Okay, so it's Wednesday, so sue me. ;) Here are some from the other website's questions as well as a few that y'all sent me.
1. Do you eat sushi?
2. Are your toes always painted?
3. How tall are you?
4. What is your favorite kind of potato chip?
5. How often do you pray?
6. Are you a collector of anything?
7. Do you wear perfume? If so, what kind?
8. What do you drink with meals?
9. How many pillows do you sleep with?
10. How often do you change your sheets?
1. Do you eat sushi? Oh yes! I LOVE SUSHI! Nothing too exotic or crazy. My favorites right now are called "Blue Flame" and "Tootsie" from Akai Hana here in the Phoenix area. Uh-mazing. Could eat it day and night.
2. Are your toes always painted? Yes, they are. If I have a pedicure, then they're just french-tipped, but if not then they're painted red. Red toes are classic, red fingernails are for hookers. Yeah, I said it. Just my opinion. My other opinion is that red shoes are for kindergartners or hookers. I actually bought a pair of gorgeous red heels a few years ago and haven't worn them once because of this. I can't get my brain over the hurdle.
3. How tall are you? I am five-foot-four and three-quarters inches. Can't forget that extra 3/4 inch!
4. What is your favorite kind of potato chip? Chip? That would be Thomasson's barbeque chips. They're made in my hometown of Elyria, and I can't find them anywhere else. They are my FAVORITE ever. My real favorite kind of chip type snack besides that would be Flamin Hot Cheetos with Limon. I'm an addict.
5. How often do you pray? I don't know that I ever stop! It's a constant conversation that's taking place between me & the Lord. (Lord, please don't let me forget to put the spaghetti away. Right, Allison?)
6. Are you a collector of anything? Sure do. I've collected angels since I was tiny and don't have many of them left, but I do have a whole cabinet of them in my bedroom and then various ones hanging all over my house. Also, I collect teapots, and I have my Grandma's thimble collection.
7. Do you wear perfume? If so, what kind? Well, most perfumes give me a headache, but sometimes I still suffer for beauty because I love perfume. There are many that I love and have run out of or would still like to buy, such as Donna Karan's Cashmere Mist. Once I find one, I don't like to stop wearing it, even if it goes out of style. Like Tresor, still wear that regularly. Also love J. Lo's Glow and also Miami Glow (for summertime).
8. What do you drink with meals? I'm not very well behaved when it comes to my fluid intake. Diet Coke is my vice and I drink it with pretty much every meal. I've been trying to drink more water though.
9. How many pillows do you sleep with? I already told you how fussy I am with my bed. lol My pillows aren't any easier. I actually have three of them, all of various thicknesses and firmnesses. I rotate them through the night depending on how bad my neck and head hurts because I am prone to headaches and neck pain.
10. How often do you change your sheets? Really? Someone really asked me this. lol Maybe it's because I talked about how fussy I was with my bed and they were curious. I don't know. Anyways, the answer is that I change my sheets at least once a week. More if needed.
What would make a normally thoughtful, conscientious, gentle, rational person turn on a dime when faced with something tough and emotional to the point where she is screaming and yelling, throwing down gauntlets and saying things that are meant to cut, even when she (and the people around her) know she doesn't really mean them, she doesn't normally act like this, and frankly she must be out of her mind? Or it makes her either completely shut down to the person or else she gets up and leaves. She'll just get up and walk out. Even when it has to do with one or more of her children, whom she would normally die for?
Hello, my name is Veronica and I am a reactionary. No, not the ultra-right-wing-conservative kind of reactionary, but the kind that becomes so quickly and emotionally flooded with emotion that I end up being reactive instead of proactive. And I hate it.
My reactions when I get angry or more specifically, when I feel defensive or rejected are something I loathe. It's one of the reasons why I'm in therapy. I hate that everything I hear or experience gets filtered through the abused-wife filter that I now possess and I scan every comment or action to determine out if it's dangerous. If it's an insult, attack or form of rejection. I've been told that my "defense mechanism is voracious." Friends and family that have seen it in action often end up thinking, "what the hell was that?" But it's the place I go to. Almost instantly sometimes.
I remember months ago, when I had to work a weekend shift for the first time in this job, Paul had made a comment like, "isn't that unusual for you to have to work a weekend?" Could be a simple enough comment, but my brain heard that as an insinuation. After being with "the evil one" for so many years and having him CONSTANTLY accuse me of cheating and being a whore, that's instantly, INSTANTLY where my mind went and I completely lost my shit on Paul.
I was standing in the middle of the band-aid aisle at WalMart screaming obscenities into my phone and telling him HOW DARE he accuse me of anything when I am nothing but loyal, blah blah blah, and then I hung up on him and wouldn't talk to him for hours because I just had to get away from him. I was beside myself. Later, when he said he didn't mean anything by that comment, I was rational enough to hear him. But in that initial moment? Whew. No way.
"Emotionally flooded." That's the term Therapist uses to describe what happens to me, so I decided to Google it and see what I come up with. Here's what I found:
** When people speak to us, they unknowingly trigger a network of memories— specific images, scenes, and sound bites that remind us of something that has already happened. So when we find ourselves activated in a conversation, our sense of being upset and flooded with emotion is rarely coming from the topic at hand, but from a whole slew of past-based associations. And when reminded (often unconsciously) of prior episodes where we felt hurt or threatened, anger typically automatically arises.
**”Emotional Flooding” is the term for when one’s physiology gets activated by emotional conflict – the body literally prepares itself to fight. Stress hormones start flowing, the heart rate increases, and attention narrows its focus on attacking and defending. Emotional flooding is an essential condition of survival mode.
**(This I find VERY interesting...)
...the person that is flooded (literally with adrenaline) snaps and loses the ability to think rationally…basically the frontal lobe shuts down and the person enters survival mode. Ironically the verbal expressions that remain most intact are cuss words and the last coherent thought they had, which is often repeated over and over.
** Emotional flooding can occur very quickly (sometimes instantly).
**If a person has had many experiences of trauma to reinforce the flooding, it usually takes a very small trigger to initiate the flooding.
**When someone is emotionally flooded their instinct is usually to do anything necessary to either escape or fight. It's classic fight or flight survival.
**Shame, anxiety, or both, are probably the most common emotion triggers for someone becoming flooded.
**What do combat vets, trauma survivors and chronically anxious or stressed people have in common? Emotional Flooding.
**Arguing or debating while emotionally flooded causes people to react rather than respond. They may say and do things they do not mean, leaving behind a pile of regrets in the wreckage.
**The flooding indicates they are feeling threatened and their body acts just like the cave man did when faced with a saber toothed tiger, which is impulsively. Once the arousal system becomes flooded, ready to fight , flee or freeze, it's nearly impossible to resolve hurt feelings at that moment.
Wow! This explains so much to me. It's like getting a bad diagnosis from the doctor and being happy about it. Not because you're happy something's wrong, but because you're happy to be able to put a name on it so that you can start attacking the problem and fixing it. Many of these articles (thankfully) say that this is not a character flaw, it's just the way people in survival mode respond. From what I'm reading, I respond pretty typically as far as this goes. One of the books I read recently, suggested paying attention to exactly how you feel physically when this reaction is happening so that you can learn to recognize it for what it is and start to diffuse it.
For me, it manifests in one of three ways. Fight, flight or freeze.
With fight, it's just that. I'm ready to go to battle. Eye contact is strong and piercing, curse words fly, I'm in a strong stance and am ready to defend myself physically if you come at me.
In flight, I just want OUT OF THERE. It's very frustrating to Paul when I sometimes just get up and walk out of his house, but I've gotta GO. I feel a bit panicked and flighty, and my eyes may dart around a little bit or look at the ceiling.
Freeze is when I shut down. I have trouble making eye contact, I am silent, my tongue is stuck to the roof of my mouth and my jaw is clenched. I usually have trouble opening my mouth at all and if I do open it, I will be clueless as to what to say. If pushed, I will respond with, "stop it! or don't! just leave me alone. I blink fast.
In most of these, especially fight or flight, you can tell I'm hitting my danger zone because (most of the time it feels involuntary), but my first words will usually be "FUCK YOU." That's the stop sign. Give me some space, or a quiet hug, but beware if you keep pushing me because I'm about to become irrational and won't hear you anyways.
I always feel bad afterward. I think the devil actually uses it to add to the shame I carry around by making me feel like an ugly person because of the way I reacted. I know I'm not a bad person. I'm actually a very good person. I know I'm not a shallow caveman, yet when pushed, that's exactly what I turn into. I've always heard, "It's easy to be good during the good times, how do you act during the bad times?" Well, if by bad times you mean conflict, then I don't act very good. Therefore, all of the good in my life must be fake. It's not the real stuff. The real me must be ugly and unworthy.
That's a heavy burden to carry around. I'm so over it. I'm sorry to everyone who's had to deal with me when I'm like that. Mostly, Courtney and Paul lately. And I just have to say, me admitting that my reactions SUCK, doesn't mean the other people were all innocently standing by when I jumped in their faces and B'GAWK'd! No, they can own their own parts of whatever was going on, but as Therapist would say, I need to clean my own side of the street and say I'm sorry. I'm working on this guys. I really am.
I just heard about the "Hate Church" in Topeka, Kansas for the first time. Where have I been? I don't read the news because I don't like to hear all of the bad stuff and this is what I get, I suppose. I was left, mouth agape, when reading about them. I simply can't believe what I'm seeing, so I Google them. Wikipedia, then their own website. Oh my gosh. It's all true. Suddenly, I'm so angry! How can any church that claims to love Jesus, spew such hate? Don't they know that sometimes, even if your stance is on the right side, your reaction to the situation can make you the one in the wrong? And they are so, so wrong. I'm still shocked and appalled. I am nearly speechless. Can they not see how they are contributing to the spread of darkness in an already dark world? How can they not see their role?
I don't know why I'm so shocked about this. Whether in society or in our own personal lives, no one likes to be responsible for their own actions. We love to have our attention focused like a laser-beam on what wrongs are coming our way, and place ourselves on a self-righteous pedestal declaring, "But look what they did to ME!" Yes, okay, so the other person might be wrong in some areas too, but what was your part in the situation? What role did you play to initiate it, escalate it or perpetuate it? We (and by we, I mean me too) need to dissect each of these situations and take our share of the blame for things that have happened. They need to take responsibility for their actions, because that's on their shoulders, and you need to be held responsible for yours.
Aren't we all sinners? Every one of us? Oh, it's easy to point out and judge the big sins. Adultery, murder, etc etc. But to Jesus, isn't a sin a sin? And doesn't the Bible mention a whole lot of other sins that many people commit every day? Kids that sass their parents, people who aren't virgins when they get married, on and on and on. Heck, it's a good thing I'm saved or I'd be going to Hell for just those two alone!
What about that person who stands in the church parking lot and smokes a cigarette after service? Yes, we all would all look at that and frown, but would you scream hateful things at that person and tell them they're going to Hell if they don't repent and they're not welcome to bring their wicked ways around your church or your children? No, that's a little much, isn't it? Yet, that's exactly how many Christians I know would treat a gay person because they believe it's wrong.
Have you ever stopped to think, that if that gay person dies and has never known Christ, what was your role in that? Oh sure, free will, yada yada....but what if you were the only person they had ever met that was a Christian? And you only directed hate at them. AND, do you realized how long it takes some gay people to trust Christians when they meet them because of all the hatred that has been directed at them? They are so closed off to anything you have to say and sometimes it's not even your fault! Sometimes it has to do with decades of hatred that has been spewed before you ever came into the picture! If someone is committing what you think is a sin, even if the Bible says you should point it out to them and tell them what the Bible says, it really boils down to this.... it's God's business and not yours. You job is to L-O-V-E them. Not hate them. It's not your place to try them, convict them, label them, yell at them....Love. It's all about love people. Love and handling your own business before you start pointing your fingers at other people.
lurve you, xoxo v.
(I don't agree with all of this, but I do agree with a lot of it.)
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God…
Those are the words that initiated what I feel will be a monumental change my life.
Standing in a dark auditorium, singing words that I've sung many times, I felt God using those words in a way he never had before. Let me back up a little.
It's no secret to those who know me, that 2011 is a scary year for me. The Evil One gets out of prison this December. How has the time gone so fast? I hope it didn't go that fast for him. I hope every day he spent rotting in a cell felt like an eternity for him. They transferred him to different prisons several times during this past eight years for his own protection... pedophiles aren't looked upon too kindly in prison. What makes me sad is that he has been at the same facility for several years now. Does that mean he's having an easy time of it now? I hope not.
He gets out this year. Not until December, so I know he has nearly a year left, but this is still 2011, the year he gets out. I always knew it would kind of rock my boat when it arrived. I'm terrified of his release date. He is dangerous. He is evil. He has no concept of boundaries. No concept of right or wrong. I often wonder just how my world will change come this December. Did he actually learn something in prison? Or did it just make him meaner? Will he leave us alone? Or will he find us and take my children? Stalk us? Crawl through one of our windows? Go to their schools? Follow me and hurt me? Will I have to defend myself? Will we have to live in fear? Will there be a showdown? God knows how dangerous that will be, because when it comes to defending myself or my kids, I'm the one who knows no boundaries. I'm like a chihuahua standing nose to nose with a pit bull. I don't know how to cower, I only know how to defend fiercely, and that can be dangerous.
As you can imagine, this is a major issue in my life and I do tend to obsess on it a bit. Not on purpose, it just is what it is. Dealing with the post traumatic stress that I was left with after getting away with him leaves me scanning the horizon at all times looking for oncoming danger. It is something that I am acutely aware of at all times, even while I'm sleeping. Although, I do have to say that I think I'm much, much better than I used to be. I do. Since starting therapy last year, even though we haven't totally dove into all of these issues yet (we were waiting until after the holidays), I still feel that it has helped significantly. Anyways, these prayers of protection are often like broken records playing in my head and I always wonder what God knows that I don't. How is this going to play out?
Fast forward to Sunday morning, standing in church singing. Although I was surrounded by hundreds of people, as soon as the words of this song left my lips, I knew they were for me. God spoke to my heart in a loud way and spoke these lyrics directly to this issue. These familiar words from Romans 8:31, "...If God be for us, who can be against us?" You know the old joke about when you read a fortune cookie, you should follow it up with "in bed"? For example, "You will find great fortune [in bed]", "You will find many great people in this world [in bed]." Well, God was doing the same thing with these lyrics. I heard "Our God is greater [than the evil one], Our God is stronger [than the evil one]," etc etc. I could hear Him speaking peace into my soul. Peace be still. I could feel Him telling me that I can be as afraid as I choose to be or try to control this myself, but either way, He's got this. He is bigger and stronger. And He's on my side. And if our God be for me, then who could be against me?
No matter how I handle it or react to it, He's got it under control. I started crying as the truth of that began to sink into my spirit. He's got it. I'm only afraid because the future is so unknown. However, He's not afraid. He's got this. I hear him saying it, and I can feel it beginning to change me. Now I just have to work on really grasping the reality of that and getting rid of the fear. It's time to get to work. The battle approaches.
many people never really get to know the real person
behind the blogs.
I decided I like this idea,
especially going with the whole "friend" theme this month.
However, I'm not linking to this survey thing
that these other bloggers are doing,
because I'm breaking their format.
Honestly, many of their questions are lame.
I hate that "What were you thinking one hour ago" kind of stuff.
I'm not saying I'd never answer those kinds of things,
but their surveys are pretty weighed down with them.
So, I'm picking some to answer and tossing out the rest.
Feel free to send me questions of your own or to chime in with your thoughts! :)
Are you superstitious about anything?
What word or phrase do you find really annoying?
How many languages do you speak?
Do you read the newspaper daily?
Were you ever a girlscout?
Do you sleep with a nightlight on?
What is your most hated household chore?
Do you make your bed every day?
What do you do for a living?
What is your worst pet-peeve?
1. Are you superstitious about anything? Yes, unfortunately. Part of my brain doesn't believe in being superstitious, but the other part is very superstitious. Nurses, in general tend to be superstitious creatures. Walk into a nursing unit at the hospital and say, "Boy! It sure is a QUIET night around here!" And see how fast things get thrown at you. And I always *knock* so I don't jinx things. That's very important.
2. What word or phrase do you find really annoying? Okay, this answer is going to be a little crass, but y'all should be used to that around here. And it's also why I hate these things so much. Did you ever think you'd hear me say there are words I think are too crude? Okay, the first one is "titties." H-A-T-E. Blech! All I think of is my dad and all of his nasty, drunken, drugged buddies lounging around the living room talking this and that about "titties." So trashy. Hate hate hate.
The other one is "pop her cherry" or any version thereof. So nasty. So gross.
3. How many languages do you speak? Mainly only English, but I took four years of French in high school. Yeah, not much of it stuck. I do adore the French language though. I think it is so sexy and romantic and there is so much history behind it. If I really believed in reincarnation, I would believe I was someone French in a past life. I still know several words, but not how to link them together. I know my a,b,c's too.
As far as Spanish goes, that's the language I really need to know, but I find it SO boring. Living here in Phoenix, a majority of my patient population are spanish-speaking. I know several words, like "pain" and several curse words. Before I knew exactly what "culo" meant, I used it on an old lady. Ha! I thought it meant "bottom" or "private parts." Little did I know, it means "ASS". The memory of the look on her face is priceless now that I know I told her to move her blanket so I can wash her ass.
4. Do you read the newspaper daily? No, almost never. Actually, never never. Some may consider that irresponsible, but hardly any of it is ever good news and for the same reasons I won't watch scary movies, I won't read the paper. Garbage in, garbage out. I don't want that negative crap floating around in my head.
5. Were you ever a girlscout? Yes I was. From third grade until 8th grade.
6. Do you sleep with a nightlight on? No! I HATE light when I'm sleeping. I like it pitch-black and even then, sometimes I'll wear a sleeping mask. If there is anything to distract my brain, it will race with thoughts all night long. Sometimes, even it it's dark, if I'm able to have my eyes open, they will be open and my mind will be turning. When I have a mask on, my eyes have to stay closed and my mind almost instantly calms and I fall asleep.
7. What is your most hated household chore? Ugh! Without a doubt that would be COOKING. I can't stand it. Don't get me wrong, I do cook because I have to and only when I have to, and I'm actually a pretty good cook. But I will do ANYTHING to get out of it. And honestly, I spend WAY too much money eating out and need to stop that. I don't know what to do to get me to enjoy cooking though.
8. Do you make your bed every day? That would be a big, fat YES. I'm actually very particular about my bed. It needs to be made before I can get into it, and I will usually wake up with it looking just about the same as when I fell asleep. If it gets messed up, you know I slept really crappy. And if it gets too messy through the night, I will actually get up and re-make it in the middle of the night. I can't sleep if it's not neat. During the one whole week that I lived with Paul, this was actually one of the main issues we came across. He is the polar opposite of me when it comes to beds. He could care less how long the sheets have been on the bed, never uses a top sheet, and never makes the bed. He has an old comforter that is just kind of in a heap on top of the bed and he crawls underneath of it, whether it's straight or not. U-G-H! I can't put into words how bad this skeeved me out! After a day or so, I actually started making MY half of the bed for myself. My half of the bed had a top sheet, tucked in at the bottom and a neat comforter, etc. Like a line in the sand, right down the middle of the bed.
9. What do you do for a living? I am a Registered Nurse. Nine years spent in cardiac, and four of those years also included neuro/stroke experience. One year spent as a house supervisor and one year spent as the clinical manager of two cardiac floors. Know what I learned after all that? Yeah, I learned that I hate working in the hospital. I'm good at it, but I've had enough. And management is definitely not for me. I can't stand all the butt-kissing and bureaucracy. And I want my life to be my life. I'm not interested in being gone away from home more hours every day and selling my soul to the company just so I can say I kept climbing that ladder. Could I have kept climbing? Of course I could have. But at what cost? Work is a way to support my life, it's not my life itself. Now, I'm a home health care visiting nurse and I LOVE IT! I had no idea this world outside of the hospital even existed! Can't imagine ever going back.
10. What is your worst pet-peeve? Oh man, I have so many, how do I just pick one? Maybe the top few? I admit it, I'm kind of a picky bitch. I'm not horrible, but I'm my own worst critic. First, people that keep me waiting. I think it's the rudest thing ever. If you say you will be here at 1:00, then don't roll up at 4:30 saying, "Oh, sorry I'm late " like my time is worth nothing. Second, people who fold a piece of paper in half, then proceed to drag their fingernails down the paper sharpening the crease. *OMG, I just got chest pains after typing that sentence!* Paper is the grossest, most nasty thing in the world to me. I hate the way it feels, smells, the sound of it, anything. SKEEVES ME OUT! And to have someone dragging nails across it like that, UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH! I will usually take the paper away from the person, whether I know them or not. So gross.
I've talked for years about the notes that I find everywhere, or scraps of paper, covered with little sayings, thoughts, quotes, moods, feelings...whatever the muse is speaking to me at that point in time. Anyone who is creative knows that you need to move when the muse does or you miss out. It's at those times that I reach for the nearest thing to write on, and I write whatever pops into my head or my heart. It can be one word, or a whole paragraph. A color or a song, a thought or a comment. Well, sometimes I gather all of these things up from everywhere and I add them all to a running word document that I have that's labeled "To Blog." Then there they sit until I sift through and pick something that's speaking to my heart and I write about it. Or maybe I pluck something out and use it as a little quip in something I'm writing. Either way, this document grows by the day and gets so big sometimes, that I have to weed things out and toss them. Well, I figured that I am going to stop wasting my little tid-bits, and instead I am going to randomly post my little bits here. Maybe daily for a while, maybe weekly. Not sure. Just as I feel like it. They will be random, and they will probably not make much sense to every reader all of the time. They aren't developed, they are the rough draft, straight from my heart or brain. So, here's To Blog, # 1.
There are plenty of other fish in the sea, but I’m nowhere near the sea.I’m in the desert.