phoning me, blasting “how could you treat your mother like this?”  I can’t recall my reply, but more than likely, I said I was sorry.

A few days passed, and what do I receive in the mail, a multi-page letter from my mother ranting how self-centred I am, this is the way I treat her after everything she’s done for me throughout my life, took care of me, and will sever our relationship now.  This was due to not sending a card?

To be honest, I feel jealous of others who have/had a wonderful mother.

So to all of those who are survivors of narcissistic emotional abuse, or never received the kind of motherly care, empathy, encouragement, and love; this post is dedicated to you. You are all Warriors!

Hugs,
Deb

It’s not just a ‘headache’ ~ It’s ‘CHRONIC MIGRAINE’

These chronic migraines are not “pop 2 aspirin and call me in the morning” headaches……

Image Source: “Making Migraines Visible” image included in a slideshow by: Teri Robert on HealthCentral.com

Chronic Migraines

That’s me, that’s what I suffer with.   Winter has been unkind to me, especially January through March, where very few days did I escape not having a migraine headache.   The pulsating, throbbing head and face agony had me bedridden most days, and other times unable to wear my glasses due to tenderness over the bridge of my nose.

Since thoughts of jumping over the balcony crossed my mind to end this crap and a trip to the emergency isn’t an option anymore (wait times approx. 10-14 hrs. and their refusal to use narcotics), I had to ‘suck it up’.

My neurologist suggested Botox treatments, but I’m unsure of this method for chronic migraines, and the research I’ve done has shown some people were worse off with the treatment due to constant stiff necks and even more pain + medications.  I am considering chiropractic or acupuncture methods, but for this past week, I’m experimenting with a natural herbal medication which has shown good progress so far.  Fingers crossed!

This wonderful link provides a more in-depth look at migraines @ HealthCentral.com http://www.healthcentral.com/migraine/cf/slideshows/migraines-visible#slide=1

(updated and reposted)

Broken Trust

Trust was broken

you knew it was

But that didn’t stop your

desire and craving

~~~

My hands were tied

literally

above my head

to the bed

Who cares, you thought

I’m getting what I want

~~~

This secret between us

no one will know

I’d never tell

because you persuaded me

told me I was lucky and special

to have someone like you

a special person

for protection and care

Trust wasn’t broken

You were was entitled to this

______________________________

Written and copyright by Deb McCarthy/2017

How to waste a day of vacation and get stuck with a Timeshare

One of my long-time readers on this blog noticed a post on my Niume.com blog and suggested I post it here for all to read.  

The 90-minute tour and presentation lasted for two monotonous hours, followed by tables set up with salesmen in cheap suits and people seated around the sales rep appearing confused.  They transported you by bus from your hotel in a group, therefore, there’s no choice but to linger around until others are leaving.

You’ve sat through pressured pitches for another two hours by 3 different sales reps (the last one was the harshest) and said you weren’t interested at least a dozen times. The stagnant warm air in the room was making you agitated, then suddenly they promised you extras and dropped their price and maintenance fees by $7,000.00. You just wanted to get out of there and it didn’t sound like a bad deal so you signed up for a timeshare and handed over your credit card.  You are also committed to doling out $500 per year for maintenance fees.

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What is Bell’s Palsy? Connected to Migraines?

Waking up one morning, I looked in the mirror, saw my face was droopy on one side, scaring the heck out of me.  I was in my 30’s, believing it was a stroke but relieved the diagnoses was Bell’s Palsy.  Most of the facial nerves returned to normal, however, I continue to show minor signs around my eyes and mouth area (30 years later).  It’s interesting to learn that people with migraines have a higher risk of having Bell’s Palsy.

Image: Picture of Allen Ginsberg who had Bell’s Palsy, photo by Michiel Hendryckx (Wikimedia Commons)

Bell’s palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of your face.

The facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face is damaged causing that side of your face to droop, which may affect your sense of taste and how you produce tears and saliva.

This condition comes without warning. Waking up with Bell’s Palsy first thing in the morning, a person discovers that one side of their face doesn’t move, and if an eyelid is affected, blinking may be difficult.

FACTS:

1.  Bell’s Palsy typically starts suddenly, but it’s not to be confused with the condition of cerebral palsy.

2.  Links have been found between migraine, facial and limb weakness which prompted a study showing that people with migraine may be at much higher risk of having Bell’s Palsy.

3.  Most people who suddenly undergo these sudden symptoms believe they are having a stroke. However, if the weakness or paralysis only affects the face it’s likely to be diagnosed with Bell’s palsy.

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Am I being punished for having Depression?

Rummaging through my unorganized closet, I came across an article I wrote during my years in the hospital fighting depression. A roommate during my stay, whom I became close friends with, recalled her descent into hellish depression, as well as her suicide attempt. She gave me permission to write this article (excluding her name).

Dreaming. In tranquil waters. I’m sitting in my dinghy cross-legged, floating. The sea and sky are black.

I awaken. Black. Black is black. The room is black, but it must be morning. I’m all mixed up. I thought I heard the food trays arrive. I sneak a quick look out my room, and yes it is morning, but the halls also look black. All I sense is dread. Am I in a dream world? I shuffle back to bed.

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Could I have an Eating Disorder? Women Over 50

I originally posted this on my Niume.com blog (now edited) and received the most readers of any of my posts (4.4K).  Eating disorders may occur at any age, and it’s awfully difficult to accept when you are middle-aged and over 50+.

Two years ago, I was 58 years old and struggled with an eating disorder called anorexia.  That was extremely outrageous to me recalling a time when I had ballooned to a whopping 285 lbs.

During the late 1990’s I had been hospitalized too many times for major depression and on a cocktail of too many medications.  Countless meds with their side effects increased my weight, and the heaviness remained that way for many years.  But, before the gallbladder illness in November 2012, I had slimmed down to 185 lbs.

Yes, the gallbladder fiasco. Long story short, surgeons operated twice to finally remove this painfully unusable organ, and throughout this time,  my diet was:  “No fried food and no rich desserts or you will irritate your gallbladder.”

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