Showing posts with label personality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label personality. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

It’s NOT like I need your Approval

          Sit coms often come from real life situations.  We laugh at deception.  The sitcom characters put on a show for one played by a guest star.  They try to pass themselves off as rich, married, successful, high-ranking or whatever.   Their dishonesty snowballs into more lies and further deception until they realize they just can’t continue with the charade any longer. And yet we laugh.  If they just told the truth in the first place, there would be no show or else it would be a rather boring episode.

There are many real life people who continue to put up fronts and play charades with certain people from their past.  I don’t get it.  If you’re not close enough to this person that he or she really knows who you are, why would you care what he or she thinks?

          If anyone from my past is interested, I am NOT wealthy.  I am not in a high rank position.  I do not rub elbows with Hollywood’s finest.  My children did not go to Harvard.  Two of them simply don’t have the grades for it. I’m just not that prestige.  Nor do I pretend to be.  I am who I am.  Either you like me or you don’t.  And if you don’t, well that’s okay.  I am not a people pleaser – that is to ALL people.  It is IMPOSSIBLE to please ALL people. 
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you become – there are some who will like you and there are some that just won’t. And that’s okay.  It’s not the world’s approval that makes us happy (though I guess there’s some who believe differently).
Happiness is what’s within us.  It’s knowing who we are and what makes us tick.  It’s feeling.  It’s caring.  Why should having the approval of someone else be our deciding factor?  Doesn’t our own opinion matter?  Aren’t we valuable enough to decide for ourselves?   

          I have read a couple of posts from different Blogs in which reference was made for keeping up with the Joneses.  One seemed all for it while the other was not in favor.  I’m not in favor.  Couldn’t keep up if I wanted to.  And I really don’t want to.  Trying my best to show them up or show I’m equal.  Why?
          I see girls dating guys that they like – though I often wonder why.  What do they have in common really?  “Oh, he can/will change” says the girl.  Change into what?  Why change him?  Why not just go out with someone who fits the mold in the first place?

I’m grateful for the values that have been instilled in me and have helped me develop my character.  I wish that were the same for all.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Big Red Hen and the Tired Blue Cat

          Roland and his boss purchased some property years ago – the idea was to flip the house, make money – but the location of it all became a great nightmare for all of us.  I referred to the project as “The Nightmare on Oak Street”

          At the time I referred to Roland as the Big Red Hen because of his attempts to involve our three boys in his house fixing project.  Meanwhile, I was attempting to get them to help me around the house that we actually lived in.  I was not as aggressive as Roland and had a toddler who wore me out.

          Though the sharing this story with the boys did not produce the results we were hoping for, Jenna is totally amused with hearing it today – and thought I should share it on my blog.  So here goes:

The story of the
Big Red Hen and
the Tired Blue Cat

“Who will help me clean a house?” asked the Big Red Hen.
‘I’ll go,” said the Tired Blue Cat, “but I’ll need to find a sitter for my sunshine.”
They worked along side a Friendly Orange Rooster.  There were items that were heavy, lots of hazardous waste, lots of dirt. The Tired Blue Cat didn’t feel like she was pulling her weight because the Big Red Hen and the Friendly Orange Rooster were both so much stronger.

“Who will help me clean a house?” the Big Red Hen asked again.
“Not I,” said the Pumped Up Tiger.  “I’ve made plans to go to the gym. Today’s the day that I build the muscles in my chest.”
“Not I,” said the Free Loading Chipmunk. “I’m going to be hanging out with my friend, Mikey.”
“Oh, I would if I could,” said the Lazy Con Monkey, “but I have to clean my already immaculate room. Why can’t the tiger or the chipmunk do it?”

The Big Red Hen did not accept their lame excuses and dragged them to the house kicking and screaming.. The tiger and the chipmunk complained the entire time.
The monkey believed he had found rare treasures and constantly asked, “Can I have this? Can I have that?” For the most part neither the Rooster nor the Hen cared what the Monkey took.

“Who will do the dishes and mop the floor?” asked the Tired Blue Cat. 
“Not I,” said the Pumped Up Tiger.  “I’ve made plans to go to the gym. Today’s the day that I build the muscles in my legs.”
“Not I,” said the Free Loading Chipmunk. “I’ve done them the last two nights. I need some new shoes”
“I already vacuumed and did the bathroom and took out the garbage and washed a load of towels,” said the Lazy Con Monkey. “Why can’t the tiger or the chipmunk do it?”

“Who will help me tear down some walls in the house?” asked the Big Red Hen.
 “Not I,” said the Pumped Up Tiger. “I’ve made plans to go to the gym. Today’s the day that I build the muscles in my arms.”
 “Not I,” said the Free Loading Chipmunk. “I feel like drawing something. I need some new markers”
“Oh, I would if I could,” said the Lazy Con Monkey, “But I have to fix my bike”

The Big Red Hen did not accept their lame excuses and dragged them to the house kicking and screaming.. The monkey and the chipmunk complained the entire time. The tiger learned that wrecking walls was pretty fun and he was still getting a workout in his arms.

“Who will pick up all the towels off  the laundry room floor?” asked the Tired Blue Cat
“Not I,” said the Pumped Up Tiger. “I did three towels last week with my personal laundry which is still on top of the dryer”
“Not I,” said the Free Loading Chipmunk. “I have too much homework. I need a new binder.”
“Not I,” said the Lazy Con Monkey. “I left my bike over at Stephano’s house and I was just leaving to go and get it. Why can’t the tiger or the chipmunk do it?”
“All three of you should be able to do it,.” said the Tired Blue Cat. “All three of you pass the laundry room everyday – I would say at least four times a day.”
“Okay, I’ll do it,” whined the Free Loading Chipmunk. And he did.  And he was still able to do his homework.

“Who will help me build the house?” asked the Big Red Hen. 
“Not I,” said the Pumped Up Tiger. “I’ve made plans to go to the gym. Today’s the day that I build the muscles in my back.”
 “Not I,” said the Free Loading Chipmunk. “I’ve got to run an additional 20 miles just for fun.”
 “Oh, I would if I could,” said the Monkey, “but I was just going to K-Mart to buy a patch kit so that I can fix my bike . Why can’t the tiger or the chipmunk do it?”
“I’ll go,” said the Tired Blue Cat, “but I’ll need to find a sitter for my sunshine.”

And so the Big Hen took the Blue Cat.  Once again the Blue Cat felt like she wasn’t pulling her weight and soon had to leave when she heard her sunshine was acting up. And so the Big Red Hen and the Friendly Orange Rooster started to build.

“Who will clean the tub?” asked the Tired Blue Cat.
“Not I,” said the Pumped Up Tiger. “I’ve made plans to go to the gym. Today’s the day that I build the muscles in my abs”
“Not I,” said the Free Loading Chipmunk. “My legs hurt. Do we have any ebsom salt?”
 “Not I.” said the Lazy Con Monkey, “I was just leaving the house to go to the library to meet my friend Stephano. Why can’t the Chipmunk or the Tiger do it?”

 “Who will help me mow the lawn?” asked the Big Red Hen. 
“Not I,” said the Pumped Up Tiger. “I have to go mow somebody else’s lawn”
“What do you intend to use as a lawn mower?”  asked the Big Red Hen. 
“Well couldn’t you let me use the lawn mower to mow my yard before you do the yard at your house?” asked the Pumped Up Tiger.
“Why didn’t you use the lawn mower last night or yesterday afternoon?” asked the Big Red Hen who was quite annoyed.  He had worked his tail off the day and night before and could not make the time to use the lawn mower.  But the Pumped Up Tiger was not very good at prioritizing his time could have made the time. But it’s not like he had a great example to follow, either.

“Who will mop the floor?” asked the Tired Blue Cat..
“Not I,” said the Pumped Up Tiger. “I cleaned the counters and the table and finally got around to cleaning the stove and the microwave which you asked me to do the other day; the Lazy Monkey hasn’t done anything except for be lazy.”

She couldn’t ask the Chipmunk as he was out of town – otherwise they probably would have gotten it done. The Free Loading Chipmunk had actually done more chores than the Pumped Up Tiger and Lazy Con Monkey put together.

 “Oh, I would if I could,” said the Monkey, “but I just dumped the garbage and I split my finger open where the stitches were.”
 “Why aren’t the dishes done?” the Tired Blue Cat asked the Lazy Con Monkey.
“I’ve been cleaning the back room!” he exclaimed.  And he had.  And he had done a wonderful job. The Tiger had obviously not seen the back room.

“Who will help me paint the house?” asked the Big Red Hen. 
The Pumped Up Tiger did not answer because he was at the gym.
“Not I,” said the Free Loading Chipmunk. “I have too much homework.  And my legs hurt.”
 “Oh, I would if I could,” said the Monkey, “but I was just leaving to visit my friend Stephano; we are making a seat for the dirt bike that I found.”
“I’ll go,” said the Tired Blue Cat, “but I’ll need to find a sitter for my sunshine.”

But the Blue Cat could not always find a sitter and so sometimes the Big Red Hen had to do it by himself.  Or sometimes the Rooster would do it by himself. They couldn’t seem to get together at the same time anymore.

The tiger and chipmunk and monkey (not to mention the Tired Blue Cat) all got to hate the house.  And they especially hated it when the Big Red Hen would order them to stay home so that they could work on the house.  And sometimes they would spend hours waiting for the Big Red Hen to pick them up – one might think that they would be able to assist the Tired Blue Cat while they were waiting.  And many times the Free Loading Chipmunk would.  He preferred staying with the Tired Blue Cat and doing chores around her house than working at the Big Red Hen’s house investment.  The Lazy Con Monkey also made that claim saying that he would rather do chores for the Tired Blue Cat than go to the house with the Big Red Hen – but it was just talk as usual.

The monkey would always horn in on whatever was being said to the tiger or the chipmunk – but seemed to have a problem listening to whatever actually concerned him however. He was notorious for asking “What about the Tiger?  What about the Chipmunk” What about the tiger and chipmunk?  What about them?

The monkey had many talents.  He was a very quick learner. He enjoyed building things. He was very creative about making things.  And he was very charismatic and a very good actor. He was also very cunning, enjoyed telling stupid jokes and was lazy about labor and with his study habits. He actually had the potential for becoming a politician.

None of the animals knew how to prioritize.  The free loading chipmunk was willing to work for his money – unless Mikey called.  The Blue Cat had given the chipmunk permission to hang out with him So he didn’t think he was available to do one more chore that the Big Red Hen had invented – mainly for the Monkey and Tiger’s benefit.  The Blue Cat was upset about his lack of rationalization.

If the exotic bird from Thailand had been living with the other animals in America, he would have gone willingly and things would have gotten finished a lot quicker. But alas, he was no longer in the states.

The Big Red Hen’s house eventually got sold – and there was a small profit that was so not worth the labor.  The Tiger and Chipmunk and Monkey have all grown up.  The Chipmunk and Monkey are both married and living in apartments. The Chipmunk now has a baby chipmunk of his own. The Tiger still spends much of his time at the gym.  He should really put care and concern into keeping his room and house as clean and tidy as he tries to keep his body.

The exotic bird has gone back to Thiland and is now pursuing a career and relationship with a gorgeous parakeet.  Sunshine continues to grow.  There are many chores that she enjoys doing – but several that she does not.  When the Big Red Hen or Tired Blue Cat (who by the way is not nearly as tired anymore) remind her of something she doesn’t want to do, she whines and often throws a tantrum.  She seems to complain more than did the Tiger, Chipmunk and Monkey combind. Hopefully it’s just a stage.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

As Different as Mustard and Aqua Velva

         The refrigerator in Sunny and Patrick’s house is buried in photographs and wonderful thoughts.  Family is very important to them and they are on display at all times.
          Children’s art work decorates the walls above the dining room table and there are portraits upon the piano.  The house is decorated nicely, and the feel is one of warmth and love.  It is inviting.  It says that their children are important and family matters.  It is welcoming and full of joy and positive self-esteem.

          Grandma also keeps photographs and art work.  Her refrigerator is covered with magnets that hold up treasured memories.  There are pictures in every room showing off her grandkids, her children, their spouses, etc.  It says that her posterity is important and it is good for our self-esteem.

          Kayla and I both live in Cracker Box houses.  We both have more stuff than we do space.  And though we’ve had different family members over at different times, neither one of us is equipped for having the whole family over. It would be like trying to cram 15 of us in a walk in closet or as comfortable as eight people stuffed in a Volks Wagon bug for 25 miles.

          But still we have the comforts of our family in photographs – and display our posterity in a positive way.  Anna likes to move the magnets around on the refrigerator and Jenna likes to hang her art.  And I have scanned many of her drawings and crafts since she was three. 

          We’re a bit cluttered at times.  Actually more clutter than I would like.  It’s livable.  Our children know they’re important. 

          We have barbeques on occasion.  We have done other family activities as well.  We keep in contact through e-mail, through phone, in person.  We are a close knit family.  We are in my opinion.  But every family is different.

          Recently we visited with Roland’s family.  He has three sisters and a brother.  All three sisters are older.  His mom happens to live with the youngest of the three girls.
I had been to her house before.  Each time we’ve gone it seems to have been redecorated.  This year the display was showcased to perfection.  Tons of candles and pottery and decorative STUFF – nothing personal about it.  It was how you’d want your home to look to potential buyers.  It was how you would want it to look for the media.  It was sterile.
She used to have photographs upstairs and along the hall.  But they got moved – pushed back on some shelves in the corner.  You would have to literally move the desk and each picture in order to view them all.  No kids’ art.  NOTHING on the refrigerator.  Nothing seemed inviting – to me anyway.  It was all material.

They have five adults living under one roof (plus two children; and constant visits from their three grandchildren and their parents) and have five TVs (at least two of them are on 24-7 whether they are even being watched or not – usually not) and at least four or five computers (none of them updated however.  That’s a surprise – but then they really don’t spend that much time on it; I would guess the kids do more than anyone else)

And yet I know they love their family members.  (We’d gone to another state for mom’s surprise party – and our room and gas were all paid for before we had even arrived) and spend huge amounts of time together.  But there is no memorabilia.  Nothing that stands out to build self esteem.  And I wonder how much of a difference it would even make to them.

They love to dance.  They love to party.  They love to drink.  They don’t much care for religion.  If they want a message, they can watch the evangelists on TV. 
To say our families are as different as day and night would not only be cliché – our families are more drastically different than I think night and day are.
They love and admire our boys.  Richard’s done well at bringing them up, they say.  Richard tries to explain that it’s not solely just himself but the values taught in the gospel.  They don’t want to hear it.

Their understanding is that God knows them.  They’re not out killing anybody.  They are decent human beings.  They’ve got it made just fine without religion.
My family members are active and hold church callings and are dedicated – not just on Sunday, but every day.  Three hours is too long for Richard’s family – and to extend it to the entire week?  Uh –uh. 

They are good people.  Just an entire different comfort zone – for them.  But Not for me.  I like the photographs and the religious values and spending time with family without booze.  I’m certain that they would be just as uncomfortable in my world.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


          This post is dedicated to my sister, Kayla and our sister-in-law, Sunny.

          Kayla has always been the strong silent type – both physically and spiritually.  She has always had tremendous faith.  She is a survivor.

          When she was younger she could detect the slightest movement of a wrapper being pulled away from a food item (usually something unhealthy like ding dongs or cupcakes or m&ms) She wouldn’t even be in the house, but in the neighborhood.  Unwrap that piece of candy, and she would appear through the door.  But it had to be real.  We could never get her to come simply by crinkling cellophane or foil

          She would say to my mom, “Can I have a piece of gum?” (or whatever)

          Mom, truly forgetting there really was such an item in the house, would come back at her, “I don’t think we have any”

          And Kayla would always know.  “Yes we do.  It is in the third bag pushed against the wall in the cupboard under the microwave”

          Sure enough it would be there.

          Kayla had a problem understanding prepositions.  Written directions would confuse her.  Mom had taken her to a therapist and spent a tremendous amount of time with her going over her homework, trying to help her to understand.

          Kayla had a huge following of friends.  They called and knocked at the door at all hours.  It got to the point where my mom had to physically remove Kayla from our house and environment.  They went to a nearby drive-in to have breakfast and stayed for hours while they studied.

          We used to call her Kaylarella as we would often ask her to fulfill tasks that involved cleaning or serving.  And she enjoyed it.  I looked at it as taking advantage of her naïve willingness.  She looked at it as an opportunity to serve and felt connected. Wow.

Kayla and I are thirteen years apart.  She was the last one of my mom’s four children to receive her driver’s license.  Not so much just because she was the youngest.  It just became a really hard task for her to conquer.  Driving was a worldly thing.  And her mind just wasn’t on the world.  That’s what I liked to believe.  Don’t know that it gave any comfort to her that I thought that way.

She was diligent.  She took at least three different classes – with each she would take the driver’s test at least three times – never passing.  Never earning her driver’s license.  It wasn’t until after I got married to Roland that he took her out and created a new confidence.  She finally had a driver’s license after she turned 27.

Kayla didn’t do a lot of heavy dating as I recall.  And just as with me, Kayla also married late in life – though not quite as late. She just gave birth to her second child, a boy named after my father.  There first was a girl she had named after Bill’s first wife.

Our sister-in-law should start a Blog.  Most everything that falls from her mouth seems so profound and full of wisdom.  I admire her and her sense of being.  She is such a positive person to be around and so full of hope and comfort.  I have always thought that after she joined our family. 

          The older she gets the wiser and more profound her thoughts sound. She’s not a butt-in-ski.  She’ll hold her tongue unless you ask for her advice.  She is such an awesome person. Everyone deserves to have that awesomeness in their lives.  I am so grateful for her – though I don’t always show it.

          Sunny embraces life and has taught her four children to do the same – or has tried to.  None seem as extroverted as she is.
          Sunny always invites enthusiasm and shares her joy with other.  She points out beautiful things to others. Perhaps I have her on a pedestal – but I am NOT the only one.  She really is a great asset to our family.

          I am so grateful for each of my sisters.  I love them both and value the friendships that we have established.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

NOT the Brady Bunch

          Roland has six children – nine if you count the three that were never born – which he often does.  They’ve all been given names – though I doubt we’ll be raising the unborn in the hereafter.

          Biff is the oldest.  He has brown eyes and looks just like his paternal grandfather.  Spitting image – only taller – which is saying a lot as Biff’s biggest hang-up about life seems to have been with his small size.  He really is not that tall compared to your average guy – but he is taller than those on both Roland’s side and his mom’s side.

          Tony seems to get his looks from his mom’s side – though I haven’t really seen it.  The receding hairline is definitely from her side.  Though Tony towers over his mom’s small sized family (small individuals – the family itself is actually quite large in number) he seems to share the same skinny genes that his mom’s side seem to hold.

          Randy is sort of a mixture. Hazel eyes (as well as Tony) all American boy. Freckles. Tallest of the three. Dimples show when he smiles – which is often.

          Vincente – I don’t know if they actually knew the sex at the time or had an ultrasound as his twin brother was a surprise.  I’m thinking if they had known the sex they would have also known that there were two of them.

          Stephen -  Roland had picked out a name for one before his late wife passed.  And when he learned there were two jotted a name down for the other. 
He must have written Stephen’s name in a journal after Vincente

          Francis – Amazon build like her mother – but with facial features from Roland’s side – which I hadn’t noticed.  But then I haven’t yet met Roland’s entire family.

          Pamprin also has the Amazon bone structure and a face like her mom’s.  But she does have dimples like Randy.  And actually her behavior is pretty identical to his also.

          Tracy was only six weeks inside me.  I remember exactly when and where he/she was conceived.  At least one of Roland’s little swimmers wiggled its way up my right fallopian tube before the egg was ready to drop. And that’s where Tracy grew. 

But my tube burst and my belly filled with blood.  We didn’t even know Tracy was in there until an ultrasound was given and we heard his/her heartbeat.  I still cry when I think about it.  Tracy had to be aborted – along with what was left of my tube.  If we would have waited another hour I would be dead, too.

We picked the name Tracy as we have no sex identity.  But I don’t believe Tracy is ours to keep.  I believe the “receiving a body” is more than just a six weeks in the womb.  I believe that Tracy may have gone to another family – or had to wait a while to come to our family.

Jenna is our miracle baby.  Conceived in my early forties and on only one tube.  She looks like both of her parents.  I have seen some expressions that remind me of Francis, but I have also seen some that look like Pamprin.  In her I see a lot of personalities, mostly mine and Randy’s and Tony’s.  Though when she was inside me she was strong like Biff – as we could see her doing calisthenics through the ultrasound.

We have a few pictures of all six kids being silly – well, five of them were.  Jenna was only six months and didn’t demonstrate any behavior other than being happy.  We also have one taken with Roland and his six children – the last time we saw his oldest two girls – the last time when all our boys were together.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thoughts on wellness (unwellness rather)

          I used to think that a sore throat was the absolute worse.  I would rather have a headache, a backache, nausea, or sinus infection rather than a sore throat.  Or so I thought. A sore throat never made me disoriented.

Have you ever seen the movie Innerspace?  As the story unfolds, we learn that Dennis Quade’s character has agreed to being shrunk and injected into the body of a rabbit.  But due to circumstances beyond his control, he is inserted into Martin Short’s body by mistake.

          In order for him to see what Martin Short is seeing, DQ lands his vessel onto the optical nerve and then clamps on the seeing device tool.  On his initial land, MS experiences irritation.  Something is bugging him just behind the eye.  But then comes the clamp.  MS screams out in pain. 

          I have felt that pain.  It’s really quite excruciating.  Oh, no.  I don’t claim to have a little man inside of my body putting pressure on my eyes – I’m 99% certain that it’s mucus that’s causing the pain.  It hurts so much I feel like crying – only I won’t because that only makes it hurt even more.

          I had gone to the doctor last month as “over-the-counter” wasn’t taking care of it.  The pain was in my left eye and by the time I was able to get into the doctor, the infection had spread into my ear as well.

          I was given an antibiotic with the worse side effects ever.  If I wasn’t on the toilet I was over the toilet questioning whether the drugs were actually in my body long enough to do anything other than make me even sicker.

After a while it appeared that I had been beaten as there were major dark circles under my eye and much redness under my left eye that looked like it may form into a bruise. I usually felt much worse than I looked.

          Dishes and laundry had built up during my stay-in-bed.  Water pressure is the pits.  I can do dishes or laundry.  And I felt so weak and disoriented – I could only do five dishes at a time – if that.  So often I would stand and feel dizzy and unbalanced that very little gets accomplished.

My diet consisted of Jell-O and Yogurt – not consciously – it just seemed to be all I could hold down – if I indeed could hold it down.  Sometimes just the idea of eating something I ordinarily love makes me gag. When God passed out sensitive stomachs and high gag reflexes, Jenna and I were first in line
I have worn glasses for half of my life now.  During the two weeks I was sick I did not use them – my vision was distorted either way.  But I have come to the conclusion that I have to wear them ALL the time as I believe it is contributing to my soreness.  Maybe.

I have gone over this post several times – still disoriented.  Still not satisfied with how it sounds.  It’s been over a month.  I have actually seen two doctors since then. 

I was given a complete physical with one.  I was also given a clean bill of health.  The other was an obstetrician – who for the first time in my life was able to explain my unkeen sense of vision.  I have a small case of Keratoconus – which I shouldn’t concern myself with too much.  My brother, Corey, had to have a cornea transplant with his Keratoconus and so did actor Mandy Patinkin.  But at this stage it doesn’t appear that surgery will be needed.  So that’s nice.
          I also have “weird shaped” eyes that won’t allow in the amount of light needed for one to see properly.  Because of their weird shape I can never be qualified for laser surgery – and so even maybe someday if/when I should able to afford it, it can never take place.  I will always have strained vision.
          Fortunately my eyes seem to work the opposite way.  I think I am near sighted in one and far sighted in the other.  So they still seem to work well together.  Except for I’ve had eye pain in my right eye this week.  Grrrr . . .
          But I am grateful to hear that I won’t need a transplant as of now.  And I am grateful for my what vision I do have.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde or Sybil

For those readers who may not recognize any of the names in the title, let me introduce you to a very brief history. 

The character of Dr. Jekyll was created before 1931.  He was a lab scientist who used himself as a guinea pig to test a potion which he had created.  I don’t recall what it is the potion was supposed to do, but as a result of his taking the potion, Dr. Jekyll would take on another – much darker – personality that was not the same as the one most people were familiar with.

His alter ego became known as Mr. Hyde.  So even though Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were theoretically the same person – sharing the same physical identity (or body I guess) the personalities were very different.  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is science fiction.

Shirley Ardel Mason (1923 – 1998) was an actual person.  She’d been both physically and mentally abused by her mother.  Shirley had gone to psychiatrist Dr. Cornelia Wilbur in the 1950’s as there were some large pieces of her life that she seemed to miss out on due to black outs. 

It took eleven years for Dr. Wilbur to meet all of the personalities that would take over during Shirley’s blackouts.  It is said that there were sixteen of them.  They all had different names and different characteristics.  Many of the personalities knew of the others, but Shirley was not aware of any until Dr. Wilbur pointed it out to her.

In 1973 Flora Rheta Schreiber wrote a book based upon Shirley’s pshycological studies.  The book introduced the character Sybil Dorsett whose background and therapeutic studies was the same as Shirley’s.  The name had been changed to protect Shirley’s identity.  And in 1976 Sally Field portrayed her in the movie “Sybil”.

There are some who don’t believe in Multiple Personality Disorder (now known as Disassociative Identity Disorder) while others do.  I choose to believe.  I think there are different degrees in which personalities are displayed.  And there are variations of what may trigger these unusual out-of-character traits.

We all have moods and often seem to take on personalities unlike our normal selves due to drugs, alcohol, medicated side effects or lack of medication, aging, changes in our eating habits, health, witnessing or victims of some horrific action.  The list goes on and on.  In many cases the self personality may be controlled or sometimes it may seem quite doubtful that a person may ever return to normal again. 

I remember my mom as a woman who never wanted to take medication – even something as simple as asprin.  She was not one who would ever become drug dependant.  Or so was her wish.  She now has at least seven different prescribed medications that she takes for her diabetis, cholesterol, dementia and some other things.  And when she skips her medication or doesn’t watch what she eats, another personality seems to takes over.

I suppose my mood swings are very different during that time of the month, when my hormones are out of wack, when I go from being Dr. Jekyll to becoming Mrs. Hyde.  A lot of women go through that.  It isn’t refered to as a personality disorder though – and yet there seems to be at least two distinct personalities throughout the month.

I had a sinus infection during the month of December.  I also took meds with a nasty side effect that left me wanting to deal with the sinus infection instead.  I was loopy for much of the month.  I might as well have been in a coma.  Actually, that would have been preferable.

I have seen at least two distinctive personalities with my mom. There appears to be happy drunkard take over when she is not coherent.  And yet she sincerely believes in every detail she relates – like the time she drove downtown to see the forrest – there is no forest downtown – nor is there a dungeon.  But she truly believes in it – or did.  She may have forgotten it now.  I haven’t.

When I visit my mom I am usually with a woman who is a bit disoriented, who often is on a mission to spend her money, and doesn’t believe she has any problems whatsoever.  If she does have a problem, it is because someone else is “against her”. Sometimes she will acknowledge that she takes meds and is aging. But more often than not, I see a much different personality than does my sister-in-law.

When she is with my sister-in-law, my mom seems more put together.  They talk about mom’s desires for becoming independent.  My mom will share memories with my sister-in-law.  There are no memories when I am with her.  She doesn’t remember – or else she’ll be misinformed. Therefore we have painted two entirely different pictures of my mom’s condition. 

But then I suppose the same could be said about me – depending on who you are and how often we visit.  I have mood swings.  I have triggers.  I don’t have blackouts that have made me wonder when a transition may have occurred.  Mood swings are different from multiple personalities.  It’s just often it seems that these moods bring on a personality that is entirely their own.

Today I had the opportunity of taking my 1 ½ year old neice to visit my mom.  My mom loves my niece.  She got on the floor and played with her.  They teased each other.  I saw my mom from a much different perspective than I have seen her for some time actually.  Probably not since my brother’s kids were little.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Outside of the Box

                I remember watching an episode of “The Twilight Zone” in which a “turning of age” theme was introduced.  Girls were expected to trade in their bodies for a much more exciting model.  There was even a catalog of models to choose from.
          The main character of this episode had her birthday coming up – and it was expected of her that she would choose from at least two different models.  The girl was quite plain – perhaps even homely looking.  But she had a mind – which she really wanted to keep.
          It seems like those who had changed their bodies had become so obsessed with the way they looked that they did not or would not think about anything else.  It wasn’t her.  She wanted to remain an individual and not have to join the “Stepford” clan.

          Last month I read the following story  about a quite colorful house that was built into a very earth toned neighborhood.  This in turn  reminded about this particular “Twilight Zone”  and also an episode from “Third Rock from the Sun” in which the aliens still feel inadequate as fitting in and accepted as human beings.  They decide to join a click who calls themselves normal.  They live in the average apartment where walls and floor are all one neutral color and everybody is a perfect “cookie cut-out” all from the same mold.  After only three days the aliens become bored with not being able to fulfill whatever individualism they possess and sabotage the average “rules” so that they will be kicked out of their lease agreement.

          As with any other city Herriman has its share of uppity people (no pun intended) but I’m happy to read that there are neighbors who would like to keep the colorful house as is.  And for the new homeowners sake, I hope it doesn’t have to be painted some drab color just to appease some snob – unless of course there really is a written rule: “Thou shalt NOT paint thy house with bold colors if it does not please thy neighbors”  I wonder: Does the community have their say in all the Christmas decorations?  Style of clothes that can be worn? 

          I mean I can understand if it’s honestly harmful to the community.  Don’t imagine any of those willing to see the house become a boring earth tone have ever seen or understood the movie “Up” What’s wrong with trying to fulfill a dream.

          I think people who live in the box are afraid of people who talk about moving out – let alone when they actually do.  How dare anyone shatter their drab boxed up world.  How dare someone or something should shake so hard that they are forced to notice that not all people are the same – nor do they want to be.

          Me?  I’m a shaker.  I have NEVER had the desire of being a carbon copy.  I want to be the original one of a kind – but not so it takes away from another.  I just don’t wish to feel trapped.  I enjoy being able to breathe on my own.  I think if neighbors had a say in what color I have to paint my house, I’d be a little more than sad.  I actually wouldn’t want to live in a community where I have to become somebody else.  Or nobody.  Without my individual worth I think I would cease to exist.  It would be like removing my mind.
          I had once taken a toll painting class in which we would complete three projects.  The first was a bat – a decoration for Halloween.  All of the class was taught to paint their bats black with white trim.  Mine was purple with pink trim.  When the class did their houses in a steal blue with red trim – I painted my house yellow. 

          I had dismissed myself from the class for whatever reason.  While I was gone, the instructor made the comment to my sister-in-law that I certainly do move to the beat of a different drummer.  That is true.  I will go miles out of my way to find the perfect tune to dance to – perfect to my ears anyway.  But I don’t expect it will be the same for all people. And it doesn’t bother me if I’m alone.  It’s what makes me tick.

          Thank you to all of those who allow individualism and may accept even if they don’t agree. Thanks to all the citizens of “Pleasantville” who learned to accept the changes and appreciate the color – expanding their thoughts and acceptance from a black and white world.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Three Sons

         When I got married for the first (and only) time, I not only got a husband,  I had a ready-made family. Our boys were 11, 12 and 14 (we were married six weeks prior to the 12 year old turning 13)

          I met the youngest one first.  My mom and I had gone over to a quadplex unit to visit someone.  We had knocked at the door but there was no reply.  I don’t know if Randy called “Hi” to us from the tree before or after we knocked.  He smiled brightly but gave no information about himself nor inquired who we were.    As it turned out the sister we were searching for had moved out and Randy was actually living at that particular unit with his two brothers and dad.

          Randy was ten going on eleven.  We had the same size hands at the time.  He shared a room with his two older brothers.  His part of the bunk and dresser top were spotless.  Randy was (still is) very neat.   Very polite kid.  Somewhat of a con artist.  Full of smiles and gratitude.

          Tony was twelve.  Very insecure.  Very much feeling the need to be accepted.  Very much wanting a stable family.

          The first time that I met Tony was inside the quadplex unit.  He had set up pop bottles at the end of the hall, using them as bowling pins as he hurled a ball towards them over the bumpy carpet.

Tony was (and still is) very different from his brothers. When we took the boys out to purchase suits for Sunday wear, our oldest and youngest went for a conservative look that one often does find in Church.  Tony wanted the loud royal blue with pinstripes, a suit designed for either the stage or very young pimps.  We had discouraged him from buying the suit that he truly wanted. (Perhaps we should have purchased it for him)

Biff actually turned 14 before Roland and I were married.  He’s always been big into health and fitness, worked out all the time, had muscles and sparkling teeth.  We had given him three tubes of toothpaste for his birthday and sent him and his brothers through a maze to play laser tag. 

All three boys had fun, but Biff was especially grateful for the toothpaste – which I’m sure took him less than a month to finish.  Upon seeing Biff’s gift, Tony panicked.  “I don’t think I’d want a shirt or tooth paste for my birthday.”

I just smiled at him and said, “And I would never get you toothpaste.  You and Biff are two entirely different people.”

I seriously didn’t even know Biff could talk for about three or four months.  Very quiet.  Always smiled.  Always put himself to bed at six and then would arise at four and walk over to the junior high and run around the track until the school doors opened.

What terrible parents we were.  It was rare that we ever got up to see our boys off to school.  And sometimes Randy would play hooky out of boredom.  He was the only one I didn’t worry about academically.  And he was the only one who made a big deal about seeing ALL of his teachers.  Which was hard. Especially when I had all three of them in junior high and 21 different teachers to see (all by myself as Roland was working )

Our boys are 17, 16 and 15 years older than Jenna.  Now they are men, all in their 20’s.
          Tony was the first of the three to get married.  He had joined the army and had proposed right before he went in.  Has sparkling white teeth now – and I have given him toothpaste as a gift.  Lots of gifts are different than when he was fourteen.
          Soon I will be a grandmother as he and his wife are expecting their first baby. 

          Randy goes to school full time.  Assists with orientation and enrollment.  Many things seem to come so natural and easy for him.  He catches on quickly – like a duck to water.  He is definitely the most extraverted of the three. And now he is engaged.  I will have another daughter-in-law midway through this year.

          Biff has had jobs off and on.  Nothing stable – mostly due to the economy.  Lot’s of temp jobs and trying to pass the ABVAB as the army would definitely provide benefits.  Being paid to work out, for one.

          He’s tried his hand at relationships.  Biff is sweet and has some really great qualities, but not everybody sees that.  Biff is an animal charmer.  The barkiest dogs will greet Biff as though he is a long lost friend.  I have never seen any animal behave mean around Biff.

          He is awesome at putting puzzles together or finding the difference in hidden pictures.  He is a loner.  Often he just chooses to be that way.  But sometimes he feels lonely.  He’s got some great one on one social skills around certain people.  Unfortunately many view his overall social skills as being awkward.

          Jenna assures me that Biff is the greatest “tucker-inner”  and he is definitely strong. As of now he has a “platonic girlfriend” They’re really good friends, and I would LOVE to have her as a daughter-in-law, but at this point I don’t believe that anything more will come of it except for being friends.

And there’s a very brief description of my three sons.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Brothers: Quiet Strength

I have two brothers.  Patrick is two years younger than I.  Corey is nine years younger.  Both brothers are quite knowledgeable in the gospel.  Both are quiet.  Both are very forgiving of others.  Both pocess qualities very much like our dad. Both attend Church meetings each week – but each is on a mission that’s entirely different from the other

          The eldest of the two currently serves as second counselor in the bishopric. Patrick is diligent and responsible.  Keeps confidences.  He’s organized.  GREAT father! Coveted husband. A good guy whom people respect.  Did I mention quiet?

          I am actually closer to Corey than I am to Patrick.  Corey is an actor.  When he appears on stage it isn’t known how quiet he is when he’s not performing.  Corey is very diligent and responsible.  He keeps confidences.  He is very organized.  People respect him. People admire him. When he’s not performing, Corey is pretty quiet.

          Corey attends two meetings on Sunday.  He does not hold a calling.  He doesn’t participate in class.  He doesn’t bear his testimony – not allowed anyway.  But he does have one. Recently he attended a conference for the LDS gay and lesbian community and did have the opportunity to bear his testimony there.  And he bears testimony in his Blog as well.  He’s a great example.

          I learn so much from my brothers’ examples.  Neither gets uptight with situations at hand.  It is what it is.  They are very compassionate and forgiving.  They don’t get mad at other people.  Mistakes happen.  There is always allowance.  I need to hang around my brothers more. 

          I’ve tried letting go of that grudge thing – it hasn’t always worked.  I know I am a lot happier when I can let it go and move on. Though I don’t always let go.  It eats at me.  I’m not saying my brothers aren’t ever bothered – but they are a lot more forgiving than I – especially Patrick.

          Corey usually resorts to writing letters.  He will wait a few days before mailing or confronting.  More times than not he’s gotten over whatever it was and ends up just throwing the letter away.   But there have been times the letter was mailed.  And for the most part that seems to produce positive results as well (or at least that how it appears to me)

          Corey is a lot more eloquent with words than I.  For the most part I don’t have that gift – especially verbally. So often my words are misconstrued.  I don’t know if it’s the delivery or my approach or what.   But there have been hurt feelings – whereas Corey’s anger doesn’t always transfer – even verbally.  He is pretty calm at explaining himself and often gets the other person to see his point of view – even if not agreed with – he just has a better way of presenting himself.
          I get upset or frustrated.  I often cry.  I wish one could lose weight through tears.  I’m sure I’d be wearing the same size as Metal’s Barbie.

          I love my brothers.  I love their example.  I will continue to strive to be more like them.