Long day setting up my fundraiser and resentful at facilities over money

It’s been a very long day!

I spent all day setting up my fundraiser for the trip to MA. The only thing I will do is add to my youcaring page a video as they say that gets more donations/ views.

But spent all day firstly double checking a million times that both youcaring and paypal were as safe as anything online is because if I screwed anything up with the bank my mom would not be happy! Or Albany if it affected my rent

But was reassured by patient friends that it’s all good. So got paypal set up and youcaring, and have my paypal linked to my savings so I’m not tempted or accidentally spend anything if it got put in my checking.

Paypal does seem very cool. Robbie plans to put my paypal link on my blog so people can donate which would mean a lot if I got donations every so often. As we can’t even get good personal care products living here which is what we buy at walmart.

Anyway so it was quite a day but so productive.

Last night I was overwhelmed and thinking there was no way I could raise any money at all. And very angry for like really the first time about how much money these facilities take! I’ve always considered it a pretty fair trade, especially at friedman. And I do think there it’s still the case. Because you get $90 which is like the higest I’ve seen for what you get out of your check at a place. Plus friedman has way better food than Albany and yeah just always thought it was fine.

But Albany and other places like it are so completely cheap. We don’t get soap or shampoo. We get soap like they have despensers in the tubs and showers that are like the cheap soap in public bathrooms and you’re supposed to use that for your body and hair.

They provide toothpaste and toothbrushes very cheap, and no alcohol mouthwash very cheap. Pads are terrible. Umm female talk coming up, but imagine like those really small thin pads that’s all they have! Which doesn’t work for many people.

We only get snacks once a day at night and it’s usual animal crackers or really hard cookies. I’ve already talked about the main meals at Albany so you know how bad the food is. Even if it was good you still need snacks during the day!

So I was just thinking how these places whether they mean to or not, like keep you stuck there. Like how are you supposed to save to even move out? It’s just ridiculous. Most people spend their $30 on cigarettes and coffie and then just keep stealing and stuff to get more.

I wonder if people have spoken up to someone at the state level about how bad it is we’re only given this small amount. Of course right now, in the skeme of things that’s the least of our problems. With no budget and Trump prowling around we’re lucky places like Albany are even open. We almost had a strike on Friday for union staff!

And I’ve heard of places that give residents less than Albany in terms of don’t even have towels for people. Hope that place shut down but anyway.

As I will say a million times Jess and I would never ever move without knowing we had the basics, which we still do here even if it’s like cheap food, we still have meds a safe room to stay in and so much more. But the money thing gets me because it limits you to the facility and that’s it.

Will post my fundraiser stuff in a separate post

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good trip to walmart trying to set up youcaring fundraiser worried about fees or charges

Hey everyone,

Had a pretty good day. Went to walmart. We hadn’t been in a month so needed stuff badly. Jess found one of those ride on carts with a basket on it so I just got pushed around. Honestly it’s needed as there are very narrow asiles and I was always running into people or things and being anxious if Jess walked away and just yeah. I’d also get weak like physically if I was hungry and I walk I get more weak.

So I had less anxiety at walmart and it was easier. But when we got to burger king somehow we were short on time and I had to rush to eat everything. But it was very good.

Then I was anxious because we hadn’t brought my bbackpack and just had Jess’s purse and we had to carry all these bags. But we made it home.

Am hanging out now. Looking more closely into youcaring the fundraising site and am wondering about charges and fees as I can’t afford anything! Getting frustrated and wondering if I could even raise the money at all.

Am so happy that the conference fees are covered but everything else is so expensive. And it makes the most sense to stay at the hotel and not anywhere else as getting to and from would be extremely anxiety provoking!

So who knows what’s gonna happen.

Will have to just see. If anyone knows anything about these fund raising sites just let me know. Also you need a pay pal or we pay site thing and I have no idea what that is and if they hack your bank account or something!

I see people putting up these fundraising things who sound like they don’t have a dime to spare so that makes me think the charges aren’t a big deal but it does look like you’re charged somewhere along the line which always figures nothing is ever free!

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taking a huge leap am registered for the 2017 alternatives conference!

Hey everyone,

It’s so interesting how things can change so quickly. In my last post I had just heard about the conference and had gotten some encouragement to go, but felt totally overwhelmed by the financial prospect as well as emotional and everything.

Over the past couple of days though I’m still overwhelmed and I know it will be an emotional rollercoaster, I’ve made some great connections and am actually going!

So here’s what happened. I talked with some people on fb about my financial situation. They contacted the conference organizers who said that instead of paying I could volunteer in some way and the costs would be covered. This offer was so surprising because I had been at the point where I was like this is just too much!

It took awhile emotionally even knowing that that main cost would be covered, to get to a place of really being ok about going. Mostly around just plain doing anything outside of Albany, like being away, and how I would handle everything. But things looked more positive when I found out that Jess would be going too, also volunteering.

I have gotten more and more encouragement from people around really wanting me to be there. Looking over the site and workshops it all does look like something Jess and I would hugely benefit by.

Below is a link to the conference site

http://www.power2u.org/alternatives-2017/workshops.htm

I still have a ton of obstacles! A huge one is money. The three days in the hotel, flights, which we’re not sure what flights to look for it’s so complicated, and food.

We’re also considering extending our stay past Monday the last day of the conference and spending a day or two at my parent’s house, where I can get in some real pet time, see anyone from my past life in MA who wants to, and generally both of us get a rest from all the activity.

Around the money stuff, will be signing up for a you caring account and trying to get donations. Am hoping for the best but know everyone has financial limits and I’ve been so gifted, (some would say blessed but that word is weird to me) with all the generosity already extended to me. I just have a feeling like this is right. Will totally be checking in with Bety, to see what intuitive vibes she has. Regardless I’m sure she’d want the chance to see me in person!

Anyway haven’t actually approached my family about this. I know my sister will be fine and Dad. Will be interesting to hear what kinda reaction my mom has when she learns that the time is planned out so she can’t say stuff like well I can’t take you everwhere, or that hopefully, a lot of the money is accounted for so there won’t be back and forth on that.

One other thing that really turned me in the direction of wanting to continue to explore this was talking with Jonathan. And hearing him say that it’s amazing that I’m wanting to start to reclaim this part of my life when four years ago, or even a year ago, a week ago LOL, I would not want to do that. Would be way too overwhelmed would not chance anything.

I think all those conversations I’ve been having in my head and out loud about am I stable enough to find a new life or start exploring? All those posts I wrote about that are paying off.

Jonathan has the awesome attitude in life, that things always have the potential to go really well really badly or in between and to be prepared for all possibilities as much as possible, including that you can never prepare for everything! He’s honest about us facing all possible concerns and hard questions and situations and totally about me being confident before I do anything. Something he keeps saying is that he or anyone, could think something is the best idea in the world. But if I’m not confident about it it won’t work. Even if I want it to to please the person. And there’s no judgment or pressure from him to go any faster than I am in life, always pushing a little but he knows how hard to push or not. He knows me and all my complexities and how “you’re your own language” I teased that he’s like my dad in so many ways. Like if we’re totally on the same page on everything then it’s like having your awesome loving dad ok your getting married LOL! Or Ok your going to the school dance or college or something. Like you feel all warm and fuzzy knowing they’re a hundred percent there with you. I know I’ll have that from him.

He did say once that he was giving Jess and I his “nervous father speech” when we were moving from the observation room to our own room which at the time was as huge leap into the unknown as this is possibly more. Because Jonathan was really going out on a limb about two cutters being in their own room.

But anyway. As Jess and I talk about different little details (including such lovely stuff as it perhaps being that time of the month while there, which toys I’ll take (If you hear lots of crying it’s my dolls) how we’ll help each other if we start to spiral, I feel much better about everything.

There’s going to be a lot of talking over the next five weeks and planning and refineing. Talking to doctors, Jess’s therapist, Jess me and Jonathan having a meeting or two. Jonathan talking with my family. . Our caseworkers, though I don’t feel really engaged with anna at the moment sadly and of course talking to family. But we’re waiting a week to see what funds I can generate to see if there’s the possibility that we have a good amount already so that we don’t have to ask for everything, and therefore have my mom do the back and forth dance about money.

It’s a lot but as I connect with more people I feel more empowered and like people have my back.

Shout out to: Natan, Orix, Grace, Jessie, Judene, Alice, Emily, Apple, and I forget if I neglected any new people!

Will do a separate post to spread the word about the scholarship they have, and other links if people are interested in inquiring.

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fourth of july thoughts on going to a mental health conference in MA obstacles and fears

Hey

Today is the fourth yay I guess. Never liked fireworks or parades way too loud! And probably way too overwhelming more than years ago when I went to them.

Kinda just don’t know how to feel. There’s this conference on mental health peer support that’s very interesting. Being held in guess where boston! Like forty minutes or so from my house!

That’s the biggest thing that caught my attention that its in boston. In theory I could go out there and connect with some really great people who I’ve been starting to get to know online, go to some really interesting workshops and also spend time with my family. Especially mom and sister, Dad would be working, could come out and spend time with me in the city during times when I wasn’t doing stuff, I doubt I’d go to everything and even stay in the hotel with me. And I could maybe take an extra day to hang out at the house. I think half the issue of their reluctance around me visiting was worry about how I’d be occupied during the time I was there so that at least gets rid of that problem.

But there are so many around this situation. First of all money obviously. All SSI goes to Albany except $30 a month, plus what my mom gives me. All the times we have talked about me visiting they’ve said money is the issue. So don’t know why this would be different as I would need money for the flight and the conference fee and hotel so yeah way more money than if I just went out there to visit

And then no Jess. Well she could come but everything would cost twice as much plus she’s not as into this as I am. But if it were just a visit itself I certainly would take her. Would be really really worried about not having her with me in a new completely overwhelming situation particularly with my family around and their anxiety about me, their not knowing what to do if I get emotional and all I can imagine are scenes of them catching me tearing up or twitching and me hiding in the bathroom furiously self-harming to bring my emotions to some kind of normal through the physical pain of scratching. Which isn’t healthy I know but that’s how I’d feel. Probably might feel that way anyway I mean overwhelmed and might want to self-harm even without my family just due to the anxiety of everything. But not so much concerned by the reactions of random passersby around my emotions, after all these are peer mental health people, but deffinetely would be around my family.

And I suck at socializing. Haven’t been around many people except Albany people, and don’t even connect well with many of them hate crowds and everyone talking at once.

One of my other huge anxieties which I think does have some merit though people might deny it is people’s reactions to my living situation.

People at this conference are probably all over the spectrum of feelings about meds, therapy, and the mental health system in general. But one thing that seems to cause an automatic reaction of Oh No! in all people I’ve connected with is hearing that I’m in residential. That I chose it and that I have built a life here. Some people who are open minded, pro choice about these things and can see that I am in fact living relatively well, do warm to the idea that for me this was the best solution at the time and for now nothing better has come along. They get that I’m not being abused. And that no one is forcing me to live here take meds or anything. And you really can’t argue with someone coming in totally not wanting to live at all, and over four years having developed the first genuine friendship of their life, having a whole new way of looking at self-harm, and being on awesome meds and with a therapist who has been the one of the best I’ve had.

Others hold firm to that the fact that I say positive things just proves how the system has brainwashed me, made me dependent because they want to keep me there forever and how there must be something wrong with me for continuing this. That I could and should just go off my meds, get the hell out of Albany and get a job. Literally what I feel this one blogger in particular feels about those of us who are getting treatment they feel is positive or who don’t have other options.

I don’t need all that piled on me live and in person, while dealing with everything else. I don’t think I would have the energy to defend against it and it would be quite traumatic actually. And I know it’s really not their fault. Hearing my situation makes them think either about how they had to be involved to that level with the MH system in the past and how bad that was, or someone else they knew did, or they don’t know anyone but it still feels like their worst nightmare. It brings up so many strong emotions in others as it does in me.

At the same time as I defend my position and situation (while still clearly saying it’s nowhere near perfect and I wish for huge changes and a better personal situation) I do feel isolated. I would probably be the only one there who is coming from living in residential. Or who actually likes living there, just am so isolated from the outside world I guess and have been for years in a way that I probably wouldn’t even grasp until I was there among everyone else.

So it’s very complicated. Just thinking about the me that flew off to college, not literally but ya know. That would go anywhere to avoid being with family, including a few different states. Living with people I only met once or didn’t know at all from various places. I had no or little fear of how I’d be treated. I had so much less anxiety about life in general I just did things.

I think I’m more careful in the world now seeing how aggressive some people can be, people living here and just the harm that can come to you when you least expect it. Like just have different insights into people than I had before. Everything has changed so much. And I just want a little vacation but literally there’s no one I could even spend an overnight with, as a friend suggested in response to my FB post about wanting to do this but having not spent a night outside this building except for hospitalization.

I guess that I even thought about it for five minutes is good. I don’t know. I just know before 2013 I would have just up and left. And it just seemed like such a good solution to actually be able to see my parents in a situation where I wouldn’t be just sitting at the house. But money is money and if that’s the issue than that’s the issue here too. And the same big issues I have around my family would be there whether I saw them for a half hour or a day.

I will say people I have talked to about it have been very nice. Which is cool.

Maybe they’ll live stream stuff! At least I could listen then. And maybe another time I could go. Just wish there were ways for me to step outside my comfort zone without going across the country. All the stuff that really interests me mental health/ psychology wise is in MA. And like I said I have no one to just go hang out with for a day by myself. I was turned down for the one volunteer opportunity that I really connected with. So just a lot going on can’t wait to have my therapy session tomorrow! And talk about the past few weeks.

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Book Review: Trigger by Susan Vaut

Trigger warning LOL very graphic book! About failed suicide attempt by gunshot, severe brain damage

Have seen this title on teen reading lists for a few years now and have absolutely wanted to read it. But it hasn’t been on bookshare until recently.

Jersey is 17. A year ago he was athletic, on the ROTC army program, popular and made good grades. Now his whole left side is very uncoordinated, he can’t use his hand or balance well. He has to write down absolutely everything to remember it. His most pronounced problem is that every word that comes into his head, whether it’s what someone has just said, or from totally unrelated inner thought processes he is compelled to repeat over and over again out loud. Jersey did not get in a car accident or attacked. Though for awhile he tries to convince himself he might have. For reasons he can no longer remember, he took his dad’s gun and shot himself in the head sustaining major brain damage. After three hospitalizations including a long stay at a rehabilitation center he is home and trying to piece together himself and his life.

It’s not common to read books about people with brain injury/ brain damage. This is the first book I’ve read about the subject. I was instantly pulled into Jersey’s world as he struggles to walk a few feet, do everything with one hand, and to carry on a simple conversation without inserting complete nonsense words. It is painful when he interacts with the “ghost of his past self” who spends a good portion of the book berating him and telling him he’s a loser and there’s no hope for him having any kind of life. It’s extremely traumatic I would think to sustain that level of injury, especially the parts that are invisible like how hard it is for him to even string one clear sentence together, but to know you caused it must be unimaginable.

I’ve also never read any books from suicide attempt survivors so this was truly eye opening.

Jersey tries to manage his life through lists and containing his disorderly thoughts in a memory book, that he carries constantly. Things the hospital psychologist recommended were to find out why his former friend, Todd hated him, get back into school, take a drivers test, and other normal teen things. But first he must visit Mama Rush, Todd’s grandmother and a close friend of the family. Todd and his sister Liza, and Mamma Rush seem like they were very much a part of Jersey’s life before. But now things are strained and uncomfortable with Liza, and Todd won’t speak to him at all. Neither will any other of Jersey’s past friends.

His first task on the list is to give Mama Rush the presents he made her, pottery, at the hospital. While his parents struggle in their own way to even look at and try to make conversation with him, others just stare, and old friends refuse to speak to him Mama Rush is a tell it like it is person. Doesn’t treat him with any pity, or even much sympathy for what happend. She has a feerce respect for him, and very high expectations. She holds him one hundred percent accountable for what happened. Makes him face the reality that he did this to himself and hurt a lot of people, and basically says what everyone is thinking but won’t say. That they need to know why he did, and that he does too if he’s gonna have any kind of chance at being able to choose to live.

At first Mama’s attitude towards him borders on the mean, very harsh and at first it’s hard to see her talking to him how she does. But quickly you see that it’s because she loves him so much. Loves him enough not to let him sink into self-pity or not take responsibility for what his actions cost him. She does know that he genuinely can not remember.

Sadly the presents fell on the way to coming to see her that first time. So while Jersey tries to work on the puzzle of what happened she spends time in between their visits glueing together the gifts as best she can. She told him some things just can’t be fixed which is an apt metaphor for how he has to handle life now.

It is remarkable that he is able to navigate the physical mental and emotional impact of his head injury, (physically he has blindingly painful headaches much of the time, mentally has to struggle to focus, emotionally he is so overwhelmed) while going back to school and facing his past life.

Each day is a fight whether it’s inside his head, dealing with others reactions, or the silence and mounting tention at home. His father doesn’t know quite what to do other than cook healthy bad tasting meals. His mom is the hardest to deal with as she can barely face him, and lashes out several times in anger. It’s painful to see her struggle, know she has been through as much trauma as he has but so wishing she could be there for her son more.

As Jersey c crosses off and continues to look for more reasons to add to his list h he reconnects with Liza who becomes as helpful to him in all this as Mama rush treating him with the same no holds barred b brutal honesty and pushing him to accept what has happened and look outside himself. The theme of selfishness is big in this book, as it appeared that a lot of what happened before was due to him being self-centered and not seeing how he was affecting others. And now his brain injury does genuinely impair this ability a lot of it due to all the work necessary to just hold it together enough to function.

The book takes a lot of twists and turns and it’s honestly a hard call til the last turning point, whether Jersey can survive the aftermath of his attempt or whether he will try again and be successful.

The ending to the book is hopeful but realistic. Continuing on it’s clear that Jersey and all others in his life still have much healing to do and hard work. But everyone came to a place of at least acceptance of how Jersey is now and not holding on to who he was before. Self forgiveness and those closest to him forgiving him will take a very long time if it happens at all.

As I said before I never read anything on these subjects. Someone sustaining permanent and disabling injury from a suicide attempt and how they then move on. Honestly for myself if it were me I’d feel more like ending my life than before it happened. For him to want to live enough to face his past and want to find answers, rather than denying his part in things is a huge testament to his courage and insight and need to repair things with all his loved ones

Despite the completely dark and triggering subject matter there is quite a lot of humor in this book. His family’s lack of knowing how to best help him is balanced by the big personalities of Mama Rush and Liza, and there are really funny scenes about his jumbled words getting the best of him and ways he tries to prevent this.

So I highly recommend this book. I’m glad it’s finally on bookshare so I could read it. Hope I can get it on audio, advocate for it to be.

At the end of the book there are great resources and explanations for why someone would be suicidal. Like Jersey found out it’s rarely one big reason why something like that happens, but a bunch of interconnected things building up. There is also an awesome interview with the author, who used her personal experience as a neuro psychologist as the foundation of the book, having guided families through the aftermath of their loved ones completed suicides, or like Jersey, to help someone into their new life with brain injury.

Would love to hear others thoughts on the book and any other similar titles that deal with suicide attempt survivors or brain injury.

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today eventfull: upset about headphones breaking and caught rent mistake

Hey

So today has been ok. Still recovering but I can pretty much do stuff on the computer like normal though this afternoon I did get pretty drained.

Anyway the biggest frustrations for the day are first of all the awesome noise canceling headphones are breaking. Surprisingly it’s not to do with the ear part itself. But these headphones are so high tech that they have their own volume control so that determines how the headphones work not the computer speaker itself. Really didn’t fully understand that until it started really breaking down a couple weeks ago. There’s a switch to adjust it and I have had to fiddle with that and the cord for awhile but then it comes back on so wasn’t worried. But yesterday and today both Jess and I have struggled with it.

It’s just frustrating that the headphones themselves work great. I wish it didn’t have that individual volume control but guess that’s how they’re made. I plan to keep them because they still noise cancel fine and having the outside world half as loud has its benefits. But in terms of being able to listen to audio or computer stuff I need either cheap ones from across the street or walmart. At any rate they won’t compare to the ones I have now. Hoping Mr. J can work some magic but doubt it. You never know though. I’m currently not using them and have it on low for Jess’s benefit. It is quite annoying to hear screen reader going all day!

Second hard moment was paying rent and realizing last month I was $2 off. I hadn’t accounted for the $2 raise at the beginning of the year though to my relief all the other months were fine. Just totally was overwhelmed by when I had not paid the full amount last year for months, and they never caught it til I howed them like over a hundred dollars! It was a good catch but hard. Every time there’s the slightest issue with my paying rent I freak out because I’m one of probably a handful of residents that actually pay their own rent, as in see their check before giving it all to Albany each month. Others, and now I think it’s an actual rule, have to have Albany care be their payee so the check goes right to them. They put the $30 in an account. I convinced them on entrance that I needed access to the check because I’m blind. Which is kinda true. It’s less easy for me to receive checks in the mail and stuff. But anyway just always makes me think any minute they’ll back out on my having the check come to me.

But anyway things seem fine and I’ll speak to the office on Monday.

That’s about it I guess.

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book review: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

I just finished reading an amazing novel by the author of Speak.

This is a raw and very true to life account of one girl’s struggle with the death of her best friend, eating disorders, difficult family issues, and cutting.

Lia and Cassie have been best friends since third grade. Inseparableand funn loving practically twins though a year apart. When they had the teen years things changed. Pressure from home and school, emotions and their changing bodies lead them to eating disorders. Cassie bulimia and Lia Anorexia.

At the beginning of this book Lia is sex months out from her second stay at an eating disorder treatment center. She hasn’t spoken to Cassie in a year.Lia is told that Cassie died over thanksgiving weekend in a motel alone. Lia feels extremely guilty as Cassie had called her, after a year of not speaking to her, 33 times the night she died. Lia did not answer. This guilt becomes stronger and stronger and fuelss her downward spiral.

Lia has a very d difficult family background. Her parents divorced a few years back. Her father is a history professor and writer. Her mom is a heart surgeon. Her father had several affairs and eventually settled down with Jennifer. A woman obsessed with having the perfect home, being the perfect housewife and mother though too busy to actually do things like bake cookies or hear that her daughter doesn’t like sports. She has a young daughter Emma in third grade I think. Lia calls Emma her “almost sister” and it’s clear she loves her very much.

Cassie’s death brings back all the experiences Lia has had with her friend. The worst being how Cassie was told by a therapist and her parents to not be her friend anymore, and went through a few different episodes of trying to connect but then dumping her. All that kept playing in her head was the fact that Cassie had reached out for help and no one but her knew it.

In spite of being in treatment twice, Lia is not very envested in recovery. She feels a lot of pride around being “in a bone cage” as she puts it, and seems to live for the number going down on the scale wanting to reach a new lower goal every week. It’s clear that all she’s doing is hiding her behavior rather than wanting to reach out for help at all. Her stepmother Jennifer weighs Lia every week but Lia tricks the scale withwearing weights drinking lots of water and at one point even tinkering with the scale itself.

So her eating disorder behaviors were barely being kept in check before this point. But Cassie’s death sets Lia on a downward spiral. She comits to exercising obsessively again, only eating a certain amount of calories a day and cuts more. She cuts to release all the emotional pain and feelings she has no voice for. She has to hide her cuts under her clothes as her parents do not understand that aspect of her behavior.

Lia sees a psychiatrist once a week, but again it’s clear she does not want to open up to her. She sits in silence for much of their sessions.

As if all this weren’t enough, Lia gets a phone message from a mysterious guy at the motel Cassie spent her last night in. Lia meets him. He has a sense about her secrets and she feels a connection with this e exentric stranger. Who has a tattoo of a biker mann on his arm, and tells her to “pay attention to her visions.”

He is the only person she opens up to somewhat in the end before hitting rock bottom.

The story takes place mainly from this time after thanksgiving to Christmas. In which time Lia’s condition mentally and physically gets worse and worse. And strange things start to happen. Lia can hear Cassie talking to her. See her, smell her, feel cold air when she’s around. She believe Cassie is haunting her. And wants her to die too.

Things reach a crisis point where Lia ends up in much the same situation Cassie was in her last moments, yet she has some last bit of will or hope or something that makes her take the steps needed to help relase Cassie from her ghost self, and get the help she needs.

This seems a really realistic story. The issues of eating disorders and self-harm, and reasons for them are true to life. All characters are well developed. And the story has a hopefull and realistic ending. Ultametily showing that recovery is truly up to the person really wanting it to work. Many people I’m sure have similar experiences to Lia and Cassie. At the end of the audio version of this book Laurie herself is interviewed. She reads a poem about her other book Speak which is very powerful. Wintergirls has become extremely popular and so wonder others thoughts on it.

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Introduction To Bety Comerford and Steve Wilson psychic and shamanic healers

So you’re looking at this post and are like, “am I on the right blog?” This can’t be on matters to sam!

Yeah you’re in the right place Will be reviewing their books and I know they’re the last thing you’d possibly think I would read. Me too If it hadn’t been for my awesome connection with the author!

To back up, when I went to Middlesex community college in 2008 there was a psychic fair going on. With a group from a small organization called Aquarius Sanctuary and bookstore. It was in westford. It was a place where people into holistic healing, psychic readings, and all kinds of earthy stuff had their business. There was a building where they had their offices and then the bookstore. They would have groups and stuff at the bookstore as well. I wish I had been able to be more envolved and meet more people sadly after that summer I left.

Anyway there was a psychic fair my last semester before heading off to Lesley. My dad was the one that took me, we had no idea about it just happened to be having lunch. I decided to have my tarot cards read even though I’ve never even heard of tarot cards. The woman had a calming voice. Her name was Lorna. The girl ahead of me was like having a breakdown over whatever she was being told like couldn’t catch her breath and was in tears, so I was like ok umm I hope this isn’t like wicked scary. But to her credit this lorna got her to calm down.

Anyway so like I totally don’t remember a thing the lady said. But I was interested in learning more about this bookstore/ holistic center place. It was also near my birthday I was turning twenty and heading into the huge journey of leaving home and living at college. With a huge amount of stuff going on at home that was not good.

So I went on the website looked through the different people. Bety Comerford caught my attention because she did pet readings. I’ve heard of Sonia the pet psychic on TV and no one believed anything she said when I told them about the show. So I wanted to see if Bety could know stuff about our pets that no one else could ever know. Plus it said she helped people like sort out issues in their lives and stuff. So I signed up with her. And I made my family do it too LOL!

She was amazing. Like psychic gifts aside she was and is just a plain good listener and nurturing person. I was only seeing my psychiatrist once a month at this point, and had a ton going on. That first time though was really fun. She looked at all the pictures of my pets: my/ my mom’s cat, our first, that was near the end of his life. She said so and it turned out he died that September. My awesome Guiney pig who she said was the smartest one she ever met. She tuned into our dog that died, described Simon my sister’s cat perfectly, and saw a picture in her mind of Lucky cuddled on my bed which is his favorite spot.

I was personally impressed. My family also enjoyed themselves and they’re pretty skeptical.

So we connected that summer. Somehow we got talking about me and she said I had psychic gifts and stuff. I wasn’t sure never really have felt connected to spiritual stuff then or since. But do firmly believe if someone is invested in helping others especially in a healing framework, however they’re doing it is cool with me.

I needed a healthy hobby to occupy myself that summer. So I got the cards and she and I went over how to use them, how to connect with a spirit guide (I did actually somehow connect with the personality of an older girl but then months later it disappeared), and other things. Generally she just listened to my emotional ramblings about my alcoholic mom, being physically trapped in the house being blind with no public transportation and all the pressure I was under. She used her principles of energy healing and spirituality to try and put things in perspective which I listened to, but the most important role she played was that of a nurturing figure, a sort of second therapist for awhile.

At the very end of the summer I met her teacher Steve Wilson. A really tall kinda mysterious guy. Like actually like how you’d think a male healer would be. Very in tune kinda scary how much he could pick up within two seconds of meeting you. Met him at that bookstore for like a minute and I was like shocked. Like total mysterious wizard vibe going on and I’m not even into Harry Poter LOL!

But Bety said this guy could help me, and more importantly my mom if she chose to get help with the million issues that were really hurting us at home. I’ve never been one to work with male anyone especially doctors or whatever but Bety would be there. We did it in his basement. It was pretty cool except he had the most annoying bird! Some kinda parrot or cotitail or something made the loudest screech ever. Now that I’m more sensitive post breakdown it would have been totally overwhelming. Wish Bety had been able to converse with her to keep her distracted from screeching away. But they were both like doing the reading together. Again I don’t remember many details. Except he said I had “second sight” and that I “chose” to be blind, which is so totally s stereotypical thing to say to a blind person but hey whatever. He was nice about it.

So went to college. Connected on and off with Bety. I interviewed her for a class. No matter what she was always a phone call or e-mail away.

Went down the path of Linda Marks and Emotional Kenisthetic Psychotherapy (whole other story!). And in so doing had really disconnected with my family for the first year of college. And had finally reconnected and was planning to do family therapy. Had been talking with Bety lately and she said another healing with Steve might be good. So went from Cambridge down to concord and had another really good time. He said that my guides “love what you’re doing, but proceed with caution.” Well I had no idea what that meant. I wanted to know the ins and outs of how things would go with my family. You can tell Bety and Steve are the real deal because it’s not like TV. Like they don’t just make up whatever to please someone. They’ll tell you whatever they pick up on whether you want to hear it or not. And talk a lot about free will and how anything they say won’t matter at all if you don’t take actions in whatever direction. Something I always remember is she said she could tell someone they would win the lottery but if they didn’t go buy a ticket it wouldn’t happen!

So back to not telling people what they want to hear. Often they say these spirit guides don’t want to give away stuff, because they want people to learn whatever lessons the situation is trying to teach you or they truly might not just know. So in spite of a lot of different questioning tactics I got nowhere with that. Steve tried to tune into Linda, and was blocked. I thought that was odd. I thought blocked meant he made some kinda mistake or something. So I asked about it. Which is where I learned the thing about guides not wanting to disclose certain stuff. So of course I tried a few different ways to get the info anyway but it didn’t work. Tried asking Bety and again nothing. Steve said that I needed to have Linda on the pedestal that she was on right now, which ended up being so true! Again long story, short version therapist abuse!

.So after that didn’t really talk much for a long long time. I eventually heard about that they’d written a book about ghost hunting. They teamed up with some friends and formed an organization called the Spirit Light Network. They investigate haunted houses, and like actually help the ghosts move on. And also help the people move on from their role in the situation. More on that later. So I didn’t think much about it.

Recently though reconnected with her. Told her all about my suicide attempt (said from a spiritual point of view anyone who ends their life has huge amounts of guilt to work through and like stays a ghost a really long time) I was like oh that sucks LOL!

But anyway we had a couple interesting conversations. Said that since the readings we had I wasn’t totally one way or the other about psychic stuff. Again still not really connected with a spiritual source of healing. However some things happened I just could not explain away. In my last reading with Steve he told me I’d make a good friend. A really good friend one I could be bitchy with LOL! A friendship where we could each really be ourselves. I’ve never had anything like that before. But several years later I met Jess. She fits the description perfectly!

I had another impromptu reading with a psychic friend of a friend. She informed me in no uncertain terms and quite emotionally, that Friedman Place would not be a safe Haven. This was right before moving out there and something I found absolutely traumatic at the time. It took a couple of trusted friends who are skeptical about such things to tell me there’s no such thing as being psychic, she was doing “cold reading” like John Edwards and that’s it. Big sigh of relief.

Well wouldn’t ya know what happened at fp! Took me forever to make the connection and then I was like OMG!

So like it or not there’s something to this. The stuff on tv with the medium and those ghost shows, and all that stuff have truth to them. Many people do abuse it, their talent for this stuff to make money, which Bety and Steve are not about at all. I’ve asked a million questions about my life and friends life without sadly being able to pay them.

I did get their books on bookshare though and plan to help them advocate for them being put in audio.

So I think it’s safe to say Bety at least will be a trusted friend for life. Right around the time she says she was thinking of me is when I usually send her an e-mail. It’s really comforting to not only have such an amazingly nurturing wise person as a support, but also one with connections to things that I may not always understand but that bring useful information to me. And if there really are guides watching out for you your whole life that’s really cool!

Below are the websites of Steve and Bety, and the spirit Light network

Bety and Steve links to their bios, books on empathy, videos, link to Spirit Light Network and more. Current appearances in New England

http://www.comerfordwilson.com/Bety-Comerford.html

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Update Jess and I both sick

Hey

Sorry haven’t updated in a while. It’s just been crazy.

Things finally evened out for Jess and like I said in my last post she came back in the room the beginning of last week. We thought things would be good and we could do something like go to Red Door this weekend. Well Jess got a fever on Saturday with a terrible headache upset stomach and everything. The fever lasted all weekend last night/ this morning being as high as 102.7!

Something I totally do not understand is we’re in a nursing home. Emphasis on Nursing, ya know nurse? Like, ya know the best place to be for any kinda medical thing because you have a registered/ certified nurse there 24/7 with access to your whole chart, your doctor, hospital ETC. You would think that people here would be healthier than the average person living alone because we have access to this medical care.

Well for some odd reason it doesn’t work out that way. You just have to hear Jess’s story once to know the medical hell she’s been through. Which I think I’ve said here before. She has many issues going on or that happened in the past to where her immune system is sensitive, her heart is sensitive, sensitive to infections everything. So anything that goes wrong I feel you really have to keep an eye on because her body basically went through about almost dying so it’s extra sensitive to everything. To me that’s common sense.

Well though the nurse Saturday gave her Tylenol they weren’t aggressively checking her temp or even that concerned about it. In spite of her not getting fevers often, this was the first time since I met her four years ago that she’s had one, and her medical history. The first person to really take her fever seriously was the overnight nurse for last night. And we’re both really glad she was there because that started them really checking her temperature every hour/ couple hours.

I was the one that put cold cloths on her head because that’s what you’re supposed to do and no one thought of that. I made sure she drank plenty of water and filled her water for her. Ya know how stupid this one nurse is? Jess was feeling wicked weak and dizzy Saturday afternoon. She asked if they could bring up food for her and me, so they wouldn’t have to deal with someone taking me down there and her staying upstairs. Well she says technically no because if she can walk she can go down there. I’m like really? So she goes down there and falls over then you’re gonna be like Oh wow guess this was bad! I was soo mad about this. She went down there very carefully.

She hasn’t had any good sleep the last couple nights due to the fever and just being so off from feeling sick. And I haven’t either because I’ve been half awake worrying about her!

Finally her fever broke we’re hoping. Sunday she seemed fine til nighttime and fevers always come back at night the worst so we’ll see.

Then I was sniffling and coughing yesterday. I didn’t think anything of it because I randomly sneeze and stuff especially after I eat have no I idea why LOL. Well by the end of the day I had a sore throat was really sniffly and deffinetely not feeling well.

So Jess doesn’t have a cold and I don’t have a fever but I think we have the same thing. Everyone says it’s the weather. Plus you have to remember three hundred germ spreading, not concerned with hygiene people and not a good circulation system! So I’m not surprised. Plus I’ve just been beyond stressed emotionally with everything that’s been going on.

Then today we decided to just order out and my mom had put money in. Well some weird thing went on where what we paid for Maine foods earlier in the week hasn’t been processed or something so it screwed up my account so even though it looks like I have whatever amount I really don’t. So the first time my card was denied I totally freaked out because I just do especially anything to do with money which I really don’t know that much about finance at all except that bank of America charges crazy fees if you go overdraft at all. But anyway so we ended up getting stuff but will have to watch my account and just see what happened. My mom put the money in over the weekend so maybe that had something to do with it I don’t know. My bank is so weird.

But anyway really hoping I can just chillax and actually get a good night’s sleep. I will likely get to have a therapy session tomorrow yay!

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Book review: The Silent Witness by Casey Watson

Hi everyone,

So I just finished reading Casey’s latest memoir The Silent Witness.

I honestly have liked some of her other books better.

On Christmas Eve 12 year old Bella comes to Casey’s house as an emergency placement. Just a week ago she was taken into care when it was reported that her mother attacked her alcoholic father and caused significant brain injury while they were both drunk and in a huge fight. They were known to the neighbors and she particularly for “giving as good as she got” I.E being quite a physical aggressor herself. There were all sorts of stories about this couple and it was clear their issues were quite a scene for the neighborhood.

Meanwhile as Bella had been in care for a week she had been completely silent the whole time. She was clearly totally traumatized. When an emergency came up for the carers she had been with, Casey and family took her in.

It took her a full couple of days to say one word to Casey. She bonded more easily with Marley Mai, and Tyler though was very withdrawn around adults. Everyone was trying to get her to talk about what happened as she’s the only one who saw the events of that terrible night.

Her stepfather had a very close call but did recov er. What was most painful for Bella was going to visit her mom in prison. She was clearly distressed. Her social worker was amazing, always there when Casey called her and she was really a very important person in Bella’s life. They had a counselor dcome to the house but Bella wouldn’t talk.

She started to integrate into the family and time passed where lawyers were doing their legal thing getting ready for a trial. It’s through the close and trusting relationship Bella built woith Casey that gave her the courage to eventually talk about that night. The truth is horrific and shocking but not surprising.

Like Runaway Girl this book is an example of a child who once having expressed her trauma in words, was able to literally move on with her life. The ending was a bit too predictable and “happy
“ for such a story. Kind of unrealistic to me honestly. I would have preffered to see her deal with the aftermath of everything, especially having told the truth, to have there been long lasting emotional scars that impacted her relationships and that she’d continue to have to work through. I just can’t imagine having gone through what she did, not only that night but years of witnessing horrific emotional and physical abuse without lasting emotional effects.

The scenes between Bella and Marley Mai were particularly touching as was Casey’s gentle persistence and tough conversations about telling the truth, whether to break a promise or not and other things that really laid the foundation for Bella to trust and open up.

Like I said I liked some of her other books much better and the ending just seemed way too put together but am interested to hear what others think.

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