Category Archives: Challenges

Blog For Mental Health 2014


“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”  

 

I want to introduce myself to those who are new to my blog, and re-tell my story to those that have been with me the whole journey.

So what started me blogging, and why Narnia? Narnia as you know is the place of C.S. Lewis’ creation. It is a place where children went and lived as Kings and Queens, having magical things happen. Aslan was there to protect them and guide them. You wanted to be in Narnia. For me Narnia was the woods behind my childhood home, my parents home. The home they still live in.

Last year I began blogging soon after I realized the life I thought I had lived, was not exactly the life I lived. I remembered the Narnia of my youth; however, this time it was marred by one of my playmates when he orally raped me. I was only five. He was 12 or 13.
After the event I suppressed the memory deep inside, yet there was one who always remembered. That five-year old girl.

Through this last year my life consisted of weekly therapy appointments, medication changes, many tears, so much support from family and friends, prayers, questions, and more soul-searching than one person’s brain can endure in such a short time. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and DID. I originally went for help because of my depression and anxiety and with help dealing with an adoption fraud…Then Pandora’s Box opened. You can read about that

To say that this has been an emotional roller coaster is the understatement of the past five centuries. Learning that you have a child living inside you, a child that kept such a horrible secret from you out of fear and to protect you…and your rapist. Going from fear to love, fear to love, every time you see him in public now. Trying so hard to forgive, just when you think you have forgiven him, you see him and hear her screaming. I rarely leave home now, except to go to my doctor appointments.

I think throughout the year if you name an emotion I have felt it for Shanna. That’s her name. We now have a sweet and tender relationship, almost like mother and child. I want to protect her. Show her the world. Let her know it is okay. She is so pure.

Recently in therapy we discussed the possibility of another alter because of a personality that does not seem like me, nor does it seem like Shanna. This personality seems to manifest when I am under a lot of stress and right before Shanna comes out. She is very loud, angry, fault-finding, and uncontrollable. Not like me. Shanna just cries, and talks like a child talks if at all. Sometimes I co-exist with both personalities but oftentimes they push me so far back that others have to tell me what happened. I do not know if there is another alter, if this is another alter, they have not told me their name. Nor shared it with anyone. However, some very strange things have happened that cannot be explained, that makes me seriously wonder. I do not know, I am just very grateful that Shanna and I are friends now, and that we trust each other. Things were so bad with her for a while.

I am new to this whole world of DID. Anyone with any help or advise would be appreciated. I am new to PTSD also, but at least with it, some of my past actions and reactions are explained, and as irrational as the PTSD mind can get you still see the how and the why and understand. With DID, you feel crazy, I can’t speak for others, but I do, because I do not understand it.

What are my goals? I am working to become a well and whole person. I have come to realize it is a long and difficult journey, not for the weak. I began blogging to help myself, but also to help others in the same or similar situations. I invite you to come along with me on my journey to wholeness. Some days you will laugh. Others you might cry. Some days I will not blog about my mental health at all, normal days are wonderful gifts, and I cherish them. Together we will reclaim my Narnia and yours.

I look forward to meeting you and sharing this journey. I always welcome comments and discussion. Please know that even if you do not have mental health issues or someone with mental health issues, still come on along, the more the merrier!

Something new that I have done with my blog is opened two new pages.

Q & A: Ask me anything. I will try to answer. I will not give details of my rape.

Guest Bloggers: I love reading blogs, looking at pictures, poetry, etc. Would you like to be a guest blogger. Jump over to my guest blogger page.

We are an army against the negative stigma that we face, but we are also fighting our own individual battles.

All hail the battle cry!!

On..On to victory!!!

~Queen Hope of Narnia 🙂

Join in and let your voice be heard: http://acanvasoftheminds.com/2014/01/07/blog-for-mental-health-2014/

Daily Prompt: My Four Legged Hero

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Meet Gidget.  I was just a tiny girl, and she a tiny pup when I she became part of our family. Hitting it off immediately, this little gal became my shadow.

Gidget was my best pal. To be such a small dog she was the absolute best a watch dog and protector. Often going nose to nose with large neighborhood bulldogs and shepherds that would come into our yard. She would send them running as she nipped on their heels with them running tails tucked as they left. I am sure they were getting an earful with her barking in the chase.  Once a Doberman jumped over the neighbors fence and came running after us.  Granny told us to run to the climbing tree.  Granny and Gidget stood ground, giving us time to climb the tree.  I do not remember the dog going home or what.  I just know we did not get eaten, neither did Granny or Gidget.

As fierce as she was protecting her us, she was that much more gentle towards us. I was fascinated with her swollen boobies after she had puppies. So one day I rolled her over and squeezed one of her boobies and looked in awe as milk came out. She just laid there. She would let me do anything to her.  Poor girl.

Gidget was so funny. I think she thought she was a human.  She loved our birthday parties. Whatever we did, she found herself in the middle of it. If we were chewing gum, Gidget was chewing gum. She however, loved to pull and stretch the gum with her paws and make a mess. One party favor that she really enjoyed was the parachute men. They were in cylinder tubes. You blow the tubes and the parachute man comes out and floats down. She had a tube in her mouth and tried to throw her head back, mimicking us. She was never able to get her parachute to fly. 🙂 But it was not from lack of trying.

I remember well the dark feeling that fell over my heart the day Gidget went missing. She had a litter of puppies under the house that needed feeding.  She never stayed away from her babies long, so we knew something was bad wrong for her to stay away.

We looked everywhere, and eventually found her at my neighbors. The night before their someone had broken into their home.  Gidget, we suppose, tried to protect our friends home, and was ran over. My heart was broken.

I miss that sweet girl, a hero of my youth.

Daily Prompt: Heroic

Wordless Wednesday: A Day At The Beach

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Island of Misfit Toys. A child had left these out on the sandbar, alone they sat, waiting for little hands to play with them.

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You Lookin’ At Me?

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Sunset as we were leaving the island, driving over the causeway.

Daily Post Challenge: Where Do I Fit In?

Somewhere inside of me is the person that existed from 1994 – 1997, during that time I cared about who I was and who I wanted to be. No one pressured me to excercise, I would get off work put on my walking shoes and walk. It became a way of life for me. I lost weight and gain confidence. I enjoyed the beauties of nature as I walked by the Provo River. Sometimes I would begin down in southern Provo on a walking trail and walk to a small park with ducks, then turn around and head back, other times I would drive up into Provo Canyon and start walking at Vivian Park. The cool air refreshed my body as much as my soul. Sometimes I would walk alone, other times I would invite friends. It all depended on what pace I wanted to take and what else I wanted to accomplish. I enjoyed walking. I enjoyed the burn in my lungs if I pushed myself just alittle bit harder. I loved the clarity of thought that the extra oxygen circulating through my body gave me. I love the moments alone in quiet reflection with God and his creations.

I do not think I even owned a scale back then. Though losing weight and feeling better about myself was a result, and part of the reason I started walking the rewards were more than the number going down. I was finding the person that I had hidden away for so many years of my mascarade.

In therapy now, I seem to be stuck longing for that person, those days, and experiences lived in those three years nearly twenty years ago. It just does not seem like it is that long ago.

I suppose I long to have the confidence and will that I once had. Walking miles and miles now, impossible. I walk down to my parents house just a few steps behind my own. The walk that once had a pep to it is now a waddle. Once there am seriously winded and my back hurts horribly.

I do not know how to reclaim that walk, will, and courage. I do not know how to free that 25 year old body from inside this 39 year old going on 60 year old body.

I have read self help books, but I cannot find myself in them. If that makes sense. You need to really connect and see yourself somewhere before it works, and I have yet to do that. My prayer is that as I work through my other issues like peeling an onion, I will find me and appreciate me, and then be able to make that first step again.

I suppose I am rambling as I often do. This post was prompted by the Daily Post Challenge: Fit to Write writing challenge. For me my physical fitness and my mental fitness are so closely woven together that it is a catch-22 I suppose, one day I hope to find that magic thread that allows me to let go enough to relax and enjoy the journey of discovery in finding me both physically and emotionally.

Daily Post Challenge: Fit To Write

Please Do Not Make Me Angry, You May Not Like ME When I Am Angry

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So, I started off with my Find the Good Friday Post. I did that for a reason. I am still working on computer issues. Day 4.

Let me tell you one thing, one upon a time, not so long ago, I had the patience of Job when dealing with computers coupled with the tenacity it took to stand up to the challenge. Now, the patience is long gone, stress level and anxiety way up, but the stinking tenacity is still there. Not a good combination! For me or for the ISP that is the root of all evil computer issues this week.

We received a letter from our ISP stating that our cable modem qualified for a free upgrade, this upgrade would allow for faster connection speeds. Great when you watch television and videos like we do over the internet. When I called in to have ours shipped,  I explained how our network was set up through our own router, that we did not need the wireless modem/gateway, just the modem. When it arrived it was wireless.

We tried hooking everything up to it, but no deal. Our printer would not work. URGH! I called back spoke to them and explained again. “Sure no problem, we will send you one that is not wireless. And remember we are open 24/7 as a part of our customer satisfaction guarantee.” Yada yada yada…

During this time we could still print from our desktop. Whew hoo! When the new modem arrives, my husband sets it up. I come home, call, and have it activated. Guess what? The wireless blue light special is shining.  Yep, they had not de-activated the wireless on it. Something with this modem played games with our network. Now the printer no longer works with the desktop. Oh joy!  This is not helping my level of frustration one bit.

I call and talk to several reps who keep trying to send me to Comcast oops, I mean my ISPs Signature Support. Do you know what Signature Support is? It is a fee based support. Fee based support for their equipment. Yeah, you rent this modem from them, the day you receive, if you have problems they want to send you to a fee based support.  Sounds like a way to have “100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee” to me. I just received it, and they want to charge me to fix their equipment.  I just cannot get over it.  Can we say, ummm, NO!

After several hours and several representatives later, I finally spoke to one that had a brain larger than Amoeba. She was actually smart and was not reading from a script. She listened to me, and did not hear printer, and assume that I was calling in for a printer. She turned off the wireless, everything was working great. UNTIL she transferred me to the rep that was supposed to activate the telephone part of the modem. When she did, whatever she did, killed the modem and my phone. When I say killed, I mean killed. No pulse. None CPR can be done. Stick a fork in them. I bit later, I talked to another CSR, hoping she would correct the problem.  She however,  did not know what she was doing. She answered the phone laughing. She was completely unprofessional, and the call center she was in, the supervisor needed to teach them some professionalism. One of her colleagues was yelling at a customer very rudely in the background.  I made a comment about that  not being professional and that I could hear the customer being yelled at. I ran a call center. I do not care what the customer says, you escalate the call, you do not yell at the customer. She took up for her colleague. “She has been on the phone with this customer for 30 minutes.” I said, “I have been dealing with Comcast since 4:00, she needs to think what the customer might be feeling.” This is about 8 hours of dealing with some sort of Comcast rep. I have no phone, no internet, no printer, no PC (I’ll explain the PC below). AND I AM LIVID!!!! The Hulk as nothing on this south Georgia girl who at this point has forgotten to take her medicine because she is dealing with ignorant people and computer stuff. I just crawl in bed, cry and pretend to sleep. Exhausted. This was Wednesday at 11:45 pm.

Thursday morning at 6:15 a.m., after thinking about a possible solution a good portion of the night, to at the very least give us internet and phone. I crawl out of bed with my back and head killing me. Call the number that I was told the call for support last night, the one I had called all day yesterday. The number said to call back during business hours!!! What the heck? Hmmmm…Customer Service guarantee…24/7…so what are their business hours? Confusing. I tried a number I had saved in my Iphone. (Yeah, did I mention that all of this time on the phone was on my Iphone no, I do not have unlimited minutes. I will talk about this later too.) So, where was I, oh yeah, 6:15 am Thursday. Finally connected to the other competent employee of Comcast the company, I told her my idea of switching back to the other wireless modem, since we did not have connection via the one the other rep blew up. Let’s just activate the other modem, and keep it as a wireless… We will deal with the printer and the desktop. Both my husband and I are computer smart, we’ll figure it out. We can figure things out on a computer, if it is to be figured out. She agreed it might work if they had not turned something off somewhere they should not have been. It did! YAY!! We have internet. Check. I still need to get to another department to connect to the phone.  Oh NO!  I’m worried.

I tried calling. “Please call back during business hours.” URGH!!

I waited a while and called back, she set it up. When she made a test call I heard the same squeal from last night. This is when I realized that when they did whatever they did Wednesday night, they blew up my phone, I do not know what they did. I had made a call on it before the fiasco, now it just squealed. I loved that phone too. It was an old desk phone. Oh well, when I unplugged it, and had her make a test call again using another phone, it worked. YAY! COMCAST This ISP should pay me to troubleshoot their CSR incompetencies AKA screw-ups. We now have internet and phone. Check. Check.

The desktop makes me nervous. When trying to resolve the issues with the printer, I uninstalled and planned on doing a fresh install. Windows was not having any of that. Kept saying that my HP Officejet 8500 a909a was did not have a valid windows logo and that it is missing two dll files. One is hpwwiax5.dll, I did not write down the other. Okay, we have had this printer installed, and this printer printing until this disaster began. I know oftentimes things like the windows logo blurb can be caused by a Windows Security Update. I uninstalled the ones since January. This is when the computer decided that it would forget everything. Video, Audio, Chipset…If I did not have grays or heartburn before, not to mention anxiety and stress, before, I did now. I could not find our installation CD. No restore point has been set. Finally after a few tears, prayers, and yelling, I found a CD with my husband’s handwriting. “HP A6600 F XP Drivers” Off I went installing the drivers. Computer 0 Hope 1…Now we have Internet, Phone, and Desktop back. Check. Check. Check.

I am re installing the windows updates also. My hope is after this install, I will be able to install the printer. Crossing my fingers.

So what of COMCAST? I called about the two days I was without service and had to use my cell phone to deal with them, being on hold for probably two – three hours of it. Being sent to Signature Support multiple times for their equipment. What did they do? Gave me $5 credit for the days without service. A manager is supposed to call me back in an hour. We’ll see if the do. What will Comcast get from me? An angry customer that blogs about it, and then as soon as her contract is up will leave them. Told the last person I talked to exactly that.

Also, the second competent rep I spoke to let me in on a little secret. These new upgrades with Wireless. Comcast does not support Wireless, even though it is their equipment they will send you to Signature Support. So basically it is a money-making gimmick for Comcast. Just consider yourself warned.

FINALLY, after researching and pulling my hair out, and yelling more. Trial and error, trial and error, error and trial…SUCCESS!!!  I will be writing on the HP support board how to install around the nasty “Logo Testing Error” and how to correct the hpww1ax5.dll error, funny after correcting those two errors, the other error went away.  If anyone has those errors, please ask and I will let you know.   No one on the boards knew how to help me, no, not the “HP experts.”  I do not want to completely bore the readers with technical information that means absolutely nothing to them.  So here is the final score Internet, Phone, Desktop, and Printer BIG GOOSE EGG, Hope, you did it!!  (My husband knows exactly what this means to me, as I collapsed in tears last night feeling like a complete failure because the Printer defeated me.  It feels so good to have something go right and to recognize something going right.  It has been so long.)

Disclaimer: I said there are only two competent people who work there. I have only spoken to two. There maybe others they have in reserve.  I will add also though, it was 4 hours ago that I was promised a phone call in an hour, and well, CRICKETS!

Weekly Writing Challenge: The Best Way To Win A Client

I was undecided about putting this in the trauma category or not, I decided not to, though I was surely traumatized by the event and vowed never to wear a wrap skirt again.

Let me take you back to a time that I was much thinner and much more confident. I was the assistant customer service manager for a national call center and turnkey facility for large computer companies such as Novell, Microsoft, and other fortune 500 companies.

This particular day we had a potential client touring our facility. I was asked to give the presentation for the customer service department, which included introducing our teams, and showing the monthly statistics and explaining them our procedures.

The statistics were displayed on a board across from the fish tank. The fish tank was where those who were actively taking calls were sitting. Those representative that were not actively taking calls had cubicles outside of the tank. I do not recall who the client was now, but I remember it was a critical client for us to get. I had put hours of work into making the presentation look professional. Management was extremely impressed.

As the potential client group came through I was so nervous. They were all young to middle-aged men. I showed them around, explaining the way calls rolled and escalated, insuring that we did not drop any calls. The presentation was going great. We walked to the presentation board so I could show the statistics of dropped calls, customer satisfaction surveys, etc. When I reached up the button on my wrap skirt decided it did not like being buttoned anymore. Down my thick khaki skirt fell. I caught it at my calves. What a day NOT to have a slip on. I jumped behind one of the partitions, buttoned my skirt, put a paper clip over it QUICKLY (so it would not decide to come out again) and continued the presentation in front of all of these men.

We won the contract. I was often teased that it was because I was willing to show some leg. Not long after that I was promoted to account management for one of our largest clients.

Things that make you go hmmmmm.

 

Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror…Show Me Who I Am

Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror
Finish this sentence: “When I look in the mirror, I . . . “

When I look in the mirror…I see a stranger. I wrote and posted a poem about this not too long ago. A stalker in the mirror.

I would much rather see myself through others eyes. Ironic I know, because, do they not see the person I see in the mirror? Apparently not. To my knowledge no one has shrunk away from me in disgust.

Why do I think I am the Beast rather than Belle? I mean, yes, I am overweight, but there was a time in history that was the preferred stature. Weight aside though. I come from good breeding stock. (Dang, that makes me sound like I should be at the stock yard.) My parents are nice looking, is what I meant to say. My older sister, though two years apart have always been asked if they were beautiful twins, and then my younger brother, he could be GQ. The same blood and genes run through our veins.

My Granny used to tell me I had the perfect nose. Isn’t that funny? The perfect nose. My eyes. usually hazel, but they change colors not so,much with what I am wearing, but with my mood. When I am sad, very sad they are bright green, and when I am really happy they are really blue. I have not seen them blue in a long time. When you can see them, my cheek bones reflect some of the indian that my maternal Grandaddy had in him, too bad I did not inherit the ability to tan. I inherited the freckled fair skin of the german and irish ancestry of my maternal Grandmother. With all of that being said, I look just like my Daddy. There is no denying I am his Baby Girl.

I have his dark thick curly hair and the shape of my eyes similar to his. Our foreheads are the same.

I know I will not get over my self loathing anytime soon. I wish I would, but maybe looking at myself through different eyes. The eyes of a genealogy lover, I can realize I am a walking breathing piece of family history. I am the joining point of two families. I am the names that I look at so eagerly on the family tree. They are in my face, my features, their blood is in my blood, and some of their traits generation after generation have become mine.

Next time I go to a mirror, I think I am going to take a closer look and see who I see.

 

Daily Prompt: The Art Of Being A Woman

Daily Prompt: Tell us about the last time you had a real, deep, crying-from-laughing belly laugh.

From what I hear you lose all dignity when you go through childbirth. I suppose you do, having people’s noses in your hoo-hoo smiling ooohhhhing and ahhhinng. While you push and make all kind of noises, pushing a canteloupe out of a lemon size opening. I never thad that joy, but I did have a hysterectomy, and I can tell you that the dignity flies out the same window, without a bundle of cuteness being placed in your arms afterwards. Do not worry, this is not going to be one of my sad infertility cancer posts, it is going to be one filled with the embarassing moments that came after the surgery.

For those who do not like bodily function stories this might not be the post for you. For those who are thinking about having a hysterectomy, this might be helpful. Funny things I wish I had known. Husbands and companions, your wife, the one who goes into surgery, will not be the one who comes out. I do not mean the hormones that make Linda Blair from the Excorist look like Mother Teresa either. I mean her body, will do things she will want to run and hide from.

My hysterectomy for uterine cancer was July 2011. When I woke up from surgery, on of the first things they told me was that I would need to try to tinkle. Tinkle? I could barely walk, and they wanted me to walk to the restroom to tinkle? Then the words, if you cannot do it on your own we will have to cath you. Some women’s bladder does not want to wake up. I shuffled my way to the potty. I sat and sat. I ran warm water over my hand. I kept the water running. Not even a drop. I asked them to bring me a pitcher of water. I drank it all. I just knew it would do the trick. I painfully shuffled to the restroom. Tried all the same tricks. Nothing.

And to add insult to injury, the gas they had used to blow me up like a balloon, was wanting to work its way out. I looked like a bloated pregnant woman trying to get her water to break. It caught me funny. It hurt to laugh, so I held a pillow to my stomach. Then the comedy troop came in. Five wonderful black cnas, they had been given charge to cath me. I do not know why it took five. I know one did keep missing. OUCH! I informed the one who leaned in really close to make sure she was threading it correctly that I had gas. “Oh girl, please don’t let it go now!” That made me laugh even harder, I do not know if I did or didn’t.

In preparing for my surgery, I had ready you want you bowels to be soft. So when they asked me what I wanted for breakfast the next morning I though healthy. Oatmeal. As soon as I finished that oatmeal, my Mother and I literally watched my stomach get bigger and bigger. Oh it was aweful. Word to the wise, do not eat oatmeal the day after your surgery. I would use my pillow to gently push and I laid on my left side trying to get rid the pressure.

Once things started healing I thought my body would get back to normal. I have always had a Bladder of steal and colon to match, now, if the urge hits, I better be close to a restroom. If not, this 39 year old body, does not act like a 39 year old body.

To bring me to the last time that I really laughed about it. It is eaither laugh or cry. This is one thing, I decided to just laugh about. The other day I had tinkled, taken a shower, and then climbed into bed. Next thing I know I am having a sneezing fit, in the fit I am tinkling all over myself! So I am sneezing, tinkling, laughing, and running to the bathroom. My husband just laughed with me. He has gotten used to it.

Daily Prompt: Dream Job Was a WHAT?

Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Engima
Tell us something most people probably don’t know about you.

I am pretty upfront about everything, and when I saw today’s prompt I thought about what you know about me from reading my blog. I am a pretty straight laced Mormon girl, always have been.

There was a time though that I knew a teenager that was not. I was still a young girl. This teenager worked at a motel, not far from home. She had a little money to buy soda pop and candy, or whatever. Another perk that her job afforded her was having a baby. Yes, she was a prostitute. I had no idea what that was or what she really did, but I just knew that I wanted to be one when I grew up.

Luckily I did not go around telling people that I wanted to be a prostitute until years later after I had decided that was not the job for me.