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.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This Week's Crisis

Dad called my yesterday morning to tell me a few things about Mom. First, she's no longer eating solid foods and has been placed on a diet of pureed food only. Secondly, he believes that she no longer has quality of life and wants to hasten her death. He's asked hospice to take her off Ativan (which she is given to prevent/reduce seizures). He wants her instead on some sort of serious narcotic called Oxy-somethingorother.

I tried to explain to him that: 1) The seizures don't cause damage, they're the result of damage to the brain. 2) Going off of Ativan would comprise her comfort. 3) Instead of him just coming up with something, it would be better to have a conversation with hospice about how to keep her comfortable but diminish her suffering.

But he didn't want to hear anything. He was focused on how hard it is for him to go visit her everyday (without recognizing that he could just take a break from his visits) and what he had done for other people in the family who died in the past, even though those cases were often very different than what's happening with Mom.

My sister and I haven't been getting along, in part because I've been enforcing boundaries with her that it isn't okay for her or her husband to yell at me and order me around. Anyway, that's another story. But when there's a crisis like this, I like to start by trying to consult with others involved. So, since I didn't want to call my sister, I started by calling my dad's best friend. She told me that she had also told my dad that it doesn't make sense to take Mom off the Ativan, but didn't have a lot of advice on what to do. Eventually, I called my sister. She mostly wanted to kvetch instead of coming up with a plan, so I got off the phone with her, especially when she started planning on not having Dad over for Rosh Hashana dinner and will instead bring dinner to Mom (even though Mom doesn't eat, sis didn't want to bring her kids to visit Mom anymore, etc.) I told her that I needed to focus on the medication issue.

She called today to tell me that she spoke with the floor coordinator after visiting Mom, who told her that Dad could do whatever he wants and that they're just waiting to receive orders from hospice.

I told my sister that the floor coordinator is not a good source of what's going to happen. She has no training or background in this. I called the nurse on call at hospice who told me that they won't take Mom off Ativan without a medical reason to do so, and not to worry. The nurse who is in charge of my mom will call me tomorrow. I called my sister back to tell her this.

Tomorrow, I have to call the hospice nurse, the social worker, and then my mom's cousin to update her. Oh and call my sister. That all in addition to my actual work load. And if I get bad news from the hospice people, I may have to be calling my Dad to negoiate Mom's care.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Why Rape Survivors Shouldn't Vote for Palin

Since a number of my readers are survivors of sexual violence, I thought it pertinent to share with you Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin's long practice of silencing survivors. While mayor, she had rape survivors charged for their own rape exam kits! And now she's blaming firing her top lawman as Governor that the man she fired was trying to get funds for fighting sexual assault.

If you don't believe me, read ABC's article, AP's article, or watch this video from MSNBC.

Please, help spread the word. Even if you are a Republican, it is important that efforts to silence survivors of sexual violence and challenges to the prevalence of sexual violence are reported. We must make it clear that we will not stand by silently as sexual violence continues so rampantly!

*Photo from Fox News.

Labels: ,


Sunday, September 07, 2008

Nonviolent Communication and Wine Tasting

So how do these two topics fit together? Well, I went to a lecture awhile back on nonviolent communication and am really impressed with the theory. I've always had the attitude of wanting to be completely honest and sharing everything, in particular with people with whom I share intimacy. But, this goes against ideas of non-violent communication, which focuses on sharing things with someone under consideration with how they want to hear it. It involves keeping separate your own needs from how to get your needs met.

And here's how you're supposed to tell people something important:
1) Start with an observation that is completely neutral from judgment.
2) Say what you feel about the situation.
3) Say what you need.
4) Make a request, starting with something connecting to the other person and then offering a solution.

You should say what you want and value instead of what you NEED. These things are done to remove desperation and bring joy back to the other person to get to choose to give you things instead of feeling forced. Another part of the philosophy is to give out into the world what you seek, so if you seek respect, to give respect to others.

I think that a big mistake that I've made in the past is to take for granted that if I care about someone that they should give me what I need INSTEAD of focusing on how to say to it.

So, to try it all out, I had a date today with someone that I met randomly on this website "Ok Cupid." I just went to play with the fun quizzes that they have, but found this woman who volunteers at her local rape crisis center and is interested in getting her PhD in Sociology (like me). So we met today at this winery where I have a membership that is located in between our towns. And we had a great time, despite the awkwardness of a first date. Well, I at least had a good time; I'm not sure what she thought. I'm not sure how to make another date happen anytime soon because we live an hour and a half away from each other, and I am really bad at making moves with women. I just am not good at reading women and that makes me feel insecure. Plus, I just am not socialized in dating women. So anyway, we'll see if there will be a date #2.

I'm going to participate in "Memory Walk" which is the fundraiser for the Alzheimer's Assocation. They take place all over the country. Check it out!

Labels: ,