JewBu Quest: From Abuse to Happiness

JewBu: a Jew who practices forms of Buddhist meditation & spirituality. This blog documents my quest to 1) heal from sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, 2) come to terms with losing Mom and Grandma to Alzheimers, 3) find balance, explore the spiritual, stay present. Bascially, I've experienced some pretty crappy shit in my life and want to find a way to move past it and find happiness.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Taking Back My Power

So tonight, instead of worrying when A texted me that maybe he won't need a ride (and spend the night here snuggling with me as is our ritual), I decided to try to break some of my patterns and decided to do some work on my place. After a trip to home depot, I patched up a wall and put up some pictures. Last week, A seemed like he wasn't going to come over (like tonight), and I freaked out. It was one of the few times that I called me therapist at home (and she wasn't all that helpful). Tonight, I knew that I had to be independent, and I feel okay about it. I need to regain connection with my independence. When I feel weak, I feel like I can't do things on my own. BUT I can take care of myself.

And working on my place today (earlier I did some gardening too) is something that I can do now. I feel like I accomplished something today, even if my attempts to work on my thesis were futile. I sat with a book and a computer window open, but just too anxious to accomplish anything. Okay, the dog says that she needs some snuggles....


So, I confronted my therapist this morning. I told her that I think it would be better if I went to a different therapist. I am a bit releaved, as she generally took it okay and focused on what I need and sounded okay if I do go to someone else. Although she did: 1) tell me that I should move, 2) try to get me to refer me to have a couple of sessions for hypnosis with someone that she supervises, 3) fail to acknowledge that she making real serious mistakes with me and that there is counter-transference, 4) encouraged me to take time off instead of figuring out how to get work done. She made an effort to help me think of what I need to improve over this next week, but she seemed incapable of thinking of anything other than referring me out. Like how about some of the numerous things on the list? How about that I actually know how to get better (somewhere in me does know this) and I need to tap into that knowledge, not have someone tell me what to do. I think that I'm doing the right thing. And, I found a new therapist on my own who looks really good - she has an eclectic approach, is a feminist, and is Jewish. I'm proud of myself for having made this move. I need to believe that I can get better and part of that is going to be working with someone who not only shares this belief, but can come up with a plan to make it happen.

So, the rest of today should be pretty nice. I have an appointment with my chiropractor, will walk karma, get a therapudic massage, make some dinner, and then later tonight I'm sure I'll get a text message from A asking me to give his drunk tuchus a ride home. We'll fall asleep and wake up cuddling, and then go have some breakfast. Now, I just have to manage to get some work done in between all of this AND appreciate how good I have it today.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Cycles of Trauma

"There is no point in trying to shield ourselves from witnessing violence and violation; we couldn’t even if we wanted to. But we can act on the insight that witnessing violence and violation is harmful to us by learning more about how it affects our bodies, minds, relationships, communities, and world.” Kaethe Weingarten, Common Shock, p.18.

Flarebombs bloom on the dark sky.
A child clasps his hands and laughs.
I hear the sound of guns,
and the laughter dies.

But the witness

-- Thich Nhat Hanh

As I read, I realize that the murderer likely was suffering from PTSD, just like me. I read that she had fled from an abusive marriage. I wonder if she was always crazy or if the stress of experiencing the abuse drove her to aggression. The book I’m reading is talking about how those who experience aggression are more likely to be aggressive themselves. Can I stop the spiral of trauma or will it break me apart too?

Wow, Progress is Scary

So, thanks to the encouragement of friends like K, when I ran into an old co-worker who asked me about the recent tragedy, she suggested that I contact this social worker through our health insurance. I contacted him today, and he made an appointment for later that afternoon. It is hard going to ask a stranger for help, not to mention a stranger who is a man.

So, he gave the forms that I need to go to a new therapist and a list of people in our insurance plan. He said that he'll call me with referalls sometime next week. He'll also try to help me find a support group for people losing family members to Alzheimer's. And, he'll look into genetic testing for me to find out if I am likely to get Alzheimer's too. I hope he actually does this. Hmmm...

So, (why do I keep saying so) tomorrow morning I have an appointment with my therapist where I'll tell her that I'm definitely going to go find a new therapist and try to get some closure. I am very nervous. I bet she'll try to talk me into staying and turn whatever around as my own weaknesses (how very German of her!). We'll see. I am also nervous about having to find a new therapist - how do you find a new therapist? Do I wait for this guy to give me referrals and hope he has good ones? Do I try to do web searches on everyone on the list? It is a big leap of faith to take this step. I know I shouldn't ask what if, but what if I can't find someone good? What if the next therapist is worse than the last one? What if this really is just my own tranference shit and leaving my old therapist is a mistake?

I'm pretty overwhelmed by my fear. My friend K (thanks K!), who is a psychology grad student, recommends that I try to just talk myself into doing like 10 minutes of work, so that I break this cycle of just being overwhelmed by fear and not getting anything done. I want to try but feel myself making excuses as it gets later and later into the evening. Part of me wants to obsess about the whole therapist thing instead of trying to work. Hopefully, getting it out onto paper will create some space for me to do just a little work. Just 10 minutes. Oy, wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Small Steps to Heal From PTSD

Okay, so in my last posting, I realized that I need to make a list for myself of things that I can do to help me get through this PTSD bought. Here's what I got:
1. Cardio exercise while listening to music
2. Cuddling with my dog
3. Connecting with other people in a positive way
4. Cutting back on communication with my father
5. Eating well
6. Not drinking too much
7. Spend a lot of time relaxing at night and getting ready for bed - follow ritual
8. Stress Eraser
9. Writing this blog (self expression)
10. Therapudic massages
11. Using aromatherapy - lavendar at night, jasmine and rose
12. Making my home homey, doing stuff to fix the place up
13. Therapy
14. When I'm up for it, yoga and/or meditation
15. Playing with my cousin and neice (who are both 4 - playing with them reminds me a lot of playing with childhood playmates)
16. Herbs and homeopathy
17. Have patience with myself and faith that this will get better
18. Practice loving-kindness with others, practice random acts of kindness
19. Try to accomplish a little (school) work every day, even if its just a little
20. Give myself permission to get angry, to feel anger, and let the anger out (as a woman, its hard to express anger...pent up anger becomes depression, so its necessary to get it out)
21. Guided imagry CDs by Bellaruth Naparstek (There's one for PTSD and another on anger and forgiveness. I usually fall asleep to them every night.)
22. Acupuncture

What I Need: Someone to Break It Into Steps

I've been thinking about it more, in between watching "Queer as Folk" episodes from Netflix, and what I'm really missing from this therapist that I got from working with other therapists is:
other therapists that I've worked with in the past (in other places) have helped me realize the progress that I'm making, the issues that I need to keep working on, and breaking down those issues into small steps that I can take to make progress on them.

I really need to know that I'm on a path of healing and to know my direction. Shortly after the shooting, my therapist made a comment to me along the lines of, "so you're just going to have PTSD for another year?" It makes me feel hopeless, like there isn't anything that I can do to get myself better. What I need is small steps that I can take to help get myself through the PTSD, and ideally someone to give me positive feedback about taking these steps. My current therapist though, criticises these steps that I try to make. For example, she told me not to work out at school anymore (and granted I did comment that the numerous anorexic students working out there is perplexing) and not to over focus on the physical realm but try to balance out with spiritual realm stuff BUT working out at school (which is free and takes no commitment) has actually been a really good thing that I've been doing for myself - releasing endorphins, eating away some of the anxiety, breaking up the night, and being able to see immediate positive results (I've been looking pretty fine thank you).

So, I both need a new therapist and to be able to do this for myself. Maybe one of my next blog postings should be a list about these steps.....hmmm any ideas on how (via small steps that I can take) to get through PTSD?

Need to Find a New Therapist

So, I finally confronted my therapist during our last session on her boundary and counter-transference issues. She said that if the things that I brought up were true, that it would be bad BUT she never took responsibility for it AND she sort of turned it around on to how I have certain issues that make me sensitive. Anyway, I felt like she was tip toeing around me, and then I sort of just cried a bit about losing my grandma and mom, and the session was over. I think that I should find a new therapist BUT because of my insurance and the embarrassment of having to go back to the counseling office on campus, it is going to be sort of a big deal. Plus, how do I go about finding a therapist? And, is it wise to make a change when there's so much turmoil? Hmmm....

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I Need My Mom

Losing my grandmother makes me come to terms with the fact that I'm losing my mother. Both of them have Alzheimer's disease, and when I last saw the both of them, it seemed like Grandma was actually doing a little better than my mom. Now, Grandma's taken a big downward turn.

And now granted, my mom has had this disease for awhile. BUT, a girl needs her mother. I can't believe that she won't be around for me to get married, have kids, get my degree. I know that it probably sounds silly, but without my mom, these things lose a lot of their meaning. A girl just needs her mom.

And now I'm in a situation where I'm helpless to do anything for my grandmother, even stop torturous steps from being taken to prolong her life. And now my mom needs me to take care of her, almost like she's the child now.

I'm feeling freaked out a bit. I'm also a bit high on cold medicine. I just asked A if he'd marry me over IM....

Oy, oy, oy: Still Hard to Work

I went to see my "pusher" today, aka my pscyhiatrist. She renewed my prescription for an anti-anxiety medication that I started taking after the shooting to help me sleep. I had intended to just be on it for a couple of weeks, but she thinks that I shouldn't even consider stopping or cutting back. It is a bit easier knowing that I have this to lean on, but at the same time, I worry about getting addicted to it.

And I just can't get much work done. I feel so much better when I don't push myself to work on my project. And even when I do push myself, I don't get much done. I am SO far behind with my master's thesis. My therapist thinks that I should take some time off - like 3 months to just let myself heal and get back on my feet. But, I can't get out of my commitment to be project manager of my advisor's research team. And, I need to get my thesis done. Should I just go to my advisor and ask for some time away from my thesis? Or should I take into consideration that I'm trying to present myself as a professional academic and try and be professional and just step up and somehow get this all done.

I also just feel closer and closer to my best friend, A. I'm still in love with him. I think he knows it, and I know that at least on some level he loves me too. I'm so tempted to try to BE with him, but with everything so crappy in both of our lives, I don't want to push it. Hopefully, we'll both get to better places in our lives, and then he'll finally tell me how he really feels.

I am very upset about the condition of my grandmother. More than the fact that I'm slowly losing her, I hate the way that she is going. I tried to talk to my aunt today and my cousin and my sister, but everyone blows me off. I think there needs to be a plan of where to stop attempting to prolong her life, especially when it means excruiating suffering on her part. I really hope that I never end up like she is now. If I ever do, you all have it here in writing. Oy oy oy!

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Path - a Quote

"Be wise. Treat yourself, your mind, sympathetically, with loving kindness. If you are gentle with yourself, you will become gentle with others." - Lama Thubten Yeshe

Thanks for sharing this with me, Sanchi.

Coming to Terms with Grandma Dying

I finally called my aunt (who is responsible for my grandmother) to get an update on how Grandma's doing. I got her machine, and then she got mine. She told me that Grandma's is going downhill fast. I haven't spoken to my aunt much for a couple of years since she tried to put the weight of the world taking care of both my grandmother and my mother, who both have Alzheimer's. So, calling her was a big step for me. It is hard to trust my family because they treat me pretty badly generally. I'll call her again tomorrow morning (the time difference is pretty big). I am really not looking forward to having to bury my grandmother. I mean, even at this end stage, she still has a bit of her personality, and when she sees me, her spirit still glows. Of course, I haven't seen her in like 9 months, so maybe it has all changed now. Oy. I sent chocolate covered strawberries and cookies that'll arrive tomorrow, so that at least some of her last bites will be sweet.

Thanks, K, for encouraging me to write tonight.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

What Good Friends and Family Will Do

I spent the day with my cousins who drove down from up North. We went to the zoo and hung out a bit. Knowing that they were coming, I slept better last night (even though I'm trying to get over this damn cold) and had a great time today. They are probably the only people in my family that I have this kind of positive, healthy relationship with. And then, my best friend walked my dog for me yesterday when I didn't feel up to it (with my cold) and stopped by today. Being with them makes me feel so much better, just normal, and these other issues just sort of melt away at least for a little bit.

I really desperately want to have a family of my own - a partner, two kids, a real home, a strong community. I want to have this kind of support and environment around me all the time. I really long to not be in school right now. I just want to heal and be with other people and take care of them and have them take care of me. I know that's what my grandmother and mom wanted for me, which in part is why it was so fulfilling to do today. Unfortunately, its not in the cards. But, although I'm getting over this cold and clearly my grandmother is going to pass in the next couple of months and my mom isn't far behind, today was a good day.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Will I Die With Dignity?

Grandma's in the hospital. I went to visit my cousins who live up North, and they told me that she was admitted today for dehydration. Apparently, she isn't eating or drinking anymore. They put in an IV in the only vein they could find, which is in her neck AND then had to tie her down to the bed to keep her from ripping it out. Tomorrow, they will do a swallow test to see if a feeding tube is in order. Here's the thing though: she is late stage Alzheimer's. She is confused and agitated and not able to even go to the bathroom. So, why would my aunt (who has the power to make this decision) even consider prolonging her suffering? It makes me very angry. I feel so powerless. My grandmother was very dignified and sophisticated, and she would hate to see herself like this. She certainly wouldn't want it.

My grandmother is dying of Alzheimer's, and my mom is not so far behind. The possibility of following in their paths is terrifying, and I clearly have enough terror in my life! One of my greatest fears with this is that I'll end up alone and demented and without any dignity. I also fear having a family of my own, because I wouldn't want to put them through this.

Please pray/meditation for an end to the suffering of my grandmother and my mother. What a horrific, horrible disease Alzheimer's is!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Why Nighttime is a Trigger

So when the sun sets, my anxiety sets in. This has happened since I was raped while I was sleeping. And, then my nieghbor was shot at night, and the next night she was found. But, what I hadn't realized is that night is also the time when my father would come home from work and become abusive with my mom, my sis and me. So, no wonder its such a serious trigger for anxiety and PTSD!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Appreciation and Procrastination

Well, I should be doing work for my research team, but I'm having a hard time concentrating. I find it really therapudic to write this blog, especially since I know that there are people out there reading it (at least that's what the counter says). I mean look down at that counter; this page has been opened almost 60 times! Sometimes, I have a hard time connecting with people when I get PTSD stuff, so knowing that there are people (who I do and don't know) reading this...I don't know, it just makes me feel connected. I know that this has got to be hard on my friends who I gave the blog address to, to see that I'm having such a hard time. I think its really good for me though to be just letting everything out, not holding back, not caring if you judge me or feel sorry for me. I'm just going to be myself here, for all the world to see. And then I can get connected hopefully with this Buddhist notion that my attachment to myself and my suffering isn't necessary; it is just an illusion.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Baby Steps

I'm feeling good today. I went to therapy and then acupuncture. My acuputurist is this odd Jewish guy who tends to suggest that I eat a lot of chicken soup. He also uses essential oils before inserting the needles and then does some guided meditation. I get so deeply relaxed. It was perfect, I think to go right after therapy. I feel so mellow right now, I'm not even going to try to work. I was talking with my therapist about how I really just need like 3 months off from work just to recover. But, of course that can't happen; gotta keep working. It is Spring Break now - I finished grading today. But, of course for the next 3 days, my research group is meeting. How do I manage to give myself the time and the space to heal AND keep up with my work?

I do recognize though that this isn't like the last whirlwind of PTSD that I had after I was raped. I am much more aware of the process, and I can see that it is moving forward, even if it is very painful. It is very hard to not lose faith, but I know that at some point, this too shall pass.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Feeling Good....At Least Until Sundown

I was feeling really good today. I got work done - not my research- but some work. Honestly, I think I'm all a glow from having spent a lot of time recently with my best friend, who I am in love with. I know that he loves me too, but he doesn't want THAT kind of relationship. Anyway, spending time with him makes me all a glow. And I love doing teaching stuff, which is what I was doing today.

And then as evening sets in, my heart starts to race and I can't concentrate anymore, even on grading some papers which look really interesting and well written. Tomorrow, I'll have a great time grading them. But tonight, my head is spinning again with trauma. I just want to eat myself into a food coma, maybe with the help of some red wine. I wish there was a better way out of this.

Dark V. Light People

I got an email from my friend, Bill (who doesn't know that I have this blog, I hope he wouldn't be offended that I'm sharing his words): "When I speak of ‘dark’ vs. ‘light’ people I’m describing a gut level response I have about how someone is aligned. Are they going to take from me? Are they going to give to me? Or, preferably, can there be a sharing between us. Darkness to me is a preoccupation with the self, the ego, a “what’s in it for me” mentality/approach. Light people tend to be very spiritual and are often less concerned with themselves. Balanced folks combine elements of both. There was a sweet and vulnerable quality I sensed in you and your story was truly poignant. When I mentioned staying close to the light I meant that I was surrounding myself with people who: I trust, who share my values, who orient themselves towards caring and compassion. My gut says that you need to spend time rebuilding trust and faith in people and that you need as little turbulence and drama in your life as possible. Unless that turbulence helps distract..."

He was responding to what I had said in the previous email: "
I've been thinking a lot about what you said about people who feel light and who feel dark. I'm not sure if I entirely sure what you mean, but I think that I'm generally attracted to people who are somewhat dark - people who have issues that they are deeply struggling with, who understand how dark the world can be - they are more interesting and often feel more real/honest. I'm thinking a lot about it because if the goal is to be light, maybe I need to find a way to let go of all of this darkness." I think that it is difficult to be deeply struggling with an issue but still be light. Bill says that people who are balanced have elements of both. I think that for myself and a lot of people that I am attracted to, darkness generally overpowers any connection to light. I do need to figure out some way to let go of all of this darkness. As Bill mentioned later in his email, I probably am attracted to more dark people as a way of distracting myself. Probably the answer is less in focusing on what I'm looking for in others and more about focusing on finding more balance within myself.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Some Friends I Can Lean On

Well, last night my best friend did end up coming over. He was having a bad day, and so his not wanting to come over in sense had nothing really to do with me. Maybe. Once he got here, I ended up having an almost nice time. But, after he left this morning, I started doing some work. I was doing fine until I got to the part of my work that deals with violence - and now I feel my heart racing and I'm having a hard time concentrating and all this PTSD stuff comes back in. But, this is my work and I need to get it done. I'm torn between being WAY behind in my work and needing to push myself to catch up and wanting to just give myself a break and not have to work on it until I'm feeling better. I can tell that the more I put it off though, the more it is becoming this sort of complex of anxiety about doing my work. So, I'm trying to push myself as hard as I can take it right now, while still having patience with myself.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Disappointing Local Friends

For many weeks now, my best friend has been getting drunk downtown and then calling me up for a ride. I schlep 15 minutes each way to pick him up, then we cuddle and fall asleep snuggling. When we wake up, we go for breakfast, and then I schlep him back downtown to pick up his car. A couple of people have pointed out to me that this seems like a BAD idea because I am clearly still in love with him (he's my high school sweetheart) but he's not interested in anything physical or romantic. But, I haven't been paying this any attention because honestly this whole Friday night ritual has become the highlight of my week.

And then today, I got a call from a friend wanting to go get dinner tonight. We made plans, but she ended up blowing me off. Now my best friend is just going to go home early and sober - so I'm left tonight alone. And there were other things that I could have done, but I planned around being with my friends. I have sort of burrowed myself in my home recently because I haven't felt up to just hanging out. Part of what makes hanging out for me so hard is that I find that my friends here don't want to talk about this crap that I'm going through. Totally understandable to not want to talk about murder and shit. But, it makes me feel like I have to perform when I'm with them, perform that everything's okay and that nothings going on. So, when I do make an effort to get my tuchus out and connect with other people again, it just kills me that they would let me down. Part of me understands and wants to just figure out how to make the most of my night here at home. Part of me wants to fall apart and just get drunk and get through the night. The last month and a half I've had a lot of time to just get through. I want to get back to living and enjoying my life. It is hard without people aroud me supporting me through it.

Buddhist Vs. Jewish Approaches to Danger

So here's my dilemma, which I am told is common for JuBus. The Jewish response to danger is to protect oneself, to work on one's defenses, etc. The Buddhist response seems almost the opposite, to have compassion for even those who are trying to hurt you and to stay present/not worry about future dangers. The Jewish response tends to leave me cut off from my feelings and from the present. The Buddhist response leaves me extremely vulnerable. As I write this, I think to myself, that well of course being vulnerable is a part of life BUT that maybe to the degree to which I can keep myself still connected to my feelings and the present moment that it is okay to build defenses. Any other JuBus with an opinion on this one?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Indulgence: Ultimate Relaxation

I feel so relaxed and like myself again. I just came from having this spa treatment which was supposed to be 2 hours, but became 3 as the therapist tried to make up for a mistake that the spa made in booking me. Because I didn't worry about any of it, it actually made my experience better. Because they were late, they had me start with a eucalyptus wet suana. Then, a body scrub and mask, face and foot massage, hot shower with aromatherapy body wash, massage, and shindoara - which is warm oil drizzled on your forehead directly onto your third eye (supposedly). Then, the therapist made me a snack.

I think she was shocked when I told her the trauma that led me to spoil myself today. She asked me why I don't move. I have to admit that I hate that question. It really isn't that easy to move, and I don't think running away is going to solve anything - especially since the danger is over now.

When she poured the oil on at the end, I tried to visualize letting go of all of my anger and sadness, to let it just fall off my forehead with the oil. I am really glad that I did this for myself. I also tried to meditate throughout and focus on keeping myself in the present moment - something that I know I have been struggling with for awhile. It really helped me. Still, I have a hard time bringing myself to do stuff like these kinds of treatments because they are so self-indulgent. I feel like Buddhist practice should be about not needing stuff like this and going without and connecting to other things in the world. I wonder how I can spend this kind of money on myself when there are so many people suffering from lack of basic needs like food, water, and shelter. It makes me feel selfish. I know part of this feeling is rooted in the fact that my father would call me selfish growing up and yadayada, but part of it is based on the reality of global inequality.

Well, at least for tonight, I'm going to try to stay in the relaxation mode and just let go of these other thoughts.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Deeper and Deeper Depression

I can't stop crying tonight. I just feel so ridiculous. I don't want to be miserable like this; I want to make the most of my life. I just feel so incapable of holding all of the nightmares. I want someone to love me, but I know that I drive away everyone who gets close because I feel unworthy of love. I think I almost feel like I'm doing someone a favor when I drive them away because who would want to be with me? I mean really. Who would want to live with these horrible things that I live with? Who would want to deal with my moodiness and these ridiculous patterns that I've inherited? I feel so ridiculously alone. I have no interest in doing my work - which is about abuse and trauma - I just want some space to heal. I don't know what I should do. I'm so behind with work, but the more I do, the more it just bears down on me like the weight of the world. I want to go somewhere safe, but there is no such place. I need to feel connected to someone else, that would ground me, but I feel so traumatized that I can't connect with any of my friends. A vicious cycle. How do I get out of this horrible cycle?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Paralyzed by Anger

After the murders happened, I started taking anti-anxiety medication to help me sleep. But behind the anxiety is a paralyzing amount of depression and anger. I just came back from meeting with my therapist, and she told me that I have a lot of anger that I need to find a way to get out. As a woman, I have a hard time expressing anger. And growing up, my father's anger was a very scary thing. I guess I try to bury the anger, and it gets turned around as depression. Instead of being able to express my anger, I get angry at myself. Instead, I should be angry at my dad, at other members of my family, at the guy who raped me, and at the woman who murdered my neighbor. I am starting to notice misdirected anger at my friends and other people I'm interacting with - someone does something little and I feel all this anger inside of me. I don't want to be an angry person. I want to be a happy person, a content person, a person who is making the world a better place. Instead, I feel miserable and angry.

The Brunt of Another's Anger

I just came from work where an office person flipped out at me. She was so angry that she wasn't even making sense. I have only interacted with her a couple of times and each time she is angry and frustrated and a nightmare to work with. Being the brunt of someone's anger like that really gets to me because my father was verbally and emotionally abusive growing up. I just want to get out of the situation and hide somewhere. I tried to tell a couple of friends about what this office person did and both were sort of questioning me about what I might have done wrong with my time sheet. I finally said, just be supportive for a minute about the way that I was treated. I completely recognize that maybe I should change the way that I do my timesheet (and clearly I will), but let me process it. The whole time sheet thing is ridiculous because they require you to estimate how many hours you will work for one week, and my job isn't so steady that I have any estimation. I hate timesheets altogether - it is so demeaning to have to pay attention to how many hours you're working. What about when I am trying to work but not focused or when I want to work and watch TV at the same time? What about the fact that I work 3 jobs and am trying to do my own research at the same time and don't have any more space in my head for minute details? In the end, I could give a shit about actually having to keep a time sheet I think. My real frustration is that when people in that job change, they have different ways that they want this done and this woman didn't communicate before what she wanted, so I did it the way that the other person had me do it, and if she wants it done differently, that's fine, but just be professional with me. At the very least, I expect to not have someone's frustrations taken out on me. GRRRR.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Bliss of Teaching

Despite a serious migrane headache, today I experienced an amazing bliss. I've worked really hard and put myself on a limb to teach this course on racism. I have somehow managed to get half of the class, who are super privileged kids, to write a long paper on the question: Are you a racist? And they're all answering yes and recognizing all of this privilege that they have and questioning themselves like I don't think I've ever seen college kids at this university question themselves. I am so proud of them and myself. I am a bit nervous that I'll end up with really crap teaching evaluations, but in the end, I've really guided them to actually learn something important, so who cares. They'll be thinking and talking about this class for the rest of their lives.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Stress Eraser

I sware that I'm not a sales person for the company, but this thing is amazing. It is the only way that I've been able to even pseudo meditate. It is this biofeedback machine ( that turns relaxing into a game. And it keeps track of how many relaxing breaths that I take, almost making me feel obligated to keep up with it. Because IT will notice. I am hoping that this blog will hold me accountable too. I do worry though about sharing my thoughts with strangers. Can I trust you?

Hard Times

I seem to have a lot of hard times. What does this say about me? I was verbally and emotionally abused by my father and raped by my friend. Recently, my neighbor was murdered while I was at home. To make it worse, mine is the last known address in the state of the crazy murderous bitch. I have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and was just getting myself over my symptoms when the murder happened. Now, I'm back in a whirlwind of fear, insomnia, over-vigilence, and lots of other symptoms.

I used to practice yoga and meditation regularly, but haven't really been able to do this much since the latest incident. I just don't feel comfortable being spiritual now with strangers and I lack a good sangha/community/kehila. So, I figure, where better to search for a group of like minded people than online?

I want this blog to be a place to record my process of healing and my quest to balance out my Jewish neurotic practices with some Buddhism. I'm done relishing my suffering and am ready to be free from it. At the same time, I'm still Jewish, so suffering and remembering my ancestors suffering and worrying about future suffering seems required.

Does it matter that I'm posting this? Will anyone ever read it?