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I know have been quiet...

Buzzard Head
Things are just kind of funky weird for me. For some reason I have been having serious issues with fatigue. I think that has been going on for at least three weeks. Bah! Then on Thursday, July 10 I hurt my back twice. Yeah, that's right, "Grace" who already has a bad back managed to injure herself twice and the pain has been almost unbearable. When I am on line I do mostly mindless stuff that I don't really have to focus on. It helps to distract me when I am hurting so very much.

I am more than a little irked by this because I do not have time to be hurt even worse than I already was but I also have a list of things that I want to write blog posts about. At least I have written down some of them so if I feel like really writing I have the memory prompts about what I wanted to say. That is a good thing.

So there you have it. I will be writing as much as I can but in the meantime I am just trying to cope. Who can ask for anything more?

Ciao!
Buzzard Head

I saw a post on Facebook from a woman I had once known. She wasn't a friend or even an acquaintance, she was more like the friend of an acquaintance. This woman is traveling this summer. She has been to St. Croix and from St. Croix she went to Paris, London and Greece. I think she is in Italy or Spain right now. I am happy that she is enjoying her trip and her photos are lovely but I have to wonder at the price she paid to be able to make this trip and others like it. I will call her Cecilia.

Cecilia had been the quintessential blonde haired, blue eyed cheerleader in high school. She was a few grades ahead of me at the Mount so our paths never did cross. After high school she went to the University of Arkansas, was in a sorority, was a Razorback cheerleader and made her debut at the Little Rock Country Club. Cecilia came from a family with old money. While at the University she met a law student who she started dating, fell in love with and married after they had both graduated. I will call him Trip. Cecilia and Trip moved to Little Rock, where he got a job in one of the top law firms, they lived in the right neighborhood and she, of course, drove the right kind of car. After a few years she had a baby girl, named CiCi. She was the quintessential WASP like her parents with blonde hair, blue eyes and skin that tanned perfectly so that in the summertime she practically glowed from being such a toasty golden brown color. CiCi was beautiful and promised to follow in her mother's foot steps as a cheerleader, homecoming queen and debutante.

Of course, most fairy tales are a facade. Trip did not handle stress well at all. When CiCi came his perfect life with Cecilia was altered to a point that he just could not stand it. He was often angry with CiCi for crying or laughing or making any noise. It seemed that he only wanted to see or hear her when if was convenient for him. From the time CiCi was very young Trip often spanked her for doing things that any toddler would do including talking to him too soon when he came home from work. He often left marks on her but no one who saw these marks would do anything about it. After all, Trip provided well for his family, worked hard and needed peace and quiet when he came home from work. From the time CiCi was three or four she was to be in bed by the time that her father got home from work. She was not to get out of bed for anything. It did not matter if she needed to go to the bathroom or if she was ill, of course if she wet the bed or threw up on herself she was harshly punished. Still no one stood up for CiCi because it was more important to keep Trip happy than to meet CiCi's needs.

Once CiCi started school one would have hoped that CiCi would have been lucky enough to have some adult intervene on her behalf. She often had bruises from being punished by her father. Teachers did talk to Cecilia but no one reported CiCi's injuries to Child Protective Services. It seems that everyone was afraid of Trip because he was a powerful attorney with serious political clout. If anyone had tried to intervene on CiCi's behalf they would have lost their jobs and CiCi would have been punished further. If CiCi did not have perfect grades from kindergarten on she was severely punished by her father. When it came time to be involved in sports, dance and scouts CiCi was expected to participate in all of these activities. If she did not excel again she was ruthlessly punished by him. As a result of the physical, verbal and emotional abuse CiCi became quite the bully at school. No one reprimanded her because they knew how dreadfully she was put down at home so she was allowed to get away with very physically aggressive behavior with other children. One parent made the mistake of confronting Trip directly at one of the girls' basketball games where he had come to watch CiCi play. Trip was caustic and rude to the parent in question and the following Monday CiCi had a black eye. No one at the school did a thing except to advise the parent who had complained to Trip about CiCi's behavior to not do so again because of the consequences. Also, CiCi punched the child of the parent involved in the face and blacked that child's eye. There was no consequence for CiCi's behavior.

The parent of the child in question reported the situation to Child Protective Services. The report was quickly quashed and nothing was done to protect CiCi because of fear of repercussions by CiCi's father. I worked at CPS and knew about the lack of an investigation because of talk in the office about how this man was getting away with abusing his child.

It seems that Cecilia did not intervene on CiCi's behalf. She too would chastise CiCi for upsetting her father and advised her that she brought this punishment on herself. You see, as Cecilia told her friends, as long as Trip wasn't hitting her and he was giving them everything they wanted and needed it did not seem to her that she should interfere in his "relationship" with CiCi because that was between them and not really her business.

In the end, CiCi was an honor student, she was a cheerleader, she was the homecoming queen and the class valedictorian. She went to the University of Arkansas also where she too was in the right sorority, was a cheerleader and excelled in her business classes. CiCi received an MBA and her learned ruthless behavior serves her well as a hedge fund manager. She lives in another state and has nothing to do with her parents, except for the fact that she sends them a Christmas card and such but beyond that as far as she is concerned they do not exist.

Cecilia complains to her friends over brunch about how ungrateful CiCi is and they all agree with her even though they know that her father beat her and that her mother did nothing to protect CiCi. To Cecilia and her friends that was Trip's right after all he was the head of the family and as long as he was paying the bills he could do as he pleased. He and Cecilia had given that girl everything and now she couldn't even be bothered to call them on holidays much less come to visit.

Cecilia's life is relatively empty, Trip still pays the bills and buys her whatever she wants. He spends most of his free time playing golf or with his girlfriend. Cecilia shops, lunches, plays some golf and takes trips all over the world. She has considered volunteering according to what she has posted on Facebook but really doesn't know how she would fit it in between hair appointments and other obligations. Cecilia did spend some time volunteering with the Junior League in years past but it just wasn't a satisfying experience for her so now she is a lady who lunches and enjoys day spas.

I mostly feel pity for Cecilia when I see her Facebook updates because it seems that she is trying to fill an empty space. I really hope that CiCi has found some peace in her life because she certainly deserves it as her childhood was a nightmare.

Ciao!

I really should go to bed, but...

Buzzard Head
I am not ready for sleep yet despite being so tired that I can't stand the sight of myself. Goodness gracious!

A few days ago I wrote a post on Facebook about this being the summer of my junior year. It was an exciting summer. I had a job that I totally loved working at Shepard's in Little Rock. It was a company that sold engineering supplies and equipment, office supplies, made blue prints, had a drafting department and had a printing press. My mom worked in the engineering department which meant that we worked for the same company but it was big enough that we weren't up each others' butts all of the time. It was a great job. There were many different things that I did at Shepard's although I never did learn how to make blue prints. I didn't do any of the drafting either but I did a little bit of everything else. Shepard's also had a Xerox machine in a time when copiers were so expensive that they were not in every office(this was 40 years ago) and people used to come in on a regular basis to have copies made. When I think about the fact that most computer printers also act as personal copiers now that seems to be a very quaint idea to have to send a clerk or secretary out to make photocopies at a local business. People were still using a lot of carbon paper and a new item, White-Out in offices. IBM Selectric typewriters were still a big deal back then as well. My how times have changed.

During that summer my mother, sister, Meema Barbara and I were all involved in a community theatre production of Oliver. That was great fun. All of the practicing and rehearsing kept me busy during my "off hours" after work. I need to mention that I cannot dance, as I have two left feet, and I cannot carry a tune in a 55 gallon drum. I was in the chorus however and after much practice I could do the dance steps required of me, learned my songs even if I couldn't hit the notes correctly and even got a small speaking part. We made many friends while working on that play. It was a blast. I have to say that between a job that I totally loved and being in the play that this was one of my very best summers.

I hated to see the summer end because Shepard's was only open Monday thru Friday from like 8 until 5 which, of course, was mostly during school hours so my wonderful job was at an end and after just a very few performances Oliver was history too. I was eager to start my senior year because that meant I was close to getting out of high school even though I absolutely loved Mount St. Mary the all girl Catholic High School I attended(although there were moments that I didn't particularly care for school but I think that would have happened at any school the I might have go to). I was looking toward attending college and moving beyond the confining parameters of high school.

The summer of 1974 was filled with all kinds of hope for the future. I think that in some ways it was the last true summer of my "childhood." I hope that I fully enjoyed it as much as I should have. I think that I did and that thought makes me smile.

Ciao!

It's Raining and I Love It....

Buzzard Head
Lots of people around here are tired of all of the rain we have been getting. I totally love listening to the rain and thunder. It is awesome, especially tonight with the bugs singing their summer songs as the rain dances on my house and the thunder rolls to the west of me. It is so very awesome.

Now, I do have a friend who had lightening hit the sidewalk in front of her house the other day, who I can understand is less than thrilled with additional thunderstorms. There was damage to the house, the stove was "fried" and this is on top of multiple other stressors she is currently dealing with. I hate that the rain and thunder might be adding to her stress. That does concern me, so maybe I should feel a little guilty at enjoying the cooling effects of the beautiful summer storm. Hmm, I need to consider that.

Moving beyond the rain I want to talk about something rather presumptive that I read in a post last night. The writer posted(and I paraphrase), "While you have been watching 'Orange Is The New Black,' Netflix is deleting 79 movies from its inventory." When I read that I thought really, really...why would anyone assume that everyone has been watching "Orange Is The New Black." I mean really not everyone has Netflix and even those that have Netflix are not necessarily watching "Orange Is The New Black." Who is this person to presume what everyone is watching and/or that they are going to be devastated that Netflix won't have certain films available for streaming any longer? I personally do not watch television or Netflix. I have a life beyond "Orange Is The New Black" or any of the other "trendy" shows. As far as that goes, I haven't heard anything about "Game of Thrones" that rings my bells so I don't understand what the big "hoo ha" is about that show. Personally, I am rather tired of hearing about it, but that is just me. Obviously many people think that it is an awesome show. I am glad they are enjoying it. I just wish that it wasn't assumed that everyone is watching it. Hmm, I am being cranky. I have asserted my biddyhood on this blog many times so there you go.

Stop the presses...I just learned that it is statistically harder to get into "clown school" than it is to get into Harvard. Don't say I never shared valuable information with you! LOL!!!

Ciao!


Buzzard Head
July has been here for about fifteen minutes. I was a little surprised when I realized it was July. My friend Suzi Parker is the one who broke the news to me. Thank you Suzi! https://www.facebook.com/suzi.parker?fref=ts

Earlier today(which still counts as Monday for me even if I am greeting July, don't get all technical on my)I decided that Twitter has a glitch in its algorithm. It said that it had recommendations similar to Loblolly Creamery and J. Thorn as if Loblolly Creamery and J Thorn were similar enough to group together. This made me laugh out loud. Loblolly Creamery is a local foodie artisan type ice cream company. They make some incredible flavors from what I have read. They are rather pricey so we haven't been able to try their wares but I am looking forward to the day that we can. http://www.loblollycreamery.com/

On the other hand, J Thorn writes horror and dark, dark fiction. I wrote about him some yesterday. That is probably why in my sleep deprived state I was even more amused by the connection of J. with Loblolly Creamery. http://jthorn.net/

I love how Twitter's algorithm decided to group one of the darlings of Arkansas foodivores and a man who enjoys the darker side of life. Maybe it is just me but I find it most amusing and then some.

Well, I guess for tonight this is as good as it gets! Happy July!

Ciao!

Life is just interesting...

White Trash Foot
So many things have crossed my mind that I want to write about an now not a darned one of them wants to come to the forefront. That annoys me to no end.(Imagine a sticky out tongue emoticon. I hate that Live Journal does not have emoticons. I have an emoticon addiction.)

I will say that a couple of things have come to the forefront for me in the past few days. It started with a scary picture of clowns on Facebook. Now, I don't think that all clowns are scary like some people do but these clowns were some kind of scary. Really, the stuff that "frightmares" are made of. Then I saw a picture of Pennywise. This kept a rusty cog in my brain churning ever so slowly. Today a friend posted photos of abandoned barns. I totally loved abandoned barns and old abandoned buildings out in the country. I find them fascinating. I believe that they hold amazing stories and dark, dark secrets. The former excites me, the latter both inspires and repels me. This is when I started understanding what was going on in my head. I have many deeply hidden stories of horror and dark fantasy tucked away in my psyche concealed as much as possible. I do not read horror stories and I do not watch scary movies. Well, I watched the old Universal monster movies, some old time 50s horror movies, Alfred Hitchcock horror/suspense movies and a very few of the early horror type movies of the 70s and 80s but when the slasher genre, possessed and/or satanic tinged movies started it was pretty much all over for me because I have such a vivid imagination that horror stories invaded my mind at a very early age and terrified me. I have worked hard to block them because they have been so frightening. The past 72 hours have alerted me that despite the fact I have seen enough real life horror in my life that these words, vignettes and tales are swirling around waiting to be released. Until they are I will not find peace. Then later today I was advised that I had won a book from someone who writes seriously dark fiction. I had tried to read some of it because in the past few years I have been trying to come to grips with this compelling feeling about the cryptic and shadowy images that I have had over time, but his work was a little too intense for me to stay with so I kept putting it aside. I knew that winning this book was another message. After sending the author J.Thorn, by the way, my snail mail address I went and read his Amazon author page. I was taken aback about how much we have in common. Then I went to his website and found out that he has a group of readers that have an early peek at his writing and the creative process. I knew that I wanted to be part of this group. It was all like things were coming together and yet they terrify me in one way. We will have to see what happens. I have a feeling that I am about to embark on a journey that goes deep within me. Will what I unearth ever end up in my writing? I do not know but what I do know is that I am going to explore my dark side and see what happens next. I just find it all interesting. I don't know why this is coming up now but I am going to try to ferret out the answers.

Ciao!

Brain Fog and OCD...

Buzzard Head
I probably should have written the subject line as "OCD and Brain Fog..." but I am not quite obsessive enough to go change it. There is a certain irony there. Trust me on this one.

I struggle with obsessions and compulsions every day. They complicate my life. I wish they would go away. The only medication that really did a good job, actually a wonderful job, of helping me to keep them in check had so many side effects that I couldn't stay on it and trust me I struggled for almost a year to do so. The one medication that helped with the side effects cost $90. At that time I was already paying between four and five hundred dollars a month for my medications. I couldn't really afford another $90 on my limited income.

If you are truly obsessive compulsive then you know what I mean about my struggles. If you are someone who maybe has a few o/c moments you have had a glimpse of what I mean. If you just joke about being OCD you aren't doing anything to help those of us who truly have OCD and it would be nice of you to find something else to joke about.

I read about a man who says that he overcame OCD completely without the help of medications. I am very happy for him but he was very lucky. His success doesn't mean that he tried any harder that those of us who haven't managed to do so it just means that for him there was a way that he found to get out of the trap, kind of like a wormhole. I wish I could find such a wormhole. I'd like one for depression and PTSD too while I am wishing.

Back to being OCD. When I get on the computer I have a certain order that I have to do things in. There is only one thing that I can do out of order when it is required but it is only that one thing. If something comes up that requires me to do something else out of order I begin to sweat, my heart starts racing and I feel like I am suffocating. It is awful. Sometimes I try to do things out of order in an effort to weaken the compulsion related to online behavior but the compulsions can be so strong that I almost feel like I am going to die. I hate it when this happens. Every time I can alter my behavior just a little bit I consider it to be a victory. There is quite a cost with each victory but sometimes the prize is worth the bounty I pay to acquire it. Other times, not so much.

I am always glad to get the "must take care of" stuff out of the way online. Then I can do other things that I really enjoy doing. I like it when I have some energy and brain power left so that I can work on my blog. All to often I am exhausted and severe brain fog has settled in so I am stuck with ideas that get lost in the muck and mire of my sludgy brain so they never make it to become the written word. This really bites because I like to write my blog. I like to tell my silly stories because they make me smile when I read them. My blog is just fun for me. I would love to be able to make my blog the first thing I do when I get online. I have tried it but the level of anxiety bordering on panic that I feel is almost as bad as the brain fog when it comes to blocking out the things I would like to write. I have even tried to write my blog posts on my word processing program before I even get online. Oh my goodness that is even worse. It drives me smooth up the wall. Being OCD has robbed me of so much in my life. I haven't given in though. I still try to outsmart it. Maybe someday I will succeed.

I am writing this because I want you to know that every blog post you see from me or any kind of writing at all is a victory because it means I managed to get my compulsive behaviors out of the way before the brain fog became so dense that the words got trapped in the maze. Even if I am just writing about dog poop it is a cause for celebration. I work hard to find a way to write and celebrate the precious gift of life.

Ciao!

A day late and a dollar short...

Buzzard Head
I live one block from a middle school. It used to be a junior high and I went there in the seventh and eighth grades. Many things have changed at the school since that time. The part of the school that I had all of my classes except Home Ec and PE in has been torn down. The reason for this is that it was very, very easy for the students to slip out of the building because of the design and skip school. When I first moved to this house 29 years ago having truants wandering around and getting into trouble was a common event. A few years ago we started having fewer students who were playing hooky in the neighborhood.

School is out for the summer and the neighborhood is very quiet. We don't have students meandering around the neighborhood instead of spending their after school time at the library up the street like their parents think that they are doing. Peace abounds, at least for now.

A few days ago a sign was put up on the street near the library giving a phone number to call to report truancy issues. I had to laugh. School is out and they are just now putting up the sign. I guess they are trying to get a head start for next school year. Fortunately for the most part the students, who skip school from the middle school a block away and the high school about six blocks away, don't actually spend a lot of "school time" around here. They go to the shopping centers that are within walking distance. I guess they are from eight to ten blocks away depending on how you go. Actually since the truant folks try to avoid the main roads it is a little farther for them to walk to the shopping centers because they take back streets to get to them. Anyway, it cracks me up that they are just now getting the truant sign posted especially since I have seen fewer truants in the past several years than I did even a decade ago. I guess the school district finally decided that it was time to do something about the truancy issue. Better late than never I suppose.

Ciao!



Buzzard Head
because I sometimes forget if I have written about something in the past. So, if I have written about this topic I apologize in advance.


I read two new(to me)articles about writers and alcohol(or other mind altering substances). One of the articles focused on women writers and alcohol. Many of the writers were self medicating for one reason or another. This happens with other creative types, not just writers but I guess it depends on the things one reads as to whether you will find articles about certain people using and abusing alcohol or other substances. I don't think I have ever seen an article about nicotine being used as a drug to fuel creativity but I know that I have used it in that manner and am aware of many other creative souls who have as well. The use of seemingly benign caffeine gets used in this manner as well. Should I even mention the fact that food can be a drug as well?

Those of a creative nature are not the only ones to self medicate with alcohol, drugs, food, nicotine, caffeine and even sex. There are so many of us who try to find ways to cope with pain(emotional and physical), anxiety, depression, emptiness, fear, guilt, sorrow, horror and etc. via self medication. It can be hard for us to admit that we need help to manage or fill a void. Even if we do admit it an seek out ways to deal with behaviors that may be less than healthy I am here to tell you that there are not always avenues to have that need met. Sometimes medications work for anxiety, depression, ADD, thought disorders, pain and other medical disorders and sometimes they just don't or they do not do an adequate job. Finding a competent therapist is not an easy job, even if you have good insurance. Guilt can sometimes never be erased no matter what one does to deal with it. 12 step programs do not work for everyone I don't care what those in the field of substance abuse may try to tell you. It is all a balancing act and sometimes there is no net under the high wire.

I have lived with recurring and/or chronic pain most of my life for the past several years it has been disabling. However, a back injury last May, followed by repeated injures to the same area since then, has helped me to understand why some people turn to alcohol for pain relief. Doctors are afraid to prescribe pain medication for fear that it will make them look bad or that the patient may be addicted and I am here to tell you that acetaminophen doesn't do much, if anything, for severe pain. I know a woman who is in her seventies living with severe chronic pain who has considered moving to a state that allows the sale of medical marijuana in hopes that it would help her to be able to cope with the pain she is enduring. I could never afford to relocate to another state for the purpose of being able to obtain medical marijuana but I hope that someday Arkansas will legalize medical marijuana, that I can find a doctor brave enough to prescribe it and that I can afford it. That is a whole bushel basket of hope, let me tell you what.

Self medication is an easy trap to fall into whether the drug is fried chicken, cigarettes, vodka, legal or illegal drugs or other avenues that so many of use seem to find to address a problem that we are trying to deal with. It needs to be acknowledged for what it is. Self medication is not an excuse for our behavior but it may be a reason and it is up to us to find better ways to address the issue at hand. Not everyone has the insight or desire to do this and in some instances, the act of self medication can actually be healthier than some other options available, if it can be managed and there are people who self medicate who are relatively healthy and functional. Self medication does not mean that you are "in the gutter", totally dysfunctional or self destructive.

Since I started out by writing about alcoholic writers let me say that I do not think that alcohol is required to be a writer, I know many writers who never touch alcohol, or that being a writer is an excuse to be an alcoholic. Also, not all alcoholic writers are self medicating. That is just one reason a writer may become alcoholic. Some people should never drink. Sadly some should never take the first drink and yet until they do no one knows who they are unless there is a strong familial predisposition toward alcoholism and/or other types of addictive behavior. That might make one take into consideration the wisdom of avoiding that first drink.

The issue of self medication is a difficult one. I don't pretend to know all of the answers to or reasons for self medication. What I do know is that if one does self medicate or suspects same then one may wish to ferret out the reasons for this behavior and find ways to deal with the root problem in a healthier manner. As I have said above however, self medication may in fact, be the healthiest option available to someone. We all have to figure out these things for ourselves. As for me, I don't allow myself to drink anything alcoholic when my pain is severe. I don't want to go down that slippery slope. I am not going to rule out the occasional drink but that is a whole different ball of wax.

Ciao!

The Things You Learn As Time Goes By...

Buzzard Head
Just when you think that you have endured all the pain that you can possibly absorb you find out with a brutal slap in the face that you can indeed withstand yet more pain. It really is amazing how the human spirit is capable of soaking up pain and dealing with it no matter what the circumstances are or how gut wrenching things may be. We are resilient. We endure. We persist and like the tenacious grizzly hold on with all of our might even when we want to say, "Enough." We overcome and live to face another day.

With the new day we will still have pain but it will have lessened a bit. You won't feel as if you have a hundred daggers in your heart, you will only feel a mere 99 and that will help you to breath more freely than you did the day before. Life is a great and wonderful gift and yet it can exact such a toll on our psyches that at times we may find ourselves adrift in a sea of despair but there is always hope to serve as an anchor when we need it most and we no longer list about unmoored but rather find our way back to terra firma more or less intact ready to move on with our lives one step at a time. We survive and in the end we thrive. It will all be okay in the end if you just have faith and don't allow yourself to cast hope aside.

I realize that the above is filled with cliches and that it is less than forthcoming but sometimes even when your truth probably should be spoken loud and clear it is better to keep one's own counsel because more pain, bitterness and rancor could result from speaking out about that which hurts you. Sometimes silence can be your best friend.

Ciao!

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