Friday, December 18, 2009

Letting you know why you haven't seen anything new from me for awhile

My dear friends,
You are probably wondering why you haven’t heard from me for quite awhile. I’ve had some serious health problems as you know. I have so many diagnoses that if you can’t pronounce, spell, or know what it is; than I have it (smiles). I guess the worst ones are the diabetes, narcolepsy, trigeminal neuralgia, Addison’s disease, COPD, etc …(I’m sure you’ve caught the drift by now).
Anyone who is squeamish about the subject of death or dying you really should stop reading now.
I had never noticed it before but it seems that most people would rather step in fresh poop before getting into a conversation about dying….esp with the person doing the dying. I can’t say that I’m ready to die but I also know that at 50, even though I have lived a painful life (you can get some real nasty side effects from repeated child abuse). I have also lived my life to the fullest and have been blessed in so many ways.
I stopped breathing on the way to the respiratory area (imagine that happening….laughing) Anyway…I was brought back but had to stay on a ventilator for eight days. What ticked me off was…not only did I not see a bright light, I didn’t hover over my body from the ceiling, so I didn’t even have any really good stories to tell about it. I have a heck of a time concentrating, minor seizure activity now and then (more now then before) and my short term memory absolutely sucks. You know how everyone will fib or stretch the truth from time to time? I can’t remember well enough to remember what it was I fibbed about…………..groan) and if I wait too long I can’t remember the honest answer either.
I need a whole lot more time that I have to get everything done that I’ve wanted to do but I haven’t had the strength to even start some of my projects. I have 2 more manuscripts in draft (wouldn’t you know it, I have to rewrite the first chapters on both of them), and lots of article ideas. I had hoped to have all three of my books published and started on a cool idea I had while I was in the hospital. For those that know me, I’m also an artist. (My professional portfolio is at www.artwanted.com/mdmkay) ), Last but not least, I’m in the process of learning how to design and make jewelry (no pics for that cause I still suck….lol).
I want to thank you all for your support over the years. I do not need any pity, thank goodness. But if you wouldn’t mind, as you look at your family that have gathered to celebrate the holidays that you take a minute, thank your higher power, then forget all minor transgressions on both your side and theirs. I’m in the process of getting my things in order as best as I can and enjoy every good minute that comes my way.

Love,
Kay L. Schlagel
P.S. I want to apologize for not getting into a lot of what happened to me personally but if you think you might have a dissociative disorder I hope you’ll take a few minutes to check out my blog at www.mdmkay.blogspot.com. I have some good places to go for information on DID.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Multiple Personalites

"MPD is like hosting a kegger in your brain. You're passed out cold while everyone else is trashing the joint"...U.S. of Tara

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Welcome...We hope you'll enjoy the time you spend with us

Welcome,
Hi, I'm Kay. I'm a 49 y.o. female artist/author,retired RN who resides in Nebraska. I have 2 grown sons, a male life partner and a pretty complicated life ( and you thought nothing ever happens in Ne. [smiles]). I'm disabled due to the complications of severe child abuse and now work out of my home. I have MPD, PTSD, Diabetes, severe chronic migraines, bilateral trigeminal neuralgia, narcolepsy, a couple of misc. things that come and go that are a joke to spell and worse to have understood. I'm not telling you this to gain your pity because I have a great team of doctors and with a bit of help I live a full and productive life that for the most part I enjoy immensely. However, it is the reason I absolutly refuse to keep my mouth shut about the evils of child abuse and its concequences. I started this blog as a place for those who have an interest in MPD/DID, to have a look into the world of a multiple, and to help in anyway I can to bring a better understanding to those of us with dissociative disorders. Yes, I have multiple personalites (in fact I'm considered a rather severe case, although my system is stable and cohesive at this point except for times of prolonged extreme stress). I'm also a person who has the right to be treated with the dignity and respect just as you would anyone else. I don't go around freaking people out by suddenly turning into "witch woman" on their butt..in fact I have no violent alters what so ever; nor alter referred to as witch woman. I'm not saying I don't have a temper but I certainly don't have to prove a point by literally hitting someone in the head with it. Most people that know me have no clue I suffer from a mental disorder, much less MPD, unless I've chosen to tell them. Please take the time to click on the archive pages since there is so much different information in different sections of the blog that I'm unable to display it all on the front page.I've written an autobiographical book, CINDY WHEN HELL FROZE OVER, by Kay L. Schlagel. It's a session by session account of the hypnotic therapy I used to start uncovering the repressed memories of a severly abusive childhood. Below find a synopsis of the book:CINDY WHEN HELL FROZE OVER, by Kay L. SchlagelA session by session account of a patient and therapist's journey as they unlock the secrets of Cindy's tortured past. Using hypnotherapy, they uncover not only painful childhood memories but also the "children" who lived them.Unable to cope with such trauma, Cindy's mind developed "personalities" in which to deal with such unbearable circumstances. From her first meeting with the "guide" until at last they meet "Philomena", you'll weep with her as she discovers the secrets of cruel and inhuman treatment she endured as a child. Yet, you won't be able to help but laugh at her wacky sense of humor and admire her courage.There is never a dull moment as Cindy deals with the antics of her personalities and her dysfunctional family. Meanwhile, she is a newly single mother trying to hold on to a demanding career. There is a crazy cast of characters while she tries to keep her diagnosis secret so she won't lose her job, deal with a divorce, the new discoveries of therapy, and just trying to keep from mixing anyone up.Well....I was only 22 at the time what can I say? I'm well into my 40's now, and a tad wiser.. I wasn't cured. Unfortunately it's never quite that simple in the real world; as we all know. It was a great start though. It definitely changed my life for the better and set me on a path of self-discovery. My feet continue to travel that path still today.A lot has happened since then. Many more memories have come back. I've met more alters (personalities). They are all amazing and are all uniquely a part of me. One alter could paint beautifully and helped a few of the the others paint self-portraits of themselves and of me. It was amazing how different they all looked from each other. (You can find their portraits in the Sept 2004 archives.) At the time I was going through the hypnotic therapy I was an RN but had to retire in 1990 due to the complications of the abuse (both physical and mental). Today, I consider myself a professional writer of children/young adult books, poetry, and freelance articles on a variety of subjects. I am a member of several writer's forums. I keep a personal blog and am an active contributor to the writer's forum at www.publishersdatabase.com/forums and have art portfolios online on both www.artwanted.com/mdmkay, www.allartoneline.com/kayl.schlagel. I still see a psychiatrist and therapist on a regular basis although my mental condition in considered stable. I have a cooperative personality system that is cohesive except for times of deep and extended stress when I will exhibit minor alter activity. For those of you who have just been diagnosed with dissociative disorder who may be disheartened by the length of my recovery period I want to hasten to reassure you that I was considered a "severe" case of MPD and each person's recovery differs. With all that said I would like to welcome you to my site and hope that you enjoy the time you spend here and will go away feeling you have gained more hope, insight, knowledge, or just laughter than you came with.Peace be with you,KayThe paperback books can be ordered through Amazon and Barnes and Noble for approx $20 bucks orless for a used copy.YOU CAN SEE MY ONLINE ART PORTFOLIO AT www.artwanted.com/mdmkay. I keep a personal blog at www.publishersdatabase.com/forums under the user name mdmkay.You can find self-portraits painted by my ALTERS in the SEPT 2004 ARCHIVES.FOR MORE INFORMATION OR QUESTIONS CONTACT ME AT...mdmkay@hotmail.com with the words re:blog in the subject line.NOTE: All information and posts on this blog is copyrighted material and can't be republished without prior premission from myself nor without giving credit to the author and source.

Mother's Pledge

A good friend asked me if I would write a mother's poem for her daughter going off to the military. Frankly I'm kinda rusty on my poetry so I'm going to have to least give it a try. Here is one of them. I hope that it worked out. Feel free to critique.

Mother’s Pledge
You were born so helpless and small.
But all too soon you were wanting to walk..
Much too quickly you ran without fear of falls.

I was so proud to be there to pick you up.
But it wasn’t long before you didn’t need me.
Falls were just part of landing when you jumped.

You grew so fast my amazing daughter, the love of my heart,
From a chubby fisted baby, into a gangly youngster.
Now you stand before me a woman, your life ready to start.
I envisioned you doing so many things as I watched you grow.
How was I to know that you were the master of your own heart?

Where ever your destiny lay, it would be you, not I, that would know.
You came to me one day with a head full of plans not seeking my permission.
You came to me because you loved me and wanted me to know where your path lay.

You said the road you’ve chosen is difficult and I might have expected this from a son.
You said you were trading in your sneakers and high heels for military boots and going off to fight the war.
What was I to say? You are too old to wrap you up safely in baby blankets until you changed you mind.
You are a woman now and must follow your own path be it near or far.
There are no words to tell you what is in my heart, but from the start, my love has protected you.
No matter how far you go, whether in the light, or in your darkest hour.
My heart and prayers go with you to keep you safe.

You will never be alone.

(c) Kay L. Schlagel

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Still shuffling right along




Thought I had better drop a line so that you didn’t think I had shuffled off this mortal coil by now….nope..no such luck. Those who know me know that I have been having “issues” with my health for quite some time. It started to really go downhill big time when I was hospitalized and diagnosed with diabetes (I checked in with a blood sugar of 920…not a good thing by all means. Your organs have this nasty habit of shutting down waaaaaaaaaaaaay before your gets that high (hypothetically speaking….since I obviously didn’t die, although my kidneys and liver were almost shot). ANYWAY…….. in the last three years I’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, narcolepsy, and now addison’s disease. I already had trigeminal neuralgia, COPD, dissociative disorder, PTSD, ….aw hell, you get the picture. I’m not telling you that for sympathy, I just wanted you to know why I was always taking time off from moderating the forums. I prefer if you save your pity for those who need it more because behind all that darkness is a beautiful sky (meaning…I have a very supportive group of friends and some family, a fun a invigorating environment, btw did I mention we have 8 ferrets and 2 cats now? There is just too much laughter and creativity to allow you to get too depressed.) I was thrilled to hear that Peggy won an award and I’m sure there is a ton of other news that I’ve missed but hopefully one of these days I’ll be able to catch up. I wanted to post some of my latest art work. I’m really excited about it because it is using different art programs that I have previously used so it is quite challenging and fun. I also finally decided to pass down the mantle of mechanical painting (oils and acrylics on canvas) and stick with the digital for a lot of reasons but the nice thing about it was I was able to give all my paints, brushes, art books….etc to two of my friends that are amateur artists. There was really a lot of stuff but it was priceless seeing the look on their faces when I gave it to them. I routinely do “random acts of kindness” but I have never had the pleasure that this particular one has brought to me. Well, I guess that is all for now. I hope to someday be back and fully participating in the forums but for now I’ve found that using the couple of hours I get to spend at the computer during the day works better for art than writing. With an art project I’ve found that I can stop when I need to and come back fresh knowing where I was and what I was going to do………..not so much with writing. By the time I get back to writing the train of thought has thoroughly derailed and I have to start over again. Speaking of which I need to go for now. I miss you all and hope that all is going well with you.


Love, Kay

Thursday, May 22, 2008

TREASURES IN MY MIND


TREASURES IN MY MIND
There is a huge treasure trove deep inside my mind filled with memories more valuable than silver nor gold.
Even among the ruins of my childhood and pain that has followed me like a dark thief trying to steal my joy.
The light emanating from the memories of laughter kindness and love have strengthened me and made me bold.

Even the ruins of my childhood, disasters, and broken hearts, there are so many good memories to sustain me and keep me strong.
The angels that God gifted me with generosity and love have guided me with light when all was dark. Doused me with water when my life seemed to be lost in flames of despair, and loved me unconditionally when I felt unlovable.

My treasure trove of these memories is my arsenal, my comfort, my cure, when life seemed to threaten my very soul.
Some who have heard my story can’t understand why I still laugh, smile, and am able to love to the utmost of my being. There have been too many angels in my life to name each one. Some were there for a very short time and some who have never left my side.
Even though my body is racked with pain and those looking on may mistakenly feel pity. They have no idea how little I need it. My life is full and I’ve learned to treasure every good moment .

With the love and support that surrounds me I have a lot of memories that I store away in my heart and mind and live each day as if it where my last.
With all those memories which I continue to collect. I feel like the luckiest woman in the world.

By Kay L. Schlagel

Sunday, November 05, 2006

"Random Compliments"

We have all heard of random acts of kindness but you may not have heard of random compliments. I tend to practice both and been really surprised about how cool the random compliments work.
When I find myself noticing another woman's outfit, or how pretty her hair looks,...etc. I've gotten in the habit of going up to them and say, "Excuse me, would you mind if I made a personal comment (or something to that effect..depending on who I'm talking to), the reason I was staring at you was because you have such a beautiful color of hair....(or whatever fits the conversation)" I have yet to have a girl or woman get angry with me and tell me to mind my own business. They always brighten and smile and say thank you and then I go back to what I'm doing or sometimes it actually leads to more conversation. It doesn't have to be that formal, alot of times just a quick, "I really like your outfit, your baby is so cute, etc." One thing I want to stress however, it has to be a geniune compliment that you actually mean otherwise it makes the whole exercise worthless.
Anyway....you know what they say about karma. I'll be darned if I wasn't setting in a resterant last night and this woman came up to me, out of the blue, apologizing for bothering me...of course, I told her, she wasn't a bother at all (I was quite curious as to why she had sought me out)...and you could have knocked me over with a feather when she said, "I just wanted you know that the reason I was staring at you was you have the most amazing smile..(.blah, blah, blah,). I was absolutly shocked and immensely complimented. That women made my whole night because I had been very worried about having made scene earlier in the same resteraunt because JD had to bring in my scooter. I thought that I was okay to walk into the resteraunt and buffet, but as soon as we got in, I was in so much pain I just couldn't move and needed the scooter. They had to move us to a different table. I had tears in my eyes. It was just horrible and then this worman just walked over and made all of what had went before disappear and I felt really special. I hope that woman knew just what a wonderful kindness she did last night and it has strengthened my resolve to continue to not keep compliments to myself but share them with the person that I think them about.

Before I quit I want to comment on the basic kindness of people when that is what you project. Last night at that resteraunt it was really amazing the positive atmosphere that dominated that night. I had to go to the ladies room and there was this little boy that was about 4 years old that not only held the door open for me to go in but came back and held the door open for me to come out. He was such a wonderful child. Our waitress, Lydia, was an absolutly beautiful girl. She was bright and intelligent and when I explained why the tip wasn't as much as I would have liked it to been she was absolutly wonderful. We probably ended up talking for a good 5 minutes about how she felt the same way we did and then it veered off into what she was studying in college and what her dreams were....she gives me so much hope for the next generation. There was also a dad there with his thirteen month old little girl who was such a good little walker. She was quite taken with my "go cart". I could go on and on but some nights you can just feel the positive energy around you and gives you so much hope for the future. There is so much worry about negative things on our planet now (and God knows we have a good reason to worry) but it's nights like this that give me so much hope because even with so much "darkness" in the world, it is heartening to know there is also alot of light that we just take for granted.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Few New Resource Sites for Information on MPD/DID

I came across a few more resource sites for information on both MPD and Dissociative disorders (not to mention alot of other good info).

PsychCentral.com for info on Multiple Personality and dissociative disorders
http://www.nami.org/Content/Contentgroups/Helpline1/Dissociative_Disorders.html
http://www.sidran.org/didbr.html
www.healthline.com

I'm always looking for good resource sites to pass on to you but I feel like I need to put a warning here that some of these sites are huge so I couldn't even begin to fully research them so use your own judgement and common sense when looking for information on the web for MPD/DID (or anything else for that matter). NAMI-stands for the national organization that provides support for both the patient and the family of patients who suffer from mental illness. They are also active in getting new laws passed to protect the mentally ill. I put in the sidran foundation because I've read a couple of their books and found them to be very helpful. The other two I don't have any real experience with but they seem to have quite a bit of helpful info posted to I decided to go ahead and include them. If you look at my older posts you'll find other resources I found to be very helpful also. I hope that you find these to be helpful.
As some of you may already know there are chat rooms/support groups to be found on the web such as on yahoo and msn for survivors of child abuse, MPD/DID, incest survivors,....etc. I have joined several of these groups over the years and often found them to be poorly moderated and/or admission controlled which is why I haven't recommended any specific support groups. I have found some (not all) to be so poorly controlled that they can actually be retraumatizing to some of the group members. The reason I am mentioning this is because it is very popular on the net to find a "support group" for just about anything you need, however, I do want to caution you to please be careful and if possible throughly research the group before joining so that you won't have a "bad experience" with them.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Does Keeping Secrets Affect Your Health?

Something that all incest survivors share are secrets. Often during recovery one of the most difficult issues we struggle with is whether or not to reveal these secrets and if so, to whom and when? I also have struggled with this dilemma on many levels and when I came across this article I decided that not only was it very interesting but it was rather important that I pass it along. The following is an article written by Wray Herbert:

Pssst. Want to Know a Secret?
A new study finds that keeping some things to yourself could be better for your health than confessing them.
WEB EXCLUSIVE
By Wray Herbert
Special to Newsweek


Updated: 4:17 p.m. CT Aug 21, 2006
Aug. 21, 2006 - A women's deodorant company recently launched a major promotional campaign that encourages women to "Share your Secret." In national TV ads and on outdoor billboards—including one in New York's Times Square—women are being applauded for their candid revelations of long-buried shames and thrills. "M" finally unburdens herself about her 20-year struggle with bulimia, while Donna fesses up that she has slept with 70 men, not the mere four she told her husband. Wendy has had both her nipples pierced for a year and nobody knows.

Neither the secrets nor the ad campaign is particularly shocking. After all, we live in a confessional culture. There is a lot of pressure to reveal our private lives, lest our dark secrets eat away at us from the inside and do serious physical and psychic damage. The impulse is evident everywhere, from the psychotherapist's consulting room to 12-Step meetings to the pages of yet one more personal memoir of cruel parenting, sexual promiscuity or addiction.

There are a lot of theories about why secrets might be toxic. One holds that lying inhibits the natural inclination to tell the truth, and such inhibition takes physiological effort. This drain on psychic energy in turn stresses the body, causing everything from back pain to depression. A similar theory holds that people who bury shameful secrets in the closet come to feel like imposters, with no true self, a stressful state of falsehood that over time undermines health and well-being.

There is one problem with these theories. Given all this sharing and confessing in our society, it would follow that Americans ought to be a pretty healthy and contented group. Yet a lot of evidence indicates that's not the case. Faced with this seeming contradiction, psychologists have recently been questioning the idea that keeping secrets takes a toll on minds and bodies.

When psychologist Anita Kelly, a professor at the University of Notre Dame, began to explore the link between secrecy and illness, she was surprised to find that it had never actually been tested. So she and her colleague Jonathan Yip decided to take a look at secrecy in the laboratory. To do so, they asked about 100 healthy people whether or not they were currently hiding something important. A striking number—three out of four—confessed that they were indeed concealing something from friends and family. With the secret sharers, Kelly and Yip pried further, asking if the secret had to do with family, sex, a romantic relationship, an abortion, an eating disorder and so forth. This was just to verify that their secrets were not frivolous. Some had held their secret for just days, others for months. But some had been carrying their burdens in solitude for more than six years.


The researchers also gave the participants a personality test, to see if they had a predisposition to conceal things in general. And they asked them about their sources of social support, on the theory that people with dark secrets might tend to isolate themselves, and that this social isolation would cause stress and illness later on. Then they sent them home.

When they called them back nine weeks later, they examined them for symptoms of psychological distress. They wanted to know if they were depressed or anxious or paranoid, but also whether they were experiencing psychosomatic symptoms like chest pain, dizziness or nausea. The findings, which are scheduled to be published in the Journal of Personality in October, were interesting and a bit counterintuitive.

Contrary to the wisdom of deodorant marketers, the people hiding something actually had fewer psychosomatic symptoms than did those with clear consciences. By contrast, those with secretive personalities—people who guard everything from their golf handicap to their mother's maiden name—were experiencing greater distress than the more open types.

Why would this be? Well, Kelly and Yip weren't all that surprised really. When you think about it, there are many social situations where there are significant benefits to not dishing personal stuff. A problem drinker, for example, is no doubt calmer knowing her habit is not public knowledge; sharing that secret with a boss or coworkers could only add to the stress. In addition, fessing up about something like promiscuity or addiction or bulimia necessarily shapes one's sense of identity. Well chosen secrets can preserve a more idealized—and healthier—self-image.

So keep those pierced nipples to yourself. (It may be more than we want to know anyway!) But here's the rub: People who habitually hide everything—you know them, they skulk about and don't talk much—do have cause for concern. Indeed, these people's health problems were already apparent at the beginning of the study, suggesting they live in a chronic state of stress.


So two cheers for honesty, I guess. In the end everyone has to decide for himself what's a risky confession and at what point secrecy tilts toward paranoia. Speaking for myself: I'm saving my most sordid secrets for my memoir.

Wray Herbert writes the "We're Only Human . . ." blog. It appears at www.psychologicalscience.org/onlyhuman

© 2006 Newsweek, Inc.
URL: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/14454295/site/newsweek/?GT1=8404


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Sunday, August 20, 2006

My Personal Blog

If you are interested in getting to know more about me; you can find my personal blog at www.publisherdatabase.com/forums. There is a link to the blogs on the right side of the forum page. It is a much more informal blog where I talk about everyday things, writing, and my art under the screen name mdmkay.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

New Alter Portraits.




I have to be honest and say that I have gotten rather overconfident lately (some would even call it conceited) about the success of my recovery and intergration. As we all know about the time you get that way life has a way of coming along and knocking you down a few pegs or at least reminding you that recovery is always an on-going project. If you are a regular reader you already know that I haven't had that much alter activity in quite awhile except for times of deep stress and then it isn't for long (several minutes to half hour) and I haven't had any "creative" alters in a really long time--I have one alter that wrote poetry, another who played the piano,sing, and one who would help the other alters paint self-portraits of themselves and taught me how to paint. Well, recently I had two different alters come out and paint self-portraits of themselves. The reason I know it was alters who did them is because I have trouble remembering painting them and they later came out and talked to JD and told him they painted them. I had already signed them but I had them come out and sign them also. I noticed that the painting of the pheonix is very similiar to one I painted quite awhile ago so I'm rather puzzled as to whether it was painted by the same alter or a different one. The first painting was done on poster board paper and unfortunatly didn't stand up real well to my lack of storage room so I don't know if she came back to do it again or what the story is behind it. The first painting is in the sept. archives (I think) and to look at the two paintings it looks like two different styles to me but who knows. They stayed around for a couple of days to talk but didn't seem to have alot to say. It used to be when I had a new alter come out they would cause quite alot of disruption until we had worked out the memories they held and worked out the emotions associated with them and how they effected my life. I wish I could tell you more about what the pictures represent but other then the fact that I've always identified with the myth of the pheonix of being able to always rise again even from the ashes of destruction they really didn't tell me anything and it would be just stupid to make up some story to just be entertaining because then you wouldn't think that the rest of what you read here is what I honestly believe.

I've really been lax about keeping my journal up and haven't been keeping one for a really long time but I've been having some problems with writer's block lately so I've dug out the old journal and started writing in it again. I'd almost forgotten how helpful they are for venting and trying to figure out how I'm feeling and why.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

What's It Like Having MPD???

PREFACE: For the purpose of this article I will be using the terms multiple and MPD instead of dissociate disorder to avoid confusion. There is such spectrum of dissociation covered by the term DID. Having actual alters being at one extreme I felt using MPD would be less confusing. I refer to someone not having MPD as a singleton.

“Isn’t it hard living with multiple personalities?” “What is it like living with so many people in your head?” I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve been asked these questions. I’m sure that this may seem like a fairly simple question for these well-intentioned (some not so well-intentioned) people when they ask. Unfortunately that is miles from the truth. It would be like me asking you “what is it like living as a singleton?” The question becomes a little more complicated when the ball’s tossed in your court doesn’t it.? You don’t know how to explain what it is like to be a singleton to someone who isn’t, because being a singleton is all you know. There are no comparisons for you to make. The best understanding that I’ve achieved with this particular aspect of understanding of multiplicity vs. singularity was when I experience periods of what I consider to be integration. The closest I can come to an example is to imagine what it is like living in a large boarding house with a lot of people (with all that would entail) and with integration finding yourself living in the house alone ( I admit there are some negative aspects that go along with the obvious positive ones). Society tends to state that the successful conclusion of treatment for MPD is integration. However, there are a lot of multiples that would tend to differ with that and find that cooperation and awareness throughout the system is actually the ultimate goal. Society puts pressure for the mentally ill to achieve a semblance of ‘normal’ behavior. For a multiple to dissociate and have an alter who is better equipped to handle a particular situation to ‘come out’ and do so….is normal. In fact, for them the ability to create and use alters to deal with stressful situations is an adaptive skill that helped them survive what would have literally destroyed them had they not had this skill. Yes, I called it a skill. There are many multiples that have no desire for integration. For some it would be no more dramatic than asking them to ‘kill’ or ‘remove’ a part of themselves as basic to them as a toe or finger would be to you. I can already hear a few of you that are reading this thinking “oh get a grip. It can’t be that dramatic”. Well, you’re wrong, it is. It would be like for me to come up to you at your favorite grandmother’s funeral, put my arm around you and tell that I know how to make you feel much better about this whole thing. I look into your eyes compassionately and tell you that to stop feeling bad all you have to do is come to therapy and let me help you forget all your memories of your grandmother and presto you’ll be feeling better….and you would. You would have no memories of your grandmother and so there would be no grief at her passing. Yes, yes, yes, I realize that was a pretty dramatic example but sometimes it takes an example so simple yet so shocking to make people realize what they are asking for a multiple to have complete integration in terms of having no alter activity ever again. Talking about my own situation only after many many years of therapy; I have come to what I would consider an integration of sorts. An arrangement that I’m comfortable with at least. I have what would be considered a cognitive, cooperative and for the most part cohesive system. Only at times of deep stress will I have active alter activity (where an alter will come to the surface to the point that if you knew me you would know that I had an alter out). I don’t engage in any behaviors anymore that are damaging or destructive to the whole. I have a chronic severe pain condition and there are times when I have alters who will come out and let “me” rest a while. I personally find this to be helpful and no more harmful than meditation and it helps me to carry on with a much more active and “normal” life than I would otherwise be able to. I would love to wise enough to explain in such simple terms that everyone could understand what it is like to be a multiple. Unfortunately I can’t. I’m only one person diagnosed with MPD and just as every person is complicated and different so is every person with MPD if not more so. The only reason I felt that I had any experience with to share understanding is that I’ve tried several different levels of “trying to integrate” at different times until I found an integrated state I felt comfortable with. For anyone with or deals with MPD sometimes it takes more than once to find a comfort level with integration. It’s kind of like shoes occasionally you have to try on more than one before you find a comfortable fit. The last thought I would like to leave you with is this…..there is no such thing as normal or perfect in this life. What we should be striving for is a state of being where we feel comfortable living in our own skin.

The Shield

The past. Its shadow still possesses me,
Like prison of memories, it surrounds me.

My spirit’s cold, my body weak.
I pine for love I dare not seek.

My world is one of pain and distrust
To protect my armor is a must.

For many seek to destroy us still.
Our memory to blank, our spirits to kill.

The blood of many, stains my past.
Has the time to be free come at last?

Many are the faces that hide behind my shield.
The pain of their memories, never to be revealed.

Dare I tell them their journey has begun?
To come from the darkness into the sun.
Can I tell them that the past is done?
The power of truth at last has come.

I fear to tell them. What will they reply?
They've journeyed that road before and fear that I lie.

I plea to put the past to rest before it's too late.
To continue forward, not hesitate.

To believe the path of tomorrow, is not one of sorrow.
But only by facing the past together can we follow.

Memories of the past must be complete.
The mistakes that were made; never to repeat.

Together we fight as the knights of old.
Courageous, relentless, strong and bold.

The memories and pain released from our soul.
The bonds of the past will lose their hold.

By Kay L. Schlagel

International Society for the Study of Dissociation

One of the best sources I found for learning about the most up to date information regarding MPD/DID is the International Society for the Study of Dissociation. It can be found at www.issd.org



An excerpt taken from International Society of Dissociation:


I. EPIDEMIOLOGY, CLINICAL DIAGNOSIS, AND DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURES

DID and dissociative disorders are not rare conditions. In studies of the general population, a prevalence rate of DID of one to three percent of the population has been described (Murphy, 1994; Ross, 1991; Waller & Ross, 1997), although some researchers have criticized the methodology of these studies, and have suggested a somewhat lower prevalence. Clinical studies in North America, Europe, and Turkey have found that between one to 20 percent of patients on general inpatient psychiatric units, adolescent inpatient units, and in substance abuse, eating disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorder treatment may meet DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Association, 2000a) diagnostic criteria for DID, particularly when evaluated with structured diagnostic instruments. Many of these patients had not been clinically diagnosed previously with a dissociative disorder (Bliss & Jeppsen, 1985; Goff, Olin, Jenike, Baer, & Buttolph, 1992; Latz, Kramer, & Highes, 1995; McCallum, Lock, Kulla, Rorty, & Wetzel, 1992; Ross, Anderson, Fleisher, & Norton, 1991; Modestin, Ebner, Junghan, & Erni, 1995; Ross et al., 1992; Saxe et al., 1993; Tutkun et al., 1998).

Accurate clinical diagnosis affords early and appropriate treatment for the dissociative disorders. Seven studies of 719 DID patients have shown that they spent five to 11.9 years in the mental health system before they were diagnosed as having DID (Boon & Draijer, 1993a; Coons, Bowman, & Milstein, 1988; Martínez-Taboas, 1991; Middleton & Butler, 1998; Putnam, Guroff, Silberman, Barban, & Post, 1986; Rivera, 1991; Ross, Norton, & Wozney, 1989). While progress has been made in educating the professional community about the prevalence and clinical presentation of dissociative disorders, these seven studies suggest that many cases of DID and related disorders are still being missed, misdiagnosed, and inappropriately treated.

The primary difficulties in diagnosing DID result from lack of education among clinicians about dissociation, dissociative disorders, and the effects of psychological trauma. This leads to limited clinical suspicion about dissociative disorders and misconceptions about their clinical presentation. Most clinicians have been taught that DID is a rare disorder with a florid, dramatic presentation. In fact, DID is a relatively common disorder which presents with subtle symptoms in a patient who may minimize or conceal symptoms. DID patients commonly present in a polysymptomatic fashion with dissociative and PTSD symptoms embedded in a matrix of symptoms such as depression, panic, somatoform symptoms, eating disorder symptoms, etc. that may lead only to diagnosis of these co-morbid conditions. This results in long and frequently unsuccessful treatment for these other conditions.

Further, almost all practitioners were taught standard diagnostic interviewing and mental status examinations that do not include questions about dissociation, PTSD symptoms, or a history of psychological trauma. Since DID patients rarely directly volunteer information about dissociative symptoms, absent questions about such symptoms, or recognition of them when they present, the clinician cannot diagnose DID. Accordingly, the sine qua non for the diagnosis of DID is the use of diagnostic interviews that inquire about dissociation, supplemented when necessary by screening instruments and structured interviews that assess the presence or absence of dissociative symptoms.

Corresponding author: James A. Chu, MD
115 Mill St. Belmont, MA 02478
Phone: 617 855-2761 Fax: 617 855-2674
Email: james.chu@earthlink.net

Copyright 1994, 1997, and 2005 by the International Society for the Study of Dissociation. The Guidelines may be reproduced without the written permission of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation (ISSD) as long as this copyright notice is included and the address of the ISSD is included with the copy. Violations are subject to prosecution under federal copyright laws.

Additional copies of the guidelines (US $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers) can be obtained by writing to the ISSD at 60 Revere Dr., Suite 500, Northbrook, IL 60062 USA. The correct citation for this revision of the Guidelines is: International Society for the Study of Dissociation. (2005). [Chu, J.A., Loewenstein, R., Dell, P.F., Barach, P.M., Somer, E., Kluft, R.P., Gelinas, D.J., Van der Hart, O., Dalenberg, C.J., Nijenhuis, E.R.S., Bowman, E.S., Boon, S., Goodwin, J., Jacobson, M., Ross, C.A., Sar, V, Fine, C.G., Frankel, A.S., Coons, P.M., Courtois, C.A., Gold, S.N., & Howell, E.]. Guidelines for treating Dissociative Identity Disorder in adults. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 6(4), in press.

CINDY, When Hell Froze Over (an excerpt from my book)

CINDY WHEN HELL FROZE OVER EXCERPTS

PROLOGUE: Hi. I’m Cindy and I survived! The following is the story of my life. The tears, the fears, and the triumph of survival. I have survived a personal hell, lasting for twenty-two years, and thanks to God and counseling, my hell has finally frozen over.
Let me first acquaint you with my beginnings. I was the last child in a family of six girls. I was conceived in anger; a futile attempt of my mother’s to hold her failing marriage together. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. My parents were separated, and subsequently, divorced, while my mother was carrying me. My father stated I was not his biological child—A statement I was never allowed to forget in the following years. I was never to see my real father until I had reached my adult years. My mother remarried not long after her divorce to a man whom I would grow to fear and hate, as no human should hate another person.
The names and places in this book will be disguised so as not to inflict any more pain or humiliation to an already suffering family. It is not intentionally meant to point fingers nor punish. It took me a lot of years and soul-searching, but I have finally reached a conclusion. We were ALL victims!

The paperback books can be order through Amazon and Barnes and Noble for approx $20 bucks

A Great Source for Information on Dissociative Disorders

I found wonderful resouce of information that I use to research any new information concerning Dissociative Disorders and it also had information on just about anything you can think of once you learn how to surf for topics which is very easy. It is the About.com site and the exact url to find information for dissociative disorders is as follows..http://mentalhealth.about.com/od/dissociative You'll know you've found the correct page when you see the following discription of Dissociative Disorders.

Search
Mental Health Resources

Dissociative Disorders
Dissociative disorders such as Dissociative Identity Disorder (multiple personality disorder) usually result from trauma or abuse in early childhood. A controversial disorder in some circles, the evidence is mounting that this is a legitimate diagnosis.

About.com also has very good information on depression and PTSD once you start learning how to follow the links.

Synopsis of A Trip to Remember YA fantasy novel

The following is synopsis of a young adult fantasy novel I wrote and am trying to get published. I hope you enjoy it.


When Kad first arrived in Kathy’s room to escort her to the Queen to have her wish granted Kathy had no intentions of going with him anywhere. Kathy had made a wish for new friends after she had moved to a new city but she thought Kad was just plain crazy showing up in her room in the middle of the night talking about taking her to another world. Kathy certainly didn’t go meekly or even willingly at first, but after Kad tricked her into entering the Unicorn Plain, Kathy decided that maybe there was more to what Kad was saying than she had previously thought. After communing with the unicorns Kathy was much more willing and believed the unicorn when he said that this trip was a part of her destiny.
The rest of the trip would have gone much more smoothly had Kathy not accidentally stumbled onto the caves, and had to rescue the Felf Princess from the sticky clutches of the horrible Troll who was trying to prevent her marriage to the Elven Prince. Tre, the Princess, and Kathy became fast friends and Tre talked Kad into letting her join them for their journey that would take her back to her kingdom just in time for the engagement ball.
Their short cut through the magical Twixie Meadow would have worked much better had Kathy not been attacked by the Twixies. First, for the sequins and beads on her bright sweatshirt then as a murderer when a small Twixie inadvertently flew up her nose and she was mobbed by the Twixies because they thought she had intentionally eaten him. Luck was with the group as Danton happened to come along and was able to calm the Twixies and get Kathy to safety outside of the meadow. With the help of some Mother’s Kiss, a rare medicinal plant that he had picked earlier, he was able to heal Kathy’s potentially fatal wounds. Introducing himself as Danton the girls and Kad assumed he was part of the envoy sent by the Prince to meet the Prince at the Ball; an assumption that Danton didn’t correct.
The kingdom and castle was even more beautiful than Kathy had imagined. Getting ready for the ball was every girl’s dream until she was in the bathing chamber and they sent in someone to help her in the form of a homely house elf by the name of Porter. There was no way Kathy was taking a bath with him in the room so with some compromising she finally convinced Porter she was quite capable of taking her bath by herself. In the meantime he could go fetch her ball gown and no one would be the wiser that he had not bathed her himself. The plan would have worked out perfectly had he not come back to show her the gown and slipped and fell into the giant tub with her gown. The more they tried to get away from each other and out of the tub the more entangled they became. Hearing the commotion, the Head Felf came and pulled both the gown and Porter out by his ear. Painfully hanging in her grasp Porter looked to Kathy to help him which she did. Kathy diplomatically sorted everything out, earning Porter’s undying devotion and in turn by the time it was time to get ready for the ball Kathy not only had a clean, dry, and beautiful gown to wear; the seamstress herself was in her room to help her get dressed and ready for the ball.
The ballroom was beautiful and the night enchanting but it was lacking something…the royal families. Toward the end of the ball Porter was able to pass Kathy a note telling her and Kad to meet Tre after the ball. When they met up with Tre she had bad news, the Prince’s caravan had been attacked and no one knew what had happened to the Prince or the ambassador although it was known that at least the ambassador had been wounded. Porter and Tre had thought ahead and had their supplies and horses ready for them all to go and find out what happened to the royal caravan and find Tre’s Prince.
Once they get to the scene of the attack there isn’t a lot of evidence of what has happened but one thing is clear, there were still hoof prints that belonged to a group of centurions that were called the “Shunned Ones” who were shunned from their group after they were accused of killing a group of humans more than a decade ago. Bidding Tre, Kathy, and Porter to make camp after entering the Magi Forest after finding the remains of the caravan, Kad goes farther into the forest to scout around to make sure there is no one around to attack them. To his great surprise he literally runs into Danton, who tells him that the Prince wasn’t injured but the ambassador was injured quite seriously. When Danton starts asking questions about the girls, Kad invites him back to join their camp.
Hearing the young men coming back Tre grabs Kathy’s hand and pulls her to her feet and tells her that they need to wash up and comb their hair before encountering Danton again. While washing up at the river the girls hear a swooshing noise behind them but before either of them can react or look to see what is causing the noise, Tre is pushed into the water and Kathy is grabbed up by the waist and carried off into the forest.
At first Kathy is so disoriented she can only comprehend the ground rushing by her and feels like she is being held tightly in one arm by someone or something running at full speed. Once Muse, a centaur, had slowed down enough for Kathy to gain her bearings she begins to struggle and begs him to take her back to her friends. Muse explains patiently that it had not been his intention to kidnap her but to save her from the predatory Kuantis that had been about to carry both her and Tre away for a meal. Much to Kathy’s disappointment however, although Muse and his family turns out to be very kind and generous to her, they were unable to take her back to where Muse had found her and she finds herself stuck living with the Centaurians in the Shunned valley. The young Centaurian’s secrets come to light when Kathy is found by the entourage that consists of not only her friends but the Prince’s ambassador and the Centaurians that originally shunned the group that dwell in the Shunned Valley and it becomes known that it wasn’t any of the Shunned Ones that had attacked the Prince’s caravan. However, Kathy sustains a serious head wound when she gets between the two rival clan leaders and is accidentally hit by their hooves as they rear up to attack each other. Realizing their fight is not worth the death of the young girl all is immediately calmed down and peace talks start between the two clans.
Kathy finds herself recovering quite nicely back at the castle after being carried back carefully by Dutch, the clan leader of the Shunned Ones. Once she awakes, Tre is there to catch her up on all the news and to tell her the wedding was still on and is scheduled to proceed that very night. Kathy was hoping that Tre would be happy to finally be wed to her Prince but that was before Tre told her that she had fallen in love with Danton and that the love match was mutual. However, Tre knew what her duty was to her people and like her Danton had already been promised in marriage by his parents, so a romance could never work between them.
The evening of the wedding came without fail. Tre was introduced as the Felf Princess Triania and the Elven Prince was introduced by his formal full name. Imagine both their surprise when they removed each other’s veil to find their true loves standing there. After Tre faints from surprise and Danton didn’t fair much better the wedding was stopped until things were sorted out. Everyone had assumed the two had told each other who they really were since they had been so close but both were so accustomed to traveling under their assumed names that neither of them thought of telling the other who they really were. The wedding proceeded as planned and was a very happy occasion for all. After it was over it was time for Kathy to go home.
Queen Fantasia gives Kathy an amulet that will let her return to the Wish Realm a limited number of times so that she can check on her friends. Kathy tells the Queen that her wish for friends has already been granted by the friends she had made by coming to this world, and she was confident in her ability to make friends in her own world now. So without anymore undo fuss the Queen waves her wand and sends Kathy back home.
Kathy assumes this is the end of her adventure until the next morning when her mother says there is a boy waiting for her at the door. She doesn’t recognize him at first until Porter tells her that the Queen was kind enough to grant his request to send both him and his family back to her world so that he could fulfill his debt to her. Kathy is just pleased that she is starting out her time here with a new handsome best friend.

By Kay L. Schlagel with copyright

Thursday, March 16, 2006

When It Rains It Pours

Those of you that know me know that with me with it rains it pours as far as bad things happening in my life. Recently I had quite the health scare when I wound up in ICU with a blood sugar of 920. Apparently I’d been walking around for months with a dangerously high blood sugar and didn’t know it. I hadn’t been feeling good and have been going to my doctor but we just didn’t put things together and realize I had diabetes. By the time I was hospitalized my liver and kidneys were failing and my heart was being affected by the electrolyte imbalance that the diabetes was causing. It was pretty hard getting hit with the diagnosis although I knew that I would probably have diabetes later in life because both my parents had it.
It’s been about 5 weeks now since I was dismissed from the hospital and I’m still having a real hard time coming to grips with the fact that I have another chronic disease to add to my already pain in the butt health conditions. I’ve been fighting depression pretty hard but the survival instinct that has kept me alive and fighting for all this years seems to be intact and still functioning quite well.
I admit I’ve been thinking a lot about life and death. What happens after we die and when the quality of your life just seems to not be worth the quantity. I’ve found the more I think about these things the more questions I come up with it seems. Living and dying is a very personal thing. While in the hospital I admit I thought I didn’t have a choice about whether I was going to live and die. The weird thing about it was that I wasn’t all that scared of dying because I am a firm believer that there is another life after death but the timing all seemed wrong. I was too young and I still had too many things to do yet. Looking at it from a better perspective now I’m not as worried about dying although I know that I will have to take care of myself more carefully now if I don’t want to wind up that way. You just never know what is going to be around the corner and it is more imperative to me then ever to live each to day to its fullest.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Pouring My Heart Out

Pouring My Heart Out

I admit that I have been somewhat reluctant about talking about the problems I have in my own life dealing with my multiple personality disorder, PTSD, and physical problems. Well, I’ve had a pretty bad week so decided it was time for me to come down from my little preaching hill and say what happens in the foxholes even after so many years of treatment. I thought I had my MPD pretty much under control, in a cooperative integration of sorts. I was fairly stable and only had mild and infrequent “alter” activity during times of deep stress. Well, I can honestly say that the last 4 years of my life have been just stock full of stress. I’ve had a few very close friends die, my biological dad die, my family almost fell apart over his will, his wife’s death exactly one year and approx 2 days later. My mom had some very serious operations and illnesses and then had to move into a nursing home. Separation and divorce from my spouse of 16 years that came as a surprise (to me) after 11 years of isolation from being house bound by illness. It took 3 years to complete our divorce due to my ex’s discover of terminal cancer of the bladder. Conned by a man and spending a lot of times in courts drown in legal problems and no money. 6 months in assisted living centers (4 different centers in 6 mths) trying to re socialize myself to be able to go out and survive on my own. Two rapes in 6 months. Well, do I even have to go on? Let’s just say things have just kept going down hill from there. Not to mention breaking a couple of bones, pneumonia, and my normal trigeminal neuralgias and migraines,….etc. Now I’m have my oldest son and his fiancé and daughter and my caretaker/fiancé and myself (and 3cats) in our 2 bedroom apartment temporarily. I’m already sick of me whining.

The point being I’ve been under a massive amount of stress the last few years. So back to the discussion of the alter activity becoming more of a problem under stress well you already know the punch line to this very not funny joke.

I admit that I’d gotten complacent about the MPD stuff and I shouldn’t have. I was pretty relaxed thinking I had things pretty much in hand as far as they were concerned. I could NOT have been more wrong. Lately my head has felt like a convention center and my body a revolving door. I’m almost afraid to walk out my front door anymore for fear that I have no idea who will be “out” while I’m gone. I’ve said this once and I’ll say it again I’ve been extremely lucky in the fact that my alters are on the whole very cooperative and won’t due anything that would physically or permanently hurt the body. I’m not saying that wouldn’t due something that won’t embarrass the crap out of us the next day if someone decides to tell us what we did or if I happen to remember it. That’s the other nasty bite….losing time. I’m losing a bunch of it but I’m very lucky to be surrounded by people who truly love me and don’t want to see any harm befall me. Needless to say it’s been a few months since I’ve been allowed out on my own.

I couldn’t begin to describe all the crap that is going on but it is being handled and in that I’m very lucky although it is easy to fall into a pity pot now and then. I decided to write this though because I don’t want you to think that with severely abused children like I was from age 1-12 (my stepfather died) that going to get help is a short term business. It takes time and a lot of it depending on how severe it was, what kind, and how old you were. I mainly got so screwed because it went through all my bonding, trust, and love years and it was so severe. But I am glad I sought treatment and I am glad I survived. I’m not going to tell you that it is easy to live this way but then again since it is the only way I’ve ever known I can’t say. I can say that I’m glad that I dissociated when I was so young because I know if I hadn’t I wouldn’t be alive today and so that in itself is something.

by Kay L. Schlagel

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Trying to Survive the Holidays

Trying to Survive the Holidays

Many of us who have sprang from dysfunction families have to make some hard decision come these family holidays. Do we go to the stress filled holiday family traditional dinners and visits or do we take the reigns back on our life and decide to do something nice for us and our own immediately family and those who really have our respect and love? Doesn’t sound like such a tough decision when you put it like that, does it? But in the real world it isn’t quite that easy to tell mom or sister no when that invitation is given. When I was a newlywed I can remember trying to have lunch at his families and supper at mine. We were sick by the time they finally released us to go home. After the birth of my son we finally couldn’t take it anymore and announced the introduction of “our” traditional dinners and if the family would like to come over then….they were invited. If not……..we were delighted (we didn’t actually mention the latter but it was true). It wasn’t long before my immediate family of my husband, kids, and I had made some wonderful traditions for us and instead of Thanksgiving and Christmas giving me stress ulcers I was just blissfully aware I’d eaten too much. We took a laid back, quiet, and relaxed attitude towards the holidays. Instead of trying to wake up at 5am to get the turkey in to feed a grumpy group of people by noon. We would sleep in till 10am having had everything ready the night before. Stuff the turkey and get the potatoes and yams cooking then plan to eat around 2 or 3pm and in the meantime eat all the appetizers and snacks we had already prepared days before. We’d have a wonderful time making the snacks, appetizers, and desserts as we got to together to make them. No one was grumpy or too sleepy at dinner or before hand. After we finished eating it was almost suppertime so we would save our desserts for supper. After a nap, putting away the rest of dinner (of course snacking as we did on the left-overs we were more than ready for desserts. Over the last 20 years or so the holidays have gone from ulcer makers and more or less as relaxed as peace talks between all the relatives to something that our whole family enjoys and wants to keep. I don’t know what it will be like when my kids have families of their own. I do know I won’t make them play what set of parents do we love more. Personally, it doesn’t matter to me if I don’t eat the turkey feast directly on Thanksgiving or Christmas…I’m a patient person.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I Should Have Thought of This!

I came across an article in my About.com that when I read it I thought, "Why didn't I think of that?" It talked about writing letters to yourself or perhaps, to your younger self that takes advantage of the insight, wisdom, and compassion you've gained from recovery, therapy, or even just aging. This is great for journal users or anyone when they have a particular problem they need to overcome. WRITE YOURSELF A LETTER. Try to look at the problem objectively and write the letter as if you were writing to someone else and give them the gift of your hindsight, compassion, wisdom, and love. You couldn't ask for a better mentor because no one else knows the issues that need to be addressed nearly as well as you do. To get good at writing these letters and more comfortable try to write yourself a letter a week. Start with easy more general issues and continue onto more specific and troubling issues. I hope you will try this because I'm certainly going to. I've written letters to myself before and found them to be very helpful but I never thought of doing it on a weekly basis. The more I think about it the better the idea sounds so I'll be doing my weekly letter I hope you decide to write yours.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Let’s Discuss: Self-esteem…Trying to be “Good Enough” to Love.

Let’s Discuss: Self-esteem…Trying to be “Good Enough” to Love.

My first comment to this is “RELAX, there is no such thing as being perfect, nor secret scale to measure if you are good enough to love.” As far as I’m concerned, as long as you exist and aren’t planning on bringing forth the next holocaust, or a mass murderer, than you are definitely good enough to love.

Seriously, there isn’t such a thing, as being good enough to love. You should be loved just as you are; not because of what you can accomplish, or have accomplished in the past. There need not be any other reason than you exist, and are one of God’s creatures. To feel the love of others, you must first be able to feel love of self. If you are unable to feel love for yourself, from yourself, how can you possibly know what it feels like to be loved by others? How do you accept that love and trust, if you’ve never learned to love yourself? It sounds easy to be able to love yourself, but it can be the most difficult, and challenging task, set before us. It is too easy to believe those negative statements we give ourselves. We especially devour the negative things other people say about us. Can you even count the times you’ve called yourself stupid, for making a small mistake, or just being human? How many times have you felt like a loser or not good enough, because of minor errors or lapse in judgment? We would easily overlook in another person, but obsess and make into a huge problem for ourselves? It isn’t fair but we do it.

We can make great strides in our life and accomplish great things; yet, it isn’t the good things we do, that we remember and savor; it’s the mistakes or loss opportunities that we often dwell on. Instead of building up our self-esteem and self-images we constantly tear ourselves down. Why must we intensely focus on an extra fat roll, or some imagined imperfection? What is this endless pursuit for perfection that we are striving for? It isn’t there. It doesn’t happen. God knows we aren’t perfect nor doesn’t he that of expect us. If we were actually perfect, we could be God. Guess What? He isn’t looking for a replacement. When he does he’ll take out an ad. Until then don’t worry about it.

How then, do we begin to accept and love ourselves? First, we take stock. Not of what is wrong with us. What we didn’t do, or we should have done, but what we did do. We use compassion and look at all our positive traits and accomplishments. The key word here is compassion. To honestly value ourselves as human beings; not be drawn into the negative thoughts and tapes that run through our minds from the past. It isn’t just trying to put a good face on things. It’s just for once in your life to not judge yourself harshly but be to judge yourself as you would others… with compassion. If you allow yourself to be fair and honest, you’ll find that the list is actually a pretty long one because…face it you’re a good person. Yes, you have made some mistakes. You have some shortcomings… relax, your human; you can work on them; but only one by one. It’s ok to make mistakes. Mistakes are just life’s way of helping us to learn. Not, a weapon to beat ourselves up with. Next time you look in to the mirror; try it. Think of something good about yourself, then think of something you’ve accomplished; keep doing that until you realize what a valuable and lovable person you are. What if you can only think of one thing a day? Take it one day at a time but keep doing it. What do you have to lose? You have so much to gain.

I, personally, long held out hope of my family loving me, wanting me, and being good enough for them to love. It took me quite awhile, a lot of soul-searching, growing up, and some downright hard work but I did at last come to find out that not only was I “good enough” for other people to love...It was okay that I loved myself enough to finally put down the “stupid stick” that I was constantly beating myself up with. Take it someone who knows, it feels pretty darn good to be able to stop constantly fighting and swimming upstream trying to be “good enough”. I was good enough a long time ago. I just needed to lower that standard bar from perfection to okay.

by Kay L. Schlagel

Monday, October 31, 2005

A Link to Find Other Articles I've Written

I sell alot of articles to Associated Content. Here is a link to one of my articles, What Are Personal Boundaries?........
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/10562/what_are_personal_boundaries.html

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Shield

The past. Its shadow still possesses me,
Like prison of memories, it surrounds me.

My spirit’s cold, my body weak.
I pine for love I dare not seek.

My world is one of pain and distrust
To protect my armor is a must.

For many seek to destroy us still.
Our memory to blank, our spirits to kill.

The blood of many, stains my past.
Has the time to be free come at last?

Many are the faces that hide behind my shield.
The pain of their memories, never to be revealed.

Dare I tell them their journey has begun?
To come from the darkness into the sun.
Can I tell them that the past is done?
The power of truth at last has come.

I fear to tell them. What will they reply?
They've journeyed that road before and fear that I lie.

I plea to put the past to rest before it's too late.
To continue forward, not hesitate.

To believe the path of tomorrow, is not one of sorrow.
But only by facing the past together can we follow.

Memories of the past must be complete.
The mistakes that were made; never to repeat.

Together we fight as the knights of old.
Courageous, relentless, strong and bold.

The memories and pain released from our soul.
The bonds of the past will lose their hold.

By Kay L. Schlagel

Let's Play "Catch Up"

I've mentioned that I live a complicated life but I've just kind of left it at that and never really explained why it is so complicated. I have a very complex structure as far as my MPD goes. In that I've been extremely lucky because it has helped me get through school and college and achieve quite a bit. It always bothers me a bit whenever I go to a new therapist and when I tell them my history they always act astounded and usually say something along the lines of "how did you survive?". I've always give the pat answer "I was just always to stupid to know when to lay down and die.". I think all survivors have that light inside them that makes it impossible to give up and we continue to struggle with a well developed survival instinct. I'm very glad now, that I never gave up because there have been dozen of times during my life that I should have died and just refused to do it.
I've had several people comment that after they read my book they knew that was only the tip of the iceberg. They were right; but there were many things about my past that I didn't feel comfortable revealing because of where my siblings were as far as denial and it wasn't my place to "shock" them out of it. Besides that..I didn't know the rest of the story at that time anyway and I felt it was best to publish it the way it was. That, and the fact that focus of the book wasn't the story of my abuse but what it was like using hypnotherapy to oncover repressed childhood memories and how I was diagnosed with MPD initially. Needless to say my sisters are NOT happy about the book but I felt that I waited long enough to publish it and it isn't their story or about them in anyway. It was my story and I truely thought publishing might make a difference. I felt like if just one person read the book and realized that they too needed to get help and that help was available it would be worth it.
It isn't like my life now is any less complicated then it has ever been. I mentioned that I have 2 sons but if you noticed I left out any mention of a husband. I left my husband after 17 years of marriage after a sudden change in our relationship. We recently finalized our divorce after 21 years of marriage. Approximately after a year into the seperation my husband contracted terminal cancer. It has been very aggressive and has left all of us devastated. My youngest son has just started college can you say PROUD (I freely admit I'm bragging there). My oldest son who had ADD/ADHD that he's had since he was small has recently come to live here with JD and I. We were hoping that he just needed to be put back on his meds for his ADD but after a few tests we are looking for a neurologist to do some testing for brain damage, lesions, or poss temporal lobe seizures(yes, I'm worried but I'm sure he'll be fine). He also needs quite a bit of dental work that he couldn't get back home living close to his dad. I hadn't had alot of "alter activity" in quite awhile and had gotten a bit complacent so of course with the stress of the health situations, divorce, and my impending bankruptcy things have been a bit wild the last few weeks. In fact, just last night, we had quite a dramatic entry of a new "group of alters" that I had no idea could happen after this long. After the acute embarrassment of suddenly waking up in an ambulance in a Walmart parking lot and trying to explain to two stunned EMT's why the woman who was confused, barely concious, and couldn't catch her breath was suddenly alert, oriented and embarressed as hell wasn't having an acute allergic reaction but was actually an MPD who had an unexpected and unprecidented alter crises. I was pretty much forced into a long explaination (that I would have rather not made) and swearing that this had NEVER NEVER EVER happened to me before, to convince them I would be okay to go home with the people I was with who knew about my condition and could take care of me. I Promised to call my both my psychiatrist and therapist FIRST THING IN THE MORNING and they finally let me go with trying not to laugh while I was still in listening distance. I won't even try to explain the rest of the evening before we were all able to retire for the night. The last 2 year I've been living with JD who is an awesome man. I never thought that this late in my life I would ever have another relationship that was this intense and wonderful. My ex-husband and I however, have known each other for way to long to just walk away and not support him after he became ill and we still have the boys welfare to think about. I guess what I'm trying to say is.........you don't just go to therapy for however long, and suddenly your life is full of warm fuzzies. Life doesn't happen that way......at least it didn't for me. I became diabled in 1990 due to disabling daily pain from the skull fractures and other injuries that I suffered as a child. I had to retire from nursing and I spent about 11 years basically in the house and in bed. I'm trying so very hard now to put my life back together and it isn't easy but that isn't the point of this discussion........the point is...that you can start your life over at any age and it can be good even with the complexities that exists in all of our lives. Life isn't always a bed of roses but when you finally learn to concentrate on the flowers instead of just the thorns you able to live a beautiful life even with all the complexities and hard times. I've always said that it isn't the destination that counts it's the journey.......learn to enjoy the journey. That is what makes the difference between a good life and a bad one. I've had alot of really crappy things happen in my life...but I've had so many beautiful things happen just the same. God has alway been there for me to rely on and he has brought so many wonderful people into my life and its been that way since I was a kid. Some people may look at my life as being terribly unlucky but for me I see my life as being incredibly lucky and I've been incredibly blessed so many times throughout it.
I've read over this "comment" several times and I wonder if I really want to publish it...I'm hoping this isnt some self serving drivel. I do need people need to know that life can be tough but it can also be wonderful it's all in the way you chose to play the hand that you are dealt.

Kay L. Schlagel

Facing the Past

How many times in life have we been faced by circumstances beyond our control that put us in the position of being forced to deal with the a situation/situations in our past that we’ve spent most of our lives running away from? Well, not actually running, per say, but definitely eager to put the behind us. How many times have you been admonished, "don't talk about it; it’s the past; let it go.” That's very good advice when we can do it.
Keeping the past in the past hoever can be very tricky business at times. It has the worst way of popping up when we least expect. Running into an old friend, an off hand comment of “remember when", or worse, an old boyfriend or lover popping up at the worst time. Needless to say you're not going to get rid of the past

The past is a part of us. It is the foundation of what our present as been built on. Our personalities have been shaped by it. Are we permanently imprisoned by our past? NO. I can't even say that loud enough. Yes, we have built on the past but we can definitely remodel or even tear down the house and build again. For those of us who were victims of childhood abuse or neglect, it seems impossible. The past is a constant reminder of shame, of guilt, of never knowing what will come next. We never knew what it was like to take ownership of our bodies, emotions and sometimes even our thoughts. That was then. This is now. It's time we learned how we can take back our bodies and minds. They belong to us and only us. No one should ever have that control again. I'll say it again you're not going to get rid of the past, its going to keep popping up now and then, but you're going to learn to handle it differently. Instead of it being an enemy hopefully instead of obsessing on the bad memories, slowly but surely the good memories begin to come.
"What good memories you say?” Was there a neighbor that would talk, listen and feed or just give you a safe place to hide at times? The kids you played with who may or may not have been abused themselves. There were some good times and memories even as infrequent as they may have been. I myself, remember the trips to Kentucky that we frequently took to see my step dad’s parents. It was the only time that he sobered up and stopped hurting or beating us. We didn't know why at the time but who cared? It was safe and we loved it. We had vacations in the summer with just my mother and the neighbor. We loved this neighbor so much and knew she loved us. There were special pets who loved us unconditionally. Yes, there were long periods of violence and humiliation but there were also memories stuck in here and there that didn't hurt and were good memories. For most of us those good memories were so overshadowed by bad that we couldn’t appreciate the good ones. Some may have only happened once and for a very short time perhaps, but they were good. That is the foundation you have to build on and yet, what do you do with the bad? That is what takes some work. We can’t demolish all the bad and throw it all in one big disaster dumpster. We have to sift though it just one more time. Not all of it of course, but we need to find the lessons we learned, the courage we had, and the strength we earned. Last but definitely not least, the wisdom and compassion we acquired along the way. Most, if not all of us, need help with this part of the process of recovery. A professional health worker such as psychiatrist, therapist, counselor, or pastor can be a really big help. For those of us with less serious problems to be worked through a good friend, journaling and reading self-help books may even do the trick. There are many organizations such as group therapy, al-anon, AA, women's shelters. I could go on and on but you get the point. They offer support and help. Even with a competent professional we can all use some outside support. For me a journal was almost a must. It helps you know where you've been, how far you’ve come, and it is a record of your journey. It keeps your thoughts and fears safe and orderly until the time comes that you will know what you want to do with them. You may sit down to journal about how angry or frustrated you are at a particular situation. Afterwards, lo and behold, you find that you anger is actually stemming from something totally different. That is what journaling is for. It's an avenue for your subconscious to speak. Where you are able to sort out you thoughts and feelings and get to the core of what you're really feeling and thinking. I’ve heard so many people say, “but what am I going to write in it?” That’s the beauty of it. You can write down anything that comes to mind. The trick isn’t in the writing but the attempt to put down on paper some of the things you have held and let build up for so long. It may be as simple as a physical way to release some of the tension. You don’t have to be a “writer” to write. There have been days when the only entry in my journal is, “I can’t think of anything to write about.” Those days, however, become farther and further between as you become more familiar and feel more comfortable writing down whatever it is that you’re thinking. It doesn’t have to be good or even make sense. You are giving yourself a physical non-threatening way to begin your inner dialogue. It goes without saying that you keep this journal private and in a place where only you can read it until you can decide whether or not to share it, burn it, or whatever you want to do with it.

The whole point of this conversation is that with help you can come to a point that the past is no longer so threatening. That many of us who finally took the “bull by the horns” and decided to face our past head on; found to our surprise that we could control our reaction to it. We could stop being afraid. We still have the rest of our lives ahead of us, so let’s get moving toward that more healthy future than constantly fearing the past. We only have today...the past is just that...in the past. We want to train ourselves just as an athlete would for their hardest race; to be strong and healthy to make that today and tomorrow count for something. We are no longer victims we are survivors and we should give ourselves the respect that as survivors we deserve.
Kay L. Schlagel

It is the goal that is as important as much as the journey. Enjoy the journey...Kay L. Schlagel.

Using Compassion During Recovery

It’s actually sad in a way that when your mental and emotional life is in turmoil that you tend to attract people into your life that are in the same shape. It would be wonderful if you attracted healthy people who you could emulate; but you don’t. The only good thing about it is, you can crab and whine and since they are doing the same thing; they put up with you. Luckily as you grow in your recovery and healing you do begin to attract more and more people who are healthy and stronger. You begin to look much more realistically at the relationships in your life and make better decisions about who you do and don’t want in your life. It sounds more painful then it is because you get to the point where you are ready to make those decisions. Being ready to make changes or decisions is so essential to obtaining and succeeding at reaching our goals in life. It’s the age old saying of “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” You can go into therapy, alcohol or drug rehab, quit smoking, whatever you want to do, but it isn’t going to work until you’re ready. No one can force you or even talk you into it. You can’t DO it for another person. You have to ready and be doing it for yourself before it will take effect and be as a life long change. There are times when you think ..”Hey , I think I’m ready and I could to do this.” But, it isn’t going to happen until you not only want to but need to do it. You have to have a need and a desire, to do it. Even when you are ready to succeed it doesn’t mean you might not make missteps or relapse at a some point but that need and the health you’ve achieved before hand will make you realize you’re human and make mistakes. Instead of saying “I’m a loser this isn’t going to work” you’ll say “OK, I made a mistake now I need to put that behind me and continue with my recovery.” Understand the difference. It will make all the difference in your success. You need that groundwork of learning compassion and being ready before you start. The first thing any of us learn in any recovery is to stop beating ourselves up. One it is totally unproductive. Two, it just primes us for failure. Three, we’re human and we make mistakes and now we’re taking the steps to help ourselves. That is an accomplishment that we should hold dear and close to our hearts.

Kay L. Schlagel

Saturday, September 10, 2005

A Day in a Life

I wanted to share a journal entry from one of my journals. It wasn't a particularly special day, in fact most of entries are similiar. I recorded thoughts, dreams, memories,poetry;it allowed my alters to communicate with each other (or me), and just generally recorded my progress. My journals are one of my most priceless personal possessions and I will treasure them always. I will probably have them permently destroyed upon my death because I have no wish for my children to know the exact extent of my abuse (they have enough problem knowing it was severe and what little of it they do know...I have no wish to burden them with any more grief with my passing learning about things no longer relevent). I believe that knowing your journals will never be read without your knowledge and consent gives you a freedom to express yourself without reservation.
Note: I left the notes in the original form instead of worrying about making them "read" correctly from a writer's viewpoint since it is was a personal entry and not an article.


I’m going to play a little today with some word/thought association. I’ve had a couple of weird days and am just trying to get them figured out I guess.
I’ve been having dreams of old friends from school and my younger childhood friends joining together with me having a reunion of sorts. There is some tension between the very old past and the past of my school years. The girls are now women but yet the issues seem to be old yet. There is something that feels vague and undefined and yet it hovers over the conversation like a specter.

I’m finding a desire in myself to connect all of my selves; the child, the adolescent, and the adult. They are one, yet they are separate somehow in my mind and memories. I’m not sure where to go with this. Should I just let go and let my dreams and subconscious wander and take control, hoping that maybe together they can work it out. I think that maybe that is exactly what they are trying to do. It’s just finally time that my soul and mind are coming together. I’ve run from the past for so long and now I’ve been forced by circumstances to come back and face my past head on. I’ve been very surprised that the very things I’ve run from and felt alienated by have been the exact things that I’ve hungered for and tried so hard to find. My place in the world. My sense of peace, of belonging, of being, of just existing. The feeling the I have that there is a place in this world I can rightly call mine and walk upright, unafraid, and with my head held high. The people here haven’t condemned me. I did that myself. They were just waiting until I was approachable again. I had isolated myself and avoided them and any situations where I might run into them. Now, that I’ve felt that I no longer felt threatened by what they might think, say, or do; I’ve gone into the situations to be pleasantly and greatly surprised to find their welcome not only warm but they were actually excited to see me. They are happy to see me well and saddened that I’ve had it so hard. They haven’t looked down on me but sympathized with me. I think I may have often confused genuine sympathy for pity and in refusing that sympathy they felt renounced and pushed away.

Why is it in my ignorance I felt perfectly comfortable in offering sympathy and comfort while expecting someone else to take it in the genuine friendship and kinship it was offered. No pity was involved and I never felt any feelings of superiority or looked at them in any negative way. In fact I normally felt more connected as a human being and felt even an admiration for all they had been through and survived so admirably. However, when that was turned around and someone offered me comfort or sympathy, I could easily become angry or laugh it off or even be rude throwing it back into their faces in my attempt not to appear weak and stupid. I need to think on this and try to stop myself from my knee jerk reaction of “don’t feel sorry for me” or “it’s ok”. I need to just be still and say thank you, accepting their words not as a pity offering but as a gift from a friend and fellow traveler on the road of life and not be so stingy with my gratitude. How can I accept God’s help and that of his angels if I continue to fight back and say “I can do it myself” when it has been so obvious that I can’t. Yes, you’re expected to struggle and to make your own way but not to hit out and not accept help that is offered. Sometimes instead of constant futile struggling maybe we need to be still for a moment and let the dust settle long enough to see if we are still on the path that we’ve been struggling so hard to walk on

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Shepherd

My soul tired and weary wandered aimlessly. No light to guide my way, no love to lighten my load. The night desolate and forbidding.

Suddenly, appearing before me was a man in flowing white robes. I backed away as he reached out to give me the light he carried in a scarred hand.

“Take this my child. It will show you the way,” his voice gentle in the night.
“Why,” I scoffed, “would such a man as yourself possibly help me?”

“By showing you the path of light which holds riches beyond your imaginations. Riches far outreaching the value of mere silver or gold,” he replied serene.

“Surely you jest. If such a place did exist you would not be here in the darkness offering to share this knowledge with me nor show me the way.”

He looked at me with deep sadness as a tear slowly fell from his eye. “It is because of my people who wander in the darkness that I am here. My kingdom has been theirs’ from before the beginning of time but they still wander in the darkness waiting for some sign. This small light I carry I give to you. Let it warm your heart and guide your spirit to the path that will lead you to the kingdom I have prepared for you.

I felt my burdens lift as I reached for his hand.

By Kay L. Schlagel

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A note to let you know what I am up to these days

I'm sorry that I've not kept this as up to date as I should have. I've been very busy this year with my writing. I'm finding some success now with my poetry and doing some freelancing. I'm moderater for a writer's forum called Publishers Database at www.publisherdatabase.com/forums. My ID is mdmkay on the forum and I welcome you all to come take a look especially those with an interest in poetry and/or short fiction. I still write children's books. I have just finished a young adult fantasy book called A Trip to Remember. I'm on the last revisions on another young adult fiction called Lilly's Legacy. I'm just starting on a young adult adventure mystery about 2 girls who are forced into hiding after witnessing the murder of their chemistry teacher at an exclusive California boarding school. Needless to say I'm keeping myself busy these days. I'm also still painting so you can view my new work at www.artwanted.com/mdmkay. I also have been turning my hand at some short story fiction but as you can see there are only so many hours in the day (but who am I to complain...Life is good).

THE GARDEN

This was a first place winner in the weekly Holistic Junction Poetry Challenge in July of 2005

Children’s Garden

I walk through the old children’s garden alone,
Searching the well worn paths.
For lingering signs from years of childish play.
Memories of my children from the past.

Kneeling on painful knees, turning back the soil,
Bringing life back into depleted flower beds.
Where once children played and laughter ruled,
Is now quiet, where once birds sang overhead.

I smile as I work for this is not a fruitless task,
In which to only pass the time.
I now have purpose to complete the planting,
Trim the trees, check the swing, and prune the vine.

My daughter called weeping with surprise and joy,
As she imparted the amazing news.
The old children’s garden before me must be sown,
Tended, and ready for them to use.

A child who’s laughter rang out here; just yesterday,
Is expectant with twins both healthy and snugly well in place.
As I sprinkle seeds to begin the process for making the flowers grow.
I tend to the garden with loving hands as tears of joy stream down my face.

By Kay L. Schlagel

Dream Weaver

I wanted to share a couple of poems that I entered into the Holistic Junction Weekly Poetry Challenges. This was a Third Place winner in the Aug 2005 contest.

Dream Weaver

Dream Weaver used come to me in the night.
With dreams of love, wisdom brought,
To disappear once more in morning’s light.

I welcomed dream weaver each night to play;
Subtly weaving the magic of childish dreams,
Bringing answers and showing me the way.

Pleasure so sweet, weaving the dreams became,
Before long I realized the Dream Weaver was me.
I found the magic could be summoned,
Simply dreaming under the old oak tree.

My dream weaving plans wouldn’t have be shelved,
If I could exchange what I know now for what I knew then,
I’d be living my dreams instead of the regretting
Pursuit of green, and the impotent plans of mice and men.

If wisdom is wasted on the oldest of us,
Are dreams wasted on our youth?
No, for if it were not for our dreams,
What would any of us be worth?

by Kay L. Schlagel

Friday, June 17, 2005

GROWING OLD

Growing Old.......What an amazing process it is. You're body becomes weaker and slows down but yet your mind.....it finally begins to really understand how amazing and short, life really is. You learn not to take a beautiful day for granted...who knows how many more you may have? You see your babies growing up before your eyes into capable young men which swells your heart with pride and love that knows no boundaries. Some people would have said how unfortunate I was to have lost ten years of my life to an illness that kept me bound to my house, bed, and wheelchair in my 30's....my prime. I wouldn't have chosen it to be that way but I have accepted that loss. I have also realized the opportunities it afforded me. Since I was unable to go out into the world with my children...they brought their world to me. I will never forget the countless days of my sons, and ever-changing number of their friends, and friends of friends, who would position themselves around the foot of my recliner and let me take part in places few adults are allowed to go. Discussions about school, about the opposite sex, about life, each year were becoming more sophisticated and more deeply discussed. It completely changed my attitude about the abilities, the pressures, and the needs of the next generation. At the age of 42 I decided it was time to take my life back (I had recovered quite a bit by then but was still very weakened by the condition)...I did come back into the world and with a vengeance. I had already learned how to paint with oils and had become pretty good and had started to turn my hand to writing. Now, at 46 when some my age are beginning to worry about the security of retirement, feeling past their prime, and wondering if they accomplished the goals they had started out with...I feel like I'm discovering a whole new world. I'm now a professional artist with sales and some credits to my name, an enthusiastic writer that feels as if the whole world is just opening up to her. I have a few finished children's manuscripts and some in the final revision phase and two chapters of my first novel. I'm excited to open my eyes everyday. I’m planning for when I'll start to travel the world. I still have aches and pains and I still have to plan around days when I'm ill; but all in all I feel like I'm the luckiest woman alive. In fact, just between you and me, I'm sure I am.

Monday, June 06, 2005

AND THEN WE DANCED

You’re always singing, yet I always cry. You can dance while I always fall.
Why do you seem so happy and graceful while I feel like nothing at all?

As the years have gone by you’ve always been there.
To let me cry on you shoulder, my burdens you share.

It seems like a dream when you gently pull me to my feet.
I’m afraid to dream; to suffer yet another defeat.

Your hand lifts my face but I still I lower my eyes.
As you set a gentle kiss upon my brow, I finally realize

My eyes look into yours and there are no recriminations that I see.
Just a warm and gentle love you have wanted to share with me.

In your eyes I’m not bound by the past nor defeated by shame. I’m free.
To you I am beautiful and graceful; that’s what your heart sees when it looks at me.

You begin to dance, my feet follow gracefully as we float across the dance floor.
You begin to sing; my voice joins in to catch on the wind and beautifully they soar.

You are happy and now so am I.
Our spirits have joined; in unison they fly.


Kay L. Schlagel


I'm very proud to say this peom won the first prize..a blue ribbon at the Holistic Junction poetry contest for the weekly contest Love's Illumination theme.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Beating Depression by Argile Stox

I found this article posted by Argile Stox and with his permission and generosity he is allowing me to post it here for all of to read. I personally thought his ideas were incredible and creative.



I am not nor do I claim to be an authority on chemical imbalances of the brain. However, I have realized that WORDS and their inflections cause an immediate emotional responses via the activation of certain areas of the brain which are controlled by chemical deployments. Joy, Happiness, Elation, Arousal, Sorrow, Depression, etc are all chemical responses to our visual, auditory, and sensory detectors which continually scan our environment.

I have found that by being keenly aware of "triggers" which cause an inward adverse reaction to harmful stimuli, reinforces an individual's defense mechanisms. I constantly ask myself: "Okay. I am aware of my usual negative self-induced depressive reaction pattern to this or that situation. What information do I possess to counteract this knee-jerk reaction? Should I employ the "fight or flight" instantaneous primal principle or would extreme vocalization of my distress be dumped on the offending individual or organization?"

As I became accustomed to this "step-back" approach, my thought processes and reaction time has decreased by defalting to the: "I am going to tell this person or organization OFF immediately, and not dwell on it."

Okay, I hate this visual - Interaction with individuals or "face-time" is a tennis match. You must land the ball in their court very quickly. Make sure the other individual scrambles to toss the ball back into your court. Always keep the opposing individual off balance. After a short period of discussion, the individual will grow exhausted - trying to defend their obtuse and arrogant position. In plain words - Let them have it vocally - with both barrels, right between their brain hemispheres.

This method will reawaken and fortify the chemicals in your brain which have been weakened by years of oppressive and counterproductive actions which have been deployed by others, who have mastered the art of deceptive and manipulative practices. In plain words: "I am mad as Hell, and I am not going to take it any more! Deal with it, you SOB - Pain In My Anal Canal! You are a huge Hemorrhoid in my Life, and I am no longer going to constipate my brain! Consider yourself Surgically Removed, and Fiberized!"

It took me many years to reach down and activate the "guts" to tell a person off. However, an euphoric wave of satisfaction drenched my brain, and replenished the inventory of chemicals which had been on back-order.

Yeah, PublishAmerica! Don't Piss Me Off! Ban me, silence me, ignore me. However, please be advised that I have limits. I have drawn a line in the sand, and with gusto - I will defend and protect my right to continually expose your underhanded and unscrupulous business practices. Think twice about crossing the line, "for I have not yet begun to fight!" I am an American. "Do not Tread On Me!" Do I make myself CLEAR?!

See? Words - Their inflections and meanings are the only weapons needed to inflict emotional damage and facilitate your resolve. Practice makes perfect. Practice, Practice, Practice. It gets easier with each interaction and "Tell Off!"………………Argile Stox